Open Thread

Here is the basic idea of an open thread. This is where a comment, idea, link, or whatever can be posted when it doesn’t necessarily fit the subject matter of any available post. This also can be where people can lodge their complaints or make suggestions, including possibilities for future posts.

Plus, this would be a good place for rants, as I’ll be less discerning in my moderation of comments here. I encourage open discussion. But there are limits. If your comment creates a negative atmosphere or simply lessens my happiness, then it will not be approved. I will use my discretion. Make sure your comment is worthy of your time and my own.

10,414 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Lolwut

    “White mans flour, (fry bread/tortilla, etc) and corn, (corn-bread/tortilla, etc) and potatoes (fried/baked/boiled) and rice and beans, along with white mans hybrid fruits and hybrid vegetables and nuts and berries, are pure sugar and pure poison. Sugar and starch in these quantities and availability that we consume daily and feed our children, are potent “stimulant drugs”. Alcohol is the highest form of sugar. — White man has been hybridizing these plants and seeds for thousands of years to raise their sugar contents a thousand fold when you factor in availability and consumption ratios. He took native plant life when he came to America and did the same with them. — All this sugar, along with alcohol and caffeine turned him into a “waring, greedy, ruthless monster”. Unbeknownst to himself. — He had built up a tolerance to these stimulant drugs and felt normal under their influence. Speed is known to cause “big headed” “superiority”. Hitler and OJ being prime examples. Greed and self importance and ruthlessness and me, me me, “stardom”, being hallmarks of stimulant usage. That’s why the Kings became Kings and the Queens became Queens. It’s the reason for the “Native” onslaughts -globally. “All the Kings Horses and All the Kings men”. This “white mans” hybrid plant life, that had become stimulant poisons, is what has continually destroyed native populations and people, throughout the world, as well as destroying himself. — Look to the waters for your food and drink, the rivers and the lakes and the oceans and the grasses and the forests and the plains and the woods and the sky. Natures perfect foods that you survived and thrived on, living in perfect health to be over 100 years old, is your road to freedom and returning health and prosperity. Throw those “white man” “casino’s” out, along with white mans marijuana and all of his food and drink and eat and drink the perfect foods your ancestors did and your health will return. I just discovered this “sugar/alcohol/stimulant” factor a few short years ago myself. My gift to you. It’s remarkable that nobody knows this. I am a white man. Scotch/Irish and German and English and French. 1/8,1/8,1/4, 1/4, 1/4. My grandparents were all full bloods and of this “Stimulated, Superiority, Race. Best to you. White man, like all races, was perfect until all of the sugar and stimulants came into being. Accidentally and “unknown” to him. Not excusing him, just saying the truth. This whole thing is one big accident that happened to man and the earth with an unknown beginning.– Tom Bunnell, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

    • It’s being stated in an odd way. But the basic info is true.

      Research shows that over the thousands of years of agriculture, plant foods were developed to have higher levels of sugar while lower levels of fiber, bitters, and nutrients. We humans did this because it made foods tastier and more easily digestible. But it led to mass malnourishment and disease with agriculture, as seen in less developed bone growth with height and brain size having decreased from the before agriculture.

      Non-agricultural people commonly died from other causes such as accidents and predation and war but they didn’t die from any of the modern health issues. For those who survived childhood, indigenous people tended to be as tall or taller than modern people and lived about as long with greater quality of life. And that is largely because they were eating low-carb/sugar, nutrient-dense foods, specifically wild plants such as seaweed and wild animals such as organ meats and bone meal/broths.

      Even the ancient grains and pseudo-grains were far different than what is commonly available today. And of course, they were prepared to have lower anti-nutrient content and higher bio-availability of nutrients (e.g., fermenting Quinoa for several days). The wheat most people today is a hybrid that didn’t even exist a century ago.

    • It’s sad and amusing that someone suggested the problem with fast food could be solved by instead buying a different variety of crap from the grocery store, assuming the individual doesn’t live in a food desert where no grocery stores are available.

      A standard box of pasta along with pasta sauce is no healthier than anything from a fast food restaurant (both are filled with farm chemicals, preservatives, sugar/corn syrup, food grown on dead soil, etc). It essentially is fast food. The same is true for modern whole wheat breads, which are completely altered from traditionally-prepared breads (organic ancient grains roasted, soaked, sprouted, fermented, etc).

      As for expense, it depends what you’re buying. A dollar hamburger at a fast food could never be bought and prepared for the same cost from a store.

      For anyone who wants to be informed, there is vast amount of research on diet and nutrition. We know that obesity is related to diets high in carbs, sugar, unhealthy oils (e.g., hydrogenated), toxins, and similar things. Also related to modern health problems in general are such problems is leaky gut, bacterial dysbiosis, immune disruption, inflammation, etc — all related to obesity as well.

      Meanwhile, traditional societies that eat high levels of meat, including red meat and saturated fats are amazingly more healthy than WEIRD populations. And that is true even for traditional societies such as the Masai and Inuit where very few vegetables are eaten. That is because those traditional societies aren’t getting all the simple carbs, sugar, chemicals, toxins, hormones, hormone disruptors, antibiotics, and numerous other factors of disease.

    • Basically, a specific cultural variety of traditional foods and paleo diet.

      Avoid processed, recently invented, and imported foods. Eat organic, pastured, wild, local, and in season. Follow traditional cooking and preparation methods (curing, roasting, soaking, sprouting, culturing, fermenting, etc). It’s near impossible to do this all the time for most people, but it’s fairly easy to vastly improve over the standard/mainstream modern WEIRD diet.

