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Screenshot 2014-10-11 00.29.16Henry Harpending and Michael Weight have a rough draft of a paper on personality traits of the Amish versus their “English” neighbors that fits in nicely with their theory that the Amish have been “boiling off” their least-Amish genes for about ten generations in America by losing 10% or 15% of each generation to the outside (“English”) world.

The data comes from a late 1960s dissertation by a young social scientist who gave the 180 question Cattell personality quiz to 25 Amish male teenagers and 25 non-Amish male teenagers in the same rural Indiana county. Raymond Cattell’s theory of personality had 16 factors. The graph to the right shows how the Amish (Red A) did versus the Indiana “English” (Blue I) with both displayed relative to Cattell’s UK index population (who, by definition, scored at the dead center of the graph).

Not a lot of overlap. For example, the late-1960s Daviess County, Indiana youths saw themselves as highly radical/experimental, while the Amish youths saw themselves as fulfilling all the stereotypes about the Amish.

Some of this divergence might have to do with the “English” having the Amish around to compare themselves to: “Sure, I’m just an average Indiana small town boy, but compared to these Amish squares, I’m practically Jimi Hendrix.”

A long time ago I saw some personality exam where Swedes and Danes (or perhaps Swedes and Norwegians) scored at opposite ends of the world on certain traits. I have to believe that’s somewhat from Swedes and Danes being finely tuned to noticing average differences amongst each other. That doesn’t mean the differences aren’t real.

 
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  1. Nordic stereotypes: Swedes are uptight, hyper stressed yuppies who think they’re better than everyone else. Danes are stoned slacker party animals. Norwegians are smelly hillbilly bumpkins. Finns are super introverted, weirdo serial killers.

  2. Never understood how anyone can proudly attempt to accurately reflect the relational distance between the subjects on more than 2 factors on a 2 dimensional plane.

  3. I’ve long suspected that the reason Sweden outdoes all other countries in suicidal leftism is that being more liberal than their Scandinavian neighbors is tied to Swedish national identity. Since their neighbors are also very left-wing, they have to be super-duper left wing.

    It’s sort of similar to how the rivalry between Portland and Seattle is portrayed on Portlandia.

  4. Some of this divergence might have to do with the “English” having the Amish around to compare themselves to: “Sure, I’m just an average Indiana small town boy, but compared to these Amish squares, I’m practically Jimi Hendrix.”

    A long time ago I saw some personality exam where Swedes and Danes (or perhaps Swedes and Norwegians) scored at opposite ends of the world on certain traits.

    This is a key problem with cross-cultural comparisons of personality: people rate themselves against the background of their own society (and nearby others) rather than against the global background. This unfortunately serves to complicate research into the global variation in personality.

    Nonetheless:

    Predictions on the Worldwide Distribution of Personality | JayMan’s Blog

    I have to believe that’s somewhat from Swedes and Danes being finely tuned to noticing average differences amongst each other. That doesn’t mean the differences aren’t real.

    Indeed.

  5. I think the same culling has started to happen on a much large scale and of course with a lot more variation with the White population of the US, as probably 10-15% of Whites are lost each generation to interracial breeding, leaving the remaining Whites much more conservative and racially conscious. The reaction of the Whites to the Ferguson protesters at the Cardinals playoff game was pretty incredible. It would be nice to study what happened. My guess is that just a few guys sick of All Things Black simply decided enough was enough and started the chants with the rest of the crowd joining in eagerly once they saw they couldn’t be singled out. Goes to show what brave and outspoken leadership can do even for Whites in the era of fear of PC.

  6. Writ large, who are the people getting boiled off in western civilization?

    People who dislike children.
    Before birth control, condoms, etc. people who disliked children (But still liked sex!!) still had to suffer the shame and struggle of pregnancy and little children running around.

    Now, if you don’t want children but do like having sex, you can have your cake and eat it too.

    There are two sides to this:

    On the upside, people that dislike children tend to be mean spirited, selfish, and cruel, so getting rid of them is good because, but people who value children tend to be less intelligent.

    I think it’s worth the trade. It always makes me nauseous when someone mentions how much they hate children…how is that even possible?

  7. In the late 1970’s and early 80’s I worked for a Swedish company which had a U.S. office in the Southeast. I spent part of the summer of 1980 at the home office in Sweden.
    The guys told “Norwegian jokes” like we told “Polish jokes” at the time,……..and they were funny.

  8. My experience with Scandinavians in college is they are introverted, smart, friendly, and trusting. Loosening up requires binge drinking, but even drunk they’re still introverted, just less so. I could not distinguish their particular nationalities without asking. They avoided team sports, even friendly intramural ones, but loved hiking, camping, and rock climbing.

    Perhaps the biggest difference is the Norwegians were all rich, but even then they were subtle about it. Yes, they all had brand new cars in college, but they were a Prius or Corolla (but with all the options). The only conspicuous consumption was a lot of exotic vacations during breaks.

    The whole 800-1750AD period of fighting each other, Viking raiding, mercenary work for the Byzantines and Italians, and repeatedly invading Germany, Poland, and Russia seems to have caused the emigration or death of their violent and assertive relatives of yore.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    The irony is that for all their supposed differences, Norway Sweden Denmark were all related via conquest, kingdom, intermarriage. They're probably more alike for the most part and whatever differences do exist are trivial and secondary at best and near nonexistent at worst.

    Which nation invaded Germany and Poland? When? Not Sweden directly. Norway? Denmark? When? 12-14th centuries? Some time earlier? Also, which areas of Germany and Poland were invaded by Scandinavia? Or was this part of the savage Viking raids? Because the Vikings for the most part didn't attempt to set up any major kingdoms in Germany or Poland so any successful invasion was short lived.

    Sweden was involved in the 30yrs war (1618-48) and one of its allies was Catholic France. Cardinal Richelieu decided it was wise policy to keep Sweden from going under even though they were Lutherans.

  9. Here is Lot’s Official California Slate. (Also look at my prior endorsements here in competitive US Senate races.)

    State/local offices:

    Easy, vote for the American name for each office, regardless of party. If two American names are running, vote for the man. If there are two American men (or two women) are running, vote for the Democrat.

    Vote NO on Prop 1 (Water infrastructure bonds):

    It is a very bad sign when the entire Cal Dem and GOP parties all support a massive spending project. In this case, prop 1 would require ALL taxpayers have to pay for an upgrade of our water infrastructure. However, more than 50% of our water goes to 2% of our population: the evil Central Valley farming industry that does more to promote illegal immigration than any other interest group in the USA. This parasitic industry, in addition to demographically changing central california from mostly Okie to mostly Mexican, also gets our state’s very limited water at 1/20th the market price paid by suburban Californians to water their lawns and gardens. When you get something at a 95% discount, of course you will waste it and they do. Even as urban Californians are forced to use low-flow showerheads, these farmers never update their irrigation systems and plant heavy water using crops like almonds. They then use illegal labor that requires massive taxpayer support in the form of Medicaid and public schools, and export most of their crops to China.

    Vote YES on Prop 2 – No big deal either way, but will force the state to pay down its debt a little bit faster and slightly cuts education funding.

    Vote NO on Prop 45 – Sets up a pre-approval system for health care rate changes. We already have this system for car insurance, and it works really well at keeping rates reasonable. But health insurance is just too different to adopt this sort of model. Obamacare has already stopped the largest health insurance company abuses anyway.

    Vote YES on Prop 46 – Drug testing doctors sounds like a great idea. 90%+ of doctors’ very high incomes comes from taxpayers, directly or indirectly. Making sure they aren’t drug addled like we do with pilots is very reasonable. The $250,000 pain and suffering cap on medical malpractice is absurd. Did the doctor amputate the wrong leg or breast? Sorry, all you get for this disfigurement is $250,000, minus attorneys fees and case expenses, so really $100,000. But since really most cases settle, and settlements are always lower than the max, you only get $50,ooo.

    This also means awful doctors stay in business much longer. Even if the $250,000 cap made sense in the 1970’s, it has never been adjusted for inflation.

    Vote NO on Prop 47 – Now I concede some of our state’s criminal penalties are probably too strong. But the way to reform this is to have the state legislature pass a reform after hearings and studies, not have a bunch of criminal coddling hippies rewrite our criminal code and stick it on the ballot.

    The California Fraternal Order of Police and District Attorneys Association both oppose 47.

    Vote NO on Prop 48 – This one is a tough one. On one hand, it is absurd that the right, worth more than a billion dollars, to legally operate casinos in California is reserved on a racial basis for Indians (mostly fake Indians too!). On the other hand, the main groups opposing the new casino are other Indian casinos.

    Overall, if you oppose Indian gaming, it is still best to vote no for this big new one, even if you’re voting on the side of existing indian casinos wanting to reduce competition, who have badly corrupted our state legislature.

    • Replies: @Hey Steve
    You said: "Vote NO on Prop 1 (Water infrastructure bonds):

    It is a very bad sign when the entire Cal Dem and GOP parties all support a massive spending project. In this case, prop 1 would require ALL taxpayers have to pay for an upgrade of our water infrastructure. However, more than 50% of our water goes to 2% of our population: the evil Central Valley farming industry that does more to promote illegal immigration than any other interest group in the USA. This parasitic industry, in addition to demographically changing central california from mostly Okie to mostly Mexican, also gets our state’s very limited water at 1/20th the market price paid by suburban Californians to water their lawns and gardens. When you get something at a 95% discount, of course you will waste it and they do. Even as urban Californians are forced to use low-flow showerheads, these farmers never update their irrigation systems and plant heavy water using crops like almonds. They then use illegal labor that requires massive taxpayer support in the form of Medicaid and public schools, and export most of their crops to China."

    While I want the illegals deported, I couldn't disagree w/the above more. Here's why:

    http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/09/california-agriculture-too-productive-our-own-good

    Quote from the article:

    "when people tell you to "eat your veggies," they are essentially urging you to take a bite out of California—or, more to the point, take a a big swig of its increasingly scarce water supply.

    How much do we rely on California for fruits and veg? With its rich soils, variety of microclimates, long growing season, and huge geographical footprint, California should be a major ag producer—certainly a regional food-production hub for the western US. But its sheer dominance of US fruit and veg production (numbers from the the California Department of Food and Agriculture (PDF)) is dizzying.

    The state produces 99 percent of the artichokes grown in the US, 44 percent of asparagus, a fifth of cabbage, two-thirds of carrots, half of bell peppers, 89 percent of cauliflower, 94 percent of broccoli, and 95 percent of celery. Leafy greens? California's got the market cornered: 90 percent of the leaf lettuce we consume, along with and 83 percent of Romaine lettuce and 83 percent of fresh spinach, come from the big state on the left side of the map. Cali also cranks a third of total fresh tomatoes consumed in the U.S.—and 95 percent of ones destined for cans and other processing purposes.

    As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and lemons store relatively well. Ninety percent of avocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, and 97 percent of fresh plums?

