HBD Proponents, Racists and Racialists

I came across a typical racist blog post that is posing as being intellectually credible.

It is typical in its racism, but I suppose I should at least give credit to the blogger for being atypical in putting some effort into defending his racism. Basically, he gathers together all the data that shows blacks are bad and inferior, ignores any positive data and dismisses out of hand the entire history and context behind the data. Also, he only focuses on his own preferred scapegoat group while not pointing out similar problems and other problems among whites, not to mention among Americans in general when compared to other countries (see here, here and here).

It’s important that we don’t ignore arguments like this, even though they are motivated by racism. We should never let a single injustice go by unchallenged. This goes back to what I was saying in my last post. A racist, like any other true believer, is beginning with a generalization and then cherrypicks the particulars that conform to their preconceived conclusion. This is why, in that post, I emphasized the particulars. The details of reality are messy and don’t easily fit into simple categories.

It is so hard to respond to people like this because of a simple truth Lionel Trilling once expressed:

“Where misunderstanding serves others as an advantage, one is helpless to make oneself understood.”

But I’m a fool for truth. So I feel compelled to try, and I did try. I left a comment at that post which was deleted. Hence, my presenting my thoughts here.

By the way, I came across this racist blog post because hbd chick posted it with a bunch of links.

I like and respect hbd chick. She isn’t a racist and, as with me, she would point out that poor rural Southern whites have their problems as well. Even then, she admits that she is speculating and hasn’t objectively proven anything (in the scientific sense). Still, the fact that she would post this racist link in her blog demonstrates a problem that is common among the proponents of human biodiversity (HBD).

If HBD blogs are to be used as a platform for racists, that brings discredit to HBD. I think that would be a shame because bloggers like hbd chick have a lot that is worthy to offer.

HBD attracts some overt racists and even among those who aren’t racist they often don’t recognize or acknowledge racism. The issue of racism is an uncomfortable truth which, to the conservative-minded, is a politically incorrect issue to be denied and dismissed rather than discussed. Many HBD proponents seem less interested in taking a moral stance and prefer instead to claim they are just objectively presenting data. If they do this, they are shifting the blame to the cherrypicked data and denying responsibility for having cherrypicked the data in the first place.

Of course, it is a moral issue and those involved are taking a moral stance. Data never speaks for itself. It is we who use data in support of our speaking.

From a rational perspective, there are two basic problems with the racist argument and sometimes with the non-racist HBD argument.

First, correlation is not causation, but it can imply it. I’m very interested in correlations and so I don’t mean to dismiss them. I take them very seriously which is why I take seriously the responsibility to not use them in a dishonest or prejudiced way.

Second, the reason correlation is not causation is because correlating data by itself doesn’t meet scientific standards. Using careful research methods, one has to prove a correlation is valid and that it has a causal relationship. Also, one needs to control for all known confounding factors.

That is a high standard to live up to. Nonetheless, for the intellectually honest, it is the standard one must live up to if one wants to be taken seriously. Racists and the intellectually lazy, however, are unwilling to strive for such intellectual self-responsibility.

I was particularly pointing out the aspect of confounding factors. There are so many of them, a whole history of them in fact.

For the record, here is the deleted comment I submitted to the racist post:

It is hard to respond such arguments because the author doesn’t consider the confounding factors. Looking at correlations without looking at confounding factors is the complete opposite of helpful.

If socio-economic class and systemic racial prejudice were taken into account, what would remain of many racial differences. I have yet to see this fully analyzed, but there sure are a lot of opinions. I must admit I get tired of opinions in search of supporting data rather than people merely seeking data to learn what might be discovered.

Here is what has been proven and yet ignored by the likes of the author.

More whites do drugs than blacks, but more blacks are in prison for drugs. Studies have shown that blacks are more often pulled over by police than whites, more often have criminal charges brought against them than whites for the same behaviors, are more likely to be judged more harshly by juries than whites for the same crimes, and more likely to be punished more harshly by judges than whites for the same crimes. These are the inconvenient truths that most Americans don’t want to face.

Poverty and lack of social mobility are major problems facing minorities, the former increasing and the latter decreasing in America these past decades. This of course relates to racism. Data has shown how discrimination has limited opportunities for blacks for many generations now. There was discrimination during the Progressive Era government assistance programs. There has been discrimination since involving housing, employment and bank loans.

We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America. But those who point out the problems of blacks never seem to notice or acknowledge this disconcerting fact. Like blacks, what these rural whites share is poverty, lack of opportunity, and a long history of oppression/scapegoating by the upper classes.

We all know this. It is no longer an issue that can be argued. Why can’t we have an honest discussion about all of this? What would be so horrible about objectively looking at all the data instead of cherrypicking what fits our preconceived conclusions?

What we don’t know is, after all these confounding factors are accounted for, what remains for the differences in crimes and IQ. Many are willing to offer opinions, but few opinions are very well informed on the matter. We need to get serious about this and quite playing scapegoating games.

America has massive problems of racism and classism that are inseparable from problems of poverty, economic inequality and social mobility. These problems are larger than any other problems we face.

To offer context, I’ve previously argued about this issue with HBD proponents. So this isn’t new territory I’m treading – for example, see: IQ Dilemma: Inconvenient Correlations, Uncomfortable Data. In another post about IQ and racism, someone going by the name Szopeno commented and I responded thusly:

“Do blacks in the south and north are the same biologically-wise?”

Most of the blacks in the North came from the same population of blacks in the South. And before that most blacks in America came from the same few tribes in Africa.

“E.g. it would be enough that only smarter blacks were emigrating north; that would create a pattern you have shown, without creating any need to appeal to poverty rates.”

There is no known evidence that this was the case or none that I know of. Why speculate about an unknown (only smarter blacks were emigrating north) when we can theorize on the proven facts (poverty and related factors have negative impact on cognitive development and IQ). Nonetheless, that would as I argued still disprove the white supremacists.

“No to mention of course the question of admixture – Jensen in g factor wrote that white admixture is higher in northern blacks than in south.”

You could only argue this by ignoring some of the known facts. The Southern whites who have some of the lowest IQs in the country don’t have more black genetics. They are among some of the whitest of whiteys around. As I pointed out in a recent post, Southern blacks are found in greatest concentration precisely where the Scots-Irish, Scottish and Irish are found in the least concentration.

https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/maps-are-fun-us-data/

There are only two known commonalities between American blacks in general and American whites in the South. They are both environmental commonalities. First, as Thomas Sowell argues, blacks have a culture similar to poor Southern whites, a culture they certainly inherited from their time in the South and brought North with the mass migration. Second, the only other known commonality is poverty. Genetics is the very thing that most separates poor low IQ blacks and poor low IQ whites.

“All I say that what you have presented here is not an argument which could convince hereditarians.”

All the facts in the world couldn’t convince many hereditarians. I don’t deny the known facts about heredity and I actually find that field interesting, but I will never understand those who will ignore or dismiss known facts for the sake of speculation that better fits their interpretive lense. Why not begin with what we know? Why not go with the simplest explanation first?

That is not an atypical interaction with many HBD proponents. A whole lot of speculation on limited data. I have no problem with speculation, but I usually prefer to limit my speculation to the data. It’s not as if the HBD proponent is making an entirely unintelligent argument. They just seem overly attached to a particular conclusion or theory which makes one suspicious of their biases, possibly their prejudices as well.

I don’t know the data about ethnic genetic ratios in regional US populations. Let me assume that Northern blacks have more European genetics. Why would we jump to the conclusion that Northern blacks having higher average IQs is genetically caused? More European genetics also means lighter skin and hence, as has been proven, less racial prejudice experienced. Isn’t that a simpler explanation? Unless we scientifically know of a precise gene that makes blacks stupid, why would we want to believe that is the case? The only reason we’d do so is for the sake of racial bias, whether overt racism or unconscious racialism.

Besides, I’ve found most people making this argument find it inconvenient to acknowledge that many blacks have large percentages of European genetics. It is hard to be racist or racialist when the boundaries are blurred between the races. As for me, I find it fascinating that the average African American is about 1/5 European and 1 in 10 African Americans have more European genetics than African genetics. So, as for those 1 in 10, why do we call them African Americans in the first place? Also, what makes them ‘black’ if their skin color is closer to Europeans than native Africans?

Oh, the confounding factors! What is one to do!?!

My comment to the racist blog post was also added to the comments section of hbd chick’s blog (and she has the intellectual evenhandedness to let almost anyone post, even critics which is why I like and respect her even when I disagree with her). The only person so far to respond to my comment there was a someone called bleach:

“We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America. But those who point out the problems of blacks never seem to notice or acknowledge this disconcerting fact.”

Uhh maybe because the “fact” is total bullshit, you just made it up and keep repeating it without any evidence. AE has the actual numbers:

http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2013/01/black-homicide-rates-by-state.html

http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2013/01/white-murder-rates-by-state.html

Southern whites aren’t even the most violent amongst just whites; southwestern whites are. But the more important fact is how much higher, monumentally higher, the black rates are for every state.

Which everyone who wasn’t a hick from a 99% white Midwestern zip code KNEW ALREADY.

I’m not even going to bother with the rest of your claims, there is no reason to believe they have any truth when you keep repeating falsehoods and provide no data for anything. No one needs the opinion of an ignorant liberal hick on race relations, either. Have you even met any real life black people yet?

What is so interesting about his comment there is that he also commented on my post White Supremacy Defeated… yet again. His recent comment shows no knowledge of our ever having discussed this before. It is as if such people live in a bubble. Even when interacting with them, they aren’t listening to you or hearing anything other than the voices in their self-constructed echo chamber.

I’d previously explained the data to him. It isn’t just state by state data. It is data that is a combination of looking at both the North/South divide and the urban/rural divide. It’s not just that all Southerners are more violent, but that specifically white rural Southerners are the most violent. As for states over all, it would partly depend on which Southern states have higher ratios of rural whites to urban whites.

Also, he missed the entire point of confounding factors. What do poor rural whites and poor urban blacks have in common? Poverty. And what historical circumstances do they share in being poor? Centuries of oppression and prejudice, specifically in the South. Most of the poor rural whites are of Celtic ancestry. The upper class whites in the South have always looked down upon them. Before that, the upper class whites of Britain also looked down upon them.

For both poor blacks and whites, this has often been a severely violent history with political disenfranchisement. If poor whites are showing such problems without ever having experienced slavery, is it so surprising that blacks have had an uphill climb? When my parents were growing up, Jim Crow was still in effect. Even today, studies show that racism continues, including institutionalized racism.

These racists and racialist fellow travelers have never proven that these problems are anything other than the direct results of centuries of racism and classism. Yet they claim others as enforcing political correctness when those others point out inconvenient data that contradicts their cherrypicked data. The confounding factors are so numerous and complex that I doubt any scientific research has yet been able to control for all of them. It is so vast of a problem that we don’t know how to face it as a society.

It’s not as if I’m denying that genetics plays a role in human behavior and cognitive ability. But any theory proposed has to be scientifically proven with scientific data provided by scientific research. Just correlating a bunch of data found online isn’t the same thing as doing science. I love correlating data as much as the next blogger, but I take it for what it is.

In my thoughts, I return to my post about generalities vs particulars. The particulars are messy and can feel overwhelming whereas generalities can feel comforting as they give the appearance of providing simple conclusions and an orderly understanding, but the danger is this is too often superficial and deceptive.

To be a truth-seeker is to accept the responsibility of the moral force of truth, in all of its complexity and uncertainty. Yes, it is uncomfortable and sometimes even disconcerting. There are few easy answers and absolute knowns. But the alternative is much worse.

In my previous post, I presented two ways of focusing on data, the general vs the particular. There is also two ways to use data. You can use data as a way to speak truth to power or else you can use data to kick people while they are down. The sad part about the latter way is that the whole reason the poor, whether whites or blacks, are down in the first place is because they were kicked to the ground and have been continuously kicked ever since. After all this, to keep kicking them is to ensure they stay down. If we stop kicking them for a moment, who knows what might happen? For instance, they might stand up for themselves

What are the racists and racialists afraid of if they quit kicking the downtrodden and let them stand up with the rest of humanity?

If after that they fall down on their own, then be an asshole and point that out. But at least quick kicking them in the meantime. Heck, maybe even offer them a helping hand. Could you imagine if we gave these groups the same amount of assistance and compassion that they have received in oppression and prejudice? The worst part is those who like to kick the helpless the most are precisely those who have benefited the most and inherited the benefit of those who have gained the most from keeping those other people down.

All I can say is there are some sick assholes in the world.

Instead of just looking at the results of social problems, why don’t we look to the cause of social problems? The ethnic/racial ruling elite that existed in America’s oppressive past is basically the same ethnic/racial ruling elite that exists in America’s dysfunctional present. Is that mere coincidence? I think not.

I was imagining a truly worthy version of a HBD advocate. There is a worthy aspect to HBD theory. The data is interesting, but it is just a tiny piece of the puzzle.

I didn’t so much like the links offered by hbd chick, but I do like her blog. She is smart and I appreciate how data-driven she is, not in a cherrypicking kind of way. However, her focus is rather narrow on just HBD and so she mostly just looks at certain kinds of data and often doesn’t seem interested in data outside of that. I can’t blame her for following her interests, but I still can’t deny the sense that HBDers like her don’t appreciate the moral imperative of truth-seeking and truth-telling. It’s not just data. Human lives are involved.

I’m not an ideologue in the political sense and also not in the sense of having loyalty to theories. Even with my favored viewpoints, I’m only likely to defend them to the extent that they act as a proxy in my seeking balance with other perspectives and to the extent they act as conduits toward a greater field of understanding (which is why they are favored viewpoints in the first place). For example, I strongly appreciate Myers-Briggs and personality theory/research of all sorts, but I’m not overly identified with Myers-Briggs being absolutely true, although it is a theory that I’ve probably studied more than any other.

It isn’t just a loyalty thing. It’s obvious that hbd chick likes her own HBD theory, but she’ll admit to it possibly being wrong. So, she is less loyal than some HBDers. Nonetheless, this doesn’t stop her from remaining intently focused on a narrow band of data. My mind, however, wanders. I constantly have my toes in many pools. This allows me to see broad connections, the type of broad connections I rarely come across in any HBD blog.

I’ve had conflicts with HBDers such as JayMan because of this. JayMan’s blog is subtitled “Where Sacred Cows Go To Die”, but apparently that only applies to other people’s sacred cows. As for Jayman’s sacred cows, he’ll defend them at all costs. He has great loyalty to HBD, but moreso it is a narrow focus that seems motivated by a sense of thick boundaries. HBDers are particularly obsessed with boundaries between races, ethnicities and nations. I, on the other hand, am very thin boundaried in comparison.

I’m not an anything-goes universalist that wants to throw the borders open and let anarchism rule the land, although that would be an interesting experiment to do under the right conditions. But certainly, unlike most HBDers, I’m not an ethnocentric nationalist. I’ve noticed that there is an imperialist bias in the thinking of many HBDers. This became apparent in a discussion I was having in a post by hbd chick. Oddly, I’m apparently both more liberal and more libertarian than the average HBDer I’ve dealt with. I responded to that post with a post of mine where I discussed this issue of defense of empire as a defense of ethnocentrism.

There is nothing wrong in being narrowly focused. It makes hbd chick an impressive researcher. She focuses in on a particular area and it is amazing what she can dig up. However, it also leads to massive blindspots because of a lack of seeing the bigger picture and fully appreciating far different perspectives. One thing I notice is how rarely she discusses politics and world events. The type of analysis offered by someone like Noam Chomsky doesn’t even seem to exist in her world of data. I couldn’t even find any of her posts that included the likes of John Gray (the philosopher), Morris Berman and Wendell Berry. I haven’t come across a single HBDer who comes close to offering the subtle and wide-ranging insight of a Joe Bageant and certainly not the moral vision of a Thomas Paine, both being great examples of speaking truth to power.

One would think that HBDers would have a better ability to see outside of cultural biases, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I think the problem is that most of them don’t want to see other cultural views, either to understand them on their own terms or to understand their criticisms of American and Western culture. Understanding others doesn’t seem to be their main priority. People aren’t individuals. They are races, ethnicities, clans and nationalities. Most HBDers are smart people. It’s just they seem strongly driven by an agenda or maybe just strongly attached to their cultural comfort zone.

I’m trying to get into the mindset of why someone like hbd chick would post links to racist blog posts. To her mind, I’m sure she doesn’t see the racism at all. She just sees a blogger correlating data. She sees the data but not the lives behind the data. Certainly, what she doesn’t see is the cherrypicking and the ignoring of confounding factors. Even if I pointed this out to her, she still wouldn’t likely see it. It simply isn’t part of her HBD reality tunnel.

I remember the first serious lengthy discussion I had with JayMan. I found his view interesting, but I couldn’t get him to understand my view.

I pointed out the confounding factors and it didn’t change his mind. It was as if the confounding factors didn’t exist. He was sure it had to be a genetic explanation because that is what he was looking for. He expected to find genetics and so couldn’t see the relevance of what he didn’t expect. It was strange to my mind, this narrow focus.

I tried to broaden his perspective by pointing out that these confounding factors matter because of the implications of ignoring them, but he didn’t find the idea of morality compelling. He saw himself as an objective researcher looking for objective data. Genes were in his mind more objectively real than the people influenced by the ideas he was advocating.

I suspect something similar with hbd chick. although with less obtuseness. When I speak of truth as moral imperative, that probably would make no sense to her. She would deny having such a responsibility to truth and morality. She might like truth and choose to communicate it in her own way, but not because of a moral imperative. The fact that linking to a racist blog post has moral implications wouldn’t seem relevant to her. Like JayMan, she likely would see herself as just an objective researcher looking for objective data.

Morality and ethics is the one area I never see discussed in HBD blogs. It is all about the data. The framework of HBD is scientific or, I would argue, in many cases pseudo-scientific. There is an insular nature to the HBD community. They are mostly talking amongst themselves and preaching to the choir. A moral perspective would require them to peak their heads outside this ideological enclave and look at the larger world of people with other views, a world that where their beliefs and ideas lead to real consequences, not just for them and their group but for everyone.

I think that ends my time commenting at hbd chick’s blog. It just is too frustrating being the only voice pointing out uncomfortable truths to an audience that doesn’t want to know uncomfortable truths. They don’t want to hear it and I’ve done all I can do at this point. *sigh*

I’m brought back to Tim Wise’s insight: The ultimate privilege of being a member of a privileged group is not having to know or acknowledge your privilege nor the systemic and institutionalized privilege throughout society. It takes a lot to force a privileged person to confront their own privilege. That is a rare event.

As a society, our only hope is to help the next generation understand before they become identified with the system of privilege, specifically in terms of the society of ethnocentric imperialism. We need to encourage the questioning of our society, deep soul-searching and most of all speaking truth to power. Could you imagine a society that put truth before all else, specifically truth as a moral imperative? I’d love to live in that society.

On a related topic, I thought I’d point out another link that hbd chick included in her post. It is Kinship or Citizenship? by Steve Sailer, the author being one of the most well known HBD defenders. Basically, he is attacking the poor, powerless minority groups for supposedly being clannish and hence their supposed unfairly picking on all the wealthier, more powerful white folk. I decided to point out this article for how well the comments section tore apart his argument:

Rebecca Trotter says:
I don’t think it’s victim groups we have to worry about. Rather, the new clans who act in their own interests without regard for their fellow man or citizens are the hyper-rich, the Ivy league elites, wall street masters of the universe. Even Obama could only benefit from his race because of his position as the child of academic elites and a member of the Ivy league. It’s a minutely tiny number of minorities who are able to leverage their “victim status” for any gain! For the overwhelming majority being part of a minority group is still a major disadvantage and media concocted fears of the white majority aside, that’s unlikely to change for the foreseeable future. The clannish nature of our wealthy elites has been well documented and is probably the biggest threat to our democracy that America has ever faced. The pap we are fed to argue over is nothing more than a distraction.

Northern Observer says:
Sailer writes a nice essay and blows it all in his conclusion. If we are to take the idea of tribalism and clan politics seriously in America than we need to admit that the most dominant clan in America is the Southern White Conservative tribe. It is the behaviour of this political clan grouping that will determine the quality of political life in America for some time to come. The ongoing drift of this tribe’s politics to romantic irrationalism is something to worry about. In the big picture, homosexuals and African Americans are small potatoes. The Southern tribe’s rejection of the responsibilities of citizenship, as epitomized by the GOP controlled House and State Legislatures, is the most alarming political development in America today.

Frank Stain says:
It is an old and rather tiresome tactic of racists to suggest that the marginalized group identities formed by the efforts of the majority to defend its cultural privileges are in fact ‘clannish’ behavior. Hitler in fact argued specifically in Mein Kampf that the Jews are more clannish than other people, and act in concert to promote a Jewish agenda. Rather than the concentration of Jews in finance being a result of their exclusion from areas of communal endeavor, it appears to the anti-semite as evidence for the ‘clannish’ nature of the Jew.
Similarly, Steve Sailor is suggesting here that the efforts of blacks, Latinos, and Gays to claim full citizenship, and to reject the exclusions foisted upon them by white christians, are evidence of ‘clannish’ behavior, rather than an attempt to construct an ideal of full citizenship beyond the exclusions of race, sexual identity, and religion.

Eric says:
Does he have anything to say about the old WASP clan and its loss of power in this country?

