Maps Are Fun: US Data

Valparaiso University in Northern Indiana has a website where they maintain some pages of resources with great maps. I’ve often made use of their page of religious distribution maps, having just based a post on the religious adherents map. However, I hadn’t previously explored the full array of maps they have, in which a lot of info is contained and elegantly conveyed.

I’ll begin with the ethnic groups maps which match many of the religious maps as ethnicity and religion tend to go hand in hand; one interesting pattern being how some of the border states in the Upper South include religious groups more typical of the North such as Quakers, Mennonites, and Amish; from the culture regions maps page, there are three maps that show the Midlands influence of the Midwest and Upper South: Diffusion of the Midland CultureColonial Culture Hearths, and Contemporary Culture Areas. I’ve used the ethnic groups maps before, such as with my post on the North/South divide. Some patterns begin to appear when you look across the almost 50 ethnic groups maps available. Some of the patterns are predictable, but it is surprising where some ethnic groups are found and not.

Native Americans have some predictable patterns. They are found mostly in the West and there is that concentration in Oklahoma, but right next to Oklahoma is Texas which is empty of Native Americans despite being nearly surrounded by states with concentrations of them. There are intriguing clumps of Native Americans in North Carolina which makes sense if you know the history, and that interests me as much of my family came through there. North Carolina and contiguous states form the area of Native American mixed ancestry. One of my North Carolina and Appalachian family lines has a name (Tolliver) that is found among some Melungeons. What many people don’t think about, though, is that there are also a fair amount of Native Americans in the Upper Midwest.

One of the more interesting maps is that of leading minority group by county. The Solid South isn’t just about party politics. Even their minorities lack much diversity, at least in terms which ethnic minorities dominate. All across the North, on the other hand, has a vast diversity of minorities. The only part of the South that has much minority diversity is the the border states of the Upper South which were influenced by similar migration patterns as the Midwest. Actually, the map is deceiving. The Midwest isn’t just about ethnic diversity, but a particular kind of multiculturalism. This map shows where ethnic groups have maintained coherency in a particular area, counties in this case. That was a common settlement pattern in the Midwest where a single ethnic group would settle together in the same county, town or neighborhood. Going to the culture regions maps page, there are two maps that clarify this. The concentration of ethnic islands are in the Western Midwest, the Upper Midwest and in one area of Texas. The other map showing a border area of Minnesota and Wisconsin gives a clear example of how these ethnic islands cluster together.

There is a subset of the maps that offer a fascinating viewpoint: absence of particular ethnic groups. However, it isn’t an entirely fair portrayal. Absence is defined as having fewer than 25 members of an ethnic group in counties. Some counties have an absence of large populations in the first place and so you have to take these maps with a grain of salt. With that in mind:

The absence of Native Americans/Alaska Natives and the absence of Asians is mostly found in a corridor starting in Texas going up to North Dakota, including surrounding states and with significant areas of the South, both Upper South and Deep South. The only partial exception in the corridor is Oklahoma that has an absence of Asians but not of Natives Americans/Alaska Natives. Florida similarly is an exception to the patterns of the South. As for absence of Blacks, the same pattern holds except for the Deep South, of course.  Absence of Hispanics is a much smaller area, though, with it almost entirely being located in the Mid-Northwest with its greatest concentration in the most northern states. This same area has an absence of minorities of all varieties.

When you look at the Percent Mexican map, the obvious pattern is shown which about everyone knows without looking at any map. However, the Midwest has a fair amount of Mexicans as well, especially Illinois with Chicago. In Iowa, there are 8 counties with 13-26% of the population being Mexican; and it is similar for Minnesota, but not Wisconsin. What stuck out to me is that there are 4% or less in the entire Northeast.

The Northeast, in general, isn’t lacking in ethnic diversity. There is the typical pattern of ethnic diversity that the Northeast shares with the Midwest (because of the influence of the multicultural tradition of the Mid-Atlantic states going back to the Middle Colonies). Beyond that, there is an odd similarity between the specific ethnic groups of the North and the the specific ethnic groups of Florida with the Southern region in between being almost entirely empty of these ethnic groups; also, California and Texas often though not always fits in with this pattern, specifically in terms of the migration pattern that went from the Midwest to California and Texas: GermanDutch, CzechSwedish, Lebanese, Hungarian, Polish, Ukranian, RussianItalian, Greek, Arab, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Korean, and maybe others could be added as well. In some cases, this pattern shows a link of the Northeast and/or the North with Louisiana (because of the Canadian influence), along with some of that connection to Florida and the West Coast: French and French Canadians. The Northeast sometimes and the Midwest more often, especially the Upper Midwest, also matches up with all those other Northern European ethnic groups that particularly became concentrated mostly in the furthest north states and all away over to the Northwest — along with those Northern European ethnic groups already listed above, often along with Eastern European ethnic groups: Scandanavian, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, and Finnish.

All of those ethnic groups I just listed are miniscule minorities in the South, excepting for some of the Gulf of Mexico states of Florida, Louisiana and Texas which were originally part of the Spanish Empire. There was another pattern in the South that really stands out. It’s not just about who is and isn’t in the South, but who is and isn’t in particular areas of the South. Where Blacks and African Americans are most concentrated is precisely where there is a scarcity of Scots-Irish, Scottish and Irish; and vice versa. I can’t recollect any other regional pattern that so starkly mirrors that inverse relation in the South.

The map gallery of language is a great way to get past the superficial Melting Pot view of America. Many non-English languages have been spoken throughout American history and many of these languages remain spoken in the original settlement areas of the respective ethnic groups.

Native American speakers are where you’d expect them to be as that is where the US government put Native Americans. On the West Coast and in the Southwest, there are the unsurprising concentrations of non-English speakers, specifically Spanish speakers and Chinese speakers; along with the unsurprising concentration of the former in Florida and the more surprising significant numbers of the latter in the Northeast as well. There is that pattern I’ve pointed out before connecting the Northeast and Lousiana with French speakers which also includes the pattern connecting the Northeast and Florida. There is another pattern connecting German speakers, Scandinavian speakers and Russian speakers which is generally in the North, especially with the first two in the Upper Midwest, while the latter two are found in some concentration in the Northeast, in Florida and on the West Coast.

The North overall has the highest diversity of non-English languages spoken at home, even though it is the Southwest with the highest numbers of non-English speakers. This shows the long lasting tradition of multiculturalism in the North, a tradition especially in the Upper Midwest of which the average American is oblivious. Multiculturalism doesn’t just happen on accident. By way of laws, communities decide to either allow or disallow diversity. The states that have no state language legislation are all in the Northeast, Upper Midwest, Northwest and Southwest. The South stands out in contrast with being a solid block of English only states.

