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“the First Duty of Intelligent Men”—John Derbyshire On Charles Murray’s HUMAN DIVERSITY
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Here’s George Orwell reviewing Russell’s Power: A New Social Analysis in 1939:

If there are certain pages of Mr. Bertrand Russell’s book … which seem rather empty, that is merely to say that we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.

Today, eighty-one years later, we have sunk much further, to depths of reality-denial that even Orwell could not have imagined.

So here is Charles Murray—a very intelligent man—stepping up to do his duty.

(For my take on Charles Murray, his work, and his standing in the pantheon of public intellectuals as at late 2018, see here. For some forgotten reason, however, I got the name of his new book—at that point still a work in progress—slightly wrong)

Restatement of the obvious? This new book of Murray’s—Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class—offers 114 pages telling us that human beings, like all other higher animals, are divided by biology into males and females.

When you have finished gasping in astonishment at that, there follow a further 76 pages explaining that homo sap., like any other higher animal with longstanding, geographically-wide distribution, is also divided by biology into localized, mostly-inbred races that differ statistically from one another in many heritable traits: appearance, body chemistry, disease resistance, personality, behavior, and intelligence.

I’ll pause while you pick yourself up from the floor…Okay.

There is of course much more to be said about these matters: anomalies and exceptions. Here is Murray’s own summary:

The findings I have presented boil down to just three cautious conclusions:

  • Human beings can be biologically classified into groups by sex and by ancestral population. Like most biological classifications, these groups have fuzzy edges. This complicates things analytically, but no more than that.
  • Many phenotypic differences in personality, abilities, and social behavior that we observe between the sexes, among ancestral populations, and among social classes have a biological component.
  • Growing knowledge about human diversity will inevitably shape the future of the social sciences.

Nor are those 190 pages on sex and race mere opinionating. They are packed dense with detailed information from the rigorous human sciences: genetics, neuroscience, quantitative psychology and sociology. There are 78 pages of notes and 40 pages of references.

In full the book’s main overall structure is as follows:

  • Introduction—18 pages
  • Sex—114
  • Race—76
  • Class—64
  • Looking ahead—48
  • Appendices—50
  • Notes—78
  • References—40
  • Index—18

Since most of the facts Murray is telling us are statistical in nature, the whole edifice is mortared together with concepts from statistics.

Not familiar with the term “effect size”? Murray writes:

An effect size is denoted as d. To calculate d for height, I subtracted the male mean from the female mean, producing a difference of ­5.4 inches. The pooled standard deviation is 2.9 inches, so d equals ­5.4 ÷ 2.9, which works out to an effect size of ­1.86. This is an extremely large effect size. Most sex differences are much smaller and the distributions have much more overlap.

Murray explains key concepts as he goes along, with illustrative examples like that. He is a first-rate popularizer of science, making things as clear as they can be made. Still, Human Diversity is not for the mathematically-challenged or faint of heart.

(I should say that this book, like The Bell Curve, has an appendix explaining basic statistical concepts.)

Some of Bertrand Russell’s pages contained material so obvious they seemed empty to Orwell. Murray’s pages, even when dealing with obvious large facts like the reality of sex and race, never struck me that way. To the contrary, some pages were so densely full, I had to read them two or three times before I was sure had properly understood the argument.

And not all Murray’s topics belong in the category of the bleeding obvious. The third of his major sections deals with class. Here we encounter the most counterintuitive result to emerge from late-20th-century studies of twins and adopted siblings: the very weak effect of shared environment on the finished adult personality.

The “shared” in “shared environment” refers to that part of a child’s environment that he shares with siblings.

Plausible candidates … are such things as parental income, occupation, education, age, parenting practices, family structure, the quality of the neighborhood, and the quality of the schools.

As developmental psychologists Sandra Scarr and Susan Grajek famously put it in 1982:

Upper-middle-class brothers who attend the same school and whose parents take them to the same plays, sporting events, music lessons, and therapists, and use similar child rearing practices on them are little more similar in personality measures than they are to working-class or farm boys whose lives are totally different.[ “Similarities and differences among siblings”, Ch. 15 of Sibling relationships: Their nature and significance across the lifespan, Erlbaum, 1982]

Parents have been working from the contrary assumption at least as far back as the writing of the Book of Proverbs: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

As late as the mid-20th century Sigmund Freud’s theories about how the family psychodrama shapes us as finished adults held the educated classes of the West in thrall.

We now know beyond reasonable doubt that Freud and the authors of Proverbs were fundamentally mistaken. They did not allow for genetic confounding.

This finding about shared environment is, in my experience, one of the most difficult to convey to people of no scientific inclination. The late Judith Rich Harris got a best-selling book out of it—The Nurture Assumption (1998)—but resistance is still widespread.

Murray covers the ground very thoroughly. He does a deep dive into the vexed issue of the non-shared environment, which Judith Rich Harris explored further in her much-underappreciated second book No Two Alike (2006). Murray:

One of the securely known features of [identical] twins is that their differences in psychological traits cannot be genetic (because they share the same genes); they cannot be caused by differences in the shared environment (by definition); and therefore such psychological differences must be due to the nonshared environment. But it has been found that those differences are not stable over time. Cognitive differences last no more than a few years and personality differences change even more quickly. No identical twin differences are stable over many years. The necessary implication: The nonshared environmental factors are not stable, but more like random noise.

That offers a gloomy prospect to the applied social scientist (which is Murray’s self-description). If outside interventions have no permanent effect on, for example, educational attainment, what is the point of applied social science?

ORDER IT NOW

Murray, who is a cheerful soul, manages to extract something hopeful from the gloom. The point, he argues—I hope I am not misrepresenting him—is that by attaining a fuller understanding of human nature via scientific inquiry we can adjust our institutions to allow human flourishing in freedom. He writes:

Societies must be made to fit human nature, because human nature cannot be reshaped to fit theoretical utopias.

To political ideologues seeking to uproot this world and make a new one, that is rank heresy. Human nature, they tell us, has nothing to do with biology; it is entirely social. Here for example is Mao Tse-tung telling us this:

In class society there is only human nature of a class character; there is no human nature above classes.

[Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art; May 23, 1942.]

That is the difference of opinion we have been living with throughout the modern age.

