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 John Derbyshire Archive
OCTOBER DIARY: Borjas No Bore; NOSTAR—”No Such Thing As Race”, Etc

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Professor George Borjas at Harvard.  Credit:
Professor George Borjas at Harvard. Credit:

Borjas no bore. October 20th I went to an event organized by the Center for Immigration Studies to hear Professor George Borjas present his new book,We Wanted Workers. Borjas explains the title in his Introduction:

Reflecting on the European experience with the millions of guest workers [from the 1950s onwards], the Swiss playwright and novelist Max Frisch made perhaps the single most insightful observation about immigration when he quipped: “We wanted workers, but we got people instead.”

(In a footnote, Borjas gives us the German original: “Wir riefen Arbeitskräfte, es kamen Menschen.”)

Borjas is a lively and engaging speaker. I bought a copy of his book, and stood on line to have him sign it. When I got to him, he immediately recognized me from a chance encounter eight years ago, which I had completely forgotten.

That was of course embarrassing, with a line of secondary emotions coming along behind the embarrassment: gratification (How nice that a bigfoot researcher, a Harvard professor, remembers me after so many years!); annoyance (If he can remember an obscure opinionator, why can’t I remember a serious and important scholar, working in a field that I often write about?); to anxiety (Am I losing my marbles? He’s only five years younger than me …)

I recommend the book in any case; and I further recommend Borjas in person, if you get a chance to see him speak. I only regret that he is, to borrow Dr Johnson’s self-description, “a retired and uncourtly scholar,” with no taste at all — with, in fact, I think, a strong dis-taste — for political contention.

Borjas lays out a solid, factual, quantitative basis for the kinds of arguments we make here, with gentlemanly good humor and scholarly rigor. I’d love to see him make his case in argument with the open borders shills, on TV talking-head shows or the campaign trail … but that’s not his choice.

All strength to Prof Borjas anyway, and all success to his new book.


Two essays on race. This month produced two notable essays dealing with race. One was notable for dishonesty and incoherence; the other for its clarity and straightforward good sense.

The dishonesty and incoherence was of course in defense of the No Such Thing As Race dogma, hereinunder NOSTAR.

NOSTAR is a key axiom in our state ideology. It is, however, so contrary to everyday experience, common sense, and elementary biology that media outlets feel obliged to publish stern affirmations of it from time to time, rather as state newspapers in communist countries used to publish long editorials, for use in study sessions by the Party faithful, affirming the infallibility of Marxist-Leninism.

(The outstanding exhibit here, according to sinologist Simon Leys, was an editorial in the Peking People’s Daily at the time of the Lin Biao affair in 1971, instructing readers that extreme leftism was a right-wing deviation.)

blunderSo here was science journalist Faye Flam [Email her] laying down the Party line at Bloomberg News, October 3rd.

Race is perhaps the worst idea ever to come out of science. [Science’s Biggest Blunder by Faye Flam;Bloomberg News, October 3rd 2016.]

Really? Worse than phlogiston? Worse than spontaneous generation? Worse than the luminiferous ether?

“We never use the term ‘race,’” said Harvard geneticist Swapan Mallick, an author on one of the papers revealing the latest DNA-based human story.

So what term do Dr Mallick and his colleagues use when discussing l ocal common-ancestry variations within a species? If “race” was good enough for Darwin, why isn’t it good enough for him?

“We’re all part of the tapestry of humanity, and it’s interesting to see how we got where we are.”

Indeed we are, and indeed it is. It is equally true, though, that we are all part of the tapestry of the genus Homo, of the family Hominidae, of the order Primates, of the class Mammalia, of the the phylum Chordata, of the Animal Kingdom. All of that is pretty interesting, too. What’s your point?


One of the world’s most prominent American scientists of the mid-1800s, Samuel Morton, collected skulls from all over the world and attempted to demonstrate that those of European ancestry had the world’s biggest heads and were, so he claimed, intellectually superior.

Except that “there is no evidence that Morton believed this or was trying to prove it.” [Scientists Measure the Accuracy of a Racism Claim by Nicholas Wade; New York Times, June 13, 2011]

Scientists subsequently realized that Morton was wrong — about whose heads were biggest and the connection between head size and intelligence.

Leaving aside the fact that Morton was not much interested in such a connection, brain size (which correlates with head size) does correlate with intelligence. [Neuroanatomical Correlates of Intelligence by E. Luders, K.K. Narr, P.M. Thompson, and A.W. Toga; National Institutes of Health, 2009.]

[Geneticist Joseph] Graves sometimes quizzes his students by showing them an image of a man and asking them to guess where he comes from. It appears to show someone most Americans would identify as a black man, and Graves says people assume he’s from Africa or an African American community in the U.S. But he’s from the Solomon Islands, which are in the South Pacific.

Are there really people who don’t know this sort of thing? Fifty years ago, in then-wellnigh-monoracial England, I attended classes at University College, London with a young man whose skin was black. He was from Burma. (I recall his name as Man Man Tin, although the internet records no trace of such a person. In those easy-going days, with no offense intended or taken — he was a cheerful and sociable fellow — we gave him the nickname Rin Tin Tin. That would have gotten us permanently rusticated nowadays.)

