The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewJohn Derbyshire Archive
The Prescriptive Poverty of the Social Sciences
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Here’s a suggestion to sociologists writing books for the general-interest public: Drop the last chapter. You know, the chapter where, after 200 pages of describing some social problem or other, you offer solutions to the problem.

That’s the thought that occurred to me after finishing Robert Putnam’s book Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, published a few weeks ago.our-kids-9781476769899_hr[1]

The “American Dream” in Putnam’s subtitle is the dream of universal opportunity through social mobility. The song he sings is familiar now, if you pay any attention at all to academic-strength social commentary:

  • The social classes in the U.S.A.—which of course have always existed—are hardening into hereditary castes.
  • The working class—the proles—have been demoralized by the decline in blue-collar employment.
  • That demoralization expresses itself in moral collapse, most notably in the decline of marriage.
  • Proles live chaotic and unstructured lives in which jail, drugs, and illegitimacy are significant features. Prole kids are neglected. They grow up to be prole adults.
  • Meanwhile the well-educated professional classes—the gentry—have pulled away. They mix with proles as little as they can.
  • Gentry live orderly, disciplined lives. They marry other gentry, stay married, and give much attention to raising kids. Those kids grow up to be gentry adults.
  • Proles and gentry are separating out into two mostly-endogamous castes.

That’s the crisis: the widening, hardening gap between proles and gentry.

Charles Murray plowed the same field three years ago with Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. There is in fact a YouTube video of Murray and Putnam sitting together and talking about Coming Apart at a discussion staged by the Aspen Institute in March 2014.

For symmetry, YouTube also has a video of an American Enterprise Institute discussion from last month where Murray, Putnam, and black sociologist William Julius Wilson talk about Putnam’s book Our Kids, the book I’ve just been reading.

The American dream in crisis? A discussion with Robert Putnam and Charles Murray, Streamed live on Jun 22, 2015

Our Kids is mostly descriptive. The first 226 pages tell us about the lives of some representative prole and gentry Americans. Then comes that 45-page closing chapter of pre-scriptions, title “What Is to be Done?”

There follows a litany of liberal nostrums that would have Barack Obama clapping along enthusiastically. Give the proles more money through tax credits and welfare; reduce incarceration and enhance rehabilitation; expand preschool education; put good teachers in bad schools; “move poor families to better neighborhoods,” …

Putnam is an odd bird: a professor of Political Science at Harvard who, as a hardcore Midwestern liberal ideologue, instinctively practices crimestop when his honestly-intended, methodologically-sound, professionally-conducted researches uncover truths that are unwelcome to him.

The psychic deformations thus induced were most clearly on display in Putnam’s 2006 paper on diversity, with which I had some sport in We Are Doomed:

DoomedThe paper is titled “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century,” and can easily be found on the internet …

That paper has a very curious structure. After a brief (2 pages) introduction, there are three main sections, headed as follows:

  • The Prospects and Benefits of Immigration and Ethnic Diversity (three pages)
  • Immigration and Diversity Foster Social Isolation(nineteen pages)
  • Becoming Comfortable with Diversity (seven pages)

I’ve had some mild amusement here at my desk trying to think up imaginary research papers similarly structured. One for publication in a health journal, perhaps, with three sections titled:

  • Health benefits of drinking green tea
  • Green tea causes intestinal cancer
  • Making the switch to green tea

Social science research in our universities cries out for a modern Jonathan Swift to lampoon its absurdities. [We Are Doomed, p.16.]

Putnam is, in short, a bigfoot scholar who can dress, cook, and serve a fine table of research in the human sciences … which he then, for reasons ideological, finds himself unable to digest.

For a guy prominent in a field that has the word “science” in its title, he has a weirdly blithe approach to matters of cause and effect. This latest book actually includes the following sentence:

Figure 2.7 shows the explosion of incarceration rates in the years after 1980, despite a decline in violent crime during that same period. [Our Kids, p.76.]

He relies heavily on the post hoc fallacy, and on studies that employ it:

Waldfogel has shown that (even after controlling for many other factors) dining is a powerful predictor of how children will fare as they develop. “Youths who ate dinner with their parents at least five times a week,” she writes, “did better across a range of outcomes …”

The reader who has not cultivated crimestop might reflect: “Oh, so parents disposed to structure and order in their lives transmit that disposition to their kids? Doesn’t Occam’s Razor suggest that the mechanism of transmission is likely biological? Don’t red-haired parents transmit red hair to their kids?”

That reader will never hold a chair in the human sciences at Harvard.

As in the 2006 diversity paper, Putnam is driven at last to prescribing a change of heart. At the very end of that final chapter headed “What is to be done?” he frowns at Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1841 essay “Self-Reliance.”

Emerson:

Do not tell me, as a good man did to-day, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.

Putnam:

The better part of two centuries later, speaking of the recent arrival of unaccompanied immigrant kids, Jay Ash, city manager and native of the gritty, working-class Boston suburb of Chelsea, drew on a more generous, communitarian tradition: “If our kids are in trouble—my kids, our kids, anyone’s kids—we all have a responsibility to look after them.”

In today’s America, not only is Ash right, but even those among us who think like Emerson should acknowledge our responsibility to these children. For America’s poor kids do belong to us and we to them. They are our kids. [Our Kids, p.261.]

So apparently the “our kids” of Putnam’s title includes the kids of Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and (presumably) any other nation whose adult citizens can find a way to impose their offspring on us by violating our laws. Good to know.

*

The prescriptive poverty of the social sciences was also on display in the previous social-science bestseller I read, Alice Goffman’s 2014 book On the Run: Fugitive Life In An American City.On the Run

Goffman, a young white woman, spent six years living among black proles in a Philadelphia slum for which she invented the cover name “6th Street.” Again, the main part of her book—pages 9 to 194—is simply descriptive. It is in fact really just journalism, with very few numbers and not a single table, graph, or chart.

I should add that On the Run is rather goodjournalism, quite gripping to read. The chaotic lives of black proles are vividly described. The young men dodge police, plan for their next drug test, and engage in concurrent sexual relationships. The young women raise kids, hold minimum-wage jobs, and fight over the men.

Then comes that prescriptive chapter. I can’t improve here on Amy Wax’s critique of the book in the June 2015 issue of Commentary. From which:

So what is to be done about 6th Street? Taking refuge in her descriptive mission as a “fly on the wall,” Goffman avoids any systematic recommendations. But that doesn’t stop her from treating us to a penultimate chapter of jargon-ridden, stream-of-consciousness J’accuse. According to Goffman, our society has erected an oppressive police state that targets black men for depredations akin to those visited on “persecuted groups throughout history—from Jews in Europe to undocumented immigrants in the United States to people anywhere living under oppressive, authoritarian, or totalitarian regimes.” In collapsing critical and painfully obvious distinctions, this passage stands out as an especially egregious exercise in flawed moral equivalence, steeped in the rhetoric of structural forces and social conditions. Everyone is a victim here. It’s not that the police are “bad people” but rather that they have been placed in “an impossible situation” by the usual disembodied suspects: poverty, unemployment, drugs, violence, and the “social problems of able-bodied young men in a jobless ghetto.” This laundry list, endlessly repeated by social scientists everywhere, sidesteps critical chicken-and-egg issues. Goffman never tells us how to tackle unemployment when “able-bodied” men lack rudimentary skills and desirable habits. One can only hope that Goffman’s next ethnographic project will have her examining a small business struggling to cope with a staff of poorly socialized, unruly, functionally illiterate, profane, defiant ex-cons. [Negatively Sixth Street by Amy Wax; Commentary, June 2015.]

