The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersGene Expression Blog
Open Thread, October 2nd, 2016
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

9780192805577Online Life Is Real Life, Aleph-Nought in a Series:

I thought of this while I was reading John Scalzi’s epic post about self-presentation, prompted by someone who complained that he behaved differently in person than that person had expected from Scalzi’s online persona. (Personally, having met John in person several times, I don’t see it, but whatever…) Scalzi rightly notes that there’s nothing at all wrong with this, and that much of the difference is (probably) just basic courtesy and politeness.

It’s a major pet peeve of mine that people deduce from what they see on this blog and Twitter to generate a full picture of whom I am. If the data you saw were representative, then that might be one thing, but they really aren’t. Rather, they’re strongly biased.

A long time reader (as in, back to the ScienceBlogs days) is someone who I now socialize with semi-frequently. One observation he makes is that I tend to engage in more unguarded bloviating in real life. That sounds about right. In real life everything I say is not recorded for posterity.

The basic insight thought is that there is much you don’t see when you consider just what you see.

When people engage in others, they use theories to fill in the background of their interlocutors. It’s pretty impossible not to do so. On the other hand, theories are always imperfect, and you shouldn’t get surprised when those who you theorize about are angry when your theories miss the mark.

One way that my “non-internet” and internet personas do align well is that I’m rather aggressive. If think you’ve mischaracterized me, I won’t be happy in person, or online.

I read Foucault: A Very Short Introduction on a plane last week. I have the “very short introductions” series a great deal (have also read Hegel). It strikes me they’re good to orient and refresh you before a deeper dive.

A commenter below dismissed the importance of the genealogy of intellectuals and their movements in comparison to mass culture. But reading Foucault: A Very Short Introduction you see clearly the lexical armamentarium on display decades before it would percolate to Facebook threads and MSNBC.

51k6n6ma-NL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Reading about Postcolonialism, I’m really struck by the possibility its intellectual apogee was already attained by Edward Said in Orientalism. I read Said about 15 years ago, but dismissed the work. My objection? It was simply wrong on many facts. In hindsight, it strikes me that I was naive in regards to what people admired about Said’s work, and its significance. That is, it’s importance was not as a narrative about the historical past, but possibilities for narrative frameworks relevant for organizing the political present.

Campus debate on Black Lives Matter called racist, shut down by protesters (VIDEO). If state campuses are to be thought of as arms of the Left-progressive movement in America, I can’t see any reason for states where the majority of the population is not Left-progressive to continue funding them.

My friend David Bachinsky has a GoFundMe to help fight his brain cancer.

Next Big Tech Corridor? Between Seattle and Vancouver, Planners Hope. Next year in Jerusalem. There is only one. There shall be only one.

Pre-Industrial Societies Reward High Status Men With More Children.

ASHG in Vancouver in two weeks….

 
• Tags: Miscellaneous, Open Thread 
Hide 73 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. A hypothetical (and perfectly serious) question: if I were to meet you in person and spend some time with you, how likely do you think it is that I would learn anything that significantly contradicted the picture of you I’ve generated in reading this blog? I might learn something new, sure, but what are the chances I would learn anything that actually surprised me?

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i'm much more forgiving in real life. or at least that's what people who know me 'on blog' and off socially have told me. e.g., a scientist i know thought i'd be much more 'severe' than i was. i look young for my age, and act young for my age too fwiw.

    but then, i don't know what you think of me. #shrug

  2. @jb
    A hypothetical (and perfectly serious) question: if I were to meet you in person and spend some time with you, how likely do you think it is that I would learn anything that significantly contradicted the picture of you I've generated in reading this blog? I might learn something new, sure, but what are the chances I would learn anything that actually surprised me?

    i’m much more forgiving in real life. or at least that’s what people who know me ‘on blog’ and off socially have told me. e.g., a scientist i know thought i’d be much more ‘severe’ than i was. i look young for my age, and act young for my age too fwiw.

    but then, i don’t know what you think of me. #shrug

    • Replies: @ohwilleke
    "i look young for my age, and act young for my age too fwiw."

    This can suck when you're in your late 20s or in your 30s and trying to get people to take you seriously, but it rocks when you get to your 50s and beyond.
  3. Already, people are starting to debate the theories in the new paper about steppe migrations into Europe. One side seems to accept the authors’ suggestion that it was mostly men who migrated, and mixed with local women through the generations. Others speculate that plenty of steppe women came too, and families of steppe people replaced farmers, at least in northern Europe. But in addition to their steppe wives, steppe men had a large number of female farmer concubines/mistresses/slaves.

    What do you think? And would it be easy to prove either theory?

    • Replies: @Sean
    Both sides together are right but still missing something. The proof is that no particular mix of steppe or sexes can explain the counter intuitive fact that the north Europeans with the most Yamnaya DNA are the Norwegians
  4. I’m rather aggressive

    Have you ever been in a fight? That is, a physical altercation?

    That is, it’s importance was not as a narrative about the historical past, but possibilities for narrative frameworks relevant for organizing the political present.

    This is exceedingly common in the field of history. So much of history as a discipline is devoted to – anachronistically and retrospectively – looking at the past through today’s framework, because the real goal of the producers of such “history” is not to discover the true nature of the past through an objective lens but to remake today in accord with the philosophies of the said historians. This tendency infects every sub-genre within the field of history, including what once was my own – military history.

    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    True that. The essential assumption being that humanity is progressing - this being a very difficult thing to pin down objectively. However, history is one of those fields where it is very difficult to approach it completely objectively. I will 100% own up to my own biases; I think the problem is where historians do not honestly do the same.

    Peace.
    , @Razib Khan
    Have you ever been in a fight? That is, a physical altercation?



    plenty.
  5. “It’s a major pet peeve of mine that people deduce from what they see on this blog and Twitter to generate a full picture of whom I am.”

    As a long time reader, I can honestly say I have never done that, or anything even close.

    I guess maybe it’s because I’m just not a ‘people’ person – I don’t ‘read’ people well and am awkward/uncomfortable socially. Put me in a party, a room full of people with a lot of noise, where I have difficulty in understanding what people are saying, and I’m in hell – I just want to get out of there as fast as possible. That’s actually how I got to know my wife – we were both trying to get away from the noise and crowd on a big boat, and bumped into each other when we got to the end of the boat.

  6. I haven’t read Gutting’s intro to Foucault, but want to recommend J.G. Merquior’s short intro, which extensively documents Foucault’s factual inaccuracies. I’ll also plug the Routledge Critical Thinkers series, which has a volume on Foucault.

  7. A fair bit of on-line life is LARPing. That was true in the olden thymes when you had to know how to work a Hayes modem. People would let their hair down on a BBS in ways they would never do, other than when drinking, in the real world. There are, of course, people who create imaginary characters for themselves on-line. For them, twitter and Disqus is WoW without the video.

  8. The Lapita culture pioneering the colonization of Polynesia lacked the Papuan/Australian admixture of modern Polynesians:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature19844.html

    • Replies: @Megalophias
    And the Papuan element, though closest to Highland Papuans, has a distinct affinity to Australians. They are suggesting that either the population that contributed to Polynesians had ~17% Australian admixture, or Australians have ~45% of this kind of Papuan admixture. (I'm not sure what the Australian reference population was though.)
  9. I haven’t read Gutting’s intro to Foucault, but, if you want to investigate more, I’d recommend J.G. Merquior’s short intro, which extensively documents Foucault’s factual inaccuracies. I’ll also plug the Routledge Critical Thinkers series, which provides another short intro to Foucault. I generally find that it is good to get several different takes on someone, rather than rely on just a single perspective, but I also don’t always want to spend time on several long books.

    BTW, the Stephen R. C. Hicks short intro to postmodernism is the best I’ve read so far. Theologian Stanley Grenz’s Primer on Postmodernism is about the next best, but is comparatively simplistic. I haven’t read the Christopher Butler’s Oxford Very Short Introduction. Glen Ward’s Teach Yourself Postmodernism was terrible, as was poet-theologian (fine poet/mediocre theologian) Kevin Hart’s Postmodernism: A Beginner’s Guide.

    Once you’re more familiar with the territory here, you might find Roger Scruton’s book on these fellows, Fools, Frauds and Firebrands, interesting. But probably not best to get your basic info from a polemic.

  10. Not too long ago, I compiled a list of short(ish) introductory series:

    Oxford Very Short Introductions
    Oxford Past Masters
    Oxford Great Medieval Thinkers
    Fontana Modern Masters
    Bloomsbury Guides for the Perplexed
    Bloomsbury Reader’s Guides
    Bloomsbury Critical Introduction
    Oneworld Beginner’s Guides
    Oneworld Short Biographies
    Hachette All That Matters
    Hachette Teach Yourself
    Routledge The Basics
    Routledge Critical Thinkers
    Routledge Philosophy Guidebooks
    Routledge Ancient Philosophies
    Routledge Arguments of the Philosophers
    Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy
    Springer Psych 101 Series
    Palgrave Insights in Psychology
    Yale Why X Matters
    New Harvest Icons
    Penguin Lives
    Penguin Monarchs
    Penguin Extraordinary Canadians
    Eerdmans Very Critical Introductions
    Granta How to Read X
    Granta What X Believe
    Open Court Ideas Explained
    Polity Classic Thinkers
    Polity Key Contemporary Thinkers
    Polity Key Concepts
    SPCK Introductions
    University of California Ancient Philosophies
    Waveland/HarperCollins Religious Traditions of the World

    Some of these are out of print, but still hanging around in libraries.
    Some of these are longer than other, though most are under 250 pages per volume.

    —–

    Reasons for looking at entries from different series:

    1. Sometimes, you will want more than one perspective on a topic, without having to read several medium to long books. It is good to have more than one option.
    2. Sometimes the entry in a particular series will be weak or unbalanced. For example, Linda Woodhead’s Very Short Introduction to Christianity spends way too much time arguing that Christianity is compatible with feminism, and Richard Lyman Bushman in the same series doesn’t even deign to explain basic Mormon beliefs.
    2a. As a corrollary, sometimes the volume from a specific series is especially outstanding. Stuart Ritchie’s book on Intelligence from the All That Matters series is an example. Edward Feser on Aquinas for the Oneworld Beginner’s Guides is another.
    3. Sometimes a particular series, even the extensive Oxford VSI series, won’t have a book on the topic you’re interested in, so you’ll have to go elsewhere. For example, if you want an introduction to Benedict XVI, you pretty much have to go with the Bloomsbury’s Guides for the Perplexed not Oxford VSI. If you want Judith Butler, you have to go with Routledge Critical Thinkers or Polity Key Contemporary Thinkers.

    —–

    Keep in mind, many times the best short introductions aren’t in a series like this at all. For example, for introductory volumes on Christianity, I’d go with John Stott and C.S. Lewis. Similarly, for Buddhism, I’d go with Walpola Rahula and Rupert Gethin.

    —–

    Hope this all is useful.

  11. @Yudi
    Already, people are starting to debate the theories in the new paper about steppe migrations into Europe. One side seems to accept the authors' suggestion that it was mostly men who migrated, and mixed with local women through the generations. Others speculate that plenty of steppe women came too, and families of steppe people replaced farmers, at least in northern Europe. But in addition to their steppe wives, steppe men had a large number of female farmer concubines/mistresses/slaves.

    What do you think? And would it be easy to prove either theory?

    Both sides together are right but still missing something. The proof is that no particular mix of steppe or sexes can explain the counter intuitive fact that the north Europeans with the most Yamnaya DNA are the Norwegians

    • Replies: @ohwilleke
    My gut reaction to that factoid is that it is the same reasons that Icelandic is the most conservative (in terms of not changing from its historical form, not politically) of the Germanic languages, and that places like Appalachia and New Zealand have some of the most conservative dialects of the English language.

    A population on a frontier of expansion which is relatively isolated from potential populations that could provide a strong force of significant change is usually going to reflect the original source of the expansion more truly than populations further from the frontier that have had more opportunity to admix with other populations over time. And a lower population of a place like Norway also reduces random drift relative to a highly populated place by limiting available mutations.

    Once you get to Norway, you have a sea barrier and also an ecological barrier that makes life harsh for people acclimated to more gentle climes, and Swedish and Danish buffer zones along the easiest routes of entry. This prevents other folks from admixing into your gene pool, and if you pretty much totally replaced the pre-existing population of Norway when you arrived (which would be easier since the prior population of Norway would have lower population density than just about any place else your comrades chose to settle) the founding population would have very little dilution from other sources relative to most other places they could have ended up.

  12. Though he did not convincingly win their furious public debates after the publication of Orientalism, Edward Said had the measure of the perennial leading orientalist Bernard ‘Roots of Muslim rage’ Lewis, whose decades-later opinions on the benefits of toppling Saddam were as wrong as could be, and it was Lewis’s narrative framework that was the intellectual basis for the invasion of Iraq. Said was an Arab, what did he know?

  13. @Shaikorth
    The Lapita culture pioneering the colonization of Polynesia lacked the Papuan/Australian admixture of modern Polynesians:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature19844.html

    And the Papuan element, though closest to Highland Papuans, has a distinct affinity to Australians. They are suggesting that either the population that contributed to Polynesians had ~17% Australian admixture, or Australians have ~45% of this kind of Papuan admixture. (I’m not sure what the Australian reference population was though.)