      One of the worst things you can do is to follow the food pyramid which is almost guaranteed to make you fat, sick, and depressed. This is particularly true with all the problems with modern grain and dairy: chemicals like GMOs, roundup, hormones, pasteurization, etc.

      It’s almost impossible to find raw and organic, traditionally grown and prepared grain and dairy products. It’s actually illegal to sell raw milk, despite pasteurization destroying the very enzymes that help you digest milk. And the widespread GMO crops using roundup makes almost the entire wheat supply tainted with a known deadly toxin.

    • As with others, I can’t help but wonder if there can’t be a different way of doing things. Many of the American founders, specifically Anti-Federalists, feared standing armies as one of the greatest threats to a free people. Some countries have dealt with this potential threat by requiring all citizens to serve, which means a military elite can never easily take over a passive and untrained populace. This also stops the military being an elite profession disconnected from the rest of society.

    • That is one of those studies that is entirely unsurprising. But it also seems to miss a deeper truth.

      These differences are perceived and hence socially constructed. A white kid who grew up in a black majority society with black teachers, black media and black government would probably have a bias against white people.

      All of this is taught, specifically which differences to focus on. There are thousands of differences between humans. And studies have shown that kids can be taught to focus on even the most arbitrary and meaningless of differences, such as shirt color.

      I’m not sure why it should be surprising that kids learn culture from such a young age, especially in a media-saturated society. It would be idiotic to expect anything different.

    • That seems incomplete. I’m sure it’s a contributing factor. But there has to be more going on. I and many people I know with myopia played outside plenty as children. I suspect another major factor, likely more powerful, is diet and nutrition.

      I’ve been reading a lot about this lately and it makes one aware of how sickly are modern people. It’s not only myopia increasing but obesity, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune conditions, mood disorders, autism, schizophrenia, etc. And all of these conditions seem to have common factors such as inflammation, specifically in terms of gut health and immune system health.


    June 27, 1836 – Speech of John C. Calhoun, former U.S. Vice-President
    “A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various powerful interests, combined in one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in banks.”

    June 28, 1836 – Death of James Madison, 4th President of the United States – on corporations
    “There is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by corporations. The power of all corporations ought to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses.”

    • It’s odd that the article didn’t talk about the environment’s effect on immigration. It also did talk about neoliberalism’s, military imperialism’s, etc effect on environment and immigration. Many of the non-Western countries people are fleeing are the very same places that have been most exploited, oppressed, and harmed by Western countries. Maybe that isn’t a coincidence.


    Although it represents a discipline that values competition and choice, the economics-textbook market has, ironically, long been characterized by monopoly and homogeneity. In 1988, the same year Laibson graduated from Harvard, the market for Econ 101 textbooks was in such a sorry state that the economist Joseph Stiglitz argued there was a market failure brought about by monopolistic competition. Even though its sales had begun to decline, the big dog was still Economics by Paul Samuelson, which had by then already become far and away the best-selling economics textbook of all time. While the book contained Keynesian lessons that pointed to the types of failures of the free market that could lead to depressions in the economy at large, Samuelson’s textbook also popularized the neoclassical ideas and methods that became synonymous with Econ 101. Together with its accessible prose, the textbook offered a formula so successful and influential that almost every economics textbook in its wake imitated it. In the words of Stiglitz, the market had become dominated by Samuelson “clones,” particularly when it came to microeconomics. This wasn’t an accident, he believed. There were big costs and uncertain benefits for professors to change their Econ 101 curriculum, and if books departed too far from the status quo, they might lose customers. Monopolistic competition in the textbook market, Stiglitz said, created a “centripetal force” that resulted in “too many similar products at the center of the market, too few products at the fringes.”


    Democracy advocates recently celebrated a victory in Maine, where voters used ranked-choice voting in their statewide primaries—the first state ever to do so. In that election, voters also approved a referendum to keep the ranked-choice system for future elections. They will use it this November in the elections for U.S. Senate and U.S. House.


    July 12

    1873 – The Farmers’ Anti-Monopoly Convention, Des Moines
    The Convention resolved that: “all corporations are subject to legislative control; [such control] should be at all times so used as to prevent moneyed corporations from becoming engines of oppression.”

    July 13

    1956 – J.R.R. Tolkien is quoted on the topic of modern governments
    “The main mark of modern governments is that we do not know who governs, de facto any more than de jure. We see the politician and not his backer; still less the backer of the backer; or what is most important of all, the banker of the backer. Enthroned above all, in a manner without parallel in all past, is the veiled prophet of finance, swaying all men living by a sort of magic, and delivering oracles in a language not understood of the people.” – Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, quoted in Contour magazine.

    July 15

    2003 – Article: “Catholic Social Thought and the Amorality of Large Corporations: Time to Abolish Corporate Personhood” by William Quigley, Loyola University New Orleans School of Law
    “Large corporations rule the world. Because of their growing size and power they have overwhelmed the ability of civil governments to regulate them. In a world where 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day, current economic arrangements are not just. Catholic social thought has been critical of corporations since the 1930s and stresses the need for government regulation for the common good, subsidiarity and a preferential option for the poor. Law has bestowed on corporations the legal status of a person and has given corporations many constitutional rights and protections. Ethics, morality and Catholic social thought suggest it is time to abolish corporate personhood as a step towards returning people to the center of economic activity.”