*

For the reflective general reader, the social-science classic of the past few years remains Charles Murray’s Coming Apart.

ORDER IT NOW

Murray lays out the prole-gentry divergence with exceptional clarity and great masses of supporting data. He is wise enough to know that apart from some scattered insights in particular areas—“broken-windows” policing, for instance—the social sciences are at present merely descriptive, like biology before Darwin.

Yet even Murray can’t resist that closing prescriptive flourish. His prescription in Coming Apart is, like Putnam’s in Our Kids, for a change of heart; but instead of us all opening our minds—and our nation’s borders—to limitless moral universalism, Murray more modestly hopes that our gentry will set a good example to the lower orders.

A large part of the problem consists of nothing more complicated than our unwillingness to say out loud what we believe. A great many people, especially in the new upper class, just need to start preaching what they practice.

And so I am hoping for a civic Great Awakening among the new upper class … [Coming Apart, p. 305.]

That makes for a good upbeat ending. Murray is, however, too respectful of data to nurse false hopes, and seems never to have mastered crimestop.

In last month’s AEI event discussing Putnam’s book Murray drew the audience’s attention to the humongous meta-study on the heritability of human traits published in Nature this spring.

With that as his foundation, and after some collegially respectful words about Our Kids as a work of descriptive sociology, Murray mercilessly pooh-poohed Putnam’s prescriptions—and his own, too!

Bob [Putnam] has already referred to my take-away from all this with the ways in which we really need a civic Great Awakening. However, I’ve got to say that the fact is, civic Great Awakenings have about as much chance of transforming what’s going on as a full implementation of Bob’s “purple” [i.e. neither “red” nor “blue” politically] programs does.

The parsimonious way to extrapolate [from] the trends that Bob describes so beautifully in the book is to predict an America permanently segregated into social classes that no longer share the common bonds that once made this country so exceptional; and the destruction of the national civic culture that Bob and I both cherish. I hope for a better outcome: I do not expect it.[43 minutes, 24 seconds in the video.]

*

Their descriptive virtues aside, Putnam’s Our Kids and Goffman’s On the Run are qualitatively inferior to what can now be found on the internet.

There is now a good nucleus of human-science bloggers providing day-to-day commentary on the human sciences. Some of them, like Bruce Charlton and Greg Cochran, are accredited academics; others, like JayMan and HBD Chick, are thoughtful nonspecialists.

Checking in once or twice a week on these sites, and following their links to news stories and academic papers, is a better way to keep informed on current understandings in the human sciences than diligently reading bestsellers steeped in the left-liberal Narrative.

There is of course a lot of speculation mixed in with the reportage; but the wilder kind doesn’t survive the to-and-fro of the comment threads, and speculation is anyway a key early stage in hypothesis formation.

If the study of human nature interests you, spend a couple of hours reading JayMan’s recent rumination on empathy and universalism, or James Thompson’s on African intelligence. Chase down the links and watch the comment-thread jousting.

Then ask yourself whether you any longer want to engage with the vast, gaseous, arrogant blob of left-liberal social commentary when it is anything other than flatly descriptive.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjectsfor all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by VDARE.com com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration, Multiculturalism 
Hide 67 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Numinous says:

    Oh, so parents disposed to structure and order in their lives transmit that disposition to their kids? Doesn’t Occam’s Razor suggest that the mechanism of transmission is likely biological?

    Only if you disregard consciousness and free will. People can choose to impart certain lessons to their kids. They can choose to behave in particular ways that make them role models. But they cannot consciously choose to impart red hair to their kids.

    So no, Occam’s Razor does not suggest what you say it suggests.

  2. @Numinous

    I do not think that the commenter above understands the definition of Occam’s Razor, or he/she has misread or misunderstood something? Occam’s Razor refers to the scientific preference for choosing the simplest and most direct explanation for one or more observed phenomena rather than more complex explanations. So if there are several observed features (red hair, eating habits, social class) which all pass down from one generation to the next then Occam’s Razor would favour that all these observed correlations across generations all have a genetics-related explanation since at least some of them certainly do (red hair).

    • Replies: @Numinous
    , @Jeff77450
  3. Barnard says:

    Like, Charles Murray, I don’t expect our national civic culture to last for much longer. One thing I have noticed in the last few years is the way lower class whites have completely embraced the hip-hop culture. I’m afraid this and other destructive elements of our pop culture may become more prevalent and widespread over time. There could be more of a shared culture than Murray realizes, it’s just not one that places any value on civic responsibility.

    • Replies: @Jeff77450
  4. I’m also with Murray on this one. It’s unlikely that the country will have a civic great awakening. You have too many factors working against it.

    First, there’s the unending flood of third world immigrants. Multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious countries simply don’t have enough cohesion for the type of civic society that Murray would like to see. When the U.S. was ~90% high-trust whites with a dominant WASP culture, that middle-class society filled with private civic groups was possible. It’s simply not going to happen when the country is 50% white, 25% Hispanic, 15% black, 5% Asian and 5% other. You’ll see pockets of that old society, but they will be insular.

    I’ll give a personal example. My wife and mother-in-law have stopped volunteering to help the poor. Was it because they both stopped being kind? No. It’s because the poor are all black and Hispanic, and both women slowly because to realize that these people were poor because of their own behavior. My wife and mother-in-law used to live in a very white part of the country. The poor there was much different. Typically, they were poor due to temporary job loss or health issues. Not the case with the blacks and Hispanics.

    The other factor is that our society today is almost designed to separate and isolate different social classes. Upper-middle class kids grow up around each other, go to college with each other, work around each other and live around each other. They have very little interaction with working-class and poor kids. That leads to almost no mixing and no marriages, and thus no mixed kids. You can’t have a civic awakening when the top groups have no knowledge of the lower groups.

  5. Numinous says:
    @Peter Johnson

    I was contrasting hair color with behavioral traits.

    Occam’s Razor suggests that presence of red hair in parent and child has a biological/genetic cause, as one does not have control over what physical traits one’s offspring will possess (besides choosing a mate.)

    Occam’s Razor need not suggest that habits like structure, discipline, and order are passed naturally between generations. To me, the most parsimonious explanation would involve babies and toddlers learning behavior through observation of their parents. It wouldn’t matter if the baby is one’s offspring or adopted. (I know HBD folks disagree and are sold on the genetic explanation.)

    • Replies: @JayMan
    , @mark miller
  6. Realist says:

    Real scientists know that people who use the term social science….are kidding about the science part.

    It use to be called social studies, but the studies part was replaced by science to give it that aura of respectability.

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  7. Mr Derb,

    When was the last time anyone proposed a clearly eugenic solution to our never-ending sociological trainwreck? It appears to me that the last person to do so was noble prize winner William Shockley, 40-50 years ago.

    Why not challenge the HBD community to propose their own “out of the box” solutions.

    You might say our current problems are impossible to ameliorate.

    I beg to differ.

    The very fact that dysfunction is so wide spread and severe among the underclass offers the opportunity for a relatively low cost pilot program alternatives to the hundreds of billions wasted on our current failing welfare programs.

