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    The fact that black immigrants to the United States have shown achievements that are superior to native black Americans has been a phenomenon studied since at least the 1970's. At first it was just the Caribbean blacks who were a subject of this unexpected outcome. As black Africans kept immigrating into the US, they showed...
  • The basal norms within a population are irrelevant for individuals. If you take two individuals with 100 IQ, if genetics are responsible for their IQ, then it doesn’t matter what color they are, you should expect them to produce offspring with the same intelligence.

    You would expect for exceptional individuals to produce exceptional offspring if IQ was primarily hereditary.

    This doesn’t really provide evidence one way or another regarding basal levels of IQ for their countries of origination, because people who immigrate aren’t randomly selected – in fact, you’re selecting for the people who can afford to get out of their home country. If you took only the Americans who scored 130+ on IQ tests, took them somewhere else, and had them interbreed, they would show a remarkably high level of intelligence in their offspring – but it wouldn’t be telling you anything about the base population.

    That doesn’t mean that Jenson ISN’T wrong about basal IQ levels in Africa, though – they are not really calculable right now, because most of Africa has not undergone the full effects of the Flynn Effect. Claiming 70 to be their “true” IQ is questionable.

    As far as regional differences amongst Africans goes: as anyone who understands population genetics knows, “black” isn’t a race. “Black people” don’t exist. There are more significant differences between blacks than there are amongst other population groups. There’s no reason to expect “Africans” to be uniform, because they aren’t a single population group but multiple population groups which are highly genetically divergent. American descendants of slaves are primarily descended from people who were captured by West Africans, shipped across the ocean, and enslaved for 60-200 years. They are from different basal populations (probably untraceable at this point), and they had selective pressures put on them that might select for specific traits. It is entirely plausible that, for instance, smart slaves were more frequently killed than dumb ones because they were “uppity”, resulting in negative selection for intelligence – or that dumb slaves were more frequently killed than smart ones because they were too stupid to know not to cause trouble. Or it may have had no effect at all.

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  • #1One of the reasons soccer is so globally popular is that it's a pretty white sport, much whiter than American football (the NFL is only about 30% white, even less if you exclude all the white soccer-style placekickers). For example, here is Forbes' current list of the top 20 highest paid soccer players in the...
  • TD says:

    For those who keep harping on the "wussy" and "non-physical" theme:

    Gus Johnson, the all-American sports voice now being groomed by Fox for soccer play-by-play, discusses what he's learned about the sport in this recent Q&A:

    So now that you've been watching more, what's something you've been picking up on that casual—or completely new—fans may not be looking for?

    I don't think people realize how physical this game is. This is a rough, rough game. Elbows. Head-butts. Knees to the thigh. Stepping on ankles—and feet. You've got really tiny bones in the top of your foot. And when these guys come down with their spikes on the top of one's foot or one's ankle—that looks like it really hurts. And, when you compare it to basketball, you see a set piece or a corner kick, and you see those guys crashing down in the six-yard box, elbows up, heads angling toward the ball where you could head-butt somebody. There's a lot of pushing and shoving and grabbing. I remember doing a [San Jose] Earthquakes game, and there was a corner kick, and a kid from the Earthquakes got grabbed by players from the Red Bulls—he broke his shoulder. There wasn't even a foul called on the play.

    Damn.

    I think that's the one thing that casual fans should pay attention to and have a sense of is that these guys, when they go on a run, sometimes it's 50, 60, 70 yards. It's a sprint. These athletes are in incredible shape. They're incredible specimens of man.

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  • The Philadelphia Inquirer has a long piece which reports on the reality that the 'crack baby epidemic' of mentally retarded or unstable individuals turned out to be unfounded. The experimental design is as simple as can be: compare individuals of similar socioeconomic background, and track them over their lives. The past generation since the 1980s...
  • td says:

    “The environmental component does exist, and is substantial (explaining the majority of the variance in outcome for many biobehavioral traits). But it is likely that the component you can control is more of the social and collective input. Buying a house in a community with ‘good schools’ probably is rational.”

    I disagree with this. The “shared environmental factor” in behavioral genetic studies includes things like the community in which an individual grew up. For most traits and behaviors, the C^2 component of variance is negligible by adulthood. The “non-shared environmental” contribution is often substantial, though as you note, it isn’t necessarily environmental.

