April 8, 2012

Derbyshire follow up: defending the “indefensible”

Eric Holder once told us were were afraid to have a real dialogue on race. And he did so because he knew we were — as I think this episode is proving, particularly in the way it is dividing those “on the right,” many of whom chided Holder for those remarks at the time but who now vindicate him and his attempt at rhetorical bullying.

The fact is, any real dialogue on race would seek to answer why an intelligent guy like Derbyshire, wielding probability tables and statistical analyses based on evidence he provided (within the constraints of the format), would feel the need to give that talk at this point of the 21st century in the USA. And why so many who are now acting outraged about it heed precisely the advise he articulates — without ever daring to articulate it themselves, at least, not publicly (or if they do, are given a pass, because they happen to be black and liberal).

– Which, that seems kinda selfish, if you think about it.

The point being, these kinds of questions would get to the heart of how the issue of race in the United States has become so poisoned politically — and why the Left is able to control reactions to racially-charged subjects, even if you believe you’ve liberated yourselves from that particular snare.

Derbyshire didn’t just assert without basis: as a commenter pointed out previously, Derbyshire made an argument based on probabilities and generalities in situations where specifics are unknown; and clearly and specifically set up his article as proceeding from that baseline assumption.

It was at once a pointed commentary and wake-up call regarding race relations that, under Obama and Holder and the demogoguery of the New Left, have (perhaps?) regressed. And somehow this is labeled “indefensible”?

If this is the case, the issue of race in the US is settled. And it’s been settled on the side of the anti-foundationalists — with a whimpering tap out from those on the side of individualism. That is, the ideals of our Constitution have been effectively jettisoned, and individual primacy has been displaced by by the ascendancy of identity politics and group narratives, individual autonomy by appeals to racial and gender “authenticity” and a pernicious PC culture that has resulted not only in Crimethink, but in a rabid defense of such by those who, ideologically, would purport to stand against it. And that’s because they fear being labeled “racist” by the left, which makes one of its defining political goals ownership over various (minority) identity groups whom they then keep confined to the reservation by threatening them with banishment from the group.

And yet, we’re told these are battles we need to fight at another time?

How sad.

These are the battles Holder and Obama and the “progressive” Left are fighting right now. They are governing this way. And in fact, so emboldened are they that Stanley Fish came out recently and spelled out the maneuver for those on the left still too tied to Enlightenment principles.

Derbyshire may seem an inconvenient hill to fight on. But Christ, if you continue to cede ownership of the rules to the left, one day you’re going to awaken and find out the game is over — because they tell you it is. And that’s that.

Sure, you’ll grouse and whimper, but in the end, so frightened are you of being on the end of one of their rhetorical wildings, that you’ll fall in line like a good little citizen — though you may continue to roar from time to time like the paper tiger they know you to be.

At which they’ll just kind of smile.

Welcome to the United States of Benetton.

****
update: an anecdote isn’t data; but then, statistical probability isn’t a dental surgeon.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 12:06pm
371 comments | Trackback

Comments (371)

  1. Somebody should at least give Derbyshire credit for not resorting to code words or dog whistles.

  2. I don’t understand how there’s a “battle” to be fought here other than noting that the National Review has gone Full Pussy.

    We’ll all of us – even the cowardly National Review pussies – especially the cowardly National Review pussies – go right on acting in accord with Mr. Derb’s thesis.

    “Let me walk you to your car,” we’ll say. Or, “you better leave now so you can get there and back before it gets dark,” or “it was a fun place for New Year’s but we left early cause it just got to be too many people” or “let’s take my scion cause we might have to park on the street.”

    A big part of minimizing racial strife is doing stuff what actually, you know, minimizes racial strife.

    It’s just that the National Review, with its glorious segregationist legacy, doesn’t have a lot of credibilitah on the matter of minimizing racial strife, and it must rankle them so.

  3. Let me add what JG forgot: Derb is not a malicious man. He is not telling people to go out to Sanford and join the nazi patrol. He isn’t even telling us to fight back against thugs! His recommendations, if followed fully, would HARM absolutely nobody. If he’s racist, then his is a racism without hatred.

    Behold the spectacle of conservatives competing with each other to prove their racial goodwill by rejecting common sense, and by ostracizing those who consider their family’s safety decisions a matter under their own control, and by blocking discussions of those matters. Behold!

  4. Q: What’s it like doing maths?

    A: Oh, it’s like throwing a rope o’er a very strong treebranch about 12′ up, and hoisting some innocent fellow into the air to strangle to death. Maths have this nifty finality to them, y’see.

  5. all of the other reindeeer were very chary of Rudolph, because of how he was a mutant, but in the end he saved Christmas, didn’t he?

    damn right he did

    but the other reindeer were probably wise to be cautious until they knew for sure that the mutant reindeer was of the nice, helpful-minded sort

  6. These are the battles Holder and Obama and the “progressive” Left are fighting right now.

    Battles we didn’t choose, but which we can’t win unless we fight them. We won’t be allowed to choose our battles until we win a few first.

  7. entropy asks: “Do you think asians should avoid white neighborhoods?” I haven’t looked at any stats on that. You might ask Marion Barry, who is an expert on Asian race harmony. But remember he probably hasn’t been to Cabrini-Green once like you have.

  8. but the other reindeer were probably wise to be cautious until they knew for sure that the mutant reindeer was of the nice, helpful-minded sort

    Yes! Especially after they’d heard of bands of red nosed reindeer putting out bounties on the likes of them, or staging “impromptu” wildings in their regular reindeer shopping malls, or catching and stripping them naked, then beating them for being not very red in the nose!

    Why, it was just good ol’ fashion reindeer common sense!

  9. If that white tourist from Britain had listened to Derb, he would not currently be starring in a video on YouTube that shows him getting beaten and robbed by a bunch of upstanding, middle-class African-Americans in Baltimore.

    He would still have his wallet, his iPhone, and his teeth.

    But we must admit, it’s his own fault for going to Baltimore. I can assure you, message recieved in England: Do not go to Baltimore. Ever.

  10. But what’s different though Mr. Jeff is that a North Pole mired in malaise did not serve as a backdrop to Rudolph’s very personal struggle for acceptance. I think what’s getting lost is that Mr. Derb intended to write an obnoxious tendentious curmudgeonly piece what would provoke a discussion about life in a little country what is increasingly impoverished, desperate, unemployed, and antagonized by divisive sluts like our president.

    I think mostly he failed since most blogs for example the Hot Air are too cowardly to broach a discussion of Mr. Derb’s Racist Screed cause of they fear that the audience to which they’ve been catering contains a not-small and abjectly racist element.

  11. I just don’t get entropy. He came in last nite saying he “rolls his eyes” at white people scared to walk in the “ghetto.” I precisely locate a ghetto he can walk thru (in his home town!) He then concedes my point that, even for blacks, that would be a scary walk. Now he wants to circle back and say that 0.00024% isn’t scary at all.

    Since entropy won’t walk the walk, here’s a proposal: Pay me $1000, wire me up with a hidden camera and microphone, and I’ll take the two hour walk alone across the Chicago West Side on a hot July day. I’ll send the tape to JG to post. Yes entropy, I’ll be very very likely to get thru it unscathed. And I will be very very frightened.

    Come up with the money and let’s see.

  12. I think he intended to write a pointed piece that provoked discussion. It will of course bring out the “abjectly racist element” — they feel they can talk freely, and so in effect are enjoying their own kind of wilding — but more importantly, it has flushed out those who we know pretend to celebrate free speech, science, etc., and yet who are mired in the very PC they claim to resist and abhor. Willingly, it would appear.

  13. I generally limit my gaming in Vegas since I know the odds are against me (so I treat a fixed amount as entertainment and leave it at that, win or lose). But how stacked are the odds on an argument on race? This stacked as this commentator from The Atlantic shows:

    Vpolmac 2 hours ago
    Correction, Barry is a member of the DC council. He is a former Mayor. Being Black doesn’t mean that you are incapable of being bigoted, close midend, or Stupid. However since Racism requires one to have the political and economic means of imposing your beliefs through statutory and institutional means, I think even the paranoid tin foiled hatted among you can understand that there is little (close to non existant) means for someone who is not of Anglo or Northern European descent to be Racist.

    As Andrew Brietbart used to say: “How they reveal themselves!” The dishonesty of the comment above is just amazing but sadly not that uncommon. I think it is also fair to say Councilman Barry has more political and economic means of imposing his beliefs (at least in DC Ward 8) than John Derbyshire has anywhere (including his home).

    Scroll through the HuffPuff’s comments and you will see hundreds of comments of similar content and prejudice. And they get mad and stomp their feet if you call them on it.

    The Crack Emcee had this response to Derbyshire over at Althouse:

    The Crack Emcee said…
    Another PC witch hunt? Great. People love being hypocrites nowadays.

    I read it, I liked it, and if you don’t, nuts. The truth hurts and outrage from idiots doesn’t make them right.

    Good luck, Derb – keep hitting them where it hurts.
    4/7/12 3:23 PM

  14. This is what I posted I first witnessed the hysteria at RedState:

    Screaming “Racist!” is not argument. The answer to wrong speech is more speech, right? Isn’t this exactly what the Left was doing to Rush? What Rush said was so unacceptable, that he had to be silenced. I see links various places about the laws in Britain that can fine or put people in jail for saying the things that Derbyshire said. The tone of those articles usually seems to be a preference to keep free speech, even really wrong speech. We either believe in it, or we don’t. True enough, that the right to free speech doesn’t free us from the consequences of our speech, but wouldn’t it be better to answer someone like Derbyshire by going point-by-point to show how he’s missed something, his statistics are wrong, or that he’s committing a logical fallacy of some kind. With all the brainpower at [RedState], at NRO, and around the web, it would be nice if someone could manage something better than pointing and screaming. It’s all too much like Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

    I followed it up with the following:

    I think Derbyshire is wrong, really wrong. I think what he said should be denounced as wrong. I am less sanguine with the calls for his firing and his ouster from society. For who knows what the next “racism” will be? Homophobia, Islamophobia, support for traditional marriage, or maybe just being a believing Catholic?

    A followup:
    I think he’s really wrong because he goes unnecessarily far with the average intelligence thing. Smart people can also be thugs, e.g. a lot of people on the Left. And now evidently, some people on the Right. Shut up, they explained.

    I also think he goes wrong by trying to put some statistics, maybe too many, behind what pretty much everyone would regard as common sense (even if of the unspeakable kind). The place I disagree with his “common sense” is in the good Samaritan scenario when it’s just you and the one other person. In that scenario, I’m far more likely to be guided by the situation (busy street vs isolated road, daytime vs night, etc), than I would be by the color or ethnicity of the person I was considering helping. His biggest mistake was probably thinking he was having a conversation with grownups who meant what they said about countering speech they think is wrong, even really wrong, with more speech instead of a virtual lynch mob.

  15. I thought much of it was pointed but the whole IWSB was obnoxious cause it asserts that for reals friendships what are real and sweet and sturdy and dear seem cynical and utilitarian.

