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In the second half of the 20th Century, academics engaged in a concerted effort to make the prehistory of Eurasia sound kinder, gentler, and much, much duller. For example, the Battle Axe culture of Northern Europe of 4,000 to 5,000 years ago was renamed the Corded Ware culture. Instead of invasion, conquest, enslavement, and rapine, the past was more about different peoples getting together in a spirit of sharing to teach each other their arts, their crafts, their languages, their values, their hopes, their dreams …

For the entire 21st Century, though, Greg Cochran has been predicting that when genome analyses of ancient buried corpses are finally done, the prehistory of Eurasia will wind up looking a lot less like the later 20th Century conventional wisdom and more like the fantasy world created by the bookish Robert E. Howard for his Conan the Barbarian stories in the 1930s. Howard summarized the fantasy prehistory of his Conan stories in an essay entitled The Hyborian Age published in 1936, shortly before he killed himself at age 30.

Cochran wrote in 2012:

The Hyborian Age

Posted on January 20, 2012 by gcochran9

I was contemplating Conan the Barbarian, and remembered the essay that Robert E. Howard wrote about the background of those stories – The Hyborian Age. I think that the flavor of Howard’s pseudo-history is a lot more realistic than the picture of the human past academics preferred over the past few decades.

In Conan’s world, it’s never surprising to find a people that once mixed with some ancient prehuman race. Happens all the time. Until very recently, the vast majority of workers in human genetics and paleontology were sure that this never occurred – and only changed their minds when presented with evidence that was both strong (ancient DNA) and too mathematically sophisticated for them to understand or challenge (D-statistics).

Conan’s history was shaped by the occasional catastrophe. Most academics (particularly geologists) don’t like catastrophes, but they have grudgingly come to admit their importance – things like the Thera and Toba eruptions, or the K/T asteroid strike and the Permo-Triassic crisis.

Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, evolution seems to have run pretty briskly, but without any pronounced direction. Men devolved into ape-men when the environment pushed in that direction (Flores ?) and shifted right back when the environment favored speech and tools. Culture shaped evolution, and evolution shaped culture. An endogamous caste of snake-worshiping priests evolved in a strange direction. Although their IQs were considerably higher than average, they remained surprisingly vulnerable to sword-bearing barbarians.

In this world, evolution could happen on a time scale of thousands of years, and there was no magic rule that ensured that the outcome would be the same in every group. It may not be PC to say it, but Cimmerians were smarter than Picts.

Above all, people in Conan’s world fought. They migrated: they invaded. There was war before, during, and after civilization. Völkerwanderungs were a dime a dozen. Conquerors spread. Sometimes they mixed with the locals, sometimes they replaced them – as when the once dominant Hyborians, overrun by Picts, vanished from the earth, leaving scarcely a trace of their blood in the veins of their conquerors. They must have been U5b.

To be fair, real physical anthropologists in Howard’s day thought that there had been significant population movements and replacements in Europe, judging from changes in skeletons and skulls that accompanied archeological shifts, as when people turned taller, heavier boned , and brachycephalic just as the Bell-Beaker artifacts show up. But those physical anthropologists lost out to people like Boas – liars.

Given the chance (sufficient lack of information), American anthropologists assumed that the Mayans were peaceful astronomers. Howard would have assumed that they were just another blood-drenched snake cult: who came closer?

Now I’m not saying that Howard got every single tiny little syllable of prehistory right. Not likely: so far, we haven’t seen any signs of Cthulhu-like visitors, which abound in the Conan stories. So far. But Howard’s priors were more accurate than those of the pots-not-people archeologists: more accurate than people like Excoffier and Currat, who assume that there hasn’t been any population replacement in Europe since moderns displaced Neanderthals. More accurate than Chris Stringer, more accurate than Brian Ferguson.

Most important, Conan, unlike the typical professor, knew what was best in life.

Now there’s a big new genomic paper out supporting this general view that the barbarians of the distant past were pretty darn barbaric:

Massive migration from the steppe is a source for Indo-European languages in Europe

Why did a 1930s pulp writer have a better feel for the processes of prehistory than 1970s professors?

From comments at West Hunter:

Greying Wanderer says:
February 12, 2015 at 5:10 pm

It’s not high literature for sure but another aspect which may add to the entertainment value is Hyboria is starting to sound a lot like recent academic papers (I assume because he based a lot of his world on the anthro theories of the time).

Cimmeria would fit Corded Ware, the Nordic regions to the north split into two peoples, the civilized farmer realm to the south and – probably my relatives – the dark savage Picts along the Atlantic Coast.

 

syon says:

February 12, 2015 at 5:55 pm

“Which story by REH would you recommend to someone who’s never read anything by him? I guess it’s more entertainment than high literature, but I’m at least moderately interested.”

So, best story by REH? Well, as I mentioned above, “Beyond the Black River” is quite good. It was certainly my favorite when I was 14, and it seems to be the consensus pick as the best Conan tale:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/42254/42254-h/42254-h.htm

 

Simon in London says:

February 12, 2015 at 2:45 am

“Archaeologists should read more Conan: Robert E. Howard was way closer to the mark than they were or are.”

More broadly, what was believed in 1935 about human origins and human history was much closer to the truth than what was believed post-WW2, for a very long time and in many respects still today. Huge amounts of knowledge were lost, deliberately lost. Inconvenient truths were buried and overwritten with fantasies and lies.

 
172 Comments to "Conan the Librarian"
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  1. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I like Cochran, but he doesn’t really deserve any credit for anything here. He hasn’t been going out on a limb or making bold or unique predictions. He’s been repeating what other people have been and have said before.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    I like Cochran, but he doesn’t really deserve any credit for anything here. He hasn’t been going out on a limb or making bold or unique predictions. He’s been repeating what other people have been and have said before.
     
    Oh yeah? How many other public intellectuals were claiming it? Find an intellectual in the public realm who was talking about it before, say, 2000?
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  2. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    https://genetiker.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/greg-cochran-is-an-ignoramus/

    Greg Cochran likes to think of himself as being near-omniscient. In this post he defied his readers to tell him something he didn’t know.

    The reality is that there’s a lot Cochran doesn’t know. He’s ignorant of some of the most important facts regarding the subjects he regularly pontificates on.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Foolish Pride
    I absolutely guarantee you that "Native Americans are White" Genetiker has far less of a clue than dabbler Cochran is.
    , @Pat Boyle
    You shouldn't let Cochran get under your skin. He is indeed very smart but so what? Like most of the people who regularly comment on this and his blog - I'm also real smart. I usually assume that I'm smarter than anyone I meet or anyone I read. If you are in the 99th percentile of IQ this is going to be true most of the time.

    Steve for example is in the 99th percentile of human height. He can't help but assume that if he meets a stranger he will be taller.

    Cochran is in fact smarter than I am. I thought about it and that was the conclusion I reached. But IQ is really only relevant for children and youths. Adults are judged by accomplishments. I realized that if I were ever in an organization with Cochran I would have been his boss. He would report to me. My general functioning is just superior to his.

    In business everyone always made me the boss. I always tried to hire guys who were smarter than I was. But often the smartest guys were troublesome. I was good at supervising them.

    Cochran is very amusing but he doesn't seem to be particularly successful. Svante Pääbo is probably less smart than Cochran but he's likely to win a Nobel and Cochran isn't. Adult functioning counts for a lot.

    Most of the iSteve readership is plenty smart. No one has anything to prove - except Greg Cochran. He seems driven.
  3. IHTG says:

    Now I’m not saying that Howard got every single tiny little syllable of prehistory right.

    But basically he said ‘em, yeah!

    Read More
    • Replies: @gcochran
    A man of culture finally recognizes the reference.
  4. I have had cause to disagree with Cochran, but I don’t like to. Part of it is his style, resorting quickly to calling others liars when they are merely biased or sloppy in traditional human ways. I reserve the term “liar” for something more intentional. Self-deception may be “lying” at root, but things get slippery in a fallen humanity, where everyone believes what is comfortable to some degree.

    But the remainder of my reluctance is to his credit. He knows a lot, he is not afraid to be blunt, he has at least some reasons behind what he claims. I am usually not qualified to judge whether his arguments hold all the way down. The huge advantage and downfall of smart people is that they leap to conclusions. The smarter one is, the more this is true. Bug? Feature? Both. Let’s see how much turns out to be true.

    As to Conan, when I was still interested in reading fiction in the 70′s I was a suburban-hippie, pacifist, liberal-arts wuss at a prestigious eastern college and would not sully my brain with such barbarities. The anthropology I took focused on Mesoamerican pottery and maize. Apparently my conceit cost me important knowledge.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon

    Part of it is his style, resorting quickly to calling others liars when they are merely biased or sloppy in traditional human ways.
     
    I think Razib Khan's regular comments about "priors" are relevant here, When people have "priors" that are particularly strong then polite discourse might just bounce off so in cases like that they might need a bit of kicking.
    , @Anonymous
    Cochran doesn't know jack shit, except maybe sci-fi novels. He's not even a real scientist. His M.O. is bluffing his way through in front of an audience of toadyish amateurs and banning anyone who isn't a sycophant.
    , @gcochran
    I called Boas a liar because he was one. He claimed that skull shape didn't tell you anything because something as mundane as moving to the US made significant changes in the next generation: but his own data belied that. A lie that people are still quoting.
  5. SPMoore8 says:

    I hope no one tells Stephen Pinker. I mean, isn’t he the guy who is arguing that the human race, as a species, is outgrowing violence? We’ll see how that goes.

    I’ve never doubted that the history of prehistoric humans was bloody, or that the spread of the Indo-Europeans was bloody (I think horsemanship, more than anything else, probably drove their dominance; but who really knows.) And I consider it the height of decadence to pretend that humans are not prone to dominance, competition, and — if necessary — violence to impose their will. There are ways to rein that in — religion comes to mind — but to pretend it is not an intrinsic part of our natures strikes me as silly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @cthulhu
    Um, Pinker is front and center in acknowledging and defending the violence that is part of human nature, including all of the violence done in prehistoric societies. You would be hard pressed to find a public intellectual more amenable and defending of those ideas.

    His thesis in "Better Angels" is basically that Western liberal democracy has been the catalyst in reducing violence internal and external to sovereign states.
    , @Frau Katze
    Pinker seems to be losing it. I wonder if he's just enjoying the more positive reactions coming to him than from writing The Blank Slate.

    He seems to write mostly about this new peace theory now.
  6. anon says: • Disclaimer

    Good stuff.

    In the second half of the 20th Century, academics engaged in a concerted effort to make the prehistory of Eurasia sound kinder, gentler, and much, much duller.

    Apart from Boas et al there’s possibly another reason the average empathy level may have increased between 1850s and 1950s academia and therefore a preference for a softer version of history.

    Spot the skirts.

    Read More
  7. SFG says:

    Howard is a much more interesting writer than people give him credit for; Conan, despite the stereotype, often uses cunning to defeat his foes, and Howard certainly read up on the ancient world.

    Someone over at Counter Currents described Lovecraft as a fascist/reactionary writer. More of a reactionary, though he was much more interested in horror than politics.

    I’ve often noticed genre writers tend to be to the right of literary writers. Niven and Pournelle are conservative. Heinlein was…well, hard to define. Asimov was liberal, but more enamored of rationalism (hardly an unreasonable trait for a science fiction writer) than a hardcore Marxist. Anyone else?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Howard is a much more interesting writer than people give him credit for; Conan, despite the stereotype, often uses cunning to defeat his foes, and Howard certainly read up on the ancient world.
     
    Along these lines, it's interesting to note how the first published Conan tale, "The Phoenix on the Sword" introduces us to Conan:

    THE ROOM was large and ornate, with rich tapestries on the polished panelled walls, deep rugs on the ivory floor, and with the lofty ceiling adorned with intricate carvings and silver scrollwork. Behind an ivory, gold- inlaid writing-table sat a man whose broad shoulders and sun-browned skin seemed out of place among those luxuriant surroundings. He seemed more a part of the sun and winds and high places of the outlands. His slightest movement spoke of steel-spring muscles knit to a keen brain with the co-ordination of a born fighting-man. There was nothing deliberate or measured about his actions. Either he was perfectly at rest—still as a bronze statue—or else he was in motion, not with the jerky quickness of over-tense nerves, but with a cat-like speed that blurred the sight which tried to follow him.

    His garments were of rich fabric, but simply made. He wore no ring or ornaments, and his square-cut black mane was confined merely by a cloth-of- silver band about his head.

    Now he laid down the golden stylus with which he had been laboriously scrawling on waxed papyrus, rested his chin on his fist, and fixed his smoldering blue eyes enviously on the man who stood before him [.....]What are you working at there?"

    "A map," Conan answered with pride. "The maps of the court show well the countries of south, east and west, but in the north they are vague and faulty. I am adding the northern lands myself. Here is Cimmeria, where I was born. And —"

    "Asgard and Vanaheim," Prospero scanned the map. "By Mitra, I had almost believed those countries to have been fabulous."
     
    http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600811h.html

    Conan is not hewing a foe in twain or quaffing a pint of ale.He's drawing a map.
    , @Melendwyr
    Heinlein isn't all that hard to categorize, it's just that his category is usually disparaged here. And more complex than some commentators can cope with.

    He was a type of libertarian - yes, a despised libertarian, small-l - that prefers strong personal and cultural ties but a weak state, knows the importance of cultural virtues and tradition but is quick to question and disregard the traditions that don't make sense, and recognizes that our traditions need to be able to cope with both increased knowledge and our changing needs. He understood the human need for belief systems while rejecting existing religions as dogma.

    The man had his flaws, but I doubt there's anyone here worthy to shine his shoes.
    , @advancedatheist
    H. Beam Piper, who presented the dilemma of the self-reliant man: He wants the freedom to live on his own terms and earn his keep, but when he stays away from government and lets the democrats run things, bad politicians rise to the top and bring ruination. Hence the self-reliant man has to keep returning to politics to shoot the bastards and rule the society with a firm hand.
    , @anon
    Yes, Conan isn't a meat head at all.
  8. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Assistant Village Idiot
    I have had cause to disagree with Cochran, but I don't like to. Part of it is his style, resorting quickly to calling others liars when they are merely biased or sloppy in traditional human ways. I reserve the term "liar" for something more intentional. Self-deception may be "lying" at root, but things get slippery in a fallen humanity, where everyone believes what is comfortable to some degree.

    But the remainder of my reluctance is to his credit. He knows a lot, he is not afraid to be blunt, he has at least some reasons behind what he claims. I am usually not qualified to judge whether his arguments hold all the way down. The huge advantage and downfall of smart people is that they leap to conclusions. The smarter one is, the more this is true. Bug? Feature? Both. Let's see how much turns out to be true.

    As to Conan, when I was still interested in reading fiction in the 70's I was a suburban-hippie, pacifist, liberal-arts wuss at a prestigious eastern college and would not sully my brain with such barbarities. The anthropology I took focused on Mesoamerican pottery and maize. Apparently my conceit cost me important knowledge.

    Part of it is his style, resorting quickly to calling others liars when they are merely biased or sloppy in traditional human ways.

    I think Razib Khan’s regular comments about “priors” are relevant here, When people have “priors” that are particularly strong then polite discourse might just bounce off so in cases like that they might need a bit of kicking.

    Read More
  9. “More broadly, what was believed in 1935 about human origins and human history was much closer to the truth than what was believed post-WW2, for a very long time and in many respects still today. Huge amounts of knowledge were lost, deliberately lost. Inconvenient truths were buried and overwritten with fantasies and lies.”

    I had first noticed this about 25 years ago, reading old pre-WW2 accounts of world history. The ancient world stuff especially often seemed to contain stuff that was clearly correct, but somehow had been ‘forgotten’ in more recent writings. I eventually realised a lot of this was deliberate, the Pots Not People fashion Clark describes – post-WW2 Political Correctness. A lot of other research seems to get forgotten simply for lack of referencing, though. I strongly recommend reading old books – it’s amazing what you can find.

    Read More
  10. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Assistant Village Idiot
    I have had cause to disagree with Cochran, but I don't like to. Part of it is his style, resorting quickly to calling others liars when they are merely biased or sloppy in traditional human ways. I reserve the term "liar" for something more intentional. Self-deception may be "lying" at root, but things get slippery in a fallen humanity, where everyone believes what is comfortable to some degree.

    But the remainder of my reluctance is to his credit. He knows a lot, he is not afraid to be blunt, he has at least some reasons behind what he claims. I am usually not qualified to judge whether his arguments hold all the way down. The huge advantage and downfall of smart people is that they leap to conclusions. The smarter one is, the more this is true. Bug? Feature? Both. Let's see how much turns out to be true.

    As to Conan, when I was still interested in reading fiction in the 70's I was a suburban-hippie, pacifist, liberal-arts wuss at a prestigious eastern college and would not sully my brain with such barbarities. The anthropology I took focused on Mesoamerican pottery and maize. Apparently my conceit cost me important knowledge.

    Cochran doesn’t know jack shit, except maybe sci-fi novels. He’s not even a real scientist. His M.O. is bluffing his way through in front of an audience of toadyish amateurs and banning anyone who isn’t a sycophant.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    The remarks above do carry a vibe of someone whose method is to play act through confident assertion.
  11. @Anonymous
    I like Cochran, but he doesn't really deserve any credit for anything here. He hasn't been going out on a limb or making bold or unique predictions. He's been repeating what other people have been and have said before.

    I like Cochran, but he doesn’t really deserve any credit for anything here. He hasn’t been going out on a limb or making bold or unique predictions. He’s been repeating what other people have been and have said before.

    Oh yeah? How many other public intellectuals were claiming it? Find an intellectual in the public realm who was talking about it before, say, 2000?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    Actually, the notion that humans and Neanderthals likely interbred apparently used to be widely accepted among anthropologists and the educated laymen who followed them. A couple of years ago I happened to be reading a book from the early 1960s and was surprised to find the idea treated as solidly established, even pointing to exactly the same geographical region (the Middle East) suggested by modern researchers. I'm not exactly sure when or why the theory was later forgotten or discounted. Obviously, Cochran and all the other modern researchers deserve full credit for reviving the very old idea.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/almost-a-century-ahead-of-the-new-york-times/

    As for Cochran, I'd certainly agree that the theory of Acceleration which he and several co-authors developed is a theoretical development of the greatest importance, in my opinion clearly worthy of an eventual Nobel Prize.

    http://www.unz.com/pfrost/he-who-pays-piper/#comment-613032

    However, although Cochran is highly intelligent, he is also an exceptionally arrogant individual, whose arrogance often tends to lead him astray. I remember he once claimed that just he and a couple of his engineering-buddies together possessed more intelligence and creativity that all the billion-plus Han Chinese in the world combined, which I suspect represented only a slight rhetorical overstatement of his true personal beliefs.

    As near as I can tell, he seems to form snap-judgments on all sorts of matters, including those about which he obviously knows nothing, then grows outraged when others politely point out his mistakes. After he co-developed Acceleration a decade ago, I was initially so enormously impressed with that theory that I took his views very seriously on all sorts of other matters. But after more than a dozen cases in which he was very clearly wrong but refused to even consider his errors or explain his reasoning, I reluctantly concluded that his support tends to provide "negative credibility" to almost all issues.

    A few years ago I described a perfect example of his unreasonable behavior with regard to his doubtful "gay germ" theory:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/gay-germ-censorship/

    When I (very politely) raised some logical problems with his theory in the comments of his blogsite, he immediately banned me as a "loon." He loves the adulation of the worshipful fanboys who throng there and was obviously quite concerned that the simple scientific questions I was raising might tend to "confuse" them.

    I would like to underscore that although Cochran banned me from his blogsite for politely disagreeing with him on a scientific matter, I have never retaliated, and he regularly comments here at The Unz Review.
  12. syonredux says:
    @SFG
    Howard is a much more interesting writer than people give him credit for; Conan, despite the stereotype, often uses cunning to defeat his foes, and Howard certainly read up on the ancient world.

    Someone over at Counter Currents described Lovecraft as a fascist/reactionary writer. More of a reactionary, though he was much more interested in horror than politics.

    I've often noticed genre writers tend to be to the right of literary writers. Niven and Pournelle are conservative. Heinlein was...well, hard to define. Asimov was liberal, but more enamored of rationalism (hardly an unreasonable trait for a science fiction writer) than a hardcore Marxist. Anyone else?

    Howard is a much more interesting writer than people give him credit for; Conan, despite the stereotype, often uses cunning to defeat his foes, and Howard certainly read up on the ancient world.

    Along these lines, it’s interesting to note how the first published Conan tale, “The Phoenix on the Sword” introduces us to Conan:

    THE ROOM was large and ornate, with rich tapestries on the polished panelled walls, deep rugs on the ivory floor, and with the lofty ceiling adorned with intricate carvings and silver scrollwork. Behind an ivory, gold- inlaid writing-table sat a man whose broad shoulders and sun-browned skin seemed out of place among those luxuriant surroundings. He seemed more a part of the sun and winds and high places of the outlands. His slightest movement spoke of steel-spring muscles knit to a keen brain with the co-ordination of a born fighting-man. There was nothing deliberate or measured about his actions. Either he was perfectly at rest—still as a bronze statue—or else he was in motion, not with the jerky quickness of over-tense nerves, but with a cat-like speed that blurred the sight which tried to follow him.

    His garments were of rich fabric, but simply made. He wore no ring or ornaments, and his square-cut black mane was confined merely by a cloth-of- silver band about his head.

    Now he laid down the golden stylus with which he had been laboriously scrawling on waxed papyrus, rested his chin on his fist, and fixed his smoldering blue eyes enviously on the man who stood before him [.....]What are you working at there?”

    “A map,” Conan answered with pride. “The maps of the court show well the countries of south, east and west, but in the north they are vague and faulty. I am adding the northern lands myself. Here is Cimmeria, where I was born. And —”

    “Asgard and Vanaheim,” Prospero scanned the map. “By Mitra, I had almost believed those countries to have been fabulous.”

    http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600811h.html

    Conan is not hewing a foe in twain or quaffing a pint of ale.He’s drawing a map.

    Read More
  13. @Anonymous
    https://genetiker.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/greg-cochran-is-an-ignoramus/

    Greg Cochran likes to think of himself as being near-omniscient. In this post he defied his readers to tell him something he didn’t know.

    The reality is that there’s a lot Cochran doesn’t know. He’s ignorant of some of the most important facts regarding the subjects he regularly pontificates on.
     

    I absolutely guarantee you that “Native Americans are White” Genetiker has far less of a clue than dabbler Cochran is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Here's a timeline of the peopling of the Americas:

    https://genetiker.wordpress.com/timelines-of-prehistory/

    Nowhere does it say that "Native Americans are White".
  14. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Cochran and the rest of the imbeciles think this is a vindication of the old Kurgan hypothesis, when it’s exactly the opposite:

    “The Kurgan hypothesis is dead”

    https://genetiker.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/the-kurgan-hypothesis-is-dead/

    David Reich and his associates have published a paper containing a lot of new genetic data from prehistoric Europe. These data utterly refute the Kurgan hypothesis, and yet Reich and his associates are so stupid that they actually think the data support the hypothesis.

    Read More
  15. syonredux says:

    syon says:

    February 12, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    “Which story by REH would you recommend to someone who’s never read anything by him? I guess it’s more entertainment than high literature, but I’m at least moderately interested.”

    So, best story by REH? Well, as I mentioned above, “Beyond the Black River” is quite good. It was certainly my favorite when I was 14, and it seems to be the consensus pick as the best Conan tale:

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/42254/42254-h/42254-h.htm

    Quite proud to see Steve passing on my recommendation.”Beyond the Black River” is a very effective tale, and it conveys REH’s gloomy view of human nature:

    ‘Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,’ the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. ‘Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.’

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/42254/42254-h/42254-h.htm

    Read More
  16. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Foolish Pride
    I absolutely guarantee you that "Native Americans are White" Genetiker has far less of a clue than dabbler Cochran is.

    Here’s a timeline of the peopling of the Americas:

    https://genetiker.wordpress.com/timelines-of-prehistory/

    Nowhere does it say that “Native Americans are White”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrew
    Anon 10:32p:

    Did you actually read the link you posted?

    Do you know what caucasoids are?

    He clearly says the first Americans came from France, and that there were later "white gods" who came over.
  17. Greg Cochran has an unfortunate tendency to come across as the reverse of a social justice warrior who sees extreme ideological importance in names. He’s just going to get ignored if he talks like this. Corded Ware pottery uniformly delineates a large region that doesn’t even uniformly share the same grave-battleaxe features and there is no liberal conspiracy.

    On the other hand, on other fronts social justice has already reached ancient Aryans:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1374060/Gay-caveman-5-000-year-old-male-skeleton-outed-way-buried.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    I think it would be hilarious if we now saw the development of the idea that transgenderism and gay burials were already features of Stone Age Indo-European culture before it all got repressed by the arrival of uptight Semitic religion. Somebody once said something about history repeating as a farce…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    "An Enigmatic Indo-European Rite: Paederasty"

    https://www.academia.edu/9176955/An_Enigmatic_Indo-European_Rite_Paederasty
    , @Pincher Martin

    I think it would be hilarious if we now saw the development of the idea that transgenderism and gay burials were already features of Stone Age Indo-European culture before it all got repressed by the arrival of uptight Semitic religion. Somebody once said something about history repeating as a farce…
     
    The idea has already been developed and promoted by the novelist Gore Vidal, who claimed pagan Europeans were once happy and gay and wore bright-coloured clothing, until the monotheists started running things.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Somebody once said something about history repeating as a farce…
     
    That was the only thing ol' Karl ever got right.
  18. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Jaakko Raipala
    Greg Cochran has an unfortunate tendency to come across as the reverse of a social justice warrior who sees extreme ideological importance in names. He's just going to get ignored if he talks like this. Corded Ware pottery uniformly delineates a large region that doesn't even uniformly share the same grave-battleaxe features and there is no liberal conspiracy.

