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We have to be resigned to living in a world where social outcomes are substantially determined at birth
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I do not wish to accuse my readers of being economists, sociologists or anthropologists, but I am willing to bet that some of you think that the way your parents brought you up, and the schools and community you were raised in, had a big influence on your later achievements in life.

A reasonable belief, but probably a mistaken one.

In fact, it is likely that all that matters is who your parents were, by which I mean your blood parents. Furthermore, conceiving you was the big step, and the rest was due to your being kept alive, and little more.

Here is a discussion paper, written for a conference-attending professional audience, which gives a technical account of the preliminary results of a large study still in progress. I will concentrate on some of the main points, and will leave discussion of some other matters (like assortative mating) to another later post.

For Whom the Bell Curve Tolls: A Lineage of 400,000 English Individuals 1750-2020 shows Genetics Determines most Social Outcomes

Gregory Clark, University of California, Davis and LSE (March 1, 2021)

Economics, Sociology, and Anthropology are dominated by the belief that social outcomes depend mainly on parental investment and community socialization. Using a lineage of 402,000 English people 1750-2020 we test whether such mechanisms better predict outcomes than a simple additive genetics model. The genetics model predicts better in all cases except for the transmission of wealth. The high persistence of status over multiple generations, however, would require in a genetic mechanism strong genetic assortative in mating. This has been until recently believed impossible. There is however, also strong evidence consistent with just such sorting, all the way from 1837 to 2020. Thus the outcomes here are actually the product of an interesting genetics-culture combination.

Greg Clark says:

It is widely believed that while social status – measured as occupational status, income, health, or wealth – is correlated between parents and children, this correlation is driven by parental investments in children, or by cultural transmission. This belief has profound influence on peoples’ perception of the fairness of social rewards, of the need for government intervention in the lives of disadvantaged children, and of the social value of education. In this paper I test whether culture/human capital or genetics offers a better explanation of the inheritance of social attributes, using a lineage of 402,000 English individuals 1750-2020. To do so we have to specify both a general model of cultural/human capital inheritance, and one of genetic inheritance. There is already a well established model of additive genetic inheritance, formulated by Fisher in 1918. This I test against the data below. Specifying a model of cultural/human capital transmission as an alternative is more difficult. The ways culture/human capital has been hypothesized to operate are many and varied.

So, Clark offers us a straight fight between a simple genetic formula and the more amorphous, all-encompassing but vague cultural explanations.

The genetic formula was proposed by Fisher, but since putting a formula in the text cuts readership in half I will eschew it, and instead describe it in plain English: most complex human traits are influenced genetically by the additive effect of many locations in the DNA where there are variants in the base pairs (none, one, or two positive variants), where each location itself has a very small effect on the trait in question. So, you just add up all those small effects to get a total score for the trait in question, which is the additive inheritance. That’s it.

For example, Galton noticed that parent’s height was passed on to their children, though the precise mechanism was not known. The long run intergenerational correlation should be close to 0.5.

Now we would calculate height accurately with polygenic risk scores, but that is not essential. With the additive model you don’t have to worry about fancy stuff like dominant or recessive genes, or interactions between different genes at different locations. This is a very simple and clear model of the intergenerational transmission of social status. In this model, you don’t even have to worry about the environment. Genetics is all you need in order to predict your achievements in life.

When we come to social outcomes the idea here will be that people inherit a set of abilities that determine, whatever their parents’ circumstances, their ultimate outcome in terms of occupational status, education, health or longevity. For wealth, where there is an actual transfer between generations, we would not expect the Fisher rules to hold.

Now a tiny bit of jargon. Each parent transmits their genes, plus a random element. You get exactly 50% from each parent (except the sex genes) but the 50% you get from your father (or mother) are slightly random samples of his genes. Your brother gets a different sample. That is why siblings are similar, but uniquely slightly different. So, what you see in each person is the (phenotype) which is their ancestry (genotype) plus the slightly random assortment they got from their parents. On average, mothers will contribute as much as fathers, so if the genetic theory is correct, mothers will contribute as much to the status of their children as do fathers. (Probably not what the cultural view would predict).

It seem very likely that people choose each other by carefully getting to know their partners (the phenotype), and in that way they will also pick out their partner’s underlying family qualities (the genotype).

The simple genotypic model allows you to work out the degree of relatedness of all your relatives, as shown below. As you get further away from yourself the correlations will go down in a lawful way caused by the genetic totals.


This little chart is very interesting, in that it allows the testing of genetic links in various ways. Your correlation with your cousin is the same as your correlation with your great-grandparent whom you probably haven’t ever met. So, on the Fisher equation, finding out about the achievements of a dead great-grandparent should tell you as much about your eventual social status as your still-alive cousin, even though the latter might have helped you with a job offer. On the cultural model, a cousin will have more potential influence on you than a dead great-grandparent.

We can see if the simple genotype model explains the obtained data.

Clark says, about assortative mating, or marital selection (marriage partners choosing who they marry) which he labels “m”:

There is no intrinsic reason that people should match in marriage based on their social abilities. They could match purely on physical characteristics, or on personality traits unrelated to social and economic outcomes. They do match, in some societies, on whatever cousins are available of the appropriate age and gender. Interestingly, though, if matching is just to a random cousin then in equilibrium in such a society “m” will be quite low at around 0.23, whereas in England the evidence for “m”, as mentioned, is in the order of 0.6-0.8.

This social choice around marriage has profound implication in a world of genetic transmission for the overall individual distribution of social abilities in society, and for the rate of social mobility.

The above point is that when parents do the choosing, particularly in arranged marriages where the children are very young, they cannot do the careful matching which free adults can do (when the groom is about 27, the bride about 25) and know something about people and how the world works.

Here is a very blunt finding: if people choose their marital partners very carefully, looking to their underlying genotypical strengths, then differences in social outcomes in society will be preserved and strengthened. There will be little social mobility, and different classes will develop and persist. There will be some rising and falling in the short term, partly caused by noisy measures of status, and some very slow rising, but nothing like the rapid social mobility which people are trying to bring about by compensatory policies. Conversely if this additive genetic formula is wrong, and if environments have strong effects, then there will be a poor match between these genetic predictions and what is actually found in the historical record. There will be no straight-line graphs showing that social outcomes match the degree of genetic relatedness between persons.

Here is the effect of strong marital selection in a picture:

The effect is to have more people in the low range of intelligence, and more people in the high range of intelligence than would be the case if people mated without matching their ability levels. Furthermore, if the next generation persist in choosing their partners carefully, these differences in outcome will be perpetuated and the proportion of very bright people will slowly increase. Do that for 12 centuries and you get the Industrial Revolution.

As the generations go by you start getting more bright people. The problem is, what does one do with them. In purely agrarian societies there are not many opportunities for them, so those bright children competed for limited economic and social resources, the less able and competitive falling downwards, which had the paradoxical effect of “bootstrapping” the rest of the population, as cognitive ability and bourgeois traits rose across all levels of society, leading to higher industriousness and innovativeness.

What we can do now is work our way down the family tree shown above, and see what a purely additive genetic model would predict about people’s social status, assuming a high degree of marital assortment. Long run social mobility rates will depend purely on the degree of genetic assortment in marriage, and the decline in correlations should follow a very regular pattern as we go down through the distant cousins.

This is pretty spooky. Your (alive) cousin and your (dead) great grandfather, who are the same genetic distance from each other, are the same degree of likeness to you in their social status, their higher education and their wealth. That cannot be explained by the usual cultural theories, in which your cousin might conceivably have had some helpful social connection with you. This research finds that social connections seem to be playing almost no role. Indeed, even parents dying when you are young seems to have very minor influence.

Your great grandfather did not live in your household, go to your school, nor get the same pre-school intelligence-boosting exposure to critical race theory. However, because of even distant genetic similarity he is similar to you. Also, to drive the point home, your very dead great, great, great grandfather is just as related to you as a second cousin. (As all of you know, that is the child of one’s parent’s first cousin). Who are these people? Distant as they may be genetically, and non-existent as they may be in the practical terms required by social/cultural theories of social mobility, what emerges from this research is that even at that large genetic distance these very distant relatives are like you to some detectable degree.

As regards siblings, the correlation between parents and any one child will be equal or higher than the correlations between siblings. However, that goes against the popular notion that the family you live in gives all the children the same advantages. On any environmental account of social accounts the correlation between children should be greater than that between parent and child. So this constitutes an interesting test of these competing accounts of social outcomes.

With genetic transmission of social outcomes there should be a strict symmetry of correlations between the paternal and maternal side of the family. The correlation, for example, in any outcome between the paternal grandfather and child should equal that between the maternal grandfather and child. In contrast with social transmission of social outcomes we can imagine significant asymmetry. Property may descend more through the male than the female line, and grandfathers might be more influential in career placement.

As anticipated, the link between paternal wealth is stronger than for maternal wealth, but the effects on social status and education are the same. Mothers matter (genetically).

Another implication of the additive genetic model is that there will be linearity in the regression to the mean observed between generations. The rate of movement to the mean will be the same all across the distribution of parental characteristics. It will be the same for the bottom 1% as for the top 1%. There will thus be no “wealth traps” or “poverty traps” where children of parents at the extremes of the social distribution show unusual persistence in their characteristics, as would potentially appear in social mechanisms of inheritance.

Here is what is found for wealth at death:

In fact, wealth seems to follow the Fisher formula very well, and explains almost all of the variance. All the assorted distant family members fall into place according to their genetic relatedness.
The same is true, though not so sharply, for educational achievement:

This is still very respectable, accounting for two thirds of the variance. The general trend is apparent.

There should be no effects of family size, birth order (though wealth might be an exception), or between living and dead relatives. Living grandparents should predict child outcomes no better than dead relatives. Only the parents genetics matter. The relatives merely provide information on the underlying genotype of the parents, the information they provide depending on their genetic distance from the parents.

So, in the results which follow, if all the different family relationships lie on a straight line, then the simple Fisher additive model is enough to explain the long-term persistence of status, without much if any need for cultural explanations. Wealth should be an exception, since that can actually be transmitted from one generation to another.

For occupational status, the results are almost perfect.

It is highly unusual in the social sciences to have an R2 of 96. This is a straight-line function, with all the disparate extended family members falling very close to the predicted line.

To hammer home the point, and look at a broader range of outcomes, here is a plot of father-son and uncle-nephew correlations.

Again, a very tidy picture, showing that while father-son correlations are expected by the cultural model, that model does not predict that they would be so closely mirrored by the uncle-nephew correlations.

Again, another drumbeat, father-son compared to brother:

This is a very tidy picture.

Here is another, which I will come back to in further posts, which shows the degree to which brides and grooms are matched with each other:

This is a crafty analysis, carried out before universal access to primary education, in which it has been noted whether the bride and groom can sign their names, and the status of the bride (not given in the marriage certificate) can be derived from the occupation of her father.

To summarize, the simple genetic model generates testable predictions, and those are largely supported by the historical records. Cultural models would struggle to explain these patterns detectable in distant relatives who cannot participate in the social conspiracies which are alleged to create unfair outcomes.

Clark concludes:


It is generally assumed that the elements that define social status – occupational status, educational attainment, wealth, and even health – are transmitted across generations in important ways by the family environment. Above we show that the patterns of correlation of social status attributes in an extended lineage of 402,000 people in England are mainly those that would be predicted by simple additive genetic inheritance of social status in the presence of highly assortative mating around status genetics.

Parent-child correlations for a trait equal those of siblings, and the patterns of correlation of relatives of different degrees of genetic affinity is mainly consistent with that predicted by additive genetics. Further, family size and birth order, elements that would significantly affect the family environment for children, have modest effects on adult outcomes. The underlying persistence of traits is such that people who have likely never interacted socially, such as second to fifth cousins, remain surprisingly strongly correlated in terms of occupational status and wealth. The patterns observed imply that marital sorting must be strong in terms of the underlying genetics. If this interpretation is correct then aspirations that by appropriate social design, rates of social mobility can be substantially increased will prove futile. We have to be resigned to living in a world where social outcomes are substantially determined at birth.

Personally I would argue that this should push us towards compressing characteristics. The Nordic model of the good society looks a lot more attractive than the Texan one.

Using an elegant and extremely detailed method, Greg Clark has made a strong case for genetics making a big difference in all the things which agitate us in politics: status, social mobility, earnings and wealth. His conclusion that “We have to be resigned to living in a world where social outcomes are substantially determined at birth” is a profound one. It goes totally against the standard discourse of politics. It will not be popular. It contains a hostage to fortune, which is that marital choices must be made carefully, but must have issue. Careful matches must result in children or societies will not continue to rise.

Greg goes on to add a personal preference that compensation should be made on the Nordic model, but others may not be that charitable, or prudent. This discussion paper needs discussion, so I welcome your comments.

• Category: Economics, Science • Tags: Inequality 
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  1. dearieme says:

    Gregory Clark, University of California, Davis and LSE

    I’m sorry to see that Clark now has some sort of attachment to the LSE but at least it’s not Imperial College, eh?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  2. anonymous[358] • Disclaimer says:

    Have watched Greg Clark: Genetics and Social Mobility — #14 with Professor Steve Hsu, I totally agree with all of you.

    My own family have the record reflect those findings. One of my cousin with half brother of different father, older brother with working class father ended up just working class truck driver, my own blood cousin with my uncle as father ended up as billionaire managing hedge fund.

    My grandparents were American Ivy league graduates with successful life in China before 1949. Lost everything after 1949, grandparents escaped to the west and started working as Chinese grocery clerks. Within decade, they became the richest business people in their city.

    I came to USA for school without any family support, only \$2000 check from grandma as equal treatment for me or any cousins caming the West for school. I did on my own becoming the wealthiest person in my local small town through stock and farmland investment. With wealth, anyone naturally become charitable with foundation supporting local community.

    Interestingly we all have our own charity foundations.

    • Thanks: Wizard of Oz
    • LOL: thotmonger
    • Troll: CSFurious
  3. dearieme says:

    I’ve got a couple of Clark’s books. I find him consistently interesting and persuasive.

    I have always disagreed with people who put their own success down solely to their hard work and so on. I claim that much of success and failure depends on luck, including being lucky in the genetic lottery. Clark seems to demonstrate that genetic luck may be the dominant form of luck. I can see no objection of principle to that conclusion.

    “I work hard” can be answered by “Lucky you, you were born with a capacity for hard work and with a propensity for good health that would let you exploit that capacity.” Rural people who are used to dealing with farm animals and pets might tend to agree. We are mammals after all.

    (Why does nobody ever boast that he did well because of his rat-like cunning and lack of scruples?)

    I shall now indulge in nit-picking. Your correlation with your cousin is the same as your correlation with your great-grandparent whom you probably haven’t ever met.

    What? I visited my surviving great-grandmother every Sunday after Kirk. Doesn’t everyone?

    Your great grandfather did not … go to your school, …

    At least one of mine did; perhaps a second did too. So did one of my grandfathers and my mother. It’s also possible that one of my grandmothers went there. It was a good school, mind, a better option for some families than sending the children off to some dreary boarding schools or having them attend the local council school.

    For my generation it had become the local council school. But after my time the Forces of Progress took control and lowered its standards. It’s a happy thought that that might not matter in the big picture but I wonder. It may be that buggering up the schools has only a minor effect on where people end up within our society. But if you maleducate a couple of generations might not that reduce standards of living compared to competitor societies that avoid educational embuggerance?

  4. big daddy says:

    Sensational! Careful breeding and thought are paramount. Stop all the phony societal hysterics and engineering.

    • Agree: Realist
  5. @dearieme

    I am corrected by your laudable respect for your long-lived ancestors, and your long-standing school. But then, the Scots invented the modern world, so it all makes sense.
    However, I think your use of “luck” can mislead. Your parents chose carefully, so your birth was far from luck. Technically, you are a blend of your parents, with the actual proportions varying somewhat between father and mother. The big factor is that they chose each other.

    • Agree: Gordo
  6. Greg goes on to add a personal preference that compensation should be made on the Nordic model, but others may not be that charitable, or prudent.

    One policy that might combine charity and prudence is a well-planned, voluntary eugenics program. For example, such a program might allot to everyone a starting allowance of 1 child. If a couple marry they start with an allotment of two children. Fractions of a child might be added for high intelligence, athletic ability, freedom from genetic diseases, etc. (Larry Niven has even suggested a child allotment lottery, to select for luck, in case that might be inherited!) Similar fractions might be subtracted for low intelligence, persistent criminal behavior, genetic disorders, etc.

    Couples/individuals with fewer than their allotted number of children might be offered rewards for reproducing to their allotted limit. Couples/individuals with low allowances of children might be encouraged by financial rewards for having fewer children and financial penalties for having a number of children exceeding their allotment.

    This is the exact reverse of the current “welfare” systems in the USA and many other western countries, where the less fit are richly rewarded for having more–usually illegitimate–children and the more fit are often financially constrained from having as many as a eugenically organized society might desire.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    , @jay
  7. dearieme says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    Eugenics! Now that’s proper socialism, as approved of by all the bien pensants in the generations immediately before Herr Hitler altered the “optics”.

    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
  8. dearieme says:
    @James Thompson

    Your parents chose carefully, so your birth was far from luck.

    From their point of view it was luck but with the key proviso that their choices improved the odds. What emerged was still a matter of probabilities not certainty.

    But from my point of view it was entirely luck: I took no part in their decision to marry.

  9. @dearieme

    Eugenics! Now that’s proper socialism, as approved of by all the bien pensants in the generations immediately before Herr Hitler altered the “optics”.

    Godwin’s Law but I asked for it 😉

  10. Anonymous[923] • Disclaimer says:

    >Now a tiny bit of jargon. Each parent transmits their genes, plus a random element, because which genes the child gets will not always be 50:50 from each parent. The two genetic codes from mother and father can zip together in slightly different ways. So, what you see in each person is the (phenotype) which is their ancestry (genotype) plus the slightly random assortment they got from their parents. On average, mothers will contribute as much as fathers, so if the genetic theory is correct, mothers will contribute as much to the status of their children as do fathers. (Probably not what the cultural view would predict).

    None of this is correct. I think you’re confusing the effect of meiosis on the DNA children inherit from their grandparents. A child of course inherits exactly 50% of their autosomal dna from each of their parents; but they inherit a variable amount from each of their four grandparents, on *average* 25%. This is also the reason why siblings are on average 50% related.

