The Living Apocalypse, A Lived Reality Tunnel

I was recently wondering about the root and rot of the tree of liberty. America is a crazy experiment and these are crazy times. I’m not sure if to embrace the crazy or resist it. Ironically, the new immigrants hated and/or feared by the nativists are about the only Americans left who (naively?) believe in the American Dream.

Matt Cardin over at Teeming Brain just posted a bunch of links that are as interesting as usual. There is the apocalypse thingy:

Adieu: On the downward slope of empire
William Deresiewicz, The American Scholar

This will not be pretty. I mean our national decline, and yes, it’s going to happen, sooner or later, one way or another. We can stave it off for a while, especially if we manage to get our heads screwed on a little straighter about a number of things—like immigration, which has always been the source of our renewal, or clean technologies, which might provide another burst of economic growth. China could stumble, as it seems to be doing right now, and in any case there’s still a lot of kick left in the old mare. But empires fall as surely as they rise, and mostly for the reasons that we’re seeing now: they overextend themselves; their systems grow sclerotic; their elites become complacent and corrupt. There’s almost something metaphysical at work. The national sap dries up; the historical clock runs out.

In America’s case, the end is likely to involve a lot more bang than whimper. 

The Comforts of the Apocalypse
Rob Goodman, The Chronicle of Higher Education

We’re living through a dystopia boom; secular apocalypses have, in the words of The New York Times, “pretty much owned” best-seller lists and taken on a dominant role in pop culture. These are fictions of infinite extrapolation, stories in which today’s source of anxiety becomes tomorrow’s source of collapse.

. . . All of this literature is the product of what the philosopher John Gray has described as “a culture transfixed by the spectacle of its own fragility.” Call it dystopian narcissism: the conviction that our anxieties are uniquely awful; that the crises of our age will be the ones that finally do civilization in; that we are privileged to witness the beginning of the end.

Of course, today’s dystopian writers didn’t invent the ills they decry: Our wounds are real. But there is also a neurotic way of picking at a wound, of catastrophizing, of visualizing the day the wounded limb turns gangrenous and falls off. It’s this hunger for crisis, the need to assign our problems world-transforming import, that separates dystopian narcissism from constructive polemic.

I’ve been too depressed for too long to get overly excited by the ravings of the apocalyptic crowd. I’m also too well informed to almost ever feel surprised. When the 9/11 attack happened, after drowsily and surreally waking up to the radio report, my first coherent thought on the matter was how sadly inevitable was such an incident. For anyone who knows the history of US government meddling, blowback was unavoidable and was going to have real consequences one way or another (see: All of Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer).

Many of the horrible apocalyptic scenarios have a plausibility about them, maybe even a fair probability, if not entirely unavoidable. Why the continuous surprise about horrific events? And why the paranoid obsessiveness that tries to make them into something more they are? How is global warming a shock considering how much pollution we’ve dumped into the soil, water and atmosphere? It is so boringly predictable.

As for America the empire, we are simply playing out the story many other empires have played out before, although with some new twists. Move along, folks, there is nothing to see here.

I’m not being cynical or I’m not trying to be. It just that somethings begin to seem excruciatingly obvious after awhile.

It is easy for humans to get trapped in reality tunnels, media bubbles and echo chambers. That is how the obvious becomes less-than-obvious in our thoughts and perceptions. We come to take things for granted and don’t even realize there is something to be questioned and doubted. We seek to maintain our sense of reality, the status quo social order, the known and familiar… simply for the sake of it for what else would we do?

It is all about keeping ourselves occupied and distracted, keeping up with the Joneses, keeping on keeping on. And the potential forced ending of all that can indeed feel apocalyptic. Everything comes to an end eventually, whether the ending be death and collapse or an awakening.  Although this game can’t go on forever, we will try to keep it going for as long as we can. I guess that is just human nature.

This brings me two other links Cardin offered and I’ll present some of the text as well:

On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs
Strike! Magazine

Rather than [technology] allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions, and ideas, we have seen the ballooning not even so much of the ‘service’ sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations. And these numbers do not even reflect on all those people whose job is to provide administrative, technical, or security support for these industries, or for that matter the whole host of ancillary industries (dog-washers, all-night pizza deliverymen) that only exist because everyone else is spending so much of their time working in all the other ones. . . . These are what I propose to call ‘bullshit jobs.’

It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working. . . . Through some strange alchemy no one can quite explain, the number of salaried paper-pushers ultimately seems to expand. . . . If someone had designed a work regime perfectly suited to maintaining the power of finance capital, it’s hard to see how they could have done a better job.

In Praise of Laziness
The Economist

Yet the biggest problem in the business world is not too little but too much—too many distractions and interruptions, too many things done for the sake of form, and altogether too much busy-ness. The Dutch seem to believe that an excess of meetings is the biggest devourer of time: they talk of vergaderziekte, “meeting sickness”. However, a study last year by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that it is e-mails: it found that highly skilled office workers spend more than a quarter of each working day writing and responding to them.

Which of these banes of modern business life is worse remains open to debate. But what is clear is that office workers are on a treadmill of pointless activity. Managers allow meetings to drag on for hours. Workers generate e-mails because it requires little effort and no thought. An entire management industry exists to spin the treadmill ever faster.

All this “leaning in” is producing an epidemic of overwork, particularly in the United States. Americans now toil for eight-and-a-half hours a week more than they did in 1979. A survey last year by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that almost a third of working adults get six hours or less of sleep a night. Another survey last year by Good Technology, a provider of secure mobile systems for businesses, found that more than 80% of respondents continue to work after leaving the office, 69% cannot go to bed without checking their inbox and 38% routinely check their work e-mails at the dinner table.

This activity is making it harder to focus on real work as opposed to make-work.

I pondered this in a more personal way some years ago – The Elephant that Wasn’t There:

My job at the parking ramp is cashier. In the large picture, it’s kind of a pointless job. With developing technology, it’s almost obsolete for all practical purposes. I sometimes envision myself working there in the future after the robots have taken over the job and my only purpose will be to wave and smile at the customers as they drive out. My job is merely representative of most of the pointless work humans occupy themselves with… but is it really pointless? Or is there some purpose being served that is less than obvious? Work is a ritual that sustains our society, the reality tunnel of our culture, of our entire civilization. From a practical perspective, most jobs could be eliminated and many things would run more smoothly and effectively without all the wasted effort of keeping people employed. But if all the pointless jobs were eliminated, there would be chaos with the masses of unemployed. Employing the mindless masses keeps them out of trouble and keeps them from revolting. Make them think their life actually has purpose. Still, a purpose is being served even if it’s simply maintaining social order. My point is that social order is merely the external facet of any given collective reality tunnel.

In enacting our social rituals and retelling our social myths, what kind of reality are we collectively creating? When I look upon a structure like an ugly parking ramp, what kind of world am I looking upon? Why are we creating such a world? What is the motivation? If we stopped enacting these social rituals and stopped retelling these social myths, what would happen to this consensus reality of civilization we’ve created and what would replace it? Or what would be revealed?

Ultimately, the apocalyptic vision isn’t necessarily about the losing of the known at all. The more fundamental fear is the facing of the unknown… which will transform the known, give it new context and meaning. What is fearful about this process is that the unknown once known can’t be made unknown again, can’t ever again be easily forgotten or entirely denied.

The world is an ever-changing place. Apocalypse and transformation are two sides of the same chrysalis. We worry about the destruction of what we know, but that is just a perception. Take the perspective of someone in the past and the present we seek to save can be seen as the destruction of the past world that others sought to defend. Take the perspective of someone in the future and maybe we in this period are seen as standing in the way of a better world, mere children clinging to our blankeys. We are pretty fucking clueless is all I can say. Some of us are more analytical and all that, but it is mostly just a front, a rationalization we present as a lucky charm to protect us against evil.

We all have our favorite story. I’d go so far as to say we all live out a story, usually without full consciousness, assuming consciousness is involved whatsoever in most cases. I read a good articulation of this in a story by Quentin S. Crisp (“The Mermaid”, Morbid Tales):

I believe that everybody has a story. It falls to their life’s epicentre like a meteorite. Even before the story has actually happened the person knows somewhere, with an infallible sense of precognition, what that story is. They predict it again and again in all sorts of ways. They are bound to it by irresistible forces of gravity and magnetism. That is why, knowing they are inevitably taken up with their own story, they feel they are missing something and look to the lives of others with envy. But even those who are envied are enslaved in private by their own particular stories. The hardest part of it all is that stories take place over time. Nothing is revealed all at once. One scene follows closely upon another leaving no gaps, fitting tightly together, slowly and carefully picking out details so that all sense of fulfilment is perpetually in abeyance. And in each new scene we are no longer the same person who wanted the things that scene brings. It is the story of how we age. But if our stories tie us down, make us particular, limit us, they also offer us consolation. In my case, I have tried to escape the sequence of my own story and its temporal limitations by writing more stories, expressing things that I hoped would attain permanence beyond my life. I have learnt, however, that the story in my own life is far more important than any story I might present to the world. Now that it has happened I feel real. Why should I need to write stories when I am a story?

Unlike the storyteller, few of us ever become so self-aware. Stories are most engrossing when we don’t even realize they are stories and that it is we who are telling it. The story becomes real by being mistaken for reality and in doing so our reality is altered. Stories become self-fulfilling prophecies and self-reinforcing reality tunnels. That is certainly the power of religion, but it is the power of everything, including science.

We sometimes forget how young we are as a species and how younger still is science. We’ve barely scratched the surface of the reality around us and within us. Even within science, people have their favored theory and of course other people’s favored theory is bullshit.

I came across this type of thing just the other day with a blogger who goes by the pseudonym of JayMan. He is an human biodiversity (HBD) proponent. HBD is a theory that is so far outside of mainstream science as to have little scientific research backing it up at present. There is some data offering clues, but the scope and quality of research is severely lacking at present. HBD proponents would claim this is because most scientists are being politically correct. Maybe so and maybe not.

What interested me about the incident was the response he gave when I brought up another alternative theory involving non-Darwinian evolution. He called it bullshit. It was one thing to discuss his favored alternative theory and a whole other matter with someone else’s favored alternative theory. It wasn’t even my favored alternative theory. I was merely pointing out that there was research-based theories that were being discussed by scientists, but JayMan would have none of it. He is a smart guy, but it just didn’t fit into his reality tunnel. It wasn’t political correctness to ignore what he disagreed with. That was simply plain reality. Reality is reality. Deal with it! *sigh*

I’m one who will defend facts when I think they are true, but I must admit that I’m not a big defender of specific theories. I pretty much will fairly look at any perspective. If I was worried about political correctness, I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole either HBD or non-Darwinian evolution. It was JayMan who was obsessed with political correctness and judging theories accordingly. That is the power of reality tunnels. I have my own reality tunnel as well, but it happens to be a bit more porous and malleable (which can also be problematic in other ways).

I bring this HBD example up for two reasons. The first reason is that Cardin linked to another article about scientific reductionism which is definitely what JayMan and many other HBD proponents leans toward (I wouldn’t make this charge against hbd chick, though, for she is more careful in her analysis; she has the intellectual humility to admit that she isn’t doing science in her blog and that her favored theory could be wrong). The second reason goes back to the post I first linked above (The Root and Rot of the Tree of Liberty).

That post was largely a response to hbd chick. Like JayMan, she is definitely attracted to scientific reductionism. She has said many times that culture comes from biology for to all of human reality is biological and most of biology is genetics. I think hbd chick has a brilliant mind and she is definitely an awesome researcher, but to my mind her theory smacks too much of scientism. It’s not just an obsession with science but specifically the hard sciences.

I’m biased, of course, coming more from a social science perspective. If not for the social sciences, we wouldn’t know how easily scientists can get sloppy, even to the point of shaping the results they get and the conclusions they come to. If not for the social sciences, we wouldn’t have developed better scientific methodology such as double blinds. I have less trust in a hard science perspective that isn’t heavily grounded in the social sciences, and my trust is even less when we are talking about human nature which is the focus of HBD proponents. My speaking of reality tunnels is essentially grounded in my study of the social sciences.

HBD proponents tend to have a very narrow focus. JayMan told me once that we should just focus on the facts and not their implications. This seems naive to me. There is no such thing as just the facts. Everything is built on ideas, assumptions, beliefs, biases, perceptions, interpretations, etc. It is because HBD proponents (and other similar types) are so narrowly focused that they so easily fall into certain kinds of apocalyptic thinking. We live in a world of dangers and possibilities, but what they worry about is that the immigrants are going to destroy America. This seems strange to me. The immigrants are America. There would be no America without centuries of mass immigration. If they aren’t trying to protect this America that has existed for centuries, then what mythical America are they hoping to save?

I guess that is the problem with all apocalyptic thinking. It is in the end grounded in fantasy. There are real fears it feeds upon, but those real fears are often incidental or secondary. We obsess about apocalypse because we’d rather ignore the even worse problems that surround us. Instead of apocalypse and paranoia, others turn to watching lots of tv, getting lost in social media, drinking and drugging, obsessive dieting and exercising, and other options are available as well. This is also why we project problems onto others and make them into scapegoats for then we don’t have to focus on our own issues and our own personal contributions to societal challenges. Whatever is the case, the type of distraction isn’t important.

The problem that finally gets us will probably be the problem we don’t see coming. The problems we’re worried about are the ones that usually are the least dangerous. That is the point. We focus on fake threats and paranoid fantasies because they are an escape from boring reality. They are safe and easy. That way we can avoid the deep soul-searching and hard work to make the world a better place or simply not make it worse.

The above felt like a good ending point, but hardly inspiring. You can stop there if you so desire or follow me a bit further into my personal motivations and wonderings.

The reason I care about society or even HBD is because I have insatiable curiosity. Humanity fascinates me, humanity and all that it entails. People like Matt Cardin and hbd chick seem to share this sense of curiosity which is more important to my mind than our agreeing about everything.

I had a discussion with hbd chick about culture. I tend to see culture more of as a mystery whereas she tends to see it as a set of data points. It is pretty much a difference of whether the whole is merely the sum of its parts or greater than the sum of its parts, or so it seems to me but maybe hbd chick would state it differently.

Then again, I do have strong tendencies toward being a pansy liberal with weird spiritual experiences and notions about reality. The HBD crowd aren’t known for their pansy liberals. I try to communicate with them through the lense of the libertarian side of my personality. From my crazy liberal-minded perspective, I find it hard to conform to any single theory. I’m a thin-boundaried possibility thinker and proud of it, dammit! I don’t mind too much those who lean toward scientific reductionism. We all have our role to play. That tolerance and love of diversity is part of my crazy liberal-mindedness.

I find myself always restraining my personal idiosyncracies and illnesses. I do have severe depression and probably a few other mental conditions, maybe borderline something thrown in there or else maybe some aspergers. Whatever is my personal ailment, my brainstuff obviously doesn’t work normally. This is why the strangeness of the world, 9/11 attacks included, don’t surprise me. It seems normal to me that the world is a crazy place. Do I love America so much because it is such a crazy experiment or do I love thinking of America as a crazy experiment because I’m crazy? That is definitely something to ponder.

JayMan is a typical hardcore scientific-minded atheist. It is either hard science or bullshit. There are no other options and no middle ground. The science vs religious issue confuses me. I eternally exist in the middle, the intermediate, the interstitial, the liminal or whatever it is. I’m a both/and kinda guy.

In a society obsessed with science as ours is, what takes the place of religion is secular apocalypse, paranoia, conspiracy theory, alien abductions, and on and on. It’s all fun. I don’t disparage it in and of itself. I love the Fortean. The trick, though, is to see it for what it is. I want to get to the root of fears and fantasies. That is where the tasty morsels are to be found.

We aren’t just sets of data. We are living humanity. We don’t just get trapped in reality tunnels. I might go so far as to say we are reality tunnels. We embody stories and gods. The apocalypse plays out in our souls before it ever manifests in the world.

As such, a culture is an emergent property. It can’t be predicted by that which precedes it or explained by which it consists of. In our discussion, I compared culture to consciousness, both being beyond present scientific knowledge. We can look at snapshots and the mechanisms for the physical correlates, but we are almost completely ignorant about the thing itself. We can’t objectively study culture and consciousness because we are the thing we seek to analyze.

To counter this, hbd chick stated that culture is a lot less complex and mysterious than consciousness for we can point to specific data of cultures. She used the term ‘flavor’ and I thought that a good way of putting it. So, I extended her thought. Maybe the flavor of a culture (violent, universalist, or whatever) is to a culture as personality is to consciousness. I pointed out how we are able to and have measured personality traits of both individuals and groups, including at the level of regions. Personality traits is the flavor of humanity that is the meeting point of consciousness and culture, the individual and the collective.

Cultures, like religions, are reality tunnels. But that sounds dismissive. Reality tunnels are the only reality we have and so I don’t mean to disregard them as mere negative traps to be escaped, as if we are the prisoners of a gnostic demiurge. It is simpler and more complex than that. It is simply the only reality we know and we don’t know what we don’t know.

Religions, like cultures, are lived realities. We can’t truly know them from the outside. The scientific data about cultures is to cultures as the rituals of a religion are to the mystic’s vision of the divine. A living god is a thing to behold and so is a living culture, no matter what your belief is about such things.

The same goes for an apocalypse. They are real to those know them in their own reality. They are so real that we can sometimes even make them physically real if we try hard enough. So, in our collective obsessions with apocalypse or more mundanely with work, what kind of world are we creating? More importantly, what kind of world do we want to create? If we weren’t limited by our fears and doubts, what would we collectively strive to achieve and become?

517 thoughts on “The Living Apocalypse, A Lived Reality Tunnel

    • If you don’t mind my asking, why does it matter that hbdchick claims to be an aspie and JayMan might be?

      Heck, I might be an aspie. The world is full of aspies. Einstein likely was an aspie, a brilliant mind with strong liberal tendencies that were the opposite of reactionary HBD ideology.

      Being an aspie doesn’t absolutely determine much of anything in terms of ideologies and worldviews. I actually think other psychological factors play a bigger part, specifically related to personality types (such as Hartmann’s boundary types):

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/worldviews-personality-and-communication/

      What I sense with the HBD crowd is that it attracts a lot more thick boundary types or at least those with thick boundary online personas. Either way, this means that it attracts people who want to focus on topics that focus on thick boundaries and in ways that are thick boundaried. I don’t mean extreme thick boundaries, but a tendency in that direction. The emphasis of HBD is on the boundaries between ethnicities, clans, regions, nations, etc. They have less interest in that which transcends, merges and blurs boundaries.

      To my thin boundary mind, boundaries are imagined things. They are only real to the extent we imagine them to be real. The thin boundary type sees a less thick or clear boundary between even imagination and reality. It is because of this mentality that I look for how people, individually and collectively, project their imaginations onto reality.

      • It’s just a trait I’ve noticed. What’s wrong with that?

        Well, have you ever been evaluated if you suspect it?

        Jayman and Steve sailer have these weird qualities where they’ll show up anywhere. Almost like that annoying uncle that has to butt his head into everything. To be honest I don’t understand J’s dogmatism towards his ideology given his background. Is that fair? I’m not sure. But there’s something to be said about a guy of his background being so dogmatically committed to a reactionary ideology that, frankly, only really serves well off white men’s interests at the end of the day.

        • “It’s just a trait I’ve noticed. What’s wrong with that?”

          Oh, nothing wrong with at all. I’m sorry I came off critical.

          “Well, have you ever been evaluated if you suspect it?”

          No.

          I have been diagnosed with severe depression. At the same time, the psychiatrist tested me for a number of things. He also gave me a diagnosis of something borderline or another and I was put on Risperdal, an anti-psychotice, but I don’t remember the exact name of the diagnosis.

          This was back in the 1990s, though. I never heard about asperger’s back then. I don’t know when they started diagnosing that more.

          I fit some of the descriptions of asperger’s, such as social and language issues growing up. My mom spent her entire career working with kids with a wide variety of disorders. She suspects I have something like asperger’s.

          It’s all speculation. It doesn’t really matter. I’m only mildly curious about the issue. Just my standard curiosity about all things psychological.

          “Jayman and Steve sailer have these weird qualities where they’ll show up anywhere.”

          I have noticed that same thing. Their names do pop up in many different discussions. They do get around.

          “To be honest I don’t understand J’s dogmatism towards his ideology given his background. Is that fair?”

          Like the obsessively commenting, I take the dogmatism as another expression of thick boundaried thinking. It is the type of mind that needs to latch onto something. And once latched onto, the person won’t let go.

          It isn’t rational. That it may not serve his objective self-interest is irrelevant. Ideologies when held dogmatically tend serve symbolic purposes. HBD theory itself is secondary to whatever deeper motive is behind his conviction.

          • I was in the middle of writing you a thorough response, but I had computer problems. My comment disappeared. I’ll put it simply. I don’t really know much about JayMan. My suspicion is that his HBD views have to do with his own ethnic background.

            He claims to be a second generation Jamaican-American with some English and Chinese ancestry. I assume his parents and all of his ancestry most recently goes back to Jamaica. He apparently was born in the US, but raised by two Jamaican immigrants. He also, as I recall, married a white New Englander with whom he had a kid.

            He likely has never lived around many African-Americans and so doesn’t identify with the black population that mostly originated in the South. I suspect he’d like to be an honorary white person or at least an honorary New Englander. He doesn’t want to be black and I’ve never seen him identify as such. He isn’t one of them. He is one of the good darkies and wants the good whiteys to accept him. He embraces HBD to prove he has distanced himself from the bad darkies and their bad genetics.

            Some kind of bullshit like that, I suppose.

          • It isn’t self-hatred. However he might identify, he doesn’t perceive himself as one of those blacks. He would argue, according to HBD theory, he is a different kind of black because his genetics are different.

            Jamaicans are much more genetically and ancestrally mixed than even African-Americans, even though both descend from slavery. That is demonstrated by JayMan’s Chinese ancestry which is common in Jamaica, along with such ancestries as East India and Native Jamaicans (genetics shows African-Americans have almost have no ancestry other than African and British, not even Native American genetics is common).

            All that non-African genetics is what makes JayMan feel special. He doesn’t have to hate himself, according to HBD theory.

          • Yes.

            I’d say he calls himself black whenever he shows up to defend hbd somewhere around the internet, but other than that, no. I’m sure he does so because he thinks it will help give hbd credibility.

            On not identifying with AA’s, well, he does indeed live in Maine, statistically the whitest state in America. He is also pretty dismissive of racism…

            So it’s more complex than simple self hatred, but there’s also a desire on his part to find validation from whites, that he is good and not bad like THOSE people, is that your gist?

          • That is my gist. Nothing else explains a “black” Jamaican-American defending a racist/racialist ideology that supports white supremacy and continued oppression of “black” African-Americans. The only other explanation is that JayMan is mentally disturbed, whether severe asperger’s or something else.

      • Anyway, there was a time where I was sort of lured into that layer as well. Not that I bought into them blindly, but I bought into their also conspiracy theorist ideas of political correctness and such.

        In recent months though, I’ve started to see how deeply reactionary, and ironically, ideological the sphere is. That while they accuse others of dogmatism, they are the ultimate in dogmatism. I’ve also realize how deeply chauvinistic their world views are, very much a ‘white mans burden’ type so to speak. It’s a very distorted view, and one that is not immediately obvious for less keen observers. Is it racist? I’m willing to consider that they themselves do not consciously consider themselves racist. But are they deeply racially and culturally chauvinist? Absolutely. I say this even of the ones you ‘like’ such as miss ^_^ .

        • One last thing. I was peeking around his blog, and I noticed his dismissive attitude towards people who expressed emotional angst towards his ideas. He rejects free will, is a hardcore hereditarian, etc. this gives some of his commenters angst to accept, but for old J, he doesn’t think he does. His persona is one of heavy thinking over feeling, eh?

          Except that I think it does affect him. A lot of his stuff, reading between the lines, do suggest a guy with deep issues.

          • “His persona is one of heavy thinking over feeling, eh?”

            If I were to describe him in terms of Myers-Briggs, I’d say he has the social prickliness of INTJs I’ve known. In laymen’s terms, that means he directs his analytical thinking outward (Te) and in a way that tends toward concreteness and with strong conclusions (J). He has a thick boundaried exterior in his relating to facts, ideas, and people.

            “Except that I think it does affect him. A lot of his stuff, reading between the lines, do suggest a guy with deep issues.”

            I would ascribe that to Introversion. His thoughts and ideas are strongly personal to him. They aren’t just thoughts to be contemplated and ideas to be considered. No, they are his personal reality. He doesn’t hold them at arm’s length. They are an integral part of his most personal sense of self.

            That is my intuitive sense about him, for whatever it’s worth.

          • ENFP here 😀

            I just get the sense that despite the heavy thinking side, obsessiveness, robotic writing style, and almost… Robotic? Persona, one that tries to deny and downplay expressions of emotion in others of himself, the guy has deep emotional issues. But maybe that is me.

            Can you elaborate on ‘symbolic purposes?’

        • “Anyway, there was a time where I was sort of lured into that layer as well. Not that I bought into them blindly, but I bought into their also conspiracy theorist ideas of political correctness and such.”

          My interest in HBD was only ever curiosity. I share some common interests with some HBDers.

          JayMan has read some of the same books I like to read, specifically on ethnic and regional cultures. On those topics, you can sometimes have a decent discussion with him, until it turns toward genetics.

          If not for the dogmatism, some of his views could have value. As hypotheses, I’ll consider all kinds of things. But I’m not much for arguing about dogmatic belief systems.

          “In recent months though, I’ve started to see how deeply reactionary, and ironically, ideological the sphere is. That while they accuse others of dogmatism, they are the ultimate in dogmatism.”

          In interacting with HBDers, I quickly came to that conclusion. But it isn’t just dogmatism. There is also a lack of wider curiosity about other perspectives (a cardinal sin to my curiosity-loving mind).

          What I noticed is that HBDers like to complain that others are ignoring their self-proclaimed worthy contributions, typically blaming political correctness. But it is apparent that it isn’t so much that they are being ignored as they are ignoring other people and other perspectives. They are projecting, so it seems to me.

          “I’ve also realize how deeply chauvinistic their world views are, very much a ‘white mans burden’ type so to speak. It’s a very distorted view, and one that is not immediately obvious for less keen observers. Is it racist? I’m willing to consider that they themselves do not consciously consider themselves racist. But are they deeply racially and culturally chauvinist? Absolutely.”

          I agree with that assessment. I have asked similar questions many times. Racism is a very hard thing to pin down in our “post-racial” society where racial biases are systemic and institutional (or even unconscious) and where racial ideologies are expressed through proxies.

          If not overt racism, it is at least cultural chauvinism. Many HBDers wouldn’t necessarily disagree, although they wouldn’t put it in those words. What you or I call cultural chauvinism, HBDers would see as a natural and moral expression of human nature, an instictual defense of one’s kin and hence one’s genetics.

          “I say this even of the ones you ‘like’ such as miss ^_^ .”

          I wouldn’t necessarily even disagree with that. Just because I like her as a person, it doesn’t negate that she has attached herself to an ideology mired in cultural chauvinism. It is disappointing that she has limited her mind to such a limiting worldview, but it is what it is.

          • When I mention cultural chauvinism I mean more in a white mans burden, white man is morally superior, type of way, so I’m not sure if defense of one’s kin is much related to that :p

            There is considerable overlap between this sphere and the general fringe right sphere, and to put it crassly, their cultural ideas very much can boil down to “open, liberal, accepting, moral whites versus ungrateful, tribal, darkies” (and this is the natural way, of course :p) I notice this sentiment in literally every blog, including j and h.

          • Tl;dr non-westerners are portrayed very one dimensionally, and dare I say it, animalistically. As of they are unenlightened, un self aware, basically savage animals who can’t really help it of course 😉

          • “When I mention cultural chauvinism I mean more in a white mans burden, white man is morally superior, type of way, so I’m not sure if defense of one’s kin is much related to that”

            Yeah, I understood what you meant.

            Defense of one’s kin doesn’t directly apply, but for a race realist worldview it applies. Other white people are symbolic kin of all other white people. Many HBDers might argue this on the grounds that all white people theoretically share more genetics with one another than with non-white people.

            That is a meaningless argument, of course. All race realism is empty rhetoric. There is no singular white genetic population. Whites have more in common with Asians than Africans have in common with other Africans. But race realism doesn’t bother itself with such things as rational analysis of complex data.

    • That gives evidence to justify the belief that HBDers are bigots who use scientific rhetoric.

      I don’t think all HBDers are necessarily bigots, as the originator of HBD theory had the intention of undermining race realism by showing humans were too diverse to fit into such simplicstic ideologies. HBDers like JayMan, however, are trying to make HBD into a project of bigotry. If there are any non-bigoted HBDers left, they will be driven out and the bigotry will get increasingly overt among the HBD crowd.

      I guess it is nice for JayMan to show his true colors. It simplifies things when the bigots finally get honest about their beliefs.

        • “Do you think he has the classic mentality of the anti-black non-white?”

          Probably. I’ve come to agree with a particular interpretation of the American racial order. It isn’t so much black vs white where some non-whites try to side with whites by being anti-black. Rather, it is blacks vs non–blacks with varying degrees of not being black. This is why even many lighter-skinned blacks have prejudice against darker-skinned blacks, for their lighter skin makes them less black and so of a higher status in the racial order.

          “Yeah, his worldview is pretty creepy”

          It could be seen as creepy. It just seems sad to me. My sense is that he wants to refuse responsibility for his own bigotry. He knows he is being bigoted and knows it isn’t socially acceptable. So, he hides behind denials of free will and near-deterministic hereditarianism. To face the injustices of our society and that they could be changed is too much for him to handle. To admit that the racial order isn’t inevitable but created would mean he has been complicit in one of the worst forms of oppression.

          The following comment (by “Dan”) at that post summarizes the problem of JayMan’s thinking style and hence the challenge of trying to have a reasonable discussion with him. JayMan demonstrates a dogmatic and oversimplified way of arguing that implies some combination of a lack of self-awareness and a lack of intellectual humility. He apparently doesn’t like too much uncertainty and complexity. He wants a belief system, not a scientific theory.

          “I find it very difficult to debate with you because when you become vested in an argument, you tend to weaken your scientific mindset. By scientific mindset, I mean being able to keep the distinction clear between what you have proved to be true and what you theorize but have not reached yet by definitive proof. Those who have plowed through lots of difficult physics and math problem sets have a better ability to keep this distinction clear.

          “(I discovered this when debating with your germ theory of gayness. It is an intriguing idea but the boundary between what is thus far shown and what we don’t yet know based on positive evidence was not kept clear.)

          “With respect to ‘quantum unknowns’ I am merely saying that we don’t know where quantum variability comes from. It is an unknown. Nobody has ever been able to explain it. If you can, a Nobel will surely be yours.

          “It seems like the statement you are totally unwilling to make is ‘I don’t know.’ I have no problem admitting that.”

  1. I understand what you’re saying. How did Jayman reply to that? I don’t want to wade through his blog. His blog is depressing. He’s depressing.

    Personally, I would not be flattered if John Derbyshire of all people wrote about me approvingly. The dude’s smart, yes, but holy shit, he’s gotten progressively more reactionary over the years, eh? Plus, intelligence doesn’t mean you’re right. And he’s almost hilariously arrogant. In the sense that he is the only person I’ve known who is so arrogant that he can confidently call a writer or a movie “crap” while proudly stating that he has never read or watched said writer or movie. :/

    https://archive.today/uLPsP

    • I know of that book, but I haven’t read it. I looked at a bunch of reviews and decided it wasn’t worth my time. It sounded like it might have some interesting data, yet probably cherrypicked, oversimplified, and misrepresented.

      I’d love to read a book like that, if it were high quality. I’m not against HBD in theory. Obviously, some things are inherited, even though not as much as HBDers would like to believe. I’d also like to see an HBDer deal with the epigenetic data or any of the other data that contradicts strict and simplistic hereditarianism.

      It always seems to me that HBDers ignore more data than they discuss. Still, some data they bring up is worthy of being discussed. The problem is that, when disconnected from the larger set of data, it becomes a meaningless discussion.

      I did read Epstein’s “Sports Gene”. It wasn’t horrible, but it ultimately presents a weak case. HBDers aren’t able to make a strong direct causal link between genetics and most everything they theorize about. Anyone can theorize and cherrypick data to fit, but that seems like a pointless game to play.

    • I’ve wondered for a long time about what is the connection between limited thinking and limited empathy. I suspect it has to do with the ability to see other perspectives, whether other interpretations of data or other experiences of people.

      There is a certain kind of person who gets stuck in a single narrow view. It isn’t just about dogmatism, although that is part of it. On a more basic level, it is psychological, what I’d connect to Hartmann’s thick boundary type.

      This kind of person can be smart. But their narrow-mindedness disallows them from fully appreciating new data. The HBD crowd is full of smart people. Within the narrow range of data they do look at, a few of them somtimes come up with interesting theories, at least when they aren’t obsessing about race realism.

      They lack imagination. That is where the realism part comes in.

      Our society is steeped in race realism because the racial social order is centuries old. It is in every part of our society. It does take quite bit of radical imagination to go against centuries of racial thought and to see other possibilities in the data. This also means looking for other data that points to those other possibilities.

      To imagine that centuries of oppression was built on a false concept scares the shit out of some people. The implications are profound. What would our society do or feel compelled to do if we ever collectively faced this new understanding?

      Empathy isn’t an easy thing.

      I’d love to see an HBDer theorize about why HBDers are so limited in empathy. Can we blame genetics for HBDers inabillity to see other perspectives? Are we to dismiss HBDers with hereditarian theories of their intellectual inferiority? It’s not their fault. They were born that way.

  2. “Persecution and heresy”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/DrZhana/status/459448127712657408

    He describes having a liberal white wife who “believes what science says”

    I don’t know. He says he is liberal but some of his posts suggest he isn’t so liberal, or at least he adopts certain “liberal” ideas but is emotionally biased against liberal ideas the same.

    Also while I believe you that he probably didn’t grow up with black Americans and emotionally wats to distance himself from them, he seems to be a native New Yorker

      • I think for people like Jay, the thing is, they don’t see themselves as in a tunnel, but as people who’ve broke free of it. They see themselves as ultimately the open minded ones, the ones who are inafeaid to embrace a socially taboo (even if deepy ingrained) idea, for example. You may try to keep open minded, while for them, if you don’t think like them, you are not truly open-minded. Red pill and blue pill bullshit

        This may not surprise you, by there is huge overlap between hbd’ers and the ‘new misogynists’ or manosphere. It’s where I got the red and blue pill thing from. Seriously. Just google ‘red pill reddit’

        • I know how they see themselves. But if these reactionary types want to believe they aren’t stuck in a reality tunnel, why do they limit themselves to interacting with other reactionaries and then complain no one pays any attention to them? How would they know if anyone is paying attention to them when they rarely pay attention to anyone else outside of their groupthink?

          I’m not seeing openminded, respectful dialogue, especially not from JayMan. It seems to me that he just ignores or dismisses anyone who doesn’t “get it”. He already knows the truth and doesn’t seem to change his mind once it is set.

          • On reality tunnels and staying within their echo chamber

            J, and Steve Sailer, do get around quite a bit though. Literally, any online article or discussion on any topic even remotely related will have them spamming the comments section. With J, it almost always begins with an “I’m black, just so you know” almost as if to give it more credibility. I know Sailer does not have a real job these days and makes all his livelihood on his online writings, but J? Sheesh with that much time to go around the internet (not just blog in the echo chamber but spam sites all over the web) I really wonder what he does for a living that gives him the time :/

            His views are unbelievably limiting, not to mention depressing. But limiting, especially. I hope he does not sell his child short, due to his rigidly deterministic views and belief that he will not have much influence on the outcomes of his child.

          • Btw, it seems to be common sentiment by people fimilar, but on in, the reactionary sphere, that J dosen’t really know much about genetics, or anything he’s being a blogging expert on…

          • If you have the time, and if you have not already, you should google ‘dark enlightenment.’ The hdd sphere is sort of a sub-set of it. You may lose faith in humanity though, but they’re pretty relevant to Corey Robin. I would say they’re more direct and arguably more extreme than the conservatism mentioned by Robin…

            I’m looking at Corey Robin now…

          • “Noah, from what I’ve seen of the neoreactionary movement, they care very little for (proclaimed) conservative ideals and (what we think of as) the conservative thought process. What they are is a radical elitist, social dominance-fetishizing group that’s inseparably linked to the emerging tech-aristocracy of the modern economy. They only support conservatism where it might benefit them; when they see something they want broken, they instantly become a kind of far-right Bolshevik.

            Corey Robin has it right; in all ages, Reaction is a counter-revolution that seeks to imitate the drive and aggression of the Jacobins in the interests of the privileged. So they’re not only monarchist and technocratic, but inevitably also white-supremacist (even if distancing themselves from the “crude” populist racism – yet they don’t actually want a regime of Asians and Jews!), rabidly anti-feminist and anti-proletarian (even scornful of right-wing proles).

            So, get it, that’s what’s scary; a bunch of geeks on the internet is absolutely nothing, in its current state the “dark enlightenment” is even less threatening to the established order than the radical Left – but they might be an early expression of the new emerging socioeconomic reality.”

          • I think that is how I originally discovered HBD and specifically hbdchick. I was doing web searches about the Dark Enlightenment. I think my fellow blogger, skepoet, mentioned the topic for some reason. That led me on a search. Because of that, I spent a number of months intensively debating HBDers on their blogs.

  3. I’m a bit weirded out because Zhana is an adjunct prof at my former school (never met her though) and it weirds me out that she would meet with people like J…

    Who knows? Maybe I’m living withy own reality tunnel. But so are all the internet reactionaries

    • Yeah, we all are living in reality tunnels. But only some people embrace it as a good thing. The rest of us at least struggle to see outside of our blinders. I know that I go to great length to ensure I don’t get stuck in an echo chamber.

        • I was ‘special’. I had a learning disability.

          It had to do with word recall. But I was able to compensate because of higher intelligence in other ways. My ability to see patterns was at a twelfth grade level when I was still only a little kid. This relates to my suspicions about aspergers.

          I wrote some about this in a post. It is interesting to me. New research was being done when I was a kid and I was involved in a study about the emerging field of word recall issues.

          https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/aspergers-and-chunking/

          • I hear that it’s not uncommon for ‘gifted’ people to have learning disabilities as well. Have you thought of getting an official asperger’s diagnosis, then?

            You’ll have for forgive me for some earlier sentiments. As someone who’s probably more fimiliar with the reactionary sphere than should be, especially the misogyny subset, it may not be surprising that literally everyone in the sphere self-identifies as aspie, whether they are or not. Over time I sort of developed a prejudice against aspies, I guess. I was thinking, “Does asperger’s make you more vulnerable to being a emotionally stunted, reactionary dickhead?” Which was unfair of me to think, and now I know that hey, aspies are people with diverse beliefs just like anyone. There’s just as many aspies who think these guys are ridiculous.

          • No, I haven’t thought of getting an official asperger’s diagnosis. It has been years since I’ve been to a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. I came to the conclusion that I’m a lost cause, as far as the professionals go. No one has been able to offer me anything of use. The main thing I struggle with is depression, and I deal with that by eating healthily and exercising regularly.

            I am a bit socially stunted and dysfunctional. I sometimes perceive myself acting like an asshole when I let my raw emotions get the better of me, but hopefully I don’t act like a dickhead, reactionary or otherwise. My social skills were really lacking when I was younger. I’m able to act normal now and hide my abnormalacy.

            As for others, I’ve noticed that many people who identify as aspies also identify as INTPs (whatever such self-identifications might means). I used to visit an INTP forum. It did attract many weird people with weird ways of relating. Many of them had a social obliviousness. They so much focused on the topic of discussion that the social interaction itself went over their head.

            I’m different than that, as a stereotypical INFP in many ways (hbdchick also claims to be INFP, as I recall). I’m extremely empathetic. My emotional sensitivity is set on high. But I didn’t know how to make sense of that when I was younger. Having empathy is not the same thing as having a mental model to interpret emotional experience. I’ve become better at that.

