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From the NYT:

Malcolm Gladwell Likes Things Better in Canada

Interview by DAN AMIRA MAY 29, 2018

… Q. Why do you not want to blame individuals?

A. I’ve thought about this a lot, and I have no idea. I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t believe in prisons. I don’t believe in —

Q. You don’t believe in prisons?

A. I think a very, very small number of people should be in prison for a short period of time. I would release 95 percent of prisoners if I had the chance. I mean, prison is an idea that was invented a couple thousand years ago. How many other social-policy ideas from back then do we still use? Not a lot.

Law? Property? Monogamy? Non-autocratic rule? Logic? Debate? Bread and circuses?

My criticism of Gladwell’s work has always been that while he’s good at finding and promoting interesting ideas, he’s weak at reality-testing these ideas. Letting 95% of prisoners out of prison, for example, is not an idea likely to stand up to much reality checking. But the idea that a popular sage could reality check his own ideas (or hire somebody to do it for him) simply doesn’t occur to Malcolm naturally, or to the NYT interviewer either:

Q. Your critics argue that your ideas are simplistic or overreliant on anecdotal evidence. Is that something you’ve taken to heart and tried to improve on?

A. Of course I rely on anecdotal evidence and simplify things; that’s what it means to be a popular writer. In some sense, that criticism is not a criticism. It’s a description.

Q. It’s certainly meant as a criticism.

A. Then it’s a little bit baffling. It’s simply people saying that my writing is different from academic writing, which is absolutely the case. There are times, though, when people have said, “Look, if your job is to popularize academic ideas, then you need to be careful about reflecting the full diversity of opinion within academia. You can’t say, ‘Science says X,’ when actually science says X, Y and Z,” and that I’ve taken to heart. That is a good criticism.

Okay, but a lot of Malcolm’s famous ideas don’t have a diversity of academic studies done on them because they are very new and/or very stupid.

For example, Malcolm had one academic saying, in Malcolm’s summary, that NFL teams can’t predict at all which college quarterbacks to draft. Look at how San Diego wasted a #2 overall pick on Ryan Leaf!

I responded, okay, but look how Indianapolis didn’t waste its #1 overall pick that year on Peyton Manning.

And indeed if you build a spreadsheet of 20 years of quarterback draft picks, yeah, picking a high performing quarterback is hard, but it’s by no means impossible.

And if you read the academic study Malcolm cited, the obvious methodological flaw is that the authors measure late draft pick quarterbacks who made an impact in the NFL, such as Tom Brady, and thus should have been drafted higher, but not late draft pick QBs who turned out in training camp and the taxi squad to be as mediocre or even worse than expected and never got to play.

Similarly, Malcolm argued that the way for less talented teams to win in basketball is to full court press. But it’s easy to come up with theoretical and empirical evidence that it works the opposite way: that full court pressing is best for athletically superior teams who are best off contesting every foot of every defensive possession to reduce the chance of a fluke hot-shooting nights by an on-average inferior opponent.

But there weren’t a lot of academic studies debunking Malcolm’s full-court-press theory, because it was so obviously wrong that it would be hard to see much point in writing up a debunking before Malcolm got involved.

Likewise, Malcolm’s strong form of the 10,000 hour rule of practice idea — not just the pretty reasonable weak form that to be world class you need to practice for 5 or 10 years, but also that if you do practice right for 5 or 10 years, you will be world class — hadn’t been debunked by academics all that much because it is prima facie pretty silly.

Since then, we’ve seen some guy named Dan wreck his life by trying to make the pro golf tour by taking up golf and practicing for 10,000 hours without much evidence beforehand that he had above average talent for golf.

But the concept of running reality checks on ideas, especially on ideas that seem to fit with The Narrative, just doesn’t come up much in the media, so few have learned the right lessons from the rise and decline of Gladwell’s career.

 
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  1. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says:

    If 95% of prisoners are released in the US, 100% of Americans will want to move to Canada.

    Btw, Africa didn’t need prisons since they only had mudhuts. If someone got out of line, they speared him on the spot or cast him out of the village to be eaten by lions.

    Prisons are bit more humane in dealing with troublesome people.

    Of course, we can use the Afrocentric way of justice if Gladwell insists on no Prisons.

    Just get your spears out.

    • Replies: @Alden
    An African immigrant nurse told me that in his country, Kenya and other African countries there’s not much of an over crowded prison problem

    That’s because the local jails are so filthy and disease ridden the prisoners often die while seating trial.

    He said there is a real fear of arrest in Africa because of the deadly jails
    , @JimB
    You'd think with all the thousands of hours they have on their hands, homeless people in SF would take up golf on the public greens, working their way out of poverty and onto the PGA circuit.
    , @Pat Boyle
    A lot about Gladwell's appeal is that he relies on the ignorance of the audience. Steve actually knows stuff so he's not taken in by Gladwell's facile sermons. For example when I first read about the 10,000 hour notion I thought at once of Mozart. Gladwell dismisses that objection by claiming that Mozart only wrote good stuff when he was more than 21. Clearly he knew nothing of "Mithridate Re di Ponto". He wrote that when he was eleven. I have two recordings of it. Mithridate's entrance arioso is a popular excerpt on YouTube.

    Malcolm was talking through his hat.

    But he has on occasion been useful. His essay on Taleeb of "Black Swan" fame is very revealing. Taleeb is very damn smart but Gladwell shows him to simultaneously to also be an utter fool.
    , @ThirdWorldSteveReader
    Partly OT, but not too much: anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon gave an interview to edge.org where, among lots of other things, he speaks about a young Yanomami Indian's impressions of a town in Venezuela:

    But one of these guys came back and he was just terribly excited when he told me that he discovered policia. I was like, "Well, what's policia?" "They will grab people and haul them off and put them in these little separate houses, if they do something wrong. And I think we need policia, because my brother killed a man from Iwahikorobateri five years ago, and I'm always worried that the Iwahikorobateri are going to come and kill me, because he's my brother." And he thought that if they had law, law would be a good thing.
     
    (https://www.edge.org/conversation/napoleon_chagnon-steven_pinker-richard_wrangham-daniel_c_dennett-david_haig-napoleon)
  2. My criticism of Gladwell’s work has always been that while he’s good at finding and promoting interesting ideas, he’s weak at reality-testing these ideas.

    Have any of these interesting ideas been good? Some of the answers in this interview are so glib it would be believable as parody. The examples you cite are so bad they don’t need to be tested, especially the idea that less talented teams in basketball should full court press. Why does anyone still care what Gladwell has to say?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Some.
    , @Kylie
    "Why does anyone still care what Malcolm Gladwell has to say?"

    For the same reason a community organizer/asbestos remover was twice elected POTUS.
  3. Our modern gurus like Gladwell and Seth Godin (in the marketing realm), have a great business model. Over simplify issues and communicate in catchy ways that usually have an underlying message that the audience is awesome. I recently read a book by the head of urology at John Hipkins. He quoted Gladwell on the 10,000 rule like it was settled science and suggested you use it as a core measure in picking a surgeon. Of course, he has over 10,000 in his specialty so, completely coincidentally, that means he is a better choice as a surgeon than some younger whippersnapper.

    Gladwell’s dumb pronouncements, like abolishing prisons, (or like common ones such as ISIS is not Islamic or Diversity is our strength) by their sheer stupidity guarantee that they won’t catch on with the rubes thus allowing “educated” idiots who latch onto them to feel superior to the people who don’t get it.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I've heard experienced prison personnel opine that a third of the people in prisons should be kept, a third should be released, and a third should be shot a la Katyn Forest. The 33% released would have relatively low recidivism if, and only if they got to see the others shot and knew that really would happen to them if incarcerated again.
  4. eD says:

    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I’d really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    • Replies: @anon
    Our prisons don't work because they are not coupled with hard labor. You need hard labor for people to reform.
    , @Sunbeam
    "I’d really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it."

    The argument depends on what you believe. Most here will say something about behavioral traits being strongly influenced by genetics, and the research on this seems to indicate that this is the overwhelming influence.

    Someone circa 1900 would chalk it up to heredity, but not mention anything about genes.

    The upshot is that prison serves no rehabilitive purpose. Nor is it a deterrent to crime as a threat.

    The efficacy of prison is simply that it warehouses crime prone individuals so they rob, rape, and murder each other for the most part.

    You could have something like the Vietnam era draft lottery, with prisoners selected randomly from the groups that commit virtually all crime in this country, and it would work just as well.

    And I'm not dog whistling. Look at the stats. Crime in America is a black thing. Period.

    It's not racism. It's not prejudice. They are quite simply the ones committing crimes.

    If there were o black people, obviously we would still have criminal. There would be robberies, rapes, murders.

    But the frequency with which blacks engage in criminality is so off the charts that it is pointless to discuss any other groups.

    Lessee 18 times more likely to commit Rape, based on stats. 7 times more likely than any other noticeable ethnic group to kill someone. And I can't remember the other numbers, but they similarly outsized.

    So yeah, doubling the number of people in prison would reduce crime.

    Release most of them, and you are going to see a repeat of the late 60's to 1980's crime rate which was a good bit higher than now.
    , @Lot
    We should keep locking people up until my grandmother can safely walk through any neighborhood at night alone and fraudsters based in the USA stop spamming my phone and email.

    The incarceration rate in any event has been declining for years.
    , @Alden
    Wasn’t it the Philly Quakers around 181o who came up with the idea of penitentiaries?. The prisoners would sit in their cells and read the bible all day and repent of their sins.

    Periodically a preacher would come around and harangue them.
    , @HEL

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I’d really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.
     
    I always find this notion that there is some sort abstract ideal as to how many people should be in prison baffling. Perhaps you could make the argument why the population should come down instead of assuming it? America also has 40 million black people, something no other advanced country has to deal with. America has no real peers when it comes to criminal demographics amongst advanced nations, so it is frankly stupid to compare America to anywhere else. Also, the times in recent American history when the prison population was substantially lower than it is now, through an astonishing coincidence, happen to be times of spectacularly high crime. Charles Murray has made a rather simple graph showing the correlation between low prison populations and high crime over recent American history. That alone is a pretty compelling reason why the prison population shouldn't be reduced, though I admit it does little to address your lofty, abstract feeling that prisons are too populated and only impinges upon the lowly and irrelevant world of people being murdered, robbed and raped by antisocial thugs.

    I would say that America's prison population is almost certainly too low. Prisons should grow large enough to contain the criminal class. And we've still got plenty of those walking the streets. My take is simple--people with major antisocial tendencies should not be allowed to take part in conventional society. They do not deserve it, and it harms the rest of us. I see no reason why anyone who has committed serious violent crimes should be allowed to walk among civilized people until they are well after the prime of their lives, at which time they are likely no longer a threat. (Some still are even then, and I doubt they are difficult to identify. They should be locked up permanently.) Those who commit murder shouldn't be allowed to walk among us ever again. I would prefer serious criminals simply be exiled, but that is no longer a practical possibility. But of course prison is a sort of exile, and serves much the same purpose. And, contra what many libertarian and leftist fools will tell you, prisons are overwhelmingly filled with people with long rap sheets including a wide variety of serious crimes. Only a few percent are there for simple possession of drugs.


    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century.
     
    The idea of a fence or cage to restrain something dangerous extends back much further than, and that is ultimately much of what a prison is. And imprisoning someone has many of the same salutary effects as killing or exiling them, although it is not permanent. I agree that the notion of prisoners being reformed is for suckers. And yet this does not make prison ineffectual. Every day a criminal is in prison is a day he is not victimizing the general public. That is the primary purpose of imprisonment as far as I am concerned.
    , @Alden
    Police are a recent 19th century development in Britain but not in the continent. Many French German Italian low country towns have records of police going back to 1200.
    , @TGGP
    Right, the problem with prison as a standard punishment is the opposite of what Gladwell thinks it is. If it had actually been conventional for thousands of years, we should give it more credence. Criminals tend to be hyperbolic discounters, so an additional year of prison doesn't register in their minds beforehand and has little deterrent effect. Public execution, whippings or stockades (which used to be more standard punishments) in contrast weigh heavily on such minds due to salience.
    , @1661er
    http://www.samefacts.com/archives/incarceration.png

    https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/658404

    TL:DR, if you add up mental institutionalization and prisons, the current high level of incarceration is just the historical average with some chaotic years when the mental hospitals were shutdown.
    , @Krastos the Gluemaker
    To take a swing at part of the case, I think a fair estimate would have to be that there are hundreds of thousands of violent rapists not in prison in the US. Not counting people temporarily in jail, the so-called drunk tanks, it would amount to about a good 50% increase compared to the current number of prisoners, for all crimes, for the less numerate. Rape kits go untested. People who impregnate really young (to pre-teen) girls are almost always never investigated nor arrested. Even compared to other countries, such criminals get out often enough; it's probably true that ridiculously short prison sentences as seen in the news are more common in Europe but it's not like every rapist is even in prison for the rest of his (or zher!) life or close to it. That may be more true of other nations, whether non-Western (Asian) or not first world, for the actual criminals they do imprison.

    To some extent one could say that "Oh, well, 100 years ago lots of people beat their wives and it was just part of the culture, nobody would go to prison for that. Isn't this all just the same thing?" By modern standards that doesn't fly, and then while even more potential criminals could still be found in the present day among the first category, the above paragraph isn't about the same population at all.

    The problem is, sure, there are some thousands of random drug users in US prisons at any given time who arguably shouldn't be there, and the random cases of the wrong person being convicted for any crime, but that doesn't statistically reflect the criminal population, even when plea bargins and other distortions of what one sees in the criminal statistics are rampant. The US doesn't really put to death that many criminals (or exile or whatever as other commenters mention) and so between the serious crimes that go unsolved and criminals getting released from prison the number that could be in prison in a parallel reality is quite high.

    The fact that the US has more prisoners than other countries (without constantly enacting the death penalty) is meaningless; it just means other countries are hellholes in that regard who aren't solving their crime problems. India could have millions and millions of people in prison for violent crimes including rape; it's just a third world country.

    Note that nothing of the above will end up corresponding to any politically correct views or even acceptable views in both US political parties since Rs will complain they aren't politically correct but establishment R views are still wrong. The feminists, for once, ever, are actually right that a lot of women experience assaults, crime from men etc that go unaddressed in the court system. Of course the sjws and Democratic party will not accept differing rates of criminality among, say, different racial or religious groups nor that their favorite 'solutions' just don't work either. Any religious views on morality ("The rapists and murderers will reform if they accept Jesus!") are naturally also wrong.

    I was going to write this in a different context sometime, but what the heck, is does apply to crime too: what we're really looking at is "Into each generation some percentage of criminal or suicidal psychopaths is born." On the margins there may be social reforms that discourage crime and people becoming criminals from a young age but the typical violent, psychopathic criminal is really something different from the average normie in modern society and not Jean Valjean.
    , @1661er
    http://www.flipvandyke.nl/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/f9.jpg

    On your second point, everybody eventually age out of various crimes, even the Dutch Antilleans age-crime curve converge with White Dutchman, Moroccans, Turks, etc. after age 60s.
    , @Pericles

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I’d really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

     

    Every time Dontavius gets limited by the oppressor whitey Man he turns out to have a rap sheet the length of my arm. So it really seems like the poor dears still get away with a lot, not even counting the stuff that for whatever reason hasn't passed through the system and into record.

    My favorite for the moment might be Anthony Stokes. I don't think he ever went to prison.


    Doctors rebuffed Stokes [who demanded a heart transplant] because he had a "history of noncompliance," and they did not think he would take his medications or show up for follow-up appointments, Stokes' mother said. The hospital changed its mind after his mother accused doctors of punishing her son for a history of run-ins with the law.

    Flash forward two years: Stokes on Tuesday afternoon crashed a stolen car while being pursued by police in Roswell, Georgia, department spokeswoman Lisa Holland told NBC News. Firefighters got him out of the car, and he later died at a hospital.

    Holland said Stokes is linked to a home break-in that happened before the crash. She said an 81-year-old woman reported that a person had entered her house wearing a mask and fired gunshots at her.

     

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/anthony-stokes-teen-who-got-heart-transplant-dies-car-chase-n334001
    , @roo_ster
    More non asian minority diversity means you need more prisons. We need to grease the school to prison highway to get the criminally inclined culled early. Otoh..

    I am with you on extending executions and replacing much incarceration with death penalties. Get and gig them early, hopefully before they breed.
    , @Anon
    Wow, a burst of common sense rather than the usual "too right, mate" pile-on?

    I'd add that Americans are also taken aback by the "light" sentences and "easy" conditions in Euro prisons. Due to the high numbers of AAs in American prisons, they have been transformed from conditions of enforced meditation, such as produced Abelard, Thoreau or Genet, into 24/7 anal rape-fests.
    , @Pat Boyle
    Our Constitution was modeled roughly on the Roman Republic. The founding fathers were very conscious that the Republic fell and was supplanted by the Empire. They wished to avoid that.

    So it's instructive to note that the Roman Republic (in Rome) had no prisons. jails, or even a police force. They did have the Tarpean Rock and they did strangle war prisoners in the Mamerine Prison but that prison was a ruin that could not hold prisoners. Roman themselves weren't crucified although many provincials were.

    Romans voted and had a kind of representative democracy but being a slave society they didn't imagine imprisoning malefactors in idleness. Enslave a man and send him to the mines or the latifundae made more sense to them. It made more sense to American until quite recently (Before the Paul Muni Chain Gang movie).

    We essentially no longer have capitol punishment but I imagine it will return. Jordan Peterson tells us that the Army has no use for anyone with an IQ below 83. That's about the mean IQ of African Americans. Negroes are our criminal race. They have unfavorable neurological makeups. They seem to have genes that allow the neuro transmitters to linger in their brain synapses. This leads to variety of maladies including the proclivity to violence.

    The trends seem to be running away from the idea of racial equality. MAOA seems to have a heritability of about .60 and IQ about .80. These can only climb as society eliminates environmental problems. Right now children eating lead paint chips contributes to the environmental cause of retardation. But soon we will have no more lead paint and IQ differences will remain and they will be more genetic than now. The long term trend is for all the social problems to become increasingly based on genetics as we cure problems in the environment.

    That means that in the future if there is a criminal he will not be a victim of circumstances but simply a born criminal. Capital punishment makes more sense then.

    On the other hand maybe we will give out a standardized test when a child turns 14. If they score too low we lock them up. Maybe we could let them out when they are forty - or maybe not.
  5. I’ve known a few on the left who laugh at Gladwell. I don’t know if they really disagree with him, or whether they think he is too pop and unfocused.

  6. J.Ross says: • Website

    I actually stopped reading a Gladwell book because I felt like I was being condescended to by a child (and because nothing unique or interesting was going on). How does anyone find his writing to be tolerable? That book had been forced on me by a successful and witty friend who loved it. Thomas Friedman is a stupid man, but he comes across as profoundly impressed with himself; Gladwell causes me to ideate violence.
    —-
    OT There is so much dumb here.

    • Replies: @White Guy In Japan
    Outliers was irritating and simplistic. Like Genius for Idiots.
    , @Joe Stalin
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tEYcUSQDyw
    , @Bill

    I actually stopped reading a Gladwell book because I felt like I was being condescended to by a child
     
    Have you ever read The Population Bomb? It's exactly like this: maddeningly so. It's like listening to the second smartest guy on the short bus condescend to you.
  7. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Malcolm Gladwell just isn’t especially smart, but he knows how to say what people want to hear.

    So he makes a good living.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Exactly. This also describes how most people rise to the top of corporate Amerikkka. It's a similar phenomenon to how the feckless Negro thug who is nonetheless a smooth talker with females winds up often more successful (more sex and more offspring) than far superior males (better genes, better providers, etc.).

    See also cockroaches vs. humans.

    Evolution is not a meritocracy that promotes and rewards the best in any meaningful sense we might recognize. It just rewards the best at the brutal game, red in tooth and claw. Intellect, worth, etc. count for nothing.
  8. @Barnard

    My criticism of Gladwell’s work has always been that while he’s good at finding and promoting interesting ideas, he’s weak at reality-testing these ideas.
     
    Have any of these interesting ideas been good? Some of the answers in this interview are so glib it would be believable as parody. The examples you cite are so bad they don't need to be tested, especially the idea that less talented teams in basketball should full court press. Why does anyone still care what Gladwell has to say?

    Some.

  9. J.Ross says: • Website

    OT Genetic IQ Testing is Next to Worthless, says short-necked fox, especially when it was all some kind of stunt anyway
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/05/genetic-intelligence-tests-are-next-to-worthless/561392/

    I bring all this up because Erlich burst out laughing when I told him about my report and told me about his own.

    “I also get that on the left side,” he said. “Everything is cool. Many smart people end up there.”

    Erlich explained that he designed the program to make people cautious about the connection between genes and intelligence. All those disclaimers and notes that surrounded the bell curve were intended to show that these predictions are, in a sense, worse than just wrong. They’re practically meaningless.

    • Replies: @El Dato

    But there’s an even deeper illusion to my bell curve: The seeming precision is almost certainly wrong.
     
    Anyone who uses "Bell Curve" and "Precision" in the same phrase, is, of course, in a state of utter confusion.

    But Nazis are mentioned, so I guess it's ok.
    , @MichiganMom
    Looking at the graph in the article it compares his genetic intelligence to other DNA Land users, not the entire population. Wouldn't that skew the results anyway?
  10. Dan didn’t practice golf for 10,000 hours, he stopped after about 6,000.

  11. Time for Malcolm Gladwell to move back to Jamaica. It’s such a safe country there, they don’t believe in law enforcement either.

  12. @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    Our prisons don’t work because they are not coupled with hard labor. You need hard labor for people to reform.

    • Replies: @Alden
    Clyde Barrow and his friends served prison terms at hard labor very hard time before they went on their killing and robbery sprees. Hard labor didn’t reform them.
    , @Alden
    The demographic that forms the majority of America’s prisoners likes prison. They regard their first stint in youth prison the way normal kids regard 8th grade graduation, getting their dr license first job.

    It’s where they get free hots and a cot, dental medical care, plenty of sex drugs and pruno liquor, see all their friends and relatives, endlessly lift weights exercise and jog and get to run their mouths all day.

    It’s a whole nother way of life
  13. I don’t even think Gladwell believes half the stuff he spouts off about. Selling books is a tough racket, so he’ll say whatever it takes to keep his name in the news. But if you take what he writes with a grain of salt, it’s not entirely without value.

    His 10,000 hour thing was an impetus to start playing piano well into my 30s. Will I ever become a virtuoso? Of course not. But, I’m not half bad, and have found an enjoyable pastime.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The guy who practiced golf for 6003 hours can break 80, but he just hates golf now.
  14. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @TheBoom
    Our modern gurus like Gladwell and Seth Godin (in the marketing realm), have a great business model. Over simplify issues and communicate in catchy ways that usually have an underlying message that the audience is awesome. I recently read a book by the head of urology at John Hipkins. He quoted Gladwell on the 10,000 rule like it was settled science and suggested you use it as a core measure in picking a surgeon. Of course, he has over 10,000 in his specialty so, completely coincidentally, that means he is a better choice as a surgeon than some younger whippersnapper.

    Gladwell's dumb pronouncements, like abolishing prisons, (or like common ones such as ISIS is not Islamic or Diversity is our strength) by their sheer stupidity guarantee that they won't catch on with the rubes thus allowing "educated" idiots who latch onto them to feel superior to the people who don't get it.

    I’ve heard experienced prison personnel opine that a third of the people in prisons should be kept, a third should be released, and a third should be shot a la Katyn Forest. The 33% released would have relatively low recidivism if, and only if they got to see the others shot and knew that really would happen to them if incarcerated again.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes

    experienced prison personnel
     
    That's shorthand for "people with a deep desire to wield power over others, but so stupid that they could not even become cops or join the military".

    If I had ever heard someone drawn from that low in the barrel of labour-market detritus 'opine', I would not commit it to memory: it would be about as much use as surveying a NASCAR crowd for their opinion on stochastic calculus.

    Imagine how dysfunctional someone has to be to want to be a prison guard.

    Then ask yourself if their considered view on anything has enough cognitive grunt behind it to differentiate it meaningfully from the views of the inmates (the vast bulk of whom are incarcerated for simple drug possession).

    Also... not for nothin' - how does the overwhelming majority of contraband get into prisons? Corrupt guards, that's how.

    Organised crime - including criminal gangs - actually puts 'cleanskin' members into police forces and prison firms, for precisely that reason. (The proportion of gang-bangers in the US Marines is more than an order of magnitude greater than the proportion of gang-bangers in the civilian population, and the Marines have stronger filters than CCA or PDs)
  15. Canada is over 90% White and Asian, making Canada by that metric, demographically on par with such mean streets as the City of Irvine and Palo Alto, California. It is hardly a surprise then that Malcolm Gladwell is not overly concerned with crime. To the extent there is a high crime minority group in Canada, they tend to be located in the far flung Yukon Territory and Nunavut, far away from the streets of the ever tolerant and ever good Toronto.