    Problem: Underclass women, especially NAM, seem to show little concern for who is the father of their children both in terms of the genetically determined qualities they might pass on or whatever the degree of parental care they might provide. What really seems to matter is access to social welfare benefits. Beyond that it appears to make little difference to them if the father is an aspiring rapper, a gang banging derelict or an otherwise conscientious male willing to hold down a blue collar job. In fact, thanks in part to feminism, many lower class women now seem to prefer single motherhood than having a low payed but otherwise functioning father around the house.

    The result, as has been noted by likes of a Charles Murray or Heather MacDonald is that all too often the “aspiring rapper” fathers up to a dozen bastards, some of them future felons, with nearly as many baby mommas. Meanwhile our conscientious NAM UPS deliveryman, restaurant manager or taxi driver ends up helping to raise one of the “aspiring rapper’s” cuckoo eggs if he has any children at all. Pretty dysgenic indeed!!!

    It begs the question that if so many underclass children have what basically amounts to just a “sperm donor” for a father anyway? Why not take advantage of this fact and simply attempt to exchange what amounts to a publicly funded highly dysgenic sperm donation program for a privately funded eugenic one???

    Possible solution: Since underclass women, especially NAM, seem so indifferent to who fathers their children why not use that as the entry point towards a program that will prove that yes genes matter a lot both in terms of determining intelligence and personality traits.

    First: Identify a right half of the bell curve only selection of NAM minority men heavily weighted toward the +1 STD in terms of both intelligence and socially positive personality traits. Many, successful 1% black men talk about giving back to their communities. Some are even nearly ruinously generous. But, this usually involves the standard left liberal range of remedies. The idea of sperm donation never seems to come up. Nonetheless I am certain that lots of successful NAM men harbor HBD sympathies yet are afraid to admitting so less they be especially accused of Crimethink.

    Second: Identify teenage underclass women who are non serious drug abusers and without criminal records who nonetheless intend to become mothers in the next few years, high school graduates if possible. This should not be difficult.

    Third: In return for an moderate increase in welfare benefits, it cannot be too generous less lefties claim it skewed the results, women can be promised that they will be impregnated with sperm from an anonymous but high quality donor. Once delivering the child, the women in return for generous health care benefits for themselves and the children will be required to use long term birth control. That way the donor child’s home life is not troubled with likely more unruly step siblings.

    It should only take 3 years to begin noticing if this eugenics based program is producing any viable results.

    Ten or fifteen years of results involving a few thousand children should be more than enough to rock the Cultural Marxist orthodoxy.

  8. pyrrhus says:
    @Numinous

    Yes, it does! The simplest way for a trait to be passed on by parents is through inheritance–no heavy lifting required….furthermore, the Nature metastudy concludes that all traits are at least 50% heritable, though many, including JayMan and myself, believe the percentage is much higher.

  9. Lot says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    When the U.S. was ~90% high-trust whites with a dominant WASP culture

    The US was only briefly ~90% white, and only because of mass immigration from Italy and E. Europe from 1890 to 1920.

    I’d like to see more such immigration. There are still plenty of parts of Eastern Europe as poor or poorer than Mexico:

    (2014 PPP/head)
    USA 54,597
    Poland 25,105
    Hungary 24,942
    Latvia 23,707
    Romania 19,712
    Mexico 17,881
    Bulgaria 17,860
    Montenegro 14,996
    Macedonia 13,349
    Serbia 13,329
    Ukraine 8,668
    Georgia 7,653
    Moldova 4,979

    • Replies: @SFG
    , @Romanian
    , @Romanian
  10. JayMan says: • Website
    @Numinous

    Only if you disregard consciousness and free will.

    Consciousness exists. But:

    No, You Don’t Have Free Will, and This is Why | JayMan’s Blog

  11. JayMan says: • Website
    @Numinous

    Occam’s Razor need not suggest that habits like structure, discipline, and order are passed naturally between generations. To me, the most parsimonious explanation would involve babies and toddlers learning behavior through observation of their parents. It wouldn’t matter if the baby is one’s offspring or adopted.

    Fortunately, there’s behavioral genetics, which soundly rejects that view:

    All Human Behavioral Traits are Heritable | JayMan’s Blog

    The Son Becomes The Father | JayMan’s Blog

    • Replies: @Sunbeam
  12. Jmaie says:
    @anonymous-antimarxist

    I’m curious why you believe that underclass women don’t care who their children’s fathers are. Women have always desired alpha males for this purpose, and the aspiring rapper/gang banger appelation is in no way a disqualification. That such men would father a dozen or more babies is a generally a strong indicator of alpha-ness, wouldn’t you say? Their inability/unwillingness to provide for their children is not a factor when the state will step in, and violence is nature’s primary test for determining which genetic material will be passed along. Prison time is no social barrier given the high percentage of the NAM underclass male population (black, especially) who have spent time there.

    From the OP’s final paragraph:

    “Then ask yourself whether you any longer want to engage…”

    I don’t have to ask.

    • Replies: @Jim
  13. jtgw says:

    What kind of non-genetic factors are relevant to hair color? I understand that we must entertain genetics as part of the explanation for character traits being handed down the generations, but surely genetics doesn’t play an equally large role in all these traits?

  14. BubbaJoe says:

    John, would you care to tell us about your relationship with TakiMag? Was Taki’s “Pistols at Dawn” article referring to you? Radio Derb is no longer offered there. Have you severed your relationship with that webzine?

  15. Jim says:
    @Jmaie

    If there is a high probability of survival of children to adulthood then men who father a lot of children will be selected for. Women who are attracted to such “alpha” men will also be selected for since their genes will be spread more widely.

    Under conditions where the survival of children to adulthood is nearly completely independent of paternal investment there will be strong selection against paternal investment. This is basically the present state of our society. It doesn’t matter whether children are raised in poverty or on welfare. As long as they have good chances of surviving to the age of reproduction without much in the way of paternal investment then “alpha” males will be selected for.

    In the past in our own society a large fraction of children did not live to adulthood and the chances of childhood survival were strongly influenced by paternal investment. These conditions continue to exist in many other parts of the world today but not in our own society.

    It is only under conditions where child mortality is very high in the absence of paternal investment that there will be strong selection for “beta” males prone to paternal investment.

  16. Olorin says:
    @anonymous-antimarxist

    “Underclass women” are who they are because they are genetically programmed precisely to be attracted to the eats shoots and leaves type of breeding partner.

    They are r strategy organisms by definition–tending toward lots of offspring, very little parental investment, harsh selection of the offspring to perpetuate the pool, mate selection for precisely these traits.

    They are not going to be interested in any K strategies such as you suggest. In addition, lower rates of breeding and higher parental investment require far more than the mean population IQ you suggest. IQ correlates with traits like forward time orientation, altruism, less corruptability, and much more–and these are not equally distributed in all populations.

    I don’t think you understand the distribution of IQ.

    http://alfin2100.blogspot.com/2012/05/iq-race-poverty-violence-body-needs.html

    Take a good hard look at that second graph.

    The black distribution shown there is a general population one, including all the blacks who got out of those underclass areas a long time ago and moved to the white suburbs.

    In dealing with intractably backward populations, blacks in Baltimore, for instance, the population mean IQ is closer to 70 than 85. This resembles sub-Saharan African IQ distributions. It is massively dysfunctional in a high tech society.