    Come on. Surely the other 49 states can do better. And they will likely have to do better—California's fruit-and-veg empire rests on a foundation of highly subsidized and increasingly scarce irrigation water. And that situation will only worsen as climate change makes droughts more prevalent in the western US, as this excellent Grist article by Matt Jenkins demonstrates. It makes sense to think of California's bounty as a kind of bubble puffed up by a history of cheap and unsustainable irrigation-water access—a bubble that will sooner or later have to burst.

    But as the explosive recent growth in farmers markets nation"

    Read that whole article -- if the Central Valley cuts back in food production -- the rest of the country suffers. Instead of having the state do it -- the federal govt should be building de-sal plants up and down the coast and subsidizing them and then pumping water inland to expand production...there aren't many agricultural regions in the country with a Mediterranean climate good enough to grow the sh*t California does. And 5% of the fields were left fallow this year. If that picks up -- expect food prices for everybody -- and even the world, to go up....

  10. “the Amish have been “boiling off” their least-Amish genes for about ten generations in America by losing 10% or 15% of each generation to the outside (“English”) world"

    I speculate that something similar happened with the Ashkenazi in Europe.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad

    “the Amish have been “boiling off” their least-Amish genes for about ten generations in America by losing 10% or 15% of each generation to the outside (“English”) world"

    I speculate that something similar happened with the Ashkenazi in Europe.
     
    Luke, I don't think so. Or at least, not over the centuries. My impression--not a Jewish scholar--is that "boiling" would have taken place right at the formation of the Ashkenazi, when rabbinic Judaism took whole with literacy--Torah reading--a defining requirement of being a Jew. But after it was up and running it's pretty clear the Jews did *very tight* policing. Everything in Jewish practice seems designed to separate themselves from gentiles--it's really a racial maintenance program thinly disguised as a religion. And I doubt they boiled off many folks because being a Jew was a much more lucrative position, and would come with all sorts of social sanction. They may boil off a few who were more independent minded, naturally less tribal, didn't care much about family relationships ... but it's a pretty thin slice. Not much attraction. (Nothing compared to what the English world offers the Amish.)

    Rather I think the Jewish temperament, personality, IQ traits are pretty much flat out selection *within* their closed community. The guys who were strong--literate, calculating, good talkers--in the trading and rent-seeking skill set, did well and tending to get the cutest, ripest, most fertile hotties, as well as have the resources to keep their kids well fed and alive. Simple selection.

    (This process--which skimmed off a huge chunk of positive IQ selection into an outgroup--was of course a debacle for the majority gentile population. I think that's possibly one reason that western countries that expelled the Jews developed faster--they had a better opportunity to grow indigenous mercantile skills and spread those genes through the population, compared to the East where they were bottled up in an outgroup.)
    , @Malthusian1248
    I also have been thinking along the lines of Luke Lea and AnotherDad (21.) New very important data with a striking thesis is presented by distinguished economists Botticini and Eckstein (2014.) Jewish population contracted 80% during the Talmud era (70-700). Jews changed from being mostly rural illiterate peasant farmers to urbanized, literate, traders, craftsmen and financiers. Then the population was was static until the Ashkenazi expansion 1500-1940. The thesis that Rabbis demanded that youth read scripture in Hebrew. Because of the high cost of schooling peasant farmers abandoned Judaism and became Christian, pagan or secular.

    Obviously the potential for genetic change is greatest when population is contracting and limited when expanding. Therefore regarding Jewish genetic change we need to look first at the time of population contraction (70-700) and then at stasis (700-1500). The key to high Jewish IQ and verbal skill is the study of sacred texts. Economic success came as a consequence.

    Here is a link to the new book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Chosen-Few-Education-Princeton-Economic/dp/0691163510/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413118391&sr=1-1&keywords=zvi+eckstein

  11. http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/marriage-abduction

    Looking forward to your review of Gone Girl. The New Yorker article above made me laugh out loud with its Steve’s law of female journalists and its lumpen-intelligentsia hate mongering.

  12. Swedes and Danes are very different, Danes are extroverts. Swedes and Norwegians not so much.

  13. Again, proximity to the Canadian border…

    USA Today, 10/11/14- The 10 states with the best quality of life

    WI, WA, ME, MA, CO, ND, IA, VT, MN, NH

  14. Off-topic but interesting, an analysis of presidential speeches from Washington to the present:

    https://www.vocativ.com/interactive/usa/us-politics/presidential-readability/

    The spin:

    “It’s tempting to read this as a dumbing down of the bully pulpit,” Shesol explains. “But it’s actually a sign of democratization. In the early Republic, presidents could assume that they were speaking to audiences made up mostly of men like themselves: educated, civic-minded landowners. These, of course, were the only Americans with the right to vote. But over time, the franchise expanded and presidential appeals had to reach a broader audience.”

  15. @Lot
    My experience with Scandinavians in college is they are introverted, smart, friendly, and trusting. Loosening up requires binge drinking, but even drunk they're still introverted, just less so. I could not distinguish their particular nationalities without asking. They avoided team sports, even friendly intramural ones, but loved hiking, camping, and rock climbing.

    Perhaps the biggest difference is the Norwegians were all rich, but even then they were subtle about it. Yes, they all had brand new cars in college, but they were a Prius or Corolla (but with all the options). The only conspicuous consumption was a lot of exotic vacations during breaks.

    The whole 800-1750AD period of fighting each other, Viking raiding, mercenary work for the Byzantines and Italians, and repeatedly invading Germany, Poland, and Russia seems to have caused the emigration or death of their violent and assertive relatives of yore.

    The irony is that for all their supposed differences, Norway Sweden Denmark were all related via conquest, kingdom, intermarriage. They’re probably more alike for the most part and whatever differences do exist are trivial and secondary at best and near nonexistent at worst.

    Which nation invaded Germany and Poland? When? Not Sweden directly. Norway? Denmark? When? 12-14th centuries? Some time earlier? Also, which areas of Germany and Poland were invaded by Scandinavia? Or was this part of the savage Viking raids? Because the Vikings for the most part didn’t attempt to set up any major kingdoms in Germany or Poland so any successful invasion was short lived.

    Sweden was involved in the 30yrs war (1618-48) and one of its allies was Catholic France. Cardinal Richelieu decided it was wise policy to keep Sweden from going under even though they were Lutherans.

  16. Denmark has the highest digit ratio in the world. Sweden has a very low digit ratio compared to other European countries. People wrongly tend to assume that Sweden has the purest essence of west European, but it’s actually Denmark.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I don't think that's true, that is a claim made by a single sample, and there are countersamples which show the opposite.
    http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2010/04/digit-ratios-among-ten-populations.html

    I think it's likely that one of the samples has a measurement error, as argued here:
    http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/5/1329.full

    "Bang et al. investigated associations between right 2D : 4D, various testicular, semen and sex-hormone parameters in a sample of 360 young men from the Danish general population. Out of 14 correlations, they found only two to be statistically significant, but mutually contradictory.

    From the existing data, it appears that Northern European males of Scandinavian descent have comparatively low 2D : 4D. A typical male 2D : 4D level of 1.02, as reported by Bang et al. for Denmark, must be considered as exceptionally high.
     
  17. @Luke Lea
    "the Amish have been “boiling off” their least-Amish genes for about ten generations in America by losing 10% or 15% of each generation to the outside (“English”) world"

    I speculate that something similar happened with the Ashkenazi in Europe.

    “the Amish have been “boiling off” their least-Amish genes for about ten generations in America by losing 10% or 15% of each generation to the outside (“English”) world”

    I speculate that something similar happened with the Ashkenazi in Europe.

    Luke, I don’t think so. Or at least, not over the centuries. My impression–not a Jewish scholar–is that “boiling” would have taken place right at the formation of the Ashkenazi, when rabbinic Judaism took whole with literacy–Torah reading–a defining requirement of being a Jew. But after it was up and running it’s pretty clear the Jews did *very tight* policing. Everything in Jewish practice seems designed to separate themselves from gentiles–it’s really a racial maintenance program thinly disguised as a religion. And I doubt they boiled off many folks because being a Jew was a much more lucrative position, and would come with all sorts of social sanction. They may boil off a few who were more independent minded, naturally less tribal, didn’t care much about family relationships … but it’s a pretty thin slice. Not much attraction. (Nothing compared to what the English world offers the Amish.)

    Rather I think the Jewish temperament, personality, IQ traits are pretty much flat out selection *within* their closed community. The guys who were strong–literate, calculating, good talkers–in the trading and rent-seeking skill set, did well and tending to get the cutest, ripest, most fertile hotties, as well as have the resources to keep their kids well fed and alive. Simple selection.

    (This process–which skimmed off a huge chunk of positive IQ selection into an outgroup–was of course a debacle for the majority gentile population. I think that’s possibly one reason that western countries that expelled the Jews developed faster–they had a better opportunity to grow indigenous mercantile skills and spread those genes through the population, compared to the East where they were bottled up in an outgroup.)

    • Replies: @syonredux

    (This process–which skimmed off a huge chunk of positive IQ selection into an outgroup–was of course a debacle for the majority gentile population. I think that’s possibly one reason that western countries that expelled the Jews developed faster–they had a better opportunity to grow indigenous mercantile skills and spread those genes through the population, compared to the East where they were bottled up in an outgroup.)
     
    I've never really found that theory to be terribly compelling. It seems to rely on the notion that Euro Gentiles were a kind of undifferentiated mass, with the date of Jewish expulsion serving as the critical point of difference. Hence, England developed faster than Spain because England expelled the Jews in 1290.