And so on. It gets wearisome refuting this mendacious gibberish.

How refreshing, then, a few days later, to see that Jared Taylor had posted the talk he gave to September’s press conference on the Alt Right.

Given the loose nature of the movement [i.e. the Alt Right], there are people who consider themselves “Alt Right” but who disagree on one or more of these points — except one. The entire Alt Right is united in contempt for the idea that race is only a “social construct.” This is an idea that is so wrong and stupid that only very intelligent people can convince themselves it is true.

Race is a biological fact. Does anyone think that the differences between Danes and Pygmies are a sociological illusion? …

There are countless race differences in such things as skull structure, twinning rates, and susceptibility to disease. It is even possible to tell a person’s race from the varieties of bacteria that live in his mouth!

Human races have been evolving separately for perhaps as long as 100,000 years, and evolution has marked their temperaments and mental abilities just as it has their physical characteristics. [What is the Alt Right? by Jared Taylor; American Renaissance, October 11 2016.]

Ah, the sweet clear wine of truth!


worldwartSlow day at the Pentagon. The other zone of our social life in which state ideologues demand that we pretend to believe preposterous things is of course sex — or, as we are now supposed to say, “gender.”

Most of the preposterous things they want us to pretend to believe are in aid of an assault on traditional concepts of manliness. It is therefore not surprising that a key target of the No Such Thing As Sex (NOSTAS) preposterentsia is the military.

A friend with military connections passed on to me a document recently published by the Department of Defense. Title: Transgender Service in the U.S. Military: An Implementation Handbook.

The wretched thing has seventy-two pages. Sample, from pages 60-61:

Scenario 11: Use of Shower Facilities

A transgender Service member has expressed privacy concerns regarding the open bay shower configuration. Similarly, several other non-transgender Service members have expressed discomfort when showering in these facilities with individuals who have different genitalia.

Key takeaway(s)

This scenario illustrates the importance of open lines of communication between the Service member and the commander. It also depicts steps a commander may take to permit privacy, based on Service policy.

Service member responsibilities

  • If you have any concerns about privacy in an open bay shower setting, you should discuss this with your chain of command.
  • Consider altering your shower hours.

Commander responsibilities

You may employ reasonable accommodations when/if you have a Service member who voices concerns about privacy. This should be done with the intent of avoiding any stigmatizing impact to any Service member. If permitted by Service policies, some of these steps may include:

  • Facility modifications, such as installing shower curtains and placing towel and clothing hooks inside individual shower stalls.
  • In cases where accommodations are not practicable, you may authorize alternative measures to respect personal privacy, such as adjustments to timing of the use of shower or changing facilities
  • Take proactive steps through the chain of command to ensure that expressions of discomfort don’t escalate into harassment or hazing.
  • Consult the SCCC for guidance on how to institute such measures.

I repeat, there are 72 pages of this. That’s more than half as many pages as the Seaman’s Pocket Book from which I learned all the essentials of service as a rating in the Royal Navy.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what an SCCC is, it’s a Service Central Coordination Cell: basically an email address to which you can send queries about policy in your service.

The SCCC e-address for the Army is If you want to send frivolous or spoof questions to the Army, use that address. Don’t worry that you may be wasting their time; to judge by that 72-page handbook they’ve just put out on servicepersons confused about their sex, time is a thing they have plenty of in today’s military.


Antarius, The Planet With 12 Sexes. On a related theme (I guess), Greg Cochran mused on how page1 things might be if there were more than two human sexes.


Many species have several different kinds of males (a few have different kinds of females as well). For example, a lizard species in California has three different kinds of males — aggressive orange-throated guys that successfully dominate blue males, sneaky yellow guys that get past orange males guarding a big territory, and blue mate-guarding males (that are also cooperative — possibly a green-beard gene) that successful guard females from sneaky yellows. The population frequencies oscillate: scissors, paper, rock. [The Third Sex by Greg Cochran; West Hunter blog, October 26th 2016.]

I’m sorry to say that what this brought to my mind was one of Ed Subitzky’s cartoons from the glory days of National Lampoon forty years ago. Title:Saturday night on Antarius (The planet with 12 different sexes).”

I think I’ll send that link to the SCCCs for all the different services. You never know; we may find ourselves at war with Antarius one of these days.


Does he bill his patients via the web? Just one more on the (approximately) medical beat.

templegates-scaled5002My better half works in Medical Billing, arguing over the phone all day long with doctors, hospitals, patients, and insurance companies.

The other day she reported having dealt with a radiologist named Kwak — Dr Kwak. My lady is unfailingly truthful, so I did not doubt her story, but I was curious to see that Dr Kwak looks like, so I Googled him.

Sure enough, there he is: No Bong Kwak, MDSpecialty: Diagnostic Radiology. No picture, though. Googling further, I find that Kwak is a not-uncommon Korean family name.

I am sure that the Kwaks are a proud and noble lineage, and that Dr Kwak discharges his radiological duties at the highest standards of professionalism. And yes, I know it’s childish to make fun of people’s names, which after all they can’t help. For all I know to the contrary, “Derbyshire” sounds screamingly funny to Korean ears. If so, I do not begrudge them their mirth. Still … Dr Kwak?