    Also the whole thing about not living in municipalities run by black people. He should’ve just said don’t move to Detroit. Maybe Newark too but Newark was a hellish crimey fetid and derelict swamp of fail when white people were in charge too. But nobody wants to move to Detroit or Newark anyway. Plus also there are any number of Texas cities what fit that bill and I’d be happy happy happy to move there and be a part of their community and I very likely will one day after California implodes.

  16. I’m starting to get the feeling that “Teachable moments” are about teaching your political opponents to shut the fuck up so maybe you’ll send them to the gulag last and leave their family alone.

  17. I meant to say IWSB blah blah blah part but I forgot the blah blah blah part

  18. These are the battles Holder and Obama and the “progressive” Left are fighting right now.

    Battles we didn’t choose, but which we can’t win unless we fight them. We won’t be allowed to choose our battles until we win a few first.

    I was looking for something else yesterday and came across this [pps 189-90] which seems appropriate.

    Politics is often called a game. This implies that conflict is conducted according to unbreakable rules. Let us follow the metaphor.

    The best games are those of amateur athletics where winner and loser congratulate each other at the close and chatter gaily on their way to the changing-room.

    Some of us (as is my case) strongly disapprove of money games; while this is not the attitude of the majority, there are few people who would not regard it as deplorable that a man should hazard his family’s keep at a card table.

    Now imagine a player so foolish and sinful as to wager the liberty of his children, to be slaves if he loses. Should we be astonished to find this madman cheating to win, and upturning the table if he seems to be losing? Such disregard of rules must naturally follow from inordinate stakes. We therefore conclude that to keep the game of Politics within the rules, the stakes must be kept moderate.

    But here is the difficulty: in the case of a game, a man is free to play or not; and, if he does, he can limit his stake. Not so in Politics.

    In a card-room, a few people are enjoying a game incapable of ruining them or of bringing misery to third parties. There enters a newcomer who raises the stakes: the old players cannot refuse the higher stakes and, if they leave the table, the intruder wins by default. This is Politics.

    The ‘old’ parties of the Weimar Republic certainly never
    agreed to stake civil liberties and the lives of German Jews on a game of dice with Hitler: but that in fact was what they lost. As this instance illustrates, it is not even necessary for the intruder to name the stakes: ‘You must play with me,’ he says, ‘and if you lose, you will find out in my own good time what you have lost.’

  19. However since Racism requires one to have the political and economic means of imposing your beliefs through statutory and institutional means, I think even the paranoid tin foiled hatted among you can understand that there is little (close to non existant) means for someone who is not of Anglo or Northern European descent to be Racist.

    Even if you accept his absurd definition of racism that still doesn’t make any sense.

  20. “IWSB” Yes, it’s insincere to create a friendship with somebody for whatever racial advantage, and I reject that on the personal level. But Derb’s following point about how organizations post “IWSBs” in front positions for political and economic advantage is quite true. The govt creates the perverse incentives (minority set-asides, diversity goals) and economics tells us that groups _will_ respond to and game those incentives.

    I also reject Derb’s petty advice to pick the smartest-looking clerk at the DMV. In those situations, a smile and cheerful greeting to the clerk are more important than standard deviations from the mean IQ.

  21. Okay, what the hell does IWSB stand for?

  22. Sure, you’ll grouse and whimper, but in the end, so frightened are you of being on the end of one of their rhetorical wildings, that you’ll fall in line like a good little citizen — though you may continue to roar from time to time like the paper tiger they know you to be.

    Derb was Lowried. Or: To be Derbyshired.

    Stacy McCain has some pieces up:

    In a society where traditional institutions of moral authority are decadent or discredited, individuals engage in self-righteous political gestures to demonstrate (to themselves, if to no one else) their own superior virtue. Liberal policies appeal to such impulses, e.g., Dick Durbin: “I may be a corrupt swine, but I drive a hybrid!” or Alec Baldwin: “I may be a vicious bully, but I’m all about a woman’s right to choose!”

    [...]

    What you learn, if you observe this tendency long enough, is that the people who delight in pointing the accusatory finger — racist! sexist! homophobe! — are generally engaged in an exhibition of moral narcissism, trying to fill the “hole in their soul” with self-righteousness by gestures intended to prove their own superior virtue. Not only are they not racist (or not sexist, etc.), but they are anti-racist (or anti-whatever) and are courageously donning their shining armor and mounting their horses to lead a crusade against the Evil Menace.

    and

    Rich Lowry’s Editorial Impotence?

    There’s more but The Other McCain is running very slow at the moment. Maybe the great and tiny Lowry has devised a DOS.

    In closing, a TOM commenter observes:

    Maybe I should have a talk with my children about nancy-boys.

    That.

  23. I thought much of it was pointed but the whole IWSB was obnoxious cause it asserts that for reals friendships what are real and sweet and sturdy and dear seem cynical and utilitarian.

    I thought it was redolent of irony, and aimed at the liberal fraternity. I could be worong.

  24. “Derb was Lowried.” I would say that Derb was Mirengoffed. Look it up.

  25. Oh, and Use ‘Derbyshire’ as a Verb:

    For years, I’ve advocated the overthrow of the decadent Rich Lowry regime at National Review, hoping that Jonah Goldberg might lead the coup. So my main interest in this remarkable controversy is whether or not it serves to undermine Lowryism.

    What you might not notice is that this is a skirmish on the fringes of the Trayvon Martin controversy, which has turned into a stalemate, so that now frustrated people are in scalp-taking mode. The NBC producer got taken out by conservatives and now, for some strange reason, NR‘s John Derbyshire just volunteers himself as a target for the Left?

    The smart thing to do would be to stay away from this, but Dave Weigel wandered over and made some remarks, and now the Left is going after Weigel: He’s not sufficiently outraged for their tastes.

    The Left is intolerant, opportunistic and unprincipled. While it is impossible to imagine any scenario in which Lowry won’t be forced to fire Derbyshire now, I’m actually more fascinated by the Left’s attempt to bully Weigel for failing to denounce Derbyshire in strong enough terms.

  26. I thought it was redolent of irony, and aimed at the liberal fraternity. I could be worong.

    You are, but only because it turns out that particular truth wounded a lot of the GOPers who operate the same way.

    Honestly. Why are Marco Rubio and Allen West the two best choices for VP candidate, do you think? Other than, say, Jim DeMint, or Michele Bachmann?

  27. You are, but only because it turns out that particular truth wounded a lot of the GOPers who operate the same way.

    Yeah, I should have included “those who wish to be accepted among liberals”.

  28. Beat up little seagull
    on a marble stair

  29. I notice that those who complain about those unhelpful and embarrassing lunatic conservatives who demand political “purity” are often among the very first to be seen crying “impure!” and shut the paper gates with scotch tape and lower the cardboard portcullis.

    Sadly our shrinking paper fortress has no back wall and the attack will most likely come from behind. And the attackers have fire anyway. But still tradition matters more than efficacy. We must endeavor to remain safe and carry out the farce. We must endure the naughty Punchinello’s beating with the traditional stick of spite or who will watch the play?

    “Impure” in their sense might mean anything. It can carry a meaning of racism, outmoded theocratic impulses, a corrupt arrogant flighty grandiose idiot, an unserious horn-doggable salesman, a dumb stuttering goofy Texan, some looney christian bitch, etc. “Impure” is a very malleable word and it can be shouted or whispered or chanted. Those who seek political purity can be designated impure.

    The big tent is so wonderful and so mighty and so sublime that it is the core of all Republican hope. Yet, it takes but a single ill timed fart to clear the big tent. Oddly, the the tenters have grown quite used to the smell of the rotting elephant carcass they sit on.

    But, why dwell on the impurity of purity ? We MUST beat Obama in 2012 at all costs! And by “beat Obama”, I mean pick Romney as a our candidate, despite the clues that he is going to try the 2008 game plan again and wants to use me and my loyalty to catch any arrows that MIGHT (will certainly) rain down on him (from the back, as always).

  30. “there are nonetheless many intelligent and well-socialised blacks” is what Mr. Derb says Mr. Moe

    he introduces this concept towards the end

    it really sort of knocks the whole screed out of the trayvon context I think, and out of that context this whole screed just becomes the drunken musings of a self-confessed racist old fart, and one what is only marginally a for reals American to boot, inasmuch as he seems to be rather more British than American in his sensibilities

  31. you can tell he has British sensibilities by how he misspells socialized

  32. that video is hard to watch but it really drives home the importance of wearing clean underwears

  33. He obviously should have said clean and articulate.

  34. However since Racism requires one to have the political and economic means of imposing your beliefs through statutory and institutional means

    Meanwhile the most powerful man in the free world is still whining about how Whitey is keeping him down.

  35. that video is hard to watch but it really drives home the importance of wearing clean underwears

    If someone wants my dirty knickers all they have to do is ask.

  36. Meanwhile the most powerful man in the free world is still whining about how Whitey is keeping him down.

    Yeah, but that’s because whitey has all the powah. That guy with the briefcase cuffed to his arm, the squads of federal agents and bureaucrats at this command? Utterly worthless in the face of my WHITE SKIN PRIVILEGE!!!!

  37. it has flushed out those who we know pretend to celebrate free speech, science, etc.

    Right, my having a different opinion is suppressing your free speechifying.

    I’m not doing anything Derbyshire hasn’t done.

  38. I’m not doing anything Derbyshire hasn’t done.

    I assume you’re keeping your job…

  39. I assume you’re keeping your job…

    Should I quit out of survivors guilt? I didn’t fire Derbyshire.

  40. It’s not all about you.

  41. Just don’t let the cops catch you on the roadside with a breakdown.

  42. It’s not all about you.

    Are you saying it wasn’t directed about me? It seemed to have been.

  43. There used to be a quaint saying a generation or so ago; I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend with my life your right to say it.

    I think Derbyshire does go a bit far though (after all, Lowery gets his say too). There are definitely parts of his piece I would agree with, which all boil down to watch yer ass in unfamiliar territory, but the intelligence comparison was insulting.

    To my intelligence I mean, never mind the brothers.

    Also, as happyfeet said, “the whole IWSB was obnoxious cause it asserts that for reals friendships what are real and sweet and sturdy and dear seem cynical and utilitarian”.

    Plus, it doesn’t work.

    See, the right is conditioned to forget individualism when racial matters arise, the left is conditioned to use the race card whenever they feel the argument is lost. My rub with Derbyshire is, he played his roll in the lefts script to a tee, by viewing the problems through collectivist eyes.

    I told my kids to be cautious helping strangers, because there’s evil people out there, and their cars break down sometimes too. Not because they are of a different race. If my son was moving to Florida, it wouldn’t have dawned on me to beware of his moving into Allen West’s district, because he’s black.

    To me, this Derbyshire dude did come off as having a racist mindset, and saying so isn’t playing the lefts game, because it really is racism. Worse, it’s collectivism to treat others according to statistics and identity group dwellers, instead of individuals.

    This guy may be brave in starting a conversation, but he’s done his kids no favors.

  44. it has flushed out those who we know pretend to celebrate free speech, science, etc.

    Right, my having a different opinion is suppressing your free speechifying.