The dominant ideology of the Western world today—Murray calls it “the orthodoxy”—is on the side of Mao Tse-tung. Murray offers some cautious optimism to us in the anti-Mao camp. He actually calls the following “my probably starry-eyed expectation”:

The ability to predict a wide variety of human differences solely from baseline genetic measures will puncture the center of the orthodoxy’s beleaguered defense.

I wish I could believe it. Already the forces of orthodoxy are launching counter-attacks on Human Diversity. Opinion writers at broadsheet newspapers and magazines have the phrase “peddling discredited race science” set up as a single-key macro.

New Republic acknowledged the appearance of Human Diversity on Tuesday—the book’s publication date—with a thousand-word point’n’sputter piece by staff writer Alex Shephard complaining that Murray has not yet been completely destroyed.

From the last ditch, behavioral geneticist Eric Turkheimer [Email him] whose work Murray quotes often in the book, always very respectfully, fired off a sniffy little blog post on Tuesday—the book’s publication date—accusing the author of “genetic determinism” and laying down a bold metaphysical marker about what can and cannot be known.

Almost all modern behavioral scientists … are wise enough about what they are doing to know that the current state of the science does not permit us to derive behavior from biology; some of us, and here there is room for disagreement, believe that it will never be possible to do so. [Charles Murray’s “Human Diversity”, GHA Project, January 28, 2020]

The future will tell. And Charles Murray is confident.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. He’s (finally, belatedly) courageous is what he is.

    These are his 95 Theses nailed to the Cathedral door, and they will likewise shake the world.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  2. Thank you for the solid review, Mr. Derbyshire. I may even BUY this one (vs. using the library) just to piss off his detractors. I somehow missed Steve Sailer’s review and need to go back and find that one.

    I read Mrs. Judith Harris’ first book, The Nurture Assumption, and I’d like to know what you think of her 2nd book, if you’ve read it. I’d like to make a point from Peak Stupidity’s review, a review of The Nurture Assumption written 3 years after my reading the book – I’ll try not to do that anymore …

    Anyway, Mrs. Harris’ main point is that a large majority of the nurture half(?) that influences a person’s personality comes from peers and not the parents. It would make one think that practicing good parenting is almost a useless endeavor.

    However, it’s the amount of love from parents that determines whether the child will trust the parents until a later age (to allow counteraction to some of the bad peer influence). Additionally, parents can make a big effort to choose these peers that will have such a big influence. This biggest way, by far, is picking good schools.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  3. @Desiderius

    Your comparison is quite apt, but not for the reason you think it is.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  4. If Jesus came back and were going to give a sermon in Central Park at 6:15pm this Sunday, Feb 2, would people appear in droves? Or would they pack the sports bars to see The Game?

    It seems to me Celebrity, Sports, Money, and Mass Media set the stage for much of how people behave and whom they champion. Family upbringing for the rest.

    This proverb I have always found to have merit:

    Understanding is a fountain of life to its possessor.
    Folly is the instruction for the foolish. Prov. 16:22.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  5. Charles Maurras is more fun.

    Btw, the best way to demonstrate the truth of HBD is to just point to mass media, entertainment, and sports, all of which are owned/controlled by Jews, globalists, and Libbers.

    Just take pop music. It sure ain’t equal.

    Murray looks at stats and stats, but more effective would be to point to how libby-dib-owned institutions, industries, and etc. all reflect HBD.

    Jews in Wall Street, blacks in NFL, homos in fashion, Asians in math, etc.

    Just throw it back at their face. If libs say all races are equal, then why do industries and institutions run by them reflect HBD to such degree?

    Why are blacks SO SUCCESSFUL in NBA while Jews are SO SUCCESSFUL in owning NBA teams?

  6. Anonymous[603] • Disclaimer says:

    The Chinese will accept and move forward with scientific reality. Eventually, we’ll have no choice but to follow them. Hopefully it won’t be too late.

  7. If outside interventions have no permanent effect on, for example, educational attainment, what is the point of applied social science?

    Or education at all?

    Why spend five years and $250,000 getting an architecture degree, if building is either in your genes, or isn’t?

    Oh, those stupid licensing laws… But the schooling used to be optional. In some states, it still is:

    https://work.chron.com/become-architect-degree-18520.html

  8. @Priss Factor

    Just take pop music. It sure ain’t equal.

    Or any good. Not for the last five or six decades.

    Why are blacks SO SUCCESSFUL in NBA

    The rules are skewed in their favor. Make the court the size of Aussie football or Irish hurling, raise the basket to 16′, and end time outs and substitution, and the demographics might look different.

    Or just play outside. It’s a winter sport, after all.

    …while Jews are SO SUCCESSFUL in owning NBA teams?

    They are?

    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1789262-ranking-the-nbas-10-most-popular-owners#slide10

    • Replies: @Kim
  9. @Anonymous

    The Chinese will accept and move forward with scientific reality.

    Like they did in the 1950s, a time when we slapped “In God We Trust” on our money.

    Reason vs mysticism. How’d that work out?

  10. Regarding Derb’s quote from Chairman Mao above on communist fanaticism re class struggle as being everything in human behaviour –

    It is not well-known that one of the most famous of all communist leaders took a quite different tack on this – Josef Dzhugashvili Stalin

    Departing from Lenin, Stalin upheld both nationalism and certain elements of culture and society and behaviour as being outcomes of the biological, organic nature of people

    As he took power, Stalin terminated Lenin’s ‘cultural Marxist’ experiment in radical feminism, easy divorce etc, which nearly collapsed Russian society in the early 1920s. Stalin restored a soft patriarchy, which remained the model of European communist states until the fall of the Berlin wall.

    Deviating from Lenin and diametrically opposed to ‘globalist revolution’ advocate Trotsky – the bigger influence on today’s ‘leftists’, Trotskyist professors and writers more shaping what most think of as ‘communism’ –

    Stalin did not see nationalities and ethnic identities etc as disappearing under even world socialism, but rather continuing and perhaps even expanding

    Stalin warned that ignoring basic realities of human nature, ethnic differences etc, would lead to social dysfunction, anarchy and collapse

    Stalin endorsed a Marxist view in which nationalities are quite ‘real’, if grounded in

    a common language, a common territory, a common economic life, and a common psychological make-up manifesting itself in common specific features of national culture

    http://ciml.250x.com/archive/stalin/english/stalin_1929_the_national_question_and_leninism.pdf

    Stalin over time became more a part of the less-well-known ‘organicist’ thread of communist thinking, involving figures such as Aleksandr Bogdanov and Otto Bauer.