    Also, given the other behavioral characteristics bred by the r strategy, the plus-one SD “ideal mate” in your book would be more adapted for a life of live fast die young crime/social histrionics/display.

    It also means that a full 80% of that population would have been considered retarded as recently as the 1970s.

    How did the fact that so many American blacks were so ill-adapted for modern life get handled in the 1970s? Let representatives of Minnesota’s altruistic white social services industry speak to that: by redefining it out of existence:

    http://mn.gov/mnddc/parallels2/two/011.htm

    It’s not all just about IQ. IQ goes hand in glove with a wide range of other selected traits–see Spearman’s g, and especially discussions of it by Linda Gottfredson at the University of Delaware. But you seriously overestimate the IQ distribution of the “underclass” and seriously misunderstand the biological basis of mate choice.

  17. Sunbeam says:
    @JayMan

    “Fortunately, there’s behavioral genetics, which soundly rejects that view:”

    I doubt you remember me, but I’ve criticized this idea of yours on this site (and probably Sailer’s old site before).

    Reading your writing on this topic (and I’m extending past what you strictly imply here), you pretty much discard any influence of environment on… well anything.

    Now if you are talking about winning the 100m in the Olympics, or winning the Fields Medal, yeah you pretty much have to have the genes for it, or it isn’t possible.

    But to me your mistake is this: “It is a necessary condition, but not a sufficient one.”

    Plus your actors, as it were, operate in a unique environment. The kind of NW European one you describe.

    What about if I had a bumper sticker that said: “My kid can beat up your honor roll kid. And I’m going to help!”

    Not only that, but what happens if someone puts their thumb on the scales the whole way, to advance their progeny’s and identity group over someone who might have the hereditary capacity to really excel in some field of endeavor? This was pretty much the SOP, even in the NW European and derived cultures until relatively recently. And I’d wager still the practice in most of the world.

    Plus let’s take an example of a kid whose parents were both, I dunno faculty members at Harvard or something in the Math Department.

    In one world this kid jumps through all the hoops, gets read to, encouraged, has stimulating conversations, goes to one of those prestigious prep schools, goes to Caltech, etc.

    And wins a Fields Medal.

    In another world (for some reason), someone snatches the kid and dumps him in a trailer park in West Virginia. No one reads a book – ever. His “mom” leaves him in diapers until he is 5 years old.

    (Why the hell can’t we get some genes that toilet train kids naturally? You ever wonder about that? Makes as much sense as some of the things you guys ascribe to genes. I’d sure mate with someone who carried a gene for that.)

    Anyway whenever little Poindexter gets all smarty pants in school, someone decides to beat the little punk down.

    When he is ten his Uncle starts cornholing him. And no one gives a damn.

    When he is fifteen he’s had enough, and he discovers meth. His genes don’t really predispose him to liking it, but what the hey, any port in a storm right?

    Whatever this kid’s life turns to be in the end, he isn’t winning the Fields Medal. Heck his mathematical ability? That never came up. At all.

    Now that is an extreme example, one I made up to illustrate problems I see with your position.

    But even with things like the 100m I mentioned… there is a heck of a support structure that goes along with competing at that level. Someone might well have the ability to be the world’s fastest man.

    But if they walk off the street one day, and race against people who have that structure, then they aren’t doing too well.

  18. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:
    @Sunbeam

    Dear Sunbeam:
    I remember reading old (1993) book
    “Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire” by James Wallace and Jim Erickson.
    Gates was not married yet at the time the book was printed.

    Gates _was_ accepted to Harvard University’s undergraduate program, and had an intention to get major in Mathematics (in which he was very good.) One of his friends told him: “You will meet fellow students in Harvard, who will be stronger in Mathematics, than you.” Gates originally did not believe it, so confident he was about his abilities (really very high.). Gates started his first year in Harvard, and eventually he recognized the validity of the above statement — that he met students stronger in Mathematics than himself. His decision to quit Harvard was at least partially due to this recognition,
    and due to his desire to be # 1 in some field.

    Book describes also the main technical achievement by Gates in Programming. It was the creation of “GW Basic” package for IBM-PC _before_ IBM-PC became available on the market, so that when IBM-PC appeared, users could purchase and run “GW Basic” on it right away.
    Gates used the openly published specifications of “8088” (?) processor to de-bug his future “GW Basic” package, using emulation of 8088 processor by PDP-11 (?) machines, which PDP-11s he rented (or borrowed time on them) from Harvard University. Now, the _emulator_program_, working on PDP-11, was created about a year before by his slightly senior friend Paul Allen.

    A friend of mine has a saying:
    “If you are not smart, you should better get an education”.

    Gates was and is VERY SMART (no comments on other qualities.)
    But his smarts are not in mathematics. He grew in quite favorable environment.
    Still, it did not help him to become a mathematician.

    • Replies: @SFG
  19. SFG says:
    @Immigrant from former USSR

    Sure, but his daddy being a very rich guy did mean he had access to capital for starting his business, as well as likely help with financing.

    I’m not saying he’s not a very bright guy who worked very hard–he is, and he did. But without the advantages he had, he wouldn’t have been the richest man in the USA for a while, just some random techie.

  20. iffen says:
    @Sunbeam

    A lot of this has to do with the wrong sort of people trying to make a go of it in our competitive society. Let the proles forget their place and try to grab some money by landing a reality tv show or some other such deal and upper class heads just start wagging back and forth. The nerve of those turds, thinking they have a right to participate in society just like they are as good as anyone else.

  21. SFG says:
    @Lot

    Eastern Europeans? Why on earth would they come all the way over here when there are better opportunities in Central and Western Europe?

    We can’t get Europeans because Europeans don’t want to live in a country without national healthcare and college paid for, without guaranteed vacation, and where the rich own everything. Why would they?

    We can only get people from outside Europe, because the country you’re moving to has to be better than the one you’re coming from, or why move?

    You get the occasional Schwarzenegger who wants to make a go of the free-market system, but those guys are rare, and there aren’t enough of them to be demographically important.

  22. iffen says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Move to Appalachia. They can work at their church’s food bank and take the bags of food to the white “handicapped” recipient’s vehicle and stack it on top of the 25 lbs bags of dog chow, the two cases of beer and alongside the three cartons of cigarettes. I mean if they just want to help poor white people.

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  23. @anonymous-antimarxist

    If two plus two equals four but the Good People refuse to admit the fact, no Program, nor any Change of Heart, will produce another solution.

  24. @Numinous

    People can choose to impart certain lessons to their kids. They can choose to behave in particular ways that make them role models.

    And you can lead a horse to water…

    • Replies: @iffen
  25. iffen says:
    @Jonathan Silber

    And if they are thirsty they will drink some water.

  26. Jeff77450 says:
    @anonymous-antimarxist

    An interesting suggestion with absolutely no chance of being implemented. I’m guessing that the IQ of the women that you’re talking about ranges from 70 to 90. (Said with an absence of malice). They could no more “wrap their head” around what you’re saying, or be organized enough or consistent enough to execute the idea, than they can escape poverty the “old fashioned” way: complete high school; have no children out-of-wedlock; don’t engage in substance-abuse; don’t fall into the welfare-trap; practice thrift & deferred-gratification; strive to speak Standard American English. And so on.