The politics maps page further strengthens these regional distinctions, thus showing the relationship between cultural traditions and political traditions. The political regions maps shows the boundaries of the regions and identifies the main theme of each, and those boundaries follow the standard flows of migration and settlement.

Closely aligned with state language legislation, states without capital punishment are all in the North and mostly in the Upper Midwest, those easygoing kindly people of Northern European ancestry. Among states with capital punishment, those with more than 20 executions since 1973 are mostly in the Deep South with some in the Southwest.

This relates to states with strong traditions of participatory democracy and those without. The highest concentration of voting population are in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana and Oregon; or to put in terms of ethnic groups: English related to the Puritans, Northern Europeans and French. To put it in the terms of standard racial groupings in America, non-Hispanic Whites fit the pattern of the general population, but even non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics have higher rates of voting in the North than in the South. Blacks in many Northern states, specifically those states with higher rates of Northern European ancestry, have higher voting rates than whites in many Southern states.

This interestingly aligns with something I noted in a previous post. The average IQ in the North is higher than the average IQ in the South. That just fits the typical North/South divide that can be found in all kinds of data. It’s rather predictable in that the Northern states on average have better public education systems and healthier populations, two things among many others that improve IQ. Where it gets really interesting is when broken down into race. Here is what I wrote in that above post:

black populations in some Northern states have on average higher IQs than black populations in Southern states. And, even more significantly, white populations in many Northern states have on average higher IQs than white populations in Southern states (excluding Texas). So, doing comparisons just within single races, there are IQ differences that show a North/South divide for both black and white populations. However, the difference is most clear for white populations. This can only be explained, as far as I can tell, by poverty being the central factor in IQ differences. Blacks experience higher rates than whites of poverty in all states, but whites mostly just experience high rates of poverty in the South.

This is further corroborated by the fact that rural Southern Whites have higher rates of violence than even Blacks, whether in the South or North, including inner city Blacks. I included analysis of this in my post about the North/South divide. A more detailed analysis can be found in the book Culture of Honor by Richard E. Nisbett and Dov Cohen. Just yesterday I randomly came across two interesting posts about this topic by hbd chick which consider this from an inherited genetics perspective: “culture” of honor and hatfields and mccoys. This isn’t just academic to me as I spent many years in the South. I remember, while in a South Carolina public high school, how often kids got in fights or otherwise acted aggressively confrontational. It never occurred to me at the time that such behavior wasn’t normal, since I never went to high school anywhere else and so had no comparison.

As I’ve noted many times before, the South has lower rates of health as shown by diverse indicators: obesity, diabetes, STDs, childhood hunger, etc. Along these lines, there is a socio-economics maps page. The North has the highest median family income and low percentage of adults lacking a high school diploma. The Upper Midwest has the lowest percentage of divorced adults in the country.

There is an apparent connection between a healthy democracy, a healthy society/community and a healthy population. The regions with the highest rates of Northern European ancestry show this connection most clearly. The obvious next thought is to consider the fact that Northern European countries also show this same health connection; for example, Germany and Finland.

I think I covered nearly every map in the Valparaiso University collection. I could have gone further into the religion maps, but I’ve already explored them enough elsewhere. The nice thing about maps is that it just shows you the data. Many connections can be made by the discerning observer and many possibilities can be conjectured. So, don’t just take my word for it.

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30 thoughts on “Maps Are Fun: US Data

  1. “his interestingly aligns with something I noted in a previous post. The average IQ in the North is higher than the average IQ in the South. That just fits the typical North/South divide that can be found in all kinds of data. It’s rather predictable in that the Northern states on average have better public education systems and healthier populations, two things among many others that improve IQ. Where it gets really interesting is when broken down into race. Here is what I wrote in that above post:
    …black populations in some Northern states have on average higher IQs than black populations in Southern states. And, even more significantly, white populations in many Northern states have on average higher IQs than white populations in Southern states (excluding Texas). So, doing comparisons just within single races, there are IQ differences that show a North/South divide for both black and white populations. However, the difference is most clear for white populations. This can only be explained, as far as I can tell, by poverty being the central factor in IQ differences. Blacks experience higher rates than whites of poverty in all states, but whites mostly just experience high rates of poverty in the South.”

    Very good evidence against the hard line thoughts on genetics an IQ doesn’t it. Everyone has more poverty in the South, which is why I get really worried about the “Kick the Southerners out” meme from people who supposedly care about the poor. I am back in the states and will be heading to Mexico, but being back in the South, I see a lot of more of this as true than is comfortable. There is a lot of squalor here. Real squalor, and its worse than I remember.

    • Yes, poverty does seem to be a key issue. Poverty is a growing issue all over the US.

      Here in Iowa, we have a growing rural poverty issue that goes along with a major meth problem. I worked with a guy who got sent away for being involved with a group that was making and selling meth. He was a nice guy, but he had problems. If we lived in a society that could’ve helped him with his problems, maybe he would be living a nice life now instead of wasting away incarcerated.

      Well, I’m not for kicking anyone out. But I wouldn’t mind kicking some people in the metaphorical nuts, if it would wake them up to the problems in our society.

      Back in the US of A, eh? Welcome back!

      If you don’t mind my asking, where are you going to in Mexico? And what are you planning to do there?

      • I will be teaching in Torreon, Mexico, in the slightly safer part of Del Norte than the border. I actually get paid pretty well there, better than Korea when you look cost of living. I am also pushing myself on Latin culture. When I was in America, I never understood the hostility to Latin culture outside of former parts of the Spanish Empire, and in the South, in the 80s, there seemed to be less of it than now (while hostility to African Americans were higher until recently.)

        Side note: race relations here have actually declined in the last few years or I notice it a lot more. Or probably both.

        • Ah, I see. You’re going to work and live in Mexico for the time being.

          Was there something specific that caused you to want to move from Korea, besides lower cost of living? What made you start thinking about Latin culture in terms of moving?

          Yeah, I’m sure you’re right that race relations have declined.

          Obama hasn’t helped matters. He pisses off the racists just by his existing and he doesn’t particularly make happy the civil rights activists. Plus, we are finally coming to that feared minority majority becoming a reality. The youngest Americans, in fact, already are a minority majority. The future is here!

          It will only get more interesting from here on out.

  2. Excellent assembly of data! I’ll have to return here for reference purposes.

    However, it’s worth noting something, especially with respect to this point:

    Just yesterday I randomly came across two interesting posts about this topic by hbd chick which consider this from an inherited genetics perspective: “culture” of honor and hatfields and mccoys. This isn’t just academic to me as I spent many years in the South. I remember, while in a South Carolina public high school, how often kids got in fights or otherwise acted aggressively confrontational. It never occurred to me at the time that such behavior wasn’t normal, since I never went to high school anywhere else and so had no comparison.