            I have a hard time figuring out what all of this might mean. I know my experience and thought process are different than many others, but it is hard to put my finger on. I wrote a long post trying to wrap my mind around the issue of empathy… I’m not sure how successful I was:

            https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/what-is-empathy-and-what-good-is-it/

            I’m a severely non-linear thinker. I’m not analytical by nature. My father is more of an analytical thinker and he taught me that skill, but it isn’t my core experience of myself (my Fi, if you will). My thoughts go off in a thousand directions (Ne) and it can take massive effort to reign them in so as to make sense out of it all… and maybe try to formulate it into a post. My thought processes can be tiresome. There is an obsessive quality about them. My mind does not let go once it latches onto something.

            I’m self-conscious about how I think. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort learning how to communicate better. When I let my mind off its leash, it doesn’t necessarily lead to what interests most people. I sometimes write long posts trying to articulate why others should be interested in my long convoluted thought processes, which is a near pointless endeavor. Some people like the way I think, but it doesn’t resonate for many people.

            I can feel resentful toward society. I constantly feel the need to conform. And it drains my psychic batteries. That is why I limit my socializing. As introvert, I can handle social interactions on the web more easily because the conditions are simpler and more controllable.

            I understand what it is like to be and feel abnormal. This is why I try to be more understanding to the abnormalacy of others. I try to be understanding in general. My empathy rarely turns off.

            I even can empathize with someone like JayMan. To me, his mindset is a sad fate that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. He can’t see outside of it. His ideology gives him comfort. It makes the world seem more ordered, as if it couldn’t be any other way. His dogmatism may be ridiculous, but it is how he deals with the world. I wish there was a way to get past his ideological defenses so as to have an honest discussion with him.

          • Before I turn in for the night…

            You clearly know much more about personality than I do. I score consistently as an ENFP, which is supposed to be the “introverted extroverted” while you are an INFP. Can you describe to me, to your knowledge, the big differences between the two?

            I see parts of me in common with you (the curiosity, the lack of rigidity, the thinking style, in some ways) though you are much more intense than I am, and while I’ve struggled with dysthymia and depression, it seems more intense for you.

  4. I’ll start a new comment thread.

    “You clearly know much more about personality than I do.”

    It was one of my early intellectual obsessions. It was also my introduction to the internet. The first thing I did when I first started seriously exploring the web was to join an INFP forum, Global Chatter, now defunct. It was amazing experience. There were all these people who had these patterns similar to my own. I could explain something personal and they’d understand where I was coming from on the psychological level.

    “I score consistently as an ENFP, which is supposed to be the “introverted extroverted” while you are an INFP. Can you describe to me, to your knowledge, the big differences between the two?”

    I’m not sure I personally know anyone who might be an ENFP. I don’t tend to hang out with many extroverts. One forum I used to visit was an ENTP forum. ENTP has the same dominant Ne as ENFP. Visiting that forum helped me understand Ne better, the function which is secondary for an INFP, but still important.

    “I see parts of me in common with you (the curiosity, the lack of rigidity, the thinking style, in some ways) though you are much more intense than I am, and while I’ve struggled with dysthymia and depression, it seems more intense for you.”

    As you can tell, my rigidity is very weak, both for my mind and emotions. I’m all out there. You see what you get and you get what you see. The lack of rigidity is directly related to my curiosity. My mind just goes where my mind wants to go and it loves to wander far afield.

    My Ne, however, is serving my Fi. That is a big difference.

    Fi is my intensitiy, not just for depression. Some argue that Fi is the hardest function to understand and communicate, althought Ni is also quite strange and mysterious. Dominant Fi types wear their hearts on their sleeves, and as introverts this can be problematic. With Fi, there is a drive to understand and be understood, but also a fear of the same, so easy to slip across that thin emotional boundary. To experience the world with dominant Fi is to experience all the world psychologically, as having an internal space. Everything is personal to Fi. The world is alive with emotion and psychological nuance.

    Dominant Ne types, on the other hand, seem to be more in their heads. There is some basic level of detachment or ability to detach from emotions. I can never detach from my emotions. It is 24/7 for me. When Ne is dominant, there is a greater focus on intellect, curiosity, and playfulness.

    Ne is one of the most interesting functions. To see all the world through Ne is to see what many people can’t see, to make connections others can’t understand. To have that dominate your mind would be quite the experience, I’d think. I can stand back from my Ne, unlike a dominant Ne type. My Ne serves Fi. Their Ne serves itself.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever done psychedelics. I would say that LSD is pure Ne. It is a head trip. The boundaries of mind and perception become porous, fluid, and almost non-existent.

    • Never tried psychedelics. Btw, does pot help with depressive moods?

      For me ‘veering’ into someone else’s perspective and understanding on a cognitive level is easy, but it doesn’t stop me from having my own opinions. Also, whenever I see something, I just HAVE to share it with someone, lol. I get relief from say, seeing something triggering by expelling that energy into the open, so to speak XD. So it’s weird to me that some people prefer keeping things within :p

      By the way, on hbd, you should look at education realist. Teacher in Bay Area. Smart, but deeply bitter, and yes, prejudiced (if you read between the lines.) once went apeshit because he thought some redditors were going to dox him (they didn’t) lol

      • “Btw, does pot help with depressive moods?”

        I haven’t smoked pot in years. I never smoked it much. I didn’t enjoy it. For some people, it mellows them out. It sometimes made me feel fidgety and nervous.

        “Also, whenever I see something, I just HAVE to share it with someone, lol. I get relief from say, seeing something triggering by expelling that energy into the open, so to speak”

        I suppose that would be different from me. I wouldn’t describe my own motivation as getting relief by expelling energy.

        “By the way, on hbd, you should look at education realist”

        I’ll check him out.

        • I suppose that could be one difference between introverts and extroverts? I don’t mind being alone, but I get my buzzes and energy from human interaction. That and I have a need to make things known and speak out rather than keeping it to myself😝 that said I’m not fond of parties, though I do like cities, parades, protests, festivals, etc…

          I’m not sure if you’re communicating with them much these days, so yeah. Personally I don’t find interactinG with them worth my time. But he’s an INTP

          Alcohol has different effects on people as well. I know it’s a depressant but It seems to do the opposite for me :p

          • This probably wouldn’t surprise you but most hbd’ers are really misogynistic as well. Even hdd chick has a lot of internalized misogyny going on.

            By the way, funny, but yu know how J lives in Maine, one of the whitest states in the country? I follow a blogger, blackgirlinmaine, who blogs a lot of being a poc in Maine, as well as racial issues in general. She, and others, do a lot of dialogues and get togethers, many as a sort of support group for POC in the lily white state. Somehow… I doubt J would ever be drawn to one, except to push hbd :p he’d probably never go for the support group reasons, I mean :p

          • Various forms of bias and prejudice tend to go together. It is about an overall mentality. The specifics are an expression of that, whether racism or misogyny.

            I had never before heard of the acronym POC. It didn’t immediately occur to me what it stood for. I assumed you weren’t talking about a support group for points of contact or prisoners of conscience. I should have realized it referred to people of color, but I just woke up and my brain isn’t in full gear.

            JayMan would be more likely to join a support group for people concerned about the takeover and corruption of white society by POCs. Essentially, he has already joined such a support group. It’s called the HBD community. LOL

  5. “Btw, what do you think of edurealist?”

    So is education realism ideologically related to race realism and capitalist realism? I assume the ‘realism’ part means something between pessimism and cynicism, and usually implies a lack of imagination, vision, and possibility-thinking (the inability to easily shift perspectives and see alternatives, whether alternative interpretations or alternative solutions).

    What do I think? I perused the blogosphere a bit. I wanted to see what Education Realist had to say about different issues. In his own blog, there is one interesting post that caught my attention:

    http://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/the-parental-diversity-dilemma/

    It offers some good criticism of charter schools. But he has a weird view of ideologies.

    He seems oblivious to the fact that many people holding liberal and progressive views also include those on the lower end of the economic class scale. Most Americans hold liberal and progressive views on a lot of major issues. The group that often gets referred to as the “liberal elite” are less liberal than the average American in many ways, for if you are elite the emphasis will always be on the elite part.

    People like Education Realist lack a larger context of knowledge. They tend to narrowly focus on their area of interest.

    Let me give you some examples where I more clearly see problems. Both are about the Dark Enlightenment. Here is the first post:

    http://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/the-dark-enlightenment-and-duck-dynasty/

    “I don’t do science. I keep my blog anonymous because of I explore the impact of the Voldemort View, the view that must not be spoken, the view that says the achievement gap between different racial and income groups is primarily caused by differences in cognitive ability, on educational outcomes. I believe that IQ is imperfect as a metric of cognitive ability, although I can’t prove it and my opinion is still inchoate (ooh, Thomas of Convenant!). I accept the mainstream findings that shows a clear and largely unchanging difference in IQs by race and income. If Steven Pinker, James Flynn, or Christopher Jencks have said anything that disagrees with my representation of mainstream research, most fully articulated here, I’m unaware of it. So don’t ask me about IQ and race. Ask them.”

    I don’t ask them. I read the books by them and those like them. I already know how they respond to these kinds of issues. I already know the data that Education Realist lacks. I’m almost shocked that he appears to know so little about the most interesting findings on IQ. His notion of ‘mainstream’ must come from the mainstream media, not the hard-hitting books that thoroughly analyze this field.

    It’s not just that he is unaware of so much information. What bothers me is he seems content in his unawareness. He doesn’t even know to look for what he doesn’t know, of course. There is a lack of self-questioning and intellectual curiosity.

    Here is the second post:

    https://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/the-dark-enlightenment-and-me/

    “A Hispanic, he asked me what I would say to those who point to our troubled past, in which whites denied blacks and Hispanics a chance at advanced education by tracking them out of these options.

    “I responded in two parts. First, I said, I would like to see hard data on the “troubled past”. Everyone repeats the truism, but I’ve never seen data. Were schools of the 60s and 70s putting high-scoring black and Hispanic kids into middle or low-tracks? Do we have proof that it happened? Because most folks have absolutely no idea how huge the gaps are, and it’s just possible that the schools weren’t actively discriminating. Second, assume that the data shows that schools were actively discriminating back then. I find it impossible to believe that today’s schools, bastions of “tolerance” lectures and multi-culti support, would suddenly initiate rampant discrimination against low income kids.”

    I’m amazed that a teacher could be so fucking ignorant about history and about all the data on institutionalized biases. I lack even a college degree and yet I know more about all of this than a teacher who is posing as an expert of sorts. I regularly read and write about all the information that he doesn’t even know exists. If he is going to have such strong opinions, shouldn’t he first fully inform himself first?

    The following are some responses to Education Realist:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/brad-delong-wasting-your-public-voice/comment-page-4/#comment-4281881

    education realist: “No, you really can [tell how much of a partiular IQ score is attributable to innate “intelligence,” a good education acquired with good study skills, the benefit of a test prep course or varying combinations of some or all of the foregoing. I actually do this for a living, you know.”

    This is pure b.s. and your appeal to your experience teaching math, English and history is not the least bit persuasive.

    If you have examples of someone who has actually identified how much each of the above factors has contributed to a particular person’s IQ score, please go ahead and provide a link. I’ll be happy to admit you’re right.

    Short of that, you’re just making crap up.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/brad-delong-wasting-your-public-voice/comment-page-4/#comment-4285229

    Hector_St_Clare: “That’s inconsistent with the conclusions we should draw regarding the poor performance of black students.”

    That is radically different than what education realist claims we can do.

    No one can look at my score on any standardized test and determine how much of “my” score is attributable to my innate “intelligence,” a good education acquired with good study skills, completion of a test prep course and/or any combination of these. It is impossible. Full stop.

    For this reason, I argue that John F is wrong in asserting that underperformance on any given test by any specific group of black students is to be expected because of their DNA and not possibly because of a failure of any other factor that contributes to test performance – including the factors I just listed.

    I’m also arguing that the comparative reticence to immediately conclude that DNA is the cause of underperformance by white students demonstrates the ease with which even well-meaning people will frequently judge racial minorities harshly solely on account of skin color.

    http://blog.coreknowledge.org/2013/10/14/of-ostriches-and-the-achievement-gap/#comment-60662

    I am curious as to why “Education Realist” asserts that teaching content will not end or even narrow the achievement gap. “Education Realist” offers no evidence or reasoning to back up this assertion.

    The fact that “ER” refers to “low ability kids” makes me think that “ER” believes achievement is based solely on some innate, fixed ability, not knowledge, and that inborn ability is therefore destiny. I recommend that “ER” read Carol Dweck’s Mindset, along with E.D. Hirsh, Jr’s The Knowledge Deficit and various other titles. These books do back up their assertions with evidence.

    • I’m not tolerant of willful ignorance.

      There is a ton of data that disagrees with Education Realist’s views. Why hasn’t he read the books that would challenge his views? It pisses me off people like this who only look at info that confirms what they already believe. I could give Education Realist a reading list that would blow his little mind, if he were to actually read the books.

      Sadly, Education Realist demonstrates the main problem with our education system. Even many of the teachers are woefully ignorant.

    • I find all the Dark Enlightenment talk about the Cathedral as just so much ideological bullshit.

      The elite institutions don’t care about liberalism or progressivism. They care about the status quo. Anyone or anything that does’t conform well enough to the status quo will be constrained or pushed out. Elite institutions in this country have a long history of censoring and eliminating people on the left.

      I’m reading a book by Howard Schwartz right now. He is a radical liberal/progressive who left academia because his views were unacceptable to the status quo. I call his views as radical because they are radical to the status quo, but in the big picture his views seem relatively moderate, at least to my more radical mind.

      I follow Corey Robin’s blog. He regularly writes about the problems in academia. He is definitely on the radical left somewhere. Like Schwartz, he has a problem with the Cathedral’s support of right-wing positions like Zionism.

      These neo-reactionaries are out of touch with reality and with their fellow citizens. They think they are growing in number as if they are a movement, but all that has happened was the internet allowed a small group of cynics to form their own echo chamber.

  6. I read a wide variety of blogs, articles, and books. I’m naturally curious. I’ll often go out of my way to read views I disagree with.

    This is what makes me different from neo-reactionaries, race realists, HBDers, Dark Enlightenment advocates, or whatever they want to call themselves. Those kind of people don’t tend to research very far or very deeply outside of their belief system. Even when they visit blogs to argue with others, they simply show up to repeat talking points and not have a meaningful discussion.

    I’ll give an example of the narrow-mindedness of these people.

    Claude M. Steele wrote a book about stereotype threat, Whistling Vivaldi. It is just one book among many that challenges the race realist view, and does so with lots of data and thorough analysis. Claude M. Steele is a major figure, twin brother to another well known thinker and writer. This guy is not just writing about these issues, but also doing original research.

    Steele’s research is a directly challenge to everything these people believe. You’d think they’d bother to refute his research or at least mention it.

    I did some web searches to see what would come up. I did an advanced site search using Google which searches everything that is written on a site, from the posts to the comments. I did this on three separate blogs: Education Realist’s, JayMan’s, and hbdchick’s. Neither “Whistling Vivaldi” nor “Claude M. Steele” is mentioned anywhere in those blogs, not even in a comment.

    It is complete ignorance of one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. If you don’t understand stereotype threat, then you are just plain clueless. The willful ignorance among these types is mind-blowing! You’d think they would be curious enough to check out the work of someone like Claude M. Steele. His research is well known, among those who care to know.

    I also did a wider advanced search:

    “Claude M. Steele” AND “Whistling Vivaldi” neo-reactionary OR neo-reactionaries OR “race realism” OR “race realist” OR hbd OR “dark enlightenment”

    Very little came up. Certainly, none of the major HBD bloggers came up.

    I could repeat this experiment with dozens of other great fact-heavy books. And I’d get similar results. This is the problem.

    • Some of the anecdotes he presents are alarming, but his reasoning and conclusions thereof are driven purely by xenophobia from what I can “read between the lines” of his blog. He’s a smart fellow, pity his circumstances have lead him to become so calculatedly hateful.

      • Neo-reactionaries are funny. Many of them will attack public schools so as to attack liberals and progressives. Education Realist, however, attacks charter schools so as to attack liberals and progressives. I suspect neo-reactionaries don’t really care about the school issue in and of itself. They are just trying to find a way to attack liberals and progressives.

        They’ll soon realize that the entire education system is a liberal and progressive conspiracy. Then they’ll have to attack the very ideal of education, both public and charter schools. To enforce uneducated ignorance on the population would ultimately be the best strategy to promote neo-reactionary positions. How long will it take neo-reactionaries to figure out that education itself, in all forms, is their enemy?

        In time, they will discover that science also isn’t on their side. The more one listens to neo-reactionaries, the more one suspects they are just standard reactionaries doing what reactionaries have always done. HBD race realism, for example, is just racism in new clothes. Everything else is just polishing a turd.

        • The thing about anti-immigrant places like vdare, is that they’re not as much anti immigrant, as just plain white nationalist, albeit, a more nuanced and thin boundaried type of wn than the kind found at Stormfront et al.

          In fact, vdare and peter brimelow annoy me just because they’re do dishonest about it. He, they, walk and quack like a duck, but just won’t say “yeah, I’m a duck.”

          On your post, well, it’s not immigrants they’re against. It’s non white immigrants, and black Americans, and basically, yeah. Vdare denies being white nationalist and says they’re anti immigrant, but their founder is an immigrant, many writers are immigrants, and most of the content that includes immigrants is only used to Bash non white pEople. Of course, the site also frequently bashes non white non immigrants who’ve likely been in america longer than many of their writers as well, if not more. Sure , they accept people from these groups on an individual, everyday level, but you understand.

          http://makeameme.org/meme/runs-an-antiimmigration

  7. “read between the lines”

    I always think of that as an Ne ability, especially when combined with Fi. It is the tendency to not take people at their word, but the intentions and motivations behind their words.

    It is a more psychological focus in relating to others. The Fi gives Ne a psychological tinge with an empathetic probing, an intersubjective feeling into another’s thought process. The human is what is felt to give meaning to the words.

    I don’t see INTPs as having this ability so much. The lack of Fi severely limits their ability to accurately read between the lines, although Ne gives them an ability to sense the ideas and meanings being conveyed. The intersubjetive level of social interactions tends to go over their heads.

    What Ti is great for is analyzing and nitpicking. Dominant Ti is to be stuck in one’s head. They could understand the thought processes of another in the abstract, but they would be less able read to between the lines in sensing the ‘human’ quality. Ti probes the structure of thought more than the content or essence of thought.

    • These were my results on a online jungian test:

      Your cognitive functions are, in order of development:
      Ne – Fe – Ni – Si – Fi – Te – Ti – Se

      Based on your cognitive functions, your type is most likely:
      Most Likely: ENFP

      I’m not a super strong E (only ever slightly to moderately extroverted) but I would definitely say I’m an E over an I, even if not heavily.

      I’m a very strong Ne and Fe and moderate in everything else lol.

      Well, on the Asian thing above, even if not ‘reading between the lines’ isn’t it blaringly obvious? 😛 Yes, I know that’s not a read word XD

      “I’m amazed that a teacher could be so fucking ignorant about history and about all the data on institutionalized biases. I lack even a college degree and yet I know more about all of this than a teacher who is posing as an expert of sorts. I regularly read and write about all the information that he doesn’t even know exists. If he is going to have such strong opinions, shouldn’t he first fully inform himself first?”

      The story on convincing the hispanic prof strikes me as a bit “that totally happened” to be honest. Or at least a bit embellished. Same with the story on talking to that Nigerian kid at Starbucks for quite a time 😛 Anyway, I can believe that he is a totally decent guy behavior-wise irl, and to his students, though I wonder if his prejudices sometimes do affect his teaching. There were redditors who digged up posts suggesting that there are indeed many moments where his biases do indeed affect his job, but I can believe him when he, on an individual level, treats his students decently, cares about them to certain extents, thinks “they’re great kids” (and all but…. XD) and such, despite his deep bitterness and prejudice.

      • “Anyway, I can believe that he is a totally decent guy behavior-wise irl, and to his students, though I wonder if his prejudices sometimes do affect his teaching.”

        That is what I think about most of these kinds of people, even JayMan.

        Most people are nice in person, no matter their beliefs. Their biases would influence their actions and relationships, but it would be in mostly subtle ways that few would notice most of the time. It would be more in the background. Even if someone sensed something off about them, they wouldn’t likely be able to pinpoint that the person is prejudiced.

        Then again, the average Klansmen is probably nice in person as well, even to blacks. Institutionalized and systemic racism isn’t dependent on people being overtly mean and bigoted. It is more about the accumulation of endless biases in every aspect of life. For example, a cop could be friendly even as he racially profiles and he wouldn’t even have to do it consciously, as research shows prejudices operate just fine without self-awareness.

    • The main thing I read between the lines of that lovely piece is that the author isn’t the sharpest tool in the toolbox. I hope he doesn’t breed, for if he does he will contribute to the degeneration of society’s IQ level.

      • I’m losing a lot of patience for libertarians these days, or at least, hard-right ones, who I find to be anything but about “liberty”

        https://archive.today/ZmU3e

        At the above iq guy. Well I’m someone who values being a good person above being iq smart, but I guess that’s a naive view if kindness is correlated with iq :p

        • Libertarianism has become one of the most meaningless labels. There are principled libertarians who actually believe in “liberty”. But they are hard to find. I think anyone who cares about “liberty” is for that reason unlikely to identify as libertarian.

  8. None of use were present when this shooting took place (at least not that I know of). As such, none of us know with complete certainty whether or not the police officer’s attitude is to blame for what happened or whether the young man killed attacked first. There are so many conflicting accounts from witnesses that it is difficult to know what truly happened; out of the three people directly involved in this situation one is dead and the other two are telling different stories. That is bound to create a lot of confusion and misinformation about all the parties involved, which (in turn) makes things far more difficult for the Prosecution and Grand Jury.

    I have no doubt that the Grand Jury took this responsibility very seriously. I have not been able to read through the actual documents myself and because of that I will not state an opinion on whether they made the right call or not. I feel badly for them more than anything – that was a huge responsibility to shoulder.

    Does racism exist? Absolutely. As a country we have come a long way, but there is still much farther to go to reach true equality. It’s a huge shame that there are innocent people out there who truly fear for their lives whenever they get pulled over, even if they haven’t done anything wrong. That is wrong no matter how you look at it and something needs to be done to change that.

    Regardless, I truly feel horrible for Michael Brown’s family and loved ones. They are innocent victims in this situation and my heart goes out to them – no matter what happens, the fact remains that they lost their child. I especially feel for them because people have not honored their request that the protests be peaceful and productive – it strikes me as so disrespectful that people are ignoring the family’s’ wishes.

    (And just a side note, I honestly do think requiring police officers to wear cameras while on patrol is a good idea – it protects truly innocent victims or brutality and also helps protect truly innocent officers as well).

    My heart also goes out to the family of Officer Wilson – some people won’t agree with me on that, but they are innocent bystanders in all this too.

    As for the innocent citizens of Ferguson who aren’t protesting the verdict or who are peacefully protesting – please stay safe and know that I understand most of you are good people. I’m sorry that some people taking advantage of the situation (by lashing out in violence or looting) and are causing such chaos in your community. Stay safe and stay strong.

    • I forget which posts you’ve previously commented upon. So, I don’t know if you’ve looked at the ton of data I’ve shared about systemic and institutional racism or, if you prefer, racial bias. The injustice in this society is mindblowing. Even South Africa didn’t target their black population as systematically and as widely. Every aspect of the police and legal system is severely biased against blacks.

      As MLK said, “I contend that the cry of “black power” is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard.”

      Part of the problem, as first person accounts have shown, is that the police have been attacking innocent non-violent protesters and bystanders. The police were contributing to the stress and fear of the situation. There are ways of ways of rounding up troublemakers while allowing peaceful protest and without the police instigating riots and mass violence.

      It is the type of bad behavior from the police that caused so many problems during the Vietnam War protests. Many police departments across the country were reformed following that era of oppressive police intervention. We are at an era when new reform is needed.

      I’m against violence, but I apply that standard equally to all, including the police and other authorities. The violent oppression of black people needs to end immediately.

  9. Said because I’ve been looking at the genteel racists(who deflect and sometimes deny it) and I was thinking, we don’t need more (subtle) hatemongering and negativity that only serves their segregationist wet dreams.

    By the way, genteel “anti-immigrationists” *cough cough* do slip up once in a while: http://m.imgur.com/NUVOraJ

    • Racists will be racists. There isn’t much that can be done about them. Racism is decreasing, as the population becomes more mixed. The only solution to racism is slow change.

      Riots happen. They happened during the American Revolution and have happened ever since. Whites riot all the time and cause mass destruction, such as after sports games. But no one cares until poor minorities riot and then it is a problem that must be dealt with using violent force.

      It is hypocrisy in defense of the oppressive racial order.

    • That was a good post. It’s nice to hear from a view that is neither black or white. I’d like to hear more Native American voices as well, specifically in the mainstream.

      You are more likely to hear about Asians and blacks in the MSM than about Native Americans. Native Americans are the most segregated, isolated, and silenced population in the US. We hear about the problems in black communties all the time and yet we rarely hear about Native American communities.

      That is majorly effed up.

      BTW about Asians, they also experienced sundown towns, just as blacks did. Hispanics also. I think it might have been Montana that once had a large Asian population. Few people think about how Asians ended up in big cities, not unlike how blacks ended up in inner cities. Minorities used to be more evenly spread across the country, prior to the rise of sundown towns.

      It would be nice to se more solidarity among all minorities and all poor people. One of the saddest things in the world is when disadvantaged groups turn on each other or remain silent.

      • This is something I’ve been pondering… but if you’ve been around the reactionary sphere, Asians are pretty overrepresented relative to other non-whites, especially Asian men. This goes from the hdd sphere, to the ‘manosphere’ and everything. Why do you think this is?

        • btw, the Asian tiger parent I was scuffling with was a ‘race realist’ as well, and thought asians were naturally from conforming and it was biotruths. But he was aware of the ncreasing amount of young Asians and Asian-Americans who were deviating from his very narrow views and ideas of life (inclusing becoming activists, intellectuals, humanitarians, artists, etc) and this bugged the HECK out of him because “these kids should be getting nice jobs at goldman sachs!!!!!.” So basically he thought it was biotruths that asians should follow the status quo, but at seeing that more and more Asian Americans were deviating from it, it upset him and he wanted to reign em’ in, lol.

          Maybe it’s cause I’m young, but I hate people like that. The ones who try to crush spirits, or pull others into their rigidity.

        • It seems to me that any oppressive, hierarchical social order will always have a favored minority group.

          In a racial social order, in particular, there needs to be at least one minority group that can act as a psychological buffer between black and white. This minority group is held up as a way to attack other minorities. It is the house slave phenomeon of minorities.

          In the past, this often meant Jews. But it increasingly has been Asians.

          There are always many in that chosen group who will accept their role in the racial order. Being the special minority comes with a fair amount of priviliges. You aren’t fully accepted into the mainstream, but the benefits offset that.

          It’s just human nature to be easily manipulated by the social order one is a part of. It is a rare person who entirely refuses to play the game.

          I’m not familiar with the data on Asian Americans. I don’t know, for example, how much attitudes are changing with the younger generations. I make the assumption that most Asian Americans live in urban areas than in rural areas, but I actually haven’t seen the data on that. Assuming that is the case, if they were concentrated in multicultural cities, they likely would have a great impact on the younger generations.

          It would be interesting to see a good breakdown of Asian American demographics and surveys.

  10. Even though I am not religious…

    IN scrolling through his twitter feed and blog, J’s hyper materialist and reductionist approach to things is really… weird. It’s almost like he tries to deal with reality (and maybe avoid responsibility?) by reducing everything down to, well, “can’t help it just the way things are” “my thoughts are just electrical impulses no more” it’s nihilistic I suppose. Though his robotic online persona suggests that it’s neutral for him, just depressing for others, I wonder if it does affect him emotionally irl…

    https://archive.today/q1XIa

    Wonder what he thinks of Ferguson :/ My guess is that on some emotional level he probably wants to be disassociated with black Americans…

    my reaction? A tragedy, a straw that broke the camel’s back, the flash point in a simmering buildup. Sadness. Empathy.

    • Even for cynical race realist HBDers, his attitude of nihilistic determinism isn’t common. His mind seems so self-contained, full epistemic closure. He just knows he is right. Nothing can touch him or change his mind. He lives entirely in a worldview of his own making. It is as if he sees himself as a prophet in the desert or a doomed heroic figure who nobly bears the weight of his fate… or something like that.

      I’ve often thought about the psychological motivations that make such a mindset possible. There is such a severe disconnect, a deadening of emotion and empathy. I’d say this is likely what causes his intellectual mind to be impaired. It is a total disconnect of his being. It does make one wonder if there was some trauma at some point in his life or if he was just born that way.

  11. It’s all ignorant bigoted bullshit. Just read Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steele. Also, among blacks, females actually have higher average IQs. There are many factors that go into IQ. Stereotype threat is just one of many. The ironic thing is that someone like Richard Lynn doesn’t come across as very smart, when he writes such pointless drivel. He is not proving his own point.

  12. This applys to far right libertarians. So here’s the catch: libertarians aren’t libertarians. Libertarians are closeted totalitarian traditionalists. But, they were raised to despise totalitarian regimes and love freedom, so they will deflect and rationalise as much as humanly possible, because cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

    See: Vox Day, Ilana Mercer, HH Hoppe, Peter Thiel, any an-cap, neoreactinoaries tech-libertarian dweebs, etc

    http://www.reddit.com/r/EnoughLibertarianSpam/comments/2i0p37/peter_thiel_if_only_women_couldnt_vote/

    • “This applys to far right libertarians. So here’s the catch: libertarians aren’t libertarians. Libertarians are closeted totalitarian traditionalists. But, they were raised to despise totalitarian regimes and love freedom, so they will deflect and rationalise as much as humanly possible, because cognitive dissonance is a bitch.”

      So-called “libertarians” often are an enigma. It is surprising how often they are willing to sacrifice liberty, as long as it is other people’s liberty. Liberty is supposedly their central principle.

  13. Reactionaries hate the idea that women can make choices to be feminine or not without consequences, because they’ve spent so long assuming femininity was inferior but needed that they simply do not trust other people to be feminine of their own free will.

  14. You know Benjamin… if I had read this during a depressive episide, I probably wouldn’t be alive right now…

    The thing that assures me is that when I shared this on r/depression (a sort of online support group) everyone was like “WTF?”

    https://archive.today/S3ZT7

    • That is yet another example of JayMan’s sloppy thinking. Not entirely unlike race, free will isn’t a scientific concept. It isn’t about being real or unreal. It simply is nonfalsifiable. It can be debated philosophically and theologically. But there is no way to prove or disprove it as a scientific theory. JayMan has a history of mixing belief and science.

    • I haven’t read that book by Charles Murray. I considered reading it. I’m naturally curious and want to understand other viewpoints. It was getting so much attention at one point and the author apparently was considering some genuine data, which is always commendable.

      But before I read any book, I always check out the reviews. From some detailed reviews I read, I had the sense I wasn’t going to get any more insight from the book itself than I got from those better reviews. Reading the book would probably frustrate me and lead me to yelling at the book… and it is unsatisfying to yell at a book.

      I’ve been diagnosed with severe depression for longer period of time than I lived without that diagnosis. The world as it is can really exacerbate my condition, if I’m not careful. I have to take regular breaks from the news, for the sake of my sanity and my longevity. I’ve spent much of my life assuming I wouldn’t likely reach old age, and yet here I still am. I will turn 40 next year. i have no clue how I’ve lasted this long.

      The one interesting thing from Murray’s book is that he apparently criticizes poor people of all races. His privilege may not be colorblind, but his sense of class superiority is what is most important. All the poor people are worthless scum.

      I don’t know much about “gifted” spaces. I’ve never been a member of such a forum. Like you, I’m “‘gifted’ (but not genius)”. I also prefer personality forums.

      I don’t see differences as being inherently better or worse. People are just freaking different like goddamn snowflakes. Difference doesn’t need to mean anything other than what it is. I know my brain for sure operates differently, but that is neither good nor bad. It seems pointless trying to look for reasons of superiority. Despite our differences, we all suffer and die the same.

      • American parents of gifted children complain a lot, so yeah. Though America has both an anti intellectual and anti elitist streak…

        Anyway, upset gifted parents who are ostracized by other parents always say “gifted isn’t better it’s jus different stop being jealous” but it’s clear that for people like Murray, gifted IS better.

        Read that forum from the first page. It made me want to kill myself. And this is the only place I can say that. Lest I be committed to a facility.

        This may be my down to earth style but yeah, “gifted” spaces despite all the complaining about “we’re not better just different” tend to be so… Ugh. No thanks.

        Though as an ENFP it sucks because I need people, yet depression causes me to isolate myself, which then fuels the cycle further.

        • Well I’m 20 and in college. And I really contradict the enfp image despite being one at heart. We’re supposed to be happy people. I’m quirky and personable but too young to be so bitter and disillusioned on the inside. I think it’s because I matured intellectually before I did emotionally which lead me to see and look at things that were inappropriate for someone of my maturity level. I’ve struggled with dysthymia on and off since puberty.

      • I just now read through that entire discussion. I’ve seen worse, but it was annoying. There were some good comments. Being gifted doesn’t necessarily mean being all that well informed about complex social issues.

        The greatness of being an introvert is that being alone is just fine. I have my social side, but it doesn’t take much to satisfy it. I have basically two friends, one I’ve known since childhood and the other for more than a decade. Most of my socializing comes from family (and my cats). Heck, hanging out on the internet is ‘social’ to my introverted mind.

        I can’t help you with the being social angle. That is not one of my talents or priorities. I just do my own thing. I can, however, sympathize with your maturing intellectually before emotionally. I was always emotional, but not always emotionally mature. That was a long path of development to become somewhat ‘normal’ on the emotional level. Being an introvert didn’t give me much motivation to develop emotional skills and the related social skills.

    • Rightwing hereditarians would of course blame bitchiness on genetics, possibly inferior genetics. They would say this proves that gender roles are inborn and inevitable and that therefore woman should stay in their place.. or something like that.

      • You mean like some in the gifted thread above?

        Reactionaries love talking about traditionalism and pulling the “sacred motherhood” card when it’s clear that they see the feminine as below the masculine and devalue “women’s work” compared to “men’s work.” Rather than the reactionary ranting of womanhood being sacred, in practice “women’s work” and “female roles” are taken for granted and devalued

        • I didn’t have anything specific in mind. My thoughts were more general.

          First, as you say, women should know their place.

          Bitchiness shows why women shouldn’t be in the work place or at least shouldn’t be bosses. They just don’t have what it takes to deal with the pressure and responsibility like men, so the argument goes. Women were built to be mothers and wives.

          Second, there are a number of justifications for this.

          Reactionaries used to more commonly argue on religious grounds. It was because God made women that way. She was inferior because she was made second, from Adam’s rib in order to serve him… but of course she messed up the whole Garden of Eden situation. Sacred motherhood would just be rhetoric, simply implying that women should stay in their place because that is the way it is.

          These days, religious arguments for patriarchy are less persuasive. As religion has lost its ideological power in public debate, reactionaries have increasingly been forced to turn to secular language to give force to their vision of moral order. This has largely meant turning to pseudo-scientific language and cherrypicked data.

          That is one thing that makes HBD interesting. These neo-reactionaries are a new breed. Their arguments are a lot more nuanced and subtle than the old religious dogma. Right-wingers can’t as easily make authoritarian statements and assume that people will listen and obey. They have to actually form logical arguments of sorts.

          It used to be that debate on all sides was put into the context of religion. This was true as late as the Civil Rights movement. The entire Cold War was framed by religion and that extended even well past the Civil Rights movement. It is a massive change that the framework of debate has almost entirely been secularized.

          That is progress in a way.

          • One thing that annoys me, is that women are often the ones that reinforce status quos like this. From the anti-suffragist women, to the women who mutilate other women’s genitals, women who slut shame, etc etc. bottom line is even if from our perspective women get the short end of the stick in these conservative societies many women are reinforcers of it.

          • Women often play a central role in passing on cultural values and standards. They tend to do most of the child rearing, for example. Also, for most of American history women were disproportionately found in the teaching profession. This has given women a primary influence in the socialization process, for both girls and boys.

            Of course, they were (and are) typically acting within the framework of a patriarchal society and institutions. So, they were serving a particular agenda, whether or not they agreed with it.

            It is the old issue of why people so often act in ways that don’t seem to serve their self-interests. That is a tough nut to crack. People are easily manipulated and the impulse toward conformity is strong, especially when their are costs and consequences to not conforming. It is easier to go along to get along, even in a society that is designed to keep you out of power.

  15. You know Benjamin, if you adopt any evopsych or biological take towards things like this; especially things that sort of justify an unfairness towards you (I’m a woman) you inevitably start hating humans. I inevitably hate people of both genders. Fuck people.

    If you’ve read oryx and crake… Let’s just destroy ourselves and replace ourselves with better versions of us. Think about it. If so much of the ill in this world I due to human instinct, than why not replace ourselves with those who have better instincts than we do?

  16. Reactionary logic: men can pull the “instinct” card to justify double standards and other things. But women can’t.

    In fact female instincts must be controlled to keep society functioning :p even women control other women. There is no sisterhood. Men rule, and women suck up to the men and trash the women who don’t.

    /sarcasm

  17. Could the “knowing the truth” be J?

    Coping Styles and Strategies
    Coping with an ongoing awareness of existential issues and the accompanying low-grade depression can be distressing, and few people can directly confront their existential depression for very long. As Yalom (2008) wrote, quoting François de La Rochefoucauld from the 1600s, “You cannot stare straight into the face of the sun, or death.” How do people try to manage these complex and often painful issues? Some coping styles are clearly less adaptive than others, especially when they involve narrowing of thought and high activity levels. Some frequent but not-so-effective styles are:

    Becoming narcissistic. Some individuals deal with painful issues in their life through narcissism. Their thought pattern is something like this: “I can protect myself (temporarily) from having to confront my own mortality by convincing myself of my own importance and that what I am doing is extremely important to the world.”
    Knowing the “truth.” Likewise, some individuals convince themselves that they are “right” and know the “truth.” Religions often facilitate such an attitude. Their thought pattern goes something like this: “If I can convince myself that I know the ‘truth’ about life and the universal meaning of existence, then I can gain comfort.” Often, this illusion is accompanied by an intolerance for others’ questions, beliefs, or style of living.
    Trying to control life, or at least label it. Another strategy is control. “Perhaps if I organize myself and my thinking in controlled, logic-tight compartments, then I can control life.” Labels help, because they give an illusion of control. If I have power over things around me, then I have power over my life and my destiny.
    Learning to not think. Still another pattern is to be non-thinking. “Sometimes it is simply less painful if I choose to just not think about things that matter, and certainly to avoid using critical thinking skills. I will selectively ignore areas of my life.” This allows blind spots to develop or exist.
    Learning to not care. I have known children and adults who have convinced themselves not to care; it is less painful that way. Unfortunately, many times this “numbing of the mind” is accomplished via alcohol, drugs, or other addictions.
    Keeping busy. Some individuals avoid facing difficult personal issues by keeping busy. Their inner voice tells them, “If I stay frantically busy in a hypomanic fashion, then I don’t have time to think about things, or about the meaning of my behaviors.” Sometimes these people are “trivial pursuers” in that they focus on possessing, creating, or developing minutiae or pleasant pastimes with little regard to whether their efforts are trivial or harmful. Others seem to have a compulsion to utter or to act to overcome their “horror vacui”—their fear of empty space or time, during which they might be forced to face their issues.

  18. I don’t intend to live very long… I don’t want to live in this plane of existence anymore… To live in a world of injustice and unfairness and a species who knows only what they see and not what they can imagine. I’m sick of living in a world of injustice where most will accept, and perpetuate. Where my identities and desires are shameful, where people defend what is not in their interest because it’s what they do. Where life is defending what you see, not what you can imagine.

    highability.org/36/existential-depression/

  19. I’m going to give you a combined response, to simplify things.

    “You know Benjamin, if you adopt any evopsych or biological take towards things like this; especially things that sort of justify an unfairness towards you (I’m a woman) you inevitably start hating humans. I inevitably hate people of both genders. Fuck people.”