  14. @Razib Khan
    i'm much more forgiving in real life. or at least that's what people who know me 'on blog' and off socially have told me. e.g., a scientist i know thought i'd be much more 'severe' than i was. i look young for my age, and act young for my age too fwiw.

    but then, i don't know what you think of me. #shrug

    “i look young for my age, and act young for my age too fwiw.”

    This can suck when you’re in your late 20s or in your 30s and trying to get people to take you seriously, but it rocks when you get to your 50s and beyond.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    “i look young for my age, and act young for my age too fwiw.”

    This can suck when you’re in your late 20s or in your 30s and trying to get people to take you seriously, but it rocks when you get to your 50s and beyond.
     
    Ain't that the truth!

    I am ethnically East Asian, I have a full set of mostly black hair (just a little salt and pepper on the sides), I am very healthy (and pretty fit despite my injuries), and have lived cleanly (no smoking, no drugs, no promiscuity, etc. - just a small amount of alcohol, which is supposedly healthy). I am in my mid-40's, and most strangers assume I am at least ten years younger. It also helps that I still have small children - elementary school age - though my older children give away the game when they show up.

    However, people do say that I act - temperamently - like an 80-90 year-old. I get along best with people of my grandfather's generation. I was the only one to whom my wife's grandfather talked about his WWII experience, for example (I used to help him fix his house).
  15. @Sean
    Both sides together are right but still missing something. The proof is that no particular mix of steppe or sexes can explain the counter intuitive fact that the north Europeans with the most Yamnaya DNA are the Norwegians

    My gut reaction to that factoid is that it is the same reasons that Icelandic is the most conservative (in terms of not changing from its historical form, not politically) of the Germanic languages, and that places like Appalachia and New Zealand have some of the most conservative dialects of the English language.

    A population on a frontier of expansion which is relatively isolated from potential populations that could provide a strong force of significant change is usually going to reflect the original source of the expansion more truly than populations further from the frontier that have had more opportunity to admix with other populations over time. And a lower population of a place like Norway also reduces random drift relative to a highly populated place by limiting available mutations.

    Once you get to Norway, you have a sea barrier and also an ecological barrier that makes life harsh for people acclimated to more gentle climes, and Swedish and Danish buffer zones along the easiest routes of entry. This prevents other folks from admixing into your gene pool, and if you pretty much totally replaced the pre-existing population of Norway when you arrived (which would be easier since the prior population of Norway would have lower population density than just about any place else your comrades chose to settle) the founding population would have very little dilution from other sources relative to most other places they could have ended up.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    My gut reaction to that factoid is that it is the same reasons that Icelandic is the most conservative (in terms of not changing from its historical form, not politically) of the Germanic languages, and that places like Appalachia and New Zealand have some of the most conservative dialects of the English language.
     
    Some of the smaller coastal towns and the nearby inland rural areas of Virginia - well away from the population centers near DC and Hampton Roads (military bases) - still have a very old English accent that some scholars say are the closest to that spoken by the original English settlers. Unsurprisingly the populations of these towns are close to 100% white and are descended from the original English settler stock by and large.

    And of course a lot of the metropolitan French find Quebecois "quaint," e.g. la voiture vs. le char.
    , @Rick
    "And a lower population of a place like Norway also reduces random drift relative to a highly populated place by limiting available mutations."

    I don't want to sound like a textbook, but...

    Random drift is HIGHEST in populations that are isolated and small, because heterozygosity can be lost due to random events. Also, small populations are more vulnerable to having a small immigration drastically change the genetics of the original population.

    The Norway issue would more likely result from there being much fewer European Neolithic farmers there before the steppe people came in with their new advantageous lifestyle. So... less dilution of the immigrant genes by the locals.
  16. Judge halts dog’s death for DNA testing
    http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/news/local/2016/10/03/judge-halts-dogs-death-dna-testing/91465722/

    would Embark do this if it knew that it could result in a dog’s death? curious.

  17. @ohwilleke
    "i look young for my age, and act young for my age too fwiw."

    This can suck when you're in your late 20s or in your 30s and trying to get people to take you seriously, but it rocks when you get to your 50s and beyond.

    “i look young for my age, and act young for my age too fwiw.”

    This can suck when you’re in your late 20s or in your 30s and trying to get people to take you seriously, but it rocks when you get to your 50s and beyond.

    Ain’t that the truth!

    I am ethnically East Asian, I have a full set of mostly black hair (just a little salt and pepper on the sides), I am very healthy (and pretty fit despite my injuries), and have lived cleanly (no smoking, no drugs, no promiscuity, etc. – just a small amount of alcohol, which is supposedly healthy). I am in my mid-40’s, and most strangers assume I am at least ten years younger. It also helps that I still have small children – elementary school age – though my older children give away the game when they show up.

    However, people do say that I act – temperamently – like an 80-90 year-old. I get along best with people of my grandfather’s generation. I was the only one to whom my wife’s grandfather talked about his WWII experience, for example (I used to help him fix his house).

  18. @ohwilleke
    My gut reaction to that factoid is that it is the same reasons that Icelandic is the most conservative (in terms of not changing from its historical form, not politically) of the Germanic languages, and that places like Appalachia and New Zealand have some of the most conservative dialects of the English language.

    A population on a frontier of expansion which is relatively isolated from potential populations that could provide a strong force of significant change is usually going to reflect the original source of the expansion more truly than populations further from the frontier that have had more opportunity to admix with other populations over time. And a lower population of a place like Norway also reduces random drift relative to a highly populated place by limiting available mutations.

    Once you get to Norway, you have a sea barrier and also an ecological barrier that makes life harsh for people acclimated to more gentle climes, and Swedish and Danish buffer zones along the easiest routes of entry. This prevents other folks from admixing into your gene pool, and if you pretty much totally replaced the pre-existing population of Norway when you arrived (which would be easier since the prior population of Norway would have lower population density than just about any place else your comrades chose to settle) the founding population would have very little dilution from other sources relative to most other places they could have ended up.

    My gut reaction to that factoid is that it is the same reasons that Icelandic is the most conservative (in terms of not changing from its historical form, not politically) of the Germanic languages, and that places like Appalachia and New Zealand have some of the most conservative dialects of the English language.

    Some of the smaller coastal towns and the nearby inland rural areas of Virginia – well away from the population centers near DC and Hampton Roads (military bases) – still have a very old English accent that some scholars say are the closest to that spoken by the original English settlers. Unsurprisingly the populations of these towns are close to 100% white and are descended from the original English settler stock by and large.

    And of course a lot of the metropolitan French find Quebecois “quaint,” e.g. la voiture vs. le char.

  19. @ohwilleke
    My gut reaction to that factoid is that it is the same reasons that Icelandic is the most conservative (in terms of not changing from its historical form, not politically) of the Germanic languages, and that places like Appalachia and New Zealand have some of the most conservative dialects of the English language.

    A population on a frontier of expansion which is relatively isolated from potential populations that could provide a strong force of significant change is usually going to reflect the original source of the expansion more truly than populations further from the frontier that have had more opportunity to admix with other populations over time. And a lower population of a place like Norway also reduces random drift relative to a highly populated place by limiting available mutations.

    Once you get to Norway, you have a sea barrier and also an ecological barrier that makes life harsh for people acclimated to more gentle climes, and Swedish and Danish buffer zones along the easiest routes of entry. This prevents other folks from admixing into your gene pool, and if you pretty much totally replaced the pre-existing population of Norway when you arrived (which would be easier since the prior population of Norway would have lower population density than just about any place else your comrades chose to settle) the founding population would have very little dilution from other sources relative to most other places they could have ended up.

    “And a lower population of a place like Norway also reduces random drift relative to a highly populated place by limiting available mutations.”

    I don’t want to sound like a textbook, but…

    Random drift is HIGHEST in populations that are isolated and small, because heterozygosity can be lost due to random events. Also, small populations are more vulnerable to having a small immigration drastically change the genetics of the original population.

    The Norway issue would more likely result from there being much fewer European Neolithic farmers there before the steppe people came in with their new advantageous lifestyle. So… less dilution of the immigrant genes by the locals.

    • Replies: @Sean
    http://www.norwegianamerican.com/news/ancient-dna-identifies-ethnic-norwegian-roots/

    Nice simple diagram that even I can interpret.

    The proportions of Western hunter-gatherer and early Neolithic farmer don't matter, but the more Yamnaya DNA a country has, the more like Norwegians they look. Therefore it is not random drift, it's Yamnaya genes.

  20. @Twinkie

    I’m rather aggressive
     
    Have you ever been in a fight? That is, a physical altercation?

    That is, it’s importance was not as a narrative about the historical past, but possibilities for narrative frameworks relevant for organizing the political present.
     
    This is exceedingly common in the field of history. So much of history as a discipline is devoted to - anachronistically and retrospectively - looking at the past through today's framework, because the real goal of the producers of such "history" is not to discover the true nature of the past through an objective lens but to remake today in accord with the philosophies of the said historians. This tendency infects every sub-genre within the field of history, including what once was my own - military history.

    Hey Twinkie,

    True that. The essential assumption being that humanity is progressing – this being a very difficult thing to pin down objectively. However, history is one of those fields where it is very difficult to approach it completely objectively. I will 100% own up to my own biases; I think the problem is where historians do not honestly do the same.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @iffen
    I will 100% own up to my own biases; I think the problem is where historians do not honestly do the same.

    What about implicit bias? Can you own up to something about which you are unaware? Something that only certain people claim to see in you? If you know your view is skewed by bias, wouldn't you make a correction?

    We can’t grasp history; it is not an objective. The very nature of being history precludes its objectivity. We can only look through filters. We can find, examine and compare the filters and inform ourselves, but it is still filtered. Choose a filter; choose a turtle. If we know what we are looking for and what it looks like, we can find it.
  21. @Twinkie

    I’m rather aggressive
     
    Have you ever been in a fight? That is, a physical altercation?

    That is, it’s importance was not as a narrative about the historical past, but possibilities for narrative frameworks relevant for organizing the political present.
     
    This is exceedingly common in the field of history. So much of history as a discipline is devoted to - anachronistically and retrospectively - looking at the past through today's framework, because the real goal of the producers of such "history" is not to discover the true nature of the past through an objective lens but to remake today in accord with the philosophies of the said historians. This tendency infects every sub-genre within the field of history, including what once was my own - military history.

    Have you ever been in a fight? That is, a physical altercation?

    plenty.

    • Replies: @Sean
    You can kickstart brain cancer by getting a hard knock on the head.
    , @Twinkie

    plenty.
     
    Offense or defense?
  22. @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    True that. The essential assumption being that humanity is progressing - this being a very difficult thing to pin down objectively. However, history is one of those fields where it is very difficult to approach it completely objectively. I will 100% own up to my own biases; I think the problem is where historians do not honestly do the same.

    Peace.

    I will 100% own up to my own biases; I think the problem is where historians do not honestly do the same.

    What about implicit bias? Can you own up to something about which you are unaware? Something that only certain people claim to see in you? If you know your view is skewed by bias, wouldn’t you make a correction?

    We can’t grasp history; it is not an objective. The very nature of being history precludes its objectivity. We can only look through filters. We can find, examine and compare the filters and inform ourselves, but it is still filtered. Choose a filter; choose a turtle. If we know what we are looking for and what it looks like, we can find it.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    We can’t grasp history; it is not an objective. The very nature of being history precludes its objectivity. We can only look through filters. We can find, examine and compare the filters and inform ourselves, but it is still filtered. Choose a filter; choose a turtle. If we know what we are looking for and what it looks like, we can find it.
     
    Although absolute objectivity is not possible in history (is it possible in any field of human inquiry?), it is possible to "filter" more or less objectively. For example, it is one type of filtering to write about archery in past warfare after reading a lot about archery written by other people. It is quite another to practice it in real life (or at least observe how it is practiced in real life) in addition to reading about it, and forming an opinion on its use in war. That kind of "field experiment" cuts down on a lot of, pardon the language, utter bullshit peddled by most historians who can't be bothered to run outside bearing, say, 60 lbs. of weight to realize that pre-modern warriors in battle did not sprint across the length of a football field in a charge.

    A LOT of historians have very particular and specifix axes to grind. I still read them and do so today, but it's mentally tiring because I have to be on the lookout constantly. When I look at a historian's work seriously (which is generally all the time when I read military history), I end up tracking down and reading most, sometimes all, the citations in the footnotes/endnotes as well as checking the calculations/numerical data, etc. And then too frequently I find either mistakes or what appear to be deliberate falsehoods/obfuscations, and the sad and disheartening feeling of disappointment sets in. A lot of so-called historians are actually "historical journalists" (and I use that term derisively) who put on the facade of a historian to push a particular narrative, like a reporter selling a story.

    Finally, there is such a thing as wisdom in picking the said filter. And that, I think, is ONE - perhaps the - major purpose of studying humanities. That is, where as inquiries into nature (i.e. "hard" sciences) allows us to understand that which is outside us, humanities are ultimately suppose to provide insight into people. And that requires more than facts and reasoning - it requires wisdom, especially the timeless, enduring kind that is not easily swayed by contemporary fads and ideologies.
  23. @Razib Khan
    Have you ever been in a fight? That is, a physical altercation?



    plenty.