  11. OK….Mr. Smarty Pants. Explain the Kardashian Klan.

  12. Ghali says:

    There are NO credible references and NO critical analysis. The same old and discredited rubbish. It is just plain polemic ranting. Hatred has many forms, and the Internet has become the hatred outlet.

  13. anonymous[130] • Disclaimer says:

    The “Nordic model”, these days, amounts to letting millions of sexually incontinent retarded apes gangrape, murder and rob your own population. I’d stay away from that, if I was you.

    Kindly, a Swede

    • Replies: @Francis Miville
  14. ruralguy says:

    Well-written article. This science seems to rigorously exposit behaviors. Why can’t the Liberal Arts studies in colleges accept these sciences? In Economics, people are beginning to realize most of its foundations are in behaviors, such as game theory, with its rigorous ways of dealing with cooperative and uncooperative rules, and with network interactions, rather than foundationally modeled with structures from mathematics and physics.

    45 years ago, as a college student, I was bewildered by the annoying and primitive state of Liberal Arts studies. I wouldn’t have minded if they stayed confined to their area of campus, but the Liberal Arts students instead chose to constantly hassle anyone who walked past them, with ridiculous emotional chants about South Africa or the Shah of Iran, forcing us STEM students with unwanted confrontations. We just wanted to get to our next class. Back then, when listening them to shrieking, I I was amazed that science had never taken over their studies and wondered if it ever would. It’s encouraging to see men like James Thompson trying to change this.

    • Agree: Realist
  15. Anon[263] • Disclaimer says:

    That title seems to allude to something quite close to Christian resignation.. or is it to the fact that we shall always have the poor and the small in our midst and shall have to answer to the question “where is your brother”?

    The three main philosophical questions being: why is there something instead of nothing? What is a man? How then shall we live?

    • Replies: @HeebHunter
  16. Xafer says:

    Overlooking one important fact.

    Wealth, usually without inheritance tax, in inherited through law, not genes. And this access to wealth at birth, is associated with health and educational opportunities.

    An interesting study would be to investigate the outcomes for people born of wedlock and not having legal access to wealth at birth and later in life through inheritance-that would be an interesting study. Too many confounding variables in this one.

    • Replies: @Makeitfaster
  17. Harvard should only accept blacks.

    Be Jivy League

  18. Xafer says:

    Besides, the politics has never been about equality of outcomes, even under communism-there were hierarchies of competence/tyranny (whatever your perspective). Its about of equality of inputs-e.g access to education, healthcare, housing. E.g essential question is if somebody is poor due to say their genetic inheritance or IQ or gender or whatever reason, what basic essentials they should have access to and why? Or alternatively what they should not have access to and why? Or alternatively, if they cannot pay as they go, in what circumstances should citizens collectively pay for it and why?

    One good reason to pay for health, education and housing is less crime, ability to pursue choices and not compulsions and thus if society generates even a handful to innovators out to such multitude-it is worth it (e.g Steve Jobs), or preventing brutalization of society-to keep a semblance of civility.

  19. @dearieme

    You could not take part, so the notion of luck is void for lack of reference.

  20. @dearieme

    But from my point of view it was entirely luck: I took no part in their decision to marry.

    Seen from a strictly individual perspective, it is luck, ok. Thing is: People don’t (= can’t, even) exist as strict individuals.

    So – as always in such contexts, we’re dealing with the existential truth, that being an individual means to accept that we are not alone. With Jürgen Habermas’ famous formula: We are able to look upon ourselves as individuals by using language (= a social tool): We individualise ourselves on the basis of a shared social world.

  21. Franz says:

    Maybe I am wrong but these models, predictions and outcomes all seem to take as given a certain social and engineering stagnation.

    As in (since Hitler has been mentioned) what if Adolf had taken England? Would National Socialism have made social stratification and work opportunities better? Worse? How?

    Industrial revolution isn’t over, and might yet back up on us, throwing the future into anarchy. If a family produced more durable and adaptable but less bright children, might their chances improve if the lights go off — leaving their high IQ neighbors with lots of useless sheepskin?

    I bring this up because in two hundred years (+/-) things like productivity and other factors really have been static. What if that changes?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Badger Down
  22. @dearieme

    Your reference to Imperial College presumably has to do with its inferior modelling of the Covid pandemic. Right? Anything more?

  23. Like in a gigantic plantation. The most that can be achieved is a sinful sexual relationship between the levels.

  24. @dearieme

    OTOH my family were pretty poor working class or small farmers as far back as I can get – but they mostly seemed to have been reasonably bright and literate chapel folk. Only so far found one person signing the marriage certificate with an ‘X’.

    Sometimes you just don’t get the opportunities, in a farming society distant from industry – and poverty is an additional constraint. In the 1930s it made a huge difference to your life chances if your parents could afford to keep you in grammar school until 18.

    The expansion of the Royal Navy in the 19th century and the need for more technical staff seems to have been a boost to both sides of my family.

  25. @James Thompson

    Allow me a question about the following passage:

    The effect is to have more people in the low range of intelligence, and more people in the high range of intelligence than would be the case if people mated without matching their ability levels. Furthermore, if the next generation persist in choosing their partners carefully, these differences in outcome will be perpetuated and the proportion of very bright people will slowly increase. Do that for 12 centuries and you get the Industrial Revolution.

    How important was it that the rising proportion of dim people did not become a dead weight,? And how did they not become a dead weight? Were s lot of them excluded from breeding in the UK? E.g. by lack of spouses or by bring exported as criminals or indentured servants – to become the South’s White Trash perhaps. Or is it that the dim just don’t matter in a premodern society, especially to its economics, which couldn’t even imagine a modern welfare state?

    • Replies: @PetrOldSack
    , @europeasant
  26. WHAT says:

    >literally stll feudal degenerate britanistan
    >somehow defines outcomes for the rest of the world

    Yeah, no.

    • Agree: Badger Down
    • Replies: @Alrenous
  27. @anonymous

    I was brought up in Australia without a tincture of racism (or even old fashioned racialism). I hardly even noticed little whiffs of what I would now recognise probably as antisemitism. Now my young half Japanese and half Jewish relations confirm my guess that Americans have, instinctively or deliberately , sought to confuse race and class to reduce many of their national tensions. My young relations are all intelligent, attractive and sporting. Their education has been at the best private schools and top universities (eldest 4). In modern, post feudal, terms they are at least upper middle class.I have never heard the slightest suggestion that they have suffered racial abuse or discrimination.

    They might agree if I asked that to be racist is to be low class. Does that fit with your experience of America?

    I am BTW of mostly English Mmidlands stock, with Scots and a tincture of Irish Catholic convicts from 226 years ago!

  28. anon[254] • Disclaimer says:

    Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    What an unmitigated load of crap.

    Yeah, the poor pull themselves up by their own bootstraps if they have the right genes.

    Clue for the clueless: you can’t pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Nobody can.

    Proof positive that this is nothing but a total complete utter load of trumped-up bullshit, expressly designed to appeal to the core constituency of this website, phony baloneys who think they’re all scientific and all when they’re really just scrabbling around clutching at any straw that will justify their blind, mindless whims and hobbyhorses and prejudices.

  29. pirelli says:

    “The genetics model predicts better in all cases except for the transmission of wealth.”

    Would’ve liked to see that explained in your post. Maybe it should be obvious…

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  30. @Wizard of Oz

    A theory, add genetic manipulabilities of the near future to enforce (theory) with more efficiency, AI able to read directly from individual genomes and match:

    “The dim don’t matter”, add “The average don’t matter” alas Jews dominating polity making, at the expense of goyim …and most of their own in governance, international relations, finance, propaganda (media). Only a tiny percentage of a population matters. A small percentage of the population can serve as stock for a new breed, the rest is scoring outliers in the gene pool at large (blue eyed breeder-wives, power-wealth parents, not too dim, and control the generational off-spring). The added pressure to match is cultural, religious, education, itself imbibed into drift.

    This should be a preliminary thesis to reverse engineer to genes, hereditary footprints as compared to culture and environment. Warning, potential to rewrite history revision 2. …crude?

    Great sourcing of one of the fewer interesting papers in any domain. Thanks James.

  31. Fascinating paper and great summary.

    I do have a question. If genetics is so important – and I largely accept the premise that it is – then how do we explain that small parts of the world had a disproportionate impact during specific timeperiods, e.g. the ‘Scottish renaissance’? We can explain this overperformance against, say, Nigerians or Afghans but it’s harder when we compare them to similar peoples. It’s not like Scots are brighter than most other NW European peoples.

    Why did Ireland take so long to emerge yet is now substantially richer than Scotland (even discounting the distortions that them being a tax-haven has)? And why is Scotland simply no longer exceptional in the way it was? If genetics are so important for outcomes, how do we explain these “megaspikes” in inventiveness and productivity, only to rapidly decline and never come back.

  32. We have to be resigned to living in a world where social outcomes are substantially determined at birth
    There’s nothing new about that idea. It’s true in the civilized world and true of the bushmen in the Kalahari Desert.

  33. dearieme says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    That is the prime thing I have in mind. Though I can’t forget a friend who taught there: “It’s like being in a sack of ferrets.”

  34. Wokechoke says:

    There are only so many outcomes a person can expect. Much less expect to have happen to them.

  35. This is bad news for mud sharks and their offspring.

  36. @Anonymous

    Would you care to spell out as for Junior grades how that 25% implies the 50%?

    • Replies: @Jimmy1969
    , @Anonymous
  37. @pirelli

    I understand that good genes for gainful employment or entrepreneurship and good genes for educability would be substantial causes of similar characteristics turning up in successive generations BUT the probability of wealth being similar in successive generations as a result of genetic causation is diminished by the fact that there is another likely substantial cause which has nothing to do with genes. That cause is inheritance or inter vivos gifts of money or property.

    • Replies: @pirelli
  38. @anon

    Can you tell us more than you learn by looking in the mirror?

  39. Tucker says:

    “In fact, it is likely that all that matters is who your parents were, by which I mean your blood parents.”

    Which is why the Cultural Marxist left, using their endless number of “-isms” weaponry (feminism, multiculturalism, racism, sexism, etc.) chose to target the traditional White American family for destruction. Strong White marriages and families with both a father and a mother generally produced healthy, well behaved, well disciplined, emotionally and psychologically stable White children.

    To the Cultural Marxist leftist mindset, this gave an advantage to White Americans due to the fact that their pet minority groups (blacks for the most part, but also other minority groups to a slightly lesser extent) tended to have dysfunctional family structures. Fatherless households. Multi-generational welfare dependency. Little, if any, parental emphasis on their children taking their education and their school work seriously. These virulently anti-White Cultural Marxists thought this ‘advantage’ that White Americans had was somehow, inside their twisted, hate and resentment filled brains – unfair.

    So, with their endless ‘-ism’ weapons they decided in the 1960s to target the traditional White American institution of marriage and family structure for subversion and destruction. Feminism, no-fault divorce, promoting reckless promiscuity using their control of Hollywood and the mainstream TV networks. using subversive TV programming like ‘Murphy Brown’ to promote, glamorize and make single motherhood to be ‘trendy’ and a symbol of triumphant female liberation.

    When one reflects back over the destructiveness that has plagued traditional American culture since the beginning of the 1960s – up to the present day – only one word can properly be used to describe it.


    • Replies: @Dave Bowman
  40. Ross23 says:

    When the possibility arises in the future to improve genetic class and intelligence who’s going to do the crappy low paid jobs or vote for some idiot on tv or believe the crap they come out with.

    Will LGBT still exist? who’s going to want a tranny kid?

    It’s likely such technology will be tightly controlled, being only available for the elite.

  41. @Anon

    Almost all “high IQ” folks, along with a huge number of Untermenschen, took the vax.

    The question is, can “high IQ” actually save your ass when the evil people/adverseries decide to get it on?

    Faith in God is the answer, Christianity is the form.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @dearieme
  42. @Franz

    Can you make your last paragraph make sense ìnstead of asserting the nonsense about productivity being static over 200 years?

    • Agree: Realist
    • Replies: @Franz
  43. @anonymous

    Most Vikings used to be sexually incontinent gang bangers roaming all over Europe and also offering their own thralls as sexual gifts to the Sarracenes with whom they allied to ravage Europe. That was the Nordic model of always.

  44. botazefa says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Your reference to Imperial College presumably has to do with its inferior modelling of the Covid pandemic. Right? Anything more?

    IC was also wrong on Mad Cow disease and H1N1, perhaps others. That Neil Ferguson fellow is a propaganda legend.

  45. Anon[366] • Disclaimer says:

    Social Immobility
    We have to be resigned to living in a world where social outcomes are substantially determined at birth

    Define a “Social Outcome”. This differs depending on who you talk to. For some people it is making \$100M dollars and hobnobbing with the elite, for others its family, being able to pay the bills and live a peaceful life and every social condition in between.

    NAH ! I dont believe that for one second. If this were so, the North and South American continents for example, would never be what they are now ! They would still be wilderness because the majority of the people who opened up these continents were very ordinary folk who started with nothing !

    In this day and age we have people who arrive in the West with just a suitcase of clothes and a few dollars in their pocket who attain a reasonable lifestyle.

    If your Daddy was a pimp, your Mommy a dope pusher and you choose to follow that path and end up in jail, then that was your choice. You could have gone to school, worked hard and made a decent living for yourself. That;s the way it used to be in America. Whatever a man”s definition of success or social mobility he will not attain it looking at TV, drinking beer, breaking the law, shunning extra hours, being unemployed and indulging in any action that is detrimental to the good life.

    This article brings to mind very rich blacks who tell other blacks they are discriminated against, socially stigmatised, victims of white supremacy and WILL NEVER MAKE IT ! We have some opposite examples of people who have had everything handed to them by Mom and Pops who are complete ding bats. Again, they chose their own path.

    Experts writing articles full of graphs and charts (like Anatoli Karlin) and this fellow , are, in my book, to be ignored. You are what you choose and while Mom and Dad do play a part, to be or not to be rests on your own shoulders.

    Dont blame others or the experts if you are a loser !

    • Replies: @Realist
  46. @Wizard of Oz

    “Or is it that the dim just don’t matter in a premodern society, especially to its economics, which couldn’t even imagine a modern welfare state?”

    Who would then pick up the garbage, fix your brakes, fix your roof, fix your plumbing etc etc etc.
    Do you think a high IQ person would want to work in a factory stacking paint cartons?

    Those ideas were explored in Aldous Huxely’s “Brave New World”. Yes who would do the physical labor on this earth. A world with all high IQ people would fail.

    BTW , people with IQ’s of 90 can do roofing, fix brakes etc.

    The problem is that our controllers have brainwashed the American population into believing that “we are all created equal” and therefore anyone can be a nuclear physicist.

  47. dearieme says:

    I have stumbled across a terse summary of the opposed point of view in this morning’s Telegraph.

    Her view of human psychological development was based on sociology: “I feel that our lives are mostly determined by circumstances, politics, economics, where you happen to grow up and the privilege of your childhood and later life. That stamps your personality more than anything else.”

    It’s in the obituary of Sophie Freud, granddaughter of Sigmund. She’s not a negligible figure – she does at least dismiss her grandfather’s theories. Godwin-wise:

    She told a television interviewer in 2003: “In my eyes, both Adolf Hitler and my grandfather were false prophets of the 20th century.” They shared “the ambition to convince other men of the one and only truth they had come upon”.

    Take that, Grandpa!

    I sometimes think the last surviving merits of formerly respectable papers are the obituaries.

  48. Anon[380] • Disclaimer says:

    Clever article.
    Makes it clear why some have long insisted that that clever is not wise and that wise is never clever in that it can easily be seen rich makes poor.

  49. @anonymous

    Its all about nepotism corruption and criminality. In the UK before it was conquered by the racist supremacist Jewish empire, when the UK had the industrial revolution any UK citizen who showed barind and ability was give the dollars by the governing class to be able to go to school /University so they could help to make Britain great in the world and it worked.

    The nepotism promoted here has been practiced by the backward inferior countries. Examples Hawaii, Somalia, etc.

    All counties that practice what is advocated here go down the drain, massive collapse. The rich in such a country will steal all the wealth they can but even they go down when the entire country sinks.

    Example the Persian empire wealth based upon nepotism corruption etc., against the Mongol empire, positions based upon merit and ability. The Persian ruling elite all related were totally destroyed by the Mongols.

    • Agree: anarchyst
  50. Dually says:

    That’s all that they’ve got. All they’ve got in terms of personal supposed “achievement” is inherited wealth – the gibbs and gimmes they received of granny’s money when she died. They have no other character developments other than that to be proud of. Why try, when you were already a “success” just by being born?

    The old USSR was justified by class, as you will recall. During the Cold War after WW2, when the USA and USSR were in competition, there was a concerted effort on the part of the ruling class in the US to preserve in image of the US as a “classless” society. This was effected by blaming all social inequality on race, not on class.

    Calling poor and working class whites “racist” is the self-righteous religious argument. Calling poor and working class whites “genetically inferior” is the scientistic social-darwinist argument. However, they have no way to define their core propositions like “species” or “intelligence”. Instead these are just made up out of whole cloth.

    • Replies: @old coyote
  51. Dr. Blake F. Donaldson, in his book, Strong Medicine, seemed to imply strongly, that before a physician can attempt to diagnose a patient illness, he must first do a thorough “history” of the patient.

    And he insisted that that history must include the four grandparents of the patient, since he taught that THEY are more important to the patient’s health, well-being, general constitution and existence, than were the patient’s own parents – [or something close to that].

    Something to do with the illnesses of the grandparents being expressed in the grandchildren, but not the children . . .

    Maybe someone smarter than me can square that away for us here?

    • Replies: @Dutch Boy
  52. Interesting article, makes some sense, but I think as with many focused studies probably overlooks many things or maybe it’s just that genes work in non-linear ways if I can put it that way. Within the study group of just myself, my life took a drastic turn (upward) in my mid-to-late 40s. My genetics hadn’t changed, but I made some changes for various reasons, and everything went better – including wealth. I would say it was all due to environment – what I learned from others, from training programs, from the Internet. So my bifurcated life – was it destined to happen that way, my attitude change was programmed into my genes, or was it the life experiences I had to that point that allowed(?) me to make the changes? I can’t figure it out.