    I suspect that E^2 is (often) largely comprised of random biological effects. It would be extremely unusual, in my opinion, if all the major environmental factors that make up C^2 had little long term impact while the non-shared environment was hugely important. Harris’s suggestion that the peer group is crucial to explaining differential outcomes among siblings (after genetic differences are accounted for) is undermined by the fact that the sorts of peers children are exposed to are substantially determined by shared factors (e.g. the neighborhood they grow up in). Why think that identical twins reared together typically fall in with vastly different peer groups, which then account for the substantial personality/behavioral differences between them? In fact, I seem to recall reading that MZ twins often have largely overlapping groups of friends.

    When it comes to outcomes like college attendance (which requires a specific combination of circumstance and action, in addition to certain abilities and personality traits), peer groups probably matter (and parents definitely do), but there is a substantial C^2 component to years of educational attainment. I’ve seen a couple different numbers, but it’s probably something like a/c/e/ = 50/30/20 (in the contemporary US). So the sort of environmental influences you would expect to matter are accounted for by behavioral genetic studies.

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  • Modern evolutionary genetics owes its origins to a series of intellectual debates around the turn of the 20th century. Much of this is outlined in Will Provines' The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics, though a biography of Francis Galton will do just as well. In short what happened is that during this period there were...
  • td says:
    @Chad
    I disagree that epigenetics is "not a source of phenotypic variation". In plants, there are clear examples of phenotypic variation being linked to epigenetic variation rather than genetic variation. This has been shown in two epiRIL populations that possess identical genetic backgrounds, but were disrupted in their methylation status. It has also been shown in a doubled haploid line (thus being homozygous at all loci) which was then bred for variation in energy use, this being primarily tied to epigenetic changes.

    I agree that it does not change our understanding of genetics, in part because much of epigenetic variation is tied to genetic variation and partially because in the long run, its just not as stable.

    I was talking about fundamental sources of variation. There’s obviously a long and complex causal chain of events ultimately leading to phenotypes and any link in that chain could be construed as a source of variation, but there are genetic and environmental inputs driving the process at the bottom of it all.

    If that process is substantially probabilistic, which seems plausible (given the often substantial differences between isogenic organisms reared in highly similar environments), then maybe it’s appropriate to speak of epigenetic stochasticity as a source of variance on par with genetics and environmental influences, assuming epigenetic fluctuations are what’s driving the randomness.

    Regarding the isogenic plant lines, what is causing those epigenetic modifications? Methyl groups don’t just fall out of the sky. Is there some differential environmental factor affecting one line and not the other? Or perhaps epigenetic marks are being passed through the germline?

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    • Replies: @Chad
    Methylation can be passed through the germline. Both in plants and animals. This has been known for sometime. I suspect it is more common in plants than animals, but none the less, it does occur. Furthermore, epigenetic variation is subject to random variation. The only estimate I know of this was done by analyzing Arabidopsis plants that spanned a 30 generation time period.
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  • I've been meaning to put this page together for some time. Every once in a while, we are faced with the task of explaining (or defending) the fundamentals of Human BioDiversity (HBD), such as genetic inheritance, the reality and significance of IQ, the reality of biological sex and race differences. I often found myself digging...
  • td says:
    @ben
    Are my eyes deceiving me, or have you really forgotten Neven Sesardic? His book 'making sense of heritability' is unparalleled.

    https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/making-sense-of-heritability-neven-sesardic.pdf

    I haven’t read the book mentioned by ben, but I highly recommend Sesardic’s 2010 article Race: A Social Destruction of a Biological Concept and his recent follow-up Confusions About Race: A New Installment. These constitute a highly lucid refutation of social constructionist views on race, and you would be remiss if you did not include them here.

    Sesardic’s articles are available here:

    http://www.ln.edu.hk/philoso/staff/sesardic/publications.html

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  • Sunset lights Horsetail Falls inYosemite each mid-February;discovered by Galen Rowell, 1973Last year, I was reading up on all the artisanal food companies in Brooklyn these days, and I commented in passing:I find this an interesting phenomenon of who among the people who got there early manages to cash in on a golden age. For example, the two...
  • In the Supremes, why did Diana Ross become a legend and Florence Ballard, the better singer, die on welfare?

    Because Berry Gordy was utterly infatuated with Diana Ross.

    Behind every great woman, remember, there's almost surely a man who's actually making the whole thing happen.