    You can kickstart brain cancer by getting a hard knock on the head.

    • Replies: @iffen
    a hard knock on the head

    Sometimes it can straigthen your ass out.
  24. @Rick
    "And a lower population of a place like Norway also reduces random drift relative to a highly populated place by limiting available mutations."

    I don't want to sound like a textbook, but...

    Random drift is HIGHEST in populations that are isolated and small, because heterozygosity can be lost due to random events. Also, small populations are more vulnerable to having a small immigration drastically change the genetics of the original population.

    The Norway issue would more likely result from there being much fewer European Neolithic farmers there before the steppe people came in with their new advantageous lifestyle. So... less dilution of the immigrant genes by the locals.

    http://www.norwegianamerican.com/news/ancient-dna-identifies-ethnic-norwegian-roots/

    Nice simple diagram that even I can interpret.

    The proportions of Western hunter-gatherer and early Neolithic farmer don’t matter, but the more Yamnaya DNA a country has, the more like Norwegians they look. Therefore it is not random drift, it’s Yamnaya genes.

    • Replies: @Rick
    I agree it is not random drift.

    This diagram may actually be telling us a lot about the population density and ancestry of the local populations across Europe before the Yamnaya moves in.

    We know that Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were still mostly populated by WHG-like ceramic-producing hunter-gatherers right up until 4000 years ago.

    Now look at the diagram of the present day ancestry. The Eastern Baltic region is right behind Norway in the highest Yamnaya ancestry, but have much more WHG ancestry, and much less Early Neolithic ancestry.

    So the relative amount and proportion of non-Yamnaya ancestry may be telling us mostly about the people that were there before the Yamnaya migration. For Norway, I would guess it had a very low population.
  25. Re: Yamnaya and Norway, we don’t know what the error is in those methods. It could well be that the steppe ancestry does not actually quite peak in Norway.

    Re: genetic drift, as a tangent for more knowledgeable heads, I wonder how much genetic drift has happened at all in Europe since the Bronze Age, or if population differentiation between Europeans is almost purely due to the admixtures of Yamnaya+Anatolian Neolithic+European hunter gatherers.

    If the populations are breeding in these large thousands strong pools, it seems like then drift shouldn’t really happen at all (like zero) from what little I know of the theory (frequencies just don’t shift when randomly mating with a large pool like that). But if instead you’ve got a landscape of lots of these little local villages of tens to hundreds of people who inbreed at a local levels quite heavily and they’ve only recently (last millennium?) started interbreeding heavily between them, then maybe drift could matter a bit, as a village could drift far away from the mean and then when they mix up again, some degree of the shift(s) in frequency could remain?

  26. @Sean
    You can kickstart brain cancer by getting a hard knock on the head.

    a hard knock on the head

    Sometimes it can straigthen your ass out.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Sometimes it can straigthen your ass out.
     
    Yes, indeed. It's better to learn that while one is young and the stakes/responsibilities are meager.
  27. @iffen
    I will 100% own up to my own biases; I think the problem is where historians do not honestly do the same.

    What about implicit bias? Can you own up to something about which you are unaware? Something that only certain people claim to see in you? If you know your view is skewed by bias, wouldn't you make a correction?

    We can’t grasp history; it is not an objective. The very nature of being history precludes its objectivity. We can only look through filters. We can find, examine and compare the filters and inform ourselves, but it is still filtered. Choose a filter; choose a turtle. If we know what we are looking for and what it looks like, we can find it.

    We can’t grasp history; it is not an objective. The very nature of being history precludes its objectivity. We can only look through filters. We can find, examine and compare the filters and inform ourselves, but it is still filtered. Choose a filter; choose a turtle. If we know what we are looking for and what it looks like, we can find it.

    Although absolute objectivity is not possible in history (is it possible in any field of human inquiry?), it is possible to “filter” more or less objectively. For example, it is one type of filtering to write about archery in past warfare after reading a lot about archery written by other people. It is quite another to practice it in real life (or at least observe how it is practiced in real life) in addition to reading about it, and forming an opinion on its use in war. That kind of “field experiment” cuts down on a lot of, pardon the language, utter bullshit peddled by most historians who can’t be bothered to run outside bearing, say, 60 lbs. of weight to realize that pre-modern warriors in battle did not sprint across the length of a football field in a charge.

    A LOT of historians have very particular and specifix axes to grind. I still read them and do so today, but it’s mentally tiring because I have to be on the lookout constantly. When I look at a historian’s work seriously (which is generally all the time when I read military history), I end up tracking down and reading most, sometimes all, the citations in the footnotes/endnotes as well as checking the calculations/numerical data, etc. And then too frequently I find either mistakes or what appear to be deliberate falsehoods/obfuscations, and the sad and disheartening feeling of disappointment sets in. A lot of so-called historians are actually “historical journalists” (and I use that term derisively) who put on the facade of a historian to push a particular narrative, like a reporter selling a story.

    Finally, there is such a thing as wisdom in picking the said filter. And that, I think, is ONE – perhaps the – major purpose of studying humanities. That is, where as inquiries into nature (i.e. “hard” sciences) allows us to understand that which is outside us, humanities are ultimately suppose to provide insight into people. And that requires more than facts and reasoning – it requires wisdom, especially the timeless, enduring kind that is not easily swayed by contemporary fads and ideologies.

    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    This was along the lines of what I was talking about.

    By the way, any names for good historians on warfare of antiquity or medieval times, specifically regarding the Byzantine/Persian front? those that also include the Arabian peninsula and Central Asia would be a plus. I am constantly dealing with people (often in these threads) who have zero clue as normative standards in warfare of that era - they seem to think they can transpose post-WW2 Geneva Conventions on those people and judge them accordingly. I have my own sources, but would love more. Again from a more military vantage point - strategy, tactics, etc.

    Peace.
    , @iffen
    Great comment.

    That is, its importance was not as a narrative about the historical past, but possibilities for narrative frameworks relevant for organizing the political present.
     

    People need to belong, they need to feel honored by their peers, and they need myth. And for that, men even sacrifice their lives.

    “They chose honor, they chose myth”

    the real goal of the producers of such “history” is not to discover the true nature of the past through an objective lens but to remake today in accord with the philosophies of the said historians.
     
    The first quote is from Razib and the others are from you. I am trying to work through the implications of Razib’s previous and current posts and the comments to both.

    If we take our “history” back far enough it shades into myth. Where and how do we draw the line? Can we separate myth from history today, much less 2, 3 or 4 thousand years ago? Who values and who benefits from the separation of the two if the premise of Razib’s quote is accurate?

    If you choose the empirical, objective and truth-seeking “side,” the liberal democracy, enlightenment, freedom of conscience, freedom of thought side, the celebration of the autonomous individual side, and these values undermine and defeat your side in relation to “other sides,” that is, the inherent contradictions between those individualistic values cause the collapse of the group, you should be worried. The individual cannot exist outside of a group.

    Forgive me if I am trying to watch too many balls in the air at one time.
    , @iffen

    That is, its importance was not as a narrative about the historical past, but possibilities for narrative frameworks relevant for organizing the political present.
     

    People need to belong, they need to feel honored by their peers, and they need myth. And for that, men even sacrifice their lives.

    “They chose honor, they chose myth”

    the real goal of the producers of such “history” is not to discover the true nature of the past through an objective lens but to remake today in accord with the philosophies of the said historians.
     
    The first quote is from Razib and the others are from you. I am trying to work through the implications of Razib’s previous and current posts and the comments to both.

    If we take our “history” back far enough it shades into myth. Where and how do we draw the line? Can we separate myth from history today, much less 2, 3 or 4 thousand years ago? Who benefits from the separation of the two if the premise of Razib’s quote is accurate?

    If you choose the empirical, objective and truth-seeking “side,” the liberal democracy, enlightenment, freedom of conscience, freedom of thought side, the celebration of the autonomous individual side, and these values undermine and defeat your side in relation to “other sides,” that is, the inherent contradictions among these individualistic values cause the collapse of the group, you should be worried. The individual cannot exist outside of a group.
    From Talha:

    The essential assumption being that humanity is progressing – this being a very difficult thing to pin down objectively.
     
    What happens when it becomes obvious that the progress is never going to trickle down? Heretofore, it has always meant that, little by little, the lower classes, the lower strata are included in the progress, whether economic or political; this is no longer true. Classes, strata are becoming clarified and permanent. We are regressing. It seems to me that I have to choose between the cognitive liberal democracy side and my ethnic side. Individualism, meritocracy and liberal democracy are destroying my ethnic group. Whereas, looking back it seems obvious (to me anyway) that these ideas are what allowed and created the advancements for my group.

    Forgive me if I am trying to watch too many balls in the air at one time.
  28. @iffen
    a hard knock on the head

    Sometimes it can straigthen your ass out.

    Sometimes it can straigthen your ass out.

    Yes, indeed. It’s better to learn that while one is young and the stakes/responsibilities are meager.

    • Replies: @Talha
    That's what older siblings are for.

    Peace.
  29. @Razib Khan
    Have you ever been in a fight? That is, a physical altercation?



    plenty.

    plenty.

    Offense or defense?

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i would say defense. but depends on how you define defense. e.g., i would count finding and beating up the kid who called me a 'sand nigger' in gym class defense. but it might seem offensive since i waited until after school ended so as not to be disruptive (i just made sure to tail him after the last period).
  30. @Twinkie

    Sometimes it can straigthen your ass out.
     
    Yes, indeed. It's better to learn that while one is young and the stakes/responsibilities are meager.

    That’s what older siblings are for.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    That’s what older siblings are for.
     
    But you know that your older brother won't kill you. And the same goes for tough fathers (my father, being an old soldier, was quite "liberal" with "discipline" and the man loved his boxing, but I knew he'd give his life eagerly to protect me, which in his mind was "love").

    The same cannot be said of your adversaries on the street. There was a time or two in my NYC youth when I got into tussles with groups of blacks when I thought I might not make it. But I bit down hard on my mouthpiece, so to speak, and was determined to sell my life dearly, and that paradoxically seemed to have saved my life... which one of my professors later in college termed "the French nuclear strategy" - i.e. "Come on, Mofos! You might kill me, but I am going to tear off your arms before I die! Who wants to be the first?"
  31. @Twinkie

    We can’t grasp history; it is not an objective. The very nature of being history precludes its objectivity. We can only look through filters. We can find, examine and compare the filters and inform ourselves, but it is still filtered. Choose a filter; choose a turtle. If we know what we are looking for and what it looks like, we can find it.
     
    Although absolute objectivity is not possible in history (is it possible in any field of human inquiry?), it is possible to "filter" more or less objectively. For example, it is one type of filtering to write about archery in past warfare after reading a lot about archery written by other people. It is quite another to practice it in real life (or at least observe how it is practiced in real life) in addition to reading about it, and forming an opinion on its use in war. That kind of "field experiment" cuts down on a lot of, pardon the language, utter bullshit peddled by most historians who can't be bothered to run outside bearing, say, 60 lbs. of weight to realize that pre-modern warriors in battle did not sprint across the length of a football field in a charge.

    A LOT of historians have very particular and specifix axes to grind. I still read them and do so today, but it's mentally tiring because I have to be on the lookout constantly. When I look at a historian's work seriously (which is generally all the time when I read military history), I end up tracking down and reading most, sometimes all, the citations in the footnotes/endnotes as well as checking the calculations/numerical data, etc. And then too frequently I find either mistakes or what appear to be deliberate falsehoods/obfuscations, and the sad and disheartening feeling of disappointment sets in. A lot of so-called historians are actually "historical journalists" (and I use that term derisively) who put on the facade of a historian to push a particular narrative, like a reporter selling a story.

    Finally, there is such a thing as wisdom in picking the said filter. And that, I think, is ONE - perhaps the - major purpose of studying humanities. That is, where as inquiries into nature (i.e. "hard" sciences) allows us to understand that which is outside us, humanities are ultimately suppose to provide insight into people. And that requires more than facts and reasoning - it requires wisdom, especially the timeless, enduring kind that is not easily swayed by contemporary fads and ideologies.

    Hey Twinkie,

    This was along the lines of what I was talking about.

    By the way, any names for good historians on warfare of antiquity or medieval times, specifically regarding the Byzantine/Persian front? those that also include the Arabian peninsula and Central Asia would be a plus. I am constantly dealing with people (often in these threads) who have zero clue as normative standards in warfare of that era – they seem to think they can transpose post-WW2 Geneva Conventions on those people and judge them accordingly. I have my own sources, but would love more. Again from a more military vantage point – strategy, tactics, etc.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    By the way, any names for good historians on warfare of antiquity or medieval times, specifically regarding the Byzantine/Persian front?
     
    In the English language, John Haldon is probably the leading (currently practicing) and certainly the best known historian of the Byzantine Empire and its military institutions.

    https://history.princeton.edu/people/john-haldon

    Check out his books on Amazon.

    As for the specific subject of early Byzantine-Persian-Arab clashes, you are not likely to find many lengthy manuscripts. Searches of historical journals would be the way to go, e.g. http://faculty.washington.edu/brownj9/LifeoftheProphet/Centralized%20Authority%20and%20Military%20Autonomy%20in%20the%20Early%20Islamic%20Conquests-Donner.pdf

    Note that Dame Cameron is old - I doubt she is very active.