    I’m not a woman nor have I ever been a woman. But I have a friend who is a woman. Also, some of my family members are women, including my mother. LOL

    I’ve also never been a minority. I can’t even say I’ve really been poor. I was for a time living below the poverty line, but that was partly out of choice and it was while living in a wealthier community. That isn’t the same thing as being born into and stuck in an impoverished community as part of a multi-generational permanent underclass.

    In the big picture, I’ve lived a relatively privileged life. It is my learning disabilities and depression that have given me understanding and compassion toward others who are less privileged. I am working class and don’t have much excess money. I get by. Knowing how much I struggle with life gives me immense concern about and empathy for those whose struggles are so far beyond my own.

    Anyway, I put everything in context. I read a ton of things, but I always seek a greater perspective beyond a single view or source. I would take any evopsych or biological explanation with a grain of salt. It is just info to be considered.

    The only antidote to hate is a sense of curiosity and wonder. Humans are fascinating creatures, with immense potential, even if rarely utilized.

    “If you’ve read oryx and crake… Let’s just destroy ourselves and replace ourselves with better versions of us. Think about it. If so much of the ill in this world I due to human instinct, than why not replace ourselves with those who have better instincts than we do?”

    I have not read that book. Someone I used to work with loved it. I’ve been meaning to read it one of these days. So, I can’t speak about what I don’t know. The idea sounds interesting and I can see how it would make for a good story. I’m not sure how well it would apply to reality. Those who have the power would control the technology to alter “human instinct”. I don’t know what they might do with such power. I was trying to imagine how Philip K. Dick might imagine that future.

    “Reactionary logic: men can pull the “instinct” card to justify double standards and other things. But women can’t.”

    Reactionaries are the strangest creatures of them all. But they are just a small minority, so it seems to me. The danger is when reactionaries gain power and bend society to their will, shape the world to their mad fantasies. Imagine if the reactionaries choose to reshape “human instinct.” Now, that would make me despair.

    But I’m hopeful, in my own way. I see the future as filled with endless paths that humanity could take. Where we are headed might not be controllable by any group. No one can be sure what the results will be. I find that exciting, the unknown.

    “Could the “knowing the truth” be J?”

    I think I know what you mean. I’d probably call that J. Actually, I’d be more likely to speak of it in terms of Hartmann’s thick boundary type. It can manifest in many ways. not all of them negative.

    “I don’t intend to live very long… I don’t want to live in this plane of existence anymore… To live in a world of injustice and unfairness and a species who knows only what they see and not what they can imagine. I’m sick of living in a world of injustice where most will accept, and perpetuate. Where my identities and desires are shameful, where people defend what is not in their interest because it’s what they do. Where life is defending what you see, not what you can imagine.”

    I’ve made it as long as I have by one simple rule. I live day by day. I don’t plan for the future or even think much about the future, at least not on a personal level. I focus on what interests me in the present, specifically what gives me a sense of drive and motivation, a sense of purpose even. That is what my writing is all about.

    It took me a long time to get to this point, though. I’ve hit some major low points in my life. That includes a suicide attempt long ago. I also at one point seriously considered becoming a hermit living in the woods. It wasn’t easy for me to come to a truce with society. I’ve found my niche in the world and I make the best of it.

    I’m sick of it, too. There is a soul sickness that continues to make me despair at times. But I’ve learned to accept the darkness. It is just there, always there. Your eyes can grow accustomed to the dark, once you’ve remained in it long enough. It stops seeming so dark after a while.

    What has mattered the most to me is finding a few other close relationships to keep me company in the dark. My lifelong best friend has been especially important to me. Friendship can keep one sane like nothing else in the world. Never dismiss any opportunities for friendship. I know what it is like to feel lonely. I’ve had periods of my life where I had become isolated. It isn’t a fate I would wish on anyone.

    There is nothing more precious in the world than friendship. Seek out those who will understand and accept you. That is the best advice I could offer anyone.

    But each person’s life is their own. Everyone has to find their own path. And no one ultimately knows where there path will lead, until they get there.

  20. And it is stemming from feeling powerless. Many things you can’t control. Internal conflict. Living in a cruel world. Humans wanting to dominate others and fight for resources, rather than wanting peace. People defending what they know, even if they are not the privileged in their known reality (ex: women who participate in honor killings of other women, anti-suffragist women 100 years ago, women who discourage other women from reporting rapes.) Being an oddball weirdo. Loneliness/isolation from others. Avoiding others because you know that they got to know you they’d run away screaming. Not fitting in. Just the usual.

    And I am not a fan of the term ‘gifted.’ Some parents complain online that other people are threatened by and jealous of their (gifted) kids, and these parents will go out of their way to say “It’s not better, it’s different!” Except that the term ‘gifted’ itself implies something good, awesome, special. And these parents will go on talk about how the world needs more of that five-star gifted DNA when struggling gifted adults not wanting kids because they don’t want to give their kids that torture. And you get people like Charles Murray who clearly DO thinking gifted is better. And online ‘gifted’ forums? Such insufferable places, ugh. If their online personas are accurate, then I don’t wanna be around them And I am getting major lols wondering if that is what a MENSA meeting looks like

    The term “precocious” is probably more appropriate.

    • I like the idea of the sisterhood, but come on, women uphold patriarchal status quos just the same 🙂 I think women often have an extra incentive to gang up on other women because it gives them a sense of control. “If I think that woman got raped because of her clothes, than I can feel safe because I feel I can control whether I get raped or not by my choices. That it’s not the system that’s unfair, it’s that I need to make good choices.”

      • My brain tries to analyze and intellectualize everything rather than let my feelings tell me “these are assholes, leave.” It’s why I am so pro at reading the reactionary sphere. Unfortunately it leads to me internalizing a lot of shit on an intellectual level, even though emotionally I am repulsed. But I devalue my emotions. For example, eugenics. Because I’ve met, and respect, one of the fathers mentioned in the link, I cried seeing these comments, even though my brain on an intellectual level dosen’t really ‘judge’ but instead ‘veers’ into that mentality, and even, well, internalizes it. Internalizes Gattaca.

        http://www.gnxp.com/new/2007/05/12/pro-forma-hand-wringing/

        My college partners with the local school district, so we have a program for college-aged special ed kids. I may volunteer there, as a way of coping with my depression and loneliness, but also as a way, to well, regain some humanity in myself.

        Because Charles Murray-style thinking isn’t me, ultimately. And I’ve got to come to terms my internalized misogyny, which I’ve used to devalue my own style, my own personality. I’ve devalued empathy, compassion, a sense of caring for others, not just barreling forward in some Darwinian race to ultimately nowhere. I’ve devalued things that are really me, at the core. I’ve devalued it because I’ve been brainwashed to think that they were weaknesses and used as fodder against the ‘truth’ and it’s proponents (J, Murray, etc.) I’ve internalized it… it sucks.

        http://www.reddit.com/r/philosophy/comments/22puqo/charles_murray_on_female_philosophers_stands_by/cgpqtas

  21. “And it is stemming from feeling powerless. Many things you can’t control.”

    Powerlessness is an easy thing to feel. It is simply a fact that most things in life are beyond your control. The world is a vast and complex place. That is why it so important where you focus your mind and energies. It is something I always struggle with. I tend to focus a lot on the negative.

    I’ve developed some habits and strategies to deal with this.

    First of all, I’ve learned to take my depression seriously. I listen to it. Sometimes I need to let myself fall into a funk for a period and find ways to distract myself. It seems like a way of processing the negative. But depression also has taught me to take care of myself. I try my best to eat healthy and exercise often because, if I don’t, my depression can bring me down to levels of hopeless despair.

    Another thing I do is to carefully create and protect my personal world. I try to surround myself with all the things and activities that bring something positive to my life. I have walls of books that remind me of all that is fascinating in the world. I have cats who are great companions for bouts of loneliness and depression. I have family and friends who give me reason to get out of my own head. I have local groups I belong to on facebook that keep me connected to what is going on in the community around me and so helps me feel like I belong somewhere. And last but not least, I have my blog which gives me an outlet for my thoughts and feelings, a platform to express myself and articulate my views, and generally gives me a sense of purpose.

    There is much you can’t control, but there is also much you can control.

    “That it’s not the system that’s unfair, it’s that I need to make good choices.”

    That is true in all aspects of life. And it applies to everyone, to varying degrees. Even the wealthiest, most privileged people in the world rationalize about how bad things will never happen to them because they “make good choices”. It is how many people deal with an otherwise overwhelming world that isn’t based on justice and fairness. But it is ultimately a harmful attitude. It is an illusion of protection.

    “My brain tries to analyze and intellectualize everything rather than let my feelings tell me “these are assholes, leave.””

    That describes me as well. One way I deal with it is to let my feelings fuel my intellect. That grounds my intellect in the personal and allows it to be a vehicle for my what I feel. Instead of bottling it up, I express and articulate it. When I meet an asshole, I sometimes just have to let them know they are an asshole and I might even give them an intelletual argument for why that is the case.

    “Unfortunately it leads to me internalizing a lot of shit on an intellectual level, even though emotionally I am repulsed. But I devalue my emotions.”

    Internalizing is one of the worst things. But it is also completely natural. It is what humans do as social animals. We internalize the social world around us. We start doing it from before we are even born.

    My personal antidote for this is to talk and write about it. That way, it gets expressed outward and so allows for some openess to see outside of it or at least glimplse other perspectives. This creates space for my emotions. Sometimes you need to vomit up all that you internalized. It can be messy, but you’ll feel better afterwards.

    “I may volunteer there, as a way of coping with my depression and loneliness, but also as a way, to well, regain some humanity in myself.”

    Connecting to others is important. This is particularly true in terms of the community around you. It is your social world. In the age of mass media, it is too easy to become disconnected from immediate realities. We all need ways to keep ourselves grounded in the concrete and personal.

    I joined a Ferguson protest the other day. It was just a small local event. Still, it was felt good to participate in something that matters to me dearly. I often write about oppression. I decided to take the opportunity to express in action what I often express in words.

    Little things like that do matter. I wish I was more outgoing. I really do resist anything social like that. I’m not comfortable around groups of strangers. But it is good on occasion to push the boundaries of my personal comfort zone.

    “And I’ve got to come to terms my internalized misogyny, which I’ve used to devalue my own style, my own personality.”

    It took me a long time to accept myself for who I am. I used to struggle with the notion that I should be different, that there was something wrong with the way I am. I was driving myself crazy trying to be what I was not. I finally gave up on trying to change and it was a great weight off of my shoulders.

    • I saw a study the other day that showed that both male and female college students associated maleness wit superiority and basically men were better. And this isn’t consciously.

      A big challenge for myself is to say that, well, admitting my feelings instead of just intellectualizing everything. It’s hard to just admit “I’m offended” “I’m scared” “this offends me” than to just intellectualize everything and sort of develop Stockholm syndrome as a result of veering into the persons mentality and comprehending it.

      Internalized misogyny really sucks.

      I take things that are of my control, and take it personally. I went through phase where I thought, if only I was a well off, straight white guy, all my problems and depression would stop because I thought my angst was coming for the fact that I was inferior. But I did have a teacher who thought that wouldn’t be the case because my angst and intellectualizing attempts were just symptoms of something.

      It sucks thinking I belong to groups that aren’t victims of short ends of the stick historically, but no, we’re just not as awesome as white men. That charles murray, sailer, et al are lucky bastards because they’re very much in a comfy position as straight white dudes when reality is approached through their style.

      • “I saw a study the other day that showed that both male and female college students associated maleness wit superiority and basically men were better. And this isn’t consciously.”

        There are a million studies like that. Stereotypes and biases exist about all kinds of things: gender, class, race, ethnicity, etc. And most of it is unconscious. Just the way the world is. These issues are getting better in many ways, but it is slow change.

        “intellectualize everything and sort of develop Stockholm syndrome as a result of veering into the persons mentality and comprehending it.”

        That is your talent as an ENFP. You can easily enter into other people’s mindsets. It is a great ability, but it has its drawbacks. In typology terms, you maybe need to develop your auxiliary Fi to guide your dominant Ne, develop your tertriary Fe to ground you, and develop your inferior/aspirational Si as balance.

        “Internalized misogyny really sucks.”

        When you live in a society that sucks, internalizing any aspect of that society sucks. That isn’t to say there aren’t worse societies to live in and internalize, but our society is far from optimal in so many freaking ways.

        “I went through phase where I thought, if only I was a well off, straight white guy, all my problems and depression would stop because I thought my angst was coming for the fact that I was inferior.”

        Well, I’m a straight white guy who was raised middle class. Privilege does give one many advantages in life, but it can’t solve all problems. It wouldn’t hurt, though, to be born filthy rich and never have to worry a second of your life about solving your own problems. Sadly, I’ve inherited no massive wealth.

        “But I did have a teacher who thought that wouldn’t be the case because my angst and intellectualizing attempts were just symptoms of something.”

        Maybe it is just being caught up in your dominant Ne. It is just what you are good at. The problem you face right now is how to direct what you are good at toward something socially constructive and personally satisfying.

        “It sucks thinking I belong to groups that aren’t victims of short ends of the stick historically, but no, we’re just not as awesome as white men.”

        Even white men aren’t as awesome as “white men”.

        This society sucks for everyone in different ways and to varying degrees. It is just an all around sucky society. Many white men criticize other groups in trying to make themselves feel better, but they wouldn’t need to make themselves feel better if they didn’t live in such a fucked-up society.

        Take economic inequality as an example. The data shows that even the wealthier are worse off in high inequality societies. It turns out a society that is better for everyone actually is better for everyone. If we could just make rich white dudes understand this, we might make some real progress as a society.

        • Benjamin did I leave another comment?

          So what is the key then? More life experience? I have an Fi and Fe, but the problem has been devaluing it due to internalizing popular reactionary rhetoric. Yet… despite internalizing so much, I never joined their side, which means i never really lost my Fi and Fe, eh?

          Si just seems to be a product of life experience, something I don’t have, and wish I could get.

          The Eric Garner case funnily enough has pulled me a bit out of a funk. Like… in a way it’s released me a bit from my internalized reactionism.

          • “Benjamin did I leave another comment?”

            Other than the vdump comment below, I know of no other comment. Maybe the internet gremlins got it.

            “So what is the key then? More life experience?”

            It could be that simple. Life experience is helpful in many ways, obviously. But most of all it just gives you perspective. For me, gaining perspective was quite important. I can’t speak for you, though.

            I wouldn’t ignore your inferior funtion for it is also your aspirational. My inferior is Te. I had to come to terms with it, especially as my father is a Te type. Developing Te had much to do with developing all aspects of who I am and it was central in dealing with my depression.

            I don’t know what it would mean to have Si as an inferior. Si is my tertiary. It plays the role of comfort, the child archetype in Beebe’s model. My mom is a dominant Si type and so that also gives a different spin on that function for me.

            A major thing Si is about is the personal, the familiar and known, such as family and friends and all that goes with that. The celebration of the holidays as a family tradition is all about Si.

            It isn’t fundamentally about getting more life experience, but about valuing the life experience you already have. Getting more life experience, that is your Ne speaking.

  22. https://archive.today/x6EkC

    I’m not really surprised that the commenters at Lion are niceguys. On top of that they are a little racist and elitist in a very condescending way. Every once in a while Lion has something alright to say but mostly he is a HBD pusher.

    I know who lion is irl. For a while he made me hate humanity and myself due to maybe my Ne

    • Anyway I was trying to say that the popular hdd sayings of “not inferior or superior just different” and “just because we ain’t equal doesn’t mean we don’t have equal value” and it’s variations are becoming increasingly empty rhetoric to me.

      Actions and attitudes speak louder than words.

      I hate internalizing. Honesty I hate my Ne.

    • “I’m not really surprised that the commenters at Lion are niceguys. On top of that they are a little racist and elitist in a very condescending way. Every once in a while Lion has something alright to say but mostly he is a HBD pusher.”

      I looked at what you linked, at the comments, and then around the blog. I was unimpressed. None of the posts or comments I noticed seemed particularly insightful or deep. It has nothing to do with disagreeing. I’ve read many bloggers I disagree with and yet offer some interesting thoughts, but that isn’t the case at the Lion blog. It’s mostly mediocre reactionary commentary.

      “Anyway I was trying to say that the popular hdd sayings of “not inferior or superior just different” and “just because we ain’t equal doesn’t mean we don’t have equal value” and it’s variations are becoming increasingly empty rhetoric to me.”

      Yeah, most HBD is just empty rhetoric. There are some interesting stuff that occasionally can be found on one of the few higher quality HBD blogs, but it is more rare than one would expect.

      “It’s comforting to realize that other people think he’s a pathetic idiot.”

      In that case, you should be comforted by my assessment of his blog.

      • Well even as I internalized the Gattaca fetishes these guys have, it didn’t stop me from crying when I saw then talk about those fathers the way they did. So I never lost my f functions. And I’m even now working with disabled kids because honestly fuck that noise

        I mean this Benjamin. Their rhetoric “not better!” “It’s just descriptive! It’s not indicative of value!” Et al. Is empty stuff that they don’t believe themselves.

  23. But speaking of hdd, there’s this lagriffedulion guy who is anonymous. Many suspect he’s bob Gordon, a former sociologist (and ex hubby of Linda gotfredson) Those a computer scientist at a school looked at it and thinks he’s sloppy.

    Sorry yes I do misspell stuff intentionally.

  24. BTW, this is something that was somewhat instrumental is making me go “fuck that noise” towards… well, you know, the implied superiority of iq and whatnot. Even though I’m “gifted” fuck that noise. That said it first destroyed my self-esteem, though I’m still struggling with that.

    https://archive.today/9qqYW

    TIL that denouncing sexual violence/oppression is a contrived leftist evulllll and that writer did not deserve her nobel prizeeeeeeee because her politics are different from my extreme right-wing ones 😛
    Also I use a lame TV show to make a statement about women in general. Except me. I’m very special 😀

    • Something I struggle with a lot, in light of the above… this thought process

      “Okay fine, I’m gifted. But there’s people much smarter and more gifted and they be mostly menfolk so I am still a stupid women even if I’m in that mensa-qualifying range and I’m nothing special those special people are pretty much all dudes. Also white people are creative masters and other groups are just dumb of copycats and conformists (model minority groups)”

  25. Not to toot my own horn, but honestly my conscience is too big for me to, well, ever be a reactionary. It is why I fetishize destroying humanity, because it is the only humane way for me to deal with my low opinion of people. The only way for me to reconcile, as I said, having a liberal temperament, in which I see liberalness as moral, yet having reactionary views, where I see reactionary views as more realistic, yet not as… ethical, moral, or ‘feel-good.’ I could never deal with reality by truly embracing extreme reactionary ideas… I’d rather wipe out humanity, than embrace a dark future.

    You know, there some lines that just don’t get crossed, and in the event they do, they sicken you. And as a hypocrite, they sicken you when said by others, even if you’ve caught yourself thinking the same thoughts….. But when I saw online barrel scum with their Gattaca wet dreams, attack the two fathers, their arguments about disability, and such, it sickened me. It made me feel like I wanted to stand in front of them and block the attacks, so to speak. Like scumbags were shooting venom that I was shielding.

    http://imgur.com/a/41WWD

    • I have my own cynical side. I also have a side of my personality that I’d call ‘realistic’, rather than cynical.

      For example, I see no evidence of free will. I don’t believe in freewill, but I also don’t disbelieve in free will any more than I disbelieve in God. I see free will as the modern equivalent of what people used to mean by soul. Free will simply isn’t a scientific concept, just as race isn’t a scientific concept. The only thing that keeps me from taking seriously a determinist worldview is that I see the world as too complex, which isn’t necessarily a reason for hope.

      For similar reasons, I think individualism is an illusion, as we are social creatures in a complex world of interconnetions. There is no objective way to ultimately say where one thing ends and another thing begins. Our sensory perception of reality may have little to do with reality itself, and science does support that view.

      Still, I have a hard time feeling any attraction to full-blown reactionary politics and such. It seems entirely unrealistic to me. Just another fantasy, albeit a dark fantasy.

      In the end, I’m an agnostic about everything. I don’t believe what I don’t know. There is more that I don’t know (and can’t know) than I do know (or could ever hope to know). I try to embrace the state of human ignorance with a sense of humility and wonder, not the arrogance of reactionary types who pretend to know what they cannot.

      I’m also a radical skeptic. I sometimes think of my attitude in terms of zeteticism and pyrrhonism, as I see HBDers and other reactionaries as pseudo-skeptics. If a person is going to take on an attitude of skepticism, they better get serious about it. But reactionaries like JayMan just ignorantly replace one set of beliefs with another, and so embrace a form of dogmatism that lacks self-awareness.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcello_Truzzi

      “He promoted the term “zeteticism” as an alternative to “skepticism”, because he thought that the latter term was being usurped by what he termed “pseudoskeptics”. A zetetic is a “skeptical seeker”. The term’s origins lie in the word for the followers of the skeptic Pyrrho in ancient Greece.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrrhonism

      “Whereas academic skepticism, with Carneades as its most famous adherent, claims that “Nothing can be known, not even this”, Pyrrhonian skeptics withhold any assent with regard to non-evident propositions and remain in a state of perpetual inquiry. They disputed the possibility of attaining truth by sensory apprehension, reason, or the two combined, and thence inferred the need for total suspension of judgment (epoché) on things.[3] A Pyrrhonist tries to make the arguments of both sides as strong as possible. Then he asks himself if there is any reason to prefer one side to the other. And if not, he suspends belief in either side. According to them, even the statement that nothing can be known is dogmatic. They thus attempted to make their skepticism universal, and to escape the reproach of basing it upon a fresh dogmatism.[4] Mental imperturbability (ataraxia) was the result to be attained by cultivating such a frame of mind.[4] As in Stoicism and Epicureanism, the happiness or satisfaction of the individual was the goal of life, and all three philosophies placed it in tranquility or indifference.[4] According to the Pyrrhonists, it is our opinions or unwarranted judgments about things which turn them into desires, painful effort, and disappointment.[4] From all this a person is delivered who abstains from judging one state to be preferable to another.[4] But, as complete inactivity would have been synonymous with death, the skeptic, while retaining his consciousness of the complete uncertainty enveloping every step, might follow custom (or nature) in the ordinary affairs of life.”

  26. For a “liberal” guy J seems to really be into reactionary politics…

    Also his online friends are pretty much all reactionaries including garden variety misogynists (despite him having a supposed feminist wife.) He’s a “liberal” who is flattered that the reactionary smug condescending Jon derbyshire likes him. I’m not sure if that means he’s superior to my enfp style ways or not. It’s almost like he has no connection between his pure information perceiving side and his emotional response/empathy side.

    He says his avatar is of the world at night because it helps him feel less depressed about the world though…

    Ex: whites of nw euro stock are naturally more altruistic and this applied to the modern world is killing them (ahhhh immigrants ahhhh letting brown people move in) :/

    • “It’s almost like he has no connection between his pure information perceiving side and his emotional response/empathy side.”

      That is likely accurate. That is what I mean by a thick boundary type.

      There is a psychological disconnect. It’s dissociation that splits the person into separate parts, where one part can’t touch the other. Some people live in their minds or in their beliefs as a way of protecting against uncomfortable realities and dangerous truths.

      From this understanding, I try to offer sympathy and compassion. We never know the struggles and sufferings of others. Maybe this is the only way JayMan knows how to fend off the despair that would otherwise overwhelm him. I understand despair and I understand why people will do almost anything in seeking to escape it.

      I don’t know JayMan personally. I don’t know his experience, his past. I don’t want to pretend to have him figured out, but I always want to understand others as well as I can. I never want to think anyone is beyond hope.

    • I can enter the mindset. Don’t stop my secondary fi from cringing the fuck out.

      Cringe cringe cringey cringe cringe

      Also… Making AS look bad. Me and a friend were for a while developing prejudice against AS because it seemed like every reactionary claimed to be AS. Until be realized that most AS aren’t any more reactionary than most and cringe just as hard as we do at reactionaries.

    • That post shows why I like hbdchick. She amuses me and she brings up interesting info.

      Forgetting for a moment all the HBD crap, that was an interesting article she linked to. The study on engineers and terrorists is just plain fascinating. Hbdchick has mind full of endless curiosity, similar to my own.

      She is the type of person you could have a great conversation with, even when you disagreed with her. It would be harder to have an interesting conversation with JayMan.

      Did you know that hbdchick has my blog on her blogroll? It is under the category of “thought provoking”. I can challenge and criticize HBD, and yet hbdchick keeps me on her blogroll. She lacks JayMan’s dogmatism.

      • I have the similar curiosity and I can veer into the mindset. Though unlike you, my reaction is *cringe* not amusement but hey, we’re different people 🙂 still that style works on flattering otherwise shitty reactionary neckbeards, which is probably why she takes the persona she does.

        Curiosity sure. More open than j? Maybe. But still constricted by reactionary dogmatism, and a deep special snowflake syndrome. Probably social retardedness to an extent, as well. The rankings on PC written in 13 year old text speak are cringe-worthy.

        But unlike you I think she’s mostly a reactionary who likes to feign “goodwill” based on her writings. Maybe not a mouth-foaming one, but the same nonetheless.

        Though maybe it’s because I don’t have much patience for reactionary ness these days. If I makes me sound closed minded, so be it.

        Charmed, I’m sure :p http://m.imgur.com/Rt2Wjdv

      • Anyway I didn’t register the hdd, just the “assburgers” when reading. And superiority as well as special snowflake complex when read between the lines

        Unlike you I find the style juvenile, not amusing. But hey, we’re different people :p

  27. “I get that. Still I’d find it insufferable. The style at least”

    I understand. I rarely visit her blog these days. Even when I have visited it more regularly in the past, there was plenty there that didn’t appeal to me in either substance or style.

    “Interesting article indeed. The writeup? Cringe cringe cringe cringe”

    I can forgive quite a bit, as long as it is balanced with some other benefit. The main thing I like about her blog is that she links to a ton of informative articles. Much of what she links to has nothing directly to do with HBD itself. It’s just interesting info.

    “I have the similar curiosity and I can veer into the mindset. Though unlike you, my reaction is *cringe* not amusement but hey, we’re different people 🙂 still that style works on flattering otherwise shitty reactionary neckbeards, which is probably why she takes the persona she does.”

    I have no attraction to the reactionary mindset. Yet I have much familiarity with it. I know reactionaries in my personal life, specifically family members. I’m used to it and so have developed a tolerance.

    “Curiosity sure. More open than j? Maybe. But still constricted by reactionary dogmatism, and a deep special snowflake syndrome. Probably social retardedness to an extent, as well. The rankings on PC written in 13 year old text speak are cringe-worthy.”

    There is truth to what you say. The dogmatism is there, although less overt. That does irritate me. That is ultimately why I stopped visiting her blog. The unstated beliefs you can sense. Maybe she lacks a certain kind of self-awareness. I don’t know. Her HBD theorizing plays right into certain kinds of bigoted worldviews and I don’t see that as an accident, even if she can’t see it in herself.

    “But unlike you I think she’s mostly a reactionary who likes to feign “goodwill” based on her writings. Maybe not a mouth-foaming one, but the same nonetheless.”

    I don’t think she is feigning. I suspect she is just unable to see it. Her obliviousness is typical of so many Americans about race issues. I know she doesn’t read many of the books I read. She lacks knowledge, despite her curiosity. She is highly focused on certain kinds of knowledge and, intentionally or not, is unaware of a whole sphere of knowledge that doesn’t fit into her worldview. None of this requires conscious intention. The human mind is amazing in creating reality tunnels.

    “Though maybe it’s because I don’t have much patience for reactionary ness these days. If I makes me sound closed minded, so be it.”

    I just take what is interesting and let the rest go.

    • there is definitely a bigoted undercurrent going on with her, regardless of whether she is aware or not.

      The links can be cool, but overall it’s not a blogger that does it for me, lol. The interesting links do not quite offset The cringey ness for me

      Funny. I was thinking how I went through a period where I would click jaymans links and it would turn out that the link wasn’t anything like the way j interpreted them :p

      • “I would click jaymans links and it would turn out that the link wasn’t anything like the way j interpreted them”

        HBD theory is a belief system. Like any other belief system, It creates a narrowness of thought and a superficiality of interpretation. Everything gets filtered through the lense of biases and assumptions. What makes it past that process then gets forced into the proper ideological box.

  28. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/world/wp/2014/08/11/australian-mother-father-in-down-syndrome-surrogate-case-defend-themselves-in-tv-interview/

    There are 7 billion people on this planet, and no shortage of kids that desperately need families but will never have them. And still, most people are selfish pricks who really only care about perpetuating their genes. But that’s life I suppose. Literally. No real point but to perpetuate itself.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m becoming pro-life as a reaction to seeing all the eugenics-ey Gattaca crap around me. I’ll just hang back here I guess as the world enters some eugenics-ey brave new world. Hey, I like fighting my own instincts sometimes. Like the one to perpetuate my DNA in a healthy way. I’ll probably have one biological kid at most to fulfill that instinct than adopt kids if I want more kids. Cause fuck the fundamental selfishness of life, of instinct.

    • What sticks out to me…

      The amount of people who call disabled kids “it” in comments sections :/

      That said most people are outraged. But there are a lot of people who take a Richard Dawkins social darwinist view. “Well animals abandon weaklings in the pack” “Life is about perpetuating the best genes”

      I hate humanity. Especially because I know I’m not immune to what I abhor on a moral, conscious level.

      As a “gifted” person I don’t want to feel that my only purpose is to birth “smart” kids, that others are more valuable that others, that I am better or worse than others based on IQ points, beauty, what not.

      • On valuing empathy and emotionally intelligence above “intellect”

        “Sure I can imagine that, it probably looks a lot like the peaceful Moriori of the Chatham Islands, who after arriving on the islands, subsequently devolved technologically such that when their fellow Polynesians, the Maori, found them centuries later, they were massacred, enslaved, and essentially wiped out as a distinct people.

        So I guess my “objective reason” is that “…’intellect’ (in the conventional sense)” has provided the literacy, societal structure, and military prowess that allow us the luxury to debate these romantic notions.”

        Yep. Fuck humanity. Sometimes I want to die just so I no longer have to be a physical being.

    • I wonder how to get out of the “fuck my life I’m not a white dude” funk

      Something I’ve noticed. But while race, gender, class, sexuality, etc are treated sensitively by the left, disability often isn’t, and ableism is often a problem. And yes, I am sort of becoming prolife tees days. Mostly as a reaction to seeing so many “yay eugenics” and the more Darwinist sentiments among pro choices

      I don’t think it has anything to do with parents thinking their kid will be unhappy (though I think you’re doing a very positive thing letting people know about this; it might even play a role in changing some people’s minds). No, I think this is classic after-the-fact reasoning to explain their real feelings about having a disabled child, especially one who will not physically look normal. Now, I am not saying all of these would-be parents are controlled by the subconscious tendencies I am about to invoke. And I also want to point out that equally strong human tendencies, which tend to work against these feelings, exist – and are a no less real part of our nature. But we have to understand that the reasons people give for doing things (a common one in my experience: “I’m not having kids because the world is too overpopulated”) are often rationalizations, sometimes genuinely believed, to cover for their more powerful, darker motivation – which another, equally powerful set of natural emotions desperately wants to explain away. You know how lepers were told to stay out of sacred places in the Hebrew Bible? Like they would pollute it, somehow? Well, a lot of early morality was based on ideas of purity; still is, in some cultures. Disability is equated to brokenness, since people aren’t “supposed to be like this”. The unusual appearance is perceived as a deformity (and thus removed from the sacred, the beautiful, and the sublime – and perhaps even associated with evil on some subconscious level). People treat people they perceive as more attractive better, according to some studies, and often the “forces of light” in religions are usually portrayed as being beautiful while demons are repulsive. And deformities are perceived as perversions of nature; wrong. Some African societies believe albinism is a sign of witchcraft. We know people have been embarrassed by people with disabilities throughout history. This is even reflected in literature, when Archdeacon Claude Frodo hid Quasimodo in the tower. The British royal family kept one of their epileptic family members hidden out of embarrassment. Of course, few people in the modern world think this way consciously (at least, I hope not) but perhaps there is still some level of revulsion or embarrassment there. It’s not like it hasn’t been countered, throughout history, by equally powerful emotions of compassion for those who are seen as different – the Gospels attest to people having these feelings 2000 years ago. But while the feelings are more sublimated, a part of many people still cries “unclean”, just not out loud, and people these days almost universally feel bad about it. (Which is not a bad thing, of course, if it motivates people to suppress these emotions, but it also gives them a powerful motivation to rationalize them away. Nobody wants to think of themselves as a bigot.) Also, frankly, having a child with a disability is just not normally what a parent dreams of. I know that no one can ever know exactly what they’re going to get when they choose to have a kid, and that having a kid with DS brings a lot of experiences which are really typical and normal for any family, but because this is a famous, usually obvious condition with a nice shiny label attached it knowing they’re going to have a child who is this way can really shake a lot of people up. They know it is going to come with its own challenges; it overwhelms them and they get scared and they pull the plug. Of course, most parents do really love their kids with DS, very deeply, just as much or more than other parents love their children. As another poster said, it is almost inevitable that a bond is going to form when you have to care for someone like that. The way to cure that is giving the kid a chance, of course, but the problem is these people never give themselves a chance to feel that love…

      What do you think, Benjamin?

      • ” I have a friend with Down syndrome and I love her to bits but fact is her parents are wealthy and can support her. Supporting disabled people is a luxury”

        …………………………….

        Gotta love ethical dilemmas!

  29. “I wonder how to get out of the “fuck my life I’m not a white dude” funk”

    If it helps, it isn’t necessarily all that great for most white dudes either. The most privileged white upper class is a small portion of the white population. Even the white middle class is shrinking. Most white dudes are in the same crappy situation as most others. If your a poor white dude, especially in a place like rural Appalachia, your life sucks as badly as a black dude in a poor inner city neighborhood.

    As a white dude myself, I’m often in a funk. Being a white dude doesn’t lessen my chronic depression and doesn’t make the drudgery of a working class life any easier. Life sucks and there isn’t much that can be done about it. I find some comfort that we are all in the same boat together, the boat being this effed up society we live in.

    I always keep in mind that most people in the world have it much worse off than even the lowliest person living in the United States. Living in the West, we have so many advantages. Thinking about that could make you feel despair, but it also can help you feel compassion. For certain, it will put your own life in perspective.

    “Something I’ve noticed. But while race, gender, class, sexuality, etc are treated sensitively by the left, disability often isn’t, and ableism is often a problem.”

    That is probably true. There is nothing like a disability to mark a person for life. Being accepted as normal has to do with being perceived as normal and hence looking and acting normal, according to social norms. A disability is never just a disability, for it defines who you are and what your position is in society.

    That is as true, if not more true, for psychiatric disabilities. Physical disabilities can be accepted as unavoidable and can elicit pity, if not compassion. Psychiatric problems are much more personal and get more fully conflated with how others perceive the person’s character and worth. They should be solved by the individual or, failing that, be blamed on the individual. There is a reason so many homeless people have mental illnesses. It’s probably easier to get public assistance with a physical disability than with a mental illness.

    “And yes, I am sort of becoming prolife tees days. Mostly as a reaction to seeing so many “yay eugenics” and the more Darwinist sentiments among pro choices”

    I’m both pro-choice and pro-life. It turns out the only way to be pro-life is by being pro-choice. Countries that ban abortions on average increase the rate of abortions. They just get made illegal, but illegalizing things never stopped people from doing them.

    This is because countries that ban abortions also, for the same (often religious) reasons, don’t provide quality women’s healthcare, don’t fund family planning centers, don’t make birth control easily available and don’t give full sex education. This is why socially conservative states have high teenage pregnancy rates.

    The illegal abortions that follow often lead to botched abortions which, if the pregnancy still goes to term, can lead to deformed and disabled babies. My mom knew a woman with a brain damaged child that got that way from a botched self-induced abortion.

    “I don’t think it has anything to do with parents thinking their kid will be unhappy… we have to understand that the reasons people give for doing things (a common one in my experience: “I’m not having kids because the world is too overpopulated”) are often rationalizations, sometimes genuinely believed, to cover for their more powerful, darker motivation – which another, equally powerful set of natural emotions desperately wants to explain away.”

    I haven’t had any kids, as far as I know. No former girlfriends have informed me otherwise.

    My reasons aren’t exactly rational or even conscious. I never have seen myself getting married. I don’t even date much, because of depression, shyness, and social anxiety. But for those same reasons, i’m glad I don’t have children. I honestly can say I don’t want children. With all my problems, I’m certain I’d be a horrible parent.

    Plus, I’d hate to pass on my problems to another generation, whether or not they are entirely genetic problems. Both of my parents have depression that is prevalent in their families along with other socially dysfunctional behaviors. My brothers, like myself, have issues with depression, social anxiety, learning disabilities, etc. One of my brothers kids is showing social problems and she has been diagnosed as Aspergers.

    Then again, few people rationally decide anything in life.

    My niece with Aspergers was an ‘accident’. My brother was dating at the time, his girlfriend got pregnant, and so they got married. An instant family with no rational thought required. There was rational thought in choosing to not have an abortion, but that still would have had nothing to do with the Aspergers since that can’t be diagnosed during pregnancy. I have a close friend whose girlfriend got pregnant and she did get an abortion, but it wasn’t because of any reason other than she was young and still in college. She had an abortion the moment she learned she was pregnant.

    I’m not sure what I would have wanted to happen if one of my former girlfriends had gotten pregnant. I suppose I would have supported whatever she wanted. I sometimes have imagined an alternative world where I got married and/or became a father, but it is hard for me to imagine as I’ve been a bachelor for so long.

    “Supporting disabled people is a luxury”

    That is what pro-lifers never get. Once the baby is born, pro-lifers don’t care what happens. The baby could live a miserable life, but all pro-lifers care about is that the baby is born.

    Many abortions are sought by poor women. They’d probably love to have their pregnancies go to term, if they could afford caring for the baby or if they had the time to do so instead of working multiple jobs just to pay the bills. The problem is we live in a ruthless, social darwinian capitalist society that screws over everyone who isn’t part of the plutocratic elite. Desperation and hopelessness aren’t the optimal conditions under which to raise a disabled child.

    Anyway, these are issues that only people in positions of relative privilege sit around discussing like you and I. Neither of us are in desperate poverty.

    • I believe supporting disabled people shouldn’t be a luxury though, you know? In my ideal world, it shouldn’t be.

      I’m prolife but I ideally want

      “quality women’s healthcare, fund family planning centers, make birth control easily available and give full sex education. This is why socially conservative states have high teenage pregnancy rates.

      The illegal abortions that follow often lead to botched abortions which, if the pregnancy still goes to term, can lead to deformed and disabled babies. My mom knew a woman with a brain damaged child that got that way from a botched self-induced abortion.
      To all be available”

      So I guess I’m pro choice if for practical reasons, but on principle I’m pro life. Though maybe I’m just revolted by social Darwinism and eugenics for than anything. You know what I mean?

      • I’m conflicted. As I’m 20 I’m not really at the kiddie stage, but

        I keep thinking of adopting kids, but at the same time, I worry if I could love them the same because face it, parental love is just making sure you protect your DNA. I have the urge and desire to pass down my genes, not just raise a kid, so to speak. Maybe I should just be an egg donor, lol.

        There are so many kids needing to be adopted and there are already seven billion of us, yet most people only care about perpetuating their DNA

        I think people are repulsed by disability cause biotroof, not religion, to be honest. I think religious outlooks are often just rooted in instinct.

      • “So I guess I’m pro choice if for practical reasons, but on principle I’m pro life. Though maybe I’m just revolted by social Darwinism and eugenics for than anything. You know what I mean?”

        I understand your view. I’ve just come to the conclusion that the only proven way to decrease abortions is by decreasing unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. There is no reason, if we promoted liberal policies, that we couldn’t make almost all abortions unneccessary except for those where the mother’s life is in danger or there is some severe problem with the fetus. Simply offering financial and sociall support to potential mothers would dissuade many from seeking abortions.