And while we are at the intersection of October with names Korean, let’s pause in respectful silence for a moment to remember the South Korean Secretary of State murdered by the Norks in the Rangoon bombing of October 1983: Lee Bum Suk.


Galaxies like grains of sand. For the longest time I carried around in my head the easy thumbnail tally of the cosmos: there are a hundred billion stars in our galaxy and a hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe.

600707sandThat second hundred billion crept up to twohundred billion when I wasn’t looking; and now suddenly it’s increased tenfold.

The scale of the universe, already unfathomable, just became even more so: There are about 10 times as many galaxies as previously thought.

The new number, two trillion galaxies, is the result of work led by Christopher J. Conselice, an astrophysicist at the University of Nottingham in England, published last week in The Astrophysical Journal. [Two Trillion Galaxies, at the Very Least by Henry Fountain; New York Times, October 17th 2016.]

That’s just the observable universe, mind: the one little bubble of objects whose emitted light has reached us since the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago. The whole shebang is much bigger. It may in fact be infinite: There is an argument for this in Chapter Five of Max Tegmark’s Our Mathematical Universe.

There’s a downside and an upside to knowing stuff like this.

The downside is of course that it further dethrones us. It is only within living memory that we have known there are any other galaxies besides our own, let alone two trillion of the suckers. Not very long before that — a mere handful of generations — our little ball of rock was assumed to be the principal place in the cosmos, and its affairs the primary interest of the Creator.

The upside is that our consciousness, our civilization, our accomplishments seem all the more astonishing as it becomes more and more probable that there are no others like them anywhere, or at least anywhere within several billion trillion miles.

The arguments for this cosmic exceptionalism go back at least as far as Michael Hart’s 1975 paper An Explanation for the Absence of Extraterrestrials on Earth. Tegmark recycles them briefly in the last chapter of his book. (He is out at the most skeptical end of the spectrum for belief in extraterrestrial intelligence: “I’ve just argued that we’re probably the most intelligent life-form in our entire universe.”) British science journalist John Gribbin wrote an entire book arguing the skeptical case.

So we are utterly insignificant, but at the same time fantastically unique. There’ssomething to meditate on, a hundred years on from Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which opened the way to serious, informed speculation about these tremendous matters.


Warm happy glow of the month. Home maintenance chore this month has been spackling. I hate spackling.

This is to do with my property’s standalone garage. The garage has a loft. For our first 24 years in this house, we paid no attention to the garage loft. It was a dark, filthy place, clogged with junk from previous homeowners going back to the 1940s.

It didn’t even have a floor, only some random planks thrown across the joists. Nor was there any ceiling. If you went up there — there was a crude, rotting wooden access ladder from below — you risked having your scalp ripped open by roofers’ nails. It seems to be a cardinal rule of roofing to use nails two inches longer than necessary when fixing the roof tiles in place.


As the main house silted up with accumulated stuff, though, I began looking for extra storage space. And there it was: a nice unused space, twenty feet square, crammed with the junk of strangers long since passed on to their celestial rewards.

I cleaned it out. I installed a proper pull-down access ladder. I laid a proper floor. I hauled up tremendous 8’×4′ panels of drywall and screwed them to the roof beams. I put in windows at each end.

Then, to seal up the seams between panels and hide the screw holes, you have to spackle that drywall.

It’s a tiresome business. You can learn the essentials from YouTube; but the instructors all disagree with each other. This one says to use fiber tape on the joints; that one says no, fiber tape is for pros, stick with paper tape. This one wets the paper tape, this one doesn’t. This one says to spread the joint compound like this; that one says to spread it like that; a third one says to spread it like thatbut with a turn of the wrist thus. This one uses a special trowel for inside corners; that one says no, just do one wall, let it dry, then do the other. I was getting flashbacks to my time in Ed School amid those endless tiresome arguments about the best way to teach math.

I made all the mistakes amateurs make: used too much mud and ended up sanding three quarters of it off, etc., etc. Still, when I’d finished it didn’t look bad.

I called in my neighbor Charlie to do site inspection. Charlie worked for years in construction. He is a scrupulously truthful man (and a Trump supporter!) After looking over my spackling he declared it “Not bad.”

Not bad! That was my warm happy glow of the month right there. Bob Dylan is welcome to his Nobel Prize: I’ll take “Not bad” from Charlie.


Quote of the month.

Freedom of speech and thought, such as we still more or less have, are very delicate and easily smashed.

Watching our current elite’s treatment of liberty is like watching a baboon carrying a priceless Ming vase across a stone-paved floor. [Trust judges? I’d rather ask a baboon to carry a Ming vase by Peter Hitchens; MailOnline, October 29th 2016.]


The Americans. The Mrs and I have been binge-watching the TV series The Americans, recommended by a friend.

The premise of the show is that in the late Cold War years of the 1980s, the U.S.S.R. had agents deep embedded in American life, living as ordinary suburban American couples with kids, but on call to carry out espionage missions. Its psychological appeal is to the fantasy we all nurse, from early mahendruchildhood onward, of living a secret life of excitement and danger while keeping up an outward mask of humdrum social normality.