    I am constantly dealing with people (often in these threads) who have zero clue as normative standards in warfare of that era – they seem to think they can transpose post-WW2 Geneva Conventions on those people and judge them accordingly.
     
    That standard doesn't apply to any pre-modern war; heck, it doesn't even apply to modern "small wars," e.g. the Yugoslavian civil war.
  32. @Talha
    That's what older siblings are for.

    Peace.

    That’s what older siblings are for.

    But you know that your older brother won’t kill you. And the same goes for tough fathers (my father, being an old soldier, was quite “liberal” with “discipline” and the man loved his boxing, but I knew he’d give his life eagerly to protect me, which in his mind was “love”).

    The same cannot be said of your adversaries on the street. There was a time or two in my NYC youth when I got into tussles with groups of blacks when I thought I might not make it. But I bit down hard on my mouthpiece, so to speak, and was determined to sell my life dearly, and that paradoxically seemed to have saved my life… which one of my professors later in college termed “the French nuclear strategy” – i.e. “Come on, Mofos! You might kill me, but I am going to tear off your arms before I die! Who wants to be the first?”

  33. @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    This was along the lines of what I was talking about.

    By the way, any names for good historians on warfare of antiquity or medieval times, specifically regarding the Byzantine/Persian front? those that also include the Arabian peninsula and Central Asia would be a plus. I am constantly dealing with people (often in these threads) who have zero clue as normative standards in warfare of that era - they seem to think they can transpose post-WW2 Geneva Conventions on those people and judge them accordingly. I have my own sources, but would love more. Again from a more military vantage point - strategy, tactics, etc.

    Peace.

    By the way, any names for good historians on warfare of antiquity or medieval times, specifically regarding the Byzantine/Persian front?

    In the English language, John Haldon is probably the leading (currently practicing) and certainly the best known historian of the Byzantine Empire and its military institutions.

    https://history.princeton.edu/people/john-haldon

    Check out his books on Amazon.

    As for the specific subject of early Byzantine-Persian-Arab clashes, you are not likely to find many lengthy manuscripts. Searches of historical journals would be the way to go, e.g. http://faculty.washington.edu/brownj9/LifeoftheProphet/Centralized%20Authority%20and%20Military%20Autonomy%20in%20the%20Early%20Islamic%20Conquests-Donner.pdf

    Note that Dame Cameron is old – I doubt she is very active.

    I am constantly dealing with people (often in these threads) who have zero clue as normative standards in warfare of that era – they seem to think they can transpose post-WW2 Geneva Conventions on those people and judge them accordingly.

    That standard doesn’t apply to any pre-modern war; heck, it doesn’t even apply to modern “small wars,” e.g. the Yugoslavian civil war.

    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    Thanks for the references! It seems Mr. Haldon has collaborated with my personal favorite, Prof. David Nicolle, at least on works regarding the Ottoman/Byzantine front. Will definitely check him out.

    Peace.
    , @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    Thanks for the references! It seems Mr. Haldon has collaborated with my personal favorite, Prof. David Nicolle, at least on works regarding the Ottoman/Byzantine front. Will definitely check him out.

    Peace.
  34. @Sean
    http://www.norwegianamerican.com/news/ancient-dna-identifies-ethnic-norwegian-roots/

    Nice simple diagram that even I can interpret.

    The proportions of Western hunter-gatherer and early Neolithic farmer don't matter, but the more Yamnaya DNA a country has, the more like Norwegians they look. Therefore it is not random drift, it's Yamnaya genes.

    I agree it is not random drift.

    This diagram may actually be telling us a lot about the population density and ancestry of the local populations across Europe before the Yamnaya moves in.

    We know that Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were still mostly populated by WHG-like ceramic-producing hunter-gatherers right up until 4000 years ago.

    Now look at the diagram of the present day ancestry. The Eastern Baltic region is right behind Norway in the highest Yamnaya ancestry, but have much more WHG ancestry, and much less Early Neolithic ancestry.

    So the relative amount and proportion of non-Yamnaya ancestry may be telling us mostly about the people that were there before the Yamnaya migration. For Norway, I would guess it had a very low population.

    • Replies: @Sean
    None of their Y chromosomes survived so half your guess, then reduce the guess some more.
  35. @Twinkie

    plenty.
     
    Offense or defense?

    i would say defense. but depends on how you define defense. e.g., i would count finding and beating up the kid who called me a ‘sand nigger’ in gym class defense. but it might seem offensive since i waited until after school ended so as not to be disruptive (i just made sure to tail him after the last period).

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    i would say defense. but depends on how you define defense. e.g., i would count finding and beating up the kid who called me a ‘sand nigger’ in gym class defense. but it might seem offensive since i waited until after school ended so as not to be disruptive (i just made sure to tail him after the last period).
     
    Ambush is offense. Put another way, tactical offense, strategic defense.

    Were there more than one kid who you called you names like that? Where did you grow up?
  36. @Twinkie

    By the way, any names for good historians on warfare of antiquity or medieval times, specifically regarding the Byzantine/Persian front?
     
    In the English language, John Haldon is probably the leading (currently practicing) and certainly the best known historian of the Byzantine Empire and its military institutions.

    https://history.princeton.edu/people/john-haldon

    Check out his books on Amazon.

    As for the specific subject of early Byzantine-Persian-Arab clashes, you are not likely to find many lengthy manuscripts. Searches of historical journals would be the way to go, e.g. http://faculty.washington.edu/brownj9/LifeoftheProphet/Centralized%20Authority%20and%20Military%20Autonomy%20in%20the%20Early%20Islamic%20Conquests-Donner.pdf

    Note that Dame Cameron is old - I doubt she is very active.

    I am constantly dealing with people (often in these threads) who have zero clue as normative standards in warfare of that era – they seem to think they can transpose post-WW2 Geneva Conventions on those people and judge them accordingly.
     
    That standard doesn't apply to any pre-modern war; heck, it doesn't even apply to modern "small wars," e.g. the Yugoslavian civil war.

    Hey Twinkie,

    Thanks for the references! It seems Mr. Haldon has collaborated with my personal favorite, Prof. David Nicolle, at least on works regarding the Ottoman/Byzantine front. Will definitely check him out.

    Peace.

  37. @Twinkie

    We can’t grasp history; it is not an objective. The very nature of being history precludes its objectivity. We can only look through filters. We can find, examine and compare the filters and inform ourselves, but it is still filtered. Choose a filter; choose a turtle. If we know what we are looking for and what it looks like, we can find it.
     
    Although absolute objectivity is not possible in history (is it possible in any field of human inquiry?), it is possible to "filter" more or less objectively. For example, it is one type of filtering to write about archery in past warfare after reading a lot about archery written by other people. It is quite another to practice it in real life (or at least observe how it is practiced in real life) in addition to reading about it, and forming an opinion on its use in war. That kind of "field experiment" cuts down on a lot of, pardon the language, utter bullshit peddled by most historians who can't be bothered to run outside bearing, say, 60 lbs. of weight to realize that pre-modern warriors in battle did not sprint across the length of a football field in a charge.

    A LOT of historians have very particular and specifix axes to grind. I still read them and do so today, but it's mentally tiring because I have to be on the lookout constantly. When I look at a historian's work seriously (which is generally all the time when I read military history), I end up tracking down and reading most, sometimes all, the citations in the footnotes/endnotes as well as checking the calculations/numerical data, etc. And then too frequently I find either mistakes or what appear to be deliberate falsehoods/obfuscations, and the sad and disheartening feeling of disappointment sets in. A lot of so-called historians are actually "historical journalists" (and I use that term derisively) who put on the facade of a historian to push a particular narrative, like a reporter selling a story.

    Finally, there is such a thing as wisdom in picking the said filter. And that, I think, is ONE - perhaps the - major purpose of studying humanities. That is, where as inquiries into nature (i.e. "hard" sciences) allows us to understand that which is outside us, humanities are ultimately suppose to provide insight into people. And that requires more than facts and reasoning - it requires wisdom, especially the timeless, enduring kind that is not easily swayed by contemporary fads and ideologies.

    Great comment.

    That is, its importance was not as a narrative about the historical past, but possibilities for narrative frameworks relevant for organizing the political present.

    People need to belong, they need to feel honored by their peers, and they need myth. And for that, men even sacrifice their lives.

    “They chose honor, they chose myth”

    the real goal of the producers of such “history” is not to discover the true nature of the past through an objective lens but to remake today in accord with the philosophies of the said historians.

    The first quote is from Razib and the others are from you. I am trying to work through the implications of Razib’s previous and current posts and the comments to both.

    If we take our “history” back far enough it shades into myth. Where and how do we draw the line? Can we separate myth from history today, much less 2, 3 or 4 thousand years ago? Who values and who benefits from the separation of the two if the premise of Razib’s quote is accurate?

    If you choose the empirical, objective and truth-seeking “side,” the liberal democracy, enlightenment, freedom of conscience, freedom of thought side, the celebration of the autonomous individual side, and these values undermine and defeat your side in relation to “other sides,” that is, the inherent contradictions between those individualistic values cause the collapse of the group, you should be worried. The individual cannot exist outside of a group.

    Forgive me if I am trying to watch too many balls in the air at one time.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    If you choose the empirical, objective and truth-seeking “side,” the liberal democracy, enlightenment, freedom of conscience, freedom of thought side, the celebration of the autonomous individual side, and these values undermine and defeat your side in relation to “other sides,” that is, the inherent contradictions between those individualistic values cause the collapse of the group, you should be worried. The individual cannot exist outside of a group.
     
    "Empirical, objective and truth-seeking," etc. do not exist in opposition to faith, tradition, community - or honor and myth, if you will. They are in conflict only if you dogmatically hold onto one or the other "side." Indeed as a Catholic I believe and have been taught that faith and reason complement each other and strengthen one another.

    The wisdom part is knowing when to emphasize one over another or in what proportion one applies them to a particular issue. To give you a concrete example, let's, for the moment, think of a desperate group of soldiers who are heavily outnumbered, but must defend an outpost. A purely empirical presentation to the soldiers - "Well, men, we are outnumbered 10 to 1, and chances are the post is going to be overrun and most of us will die in failure or suffer an ignominious captivity" - will only achieve a self-fulfilling prophecy. It might even make things much worse and many of the men may desert in the night. On the other hand, an exhortation of nothing but resorts to myth "Death before dishonor! Who cares if we all die? We'll all die with honor" will probably sound like empty words, because they are (so are the opposite exhortation "Our fighting spirit will defeat the enemy! Numbers mean nothing! We will triumph in the end!").

    In practice, especially when dealing with the human factor, there is much to the art and wisdom of when to emphasize what and in what proportion one is to "mix" the two.

    Also, in life, there are not simply two "sides." It is never the matter of the individual versus the group. Many ties and social relationships people have are concentric or intersecting rather than oppositional in nature. A reasonable (and successful, I might argue) human being cannot simply define himself as a single autonomous dot or as a member of a race, a religion, a geographical community, a soverreign nation-state, etc. He can be and generally is all of those things, and while these various ties and memberships can constrain an individual, it can also provide him with freedom of action - room for maneuver and mutual leverage.

    In my view, a man who excels in life (and by "excel" I mean in the Aristotelian sense - of "Arete") is one who navigates such intersecting allegiances well and through his wisdom and virtue brings glory to these groups and thereby garners for himself honor.
  38. @Twinkie

    By the way, any names for good historians on warfare of antiquity or medieval times, specifically regarding the Byzantine/Persian front?
     
    In the English language, John Haldon is probably the leading (currently practicing) and certainly the best known historian of the Byzantine Empire and its military institutions.

    https://history.princeton.edu/people/john-haldon

    Check out his books on Amazon.

    As for the specific subject of early Byzantine-Persian-Arab clashes, you are not likely to find many lengthy manuscripts. Searches of historical journals would be the way to go, e.g. http://faculty.washington.edu/brownj9/LifeoftheProphet/Centralized%20Authority%20and%20Military%20Autonomy%20in%20the%20Early%20Islamic%20Conquests-Donner.pdf

    Note that Dame Cameron is old - I doubt she is very active.

    I am constantly dealing with people (often in these threads) who have zero clue as normative standards in warfare of that era – they seem to think they can transpose post-WW2 Geneva Conventions on those people and judge them accordingly.
     
    That standard doesn't apply to any pre-modern war; heck, it doesn't even apply to modern "small wars," e.g. the Yugoslavian civil war.

    Hey Twinkie,

    Thanks for the references! It seems Mr. Haldon has collaborated with my personal favorite, Prof. David Nicolle, at least on works regarding the Ottoman/Byzantine front. Will definitely check him out.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    Check out Averil Cameron's earlier works too if you can. http://www.classics.ox.ac.uk/averilcameron.html

    The Dame appears to be inactive lately due to old age and her interests seems have changed, but she did produce more "traditional" (military-political) historical works earlier in her career.
  39. @Twinkie

    We can’t grasp history; it is not an objective. The very nature of being history precludes its objectivity. We can only look through filters. We can find, examine and compare the filters and inform ourselves, but it is still filtered. Choose a filter; choose a turtle. If we know what we are looking for and what it looks like, we can find it.
     