    On the other hand, on other fronts social justice has already reached ancient Aryans:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1374060/Gay-caveman-5-000-year-old-male-skeleton-outed-way-buried.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    I think it would be hilarious if we now saw the development of the idea that transgenderism and gay burials were already features of Stone Age Indo-European culture before it all got repressed by the arrival of uptight Semitic religion. Somebody once said something about history repeating as a farce...

    “An Enigmatic Indo-European Rite: Paederasty”

    https://www.academia.edu/9176955/An_Enigmatic_Indo-European_Rite_Paederasty

    Read More
  19. @Jaakko Raipala
    Greg Cochran has an unfortunate tendency to come across as the reverse of a social justice warrior who sees extreme ideological importance in names. He's just going to get ignored if he talks like this. Corded Ware pottery uniformly delineates a large region that doesn't even uniformly share the same grave-battleaxe features and there is no liberal conspiracy.

    On the other hand, on other fronts social justice has already reached ancient Aryans:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1374060/Gay-caveman-5-000-year-old-male-skeleton-outed-way-buried.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    I think it would be hilarious if we now saw the development of the idea that transgenderism and gay burials were already features of Stone Age Indo-European culture before it all got repressed by the arrival of uptight Semitic religion. Somebody once said something about history repeating as a farce...

    I think it would be hilarious if we now saw the development of the idea that transgenderism and gay burials were already features of Stone Age Indo-European culture before it all got repressed by the arrival of uptight Semitic religion. Somebody once said something about history repeating as a farce…

    The idea has already been developed and promoted by the novelist Gore Vidal, who claimed pagan Europeans were once happy and gay and wore bright-coloured clothing, until the monotheists started running things.

    Read More
  20. Melendwyr says: • Website
    @SFG
    Howard is a much more interesting writer than people give him credit for; Conan, despite the stereotype, often uses cunning to defeat his foes, and Howard certainly read up on the ancient world.

    Someone over at Counter Currents described Lovecraft as a fascist/reactionary writer. More of a reactionary, though he was much more interested in horror than politics.

    I've often noticed genre writers tend to be to the right of literary writers. Niven and Pournelle are conservative. Heinlein was...well, hard to define. Asimov was liberal, but more enamored of rationalism (hardly an unreasonable trait for a science fiction writer) than a hardcore Marxist. Anyone else?

    Heinlein isn’t all that hard to categorize, it’s just that his category is usually disparaged here. And more complex than some commentators can cope with.

    He was a type of libertarian – yes, a despised libertarian, small-l – that prefers strong personal and cultural ties but a weak state, knows the importance of cultural virtues and tradition but is quick to question and disregard the traditions that don’t make sense, and recognizes that our traditions need to be able to cope with both increased knowledge and our changing needs. He understood the human need for belief systems while rejecting existing religions as dogma.

    The man had his flaws, but I doubt there’s anyone here worthy to shine his shoes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    but is quick to question and disregard the traditions that don’t make sense

    Either he was unclear on the concept of reverence for tradition or you are.
    , @Zippy

    The man had his flaws, but I doubt there’s anyone here worthy to shine his shoes.
     
    Dude, given the number of Heinlein references Steve tosses out, I am guessing that Heinlein is more admired than despised hereabouts. I have no interest in shining Heinlein's shoes, but he certainly was a very influential writer in my life.

    I actually think that Steve is very Heinleinesque in his heterodoxy.
    , @Texan99
    Hear, hear.
  21. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Cthulhu was written by H.P. Lovecraft, and I’m pretty sure did not show up in the Cimmerian
    Age of the Conan stories. As best I recall; I could be wrong. It’s happened before.

    SFG, Heinlein was a leftist/socialist early (Patterson’s bio of RAH), but seems to have thrown in a lot of variant political thoughts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gunnar von Cowtown
    IIRC, Lovecraft and Howard were rentals and influenced each other's work. There are many Lovecraftian elements in Howard's stories.
    , @syonredux

    Cthulhu was written by H.P. Lovecraft, and I’m pretty sure did not show up in the Cimmerian
     
    Cochran didn't say that Cthulhu appeared in the Conan stories.He said that "Cthulhu-like visitors" appeared:

    so far, we haven’t seen any signs of Cthulhu-like visitors, which abound in the Conan stories.
     
    And, yes, aliens did show up in the Hyborian age.Cf, for example, Yag-Kosha in "The Tower of the Elephant," although he was elephantine in aspect:

    http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600831h.html
  22. @Anonymous
    Cthulhu was written by H.P. Lovecraft, and I'm pretty sure did not show up in the Cimmerian
    Age of the Conan stories. As best I recall; I could be wrong. It's happened before.

    SFG, Heinlein was a leftist/socialist early (Patterson's bio of RAH), but seems to have thrown in a lot of variant political thoughts.

    IIRC, Lovecraft and Howard were rentals and influenced each other’s work. There are many Lovecraftian elements in Howard’s stories.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    IIRC, Lovecraft and Howard were rentals and influenced each other’s work. There are many Lovecraftian elements in Howard’s stories.
     
    Lovecraft and Howard never met, but they had a close epistolary relationship*.They started exchanging letters after Howard wrote a letter to Weird Tales in which he noted that Lovecraft had used Irish Gaelic when he should have used Welsh in a scene in "The Rats in the Walls." Lovecraft assumed that no one who read WT would notice the error.

    *The Lovecraft-Howard correspondence is being published:

    A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard (TWO VOLUME SET)

    http://www.amazon.com/Means-Freedom-Letters-Lovecraft-Robert/dp/0984480293
    , @Hunsdon
    I don't recollect the story Howard wrote that started off as a typically Lovecraftian creeper, until some ancient evil manifested and the hero reached for the family broadsword, hanging over the mantle.

    I'd put "Pigeons from Hell" right up with Lovecraft for spooks.
  23. syonredux says:
    @Anonymous
    Cthulhu was written by H.P. Lovecraft, and I'm pretty sure did not show up in the Cimmerian
    Age of the Conan stories. As best I recall; I could be wrong. It's happened before.

    SFG, Heinlein was a leftist/socialist early (Patterson's bio of RAH), but seems to have thrown in a lot of variant political thoughts.

    Cthulhu was written by H.P. Lovecraft, and I’m pretty sure did not show up in the Cimmerian

    Cochran didn’t say that Cthulhu appeared in the Conan stories.He said that “Cthulhu-like visitors” appeared:

    so far, we haven’t seen any signs of Cthulhu-like visitors, which abound in the Conan stories.

    And, yes, aliens did show up in the Hyborian age.Cf, for example, Yag-Kosha in “The Tower of the Elephant,” although he was elephantine in aspect:

    http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600831h.html

    Read More
  24. advancedatheist [AKA "RedneckCryonicist"] says:
    @SFG
    Howard is a much more interesting writer than people give him credit for; Conan, despite the stereotype, often uses cunning to defeat his foes, and Howard certainly read up on the ancient world.

    Someone over at Counter Currents described Lovecraft as a fascist/reactionary writer. More of a reactionary, though he was much more interested in horror than politics.

    I've often noticed genre writers tend to be to the right of literary writers. Niven and Pournelle are conservative. Heinlein was...well, hard to define. Asimov was liberal, but more enamored of rationalism (hardly an unreasonable trait for a science fiction writer) than a hardcore Marxist. Anyone else?

    H. Beam Piper, who presented the dilemma of the self-reliant man: He wants the freedom to live on his own terms and earn his keep, but when he stays away from government and lets the democrats run things, bad politicians rise to the top and bring ruination. Hence the self-reliant man has to keep returning to politics to shoot the bastards and rule the society with a firm hand.

    Read More
  25. Jerry Pournelle helped blur the lines between scifi and military sicfi, as well as pioneering libertarian thought such as public choice theory.

    His best-known “law” is “Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy”:

    …in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representatives who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

    he has also written about computer hardware and software. And a good guide on how to be a better writer, which I suggest everyone read: https://www.jerrypournelle.com/slowchange/myjob.html

    Read More
  26. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Melendwyr
    Heinlein isn't all that hard to categorize, it's just that his category is usually disparaged here. And more complex than some commentators can cope with.

    He was a type of libertarian - yes, a despised libertarian, small-l - that prefers strong personal and cultural ties but a weak state, knows the importance of cultural virtues and tradition but is quick to question and disregard the traditions that don't make sense, and recognizes that our traditions need to be able to cope with both increased knowledge and our changing needs. He understood the human need for belief systems while rejecting existing religions as dogma.

    The man had his flaws, but I doubt there's anyone here worthy to shine his shoes.

    but is quick to question and disregard the traditions that don’t make sense

    Either he was unclear on the concept of reverence for tradition or you are.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Melendwyr
    1) I didn't say 'reverence'. 'Respect' would be more appropriate.
    2) Perhaps you would be more comfortable with the term 'custom', instead?

    Human beings have innate need for custom. And changing customs around arbitrarily often produces no benefit or has significant costs. But sanctifying custom, and refusing to evaluate it because it's tradition, is unwell.

  27. syonredux says:
    @Gunnar von Cowtown
    IIRC, Lovecraft and Howard were rentals and influenced each other's work. There are many Lovecraftian elements in Howard's stories.

    IIRC, Lovecraft and Howard were rentals and influenced each other’s work. There are many Lovecraftian elements in Howard’s stories.

    Lovecraft and Howard never met, but they had a close epistolary relationship*.They started exchanging letters after Howard wrote a letter to Weird Tales in which he noted that Lovecraft had used Irish Gaelic when he should have used Welsh in a scene in “The Rats in the Walls.” Lovecraft assumed that no one who read WT would notice the error.

    *The Lovecraft-Howard correspondence is being published:

    A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard (TWO VOLUME SET)

    http://www.amazon.com/Means-Freedom-Letters-Lovecraft-Robert/dp/0984480293

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gunnar von Cowtown
    Damn it. That was supposed to say "penpals" not "rentals". Stupid autocorrect.
  28. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    Cochran doesn't know jack shit, except maybe sci-fi novels. He's not even a real scientist. His M.O. is bluffing his way through in front of an audience of toadyish amateurs and banning anyone who isn't a sycophant.

    The remarks above do carry a vibe of someone whose method is to play act through confident assertion.

    Read More
    • Replies: @gcochran
    Well, I predicted ( in Paleonanthropology, in 2006) that anatomically modern humans picked up Neanderthal ancestry as they expanded out of Africa when the consensus was that this had not happened. Of course that admixture was confirmed. I noted that even slight admixture was enough to transmit advantageous alleles - which was certainly known a long time ago by plant geneticists and some population geneticists, but which was generally disbelieved by human geneticists. Some advantageous Neanderthal alleles have now been found.

    John Hawks and I noted ( published in PNAS) that there had to have been a great increase in the rate of generation of new genetic variants when human numbers soared with the advent of agriculture: this was generally disbelieved, and probably even more people couldn't even understand what we were talking about. Svante Paabo: " Why would there be more mutations in a bigger population?" No theorist he.
    Confirmed.

    About three years ago, I commented on an article by Rasmus Nielsen, on Tibetan genetics. He thought that Tibet was settled about three thousand years ago, essentially by a Chinese population, and that their adaptation to high altitude occurred over that period.

    I said that he had to be wrong: the Tibetan adaptations worked too well, much better than those of Andean Indians. They had to be a product of a population that had lived there for a long, long time, and there was a good chance that this included picking up useful alleles from archaic humans that have lived in that vicinity for more than a million years. Confirmed in June 2014: one of the important altitude-adaptation alleles in Tibetans was picked up from Denisovans.


    Then there's Iraq. Steve knows that story.

    There's more, but modesty forbids.
    , @silviosilver

    The remarks above do carry a vibe of someone whose method is to play act through confident assertion.
     
    Hmm, reminds me of someone.
  29. gcochran says:
    @Assistant Village Idiot
    I have had cause to disagree with Cochran, but I don't like to. Part of it is his style, resorting quickly to calling others liars when they are merely biased or sloppy in traditional human ways. I reserve the term "liar" for something more intentional. Self-deception may be "lying" at root, but things get slippery in a fallen humanity, where everyone believes what is comfortable to some degree.

    But the remainder of my reluctance is to his credit. He knows a lot, he is not afraid to be blunt, he has at least some reasons behind what he claims. I am usually not qualified to judge whether his arguments hold all the way down. The huge advantage and downfall of smart people is that they leap to conclusions. The smarter one is, the more this is true. Bug? Feature? Both. Let's see how much turns out to be true.

    As to Conan, when I was still interested in reading fiction in the 70's I was a suburban-hippie, pacifist, liberal-arts wuss at a prestigious eastern college and would not sully my brain with such barbarities. The anthropology I took focused on Mesoamerican pottery and maize. Apparently my conceit cost me important knowledge.

    I called Boas a liar because he was one. He claimed that skull shape didn’t tell you anything because something as mundane as moving to the US made significant changes in the next generation: but his own data belied that. A lie that people are still quoting.

    Read More
  30. Wyrd says:

    I enjoyed Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of REH in the movie The Whole Wide World. Here’s a scene where he describes Conan:

    Read More
    • Replies: @HA
    What, were there no actual Texans -- or at least dialogue coaches -- who could have advised D'Onofrio to tone down the Foghorn Leghorn shtick and maybe try a real Texas accent?

    Zellweger's from Katy. Maybe she was too shy, or hoped in vain that her accent might rub off on him at some point.
  31. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Steve, thoughts on America’s first openly bisexual governor?

    “Oregon gets America’s first openly bisexual governor as Oregon’s embattled John Kitzhaber RESIGNS over scandal involving fiancee’s consulting contracts”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2952488/Oregon-governor-resists-pressure-quit-ethics-scandal.html

    Read More
  32. Roland says:

    Off topic, but on my iPad the site only fills two-thirds of the screen since a couple of days ago.

    Read More
  33. Andrew says:
    @Anonymous
    Here's a timeline of the peopling of the Americas:

    https://genetiker.wordpress.com/timelines-of-prehistory/

    Nowhere does it say that "Native Americans are White".

    Anon 10:32p:

    Did you actually read the link you posted?

    Do you know what caucasoids are?

    He clearly says the first Americans came from France, and that there were later “white gods” who came over.

    Read More
    • Replies: @gcochran
    "from France" : Coneheads?

    Nobody has ever found an ancient skeleton in America that is genetically something very different from generic Amerindians. Nor do Amerindians carry a genetic component that looks like ancient western Europeans. So there's no solid evidence for the Solutrean hypothesis.
    If someone does find such a skeeleton , say with U5B mtDNA, I''ll change my mind.

    Amerindians do carry a genetic component that is found in Europeans, but it's relative new in Europeans : wasn't there in the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers or in the later farmers of Mediterranean origin. Ind-Europeans brought it in - originated pretty far to the east. Purest example thus far is a 24,000 year old skeleton from deep in Siberia.
    , @genetiker

    He clearly says the first Americans came from France, and that there were later “white gods” who came over.
     
    All of which is true. And none of which implies that the people now known as Amerindians are White.
  34. syonredux says:

    Given the chance (sufficient lack of information), American anthropologists assumed that the Mayans were peaceful astronomers. Howard would have assumed that they were just another blood-drenched snake cult: who came closer?

    The early stuff on the Maya makes hysterical reading these days.Even granting for the fact that they couldn’t read the language, they still willfully misread pictorial evidence for human sacrifice, etc.

    For that matter, the deciphering of the Mayan language was a textbook example of prior assumptions blocking progress:

    Thompson’s focus on the non-calendric hieroglyphs produced the monumental Carnegie monograph Maya Hieroglyphic Writing: Introduction.[1] Thompson did groundbreaking work in the deciphering of Maya hieroglyphics. Notably, his contributions to the field of Maya epigraphic studies included advancements in our understanding of the calendar and astronomy, the identification of new nouns, and the development of a numerical cataloguing system for the glyphs (the T-number system), which are still used today.[citation needed] His attempted decipherments were based on ideographic rather than linguistic principles, and he was a staunch critic of all attempts to propose phonetic readings, .[4] In his later years, he resisted the notion that the glyphs have a phonetic component, as put forward by Russian linguist Yuri Knorozov. Thompson forcefully criticised Knorozov’s research, which discouraged the majority of the field from taking the latter’s work seriously.[5]

    Thompson supported Morley’s contention that the inscriptions were purely esoteric and religious texts, with no elements of history or politics, until the early 1960s, when the work of Tatiana Proskouriakoff on the inscriptions of Piedras Negras made him realise that his view had been “completely mistaken.”[1][2]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Eric_S._Thompson

    Read More
  35. @Roland
    Off topic, but on my iPad the site only fills two-thirds of the screen since a couple of days ago.

    Thanks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Roland
    Fixed! And Steve, you're the one who deserves the thanks. Thanks for keeping me sane.
  36. @Roland
    Off topic, but on my iPad the site only fills two-thirds of the screen since a couple of days ago.

    Thanks.

    Read More
  37. @syonredux

    IIRC, Lovecraft and Howard were rentals and influenced each other’s work. There are many Lovecraftian elements in Howard’s stories.
     
    Lovecraft and Howard never met, but they had a close epistolary relationship*.They started exchanging letters after Howard wrote a letter to Weird Tales in which he noted that Lovecraft had used Irish Gaelic when he should have used Welsh in a scene in "The Rats in the Walls." Lovecraft assumed that no one who read WT would notice the error.

    *The Lovecraft-Howard correspondence is being published:

    A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard (TWO VOLUME SET)

    http://www.amazon.com/Means-Freedom-Letters-Lovecraft-Robert/dp/0984480293

    Damn it. That was supposed to say “penpals” not “rentals”. Stupid autocorrect.

    Read More
  38. You can tell how out of date this dude is since he still thinks geologists are unsure about the iridium anomaly. Modern geology heavily favors catastrophe over burying plane old deposition as a means of transmitting valuable data through time. His view of geologists is antiquated by about 25 years, maybe he is unaware of the recent boom in sophistication of earth sciences, especially geophysics. There is a reason gas is $2 a gallon ten years after “peak oil”

    Read More
    • Replies: @gcochran
    "have grudgingly come to admit" ≠ uncertain.

    Some geologists have gotten this straight, but you can still find those that refuse to believe in the Alvarez hypothesis: not just Gerta Keller. Paleontologists are worse: many, maybe a majority, don't believe in it.

    "it seems that (greatly over-generalizing) many paleontologists lean towards the intrinsic side, while many astronomers and physicists favor the extrinsic side, and geologists are probably evenly split between the two."

    To some extent it may be a generational thing.
  39. Ezra says:

    I think “Beyond the Black River,” was originally set in a Fenimore Cooper era North America. The original savage Indians were retro-fitted as Picts to turn it into a Conan story.

    This may offer another reason that the Texan Howard had a keener understanding of pre-history than Paris inspired anthropologists. He actually grew up on the frontier, or what had been the frontier less than a generation before his birth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    I think “Beyond the Black River,” was originally set in a Fenimore Cooper era North America. The original savage Indians were retro-fitted as Picts to turn it into a Conan story.
     
    I've seen no evidence that it was intended as anything other than a Conan tale.On the other hand, you are quite correct in noting that "Beyond the Black River" was strongly influenced by the fighting that went on between the Anglos and the Amerinds in Upstate New York in the 18th century, and Howard scholars have noted the influence of both Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales and the Indian fighting novels of Robert W Chambers (better known nowadays for his collection of weird stories, The King in Yellow.

    This may offer another reason that the Texan Howard had a keener understanding of pre-history than Paris inspired anthropologists. He actually grew up on the frontier, or what had been the frontier less than a generation before his birth.
     
    Absolutely.Growing up around people who could remember the Comanche raids* would have done a lot to dispel sentimental notions about the "peaceful savage."


    *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comancheria

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Raid_of_1840
  40. syonredux says:

    Tolkien vs Howard,

    In terms of prose-style, Tolkien was the better writer.Of course, Howard suffered under the burden of living off the product of his pen, while Tolkien had the time to polish his prose in his idle hours.

    That being said, Tolkien’s work is defiantly non-Darwinian.Howard, in contrast, felt the clamor of the darkling plain where ignorant armies clash by night in his bones.Hence, for all his crudeness (perhaps even because of his crudeness?) there is something coldly modern about REH’s vision.He does not flinch when faced with the reality of the universe.

    Read More
  41. HA says:
    @Wyrd
    I enjoyed Vincent D'Onofrio's portrayal of REH in the movie The Whole Wide World. Here's a scene where he describes Conan:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2MwAy6njlM

    What, were there no actual Texans — or at least dialogue coaches — who could have advised D’Onofrio to tone down the Foghorn Leghorn shtick and maybe try a real Texas accent?

    Zellweger’s from Katy. Maybe she was too shy, or hoped in vain that her accent might rub off on him at some point.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wyrd
    I don't agree, I say I don't agree D'Onofrio's doing a Foghorn Leghorn impersonation. It's more a generic Hollywood southern accent.
  42. gcochran says:
    @Art Deco
    The remarks above do carry a vibe of someone whose method is to play act through confident assertion.

    Well, I predicted ( in Paleonanthropology, in 2006) that anatomically modern humans picked up Neanderthal ancestry as they expanded out of Africa when the consensus was that this had not happened. Of course that admixture was confirmed. I noted that even slight admixture was enough to transmit advantageous alleles – which was certainly known a long time ago by plant geneticists and some population geneticists, but which was generally disbelieved by human geneticists. Some advantageous Neanderthal alleles have now been found.

    John Hawks and I noted ( published in PNAS) that there had to have been a great increase in the rate of generation of new genetic variants when human numbers soared with the advent of agriculture: this was generally disbelieved, and probably even more people couldn’t even understand what we were talking about. Svante Paabo: ” Why would there be more mutations in a bigger population?” No theorist he.
    Confirmed.

    About three years ago, I commented on an article by Rasmus Nielsen, on Tibetan genetics. He thought that Tibet was settled about three thousand years ago, essentially by a Chinese population, and that their adaptation to high altitude occurred over that period.

    I said that he had to be wrong: the Tibetan adaptations worked too well, much better than those of Andean Indians. They had to be a product of a population that had lived there for a long, long time, and there was a good chance that this included picking up useful alleles from archaic humans that have lived in that vicinity for more than a million years. Confirmed in June 2014: one of the important altitude-adaptation alleles in Tibetans was picked up from Denisovans.

    Then there’s Iraq. Steve knows that story.

    There’s more, but modesty forbids.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    So, when are you going to bring in that much over due controlled nuclear fusion project?
    , @rustbeltreader
    VERBOSITY
    Judge Bertelsman on a failing endemic within the legal profession:
    Nothing lulls an attorney to the passage of time like the sound of his or her own voice. Few attorneys can tell you what time it is without describing how the clock was made.
    United States v. Reaves, 636 F. Supp. 1575, 1579 (E.D. Ky. 1986).
    http://www.curmudgeonlyclerk.com/weblog/archives/2004_02.html#000718
    As time goes on Iraq keeps getting worse and worse. Busted clocks are right at least twice a day which is more than you can say for some people.
  43. gcochran says:
    @IHTG

    Now I’m not saying that Howard got every single tiny little syllable of prehistory right.
     
    But basically he said 'em, yeah!

    A man of culture finally recognizes the reference.

    Read More
  44. syonredux says:
    @Ezra
    I think "Beyond the Black River," was originally set in a Fenimore Cooper era North America. The original savage Indians were retro-fitted as Picts to turn it into a Conan story.

    This may offer another reason that the Texan Howard had a keener understanding of pre-history than Paris inspired anthropologists. He actually grew up on the frontier, or what had been the frontier less than a generation before his birth.

    I think “Beyond the Black River,” was originally set in a Fenimore Cooper era North America. The original savage Indians were retro-fitted as Picts to turn it into a Conan story.

    I’ve seen no evidence that it was intended as anything other than a Conan tale.On the other hand, you are quite correct in noting that “Beyond the Black River” was strongly influenced by the fighting that went on between the Anglos and the Amerinds in Upstate New York in the 18th century, and Howard scholars have noted the influence of both Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales and the Indian fighting novels of Robert W Chambers (better known nowadays for his collection of weird stories, The King in Yellow.

    This may offer another reason that the Texan Howard had a keener understanding of pre-history than Paris inspired anthropologists. He actually grew up on the frontier, or what had been the frontier less than a generation before his birth.

    Absolutely.Growing up around people who could remember the Comanche raids* would have done a lot to dispel sentimental notions about the “peaceful savage.”

    *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comancheria

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Raid_of_1840

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    by the fighting that went on between the Anglos and the Amerinds in Upstate New York in the 18th century…
     
    There were no "Anglos" nor "Amerinds" in upstate New York in the 18th century (nor, for that matter, in the 1970s when I came of age there). There were English, and there were Red Indians.
    , @Ezra
    I stand corrected
    , @Tex
    Howard's good friend Tevis Clyde Smith collected and published the reminiscences of old timers in Brown County. His books, Frontier's Generation and From the Memories of Men, can still be found in collections of Texana. Howard may have helped on some of the research and certainlky made a point of listening to the tales of folks who remembered the pioneer days.
  45. Zippy says:
    @Melendwyr
    Heinlein isn't all that hard to categorize, it's just that his category is usually disparaged here. And more complex than some commentators can cope with.

    He was a type of libertarian - yes, a despised libertarian, small-l - that prefers strong personal and cultural ties but a weak state, knows the importance of cultural virtues and tradition but is quick to question and disregard the traditions that don't make sense, and recognizes that our traditions need to be able to cope with both increased knowledge and our changing needs. He understood the human need for belief systems while rejecting existing religions as dogma.

    The man had his flaws, but I doubt there's anyone here worthy to shine his shoes.

    The man had his flaws, but I doubt there’s anyone here worthy to shine his shoes.

    Dude, given the number of Heinlein references Steve tosses out, I am guessing that Heinlein is more admired than despised hereabouts. I have no interest in shining Heinlein’s shoes, but he certainly was a very influential writer in my life.

    I actually think that Steve is very Heinleinesque in his heterodoxy.

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  46. gcochran says:
    @Andrew
    Anon 10:32p:

    Did you actually read the link you posted?

    Do you know what caucasoids are?

    He clearly says the first Americans came from France, and that there were later "white gods" who came over.