The plotting and characterization is very good, with a narrative “pull” that keeps you wanting to rent the next clutch of episodes. The storylines teeter on the edge of absurdity without ever quite falling over into the void.

Unfortunately I find that I am now in love with Annet Mahendru. When I confessed this to Mrs Derbyshire, she counter-confessed that she is in love with Noah Emmerich. The balance of domestic affections thus remains undisturbed, and we continue to watch The Americans with guiltless pleasure.


Math Corner. The number three doesn’t get the respect it deserves, in my opinion.

Two is all over. We inhabit a universe of pairs: positive and negative, up and down, male and female, liberal and conservative, … there’s no end to the twos.

Three has less of a public profile. Threeness doesn’t have the deep, fundamentalquality of twoness.

Not that three is altogether neglected. The Christian god is tripartite; heroes in fairy-tales are granted three wishes; and no-one thinks ill of underwear manufacturers marketing their products as small, medium, and large.

Patriots of many nations celebrate the fact of their flag having three colors. The French actually name their flag for this feature, which keys to the three ideals of the Revolution: liberty, fraternity, equity. English children used to be taught to sing: “Red, white, and blue / What does it mean to you / …,” although I suppose this would be considered a racist outrage nowadays.

In math, one of the most striking objects in elementary Measure Theory (dealing with the lengths, areas, volumes, etc. of mathematical figures) is Cantor‘s set, which has uncountably many points in it (i.e. too many to match off one-one with the counting numbers 1, 2, 3, …) yet has measure zero. Cantor’s set is arrived at by repeated division of a line segment into three parts; it is best grasped via ternary (base 3) notation.


There is a dark, negative side to threeness, though. Three is often used to slight and marginalize: third-rate, three’s a crowd, third arm inspection (ask one of the older generation of military veterans), etc. The word “triage” has positively sinister connotations. The Hound of Hell had three heads.

This dark aspect was explored at length in Chapter Four of Paul Fussell’s fine book The Great War and Modern Memory. Fussell fills seven pages exploring the role played by threeness in the WW1 combat experience as filtered by the human imagination.

For the poet Charles Sorley the transformation of man into corpse is a three-part action. First, man; then, when hit, animal, writhing and thrashing in articulate agony or making horrible snoring noises; then a “thing.”

The under-appreciation of three is best seen in the realm of fractions. It is possible to find a ruler marked off in thirds of an inch — I own one — but halves and quarters are far more popular. We say “a quarter of an hour” all the time; when did you last hear someone say “a third of an hour”?

Is there a angle to any of this? Of course there is!

Looking at the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Clock the other day, I found myself wondering when the population of our republic will reach a third of a billion. It’s almost there. That day, October 6th, around noon, the clock showed 324,647,530. The rate of increase — births minus deaths plus net immigration — was shown as one person every twelve seconds.

With 8,685,803 to go until we reach the magic number of 333,333,333, and assuming linear extrapolation, we get to a third of a billion sometime in the late evening of January 25th, 2020 (assuming I have done my arithmetic correctly, which should by no means be relied on).

Will there be national celebration? A public holiday? Street parties? I doubt it. Thirdness gets even less respect than threeness.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjectsfor all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He’s had two books published by FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and From the Dissident Right II: Essays 2013. His writings are archived

(Reprinted from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration, VDare Archives 

32 Comments to "OCTOBER DIARY: Borjas No Bore; NOSTAR—”No Such Thing As Race”, Etc"

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  1. Color me impressed with the garage renovation. I didn’t know you had it in you.
    (I really should have replaced my fence this year, feeling shamed)

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  2. Deploying *trans battalions might be effective psychological warfare, especially in Afghanistan where they might be seen mistaken for former lovers all grown up.

  3. says:
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    The upside is that our consciousness, our civilization, our accomplishments seem all the more astonishing as it becomes more and more probable that there are no others like them anywhere, or at least anywhere within several billion trillion miles.

    It’s striking how sure all of you appear that, if somebody else was there, we’d know of their presence.

    Moths aren’t aware we are near them, no matter how near. They live in a world with less dimensions.
    We may live in a world with less dimensions than other beings, and they could be around us right now, just out of the reach of our perception.
    Just like all those galaxies we weren’t able to spot: for us, they weren’t there.

    At least 80% of the universe is still invisible to us.

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    Unfortunately I find that I am now in love with Annet Mahendru. When I confessed this to Mrs Derbyshire, she counter-confessed that she is in love with Noah Emmerich. The balance of domestic affections thus remains undisturbed, and we continue to watch The Americans with guiltless pleasure.

    That’s how marriage is made to last, congrats.
    By the way, I am in love with Annet too, you’d better not get in my way.

  5. I recommend the book in any case; and I further recommend Borjas in person, if you get a chance to see him speak.

    To borrow again from Dr. Johnson, he’s worth seeing, but not worth going to see.

  6. He is a scrupulously truthful man (and a Trump supporter!)

    I would have expected the exclamation point to appear in the MSM, not here.

  7. “That’s just the observable universe, mind: the one little bubble of objects whose emitted light has reached us since the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago. The whole ”

    Well the universe is a big place. Considering that the first radio signals went out, what around 1900?