    I’m not doing anything Derbyshire hasn’t done.

    I’m saying, why do you think that was directed at you?

    As far as what McGehee said, of course that was directed at you.

  45. Yeah those cops on the roadside are PROBABLY just going to help you but they MIGHT eat your arm or steal your car or something! Gotta be CAREFUL.

  46. I’m not doing anything Derbyshire hasn’t done.

    Do they give awards for missing the point?

  47. I’m saying, why do you think that was directed at you?

    Because it seems to be in response to GP, who is very obviously talking about nothing other than me.

  48. Entropy, when you say you haven’t done anything Derbyshire hasn’t done, you might want to stop and make sure that’s actually true.

    Derbyshire has said some things for which truth cannot be allowed to be a defense.

    I rather doubt anyone’s accused you of that.

  49. I wonder if Derbishire will be on the “NR Post Election Cruise” in November but in a special “racist education” ballroom doing an apology walkback rehab panel?

  50. Do they give awards for missing the point?

    I love, in all sorts of formers and on all sorts of arguments, how you have people who think they can dictate what everyone is talking about.

    I’m just saying, I get that retort alot. But everywhere you go, non-sequitars and off-topics are the fabric of internet commenting.

    Maybe I didn’t hit your point because I wasn’t aiming at the same one?

  51. To me, this Derbyshire dude did come off as having a racist mindset, and saying so isn’t playing the lefts game, because it really is racism.

    I’ve always had a sense that he’s a racist. But as far as I’m concerned you can’t have an honest conversation about anything this weighty if stepping over the line a bit is verboten and punishable by professional death.

  52. Right, my having a different opinion is suppressing your free speechifying.

    I wasn’t thinking about you when I wrote that, entropy.

    This isn’t all about you. Or me, for that matter.

    I think that’s part of my overall point, in fact.

  53. It’s within the Republican Party that you’ll find dumbness and weakness among its so called leadership. Just as NRO did, rather than acknowledging any truth in what Derbyshire wrote and quietly dealing with him in whatever way they saw fit, while also using the occurrence as a means of offering some adult discussion on racism in America, they run screaming like a pack of scared little children, seeking comfort by pulling their blankets over their eyes and chewing their pillows in hopes the boogieman at the door goes away. They end up always letting the left drive the discussion, thereby enabling them to frame the debate in such a way as to beat them at the ballot box with it.

    Until the right and the GOP demonstrate some candor and fortitude in discussing racism in America, not only will it not be resolved, but Democrats will continue to use it to beat them in elections whenever and wherever it plays to their advantage to employ the race card.

    link

  54. Derbyshire has said some things for which truth cannot be allowed to be a defense.

    Yes, and that has nothing to do with me.

    Though it seems unless I agree with all the racist bullshit Derbyshire wrote, I’m taken for being in with the speech police or something.

    I think Riehl has had a very good take on this, and Bascom as well.

    “I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend with my life your right to say it.”

  55. Ever.

    Does that get attached to: I rather doubt anyone’s accused you of that.?

    If it’s ever, then actually yes. I could probably find a link of Ace calling me racist, so I have been in Derbyshires shoes. Not that I have ever had an important respectable writing career to get fired from in the first place.

  56. To me, this Derbyshire dude did come off as having a racist mindset, and saying so isn’t playing the lefts game, because it really is racism. Worse, it’s collectivism to treat others according to statistics and identity group dwellers, instead of individuals.

    This guy may be brave in starting a conversation, but he’s done his kids no favors.

    This is simply not true. It’s racialist. It’s not racist. And as it asserted the need to approach unknowns with a degree of fact he tried to lay out — and made note that, of course, people being individuals, you don’t judge individuals the same way you approach a group dynamic wherein the individuals are unknown to you — it is either true, mostly true, some true, mostly false, or all false.

    People would rather talk about the heresy of laying it out than the facts (or lack thereof) in the argument.

    That’s the real sign you’ve been collectivized: you are afraid to run afoul of the dominant groupthink.

    And had he given his kids that talk, and then it was on of them who avoided being in that Baltimore neighbhorhood on St Patty’s day, would you still say he did his kids no favors? And if so, are you ready to defend the idea that it is more important to hold an unvarnished, completely race-neutral idea within every context than it is to keep your teeth, your watch, your money, your clothes, or your life?

    Who are you trying to impress?

    Serious questions.

  57. How about someone here calling you a racist? That’s actually more pertinent I think.

    At Ace’s, they throw racist around quite a bit. When we do it here, it’s rarely not in jest.

  58. There are, for example, no black Fields Medal winners. While this is civilizationally consequential, it will not likely ever be important to you personally. Most people live and die without ever meeting (or wishing to meet) a Fields Medal winner.

    There are also, for example, no female Fields Medal winners.

  59. But as far as I’m concerned you can’t have an honest conversation about anything this weighty if stepping over the line a bit is verboten and punishable by professional death.

    Agreed. Lowery is a coward for not taking the grand opportunity to have a rational discussion on it, instead of running like a little girl afraid of her shadow.

    See what I did there…;-)

  60. “However since Racism requires one to have the political and economic means of imposing your beliefs through statutory and institutional means,”

    rac·ism
    ? ?[rey-siz-uhm] Show IPA

    noun
    1.
    a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

    EBL,

    I believe he’d be correct if he were referring to discrimination. Racism; however, needs no leveraging mechanism.

    He no doubt is conflating the two to dismiss the possibility of a Black person (in this case the former Mayor and felon) being a racist.

  61. Again, the whole incident is a performative on how the left controls language and how many on the right have capitulated to that control. As has been said, most people already act on the suggestions Derbyshire outlined whether or not they are willing to admit it.

    Isn’t it better to get it out there for discussion? That’s what we do. Were we think Derbyshire is wrong, show that he’s wrong. The solution to bad speech, or what we think it bad speech, is more speech.

    Instead, too many on the right would rather suppress the speech than hash it out. It is, frankly, pathetic. I wonder how many of the “opinion leaders” on the right are willing to actually talk about it. I would guess very few of them, if any.

  62. Though it seems unless I agree with all the racist bullshit Derbyshire wrote, I’m taken for being in with the speech police or something.

    You know what? This is how others on the right have reacted to my arguments taking some of what they argue to task.

    Go back and read what it is that I wrote. You are beginning to really cartoon my actual position in order to justify the reasonableness of your own. And it’s pissing me off.

    In fact, fuck it. Let me do the work:

    Some of what Derbyshire said in his article I didn’t agree with; some of what he argued I take no position on, because I’d need to see the evidence cited expanded on a bit and given a more rigorous test; and as a practical rhetorical matter, I think Derbyshire did himself no favors by singling out blacks. But what is indisputable is that the article is set up as a talk he’d have with his kids about race, and the opinions he’s formed — and that he’d pass on to his children — are his, while the reasons he’s developed them he sourced w/ links. That is, he tried (within the constraints of the format) to show his work.

    [...]

    It was in many respects a brave article — and that can be true whether you believe Derbyshire a racist or not. But given that it was written in the context of bounties on George Zimmerman, or Spike Lee Tweeting out home addresses, or Al Sharpton — who is invited to Easter breakfast at the WH — actively working to incite violence and subvert the justice system, well, it expresses a kind of anxiety that exists in the culture right now.

    Derbyshire set his article up by noting that in any large population, there will be trends; he sought to take a look at the trends and reach conclusions based on them. Whether or not you believe the conclusions he reached are valid or not is almost immaterial. Because what was truly important about his article was the citation of the trends —- which, sad to say, we’ve been taught studiously to ignore. Funny how people who yell “SCIENCE!” and want to put conservatives in re-education camps fear actual data, isn’t it?

    [...]

    That many on the right are hurrying to run away from Derbyshire is also, however, completely predictable. These are the people who are giving us Mitt Romney, and who — while they talk about the evils of identity politics, or the problem with race-based affirmative action, or the ruse of “multiculturalism” as a social ordering mechanism — haven’t the courage of their convictions: they will talk in generalities (and be called racists for their troubles, any way), but when it comes down to citing specifics, their first instinct is to show the left how they, unlike throwbacks like Derbyshire, are one of the good ones.

    This of course reinforces the left’s control over the social narrative, whereby they — by virtue of their leftism — are champions for racial and ethnic minorities, while those on the right are guilty of racism until they prove otherwise.

    Me? I already know I’m not a racist, and so I just feel sorry for those who think they can hurt me by calling me one. I’m not afraid to talk about this stuff, and in fact I’ve been saying we need to for years now. So much the government has done — mostly from the left, but some of it on the right — to “help” blacks has been all about helping themselves secure a voting bloc. And even if we allow that, early on, the intentions of liberal social engineers were good, there’s simply no excuse for not reviewing how the policies have worked or not worked, or what has been the trajectory of the black experience in the US since the end of slavery.

    [...]

    At any rate, Derbyshire should be commended for broaching the subject, even if you wish to condemn him for the opinions he draws from the data. And of course, all the typical caveats exist — anecdotes aren’t data, etc., — just as what is also true is that Derbyshire was writing an article, not a dissertation or monograph or scholarly journal piece.

    I’ve bolded some of the bits that expose my segregationist, racist beliefs.

  63. And now I’m done. I recoil at sanctimony, and I feel like it’s starting to get into my nostrils and pores around here.

  64. Don’t get me wrong: there are good reasons for the self-imposed restraints that “respectable” conservative journalists like me accept–mainly, that we would be crucified by the liberal media establishment if we broached those limits, and have to give up opinionating and go find some boring office job somewhere. (This is probably going to happen to me sooner or later, actually. I am not very careful about what I say, having grown up in the era before Political Correctness, and never having internalized the necessary restraints. I am a homophobe, though a mild and tolerant one, and a racist, though an even more mild and tolerant one, and those things are going to be illegal pretty soon, the way we are going. Of course, people will still be that way in their hearts, but they will be afraid to admit it, and will be punished if they do admit it. It is already illegal in Britain to express public disapproval of homosexuality–there have been several prosecutions. It will be the same here in 5-10 years, and I shall be out of a job. Fortunately I have marketable skills.) It’s nice to know that there are people braver than we are, though. Kind of like watching the U.S. Marines in action.
    UPDATE: Mr. Derbyshire provided some clarification on these contentious issues here.

    Unfortunately, most of the truths about race are statistical truths. This makes them hard for ordinary people to grasp, as most people can’t understand statistics, even at the most elementary level. If you stand up in a room full of people and say: “On average, men are taller than women,” I guarantee–I GUARANTEE!–that some person will stand up and say, in great indignation: “What about Jenny? She’s taller than you, she’s taller than most men.” People just don’t GET statistical truths. Statistics makes them angry.

    h/t sdferr in email.

  65. I’d like to call a brief “Bill Whittle is still kicking ass, why aren’t you?” break.

    “SLOWLY… SLOWLY…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VgrktRgjBXk

  66. Black folk were long denied the education and opportunity to get to the point that they could be in the running for a Fields Medal. It’s not like they get handed out like cracker-jacks prizes. That’s a really rarified atmosphere those guys run in, and it requires other people to support them because there is really no money in mathematics.