        • Exactly Benjamin.

          Popular reactionary rhetoric is that abortion in poor communities is good not because poverty isn’t the best environment for a kid, but because the poor have shitty genetics. Of course, they’re not that blunt, but surely you know what I mean. It’s similar to the rhetoric I showed you of reactionaries hating that poor/brown people have kids cause they think it’s dysgenic, or how they hate feminism cause they think if makes better educated women have Down syndrome kids cause they have them older. The key is that they see the “better educated” having better genes which explains their view. They want “better educated” women to stay home and have multiple kids starting at 19 because they think her “better educated” “smartness” is cause she has nice genes, not cause she comes from a more privileged background or anything.

          Women are basically seen as wombs to reactionaries, and “desirable” women way more so.

          Know what I mean?

          I agree with better financial ad social services, better contraception (even a male birth control pill) and sex ed, as well as better social services for disabled (physically and mentally) people, kids, and their parents.

          • Severe disorder for me means something that will guarantee a short and agonizing life. Basically fatal. Tay Sachs, for example. Things like Down syndrome, blindness, autism, being gay, etc don’t really count to me.

            This may be my uncontrolled Ne, but for me, I always thought of things in a cynical manner. So, you and the above walk about parents aborting because they can’t care for a disabled baby, say. For me, it’s just unconscious urges to want to perpetuate your genes by having “healthy” offspring. Of course we humans also have instincts just as strong like compassion, but still. I don’t think many parents hope for biologically disabled kids, even if they accept and love a child should one come their way. On the other hand many would probably jump at the thought of a “gifted and talented” prodigy kid. But that comes with it’s own baggage.

          • Basically it’s “I gotta perpetuate my genes and select the partner with the best genes I can get” and “I ideally want offspring with good genes and a good chance to perpetuate those genes.”

            I actually view biological parental love as innately selfish. Though I have a soft spot for adoption, especially adoptive dads, since while this is rare, dads abusing non-related kids is a thing, more so than women and you see this in gorillas too.

            Get over yourselves people your genes aren’t that special you selfish pricks.

        • Yes, I know what you mean. But I wouldn’t worry too much about it. There is no particular reason to think he is a bad father.

          The ideologies people profess in abstract theory don’t always have a close connection to how people behave and relate in their everyday lives. Even a white supremacist might help a black person in need. The real moral worth of a person is demonstrated in those private moments of moral choice.

          My sense is that basic human decency and compassion often trumps ideology. Not always, but more often than some might think. Ideology is a superfical level of our shared human nature.

          JayMan’s HBD beliefs say little about how he actually parents. There is nothing in HBD that assumes a particular parenting style to be better than another. Also, his genetic fatalism might simply mean he feels genetically fated to be a good parent as were his own parents.

          Beliefs are more about comforting rationalizations than anything else. They aren’t usually the primary motivation of behavior, except in authoritarian types. I don’t get the sense that JayMan has an authoritarian personality.

          There are many kids in the word I’d worry more about than the kids of someone like JayMan. Just my opinion.

    • It’s ironic all the for Rushton in that post. The post itself includes Rushton’s having dismissed one of the most important pieces of data that challenged his entire worldview, the Flynn Effect. Rushton clung to his beliefs in the face of contrary evidence, because the evidence simply didn’t make sense to his preconceptions. That post inadvertently demonstrated why Rushton was an irrelevant crank.

    • The world is filled with endless people that can get to you. It doesn’t matter where you live. But you are also surrounded by people doing great and inspiring things or just plain strange, curious, and interesting things. It’s a matter of what you focus on. My depression has taught me to be extremely careful about what I focus on. That said, I constantly forget the lesson and have to relearn it again and again. Life offers one many learning opportunities.

      I can’t tell you what you should focus on. You’ll focus on what you feel compelled to focus on, until you get out of it whatever it is that you are seeking. In my experience, compulsions are driven by some psychological need, even if unconscious. I know all about this, as I’m regularly driven by some compulsion or another, but the trick is becoming more self-aware about what is driving you.

      You live surrounded by millions of people. Why is it you focus on just a few people who irritate you while ignoring all the others? It isn’t that these people are invading your personal space and forcing their views onto you. It seems you are actively seeking out these people. You could actively choose to seek out other people, if you so desired. The question is, why don’t you so desire?

      Or maybe you do desire. You found me here at my blog. You seem to be looking for perspective. You are asking me how you can not let irritating people get to you. I can’t answer that question for you. I’ve already answered for myself by limiting my time around irritating people I meet. But my answer can’t be your answer. Only you can discover what would motivate you to avoid or limit your time being irritated by irritating people.

      It took me decades to get to the point where I am now. Finding a personal sense of balance in one’s life is a neverending process. You just have to learn what motivates, inspires, and excites you about life. That can only come with living your life and learning what matters most to you. We all have our limitations. The trick is to find ways to work through and around those limitations to build a life that gives you a sense of purpose and meaning. When you find that, the irritations will simply disappear from your focus.

      I don’t know if that means anything to you. It is just what I know in my own experience. Feel free to accept it or dismiss it. My truth may not be your truth.

      • To be honest I’m not even totally sure. I may be a bit masochistic. Or something. But yeah, something drives me about, well, seeking out this stuff. It’s almost like I get this weird high off of it, like an addiction, except that the ‘high’ isn’t well, pure pleasure, as is obvious. It’s like a kink for me almost. I’m sure there’s SOMETHING I’m trying to get out of this, (the you-know-whats) but I’m not even sure what that is. Maybe under the masochism is the drive to seek something. That something, I don’t even know. …

        As for him versus the other eight million people in this city? Well… I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because the negative is easier to believe than the positive? I also think, even though you clearly know I’m not on “their” side, that I’ve internalized a lot of reactionary ideas. Both from reading it as an impressionable teenager, but also because this reactionary stuff is really common cultural stuff amplified.

        May have something to do with being an extroverted oddball and misfit. Keep in mind I’m barely out of high school, so I guess I’m sort of reeling from, well, dumb issues. I was an extrovert, sensitive, hyper-aware, a bit shy, I never “fit in” even though I got along with people fine. I was fearful of everything. I was very high-strung and hyper-aware. I’m goofy get super serious at heart, as you can see.

        • I can’t seem to truly “shake” my brainwashing and internalization, if you know what I mean. Perhaps it’s a battle for me. One side desperately wants to shake it and seek out others, while one side thinks it’s futile because I’m trying to “shake” the troof. You know what I mean?

          Though, finally realizing recently that I’ve been struggling with depression this whole time, for many years, has been a breakthrough. For the first time I feel like I have some ability, to well, look “face to face” with the weird demons.

      • I had a counselor tell me once that perhaps my obsession with this stuff wasn’t really the “issue” but that it was a symptom of something deeper. I still wonder. For many times, I would think that my emotional issues would disappear once and for all if the ‘reactionary’ POVs were proven conclusively wrong, or I turned into a white guy (and hence was a winner group in reactionary-world) but one very smart teacher didn’t think that would be the case. Since I’ve had emotional issues before I knew about this stuff, it’s likely that this wasn’t the initial cause, but I wonder if now, my depression and this stuff has become an intertwined dance…

        I’ll tell you what. Since actually realizing I had been struggling with real depression all these years, after going through my ‘anger’ phase, I don’t feel the same. I used to be so cynical and bitter, and now… I don’t feel that way. I would curse out school, my peers, everything (in my mind.) I no longer feel that need to do so. It’s as if before, there was a demon annoying me from behind, and I didn’t know that it existed, only that something was bothering me. Now, I’ve whirled around and looked at the demon face to face. Like an “gotcha. I know you’re there, now. *wink wink*”

        I was a very high functioning depressed person though. I had some friends, people liked me, I got along well, I did well enough in school to get into college. But perhaps some part of me felt “off” and not where I should have been, yet I didn’t consciously realize it.

      • My “addiction” exacerbates my depression, as well as looking into any “gifted and talented” thing online, even though these are meant to be ‘helpful’ to people like me. In fact, a few months ago when I was suicidal (and stumbled upon you) I was really, well, obsessed with J’s fatalism. I always though it was something that contributed to my suicidal feelings.

        But it passed, for now…. and perhaps the next one, if it comes ever, won’t be the same.

        If it means anything, I think you played a role in getting me out of that rut. So thanks…

  30. “I may be a bit masochistic. Or something. But yeah, something drives me about, well, seeking out this stuff. It’s almost like I get this weird high off of it, like an addiction, except that the ‘high’ isn’t well, pure pleasure, as is obvious.”

    I have a masochistic side as well. I also know what it feels like to be driven toward something that doesn’t make me happy. I fully sympathize.

    “Both from reading it as an impressionable teenager, but also because this reactionary stuff is really common cultural stuff amplified.”

    A difference for you is that you probably always had internet from a young age. I didn’t have internet until I was an adult. Actually, my dad as a professor had connection to early internet when I was in high school, but I had no idea what it was at the time. So, when I was growing up and was impressionable, I didn’t come across reactionary stuff. I just read books, mostly fiction. I’m not sure how I would have dealt with reactionary stuff back then.

    “Keep in mind I’m barely out of high school, so I guess I’m sort of reeling from, well, dumb issues.”

    I can fully recall how I felt in the years following high school. I was reeling quite a bit. I also often felt quite alone and disconnected. There were few people in my life at the time who could give me perspective or even much sense of hope. It was the darkest time of my life, that eventually resulted in a suicide attempt.

    “I was an extrovert, sensitive, hyper-aware, a bit shy, I never “fit in” even though I got along with people fine. I was fearful of everything. I was very high-strung and hyper-aware. I’m goofy get super serious at heart, as you can see.”

    That is at least somewhat different from my own experience. I got along with people in a basic sense. I tried my best to not stick out. But I certainly wasn’t ever an extrovert. All the rest would apply, though. I was always too serious for my own good.

    “Though, finally realizing recently that I’ve been struggling with depression this whole time, for many years, has been a breakthrough. For the first time I feel like I have some ability, to well, look “face to face” with the weird demons.”

    That is an important realization. I spent many years depressed before I understood I was depressed. I was only diagnosed after my suicide attempt. Being institutionalized, even if only temporarily in a psych ward of a hospital, does put one’s life in perspective. Putting a name to your demons can be helpful. You then have a sense of what you are dealing with.

    “Since I’ve had emotional issues before I knew about this stuff, it’s likely that this wasn’t the initial cause, but I wonder if now, my depression and this stuff has become an intertwined dance…”

    Yes, it likely wasn’t the initial cause. And, yes, it likely is intertwined. It’s just who you are at present. It’s where you find yourself in your life.

    “I was a very high functioning depressed person though. I had some friends, people liked me, I got along well, I did well enough in school to get into college. But perhaps some part of me felt “off” and not where I should have been, yet I didn’t consciously realize it.”

    I was never a high functioning depressed person. I still wouldn’t consider myself high functioning. I get by and that is what I accept. Being high functioning is a good thing, I would think. If you are high functioning, you have more of a chance of finding a truce with your demons. Being high functioning and now with conscious realization of your condition gives you some advantage in life.

    “If it means anything, I think you played a role in getting me out of that rut. So thanks…”

    • ENFP’s and INFP’s really aren’t all that different, eh? lol

      Yes, serious, masochistic, addicted to things that are bad for you… I suppose you can relate. Figuring out the “why” is likely the real journey… and I always thought it was a answer to finding “peace” so to speak.

      • These days I am considering spirituality. A part of me does truly believe that there is something… beyond what we percieve with our five senses, so to speak. If you’ve seen interstaller and Anne Hathoway’s soliloquy…

        Yes, “love” and all that stuff is supposedly just instinct to perpetuate genes and yadayadayada. But… but what if there really is something beyond this materialistic view? What is love SEEMS like just an instinct to perpetuate genes, but is actually… an energy that demonstrates higher dimensions exist? What if it really can transcend? What if the five senses really don’t get realize, that science and empiricism has it’s limits?

        But if consciousness continues after death, and spirits are real (and many times I catch myself believing that they are) what are they like? If in the real world, people are unequal, have different talents, are smarter than others… what about in the afterlife? Do we become beyond these physical differences, these material ones? Do we all just become spiritual energy woven into the fabric of the universe? Does a person with down syndrome (and therefore is intellectually retarded) on earth become a conscious with the same “intelligence” as other spirits(who are like infinately more intelligent than flesh mortals) in the afterlife?

        • Above “love” I mean, like a spirit is now part of another dimension, but can still manifest itself in a way we can recognize in the form of “ghosts” what if love is one of the “gateways” to another, deeper, plane of existence?

        • “These days I am considering spirituality. A part of me does truly believe that there is something… beyond what we percieve with our five senses, so to speak. If you’ve seen interstaller and Anne Hathoway’s soliloquy…”

          I haven’t seen Interstellar, but I get what you’re asking about. I’m always thinking about spirituality and related stuff. I don’t often write about it, though. There are feelings and intuitions that don’t fit into words all that well.

          From an intellectual perespective, I will sometimes identify as a weak atheist (lack belief in a god, but don’t believe in a lack of a god) and a strong agnostic (don’t know what I don’t know and won’t claim otherwise). I also sometimes identify as a zetetic (radical skeptic, equal opportunity doubter) and a philosophical pessimist (just replace god with “free will” and my atheism/agnosticism equally applies).

          Simply put, I embrace my ignorance and doubts to a degree few would be willing to go. But there is a lot more to who I am than just that. My dominant Fi is idealistic to an extreme. That takes many forms, including the spiritual.

          I was raised in New Agey churches, specifically Science of Mind and Unity. Those churches are technically New Thought which in the evangelical world is known as prosperity gospel. Unity was my main childhood church and it has permanently inflluenced me. Also, I read A Course In Miracles in high school which left quite a mark on me.

          I was raised with a belief that the world is love in some very fundamental sense. It is something I’ve never been able to shake. It is like a Catholic who for the rest of their life is haunted by original sin or a Fundamentalist by damnation, even long after they left their childhood religion. I’m haunted by love.

          So, I take all your questions seriously. It has been on my mind lately. The recent Ferguson protests have brought up lots of quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. I decided to read some of his writings and it really is strong stuff. He talked a lot about such things as love as a force in the world.

          My INFP nature wants to believe that love is more than just an ideal, just a belief and an abstraction. At times, love can feel like the most real thing in the world. All the cynicism and despair in the world can’t lessen that feeling.

        • My spiritual sensibility of love is central to my life. It is the reason why I try to be compassionate and understanding.

          I get so angry and frustrated sometimes… well, really all the time. I see all the suffering and oppression, all the bullshit, all the assholes. It can get depressing at times. There are just so many freaking clueless people in the world, so many people who don’t understand and don’t want to understand. But in the end I feel a need to be understanding, whether or not others share this attitude.

          I will harshly criticize someone like JayMan and maybe even call him mean names out of frustration, but I won’t disiss him as a human being. I know too well the suffering that exists in every person, even when they hide it well. This is a tough world to live in and people deal with it as best as they can, which may not seem good enough but everyone is trying (excpet maybe the sociopaths). My grandmother used to say that everyone is doing their best for where they are at.

          Love isn’t just a feeling. It can be a way of seeing the world, of relating to others in a deep way. It can be a transformative vision once it takes hold in your heart and mind. I care about humanity and all of life. I don’t want anyone to suffer, not even the bigots, not even those who cause suffering onto others. I see how suffering just leads to more suffering, hatred to more hatred, violence to more violence. I don’t want that.

          I hold onto the belief that there has to be another way, that love can be a real forcce in the world, that it already is in some sense if we have the eyes to see. The world is love. The world is connection. Love is what keeps it all from flying apart at the seams.

          • I’m not religous, or least, not part of any organized religion. Still, being spiritual helps. I used love as a relatively ‘powerful’ example, but there are more examples. I see them as evidence of ‘higher realities’ so to speak. Dimensions beyond the fourth dimension, evidence that our five senses are limited, that the dogmatic materialism of people like J are limited, you know what I mean? For me, it means that the materialistic perspective is limited. Love is manifested in the dimensions we can percieve, but it is also, sort of a “window” or dimensions we can’t. So where does ‘hate’ come in then?

            You probably know of the determinism being around reactionary spheres so much. You know of the obsession with “genetics” (their limited knowledge of it) and “genetics” role in our beings, in who we are. Well… what if there’s something beyond it?

            Our reality is constraining. Material reality is very constraining especially when you let it (like J does.)

            I was recently wondering, and this is my fluffy theory about “God.” But what if “God” in the sense of something beyond material reality… is really each of us? What is “god” is our own consciousness? You know those “brush with death” stories, those mediums, and such. Some talk about Jesus and Heaven, others talk about reincarnation, and everything. Well, what if, what happens after death is determined by what you actually think happens after death? A person who believes in Jesus really does meet him after death? A person who believes in reincarnation really does reincarnate? Something who believes in nothing really does sort of, well, disappear into a different type of consciousness that we would see as “nothing?”

            There’s the “genes.” There’s “evolution” and there’s “evolutionary psychology.” But perhaps, there is also, something beyond that. Humanity is a quagmire of competing energies needing equilibrium.

          • In many ways, I’m a hard-nosed skeptic. But I also have a strong imaginative and intuitive side. I love speculate about possibilities, including spiritual possibilities. I just assume that the world is stranger than anyone can imagine, and so the best use of imagination is to led it lead to a sense of wonder and awe. Life and consciousness are just weird.

            Science still doesn’t fundamentally understand why anything is the way it is, why there is something rather than nothing. I’ve always thought it particularly makes no sense that consciousness would just magically appear out of matter. It seems more reasonable to assume that consciousness is somehow inherent to or inseparable from matter… or that the two are just different expressions of the same more fundamental reality.

          • It is good to have that side, and I see no contradiction in having that side, and a skeptical side. In fact, seeing the world as “stranger than anyone can imagine” goes decently with healthy skepticism, I think.

            When I was at the height of my suicidal feelings, it was right when I was brainwashed by J and his, to put in bluntly, science fundie-ism. I know reactionaries like him always talk about how non-reactionaries/people not in the cult are ignorant and afraid of the troof, when the truth is that they’re no more enlightenened that anyone else. Just because they’re provocative and controversial dosen’t make them right. Or that they don’t have their own (major) blind spots.

            Though I may be saying that because truly, if I ever became like J, I wouldn’t be alive right now. It’s only because, despite being brainwashed at some level, I also never lost my, um, skepticism. My “hey, J isn’t right either, and I can see the evidence right in front of me.” You know what I mean? So maybe my inability to go J is because I know I’d kill myself if I truly became them, and because being a reactionary while not being a white dude sucks. But it’s also because, I know, at some level, that the reactionary worldview isn’t really “correct” either….

            By the way, I found a great term concerning Steve S and J’s internet behavior: carpet bombing. It’s funny because in Steve S’s blog they were talking about how the blog Crooked Timber (where Corey Robin contributes sometimes) and other blogs are so closed minded and afraid of people like them. There’s quite a martyr complex among reactionaries, for some reason.

            You are an Fi dominant, I am Ne. So for me, my first inclination is to understand the psychology of people like J, like Steve, and such, before I process my feelings towards it. I want to big and find and discover and understand. I want to understand the mentality. “profile” them psychologically so to speak. But like you, I care deeply for others. Though I don’t have “love” feelings for J or any reactionary, even if I’d never harm them. I suppose in a way I care about them if I’m talking about them, but I have no “caring” feelings in a humanity, loving way. And honestly, it’s somewhat hard to “like” a person like J. Or Steve. Or Lion. Etc.

            This is something I need to say Benjamin, but a lot of times I feel like my relationship with this stuff is like an addiction. I’m coming out of a suicidal phase… which begun really as I “met” you and frankly, am loosening my “reactionary” mindset, brainwashing. But I always worry about relapse, because I’ve gone through periods of protecting my brain from being affected by this stuff, only to slip back into the brainwashing. But in the previous times, I level really “de-brainwashed” myself as much as ignore or cover it. I keep thinking that if only I truly de-brainwashed myself, or truly LOST my damn curiosity and urge for this stuff, I can recover for good.

            But it has evolved. In high school I was brainwashed by white nationalism, but I truly lost that sentiment in time, especially when I moved to NYC. But after i went through a ‘grace’ period, I discovered hdd and internet misogyny, which really just replaced white nationalism as my cognitive intellectual demon. And still is my demon. I really want to get rid of the demon for good instead of having it just morph into a different form.

          • Personal demons morph. It is just what they do. There is wisdom in knowing that. What is helpful is to realize is that your demon is also your muse, your daimon. It depends on how you relate to it. Your demon can possess you or it can guide you.

            This is something I’ve thought about in dealing with my own depression. But here is something from my fellow blogger, Matt Cardin:

            http://www.teemingbrain.com/2007/03/19/the-greeks-and-their-daimones/

            “The twentieth century existential psychologist Rollo May, who resurrected the concept of the daimon and the daimonic for use in modern depth psychotherapy, gave definitive statement to this idea of strange internal influence in Love and Will: “The daimonic is any natural function which has the power to take over the whole person. Sex and eros, anger and rage, and the craving for power are examples. The daimonic can be either creative or destructive and is normally both” (123). Although May wrote about the daimonic in metaphorical terms, his description is still effective for giving an impression of what it must have felt like to the ancients when they found themselves thinking, feeling, saying, and doing things that were outside of their voluntary control. Modern peoples are of course still quite familiar with this experience. We can thus reasonably imagine that ancient peoples must have been all the more awed and disturbed when popular belief attributed these involuntary behaviors to the influence of the mysterious mediators of divine reality. In more dramatic cases of daimonic influence, the internal power might take control completely. “When this power goes awry,” May wrote, “and one element usurps control over the total personality, we have ‘daimon possession,’ the traditional name through history for psychosis” (123).”

  31. By the way, when I talked about how things wouldn’t suck as much if I was a white guy…

    What I meant by that was, if you see things through a reactionary lens, it’s way less depressing if you’re a white guy looking through those lens. You know what I mean?

    Yep. I hate humanity: isteve.com/islovecolorblind.htm

    • I understood what you meant. But as a white guy, I personally find the reactionary lens to be despair-inducing. It doesn’t make me happy to be a white guy in a world with reactionary white guys. I’ve had reactionary white guys assume I was black when I strongly defend the rights of black people. That is a bizarre mentality, the assumption that people would only care about people they perceive as being like themselves.

      • Well, “tribalism fuck yeah” is part of the reactionary canon. A very (social) darwinisn, “selfish gene” view of things as well. My responce to reactionary “defending your blood and people” is… the “relatedness” and “like themselves” line is pretty arbitrary. Where do you want to draw it? Your immediate family? Extended family? Village? Ethnic group? “Race?” Species? On and on…

        Hey, we’re all related. I believe that.

        Have you looked at Richard Dawkin;’s “The Selfish Gene?” It’s not directly reactionary, but it’s main sentiments are very popular with reactionary thought

  32. I’m getting into spirituality and even the idea of spirits and spirit mediums, and it’s pretty great. It really does help my depression.

    One thing I’m wondering. But I have low self esteem and I can be obsessed with things at the moment. So I always hear that Richard Lyn stuff about most of the intellectually gifted (and retarded) being men… so I’ve been looking into nootropics and and activities that enhance the brain. I’ve been fetishizing those “increase brainpower” fantasies and movies like Limitless and Scarlett Johansson’s Lucy. I figured okay, I’m female, life isn’t fair. But what if we could MAKE it fair? What if we could make people Einstein who were not born Einstein?

    If you follow “gifted” shit, you see… okay, I’ll explain. I think I’ve inherited American anti-intellectualness where I don’t like seeing people talk about their intelligence and giftedness because on an emotional level I feel a “stop bragging” and “insufferable” reaction, even though I’m technically “gifted” as well.

    For example, I can understand the mentality here, but at some level I still find it insufferable. What do you think?

    crushingtallpoppies.com/2014/02/06/my-child-is-gifted-do-you-think-im-bragging-now/

    laughingatchaos.com/i-dont-brag-about-my-gifted-kid/

    I can’t put my finger on it, but I find it pretty insufferable on some level, even though I can understand their ideas (my ENFP strength I guess.)

    I don’t like “Just born that way!” What if we could MAKE people smarter? Better at something? I’m not talking about a Harrison Bergeron dystopia where say, ballet dancers are forced to carry weights so they aren’t graceful (cause absolute sameness is needed) but in the sense that… what if we could make EVERYONE graceful, everyone smart, whatnot?

    So great, it’s hard to be a gifted kid, a parent of one. GIFTS GIFTS. They’re born that way. They’re born with a gift. But… what if it dosen’t have to be “just born that way?” What if we can MAKE people gifted? We can change people, the way we can tinker with cars?

    I am stronger at visualspatial and systemizing aspects, I suck at memorizing non-systemic things (I suck at Biology and learning foreign vocabulary through study, I’m good at art and Atmospheric Sciences and Physics and learning languages through interacting rather than intentional memorizing, for example) So, what if I could tinker with my brain to make myself better at it? I could take pills that make me learn languages like a kid? Give me Einstein intellect? Tl;dr what if “gifted” is no longer the exclusive domain accessible only by the luck of the genetic draw, but becomes some accessible through technology?

    And I am not a fan of the term ‘gifted.’ Some parents complain online that other people are threatened by and jealous of their (gifted) kids, and these parents will go out of their way to say “It’s not better, it’s different!” Except that the term ‘gifted’ itself implies something good, awesome, special. And these parents will go on talk about how the world needs more of that five-star gifted DNA And online ‘gifted’ forums? Such insufferable places, ugh. If their online personas are accurate, then I don’t wanna be around them And I am getting major lols wondering if that is what a MENSA meeting looks like

    The term “precocious” is probably more appropriate.

    • part of my resentment may have to do with my over-exposure to reactionary ness, including Charles Murray and such. In the sense that “gifted” is often assumed to be essential to “eminence” and such. For example, people like Murray think that most of the great figures in the world were men, or Nobel laureates were men, cause like, more gifted men yeah! Basically, it is the mentality of this piece of work:

      https://www.vdare.com/articles/the-silly-sex

      Fwiw, I think fiery passion, grit, and work ethic are more important for Nobel Prizes and such than “giftedness.” As you and I know… “gifted” people really aren’t that different in terms of life outcomes from anyone else. We span the same wide variety of lifestyles, and like most people, most “gifted” people will live and die as average joes no one knows about, not famous people going down into history books.

    • I’ve written about the relationship of talent to environment:

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/social-environment-human-potential/

      I’ve been convinced by the theory that some of the most intelligent and innovative people in America have their skills squandered or else apply their skills toward ends the mainstream considers immoral […]

      In a country like the US, with a shrinking middle class, social mobility and good job opportunities, with growing poverty and desperation, an entire underclass is created with its own separate communities. As with cities, what community or neighborhood you live in or come from can make a big difference, not just in your opportunities but in shaping who you become (often the opportunities you are able to see and the opportunities that you value).

      Many potential Leonardo da Vincis are gangsters tagging alley walls and dumpsters or working at Walmart. Many, probably most, of them don’t even know about even an iota of the talent and potential they have within them.

      Genius or even just above average talent doesn’t arise in a vacuum. Without social capital, potential remains potential. Countries, cities and communities that invest in social capital at the same time invest in human capital.

        • The gifted children articles are silly. All kids are gifted, unless they are in a brain-dead coma. All humans have greater potential than they manifest. Even the stupidest kid has more hidden potential than gets expressed in a genius.

          We haven’t yet gotten close to figuring out how to tap into the immense latent abilities within human nature. The failure or success of a child comes from the environment and the society, not from the child.

          This can be seen from early IQ tests. The average American from earlier last century had an IQ that today would be considered functionally retarded. Are people today more gifted than people were a century ago? No. People and their genetics didn’t change. There was no evolutionary leap of giftedness over a few generations.

          What changed was the environment, specifically universal public education that taught abstract thinking. Almost every person has the potential for abstract thinking and a high IQ, but that will only be seen if it is taught, encouraged, supported, and incentivized. Also, other environmental changes help as well, such as decreasing pollution (especially lead pollution, but also chemicals in aerosols) and increasing nutrition, plus reducing stress in the environment during pregnancy and early childhood.

          • I know what you mean Benjamin. Btw, when I was mentioning “gifted” to describe you and me, I just meant in the way schools categorize kids, that’s all. Again, I prefer the term “precocious” over “gifted” because frankly that’s what it really is.

            The articles were in response to this: http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/i-hate-hearing-about-your-gifted-child/

            Look, I COMPLETELY understand where the ‘gifted’ parents are coming from, their emotions. Still, as I was scrolling through the comment section of the previous articles from other ‘gifted’ parents, I still found a lot of the butthurt over the above article eye-rolling.

            Look Benjamin, while (maybe because I’m so ENFP) I can easily veer into the ‘gifted’ mom’s views, and to understand their thoughts, their struggles, their challenges, why does a part of me still want to roll my eyes? I can’t even pinpoint WHY I want to roll my eyes. But I wonder if it’s because, well, despite the fact that you and I know that potential does not always become realized, there is very much a tacit idea, that even these gifted mom’s have, that their kids, are well, “special.” “Lucky” and basically awesome, despite challenges. It’s just fucking society and school holding my kid’s super dooper potential back, potential that he possesses in great amounts.

            Maybe it’s from my own experiences, but despite problems that come with a ‘gifted’ label in the grade-school years, from adults, there is very much a “You’re special and capable and basically have a lot of potential. Specifically, more than OTHER kids.” There are different expectations. I hate those expectations. A kid labeled ‘gifted’ isn’t any more likely to win a nobel prize or achieve eminence than the ‘normal’ kid.

            You even see it with these parents. “My kid is struggling and failing school cause the fucking school can’t accomadate him! My kid fails math cause he thinks it’s too easy!” It’s almost, in a roundabout way, there IS a sense of entitlement and sense of snobbishness, despite the challenges faced, as valid as those challenges are.

            You know what I mean?

            On your comments… personally, I do wish I was ‘nurtured’ more in that aspect, I guess. I have immigrant parents so psychology and mental health and all those issues, they are ignorant of. So I’ve basically been running around with depression since middle school, my elementary teachers thinking I was retarded, just realizing I’ve been ADD/ADHD all along, never really fitting in with my peers, being an oddball, and other things. I really probably should have gone to an alternative or charter school versus a mainstream public school, but then again, most people don’t have that luxury. So in a way I emphathize with the parents’ angst of feeling their kids’ needs aren’t being met, but at the same time, I find them silly.

            Well… what do you think?

          • On the all kids being gifted thing (and I DO believe that all humans have latent potential we just can’t tap into yet…)

            Still, this isn’t like “most” kids I run across. And certainly, I wasn’t doing this:

            “At 12 years old, my son has had exactly one (count them, 1) teacher who “got” him. She still couldn’t manage having him in her classroom, but she understood. I cried at our first parent-teacher conference with her, because all of the others had been so negative. She started with, “If there was one kid I could take home with me and keep, it would be your son.” She then went on to tell us all the same things we’d heard before (disruptive, doesn’t pay attention, won’t do the work, etc.). But I was grateful, because finally SOMEONE was recognizing what we knew. We now homeschool, because we could not find any school (public or private) who could tell us that they could teach him something. And honestly – at the rate he learns I don’t blame them. When we pulled him out of school last spring, he was in 5th grade. He is now in 12th grade taking AP courses online (finally getting to go at his own pace). We skipped three grades (jumping to 9th in September) – and by the end of this school year he will have managed to get through all of high school in 9 months. People keep asking me what he will do next, and I just want to scream, “HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW?” I’m just making this up as we go along. College? HAH! His asynchrony means that, despite his already higher-than-most-adults level thinking, emotionally he is still in 1st grade (professional’s opinion, there).

            Thanks for sharing, Jen. It’s good to have your “tribe” with you, even when the rest of the world thinks you’re nuts (and God forbid you be nuts if you have a nut-allergy! That’s just craziness!).”

            By the way, this is anecdoctal, but there is a local couple from my hometown (before I moved to NYC.) They have four kids, highly educated parents. The mom is an anesthesiologist who stays at home teaching her kids. She is a tiger mom on steroids, teaching her kids math and everything before the “normal” age they’re supposed to learn it. ALL of the kids took high school courses at elementary age. The oldest took calculus in eighth grade, is now at Harvard. The younger siblings are doing this even younger, and the son has developed a few iphone apps as a young tween/teen. I know the oldest, and she is honestly a regular, thoughtful teenager. So my wondering is… did these parents just have four kids who “lucked out” in the genetic draw and born so gifted, or are these kids precocious because tiger parents?

            I went to a school with many high-achievers, and I knew many kids who took classes like math way before the ‘normal’ time to take them. The common denominator seems to be that they have tiger parents, and as kids, their parents had them do workbooks and the such (mine didn’t.)

            Benjamin, I do not know why, but this article pissed me off: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/gifted-ed-guru/201201/the-bright-child-vs-the-gifted-learner-whats-the-difference

            Don;t be sad your son is a bright kid! Merely bright kids can still achieve many things! There is an implicit assumptions that kids labeled ‘gifted’ will achieve more than other kids.

            Also, in the gifted articles, there is so much about ‘gifted’ kids having a deep sense of fairness and justice and yadayadayada. This statement can be problematic because it is subtly associating ‘giftedness’ with ‘goodness’ even though these people will say again and again how ‘gifted’ isn’t better. Many intelligent people are great people. Well guess what? Many intelligent people are also shitty people.

            This is my sick sense of humor, when whenever I hear the ‘gifted children have a deep sense of justice and fairness’ as a ‘symptom’ of giftedness, I always think, “Yeah. Hitler had a high IQ too. As did Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Stalin, etc etc….” Because face it Benjamin, ‘giftedness’ isn’t that correlated with how “good” a person you are. And I’m venting because I can SEE the subtle biases from ‘gifted’ advocates, despite their words, that indeed, they do associate ‘gifted’ with ‘goodness’ even when they readily see the difficulties as well.

          • Ummmhmmmm

            “My sons are not gifted, it’s just that the others are so slooowwwww 😉

            Let’s bark the dogs, Jen !

            I’d like to share with you the most important thing that I’ve discovered when I’ve been tested 2 years ago. IQ tests are easy…but most of people can’t find the answers. It was a real shock to realize that “normal” people are not able to “think”.
            That’s why schools are for parrots. And that’s why we’re in a society of parrots.
            Just remember one thing : they can not understand…because they’re not wired.”

            Why we “belittle intellectualism yet want our kids to be gifted? Well, Benjamin, maybe you can help answer that question.

            “I heaved a sigh of relief when my kids weren’t gifted. It was so, so hard. It still is. It’s like living your entire life in a porsche in bumper to bumper traffic: the world just isn’t set up to provide you with the speed for which you are built. It’s especially bad as a girl. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain why, suffice it to say that I was never valued by my parents – and still am not – except for the bragging rights my accomplishments provided. Because I’m also pretty driven.

            And so every time some idiot parent brags to me about how gifted their kid is, I smile and I think “you have no idea, and I can guarantee your kid is totally normal.” Because gifted is just another category of at-risk youth, frankly. And if they had ever really even MET a genuinely gifted kid, they would know how incredibly hard it is for everybody involved.

            Two out of three of mine have special needs – spectrum. They have some pretty amazing splinter skills, and normal IQs, so people are always telling me how “gifted” they are. But I feel pretty certain that they aren’t 2e, just spectrum kids with wonderful personalities and all the complexities and quirks a kid should have.

            It has always amazed me that for a nation that distrusts and belittles intellectualism and academics as much as this country, everybody thinks they want their kid to be “gifted” like it is some kind of bragging rights.”

  33. Well, what if we could change that? If so many parents are butthurt that other parents are jealous of them and don’t understand them, that so many parents WANT their kids to be gifted, what if we could make it so it isn’t a matter of the genetic draw anymore? What if we could advance neuroscience and technology far enough that basically, anyone can become limitless? What if we can use technology to stretch our limits? No more “it isn’t fair that he was born smart, athletic, pretty, whatever” because we are all limitless thanks to technology, now?

    http://www.milehighmamas.com/blog/2013/02/16/is-my-child-gifted-interview-with-dr-linda-silverman/

    Because frankly, at the heart of the case, these issues faced are mostly because they don’t fit into the world. The 200 IQ person dosen’t fit in because relative to him, everyone else is dumb as shit. Well, what if everyone else became just as smart? Would that help some the problems faced by the ‘gifted?’

  34. What about kids on the other side of the spectrum? What about disabled kids, kids with down syndrome, and such? This is slightly personal for me, since frankly, yes, I do know a parent with a DS kid, and I do deeply care for him. Maybe even love him (not in a romantic way, but you know what I mean.) If your ‘gifted’ kid is ultimately a blessing cause he’s like, so much potential, what about the other parents’ intellectually disabled kid?

    “Thank you for posting that article! I live in Florida and was able to attend the SENG conference that year, after first having my son evaluated (unfortunately, haven’t been able to since because of finances needed to go to out-of-state conferences). It was an enlightening experience! Second to the joy it brought to see my son play with others of his “pack” – happy, youthful, and speaking the same language, one of the most indelible moments there was when a particular speaker said to us, “Who out there has had moments of mourning the fact they don’t have a “normal” child?”. After we all got over the initial shock of the question, slowly but surely almost all of us gained the courage to raise our hands and admit that, yes, there are times when we’ve said to ourself, “If only he/she wasn’t so intense, wasn’t so different, just could be like a “regular” child and have a “normal”, happy child-hood. Wouldn’t it be easier?”. It was a liberating moment. A moment to exhale. And one followed by the incredible realization that we, as parents, were each given a gift ourselves with our children. Yes, he has a rough go of it, yes it’s a challenge each and every day, yes life would be “easier”. But this complex, beautiful child of mine, who thinks like no one I’ve ever known… who could change the world… how can I not try every day to get him through, to challenge him, to support, to get to a day when he can, hopefully, make a difference with that wonderful mind of his. It’s exhausting and I still find myself at times thinking how much easier it would be if he “just fit in” with everyone – how happy he could be. But I wouldn’t change a single thing about him and the blessing it is to have him here! What a gift that is. Thanks for understanding!”

  35. Last one for the night, sorry Benjamin

    I’m thinking it’s pretty obvious that Luda either doesn’t have a “G” child and/or she doesn’t even know one…especially one that’s “2e”.

    I read your article and totally got it. It sang to me, hugged me, and let me know that I’m not alone in the mommy world. I read the other article and it felt like someone was trying to take my kid apart, brick by brick, in order to make themselves feel better about their child(ren). Why do we do that? Why do we feel it necessary to constantly compare ourselves to others? And we don’t stop with ourselves; we compare what we have, where we live, what we drive, our children. STOP already.

    We’ve become one of the least tolerant societies in the history of the world. And our school systems are perfect examples of that. If your child doesn’t fit neatly into their one-size-fits-all box, then they must “fix” your child. Heaven help you if your child falls outside that box in 2 or more areas. Suddenly, it isn’t about the child having a difference, it’s about your parenting skills. Folks start to see you as a helicopter parent or some other overused label.

    I HATE the “G” word. Yes, I said hate and meant it. We knew our daughter was different pretty early on and those differences just kept getting stronger. I’ll spare you the litany of oddities; let’s just say we knew we had to see someone to find out what was going on. We feared lots of current ‘hot’ diagnoses we read about and see splashed across our tv screens, but none of them really fit her. We took her to one of those ‘end-all, be-all’ places for testing and their results told us that she wasn’t “on the spectrum”; she was “G”.

    My first reaction was some relief but then it was quickly followed by panic. I knew she wasn’t Mozart, Einstein, nor a prodigy of any sort. Yeah, she was ‘bright’ but “G”?? I just didn’t see it. Then I began visiting the websites that the testing facility gave me, reading the books they recommended, and looked at my daughter through the eyes of others. SH*T. It wasn’t all warm fuzzies and joyous anticipation of future Nobel prizes. It was social awkwardness to the point that many “G” kids end up committing suicide because they can’t find a coping mechanism for dealing with the bullying, the addictions, the depression, the anxiety, the lack of ‘normalness’ that allows most of society to float through life unscathed. It was dark, scary, and more than a little nerve-grating to read what trials and tribulations were waiting for our “G” child as she aged. I cried. I cried alot. I still cry.