    Let’s say there is a sphere roughly 116 light years in diameter that is saying “Hey I’m here.”

    I’m old enough to remember the debate over whether planets were rare in the cosmos or common. Guess we’ve settled that one unless our local area is anomalous.

    So, considering the numbers you’ve kind of thrown out there what are the odds that someone is out there within 116 light years or so? And whether they themselves have FTL travel.

    Or another one I’ve always wondered about, whether the silicon lifeforms of Beta Eridanus III really give a damn some backwards ass carbon guys are apparently a thing in the Sol system.

    Too many unknowns, likelihood of life evolving, likelihood of intelligent life emerging, all the other arguments.

    But 200 billion galaxies as a low bound? That’s a whole LOT of possibility. If I could take a God’s Eye view of the cosmos, I’d wager I’d find a whole lot of civilizations out there. For all I know none in our galaxy, but a lot.

    Anyway fun stuff to speculate about, but in the end a lot of variables we know nothing about. Of course I’d assume we could fine tune some stuff in the Drake Equation based on the number of planets we’ve found around other stars, and assuming it is pretty standard for the universe as a whole.

  8. My mother enjoyed asking people “what did the Chinese duck say?” The answer of course – clack clack.

    I agree with “race realists” but am perplexed regarding the need for them.

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  9. I was routinely warned of Soviet honey-pots during the eighties. Despite being a virile young man in a sensitive position I was never approached by a ‘Svetlana’. I think they are invented for the entertainment industry. How could they have resisted my manly charms?

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  10. Liberal democracy is crashing and burning. Communitarian politics will not be possible unless racial differences are accounted for and managed.

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  11. Sorry iffen. What I meant to say is why is there a need to refute something that is an obvious absurdity. Such as “there is no such thing as race”.

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  12. says:
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    Good job, John!

    But you may have saved yourself a bit of trouble if you were to be content (happy!) with a textured finish on your drywall. If you have an air compressor–and what manly man doesn’t?–they you can rent/buy ($45) a hand-held splatter gun and spray a splatter texture over your drywall, seams and all. Then you may knock it down with a trowel or leave it proud, as you wish. This doesn’t eliminate the necessity to mud your seams, but they don’t have to be feathered out so far, or so perfectly, since the texture covers a multitude of sins. Personally, I like the texture. Some like it smooth.

    Now, about that three business. As you no doubt know, a compass may be used to divide a circle perfectly into three or six parts just by swinging arcs of radius equal to the mother circle along the perimeter. Every school kid marveled at that at some point in his career. Bisect any of the sub arcs and re-scribe and you get twelve divisions–the same number of hours on the clock! Do it again and you get twenty four–hours in the day! And this ties in with Arab geometric art etc. So three has some real neat circular, as opposed to bilateral and 4-square, stuff going for it. The six divided circle invites drawing secants that make a hexagon and then we’re off on spherical packing arrangements and carbon rings.

    So, while two and four, related to lines and squares, are yang, three, related to the circle, is yin. Men are “foursquare”, while women are smooth curves. Since three is the number of circles and spheres, I’d always wondered if a number system base 12 wouldn’t have many more easily dimensioned relationships, since it is a multiple of both 4 and 3. Also, if it wouldn’t somehow make some physics math more transparent, since virtually every form of force at a distance and radiation is inverse square proportional. I don’t know why, it just seems that 10 is such an awkward number to use as a base, divisible by 5 only, whereas 12 is divisible by 2,3,4,6 and at many multiples, 8 and even 9. Just something I’ve pondered.

  13. Such as “there is no such thing as race”.

    It is difficult for people who want a more egalitarian society to accept the idea. It introduces problems that seem to have no solutions. Wishful thinking is in fact a lot easier.

    If you accept that race differences have consequences that are not because of the interaction of the races but rather are inherent in the races then policies that promote equality have to take the differences into account if you want them to work.

    Also, race realism is readily accepted by the “other side” which uses it to promote the position that “this” is natural and it’s the way it’s “supposed to be.”

    If you want equality you have to admit that un-equality is biological.

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  14. The Russians have very advanced Gaydar facilities.

  15. Really? Worse than phlogiston? Worse than spontaneous generation? Worse than the luminiferous ether?

    Don’t forget astrology.

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  16. …or, as we are now supposed to say, “gender.”

    Actually, there is no such thing as gender. It’s not even a social construct, but a linguistic one.

    A Mini Cooper is masculine in Cologne, feminine in Paris, common in Copenhagen, and neuter in Oxford. It lacks a gender at all in Helsinki.

    Which reminds me, while reading this book, I kept thinking of Derb:

    A decade ago I bought (and even read much of) Nicholas Ostler’s Empires on Derb’s recommendation. This is my way of returning the favor.

  17. Derb is obviously not a consumer of pornography. 3 is a very popular number there.

  18. says:
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    INCLUSION is now the buzzword in PC lingo pushed by Globalists.

    But inclusion can work against freedom, liberty, and security. Indeed, freedom and liberty are impossible without security. Radical Inclusion leads to breakdown of security(and stability) and that means less freedom and liberty.

    Inclusion forces intrusion(even invasion) of other homelands. When EU is forced to be ‘inclusive’, it means it must surrender to intrusion and invasion by masses of Africans and Muslims.