  53. anarchyst says:

    Nepotism and cultural insularity figure greatly in the ability to be successful in business.
    Jews are expert at this, using their own cultural insularity to their advantage while getting laws passed that deny this same cultural insularity advantage to the “rest of us”. This is a major reason for their “success”. It’s not “smarts” but is cultural and social insularity and manipulation and outright rejection of the political and social systems that are imposed on “the rest of us”.
    This “in your face” flouting of laws is supremely evident in jews-only communities such as Kiryas Joel, New York.
    If you are not jewish, you cannot own property, operate a business, send your children to the “public schools”, and are generally prohibited from participating in its jewish “community life”.
    The other side of the coin is that residents of Kiryas Joel receive “public benefits” (assistance) to a much greater degree than that of “non-jewish” communities. Almost every Kiryas Joel resident is receiving some kind of “public assistance” (welfare).
    This “in your face” rejection of civil-rights, fair housing, and other laws and mandates (by jews) that are imposed on “the rest of us” is telling and is responsible for their “success”.

  54. Anon[210] • Disclaimer says:
    @James Thompson

    My beef with this paper is it uses data from England. English society is notoriously static.

    ambitious smart poor people all left England for better pastures which changes the data big time

    • Agree: Thim
    • Replies: @dearieme
  55. “The genetics model predicts better in all cases except for the transmission of wealth.”
    There you have it: “It does not matter what you know but whom you know”; i.e. nepotism.
    Genetics is just one half besides two quarters (father & mother). The other half is destiny – the life of soul. A born pauper can do very well if it is his destiny. A born money queen can lose everything if it is destiny. What is destiny? It is the life of soul and its direction (changeable by deeds and/or grace – some call falsely “luck”).
    “Thus the outcomes here are actually the product of an interesting genetics-culture combination.”
    “Culture” like Satanism (aka “Judaism”) where you can be a complete nitwit and still live comfortably?! It too is destiny.

  56. @Ghali

    I was similarly unimpressed. No way under heaven were there 400,000 valid sources.

    Massaging a bunch of information from those worthless sources allowed Mr. Clark to produce any results he pleased.

  57. @New Dealer

    Where did you get that photo of me and my brother from?

  58. Dutch Boy says:

    Perhaps diseases associated with recessive genes, e.g., my mother’s astigmatism which skipped her children but affects some of her grandchildren. I’m okay with genetic explanations of social outcomes but I am more concerned with the environmental factors, which we can do something about in a general sense (as in “a rising tide lifts all boats”). Reward work, praise thrift, respect law, insist on honesty, care for your children. Our current society does the opposite. That can’t be good despite IQ scores.

  59. Ron Unz says:

    Steve Hsu recently interviewed Clark for a two hour podcast, and he came across very well:

    That led me to finally read his 2014 book, which had been sitting on my shelf for several years, and his findings were certainly very interesting and impressive, with the coefficient of social (im)mobility being very similar across so many different countries and eras.

    My biggest concern is how solid his social calculations would be, since they’re apparently based upon all sorts of complex calculations and adjustments he himself makes.

    The reason I’m concerned is that although his first book, A Farewell to Alms, received massive public attention and praise, his analysis was apparently overwhelmingly incorrect. I’d immediately noticed that his Chinese results were totally upside-down and backward, and pointed that out in an article of my own:

    But much more importantly, an economics historian published an absolutely devastating critique of his British analysis that Clark has apparently never tried to refute:

    Clark’s new findings may be entirely correct, but I’m naturally cautious. That’s exactly why I always try to be ultra-careful when writing about ultra-controversial topics.

    • Disagree: Alrenous
  60. @Anonymous

    Couldn’t the preponderant inheritance from one parent be invariant alleles, with discordant alleles being preponderant in the inheritance from the other parent. You would then have a genome much more closely resembling that of this second parent.

  61. Realist says:

    Very informative. Thank you.

  62. The Nordic model?? No. In my mind, this study should encourage the dismantling of government, including public schools, to the bare minimum of physical infrastructure. If genetics determines overall success, then let the chips fall where they may.

  63. Realist says:

    Almost all “high IQ” folks, along with a huge number of Untermenschen, took the vax.

    Where is the data to support that?

    • Replies: @HeebHunter
  64. @Ron Unz

    Gregory Clark’s work is considered extremely unpalatable (“racist”, “elitist”) by the mainstream left in academia, so be triply cautious in reading reviews of his work from academic authorities within that mainstream left.

    Thanks enormously for this wonderful site which is a critically important global intellectual resource, going against the deadening mainstream orthodoxy.

    • Agree: Realist
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  65. @Thulean Friend

    Heaney is still the only Irish Nobel winner not from the Ascendancy though, isn’t he?

  66. Realist says:

    It is sad that your genetics did not allow you to be successful in life…but that does not detract from the veracity of this article.

  67. @Dually

    Disagree: science can define species, and has. Intelligence is a different matter; although denigrated, common sense seems to allow for several “kinds” of intelligence, which science seems to have difficulty making allowances for. That said, common sense (and the commonly used IQ profiles of various ‘races’ of humanity) do reveal that the sub-Saharan Africans function at the level of retarded Whites. Is that a function of the IQ “thing” ? Some say yes, others say no. Does this make science ‘racist’? Is reality ‘racist’? The real world is subject to observation; offering reasons for observed things has been the function of science. Some offered reasons appear to have led to our modern world; others perhaps have kept cultures/societies in a static form: Who knows?

    Using “science” to justify a feudal caste system would be nothing new, as you said. That does not change what research can reveal. The uses of the research are a different story.

    • Replies: @Dually
    , @mulga mumblebrain
  68. pyrrhus says:

    Didn’t Greg Clark’s “The son also rises” come to the conclusion that status persisted for many generations regardless…

  69. @Realist

    Oh, I don’t know, the supposed “high IQ” of this shit society, people I know, all the millionaire celebs, etc. And the fact that the owner of this site keeps a murky stand on this issue.

    I don’t care though. God will judge me, but I would be a liar not to admit I enjoy seeing most of the scum taking the vax. The Jews are right about the goyim. I still want to kill them.

    • Replies: @Realist
  70. A man inherits genes fro his father’s father and his mother’s mother, and doesn’t inherit from his father’s mother and his mother’s father.

    So the entire narrative is mistaken.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    , @res
  71. Dually says:
    @old coyote

    Species, genus, type or kind? Any definition will do for what is merely an intangible abstraction.
    Intelligence? You can’t demonstrate what you can’t define, so all of the charts, data, x’s and o’s in this article are pointless redundancies.

  72. these calculations work surprisingly well when averaged out over millions of people, in most fields. there’s always a few exceptions – Fisher methods don’t correctly predict Gauss, born to be a dirt poor loser. in particular they don’t work that well when it comes to describing or explaining what happens with extremely high performing people in modern times, which is where a lot of action is when it comes pushing a field forward. this is often a matter of fields effectively being outlier collectors, versus smoothed out performance curves via Fisher.

    pro sports is like this. most of the players are several SD to the right of the average for their family, and there won’t be another guy like that from the family ever again. like Gauss, “out of nowhere, Steve grew into a giant, and was drafted in the first round, going on to become a Pro Bowl tackle. His parents really have no idea where that came from.”

    generally it matters a LOT who their teachers, instructors, coaches, professors were, and that’s often the difference between them becoming just another good guy in the field, or becoming an important person doing critical work. this is contrary to the often repeated phrase on this topic about it not mattering where you went to school, which Greg Cochran seems to be a big proponent of.

    “He was always gonna be one of the best ever no matter where he went” is not really the case anymore, now that there’s 100 years or more of work in every field, with millions of guys before you pushing hard on the boundaries already. to push the boundaries outward even further, you’re usually gonna need 10 years of specific guys training you. otherwise even the genius ability level guy is stumbling around somewhat in the dark, maybe landing on some important work, maybe not.

  73. pirelli says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    But if educability, entrepreneurship, and capacity for hard work are highly heritable, and they all correlate with the ability to acquire wealth, wouldn’t you expect that, over time, the genetics model would do a good job of predicting wealth, better than the other factors they looked at? The progeny of high-achieving parents would tend to (a) generate their own wealth and (b) inherit wealth from their parents. Right?

  74. Jimmy1969 says:

    I remember a quote I read over 50 years ago that said that the biological renders the social inevitable. Needless to say, quoting that did not go well on campus in the late 70s.

  75. Realist says:

    Oh, I don’t know, the supposed “high IQ” of this shit society, people I know, all the millionaire celebs, etc. And the fact that the owner of this site keeps a murky stand on this issue.

    The purpose of my comment was to question what you consider high IQ. I do not believe wealth is a very good indicator of IQ and neither is a power position…at least in and of itself. While IQ tests and academic ability tests are not perfect IQ indicators…they are damn good.

    Celebrities are notorious idiots, with a few exceptions.

    I think you would find that, in most cases, truly intelligent people passed on the Covid vax.

  76. Alfred says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Your reference to Imperial College presumably has to do with its inferior modelling of the Covid pandemic. Right? Anything more?

    Imperial College is no longer what it was. My grandfather took classes at the precursor of Imperial College. He studied civil engineering at Kings College. My father studied at the Royal School of Mines (Imperial College) before and after WW2. My older brother went there and studied mechanical engineering – and later production engineering. I studied civil engineering at Imperial College and later Operations Research.

    When I was a student, the rector was Lord Penny. He was on the plane observing the dropping the Hiroshima bomb. A renowned researcher into the quantum theory applied to crystals. He went to Imperial College.

    William Penney, Baron Penney

    The current rector/president is a female from the USA. FWIW, the Bank of England now has a Canadian governor. Doubtless they are both protégés of Karl Schwab.

    You simply cannot compare Lice Gast with Lord Penny any more than you can compare Kamala Harris with Anthony Eden.

    lice Gast

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  77. Realist says:

    NAH ! I dont believe that for one second. If this were so, the North and South American continents for example, would never be what they are now ! They would still be wilderness because the majority of the people who opened up these continents were very ordinary folk who started with nothing !

    There is a real flaw in your assertion. That is that people that opened/discovered new continents are ordinary…nothing could be farther from the truth. For people to set out in wooden ships, four to six hundred years ago, and explore for the first time new continents thousands of miles away, takes adventurousness, inquisitiveness, intuitiveness, industriousness, intelligence, and balls of steel.

    • Replies: @Makeitfaster
    , @dearieme
    , @Anon
  78. Realist says:

    Who would then pick up the garbage, fix your brakes, fix your roof, fix your plumbing etc etc etc.
    Do you think a high IQ person would want to work in a factory stacking paint cartons?

    Indeed, people of all reasonable IQs are needed in society.

    A world with all high IQ people would fail.

    BTW , people with IQ’s of 90 can do roofing, fix brakes etc.

    I agree.

  79. Well, I dunno, my great-grandfather was a crofter (i.e. sharecropper) on a remote island in the north of Scotland. My siblings and I, three generations later, are all professionals. Not all that closely similar.

  80. @James Thompson

    Have you not ever heard of accidents?

    The most successful man I know had a father who was a drunk and a mother who was a psycho and went to school on a poor side of the divides. He knows he is an accident.

    The other day Huberman had an interview with Ido Portal. It is pretty ridiculous. But one of the other commenters mentioned that everything Portal teaches that is useful he got from Christopher Sommer who is a gymnastics trainer I had never heard of. I looked him up and found this interview with that goofball Tim Ferriss which is surprisingly amazingly good in intervals.

    Sommer has drank the kool aid and promotes the idea that if your life is unsatisfying you have only yourself to blame.

    He also is wrong but the true facts are somewhere in the middle.

    • Replies: @Alrenous
  81. Getaclue says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    What else is needed? Trashing the World Economy based on intentionally bs “Models” for Gates and the WEF/Schwab et al? Literally millions will be dying as a result of starvation and associated inflictions they caused. It should be burned to the ground….

  82. Franz says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Can you make your last paragraph make sense ìnstead of asserting the nonsense about productivity being static over 200 years?

    Sure because most people are not aware we’ve been living in unusual times.

    Imagine an ascending line starting slowly from 1712 when Thomas Newcomen invents the atmospheric engine, it starts going vertical when Watt improves it and then, by about the time of the American Revolution the line goes up and stays up.

    Think of the first century of steam as the period of getting the kinks out of the line. By 1812 it is irreversible. But it is not everywhere. The British Isles are the proving grounds. Parts of Europe don’t emerge from the Dark Ages till the 20th century. Still, England shows us that a new class of engineers coming from places and families that previously weren’t in the game at all. And some old families may be pushed out. These show up on records now.

    The industrial revolution stays mostly a white thing until the Russo-Japanese War. At this time a lot of thinkers consider that war a warning. At least one article puts it plain:

    The whole point, without dissertation and citations, is that for a century or so, technology based on the engine altered the European, mostly British, world. The British Empire was both a symbol and the logical result of that. It altered class relations and politics in a way that preserved our feeling of uniqueness.

    After that century of Euro-dominance, though, the odd thing now is that Asia is taking the lead. This will alter them in ways not always favorable. Fifty years ago the extreme traditionalist Japanese writer Mishima immolated himself because he felt modern industrial Japan was committing treason to its past. Some Europeans felt that too but not as fervently.

    The point is it is ending. America makes nothing anymore. The industrial system allowed for a kind of foundry and factory yeomanry, which made up an interesting class system. That’s ending too. The industrial road to the Middle Class is dead.

    So we aren’t going to be agricultural or industrial anymore. Service and tech is notoriously fluid. The lack of what either gives a society will be gone. The only thing we know is that oligarchs will be rich enough to buy more than just elections, and soon. The industrial yeoman provided stability because there was something for all talents. Not anymore.

    We’re going to miss the old time clock, I think.

  83. acudoc1949 says: • Website

    Social immobility is primarily the result of our debt-based financier system!

    Culture is being degraded and it is being degraded by a cultural Marxist influence under the aegis of a craven financier class which has been growing in power over the last six or seven decades.

    Cultural Marxists deserve to roast in hell on a spit! This vile philosophy has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions worldwide. We will not let them subvert this nation. Here is the context we all need to know:

    Video Link

    And here is the solution I implore you to consider, a real striking at the root: (scroll down for a proposed Constitutional Amendment wresting control of our monetary system from the hands of craven KM communist Jews)

    • Troll: mulga mumblebrain
  84. Jimmy1969 says:

    I would like to tell you a story about Black Athletes. We all know the drill how there is not a single White Woman or Male that can win a race under 800 meters ..yet the ilusion prevails. Even in the Marathons, Whites try to compete. Boxing too. My daughter played Volleyball and flag Football. She was 5 foot ten in high school but she could not block as good as two black girls….they could jump higher at 5 foot 7 and had longer arms like Tommy Hearns did in Boxing. The ratio in Volleyball is not height but arm length and jumping ability and my daughter was 3rd rate. Now lets go to flag football…whenever there was a contact it was always the white girl on the field knocked out or bawling …when the girls went up to go for the ball….the black girls were not afraid and the white girls ended up prostrate on the field…and the black girls and my daughters team mates would laugh at the white girls on the other team broken down. …the message is hard heads….blacks have harder heads than whites and that is biological

    • Replies: @Makeitfaster
    , @Anon
  85. Ron Unz says:
    @Peter Johnson

    Gregory Clark’s work is considered extremely unpalatable (“racist”, “elitist”) by the mainstream left in academia, so be triply cautious in reading reviews of his work from academic authorities within that mainstream left.

    Sure, but that’s the whole problem. These scientific issues become ideological gang-warfare with people either praising or denouncing Clark’s analysis for those reasons rather than whether he’s probably correct.

    As I said, I immediately noticed that Clark’s analysis of Chinese society was 100% wrong, which made me suspicious about his other conclusions, and the very lengthy Allen review I linked seemed extremely persuasive to me, totally demolishing Clark’s claims.

    Anyway, the headline summary of Clark’s first book was “the Industrial Revolution began in Britain because many hundreds of years of sharp selective pressure had left the British far smarter and better in business than any other European people.” But that’s totally contrary to all empirical historical or psychometric evidence.

    So if Clark’s first book was largely wrong, I’m just reasonably suspicious of his second.

    • Replies: @Peter Johnson
  86. nosods says:

    “…and will leave discussion of some other matters (like assortative mating) to another later post.”

    Which will be the only way to put the rest of this into any sensible context. Society (including political & cultural fads) can very much influence it. If miscegenation, homosexuality, radical feminism, & other aberrations from historical patterns & taboos of ‘assortative’ mating continue to gain acceptance or fashionableness -especially among the upper quintile – what hope is there? Liberal white females could be the death of us all.

  87. @Xafer

    There’s little evidence better health and educational opportunities matters once you’re already living at a Western standard, I.e. you don’t contract chronic disease in infancy, suffer of malnutrition etc. there’s a reason why all societies except those of enlightenment morons will judge you based on who your family is.

  88. @Jimmy1969

    I’m not surprised white women are weak af considering everyone kisses their ass. Most white women who are on sports team are a joke who don’t even train seriously

    • Disagree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @jimmy1969
  89. @Realist

    People who left Europe to colonize other islands were our underclass

    • Replies: @Realist
  90. @europeasant

    These days a plumber can be a skilled artisan (i.e. his soldered joints will last a century or more) or he can be a systems guy – plumbing these days is quite complex, especially when you add solar or air/ground source into the mix, maybe aircon too. Those people have IQs well above 100 and earn good money.

    Alas most of the systems guys don’t care if the artisan’s joints last 30 years or 130 – because either way they’ll have their money and it’ll be someone else’s problem.

  91. @Alfred

    I’m pleased to say that the centenary (2007) reminiscences of Imperial College students and staff are still online. This is particularly entertaining – as the Chaps Club of the Royal School of Mines annual Derby Day outing for 1958 takes an eventful turn.:

    Our company assembled at the Union Bar at precisely eight am for the purpose of downing a golden sequence of breakfast pints. All of us were neatly suited up with our chocolate and light blue striped Chaps Club ties on prominent display and grey top hats made from compressed paper pulp on our heads. Some of the top hats fitted and some didn’t, but it was the overall impression that counted.

    The weather was perfect for the occasion, the sun soft and warm, the few clouds in view were white and fluffy. There was just enough breeze to be pleasant. The grass seemed impeccably green.