    This line of thinking simply ignores the host of ways in which the nations of Europe differ from one another: position in respect to the Hajnal Line, receptivity to Protestantism (cf the oft-debated Weber-Tawney thesis), the development of property rights, the after effects of rule by non-Euro powers (Turks and Mongols in the East, Arabs in the Iberian Peninsula), the degree to which Western feudalism was practiced, the time frame when political unity was achieved on the national level (very early in the case of England), etc, etc.
    , @syonredux
    Here's a brief sketch of the impact that the Mongols had on Russia/Ukraine:

    Historians have debated the long-term influence of Mongol rule on Rus' society. The Mongols have been blamed for the destruction of Kievan Rus', the breakup of the ancient Rus' nationality into three components, and the introduction of the concept of "oriental despotism" into Russia. Historians also credit the Mongol regime with an important role in the development of Muscovy as a state. Under Mongol occupation, for example, Muscovy developed its mestnichestvo hierarchy, postal road network (based on Mongolian ortoo system, known in Russian as "yam", hence the terms yamshchik, Yamskoy Prikaz, etc.), census, fiscal system, and military organization.[9]

    The period of Mongol rule over Russia included significant cultural and interpersonal contacts between the Russian and Mongolian ruling classes. By 1450, the Tatar language had become fashionable in the court of the Grand Prince of Moscow, Vasily II, who was accused of excessive love of the Tatars and their speech, and many Russian noblemen adopted Tatar surnames (for example, a member of the Veliamanov family adopted the Turkic name "Aksak" and his descendents were the Aksakovs)[10] Many Russian boyar (noble) families traced their descent from the Mongols or Tatars, including Veliaminov-Zernov, Godunov, Arseniev, Bakhmetev, Bulgakov (descendents of Bulgak), and Chaadaev (descendents of Genghis Khan's son Jagatay). In a survey of Russian noble families of the 17th century, over 15% of the Russian noble families had Tatar or Oriental origins.[11]

    The Mongols brought about changes in the economic power of states and overall trade. In the religious sphere, St. Paphnutius of Borovsk was the grandson of a Mongol baskak, or tax collector, while a nephew of Khan Bergai of the Golden Horde converted to Christianity and became known as the monk St. Peter Tsarevich of the Horde[12] In the judicial sphere, under Mongol influence capital punishment, which during the times of Kievan Rus' had only been applied to slaves, became widespread, and the use of torture became a regular part of criminal procedure. Specific punishments introduced in Moscow included beheading for alleged traitors and branding of thieves (with execution for a third arrest). [13]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasion_of_Rus%27#Impact_on_development
     
    , @Anonymous
    Eastern Europe was behind Western Europe before large numbers of Jews settled there. In the case of Poland, what ultimately did it in was the weak elective monarchy and the indolence of the Polish nobility. The centralized state didn't develop there in the same manner that it did in Western Europe. Much of the rest of Eastern Europe outside of Russia was ruled by Germans at one time or another. In many places, most prominently the Baltic states but also Bohemia and Moravia, there was a ruling stratum of German nobles and greater burghers. The Jews are hardly the only reason for Eastern Europe's backwardness.
  18. Amish are heavily Swiss, and the Swiss must have been altered by Calvinism. Switzerland has the highest (sans oil wealth) GDP per capita in the world I believe. Not a lot of people know it, but Switzerland is actually somewhat similar to Sweden in as much as economic elites actually have a lot of freedom in Sweden–it’s a much misunderstood country.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    My father said his father told him there had once been a migration of Swedes to Switzerland, but I've never heard about it anywhere else, so it could be all wrong.
  19. here´s some mandatory finnish content, if steve can’t provide us any:

    finland is still basically divided along borders of treaty of nöteborg which was signed in 691 years ago between sweden and novogrod republic. I tried to search for long-ish helsingin sanomat(finnish NYT) article that I read some time ago with finnish criminologists mentioning genetics and all about the fact that finnnish murder rate below this 700-year old border is very much like those of our civiliced cousins in northwest europe, while across the line people still murder each other like they were russian mobsters. luckily, for economic and geographic reasons most people are packed in the south , while the former russia consists mostly of hicks in the sticks stabbing each other and finnish murder rate stays relatively low, altough some criminologists are still wondering why would such an scando welfare state have such a murder rate.

    anyway, to my real point.. if you have read lonely planet guides , glossy magazine articles or whatever, or even heard a finn describe their country for you, the word you hear is “introverted” or “silent” or “practical”, with occasional mentions of high tolerance for alcohol. as an introvert who likes alcohol , this seemed to be ideal nation to born in, but it didn´t feel like it.living in finland sounded like being an extra in a rick rubin-era johnny cash music video. every time I used talk about factuality of this national stereotype in conversations people would say either “that is so true, everybody´s so silent” or “ur bullshitting me, we´re all so fun”. this puzzled me for some time, till I started asking people “where your grandparents from?”

    bingo.

    this means whole finnish national identity is based on self-image of boring inner-hajnal northwest europeans. too bad all the other finns are hillbillies who can´t speak english so they can’t move past the introvert image.

  20. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean
    Denmark has the highest digit ratio in the world. Sweden has a very low digit ratio compared to other European countries. People wrongly tend to assume that Sweden has the purest essence of west European, but it's actually Denmark.

    I don’t think that’s true, that is a claim made by a single sample, and there are countersamples which show the opposite.
    http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2010/04/digit-ratios-among-ten-populations.html

    I think it’s likely that one of the samples has a measurement error, as argued here:
    http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/5/1329.full

    “Bang et al. investigated associations between right 2D : 4D, various testicular, semen and sex-hormone parameters in a sample of 360 young men from the Danish general population. Out of 14 correlations, they found only two to be statistically significant, but mutually contradictory.

    From the existing data, it appears that Northern European males of Scandinavian descent have comparatively low 2D : 4D. A typical male 2D : 4D level of 1.02, as reported by Bang et al. for Denmark, must be considered as exceptionally high.

    • Replies: @Sean
    "From the existing data, it appears that Northern European males of Scandinavian descent have comparatively low 2D : 4D. A typical male 2D : 4D level of 1.02, as reported by Bang et al. for Denmark, must be considered as exceptionally high." Yes it is, and one in eight births in Denmark are the result of fertility treatment.

    Denmark is not part of the Scandinavian peninsula (it was a part of Doggerland with all that Mesolithic fish processing though). Ah yes affective empathy. I'm sure it is just a coincidence that:-
    "THEThe majority of Danish politicians intuitively believe that capitalists are an unpleasant necessity to generate the revenues to fund the social welfare state. Denmark has the highest total tax pressure in the world and is towering far above the European average. It also has the smallest private sector in Europe, one that supports one of the biggest public sectors. Add to that a generous entitlement system allowing unemployed and unemployable citizens an income well above that achieved by full time employees in the private sector in many European countries, and you will observe a need for tax revenues nearly unmatched anywhere else in the world."

    .
  21. @Sean
    Amish are heavily Swiss, and the Swiss must have been altered by Calvinism. Switzerland has the highest (sans oil wealth) GDP per capita in the world I believe. Not a lot of people know it, but Switzerland is actually somewhat similar to Sweden in as much as economic elites actually have a lot of freedom in Sweden--it's a much misunderstood country.

    My father said his father told him there had once been a migration of Swedes to Switzerland, but I’ve never heard about it anywhere else, so it could be all wrong.

  22. Two points: I think that the phrase “boiling off” is a little misleading because the metaphor is that there are some Amish kids who are more volatile and that these escape from the Amish kettle on their own [steam] power. This metaphor does not recognize that nonconformist Amish kids are frequently scolded and punished for their irrepressible behavior, and it is that reaction which makes them want to escape. So while it is true that nonconformist Amish jump out of the pot voluntarily, it is also true that they are pushed.

    The other point has to do with the insularity of elites. An elite class, in the same way as the Amish, has some offspring that are more conformist than others. The conformists do what they are told and are rewarded with cushy jobs in the elite hierarchy. The nonconformists drop out and join the lower or Bohemian classes. So just as the Amish get to be more Amish over time, an entrenched elite will tend to get more conformist and insular and separated from it host culture over time. I believe that if we study history, we can see how elite classes destroy themselves by becoming too insular, isolated and inbred.

  23. @AnotherDad

    “the Amish have been “boiling off” their least-Amish genes for about ten generations in America by losing 10% or 15% of each generation to the outside (“English”) world"

    I speculate that something similar happened with the Ashkenazi in Europe.
     
    Luke, I don't think so. Or at least, not over the centuries. My impression--not a Jewish scholar--is that "boiling" would have taken place right at the formation of the Ashkenazi, when rabbinic Judaism took whole with literacy--Torah reading--a defining requirement of being a Jew. But after it was up and running it's pretty clear the Jews did *very tight* policing. Everything in Jewish practice seems designed to separate themselves from gentiles--it's really a racial maintenance program thinly disguised as a religion. And I doubt they boiled off many folks because being a Jew was a much more lucrative position, and would come with all sorts of social sanction. They may boil off a few who were more independent minded, naturally less tribal, didn't care much about family relationships ... but it's a pretty thin slice. Not much attraction. (Nothing compared to what the English world offers the Amish.)

    Rather I think the Jewish temperament, personality, IQ traits are pretty much flat out selection *within* their closed community. The guys who were strong--literate, calculating, good talkers--in the trading and rent-seeking skill set, did well and tending to get the cutest, ripest, most fertile hotties, as well as have the resources to keep their kids well fed and alive. Simple selection.

    (This process--which skimmed off a huge chunk of positive IQ selection into an outgroup--was of course a debacle for the majority gentile population. I think that's possibly one reason that western countries that expelled the Jews developed faster--they had a better opportunity to grow indigenous mercantile skills and spread those genes through the population, compared to the East where they were bottled up in an outgroup.)

    (This process–which skimmed off a huge chunk of positive IQ selection into an outgroup–was of course a debacle for the majority gentile population. I think that’s possibly one reason that western countries that expelled the Jews developed faster–they had a better opportunity to grow indigenous mercantile skills and spread those genes through the population, compared to the East where they were bottled up in an outgroup.)

    I’ve never really found that theory to be terribly compelling. It seems to rely on the notion that Euro Gentiles were a kind of undifferentiated mass, with the date of Jewish expulsion serving as the critical point of difference. Hence, England developed faster than Spain because England expelled the Jews in 1290.

    This line of thinking simply ignores the host of ways in which the nations of Europe differ from one another: position in respect to the Hajnal Line, receptivity to Protestantism (cf the oft-debated Weber-Tawney thesis), the development of property rights, the after effects of rule by non-Euro powers (Turks and Mongols in the East, Arabs in the Iberian Peninsula), the degree to which Western feudalism was practiced, the time frame when political unity was achieved on the national level (very early in the case of England), etc, etc.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad

    This line of thinking simply ignores the host of ways in which the nations of Europe differ from one another
     
    Syon--no argument.
    The usual factors--which you cite--are clearly the main factors. For England I'd say early abolition of serfdom, Protestantism, island nation all really important.

    However, there isn't just one factor. The sort of Gregory Clark's "Farewell to Alms"ish selection works when the majority group is undergoing all the selection. Where it is not--say Poland, where corrupt elites imported an outgroup to perform rent-seeking tasks--this process is inhibited.

    General rule for national success: majority shouldn't yield to minority outgroups. The US did not benefit by allowing Jews to come. (In fact, the minoritarianism looks to be fatal.) It is not benefiting now by having Asians come and gobble up spots in universities and professions. The path to success for a nation is eugenic fertility and social--mostly downward--mobility.
  24. @Lot
    Here is Lot's Official California Slate. (Also look at my prior endorsements here in competitive US Senate races.)

    State/local offices:

    Easy, vote for the American name for each office, regardless of party. If two American names are running, vote for the man. If there are two American men (or two women) are running, vote for the Democrat.

    Vote NO on Prop 1 (Water infrastructure bonds):

    It is a very bad sign when the entire Cal Dem and GOP parties all support a massive spending project. In this case, prop 1 would require ALL taxpayers have to pay for an upgrade of our water infrastructure. However, more than 50% of our water goes to 2% of our population: the evil Central Valley farming industry that does more to promote illegal immigration than any other interest group in the USA. This parasitic industry, in addition to demographically changing central california from mostly Okie to mostly Mexican, also gets our state's very limited water at 1/20th the market price paid by suburban Californians to water their lawns and gardens. When you get something at a 95% discount, of course you will waste it and they do. Even as urban Californians are forced to use low-flow showerheads, these farmers never update their irrigation systems and plant heavy water using crops like almonds. They then use illegal labor that requires massive taxpayer support in the form of Medicaid and public schools, and export most of their crops to China.