    It’s strange how “open borders” Canada on a percentage basis has 50% fewer Blacks and 60% fewer Latinos than that old ice box up there in Alaska. How is that even possible? Despite the lectures from Trudeau, Idaho has a higher percentage of its population that is Black and Latino than Canada. Think about that.

    Almost makes you think that Canada actually has an immigration policy that keeps out certain groups. Surely, that can’t be the case?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Obviously Canadians never found they could get value out of black slaves the way Confederate state Americans could and they have never caught up. But.... why haven't more American blacks just kept on migrating north into Canada? What Canadian laws have made it unfeasible? How difficult would it be and how long would it take for any American to become qualifies for Canadian welfare? And presumably higher minimum wages?
    , @Anonymous
    There is a points system that traditionally gave people with education and language skills a big advantage.

    Now there is also something called 'Gender Based Analysis Plus' GBA+ which factors the entire 'intersectional' Smorgasbord into the process.

    Whatever happened in the past when Canada was a WASPy, staid and stable place is quickly being thrown out the window. Canada is losing it's marbles. Trudeau's immigration Minister is a Somali, and the plan is to ramp up the numbers, with an eye towards helping others rather than helping Canada. The general idea being that helping others IS helping Canada.

    I'm really getting fearful about what the future holds in this country. The US is in a worse place, but there is at least a minority there who are aware that the situation is dangerous. Canadians are so naive (and smug) that they are happily and proudly sleepwalking into the abyss. There is no brake on the crazy train, and even discussing a brake will land you in hot water.

    The situation is looking bad pretty much everywhere.
  16. @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    “I’d really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.”

    The argument depends on what you believe. Most here will say something about behavioral traits being strongly influenced by genetics, and the research on this seems to indicate that this is the overwhelming influence.

    Someone circa 1900 would chalk it up to heredity, but not mention anything about genes.

    The upshot is that prison serves no rehabilitive purpose. Nor is it a deterrent to crime as a threat.

    The efficacy of prison is simply that it warehouses crime prone individuals so they rob, rape, and murder each other for the most part.

    You could have something like the Vietnam era draft lottery, with prisoners selected randomly from the groups that commit virtually all crime in this country, and it would work just as well.

    And I’m not dog whistling. Look at the stats. Crime in America is a black thing. Period.

    It’s not racism. It’s not prejudice. They are quite simply the ones committing crimes.

    If there were o black people, obviously we would still have criminal. There would be robberies, rapes, murders.

    But the frequency with which blacks engage in criminality is so off the charts that it is pointless to discuss any other groups.

    Lessee 18 times more likely to commit Rape, based on stats. 7 times more likely than any other noticeable ethnic group to kill someone. And I can’t remember the other numbers, but they similarly outsized.

    So yeah, doubling the number of people in prison would reduce crime.

    Release most of them, and you are going to see a repeat of the late 60’s to 1980’s crime rate which was a good bit higher than now.

    • Replies: @Danindc
    Aren’t the true numbers even worse as you are basing these stats off convicted criminals? Think of all the crimes blacks get away with....it’s astonishing
  17. @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    We should keep locking people up until my grandmother can safely walk through any neighborhood at night alone and fraudsters based in the USA stop spamming my phone and email.

    The incarceration rate in any event has been declining for years.

    • Agree: snorlax
    • Replies: @snorlax
    Your grandmother's alive? I was under the (incorrect?) impression you were middle-aged.
    , @donut
    Is she a "Holocaust Survivor" ? She'll be Okay .
    , @Logan
    The incarceration rate appears to have peaked in 2008 at around 750. We're now down to about 700, which is about where we were in 2000.

    The numbers are approximate, as there are a lot of conflicting stats out there.
  18. @J.Ross
    I actually stopped reading a Gladwell book because I felt like I was being condescended to by a child (and because nothing unique or interesting was going on). How does anyone find his writing to be tolerable? That book had been forced on me by a successful and witty friend who loved it. Thomas Friedman is a stupid man, but he comes across as profoundly impressed with himself; Gladwell causes me to ideate violence.
    ----
    OT There is so much dumb here.

    https://twitter.com/JimLaPorta/status/971746437951352832

    Outliers was irritating and simplistic. Like Genius for Idiots.

  19. Obviously, Gladwell isn’t bright. Take basketball….Bob knight –probably the greatest strategic/tactical coach of all time–used to tell Rick Pitino (famous pressing coach) that the press only favored the athletically and instinctively dominate team. The kicker being that if you have that team you’re at an advantage with any style. Pitino, being a great recruiter, continued to use it pretty successfully. Of course, he flamed out in the pro’s where the talent was more equal.

    In other words, Gladwell;s advice is completely the opposite of what is successful.

    • Replies: @Chase
    When Bob Knight was fired from Texas Tech, for a couple years he went on to be a color guy for ESPN college basketball. He was an order of magnitude better at describing what was happening on the court than any other person in any sport I'd ever heard. It wasn't hard for me to see why he was so successful at coaching.
  20. @J.Ross
    I actually stopped reading a Gladwell book because I felt like I was being condescended to by a child (and because nothing unique or interesting was going on). How does anyone find his writing to be tolerable? That book had been forced on me by a successful and witty friend who loved it. Thomas Friedman is a stupid man, but he comes across as profoundly impressed with himself; Gladwell causes me to ideate violence.
    ----
    OT There is so much dumb here.

    https://twitter.com/JimLaPorta/status/971746437951352832

  21. “I would release 95 percent of prisoners if I had the chance. I mean, prison is an idea that was invented a couple thousand years ago.”

    1970 – 1990 NYC was so much fun!!11!!

  22. @Lot
    We should keep locking people up until my grandmother can safely walk through any neighborhood at night alone and fraudsters based in the USA stop spamming my phone and email.

    The incarceration rate in any event has been declining for years.

    Your grandmother’s alive? I was under the (incorrect?) impression you were middle-aged.

    • Replies: @Lot
    No, still enjoying an extended adolescence into my 30s.
  23. @Anon
    If 95% of prisoners are released in the US, 100% of Americans will want to move to Canada.

    Btw, Africa didn't need prisons since they only had mudhuts. If someone got out of line, they speared him on the spot or cast him out of the village to be eaten by lions.

    Prisons are bit more humane in dealing with troublesome people.

    Of course, we can use the Afrocentric way of justice if Gladwell insists on no Prisons.

    Just get your spears out.

    An African immigrant nurse told me that in his country, Kenya and other African countries there’s not much of an over crowded prison problem

    That’s because the local jails are so filthy and disease ridden the prisoners often die while seating trial.

    He said there is a real fear of arrest in Africa because of the deadly jails

  24. @anon
    Our prisons don't work because they are not coupled with hard labor. You need hard labor for people to reform.

    Clyde Barrow and his friends served prison terms at hard labor very hard time before they went on their killing and robbery sprees. Hard labor didn’t reform them.

    • Replies: @Danindc
    Anecdotal. I think hard labor needs to be brought back en masse. Plus it would be a deterrent. Who the F wants to break rocks all day in the sun??
    , @The preferred nomenclature is...
    Clyde was very small and was repeatedly raped by a much larger sadistic prisoner that had coverage from the wicked, corrupt prison warden. Clyde committed his first murder when he finally offed the aforementioned rapist with the help of a trustee inmate.

    Thereafter, Clyde swore to never return to prison and developed a deep-seated hatred of all law enforcement.
  25. But the concept of running reality checks on ideas, especially on ideas that seem to fit with The Narrative, just doesn’t come up much in the media

    This is an interesting sentence, because

    What is the The Narrative?

    Basically it’s an attempt to prescribe a ‘reality’ that is at odds with reality.

    Reality checks are constantly being run against The Narrative in the form of actual reality punching its way through the newsprint and celluloid facade of The Narrative.

    Who drives The Narrative?

    Those who are naively wishful for a different reality, and those who use positions of influence in society to act out ethnic and racial animosities.

    What drives The Narrative?

    Reality.

  26. It is unusual, but not unheard of, in our era, for a person in their fifties to have a grandmother, especially a maternal grandmother, who is still alive. It quite rare for someone who is over sixty. My paternal grandmother died when my cousin, her oldest grandchild, was 64.

    • Replies: @Lot
    My surviving grandmother is about 45 years older than me. I remember going on bike rides and roller skating with her as a kid. It's unfortunate to reflect that my theoretical children will never have such an experience. I've got time to avoid being an Old Dad by California standards, where it is rare to see fathers of white 10 year olds without grey hair. But I do feel I've failed in not doing what my parents, grandparents, and all of their siblings did: marry by 25 and multiple children by 30.

    My cousins in the Midwest have also failed to do this, so cost of living is not central issue. Nor is it the c---carousel Roissy describes: rather just a lot of very long term cohabitation, also my experience.
  27. @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    Wasn’t it the Philly Quakers around 181o who came up with the idea of penitentiaries?. The prisoners would sit in their cells and read the bible all day and repent of their sins.

    Periodically a preacher would come around and harangue them.

  28. @anon
    Our prisons don't work because they are not coupled with hard labor. You need hard labor for people to reform.

    The demographic that forms the majority of America’s prisoners likes prison. They regard their first stint in youth prison the way normal kids regard 8th grade graduation, getting their dr license first job.

    It’s where they get free hots and a cot, dental medical care, plenty of sex drugs and pruno liquor, see all their friends and relatives, endlessly lift weights exercise and jog and get to run their mouths all day.

    It’s a whole nother way of life

  29. @snorlax
    Your grandmother's alive? I was under the (incorrect?) impression you were middle-aged.

    No, still enjoying an extended adolescence into my 30s.

    • Replies: @The preferred nomenclature is...
    I thought you were in your 60's.
  30. HEL says:
    @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I’d really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    I always find this notion that there is some sort abstract ideal as to how many people should be in prison baffling. Perhaps you could make the argument why the population should come down instead of assuming it? America also has 40 million black people, something no other advanced country has to deal with. America has no real peers when it comes to criminal demographics amongst advanced nations, so it is frankly stupid to compare America to anywhere else. Also, the times in recent American history when the prison population was substantially lower than it is now, through an astonishing coincidence, happen to be times of spectacularly high crime. Charles Murray has made a rather simple graph showing the correlation between low prison populations and high crime over recent American history. That alone is a pretty compelling reason why the prison population shouldn’t be reduced, though I admit it does little to address your lofty, abstract feeling that prisons are too populated and only impinges upon the lowly and irrelevant world of people being murdered, robbed and raped by antisocial thugs.

    I would say that America’s prison population is almost certainly too low. Prisons should grow large enough to contain the criminal class. And we’ve still got plenty of those walking the streets. My take is simple–people with major antisocial tendencies should not be allowed to take part in conventional society. They do not deserve it, and it harms the rest of us. I see no reason why anyone who has committed serious violent crimes should be allowed to walk among civilized people until they are well after the prime of their lives, at which time they are likely no longer a threat. (Some still are even then, and I doubt they are difficult to identify. They should be locked up permanently.) Those who commit murder shouldn’t be allowed to walk among us ever again. I would prefer serious criminals simply be exiled, but that is no longer a practical possibility. But of course prison is a sort of exile, and serves much the same purpose. And, contra what many libertarian and leftist fools will tell you, prisons are overwhelmingly filled with people with long rap sheets including a wide variety of serious crimes. Only a few percent are there for simple possession of drugs.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century.

    The idea of a fence or cage to restrain something dangerous extends back much further than, and that is ultimately much of what a prison is. And imprisoning someone has many of the same salutary effects as killing or exiling them, although it is not permanent. I agree that the notion of prisoners being reformed is for suckers. And yet this does not make prison ineffectual. Every day a criminal is in prison is a day he is not victimizing the general public. That is the primary purpose of imprisonment as far as I am concerned.

    • Replies: @Alden
    Great post. Crime goes up and down according to the prison population.

    As soon as the useful idiot intellectuals succeed in lenient sentencing and lenient parole crime soars because the criminals are out robbing killing raping the rest of us.

    After some years the population gets fed up with runaway crime. 3 strikes laws, strict sentencing and no parole laws are passed

    The criminals are sent back to prison and crime goes way way down

    The truth is, just a few people commit all the crimes. It’s really noticeable in towns with less than 300,000 population. Send 3 carjackers or 3 business premise burglars to prison for a long time and those crimes go way down. It’s amazing when someone is arrested and you look at their record. 30 arrests, 12 convictions is normal

    Google Golden State Rapist. He was just caught through DNA. He committed 50 rapes and 12 murders. That’s just one person.

    That criminal is a retired police officer. He committed all those murders and rapes while a serving police officer. He’s White,

    At one time the sentence for homicide in California was 7 years, 3 & 1/2 for good behavior. At the same time the sentence for rape in counties with liberal judges was 3 weeks in a mental health clinic for evaluation and then probation. That was for black rapists.
    The minuscule number of White rapists served a year or so.

    The best crime prevention is let the demographic that produces the highest percentage of criminals have free abortions.

    Abortion is the biggest and most effective method of crime prevention
    , @TGGP
    The relationship between prison & crime is not so simple, and I would recommend reading William Stuntz "The Collapse of American Criminal Justice" on it. Charles Murray is right only in that during the 60s we had falling incarceration and rising crime, but the rise in incarceration preceded the fall in crime by decades and there was a particularly large fall in New York city even as their incarceration levels fell. Much more important than the rate of incarceration is the ratio of police to civilians, and New York has a particularly high ratio. During the Gilded Age (up until the great 60s freakout) northern cities like that tended to have relatively large numbers of police, low crime and low incarceration. The south had fewer police, more crime and more incarceration. Other parts of the country could follow New York in lowering both crime and incarceration. Another book I'd recommend on that is Mark Kleiman's "When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment". The short version is that swiftness & certainty of punishment matter MUCH MUCH more than severity in terms of deterring crime. Incorrigible meth addict burglars shape up if they're guaranteed to spend even a single day in jail as the result of not showing up for a random drug test or failing it. Unfortunately, our dysfunctional system usually gives parolees warning after warning (which they learn to ignore) before finally cracking down and giving them multi-year sentences.
    , @Anonymous
    Almost the only people in prison for the possession of drugs have violated their parole or probation, or have been in prison before for more serious offences. There are also a number of people who were actually dealing drugs but whom the DA chooses to charge with simple possession because it will be easier to prosecute. Basically no otherwise law abiding citizen will end up in prison for simply being caught with drugs for personal use.
    I imagine that Europeans are becoming a bit less sanctimonious about crime now that their demographics have shifted. Most of them used to truly believe that their countries had low crime rates simply due to the wisdom of their policies, and that Americans were receiving what they deserved for their ignorance, greed and bigotry.
    It's a bit unfair to think prison is only weightlifting and jogging. There is also dominoes, card playing and television watching. And a fair amount of raking dirt.
  31. @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    Police are a recent 19th century development in Britain but not in the continent. Many French German Italian low country towns have records of police going back to 1200.

    • Replies: @Bill
    Do you have a relevant cite? I'm curious what these police did. There have been Sheriffs in England for a really long time, for example, but they were not like modern police.
  32. It’s Memorial Day you f**king Commie !

  33. @NJ Transit Commuter
    I don’t even think Gladwell believes half the stuff he spouts off about. Selling books is a tough racket, so he’ll say whatever it takes to keep his name in the news. But if you take what he writes with a grain of salt, it’s not entirely without value.

    His 10,000 hour thing was an impetus to start playing piano well into my 30s. Will I ever become a virtuoso? Of course not. But, I’m not half bad, and have found an enjoyable pastime.

    The guy who practiced golf for 6003 hours can break 80, but he just hates golf now.

    • Replies: @Jake Barnes
    I had a co-worker who made it to play for a MLB team (first at bat in Majors was a triple, then got injured and released shortly after). I don’t know that he hated baseball, but he was at-best apathetic by the time I knew him.
    , @NJ Transit Commuter
    @Steve Sailer

    Back of the envelope calculation says I'm somewhere around 2500 hours of piano practice and I still enjoy it. Will that change once I pass 6000? Maybe, but my guess is no. I guess the difference is I figured out quick enough that even an infinite number of hours of practice wasn't going to make me a great piano player. Perhaps the golfer held on to the illusion that 10 K hours was going to get him on the PGA tour.

    If I can ever play the piano as well as a single handicap golfer plays golf, I'll be extremely happy.
    , @Autochthon
    I knew a few virtuoso musicians in high school and college. They were mostly bored by music the same way you or I might be bored by colouring books or other easy activities. It takes a special, rare balance to be inventive enough to develop your own style (of music, golfing...whatever) thus preventing the ironic boredom or downright contempt of mastering the activity. A lot more bored or jaded virtuosos than Chris Squires and Arnold Palmers are out there.
    , @Pericles
    Only 4000 hours to go before we know the outcome!
  34. Here I thought systematically locking people up in cages for years was a progressive innovation brought in to replace the traditional way of dealing with felons with a rope and a sturdy beam. Turns out it’s just another (bad) idea from those stale, pale, male ancients.

  35. I mean, prison is an idea that was invented a couple thousand years ago.

    Is this even true? There’s no prison sentences mentioned in the code of Hammurabi, for example. Are they mentioned in any other ancient laws? Prisons seem like an expensive institution that an ancient king wouldn’t be enthusiastic about paying for, when he could have criminals fined, maimed, sold into slavery, or put to death — all of which would be much cheaper and easier than imprisoning them for years.

    • Replies: @Lot
    No there were not prisons 2000 or 1000 years ago. Just about the only people who suffered long term confinement were relatives of the monarch he was unwilling to murder. There were also low-capacity dungeons for short term confinement pending trial or holding hostages.

    In England generally the upper classes were fined, the lower classes were executed, impressed to Navy service, or sent to Australia.
    , @Brutusale
    Opinions vary:

    http://www.ancient-origins.net/history-ancient-traditions/prisons-and-imprisonment-ancient-world-punishments-used-maintain-public-020588

    Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle caused me to look into Newgate Prison:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newgate_Prison
    , @Anon
    Christ, don't you right-wingers read the Bible? Joseph, hello?
  36. @Anon
    If 95% of prisoners are released in the US, 100% of Americans will want to move to Canada.

    Btw, Africa didn't need prisons since they only had mudhuts. If someone got out of line, they speared him on the spot or cast him out of the village to be eaten by lions.

    Prisons are bit more humane in dealing with troublesome people.

    Of course, we can use the Afrocentric way of justice if Gladwell insists on no Prisons.

    Just get your spears out.

    You’d think with all the thousands of hours they have on their hands, homeless people in SF would take up golf on the public greens, working their way out of poverty and onto the PGA circuit.

    • Replies: @Pericles
    San Francisco should thus institute a program of giving free golfing equipment to the homeless.
  37. TGGP says: • Website
    @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    Right, the problem with prison as a standard punishment is the opposite of what Gladwell thinks it is. If it had actually been conventional for thousands of years, we should give it more credence. Criminals tend to be hyperbolic discounters, so an additional year of prison doesn’t register in their minds beforehand and has little deterrent effect. Public execution, whippings or stockades (which used to be more standard punishments) in contrast weigh heavily on such minds due to salience.

  38. @HEL

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I’d really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.
     
    I always find this notion that there is some sort abstract ideal as to how many people should be in prison baffling. Perhaps you could make the argument why the population should come down instead of assuming it? America also has 40 million black people, something no other advanced country has to deal with. America has no real peers when it comes to criminal demographics amongst advanced nations, so it is frankly stupid to compare America to anywhere else. Also, the times in recent American history when the prison population was substantially lower than it is now, through an astonishing coincidence, happen to be times of spectacularly high crime. Charles Murray has made a rather simple graph showing the correlation between low prison populations and high crime over recent American history. That alone is a pretty compelling reason why the prison population shouldn't be reduced, though I admit it does little to address your lofty, abstract feeling that prisons are too populated and only impinges upon the lowly and irrelevant world of people being murdered, robbed and raped by antisocial thugs.

    I would say that America's prison population is almost certainly too low. Prisons should grow large enough to contain the criminal class. And we've still got plenty of those walking the streets. My take is simple--people with major antisocial tendencies should not be allowed to take part in conventional society. They do not deserve it, and it harms the rest of us. I see no reason why anyone who has committed serious violent crimes should be allowed to walk among civilized people until they are well after the prime of their lives, at which time they are likely no longer a threat. (Some still are even then, and I doubt they are difficult to identify. They should be locked up permanently.) Those who commit murder shouldn't be allowed to walk among us ever again. I would prefer serious criminals simply be exiled, but that is no longer a practical possibility. But of course prison is a sort of exile, and serves much the same purpose. And, contra what many libertarian and leftist fools will tell you, prisons are overwhelmingly filled with people with long rap sheets including a wide variety of serious crimes. Only a few percent are there for simple possession of drugs.


    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century.
     
    The idea of a fence or cage to restrain something dangerous extends back much further than, and that is ultimately much of what a prison is. And imprisoning someone has many of the same salutary effects as killing or exiling them, although it is not permanent. I agree that the notion of prisoners being reformed is for suckers. And yet this does not make prison ineffectual. Every day a criminal is in prison is a day he is not victimizing the general public. That is the primary purpose of imprisonment as far as I am concerned.

    Great post. Crime goes up and down according to the prison population.

    As soon as the useful idiot intellectuals succeed in lenient sentencing and lenient parole crime soars because the criminals are out robbing killing raping the rest of us.

    After some years the population gets fed up with runaway crime. 3 strikes laws, strict sentencing and no parole laws are passed

    The criminals are sent back to prison and crime goes way way down

    The truth is, just a few people commit all the crimes. It’s really noticeable in towns with less than 300,000 population. Send 3 carjackers or 3 business premise burglars to prison for a long time and those crimes go way down. It’s amazing when someone is arrested and you look at their record. 30 arrests, 12 convictions is normal

    Google Golden State Rapist. He was just caught through DNA. He committed 50 rapes and 12 murders. That’s just one person.

    That criminal is a retired police officer. He committed all those murders and rapes while a serving police officer. He’s White,

    At one time the sentence for homicide in California was 7 years, 3 & 1/2 for good behavior. At the same time the sentence for rape in counties with liberal judges was 3 weeks in a mental health clinic for evaluation and then probation. That was for black rapists.
    The minuscule number of White rapists served a year or so.

    The best crime prevention is let the demographic that produces the highest percentage of criminals have free abortions.

    Abortion is the biggest and most effective method of crime prevention

    • Replies: @Wj
    The Golden State Rapist worked as a police officer from 76 to 79. He was fired for shoplifting. His history after that is sketchy but I have no knowledge of him retiring as a police officer
    , @alonzo portfolio
    just a few people commit all the crimes

    In 1984 I was standing outside a judge's chambers in cowtown California when I heard a prosecutor say, "you let me take ten guys off the street and I'll wipe out 80% of the crime in this city."
  39. There is really no viable model for rehabilitating criminals in an era where no one feels personal responsibility or shame. Best to make every crime punishable by permanent banishment to a floating island of plastic trash in the Pacific Ocean.

  40. Lot says:
    @PiltdownMan
    It is unusual, but not unheard of, in our era, for a person in their fifties to have a grandmother, especially a maternal grandmother, who is still alive. It quite rare for someone who is over sixty. My paternal grandmother died when my cousin, her oldest grandchild, was 64.

    My surviving grandmother is about 45 years older than me. I remember going on bike rides and roller skating with her as a kid. It’s unfortunate to reflect that my theoretical children will never have such an experience. I’ve got time to avoid being an Old Dad by California standards, where it is rare to see fathers of white 10 year olds without grey hair. But I do feel I’ve failed in not doing what my parents, grandparents, and all of their siblings did: marry by 25 and multiple children by 30.

    My cousins in the Midwest have also failed to do this, so cost of living is not central issue. Nor is it the c—carousel Roissy describes: rather just a lot of very long term cohabitation, also my experience.

  41. TGGP says: • Website
    @HEL

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I’d really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.
     
    I always find this notion that there is some sort abstract ideal as to how many people should be in prison baffling. Perhaps you could make the argument why the population should come down instead of assuming it? America also has 40 million black people, something no other advanced country has to deal with. America has no real peers when it comes to criminal demographics amongst advanced nations, so it is frankly stupid to compare America to anywhere else. Also, the times in recent American history when the prison population was substantially lower than it is now, through an astonishing coincidence, happen to be times of spectacularly high crime. Charles Murray has made a rather simple graph showing the correlation between low prison populations and high crime over recent American history. That alone is a pretty compelling reason why the prison population shouldn't be reduced, though I admit it does little to address your lofty, abstract feeling that prisons are too populated and only impinges upon the lowly and irrelevant world of people being murdered, robbed and raped by antisocial thugs.