    “from France” : Coneheads?

    Nobody has ever found an ancient skeleton in America that is genetically something very different from generic Amerindians. Nor do Amerindians carry a genetic component that looks like ancient western Europeans. So there’s no solid evidence for the Solutrean hypothesis.
    If someone does find such a skeeleton , say with U5B mtDNA, I”ll change my mind.

    Amerindians do carry a genetic component that is found in Europeans, but it’s relative new in Europeans : wasn’t there in the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers or in the later farmers of Mediterranean origin. Ind-Europeans brought it in – originated pretty far to the east. Purest example thus far is a 24,000 year old skeleton from deep in Siberia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @genetiker

    Nobody has ever found an ancient skeleton in America that is genetically something very different from generic Amerindians.
     
    Nobody has ever found any Clovis skeletons, period.

    Nor do Amerindians carry a genetic component that looks like ancient western Europeans.
     
    The western Gravettians were a lot like Mal'ta 1, so it would be hard to know. But the Clovis people abruptly died out at the start of the Younger Dryas, so there's no reason to think that Amerindians have any admixture from them anyway.

    So there’s no solid evidence for the Solutrean hypothesis.
     
    There's a mountain of archeological evidence. There's a clear evolutionary sequence from Solutrean to proto-Clovis to Clovis. The first proto-Clovis tools are found on the eastern coast of the US, and they're dated to 26,000 years ago, which is 11,000 years before the melting of the Cordilleran ice sheet permitted the Mongoloid-Caucasoid hybrids from Asia to move down the Pacific coast.

    Amerindians do carry a genetic component that is found in Europeans
     
    Something that I knew while you were still repeating Reich's nonsense about Europeans having a genetic component from Amerindians.

    but it’s relative new in Europeans
     
    Nope. It's been in Europe since the Gravettian.

    wasn’t there in the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers
     
    It wasn't in the Y hg I and C1a2 hunter-gatherers. It was in the R1b and R1a descendants of the Gravettians.

    Ind-Europeans brought it in
     
    Right, and the Gravettians were the Indo-Europeans.

    originated pretty far to the east
     
    It originated in Pakistan, moved north through Central Asia, and then spread west into Europe and east into Siberia.

    Purest example thus far is a 24,000 year old skeleton from deep in Siberia.
     
    Wait for the Gravettian sequences.
    , @genetiker

    Nobody has ever found an ancient skeleton in America that is genetically something very different from generic Amerindians.
     
    Nobody has ever found any Clovis skeletons, period.

    Nor do Amerindians carry a genetic component that looks like ancient western Europeans.
     
    The western Gravettians and their descendants were a lot like Mal'ta 1, so it would be hard to know. But the Clovis people abruptly died out at the start of the Younger Dryas, so there's no reason to think that Amerindians have any admixture from them anyway.

    So there’s no solid evidence for the Solutrean hypothesis.
     
    There's a mountain of archeological evidence. There's a clear evolutionary sequence from Solutrean to proto-Clovis to Clovis. The first proto-Clovis tools are found on the eastern coast of the US, and they're dated to 26,000 years ago, which is 11,000 years before the melting of the Cordilleran ice sheet permitted the Mongoloid-Caucasoid hybrids from Asia to move down the Pacific coast.

    Amerindians do carry a genetic component that is found in Europeans
     
    Something that I knew while you were still repeating Reich's nonsense about Europeans having a genetic component from Amerindians.

    but it’s relative new in Europeans
     
    Nope. It's been in Europe since the Gravettian.

    wasn’t there in the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers
     
    It wasn't in the Y hg I and C1a2 hunter-gatherers. It was in the R1b and R1a Gravettian-descended hunter-gatherers.

    Ind-Europeans brought it in
     
    Right, and the Gravettians were the Indo-Europeans.

    originated pretty far to the east
     
    It originated in Pakistan, moved north through Central Asia, and then spread west into Europe and east into Siberia.

    Purest example thus far is a 24,000 year old skeleton from deep in Siberia.
     
    Wait for the Gravettian sequences.
    , @Lagertha
    so, going out on a limb...there is a genetic link with Finns and the Clovis people - there is a stream to N. America & Asia (Mongolia) to say... yeaaah, so weird - do not know the age of metal and writing at all the museums which could give evidence of that time to appease all the arm-chair historians reading this.

    Ok, so it's late, and I don't care what all you guys are gonna say, BUT for my 11th birthday, I got a 5 inch engraved knife with a reindeer bone carved handle; a scabbard in embossed leather as a present...just like my older brothers. This was a normal gift (even if I was a girl) in society, for a boy at 11 or 12. And, several years later, I was given a Swiss Army knife with attachments when I left to 'roam the world' with my cousin. My father felt that if I needed a weapon if bad stuff happened, he had given me A weapon. I still know how to kill somebody with my hands. Giving knives was sort of a mainstream present in Finland-although carry-on now, requires you check those blades.

    My point is, we are all really primitive if anyone attacks our loved ones. And, I hide my quiet, unassuming father's gift of a knife and stick it into 'checked bags' when I fly. NO American women I have ever met since moving here in 1968 has ever been given a large Bowie-like knife for an 11th birthday like me.

  47. iffen says:
    @gcochran
    Well, I predicted ( in Paleonanthropology, in 2006) that anatomically modern humans picked up Neanderthal ancestry as they expanded out of Africa when the consensus was that this had not happened. Of course that admixture was confirmed. I noted that even slight admixture was enough to transmit advantageous alleles - which was certainly known a long time ago by plant geneticists and some population geneticists, but which was generally disbelieved by human geneticists. Some advantageous Neanderthal alleles have now been found.

    John Hawks and I noted ( published in PNAS) that there had to have been a great increase in the rate of generation of new genetic variants when human numbers soared with the advent of agriculture: this was generally disbelieved, and probably even more people couldn't even understand what we were talking about. Svante Paabo: " Why would there be more mutations in a bigger population?" No theorist he.
    Confirmed.

    About three years ago, I commented on an article by Rasmus Nielsen, on Tibetan genetics. He thought that Tibet was settled about three thousand years ago, essentially by a Chinese population, and that their adaptation to high altitude occurred over that period.

    I said that he had to be wrong: the Tibetan adaptations worked too well, much better than those of Andean Indians. They had to be a product of a population that had lived there for a long, long time, and there was a good chance that this included picking up useful alleles from archaic humans that have lived in that vicinity for more than a million years. Confirmed in June 2014: one of the important altitude-adaptation alleles in Tibetans was picked up from Denisovans.


    Then there's Iraq. Steve knows that story.

    There's more, but modesty forbids.

    So, when are you going to bring in that much over due controlled nuclear fusion project?

    Read More
  48. “He’s been dead for nearly 50 years, but H.L. Mencken’s bathtub hoax lives on. It seems to breed wherever information congregates, even mutating to the Internet. ”

    “The hoax continues to this day. On the Internet, lightly-edited publications such as EasyFunSchool.com and the Washington Post credit President Fillmore with installing the first bathtub in the White House.”

    http://www.legalunderground.com/2004/02/menckens_bathtu.html

    TV is expanding the lies. I washed out of Easter Seals training!

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  49. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Howard was not an inferiour writer to Tolkien, but he was more inconsistent (as you might imagine someone writing at breakneck speed for the pulps). The two were both very capable writers but with very different styles. The argument boils down to taste . Howard was probably a better poet though.

    Howard and Lovecraft were both very interested in differences between races, but the theme is more common in Howard’s work. A story of his directly dealing with the subject and which may be of interest to readers of this blog is “Worms of the Earth.” Although it is not a Conan story, it is similar in style. It is also one of his greatest stories, if not his best.

    I would also point curious readers to the Robert E. Howard Bookshelf. This is a reconstructed catalogue of Howard’s library. It is very interesting to browse and uncover how broadly he read and what his interests were. I wish more authors had things like this. http://www.rehupa.com/OLDWEB/bookshelf.htm

    Read More
    • Replies: @Melendwyr
    Tolkien did his best work when he was writing in the styles he loved best - Norse epic, and Anglo-Saxon/Norse alliterative verse. The best parts of LoTR occur when Tolkien felt comfortable enough to let modern novelistic convention drop away and switched to 'High Mode'. Many of the features of the old-style sections come straight from medieval manuscript histories, including the additions by later scribes that make absolutely no sense if the work is viewed from a modern perspective.

    And I think his verse staves are excellent, although the bits of poetry he hid in the Silmarillion are worth reading as well. He could manage the technical aspects of poetry amazingly well - people don't always realize how complex the structure of Bilbo's Rivendell poem is - but he couldn't capture raw emotion as well. His workmanship outran his artistry.

    Which of the two was a better poet might depend on which aspect of poetry you think is paramount.
  50. OT: While we’re on the subject of librarians, Steve, does it not disturb you that Wikipedia has such a total monopoly on the widespread dissemination of general information? Small but niggling errors abound.

    Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls was on TV the other day, and not having anything better to do, I watched it for a while. While I was sitting there, watching Elizabeth Berkley grind and heave her way to career suicide, I pulled up the Wiki article on the flick.

    Wikipedia claims that the film was released on VHS on Tuesday, February 13, 1996. But I knew immediately that it was wrong. I was an impressionable youth when the film was first released on VHS. One of my friend’s older brothers worked at an independent video store and set aside a copy of the uncut NC-17 version for his own personal … enjoyment. The younger brother invited a few of us over t0 stay over at his place and watch it. I distinctly remembered that we watched it – two or three times, as a matter of fact – during the middle of the night only a few days after New Year’s, when we were still on vacation from school. (His parents were out of town and his brother was off with his girlfriend, so we had the house to ourselves. It’s a wonder we didn’t wreck it.)

    So I did some checking and found that the film was, indeed, released on Tuesday, January 2, 1996:

    http://articles.latimes.com/1996-01-02/entertainment/ca-20166_1_bad-publicity

    You might ask, “Why don’t you edit the Wiki article?” Well, let’s just say that I bear the scars of a few nasty edit wars, and I’ve sworn off Wikipedia editing for good.

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  51. Melendwyr says: • Website
    @Art Deco
    but is quick to question and disregard the traditions that don’t make sense

    Either he was unclear on the concept of reverence for tradition or you are.

    1) I didn’t say ‘reverence’. ‘Respect’ would be more appropriate.
    2) Perhaps you would be more comfortable with the term ‘custom’, instead?

    Human beings have innate need for custom. And changing customs around arbitrarily often produces no benefit or has significant costs. But sanctifying custom, and refusing to evaluate it because it’s tradition, is unwell.

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  52. Drogger says: • Website

    Just play any Civilization or Total War game and you realize… well… sometimes its just easier to destroy a city, kill all of its inhabitants, and build a new one right on top of the old. Otherwise you’re dealing with rebellions non-stop.

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  53. gcochran says:
    @HairlessNeanderthal
    You can tell how out of date this dude is since he still thinks geologists are unsure about the iridium anomaly. Modern geology heavily favors catastrophe over burying plane old deposition as a means of transmitting valuable data through time. His view of geologists is antiquated by about 25 years, maybe he is unaware of the recent boom in sophistication of earth sciences, especially geophysics. There is a reason gas is $2 a gallon ten years after "peak oil"

    “have grudgingly come to admit” ≠ uncertain.

    Some geologists have gotten this straight, but you can still find those that refuse to believe in the Alvarez hypothesis: not just Gerta Keller. Paleontologists are worse: many, maybe a majority, don’t believe in it.

    “it seems that (greatly over-generalizing) many paleontologists lean towards the intrinsic side, while many astronomers and physicists favor the extrinsic side, and geologists are probably evenly split between the two.”

    To some extent it may be a generational thing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @HairlessNeanderthal
    Interesting. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the Levantine cave stratigraphy. Pretty interesting intersection between climate catastrophe and Neanderthal/AMH hybridization and conflict. Plus the Levant is always interesting.

    And I don't doubt it's a generational thing. Geology academics aren't a great bellwether though because all the talent has been getting vacuumed up by industry for at least a decade. I find sometimes the academic types are the bottom of the barrel. Plus geology is an infant of a science compared to any of the others. I mean we were deep into the Cold War before Adm. Hess solved the whole sea floor spreading puzzle. There are still plenty of profs around from when that was considered a radical theory.
  54. @gcochran
    Well, I predicted ( in Paleonanthropology, in 2006) that anatomically modern humans picked up Neanderthal ancestry as they expanded out of Africa when the consensus was that this had not happened. Of course that admixture was confirmed. I noted that even slight admixture was enough to transmit advantageous alleles - which was certainly known a long time ago by plant geneticists and some population geneticists, but which was generally disbelieved by human geneticists. Some advantageous Neanderthal alleles have now been found.

    John Hawks and I noted ( published in PNAS) that there had to have been a great increase in the rate of generation of new genetic variants when human numbers soared with the advent of agriculture: this was generally disbelieved, and probably even more people couldn't even understand what we were talking about. Svante Paabo: " Why would there be more mutations in a bigger population?" No theorist he.
    Confirmed.

    About three years ago, I commented on an article by Rasmus Nielsen, on Tibetan genetics. He thought that Tibet was settled about three thousand years ago, essentially by a Chinese population, and that their adaptation to high altitude occurred over that period.

    I said that he had to be wrong: the Tibetan adaptations worked too well, much better than those of Andean Indians. They had to be a product of a population that had lived there for a long, long time, and there was a good chance that this included picking up useful alleles from archaic humans that have lived in that vicinity for more than a million years. Confirmed in June 2014: one of the important altitude-adaptation alleles in Tibetans was picked up from Denisovans.


    Then there's Iraq. Steve knows that story.

    There's more, but modesty forbids.

    VERBOSITY
    Judge Bertelsman on a failing endemic within the legal profession:
    Nothing lulls an attorney to the passage of time like the sound of his or her own voice. Few attorneys can tell you what time it is without describing how the clock was made.
    United States v. Reaves, 636 F. Supp. 1575, 1579 (E.D. Ky. 1986).

    http://www.curmudgeonlyclerk.com/weblog/archives/2004_02.html#000718

    As time goes on Iraq keeps getting worse and worse. Busted clocks are right at least twice a day which is more than you can say for some people.

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  55. cthulhu says:
    @SPMoore8
    I hope no one tells Stephen Pinker. I mean, isn't he the guy who is arguing that the human race, as a species, is outgrowing violence? We'll see how that goes.

    I've never doubted that the history of prehistoric humans was bloody, or that the spread of the Indo-Europeans was bloody (I think horsemanship, more than anything else, probably drove their dominance; but who really knows.) And I consider it the height of decadence to pretend that humans are not prone to dominance, competition, and -- if necessary -- violence to impose their will. There are ways to rein that in -- religion comes to mind -- but to pretend it is not an intrinsic part of our natures strikes me as silly.

    Um, Pinker is front and center in acknowledging and defending the violence that is part of human nature, including all of the violence done in prehistoric societies. You would be hard pressed to find a public intellectual more amenable and defending of those ideas.

    His thesis in “Better Angels” is basically that Western liberal democracy has been the catalyst in reducing violence internal and external to sovereign states.

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    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Well, I admit I didn't spend a lot of time on that book, which I found hopelessly naive and rose-colored in its perception. So thanks for the correction.

    On the other hand I do think the entire notion of eradicating violence from human nature goes hand in hand with the previous notions of pacific expansion in Europe, or among primitives.

    I don't buy either set of ideas.
    , @Anonymous Nephew
    "His thesis in “Better Angels” is basically that Western liberal democracy has been the catalyst in reducing violence internal and external to sovereign states."

    But Western liberal democracy is getting less liberal and less democratic by the day.
  56. @Zippy

    The man had his flaws, but I doubt there’s anyone here worthy to shine his shoes.
     
    Dude, given the number of Heinlein references Steve tosses out, I am guessing that Heinlein is more admired than despised hereabouts. I have no interest in shining Heinlein's shoes, but he certainly was a very influential writer in my life.

    I actually think that Steve is very Heinleinesque in his heterodoxy.

    Yeah.

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  57. Ron Unz says:
    @Pincher Martin

    I like Cochran, but he doesn’t really deserve any credit for anything here. He hasn’t been going out on a limb or making bold or unique predictions. He’s been repeating what other people have been and have said before.
     
    Oh yeah? How many other public intellectuals were claiming it? Find an intellectual in the public realm who was talking about it before, say, 2000?

    Actually, the notion that humans and Neanderthals likely interbred apparently used to be widely accepted among anthropologists and the educated laymen who followed them. A couple of years ago I happened to be reading a book from the early 1960s and was surprised to find the idea treated as solidly established, even pointing to exactly the same geographical region (the Middle East) suggested by modern researchers. I’m not exactly sure when or why the theory was later forgotten or discounted. Obviously, Cochran and all the other modern researchers deserve full credit for reviving the very old idea.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/almost-a-century-ahead-of-the-new-york-times/

    As for Cochran, I’d certainly agree that the theory of Acceleration which he and several co-authors developed is a theoretical development of the greatest importance, in my opinion clearly worthy of an eventual Nobel Prize.

    http://www.unz.com/pfrost/he-who-pays-piper/#comment-613032

    However, although Cochran is highly intelligent, he is also an exceptionally arrogant individual, whose arrogance often tends to lead him astray. I remember he once claimed that just he and a couple of his engineering-buddies together possessed more intelligence and creativity that all the billion-plus Han Chinese in the world combined, which I suspect represented only a slight rhetorical overstatement of his true personal beliefs.

    As near as I can tell, he seems to form snap-judgments on all sorts of matters, including those about which he obviously knows nothing, then grows outraged when others politely point out his mistakes. After he co-developed Acceleration a decade ago, I was initially so enormously impressed with that theory that I took his views very seriously on all sorts of other matters. But after more than a dozen cases in which he was very clearly wrong but refused to even consider his errors or explain his reasoning, I reluctantly concluded that his support tends to provide “negative credibility” to almost all issues.

    A few years ago I described a perfect example of his unreasonable behavior with regard to his doubtful “gay germ” theory:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/gay-germ-censorship/

    When I (very politely) raised some logical problems with his theory in the comments of his blogsite, he immediately banned me as a “loon.” He loves the adulation of the worshipful fanboys who throng there and was obviously quite concerned that the simple scientific questions I was raising might tend to “confuse” them.

    I would like to underscore that although Cochran banned me from his blogsite for politely disagreeing with him on a scientific matter, I have never retaliated, and he regularly comments here at The Unz Review.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    There's no way something like Acceleration deserves a Nobel Prize. It's not theoretically novel enough. Proposing that the rate of some variable is accelerating is not a theoretically original idea.
    , @e
    I recall that. Cochran tried to impress upon you, Ron, (and his point was re-iterated by others), yet you simply ignored it: pathogens out evolve us.
    , @Anonymous
    You seem to be taking it quite personally. Battling some inner demons, Ron?
    , @Pincher Martin
    Ron,

    My last comment was addressed to you.

    Also:

    I would like to underscore that although Cochran banned me from his blogsite for politely disagreeing with him on a scientific matter, I have never retaliated, and he regularly comments here at The Unz Review.
     
    I know. I took your side at the time. I didn't think you did anything bannable other than be your typical annoying, verbose self.

    But why pick at this scab now? The ban was short-lived and rescinded. The matter appeared settled. If Cochran posts here, perhaps it's because he thought you were the kind of guy to let bygones be bygones.
  58. SPMoore8 says:
    @cthulhu
    Um, Pinker is front and center in acknowledging and defending the violence that is part of human nature, including all of the violence done in prehistoric societies. You would be hard pressed to find a public intellectual more amenable and defending of those ideas.

    His thesis in "Better Angels" is basically that Western liberal democracy has been the catalyst in reducing violence internal and external to sovereign states.

    Well, I admit I didn’t spend a lot of time on that book, which I found hopelessly naive and rose-colored in its perception. So thanks for the correction.

    On the other hand I do think the entire notion of eradicating violence from human nature goes hand in hand with the previous notions of pacific expansion in Europe, or among primitives.

    I don’t buy either set of ideas.

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  59. @Art Deco
    The remarks above do carry a vibe of someone whose method is to play act through confident assertion.

    The remarks above do carry a vibe of someone whose method is to play act through confident assertion.

    Hmm, reminds me of someone.

    Read More
  60. Actually, the notion that humans and Neanderthals likely interbred apparently used to be widely accepted among anthropologists and the educated laymen who followed them.

    Of course I knew this, and I should have been clearer in my original statement.

    Madison Grant in his The Passing of the Great Race wrote the following lines in the 1910s:

    Neanderthal Man was a purely meat eating hunter, living in caves, or rather in their entrances. He was dolichocephalic and not unlike existing Australoids, although not necessarily of black skin, and was, of course, in no sense a negro.

    The skull was characterized by heavy superorbital ridges, a low, receding forehead, protruding and chinless under jaw, and the posture was imperfectly erect. This race was widely spread and rather numerous. Some of its blood has trickled down to the present time, and occasionally one sees a skull of the Neanderthal type. The best skull of this type ever seen by the writer belonged to an old and very intellectual professor in London, who was quite innocent of his value as a museum specimen. In the old black breed of Scotland the overhanging brow and deep-set eyes are suggestive of this race. [Pincher Martin's emphasis in bold.]

    That very humorous statement by Grant was published in a widely read book in 1916, when Robert Howard was ten years old. I’m no expert on the views of anthropologists in the early twentieth century, but I doubt Grant was speculating on his own. He was a synthesizer of what he read, not a theorist.

    So while Cochran’s view on the admixture of Neanderthals and modern man are obviously not his own creation, the hypothesis had, unfairly, fallen out of fashion – and he provided a useful service to the public by reintroducing it to them just as genetic science was making it possible to test. And isn’t that one of the points of The Hyborian Age, that too many good ideas in the sciences were dumped for ideological reasons, that we went backward in our knowledge often for no good reason?

    So let me amend my previous statement: Find a public intellectual between, say, 1970 and 2000 who was claiming with any confidence that Neanderthal genes had been passed down among Homo sapiens.

    However, although Cochran is highly intelligent, he is also an exceptionally arrogant individual, whose arrogance often tends to lead him astray.

    I expect public intellectuals to be two things: Accurate far more often than not, and entertaining. Cochran is both. Humility? A man needs only enough to admit when he’s wrong, and I’ve seen Cochran admit on at least a couple of occasions when his ideas weren’t panning out.

    Have you the same degree of humility to admit when you’re wrong, Ron?

    Read More
    • Replies: @gcochran
    "accurate far more often than not"

    So, how many 'public intellectuals' achieve that standard? Can you name a few names?
    , @Ron Unz

    Have you the same degree of humility to admit when you’re wrong, Ron?
     
    Well, as I just noted elsewhere, when I published my major Race/IQ article and series a couple of years ago, the reaction in the rightwing-HBD sphere was about 99% hostile, often personally insulting and intensively vituperative. However, I gladly provided links to all those endless attacks and gathered them together so that interested people could compare them and my own responses. Peter Frost's attacks on me were particularly insulting and defamatory, yet I later had no hesitation in inviting him to become a columnist at my new webzine. I don't think my behavior is that of an egomaniac terrified of criticism.

    Without reopening the Race/IQ debate, I think pretty much every objective observer eventually admitted I had been entirely correct and my critics had been wrong. Just read through the dozen articles in the series and follow some of the links to see the various quiet retractions.

    And frankly, my utter outrage at having been immediately banned when I politely responded to an certain egomaniac's ridiculous blogsite attacks has been a major factor behind my anti-censorship approach on this webzine.

    Now I obviously won't admit I'm wrong when I'm clearly not. But I will say that over the last few years and especially in the last year or two, I've been absolutely shocked to discover I was totally, completely, utterly wrong about a whole series of huge matters. The magnitude of my errors has absolutely stunned me. In several cases, my reasoning had always seemed fully airtight but turned out to be absolutely wrong. Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence. On many, many occasions I've felt like I'd just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: "How can I have been so stupid for all those years?..."

    However, none of these gigantic errors on my part have anything to do with HBD. Indeed, almost everything having to do with HBD, including the total dishonesty of the MSM, has been pretty obvious to me since I was about nine or ten. Remember, I studied under E.O. Wilson over thirty years ago and developed my Chinese Social Darwinism theory at that point. One reason I was so extremely impressed with Acceleration was that it was about the first totally new HBD idea I'd encountered since the early 1980s. And as far as I can tell, all my own HBD-related articles have been completely correct, at least within the uncertainty-bounds I have explicitly specified.
  61. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @SFG
    Howard is a much more interesting writer than people give him credit for; Conan, despite the stereotype, often uses cunning to defeat his foes, and Howard certainly read up on the ancient world.

    Someone over at Counter Currents described Lovecraft as a fascist/reactionary writer. More of a reactionary, though he was much more interested in horror than politics.

    I've often noticed genre writers tend to be to the right of literary writers. Niven and Pournelle are conservative. Heinlein was...well, hard to define. Asimov was liberal, but more enamored of rationalism (hardly an unreasonable trait for a science fiction writer) than a hardcore Marxist. Anyone else?

    Yes, Conan isn’t a meat head at all.

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  62. genetiker says: • Website
    @Andrew
    Anon 10:32p:

    Did you actually read the link you posted?

    Do you know what caucasoids are?

    He clearly says the first Americans came from France, and that there were later "white gods" who came over.

    He clearly says the first Americans came from France, and that there were later “white gods” who came over.

    All of which is true. And none of which implies that the people now known as Amerindians are White.

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  63. Wyrd says:
    @HA
    What, were there no actual Texans -- or at least dialogue coaches -- who could have advised D'Onofrio to tone down the Foghorn Leghorn shtick and maybe try a real Texas accent?

    Zellweger's from Katy. Maybe she was too shy, or hoped in vain that her accent might rub off on him at some point.