    This article is based on a presentation made at the Fifth International Symposium on Catholic Social Thought and Management Education, co-sponsored by the University de Deusto, July 15-18, 2003

    2014 — Montana Senator (and farmer) Jon Tester: “Corporations are not people”
    Montana farmer and US Senator Jon Tester, took to the floor of the Senate to explain why he has introduced a Constitutional amendment to preserve rights of human beings, and end the fabrication of new “corporate rights.”
    Montana Senator (and farmer) Jon Tester: Corporations Are Not People
    Text of Tester’s amendment is here:

    • How can someone like that still talk about such issues of genetics as if he is completely ignorant?

      It’s like he knows nothing about what heritability means. And he seems to have utterly no comprehension of complexity and confounders. The game is barely beginning, especially considering that recent research has proven the simplistic understanding of genetic determinism is total bullshit.

      The study was looking at maternal genetics which also includes parental epigenetics, but none of that gets discussed (apparently not in the study, in Hsu’s post, or in the comments section). Taken out of the larger context, the genetic determinist interpretation of this study is meaningless.

      Justin • 5 days ago
      OK, so what we have here is a study that, like most scientific research, makes incremental progress toward our understanding of a particular phenomenon—namely gene-environment interaction with respect to social mobility.

      So how does a person like Steve Hsu, who has enough experience as a research administrator that he should know how this all works, look at such a study and boldly pronounce “game over?”

      Justin steve hsu • 3 days ago
      I see you edited your original comment where you stated that studying gene-environment interaction wasn’t the primary purpose of the paper. I’m guessing you went back and actually read it thoroughly?

      “genomic predictor for educational success that is (in the sense I explain, 2nd figure) about as powerful as existing standardized tests.”

      Just to be clear, you’re making that claim, not the authors of the paper, and it’s wrong. You said the standardized test correlate with educational attainment at r= .35. According to the paper, adjusted for parental education, the correlation between polygenic score and
      educational attainment is only .16 in the E-risk and .22 in Add-Health. It’s significant but “about as powerful” is a stretch.

      “The PNAS paper shows that prediction works even between siblings (within family) and also that it has socioeconomic consequences.”

      It found that polygenic score only predicted about 4 percent of variation in social mobility and that the relationship was complex. The paper noted that the mother’s polygenic score had a bigger effect than that of the individual child, which hints at a complex interaction between genes and environment—one that you’ve oversimplified

      “(even stronger) genomic prediction of cognitive ability will not be possible in the relatively near future just does not understand what is already in published (or soon to be published) results.”

      Might I suggest an alternative: Maybe you don’t understand what has been published or you do and you’re willfully misrepresenting it.

      A paper published in March was touted by lazy science journalists, white nationalists, and HBDers as evidence that scientists would soon be able to predict IQ just from looking at DNA. The paper itself said a whopping 4 and 6 percent of phenotypic IQ could be predicted from DNA alone.

      Bottom line is that you’re imposing your own interpretation on the results that is completely at odds with what the authors themselves say repeatedly. You’re presenting this as a slam dunk for a biological determinist worldview that renders any sort of intervention pointless, when the entire object of the study is to improve educational outcomes for children through environmental intervention. “A long-term goal of our sociogenomic research is to use genetics to reveal novel environmental intervention approaches to mitigating socioeconomic disadvantage.”

      And, when I read the first figure, even with my layman’s understanding I can plainly see that one’s economic starting point is still largely what determines where they end up in life. Subjects with the highest polygenic score in the low SES almost always ended up below the high SES subjects with the lowest polygenic score.

      Honestly, what you’re doing is unethical and harmful to the public’s understanding of science. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      Justin steve hsu • 2 days ago
      Well maybe I should have said “gene-environment relationships,” which is broader and includes both interactions and correlations. Just note that the reviewers of the paper are Christopher Jencks and Elliott Tucker-Drob, the latter of whom specializes in research on gene-environment interactions and education.

      Like I said, I’m just a layman so I rely on what the researchers themselves say about their own work, and it’s clear from reading the “Discussion” and “Conclusion” sections that they are mostly interested in exploring the complex relationship between genes and environment. Determining what, if any, relationship exists between the polygenic score for educational attainment and social mobility is a means to that larger end.

      The point still stands: You’re presenting this in an irresponsible way. As the authors state, sociogenomics is a young multidisciplinary field. This isn’t “game over.”

      It would be more appropriate to say that the “game” is beginning, except it’s not a game at all. HBD bloggers treat studies like they’re Magic: The Gathering cards.

      The tools of this field, namely GWAS, still need work, and a small but important step in that direction is convergent validity, i.e. testing known associations against other variables also known to be correlated.

      “If one tries to correct for parental education one is potentially mixing up both G and E effects (since both are passed from parents to kids) and it’s hard to interpret the meaning of that (reduced) correlation.”

      The authors of the paper didn’t see any problem doing this or interpreting the result, and I trust them. The object was to reduce confounding, and they wouldn’t have done it if it increased confounding. They looked at the polygenic scores of the parents and children separately, and controlled for parents education, which is how they concluded maternal polygenic score had an effect over and above the child’s polygenic score indicating an environmental pathway.

      “I don’t think I said anything about whether intervention is pointless. ”

      A quick scroll through your comment section shows your readers clearly understood this post in that way. What you didn’t say is important. You didn’t include any discussion of most of the takeaway points that the researchers themselves considered essential. And that’s precisely the point of my criticism.