    My “G” child will never be a cheerleader, she’ll never be the homecoming queen or ‘most popular’, she’ll never find that perfect sorority, nor will she glide effortlessly through the corporate world. She’ll be lucky if she dates. Her life is not as charmed as that writer wants her readers to believe.

    That article was bad enough, but it was the reader’s comments that really got me crushed. Reading through them, I could only see the words of people who are somehow threatened by the fact that, for some uncontrollable reason, my 4yo could read at a 6th grade level or could name every major bone & organ before she was 5yo. So what if she can do those things. How does that demean their child? I always find myself trying to head off any walls of resentment by pointing out that whilst my child can do those things, their child(ren) can run a straight line, balance, hold a conversation on Hello Kitty with other toddlers, or laugh at a Disney movie instead of getting freaked out because the dramatic music tells their brain that something ominous is about to happen.

    It’s about a system of checks and balances, folks. I don’t know too many kids who are perfect at anything let alone everything. Can’t we just learn to love our kids for what they can do, help with what they can’t, and let them be who they need to be? Has it occurred to anyone out there that the need for Xanax and its ilk has multiplied zillion-fold in this world because we, as a society, have lost our tolerance of what’s different? If the world could accept us as we are, who’d need a damned pill?”

  36. “So in a way I emphathize with the parents’ angst of feeling their kids’ needs aren’t being met, but at the same time, I find them silly.”

    Few parents have children that are easy to raise. Every kid is some combination of talents and problems.

    “Because face it Benjamin, ‘giftedness’ isn’t that correlated with how “good” a person you are.”

    Any intelligent person should know that. But isn’t it interesting that so many parents of supposed gifted children don’t have the intelligence to know this.

    Their desire to make giftedness into moral superiority smacks of desperation. I suspect many of these ‘gifted’ children aren’t actually as gifted as their parents would like to believe. It’s more likely that they’re kids have major problems and they want to believe that it is a sign of genius and talent.

    “Why we belittle intellectualism yet want our kids to be gifted?”

    I’ve written something along these lines:

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/the-public-shame-of-intellectual-dysfunction/

    Americans have a weird love/hate obsession with intellectual ability. As citizens of a young immigrant country, it seems Americans have an inferiority complex. Americans have the need to prove themselves. We know our education system isn’t the best and we know the world laughs at us for our collective stupidity. So, many individual Americans like to believe that they or their children are somehow special, not like all the other stupid Americans.

    There are some class issues mixed in as well. Those of the upper classes go to the best schools and have the most privileges and advantages. Meanwhile, poor kids (along with going to the worst schools) experience the most pollution, malnutrition, stress, etc that impairs cognitive development. A desire for gifted children is partly a desire for being part of a better class of people, the genetically superior elite. If one’s kids are gifted, it shows that one’s own genetics must be pretty awesome.

    That is what is behind this statement:

    http://www.milehighmamas.com/blog/2013/02/16/is-my-child-gifted-interview-with-dr-linda-silverman/

    “Giftedness is genetic”

    What utter bullshit! You’d think an education major, as the author claims to be, would know to not make unsubstantiated claims. We presently know so little about development of cognitive ability. But what we do know points to most of the causal factors being environmental.

    “Well, what if everyone else became just as smart? Would that help some the problems faced by the ‘gifted?’”

    Yes, it would. That then connects to the following:

    “the lack of ‘normalness’ that allows most of society to float through life unscathed.”

    I would point out that no kid is ‘normal’. That is a subjective judgment. And no one floats through life unscathed. Anyway, Americans hate ‘normal’. To call a child normal is a criticism. Every parent wants to believe their kid is above average and gifted, at least in some aspect or another.

    • That was an intereseting post, thanks!

      This is my speculation, but I wonder if this is related to the fact that America is a bit unique in two ways: It was founded on the principle of equality, yet it is fundamentally, profoundly unequal relative to it’s cultural siblings (other western nations) at the same time. American history is basically, well, one giant irony.

      You talk about intelligence as well, and you also see it much more fluidly than the way reactionaries are “gifted” groupies say it, yes?

      Personally, on american discomfort with intellectualism yet wanting to be smart, I wonder if it has anything to do with America’s deeply anti-elitist cultural streak. Intellectualism is associated with “high culture” and American has a deep, well, distrust of “high culture.” We want to elect the guy who we can have a beer with; we are comfortable with athletic talent because we don’t see athleticism as something died up with elitism and high culture the way we see intelligence. We may be comfortable with artistic and athletic talent because we also see these two traits as more “malleable” than “intelligence” as well. These two traits are ring more ‘down to earth” than intellectualism does, even if certain types of art has a place in high culture. We think we can always improve our athletic and artistic abilities, but we don’t like entertaining the thought that, well, “inequality” could stare us in the face in terms of smartness, and that there’s nothing we can do about it.

      tl;dr we don’t like being reminded of inequality.

      • By the way, that quote is what I was talking about, the presumptuousness of it all. Again, the association of ‘giftedness’ with what’s good. Gifted struggles are even framed ultimately in ‘good’ terms.70% of the struggles are back-handedly blamed on other, non
        gifted’ people

        I’ll never forget one ‘gifted’ mom being totally cool with her gifted son failing math class because the math was too easy and he was too bored to try. That just sounds entitled and other words I can’t come up with, you know what I mean? My own parents would never take that excuse, and I think it’s ridiculous that any parent would. Failing because I’m too smart for that shit would NEVER fly with me if I were a parent.

        America, despite being deeply anti-elitist and uncomfortable with ‘upper classes’ also deeply wants to identify with them at the same time. To think “hey! my genetics ain’t too bad!” We Americans struggle with seeing things like this in a very rigid, fixed, way. It contributes to our issues. It is, indeed, an inferiority complex. A very American emotional thing. A contradiction, a dissonance.

  37. Btw, you never answered this, but this was the article that got so many of the ‘gifted’ parents upset. Appearently it made a lot of the ‘gifted’ parents cry :/ Personally, I think that’s a bit, um, overreacting. But that’s me.

    http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/i-hate-hearing-about-your-gifted-child/

    I do feel more sympathetic and sensitive to this ‘gifted’ mom than most of the other parents, though. You? It seems her having a special needs kid reduces a lot of the hidden “misunderstood, difficult, but ultimately better!” attitudes seen in the other parents. She is much more even-handed. She is much more level and fair.
    awayfromtheoven.com/2012/02/02/so-you-hate-hearing-about-my-gifted-child/

    I’m not sure why, but this annoyed the shit out of me. What about you? http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/gifted-ed-guru/201201/the-bright-child-vs-the-gifted-learner-whats-the-difference

    Still, I have problems with these parents. Ironically, they complain of other people, yet they themselves are constructing all these, well, boxes for ‘gifted’ people.

    Still, there’s surely something to the fact that, these kids are doing things like reading at two or taking calculus at eight :/

    HOWEVER, and this is related to the stupid IQ scale I posted above, I do not like that iq ranges are pigeonholed into certain things. For example, the iq 90= police officer etc, iq 115=accountant…. iq-130 is “soft science” phd, maybe minor writer, iqs 140-150 are the scientists and novel winners, etc etc etc.

    paulcooijmans.com/intelligence/iq_ranges.html

    I HATE that pigeonholing. You know? It’s full of shit.

    No Benjamin, you don’t need to be a genius to get a science doctorate, etc etc etc. Fuck, you don’t need to be a ‘genius’ to be an accomplished scientist or academic, win a nobel, or whatever. MAYBE you can’t be intellectually disabled, but do you need to score above 140 on an iq test to have a flying chance? Fuck no! You need luck, grit, work ethic, luck, etc. You go inventory people with 150 iqs? They span the same range of lifestyles and outcomes as anyone else.

    Besides, these days? Scientific and other tech achievements are done by several people. There isn’t really such thing as a lone wolf inventor these days.

    • tl;dr just because junior wasn’t reading shakespeare at age ten dosen’t mean he’s doomed to never be conventionally accomplished. In fact many very accomplished (in conventional ways like nobel prizes and such) people did things at ‘normal’ ages and were ‘regular kids.’

  38. “Btw, you never answered this, but this was the article that got so many of the ‘gifted’ parents upset. Appearently it made a lot of the ‘gifted’ parents cry :/ Personally, I think that’s a bit, um, overreacting. But that’s me.”

    I liked the article. I thought it was more insightful, wise, and compassionate than anything you’ve linked to that is written by the ‘gifted’ parents. I particularly like this:

    “But no one brags about how nice their kid is. Too bad. That’s the kind of thing I’d like to hear. I don’t think I’d even mind listening to competitive one-up tales of kindness.”

    The greatest gift of all is a child that doesn’t show signs of narcissism, psychopathy, cruelty, moral depravity, etc. And instead shows signs of the complete opposite.

    “I do feel more sympathetic and sensitive to this ‘gifted’ mom than most of the other parents, though. You? It seems her having a special needs kid reduces a lot of the hidden “misunderstood, difficult, but ultimately better!” attitudes seen in the other parents. She is much more even-handed. She is much more level and fair.
    awayfromtheoven.com/2012/02/02/so-you-hate-hearing-about-my-gifted-child/”

    I don’t know. It is better than the others. But it still seems a bit clueless to me. The label ‘gifted’ is pretty much meaningless. Most parents, it seems to me, who use such a label on their child probably have serious issues.

    Gifted? That implies an intentional act of having been given. But by whom? God? The genetic fairies? Is the gifted child just more loved by the powers that be who dole out the gifts to human babies?

    “I’m not sure why, but this annoyed the shit out of me. What about you? http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/gifted-ed-guru/201201/the-bright-child-vs-the-gifted-learner-whats-the-difference

    It annoyed me to. I don’t get a sense that this person has much insight to offer. It concerns me that this person is in a position of being treated as an expert and authority on children.

    The article consisted of broad sweeping generalizations. The author also treated these categories of ‘bright’ and ‘gifted’ as inherent identities. It’s not just pigeonholing. There is a bit of fatalism to this worldview. You are just what you are. Hence, the only purpose of education is to fit each kid into the proper slot.

    “Still, I have problems with these parents. Ironically, they complain of other people, yet they themselves are constructing all these, well, boxes for ‘gifted’ people.”

    They are forcing a fiction, a social construction onto their child. They are saddling kids with labels and forcing them to play a role. There is no allowing of the kids to be unique. In terms of potential, every kid is ‘gifted’.

    “Still, there’s surely something to the fact that, these kids are doing things like reading at two or taking calculus at eight”

    As I said before, human potential is greater than even the most ‘gifted’ kid shows. It is the environment, not the child, that determines the expression of potential. What I can’t help thinking is this. Why is our society and our educational system failing so many kids such that they aren’t developing their ‘giftedness’? Why are their so many latent ‘gifted’ children who are being ignored and being held back?

    If we must use the term ‘gifted’, let’s acknowledge all children are gifted. I don’t mean that in a superficial sense, but with profound implications of shared human potential. Individuals are only as good as the societies they are part of, and societies are only as good as the individuals in that society. What I want is a ‘gifted’ society that encourages and is built on the potential of everyone.

    “Besides, these days? Scientific and other tech achievements are done by several people. There isn’t really such thing as a lone wolf inventor these days.”

    Our obsession with individualism is self-defeating and, in the long term, self-destructive.

    • I am having a lot of fun with this conversation, Benjamin XD

      Why would you think that the ‘normal’ mom’s article would upset the ‘gifted’ parents? My impression is because the normal mom seems jealous, and the gifted parents think she shouldnt be, because they think that she is jealous because she is confusing high-achieving with giftedness, and they think she is jealous and mean-spirited because she dosen’t know what it’s like to have a gifted kid, which is difficult! They think that the normal mom would go crazy trying to parent a gifted (vs high achieving) kid.

      But why would you find her compassionate and wise, while the gifted parents find her mean-spirited, clueless and asshole-ey?

      Also, I leave with the impression that not only are high-achieving and giftedness different, they are almost mutually exclusive unless said gifted kid gets the world for him: special schools, guidance, etc.

      What I get from the psychology today article, is almost a “Don’t worry, your bright kid won’t achieve as much as the gifted kid but he can still live a good life in his own right!” What I mean is, there is a slight patronizing tone to his article. Actually, there is a patronizing tone to most of the ‘gifted’ parents’ articles, do you agree?

      Still, I get some of the parents’ concerns, but I wonder if there isn’t another side to their story. Also, I get the impression that if a kid is gifted, he automatically has to have 99 problems and then some.

      ALso, I laughed, but you know the normal mom who valued “kindness?” above? One of the gifted parents was complaining that it was “kind” people like her normal daughter that were bullying her gifted kid, LOL.

      Anyway, I do think the term ‘gifted’ is awful. I think it is much more accurate to describe these kids as ‘precocious.” Early blooming in the intellectual arena, who may or may not remain their ways into adulthood. Yes?

      Personally, I am a late blooming kid. I’ve had ADD/ADHD my whole life, my teachers thought I was retarded in elementary school, I scored completely average and below average on standardized tests. Post puberty though, this changed. This was also the period that I gained confidence and pushed myself against my PTSD, since I’ve had childhood trauma that’s impacted me my whole life an d may be a n influence on why I may be so hyper-sensitive and aware and painfully bashful as a younger kid.

      I think it’s unfair to expect ‘more’ out of ‘gifted’ kids, to assume that the future eminent people, the leaders, nobel winners, etc are going to come from the kids labeled ‘gifted’ and not from the other kids. This is a big issue for me. You?

      “Gifted? That implies an intentional act of having been given. But by whom? God? The genetic fairies? Is the gifted child just more loved by the powers that be who dole out the gifts to human babies?”

      Word. Again, out with the term “gifted” and in with the term “precocious!”

    • I love this convo Benjamin. I suppose as someone going through working out my phases (I’ve worked out my parent-issue phase, now I’m working through my school-issue phase)

      That child ‘expert’ (if I were back in my kiddie self I’d tell him to piss off)… and slots….

      What about miss Женщина? The kid that is not paying attention ever, staring out the window, or fiddling with her papers and doodling pointless stuff. In elementary school Miss Женщина was a C student who never turned her work in on time, the music teacher thought she needed a personal aide, the gym teacher thought she was hopeless (miss Женщина was deathly afraid of everything, from flying balls, to climbing the jungle gym, to water, to climbing ropes.) In adolescence miss Женщина became an A and B student, ratio depending on the semester. Miss Женщина because better with turning her work him and knowing how to please teachers more, but miss Женщина also developed a more self-aware and intensely clear depression. Semesters where B’s outnumbered A’s coincided with intensified periods of depression and emotional issues. In high school miss Женщина rarely payed attention in class and learned got by by cramming all class info right before tests. Miss Женщина cut herself sometimes.

      In ways I’m glad I didn’t grow up here in NYC. NYC is of course diverse education wise, but in terms of schools, there is a very real sense of ‘prestige chasing’ here. While my high school had it’s scene of people chasing the ivy leagues, here it’s bourgeois yuppie parents and ambitious immigrant parents chasing the prestigious schools, starting at fucking pre-school age. Chasing the gifted kintergardens, the best pre-schools, the private schools, the public magnet schools(for the poor immigrants especially), etc etc. At least where I lived everyone went to the same local public schools. And I guess I was a lucky in that unlike NYC my options weren’t either crappy public schools or joining the rat race for the prestigious ones(public and private.)

      Женщина’s idea of a school is one that is open(or at least first-come-first-serve or lottery) admission, and deeply nurturing of ALL students regardless of their ‘level’ on the label spectrum, and students are integrated (ex: the ‘gifted’ kids and ‘special ed’ kids are friends) A school that expects much of all it’s kids, but deeply nurturing at once.

      You and I both know something’s rotten in the education system. America certainly dosen’t have the best education system, but I’m sure it dosen’t have the worst, either. Even if we are pretty much a joke compared with other first world countries. But compared to ALL nations? We’re probably not the worst….

      • Okay, last one for the night…

        So does the ‘gifted’ kid who just wants to play video games all day not exist? LOL

    • Okay, real final for the night

      “If you talk about what your child did, it’s just talking. If a gifted parent does the same, it’s bragging. As a parent of a gifted child, I’ve found it’s a lonely road and a hard one, and god forbid we talk about it, because someone is sure to think we are bragging. Most of us go out of our way to not talk about it, I know I do. If I learn someone has a gifted child, I NEVER think “wow, they must be so proud”. My first thought is more along the lines of “I wonder how tired they are?”.”

      What do you think of this, especially the first sentence?

  39. “Why would you think that the ‘normal’ mom’s article would upset the ‘gifted’ parents?”

    I think it is simple. She dared to question their entire worldview. She brought doubt to the category of ‘gifted’ as being valid.

    “But why would you find her compassionate and wise, while the gifted parents find her mean-spirited, clueless and asshole-ey?”

    Because she stated the obvious. No one likes the obvious when it is an uncomfortable truth. Her article offers some understanding about why the whole debate about giftedness is baseless and pointless.

    “Also, I leave with the impression that not only are high-achieving and giftedness different, they are almost mutually exclusive unless said gifted kid gets the world for him: special schools, guidance, etc.”

    That is why all such categories are meaningless.

    It has little to do with the child and everything to do with the environment. More contributing and causal factors than we can imagine go into determining whether a child is ‘gifted’ (i.e., expresses more of their potential than other children) or not and whether a child is high-achieving (under particular conditions).

    The two aren’t mutually exclusive. This is because neither is an inherent category that is applicable to individuals in some theoretical isolation from environments. The distinction between the two is just making excuses.

    Supposedly ungifted children have no one expecting them to be high achieving because of how they are labeled, and so it is a pleasant surprise when they are high achievers. The gifted-labeled child is seen as a failure when his ‘gifts’ don’t lead to success, as if he is wasting his talent and not living up to his superiority. Distinguishing between gifted and high achieving is a way a parent makes excuses for why they feel like a failure as a parent. Giftedness becomes an all-purpose excuse for everything from bad grades to bad behavior.

    “What I mean is, there is a slight patronizing tone to his article. Actually, there is a patronizing tone to most of the ‘gifted’ parents’ articles, do you agree?”

    I agree. I think that is an inevitable aspect of living in a class-based culture which in the US is conflated with race issues. Consider for a moment who is claiming their children as gifted. They are mostly middle-to-upper class and mostly white. When poor minority kids in a poor minority school get bad grades and have behavioral problems, few people are going to suggest that the cause is giftedness.

    “Still, I get some of the parents’ concerns, but I wonder if there isn’t another side to their story.”

    Sure, there are all kinds of valid concerns. Our society in general and our educational system in particular fails to help most people in the ways they need help. Everyone has more potential for both ‘giftedness’ and high achieving than our present system allows. Our society cripples most children and then we praise as gifted and high achieving those children who managed to escape getting as crippled as the rest.

    “Also, I get the impression that if a kid is gifted, he automatically has to have 99 problems and then some.”

    That is because the label of ‘gifted’ is most often used to explain the problems, specifically the problems of upper class children. Every parent of a problem child would love to think their child is gifted. You have to understand that most parents claiming giftedness for their children are self-diagnosing, not that the label means anything.

    “Anyway, I do think the term ‘gifted’ is awful. I think it is much more accurate to describe these kids as ‘precocious.” Early blooming in the intellectual arena, who may or may not remain their ways into adulthood. Yes?”

    I don’t know. I’m not sure that would help to resolve the issues of excuse-making, classism, and environmental denialism.

    “my teachers thought I was retarded in elementary school”

    The same thing happened to me. They initially thought I was low IQ, until I was tested. The thing is that, at the time, I was going to a school in a wealthy community. I received much positive attention and assitance.

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/aspergers-and-chunking/

    A poor kid in a poor community would never have been tested and the assumption of low IQ would have remained. Maybe so-called giftedness is actually the norm, but we don’t have effective ways to either test for potential or for systematically developing it. What some call gifted others call privilege.

    “I think it’s unfair to expect ‘more’ out of ‘gifted’ kids, to assume that the future eminent people, the leaders, nobel winners, etc are going to come from the kids labeled ‘gifted’ and not from the other kids. This is a big issue for me. You?”

    Anyway, why isn’t the tendency and ability to be hardworking and high achieving also labeled as ‘gifted’? Aren’t these attributes and potentials that kids receive from the conditions of their birth and childhood development, both genetic and environmental?

    “Again, out with the term “gifted” and in with the term “precocious!””

    I do think, like with every other topic, improved terminology and frameworks are needed. We have to find better ways to think and talk about these issues. The present debates are plain pathetic and lacking in insight. We aren’t really helping children and making the world a better place with our use of such labels as ‘gifted’. It’s an avoidance of the real problems of our society.

    • Okay, before the new year hits… (speaking of which, happy new year!)

      I reread the normal mom’s blogpost. Again, perhaps since I am not a parent of a ‘gifted’ kid, I don’t see much upsetting in the post, or even offensive, on it’s own.

      Putting myself out there though, I think the ‘offense’ the gifted parents take is that they feel like they can’t talk about their kid’s accomplishments because it makes other parents jealous, and they use normal mom’s blogpost as an example. They feel isolated because they feel they can’t talk about their kids, whether their accomplishments, or even their shortcomings, since other parents would dismiss their kid’s issues since the kid is supposedly so ‘smart.’ They think the normal mom is falling into a trap of thinking of gifted kids as Mozarts as Einsteins. However, in THEIR reality, gifted kids are actually. They wish they could talk about their kids with other parents they way they see parents of normal or disabled kids do, but they can’t because people don’t want to hear about it.

      These kids, based on what I read, are really tough to handle and special needs kids, who are extra sensitive, a pain in the ass, have a bunch of problems (maybe dyslexia, ADHD, emotionally immature, ‘asynchronus’ smarter than teachers, rebellious, drug users, autism, among other things) are overly emotional, have epic meltdowns, argumentative, stubborn, and are basically kids with everything cranked on 11 all the time. Basically, they are pissed because people like the ‘normal’ mom are jealous since they since think ‘gifted kids’ are einsteins when they’re actually special needs kids and require effort not needed for ‘normal’ kids. They don’t do what their told unlike normal kids, they smart their way out of situations and weasel their way, they’re crafty, etc. What essentially seems to be the case is that, these kids are a bundle full of problems and issues, not withstanding that they are reading doing doing other intellectual things a bit earlier than other kids their age. Basically, the kids are doing schoolwork above grade level, but are exhausting basket-cases in ways ‘normal’ kids aren’t. This is my impression.

      Tell me this, Benjamin. If I really were to trust, to agree, with these parent’s words, that ‘gifted’ isn’t better, and to identify with their pains, then I also cannot ignore the latent attitudes and actions in these parents that say the opposite.

      I cannot ignore the latent attitudes and actions that say, yes, ‘gifted
      really IS better, that the kids problems are society’s fault, other parent’s fault, the normal mom’s fault, normal kids fault. The problem isn’t that the kid is a pain in the ass, it’s that regular schools aren’t designed for gifted kids. The problem isn’t that my son is failing math, the problem is that my son is failing math because is because he finds it too easy and is bored, and if only he was moved to Calculus instead of pre-Algebra, he wouldn’t be failing. The problem isn’t that my kid is defiant of authority, it’s that the teachers don’t understand him. That normal mom brags about her kind daughter, but people like her daughter are the ones who bully my smart kid!

      And if ‘gifted’ wasn’t ‘better,’ than why are gifted parents always talking to each other, and the gifted young adults, to have kids to hopefully pass on those ‘gifted’ genes! Why is a kid who may be a pain in the ass, disabled in other ways, but able to do high school work at eight, considered ‘gifted’ which implies ‘blessed’ but the kid with Down Syndrome isn’t considered ‘blessed’ the same way? Why are these parents telling gifted people who have kids to hopefully spread more ‘gifted’ genes, but don’t tell someone on the other end, a intellectually disabled kid, to do the same? No one says “Hey! We need to have more kids with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, etc etc!”

      And for the record, I’m not a fan of American public education either. The difference is that I think it fails people of all types. But then again, other nations aren’t necessarily better either.

      • Also, this may play into the ‘discomfort’ ‘normal’ people may feel with ‘gifted’ kids, though I also think the gifted parents are misguided and may contribute to their own ‘isolation’ sometimes too…

        Just like we humans naturally tend to fall into the ‘beauty=goodness’ bias, we may also fall into the ‘smart=good’ bias. In particular, the word ‘gifted’ is MEANT as a positive term, so this makes it easier to associate ‘gifted’ with goodness, especially subconsciously and knee-jerkingly.

        Building on this, we, and the education system, often assume that it is the people who currently show ‘promise’ who will become tomorrows, well, accomplished people. Today’s promise=tomorrow’s success, basically. There is this idea that it’s the kid identified as ‘gifted’ during his childhood that is going to become tomorrow’s great scientists, writers, etc etc. Tomorrow’s Einsteins, Hemingways, Lincolns, Taos, etc. Tomorrow’s eminent people. Conversely, this comes with the assumption that the ‘regular’ kids will become Joe and Jane average. It is these two assumptions paired together that may make people uncomfortable, and prompt people like the normal mom to write what she did. This comes back to what we talked earlier, and the honest normal mom did, the idea of gifted being better, and implying, well,’ good’ genes. (Seriously, think about it. Do you think people will see a kid with Down Syndrome or such as evidence of lucking out genetically? Because there is plenty of the ‘lucking out genetically’ sentiment with ‘gifted’ people.) So the normal mom may feel that her kid isn’t good enough, but as an extension, feel SHE isn’t good enough. You know what I mean?

        I’m not a parent, but I am somewhat, um, inclined to evo-psych type thinking. I think a lot of ‘parental’ love may be driven ultimately love of one’s genetics and desire to propagate them. This may be why we are attracted to ‘attractive’ people: ‘beauty=good genes.’ and such. See, you can ultimately twist a lot of things to ultimately be selfish. Of course, things are much more complicated, and despite this, I DO believe in love. REAL love. A love that is evidence of higher dimensions. But I believe that even the more pure types of love we humans can feel, pale in comparison to these higher up types of loves, and perhaps, only a few can reach it within this life. This love is beyond the ultimate selfishness that is part of many types of human love, including parental and group love. This love is beyond the drive to preserve the species, preserve anything. This love is beyond most of us, and this love can see what we can’t.

        In fact, I do have a bit more faith in adopted parents’ love than biological parents’ love, for that reason.

        • By the way, you might find this entertaining:

          microscopesareprudent.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/envy-and-giftedness-are-we-underestimating-the-effects-of-envy/

          Attitude much?

          And there’s this one, that is similar to the normal mom’s:
          http://modernreject.com/2011/10/gifted-children/

          To which I can hear the response: You don’t understand you jealous $$$$! Gifted isn’t the same as high-achieving! My gifted kids DON’T do well at school!

          crushingtallpoppies.com/2014/02/06/my-child-is-gifted-do-you-think-im-bragging-now/

          Benjamin, can I be honest? I’m young, only in college, but I did go to a high school with a lot of kids and parents, above. My school sends many kids to ivies and similar schools every year. You know what I find?

          As we go older, as we’ve become adults, graduating from college, going out into the real world… we really just end up as, well, ourselves. The stuff that mattered so much in high school? It seems so silly now. We’re ultimately just trying to find what makes us happy, no less, no more, really.

          If I ever become a biological parent, I now sometimes fear the emotions I may feel. People routinely abort intellectually disabled kids cause they want ‘normal’ kids. What if we take it a step further and don’t want ‘normal’ kids but the ‘gifted’ kids?

          What emotions will I feel as a parent? What would I feel if my child acts like a ‘regular’ kid, meeting developmental milestones at the ‘standard’ ages instead of way earlier? Should I feel resigned because I’ll use this to assume my kid will never be Einstein, Bill Gates, Emmy Noether, etc etc, that my kid is doomed to be Jane Average because my genes weren’t good enough? I think, this is the mentality that may cross the minds of the ‘normal’ moms sometimes.

          I’m not sure if a lot of the problems we’ve discussed are an American thing or not. I say so because on the gifted parent forum, I did see a few people come on and call the parents delusional middle-upper class white people. They talked about Asian parents (stereotypical high achieving) stressed achievement and tiger parented their kids, they didn’t care about gifted labels or what not, They just pushed their kids regardless of some ‘stupid’ ‘gifted’ label. This got a lot of backlash accusations of bitterness and jealousy from the gifted parents, who commented that there were many Asian parents bringing their kids to gifted programs, thank you very much.

          Also, I may be a bit bitter, too. Though at public schools in general, but it’s mostly just because throughout my younger years I’ve struggled with undiagnosed depression and ADHD, and my teachers thought I was retarded, so I’m just annoyed at that. When I was older, my IQ had jumped two standard deviations (seriously, wtf?) which I just attribute to puberty improving my attention span a bit. But it is also because for some reason American elementary schools love grading kids on soft shit like ‘listens to others’ ‘is attentive’ ‘plays with other kids’ while high school just cares about your schoolwork, which may be how I went from my teachers thinking I was retarded to being an A-B student in my older years.

          “Yep. Great article. I’m a the mom of one of those “gifted” kids, and I can tell you it’s sometimes hard among the tests, evaluations and special classes to remember that my primary responsibility as a parent is not to get her into Harvard on a full ride but to help her be the kid who sits “next to the fat kid at the lunch table.” What I’m most proud of is not that she read Harry Potter in kindergarten (sorry), but that she is the kindest, most gentle, and honest person I know. (Well, it’s slipped a bit since hitting puberty, but I’m hoping it’s still in there.)

          Don’t be too hard on the parents though. Schools really drill into them the whole “gifted” thing and how critical it is to focus on your child’s intellectual development. I admit it’s easy to get caught up in it when your told your child is a brainiac, but we have to remember that God cares far more about her heart.”

  40. Maybe much of the problem lies in how we, schools, and fuck, the gifted parents themselves, protray giftedness. Again, keep in mind I’m still a bit bitter, because I was a late-blooming kid so one one thought to give ME any type of attention, whether academic or whatnot. I had PTSD from a childhood I can’t even remember, depression, ADHD. And no one bothered to nurture ME with those in mind. And it’s funny because the elementary school me was slow and dumb and unaware and uncoordinated, etc, but come high school? I caught up and even surpassed the ‘promising’ kids. Fuck that.

    “I’m not much of a fan of the “gifted” label myself, partially because it does not even come close to describing the complexities and challenges of raising this kind of child and partially because of the response that it elicits from other parents such as yourself. To your point, there are probably more parents that use this label as bragging rights but here is my view point that I hope my bring a different perspective.

    Let me go out on a limb here and say that if you are referring to the group of parents who seek to get their child in a “gifted” program because they see it as an exclusive group of the intellectual elite that they demand to have admittance for, then I am right there with you sister!

    But what about the group of parents who have no other term to use to describe their child?What about those parents that are desperate for help, that are fearful about the fact that their child reads, can articulate and conversate at a 3rd grade level when they are only 5 but still throw themselves on the floor and have temper tantrums like they are 3? Yes, we have all passed them in horror in the grocery store. All children have asynchronous development, but it can become exponential for a “gifted” child and for their parents.

    Who cares? I do.

    You see, if I had a child who was learning disabled or outside the norm in some other fashion and I wanted to talk with you and ask you to pray for me as a parent, you would. Happily and probably without judgement. With compassion? Yes. Perhaps even pity? If we are being honest with ourselves, then maybe a little as we look at our own healthy “normal” children and feel somewhat relieved. If I went to you for guidance and love as a friend and fellow christian, you would offer to pray and you would sincerely be concerned about the choices I made for that child so that they could receive the same intellectual stimulation and social and emotional development as any other child of God.

    Substitute the term gifted and you can begin to feel the eyes rolling and the emotional walls going up. But here’s where I agree with you, God does care about so much more than just their intellectual needs! Read up on HoagiesGifted.org or senggifted.org and you will find a rich collection of articles that describe some of the many challenges that parents faces in raising kids like this. Maybe you will be surprised to learn that “gifted” people, particularly those that go unidentified have higher risks of suicide, are more likely to become high school drop outs and experience more rejection as a population than other children and adults. These are not kids that are just “bright,” for those the system serves them fairly well, these are kids who are “different.” The fabric of their experiences are qualitatively different than others because accompanying their intellect is often emotional intensity and sensitivity, divergent thinking, and other factors that mean that they do not always have a lot in common with similar aged peers.

    Even if you never told them they were smart, which I don’t believe you should praise intelligence. Even if you never let them know they wear a “gifted” label or they were never placed in classes that identified that label to themselves or their peers, they will still quickly be able to describe to you and question those differences on a daily basis. They will naturally, like any of us, gravitate towards any person that will accept them for who they are. Differences and all. Because let’s face it, the “gifted” kid is probably the annoying one in the room. I know I was.

    And that’s the part that stings is that when you are scared or need to talk to a close friend or confidante about whether you are making the right decisions or if you are completely ruining your childs’ life. You know, those incoherent moments of panic and irrationality that we are all plagued with. Those moments of self doubt. Well try being the parent of a “gifted” child because it is a very lonely place to be. Nobody wants to hear you talk about it because all that THEY hear is how great you think your son or daughter is and how apparently intellectually superior you purport them to be. And you said it. They don’t care.

    But your wrong Nicole, God does care or he wouldn’t have made kids like this. He cares that if your kid is bored, he will be the one that the teacher secretly can’t stand and all the kids deride. Or maybe it will just be that well meaning Christian teachers will brand your inquisitive and often abruptly questioning child “disrespectful” or his immature behavior “selfish.” Or maybe he will end up on an IPP, or misdiagnosed with a behavioral disorder and ployed with drugs to make him less of a bother to the class or the teacher. I’m pretty sure that God cares about every child of his, “gifted” or not.

    Perhaps what has been missed here by those parents pushing to get their kids in to gifted programs etc. is that good “gifted” programs are a lifeline for children that need to be in them not an acceleration for parents pushing to raise the next prodigy. Certainly there are those. For most it is knowing that there are teachers who have been given additional training and coping mechanisms to help these kids reach their potential, to keep them engaged in school instead of becoming hopelessly disillusioned, and best of all provide an environment and peers that foster their social and emotional needs so that they can have friends, find acceptance and feel reassured that they belong……and that someone cares.”

  41. BTW, I think my HS did it the right way, so tell me what you think.

    Our ‘gifted program’ was called our enrichment program, and it was open to pretty much everyone to fill out a contract, meet with the counselor, and join. There was no “test score cutoff” or evaluation for appropriate levels of giftedness. If you wanted to be apart of the program, you could fill out a contract and forms, your wants and goals, meet and get to know the counselors and teachers, and you were in. It was all individualized, there was a hangout room, etc. You had the stereotypical brainac doing his science olympiad stuff, you had the girl who was taking Italian at the local community college, you had the genius who was hooked up with a mentorship with the local professor, you had the kid who worked on her art projects during her time, you had the kid who was academically ‘normal’ but liked to make earrings and sell them, you had the ‘slow’ kid who liked making friends with the other kids, you had the ‘normal’ kids who used the time to work on homework and make friends, etc. It’s a model of how I think it should be done. It was inclusive, yet supportive not only of ‘gifted’ kids who may need the support, but ALL kids. The inclusiveness and lack of special evaluation needed for enterence did not harm anyone, it did not make it so a ‘gifted’ kid didn’t get as much special support as he would have needed. On the other hand it opened up support for everyone, and face it, every kids needs and deserves it.

    That counselor was probably the reason I didn’t drop off a cliff, to be honest. And I wasn’t going anything ‘gifted’ during my time either. I spent it all working through my depression and emotional issues. That was my support.

  42. Too much fatalism. How often do you hear the argument that women don’t invent as much or become Einsteins as much or otherwise become eminent because there’s less “high IQ” women? That ties in to the above.

    Speaking of the gender thing, as a women, how to I not let myself get all depressed over it? It’s still fucking depressing to me to think about, even if I individually am supposedly a ‘high IQ’ woman.

  43. I always imagine J has being subtlely dead-eyed…

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/oliver-burkeman-s-blog/2014/apr/01/charles-murray-happiness-life-advice

    “Or maybe this isn’t so surprising. Whatever other prejudices he may or may not nurse, Murray the political scientist has demonstrated, over and over, that he’s a fatalist. People are the way they are, and we might as well deal with it. Those of good character will do fine in the end; just possibly, those of inferior character can be impelled to improve by removing the social safety nets that lure them into dependency – but don’t bet on it, and certainly not in the next few generations.

    Of course, this dead-eyed stance is opposed to the aspirations of progressive politics. But beneath its libertarian surface, it’s hardly less opposed to the optimistic, democratic individualism of American self-improvement culture, where change is always possible, and anyone can triumph over their circumstances. No wonder life advice from Charles Murray rings so hollow. The only real way to ‘get ahead’, he’s been telling us for years, is to be born ahead in the first place.”

  44. “And for the record, I’m not a fan of American public education either. The difference is that I think it fails people of all types. But then again, other nations aren’t necessarily better either.”

    Yep, it does. There are other countries that seem to be doing certain aspects of education better. Some of the best education systems offer higher salaries and better training for teachers. The problem in the US is that we don’t take education seriously as a society. We are unwilling to do the very things that have made other countries have superior education systems. It isn’t that we don’t know what would improve education. We just don’t want to do it.

    “Building on this, we, and the education system, often assume that it is the people who currently show ‘promise’ who will become tomorrows, well, accomplished people.”

    That is a primary problem. The kids who initially seem ‘gifted’ may not turn out to be all that talented, smart, and/or successful as adults. And many kids who show no outward signs of being ‘gifted’ may later develop and/or express immense talent, intelligence, and success. Our views of ‘gifted’ are mostly superficial. We don’t know how to actually look for the full potential in kids and bring it out. Our education system is highly haphazard and unequal.

    “I’m not sure if a lot of the problems we’ve discussed are an American thing or not.”

    I do think there is a major cultural component. The very idea of ‘gifted’ is a social construction and so a social perception. It isn’t an objective category. It is a social identity and role that gets forced onto kids.

    “BTW, I think my HS did it the right way, so tell me what you think.”

    That seems like a decent way of doing it. But I see no point in even calling it a gifted program. Why not simply have the entire education system set up to help all students?

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/oliver-burkeman-s-blog/2014/apr/01/charles-murray-happiness-life-advice

    That is a great article.

    I’m a philosophical pessimist, but that is in many ways is the complete opposite of a fatalist. The former allows for near infinite potential and possibility whereas the latter does not. I simply lack belief in free will, but I also lack belief in determinism. They both seem meaningless to me or simply beyond human ken.

    To my mind, humans and the world we live in is an immense mystery. Murray and JayMan express no sense of wonder and awe for they assume they already have everything figured out.

    • That post in the comment section gave me the flu:

      ‘Stereotype threat’ has been addressed by its opponents, and for that matter is by no means universally embraced by anti-racists. Some argue the claim is a dangerous two-edged sword; why should one race’s members not try hard because they think they are expected to fail, whereas to members of another being patronised is a spur to achievement?, e.g. African-Americans v. Chinese or Jews, also once regarded as inferior stocks by white Americans.

      The conclusion could be that different races have ‘internalised’ correct estimates of their abilities and traits, so that (as with other aspects of mutual phenotype/environmental reinforcement) the self-fulfilling prophecy operates to intensify, not contradict, what in the absence of stereotyping the individual might achieve.

      We know that most people accurately assign themselves to what the Left’s sociologists and ideologues, unlike forensic pathologists, persist in regarding as artificial racial pigeonholes. People know their ancestries physically; why should they not be good judges of inherited mental capacities too? It is rather patronising to tell a black man that he is failing only because Whitey put a spectre of self-doubt into his skull which defeats all his efforts to strive and win.

      But in fact there is little correlation between outgroup expectations and self-esteem. There may be a negative one. Some findings are that blacks in the USA consistently overrate their abilities and overpredict their outcomes: possibly because fifty years of affirmative action and quota featherbedding have been superimposed on the overall goofy ‘anyone can be anything he or she wants to be’ official ethos of the USA.

      This leads to a misallocation of human capital. Blacks who would be more than capable of holding down junior clerical posts want to be lawyers and waste years failing to pass the bar; medical aides try vainly to be doctors, teachers are confined to inferior schools, usually teaching other non-whites only.