    All Human Behavioral Traits are Heritable. Where you see a regional difference between two peoples, even between people of the same ethnic group, like say the French and the Quebecois, that difference can and likely does involve genetic differences between the two.

    This is the area that HBD Chick and I research.

    If you’re new to this area, it may do you well to read my introductory posts on the topic. Please see:

    About Me « JayMan’s Blog

    100 Blog Posts – A Reflection on HBD Blogging And What Lies Ahead | JayMan’s Blog

    HBD Fundamentals | JayMan’s Blog.

    HBD Chick and I postulate that the regional differences between the American Nations, as Colin Woodard describes them, are partly due to differences in levels of inbreeding in their source populations. The Puritans and Quakers (and the Scandinavians and Germans that came to live along with them in areas the former groups settled) had lower levels of historical inbreeding than the groups that went on to form the Deep South and certainly Appalachia. The founders of the Tidewater and the Deep South seemed to come from the south and west of England (and Wales), and may have had been marrying their cousins longer. This is certainly true for the Border Reivers who settled the Backcountry.

    • I tend to be more of a both/and kinda guy. I look at all possible explanations while trying not to favor too much my favored explanations or at least fairly consider other views.

      I suspect it is more complex than any of us could imagine because of the massive number of factors involved. I’d be surprised if genetics and cultures weren’t both involved, along with a host of other things. When we attempt to simplify explanations too much, we run into the danger of being blinded by biases that can develop into constrained ideological visions.

      I do like the whole inbreeding/outbreeding theory. It makes intuitive sense and seems to fit the data. My genealogical research also shows some of these patterns in my own family. This is where genetics meets culture. When my family was in Appalachia, they followed the Appalachian culture of more close breeding. But when they moved to the Midwest, they then followed the Midwest culture of outbreeding. They changed their behavior based on the culture.

      That is one issue that is made clear in the writings of Fischer and Woodard. The earliest group to make a dominant cultural and political imprint on a region will have a greater influence on all who follow, whether or not those who follow share the same culture, politics or even genetics. This then would alter the genetics of the new immigrants. My mom’s family didn’t just have a major injection of Midlands culture but also a major injection of Midlands genetics.

      The interesting point in this is that they overcame their Appalachian background in order to adapt to and internalize the new culture. By doing so they were able to be more successful by our societies standards in that getting good railroad and factory jobs in the Midwest allowed the newer generations to get college educations.

      There is another factor that you might want to consider, although I don’t know exactly what it might mean.

      Southerners may have had more inbreeding, but Appalachia in particular simultaneously had some of the most outbreeding at the same time. Scots-Irish were known for inbreeding, but when they outbreeded that new member was considered kin. The early Scots-Irish pioneers were among the first to have children with the Native Americans and it was considered an acceptable practice with the children not being stigmatized. They somehow included both extremes of inbreeding and outbreeding, but maybe it is true that later on as Appalachia became more isolated from the developing country inbreeding became more common.

      Related to this, New Englanders remain the most genetically pure of English in the United States. The Mormons as well since they descended from New Englanders. You don’t normally think of New Englanders inbreeding, but obviously they were mostly breeding with other New Englanders. So, it was a more expanded form of inbreeding.

      It’s complex and hard to disentangle the strands.

      I’m new to HBD in the specific sense, but I’m already familiar with some of the genetics research that would relate to HBD. I’ve had a longtime fascination with personality types and traits, and much of the research on them deals with genetics and inheritability. Some of them are largely inherited and some are largely environmental, but most seem to be a mix. They do, however, show distinct regional variations. I presented this data in the following post (its near the end):

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/americas-northsouth-divide-other-regional-data/

      Or you can go to this article with nice maps:

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122211987961064719.html#project%3DPERSONALITY08%26articleTabs%3Darticle

      I’ll check out the links you provided. I’m always interested to learn from new perspectives. I have an insatiable curiosity. That is my “openness to experience” rearing its ugly head.

  3. That is one issue that is made clear in the writings of Fischer and Woodard. The earliest group to make a dominant cultural and political imprint on a region will have a greater influence on all who follow, whether or not those who follow share the same culture, politics or even genetics. This then would alter the genetics of the new immigrants. My mom’s family didn’t just have a major injection of Midlands culture but also a major injection of Midlands genetics.

    Indeed. Though this only works because of two reasons. First, newcomers tend to be overwhelmed genetically by the established stock. If the earlier inhabitants were to become a genetic minority, it really wouldn’t matter what customs they had set up, those of the replacing population would dominate.

    Second is due to immigrant selection. Those who migrate to a location (and remain there) tend to be those who can adapt to the culture there.

    Southerners may have had more inbreeding, but Appalachia in particular simultaneously had some of the most outbreeding at the same time. Scots-Irish were known for inbreeding, but when they outbreeded that new member was considered kin. The early Scots-Irish pioneers were among the first to have children with the Native Americans and it was considered an acceptable practice with the children not being stigmatized. They somehow included both extremes of inbreeding and outbreeding, but maybe it is true that later on as Appalachia became more isolated from the developing country inbreeding became more common.

    It’s important to note why inbreeding and outbreeding matter. HBD Chick’s hypothesis doesn’t postulate that the degree of inbreeding does anything in and of itself, merely that a history of inbreeding affects the selective pressures exerted on a people. Hence, it is the history of inbreeding or outbreeding that matter, not what happens in one or two generations. If a mating occurs between two populations that have been historic inbreeders (as the Scotch Irish and most Native Americans were), their offspring would still retain the traits of their parent populations, that is, they’d be clannish.

    You don’t normally think of New Englanders inbreeding, but obviously they were mostly breeding with other New Englanders. So, it was a more expanded form of inbreeding.

    HBD and I discussed this. In general, as with the Quebecois, when you have a small founding population, even if they were initially outbred, if they remain isolated, inbreeding eventually occurs. In the case of the Puritans and their Scandinavian cousins, it appears to have led to evolution a more communal form of commonweal thinking than in other Germanics.

    But indeed, genetic explanations for regional differences are an under-researched topic. There is, I believe, a wealth of knowledge waiting to be discovered once we really delved into this.

    Also, very interesting links. I’m going to have to sink my teeth into them myself! 🙂

    • I said something that maybe needs expanding:

      “I’ve had a longtime fascination with personality types and traits, and much of the research on them deals with genetics and inheritability. Some of them are largely inherited and some are largely environmental, but most seem to be a mix.”

      In social science terms, ‘culture’ can simply be thought of as a shorthand way of speaking of a diverse array of environmental factors. There are two studies that come to mind.

      In the first study, there was some genetic marker for liberalism. However, the gene was only a potential and without certain environmental factors it wouldn’t manifest. In this case, it was having high number of friends and peers in the pivotal years of childhood. Somehow high sociability elicited the liberal gene to become expressed.