    I would say that America's prison population is almost certainly too low. Prisons should grow large enough to contain the criminal class. And we've still got plenty of those walking the streets. My take is simple--people with major antisocial tendencies should not be allowed to take part in conventional society. They do not deserve it, and it harms the rest of us. I see no reason why anyone who has committed serious violent crimes should be allowed to walk among civilized people until they are well after the prime of their lives, at which time they are likely no longer a threat. (Some still are even then, and I doubt they are difficult to identify. They should be locked up permanently.) Those who commit murder shouldn't be allowed to walk among us ever again. I would prefer serious criminals simply be exiled, but that is no longer a practical possibility. But of course prison is a sort of exile, and serves much the same purpose. And, contra what many libertarian and leftist fools will tell you, prisons are overwhelmingly filled with people with long rap sheets including a wide variety of serious crimes. Only a few percent are there for simple possession of drugs.


    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century.
     
    The idea of a fence or cage to restrain something dangerous extends back much further than, and that is ultimately much of what a prison is. And imprisoning someone has many of the same salutary effects as killing or exiling them, although it is not permanent. I agree that the notion of prisoners being reformed is for suckers. And yet this does not make prison ineffectual. Every day a criminal is in prison is a day he is not victimizing the general public. That is the primary purpose of imprisonment as far as I am concerned.

    The relationship between prison & crime is not so simple, and I would recommend reading William Stuntz “The Collapse of American Criminal Justice” on it. Charles Murray is right only in that during the 60s we had falling incarceration and rising crime, but the rise in incarceration preceded the fall in crime by decades and there was a particularly large fall in New York city even as their incarceration levels fell. Much more important than the rate of incarceration is the ratio of police to civilians, and New York has a particularly high ratio. During the Gilded Age (up until the great 60s freakout) northern cities like that tended to have relatively large numbers of police, low crime and low incarceration. The south had fewer police, more crime and more incarceration. Other parts of the country could follow New York in lowering both crime and incarceration. Another book I’d recommend on that is Mark Kleiman’s “When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment”. The short version is that swiftness & certainty of punishment matter MUCH MUCH more than severity in terms of deterring crime. Incorrigible meth addict burglars shape up if they’re guaranteed to spend even a single day in jail as the result of not showing up for a random drug test or failing it. Unfortunately, our dysfunctional system usually gives parolees warning after warning (which they learn to ignore) before finally cracking down and giving them multi-year sentences.

    • Replies: @Bill B.
    Yes.

    And when Gladwell says


    prison is an idea that was invented a couple thousand years ago
     
    he is surely being ahistorical.

    Punishment has typically meant execution - often in catastrophically unpleasant ways - or exile and/or forfeiture of assets, including often those of family, for crimes deemed a threat to society. Steal a handkerchief in Victorian Britain and one risked being sent to Australia - if you were lucky.

    Even early modern reformers - Mill's Panopticon - saw prisoners as being in a kind of purgatory.

    Gladwell's apparent idea that crime is simply a result of wrong-think that - people being wet robots - can be easily corrected is, historically speaking, very new.

    The fate of Volkert van der Graaf must surely gladden the heart of Gladwell but it is barely conceivable in any prior period in history:

    The killer of the charismatic, gay, anti-Islam Dutch politician Kim Fortuyn was released in 2014 after just 12 years in prison and had the chutzpah to successfully demand that he be further freed from travel restrictions and wearing an electronic bracelet.

  42. @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/658404

    TL:DR, if you add up mental institutionalization and prisons, the current high level of incarceration is just the historical average with some chaotic years when the mental hospitals were shutdown.

  43. Anon[133] • Disclaimer says:

    I stopped reading Gladwell after I read an entertaining piece of his and it was so fascinating that I went to the web and found a page on the obscure thing he wrote about and came away convinced that Gladwell had lied in his piece to emphasize his point. One thing about the internet is that you remember ideas, but forget sources and source reliability, so sometimes you don’t want to pollute your mind with stuff that you think in advance is fake.

    The audio of his tall tale (or was it?) about his Washington Post days was genuinely hilarious, however.

  44. @Lot
    We should keep locking people up until my grandmother can safely walk through any neighborhood at night alone and fraudsters based in the USA stop spamming my phone and email.

    The incarceration rate in any event has been declining for years.

    Is she a “Holocaust Survivor” ? She’ll be Okay .

  45. Lot says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    I mean, prison is an idea that was invented a couple thousand years ago.
     
    Is this even true? There's no prison sentences mentioned in the code of Hammurabi, for example. Are they mentioned in any other ancient laws? Prisons seem like an expensive institution that an ancient king wouldn't be enthusiastic about paying for, when he could have criminals fined, maimed, sold into slavery, or put to death -- all of which would be much cheaper and easier than imprisoning them for years.

    No there were not prisons 2000 or 1000 years ago. Just about the only people who suffered long term confinement were relatives of the monarch he was unwilling to murder. There were also low-capacity dungeons for short term confinement pending trial or holding hostages.

    In England generally the upper classes were fined, the lower classes were executed, impressed to Navy service, or sent to Australia.

    • Replies: @Bernardo Pizzaro Cortez Del Castro
    True, even in America we had no prisons until the mid 19th century.....criminals were punished with a whipping or a hanging, thus no need for prisons.
  46. @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    To take a swing at part of the case, I think a fair estimate would have to be that there are hundreds of thousands of violent rapists not in prison in the US. Not counting people temporarily in jail, the so-called drunk tanks, it would amount to about a good 50% increase compared to the current number of prisoners, for all crimes, for the less numerate. Rape kits go untested. People who impregnate really young (to pre-teen) girls are almost always never investigated nor arrested. Even compared to other countries, such criminals get out often enough; it’s probably true that ridiculously short prison sentences as seen in the news are more common in Europe but it’s not like every rapist is even in prison for the rest of his (or zher!) life or close to it. That may be more true of other nations, whether non-Western (Asian) or not first world, for the actual criminals they do imprison.

    To some extent one could say that “Oh, well, 100 years ago lots of people beat their wives and it was just part of the culture, nobody would go to prison for that. Isn’t this all just the same thing?” By modern standards that doesn’t fly, and then while even more potential criminals could still be found in the present day among the first category, the above paragraph isn’t about the same population at all.

    The problem is, sure, there are some thousands of random drug users in US prisons at any given time who arguably shouldn’t be there, and the random cases of the wrong person being convicted for any crime, but that doesn’t statistically reflect the criminal population, even when plea bargins and other distortions of what one sees in the criminal statistics are rampant. The US doesn’t really put to death that many criminals (or exile or whatever as other commenters mention) and so between the serious crimes that go unsolved and criminals getting released from prison the number that could be in prison in a parallel reality is quite high.

    The fact that the US has more prisoners than other countries (without constantly enacting the death penalty) is meaningless; it just means other countries are hellholes in that regard who aren’t solving their crime problems. India could have millions and millions of people in prison for violent crimes including rape; it’s just a third world country.

    Note that nothing of the above will end up corresponding to any politically correct views or even acceptable views in both US political parties since Rs will complain they aren’t politically correct but establishment R views are still wrong. The feminists, for once, ever, are actually right that a lot of women experience assaults, crime from men etc that go unaddressed in the court system. Of course the sjws and Democratic party will not accept differing rates of criminality among, say, different racial or religious groups nor that their favorite ‘solutions’ just don’t work either. Any religious views on morality (“The rapists and murderers will reform if they accept Jesus!”) are naturally also wrong.

    I was going to write this in a different context sometime, but what the heck, is does apply to crime too: what we’re really looking at is “Into each generation some percentage of criminal or suicidal psychopaths is born.” On the margins there may be social reforms that discourage crime and people becoming criminals from a young age but the typical violent, psychopathic criminal is really something different from the average normie in modern society and not Jean Valjean.

  47. Gladwell actually came across as being quite sensible in the interview, aside from the prison comment.

    – he was realistic and not hysterical about the mass shooting phenomenon;

    – he provided a valid, non-pejorative reason for preferring his home country to the United States;

    – he deftly resisted the softball opportunity to gratuitously insult Trump.

    Plus his reference to his genetic inheritance makes me wonder if he isn’t aging into a more conservative world view.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Gladwell has always been more conservative than assumed. He started at the American Spectator.
  48. @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    On your second point, everybody eventually age out of various crimes, even the Dutch Antilleans age-crime curve converge with White Dutchman, Moroccans, Turks, etc. after age 60s.

  49. @Sunbeam
    "I’d really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it."

    The argument depends on what you believe. Most here will say something about behavioral traits being strongly influenced by genetics, and the research on this seems to indicate that this is the overwhelming influence.

    Someone circa 1900 would chalk it up to heredity, but not mention anything about genes.

    The upshot is that prison serves no rehabilitive purpose. Nor is it a deterrent to crime as a threat.

    The efficacy of prison is simply that it warehouses crime prone individuals so they rob, rape, and murder each other for the most part.

    You could have something like the Vietnam era draft lottery, with prisoners selected randomly from the groups that commit virtually all crime in this country, and it would work just as well.

    And I'm not dog whistling. Look at the stats. Crime in America is a black thing. Period.

    It's not racism. It's not prejudice. They are quite simply the ones committing crimes.

    If there were o black people, obviously we would still have criminal. There would be robberies, rapes, murders.

    But the frequency with which blacks engage in criminality is so off the charts that it is pointless to discuss any other groups.

    Lessee 18 times more likely to commit Rape, based on stats. 7 times more likely than any other noticeable ethnic group to kill someone. And I can't remember the other numbers, but they similarly outsized.

    So yeah, doubling the number of people in prison would reduce crime.

    Release most of them, and you are going to see a repeat of the late 60's to 1980's crime rate which was a good bit higher than now.

    Aren’t the true numbers even worse as you are basing these stats off convicted criminals? Think of all the crimes blacks get away with….it’s astonishing

    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    "Aren’t the true numbers even worse as you are basing these stats off convicted criminals? Think of all the crimes blacks get away with….it’s astonishing"

    Yeah.

    I actually wonder what the Rape numbers really are. Somehow I think a lot of black women experience events that a white woman would call Rape, but never reports it to the police.

    Also it would be illuminating to know exactly how many murder cases are just a dead body, and the police never find lead one on.

    Take Chicago. Black man found dead in streets from multiple gunshot wounds. Some concerned media person never takes to the air to shed tears, or writes a heartbreaking op ed piece that strikes a chord.

    If there is no obvious place to start an investigation, how many man-hours and how much money is spent investigating it?
  50. @Alden
    Clyde Barrow and his friends served prison terms at hard labor very hard time before they went on their killing and robbery sprees. Hard labor didn’t reform them.

    Anecdotal. I think hard labor needs to be brought back en masse. Plus it would be a deterrent. Who the F wants to break rocks all day in the sun??

  51. @SnakeEyes
    Gladwell actually came across as being quite sensible in the interview, aside from the prison comment.

    - he was realistic and not hysterical about the mass shooting phenomenon;

    - he provided a valid, non-pejorative reason for preferring his home country to the United States;

    - he deftly resisted the softball opportunity to gratuitously insult Trump.

    Plus his reference to his genetic inheritance makes me wonder if he isn't aging into a more conservative world view.

    Gladwell has always been more conservative than assumed. He started at the American Spectator.

  52. Anonymous[182] • Disclaimer says:
    @HEL

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I’d really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.
     
    I always find this notion that there is some sort abstract ideal as to how many people should be in prison baffling. Perhaps you could make the argument why the population should come down instead of assuming it? America also has 40 million black people, something no other advanced country has to deal with. America has no real peers when it comes to criminal demographics amongst advanced nations, so it is frankly stupid to compare America to anywhere else. Also, the times in recent American history when the prison population was substantially lower than it is now, through an astonishing coincidence, happen to be times of spectacularly high crime. Charles Murray has made a rather simple graph showing the correlation between low prison populations and high crime over recent American history. That alone is a pretty compelling reason why the prison population shouldn't be reduced, though I admit it does little to address your lofty, abstract feeling that prisons are too populated and only impinges upon the lowly and irrelevant world of people being murdered, robbed and raped by antisocial thugs.

    I would say that America's prison population is almost certainly too low. Prisons should grow large enough to contain the criminal class. And we've still got plenty of those walking the streets. My take is simple--people with major antisocial tendencies should not be allowed to take part in conventional society. They do not deserve it, and it harms the rest of us. I see no reason why anyone who has committed serious violent crimes should be allowed to walk among civilized people until they are well after the prime of their lives, at which time they are likely no longer a threat. (Some still are even then, and I doubt they are difficult to identify. They should be locked up permanently.) Those who commit murder shouldn't be allowed to walk among us ever again. I would prefer serious criminals simply be exiled, but that is no longer a practical possibility. But of course prison is a sort of exile, and serves much the same purpose. And, contra what many libertarian and leftist fools will tell you, prisons are overwhelmingly filled with people with long rap sheets including a wide variety of serious crimes. Only a few percent are there for simple possession of drugs.


    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century.
     
    The idea of a fence or cage to restrain something dangerous extends back much further than, and that is ultimately much of what a prison is. And imprisoning someone has many of the same salutary effects as killing or exiling them, although it is not permanent. I agree that the notion of prisoners being reformed is for suckers. And yet this does not make prison ineffectual. Every day a criminal is in prison is a day he is not victimizing the general public. That is the primary purpose of imprisonment as far as I am concerned.

    Almost the only people in prison for the possession of drugs have violated their parole or probation, or have been in prison before for more serious offences. There are also a number of people who were actually dealing drugs but whom the DA chooses to charge with simple possession because it will be easier to prosecute. Basically no otherwise law abiding citizen will end up in prison for simply being caught with drugs for personal use.
    I imagine that Europeans are becoming a bit less sanctimonious about crime now that their demographics have shifted. Most of them used to truly believe that their countries had low crime rates simply due to the wisdom of their policies, and that Americans were receiving what they deserved for their ignorance, greed and bigotry.
    It’s a bit unfair to think prison is only weightlifting and jogging. There is also dominoes, card playing and television watching. And a fair amount of raking dirt.

  53. Manning took a while to develop though.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Took him even longer to win a SB.
  54. @J.Ross
    OT Genetic IQ Testing is Next to Worthless, says short-necked fox, especially when it was all some kind of stunt anyway
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/05/genetic-intelligence-tests-are-next-to-worthless/561392/

    I bring all this up because Erlich burst out laughing when I told him about my report and told me about his own.

    “I also get that on the left side,” he said. “Everything is cool. Many smart people end up there.”

    Erlich explained that he designed the program to make people cautious about the connection between genes and intelligence. All those disclaimers and notes that surrounded the bell curve were intended to show that these predictions are, in a sense, worse than just wrong. They’re practically meaningless.
     

    But there’s an even deeper illusion to my bell curve: The seeming precision is almost certainly wrong.

    Anyone who uses “Bell Curve” and “Precision” in the same phrase, is, of course, in a state of utter confusion.

    But Nazis are mentioned, so I guess it’s ok.

  55. “And if you read the academic study Malcolm cited, the obvious methodological flaw is that the authors measure late draft pick quarterbacks who made an impact in the NFL, such as Tom Brady, and thus should have been drafted higher, but not late draft pick QBs who turned out in training camp and the taxi squad to be as mediocre or even worse than expected and never got to play.

    But there weren’t a lot of academic studies debunking Malcolm’s full-court-press theory, because it was so obviously wrong that it would be hard to see much point in writing up a debunking before Malcolm got involved.”

    This is the first time I’ve noticed that Steve has gotten slightly annoyed in a post in a long time. Of course it would be because of the subject Malcolm Gladwell.

    Regarding daffy ideas in sports, however, to be consistent, substitute the name “Bill James” for Malcolm Gladwell when it comes to such ideas regarding changing the traditional strategy of MLB, AND without bothering to weigh in such relevant X factors (such as percentage of players taking PEDS for nearly a full generation, to cite one example). It would appear that Sabermetrics major theme is to minimize risk because “too great” a risk cannot possibly be worth the outcome.

    Example: Bill James has a major problem with pitchers tossing complete games. In the ’64, ’67, and ’68 WS, STL HOF P Bob Gibson threw 7 or 8 CG and won seven of nine decisions. And his arm did not fall off. In Bill James Sabermetrics, however, this would be considered too great a risk (pitching a complete game) for too little a reward (winning the WS). Didn’t STL understand that it really takes about 3-4 P’s to toss a nine inning game and not one? After all, Gibson was a known SO pitcher, and thus his pitch count was exorbitantly high. What exactly was STL thinking? And to do this in three separate WS no less, on only three days rest between starts. Goodness, was the reward for STL really worth the risk?

    HOF STL OF Lou Brock would also not fare well under sabermetrics, and why exactly is he in the HOF anyway? 938 career SB, so what? That is too great a risk to attempt to get in scoring position and achieve a run. Too great a risk for so little a reward. The accepted way is for the runner to patiently wait on 1B for nearly an entire inning until someone in the lineup hits a HR, or until a clean hit (e.g. double) can safely move him to 3B. To actually have a runner on first attempt to score is also a major no-no, as it involves too great a risk with little in the way of reward. Leading off the base may or may not be permitted by the runner; certainly he cannot lead off the base too far, since the risk of getting picked off the base is too great for so little a reward. The best lead for a baserunner is to wait until the count is 3-2. This minimizes the risk, as if the next pitch is ball four, then the runner didn’t risk anything (he’d be on 2B anyway). If it’s strike three, perhaps the C wouldn’t be so crass to throw the baserunner out, as this involves the risk of throwing into CF, and the baserunner winds up on 3B. Therefore both baserunner and C cannot afford to engage in risky behavior at the expense of so little a reward.

    But when it comes to pointing out such relevant factors as PEDS and their direct impact on MLB for nearly a generation, we tend to have gotten crickets chirping from the likes of James and his ilk. “Steroids? What steroids? Everyone knows they aren’t a factor at all whatsoever in impacting the outcome of a MLB game in the way that using 3-4 P’s are in a nine inning game.”

    Better to keep to the Narrative of Moneyball, and how such Jamesian factors helped OAK win division titles (although they didn’t progress very far in the AL postseason during the 2000’s).

    “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”–John Ford

    or, in the case of Sabermetrics and not taking into account PEDS,

    “Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence”–Carl Sagan

    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    "HOF STL OF Lou Brock would also not fare well under sabermetrics, and why exactly is he in the HOF anyway? 938 career SB, so what? That is too great a risk to attempt to get in scoring position and achieve a run. Too great a risk for so little a reward. The accepted way is for the runner to patiently wait on 1B for nearly an entire inning until someone in the lineup hits a HR, or until a clean hit (e.g. double) can safely move him to 3B. To actually have a runner on first attempt to score is also a major no-no, as it involves too great a risk with little in the way of reward. Leading off the base may or may not be permitted by the runner; certainly he cannot lead off the base too far, since the risk of getting picked off the base is too great for so little a reward. The best lead for a baserunner is to wait until the count is 3-2. This minimizes the risk, as if the next pitch is ball four, then the runner didn’t risk anything (he’d be on 2B anyway). If it’s strike three, perhaps the C wouldn’t be so crass to throw the baserunner out, as this involves the risk of throwing into CF, and the baserunner winds up on 3B. Therefore both baserunner and C cannot afford to engage in risky behavior at the expense of so little a reward."

    The unasked question about Sabermetrics is whether the game is as interesting to watch as it used to be.
    , @William Badwhite

    Better to keep to the Narrative of Moneyball, and how such Jamesian factors helped OAK win division titles (although they didn’t progress very far in the AL postseason during the 2000′s).
     
    I think one reason they didn't advance in the playoffs those years is that their offense was very one-dimensional: a bunch of guys fishing for walks or trying to hit home runs. That may work against the chaff pitching staffs in the league but in the postseason (facing the best pitching staffs) they find ways to shut you down. Baseball is a game of adjustments, followed by adjustments to the adjustments the opposition makes to your adjustments. They were unable to do that because most of their players were essentially the same guy: a fat/stocky guy fishing for walks or pitches he could crush.

    Moneyball made some good points, such as that teams often overpay for defense. Unfortunately the running plot - that Oakland could win by assembling an offense of fat guys that drew a lot of walks - didn't really prove true. The 2002 Oakland A's profiled finished 8th in the American League in runs scored (out of 14 teams).

    The reason Oakland won so many games that year is that they had the best pitching staff in the AL (by ERA). And that was a direct result of their starting pitching, which was a direct result of them having three outstanding starters (Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tim Hudson). They could afford these starters because they were all still on their first contracts (i.e. their salaries were artificially constrained by baseball's collective bargaining agreement). In 2002 Zito made $295,000, Mulder $875,000, and Hudson $800,000. Those three, had they been free to negotiate free market salaries, would have made orders of magnitude more. All three were established stars before the start of the 2002 season (in 2001 they combined for 56 wins).

    Lewis presumably realized that writing a book about how the easiest way to be competitive with a small payroll is have players that become really good while still on their first contracts (after which they became free agents you can no longer afford) would be stating the obvious and thus not very interesting.
    , @Faraday's Bobcat
    Brock had 3,000 hits. You have to get on base a lot to get 938 steals.
  56. @JohnnyWalker123
    Manning took a while to develop though.

    Took him even longer to win a SB.

  57. HEL says:

    The relationship between prison & crime is not so simple, and I would recommend reading William Stuntz “The Collapse of American Criminal Justice” on it. Charles Murray is right only in that during the 60s we had falling incarceration and rising crime, but the rise in incarceration preceded the fall in crime by decades and there was a particularly large fall in New York city even as their incarceration levels fell.

    Well yes, I doubt that incarceration rates are the exclusive, or even the primary cause in the changes in crime rate. The claims I usually see are around 20% of the reduction in recent memory is due to increased incarceration, though I admit I’m not prepared to evaluate the accuracy of such a claim. If that’s accurate though that’s equivalent to thousands of major crimes each year. And seeing as there’s little upside to releasing more prisoners, as far as I’m concerned, that’s way more than enough reason not to reduce it.

    Much more important than the rate of incarceration is the ratio of police to civilians, and New York has a particularly high ratio. During the Gilded Age (up until the great 60s freakout) northern cities like that tended to have relatively large numbers of police, low crime and low incarceration. The south had fewer police, more crime and more incarceration. Other parts of the country could follow New York in lowering both crime and incarceration.

    Police being allowed to actively police high crime areas currently seems more politically controversial than high incarceration to me. So this doesn’t strike me as a particularly practical alternative. Also, what would happen if we had both high numbers of police and incarcerated offenders at a high rate for long terms?

    Another book I’d recommend on that is Mark Kleiman’s “When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment”. The short version is that swiftness & certainty of punishment matter MUCH MUCH more than severity in terms of deterring crime. Incorrigible meth addict burglars shape up if they’re guaranteed to spend even a single day in jail as the result of not showing up for a random drug test or failing it. Unfortunately, our dysfunctional system usually gives parolees warning after warning (which they learn to ignore) before finally cracking down and giving them multi-year sentences.

    Well, simply locking up these “incorrigible meth addict burglars” in the first place, rather than putting them on probation or releasing them on parole would also prevent them from reoffending, would it not? I did not say and indeed do not believe that prison does much to deter crimes committed by those not currently imprisoned. But once imprisoned it limits the ways in which they can reoffend. Once again, this does not strike me as an either or situation. Imposing relatively severe sentences swiftly and regularly would also be quite effective I suspect. Though this does seem like a more practical area for compromise resulting in actual improvement with regards to certain types of offenders.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "Much more important than the rate of incarceration is the ratio of police to civilians, and New York has a particularly high ratio. During the Gilded Age (up until the great 60s freakout) northern cities like that tended to have relatively large numbers of police, low crime and low incarceration. The south had fewer police, more crime and more incarceration. "

    HEL, don't know which commenter's post you're quoting from, but anyways...

    The Gilded Age was during the late 19th century. Also, in the South there was a higher percentage of African-Americans living in the region compared to Northern Cities (up thru the 1920's before the great migration). Even from 1920's-1960's, blacks were a higher percentage in the South as a region of the US then they were in the other parts of the country.

    But the person quoted didn't really want to highlight the racial connection to violent crimes, did he? I'd suggest he read the book "The Color of Crime" to get a more thorough viewpoint regarding the nature of violent crime. Also, such socialists as W.E.B. DuBois was writing around turn of last century about how most of Philadelphia's violent crime offenders were largely African-American. Funny how that works.

  58. @Steve Sailer
    The guy who practiced golf for 6003 hours can break 80, but he just hates golf now.

    I had a co-worker who made it to play for a MLB team (first at bat in Majors was a triple, then got injured and released shortly after). I don’t know that he hated baseball, but he was at-best apathetic by the time I knew him.

  59. @HEL

    The relationship between prison & crime is not so simple, and I would recommend reading William Stuntz “The Collapse of American Criminal Justice” on it. Charles Murray is right only in that during the 60s we had falling incarceration and rising crime, but the rise in incarceration preceded the fall in crime by decades and there was a particularly large fall in New York city even as their incarceration levels fell.
     