      It grows ever tougher for the occasional black candidate who could well make it to the top under his own steam to be recognised when the default assumption, after half a century of reverse prejudice, is ‘he’s only on the shortlist as a token pick’. Trouble is, if America were genuinely colour-blind, with the best jobs going to the brightest, the Bell Curve would soon discard most black or Mexican-Hispanic hires. (The liberals secretly fear as much, which is why they spend so much energy trying to shout down their own doubts by attributing them to Evil Racist White Bigots Who Like NASCAR.)

      A big government reservation of public sector makework bureaucracy jobs and set-asides for suppliers to Uncle Sam has been created: a Potemkin village for underqualified members of a black bourgeoisie. It deprives Af-Ams of their natural leaders and keeps the lumpenproles tame in the slums. Induce the ‘talented tenth’ leadership to settle in higher-status neighbourhoods (and in truth, many are as anxious to get their kids away from welfare moms and gangs as whites are) and the rest will not be stirred up to riot as often as in Malcolm X’s day, or will only kill one another. Today’s report on Detroit shows what happens when this resegregation occurs citywide.

      In the same way Congressional districts have been redrawn to guarantee a small, impotent caucus of black Democrat representatives, forever whingeing about rights and deprivation and outside the mainstream of policy and debate in their own party. The liberal white rich elite is hanging on until it can pitch blacks against ‘Hispanics’ (Mexican Indians) in a divide-and-rule fashion.

      • That is standard ignorance.

        “‘Stereotype threat’ has been addressed by its opponents, and for that matter is by no means universally embraced by anti-racists. Some argue the claim is a dangerous two-edged sword; why should one race’s members not try hard because they think they are expected to fail, whereas to members of another being patronised is a spur to achievement?, e.g. African-Americans v. Chinese or Jews, also once regarded as inferior stocks by white Americans.”

        In order to address something, you have to know what it is. I never understand those who seek to criticize that which they have no clue about.

        Stereotype threat actually impacts those toward which the stereotype is least applicable. A low IQ black or low math-achieving woman shows no negative impact from stereotype threat. Studies show that it is precisely the high IQ black and the high math-achieving woman who demonstrate the pattern. It is the stress of the stereotype that creates cognitive overload and temporarily impairs cognitive functioning.

        “The conclusion could be that different races have ‘internalised’ correct estimates of their abilities and traits, so that (as with other aspects of mutual phenotype/environmental reinforcement) the self-fulfilling prophecy operates to intensify, not contradict, what in the absence of stereotyping the individual might achieve.”

        If that was the case, it wouldn’t primarily impact those who contradict the stereotype. Also, there would be no way to alter the results, as studies show happens when one alters the stereotype elicited.

        When the stereotype of low math-achieving women is elicited, women (including Asian women) would do badly on math. But take the Asian women and instead elicit the high achieving Asian stereotype, and what you get are the complete opposite results.

        How is it that two divergent results can be induced from the exact same people if the results are inherent to the people themselves rather than the environment impacting them?

        BTW here is something you might find interesting from another post of mine.

        https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/unseen-influences-race-gender-and-twins/

        He states that a “remarkable phenomenon commented on in the Moynihan Report of thirty years ago goes unnoticed in The Bell Curve–the prevalence of females among blacks who score high on mental tests” (Kindle Locations 914-925); he continues:

        “Others who have done studies of high-IQ blacks have found several times as many females as males above the 120 IQ level. Since black males and black females have the same genetic inheritance, this substantial disparity must have some other roots, especially since it is not found in studies of high-IQ individuals in the general society, such as the famous Terman studies of high-IQ children, which followed these children on into adulthood and later life. If IQ differences of this magnitude can occur with no genetic difference at all, then it is more than mere speculation to say that some unusual environmental effects must be at work among blacks.”

        This isn’t limited to any race/ethnicity. It is a gender IQ gap found across diverse other populations.

        “However, these environmental effects need not be limited to blacks, for other low-IQ groups of European or other ancestries have likewise tended to have females over-represented among their higher scorers, even though the Terman studies of high-IQ individuals from the general population found no such patterns. One possibility is that females are more resistant to bad environmental conditions, as some other studies suggest. In any event, large sexual disparities in high-IQ individuals where there are no genetic-or socioeconomic-differences present a challenge to both the Herrnstein-Murray thesis and to most of their critics.”

        • That seems to be the reverse that reactionaries peddle and may be considered for the “general” pop: that high iq (and low iq) males outnumber females.

          So…. Why is this so? What does this mean for the idea that males are supposedly more varied due to only having one X chromosome and females having two (“averaging things out) if this phonomena is not universal, or at least not in “poorer” populations?

          What do you think of the twin studies people like Murray and j enjoy citing?

  45. Gonna play devils advocate: my gifted kid and many truly gifted kids don’t do well in school! Real gifted kids often struggle on school because schools don’t know how to nurture gifted kids! Jonathan is just a bright kid, not a gifted one!!!!!!!!

    Also, “hi, I am J. My parenting has no effect on how my kid will turn out, so this article is BS”

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-secret-to-raising-smart-kids1/?WT.mc_id=SA_Facebook

  46. “That seems to be the reverse that reactionaries peddle and may be considered for the “general” pop: that high iq (and low iq) males outnumber females.”

    It does seem to be the reverse. I can’t say I’ve ever seen any reactionary discuss this data. In my experience, most reactionaries narrowly focus on particular sets of data while ignoring most other data. There is a ton of data that I see all the time that doesn’t get discussed much or at all by reactionaries. I always wonder what their responses would be to the data, if they were ever to look at it.

    “Why is this so? What does this mean for the idea that males are supposedly more varied due to only having one X chromosome and females having two (“averaging things out) if this phonomena is not universal, or at least not in “poorer” populations?”

    I honestly don’t have a clue. There is much data that is hard to explain. As for this data, my tendency would be to look at what are the specific environmental differences. The most obvious environmental difference would be how genders are treated differently. This would relate back to stereotype threat.

    I’ve had a theory in mind. The real and perceived disparity in male results, whether IQ or otherwise, might have more to do with stereotypes than anything else.

    Men, in some ways, are impacted the most by both negative stereotypes and positive stereotypes. If you are a wealthier white male, then mostly positive stereotypes will be directed at you. But if you are poor black male, then the worst negative stereotypes around will be directed at you.

    The wealthy white male is the ultimate ideal in our racist, classist society. The poor black male, on the other hand, is the ultimate scapegoat for everything that is wrong with our society.

    Poor black women are seen differently. They aren’t seen as a direct and violent threat in the way poor black men are seen.

    Also, our system is designed to help poor women more than poor men because it is assumed that women are and should be the caregivers. It is much easier to get into a homeless shelter, for example, as a woman than as a man. The same goes for all kinds of public assistance.

    In our paternalistic society, poor women are seen as being helpless and needing help. Poor men are simply blamed for their condition, just as wealthier men get credit for all of their privilege and success. The dynamic for wealthier women is different, since paternalism doesn’t as easily and straightforwardly apply to them in the same way.

    Just some thoughts. But speculations are dime a dozen. I’d like to see more data.

    “What do you think of the twin studies people like Murray and j enjoy citing?”

    Which twin studies? Do you mean twin studies in general or particular twin studies?

    To speak broadly about twin studies, I think they are among the least useful data around. They demonstrate everything that is wrong with not taking seriously confounding factors. Twin studies are the Achille’s Heel of reactionary hereditarianism.

    As a side note, there is an amusing fact about Claude M. Steele. He is the one who has done much stereotype research and wrote a book about stereotype threat. His politics are liberal. His identical twin brother (Shelby Steele), however, is a well known conservative writer. That amuses me to no end.

    Anyway, about twin studies, I would once again direct you to some of my previous posts. The first post is interesting as I quote a twin researcher who changed his mind:

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/identically-different-a-scientist-changes-his-mind/

    “While hundreds of recent gene discoveries have given us great insights into new disease mechanisms and possible drug targets, the common genes found to date usually account only for less than 5 per cent of the genetic influence. Exactly where the missing 95 per cent comes from is a mystery that is perplexing the field. Most scientists agree that we simply aren’t smart enough to realize what we don’t know. [ . . . ]

    “There are few if any examples of environmental factors without a genetic component, and conversely genes don’t work alone and are usually dependent on the cells they live in and their environments. So in a world where hundreds of genes are working together to influence a trait or disease, the old distinction between nature and nurture is simply no longer relevant.”

    This next post links an article that makes a good point about twin studies:

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/what-genetics-does-and-doesnt-tell-us/

    http://www.science20.com/gerhard_adam/what_heritability-93424

    “One difficulty that arises with heritability is that any considered trait must be demonstrably linked to genetic transmission. This can become problematic when heritability is used to evaluate behavioral traits where the genetic link may be tenuous. In an effort to measure heritability, there is often a reliance on twin studies under the assumption that variances between them must be accountable to environment since they are effectively genetically identical. However, as previously mentioned, this can result in difficult interpretations when the traits in question are purely behavioral. Until such time as behavioral traits can be explicitly linked to genes, any statement regarding heritability must be considered suspect.”

    The third and last post I’ll share is quite extensive. In it, I quote numerous passages from books, some dealing directly with the issue of twin studies, but I’ll quote in full the one that goes into the most detail:

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/heritability-inheritance-genetics-epigenetics-etc/

    Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined
    By Scott Barry Kaufman
    pp. 6-9

    “In 1990 the behavioral geneticist Thomas J. Bouchard Jr. and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota published a striking finding: about 70 percent of the differences in IQ found among twins and triplets living apart were associated with genetic variation. 8 What’s more, the identical twins (whose genes were assumed to be 100 percent identical * ) were remarkably similar to identical twins reared together on various measures of personality, occupational and leisure-time interests, and social attitudes, despite spending most of their lives apart.

    “This study, and the hundreds of twin and adoption studies that have been conducted since then, have painted a consistent picture: genetic variation matters. 9 The studies say nothing about how they matter, or which genes matter, but they show quite convincingly that biological variation does matter. Genes vary within any group of people (even among the inhabitants of middle-class Western society), and this variation contributes to variations in these people’s behaviors. The twin findings shouldn’t be understated; it counters many a prevailing belief that we are born into this world as blank slates, completely at the mercy of external forces. 10

    “The most important lesson researchers have learned from over twenty-five years’ worth of twin studies is that virtually every single psychological trait you can measure— including IQ, personality, artistic ability, mathematical ability, musical ability, writing, humor styles, creative dancing, sports, happiness, persistence, marital status, television viewing, female orgasm rates, aggression, empathy, altruism, leadership, risk taking, novelty seeking, political preferences, television viewing, and even rates of Australian teens talking on their cell phones— has a heritable basis. * Because our psychological characteristics reflect the physical structures of our brains and because our genes contribute to those physical structures, it is unlikely that there are any psychological characteristics that are completely unaffected by our DNA. 11

    “Unfortunately there is frequent confusion about the meaning of heritability. The most frequent misunderstanding is the purpose of twin studies. Heritability estimates are about understanding sources of similarities and differences in traits between members of a particular population. The results apply only to that population. The purpose is not to determine how much any particular individual’s traits are due to his or her genes or his or her environment. Behavioral geneticists are well aware that all of our traits develop through a combination of both nature and nurture. Heritability estimates are about explaining differences among people, not explaining individual development. The question on the table for them is this: In a particular population of individuals, what factors make those individuals the same as each other, and which factors make them different?

    “Therefore, twin studies aren’t designed to investigate human development. In recent years developmental psychologists, including L. Todd Rose, Kurt Fischer, Peter Molenaar, and Cynthia Campbell, have been developing exciting new techniques to study intraindividual variation. 12 Intraindividual variation focuses on a single person and looks at how an integrated dynamic system of behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and other psychological processes change across time and situations. New intraindividual techniques allow researchers to focus on a single twin pair and see how nature and nurture interact in nonlinear ways to explain both their similarities and their differences. 13 Both levels of analysis— twin studies and developmental analysis— are informative, but the results from the one do not apply to the other. 14

    “Many people also confuse heritability with immutability. They hear the word “heritable” and immediately think of “genes,” which then conjures up pictures of a fixed trait that can’t be altered by external forces. In contrast, many people hear the word “environment” and breathe a sigh of relief, thinking the trait is easily modifiable. This requires quite a strong faith in social engineering!

    “Just because a trait is heritable (and virtually all of our psychological traits are heritable) doesn’t necessarily mean that the trait is fixed or can’t be developed. Virtually all of our traits are substantially genetically influenced and are influenced by environmental conditions. Even though television viewing has a heritable basis, 15 most people don’t think of the activity as being outside our personal control. Indeed, parents frequently control (or try to control) the length of time their children spend sitting in front of the tube.

    “Another source of confusion is the role of parenting in the development of traits. A common finding in twin studies is that the environments experienced by twins (or any two siblings) do little to create differences in intelligence and personality as adults. In other words, the heritability of traits tends to increase as one ages and escapes the influence of parents. 16 Judith Rich Harris showed that peers exert a greater influence in creating differences in personality among adolescents than parents. 17 But do these findings mean that parents cannot effectively help their child develop their unique traits? Absolutely not. That’s like saying that water has no influence on a fish’s development because all fish live in water. A nurturing family environment is a necessity to help the child flourish, just as a fish needs water to swim and survive.

    “Just because a variable doesn’t vary doesn’t mean it has no causal impact on a particular outcome. Genes could “account for” 100 percent of the variability in a trait in a particular twin study, but this does not mean that environmental factors, including parental quality, are therefore unimportant in the development of the trait. Instead it turns out that parenting matters in a way that is different from what was originally assumed: Parents matter to the extent that they affect the expression of genes. Parents can exert important influence in the child’s development by nurturing productive interests and helping the child channel destructive inclinations into more productive outlets.

    “The importance of parenting becomes more salient when we look at a wider range of environments. Only a few of the twins in Bouchard’s original study were reared in real poverty or were raised by illiterate parents, and none were mentally disabled. This matters. Consider a recent study by Eric Turkheimer and colleagues. They looked at 750 pairs of American twins who were given a test of mental ability when they were 10 months old and again when they were 2 years. 18 When looking at the group of kids aged just 10 months, the home environment appeared to be the key variable across different levels of socioeconomic status. The story changed considerably as the children got a bit older and differences in education became more pronounced. For the 2-year-olds living in poorer households, the home environment mattered the most, accounting for about 80 percent of the variation in mental ability. For these kids, genetics played little role in explaining differences in cognitive ability. In wealthy households, on the other hand, genetics explained more of the differences in performance, accounting for nearly 50 percent of all the variation in mental ability.

    “Prominent behavioral geneticists, including Bouchard, eventually realized that it was time to move on from simply calculating heritability estimates . In a 2009 paper entitled “Beyond Heritability,” researchers Wendy Johnson, Eric Turkheimer, Irving I. Gottesman, and Bouchard concluded that “given that genetic influences are routinely involved in behavior,” “little can be gleaned from any particular heritability estimate and there is little need for further twin studies investigating the presence and magnitude of genetic influences on behavior.” 19”

    • I just mentioned it since it seems to be the favorite weapon of determinists…

      Btw, how did you like the Scientific American article? Many facebook commenters used it to hurl accusations of anti-intellectualism at the author, as well as the author being afraid to ‘realize that some kids are smarter than others.’ Which seems to miss the point…

      • “I just mentioned it since it seems to be the favorite weapon of determinists…”

        It’s for the reason that it is their favorite weapon that it is also their greatest weakness. It proves how baseless is their entire worldview. When you look at twin studies, they fall apart as strong evidence for much of anything. They simply offer no good data. They are a textbook example of confounding factors.

        “Btw, how did you like the Scientific American article?”

        I liked it. The argument makes sense and appears to be well supported.

        “Many facebook commenters used it to hurl accusations of anti-intellectualism at the author, as well as the author being afraid to ‘realize that some kids are smarter than others.’ Which seems to miss the point…”

        I would consider it to be anti-intellectual when someone dismisses an argument based on evidence. Why don’t they deal with the evidence first? If they disagree with the conclusions based on that evidence, they should explain what is either wrong with it or how it could be interpreted differently.

  47. BTW, speaking of the gender reversal in scores… I think Sailer did mention that once (that black women scored higher, had more variation, etc etc) oddly enough

    You may find this amusing. So not only is Slr full of race-hangups, he’s chauvinistic as well :/ The part with his son? Yeah, I’m sure daddy has had no influence on his son’s attitude :/ Also… for a self-described movie critic he’s pretty bad as his job. I’m starting to think the reason he can’t get a regular job these days and relies solely on his writings for reactionary sites is because, well, he’s not particularly competent, not because the PC regime is silencing him :/

    I’ve always been surprised that the “this movie would be better if it dealt with this specific subject matter that interests me that is different in almost every possible way from the movie I am reviewing…in fact, let me just pause here to pitch you my screenplay.” tactic didn’t catch on in professional film criticism.

    http://www.donotlink.com/framed?576073

    “Joanna Rowling made a boy her hero, and to fool the he-man girlz-hater element, she took the pen name J. K. Rowling. (When one of my small sons discovered that he’d been fooled into reading three books by a lady, he stopped reading Harry Potter in disgust.)”

    First he makes fun of her choice, then he demonstrates why she chose it… huh. He finds it amusing when women try to cope with the shit he and men like him are constantly flinging at them.

    What a whiny little fuck.

    • “I’m starting to think the reason he can’t get a regular job these days and relies solely on his writings for reactionary sites is because, well, he’s not particularly competent, not because the PC regime is silencing him”

      The entire reactionary sphere is constantly complaining about the PC regime is keeping them down. It never occurs to them that their talents and their theories might just be inherently inferior.

      “First he makes fun of her choice, then he demonstrates why she chose it… huh. He finds it amusing when women try to cope with the shit he and men like him are constantly flinging at them.”

      This is why I say that the greatest privilege of all is the privilege to take one’s privilege so much for granted that one can be ignorant of one’s privilege. Reactionary politics is defense and rationalization of privilege, if nothing else.

  48. I’d agree that there are some things that political correctness I think is a form of some degree of censorship.

    But I don’t believe for a second that a white male faces any discrimination in the modern American workplace.

    Actually even with integration, East Asians, Indians, and a few other races make less money on average even with equal qualifications.

    • “I’d agree that there are some things that political correctness I think is a form of some degree of censorship.”

      Well, I’d say both political correctness and political incorrectness can be used for censorship. It depends on the intent and how it is applied or enforced.

      On a slight tangent, there is some evidence that political correctness can encourage creativity and innovative thinking. That would be an opposing force to censorship.

      http://newsroom.haas.berkeley.edu/news-release/political-correctness-diverse-workplace-fosters-creativity

      I have a thought on why that might be the case.

      To ask people to be politically correct in a diverse environment can incentivize thoughtfulness and self-awareness, at least under the right conditions. Political correctness implies that there are multiple perspectives to be considered. And considering multiple perspectives is a factor in increasing the probability of creativity and innovative thinking.

      “But I don’t believe for a second that a white male faces any discrimination in the modern American workplace.”

      Yeah, generally speaking, I’d agree. But class is still a big issue. A poor white will experience class discrimination. Also, not all whites are Anglo-Saxon. Many Hispanics are white as well, even though they aren’t treated as fully white, if they are treated as white at all. Ethnicity complicates race issues.

      “Actually even with integration, East Asians, Indians, and a few other races make less money on average even with equal qualifications.”

      Also, blacks spent much of American history trying to integrate. But they were prevented from integrating, often violently. Plenty of blacks with equal or greater qualifications have sought to integrate and better themselves, their families, and their communities.

      It hasn’t done most of them much good. A black male without a criminal record is still less likely to be hired than a white male with a criminal record, when other factors are controlled for.

  49. So I was on a reddit thread about teachers, salary, students, etc, and I got me thinking

    If you look at the gifted parent threads, you’ll notice one thing, that appearenrly gifted ness comes with a desire to, well, not be lazy. To make things, create, etc. The parents blame any sign of low work ethic in their gifted kids on stuff like “he’s not being challenged enough!” “Schools don’t know how to meet my gifted kids needs they only know normal kids needs” “my son failed math because he thought it was too easy and was bored and that’s okay (wtf!!???)it’s never a simple “my kid is lazy.”

    There’s a certain sense of entitlement and falling into the “smart=good” trap

    It’s funny because there were quite a few redditors who talked about being in gifted programs and doing well on iq and sat tests but admitting to having poor work ethic, or not liking it, or being lazy, and talking about how they’re not as successful as they might be, or how they didn’t feel like it, or whatever. Basically none of them said the “I’m just too smart for this and this normal people stuff dosent suit my needs ” that the gifted parents say.

    • I wonder how many kids labeled as gifted grow up to embrace that label versus those who dismiss it. I wonder how many of them would be so quick to later on label their own kids as gifted. I’m thinking along the lines of homeschooling. Some of the strongest critics of homeschooling are the very people who were homeschooled.

      • Some of the strongest proponents of homeschooling are parents of gifted kiddos

        Personally I wouldn’t have thrived, and I didn’t thrive in public school either in childhood. Then again I didn’t thrive at all pre-puberty. in hindsight it was a combo of laziness, undiagnosed ADD, fear, and such. I never went through the “fearless child” phase (ever go to an ice rink or pool or something and the kids are fearless but adults are cautious?) due to trauma from baby and toddler hood. It’s annoying since now I’m the beginner when everyone else has been playing since childhood (I’m playing ice hockey now, for example.) There’s also a sense that I missed the chance to really compete as well, as in do the childhood competitive sports thing. But I never would have done it in childhood either again due to my fear and hyper-sensitivity.

        So what IS the answer for kids then?

        • I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all answer. That is the entire problem. We need an education system that is flexible enough to deal with every child as an individual.

          I liked my own public school education well enough. It was deficient in many ways. Some schools I went to were better than others. Unsurprisingly, I got the most help when going to a well-funded public school in a wealthy community.

          I played sports as a child. I specifically played competitive team sports, mostly soccer, but I never had a competitive bone in my body. I still enjoyed it, though. In many ways, I was a normal child, more or less able to appear as normal. I certainly always wanted to be normal.

          It’s interesting that you don’t think you would have played sports as a child because of fear and hyper-sensitivity. I don’t know that I ever was a particularly fearful child, but I was hypersensitive. At the same time, I was extremely physical and athletic. Pain and injuries never bothered me.

          Sports was one of the few areas, along with art, where I could excel. I could be fearless on a soccer field in the way I couldn’t be in everyday life, but if I had never played sports I may have never known that side of myself.

  50. Is it bad that I’m super cynical about the idea of romantic and biological parental love because I think for most people it’s much just one giant subconscious eugenics drive to perpetuate the genes?

    Look at this shit: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/hope-for-gammy-fund-set-up-after-australian-couple-refuse-to-take-downs-syndrome-baby-from-thai-surrogate-9642364.html

    Look at abortion rates of disabled kids compared to normal kids. Look at how “gifted” kids are wanted and make others jealous. Look at how we choose partners: we ideally want the attractive partner because attractive=good genes” there are so many parent less children that could be adopted by otherwise fckheaded people but won’t be because most people just wat to perpetuate their genes. 7 billion of us already and billions of orphans, yet for most people it’s all about fucking and perpetuating your shitty ass DNA. Desiring the attractive hot, smart, successful people because subconsciously yu want their genes for your kid. Fuck that noise.

    Love. Parental love. What a farce. It’s all one big subconscious Darwinian eugenic drive to reproduce.

    • My great grandfather was raised as an orphan in a Shaker community. The Shakers refused to have their own children.

      They were highly successful and growing communities with immense technological innovativeness. A main reason they eventually failed is that the government made it illegal for religious organizations to adopt children. That essentially made Shaker communities impossible to sustain.

      Maybe it is our society that is obsessed with genetic offspring. But that doesn’t necessarily say much about the species as a whole.

      I remember reading an early account about a Native American tribe. One of the observations was how common it was for their to be extramarital sex. When asked, no one cared who was the real father. From their perspective, the children belonged to the entire tribe.

      The drive is to pass on our genetics. That is why those tribal people didn’t care who was the parents. The tribe considered themselves all the same people.

      This can be expanded when one considers that most human genetics are shared, as we are a bottleneck species (twice bottlenecked, in fact). The real urge is to pass on the species genetics for that is all evolution cares about.

      This is why it is fairly common for people to save the lives of complete strangers. The instinct for species survival is as strong and sometimes stronger than the instinct for individual survival.

      • That flies in the face of a lot of popular biotroofs gathered by both reactionaries and even the more known evopsych people like David Buss, haha. It really flies in the face of, well, many western and other sentiment too. I wonder if our individualism has anything to do with it as well. I do think evopsych tends to be full of holes, such as this. “Science” dosent really seem to be as objective and value free as we’d like it to be

        • How do you feel about this kind of stuff (kids, individual versus group, gene passing on, etc) when it comes to disabled kids though? It’s likely that Gammy for example won’t be leaving any bio offspring behind.

          Adopting a fatalistic outlook like the one J has, and adopting a individualistic view of “passing on genes” that I noted above and such, seem to go together almost inevitability.

          I’m not sure Benjamin. I guess you can tell my mind is a bit messy right now. I’m trying to work things out for myself.

          You know how widespread the “women who don’t have kids are selfish” meme is? I wonder if it has to do with that women have the wombs so the pressure to keep the species going is put on the women a bit disproportionately.

          Or the idea that the reason female sexuality has been historically taboo and is due to paternity insecurity? And that women slut shame other women due to fears of stealing their men and therefore their resource providers.

          Western evopsych is very individual oriented, and I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence. Then again, many group oriented Asian cultures are repressive of women. Though I think the thing about Confucian cultures is that they’re family oriented, but I’m not sure if general society oriented. I could be wrong, mind you. It’s obvious that Asian people help other a asian strangers plenty.

          • The obsession with individuals genetics is almost inevitable if you adopt a reactionary world view.

            Honestly adopting kids with that kind of view makes it tough for me as well. I mean, if I’m going to be J for a minute, why adopt a kid whose gonna end up in jail no matter how he’s raised or who he’s around or what media is consumes cause those be his genes, man? Never mind parents, friends, community, media, culture, etc. it’s the fucking genes. Kids gonna do some bad shit cause he just got them criminal genes man.

            Funnily eiugh, and I love thought experiments, but I wonder why this is, but right now, I feel like I could mkre easily adopt and love a disabled child than to give birth to one myself, and I don’t know why…

            It’s awful, and maybe my parents played a role (they called him irresponsible for not aborting his Down syndrome son) but why does one part of me say “what a waste of DNA. Why didn’t you marry someone younger so this wouldn’t have happened and could spread your good genes actually” dysgenics! Dysgenics! I don’t understand why one part of me is going “you wasted your good genes (he’s handsome and smart) by having that kid and not a healthy one??!!!

            It’s pisses me off because I care for him deeply and I do see his son as a human being deserving of all the dignity as anyone else. I’m not sure if the ugly thoughts are really me, or because as an enfp I tend to like getting into and becoming other peoples’ mindsets.

          • You have to be into individual Darwinism-ness if you think like J.

            It’s why many reactionaries think high iq women should just be breeding machines. Because while statistically more educated ladies have less kids, reactionaries see this is dysgenics. They see women as the wombs so they see women as ultimately the true deciders of the human evolution. They see things in a eugenics/dysgenics way and very clear cut. For them “good quality” people are made by breeding genes, not by educating or nurturing people or whatnot. It’s why many are so obsessed with controlling women. In a roundabout way they’re terrified of women and the perceived power women have, and they blame women for society not being up to their standards

  51. You know how life isn’t fair? Well, we can use technology to make it more fair. Make things less limited! The miracle of science and drugs? Genes no longer have to be a limit. You can break beyond genes, make things limitless, increase peoples limits…

    “Eugenics” dosent have to be a thing, because genes will no longer have influence since genes can be altered and people can be changed. What I mean is, Gattaca and eugenics are passé, since you don’t have to breed for certain traits anymore, you can create them in already existing humans!

    Think about it. Before disabled people were fucked. Now, a person can get a prosthetic leg or arm, and even one that moves through mind control! We can cure certain types of blindness. We have drugs that can boost brainpower to an extent. We have LASIK, and stem cell research is promising. One day maybe parents won’t feel the need to short a disabled baby, since that baby can be cured easily…

    I propose

    • You know how currently it’s about “maximizing potential?” What if one day… That is no more. What instead we can choose our potential? One day the talent and genetic ceilings being raised?

      I probably don’t have the genetics to run a 15 minute 5k. While my maximum potential is probably more than my current level, at some point what I was born with holds me back. But what if one day, it dosent?

      What if one day we can really alter people so that their limits reach further and further beyond?

      I propose future ideas of this. In the case that a person isn’t disabled, I propose that said person must be 18 or older, but other then that…

  52. “How do you feel about this kind of stuff (kids, individual versus group, gene passing on, etc) when it comes to disabled kids though?”

    I have no clear and simple opinion. It is a complex issue.

    I don’t think parents are bad people for aborting a fetus they know will likely grow up with severe limitations, problems, difficulties, struggles, and possibly suffering. I’m not one who thinks being born is necessarily all that great of a thing, given how our society is at present.

    In a better future world, maybe there will be ways to fix genetic and developmental problems, and so maybe abortions won’t even be necessary. If you could tweak your fetus’s genetics so that s/he wouldn’t grow up with down syndrome or severe autism, wouldn’t you do it?

    Part of the reason I don’t want to have kids is that I wouldn’t want to risk their having depression. That is worse than even the learning disabilities. Depression can at times be a living hell. I would not wish that on my worse enemy and certainly not on my own child.

    If through genetics or other developmental interventions I could guarantee a child of mine would not experience depression, then I would have more incentive to pass on my genetics.

    “You know how currently it’s about “maximizing potential?” What if one day… That is no more. What instead we can choose our potential? One day the talent and genetic ceilings being raised?”

    I think that future is near inevitable, assuming civilization doesn’t collapse.

    “I propose future ideas of this. In the case that a person isn’t disabled, I propose that said person must be 18 or older, but other then that”

    There definitely would be ethical issues to be dealt with.

    • I know, but I was thinking of the parental abortion thing through a eugenic assumption (parents are selfish bastards) if you know what I mean.

      Depends. I’ve seen people make the argument that conditions that don’t lead to a bad life if proper nurturing is made should not be seen as inherently bad (Down syndrome for example)

      Maybe I’d say depression is worse, but we can’t “screen” for it. Right now it’s babies with clear physical and genetic anomolies that are being aborted.

      I do hope that we humans may either get this limitless technology, or evolve to a point that relative youth is no longer needed for kids. That being “older” dosent carry more risks the way it does now, woman of man (since older fathers increase the risk of autism, schizophrenia, etc)

      I know I guy in his fifties with sisters in their forties who has a ten year old half brother. The guy and his sisters are “normal.” But their dad remarried later in life and bad another kid in his seventies, that kid is autistic and profoundly non-verbal :/

      • I’m thinking of how we will eventually eliminate abortions as even necessary. We will be able to have complete control of when a person becomes pregnant and how they become pregnant. They could do genetic tests before conception even occurs or else immediately following conception.

        How many parents would choose to give their child down syndrome, a heart condition, etc if they were given an overt choice beforehand of eliminating or ameliorating the condition? Not many. It is easy for parents to talk in the abstract because at present such a choice doesn’t exist.

        Anyway, we have no reason to assume that something like down syndrome is natural. It’s possible that many seeming genetic diseases are caused or contributed to by environmental factors that we don’t yet understand. Besides, why is ‘natural’ supposed to be better. Naturally in most societies, past and present, the majority of infants and children die before reaching adulthood.

    • I liked this comment:

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thinplaces/2013/10/my-suspicions-about-curing-down-syndrome/#comment-3687

      “I work in research and also have a son with Down Syndrome. First, translating something from a mouse to an actual person is actually a large leap. Second, I think the word “cure” is probably a misnomer. However, that being said, I believe what would be possible is that they could eventually find a way to mitigate some of the neurological and potential physical challenges that many times come along with a Down Syndrome diagnosis. For example, if they could have potentially in my womb minimized or eliminated the possibility in some way that my son would not have had to had serious heart surgery when he was only 3 months old, I certainly would not have turned that down. Also, I would say that about 80-90% of the overall research going on in Down Syndrome is in conjunction with the research taking place in Alzheimer’s, which is truly exciting to me as that could eventually have seriouos implications for my son. I would embrace that type of research for sure, since those with DS are extremely prone to that.”

  53. So the guy I know has a Down syndrome son, right? The son is clinically retarded, right? Well, his son wanted to be a marine biologist, but I guess, somewhat obviously, that just wasn’t going to happen. Well, what if, one day, we can change that? We can change his brain so he isn’t clinically retarded anymore? So he can be that marine biologist he wants to be?

    • We talk about changing genetics before someone is born. But what if we could change someone’s genetics when they are adults, specifically as consenting adults? Studies have found that our genetics actually do change some during our life. Various factors such as bacteria are constantly altering our genetics.

      It is highly possible that retardation could be cured. Heck, even normal intelligence could be cured, which is to say maybe everyone could be made into a genius. I don’t know if that would be a good thing or not, but it would be an interesting world.

      • What if we can do away with pregnancy all together? Or make both sexes able to get pregnant? Think about it. How much historical unfairness and subjugation of women has been due to this? Due to sexual dimorphism?

        I for one am one of the people who does not think the society on brave new world is frightening. I think we current people just tend to be scared of everything we don’t know. We don’t seem to realize that at this point, if our dreams were to come true, if we could get rid of the bad, we could also lose the things we “like” as well.

  54. Anyway, as you said, maybe life isn’t “worth living”

    But in the case of the abortions, that’s not really the main issue for me. The main issue it brings up for me is that some lives are more valued than others. It is a question of the boundaries of the human and what it means to be human, really

  55. It’s funny cause Elliot would have fit right in with S’s crowd

    isteve.blogspot.com/2014/05/anti-blondism.html?m=

    That made me want to bitch slap him so hard his head spins for weeks. While face palming so hard I break my forehead at the same time

  56. As someone fimilar with the reactionary sphere you’ve heard of the manosphere right? Well, here is a manosphere female groupie. She’s actually really toned down here. She used to be batshit, but was the doxxed by a fellow reactionary she fell out with. Now she blogs with her real name and has toned down a lot. No more kinky manosphere fantasy persona (she used to market herself as an ultra submissive feminine woman married to a strong alpha male. Reality was she was a middle aged speech pathologist married to a nurse who was perpetually cheating on her)

    https://archive.today/vJssr

    • Yes, I know of the manosphere. But I have less interest in it than I have in HBD. There will always be the rare black in HBD or the rare woman in the manosphere. It’s an easy way of drawing attention to oneself, if that is what one desires.

    • That might because many Asian cultures are highly patriarchal. It would be interesting to look at the support of HBD by Asians in relation to how much they’ve been influenced by Asian culture, in terms of how recent is their immigrant history to the West. Or how many Asian HBDers aren’t even living in the West. Is HBD popular in Asia or only among Asians in the West? Which particular Asian men are attracted to HBD? I’d love to see a demographic breakdown of all reactionaries worldwide.

    • I’ve read that long ago. I think I may have come across it when I was early on looking into HBD. My favorite parts from the posts:

      “It’s easier to believe in limits because it’s a lazier way of thinking. It’s easier to believe that stereotypes are true, and that the future will always be the same as the past. But history proves change can happen. My MacBook didn’t exist before Steve Jobs and Apple created it, and the U.S. didn’t exist before people decided that they would make it exist. Slavery had never been abolished before countries abolished it. No one was able to run a four minute mile before Roger Bannister broke the four minute mark, and now ALL elite middle-distance runners can break it. No one punched like Tyson before Tyson. It takes imagination and hard work for any change. If you lack either imagination or the ability to work hard, it’s easier to believe in a retroactive system like HBD.”

      And:

      “There is no evidence that people have genetic limitations. Most people who believe in limitations do have limitations–for themselves.

      “There is perversity in Human Biodiversity–it kills the soul and cuts off a proponent’s ability to think. Already we’ve seen the low EQ and desperation morals of some of their proponents. With a full historical perspective, it’s impossible to say that one group has limitations while another doesn’t. People who don’t believe in limitations are often those who defeat limitations. To prepare ourselves to defeat limitations–both for ourselves personally and for those who we lead and inspire–it’s important that we cast aside the fictions of the racist past. Scientific racism has no basis in fact, no basis in reason. While it’s fine for people to explore scientific racism, as Allan Bloom recommended, it’s equally important that we keep our eyes on the future rather than getting mired in ideas of the past.”

    • Humanity just is what it is. I retain a semi-optimistic mindset by seeking a larger vantage point and taking the long view. I spend much of my time studying history and thinking about historical developments and trends. It puts life in perspective. As I just told someone else, history has taught me to be pessimistic about pessimism.

        • Is there something particular about the links you wanted me to respond to? I don’t know that I have much to comment. I’m not surprised by any of it. I’ve seen this type of thing before. It is hard to shock me at this point in my life. It all seems so predictable. I have no grand insights. It just makes me sad, like so much else.

          • I like animals, but I don’t like many animal rights groups. The Facebook thing just made me sad and offended. And shows how weak humans can be, you know? The visceral ness and all. I do think it’s also because racism against Asians is deeply rooted in the the west as well. Much like how pervasive anti-Russia sentiment is, it’s almost a cliche to see Asians as menacing, in humane, cruel monolith (yellow hordes and all)

            The worst thing is that Asians don’t really do a good job either. I’ve seen this discussed in asian groups but Asians pushing each other down and sort of, well, groveling for white approval does have some truth to it. Some Asians seem to fail to realize that to white people they’re just yellow. It annoys me when you have such disgusting things like the Facebook comments and the few people crying out will say things like “don’t worry we’re not all like that I’m Hong Kong we hate mainlanders too” or “I’m Mongolian not Chinese we hate Chinese too we’re on your side!”

            I think there is some truth to how non-asian POC sometimes see Asians as white ass-kissers personally. All groups have it but the lack of unity among Asians and white-worship compared to racism against darker skin dosent help much

            What do you think of he asian links?

          • “I like animals, but I don’t like many animal rights groups.”

            I doubt any of those commenters belong to animal rights groups. They are just average people expressing all to typical ignorant bigotry. Most of it has little if anything to do with animals. That just gives an opportunity for them to safely vent their ignorant bigotry and feel self-righteous at the same time.

            “groveling for white approval”

            It’s not just Asians. All minorities and other oppressed/disenfranchised groups will do the same thing. It’s why poor whites will grovel for rich white approval. It’s about those who lack power seeking to align themselves with those who have power.

            “It annoys me when you have such disgusting things like the Facebook comments and the few people crying out will say things like “don’t worry we’re not all like that I’m Hong Kong we hate mainlanders too” or “I’m Mongolian not Chinese we hate Chinese too we’re on your side!””

            The label of ‘Asian’ is about as meaningless as the labels of ‘black’ and ‘white’. There are just many ethnicities and nationalities. There is no such thing as an ‘Asian’. It is a fiction built on a long history of racist imperialism and colonialism.

            “What do you think of he asian links?”

            I really don’t know what to think about them.

          • Lessoned learned: people are rediculously stupid and easily suseptible to emotional propaganda.

  57. I like the west and westerners, but even though I’m western too, I can’t help but feel that theres a real problem of self-righteousness and hypocrisy here.

    This sentiment pervades the reactionary sphere we speak a lot of, and as we both know, in the general population to a smaller extent.

    • I don’t think Westerners are any more self-righteous and hypocritical than any other people on earth. It’s just that the Western media and the commonality of the English language allows our self-righteousness and hypocrisy to be spread more widely. I’m sure Asians are regularly self-righteous and hypocritical in their views toward Westerners, but they probably express their self-righteousness and hypocrisy in various non-Western forums using various non-English languages. It is a human thing, not a Western thing.

        • Yep, cultural imperialism makes everything worse. Especially when combined with xenophobia and bigotry. But plenty of Asians have tried their best to be just as culturally imperialist. Take the Japanese imperialism from last century or the present Chinese imperialist aspirations that spread far beyond Asia. I wouldn’t necessarily bet on Western cultural imperialism forever beating out Eastern cultural imperialism.

          • Oh I know.