Fran Macadam says:
Loyalty to clan precedes when citizenship no longer confers any benefit. Oligarchy is a form of superclan from which the mass of citizenry are excluded, by force if necessary. No wonder that this style of “warlord” governance, updated for the 21st century, has established and defends democratically unaccountable secret police tactics, such as mass surveillance and “homeland security” applied to all those outside their clan, to whom granting any real power would threaten their hegemony.

As for anyone reading this who cares about truth, including that of confounding factors, I’ll offer you the data:

In my major post about the North/South divide, it was the first time I explored the issue of violence and the South. I included an article by The Atlantic, The Scots-Irish Vote by Cameron Joseph. That article is a good introduction to the research done on the culture of honor. As general commentary, further down in my post, I add these thoughts:

…obesity rates (in developed countries) are correlated to both poverty and high wealth disparity (whereas, in developing countries, obesity and poverty are negatively correlated). So, societies with high wealth disparity tend to have higher obesity rates and societies with low wealth disparity tend to have lower obesity rates. But the real interesting part is that even wealthy people have higher obesity rates in societies with high wealth disparity. The explanation is that high wealth disparity societies tend to be more stressful places to live with higher rates of violence, bullying and social conflict. All of this stress impacts the poor and wealthy alike. The body responds, as a survival mechanism, to stress by increasing fat reserves. This is particularly true for babies whose mothers experienced high rates of stress while pregnant, in which case the body becomes permanently set at fat reserve mode.

I came across another example offering support for egalitarianism. Some conservatives like to point out the fact that gays have higher rates of suicide, implying homosexuality is unnatural and inferior. But, of course, it’s rather convenient for conservatives to ignore their own complicity. A study showed that “Suicide attempts by gay teens – and even straight kids – are more common in politically conservative areas where schools don’t have programs supporting gay rights”. When one group is singled out and treated unequally, all people in that social environment will suffer the consequences.

My point being that it is hardly surprising to find problems in an unhealthy and unjust society. It is also more than unsurprising that the worst victims of such a society show the worst problems. When talking about race and ethnicity, we are talking about problems that have their roots in the distant past. There hasn’t been a moment in the history of this country that these problems haven’t existed.

These kinds of problems came up again with the Trayvon Martin murder. In my post about it, I included a massive number of links and quotes. It is disheartening when you take it all in. It reminded me of a local case involving the death of John Bior Deng which I wrote about and added another post about the issues of racism and classism.

There are a few other posts of mine I haven’t mentioned yet which go to the heart of the data:

Disturbing Study Highlights Racism

Institutional Racism & Voting Rights

Obama vs The Bell Curve

Race & Wealth Gap

Prison Insanity

Old, Male, White, Religious, Rich Republicans Are Happy! Surprise, Surprise!

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108 thoughts on “HBD Proponents, Racists and Racialists

  1. You will forgive me if I didn’t read the whole length of your post. I’m currently on my phone.

    A couple of quick notes. “M.G.” is a woman. Just an FYI.

    White Southerners aren’t exactly of “Celtic” ancestry. It’s not even accurate to say that the Borderlanders were “Celtic”.

    Indeed, the Cavalier settlers to the Lowland South were English…

    It’s true that White Southerners generally have higher rates of violence (indeed, I just tweeted a list of executions per capita for each state). This is because of their Cavalier and Borderlanders ancestries, as per my series on the American Nations.

    But, as M.G.’s impressive assembly of data shows, the Black crime rate is many times that of even White Southerners.

    M.G. just reports facts. It’s disingenuous to call someone racist merely for that reason, unless you’re saying facts can be racist.

    Of course, your use of the terms “correlation”, “causation”, and “speculation” continues to be interesting, and rather unlike their generally accepted use.

    It might interest you to know that Black criminality is high the world over. Indeed, the racial patterns of criminality are broadly the same everywhere. Would you then claim that the whole
    world is a conspiracy to artificially inflate the criminality of Blacks (and suppress that of say, Asians)?

    I hope you do recognize the gracious gesture I’m making by leaving this comment, and understand that it’s in good faith, because you have some good ideas, you just need to be brought up to speed. 🙂

    In any case, despite your statements to the contrary, it seems your aims aren’t to engage in an unbiased quest for the truth, wherever it may lead, but rather you have a pre-conceived idea on how the world is and are trying to fit the facts to fit that idea. That is never a wise strategy of inquiry. I can only hope my words impress on you on this fact.

    • There is, frankly, no such thing as an unbiased quest for truth. You notion of good faith is “that which comes to the same conclusion as me” which is a definitional confirmation bias. Ironically, it is generally those who talk the most about “unbiased” conclusions who are the prone to them.

        • Okay, given that I have already said “criminality” is too vague a category for comparison. Let’s look at homicides, Africa does fit your bill, but there are harder ones to deal with: why is that Central America has a higher homicide rate than the Caribbean given that the Caribbean has higher rates of African phenotype-traits than Central America.

          Could there be other facts to blame.

          Furthermore, explain the homicide rates of South-eastern Asian being higher than North America, given South Eastern Asias relative homogeniety in comparison.

          • For Central America, this (which I tweeted today) may have something to do with it:

            The Most Dangerous City in the World Is Not Where You Think It Is

            I hope you realize that that area has considerable African ancestry. As well, the propensity to violence of certain Native American groups is quite high.

            Why would homogeneity of Southeast Asians matter? No one claimed that heterogeneity was the primary source of conflict. Southeast Asians are more violent/have lower IQs than their relatives to the north.

            Look, I hope you understand the concept of scatter. Graph the homicide rates and see if you can or cannot cluster them by race, then we’ll talk.

          • They are cluster cleanly, even in aggregate, if you look at gene spread and not regional demographics.

            When you understand the difference between morphology and phenotype, and not seeming use the the aggregate data which corresponds more strongly to regional morphology, and then look at more specific phenotypical patterns than (Black/White/Asian), it is not as neat as the overall aggregate.

            I know your data sets. I look at the same statistics and genetic data, and I am not even being a naive liberal who says “race is just a social construct”–
            I want to know, why is the homicide rate in Russia triple that of the US, and even approaches the levels for poor “blacks” in certain mostly “White” regions. (US is 3.2 per 100,000, Russia is 11.1, which approaches the average for the Carribean).

            Both aggregate data and specific case studies for regional populations need to be coherent for strong claims about “Criminality” being based on genetic differences primarily.

            By the way, on Honduras, known African ancestry in region is only 4%. You may attribute this to the Amerindian-Euro Mestizo population, but then you are looking at a phenotype closer to that of say North East Asia than Africa.

            The drug war, as you point out, explains as much of it.

          • Yes, but that is my point. This is all more complicated. I will give HBD Chick her due in that she does NOT avoid this complication like some of her “friends” at say Alt. Right do. I still think the phenotype evidence makes all this more murky than it at first seems, but we seem to have reached an understand of the complications involved.

        • Or why is the single country with the highest homicide rate in the world is Honduras, even if the single region is South-Central Africa.

          No ad hoc explanations, no vague definitions. I want you to give me a phenotypic explanation (Not a morphological one and not one take can be explained in tandem with sociological data, which is common for some of the less sophisticated in the HBD crowd) for the differences.

    • And while I am at it, your use of the term “criminality,” which is a social category, and not say “violence” which is not is indication of a “non-standard” use of the word from its standard accepted use. Since criminality varies greatly by country, comparison on that standard are highly suspect. One must actually look at specific and clearly defined acts that would be equally reported across cultures, and the isolate all over social variables to explain them.

  2. hi ben,

    i could take umbrage at many, many things that you said in your post here, but i’m not going to because i like you, and i believe that you are speaking from your heart and mean well. (^_^)

    however, i am going to object to this:

    “However, her focus is rather narrow on just HBD and so she mostly just looks at certain kinds of data and often doesn’t seem interested in data outside of that. I can’t blame her for following her interests, but I still can’t deny the sense that HBDers like her don’t appreciate the moral imperative of truth-seeking and truth-telling. It’s not just data. Human lives are involved.

    one of the main reasons that i am interested in human biodiversity or sociobiology is precisely because human lives are involved and at stake!

    as far as i can see, most — if not pretty much all — of the sociologically-based solutions to society’s problems that academics and policy makers have come up with in … oh, say … the last 50 years have been complete and utter failures. not only do programs like “No Child Left Behind” typically fail to achieve any of the stated goals, many of them seem to have made things worse!

    to blame, imho, is simply this notion that westerners have that everybody is the same by nature. that conclusion makes absolutely no sense whatsoever if one has any inkling at all of how biology and evolution by natural selection works. in fact, that everyone on the planet would be the same is a complete impossibility.

    i think that if policy makers and tptb — and the general citizenry (of every country) — came to an understanding of human biodiversity, we could actually make things better for everybody. instead of just making these random, shot-in-the-dark attempts to improve people’s lives based upon idea(l)s that are simply not true (because they cannot be).

    let’s take an example: african-americans. let’s just agree, now, for the sake of argument that the average iq of african-americans is 85, and that iq is highly heritable, so that there’s little anyone could do to raise that average score. let’s just agree on that for a couple of seconds. what could we do with that knowledge?

    well, for one thing, we could lower our expectations a bit — and the expectations of african-americans. fewer african-americans (percentage-wise) will be able to successfully complete college. this is not a tragedy — not if we have available places in society for non-college graduates — so we should just get over thinking that it is some sort of tragedy.

    we should also quit trying to get all high school students to complete college-level work — like california requiring high-school students to pass college-level algebra in the eighth grade. the only thing that’s going to result in is fewer kids managing to obtain a high school diploma — and much fewer black kids (again, given the assumptions i started off with). almost everybody, except the truly retarded, should be allowed to graduate from high school.

    if african-americans truly have this average 85 iq that can’t be changed much, then we have to expect that a large percentage of them won’t become lawyers or doctors or wall-street traders or coders. since they are our fellow citizens, i think it would be fair (not to mention good for the rest of society, too) if we made sure that there were working-class jobs available for them (this goes for the low-iq in all groups, obviously). one way to do that would be to make sure that they DIDN’T have lots of competitors for those working-class jobs — yes, namely all those immigrants from central america. sure it seems wonderful and morally right to allow the mass immigration of central americans to the u.s., but what about our fellow african-american citizens? (this is actually one of the things that irritates me most about open-borders proponents.)

    so there’s just a couple of ideas off the top of my head. yes, human lives are involved, but many hbders are acutely aware of that (including me)!

    human biodiversity can be a force for good. frankly, i think a lot more hbd-based policies would improve the lives of people than sociology-based policies, since the former is based upon the real world while the latter on wishful thinking.

    (my p.o.v. will probably make more sense to you when i tell you that i’m an infp — very close to being an intp, but still an idealist at heart. that’s MY nature. (~_^) )

    • “i could take umbrage at many, many things that you said in your post here, but i’m not going to because i like you, and i believe that you are speaking from your heart and mean well.”

      I’m sorry to be an asshole. I do feel like an asshole for writing this, but it was honestly how I felt. I can’t help myself. I have a tendency to speak my mind, whether or not anyone else thinks it is of value. What feels like truth to me is at the core of my being. If you are an INFP as I am, then you know what I mean. I’m sometimes a cynical and overly depressed idealist, sometimes to the point of being irritable and a genuine asshole, but an idealist I am.

      Sometimes I just need to blow off steam. Life gets me down. There is almost no separation in my mind and in my life between the personal and the impersonal. Separating those two is alien to my entire sense of reality. This causes me not to be as detached as might be healthy. I see all the problems in the world and they are my problems. I read about all the suffering in the world and it is my suffering.

      By the way, I was far from damning you with faint praise. There isn’t anything faint about my praise. Yours is one of the best blogs I’ve ever come across. I’m not trying to flatter you. I’m simply stating a fact. You are an awesome researcher. I’m a fairly good researcher, but when you have your mind set on something you blow me away.

      “one of the main reasons that i am interested in human biodiversity or sociobiology is precisely because human lives are involved and at stake!”

      I’m glad to hear it. I just don’t get that sense from reading other HBD blogs. Many HBDers don’t seem primarily motivated by compassion and a desire to offer to others that which they want for themselves (and their group/ethnicity/clan/nation), but maybe I’m wrong about that. What I can say is that I wish more HBDers were like you.

      “as far as i can see, most — if not pretty much all — of the sociologically-based solutions to society’s problems that academics and policy makers have come up with in … oh, say … the last 50 years have been complete and utter failures. not only do programs like “No Child Left Behind” typically fail to achieve any of the stated goals, many of them seem to have made things worse!”

      I agree. So would a lot of other liberals, left-wingers and moderates. HBDers don’t have that market cornered. Someone like Skepoet knows what HBDers write about, but I doubt many HBDers would know the kinds of things Skepoet writes about. To my mind, that demonstrates a shortcoming of the HBD community, whether or not a shortcoming of yours.

      “to blame, imho, is simply this notion that westerners have that everybody is the same by nature. that conclusion makes absolutely no sense whatsoever if one has any inkling at all of how biology and evolution by natural selection works. in fact, that everyone on the planet would be the same is a complete impossibility.”

      That is also an insight that isn’t limited to HBDers. I understood that long before I knew about HBD. I’m sure Skepoet understands that. Most liberals and left-wingers I know would agree with it (to varying degrees and according to varying interpretations).

      “i think that if policy makers and tptb — and the general citizenry (of every country) — came to an understanding of human biodiversity, we could actually make things better for everybody. instead of just making these random, shot-in-the-dark attempts to improve people’s lives based upon idea(l)s that are simply not true (because they cannot be).”

      We don’t need HBD to be forced on the world. We need to bring HBDers to the table for discussion so that they don’t remain isolated in their separate ideological enclave. In order to do that, we have to get HBDers and others of similar understandings to humbly realize that they only have a piece of the puzzle and not the solution to all of humanity’s problems. We need more humility, less arrogant righteousness (something I too can be faulted for at times).

      “let’s take an example: african-americans. let’s just agree, now, for the sake of argument that the average iq of african-americans is 85, and that iq is highly heritable, so that there’s little anyone could do to raise that average score. let’s just agree on that for a couple of seconds. what could we do with that knowledge?”

      Why would I agree with an ideological belief that is scientifically unproven, an ideological belief that ignores confounding factors and a complex history? Why?

      “well, for one thing, we could lower our expectations a bit — and the expectations of african-americans. fewer african-americans (percentage-wise) will be able to successfully complete college. this is not a tragedy — not if we have available places in society for non-college graduates — so we should just get over thinking that it is some sort of tragedy.”

      I doubt many African Americans would agree with you that the historical problems of American blacks has been that society has had to high of expectations. I don’t think the scientifically proven systemic and institutionalized racism that continues to this day gives much credence to the idea that we collectively have high expectations.

      “we should also quit trying to get all high school students to complete college-level work — like california requiring high-school students to pass college-level algebra in the eighth grade. the only thing that’s going to result in is fewer kids managing to obtain a high school diploma — and much fewer black kids (again, given the assumptions i started off with). almost everybody, except the truly retarded, should be allowed to graduate from high school.”

      Yeah, that is a fine solution. In fact, I regularly discuss that topic with my conservative parents. My best friend in high school back in SC wasn’t a book smart kid, but he was smart. At the time, high school students could take classes such as small engine repair. He took lots of classes like that and now he has tons of skills that serve him in his career. That has changed since and it is a shame.

      However, once again this is something many on the left also discuss. Instead of discussing this only with people we agree with, I think it would be more helpful to discuss it among those with diverse views. We are more likely to come to workable solutions that way.

      “one way to do that would be to make sure that they DIDN’T have lots of competitors for those working-class jobs — yes, namely all those immigrants from central america. sure it seems wonderful and morally right to allow the mass immigration of central americans to the u.s., but what about our fellow african-american citizens?”

      The problem is people thinking in black/white terms and having dogmatic ideological battles. Most liberals and left-wingers aren’t for open borders and no immigration control. That is a right-wing fantasy utterly detached from reality. Most Americans in general both want immigration to continue and for it to be better controlled with a pathway to citizenship. As I’ve told you before, you don’t need to convince the most radical of the leftists. Instead, focus on the majority of moderates, including the majority of leftists who aren’t open border radicals. Let us discuss it as should happen in a functioning democracy, although our lack of a functioning democracy is a problem that is larger and precedes modern immigration issues.

      “human biodiversity can be a force for good. frankly, i think a lot more hbd-based policies would improve the lives of people than sociology-based policies, since the former is based upon the real world while the latter on wishful thinking.”

      Maybe it would be a force for good and maybe not. First, we’d need scientific research to prove the total validity of HBD as a theory. Second, we’d need scientific research demonstrating the applicability and results of HBD policies. Let us take it once step at a time.

      Anyway, I don’t think I need to explain to you that it isn’t helpful to portray all solutions as either HBD policies or wishful thinking. Many would argue that HBD policies are wishful thinking, as the scientific basis is still barely forming. It is a worthy hypothesis to be tested further, but so are many other hypotheses.

      The problem with the HBD community was shown with the interaction between JayMan and Skepoet. JayMan just assumes those who disagree with him are wrong. Skepoet had to force him to admit that the issue was complex, but JayMan resisted having to admit that. Why are some HBDers like JayMan so self-righteous and lacking in intellectual humility?

      I’m serious when I ask that question. One of the things that first impressed me about you was the fact that you constantly expressed an attitude of intellectual humility. It is also what I like about Skepoet. I don’t care if someone disagrees with me, as long as they do it with a willingness to listen and seek understanding, not just arguing as an ideological battle of wills or intellectual game-playing..

      This is what I meant by we need to get serious about discussing these topics. We don’t need more of HBDers talking about HBD with other HBDers, Libertarians talking about Libertarianism with other Libertarians, Marxists talking about Marxism with other Marxists, etc. We need honest public debate where people are genuinely focused on the common good, not just the special interests of their ideological or ethnic group.

      • @benjamin – “I’m glad to hear it. I just don’t get that sense from reading other HBD blogs. Many HBDers don’t seem primarily motivated by compassion and a desire to offer to others that which they want for themselves (and their group/ethnicity/clan/nation), but maybe I’m wrong about that.”

        well, i’m happy to say that you are wrong about that.

        yes, there are quite a lot of bloggers (and people in general) out there who take on board hbd ideas and use them to support their own personal bugs about or, sad to say, hatred of other peoples, but those sorts of people have always been, and probably will always be, out there. most of them, imho, have a screw loose (but, nevertheless, they should be given the right to speak their minds).

        any of the hbd bloggers and researchers out there who are worth their salt are, as far as i can tell, all concerned about the welfare of all people. steve sailer, who coined the term “human biodiversity,” gets called a racist all of the time, but his main political platform is Citizenism (check it out on his blog sometime), so he’s hardly a racist. and jayman — jayman is a far nicer person than i am! he’s actually on the left politically and more into redistributive policies (i think) than i’d ever be (i’m one of these small gov’t nuts (~_^) ). you should read his About page on his blog. even the most widely hated of iq researchers, richard lynn, advocates the need for better nutrition (esp. iodine supplements) for people in the third world so that developmental problems won’t stand in the way of them achieving all that they can.

        no. people interested in human biodiversity are widely — and wilfully — misunderstood, because it is politically incorrect and morally suspect in our so-called modern age to think about humans as biological creatures. strange, but true.

        • “well, i’m happy to say that you are wrong about that.”

          I would say I was being uncharitable, even unfair. I can’t really say much about most HBDers, certainly not about their true intentions or their genuine beliefs and values. I’m feeling at this point that it is a pointless thing to argue about. I’m not wanting to be mean-spirited or argumentative. I don’t even feel much desire to defend what I said.

          I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I know I wasn’t communicating well and, in some instances, not even communicating anything of worth. It is what it is. Still, there is something to be communicated and I hope I’m up to the task in future posts.

          “any of the hbd bloggers and researchers out there who are worth their salt are, as far as i can tell, all concerned about the welfare of all people. steve sailer, who coined the term “human biodiversity,” gets called a racist all of the time, but his main political platform is Citizenism”

          Yeah, I understand. I feel a frustration in failing to communicate, but I wish to avoid simply turning that frustration onto others. That said, the failure to communicate is a group effort. I want to get beyond the emotional level of arguments about racism where people feel attacked and so feel they have to defend themselves.

          The frustration comes from the reality of living in a racially biased society that has a long-lasting, continuous history of structural racism. The data on this is compelling and there are a ton of books and studies that detail it, but it is so hard to communicate this to anyone not already fully familiar with it all. It is such a vast subject. You have to be extremely motivated to even begin to grasp a tiny part of it.

          The thing about structural racism is that it doesn’t necessitate any self-identified racists at all and everyone involved could have nothing but good intentions. However, it is unlikely that structural racism would ever come into existence in the first place without quite a few overt racists involved or cynical demagogues willing to manipulate racist/racialist attitudes. This is at the level of intention, though, and so arguing about intentions leads no where because we can’t pry open people’s minds to see what is actually inside; but some interesting studies have been done about implicit biases. All we can do is look at the results, especially when they are persistent results.

          “no. people interested in human biodiversity are widely — and wilfully — misunderstood, because it is politically incorrect and morally suspect in our so-called modern age to think about humans as biological creatures.”

          Most people probably look at humans as biological creatures. However, there are many views of biology besides HBD. That is often a problem with very specific worldviews, the lack of appreciation for the diversity of other data and theories, a narrow focusing on one area and a criticism of anyone who also doesn’t narrowly focus on that one area.