      If you want to write about science, do it in the right way. Not this half-assed sensationalism where you post some charts, copy-paste a huge wall of text from the paper and then add a paragraph or two about what you think it means.

      “However, many people are (wrongly, in my opinion) skeptical that we can reach this level of prediction”

      By “many people” you mean geneticists with relevant degrees and research experience in the field.

      I mean you’ve read your own comment section, so you probably don’t need me to tell you the types of people who read your blog—or maybe you do. Stripping all the nuance out of science might get you clicks, but you run the risk of having what you write turn into white nationalist propaganda.

      You get rave reviews on Stormfront. Macrobius writes: “Hsu is, in my opinion an excellent blogger. So excellent, that when you type ‘Steven Hsu’ in a search box, Google suggests ‘steven hsu racist’ as a possible query you might have intended. Never let it be said that chinks don’t have a racist thing or two to say, or that Jewgle isn’t up on its game.”

      Hope that gives you pause.

      • I think these are the types that turn a lot of ppl away from stem and contribute to why Techies are the new Wall Street in terms of ppl on the street demonizing them

        One thing I notice about their views is that they can’t put it in context. They’re operating on the Anglo hyper-capitalist framework and interpretation of people and intelligence basically.

        Also, why assume that their genetically engineered 1000 iq folks would be Einstein and not unabombers? Why assume they’d hold up your ideas of society instead of rebel against them? A stupid person after all, wouldn’t have been able to pull off 9/11

        Not to mention Einstein himself didn’t like the status quo and had a pretty pro-social view for his time. Many of their proported eugenic dreams for their accomplishments and intelligence also hardly met ideals in other ways. Alan Turing was persecuted for being gay, for one

      • Why do they assume that their genetically engineered high iq dreams would be Einstein and not unabomber? Or basically, why assume that their designer people would share their worldview and not rebel against it? A stupid person after all could not have pulled off 9/11. And most of the intellecualcidols cites like Einstein, Richard Feynman, etc did not share this guy’s views of ability and smarts and people

        Intellectuals with that level of accomplishment tend to be very humble about their limitations as well as the limitations of their epistemology

        • In fact, 9/11 was pulled off by a well-bred, well-educated, intelligent rich guy who was specifically educated in some of the best schools in the Western world. He represented the height of superiority in terms of the worldview of genetic determinism and social darwinism. Osama bin Laden knew more about Western politics, economics, and history than someone like Pinker and certainly way more than any online reactionary such as HBDers. It was similar with the Unabomber, another brilliant and educated guy who knew in great detail how evil is the world promoted and supported by right-wingers (a guy, by the way, driven mad by demented psychological testing done with the support of US intelligence agencies).

  6. The recent primary upset of Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, showcased the electoral strength of her platform, which included single-payer health insurance and tuition-free college and trade school. But soon afterward, Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, and Tammy Duckworth, a Democratic senator from Illinois, dismissed Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s success as strictly a local phenomenon.

    “It’s just one district,” Mrs. Pelosi said at a news conference. Ms. Duckworth characterized Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s victory as the “future of the party in the Bronx,” telling CNN’s Jake Tapper, “I think that you can’t win the White House without the Midwest, and I don’t think you can go too far to the left and still win the Midwest.”

    But as they look to 2018 and beyond, Democratic Party leaders would do well to remember the electoral success and durability of native Midwestern progressivism. That tradition was forged largely in Wisconsin, once described by Theodore Roosevelt as a “laboratory for wise, experimental legislation aiming to secure the social and political betterment of the people as a whole.” Wisconsin progressives devised much of the New Deal, including the Social Security Act and the unemployment insurance program, as well as Great Society programs like Medicare.

    The result of the 2016 election, in which Hillary Clinton lost the presidency in part because her centrism failed to appeal to Midwesterners, shows the urgent need for a return to just such a tradition. Nowhere was this more apparent than in Wisconsin, which had not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1984 — until Donald Trump. In the Wisconsin Democratic primary, however, Senator Bernie Sanders won every county save one, and beat Mrs. Clinton by 13 points. […]

    The state’s progressive tradition dates back to the 1840s, when Scandinavian immigrants began settling in the area. Many were fleeing crop failures and devastating famines. The harshness of the environment they left behind helped forge a communitarian ethos that they brought with them to the United States.

    Those values also fostered an openness to social welfare programs, which is captured in the Swedish word “folkhemmet,” which means “the people’s home” and came to serve as a nickname for the welfare state.

    Egalitarianism led Scandinavian settlers to form agricultural cooperatives and to disproportionately support the trade union movement. Many also gravitated to the abolitionist principles of the new Republican Party, which was founded in a one-room schoolhouse in Ripon, Wis., in 1854.

    Abolitionist sentiment grew with an influx of German revolutionaries, who fled Germany in the middle of the 19th century after their rebellion failed at home. Many had been members of the Turnverein, or Turners, a physical-fitness movement that also encouraged liberal, and sometimes radical, politics.

    In Wisconsin, the Turners helped create a reformist Socialist movement whose ideology was not that far from that of Mr. Sanders and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. In 1910, the Milwaukee Socialist Party elected a congressman, 14 state legislators and the first of three mayors. Purists derided it as “sewer socialism,” because it focused on winning prosaic (but nonetheless quite meaningful) gains for the working class like sewers and the country’s first workers’ compensation program.

    The pivotal figure of Wisconsin progressivism, Robert M. La Follette, who served as district attorney, congressman, governor and senator, instituted numerous reforms as governor — direct primaries, a ban on corporate donations to political candidates — to encourage active citizenship. “Democracy is a life,” La Follette wrote in his autobiography, “and involves continual struggle.”