    A couple of large pre-tapped barrels of beer were positioned securely on the lower deck of our bus – this was reckoned on the basis of the experience of previous such outings to be sufficient unto the day to cope with the steady battle against thirst not only on the road out to Epsom, but also from the viewing position at the race course, and for the unflagging stalwarts on the return journey into the bargain.

    Time, aided by my share of the contents of the barrels on the day has acted to blur my memory of the bulk of the day’s activities. The identity of the winner of the big race is somewhere beyond recall. The remembered sense of the day is of a riot of amiable colour, of fairground sideshows, of meeting up that superb middleweight champion boxer Terry Downes, of unnamed horses running on green turf, of a slippery chicken lunch, of all my bets placed on also-rans, and of being sick (it was getting to be a habit) probably more than once or even twice.

    The return journey to London got off to a slow start. The mass of traffic leaving the racecourse would move for a few yards at a mere crawl and then stop for a while before summoning up the motivation to carry on and gain a few more yards.Our bus was locked into this intermittent procession directly to the rear of a large limousine of considerable quality. Its large back window sloped elegantly into a great curve of boot. Through the window we could see that the rear seat of this handsome vehicle was occupied by two young ladies, one being blonde and one brunette. They were both of such distracting elegance that a number of the Chaps (of whom I give you my word vicar I was not one) felt obliged to gather at the front end of the upper deck of the bus, whistling and catcalling to attract the ladies attention.

    When this attempt at communication failed to elicit a response, it was decided to that a well-aimed stream of aerated water directed at the car from a fully charged soda-siphon might do better. The application of one siphon to the task led to the involvement of a second, and then a flour bomb (one of a number that appeared to have been brought along just in case a contingency arose calling for their use) was added to the equation. Thus do conflicts escalate.

    When the traffic pulled up for its next breather, the right door of the limousine, the boot and rear window of which were by then coated with a thin and sloppy dough, was open precipitately and a certain individual who looked like a much larger, much younger, and more muscular version of Arthur Mullard crossed by Freddie Mills, stormed towards our bus with evidently hostile intent advancing. Ray Gibbons, the Chap who was unlucky enough to be first in the firing line on the back step of the bus, received the impact of this individual’s right fist full on his nose and promptly extended himself in the collected swill beneath the two beer barrels.

    • Thanks: Alfred
    • Replies: @Alfred
  92. Jimmy1969 says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    You have said enough Dorothy

  93. Realist says:

    People who left Europe to colonize other islands were our underclass

    You just can’t stop being wrong…the pilgrims were not our underclass.

  94. dearieme says:

    For many of them all it required was religious fanaticism.

    • Replies: @Realist
  95. Anglos are such puppet-dogs of Jews. He even acts like a dog with tongue hanging out.

  96. Anonymous[771] • Disclaimer says:

    If this is true, why are my cousins successful, wealthy individuals while I am destitute and depressed?

    Why do people that bemoan the state of culture turn around and argue that that very culture is meaningless and doesn’t develop you in any significant way? Who gives a shit what the Jews or whoever are doing if it can’t change your potential?

  97. Anonymous[923] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Because each full sibling is receiving a somewhat different chunk of DNA from each of their four grandparents (but 25% from each on average) through their parents. Or, to put it equivalently, contra what Thompson said, while a child does in fact inherit exactly 50% of their autosomal DNA from each parent, the composition of that inherited 50% will differ between siblings. So each full sibling is *exactly 50% related* to each parent (at least on their autosomal DNA, and not counting de novo mutations), but only *on average 50% related* to each other. Although the resulting normal distribution has a very high peak with extremely thin tails: IIRC the odds of any two full siblings being less than about ~48% or greater than ~52% related is pretty much astronomically improbable.

    If this still doesn’t make sense, look up genetic recombination / meiosis.

    Unless Thompson was making a different point that I completely misunderstood, I don’t know why he bothers writing about this stuff when he seemingly doesn’t know anything about it.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  98. @Ron Unz

    I will read Allen carefully; thanks for the link.

  99. Anon[159] • Disclaimer says:

    How do you differentiate between health and genetics? Health depends on genetics. Does unhealthy gene has no impact on how smart people are? Is smart gene largely independent of health status?

  100. @Franz

    What if Adolf had taken England?

    Might the English gentleman’s grandson be a lot poorer, and perhaps less educated, than the Old Man?
    And might the German baker’s granddaughter be a lot richer and educated to a higher degree than the Old Lady?

  101. @Wizard of Oz

    It’s the name! No complaints about “College”.

  102. @Thulean Friend

    Norway invested its oil money carefully. London stole Scotland’s oil money. Anyone think the Kuwaitis have the world’s best DNA?

  103. Anon[159] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    If I remember correctly, Clark argued in one of his books that the rule of primogeniture in Britain/Europe forced younger sons to become adventurous and innovative. Clearly an institutional cause.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  104. @Zachary Smith

    Trannyism should provide the perfect practical test for this thesis. If nurturing is irrelevant and genetics is all, then it should mean that giving Carl Gauss a tranny operation at age 3 (when he was starting to do elaborate calculations for his parents) will just result in Carla Gauss turning out to be the founder of modern mathematics. Since suburban parents seem at least as likely (if not more) than ghetto baby-mamas to give their young ones an early sex-change operation, then we should expect to see Alexandra Grothendieck and Jane Von Neumann appearing sometime in the coming decades. I’m skeptical that genes are that immune to nurturing effects, but I may be proven wrong.

  105. @Ghali

    Erroneous theories, may be. Hatred? Nigger please.

  106. Son outlives successful CEO father by twenty years because he didn’t smoke cigarettes.

  107. In the USA , historically, college educated men often married secretaries and clerks who were not college educated. But now we see men and women only marry those who have college degrees and often multiple college degrees. Over time this will create a genetically endowed technical and managerial class that will be very hard for those outside to enter.

    • Replies: @TheMoon
  108. Al Ross says:

    Stanford’s Dr. Charles Murray (of Bell Curve fame) is not my idea of a socialist . His brilliant piece on Educational Romanticism provides a flavour of his non – Leftist views .

    Dr Murray is very sound on Eugenics :

  109. Alrenous says: • Website

    You would have fantastically better outcomes if England was still feudal.

    China and Japan are very significantly neo-feudal. E.g. in Japan, your boss is normally responsible for doing your taxes. Often for finding you a wife as well.

    Much of what clueless Western observers see as “socialism” or “authoritarianism” in China is their strong hierarchical feudalistic tendencies, which merely have a Communist window-dressing to make USG less antsy about it.

  110. Anon[421] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m flabbergasted to encounter someone with an almost a mirror-image version of my family history. Although I seem to be a bit younger than you.

    My father’s side was rural farmers before they came to America; their descendants are, for the most part, still rural farmers. If not trailer trash and multi-generational felons. They are not doing well.

    My mother’s side, like yours, was able to get out of China circa 1949. They were among an incredibly rarefied cohort of individuals, coming to America during a time in which only 500 people out of a population of 500,000,000+ was able to get out of China. Literally one in a million. For nearly 200 years that side of the family did not have to work.

    For the longest time I had a sense that my family came from something better. This was, for the most part, denied by my mother, largely out of a desire to obfuscate her own act of “marrying down”, and by American society at large, which continually projects the image of social mobility and denies the existence of social class. It was not until I actually visited China and encountered my relatives that I learned the truth about my family.

    Every student in China today must read words written by a rather famous relative of mine. Certain designs within the Summer Palace are the way they are because of an ancestor that originally made the family wealth. My relatives that remained in China, while persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, eventually bounced back to “where they should have been”: they are either running state-owned enterprises, politicians, university professors. Those that made it over here participated in the International Math Olympiad or, at the very worst, are FAANG software engineers.

    Unfortunately, my own situation has not been so great but it is slowly turning around. I grew up in
    a third-tier city in Middle America. My NPC parents wanted me to receive a “democratic education”, so I was sent to a public school that could quite literally be described as “ghetto”. Through furious effort I able to get into a respectable college, but not the Ivy League. I am also the only one within my entire extended family that speaks Chinese or has even the slightest awareness of where we come from. My current trajectory is nothing special, merely upper-middle class at best, and I am desperately trying to figure out ways to restore the family to its former glory.

    Unfortunately, due to poor choices by my mother, I am attempting to do so with a set of genetics inferior to that of my ancestors, or even that of my extended family who remains safely ensconsced within the elite. If you’ve seen the movie “Gattaca”, you’ll get a sense of what my life is like. Oftentimes, the biggest obstacles are my own parents, small-minded individuals who find the very notion of excellence offensive. I’ve meticulously arranged my professional and personal lives to ensure that any potential mate, friend, or acquaintance will only ever know of my mother’s side of the family and will never meet my father’s. Females, if only subconsciously, are very good at sniffing out lackluster genetics and pedigree (I’m still young and single).

    The realization that my family trajectory was quite literally the antithesis of the American Dream hit my hard. But through reading sites like this and through much introspection I have finally gotten a handle on things. I’ve accepted that my efforts will probably not be appreciated or even understood in my lifetime but eventually, they will be.

    Though I feel for my siblings who seem to have gotten almost none of my mother’s side’s genetics.

  111. @Tucker

    These virulently anti-White Cultural Marxists thought this ‘advantage’ that White Americans had was somehow, inside their twisted, hate and resentment filled brains – unfair

    No, no. They didn’t think that at all. They simply observed and understood – quite rightly – that it was whole light-years ahead of anything a medieval desert pig-god-worshipping race of gold-obsessed nomads, liars and bandits could ever hope to achieve. And that would never do.

    When one reflects back over the destructiveness that has plagued traditional American culture since the beginning of the 1960s – up to the present day – only one word can properly be used to describe it.

    Carnage. Jewishness.

    Fixed that for you. You’re welcome.

  112. Alrenous says: • Website

    So, materialism. You can measure salaries, which makes non-salary outcomes go under the broken window fallacy. Happy janitor vs. unhappy CEO.

    Basically, wisdom can’t possibly be equivalent to delusion, it’s just that apparently it doesn’t affect your salary very much. Plausible. Makes sense, too: getting a promotion is often unwise, so wisdom could very easily suppress your actual salary at the same time as it increases your salary ceiling. I myself could have a much, much better paying job, but I’m not stupid enough to attempt it, because it’s not remotely worth the money.

    Whether you go to the gym or not isn’t 80% genetic, but your strength and health outcomes are very strongly affected by this variable. The issue is that parents are basically clueless; it’s not that parenting doesn’t work, it’s that parents don’t know how to do it. Wisdom is ~0 across the board and thus even if you could measure it you wouldn’t get a signal.

    Parenting was given up as a bad job in England at least 400 years ago. They’re a bunch of rank amateurs suffering from Dunning-Kruger effects. Doing nothing is indeed at least as good as their incompetent flailing.

    It’s likewise obvious that outright neglect has an effect. You can stunt height and IQ, even though they’re basically 100% genetic. Clark’s data doesn’t appear to have a neglect sector, so it’s more likely that effective parents were statistically “corrected” for than that this is proof that parenting doesn’t do anything.

    See also: Bantu bastardy, early 1900s: 10%. Peak civil rights era: 80%. Something other than genetics clearly has a very strong effect on outcomes. Further: crime in England and Wales has gone up something like 50 times since 1898. Meanwhile Singapore’s shops are giving up locks as a pointless hassle. Not just homeowners – shopowners.

    Ultimately the parents are the proximal mediator; ref the Amish. The Amish could obviously get much higher salaries if they had non-Amish jobs, but they choose the high life-satisfaction route instead. When the government tried to depress outcomes by sending them to government schools, the parents were like, “Nope, actually.”

    The average Amish person has a life satisfaction outcome equivalent to a top 500 richest regular American. So, er, you actually can measure wisdom, because it’s not exactly 0 across the board. However, only a very tiny, non-representative, and (critically) non-English minority have any measurable level of wisdom.

    Which means, on the personal level, you can improve your own individual outcomes by acquiring wisdom. Probably not salary, sure, but everything that actually matters.

    Alt: Conquest #1 effects. Culture (=parents) decide that the only thing anyone cares about is your salary, because you’re not allowed to have any other markers of social class.
    Result: everyone gains domain knowledge of salary-maximization. Domain knowledge is of course the modern bureaucratism referring to profession-specific lore.

    This means everyone gets salary-wisdom equivalent to their maximum genetic potential. (And near-0 wisdom on everything else.) This functionally factors out non-genetic influences when it comes to datasets like Clark’s.

    • Replies: @Alrenous
  113. This topic of genetics versus.. environment? upbringing? Whatever, it’s so banal and uninteresting if it’s not for the blank slate hoax which is rampant everywhere in our current society. The equalist delusion is so obviously retarded that it’s not worth considering, genetics obviously matter very much. But other than that obvious conclusion, every other details on this topic seems ultimately to regress to some form of tautology or circular reasoning. Again, if it’s not for these equalist bullshits everywhere, this topic is so thoroughly boring and dull.

  114. Alrenous says: • Website
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    Aristocrats are frequently born to peasant families. Indeed it’s possible that most existing aristocrats were born to peasant families. Despite the very low chance, there’s many more opportunities for it to happen. Sadly to get exactly versions of these statistics, modern scientists would have to admit there’s a significant genetic difference between leaders and followers, so they could allow themselves to measure it.

    Of course, especially in the modern world, being born an aristocrat to a peasant family is a stifling and degrading experience. Few are interested in maximizing your potential, and by contrast many suffer from severe envy. Even if they wanted to maximize the potential they would have no idea how, and quite possibly would lack the capacity to carry it out even if they did.

    Result: an aristocrat born to a peasant family is functionally an orphan who has to raise themselves. Being orphaned has a strong, scientifically-measurable effect on outcomes even in impoverished materialist datasets like Clarke’s.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  115. @europeasant

    Who would then pick up the garbage, fix your brakes, fix your roof, fix your plumbing etc etc etc.
    Do you think a high IQ person would want to work in a factory stacking paint cartons?

    This point really should be obvious to any supposedly “high IQ” people, but unfortunately these people are not very ‘intelligent’ after all. These “high IQ people” think that there intellectual paperwork is more crucial than the so-called “3D works”. It seems that these people genuinely believe if everyone in society is, say, university professor, then society will be much better than otherwise.

    • Replies: @Drapetomaniac
  116. “We have to be resigned to living in a world where social outcomes are substantially determined at birth.”

    None of this follows from the premise (so-called social status supposedly being largely biologically inherited) and in fact is in flat contradiction to one of Clark’s findings (“The genetics model predicts better in all cases except for the transmission of wealth”). Putting the second point aside, even if one believes Clark’s data and analysis are valid, there is no reason to be “resigned” to a society where one’s “social status” is determined by one’s place in the division of labor or the price that one sells their labor power (income) unless one presupposes that the capitalist mode of production is the ultimate mode of social production, a notion that Karl Marx utterly refuted over 150 years ago.

    • Replies: @Gabe Lewis
  117. @Gabe Lewis

    Back to the second point, (“The genetics model predicts better in all cases except for the transmission of wealth”), this shows that the attempt to justify wealth inequality in bourgeois society (the meritocracy argument) is utterly false (despite Clark’s presumed desire to justify the status quo), wealth inequality is exactly what it looks like: nepotism.

  118. “Clark says, about assortative mating, or marital selection (marriage partners choosing who they marry) which he labels “m”: ”

    What is with this prudish conflation of breeding with “marriage?” Not everyone who breeds is married to the person they breed with.

    • Replies: @Alrenous
    , @Philip Owen
  119. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:

    One of the indications of the above article is that successful societies have practiced eugenics-by-any-other-name anyway already, this being in selection of partners for procreation. More careful selection is greater effort expended on genetic quality, and thus greater eugenics.

    That forms of eugenics predicated upon a single attribute, such as political charisma, scientific acumen, or financial cunning are brutal, stupid, and self-crippling, is unsurprising. Eugenics have always happened, the only change has been in how. Vain, cripplingly specialized people attempting to alter other peoples’ genetics, and having it fatally backfire, is itself a form of eugenics.

  120. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:

    Aristocrats are not frequently born to peasant families. For that to be remotely true your definition of “frequent” would have to be sub 5%, and that is not even a “frequent” by your definition usage of the word.

    You do not however mean it in that way, you’re simply stupid, dishonest, or both, suggesting that the frequency of such remotely approaches 50%.

    • Replies: @Alrenous
  121. Anon[152] • Disclaimer says:

    Realist- you are a pompous ass and a tiresome cunt. You have a childish and naive way of choosing one word from a comment and embarking on your comment to the contrary. You need to get some perspective and look at things IN CONTEXT.

    First of all, even today we see that mainly the underclass and the ordinary immigrate. What, you think the hordes swarming the USA come from the elite in the home country. The majority are poor.

    I read an article on the conquest of the West. The average pioneer had one pants, one boots, a spare shirt, a coat and not much else. Perhaps when they arrived they bought a gun and for sure provisions and utensils/ tools for the journey west (most walked usually from St Louis). Their first winters were spent under a tent or they slept in the open. Their first homes were a hole in the ground which served later as their cold storage etc. On the way they faced Indians, Outlaws, crooked guides, vagabond real estate agents etc. There is many an unmarked grave on the plains.

    They were ordinary people. Not one considered himself extraordinary. Few extraordinary persons living the high life in the big city was going to put on their boots and march off into the wilderness. They were ordinary people put under pressure where they were and thus they moved.

    Those qualities you mentioned developed because they had no other choice ! If we applied your logic we should also say that the wetbacks flowing over the border have all the qualities you mentioned after all some trekked from as far away as East Africa. Head down to the border and ask anyone of them if they are extraordinary.

    Better yet, if you could dictate the following to them: “When you arrive in the US you will be given nothing. You must start and endure the same way as our original pioneers. You are forbidden to have any money and even to stay with relatives. You can start walking from the Texas border”. Then tell me how many have “balls of steel”. The word would spread and few would venture here.

    Your theory and comment is horseshit.

    Come up with some original comments of your own or add to the discussion. Stop being a pedantic and boring douche with your ignorant ripostes on single words in a statement. !

    • Replies: @Realist
  122. Realist says:

    For many of them all it required was religious fanaticism.

    Not the explorers.