    I don’t agree, I say I don’t agree D’Onofrio’s doing a Foghorn Leghorn impersonation. It’s more a generic Hollywood southern accent.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Simon in London
    Yes, they do the same accent for Hollywood-Mississippi and Hollywood-South Carolina.
  64. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Ron Unz
    Actually, the notion that humans and Neanderthals likely interbred apparently used to be widely accepted among anthropologists and the educated laymen who followed them. A couple of years ago I happened to be reading a book from the early 1960s and was surprised to find the idea treated as solidly established, even pointing to exactly the same geographical region (the Middle East) suggested by modern researchers. I'm not exactly sure when or why the theory was later forgotten or discounted. Obviously, Cochran and all the other modern researchers deserve full credit for reviving the very old idea.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/almost-a-century-ahead-of-the-new-york-times/

    As for Cochran, I'd certainly agree that the theory of Acceleration which he and several co-authors developed is a theoretical development of the greatest importance, in my opinion clearly worthy of an eventual Nobel Prize.

    http://www.unz.com/pfrost/he-who-pays-piper/#comment-613032

    However, although Cochran is highly intelligent, he is also an exceptionally arrogant individual, whose arrogance often tends to lead him astray. I remember he once claimed that just he and a couple of his engineering-buddies together possessed more intelligence and creativity that all the billion-plus Han Chinese in the world combined, which I suspect represented only a slight rhetorical overstatement of his true personal beliefs.

    As near as I can tell, he seems to form snap-judgments on all sorts of matters, including those about which he obviously knows nothing, then grows outraged when others politely point out his mistakes. After he co-developed Acceleration a decade ago, I was initially so enormously impressed with that theory that I took his views very seriously on all sorts of other matters. But after more than a dozen cases in which he was very clearly wrong but refused to even consider his errors or explain his reasoning, I reluctantly concluded that his support tends to provide "negative credibility" to almost all issues.

    A few years ago I described a perfect example of his unreasonable behavior with regard to his doubtful "gay germ" theory:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/gay-germ-censorship/

    When I (very politely) raised some logical problems with his theory in the comments of his blogsite, he immediately banned me as a "loon." He loves the adulation of the worshipful fanboys who throng there and was obviously quite concerned that the simple scientific questions I was raising might tend to "confuse" them.

    I would like to underscore that although Cochran banned me from his blogsite for politely disagreeing with him on a scientific matter, I have never retaliated, and he regularly comments here at The Unz Review.

    There’s no way something like Acceleration deserves a Nobel Prize. It’s not theoretically novel enough. Proposing that the rate of some variable is accelerating is not a theoretically original idea.

    Read More
  65. Victarion says:

    I remember reading that when Steve was suffering from cancer, he relaxed and perhaps improved his recovery by doing only enjoyable things. One example Steve gave was re-reading his favorite Heinlein-novels.

    Read More
  66. e says:
    @Ron Unz
    Actually, the notion that humans and Neanderthals likely interbred apparently used to be widely accepted among anthropologists and the educated laymen who followed them. A couple of years ago I happened to be reading a book from the early 1960s and was surprised to find the idea treated as solidly established, even pointing to exactly the same geographical region (the Middle East) suggested by modern researchers. I'm not exactly sure when or why the theory was later forgotten or discounted. Obviously, Cochran and all the other modern researchers deserve full credit for reviving the very old idea.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/almost-a-century-ahead-of-the-new-york-times/

    As for Cochran, I'd certainly agree that the theory of Acceleration which he and several co-authors developed is a theoretical development of the greatest importance, in my opinion clearly worthy of an eventual Nobel Prize.

    http://www.unz.com/pfrost/he-who-pays-piper/#comment-613032

    However, although Cochran is highly intelligent, he is also an exceptionally arrogant individual, whose arrogance often tends to lead him astray. I remember he once claimed that just he and a couple of his engineering-buddies together possessed more intelligence and creativity that all the billion-plus Han Chinese in the world combined, which I suspect represented only a slight rhetorical overstatement of his true personal beliefs.

    As near as I can tell, he seems to form snap-judgments on all sorts of matters, including those about which he obviously knows nothing, then grows outraged when others politely point out his mistakes. After he co-developed Acceleration a decade ago, I was initially so enormously impressed with that theory that I took his views very seriously on all sorts of other matters. But after more than a dozen cases in which he was very clearly wrong but refused to even consider his errors or explain his reasoning, I reluctantly concluded that his support tends to provide "negative credibility" to almost all issues.

    A few years ago I described a perfect example of his unreasonable behavior with regard to his doubtful "gay germ" theory:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/gay-germ-censorship/

    When I (very politely) raised some logical problems with his theory in the comments of his blogsite, he immediately banned me as a "loon." He loves the adulation of the worshipful fanboys who throng there and was obviously quite concerned that the simple scientific questions I was raising might tend to "confuse" them.

    I would like to underscore that although Cochran banned me from his blogsite for politely disagreeing with him on a scientific matter, I have never retaliated, and he regularly comments here at The Unz Review.

    I recall that. Cochran tried to impress upon you, Ron, (and his point was re-iterated by others), yet you simply ignored it: pathogens out evolve us.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The most deplorable one

    pathogens out evolve us.
     
    Well, maybe, maybe not. A lot can happen on the way to the Hippodrome. (For example, has there really been a new version of Influenza since 1918 or is it just a bunch of re-assortment. And, as someone said somewhere else, when we finally rediscover Edward Jenner's notebooks and experimental data, perhaps we will be able to determine if his experimental design could eliminate the possibility that milkmaids having access to milk made them healthier and less susceptible to V major or V minor.)

    However, there are precedents. For example, something of the order of 1% or less of polio victims become paralyzed because the virus destroys neural tissue.

    Curiously, all the paralyzed polio victims I have known are male.
  67. Roland says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Thanks.

    Fixed! And Steve, you’re the one who deserves the thanks. Thanks for keeping me sane.

    Read More
  68. genetiker says: • Website
    @gcochran
    "from France" : Coneheads?

    Nobody has ever found an ancient skeleton in America that is genetically something very different from generic Amerindians. Nor do Amerindians carry a genetic component that looks like ancient western Europeans. So there's no solid evidence for the Solutrean hypothesis.
    If someone does find such a skeeleton , say with U5B mtDNA, I''ll change my mind.

    Amerindians do carry a genetic component that is found in Europeans, but it's relative new in Europeans : wasn't there in the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers or in the later farmers of Mediterranean origin. Ind-Europeans brought it in - originated pretty far to the east. Purest example thus far is a 24,000 year old skeleton from deep in Siberia.

    Nobody has ever found an ancient skeleton in America that is genetically something very different from generic Amerindians.

    Nobody has ever found any Clovis skeletons, period.

    Nor do Amerindians carry a genetic component that looks like ancient western Europeans.

    The western Gravettians were a lot like Mal’ta 1, so it would be hard to know. But the Clovis people abruptly died out at the start of the Younger Dryas, so there’s no reason to think that Amerindians have any admixture from them anyway.

    So there’s no solid evidence for the Solutrean hypothesis.

    There’s a mountain of archeological evidence. There’s a clear evolutionary sequence from Solutrean to proto-Clovis to Clovis. The first proto-Clovis tools are found on the eastern coast of the US, and they’re dated to 26,000 years ago, which is 11,000 years before the melting of the Cordilleran ice sheet permitted the Mongoloid-Caucasoid hybrids from Asia to move down the Pacific coast.

    Amerindians do carry a genetic component that is found in Europeans

    Something that I knew while you were still repeating Reich’s nonsense about Europeans having a genetic component from Amerindians.

    but it’s relative new in Europeans

    Nope. It’s been in Europe since the Gravettian.

    wasn’t there in the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers

    It wasn’t in the Y hg I and C1a2 hunter-gatherers. It was in the R1b and R1a descendants of the Gravettians.

    Ind-Europeans brought it in

    Right, and the Gravettians were the Indo-Europeans.

    originated pretty far to the east

    It originated in Pakistan, moved north through Central Asia, and then spread west into Europe and east into Siberia.

    Purest example thus far is a 24,000 year old skeleton from deep in Siberia.

    Wait for the Gravettian sequences.

    Read More
  69. Frau Katze says: • Website
    @SPMoore8
    I hope no one tells Stephen Pinker. I mean, isn't he the guy who is arguing that the human race, as a species, is outgrowing violence? We'll see how that goes.

    I've never doubted that the history of prehistoric humans was bloody, or that the spread of the Indo-Europeans was bloody (I think horsemanship, more than anything else, probably drove their dominance; but who really knows.) And I consider it the height of decadence to pretend that humans are not prone to dominance, competition, and -- if necessary -- violence to impose their will. There are ways to rein that in -- religion comes to mind -- but to pretend it is not an intrinsic part of our natures strikes me as silly.

    Pinker seems to be losing it. I wonder if he’s just enjoying the more positive reactions coming to him than from writing The Blank Slate.

    He seems to write mostly about this new peace theory now.

    Read More
  70. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Ron Unz
    Actually, the notion that humans and Neanderthals likely interbred apparently used to be widely accepted among anthropologists and the educated laymen who followed them. A couple of years ago I happened to be reading a book from the early 1960s and was surprised to find the idea treated as solidly established, even pointing to exactly the same geographical region (the Middle East) suggested by modern researchers. I'm not exactly sure when or why the theory was later forgotten or discounted. Obviously, Cochran and all the other modern researchers deserve full credit for reviving the very old idea.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/almost-a-century-ahead-of-the-new-york-times/

    As for Cochran, I'd certainly agree that the theory of Acceleration which he and several co-authors developed is a theoretical development of the greatest importance, in my opinion clearly worthy of an eventual Nobel Prize.

    http://www.unz.com/pfrost/he-who-pays-piper/#comment-613032

    However, although Cochran is highly intelligent, he is also an exceptionally arrogant individual, whose arrogance often tends to lead him astray. I remember he once claimed that just he and a couple of his engineering-buddies together possessed more intelligence and creativity that all the billion-plus Han Chinese in the world combined, which I suspect represented only a slight rhetorical overstatement of his true personal beliefs.

    As near as I can tell, he seems to form snap-judgments on all sorts of matters, including those about which he obviously knows nothing, then grows outraged when others politely point out his mistakes. After he co-developed Acceleration a decade ago, I was initially so enormously impressed with that theory that I took his views very seriously on all sorts of other matters. But after more than a dozen cases in which he was very clearly wrong but refused to even consider his errors or explain his reasoning, I reluctantly concluded that his support tends to provide "negative credibility" to almost all issues.

    A few years ago I described a perfect example of his unreasonable behavior with regard to his doubtful "gay germ" theory:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/gay-germ-censorship/

    When I (very politely) raised some logical problems with his theory in the comments of his blogsite, he immediately banned me as a "loon." He loves the adulation of the worshipful fanboys who throng there and was obviously quite concerned that the simple scientific questions I was raising might tend to "confuse" them.

    I would like to underscore that although Cochran banned me from his blogsite for politely disagreeing with him on a scientific matter, I have never retaliated, and he regularly comments here at The Unz Review.

    You seem to be taking it quite personally. Battling some inner demons, Ron?

    Read More
  71. genetiker says: • Website
    @gcochran
    "from France" : Coneheads?

    Nobody has ever found an ancient skeleton in America that is genetically something very different from generic Amerindians. Nor do Amerindians carry a genetic component that looks like ancient western Europeans. So there's no solid evidence for the Solutrean hypothesis.
    If someone does find such a skeeleton , say with U5B mtDNA, I''ll change my mind.

    Amerindians do carry a genetic component that is found in Europeans, but it's relative new in Europeans : wasn't there in the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers or in the later farmers of Mediterranean origin. Ind-Europeans brought it in - originated pretty far to the east. Purest example thus far is a 24,000 year old skeleton from deep in Siberia.

    Nobody has ever found an ancient skeleton in America that is genetically something very different from generic Amerindians.

    Nobody has ever found any Clovis skeletons, period.

    Nor do Amerindians carry a genetic component that looks like ancient western Europeans.

    The western Gravettians and their descendants were a lot like Mal’ta 1, so it would be hard to know. But the Clovis people abruptly died out at the start of the Younger Dryas, so there’s no reason to think that Amerindians have any admixture from them anyway.

    So there’s no solid evidence for the Solutrean hypothesis.

    There’s a mountain of archeological evidence. There’s a clear evolutionary sequence from Solutrean to proto-Clovis to Clovis. The first proto-Clovis tools are found on the eastern coast of the US, and they’re dated to 26,000 years ago, which is 11,000 years before the melting of the Cordilleran ice sheet permitted the Mongoloid-Caucasoid hybrids from Asia to move down the Pacific coast.

    Amerindians do carry a genetic component that is found in Europeans

    Something that I knew while you were still repeating Reich’s nonsense about Europeans having a genetic component from Amerindians.

    but it’s relative new in Europeans

    Nope. It’s been in Europe since the Gravettian.

    wasn’t there in the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers

    It wasn’t in the Y hg I and C1a2 hunter-gatherers. It was in the R1b and R1a Gravettian-descended hunter-gatherers.

    Ind-Europeans brought it in

    Right, and the Gravettians were the Indo-Europeans.

    originated pretty far to the east

    It originated in Pakistan, moved north through Central Asia, and then spread west into Europe and east into Siberia.

    Purest example thus far is a 24,000 year old skeleton from deep in Siberia.

    Wait for the Gravettian sequences.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    Thread's getting long, so odds are this comment is meaningless at this point.

    "The western Gravettians and their descendants were a lot like Mal’ta 1, so it would be hard to know. But the Clovis people abruptly died out at the start of the Younger Dryas, so there’s no reason to think that Amerindians have any admixture from them anyway."

    Okay, I don't know much about this particular topic. But I have a deep and abiding faith in human nature.

    And one of the tenets of that faith is something like: "If it can be nailed, it will be nailed."

    I won't argue with anyone about primitive warfare. But in my experience, sex happens. It just does. There is nothing you can do about it.

    And I guarantee you, I absolutely totally believe, that if the Clovis people were around and met the Amerindians who came from Siberia...

    I 100% guarantee to you that there was some admixture. The only way there wasn't is if they were all dead when the Amerindians showed up.

    Maybe the amount is so weak, the genes so diluted, it doesn't show up as a signal.

    But you see, the sex thing, that is kind of a Second Law for this "movement of the peoples" thing.

    And if your anthropology says otherwise, then your anthropology is wrong, unless the populations in question never existed at the same time.

    As an utter layman, I will have total confidence mocking you if you claim otherwise.

    Same for the whole neanderthal and other species of man admixture into modern humans. I'm old enough to remember when the claim was no admixture. Based upon my experiences in life I didn't buy that one.

    So like Cochran I was right. Of course he had a lot more knowledge behind him to back him up, but I knew from the beginning that if sex between modern humans and neanderthals were possible, if they existed in the same area at the same time, it happened. The only question is whether they were fertile with one another, something I wouldn't know enough to speculate on.

    But I'm reasonably sure Amerindians and Clovis people could be expected to make fertile matches, so I know that admixture happened. If they were in the same place at the same time.
  72. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @e
    I recall that. Cochran tried to impress upon you, Ron, (and his point was re-iterated by others), yet you simply ignored it: pathogens out evolve us.

    pathogens out evolve us.

    Well, maybe, maybe not. A lot can happen on the way to the Hippodrome. (For example, has there really been a new version of Influenza since 1918 or is it just a bunch of re-assortment. And, as someone said somewhere else, when we finally rediscover Edward Jenner’s notebooks and experimental data, perhaps we will be able to determine if his experimental design could eliminate the possibility that milkmaids having access to milk made them healthier and less susceptible to V major or V minor.)

    However, there are precedents. For example, something of the order of 1% or less of polio victims become paralyzed because the virus destroys neural tissue.

    Curiously, all the paralyzed polio victims I have known are male.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lagertha
    My father was severely paralyzed from polio and died of post-polio-syndrome...so what information do you have?
  73. gcochran says:
    @Pincher Martin

    Actually, the notion that humans and Neanderthals likely interbred apparently used to be widely accepted among anthropologists and the educated laymen who followed them.
     
    Of course I knew this, and I should have been clearer in my original statement.

    Madison Grant in his The Passing of the Great Race wrote the following lines in the 1910s:


    Neanderthal Man was a purely meat eating hunter, living in caves, or rather in their entrances. He was dolichocephalic and not unlike existing Australoids, although not necessarily of black skin, and was, of course, in no sense a negro.

    The skull was characterized by heavy superorbital ridges, a low, receding forehead, protruding and chinless under jaw, and the posture was imperfectly erect. This race was widely spread and rather numerous. Some of its blood has trickled down to the present time, and occasionally one sees a skull of the Neanderthal type. The best skull of this type ever seen by the writer belonged to an old and very intellectual professor in London, who was quite innocent of his value as a museum specimen. In the old black breed of Scotland the overhanging brow and deep-set eyes are suggestive of this race. [Pincher Martin's emphasis in bold.]
     

    That very humorous statement by Grant was published in a widely read book in 1916, when Robert Howard was ten years old. I'm no expert on the views of anthropologists in the early twentieth century, but I doubt Grant was speculating on his own. He was a synthesizer of what he read, not a theorist.

    So while Cochran's view on the admixture of Neanderthals and modern man are obviously not his own creation, the hypothesis had, unfairly, fallen out of fashion - and he provided a useful service to the public by reintroducing it to them just as genetic science was making it possible to test. And isn't that one of the points of The Hyborian Age, that too many good ideas in the sciences were dumped for ideological reasons, that we went backward in our knowledge often for no good reason?

    So let me amend my previous statement: Find a public intellectual between, say, 1970 and 2000 who was claiming with any confidence that Neanderthal genes had been passed down among Homo sapiens.


    However, although Cochran is highly intelligent, he is also an exceptionally arrogant individual, whose arrogance often tends to lead him astray.
     
    I expect public intellectuals to be two things: Accurate far more often than not, and entertaining. Cochran is both. Humility? A man needs only enough to admit when he's wrong, and I've seen Cochran admit on at least a couple of occasions when his ideas weren't panning out.

    Have you the same degree of humility to admit when you're wrong, Ron?

    “accurate far more often than not”

    So, how many ‘public intellectuals’ achieve that standard? Can you name a few names?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    Not many.

    Dawkins.

    Krugman before he became a hack.

    James Q Wilson before he died.

    Charles Murray.

    Steve Pinker.

    I like reading Richard Posner on the law, but I'm less sure about his sense-to-nonsense ratio. He covers so much ground on so many topics, it might not be high.

    Bjørn Lomborg.

    Those are a few, and there are probably a few more I can't think of right now.
    , @Melendwyr
    The overall amount of error isn't always as important as its nature. Making errors through wild exaggeration, failing to look at provided sources, and not applying common sense do a lot more to hurt credibility than missing a subtle point of logic or not knowing a uncommon fact.

    Not taking care of the simple things makes people distrust the complex things. Carelessness and shallow analysis give people cause to not pay attention to arguments, especially arguments leading to conclusions they don't like. It's as though a scientific paper were submitted with every third word misspelled - it has nothing to do with the validity of the points made, and it will induce people to consider it the work of a crackpot anyway.

    Exciting is good for entertainment. But quality science is almost always very, very boring.
  74. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “…the notion that humans and Neanderthals likely interbred apparently used to be widely accepted…”

    Flogging this horse, there was a mediocre movie in the mid-80s, based on a slightly
    earlier book (that may have done well among the housewife set?) staring Daryl Hannah, Clan of the Cave Bear:

    “A young Cro-Magnon woman named Ayla (Daryl Hannah) is separated from her family and orphaned during an earthquake. She is found by a group of Neanderthals and raised as one of their own.”

    Read More
  75. @Ron Unz
    Actually, the notion that humans and Neanderthals likely interbred apparently used to be widely accepted among anthropologists and the educated laymen who followed them. A couple of years ago I happened to be reading a book from the early 1960s and was surprised to find the idea treated as solidly established, even pointing to exactly the same geographical region (the Middle East) suggested by modern researchers. I'm not exactly sure when or why the theory was later forgotten or discounted. Obviously, Cochran and all the other modern researchers deserve full credit for reviving the very old idea.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/almost-a-century-ahead-of-the-new-york-times/

    As for Cochran, I'd certainly agree that the theory of Acceleration which he and several co-authors developed is a theoretical development of the greatest importance, in my opinion clearly worthy of an eventual Nobel Prize.

    http://www.unz.com/pfrost/he-who-pays-piper/#comment-613032

    However, although Cochran is highly intelligent, he is also an exceptionally arrogant individual, whose arrogance often tends to lead him astray. I remember he once claimed that just he and a couple of his engineering-buddies together possessed more intelligence and creativity that all the billion-plus Han Chinese in the world combined, which I suspect represented only a slight rhetorical overstatement of his true personal beliefs.

    As near as I can tell, he seems to form snap-judgments on all sorts of matters, including those about which he obviously knows nothing, then grows outraged when others politely point out his mistakes. After he co-developed Acceleration a decade ago, I was initially so enormously impressed with that theory that I took his views very seriously on all sorts of other matters. But after more than a dozen cases in which he was very clearly wrong but refused to even consider his errors or explain his reasoning, I reluctantly concluded that his support tends to provide "negative credibility" to almost all issues.

    A few years ago I described a perfect example of his unreasonable behavior with regard to his doubtful "gay germ" theory:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/gay-germ-censorship/

    When I (very politely) raised some logical problems with his theory in the comments of his blogsite, he immediately banned me as a "loon." He loves the adulation of the worshipful fanboys who throng there and was obviously quite concerned that the simple scientific questions I was raising might tend to "confuse" them.

    I would like to underscore that although Cochran banned me from his blogsite for politely disagreeing with him on a scientific matter, I have never retaliated, and he regularly comments here at The Unz Review.

    Ron,

    My last comment was addressed to you.

    Also:

    I would like to underscore that although Cochran banned me from his blogsite for politely disagreeing with him on a scientific matter, I have never retaliated, and he regularly comments here at The Unz Review.

    I know. I took your side at the time. I didn’t think you did anything bannable other than be your typical annoying, verbose self.

    But why pick at this scab now? The ban was short-lived and rescinded. The matter appeared settled. If Cochran posts here, perhaps it’s because he thought you were the kind of guy to let bygones be bygones.

    Read More
  76. @gcochran
    "accurate far more often than not"

    So, how many 'public intellectuals' achieve that standard? Can you name a few names?

    Not many.

    Dawkins.

    Krugman before he became a hack.

    James Q Wilson before he died.

    Charles Murray.

    Steve Pinker.

    I like reading Richard Posner on the law, but I’m less sure about his sense-to-nonsense ratio. He covers so much ground on so many topics, it might not be high.

    Bjørn Lomborg.

    Those are a few, and there are probably a few more I can’t think of right now.

    Read More
  77. Melendwyr says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    Howard was not an inferiour writer to Tolkien, but he was more inconsistent (as you might imagine someone writing at breakneck speed for the pulps). The two were both very capable writers but with very different styles. The argument boils down to taste . Howard was probably a better poet though.

    Howard and Lovecraft were both very interested in differences between races, but the theme is more common in Howard's work. A story of his directly dealing with the subject and which may be of interest to readers of this blog is "Worms of the Earth." Although it is not a Conan story, it is similar in style. It is also one of his greatest stories, if not his best.

    I would also point curious readers to the Robert E. Howard Bookshelf. This is a reconstructed catalogue of Howard's library. It is very interesting to browse and uncover how broadly he read and what his interests were. I wish more authors had things like this. http://www.rehupa.com/OLDWEB/bookshelf.htm

    Tolkien did his best work when he was writing in the styles he loved best – Norse epic, and Anglo-Saxon/Norse alliterative verse. The best parts of LoTR occur when Tolkien felt comfortable enough to let modern novelistic convention drop away and switched to ‘High Mode’. Many of the features of the old-style sections come straight from medieval manuscript histories, including the additions by later scribes that make absolutely no sense if the work is viewed from a modern perspective.

    And I think his verse staves are excellent, although the bits of poetry he hid in the Silmarillion are worth reading as well. He could manage the technical aspects of poetry amazingly well – people don’t always realize how complex the structure of Bilbo’s Rivendell poem is – but he couldn’t capture raw emotion as well. His workmanship outran his artistry.

    Which of the two was a better poet might depend on which aspect of poetry you think is paramount.

    Read More
  78. @gcochran
    "have grudgingly come to admit" ≠ uncertain.

    Some geologists have gotten this straight, but you can still find those that refuse to believe in the Alvarez hypothesis: not just Gerta Keller. Paleontologists are worse: many, maybe a majority, don't believe in it.

    "it seems that (greatly over-generalizing) many paleontologists lean towards the intrinsic side, while many astronomers and physicists favor the extrinsic side, and geologists are probably evenly split between the two."

    To some extent it may be a generational thing.

    Interesting. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the Levantine cave stratigraphy. Pretty interesting intersection between climate catastrophe and Neanderthal/AMH hybridization and conflict. Plus the Levant is always interesting.

    And I don’t doubt it’s a generational thing. Geology academics aren’t a great bellwether though because all the talent has been getting vacuumed up by industry for at least a decade. I find sometimes the academic types are the bottom of the barrel. Plus geology is an infant of a science compared to any of the others. I mean we were deep into the Cold War before Adm. Hess solved the whole sea floor spreading puzzle. There are still plenty of profs around from when that was considered a radical theory.

    Read More
  79. Melendwyr says: • Website
    @gcochran
    "accurate far more often than not"

    So, how many 'public intellectuals' achieve that standard? Can you name a few names?

    The overall amount of error isn’t always as important as its nature. Making errors through wild exaggeration, failing to look at provided sources, and not applying common sense do a lot more to hurt credibility than missing a subtle point of logic or not knowing a uncommon fact.

    Not taking care of the simple things makes people distrust the complex things. Carelessness and shallow analysis give people cause to not pay attention to arguments, especially arguments leading to conclusions they don’t like. It’s as though a scientific paper were submitted with every third word misspelled – it has nothing to do with the validity of the points made, and it will induce people to consider it the work of a crackpot anyway.

    Exciting is good for entertainment. But quality science is almost always very, very boring.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    Exciting is good for entertainment. But quality science is almost always very, very boring.
     
    What's wrong with being entertaining? Public intellectuals in the sciences are communicating scientific ideas with the public as much, if not more, than they are practicing science. So they need to write well, and some of the ways to write well are to be entertaining, humorous, vivid with language, etc.