          I don’t say that just to pick on HBDers. This is is normal human behavior. I see it in all kinds of groups of people, from all over the ideological spectrum. I know I’m being critical, but I do try to be an equal opportunity critic. I’ve been known to criticize even my friends which maybe is why I have only a few close friends, but it is a good way to determine who is a worthy friend. I’ve argued with Skepoet about many issues and we’ve both had our criticisms, and yet we can still have nice discussions.

          I would also counter with the fact that structural racism is even more taboo of a subject than HBD. I’ve found it can be hard to even get many liberals to fully understand and appreciate structural racism. The data is there, but it is hard to see the data in the big picture because it requires a very detailed knowledge of history to give context for making sense of it all. A similar challenge exists for HBD.

          My only desire here is to challenge HBDers as I would challenge anyone else, as I try to challenge myself on a regular basis. The reason I read about what I don’t know is so as to challenge what I think I know. I’ve changed my mind and broadened my understanding about many things in recent years. I can as just as easily get trapped in a narrow view as anyone else and so I want to be very self-aware about that.

          One problem with narrow views is how they can isolate and polarize. Many HBDers may see HBD as in opposition to views of structural racism and other environmental explanations, may see HBD as in opposition to the Flynn effect or whatever else. Likewise, proponents of those other views may see their positions as in opposition to HBD. But there is nothing inherent to these views that makes them contradictory, thus forcing you to choose only one of them and disregarding the rest.

          When people of different views communicate more with one another, they might discover that the other side knows more than was previously assumed. It is easier to believe the other side is just ignorant. This attitude is easy to fall into. I know this from personal experience. I don’t have any clear answers on what to do about this. We just have to try harder to be more understanding, to go out of our way to interact with those of differing viewpoints. That is my pansy liberal answer.

      • @benjamin – “Why would I agree with an ideological belief that is scientifically unproven, an ideological belief that ignores confounding factors and a complex history? Why?”

        just for the sake of argument. it’s useful to be able to do that sometimes in order to be able to follow a line of thinking with which one is unfamiliar. if you can’t do that, you may never gain an understanding into other peoples’ points-of-view.

        i just wanted to give you an example of what could be done with hbd knowledge. the automatic assumption by most politically correct minded people is that, if human biodiversity were to become generally understood and accepted, that people would be automatically shipped off to gas chambers or “back to africa” or whatever nightmare scenario you can name.

        no. knowledge of human biodiversity can be used as a force for good. THAT was the point that i wanted to make.

        • “no. knowledge of human biodiversity can be used as a force for good. THAT was the point that i wanted to make.”

          Okay. Point taken. I never meant to imply HBD couldn’t be used as a force for good. I’m of the opinion that almost anything can potentially be used as a force for good. I’m not an ideological loyalist when it comes to seeking the good. If it works for the good, I’m all for it.

          Still, we first must determine what actually works for the good and what doesn’t. That is the hard part. But we should keep our options open until then.

      • @benjamin – “I doubt many African Americans would agree with you that the historical problems of American blacks has been that society has had to high of expectations. I don’t think the scientifically proven systemic and institutionalized racism that continues to this day gives much credence to the idea that we collectively have high expectations.”

        i’m talking about today, not the historical problems that african americans suffered.

        there is very little “institutionalized racism” anymore. well, not of the sort you’re referring to, anyway. things have swung too far in the other direction actually. nowadays, admission standards ARE lowered at colleges and universities all across the nation for minorities who, on average, just don’t get very good grades in high school (see the education realist on this issue). given the patterns in success in life that we see GLOBALLY, the explanation for a significant, if not major, portion in the differences in grades between different ethnic and racial groups is most likely a genetic one. therefore, it’s simply cruel to tell MOST blacks and hispanics that they, too, can go to harvard and succeed (just like it’s cruel to tell MOST women that they, too, can be theoretical physicists). SOME blacks and hispanics, yes — MANY in fact — but just fewer than whites, and fewer again than east asians.

        you said in your post that human biodiversity is “just a tiny piece of the puzzle,” but nothing could be further from the truth. the heritability of iq in the western world, where environmental factors have been largely equalized, is somewhere between 0.70 and 0.80, so MOST of the differences in iq scores between people is attributable to genetics, not environment (different in deprived areas of the world, of course — there it’s probably more a matter of nutrition and disease). hbd is NOT a tiny piece of the puzzle — it’s a HUGE piece of the puzzle.

        and that’s not surprising. humans are biological creatures which have been subjected to (ongoing!) natural selection. it, frankly, would be REALLY weird if all human populations were exactly the same!

        • “i’m talking about today, not the historical problems that african americans suffered.”

          I’m talking about both. I’m talking about today and about history. What’s past is prologue.

          “there is very little “institutionalized racism” anymore. well, not of the sort you’re referring to, anyway.”

          Sadly, that doesn’t appear to be true. Institutionalized racism morphs over time, but from what I can tell it is a long way from being “very little”.

          I could offer you books to read on the subject that offer a ton of data. I’m in the process of reading some of those books at present. I decided to go to the data itself and see what can be found. It is part of my doing my research about violence. I realized that instituttionalized/structural racism, like violence, is very complex with many confounding factors. It is easy to make all kinds of arguments, but I don’t want to simply cling to my favored argument. I want to know if the data supports my favored argument or not. If not, I will revise my understandings.

          “you said in your post that human biodiversity is “just a tiny piece of the puzzle,” but nothing could be further from the truth. the heritability of iq in the western world, where environmental factors have been largely equalized, is somewhere between 0.70 and 0.80, so MOST of the differences in iq scores between people is attributable to genetics, not environment (different in deprived areas of the world, of course — there it’s probably more a matter of nutrition and disease). hbd is NOT a tiny piece of the puzzle — it’s a HUGE piece of the puzzle.”

          Other data and the scientists who study it disagree with your assessment. That is fine. Discussion and debate is one way science moves forward. Other people looking at other data come to other explanations. Even if you still end up disagreeing, it still is good to understand those you disagree with by reading for yourself their arguments and the data they use.

          I plan on writing more about the IQ angle as well. It seems to be inseparable from the issues of racism, violence, poverty, etc. Any single piece of the puzzle doesn’t necessarily offer the insight that is needed to grasp the larger picture. Worse still, any single piece of the puzzle might just create a distorted view.

          That is my perspective. Feel free to disagree. For now, I don’t wish to argue too much about it. I’m still reading. I want to be able to offer an opinion that is worthy.

      • @benjamin – “Instead of discussing this only with people we agree with, I think it would be more helpful to discuss it among those with diverse views. We are more likely to come to workable solutions that way….”

        i agree! and a lot of human biodiversity researchers and thinkers and bloggers sincerely agree with that, too! but all hbd-ers seem to get is accusations of racism and watsoning (i.e. people are booted out of their CAREERS! and blacklisted. political correctness is the new mccarthyism.). there is VERY little goodwill coming from the non-hbd side. trust me. most people do NOT want to even CONSIDER human biodiversity. it’s heresy for most people out there.

        • You are right. I’ve seen HBDers treated unfairly by some people. But those people aren’t everyone.

          Besides, I would point out that treating others unfairly is a normal human behavior that we are all prone to. I’ve seen HBDers treating others unfairly. I’ve treated others unfairly. Treating others fairly is a very challenging thing to achieve, and even then it is only achieved very imperfectly. Humility is in order for all involved.

          I don’t know that HBDers are treated more unfairly than average. Maybe you are right about that. I will keep my eyes open to such bias.

      • @benjamin – “First, we’d need scientific research to prove the total validity of HBD as a theory.”

        it’s already there. it is NOT an issue that different human populations are different. just flick through some of the abstracts from any genetics conference. the issue is settled: different human populations are different from each other genetically.

        which, like i said in another comment, shouldn’t surprise us given evolution by natural selection. either the Theory of Evolution of wrong, or human biodiversity is the case.

        the job now is just to uncover what all those differences are.

        • “it’s already there. it is NOT an issue that different human populations are different. just flick through some of the abstracts from any genetics conference. the issue is settled: different human populations are different from each other genetically.”

          That is why I made sure to add “total validity”. There are many aspects to HBD, sub-theories within the larger theory. Some of those sub-theories may prove incorrect. Very few people are arguing that genetic differences don’t exist. The theory of genetics is mainstream consensus at this point.

          “the job now is just to uncover what all those differences are.”

          Yes. What they are. And what they aren’t.

    • One thing you wrote has been sticking in my craw. It is where you offered a theoretical example and asked me to imagine it as real. From that premise, you speculated on the possible responses we could have as a society.

      One reason this sticks in my craw is that it could be interpreted as dismissive and condscending. The problem you face is that racists and racialists are those who will find your scenario most compelling. Many others would see the data behind it as less convincing. The condesending part is that it imples that smart whites should be solving the problems of dumb blacks and telling them what kind of education they should get, for their own good of course.

      Secondly, this scenario could just as plausibly or maybe even more plausibly be reversed. We scientifically know that cognitive development can be reduced by or otherwise correlated to such things as poverty, malnutrition, pollution, environmental toxins, social stress, low expectations from authority figures, lack of a parent with the free time to read and play with a child, low quality education, limited opportunities and access to educational materials, generally lesser social capital, etc. Let us assume that this accounts for most of the IQ difference with hertability having a relatively weak influence in the big picture.

      Our society already has low expectations of African-Americans. The entire history of America has been an almost continuous low expectation of African-Americans, most especially by the upper class whites who have determined most social policies, laws and funding, the same basic demographic that has bee involved in slavery, Jim Crow, sundown towns, racial profiling, prejudiced justice system, etc. If we were to lower our expectations even further and it turned out to be based on no scientific proof whatsoever, the ensuing injustice would be vast and cruel beyone belief, cruelty on top of centuries of cruelty. Besides, it would then make the government responsibility for this injustice and so it would be legally liable which would make mass lawsuits inevitable. The backlash would be like nothing beore seen in this country. The riots and the political leverage would entirely turn away from so-called race realist policies and those who support them, and in that case rightfully so.

      That is a whole can of worms that would be opened. It is easy to speculate. The real world, however, is often messier and more complex than we’d like it to be. Many before you thought they were being realistic. In fact, every failed public policy was advocated by those who believed it realistic and they often had data as evidence. It is always good to remind ourselves that what we know or think we know is miniscule in comparison to what we don’t know. And the real doozy is what we don’t even know we don’t know, an utter and complete blind spot.

      • @benjamin – “Someone like Skepoet knows what HBDers write about, but I doubt many HBDers would know the kinds of things Skepoet writes about.”

        skepoet doesn’t seem to write about much at all. -?- just checked out his blog, and there’s nothing there.

      • @benjamin – “One reason this sticks in my craw is that it could be interpreted as dismissive and condscending.”

        well, it wasn’t meant to be. like i said — in my original comment — it was just meant to be a thought experiment.

      • @benjamin – “We scientifically know that cognitive development can be reduced by or otherwise correlated to such things as poverty, malnutrition, pollution, environmental toxins…”

        yes to all of those, but when those are eliminated — as in the western world they largely have been — then iq is largely heritable (see my screwed up link above!).

        @benjamin – “…social stress, low expectations from authority figures, lack of a parent with the free time to read and play with a child, low quality education, limited opportunities and access to educational materials, generally lesser social capital, etc.”

        generally no to most of those. apart from severe deprivation when growing up, parents have little to no effect on their children’s iqs (how much actual knowledge they’re exposed to, yes, but not their iqs). see judith rich harris on this. also, low expectations … no.

        @benjamin – “Let us assume that this accounts for most of the IQ difference with hertability having a relatively weak influence in the big picture.”

        it’s not. heritability has a STRONG influence on the big picture — again, except in circumstances where people grow up with poor nutrition/lots of diseases (large parts of the third world). again, see my screwed up link above.

        • “yes to all of those, but when those are eliminated — as in the western world they largely have been — then iq is largely heritable (see my screwed up link above!).”

          I don’t know of any example of research where all the known confounding factors have been controlled for. Maybe it exists.

          “generally no to most of those. apart from severe deprivation when growing up, parents have little to no effect on their children’s iqs (how much actual knowledge they’re exposed to, yes, but not their iqs). see judith rich harris on this. also, low expectations … no.”

          There is a lot of different research out there. For example, some studies show low expectations have impact and others don’t. That seems to imply that it depends on other factors that aren’t being properly controlled for. The final conclusion is unknown. That is the point I keep repeating. That is why I advise intellectual humility until more data comes in. Science is a very slow process and offers few absolute certainties.

          “it’s not. heritability has a STRONG influence on the big picture — again, except in circumstances where people grow up with poor nutrition/lots of diseases (large parts of the third world). again, see my screwed up link above.”

          I’m not arguing it doesn’t have a strong influence, but lots of factors have a strong influence. It isn’t yet known what has the strongest influence or how those influences play out. Genetics is more about potential, but environment determines how that potential manifests or doesn’t manifest. Even the twin studies have been criticized because of confounding factors. As always, it is complex.

    • I don’t know what you mean by ‘real’. I do think it is relevant and plausible, even compelling in many ways. I’ve said this many times before and I said it in this post:

      “The data is interesting, but it is just a tiny piece of the puzzle.”

      My problem is when the tiny piece of the puzzle is taken for the whole puzzle. The confounding factors demonstrate there are a whole lot of other pieces that make for a much more complex picture. The piece of the puzzle that HBDers focus on may be interpreted entirely differently once put together with the other pieces, assuming we ever are able to get enough of the pieces in order to figure out how they fit.

      I don’t know and I don’t claim to know. I’m just pointing out that others don’t know either. We are all speculating. There is nothing wrong with speculating, if you admit that is what you are doing.

      The 21st century is likely to be a rude awakening for us all. Anyone who thinks they know what is coming is a greater fool than I.

  3. I really couldn’t get past the first two paragraphs. HBDers are not unaware of problems with whites and it’s stupid to make that claim.

    http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Apart-State-America-1960-2010/dp/030745343X?tag=qrb-su-20

    “A couple of quick notes. “M.G.” is a woman. Just an FYI.”

    I did not know that, but I knew the blogger their lives in France which made the whole “not to mention among Americans in general when compared to other countries” point extremely absurd to me. HBDers constantly point out the differences between America and european nations with less ethnic diversity.

    I do know Ed Realist is a woman though so that makes at least 3 female bloggers who touch on HBD topics.

    • “HBDers are not unaware of problems with whites and it’s stupid to make that claim.”

      It is stupid to stupidly claim something to be stupid. Stupid is as stupid does. Geez! What intelligent discussion you offer!

      “I did not know that, but I knew the blogger their lives in France which made the whole “not to mention among Americans in general when compared to other countries” point extremely absurd to me.”

      With that comment, I wasn’t referring directly to M.G. and so where she lives is irrelevant. I was mostly talking about a discussion I was having where I brought up American imperialism. Before mentioning this, I was having a nice discussion with HBDers. But as soon as I mentioned it, discussion basically ended and no one responded. My comment was intelligent and worthy of a response.

      It isn’t just about American imperialism. It is rooted in a more fundamental ethnic nationalism, upon which imperialism is built. It is the ethnic nationalism that tends to make one blind to the reality and impact of imperialism of any country, be it America or not.

      “HBDers constantly point out the differences between America and european nations with less ethnic diversity.”

      I never claimed HBDers never did this. But that is far from disproving my criticism. I’ve found HBDers seem to not talk about the confounding factors of imperialism, colonialism and globalization. They especially tend not to talk about these things in terms of political elitism, plutocracy, oligarchy, fascism/corporatism, banana republics, racism, systemic/institutionalized prejudice, oppression, political disenfranchisement, poverty, economic inequality, socio-economic mobility, etc.

      It’s not just about more or less ethnic diversity. It is such narrow thinking among HBDers that is part of the problem.

      • @Benjamin David Steele:

        I never claimed HBDers never did this. But that is far from disproving my criticism. I’ve found HBDers seem to not talk about the confounding factors of imperialism, colonialism and globalization.

        Sure they do. You just need to keep reading. Ben, can you please, very please, do many favor? Can you refrain from talking about what HBD’ers do and don’t talk about until you’ve read every single reference on my HBD Fundamentals page. All of the journal articles cited therein can be accessed there ungated.

        While that page is hardly an exhaustive list, once you’ve done that, you’d be more qualified to speak of what HBD’ers consider and what they don’t.

        Specifically, you may want to see Richard Lynn’s The Global Bell Curve.

        • Could you do me a favor? Please read my words carefully because I tend to write carefully or at least I try.

          Notice the kind of language I use in expressing my views. I’m usually cautious and reserved: “I’ve found”, “seems”, etc. I have to be careful because I can be overly reserved in how I state things.

          If you read my blogs and comments enough, you’ll notice that almost everything to me ‘seems’. I feel reluctant to simply state things as certainties and absolutes. I speak from my experience and that is what I try to make clear. That is part of what I strive for in my own personal standard of intellectual humility, but I’m always seeking to improve my communication skills.

          I never claimed HBDers never do anything. Rather, I’ve argued about what it seems HBDers tend to focus on, in my experience. My experience so far includes maybe a dozen or so HBD blogs, hundreds of blog posts, hundreds more of HBD-related commentary and data, and hundreds of discussions with HBDers.

          That is my experience. That is all it is, as your experience is what it is. We are all limited to our own experience.

          We can argue our respective experiences. Maybe in your experience you have observed a different tendency among HBDers you’ve known and interacted with. Maybe you think I have over-emphasized particular tendencies and under-emphasized others.

          That is something we could argue, but the link you offer provides no objective refutation of my observation. You’ve collected some HBD links. That is great. I love resources such as that. However, that is unlikely to be an unbiased and representative sampling of all HBD writings.

          • Ben, if you’re going to dismiss evidence off hand, I just don’t see what else we have to say here. I look foreword to your future posts for the information they contain.

          • I didn’t dismiss it. I simply described it for what it was. It is a standard list of resources. By the way, you link that page all the time all over the place. I’ve seen the link a hundred times already and have visited the page previously and just now visited again.

            It is a page of HBD resources that you have devotedly gathered for the edification of mankind. I must ask: How is that relevant to my expressed viewpoint that isn’t about HBD theory itself but about HBDers as people?

            It still tells us nothing about the tendencies of most HBDers. We don’t have any scientific data to make such an assessment. I was expressing my personal evaluation and that is all you can do as well. I’m not dismissing your evidence out of hand for you offer no evidence in the sense of objective data relevant to the issue at hand. About the tendencies of the average HBDer, your assessment is subjective as is mine.

            I have nothing against the subjective, but sometimes it seems you think anything that is subjective is entirely lacking in credibility or worth. Sometimes subjective is all you have to work with. We are subjective beings, after all. It is challenging to objectively discuss the subjective. I think it is worthwhile, but maybe you don’t. That basically forces you into silence about any issue involving the subjective or else to simply deny the subjective aspect.

            Each to our own, I guess.

  4. I realize that I’m picking on HBDers here. I only am doing that because that is where my mind has been focused. But I don’t think the problems I point out are solely HBD problems nor do I think all HBDers are at fault. I’ve written blog posts criticizing all kinds of people, including liberals.

    Some people argue that the problem with the internet is that people easily get stuck in echo chambers. They surround themselves with news, social media, and bloggers who basically already agree with them.

    I realize that is a danger. This is why I’ve tried to prevent myself from falling into this trap. That is why I chose to explore HBD and have spent a large amount of time interacting with HBDers, especially at hbd chick’s blog.

    The positive side of the internet is that it allows you to seek alternative views. The problem with this is that it requires you to do the seeking. Alternative views don’t generally come to you unbidden, unless you happen to surround yourself by lots of alternative sources of info.

    I think this relates to the racism issue. We often don’t realize how others perceive the world and how others perceive us. Most racists don’t think of themselves as racists. In many cases, you might just call them racialists because their racial prejudice is unconscious. Research has shown we all are racially prejudiced to varying degrees, typically unconsciously.

    The main way unconscious prejudices are forced into consciousness is when we are challenged by those who don’t share those unconscious prejudices. But if we surround ourselves with people similar to us, then this is unlikely to ever happen.

    HBD theory has challenges my own views and in turn I hope to challenge the views of HBDers. Most specifically, I hope to challenge HBDers to take a broader view and interact more widely outside of the HBD community, maybe even be more attractive and welcoming to those of different views in order to encourage worthy discussion.

    The discussion going on right now in the comments section here, this is what I like to see happen. Who knows what new insights and solutions we might come to if we were to have more open public debate that crosses boundaries. We will all be challenged and that will be a good thing.

  5. Hi, Benjamin David Steele. I see you and your diverse commenters addressing issues rather than focusing on the presumed evilness of those who disagree. Well, trying to do that, at least to a degree. The effort is refreshing.

    Near the beginning of the main post, you said,

    We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America. But those who point out the problems of blacks never seem to notice or acknowledge this disconcerting fact.

    (I recall this point being brought up again in a rebuttal to JayMan or hbd chick, but I can’t find that passage. The writing here is pretty dense, or maybe that’s at another post.)

    Could you provide links to the citations that support your contention?

    Analyses of U.S. crime statistics seem to consistently show that the rates of black violence, overall, are much higher than the rates of white violence, overall.

    That doesn’t mean that subgroups of whites wouldn’t have higher violence rates than subgroups of blacks (etc.). You frequently refer to the main reason: the world is a complex place. Thus, no one factor is likely to explain most of the variation in just about any important social phenomenon. Since I’ve read many such discussion of this theme by A-List HBDers (e.g. hbd chick, JayMan, Sailer), I’d say they incorporate this insight into their thinking, as well.