    Well yes, I doubt that incarceration rates are the exclusive, or even the primary cause in the changes in crime rate. The claims I usually see are around 20% of the reduction in recent memory is due to increased incarceration, though I admit I'm not prepared to evaluate the accuracy of such a claim. If that's accurate though that's equivalent to thousands of major crimes each year. And seeing as there's little upside to releasing more prisoners, as far as I'm concerned, that's way more than enough reason not to reduce it.

    Much more important than the rate of incarceration is the ratio of police to civilians, and New York has a particularly high ratio. During the Gilded Age (up until the great 60s freakout) northern cities like that tended to have relatively large numbers of police, low crime and low incarceration. The south had fewer police, more crime and more incarceration. Other parts of the country could follow New York in lowering both crime and incarceration.

     

    Police being allowed to actively police high crime areas currently seems more politically controversial than high incarceration to me. So this doesn't strike me as a particularly practical alternative. Also, what would happen if we had both high numbers of police and incarcerated offenders at a high rate for long terms?

    Another book I’d recommend on that is Mark Kleiman’s “When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment”. The short version is that swiftness & certainty of punishment matter MUCH MUCH more than severity in terms of deterring crime. Incorrigible meth addict burglars shape up if they’re guaranteed to spend even a single day in jail as the result of not showing up for a random drug test or failing it. Unfortunately, our dysfunctional system usually gives parolees warning after warning (which they learn to ignore) before finally cracking down and giving them multi-year sentences.
     
    Well, simply locking up these "incorrigible meth addict burglars" in the first place, rather than putting them on probation or releasing them on parole would also prevent them from reoffending, would it not? I did not say and indeed do not believe that prison does much to deter crimes committed by those not currently imprisoned. But once imprisoned it limits the ways in which they can reoffend. Once again, this does not strike me as an either or situation. Imposing relatively severe sentences swiftly and regularly would also be quite effective I suspect. Though this does seem like a more practical area for compromise resulting in actual improvement with regards to certain types of offenders.

    “Much more important than the rate of incarceration is the ratio of police to civilians, and New York has a particularly high ratio. During the Gilded Age (up until the great 60s freakout) northern cities like that tended to have relatively large numbers of police, low crime and low incarceration. The south had fewer police, more crime and more incarceration. ”

    HEL, don’t know which commenter’s post you’re quoting from, but anyways…

    The Gilded Age was during the late 19th century. Also, in the South there was a higher percentage of African-Americans living in the region compared to Northern Cities (up thru the 1920’s before the great migration). Even from 1920’s-1960’s, blacks were a higher percentage in the South as a region of the US then they were in the other parts of the country.

    But the person quoted didn’t really want to highlight the racial connection to violent crimes, did he? I’d suggest he read the book “The Color of Crime” to get a more thorough viewpoint regarding the nature of violent crime. Also, such socialists as W.E.B. DuBois was writing around turn of last century about how most of Philadelphia’s violent crime offenders were largely African-American. Funny how that works.

  60. @Steve Sailer
    The guy who practiced golf for 6003 hours can break 80, but he just hates golf now.

    Back of the envelope calculation says I’m somewhere around 2500 hours of piano practice and I still enjoy it. Will that change once I pass 6000? Maybe, but my guess is no. I guess the difference is I figured out quick enough that even an infinite number of hours of practice wasn’t going to make me a great piano player. Perhaps the golfer held on to the illusion that 10 K hours was going to get him on the PGA tour.

    If I can ever play the piano as well as a single handicap golfer plays golf, I’ll be extremely happy.

  61. Q. Why do you not want to blame individuals?

    There are exactly two types of people whom, like Gladwell, don’t want to hold individuals responsible for their actions.

    Mushy-headed idiots who wouldn’t say boo to a goose.

    And their charlatan fellow-travellers who see obviating individual justice as a way to implement a regime of social justice, collective guilt and collective punishment – perfect for their psychotic power fantasies.

    The former need to be reminded that enabling the latter makes they themselves bad and ignorant people.

    “Oh, but I want to be nice…”

    #$%^!!!

  62. @Danindc
    Aren’t the true numbers even worse as you are basing these stats off convicted criminals? Think of all the crimes blacks get away with....it’s astonishing

    “Aren’t the true numbers even worse as you are basing these stats off convicted criminals? Think of all the crimes blacks get away with….it’s astonishing”

    Yeah.

    I actually wonder what the Rape numbers really are. Somehow I think a lot of black women experience events that a white woman would call Rape, but never reports it to the police.

    Also it would be illuminating to know exactly how many murder cases are just a dead body, and the police never find lead one on.

    Take Chicago. Black man found dead in streets from multiple gunshot wounds. Some concerned media person never takes to the air to shed tears, or writes a heartbreaking op ed piece that strikes a chord.

    If there is no obvious place to start an investigation, how many man-hours and how much money is spent investigating it?

    • Replies: @Danindc
    There’s also rampant sexual abuse of young boys in the ghetto. It’s complete chaos so predators have a field day. Very sad.
  63. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "And if you read the academic study Malcolm cited, the obvious methodological flaw is that the authors measure late draft pick quarterbacks who made an impact in the NFL, such as Tom Brady, and thus should have been drafted higher, but not late draft pick QBs who turned out in training camp and the taxi squad to be as mediocre or even worse than expected and never got to play.

    But there weren’t a lot of academic studies debunking Malcolm’s full-court-press theory, because it was so obviously wrong that it would be hard to see much point in writing up a debunking before Malcolm got involved."

    This is the first time I've noticed that Steve has gotten slightly annoyed in a post in a long time. Of course it would be because of the subject Malcolm Gladwell.

    Regarding daffy ideas in sports, however, to be consistent, substitute the name "Bill James" for Malcolm Gladwell when it comes to such ideas regarding changing the traditional strategy of MLB, AND without bothering to weigh in such relevant X factors (such as percentage of players taking PEDS for nearly a full generation, to cite one example). It would appear that Sabermetrics major theme is to minimize risk because "too great" a risk cannot possibly be worth the outcome.

    Example: Bill James has a major problem with pitchers tossing complete games. In the '64, '67, and '68 WS, STL HOF P Bob Gibson threw 7 or 8 CG and won seven of nine decisions. And his arm did not fall off. In Bill James Sabermetrics, however, this would be considered too great a risk (pitching a complete game) for too little a reward (winning the WS). Didn't STL understand that it really takes about 3-4 P's to toss a nine inning game and not one? After all, Gibson was a known SO pitcher, and thus his pitch count was exorbitantly high. What exactly was STL thinking? And to do this in three separate WS no less, on only three days rest between starts. Goodness, was the reward for STL really worth the risk?

    HOF STL OF Lou Brock would also not fare well under sabermetrics, and why exactly is he in the HOF anyway? 938 career SB, so what? That is too great a risk to attempt to get in scoring position and achieve a run. Too great a risk for so little a reward. The accepted way is for the runner to patiently wait on 1B for nearly an entire inning until someone in the lineup hits a HR, or until a clean hit (e.g. double) can safely move him to 3B. To actually have a runner on first attempt to score is also a major no-no, as it involves too great a risk with little in the way of reward. Leading off the base may or may not be permitted by the runner; certainly he cannot lead off the base too far, since the risk of getting picked off the base is too great for so little a reward. The best lead for a baserunner is to wait until the count is 3-2. This minimizes the risk, as if the next pitch is ball four, then the runner didn't risk anything (he'd be on 2B anyway). If it's strike three, perhaps the C wouldn't be so crass to throw the baserunner out, as this involves the risk of throwing into CF, and the baserunner winds up on 3B. Therefore both baserunner and C cannot afford to engage in risky behavior at the expense of so little a reward.

    But when it comes to pointing out such relevant factors as PEDS and their direct impact on MLB for nearly a generation, we tend to have gotten crickets chirping from the likes of James and his ilk. "Steroids? What steroids? Everyone knows they aren't a factor at all whatsoever in impacting the outcome of a MLB game in the way that using 3-4 P's are in a nine inning game."

    Better to keep to the Narrative of Moneyball, and how such Jamesian factors helped OAK win division titles (although they didn't progress very far in the AL postseason during the 2000's).

    "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend"--John Ford

    or, in the case of Sabermetrics and not taking into account PEDS,

    "Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence"--Carl Sagan

    “HOF STL OF Lou Brock would also not fare well under sabermetrics, and why exactly is he in the HOF anyway? 938 career SB, so what? That is too great a risk to attempt to get in scoring position and achieve a run. Too great a risk for so little a reward. The accepted way is for the runner to patiently wait on 1B for nearly an entire inning until someone in the lineup hits a HR, or until a clean hit (e.g. double) can safely move him to 3B. To actually have a runner on first attempt to score is also a major no-no, as it involves too great a risk with little in the way of reward. Leading off the base may or may not be permitted by the runner; certainly he cannot lead off the base too far, since the risk of getting picked off the base is too great for so little a reward. The best lead for a baserunner is to wait until the count is 3-2. This minimizes the risk, as if the next pitch is ball four, then the runner didn’t risk anything (he’d be on 2B anyway). If it’s strike three, perhaps the C wouldn’t be so crass to throw the baserunner out, as this involves the risk of throwing into CF, and the baserunner winds up on 3B. Therefore both baserunner and C cannot afford to engage in risky behavior at the expense of so little a reward.”

    The unasked question about Sabermetrics is whether the game is as interesting to watch as it used to be.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    If you ask the Owners, they will simply look at their bottom line, and say "Yes, of course it is."

    If you look at general demographic trends then the answer is no, as MLB has fewer and fewer fans who attend games below age 45. Also the game itself is becoming less and less a white game and more Latino. Over time, the composition of the fan base as well as demographics will bear this out.

    When Bill James started out in the mid. '70's, MLB was still very much the king of sports (though with strong competition from the NFL) both in attendance and in TV ratings. The late '70's WS games on the Networks averaged higher ratings as percentage of overall total US viewers than they ever have, especially when compared to now.

    Reality shows such as new episodes such as the Kardashians could easily outdraw the WS, IF it were heavily marketed and with just the right amount of controversy. 'What's Kim going to say to Kanye about...?', 'What's this rumor about Kaitlyn making a special appearance with a special friend?', etc.

    In the late '90's, MLB made a brief comeback in ratings and fan attendance largely due to the prodigious HR's hit by McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, etc. when the public found out the truth, that this was largely fueled by PEDS and that Commissioner looked the other way, the ratings plummeted. What MLB would need this time to make a lasting comeback in ratings and more fans would be something different. To perhaps gain back a healthy percentage of its fan base, what MLB may need is to return to its rowdy roots of yore. HOF NY Manager John McGraw came to prominence early in his career as an instigator as well as an on the field fighter of other players, even umpires. One of his nicknames was "Mugsy." Magillas, Brohahas, constant fights on the field, (like in the NHL). Was always interesting wherever he went. And it worked to bring fans out in droves to the ballparks. Also, it greatly helped that for all his on field intensity, McGraw was a winning manager, perhaps one of the NL's greatest of all time during the 20th century.

    More action, more intensity, even...some on field fights, and interesting pennant races (down to the wire/last game of the season) would go a long way toward recovering some of MLB's lost ratings, attendance figures, and hopefully, recapture some of the younger non-people of color demographics.








    Compared to that constant drama/action, the World Series doesn't stand a chance anymore.
    , @megabar
    > The unasked question about Sabermetrics is whether the game is as interesting to watch as it used to be.

    I agree that this is a good question. But I certainly don't blame the sabermetricians -- they're just trying to win. If the best way to win is to play in a way that is uninteresting, the onus is on the owners to change the game so that it becomes interesting again.

    In baseball, beyond reducing the idle time between pitches, rules should be changed so that there are fewer walks, strikeouts, foul balls, pitching changes, conferences, and throws to first. None of those are particularly interesting when they are at modern levels.
  64. @Anonymous
    Malcolm Gladwell just isn't especially smart, but he knows how to say what people want to hear.

    So he makes a good living.

    Exactly. This also describes how most people rise to the top of corporate Amerikkka. It’s a similar phenomenon to how the feckless Negro thug who is nonetheless a smooth talker with females winds up often more successful (more sex and more offspring) than far superior males (better genes, better providers, etc.).

    See also cockroaches vs. humans.

    Evolution is not a meritocracy that promotes and rewards the best in any meaningful sense we might recognize. It just rewards the best at the brutal game, red in tooth and claw. Intellect, worth, etc. count for nothing.

  65. @Steve Sailer
    The guy who practiced golf for 6003 hours can break 80, but he just hates golf now.

    I knew a few virtuoso musicians in high school and college. They were mostly bored by music the same way you or I might be bored by colouring books or other easy activities. It takes a special, rare balance to be inventive enough to develop your own style (of music, golfing…whatever) thus preventing the ironic boredom or downright contempt of mastering the activity. A lot more bored or jaded virtuosos than Chris Squires and Arnold Palmers are out there.

  66. @J.Ross
    OT Genetic IQ Testing is Next to Worthless, says short-necked fox, especially when it was all some kind of stunt anyway
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/05/genetic-intelligence-tests-are-next-to-worthless/561392/

    I bring all this up because Erlich burst out laughing when I told him about my report and told me about his own.

    “I also get that on the left side,” he said. “Everything is cool. Many smart people end up there.”

    Erlich explained that he designed the program to make people cautious about the connection between genes and intelligence. All those disclaimers and notes that surrounded the bell curve were intended to show that these predictions are, in a sense, worse than just wrong. They’re practically meaningless.
     

    Looking at the graph in the article it compares his genetic intelligence to other DNA Land users, not the entire population. Wouldn’t that skew the results anyway?

    • Agree: res
  67. @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I’d really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Every time Dontavius gets limited by the oppressor whitey Man he turns out to have a rap sheet the length of my arm. So it really seems like the poor dears still get away with a lot, not even counting the stuff that for whatever reason hasn’t passed through the system and into record.

    My favorite for the moment might be Anthony Stokes. I don’t think he ever went to prison.

    Doctors rebuffed Stokes [who demanded a heart transplant] because he had a “history of noncompliance,” and they did not think he would take his medications or show up for follow-up appointments, Stokes’ mother said. The hospital changed its mind after his mother accused doctors of punishing her son for a history of run-ins with the law.

    Flash forward two years: Stokes on Tuesday afternoon crashed a stolen car while being pursued by police in Roswell, Georgia, department spokeswoman Lisa Holland told NBC News. Firefighters got him out of the car, and he later died at a hospital.

    Holland said Stokes is linked to a home break-in that happened before the crash. She said an 81-year-old woman reported that a person had entered her house wearing a mask and fired gunshots at her.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/anthony-stokes-teen-who-got-heart-transplant-dies-car-chase-n334001

  68. @TGGP
    The relationship between prison & crime is not so simple, and I would recommend reading William Stuntz "The Collapse of American Criminal Justice" on it. Charles Murray is right only in that during the 60s we had falling incarceration and rising crime, but the rise in incarceration preceded the fall in crime by decades and there was a particularly large fall in New York city even as their incarceration levels fell. Much more important than the rate of incarceration is the ratio of police to civilians, and New York has a particularly high ratio. During the Gilded Age (up until the great 60s freakout) northern cities like that tended to have relatively large numbers of police, low crime and low incarceration. The south had fewer police, more crime and more incarceration. Other parts of the country could follow New York in lowering both crime and incarceration. Another book I'd recommend on that is Mark Kleiman's "When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment". The short version is that swiftness & certainty of punishment matter MUCH MUCH more than severity in terms of deterring crime. Incorrigible meth addict burglars shape up if they're guaranteed to spend even a single day in jail as the result of not showing up for a random drug test or failing it. Unfortunately, our dysfunctional system usually gives parolees warning after warning (which they learn to ignore) before finally cracking down and giving them multi-year sentences.

    Yes.

    And when Gladwell says

    prison is an idea that was invented a couple thousand years ago

    he is surely being ahistorical.

    Punishment has typically meant execution – often in catastrophically unpleasant ways – or exile and/or forfeiture of assets, including often those of family, for crimes deemed a threat to society. Steal a handkerchief in Victorian Britain and one risked being sent to Australia – if you were lucky.

    Even early modern reformers – Mill’s Panopticon – saw prisoners as being in a kind of purgatory.

    Gladwell’s apparent idea that crime is simply a result of wrong-think that – people being wet robots – can be easily corrected is, historically speaking, very new.

    The fate of Volkert van der Graaf must surely gladden the heart of Gladwell but it is barely conceivable in any prior period in history:

    The killer of the charismatic, gay, anti-Islam Dutch politician Kim Fortuyn was released in 2014 after just 12 years in prison and had the chutzpah to successfully demand that he be further freed from travel restrictions and wearing an electronic bracelet.

  69. @Steve Sailer
    The guy who practiced golf for 6003 hours can break 80, but he just hates golf now.

    Only 4000 hours to go before we know the outcome!

  70. @JimB
    You'd think with all the thousands of hours they have on their hands, homeless people in SF would take up golf on the public greens, working their way out of poverty and onto the PGA circuit.

    San Francisco should thus institute a program of giving free golfing equipment to the homeless.

    • Replies: @JimB
    I once saw a homeless guy outside the Twitter building on Market St lugging a full set of club. It’s not like this idea just popped into my head.
  71. In 2005, Gary North of LewRockwell.com wrote a piece about prisons, and how he ministers to prisoners. Here’s an excerpt:

    This weekend, I will be dealing with men who may have committed theft. If I were able to offer them the following option, do you think they would take it?

    First, you can serve your time here. Second, you will be released tomorrow, on this basis: you will pay your victims 25% of everything you earn until you have paid twice the value of what you stole from them, plus interest. If you fail to pay or attempt to flee, you will be put back in here for twice your original term.

    I don’t have to guess. I know what 99% of them would choose: option #1.

    Now think of the arrangement from the victim’s point of view. He has two choices:

    (1) Pay his share of the $50,000 a year it takes to house the thief, or (2) get double his money back plus a tax refund for his share of the saved housing money for the remainder of the man’s term.

    This decision is called a no-brainer.

    Unfortunately, the people who designed the prison system preferred to collect taxes and cheat the victims.

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2005/09/gary-north/abolish-prisons/

  72. @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    More non asian minority diversity means you need more prisons. We need to grease the school to prison highway to get the criminally inclined culled early. Otoh..

    I am with you on extending executions and replacing much incarceration with death penalties. Get and gig them early, hopefully before they breed.

  73. @Dave Pinsen

    I mean, prison is an idea that was invented a couple thousand years ago.
     
    Is this even true? There's no prison sentences mentioned in the code of Hammurabi, for example. Are they mentioned in any other ancient laws? Prisons seem like an expensive institution that an ancient king wouldn't be enthusiastic about paying for, when he could have criminals fined, maimed, sold into slavery, or put to death -- all of which would be much cheaper and easier than imprisoning them for years.
  74. I mean, prison is an idea that was invented a couple thousand years ago.

    Not really. There have always been places where criminals or enemies of the ruler were locked up, but it was generally till trial. At that trial the punishment was almost never a return to prison for a specified period, it was execution, enslavement, mutilation, transportation, etc.

    The idea of the normal punishment for crime being imprisonment in a special facility is little more than 200 years old.

  75. Anon[415] • Disclaimer says:
    @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    Wow, a burst of common sense rather than the usual “too right, mate” pile-on?

    I’d add that Americans are also taken aback by the “light” sentences and “easy” conditions in Euro prisons. Due to the high numbers of AAs in American prisons, they have been transformed from conditions of enforced meditation, such as produced Abelard, Thoreau or Genet, into 24/7 anal rape-fests.

  76. @Lot
    We should keep locking people up until my grandmother can safely walk through any neighborhood at night alone and fraudsters based in the USA stop spamming my phone and email.

    The incarceration rate in any event has been declining for years.

    The incarceration rate appears to have peaked in 2008 at around 750. We’re now down to about 700, which is about where we were in 2000.

    The numbers are approximate, as there are a lot of conflicting stats out there.

  77. @Dave Pinsen

    I mean, prison is an idea that was invented a couple thousand years ago.
     
    Is this even true? There's no prison sentences mentioned in the code of Hammurabi, for example. Are they mentioned in any other ancient laws? Prisons seem like an expensive institution that an ancient king wouldn't be enthusiastic about paying for, when he could have criminals fined, maimed, sold into slavery, or put to death -- all of which would be much cheaper and easier than imprisoning them for years.

    Christ, don’t you right-wingers read the Bible? Joseph, hello?

  78. @Clifford Brown
    Canada is over 90% White and Asian, making Canada by that metric, demographically on par with such mean streets as the City of Irvine and Palo Alto, California. It is hardly a surprise then that Malcolm Gladwell is not overly concerned with crime. To the extent there is a high crime minority group in Canada, they tend to be located in the far flung Yukon Territory and Nunavut, far away from the streets of the ever tolerant and ever good Toronto.

    It's strange how "open borders" Canada on a percentage basis has 50% fewer Blacks and 60% fewer Latinos than that old ice box up there in Alaska. How is that even possible? Despite the lectures from Trudeau, Idaho has a higher percentage of its population that is Black and Latino than Canada. Think about that.

    Almost makes you think that Canada actually has an immigration policy that keeps out certain groups. Surely, that can't be the case?

    Obviously Canadians never found they could get value out of black slaves the way Confederate state Americans could and they have never caught up. But…. why haven’t more American blacks just kept on migrating north into Canada? What Canadian laws have made it unfeasible? How difficult would it be and how long would it take for any American to become qualifies for Canadian welfare? And presumably higher minimum wages?

    • Replies: @Sleep
    Canada's immigration procedure is very difficult .... And has a lot of absolute disqualifiers. If you have medical problems that will cost the state more money than the average native-born Canadian, for example, you automatically lose. Thus half of America is disqualified. All in all, the Canadian immigration authorities are not easy to fool. An exception is their asylum system .... some American blacks have actually been approved for asylum in Canada by walking all the way to Winnipeg on foot and thus separating themselves from any easy means of going back. However, I think even these are mostly or entirely immigrants from Africa to the US who found the US to be a false paradise after a few years. Someone born in Detroit could not pull off the same trick by walking to Windsor.
  79. Gladwell sounds like the Freud of Frederick Crews’ Freud: The Making of an Illusion.

  80. Of course I rely on anecdotal evidence and simplify things; that’s what it means to be a popular writer. In some sense, that criticism is not a criticism. It’s a description.

    He does more than just simplify things. He dumbs things down to the point of dishonesty and irrelevancy.

    He sells pablum at wholesale prices.

    Malcolm Gladwell’s popularity is clear evidence of a civilization in free fall.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Gladwell's big problem is not that he oversimplifies things. The New Yorker gives him a lot of space to go into detail and he often has interesting things to say.

    Gladwell's problem is that he often gets things wrong. (Not always by any means. For example, he was saying maybe 8 years ago that high school football would likely fade dramatically due to the concussion problem. That may or may not happen, but it could happen and he was about the first one to say it.)

    The bigger problem is that our culture isn't attuned to the idea that being wrong is a problem. Instead, Gladwell gets criticized, as here, for "over-simplifying" as if his problem is only being a little bit wrong and that's because he's not detailed enough. No, Malcolm's problem is that he often get his main idea wrong and he gets it really wrong.

    Further, the orthodoxy is that the only way anybody can tell if an idea is wrong is if some academics published a study of the question so Malcolm's fault must be not paying enough attention to academics. But in reality he pays too much attention to academics and doesn't rely on fairly simple reality checking enough.

    Say you come up with the idea that an underdog basketball team without enough athletic team should press full court. How can you test this without doing a giant statistical study? Well, you can start making examples of pressing college team and see what they had in common: John Wooden's UCLA teams with Jabbar and then Walton, Phi Slamma Jamma with Olajuwon and Drexler, Rick Pitino's One and Done teams at UK: they're all ultra-athletic.

    But our culture has had a very hard time figuring out that that's Gladwell's problem: not doing that kind of simple testing using obvious examples.

  81. @lavoisier

    Of course I rely on anecdotal evidence and simplify things; that’s what it means to be a popular writer. In some sense, that criticism is not a criticism. It’s a description.
     
    He does more than just simplify things. He dumbs things down to the point of dishonesty and irrelevancy.

    He sells pablum at wholesale prices.

    Malcolm Gladwell's popularity is clear evidence of a civilization in free fall.

    Gladwell’s big problem is not that he oversimplifies things. The New Yorker gives him a lot of space to go into detail and he often has interesting things to say.

    Gladwell’s problem is that he often gets things wrong. (Not always by any means. For example, he was saying maybe 8 years ago that high school football would likely fade dramatically due to the concussion problem. That may or may not happen, but it could happen and he was about the first one to say it.)

    The bigger problem is that our culture isn’t attuned to the idea that being wrong is a problem. Instead, Gladwell gets criticized, as here, for “over-simplifying” as if his problem is only being a little bit wrong and that’s because he’s not detailed enough. No, Malcolm’s problem is that he often get his main idea wrong and he gets it really wrong.