    • Sometimes I struggle with knowing my own values and where those values fit. I’ve expressed sentiments that can be called communitarian and am decidedly more egalitarian than hierarchal in preference, the core of my politics could be boiled down to local self-sufficiency, not that people can’t consume or produce goods from far away but that local communities should be able to provide for their own basic needs and be less suseptible to larger economic forces. It’s not that those are “bad” values more that it’s resulted in me becoming more divorced from perhaps is the ideas I grew up with. I grew up in a competitive climate subculture where advancement (by conventional standards) aka chasing elite schools and prestigious jobs and some corny things like “the next great intellectualssss” essentially I grew up in a competitive and hierarchal ideal, but these aren’t what I value.

      FWIW, relations between whites (German, Scandinavians, etc) in the Dakotas and the Natives are supposed to be pretty chilly but I don’t have first-hand experience. Less sure about relations in MN/WI, though the negative stereotypes and sentiments are likely there too

      • Mexico, even more than the US, is a banana republic.

        The difference with political parties and the police in Mexico is it is impossible to deny their being inseparable from organized crime. But it’s true that organized crime also operates similarly in the US, if done with more sophistication and more effective propaganda.

        The organized crime bosses in Mexico probably envy the kind of massive social control that is seen here in the US. Propaganda is so effective that few Americans can even imagine attempting something like what this Mexican town did.


    Here are a few other facts about Switzerland’s political system:

    • Switzerland has a population of 8.2 million people, of which 24% are foreign nationals, spread across 26 cantons.
    • The fundamental principle of direct democracy is that all citizens take part in decision-making and there’s a strong respect for minorities. Unfortunately, this wasn’t extended to women, who were not given the vote until 1971 (and even until 1991 in the case of one canton).
    • In the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, the People’s Assembly (Landsgemeinde) still chooses its representative in the Council of States by a show of hands.
    • The government, also called Federal Council, is the executive power. It is composed of seven Federal Councillors from several Swiss political parties, which are elected by the Federal Assembly every four years and share the duties of a head of state. Federal Councillors rotate and every year one takes on the role of president.
    • The Swiss political scene is dominated by four main parties: the Swiss People’s Party, the Social Democrats, the Liberals, and the Christian Democratic Party.
    • In recent years, the Green Party has emerged, as well as a small number of minority parties. The “Anti PowerPoint Party”, for example, was a political party in Switzerland that worked to decrease the use of PowerPoint in professional presentations. They claimed that PowerPoint software was economically harmful.
    • Popular votes can be held up to four times a year. The Federal Council decides a couple of months in advance which proposals will be voted on and releases the dates of the votes even earlier. Currently all the dates have been fixed from now until 2034.
    • The same sundown towns that kept out blacks also often kept out non-Anglo ethnics and Catholics, especially if they were immigrants.

      Ironically, in some of the industrial Midwestern towns that attracted many, poor Appalachian and Southern whites were considered the worst of the worst, sometimes perceived as more threatening than blacks because of job competition and union-breaking. Well into the 20th century, Scots-Irish ethnics still had the taint of not being fully American or else somehow inferior.

      This might explain much of the racial antagonism of certain poor whites, in that the last thing anyone wants to be is on the bottom of the heap.

  8. My view of Silicon Valley tech dork types is that you can’t outsmart nature. If you piss her off too much she will push back and she’s already starting too

    Also I was reading an hdd article and again I noticed that the links never say that hdd’ers meant. One was using s link to say we can soon download consciousness from brain and the article said nothing of the sort. Basically said that some guy at MIT was keeping pig brains alive (but the brains weren’t conscious, just hooked up in fluid enough to be “alive”)

  9. A fatal flaw in the worldview that hdd’ers also share is a Cartesian seperation where nature is seen as an object to be dominated, used, conquered, etc, instead of seen as something to have a symbiotic relationship with. Their view is “take take take. Use the land. Take the food, soil, minerals, the natives deserved their fate because they didn’t treat the land the way we approach it” instead of “sustain the land so that it can sustain you” or reciprocity

    • It’s simply the reactionary mind as the shadow of liberal modernity, as echoing down the millennia since the Axial Age. We are maybe coming to an endpoint of liberal modernity and so we are seeing reactionaries in ever more extreme forms. It will get worse before it gets better, even as the majority continues to shift left. As I always remind myself, it only takes a minority of activists with connections to power to take over a society. A passive and clueless population helps.

  10. I think but might be where I look, I think more people are seeing through/catching on to the plausible deniability Pinker types and able to articulate what exactly’s “off.” And able to articulate the plausible deniability fronts

  11. What sticks out to me regarding renowned smart people like Einstein or von Neumann or Gauss or Tao isn’t whatever their iq scores are (and they never took any anyway) but that they were willing to think deeply and were willing to try things and ways that others might not. Open to approaches when investigating deeply, basically. Also, they were aware of their limitations and maybe that’s what made them more open to different ways? Essentially what stands out to me is their curiousity and openness and patience since deep investigation takes time. True passion too

    These are all traits I don’t see in hbd-obsessed or STEMlords, actually.

    • I don’t see them in those reactionaries either. Even the smarter reactionaries seem to intentionally stunt and cripple their own intelligence, like a tribe that chops off a finger as a way of demonstrating group belonging.