    “Before you can drain a swamp you first have to build a dam.” Before you can solve a chronic, on-going problem you first have to identify the root- or main-cause and “cap it off.”

    We might have somewhat better results with something like this: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/science/colorados-push-against-teenage-pregnancies-is-a-startling-success.html?mabReward=CTM&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=0

    And this: http://www.projectprevention.org/

    What am I saying…the “problem” will never be solved. The Left’s message of “if it feels good do it” has prevailed. The Right’s message of “practice Personal Responsibility and restrain the worst of your impulses” was interpreted as “don’t have any fun.”

    • Replies: @AnAnon
  27. iffen says:

    The left side of the curve is not the problem.The left side is filling its niche. The underclass doesn’t need (and has never needed) to do anything to fulfill its role other than get born and survive. The problem is a failure of the right side of the curve. If society fails it is because the ruling classes have failed to create and maintain the society.

  28. 22pp22 says:

    We want Radio Derb!

    • Agree: Jeff77450
  29. Romanian says:
    @Lot

    Hands off my declining population! Brain drains are a terrible thing for a middle income country – economically, morally and genetically.

  30. Romanian says:
    @Lot

    I can’t edit anymore.

    This is a very interesting blog showing the rate at which the Romanian population is falling every month. Google Translate should be able to handle it.

    https://demograffiti.wordpress.com/

    In June 2015 – we are losing 22 people/hour – 1 is born every 2 mins and 52 seconds; 1 dies every 1 minute 53 seconds; 1 leaves every 5 minutes 27 seconds.

    Moldova is already full of the elderly and youngsters, everybody else has gone abroad (Romania gives citizenship to all Moldovans who apply and have one grandparent in the Greater Romania Kingdom, regardless of ethnicity). Next to Tajikistan, Moldova has the highest ratio of remittances to GDP in the world – around 30% pre-crisis.

  31. for somebody like me who once majored in social sciences and believed in the intellectual strength and even beauty of this field it is a bitter awareness that the vast majority of studies in this field is no more than ideology. And they are not even creative, but boring as hell. Which is probably because they are not in touch with the real world. When you only repeat your own thoughts you get boring. It is also a bitter awareness that most public intellectuals and important intellectual institutions like big newspapers are mostly very limited in their ability to observe important social phenomena. All in all I still think one can converse the social world in a meaningful way, but this is more a hobby than a profession. Universities should shut down social sciences at all and only do STEM plus law and some classic liberal arts such as history. And economics is not much better than sociology

  32. @Realist

    Real scientists know that people who use the term social science….are kidding about the science part.

    You are being obtuse — demonstrating a marked degree of studied ignorance. There is science to “social science”, and there is some crap, just as there is “science” in “climate science”, and there is some crap.

    Use the science; ignore the crap.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @MarkinLA
  33. @iffen

    They can work at their church’s food bank and take the bags of food to the white “handicapped” recipient’s vehicle and stack it on top of the 25 lbs bags of dog chow, the two cases of beer and alongside the three cartons of cigarettes. I mean if they just want to help poor white people.

    If they want to help black people, they’ll need a lot more beer and cigarettes.

  34. Realist says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    “You are being obtuse — demonstrating a marked degree of studied ignorance.”

    Perhaps you should look up the definition of science.

    ” There is science to “social science”, …”

    Really let’s hear about it?

    When did social studies become social science? And Why?
    Economics and political ‘science’ are not sciences either.

    “…. just as there is “science” in “climate science”, and there is some crap.”

    The part about it’s settled science in the case of AGW is crap. coincidence is not causation.

    Climate is weather over time.

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  35. @Realist

    When did social studies become social science? And Why?
    Economics and political ‘science’ are not sciences either.

    “…. just as there is “science” in “climate science”, and there is some crap.”

    The part about it’s settled science in the case of AGW is crap. coincidence is not causation.

    You are an ignorant, opinionated buffoon. That happens a lot around here, and probably no one holds it against you much. I certainly will waste no time providing you with free education. If you wish to become informed, you will. If you don’t, which I would place in the “highly probable” domain, you won’t.

    BTW, the common expression is “correlation is not causation”. Coincidence has never been causation, and your use of the term tends to confirm … oh, never mind.

    • Replies: @Realist
  36. Realist says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    ” I certainly will waste no time providing you with free education. If you wish to become informed, you will.”

    So you don’t know and you are trying to cover your ass.

    “BTW, the common expression is “correlation is not causation”. Coincidence has never been causation, and your use of the term tends to confirm … oh, never mind.”

    “correlation is not causation”’

    Correlation can show causation. I don’t need a stupid shit like you to tell me what I mean

    “Coincidence has never been causation,”

    That is my point exactly. AGW fanatics argue that since CO2 has increased at the same time as ‘global warming’ it proves that AGW is real

    “If you wish to become informed, you will. If you don’t, which I would place in the “highly probable” domain, you won’t.”

    If I don’t agree with you I am uninformed? What did you say about being opinionated?

  37. Vinegar says:

    People like Alex Jones sometimes refer to those pulling the strings as eugenicists (interchangeably with ‘the controllers’, the Illuminati, the globalists, etc – but never of course, ‘the jew’).

    But it always struck me that everything they’ve done for the last 50 years has had the opposite effect – dysgenics.

    Every policy seems to have been deliberately calculated to maximize the breeding potential of retards, while stifling the reproduction of those of above-average intelligence.

    Why?

    Well, it seems to me they’ve been breeding an army, and whipping them up into a furor of hate. An army of degenerates who, on that fateful day of total economic and governmental collapse, will hit the streets looking for blood.

    When it’s all said and done, those who survive will probably have ‘better’-than-average genes. Perhaps in that way they could be called eugenicists.

    But I don’t think that’s been their ultimate goal so much as it’s been about achieving total domination.

    • Replies: @Erik Sieven
  38. @Realist

    Correlation can show causation. I don’t need a stupid shit like you to tell me what I mean

    No. Correlation does not show causation. Causation, generally speaking, will show correlation.

    I don’t need a stupid shit like you at all.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Realist
  39. @Vinegar

    people just adore brute strength and aggression. Many people today just want to see the strong which is the fertile, the aggressive, the subsaharan Africans, the muslims take over the world and fight down everything weak. They want the clash and some action and they hate peace and security. Thus they undermine every attempt of certain people who try to live a calmer, more save and sustainable life. They don´t like sustainability. This means they undermine the attempt to build up borders and maintain them. Borders between countries or other, social borders. They undermine the attempt to build up wealth and keep it. Especially many people dislike anybody who produces something within the material world, instead they cheer for the person who concentrates on the social world and gets his goods from other people instead of working for it himself. This is all very human. Thus I think civilization it not really suitable for humans. It has worked temporary and locally under specific circumstances. But in the end evolution wins and the destroyer wins over the one who builds up.
    By the way the new UN population projection is published, and – surprise, surprise – like year after year the projection had to be correct to a new higher level since Subsaharan Africans simply do not start to have less children.

  40. @Numinous

    “I know HBD folks disagree and are sold on the genetic explanation.”

    Because that’s what all twin studies, and more recently Plomin et al and large GWAS studies, clearly demonstrate. You will never square the circle by pretending that the genetic term is remotely close to zero. The tactical retreat of admitting within-group sociobiological phenomena is an attempt to grease the skids for social “science” theories as to why the mechanism does not exist _between_ groups.