    Further, the orthodoxy is that the only way anybody can tell if an idea is wrong is if some academics published a study of the question so Malcolm’s fault must be not paying enough attention to academics. But in reality he pays too much attention to academics and doesn’t rely on fairly simple reality checking enough.

    Say you come up with the idea that an underdog basketball team without enough athletic team should press full court. How can you test this without doing a giant statistical study? Well, you can start making examples of pressing college team and see what they had in common: John Wooden’s UCLA teams with Jabbar and then Walton, Phi Slamma Jamma with Olajuwon and Drexler, Rick Pitino’s One and Done teams at UK: they’re all ultra-athletic.

    But our culture has had a very hard time figuring out that that’s Gladwell’s problem: not doing that kind of simple testing using obvious examples.

    • Replies: @lavoisier
    Good point and true.

    Perhaps it would be better to say that he complicates things unnecessarily in order to tell lies and make people believe in things that are not true?

    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    This is solid-gold analysis, Steve. You should do yourself a favor and promote it to a regular post.

    Once a culture has given up the idea of a standard of right and wrong that lies outside human invention, all sorts of hell breaks loose. The lack of accountability for someone like Malcolm Gladwell is just one manifestation.

  82. Prisons are a modern invention , not even hundreds of years old. incarceration as a form of criminal punishment is a recent episode in Anglo-American jurisprudence. They had little need for prisons when the penalty for stealing horses was death, usually within days of being caught. The early settlers in America would even execute those caught in the act of fornication or adultery in addition to sexual assault and stealing…No need for prisons when most criminals were swiftly puckish with death or a whipping. The most common sentence of the colonial era was a fine or a whipping,

    In 1829 the first modern prison opened in Philadelphia, The Eastern State Penitentiary is considered to be the world’s first true penitentiary. Eastern State’s revolutionary system of incarceration, dubbed the “Pennsylvania system” was designed to rehabilitate prisoners….The Pennsylvania System was opposed contemporaneously by the Auburn system (also known as the New York system), which held that prisoners should be forced to work, and could be subjected to physical punishment.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    No they're not. The Romans had prisons, and that dates back nearly 2,000 yrs ago. The French had the Bastille, which dates back centuries. July 14th in France, Bastille Day (hello?), when French commoners stormed the Bastille, which was a prisonhouse. Why did they storm it? To set free commoners being imprisoned there. Granted, it was mainly empty at the time, but the point remains. The Tower of London served as a prison. Sir Thomas More during the 1530's spent over a year there, imprisoned. And that's nearly half a millennium. Something called dungeons date back to Europe's dark ages. Prisons certainly existed, and for hardened criminals as well as petty thievery. The idea was that if the crime didn't quite merit the death penalty, well, then the criminal would languish the rest of his life in jail. Depending on the prison, for commoners it was Bread and water, perhaps being chained up, a cot, no outhouse, no medical attention. In theory for the crime of debt, if a prisoner could pay the fine, he could be released. In theory. Most couldn't and so in jail they stayed. Author Charles Dickens' father died in debtor's prison.

    "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"--Ebeneezer Scrooge

    If you mean the concept of rehabilitation of prisoners in order to make them productive members of society upon their release, then yes, that idea goes back to about the late 18th/early 19th century.
  83. @Steve Sailer
    Gladwell's big problem is not that he oversimplifies things. The New Yorker gives him a lot of space to go into detail and he often has interesting things to say.

    Gladwell's problem is that he often gets things wrong. (Not always by any means. For example, he was saying maybe 8 years ago that high school football would likely fade dramatically due to the concussion problem. That may or may not happen, but it could happen and he was about the first one to say it.)

    The bigger problem is that our culture isn't attuned to the idea that being wrong is a problem. Instead, Gladwell gets criticized, as here, for "over-simplifying" as if his problem is only being a little bit wrong and that's because he's not detailed enough. No, Malcolm's problem is that he often get his main idea wrong and he gets it really wrong.

    Further, the orthodoxy is that the only way anybody can tell if an idea is wrong is if some academics published a study of the question so Malcolm's fault must be not paying enough attention to academics. But in reality he pays too much attention to academics and doesn't rely on fairly simple reality checking enough.

    Say you come up with the idea that an underdog basketball team without enough athletic team should press full court. How can you test this without doing a giant statistical study? Well, you can start making examples of pressing college team and see what they had in common: John Wooden's UCLA teams with Jabbar and then Walton, Phi Slamma Jamma with Olajuwon and Drexler, Rick Pitino's One and Done teams at UK: they're all ultra-athletic.

    But our culture has had a very hard time figuring out that that's Gladwell's problem: not doing that kind of simple testing using obvious examples.

    Good point and true.

    Perhaps it would be better to say that he complicates things unnecessarily in order to tell lies and make people believe in things that are not true?

  84. @Polynikes
    Obviously, Gladwell isn't bright. Take basketball....Bob knight --probably the greatest strategic/tactical coach of all time--used to tell Rick Pitino (famous pressing coach) that the press only favored the athletically and instinctively dominate team. The kicker being that if you have that team you're at an advantage with any style. Pitino, being a great recruiter, continued to use it pretty successfully. Of course, he flamed out in the pro's where the talent was more equal.

    In other words, Gladwell;s advice is completely the opposite of what is successful.

    When Bob Knight was fired from Texas Tech, for a couple years he went on to be a color guy for ESPN college basketball. He was an order of magnitude better at describing what was happening on the court than any other person in any sport I’d ever heard. It wasn’t hard for me to see why he was so successful at coaching.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    Knight resigned at Texas Tech in February 2008. At the time no one suggested that the resignation was forced, but a voluntary mid-season retirement is odd.
  85. @Wizard of Oz
    Obviously Canadians never found they could get value out of black slaves the way Confederate state Americans could and they have never caught up. But.... why haven't more American blacks just kept on migrating north into Canada? What Canadian laws have made it unfeasible? How difficult would it be and how long would it take for any American to become qualifies for Canadian welfare? And presumably higher minimum wages?

    Canada’s immigration procedure is very difficult …. And has a lot of absolute disqualifiers. If you have medical problems that will cost the state more money than the average native-born Canadian, for example, you automatically lose. Thus half of America is disqualified. All in all, the Canadian immigration authorities are not easy to fool. An exception is their asylum system …. some American blacks have actually been approved for asylum in Canada by walking all the way to Winnipeg on foot and thus separating themselves from any easy means of going back. However, I think even these are mostly or entirely immigrants from Africa to the US who found the US to be a false paradise after a few years. Someone born in Detroit could not pull off the same trick by walking to Windsor.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute

    Someone born in Detroit could not pull off the same trick by walking to Windsor.
     
    Well.. You never could walk the tunnel. And while you could walk the Ambassador bridge, nobody did it since there’s nothing worth doing within walking distance and it’s been prohibited since 9/11. So your example would need to walk across the river. And I’m pretty sure anyone who could walk atop the Detroit River would be acceptable as an immigrant in Canada.
  86. @Barnard

    My criticism of Gladwell’s work has always been that while he’s good at finding and promoting interesting ideas, he’s weak at reality-testing these ideas.
     
    Have any of these interesting ideas been good? Some of the answers in this interview are so glib it would be believable as parody. The examples you cite are so bad they don't need to be tested, especially the idea that less talented teams in basketball should full court press. Why does anyone still care what Gladwell has to say?

    “Why does anyone still care what Malcolm Gladwell has to say?”

    For the same reason a community organizer/asbestos remover was twice elected POTUS.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute

    “Why does anyone still care what Malcolm Gladwell has to say?”

    For the same reason a community organizer/asbestos remover was twice elected POTUS.
     
    Ah, finally! And it took only 87 comments to get the correct answer. “Magic Negro!”
  87. @Alden
    Great post. Crime goes up and down according to the prison population.

    As soon as the useful idiot intellectuals succeed in lenient sentencing and lenient parole crime soars because the criminals are out robbing killing raping the rest of us.

    After some years the population gets fed up with runaway crime. 3 strikes laws, strict sentencing and no parole laws are passed

    The criminals are sent back to prison and crime goes way way down

    The truth is, just a few people commit all the crimes. It’s really noticeable in towns with less than 300,000 population. Send 3 carjackers or 3 business premise burglars to prison for a long time and those crimes go way down. It’s amazing when someone is arrested and you look at their record. 30 arrests, 12 convictions is normal

    Google Golden State Rapist. He was just caught through DNA. He committed 50 rapes and 12 murders. That’s just one person.

    That criminal is a retired police officer. He committed all those murders and rapes while a serving police officer. He’s White,

    At one time the sentence for homicide in California was 7 years, 3 & 1/2 for good behavior. At the same time the sentence for rape in counties with liberal judges was 3 weeks in a mental health clinic for evaluation and then probation. That was for black rapists.
    The minuscule number of White rapists served a year or so.

    The best crime prevention is let the demographic that produces the highest percentage of criminals have free abortions.

    Abortion is the biggest and most effective method of crime prevention

    The Golden State Rapist worked as a police officer from 76 to 79. He was fired for shoplifting. His history after that is sketchy but I have no knowledge of him retiring as a police officer

  88. @Alden
    Clyde Barrow and his friends served prison terms at hard labor very hard time before they went on their killing and robbery sprees. Hard labor didn’t reform them.

    Clyde was very small and was repeatedly raped by a much larger sadistic prisoner that had coverage from the wicked, corrupt prison warden. Clyde committed his first murder when he finally offed the aforementioned rapist with the help of a trustee inmate.

    Thereafter, Clyde swore to never return to prison and developed a deep-seated hatred of all law enforcement.

  89. @Lot
    No, still enjoying an extended adolescence into my 30s.

    I thought you were in your 60’s.

    • Replies: @Lot
    Hahaha.
  90. @Sunbeam
    "HOF STL OF Lou Brock would also not fare well under sabermetrics, and why exactly is he in the HOF anyway? 938 career SB, so what? That is too great a risk to attempt to get in scoring position and achieve a run. Too great a risk for so little a reward. The accepted way is for the runner to patiently wait on 1B for nearly an entire inning until someone in the lineup hits a HR, or until a clean hit (e.g. double) can safely move him to 3B. To actually have a runner on first attempt to score is also a major no-no, as it involves too great a risk with little in the way of reward. Leading off the base may or may not be permitted by the runner; certainly he cannot lead off the base too far, since the risk of getting picked off the base is too great for so little a reward. The best lead for a baserunner is to wait until the count is 3-2. This minimizes the risk, as if the next pitch is ball four, then the runner didn’t risk anything (he’d be on 2B anyway). If it’s strike three, perhaps the C wouldn’t be so crass to throw the baserunner out, as this involves the risk of throwing into CF, and the baserunner winds up on 3B. Therefore both baserunner and C cannot afford to engage in risky behavior at the expense of so little a reward."

    The unasked question about Sabermetrics is whether the game is as interesting to watch as it used to be.

    If you ask the Owners, they will simply look at their bottom line, and say “Yes, of course it is.”

    If you look at general demographic trends then the answer is no, as MLB has fewer and fewer fans who attend games below age 45. Also the game itself is becoming less and less a white game and more Latino. Over time, the composition of the fan base as well as demographics will bear this out.

    When Bill James started out in the mid. ’70’s, MLB was still very much the king of sports (though with strong competition from the NFL) both in attendance and in TV ratings. The late ’70’s WS games on the Networks averaged higher ratings as percentage of overall total US viewers than they ever have, especially when compared to now.

    Reality shows such as new episodes such as the Kardashians could easily outdraw the WS, IF it were heavily marketed and with just the right amount of controversy. ‘What’s Kim going to say to Kanye about…?’, ‘What’s this rumor about Kaitlyn making a special appearance with a special friend?’, etc.

    In the late ’90’s, MLB made a brief comeback in ratings and fan attendance largely due to the prodigious HR’s hit by McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, etc. when the public found out the truth, that this was largely fueled by PEDS and that Commissioner looked the other way, the ratings plummeted. What MLB would need this time to make a lasting comeback in ratings and more fans would be something different. To perhaps gain back a healthy percentage of its fan base, what MLB may need is to return to its rowdy roots of yore. HOF NY Manager John McGraw came to prominence early in his career as an instigator as well as an on the field fighter of other players, even umpires. One of his nicknames was “Mugsy.” Magillas, Brohahas, constant fights on the field, (like in the NHL). Was always interesting wherever he went. And it worked to bring fans out in droves to the ballparks. Also, it greatly helped that for all his on field intensity, McGraw was a winning manager, perhaps one of the NL’s greatest of all time during the 20th century.

    More action, more intensity, even…some on field fights, and interesting pennant races (down to the wire/last game of the season) would go a long way toward recovering some of MLB’s lost ratings, attendance figures, and hopefully, recapture some of the younger non-people of color demographics.

    Compared to that constant drama/action, the World Series doesn’t stand a chance anymore.

  91. @Travis
    Prisons are a modern invention , not even hundreds of years old. incarceration as a form of criminal punishment is a recent episode in Anglo-American jurisprudence. They had little need for prisons when the penalty for stealing horses was death, usually within days of being caught. The early settlers in America would even execute those caught in the act of fornication or adultery in addition to sexual assault and stealing...No need for prisons when most criminals were swiftly puckish with death or a whipping. The most common sentence of the colonial era was a fine or a whipping,

    In 1829 the first modern prison opened in Philadelphia, The Eastern State Penitentiary is considered to be the world's first true penitentiary. Eastern State's revolutionary system of incarceration, dubbed the "Pennsylvania system" was designed to rehabilitate prisoners....The Pennsylvania System was opposed contemporaneously by the Auburn system (also known as the New York system), which held that prisoners should be forced to work, and could be subjected to physical punishment.

    No they’re not. The Romans had prisons, and that dates back nearly 2,000 yrs ago. The French had the Bastille, which dates back centuries. July 14th in France, Bastille Day (hello?), when French commoners stormed the Bastille, which was a prisonhouse. Why did they storm it? To set free commoners being imprisoned there. Granted, it was mainly empty at the time, but the point remains. The Tower of London served as a prison. Sir Thomas More during the 1530’s spent over a year there, imprisoned. And that’s nearly half a millennium. Something called dungeons date back to Europe’s dark ages. Prisons certainly existed, and for hardened criminals as well as petty thievery. The idea was that if the crime didn’t quite merit the death penalty, well, then the criminal would languish the rest of his life in jail. Depending on the prison, for commoners it was Bread and water, perhaps being chained up, a cot, no outhouse, no medical attention. In theory for the crime of debt, if a prisoner could pay the fine, he could be released. In theory. Most couldn’t and so in jail they stayed. Author Charles Dickens’ father died in debtor’s prison.

    “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”–Ebeneezer Scrooge

    If you mean the concept of rehabilitation of prisoners in order to make them productive members of society upon their release, then yes, that idea goes back to about the late 18th/early 19th century.

    • Replies: @Bernardo Pizzaro Cortez Del Castro
    The bastille held political prisoners who opposed the king , not common criminals. Common criminals were quickly executed until modern times.
    , @Jack Hanson
    Were Roman prisons where they held you before you went and fought the lions with your bare hands?

    Lots of disingenuous conflating of "places to hold you before you suffered a gory death" with "prison".
  92. @Alden
    Great post. Crime goes up and down according to the prison population.

    As soon as the useful idiot intellectuals succeed in lenient sentencing and lenient parole crime soars because the criminals are out robbing killing raping the rest of us.

    After some years the population gets fed up with runaway crime. 3 strikes laws, strict sentencing and no parole laws are passed

    The criminals are sent back to prison and crime goes way way down

    The truth is, just a few people commit all the crimes. It’s really noticeable in towns with less than 300,000 population. Send 3 carjackers or 3 business premise burglars to prison for a long time and those crimes go way down. It’s amazing when someone is arrested and you look at their record. 30 arrests, 12 convictions is normal

    Google Golden State Rapist. He was just caught through DNA. He committed 50 rapes and 12 murders. That’s just one person.

    That criminal is a retired police officer. He committed all those murders and rapes while a serving police officer. He’s White,

    At one time the sentence for homicide in California was 7 years, 3 & 1/2 for good behavior. At the same time the sentence for rape in counties with liberal judges was 3 weeks in a mental health clinic for evaluation and then probation. That was for black rapists.
    The minuscule number of White rapists served a year or so.

    The best crime prevention is let the demographic that produces the highest percentage of criminals have free abortions.

    Abortion is the biggest and most effective method of crime prevention

    just a few people commit all the crimes

    In 1984 I was standing outside a judge’s chambers in cowtown California when I heard a prosecutor say, “you let me take ten guys off the street and I’ll wipe out 80% of the crime in this city.”

  93. @Alden
    Police are a recent 19th century development in Britain but not in the continent. Many French German Italian low country towns have records of police going back to 1200.

    Do you have a relevant cite? I’m curious what these police did. There have been Sheriffs in England for a really long time, for example, but they were not like modern police.

  94. @J.Ross
    I actually stopped reading a Gladwell book because I felt like I was being condescended to by a child (and because nothing unique or interesting was going on). How does anyone find his writing to be tolerable? That book had been forced on me by a successful and witty friend who loved it. Thomas Friedman is a stupid man, but he comes across as profoundly impressed with himself; Gladwell causes me to ideate violence.
    ----
    OT There is so much dumb here.

    https://twitter.com/JimLaPorta/status/971746437951352832

    I actually stopped reading a Gladwell book because I felt like I was being condescended to by a child

    Have you ever read The Population Bomb? It’s exactly like this: maddeningly so. It’s like listening to the second smartest guy on the short bus condescend to you.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Which book (or some other type of communication) from that era would sound like the first smartest guy on the short bus condescend to you? Or would it be more along the likes of Norman Lear's TV work?
  95. @Sunbeam
    "HOF STL OF Lou Brock would also not fare well under sabermetrics, and why exactly is he in the HOF anyway? 938 career SB, so what? That is too great a risk to attempt to get in scoring position and achieve a run. Too great a risk for so little a reward. The accepted way is for the runner to patiently wait on 1B for nearly an entire inning until someone in the lineup hits a HR, or until a clean hit (e.g. double) can safely move him to 3B. To actually have a runner on first attempt to score is also a major no-no, as it involves too great a risk with little in the way of reward. Leading off the base may or may not be permitted by the runner; certainly he cannot lead off the base too far, since the risk of getting picked off the base is too great for so little a reward. The best lead for a baserunner is to wait until the count is 3-2. This minimizes the risk, as if the next pitch is ball four, then the runner didn’t risk anything (he’d be on 2B anyway). If it’s strike three, perhaps the C wouldn’t be so crass to throw the baserunner out, as this involves the risk of throwing into CF, and the baserunner winds up on 3B. Therefore both baserunner and C cannot afford to engage in risky behavior at the expense of so little a reward."

    The unasked question about Sabermetrics is whether the game is as interesting to watch as it used to be.

    > The unasked question about Sabermetrics is whether the game is as interesting to watch as it used to be.

    I agree that this is a good question. But I certainly don’t blame the sabermetricians — they’re just trying to win. If the best way to win is to play in a way that is uninteresting, the onus is on the owners to change the game so that it becomes interesting again.

    In baseball, beyond reducing the idle time between pitches, rules should be changed so that there are fewer walks, strikeouts, foul balls, pitching changes, conferences, and throws to first. None of those are particularly interesting when they are at modern levels.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Exactly. One way would be to have a seven pitch limit per batter. A full 3-2 count, a foul off, and then if the batter doesn't connect on pitch seven, he's automatically out. Even if its a foul ball. You could also have four fouls rule, where four fouls equals an automatic out as well. Just eliminated the strategy of continually fouling off pitches endlessly during a single AB, but it also keeps the game moving.

    Just as the NBA has a shot clock, MLB could institute a six second rule where the pitcher must deliver the ball as soon as his foot steps on the rubber. If he takes his foot off the rubber, it's a balk (if runners are on base), or if no one's on base, simply award the batter 1B. Also, each time a batter steps out of the batters box he has a seven second grace period but is allowed to step out of the box only once per AB (barring injury to himself). If he goes beyond six seconds he's out.

    Implement these simple rules on a consistent basis and that could shave about 20 minutes off the duration of the game. Both hitters and pitchers will soon learn the lesson of what happens when they waste time (barring injury).

    I do tend to blame Sabermetrics:


    1. For taking the X factor(s) out of MLB. Things that worked (whether sufficiently or excellent) over the decades for near a century are now out of fashion for no apparent reason.

    2. For reducing individual initiatives that worked quite well for over a century. One of Sabermetrics main themes is to reduce unnecessary "risks", or behaviors that are deemed to be irrelevant to the overall strategy of the game. In other words it would appear that to gain a reward, there must be as little direct risk involved to obtaining it. Life doesn't work like that, so why should one expect MLB to work that way?

    3. With his joining BOS's GM office, Bill James demonstrated what lies behind the science of Sabermetrics: In part, it is meant to be employed by management to suppress player's salaries. If they were smart, the players union should demand a refusal to allow sabermetric based stats during a player's contract negotiations. Rather only traditional stats are to be used (e.g. those stats well established say, from 1920 and before). This doesn't directly affect the superstars (they will usually get their price or close enough to it). It does directly impact the bench players, the second tier everyday players and even some borderline stars. All it would take is for some anti-Sabermetric union reps to demonstrate how it plays out in contract negotiations.

    Bill James' stats have never factored into account that baseball doesn't always play out the way it looks on paper, and neither does it take into account that for the most part, owners don't really give a damn about winning or remaining competitive. They do care about making money, which they can make in other ways (especially via corporate welfare/taxpayer funding of ballparks, hiring temporary non-union even illegal alien ground crews and concessions, etc). The question never asked: Is Sabermetrics useful to owners to employ in holding down players salaries?

    Answer: for the most part, uh yes. Yes it is. And that's what matters most to them.

    Can just see Trout or Judge at salary negotiations "But I led the AL in OPS! I led in walks! My on-base percentage is one of the biggest in history!"

    "We can finish in last place without you."--HOF GM Branch Rickey to PIT Al Kiner asking for a raise after leading the NL in HR's for seven consecutive seasons.

    If leading league in a revered stat like HR's doesn't help jack squat, why should OPS be expected to help in getting a ten million increase in pay at the end of the day?

  96. Free them from their mortal coil?

    Better yet, if we’re thinking outside-the-box, don’t think of them as prisoners; think of them as gladiators.

    Let them earn their keep by entertaining us.

    Let them experience the glory of being a tip-of-the-spear front-line infantryman.

    It’s win-win.

  97. @Lot
    No there were not prisons 2000 or 1000 years ago. Just about the only people who suffered long term confinement were relatives of the monarch he was unwilling to murder. There were also low-capacity dungeons for short term confinement pending trial or holding hostages.

    In England generally the upper classes were fined, the lower classes were executed, impressed to Navy service, or sent to Australia.

    True, even in America we had no prisons until the mid 19th century…..criminals were punished with a whipping or a hanging, thus no need for prisons.

  98. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    No they're not. The Romans had prisons, and that dates back nearly 2,000 yrs ago. The French had the Bastille, which dates back centuries. July 14th in France, Bastille Day (hello?), when French commoners stormed the Bastille, which was a prisonhouse. Why did they storm it? To set free commoners being imprisoned there. Granted, it was mainly empty at the time, but the point remains. The Tower of London served as a prison. Sir Thomas More during the 1530's spent over a year there, imprisoned. And that's nearly half a millennium. Something called dungeons date back to Europe's dark ages. Prisons certainly existed, and for hardened criminals as well as petty thievery. The idea was that if the crime didn't quite merit the death penalty, well, then the criminal would languish the rest of his life in jail. Depending on the prison, for commoners it was Bread and water, perhaps being chained up, a cot, no outhouse, no medical attention. In theory for the crime of debt, if a prisoner could pay the fine, he could be released. In theory. Most couldn't and so in jail they stayed. Author Charles Dickens' father died in debtor's prison.

    "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"--Ebeneezer Scrooge

    If you mean the concept of rehabilitation of prisoners in order to make them productive members of society upon their release, then yes, that idea goes back to about the late 18th/early 19th century.

    The bastille held political prisoners who opposed the king , not common criminals. Common criminals were quickly executed until modern times.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Western Europe had prisons for commoners. They were called dungeons, which often held commoners there for life. There is also the matter of the Inquisition, which was applied to commoner and elite alike. And the Inquisition wasn't a walk in the park.
  99. @megabar
    > The unasked question about Sabermetrics is whether the game is as interesting to watch as it used to be.

    I agree that this is a good question. But I certainly don't blame the sabermetricians -- they're just trying to win. If the best way to win is to play in a way that is uninteresting, the onus is on the owners to change the game so that it becomes interesting again.

    In baseball, beyond reducing the idle time between pitches, rules should be changed so that there are fewer walks, strikeouts, foul balls, pitching changes, conferences, and throws to first. None of those are particularly interesting when they are at modern levels.