            Personally I’m an equal opportunity hater. 🙂

            I think it’s human nature, but the west till now has just had more chances (for many reasons) to actually carry it out and cause the most profound effects

            But in a west dominated place. For example America, it dosent help asian Americans facing issues when Asian Americans can’t achieve a more cohesive identity tje way black and even Hispanic Americans have.

          • That is interesting. I’ve always seen it differently. Maybe it’s because I lived in the South.

            Blacks may have a cohesive identity, but it is a superficial identity built on an inherently racist label, that of being ‘black’. That is all blacks have going for them. With slavery, white people destroyed their entire communities, families, kinship ties, cultures, religions, languages, etc. All they have left is being ‘black’. It’s cohesive, I suppose, but that isn’t much going for them.

            At least, some Asian Americans have maintained their own separate communities. They’ve been allowed to keep their religions and languages, at least where they have been concentrated enough such as in certain places on the West Coast.

            The only other groups that have done as well as maintaining their ethnic identities are Native Americans and Amish, which they’ve done through being the most isolated populations in the country. I descend partly from Germans who had their culture wiped out during the World War era of anti-German xenophobia. Many Germans and other ethnic Americans were forcefully and violently assimilated into ‘whiteness’ with little choice in the matter.

            Hispanics are a bit different. Most of the United States was originally part of the Spanish Empire. There are Hispanics in the US who descend from people who lived in North America from before there were any British colonies.

            I assume, by your comment, that you’ve never lived in one of the Asian American majority communities/neighborhoods that exist in this country. Out of curiosity, do you think you’d feel better if you did live surrounded by other Asian Americans? I’m just curious about where you are coming from.

    • That comment seems like brilliant trolling. I don’t know if I can take it seriously. He expresses such hypocrisy. I get the sense that he is simply being contrarian in order to outrage people. It’s just silly and stupid. Even if it is a serious comment, it is even more silly and stupid. I’m not sure much else can be said about it.

      • It’s completely serious. And face it, it’s a common sentiment among reactionaries :p

        It’s like their victim mentality. It’s an “our liberalism is bad, but to the same time it’s so morally superior and unique to is and makes us special and better.” “We whites are too kind and morally suporior for our own good!”

        You understand what I mean right? It’s a very pervasive current. This includes in the hdd sphere

        • Yeah, I know the rhetoric. I suppose it might be serious, but it just feels disingenuous. I don’t get the sense that reactionaries actually care about ‘liberalism’ in any fundamental sense, other than as a trophy of their self-proclaimed superiority. Their praise of liberalism to promote bigotry is in essence illiberal.

          • Some might, but I think many don’t. A lot of them are pretty explicit in their dreams of a illiberal ideal society.

            It’s funny considering that the liberalism that they love feeling special over isn’t as unique to the west as they think it is, either

  58. I’ll reply a bit more when I’m not on mobile, but I’ve lived in the Bay Area as a kid so I suppose I’ve lived in asian areas. Right now my house is in an area that has a noticeable asian presence but isn’t majority asian. I’m actually perfectly comfortable with my backgrounds and have no issues with it. I say so since you do see young asian Americans have issues with “nkt wanting to be around too many Asians” “nkt wanting to seem too asian” etc.

    Of course the labels asian black and white are stupid. However in facing present day American racism sometimes I think using the “asian” label is a useful tool. At least when fighting racism.

    Because face it, and maybe I’m saying this to that mongol guy who complained that neo nazis shouldn’t have beat the guy up(while calling him Chinese) because he was Mongolian and nkt Chinese and Mongols hated Chinese, but that hey, fool, they don’t care!

    At the end of the day I think it’s just an general annoyance with what it ultimately pettiness. Petty tribalism, petty mob mentality, petty ignorance.

    I mean, look at this forum of fail. That original post exemplifies “face palm.” And I am a bit central asian, Yakut, and Siberian myself. http://www.asiafinest.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t229847-0.html

    • “Of course the labels asian black and white are stupid. However in facing present day American racism sometimes I think using the “asian” label is a useful tool. At least when fighting racism.”

      I understand the desire to use take ownership of racist labels to fight racism. But I sometimes think it is ultimately self-sabotaging. As far as I’m concerned, ethnic labels seem more accurate and useful. Then again, German Americans tried to hold onto their ethnic identities and it didn’t do them any good.

      Everyone gets assimilated, one way or another. It’s with labels such as white, black, and Asian that American society assimilates immigrants. Everyone gets a category. It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity or nationality. You get the label forced on you, like it or not.

      “At the end of the day I think it’s just an general annoyance with what it ultimately pettiness. Petty tribalism, petty mob mentality, petty ignorance.”

      Yep. I know.

      “I mean, look at this forum of fail”

      I think it is the stress of this age of globalization.

      People all over are trying to figure out their place in a world that no longer makes sense according to old rules, expectations, and social roles. Over this past century, populations have been coming into contact and mixing together more than ever before in history.

      It’s a crazy experiment. Humans aren’t designed to deal with this much stress. It’s predictable that people will vent their stress in often unhealthy and stupid ways.

      • I don’t mean that people “take back” a label. What I mean is that, Americans see Asians as just Asians and don’t care for ethnicity (and this goes to all groups.) Racism is dished out without a care for what that particular Asian person identifies as.

        In this context then, it is helpful to fight racism against people labeled as “Asian” when people who have this label recongnize all who share their boat. SOrry I’m not wording it very well, but what I’m trying to say is that, basically if we want to fight racism against “Asians” we need to stop fighting amongst ourselves and recongnize that the racism that is hurting us dosen’t CARE about the things that we fight over. We need to understand that the racist DOSEN’T GIVE A SHIT and will discriminate regardless! When we fight amongst ourselves, we miss the point.

        I don’t mean this to say that ethnic identities or whatever personal identities are bad, not at all. What I mean is that, in western contexts, it should be recongnized that what we are considered by others is not what we consider ourselves to be. We may see ourselves as Chinese, Hui, Korean, etc. But when someone acts on ill will towards Asians, he is acting on ill will towards asians, not Chinese, or Koreans, or Yakutians.

        Okay I’m getting long winded. So basically, I’m saying. So if someone is racist towards a black person, black people may go “that’s racist towards black people and I’m black! regardless of differences” It’s not that they aren’t different, or that this common cohesiveness isn’t superficial like you said, but it’s that, IN THE FACE OF DISCRIMINATION it’s something that can be come together on, and this ability to reconigize the common experience in racism, is what I think helps black americans in fighting racism! So I’m thinking not necessarily a cohesiveness that is sameness, but a cohesiveness in the face of discrimination. In that when racism against blacks occurs, a rich, or middle class, or southern, or northern, or midwestern, or poor, black person can all reconigze the commonality among them.

        On the other hand, many times when an Asian person gets racism, some Asians will go “Yeah well, I’m Korean, not Chinese” or “That Neo-nazi got it wrong that guy was Japanese not fucking Chinese.” There is the lack of common-recongnizing in the face of racism, so to speak. It’s idiotic. And it’s one of the factors I think that is holding Asians back in terms of fighting racism.

        I think we all have our blind spots, though. I’ll admit in seeing so much youtube comment level-stupidity I do facepalm hard, but I also wonder if Mongolians are really so fucking bigoted and clueless :/ AMong other things. SO I think the emotional visceral reaction is definately pat of the human condition, unfortunately.

        • My ethnic identity is a part of me, and I fully recongnize that it’s distinct and differernt from Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Okinawan, or even Cantonese, Hokkein, Shanghai, etc identity. I know I’m middle class etc.

          I’m not stupid enough to think that if a Korean guy got beat up in a racially motivated hate crime, I’m safe because I’m not Korean. Or if I just told the guy that I’m DIFFERENT from him he’d apologize and leave me off the hook!!!11111!!!!1111 I’m not stupid enough that if someone called me a chinamen when I’m Kazakh, his problem is that he got the ethnicity wrong, not that he’s a racist prick.

          This is what I mean as a blind spot with many Asians, compared to other groups.

          We all know that people of all over the world fight and rag on each other, and that it’s a uniquely American concept to group all people of somewhat similar physical looks into a single category. However at this point I think what sets apart Asians from some other groups is that they don’t recongnize that as much as other groups have… yet. The issue isn’t to “assimilate” this concept and lose any ethnic identity, but to “assimilate” it so you can recongnize that racism dosen’t care that you’re Thai, not Chinese.

  59. I’m not sure why but Asian online spaces have a bad habit of being like YouTube comments. With all the stupidity and face palming it entails.

    Just a quick point but while the Ainu do have some features associated with Caucasians it’s pretty well accepted that Aini are not genetically related to Europeans.

    • Labels like ‘Caucasian’ have always been broad and vague. North Africans are technically ‘Caucasian’ by US standards. It used to be that such labels were forced onto new immigrants. There was a case where a North African immigrant brought a case before a US court because he wanted to be labeled as ‘Black’ rather than ‘Caucasian’. We Americans are now allowed to self-identify however we want on legal documents, such as census records, but that wasn’t always the case.

  60. Yes, I suppose.

    I’ll admit that the facebook thing really did shock me. Not because of the sentiments, but because usually, outside of stormfront, these sentiments are covered in dog-whistles if the user isn’t anonymous, you know? It was appalling to see people using their real names openly saying and calling for such appalling actions and saying such appalling things. Things that really are, frankly, hate speech. You know what I mean? It’s just appalling in a way I’ve never really seen in these contexts. (Out in the open, no dog whistles, no screennames to hide behind, not a fringe corner of the web, etc)

    There is the fact that these people may use self-rightousness to justify bigotry, yes. But there is also the fact of the facebook page, I think irresponsibly (then again the whole media is this way) sensationalizing and feeding into peoples’ bigotries. Then again we do know that sells. I know you don’t write about Asians much but Western ideas of Asians as this cruel, inhuman(e), faceless horde runs deep and has a long history..

    So I am not sure if this is okay. And I’d think I’d still find it shocking even if it wasn’t somewhat personal to me. I’m just horrified, really. Open calls to genocide, literal dehumanization of an entire group, KILL people of that group… it’s appealling.

    Maybe some of the Social Justice Non-White people have a point when they say that some of these people value the lives of cats and dogs above those of POC…

    • Maybe they do or don’t actually participate in animal rights stuff, but I’m willing to bet they probably value the lives of animal(particularly the higher order ones we relate to more like cats and dogs) more than those of some groups of people.

      • I weep for humanity sometimes

        Actually, the racist impact of the human rights movement is more serious, since the animal rights movement is still somewhat fringe among Westerners
        Actually I disagree with this. The thing is active particiaption in some sort of animal rights group is not a pre-requisite for liking animals. Westerners will be outraged over Chinese treatment of animals whether or not they are a signed up member of PETA or Sea Shepherd or whatever.
        In fact I think apparent animal rights violations is going to stir up more hatred against Chinese than so called ‘human’ rights violations.
        Because to tell the truth, Westerners do not really care about the human rights of CHinese. They just enjoy bringing attention to so-called human rights abuses, as a way of proclaiming their own moral superiority over non-white barbarians, and as a tool to subvert CHina.
        But really. Most Westerners do not care that a Chinese kills a Chinese, or an African an African.
        But most Westerners really do care, if they see a Chinese kill an animal (even though they do it themselves).
        Westerners genuinely care more for the lives of bears, cats, dogs, than they do Chinese people.
        So focussing on alleged Chinese abuse of animals, really does stir up visceral racial rage among Westerners.

      • I’m pro human and animal rights but if it means I have to be around racist smug self-righteous hypocrites then I’m staying away and just doing my own small contributions away from those insufferable examples of human stupidity

  61. “I don’t mean that people “take back” a label. What I mean is that, Americans see Asians as just Asians and don’t care for ethnicity (and this goes to all groups.) Racism is dished out without a care for what that particular Asian person identifies as.”

    I understand that. But to my mind that is all the more reason to fight against the label ‘Asian’. That was my point. I realize, however, you were making a different point.

    From my perspective, even the label ‘white’ is damaging and oppressive to most people given that label. Yet many of the poor descendents of ethnic immigrants who experience the least white privilege are the very same people who take pride in being ‘white’. Their ancestors may have been violently assimilated, but they have essentially taken back the label of being ‘white’.

    Of course, there are plenty of African Americans who seek to take back ‘black’, and I’ve spent a lot of time talking with them. I know their reasons for wanting to redefine the label for the purposes of shared empowerment. But I don’t think racist terms can ever escape their racist origins.

    “In this context then, it is helpful to fight racism against people labeled as “Asian” when people who have this label recongnize all who share their boat. SOrry I’m not wording it very well, but what I’m trying to say is that, basically if we want to fight racism against “Asians” we need to stop fighting amongst ourselves and recongnize that the racism that is hurting us dosen’t CARE about the things that we fight over. We need to understand that the racist DOSEN’T GIVE A SHIT and will discriminate regardless! When we fight amongst ourselves, we miss the point.”

    Yeah. The same goes for poverty. Rich white people don’t care that poor white people are white, according to the racial order. It is all about social control. Those poor whites, especially in rural areas and most especially in Appalachia, experience some of the worst poverty, violence, social problems, and oppression in the country (and have for centuries). The reason those poor whites take pride in being ‘white’ is because that is all they have going for them.

    “I don’t mean this to say that ethnic identities or whatever personal identities are bad, not at all. What I mean is that, in western contexts, it should be recongnized that what we are considered by others is not what we consider ourselves to be. We may see ourselves as Chinese, Hui, Korean, etc. But when someone acts on ill will towards Asians, he is acting on ill will towards asians, not Chinese, or Koreans, or Yakutians.”

    We shouldn’t be naive. But neither should we be complicit.

    Okay I’m getting long winded. So basically, I’m saying. So if someone is racist towards a black person, black people may go “that’s racist towards black people and I’m black! regardless of differences” It’s not that they aren’t different, or that this common cohesiveness isn’t superficial like you said, but it’s that, IN THE FACE OF DISCRIMINATION it’s something that can be come together on, and this ability to reconigize the common experience in racism, is what I think helps black americans in fighting racism!”

    Yep. The only commonality behind racial labels is racism itself. We should acknowledge that. A racial label is racism. It is the label that creates the perception of race and justifies the different treatment.

    “So I’m thinking not necessarily a cohesiveness that is sameness, but a cohesiveness in the face of discrimination. In that when racism against blacks occurs, a rich, or middle class, or southern, or northern, or midwestern, or poor, black person can all reconigze the commonality among them.”

    This is where the problem comes up. Not all African Americans recognize this racism or not to the same extent. Many wealthier blacks (Bill Cosby, Ben Carson, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, etc) continue to blame poor blacks for the prejudice they experience. Also, many blacks who don’t descend from slaves or who come from more recent immigrants don’t understand the racial order and why racism is such an issue. I have a friend from Ghana who has never been to the US and thought blacks here needed to take responsibility and complain less. He didn’t understand that racism was still real. Someone like JayMan also doesn’t understand. Being labeled as ‘black’ (or ‘Asian’) doesn’t confer some special knowledge and understanding.

    “On the other hand, many times when an Asian person gets racism, some Asians will go “Yeah well, I’m Korean, not Chinese” or “That Neo-nazi got it wrong that guy was Japanese not fucking Chinese.” There is the lack of common-recongnizing in the face of racism, so to speak. It’s idiotic. And it’s one of the factors I think that is holding Asians back in terms of fighting racism.”

    What holds them back isn’t that they don’t identify as ‘Asian’. It’s that they don’t recognize the racism of a global racial order built on centuries of imperialism and colonialism. Most people of all races and ethnicities are caught up in nationalism (often conflated with race and ethnicity), one of the most powerful forces of social conformity and xenophobic bigotry. It is the ignorance that is the problem. The well informed person is rare.

    “We all know that people of all over the world fight and rag on each other, and that it’s a uniquely American concept to group all people of somewhat similar physical looks into a single category. However at this point I think what sets apart Asians from some other groups is that they don’t recongnize that as much as other groups have… yet. The issue isn’t to “assimilate” this concept and lose any ethnic identity, but to “assimilate” it so you can recongnize that racism dosen’t care that you’re Thai, not Chinese.”

    Actually, I do think it has everything to do with assimilation. These labels are as inseparable from assimilation as they are from racism.

    There is even a semi-positive side to this. English people used to genocidally massacre, starve to death, and essentially enslave Irish people.. The KKK in northern states used to mainly target ethnic immigrants like Italian Americans. German Americans were killed by their fellow Americans during the World War era. Now they are all white.

    Assimilation, especially in the US, has created a common identity among European-descended people. Many non-white people seeing the success of this assimilation process want to imitate it. This is why there is an old impulse among African Americans to seek a Pan-African black identity. They think that is the only way they can fight against the Pan-European white identity. It is a logical and emotionally satisfying response.

    I can’t even say it is entirely wrong. What other choice do they have in a racist society? I don’t know. But in the long run we have to find a new strategy.

    Anyway, I think Asians have less of a chance of creating a Pan-Asian identity than Africans have of creating a Pan-African identity. The only reason the Pan-European identity (both referred to as whites or more narrowly as Westerners) is because the national populations involved are relatively small. Compare the ‘Asian’ population of China to the ‘white’ population of America. The United States is puny in comparison. The territory of Asia is vast as well. There is a lot more that divides ‘Asians’ than unites them.

    But in some ways I think it is near inevitable that a transnational/transethnic ‘Asian’ identity will increasingly take shape and become a more powerful force. It’s just part of globalization. Maybe that is just a necessary process for humans slowly creating a larger sense of identity. Maybe one day globalization will go so far as to create a singular human identity. I hope so. Reagan said that the only thing that could unite all humans would be the common enemy of an alien invasion from space. So, I say bring on the aliens!

    • “The well informed person is rare”

      Eh. More importantly I’m starting to wonder if the person who dosen’t mindlessly eat up propaganda is rare. That’s the unfortunate part.

      Yeah I’m still pissed lol

  62. “I’ll admit that the facebook thing really did shock me. Not because of the sentiments, but because usually, outside of stormfront, these sentiments are covered in dog-whistles if the user isn’t anonymous, you know?”

    I’ve seen those kinds of comments all over the web. I have seen them on various places on Facebook, but I’ve been seeing them for even longer on Youtube. The difference with Facebook is that people have their real names attached to their comments. It is interesting that a bigoted comment can somehow seem worse for having a real name attached for then it becomes personally real.

    “I know you don’t write about Asians much but Western ideas of Asians as this cruel, inhuman(e), faceless horde runs deep and has a long history.”

    It is true I don’t write much about Asians. I don’t generally write about that which I have little experience. But I do have the historical knowledge about the stereotypes directed at Asians. Many of the books I read also discuss Asian Americans.

    There has been an increasing Asian population in the town I live in because of the University of Iowa. Maybe this will give me more of a personal connection in which to think more about this. There was one post I wrote from a more personal angle which involved an interaction I had with a couple of Asians, probably students.

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/to-be-a-stereotype-or-not/

    It even involved animals. There was stereotyping involved, but no overt and intentional bigotry. It was just some non-Americans trying to fit me into the stereotypes of Americans they had learned from mainstream media.

    I’ve probably mentioned ‘Asians’ hundreds of times in my blog. It comes up just because I write a lot about history, genetics, IQ, race, ethnicity, culture, immigration, etc. But I don’t think I’ve ever written any post that was exclusively or primarily about ‘Asians’. Maybe my discussions with you will help me formulate my thoughts about Asians and Asian Americans. I tend to understand issues better when I can personalize it, even in such simple ways as talking to others about the issue.

    “So I am not sure if this is okay.”

    It isn’t okay. It just seems far from atypical. But maybe I’m jaded.

    “And I’d think I’d still find it shocking even if it wasn’t somewhat personal to me. I’m just horrified, really. Open calls to genocide, literal dehumanization of an entire group, KILL people of that group… it’s appealling.”

    I don’t even find shocking when I come across open calls to genocide against white people or Westerners.

    I remember listening to a speech given by Osama bin Laden. My response was to agree with his analysis of what is wrong with America and the West. I disagreed with his strategies for dealing with the problem, but I wasn’t shocked. Instead, I felt sympathy and understanding. Still, he was a violent terrorist and I don’t feel bad about him being killed. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    Maybe I used to be shocked more easily. I think I have used up my quota of outrage for this lifetime. I remember when I first learned about more of the dark, violent history of America and the West. It was from reading Derrick Jensen. It sent me into a spiral of despair. I guess my skin has grown thicker. I’ve spent so many years of my life already contemplating the dark heart of humanity. Some Facebook comments don’t seem all that shocking in comparison.

    Plus, shock and outrage tire me out. I don’t have the emotional stamina I once had. My psychic reserves get quickly depleted. It is never a good thing to let myself get to the point of spiraling back into despair. I try to avoid that as much as possible.

    “Maybe some of the Social Justice Non-White people have a point when they say that some of these people value the lives of cats and dogs above those of POC…”

    Then again, some of the white conservatives, reactionaries, and supremacists argue that white animal rights advocates care more about animals than they care about their own white people. As they see it, these liberal and leftist activists care about everything more than about white people and white culture. They are deemed race traitors.

    As for the people you speak of, they are just plain ignorant bigots and hypocrites. There is no logical reason behind their words. They aren’t consistent. They will get angry at the mistreatment of cats and dogs by non-European foreigners or by an American black running a dog fighting ring, but they will criticize the white animal rights advocates that post a video of pigs and cows being brutally killed in a US slaughterhouse. They will express bigotry toward foreigners, but they will also express bigotry toward white liberals and leftists (not “real Americans” and hence akin to foreigners).

    “Westerners will be outraged over Chinese treatment of animals whether or not they are a signed up member of PETA or Sea Shepherd or whatever. In fact I think apparent animal rights violations is going to stir up more hatred against Chinese than so called ‘human’ rights violations.”

    I would argue it really has nothing to do with animal rights advocacy. Most of these people are simply expressing bigotry. There is nothing more involved. My guess is these are largely the same conservatives and right-wingers who would argue they have the right to beat their own children. It’s about their rights to harm others, a right that no one else is allowed to have. The commenters on a Facebook page are a very select group of people, not likely to be representative of the larger population.

    “But really. Most Westerners do not care that a Chinese kills a Chinese, or an African an African. But most Westerners really do care, if they see a Chinese kill an animal (even though they do it themselves).”

    That is just human nature. Most Chinese and most Africans don’t care that a Westerner kills a Westerner. Every society has its cultural biases. What makes Western bigotry worse is that Westerners have more power in the world. But on an individual level, bigotry is all the same.

  63. I have to disagree that many of the people probably aren’t even into animals. Racism (in some extreme case even “anti-humanism”. But that´s probably the real freaks we are talking then), along with blatant displaying of all kinds of violence threats and actual violence (sometimes escalating to death treaths) is a serious problem, which seems to run rampant in the self-proclaimed Animal Rights Movements.

    Some of them really do like animals in the sense that they do value the lives of animals above some humans, some groups of humans, or maybe even all humans(except themselves that is XD)

    • I understand that.

      But the type of person who hates humans for their harm to animals don’t tend to be racial and ethnocentric bigots. They hate all people, not just those other people. OTOH the racial and ethnocentric bigots would, at most, tend to be selectively concerned about animals, assuming that their concern is genuine at all beyond the bigotry itself.

      I’m making an important distinction here about what is motivating people. Animal rights advocates and racial/ethnocentric bigots, in my experience, are usually completely opposite people. That said, I can’t speak for your experience.

      I realize there are exceptions. It’s just exceptions by definition aren’t typical and representative.

  64. Also I checked fb and many if the com renters are indeed big animal rights fanatics, or at least keyboard warriors

    YouTube comments and similar: proof human evolution never happened

    On gifted ness, sheesh, maybe most people really are dumbass mofos

    I have no problem with legitimate animal welfare agencies like the SPCA. I have huge issues with PETA, which uses sensationalism and is deliberately offensive. Their followers as well. Looks like this is a similar page, with some dumb as rocks borderline illiterate followers to go with it

    • “Also I checked fb and many if the com renters are indeed big animal rights fanatics, or at least keyboard warriors”

      I tend to not take at face value commenters like this. Someone commenting online doesn’t demonstrate that they are big animal rights fanatics. There are all kinds of weird people saying all kinds of crazy things. I wouldn’t take these people as representative of anyone but themselves.

      “Looks like this is a similar page, with some dumb as rocks borderline illiterate followers to go with it”

      I also wouldn’t just the facebook page for those who comment on it. I looked at other posts on this facebook page. They criticize animal cruelty in Western countries as well.

  65. Btw, on the high school gifted program my school did that you said sounded good, it wasn’t called the gifted program. Just the school enrichment program, lol. It doubled as a gifted program.

    I lol’ed https://m.facebook.com/notes/barbara-kerr/why-people-hate-gifted-kids-a-thought-experiment/10150974216527396

    Thoughts?

    As for why I might be labeled a hater by Barbara Kerr …. Cause I was a fucking late bloomer and ADHD and depressed and a bit PTSD so no “educator” actually looked out for me until near-high school graduation and no one fucking told me when I was actually “smart” after taking that stupid ability test when I’ve been assumed to be either slow dumb or average at best.

    American elementary education is kind of a joke.

    • Also, about finding gifted kids in the detention or place for kids kicked out of class….

      You’re gonna overlook a lot of girls doing that! Like ADHD, which is severely undiagnosed in girls. Since girls tend to manifest things differently (they tend to try to fit in more) and may not be as overtly disruptive, if you know what I mean.

  66. So the intelligence scholar she mentioned, Linda, is a friend of Rushtom and in that sphere, LOL.

    Now that I’ve read the whole thing I literally burst out laughing. Poor woman :p

    Reminds me of the scientific American article I showed you :p

  67. IMO American elementary schools and all levels of grade school frankly tend to be more full of fluff compared to some other schools. Or maybe it’s just me. You know what I mean? Just… Fluff :/

    Also, as what was essentially a “stealth” gifted kid under the radar, Fuck y’all.

    Sincerely, the former retarded girl who didn’t listen like a good smart kids do and wouldn’t amount to much.

    http://www.newsweek.com/america-hates-its-gifted-kids-226327

  68. “Btw, on the high school gifted program my school did that you said sounded good, it wasn’t called the gifted program. Just the school enrichment program, lol. It doubled as a gifted program.”

    I think there should be school enrichment programs where schools enroll every student into the program in order to enrich them all. Heck, instead of calling them schools, we’ll just call them enrichment centers from now on. Brilliant!

    “I lol’ed https://m.facebook.com/notes/barbara-kerr/why-people-hate-gifted-kids-a-thought-experiment/10150974216527396 Thoughts?”

    She doesn’t acknowledge the obvious. In one of her own examples, the failure was the school not tapping into her potential and helping her to live up to her potential, specifically in preparation for higher education. She makes the false assumption that schools are only failing ‘gifted’ children. And she makes the false assumption that most kids aren’t ‘gifted’ with immense untapped potential. The reality is that schools are failing all childrenn, in that schools could be doing far better by all children.

    “You’re gonna overlook a lot of girls doing that! Like ADHD, which is severely undiagnosed in girls. Since girls tend to manifest things differently (they tend to try to fit in more) and may not be as overtly disruptive, if you know what I mean.”

    Maybe so. But there are real differences, on average, between boys and girls. What these diagnoses actually mean is hard to say at this point. Some people speculate it is simply part of the normal range of childhood behavior that has become unacceptable in our society, specifically unacceptable in our schools.

    Drugging kids with Ritalin may not be such a good thing. You might be fortunate to not have been diangosed and drugged up. I’ve read that Ritalin disrupts the development of part of the brain that deals with motivation which may be negatively impacting the disproportionate number of boys being drugged.

    The problem is twofold. First, most kids need more help than they are getting and generally a better education system. Most kids are getting overlooked. Second, of those not getting overlooked, they still aren’t getting the help they really need. Their possibly normal behavior is treated as abnormal and they are being drugged, not just limited to Ritalin either. Kids are being forced to conform to a dysfunctional system.

    “IMO American elementary schools and all levels of grade school frankly tend to be more full of fluff compared to some other schools. Or maybe it’s just me. You know what I mean? Just… Fluff”

    That is part of what makes the system dysfunctional. I’m not so sure the primary purpose of schools is to educate. I think it might serve other more important purposes.

    This includes simple purposes such as a national babysitting service for a capitalist society where there are so many overworked two parent working families. And this includes purposes such as socialization and indoctrination.

    Kids are being taught and trained to conform, but what are they being conformed to? They are being made to conform to the same capitalist system that will one day require them to unnaturally sit still in a chair for hours every day. This is why so many kids are drugged and so many adults as well. Our entire society is unnatural.

    “You could make the argument that psychopathy is the most undesirable trait. Personally if it was genetically screenable it’s probably the only trait I’d feel comfortable aborting a baby with.”

    It still wouldn’t solve the problem of all the people who would choose not to abort their psychopathic fetus. We’d need screening for adults as well, and then maybe disallow any psychopaths into positions of responsibility and authority, including disqualifying them from holding public office. All known psychopaths would have to be publicly listed as is done with sex offenders and they would be closely monitored.

    There is also sociopathy which isn’t genetic and so would need non-genetic testing, along with authoritarian personality and social dominance orientation. At the very least, everyone should be tested for these and the results should be public knowledge. The public should be allowed to analyze the psychological profiles of political candidates in the way we presently analyze their political records.

    “More boys than girls in gifted programs= scientific fact of reality, just the way things are
    More girls in gifted programs than boys=misandry
    Gotta love this woman. Lawlz”

    This issue is a bit more complicated. There is something strange going on with gender disparities. A few years ago, I wrote about something that relates to this:

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/boys-adrift/

    My post was in response to the info and analysis I came across from Dr. Leonard Sax, who wrote the book “Boys Adrift”.

    He noticed a strange aspect of the gender gap. It wasn’t just education, but also physiological. Girls are physiologically (and one presumes neurologically) maturing at a younger age than were girls in generations past. Meanwhile, boys are physilogically (and one presumes neurologically) maturing at an older age than were boys in generations past.

    Something is impacting childhood development and it is differently impacting the genders. Dr. Sax suggests that it has to do with hormones. We are consuming more food items with hormones, specifically dairy and dairy products. Also, many plastics we use leach into our food and beverages a chemical that is estrogen-like. This is a plausible explanation for the changes that have been observed.

    On top of this, the education system is based on the notion that the genders should be treated equally and the same, despite the normal gender differences and the growing gap in physiological development. This real and increasing difference may be one of main factors contributing to boys falling behind. In response, to get boys with delayed development to conform they are being drugged with Ritalin which may be further exacerbating the problem by also inhibitng/impairing normal neurological development.

    I haven’t looked back at this issue in years. I’m not sure if further research and analysis has corroborated or disconfirmed his hypothesis. But it is something to keep in mind. There are many diverse factors at play. We live in a world of constantly changing environmental conditions, most of which we are unaware of and don’t understand.

    • It’d be interesting to compare this to other countries. I don’t have any personal experience here though, or even with schools here that are outside mainstream public schools.

      Also, speaking of Barbara… pretty funny that someone as smart as she is got that scientist’s name wrong 😛 But speaking of the Scientific American article, I think Barbara was (is?) falling into the traps that SA article mentioned, the “static” view of intelligence, the “oh no I’m not catching on immediately I must not be smart.” She also, subtly, falls into the “If I’m smart then I don’t need to work at learning things” schtik.

      I’ve struggled with that personally.

      I’m very pro recess and gym class.

      Not just how boys and girls learn, but how different people learn and behave. It’s funny, but in many ways I’m kind of “boyish” in that I wouldn’t consider myself an early verbal bloomer, and I am visual-spatial. In fact I’m not sure I couldn’t gotten the help I may have needed then because I wouldn’t have been able to articulate things the way I may have needed to. While I’m often told that I write well (lol) and speak very well, it is a pretty recent development. As late as junior year of high school I was an awkward bumbling idiot 😛

      I know I’ve vented a lot of baggage education-wise out here Benjamin… but now I’m considering if me being the only non-overachiever in the Asian-American community as a child is really… a source of my baggage. I was also the dumb kid that didn’t know anything in sunday language school, which is funny because today I am the only one of our “asian circle” who can read and write Mandarin and the only one who could pass for a native speaker. They learned in sunday school and forgot. I learned in my spare time a few months ago 😛 Which also allowed me to become proficent in Russian 😛

      No system is perfect, but I always thought there was something… off about American grade school. I dunno. I just don’t know if other nations are better, though. I’ve never known anything different. I have nothing to compare to.

      But interesting anecdote. When my parents were in their school-years, schools held several exercise periods a day, ranging from gym class stuff (including teaching them many sports and requiring them to achieve a certain level of competence to pass) to Chinese eye exercises and other stuff. They were amazed that none of my schools here did this, LOL. But at the same time I would say school for them was much more “serious” than school here, even if in different ways sometimes.

      A maybe trivial difference with me in looking at Chinese and Russian schools, at least elemtentary schools: elementary school classroom here: the desks are arranged in groups and other flowery ways, while desks there are all facing the teacher.

      Thank god for subtitles lol. You might find this interesting. The guy 15 minutes in is interesting
      http://www.koreanhighschool.com/

      • Sax’s theories sound interesting, thanks. They sounds more compelling that CH’s Sommers’ certainly. I’m just not sure what to do, really.

        If you follow right wing media, a popular meme concerning the “decline of men” is that women are just getting too uppity and it’s de-motivating the men. Traditional roles are changing in many ways. Of course, for the RW media the answer is “Women, return to the kitchen.” LOL.

        I like cooking for my friends and family, but I rather like being pro-feminism, too. I like my rights and my oppertunities to choose and be who I want to be 🙂

        Reactuonaries like pulling the “women are less variable in IQ” to justify looking down on women, btw. But personally, I believe in the vast reserves of untapped potential in all people, but especially in women, for perhaps obvious reasons.

        On ADD, you may be right that it was good I wasn’t diagnosed earlier, but it’s also true that ADD and many other things are very under-looked in women and girls, since they express symptoms differently than boys and men do.

        I’ve always been hyper-aware and very ‘keen’ on what was considered ‘good’ and what people wanted out of me. Systemizing was a strength of mine. But I was also bad at actually acting in people-pleasing ways until puberty or so. Even then, I’ve always been hyper-sensitive to criticism, so a stern yelling from a teacher was enough to shut me up. But if no one cared? At the same time I’m not sure I really “questioned” the system until about middle school.

        http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/740.html
        http://www.addvance.com/help/women/high_school.html

        • Final one for the night. As a ‘read between the lines’ type of gal…

          You ever notice that the gifted advocates seem to think that intelligence correlates with motivation or something? Like, with these folks… if a “normal” child was disruptive than that kid was probably t a problem kid. But a ‘gifted’ kid? He’s probably not having his needs met. He’s probably too bored and too smart.

          It’s as if being ‘gifted’ has to mean someone driven and desires to create, and if they aren’t, it’s blamed on the system or some other outside system. Ex: the schools, teachers, bullying, too smart for everyone else. The system is designed for ‘normal’ and ‘merely bright’ people so if one of those people is lazy than screw his lazy ass! But my gifted kid acts lazy? My gifted kid is failing math? Well the school just can’t handle his genius! He’s failing math because he finds it too easy, so he thinks it’s pointless and has stopped trying, and I have no issue with that!

          I’m not sure what you think, Benjamin, but if I were a parent that would never fly with me. You fail math cause it’s hard? Okay, let’s work on that, let’s help. You fail cause lazy? Unacceptable. You fail cause it’s too easy? Unacceptable! While I would do my best to get him in a more appropriate class if he think’s it’s too easy, there NO FUCKING WAY I’d let him off the hook for failing for a reason like that! Maybe it’s my background, LOL.

          Does the ‘high IQ’ person who is plain lazy and unmotivated (no becauses) simply not exist? (but of course exist in droves in normal and low iq people :P)

          I mean, and I’m not sure what you think of this Benjamin. But there’s just an insane sense of entitlement riding the undercurrent.

          Btw, funny. But it was the year I asked to be moved to advanced language class (grade 8) that my writing improved DRAMATICALLY, compared to my writing from past years. That was also the year I moved myself to advanced math. It just shows that you have to advocate for yourself, sometimes :/ I knew I could do it, that it was my more appropriate level, but my teachers always recemmended me for lower classes. Funnily enough, that was a year I also tested as ‘gifted.’ But my problem was not that I wasn;t in advanced classes as much as I felt I was underestimated, if you understand. Honestly, I felt that most of the “regular and basic-level” kids could have been in ‘advanced’ classes too. In many ways the ‘tracking’ is very limiting and does a disservice to kids from expressing their potential.

  69. Oh my Benjamin westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/it-must-be-said/

    Soooo what is yourvresponse to the “there are truths that get you fireddddddd” presumably they mean being “race rrrlist” gets you fired the oppression man look at watson

    Greg C seems to have a chip on his shoulder though.

  70. “Damn Benjamin you really destroyed that libertarian realist guy”

    I do what I can. But it is tiresome. I tend to avoid interactions like that. It’s just not worth it, on a personal level. I do like sharing info, though.

    “Anyway what do you think of the west hunter people, since they’re actual university profs?”

    Like hbdchick’s blog, you can find some interesting info. But if I’m going to spend my time at a reactionary blog, I’d rather peruse hbdchick’s for she is nicer and more interesting. The westhunt blog offers limited insight about anything. It seems to be mostly standard reactionary positions.

    “Oh my Benjamin westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/it-must-be-said/”

    You are following my trail through the HBD world. It’s all so silly.

    “Soooo what is yourvresponse to the “there are truths that get you fireddddddd” presumably they mean being “race rrrlist” gets you fired the oppression man look at watson”

    People do get fired for all kinds of things. If a professor was being overtly racist, misogynistic, or whatever, I could understand why they were fired. But then again liberals and left-wingers get fired too for speaking their minds.

    There is a long history of those on the left being fired for their views. Sometimes they are simply blocked from being hired in the first place. During the Cold War, many on the left had their entire careers destroyed, and in certain cases it led to suicide.

    Right-wingers have a narrow and superficial awareness of reality. They think the world revolves around them or should revolve around them. Their persecution complex is just an expression of their narcissism.

    • Well the western hunter guys are stll employed 😛

      By now you may have noticed that I intentionally name or spell things slightly wrong, LOL

  71. “Not just how boys and girls learn, but how different people learn and behave. It’s funny, but in many ways I’m kind of “boyish” in that I wouldn’t consider myself an early verbal bloomer, and I am visual-spatial.”

    That is precisely my position. There is immense diversity. The inability and unwillingness to deal with that is the main failing of the education system.

    Anyway, as your example demonstrates, gender differences are just tendencies. That is why I qualified my statement by saying it was on average. In Myers-Briggs, Thinking and Feeling show a gender divide. I’m less typical in being a male Feeling type. But it isn’t extremely atypical. There still is a large percentage of male Feeling types, something like 30-40% as I recall. Gender differences are extremely general patterns with many exceptions to the rule.

    Generalizations can be useful, as long as you take them with a grain of salt. The value of acknowledging such differences isn’t to simplistically categorize people, but to appreciate diversity and deal with it appropriately.

    “No system is perfect, but I always thought there was something… off about American grade school. I dunno. I just don’t know if other nations are better, though. I’ve never known anything different. I have nothing to compare to.”

    I don’t have any personal experience either with other education systems. I’m not sure comparisons are even necessary (or always useful). It seems obvious to me that the US education has massive room for improvement, just on its own terms.

    “A maybe trivial difference with me in looking at Chinese and Russian schools, at least elemtentary schools: elementary school classroom here: the desks are arranged in groups and other flowery ways, while desks there are all facing the teacher.”

    Well, back in the good ol’ days when I was in school (1980s to the mid-90s), desks were almost always in rows. I only recall a few exceptions such as with an art class. I grew up being taught while facing the teacher in nice neat rows. I didn’t even know that had changed, but I’m not surprised.

    “You might find this interesting. The guy 15 minutes in is interesting”

    I’ll check it out later when I’m at a computer. I’m on my Kindle right now. The South Korean system is interesting, although not perfectly comparable. I wrote about this issue a while back:

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/americas-less-than-smartest-education-system/

    In the comments section, I posted some info about South Korean schools. One thing that is problematic is that, as I recall, they don’t have a universal education system, which is to say many kids get entirely left out. It is a highly competitive and class-based society where the poor are ignored. But for the kids who are in the education system, it is highly effective.