    Vote YES on Prop 2 - No big deal either way, but will force the state to pay down its debt a little bit faster and slightly cuts education funding.

    Vote NO on Prop 45 - Sets up a pre-approval system for health care rate changes. We already have this system for car insurance, and it works really well at keeping rates reasonable. But health insurance is just too different to adopt this sort of model. Obamacare has already stopped the largest health insurance company abuses anyway.

    Vote YES on Prop 46 - Drug testing doctors sounds like a great idea. 90%+ of doctors' very high incomes comes from taxpayers, directly or indirectly. Making sure they aren't drug addled like we do with pilots is very reasonable. The $250,000 pain and suffering cap on medical malpractice is absurd. Did the doctor amputate the wrong leg or breast? Sorry, all you get for this disfigurement is $250,000, minus attorneys fees and case expenses, so really $100,000. But since really most cases settle, and settlements are always lower than the max, you only get $50,ooo.

    This also means awful doctors stay in business much longer. Even if the $250,000 cap made sense in the 1970's, it has never been adjusted for inflation.

    Vote NO on Prop 47 - Now I concede some of our state's criminal penalties are probably too strong. But the way to reform this is to have the state legislature pass a reform after hearings and studies, not have a bunch of criminal coddling hippies rewrite our criminal code and stick it on the ballot.

    The California Fraternal Order of Police and District Attorneys Association both oppose 47.

    Vote NO on Prop 48 - This one is a tough one. On one hand, it is absurd that the right, worth more than a billion dollars, to legally operate casinos in California is reserved on a racial basis for Indians (mostly fake Indians too!). On the other hand, the main groups opposing the new casino are other Indian casinos.

    Overall, if you oppose Indian gaming, it is still best to vote no for this big new one, even if you're voting on the side of existing indian casinos wanting to reduce competition, who have badly corrupted our state legislature.

    You said: “Vote NO on Prop 1 (Water infrastructure bonds):

    It is a very bad sign when the entire Cal Dem and GOP parties all support a massive spending project. In this case, prop 1 would require ALL taxpayers have to pay for an upgrade of our water infrastructure. However, more than 50% of our water goes to 2% of our population: the evil Central Valley farming industry that does more to promote illegal immigration than any other interest group in the USA. This parasitic industry, in addition to demographically changing central california from mostly Okie to mostly Mexican, also gets our state’s very limited water at 1/20th the market price paid by suburban Californians to water their lawns and gardens. When you get something at a 95% discount, of course you will waste it and they do. Even as urban Californians are forced to use low-flow showerheads, these farmers never update their irrigation systems and plant heavy water using crops like almonds. They then use illegal labor that requires massive taxpayer support in the form of Medicaid and public schools, and export most of their crops to China.”

    While I want the illegals deported, I couldn’t disagree w/the above more. Here’s why:

    http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/09/california-agriculture-too-productive-our-own-good

    Quote from the article:

    “when people tell you to “eat your veggies,” they are essentially urging you to take a bite out of California—or, more to the point, take a a big swig of its increasingly scarce water supply.

    How much do we rely on California for fruits and veg? With its rich soils, variety of microclimates, long growing season, and huge geographical footprint, California should be a major ag producer—certainly a regional food-production hub for the western US. But its sheer dominance of US fruit and veg production (numbers from the the California Department of Food and Agriculture (PDF)) is dizzying.

    The state produces 99 percent of the artichokes grown in the US, 44 percent of asparagus, a fifth of cabbage, two-thirds of carrots, half of bell peppers, 89 percent of cauliflower, 94 percent of broccoli, and 95 percent of celery. Leafy greens? California’s got the market cornered: 90 percent of the leaf lettuce we consume, along with and 83 percent of Romaine lettuce and 83 percent of fresh spinach, come from the big state on the left side of the map. Cali also cranks a third of total fresh tomatoes consumed in the U.S.—and 95 percent of ones destined for cans and other processing purposes.

    As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and lemons store relatively well. Ninety percent of avocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, and 97 percent of fresh plums?

    Come on. Surely the other 49 states can do better. And they will likely have to do better—California’s fruit-and-veg empire rests on a foundation of highly subsidized and increasingly scarce irrigation water. And that situation will only worsen as climate change makes droughts more prevalent in the western US, as this excellent Grist article by Matt Jenkins demonstrates. It makes sense to think of California’s bounty as a kind of bubble puffed up by a history of cheap and unsustainable irrigation-water access—a bubble that will sooner or later have to burst.

    But as the explosive recent growth in farmers markets nation”

    Read that whole article — if the Central Valley cuts back in food production — the rest of the country suffers. Instead of having the state do it — the federal govt should be building de-sal plants up and down the coast and subsidizing them and then pumping water inland to expand production…there aren’t many agricultural regions in the country with a Mediterranean climate good enough to grow the sh*t California does. And 5% of the fields were left fallow this year. If that picks up — expect food prices for everybody — and even the world, to go up….

    • Replies: @Lot
    I have no problem with the Central Valley growing food, but they should do it without water subsidized by the rest of the state, and labor subsidized by the rest of the nation.

    Read that whole article — if the Central Valley cuts back in food production — the rest of the country suffers.
     
    Slightly more expensive food, but fewer illegals is a great deal for the rest of the country.

    Instead of having the state do it — the federal govt should be building de-sal plants up and down the coast and subsidizing them and then pumping water inland to expand production…there aren’t many agricultural regions in the country with a Mediterranean climate good enough to grow the sh*t California does.
     
    You're assuming your own conclusion that central valley produce is so important it should get massive federal subsidies. And as I noted, a lot of the nuts that are being grown in the central valley with subsidized water and illegal alien subsidized labor just gets shipped to China. Privatized profits, socialized costs.
  25. @AnotherDad

    “the Amish have been “boiling off” their least-Amish genes for about ten generations in America by losing 10% or 15% of each generation to the outside (“English”) world"

    I speculate that something similar happened with the Ashkenazi in Europe.
     
    Luke, I don't think so. Or at least, not over the centuries. My impression--not a Jewish scholar--is that "boiling" would have taken place right at the formation of the Ashkenazi, when rabbinic Judaism took whole with literacy--Torah reading--a defining requirement of being a Jew. But after it was up and running it's pretty clear the Jews did *very tight* policing. Everything in Jewish practice seems designed to separate themselves from gentiles--it's really a racial maintenance program thinly disguised as a religion. And I doubt they boiled off many folks because being a Jew was a much more lucrative position, and would come with all sorts of social sanction. They may boil off a few who were more independent minded, naturally less tribal, didn't care much about family relationships ... but it's a pretty thin slice. Not much attraction. (Nothing compared to what the English world offers the Amish.)

    Rather I think the Jewish temperament, personality, IQ traits are pretty much flat out selection *within* their closed community. The guys who were strong--literate, calculating, good talkers--in the trading and rent-seeking skill set, did well and tending to get the cutest, ripest, most fertile hotties, as well as have the resources to keep their kids well fed and alive. Simple selection.

    (This process--which skimmed off a huge chunk of positive IQ selection into an outgroup--was of course a debacle for the majority gentile population. I think that's possibly one reason that western countries that expelled the Jews developed faster--they had a better opportunity to grow indigenous mercantile skills and spread those genes through the population, compared to the East where they were bottled up in an outgroup.)

    Here’s a brief sketch of the impact that the Mongols had on Russia/Ukraine:

    Historians have debated the long-term influence of Mongol rule on Rus’ society. The Mongols have been blamed for the destruction of Kievan Rus’, the breakup of the ancient Rus’ nationality into three components, and the introduction of the concept of “oriental despotism” into Russia. Historians also credit the Mongol regime with an important role in the development of Muscovy as a state. Under Mongol occupation, for example, Muscovy developed its mestnichestvo hierarchy, postal road network (based on Mongolian ortoo system, known in Russian as “yam”, hence the terms yamshchik, Yamskoy Prikaz, etc.), census, fiscal system, and military organization.[9]

    The period of Mongol rule over Russia included significant cultural and interpersonal contacts between the Russian and Mongolian ruling classes. By 1450, the Tatar language had become fashionable in the court of the Grand Prince of Moscow, Vasily II, who was accused of excessive love of the Tatars and their speech, and many Russian noblemen adopted Tatar surnames (for example, a member of the Veliamanov family adopted the Turkic name “Aksak” and his descendents were the Aksakovs)[10] Many Russian boyar (noble) families traced their descent from the Mongols or Tatars, including Veliaminov-Zernov, Godunov, Arseniev, Bakhmetev, Bulgakov (descendents of Bulgak), and Chaadaev (descendents of Genghis Khan’s son Jagatay). In a survey of Russian noble families of the 17th century, over 15% of the Russian noble families had Tatar or Oriental origins.[11]

    The Mongols brought about changes in the economic power of states and overall trade. In the religious sphere, St. Paphnutius of Borovsk was the grandson of a Mongol baskak, or tax collector, while a nephew of Khan Bergai of the Golden Horde converted to Christianity and became known as the monk St. Peter Tsarevich of the Horde[12] In the judicial sphere, under Mongol influence capital punishment, which during the times of Kievan Rus’ had only been applied to slaves, became widespread, and the use of torture became a regular part of criminal procedure. Specific punishments introduced in Moscow included beheading for alleged traitors and branding of thieves (with execution for a third arrest). [13]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasion_of_Rus%27#Impact_on_development

  26. Anon#2: They’re using principal component analysis, the same sort of math used to (among other things) extract psychometric g from multiple tests of cognitive ability.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal_component_analysis

  27. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Since their neighbors are also very left-wing, they have to be super-duper left wing. “

    This is sometimes called group polarization or jury amplification:

    “Similar effects of group polarization are evident in the U.S. legal system. In jury deliberations… …after discussing with each other, the group may decide… on a punishment that was either harsher or more lenient than what any individual juror in the group would have decided individually prior to the group discussion. Group polarization can help explain this… process…”

    “…A real-world example… decisions of Federal district court judges sitting either alone or in groups of three… In the 1,500 cases where judges sat alone, the judges took an extreme course of action only 30% of the time. …in a group of three, the judges took an extreme course of action 65% of the time. …even trained, professional decision-makers are subject to the influences of group polarization.”

    Of course, cases that required three judges may have warranted more extreme decisions. Presumably that particular study took that into account. You’d think there would be more solid research in this area, since group decision-making is a hallmark of modern society.

  28. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Never understood how anyone can proudly attempt to accurately reflect the relational distance between the subjects on more than 2 factors on a 2 dimensional plane.”