    Think of Bertrand Russell, Haldane, Galton, Feynman, Peter Medawar, etc. Were these not quality scientists and mathematicians?

    , @Pincher Martin
    I should also note that many top economists were superb writers and public intellectuals. Before Paul Krugman (whose early popular work is first rate - read Peddling Prosperity, for an example) there was Milton Friedman, and before Friedman there was John Maynard Keynes.

    Of course an entertaining writer in the sciences is no guarantee of scientific accuracy. Stephen Jay Gould shows that. But one should always remember George Santayana's words about Bertrand Russell's prose style: "He writes so clearly that it's always easy to see where he is wrong."

    , @gcochran
    Boring? Hell no!
  80. Lagertha says:
    @gcochran
    "from France" : Coneheads?

    Nobody has ever found an ancient skeleton in America that is genetically something very different from generic Amerindians. Nor do Amerindians carry a genetic component that looks like ancient western Europeans. So there's no solid evidence for the Solutrean hypothesis.
    If someone does find such a skeeleton , say with U5B mtDNA, I''ll change my mind.

    Amerindians do carry a genetic component that is found in Europeans, but it's relative new in Europeans : wasn't there in the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers or in the later farmers of Mediterranean origin. Ind-Europeans brought it in - originated pretty far to the east. Purest example thus far is a 24,000 year old skeleton from deep in Siberia.

    so, going out on a limb…there is a genetic link with Finns and the Clovis people – there is a stream to N. America & Asia (Mongolia) to say… yeaaah, so weird – do not know the age of metal and writing at all the museums which could give evidence of that time to appease all the arm-chair historians reading this.

    Ok, so it’s late, and I don’t care what all you guys are gonna say, BUT for my 11th birthday, I got a 5 inch engraved knife with a reindeer bone carved handle; a scabbard in embossed leather as a present…just like my older brothers. This was a normal gift (even if I was a girl) in society, for a boy at 11 or 12. And, several years later, I was given a Swiss Army knife with attachments when I left to ‘roam the world’ with my cousin. My father felt that if I needed a weapon if bad stuff happened, he had given me A weapon. I still know how to kill somebody with my hands. Giving knives was sort of a mainstream present in Finland-although carry-on now, requires you check those blades.

    My point is, we are all really primitive if anyone attacks our loved ones. And, I hide my quiet, unassuming father’s gift of a knife and stick it into ‘checked bags’ when I fly. NO American women I have ever met since moving here in 1968 has ever been given a large Bowie-like knife for an 11th birthday like me.

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  81. TWS says:

    Lies! “The People of the Black Circle” is the best Conan story!

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  82. @Melendwyr
    The overall amount of error isn't always as important as its nature. Making errors through wild exaggeration, failing to look at provided sources, and not applying common sense do a lot more to hurt credibility than missing a subtle point of logic or not knowing a uncommon fact.

    Not taking care of the simple things makes people distrust the complex things. Carelessness and shallow analysis give people cause to not pay attention to arguments, especially arguments leading to conclusions they don't like. It's as though a scientific paper were submitted with every third word misspelled - it has nothing to do with the validity of the points made, and it will induce people to consider it the work of a crackpot anyway.

    Exciting is good for entertainment. But quality science is almost always very, very boring.

    Exciting is good for entertainment. But quality science is almost always very, very boring.

    What’s wrong with being entertaining? Public intellectuals in the sciences are communicating scientific ideas with the public as much, if not more, than they are practicing science. So they need to write well, and some of the ways to write well are to be entertaining, humorous, vivid with language, etc.

    Think of Bertrand Russell, Haldane, Galton, Feynman, Peter Medawar, etc. Were these not quality scientists and mathematicians?

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    • Replies: @Melendwyr
    Russell, Haldane, Galton, Feynman, Medawar, etc., did not have histories of making stupid mistakes in their fields. In their personal lives, sometimes. But what they said and wrote on technical matters was solid.

    It takes effort to be that reliable. Dr. Cochran is extremely smart. But he's not willing to put in that effort. And it shows.
  83. Melendwyr says: • Website

    I’m fond of “Jewels of Gwahlur”, myself, if only because it shows that Conan really does have his priorities straight. Also he demonstrates that he’s both smart and knowledgeable, knowing many languages both spoken and written. He’s about as far from the D&D stereotype of the ‘Barbarian class’ as it’s possible to be and still have mighty thews.

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  84. Melendwyr says: • Website
    @Pincher Martin

    Exciting is good for entertainment. But quality science is almost always very, very boring.
     
    What's wrong with being entertaining? Public intellectuals in the sciences are communicating scientific ideas with the public as much, if not more, than they are practicing science. So they need to write well, and some of the ways to write well are to be entertaining, humorous, vivid with language, etc.

    Think of Bertrand Russell, Haldane, Galton, Feynman, Peter Medawar, etc. Were these not quality scientists and mathematicians?

    Russell, Haldane, Galton, Feynman, Medawar, etc., did not have histories of making stupid mistakes in their fields. In their personal lives, sometimes. But what they said and wrote on technical matters was solid.

    It takes effort to be that reliable. Dr. Cochran is extremely smart. But he’s not willing to put in that effort. And it shows.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    Your original point seemed to be more along the lines that being boring equaled good science, and that therefore Cochran was too "exciting" a public commentator to qualify as a good scientist.

    Given the numerous prominent individuals who have ranked among the top names in their field at the same time they were quite exciting, interesting, and occasionally even controversial public intellectuals, I'm not sure how that could possibly be correct, and indeed you seem to have altered your original comment to just mean that you think Cochran too sloppy to be a good scientist.

    I have no opinion on that. I do wonder, though, if you're mistaking the tedious work of the lab scientist with the broader work of the theoretician. To me, Cochran is clearly the latter. He understands the mathematical nature of evolution and uses that understanding to speculate broadly and clearly on various issues of interest.

    He's been proven right on enough cases that I think he ought to have good standing with the informed public who follows him. Other cases are still outstanding. And on some matters, he appears to have changed his mind - or at least backed off a little from his previous stance - which proves to me he's not a poser. (Neanderthal/Homo sapien hybridization leading to the big bang, for example. See final paragraph.)

    If tomorrow the gay germ thesis is proven incorrect, will I change my mind about him? No. Why would I? I didn't think he was the Pope. But he's taught me at least how to think more clearly about evolution and genetics. And isn't that the acid test for any public intellectual, that reading him makes you somewhat better informed on the topic than you were before?

  85. @Melendwyr
    The overall amount of error isn't always as important as its nature. Making errors through wild exaggeration, failing to look at provided sources, and not applying common sense do a lot more to hurt credibility than missing a subtle point of logic or not knowing a uncommon fact.

    Not taking care of the simple things makes people distrust the complex things. Carelessness and shallow analysis give people cause to not pay attention to arguments, especially arguments leading to conclusions they don't like. It's as though a scientific paper were submitted with every third word misspelled - it has nothing to do with the validity of the points made, and it will induce people to consider it the work of a crackpot anyway.

    Exciting is good for entertainment. But quality science is almost always very, very boring.

    I should also note that many top economists were superb writers and public intellectuals. Before Paul Krugman (whose early popular work is first rate – read Peddling Prosperity, for an example) there was Milton Friedman, and before Friedman there was John Maynard Keynes.

    Of course an entertaining writer in the sciences is no guarantee of scientific accuracy. Stephen Jay Gould shows that. But one should always remember George Santayana’s words about Bertrand Russell’s prose style: “He writes so clearly that it’s always easy to see where he is wrong.”

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Was Bertrand Russell raised a Quaker? There's a plainness to his style that makes him ultra-lucid at the expense of the kind of show-offy writing that his contemporary Churchill was great at.
    , @Melendwyr

    one should always remember George Santayana’s words about Bertrand Russell’s prose style: “He writes so clearly that it’s always easy to see where he is wrong.”
     
    That is an immensely valuable trait. I concluded long ago that clarity is even more important than correctness, in the same way that it's better to be a bad liar than honest if you want to be trusted.
    , @Simon in London
    >>“He writes so clearly that it’s always easy to see where he is wrong.”<<

    That's always the mark of a good writer - or scientist - for me.
    I think Post-Modernism is so popular because it gives bad writers permission to deliberately write unclearly, so that they can write garbage and can't be called on it.
  86. @Pincher Martin
    I should also note that many top economists were superb writers and public intellectuals. Before Paul Krugman (whose early popular work is first rate - read Peddling Prosperity, for an example) there was Milton Friedman, and before Friedman there was John Maynard Keynes.

    Of course an entertaining writer in the sciences is no guarantee of scientific accuracy. Stephen Jay Gould shows that. But one should always remember George Santayana's words about Bertrand Russell's prose style: "He writes so clearly that it's always easy to see where he is wrong."

    Was Bertrand Russell raised a Quaker? There’s a plainness to his style that makes him ultra-lucid at the expense of the kind of show-offy writing that his contemporary Churchill was great at.

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    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    I read Russell's biography years ago, but I can't recall. I don't think so. But I don't know.
    , @Polearm
    I believe he was raised a Presbyterian.
  87. gcochran says:
    @Melendwyr
    The overall amount of error isn't always as important as its nature. Making errors through wild exaggeration, failing to look at provided sources, and not applying common sense do a lot more to hurt credibility than missing a subtle point of logic or not knowing a uncommon fact.

    Not taking care of the simple things makes people distrust the complex things. Carelessness and shallow analysis give people cause to not pay attention to arguments, especially arguments leading to conclusions they don't like. It's as though a scientific paper were submitted with every third word misspelled - it has nothing to do with the validity of the points made, and it will induce people to consider it the work of a crackpot anyway.

    Exciting is good for entertainment. But quality science is almost always very, very boring.

    Boring? Hell no!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Melendwyr
    ...and that is why you fail. Work is usually boring. Crossing the t's and dotting the i's always is. It's why taking the time and effort to do so is a sign of maturity and self-discipline.

    If only there were a Dark-Side-aligned cave that you could be sent into and so confront your worst enemy that turns out to be yourself.
  88. @Steve Sailer
    Was Bertrand Russell raised a Quaker? There's a plainness to his style that makes him ultra-lucid at the expense of the kind of show-offy writing that his contemporary Churchill was great at.

    I read Russell’s biography years ago, but I can’t recall. I don’t think so. But I don’t know.

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    • Replies: @Joseph W.
    Russell wasn't raised as a Quaker, but he did marry one. Don't know if she affected his writing style.
  89. OsRazor says:

    What does the typical American believe? Was pre-history a peace loving time of collaboration and purity or was it nasty, short and brutish? The latter I’m sure. Why? They saw the MOVIE. What does he believe about Rome and their wars against the Germanic people? The Romans were devious, overly political and modern and the Germans were savages. Why? He saw the movie Gladiator.

    None of the technical discussion here (whether it’s from Wade, Murray, or otherwise) matters much to what the mass of Americans believe. They know about slavery because it’s pounded into their heads daily from all sorts of media sources that White people have a lot to answer for. The text, subtext and overtext of any interaction between Whites and blacks in all matters is permeated with the idea of White guilt. It’s permitted to be pounded into their heads because an earlier generation saw Roots on TV and the flood gates opened. Same for the Holocaust and all the rest of the things we must always feel guilty about.

    Conan matters. And this Howard guy (even dead at 30 and thanks to the movie makers) has made more of a difference to how we see the world than any academic.

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  90. Lagertha says:

    so just to REALLY confuse all of you tonight before I crash, the Finns are related (presumably) to the Ainu island people of Japan. And, like I said, way earlier on some distant blog entry, Iceland shares many words with the Finnish language. And, to further keep you up at night, look up ‘Chaco Canyon’ and read on until you are bored.

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    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    Icelandic has some words close in form to Finnish for the simple reason that it's an archaic Germanic language and Finnish contains many old Germanic borrowings. Swedish, English etc changed more over time so their words look less familiar. Finnic and Germanic also share a set of very old words not shared by other I-E or Uralic languages which may come from whatever pre-IE/pre-Uralic language was spoken here or may just reflect Finnic and Germanic developing next to each other.

    None of this is evidence of mystical migration of Finns to North America through Iceland and Finns are in no way related to Ainu people.

    You show up in random threads spamming this "ancient Finns" nonsense, why?
  91. Lagertha says:
    @The most deplorable one

    pathogens out evolve us.
     
    Well, maybe, maybe not. A lot can happen on the way to the Hippodrome. (For example, has there really been a new version of Influenza since 1918 or is it just a bunch of re-assortment. And, as someone said somewhere else, when we finally rediscover Edward Jenner's notebooks and experimental data, perhaps we will be able to determine if his experimental design could eliminate the possibility that milkmaids having access to milk made them healthier and less susceptible to V major or V minor.)

    However, there are precedents. For example, something of the order of 1% or less of polio victims become paralyzed because the virus destroys neural tissue.

    Curiously, all the paralyzed polio victims I have known are male.

    My father was severely paralyzed from polio and died of post-polio-syndrome…so what information do you have?

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  92. Melendwyr says: • Website
    @gcochran
    Boring? Hell no!

    …and that is why you fail. Work is usually boring. Crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s always is. It’s why taking the time and effort to do so is a sign of maturity and self-discipline.

    If only there were a Dark-Side-aligned cave that you could be sent into and so confront your worst enemy that turns out to be yourself.

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  93. Melendwyr says: • Website
    @Pincher Martin
    I should also note that many top economists were superb writers and public intellectuals. Before Paul Krugman (whose early popular work is first rate - read Peddling Prosperity, for an example) there was Milton Friedman, and before Friedman there was John Maynard Keynes.

    Of course an entertaining writer in the sciences is no guarantee of scientific accuracy. Stephen Jay Gould shows that. But one should always remember George Santayana's words about Bertrand Russell's prose style: "He writes so clearly that it's always easy to see where he is wrong."

    one should always remember George Santayana’s words about Bertrand Russell’s prose style: “He writes so clearly that it’s always easy to see where he is wrong.”

    That is an immensely valuable trait. I concluded long ago that clarity is even more important than correctness, in the same way that it’s better to be a bad liar than honest if you want to be trusted.

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    • Replies: @rustbeltreader
    Hemingway wrote that when Ezra Pound was wrong he was so wrong there was no doubt about it. Now we are debating math. Ukraine is flat broke and the solution is $50 billion of debt to solve the crisis. The Russian solution? Shoot everybody and pass the vodka. US solution? Shoot vodka and pass everybody. DUI's are killing more people than Isis is. ER's are filling with sex toy victims.
  94. @Jaakko Raipala
    Greg Cochran has an unfortunate tendency to come across as the reverse of a social justice warrior who sees extreme ideological importance in names. He's just going to get ignored if he talks like this. Corded Ware pottery uniformly delineates a large region that doesn't even uniformly share the same grave-battleaxe features and there is no liberal conspiracy.

    On the other hand, on other fronts social justice has already reached ancient Aryans:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1374060/Gay-caveman-5-000-year-old-male-skeleton-outed-way-buried.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    I think it would be hilarious if we now saw the development of the idea that transgenderism and gay burials were already features of Stone Age Indo-European culture before it all got repressed by the arrival of uptight Semitic religion. Somebody once said something about history repeating as a farce...

    Somebody once said something about history repeating as a farce…

    That was the only thing ol’ Karl ever got right.

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  95. @syonredux

    I think “Beyond the Black River,” was originally set in a Fenimore Cooper era North America. The original savage Indians were retro-fitted as Picts to turn it into a Conan story.
     
    I've seen no evidence that it was intended as anything other than a Conan tale.On the other hand, you are quite correct in noting that "Beyond the Black River" was strongly influenced by the fighting that went on between the Anglos and the Amerinds in Upstate New York in the 18th century, and Howard scholars have noted the influence of both Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales and the Indian fighting novels of Robert W Chambers (better known nowadays for his collection of weird stories, The King in Yellow.

    This may offer another reason that the Texan Howard had a keener understanding of pre-history than Paris inspired anthropologists. He actually grew up on the frontier, or what had been the frontier less than a generation before his birth.
     
    Absolutely.Growing up around people who could remember the Comanche raids* would have done a lot to dispel sentimental notions about the "peaceful savage."


    *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comancheria

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Raid_of_1840

    by the fighting that went on between the Anglos and the Amerinds in Upstate New York in the 18th century…

    There were no “Anglos” nor “Amerinds” in upstate New York in the 18th century (nor, for that matter, in the 1970s when I came of age there). There were English, and there were Red Indians.

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  96. @Melendwyr
    Russell, Haldane, Galton, Feynman, Medawar, etc., did not have histories of making stupid mistakes in their fields. In their personal lives, sometimes. But what they said and wrote on technical matters was solid.

    It takes effort to be that reliable. Dr. Cochran is extremely smart. But he's not willing to put in that effort. And it shows.

    Your original point seemed to be more along the lines that being boring equaled good science, and that therefore Cochran was too “exciting” a public commentator to qualify as a good scientist.

    Given the numerous prominent individuals who have ranked among the top names in their field at the same time they were quite exciting, interesting, and occasionally even controversial public intellectuals, I’m not sure how that could possibly be correct, and indeed you seem to have altered your original comment to just mean that you think Cochran too sloppy to be a good scientist.

    I have no opinion on that. I do wonder, though, if you’re mistaking the tedious work of the lab scientist with the broader work of the theoretician. To me, Cochran is clearly the latter. He understands the mathematical nature of evolution and uses that understanding to speculate broadly and clearly on various issues of interest.

    He’s been proven right on enough cases that I think he ought to have good standing with the informed public who follows him. Other cases are still outstanding. And on some matters, he appears to have changed his mind – or at least backed off a little from his previous stance – which proves to me he’s not a poser. (Neanderthal/Homo sapien hybridization leading to the big bang, for example. See final paragraph.)

    If tomorrow the gay germ thesis is proven incorrect, will I change my mind about him? No. Why would I? I didn’t think he was the Pope. But he’s taught me at least how to think more clearly about evolution and genetics. And isn’t that the acid test for any public intellectual, that reading him makes you somewhat better informed on the topic than you were before?

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    • Replies: @Melendwyr

    Your original point seemed to be more along the lines that being boring equaled good science
     
    Whoa whoa, don't reverse the order of implication. Boring things obviously aren't automatically good science. No one's said anything even suggesting that. 'A is B' does not imply 'B is A'.

    Good science is boring, in the sense that to qualify a whole lot of tedious and emotionally unrewarding work has to be done - not just in the reasoning, but in preparing for presentation. Proofreading just isn't fun. Worse, it's very difficult, even more so if it's your own words you're proofing, because it takes effort to see what's actually on the page instead of what you expect to see. And that's just typos. Analyzing the arguments, instead of merely the language used to express them, is extraordinarily difficult to do fairly and completely. Your own biases and prejudices will automatically derail you unless you're careful and - for lack of a better word - humble. Error is easy, and has infinite forms. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, et cetera.

    Dr. Cochran doesn't meet his own standards. He's been grossly wrong for trivial reasons and in stupid, obvious, and easily-avoidable ways. If his own behavior were presented to him in a way he couldn't immediately identify, a la Nathan to King David, he'd ban himself. "Thou art the man" indeed.
    , @Reg Cæsar
    "Intellectual" is more insult than praise, and adding "public" makes it sound like a flasher opening his raincoat.

    Can't we come up with a better term than this?

    Try "scholar", with any of these synonyms for "public":

    well-known, leading, important, respected, famous, celebrated, recognized, distinguished, prominent, influential, notable, renowned, eminent, famed, noteworthy, in the public eye

    --Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

     

  97. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “More broadly, what was believed in 1935 about human origins and human history was much closer to the truth than what was believed post-WW2, for a very long time and in many respects still today. Huge amounts of knowledge were lost, deliberately lost. Inconvenient truths were buried and overwritten with fantasies and lies.”

    This is in fact the only convincing conspiracy theory I’ve ever come across – convincing because the conspirators seem to have operated entirely in the open and never did bother either suppressing or disproving the earlier evidence, just ignoring it so completely that everyone forgot about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    It's like Davos v. Bilderberg. The Bilderbergers meet in secret, but Davos trumped them by inviting in the media.
  98. bossel says:

    For example, the Battle Axe culture of Northern Europe of 4,000 to 5,000 years ago was renamed the Corded Ware culture.

    Don’t know about English naming conventions, but the original German name “Schnurkeramik” (corded ware) is from around 1880, introduced by Friedrich Klopfleisch:

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Klopfleisch

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    • Replies: @rustbeltreader
    NASA created the Corning Ware culture..."Accidents Happen...
    As with many innovations, Corning Ware was a lab mistake. First a furnace malfunctioned -- instead of staying at 600C it rose to 900c, but surprisingly the glass didn't melt. Next mistake was when the chemist then dropped the white glass and it didn't break! These mistakes led to the creation of Pyroceram and eventually the first piece of Corning Ware in 1957. Pyroceram was introduced to NASA, and used in the space shuttle program. Eventually a total of seven generations of Corning Ware were produced and although the Blue Cornflower is synonymous with Corning Ware, many more patterns were produced." http://www.classickitchensandmore.com/page_3.html

    Even our mistakes turned to gold with NASA. Now? We are turning gold into debt while creating starvation and shortages of everything. Now with funding shortages we have museum cuts and library closings. All the mills went and the factories gave up the ghost during NAFTA. Now the malls are headed for liquidation. All the growth is in office getting and gaming and more casinos are closing.
  99. Ron Unz says:
    @Pincher Martin

    Actually, the notion that humans and Neanderthals likely interbred apparently used to be widely accepted among anthropologists and the educated laymen who followed them.
     
    Of course I knew this, and I should have been clearer in my original statement.

    Madison Grant in his The Passing of the Great Race wrote the following lines in the 1910s:


    Neanderthal Man was a purely meat eating hunter, living in caves, or rather in their entrances. He was dolichocephalic and not unlike existing Australoids, although not necessarily of black skin, and was, of course, in no sense a negro.

    The skull was characterized by heavy superorbital ridges, a low, receding forehead, protruding and chinless under jaw, and the posture was imperfectly erect. This race was widely spread and rather numerous. Some of its blood has trickled down to the present time, and occasionally one sees a skull of the Neanderthal type. The best skull of this type ever seen by the writer belonged to an old and very intellectual professor in London, who was quite innocent of his value as a museum specimen. In the old black breed of Scotland the overhanging brow and deep-set eyes are suggestive of this race. [Pincher Martin's emphasis in bold.]
     

    That very humorous statement by Grant was published in a widely read book in 1916, when Robert Howard was ten years old. I'm no expert on the views of anthropologists in the early twentieth century, but I doubt Grant was speculating on his own. He was a synthesizer of what he read, not a theorist.

    So while Cochran's view on the admixture of Neanderthals and modern man are obviously not his own creation, the hypothesis had, unfairly, fallen out of fashion - and he provided a useful service to the public by reintroducing it to them just as genetic science was making it possible to test. And isn't that one of the points of The Hyborian Age, that too many good ideas in the sciences were dumped for ideological reasons, that we went backward in our knowledge often for no good reason?

    So let me amend my previous statement: Find a public intellectual between, say, 1970 and 2000 who was claiming with any confidence that Neanderthal genes had been passed down among Homo sapiens.


    However, although Cochran is highly intelligent, he is also an exceptionally arrogant individual, whose arrogance often tends to lead him astray.
     
    I expect public intellectuals to be two things: Accurate far more often than not, and entertaining. Cochran is both. Humility? A man needs only enough to admit when he's wrong, and I've seen Cochran admit on at least a couple of occasions when his ideas weren't panning out.

    Have you the same degree of humility to admit when you're wrong, Ron?

    Have you the same degree of humility to admit when you’re wrong, Ron?

    Well, as I just noted elsewhere, when I published my major Race/IQ article and series a couple of years ago, the reaction in the rightwing-HBD sphere was about 99% hostile, often personally insulting and intensively vituperative. However, I gladly provided links to all those endless attacks and gathered them together so that interested people could compare them and my own responses. Peter Frost’s attacks on me were particularly insulting and defamatory, yet I later had no hesitation in inviting him to become a columnist at my new webzine. I don’t think my behavior is that of an egomaniac terrified of criticism.

    Without reopening the Race/IQ debate, I think pretty much every objective observer eventually admitted I had been entirely correct and my critics had been wrong. Just read through the dozen articles in the series and follow some of the links to see the various quiet retractions.

    And frankly, my utter outrage at having been immediately banned when I politely responded to an certain egomaniac’s ridiculous blogsite attacks has been a major factor behind my anti-censorship approach on this webzine.

    Now I obviously won’t admit I’m wrong when I’m clearly not. But I will say that over the last few years and especially in the last year or two, I’ve been absolutely shocked to discover I was totally, completely, utterly wrong about a whole series of huge matters. The magnitude of my errors has absolutely stunned me. In several cases, my reasoning had always seemed fully airtight but turned out to be absolutely wrong. Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence. On many, many occasions I’ve felt like I’d just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: “How can I have been so stupid for all those years?…”

    However, none of these gigantic errors on my part have anything to do with HBD. Indeed, almost everything having to do with HBD, including the total dishonesty of the MSM, has been pretty obvious to me since I was about nine or ten. Remember, I studied under E.O. Wilson over thirty years ago and developed my Chinese Social Darwinism theory at that point. One reason I was so extremely impressed with Acceleration was that it was about the first totally new HBD idea I’d encountered since the early 1980s. And as far as I can tell, all my own HBD-related articles have been completely correct, at least within the uncertainty-bounds I have explicitly specified.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    my major Race/IQ article
     
    Yeah, that was the one where Ron theorized that Hispanic Mestizos and Amerinds were going to equal the White American mean IQ real soon now.So don't worry, everybody.All of those Mestizo and Amerind Mexicans in the USA are just the Irish 2.0.
    , @The most deplorable one

    Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence.
     
    Why so coy? Let us know who it was that helped you in this manner.

    On many, many occasions I’ve felt like I’d just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: “How can I have been so stupid for all those years?…”
     
    That is one of my favorite books, although the biology is pretty far fetched. The moties are more likely, since, after all, birds can fly.