    So I’d anticipate that some subsets of high-violence groups will have lower rates of violence, and vice versa. In fact, you and JayMan have each named strong candidates for specific causal factors.

    But as far as poor rural Southern whites being the most violent group in America: I followed links to your earlier posts, and to James Wright’s review “A Matter of Respect,” and to two Audacious Epigone posts — and I haven’t located the studies you have in mind.

    There are methodological questions I’m curious about. For instance, let’s suppose that the most violent whites are a subgroup we identify as “poor rural Southerners.” To draw meaningful demographic conclusions, we have to define this cohort carefully; how was this done by the studies’ authors? And to make comparative claims like “most violent,” we have to have identified and characterized the relevant subgroups among blacks and other ethnies. How were those subgroups selected and defined?

    • “The effort is refreshing.”

      It is an effort. It can be frustrating and even tiresome. It takes a lot of energy. But it is refreshing compared to simply arguing about it and name-calling.

      “Could you provide links to the citations that support your contention?”

      I’ve discussed this so often before. I am feeling a bit lazy at the moment or maybe just somewhat emotionally drained. What I’ll offer you is a title of the book where this data is discussed.

      Culture Of Honor: The Psychology Of Violence In The South
      by Richard E Nisbett and Dov Cohen

      You can also just do a web search. You’ll find plenty of reviews of the book and articles that reference it.

      “Analyses of U.S. crime statistics seem to consistently show that the rates of black violence, overall, are much higher than the rates of white violence, overall.”

      That is true. Overall, lots of things are true that are relevant. Blacks overall have higher rates of poverty and low social mobility, higher rates of exposure to pollution and environmental toxins, higher rates of being victims of racial prejudice, etc. But overall much of this is true for poor people of all races and ethnicities.

      I’ve always been interested in these more fine-tuned distinctions within demographics. Not all white people are the same nor all black people. That is what HBDers and others look at. That is what Nisbett and Cohen looked at, neither of them being HBDers.

      “That doesn’t mean that subgroups of whites wouldn’t have higher violence rates than subgroups of blacks (etc.). You frequently refer to the main reason: the world is a complex place. Thus, no one factor is likely to explain most of the variation in just about any important social phenomenon. Since I’ve read many such discussion of this theme by A-List HBDers (e.g. hbd chick, JayMan, Sailer), I’d say they incorporate this insight into their thinking, as well.”

      They do to varying degrees of success. Part of the problem, to my mind, is that they are defending a theory. When defending a theory, it easily leads one to be biased toward data that fits one’s theory and away from data that doesn’t. It’s not usually intentional or conscious. It is just human nature. I’ve always had a wariness of ideologies and theories that are more ideological in nature. HBD does seem more of an ideological theory to me.

      I’m the type of person who just wants to follow the data wherever it leads, possibilities leading to possibilities. I have my biases, but I don’t want to be stuck in them. It really bothers me when I discover biases in myself, although such is inevitable to some extent. I try to limit my biases by not limiting myself to interacting with a single group of people, such as the HBD community, and by exposing myself to as many diverse sources of data as possible, including from those I disagree with.

      Where I see many, maybe most, HBDers having the most problems is with confounding factors. I have a mind that automatically sees confounding factors. I’ll sit around for hours doing nothing other than thinking about confounding factors. For whatever reason, many HBDers don’t seem to spend as much effort in this regard. Or else they don’t take confounding factors as seriously, not seeing them as relevant. I don’t know. I just know the HBDers I’ve interacted with often either don’t see, understand or appreciate the confounding factors that are obvious to me, sometimes even when I point them out to them.

      “There are methodological questions I’m curious about. For instance, let’s suppose that the most violent whites are a subgroup we identify as “poor rural Southerners.” To draw meaningful demographic conclusions, we have to define this cohort carefully; how was this done by the studies’ authors? And to make comparative claims like “most violent,” we have to have identified and characterized the relevant subgroups among blacks and other ethnies. How were those subgroups selected and defined?”

      I’ve written about this a number of times in my blog. You could do a search on my blog and pull up those previous posts. As for methodology, that is always a good area of discussion. The book is a worthy read and so I’d start there if you want to get into the details. I would point out that, as always, it is complicated. There are many kinds of violence. The authors break this down.

      I think HBDers have one piece of the puzzle. Most rural white Southerners live in an area mostly settled by Scots-Irish, Scots, and Irish. These are all relatively clannish people and so HBD predicts they would be above average in violence, relative to how clannish they are.

      However, others have different pieces to the puzzles.

      The South has a culture of honor which some see as coming from these clannish cultures. How much culture is caused or contributed to by genetics is an area of great disagreement.

      Another piece of the puzzle is these are all groups that have experienced high rates of poverty and oppression in the past, both in Britain and in the US. The rural white Southerners are still among the poorest of the poor in the US with high rates of all kinds of social problems: obesity, diabetes, teen pregnancies, STDs, high school dropouts, unemployment, bullying, child abuse, etc.

      I tend to see factors like poverty as more significant than do HBDers. I just came across an interesting article about this:

      http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/08/how-poverty-taxes-brain/6716/

      “Researchers publishing some groundbreaking findings today in the journal Science have concluded that poverty imposes such a massive cognitive load on the poor that they have little bandwidth left over to do many of the things that might lift them out of poverty – like go to night school, or search for a new job, or even remember to pay bills on time.”

      The problem I have in all this is when a person clings to their piece of the puzzle and claims it as the whole picture. I like hbd chick because she doesn’t tend to do that, although she is more persuaded by HBD than I am and maybe more attached to it as she includes it in her online name.

      I’d rather all the people with different pieces had open and civil discussions, not pissing matches and closing of the ranks. But it takes a lot of effort and humility to do that. That is a struggle and some aren’t willing to try. I think that is sad. These are all our collective problems for we are all effected by the results, no matter who we wish to blame for the cause.

      • @BJS:

        Considering your long post complaining about my meanness (which, in reality, is merely my insistence on adhering to the norms of rational debate), perhaps I should leave you alone for a while. You do make that very difficult, I must say:

        Part of the problem, to my mind, is that they are defending a theory. When defending a theory, it easily leads one to be biased toward data that fits one’s theory and away from data that doesn’t. It’s not usually intentional or conscious. It is just human nature.

        Here’s a question for you: at one point, after reviewing supporting evidence for a claim, do you consider that that claim is likely to be true? I am really curious about this.

        • “Considering your long post complaining about my meanness (which, in reality, is merely my insistence on adhering to the norms of rational debate), perhaps I should leave you alone for a while. You do make that very difficult, I must say”

          I don’t mind you posting. I have at times found it frustrating having discussions with you. We obviously have communication issues, but I don’t feel like holding any grudges.

          I know I can be an asshole and I’m sorry about that. I’ve been picking on you. I probably shouldn’t do that. It isn’t nice. But when I feel frustrated I also feel compelled to express my frustration. Just consider me an asshole, if that helps.

          I have my opinions. But everyone has opinions. I’m an opinionated asshole. In my defense, I try to have interesting opinions.

          “Here’s a question for you: at one point, after reviewing supporting evidence for a claim, do you consider that that claim is likely to be true? I am really curious about this.”

          Good question. I’m not sure, though, that I have a good answer.

          The problem from my perspective is that I’m not a scientist and so not part of the scientific community, not part of the scientific debates and scientific peer review process. I’m just a blogger. Heck, I don’t even have a college education. All I have is my questioning mind, for whatever it is worth.

          That said, I do try my best to make sense of it all. That process is highly subjective, though. The likelihood of a claim being true is a matter of probability, but I haven’t a clue how to ascertain such a probability. To my mind, I find theories more compelling when some tipping point comes, involving some combination of: the length, amount, extent and diversity of research in a field; the number of researchers and research institutes involved; the number of debates leading to some basic level of consensus on issues, data and conclusions; et cetera.

          I’m more of an observer. My opinion on when a scientific theory is validated is of little importance. I could at best, in my blog, is quote and reference those better informed than I. Mostly, I end up saying it sure is complex for my little Pooh brain.

      • I looked at “Culture of Honor”‘s amazon.com page, it looks like a serious work, if about two decades old. I put in an interlibrary loan request, which may take a while.

        On searching your blog: could you suggest terms? Your posts and comments are a bit on the lengthy side. That makes it harder to find stuff.

        As far as people clinging to their piece of the puzzle and claiming it as the whole picture — one suggestion could be to focus on what’s written by opponents (HBDers, in this case) who you think are the best of breed. Yeah, the writing of most (fill-in-the-blanks) is clingy, etc. That’s usually sort of boring.

        That said, hbd chick gave you a piece of the puzzle that’s one of the central insights of HBD:

        to blame, imho, is simply this notion that westerners have that everybody is the same by nature. that conclusion makes absolutely no sense whatsoever if one has any inkling at all of how biology and evolution by natural selection works. in fact, that everyone on the planet would be the same is a complete impossibility.

        This wouldn’t mean much to a fundamentalist who places the Word of God above all else, or a mystic with a disdain for evidence and logic. However, most of the people who think about the subject matter of this blog claim to accept the scientific method, and the well-established findings of science. That likely includes you.

        hbd chick or JayMan could (and have) explained the lines of reasoning that make the blockquoted passage a corollary of the “Modern Synthesis” of evolutionary theory.

        Funny that it is so ardently contested — or ignored — by people who see themselves as logical, rational, and open to the insights of the physical sciences, biology included. Paul Graham wrote an essay on Taboos, “What You Can’t Say,” which suggests one set of explanations. Steve Sailer has proposed others (the two sets aren’t mutually exclusive).

        • Hello again, amac78.

          “On searching your blog: could you suggest terms? Your posts and comments are a bit on the lengthy side. That makes it harder to find stuff.”

          I’m sorry about the long posts and comments. I write as I think. I’ve always organizational issues with my thinking process. I see connections and think in connections which makes my attempting to communicate often convoluted and not perfectly linear, more of a web of ideas and observations.

          It would be easier to use a search engine such as Google. Just enter in the search box the following…

          site:benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com

          ,,,and then add the search terms such as…

          culture of honor
          violence
          homicide
          rate
          south

          With search engines, putting phrases in quotes will give you more precise results. For example: “culture of honor”.

          After you get results, I’d recommend clicking on the cache version and all of the search terms will be highlighted. Or you could just go to your browser and use the ‘find’ function which detect all uses of a term on a web page.

          That is what I’d do, even when searching my own blog. I would do it right now to find my previous posts on the topic, but my brother just came into town. I might not have much time the next couple of days.

          I’m not entirely sure all that I’ve written about this topic before. It has come up in various contexts, including the recent Trayvon Martin shooting. I think I have quoted from the book in at least some post around here, but I’m not sure.

          There are also some other books that are about the culture of honor. I have them on my kindle. I’m not as familiar with them, though. I forget if any of them discuss similar data.

          When I get some time, I’ll get back to you. I’m sorry to leave you hanging like that. Good luck on your search! 🙂

        • To respond to your last point:

          “However, most of the people who think about the subject matter of this blog claim to accept the scientific method, and the well-established findings of science. That likely includes you.”

          It does include me, although I have my own perspective.

          “hbd chick or JayMan could (and have) explained the lines of reasoning that make the blockquoted passage a corollary of the “Modern Synthesis” of evolutionary theory.”

          I see HBD as a hypothesis waiting for further research. It is plausible and many aspects of it highly probable. But it is still too early to make a judgment about it. There are a ton of interesting and plausible hypotheses out there. We’ve barely scratched the surface of confounding factors.

        • I should’ve been more specific in asking for advice in searching your blog for the evidence behind your assertion

          We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America.

          I wasn’t looking for help on Google strategy (thanks, though); rather for the terms that you used in those posts, that would lead me to them.

          This morning I tried various searches, along the lines of
          { site:https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/ “culture of honor” murder rate }

          I really haven’t found what I was seeking. The closest was your 2011 America’s North/South Divide (& other regional data). As an aside, I loved the maps of the US that you presented, largely because so many present county- rather than state-scale granularity. Given the nation’s population structure, these are much more informative. Especially concerning rural/suburban/urban distinctions (obviously).

          However, in my trawl of your blog, I saw very little evidence of quantitative analysis — numbers, tables, and graphs. Your thinking seems to be generally ideas-based, and qualitative (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”).

          Also, in your comment of 8/31/13 12:03am, you wrote,

          I’m not entirely sure all that I’ve written about this topic before.

          Um.

          That makes my searches for the evidence behind “We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America” seem like snipe hunts.

          I will wait for the copy of “Culture of Honor” to arrive by ILL. Though if you find links to the numbers you have in mind, I’d appreciate you posting them on this thread.

          – – – – – – – – – –

          Having now read more of your blog, I see that href=”https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/tag/racism/”>racism is an important theme and racist { site:benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com racist } a oft-used description of people you disdain. Concerning that habit, I will quote myself:

          “Racism” and “prejudice” are words that have become unmoored from any sober definitions. Akin to “communist” (U.S., 1950s), “saboteur” (USSR, 1930s), “witch” (Salem, late 1600s), and “heretic” (much of Christianity and Islam, over many centuries).

          In my opinion, Steve Sailer has the best explanation for this fad — the accusation of racism is used by Good People to club Evil People as a ritual of intra-white status competition.

          In this Age of Irony, the elites’ blindness to the underlying irony of their own posturing is darkly amusing.

          Regrets for ending on a sour note. 😦

          • I didn’t force you to do a search. You can search or not. It is of no concern of mine. I was showing you how I’d search if I had the free time at the moment to do so. I don’t mind doing searches. I even told you I’d get back to this later.

            I also made clear that I couldn’t recall what exactly I had written or where. I’ve written about this issue in blog posts, in the comments section of my blog posts, and in the comment sections of the blog posts of other blogs. If you are extremely familiar with HBD blogs, you’d know that hbd chick has written about this book before and maybe other HBD bloggers as well.

            It isn’t a hard topic to find info on. There are probably hundreds of articles and blog posts online that either review this book, discuss it or reference it. I wouldn’t be surprised to find some of the authors research papers also found online.

            If you want to find the info, it shouldn’t be hard. You just have to want to find it. As always, that is the trick. It is only a snipe hunt if you are lazy or impatient. Finding info takes effort, like many things in life. Only you can decide whether or not you are willing to do the hard work that is required to inform yourself. I can’t help you there.

            Or you can wait until I have more time. If you’re nice about it, who knows? Maybe later on I’ll offer you some quotes from the book.

            “However, in my trawl of your blog, I saw very little evidence of quantitative analysis — numbers, tables, and graphs.”

            That is an odd thing to look for in a blog, especially a general blog not written by a scientist and not dedicated to science. That is why you read books or else read research papers. A blog is just a blog.

            “Having now read more of your blog, I see that href=”https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/tag/racism/”>racism is an important theme and racist { site:benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com racist } a oft-used description of people you disdain. ”

            I haven’t written many blogs that are solely or even primarily about racism. I’ve been writing this blog for years and have a lot of posts. Only a fraction of a percentage of them are dedicated to the issue of racism.

            Besides, if you actually read most of the posts that mention racism, you’d know that I typically offer lots of data behind and lots of nuance in the views I present. It seems to me that people who are unwilling or unable to confront the issue of racism often have some issue with racism themselves. If something looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then I tend to assume it is a duck… until other data demonstrates otherwise.

            Take the blog post that inspired this blog post. I can’t prove that the person writing it is a racist. The person either is a racist or a racialist, it comes out to basically the same difference in the end, that is in terms of real world results and behaviors. It is simply a matter of how self-aware someone is. We are all enmeshed in a society filled with racism. We are all limited in our self-awareness, but some more than others. All I can say is that if a racist wrote about the topic, they easily could write a blog post exactly like that one.

            If someone claiming not to be a racist writes in the same way a racist would write, how are we to tell them apart? If some writing would appeal to a racist and would conform to their racist worldview as that post would, how are we to judge it? If you want me to distinguish between racists and supposed non-racists/racialists, then how do you suggest I go about that when outwardly they may act the same way, express the same kind of views, and present the same kind of data?

            Those are honest questions and I hope to get honest answers.

          • @ Benjamin David Steele, 7:28 pm

            > I didn’t force you to do a search.

            Agreed.

            > I also made clear that I couldn’t recall what exactly I had written or where.

            Agreed, in your comments responding to my query. Prior to that, in the body of this post, you wrote,

            We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America. But those who point out the problems of blacks never seem to notice or acknowledge this disconcerting fact.

            We also know, not It appears to me.

            are, not might be.

            fact, not opinion.

            > If you are extremely familiar with HBD blogs, you’d know that hbd chick has written about this book before… It isn’t a hard topic to find info on. There are probably hundreds of articles and blog posts online that either review this book, discuss it or reference it… If you want to find the info, it shouldn’t be hard.

            The info refers to — should refer to — the evidence for your statement, “We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America.” Some information on that topic may be easy to find. But I’m pretty good at searching, and I haven’t found the basis for your claim.

            > It is only a snipe hunt if you are lazy or impatient.
            > Finding info takes effort, like many things in life.
            > Only you can decide whether or not you are willing to do the hard work that is required to inform yourself.

            Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

            > If you’re nice about it, who knows? Maybe later on I’ll offer you some quotes from the book.

            Thank you, in advance.

            > [Quantitative analysis] is an odd thing to look for in a blog

            Why? There are all sorts of blogs. “We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America” is a quantitative claim, and an authoritative one. You find it odd that I ask you for links to the supporting evidence. I find it odd that you reframe the issue as one of my search prowess, laziness, impatience, etc.

            It seems to me that your opinion or impression or fervently-held belief is that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America. I have no interest in persuading you otherwise. Not having looked at data on violence that is appropriately stratified (by income – rural/urban character – region – race), I have no settled view on the question.

            It is an interesting topic. My curiosity drove me to ask you for the evidence behind that statement.

            This isn’t a fruitful line of discussion, in my view; I don’t anticipate submitting further comments on the subject. (I’ll post some thoughts on your questions to me on ‘racism.’)

          • “Why? There are all sorts of blogs. “We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America” is a quantitative claim, and an authoritative one. You find it odd that I ask you for links to the supporting evidence. I find it odd that you reframe the issue as one of my search prowess, laziness, impatience, etc.”

            I just thought it odd you were looking for something I never claimed to be offering or ever have written about in my blog. I told you I had discussed the book which is filled with data, but that book has a lot of data.

            Yes, there are all kinds of blogs. It is clear what kind of blog mine is. It is just a blog of my personal thoughts and analyses. There is nothing about this blog to indicate it is a science blog or that I’m a scientist.

            It isn’t reframing. I just get annoyed when someone complains about my not fitting into the expectations they projected onto me. I am what I am and never claimed to be anything else. I even have an ‘About’ page that makes this all clear, a personal blog about my personal interests.

          • >Take the blog post that inspired this blog post. I can’t prove that the person writing it is a racist. The person either is a racist or a racialist, it comes out to basically the same difference in the end, that is in terms of real world results and behaviors.

            I’ve now read that post by M.G. It is mostly a compilation of graphs, charts, and tables, with M.G.’s views following directly from them.

            As far as “[M.G.] is either a racist or a racialist,” you haven’t explained yourself sufficiently for me to comment. How do you define “racist?” “Racialist?” In your view, what about the post makes M.G. a racist-racialist? It is the fact that she concerns herself with the topic? That she has come to views that you disdain? That her views don’t follow logically from the facts that she presents? That she misrepresents her sources? That she’s cherry-picked sources? Used discredited sources? That she doesn’t weigh other factors as heavily as you do?

            Or are you like Potter Stewart, saying “I know it when I see it”?

            > We are all enmeshed in a society filled with [anti-black] racism.

            Agreed. Filled also with pro-black and pro-Hispanic racism-racialism, dozens of other ethnic preconceptions. Also beauty, crime, compassion, growing income inequality, sacrifice, outsourcing, technological progress, greed, insight, street crime, love, and delusion.

            Depends on how you look at things — on what you think is important. “Who? – Whom?” was Lenin’s formulation.

            If someone claiming not to be a racist writes in the same way a racist would write, how are we to tell them apart? If some writing would appeal to a racist and would conform to their racist worldview as that post would, how are we to judge it? If you want me to distinguish between racists and supposed non-racists/racialists, then how do you suggest I go about that when outwardly they may act the same way, express the same kind of views, and present the same kind of data?

            My answer begins with

            1. Define your terms carefully, and wisely.

            2. Be clear as to what you are seeking to accomplish. Are you trying to neutrally describe a person’s views on one issue, based — correctly or not — on their view of the evidence and their private experiences? Or are you passing judgement on their character, and their fitness to be in the company of decent folks? It serves many progressives’ purposes to conflate the two.

            3. Be aware that in the current climate, accusing a person of being a “racist” will often damage his or her economic status and social relations. It’s a powerful charge.

            As far as “telling apart” and “distinguishing” (bad) racists-racialists from (possibly acceptable) not-racists, not-racialists who have made the mistake of writing posts that touch upon racist-racialist concepts — you might reflect on what hbd chick wrote to you, upthread. You could try Googling “hatefacts”. Or consider Paul Graham’s essay What You Can’t Say.

            In my opinion, Racist-spotters are engaged in activities that track well with those of the Communist-spotters of the 1950s. In each case, there were people who really did correspond to the named villains — spies for Moscow then, people seeking to act with malice towards those of other races, today.

            The consequences are much the same, too. Reputations unjustly tarnished. Incorrect theories triumphing over better ideas. An already-deficient public discourse dumbed down further by fear of censure — Commie! Racist!