    Stalinism has been a curious blend of a ‘totalitarian’ belief in the omnipotence of the state and a strong traditionalist streak.

    Stalin’s recognition that even the state cannot act at complete liberty. Biology provided him with the concept of national communities as independent organisms with an identity of their own, and made him understand the inevitability of their prolonged existence within the framework of the great state.

    http://www.workersrepublic.org/Pages/International/National%20Question/stalinandnatquestion.html

    So Stalin was somewhat of a ‘National Socialist’ as well as Hitler, ‘NazBol’ (Nazi Bolshevik) as some say

    The few Stalinists out there today, sometimes make quite a point of opposing induced mass migration, unlike the conventional ‘leftists’ of today
    https://dissidentvoice.org/2016/01/coercive-engineered-migration-zionisms-war-on-europe/

    Stalin took aggressive action to remove many Jews from Soviet power in the late 1930s, which some argue is the hidden motive behind Stalin’s demonisation and allegedly exaggerated accounts of Stalin’s crimes … For some quite remarkable Stalin revisionism, talking about exaggerated gulag numbers, Solzhenitsyn as a fraud etc, here is one site
    http://www.mariosousa.se/LiesconcerningthehistoryoftheSovietUnion.html

  11. @Priss Factor

    I think the SJW types who believe in statistical equality are in the minority, most people seem to believe in ‘equality of opportunity’ as opposed to ‘equality of outcome’. Most will accept that White people are probably better on average than Black people at mathematics, or that Black people are better than White people at track and field, but they will not accept vague statements like ‘White people are better than Black people’.

    I personally question the political usefulness of this HBD stuff for right-wing people, especially alt-right who are by far the most zealous pushers of the stuff. Seeing as how the government provide lots of benefits to disabled people, couldn’t the case be made for providing those with less intellect benefits as it isn’t really their fault that they were born that way? In regards to immigration, the minimum that would be required is simply to admit immigrants based on IQ tests. This would certainly not stop non-White people from immigrating en masse.

    • Replies: @res
    , @John Johnson
  12. Anon[412] • Disclaimer says:

    The premise is not true. The obvious has always been the least state-able of things. And intelligence serves men, normally, in making them realize what is and what is not in their interest to state. Meaning it will be the “deplorables” who make more truthful statements than the “intelligent”, if anyone will.

    • Replies: @Amerimutt Golems
  13. @SeekerofthePresence

    If Jesus came back and were going to give a sermon in Central Park at 6:15pm this Sunday, Feb 2, would people appear in droves? Or would they pack the sports bars to see The Game?

    Both. Jesus, being one of the better social-media influencers of his day, would get the droves that didn’t give a rat’s tuches about the games, and the games would get the rest.

  14. res says:
    @Just passing through

    I think the SJW types who believe in statistical equality are in the minority, most people seem to believe in ‘equality of opportunity’ as opposed to ‘equality of outcome’. Most will accept that White people are probably better on average than Black people at mathematics, or that Black people are better than White people at track and field, but they will not accept vague statements like ‘White people are better than Black people’.

    Probably true, but it is a large and culturally influential minority. Which seems to be driving politics and the mass media in this country at the moment. Do you disagree this is a problem?

    I personally question the political usefulness of this HBD stuff for right-wing people, especially alt-right who are by far the most zealous pushers of the stuff. Seeing as how the government provide lots of benefits to disabled people, couldn’t the case be made for providing those with less intellect benefits as it isn’t really their fault that they were born that way? In regards to immigration, the minimum that would be required is simply to admit immigrants based on IQ tests. This would certainly not stop non-White people from immigrating en masse.

    This is a good point which gets raised moderately frequently in the Unz Review comments (though more so in iSteve I think). But usually is not so well articulated. I’ll take a shot at a response. Please let me know what you think.

    The basic question I see is how would acknowledging HBD concepts in public be helpful for our society. These concepts take at least two forms.
    1. People are different.
    2. Groups of people are often different in systematic ways. Which can often be measured.

    One area where acknowledging this would help is exposing “disparate impact” for the fraud it often is.
    https://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/disparate-impact-key-lie-in-our-ruling-class-ideology/
    If the disparate impact is caused by group differences then it is not caused by “racism” (a frequent assumption) and one can argue there should be minimal (if any) efforts made to “remedy” it. The possibility of restoring an environment where hiring can be done by ability seems worth a great deal to me.

    Another area (as you note) is immigration. IQ testing immigrants is one approach. I am more inclined to requiring that immigrants be limited in their ability to access benefits for some period of time. An alternative (which has a history in the US) is to require that immigrants have a sponsor who asserts (or guarantees) the immigrant will not become dependent on the government. This is still done, but seems to mostly be honored in the breach these days.
    https://www.nilc.org/get-involved/community-education-resources/affidavits/

    The key realization is that some immigrants bring more benefit to our country than others and we should prefer those who are an asset. There is much more than IQ involved here.

    Another area is inserting a note of reasonableness into sex discrimination claims. Men and women are different (on average) in both abilities and interests. These differences are going to impact both workplace representation and success. A good test case for discussing this is what happened in the James Damore case.

    Another area (these start to overlap a bit, but I think are worth noting separately) is in promoting the idea of giving students appropriate education for their abilities. The evisceration of gifted education is a disaster in progress. Where do people think our next generation of innovators is going to come from? (oh right, overseas) In addition, recognizing that racial disparate impact in discipline is going to happen because some groups misbehave more often would give a chance of restoring order to classrooms and helping make sure the broad middle has a chance at a decent education.

    Regarding your idea of giving benefits for those of less intellect, I could actually get behind that if there were some conditions attached. Commit excessive crimes (any?) and you lose your benefits. Possibly limitations on reproduction–say somewhere in the range of 0-2 children perhaps with a sliding scale of less benefit for more children. Incentives work. If only we can agree on what we are trying to accomplish. Paying low IQ inner city blacks with those conditions attached would be a huge win in my opinion. There are equity and moral hazard issues, but I think gradual transitions (sliding scales) could help with those.

    What do you think? Are those good enough reasons to think HBD is worth promoting in the political sphere?

    • Replies: @Just passing through
  15. @Priss Factor

    “S*xual relationships between humans and chimpanzees are fairly common in the region but this is the first time a pregnancy is officially reported, ”Dr. António Mendes of the Hospital Municipal do Luena doubted.