    • Replies: @Al Ross
  123. TheMoon says:

    Years ago I used to watch a CNN show called Pinnacle that profiled a different successful person each episode. I began to notice similar things. If they were not born into a situation advantageous to success, there was at least one or more people who acted as mentor figures along the way. The particulars of their life situations always came across as vital components to their success as much as anything internal to themselves.

    I credit my parents for much of my success in life, as well as my posse of friends who were critical to me avoiding a couple rather dark life paths when I was young.

  124. TheMoon says:
    @Abbott Hall

    My husband and I are both engineers. We met at work. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Our degrees have nothing to do with why we fell in love.

    He’s an ME while I’m an EE. Is that enough difference? 🙂

  125. In purely agrarian societies there are not many opportunities for them, so those bright children competed for limited economic and social resources, the less able and competitive falling downwards, which had the paradoxical effect of “bootstrapping” the rest of the population, as cognitive ability and bourgeois traits rose across all levels of society, leading to higher industriousness and innovativeness.

    Yeah, yeah. Hard times make strong men, easy times make weak. Or whatever the quote is.

    And since when are industriousness and innovativeness bourgeois traits? In my experience they’re leisure-seeking conformists.

  126. There are a few one -cases where purely behavioral factors and lean in on genetics, instead of the other way around.

    The two that come to mind are both; inbreeding, and alcohol consumption during pregnancy. These are two examples that can be induced by social pressures and norms no matter what the subject’s gut feeling or inclination might be towards it. Either way, you have tangible altered genes (in both cases to the child’s detriment) that sprang purely from decision making from the parents.

  127. Alrenous says: • Website

    Hello, you seem to be innumerate and suffering badly from Dunning-Kruger.

    For the sake of argument let’s call aristocrats the 2%.

    Assume, unrealistically, that 100% of aristocrats give birth to aristocrats.

    Let’s also assume, unrealistically, that peasants have exactly as many kids as aristocrats. (Everyone has 1.5 – this ratio cancel if it’s all the same.)

    Now we commit division. Do you know what division is? 2/98=> if peasants give birth to aristocrats at any rate higher than 2.04%, there will in fact be more aristocrats born to peasant families than aristocrats born to aristocratic families.

    In reality it’s something like 80%, not 100%, aristocrats are quite likely deep in the sub-1% range, and aristocrat child cohorts are commonly half the size of peasant cohorts. Or something around there – again to get precise statistics scientists would have to admit there’s a sharp class divide between leaders and followers. Have to admit something exists before you can measure it.

    At 1% then 1/3 of all aristocrats will be lowborn at any given time, given my very permissive assumptions.
    And that’s why it’s always been possible to buy a peerage. If you try to shut lowborn aristocrats out of the upper classes all you do is create effective-competent rebels, and aristocrats aren’t stupid enough to do that for very long.

  128. Alrenous says: • Website
    @Gabe Lewis


    yeah gotta defend the degenerate social norms
    clearly it’s universally morally false to uphold non-degeneracy

    Wouldn’t want your friends to catch you being…politically incorrect…now would we?

    • Replies: @Gabe Lewis
  129. Alrenous says: • Website

    P.S. Social mobility initiatives are obviously stupid.

    If you do anything to boost poor folk, rich folk will, if anything, get even more of a boost. Clark’s data will show no change even if everyone is raised up by 2x, because the relative positions will be nearly unaffected.

    Ref: Chamley-Judd redistribution impossibility theorem.
    Ref: Malcanis’ law, which is a case of a video-game player casually blowing all of Official sociology out of the water.

    What, did you think you’ll be able to keep the rich and powerful from taking advantage of your subsidies? Who do you think orders and implements these subsidies, lol?

    Also, ref: Communism. Upper-class families did well under the USSR, except the part where nobody did well under the USSR and everyone who isn’t frothing-at-the-mouth insane is extremely glad Russia is not Communist anymore. The upper-class families merely failed less.

    Not that I’m claiming that American social-mobility initiatives aren’t complete dumpster-diving retardation; they obviously caused more harm than good and were probably intended to, for classism reasons. Egalitarians get very status-anxious and feel the need to beat up on the poors to palliate their stress.

    • Replies: @Gabe Lewis
  130. Jim H says:

    ‘The Nordic model of the good society looks a lot more attractive than the Texan one.’ — Gregory Clark, quoted by James Thompson

    The author, despite living in the United States, has failed to apprehend that ‘Texan’ is a proper noun, not an adjective, in Texas.

    This deplorable mangling of diction is an unfortunate genetic characteristic of Brits which has proven irremediable.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  131. Wokomedy Gold

  132. The effect is to have more people in the low range of intelligence, and more people in the high range of intelligence than would be the case if people mated without matching their ability levels. Furthermore, if the next generation persist in choosing their partners carefully, these differences in outcome will be perpetuated and the proportion of very bright people will slowly increase. Do that for 12 centuries and you get the Industrial Revolution.

    Do that for 20 centuries and you get modern China, where median urban IQ is 108 and rural IQ 105.

    The selection pressure is social status: the only admission to elite status was–and remains–rigorous, days-long examinations for membership in the national priesthood of government officials.

    The pass rate is 2.7%, implying an IQ cutoff around 140, sufficient for a PhD in physics.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @Alrenous
  133. @Anon

    I suppose one might say the same of the fact, as I take it to be, that the amazing increase in the proportion of Catholics on the bench of the highest courts, certainly in the US but also Australia, is a result in part of large families simply not having the wealth to allow all to live comfortably without effort. The result of course, as in the case of primogeniture, is that the siblings have to strive.

  134. Al Ross says:

    Rubbish . David Livingstone and his father – in -law , Robert Moffatt were both explorers and , at least by today’s lights , religious fanatics.

    • LOL: Realist
  135. Alfred says:

    I was talked into buying a beer barrel for my 21st birthday (02/07/71). I invited all my classmates to a booked room at the Union Building (above the bar mentioned in your article). Sadly, we had taken the final exams and almost all my classmates had disappeared. We did our best but a vast amount of beer languished in the aluminum barrel. We gave up the effort reluctantly.

  136. @James Thompson

    Heydon, J D — “The Public Life of John and Nancy Stone” [2010] SGSocUphAUCon 11; (2010) 22 Upholding the Australian Constitution 82

    I think you might find this worth reading. I couldn’t resist because I know 93 year old regular Spectator columnist John Stone quite well having met him long ago as a business school alumnus when he, as Secretary of the Treasury, came to address us. And I have met his wife Nancy who, I didn’t know, was his rival for topping the state academically. They have 18 grandchildren. Eventually their twin boys got round to having children which is good news as they both got firsts in mathematics then PhDs at, respectively, MIT and (I think) Stanford.

    Admittedly I was drawn specially to the article by seeing that the author was Dyson Heydon (son of Sir Peter Heydon, diplomat and public servant) whom I was pleased to think of as a learned and traditional jurist when appointed to our highest court. He was, except for the inappropriate handling of women for which he was disgraced after retirement. Before that disgrace I had come to admire his extraordinary work capacity turned to history and I recall his being quite savage about Churchill.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  137. @Anonymous

    Sorry, I made a mistake, and when it was pointed out to me I corrected it.

  138. @anon

    I think I generally disagree with you, BUT there’s a sort-of point in there somewhere, about opportunity and the society people are raised in.

    200 years ago, pretty much all my family on both sides were very poor – as were most people. I assume their average intelligence hasn’t changed much over that time period, yet all of them from my generation are reasonably comfortable and own their own homes.

    Not so much for our children, as we have seen real house prices in the UK quadruple in 60 years – a boost for the rentier class and a drag on those of my generation who stuck to one property. The level at which I’m subsidising my kids house purchases with cash gifts would have been half the house value even 40 years back, rather than 10-15%.

    We left uni with zero debts, some of our children on long courses owe 6 figures. Their life-chances are definitely more restricted than ours. Yet intelligence won’t have changed much in one generation. As energy costs rise now, purely due to political decisions by elites, living standards are falling.

    China. 50 years ago they were in all sorts of trouble including famines. Today probably the most advanced society in the world, or certainly up there among the most advanced. Has intelligence changed much there in that time?

    Opportunity. A uni drop-out, I was working a routine lab job for a low salary (but could afford a mortgage, house prices were so low) when someone told me about a very good IT training course in London (there were lots of cowboys also offering ‘training’ on the cheap) and that the state would pay my subsistence plus my mortgage! A year later I’d doubled my salary and was set for an interesting and well paid career. Pure chance that someone told me – I would never have heard otherwise. On the course were a lot of similar types and we all ended up doing well.

    Going back through my family tree, the Royal Navy seems to have been a “force multiplier” in that it provided interesting and relatively well paid jobs for a fair few of my ancestors.

    So there’s a LOT more than intelligence which determines how you do in life.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  139. A scientific theory looks at the facts and generalizes: if such and such is truly the case then we should expect to see these results. Then a test is devised which will compare the measured results with the pattern predicted by the theory. James Thompson seems to have presented a case which fits this model.

    Those of you who express doubt about or deny the results haven’t come to grips with his method. You talk about your uncles or some imagined ancestor who achieved this or that. How about some real critical analysis? How has he erred? Do the lines derived from measured data fit the predicted curves or do they not?

    • Replies: @Gabe Lewis
  140. @Godfree Roberts

    Very probably a cause of rising intelligence in the long run.

  141. Jimmy1969 says:

    R Kelly who is about to be sentenced has an IQ of 79 and is functionally illiterate. I wonder how many other pro sports figures who were carried through school can claim the same.

  142. dearieme says:

    One of Clark’s points is that “static” applies to all the countries he can find decent data for.

    (Or so my memory of his books says: open to correction.)

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  143. dearieme says:

    Almost all “high IQ” folks, along with a huge number of Untermenschen, took the vax.

    Have you got evidence for that?

    The nearest thing I’ve seen to relevant evidence was a plot of % vaccinated versus level of education. It was a U-shaped curve. The most and least educated had the highest frequency of unvaccinated. (In which country? I can’t remember – it may have been the USA.)

  144. dearieme says:
    @Jim H

    So what is the adjectival form in Texas? Texicanian? Texasish? There must be one.

  145. @YetAnotherAnon

    Agree with your personal story, so long as one accepts the England had a long history of intelligent behaviour. For example: mortgages, which are unknown in South America. For example, the Royal Navy training systems and the early mass production of canon and pulleys and so on. For example: the clever people who made the information revolution possible. And drained fields and sewers a la Bazalgette and so on.

  146. Realist says:

    Your dumbass retort speaks to your stupidy…thanks.

    You are merely a troll.

  147. @Alrenous

    Russia was never “communist,” it was ruled by a party that called itself “Communist” (in an aspirational sense) but it was never claimed by the leadership that the Soviet Union had reached the communist stage of production (wherein Marx’s “from each according to their abilities to each according to their needs” would apply). About your claim that Russians are better off under capitalism, the reality is that the imposition of “the market” on the people of the USSR lead to plummeting living standards and excess mortality. See:

    • Replies: @Alrenous
  148. @ThreeCranes

    How is this for a critique of Clark’s modeling methodology:


    Did you come to grips with it?

    And it is admitted by Clark that wealth is a better predictor than genes.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  149. @Alrenous

    Why is it degenerate? Do you believe in the sacrosanctity of legal contracts? Are children of couplings not sanctioned by the state less human?

  150. @Gabe Lewis

    You failed to address Clark’s or Thompson’s assertions. Where is your critique? Don’t just pawn off your responsibility on other scholars and expect me to read through dozens of paywall-protected articles published in journals. If you invoke others in your critique then it’s YOUR job to act as the intermediary between the material presented in the journals you cite and the readers of this blog.

  151. If one’s future status is so tied in with one’s genetic inheritance, how do we get trailer park trash like Biden and Bill Clinton getting into the upper echelons of power? Genetics might have more influence in societies not totally controlled by jews, but in jew controlled societies, good genetics is of little consequence. They appoint the worst of the worst into power.

    • Replies: @Alrenous
  152. Alrenous says: • Website
    @Joe Paluka

    how do we get trailer park trash like Biden and Bill Clinton getting into the upper echelons of power?

    They are not in the upper echelons of power. They are disposable pawns. Sure, they’re well-paid disposable pawns, but their primary qualifications are cowardice and brown-nosing. They get there via sponsorship.

  153. Alrenous says: • Website
    @Gabe Lewis

    Very socially acceptable. Yes, if you intend to lick the Regime’s boots, that is exactly how they like them licked.
    Sacrificing all credibility for the status quo? An extreme display of loyalty. I’m sure Big Sister loves you too.

  154. Alrenous says: • Website
    @Godfree Roberts

    It’s not a complete story.

    The Chinese have extreme difficulty getting into science. This is easy to explain using higher levels of conformity.
    Being productive in science means finding something new, which, due to the way humans work, means contradicting what folk have previously been thinking, instead of obeying it.

    I read a case study of a Chinaman with an IQ over 210. He was brought to the US for various enrichment programs and received numerous offers of interesting jobs, one of which he accepted. He didn’t like it. He moved back to China and found fulfillment as a middle manager.

    To be sure, in China being a middle manager is significantly less unpleasant than in America, but it shows that even extreme IQ doesn’t matter, scientifically speaking, if you would prefer to take orders.

    IQ is power. It lets you fulfill your values more completely. Thus, it’s critical to consider what the baseline values are.

    If the Chinese prefer to obey rather than to innovate, it also explains why, despite their higher IQ, they would not get an industrial revolution. They were mining natural gas using bamboo pipes in the BC era. Meaning they had the opportunity to invent gas-fired steam engines in 200 BC. They weren’t interested, though. (See also: Hero’s engine.)

    On the contrary, Clark supposed that Malthusian conditions select for IQ, and Clark himself says China was under harsher Malthusian limits. Rice is cheap, meaning, preindustrially, you get an even bigger population suffering under even more stringent poverty. Further, they were in the Malthusian oven much longer than European populations. Clark’s model predicts Han IQ is especially high.

    Likewise, the Malthusian conditions suppress criminal phenotypes. However, who decides what’s criminal? It includes dissent. Even if the Han weren’t painfully conformist going into the Malthusian oven, they would definitely would be once they came out.

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  155. @Alrenous

    Get a grip.

    China as a nation has the longest and by far the most vast record of inventions in the history of the world. It is now reliably estimated that more than 60% of all the knowledge existing in the world today originated in China, a fact swept under the carpet by the West.

    Joseph Needham, a British biochemist, scientific historian, and professor at Cambridge University, is widely rated as one of the most outstanding intellectuals of the 20th century. Chinese students visiting at Cambridge repeatedly informed him that Western scientific methods and discoveries discussed in his classes originated in China centuries before. Needham was so intrigued that he became fully fluent in Chinese, then travelled to China to investigate. He discovered voluminous evidence of the truth of those claims and decided to remain in China to write a book to document what he deemed a discovery of great importance to the world. Needham never completed his task of cataloguing the history of Chinese invention. His one book became 26 books and he died in 1995, with his work still continued today by his students. One good introduction to this topic is Robert Temple’s summary of Needham’s work. (1)

    We were all taught in school that the printing press with movable type was invented in Germany by Johannes Gutenberg in about the year 1550. Not so. China not only invented paper but also the printing press with movable set type, which was in common use in China 1,000 years before Gutenberg was born. Similarly, we were taught that Englishman James Watt invented the steam engine. He did not. Steam engines were in widespread use in China 600 years before Watt was born. There are dated ancient texts and drawings to illustrate and prove the Chinese discovered and documented “Pascal’s Triangle” 600 years before Pascal copied it, and the Chinese enunciated Newton’s First Law of Motion 2,000 years before Newton.

    The same is true for thousands of inventions that the West now claim as theirs but where conclusive documentation exists to prove that they originated in China hundreds and sometimes thousands of years before the West copied them. It was not for nothing that Marco Polo is described in China as “Europe’s great thief”.

    As for the Jews, they invented the Holocaust, Zionism, Hasbara, the British and Dutch East India Companies, the South Seas Bubble, the Tulipmania bubble, privately-owned central banking, slavery, illegal organ trafficking, war marketing (Lippman and Bernays), the psychological and psychiatric foundations for advertising, the Consumer Society, revolutions and, most importantly, multi-party democracy – which served to end their expulsions from European countries after the destruction of all the monarchies. I am unaware of any products, and of few philosophies worthy of distinction which originated from this group.

    And yes, Unz, Atzmon, Lendman, Chomsky, Zinn, and many similar do indeed deserve applause and medals for courage. And no, Jews do not have the highest IQ of all national groups. That distinction is reserved for the Chinese – the world’s greatest slant-eyed threats who eat your dogs and carry infectious viruses while making all the cheap crap at Wal-Mart.

    (1) Robert Temple, The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery, and Invention;

    Chinese researchers passed US work in the top 1% of scientific studies in 2019, the most notable published science.

    And its lead in citable papers is immense, and growing.

    40% of ‘American’ research papers have Chinese authors.

    Many ‘American’ teams look like this:

    • LOL: Alrenous
    • Replies: @Alrenous
  156. @Wizard of Oz

    A friend of Dyson Heydon, notorious reactionary and recidivist sex pest, AND John Stone, so far Right he makes Genghis Khan look like a ‘bleedin’ liberal’. Paint me gobsmacked-NOT!
    I actually recall Stone, while shickered in the Non-Members Bar in the old Parliament House, making a bet with another inebriate over a foot-race to Captains Flat. I believe Stone won handily.

  157. @Zachary Smith

    I don’t know if the sources are worthless but that 400,000 is a bit like a black box that needs a lot of explaining.

  158. J says:

    when parents do the choosing, particularly in arranged marriages where the children are very young, they cannot do the careful matching which free adults can do (when the groom is about 27, the bride about 25) and know something about people and how the world works.

    On this point, I disagree. Arranged marriages are still common in the world, even today in the Haredi community (Religious Jews). Once, marriages were celebrated at age 14 and the couple was maintained by the parents. Today it is 18 y.o. The selection of the partners was/is by the parents and it is most strict. The yichuss family relationship with important rabbis is considered and many marriages are cancelled if a drunk, homo, deranged or deformed uncle is discovered in the closet.

    Do it for 800 years and you have Einstein.

    But the internet is ruining this system.

  159. Alrenous says: • Website
    @Godfree Roberts

    China invented the printing press and then stopped using it. Don’t even appreciate their own inventions, as is typical. Gutenberg invented the first profitable printing press.
    China briefly used steam power, they didn’t invent a steam engine.