    For me that moment occurred when I realized that SJ Gould was full of it.
    , @syonredux
    Incidentally, if anyone wants some insight into the grim future that awaits the USA, I strongly recommend this book:

    Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race
    by Edward E. Telles and Vilma Ortiz

    http://www.amazon.com/Generations-Exclusion-Mexican-Americans-Assimilation/dp/0871548496

    Mexican-American socio-economic progress has a very low ceiling.....

    , @syonredux
    Incidentally, if anyone wants some insight into the grim future that awaits the USA, I strongly recommend this book:

    Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race
    by Edward E. Telles and Vilma Ortiz

    http://www.amazon.com/Generations-Exclusion-Mexican-Americans-Assimilation/dp/0871548496

    Mexican-American socio-economic progress has a very low ceiling…..
    , @Pincher Martin
    The short summary for your post, Ron, is that you've been Christ-like in your generosity towards your critics, spectacularly wrong on "particular matters" of private concern, and absolutely spotless in your public record on HBD.

    I'm not sure I would label as a sign of humility an admission that you're often wrong about vague matters not before the public, especially when you preface it with three detailed paragraphs of how you have turned the other cheek to your nastiest critics.

    Let me link again to this blog post at West Hunter:

    In our book, we suggested that the big bang of the Upper Paleolithic, the dramatic increase in cultural complexity seen in Europe some 40,000 years ago, might have been triggered, at least in part, by an influx of adaptive Neanderthal alleles. Right now, from the evidence in these papers, I’m not seeing a strong case for that. Of course we only understand what half these genes are doing, so the fat lady hasn’t finished singing, but we may well be wrong. Of course that dramatic increase in cultural complexity did happen, and for that matter, it is still true that average IQ scores are quite low in sub-Saharan Africa and its diaspora. But IQ scores are also low in populations such as Australian Aborigines that have about the same amount of Neanderthal admixture as other people outside of Africa – so at minimum the story is more complicated. [Pincher Martin's emphases in bold]
     
    That's the only use I have for humility in a public intellectual, that he doesn't waste my time and his time by arguing against the direction of the evidence just so he can protect his pet theory.

    As you can see, Cochran has done that. Have you?
    , @Sunbeam
    Now I obviously won’t admit I’m wrong when I’m clearly not. But I will say that over the last few years and especially in the last year or two, I’ve been absolutely shocked to discover I was totally, completely, utterly wrong about a whole series of huge matters. The magnitude of my errors has absolutely stunned me. In several cases, my reasoning had always seemed fully airtight but turned out to be absolutely wrong. Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence. On many, many occasions I’ve felt like I’d just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: “How can I have been so stupid for all those years?…”

    I really don't care about who you are talking about, but I am ver curious as to which matters you are talking about.

    Then again it sounds like more than one thing, and each would probably take a long write up.

    But then there is another question: If you were living in darkness, why did this person enlighten you? Are you friends? Even acquaintances?

    If not, why did he reach out to you? There are no doubt many people, even smart ones in life, he hasn't bothered to give the effort too.

    “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
    ― Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

    Did you ever consider that you might be considered to be "part of the masses to some?" Maybe a little more elite, a little more educated. But still someone to be played?

    After all,


    "Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
    And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
    And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on,
    While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on."

    It always seemed to me that you had to have consistency of purpose, and develop the capacity to never, ever be swayed from your objective if you were in a contest with a person smarter than yourself.

    Or the devil. Whatever.

    Since we have a thread where the Hyborian age is invoked, you'd have to tell Thulsa Doom:

    "By Crom do I swear it! I will cut your heart out and drink your blood!"

    Then you do it, no matter what Thulsa Doom says, or what reasonable argument Thulsa Doom makes. And that gold he offered you? Well you take that too. And his lamentating women.

    Kind of like when the idiots in Idiocracy chain the smartest guy in the world to a big rock.

    Barbarism - 1
    High intelligence and Civilization - 0
  100. @Anonymous
    "More broadly, what was believed in 1935 about human origins and human history was much closer to the truth than what was believed post-WW2, for a very long time and in many respects still today. Huge amounts of knowledge were lost, deliberately lost. Inconvenient truths were buried and overwritten with fantasies and lies."

    This is in fact the only convincing conspiracy theory I've ever come across - convincing because the conspirators seem to have operated entirely in the open and never did bother either suppressing or disproving the earlier evidence, just ignoring it so completely that everyone forgot about it.

    It’s like Davos v. Bilderberg. The Bilderbergers meet in secret, but Davos trumped them by inviting in the media.

    Read More
    • Replies: @rustbeltreader
    inviting the media...and then ignoring them.

    It saved money on call girls because plenty of cute presstitutes showed up. They were like free books.
  101. @cthulhu
    Um, Pinker is front and center in acknowledging and defending the violence that is part of human nature, including all of the violence done in prehistoric societies. You would be hard pressed to find a public intellectual more amenable and defending of those ideas.

    His thesis in "Better Angels" is basically that Western liberal democracy has been the catalyst in reducing violence internal and external to sovereign states.

    “His thesis in “Better Angels” is basically that Western liberal democracy has been the catalyst in reducing violence internal and external to sovereign states.”

    But Western liberal democracy is getting less liberal and less democratic by the day.

    Read More
    • Replies: @keypusher
    But the people are getting more peaceable. This discussion doesn't belong at the end of this comment thread, but...apart from the steep decline in crime in the past 20 years, I was struck by the reaction of students and frats to the recent rape crisis. The frats welcomed their own supression! I coudln't help but think, what a bunch of pussies. But very well behaved.
    , @Anonymous Nephew
    "But Western liberal democracy is getting less liberal and less democratic by the day."

    I forgot to mention that it's also getting less Western.
  102. @Wyrd
    I don't agree, I say I don't agree D'Onofrio's doing a Foghorn Leghorn impersonation. It's more a generic Hollywood southern accent.

    Yes, they do the same accent for Hollywood-Mississippi and Hollywood-South Carolina.

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  103. @Pincher Martin
    I should also note that many top economists were superb writers and public intellectuals. Before Paul Krugman (whose early popular work is first rate - read Peddling Prosperity, for an example) there was Milton Friedman, and before Friedman there was John Maynard Keynes.

    Of course an entertaining writer in the sciences is no guarantee of scientific accuracy. Stephen Jay Gould shows that. But one should always remember George Santayana's words about Bertrand Russell's prose style: "He writes so clearly that it's always easy to see where he is wrong."

    >>“He writes so clearly that it’s always easy to see where he is wrong.”<<

    That's always the mark of a good writer – or scientist – for me.
    I think Post-Modernism is so popular because it gives bad writers permission to deliberately write unclearly, so that they can write garbage and can't be called on it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @affenkopf
    >>I think Post-Modernism is so popular because it gives bad writers permission to deliberately write unclearly, so that they can write garbage and can't be called on it.<<

    You don't even need post-modernism for that. Just ask Hegel.
  104. @Steve Sailer
    It's like Davos v. Bilderberg. The Bilderbergers meet in secret, but Davos trumped them by inviting in the media.

    inviting the media…and then ignoring them.

    It saved money on call girls because plenty of cute presstitutes showed up. They were like free books.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    It saved money on call girls because plenty of cute presstitutes showed up. They were like free books.

     

    Little Free Libraries are a big hit. We can extend the idea to Little Cheap Cathouses.
  105. @Melendwyr

    one should always remember George Santayana’s words about Bertrand Russell’s prose style: “He writes so clearly that it’s always easy to see where he is wrong.”
     
    That is an immensely valuable trait. I concluded long ago that clarity is even more important than correctness, in the same way that it's better to be a bad liar than honest if you want to be trusted.

    Hemingway wrote that when Ezra Pound was wrong he was so wrong there was no doubt about it. Now we are debating math. Ukraine is flat broke and the solution is $50 billion of debt to solve the crisis. The Russian solution? Shoot everybody and pass the vodka. US solution? Shoot vodka and pass everybody. DUI’s are killing more people than Isis is. ER’s are filling with sex toy victims.

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  106. @bossel

    For example, the Battle Axe culture of Northern Europe of 4,000 to 5,000 years ago was renamed the Corded Ware culture.
     
    Don't know about English naming conventions, but the original German name "Schnurkeramik" (corded ware) is from around 1880, introduced by Friedrich Klopfleisch:
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Klopfleisch

    NASA created the Corning Ware culture…”Accidents Happen…
    As with many innovations, Corning Ware was a lab mistake. First a furnace malfunctioned — instead of staying at 600C it rose to 900c, but surprisingly the glass didn’t melt. Next mistake was when the chemist then dropped the white glass and it didn’t break! These mistakes led to the creation of Pyroceram and eventually the first piece of Corning Ware in 1957. Pyroceram was introduced to NASA, and used in the space shuttle program. Eventually a total of seven generations of Corning Ware were produced and although the Blue Cornflower is synonymous with Corning Ware, many more patterns were produced.” http://www.classickitchensandmore.com/page_3.html

    Even our mistakes turned to gold with NASA. Now? We are turning gold into debt while creating starvation and shortages of everything. Now with funding shortages we have museum cuts and library closings. All the mills went and the factories gave up the ghost during NAFTA. Now the malls are headed for liquidation. All the growth is in office getting and gaming and more casinos are closing.

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  107. affenkopf says:
    @Simon in London
    >>“He writes so clearly that it’s always easy to see where he is wrong.”<<

    That's always the mark of a good writer - or scientist - for me.
    I think Post-Modernism is so popular because it gives bad writers permission to deliberately write unclearly, so that they can write garbage and can't be called on it.

    >>I think Post-Modernism is so popular because it gives bad writers permission to deliberately write unclearly, so that they can write garbage and can’t be called on it.<<

    You don't even need post-modernism for that. Just ask Hegel.

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  108. Sunbeam says:
    @genetiker

    Nobody has ever found an ancient skeleton in America that is genetically something very different from generic Amerindians.
     
    Nobody has ever found any Clovis skeletons, period.

    Nor do Amerindians carry a genetic component that looks like ancient western Europeans.
     
    The western Gravettians and their descendants were a lot like Mal'ta 1, so it would be hard to know. But the Clovis people abruptly died out at the start of the Younger Dryas, so there's no reason to think that Amerindians have any admixture from them anyway.

    So there’s no solid evidence for the Solutrean hypothesis.
     
    There's a mountain of archeological evidence. There's a clear evolutionary sequence from Solutrean to proto-Clovis to Clovis. The first proto-Clovis tools are found on the eastern coast of the US, and they're dated to 26,000 years ago, which is 11,000 years before the melting of the Cordilleran ice sheet permitted the Mongoloid-Caucasoid hybrids from Asia to move down the Pacific coast.

    Amerindians do carry a genetic component that is found in Europeans
     
    Something that I knew while you were still repeating Reich's nonsense about Europeans having a genetic component from Amerindians.

    but it’s relative new in Europeans
     
    Nope. It's been in Europe since the Gravettian.

    wasn’t there in the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers
     
    It wasn't in the Y hg I and C1a2 hunter-gatherers. It was in the R1b and R1a Gravettian-descended hunter-gatherers.

    Ind-Europeans brought it in
     
    Right, and the Gravettians were the Indo-Europeans.

    originated pretty far to the east
     
    It originated in Pakistan, moved north through Central Asia, and then spread west into Europe and east into Siberia.

    Purest example thus far is a 24,000 year old skeleton from deep in Siberia.
     
    Wait for the Gravettian sequences.

    Thread’s getting long, so odds are this comment is meaningless at this point.

    “The western Gravettians and their descendants were a lot like Mal’ta 1, so it would be hard to know. But the Clovis people abruptly died out at the start of the Younger Dryas, so there’s no reason to think that Amerindians have any admixture from them anyway.”

    Okay, I don’t know much about this particular topic. But I have a deep and abiding faith in human nature.

    And one of the tenets of that faith is something like: “If it can be nailed, it will be nailed.”

    I won’t argue with anyone about primitive warfare. But in my experience, sex happens. It just does. There is nothing you can do about it.

    And I guarantee you, I absolutely totally believe, that if the Clovis people were around and met the Amerindians who came from Siberia…

    I 100% guarantee to you that there was some admixture. The only way there wasn’t is if they were all dead when the Amerindians showed up.

    Maybe the amount is so weak, the genes so diluted, it doesn’t show up as a signal.

    But you see, the sex thing, that is kind of a Second Law for this “movement of the peoples” thing.

    And if your anthropology says otherwise, then your anthropology is wrong, unless the populations in question never existed at the same time.

    As an utter layman, I will have total confidence mocking you if you claim otherwise.

    Same for the whole neanderthal and other species of man admixture into modern humans. I’m old enough to remember when the claim was no admixture. Based upon my experiences in life I didn’t buy that one.

    So like Cochran I was right. Of course he had a lot more knowledge behind him to back him up, but I knew from the beginning that if sex between modern humans and neanderthals were possible, if they existed in the same area at the same time, it happened. The only question is whether they were fertile with one another, something I wouldn’t know enough to speculate on.

    But I’m reasonably sure Amerindians and Clovis people could be expected to make fertile matches, so I know that admixture happened. If they were in the same place at the same time.

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    • Replies: @Cattle Guard
    Wait - if you claim "as an utter layman" that sex is important, well, what exactly do you mean by the "lay" in "layman"?
  109. @Lagertha
    so just to REALLY confuse all of you tonight before I crash, the Finns are related (presumably) to the Ainu island people of Japan. And, like I said, way earlier on some distant blog entry, Iceland shares many words with the Finnish language. And, to further keep you up at night, look up 'Chaco Canyon' and read on until you are bored.

    Icelandic has some words close in form to Finnish for the simple reason that it’s an archaic Germanic language and Finnish contains many old Germanic borrowings. Swedish, English etc changed more over time so their words look less familiar. Finnic and Germanic also share a set of very old words not shared by other I-E or Uralic languages which may come from whatever pre-IE/pre-Uralic language was spoken here or may just reflect Finnic and Germanic developing next to each other.

    None of this is evidence of mystical migration of Finns to North America through Iceland and Finns are in no way related to Ainu people.

    You show up in random threads spamming this “ancient Finns” nonsense, why?

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    • Replies: @Lagertha
    Never stated that there was "a mystical migration of Finns to N.A.," only that it has always been interesting to me that many words (and the length of words) have similarities (I & F), nothing else. And, the Ainu island thing, was speculation that I heard years ago...indeed, everything is speculation until there is data and irrefutable facts - which is my point. No one really knows what the societies were like after the Ice Age. And, if you truly believe I am spamming nonsense, then ignore me...or are you just one of those types of miserable people who enjoy finding fault with everyone? I mean, we are discussing Conan...could discuss the theory over the existence of Atlantis, for that matter. You need to seriously chill and not be so negative.
  110. keypusher says:
    @Anonymous Nephew
    "His thesis in “Better Angels” is basically that Western liberal democracy has been the catalyst in reducing violence internal and external to sovereign states."

    But Western liberal democracy is getting less liberal and less democratic by the day.

    But the people are getting more peaceable. This discussion doesn’t belong at the end of this comment thread, but…apart from the steep decline in crime in the past 20 years, I was struck by the reaction of students and frats to the recent rape crisis. The frats welcomed their own supression! I coudln’t help but think, what a bunch of pussies. But very well behaved.

    Read More
  111. syonredux says:
    @Ron Unz

    Have you the same degree of humility to admit when you’re wrong, Ron?
     
    Well, as I just noted elsewhere, when I published my major Race/IQ article and series a couple of years ago, the reaction in the rightwing-HBD sphere was about 99% hostile, often personally insulting and intensively vituperative. However, I gladly provided links to all those endless attacks and gathered them together so that interested people could compare them and my own responses. Peter Frost's attacks on me were particularly insulting and defamatory, yet I later had no hesitation in inviting him to become a columnist at my new webzine. I don't think my behavior is that of an egomaniac terrified of criticism.

    Without reopening the Race/IQ debate, I think pretty much every objective observer eventually admitted I had been entirely correct and my critics had been wrong. Just read through the dozen articles in the series and follow some of the links to see the various quiet retractions.

    And frankly, my utter outrage at having been immediately banned when I politely responded to an certain egomaniac's ridiculous blogsite attacks has been a major factor behind my anti-censorship approach on this webzine.

    Now I obviously won't admit I'm wrong when I'm clearly not. But I will say that over the last few years and especially in the last year or two, I've been absolutely shocked to discover I was totally, completely, utterly wrong about a whole series of huge matters. The magnitude of my errors has absolutely stunned me. In several cases, my reasoning had always seemed fully airtight but turned out to be absolutely wrong. Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence. On many, many occasions I've felt like I'd just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: "How can I have been so stupid for all those years?..."

    However, none of these gigantic errors on my part have anything to do with HBD. Indeed, almost everything having to do with HBD, including the total dishonesty of the MSM, has been pretty obvious to me since I was about nine or ten. Remember, I studied under E.O. Wilson over thirty years ago and developed my Chinese Social Darwinism theory at that point. One reason I was so extremely impressed with Acceleration was that it was about the first totally new HBD idea I'd encountered since the early 1980s. And as far as I can tell, all my own HBD-related articles have been completely correct, at least within the uncertainty-bounds I have explicitly specified.

    my major Race/IQ article

    Yeah, that was the one where Ron theorized that Hispanic Mestizos and Amerinds were going to equal the White American mean IQ real soon now.So don’t worry, everybody.All of those Mestizo and Amerind Mexicans in the USA are just the Irish 2.0.

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  112. Taylor says:

    Boas was not a Boasian. His views on race were actually quite nuanced. It was his followers and successors (many of whom were gentiles) who are responsible for the simplistic race-does-not-exist doctrine that has become mainstream.

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  113. Melendwyr says: • Website
    @Pincher Martin
    Your original point seemed to be more along the lines that being boring equaled good science, and that therefore Cochran was too "exciting" a public commentator to qualify as a good scientist.

    Given the numerous prominent individuals who have ranked among the top names in their field at the same time they were quite exciting, interesting, and occasionally even controversial public intellectuals, I'm not sure how that could possibly be correct, and indeed you seem to have altered your original comment to just mean that you think Cochran too sloppy to be a good scientist.

    I have no opinion on that. I do wonder, though, if you're mistaking the tedious work of the lab scientist with the broader work of the theoretician. To me, Cochran is clearly the latter. He understands the mathematical nature of evolution and uses that understanding to speculate broadly and clearly on various issues of interest.

    He's been proven right on enough cases that I think he ought to have good standing with the informed public who follows him. Other cases are still outstanding. And on some matters, he appears to have changed his mind - or at least backed off a little from his previous stance - which proves to me he's not a poser. (Neanderthal/Homo sapien hybridization leading to the big bang, for example. See final paragraph.)

    If tomorrow the gay germ thesis is proven incorrect, will I change my mind about him? No. Why would I? I didn't think he was the Pope. But he's taught me at least how to think more clearly about evolution and genetics. And isn't that the acid test for any public intellectual, that reading him makes you somewhat better informed on the topic than you were before?

    Your original point seemed to be more along the lines that being boring equaled good science

    Whoa whoa, don’t reverse the order of implication. Boring things obviously aren’t automatically good science. No one’s said anything even suggesting that. ‘A is B’ does not imply ‘B is A’.

    Good science is boring, in the sense that to qualify a whole lot of tedious and emotionally unrewarding work has to be done – not just in the reasoning, but in preparing for presentation. Proofreading just isn’t fun. Worse, it’s very difficult, even more so if it’s your own words you’re proofing, because it takes effort to see what’s actually on the page instead of what you expect to see. And that’s just typos. Analyzing the arguments, instead of merely the language used to express them, is extraordinarily difficult to do fairly and completely. Your own biases and prejudices will automatically derail you unless you’re careful and – for lack of a better word – humble. Error is easy, and has infinite forms. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, et cetera.

    Dr. Cochran doesn’t meet his own standards. He’s been grossly wrong for trivial reasons and in stupid, obvious, and easily-avoidable ways. If his own behavior were presented to him in a way he couldn’t immediately identify, a la Nathan to King David, he’d ban himself. “Thou art the man” indeed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    Whoa whoa, don’t reverse the order of implication. Boring things obviously aren’t automatically good science. No one’s said anything even suggesting that. ‘A is B’ does not imply ‘B is A’.
     
    Let me rephrase: Your original point seemed to be more along the lines that in order to do good science one must be a boring scientist.

    He’s been grossly wrong for trivial reasons and in stupid, obvious, and easily-avoidable ways.
     
    Any prominent examples? I'm not interested in his typos or other trivial concerns. Where is his math wrong? Where is his theory wrong?
  114. B36 says:

    Well, also….39 years before Howard’s birth in Peaster Texas and a few miles away

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  115. Melendwyr says: • Website

    Additional: Respectfully, I think *you’re* confusing the technician – or the experimentalist – with the theorist. The standards for technicians are stringent – but not nearly as much as they are for theorists. The behavior of the world acts as a natural, automatic check against many potential errors. When engineers get it wrong, the world demonstrates it, often dramatically. Theory is much harder to check and much easier to screw up.

    A good scientist must not go beyond what the data can demonstrate in his conclusions and assertions, and must be as quick to retract as he is slow to put forward. That’s hard. A good scientist is always open to new evidence and the possibility of error. That’s very hard. A good scientist must always be willing to kill his ‘children’. That’s really, really hard.

    Most people can’t do anything of these things when they have an emotional stake in the issues. The very greatest of us can manage these things briefly, on limited subjects. (Bertrand Russell’s personal life is a fantastic example of how emotional involvement clouds reasoning.)

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  116. Luke Lea says:

    I know one thing Cochran and Unz are both wrong about: that tooting your own horn is a good way to go.

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    Haha. I hope you had a big grin on your face when you typed that.
  117. 1. It is not a battle ax, but a hammer to kill big tame animals. To kill humans, you need something that can change direction during the blow, and the stone hammers as to heavy for that.

    2. Scandinavia show no trace of ever changing population, but only Nazis want that to be true, so no DNA testing is done.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fosna-Hensbacka_culture

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    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    1: This is a modern stone replica of the kind of tool in question:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/49/Vasarakirves.jpg

    The hole is of course where a wooden shaft would go; one end is a blunt "hammer" and the other end a sharp "axe". Many continental languages use some version of "hammeraxe" instead of battleaxe when speaking of the Corded Ware culture and that is what vasarakirves means as well (both "vasara" for hammer and "kirves" for axe actually being Indo-European loanwords).

    The spread of Indo-European languages may have been a warlike expansion from the steppe due to some advantage in warfare but if they were steppe horsemen they were certainly not fighting with stone axes. It would probably be better to emphasize hammeraxe in English as well.

    2: That's actually not at all what the Nazis would have wanted given that what they wanted was to claim that Scandinavians and Germanic peoples are the closest relatives of the original Indo-Europeans ("Aryans") and that's not true if Scandinavians are close descendants of the original post Ice Age population who spoke some long lost languages. Of course one of the ironic things is that in the quest to fight the Nazis it's now even taboo to point out what Nazis actually claimed.

    In fact, if the interpretation of that paper is correct then the Indo-European speakers closest to the original Indo-Europeans would be the Russians.
    , @Anonymous
    Scandinavian archaeology has revealed evidence of multiple population and culture changes starting in the early Neolithic and running through the Nordic Bronze Age. Based upon basic principles of physical and cultural anthropology, these changes could not have occurred in the absence of population change.
  118. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @Ron Unz

    Have you the same degree of humility to admit when you’re wrong, Ron?
     
    Well, as I just noted elsewhere, when I published my major Race/IQ article and series a couple of years ago, the reaction in the rightwing-HBD sphere was about 99% hostile, often personally insulting and intensively vituperative. However, I gladly provided links to all those endless attacks and gathered them together so that interested people could compare them and my own responses. Peter Frost's attacks on me were particularly insulting and defamatory, yet I later had no hesitation in inviting him to become a columnist at my new webzine. I don't think my behavior is that of an egomaniac terrified of criticism.

    Without reopening the Race/IQ debate, I think pretty much every objective observer eventually admitted I had been entirely correct and my critics had been wrong. Just read through the dozen articles in the series and follow some of the links to see the various quiet retractions.

    And frankly, my utter outrage at having been immediately banned when I politely responded to an certain egomaniac's ridiculous blogsite attacks has been a major factor behind my anti-censorship approach on this webzine.

    Now I obviously won't admit I'm wrong when I'm clearly not. But I will say that over the last few years and especially in the last year or two, I've been absolutely shocked to discover I was totally, completely, utterly wrong about a whole series of huge matters. The magnitude of my errors has absolutely stunned me. In several cases, my reasoning had always seemed fully airtight but turned out to be absolutely wrong. Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence. On many, many occasions I've felt like I'd just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: "How can I have been so stupid for all those years?..."

    However, none of these gigantic errors on my part have anything to do with HBD. Indeed, almost everything having to do with HBD, including the total dishonesty of the MSM, has been pretty obvious to me since I was about nine or ten. Remember, I studied under E.O. Wilson over thirty years ago and developed my Chinese Social Darwinism theory at that point. One reason I was so extremely impressed with Acceleration was that it was about the first totally new HBD idea I'd encountered since the early 1980s. And as far as I can tell, all my own HBD-related articles have been completely correct, at least within the uncertainty-bounds I have explicitly specified.

    Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence.

    Why so coy? Let us know who it was that helped you in this manner.

    On many, many occasions I’ve felt like I’d just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: “How can I have been so stupid for all those years?…”

    That is one of my favorite books, although the biology is pretty far fetched. The moties are more likely, since, after all, birds can fly.

    For me that moment occurred when I realized that SJ Gould was full of it.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Why so coy? Let us know who it was that helped you in this manner.
     
    That wouldn't be advisable. The matters involved are just as explosively "touchy" as anything in HBD and the fellow I'm describing is the sort of individual who might have a shot at being appointed to the Cabinet of a future presidential administration. Obviously that goes out the window if he's known to believe in "totally crazy things." James Watson probably won't get named Honorary Chairman of the National Science Foundation these days.