    I’m speechless.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  16. Next: A book by a public intellectual with the thesis that grass is green. Extensive endnotes and appendices will include spectral analyses and sample studies of grasses from around the world.

    Protests will ensue.

    • LOL: Brás Cubas
  17. @res

    You make very good points, all of which I agree with. My concerns regarding the usefulness of HBD came more out of political gamesmanship rather than pure reason and desire for social progress. I think it is impossible to disagree with meritocracy and equality of opportunity from a cold, rational persective. If a runner runs the set distance in an adequate time, he should be on the team regardless of immutable characteristics, likewise if a kid gets really high SAT score, he should be admitted to Harvard provided he makes the cut, with no importance being placed on his physical characteristics.

    However this will always result in a great deal of unhappy people, due to universal suffrage, do you really think Blacks, women and whatnot will accept ‘equality of opportunity’ out of some higher principle of meritocracy and progress? I don’t think so. Politics has always been about identity politics, different strata will always vote for those politicians that help their group. Due to the normal distribution of things, the elite will always be severly outnumbered by the non-elite, and each person’s vote has the same impact.

    Even if HBD was brought into the public sphere, the only people who would accept it would be a certain section of White male society and also Asian males as they too perform well on socioeconomic status. Everyone else would see it as a ‘White supremacist conspiracy’. In fact, isn’t this the entire reason HBD isn’t talked about, because of its association with the eugenics movement and actual White supremacist movements?

    I suppose my point is that democracy will never lead to meritocracy, it would take a very disciplined populace if each person was to accept their place instead of squabbling for the top position. As a result HBD will pass over most people’s heads and quite possibly even make the disadvantaged people angry that a bunch of smart people are coming up with numbers to measure their worth, and that the process of measuring these numbers is not readily apparent.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @res
  18. anonymous[109] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    But many parents do believe that it matters which schools their children attend, and they go to great lengths to get their kids into desirable schools. They typically do that for reasons other than the desire to change their kids’ peer groups, but their actions have that effect in any case. If it mattered, we’d see the results as an effect of upbringing in the twin and adoption data. But mostly, we don’t.

  19. Our lefty friends have to demand nurture over nature.

    If nature is all there is then there is no warrant for lefty government programs.

  20. If I recall correctly, it is, roughly:

    1. genes- 40-50%
    2. broader environment & culture- 30-40%
    3. parenting-10-20%

  21. @Priss Factor

    4chan /pol/ debunked this relatively quickly – and found the original source for the Angola version of the story, which is an Onion-like site called World News Daily Report (tagline: “Facts Don’t Matter”).

    The image of the supposed kid is one that has been seen on /b/ since ~2011: originally it was used to shitpost about Brazil; the WNDR ‘story’ repurposed it.

    https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/angolan-mother-on-deathbed-admits-to-12-year-old-son-your-father-is-a-chimpanzee/

    /pol/ is a pale imitation of /b/ (the dross in /b/ that filters out faggots: kind of like the original ‘Offense’ page on EncyclopaediaDramatica), but from time to time even /pol/ Anons post useful shit.

    Example… a useful wall chart…

  22. melpol says:

    Blacks can handle almost every white person’s job but they may be a little slower. The vast majority of jobs can be learned easily. With equal income blacks would own 25% of new homes. Government can force white employers to fill their staff with black workers. There is no reason why the black unemployment rates should be higher than whites. Equal outcome of opportunities is needed for blacks to get a fair shake. Free and open markets is the perfect solution for blacks who are denied employment. Only a watchdog government can end discrimination in the workplace.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Sya Beerens
    , @Lidia
  23. @Just passing through

    democracy will never lead to meritocracy, it would take a very disciplined populace if each person was to accept their place instead of squabbling for the top position.

    I see that goal realized in Switzerland. It took ages though – and lots and lots of debates and inputs and ideas, to achieve this goal. You meet lots of regular people, who lead a pleasing life and say, that they don’t want more than what they’ve got – neither status-wise nor with regard to the wages they earn or the sum of money they own or the work they do.

    The perfect mirror of this Switzerland is the work of Gottfried Keller. Especially his novel Der Grüne Heinrich (Green Henry*****) (1880) and the collection of novellas called The People of Seldwyla.

    ***** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Henry

  24. @Anonymous

    I was at Cold Spring Harbor lab recently, chatting with one of the directors, a 60-ish American guy. He’s trying to learn Chinese. The lab has a big operation in China: http://www.csh-asia.org

    • Replies: @Stephen Dodge
  25. @anonymous

    Yes, they spend lots of money to move or even pay for private school for many reasons, but they kind of all involve the peers. At some schools, these “peers” are likely to kick their kids’ asses regularly. You may say that school A, per schooldigger, has better ratings than school B, but most people understand that that’s due to the type of kids attending, not the nice new flooring, metal roofs, or teachers that took 2 more years of childhood education to get that bullshit Piled higher and Deeper.

    That aside, I don’t know what kind of studies you mean, #109, for the hypothesis that Mrs. Rich made. (Yes, she has many described in the book, but I don’t have it on me). Her point is only on the nurture side – how much of it is from parents teaching and home-life and how much is from their play-mates and fellow students. Would there be many same-gened identical twins that had the same home-life but much different peers? (One twin was bussed across the tracks, and the other wasn’t, or something?)

    Maybe both of us should take a look (for me, “back”) at that book and see what the author backed up her assertions with.

  26. Cortes says:
    @Brabantian

    Stalin was a seminary student and thus exposed to human frailty as well as rational thought.

  27. @John Derbyshire

    Your friend should just learn a beautiful language like Thai and when he deals with Chinese people who speak Thai he should be fine. I am not kidding.

  28. It also should factor in crime and punishment. I have long felt that our behavior is genetic. Perhaps it was my Calvin upbringing and predestination. Free will never seemed to be the determining factor. Predestination did.

  29. res says:
    @melpol

    Equal outcome of opportunities is needed for blacks to get a fair shake.

    So now we see people mashing up “equality of opportunity” and “equality of outcome” as if they were the same. Sigh.

    With equal income blacks would own 25% of new homes.

    Why is this so if they are only 13% of the population?

  30. res says:
    @Just passing through

    Good points.