    A handwaving explanation I’ve heard (for PCA) is that you first take your multidimensional data (in a multidimensional state space, so for data where each data point consists of 3 numbers that “state space” would just be the inside of a normal box with an x, y, and z axis; this box is big enough to hold all your data points.) Then “shine a light” on your cloud of data points and spin the cloud around-and-around until you find the orientation of the cloud that produces the “biggest shadow” on a 2 dimensional plane (the bottom of the box). The thought is that the biggest shadow is caused by the largest distances between the points, when considered overall, so there’s something happening there that causes maximum separation of points.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    A handwaving explanation I’ve heard (for PCA) is that you first take your multidimensional data (in a multidimensional state space, so for data where each data point consists of 3 numbers that “state space” would just be the inside of a normal box with an x, y, and z axis; this box is big enough to hold all your data points.) Then “shine a light” on your cloud of data points and spin the cloud around-and-around until you find the orientation of the cloud that produces the “biggest shadow” on a 2 dimensional plane (the bottom of the box).

    If scientists are satisfied with this method, then I guess I shouldn't have a problem with it. But before they "shine a light" to get the "biggest shadows", how do they objectively plot more than 3 factors on a 3-axis, 3 dimensional space? To clarify, since an axis can only objectively measure one factor within a defined range, wouldn't plotting more than 3 factors require subjective relational distancing within the 3 axes in order fit into a box or globe?
  29. “As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and lemons store relatively well. Ninety percent of avocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, and 97 percent of fresh plums?

    Come on. Surely the other 49 states can do better”

    There was an article in my local newspaper 3 or 4 years ago; it said that six counties in Iowa could grow enough vegetables to meet the vegetable needs of the whole Midwest if the will to do so was there.

  30. I’m just an average Indiana small town boy…

    Anybody else immediately think of the song “One in a Million” and its author?

  31. Syon: the only cultural contribution (beyond mountains of skulls and the like) that I ever hear attributed to the Mongols is the incidental: “oh, they brought east and west together so they could exchange goods and ideas.” Non-Mongol goods and ideas. That, and non-contributions like being neutral on religion.

    And I doubt they boiled off many folks because being a Jew was a much more lucrative position, and would come with all sorts of social sanction.

    You’re forgetting the far left of the bell curve. The Jews the Jews didn’t want remaining as Jews. The dumb Jews may have wanted to stay, but the rest of the Jews wanted them to go. Literacy requirements and arranged marriage helped.

    This metaphor does not recognize that nonconformist Amish kids are frequently scolded and punished for their irrepressible behavior, and it is that reaction which makes them want to escape. So while it is true that nonconformist Amish jump out of the pot voluntarily, it is also true that they are pushed.

    Like that. It’s not hard to encourage the less welcome elements to leave. Everybody telling you you’re not Amish/Jewish material is probably very encouraging.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad

    You’re forgetting the far left of the bell curve. The Jews the Jews didn’t want remaining as Jews. The dumb Jews may have wanted to stay, but the rest of the Jews wanted them to go. Literacy requirements and arranged marriage helped.
     
    I'm not forgetting it--I simply don't believe it. The Jewish-Amish comparison is interesting for exploring outgroup dynamics ... but I just don't think it holds water or "boils off" water. The Amish have an official boiling off policy. You are encouraged to take a look at "English" life ... then reject it. The idea being, if you can't reject it, you're probably not fit for the Amish life.

    I've never heard any idea that dumb Jews were encouraged to leave. In fact, all of Judaism seems to be wave a giant flag that the worst thing imaginable is to become a Christian. You are an outcast. Nope, what happened to the dumb Jews is what happens--well what used to happen, pre-welfare state--to dumb\incompetent folks everywhere. They got crappy, unattractive\unhealthy\unfertile marriage partners and had a tougher time having kids, or raising them (or as many of them) to healthy adulthood. Over a few generations ... they are culled from the gene pool.

    Two interesting ... but very different outgroups. When it comes to traits selected for and when it comes to boiling off tendency.
    , @syonredux

    Syon: the only cultural contribution (beyond mountains of skulls and the like) that I ever hear attributed to the Mongols is the incidental: “oh, they brought east and west together so they could exchange goods and ideas.” Non-Mongol goods and ideas. That, and non-contributions like being neutral on religion.
     
    In general, that seems to be the case.The Mongols are certainly not comparable to, say, the Romans in terms of cultural influence. However, there is a longstanding debate in Russian Studies about the impact of the "Tatar Yoke" on Russian society. Older histories spoke quite frankly about Oriental Despotism, the weakening of cultural ties to the West*, etc. Naturally, in the wake of Said, historians are a tad more circumspect nowadays. I posted this previously, but since it seems relevant:

    Historians have debated the long-term influence of Mongol rule on Rus’ society. The Mongols have been blamed for the destruction of Kievan Rus’, the breakup of the ancient Rus’ nationality into three components, and the introduction of the concept of “oriental despotism” into Russia. Historians also credit the Mongol regime with an important role in the development of Muscovy as a state. Under Mongol occupation, for example, Muscovy developed its mestnichestvo hierarchy, postal road network (based on Mongolian ortoo system, known in Russian as “yam”, hence the terms yamshchik, Yamskoy Prikaz, etc.), census, fiscal system, and military organization.[9]

    The period of Mongol rule over Russia included significant cultural and interpersonal contacts between the Russian and Mongolian ruling classes. By 1450, the Tatar language had become fashionable in the court of the Grand Prince of Moscow, Vasily II, who was accused of excessive love of the Tatars and their speech, and many Russian noblemen adopted Tatar surnames (for example, a member of the Veliamanov family adopted the Turkic name “Aksak” and his descendents were the Aksakovs)[10] Many Russian boyar (noble) families traced their descent from the Mongols or Tatars, including Veliaminov-Zernov, Godunov, Arseniev, Bakhmetev, Bulgakov (descendents of Bulgak), and Chaadaev (descendents of Genghis Khan’s son Jagatay). In a survey of Russian noble families of the 17th century, over 15% of the Russian noble families had Tatar or Oriental origins.[11]

    The Mongols brought about changes in the economic power of states and overall trade. In the religious sphere, St. Paphnutius of Borovsk was the grandson of a Mongol baskak, or tax collector, while a nephew of Khan Bergai of the Golden Horde converted to Christianity and became known as the monk St. Peter Tsarevich of the Horde[12] In the judicial sphere, under Mongol influence capital punishment, which during the times of Kievan Rus’ had only been applied to slaves, became widespread, and the use of torture became a regular part of criminal procedure. Specific punishments introduced in Moscow included beheading for alleged traitors and branding of thieves (with execution for a third arrest). [13]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasion_of_Rus%27#Impact_on_developm
     
    RE: the Mongol assault on Kiev,

    It was conducted with the customary ruthlessness:

    On November 28 the Mongols set up catapults near Kiev's Lech gates, one of the three gates of old Kiev and where tree cover extended almost to the city walls The Mongols then began a bombardment that lasted several days. On December 6, Kiev's walls were breached, and hand-to-hand combat followed in the streets. The Kievans suffered heavy losses and Dmytro was wounded by an arrow.

    When night fell the Mongols held their positions while the Kievans retreated to the central parts of the city. Many people crowded into the Church of the Tithes. The next day, as the Mongols commenced the final assault, the church's balcony collapsed under the weight of the people standing on it, crushing many. After the Mongols won the battle, they plundered Kiev. Most of the population was massacred. Out of 50,000 inhabitants before the invasion, about 2,000 survived. Most of the city was burned and only six out of forty major buildings remained standing. Dmytro, however, was shown mercy for his bravery.

    After their victory at Kiev, the Mongols were free to advance into Halych-Volhynia and Poland.
     
    *There's a theory that Russian/Ukrainian society might have developed in a more Western fashion if Kievan Rus, not Muscovy, had stayed in the driver's seat.
  32. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Writ large, who are the people getting boiled off in western civilization?

    People who dislike children.”

    Perhaps, but a problem with any theory that there is a link between western civilization and having children is that much of Western civilization, in particular in the early days after the fall of Rome, was probably built by people who by-and-large did not have children. A case can be made that monks and nuns, primarily the Cistercians, are essentially responsible for developing the foundation of western agriculture and industry, and introducing throughout the West such stereotypically iconic Western technologies as the water wheel and perhaps the village iron smithy. (They may have also cleared a lot of land into typical rolling farm land.)

    “Until the Industrial Revolution, most of the technological advances in Europe were made in the monasteries…

    …the Cistercians “were catalysts for development of a market economy” in 12th-century Europe. It was as agriculturists and horse and cattle breeders that the Cistercians exercised their chief influence on the progress of civilisation …

    …many… improvements in… farming operations were introduced and propagated by them… this is where the importance of their extension in northern Europe is to be estimated. They developed an organised system for selling their farm produce, cattle and horses, and notably contributed to the commercial progress of the countries of western Europe…

    …”Every monastery had a model factory, often as large as the church and only several feet away, and waterpower drove the machinery of the various industries located on its floor.” Waterpower was used for crushing wheat, sieving flour, fulling cloth and tanning – a “level of technological achievement [that] could have been observed in practically all” of the Cistercian monasteries…

    …The Cistercians are known to have been skilled metallurgists… knowledge of their technological advances was transmitted by the order. …They placed importance on metal, both the extraction of the ore and its subsequent processing.”

    The Cistercians had blast furnaces that produced iron. (“…perhaps as advanced as a modern blast furnace… Had the monks been allowed to share their new blast furnace techniques, which they frequently did with other advancements, the world may have entered the Industrial Revolution a full two and a half centuries earlier.”)

    So maybe the West became the West because it had a greater percentage of people than other societies who did not have children, tolerated that situation well, and were not a burden on society; indeed just the opposite. And who “worked religiously”.

    Monasteries and nunneries lasted pretty late throughout the West.

    Perhaps we need to bring back some modern form of monks or nuns who are willing to work on thousand-year long projects?

    • Replies: @Wrath
    I like your final point. It has to be remember that monasteries developed together with the feudal-manorial system. Aristocrats who had proven themselves smart stewards and bold warriors had lots of children. Only one of these could inherit while the others would marry down or go into the monasteries. While the boy who inherited kept the land intact, fought for more and kept improving on the dynasty fortune the "also rans" could be put to good use in monasteries where they would be beneficial to the their former dynasties while putting their intelligence and boldness to good use. Both nuns and monks.

    A lot of people are thinking that the monasteries drained resources from society at large. A huge mistake.
  33. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “My experience with Scandinavians in college…

    Perhaps the biggest difference is the Norwegians were all rich…”

    Back in the 60s and early 70s, before the discovery of North Sea oil, the Norwegians were the “poor men” of Europe. They had to migrate to work. A lot worked as seamen. I knew some Norwegians who flew (and some died) as instructor pilots providing basic flight training to USAF pilots, South Vietnamese air force pilots, and Iranian air force pilots. (The USAF had contracted out basic flight training to the lowest bidder, who turned around and got the cheapest instructor pilots they could get, from Norway.) It was interesting having training squadrons of all these together in the same hanger.