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  • Here's a long post (link fixed) by a Canadian professor Kenneth Westhues applying my ideas and those of Alastair Roberts to the tragicomic abused of another professor in Canada, Malcolm Mason.
  • How did offense trolls become so suddenly common on the Right? I felt it had something to do with the Nat Review-associated "Media Research Center"/Newsbusters, blasting out e-mails for outrage-of-the-hour which then got picked up by the less imaginative radio hosts.

    I think it started as a hoist-them-by-their-own-petards kind of thing. "So 'being offended' is the ultimate moral trump card? OK then, check out how you 'offended' us, you hypocritical nitwits!"

    After a while, though, that initial good-for-the-gander motivation got obscured, and the whole exercise transmogrified into an actual sense of victimhood and an ongoing game of one-upsmanship with the left.

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  • With immigration reform and Puerto Rican statehood much in the news as Republicans ponder how to leave behind their image as racist white men, I thought I'd go through my recent posts to find Hispanic experts in the media who have their finger on the pulse of What Hispanics Want, who know deep in their...
  • I am crying laughing.

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  • Bob Ngo, a sociology Ph.D. student at UC Santa Barbara is writing his dissertation on the "Sabermetric Movement in American Baseball." He's blogged a few of his notes about sabermetricians:But, their intellectual heroes like Bill James aren't terribly different in how they think, so the rank and file reflect the movement's leadership reasonably well. If...
  • I think the most amazing thing about that Ben Johnson / Carl Lewis picture is that there's a white guy in third place. Wtf – Who is he and what is he doing there? I thought the 8 finalists every year were always black.

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  • Jews, and Ashkenazi Jews in particular, are very genetically distinctive. A short and sweet way to think about this population is that they're a moderately recent admixture between a Middle Eastern population, and Western Europeans, which has been relatively isolated due to sociocultural forces. As far as their inbreeding, well, here's one recent paper, Signatures...
  • TD says:

    Ashkenazi Jews are genetically diverse ofcourse. For a modern day Semitic-Mediterranean population thats a given, considering the opportunity Jews have long had to mingle with their Mizrahi brethren and the limited, though significant waves of back and forth conversions to Judaism in North Africa and Iberia, attracting possibly gentiles thought to be converso’s. Its expected that through acquiring a minority of Berber admixture through proselytism in North Africa that they would be more genetically diverse than Northern Europeans and majority of Southern Europeans, in the same way Sicilians are. Their East-African affinity too is likely a byproduct of their genetic continuity since being formed by god-fearers in the Levant and Egypt particularly, prior to their expulsion. (the Druze and Samaritans also share this affinity) This too only makes them further genetically diverse.

    A population can still be genetically diverse and relatively more recently inbred. The post 13th century explosion of Ashkenazi Jewish population numbers, exceeding Sephardim and Mizrahim rapidly and the fact that they demonstrage great IBD sharing with non-Mizrahi Jews certainly suggests inbreeding of a selective sort. This does not mean they are the definition of ‘inbred’, though alike Israeli-Bedouins, they are consequently more susceptible to a greater variety of rarer diseases.

    The way in which Ashkenazim often deviate from Sephardim in West-Eurasian plots towards West Slavs IMO might hint at the possibility of very minor recent admixture. Going off oracle results produced by an amaeture anthropologist, this cannot be more than ten percent, if you were to assume the Ashkenazim are an off-shoot of the Italian Jews (similar genetic profile to Eastern Sephardim) namely from Atzmon study, who we know they share great IBD with.

    ‘However when I tried to compare Western Jews with various West Asians (Turks, Cypriots and four Levant peoples) I found that both Ashkenazim and Moroccan Jews quickly converged to their own distinct clusters (what I attributed to inbreeding or maybe very intense founder effect in the Middle Ages, something like Northern and Western Roma maybe who descend of some one thousand founders), so I could not work with them and had to limit myself to work with Sephardites, who are less homogeneous but again show a Cypriot (and to lesser extent Turkish) genetic signature.’