    A woman who is forced to ‘include’ every penis can only be rape victim. A woman without the choice to exclude the men she doesn’t like is no longer free.
    And this goes for victims of stalking as well. Such victims call on the police to use force to keep stalkers away. She doesn’t feel safe with such types trailing her. This is especially true with famous celebrities who are stalked by crazy fans. In order for such people, women or celebrities, to feel safe and secure(and free and independent), the police is called on to keep the stalkers away. Women and celebs want to EXCLUDE stalkers from their lives.

    Freedom and liberty have often been about Exclusion. Exclusion can happen by expelling a people who are deemed dangerous or threatening(or invasive). Or it can be achieved by mass-escape or mass-exile.
    In the case of the Vietnamese and Algerians, they finally got together to expel the imperialist French invaders. With guns and bombs, the foreign French were sent packing back to France. Vietnamese and Algerians sought national independence via the expulsion of the French.


    In the case of Moses and Hebrews(if the Biblical legend is to be believed), they self-exiled themselves from the Egyptians. For the Hebrews to be free, they needed to exclude Egyptian tyranny from their lives. Since they couldn’t overthrow Egyptians in Egypt, they chose mass-departure from Egypt to found their own homeland. Thus, Egyptian power came to be excluded from the lives of Jews, especially with the help of God who sent the Pillar of Fire and split the sea to devour the Egyptian cavalry.
    So, Jews found freedom by excluding Egyptian tyranny from their lives. (But in founding their own homeland, they intruded into the lands of other peoples and slaughtered tons of them, again if the Biblical legends are to be believed. In forcing those gentiles in the Promised Land to be ‘inclusive’ of Jews, it led to invasions and intrusions. Recent history has the same theme of freedom by exclusion and oppression by inclusion. The 20th century Exodus is about Jews gaining freedom by excluding the gentile world from their own lives. By creating a Jewish state, they would welcome only the Jews and keep out the gentiles. Jews in hostile gentile nations would seek exile, thus excluding gentile tyranny from their lives, and come live in Israel and be with other Jews. But this creation of the Jewish homeland required the the intrusive ‘inclusion’ of Jews upon Palestinians. Palestine was forced to ‘include’ Jews who soon turned into intruders and invaders who came to lord over the Palestinians. Exclusion meant freedom for Jews, but Inclusion meant tyranny for Palestinians.)

    America was founded on themes of exclusion. Colonial elites(Founding Fathers) got tired of ‘tyranny’ by King George and the Brits(even though historians say it wasn’t all that bad). Also, white folks had to worry about Indian raids and red folks scalping white folks and leaving them bald. So, in order for America to be created, the colonials had to declare independence and EXCLUDE British power from the Americas. And in order for white folks to be safe and secure(in order to be free), they had to exclude the ‘red savages’ and dangerous animals(bears, cougars, wolves, and etc) from their domain.
    The very idea of INDEPENDENCE implies exclusion. After all, to be independent means to be free FROM something.
    When the Pilgrims came to America, they chose exile in order to exclude British religious tyranny(or what they saw as such) from their lives. When Robert Duvall runs away in THX 1138, he is trying to exclude the tyranny of the System from his life. He wants to be free. He wants to be free FROM something. It’s like THE GREAT ESCAPE. The prisoners are trying to run from the German prison camp to be free FROM it. They want to exclude the power of German Guards from their lives.

    Of course, themes of exclusion and inclusion are often inter-connected, as in the Moses story. Jews seek to exclude Egyptian tyranny from their lives. But in seeking to find a homeland of their own, they force other peoples in the Promised Land to ‘include’ Jews who come as intruders and invaders.
    Also, there is the troubled relation between man and God. In some ways, man wants to be free of God. God has too many laws and injunctions. So, some Jews wanted to dance and party around the Golden Calf. They wanted to follow Edward G. Robinson than Charlton Heston. But God insists on the Jews including His laws in their lives because He figures that if Jews free themselves of God, their wild egos will get the best of them, and they’ll start acting nuts like Sarah Silverman and Anthony Wiener. (To be sure, God sometimes want to exclude human affairs from His existence because humans are pesky, ridiculous, and retarded. But just when He wants to say ‘get lost, idiots’, humans are praying to Him and beseeching Him for help after they mess up. And God figures He will include their prayers in His plan for humanity…)