      In the second study, the focus was solely on the environment. The focus was on multiculturalism and social liberalism. The researchers found that kids who grew up in multicultural environments tended to have higher rates of social liberalism as adults. This seems to imply that everyone has some genetic potential for social liberalism being expressed, but similar to high sociability it requires high rates of multiculturalism in order to be expressed; or at least this is required for many or even most people.

      Now to get to one of your comments:

      “It’s important to note why inbreeding and outbreeding matter. HBD Chick’s hypothesis doesn’t postulate that the degree of inbreeding does anything in and of itself, merely that a history of inbreeding affects the selective pressures exerted on a people. Hence, it is the history of inbreeding or outbreeding that matter, not what happens in one or two generations. If a mating occurs between two populations that have been historic inbreeders (as the Scotch Irish and most Native Americans were), their offspring would still retain the traits of their parent populations, that is, they’d be clannish.”

      The Scots-Irish and Native Americans had similar social models. They were more tribalistic and kinship-oriented, but kin was a looser concept than we think of today. It was because of their common cultural traits that they overcame their other ethnic distinctions in marrying and having kids. I’ve heard someone argue that many Southerners have Native American ancestry because of this, but I don’t know if that is true.

      One of the clannish aspects of both groups also was distorted by historically unusual social conditions, as these groups wouldn’t have met under other circumstances in their respective homelands. The distortion was that their clannishness became more inclusive. In Appalachia, the Shawnees and the Scots-Irish formed the first distinctly American mongrel tradition. The Shawnees regularly ‘adopted’ whites into their families and, once adopted, a white person was considered Shawnee for the rest of their lives. This was the case with Daniel Boone.

      So, the Appalachians of today appear to be simultaneously one of the most inbred populations and one of the most mixed ethnicity populations. I don’t know how that might or might not fit into your understanding.

      • In social science terms, ‘culture’ can simply be thought of as a shorthand way of speaking of a diverse array of environmental factors. There are two studies that come to mind.

        Which includes other genes, as Greg Cochran notes

        In the first study, there was some genetic marker for liberalism. However, the gene was only a potential and without certain environmental factors it wouldn’t manifest. In this case, it was having high number of friends and peers in the pivotal years of childhood. Somehow high sociability elicited the liberal gene to become expressed.

        …as in this example. It’s not actually proper to look at that one gene (or set of genes) and assume that is some sort of perfect genetic control. Those things they looked at are affected by other genes that differ among the individuals under observation.

        That’s the fundamental problem with Judith Harris’s peer-socialization theory.

        In the second study, the focus was solely on the environment. The focus was on multiculturalism and social liberalism. The researchers found that kids who grew up in multicultural environments tended to have higher rates of social liberalism as adults. This seems to imply that everyone has some genetic potential for social liberalism being expressed, but similar to high sociability it requires high rates of multiculturalism in order to be expressed; or at least this is required for many or even most people.

        Not really. That only works if the population under study are genetically identical. Clearly such populations aren’t. Especially if you consider what types of populations are likely to be in multicultural environments versus not…

        So, the Appalachians of today appear to be simultaneously one of the most inbred populations and one of the most mixed ethnicity populations. I don’t know how that might or might not fit into your understanding.

        Genetic analysis on American Whites typically find that they are virtually 100% European, with traces of African ancestry in some Southern Whites. While there may have been some admixture, I doubt the bulk of Scotch-Irish in America today are too mixed with anything other than European.

        • “Which includes other genes”

          Which in turn includes other environmental factors. There is a whole lot of correlation going on, but causation is tricky. Likely, causal factors are many in number and in source. Many of such factors probably relate through feedback loops within feedback loops and separably through divergent processes.

          “…as in this example. It’s not actually proper to look at that one gene (or set of genes) and assume that is some sort of perfect genetic control. Those things they looked at are affected by other genes that differ among the individuals under observation.”

          …as in all examples. It’s not actually proper to look at even the entirety of known genetic factors and assume that is some sort of perfect genetic control. Those things they looked at are affected by other environmental factors that differ among the individuals and environments under observation.

          “Not really. That only works if the population under study are genetically identical. Clearly such populations aren’t. Especially if you consider what types of populations are likely to be in multicultural environments versus not…”

          That would be an incorrect assumption or, to be precise, an assumption that wouldn’t apply to all cases. Many genetics humans share are identical. Most human genetics are identical as all humans have a common female ancestor and a common male ancestor. There is much within human behavior and potential that is universal or near-universal even considering genetic diversity.

          “Genetic analysis on American Whites typically find that they are virtually 100% European, with traces of African ancestry in some Southern Whites. While there may have been some admixture, I doubt the bulk of Scotch-Irish in America today are too mixed with anything other than European.”

          What does that mean? It is common to find African ancestry among British and Europeans along the Mediterranean Sea. African genetics have been part of European genetics for nearly two millennia, ever since the Roman Empire invaded these other regions. Even before the British colonized America, many British already had African genetics. This presence of African genetics and other genetics increased further in the US. Even Europe, without African genetics, is a mix of several separate genetic lines. So, there isn’t even a single European genetics.

          I feel this discussion is getting into fruitless territory. We’re going beyond scientific knowledge or at least well beyond scientific consensus. We could speculate endlessly. If a dozen scientists stopped by to join this discussion, they would have various opinions, albeit professional opinions.

          I get the sense that you are less accepting of uncertainty than I am. You want to know what is true. I share such a desire in a general sense, but science just ain’t there yet. Still, speculation is fun, if you take it for what it is.

          • You misunderstand me. You are defending against claims I’m not making.

            I don’t see why you claim I’m “speculating” in my reply. In fact I’m doing the exact opposite of that; I am critically examining data which you present to see if the claims you draw from it are justified. Please note this.

            “Which includes other genes”

            Which in turn includes other environmental factors. There is a whole lot of correlation going on, but causation is tricky. Likely, causal factors are many in number and in source. Many of such factors probably relate through feedback loops within feedback loops and separably through divergent processes.

            Indeed. But you’re missing the point. I’m not claiming that genes are responsible for every bit of the differences we see nor am I saying that environment is completely irrelevant. It almost certainly is relevant. However, what I am saying is that the type of study you describes is incapable of demonstrating such by virtue of its design. That’s all.

            “Not really. That only works if the population under study are genetically identical. Clearly such populations aren’t. Especially if you consider what types of populations are likely to be in multicultural environments versus not…”

            That would be an incorrect assumption or, to be precise, an assumption that wouldn’t apply to all cases. Many genetics humans share are identical. Most human genetics are identical as all humans have a common female ancestor and a common male ancestor. There is much within human behavior and potential that is universal or near-universal even considering genetic diversity.