    As far as women go, I guess it’s sexist to note that there are fewer high IQ women than men. The tail in IQ distribution is shorter for women than for men. However, there are also fewer women who are IQ deficient as compared to men. Also, women were similarly denied the opportunity for education and opportunity in the past.

    I know there have been black folk and women who have lived on this earth who could have won that medal, given the correct circumstances.

    I expect some day we will have more Fields Medal recipients who aren’t white men. When it happens, I hope it will be strictly on merit, as it should be.

  67. This is simply not true. It’s racialist. It’s not racist.

    I would have thought asserting that black people are significantly dumber than white people as racist, but I will go along with racialist if you say so.

    And had he given his kids that talk, and then it was on of them who avoided being in that Baltimore neighbhorhood on St Patty’s day, would you still say he did his kids no favors?

    What if his daughter was raped because the stranger asking to use the phone was a average looking not black guy? My point was, what if all white people taught their kids to mistrust all black people? Would that help or hurt future American culture?

    Who are you trying to impress?

    Erm…if that’s what you think I’m doing I’ll quit wasting everyone’s time.

    This IS a poisonous topic!

  68. here is a black guy what could’ve won a Fields except for you have to win it before you’re 40 and I think they only recently started opening it up to people what work their maths more in the realm of physics, like he did

    but he has Real Physics Shit named after him, which, I don’t think our good Mr. Derbyderb can say the same

  69. If you stand up in a room full of people and say: “On average, men are taller than women,” I guarantee–I GUARANTEE!–that some person will stand up and say, in great indignation: “What about Jenny? She’s taller than you, she’s taller than most men.” People just don’t GET statistical truths. Statistics makes them angry.

    It’s also a logical fallacy.

  70. Jenny also wears hooker pumps

  71. “rey-siz-uhm”

    It’s a compound sort of deal:

    rey [that's the kingly leader part]

    siz [that's the trendy go-along-get-along part]

    uhm [that's the dude going "Hold on. What?" part]

  72. ” I would have thought asserting that black people are significantly dumber than white people as racist, but I will go along with racialist if you say so.”

    There’s still the whole question of what does IQ measure and what do IQ tests measure and how fucked up is that whole process and is the cause genetic, etc.

    I strongly doubt the statistic that the average “black’ IQ is 85 instead of a hundred and would like to see some qualified scrutiny in there. And even if it’s true then I doubt it’s value as an indicator of cognitive power or behavior. Then again I’m a bit hostile to the whole concept of psychology in general and the value of average intelligence as measured by IQ test performance. But I’m not sure that my doubt and hostility constitute a valid counter argument on my part.

    I will say that Derbishire should not be fired or cast into disassociation for believing the statistic and bringing it into the discussion. He ought to be debated and if possible his argument discredited through more valid information that shows it to be false. Instead Lowry sent him home for having intellectual lice and said he wasn’t good enough to remain in Nirvana to oil Romney’s ball-sack with the rest of the prim elite. Yet he’s still in the cruise ad.

    If republicans police their own with a pair of sheers and a measuring tape imported from the left that does not involve actually being a conservative but is based on avoiding shame by association then the party is for all purposes dead. At some point it forgot how to breathe. If they can’t even win an argument with their allied pariahs and are reduced to sending them away with a strong condemnation then what hope do they have of defeating their enemies who they cannot send away?

  73. ” And even if it’s true then I doubt it’s value as an indicator of cognitive power or behavior. ”

    it’s -> its. Sorry.

  74. Police are saying more about a shooting at a Taco Bell Tuesday night in which one man died.

    They’re also identifying the victim as 29-year-old Daniel Adkins.

    About 7:30 p.m., a 22-year-old man and his girlfriend ordered food at the Taco Bell drive-thru and were told to pull up while their order was prepared.

    At the same time, Adkins stepped around a corner into the path of the vehicle and angry words were exchanged between he and the driver.

    They got into an altercation and Adkins was shot once by the driver. He died at the scene.

    The driver, a 22-year-old black male, called police but has not been arrested.

    At first, the couple claimed that Adkins had a metal pipe that he swung at them — but it turns out he was holding a dog leash with his yellow lab on the other end.

    Family members want that driver arrested, but he’s claiming self-defense.

    “He needs to be behind bars. I’ll never see my brother again,” says sister Marina Reyes. “If he felt that my brother was threatening him, he could have easily just rolled up the window and called the cops.”

    link

  75. what part of live mas do these people not understand

  76. I honestly do not care if people are racist, or sexist, as long as they do not try to use their opinions to justify violence (see NBPs and NeoNazis), or to deny others opportunities for advancement. It seems that no one is allowed to speak their opinions or thoughts nowadays, or the thought police comes after you for not being politically correct ( a term coined by Chairman Mao, a general in the thought control army). There are people who are “racist” in every race, there always has been , and there always will be. You cannot force people to think alike, or have the same opinions. Progressives apparently believe you can indeed force everyone to have the same opinion, witnessing their attempts to silence Conservative media and their actions of demonizing anyone who possesses a viewpoint which differs from their own. Firing someone for writing that he believes another race is different, or inferior, or superior, is submitting to the authority of the thought police, and hands more power to those who use the word “racist” to keep those who disagree with them in line.

  77. Instead Lowry sent him home for having intellectual lice and said he wasn’t good enough to remain in Nirvana to oil Romney’s ball-sack with the rest of the prim elite.

    Okay, I don’t know how racist anyone is, but that’s funny.

  78. They got into an altercation and Adkins was shot once by the driver. He died at the scene.
    The driver, a 22-year-old black male, called police but has not been arrested.

    “Black?” Clearly the author of that story has some unresolved hostility to our fellow African-American citizens.

    Stick to the approved language, comrades, lest you be tapped by MiniLuv.

  79. (10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.

    What would happen if a black author, say a Eugene Robinson, had written “Do not accept rides or assistance from whites casually known to you” and provided a link to a story about James Byrd?

    Would his advice be sound or not?
    Would the Washington Post have fired him?

  80. Hinderaker at Powerline has weighed in: Derb’s article is “indefensible,” and Derb should have been fired in 2003. So we have “indefensible” from Loesch, Hindrocket, and Jonah. See a pattern?

  81. but this story will muddle that narrative

    Tyrone Woodfork charged in home invasion, elderly murder

  82. I would have thought asserting that black people are significantly dumber than white people as racist, but I will go along with racialist if you say so.

    He “asserted” it and then cited any number of studies as proof of the assertion. If the facts are the facts, and he’s cited the facts, what you’re doing is either calling the facts “racist,” or suggesting that it’s somehow “racist” to recognize facts. If they are indeed facts, which we don’t know, because discussing them is racist. If you say so.

    If you really were going along with why I used racialist, you likely wouldn’t have framed it as “I would have thought asserting that black people are significantly dumber than white people as racist, but I will go along with racialist if you say so.” Instead, what you’re trying to do is reject my characterization while providing a false characterization for what Derbyshire did — leaving out that his assertions were supported by facts he cited, and that the facts seem not to have been gathered with any particular slant or malice intended beforehand.

    That you did so in a passive-aggressive way is a bit insulting.

  83. So we have “indefensible” from Loesch, Hindrocket, and Jonah. See a pattern?

    Long before most people did, sorry to say.

  84. I’m not sure where Eugene Robinson sits on the spectrum of political vulnerability. He wrote Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America which I haven’t read and can’t really comment on so I’m not sure where he stands or what people say about him. He’s a Washington Post columnist so I’d say probably not?

    I know that Herman Cain was put down as a creepy slightly rapey limousine p-grabber awfully fast despite the presence of four virtually anonymous and vague complaints, some low ball settlements, and some goofy looking sad sack trotted out by Gloria Alred.

    Meanwhile Marion Barry wants a reduction in dirty asian shops in DC and that’s all groovy smooth.

  85. Oops. I see palaeomerus has addressed this already.

  86. Hinderaker at Powerline has weighed in

    yes he mentioned the “trent lott affair”. looking back at that incident you do see a pattern on the rino side of things. at the 1st mention of “racism” surrender.

  87. I know that Herman Cain was put down as a creepy slightly rapey limousine p-grabber awfully fast despite the presence of four virtually anonymous and vague complaints, some low ball settlements, and some goofy looking sad sack trotted out by Gloria Alred.
    Meanwhile Marion Barry wants a reduction in dirty asian shops in DC and that’s all groovy smooth.

    ’bout as I expected.

  88. What if his daughter was raped because the stranger asking to use the phone was a average looking not black guy?

    But his daughter wasn’t raped. His son was beaten. And the scenario was startlingly similar to the one Derbyshire warned his children about.

    And Derbyshire didn’t teach his kids to distrust all black people. That’s not what he did at all.

  89. I defended Lott, incidentally. And I loathe the man.

    If you’ve been in the blogosphere as long as I have, you can use people’s reactions to controversial speech to gain the (political) measure of them fairly accurately. And there are plenty of examples to go on.

    Bill Maher after 911.
    Kid Rock playing at the Bush Twins’ inauguration bash.
    Trent Lott
    Bill Bennett on black abortion
    Tony Snow using “tar baby”
    Captain Ed using “articulate” in a long description of some black pol
    Robert Byrd and “white nigger”
    David Letterman re: Palin’s kids
    Obama re: Palin and “lipstick on a pig”
    Obama re: special olympics joke
    Ann Coulter re: Jon Edwards and “gay”
    Limbaugh “I hope he fails”
    Limbaugh “slut”

    My record is open. There are many on the right who I’d bet would really like to pretend theirs wasn’t.

    And I can tell you that in virtually every incident mentioned, there we people on the right in high dudgeon — or at the very least, counseling those who offered up the “offensive” speech the advice that they should have known better than to say x, etc., because the left will always take them out of context.

    Therefore, they counseled, learn to speak like a lawyer, or surrender.

  90. In a bizarre form of serendipity, if one so calls it, a friend forwarded a real cultural oddity on youtube. An old Corman film from 1962, called “Shame” among other titles. About a white interloper in the South who shows up in a town to foment race hatred against blacks. Playing our anti-hero is… The Shatner Himself.

    Language warning: If Huckleberry Finn gave you the vapors, you will faint at the dialog here. Short on literary merit but long on the not-a-white-man word NSFW. Trust me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbfyYvj4f9Q&feature=related

    Before Captain Kirk there was Adam Cramer… Then much later, Denny
    Crane. Coincidence? I think not.

    Plus, Rodger (sic) Corman behind it all. It’s a strange world.

  91. “And Derbyshire didn’t teach his kids to distrust all black people. That’s not what he did at all.”

    But that’s how he is being portrayed here. Wrongly so.
    That’s the thing that pisses me off the most about this.

  92. That you did so in a passive-aggressive way is a bit insulting.

    Oh brother. I’m…sorry?

    his assertions were supported by facts he cited, and that the facts seem not to have been gathered with any particular slant or malice intended beforehand.

    Well, facts are facts.

  93. Lee, I honestly didn’t even know who wrote the comment when I responded. I saw a line quoted from the comment — aimed at me — and I replied.