    I remember looking at this blog post. The data output was great, though I disagreed with a few of your conclusions and discussion of those findings. If you limit yourself to using just Anatolian and Levantine samples, this biases your findings by not exploring their source of Mediterranean ancestry, better captured with the inclusion of North Africans and Southern Europeans. The greater genetic diversity of these Levantine populations, which demonstrated the same stubborness as the MAJ and AJ in your analysis also inherently flawed the experiment, since this cannot be factored out using either admixture or structure. Its all relative, you can say they are an East-Mediterranean population (something I can agree with) due to their similarity with Cypriots, though if you perform continental and not regional admixture analyses, you will find Cypriots are more similar to the Druze than say Turks or Armenians. The hypothesis for a profoundly Anatolian origin of the Jews is unlikely, as they deviate from Europeans more towards populations like the Druze, Iraqi Jews, some Syrians and Lebanese.

    ‘i agree that it is hard to see how so many ashk jews can be as fair featured as they are being a combination of tuscans + assyrians (a good approximation).’

    If Ashkenazi Jews were to be split in 50/50, with a European average and a Middle Eastern average, going off the oracle results I have saved, this approximation is not far off, if I use only those from the Harappa oracle tool . . . This was the best and first 50/50 result found.

    [33,] “53.7% druze_hgdp_42 + 46.3% spaniard_1000genomes_98″ “2.5185″

    These were the top 10

    HarappaOracle(“ashkenazy-jew_behar_21″,k=500,mixedmode=T)
    [,1] [,2]
    [1,] “ashkenazy-jew_behar_21″ “0″
    [2,] “25% bulgarian_yunusbayev_13 + 75% sephardic-jew_behar_19″ “1.0377″
    [3,] “65.5% ashkenazi_harappa_4 + 34.5% sephardic-jew_behar_19″ “1.0691″
    [4,] “24.6% romanian_behar_16 + 75.4% sephardic-jew_behar_19″ “1.1884″
    [5,] “41.2% lebanese_behar_7 + 58.8% tuscan_1000genomes_11″ “1.5613″
    [6,] “11.9% russian_behar_2 + 88.1% sephardic-jew_behar_19″ “1.6507″
    [7,] “72.2% ashkenazi_harappa_4 + 27.8% morocco-jew_behar_15″ “1.7084″
    [8,] “42.4% lebanese_behar_7 + 57.6% tuscan_hgdp_8″ “1.7455″
    [9,] “87% sephardic-jew_behar_19 + 13% ukranian_yunusbayev_20″ “1.8247″
    [10,] “43.5% lebanese_behar_7 + 56.5% tuscan_hapmap_102″ “1.8514″

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  • From the New York Times, an article on the annual Chinese college admissions test madness, the gao kao, and how Chinese test culture is spilling over to the U.S.:The story’s reporters, Tom Bartlett and Karin Fischer, wrote that Ms. Parker “has seen conditionally admitted students increase their Toefl scores by 30 or 40 points, out...
  • FYI: Looks like it's going to be a month of fireworks in Poland and the Ukraine…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/jun/07/euro-2012-holland-racist-abuse

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  • A couple of weeks ago, the NFL signed gigantic new contracts with some of the TV networks that carry its games. The NFL's deep pockets are now reminiscent of those of the cigarette companies a generation ago, which attracted huge lawsuits. Legal battles over brain injuries appear inevitable. Football is a helluva game, but it's time...
  • Frank said, "It's obvious. Americans like sports, as baseball, basketball, and US football, which mandate the use of the hands. After all, use of the hands is what distinguishes us from the beasts of the field."

    Yeah, Dr. Frank DeFord, that incisive scholar of anthropology and sociology. Certainly the go-to thinker in the field.

    That comment of his is an old cliche (and isn't unique to him), and it makes no more sense now than it did then. The hominids on the parcel of land called "the United States" are not somehow dramatically different from the hominids on the world's other parcels of land. We all value the use of hands. You don't have to be in the United States to have some particular affinity for that part of the body.

    Christ, it's just sports. Football's transformation into gridiron football in the U.S. is just a historical happenstance. The truth is, it could have been soccer here that took off here, just as easily as it happened elsewhere. Attaching some sort of overarching binary cultural analysis to it all is kind of precious.

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  • "…the rules make the five interior linemen to be ineligible to receive passes"

    This sort of arbitrary, super-specialized rule is what makes football so goofy to me. For the game to even work, the whole thing has to be choreographed from the outside. It's a bureaucratic, labyrinthine nightmare.

    Even for all its fixation on arcane statistics, etc., baseball is still an elegantly simple game. So is basketball. So is soccer. Sure, they all have their own little quirks (five-second counts, offside rules, etc.), but football is nothing BUT a bunch of quirks — with layer upon layer of painstaking, ever-evolving rules to address each of the game's intrinsic flaws. As soon as you patch over one of the flaws, another reveals itself, and it's time for another painstaking rule.