    I’ve heard the 60% thing before, and now I’m 100% sure it’s propaganda. Are you from China? Are you legally obligated to lie on its behalf?
    This is indeed a very Chinese thing to do: if we manage to convince everyone we’re inventive, that’s the same thing as being inventive, right? The average Chinaman doesn’t even believe invention is possible and thinks the whole thing is some kind of weird foreign game.

    If you’re inventive on a test, they mark the question as answered “wrong.” Test proctors don’t acknowledge any higher authority. The difference is that in Europe there’s a tiny minority that can tell you did something worth doing, whereas in Asia, that minority is missing.

    You can also see the divide in China’s inability to compete with Hollywood or Akihabara. Indeed it’s somewhat mysterious that Japan has a decent entertainment industry. Is this natural or is the result of intense Westernization? It’s important to answer, since it tells you whether China’s artistic deficiencies are in the blood or only in the brain.

    There’s been no science in journals at all for around 20 years, east or west. Whether the non-science is getting fake-cited is irrelevant. Again, a very Chinese mistake to make: “The game is to get cited. We get cited. We win, right?” No, actually, the game is to produce new knowledge. If you get funding it doesn’t prove you deserved to get funding.

    I do wonder if China uses mandarin exams because they really enjoy getting the right answers on tests, or if they used the mandarin exams for so long that they bred out anyone who was more interested in what physics has to say than getting the socially-correct answer.
    It’s a very consistent pattern.
    “Can we create gunpowder?”
    “Can we create steam power?”
    “Can we create automatic printing?”
    “Can we create long-distance oceangoing ships?”
    …and then they just stop. Test is over, back to work. They’re not interested in the technology per se, only in answering the test question.

    Fun fact: China has to have an explicit social credit score because in China they think not getting caught is the same thing as following the rules. Result: the government has to go and explicitly catch them. Likewise ~anything not legally enforced is considered to be a fake rule. “They didn’t mean it.” This is how ncov escaped: someone thought nobody was watching them fail to obey the biosafety protocols. And indeed, no human was. The problem is Nature is always watching.
    Lab biosafety protocols are designed with Europeans in mind and simply don’t work with the Chinese. It would be easy to fix, but first you have to acknowledge they’re not the same.

    Of course it happens in reverse too. CPIB actually stops the Singapore police from being corrupt. In Europe all that would happen is the CPIB would become extra corrupt. In China the test proctor is respected – provided they can catch you cheating, at least. Respect for people, not nature. In Europe they bribe the proctor or outright legalize cheating. It gets so bad many places simply forgo proctors as a pointless expense. Respect for nature, not people.

    • Troll: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @Alrenous
  160. Factorize says:

    “I do not wish to accuse my readers of being economists, sociologists or anthropologists, but I am willing to bet that some of you think that the way your parents brought you up, and the schools and community you were raised in, had a big influence on your later achievements in life.

    A reasonable belief, but probably a mistaken one.

    In fact, it is likely that all that matters is who your parents were, by which I mean your blood parents. Furthermore, conceiving you was the big step, and the rest was due to your being kept alive, and little more. …”

    I largely disagree with this sentiment. My rebuttal quote is from the radical behaviorist John B Watson:

    “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. (1930)”

    I have seen such a “specified world” in the first person and it was quite illuminating. In my extended family there is a colony of doctors. What I found of great interest was how from even a primary school age the children in this colony were brought up and trained to become the next generation of doctors. Once I saw the extent to which their entire life experience was being crafted for the purpose of making them doctors I understood that they essentially were guaranteed to carry the torch to the next generation. For them attending medical school would largely have been superfluous: They were born to be doctors. I saw a pre-specified world that John B Watson referred to and I had no doubt that this doctor factory could continue to infinity.

    I once had doctor worship type thinking, as if there is some magical force that is needed to create the medical infrastructure that we need. I now know that this is completely untrue. While there is no doubt at least some minimum g requirement; given that doctors to be are in training while still in diapers, the awe and wonderment of it all has vanished.

    Those doctors who were not born doctors and might have found their calling after arriving at university almost invariably make a complete mess of their medical career, and most else of their lives. Some of these are the ones who believe medicine is some great intellectual adventure; it is only when they meet actual down to earth patients that they realize that medicine is not from them. These non-doctors constitute ~25% of most graduating classes. The actual day to day experience of doctors is fairly abysmal and is typically dominated in consulting with those of below average IQ.

    The way that my extended family were brought up clearly mattered a great deal. John B Watson was entirely correct in his assessment. The people who help form the social scaffolding of our society are intelligent, though not to some extreme extent. In fact, it has been critically necessary for the survival of our species that such generation to generation transmission of skills and knowledge happen with near perfect efficiency. Creating a strong family and extended family network to nurture the future “doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief” will predictably develop the skill set needed. From my understanding, given a specified world I could have easily been trained for any and all occupations.

    • Replies: @Peter Johnson
  161. @Franz

    ‘Immolate’ has one think that Mishima set fire to himself, like a Buddhist monk (shades of The Temple of the Golden Pavilion)but he simply performed a rather botched seppuku. His Kaishakunin performed the decapitory kaishaku, a intricate manouevre requiring some skill, poorly.I’ve often rather hoped that we might introduce seppuku for failed political leaders.

  162. @Franz

    I neglected to concur with your comment, but note the usual absence of the ecological perspective. We are at the end of the initial stages of a planetary ecological collapse unprecedented in history, yet it is habitually denied or ignored. How do you explain that?

  163. @old coyote

    So, you are claiming that sub-Saharan Africans operate at your level. You’ve got tickets on yourself, old boy.

  164. Alrenous says: • Website

    Pretending you don’t have a problem is a great way to embrace the destiny of having that problem. Admittedly this is difficult when your issue is the need to get the approval of the person causing the problem to admit it exists.

    The problem of all proctors is Pride. They don’t admit there is a higher authority. Frequently don’t admit there can be a higher authority. They don’t want the test-takers to know things; they just want obedience.

    For nearly all tests, the real answer to its questions is, “This is a stupid question; nobody cares what the answer is.” It doesn’t test the lore of the student, it tests their willingness to submit, and is intended to.

    Science isn’t submissive.


    America is especially corrupt, but it’s easy for “independent” evaluations to find low levels of corruption, because all the bribes are institutionalized. Americans follow the rules, it’s just that the waste and graft are mandatory. E.g. at least two thirds of all school and hospital administrators have no work to do; they’re supporters being paid off and siphoning tax dollars into union funds which can then be used to donate to DNC campaigns. They’re hired very Officially and legally, though.

    The proctor isn’t Nature, so why not subvert the proctor?

    So, China’s most famous book was written 500 years ago. All the “great literature” is just history with some artistic flourishes. They’re just not interested in telling stories.

    In modern times, xianxia has some neat ideas, maybe 50 chapters worth, and then it’s dozens of books of 1000+ chapters. Xianxia has maybe two protagonists – there’s more than that just in the Avengers, never mind across all movies.

    Sure Shakespeare had Henry VIII, but he also had Midsummer Night’s Dream and so on. Then there’s Milton and Dante and Tolkein. I personally think there should be more names on this list but post-Tolkein authors get either far more or far less respect than they deserve. Look man, Carlyle’s writing is just bad. He doesn’t explain himself and doesn’t get to the point. Even hacks can do better, if they’re present-day hacks. Writing style has advanced a lot. (Though they have allowed topics &c to decay.)

    China’s visual arts are great, though. It appears architecture also falls under the visual arts. It’s a shame they feel the need to also copy western architecture, because even other Anglos think that crap is ugly. However, their visual gifts clearly have no parallel in the narrative.

    You can see Japan’s slavish traditionalism in the fact that anime is all in fact Walt Disney refined to the nth degree. It used to have two art styles but they dropped one. They were both of the Disney lineage but that wasn’t obedient enough. Likewise they have a stable of stock characters and simply re-use them over and over; it’s at the point where you can identify the stock by their hair colour. Whenever an author is Westernized enough to think of / adapt a new narrative, it’s immediately copied at least a dozen times. Seems nobody minds.

    It’s interesting that neither the Chinese nor Japanese are willing to tolerate ugly public spaces the way Europeans are. Overrides the slavish traditionalism, even.

    You can see that originality has its own drawbacks. Much of the reason western cartoons look like sewage is that they’re all trying to come up with their own “original” style rather than building on a style they already like. If you’re not a transcendent genius you’re not going to be able to replicate hundreds of years of art history by yourself…

    We know that invention is dependent on spiritual beliefs.
    The Musrabians used to be productive. Then Al-ghazali happened, and they stopped. Of course they need a biological compatibility with a capricious, unknowable Allah to get brainblocked like that, but they must also have had the capacity for invention to have anything to get blocked.

    The Chinese are of course Confucian, who doesn’t posit a higher authority at all. Confucius say: do what I say. China: “Yessir.”
    The issue is probably their own fault. The only question: is it reversible, or is getting Confucius’d a hard-locked dead end? Does Confucianism amputate the capacity to re-evaluate?

    I was sad the shill didn’t bring up gunpowder, because it was invented by alchemists. Alchemy is of course Egyptian. As in modern times, in ancient times the Chinese became significantly more productive when copying a Western techne and episteme. The fundamental law of history is that history repeats.

  165. @Factorize

    That John B. Watson quote is infamous as one of the most blatantly false versions of the blank slate theory ever given. That quote is entirely discredited; nowadays people use that quote as an example of obsolete falsities in social science. See e.g. The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker (or any other up-to-date book discussing the relative environment/genetic contributions of human behavioral variation).

    • Agree: James Thompson
    • Replies: @Factorize
  166. @spacewanderer

    I think of an expert (in productive endeavors) as someone who knows more and more about less and less.

    I consider an intellectual as someone who knows less and less about more and more and brags about it.

  167. Factorize says:
    @Peter Johnson

    Thank you for replying!

    Here is a more complete excerpt from the quotation of John B. Watson:


    “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years. (1930)”

    I included this quote because it so completely encapsulated my personal experience with my extended family more so than necessarily capturing a theoretical essence. For me it was extremely striking to what extent these family members existed on the Watsonian specified world that is described in the quote. Even from kindergarten they were doing medical rounds with their parents/grandparents; they already compared the merits of buying the B series luxury automobile over the C series once they became doctors- it was difficult to overlook the extent to which their world had been adapted to nurturing them towards their medical destiny. It was such an eye opener. Denying the obvious fact that such behavior would bestow obvious and extreme life advantages over those who were not instructed to be so goal directed is not worth even arguing.

    These children from birth had been programmed to pursue highly focused goal directed behavior towards becoming MDs. They knew exactly what was required of them and they did not seem overly interested in following life paths that were not on the direct path to achieving their goal. Such single minded determination makes becoming an MD nearly a certainty. Most everything else in their lives including primary school, secondary school and even undergraduate pre-med might then have been regarded largely as superfluous. Indeed with such focus med school itself might even be bypassed. It would have likely become clear almost immediately that many of those in their med classes were not really over motivated to become doctors and often had had minimal preparation to achieving their nominal goal.

    One has only to compare them to those med students not on this Watsonian parallel universe to see how dramatically they would outcompete others. Consider modern medical students: Due to the often near absence of long term preparation, there has developed widespread mental health challenges in medical schools. Med students without preparation will attempt to learn what my prepared relatives would have learned during 2 decades in ~4 years. However, with a lifetime of preparation med school becomes almost trivial; more of a social exercise. For those properly prepared it is probably not even worth attending. For my relatives, there was minimal chance that they would encounter mental health challenges.

    • Replies: @Peter Johnson
    , @res
  168. Factorize says:

    On the broader interpretation of social immobility, my perspective is that we have escaped from the 20th Century world of social stasis. Firstly, there is the remote revolution. I have experienced the new era of virtual life and it has shown that the bricks and mortar world and its form of social hierarchy can be eliminated. For others who during COVID or otherwise have also seen the power of virtual life, it seems that there is no turning back. The social construct of the modern bricks and mortar world can now be seen all too clearly has inherently pathological; transitioning to virtual life immediately resolves this pathology. There is also the polygenic revolution. Polygenic selection offers the radically transformative possibility of known polygenic scores before conception. In the 21st Century we have transcended the very limited possibilities that were available to people in the previous century.

  169. @Factorize

    My pleasure. Watch out for generalizing from personal/family anecdotes. The statistical evidence is now overwhelming that Watson was wrong in the extreme in this quote. It is almost the opposite (but not quite) “give me the child of two medical doctors and odds are the child will turn out to be a medical doctor”. It is not as bad as that, but the heritable component of behavioral variation is very large, rather than zero as Watson claims.

    • Agree: James Thompson
  170. dearieme says:

    Obvs Watson had never kept pets and had never talked to farmers. Would you trust such a man?

    Does anyone know how his own children turned out? Ah: WKPD does.

    Watson married Mary Ickes … They had two children, also named John and Mary Ickes Watson, the latter of whom attempted suicide later in life.

    Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

    Young Mary and her husband, Paul Hartley, had a daughter, Mariette Hartley, who suffered from psychological issues that she attributed to her being raised with her grandfather’s theories.

    Watson’s wife later sought divorce due to his ongoing affair with his student, Rosalie Rayner …
    In 1920, following the finalization of the divorce, Watson and Rayner married in New Jersey, parenting two sons, William Rayner Watson (1921) and James Broadus Watson (1924), who were raised with the behaviorist principles that John espoused throughout his career. The couple remained together until Rayner’s death at age 36 in 1935. Just like their half-sister, both sons also later attempted suicide, with William killing himself in 1954.

    But apparently you can win a few and lose a hell of a lot.

  171. Anon[124] • Disclaimer says:

    “All men are created equal” and “Anyone can be anything if he works hard enough” are useful copes by poor people in all eras, serving to keep their courage up.

    Only with the increasing influx of the lower orders (e.g., shtetlbillies) into the mainstream of thought did these copes come to be taken more or less literally and made the basis of philosophy, social science, and social policy.

    The copes, considered objectively, are false. But again, they are adaptive for poors and dumbs. That is to say: like meth, the copes are useful brain hacks which keep the lower orders hopeful and productive in their way. It’s clear why both the lower and upper orders would promote them, objectivity be damned (“give us schmaltz!”). And the upper orders have an additional incentive. This is, namely, that these copes, at least when used in tandem, atomize mobs and also guilt-trip people into believing that any individual deficiency is a moral failing. (For example, consider how the cant term “personal responsibility” is usually used. In an ethos where there is no such thing as just being dumb, there is only the “choice” to be lazy or not, the congentially slow are sin-zoned from birth, morally zombified.)

    Useful brain hacks must be replaced by scientific knowledge. Mankind must advance beyond nigger-rigging its life-philosophy with nostrums partly adaptive in limited contexts but catastrophically dysgenic in larger ones. We have to grow up.

    • Replies: @Alrenous
  172. @Ron Unz

    As promised, I read Allen’s “absolutely devastating” critique of Clarks work and found it tendentious and analytically weak. Here is my review of Allen’s review of Clark:

    Allen Unfair to Clark

    Allen writes (p. 948) “While it is widely believed that the pre-industrial world was Malthusian, the view is controversial among economic historians,” and then later (p. 951) “Clark’s graph does not prove that the world was Malthusian.” The first remark says very little, criticizing Clark for stating the obvious, and the second remark is extremely demanding of Clark’s evidence since one graph will hardly “prove” that the pre-1800 world was exactly Malthusian as if “Malthusian” were an exact condition identifiable beyond doubt in all circumstances. The bottom line is that Clark is correct that the pre-1800 world was mostly Malthusian, as that word is reasonably understood. Allen is offering empty bluster with little substantive content, while tossing out extraneous citations as if they had substantive relevance and expanding on minor quibbles as if they were major issues in Clark’s work.

    The next section has more of the same style. On p. 952 Allen notes that the broad consensus view among economic histories supports Clark’s view that the enormous technological advancement of settled farming did not improve living standards, due to Malthusian expansion. Somehow Allen tries to make it sound like Clark is wrong, while confirming Clark is correct, e.g., p. 952 “Common sense suggests that agriculture raised the standard of living, but much evidence now indicates that the standard of living fell when farming spread. In a review of the literature Larsen (1995) concluded that the shift from foraging to farming led to a reduction in health status and well-being, an increase in physiological stress and a decline in nutrition.” Allen is agreeing with Clark, while making it sound as if Clark is in error. This stance is quite unfair to Clark and gives the review-reader the wrong impression of Clark’s book.

    On page 954 Allen states “Clark’s view of preindustrial England is oversimplified. In contrast to table 2, he imagines a bipolar world of very rich and very poor,” and p. 955 “Contrary to Clark, our forebearers were not enjoying abundance in a Garden of Eden.” These are poor criticisms and shoddy analysis from a top-tier economic historian. Allen has his knives out for Clark since Clark’s theory is politically incorrect, and hence weakly-argued tendentious criticism of Clark is allowed.

    On page 957-958, Allen states “accepting for the moment Clark’s assessment of medieval institutions, the most that the argument establishes is that good institutions were not sufficient for economic growth. The argument does not show that they were unnecessary.” Yes, obviously! This is a pointless quibble.

    Section 7 of Allen’s article covers material not important to Clark’s core thesis, but Allen might have a point that Clark mis-estimates the 18th-19th century British distribution of Industrial Revolution output gain across income classes. This minor issue is not central to Clark’s central argument regarding the evolutionary contribution (through survival of the most economically productive) to the Industrial Revolution. (Clark writes ambiguously whether this evolutionary effect is due to “cultural” or “biological” evolution or perhaps both).

    Allen’s biggest blunder comes on p. 961 where Allen states “The problem with either genetics or socialization is that heritability is so low by either channel that Clark’s mechanism could not spread middle class values throughout English society. Loehlin (2005) found that the intergenerational correlation of personality traits was only 0.13. If we ignore issues related to assortative mating on the grounds that English society was as ‘fluid’ as Clark contends, then the correlation between a man and his grandson would be only 0.017 = (0.13^2).” This estimate of intergenerational heritability is ridiculously low given what we now know about heritability, and yet it forms a cornerstone of Allen’s critique.