    Well, facts are facts.

    If they are the facts. But who knows? We’re not allowed to find out.

  94. My point was, what if all white people taught their kids to mistrust all black people? Would that help or hurt future American culture?

    Of course, that’s not what is being taught. He is proposing to teach his kid to look at the statistics for the group as a guide for interacting with members of that group in situations known to be risky and when the persons involved are of unknown motive and character. The flip side of that teaching is that when the statistics change the risk calculation will reflect the change. It is not mistrust that is being taught, it is observation and risk assesment that is being taught.

  95. i like how the “race thing” always moves the overton window in one direction.

  96. I’m going to try to eat food now. Real food.

    Wish me luck.

  97. bon appetite

  98. Bananas, rice, applesauce, toast. You should be able to keep that inside.

  99. Well, you don’t have to be a weatherman to see that this is shaping up to be another “I hope he fails” scenario with all the right-thinking, er, proper-thinking people deathly afraid to face some uncomfortable facts. Or even some uncomfortable discussions.
    And on the other side we have the unhelpful visigoths at least willing to entertain the conversation.
    Fucked, we are.

  100. Last night there was a half serious attempt to shut down all discussion by suggesting that Derbyshire somehow crafted ‘Mein Kampf 2: Kampfier und Meinier’ in the form of a “shocking” two pager in an E-zine. I thought the poor bastard might be loaded into a rocket and sent into Solar exile before the night was over.

    Thankfully that has been walked back a tad.

    Derbyshire is still in the asshole column under ‘that crotchety idiot douchebag’ heading.

    But he’s not looking like the Chosen Son of Hitler snarling blood-soaked prophecies at a scarred troubled world anymore. At least we’ve made SOME progress towards an actual discussion and perhaps a more valid form of condemnation AFTER some discussion, instead of an exorcism and public gestures of aversion.

    His horns and evil eye have mostly dropped off. His pitchfork has been replaced by a banana squash of the type that ignorant rubes of yesteryear often carry around when they wander off of the hate farm for maladjusted misanthropic dullards who are still somehow too smart for their own good.

    That’s progress right?

    When you go from an arising force of Satanic infamy that must be slain tout de suite lest it crush history in its claws, to a forgettable oafish turd lump of an eyesore that’s a positive transformation right?

    That means that the adrenaline levels are falling and the panic is subsiding. Right?

    Or is that just the second handful of feces thrown at the barn wall because the first handful has already started to slip?

    I can’t tell anymore.

  101. it’s kinda fun how the Powerline geezer sniffy sniffs that the unfortunately socially-retrograde National Review should have fired this vile racisty racist many many moons ago

  102. food! my favorite sick food is tomato soup made with skim milk it tastes like somebody loves me

  103. it always jacks up the saucepan though

  104. Has Lowry or some other put together the list of those we’re tossing aside into the ashheap with Derbyshire as men unfit for proper company? A. Lincoln, for instance, is he still one we’d associate ourselves with or is he gone? How about James Madison? Keeper or goer? Can we presume the Democrats have a special dispensation from Lowry and Co. to hang onto Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and LBJ, or might we hear even a peep on that subject? And while we’re at it, how about that skeevy Buckley fella?

  105. personally I think establishment-type people are on a hair trigger about this sort of thing cause of they’re anticipating a deluge of tendentious recountings of the history of race and the mormon church

    National Soros Radio has already fired a couple tracer rounds

  106. tendentious is gonna be a very useful word this year

  107. a deluge of tendentious recountings of the history of race and the mormon church

    dude mr mitten’s is “electable” please be quiet

  108. Damn.

    And its just our luck that the only guy who can beat Obama this year just happens to be Mormon.

    What are the odds?

  109. I wonder what Democrat Daddies tell their chirruns about groups of slick talking Mormons?

  110. I’m not seeing the Mormon thing as a problem that can’t be overcome. It’s not like Romney couldn’t stir up a load of foot-soldiers to get the message out. (Also, see Reid, Harry. I’m looking forward to watching the Crypt Keeper dance.)

    I’m seeing Romney himself as the real problem to overcome.

  111. personally I think establishment-type people are on a hair trigger about this sort of thing cause of they’re anticipating a deluge of tendentious recountings of the history of race and the mormon church

    Yeah, that explains it going all the way back to Lott.

    Yup.

    They’re just super smart and careful, is what it is.

  112. i think if you draw a boolean diagram of mormonism and the presidency you get desserts what are made out of festive jell-o molds and an 8-track of Donny and Marie’s greatest hits

  113. a my name is alice and my brother’s name is andy we come from alabama and we like apples

  114. i think if you draw a boolean diagram…

    I’m not sure “programing” is a metaphor the use here.

  115. ‘feets, you need to ask about your SEO guy here.

  116. “the Powerline geezer sniffy sniffs” One of the geezer’s co-bloggers was named Mirengoff. Mirengoff carelessly said forbidden things about a Native American invocation he saw, forgetting that his day job employer had Native American clients. Mirengoff disappeared from Powerline tout suite. So geezer Hindrocket has felt the PC trap sprung quite close to his own ass.

    (I saw the same invocation. I remember at first the shaman went on about how his people had lived there so much longer than anybody else. Then he bitched about how the name Tucson was somehow insulting or politically incorrect to his people. I don’t remember what exactly Mirengoff quipped about it.)

  117. he’s a veritable font of relevant commentary, that one

    he humbles us all

  118. (the SEO guy)

  119. Hey, he’s on a roll. And he may well have a BANJO ON HIS KNEE.

  120. they’re from Minnesota, yes? When I go out drinking in Bemidji, which is not an everyday thing, but not unheard of neither, I’m way more likely to hear them called “wood ticks” than “Native Americans.” But let’s not tell Mr. geezer that.

  121. ‘feets at 7:47, that is.

    I have no idea if Mirengoff, Hindraker, or ‘feets’s SEO guy are similarly accessorized.

  122. “Jeff Goldstein thinks the problem is more fundamental: ”If we’re going to pretend that language works in a way that it clearly doesn’t — and to institutionalize that idea into our very epistemology — what we will end up with is the slow erosion of our speech, as more and more of it becomes subject to ‘interpretations’ motivated by cynicism and a will to power.” But I’m afraid that ship has long since sailed. Language is subject to interpretation, and people will often come away with a different impression than the author/speaker intended. That possibility has a chilling effect on our conversation about some subjects but it’s not at all clear how to prevent it happening.”

    Joyner on Powerline, February 1, 2011

    Bold mine.

    What a coward.

  123. Sorry, that’s on Outside the Beltway.

  124. that’s a for reals Donnie & Marie song Mr. Bradley I just kinda mischievously changed the word “boyfriend” to “brother,” cause of I’m incorrigible

  125. ships that have long sailed are stupid

  126. “they’re from Minnesota, yes?” I think they were the Three Musketeers from Dartmouth. And then there were two.

  127. Ships that have sailed are easier to sink.

  128. ships that have long sailed are stupid

    Grateful Dead…ship of fools…5.9.77 buffalo NY

  129. Don’t ask ME for help! That ship has long sailed. Now come over here and help me elect Romney. That ship has also long sailed. You don’t have to be persuasive when the ship has long sailed. It’s just like settled science only it smells more like a wussy trying to be scary and important.

  130. I thought Dartmouth was somewheres else

    Mr. Dan went there

  131. I’d like to lower the debt and spending but THAT SHIP HAS LONG SAILED! Return to the big tent and get down there and row!

  132. I thought Dartmouth was somewheres else

    this internet thing has been a for reals problem for the ivy peeps

  133. i mean shake your credential loses some appeal with gender studies ba’s bs’s

  134. The new dharma of the republican party seems to be ‘cosmic whipping boy’. The non-existent phantom establishment will take their strokes later (after the untamed types have fallen). To the posts!

  135. what we suffer from Mr. palalalala is

    BoehnerMcConnellethargy

    and Palinnui

    and Limbaughwitdabadabangadangdiggy

  136. We know what we’re seeing from the pragmatists. Surrender. Call it what it is.

  137. Boehner

    orange people h8ter too be sure

  138. Yes we are, cranky and it’s ugly.

  139. OK, folks. I’ve watched this cluster-fuck of knicker-twisting all weekend and not weighed in. Some may be happy, some may not give a rat’s ass. But these two threads have illustrated how much the dreaded “RACIST!” label has permeated our conciousness.
    Guess what ? I’m a racist. And so is everyone else. It is fucking part of your hard-wiring, about which you can’t do much.
    Ever hear of “fight or flight”? That little piece of the hypothalmus (I could be wrong on location) that gives a little squirt of adrenalin when faced with something “other” that could be fatal? Maybe it’s something with big teeth, maybe it’s another homo sap from another tribe, recognized by different skin color.
    Civilization has allowed us to set up a filter where differences like language or skin color don’t immediately get the adrenalin going, but it still ain’t far below the surface.
    Another thing that has been passed down throught the ages is sage advice from our elders. Things like, “That tawny four-footed thing that lives in the cave is liable to eat you; you may want to put that in your decision-making loop.”
    So Darbyshire had the effrontery to lay out some facts that he would pass on to his kids about worldly facts of life. I did the same with my son – “Don’t go into South Providence. There are “others” there – white, black, hispanic,hmong, whomever, who may not have your best interests at heart.”
    So Darby put out some facts. Those facts are likely the result of decades worth of attempted social engineering gone wrong. A War on Poverty that consisted of rewarding the poor for not having marriages, father-figures, work ethics and so on. One ethnic group has mostly been the recipients/victims of this government largess, and we see the results – a group of people in thrall to the Democrat party, because it knows no other way than to support the political group that hands out all of the government cheese. How could they know any better after generations of indoctrination?
    So, these inconvenient truths are published and what do we do? “Oh, I’m not a racist because I’m not afraid to walk in certain areas.”, “I’m clearly not a racist because I DENOUNCE Darby.”, “What he said is INDEFENSIBLE.” Well, you know what? Blow it out your ass, because that’s about the effect all of your holier-than-thou pronouncements have.
    Get rid of all the social clap-trap and race-mongering. This comes down to nothing more than a caveman (or modern man) with “situational awarenesss”. If I see a group of young white males with hoodies, my survival processing is different than if I see a group of older black men in suits. Is that racist? No, it’s just processing relevant information. If I am on the Miracle Mile in Chicago, does my survival radar operate at a different level than a few miles west? Of course. Do crime statistics showing that young black males are more likely to affect my survival have an impact on the geographic choices I make? Of course; I’d be stupid to ignore data just so that I could prove that I’m not a racist.
    So, all of the above obviously means that I take race and other considerations into account when I make decisions; ergo, I am a racist. And guess what ? I don’t give a flying fuck.
    By the way, Happyfeet, welcome back. Was that just a three-month sentence?

  140. White guys in hoodies – avoid.

    Black guys in suits – no problem.

    I agree.