    Exactly. One way would be to have a seven pitch limit per batter. A full 3-2 count, a foul off, and then if the batter doesn’t connect on pitch seven, he’s automatically out. Even if its a foul ball. You could also have four fouls rule, where four fouls equals an automatic out as well. Just eliminated the strategy of continually fouling off pitches endlessly during a single AB, but it also keeps the game moving.

    Just as the NBA has a shot clock, MLB could institute a six second rule where the pitcher must deliver the ball as soon as his foot steps on the rubber. If he takes his foot off the rubber, it’s a balk (if runners are on base), or if no one’s on base, simply award the batter 1B. Also, each time a batter steps out of the batters box he has a seven second grace period but is allowed to step out of the box only once per AB (barring injury to himself). If he goes beyond six seconds he’s out.

    Implement these simple rules on a consistent basis and that could shave about 20 minutes off the duration of the game. Both hitters and pitchers will soon learn the lesson of what happens when they waste time (barring injury).

    I do tend to blame Sabermetrics:

    1. For taking the X factor(s) out of MLB. Things that worked (whether sufficiently or excellent) over the decades for near a century are now out of fashion for no apparent reason.

    2. For reducing individual initiatives that worked quite well for over a century. One of Sabermetrics main themes is to reduce unnecessary “risks”, or behaviors that are deemed to be irrelevant to the overall strategy of the game. In other words it would appear that to gain a reward, there must be as little direct risk involved to obtaining it. Life doesn’t work like that, so why should one expect MLB to work that way?

    3. With his joining BOS’s GM office, Bill James demonstrated what lies behind the science of Sabermetrics: In part, it is meant to be employed by management to suppress player’s salaries. If they were smart, the players union should demand a refusal to allow sabermetric based stats during a player’s contract negotiations. Rather only traditional stats are to be used (e.g. those stats well established say, from 1920 and before). This doesn’t directly affect the superstars (they will usually get their price or close enough to it). It does directly impact the bench players, the second tier everyday players and even some borderline stars. All it would take is for some anti-Sabermetric union reps to demonstrate how it plays out in contract negotiations.

    Bill James’ stats have never factored into account that baseball doesn’t always play out the way it looks on paper, and neither does it take into account that for the most part, owners don’t really give a damn about winning or remaining competitive. They do care about making money, which they can make in other ways (especially via corporate welfare/taxpayer funding of ballparks, hiring temporary non-union even illegal alien ground crews and concessions, etc). The question never asked: Is Sabermetrics useful to owners to employ in holding down players salaries?

    Answer: for the most part, uh yes. Yes it is. And that’s what matters most to them.

    Can just see Trout or Judge at salary negotiations “But I led the AL in OPS! I led in walks! My on-base percentage is one of the biggest in history!”

    “We can finish in last place without you.”–HOF GM Branch Rickey to PIT Al Kiner asking for a raise after leading the NL in HR’s for seven consecutive seasons.

    If leading league in a revered stat like HR’s doesn’t help jack squat, why should OPS be expected to help in getting a ten million increase in pay at the end of the day?

    • Replies: @megabar
    I'm not sure I agree. Are you arguing that sabermetrics is ineffective? If so, then you would think that any team that ignores them would win. However, I believe the trend is the opposite.

    If you acknowledge that it is effective, that the ideal solution is not to punish people who use it, but rather to change the game so that it is no longer effective.

    I believe that what people like to see in baseball is skilled players putting the ball in play, and skilled players playing good defense on balls put in play. In my opinion, the most exciting play in baseball is a double with a man on first.

    Yet today, with increased emphasis on walks, and pitchers who throw so hard that players simply can't put the ball in play very often, there are fewer balls put in play per pitch, or per minute watched. That is the real problem.

    So, a good solution results in more at-bats ending in fewer pitches, with the ball put in play. Radical solutions are necessary. Make the bats bigger and/or lighter. Move the mound back. Lower the mound. Reduce the number of fielders to 8. Force the outfielders to play very shallow.
  100. @Bernardo Pizzaro Cortez Del Castro
    The bastille held political prisoners who opposed the king , not common criminals. Common criminals were quickly executed until modern times.

    Western Europe had prisons for commoners. They were called dungeons, which often held commoners there for life. There is also the matter of the Inquisition, which was applied to commoner and elite alike. And the Inquisition wasn’t a walk in the park.

  101. @The preferred nomenclature is...
    I thought you were in your 60's.

    Hahaha.

    • Replies: @Lot
    Wild guess, JRoss is the youngest megacommenter based on his heavy 4chan use, and the jazz guy is the oldest. I like him a lot when he pops in, but there is a certain Abe Simpson quality to his comments.

    I forget who it was that said his father was born in the 1800s, perhaps he's the oldest. Which reminds me, there is a currently serving judge who is the granddaughter of a slave and also still some living children of slaves.
  102. @Bill

    I actually stopped reading a Gladwell book because I felt like I was being condescended to by a child
     
    Have you ever read The Population Bomb? It's exactly like this: maddeningly so. It's like listening to the second smartest guy on the short bus condescend to you.

    Which book (or some other type of communication) from that era would sound like the first smartest guy on the short bus condescend to you? Or would it be more along the likes of Norman Lear’s TV work?

  103. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "And if you read the academic study Malcolm cited, the obvious methodological flaw is that the authors measure late draft pick quarterbacks who made an impact in the NFL, such as Tom Brady, and thus should have been drafted higher, but not late draft pick QBs who turned out in training camp and the taxi squad to be as mediocre or even worse than expected and never got to play.

    But there weren’t a lot of academic studies debunking Malcolm’s full-court-press theory, because it was so obviously wrong that it would be hard to see much point in writing up a debunking before Malcolm got involved."

    This is the first time I've noticed that Steve has gotten slightly annoyed in a post in a long time. Of course it would be because of the subject Malcolm Gladwell.

    Regarding daffy ideas in sports, however, to be consistent, substitute the name "Bill James" for Malcolm Gladwell when it comes to such ideas regarding changing the traditional strategy of MLB, AND without bothering to weigh in such relevant X factors (such as percentage of players taking PEDS for nearly a full generation, to cite one example). It would appear that Sabermetrics major theme is to minimize risk because "too great" a risk cannot possibly be worth the outcome.

    Example: Bill James has a major problem with pitchers tossing complete games. In the '64, '67, and '68 WS, STL HOF P Bob Gibson threw 7 or 8 CG and won seven of nine decisions. And his arm did not fall off. In Bill James Sabermetrics, however, this would be considered too great a risk (pitching a complete game) for too little a reward (winning the WS). Didn't STL understand that it really takes about 3-4 P's to toss a nine inning game and not one? After all, Gibson was a known SO pitcher, and thus his pitch count was exorbitantly high. What exactly was STL thinking? And to do this in three separate WS no less, on only three days rest between starts. Goodness, was the reward for STL really worth the risk?

    HOF STL OF Lou Brock would also not fare well under sabermetrics, and why exactly is he in the HOF anyway? 938 career SB, so what? That is too great a risk to attempt to get in scoring position and achieve a run. Too great a risk for so little a reward. The accepted way is for the runner to patiently wait on 1B for nearly an entire inning until someone in the lineup hits a HR, or until a clean hit (e.g. double) can safely move him to 3B. To actually have a runner on first attempt to score is also a major no-no, as it involves too great a risk with little in the way of reward. Leading off the base may or may not be permitted by the runner; certainly he cannot lead off the base too far, since the risk of getting picked off the base is too great for so little a reward. The best lead for a baserunner is to wait until the count is 3-2. This minimizes the risk, as if the next pitch is ball four, then the runner didn't risk anything (he'd be on 2B anyway). If it's strike three, perhaps the C wouldn't be so crass to throw the baserunner out, as this involves the risk of throwing into CF, and the baserunner winds up on 3B. Therefore both baserunner and C cannot afford to engage in risky behavior at the expense of so little a reward.

    But when it comes to pointing out such relevant factors as PEDS and their direct impact on MLB for nearly a generation, we tend to have gotten crickets chirping from the likes of James and his ilk. "Steroids? What steroids? Everyone knows they aren't a factor at all whatsoever in impacting the outcome of a MLB game in the way that using 3-4 P's are in a nine inning game."

    Better to keep to the Narrative of Moneyball, and how such Jamesian factors helped OAK win division titles (although they didn't progress very far in the AL postseason during the 2000's).

    "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend"--John Ford

    or, in the case of Sabermetrics and not taking into account PEDS,

    "Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence"--Carl Sagan

    Better to keep to the Narrative of Moneyball, and how such Jamesian factors helped OAK win division titles (although they didn’t progress very far in the AL postseason during the 2000′s).

    I think one reason they didn’t advance in the playoffs those years is that their offense was very one-dimensional: a bunch of guys fishing for walks or trying to hit home runs. That may work against the chaff pitching staffs in the league but in the postseason (facing the best pitching staffs) they find ways to shut you down. Baseball is a game of adjustments, followed by adjustments to the adjustments the opposition makes to your adjustments. They were unable to do that because most of their players were essentially the same guy: a fat/stocky guy fishing for walks or pitches he could crush.

    Moneyball made some good points, such as that teams often overpay for defense. Unfortunately the running plot – that Oakland could win by assembling an offense of fat guys that drew a lot of walks – didn’t really prove true. The 2002 Oakland A’s profiled finished 8th in the American League in runs scored (out of 14 teams).

    The reason Oakland won so many games that year is that they had the best pitching staff in the AL (by ERA). And that was a direct result of their starting pitching, which was a direct result of them having three outstanding starters (Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tim Hudson). They could afford these starters because they were all still on their first contracts (i.e. their salaries were artificially constrained by baseball’s collective bargaining agreement). In 2002 Zito made $295,000, Mulder $875,000, and Hudson $800,000. Those three, had they been free to negotiate free market salaries, would have made orders of magnitude more. All three were established stars before the start of the 2002 season (in 2001 they combined for 56 wins).

    Lewis presumably realized that writing a book about how the easiest way to be competitive with a small payroll is have players that become really good while still on their first contracts (after which they became free agents you can no longer afford) would be stating the obvious and thus not very interesting.

  104. Lot says:
    @Lot
    Hahaha.

    Wild guess, JRoss is the youngest megacommenter based on his heavy 4chan use, and the jazz guy is the oldest. I like him a lot when he pops in, but there is a certain Abe Simpson quality to his comments.

    I forget who it was that said his father was born in the 1800s, perhaps he’s the oldest. Which reminds me, there is a currently serving judge who is the granddaughter of a slave and also still some living children of slaves.

  105. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    No they're not. The Romans had prisons, and that dates back nearly 2,000 yrs ago. The French had the Bastille, which dates back centuries. July 14th in France, Bastille Day (hello?), when French commoners stormed the Bastille, which was a prisonhouse. Why did they storm it? To set free commoners being imprisoned there. Granted, it was mainly empty at the time, but the point remains. The Tower of London served as a prison. Sir Thomas More during the 1530's spent over a year there, imprisoned. And that's nearly half a millennium. Something called dungeons date back to Europe's dark ages. Prisons certainly existed, and for hardened criminals as well as petty thievery. The idea was that if the crime didn't quite merit the death penalty, well, then the criminal would languish the rest of his life in jail. Depending on the prison, for commoners it was Bread and water, perhaps being chained up, a cot, no outhouse, no medical attention. In theory for the crime of debt, if a prisoner could pay the fine, he could be released. In theory. Most couldn't and so in jail they stayed. Author Charles Dickens' father died in debtor's prison.

    "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"--Ebeneezer Scrooge

    If you mean the concept of rehabilitation of prisoners in order to make them productive members of society upon their release, then yes, that idea goes back to about the late 18th/early 19th century.

    Were Roman prisons where they held you before you went and fought the lions with your bare hands?

    Lots of disingenuous conflating of “places to hold you before you suffered a gory death” with “prison”.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Nope, wasn't factoring in them. I'm talking about such things as debtors prisons. The British didn't invent the concept. That goes back to antiquity. Ironically in one of Christ's parables, a person is cast into prison until the last penny of his debt is paid. As the Carpenter from Galilee was drawing from things from everyday life, apparently a form of debtors prison existed way back then. Just because they weren't gonna be executed didn't mean that they lived their lives in comfort and a high end villa off the coast of Capri. Prisons back then were pretty nasty places.
  106. @Anon
    If 95% of prisoners are released in the US, 100% of Americans will want to move to Canada.

    Btw, Africa didn't need prisons since they only had mudhuts. If someone got out of line, they speared him on the spot or cast him out of the village to be eaten by lions.

    Prisons are bit more humane in dealing with troublesome people.

    Of course, we can use the Afrocentric way of justice if Gladwell insists on no Prisons.

    Just get your spears out.

    A lot about Gladwell’s appeal is that he relies on the ignorance of the audience. Steve actually knows stuff so he’s not taken in by Gladwell’s facile sermons. For example when I first read about the 10,000 hour notion I thought at once of Mozart. Gladwell dismisses that objection by claiming that Mozart only wrote good stuff when he was more than 21. Clearly he knew nothing of “Mithridate Re di Ponto”. He wrote that when he was eleven. I have two recordings of it. Mithridate’s entrance arioso is a popular excerpt on YouTube.

    Malcolm was talking through his hat.

    But he has on occasion been useful. His essay on Taleeb of “Black Swan” fame is very revealing. Taleeb is very damn smart but Gladwell shows him to simultaneously to also be an utter fool.

  107. Anonymous[424] • Disclaimer says:

    > The unasked question about Sabermetrics is whether the game is as interesting to watch as it used to be.

    I agree that this is a good question. But I certainly don’t blame the sabermetricians — they’re just trying to win. If the best way to win is to play in a way that is uninteresting, the onus is on the owners to change the game so that it becomes interesting again.

    The game of major league baseball is like all other human endeavors-they have a beginning, an ascent, a “golden period”, then decline and an end for all practical purposes. A rump state or activity may remain, but it is not anything much related to the classical era of the operation.

    There is still an Egypt, a Greece, a Spain, a “Great Britain”[sic], but they are no great relation to their existence in their famous and better days.

    Baseball makes a lot of money right now, but I’d bet heavily that forty years hence it will be about as big as jai alai or cricket or curling in the United States, if thought I would be in a position to care forty years from now. Of course, there very well may not be a United States as we know it forty years from now.

    I just got back from a contract job I did with a musical instrument manufacturer. It’s under NDA so I can’t name which one or the city. But they have been around for a long time and their instruments are, overall, not nearly as good as ones made some time ago, even though the technology has improved a lot. The bottom line is that they will not invest in the workforce what needs to be invested. Workers come in with no skills, work a couple of years, and are fired or quit and still have essentially no skills besides the one micro-task they have been trained on. Turnover is outrageous, and though the pay is good by the standards of where I live, by the standards of what it costs to live where the plant is, it’s terrible. And they “can’t move the plant” for hysterical raisins-the location is part of the brand identity. The address, even, is a way to tailgate on another brand.

    The current product is not terrible, it’s highish-mediocre. But it could be superb with a properly trained workforce. Management is fully cognizant of what it would take and they are not going to do that, because the plant as is makes a good ROI.

    I’m guessing MLB is that way: the product is good enough for now, people still pay a lot of money for tickets. Things will continue as they are until one day people quit coming, nd then it will be too late. But the owners will be dead by then, and they know it.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The NBA got pretty bad 10-20 years ago when even free throw shooting percentages dropped, but they made some rule changes and some coaches figured out fun ways to play under the new rules, and at present few NBA fans are complaining about quality the way they were in the post-Jordan era.

    Baseball can solve its various minor flaws, too.

    , @Anonymous
    The Birthplace of Bolt-On ™ ?

    It's well known who founded the company and that the road it's on is named after him. Actually he founded two other guitar companies.

    The problem with them isn't that the product is not well made: it's that the original name, logo, and headstock shape are what all the guys in the fifties and sixties had. They are in a market where the people who drive the market are all old boomers buying nostalgia and fantasy fulfillment, not a working musical instrument. Younger players are either looking for low end no profit margin guitars or they want metal-style pointy headstock Floyd Rose guitars (hair bands never went away in flyover country: Steel Panther is taken at face value out here) or extended range, fanned fret, headless, and/or 7, 8, 9 or more string affairs.
  108. Related:
    https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/18upr9yfup0514.pdf

    DOJ says 83% of prisoners re-arrested in 9 years.

  109. @eD
    He has a point on the prison stuff, in fact two.

    First, the prison population in the USA is unusually high, I think its second highest per capita after some African hellhole, and its high obviously compared to other countries but also compared to past periods in American history. It can stand to come down some. I'd really like to see someone make the argument that no, the American prison population should double. I hope the commentators here are up to it.

    Second, the concept of incarcerating convicted criminals for long periods of time, in hopes that they eventually reformed (OK initially that was the idea), really dates to the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. You can still tour one of the first prisons where this was first tried in Philadelphia, its a fairly major tourist attraction. Before, governments tended to restrain common criminals (political prisoners were a somewhat different situation) until their trial, afterwards if they were convicted, they were killed, tortured, exiled, or sentence to hard labor, but the governments disposed of them one way or another. So no, prison is not an idea as old as matrimony. Police as we know it is also a fairly recent development.

    Our Constitution was modeled roughly on the Roman Republic. The founding fathers were very conscious that the Republic fell and was supplanted by the Empire. They wished to avoid that.

    So it’s instructive to note that the Roman Republic (in Rome) had no prisons. jails, or even a police force. They did have the Tarpean Rock and they did strangle war prisoners in the Mamerine Prison but that prison was a ruin that could not hold prisoners. Roman themselves weren’t crucified although many provincials were.

    Romans voted and had a kind of representative democracy but being a slave society they didn’t imagine imprisoning malefactors in idleness. Enslave a man and send him to the mines or the latifundae made more sense to them. It made more sense to American until quite recently (Before the Paul Muni Chain Gang movie).

    We essentially no longer have capitol punishment but I imagine it will return. Jordan Peterson tells us that the Army has no use for anyone with an IQ below 83. That’s about the mean IQ of African Americans. Negroes are our criminal race. They have unfavorable neurological makeups. They seem to have genes that allow the neuro transmitters to linger in their brain synapses. This leads to variety of maladies including the proclivity to violence.

    The trends seem to be running away from the idea of racial equality. MAOA seems to have a heritability of about .60 and IQ about .80. These can only climb as society eliminates environmental problems. Right now children eating lead paint chips contributes to the environmental cause of retardation. But soon we will have no more lead paint and IQ differences will remain and they will be more genetic than now. The long term trend is for all the social problems to become increasingly based on genetics as we cure problems in the environment.

    That means that in the future if there is a criminal he will not be a victim of circumstances but simply a born criminal. Capital punishment makes more sense then.

    On the other hand maybe we will give out a standardized test when a child turns 14. If they score too low we lock them up. Maybe we could let them out when they are forty – or maybe not.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    MAOA "warrior gene" pearl-clutching is flavour-of-the-decade for people who want to put a scientific gloss on their racism.

    The statistical evidence for a link from MAOA to increased propensity for violence is so weak that the only defense for citing it, is to admit to have never actually read a study, and be relying on a journalist's "gist". It's 'genetics for Malcolm Gladwell fans' (and let's be crystal clear: 'Malcolm Gladwell fan' is not a positive attribute, because that fuckhead would be ignored by everyone if he didn't have that stupid haircut).

    I take it your testing of 14 year olds will also be undertaken in trailer parks in WVa, Tennessee and other such repositories of Caucasian dysgenics?

    Coz' let's be clear - the reason more of those cracker-ass white-trash motherfuckers aren't incarcerated, isn't because they're all law-abiding upstanding white folks: it's because the local PD doesn't give a fuck. What happens in the trailer park stays in the trailer park, and nobody's getting promoted for stopping one cracker selling meth to another cracker. That's true in every rural area I've ever lived (and the bottom quarter of whites in those areas are guaranteed-not-in-sample in aggregate IQ numbers).

    .

    FWIW: being male and part-Maori, there was a "significantly-higher-than-Caucasian" chance that I have the 3R variant of MAOA - and I do.

    I also quite happily admit to the quasi-sociopathy that can allegedly be expected in people with that expression of MAOA plus OXTR rs53576A (which I also have).

    However... I also had a wonderful childhood, graduated summa cum laude in a technical discipline, and have a tested IQ over 135 on the SB15 scale, and have never been charged with a crime of any type.

    My uncle - a cardiologist, cardiac surgeon and former professor of Cardiology - is more Maori than I am, more likely to carry MAOA-3R, and is objectively smarter than me; he's also 5'7" and 120lb wringing wet and has never had any inclination to violence.

    And here's the terrible thing... we were both late bloomers (me more than Uncle Murray: I failed grade 9 because I was bored out of my mind).

    Neither of us would have been particularly interested in participating in your Reich-wide testing of 14-year-olds (in the same way, Feynman significantly underperformed his potential in a childhood IQ test: he tested in the mid-120s, which is laughable given his talent across domains).

  110. The Electronic World is so overloaded with information that self-styled polymaths like Gladwell or Pinker (or Peterson for that matter — or someone else whose name escapes…) end up quite clouded in their reasoning through no lack of intelligence.

  111. Anonymous[217] • Disclaimer says:
    @Clifford Brown
    Canada is over 90% White and Asian, making Canada by that metric, demographically on par with such mean streets as the City of Irvine and Palo Alto, California. It is hardly a surprise then that Malcolm Gladwell is not overly concerned with crime. To the extent there is a high crime minority group in Canada, they tend to be located in the far flung Yukon Territory and Nunavut, far away from the streets of the ever tolerant and ever good Toronto.

    It's strange how "open borders" Canada on a percentage basis has 50% fewer Blacks and 60% fewer Latinos than that old ice box up there in Alaska. How is that even possible? Despite the lectures from Trudeau, Idaho has a higher percentage of its population that is Black and Latino than Canada. Think about that.

    Almost makes you think that Canada actually has an immigration policy that keeps out certain groups. Surely, that can't be the case?

    There is a points system that traditionally gave people with education and language skills a big advantage.

    Now there is also something called ‘Gender Based Analysis Plus’ GBA+ which factors the entire ‘intersectional’ Smorgasbord into the process.

    Whatever happened in the past when Canada was a WASPy, staid and stable place is quickly being thrown out the window. Canada is losing it’s marbles. Trudeau’s immigration Minister is a Somali, and the plan is to ramp up the numbers, with an eye towards helping others rather than helping Canada. The general idea being that helping others IS helping Canada.

    I’m really getting fearful about what the future holds in this country. The US is in a worse place, but there is at least a minority there who are aware that the situation is dangerous. Canadians are so naive (and smug) that they are happily and proudly sleepwalking into the abyss. There is no brake on the crazy train, and even discussing a brake will land you in hot water.

    The situation is looking bad pretty much everywhere.

  112. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "And if you read the academic study Malcolm cited, the obvious methodological flaw is that the authors measure late draft pick quarterbacks who made an impact in the NFL, such as Tom Brady, and thus should have been drafted higher, but not late draft pick QBs who turned out in training camp and the taxi squad to be as mediocre or even worse than expected and never got to play.

    But there weren’t a lot of academic studies debunking Malcolm’s full-court-press theory, because it was so obviously wrong that it would be hard to see much point in writing up a debunking before Malcolm got involved."

    This is the first time I've noticed that Steve has gotten slightly annoyed in a post in a long time. Of course it would be because of the subject Malcolm Gladwell.

    Regarding daffy ideas in sports, however, to be consistent, substitute the name "Bill James" for Malcolm Gladwell when it comes to such ideas regarding changing the traditional strategy of MLB, AND without bothering to weigh in such relevant X factors (such as percentage of players taking PEDS for nearly a full generation, to cite one example). It would appear that Sabermetrics major theme is to minimize risk because "too great" a risk cannot possibly be worth the outcome.

    Example: Bill James has a major problem with pitchers tossing complete games. In the '64, '67, and '68 WS, STL HOF P Bob Gibson threw 7 or 8 CG and won seven of nine decisions. And his arm did not fall off. In Bill James Sabermetrics, however, this would be considered too great a risk (pitching a complete game) for too little a reward (winning the WS). Didn't STL understand that it really takes about 3-4 P's to toss a nine inning game and not one? After all, Gibson was a known SO pitcher, and thus his pitch count was exorbitantly high. What exactly was STL thinking? And to do this in three separate WS no less, on only three days rest between starts. Goodness, was the reward for STL really worth the risk?

    HOF STL OF Lou Brock would also not fare well under sabermetrics, and why exactly is he in the HOF anyway? 938 career SB, so what? That is too great a risk to attempt to get in scoring position and achieve a run. Too great a risk for so little a reward. The accepted way is for the runner to patiently wait on 1B for nearly an entire inning until someone in the lineup hits a HR, or until a clean hit (e.g. double) can safely move him to 3B. To actually have a runner on first attempt to score is also a major no-no, as it involves too great a risk with little in the way of reward. Leading off the base may or may not be permitted by the runner; certainly he cannot lead off the base too far, since the risk of getting picked off the base is too great for so little a reward. The best lead for a baserunner is to wait until the count is 3-2. This minimizes the risk, as if the next pitch is ball four, then the runner didn't risk anything (he'd be on 2B anyway). If it's strike three, perhaps the C wouldn't be so crass to throw the baserunner out, as this involves the risk of throwing into CF, and the baserunner winds up on 3B. Therefore both baserunner and C cannot afford to engage in risky behavior at the expense of so little a reward.