    I honestly don't know how anybody can stand it.

    I mean, the entire basis of the game hinges on a random measurement — "10 yards." When something is that particular and arbitrary out of the gate, it's inevitably going to grow into one big, gnarled mess. And that's what football is. "The five interior linemen are ineligible to receive passes"… like, huh? Do any of these people realize how goofy this stuff is?

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  • From the LA Times article on the complete flop of plans to boycott Tuesday's baseball All-Star Game in Arizona to protest SB1070:My old articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer
  • Off-topic: This Reuters reporter is claiming today here (a music industry board) that he was fired for this report from the BET Awards:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/27/music-bet-idUSN1E75P08O20110627

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  • The point of a riot is that if enough other people are breaking the law, you feel like you can get away with it too. A few hours after Martin Luther King was murdered, by future wife looked out the window at her street in the Austin neighborhood of the West Side of Chicago: "Hey,...
  • TD says:

    Simply not true. There were victory riots in Detroit when Pistons won before the LA riots.

    And there were the victory riots after the Detroit Tigers won the World Series in 1984. In fact they produced one of the most iconic sports-riot photos of all time. (Stick "Bubba" in your Google search.)

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  • Here's a suggestion that will never, ever be taken up: Can we stop using the term "porn star," which implies, well, sure, I'm in porn, but I'm a star!My recommended replacement term: "porn whore."Another recommendation: Gay Pride Parade be renamed Gay Narcissism and Exhibitionism Parade.Then there's the dysphemism Single Mother that gets applied to Widowed...
  • TD says:

    "I could care less…": come ON! Think about what you're saying! If you could care less about something then that implies that you DO care about it, not that you don't.

    That phrase irritates the hell out of me too. But speaking as a Yank who religiously follows the Premier League — and thus spends countless hours on English sites and forums — I can assure you that "could care less" is not some uniquely American misusage.

    As for the guy above proclaiming that "could care less" (and "irregardless") originated in the Marine Corps… Um, huh? What a strangely random thing to make such a specific, confident declaration about.

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  • Jim Manzi in National Review and Megan McArdle in the Atlantic were struck by my nostalgic quote yesterday from Paul Krugman about his idyllic upbringing in a (pre-integration, pre-immigration, all-white) middle-class suburb.Manzi writes:Which of the above is not like the others because it's an extremely explicit public policy choice?Right, immigration policy! Three points for Gryffindor!McArdle writes:Their...
  • TD says:

    There are commenters on the McArdle thread arguing that Manzi and Krugman's idyllic recollections should be taken with a grain of salt, because they represent a world as processed by children.

    Fair point, as far as it goes. So all right, then: Go talk to an 85-year-old instead. Male or female. White or black. Just someone who was in their 30s and 40s during those days. Odds are they'll have the same warm feelings about that era's American life.

    Moreover, they'll tell you they were actively aware of that at the time. So it's not just some belated rose-colored nostalgia.

    I'm in my early 40s, and I can assure you that my peers and I don't enjoy that same cozy feeling about the era we're living in. And neither do those 85-year-olds.

    So yeah: I'm starting to be pretty convinced that America was, by and large, a better place to live before the mid-1960s. And I've grown weary of the revisionist narrative that tries to convince me it wasn't. It's like, yeah, OK, got it: America wasn't "Leave it to Beaver." But it was damned close enough.

    I've spent my life as a rock freak, but you know, maybe they were right in 1955: Maybe Elvis Presley really was an existential danger. I've indulged in a good bit of licentiousness throughout my days, but maybe they were right: Maybe the sexual revolution really was a fundamental threat to social order and contentment. Maybe television and Hollywood really did erode society's fabric. Maybe the coarsening of public language — like my "damned" above — really was a cancer, a corrosive cynicism. And on and on.

    There's that age-old eye-rolling retort — "Yeah yeah, old people have fretted since time immemorial that the younger generation is screwing everything up." It's supposed to be the reassuring truism, the soothing argument-ender. But can't it be possible that at least once, somewhere on history's continuum, they were justified? At some point, in some set of circumstances, mightn't the old people, the prudes, the luddites be right to be scared?