  141. it wasn’t a sentence so much as I was really happy that Mr. Jeff maded a thread for so people could talk about Derb’s Heinous Racist Thoughtcrimes…

    nobody else would do it, except for Mr. Riehl I guess, and his comments section is resolutely noninteractive… it’s like nothing there happens in realtime

  142. White guys in hoodies – avoid.

    Black guys in suits – no problem.

    oh noes peeps with hoodies white or black or orange are ok with de real folks. you gots to be a trayvontarian

  143. Very succinct , cranky. Shorter me – I hate everybody equally until they prove themselves otherwise. And as far as stopping to help anyone on the highway? No good deed goes unpunished.

  144. “But I’m afraid that ship has long since sailed. Language is subject to interpretation, and people will often come away with a different impression than the author/speaker intended. That possibility has a chilling effect on our conversation about some subjects but it’s not at all clear how to prevent it happening.”

    In other words, interpreters can make mistakes. Or we as communicators can mis-signal what we meant.

    None of which means that we throw up our hands and conflate poor communication and misinterpretations with the meaning they’re trying to get at.

    And so it IS clear how to prevent that from happening: stop conflating and legitimating mistakes, then explain how language works, how interpretation works (and what it even means to interpret) and why it’s important that we recognize how it works. Because if you fail to do so, you are surrendering your autonomy to a collective, and it’s quite clear — or should be — that they might not have your best interests at heart.

    The sophists tried the same takeover of language and were rebuffed. It is only our much more evolved society that has surrendered to it — largely out of laziness, but also (on the right) because lawyers rely on it and use it to their benefit.

  145. for record: the most retarded peeps in this country are “ivy league” grads. ax freidman or “cornell” man oberdude?

  146. Well, Happy, whatever it was that ended your self-imposed exile, welcome back. More conversation is better than less.

  147. I will remind you that Mr. Mittolemew Q. Romneykins is a Harvard man through and through

    impertinent sod

  148. I am glad to be back Mr. Red though I have to say that whilst I was away I discovered that non-commenting has… magical weight-loss properties!

    it’s a goddamn revelation is what it is

  149. That possibility has a chilling effect on our conversation about some subjects but it’s not at all clear how to prevent it happening.”

    the stupid and loudest peeps rule no?

  150. Mr. Mittolemew Q. Romneykins is a Harvard

    its kinda fun to watch the “ivy league” determine this country’s fate. because the “ivy league” is where you find out that stupidity is accepted if you say it in the proggtard way.

  151. I am glad to be back Mr. Red though I have to say that whilst I was away I discovered that non-commenting has… magical weight-loss properties!

    So does exercise, but let’s keep that on the hush hush. I don’t want fat fucks clogging up my running lane.

  152. hah I remember when i went to Good Luck Girl and I said hey girl, I need me a candle

    and Good Luck Girl said … what kinda candle would you like?

    Me, not having had any introduction to this candle business I quite innocently said, “a weight-loss candle, please”

    she said hahthatiscalledagymcandle! (this is what passes for Good Luck Girl humor)

    so I said okay let’s start over why don’t you tell me what kind of candles you have and I’ll just pick

    and … fastforward and my apartment smells like santeria threw up in a corner somewheres I just can’t find

  153. There’s a scene in a now underappreciated film, which at the time was little more than a piece of anti-fascist schlock, but that’s apropos here.

    In this scene Spencer Tracy, playing the world-weary yet still idealistic foreign correspondent Steve O’Malley, tries to explain fascism to heartbroken little Jeb, played by the cherub-faced Darryl Hickman.

    [Steve]: Europe’s full of [slaves]. It might be our turn next.
    There are so many ways [the fascists make slaves of men] it would take me the rest of the day to try to explain it to you. But the general idea is they try to get us all confused and scared and sore at each other and then before you know it, clamp, the handcuffs are on us.

    [Jeb]: Would they really put chains on me?

    [Steve]: Not on your hands they wouldn’t, because you’d have to work for them. The chains would be on your mind and on your tongue.

    Don’t bother sharing that with Rich Lowry, however. He’d take one look at the scene and pronounce it unwise to take our cue from a movie in which a grown man is shown talking to a crying boy alone and in the WOODS(!); too much there that’s too easily misconstrued these days, and we have to be careful about appearances, you see.

  154. Those bodega candles are disgusting. I used to buy a bunch of them when I had parties, but they smell more like stale ass than lavender. And you really can’t use them a second time unless you don’t mind burning the hell out of your fingers when trying to light them.*

    * I’m assuming you’re referring to the long glass ones that turn black inside, but if not, never mind.

  155. yes yes they’re the long glass ones what turn black inside – they’re the jesus candles you usually get for 1.29 what the Good Luck Girl will “prepare” for you in exchange for the 11 disposable dollars what you may have earned at an actual for reals job where you filled out an I-9

    but I explicitly asked her about the blackening part and she said as long as there’s still *some* clear glass it means that your beseechings have been heard and … whatever happens after they’re heard

  156. really, Mr. bh?

    It’s come to this? Already?

    And so fast.

    ladies and gentlemens it’s… teh cataracs!

  157. However since Racism requires one to have the political and economic means of imposing your beliefs through statutory and institutional means,

    Wait, so how is Derb’s piece racist, then? It’s almost as if these people have never heard of discrimination and don’t realize that it’s a different term.

  158. He’s the Man, Pablo.

    The Man controls everything and can impose whatever it is he wants on a brother.

  159. I’d been casting around to figure out what rubbed me wrong about the Derbyshire piece.
    It finally hit me while on a really long drive: There’s a meanness to it that reeks of cheap shot. The bit about intelligence. Let’s be clear: As someone who went to college in the Bronx during the Dinkins administration (2,000 murders in my senior senior in NYC) I have been on many crappy streets, late at night, with busted street lamps.

    No one thinks about IQ, about the hereditary aspects of what some define as intelligence, when they are being approached by a gang who look like they are up to something.

    No one.

    Ever.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass about what talk he is or isn’t having. You look at the odds of violence, of commone sense, before you consider aptitude for multi-variable math.

    He put those lines in to be mean and that was shitty.

    No one doubts that any serious talk on race is going to result in a freak show, but low blows and cheap shots suck.

  160. The problem with Derb? He’s not funny. And he’s white.

  161. Ernst Schreiber says April 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm
    Good catch, Ernst. That one came to mind during Obamania and reminded me of Trudeaumania.

  162. In fact, I’d urge you, Ernst, and all your cohorts, to read the Wikipedia entries for “Trudeaumania” and “Pierre Trudeau” to see what y’all are facing in the current context. If possible, viewing of “Keeper of the Flame” is highly recommended, while remembering the early ’40′s, 1968 and 2008.

    Unfortunately, here in Canuckistan, there are no term limits, and we suffered for that with the likes of Trudeau.

  163. Snippet:

    At Harvard Trudeau found himself profoundly challenged as he discovered that his “… legal training was deficient, [and] his knowledge of economics was pathetic.”

  164. “So there was a war? Tough… if you were a French Canadian in Montreal in the early 1940s, you did not automatically believe that this was a just war… we tended to think of this war as a settling of scores among the superpowers.”

    In a 1942 Outremont by-election, he campaigned for the anti-conscription candidate Jean Drapeau (later mayor of Montreal), and was eventually expelled from the Officers’ Training Corps for lack of discipline. The National Archives of Canada, in its biographical sketches of Canadian Prime Ministers, records show that on one occasion during the war, Trudeau and his friends drove their motorcycles wearing Prussian military uniforms, complete with pointed steel helmets.

    Scratch a progressive…

  165. Roddy Boyd says April 9, 2012 at 1:02 am

    I think you’re right, and if it needs to be said, Derbyshire’s points are not inaccurate, nor are they necessarily racist (only he knows if they are). But they are mean, and I would suggest not very helpful to any “serious” discussion of race.

    It would be like trying to have a discussion with your wife about what’s wrong with your marriage, and you start off by talking about how large her backside has gotten. It may be true, but it doesn’t strike me as very likely to lead to a solution to whatever problems exist in your relationship.

  166. BMoe …

    It’s like there’s a clone named TrudO!

  167. Pingback: Monday monday monday « Is This Blog On?

  168. I think you’re right, and if it needs to be said, Derbyshire’s points are not inaccurate, nor are they necessarily racist (only he knows if they are). But they are mean, and I would suggest not very helpful to any “serious” discussion of race.

    Derbyshire’s always been a bit of an ass, in my opinion, but his points were mostly correct. The IQ stuff … was irrelevant to the issue, but he’s a bit of a snob.

  169. John Derbyshire, Eric Holder, and the aims of racial fearmongering [UPDATED] | protein wisdom – http://goo.gl/IeUcV | Sorry. No. Just no. *

    Derbyshire follow up: defending the “indefensible” | protein wisdom – http://goo.gl/0ZCev DOUBLE NO. Just no no no. *

    Got that, wingnuts? NO. Just NO. Because NO. No.

  170. It doesn’t fit the liberal narrative or the profit seeking motive of the r ace hustlers but this is an issue of tribes as opposed to an issue of color. When broken down, we form tribes. Some tribes are more wary of other tribes. Some tribes are more hostile to other tribes. Some tribes are accepting of certain other tribes. None of us would have any fear of walking down the street in a gated all black community, because quite simply, an affluent black is closer in their tribal affiliation then if we ran into a poor black. Similarly, there are trailer parks that I would never go into, even though the trailer park population is primarily white- if the trailer park community, as a whole, is in desperate poverty, then of course we would be wary of going into it, wearing a rolex or driving a nice car. In both places, there is a possibility that one could emerge unscathed – but there’s also a possibility that one could be robbed or beaten by desperate people. Why would we choose to test the waters? And would I tell my son or daughter about the tribal “rules,” as I see them? Of course I would.

    And that’s what Derbyshire’s done, albeit in a far more public fashion. And National Review is spineless.

  171. There are plenty of white folks I’m afraid of in/around Detroit Matt.

    But I’m allowed to be afraid of them.

    The problem is that I’m allowed to call out/be specious/ etc of the white dude in a hoodie and his pants sagging low.

  172. My cousin was one of those types. He got two years in prison for B & E. Drug addict. 22 y/o. He’s knocked up two women, one was only 15.

  173. I’m allowed to call out/be specious/ etc of the white dude in a hoodie and his pants sagging low

    I tend to avoid fashion criminals, myself.

  174. So we have “indefensible” from Loesch, Hindrocket, and Jonah. See a pattern?

    Long before most people did, sorry to say.

    What Derb did could be called simultaneously courageous and ALSO indefensible, because there are different projects at stake here, intellectual and political. And unlike, say, Steve Sailer, Derb strikes me as someone who is fully aware of that. This column seems to represent a culmination of his frustration with dealing with the often divergent demands of the two projects.

    NRO’s main mission is political, not intellectual. It is the advancement of conservative ideas in the marketplace of ideas, ultimately to win wider purchase for the conservative political program. Derb has been a potential liability to this mission as long as he’s been around, and now with this column that potentiality has been fully achieved. NRO’s political mission has been undermined. This should not be so. It should not delegitimize the voice of the magazine to publish something inflammatory but fundamentally sincere and honest in its discourse such as Derb’s piece. But we all know it will, and we are intimately familiar with how this will proceed. Let’s fight to align these goals, so that the intellectual project doesn’t conflict with the political project. But I can’t say I’m surprised or particularly disappointed with NRO’s actions. I want that dog in this fight, the political fight.