            I don’t see the purpose of saying this. Again, I am pointing out an instance of a study design which you described that is not able to show what you claim that it shows.

            It’s important to note that the size of genetic differences are irrelevant, as even tiny genetic differences can have a huge impact on observed traits.

            “Genetic analysis on American Whites typically find that they are virtually 100% European, with traces of African ancestry in some Southern Whites. While there may have been some admixture, I doubt the bulk of Scotch-Irish in America today are too mixed with anything other than European.”

            What does that mean? It is common to find African ancestry among British and Europeans along the Mediterranean Sea.

            The point is that the vast stratum of Native American ancestry you describe in modern White Americans doesn’t exist. It would stick out like a sore thumb on admixture analyses. That’s all.

          • I’m sorry to have misunderstood you. Please accept my apology. There is always the difficulty of communicating online.

            I didn’t mean anything negative by my describing it as speculation. I simply mean analyses and explanations that haven’t yet become standard formal scientific theories that have stood the test of time through peer review and gained consensus support. All else, in my mind, is speculation. But obviously not all speculation is created equal.

            As for studies, I don’t know that anyone has yet done a study that has satisfactorily disentangled all the possible confounding factors, causal factors and lines of causation. That probably would be difficult, expensive and time-consuming research. It is because of the constrained nature of most data that I speak of speculation. There are many thing in this area that we can’t speak about with much certainty.

            In no way do I mean to dismiss your view. It just feels like discussions such as this can only go so far. Our ideas end up quickly outrunning the data available. Neither of us can absolutely prove our suspicions about the mechanisms behind all of this. The data just isn’t there yet.

            I realize that is an unsatisfactory note to end on. But it is what it is.

  4. I was having further discussions with hbd chick about IQ and race.

    A possible insight came to mind about people like her. She is certainly very smart, b4ut at the same time he intelligence doesn’t make her intellectually proudful. She tends to present her ideas with balance. More than anything, I see in her a great capacity for cognitive complexity. And that last trait might be her Achile’s Heel.

    Looking at her blog and othe HBD blogs, I notice how often speculation goes way beyond the available data. Hbd chick is able to take morsels of data, often uncertain data, and spin interesting hypotheses out of it. This is where she can get into trouble.

    I brought up regional and state data that was contrary to the overall national data. In some areas of the North, blacks have higher IQs. In many areas of the South, whites have extremely low IQs. The most obvious explanation is that of environmental factors. We already know poverty, malnurition, lead poisoning, social stress, etc cause delayed and stunted neuro-cognitive development.

    There is no need to wildly speculate to explain these population IQ differences. The scientific standard of parsimony even recommends against wildly speculating. But to not speculate would be borong to someone like hbd chick with her greater capacity of cognitive complexity. Why limit oneself to the obvious and to what is known when an infinite number of hypotheses could be imagined?

    There is nothing inherently wrong with this love of wild speculation, but it often leads one on wild goose chases of one’s own creation. Te stumbling block is when one forgets they are merely speculating. Hbd chick made this very mistake in our discussion.

    She proffered forth the hypothesis that average Black IQs in the North were higher because of self-selection during migration. Smart blacks moved and less smart blacks stayed in place. That is fine as a hypothesis, but hbd chick didn’t state it as a hypothesis. She just made a bold statement asif it were a foregone conclusion. Because the theory is more interesting, she is therefore biased to want it to be true.

    She has absolutely no data to back up her hypothesis. It can’t be directly tested as there is no way to go back in time to test past generations of blacks prior to these migrations, although thee are indirect ways to test the hypothesis with present regional populations and migration patterns (e.g., Northern blacks remigrating back South). It is a nearly unfalsifiable hypothesis as she stated it, but it is nonetheless intellectually fascinating.

    I too have my own biases toward cognitive complexity. However, part of me also likes the simplicity of the obvious and the elegance of the known. I prefer to leave speculation for that which hasn’t already been explained by the known data and proven theories. Until new data comes along to challenge what we presently understand, I’ll maintain my wariness of wild speculation, even as I enjoy watching others wildly speculate.

    Taken for what it is, wild speculation is a fun game to play.

    • I hould make note of one important aspect.

      If hbd chick didn’t speculate wildly, her blog would be a lot less interesting. It would attract fewer readers and the comments section wouldn’t be filled with often fascinating commentaary, analysis and debate.

      I most definitely don’t give short shrift to wild speculation. I’ve done my fair share in my life.

      About her hypothesis, her grand project is mostly focused on selective breeding. This manifests in several possible ways. There is self-selection by way of migration, choice of mate, etc. There is selection by others by way of feudal lords deciding who get married, governments practicing eugenics, etc. And there is selection by environment by way of diseases, climate change, etc.

      Her general hypothesis about selection no doubt is true. It fits into the the various theories of evolution. The tricky part is in the details. In specific cases, there isn’t much data known about selection… nor is there necessarily any reason to assume that selection has as much impact on the small-scale of specific populations and in the short-term of human history.

      She is doin her best to test and, as she hopes, prove her hypothesis. She is doing so on a case by case basis. She is using the best data available, but in the end the data might not be enough to ascertain the merit of her view. The data may never catch up with the speculations.

      At the moment, we are forced to conclude: it might be true and it might not. It is an intellectually humble conclusion, albeit not intellectually satisfying.

    • Another commenter challenged hbd chick about her hypothesis. He pointed out that it would require a massive number of the smartest blacks to all move together in order to create a significantly distinct population with a genetic-based higher average IQ.

      Her response was that she would be willing to bet that as the case. Why is she so willing? She is just going on a hunch. The data isn’t there to back up her hunch. It is a leap of faith. She likes the idea of it and she really really wants it to be true.

      She doesn’t seem to consider all the other alternatives. People move out of desperation all the time and the lowest IQ would likely feel the most desperate. People move for al kinds of reasons: fear, hope, etc. It doesn’t require much intelligence to take a car or train a couple states up to the North. It would have been quite simple, especially as there were already so many blacks living in the North. There likely would have been family, friends, neighbors and fellow church members waiting for a black migrant.

      Hbd chick’s hunch/assumption doesn’t hold up to analysis.

      There was one other thing she said that bothered me the most.

      She argued that races are equivalent to dog breeds. Jeez! That is way below her intellectual capacity. Did she really go there? That is the argument supremacists/racists/racialists use. Even ignoring that, it simply is a massive reach.

      Once again, it falls apart under analysis. Dog breeds are created and maintained through planned selection by a breeder which includes many generations of close inbreeding such as the pups being bred wih their parents and siblings with each other. Even during slavery, I have never heard of such a practice of carefully creating distinctly new breeds of humans. Assuming it ever happened, it would have been extremely isolated and short-term.

      See how quickly the HBD theorist falls into the most simplistic of race-based thinking. Hbd chick is smart, no doubt about it. But ideological beliefs and cognitive biases trip up even the smartest.