    It should be noted: no HBD’ers claim the environmental term is zero, which contrasts with the opposing narrative that, because the env term _can_ be (mostly in the negative sense, i.e. child neglect), the genetic term must therefore be zero.

  41. Realist says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    “No. Correlation does not show causation.”

    I said can show… You need to learn how to read.

    Correlation: a relation existing between phenomena or things or between mathematical or statistical variables which tend to vary, be associated, or occur together in a way not expected on the basis of chance alone.

    You have no idea what science is.

  42. Realist says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    Much of scientific evidence is based upon a correlation of variables – they are observed to occur together. Scientists are careful to point out that correlation does not necessarily mean causation. The assumption that A causes B simply because A correlates with B is often not accepted as a legitimate form of argument.

    However, sometimes people commit the opposite fallacy – dismissing correlation entirely, as if it does not suggest causation at all. This would dismiss a large swath of important scientific evidence.

    Since it may be difficult or ethically impossible to run controlled double-blind studies, correlational evidence from several different angles may be the strongest causal evidence available

    Correlation is a valuable type of scientific evidence in fields such as medicine, psychology, and sociology. But first correlations must be confirmed as real, and then every possible causative relationship must be systematically explored. In the end correlation can be used as powerful evidence for a cause-and-effect relationship between a treatment and benefit, a risk factor and a disease, or a social or economic factor and various outcomes.

  43. @Numinous

    “They can choose to behave in particular ways that make them role models.”

    Yeah, we all went to school too, so we’re well aware of the fact we’re supposed to regard so-called “Role Models,” as sacred totems of some sort. But the thing is, we don’t really practice your little religion anymore, so calling us out for our blasphemies, is kinda meaningless at this point. We already know what people like you think, since we’ve been bombarded with your thoughts since we were children (in the case of any American under the age of 55, or so). And frankly, we just don’t agree with you. Repeating stuff we’d already been told 1,000 times by 1987, isn’t going to suddenly work better now.

    “Role models,” indeed! How can you type out such mindless dreck, without feeling embarrassed for yourself?

  44. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    The so-called “United States of America,” is a dead letter. Its time to create new political arrangements, for the purposes of securing our liberties. The country of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, even Eisenhower & JFK, a country that I once fervently loved, does not exist anymore. Its time to formalize the reality we see around us, and establish one or more new countries, centered around those portions of the old USA that contain actually viable populations (perhaps including some portions of Canada as well, realistically). I’m not too worried about the prospect of a civil war, because they can’t order us to fire upon ourselves, now can they?

  45. The social sciences are soft precisely because they do not run experimental controls to test causal hypotheses in human ecology. This, itself, turns theory into theology. At the point of prescription, particularly in the era of central government social policy over-riding local government social policy, this becomes theocracy.

    A basic sense of decency and scientific ethics should sort proponents of social theories into governments that test them as the highest priority of humane governance.

    That there does not exist a single government on the planet that does this can be attributed to the malign influence of social “scientists” themselves.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  46. MarkinLA says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    Just because something has the trappings of science does not make it so. The guys who set the opening line at the sports books are amazing in their accuracy. If there is an economist anywhere close to their ability to make predictions, I have yet to see one. They use the same techniques as social scientists but I would not call them scientists. This goes for stock and commodities traders as well.

    Social science pretends that it can take a few observable traits, ignore those ones too difficult to measure, and come up with a simple linear model of how things work. The variables chosen are subject to the biases of the researcher. The whole model is based on the interpretation of the researcher which will always be heavily influenced by his politics. It gets its stamp of approval by being peer reviewed by other equally biased people who tend to ignore the glaring holes in it in order to advance the politics.

    I was once on a site where some maternal and paternal twin study by some sociologist supposedly showed that nurture was more important than nature. Of course, everybody on the lefty site howled with delight. Because they didn’t have any IQ information, they relied on income to determine who was smart and who was dumb.

    The problem as I saw it was that poor parents are more likely to both be dumb than rich parents are both likely to be smart. I don’t doubt that a guy making a lot of money won’t marry a complete moron but an executive type guy with a high IQ (140+) making money will be happy to marry model material with a slightly above average IQ. A techie beta making decent pay will thank his lucky stars to get a 7 with an average IQ who has a decent job and the family income will qualify as seemingly wealthy. Somehow the difference between paternal and maternal school success (I don’t think they measured the kids IQ either) “proved” that nature is insignificant.

    If you really don’t measure the IQ of everybody and don’t have a way to score the quality of the kids upbringing then everything really is just a giant BSing contest.

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  47. MarkinLA says:
    @James Bowery

    Not a lot of important public policies can be tested such as general economic policy. There is nothing but BS and models to back up things like free-trade and supply side. Since it was in the interests of the 1% we got it. When it was obvious to most that it was garbage we got a parade of continuous lies that what we were seeing with our eyes wasn’t real. When the propaganda would work no longer finally some economists admitted that: “Yeah, there are some losers”. Of course that is always countered with: “But the winners far outnumber the losers”.

    On a smaller scale take welfare program reform. Take for example Head Start. The basis for this program was the black-white achievement gap. It was theorized that white stay-at-home moms were giving their children the extra nurturing they needed to get ahead and stay there. Welfare let them stay at home instead of work. When that didn’t work it was theorized that white moms had more education and what was needed was a stand-in for the white mom in black communities so we had Head Start. When the gap didn’t close under Head Start the goalposts were changed to define what success was. I saw some guy touting a report where the metrics were not the measured reading level of the students (because that was a failure) but squishy metrics like “is more attentive” which can always be assumed to be outstanding in it’s increase.

    • Replies: @James Bowery
  48. @MarkinLA

    If you really don’t measure the IQ of everybody and don’t have a way to score the quality of the kids upbringing then everything really is just a giant BSing contest.

    I am familiar with the arguments you posted. They do, however, show signs of influence from non-science-oriented ideologies. You seem happy enough to believe as you do; how would I benefit from providing evidence contradictive of your expressed views? I do not believe I would. Live long and prosper.

    • Replies: @Realist
  49. @MarkinLA

    MarkinLA wrote: “Not a lot of important public policies can be tested such as general economic policy.”

    Yes they can, and they can be tested with less cost than, say, waging wars in the Middle East to support questionable foreign policy or even the costs that are incurred by white flight:

    Simply leave social policy up to local jurisdictions and focus government resources on assisting people to relocate to mutually consenting locales, rather than on delivering social goods.

    The primary blockage here is that social scientists have the ethical integrity of slugs, or they would stop advocating any policy except the meta-policy implied by the prior paragraph.

    Look: Medicine recognizes you simply do _not_ treat humans without their consent — not just during experimental trials but even when the treatments have been shown safe and effective. Moreover, they don’t consider treatments safe and effective until they’ve have data from groups that exclude confounding variables.

    The examples you cite are programs immersed in a sea of confounding variables imposed by human ecologies that didn’t even consent to those treatments being imposed within their jurisdictions.

    Its obscene, inhumane and a travesty that resources of the Federal government are invested in anything except sorting proponents of social theories into local governments that test them.

  50. If the intelligentsia wants to do something for the working class they could use their influence to repeal Taft-Hartley. The minimum wage is a bad idea. Collective bargaining is what delivers us from welfare.