    I suppose my point is that democracy will never lead to meritocracy, it would take a very disciplined populace if each person was to accept their place instead of squabbling for the top position.

    Agreed (though Dieter Kief’s example is interesting, just notice that the population there is Swiss though, not multicultural and no particularly low achieving subgroups). And the interaction of this with the self esteem movement is toxic.

    Plus, the Dunning-Kruger effect makes it inevitable that people at lower levels of ability will feel slighted.

  31. Moldbug’s Leather Jacket feat. Curtis Yarvin AKA Mencius Moldbug

  32. @Just passing through

    I think the SJW types who believe in statistical equality are in the minority, most people seem to believe in ‘equality of opportunity’ as opposed to ‘equality of outcome’.

    I actually don’t think this is true. People will say they are for “equality of opportunity” but will also give their explanation for why equal outcomes don’t exist and how their liberal or conservative plans can fix them.

    I think most people believe what they are told in the schools and media which is that race is only superficial. That is taught in virtually every department outside of medicine.

    If the SJW types were in fact the minority we wouldn’t see such widespread support for intervention programs that try to fix unequal outcomes.

    It’s also not limited to liberals. Conservatives still talk about charter schools fixing the racial gap in education even though they have already been tried numerous times.

    The mainstream is basically anti-race which inevitably leads to destructive and anti-White policies as blame must be assigned for the gaps. Liberals blame Whites in general and conservatives blame White Democrats.

  33. Just passing through: “I think it is impossible to disagree with meritocracy and equality of opportunity from a cold, rational persective. ”

    Only if considerations are narrow. Otherwise, sure it is. The goals society sets for itself are determined not only by the success or failure of a particular enterprise or set of enterprises, but by the culture at large, which in the West has been tremendously influenced by Christianity. For example, for the most part even atheists now accept Christian precepts such as all men are brothers, are of equal inherent worth, should live in peace together, and so forth. That’s the very foundation of anti-racism. People also accept the necessity for helping the poor, the elderly, and chronically infirm, though the costs are substantial, or even ruinous. They want to rehabilitate the criminal and integrate him back into society. From a cold, rational perspective most of the ones in those latter categories could simply be dispensed with. But it’s recognized and agreed, evidently on an unconscious level, that keeping the peace in society needs to be taken into consideration too, and that “higher principles” must be honored, even at the cost of a certain loss of efficiency. The ideology derived from Christianity may be a pack of lies, but they’ve become necessary lies. The lie of human equality is a part of the glue that holds technological society together.

    Just passing through: “I suppose my point is that democracy will never lead to meritocracy, …”

    This is just another way of saying that the people don’t want it, which is quite true. Even those who would most benefit from establishing a strictly meritocratic society would rather continue to smoke Christian opium and dream pleasant dreams of human equality.

  34. dearieme says:
    @Cloudbuster

    Speechless? I’m not surprised. I wouldn’t risk myself with one of those uninhibited, enormously strong creatures.

    (Write your own jokes.)

  35. @Anon

    Bertrand Russell himself did acknowledge the obvious (nature) in some of his early writings like Marriage and Morals only to later recant in favor of orthodoxy (nurture) probably out of political expediency given he became a prominent pacifist and socialist.

  36. “One of the securely known features of [identical] twins is that their differences in psychological traits cannot be genetic (because they share the same genes); they cannot be caused by differences in the shared environment (by definition); and therefore such psychological differences must be due to the nonshared environment. But it has been found that those differences are not stable over time. Cognitive differences last no more than a few years and personality differences change even more quickly. No identical twin differences are stable over many years. The necessary implication: The nonshared environmental factors are not stable, but more like random noise.”

    It might be under appreciated because, the above makes no sense.

    this constitutes a long string of declaratives for which there is no supporting rational. Now maybe it is in the book. But we recently had a discussion about twins .triplets in who were raised in different environments and their psychological differences were stark as well stable over time. And in the primary example — in a group of triplets identical, one tragically took his own life. That is a fairly drastic cognitive shift in coping skills.

    https://sharpbrains.com/blog/2006/12/18/what-are-cognitive-abilities/

    Furthermore, it is a huge leap to contend that that shared environments don’t contribute to change, there are too many varying stimuli and circumstance that would need to be tested for. Shared environment does not mean shared circumstance.

    https://sharpbrains.com/blog/2006/12/18/what-are-cognitive-abilities/
    ——————————–

    This sentence,

    “Cognitive differences last no more than a few years and personality differences change even more quickly.”

    seems particularly off. i assume she means that the two calibrate back to sameness. However, the following,

    https://sharpbrains.com/blog/2006/12/18/what-are-cognitive-abilities/

    And not only are the differences environmental, there are biological —

    https://io9.gizmodo.com/how-do-identical-twins-develop-different-personalities-497857032

  37. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    I believe there are 3 types of Christianity:

    1. Traditional, which believes in equality of opportunity: one makes their way by industry, education, and the grace of God.

    2. Warmongering dominionist “Christianity,” which says we (‘Murkans) own the world, and we will bomb you till you comply with our wishes (in Jesus’ name, of course. And the millions of lives slaughtered to no purpose but greed and idolatry are covered by Jesus’ blood). I call this violent pseudo-Christianity brand “lunaticianity.” A good face for it might be the Nicholson character from the “The Shining.”

    3. Marxist “Christianity” (formerly known as liberation theology) which says Christ was not divine and did not rise bodily from the dead, but was instead the world’s greatest social worker. Its leading exponent, if Italian news reports are true, would be the Pope. It advocates universal distribution of income so that everyone is equally miserable. The world owns you, in effect. I call this brand “fakeianity.”

    Unfortunately, US foreign and military policy is largely run by the lunaticianists together with the neocons. And so the world finds itself in complete mayhem. Social policy in Europe and America is largely directed by Marxist atheists and fakeianists. Thus we find soaring deficits and social disintegration.

    Not much room these days for traditional Christians, whose faith more and more comes comes into conflict with secular law and militaristic policies. We pray for the faith once delivered to the saints.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  38. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    For example, for the most part even atheists now accept Christian precepts such as all men are brothers, are of equal inherent worth, should live in peace together, and so forth. That’s the very foundation of anti-racism. People also accept the necessity for helping the poor, the elderly, and chronically infirm, though the costs are substantial, or even ruinous. They want to rehabilitate the criminal and integrate him back into society.