    I lived nearly my entire life in total ignorance...
  119. […] Most important, Conan, unlike the typical professor, knew what was best in life. […]

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  120. syonredux says:
    @Ron Unz

    Have you the same degree of humility to admit when you’re wrong, Ron?
     
    Well, as I just noted elsewhere, when I published my major Race/IQ article and series a couple of years ago, the reaction in the rightwing-HBD sphere was about 99% hostile, often personally insulting and intensively vituperative. However, I gladly provided links to all those endless attacks and gathered them together so that interested people could compare them and my own responses. Peter Frost's attacks on me were particularly insulting and defamatory, yet I later had no hesitation in inviting him to become a columnist at my new webzine. I don't think my behavior is that of an egomaniac terrified of criticism.

    Without reopening the Race/IQ debate, I think pretty much every objective observer eventually admitted I had been entirely correct and my critics had been wrong. Just read through the dozen articles in the series and follow some of the links to see the various quiet retractions.

    And frankly, my utter outrage at having been immediately banned when I politely responded to an certain egomaniac's ridiculous blogsite attacks has been a major factor behind my anti-censorship approach on this webzine.

    Now I obviously won't admit I'm wrong when I'm clearly not. But I will say that over the last few years and especially in the last year or two, I've been absolutely shocked to discover I was totally, completely, utterly wrong about a whole series of huge matters. The magnitude of my errors has absolutely stunned me. In several cases, my reasoning had always seemed fully airtight but turned out to be absolutely wrong. Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence. On many, many occasions I've felt like I'd just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: "How can I have been so stupid for all those years?..."

    However, none of these gigantic errors on my part have anything to do with HBD. Indeed, almost everything having to do with HBD, including the total dishonesty of the MSM, has been pretty obvious to me since I was about nine or ten. Remember, I studied under E.O. Wilson over thirty years ago and developed my Chinese Social Darwinism theory at that point. One reason I was so extremely impressed with Acceleration was that it was about the first totally new HBD idea I'd encountered since the early 1980s. And as far as I can tell, all my own HBD-related articles have been completely correct, at least within the uncertainty-bounds I have explicitly specified.

    Incidentally, if anyone wants some insight into the grim future that awaits the USA, I strongly recommend this book:

    Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race
    by Edward E. Telles and Vilma Ortiz

    http://www.amazon.com/Generations-Exclusion-Mexican-Americans-Assimilation/dp/0871548496

    Mexican-American socio-economic progress has a very low ceiling…..

    Read More
  121. syonredux says:
    @Ron Unz

    Have you the same degree of humility to admit when you’re wrong, Ron?
     
    Well, as I just noted elsewhere, when I published my major Race/IQ article and series a couple of years ago, the reaction in the rightwing-HBD sphere was about 99% hostile, often personally insulting and intensively vituperative. However, I gladly provided links to all those endless attacks and gathered them together so that interested people could compare them and my own responses. Peter Frost's attacks on me were particularly insulting and defamatory, yet I later had no hesitation in inviting him to become a columnist at my new webzine. I don't think my behavior is that of an egomaniac terrified of criticism.

    Without reopening the Race/IQ debate, I think pretty much every objective observer eventually admitted I had been entirely correct and my critics had been wrong. Just read through the dozen articles in the series and follow some of the links to see the various quiet retractions.

    And frankly, my utter outrage at having been immediately banned when I politely responded to an certain egomaniac's ridiculous blogsite attacks has been a major factor behind my anti-censorship approach on this webzine.

    Now I obviously won't admit I'm wrong when I'm clearly not. But I will say that over the last few years and especially in the last year or two, I've been absolutely shocked to discover I was totally, completely, utterly wrong about a whole series of huge matters. The magnitude of my errors has absolutely stunned me. In several cases, my reasoning had always seemed fully airtight but turned out to be absolutely wrong. Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence. On many, many occasions I've felt like I'd just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: "How can I have been so stupid for all those years?..."

    However, none of these gigantic errors on my part have anything to do with HBD. Indeed, almost everything having to do with HBD, including the total dishonesty of the MSM, has been pretty obvious to me since I was about nine or ten. Remember, I studied under E.O. Wilson over thirty years ago and developed my Chinese Social Darwinism theory at that point. One reason I was so extremely impressed with Acceleration was that it was about the first totally new HBD idea I'd encountered since the early 1980s. And as far as I can tell, all my own HBD-related articles have been completely correct, at least within the uncertainty-bounds I have explicitly specified.

    Incidentally, if anyone wants some insight into the grim future that awaits the USA, I strongly recommend this book:

    Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race
    by Edward E. Telles and Vilma Ortiz

    http://www.amazon.com/Generations-Exclusion-Mexican-Americans-Assimilation/dp/0871548496

    Mexican-American socio-economic progress has a very low ceiling…..

    Read More
  122. @Pincher Martin
    Your original point seemed to be more along the lines that being boring equaled good science, and that therefore Cochran was too "exciting" a public commentator to qualify as a good scientist.

    Given the numerous prominent individuals who have ranked among the top names in their field at the same time they were quite exciting, interesting, and occasionally even controversial public intellectuals, I'm not sure how that could possibly be correct, and indeed you seem to have altered your original comment to just mean that you think Cochran too sloppy to be a good scientist.

    I have no opinion on that. I do wonder, though, if you're mistaking the tedious work of the lab scientist with the broader work of the theoretician. To me, Cochran is clearly the latter. He understands the mathematical nature of evolution and uses that understanding to speculate broadly and clearly on various issues of interest.

    He's been proven right on enough cases that I think he ought to have good standing with the informed public who follows him. Other cases are still outstanding. And on some matters, he appears to have changed his mind - or at least backed off a little from his previous stance - which proves to me he's not a poser. (Neanderthal/Homo sapien hybridization leading to the big bang, for example. See final paragraph.)

    If tomorrow the gay germ thesis is proven incorrect, will I change my mind about him? No. Why would I? I didn't think he was the Pope. But he's taught me at least how to think more clearly about evolution and genetics. And isn't that the acid test for any public intellectual, that reading him makes you somewhat better informed on the topic than you were before?

    “Intellectual” is more insult than praise, and adding “public” makes it sound like a flasher opening his raincoat.

    Can’t we come up with a better term than this?

    Try “scholar”, with any of these synonyms for “public”:

    well-known, leading, important, respected, famous, celebrated, recognized, distinguished, prominent, influential, notable, renowned, eminent, famed, noteworthy, in the public eye

    –Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

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  123. @rustbeltreader
    inviting the media...and then ignoring them.

    It saved money on call girls because plenty of cute presstitutes showed up. They were like free books.

    It saved money on call girls because plenty of cute presstitutes showed up. They were like free books.

    Little Free Libraries are a big hit. We can extend the idea to Little Cheap Cathouses.

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  124. @Ron Unz

    Have you the same degree of humility to admit when you’re wrong, Ron?
     
    Well, as I just noted elsewhere, when I published my major Race/IQ article and series a couple of years ago, the reaction in the rightwing-HBD sphere was about 99% hostile, often personally insulting and intensively vituperative. However, I gladly provided links to all those endless attacks and gathered them together so that interested people could compare them and my own responses. Peter Frost's attacks on me were particularly insulting and defamatory, yet I later had no hesitation in inviting him to become a columnist at my new webzine. I don't think my behavior is that of an egomaniac terrified of criticism.

    Without reopening the Race/IQ debate, I think pretty much every objective observer eventually admitted I had been entirely correct and my critics had been wrong. Just read through the dozen articles in the series and follow some of the links to see the various quiet retractions.

    And frankly, my utter outrage at having been immediately banned when I politely responded to an certain egomaniac's ridiculous blogsite attacks has been a major factor behind my anti-censorship approach on this webzine.

    Now I obviously won't admit I'm wrong when I'm clearly not. But I will say that over the last few years and especially in the last year or two, I've been absolutely shocked to discover I was totally, completely, utterly wrong about a whole series of huge matters. The magnitude of my errors has absolutely stunned me. In several cases, my reasoning had always seemed fully airtight but turned out to be absolutely wrong. Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence. On many, many occasions I've felt like I'd just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: "How can I have been so stupid for all those years?..."

    However, none of these gigantic errors on my part have anything to do with HBD. Indeed, almost everything having to do with HBD, including the total dishonesty of the MSM, has been pretty obvious to me since I was about nine or ten. Remember, I studied under E.O. Wilson over thirty years ago and developed my Chinese Social Darwinism theory at that point. One reason I was so extremely impressed with Acceleration was that it was about the first totally new HBD idea I'd encountered since the early 1980s. And as far as I can tell, all my own HBD-related articles have been completely correct, at least within the uncertainty-bounds I have explicitly specified.

    The short summary for your post, Ron, is that you’ve been Christ-like in your generosity towards your critics, spectacularly wrong on “particular matters” of private concern, and absolutely spotless in your public record on HBD.

    I’m not sure I would label as a sign of humility an admission that you’re often wrong about vague matters not before the public, especially when you preface it with three detailed paragraphs of how you have turned the other cheek to your nastiest critics.

    Let me link again to this blog post at West Hunter:

    In our book, we suggested that the big bang of the Upper Paleolithic, the dramatic increase in cultural complexity seen in Europe some 40,000 years ago, might have been triggered, at least in part, by an influx of adaptive Neanderthal alleles. Right now, from the evidence in these papers, I’m not seeing a strong case for that. Of course we only understand what half these genes are doing, so the fat lady hasn’t finished singing, but we may well be wrong. Of course that dramatic increase in cultural complexity did happen, and for that matter, it is still true that average IQ scores are quite low in sub-Saharan Africa and its diaspora. But IQ scores are also low in populations such as Australian Aborigines that have about the same amount of Neanderthal admixture as other people outside of Africa – so at minimum the story is more complicated. [Pincher Martin's emphases in bold]

    That’s the only use I have for humility in a public intellectual, that he doesn’t waste my time and his time by arguing against the direction of the evidence just so he can protect his pet theory.

    As you can see, Cochran has done that. Have you?

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  125. Mr. Anon says:

    Melendwyr says:

    Heinlein isn’t all that hard to categorize, it’s just that his category is usually disparaged here. And more complex than some commentators can cope with.

    He was a type of libertarian – yes, a despised libertarian, small-l – that prefers strong personal and cultural ties but a weak state,…..”

    Most libertarians I’ve ever heard don’t seem to believe in cultural ties either, or they believe that such ties are illigitimate. They also don’t favor strong personal ties either (what’s the libertarian position on divorce?). Rather, they think that people should be rootless free-agents interacting with others in transitory fashion, subject only to the letter of contract law.

    “…………knows the importance of cultural virtues and tradition but is quick to question and disregard the traditions that don’t make sense, and recognizes that our traditions need to be able to cope with both increased knowledge and our changing needs. He understood the human need for belief systems while rejecting existing religions as dogma.”

    So did L. Ron Hubbard. How’d that turn out?

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  126. Mr. Anon says:

    “Reg Cæsar says:

    “Intellectual” is more insult than praise, and adding “public” makes it sound like a flasher opening his raincoat.”

    Hah! That’s good. I’ll never think of the the term “public intellectual” quite the same again. “Hey little girl, want to see my thesis?”

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  127. Pat Boyle says:

    The Corded Ware culture is early Bronze Age. So that wonderful speech in the first Conan movie about how you can trust steel doesn’t make much sense. Nor does the picture you provide of this Arnold look-alike with his big steel sword. Steel is later.

    In that first Conan movie and maybe the second they show molten metal flowing into a sword mold. This is of course nonsense. Swords especially steel swords were always forged never cast. No cast blade would stand up in combat. They would snap.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Simon in London
    Judging the books by the movie not a good idea - I expect the molten sword would have annoyed REH, though (a) it did make a good visual and (b) it did break in combat! :)

    The books are set in a fantasy iron age that has 17th century pirates and ancient Egyptians rubbing shoulders, with occasional plate-harnessed medieval knights too. There may be serpent men left over from the earlier Kull/Atlantis era.

    According to REH's chronology it is set prior to the last advance of the glaciers, I don't think he ever gave a date but right before the Younger Dryas would make most sense, about 11,000 BP, since the Volkvanderungs he describes lead into the historical epoch. As Cochrane notes, a surprising lot of it is quite plausible, the big problem for me was his geology, in particular the non-existence of the Atlas mountains. At the time people believed in continents bouncing up and down very fast.
    , @Hereward
    I know a swordmaker who was active when the first Conan movie came out. He was pestered by a customer who not only wanted a sword like Conan's father made, but wanted it made the way shown in the movie - by casting it from steel in an open mold. The swordmaker had to explain to him why that wouldn't work.
    OTOH, bronze weapons and implements were generally cast:
    http://www.angelfire.com/me/ik/pics.html
    By the late Bronze age, the smith might work-harden the edges of the cast sword by light cold-forging, but that would be the only forging done.
  128. Victarion says:

    “Mestizos and Amerinds were going to equal the White American mean IQ real soon now”
    Strawman. Unz is evidently right that there is a substantial environmental effect.

    Regardless of how brilliant gcochran is, intellectuals do not ban serious and civil critics. Unz is perfectly right to be hold a grudge for this childish behavior.

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  129. Pat Boyle says:
    @Anonymous
    https://genetiker.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/greg-cochran-is-an-ignoramus/

    Greg Cochran likes to think of himself as being near-omniscient. In this post he defied his readers to tell him something he didn’t know.

    The reality is that there’s a lot Cochran doesn’t know. He’s ignorant of some of the most important facts regarding the subjects he regularly pontificates on.
     

    You shouldn’t let Cochran get under your skin. He is indeed very smart but so what? Like most of the people who regularly comment on this and his blog – I’m also real smart. I usually assume that I’m smarter than anyone I meet or anyone I read. If you are in the 99th percentile of IQ this is going to be true most of the time.

    Steve for example is in the 99th percentile of human height. He can’t help but assume that if he meets a stranger he will be taller.

    Cochran is in fact smarter than I am. I thought about it and that was the conclusion I reached. But IQ is really only relevant for children and youths. Adults are judged by accomplishments. I realized that if I were ever in an organization with Cochran I would have been his boss. He would report to me. My general functioning is just superior to his.

    In business everyone always made me the boss. I always tried to hire guys who were smarter than I was. But often the smartest guys were troublesome. I was good at supervising them.

    Cochran is very amusing but he doesn’t seem to be particularly successful. Svante Pääbo is probably less smart than Cochran but he’s likely to win a Nobel and Cochran isn’t. Adult functioning counts for a lot.

    Most of the iSteve readership is plenty smart. No one has anything to prove – except Greg Cochran. He seems driven.

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  130. syonredux says:

    For some some insight into the grim future that awaits the USA, I strongly recommend this book:

    Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race
    by Edward E. Telles and Vilma Ortiz

    http://www.amazon.com/Generations-Exclusion-Mexican-Americans-Assimilation/dp/0871548496

    Mexican-American socio-economic progress has a very low ceiling…..

    Read More
  131. […] Steve Sailer nas podsjeća zašto je Conan Barbarin bolji od Margaret Mead. […]

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  132. @Anonymous Nephew
    "His thesis in “Better Angels” is basically that Western liberal democracy has been the catalyst in reducing violence internal and external to sovereign states."

    But Western liberal democracy is getting less liberal and less democratic by the day.

    “But Western liberal democracy is getting less liberal and less democratic by the day.”

    I forgot to mention that it’s also getting less Western.

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  133. Sean says:

    Most important, Conan, unlike the typical professor, knew what was best in life.

    Very well then, lets take that seriously. It was not like Zardoz with the brutals forced to sow for the conquerors (as the Mongols forced the Polish peasants to sow ) . Nah, they killed them (including the women, for mtDNA is not the same now). And to stick with my namesake’s oeuvre, ‘there can only be one’ lord of the district. Everyone wanted to be him, but only one could. So elite overproduction a la Turchin gone wild, and almost all the descendants of the elite forced to become serfs or dead (which they probably preferred to being a serf). This is precisely the opposite of what Cochran and Harpending were saying in 10,000 Year Explosion. They have fled the field of battle, abandoning and trampling into the mire the very standard they once proudly held aloft. For shame.

    In a single population you can have beautiful women, or you can have magnificent warriors. Not both.

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  134. @Melendwyr

    Your original point seemed to be more along the lines that being boring equaled good science
     
    Whoa whoa, don't reverse the order of implication. Boring things obviously aren't automatically good science. No one's said anything even suggesting that. 'A is B' does not imply 'B is A'.

    Good science is boring, in the sense that to qualify a whole lot of tedious and emotionally unrewarding work has to be done - not just in the reasoning, but in preparing for presentation. Proofreading just isn't fun. Worse, it's very difficult, even more so if it's your own words you're proofing, because it takes effort to see what's actually on the page instead of what you expect to see. And that's just typos. Analyzing the arguments, instead of merely the language used to express them, is extraordinarily difficult to do fairly and completely. Your own biases and prejudices will automatically derail you unless you're careful and - for lack of a better word - humble. Error is easy, and has infinite forms. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, et cetera.

    Dr. Cochran doesn't meet his own standards. He's been grossly wrong for trivial reasons and in stupid, obvious, and easily-avoidable ways. If his own behavior were presented to him in a way he couldn't immediately identify, a la Nathan to King David, he'd ban himself. "Thou art the man" indeed.

    Whoa whoa, don’t reverse the order of implication. Boring things obviously aren’t automatically good science. No one’s said anything even suggesting that. ‘A is B’ does not imply ‘B is A’.

    Let me rephrase: Your original point seemed to be more along the lines that in order to do good science one must be a boring scientist.

    He’s been grossly wrong for trivial reasons and in stupid, obvious, and easily-avoidable ways.

    Any prominent examples? I’m not interested in his typos or other trivial concerns. Where is his math wrong? Where is his theory wrong?

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  135. @Sunbeam
    Thread's getting long, so odds are this comment is meaningless at this point.

    "The western Gravettians and their descendants were a lot like Mal’ta 1, so it would be hard to know. But the Clovis people abruptly died out at the start of the Younger Dryas, so there’s no reason to think that Amerindians have any admixture from them anyway."

    Okay, I don't know much about this particular topic. But I have a deep and abiding faith in human nature.

    And one of the tenets of that faith is something like: "If it can be nailed, it will be nailed."

    I won't argue with anyone about primitive warfare. But in my experience, sex happens. It just does. There is nothing you can do about it.

    And I guarantee you, I absolutely totally believe, that if the Clovis people were around and met the Amerindians who came from Siberia...

    I 100% guarantee to you that there was some admixture. The only way there wasn't is if they were all dead when the Amerindians showed up.

    Maybe the amount is so weak, the genes so diluted, it doesn't show up as a signal.

    But you see, the sex thing, that is kind of a Second Law for this "movement of the peoples" thing.

    And if your anthropology says otherwise, then your anthropology is wrong, unless the populations in question never existed at the same time.

    As an utter layman, I will have total confidence mocking you if you claim otherwise.

    Same for the whole neanderthal and other species of man admixture into modern humans. I'm old enough to remember when the claim was no admixture. Based upon my experiences in life I didn't buy that one.

    So like Cochran I was right. Of course he had a lot more knowledge behind him to back him up, but I knew from the beginning that if sex between modern humans and neanderthals were possible, if they existed in the same area at the same time, it happened. The only question is whether they were fertile with one another, something I wouldn't know enough to speculate on.

    But I'm reasonably sure Amerindians and Clovis people could be expected to make fertile matches, so I know that admixture happened. If they were in the same place at the same time.

    Wait – if you claim “as an utter layman” that sex is important, well, what exactly do you mean by the “lay” in “layman”?

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  136. AshTon says:

    Quite a few oddballs in this part of blogosphere. Oddballs with egos too. Perhaps that’s why I feel at home. It does however remind me Borges’ description of the Falklands War: “Two bald men fighting over a comb”.

    I particularly enjoy the leading bloggers bragging about their humility. I remember being on a bus with two Orthodox Jewish schoolgirls in front of me. “I’m more modest than you, Ruth,” one says. “Oh no Rachel, I’m much more modest than you,” Ruth replies.

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  137. @Luke Lea
    I know one thing Cochran and Unz are both wrong about: that tooting your own horn is a good way to go.

    Haha. I hope you had a big grin on your face when you typed that.

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  138. Ron Unz says:
    @The most deplorable one

    Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence.
     
    Why so coy? Let us know who it was that helped you in this manner.

    On many, many occasions I’ve felt like I’d just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: “How can I have been so stupid for all those years?…”
     
    That is one of my favorite books, although the biology is pretty far fetched. The moties are more likely, since, after all, birds can fly.

    For me that moment occurred when I realized that SJ Gould was full of it.

    Why so coy? Let us know who it was that helped you in this manner.

    That wouldn’t be advisable. The matters involved are just as explosively “touchy” as anything in HBD and the fellow I’m describing is the sort of individual who might have a shot at being appointed to the Cabinet of a future presidential administration. Obviously that goes out the window if he’s known to believe in “totally crazy things.” James Watson probably won’t get named Honorary Chairman of the National Science Foundation these days.

    I lived nearly my entire life in total ignorance…

    Read More
    • Replies: @The most deplorable one

    I lived nearly my entire life in total ignorance…
     
    No doubt many of us have.

    I was thinking about the various people who claim that the reduction in mortality in the West is more due to improvements in nutrition and health and not vaccines and it struck me that such an attitude would have to overcome the fact of Jenner's milkmaids.

    It seems very clear that CowPox was the reason that those milkmaids were largely resistant to SmallPox (V major/minor).

    And then I thought about lactase persistence and realized that I have likely been fed a lot of bullshit all my life as well.
    , @Jim
    This individual you mention - is what he says in public completely different than what he says to you in private?

    I wonder what people in the elite really believe? Do a lot of then secretly believe in "totally crazy things".
  139. I spent my youth devouring sci-fi and fantasy but had never read Howard. Del Rey put out a three volume compilation recently. It includes some nice artwork and his original Hyborian Age essays, maps and whatnot. The stories turned out to be pretty good.

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  140. @Pat Boyle
    The Corded Ware culture is early Bronze Age. So that wonderful speech in the first Conan movie about how you can trust steel doesn't make much sense. Nor does the picture you provide of this Arnold look-alike with his big steel sword. Steel is later.

    In that first Conan movie and maybe the second they show molten metal flowing into a sword mold. This is of course nonsense. Swords especially steel swords were always forged never cast. No cast blade would stand up in combat. They would snap.

    Judging the books by the movie not a good idea – I expect the molten sword would have annoyed REH, though (a) it did make a good visual and (b) it did break in combat! :)

    The books are set in a fantasy iron age that has 17th century pirates and ancient Egyptians rubbing shoulders, with occasional plate-harnessed medieval knights too. There may be serpent men left over from the earlier Kull/Atlantis era.

    According to REH’s chronology it is set prior to the last advance of the glaciers, I don’t think he ever gave a date but right before the Younger Dryas would make most sense, about 11,000 BP, since the Volkvanderungs he describes lead into the historical epoch. As Cochrane notes, a surprising lot of it is quite plausible, the big problem for me was his geology, in particular the non-existence of the Atlas mountains. At the time people believed in continents bouncing up and down very fast.

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  141. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @Ron Unz

    Why so coy? Let us know who it was that helped you in this manner.
     
    That wouldn't be advisable. The matters involved are just as explosively "touchy" as anything in HBD and the fellow I'm describing is the sort of individual who might have a shot at being appointed to the Cabinet of a future presidential administration. Obviously that goes out the window if he's known to believe in "totally crazy things." James Watson probably won't get named Honorary Chairman of the National Science Foundation these days.

    I lived nearly my entire life in total ignorance...

    I lived nearly my entire life in total ignorance…

    No doubt many of us have.

    I was thinking about the various people who claim that the reduction in mortality in the West is more due to improvements in nutrition and health and not vaccines and it struck me that such an attitude would have to overcome the fact of Jenner’s milkmaids.

    It seems very clear that CowPox was the reason that those milkmaids were largely resistant to SmallPox (V major/minor).

    And then I thought about lactase persistence and realized that I have likely been fed a lot of bullshit all my life as well.

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  142. @Another Norwegian
    1. It is not a battle ax, but a hammer to kill big tame animals. To kill humans, you need something that can change direction during the blow, and the stone hammers as to heavy for that.

    2. Scandinavia show no trace of ever changing population, but only Nazis want that to be true, so no DNA testing is done.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fosna-Hensbacka_culture

    1: This is a modern stone replica of the kind of tool in question:

    The hole is of course where a wooden shaft would go; one end is a blunt “hammer” and the other end a sharp “axe”. Many continental languages use some version of “hammeraxe” instead of battleaxe when speaking of the Corded Ware culture and that is what vasarakirves means as well (both “vasara” for hammer and “kirves” for axe actually being Indo-European loanwords).

    The spread of Indo-European languages may have been a warlike expansion from the steppe due to some advantage in warfare but if they were steppe horsemen they were certainly not fighting with stone axes. It would probably be better to emphasize hammeraxe in English as well.

    2: That’s actually not at all what the Nazis would have wanted given that what they wanted was to claim that Scandinavians and Germanic peoples are the closest relatives of the original Indo-Europeans (“Aryans”) and that’s not true if Scandinavians are close descendants of the original post Ice Age population who spoke some long lost languages. Of course one of the ironic things is that in the quest to fight the Nazis it’s now even taboo to point out what Nazis actually claimed.

    In fact, if the interpretation of that paper is correct then the Indo-European speakers closest to the original Indo-Europeans would be the Russians.

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    • Replies: @Another Norwegian
    1. They were called "tordenkile" (thunderbolt, ac. "thunder-splitter") by Norwegian farmers, and they were commonly found by farmers plowing their fields, and the archeologists even find them in Viking graves. Broken ones are incredible common on farmland cleared during the bronze age, a strong hint that they were farming tools, and not weapons.

    2. If Scandinavia did not get a new population, the Indo-europeans must have originated there, and that is too much Nazi even for most Nazis.
  143. Sunbeam says:
    @Ron Unz

    Have you the same degree of humility to admit when you’re wrong, Ron?
     