  12. Meaning of life. What does it mean to have grown up in an environment that really, we mock IDW, eugenicists, etc, but what does it mean to have grown up in an environment that basically primes people for that outlook? What does it mean to grow up in an environment that prized chasing status whether in the form of material or other markers of elite classes? What does it mean to have grown up in a world that sees people as commodities to market, where school basically enforces that, and your own teachers (unconsciously) push a view of society centered around status and hierarchy winners and losers, and the purpose of picking out “smart” kids was really, a implied belief that regardless of platitudes, these kids had more value assigned to them because they were seen as for all intents and purposes, commodities, potential Great MenTM to sit on top of us and “solve all our problems and be Einsteins and Silicon Valley” under the assumption that smart people will become Einstein and not the Unabomber? What does it mean that the purpose of education, the philosophy underlying valuing education, isn’t intellectualism inherently but merely education as a vehicle to higher status? Not just out of poverty I mean.

    • All the ways our society is fucked up, all the injustice and wrongdoing and seeming failure, all of it is by design and inherent to the system. It is all working according to design. This is even true of Trump, yet another inevitable result of how it is all structured according to clear values of status and elitism.

    • That is one of my favorite books. The theory has a lot of explanatory power. When looking at enough history, one can’t help but see repeating patterns. The only real debate is exactly what is behind those patterns and what they signify.

    • Frum. like hbdchick, isn’t really that stupid and ignorant. I’m sure he knows he is full of shit. But his purpose is persuasion through manipulation of media and management of public opinion. The last thing in the world he wants is to participate in a fact-based public debate about how to actually make the world a better place for all involved.

    • ‘Nation-state’ is just a word. There is very little in common between a small local ‘nation-state’ like in Scandinavia and an global imperial ‘nation-state’ like the United States. Growing problems and conflicts will require a response of global governance or at least continental or regional governance (e.g., North America or even the entire Americas). Failing that, modern global society might collapse back down to smaller governing bodies such as city-states or maybe tiny nation-states.

    • The unstated factor is socioeconomic class.

      Most of the white parents and black parents who chose to take their kids to other schools do so because they have the class privilege (i.e., money, resources, and opportunities) to do so. Yes, blacks are disproportionately poor. But it also remains true that the majority of the poor are white.

      The main segregation happening is by class with poor whites and poor blacks (both with higher rates of malnutrition, heavy metal toxicity, etc) being left behind in underfunded failing schools. I can promise you that few poor kids, no matter their race, ever escape this class trap.


    Trump is right when he says there is an equivalency between Putin’s murderous regime and ours. He is right for all the wrong reasons but he is right and until or unless the establishment comes clean, until or unless it finally tells the truth about the countless times we have overthrown or undermined foreign governments, and destabilized regimes, murdered and tortured people, and paid others to kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, then Trump and what he represents, will continue to fester and grow.

  14. I truly think there could be a genocide in the West in this century or next.

    Europe’s already lurching rightward with barely any refugees relative to its total population. What will happen when climate change really kicks in? The talk about helping people where they are is preposterous when climate change makes the land uninhabitable. At this point there isn’t anything we can do to prevent refugees, we can only decide what to do with them.

    I think if not this century, then the next, will see mass deaths

    • Some argue that we have to use industrialized farming with monoculture, GMOS, chemicals, etc because we couldn’t feed the human population otherwise. From my reading over the years, this seems like obvious bullshit. We could easily feed the entire world with healthier food if we wanted to, but that would mean less profits and power for transnational corporations. There is the rub.

    • There is truth to that. To be white is to be nothing. It’s defined by what you’re not, often in vague ways. Some combination of: not black, not brown, not Arab, not Hispanic, not Native American, not ethnic, not immigrant, not Jewish, not Muslim, etc (Catholicism and Eastern European still has a taint as well).

      To become white is to have everything that identifies you as unique to be eliminated. Even the defining characteristic of WASP that was once so important has mostly been erased from the neutral and neutered white identity.

      This is a great sacrifice but people accept it because of the great benefits, at least for the initial generations. But it leaves the following generations as lost souls who in self-hatred attack those who are in the same position as once were their own ancestors.

    • Why did populations with the same ethnicity, culture, and language come to perceive themselves differently when the ruling elite switched from Paganism to Catholicism and then from Catholicism to Protestantism? Why were so many Irish in Ireland against slavery while so many Irish who immigrated to the US were for it? I could ask the same kinds of questions with hundreds of other examples all over the world.

    • Races, ethnicities, etc aren’t pre-existing conditions. They are social constructions. And so diversity is also a social construction.

      Nearly all Europeans were Catholics, until the Protestant Reformation. Then suddenly there was immense religious diversity, even though it was the exact same people as before. The newly created diversity created cultural and political division by socially constructing perceive diversity.

      It’s no different than dividing kids by eye color or shirt color — and guess what? Those kids will act different and will be prejudiced toward the other group, no matter how artificial the diversity is.

      The opposite of this is how diversity can be eliminated, that is to say socially deconstructed. That is what happened with the creation of American ‘whiteness’. The diversity of European and British ethnics that caused centuries of conflict suddenly became a homogenous majority, entirely within the mind.

      This isn’t exactly rocket science. I’m not sure why HBDers and race realists are confused or pretend to be ignoramuses?

    • To understand that mapped data, the first thing needed is to read the theory of regional cultures by David Hackett Fischer and Colin Woodard. Where northern Europeans and East Anglians (Puritans) first settled, they set in place cultural patterns (call it social capital, culture of trust, or whatever) that persist to this day.