    Although absolute objectivity is not possible in history (is it possible in any field of human inquiry?), it is possible to "filter" more or less objectively. For example, it is one type of filtering to write about archery in past warfare after reading a lot about archery written by other people. It is quite another to practice it in real life (or at least observe how it is practiced in real life) in addition to reading about it, and forming an opinion on its use in war. That kind of "field experiment" cuts down on a lot of, pardon the language, utter bullshit peddled by most historians who can't be bothered to run outside bearing, say, 60 lbs. of weight to realize that pre-modern warriors in battle did not sprint across the length of a football field in a charge.

    A LOT of historians have very particular and specifix axes to grind. I still read them and do so today, but it's mentally tiring because I have to be on the lookout constantly. When I look at a historian's work seriously (which is generally all the time when I read military history), I end up tracking down and reading most, sometimes all, the citations in the footnotes/endnotes as well as checking the calculations/numerical data, etc. And then too frequently I find either mistakes or what appear to be deliberate falsehoods/obfuscations, and the sad and disheartening feeling of disappointment sets in. A lot of so-called historians are actually "historical journalists" (and I use that term derisively) who put on the facade of a historian to push a particular narrative, like a reporter selling a story.

    Finally, there is such a thing as wisdom in picking the said filter. And that, I think, is ONE - perhaps the - major purpose of studying humanities. That is, where as inquiries into nature (i.e. "hard" sciences) allows us to understand that which is outside us, humanities are ultimately suppose to provide insight into people. And that requires more than facts and reasoning - it requires wisdom, especially the timeless, enduring kind that is not easily swayed by contemporary fads and ideologies.

    That is, its importance was not as a narrative about the historical past, but possibilities for narrative frameworks relevant for organizing the political present.

    People need to belong, they need to feel honored by their peers, and they need myth. And for that, men even sacrifice their lives.

    “They chose honor, they chose myth”

    the real goal of the producers of such “history” is not to discover the true nature of the past through an objective lens but to remake today in accord with the philosophies of the said historians.

    The first quote is from Razib and the others are from you. I am trying to work through the implications of Razib’s previous and current posts and the comments to both.

    If we take our “history” back far enough it shades into myth. Where and how do we draw the line? Can we separate myth from history today, much less 2, 3 or 4 thousand years ago? Who benefits from the separation of the two if the premise of Razib’s quote is accurate?

    If you choose the empirical, objective and truth-seeking “side,” the liberal democracy, enlightenment, freedom of conscience, freedom of thought side, the celebration of the autonomous individual side, and these values undermine and defeat your side in relation to “other sides,” that is, the inherent contradictions among these individualistic values cause the collapse of the group, you should be worried. The individual cannot exist outside of a group.
    From Talha:

    The essential assumption being that humanity is progressing – this being a very difficult thing to pin down objectively.

    What happens when it becomes obvious that the progress is never going to trickle down? Heretofore, it has always meant that, little by little, the lower classes, the lower strata are included in the progress, whether economic or political; this is no longer true. Classes, strata are becoming clarified and permanent. We are regressing. It seems to me that I have to choose between the cognitive liberal democracy side and my ethnic side. Individualism, meritocracy and liberal democracy are destroying my ethnic group. Whereas, looking back it seems obvious (to me anyway) that these ideas are what allowed and created the advancements for my group.

    Forgive me if I am trying to watch too many balls in the air at one time.

  40. Hey iffen,

    It seems to me that I have to choose between the cognitive liberal democracy side and my ethnic side. Individualism, meritocracy and liberal democracy are destroying my ethnic group. Whereas, looking back it seems obvious (to me anyway) that these ideas are what allowed and created the advancements for my group.

    In general I like meritocracy, but hyper-individualism and unrestricted liberal democracy? I have my doubts. This seems to be the judo hold that post-modern man has on himself and only he can release. Were these things advantageous and are now self-destructive – ie. are they then just a passing phase, a fad and not really intrinsically superior or virtuous? Does Aesop’s hare need to slow down a bit and reevaluate his strategy?

    Peace.

  41. A new paper quantifies the amount of genetic similarity between two populations that constitutes a gray area between uncontroversially constituting two species and uncontroversially constituting different populations of one species.

    http://dispatchesfromturtleisland.blogspot.com/2016/10/when-is-species-species.html

    I would welcome the help of anyone who could apply this test to comparing modern human genomes with archaic hominin genomes (Neanderthal and Denisovan) to see the extent to which any combinations are or are not in the gray area.

    • Replies: @Talha
    I thought that, by taxonomy, a species is specifically that group in which two individuals can mate and reproduce fertile offspring. If so, then by definition, aren't these the same species since their genetic makeup is traceable in current humans (thus they mated successfully and had offspring that reproduced)?

    I'm just a layman on this subject so please go easy on me (avoid the face!) if I have exposed my massive ignorance.

    Peace.

    , @Talha
    Or are you asking is there any data that shows at some point that these other humanoids reached that 2% genetic divergence threshold where it is assumed that the species barrier was crossed?

    Again, please avoid the face!

    Peace.
  42. @ohwilleke
    A new paper quantifies the amount of genetic similarity between two populations that constitutes a gray area between uncontroversially constituting two species and uncontroversially constituting different populations of one species.

    http://dispatchesfromturtleisland.blogspot.com/2016/10/when-is-species-species.html

    I would welcome the help of anyone who could apply this test to comparing modern human genomes with archaic hominin genomes (Neanderthal and Denisovan) to see the extent to which any combinations are or are not in the gray area.

    I thought that, by taxonomy, a species is specifically that group in which two individuals can mate and reproduce fertile offspring. If so, then by definition, aren’t these the same species since their genetic makeup is traceable in current humans (thus they mated successfully and had offspring that reproduced)?

    I’m just a layman on this subject so please go easy on me (avoid the face!) if I have exposed my massive ignorance.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Rick
    "I thought that, by taxonomy, a species is specifically that group in which two individuals can mate and reproduce fertile offspring."

    Any definition of a species is going to have to be much better than that.

    There are many living people today who are nearly 'infertile' because they have some kind of rare chromosomal translocation. So, you could say they are not of the human species.

    But, a male and female with the exact same translocation should be able to easily have perfectly normal children that are interfertile.

    With genome sequencing becoming very inexpensive, you could imagine websites that pair up matching 'infertile' people to eventually produce a small number of compatible families.

    Would these groups still be the same species?

    Also, if you look at the plant world (for example orchids) there are thousands of species that have been genetically isolated for a very long time, and look very different, and have even been classified into different genera, yet easily produce hybrid offsping, many of which are totally fertile with either parent.
    , @Roger Sweeny
    There is no nice definition of species that works in every situation. I remembered reading years ago of a bird that is found in the high northern latitudes. Any bird could successfully mate with another bird several hundred miles to the east or west but could not successfully mate with a bird halfway around the world. How you would divide these up into separate species or whether you call them one big species is a matter of convenience.
  43. @ohwilleke
    A new paper quantifies the amount of genetic similarity between two populations that constitutes a gray area between uncontroversially constituting two species and uncontroversially constituting different populations of one species.

    http://dispatchesfromturtleisland.blogspot.com/2016/10/when-is-species-species.html

    I would welcome the help of anyone who could apply this test to comparing modern human genomes with archaic hominin genomes (Neanderthal and Denisovan) to see the extent to which any combinations are or are not in the gray area.

    Or are you asking is there any data that shows at some point that these other humanoids reached that 2% genetic divergence threshold where it is assumed that the species barrier was crossed?

    Again, please avoid the face!

    Peace.

  44. @iffen
    Great comment.

    That is, its importance was not as a narrative about the historical past, but possibilities for narrative frameworks relevant for organizing the political present.
     

    People need to belong, they need to feel honored by their peers, and they need myth. And for that, men even sacrifice their lives.

    “They chose honor, they chose myth”

    the real goal of the producers of such “history” is not to discover the true nature of the past through an objective lens but to remake today in accord with the philosophies of the said historians.
     
    The first quote is from Razib and the others are from you. I am trying to work through the implications of Razib’s previous and current posts and the comments to both.

    If we take our “history” back far enough it shades into myth. Where and how do we draw the line? Can we separate myth from history today, much less 2, 3 or 4 thousand years ago? Who values and who benefits from the separation of the two if the premise of Razib’s quote is accurate?

    If you choose the empirical, objective and truth-seeking “side,” the liberal democracy, enlightenment, freedom of conscience, freedom of thought side, the celebration of the autonomous individual side, and these values undermine and defeat your side in relation to “other sides,” that is, the inherent contradictions between those individualistic values cause the collapse of the group, you should be worried. The individual cannot exist outside of a group.

    Forgive me if I am trying to watch too many balls in the air at one time.

    If you choose the empirical, objective and truth-seeking “side,” the liberal democracy, enlightenment, freedom of conscience, freedom of thought side, the celebration of the autonomous individual side, and these values undermine and defeat your side in relation to “other sides,” that is, the inherent contradictions between those individualistic values cause the collapse of the group, you should be worried. The individual cannot exist outside of a group.

    “Empirical, objective and truth-seeking,” etc. do not exist in opposition to faith, tradition, community – or honor and myth, if you will. They are in conflict only if you dogmatically hold onto one or the other “side.” Indeed as a Catholic I believe and have been taught that faith and reason complement each other and strengthen one another.

    The wisdom part is knowing when to emphasize one over another or in what proportion one applies them to a particular issue. To give you a concrete example, let’s, for the moment, think of a desperate group of soldiers who are heavily outnumbered, but must defend an outpost. A purely empirical presentation to the soldiers – “Well, men, we are outnumbered 10 to 1, and chances are the post is going to be overrun and most of us will die in failure or suffer an ignominious captivity” – will only achieve a self-fulfilling prophecy. It might even make things much worse and many of the men may desert in the night. On the other hand, an exhortation of nothing but resorts to myth “Death before dishonor! Who cares if we all die? We’ll all die with honor” will probably sound like empty words, because they are (so are the opposite exhortation “Our fighting spirit will defeat the enemy! Numbers mean nothing! We will triumph in the end!”).

    In practice, especially when dealing with the human factor, there is much to the art and wisdom of when to emphasize what and in what proportion one is to “mix” the two.

    Also, in life, there are not simply two “sides.” It is never the matter of the individual versus the group. Many ties and social relationships people have are concentric or intersecting rather than oppositional in nature. A reasonable (and successful, I might argue) human being cannot simply define himself as a single autonomous dot or as a member of a race, a religion, a geographical community, a soverreign nation-state, etc. He can be and generally is all of those things, and while these various ties and memberships can constrain an individual, it can also provide him with freedom of action – room for maneuver and mutual leverage.

    In my view, a man who excels in life (and by “excel” I mean in the Aristotelian sense – of “Arete”) is one who navigates such intersecting allegiances well and through his wisdom and virtue brings glory to these groups and thereby garners for himself honor.

    • Replies: @iffen
    http://www.unz.com/imercer/when-america-becomes-south-africa/

    Mercer gives great insight into what is going to happen in the US. The US is devolving into a permanent and inflexible identity based society. This presidential cycle has it on full display. We are going to end up with a permanently estranged white minority of 35-40%.
    , @iffen
    Are there any atheist Catholics in the hierarchy like in some of the Protestant denominations?

    How about you, Talha, any atheist scholars in your school?

  45. @Razib Khan
    i would say defense. but depends on how you define defense. e.g., i would count finding and beating up the kid who called me a 'sand nigger' in gym class defense. but it might seem offensive since i waited until after school ended so as not to be disruptive (i just made sure to tail him after the last period).

    i would say defense. but depends on how you define defense. e.g., i would count finding and beating up the kid who called me a ‘sand nigger’ in gym class defense. but it might seem offensive since i waited until after school ended so as not to be disruptive (i just made sure to tail him after the last period).

    Ambush is offense. Put another way, tactical offense, strategic defense.

    Were there more than one kid who you called you names like that? Where did you grow up?

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    yes. eastern oregon.
  46. @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    Thanks for the references! It seems Mr. Haldon has collaborated with my personal favorite, Prof. David Nicolle, at least on works regarding the Ottoman/Byzantine front. Will definitely check him out.

    Peace.

    Check out Averil Cameron’s earlier works too if you can. http://www.classics.ox.ac.uk/averilcameron.html

    The Dame appears to be inactive lately due to old age and her interests seems have changed, but she did produce more “traditional” (military-political) historical works earlier in her career.

  47. @Talha
    I thought that, by taxonomy, a species is specifically that group in which two individuals can mate and reproduce fertile offspring. If so, then by definition, aren't these the same species since their genetic makeup is traceable in current humans (thus they mated successfully and had offspring that reproduced)?

    I'm just a layman on this subject so please go easy on me (avoid the face!) if I have exposed my massive ignorance.

    Peace.

    “I thought that, by taxonomy, a species is specifically that group in which two individuals can mate and reproduce fertile offspring.”

    Any definition of a species is going to have to be much better than that.

    There are many living people today who are nearly ‘infertile’ because they have some kind of rare chromosomal translocation. So, you could say they are not of the human species.

    But, a male and female with the exact same translocation should be able to easily have perfectly normal children that are interfertile.

    With genome sequencing becoming very inexpensive, you could imagine websites that pair up matching ‘infertile’ people to eventually produce a small number of compatible families.

    Would these groups still be the same species?