    One thing that is different is that South Korean teacher, at least in some cases, can get paid the kind of money doctors and CEOs get paid in the US. They prioritize education and are willing to pay for it, unlike the US where teachers are paid little for extremely hard work and long hours.

    “If you follow right wing media, a popular meme concerning the “decline of men” is that women are just getting too uppity and it’s de-motivating the men. Traditional roles are changing in many ways. Of course, for the RW media the answer is “Women, return to the kitchen.” LOL.”

    I know all about it. The type of environmental factors that Dr. Sax discusses are precisely those that are ignored by right-wingers and reactionaries. It is never about environment, except for the ‘gifted’ kids of course.

    “On ADD, you may be right that it was good I wasn’t diagnosed earlier, but it’s also true that ADD and many other things are very under-looked in women and girls, since they express symptoms differently than boys and men do.”

    I don’t doubt that. I know little about ADD. It isn’t an issue I’ve personally dealt with, at least I don’t think so. I’ve never given it much thought. I do have a mind that is easily distracted, but I never thought of it in terms of ADD. Then again, they weren’t diagnosing much of anything with kids back when I was in school.

    “At the same time I’m not sure I really “questioned” the system until about middle school.”

    I’m not sure I ever questioned the system when I was in the system. I simply hated school. I lacked the context for understanding any of it. I think I had mostly internalized the judgment that I was the problem. I assumed that I was supposed conform to the system, rather than the system conform to me. It was mostly only after my school career ended that I discovered I actually liked to learn and was good at it.

    “You ever notice that the gifted advocates seem to think that intelligence correlates with motivation or something?”

    I have noticed that.

    “I’m not sure what you think, Benjamin, but if I were a parent that would never fly with me. You fail math cause it’s hard? Okay, let’s work on that, let’s help. You fail cause lazy? Unacceptable. You fail cause it’s too easy? Unacceptable! While I would do my best to get him in a more appropriate class if he think’s it’s too easy, there NO FUCKING WAY I’d let him off the hook for failing for a reason like that! Maybe it’s my background, LOL.”

    My parents were never ones to make excuses for me or to accept excuses from me. At the same, both were in teaching professions and my mother worked with kids with disabilities, including learning disabilities as I had. So, they were understanding and extremely helpful, but also had high expectations.

    I suppose I’d be similar to them, if I had kids. But I’d probably be more sympathetic than they were. My parents couldn’t fully appreciate the problems I dealt with, as they never personally had the same problems.

    “there’s just an insane sense of entitlement riding the undercurrent.”

    That stands out to me in an extreme way. The sense of entitlement is so obvious. It annoys me so much that I want to reach through my computer screen and smack some of those ‘gifted’ parents upside the head.

    “It just shows that you have to advocate for yourself, sometimes”

    I’m sure that is true. But I’ve never been one who advocates for myself. I’m introverted, fairly shy, and I suspect I have some undiagnosed social anxiety disorder. My brother was diagnosed with social anxiety. I’ve seen him during one of his anxiety attacks and I recognized it as something I’ve experienced myself.

    I prefer to not draw attention to myself. Advocating for myself sounds like a terrifying prospect. This probably relates to my hating school and yet loving to learn on my own. I have to do things on my own terms. I know how to play the part to get by, but that is about it. I’m sure I’d be better off if, like you, I had advocated for myself on occasion.

    • “My parents were never ones to make excuses for me or to accept excuses from me. At the same, both were in teaching professions and my mother worked with kids with disabilities, including learning disabilities as I had. So, they were understanding and extremely helpful, but also had high expectations.

      I suppose I’d be similar to them, if I had kids. But I’d probably be more sympathetic than they were. My parents couldn’t fully appreciate the problems I dealt with, as they never personally had the same problems.”

      I can relate in some ways to that. My parents may or may not have had issues, but there’s such a lack of knowledge of these issues on their part, so I don’t think they wouldn’t thought it was something that needed addressing if they had anything. And I wouldn’t say that lack of knowledge or even curiosity is necessarily their fault per se… they’re very much a product of their times and place.

      That’s what I was trying to get at, maybe in too many words. It’s like these parents are willing to make excuses for ‘gifted’ kids/people that they wouldn’t for ‘normals.’ You know what I mean? Double standard. A ‘gifted’ kid who dosen’t excel and amaze is because insert-excuse-here insert-blame some system-here, but they wouldn’t do this for ‘normal’ kids.

      It’s like the +130 iq person(since that’s the arbitrary cutoff these days) who is lazy, unmotivated, or even just unremarkable dosen’t exist to them. Like those high iq people who are those traits is because it’s someone else’s fault, the system failed them, they were failed, etc etc etc. A normal person is the above traits? Well, that’s just the way they are.

      Sorry for repeating the ‘failed math cause he was bored and it was too easy’ thing. It just really sticks out, you know? Like, it really rubs me the… wrong way. But that’s me. Maybe I’m just an asshole 😛

  72. I’ll reply more later, but on schools failing kids, mental and emotional issues, and the such…

    For me, having immigrant parents from a different culture who are ignorant of mental health issues and pretty rigid and low-tolerance of unconventionality, was a contributor as well. I can rant on how the system failed me as a kid, but teachers would often show concern about me and contact my parents and generally care, but there’s only so much a school and teachers can do. In my case teachers concerned that I was moody and despondent just triggered my parents yelling at me cause yeah, lol. They’re also people who respond to depression with “everybody gets depressed!” Add, Aspergers, schizophrenia, bi-polar? What’s that?

    • Plus, like I said, at that age I may not have been able to really articulate well. Maybe if a skilled counselor stepped in, but I never did that until I was nearly out of high school. And it’s helped me certainly, and I know I should’ve gotten it sooner…

      I’m just a late bloomer, as well. Honestly the current sustem is tough on us late bloomers. So I’ll admit that I have problems with jealousy (what I call green eyes) whenever I think about childhood adolescence and achievement.

      So tell me Benjamin. We both have In common with the gifted parents in that we dislike the system. We both may have been considered the types of kids the gifted parents appearently have, Yet both of us rather dislike that crowd. Which is kind of funny.

  73. I remember feelin insecure about my comparatively visual brain because of this (I wonder if being visual is related to being left handed, as I am )

    That comment section is a train wreck

    carrefoursagesse.wordpress.com/2009/06/25/asian-accomplishment-or-lack-thereof/

  74. To be honest, the real reason why I might have issues with ‘gifted’ : awayfromtheoven.com/2012/02/03/two-sides-of-the-curve-and-a-lot-in-common/

    I do like the mom’s blog. I may not always agree but she seems a nice person.

    Is because of mentalities like this:

    conservativecrusader.com/articles/no-nation-left-behind-an-interview-with-charles-murray

    highability.org/53/charles-murray-phd-aim-not-just-at-academic-accomplishment-but-at-wisdom/

    What do you think?

  75. Like I said, some of my sentiments towards gifted ness stems from my issues with charles-Murray-esque attitudes towards, well, human intelligence and ability. And the frankly latent male (and white) superiority complexes.You know?

    • Labels, especially childhood labels, being treated as prescriptions. That is the heart of my, maybe your, beef with this.

      My special needs kid? I’d expect different things. But if I had a ‘regular’ kid? Would I look at his completely average development and go, “great, doomed to a life of average joe nobody no chance of being awesome”

      Because it is the above sentiment which pervades the ideologies of reactionaries and relatively mainstream ones like murray towards women. More average iq women? That’s why women suck and are doomed to not amount to much! Hey… Don’t complain women, at least there’s less of you in the retard bin too!!!!

      You know?

      • I see it as a much larger issue. It has to do with an oppressive social order. It involves race, ethnicity, gender, class, etc. It is systemic and structural, some of it overt but most of it implicit or even unconscious.

        The Murrays of the world in many ways are the least of our worries. It is the entire social order that is the problem. There is much potential in our society, just as there is much potential in every person. That potential can only be expressed if we change the system.

        The problem continues not because of all those that are prejudiced, but because of all those who don’t speak out against it. The reason for that is that we don’t have the concepts and language to see it for what it is, to understand and speak about it.

        That is why I read and write as I do. I’m trying to make sense what so many others would rather ignore. But it isn’t easy. There is a whole history behind the system as it is.

        It isn’t just about those other people. We all are implicated in the status quo. We are born into it and we are socialized in it. It is all we know. To imagine otherwise is an immense task.

  76. We are all brainwashed to an extent. I’m certainly struggling with brainwashing, which is why I’m so vocal about it. I know I’m brainwashed into a charles murray mentality to an extent.

    Labels being prescriptive and the implicit meanings in them. Emphasis on the implicit. That is the problem. In fact, the “gifted” parents “experts” and “special” seem to be pretty bad at that. Pretty bad TRULY taking things head on in a “thinking” way

    • Trying to truly think. That seems ironically something these adults who trumpet the gifted label don’t do well at. As my late blooming ass began to develop a voice of its own during late high school, I would have told them, especially the “gifted specialist” from psychology today, to fuck off.

      Though as a non-parent, now I’m wondering if I have a kid, how I’d educate him :/

      How would you educate a kid, if you were a parent?

      I do like the mom with both the “highly gifted” and the autistic/apraxic/other developmental delays kid. She is different from the other ‘gifties.’ She’s probably the best of the bunch I’ve seen. In your terms, the hdd chick of those gifted sphere. She has yummy recipes as well.

      What do u think of those murray links above? At face value, he isn’t quite a pure monster based on those articles

      • I don’t know how I’d educate my kids. I’d probably worry less about the education system and try to supplement with what my kids would learn at home.

        I do like public schools for the simple reason of socialization. I’d want my kids to go to a school with lots of racial, ethnic, and class diversity which would only happen in a community with such diversity. Research shows that kids raised with high rates of diversity tend to grow up to be more socially liberal adults. That is the difference I see between my parents and I. They grew up in homogenous communities and schools.

        What do I think of the Murray link? I’m not sure I had any strong opinion. Murray comes off as condescendingly paternalistic. I don’t doubt that he means well.

        He is one of those older white middle class men who grew up when the country was more openly and strongly racist, classist, and misogynist. He has internalized much of that, but he isn’t an overt bigot. He just believes that most differences can’t be changed. He sees the divides in society as inevitable or even necessary for his ideal meritocracy.

        He seems similar to my own father. It was through my father that I learned of Murray. My father is one of the nicest people you could meet. He genuinely cares about others and struggles with being a good Christian. But he can’t bring himself to believe that a democratically egalitarian society is possible or desirable

        • Teach them to think.

          That’s the most important thing of all. The understanding of the concept of the scientific method, and that facts should drive their livelihoods.

          • If I could determine how education is done, I’d do two things. First, I’d teach them how to think as part of teaching them how to learn. Second, I’d teach them a love of learning by giving them the freedom to follow their curiosity. Pretty much all kids are born with immense curiosity, but our education system snuffs that out. Without a love of learning, it is much harder to teach kids how to learn.

  77. Sorry I’m kind of hijacking this post. It’s just convient for me to have things all in one spot.

    But, I saw your Amanda Ripley post, and this:

    “Intuitively, tracking made sense. A classroom should function more efficiently if all the kids were at the same level. In reality, though, second tracks almost always came with second-rate expectations.

    “Statistically speaking, tracking tended to diminish learning and boost inequality wherever it was tried. In general, the younger the tracking happened, the worse the entire country did on PISA. There seemed to be some kind of ghetto effect : Once kids were labeled and segregated into the lower track, their learning slowed down.”

    The first paragraph, warrants an enthusiastic “Da!” as Russians say…

    I don’t follow mainstream conservatism these days (frankly my curiosity is reserved for the reactionary sewers of humanity) but I do believe some reactionaries have talked about Finland. It is usually replied to with a “Yes but Finland is homogeneous they are educating a homogeneous population” Also, since some reactionaries love masturbating to the idea that there is less iq variation in asians (so whites are still superior!!!!!!!111eleventy11111) despite there being zero evidence for this, I think I read on a blog somewhere that there was some evidence of this in the Finnish population. I’m also sure that the reactiobaries would justify the unique US tracking with (other countries have more homogeneous pops!!!!)

    In my case, I’m glad ‘tracks’ weren’t rigid, Or they were, but I had to advocate for myself. Аlso, to be really cliche, it’s not just funding, but also the local environment. Parents, neighbors, peers, etc. It’s not just a school thing, but the community that school is in as well.

    The American obsession with extra-curriculars, “leadership” was the bane of my high school existence. If you are planning on applying to even a slightly selective college, the American admission system is REALLY fucking unique. You should do a post on the American college admissions system someday, Benjamin. You’d have a field day.

    I did suspect on some level that American education was a joke, even though I had nothing to compare it to. The “easiness” maybe, even though it’s not like I knew everything. There was just something about the atmosphere I guess that made me think “what a joke.” You know? Even in my high school where there was a competitive streak for ivy leagues, on some level there was a ‘what a joke.’ There was just… something OFF about the dynamic of kids having hours of homework, ten million extracurriculars, the need to demonstrate “good character” and “true passion for humanity” and “evidence of being tomorrow’s leaders” and basically just, well…. http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/12/the-false-promise-of-holistic-college-admissions/282432/

    That was actually my peak cutting time.

    Russian school, where 6th graders read Tolstoy:

    “Oh man, Russian schools are hard, strict and loaded with hw. I feel that Russian education (k through 12th grade) is a lot better because everyone is active and involved, plus we are all scared of our teachers therefore everyone did their hw. Here, in US, teachers are scared on their students and there’s no respect in the classroom.

    AND my pupils have been learning english since first grade. not because “you might need it someday” like we are told in texas to learn spanish, but because a person really THINKS in a different manner when exposed to learning a second language. my lessons are conducted in english. ”

    I’ve always wondered about Canada versus the US.

    On the parenting being innately selfish and merely just love of one’s DNA in the end, though, maybe human flexibility will ultimately show to be our greatest asset. “Research has long shown that adoptive moms go through many of the same hormonal changes that birth moms do, even getting the “baby blues”. One wonders if the brain has such plasticity that this applies to most caregivers and even the children.”

    I’m not an overtly “motherly” or “caring” person though, even though to do love otherse deeply. You get what I mean? I’m just not a ‘sappy’ type ,though there is nothing wrong with sappy. I tend to display affection or care more subtlely or through actions.

    • There are many ways the US could improve education. But reactionaries just seem interested in rationalizing why we can’t improve education (for most kids) and shouldn’t even try.

      South Korea is in some ways a reactionary wet dream. It is a highly class-based society. If you are poor, you are deemed utterly worthless and hopeless. A ton of money is invested, however, in helping the elite remain the elite. It is a surpemely anti-democratic society that is hyper-obsessed with capitalism.

      Their education system does relatively well for the upper classes. If the lower classes are excluded, they show great results compared to countries that don’t exclude their lower classes. Reactionaries would take this as justification for why the lower classes should be excluded and, instead, focus all or most of the resources on the meritocracy.

  78. lololol, that juicy contradiction

    “From the subject story: “Finnish educators believe they get better overall results by concentrating on weaker students rather than by pushing gifted students ahead of everyone else. The idea is that bright students can help average ones without harming their own progress.”

    “These members or our society effect our educational standing in two ways…Second, they slow down education for everyone because they exist in such numbers that teachers have to slow down an entire class to allow them to catch up.”

    giftedexchange.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-makes-finnish-kids-so-smart.html

    Blogger did ruminate how if we maybe reformed our education to be more like Finland, we wouldn’t need gifted programs.

    Finland does not have ‘gifted programs….’

    I dig that finnish-style charter school movement in NYC, though. It sounds awesome.

    Benjamin, this is my wondering. But what if the USA no longer offered bachelor degrees in secondary education (with concentrations in social science education for example) and instead required secondary teachers to have bachelor degrees in their subjects, and maybe graduate degrees in fields relevant to education?

    I think the biggest American problem is that we don’t respect teachers, though. Teaching is a low-paying laughingstock job here. Heck, teachers themselves often don’t even take their jobs that seriously.

    I dig that “if only the damn underprivileged Muricans would stop dragging down our scores”

    http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/292001.page

    LOL, this blogger

    edexcellence.net/commentary/education-gadfly-daily/flypaper/gifted-education%E2%80%94what-i-saw-what-i%E2%80%99m-learning

    Why the flying fuck is the idea of “all children recieving gifted education à la Finland” horrifying? WTF. She’s basically saying disadvantaged kids (kids who didn’t get a Finnish type of upbringing) shouldn’t recieve gifted education!

    giftedparentingsupport.blogspot.com/2012/02/real-lesson-to-be-learned-from-finland.html

    Be right back gonna go punch a wall. But as a naturally argumentative person, if I were in grade school again I’m pretty sure I’d tell any ‘gifted specialist’ to piss off.

    • One thing that Finland shows is the economic angle. They have low economic inequality. This has been shown to correlate to low rates of every kind of social problem. It’s not just a passive thing. Low or high inequality is something that is actively created.

      Finland’s education system shows this. It isn’t that they spend more money on education, but how they spend money. Besides spending money on ensuring teachers get the best training, they also spend money on the lowest performing schools. Their idea is that high performing schools don’t need more money.

      The US education system is different because of economic and geographic segregation. Rich kids go to rich schools and poor kids go to poor schools. The very schools that need funding the most are least likely to get it while the very schools that need funding the least are the most likely to get it.

      The advantage of the Finnish system can be seen even in US data. You know of the Flynn effect, right? It shows that IQs have been increasing over the generations. But where they have been increasing the most is among the poor. And where they have been increasing the least is among the wealthy.

      The explanation is simple. A small amount of funding can make a massive amount of difference in improving the lives and educations of the lower classes (e.g., improving nutrition to improve cognitive development) whereas a lareg amunt of funding will make little difference for the already advantaged upper classes.

      We know the Finnish system works. And we even see evidence that the basic principle would apply to American society. Yet because of racism and classism, so many Americans can’t imagine improving the education system according to a proven working model.

  79. “noys more likely high performers though averages did not differ between sexes’

    so charles murray confirmed?

    • Yeah, there is a lot going on. Most of these issues aren’t about people being bad in a simplistic sense. My grandfather was a racist and yet he’d give someone the shirt off his own back. Most prejudiced people aren’t mean in a personal way, not necessarily even toward those they are prejudiced. Also, prejudice often goes with a paternalistically caring attitude. Seeing people as inherently inferior can lead to a compassionate attitude, even if ultimately condescending and ununelpful

  80. Here is a great comment! The success of Finnish education is based on egalitarian fairness and equal opportunity. That is the very set of values that conservatives and reactionaries argue against.

    http://giftedparentingsupport.blogspot.com/2012/02/real-lesson-to-be-learned-from-finland.html?showComment=1329109835288#c7831075671431553702

    You forget that the Finns didn’t start out to remake their education system as the best in the world. Their aim was to provide an equal-opportunity education system, which then became the best in the world.

    They began with an end in mind that most in the world overlooked – the opportunity for the child to have a basic learning; not the philosophy of pushing the child to their best academically only. While the rest of the world aimed for the highest academic accolades, the Finns only wanted to ensure that no child’s need was left behind. In order to make education as accessible as possible, they did away with the whole idea of streaming – which removed the whole idea of special G&T students, and focussed on a collaborative learning model which ensured that everyone participated in the classroom.

    From http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/
    “Since the 1980s, the main driver of Finnish education policy has been the idea that every child should have exactly the same opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, income, or geographic location. Education has been seen first and foremost not as a way to produce star performers, but as an instrument to even out social inequality.

    In the Finnish view, as Sahlberg describes it, this means that schools should be healthy, safe environments for children. This starts with the basics. Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling, and individualized student guidance.

    In fact, since academic excellence wasn’t a particular priority on the Finnish to-do list, when Finland’s students scored so high on the first PISA survey in 2001, many Finns thought the results must be a mistake. But subsequent PISA tests confirmed that Finland — unlike, say, very similar countries such as Norway — was producing academic excellence through its particular policy focus on equity.”

    Other readings:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Finland

    If any country were to only focus its lenses on the G&T, or stratify its children by how well they test, then they really miss the point of Finland’s success. It’s not a method, so much as a philosophy.

    • Only people judged to be “qualified” get all those perks. Frankly that’s the biggest joke of our education system.

      That’s why I like how my school did it. No iq testing and evaluations for some perks that other not special enough kids don’t get. Everyone gets their needs met at my school. If you dream it we’ll try to make it happen.

      • The US is still dominated by Cold War rhetoric and fear-mongering about communism. The ruling elite would rather have a horrible education system for everyone (except for the rich who go to elite private schools), just as long as it is ensured the unworthy don’t get anything they don’t deserve. There is nothing conservatives and reactionaries fear more than the possibility that those most in need might get what they need, that everyone might be treated fairly and given genuine equal opportunity. To their mind, Finland is everything that is wrong with the world. It’s very success is what they fear the most.

  81. This author ignores or is uninformed about much of the Finnish model. One of the main things that Finland is doing right is compensating for economic inequality. They do it at every level of their society. They have a strong social democracy where everyone gets beneffits, no matter how poor. No one’s needs are left unmet. In their education system, it is precisely the low achieving schools that get the most money and so they are going out of their way to invest in the most poor and needy.

    http://edexcellence.net/commentary/education-gadfly-daily/flypaper/gifted-education%E2%80%94what-i-saw-what-i%E2%80%99m-learning

    “Nobody is compensating well for the absence of pushy, prosperous, influential parents. That is to say, disadvantaged kids, however able they may be, are indeed at a disadvantage in terms of accessing gifted programs, supplemental activities, and selective schools. This is apt to turn out to be toughest nut, and we may find no really good way for public policy to crack it. (I’m still hunting and hoping. Hungary is trying hard.) Moreover, a lot of gifted-ed programs and schools, even in the public sector, carry costs that parents must bear, ranging from ambitious field trips to summer camps to basic transportation.”

  82. http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/292001.page

    Anonymous:

    Go rent ‘waiting for superman’ and tell me if you think the American model is winning.

    A good education, therefore, is not ruled out by poverty, uneducated parents or crime – and drug-infested neighborhoods. In fact, those are the very areas where Geoffrey Canada has success with his charter schools.

    I love how two of the pps want to just remove our inner city and poor kids from our Education statistics. Sure. We’ll just continue to ignore that population instead of reforming the education system itself.

    I also wouldn’t be so certain US would rise to the top by self-selecting a tiny population.

    http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/15/292001.page

    Anonymous:

    I thought that at first, too. Actually, the population in Finland is more diverse than you would expect with a growing influx of immigrants from Bangladesh, Iraq, Russia and parts of Africa. In one of the Finnish schools that has been successful, half of the population came from somewhere else. You can read the article here.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/Why-Are-Finlands-Schools-Successful.html?c=y&page=1

    Anonymous:

    Ninety-five percent of the teachers are unionized in Finland.

    Anonymous:

    So my DH told me he sent the article to me from the Atlantic months ago. Oops. He also pointed out the real news in that ranking was that in all of the top 4-5 countries– teachers are all from the top 20% of their graduating class and get paid big salaries (emphasis on teacher quality and compensation to attract top teachers; teaching is revered–high status). “The rest of those stats seems like [insert fruity Aunt’s name here] designed the curriculum for her socialist paradise which I am sure works great for a homogenous country of only 5 mil”.

    http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/30/292001.page

    Anonymous:

    Look, I think the Finland worship is idiotic, too. But, you’re really kind of wrong in stating innovation lacks in Finland. It has been puting more into R&D than the US, for example, by about 50%, for nearly a decade. To wit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/13/AR2005071302227.html

    It is also No. 4 in the world in the Global Innovation Index: http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2012/article_0014.html The US is No. 10.

    http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/45/292001.page

    Anonymous:

    Many American innovations are actually created by foreigners who come here and go to grad school. Our ability to attract these innovators has more to do with our immigration policy than it does with our education system.

    http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/60/292001.page

    Anonyous:

    Geoffrey Canada has created an amazing and comprehensive program that begins in-utero! He’s going to have success because he is will to address the fact that kids who live in poverty and crime ridden areas and have uneducated parents need a different model of education than kids who do not. He can propose such a message because the people he works with and hire, all look the same (per his book). And mainly, not white women.

    As long as America values educating ALL people, we will appear to be lagging behind other countries. And as long as we are not able to address the different needs of all people, at the local level (I’m talking neighborhood, not just city) we may not see much in the way of successful education reform.

    Anonymous:

    Children in Finland and France all seem to go to daycare without problem for extended hours. A sitter is unreliable and in addition costs more money than most upper class people can add on after paying for a good preschool. Most good full day daycare/preschools here costs over $20,000 and a sitter adds on an extra $5000 even for 1 hour a day at $20 per hour. Poor people can’t even pay for a good preschool much less pay for two different daycare providers. What is needed is a good understanding of what children actually need and then the daycares and schools to actually carry this out. No more of just “playbased” or “Montessori” or “Waldorf” or “traditional” or whatever. We need good preschools and schools that are utilizing the best teaching methods wherever they come from. Finland seems to get this and offers lots of support to their teachers and doesn’t overburden them with too many children, too little space, or too much paperwork.

    Anonymous:

    However, their mothers get up to a year off for maternity leave. In Sweden (I think Denmark too) it is 18 months of leave after a baby (fathers too!My friend in German said it is now over a year of leave over there (it might be guaranteed 60% of their pay). Of course, taxes are through the roof and they are ‘high trust’ societies.

    Anonymous:

    I still think regardless of their subsidies, they have figured out a way to put children first in all of their schools. You don’t hear about a set Finnish way of teaching because it’s constantly evolving and the Finnish schools don’t have brands like waldorf, catholic, progressive, outdoor, academic, etc. They provide a variety of experiences for children and teach to the whole child.

    Anonymous:

    Finland: I like how they take care of their teachers. For some reason, our Conservative politicians and their followers have been attacking teachers in the U.S. But for that matter they attack science and intelligence too..

    http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/75/292001.page

    Anonymous:

    I’m surprised that people don’t know that or they choose to leave it out conveniently. The smartest people I’ve met in US have all been foreigners.

    Anonymous:

    I really like what you said about teacher autonomy and support, rather than a culture of competition. I have taught in a couple of countries and I found huge differences in the way teaching is viewed as a profession. I quit because we ended up living in a place where the teaching profession was ‘dull’, so to speak. There was no vibrancy, which I saw as stemming from the fact that teachers weren’t encouraged to create for themselves … i.e. adapt curricula, create materials, contribute to the thinking in their subject’s pedagogical circles, etc. A
    culture of distrust means you don’t retain the top teachers, IMO.

    http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/90/292001.page

    Anonymous:

    Finland’s child poverty rate is 5%, while the US child poverty rate is 20+%

  83. http://giftedexchange.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-makes-finnish-kids-so-smart.html?showComment=1204337760000#c7787904357461043625

    Homogeneous demographics can’t be the sole reason, as there are homogeneous places that do very badly, and diverse places (like Singapore) that do very well.

    I suspect that dedicated, highly-trained teachers who want to teach well are a big part of the equation.

    http://giftedexchange.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-makes-finnish-kids-so-smart.html?showComment=1204373040000#c434636993202358176

    I think the best part of finnish schooling system is the fact that money/social status doesn’t play any role when people apply for place in high-school or university. It’s all about grades and entry-tests, you can’t buy your way in. People who have been studying hard and/or are gifted naturally, are rewarded no matter what social background they come from. Education is “free” from elementary school to high-school and all the way even to doctoral degrees. With “free” I mean only nominal annual fees which are pretty much the same in each school (roughly 500€ per year).

    http://giftedexchange.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-makes-finnish-kids-so-smart.html?showComment=1204384980000#c3371727236650696176

    I don’t think the difference between average grades in Finland and the US has a lot to do with the actual schools at all.

    I think your problem in the States is the fact that you have such an economically segmented society. I can imagine that if you compared a public school in a poor neighbourhood to a school in a rich one you would find the difference is as big as when comparing an average western school to a 3rd world one.

    The key thing in finnish education is equality. No matter where you come from, in school you’re all equal. Not only that, but all the schools are by and large interchangeable – it doesn’t matter what school you go to as far as the quality of education is concerned.

    http://giftedexchange.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-makes-finnish-kids-so-smart.html?showComment=1204520640000#c7262009256570361533

    I must say that our (Finland’s) schools are very relaxing places to be in. Teachers treat students equally and they don’t underestimate students abilities. Teachers are normally really helpful and patient in teaching. In addition, we get free meals every day that helps to keep students blood sugar stable the whole day. We don’t see food like french fries in our schools, but instead very healthy food (low fat & slow carbohydrates).

    Our schools are not very homogenius and they can differ quite a lot on the teaching methods. Some schools are conservative and others are really liberal. I was myself in a extremely liberal elementary school. I’ll tell a bit how our school week normally was in there. At every monday morning we had a briefing conserning about that weeks tasks and objectives. Then we had couple of lessons where we got all the theory needed in performing the tasks given to us. After that we started doing our tasks on our own and we did not need to be in the classroom to do the work, but we were able to do the work wherever on the school area we wanted. (it could be outside or inside the school). When we got some problems in our tasks, then we went to ask help from the teachers or from the other students. The best part in this system was that when we got our weekly tasks done, we were free to do whatever we wanted. If you were able to get all the weekly work done on tuesday, that ment that you were able to do sports, arts etc. the rest of the week. You were not able to go home though, there was a static school time everyday. Luckily there were a lot of hobby possibilies to do in the school. So, normally we did a lot of movies, computer animations, sports etc. on the school time then.

    http://giftedexchange.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-makes-finnish-kids-so-smart.html?showComment=1204831920000#c319914759680546703

    As far as universities go, they are indeed “free” and we even get an allowance. However, to enter the university, one has to pass the entrance exam. . . . .

    The Final Thing: can the university education in a system such as this be any good – a hot topic here in recent years given the fact that we do lack recent Nobel graduates. Personally, I’ve been involved in programs where students participate in project-based courses with students from Stanford and MIT. While there’s much to learn from the best institutions in the world, and I do envy the resources and the atmosphere at these places, the consistent feedback has been that our (admittedly, relatively select) students tend to be very good performers. I have seen similar results firsthand at CERN and at other places.

    The one thing we’ve been suspecting – as I cannot claim that we can come close to these superb universities in teaching resources per student, or in selectiveness of students and staff – is that our students usually have the edge of working before graduation. Practically every engineering student and most other students have actual and relevant work experience in their fields before graduation, with many working part-time while finishing their studies.

    For example, at my university, everyone is required to get at least four months of work experience in their field of study before they can graduate, and most do much, much more – typical cases have been working part- and full time for three or four years by the time they graduate with their Master’s degrees. (It used to be that university intake was directly from high school to Master’s programs – a relic from early 20th century German universities that was changed only in 2005 to anglo-american two part system)

    At least in the engineering field, working really does wonders to student’s practical skills and outlook in general. It also helps directly their studies: when you have actually seen how things work in the industry, it’s much easier to follow and understand the lectures on organizational theory, for example. And if you’re working while finishing your studies, you can focus on the courses most relevant to your line of work.

    Sadly, not everyone understands this and now we’re hearing some relatively good and some completely inane ideas on how to cut the time people spend in the higher education. But if someone is enrolled for seven years in the university yet is actually working for five of those years – well, what’s the problem?

    http://giftedexchange.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-makes-finnish-kids-so-smart.html?showComment=1237218300000#c5282206774896055492

    The simple reason: Small study groups, in Finland a common study group is is less than 18 students. It has been studied even in Finland that big cities with big schools and studygropus never do so well as kids who live in the countryside and study in small schools and studygroups. But this is also becoming rare in Finland, they are shutting down all the small schools and ruining the kids future.

    http://giftedexchange.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-makes-finnish-kids-so-smart.html?showComment=1254248920351#c8698890000162492324

    Opportunity to accelerate does not constitute “gifted” class. So the statement “there are no gifted classes in Finland” seems to be accurate.
    I think it is important that teachers are concentrating on actual teaching instead on trying to determine “abilities” and separate kids into different classes with different “abilities”.

    http://giftedexchange.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-makes-finnish-kids-so-smart.html?showComment=1277932385410#c7477651233749156078

    Lower IQ? Do you really believe our students have lower IQ’s because they come from a lower class? There is little physiological data to prove that people in America have a large lower class with inferior IQ’s. That is just class/racist rhetoric.

    The real reason is that our schools are large bureaucratic organizations that have evolved under a big-brother mentality, rather than being organized and motivated by education. We have school boards that want to negate evolution, science, and astronomy rather than promote learning.

    I agree that NCSB is a big mind-numbing load of refuse, and should be eliminated. NCLB only holds students back while trying to teach all students a set of mediocre standards that most people would be ashamed to admit to.

    If our teachers had even Bachelors degrees in the fields they teach (not education, but math, english, literature, science, and art), we would see a HUGE HUGE difference.
    Having teachers customize the curriculum per student is VERY effective and needed.

    Public schools need to be re-build from the ground up, to be excellent in education. We dont need to destroy public education to do it, but re-cycle it.

    • “Opportunity to accelerate does not constitute “gifted” class. So the statement “there are no gifted classes in Finland” seems to be accurate.
      I think it is important that teachers are concentrating on actual teaching instead on trying to determine “abilities” and separate kids into different classes with different “abilities”.”

      Right on!

      It may help like I said if the education major wasn’t a fucking joke and frankly the major slackers tended to pick(to offense.) I believe in teachers being required to get bachelors degrees in relevant fields to the subjects they teach instead.

      Most importantly though we need to change our cultures and attitudes towards education. We need to make teaching a values profession not something that’s considered a low-paying joke.

      Our education is also a low standard low expectation joke. Russian 12 year olds are reading Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky without sparknotes: American school kids MIGHT read them senior year of high school. I don’t mean “gifted” Russian Tweens. I mean the standard Russian public school. And Russians are not inherently more capable. Russian, and many foreign schools, are harder and have higher expectations and standards. Teachers are (actually) respected.

      Though I’m kind of a hypocrite since frankly there are many teachers I’ve had that I wouldn’t say I respect all that much. Not that I was openly disrespectful to them, but they frankly weren’t people I as a pupil would look up to or respect.

      Also, our habit of segregating everything and labeling everything. Everything has to be labeled. Everything has to be specialized and segregated and competitive to enter. Like here in NYC. All these “label” schools. It’s either competition for a label name-brand Ivy League feeder school or rotting away in a shitty inner city public school.

      I love how the self proclaimed gifted gurus talk about how whether the point of education was. Was the point of gifted education to educate a kid to his potential or to provide the leaders and amazing people of tomorrow? They liked both. Fuck them with a cactus. Hard.

      I’m sorry Benjamin. I guess this is a sore spot for me.

      • We treat teachers like shit and then wonder why our education system is shit. If Americans were better educated, they might understand why education should be valued and teachers treated with respect. But Americans could only be better educated if education was valued and teachers were treated with respect.

        It’s the same with economic and social issues in general. If Americans had a well functioning social democracy and a culture of trust, they might understand why equality and fairness matter. But Americans could only have a well functioning social democracy and culture of trust if they understood why equality and fairness matter.

        American society is a vicious cycle of ass-backwards suckiness and ignorant idiocy!

        • Funny, but my parents were actually astonished that we had “tracking” for kids in the same grade here, starting in elementary school. They were also astonished when I told them about “gifted programs” within grade schools, that required iq testing and evaluations and everything to get into. And how it was considered something blessed by god/genetic and unchangable.

          In china there was grade skipping or acceleration, but there was no tracking within a grade. This was until later in high school, where people tracked depending on subject matter. So some kids went to arts, some hard sciences and engineering, some humanities, among others. And of course the omnipresent gaokao for college admissions.

          My mom frankly finds the a American system disgusting. She was visibly disgusted when I told her about tracking and iq tests and exclusive gifted programs within schools and the idea of perks and field trips and other programs only available to those “blessed by god/genetics/”

          • Still, how do you feel about all these gifted parents lamenting that no one wants them to talk about their kids and basically people don’t take kindly to them? Do you sympathize?

            Funny, but I was on the inner webs one day, and there were these gifted parents complaining that their gifted schools and programs were letting in kids who weren’t actually gifted but had tiger parents pushing them to do well! They were so annoyed. Lol

            Holy shit.
            No one american education is in the shitter

            http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/highly_profoundly.htm

          • Generally speaking, I have little sympathy for parents struggling with ‘gifted’ children. I’ll reserve most of my sympathy for the parents truly struggling with far worse problems, such as poverty and racism. There are many problems in the world. Having a ‘gifted’ child has to be one of the best ‘problems’ a parent could hope for.

          • You’ve read all their struggles, some with learning disabilities. Mostly the struggles about education and fitting in, boiling down. Why don’t you sympathize with them? I ask curiously.

            What do you think of that link sub-dividing “gifted?” What do you think of those gifted parents complaint that “non gifted kids with tiger parents” being let into gifted programs?

            What do you think of my mom’s reaction? She was disgusted.

    • The problem I’ve had with women’s rights vs men’s rights debates is that people who tend to most vocally enter arguments are equally clueless. Some people just want to righteously argue and blame, rather than to think deeply and soul search.

      That particular article is an exception to this rule. A surprisingly fair and balanced analysis, although still missing the larger view of what is wrong with our society.

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/a-fucked-up-world/

      Identity politics tends to induce groupthink and hence a collective ignorance. This is obvious among the particularly clueless nerdy guys with a victim complex, but I’ve also met plenty of clueless feminists as well who push ideology at all costs, even if it means sacrificing the truth. The most intelligent and fair-minded people usually just refuse to join in these debates, leaving the terrain to dogmatic ideologues and trolls.

      I don’t dismiss identity politics out of hand. But I do think that identify politics is a two-edged sword. It can be helpful and it can be vastly harmful.

      We should face up the problems of our society. This includes gender oppression along with racial and class oppression. But there is one thing many don’t understand. Privilege is a weak benefit. As studies show, even wealthy people are worse off in a high economic inequality society, as compared to wealthy people in a low economic inequality society. In societies built on victimization, everyone in a sense becomes a victim of the social problems. There is no escape, no matter how much privilege one has.

      I think many people realize this without being able to articulate it. Few people have the historical knowledge and sociological understanding to make sense of it all. They realize the society they live in sucks.

      If they are white, male and/or wealthier, people tell them they have privilege. But if they have privilege, why does the world still suck so much even for them? Even privileged people often don’t find our society to be all that great.

      Plus, privilege has to be put into context. If you are a white male living in impoverished Appalachia, you are getting privileges from your race and gender, but it sure doesn’t feel that way. Those privileges don’t offset the severe oppression and social problems that your lack of class privilege forces onto you.

      Our society refuses to deal with these complex issues. Even most activists refuse to face how fucked up it really is. This creates a collective sense of hopelessness and despair, cynicism and fatalism, scapegoating and victimization.

  84. “You’ve read all their struggles, some with learning disabilities. Mostly the struggles about education and fitting in, boiling down. Why don’t you sympathize with them? I ask curiously.”

    I don’t sympathize with most of them because most of them don’t sympathize with those who suffer and struggle with even greater problems.

    They think it is just about their child or just ‘gifted’ children. They don’t understand and refuse to understand that it is a systemic problem with deep historical roots in prejudice and privilge. It is specifically the privileged mentality that many of them hold that causes me to judge them so harshly. Our entire society is fucked up. Their willful ignorance disgusts me, especially since in many cases their willful ignorance is based on and allowed by their privilege.

    I’m long past the point of playing games with fools. Their willful ignorance is not a passive and harmless state. They aren’t just complaining about the problems of the schools their children attend. Many of these ‘gifted’ parents are a central part of the problem. If not for people like them, we might actually be able to solve some of these difficult issues of an inferior education system.

    But I won’t claim that none of them understand this. For those who do understand, I offer my sympathy.

    “What do you think of that link sub-dividing “gifted?” What do you think of those gifted parents complaint that “non gifted kids with tiger parents” being let into gifted programs?”

    I think many of these ‘gifted’ parents are bigoted assholes and that they should shut the fuck up. No one besides themselves cares about their complaints about their “genetically superio