    Those are not Christian precepts at all, you moron. Those are secular Enlightenment precepts which the popes condemned as heretical for centuries. Since you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, your words differ not in the least from the rank flatus emitted by your well-laid anus. And as you misuse the one orifice no less than the other, they both should be sewn shut to prevent you from polluting the rest of the world with your sodomite filth.

    Not that Dr. Robert Morgan (spelled big M, little organ) is capable of learning anything, but for anyone else who is curious, here are some actual Christian precepts regarding happy-clappiness and kumbaya.

    Lamentabili sane
    The Syllabus of Errors
    Pascendi dominici gregis
    The Oath Against Modernism

    • Replies: @Aldon
  39. “If Jesus came back and were going to give a sermon in Central Park at 6:15pm this Sunday, Feb 2, would people appear in droves? Or would they pack the sports bars to see The Game?’

    And I knew it was Jesus . . . second coming. I don’t think I have to travel that far, but a hop, skip and a jump yo where I am headed. And if that were the case . . .

    ” . . in the blink of an eye.” Gone. See ya, enjoy the game.

    • Replies: @SeekerofthePresence
  40. @SeekerofthePresence

    Great comment, Seeker!

    An [Agree] just wouldn’t do.

    • Replies: @SeekerofthePresence
  41. @Achmed E. Newman

    Thank you. Always enjoy your trenchant comments.

  42. Aldon says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Cope.

    Christianity is rooted in Abrahamism and the Roman Empire when it already super degenerated. There it served as a tool to patch the leaky faucet that was Rome. Imposed by the elite.

    Abrahamism is the root of Leftism.

  43. “Gone is good. Amen.”

    The Earth is a beautiful place — well, mostly and some fantastic things happen here. But if Jesus comes to take believers home — I don’t want hang out in this dump.

    ——————————-

    “Abrahamism is the root of Leftism.”

    Apparently unfamiliar with Abraham or christianity.

    Which by the way has transformed millions and millions of lives who by all accounts of their biological lineage shouldn’t had made it past high school.

    Nurture over nature indeed. Next you’ll be telling me that same relational behavior is the result of genetic hybrids.

  44. SeekerofthePresence: “I believe there are 3 types of Christianity…”

    Your response only admits the truth of my critique. But it’s disingenuous to pretend that “traditional” Christianity had nothing to do with its secular offshoots. It’s like claiming that it’s not the virus itself that kills you, but the unfortunate consequences — fever, diarrhea, lesions, etc. That may be true enough, but if it weren’t for the virus, you wouldn’t have the lethal consequences, now would you?

    Besides, what’s “traditional” Christianity, anyway? The Christianity found in America in 1950? Or 1850? Or in Europe in 1650? or 1400? Or do you mean the Christianity of the apostles? All are quite different, but spring from a common root. Christians have been trying to decide who the “real” Christians are for 2000 years, and have slaughtered millions of each other in the process. But the fact that Christian doctrines can be stretched to mean anything and include everyone is precisely the source of its resilience, and its utility to the state.

    • Replies: @SeekerofthePresence
  45. Intelligent Dasein: “… moron … anus … [etc.]”

    Your spittle-flecked rant left me wondering how many condoms your syphilitic mother had to dig out of bus station toilets to find enough mutated sperm to make a fucked up fuckwit like you. Does she know, and did she ever tell you?

  46. Kim says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I have thought someting similar for a while. Assign each pro basketball side a height allowance – calculated as how many players times height. So a team can have seven-footers but that would require also having a certain number of short guys, five foot six or whatever.

    Think what this would do for the NBA chances of Central African pygmies. And isn’t the NBA all about the diversity?

    A similar problem is also present in MMA. MMA has weight classes but no height classes. But is it plainly wrong that a fighter is not allowed to be eight pounds heavier than his opponent yet he is allowed to be eight inches taller. Doesn’t seem right.

    Height is a big advantage in MMA – much more than in boxing – because knees can be very effectively used as a particularly brutal type of uppercut. A tall man who is good with his knees is like a man with four arms and it is very difficult indeed to approach him. It is also much more difficult for a shorter man to do leg takedowns on a taller man and of course that is basic in MMA.

    So some formula is required. If one man is taller than the other, the opponent’s weight allowance would be adjusted. If you are four inches taller than me, I am allowed to be heavier by a certain number of pounds. You are taller but may have to cut weight to make the weight division. I will not have to cut so severely. Of course, that would radically alter the way weight divisions and matchups work.

    I think I’m going to make a call to Dana White. I am sure he will be enthusiastic about this.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  47. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    the Christianity of the apostles

    This is a right characterization of Christian tradition. This tradition, centered on and expressed in the Nicean Creed, characterized the living faith of the first millenium. The Church essentially thrived as one living Body in Christ.

    After the Great Schism (1054) the process of fission began. It led, I believe to the lamentable state of affairs in today’s churches. And it led to countless abuses and militarization which cause so much (in my view understandable in many cases) dissension against the church. How often do we hear, “I am a recovering Christian”?

    So some of your criticisms, it seems to me, are valid (especially since they are so mildly stated). But the virus is not specific to the church, in my view. It runs through the whole human race from the fall of Adam. How is it corruption in church and state are so similar in form and result? Because it proceeds from the same source, sin. Specifically greed and pride, which lead to power-mongering, and thence to war.

    The way of Christ is peace. Those who deny peace, deny love and the Gospel (1John). The hope of human beings for peace is to be reborn in heart and spirit through holy baptism in Father, Son, and Spirit. We do this because we love God, love our neighbor, and believe in His Son. This is traditional Christianity as I understand it.

    Anyway, one minute to Game Time. Time to adjourn spiritual matters and take the field. Enjoy the game.

  48. @anonymous

    many parents do believe that it matters which schools their children attend, and they go to great lengths to get their kids into desirable schools

    Map of where the “desirable schools” are:

  49. Bliss says:

    Derbyshire wrote:

    From the last ditch, behavioral geneticist Eric Turkheimer [Email him] whose work Murray quotes often in the book, always very respectfully, fired off a sniffy little blog post on Tuesday—the book’s publication date—accusing the author of “genetic determinism” and laying down a bold metaphysical marker about what can and cannot be known.

    Turkheimer is certainly wiser than you HBD nerds who believe in “genetic determinism”, which is nothing but materialism-atheism. Can genes explain the mind or the consciousness behind it? Of course not.