      Hbd chick should be more careful in her thinking if she wants her views to be taken seriously. Unless she secretly is a supremacist/racist/racialist, she should avoid like the plague the worst arguments made by supemacists/racists/racialists. There is nothing to be gained by going there, not in terms of intellectual credibilty that is.

      I think I won’t comment further at hbd chick’s blog as I find such simplistic arguments too dispiriting. She doesn’t usually make arguments like that, but even once is too much for me.

    • Your definition of “speculation” is not the one serious scientists would use, nor is it a particularly good or useful one. “Speculation” is educated guesswork in an attempt to explain facts. It is a step down from a hypothesis in the sense that it may not make testable predictions. A proposition is not just speculation because it doesn’t appear in a peer reviewed journal, nor does appearing in a such journal make something true (that would be appealing to authority). One is supposed to evaluate claims on their own merits, and solely that. But I can see how this would be difficult for non-scientists.

      Allow me to illustrate this:

      I brought up regional and state data that was contrary to the overall national data. In some areas of the North, blacks have higher IQs. In many areas of the South, whites have extremely low IQs. The most obvious explanation is that of environmental factors.

      Why do you think that’s the “obvious” explanation?

      We already know poverty, malnurition, lead poisoning, social stress, etc cause delayed and stunted neuro-cognitive development.

      Actually, “poverty” only leads to IQ deficits because it tends to be associated with all those other things.

      There is no need to wildly speculate to explain these population IQ differences.

      Says you.

      Ben, you do understand the idea of proposing alternative explanations, yes? How can one explanation claim to be the “correct” one if perfectly viable alternatives exist? We only deem something a correct (or more accurately, a likely) explanation if it explains the facts better than any alternative. You can’t come to that conclusion until you evaluate each and every explanation. You are shutting down alternative avenues, which is NOT proper science.

      She proffered forth the hypothesis that average Black IQs in the North were higher because of self-selection during migration. Smart blacks moved and less smart blacks stayed in place.

      Given what we know, that is the most likely explanation. See below.

      She has absolutely no data to back up her hypothesis. It can’t be directly tested as there is no way to go back in time to test past generations of blacks prior to these migrations, although thee are indirect ways to test the hypothesis with present regional populations and migration patterns (e.g., Northern blacks remigrating back South). It is a nearly unfalsifiable hypothesis as she stated it, but it is nonetheless intellectually fascinating.

      It’s not nearly as unfalsifiable as you think. For one, we know the IQ differences exist. We know IQ is not very malleable. We know there was a Great Migration. Ergo…

      It would do you well to familiarize yourself with the facts behind this topic, as it would help you to make informed statements on it. As well, you should see this, on the important points of reasoned debate:

      Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit « JayMan’s Blog

      Here’s that list:

      HBD Fundamentals | JayMan’s Blog

      • No shit. Sherlock! Speculation isn’t a scientific term or particularly a scientific activity. That was my point. LOL

        The scientific process is appealing to authority? Give me a fucking break! Don’t pull that kind of bullshit in my blog. You can play juvenile intellctual games elsewhere.

        Why are known causations obvious and unknown causations not obvious? Do I really have to explain that to you?

        Yes, part of poverty is all the factors that make up poverty. It wouldn’t be poverty if none of the factors of poverty were present. I would have thought that would be obvious.

        I’m not shutting down alternatives. I love alternatives, but even more I love alternatives that are strongly supported by a lot of high quality data. Not all alternatives are equal. There are an infinite number of alternatives, but most of them aren’t probable. Even among the more likely alternatives, most lack credible data to back them up.

        Nonetheless, I’m all in favor of people looking for the data. When you or hbd chick find enough good data, you can get back to me and then serious discussion can begin. Until then, it is just speculation which isn’t to imply that I don’t enjoy speculation. Far from it.

        I hope hbd chick is able to bring her speculations to the next level of a falsifiable hypothesis. That would be awesome. I mean that sincerely. My point is that her speculations are far ahead of the available data at present, but that is fine. You have to start somewhere.

        I understand you are making the best case possible at present. I’m not criticizing you for that. I’m just saying there is a long way to go before the full scientific process can kick into gear. I think hbd chick is doing great wrk in bulding the foundation. May she continue on and may her efforts bear fruit.

  5. Hey JayMan – I know you got your hackles up, but let me call a truce. You don’t need to try to take down the authority of science to prove the worth of your view. Science is your friend, not your enemy. Even I’m not your enemy. I was being a bit harsh and impatient in my dealing with you.

    Maybe I’m feeling a bit irritable after another interaction I had, unrelated to you or hbd chick. The dog breeding comparison, though, did genuinely bothered me. At bst, it was indicative of extremely sloppy thinking. It didn’t show her speculations in the best of light. This is why we can’t have adult conversations about race. People start comparing races to dog breeds.

    Sloppy thinking aside, I’m not dismissing hbd chick or her speculations. You have to understand that I abso-freaking-lutely love speculation. But it is a big leap going from speculating to making a claim.

    I want hbd chick to speculate. And I want her to find the best data around. She is on the trail of something important, among many others involved in HBD and other related frameworks.

    Still, there is a danger along this path, many pitfalls and deadends. The dangers of sloppy thinking aren’t merely personal nor merely academic. The way these issues get discussed publicly will inform our societal values and public policies. When you make a claim about IQ differences and their explanation, you better have massive amounts of data that is beyond refutaion. It isn’t about being PC. What it is about is being careful in our thinking and so a large dose of intellectual humlity is required.

    Race and speculations about races has a very dark history. We should tread lightly. Ideas have real power and we should never forget that. Handling an idea is like handling plutonium.

    It is easy to get carried away with speculations. And after a while we begin to treat our speculations as if they are more than just speculations. They become beliefs and assumptions. We begin to speak too confidently about which we know too little.

    I’m talking from personal experience here. I love to speculate, but I try to constantly remind myself that I might be entirely wrong. I’ve learned that it is best to never venture far what can be verified. That is very tricky. Data is often not as reliable as we treat it and we get a false sense of confidence.

    But speculating is fun. I don’t want to take anyone’s fun away. I’m just pointing out that we can have fun speculating while avoiding sloppy thinking. That is all. So, have fun. Speculate away. Be aware, though, that it is a very serious game you’re playing.

    • @Ben:

      You don’t need to try to take down the authority of science to prove the worth of your view. Science is your friend, not your enemy.

      […]

      Still, there is a danger along this path, many pitfalls and deadends. The dangers of sloppy thinking aren’t merely personal nor merely academic.

      Ben, read my blog (here and here). You’re not telling me anything I haven’t already said myself.