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  • Since 9/11, and even earlier back to the Iranian Revolution, Western journalists have served as oracles for the mass public, decrypting the ethnographic confusions of the Islamic world. There are many subtle shadings which no doubt can't make into finite copy. But I get really exasperated when extremely basic factual misinformation makes it into the...
  • :-/. I have enough trouble trying to understand Christianity/Christians…and I’m a white guy from the Midwest! I’m sorry, but religion makes me physically ill. I wish it had that effect on the majority of society.

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  • Movies made by Robert De Niro in the late 1970s include Godfather II, Taxi Driver, Deer Hunter, and Raging Bull. That's a pretty good stretch. From 1982-1986, Gerard Depardieu starred in (amongst much else -- he pretty much carried the French film industry on his broad back during the 1980s),  Return of Martin Guerre, Danton, and...
  • What the hell is going on with the site design at Taki's mag? With all the shades of pink and the Sex and the City-style pink-haired cartoon mascot, I thought I had stumbled on a site aimed at teenage girls.

    Derbyshire currently has an article up at Taki's called "Girly Nation." Indeed.

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  • Perhaps the best-written response to Tuesday's election -- frank, clear, logical, and pithy -- is by professional anti-racist Tim Wise.First, though, who is Tim? TimWise.org says:His Wikipedia page says he's now up to 600 college campuses. He has an appearance scheduled at the University of the South in Tennessee next Tuesday and at Cal State...
  • I don't think most of Tim's political allies have thought this through as fully as he has, but I think the emotions and basic logic are, indeed, widespread.

    Yeah, I don't know. It takes a special sort to genuinely be that masochistic. And I think it's misguided to grace this with the concept of "logic" in the first place. Sure, for the actual Wises of the world, there may be some thought-out rationale under it all. But for the typical Kossite, being a leftist is merely about looking righteous in public, not about operating on some foundation of reasoned premises and conclusions.

    I'd love to be privy to the internal mental reactions going on with the cheering masses over at Kos. Beneath each "You go, Tim!" exclamation, I would imagine, is a vaguely discomfiting sensation. Whether you're a white conservative or a white liberal, the demographic shifts celebrated by Wise threaten a loss of power, period. And there aren't many human beings who seek that.

    Jane Liberal may clamor for a rainbow society, but she also wants to remain in a position in which such clamoring strengthens her social status.

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  • October has long struck me as the busiest, most serious month of the year. It's not just the sports calendar that peaks in October, although baseball, which is a snooze most of the year, is the obvious metaphor. In my experience in the corporate world (not in retail, and at firms where the fiscal year...
  • FF made those comments in the "Conspicuous Assumption" entry Steve posted on Thursday.

    Ahh, thanks, Kylie. When I'd searched for the farmer's quotes, the only Google hits that came up were this very post (and its VDARE clone). So I couldn't figure out where they'd come from.

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  • This post confused me a bit, mainly because of this:

    In the comments, a farmer in New Zealand described the impact on him of October (or, to him, April)

    In what comments did a farmer do this describing?

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  • You may have seen the anonymous interview floating around that beginsMost of the copies tend to be on obscure websites with a huge amount of advertising, so here's a link to it on Israpundit, which has mostly text. Is this for real? Probably not. It's very easy to make stuff up and post it on the...
  • "What scares you more as president – Sarah Palin or Barack Obama? (Hands to head) Oh boy. What a choice! People would kill me for saying this – actually you know what" …

    That sounds like an actual interview to me; I've seen lots of extroverted interviewees give that melodramatic reaction to a really juicy question,

    Actually, speaking as a journalist who has interviewed hundreds if not thousands of people over two decades, I can say it sounds not at all like an actual interview. In fact, that was one of the passages that immediately jumped out at me while reading the piece. It's fake.

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  • Gizmodo has an article analyzing 526,000 profiles on the dating site OKcupid in terms of most racially distinctive common phrases (not the most common phrases, but the most different). The white guy list starts off, in order of distinctiveness by race:White women start off:Guys, do you notice something here? Girls are at least pretending to...
  • Kind of fascinating that "Justin Timberlake" is a phrase that distinguishes (female) blacks from whites.

    I mean, I knew the guy had a hood pass, but I figured he had a healthy suburban one too.

    Who's the last white R&B singer (note: not talking hip-hop/Eminem) to make such an impact in the black community? Hall & Oates? Michael McDonald? I know Robin Thicke has a big following among the sistas, but he's still a fringe celebrity.