    • The problem is that someone with all the supposedly right genes but with all the wrong epigenetics and environment will end up low IQ. Whereas those with all the wrong genes but with the right epigenetics and environment will end up high IQ, maybe even genius. It is epigenetics and environment that determine which genes express, don’t express, and exactly how they express.

      There really is no such thing as a good or bad gene outside of context. Even seemingly bad genes can be manipulated, hacked, or combined with other genes to create entirely new results in human expression that might be entirely unpredicable and seemingly opposite to initial simplistic understanding of that gene in isolation.

    • I bet a study would find numerous correlations between genes and those who fall prey to the ideological realism of genetic determinism. Just as correlations have already been found between racism and low IQ. Combining these two, scientific researchers who oppose genetic determinism are probably on average higher IQ than scientific researchers who support it. I dare the genetic determinists to do a study about that and they can correlate it to whatever genes they want to.


    1934 – Birth of Wendell Berry, US novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer
    “A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance. It can experience no personal hope or remorse, no change of heart. It cannot humble itself. Its single purpose is to become a bigger pile of money.”

    • Why do so many public intellectuals continue to talk about a supposed ‘polarization’?

      When looking at decades of polling, public opinion has shown a majority of the US population shifting left. There is no evidence of a large and consistent rift. Even in the Deep South, the majority living there either votes or leans toward the Democratic party, despite the GOP controlling the region through anti-democratic tactics (voter suppression, gerrymadering, etc).

      Consider some central issues. Most Americans support both abortion rights and abortion regulation, gun rights and gun regulation. Consider other issues. Most Americans, when informed of how high inequality is in the US, support decreasing inequality. Most Americans, when given a choice of rehabilitation, support non-punitive methods of dealing with crime. But the ruling elite control what Americans know through the media and what choices they get in polls and at the voting booth.

      It is only the political elites, activists, and upper classes who are divided, but they are a minority of the population. Yes, a powerful minority that controls the government, parties, economy, media and polling — yet still just a minority. The problem is that the minority, which includes public intellectuals claiming polarization, are mostly only talking to other members of this minority. The rest of the population is kept in the dark, not realizing that they are a majority with the only major divide being economic.

    • What if public intellectuals are helping to create polarization, rather than merely observing and studying it? And in doing so, what if public intellectuals (intentionally or unintentionally) are helping the ruling elite to keep the population divided or rather creating the false sense of division and divisiveness? Worse still, what if pushing the narrative of polarization eventually can cause actual polarization and so initiates a self-fulfilling prophecy?

    • “By abandoning empiricism (the use of evidence and historical analogical reasoning) for Platonism (theory-first, model-driven analyses), we’ve exchanged robustness for fragility, and predictive power for coin-tosses.”

      That is true within neoliberalism in general. But as always, right-wingers are the worst or at least they are more blatant.

      “In fact, it is precisely the opposite: Britain’s population was small, and its economy was highly isolated.”

      The author is missing a basic point. The population didn’t necessarily grow at first, as much as it became increasingly concentrated. On top of that, there were large waves of European immigrants (e.g., Palatine Germans) seeking refuge, citizenship, or else the right to go to the colonies. Britain always had strong historical, political, and cultural ties to Europe.

      The Normans ruled England for a long time. A king of Netherlands also ruled England for a time. Many Scottish thinkers lived in France and English dissenters regularly spent time hiding out in European countries before returning home. Besides, most of the population of Britain were relatively recent arrivals (French was a common ancestry among Scots-Irish, my Scottish ancestors were Dutch, etc). These European ties and alliances allowed for greater power than otherwise would have been possible with an island nation. For example, when the British Empire fought the American colonies, they mostly relied on Hessian (i.e., German) soldiers.

      From a combination of factors, there were millions of unemployed, homeless, starving, and desperate people flooding into cities like London or out to the colonial trade locations. Most of them died and the survivors were often willing to do anything to go on surviving. They were either forced to work for poverty wages or become criminals. Failing that, they were forced into workhouses or sold into indentured servitude. It’s not that much different now with mass urbanization still increasing and once again creating a large surplus labor.

      I’m not sure where the author gets the idea that the British economy was isolated. Compared to what? It was a global empire that had trade going on with Europe, Africa, India, China, and the Americas. There hadn’t been such extensive trade in Britain probably since the collapse of the Roman Empire. If not for trade and resources with which to trade, the British Empire would have failed. Like the United States, it was pure luck that billions of years of geological movements, etc happened to deposit immense natural resources in the ground below them. Without massive amount of coal in England, we wouldn’t now be talking about the history of an industrial revolution in England.

      Sure, imperialism isn’t free trade. Then again, our present neoliberalism isn’t free trade either. That doesn’t stop the plutocrats and corporatists then or now from claiming it is free trade. After all, it does create more freedom for the upper classes, both their own freedom and the freedom of their businesses. Many British corporations, for example, had a captive consumer base in the colonies that was far larger than the potential consumers in England (don’t forget that early on Ireland too was a colony).

      It’s rarely a question of freedom in general but specifically whose freedom. In a monarchy, a king has a lot of freedom and yet few besides monarchs and their cronies would call it a free society. But guess what? It’s always the ruling elite who determine the rhetoric and labels used.


    “Being a citizen in the American corporate state is much like playing against a stacked deck: you’re always going to lose.