  34. Danish children attend private schools at twenty times the rate of Norwegians. (10% vs 0.5%). There’s obviously a difference in conformity across the Skagerrak.

  35. Happen to have just been amongst the Amish this morning. My cousin’s bean (soybeans) weren’t quite ready to harvest today, so my uncle gave us a little tour down hooky avenue outside Hazelton Ia. Stopped at an Amish store, and the thing the struck me was how slim and pretty the girl (marriageable age young woman) behind the counter was. (And her mom–I assume–was just normal–what middle aged women looked like in the 1950s.)

    Then with that in mind we stopped at the Amish bakery a bit later. (Land prices have skyrocketed so insanely here that the Amish most rent out their fields–cash rent–and mostly do trades\shops. They could not possibly afford to buy more farms for their sons at today’s prices to farm the way they do.) The girl behind the counter there was so slim and cute with a great smile. (Not that there aren’t cute Iowa girls at her age–but you can already see signs.) Then we sat down at a table in the bakery and I was facing one of these 40-something, 50 pounds to heavy, cropped hair, types yakking away loudly about herself. I could imagine a school administrator or some other kind of bureaucrat creating endless useless noise (at taxpayer expense). Scary.

    There’s something to be said for Amishness–having people, including women, work and not be on facebook all the time. We “English” have “liberated” ourselves and (worse) or women … and its often not a pretty sight.

  36. @syonredux

    (This process–which skimmed off a huge chunk of positive IQ selection into an outgroup–was of course a debacle for the majority gentile population. I think that’s possibly one reason that western countries that expelled the Jews developed faster–they had a better opportunity to grow indigenous mercantile skills and spread those genes through the population, compared to the East where they were bottled up in an outgroup.)
     
    I've never really found that theory to be terribly compelling. It seems to rely on the notion that Euro Gentiles were a kind of undifferentiated mass, with the date of Jewish expulsion serving as the critical point of difference. Hence, England developed faster than Spain because England expelled the Jews in 1290.

    This line of thinking simply ignores the host of ways in which the nations of Europe differ from one another: position in respect to the Hajnal Line, receptivity to Protestantism (cf the oft-debated Weber-Tawney thesis), the development of property rights, the after effects of rule by non-Euro powers (Turks and Mongols in the East, Arabs in the Iberian Peninsula), the degree to which Western feudalism was practiced, the time frame when political unity was achieved on the national level (very early in the case of England), etc, etc.

    This line of thinking simply ignores the host of ways in which the nations of Europe differ from one another

    Syon–no argument.
    The usual factors–which you cite–are clearly the main factors. For England I’d say early abolition of serfdom, Protestantism, island nation all really important.

    However, there isn’t just one factor. The sort of Gregory Clark’s “Farewell to Alms”ish selection works when the majority group is undergoing all the selection. Where it is not–say Poland, where corrupt elites imported an outgroup to perform rent-seeking tasks–this process is inhibited.

    General rule for national success: majority shouldn’t yield to minority outgroups. The US did not benefit by allowing Jews to come. (In fact, the minoritarianism looks to be fatal.) It is not benefiting now by having Asians come and gobble up spots in universities and professions. The path to success for a nation is eugenic fertility and social–mostly downward–mobility.

  37. @Svigor
    Syon: the only cultural contribution (beyond mountains of skulls and the like) that I ever hear attributed to the Mongols is the incidental: "oh, they brought east and west together so they could exchange goods and ideas." Non-Mongol goods and ideas. That, and non-contributions like being neutral on religion.

    And I doubt they boiled off many folks because being a Jew was a much more lucrative position, and would come with all sorts of social sanction.
     
    You're forgetting the far left of the bell curve. The Jews the Jews didn't want remaining as Jews. The dumb Jews may have wanted to stay, but the rest of the Jews wanted them to go. Literacy requirements and arranged marriage helped.

    This metaphor does not recognize that nonconformist Amish kids are frequently scolded and punished for their irrepressible behavior, and it is that reaction which makes them want to escape. So while it is true that nonconformist Amish jump out of the pot voluntarily, it is also true that they are pushed.
     
    Like that. It's not hard to encourage the less welcome elements to leave. Everybody telling you you're not Amish/Jewish material is probably very encouraging.

    You’re forgetting the far left of the bell curve. The Jews the Jews didn’t want remaining as Jews. The dumb Jews may have wanted to stay, but the rest of the Jews wanted them to go. Literacy requirements and arranged marriage helped.

    I’m not forgetting it–I simply don’t believe it. The Jewish-Amish comparison is interesting for exploring outgroup dynamics … but I just don’t think it holds water or “boils off” water. The Amish have an official boiling off policy. You are encouraged to take a look at “English” life … then reject it. The idea being, if you can’t reject it, you’re probably not fit for the Amish life.

    I’ve never heard any idea that dumb Jews were encouraged to leave. In fact, all of Judaism seems to be wave a giant flag that the worst thing imaginable is to become a Christian. You are an outcast. Nope, what happened to the dumb Jews is what happens–well what used to happen, pre-welfare state–to dumb\incompetent folks everywhere. They got crappy, unattractive\unhealthy\unfertile marriage partners and had a tougher time having kids, or raising them (or as many of them) to healthy adulthood. Over a few generations … they are culled from the gene pool.

    Two interesting … but very different outgroups. When it comes to traits selected for and when it comes to boiling off tendency.

  38. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    “the Amish have been “boiling off” their least-Amish genes for about ten generations in America by losing 10% or 15% of each generation to the outside (“English”) world"

    I speculate that something similar happened with the Ashkenazi in Europe.
     
    Luke, I don't think so. Or at least, not over the centuries. My impression--not a Jewish scholar--is that "boiling" would have taken place right at the formation of the Ashkenazi, when rabbinic Judaism took whole with literacy--Torah reading--a defining requirement of being a Jew. But after it was up and running it's pretty clear the Jews did *very tight* policing. Everything in Jewish practice seems designed to separate themselves from gentiles--it's really a racial maintenance program thinly disguised as a religion. And I doubt they boiled off many folks because being a Jew was a much more lucrative position, and would come with all sorts of social sanction. They may boil off a few who were more independent minded, naturally less tribal, didn't care much about family relationships ... but it's a pretty thin slice. Not much attraction. (Nothing compared to what the English world offers the Amish.)

    Rather I think the Jewish temperament, personality, IQ traits are pretty much flat out selection *within* their closed community. The guys who were strong--literate, calculating, good talkers--in the trading and rent-seeking skill set, did well and tending to get the cutest, ripest, most fertile hotties, as well as have the resources to keep their kids well fed and alive. Simple selection.

    (This process--which skimmed off a huge chunk of positive IQ selection into an outgroup--was of course a debacle for the majority gentile population. I think that's possibly one reason that western countries that expelled the Jews developed faster--they had a better opportunity to grow indigenous mercantile skills and spread those genes through the population, compared to the East where they were bottled up in an outgroup.)

    Eastern Europe was behind Western Europe before large numbers of Jews settled there. In the case of Poland, what ultimately did it in was the weak elective monarchy and the indolence of the Polish nobility. The centralized state didn’t develop there in the same manner that it did in Western Europe. Much of the rest of Eastern Europe outside of Russia was ruled by Germans at one time or another. In many places, most prominently the Baltic states but also Bohemia and Moravia, there was a ruling stratum of German nobles and greater burghers. The Jews are hardly the only reason for Eastern Europe’s backwardness.

  39. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    My father said his father told him there had once been a migration of Swedes to Switzerland…

    I’ve found it slightly odd that one of the world’s largest engineering companies, ABB (sometimes used to be called ASEA Brown Boveri), the largest builder of electrical grids in the world, among other things, is a Swedish/Swiss company:

    “…ABB resulted from the 1988 merger of the Swedish corporation Allmänna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget (ASEA) and the Swiss company Brown, Boveri & Cie (BBC)…”

    • Replies: @Lurker
    Ive often wondered how the name 'Brown' appears in a Swiss company, I suppose I should look into the matter.
  40. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “My father said his father told him there had once been a migration of Swedes to Switzerland…”

    I wonder if what your father mentioned was actually a migration of Swedes to Alsace. (If you squint just right you can think of Alsace as “would-be low-land Switzerland”). Along with Lowell, Massachusetts, Alsace, due to it’s water power (the Rhine coming down from Switzerland), was one of the first places outside of England to join the industrial revolution, with many mills being built.

    But this 30 Years War episode seems more likely: “In 1632 Swedish troops occupied parts of Alsace.” After this was all over, Alsace “had to be reconstructed and repopulated.” (Alsace was pretty much ground zero for the 30 Years War.)

    Much of this repopulation was from Switzerland. From an Alsatian site: “The Swiss house and the oil mill

    The Swiss house dates from around 1650 and commemorates Swiss immigration to Alsace, particularly to Wimmenau.

    The oil mill, included in the Additional Listing of Historic Monuments, was used to grind rapeseed, walnuts and beechnuts…”

  41. @Hey Steve
    You said: "Vote NO on Prop 1 (Water infrastructure bonds):

    It is a very bad sign when the entire Cal Dem and GOP parties all support a massive spending project. In this case, prop 1 would require ALL taxpayers have to pay for an upgrade of our water infrastructure. However, more than 50% of our water goes to 2% of our population: the evil Central Valley farming industry that does more to promote illegal immigration than any other interest group in the USA. This parasitic industry, in addition to demographically changing central california from mostly Okie to mostly Mexican, also gets our state’s very limited water at 1/20th the market price paid by suburban Californians to water their lawns and gardens. When you get something at a 95% discount, of course you will waste it and they do. Even as urban Californians are forced to use low-flow showerheads, these farmers never update their irrigation systems and plant heavy water using crops like almonds. They then use illegal labor that requires massive taxpayer support in the form of Medicaid and public schools, and export most of their crops to China."

    While I want the illegals deported, I couldn't disagree w/the above more. Here's why:

    http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/09/california-agriculture-too-productive-our-own-good

    Quote from the article:

    "when people tell you to "eat your veggies," they are essentially urging you to take a bite out of California—or, more to the point, take a a big swig of its increasingly scarce water supply.

    How much do we rely on California for fruits and veg? With its rich soils, variety of microclimates, long growing season, and huge geographical footprint, California should be a major ag producer—certainly a regional food-production hub for the western US. But its sheer dominance of US fruit and veg production (numbers from the the California Department of Food and Agriculture (PDF)) is dizzying.

    The state produces 99 percent of the artichokes grown in the US, 44 percent of asparagus, a fifth of cabbage, two-thirds of carrots, half of bell peppers, 89 percent of cauliflower, 94 percent of broccoli, and 95 percent of celery. Leafy greens? California's got the market cornered: 90 percent of the leaf lettuce we consume, along with and 83 percent of Romaine lettuce and 83 percent of fresh spinach, come from the big state on the left side of the map. Cali also cranks a third of total fresh tomatoes consumed in the U.S.—and 95 percent of ones destined for cans and other processing purposes.