  51. AnAnon says:
    @Jeff77450

    of course the problem will be solved. when a population expands beyond the ability of an ecosystem to support that population there is a dieoff. It is just that there isn’t a nice solution.

  52. Realist says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    “Live long and prosper.”

    Using a television SciFi cliché does nothing to improve your appearance of wisdom or intelligence.

    • Agree: John Jeremiah Smith
    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  53. @Realist

    Using a television SciFi cliché does nothing to improve your appearance of wisdom or intelligence.

    Other matters press. Best regards.

  54. szopen says:
    @Realist

    You are wrong. AGW folks claim that there is a theory based on characteristics of certain gasses and this theory explains whether there should be warming or cooling. This theory, for example, explains why the temperatures during ice age seems to be much lower than expected only from other factors. This theory was coined BEFORE there was observable warming. That the warming occurred is merely an empirical confirmation of a theory. To reiterate: some guys observed in laboratory features of gases such as CO2, those characteristics were then confirmed, then they applied physics and the result was that the logical conclusion was that if CO2 levels raise, then there should be warming – and, voila, _after_ scientific community after much discussion agreed that theory is true, the warming has happened!

    Now, if there would be no warming, that would be a real puzzle, as a lot – and I mean a lot – of theories would have to be changed. Simply, AGW theory (climate scientists do not actually like the term “AGW theory” since it is misleading) is logically concluded from so many theories; if it would be proven to be wrong, then either some of those theories and facts would have to be wrong, or there would be something really strange about earth climate.

    • Replies: @Realist
  55. Realist says:
    @szopen

    “This theory, for example, explains why the temperatures during ice age seems to be much lower than expected only from other factors.”

    What bullshit. These ‘AGW folks’ as you call them have no idea what the other factors are. Their models can’t even predict the past let alone the future.

    “…climate scientists do not actually like the term “AGW theory” since it is misleading)…”

    It was their idea. They are trying to blame any ‘global warming’ on human activity. The earth has experienced climate change for billions of years.

    Thanks for the little science lesson….my degree is in chemistry and physics.

    Climate is weather over time.

    • Replies: @szopen
  56. szopen says:
    @Realist

    Realist, you really should go and read some books on the theory. I mean if you say “they do not know other factors” while any climatologist can enumerate at least two dozens of them, then it means you are not familiar with the literature of the subject. Avoid propaganda sites, just look for the real, scientific articles or books. I’d give you some links, but they are all in Polish – e.g. blog of one climatologists, who convinced me that the theory is true (blog by doskonaleszare).

    First, scientists are not trying to blame “any global warming” on human activity. This is false – just go and read and you will see it. Only recent warming is attributed to human activity, because this is what is predicted by the greenhouse gases theory. Scientists are also were aware of “other” factors: it’s just those other factors do not explain current warming.

    As for the “earth has experienced weather changes for years”, then if you really have a degree in chemistry and physics (my PhD is in computer science), then you should realise that this is the least convincing argument you could concoct. Scientists try to explain all weather changes and they are quite good at it. But those explanations do not work for the currently experienced warming. In fact, if the humans would suddenly disappear, then within blink of an eye (something just like few thousands years) temperature should fall, judging from all other known factors.

    The fact that for years I sometimes hit myself because I am clumsy, would not work in court as an argument that I wasn’t actually hit by a robber.

    BTW i do not call them “AGW folks”, I just used the terminology you use; In the same fashion i usa AGW, because this is term used in press and in discussions, though climatologists I discussed with do not like this name (because there is no theory of AGW in scientifc sense, there is just greenhouses theory which explains warmings and coolings).

    For the ice ages, you are probably aware of milankovic cycles; however they do not explain the extent of temperature changes. Greenhouses theory postulates that temperature changes were larger than expected because initial changes in temperature caused changes in greenhouse gasses concentration, which in turn caused larger changes in temperatures (which in turn caused more changes in greenhouse gas concentration and so on, but as each change has less and less effect this eventually stabilizes). If you think greenhouse gas theories is false, then you must find other explanation why temperature changes were larger than expected from Milankovic cycles alone.

    Remember, that theory is just a scientific theory. You should not attack the theory because usually it is supported by liberals nowadays and because of that liberals propose strange and outright stupid solutions. I am conservative, for example;

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @MarkinLA
  57. Realist says:
    @szopen

    “First, scientists are not trying to blame “any global warming” on human activity. This is false – just go and read and you will see it. Only recent warming is attributed to human activity, because this is what is predicted by the greenhouse gases theory. Scientists are also were aware of “other” factors: it’s just those other factors do not explain current warming.”

    That’s gibberish….they aren’t then they are. The bozo AGW lovers have no idea how changes in the suns output effect the climate or what causes them.

    • Replies: @szopen
  58. MarkinLA says:
    @szopen

    Greenhouses theory postulates that temperature changes were larger than expected because initial changes in temperature caused changes in greenhouse gasses concentration, which in turn caused larger changes in temperatures (which in turn caused more changes in greenhouse gas concentration and so on, but as each change has less and less effect this eventually stabilizes).

    The evidence shows that temperature rise in the past predates CO2 concentrations rising. Therefore, it isn’t the case that CO2 is the causal agent here like we have been told is the gospel truth. Now in order to keep this theory alive they have now concocted that the CO2 is in some kind of positive feedback loop. However, you insist that it stabilizes when we all know that we have passed the point of no return (in 2005 I thought according to Al Gore) and there is no stabilization and we will become Venus II according to the AGW crowd.

    So what is it, stabilization and there is nothing to worry about or the end of the world that needs immediate attention?

    • Replies: @szopen
  59. szopen says:
    @MarkinLA

    “The evidence shows that temperature rise in the past predates CO2 concentrations rising.”
    Have you read what I have written or any scientific paper on greenhouse gasses?? Seems no.

    The theory postulated that in the past temperature changed, THEN gas concentration changes and THEN it causes additional temperature change. In other words, you just quoted a fact confirming a theory – this was predicted by the theory, then past CO2 levels were checked, and everyone was happy because theory was confirmed. However, temperature always react to changes in CO2 levels, no matter what causes that changes.

    Moreover, with any gas concentration temperature will eventually stabilize, as you would know if you would care to actually read scientific blogs or papers. The problem is that concentration levels are not stable.

    As for whether is there anything to worry about, it depends on a time scale. Within geological timeframe, everything will go back to normal within few thousand years. Within human scale, few thousands years is a lot of time.

    “The end of the world”? Stop reading activists and propagandist, go read some scientific papers (e.g. real scientific papers, not popular science news, as news sometimes really distort the findings). Even in the worse case scenario, which wasn’t even included in officially released reports (because it is based on too many uncertainties) some areas near the poles will be still habitable. In realistic scenario we will just face sea level rises, disruption in distribution of water, sea currents, changing climate would require changing crops and so on. Changes in ocean acidification levels, probably killing many fish species. Very costly affair, but manageable. Of course a lot of species will die out.
    There is even theoretically possible, though very unlikely to happen, scenario in which there would actually more positives than negatives. All scenarios have some probabilities, most of those scenarios are fairly negative, but no end of the world.

    OTOH, if specialist would go to you and say: “there is 1% chance of lightning striking your house. Do you want insurance?” would you laugh at him and crazy him “alarmist” “crazy” and so on? I insured my house from several unlikely events, which are much more unlikely than what will happen.