    Since consciousness cannot be observed (it is the observer itself) does that not make it supernatural by definition, beyond the ken of science?

  50. @Kim

    Assign each pro basketball side a height allowance – calculated as how many players times height.

    A spinal cap!

    Why didn’t I think of this? Sure beats a salary cap. And brings up interesting questions–

    Which would take on greater importance, the draft and trading deadline, or strategy on the court itself?

    How would standard deviation play out? Better to have five medium guys, or two short and three tall?

    Would there be “pygmy seats” on the bench to give more “headroom” for the stars? How many positions could a team sacrifice in this way?

  51. @Brabantian

    Maholos for this extended comment on Stalin. For those interested Stalin revisionism a good book length introduction is Kerry Bolton’s Stalin: Enduring Legacy:

  52. SeekerofthePresence: “[The Christianity of the apostles] is a right characterization of Christian tradition. … [C]entered on and expressed in the Nicean Creed, [it] characterized the living faith of the first millenium. The Church essentially thrived as one living Body in Christ.”

    Massive book-burnings and white genocides were perpetrated during that time. Do you practice genocide and endorse burning books? Also, the apostles were a clique of Jews running a proto-communist scam on the goyim, as described in Acts. Are you a communist?

    “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”
    – Acts 4:32-35

    “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!”
    – Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Program

    If your answers to these questions are “No”, then you’re really not a Christian traditionalist, even by your own standards.

    SeekerofthePresence: “But the virus is not specific to the church, in my view. It runs through the whole human race from the fall of Adam. How is it corruption in church and state are so similar in form and result? Because it proceeds from the same source, sin.”

    No, they’re similar because they both proceed from Christian delusions. Christinsanity is a war against reality.

    “The way of Christ is peace. Those who deny peace, deny love and the Gospel (1John). The hope of human beings for peace is to be reborn in heart and spirit through holy baptism in Father, Son, and Spirit. We do this because we love God, love our neighbor, and believe in His Son.”

    The way of the world is war; the eternal struggle of all against all. Love is a mirage. Like human equality, it’s just another lie you tell yourselves to hold society together.

    In conclusion, and to recur to the commenter Just passing through’s ponderings, so long as this delusional approach to reality endures in the West, HBD will never and can never win out.

  53. https://vdare.com/posts/judith-rich-harris-rip

    I was perplexed by this reference which I think was intended to support the genetic over nurture position. but upon reading it Mr Sailor does an effective job of dismantling the argument. Which caught me totally bu surprise. Because I have always understood that Mr. Sailor was a die-hard, dyed in the wool, hardcore, stalwart, believer say die, advocate that genes over rule everything and that at the end of the day — nature rules.

    And yet he explicates what is the wrong with author’s case expeditiously and the references he chooses to support his position make round sense. But maybe that was just this book, but in my view he surpassed merely critiquing the book.

  54. @melpol

    “Blacks” are friendly which is something I can’t say about the super men on this platform

  55. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    Seems your trolling has lapsed from obnoxious into noxious, so no response is justified or possible.

    Though you might be heartened that at least one person, Gordie Gekko (“Wall Street” 1987), might agree with your ravings:

    Darien’s line (clipped): “You know sometimes I miss you, Gordon; you’re really twisted.”

  56. @Brabantian

    Interesting comment. By the way, do you think Stalin was murdered?

  57. Adûnâi says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!”
    – Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Program

    Could you explain why you consider this scary? Would you rather folks get more than they need, and less than they deserve?

    Like human equality, it’s just another lie you tell yourselves to hold society together.

    Do you consider society purely a machine disconnected from biology? That’s a myopic view. Sure, you are surrounded by such constructs now, but that has not been the sole case throughout history, and even in the current world is not absolute.

    Think about it – nothing outside America exists to you, nothing outside modernity! Romans that burned Carthage and crucified their enemies; Germans who fought the said Romans and then the French; Nazis who gassed the Jews and burned their bodies – that matters naught to you! Because all you can see is the triumph of the technological civilization now, and therefore everything contrary to that is a fluke in your mind!

    Possessed by Unabomberism, you are no different from a normie to whom anything else than the current is inconceivable. No different from a Boasian/feminist who sees social constructs everywhere and wants to break [free from] them. Is a gun that kills people with a press of a button so bad that you would rather die than try it out? Ought the violins be banned for only the vocal cords must be given a permit to vibrate? Is a socialist collective that bad if it is united in its hatred to Jewish individualism?

  58. “Like human equality, it’s just another lie you tell yourselves to hold society together.”

    A fan of the late Dr. B.F. Skinner.

    Though I think at the end of his life, he repudiated that idea that our social concepts: democracy, justice, goodness, etc. are mere fantasy to male living tolerable.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  59. Adûnâi: “Do you consider society purely a machine disconnected from biology?”

    By no means. In fact, the idea that man and his societies stand apart from nature is what I’m arguing against; and we should note that in the West, imagining there’s such a sharp division is a residue of Christian thinking. However, at the same time, each species, each race, and each individual can be understood as a set of techniques encoded in DNA, so in this way all living things can be considered as a type of technological system, although in this case they’re mostly not of human origin. Indeed, from a deterministic point of view, the whole universe, including all biological entities, is “purely a machine”, so there is and can be no disconnect.

    In this way of viewing the matter, human societies arise from the very structure of reality. The mere fact humans reproduce sexually rather than asexually forces the formation of families; also, because a group of people, working together, will nearly always be able to defeat an individual working alone, they will be favored over the latter in the struggle for survival. Therefore, the individual is forced by the world’s hostility to him into association with others. Yet because life at its most basic level remains a struggle of all against all, such alliances must always be fragile and temporary. Imagining they are not or need not be is another Christian delusion, the idea of selfless love and universal brotherhood. People need to believe in such nonsense, but to the contrary, there always exists a dynamic tension between an individual and his surrounding society; a fight for mastery between them, the one over the other.

    The ancient Greeks used to say, “Treat your friends as future enemies, and your enemies as future friends.” That’s wise, but in my opinion wiser still, and more in keeping with Darwinian reality is “Exterminate your enemies, and when you are done, exterminate your “friends” too, because if you don’t, it’s just a question of time before they turn on you and exterminate you.” Perhaps this sounds too severe to you, too pessimistic. But think back to the list I gave you on the last thread.