    As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and lemons store relatively well. Ninety percent of avocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, and 97 percent of fresh plums?

    Come on. Surely the other 49 states can do better. And they will likely have to do better—California's fruit-and-veg empire rests on a foundation of highly subsidized and increasingly scarce irrigation water. And that situation will only worsen as climate change makes droughts more prevalent in the western US, as this excellent Grist article by Matt Jenkins demonstrates. It makes sense to think of California's bounty as a kind of bubble puffed up by a history of cheap and unsustainable irrigation-water access—a bubble that will sooner or later have to burst.

    But as the explosive recent growth in farmers markets nation"

    Read that whole article -- if the Central Valley cuts back in food production -- the rest of the country suffers. Instead of having the state do it -- the federal govt should be building de-sal plants up and down the coast and subsidizing them and then pumping water inland to expand production...there aren't many agricultural regions in the country with a Mediterranean climate good enough to grow the sh*t California does. And 5% of the fields were left fallow this year. If that picks up -- expect food prices for everybody -- and even the world, to go up....

    I have no problem with the Central Valley growing food, but they should do it without water subsidized by the rest of the state, and labor subsidized by the rest of the nation.

    Read that whole article — if the Central Valley cuts back in food production — the rest of the country suffers.

    Slightly more expensive food, but fewer illegals is a great deal for the rest of the country.

    Instead of having the state do it — the federal govt should be building de-sal plants up and down the coast and subsidizing them and then pumping water inland to expand production…there aren’t many agricultural regions in the country with a Mediterranean climate good enough to grow the sh*t California does.

    You’re assuming your own conclusion that central valley produce is so important it should get massive federal subsidies. And as I noted, a lot of the nuts that are being grown in the central valley with subsidized water and illegal alien subsidized labor just gets shipped to China. Privatized profits, socialized costs.

  42. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The Amish originally derived from a group of Swiss and Alsatians. (And many of the Swiss (all?) may have migrated to Alsace in the repopulation after the 30 years war.) Because Alsace was ground zero in the 30 years war during a time when armies lived off the land (and by the end of the war Alsace had been largely depopulated and incidents of cannibalism of the dead were apparently not unknown), one has to wonder if the first selection for Amish traits happened at that time.

    “…The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693…”.

  43. The paper has a couple PCA, based on the same variables I think.

    The first looks at between differences between group means –

    The first (largest) dimension separating Amish from British managers. UK norms and Chinese nurses are intermediate and Indian non-Amish are in between Amish and average Brits.

    The second dimension separates out Chinese nurses from Amish and British managers, with Brits intermediate.

    The second PCA is the one Steve’s posted here, which looks at individual differences, where the Amish individuals separate out from UK and Indiana individuals, who overlap.

    So each PCA is producing a different kind of measure of Amishness, the first group one shows the Amish to be particularly unmanagerial and uncaregiving in their self descriptions while the the second shows them to be separated from UK and Indiana norms in their self descriptions.

    Of course, this is just two largest dimensions, the Amish are no doubt closer to managers and nurses than the UK and non-A Indianians on other, smaller dimensions, and the same with Indiana youth. These 3rd, 4th, etc. dimensions may only be marginally smaller (or a lot smaller).

  44. On the individual plot, if you look at the variables names in Wikipedia, one of the interesting things is that the Indiana non-Amish seem divided (on the second largest PCA) between a PC relating to bravery, emotional stability, higher intelligence, positive emotion, assertion on the high end vs apprehension, high tension, individualism on the low end.

    The Amish are kind of bunched up on the mid-low end of this scale.

    Might slightly explain why they were not able to make it big as a farming population compared to the “English” (i.e. non-Amish Swiss Germans) before those groups up and abandoned farming and having large numbers of children. Too weak, too dumb and lacking in cohesion – they’d have had fewer children and their children would’ve died more. But when the strong and emotionally balanced are busying themselves with modern entertainment and trends, dysgenics happens.

    Although Steve’s points about bias on these things, and the general dodginess of non-HEXACO measures of personality notwithstanding.

  45. “The whole 800-1750AD period of fighting each other, Viking raiding, mercenary work for the Byzantines and Italians, and repeatedly invading Germany, Poland, and Russia seems to have caused the emigration or death of their violent and assertive relatives of yore.”

    It is not 800-1750AD. War seems to have been a big part of life of Nordic daily life since the early Bronze age, and it didn’t stop in 1750.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hjortspring_boat

    The King in Denmark-Norway used to rent out his army in various war theaters i Europe, so that it stayed in shape and the King could make a profit. This practice have continued until this day, like how both bombed Libya. Even if Denmark or Norway have no formal part in a war, they usually send a few soldiers unofficially.

    Foreigners also competed for the right to recruit Norwegian and Danish sailors, and it is still easy for Norwegian and Danish seamen to get a job on a foreign vessel.

    The Big killer for Danes and Norwegians have never been war though, it has been the sea. You could always trade risk for more food, so the only famine I am aware of, cost 8000 Norwegians their lives, and happened after Norwegians had stopped growing fibers for their own ropes for rigging and fishing nets. When the British blockaded Norway from importing fibers during the Napoleonic wars, not enough of the fishing vessels had enough ropes and lines to leave port.

    ….

    IIRC 50% of US officers were killed by their own, so if the Scandinavians have evolved because of war, not becoming hated by your peers might have been very import, as such people are the first to die and get sent on suicide missions.

  46. “My father said his father told him there had once been a migration of Swedes to Switzerland…”

    Some Swiss history seems to be based on earlier Scandinavian history, like Wilhelm Tell.

    When it comes to politics and society, it is Switzerland and Norway that are the most similar. In both cases, geography has made the political system more decentralized, as loyalty could not be enforced by centralized punitive action until modern times, as that would be to invite invaders later on.

  47. @Luke Lea
    "the Amish have been “boiling off” their least-Amish genes for about ten generations in America by losing 10% or 15% of each generation to the outside (“English”) world"

    I speculate that something similar happened with the Ashkenazi in Europe.

    I also have been thinking along the lines of Luke Lea and AnotherDad (21.) New very important data with a striking thesis is presented by distinguished economists Botticini and Eckstein (2014.) Jewish population contracted 80% during the Talmud era (70-700). Jews changed from being mostly rural illiterate peasant farmers to urbanized, literate, traders, craftsmen and financiers. Then the population was was static until the Ashkenazi expansion 1500-1940. The thesis that Rabbis demanded that youth read scripture in Hebrew. Because of the high cost of schooling peasant farmers abandoned Judaism and became Christian, pagan or secular.

    Obviously the potential for genetic change is greatest when population is contracting and limited when expanding. Therefore regarding Jewish genetic change we need to look first at the time of population contraction (70-700) and then at stasis (700-1500). The key to high Jewish IQ and verbal skill is the study of sacred texts. Economic success came as a consequence.

    Here is a link to the new book:

  48. @Svigor
    Syon: the only cultural contribution (beyond mountains of skulls and the like) that I ever hear attributed to the Mongols is the incidental: "oh, they brought east and west together so they could exchange goods and ideas." Non-Mongol goods and ideas. That, and non-contributions like being neutral on religion.

    And I doubt they boiled off many folks because being a Jew was a much more lucrative position, and would come with all sorts of social sanction.
     
    You're forgetting the far left of the bell curve. The Jews the Jews didn't want remaining as Jews. The dumb Jews may have wanted to stay, but the rest of the Jews wanted them to go. Literacy requirements and arranged marriage helped.

    This metaphor does not recognize that nonconformist Amish kids are frequently scolded and punished for their irrepressible behavior, and it is that reaction which makes them want to escape. So while it is true that nonconformist Amish jump out of the pot voluntarily, it is also true that they are pushed.
     
    Like that. It's not hard to encourage the less welcome elements to leave. Everybody telling you you're not Amish/Jewish material is probably very encouraging.

    Syon: the only cultural contribution (beyond mountains of skulls and the like) that I ever hear attributed to the Mongols is the incidental: “oh, they brought east and west together so they could exchange goods and ideas.” Non-Mongol goods and ideas. That, and non-contributions like being neutral on religion.

    In general, that seems to be the case.The Mongols are certainly not comparable to, say, the Romans in terms of cultural influence. However, there is a longstanding debate in Russian Studies about the impact of the “Tatar Yoke” on Russian society. Older histories spoke quite frankly about Oriental Despotism, the weakening of cultural ties to the West*, etc. Naturally, in the wake of Said, historians are a tad more circumspect nowadays. I posted this previously, but since it seems relevant:

    Historians have debated the long-term influence of Mongol rule on Rus’ society. The Mongols have been blamed for the destruction of Kievan Rus’, the breakup of the ancient Rus’ nationality into three components, and the introduction of the concept of “oriental despotism” into Russia. Historians also credit the Mongol regime with an important role in the development of Muscovy as a state. Under Mongol occupation, for example, Muscovy developed its mestnichestvo hierarchy, postal road network (based on Mongolian ortoo system, known in Russian as “yam”, hence the terms yamshchik, Yamskoy Prikaz, etc.), census, fiscal system, and military organization.[9]

    The period of Mongol rule over Russia included significant cultural and interpersonal contacts between the Russian and Mongolian ruling classes. By 1450, the Tatar language had become fashionable in the court of the Grand Prince of Moscow, Vasily II, who was accused of excessive love of the Tatars and their speech, and many Russian noblemen adopted Tatar surnames (for example, a member of the Veliamanov family adopted the Turkic name “Aksak” and his descendents were the Aksakovs)[10] Many Russian boyar (noble) families traced their descent from the Mongols or Tatars, including Veliaminov-Zernov, Godunov, Arseniev, Bakhmetev, Bulgakov (descendents of Bulgak), and Chaadaev (descendents of Genghis Khan’s son Jagatay). In a survey of Russian noble families of the 17th century, over 15% of the Russian noble families had Tatar or Oriental origins.[11]

    The Mongols brought about changes in the economic power of states and overall trade. In the religious sphere, St. Paphnutius of Borovsk was the grandson of a Mongol baskak, or tax collector, while a nephew of Khan Bergai of the Golden Horde converted to Christianity and became known as the monk St. Peter Tsarevich of the Horde[12] In the judicial sphere, under Mongol influence capital punishment, which during the times of Kievan Rus’ had only been applied to slaves, became widespread, and the use of torture became a regular part of criminal procedure. Specific punishments introduced in Moscow included beheading for alleged traitors and branding of thieves (with execution for a third arrest). [13]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasion_of_Rus%27#Impact_on_developm

    RE: the Mongol assault on Kiev,

    It was conducted with the customary ruthlessness:

    On November 28 the Mongols set up catapults near Kiev’s Lech gates, one of the three gates of old Kiev and where tree cover extended almost to the city walls The Mongols then began a bombardment that lasted several days. On December 6, Kiev’s walls were breached, and hand-to-hand combat followed in the streets. The Kievans suffered heavy losses and Dmytro was wounded by an arrow.