    Also, if you look at the plant world (for example orchids) there are thousands of species that have been genetically isolated for a very long time, and look very different, and have even been classified into different genera, yet easily produce hybrid offsping, many of which are totally fertile with either parent.

  48. @Talha
    I thought that, by taxonomy, a species is specifically that group in which two individuals can mate and reproduce fertile offspring. If so, then by definition, aren't these the same species since their genetic makeup is traceable in current humans (thus they mated successfully and had offspring that reproduced)?

    I'm just a layman on this subject so please go easy on me (avoid the face!) if I have exposed my massive ignorance.

    Peace.

    There is no nice definition of species that works in every situation. I remembered reading years ago of a bird that is found in the high northern latitudes. Any bird could successfully mate with another bird several hundred miles to the east or west but could not successfully mate with a bird halfway around the world. How you would divide these up into separate species or whether you call them one big species is a matter of convenience.

    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Roger,

    Thanks, I guess it makes sense that there has to be some allowance for flexibility on the definitions - we aren't dealing with mathematics.

    Peace.
  49. @Twinkie

    If you choose the empirical, objective and truth-seeking “side,” the liberal democracy, enlightenment, freedom of conscience, freedom of thought side, the celebration of the autonomous individual side, and these values undermine and defeat your side in relation to “other sides,” that is, the inherent contradictions between those individualistic values cause the collapse of the group, you should be worried. The individual cannot exist outside of a group.
     
    "Empirical, objective and truth-seeking," etc. do not exist in opposition to faith, tradition, community - or honor and myth, if you will. They are in conflict only if you dogmatically hold onto one or the other "side." Indeed as a Catholic I believe and have been taught that faith and reason complement each other and strengthen one another.

    The wisdom part is knowing when to emphasize one over another or in what proportion one applies them to a particular issue. To give you a concrete example, let's, for the moment, think of a desperate group of soldiers who are heavily outnumbered, but must defend an outpost. A purely empirical presentation to the soldiers - "Well, men, we are outnumbered 10 to 1, and chances are the post is going to be overrun and most of us will die in failure or suffer an ignominious captivity" - will only achieve a self-fulfilling prophecy. It might even make things much worse and many of the men may desert in the night. On the other hand, an exhortation of nothing but resorts to myth "Death before dishonor! Who cares if we all die? We'll all die with honor" will probably sound like empty words, because they are (so are the opposite exhortation "Our fighting spirit will defeat the enemy! Numbers mean nothing! We will triumph in the end!").

    In practice, especially when dealing with the human factor, there is much to the art and wisdom of when to emphasize what and in what proportion one is to "mix" the two.

    Also, in life, there are not simply two "sides." It is never the matter of the individual versus the group. Many ties and social relationships people have are concentric or intersecting rather than oppositional in nature. A reasonable (and successful, I might argue) human being cannot simply define himself as a single autonomous dot or as a member of a race, a religion, a geographical community, a soverreign nation-state, etc. He can be and generally is all of those things, and while these various ties and memberships can constrain an individual, it can also provide him with freedom of action - room for maneuver and mutual leverage.

    In my view, a man who excels in life (and by "excel" I mean in the Aristotelian sense - of "Arete") is one who navigates such intersecting allegiances well and through his wisdom and virtue brings glory to these groups and thereby garners for himself honor.

    http://www.unz.com/imercer/when-america-becomes-south-africa/

    Mercer gives great insight into what is going to happen in the US. The US is devolving into a permanent and inflexible identity based society. This presidential cycle has it on full display. We are going to end up with a permanently estranged white minority of 35-40%.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    The US is devolving into a permanent and inflexible identity based society. This presidential cycle has it on full display. We are going to end up with a permanently estranged white minority of 35-40%.
     
    I take a dim view of people (and their opinions) who claim to predict the future.

    http://www.unz.com/imercer/when-america-becomes-south-africa/
     
    I have a very close friend who is an Afrikaner - he fought in Rhodesia and Mozambique, and left RSA after the ANC came to power.

    Anyone who likens what has happened to rural Afrikaner farmers in the post-Apartheid RSA to what is happening now in the U.S. (or may happen in the near future) is either highly misinformed or a lying demagogue or both. The demographic distributions, the historical contexts, and the cultural-social-political climates are completely different.

    For that matter, RSA is not exactly destined to be ANC-ruled forever: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-37161530

    No one but God knows the future.
  50. @Twinkie

    If you choose the empirical, objective and truth-seeking “side,” the liberal democracy, enlightenment, freedom of conscience, freedom of thought side, the celebration of the autonomous individual side, and these values undermine and defeat your side in relation to “other sides,” that is, the inherent contradictions between those individualistic values cause the collapse of the group, you should be worried. The individual cannot exist outside of a group.
     
    "Empirical, objective and truth-seeking," etc. do not exist in opposition to faith, tradition, community - or honor and myth, if you will. They are in conflict only if you dogmatically hold onto one or the other "side." Indeed as a Catholic I believe and have been taught that faith and reason complement each other and strengthen one another.

    The wisdom part is knowing when to emphasize one over another or in what proportion one applies them to a particular issue. To give you a concrete example, let's, for the moment, think of a desperate group of soldiers who are heavily outnumbered, but must defend an outpost. A purely empirical presentation to the soldiers - "Well, men, we are outnumbered 10 to 1, and chances are the post is going to be overrun and most of us will die in failure or suffer an ignominious captivity" - will only achieve a self-fulfilling prophecy. It might even make things much worse and many of the men may desert in the night. On the other hand, an exhortation of nothing but resorts to myth "Death before dishonor! Who cares if we all die? We'll all die with honor" will probably sound like empty words, because they are (so are the opposite exhortation "Our fighting spirit will defeat the enemy! Numbers mean nothing! We will triumph in the end!").

    In practice, especially when dealing with the human factor, there is much to the art and wisdom of when to emphasize what and in what proportion one is to "mix" the two.

    Also, in life, there are not simply two "sides." It is never the matter of the individual versus the group. Many ties and social relationships people have are concentric or intersecting rather than oppositional in nature. A reasonable (and successful, I might argue) human being cannot simply define himself as a single autonomous dot or as a member of a race, a religion, a geographical community, a soverreign nation-state, etc. He can be and generally is all of those things, and while these various ties and memberships can constrain an individual, it can also provide him with freedom of action - room for maneuver and mutual leverage.

    In my view, a man who excels in life (and by "excel" I mean in the Aristotelian sense - of "Arete") is one who navigates such intersecting allegiances well and through his wisdom and virtue brings glory to these groups and thereby garners for himself honor.

    Are there any atheist Catholics in the hierarchy like in some of the Protestant denominations?

    How about you, Talha, any atheist scholars in your school?

    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Nope - no atheists in Islamic scholarship; or Jews, Buddhists or anyone else actually. At minimum you have to be a Muslim or your opinion doesn't count as concerns our religious matters within the tradition. One can be an atheist and criticize from outside the framework, but, ultimately, we decide whether to give the criticism any weight.

    The great hadith scholar Muhammad ibn Sireen (ra) said, “Verily, this (sacred) knowledge is religion, so be careful from whom you take your religion.”

    Now there are definitely more or lesser rationalist strands within the tradition, like the Mutazilites of the past or Ibn Rushd (ra) - who himself was an authoritative Maliki shcolar - for example...but we have our upper bounds.

    I had no idea some Protestants take atheists as legitimate religious authorities - wow! Any popular examples?

    Peace.
  51. @Twinkie

    i would say defense. but depends on how you define defense. e.g., i would count finding and beating up the kid who called me a ‘sand nigger’ in gym class defense. but it might seem offensive since i waited until after school ended so as not to be disruptive (i just made sure to tail him after the last period).
     
    Ambush is offense. Put another way, tactical offense, strategic defense.

    Were there more than one kid who you called you names like that? Where did you grow up?

    yes. eastern oregon.

  52. @Rick
    I agree it is not random drift.

    This diagram may actually be telling us a lot about the population density and ancestry of the local populations across Europe before the Yamnaya moves in.

    We know that Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were still mostly populated by WHG-like ceramic-producing hunter-gatherers right up until 4000 years ago.

    Now look at the diagram of the present day ancestry. The Eastern Baltic region is right behind Norway in the highest Yamnaya ancestry, but have much more WHG ancestry, and much less Early Neolithic ancestry.

    So the relative amount and proportion of non-Yamnaya ancestry may be telling us mostly about the people that were there before the Yamnaya migration. For Norway, I would guess it had a very low population.

    None of their Y chromosomes survived so half your guess, then reduce the guess some more.

  53. @iffen
    Are there any atheist Catholics in the hierarchy like in some of the Protestant denominations?

    How about you, Talha, any atheist scholars in your school?

    Hey iffen,

    Nope – no atheists in Islamic scholarship; or Jews, Buddhists or anyone else actually. At minimum you have to be a Muslim or your opinion doesn’t count as concerns our religious matters within the tradition. One can be an atheist and criticize from outside the framework, but, ultimately, we decide whether to give the criticism any weight.

    The great hadith scholar Muhammad ibn Sireen (ra) said, “Verily, this (sacred) knowledge is religion, so be careful from whom you take your religion.”

    Now there are definitely more or lesser rationalist strands within the tradition, like the Mutazilites of the past or Ibn Rushd (ra) – who himself was an authoritative Maliki shcolar – for example…but we have our upper bounds.

    I had no idea some Protestants take atheists as legitimate religious authorities – wow! Any popular examples?

    Peace.

    • Replies: @iffen
    I had no idea some Protestants take atheists as legitimate religious authorities

    I was careless in my wording. I should have said leaders and scholars who do not accept the divinity of Jesus.

    Here is one I just Googled.

    http://www.charismanews.com/world/50954-atheist-pastor-battles-to-keep-post-at-protestant-church

    There are many more that I have read about over the years. I really haven't tried to keep an accurate and referable record.

    , @iffen
    https://juicyecumenism.com/2013/03/15/virginia-episcopal-bishop-defends-criticizes-radical-theologian-in-anglican-controversy/

    As Crossan referenced in his talk at the church, he does not believe in Christ’s divinity, virgin birth or bodily resurrection, nor does he believe in an afterlife or any personal deity. Instead, Crossan believes Jesus launched a quiet political revolt against the Roman Empire, and the beliefs about His deity were created by the early church in later years. A former Catholic priest and professor at DePaul University, Crossan has long served on the once prominent Jesus Seminar, a group of very liberal scholars who gained headlines in the 1980’s and 1990’s for denying the supernatural aspects of the New Testament. Now mostly retired, Crossan still appears on PBS and cable television shows about Jesus.

     

  54. @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Nope - no atheists in Islamic scholarship; or Jews, Buddhists or anyone else actually. At minimum you have to be a Muslim or your opinion doesn't count as concerns our religious matters within the tradition. One can be an atheist and criticize from outside the framework, but, ultimately, we decide whether to give the criticism any weight.

    The great hadith scholar Muhammad ibn Sireen (ra) said, “Verily, this (sacred) knowledge is religion, so be careful from whom you take your religion.”

    Now there are definitely more or lesser rationalist strands within the tradition, like the Mutazilites of the past or Ibn Rushd (ra) - who himself was an authoritative Maliki shcolar - for example...but we have our upper bounds.

    I had no idea some Protestants take atheists as legitimate religious authorities - wow! Any popular examples?

    Peace.

    I had no idea some Protestants take atheists as legitimate religious authorities

    I was careless in my wording. I should have said leaders and scholars who do not accept the divinity of Jesus.

    Here is one I just Googled.

    http://www.charismanews.com/world/50954-atheist-pastor-battles-to-keep-post-at-protestant-church

    There are many more that I have read about over the years. I really haven’t tried to keep an accurate and referable record.

    • Replies: @Talha

    who do not accept the divinity of Jesus
     
    Jehovah's Witnesses!
  55. @Roger Sweeny
    There is no nice definition of species that works in every situation. I remembered reading years ago of a bird that is found in the high northern latitudes. Any bird could successfully mate with another bird several hundred miles to the east or west but could not successfully mate with a bird halfway around the world. How you would divide these up into separate species or whether you call them one big species is a matter of convenience.

    Hey Roger,

    Thanks, I guess it makes sense that there has to be some allowance for flexibility on the definitions – we aren’t dealing with mathematics.

    Peace.

  56. @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Nope - no atheists in Islamic scholarship; or Jews, Buddhists or anyone else actually. At minimum you have to be a Muslim or your opinion doesn't count as concerns our religious matters within the tradition. One can be an atheist and criticize from outside the framework, but, ultimately, we decide whether to give the criticism any weight.

    The great hadith scholar Muhammad ibn Sireen (ra) said, “Verily, this (sacred) knowledge is religion, so be careful from whom you take your religion.”

    Now there are definitely more or lesser rationalist strands within the tradition, like the Mutazilites of the past or Ibn Rushd (ra) - who himself was an authoritative Maliki shcolar - for example...but we have our upper bounds.

    I had no idea some Protestants take atheists as legitimate religious authorities - wow! Any popular examples?