  175. Re Derbyshire:

    That’s the other thing. The guy held himself out to be logically anti PC but went about in sort of a cruel, unnecessary fashion. I remember reading an article about why he doesn’t understand Jews from a political or cultural standpoint about a decade ago–a valid topic, to be clear–and it sort of denigrated into a few lazy, third-person, vaguely anti-Jewish points using a former neighbor of his in the mid 60s as a foil.

    For a smart guy, and a provocative guy, he wasn’t much of either, frequently. That’s a problem when you write what he wrote.

  176. Again, I think Derb’s piece was the convenient intersection of this-needs-saying and time to retire, maybe.

  177. I’m allowed to call out/be specious/ etc of the white dude in a hoodie and his pants sagging low

    I tend to avoid fashion criminals, myself.

    Slart, I’ve known my fair share of scary white folks. In Detroit, it’s a percentage game. But, the most problematic folks on my block were some white folks that lived across the street. They’re finally gone, but only because they’ve completely destroyed the house.

  178. Actually, Derbyshire’s reference to IQ (I say without having read his piece yet) is a very common one when trying to understand group differences between blacks and whites for a lot of social or behavioral actions. It’s called human neurological uniformity or biodiversity. (See here for a liberal biologist’s blog on HNU.) Essentially, it is the “nature” part in the nature v. nurture question; although I am not well versed in the subject, I understand Stephen Pinker has a good case for the “nurture” part.

    The theory basically goes that race causes a substantial number of physical and social differences — height, coloring, obesity rates, heart disease, susceptibility to sickle cell anemia and to malaria, lactose intolerance, addictive behaviors (like alcoholism in Indians, one of my own little racial groups), musical ability, atheltic ability, fertility. Yet, the only thing that is supposed to be identical across racial subgroups is intelligence.

    The “nature” side of HNU says that intelligence (or, I guess, really mental process?) is a significant determinate in social and group behaviors, and that that can explain things like different illegitimacy rates, crime rates, and antisocial behavior.

    If — and I emphasize if — that is a real point, then it could drastically change how people deal with mixed societies. E.g., I don’t drink because I know I have a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. It used to be illegal to sell Indians liquor because they couldn’t hande it, and, with a 98% alcoholism rate for reservation Indians, I don’t think that was a bad policy. (I do as a libertarian, but that’s a different point.) What if cognitive differences, imperfectly measured by IQ, really do account for a substantial portion of behavioral differences? Wouldn’t that have significant social policy implications?

    Derb is a crotchety, cranky man, which is probably why I’ve always liked him. He is old school, imperial British, and I respect that. But it wasn’t (necessarily) meanness or spite or Hate of The Other that made him bring up IQ differences. It is a real, though obviously fringe, area of study.

  179. Roddy Boyd, I didn’t read that piece about Jews, but it doesn’t really surprise me. I have never been to England (would love to go!), but I read a lot of pulpy British writers — Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, Edmund Crispin. How can I put this politely? Englishmen (or at least 20th Century Englishmen, which Derb still is) don’t really like Jews. Or blacks. Or (East) Indians. Or Americans. Or the Irish. Or Italians. They really don’t like anyone who’s not English, and they don’t seem to be too certain about people from northern England, at that.

    At least that’s what I’ve gleaned.

  180. I think this whole thing is telling us very little about Derbyshire that hadn’t already been observed over the years, so I really don’t find much value in that aspect of it.

    What’s new and of interest is what the reaction to his piece is telling us about everybody else. And it’s far more depressing.

  181. McGehee, very, very true.

  182. The “nature” side of HNU says that intelligence (or, I guess, really mental process?) is a significant determinate in social and group behaviors, and that that can explain things like different illegitimacy rates, crime rates, and antisocial behavior.

    Let me be the first to denounce you.

    Although, generally, I don’t think it is low IQ that leads to these things in our society.

    Life is hard for stupid people, yes. But the bell curve doesn’t explain the things that occurring in the inner cities.

  183. I believe this is the piece on Jews that Roddy referred to above.

  184. I had thought that intelligence was also correlated to social conditions, and that race and social conditions were highly correlated in the US.

    I had also thought I had remembered that black Africans tended to do better on IQ tests.

    But I can’t recall where I read either of those things so: fodder for discussion, maybe.

  185. NRO’s main mission is political, not intellectual. It is the advancement of conservative ideas in the marketplace of ideas, ultimately to win wider purchase for the conservative political program.

    I’m certain that Lowry agrees with you.

    And therein lies the problem with NR/NRO.

  186. It could be that examining how your wife’s ass came to be so large or how there came to be a divide between the races in IQ scores might lead to a reason for the problems in the marriage or between the races.

    It also might not be in the interest of certain parties or Parties to look at that matter to closely.

  187. McGehee,

    Well not so fast, I say.

    What Derbyshire’s contretempts says to me is: “Here is the fault line in right wing establishment discourse on race….This much and no farther.”

    It suggests a broader point.

    Because no one on the right, including NR, was inclined to throw much of a flag on the guy despite what a fair amount of people here have assumes are his varying degrees of racism and anti-semitism.

    Sunny-Dee hits the nail on the head. It’s not David Duke stuff, it’s classic British Imperialism. The guy legitimately prefers people only from his rural English milieu–He has been cursed to live in post-imperial, multi-cultural times; he would have been better off being born 50 years earlier. He’s not a Nazi, he’s a whig.

    In turn, this suggests another point: NR knew this well and marketed it to an American readership with an affinity for muscular Churchillian politics and views (Catholic neo-cons, basically, if you will.)

    They thought they could keep the uglier bits of all this under wraps and, in a pre-Internet age, would have. But there’s no more hiding your views by posting them in obscure journals anymore (long a favorite of left and right essayists in the 60s-80s.)

    NR made a bet on Derbyshire’s business appeal to an important readership and it worked well enough for over a decade.

    And then it didn’t and they fired his ass, just like a football team cuts a guy for cap or injury reasons.

  188. Slart, that is a chicken and egg problem, no? I mean, are stupid people poor because they are stupid or are they stupid because they are poor? (Speaking in offensively exaggerated terms.)

    geoffb, but doesn’t that anaolgy not work? Derb wasn’t saying, “David is black, so avoid his neighborhood.” The HNU thing isn’t talking about individuals; it’s talking about very large groups. There is a difference between saying, say, women are more emotional than men and telling your wife to take a Midol.

    Carin, I agree that IQ is a poor indicator for inner city problems because it is a poor substitute for cognitive ability as a whole (like, planning, discipline, and understanding causal relationships).* But we don’t really have a lot of psych tests that cover that and have a large sample size, and IQ exhibits an influence in odd ways — like that recent study that said smarter people are more likely to be healthy and attractive than lower-IQ people because they track and follow health trends better.

    * I don’t think the nature side of HNU is the shizz. I am hard pressed to believe there is not some influence, but it certainly is not in a vacuum, so nurture (i.e., social constructs) have to play a part. But part of the overall question — and this goes back to what JG was saying — is how much? We can’t even discuss how much nature influences or mitigates nurture because the idea of natural differences between races feels a little too antebellum. But if those differences are real to some extent, doesn’t that matter? If nature/HNU matters 5% to behavior, then probably not, and we can ignore it. But what if it’s 55%? Or what if it’s 5% overall, but it really matters on the fringe? Wouldn’t that impact social policy (not necessarily government policy)?

  189. George Orwell didn’t think much of the “natives” (shall we say?). Do we drop him from the conservative oeuvre because he’s got that taint all over him, or does he get a pass?

  190. Eh. Where I grew up these things were sort of a given, and largely confirmed by experience. If you are white, your tolerance for the things Derbyshire wrote is probably very closely related to your early experiences with blacks, which is itself probably closely related to where you fall on the socio-economic scale of white people. A middle class suburban upbringing means that your earliest experiences with blacks were neutral in that the blacks you knew had met some sort of threshold for entry into the middle class – which is to say that the black kids’ parents held stable, decent jobs requiring a measure of the qualities that Derb is distilling into “IWSBs.”

    If, however, you are from a lower-middle class white background, the chances are better that your early exposure was to the black underclass in the form of aggressively anti-social and criminal behavior. In that case, being race-blind can be foolhardy if not downright dangerous. Insisting upon that sort of suspension of disbelief at all costs is a luxury of the well to do, in a certain sense.

  191. I had thought that intelligence was also correlated to social conditions, and that race and social conditions were highly correlated in the US.

    Read you some John Ogbu. The social conditions which preclude academic achievement for blacks transcend economic status. Pretty much any school system which has a large and affluent black population encounters all kinds of trouble surrounding the composition of their honors program at some point. That’s not to suggest that intelligence and academic achievement/work ethic are the same thing, but the latter is infinitely more important anyway. Even a moron can eventually be Vice President.

  192. [A]re stupid people poor because they are stupid or are they stupid because they are poor? (Speaking in offensively exaggerated terms.)

    Maybe they’re poor and stupid because of weak to nonexistent impulse control/self-discipline? But that only gets us back to the nature/nurture problem.

    Anybody got a copy of “Black Rednecks and White Liberals” handy?

  193. If nature/HNU matters 5% to behavior, then probably not, and we can ignore it. But what if it’s 55%? Or what if it’s 5% overall, but it really matters on the fringe? Wouldn’t that impact social policy (not necessarily government policy)?

    The human nature component of those growing up in the cities is so corrupted by the effects of liberal policy, to render such things moot.

    Babies born to babies born to babies. Who have never learned to cook, or take care of their homes, or raise their kids. Things that were NEVER passed from adult to child, because it was a child having the child.

    THIS, imho, is the starting point of the social fabric decay in the cities.

  194. Carin, I agree that IQ is a poor indicator for inner city problems because it is a poor substitute for cognitive ability as a whole (like, planning, discipline, and understanding causal relationships).* But we don’t really have a lot of psych tests that cover that and have a large sample size, and IQ exhibits an influence in odd ways — like that recent study that said smarter people are more likely to be healthy and attractive than lower-IQ people because they track and follow health trends better.

    I read somewhere that the main predictor of lifetime success was the age at which a child learns to delay gratification – you recall that test with the m&ms and leaving the kids alone in the room with them, where they’d get twice as many if they didn’t eat them until the authority figure returned? I always figured that this has an awful lot to do with the predicament of the underclass and with criminality. Clearly, it would have an effect on educational achievement and ability to navigate the requisites of entry into the middle class as well.

    When you think about it critically as a matter of utility rather than morality, so many crimes are just really bad ideas where someone acted on impulse when an opportunity presented itself, without a real plan for how to conceal the crime and escape punishment, which ought to be an important part of any criminal plan. The upside is that this is a big part of why criminals get caught.