    Why does Allen engage in such weak and biased criticisms? The answer comes in the last few sentences of his review. Politically, Allen wishes Clark was wrong, and therefore Clark must be wrong. This is the same wishful-thinking approach taken throughout the immensely popular anti-HBD literature, e.g., the famous and widely praised nonsense produced by Stephen J. Gould. Allen closes his article by stating “Clark’s biological arguments for the superiority of Anglo-American culture make the differences between the West and the Rest unbridgeable and a source of perpetual conflict. Normally, it is distressing to find that the theses of a book are contradicted by well-known evidence, but in this case it is a relief given the pessimistic prospect that A Farewell to Alms holds out for the future of the world.”

    Allen provides a shoddy, biased critique of Clark’s book, based on politically-convenient, wishful thinking.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    , @Ron Unz
    , @Factorize
  173. dearieme says:
    @Peter Johnson

    Thank you for that.

    One point about Allen’s whingeing: he writes

    If we ignore issues related to assortative mating on the grounds that English society was as ‘fluid’ as Clark contends, then the correlation between a man and his grandson would be only 0.017 = (0.13^2).

    Sorry for being too lazy to find my copies of his books to check the point but my memory is that Clark has considered the comparison of multi-generation heritability with heritability over just one or two generations.

  174. Yes that is correct. In some follow-up work in his book The Son Also Rises he shows that intergenerational heritability is very long-lasting. Allen’s proposed two-generation correlation of 0.017 for complex behavioral traits now seems ridiculously low.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  175. dearieme says:
    @Peter Johnson

    Could “our” Robert Allen be any relation to the Robert Allen who gets a bit of a pasting here?

  176. Ron Unz says:
    @Peter Johnson

    Allen Unfair to Clark…Allen provides a shoddy, biased critique of Clark’s book, based on politically-convenient, wishful thinking.

    I’m not too familiar with you, but you seem like an HBD activist, mostly critical of what you regard as Allen’s dismissive attitude on that issue. Some of your criticism seems reasonable, but although it’s been a while since I’ve read Allen’s very lengthy review, from what I remember his most telling point went to the absolute heart of Clark’s argument that for many centuries Britain’s wealthy had outbred its poor. From what I remember, Allen seemed to convincingly demonstrate this was simply false—over the last couple of centuries, Britain’s older wealthiest elites had to some extent been replaced by rising elements of the commercial middle class, partly because they had died out.

    I do know that Clark’s discussion of Chinese society was absolutely 100% wrong, and the gigantic blunder he made there, led me to suspect that Allen’s claims might be correct, especially since Clark apparently never attempted to refute them. If you haven’t already done so, you really might want to read my own article on these issues, which I published partly in response to Clark’s book:

    But there’s a much broader issue that Allen was perhaps a little too gentlemanly to address. Clark’s overarching theme is that many centuries of strong selective pressure in Britain caused the British to become much smarter and more capable than any other Europeans, and that’s why the Industrial Revolution began there. Except there’s actually ZERO evidence that the British are actually much smarter and more capable than other Europeans. So if Clark wrote an entire book attempting to explain something that isn’t true, why should anyone take him seriously?

    I think a major difficulty is that HBD is generally true, but the vast majority of people promoting or advocating HBD are totally incompetent, and their foolish arguments in favor of “vulgar HBDism” tend to undercut the validity of the positions they are taking.

  177. @Ron Unz

    I haven’t read Allen’s review but I have a problem with

    from what I remember his most telling point went to the absolute heart of Clark’s argument that for many centuries Britain’s wealthy had outbred its poor. From what I remember, Allen seemed to convincingly demonstrate this was simply false—over the last couple of centuries, Britain’s older wealthiest elites had to some extent been replaced by rising elements of the commercial middle class, partly because they had died out.

    From what I remember “Britain’s oldest wealthiest elites” had little to do with it. Indeed big landowners by primogeniture whose ancestors acquired land by military prowess never, in Clark’s account, did much relevant outbreeding and survival. Nor were the relatively unsuccessful sons, unlike those of the prosperous local merchant, likely to turn themselves into the kind of successful tradesman whose innovations might have contributed to steam engine boilers not leaking or whatever er increme tal gains would pay. I never entirely satisfied myself when I first read Clark whether he was promoting a biological explanation for what he saw or was (perhaps prudently) ambivalent. But what seemed clear enough was that the newly literate, Bible reading, children of financially successful people were more numerous than the children of the relatively poor and unskilled. Absent the talent or transmitted wealth of the most successful their not quite so blessed offspring took superior talent- and probably health, discipline and energy – into competition with those more naturally born to humbler occupations and innovated. It may not be irrelevant that executing criminals and sending indentured servants as quasi slaves to the colonies, and transported convicts, could have been factors that contributed positively to the new, though humble, creative class.

    I don’t recall any discussion of e.g. the damage done on the Continent by the 30 Years War to whatever prospect the Protestant Ethic (cf. Max Weber) might have begun doing for scientific, agricultural and – especially – industrial revolution in the rest of Europe. Indeed I too have wondered about the difference between the Continentals and the Islanders. It should not escape anyone in the Anglosphere that protection by sea borders has very much to be said for it.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  178. @Ron Unz

    Further, as to what class was doing what in the production of useful talent it seems clear to me that the upsurge in English and Scottish cognitive ability which may have been important to the Industrial Revolution started to decline about 150 years ago when upper middle class, typically Protestant, families started having smaller families. They still no doubt contributed to the remarkable number of children Cyril Burt found toward the right end of the IQ distribution but that would have been a hangover from the families like that of one of the many Baring peers whose 9th son became the Earl of Cromer – an important and able figure. It seems almost obvious that the change in composition of the Anglosphere’s highest courts from nearly all Protestant to mostly Catholic is best explained by the fact that Catholics were at least two generations behind Protestants in limiting fertility.

  179. Ron Unz says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    From what I remember “Britain’s oldest wealthiest elites” had little to do with it. Indeed big landowners by primogeniture whose ancestors acquired land by military prowess never, in Clark’s account, did much relevant outbreeding and survival.

    It’s been a decade since I read the Clark book and a while since I read the Allen review, but from what I remember Clark’s data had focused upon many centuries of outbreeding, suggesting that very long period of selective pressure had produced the results he found.

    However, I think Allen claimed that the wealthy elites had been largely replaced by the rising middle class in the last couple of hundred years. So the bulk of Clark’s historical data was irrelevant.

    HBD supporters are so desperate for affirmation of their ideas that if some mainstream academic takes a pro-HBD position, they immediately praise and endorse it, even if his evidence is weak or his analysis shoddy.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Philip Owen
  180. Factorize says:
    @Peter Johnson

    I have found these animations to be very helpful in understanding different development trajectories during the 19th and 21st Centuries. In the first animation, we see a dramatic difference between pre-modern and current economic development. The UK followed an extremely grueling path to development– decade after decade in the 19th Century it had sub-Saharan levels of fertility. The social division caused was truly monumental. From the view from the 21st Century, one can certainly agree with Marx’s critique of the shortcomings of such a strategy to modernization. Modern industrial economies do not need mass labor– fertility rates need to fall towards replacement otherwise the extreme poverty as depicted in the numerous works of Dickens become almost inevitable. The class animosities in the UK arising from those not wishing to adapt to modern life clearly caused substantial social division that have to some extent become fossilized in British society.

    Yet, notice the development path taken by Afghanistan. All of sudden ~1998, its TFR started to plunge and it has continued on this path for the last two decades. This rapid transformation into modernity is now the norm. It has occurred in China, India, Bangladesh etc.. Developing in this way avoids the bifurcation of opportunity and the greatly divided society that arose in the UK and others in the first wave of industrial society. One would expect that the current wave of development will not cause a Marxian counter-revolution because everyone will experience the enormous uplift in their standard of living at the same time. When you are the lead train and are making it up as you go along, the outcome will not be optimal. Yet, when development is done right, the entire community can have wealth without the bitterness from fighting for centuries over how the future would be arranged.\$model\$markers\$bubble\$encoding\$y\$data\$concept=children_per_woman_total_fertility&[email protected]=country&=time;;&scale\$domain:null&zoomed:null&type:null;;&x\$data\$concept=time&[email protected]=time;;&scale\$domain:null&zoomed:null&type:null;;&trail\$data\$filter\$markers\$gbr=1800&afg=1800;;;;;;;;&chart-type=bubbles&url=v1

    This second animation shows the evolution of income with the total fertility rate. Once again we can see enormous economic division happening in the UK and not so much in Afghanistan. The UK spent decades with ~5 TFR and a level 2 economy. This would have been socially corrosive. There would be many many poor people and yet there would not be enough collective wealth to help them. Notice how in the modern economy, there is both high income and low fertility. There is a large wealth reservoir available to provide support to people in need. Further, in post economic societies such support is largely unnecessary as wealth is now widely spread throughout society.\$model\$markers\$bubble\$encoding\$y\$data\$concept=children_per_woman_total_fertility&[email protected]=country&=time;;&scale\$domain:null&zoomed:null&type:null;;&x\$data\[email protected]=country&=time;;&scale\$domain:null&zoomed:null&type:null;;&trail\$data\$filter\$markers\$gbr=1800&afg=1800;;;;;;;;&chart-type=bubbles&url=v1

    It is especially insightful to realize that these early developing nations were not merely Malthusian pre-1800, yet somewhat surprisingly they were Malthusian post-1800. Such a development strategy caused the bleak social landscape of that era and which continues to influence understanding of class in the first developer nations.

    21st Century style development is exciting and inspiring! Nations can be transformed within a single generation because the formula is now known. We know how to induce rapid development. In fact, if we were to use the full force of 22nd Century technology and knowledge, including rapid lead reduction, genetic enhancement, immediate fertility collapse, AI/robotic infrastructure, etc., then developing nations might possibly leapfrog developed nations into a super hi-tech future.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  181. Factorize says:

    Sorry the url posted previously does not appear to function. Try the url below; set the y-axis to babies per woman and the x-axis to time and then select Afghanistan and the UK. On the second round change the x-axis to income.\$chart-type=bubbles&url=v1

    The Gapminder animations reveal a great deal about how development has occurred on our planet over the last 2 centuries. One of the biggest highlights was seeing how effectively and effortlessly developing nations are now moving through development. This appears to apply to virtually all nations: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, sub-Saharan Africa and others. The animations also show how Russia and China tried to postpone the future and then went through social crisis when they had to reconcile with reality. Following the erratic leaps of the Russian bubble shows the trauma that they went through in becoming modern.

    One of the real game changers seems to have happened ~1880 with the invention of the automobile. As soon as mechanized transport was available the entire pre-modern life was no longer sustainable. I watched videos showing the overwhelming efficiency of modern agricultural harvesters. One harvester can replace the hard work of thousands of farm laborers. All of the Level 1 subsistence style economies no longer have economic viability when competing with this technology. These poor nations then become trapped into non-market thinking because the base of their economy is so minimally productive in comparison to mechanized agriculture. Almost all of the Level 1 economies appear to be rapidly transitioning to Level 2 economies.

    I was also surprised to realize that the leading nations of today had a roughly similar social profile as the poorest nations do today 100 hundred years ago. There is a well-trodden path from agriculture to manufacturing to computerization and from high to low fertility etc. that nations have moved through to become developed. It becomes a massive disadvantage for nations to navigate in the midst of the wake caused by the early adopters of modernity.

    I would encourage you to spend time with these animations as they provide a great deal of insight into global development patterns and they also show a highly positive perspective on the long-term development of the world. The long-term trends are extremely positive: Total fertility rates are collapsing everywhere and income is broadly increasing through time. One can see developing nations (such as Afghanistan) that could be helped to move toward with technological resources available to us. Development then becomes a way to avoid conflict. The development challenge of the 21st Century will be predominantly about helping sub-Saharan Africa. Fortunately, there is already strong forward momentum in SSA towards modernization.

    • Replies: @res
  182. How much better faster does society get if the bottom of the barrel doesn’t reproduce? Bottom quarter? Bottom half? Bottom 60%? It seems to me that’s the situation in which humanity evolved – half of us died as infants, not all the rest reproduced, so something like a quarter or a third of us reproduced. Presumably that was mostly the cream of the crop, since those would be the most attractive mates and most able to support families.
    What if we’re really designed for polygamy, in which only the very top males reproduce at all?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  183. @Ron Unz

    One of us is going to have to break and actually reread but I am confident you are wrong in (again?) giving credence to the point in this

    However, I think Allen claimed that the wealthy elites had been largely replaced by the rising middle class in the last couple of hundred years. So the bulk of Clark’s historical data was irrelevant.

    It was surely the rising muffle classes that Clark saw doing the outbreeding all the way from perhaps 1500 to about 1880. I don’t remember him being convincing about China though to s very limited extent it seemed possible that the remarkable contrast in fertility he found between Japan and Britain could have been applicable. The reason I say that is that while the dirty insanity Brits didn’t breed up at anything like the same rate as the rice growing Japanese (who used human fertiliser effi. ciently- I think that was Clark) from about 1300 that contrast could have extended to the Chinese as they were still opening up fertile land to the SW. I do remember that you developed your own (playsible) theory as to why Chinese peasant families got smarter….

    I recall speculating that the British upper muffle classes became, over more than 300 years selectively bred in a way which produced comparable results in evolution of cognitive ability to what seems to have powered Ashke azi (especially) Jewry. Look at what little Britain did for science for about 300 years.

    [My non PC Reform Rabbi friend says of those welfare supported Haredi families of 15 to 20 that one sees walking their retarded kids around Jerusalem that “at least they have the genes”! Wow! Mighty Israel will have that gene pool to call in over the years and in the meantime even the secular whose children have to serve in the IDF are having two and a spare].

    PS Still not getting email alerts.

  184. @Factorize

    You don’t discuss the dysgenic breeding which is lowering genetically detrrmined cognitive ability in the developed world. I take comfort that there are still millions of bright Chinese to graduate in STEM and the maximum patent protection is 20 years.

  185. @Prometheus Martel

    I have often wondered how eugenic polygamy might be? Any literature on the subject you recommend?

  186. Alrenous says: • Website

    An excellent example of how lies are poisonous. The term “morality” in modern times, when it is not being used to legitimize crimes, points to the tension between the long-term and the short-term. “Working hard enough” may be useful for poors and dumbs in the short term, but in the long term it destroys them and their host society. Even the dumb poors aren’t dumb enough to continually buy a lie. They see through it eventually, and then they rebel, diving as deeply as they can into degeneracy, because they figured out the opposite wasn’t working.

    The correct thing to do is the parable of the talents. There’s nothing wrong with being born with few talents, only in failing to apply what you have. Although the son of the poor man is almost guaranteed a small house, it can at least be a small clean house.

  187. And now we have 5 contenders for leadership of the Conservative Party who are people of colour who like to claim humble beginnings. Is this an argument for or against social immobility? None of them are quite as humble as they like to say, expect perhaps Javid so we are not talking about a simple matter of biological capacity. Money and culture and luck are there too. Maybe caste identity too.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  188. jay says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    How about continuing the trend of bootstrapping the population by downward mobility.

    Stop with the technocratic nonsense.

  189. dearieme says:
    @Philip Owen

    Cheer up. With the influx of capable people from Hong Kong we may find a Conservative leader as excellent as Lee Kuan Yew in thirty years time. Or maybe one as vile as Mao. Who knows?

  190. res says:
    @Here Be Dragon

    True for mitochondria (mother’s mother) and the Y chromosome (father’s father), but otherwise wrong.

  191. res says:

    Consider two thoughts.

    1. Starting from a family of moderate to high ability (say 1.5-2.5 SD) Watson’s quote has a chance. Though not for occupations more cognitively loaded than the minimum for being a doctor.

    2. That family of doctors probably possessed abilities both in the form of IQ and other things relevant for being a doctor. Nurture can make a difference, but nature needs to provide the basics.

    • Replies: @Factorize
  192. res says:

    Your links contain characters which the auto link detection does not handle properly (looks like \$ is the offender). You can create those links manually using an HTML A tag.\$chart-type=bubbles&url=v1

    P.S. Looks like I was wrong. The link works in preview, but not in post. This form seems to work.
    Link text

    It gets even weirder. The link worked after my edit.

  193. Factorize says:

    Yes, I agree. Watson’s quote seems more applicable to moderate to high cognitive ability. The professions that he mentioned do have some flexibility under some circumstances to devolve somewhat downwards in cognitive ability; higher cognitive ability (especially in medicine) can create its own set of problems. So, the middle range is probably more favored. As you noted, when you move away from the highly socially visible professions and consider those of extreme IQ, there is likely much less potential for such family dynasties.

    My posts and the quote were partially motivated by my experience conditioning virtual mice. It was quite surprising how much control could be exerted by simply reinforcing, punishing and shaping. I am not as talented in conditioning people, though I suppose a gifted behaviorist (e.g., Watson) might achieve notable success– ergo, his quote.

    I know that this is switch hitting, though given our current knowledge of genetics a modernized version of Watson’s quote (below) seems highly plausible to me. In fact, it is not difficult to imagine that we are reaching the stage where the limitation to only moderate to high cognitive ability outcomes would no longer need to be added.

    Just to keep everyone up to date, there is now a full genome sequencing technology on the near term time horizon with a price point ~\$100. \$100 is the price that people would load up their buggies. Pandora’s genome box might fully open over the next 2-3 years. As with any exponentially approaching technology once even a small first step is announced (e.g., the achievement of 2.5 IQ point enhancement by weak embryo selection), it is already time to run for the hills. If we could pull back to a time lapse view of the world now and move to the time scale of decades, then this moment in time would be recognized as the starting point to Genetic Singularity.

    “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any pair at random and train the offspring to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. (1930)”

    Combining the two strands of determinism opens up a range of possible social disruptions. One idea that has went unmentioned is that doctor dynasties could now truly become eternal. With assortative mating based upon phased full genotyping and population scale selection medical families could continue their professional bloodline out beyond the horizon. Self-determination of all peoples through their own cognitive elites providing the needed services (medical, legal and otherwise) then becomes a medium term goal in the 21st Century.

  194. Factorize says:

    The gapminder site is fascinating! It is highly instructive to carefully watch the animations and observe the 19th and 20th centuries unfold.