    In a way, one might argue that the theme of INCLUSION in current American politics allows freedom for all of humanity. US is the promised land to which all peoples of the world should escape to. All the world is like one giant Egypt, and every people who want to flee are like Jews. Just as Jews sought freedom by excluding Egyptian tyranny from their lives by seeking mass-exile, all these immigrants are trying to exclude from their own lives the tyranny of their own kind by coming to America. So, Chinese wanna flee from China, Indians wanna flee from India, Africans wanna flee from Africa, Mexicans wanna flee from Mexico. Their own people are their worst enemies, and they want to exclude their own race and culture from their own lives and come to America and be included as ‘Americans’ by presumably superior white folks who run a better political, economic, and social system.
    But this is where the analogy with Hebrews break down. Hebrews were not escaping from their own people. They ran from Egyptians. In contrast, Immigrationism says that people should ‘escape’ from their own race, culture, and land. They should become McCitizens of America. Yet, there is another contradiction, that of multi-culturalism. Even though all these immigrants say NO to their own race and culture and wanna be part of the White World, the white/Jewish ‘progressives’ of the West insist that these immigrant-folks maintain their non-Western identities. (Better to exploit tensions in the service of ‘progressive’ politics because non-whites who get along with whites might become Republicans and patriots.) So, we have the strange phenom of non-white immigrants(and esp their children) rejecting and forgetting their own race, culture, and language(and becoming just generically American in Hollywood and MTV sense) but also taking on ‘identity politics’ of hostility toward whites. However, this non-white identity is a political construct than something genuine or organic. It is less about the intrinsic assets of a race, culture, or language than about hostility toward whites. Indian-Indian identity isn’t the same as Indian-American identity. Asian-Indians in India are Indian regardless of the rest of the world. Even if the entire white world were to vanish overnight, Indians in India would organically and historically be Indian. But ‘Indian-American’ has no such autonomous or independent meaning. It is premised on Indian-American hostility towards whites as the holders of ‘white privilege’(according to venomous PC). Multi-culti identity is about the exploitation of identity politics to corral non-whites against whites. This kind of identity can only exist in opposition to something. It lacks autonomy. A Japanese in Japan is organically Japanese even if the rest of the world were to vanish. Indeed, Japan was Japanese for many centuries in isolation. But Japanese-American identity, according to PC multi-cultism, cannot exist except in hostile hatred of White Privilege. This is why we have ‘Seoul Brothers’ identifying with blacks against whites. These clowns might have had an autonomous identity back in their homeland. But in the US, where they’ve lost their racial, cultural, and linguistic identities, they rely on multi-culti identity of hating ‘white privilege’, and that implies(ridiculously) Asians have more in common with Africans than with whites. It also means Middle Easterners(who are Caucasian if not white and whose histories are more closely tied to the West) have more in common with Mongolian-Americans and Peruvian-Indian-Americans. As white Hispanics count as ‘people of color’, it also means someone like Marco Rubio can claim to have more in common with a Nigerian-American than with European-Americans. It just gets surreal. And the politics of victimhood identity means that white homos and white women can claim to have more in common with blacks, browns, and yellows than with straight white men. It just gets more and more surreal.

  19. I’m a lefty at bottom. A class realist. The scientific fact of the reality of race has implications for policy and politics. Implications only. I don’t like identity politics based on race because such a politics is the basis of fascism. I especially don’t like the current iteration of racial politics in the U.S. because I see it as a divide and conquer strategy of our ruling class. Equality of opportunity is a noble idea and worth working toward. Egalitarianism should confine itself to that. Everything in the civil rights movement beyond voting rights and equal protection under the law is misguided and harmful. You once said your are only here because there is no alt left. The same applies to me. What I have in common with the alt right is an abhorrence of political correctness and a strong preference for Donald Trump.

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  20. Key take-away from the movie “The War of the Worlds”: The Martains do everything in threes.

  21. I agree with most of what you have written in this comment. The only item that I would add is that identity politics is here to stay, it is the political reality for the foreseeable future. If you think about policies or ideas and their acceptance or implementation you will have to take that political reality into account.

  22. says:
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    “The upside is that our consciousness, our civilization, our accomplishments seem all the more astonishing as it becomes more and more probable that there are no others like them anywhere, or at least anywhere within several billion trillion miles.”

    -The rate we’re going, we’re gonna reach the univeral mean any day now.

    “Unfortunately I find that I am now in love with Annet Mahendru…”

    -Something that really struck home to me recently, watching some older movies from the 50s-70s, and a couple of new movies, is just how much the Nordic norm of beauty- blonde/blue-eyed whites, have either been relegated to a minor role, or quite often to the foolish, the evil, etc. The attractive, the good guys and leads are now either played by darker whites, often mixed whites, or by minorities. I knew this, but seeing the contrast back-to-back, really struck home just how far we’ve gone into demonizing whitey. Of course, an English accent used to be a mark of intelligence, sophistication, and the English were good guys, but since the 70s, you’ll increasingly hear it as the tongue of the bad guys.

    “I made all the mistakes amateurs make: used too much mud and ended up sanding three quarters of it off, etc., etc.”

    -Don’t worry, you’re in good company with many Universities these days.

    “….No Bong Kwak, MD”

    -Hearing that, I’m reminded of class discussions about mitochondrial ATP transport and bongkrekic acid. Maybe this doctor is a good guy after all, no bongkrek!

    “Transgender Service in the U.S. Military: An Implementation Handbook.”

    -I think I can speak for 99% of the US men in Uniform when I say they should make trannies dig their own da*ned latrines.