            I doubt that you will find these remarks to be helpful. But there it is.

          • “I’ve now read that post by M.G. It is mostly a compilation of graphs, charts, and tables, with M.G.’s views following directly from them.”

            Cherrypicked data showing negative data about blacks while not showing positive data about blacks or negative data about whites. Cherrypicked data simplistically interpreted according to the bloggers beliefs, values, biases and prejudices. Cherrypicked data that ignores or else dismisses confounding factors and complicated factors (social, economic, class, political, historical, etc).

            “Or are you like Potter Stewart, saying “I know it when I see it”?”

            No, it is more basic than that. I read a lot from different places on the web. I even visit websites and blogs that overtly state themselves as racist or supremacist. Self-identified racists and supremacists all the time gather data just like that in order to present similar views.

            The point isn’t that I know it when I see it. Rather, the point is that outwardly both appear the same. Whether or not the author is overtly or intentionally identified as a racist, the analysis is racially biased. It presents a racially biased view and isn’t an objective presentation of facts.

            It is the results I care about. Whether a person is racist or not, the important part is whether their actions and choices lead to an increase or decrease of racism, whether it supports a racist status quo or challenges it. That is where the rubber meets the road.

            “Agreed. Filled also with pro-black and pro-Hispanic racism-racialism, dozens of other ethnic preconceptions. Also beauty, crime, compassion, growing income inequality, sacrifice, outsourcing, technological progress, greed, insight, street crime, love, and delusion.”

            Not much, if you were to be honest. Research shows that, in our society, anti-black racism is pervasive. Even blacks are (unconsciously) more racist toward other blacks. This is seen in studies on juries. Black jurors, like white jurors, will judge black defendants more harshly than white defendants for the exact same alleged crimes.

            “In my opinion, Racist-spotters are engaged in activities that track well with those of the Communist-spotters of the 1950s. In each case, there were people who really did correspond to the named villains — spies for Moscow then, people seeking to act with malice towards those of other races, today.”

            I don’t see the comparison at all the same. Racists have historically held great power in our society. Communists haven’t. Communists, like blacks, were a minority group that were being attacked by the dominant majority.

            “The consequences are much the same, too. Reputations unjustly tarnished. Incorrect theories triumphing over better ideas. An already-deficient public discourse dumbed down further by fear of censure — Commie! Racist!”

            So, the consequences are very different. Neither communists nor blacks have power equivalent to those who seek to oppress them. Blacks entire lives have been tarnished for generations and centuries by racists. I’ll always defend the underdog. It is in my nature.

            If you attack, oppress or otherwise contribute to the problems and negative conditions of oppressed minorities, you lose all rights to portray yourself as an underdog. Complaints from such a person are empty. If you don’t want to be perceived as a racist, then don’t act like a racist. It really is that simple. Maybe you don’t think that is fair, but that is life.

          • In their moral certainty, your posts and comments remind me of the writings of ideologues of the early 20th century. The vocabulary is different, but the tone is the same. Some of these people lived to see their dreams realized. Frustratingly, things never seemed to work out quite they way they had planned.

            If you attack, oppress or otherwise contribute to the problems and negative conditions of oppressed minorities, you lose all rights to portray yourself as an underdog. Complaints from such a person are empty. If you don’t want to be perceived as a racist, then don’t act like a racist. It really is that simple. Maybe you don’t think that is fair, but that is life.

            “It really is that simple.” Yeah, I agree with you there. A Dream Realized!

            Somehow, I think you miss the ironic aspect of your 10:12pm comment.

          • “In their moral certainty, your posts and comments remind me of the writings of ideologues of the early 20th century. The vocabulary is different, but the tone is the same. Some of these people lived to see their dreams realized. Frustratingly, things never seemed to work out quite they way they had planned.”

            In their moral evasion, your comments remind me of the writings of racists and racist fellow travelers of the early 20th century. The vocabulary is different, but the tone is the same. Some of these people lived to see their dreams realized. Frustratingly, things seemed to work out more as they planned than anti-racists hoped would happen.

            I too can make subjective statements. This is a fun game!

            “Somehow, I think you miss the ironic aspect of your 10:12pm comment.”

            Somehow, I think you miss the ironic aspect of your entire life. You defend racists in your supposed defense of fairness and equality. Sure.

          • “In my opinion, Steve Sailer has the best explanation for this fad — the accusation of racism is used by Good People to club Evil People as a ritual of intra-white status competition.”

            As for Steve Sailer, I never claimed he is a racist. I haven’t read enough by him to have much opinion of him at all. I’ve seen various things by him, but offhand I can’t even recall what precisely his opinions are on various issues.

            In the article of his I linked, I would make the same criticism I make of some other HBDers. He wasn’t looking at the larger view of confounding factors. I’m not sure how harsh of a criticism that is. We all fail in this regard. That is the problem of confounding factors, like most things in life. What makes confounding factors so confounding is that they are so hard to detect, to grasp and account for. It takes very careful scientific research to control for them, but even then our efforts often fail. There are just too many confounding factors.

            So, it isn’t so much a failure of HBDers alone and certainly not a failure inherent to HBD as a theory. It is just the limitation of humans seeking knowledge. I’m only suggesting we should be more self-aware, more cautious and more humble. I don’t think that is too much to ask.

            By the way, I’m not even arguing that most HBDers are racists or racialists. I have met a few commenters on HBD blogs who were overtly some variety of ethnic/racial supremacists and/or nationalists. Many other HBDers didn’t seem overtly anything in particular.

            Most people don’t tell you what they genuinely believe. When research is done, it is found that most people hold various unconscious prejudices. We live in a society that has been dominated by racism and oftentimes racists for a very long time. It is only in recent history of the past few generations that most racists stopped being open about their racism. Before that, racism was considered normal and acceptable, desirable even.

            I don’t mean to pick on just HBDers. I particularly didn’t mean to just pick on hbd chick. I don’t think she is racist at all. I was pointing out that she linked to a blog post that I saw as extremely problematical for encouraging good race relations in this country. I think there is or should be a clear distinction between HBD theory and racism/supremacism, but I’ve noticed that such a distinction sometimes gets blurred, intentionally or not, consciously or not.

            I say this as someone who appreciates HBD theory. I want it to have more influence. The more HBD becomes interesting to non-racists/supremacists is precisely the degree it will be less attractive to racists/supremacists. I’m of the opinion that would be a good thing to strive for.

          • “I really haven’t found what I was seeking.”

            Hey pal, you have this guy’s number, for sure. Let me give you a hint for what you already suspect: You haven’t found the hard data substantiating this BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EXIST.

            No one – namely Mr. Steele, here – with this sort of propensity for windbaggery and leaving no transient thought going through his head unblogged, is going to have expended this many paragraphs, claim to have blogged on this very subject so extensively, and not have at least a factoid or two handy in rote memory to back up this assertion. He doesn’t give it because he CAN’T. He earlier claims to have “explained” this dispostiviely to another commenter, “bleach,” then you follow the link to said “explanation,” and get … nothing! Except another unquantified assertion that the rate of violence higher, and exhortations to read the book.

            The bottom line: there are a whopping 3 states where white murder rates are greater than black murder rates, excluding D.C. It is simply a mathematical impossibility for the heavily rural South to clock white murder rates that low, yet still have more “violence” than even inner-city blacks. And this fraud knows it.

            Mr. Steele, I am calling you a bald-faced, demagogic liar. Post the dispositive data for your point and prove me wrong! Your massive ego won’t allow you to pass that challenge up.

          • Hey, it will most likely be another 15 or 20 verbose paragraphs of sanctimony, evasion and hairsplitting, but at least pretend to repond.

          • Going by your response, it seems I hit a nerve. If you have anything interesting to contribute, I’ll consider responding. Otherwise, your comment doen’t add anything of worth to the discussion.

            That said, you are free to comment as much as you wish… within reasonable limits, as long as it is moderately relevant to the discussion and hopefully conducive to furthering the discussion. Mean-spirited criticalness and pointless negativity, however, isn’t what I want this blog to be about. I won’t tolerate it in others any more than I’ll tolerate it in myself.

            I realize I set a bad example for others with some of my previous comments. And I can’t blame others for following suit. But I hope to rectify that. I’m now setting a different example. If you wish to join me in civil discussion, you are free to join me. You are also free to leave.

  6. I had a little time available this afternoon. I still need to look through the book, but until then this will give you some places to look for details.

    Here are a couple of links discussing the potential causal relationship between lead pollution rates and violence, the first link presents the case and the second offers a criticism. The third link is a chapter from a book about environmental pollution in general and violence.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

    http://hisscienceistootight.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-link-between-leaded-gasoline-and.html

    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=5lMP9ivOoxcC&oi=fnd&pg=PA11&dq=%22Violence+and+U.S.+regional+culture%22+AND+nisbett&ots=SJG4qClupz&sig=O6VjLIl4xRAkdNAHyBsLlwJnYrE#v=onepage&q=%22Violence%20and%20U.S.%20regional%20culture%22%20AND%20nisbett&f=false

    This is relevant to the confounding factor of poverty. Poor people tend to live in older houses that still have lead paint and they also tend to live in more polluted areas, near factories and heavy traffic areas.

    The rest are a mix of books, research papers, articles and blog posts about culture of honor, violence, poverty, race, region, etc (the first links are by Nisbett and Cohen):

    http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&uid=1996-01753-004

    http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/amp/48/4/441/

    http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/68516

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_honor_(Southern_United_States)

    http://books.google.com/books?id=5gXs2TQh_JkC&pg=PA12&lpg=PA12&dq=%22felony-related+murders%22+AND+%22argument-related+murders%22&source=bl&ots=AmnpGyWAS5&sig=jSa2lsxRqO-yQYKxxcrvHejNzuM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=AlAiUur_D6mCygHs14GYBg&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22felony-related%20murders%22%20AND%20%22argument-related%20murders%22&f=false

    http://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/culture-of-honor/

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/200904/is-southern-violence-due-culture-honor

    http://reason.com/archives/1997/02/01/a-matter-of-respect

    http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/06/southerners_civ.html

    http://wrightjj1.people.cofc.edu/teaching/FYSM158_Spring10/Culture%20of%20Honor%20notes.doc

    http://articles.philly.com/2011-10-14/news/30279505_1_violence-twentieth-century-human-nature

    http://psp.sagepub.com/content/20/5/551.short

    http://sf.oxfordjournals.org/content/78/3/971.short

    http://pss.sagepub.com/content/20/11/1400.short

    http://jcc.sagepub.com/content/39/2/162.short

    http://sf.oxfordjournals.org/content/88/3/1357.short

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02732170500174877#.UiJQ_tKTj84

    http://www.academia.edu/1069747/Culture_of_Honor_and_Violence_Against_the_Self

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2013/05/22/why-suicide-has-become-and-epidemic-and-what-we-can-do-to-help.html

    http://hmcurrentevents.com/accidental-death-and-the-%E2%80%9Cculture-of-honor%E2%80%9D/

    http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/bitstream/123456789/194325/1/2009-10_PSYSC_Department_Honors_Thesis_-_Wallpe_Web.pdf

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047235203000084

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/01/20131201347449259.html

    http://web.mit.edu/caughey/www/Site/Research_files/DafoeCaughey-HonorWarSouth.pdf

    http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/content/16/3/259.short

    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=1PNBh9ui610C&oi=fnd&pg=PA127&dq=%22Violence+and+U.S.+regional+culture%22+AND+nisbett&ots=gA6mI-nUT1&sig=FDAsyvFQtYI0FkBB26p-aJs9Z6Y#v=onepage&q=%22Violence%20and%20U.S.%20regional%20culture%22%20AND%20nisbett&f=false

    http://books.google.com/books?id=ZlHZpqo7rwEC&pg=PA331&lpg=PA331&dq=%22culture+of+honor%22+AND+south+violence+OR+homicide+white+OR+caucasian+black+OR+%22african+american%22&source=bl&ots=yyvuWKThIZ&sig=zKaZ921mSCzeYWx2zACkqWqnaEw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=aFMiUsnLFtStyAGs1oHgDA&ved=0CEEQ6AEwAzgU#v=onepage&q=%22culture%20of%20honor%22%20AND%20south%20violence%20OR%20homicide%20white%20OR%20caucasian%20black%20OR%20%22african%20american%22&f=false

    http://psp.sagepub.com/content/38/8/1018.short

    http://cjr.sagepub.com/content/36/1/76.short

    http://stevereads.com/papers_to_read/structural_conditions_and_racial_homicide_patterns_a_look_at_the_multiple_disadvantages_in_urban_areas_.pdf

    http://forumonpublicpolicy.com/archivespring07/slocum.pdf

    http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-06292011-114002/unrestricted/Agnich_LE_D_2011.pdf

    • Thank you for this list of URLs. First, I’ll state something that is not (I guess) obvious. Like every thoughtful person who finds merit in HBD ideas, I recognize that it is not a Theory of Everything. In line with common sense: culture, poverty, and other environmental factors are expected to have powerful effects on rates of violence. These influences should exist within groups and between groups. This prediction is supported by the evidence.

      Living on the outskirts of a Rust Belt city, I am very aware of the particularly pernicious effects of childhood lead exposure. Re: your first links, Kevin Drum’s particular ideas on low-level exposures may not be correct — there’s been a lot of discussion of that — but the general point stands.

      Scanning these links sheds light on your statement in the original post,

      We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America. But those who point out the problems of blacks never seem to notice or acknowledge this disconcerting fact.

      “We” don’t know the disconcerting fact that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America.

      What Nesbitt et al. observed is that poor rural Southern whites are significantly more violent than other groups of whites. Such as urban whites and poor rural whites in Northern states.

      I didn’t find any apples-to-apples comparisons of the violence rates of poor rural Southern whites to, say, poor Southern urban blacks or poor Rust Belt city blacks. Since your August 31 at 8:51 pm comment contains a long list of the references you’ve read, it’s safe to say that you don’t know of such apples-to-apples comparisons, either.

      So your statement was hyperbole, used to advance your broader argument about HBD, racists [sic] and racialists [sic].

      If you’d acknowledged that in response to my query of August 30, 2013 at 5:19 pm rather than doubling down, it would have prevented a lot of electronic ink from being spilled.

      I’ll check Nesbitt’s book to see if he reports these sorts of studies. Maybe he did? I don’t know how long the interlibrary loan process will take, though.

      Until “Culture of Honor” arrives, I don’t see much point in exchanging further views on this subject.

      • “Like every thoughtful person who finds merit in HBD ideas, I recognize that it is not a Theory of Everything. In line with common sense: culture, poverty, and other environmental factors are expected to have powerful effects on rates of violence. These influences should exist within groups and between groups. This prediction is supported by the evidence.”

        I’ve never criticized thoughtful people who thoughtfully find merit in HBD ideas. That describes me as well. Yes, thoughtful people would recognize that HBD is not a Theory of Everything. Thoughtful people would also recognize that it is an unproven theory. It is a hypothesis waiting verification or invalidation.

        It is in line with common sense to the degree it is a plausible hypothesis, but thoughtful people would recognized many hypotheses are plausible including many competing with the HBD hypothesis. There is lots of evidence, some supports the HBD hypothesis and some weakens it or narrows its scope. I have yet to see a presentation of the HBD hypothesis that fully takes into account the many confounding factors. It is not yet known how much explanatory power HBD might have.

        “What Nesbitt et al. observed is that poor rural Southern whites are significantly more violent than other groups of whites. Such as urban whites and poor rural whites in Northern states.”

        I had a few spare moments. So I offered a bunch of links that you could study for yourself. They were just possible places to look for more info.

        “I didn’t find any apples-to-apples comparisons of the violence rates of poor rural Southern whites to, say, poor Southern urban blacks or poor Rust Belt city blacks. Since your August 31 at 8:51 pm comment contains a long list of the references you’ve read, it’s safe to say that you don’t know of such apples-to-apples comparisons, either.”

        You can choose to remain in willful ignorance. It is a free country and you are free to do so. Or you can withhold judgment until you inform yourself by reading the book. I take no responsibility to do your research for you. I’m not your teacher or your nanny. I feel no compulsion to help the ungrateful. This blog post isn’t about you. You are entirely irrelevant to the facts at hand. Read the book or don’t, but quit whining like an impudent child.

        “Until “Culture of Honor” arrives, I don’t see much point in exchanging further views on this subject.”

        So, you are admitting your ignorance. Given that, on what basis are you judging my claims? I offered you the source of my claims. It is no different than when a source is referenced in a research paper or academic book. It is up to the reader to verify the source.

  7. This whole situation does make me feel very emotionally drained. But I chose to write the post. So I’ll suffer the consequences. It sure sucks to be a person who dislikes conflict and yet creates his own conflict. I guess that is my cross to bear. Poor pitiful me. LOL

    It puts me in a pensive mood. The issue of racism is maybe more secondary in relation to the specific conditions of the interpersonal conflict. It isn’t limited to ay issue alone, rather more about clashing worldviews/mindsets.

    Nearly everyone wants to be understood. I don’t feel understod by JayMan and I’m sure he doesn’t feel understood by me. Feeling misunderstood hardly makes anyone unique.

    I have no reason to assume others should understand me or would go to the effort of understanding my worldview. But that is certainly what I wish was the case. And I would like to be the kind of person who offers that in return. In this post, though, I offered more criticism than understanding.

    The rub for me is twofold.

    First, it seems to me that certain groups get the least sympathetic understanding of them all. This is what I meant by knowledge being used to kick people while they’re already down. Worse still is their being kicked again and again to make sure they stay down.

    Second, I get the sense that many people are unaware of the immensity of these problems in our society. I particularly feel tired out for having to continuously explain what, if this were a society concerned with justice, would be common knowledge. Most people assume that blacks have the worst social roblems while being unaware of rural Southern whites. There is no way to explain this cultural bias other than systemic racial prejudice.

    Plus, this seems to show a lack of public awareness about the extent of the problems with plutocracy/corporatism, classism, poverty, economic inequality and decreasing socio-economic mobility. These problems aren’t limited to any single race or ethnicity, but they are disproportionately found among certain groups. There are actually more whites than blacks on welfare. How many Americans know that? probably not many.

    Americans also lack much historical knowledge. These are far from being new problems.

    So, I’m less concerned about understanding for myself. I isn’t just my worldview. These sad facts are our shared reality. I wish we could get past the point of being unnformed and misinformed. How are we supposed to move toward solutions when we have a hard time even getting the public and officials to be simply well informed.

    This isn’t a criticism of anyone specifically. I’m in the same boat as everyone else. My public education never taught me about any of this. I rarely hear much in-depth coverage about any of it in the MSM. I was ignorant about these issues for most of my life and I’m still ignorant about many other things. It takes a lot of effort to unlearn all the misinformtion and then learn what you should’ve been taught in the first place.

    The average person can’t be blamed for having been made misinformed and uninformed by schools, media and politicians. But the buck has to stop somewhere. We as individuals have to hold ourseles up to a higher standard and demand that others do so as well. The hour is getting late.

    I’m reminded of the Populist Era. It was a time of very little in the way of mass media, public libraries or even basic education. Peole lived isolated lives mostly unaware of the larger world. However, growing industrialization was changing the world and monopolies were forming. Even farmers used to self-reliance wee feeling the squeeze from the railroad corporations. These largely ignorant farmers began to buy books and discuss the issues. They became informed and then built organizations. Massive change followed.

    I feel we are in a similar era. People are becoming aware of how much they don’t know and should know. Ignorance is bliss only up to a point. Self-education takes a lot of effort, though. There has to be strong motivation for doing so. It also helps to have time on your hands which is happening now with increased unemployment and underemployment.

    I get tired and frustrated sometimes. But I see reason for hope.

  8. I must admit to being perplexed and irritated by the conservative or conservative-minded political correctness that says a spade can’t be called a spade when it points to an uncomfortable truth for conservatives and the conservative-minded. If I don’t call a racist a racist, what am I supposed to do? The accused party has acted or expressed him or herself in a manner that could be interpreted as a racially prejudiced pattern of behavior, but it would be wrong of me to judge someone by their appearing as a racist even though they judge others by appearances of their skin color.

    The blog post that inspired my writing all of this was obviously a racially prejudiced presentation of cherrypicked data with a biased slant with the overt purpose of portraying blacks as inferior to whites and dangerous to white society. It is so fucking obvious that someone has to be disingenuous to deny it. It isn’t a neutral and objective presentation of the facts by any stretch.

    The argument of conservatives and the conservative-minded is that they should be free to make racist remarks without geting accused of being racists because it is politically incorrect to call someone a racist. Such people worry that calling a racist a racist might damage their reputation. Maybe it is being a racist that damages their reputation. There is an easy solution to that. Don’t be a racist or at least don’tgo around making public declarations of your racist opinions.

    I’ve never been big on political correctness, no matter who practices it. I state things as I see them. I’m not motivated by fear of inconvenient data and uncomfortable truths. Go ahead and present them. But if you do it in a racially prejudice way, I’ll point it out. There are ways of presenting data about races without being racist. It requires being intellectually humble by going to the effort f pointing out confounding factors and other complications/complexities.

    Despite all the comments and discussion here, my original basic point still stands. It is true I wasn’t being politically correct by calling that above linked post racist. But I wasn’t trying to be poitically correct. What I was trying to do was be intellectually honest and straightforwardly accurate. I succeeded in my intentions. Everything else is window dressing.