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  • Guy Deutscher proposes in the New York Times Magazine a commonsensical compromise on the old Sapir-Whorf controversy that differences in language ("Eskimos have a 100 different words for 'snow!'") force different ways of thinking. (I've noticed that skiers have a lot of different words for snow, such as "corn.")This has become very unfashionable in recent...
  • Men have an innate sense of direction and spatial relations. North-South-East-West is always present in their brains to some extent. A man is generally aware of his relative location, even when he's not really consciously thinking about it.

    For Michael Stipe, a gay man with a female's brain, thinking this way was apparently revelatory; like late-night-dorm-room epiphany stuff. "Think about direction, wonder why you haven't before" — ? Er, speak for yourself, bud.

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  • NFL teams scored an average of 21.5 points per game in 2009's regular season, while World Cup teams scored an average of 1.05 goals per game in 2010's three-game miniseason. So, one World Cup goal is worth 21.5 / 1.05 or 20.5 NFL points. So, let's call it one goal equals twenty points.Thus, a 1-0 World...
  • TD says:

    Weird that some of you are giving Sailer a hard time for his soccer posts. (I don't mean your disagreements with specific statistical analysis; just your moaning that he doesn't really appreciate it or "doesn't get the game.")

    I'm not trying to get all up on his jock here, and he can certainly speak for himself, but I've gotten the impression that he IS getting it, and that he HAS been watching. I haven't really picked up any knee-jerk "soccer sucks" vibe from these recent posts. They in fact seem to be coming from a growing grasp of what makes the sport so interesting.

    That reflects what seems to be a steady but accelerating embrace and understanding of the game across the U.S., particularly with this World Cup. There remain some vocal soccer bashers out there, but while they can still be pretty loud, they appear to be declining in number.

    I do agree that the World Cup is not an ideal analog to regular-season sports. It's really just soccer's icing on the cake, and at the risk of a painfully tortured metaphor, it's often a quite different flavor from the substance underneath. Professional club soccer, including MLS, is where one will really learn the game.

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  • The U.S. tied England 1-1 in the World Cup despite England by all accounts being obviously better. (The English goalie muffed an easy save.) Why?The low-scoring in soccer means the outcomes of individual games have a high degree of randomness, which makes soccer great for betting on.I've always wanted soccer to have more 3-2 games, like...
  • The flopping is worse than the low scores.

    Yeah? Which flopping? I'm serious: Which player, on which play, in which game? By the time today wraps up, there will have been eight World Cup matches so far. Tell us where the "flopping" was.

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  • Corrected: There are 23 players on the U.S. World Cup soccer team. Allocating partial shares by parent's ancestry (e.g., Jonathan Bornstein is half white and half Hispanic), by my calculations, the team is 57% non-Hispanic white (13.0 players), 33% black (7.5), and 11% Hispanic (2.5). This is pretty similar to the demographics of the squad...
  • TD says:

    "I have Clint Dempsey down as unmixed white because that's what he's implied to be in articles, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's not exactly true."

    As someone who's followed his career for years, I've never seen any reason to think he's anything more than your basic rural white Texan.

    It wouldn't surprise me if there's some American Indian buried deep in there somewhere — just something about his features — but if you're wondering about possible Hispanic heritage or whatnot, that doesn't seem to be the case.

    In fact, a key part of Dempsey's story is that he was this crazy trailer-trash white kid who had the balls to play in the Hispanic leagues around his neck of the woods — and to do it with Latin-style skill and flair. He still likes telling the story of the adult Mexican player who spit in his face and whined about Dempsey "doing all those fancy tricks."

    ESPN2 is running a piece at 6:30 tonight (Thursday) on Dempsey's upbringing, and delves into some of this stuff.

    I find him the most fascinating of the U.S. players, actually. He's a chip-on-the-shoulder white Texan with a hip-hop street attitude and Latin flair who plays in the English Premier League. Kind of a neat guy, and exactly what U.S. soccer needs.

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  • How much of the Greek bankruptcy has roots in the expenses of the 2004 Summer Olympics (and the backscratching political deals within Greece to get funding for the Olympics)? How much of the oil price spike of the summer of 2008 had to do with the Chinese stocking up in anticipation of the Olympics?You would...
  • I'll be relishing your take this summer on South Africa's hosting of the World Cup. This thing could become an enormous disaster on multiple fronts.

    Dysfunction will be on display for all the world to see, while pretending not to see it.