    But when it comes to pointing out such relevant factors as PEDS and their direct impact on MLB for nearly a generation, we tend to have gotten crickets chirping from the likes of James and his ilk. "Steroids? What steroids? Everyone knows they aren't a factor at all whatsoever in impacting the outcome of a MLB game in the way that using 3-4 P's are in a nine inning game."

    Better to keep to the Narrative of Moneyball, and how such Jamesian factors helped OAK win division titles (although they didn't progress very far in the AL postseason during the 2000's).

    "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend"--John Ford

    or, in the case of Sabermetrics and not taking into account PEDS,

    "Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence"--Carl Sagan

    Brock had 3,000 hits. You have to get on base a lot to get 938 steals.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    3,026 hits, yes. That was part of my larger point in deriding Sabermetrics. As Sabermetrics views such traditional stats as SB's as irrelevant and not directly impacting the outcome of a MLB game, the SB stat is useless. Also, most hits are not relevant either since other factors come into play. Except for the HR, according to Sabermetrics, most 1B's 2B's and 3B's are not actually determined by the hitter, and thus it's not a pure stat. Only a HR is a pure hit since it usually goes over the fence. Could also make the case for HOF Ty Cobb, of 4,191 H's, as he only had about 118 career HR's. Since he played the bulk of his career in the Dead Ball Era, where HR's were very difficult to come by, most of Cobb's hits are irrelevant and thus not pure hits (something he directly had a hand in determining alone, unlike the HR, which goes over the fence).
  113. @Anonymous
    I've heard experienced prison personnel opine that a third of the people in prisons should be kept, a third should be released, and a third should be shot a la Katyn Forest. The 33% released would have relatively low recidivism if, and only if they got to see the others shot and knew that really would happen to them if incarcerated again.

    experienced prison personnel

    That’s shorthand for “people with a deep desire to wield power over others, but so stupid that they could not even become cops or join the military“.

    If I had ever heard someone drawn from that low in the barrel of labour-market detritus ‘opine’, I would not commit it to memory: it would be about as much use as surveying a NASCAR crowd for their opinion on stochastic calculus.

    Imagine how dysfunctional someone has to be to want to be a prison guard.

    Then ask yourself if their considered view on anything has enough cognitive grunt behind it to differentiate it meaningfully from the views of the inmates (the vast bulk of whom are incarcerated for simple drug possession).

    Also… not for nothin’ – how does the overwhelming majority of contraband get into prisons? Corrupt guards, that’s how.

    Organised crime – including criminal gangs – actually puts ‘cleanskin’ members into police forces and prison firms, for precisely that reason. (The proportion of gang-bangers in the US Marines is more than an order of magnitude greater than the proportion of gang-bangers in the civilian population, and the Marines have stronger filters than CCA or PDs)

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    G. Gordon Liddy certainly expressed this opinion regarding prison guards. The couple that I have known were affable semi-doofuses but they were small town guys who had few other prospects and took the job to make a living in their small towns, or in another town close enough to commute from their hometown once they built up a little seniority. Not squared away particularly but not evil or malicious, and though not especially intelligent, not very stupid either.

    Motorcycle organizations of the three piece patch 1%er variety, especially the Big Red Machine (not the one that produced Pete Rose, the one with Sonny Barger) are big on getting their old ladies on in state infrastructure jobs such as the DMV, Department of Vital Records, et al. This lets them "paper trip" identities from inside (in some states they can generate backdated COLBs: with a state verifiable one you can get a social security number and a passport, especially if you give someone a name like Yoder, who can claim to be ex-Amish or Old Order Mennonite and therefore plausibly applying for a first card at 29, or 39) and track down enemies, even ones under fed witness protection or ex-LEO if the feds aren't especially careful. In many cases the "old lady" is someone's functional but not legal wife-they never got a license and they were married by the chapter president using a Shovelhead service manual rather than the Bible, who isn't a legal practitioner of weddings-and so she passes all but the most intense background checks despite living with someone with criminal organization associations and often a felony record. She can be legally compelled to testify where a legal spouse could not, but she'll do the two years for contempt rather than talk if worse comes to worst.
  114. I would release 95 percent of prisoners if I had the chance.

    Easy to say it when there’s no chance of it happening. We should send a few thugs to whatever posh community he lives in Canada and see if this opinion holds.

    I mean, prison is an idea that was invented a couple thousand years ago

    So what?

  115. @Pat Boyle
    Our Constitution was modeled roughly on the Roman Republic. The founding fathers were very conscious that the Republic fell and was supplanted by the Empire. They wished to avoid that.

    So it's instructive to note that the Roman Republic (in Rome) had no prisons. jails, or even a police force. They did have the Tarpean Rock and they did strangle war prisoners in the Mamerine Prison but that prison was a ruin that could not hold prisoners. Roman themselves weren't crucified although many provincials were.

    Romans voted and had a kind of representative democracy but being a slave society they didn't imagine imprisoning malefactors in idleness. Enslave a man and send him to the mines or the latifundae made more sense to them. It made more sense to American until quite recently (Before the Paul Muni Chain Gang movie).

    We essentially no longer have capitol punishment but I imagine it will return. Jordan Peterson tells us that the Army has no use for anyone with an IQ below 83. That's about the mean IQ of African Americans. Negroes are our criminal race. They have unfavorable neurological makeups. They seem to have genes that allow the neuro transmitters to linger in their brain synapses. This leads to variety of maladies including the proclivity to violence.

    The trends seem to be running away from the idea of racial equality. MAOA seems to have a heritability of about .60 and IQ about .80. These can only climb as society eliminates environmental problems. Right now children eating lead paint chips contributes to the environmental cause of retardation. But soon we will have no more lead paint and IQ differences will remain and they will be more genetic than now. The long term trend is for all the social problems to become increasingly based on genetics as we cure problems in the environment.

    That means that in the future if there is a criminal he will not be a victim of circumstances but simply a born criminal. Capital punishment makes more sense then.

    On the other hand maybe we will give out a standardized test when a child turns 14. If they score too low we lock them up. Maybe we could let them out when they are forty - or maybe not.

    MAOA “warrior gene” pearl-clutching is flavour-of-the-decade for people who want to put a scientific gloss on their racism.

    The statistical evidence for a link from MAOA to increased propensity for violence is so weak that the only defense for citing it, is to admit to have never actually read a study, and be relying on a journalist’s “gist”. It’s ‘genetics for Malcolm Gladwell fans‘ (and let’s be crystal clear: ‘Malcolm Gladwell fan’ is not a positive attribute, because that fuckhead would be ignored by everyone if he didn’t have that stupid haircut).

    I take it your testing of 14 year olds will also be undertaken in trailer parks in WVa, Tennessee and other such repositories of Caucasian dysgenics?

    Coz’ let’s be clear – the reason more of those cracker-ass white-trash motherfuckers aren’t incarcerated, isn’t because they’re all law-abiding upstanding white folks: it’s because the local PD doesn’t give a fuck. What happens in the trailer park stays in the trailer park, and nobody’s getting promoted for stopping one cracker selling meth to another cracker. That’s true in every rural area I’ve ever lived (and the bottom quarter of whites in those areas are guaranteed-not-in-sample in aggregate IQ numbers).

    .

    FWIW: being male and part-Maori, there was a “significantly-higher-than-Caucasian” chance that I have the 3R variant of MAOA – and I do.

    I also quite happily admit to the quasi-sociopathy that can allegedly be expected in people with that expression of MAOA plus OXTR rs53576A (which I also have).

    However… I also had a wonderful childhood, graduated summa cum laude in a technical discipline, and have a tested IQ over 135 on the SB15 scale, and have never been charged with a crime of any type.

    My uncle – a cardiologist, cardiac surgeon and former professor of Cardiology – is more Maori than I am, more likely to carry MAOA-3R, and is objectively smarter than me; he’s also 5’7″ and 120lb wringing wet and has never had any inclination to violence.

    And here’s the terrible thing… we were both late bloomers (me more than Uncle Murray: I failed grade 9 because I was bored out of my mind).

    Neither of us would have been particularly interested in participating in your Reich-wide testing of 14-year-olds (in the same way, Feynman significantly underperformed his potential in a childhood IQ test: he tested in the mid-120s, which is laughable given his talent across domains).

    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    What is this 'racism' of which you speak? I've heard of it but I can't quite figure out what it means.

    As far as I can tell its an all purpose term used to excuse all sorts of deficiencies of a mental or moral sort.

    BTW you seem quite eager to hurl racial insults at whites. Or doesn't that count?

    Actually I have favorable opinions of part Maori people. I was a serious fan of Kiri Te Kanawa. I attended many of her performances and even showed up at an event where she was honored.

    In the old days the innumerates liked to claim that intelligence tests were bogus because Einstein supposedly did poorly in school. In more modern times Feynman has been substituted. I've read at least a half dozen Feynman books. I recently gave one of them to my doctor. I had given out Feynman books to my immediate staff at Christmas for years. They make a great gift.

    You sir are simply talking through your hat. Feynman was recognized by all around him since childhood as something special. Trying to proving IQ tests are imperfect by this one example is a little desperate. Modern IQ tests have been around for a century. They have been in hundreds of published studies involving millions of subjects. Furthermore mental ability testing is at least as old as the Sung Dynasty. There is nothing in any of the social sciences that is as solid and certain as the results of aptitude tests.

    The problem is that some people and some races don't do as well on these tests as they would wish, and they try to muddy the waters.
  116. @Anon
    If 95% of prisoners are released in the US, 100% of Americans will want to move to Canada.

    Btw, Africa didn't need prisons since they only had mudhuts. If someone got out of line, they speared him on the spot or cast him out of the village to be eaten by lions.

    Prisons are bit more humane in dealing with troublesome people.

    Of course, we can use the Afrocentric way of justice if Gladwell insists on no Prisons.

    Just get your spears out.

    Partly OT, but not too much: anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon gave an interview to edge.org where, among lots of other things, he speaks about a young Yanomami Indian’s impressions of a town in Venezuela:

    But one of these guys came back and he was just terribly excited when he told me that he discovered policia. I was like, “Well, what’s policia?” “They will grab people and haul them off and put them in these little separate houses, if they do something wrong. And I think we need policia, because my brother killed a man from Iwahikorobateri five years ago, and I’m always worried that the Iwahikorobateri are going to come and kill me, because he’s my brother.” And he thought that if they had law, law would be a good thing.

    (https://www.edge.org/conversation/napoleon_chagnon-steven_pinker-richard_wrangham-daniel_c_dennett-david_haig-napoleon)

  117. @Anonymous

    > The unasked question about Sabermetrics is whether the game is as interesting to watch as it used to be.

    I agree that this is a good question. But I certainly don’t blame the sabermetricians — they’re just trying to win. If the best way to win is to play in a way that is uninteresting, the onus is on the owners to change the game so that it becomes interesting again.

     

    The game of major league baseball is like all other human endeavors-they have a beginning, an ascent, a "golden period", then decline and an end for all practical purposes. A rump state or activity may remain, but it is not anything much related to the classical era of the operation.

    There is still an Egypt, a Greece, a Spain, a "Great Britain"[sic], but they are no great relation to their existence in their famous and better days.

    Baseball makes a lot of money right now, but I'd bet heavily that forty years hence it will be about as big as jai alai or cricket or curling in the United States, if thought I would be in a position to care forty years from now. Of course, there very well may not be a United States as we know it forty years from now.

    I just got back from a contract job I did with a musical instrument manufacturer. It's under NDA so I can't name which one or the city. But they have been around for a long time and their instruments are, overall, not nearly as good as ones made some time ago, even though the technology has improved a lot. The bottom line is that they will not invest in the workforce what needs to be invested. Workers come in with no skills, work a couple of years, and are fired or quit and still have essentially no skills besides the one micro-task they have been trained on. Turnover is outrageous, and though the pay is good by the standards of where I live, by the standards of what it costs to live where the plant is, it's terrible. And they "can't move the plant" for hysterical raisins-the location is part of the brand identity. The address, even, is a way to tailgate on another brand.

    The current product is not terrible, it's highish-mediocre. But it could be superb with a properly trained workforce. Management is fully cognizant of what it would take and they are not going to do that, because the plant as is makes a good ROI.

    I'm guessing MLB is that way: the product is good enough for now, people still pay a lot of money for tickets. Things will continue as they are until one day people quit coming, nd then it will be too late. But the owners will be dead by then, and they know it.

    The NBA got pretty bad 10-20 years ago when even free throw shooting percentages dropped, but they made some rule changes and some coaches figured out fun ways to play under the new rules, and at present few NBA fans are complaining about quality the way they were in the post-Jordan era.

    Baseball can solve its various minor flaws, too.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    Baseball can solve its various minor flaws, too.

     

    I agree.

    One thing that's so maddening about watching a current MLB game is that it's so easy to see how the gametime is being frittered away. No big rule changes (e.g. cutting the numbers of balls and strikes for walks and Ks, limiting the number of foul balls, etc.) are really needed.

    A significant amount of time could be saved just in the game's margins:

    ***not allowing batters to step out of the box whenever they please;

    ***limiting the pitcher's time to deliver -- this could be done without a visible pitch clock, even -- NBA refs must constantly be looking for/counting down 10-second getting it over half-court violations, 5-second violations, and 3-seconds-in-the-lane violations;

    ***keeping the game moving after a foul ball -- this is the one that drives me to distraction when watching; after a foul ball, just start counting and see how long it takes until the next pitch is delivered -- a foul ball in MLB today is treated almost like a de facto time out; and

    *** limiting or even eliminating visits by anybody to the mound -- let the pitcher sweat on his own if he's in the soup; that's what he's being paid handsomely to deal with.

  118. @Steve Sailer
    Gladwell's big problem is not that he oversimplifies things. The New Yorker gives him a lot of space to go into detail and he often has interesting things to say.

    Gladwell's problem is that he often gets things wrong. (Not always by any means. For example, he was saying maybe 8 years ago that high school football would likely fade dramatically due to the concussion problem. That may or may not happen, but it could happen and he was about the first one to say it.)

    The bigger problem is that our culture isn't attuned to the idea that being wrong is a problem. Instead, Gladwell gets criticized, as here, for "over-simplifying" as if his problem is only being a little bit wrong and that's because he's not detailed enough. No, Malcolm's problem is that he often get his main idea wrong and he gets it really wrong.

    Further, the orthodoxy is that the only way anybody can tell if an idea is wrong is if some academics published a study of the question so Malcolm's fault must be not paying enough attention to academics. But in reality he pays too much attention to academics and doesn't rely on fairly simple reality checking enough.

    Say you come up with the idea that an underdog basketball team without enough athletic team should press full court. How can you test this without doing a giant statistical study? Well, you can start making examples of pressing college team and see what they had in common: John Wooden's UCLA teams with Jabbar and then Walton, Phi Slamma Jamma with Olajuwon and Drexler, Rick Pitino's One and Done teams at UK: they're all ultra-athletic.

    But our culture has had a very hard time figuring out that that's Gladwell's problem: not doing that kind of simple testing using obvious examples.

    This is solid-gold analysis, Steve. You should do yourself a favor and promote it to a regular post.

    Once a culture has given up the idea of a standard of right and wrong that lies outside human invention, all sorts of hell breaks loose. The lack of accountability for someone like Malcolm Gladwell is just one manifestation.

  119. @Steve Sailer
    The NBA got pretty bad 10-20 years ago when even free throw shooting percentages dropped, but they made some rule changes and some coaches figured out fun ways to play under the new rules, and at present few NBA fans are complaining about quality the way they were in the post-Jordan era.

    Baseball can solve its various minor flaws, too.

    Baseball can solve its various minor flaws, too.

    I agree.

    One thing that’s so maddening about watching a current MLB game is that it’s so easy to see how the gametime is being frittered away. No big rule changes (e.g. cutting the numbers of balls and strikes for walks and Ks, limiting the number of foul balls, etc.) are really needed.

    A significant amount of time could be saved just in the game’s margins:

    ***not allowing batters to step out of the box whenever they please;

    ***limiting the pitcher’s time to deliver — this could be done without a visible pitch clock, even — NBA refs must constantly be looking for/counting down 10-second getting it over half-court violations, 5-second violations, and 3-seconds-in-the-lane violations;

    ***keeping the game moving after a foul ball — this is the one that drives me to distraction when watching; after a foul ball, just start counting and see how long it takes until the next pitch is delivered — a foul ball in MLB today is treated almost like a de facto time out; and

    *** limiting or even eliminating visits by anybody to the mound — let the pitcher sweat on his own if he’s in the soup; that’s what he’s being paid handsomely to deal with.

    • Replies: @Anon87
    The NBA gave up on fundamental rules (traveling) and star favortism, which seems to be doing ok for now. I hopefully don't see MLB doing anything that drastic. They have already limited mound visits, but they won't cut into commercial lengths too much. But like most things, they don't need to Band Aide new gimmicky rules (pitch clocks) over old rules
    ... just enforce the laws on the books! Watch an old game on Youtube sometime. The pace is much quicker with the same basic set of rules.

    They were supposed to be serious about not stepping out of the box after every pitch, but that quickly was ignored by all it seems. Maybe the players bitched too much and they backed off?
    , @ScarletNumber

    limiting or even eliminating visits by anybody to the mound — let the pitcher sweat on his own if he’s in the soup; that’s what he’s being paid handsomely to deal with.
     
    It's 2018, why not just allow the manager and catcher to communicate via headset?
  120. Anonymous[250] • Disclaimer says:

    Why did football overtake baseball in popularity?

    • Replies: @Anon87
    Gambling.
  121. @Jack Hanson
    Were Roman prisons where they held you before you went and fought the lions with your bare hands?

    Lots of disingenuous conflating of "places to hold you before you suffered a gory death" with "prison".

    Nope, wasn’t factoring in them. I’m talking about such things as debtors prisons. The British didn’t invent the concept. That goes back to antiquity. Ironically in one of Christ’s parables, a person is cast into prison until the last penny of his debt is paid. As the Carpenter from Galilee was drawing from things from everyday life, apparently a form of debtors prison existed way back then. Just because they weren’t gonna be executed didn’t mean that they lived their lives in comfort and a high end villa off the coast of Capri. Prisons back then were pretty nasty places.

  122. @Faraday's Bobcat
    Brock had 3,000 hits. You have to get on base a lot to get 938 steals.

    3,026 hits, yes. That was part of my larger point in deriding Sabermetrics. As Sabermetrics views such traditional stats as SB’s as irrelevant and not directly impacting the outcome of a MLB game, the SB stat is useless. Also, most hits are not relevant either since other factors come into play. Except for the HR, according to Sabermetrics, most 1B’s 2B’s and 3B’s are not actually determined by the hitter, and thus it’s not a pure stat. Only a HR is a pure hit since it usually goes over the fence. Could also make the case for HOF Ty Cobb, of 4,191 H’s, as he only had about 118 career HR’s. Since he played the bulk of his career in the Dead Ball Era, where HR’s were very difficult to come by, most of Cobb’s hits are irrelevant and thus not pure hits (something he directly had a hand in determining alone, unlike the HR, which goes over the fence).

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber

    unlike the HR, which goes over the fence
     
    In that era, this wasn't a given. I don't know if anyone knows how many of Cobb's home runs did indeed go over the fence.
  123. Anonymous[506] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kratoklastes

    experienced prison personnel
     
    That's shorthand for "people with a deep desire to wield power over others, but so stupid that they could not even become cops or join the military".

    If I had ever heard someone drawn from that low in the barrel of labour-market detritus 'opine', I would not commit it to memory: it would be about as much use as surveying a NASCAR crowd for their opinion on stochastic calculus.

    Imagine how dysfunctional someone has to be to want to be a prison guard.

    Then ask yourself if their considered view on anything has enough cognitive grunt behind it to differentiate it meaningfully from the views of the inmates (the vast bulk of whom are incarcerated for simple drug possession).

    Also... not for nothin' - how does the overwhelming majority of contraband get into prisons? Corrupt guards, that's how.

    Organised crime - including criminal gangs - actually puts 'cleanskin' members into police forces and prison firms, for precisely that reason. (The proportion of gang-bangers in the US Marines is more than an order of magnitude greater than the proportion of gang-bangers in the civilian population, and the Marines have stronger filters than CCA or PDs)

    G. Gordon Liddy certainly expressed this opinion regarding prison guards. The couple that I have known were affable semi-doofuses but they were small town guys who had few other prospects and took the job to make a living in their small towns, or in another town close enough to commute from their hometown once they built up a little seniority. Not squared away particularly but not evil or malicious, and though not especially intelligent, not very stupid either.

    Motorcycle organizations of the three piece patch 1%er variety, especially the Big Red Machine (not the one that produced Pete Rose, the one with Sonny Barger) are big on getting their old ladies on in state infrastructure jobs such as the DMV, Department of Vital Records, et al. This lets them “paper trip” identities from inside (in some states they can generate backdated COLBs: with a state verifiable one you can get a social security number and a passport, especially if you give someone a name like Yoder, who can claim to be ex-Amish or Old Order Mennonite and therefore plausibly applying for a first card at 29, or 39) and track down enemies, even ones under fed witness protection or ex-LEO if the feds aren’t especially careful. In many cases the “old lady” is someone’s functional but not legal wife-they never got a license and they were married by the chapter president using a Shovelhead service manual rather than the Bible, who isn’t a legal practitioner of weddings-and so she passes all but the most intense background checks despite living with someone with criminal organization associations and often a felony record. She can be legally compelled to testify where a legal spouse could not, but she’ll do the two years for contempt rather than talk if worse comes to worst.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    This isn't the guards' fault, but it is criminally dumb to allow women to be guards in men's prisons. Of course we double down on this stupidity by allowing men to be guards in women's prisons.
  124. Anonymous[506] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    > The unasked question about Sabermetrics is whether the game is as interesting to watch as it used to be.

    I agree that this is a good question. But I certainly don’t blame the sabermetricians — they’re just trying to win. If the best way to win is to play in a way that is uninteresting, the onus is on the owners to change the game so that it becomes interesting again.

     

    The game of major league baseball is like all other human endeavors-they have a beginning, an ascent, a "golden period", then decline and an end for all practical purposes. A rump state or activity may remain, but it is not anything much related to the classical era of the operation.

    There is still an Egypt, a Greece, a Spain, a "Great Britain"[sic], but they are no great relation to their existence in their famous and better days.

    Baseball makes a lot of money right now, but I'd bet heavily that forty years hence it will be about as big as jai alai or cricket or curling in the United States, if thought I would be in a position to care forty years from now. Of course, there very well may not be a United States as we know it forty years from now.

    I just got back from a contract job I did with a musical instrument manufacturer. It's under NDA so I can't name which one or the city. But they have been around for a long time and their instruments are, overall, not nearly as good as ones made some time ago, even though the technology has improved a lot. The bottom line is that they will not invest in the workforce what needs to be invested. Workers come in with no skills, work a couple of years, and are fired or quit and still have essentially no skills besides the one micro-task they have been trained on. Turnover is outrageous, and though the pay is good by the standards of where I live, by the standards of what it costs to live where the plant is, it's terrible. And they "can't move the plant" for hysterical raisins-the location is part of the brand identity. The address, even, is a way to tailgate on another brand.

    The current product is not terrible, it's highish-mediocre. But it could be superb with a properly trained workforce. Management is fully cognizant of what it would take and they are not going to do that, because the plant as is makes a good ROI.

    I'm guessing MLB is that way: the product is good enough for now, people still pay a lot of money for tickets. Things will continue as they are until one day people quit coming, nd then it will be too late. But the owners will be dead by then, and they know it.

    The Birthplace of Bolt-On ™ ?

    It’s well known who founded the company and that the road it’s on is named after him. Actually he founded two other guitar companies.

    The problem with them isn’t that the product is not well made: it’s that the original name, logo, and headstock shape are what all the guys in the fifties and sixties had. They are in a market where the people who drive the market are all old boomers buying nostalgia and fantasy fulfillment, not a working musical instrument. Younger players are either looking for low end no profit margin guitars or they want metal-style pointy headstock Floyd Rose guitars (hair bands never went away in flyover country: Steel Panther is taken at face value out here) or extended range, fanned fret, headless, and/or 7, 8, 9 or more string affairs.

  125. @Kratoklastes
    MAOA "warrior gene" pearl-clutching is flavour-of-the-decade for people who want to put a scientific gloss on their racism.

    The statistical evidence for a link from MAOA to increased propensity for violence is so weak that the only defense for citing it, is to admit to have never actually read a study, and be relying on a journalist's "gist". It's 'genetics for Malcolm Gladwell fans' (and let's be crystal clear: 'Malcolm Gladwell fan' is not a positive attribute, because that fuckhead would be ignored by everyone if he didn't have that stupid haircut).