    Socrates – betrayed by his fellow Athenians.
    Hitler – betrayed by his fellow Germans, n.b. including “treue” Heinrich.
    Manson – betrayed by “family” member Linda Kasabian.
    Kaczynski – betrayed by his own brother.

    If you believe the gospel accounts, even Jesus was betrayed by his “friend” Judas. So it’s no exaggeration. In our world of constant turmoil and strife, if misery comes to you, it will frequently be brought to you by your “friends”, perhaps almost as often as by your enemies.

    • Replies: @Bliss
    , @Adûnâi
  60. Bliss says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    Indeed, from a deterministic point of view, the whole universe, including all biological entities, is “purely a machine”, so there is and can be no disconnect.

    You are disconnected from reality for thinking you are “purely a machine”.

    Only a retarded madman would deny that he is conscious. Is consciousness a material entity?

  61. Bliss: “Is consciousness a material entity?”

    Can you be conscious without a brain? I don’t think so. The delusion that human beings aren’t really their bodies, but instead are “souls” distinct from their bodies, is another delusion encouraged (though, to be fair, not invented) by Christianity. It props up the myth of life after death, essential to many religions. But there isn’t more than a qualitative difference between human awareness, if that’s what is meant by “soul”, and the awareness manifested by a cockroach. Do cockroaches have “souls” too? Of course not. The reality is there is no evidence for such things. Face it: there’s no “soul”, no life after death, and when you’re dead you’re as dead as any smashed cockroach.

  62. @EliteCommInc.

    correction: he repudiated that idea that our social concepts: democracy, justice, goodness, etc. are mere fantasy to make living tolerable.

  63. “Only a retarded madman would deny that he is conscious. Is consciousness a material entity?”

    Behavioral psychologists contend that they could predict every human choice if they knew the biological processes involved. Ad their work has been very helpful in understanding human behavior. The commenter you are responding isn’t contending something he established, but that of an entire field of human social science.

    It’s short commings rest in the fact that humans are not predictable and even contradict what should have been obvious choices driven by biology.

  64. Lidia says:
    @melpol

    It’s not only intelligence—it’s temperament. How can you work calmly in an office if you can’t sit still and if you see every glance or comment as a potential “dis”? If you are unconcerned with long-term planning or even conventional ideas like showing up on time?

  65. “Government can force white employers to fill their staff with black workers. There is no reason why the black unemployment rates should be higher than whites.”

    Unless you spent most of the country’s history actually engaged in policies and practices to deny education, training, opportunity, housing . . .

    I read comments such as this and it frustrates the mind. Without excusing laziness, and the host of dysfunctions that effect people. The lack of any sense of reality about how the country has operated when it comes to skin color is mind boggling. Sure there are reasons and not all of them rest on the low IQ, or asundary accusations made against the black population on the whole. If every black person has to jump two rungs higher to establish credibility, if everything they say is suspect, then chances are they are going to be right suspicious of those making the accusations, even of their supposed motives are “pure”.

    The country has spent more than a hundreds years defining blacks incorrectly, it seems silly to pretend that incorrect assignment won’t have consequences.

    If I take 2% or even 5% of a population and said the rest were all the same — that would have social consequence.

  66. If I take 2% or even 5% of a population and said the rest were all the same — that would have social consequence.

    In a class of 4 green people and twenty orange people, 40% of the orange people will have more influence than 100% of the green people. That’s the real power of demographics.

    ______________________________

    “The way of Christ is peace. Those who deny peace, deny love and the Gospel (1John). The hope of human beings for peace is to be reborn in heart and spirit through holy baptism in Father, Son, and Spirit. We do this because we love God, love our neighbor, and believe in His Son.”

    But the peace of Christ is not as the world gives peace. The peace of Christ exists even in the midst of turmoil and conflict.

    “Peace I leave with you, but not as the world gives”

    For that peace will bring strife and the world will war against it.

  67. “Government can force white employers to fill their staff with black workers. There is no reason why the black unemployment rates should be higher than whites.”

    Demonstrate one location in the US where employers have been forced to fill staff with blacks, that isn’t even the case when said history of the organization has been found in violation of civil rights EEOC regulations.

  68. Adûnâi says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    “In fact, the idea that man and his societies stand apart from nature is what I’m arguing against; and we should note that in the West, imagining there’s such a sharp division is a residue of Christian thinking.”

    There is a division, and it is made mainly by Christianity, but also by individualist greed and lust. You seem to misunderstand me – what I am saying is that modern civilization is not an organic machine, and such inorganic monstrosities are not the only path forward. Republican Rome existed and triumphed over Carthage – that it was corrupted by wealth had not been predestined. Nazi Germany rose in the last century – how is that explained with your quasi-Marxist technological reductionist theory? There clearly are two forces fighting – if you can only see technology now, it does not bar Thor from rising again tomorrow and crushing the cathedrals.

    “each species, each race, and each individual can be understood as a set of techniques encoded in DNA, so in this way all living things can be considered as a type of technological system”

    When men make another system (such as throwing rocks at skulls, or printing money), and that system malfunctions consuming them, they might try and set it straight. History shows it can be done. Memes can be made subservient to genes.

    “Can you be conscious without a brain? I don’t think so. The delusion that human beings aren’t really their bodies, but instead are “souls” distinct from their bodies, is another delusion encouraged (though, to be fair, not invented) by Christianity.”

    Are you now a biological reductionist, too? There is no software without the hardware, yet are those tautological? Is a parliament a building with chairs and people, or is it a concept dealing with other similar concepts on a different level of reality? Taking psychotropic drugs may lobotomize you the same way as scratching an optical disk damages it – but in what way does that treat the psychical disorder or an incorrectly-written program?

    Also, equating psyche to immortal souls is disingenuous.

    “Hitler – betrayed by his fellow Germans, n.b. including “treue” Heinrich.”

    This is a weird case because the entire idea of fighting till the end is controversial. Hitler did not have a monopoly on National Socialism or the fate of Europe. Everybody is welcome to try their own way.

    “Manson – betrayed by “family” member Linda Kasabian.”

    Hitler was not betrayed by women, at least. Could you explain your adoration for Manson for the sake of our mutual friend Chechar? Because to me, Manson is like Billie Eilish – a random American pop icon, quite a far cry from any collectivist terrorists the likes of Osama bin Laden or Kim Jong Il whom I consider true overmen.

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