      At the same time, it’d be nice if I could somehow make you appreciate just how annoying it is to have you go on about the nature of science to me when you demonstrate such horrendous confusion about many of its tenets.

      The way these issues get discussed publicly will inform our societal values and public policies. When you make a claim about IQ differences and their explanation, you better have massive amounts of data that is beyond refutaion.

      I’ve already pointed you to some. Here it is again:

      HBD Fundamentals | JayMan’s Blog

      you better have massive amounts of data that is beyond refutaion. It isn’t about being PC

      No, that is very much PC. That’s not the way science works Ben. We don’t demand extra evidence for things we find personally distasteful. We certainly don’t default to non-genetic explanations until we have no reason to think otherwise. We put out hypotheses and each are evaluated against the evidence.

      Of course, it just so happens we do have a mountain of evidence for heritable differences between human groups. But you’re professing an attitude that such explanations should be some sort of last resort, which is rubbish. This is exemplified by:

      Race and speculations about races has a very dark history. We should tread lightly. Ideas have real power and we should never forget that. Handling an idea is like handling plutonium.

      No, we should handle it just like any scientific idea, and be properly critical of the ideas and claims put forward.

      Indeed, I argue that it’s not that we need to be more critical of HBD ideas; we are by in large critical enough. We need to be more critical of everything, as you see with more aforementioned example of health.

      It is easy to get carried away with speculations. And after a while we begin to treat our speculations as if they are more than just speculations. They become beliefs and assumptions.

      That is what the process of science is for, Ben. When any one researcher does that, other critical voices will be there to evaluate the former’s assertions skeptically.

      • “You’re not telling me anything I haven’t already said myself.”

        I didn’t claim to be telling you anything new. My criticisms were of certain things hbd chick said, and you appeared to be defending her. So, if that is the case, my criticisms would apply to you. But if that isn’t the case, my criticisms wouldn’t apply to you.

        “At the same time, it’d be nice if I could somehow make you appreciate just how annoying it is to have you go on about the nature of science to me when you demonstrate such horrendous confusion about many of its tenets.”

        I call bullshit. Prove that claim.

        “No, that is very much PC.”

        I call bullshit again. Admitting to the fact that ideas influence reality isn’t political correctness. Science inevitably goes hand in hand with ethics, whether or not we want to accept responsibility.

        “We don’t demand extra evidence for things we find personally distasteful.”

        Extravagant claims require extravagant evidence. When someone proposes a hypothesis contrary to or outside of the known evidence, that indeed does demand large amounts of proof to challenge consensus. That is how the scientific method works. If you have the evidence to challenge present theories, then bring it on. Science changes slowly by careful research and debate, but if the data is compelling enough consensus will change. It is the responsibility of the challenger, though, to provide the proof.

        “Of course, it just so happens we do have a mountain of evidence for heritable differences between human groups”

        But there isn’t, for example, a mountain of evidence for Northern blacks having higher IQs because of genetics which was caused by all the highest IQ blacks leaving the South. Case by case, evidence has to be provided. Just because an explanation explains one thing it doesn’t follow that this explanation can be applied to everything else.

        “No, we should handle it just like any scientific idea, and be properly critical of the ideas and claims put forward.”

        That is why I was criticizing hbd chick for that particular sloppy thinking. Comparing human races to dog breeds isn’t scientific. That is just being racist, whether or not she intended racism which I don’t think she did. It was just a careless remark, and it stood out because hbd chick doesn’t normally make careless remarks. The point is she needs to speak more precisely and carefully. That is what science is about.

        “Indeed, I argue that it’s not that we need to be more critical of HBD ideas; we are by in large critical enough. We need to be more critical of everything, as you see with more aforementioned example of health.”

        I agree. I haven’t noticed any sloppy thinking about race in anything you’ve said here. I’m about being critical of everything: critical of scientific claims, critical of racism, critical of political correctness, etc. Critical thinking as part of careful communication.

        “That is what the process of science is for, Ben. When any one researcher does that, other critical voices will be there to evaluate the former’s assertions skeptically.”

        That is why I wrote what I wrote. I was offering a critical voice. But none of my criticisms are meant as personal attacks. I wish hbd chick would be more careful in her use of comparisons and such. Even so, that doesn’t imply a weakness in her overall project. It’s because I take her project so seriously that I hope she will speak carefully so as to encourage others to take it seriously as well.

  6. JayMan – I should massively qualify everything I said in this comments section, and so that is what I shall do. Maybe I was being too harsh on hbd chick.

    Still, I honestly don’t find dog breeds to be an apt metaphor or useful comparison, ethical appropiateness and political correctness aside. There is no known human equivalent on the scale and to the extent of dog breeding. There is nothing that even comes close.

    All that I can blame hbd chick for is a bad choice of words, but that is irrelevant in the big picture. She obviously isn’t a racist and doesn’t mean wnat a racist would mean if they compared humans to dogs.

    My other criticism was more slight. Some HBD advocates seem more confident about causal links than I am. Even with my own arguments about poverty, I don’t feel all that certain what might be more centrally cause and what more peripherally effect. Wariness is my watchword.

    But that is my perspective which doesn’t invalidate that of hbd chick. She and those like her make a good case. I am swayed by the data presented, even if so far I see more correlation shown than causation proven.

    In this light, I am compelled to take hbd chick very seriosuly. My doubts are lessening and my defenses are lowering. I’m becoming more clear how the HBD view could fit into my own past observations and speculations. This broadens the framework of my own thinking and maybe fills in a few of the gaps.

    I’m too interested in what hbd chick presents to not keep following her blog. So, I’ll try to ignore the minor disagreements and focus on everything else.

    • I figured you’d come around in time. I’m going to let you alone on your path of discovery. You are on your way to the finding out truth for yourself. My only advice for you is to not put the putative consequences of the facts in front of the facts (this is technically a logical fallacy: the appeal to adverse consequences). What’s true is true regardless of what we think the consequences of the truth are.

      I was once in a place similar to where you are now. If your interested in a synopsis of my own journey to HBD, see here:

      100 Blog Posts – A Reflection on HBD Blogging And What Lies Ahead | JayMan’s Blog

      • JayMan – “My only advice for you is not to put the putative consequences of the facts in front of the facts”

        It is more of a refusal of separating the putative consequences from the facts themselves or, to be more precise, the interpretation of the facts. If truth wasn’t grounded in the real world and had no consequences on the real world, I wouldn’t care about such truth. Facts are about the world, but interpretations are in the mind which may or may not correspond to external reality. I take seriously the dictum that correlation is not causation, the latter being particular difficult to prove in the social science data such as IQ.

        My own initiation nto correlations that won’t go away came with viewing mapped data of the US. I kept coming across an often stark contrast between North and South in the Eastern half of the US, and it strangely fit the map of the two sides of the Civil War. Looking at the rural South, the contrast was even more stark.