    “The game is rigged, and “we the people” keep getting dealt the same losing hand. Even so, most stay in the game, against all odds, trusting that their luck will change…

    ‘We are living in a fantasy world carefully crafted to resemble a representative democracy. It used to be that the cogs, wheels and gear shifts in our government machinery worked to keep our republic running smoothly. However, without our fully realizing it, the mechanism has changed. Its purpose is no longer to keep our republic running smoothly. To the contrary, this particular contraption’s purpose is to keep the corporate police state in power. Its various parts are already a corrupt part of the whole.”


    “We are ruled by Big Business and Big Government as its paid hireling, and we know it. Corporate money is wrecking popular government in the United States. The big corporations and the centimillionaires and billionaires have taken daily control of our work, our pay, our housing, our health, our pension funds, our bank and saving deposits, our public lands, our airwaves, our elections and our very government. It’s as if American democracy has been bombed. Will we be able to recover ourselves and overcome the bombers? Or will they continue to divide us and will we continue to divide ourselves, according to our wounds and our alarms, until they have taken the country away from us for good?

    “Over 6000 people responded [to the article calling for the creation of an Alliance for Democracy], 2500 joined, and more than 55 local Alliances were formed nationwide. In late 1996 delegates from 30 states convened in Texas hill country and the Alliance for Democracy was founded.”

  18. “It is assumed by most people nowadays that all work is useful, and by most well-to-do people that all work is desirable. Most people, well-to-do or not, believe that, even when a man is doing work which appears to be useless, he is earning his livelihood by it—he is “employed,” as the phrase goes; and most of those who are well-to-do cheer on the happy worker with congratulations and praises, if he is only “industrious” enough and deprives himself of all pleasure and holidays—in the sacred cause of labor. In short, it has become an article of the creed of modern morality that all labor is good in itself—a convenient belief to those who live on the labor of others.”

    —William Morris, “Useful Work Versus Useless Toil”

    • It’s no different than when some other ethnic immigrants in the past sided with blacks. They often were criticized by members of their own communities. Or imagine how many blacks, especially upper-to-middle class blacks, surely went bat-shit crazy when MLK decided to cross racial lines to organize with poor whites.

      But Arab-Americans, of course, are following the well-tread path of immigrant groups before them. Many of them are hoping to assimilate so that they can take advantage of white or near-white privilege. And that requires them to become racists to prove themselves loyal supremacists similar to how some gangs require a new member to kill a random stranger as an initiation.

      They do so because being part of an in-group (gang, tribe, race, etc) confers upon the individual and those similar to him greater opportunities and power. It’s the same basic psychology behind why light-skinned blacks will try to pass as white or else will attack darker-skinned blacks. And the same basic pattern is seen in why some Jews colluded with the Nazis in hoping to save themselves.

      It’s the standard moral weakness and depravity of humanity that is found as far back as there are historical records. But as with so much else, the stresses and fears and anxieties of modernity seem to exacerbate and exaggerate it.

    • American society or else societies won’t disappear, even with collapse. Balkanization is well within possibility. Eventually, the economy and technology will change so dramatically. Combined with climate change and who knows what else, balkanization might become all but inevitable. But it could balkanize in all kinds of unpredictable ways. The future might be dominated by city-states (and alliances between them), rather than nation-states. I’m fairly certain we aren’t going to predict the future based on the immediate past.

      • I mean the historical norm for humans is anarchism then empires. I think the guardian article points out the problems with nation-states in the global south and how they seem to be a poor fit.

        Nation-states are by definition unstable unless they’re isolated because they’re inherently about purity

        There are thousands of nations in the world but ~200 nation-states. And even Europe would have many more states if all nations had their own state

    • “The pattern of genetic transmission shows some similarity to an ‘‘impressionable years’’ model of attitude crystallization showing both the important influence of family and other shared environmental influences in adolescence and then an increased role of genetic factors as familial environmental influences diminish.”

      I’m not sure why that conclusion keeps getting repeated as if it were fact. The environment never stops being a major influence. Rather, environmental factors tend to stabilize over time because people make fewer major life changes in later life. This simply causes environmental factors to become hidden because they aren’t being controlled for.

    • It is extremely speculative on such limited and imperfect data. I might be fine with that if it was presented as speculation. But too many people want more certainty than is possible right now. We should stop basing generalized conclusions on genetics until at least another few decades of research is done. Our ignorance is simply too vast at this point to state much that is meaningful.

    • Then again, agriculture might be more of a result than a cause. Humans began building temples and later settling down before the agricultural revolution. As for the collapse of some agricultural societies, the cause often had to do with climate changes that increased droughts, starvation, wars, and refugee crises.

      Agricultural didn’t necessarily cause the collapse, even if the food system disallowed the flexibility to deal with highly unstable and quickly changing environmental conditions. Non-agricultural societies collapse all the time as well, but it’s less dramatic and the dispersal of tribal populations won’t leave much in the archaeological and historical records.

    • It depends on the society. I could imagine some societies having non-racist reasons for wanting more limits on immigration. But that is obviously not the case in a country like the US with centuries of ongoing systemic racism. It would be ignorance or a lie to deny this.

      There is a weird political and economic dynamic in this, though. Many of the right-wingers who push anti-immigrant racism also make sure immigrant policies remain loose. This is because neoliberal corporatism requires the continuous flow of cheap labor to suppress wages and labor organizing.

    • It’s similar to how ethnic European-Americans and Hispanics were associated with Catholicism. This created a perception of threatening other, whether or not most people of any given population really were Catholic. It’s the idea that they are foreign and that a different religion means they will be influenced or controlled by foreign forces (the Pope. ISIS, etc).

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