    I want to encourage mutual understanding and open discussion, but not by sacrificing my standard of truth-telling. Truth is the only way we can move forward as a society. Let’s discuss the difficult issues of race, ethnicity, violence, poverty, etc. Let’s discuss it all, but let’s not bullshit ourselves. We have to talk straight and state things as they are. At this point, we could use some brutal honesty. It ain’t pretty and that is fine.

    • > I want to encourage mutual understanding and open discussion

      Some suggestions.

      * Try to avoid putting words in your correspondents’ mouths. Try avoiding straw-man arguments, generally.

      * When engaged in a back-and-forth (e.g. in the comments to this post), focus your thinking by staying on topic. Overly long remarks inhibit the exchange of ideas.

      * Define key terms. Contra your earlier protest, you write about racists a lot. That’d be a good place to start.

      As i suggested upthread, when it comes to certain questions of race, Progressives conflate facts, those facts certain people recognize and choose to discuss, and certain people’s moral fitness.

      Suppose the pro-Consensus side in a discussion was free to use the word “rapist” as a synonym for “man with certain non-Consensus views who’s interested in sex with a woman,” at their pleasure. Imagine yourself as a non-Consensus man, repeatedly invited by Establishment figures to engage in frank and open dialog.

      In that Bizarro World, your opening statement might well be, “Stop labeling me as a rapist.”

      In this Bizarro World, you’re part of the Progressive Consensus team, AKA the side of the angels. Calling the Devils out as racists is easy and natural. It’s conduct that’s cheered by your friends and allies.

      Other places and times gone by, the Consensus Good Guys called the Bad Guys commies, or witches, or apostates, or heretics.

      Now as then, not a good starting point for mutual understanding and open discussion.

      • “Try to avoid putting words in your correspondents’ mouths. Try avoiding straw-man arguments, generally.”

        Why are you falsely accusing me of something I didn’t do? I put no words in anyone’s mouth. Nor did I offer straw-man arguments. I called a spade a spade. I’m sorry that makes you uncomfortable. You probably should work on your personal issues in a more personal way.

        “When engaged in a back-and-forth (e.g. in the comments to this post), focus your thinking by staying on topic. Overly long remarks inhibit the exchange of ideas.”

        This is my blog. If you don’t like it, you can fuck off. I honestly mean that. I’m not writing this blog to make you happy.

        “Define key terms. Contra your earlier protest, you write about racists a lot. That’d be a good place to start.”

        I did define my key terms. Racism is to be prejudiced against a particular race. It is racist when you present data in a way that is biased against a particular race and when you ignore, dismiss and omit data that doesn’t conform to such racial bias. I already explained this to you. Weren’t you paying attention?

        “Suppose the pro-Consensus side in a discussion was free to use the word “rapist” as a synonym for “man with certain non-Consensus views who’s interested in sex with a woman,” at their pleasure. Imagine yourself as a non-Consensus man, repeatedly invited by Establishment figures to engage in frank and open dialog.”

        Please don’t be disingenuous. You’ll gain more respect from others if you refrain from being disingenuous. If someone has evidence that someone is a rapist, it would be unethical for them to not point this out. As for my racist accusation, I offered an example and explained the evidence of racism within that example. It would be show a low moral character if I didn’t challenge an example of racial prejudice.

        By the way, my views are nuanced. Someone is only something when they were doing it. A slave owner is only a slave owner as long as they own slaves. There were slave owners who freed their slaves and at that point they eliminated the reason for their immoral behavior.

        You’ve also seen how I criticize ignorance, but if you follow my writings enough you’d quickly realize that I criticize my own failings in this regard. I seek out problems both in myself and in others. I do so because I hope for improvement both in myself and in others.

        Ignorance and racism go hand in hand. My entire life has been a slow and imperfect process of decreasing my ignorance, becoming aware of biases and disentangling myself from the problems I come to see in society. I’ve been complicit in this racist society I’m a part of. I’m still complicit in all manners of ethical issues within this society.

        I take this very seriously. In our society, the sad default is to be ignorant and racist. That is the default I was born into like about everyone else. I’ll be the first person to admit that I have a ton of failings. I’m hard on others in the same way I’m hard on myself. My being an asshole is equal opportunity.

    • @ Benjamin David Steele —

      Thanks for hosting this discussion. Even though our dispute weighs on you, you’ve allowed all my comments through moderation. That willingness to engage puts you ahead of many of your Progressive brethren (and you’ve related the analogous experience of having civil, on-topic comments discarded at an HBD blog).

      We’ve both put a lot of time into this dialog. I’ve learned a little bit. You might have, too — I dunno. Mostly, it seems like we’re talking past each other. Since I have real-world chores piling up, this is a good time for me to pull back. But I’ll certainly reflect on whatever you have to say, in response to my latest.

      Regards,
      amac78

      • I checked Feedly before signing off. Greg Cochran’s latest post is very relevant to the discussion here:

        It Must Be Said
        August 31, 2013

        There are facts that were once known, sometimes generally known, that are now known to but a few… mostly these facts are unpleasant, at least to some ears. People who mention such facts are punished – generally in terms of their careers, not being invited to parties, etc.

        [snip]

        But [Ron Unz’ article in The American Concervative was unquestionably correct in its major conclusion. Blacks in the US have very high crime rates, and there is a very high correlation between the local crime rate and the local black percentage. That’s the way it is.

        continues…http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/it-must-be-said/

        Now, on to those aforementioned chores.

        • The question is: Do you blame the victim or the victimizer?

          Yes, victims often have issues. Look at any abused child. Collective victimization that continues for generations and centuries is of a magnitude greater than such individual victimization. It would be surprising if blacks didn’t have problems after all the fucked up things our fucked up society did and continue to do to them. The same goes for other minority groups, other oppressed groups and other impoverished groups… such as rural white Southerners.

          It is sad that we live in such a fucked up society, but that is all the more reason we should confront it with brutal honesty. The time for politically correct excuses is over or should be over.

      • “Thanks for hosting this discussion. Even though our dispute weighs on you, you’ve allowed all my comments through moderation. That willingness to engage puts you ahead of many of your Progressive brethren (and you’ve related the analogous experience of having civil, on-topic comments discarded at an HBD blog).”

        I’ve gotten used to conflict, despite it tiring me. I see no reason to hold a grudge, not to you or JayMan or anyone else.

        I’m an asshole, often a righteous asshole. I’m a cynical idealist. I’m critical of nearly everything and everyone in this world. I’ve been severely depressed for years which makes me an irritable person with an unfortunate tendency toward being mean. You are seeing me at the end of my rope of tolerance. My psychic energy tank is at zero. When that happens, I get brutally honest, sometimes just brutally asshole-ish. Maybe I’m wrong. If so, I’ll accept responsibility. I’m sure I’m wrong about lots of things, probably most things.

        I wish I was a better person. I really mean that. I do strive to be a better person, but I usually fail. My entire life is a constant failure of my own standards. I’m as much of a part of the problems of this world as anyone else. I hope others are as brutally honest with me as I can be with others.

        I will defend myself when I think I’m in the right. I’ll disagree with you. I might even call you some name that you disagree applies to you. If you think I’m acting wrongly, I hope you point that out to me. If enough people make the same accusation of wrongdoing, I will begin to take that very seriously. So, I want you to make the best argument you can make for why I am wrong for calling certain people racist. Let’s debate it, if you want.

        I’ll let your comments be posted. I don’t have to agree with you to want to defend your right to be heard. That is partly the issue that motivated this post. The blogger whose post I referred to as racist blocked my comment in the comments section of his blog, even though it was a rather mild comment as you can see from my presenting it in the main body of text above.

        “We’ve both put a lot of time into this dialog. I’ve learned a little bit. You might have, too — I dunno. Mostly, it seems like we’re talking past each other. Since I have real-world chores piling up, this is a good time for me to pull back. But I’ll certainly reflect on whatever you have to say, in response to my latest.”

        We are talking past each other. It is simply we see different evidence as real and relevant. So, we come to different conclusions. I’ve given my argument. If you disagree, that is fine.

        I think all of this is good. I want to be challenged by others. And whether or not others want it, I will challenge them. Our discussion has forced both of us to clarify our terms and brought to light our beliefs, values and assumptions. This is what needs to happen on a larger scale among even more people of even greater diversity. Yes, it leads to conflict in the short term, but that is the only way to move through the conflict that is already there whether or not we face it.

  9. Maybe no one cares to waste their time reading more of my commentary, but I thought I’d add a personal example of the type of failures I speak of.

    I was born and largely raised in the North. My upbringing was mostly middle class and my surroundings were mostly liberal. These were the basis of my worldviews, my prejudices and my ignorance. My mom’s Hoosier family and my time in the South moderated this to an extent, but these earliest influences have formed me the most.

    I have at times been highly critical of rural white Southerners. They tend to be conservatives which make them opposite of my worldview. I have many criticisms of them and they are an easy group to criticize if one wishes to do so as they have lots of problems as a group.

    Skepoet grew up in the South and so that formed more of his background. He helped set me straight on being more sympathetically understanding of rural white Southerners. I already knew I should be more sympathetically understanding, but it is easy to forget that. It is also easy to blame the South for its authoritarian and hierarchical society based on a history of aristocracy and slavery.

    I’ve come to realize that rural white Southerns are victims of an oppressive society. I shouldn’t blame them for the society created by an oppressive ruling elite. Also, Skepoet pointed out to me how much the North has played a role in the problems in the South.

    This led me to write a post that presented a more nuanced view of North and South:

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/sin-of-the-north-sin-of-the-south/

    Because of my background, I had prejudiced views that were some combination of a class bias and regional bias. There was also some ignorance mixed in as well. Even while increasing my knowledge and lesssening my ignorance, I still didn’t appreciate the racist problems in the North. A rude awakening was when I first read about sundown towns in a book by David Hackett Fischer. This led me to write about this in the following:

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/liberty-freedom-and-fairness/

    I went on to read the book that Fischer was referencing. It is by James W. Loewen. I was truly blown away by how immensely ignorant I was of this issue. I was blind to its existence, like most people. The author’s explanation of this was compelling and I had to rethink my view about small Midwestern towns. There is a dark side there that can’t be seen, a history almost entirely forgotten about. Often the only evidence remaining is in the census records.

    Before this post, I had mentioned this issue of personal and collective ignorance in terms of racism:

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/knowledge-doesnt-matter/

    I’ve often admitted that I’m part of the problem. This is why I take the problem so personally and so seriously.

    This is an explanation of how I came to see the problems of poor, oppressed whites as the same or very similar to the problems of poor, oppressed blacks. Along with Skepoet, Joe Bageant also helped me develop this understanding. The issue is poverty and oppression. For both blacks and rural white Southerners, this poverty and oppression has existed for centuries at this point.

    The two groups seem vastly different. Poor blacks and poor whites have often been seen each other as enemies. This isn’t unintentional. It has often been the ruling elite who have set these groups against each other in an attempt to divide and conquer. The ruling elite have done this even within poor whites between different ethnic groups.

    A book that helped explain this is What’s the Matter with White People?: Finding Our Way in the Next America by Joan Walsh. As with Bageant, she is writing about her own people and she has some useful insight (although Bageant is the better of the two). Bageant looks at the working class Protestant Scots-Irish of Appalachia and Walsh looks at the working class Catholic Irish of New York City. Despite the differences, the two insider views resonate with one another.

    My understandings are ever evolving. I’m a work in project, as is our entire society.

  10. You know what, this calling someone a “racist” is a very easy way to brush off discussion of very serious issues. Most people you call “racists” are not “racist” in the sense that they hate blacks or other races, they are just trying to understand race differences. Somehow I cannot imagine Steve Sailer joining a group of skinheads to beat up innocent black people on the street. The fact is, there ARE differences between the races, and if you don’t want to talk about races we can talk about genetic groups, in any case, those difference are quantitative and qualitative and very easy to see. It’s not that blacks are “bad” or “inferior”, but, it’s true that, on AVERAGE, they do commit more crime and have lower IQ than Whites and Asians. There are TONS of data on that. Yes, blacks are good in music. And some sports. And there are some really nice black people. But in general, there are genetic differences between all groups. And I don’t think that’s necessarily bad. This equalitarian ideology is absurd, nothing is “equal” in nature.

    • I’ll put it this way. It isn’t so much about being a racist as it is about some action or piece of writing being racist. There is no inherent quality to a human that is racist. Someone is only racist to the extent that they are doing or expressing something racist.

      I never said Steve Sailer was a racist. I was making a more complex and nuanced argument than that. I was pointing out two things. HBD blogs have an unfortunate tendency of getting associated with racists/racialists/supremacists, often I would add simply by the type of commenters they attract. Someone in my most recent post pointed out that they thought this could be seen in the comments sections of Sailer’s writings.

      It isn’t about the data that is pointed to by racists. It is how they present and interpret the data. Worse is what data they omit, ignore and dismiss. It is the racial bias in the presentation of the data, not necessarily the data itself. For some reason, that seems to be a difficult point to explain to some people.

      I’ve never argued everything is equal. This post has nothing to do with that claim.

  11. You write:

    Many HBD proponents seem less interested in taking a moral stance and prefer instead to claim they are just objectively presenting data. If they do this, they are shifting the blame to the cherrypicked data and denying responsibility for having cherrypicked the data in the first place.

    Then you go on to claim:

    Here is what has been proven and yet ignored by the likes of the author.

    More whites do drugs than blacks, but more blacks are in prison for drugs. Studies have shown that blacks are more often pulled over by police than whites, more often have criminal charges brought against them than whites for the same behaviors, are more likely to be judged more harshly by juries than whites for the same crimes, and more likely to be punished more harshly by judges than whites for the same crimes. These are the inconvenient truths that most Americans don’t want to face.

    […]

    We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America.

    The pot calling the kettle black. There’s a large, contradictory literature on many of those questions. And some of your claims are just false (Southern whites are not the most violent demographic). Yet you write as if they were established facts, probably because you have cherry-picked your evidence to support your case or because you have never looked at contrary evidence due to your “anti-racist” priors.

    For example, claims that the criminal justice system discriminates against blacks are usually based on studies showing that blacks are treated worse than whites after controlling for some relevant covariates. The problem with such an approach is, of course, that if all relevant covariates are not included in the analysis, the result is not reliable.

    One alternative approach is to compare the results of victim surveys to arrest and conviction statistics. Such comparisons indicate that blacks are generally less likely than whites to be arrested and convicted for the crimes they commit. Still another approach is to match whites and blacks for relevant individual-level characteristics. This study found that just two variables, IQ and self-reported aggressiveness, fully accounted for the black-white arrest and incarceration gaps in the Add Health data set. If individual-level characteristics that explain criminal offending within races fully explain between-race differences in arrests and incarcerations, blaming the criminal justice system for racial disparities becomes a very dubious tactic.

    The often repeated claim that whites are equally likely (or is it more likely now?) to use drugs as blacks is based on self-reports. If blacks are more prone to socially desirable responding, which appears to be the case, self-report data cannot be used to make racial comparisons. One less biased source of information is data on emergency room admissions for drug use. These data show that the black share of ER admissions is somewhat higher than is their share of arrested drug suspects. This indicates either that black drug offenders are not, contrary your claims, specifically targeted by the justice system, or that blacks are more likely to use drugs in a risky way.

    As to the claim that blacks are stopped by the police more often than whites due to racial profiling, the available evidence is contradictory. Some studies suggest a racial bias against blacks, others find no such bias, and still others find, if anything, a bias against whites. You are either mendacious or ignorant when you claim that your perspective is “what has been proven.”

    Your misapprehension that your beliefs are well supported is, however, understandable, because if you don’t take the trouble of studying the full body of evidence for yourself, it’s easy to end up believing that the various “racial gaps” can be explained by reference to simple social mechanisms. A principal purpose of HBD is precisely to address lacunae caused by the academia’s and, by extension, the media’s bias against hereditarian explanations of group differences.

    For example, some of my points about black criminality above are taken from the Color of Crime report, published by American Renaissance. Why don’t I cite some academic publication? Because many of the analyses contained in the Color of Crime report, while rather simple and obvious, have never been published by academics despite their obvious importance.

    American social science is structurally biased against hereditarianism in racial issues. If there’s one thing that unites the social sciences, it’s that racial differences, especially the black-white ones, should not be attributed to heredity. Everything must be explained in terms of discrimination and poverty. The rare heretics against this orthodoxy, like the late Arthur Jensen, are frenetically attacked, pour encourager les autres, regardless of the merits of their research.

    I’m not saying that social scientists are doing fraudulent research to promote racial egalitarianism. I think they are, by and large, sincere. The problem is that because of the taboo against hereditarian explanations, many questions are never asked, many avenues of research never embarked upon, many findings never submitted for publication. HBDers are, in a small way, trying to address this problem.

    • “The pot calling the kettle black. There’s a large, contradictory literature on many of those questions. And some of your claims are just false (Southern whites are not the most violent demographic). Yet you write as if they were established facts, probably because you have cherry-picked your evidence to support your case or because you have never looked at contrary evidence due to your “anti-racist” priors.”

      I would never claim to just be presenting data objectively and neutrally. I try to be clear that my opinion is my opinion, my interpretation is my interpretation, and my biases are my biases. If that wasn’t clear, let me rectify that now. That is how I see anything I write.

      There is the data that I or anyone else presents. I don’t mean to dismiss any data out of hand, although of course not all data is equally valid or relevant and any of it can be debated.

      You can read Nisbett and Cohen’s book for the data or not. I don’t care what you do.

      The South has higher violence rates than the North. The rural majority white South without a history of slavery has higher violence rates than the urban racially mixed South with a history of slavery, an in the rural South it is mostly a white on white violence. The rural majority white South with high gun ownership has higher violence rates than the rural white non-South with high gun ownership. The South in general has higher rates of suicides and ‘accidental’ deaths.

      I admit these are talking about general patterns. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could find some specific place in the rural white South that by itself for some reason has low violence rates. And I wouldn’t be surprised if you could find some specific place in the non-South that has higher than average violence rates.

      “For example, claims that the criminal justice system discriminates against blacks are usually based on studies showing that blacks are treated worse than whites after controlling for some relevant covariates. The problem with such an approach is, of course, that if all relevant covariates are not included in the analysis, the result is not reliable.”

      Some of the data I’ve seen compared black and white defendants accused of precisely the same crimes. There is another study I came across that had the exact same job application with a typical white name and a typical black name. The same job application received 50% more responses by interviewers, and this is when the interviewer hadn’t even met the theoretical applicant, just judging based on a name.

      The evidence is so immense at this point someone has to be in denial or worse to dismiss it. It could be debated and it is complex (that is my whole point), but you’d have to be an utter idiot to deny the well known history and present existence of racism at all levels of our society. I have absolutely no respect for those who either are racists or who defend/support the system of racism, even if only passively by denying its existence. I won’t play those idiot games. A racist is as a racist does.

      “Your misapprehension that your beliefs are well supported is, however, understandable, because if you don’t take the trouble of studying the full body of evidence for yourself,”

      Your misapprehension that you aren’t a racist because a racist society backs your beliefs is, however, understandable because if you don’t take the trouble of studying the full body of evidence for yourself. Yes, of course, racists can cherrypick a few studies that didn’t find racial bias.

      “it’s easy to end up believing that the various “racial gaps” can be explained by reference to simple social mechanisms. A principal purpose of HBD is precisely to address lacunae caused by the academia’s and, by extension, the media’s bias against hereditarian explanations of group differences.”

      I have yet to see any HBDer, but maybe one exists, who actually deals with all of the confounding factors of racial and class prejudice, poverty, unemployment/underemployment, economic inequality, socio-economic mobility, environmental pollution and toxins, malnutrition, social/environmental stress, social capital, and on and on. After an HBDer does such an analysis, I’ll entirely change my opinion. But until then I’ll keep pointing out the obvious.

      “For example, some of my points about black criminality above are taken from the Color of Crime report, published by American Renaissance. Why don’t I cite some academic publication? Because many of the analyses contained in the Color of Crime report, while rather simple and obvious, have never been published by academics despite their obvious importance.”

      That is the most pathetically lame excuse I’ve heard in my entire life.

      “I’m not saying that social scientists are doing fraudulent research to promote racial egalitarianism. I think they are, by and large, sincere. The problem is that because of the taboo against hereditarian explanations, many questions are never asked, many avenues of research never embarked upon, many findings never submitted for publication. HBDers are, in a small way, trying to address this problem.”

      Making baseless accusations is empty and meaningless. There are researchers who even research the biases of scientists. If you can’t prove your claim, that proves you have no evidence for your claim. Claiming something without evidence is the opposite of being scientific.

      • I would never claim to just be presenting data objectively and neutrally. I try to be clear that my opinion is my opinion, my interpretation is my interpretation, and my biases are my biases. If that wasn’t clear, let me rectify that now. That is how I see anything I write.

        So, you admit that cherry-picking and ignoring confounders are in fact your own methods of choice. Perhaps your claims about HBDers are best seen as simple projection.

        I could set you straight about the nonsense in your latest comment as well, but there’s no point. You are too emotional and anti-rational to process any information that challenges your prejudices. Bye.

        • “So, you admit that cherry-picking and ignoring confounders are in fact your own methods of choice.”

          I don’t admit that because it isn’t true. We all have biases. That is simply human nature. However, there is a vast difference beteen those who are solely defined by their biases and those who seek to decrease their biases. I strive for the latter. I would also say someone like hbd chick strives for the latter. Your comments, on the other hand, seem to show you’ve embraced the former.