    Well, as I just noted elsewhere, when I published my major Race/IQ article and series a couple of years ago, the reaction in the rightwing-HBD sphere was about 99% hostile, often personally insulting and intensively vituperative. However, I gladly provided links to all those endless attacks and gathered them together so that interested people could compare them and my own responses. Peter Frost's attacks on me were particularly insulting and defamatory, yet I later had no hesitation in inviting him to become a columnist at my new webzine. I don't think my behavior is that of an egomaniac terrified of criticism.

    Without reopening the Race/IQ debate, I think pretty much every objective observer eventually admitted I had been entirely correct and my critics had been wrong. Just read through the dozen articles in the series and follow some of the links to see the various quiet retractions.

    And frankly, my utter outrage at having been immediately banned when I politely responded to an certain egomaniac's ridiculous blogsite attacks has been a major factor behind my anti-censorship approach on this webzine.

    Now I obviously won't admit I'm wrong when I'm clearly not. But I will say that over the last few years and especially in the last year or two, I've been absolutely shocked to discover I was totally, completely, utterly wrong about a whole series of huge matters. The magnitude of my errors has absolutely stunned me. In several cases, my reasoning had always seemed fully airtight but turned out to be absolutely wrong. Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence. On many, many occasions I've felt like I'd just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: "How can I have been so stupid for all those years?..."

    However, none of these gigantic errors on my part have anything to do with HBD. Indeed, almost everything having to do with HBD, including the total dishonesty of the MSM, has been pretty obvious to me since I was about nine or ten. Remember, I studied under E.O. Wilson over thirty years ago and developed my Chinese Social Darwinism theory at that point. One reason I was so extremely impressed with Acceleration was that it was about the first totally new HBD idea I'd encountered since the early 1980s. And as far as I can tell, all my own HBD-related articles have been completely correct, at least within the uncertainty-bounds I have explicitly specified.

    Now I obviously won’t admit I’m wrong when I’m clearly not. But I will say that over the last few years and especially in the last year or two, I’ve been absolutely shocked to discover I was totally, completely, utterly wrong about a whole series of huge matters. The magnitude of my errors has absolutely stunned me. In several cases, my reasoning had always seemed fully airtight but turned out to be absolutely wrong. Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence. On many, many occasions I’ve felt like I’d just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: “How can I have been so stupid for all those years?…”

    I really don’t care about who you are talking about, but I am ver curious as to which matters you are talking about.

    Then again it sounds like more than one thing, and each would probably take a long write up.

    But then there is another question: If you were living in darkness, why did this person enlighten you? Are you friends? Even acquaintances?

    If not, why did he reach out to you? There are no doubt many people, even smart ones in life, he hasn’t bothered to give the effort too.

    “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
    ― Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

    Did you ever consider that you might be considered to be “part of the masses to some?” Maybe a little more elite, a little more educated. But still someone to be played?

    After all,

    “Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ‘em,
    And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
    And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on,
    While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.”

    It always seemed to me that you had to have consistency of purpose, and develop the capacity to never, ever be swayed from your objective if you were in a contest with a person smarter than yourself.

    Or the devil. Whatever.

    Since we have a thread where the Hyborian age is invoked, you’d have to tell Thulsa Doom:

    “By Crom do I swear it! I will cut your heart out and drink your blood!”

    Then you do it, no matter what Thulsa Doom says, or what reasonable argument Thulsa Doom makes. And that gold he offered you? Well you take that too. And his lamentating women.

    Kind of like when the idiots in Idiocracy chain the smartest guy in the world to a big rock.

    Barbarism – 1
    High intelligence and Civilization – 0

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    I am ver curious as to which matters you are talking about.

    Then again it sounds like more than one thing, and each would probably take a long write up.
     
    Let's just say it's a very, very, VERY long list of things. And now that I've become aware of the underlying mistakes in my analysis, I can easily find new ones almost every time I look around.

    And as for the person I'm talking about, he'd been very impressed with the analysis in some of my major TAC articles, and we began trading lots of emails over the years. We'd known each other for a couple of years before I very gingerly raised one or two really touchy questions, and although his responses were short, they were absolutely stunning to me.
  144. Hereward says:
    @Pat Boyle
    The Corded Ware culture is early Bronze Age. So that wonderful speech in the first Conan movie about how you can trust steel doesn't make much sense. Nor does the picture you provide of this Arnold look-alike with his big steel sword. Steel is later.

    In that first Conan movie and maybe the second they show molten metal flowing into a sword mold. This is of course nonsense. Swords especially steel swords were always forged never cast. No cast blade would stand up in combat. They would snap.

    I know a swordmaker who was active when the first Conan movie came out. He was pestered by a customer who not only wanted a sword like Conan’s father made, but wanted it made the way shown in the movie – by casting it from steel in an open mold. The swordmaker had to explain to him why that wouldn’t work.
    OTOH, bronze weapons and implements were generally cast:
    http://www.angelfire.com/me/ik/pics.html
    By the late Bronze age, the smith might work-harden the edges of the cast sword by light cold-forging, but that would be the only forging done.

    Read More
  145. Ron Unz says:
    @Sunbeam
    Now I obviously won’t admit I’m wrong when I’m clearly not. But I will say that over the last few years and especially in the last year or two, I’ve been absolutely shocked to discover I was totally, completely, utterly wrong about a whole series of huge matters. The magnitude of my errors has absolutely stunned me. In several cases, my reasoning had always seemed fully airtight but turned out to be absolutely wrong. Many of these particular matters were brought to my attention by a certain very prominent public intellectual, someone who might be considered a pillar of the Establishment elite, and he naturally won my huge gratitude and respect as a consequence. On many, many occasions I’ve felt like I’d just woken up after eating Tree-of-Life root, with the inevitable first thoughts: “How can I have been so stupid for all those years?…”

    I really don't care about who you are talking about, but I am ver curious as to which matters you are talking about.

    Then again it sounds like more than one thing, and each would probably take a long write up.

    But then there is another question: If you were living in darkness, why did this person enlighten you? Are you friends? Even acquaintances?

    If not, why did he reach out to you? There are no doubt many people, even smart ones in life, he hasn't bothered to give the effort too.

    “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
    ― Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

    Did you ever consider that you might be considered to be "part of the masses to some?" Maybe a little more elite, a little more educated. But still someone to be played?

    After all,


    "Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
    And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
    And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on,
    While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on."

    It always seemed to me that you had to have consistency of purpose, and develop the capacity to never, ever be swayed from your objective if you were in a contest with a person smarter than yourself.

    Or the devil. Whatever.

    Since we have a thread where the Hyborian age is invoked, you'd have to tell Thulsa Doom:

    "By Crom do I swear it! I will cut your heart out and drink your blood!"

    Then you do it, no matter what Thulsa Doom says, or what reasonable argument Thulsa Doom makes. And that gold he offered you? Well you take that too. And his lamentating women.

    Kind of like when the idiots in Idiocracy chain the smartest guy in the world to a big rock.

    Barbarism - 1
    High intelligence and Civilization - 0

    I am ver curious as to which matters you are talking about.

    Then again it sounds like more than one thing, and each would probably take a long write up.

    Let’s just say it’s a very, very, VERY long list of things. And now that I’ve become aware of the underlying mistakes in my analysis, I can easily find new ones almost every time I look around.

    And as for the person I’m talking about, he’d been very impressed with the analysis in some of my major TAC articles, and we began trading lots of emails over the years. We’d known each other for a couple of years before I very gingerly raised one or two really touchy questions, and although his responses were short, they were absolutely stunning to me.

    Read More
  146. Wyrd says:

    Best Conan lines ever:

    I spat at the priest and cursed him roundly, and the kings as well, telling
    them that if I were to be skinned, by Crom, I wanted a good belly-full of wine
    before they began. Then I damned them for thieves and cowards and sons of
    harlots.

    -Drums Of Tombalku

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  147. Ezra says:
    @syonredux

    I think “Beyond the Black River,” was originally set in a Fenimore Cooper era North America. The original savage Indians were retro-fitted as Picts to turn it into a Conan story.
     
    I've seen no evidence that it was intended as anything other than a Conan tale.On the other hand, you are quite correct in noting that "Beyond the Black River" was strongly influenced by the fighting that went on between the Anglos and the Amerinds in Upstate New York in the 18th century, and Howard scholars have noted the influence of both Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales and the Indian fighting novels of Robert W Chambers (better known nowadays for his collection of weird stories, The King in Yellow.

    This may offer another reason that the Texan Howard had a keener understanding of pre-history than Paris inspired anthropologists. He actually grew up on the frontier, or what had been the frontier less than a generation before his birth.
     
    Absolutely.Growing up around people who could remember the Comanche raids* would have done a lot to dispel sentimental notions about the "peaceful savage."


    *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comancheria

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Raid_of_1840

    I stand corrected

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  148. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Cochran operates at a somewhat low level of understanding Indo-European problem, and history generally. He’s not Wrong, but he’s very limited and ends up blundering, while doing so in a very self-confident manner. As the first comment above says, Cochran is saying nothing new at all. This wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that he doesn’t give credit where it’s due, and pretends he’s the first one to come up with some ideas.

    Conan has nothing to do with any of these ideas, German and other scholars in the late 19th century were talking about much the same thing, and basing it on careful study of history, archaeological record, and linguistics. The big change came with Gimbutas, whose model Cochran actually supports without understanding why it was accepted post WW2. Gimbutas is not “politically incorrect,” guys. Her model of mass population migrations was accepted precisely because the earlier model of conquest and elite dominance by charioteers was seen as unacceptable politically. Cochran doesn’t understand this so he thinks that the Gimbutas model of IE expansions is some kind of pathbreaking idea instead of the politically motivated feminist story that it is.

    Robert Drews in 1989 published a book, The Coming of the Greeks, that synthesized military history, Near Eastern history, and Indo-European linguistics and revived the unpopular pre-WW2 model of takeovers by chariot elites. That was in 1989 when doing this was actually brave. Cochran is huffing and puffing about Gimbutas, which was never controversial, and has been the establishment view for the last few decades. There is also little evidence for the Gimbutas view of vast Volkerwanderung, the analysis of 69 individuals notwithstanding.

    When challenged on his blog, Cochran now blocks and has few arguments to make. He doesn’t understand military history, nor can he account for why Indo-Europeans would decide to invade and rule poor villagers in temperate Europe, when the rich urban societies of the Near East were ripe for the taking. In fact the first certain archaeological/historical knowledge we have of Indo-Europeans is precisely from their incursions in the Near East: the Hittites, Mitanni, the Aryan princes of Bronze Age levant, and the conquest of Greece itself. This all dates to roughly 1600 BC or so, and there is no reason to think Indo-Europeans/Aryans took over temperate/Western Europe any time before then, or that they did so in especially large numbers. The problem of horse-riding is related here; Cochran has the old (Gimbutas) view of horse-riders, but there’s no evidence of any military horse-riding before 1000 BC or so, and so it is through the battle chariot, the first major military tech breakthrough, that the Aryans probably first spread (chariot is also how the Kassites, another small mountain tribe, were able to take over all of Mesopotamia and form the first unified state there, the Hyksos in Egypt, plus the Aryan takeovers of India and Greece, which all date to this same time).

    Genetic evidence is legitimate and should be used. But the most important question is, e.g., who is in the royal graves at Mycenae and so on. Start from what is certain and work backwards. Finally, accept that you may not find a genetic trace of this conquest, just as no genetic trace as yet has been found for the spread of Latin/Romance languages, which has occurred by conquest within historical time.

    Please also note that the German and un-PC 19th century view is that most of Europe (including most of Germany) is pre-Aryan.

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  149. Seran says:

    Bruce Charlton about arrogance and creativity

    http://iqpersonalitygenius.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/the-annoying-arrogance-of-creativity.html

    The (annoying) arrogance of creativity
    *

    Creativity is a trait: a personality trait.

    Therefore, although its overall level and expression can be modulated by self-training and environment – creativity is not something which is switched on-and-off at will: creative people tend to be creative at many or most times and many or most circumstances.

    Therefor creative people tend to be creative even when they are too young, too inexperienced, and/or too lacking in knowledge to have any plausible basis for their creativity.

    This can be and usually is annoying to those who are older, and do have experience and relevant knowledge (as well as those who do not understand creativity or are hostile to it – and instead want to align with consensus).

    *

    Creativity tends to go along with the cluster of traits that Eysenck termed Psychoticism

    http://iqpersonalitygenius.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/eysencks-personality-trait-of.html

    and one of these traits, related to creative genius, is ego-strength, or confidence – or to put it another way: arrogance.

    It takes arrogance to look at an established situation and to respond by acting on the assumption that ‘I know better’ or ‘I can do better’ (which response is pretty much intrinsic to creativity) and to continue in this way despite inevitable (and quite likely justified) criticism and pressure to stop-messing about and just get on with it!

    *

    This necessary arrogance is one of the reason why creativity is so often unwelcome, and why it provokes frustration even when it does not provoke outright hostility.

    Einstein, for instance, in his later life provoked intense frustration at his refusal to ‘get with the program’ in relation to the ultimate validity of quantum theory: to persist in criticisms of its tenets, to regard it as merely a temporary expedient.

    But this stubbornness of Einsteins in the face of near universal disagreement, was of-a-piece with the creativity which made him great; and most creative people are much less gracious than Einstein, as well as being of much lesser intellectual stature.

    Hence, unless we actually want creativity, it tends to be filtered-out by modern, long-haul, multi-level education/ training systems and employment hierarchies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    Yeah. Einstein had the personality of the crackpot scientist who perseveres in his theories even though everyone thinks he's wrong, combined with seven-sigma brilliance in spatial visualization and three-sigma brilliance in mathematics. I.E., he was stubborn, but so smart when he disagreed with everyone, he was actually right.

    Newton was more or less the same way: he was obsessed with alchemy and biblical criticism, which was what his real passion was; his earth-shattering achievements in physics were a side project.
  150. Hunsdon says:
    @Gunnar von Cowtown
    IIRC, Lovecraft and Howard were rentals and influenced each other's work. There are many Lovecraftian elements in Howard's stories.

    I don’t recollect the story Howard wrote that started off as a typically Lovecraftian creeper, until some ancient evil manifested and the hero reached for the family broadsword, hanging over the mantle.

    I’d put “Pigeons from Hell” right up with Lovecraft for spooks.

    Read More
  151. Hunsdon says:
    @Melendwyr
    1) I didn't say 'reverence'. 'Respect' would be more appropriate.
    2) Perhaps you would be more comfortable with the term 'custom', instead?

    Human beings have innate need for custom. And changing customs around arbitrarily often produces no benefit or has significant costs. But sanctifying custom, and refusing to evaluate it because it's tradition, is unwell.

    Read More
  152. Dahlia says:
    @Ron Unz

    I am ver curious as to which matters you are talking about.

    Then again it sounds like more than one thing, and each would probably take a long write up.
     
    Let's just say it's a very, very, VERY long list of things. And now that I've become aware of the underlying mistakes in my analysis, I can easily find new ones almost every time I look around.

    And as for the person I'm talking about, he'd been very impressed with the analysis in some of my major TAC articles, and we began trading lots of emails over the years. We'd known each other for a couple of years before I very gingerly raised one or two really touchy questions, and although his responses were short, they were absolutely stunning to me.

    Economics, including minimum wage?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar


    Economics, including minimum wage?

     

    R.U. is halfway there on the minimum wage. He still assumes (publicly, anyway) that it should be the same for citizens and non-citizens.

    Foreigners should be forced to earn enough at least to pay their per capita quota of federal expenditure. (Approx. $5000/year-- for each member of the family.) Better yet, they could pay down some of the national debt as a bonus.
  153. meh says:

    Counter Currents has a good collection of articles on Robert E. Howard:

    http://www.counter-currents.com/tag/robert-e-howard/

    My personal Conan favorite is “Rouges in the House”, a gem of a short story. Jonathan Bowden gives a good summary here:

    http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/08/robert-e-howards-rogues-in-the-house/

    Read More
  154. @ Sean
    a good illustration of your point (no beautiful women and good warriors in ONE population) is the brothers and sisters of famous hollywood stars. good looking celebrity women have awkward looking non-celeb brothers, good looking celebrity men have overly manly looking non-celeb sisters

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Aye, and doesn't that make you wonder why the IE uber warriors thought their own women were so attractive that they just killed the women they found in west Europe?
  155. Sean says:
    @Erik Sieven
    @ Sean
    a good illustration of your point (no beautiful women and good warriors in ONE population) is the brothers and sisters of famous hollywood stars. good looking celebrity women have awkward looking non-celeb brothers, good looking celebrity men have overly manly looking non-celeb sisters

    Aye, and doesn’t that make you wonder why the IE uber warriors thought their own women were so attractive that they just killed the women they found in west Europe?

    Read More
  156. SFG says:
    @Seran
    Bruce Charlton about arrogance and creativity
    http://iqpersonalitygenius.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/the-annoying-arrogance-of-creativity.html

    The (annoying) arrogance of creativity
    *

    Creativity is a trait: a personality trait.

    Therefore, although its overall level and expression can be modulated by self-training and environment - creativity is not something which is switched on-and-off at will: creative people tend to be creative at many or most times and many or most circumstances.

    Therefor creative people tend to be creative even when they are too young, too inexperienced, and/or too lacking in knowledge to have any plausible basis for their creativity.

    This can be and usually is annoying to those who are older, and do have experience and relevant knowledge (as well as those who do not understand creativity or are hostile to it - and instead want to align with consensus).

    *

    Creativity tends to go along with the cluster of traits that Eysenck termed Psychoticism

    http://iqpersonalitygenius.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/eysencks-personality-trait-of.html

    and one of these traits, related to creative genius, is ego-strength, or confidence - or to put it another way: arrogance.

    It takes arrogance to look at an established situation and to respond by acting on the assumption that 'I know better' or 'I can do better' (which response is pretty much intrinsic to creativity) and to continue in this way despite inevitable (and quite likely justified) criticism and pressure to stop-messing about and just get on with it!

    *

    This necessary arrogance is one of the reason why creativity is so often unwelcome, and why it provokes frustration even when it does not provoke outright hostility.

    Einstein, for instance, in his later life provoked intense frustration at his refusal to 'get with the program' in relation to the ultimate validity of quantum theory: to persist in criticisms of its tenets, to regard it as merely a temporary expedient.

    But this stubbornness of Einsteins in the face of near universal disagreement, was of-a-piece with the creativity which made him great; and most creative people are much less gracious than Einstein, as well as being of much lesser intellectual stature.

    Hence, unless we actually want creativity, it tends to be filtered-out by modern, long-haul, multi-level education/ training systems and employment hierarchies.
     

    Yeah. Einstein had the personality of the crackpot scientist who perseveres in his theories even though everyone thinks he’s wrong, combined with seven-sigma brilliance in spatial visualization and three-sigma brilliance in mathematics. I.E., he was stubborn, but so smart when he disagreed with everyone, he was actually right.

    Newton was more or less the same way: he was obsessed with alchemy and biblical criticism, which was what his real passion was; his earth-shattering achievements in physics were a side project.

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  157. anon says: • Disclaimer

    “The ancient empires fall, the dark-skinned peoples fade and even the demons of antiquity gasp their last, but over all stands the Aryan Barbarian, white-skinned, cold-eyed, dominant, the supreme fighting man of the earth.”

    Read More
  158. @Dahlia
    Economics, including minimum wage?

    Economics, including minimum wage?

    R.U. is halfway there on the minimum wage. He still assumes (publicly, anyway) that it should be the same for citizens and non-citizens.

    Foreigners should be forced to earn enough at least to pay their per capita quota of federal expenditure. (Approx. $5000/year– for each member of the family.) Better yet, they could pay down some of the national debt as a bonus.

    Read More
  159. Lagertha says:
    @Jaakko Raipala
    Icelandic has some words close in form to Finnish for the simple reason that it's an archaic Germanic language and Finnish contains many old Germanic borrowings. Swedish, English etc changed more over time so their words look less familiar. Finnic and Germanic also share a set of very old words not shared by other I-E or Uralic languages which may come from whatever pre-IE/pre-Uralic language was spoken here or may just reflect Finnic and Germanic developing next to each other.

    None of this is evidence of mystical migration of Finns to North America through Iceland and Finns are in no way related to Ainu people.

    You show up in random threads spamming this "ancient Finns" nonsense, why?

    Never stated that there was “a mystical migration of Finns to N.A.,” only that it has always been interesting to me that many words (and the length of words) have similarities (I & F), nothing else. And, the Ainu island thing, was speculation that I heard years ago…indeed, everything is speculation until there is data and irrefutable facts – which is my point. No one really knows what the societies were like after the Ice Age. And, if you truly believe I am spamming nonsense, then ignore me…or are you just one of those types of miserable people who enjoy finding fault with everyone? I mean, we are discussing Conan…could discuss the theory over the existence of Atlantis, for that matter. You need to seriously chill and not be so negative.

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  160. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Ron, you seem to take Cochran’s germ theory very personally…..

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  161. Texan99 says:
    @Melendwyr
    Heinlein isn't all that hard to categorize, it's just that his category is usually disparaged here. And more complex than some commentators can cope with.

    He was a type of libertarian - yes, a despised libertarian, small-l - that prefers strong personal and cultural ties but a weak state, knows the importance of cultural virtues and tradition but is quick to question and disregard the traditions that don't make sense, and recognizes that our traditions need to be able to cope with both increased knowledge and our changing needs. He understood the human need for belief systems while rejecting existing religions as dogma.

    The man had his flaws, but I doubt there's anyone here worthy to shine his shoes.

    Hear, hear.

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  162. Tex says:
    @syonredux

    I think “Beyond the Black River,” was originally set in a Fenimore Cooper era North America. The original savage Indians were retro-fitted as Picts to turn it into a Conan story.
     
    I've seen no evidence that it was intended as anything other than a Conan tale.On the other hand, you are quite correct in noting that "Beyond the Black River" was strongly influenced by the fighting that went on between the Anglos and the Amerinds in Upstate New York in the 18th century, and Howard scholars have noted the influence of both Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales and the Indian fighting novels of Robert W Chambers (better known nowadays for his collection of weird stories, The King in Yellow.

    This may offer another reason that the Texan Howard had a keener understanding of pre-history than Paris inspired anthropologists. He actually grew up on the frontier, or what had been the frontier less than a generation before his birth.
     
    Absolutely.Growing up around people who could remember the Comanche raids* would have done a lot to dispel sentimental notions about the "peaceful savage."


    *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comancheria

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Raid_of_1840

    Howard’s good friend Tevis Clyde Smith collected and published the reminiscences of old timers in Brown County. His books, Frontier’s Generation and From the Memories of Men, can still be found in collections of Texana. Howard may have helped on some of the research and certainlky made a point of listening to the tales of folks who remembered the pioneer days.

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  163. Joseph W. says:
    @Pincher Martin
    I read Russell's biography years ago, but I can't recall. I don't think so. But I don't know.

    Russell wasn’t raised as a Quaker, but he did marry one. Don’t know if she affected his writing style.

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  164. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Another Norwegian
    1. It is not a battle ax, but a hammer to kill big tame animals. To kill humans, you need something that can change direction during the blow, and the stone hammers as to heavy for that.

    2. Scandinavia show no trace of ever changing population, but only Nazis want that to be true, so no DNA testing is done.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fosna-Hensbacka_culture

    Scandinavian archaeology has revealed evidence of multiple population and culture changes starting in the early Neolithic and running through the Nordic Bronze Age. Based upon basic principles of physical and cultural anthropology, these changes could not have occurred in the absence of population change.

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  165. Jim says:
    @Ron Unz

    Why so coy? Let us know who it was that helped you in this manner.
     
    That wouldn't be advisable. The matters involved are just as explosively "touchy" as anything in HBD and the fellow I'm describing is the sort of individual who might have a shot at being appointed to the Cabinet of a future presidential administration. Obviously that goes out the window if he's known to believe in "totally crazy things." James Watson probably won't get named Honorary Chairman of the National Science Foundation these days.

    I lived nearly my entire life in total ignorance...

    This individual you mention – is what he says in public completely different than what he says to you in private?

    I wonder what people in the elite really believe? Do a lot of then secretly believe in “totally crazy things”.

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  166. Polearm says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Was Bertrand Russell raised a Quaker? There's a plainness to his style that makes him ultra-lucid at the expense of the kind of show-offy writing that his contemporary Churchill was great at.

    I believe he was raised a Presbyterian.

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  167. @Jaakko Raipala
    1: This is a modern stone replica of the kind of tool in question:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/49/Vasarakirves.jpg

    The hole is of course where a wooden shaft would go; one end is a blunt "hammer" and the other end a sharp "axe". Many continental languages use some version of "hammeraxe" instead of battleaxe when speaking of the Corded Ware culture and that is what vasarakirves means as well (both "vasara" for hammer and "kirves" for axe actually being Indo-European loanwords).

    The spread of Indo-European languages may have been a warlike expansion from the steppe due to some advantage in warfare but if they were steppe horsemen they were certainly not fighting with stone axes. It would probably be better to emphasize hammeraxe in English as well.

    2: That's actually not at all what the Nazis would have wanted given that what they wanted was to claim that Scandinavians and Germanic peoples are the closest relatives of the original Indo-Europeans ("Aryans") and that's not true if Scandinavians are close descendants of the original post Ice Age population who spoke some long lost languages. Of course one of the ironic things is that in the quest to fight the Nazis it's now even taboo to point out what Nazis actually claimed.

    In fact, if the interpretation of that paper is correct then the Indo-European speakers closest to the original Indo-Europeans would be the Russians.

    1. They were called “tordenkile” (thunderbolt, ac. “thunder-splitter”) by Norwegian farmers, and they were commonly found by farmers plowing their fields, and the archeologists even find them in Viking graves. Broken ones are incredible common on farmland cleared during the bronze age, a strong hint that they were farming tools, and not weapons.

    2. If Scandinavia did not get a new population, the Indo-europeans must have originated there, and that is too much Nazi even for most Nazis.

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  168. maybe they thought having good warrior sons was important than having a pretty wife. talking about future orientation…

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  169. […] Post script: See also Conan the Librarian. […]

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