    I take it your testing of 14 year olds will also be undertaken in trailer parks in WVa, Tennessee and other such repositories of Caucasian dysgenics?

    Coz' let's be clear - the reason more of those cracker-ass white-trash motherfuckers aren't incarcerated, isn't because they're all law-abiding upstanding white folks: it's because the local PD doesn't give a fuck. What happens in the trailer park stays in the trailer park, and nobody's getting promoted for stopping one cracker selling meth to another cracker. That's true in every rural area I've ever lived (and the bottom quarter of whites in those areas are guaranteed-not-in-sample in aggregate IQ numbers).

    .

    FWIW: being male and part-Maori, there was a "significantly-higher-than-Caucasian" chance that I have the 3R variant of MAOA - and I do.

    I also quite happily admit to the quasi-sociopathy that can allegedly be expected in people with that expression of MAOA plus OXTR rs53576A (which I also have).

    However... I also had a wonderful childhood, graduated summa cum laude in a technical discipline, and have a tested IQ over 135 on the SB15 scale, and have never been charged with a crime of any type.

    My uncle - a cardiologist, cardiac surgeon and former professor of Cardiology - is more Maori than I am, more likely to carry MAOA-3R, and is objectively smarter than me; he's also 5'7" and 120lb wringing wet and has never had any inclination to violence.

    And here's the terrible thing... we were both late bloomers (me more than Uncle Murray: I failed grade 9 because I was bored out of my mind).

    Neither of us would have been particularly interested in participating in your Reich-wide testing of 14-year-olds (in the same way, Feynman significantly underperformed his potential in a childhood IQ test: he tested in the mid-120s, which is laughable given his talent across domains).

    What is this ‘racism’ of which you speak? I’ve heard of it but I can’t quite figure out what it means.

    As far as I can tell its an all purpose term used to excuse all sorts of deficiencies of a mental or moral sort.

    BTW you seem quite eager to hurl racial insults at whites. Or doesn’t that count?

    Actually I have favorable opinions of part Maori people. I was a serious fan of Kiri Te Kanawa. I attended many of her performances and even showed up at an event where she was honored.

    In the old days the innumerates liked to claim that intelligence tests were bogus because Einstein supposedly did poorly in school. In more modern times Feynman has been substituted. I’ve read at least a half dozen Feynman books. I recently gave one of them to my doctor. I had given out Feynman books to my immediate staff at Christmas for years. They make a great gift.

    You sir are simply talking through your hat. Feynman was recognized by all around him since childhood as something special. Trying to proving IQ tests are imperfect by this one example is a little desperate. Modern IQ tests have been around for a century. They have been in hundreds of published studies involving millions of subjects. Furthermore mental ability testing is at least as old as the Sung Dynasty. There is nothing in any of the social sciences that is as solid and certain as the results of aptitude tests.

    The problem is that some people and some races don’t do as well on these tests as they would wish, and they try to muddy the waters.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Silly, everyone knows that white does not exist as a race. Therefore there is no such thing as racism vs. whites per se. And of course there's no such thing as racism, except when there is, and such policies as Affirmative Action, quotas, etc prove to be beneficial to non-whites, even though technically race doesn't exist. And that's as clear as the rising and setting of the sun.

    Kanawa sounds Japanese, by the way. Or at least the surname sounds as if it originated in Japan.
    , @Stan d Mute

    You sir are simply talking through your hat. Feynman was recognized by all around him since childhood as something special. Trying to proving IQ tests are imperfect by this one example is a little desperate.
    ...
    The problem is that some people and some races don’t do as well on these tests as they would wish, and they try to muddy the waters.
     
    Consider too what sort of fellow brags about his own IQ then casts aspersions on the validity of IQ testing while claiming a state full of whites too stupid to even register. From whom do we see this kind of behavior (demographically speaking)? Ron has made it simple to block this sort of troll so you don’t have to waste your time rebutting incoherent nonsense.
  126. I think the number of prisoners for minor offenses (including GBH) should be reduced greatly. Instead, fines (including full confiscation of property, including that of the property of close kin) and corporal punishment (flogging, caning) should be reintroduced. For the more serious violent crimes amputations (including castration for rape; not the feminist definition, but real rape) and capital punishment should be imposed.

    Prisons are basically criminal academies run by criminal gangs, so I would reduce their roles.

    I wonder if Malcolm Gladwell had something similar in mind..?

  127. @Pat Boyle
    What is this 'racism' of which you speak? I've heard of it but I can't quite figure out what it means.

    As far as I can tell its an all purpose term used to excuse all sorts of deficiencies of a mental or moral sort.

    BTW you seem quite eager to hurl racial insults at whites. Or doesn't that count?

    Actually I have favorable opinions of part Maori people. I was a serious fan of Kiri Te Kanawa. I attended many of her performances and even showed up at an event where she was honored.

    In the old days the innumerates liked to claim that intelligence tests were bogus because Einstein supposedly did poorly in school. In more modern times Feynman has been substituted. I've read at least a half dozen Feynman books. I recently gave one of them to my doctor. I had given out Feynman books to my immediate staff at Christmas for years. They make a great gift.

    You sir are simply talking through your hat. Feynman was recognized by all around him since childhood as something special. Trying to proving IQ tests are imperfect by this one example is a little desperate. Modern IQ tests have been around for a century. They have been in hundreds of published studies involving millions of subjects. Furthermore mental ability testing is at least as old as the Sung Dynasty. There is nothing in any of the social sciences that is as solid and certain as the results of aptitude tests.

    The problem is that some people and some races don't do as well on these tests as they would wish, and they try to muddy the waters.

    Silly, everyone knows that white does not exist as a race. Therefore there is no such thing as racism vs. whites per se. And of course there’s no such thing as racism, except when there is, and such policies as Affirmative Action, quotas, etc prove to be beneficial to non-whites, even though technically race doesn’t exist. And that’s as clear as the rising and setting of the sun.

    Kanawa sounds Japanese, by the way. Or at least the surname sounds as if it originated in Japan.

    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    I'm a little stunned. You actually haven't heard of Kiri Te Kanawa? Perhaps you've been out of touch? A coma maybe?

    Te Kanawa was a few years ago arguably the best soprano in the world. And she is beautiful too. She sang at the wedding of Charles and Diana. Paul McCartney wrote his biggest work "The Liverpool Oratorio" for her. She was knighted by the Queen. She isn't exactly obscure.

    She was part Maori. At some press conference she was asked what Maori looked like and she pointed to herself. A charming answer but untrue.

    You claim to be Japanese, I wonder if you know anything about all the wonderful Japanese and Korean opera singers active today.
  128. @Sleep
    Canada's immigration procedure is very difficult .... And has a lot of absolute disqualifiers. If you have medical problems that will cost the state more money than the average native-born Canadian, for example, you automatically lose. Thus half of America is disqualified. All in all, the Canadian immigration authorities are not easy to fool. An exception is their asylum system .... some American blacks have actually been approved for asylum in Canada by walking all the way to Winnipeg on foot and thus separating themselves from any easy means of going back. However, I think even these are mostly or entirely immigrants from Africa to the US who found the US to be a false paradise after a few years. Someone born in Detroit could not pull off the same trick by walking to Windsor.

    Someone born in Detroit could not pull off the same trick by walking to Windsor.

    Well.. You never could walk the tunnel. And while you could walk the Ambassador bridge, nobody did it since there’s nothing worth doing within walking distance and it’s been prohibited since 9/11. So your example would need to walk across the river. And I’m pretty sure anyone who could walk atop the Detroit River would be acceptable as an immigrant in Canada.

  129. @Kylie
    "Why does anyone still care what Malcolm Gladwell has to say?"

    For the same reason a community organizer/asbestos remover was twice elected POTUS.

    “Why does anyone still care what Malcolm Gladwell has to say?”

    For the same reason a community organizer/asbestos remover was twice elected POTUS.

    Ah, finally! And it took only 87 comments to get the correct answer. “Magic Negro!”

  130. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Silly, everyone knows that white does not exist as a race. Therefore there is no such thing as racism vs. whites per se. And of course there's no such thing as racism, except when there is, and such policies as Affirmative Action, quotas, etc prove to be beneficial to non-whites, even though technically race doesn't exist. And that's as clear as the rising and setting of the sun.

    Kanawa sounds Japanese, by the way. Or at least the surname sounds as if it originated in Japan.

    I’m a little stunned. You actually haven’t heard of Kiri Te Kanawa? Perhaps you’ve been out of touch? A coma maybe?

    Te Kanawa was a few years ago arguably the best soprano in the world. And she is beautiful too. She sang at the wedding of Charles and Diana. Paul McCartney wrote his biggest work “The Liverpool Oratorio” for her. She was knighted by the Queen. She isn’t exactly obscure.

    She was part Maori. At some press conference she was asked what Maori looked like and she pointed to herself. A charming answer but untrue.

    You claim to be Japanese, I wonder if you know anything about all the wonderful Japanese and Korean opera singers active today.

  131. @Pat Boyle
    What is this 'racism' of which you speak? I've heard of it but I can't quite figure out what it means.

    As far as I can tell its an all purpose term used to excuse all sorts of deficiencies of a mental or moral sort.

    BTW you seem quite eager to hurl racial insults at whites. Or doesn't that count?

    Actually I have favorable opinions of part Maori people. I was a serious fan of Kiri Te Kanawa. I attended many of her performances and even showed up at an event where she was honored.

    In the old days the innumerates liked to claim that intelligence tests were bogus because Einstein supposedly did poorly in school. In more modern times Feynman has been substituted. I've read at least a half dozen Feynman books. I recently gave one of them to my doctor. I had given out Feynman books to my immediate staff at Christmas for years. They make a great gift.

    You sir are simply talking through your hat. Feynman was recognized by all around him since childhood as something special. Trying to proving IQ tests are imperfect by this one example is a little desperate. Modern IQ tests have been around for a century. They have been in hundreds of published studies involving millions of subjects. Furthermore mental ability testing is at least as old as the Sung Dynasty. There is nothing in any of the social sciences that is as solid and certain as the results of aptitude tests.

    The problem is that some people and some races don't do as well on these tests as they would wish, and they try to muddy the waters.

    You sir are simply talking through your hat. Feynman was recognized by all around him since childhood as something special. Trying to proving IQ tests are imperfect by this one example is a little desperate.

    The problem is that some people and some races don’t do as well on these tests as they would wish, and they try to muddy the waters.

    Consider too what sort of fellow brags about his own IQ then casts aspersions on the validity of IQ testing while claiming a state full of whites too stupid to even register. From whom do we see this kind of behavior (demographically speaking)? Ron has made it simple to block this sort of troll so you don’t have to waste your time rebutting incoherent nonsense.

  132. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Baseball can solve its various minor flaws, too.

     

    I agree.

    One thing that's so maddening about watching a current MLB game is that it's so easy to see how the gametime is being frittered away. No big rule changes (e.g. cutting the numbers of balls and strikes for walks and Ks, limiting the number of foul balls, etc.) are really needed.

    A significant amount of time could be saved just in the game's margins:

    ***not allowing batters to step out of the box whenever they please;

    ***limiting the pitcher's time to deliver -- this could be done without a visible pitch clock, even -- NBA refs must constantly be looking for/counting down 10-second getting it over half-court violations, 5-second violations, and 3-seconds-in-the-lane violations;

    ***keeping the game moving after a foul ball -- this is the one that drives me to distraction when watching; after a foul ball, just start counting and see how long it takes until the next pitch is delivered -- a foul ball in MLB today is treated almost like a de facto time out; and

    *** limiting or even eliminating visits by anybody to the mound -- let the pitcher sweat on his own if he's in the soup; that's what he's being paid handsomely to deal with.

    The NBA gave up on fundamental rules (traveling) and star favortism, which seems to be doing ok for now. I hopefully don’t see MLB doing anything that drastic. They have already limited mound visits, but they won’t cut into commercial lengths too much. But like most things, they don’t need to Band Aide new gimmicky rules (pitch clocks) over old rules
    … just enforce the laws on the books! Watch an old game on Youtube sometime. The pace is much quicker with the same basic set of rules.

    They were supposed to be serious about not stepping out of the box after every pitch, but that quickly was ignored by all it seems. Maybe the players bitched too much and they backed off?

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    They were supposed to be serious about not stepping out of the box after every pitch, but that quickly was ignored by all it seems. Maybe the players bitched too much and they backed off?

     

    Yeah, I don't get this either. I listed this one first because it's the clearest, most obvious way to get games moving faster, and absolutely nothing about the game itself needs to be changed.

    For years a kind of culture of 'playing chicken' between pitchers and batters has evolved in which each tries to wait the other out in order to get in the opponent's head and gain an edge, I guess. But watching invisible mind games is supremely boring.

    I suspect you're right about the players bitching. Many batters seem to like taking their time, many pitchers for sure do, and the latter has been exacerbated by some recent study that seemed to show that pitchers' pitch-by-pitch velocity got slightly higher the longer the break they had between pitches. Giving that info to pitchers is a perverse incentive for sure.
  133. @Anonymous
    Why did football overtake baseball in popularity?

    Gambling.

  134. @Anon87
    The NBA gave up on fundamental rules (traveling) and star favortism, which seems to be doing ok for now. I hopefully don't see MLB doing anything that drastic. They have already limited mound visits, but they won't cut into commercial lengths too much. But like most things, they don't need to Band Aide new gimmicky rules (pitch clocks) over old rules
    ... just enforce the laws on the books! Watch an old game on Youtube sometime. The pace is much quicker with the same basic set of rules.

    They were supposed to be serious about not stepping out of the box after every pitch, but that quickly was ignored by all it seems. Maybe the players bitched too much and they backed off?

    They were supposed to be serious about not stepping out of the box after every pitch, but that quickly was ignored by all it seems. Maybe the players bitched too much and they backed off?

    Yeah, I don’t get this either. I listed this one first because it’s the clearest, most obvious way to get games moving faster, and absolutely nothing about the game itself needs to be changed.

    For years a kind of culture of ‘playing chicken’ between pitchers and batters has evolved in which each tries to wait the other out in order to get in the opponent’s head and gain an edge, I guess. But watching invisible mind games is supremely boring.

    I suspect you’re right about the players bitching. Many batters seem to like taking their time, many pitchers for sure do, and the latter has been exacerbated by some recent study that seemed to show that pitchers’ pitch-by-pitch velocity got slightly higher the longer the break they had between pitches. Giving that info to pitchers is a perverse incentive for sure.

    • Replies: @Anon87
    Yeah, something is up. MLB has no problem quickly implementing new rules changes (mound visits, home plate collision rules, putting up more stupid netting) but when it comes to the basics of staying in the box or calling the defined strike zone it's total impotence.

    Interesting on the extra rest and velocity. Full effort all the time gets Ks, but might be hell on arms. Maybe they should work quicker and save on potential injury.
  135. @Chase
    When Bob Knight was fired from Texas Tech, for a couple years he went on to be a color guy for ESPN college basketball. He was an order of magnitude better at describing what was happening on the court than any other person in any sport I'd ever heard. It wasn't hard for me to see why he was so successful at coaching.

    Knight resigned at Texas Tech in February 2008. At the time no one suggested that the resignation was forced, but a voluntary mid-season retirement is odd.

  136. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Baseball can solve its various minor flaws, too.

     

    I agree.

    One thing that's so maddening about watching a current MLB game is that it's so easy to see how the gametime is being frittered away. No big rule changes (e.g. cutting the numbers of balls and strikes for walks and Ks, limiting the number of foul balls, etc.) are really needed.

    A significant amount of time could be saved just in the game's margins:

    ***not allowing batters to step out of the box whenever they please;

    ***limiting the pitcher's time to deliver -- this could be done without a visible pitch clock, even -- NBA refs must constantly be looking for/counting down 10-second getting it over half-court violations, 5-second violations, and 3-seconds-in-the-lane violations;

    ***keeping the game moving after a foul ball -- this is the one that drives me to distraction when watching; after a foul ball, just start counting and see how long it takes until the next pitch is delivered -- a foul ball in MLB today is treated almost like a de facto time out; and

    *** limiting or even eliminating visits by anybody to the mound -- let the pitcher sweat on his own if he's in the soup; that's what he's being paid handsomely to deal with.

    limiting or even eliminating visits by anybody to the mound — let the pitcher sweat on his own if he’s in the soup; that’s what he’s being paid handsomely to deal with.

    It’s 2018, why not just allow the manager and catcher to communicate via headset?

  137. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    3,026 hits, yes. That was part of my larger point in deriding Sabermetrics. As Sabermetrics views such traditional stats as SB's as irrelevant and not directly impacting the outcome of a MLB game, the SB stat is useless. Also, most hits are not relevant either since other factors come into play. Except for the HR, according to Sabermetrics, most 1B's 2B's and 3B's are not actually determined by the hitter, and thus it's not a pure stat. Only a HR is a pure hit since it usually goes over the fence. Could also make the case for HOF Ty Cobb, of 4,191 H's, as he only had about 118 career HR's. Since he played the bulk of his career in the Dead Ball Era, where HR's were very difficult to come by, most of Cobb's hits are irrelevant and thus not pure hits (something he directly had a hand in determining alone, unlike the HR, which goes over the fence).

    unlike the HR, which goes over the fence

    In that era, this wasn’t a given. I don’t know if anyone knows how many of Cobb’s home runs did indeed go over the fence.

  138. @Anonymous
    G. Gordon Liddy certainly expressed this opinion regarding prison guards. The couple that I have known were affable semi-doofuses but they were small town guys who had few other prospects and took the job to make a living in their small towns, or in another town close enough to commute from their hometown once they built up a little seniority. Not squared away particularly but not evil or malicious, and though not especially intelligent, not very stupid either.

    Motorcycle organizations of the three piece patch 1%er variety, especially the Big Red Machine (not the one that produced Pete Rose, the one with Sonny Barger) are big on getting their old ladies on in state infrastructure jobs such as the DMV, Department of Vital Records, et al. This lets them "paper trip" identities from inside (in some states they can generate backdated COLBs: with a state verifiable one you can get a social security number and a passport, especially if you give someone a name like Yoder, who can claim to be ex-Amish or Old Order Mennonite and therefore plausibly applying for a first card at 29, or 39) and track down enemies, even ones under fed witness protection or ex-LEO if the feds aren't especially careful. In many cases the "old lady" is someone's functional but not legal wife-they never got a license and they were married by the chapter president using a Shovelhead service manual rather than the Bible, who isn't a legal practitioner of weddings-and so she passes all but the most intense background checks despite living with someone with criminal organization associations and often a felony record. She can be legally compelled to testify where a legal spouse could not, but she'll do the two years for contempt rather than talk if worse comes to worst.

    This isn’t the guards’ fault, but it is criminally dumb to allow women to be guards in men’s prisons. Of course we double down on this stupidity by allowing men to be guards in women’s prisons.

  139. @Sunbeam
    "Aren’t the true numbers even worse as you are basing these stats off convicted criminals? Think of all the crimes blacks get away with….it’s astonishing"

    Yeah.

    I actually wonder what the Rape numbers really are. Somehow I think a lot of black women experience events that a white woman would call Rape, but never reports it to the police.

    Also it would be illuminating to know exactly how many murder cases are just a dead body, and the police never find lead one on.

    Take Chicago. Black man found dead in streets from multiple gunshot wounds. Some concerned media person never takes to the air to shed tears, or writes a heartbreaking op ed piece that strikes a chord.

    If there is no obvious place to start an investigation, how many man-hours and how much money is spent investigating it?

    There’s also rampant sexual abuse of young boys in the ghetto. It’s complete chaos so predators have a field day. Very sad.

  140. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Exactly. One way would be to have a seven pitch limit per batter. A full 3-2 count, a foul off, and then if the batter doesn't connect on pitch seven, he's automatically out. Even if its a foul ball. You could also have four fouls rule, where four fouls equals an automatic out as well. Just eliminated the strategy of continually fouling off pitches endlessly during a single AB, but it also keeps the game moving.

    Just as the NBA has a shot clock, MLB could institute a six second rule where the pitcher must deliver the ball as soon as his foot steps on the rubber. If he takes his foot off the rubber, it's a balk (if runners are on base), or if no one's on base, simply award the batter 1B. Also, each time a batter steps out of the batters box he has a seven second grace period but is allowed to step out of the box only once per AB (barring injury to himself). If he goes beyond six seconds he's out.

    Implement these simple rules on a consistent basis and that could shave about 20 minutes off the duration of the game. Both hitters and pitchers will soon learn the lesson of what happens when they waste time (barring injury).

    I do tend to blame Sabermetrics:


    1. For taking the X factor(s) out of MLB. Things that worked (whether sufficiently or excellent) over the decades for near a century are now out of fashion for no apparent reason.

    2. For reducing individual initiatives that worked quite well for over a century. One of Sabermetrics main themes is to reduce unnecessary "risks", or behaviors that are deemed to be irrelevant to the overall strategy of the game. In other words it would appear that to gain a reward, there must be as little direct risk involved to obtaining it. Life doesn't work like that, so why should one expect MLB to work that way?

    3. With his joining BOS's GM office, Bill James demonstrated what lies behind the science of Sabermetrics: In part, it is meant to be employed by management to suppress player's salaries. If they were smart, the players union should demand a refusal to allow sabermetric based stats during a player's contract negotiations. Rather only traditional stats are to be used (e.g. those stats well established say, from 1920 and before). This doesn't directly affect the superstars (they will usually get their price or close enough to it). It does directly impact the bench players, the second tier everyday players and even some borderline stars. All it would take is for some anti-Sabermetric union reps to demonstrate how it plays out in contract negotiations.

    Bill James' stats have never factored into account that baseball doesn't always play out the way it looks on paper, and neither does it take into account that for the most part, owners don't really give a damn about winning or remaining competitive. They do care about making money, which they can make in other ways (especially via corporate welfare/taxpayer funding of ballparks, hiring temporary non-union even illegal alien ground crews and concessions, etc). The question never asked: Is Sabermetrics useful to owners to employ in holding down players salaries?

    Answer: for the most part, uh yes. Yes it is. And that's what matters most to them.

    Can just see Trout or Judge at salary negotiations "But I led the AL in OPS! I led in walks! My on-base percentage is one of the biggest in history!"

    "We can finish in last place without you."--HOF GM Branch Rickey to PIT Al Kiner asking for a raise after leading the NL in HR's for seven consecutive seasons.

    If leading league in a revered stat like HR's doesn't help jack squat, why should OPS be expected to help in getting a ten million increase in pay at the end of the day?

    I’m not sure I agree. Are you arguing that sabermetrics is ineffective? If so, then you would think that any team that ignores them would win. However, I believe the trend is the opposite.

    If you acknowledge that it is effective, that the ideal solution is not to punish people who use it, but rather to change the game so that it is no longer effective.

    I believe that what people like to see in baseball is skilled players putting the ball in play, and skilled players playing good defense on balls put in play. In my opinion, the most exciting play in baseball is a double with a man on first.

    Yet today, with increased emphasis on walks, and pitchers who throw so hard that players simply can’t put the ball in play very often, there are fewer balls put in play per pitch, or per minute watched. That is the real problem.

    So, a good solution results in more at-bats ending in fewer pitches, with the ball put in play. Radical solutions are necessary. Make the bats bigger and/or lighter. Move the mound back. Lower the mound. Reduce the number of fielders to 8. Force the outfielders to play very shallow.

  141. @The Last Real Calvinist

    They were supposed to be serious about not stepping out of the box after every pitch, but that quickly was ignored by all it seems. Maybe the players bitched too much and they backed off?

     

    Yeah, I don't get this either. I listed this one first because it's the clearest, most obvious way to get games moving faster, and absolutely nothing about the game itself needs to be changed.

    For years a kind of culture of 'playing chicken' between pitchers and batters has evolved in which each tries to wait the other out in order to get in the opponent's head and gain an edge, I guess. But watching invisible mind games is supremely boring.

    I suspect you're right about the players bitching. Many batters seem to like taking their time, many pitchers for sure do, and the latter has been exacerbated by some recent study that seemed to show that pitchers' pitch-by-pitch velocity got slightly higher the longer the break they had between pitches. Giving that info to pitchers is a perverse incentive for sure.

    Yeah, something is up. MLB has no problem quickly implementing new rules changes (mound visits, home plate collision rules, putting up more stupid netting) but when it comes to the basics of staying in the box or calling the defined strike zone it’s total impotence.

    Interesting on the extra rest and velocity. Full effort all the time gets Ks, but might be hell on arms. Maybe they should work quicker and save on potential injury.

  142. @Pericles
    San Francisco should thus institute a program of giving free golfing equipment to the homeless.

    I once saw a homeless guy outside the Twitter building on Market St lugging a full set of club. It’s not like this idea just popped into my head.

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