        So, what made Southerners, especially in rural areas, have so many social and economic problems? And why is the pattern so persistent despite all the changes over time?

        In reading about the topic, I discovered that the ancestors of most rural Southerners came from areas in Britain that have had social and economic problems for a lot longer than American history. Obviously, these populations brought much with them, including: genetics, family structures, community organization, ethnic culture, religious practices, political systems, legal/justice traditions, inherited socio-economic class, historical baggage, etc. It is hard to know what or if any single thing is the central cause.

        Still, other ethnic groups in other regions also came to America with vast social and economic problems, including in some cases even lower average IQs. But these other ethnic groups improved and escaped their past problems. Why didn’t they re-create in America their past problems as happened in the rural South?

        I’ve grown to greatly sympathize with Southerners. I’ve lived there and have family from there. It is personal to me. Saying it is just genetics seems too simplistic and unsatisfying, but saying it is just poverty also seems to be missing a more fudamental factor. I sometimes speak in terms of culture. Maybe culture is or isn’t as important. There is definitely a factor X involved.

        It is so difficult getting from correlation to causation. Many hypotheses are possible, but testing them is beyond my capacity and beyond the capacity of most others. I point to the correlations because persistent patterns imply fundamental causes; and when I have some research available, I speculate; but I don’t feel confident that I have it all figured out.

        “If your interested in a synopsis of my own journey to HBD…”

        I read that post. Even if we come to different conclusions on some issues, I respect your wide-ranging sense of curiosity about human nature and society. Openminded inquiry is the most important part. For me, that means looking at the data without preconeptions and seeing what emerges.

        There is nothing quite as exciting as discovering a correlation. If it leads to an intriguing explanation, all the better. But it all begins with the correlation and so that is the point I keep returning to.

  7. A fascinating map that you may want to see. Life expectancy changes:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/10/us-women-are-dying-younger-than-their-mothers-and-no-one-knows-why/280259/

    As one person noted in the comments, it does strongly correlate with this:

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/2012-election-county-by-county/

    And this:

    Realistically, coming from Canada, I think it’s time for Canada to split away from following the US and follow the Scandinavians instead.

    • Thanks for sharing those links. I’m unsurprised, as I’ve been following this issue for a long time. I covered a lot of the geographical/political divide in a post some years ago:

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/americas-northsouth-divide-other-regional-data/

      The correlations are beyond compelling.

      Realistically, coming from the US, I wouldn’t advise Canada to follow our example. My sense is that Canada is culturally, politically, and economically somewhere between the US and Scandinavia. That isn’t a bad place to be.

      There was also another post I did about maps where I mentioned Canada:

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/maps-of-the-world-what-unites-divides/

      Canada rates better on many measures.

      • Sadly right now we are governed by a very conservative (by Canadian standards) leader. That said, he has been losing popularity and may very well lose the next election.

        I mean there are some things that the world is unfortunately following the US in. Obesity for one. That’s more because of the (mostly American, but a few non-American) food companies.

        I wouldn’t call it a North-South divide as much as a red-blue divide. And it’s not always by state – for example California has some very left wing areas, but so very conservative areas too.

        • I follow Canadian politics out of the corner of my eye. I’m somewhat familiar with what goes on across the border. But I don’t pay close attention to Canadian elections. Good luck with that!

          I’m not entirely sure the world is following the US in all things. It’s more that the US had its economy globalized early. Britain forcibly globalized the economies of its colonies centuries ago. Even today, the people continuing to push globalization don’t have any allegiance to the US or any other country.

          Such things as obesity are largely a result of the effects of a globalized food market. The US has quite a bit of blame for this. But it ultimately is an international elite that is behind it all. The reason it has happened in the US the quickest is because this is a very international country that has been defined by its historically high rates of immigration. Yes, many US companies are involved; but many of the owners, shareholders, and CEOs of those companies aren’t Americans.

          The US is just the canary in the coal mine. If not trapped in a cage, the canary would rather be somewhere else. To switch metaphors:The US is a big experiment, but we the guinea pigs aren’t entirely willing test subjects.

          About the demographic patterns, it is both Red/Blue and North/South. If you look at the history of the two regions, they follow closely the history of the two parties. If your state fought for the Confederacy, most likely your state elects Republicans. And if your state fought for the Union, most likely your state elects Democrats.

          The same pattern is found in California. Northern California was settled by people from the Northern states. Southern California, however, saw a massive influx of Southerners. The state was almost split apart during the Civil War.

          https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/southern-californian-birth-of-salvific-corporatism/

          https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/the-californian-confusion-of-okies-context-is-everything/

          The North/South divide interests me because it has deep roots. The culture, politics, and economics behind it go back centuries and originate in Britain and Mainland Europe. During the English Civil War, the two sides fighting, the religious dissenting Roundheads and the monarchy defending Cavaliers, respectively settled the North and South. More than a century later, the two sides of the American Civil War saw their conflict as a continuation of that old battle.

          The Roundheads came from regions in England that were settled by Germanic and Scandinavian tribes. The Cavaliers came from regions in England that were settled by French Normans who introduced the Roman-style monarchy into England. In the US, this was magnified as Northern Europeans increasingly settled in the Northern states and those of Southern European descent via the Spanish Empire added to Southern/Southeastern/Texan culture that came to define the South (such as cowboy culture).

          This is one of my favorite topics. I’m right now reading about early European history in order to understand it better.

        • “I follow Canadian politics out of the corner of my eye. I’m somewhat familiar with what goes on across the border. But I don’t pay close attention to Canadian elections. Good luck with that!”

          Well, we hope for a centre-left (Canadians spell “center” as “centre”) leader – the opinion polls show that our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper is not well liked, largely because of his decisions, his arrogance, and a series of scandals that have plagued his government (many of which are undoubtedly the fault of the senior Conservative leadership).

          “I’m not entirely sure the world is following the US in all things. It’s more that the US had its economy globalized early. ”

          The East Asians I would argue have their own unique economic ideas. I would also argue that the Northern Europeans (excluding the UK and Ireland) too are different.

          Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory may be useful for comparing European nations. You’ll see some surprising differences.

          Comparative politics might be useful too for a general opinion, if you accept its limitations. In general, there will be several categories within the developed world.

          1. The English speaking nations
          2. Southern European Nations
          3. The East Asian Nations
          4. Northern European Nations

          Of course, it has its limitations, but if you work around with them, its worth a look.

  8. Sadly, I think most of the links to maps are now dead links. Valparaiso University removed most of the maps from their website. The few remaining can be found at this link:

    http://scholar.valpo.edu/usmaps/

    I’m sure all the original maps still can be found on the internet. But it was nice when there was a single website with a large map gallery. It was the best resource on the internet for this kind of mapping of US data.

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