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  • I don't like to make up such lists because there are so many movies I haven't seen, so if I exclude your favorite, am I insulting your taste or just admitting my own ignorance? (Mostly the latter, no doubt.)But, feel free to post your own suggestions in the Comments. Explanations for why they are good...
  • "I would say that Top Ten lists work well for movies, as opposed to books or songs or whatever, because movies have about the right amount of pervasiveness — enough people have seen enough of a percentage of movies so they can argue over some of them, but nobody who likes movies has seen so many movies that he isn't interested in picking up pointers on movies he hasn't seen."

    Yes, Top 10 lists work best with film because the film world is essentially finite: There are X number of movies released each year, because there are only Z cinemas. No one sees them all, as you point out, but the film world isn't so ungainly that you can't get your arms around it pretty comfortably.

    Books and music — especially music in the Internet age — aren't like that. There's just too much out there for one human being to authoritatively declare any 10 to be best. I always chuckle when I see "10 best albums of the year" lists that don't at least have some qualifier ("best hit country records," "best power-pop records," etc.).

    The smart critics fashion their lists as simply "10 great albums of the decade" or what have you.

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  • >>> I can't believe no one here has mentioned "District 9"

    >> It's been mentioned at least three times.

    Well, keep in mind the comment moderation here. The title may well have been unmentioned at the time the commenter made his observation. In fact, by the time you read this very comment, someone else may already have made the point I'm making.

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  • @OneSTDV

    The best sports movie of the decade may have been this 2-minute gem by Guy Ritchie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anwlpTgbQTE

    It's certainly a masterpiece on the technical level, and for absolutely nailing the real feel of on-field action.

    And it's got the Eagles of Death Metal, for heaven's sake.

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  • "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

    If you'd asked me before this decade whether an artsy, ostensibly "romantic" film — by a French director, no less! — could ever become one of my favorites, I'd have laughed. But it's right up there near the top.

    And I know I'm far from the only male who thinks this way. It's a magnificent film, on every level.

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  • I finally figured out why the Japanese love to go the driving range and hit golf balls instead of play golf on a course.It ties into the ancient samurai tradition of practicing for battle by first beheading a bunch of criminals. Beheading prisoners is to war as the driving range is to the golf course.For...
  • "I finally figured out why the Japanese love to go the driving range and hit golf balls instead of play golf on a course."

    I started to surmise that it's because real golf is waaaay too slow for any right-minded human being, but then I remembered that they love baseball.

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  • Razib points me to this book that's new to America:I haven't read the book, and I certainly don't know anything about soccer, but I doubt that the U.S. will become a consistent contender in the World Cup (men's division) over the next several quadrennial competitions. Sure, a lot of American youths get driven by their...
  • If somebody had offered me the chance to buy into a professional soccer team in 1984, I would have invested everything I had and then some. With all the little suburban white kids I saw playing soccer every weekend, I was convinced that it would be the biggest professional sport in the US by now.

    Not sure why you'd have been convinced of that in 1984, the year the NASL folded. What a reckless investor you'd have been!

    That said, I think some of you are underestimating soccer's current growth trajectory and momentum in the United States. After the NASL's failure, the sport quietly regrouped, adopted more realistic expectations, snagged World Cup hosting duties for '94, launched MLS soon after, and has spent a decade steadily expanding its footprint. There is a dedicated, growing fanbase that isn't going anywhere.

    And the blossoming of the national team is near-stunning. No, we're not a world "superpower," but don't take for granted just how far we've come, relatively fast. Today's college sophomore has never lived through a World Cup that didn't feature the United States. Everyone knows the name "Landon Donovan." American players are making inroads in the powerhouse Euro leagues. Watch ESPN's all-encompassing embrace of the World Cup next summer.

    That sort of stuff just didn't exist a quarter-century ago.

    Soccer doesn't need to be America's biggest sport for America to become a fixture in the world's top tier. We're big enough, rich enough, smart enough to do quite well even with soccer as a healthy subculture.

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  • Jason Richwine considers the evidence.My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer
  • Liberals are smarter in the "a little bit of knowledge…" sense — smart enough to pride themselves on identifying "problems" and "issues," but not nearly smart enough to understand that they're not nearly smart enough to sit around solving them all for everybody. Which makes them dangerous.

    They just can't get their brains around the idea of individual liberty as the best default position for a Western society.

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