    The time lapse animations of Russia are particularly interesting to watch. Up until ~1914 Russia had largely been non-responsive to the pressures of modernization that appear to have been unleashed by the invention of the automobile. Without much understanding of Russian history, my guess is that an attempt was made to ignore the future — continue on with a feudal life. The Russian Revolution can be seen as an attempt to respond to the forces from the future. The fusion of industrialism and feudalism was the Russian compromise. The tumultuous development path it underwent shows how ill-advised ignoring/delaying the future can be. China has a similar, though greatly muted crisis of development ~1960 and then it moved into a highly orderly trajectory to modernization. It is hopeful to see that there is a strong temporal trend amongst those with high total fertility rates to move towards moderating their fertility. Collective security has been greatly enhanced as nations such as Afghanistan and Yemen have rapidly reduced their extremely high TFRs.

    While England’s high fertility almost into the 20th Century clearly made its path to development more challenging, England showed remarkably responsiveness ~1880 to the advent of automobiles and other features of modernity and then began a long term fertility decline over the next several decades.

    A big lesson here is that being an innovation leader is critically important. Pretending that the future will never arrive has repeatedly shown itself to be a poor strategy and has ensured the emergence of radical ideologies that are energized by the pressurized social forces formed from wanting to conserve the past. In our own time, ignoring genetic enhancement might also lead to such a pressure cooker. Genetic science can no longer be dismissed. Those nations that are the innovation leaders and embrace genetic enhancement and the social challenges that will result will harvest enormous benefits; those who wish it will all just go away will make the transition to the future so much more difficult for their families.

  195. dearieme says:

    Up until ~1914 Russia had largely been non-responsive to the pressures of modernization

    That generalisation has been much favoured by Communist supporters to justify the 1917 Russian coup d’état by the Bolsheviks. But the generalisation is untrue. After all, the reason that the ruling clique in Germany wanted a war with Russia in 1914 was that they aimed to defeat Russia before her continuing industrialisation made her unbeatable.

    • Replies: @Factorize
  196. Factorize says:

    My quote that you cited was from my careful observation of the bubble animation with Babies per Woman on the y-axis and Income on the x-axis. What I found so striking was how from ~1880 onwards the UK appeared to be responding to some technology shift by reducing its TFR, and yet decade after decade Russia was completely unresponsive. It is almost hard to believe, yet Russia began the 20th Century with a TFR towards the mid 7s. How could that possibly be thought to be rational? The marginal revenue product of agricultural labor in the era of mechanized agriculture would have a free market wage close to \$0 per day. Roughly, all of the nations with TFRs above 5 at the start of the 20th Century would have labor forces that produced zero added value as assessed by the free market. As mechanized agricultural technology became more established, all these nations became trapped in a non-market economic system. Their agricultural production would have minimal value on world markets and their high fertility rates would help to perpetuate a subsistence economy.

    What I noticed with Russia was that ~1911-1914 the internal pressures for social modernization became so intense that there was a collapse in the TFR. TFR declined from 7.2 in 1911 to 3.4 in 2014. What is of particular interest is that TFR returned to 6.7 in 1925. I interpret this to mean that there was an organized attempt to “modernize” Russia rapidly by forcing a new social life on the people that ultimately the people rejected at least over the short term. Change can happen as a free market response to changing circumstances (as in the UK) or change can happen as a government program of radical transformation (as in Russian, China, etc.) : Choose one.

    Understanding history in this way offers powerful insights into the driving forces of change and how different nations responded. It was surprising to me how resistant Russia and its satellites were to modernization. These were the legacy feudal nations of Eastern Europe that were unable to adapt to new technology. What I also found surprising was how low the TFRs were for both Germany and the UK from 1928 to 1939: They were both below or near replacement during this time. How was the total warfare of WWII even possible with such minimal fertility rates? Large TFRs typically are a prerequisite for such conflict. One explanation is that there would be substantial population momentum from the very much higher TFRs in the recent past for these nations. It does suggest though that an appeasement strategy had considerable rational merit. Delaying WWII by 5 years might have avoided it entirely.

    There is also the point of view that the events of the 20th Century could be understood in terms of a conditioning experiment. People continued to receive punishers or positive reinforcers in relation to how rapidly they reduced their TFRs. The punishers would be poverty, extreme conflicts etc.; the reinforcers would be wealth, and relative peace. It is an enormous tragedy of humanity that such natural experiments are required to run for centuries until people express the correct response.

    I haven’t mentioned it, though there is a strong link back to the initial starting quote of this blog:

    “I do not wish to accuse my readers of being economists, sociologists or anthropologists, but I am willing to bet that some of you think that the way your parents brought you up, and the schools and community you were raised in, had a big influence on your later achievements in life.

    A reasonable belief, but probably a mistaken one.

    In fact, it is likely that all that matters is who your parents were, by which I mean your blood parents. Furthermore, conceiving you was the big step, and the rest was due to your being kept alive, and little more.”

    What we can see from gapminder is that: “it is likely that all that matters is [who your parents were, by which I mean your blood parents]” what community you were raised in and when. It would be very difficult to overlook the large scale geopolitics of the 20th Century and pretend that this did not have a very large effect on life outcomes. Global wealth has increased so noticeably over the last many decades exactly because more of the psychometric potential is being harnessed in productive ways. There is no great advantage to high IQ if the political system rejects differentiation by cognitive ability.

    It is worth noting once again that we are now approaching another technological decision point: genetic enhancement. After almost 3 centuries, humanity has realized the folly of high fertility in an age of mechanized transport. The next challenge is to understand the advantages of genetic selection/editing. As I have carefully examined my genome, I have seen various genetic problems that could be selected against. All of my genetic illnesses could be purged from future generations. A world without genetic illness would be a world largely without the need for medical interventions.
    One can well imagine that there could be considerable resistance to genetic enhancement, though hopefully the centuries of struggle to reach modern agriculture will have taught us to be somewhat more adaptive.

  197. dearieme says:

    low the TFRs were for both Germany and the UK from 1928 to 1939:

    Low TFRs for the latter part of that period are partly explicable if couples married and said “there’s a war coming so we’ll put off having babies until it’s over”. That certainly happened in Britain: I know of an example in my own family. How widespread it was I don’t know. I don’t suppose anyone does.

    • Replies: @Factorize
  198. Factorize says:

    Yes, but what is of interest is that in the UK TFR had been declining almost monotonically from ~1880. The below replacement fertility experienced in the UK during all of the 1930s was a seemingly inevitable extension of the pre-existing long term trend. Even Germany had below replacement fertility from the mid-1920s to the mid–1930s. I found this to be surprisingly modern behavior for the 1930s. What seemed even more unexpected was that fertility rates actually increased in the UK during WWII.

    These observations provoked me to speculate that perhaps the history book version of WWII might be somewhat misguided. The true driving force behind the war might have been more related to the old feudal world (centered on Russia) with their completely unsustainable fertility rates. Basically, their high fertility rate was interpreted as geostrategic aggression. Germany was then more of a bystander than the actual instigator. It is the many body problem of European politics; in Europe forces can be motion off-stage that drive the plot on-stage. Passive-aggression on an international scale. The lighting of the fuse through the invasion of Poland (another nation with partial membership in the old feudal order) through the UK’s joint security agreement, then cross-thread the interests of the modern West with the old feudal world with Germany in the middle. It is only after the war is settled that the feudal world becomes visible in the guise of the Communist bloc. One certainly wonders how the counter-factual historical WWII timeline of the West (including Germany) versus the East (Russia, etc.) might have unfolded. The multi-decade post-WWII cold war suggests that there was not much long-term synergy between the East and the West.

    • Replies: @Factorize
  199. Factorize says:

    What I find supremely ironic about my above comment is that it has suggested to me that a profound lesson of history is not to become stuck in the past. The feudal bloc of Eastern European nations became highly resistant to adapting to the emergence of modern mechanized technology and this caused them and the world substantial grief once the pentup forces of change were suddenly released. One can see this most clearly ~1914 in Russia and elsewhere. There is a tragically romantic quality of playing the part of Don Quixote, though the consequences for one’s family, community and beyond are ultimately so devastating.

    When people refuse to confront reality then it becomes almost unavoidable that some totalitarian leader and state will need to arise in order to sustain the delusion. If your entire economy is devoted to producing agricultural goods that have no free market value, then the state will need to find ways by force and otherwise to maintain the illusion. The bargain, however, is that the citizens become the useful idiots of the state (in the transition to modernity this meant being soldiers on the front lines of a demographically expanding empire based upon extreme fertility: Malthusian aggression). The nations that can avoid social stagnation by confronting and adapting to the technological change swirling all around then have the opportunity to forge a better future. They have no need for strong leaders to force change upon them; they are able to make such changes themselves. It is no great prediction to expect that no American Hitler will emerge. Such leadership emerges when change becomes unthinkable internally or as was suggested above when such deep conservatism is lurking nearby.

    While total fertility is now somewhat in the rear view mirror of history, a similar dynamic could emerge with genetic enhancement. There is a deep conservatism related to our genetic identity as a species. When I have suggested on forums that genetic enhancement is the wave of the future, the first ad hominem is eugenicist, the next is racist and the tour de force is then Nazi.

    People often deeply want to live in the past; they want to live in the fossilized museum which humanity has lived in for the last 30,000 years. What a drag. Who wants that? Fortunately, there is no veto to genetic enhancement; there is no veto on the world that some people want to build for their off-spring. Let the competition over the future begin! Those who want to ignore reality can ignore reality, though it is difficult to imagine that this will given them a competitive edge. Their big cope is that they do not intend to compete. They want to enforce their outdated world view on others. It’s not that they expect that their life has higher evolutionary fitness; it’s that they intend to win by not allowing competing visions of the future.

    Yet, the needed genetic technology is already widely available and is rolling out. The latest update is that full genome sequencing is about to move to \$100. The human genome unlocks! It is not overly difficult to imagine the totalitarian leadership that might have to emerge in the future when it’s another unmodified child with an AR-15 in a school, it’s another unmodified driver who was nearly unconscious behind the wheel after drinking “a few” … . It will not be overly difficult to connect the dots from the useless unmodified idiots to the rise of a supreme leader who will force a shock program of genetic uplift. Change can be gradual and consensual or Change can be abrupt and forced: Choose one.

  200. Following the Dissolution of the Monastries, the Mansel family, owners of most of the city and port of Swansea, took out a loan to buy the remains of Margam Abbey, a great Cistercian ironworks founded in 1130, much of which is now part of the Port Talbot steel works.

    In the Abbey church is a crypt. There is an inscription dated 1580 to the memory of a Mordaunt woman from Devon who married the Mansel of the day.This roused my interest in the history of the Mordaunt family and social mobility in Great Britain.

    A relative is still in the port business. Jonathan Mordaunt (estimated net worth #380m) co-owns the Port of Bristol. The family first came to notice in Bedfordshire but by 1406 were wardens of two of the Cinque Ports. The Earl of Peterborough is a Mordaunt. The West country branch seem to have lived somwhere near Dawlish in Mordaunt Castle and acquired the title Lord Bristol. There are other titles around such as Lord Avalon, (now extinct?) reflecting their West Country possessions. The family are recusants (Catholics who never converted). One of them took part in the gunpowder plot.

    I hesitate to think that Penelope Mordaunt, from Devon, as Prime Minister would represent upward social mobility to this family, whatever her immediate circumstances. The name Penelope appears to have entered the family in 1644.

  201. @Ron Unz

    See my comments below about the background of Penny Mordaunt. A large part of the Norman elite died during the Wars of the Roses but not all of them, espeically the layer below the very top. Knights rather than Lords from the top 60 families.

  202. @Gabe Lewis

    In medieval England, surname DNA studies suggest that the rate of barstardy/adoption was less than 0.5% per generation.

  203. I am enjoying this discussion! I wonder if we should pay more attention to the notion of intended family size, which would scoop up the historical and cultural expectations (a time-lagged variable), which would then be altered in timing by events (a time limited variable). So, the calculation might be: I want 7 like Mummy had, but plus or minus 3 according to my reading of current circumstances.
    I wish Greg Clark would publish a social class rating of surnames. It would save us all a lot of trouble.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    , @Alrenous
  204. dearieme says:
    @James Thompson

    I’ve seen Steve Sailer claim that the commonest surname among Oxford (or maybe Oxbridge) students (or maybe graduates) over the years has been Hamilton. Since that’s a Scottish surname the proposition seems pretty unlikely but if it’s so it’s so.

    What would you have bet on? Smith? Clark/Clarke?

    • Replies: @middle-aged vet
  205. Factorize says:

    I am not sure whether the comment above about enjoying the thread conversation applies to my comments, though I hope it does. I terms of the historical expectations of fertility what I find so impressive is rapidly fertility rates can now be collapsed. When you look back to the UK ~1880, Russia ~1914, there was an ongoing element of uncertainty as to what the trajectory of TFR should be. They were making it up as they went along. With the UK the decline continued for ~50 years. In the current era these and larger declines can happen in as little as 20 years. Modern nations know exactly the designation they want to reach and how to get there. This makes all the difference.

    Historical expectations have been completely displaced by highly effective strategies to drive nations to modernity on the fastest possible time scale. For example, Afghanistan. I had thought that Afghanistan might now be best thought of still in a pre-modern context– TFR of mid 4s is not that great. It is only when I considered the age specific teen age fertility rate that I understood how rapidly their society had been transformed in ~20 years. Current Afghan teenage fertility rates replicate those of the US in 1991!!! That is remarkable. The TFR is a composite statistic across the reproductive cycle. Teen age fertility is a better indicator that is closer to the protean youth culture at street level. It shows how agents of economic development can dramatically and rapidly shape lived experience to create a modern low fertility society in youth.

    Gaining control of the institutions of society enables profound social change to be engineered. We have seen this with Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan. However, introducing large scale conflict makes accomplishing strategic objectives much more difficult. The big lesson is to be more Ferengi and less Klingon. Allowing nations to pursue a modern life perspective while maintaining their sovereignty benefits everyone. It is impressive to recognize how many nations have been able to go the peaceful route to development and not the conflict route. Take the easy route and not the hard way, yeah! The more nations that can be brought on board the merrier. Locking nations into the international economic system enhances collective security and adds another player on the bench. Win all around.

    I want to reframe my previous comment so that it is not interpreted as dredging up past grudges. Whenever you start speaking about history there can be that tendency. The lesson of history is that it is best not to talk about the past? No. The lessons are there and should be learned though, in time the lesson shifts in meaning. While the fertility insight is centrally important in understanding the 20th Century (and to some extent the 21st), it is not of particular importance for those nations who have passed through to below replacement levels: the new leading edge concern is genetics. Genetics will become the fertility question of the 21st century. We already have the deep conservatives lined up to reject our eugenic future.

    The landscape of the 19th and 20th Century worlds helped to set the groove for how the modern world would unfold. This landscape was conditioned by capital. The New World nations had truly enormous economic opportunities on nearly endless frontiers. This required that they access capital on an almost infinite scale. Family farms the size of nations; railroads that spanned continents. Overwhelming capital demand. I had been somewhat unclear about what was meant by capital. What capital are they even referring to? When you consider the magnitude of capital needed in the New World, capital is no longer mysterious. Fish in water probably don’t think that much about water either.

    The conflicts that arose with the feudal Old World would decisively demonstrate the role of capital in achieving victory. The near absence of such capital stock in many of the feudal world armies is very difficult to imagine. The colossal losses sustained by Russia in the wars became almost inevitable when many of the troops lacked even functional boots. The fertility struggle that I discussed ultimately was won by those with the capital. Mass consumerism and the consumer industrial complex helped to amplify manufacturing capacity. All of this is to say that Western nations had a large comparative advantage by virtue of their capital base to overcome the feudal high fertility challenge. Capital was the decisive element that could overturn the advantage of the fertility strategy.

    Today comparative advantage for breakthrough dominance is with nations that can manifest genetic uplift. Nations that have access to genomic technology (e.g., full sequencing) , have the cognitive and leadership capital to see its potential and have a large scale population where genomic uplift could be implemented. China has such comparative advantages. Organizing genomes at population scale to lock in chromosomal advantages will create overwhelming uplift potential. What we have seen before is that those who were at comparative disadvantage than amplified their disadvantage by rejecting the future. The bubble animations showed that Russia rejected a low fertility strategy for ~ 40 years before they realized they needed to modernize immediately. It will be a very rough journey to the future if we choose the same strategy for our uplift. In the genetics race ( as opposed to the capital race) western nations are at a disadvantage.

  206. dearieme says:

    Since everything has gone quiet here may I ask you an off-topic technical question, doc?

    There is a word game puzzle in the Telegraph. A circle of eight letters is printed, with a ninth occupying the centre of the circle. The first stage of the game is to spot the word spelled by those nine letters. My wife is very good at it, I less so. How frustrating. Happily I’ve found a solution. I simply copy the nine letters in a row, putting any repeat letters next to each other. The answer then leaps off the page.

    But why? How does this trick work?

  207. Careful matches must result in children or societies will not continue to rise.

    Historically, society rose because there was a positive correlation between wealth and the number of children who survived to adulthood. Wealthy people had more surviving children than the poor. Reproduction was naturally eugenic. Since the late 19th Century the correlation has been negative: reproduction is now naturally dysgenic.

    There is no plan to address this problem, and neither will there be. The result will be a steady decline in average IQ.

    In any case, the birth rate is well below replacement level. Both business interests, and socialists, see the solution as mass immigration from low-IQ countries; and will call anyone who disagrees a racist.

    We are doomed in so many ways. The most intractable of these is that we can clearly identify and report where society is going wrong, but the message is one that society does not want to hear.

  208. @dearieme

    For Oxford, my best guess for the most common family name would be Lewis or Davidson, as it (Oxford) is much closer to Wales than Cambridge is, it has a river with a Celtic name, and there are an awful lot of English Lewises and Davidsons, and when you toss in the non-English ones, including the many many tens of thousands of Wales ones, you are talking big numbers.

    For Cambridge, my first guess would have been Johnson or George, with, in second place, the sad dull trade names – the innumerable Wrights and Wheelwrights, Smiths, and Carpenters, and all those other terrible humble dull uninspired arrogant (I am just a humble country lad!) names, right behind Johnson. But I would go with Johnson, if I were putting real money on it, or else some big Irish name like Sullivan or O’Connor, because they can’t all go to Trinity College, and there are a lot of them.

  209. Alrenous says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    I wish Greg Clark would publish a social class rating of surnames. It would save us all a lot of trouble.

    What did he say when you emailed him to ask for one?

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