  23. Housman was more intelligent than every single American who is considered a celebrity, and he spent much of his life preparing an edition of the Roman poet Manilius’s didactic poem on astrology. It is actually a good poem – trees nodding through the night winds at their apex, the run of men and the run of dogs subject to the movements of the heavens they barely bother to notice, the hedonism of wine that has not yet gone bad – and so on. There are Finnish mathematicians still fuming at their treatment in Derbyshire’s Riemann book who could discourse for hours on the virtues of luminiferous ether: I am not Finnish and I can speak and understand mathematicalese, but I can neither write it nor read it. The best known person who I met and who I later forgot I met is probably a fairly obscure poet who is, in spite of the fact that he is pretty much unfindable on Google, still the premier 20th century translator of Dutch verse into English. (I met a couple Supreme Court justices – held the door in a deserted law school basement for an aging Brennan who thanked me for being a gentleman, passed a happy looking Souter as he was leaving a long-gone bookstore in the DC area, glared at another one when I thought he was trying to flirt with my girlfriend – but those guys are not real celebrities). I met and forgot lots of four star generals too but generals are not celebrities these days. All but 15 words of this comment are true (3×5). For polyglots, THREE is the ideal number of languages one can master in a lifetime without overdoing it.

  24. Sure enough, there he is: No Bong Kwak, MD —Specialty: Diagnostic Radiology.

    Submitted for your approval:

    View post on

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  25. REALLY!

    The luminiferous aether was not that bad. Some kind of ineffable medium HAD to be the background carrier of the electromagnetic waves, right?

    It turned out to be NOT COMPLETELY THE RIGHT IDEA but of course today we just have another kind of aether: The Relativistic Quantum Vacuum in which electromagnetic waves always propagate with velocity 1 whatever the observer, which morphs like taffy in all four directions in the presence of mass, a superconductor for color forces, really a “solid material” carrying sundry force and particle fields.

  26. says:
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    There’s a number of websites that post stuff like this as a blog. is good for some laughs.

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  27. Thanks for the link! I love low humor and tasteless ribaldry. ◦°˚\(*❛‿❛)/˚°◦

  28. Cute cartoon, but that’s not how it works for species with multiple mating types (at least here on Earth). Eg. for a species with three mating types, an A can mate with a B or a C but not another A, whilst a B can mate with an A or a C but not another B, and so on. Some species of fungi can have up to a thousand mating types, but only two gametes are needed to produce a zygote. (And I’m slightly disappointed that Cochran doesn’t mention any of this).

    WRT three’s and thirds: they’re undervalued (and five’s and fifth’s are over-valued) due to our use of a base-ten numeral system (rather than base-twelve, as nature intended).

  29. Really? Worse than phlogiston? Worse than spontaneous generation? Worse than the luminiferous ether?

    Of course. Crystal spheres rule! Leftists grind them up and snort them. They inhale miasma, too.

    And so on. It gets wearisome refuting this mendacious gibberish.

    Jesus H Christ and Annelies M Frank, THIS. The paid liars wear you down with sheer volume. The oligarch class (40% Jewish) RRRRREAAAAALLLLY wants you to believe the lies.

    In fact, I TL;DRed the rest. Nothing personal, Derb; you know I love ya.

  30. It’s striking how sure all of you appear that, if somebody else was there, we’d know of their presence.

    Moths aren’t aware we are near them, no matter how near. They live in a world with less dimensions.
    We may live in a world with less dimensions than other beings, and they could be around us right now, just out of the reach of our perception.
    Just like all those galaxies we weren’t able to spot: for us, they weren’t there.

    At least 80% of the universe is still invisible to us.

    I love any opportunity to trot out my pet theory on SETI, lack of contact (though recent events may force an update). It took a substantial portion of the life of the universe for Earth to develop intelligent life with a shot at spacefaring. Meaning, the universe is quite young in these terms, if Earth is any example. And in an evolutionary eyeblink, we will have gone from naked savages to spacefarers (assuming we get that far). It only took like 50k years for us to cover this planet (again, an evolutionary eye-blink). If we colonize space, we will similarly cover the galaxy at an astonishing rate, limited mostly by hard limits like the speed of light (memory fails – 50k light years to cross the galaxy?), or whatever fraction thereof we can attain. In other words, if we are any guide at all, a spacefaring civilization will very quickly cover the galaxy. Yet, there is no spacefaring civilization covering the galaxy, as far as we know (what are the odds that it just happens to be on its way as we speak, given the vast stretch of time in question?). No evidence of such, anyway. Meaning, we’re probably alone in the galaxy, or close to it.

    People love to speculate about some elder galactic statesmen discovering us, when the math suggests that we are the incipient elder galactic statesmen (old star system, in an old part of the galaxy, in an old galaxy).

  31. WRT three’s and thirds: they’re undervalued (and five’s and fifth’s are over-valued) due to our use of a base-ten numeral system (rather than base-twelve, as nature intended).

    This kind of thing is where I hit the limits of my intellect. I confess to not understanding how a non-base-ten system makes any sense, compared to base ten. I just can’t wrap my mind around a non-base-ten system. People talk about it like base-ten is arbitrary, and my mind rebels.

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  32. “…talk about it like base-ten is arbitrary…”

    It is both arbitrary and inferior to base twelve, for reasons that I won’t go into here/now. If you have a hard time imaging how base twelve might work, provides a good intro.

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Limbaugh and company certainly entertain. But a steady diet of ideological comfort food is no substitute for hearty intellectual fare.
Once as a colonial project, now as a moral playground, the ancient continent remains the object of Great Power maneuvering