The previous post generated a lot of “correlation does not equal causation” responses on the ping pong ball forum. Jayman is fond of the mantra, and for good reason, but most of the people chanting it are tedious to deal with.
I understand as much, and that all traits are heritable. I could’ve as easily written that women experiencing “stress, depression, and problems with emotions” are at high-risk for riding the cock carousel instead of the other way around as I actually did write it.
One may influence the other, they could be mutually reinforcing, or they could have nothing to do with one another. It could conceivably even be the case that, in isolation, sleeping around is beneficial for women but it’s something the mentally unstable do more of than balanced women do and so the benefit gets buried under the other problems they suffer.
The color commentary here is my best guess punditry. Its mileage will accordingly vary. This is primarily a quant blog. Data is the focus. That data is suggestive, not conclusive. I’m not interested in posting something fit for scientific journal publication. For one, they contain their share of bullshit. Hell, while there are clear patches, much of the fields of sociology and psychology are covered in bullshit.
It’s easy to use selective controls to produce intended results. It’s why I prefer to look at simple relationships. If I control for other variables, it’s limited to those presenting the most obvious potential confounds, like sex and race.
Steve Sailer has mentioned on multiple occasions that he likes using data not gathered for the purpose of answering the question he’s asking because it generally avoids the problem of stacking the deck in favor of a preferred outcome. The GSS is perfect for that. There are several hundreds variables to cross-tab.
For sake of argument, assume all traits are perfectly heritable. No voluntary or even involuntary behaviors are capable of modifying underlying traits and tendencies. Extract philosophy entirely. We’re still left with subjective experience, and that’s where the punditry comes in. If, every day after work, a man comes home and stares at the wall for six hours before going to bed, he will have the same quantifiable outcomes–lifespan, income, personality, health, etc–of other men who do things regular men do.
I guess we could refrain from evaluating wall man in relation to the others, but it feels anti-human to do so. Life is for living. I go “exploring” in the woods with my son not because it’s going to make him more resourceful later in life but because it’s fun for him and for me and it creates memories we’ll treasure as long as we live.
Go a step further and take free will out of the equation. We may not have any. The corollary of that, of course, is that it shouldn’t be expected that people assuming correlation and causation are the same will be swayed by arguments about correlation not equaling causation. The world is simply doing what it’s going to do and that is that. There is no agency, but there is no way to convince people who think there is agency that we are devoid of it, so stop wasting your time–if that’s what your destined to do, or don’t, if it’s not. Whatever.
That said, the example of smoking seems a devastating relatively recent illustration of how social pressure can strongly modify behavior. The genetic predisposition to smoking in the US population presumably hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years, but smoking rates have declined drastically. Religiosity has reliably correlated with fertility for generations, yet religiosity continues to decline in societies where the religious consistently out-breed the irreligious.
Finally, some interaction with the archetype Heartiste has warned will be the downfall of the Western world. I was unaware of her until today, but she’s a blue check mark so I assume she’s not a troll (her tweets unrelated to celebrating barrenness and the joys of prostituting for free, she seems pretty sensible):