    When night fell the Mongols held their positions while the Kievans retreated to the central parts of the city. Many people crowded into the Church of the Tithes. The next day, as the Mongols commenced the final assault, the church’s balcony collapsed under the weight of the people standing on it, crushing many. After the Mongols won the battle, they plundered Kiev. Most of the population was massacred. Out of 50,000 inhabitants before the invasion, about 2,000 survived. Most of the city was burned and only six out of forty major buildings remained standing. Dmytro, however, was shown mercy for his bravery.

    After their victory at Kiev, the Mongols were free to advance into Halych-Volhynia and Poland.

    *There’s a theory that Russian/Ukrainian society might have developed in a more Western fashion if Kievan Rus, not Muscovy, had stayed in the driver’s seat.

  49. @Anonymous
    I don't think that's true, that is a claim made by a single sample, and there are countersamples which show the opposite.
    http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2010/04/digit-ratios-among-ten-populations.html

    I think it's likely that one of the samples has a measurement error, as argued here:
    http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/5/1329.full

    "Bang et al. investigated associations between right 2D : 4D, various testicular, semen and sex-hormone parameters in a sample of 360 young men from the Danish general population. Out of 14 correlations, they found only two to be statistically significant, but mutually contradictory.

    From the existing data, it appears that Northern European males of Scandinavian descent have comparatively low 2D : 4D. A typical male 2D : 4D level of 1.02, as reported by Bang et al. for Denmark, must be considered as exceptionally high.
     

    “From the existing data, it appears that Northern European males of Scandinavian descent have comparatively low 2D : 4D. A typical male 2D : 4D level of 1.02, as reported by Bang et al. for Denmark, must be considered as exceptionally high.” Yes it is, and one in eight births in Denmark are the result of fertility treatment.

    Denmark is not part of the Scandinavian peninsula (it was a part of Doggerland with all that Mesolithic fish processing though). Ah yes affective empathy. I’m sure it is just a coincidence that:-
    THEThe majority of Danish politicians intuitively believe that capitalists are an unpleasant necessity to generate the revenues to fund the social welfare state. Denmark has the highest total tax pressure in the world and is towering far above the European average. It also has the smallest private sector in Europe, one that supports one of the biggest public sectors. Add to that a generous entitlement system allowing unemployed and unemployable citizens an income well above that achieved by full time employees in the private sector in many European countries, and you will observe a need for tax revenues nearly unmatched anywhere else in the world.”

    .

  50. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous
    "Never understood how anyone can proudly attempt to accurately reflect the relational distance between the subjects on more than 2 factors on a 2 dimensional plane."

    A handwaving explanation I've heard (for PCA) is that you first take your multidimensional data (in a multidimensional state space, so for data where each data point consists of 3 numbers that "state space" would just be the inside of a normal box with an x, y, and z axis; this box is big enough to hold all your data points.) Then "shine a light" on your cloud of data points and spin the cloud around-and-around until you find the orientation of the cloud that produces the "biggest shadow" on a 2 dimensional plane (the bottom of the box). The thought is that the biggest shadow is caused by the largest distances between the points, when considered overall, so there's something happening there that causes maximum separation of points.

    A handwaving explanation I’ve heard (for PCA) is that you first take your multidimensional data (in a multidimensional state space, so for data where each data point consists of 3 numbers that “state space” would just be the inside of a normal box with an x, y, and z axis; this box is big enough to hold all your data points.) Then “shine a light” on your cloud of data points and spin the cloud around-and-around until you find the orientation of the cloud that produces the “biggest shadow” on a 2 dimensional plane (the bottom of the box).

    If scientists are satisfied with this method, then I guess I shouldn’t have a problem with it. But before they “shine a light” to get the “biggest shadows”, how do they objectively plot more than 3 factors on a 3-axis, 3 dimensional space? To clarify, since an axis can only objectively measure one factor within a defined range, wouldn’t plotting more than 3 factors require subjective relational distancing within the 3 axes in order fit into a box or globe?

  51. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “If scientists are satisfied with this method, then I guess I shouldn’t have a problem with it. … how do they objectively plot more than 3 factors on a 3-axis, 3 dimensional space?

    A quick answer is that they don’t. I didn’t mean to imply the numbers always went into a 3-D box (aka “space” in math-speak). If you have a 4-dimensional data set (4 numbers per data point) you put them in a 4-D box. Here’s where it gets a little squirely in that the human mind can’t visualize a 4-D box. But it’s just a game with “points” that consists of 4 numbers (x,y,z,w) instead of 3 (x,y,z).

    You can play this game of “dimension reduction” with any number of dimensions. Reducing from 3-D down to 2-D is just a simple case. A 4-D data set can produce a 3-D “shadow”. The talk about lights and the shadow of the data cloud (or the shadow of the data points) is mostly just motivation.

    Another way to think about it is that you have a “box” of a given dimension with a cloud of points in it (of that dimension). Then you wrap an ellipsoid (in that dimension, of course) around your points. The ellipsoid “best fits” the points (say, there’s minimum wasted space between the surface of the ellipsoid and a set of flat surfaces wrapped around the points (as if you had saran-wrap and drew it tight about your cloud).

    Now an ellipsoid is pretty much a football. A football has a long axis. When you find this long axis of the football that best wraps your cloud, you have the “principal” axis of the variation in the data. If you have points in your data set from different populations, the variation between the populations is often best seen if you look at the data with respect to this big axis of the football. You can find other “axis” of your football (for instance, a line from the center that is at right angles from the first axis and goes to where the quarterback holds it). Essentially, after you’ve found biggest line that your “shadow” can produce, ignore that and find the “second biggest” line that spans any shadow you can produce.

    Again, this does not have to be a 3-D football, it can be any number of dimensions. And the “football” isn’t fixed, it can adjust as needed, that is, you might use a football a yard long and only a few inches thick, if your data is extreme… Or use a “football” that’s almost a ball.

    So what you do to see data on a 2-D plot, is use the most important axis and second most important axis as the 2 axis used to plot your data. Thus you expect to see your data points on the page reflecting the maximum sources of variation or separation between them. When you do this you’re ignoring all the other dimensions because you’ve collapsed it all into 2-D (and the point of the exercise was to loose the minimal amount of information when you did this collapsing, by collapsing to 2-D and still see the points separated as much as possible).

    What if the information is like a ball, and there is no strong principal axis, so you can wrap the football around it any old way? Well, yes, this is one of those non-trivial techniques that you cannot simply apply blindly.

    It’s interesting that this technique was developed by Karl Pearson in 1901, a protege of Sir Francis Galton, who Steve often writes about.

    The wikipedia article on PCA has a really funny paragraph:

    “… it is also named the discrete Karhunen–Loève transform (KLT) in signal processing, the Hotelling transform in multivariate quality control, proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) in mechanical engineering, singular value decomposition (SVD) of X…, eigenvalue decomposition (EVD) of XTX in linear algebra, factor analysis…, Eckart–Young theorem…., Schmidt–Mirsky theorem in psychometrics, empirical orthogonal functions (EOF) in meteorological science, empirical eigenfunction decomposition…, empirical component analysis…, quasiharmonic modes…, spectral decomposition in noise and vibration, and empirical modal analysis in structural dynamics.”

  52. @anonymous
    My father said his father told him there had once been a migration of Swedes to Switzerland...


    I've found it slightly odd that one of the world's largest engineering companies, ABB (sometimes used to be called ASEA Brown Boveri), the largest builder of electrical grids in the world, among other things, is a Swedish/Swiss company:

    "...ABB resulted from the 1988 merger of the Swedish corporation Allmänna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget (ASEA) and the Swiss company Brown, Boveri & Cie (BBC)..."

    Ive often wondered how the name ‘Brown’ appears in a Swiss company, I suppose I should look into the matter.

  53. “I have to believe that’s somewhat from Swedes and Danes being finely tuned to noticing average differences amongst each other.”

    Lars von Trier’s supernatural/hospital television series “The Kingdom” had a lot of fun with Swedish/Danish stereotypes. In fact, they were a plot device.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqVgLnU-4L0

    “And there: Sweden. Hewn from granite.”

  54. […] correspond to a height difference of about 8 inches.” – from henry harpending. see also Amish v. English from steve […]

  55. @anonymous
    "Writ large, who are the people getting boiled off in western civilization?

    People who dislike children."



    Perhaps, but a problem with any theory that there is a link between western civilization and having children is that much of Western civilization, in particular in the early days after the fall of Rome, was probably built by people who by-and-large did not have children. A case can be made that monks and nuns, primarily the Cistercians, are essentially responsible for developing the foundation of western agriculture and industry, and introducing throughout the West such stereotypically iconic Western technologies as the water wheel and perhaps the village iron smithy. (They may have also cleared a lot of land into typical rolling farm land.)

    "Until the Industrial Revolution, most of the technological advances in Europe were made in the monasteries...

    ...the Cistercians "were catalysts for development of a market economy" in 12th-century Europe. It was as agriculturists and horse and cattle breeders that the Cistercians exercised their chief influence on the progress of civilisation ...

    ...many... improvements in... farming operations were introduced and propagated by them... this is where the importance of their extension in northern Europe is to be estimated. They developed an organised system for selling their farm produce, cattle and horses, and notably contributed to the commercial progress of the countries of western Europe...

    ..."Every monastery had a model factory, often as large as the church and only several feet away, and waterpower drove the machinery of the various industries located on its floor." Waterpower was used for crushing wheat, sieving flour, fulling cloth and tanning – a "level of technological achievement [that] could have been observed in practically all" of the Cistercian monasteries...

    ...The Cistercians are known to have been skilled metallurgists... knowledge of their technological advances was transmitted by the order. ...They placed importance on metal, both the extraction of the ore and its subsequent processing."


    The Cistercians had blast furnaces that produced iron. ("...perhaps as advanced as a modern blast furnace... Had the monks been allowed to share their new blast furnace techniques, which they frequently did with other advancements, the world may have entered the Industrial Revolution a full two and a half centuries earlier.")


    So maybe the West became the West because it had a greater percentage of people than other societies who did not have children, tolerated that situation well, and were not a burden on society; indeed just the opposite. And who "worked religiously".

    Monasteries and nunneries lasted pretty late throughout the West.


    Perhaps we need to bring back some modern form of monks or nuns who are willing to work on thousand-year long projects?

    I like your final point. It has to be remember that monasteries developed together with the feudal-manorial system. Aristocrats who had proven themselves smart stewards and bold warriors had lots of children. Only one of these could inherit while the others would marry down or go into the monasteries. While the boy who inherited kept the land intact, fought for more and kept improving on the dynasty fortune the “also rans” could be put to good use in monasteries where they would be beneficial to the their former dynasties while putting their intelligence and boldness to good use. Both nuns and monks.

    A lot of people are thinking that the monasteries drained resources from society at large. A huge mistake.

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