  12. Hi there,

    Just a point to make: this is not true that hereditarians can’t be convinced. It’s quite easy to convince me, that IQ differences between “the races” are not caused by the genes. All you need would be

    a) a massive project which would compare IQ in blacks with white ancestry as based by genetics, not by the proxies such as skin color or self-declared ancestry. Skin color would have to be controlled for somehow, I mean skin color is correlated with white ancestry, but there is only weak correlation AFAIK

    b) A massive project which could take randomly picked black children, and could raise their g systemically by 15 points (for the all group), with lasting effects until the late adulthood. Note I am not saying about IQ, but about g. AFAIK, all massive projects until now have spectacularily failed in this, and they were not aimed specifically at black children, at least I think.

    That’s it.

    Note also, that I am not saying IQ differences surely are caused by genetics. I accept this as one explanation, which – according to my current understanding of what i read – seems to be most likely. At the same time, I accept that this is not the whole gap is explained by genetics, and some part of the gap is explained by environmental factors (parasite load, poverty, lead and so on). I know not a single HBDer, who would say environment is not important.

    Finally, just a reminder I am talking about average of large group of groups. I suspect that there must be groups within one “group of group” which are either much higher, or much lower than the whole group average. There is no reason why there shouldn’t be some population of blacks which would be considerably higher in g than average whites, and population of “whites” which, in terms of average g, couldn’t be “worse” than average of black population.

    Have you read Jensens “g factor” already?

    • “this is not true that hereditarians can’t be convinced. It’s quite easy to convince me, that IQ differences between “the races” are not caused by the genes.”

      The hereditarian position isn’t a default position. That isn’t very scientific. It isn’t up to non-hereditarians or simple scientific skeptics to disprove hereditarian unproven claims. It is the responsibility of hereditarians to provide the scientific evidence, not just correlating data, but actual scientific research proving the validity of causal relationships.

      “Note also, that I am not saying IQ differences surely are caused by genetics. I accept this as one explanation, which – according to my current understanding of what i read – seems to be most likely. At the same time, I accept that this is not the whole gap is explained by genetics, and some part of the gap is explained by environmental factors (parasite load, poverty, lead and so on). I know not a single HBDer, who would say environment is not important.”

      That isn’t all that different than my position. I’m not arguing for a competing theory. I’m simply pointing out that HBD theory has yet to fully take into account all confounding factors. In order to do this, HBD research would need to be done where those factors are controlled for. That is what science is for. Until then, HBD is a scientific hypothesis.

      I doubt there is any mainstream respectable scientist who would claim genetics has no effect on neuro-cognitive development. Genetics is a part of mainstream science, but the scientific method still demands for specific correlations to be proven as causal

      I personally suspect heredity is a very strong factor. However, I also suspect many other factors are equally strong and combined maybe stronger than heredity alone. It may turn out that heredity is a very small part or is very complicated by its relationship to other factors. It might not be a very simple and straightforward causal relationship between heredity and IQ.

      “Have you read Jensens “g factor” already?”

      I’ve read many discussions of Jensens “g factor’ over the years. I’ve known about this since the 1990s, but it has only been this last decade that I’ve looked into this type of thing in more detail, although it isn’t my main interest. I don’t know that I’ve read anything written by Jensen, but I’ve read other works about IQ.

      As an alternative viewpoint, I’d recommend reading James R. Flynn’s What Is Intelligence?: Beyond the Flynn Effect. Here are some reviews that explain Flynn’s basic arguments:

      http://www.amazon.com/review/R75MQWCDZZ711/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0521880076&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

      http://www.amazon.com/review/RG1EOQOEZL8LZ/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0521880076&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

      http://www.amazon.com/review/R3M8W5Z37QQSL8/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0521880076&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

      http://www.amazon.com/review/R1DQPAZI300NCY/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0521880076&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

      I just saw another book that might be interesting:

      Myth of Intelligence by Patrick Winn

    • I noticed James Flynn has a new book out:

      Intelligence and Human Progress: Te Story of What was Hidden in our Genes

      Flynn brings forth some stron data-driven challenges to the strong hereditarian osition. IQs have been increasing ever since tests were given, but black IQs are increasing faster than white IQs. This is causing the black/white IQ gap to shrink at a vry fast rate. This severely complicates genetic explanations of the IQ gap.

      One possible explanation seems might be presented in another book where such things as environmental toxins are discussed:

      Human Intelligence and Medical Illness: Assessing the Flynn Effect
      by R. Grant Screen

      One thing thathas changed over time has been improved public health. This improvement has effected minorities the most.

      • Except that it is not agreed upon that black/white gap has really shrinked (see the whole Flynn/Nisbett/Rushton/Jensen/Murray/Dickens debate some six years ago), and given 50% hereditary, 50% environment then gap shrinking is perfectly compatible with hereditarian position. The debate is still continuing, but I have no access to the most recent contributions ( they are paid papers 😦 )

        But I really, really recommend Jensen’s book. Most of what you will find in disucssion is just repeating Jensen’s words and works; e.g. his taking into account of SES,stereotyp threat etc. Moreover, most likely readers of Jensen wouldn’t be able to present his arguments as clearly and lucidly as he himself; surely I cannot, I am not native speaker and, of course, I do not possess Jensen’s talent.

        Finally, it’s nice to know you are hereditarian too – hereditarian is anyone who believes genes play some role in addition to environment. This is in contrast to non-hereditarians, which are now almost extinct but which once were powerful opponents of Jensen and others, who thought genes play no role.

        Now, since Darwin, it should be obvious that genes should play some role in development of intelligence (without variance, there cannot be selection), and that’s why i say hereditarian position should be default position in science. The idea that intelligence (as in Jensen’s “g”) is not at least partly genetic is so unusual that it should be proven;

        • Yes, the debate continues and is unlikely to end anytime soon. There are just too many confounding factors that make research and analysis so difficult. It won’t be debate that decides this issue, certainly not debate in blogs.

          We have to be patient with the field of research and intellectually humble about all the uncertainties and unknowns. Plausible hypotheses are many at this point, but only time will tell which is correct. That is all I’m saying.

          I’m not defending a theory. Rather, I’m defending the simple fact that at present no one knows for certain which might turn out to be the correct explanation and anyone who claims to know for certain should be treated with great wariness.

          By the way, the actual or significant debate among modern scientists hasn’t been about hereditatians vs non-hereditarians any more than its been about environmentalists vs anti-environmentalists. The main debatehas been between the Jensen camp and the Flynn camp. Both sides accept that both heredity and environment are contributing factors.

          The problem as I see it is when people, especially ideologues, seek to portray the debate in simplistic terms in order to favor their position. I’m not saying that is what you are doing. I just mean we need to be very clear and precise about the terms of debate.

          The Jensen camp is as much soft hereditarian as is the Flynn camp soft environmentalist. I hope none of us here are arguing hereditary vs environment.

        • I don’t think either a strong environmentalist or a strong hereditarian position is easily defensibile, It certainly isn’t the most plausible position that could be taken.

          This has been one of my criticisms of HBD. Some HBDers seem uncertain about or divided between the strong and soft hereditarian positions. I’m not sure about HBDers in general, but definitely among the race realists there are many strong hereditarians.

          This problem actually first became apparent to me with hbd chick herself. She argued on a number of occasions that culture comes from biology for where else can it come from. That is a clear expression of strong hereditarianism. But when pushed comes to shove hbd chick has a much more nuanced view that is soft hereditarian.

          Her emphais and the emphasis on most HBDers on genetics seems to put them with tendencies toward strong hereditarianism. I see this as biasing their interpretations, even when they end up shifting back toward a more soft hereditarian position. There seems to be something within the HBD theory that creates or makes likely this partial tendency toward hard hereditarianism.

          I’m not sure what to make of hbd chick’s position. She sometimes advocates hard hereditarianism and sometimes soft hereditarianism. Maybe her views have been shifting and I happened to catch her at a time when she was reassessing her position.

          My concern is less with hbd chick and more with HBDers in general. I don’t know what positions most HBDers consciously hold as their stated conclusion. But what I notice is that they spend a lot more time pointing out hereditarian influences than environmental influences. This implies a strong hereditarian bias when choosing what data to look at and how to interpret it.

          I’d like to see more HBDers take seriously a position of soft hereditarianism and soft environmentalism. I think that is the direction research is going in and the direction debate should take. HBDers will make HBD less relevant if they try to portray the debate as strong hereditarianism vs strong environmentalism (or maybe even less helpful would be portraying it as soft hereditarianism vs strong environmentalism).

          I don’t know that most HBDers are doing that, but it is just something to keep in mind. The frame of debate is as important as the substance of debate.

          • Thanks for the answer. To clarify, I myself understand that the exact percentage of “hereditary” vs” environment” may depend on particular environment AND genes. After all, the estimates of “heredity” of given trait are always given for particular population and environment 🙂

  13. Unsurprisingly, some people wish to draw me into polarized ideological debates by trying to portray my views in black/white terms. But I don’t want to play that game.

    Everything is complicated, including my own views and the evidence I offer in support. There are always exceptions. You can find studies that show no racial prejudice or genetic influence in a particular situation under particuar conditions, but that doesn’t disprove and discount all the other studies that do show racism or heredity. It simply demonstrates that it is complicated.

    There is no single theory based on a single factor that is going to explain all possible effects.

    Furthermore, I’m no more focused on a single group that I am of a single theory. I’m not making excuses for all blacks and blaming all whites. American history shows that racism can even be directed at whites and often by whites. Jews and Irish were once considered to be both not part of some inclusive white race and not equal to the dominant ethnic/racial group. This is how ethnic prejudice has enforced poor rural Southerners into poverty for centuries and how they are still considered as white trash by many dominant whites.

    I’m as much against prejudice when directed at disadvantaged whites as when directed at disadvantaged blacks. I’d hope most people feel the same way.

  14. I was thinking about how data is collected and correlated leads to specific conclusions, with or without intentional bias. My point about rural Southerners isn’t important in and of itself. I used it as an example because it demonstrates how you look at data determines what you see.

    The rural South has the highest violence rate in the country. This is interesting in a number of ways. We are used to thinking of urban areas as being more violent, but even the urban South isn’t as violent as the rural South. We are used to thinking of urban areas as more violent for the reason that it is where non-whites are concentrated, but it is specifically the rural South that is most violent where there is less history of slavery and hence far fewer blacks. As such, the violence of the rural South is mostly white on white.

    Yet simultaneously it is true that blacks overall have higher rates of violence than whites overall. The only commonalities between blacks and rural Southerners is that both have histories of high rates of poverty, oppression, prejudice and political disenfranchisement. On the other hand, data shows that whites and blacks not born under these conditions don’t have the high rates of social problems (for example, the children born in Germany of WWII black GIs). It proves the power of environmental influences, not just as a minor factor but as a central factor.

    The higher rates of violence among blacks overall directly correlates to the higher rates overall of prejudice, poverty, etc. This is so obvious and predictable as to be a rather boring conclusion. Basically, undesirable conditions lead to undesirable results.

    However, it all depends on what is focused upon. If you ignore the environmental, historical and regional factors, all you will see is that blacks have more problems. With this limted view, it is easy to understand how this leads some to conclude that heredity explains that blacks are inherently inferior and dangerous. It ultimately doesn’t matter if this narrow view is considered racist or not. Maybe the more important issue is that it is a narrow view leading to simplistic conclusions.

    There is a debate about what defines and causes clannishness which is correlated to violence. Some argue that blacks inherited a violent culture from their long time spent in the South, but they also inherited large amounts of Southern white genetics as well.

    I was thinking about all of this when I came across some interesting commentary about religion and IQ:

    http://philebersole.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/religion-and-iq-country-comparisons/

    “The great sociologist Peter Berger wrote that IQ is a measure of “modern consciousness,” which consists of the intellectual skills needed to function in a modern technological society. That would explain why immigrans (including Jewish immigrants) to the 19th century United States on average had lower IQs than the natives, but the U.S.-born children of the immigrants were equal to or better than the natives.It would explain why, during World War Two, Southern rural white men on average did worse on Army intelligence tests than Northern urban black men. It would explain the Flynn Effect of rising IQ in each generation.

    “If Berger was right, it is non-modern forms of religion, not religion as such, that are corelated with lower IQ. If he was right, IQ is not a measure of innate abiity, but rather a measure of generational progress toward modernity.”

    One of the defining aspects of the clannishness of rural Southerners is a religious tradition that has resisted modernity. One of the factors rural Southern whites share with urban Northern blacks is this very religious tradition. Both groups are more religious than the average American and more fundamentalist than the average religious American. Coincidence?

  15. Re: the prior discussion in these comments of the basis for the claim,

    We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America. But those who point out the problems of blacks never seem to notice or acknowledge this disconcerting fact.

    I was just notified the the interlibrary loan copy of “Culture of Honor” is ready for pickup; I should get to it tomorrow.

    If you have the book handy, could you guide me to the page numbers or chapter where Nisbett & Cohen present the evidence that demonstrates this point?

  16. I only read yesterday’s post “An Apology and a Clarification” after noticing the trackback, just now.

    You continue to stand by your statement of fact about poor rural Southern whites. As best I can tell.

    And, per your earlier comments in this thread, Nisbett & Cohen’s work in “Culture of Honor” is the source of that claim.

  17. Hello again, amac78.

    First, I apologize for my rude behavior toward you. I was in a bad mood, but that is no excuse. Just because we disagree, there is no reason for being uncivil. I offer my apology with sincerity. I hope we can continue our discussion without any negative feelings.

    Second, I do stand by what I said, but it all depends on how you interpret what I said. Obviously, I interpret my words by what I intended to say. But there is no reason you should be so generous as to interpret my words according to my intentions. You could interpret my words in such a way that it would be an incorrect statement.

    Even though I stand by what I said, I don’t feel any strong desire to argue about it. If you disagree with me for whatever reasons, I’m not going to endlessly debate it. But I do enjoy discussion when it seems fruitful and edifying. I’m open to being convinced that I’m wrong or that there is another way to interpret the data. So, let me make my case and you can be the judge.

    Before I explain my position, let me add one thing. The point I was trying to make is that analyzing data is complicated which is proven by my trying to communicate the data. This is a problem of discussions online, especially among non-experts. I see data cited all the time, but it is hard to know the quality of data. It can take a lot of digging to really understand an issue. This is why I would rather hold a position of intellectual humility. The more I learn the more I realize how little I know. I don’t want to act arrogant or righteous about what I think I know, something I should criticize in myself as much as in others.

    Anyway, I admit that I stated my claim without optimal clarity and with too much simplicity of wording. Communication is always a challenge and too often frustrating. I’ll attempt in the rest of my comment to be extremely precise and careful in what I say and how I say it.

    The exact wording of my statement is as you quoted it:

    “We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America.”

    By “We know that”, I do mean anyone who is familiar with the data from Nisbett and Cohen’s Culture of Honor (and other sources as well). By “poor rural Southern whites”, it can (and maybe should) be simplified to just “rural Southerners” who happen to have very high rates of being poor and white; it is possible that the rates of violence would be higher for anyone raised in and living in the rural South even if they weren’t poor whites (one could argue what precisely about the rural South makes it different from other places). By “most violent group in America”, that is dependent on a specific way of analyzing a specific set of data; the authors focus on comparing populations by location rather than race.

    That is what I attempted to clarify in my most recent post:

    1) Rural Southerners are the most violent (sub-)regional population in the South.
    2) The South is the most violent region in the US.
    3) Rural Southerners are more violent than urban Southerners. This is an important comparison because it shows that it isn’t just being Southern.
    4) Rural Southerners are more violent than rural Northerners, This is a maybe even more important comparison as both populations are largely white gun owners.

    Here are some relevant quotes from Culture of Honor by Nisbett and Cohen (I have the Kindle version and so I can only offer you the Kindle locations):

    “To link homicide rates more directly to agricultural practices, our colleague Andrew Reaves17 examined homicide rates of different regions within the South. The most rural counties of the South were studied—all those having no town with a population of more than 2,500. Reaves looked at white, non-Hispanic male offender rates and also examined per capita income of the white population, population density, mean July temperature, percent of the population that is African-American, and percent of the population that was slave in 1860.
    “Counties were categorized as one of two kinds on the basis of their likely use for farming or herding. In general, the moist plains areas of the South allow for farming and cash crops, and the hills, defined as having an average slope of 8 percent or more, and the dry plains, having a precipitation rate of 24 inches or less, are more appropriate for herding.
    “As would be expected by the herding-culture-of-honor hypothesis, white male homicide rates are substantially higher in the hills and dry plains regions (12.27 homicides per 100,000) than in the farming regions (4.98 per 100,000), as may be seen in Figure 2.2. Two factors—slavery and hotter temperatures—are rendered relatively implausible as explanations, since they are in the wrong direction to explain the results. Slavery is associated with the moist plains because, of course, it was there that cotton could be grown successfully and that slavery was economically viable. However, it is in the hills and dry plains, where slavery was relatively uncommon, that homicide is higher today. The temperature is lower on average in the hills and dry plains than in the moist plains, but it is in the latter areas that homicide is more common. Poverty is a conceivable explanation of homicide differences. However, regional differences are small, and when regression analyses are conducted, the contribution of region remains highly significant even after income is controlled for.
    “In addition to southern rural counties, Reaves also examined white non-Hispanic male homicide rates for all comparably rural counties in New England, the Middle Atlantic states, and the states of the nonindustrial, western Midwest (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas). The homicide rates are far higher for the southern counties—8.77 per 100,000—than for the northern counties—2.13 per 100,000. That is a ratio of slightly more than four to one and constitutes another indication that the smaller and more rural the population unit, the greater the homicide rate differences between North and South.”
    (Kindle Locations 570-589)

    “One frequently offered and plausible explanation for the higher rate of homicide in the South is that southerners are more likely to own guns and hence to have ready access to a lethal weapon if they become angered. Although this might reflect a cultural difference (that is, a higher interest in guns in the South than in the North), it would scarcely be very interesting if it were the sole explanation for homicide rate differences.
    “Southerners are indeed more likely to own guns than northerners are. National Opinion Research Council surveys show that about two-thirds of all southern white men own guns, whereas only about 50 percent of northern white men do.20 That cannot be the whole explanation of homicide differences, however. Even where gun ownership rates are equal, there are huge discrepancies between southern and northern homicide rates. As we found in a survey of rural counties of the South and Midwest, residents of both regions were equally (and overwhelmingly) likely to own guns.21 But, as just indicated, in this sort of rural county, there is a difference in homicide rate of three or four to one between South and North.”
    (Kindle Locations 608-617)

    “In support of the cultural view we favor, we have shown that homicides, especially those involving arguments, are more common in the South, and that the more rural areas and those most suitable for herding are the ones that show the highest rates of homicide. For blacks, there is little regional difference in homicide rate, suggesting that it is something about white southern culture instead of just
    (Kindle Locations 629-631)

    “Because of southerners’ stronger ethic of self-protection, we would expect them to be more likely to possess tools often used for that purpose—namely, guns. National surveys invariably show that southerners are indeed more likely to own guns. But surveys also show that the differences go beyond mere gun ownership. Not only are southerners more likely to own guns; they are more likely to see their guns as instruments of protection (as opposed to purely for sport), more likely to carry their guns with them, more likely to feel safe if they have a gun around the house, and more ready to use their guns if their homes are broken into.
    “Gun ownership rates were relatively high in our own survey of rural areas and did not differ by region. Our survey showed no difference in pistol, rifle, shotgun, or overall gun ownership. However, there was a great difference when respondents were asked whether their gun was used for sport or for protection. Only 21 percent of midwestern gun owners said the gun was used at least partly for protection, whereas 49 percent of southern gun owners said the gun was used at least partly for protection.
    “Other surveys also illustrate that southerners are more likely to keep a gun around for self-defense purposes. In 1981, a Gallup poll asked respondents about twelve different “things people do because of their concern over crime.” In response to this concern, southerners were more likely to say they carried a weapon and that they had bought a gun, as may be seen in Figure 3.8. In contrast, they did not report taking more “peaceable” preventive measures, for example, carrying a whistle, keeping lights on at night, or locking doors.
    “In 1976, the National Election Study asked a similar question.9 Southern white males were almost twice as likely as nonsouthern white males to say they “kept a gun for purposes of protection.” Again, it was not that southerners were more concerned about crime generally. Respondents were also asked about four nonviolent preventive measures, including keeping a dog for purposes of protection, putting new locks on windows or doors, putting an alarm system in the car, home, or apartment, and staying away from certain areas in a town or city. If anything, southerners were less likely to take nonviolent preventive measures than nonsoutherners.”
    (Kindle Locations 832-850)

    “It seems clear that the South has a higher level of the most extreme form of violence, namely, homicide. That is true at every size of population unit from the state to the smallest county. This discovery is not a new one, but it has been necessary to reestablish it because of the large literature based on highly aggregated data sets that make no distinctions between black and white homicide or among population units of different size. We found that regional differences, as would be expected by our culture-of-honor hypothesis, were obtained only for whites and not for blacks, whose culture was not expected to vary in this way by region. We also found that the smaller the population unit, the stronger the regional differences were, a pattern that would be expected if the origins of regional differences were agricultural. The higher homicide rate of the South is not attributable to the South’s having more guns per capita. A good “control” for this point is the fact that gun ownership is equally common in the most rural areas of the South and central Midwest, but homicide rates in the white population of those areas differ by a factor of four.”
    (Kindle Locations 1653-1660)

    “In the presence of scarcity, high potential gain from theft and illegal activities, and low probability of state protection, the culture of honor has been reinvented yet another time in human history. Thus, in our view, the United States has at least one major group other than white rural southerners—namely, members of the “street” subculture of the inner city—that is well characterized as a culture of honor. Along with Elijah Anderson, William Julius Wilson, and other observers, we believe the fundamental explanation for the existence of this subculture is economic. If so, the culture of the inner city is not likely to change until the economic situation changes. If then. In the next and final section of this chapter, we examine questions of cultural evolution and persistence. It is an open question whether economic change is always—or at any”
    (Kindle Locations 1877-1883)

    Using further data, let me continue and extend the case I’ve been making.