    Just one last thing: do you at least believe that temperature levels on earth NOW are influenced by CO2 levels? I mean, do you know what should be earth surface temperature if earth atmosphere would have no greenhouse gasses at all?

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  60. szopen says:
    @Realist

    Well, sure. In the past you could claim that changes in sun ouput influence climate caused currently observed temperature levels – up until 1990s (you will notice how all those “sceptic” videos about sun activity and temperature end at 1990s). But now sun activity goes down, and temperature either stays the same or goes up. How so? Before 1990 you claim that “hey, there is a correlation between sun output and temperature, so it’s all explained by sun activity” and now “there is no longer a correlation, but it’s still explained by the temperature!”.

    (Note that the same graph is usually cut at early 1990s or at most 2000 by most sceptic sites. Yeah, no dishonesty about it. Just one of the many tricks used).

    Really, scientists are quite clever people and they really thought about a lot of factors.

  61. MarkinLA says:
    @szopen

    Just one last thing: do you at least believe that temperature levels on earth NOW are influenced by CO2 levels? I mean, do you know what should be earth surface temperature if earth atmosphere would have no greenhouse gasses at all?

    What I believe is that nobody not even those whose papers you read knows the answer to that.

    Everything you state as the theory cannot be proven and has consistently failed to measure up to the supposed doomsday scenario were are all told we need to avoid by completely changing what we do. let’s take this:

    Moreover, with any gas concentration temperature will eventually stabilize, as you would know if you would care to actually read scientific blogs or papers. The problem is that concentration levels are not stable.

    Of course they are not stable as they weren’t in the past and somehow they stabilized (at least according to you they must have) How did that happen? I thought that we were supposed to have a runaway greenhouse effect and be Venus.

    If the AGW crowd wants to be taken seriously they shouldn’t have traveled down the scare-mongering track in order to get more grant money and make themselves big public figures saving the world. We have been told endlessly that lowering CO2 levels is so important to our survival. I am not the ones pushing that, it is the AGW crowd.

    Lets take a look at another one:

    The theory postulated that in the past temperature changed, THEN gas concentration changes and THEN it causes additional temperature change. In other words, you just quoted a fact confirming a theory – this was predicted by the theory, then past CO2 levels were checked, and everyone was happy because theory was confirmed. However, temperature always react to changes in CO2 levels, no matter what causes that changes.

    Why then are there intermediate cooling periods – mini ice ages. Lets assume that once the warming starts CO2 springs up from somewhere, say the ocean and starts this feedback loop. Well according to what you say this loop should continue until all the available CO2 in the ocean is exhausted. How then does a mini ice age happen? It can’t be from Milankovic cycles.

    Climate science is like social science. When one garbage theory finally explodes beyond anybody’s ability to defend it, some true believe pulls another one out of his ass.

    • Replies: @szopen
  62. OutWest says:

    There’s some right and there’s some error in the warming discussion. In the past, Milankovitch solar cycles varied the solar heat load seen by Earth. If the heating decreased, the oceans cooled and absorbed CO2. This resulted in less greenhouse effect and overall cooling, like ice age. More solar heat and the process reverses and heating. All spontaneous. By loading the atmosphere with CO2 from combustion on Earth the process is short circuited with resulting warming.

    That said, the CO2 is now already in the atmosphere and merely cutting back on combustion might help in a few thousand years. There are sound engineering step that could control the warming. But engineering is a bit too logical and compromises political interests (they love an emergency) so engineering is a dirty word.

    The problem is more political than physical.

    • Replies: @szopen
  63. szopen says:
    @MarkinLA

    I’m sorry it took me so long to answer.

    “If the AGW crowd wants to be taken seriously they shouldn’t have traveled down the scare-mongering track in order to get more grant money”

    You do realise that grant money are not that big, and oil industry in fact funds a lot of “science” to disprove “AGW”? In ddition, please differentiate between the advocates and climatologists.
    Theory merelys tates that temperature will change as Co2 (and other) greenhouse gas concentration changes. Estimating the effects is much harder, though it seems rational to at least try some kind of estimation instead of not giving a damn. For example, one thing which is hard to estimate is influence of change of acidification of oceans – the levels of acidifications are changing significantly, the most likely culprit is CO2 emission from anthropogenic sources (no other input changed drastically). What would be the effects? Most likely some species will die, some will migrate. I don’t know, scientists try to make educated guesses, but I do not think the rational answer should be “let’s ignore the thing and just continue business as usual, because in the past cliamte changed on its own”

    “Why then are there intermediate cooling periods – mini ice ages. Lets assume that once the warming starts CO2 springs up from somewhere, say the ocean and starts this feedback loop. Well according to what you say this loop should continue until all the available CO2 in the ocean is exhausted. ”

    No, it’s wrong. Each subsequential rise in the temperature is smaller, generating less and less CO2, and finally it stabilizes. Then the “temperature input” lowers, e.g. because of lower sun activity of Milankovic cyckles. This lowers temperature, which causes some CO2 to be trapped in ice, changing albedo etc until the tempearture lowers, causing more CO2 trapped, which lowers tempearure (but a lot smaller than with the first change) then it causes a lot less CO2 trapped, which then causes a lot smaller temperature change and so on, until it stabilizes.
    In the long run (i.e in tens, or even thousands years of time) climate of earth is quite a resistant thing. The only problem is we care more about ten to hundred years of time. As i wrote before, additional input of CO2 into the atmosphere in the long run (i.e. several thousand years) will probably be absorped by oceans, biosphere and so on, new equilibrium will be established. But maybe we should care more about what could happen before that few thousands years will pass?

    “Climate science is like social science”

    It’s not, since the theory is directly based on physics. I mean there are equation showing what the temperature of earth should be if it had no atmosphere or atmosphere devoided of greenhouse gasses. You can look out for them (stefan-boltzman). All of the theory logically follows what we knew from other things. I mean, if someone would decisively show that AGW “theory” (again, remember I am using it in not purely scietnific sense) is false, i.e. changing CO2 levels has no impact no earth’s temperature, that would be shocking discovery – either something we knew in physics is wrong, or someone would have to find out an explanation why changing CO2 levels does not cause the changes which logically follows the theory.

    That;s why I personally like the theory. You just deduce it from the earlier fundaments and then it neatly explains a lot of factors, for which otherwise you would have many different explanations. For example, Ice Ages could be also explained without greenhouse gasses. But that would require a explanation specific from Ice Ages – and I, personally, like the parsimony rule.

    I mean – you have characteristics of Co2 measured in laboratory and in the atmosphere. From those characteristics alone, you know that in theory, changing concentration should lead to change in earth temperatures (of course after remembering few things about how atmosphere is structured). You get nice theory with huge explanatory power. I was teached that theory which logically follows from other theories and have large explanatory power should be favoured.

  64. szopen says:
    @OutWest

    Completely agreed. Nothing we can do now can stop warming from happening except some geo-engineering. We can only moderate the extent of the warming, but it is too late to stop it.

    Therefore, we should now concentrate on finding the other solutions. Geo-engineering will be necessary, but the problem is that the left (no offense for leftwingers here) will adamantly fight agaisnt any such solutions, because it would be not ecological.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All John Derbyshire Comments via RSS