    Peace.

    https://juicyecumenism.com/2013/03/15/virginia-episcopal-bishop-defends-criticizes-radical-theologian-in-anglican-controversy/

    As Crossan referenced in his talk at the church, he does not believe in Christ’s divinity, virgin birth or bodily resurrection, nor does he believe in an afterlife or any personal deity. Instead, Crossan believes Jesus launched a quiet political revolt against the Roman Empire, and the beliefs about His deity were created by the early church in later years. A former Catholic priest and professor at DePaul University, Crossan has long served on the once prominent Jesus Seminar, a group of very liberal scholars who gained headlines in the 1980’s and 1990’s for denying the supernatural aspects of the New Testament. Now mostly retired, Crossan still appears on PBS and cable television shows about Jesus.

  57. @iffen
    I had no idea some Protestants take atheists as legitimate religious authorities

    I was careless in my wording. I should have said leaders and scholars who do not accept the divinity of Jesus.

    Here is one I just Googled.

    http://www.charismanews.com/world/50954-atheist-pastor-battles-to-keep-post-at-protestant-church

    There are many more that I have read about over the years. I really haven't tried to keep an accurate and referable record.

    who do not accept the divinity of Jesus

    Jehovah’s Witnesses!

  58. Talha and Twinkie,

    This is Razib’s comment from a few posts back. You can’t pick anything out of this comment that is not predictive of what is (going) to happen.

    class, race, religion, community, in various flavors.

    the class solidarity will not work the way that leftists assume. the lower orders weren’t been able to coalesce into the international proletariat, and they won’t today. but, there is going to be solidarity among the global overclass, just like the aristocracies of old. money and connections mean freedom. my goal is try to get embedded in that class.

    other people will have religious and racial solidities. though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes 🙂

    • Replies: @Talha
    Yeah - nothing to argue with there. "Leftism" is built on very shaky foundations - but I'm not going to say anything new that Nietzsche didn't already warn about.


    though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes
     
    Agreed - religions absorb races, not the other way around (or they are miserable failures like the NOI) - wal 'aaqibatu lil muttaqeen.

    Peace.
    , @Matt_
    As much as to be disputive of Razib's breadth of historical knowledge is usually going to be a loser, I'm going to be honest, when I think of medieval aristocracies, I tend to think of "Heavily regional, very fractured, clannish, spent a lot of time trying to murder one another over honor, land, titles" rather than "Intensely more solidaristic among themselves than the lower orders were".

    I don't tend to think of aristocracies as particularly cohesive, rather that they had a lot of the money and weapons, and that those are why they were the dominant group in the equation. Not so much that they were willing to cooperate and sacrifice for the common good of their class where your medieval commoners weren't. And not that I'm saying that medieval commoners were particularly solidaristic, just that neither class was and the class dominance dynamics had pretty much nothing to do with how cooperative each was with one another, rather money and how many and how strong well fed thugs each could bring to the table.
  59. @iffen
    Talha and Twinkie,

    This is Razib's comment from a few posts back. You can't pick anything out of this comment that is not predictive of what is (going) to happen.

    class, race, religion, community, in various flavors.

    the class solidarity will not work the way that leftists assume. the lower orders weren’t been able to coalesce into the international proletariat, and they won’t today. but, there is going to be solidarity among the global overclass, just like the aristocracies of old. money and connections mean freedom. my goal is try to get embedded in that class.

    other people will have religious and racial solidities. though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes :-)
     

    Yeah – nothing to argue with there. “Leftism” is built on very shaky foundations – but I’m not going to say anything new that Nietzsche didn’t already warn about.

    though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes

    Agreed – religions absorb races, not the other way around (or they are miserable failures like the NOI) – wal ‘aaqibatu lil muttaqeen.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @iffen
    religions absorb races, not the other way around

    I don't know what it is like on the inside, but on the public face, the Jehovah's Witnesses are the most integrated denomination in my little part of the world.
    , @iffen
    “Leftism” is built on very shaky foundations

    Leftism has the same caveat that the right fails to recognize within itself (not naming names here). When the ruling class ceases to exhibit noblesse oblige it is little different from a failed Stalinism.
  60. @Talha
    Yeah - nothing to argue with there. "Leftism" is built on very shaky foundations - but I'm not going to say anything new that Nietzsche didn't already warn about.


    though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes
     
    Agreed - religions absorb races, not the other way around (or they are miserable failures like the NOI) - wal 'aaqibatu lil muttaqeen.

    Peace.

    religions absorb races, not the other way around

    I don’t know what it is like on the inside, but on the public face, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are the most integrated denomination in my little part of the world.

  61. @Talha
    Yeah - nothing to argue with there. "Leftism" is built on very shaky foundations - but I'm not going to say anything new that Nietzsche didn't already warn about.


    though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes
     
    Agreed - religions absorb races, not the other way around (or they are miserable failures like the NOI) - wal 'aaqibatu lil muttaqeen.

    Peace.

    “Leftism” is built on very shaky foundations

    Leftism has the same caveat that the right fails to recognize within itself (not naming names here). When the ruling class ceases to exhibit noblesse oblige it is little different from a failed Stalinism.

    • Replies: @Talha
    Totally agree, telling people to eat cake when they can't afford it tends not to make friends among the masses. If Mr. Kennedy did his job right he will have mentioned that this attitude was often the reason for the defections of entire Sassanid governors or armies to the Arab side; beggar-kings like Umar (ra) inspire loyalty - Yazdegerd, not so much.

    People probably don't care much at the core for labels of Right or Left leading the country, but rather who is looking out for them and seem to genuinely care about their well being.

    Peace
  62. @iffen
    “Leftism” is built on very shaky foundations

    Leftism has the same caveat that the right fails to recognize within itself (not naming names here). When the ruling class ceases to exhibit noblesse oblige it is little different from a failed Stalinism.

    Totally agree, telling people to eat cake when they can’t afford it tends not to make friends among the masses. If Mr. Kennedy did his job right he will have mentioned that this attitude was often the reason for the defections of entire Sassanid governors or armies to the Arab side; beggar-kings like Umar (ra) inspire loyalty – Yazdegerd, not so much.

    People probably don’t care much at the core for labels of Right or Left leading the country, but rather who is looking out for them and seem to genuinely care about their well being.

    Peace

  63. @iffen
    http://www.unz.com/imercer/when-america-becomes-south-africa/

    Mercer gives great insight into what is going to happen in the US. The US is devolving into a permanent and inflexible identity based society. This presidential cycle has it on full display. We are going to end up with a permanently estranged white minority of 35-40%.

    The US is devolving into a permanent and inflexible identity based society. This presidential cycle has it on full display. We are going to end up with a permanently estranged white minority of 35-40%.

    I take a dim view of people (and their opinions) who claim to predict the future.

    http://www.unz.com/imercer/when-america-becomes-south-africa/

    I have a very close friend who is an Afrikaner – he fought in Rhodesia and Mozambique, and left RSA after the ANC came to power.

    Anyone who likens what has happened to rural Afrikaner farmers in the post-Apartheid RSA to what is happening now in the U.S. (or may happen in the near future) is either highly misinformed or a lying demagogue or both. The demographic distributions, the historical contexts, and the cultural-social-political climates are completely different.

    For that matter, RSA is not exactly destined to be ANC-ruled forever: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-37161530

    No one but God knows the future.

    • Replies: @AP

    Anyone who likens what has happened to rural Afrikaner farmers in the post-Apartheid RSA to what is happening now in the U.S. (or may happen in the near future) is either highly misinformed or a lying demagogue or both. The demographic distributions, the historical contexts, and the cultural-social-political climates are completely different
     
    Yes, if I may indulge in a prediction - America's future looks more like a whiter Brazil (but substitute Mestizos for Mulattos). Large remaining Euro-American enclaves on the edges (New England, upper Midwest, northern Rockies - analogous to Brazil's southern states), Euro and Asian ruling class living in secure areas in places such as Manhattan, Washington DC, northern California, etc. (analogous to gated wealthy areas of Rio and Sao Paulo), mixed Latino-Euro population in the lower to middle classes of much of the country, and largely black underclass. Euro-Americans will no longer be a majority but may be a plurality. Latinos will have mixed with America's poorer whites and be more European.
  64. is either highly misinformed or a lying demagogue or both.

    This seems unwarranted.

    I don’t understand your aversion to looking at the future.

    You are mixing Mercer’s writings on the tribulations of South Africa’s white farmers with the political commentary in the current article.

    All she is saying is that the political racial divide is permanent and will become permanent in the US as well.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    the title is loaded, and my rxn was the same. whites were never more than ~25% of s. africa's population. the most pessimistic interpretation of 'white' doesn't put them below 50% for 1.5 generations, and even then they'll be by far the largest community. if you're going to make an analogy use one that doesn't undermine you from the beginning.
    , @Twinkie

    I don’t understand your aversion to looking at the future.
     
    I don't have an "aversion to looking at the future." I have an aversion to those who claim to know the future with certainty.

    All she is saying is that the political racial divide is permanent and will become permanent in the US as well.
     
    She doesn't know that. Neither do you or I.

    People who proclaim things like that are usually those who feel alienated and WANT that racial disharmony to occur. Some of them WANT whites to be alienated so that they can say "I told you so" to other whites who do not share their alienation.

    Try this article from 1998: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/16/magazine/the-beige-and-the-black.html

    In many spheres of life, the racial divide in the U.S. is not between whites and non-whites, but rather that between non-blacks and blacks. Blacks are increasingly marginalized from the productive life in this country, and even their political clout will probably decline as their relative share of the population falls (14.8% to 12.3% already from 2000 to 2010) and as they are ethnically cleansed out of desirable and prominent metropolitan areas.

    If you examined residential patterns based on race (http://demographics.coopercenter.org/DotMap/index.html), it becomes rather clear that blacks are disappearing from many areas (and re-concentrating in the South). Their role as the menial workforce and residents of the "wrong side of the tracks" in many cities are being replaced by Hispanics; meanwhile Asians live intermingled with whites in desirable areas. And there are still vast, VAST swathes of rural America that is almost exclusively white.

    There is a high degree of identification with whites among American-born Asians, especially those who are mixed (a sizable fraction), and to a lesser extent among Hispanics in a way that has never been the case with blacks. And given that whites still powerfully dominate most institutions in this country (as well as the voting population), the alleged death or marginalization of the whites is grossly premature to say the least. And I write that as someone who fears the consequence of unbridled mass immigration and is more explicitly pro-white than many, perhaps even most, whites among the general public (though obviously not on Unz.com).
  65. @iffen
    is either highly misinformed or a lying demagogue or both.

    This seems unwarranted.

    I don’t understand your aversion to looking at the future.

    You are mixing Mercer’s writings on the tribulations of South Africa’s white farmers with the political commentary in the current article.

    All she is saying is that the political racial divide is permanent and will become permanent in the US as well.

    the title is loaded, and my rxn was the same. whites were never more than ~25% of s. africa’s population. the most pessimistic interpretation of ‘white’ doesn’t put them below 50% for 1.5 generations, and even then they’ll be by far the largest community. if you’re going to make an analogy use one that doesn’t undermine you from the beginning.

    • Replies: @iffen
    Perhaps my opinion is being too heavily influenced by the current political scene.

    I see that I was not at all clear with my 35-40%. I was talking about a "politically estranged" white bloc, not whites as a whole.
  66. @Twinkie

    The US is devolving into a permanent and inflexible identity based society. This presidential cycle has it on full display. We are going to end up with a permanently estranged white minority of 35-40%.
     
    I take a dim view of people (and their opinions) who claim to predict the future.

    http://www.unz.com/imercer/when-america-becomes-south-africa/
     
    I have a very close friend who is an Afrikaner - he fought in Rhodesia and Mozambique, and left RSA after the ANC came to power.

    Anyone who likens what has happened to rural Afrikaner farmers in the post-Apartheid RSA to what is happening now in the U.S. (or may happen in the near future) is either highly misinformed or a lying demagogue or both. The demographic distributions, the historical contexts, and the cultural-social-political climates are completely different.

    For that matter, RSA is not exactly destined to be ANC-ruled forever: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-37161530

    No one but God knows the future.

    Anyone who likens what has happened to rural Afrikaner farmers in the post-Apartheid RSA to what is happening now in the U.S. (or may happen in the near future) is either highly misinformed or a lying demagogue or both. The demographic distributions, the historical contexts, and the cultural-social-political climates are completely different

    Yes, if I may indulge in a prediction – America’s future looks more like a whiter Brazil (but substitute Mestizos for Mulattos). Large remaining Euro-American enclaves on the edges (New England, upper Midwest, northern Rockies – analogous to Brazil’s southern states), Euro and Asian ruling class living in secure areas in places such as Manhattan, Washington DC, northern California, etc. (analogous to gated wealthy areas of Rio and Sao Paulo), mixed Latino-Euro population in the lower to middle classes of much of the country, and largely black underclass. Euro-Americans will no longer be a majority but may be a plurality. Latinos will have mixed with America’s poorer whites and be more European.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    a whiter Brazil
     
    That wouldn't be Brazil at all.

    What you predict, a "Brazil Norte" as termed by some white nationalists, is certainly a possibility, but not a very likely one in my estimation. I think Hispanics and Asians in America bring a very different minority dynamic* than the African-descended do in Brazil, and the Anglo-American culture and civic traditions are a very different animal than what the Portuguese conquerors bequeathed to modern Brazilians. The historical contexts, the resident traditions, and contemporary dynamics in the U.S. are substantially different.