    If you add the even closer focus on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, the rates of violence is shown even more clearly (from the blurb for Killings: Folk Justice in the Upper South by William Lynwood Montell):

    “The “State Line Country” of this book is a rugged area of small farms on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Historically the area has had a homicide rate more than ten times the national average.”

    In Killings, Montell writes in a note (Kindle Locations 2219-2221):

    “Brearley, Homicide in the United States, 19-20, and Brearley, “Pattern of Violence,” 685. The rural homicide rate in the southern states for 1920 and 1925 was 11.44 per 100,000 persons. If, as claimed by Brearley, southern blacks committed seven times as many slayings as whites, that would lower the region’s white homicide rate to 1.4. Measured against either figure, the State Line country’s homicide rate of 114 per 100,000 persons for those years is staggering.”

    I’m not sure what the black homicide rate is to the national average but here is supposedly what it is to the average for whites:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_crime_in_the_United_States#Homicide

    “The offending rate for blacks was almost 8 times higher than whites”

    I’ve also seen it stated that the black rate is 7 times higher than whites, but I’m not sure what the most recent data shows. Either way, the majority white population in this particular regional area maybe is or has been more violent than US blacks overall (I’m not sure how well such data is comparable). This is important as black rates of violence don’t vary greatly by region.

    http://reason.com/archives/1997/02/01/a-matter-of-respect

    “Two other results point to a fundamental cultural factor. The regional effect does not seem to operate in big cities (big-city homicide rates are about the same in the South as elsewhere); it appears only in small cities and towns (Southern small towns are a lot more violent than small towns in other regions). Also, there is little or no regional difference in black homicide rates, only in the white rates. So the Southern distinctiveness in homicide and violence is concentrated among small-town whites, strongly suggesting the impact of regional culture.”

    As for the Kentucky-Tennessee border, I saw a telling map of gun violence:

    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/12/geography-us-gun-violence/4171/

    It is actually the suicide map that stood out to me, the relationship between homicide and suicide being a complex issue. I’ve seen negative correlations between homicide and suicide for many places, but in the South rates for both are higher. Of the four highest concentrations of suicide, three of them are in the South and two of those are on the borders of Kentucky in the Upper South.

    However, as William Lynwood Montell explains, a lot has changed in the 20th century South. Violence all over the US and all over the world has decreased (some theorize it relates to a decrease in lead pollution and other toxins), but not all places and groups have seen the same rate of lessening violence.

    The following adds an interesting complication:

    http://www.iga.ucdavis.edu/Research/All-UC/conferences/2011-spring/Culture_of_Honor_PGrosjean(3).pdf

    “None of the explanatory factors discussed in Levitt (2004) and Levitt and Miles (2006) -higher number of police, rising prison population, legalized abortion and receding crack epidemics- seems to apply more obviously to the Northern part of the country rather than the South. Yet, the Southern homicide specificity is essentially a white offender phenomenon: over the period 1980-2007 white offender rates in the Deep South have been 2.8 what they have been in Northern states. Black offender rates are ‘only’ 1.4 times higher, a difference that is no longer significant since the end of the 1980s. Besides, the analysis by Levitt (2004) and Levitt and Miles (2006) is focused on explaining the sharp decline of homicide rates in the 1990s, a decline which, again, was much sharper for black offender rates than for white offender rates: black offender rates declined 1.32 times more than white offender rates (source of data: UCR).”

    The comparative rates have been shifting at fast rates in some cases such as for blacks. This could be explained if blacks experienced disproportionately higher rates of pollution in poor urban areas. I suspect poverty-related factors are key to violence in general. Nonetheless, one of the compelling details to the culture of honor theory is that Nisbett and Cohen still found a difference even when poverty was controlled for. Culture does seem to be important, whatever its cause.

    • I was thinking further about how data is looked at. It isn’t clear to me how race and ethnicity can be separated from the social, political, economic and historical circumstances surrounding race and ethnicity. There are so many confounding factors and ommitted facts when race and ethnicity are treated as neutral/objective categories.

      Imagine if poor rural Southern whites with all their social problems were put into an inner city ghetto or housing project surronded by violence, crime, injustice and lack of opportunity. Imagine if poor urban Northern blacks with all their social problems were put into the rural South surrounded by food deserts, limited infrastructure and lack of much in the way of health and social services. Basically, switch the places of the poorest of whites and the poorest of blacks. Would it make any difference?

      Consider another scenario. Take some recent African immigrants who grew up in a place (such as Germany or Scandinavia) where they received a good education and good healthcare, where they had lots of opportunity and social mobility, and where their ancestors had never experienced vast poverty and oppression, especially not slavery. Imagine them in different social situations. If in the rural South or the inner city North, would they fall prey to poverty? Does mere blackness make them inferior? If so, why do blacks do well in places where they have experienced the same benefits as whites?

      If you forced a rich white family into poverty and lack of opportunity, into social oppression and political disenfranchisement for several generations or even several centuries (as experienced by most American blacks and rural Southrn whites), would their supposed superior genetics (or superior culture, family structure, etc) save them from all of the social problems of everyone else in similar circumstances?

      This makes for an interesting thought experiment. But for obvious ethical reasons, scientists have never done any experiments like this. We can only speculate.

  18. It is humorous that John Derbyshire pointed to my post:

    http://therebel.org/americas/126-united-states/688556-black-on-white-crime-if-you-want-to-get-to-grips-with-hatefacts-you-need-to-understand-the-hatenumbers

    My August 29th column on the effort by Tim Wise to explain away the great imbalances in inter-racial crime stats brought in a lot of email. I’m going to give over a column to dealing with some of the issues raised by readers.

    Inter-racial crime: The context.

    It’s hard to overstate the degree to which the entire topic of racial factors in crime is socially radioactive. You could ask Ron Unz, who was purged from the board of The American Conservative, in spite of his having given major financial backing to TAC over several years, for writing a data-rich, highly numerate article about exactly this topic.

    The Unz purging inspired a must-read short (700 words) blog post by the irascible, but usually incontrovertible, Greg Cochran, from which:

    “Someone I know at TAC opined that everyone knows this stuff, and talking about it is just mean. I think he is mistaken: you have to state important facts every so often, or nobody knows them anymore.”

    If the race’n’crime topic drives self-described conservatives like the TAC board to such measures, you can imagine what it does to liberals.

    Or if you can’t, check out this blog post by Tim Wise fan Benjamin David Steele. Mr. Steele was so disturbed by the statistics on black crime […]

    That is as much that was available without paying a $100 membership fee in order to see the full article.

    I was so disturbed by the statistics on black crime, was I? Well, no. In the comments here, I’ve pointed out the statistics on black crime. What disturbed me was the racially biased cherrypicking of the statistics on black crime. As I’ve explained, I see unfounded racial bias as immoral and not worthy of any serious thinker.

    I guess Derbyshire attacks my post because he sees me lower on the totem pole and so a safer target. I must admit I have little interest in attacking back. I realize that, on top of dealing with a physical illness, he has recently had his feelings hurt and his credibility questioned.

    Even over at Forbes, he is severely criticized:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/markadomanis/2012/04/09/the-martyrdom-of-john-derbyshire-and-the-brewing-conflict-in-the-conservative-movement/

    “It utterly baffles me how, in this day and age, anyone, even the most obtuse or egotistical, could possibly think that you would not be put out to pasture for authoring such a humorless, ill-informed, poorly written, and sophomoric screed about the mortal peril that white and Asian children face from African Americans. Plenty of other conservative authors have “gone there” on topics related to race: National Review’s editor Rich Lowry recently wrote an editorial about the Trayvon Martin killing and then followed it up with a blog post bemoaning the fact he had been labeled a bigot for speaking out. Other conservative authors, such as Andrew Sullivan and Derbyshire himself in days past, have even repeatedly treaded on the extremely fraught and contentious grounds of innate racial differences in intelligence. No, what made Derbyshire’s piece so unusual, and what resulted in his summary dismissal, was not the fact that it dealt with race but that it did so in a uniquely bullheaded and crass way: it wasn’t a racist dog whistle so much as it was an out-of-tune racist marching band.”

    That is interesting coming from Forbes which isn’t known for being liberal:

    http://www.thinktrade.net/forbes-magazine.php

    “Forbes is well-known to have a conservative outlook. Because of this, liberals won’t like the magazine at all, and conservatives will love it. [ . . . ] To some people, Forbes has the reputation of being a stuffy, conservative magazine for old money types. I hesitate to write this because I don’t want to get tied up in liberal-vs-conservative rhetoric. But I generally agree with this belief and I think that it shapes the content in a couple of meaningful ways.”

    http://www.epinions.com/review/mags-Forbes/content_518111530628?sb=1

    “This is because Forbes Magazine is geared in a pro- business, conservative direction and this bias comes through in most of the articles. It is widely known that Steve Forbes is a pro- business, pro- free market conservative and he makes this fact known in just about every article that bears his name. Fact and Comment, one of the opening departments in each issue, features Steve Forbes at his biased best. For the past couple of years, Steve Forbes has used this section of the magazine to sound off against Obama, the U.S. Congress, and any other political operative that doesn’t support his political and economic views. I don’t mind a little opinion in my periodicals, but Forbes (and most other writers in this magazine) often takes this too far with his constant rants against Democrats and others like them.”

    I wouldn’t mind if the likes of Derbyshire were seeking constructive dialogue, but I doubt that is the case. Maybe I’ll be surprised. If Derbyshire wants to offer some worthy commentary here, I’d gladly let it be posted and I won’t charge anyone $100 to see it.

  19. @ Benjamin David Steele —

    In the main post, you wrote,

    We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America. But those who point out the problems of blacks never seem to notice or acknowledge this disconcerting fact.

    From the FBI on down, all credible reports on violent crime show that black offending rates are much greater than white rates — say, four-fold to twenty-fold higher, depending on the crimes being considered, the sources of data, and the method of analysis.

    In that light, your remark was unexpected. Either you were on to something interesting, or you were misstating the facts.

    Accordingly, I asked, “Could you provide links to the citations that support your contention?” (In light of the subsequent discussion here, that comment of August 30, 2013 at 5:19 pm is worth re-reading.)

    You promptly (7:40 pm) responded,

    I’ve discussed this so often before. I am feeling a bit lazy at the moment or maybe just somewhat emotionally drained. What I’ll offer you is a title of the book where this data is discussed.

    Culture Of Honor: The Psychology Of Violence In The South
    by Richard E Nisbett and Dov Cohen

    You can also just do a web search. You’ll find plenty of reviews of the book and articles that reference it.

    What followed was a series of explanations of your view of this narrow subject — the basis for your statement — spanning about a dozen lengthy comments and half of a subsequent blog post (“An Apology and a Clarification,” September 4, 2013 at 6:28 pm).

    It was practical for me to get “Culture of Honor” by interlibrary loan, so I did. It has been referenced multiple times by the excellent HBD bloggers hbd_chick and JayMan, so I’ll gladly read it. But for the purposes of this comment, I spent half an hour scanning the portions that are relevant to the assertion, “We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America.” It was easy to do — I looked at the List of Figures, the List of Tables, and the Index (“black homicide rates, 14-15, 17, 22”).

    “Culture of Honor” contains no support for your statement.

    This is unsurprising. The publisher’s summary (reprinted on CoH’s amazon.com page) plainly states that the authors focus on the behavior of white Southerners. And the Index shows that black criminality is only discussed in a six-page span of Chapter Two. From page 17:

    There is nothing peculiar about our data set or form of analysis that might cause us to get results drastically different from those of other investigators. On the contrary, when we analyze the data the way others do, we find the same things… It is only when we separate the data by race and city size that we can see the true effects of southern white culture.

    Emphasis added.

    Nisbett and Cohen use “Male Homicide Offender Rate” as the crime-statistics proxy for “violence” (Figures 2.1 and 2.2, pages 16 & 19). The highest rate shown is 12.3 per 100,000, for White Non-Hispanic Males in the rural “hills and dry plains” counties of the South.

    Given the decades-long trend of declining homicide rates, the dates for which Andrew Reaves collected these data are relevant — his dissertation is dated 1993, so they likely date from the 1980s.

    The US DOJ’s website doesn’t make it easy to view crime rates by race; others have noted that one Holder-Obama initiative has been to make that process harder. But Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008 (2011, PDF) has the key information. During the 1980s, the nationwide white male homicide offending rates were in the range of about 10 to 14 per 100,000 (in 2008, it was about 9). For blacks, in the 1980s that rate was at about 90 to 130 (in 2008, it was about 80).

    Even if my estimates of the rates portrayed by Figures 22a and 22b are off, Figures 16 and 18 provide a “sanity check,” showing that I’m in the right ballpark.

    The highest homicide rate reported by Nisbett and Cohen for rural Southern white males was therefore about one-sixth to one-tenth of the national average rate for black males.

    Thus, your statement

    We also know that poor rural Southern whites are the most violent group in America. But those who point out the problems of blacks never seem to notice or acknowledge this disconcerting fact.

    is flat-out wrong.

    In my opinion, committed leftists are prone to confusing things they wish were true with things that are actually true — though this is hardly limited to one end of the political spectrum. Instead, it seems to me that the quasi-religious nature of certain belief systems is what causes adherents to fall prey to this shortcoming.

    • Yes, the world is complex. I wish people like you would admit that. There are several state populations of blacks that have lower or about equal homicide rates than the white homicide rates in many other states (the same situation is seen with race IQ rates in states). Such differences would also be found when comparing regions and the urban/rural divide. The world is complex. Generalizations are often false because there are always complications and exceptions.

    • I’m not sure what to make of people like you. Your comments demonstrate an intellectual dishonesty that gives evidence of a profound lack of moral character. You do exactly what I was criticizing in my post above. You cherrypick data to defend a racially biased woldview.

      You also use a tactic I’ve seen Christian apologists use a lot. Since you are unable to deal with the point I was making, you use diversionary tactics to distract from the issues. I know your type. You know you’re right even before the discussion begins. You don’t care about learning anything new because you already think you know everything. You certainly don’t have an excess of intellectual humility and intellectual curiosity.

      Have you looked at the data on states and races? There are a number of Southern states states with white homicide rates higher than the black homicide rates of several Northern states. That is what is called inconvenient data. I don’t know if or how such data can be generalized to show regional or area patterns, but it sure is inconvenient data for the likes of you.

      You criticize me for what you claim is an unfounded generalization. And then you assert your own unfounded generalizations. You still haven’t disproven my basic point that there is no honest way to generalize about all blacks or all whites. Furthermore, you have yet to even acknowledge the racial bias I spoke of in my post, the very kind of racialy biased cherrypicking you demonstrate in your own comments.

      I have no interest in continuing pointless debate with you. I’m in the process of doing research on violence, race and location. Unlike you, I don’t simply want to assume I’m right and everyone else is wrong. I honestly want to understand.

      In looking further at data, I realize that the issue with my statement isn’t whether it is right or wrong. The problem is that there isn’t enough comparable quality data. More problematic still, there are many kinds and measures of violence but no single aggregate measure of total violence. So, to a large extent, my statement or any similar statement is scientifically non-falsifiable. It would be as pointless to claim my statement false as to claim it true. That is very problematic when trying to ascertain what is true, but it isn’t the problem you think it is.

      No matter what I say, I’ll never get an honest response from you.

      In our initial ineraction, I responded negatively. I intuitivelty sensed that you weren’t interested in honest discussion. But I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt. I thought that maybe if I treated you as if you had something worthy to contribute you might actually contribute something worthy.

      It turns out my first appraisal of you was correct. You’ve shown that you are only interested in data to the extent you think it will help you win debate points. The problem is honest discussion isn’t about tallying points.

      You really do remind me of a Christian apologist. I’ve listened to some debates between apologists and atheists. The atheists involved typically are academics. They’ve been trained to ascertain what is true and so they often aren’t the best debaters. It is interesting to watch apologists win debates when they don’t have much in the way of facts on their side. Apologists can do this because apologetics specifically trains people for persuasion and rhetoric. An apologist isn’t constrained by intellectual humility and honesty, certainly not by fair-minded factual accuracy and careful explanations of nuance and complexity.

      You keep expecting me to do research for you. But if you were an intellectually curious and capable person, you could and would research this issue for yourself. If that was the case, you wouldn’t need someone like me pointing out all the complications and confounding factors. They aren’t hard to see for those who want to see.

      We humans are fallible and our minds are severely limited. There are more things in the world we don’t know than things we do know. And many things we think we know are wrong. That is what history proves about the human condition.

      Still, it is worthy to seek greater knowledge and understanding. Also, it can be fun to argue for a perspective for that is a great way to learn. But if one gets stuck in a single perspective with a sense of self-righteous certainty that is a sad place to find oneself.

    • This is why I feel such a strong need to strive for a standard of intellectual humility. And why when I stray from this standard I try to return to it as quickly as possible. I always want to put truth before questionable claims of certainty.

      There is nothing wrong with realizing that a statement is non-falsifiable (or presently non-falsifiable in relation to the known data). Scientifically speaking, a non-falsifiable statement isn’t false. The actual problem is the very fact that it can’t be proven false or proven true. The statement itself isn’t false, but it would be false to continue to claim a a statement as falsifiable when it isn’t.

      This isn’t just my problem. It applies equally to your claims. Why this is such an immense problem for all involved is because there are so many confounding factors. This is something I’ve been trying to explain for a while, but even I failed to appreciate how big of a problem this was for the issue of violence.

      This isn’t necessarily a permanent problem. All of the confounding factors theoretically could be controlled for. It would require a very innovative research method and it would probably be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. But offhand I see no reason this should be impossible. To achieve the required end, an aggregate measure for total violence would need to be developed in order to make standardized comparisons. As far as I know, such research has never been done.

      This happens to me all the time. As I look further into a topic, it is pretty much inevitable that the coplications multiply in my awareness. This is all the more reason to hold any and all conclusions lightly.

      The interpersonal communication problem I face, however, seems even more insurmountable. Honest discussion is impossible if some people involved don’t strive for intellectual humility and don’t have equal tolerance for complexity and uncertainty. Sadly, I’ve found many people don’t like having pointed out all the confounding factors. I realize confounding factors are neither comforting nor inspiring, but reality is what it is whether or not we like it.

      I’ll take resonsibility on my end to move the discussion forward. I’ll do so by writing another post exploring the confounding factors so as to explain why, according to the limitations of present data, it is so difficult simply trying to formulate a falsifiable hypothesis. When I finally post it, anyone seeking honest discussion will be welcome to comment.

  20. @benjamin – “I think that ends my time commenting at hbd chick’s blog.”

    i meant to say a couple of weeks ago when you wrote that/when i first read it that i truly am sorry to hear you say that, and i hope you reconsider!

    i learned a lot from you in the short time you were around my blog (a few months?), and — being selfish (~_^) — i hate to see you go!

    even if it feels like you’re banging your head against a brick wall sometimes, i hope you’ll leave some comments sometimes over @hbd chick. if not, i’ll see you here! (^_^)

    • “i meant to say a couple of weeks ago when you wrote that/when i first read it that i truly am sorry to hear you say that, and i hope you reconsider!”

      I may have been hasty. I don’t deal well with conflict, as you can see. But you are such an easy person to get along with that maybe I won’t be able to resist further commenting. You should be the official representative of HBD. If anyone is going to bring HBD into the mainstream, I’d put my bet on you for how interesting and compelling you present it with your blog.

      Despite my criticisms, I’m sure I agree with you more than I disagree. It is just easy for me to get stuck in a negative and critical mentality. None of this is your fault. I do genuinely appreciate how kind you’ve been toward me, even when my own responses haven’t seemed perfectly kind. You will never know how much I appreciate and respect that.

      Just give me some time. I get overwhelmed by life and go into retreat mode for a while. I want to focus a bit on what I’m doing. I really don’t have any hard feelings toward you and I hope you don’t have any toward me. I’m not always the easiest person to get along with. Please accept my apology for my occasional lack of being charitable and my too quickness to judge.

      I’m a work in progress. My mom had a song she played for me as a child where a little kid sung, “God isn’t finished with me yet!” Lordy Lordy, ain’t that the truth! My grandmother also had a related saying. It went something like: “Everyone is doing their best for where they are.” I try to remember my own failings whenever I feel critical about others. It makes me a lot more understanding, compassionate and forgiving. But dang it sure can be hard to keep that in mind.

  21. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at this post. It was a frustrating comments section.

    How does one have an honest discussion with those who are unwilling or unable to have an honest discussion? There is no way to discuss certain facts and what they mean with people who don’t know those facts and don’t want to know them, much less even acknowledge their existence.

    About race and violence, here are two posts I wrote that get at the issues that the racists will never acknowledge.

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/white-violence-white-data/

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/are-blacks-more-criminal-more-deserving-of-punishment-and-social-control/

    I hope that one day the American public will have honest discussion about all of this. But I won’t hold my breath.

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