    *I am not suggesting having a large fraction of Hispanic and Asian minorities is necessarily a good thing - large minorities of any type is more resistant to assimilation - but rather that, again, they bring a very different (and more positive, to be "judgmental") racial and social dynamic than African-descended and -mixed population has in Brazil.
  67. @Razib Khan
    the title is loaded, and my rxn was the same. whites were never more than ~25% of s. africa's population. the most pessimistic interpretation of 'white' doesn't put them below 50% for 1.5 generations, and even then they'll be by far the largest community. if you're going to make an analogy use one that doesn't undermine you from the beginning.

    Perhaps my opinion is being too heavily influenced by the current political scene.

    I see that I was not at all clear with my 35-40%. I was talking about a “politically estranged” white bloc, not whites as a whole.

  68. @iffen
    is either highly misinformed or a lying demagogue or both.

    This seems unwarranted.

    I don’t understand your aversion to looking at the future.

    You are mixing Mercer’s writings on the tribulations of South Africa’s white farmers with the political commentary in the current article.

    All she is saying is that the political racial divide is permanent and will become permanent in the US as well.

    I don’t understand your aversion to looking at the future.

    I don’t have an “aversion to looking at the future.” I have an aversion to those who claim to know the future with certainty.

    All she is saying is that the political racial divide is permanent and will become permanent in the US as well.

    She doesn’t know that. Neither do you or I.

    People who proclaim things like that are usually those who feel alienated and WANT that racial disharmony to occur. Some of them WANT whites to be alienated so that they can say “I told you so” to other whites who do not share their alienation.

    Try this article from 1998: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/16/magazine/the-beige-and-the-black.html

    In many spheres of life, the racial divide in the U.S. is not between whites and non-whites, but rather that between non-blacks and blacks. Blacks are increasingly marginalized from the productive life in this country, and even their political clout will probably decline as their relative share of the population falls (14.8% to 12.3% already from 2000 to 2010) and as they are ethnically cleansed out of desirable and prominent metropolitan areas.

    If you examined residential patterns based on race (http://demographics.coopercenter.org/DotMap/index.html), it becomes rather clear that blacks are disappearing from many areas (and re-concentrating in the South). Their role as the menial workforce and residents of the “wrong side of the tracks” in many cities are being replaced by Hispanics; meanwhile Asians live intermingled with whites in desirable areas. And there are still vast, VAST swathes of rural America that is almost exclusively white.

    There is a high degree of identification with whites among American-born Asians, especially those who are mixed (a sizable fraction), and to a lesser extent among Hispanics in a way that has never been the case with blacks. And given that whites still powerfully dominate most institutions in this country (as well as the voting population), the alleged death or marginalization of the whites is grossly premature to say the least. And I write that as someone who fears the consequence of unbridled mass immigration and is more explicitly pro-white than many, perhaps even most, whites among the general public (though obviously not on Unz.com).

    • Replies: @iffen
    I think you are worked up about my looking at the future because I see the American Dream as being on life support and hundreds of people pulling the plug every day. Stop trying to shoot the messenger.

    I don’t fully share Mercer’s views on race, nor yours and Derbyshire’s for that matter.

    high degree of identification with whites among American-born Asians, especially those who are mixed (a sizable fraction),

    How about the descendants of black GIs and Asian women? Do they identify as white or black?

  69. @AP

    Anyone who likens what has happened to rural Afrikaner farmers in the post-Apartheid RSA to what is happening now in the U.S. (or may happen in the near future) is either highly misinformed or a lying demagogue or both. The demographic distributions, the historical contexts, and the cultural-social-political climates are completely different
     
    Yes, if I may indulge in a prediction - America's future looks more like a whiter Brazil (but substitute Mestizos for Mulattos). Large remaining Euro-American enclaves on the edges (New England, upper Midwest, northern Rockies - analogous to Brazil's southern states), Euro and Asian ruling class living in secure areas in places such as Manhattan, Washington DC, northern California, etc. (analogous to gated wealthy areas of Rio and Sao Paulo), mixed Latino-Euro population in the lower to middle classes of much of the country, and largely black underclass. Euro-Americans will no longer be a majority but may be a plurality. Latinos will have mixed with America's poorer whites and be more European.

    a whiter Brazil

    That wouldn’t be Brazil at all.

    What you predict, a “Brazil Norte” as termed by some white nationalists, is certainly a possibility, but not a very likely one in my estimation. I think Hispanics and Asians in America bring a very different minority dynamic* than the African-descended do in Brazil, and the Anglo-American culture and civic traditions are a very different animal than what the Portuguese conquerors bequeathed to modern Brazilians. The historical contexts, the resident traditions, and contemporary dynamics in the U.S. are substantially different.

    *I am not suggesting having a large fraction of Hispanic and Asian minorities is necessarily a good thing – large minorities of any type is more resistant to assimilation – but rather that, again, they bring a very different (and more positive, to be “judgmental”) racial and social dynamic than African-descended and -mixed population has in Brazil.

    • Replies: @AP
    You make good points, as usual. In my comment I implied that the non-European component would be different in future America vs. Brazil (Mestizo vs. Mullato). Chile plus blacks might be more similar (30% European, 65% Mestizo with Chilean Mestizos being 60% Caucasian) though unlike in Brazil or future-America there don't seem to be large mostly-European geographical regions within Chile.

    But as you correctly noted, I didn't mention the different framework (legal traditions, institutions, culture) of an Anglo society vs. a Mediterranean-Colonial one,* another very important factor which differentiates the USA from other areas such as Brazil or Chile with mixed populations. While European percentages and geographic distributions may one day be somewhat analogous to those of Brazil, the Anglo framework and dramatically different nature of the masses will mean that this future America will be quite different from Brazil.

    * Though the rise of Trumpism suggests that despite America's tradition of limited and divided government, a Latin American-style populist caudillo is not unimaginable, even among white voters
  70. @Twinkie

    I don’t understand your aversion to looking at the future.
     
    I don't have an "aversion to looking at the future." I have an aversion to those who claim to know the future with certainty.

    All she is saying is that the political racial divide is permanent and will become permanent in the US as well.
     
    She doesn't know that. Neither do you or I.

    People who proclaim things like that are usually those who feel alienated and WANT that racial disharmony to occur. Some of them WANT whites to be alienated so that they can say "I told you so" to other whites who do not share their alienation.

    Try this article from 1998: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/16/magazine/the-beige-and-the-black.html

    In many spheres of life, the racial divide in the U.S. is not between whites and non-whites, but rather that between non-blacks and blacks. Blacks are increasingly marginalized from the productive life in this country, and even their political clout will probably decline as their relative share of the population falls (14.8% to 12.3% already from 2000 to 2010) and as they are ethnically cleansed out of desirable and prominent metropolitan areas.

    If you examined residential patterns based on race (http://demographics.coopercenter.org/DotMap/index.html), it becomes rather clear that blacks are disappearing from many areas (and re-concentrating in the South). Their role as the menial workforce and residents of the "wrong side of the tracks" in many cities are being replaced by Hispanics; meanwhile Asians live intermingled with whites in desirable areas. And there are still vast, VAST swathes of rural America that is almost exclusively white.

    There is a high degree of identification with whites among American-born Asians, especially those who are mixed (a sizable fraction), and to a lesser extent among Hispanics in a way that has never been the case with blacks. And given that whites still powerfully dominate most institutions in this country (as well as the voting population), the alleged death or marginalization of the whites is grossly premature to say the least. And I write that as someone who fears the consequence of unbridled mass immigration and is more explicitly pro-white than many, perhaps even most, whites among the general public (though obviously not on Unz.com).

    I think you are worked up about my looking at the future because I see the American Dream as being on life support and hundreds of people pulling the plug every day. Stop trying to shoot the messenger.

    I don’t fully share Mercer’s views on race, nor yours and Derbyshire’s for that matter.

    high degree of identification with whites among American-born Asians, especially those who are mixed (a sizable fraction),

    How about the descendants of black GIs and Asian women? Do they identify as white or black?

  71. @Twinkie

    a whiter Brazil
     
    That wouldn't be Brazil at all.

    What you predict, a "Brazil Norte" as termed by some white nationalists, is certainly a possibility, but not a very likely one in my estimation. I think Hispanics and Asians in America bring a very different minority dynamic* than the African-descended do in Brazil, and the Anglo-American culture and civic traditions are a very different animal than what the Portuguese conquerors bequeathed to modern Brazilians. The historical contexts, the resident traditions, and contemporary dynamics in the U.S. are substantially different.

    *I am not suggesting having a large fraction of Hispanic and Asian minorities is necessarily a good thing - large minorities of any type is more resistant to assimilation - but rather that, again, they bring a very different (and more positive, to be "judgmental") racial and social dynamic than African-descended and -mixed population has in Brazil.

    You make good points, as usual. In my comment I implied that the non-European component would be different in future America vs. Brazil (Mestizo vs. Mullato). Chile plus blacks might be more similar (30% European, 65% Mestizo with Chilean Mestizos being 60% Caucasian) though unlike in Brazil or future-America there don’t seem to be large mostly-European geographical regions within Chile.

    But as you correctly noted, I didn’t mention the different framework (legal traditions, institutions, culture) of an Anglo society vs. a Mediterranean-Colonial one,* another very important factor which differentiates the USA from other areas such as Brazil or Chile with mixed populations. While European percentages and geographic distributions may one day be somewhat analogous to those of Brazil, the Anglo framework and dramatically different nature of the masses will mean that this future America will be quite different from Brazil.

    * Though the rise of Trumpism suggests that despite America’s tradition of limited and divided government, a Latin American-style populist caudillo is not unimaginable, even among white voters

  72. @iffen
    Talha and Twinkie,

    This is Razib's comment from a few posts back. You can't pick anything out of this comment that is not predictive of what is (going) to happen.

    class, race, religion, community, in various flavors.

    the class solidarity will not work the way that leftists assume. the lower orders weren’t been able to coalesce into the international proletariat, and they won’t today. but, there is going to be solidarity among the global overclass, just like the aristocracies of old. money and connections mean freedom. my goal is try to get embedded in that class.

    other people will have religious and racial solidities. though i think the religious ones will be more powerful because they have an explicit system for maintenance and perpetuation over time. in the end culture does beat genes :-)
     

    As much as to be disputive of Razib’s breadth of historical knowledge is usually going to be a loser, I’m going to be honest, when I think of medieval aristocracies, I tend to think of “Heavily regional, very fractured, clannish, spent a lot of time trying to murder one another over honor, land, titles” rather than “Intensely more solidaristic among themselves than the lower orders were”.

    I don’t tend to think of aristocracies as particularly cohesive, rather that they had a lot of the money and weapons, and that those are why they were the dominant group in the equation. Not so much that they were willing to cooperate and sacrifice for the common good of their class where your medieval commoners weren’t. And not that I’m saying that medieval commoners were particularly solidaristic, just that neither class was and the class dominance dynamics had pretty much nothing to do with how cooperative each was with one another, rather money and how many and how strong well fed thugs each could bring to the table.

    • Replies: @iffen
    the lower orders weren’t able to coalesce into the international proletariat

    Intensely more solidaristic among themselves than the lower orders

    No, he’s right.

    The successes of the lower orders always come when the elites fracture and provide an opening for the lower classes. Even if we look at Russia where the working class played a major role under the guidance of the intellectuals, ultimately the lower classes lost control to the opportunists and rent seekers.

    The lower classes do not have the heft to do more than spontaneous rebellion with little organization, they cannot grow nor sustain that organization. The elites can and do and that is why they are the elites and the proles are the proles. When it is all hands on deck and you have money, coalesce with the other people who have money against the ones who don’t, works every time.

    There are reasons that complex societies are stratified. You can strip out race, religion, ethnicity, etc., but there is a base there that cannot be overturned.
  73. @Matt_
    As much as to be disputive of Razib's breadth of historical knowledge is usually going to be a loser, I'm going to be honest, when I think of medieval aristocracies, I tend to think of "Heavily regional, very fractured, clannish, spent a lot of time trying to murder one another over honor, land, titles" rather than "Intensely more solidaristic among themselves than the lower orders were".

    I don't tend to think of aristocracies as particularly cohesive, rather that they had a lot of the money and weapons, and that those are why they were the dominant group in the equation. Not so much that they were willing to cooperate and sacrifice for the common good of their class where your medieval commoners weren't. And not that I'm saying that medieval commoners were particularly solidaristic, just that neither class was and the class dominance dynamics had pretty much nothing to do with how cooperative each was with one another, rather money and how many and how strong well fed thugs each could bring to the table.

    the lower orders weren’t able to coalesce into the international proletariat

    Intensely more solidaristic among themselves than the lower orders

    No, he’s right.

    The successes of the lower orders always come when the elites fracture and provide an opening for the lower classes. Even if we look at Russia where the working class played a major role under the guidance of the intellectuals, ultimately the lower classes lost control to the opportunists and rent seekers.

    The lower classes do not have the heft to do more than spontaneous rebellion with little organization, they cannot grow nor sustain that organization. The elites can and do and that is why they are the elites and the proles are the proles. When it is all hands on deck and you have money, coalesce with the other people who have money against the ones who don’t, works every time.

    There are reasons that complex societies are stratified. You can strip out race, religion, ethnicity, etc., but there is a base there that cannot be overturned.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Razib Khan Comments via RSS