  195. And then it didn’t and they fired his ass, just like a football team cuts a guy for cap or injury reasons.

    Except it wasn’t for cap or injury reasons; it was because he said something ‘unacceptable’ to a sports reporter. Now, a football team exists to win football games and extort stadia from taxpayers, so you can usually understand and forgive them when they feel the need to distance themselves from such events. But when your reason for existence is to defend a set of principles, among which is the importance of free speech and spirited debate, there really isn’t an excuse for cutting the player loose so carelessly.

    Count me among the camp who think that Derb and NR long since grew tired of each other, and that this really was Derb’s swan song, calculated to highlight NR’s spineless hypocrisy in a way and to a degree that a traditional letter of resignation never could.

  196. sunny-dee, I was using the analogy that BurtTC threw out at 5:55am. I believe that genetics has little to do with IQ differences across races. I believe that the influence of genetics causes much more variation in all humanity and that it by itself simply places a cap on the inherent abilities of each individual as it does for other abilities.

    The gap between races is caused by what we generally call culture and the culture that has brought this particular gap into being was the product of the progressive-liberal political order. And they have been the beneficiaries of it too which has made it self reinforcing.

    To use the wife analogy. The problem is that she has one “friend” who comes over everyday for coffee and brings a dozen assorted Dunkin’ Donuts with her every time and eats just one or two herself and leaves all the rest. Very hard to avoid eating them when they are just sitting there all day. What is needed is for the “friend” to stop bringing them over but she loves them and likes having a selection everyday to choose from.

    I know still not a good analogy and in my home I’m the one that needs to lose more weight.

  197. Carin, but this problem isn’t confined to American inner cities, right? What you’ve described is common in Africa itself — and to parts of southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Hellholes, all. But it’s not unique to inner-city America.

    The question is — does “cognitive function” — or some other genetic component — matter in this? Let’s for argument say that yes, there is a genetic component, so Group A is predisposed to Antisocial Behavior X. Social policy, then, can either exacerbate Antisocial Behavior X or work to mitigate the influence of Gene A, right? But if Gene A matters in reality but is denied as indefensible social science, then you are almost guaranteed to make Antisocial Behavior X worse.

    And there is a creepy eugenecist vibe to all of this. It feels oily.

  198. I read somewhere that the main predictor of lifetime success was the age at which a child learns to delay gratification

    That was in today’s “Morning Jolt” and referenced this column by David Brooks in 2006 who talked of the reasearch.

  199. Or research.

  200. Solzhenistsyn said that people got so starved for truth that they would cling to anything anyone said — even if it was untrue — just so long as it wasn’t the party line, the known lie.

    I kinda feel that way about race discussions. :/ Between the race hustlers and the prog-eugenecists and the little PC whelps, where is the ability to investigate truth?

  201. To whatever minor extent this Derbyshire story seeps into wider consciousness (which not so wide, I’m guessing), the amusing effect will be to make the Democrats’ opinion polling all the more untrustworthy. Which, ha! Good on ya, Rich!

  202. Carin, but this problem isn’t confined to American inner cities, right? What you’ve described is common in Africa itself — and to parts of southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Hellholes, all. But it’s not unique to inner-city America.

    I don’t really feel comfortable extrapolating this argument outward. There are little pieces of hell all over this planet. And most of the AFRICAN black Americans have been entirely unlike African -Americans of which we speak.

    But looking at American society, it is primarily since the 60′s that we’ve seen the issues.

    Underclasses are underclasses. When you protect that underclass, and add in racial/grievance politics -it’s just a recipe for disaster.

  203. where is the ability to investigate truth?

    In a way that doesn’t feel oily with evil or deceptive, I mean. I’m theoretically pretty “nature” in the “nature v nurture” debate, but that was in, like, personality discussions in psych class 12 years ago in college. Applying it to race feels … oily.

    I’m going to work now. Work makes me happy.

  204. I read somewhere that the main predictor of lifetime success was the age at which a child learns to delay gratification

    That was in today’s “Morning Jolt” and referenced this column by David Brooks in 2006 who talked of the reasearch.

    I know I came across that article somewhere else recently – w/in the last two months.

  205. The gap between races is caused by what we generally call culture and the culture that has brought this particular gap into being was the product of the progressive-liberal political order. And they have been the beneficiaries of it too which has made it self reinforcing.

    This.

    An impoverished upbringing, especially in the first 5 yrs or so, will most likely stunt any inherent IQ someone has going on. And by “impoverished” I don’t mean material poverty, I mean spiritual and intellectual and social poverty, which you can have in any mansion or hovel.

  206. I think the modern educational system in the US shows that manufacturing large amounts of stupid or intellectually compromised people of any race or background is not much of a challenge.

    You just train people poorly for what lies ahead, try to keep them thinking terms of groups instead of individuals, and tell them that those who criticize them (even parents) are always wrong, bad, and out to get them.

    Wa-lah.

  207. I don’t really feel comfortable extrapolating this argument outward.

    I don’t either, Carin. I was thinking out loud. This whole discussion makes me vaguely uncomfortable, and sometimes I say gauche or silly things in uncomfortable situations because my little mind filter is also uncomfortable.

  208. Yes, Geoff and Di are correct.

    Although in the hood, from what I generally witnessed, the impoverished upbringing stuff really begins once they start attending school.

    Dressing up and paying attention to babies and cute kids isn’t the problem. Although there isn’t enough engagement (too much tv, etc) – the problem snowballs the older the kids get. Moms faun over their young kids, but by the time they are tweens they can walk in the street, and are pretty much unattended for hours upon hours. I suspect the burden of being a sole parent begins to wear thin as the kids get older and becomes more challenging.

  209. See, NR is not out there to find truth, at leat not as a first priority. They are engaged in political battle. Sometimes someone whose allegiance is to unalloyed truth telling is useful to that effort, and sometimes not. Ask Steve Sailer, ask Jeff, or ask Derb. NR is not outlaw. They will disappoint you if your allegiance is to the unvarnishedtruth, political consequences be damned. They’d like to change the discourse here and there where they can, and keeping Derb around as long as they did is testament to that. But they’re deeply invested, more so, in worldly success gives the parameters they take for granted and someone like Derbe challenges. That is the nature of an organization animated by a political purpose. And that is why the works needs Jeff, and also why he is and probably will always be an outlaw.

  210. I can’t tell you how many cute, polite little kids I saw turn into girls and boys looking for trouble.

  211. From another NRO corner blog post:

    ” All that said, racialism is noxious regardless of who practices it. It is wrong that what is a day at the office for the Left’s racialists becomes a hanging offense in Derb’s case. But that is a summons to disgust over the former, not a defense of the latter.”

    I don’t think NRO has any particular ability to “summon” much of anything outside of NRO, and calling their capricious application of firing standards “a hanging offense” betrays more of Andrew C McCarthy and NRO’s mindset that they might like.

  212. but the latter is infinitely more important anyway. Even a moron can eventually be Vice President.

    I needed that Abe. Bravo.

  213. OT: No grand jury for Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman. The special prosecutor decided she didn’t need one.

  214. If the Nature vs. Nurture problem is solved on Jeff’s blog, we’ll have to retire half the departments at University.

  215. I’m starting to think that the word “intolerant” doesn’t mean anything any more in the modern political lexicon.

    The threshold of “toleration” required to avoid being called intolerant these days is often set at “enthusiastic unconditional support”. If you don’t loudly demand to be kept a prisoner in the trunk of your own car by X, if X shows some interest in that, then that supposedly demonstrates that you are intolerant of X.

    I think it’s devolved to just being a quick way to call someone an asshole with a bad spirit.

  216. Ah, they FINALLY took Derbyshire off of the cruise list. We are down to only 35 reasons to go on the post election NR cruise in November.

  217. Sure, but think of the chuckles to be had when the Obama reelect attempt is buried in a landslide against, even as the Obama campaign is maintaining late in Oct. that they’re leading by a point or two in the polls. Turns out that tolerance or the lack of it has real world effects (who knew?). Could even be the Bradley effect cubed.

  218. Roddy Boyd says April 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

    It tells us a whole hell of a lot more than that, about a wide range of things and people. Part of the overall problem is the tendency to insist that something only tells us one little thing. Life is not a lawsuit.

  219. Every datum is a pixel in a vast image of the world in which we live. Throwing certain ones out because they don’t tell us anything conclusive is like throwing out the jigsaw puzzle pieces that only show sky.

  220. That one piece may not tell us anything certain about what it is, but it does tell us in definite terms what all the other pieces are not.

  221. An impoverished upbringing, especially in the first 5 yrs or so, will most likely stunt any inherent IQ someone has going on. And by “impoverished” I don’t mean material poverty, I mean spiritual and intellectual and social poverty, which you can have in any mansion or hovel.

    I’d like to see a study of North Koreans vs. South Koreans. Unfortuantely, any data you’d get from the Norks would be suspect bullshit. As I’ve said before, I’m with Whittle:

    I believe that the human animal – the raw material of our physical bodies – is essentially interchangeable. By this I mean that I could take the children of Fallujah and turn them all into Astronauts, convert Jewish babies into fanatical, mass-murdering SS guards, and shake a generation of the poorest Voodoo-worshippers in Haiti into a cadre of top-flight nuclear physicists, chemical engineers and computer scientists.

    Race has nothing to do with this – precisely nothing. The mobs of murdering Hutus and swarms of slaughtering Serbs are as different racially as it is possible to be, and they are cut from precisely the same cloth.

    I know this is so because there have been murdering scumbags of every stripe and color in the long history of the human race – which is depressing – and that these animals, at any given time, represent only a small percentage of the majority of people, also of every stripe and color – which is not. There is no corner on virtue, and no outpost of depravity. Human hearts are indistinguishable and interchangeable. Anyone who claims otherwise is, without further argument or statements necessary, a complete God-damned idiot.

  222. No grand jury for Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman. The special prosecutor decided she didn’t need one.

    IANAL, but that pretty much rules out a murder-one trial doesn’t it?

  223. Where I grew up these things were sort of a given, and largely confirmed by experience. If you are white, your tolerance for the things Derbyshire wrote is probably very closely related to your early experiences with blacks, which is itself probably closely related to where you fall on the socio-economic scale of white people. A middle class suburban upbringing means that your earliest experiences with blacks were neutral in that the blacks you knew had met some sort of threshold for entry into the middle class – which is to say that the black kids’ parents held stable, decent jobs requiring a measure of the qualities that Derb is distilling into “IWSBs.”

    If, however, you are from a lower-middle class white background, the chances are better that your early exposure was to the black underclass in the form of aggressively anti-social and criminal behavior. In that case, being race-blind can be foolhardy if not downright dangerous. Insisting upon that sort of suspension of disbelief at all costs is a luxury of the well to do, in a certain sense.

    I was kidding when I did my “some of my best friends are black” post. Truth is, at certain times in my life, some of my best friends were black. So my interpersonal experience with blacks was always more or less colorblind (my first best friend, when I moved into my childhood home at age 5, was a black kid who lived two doors up; and my next door neighbors for 20 years were black — and their children, 4 years younger than I, were (and remain) very close friends with my brother, also 4 years younger).

    Having said that, I grew up in a suburban neighborhood that, over time — after I left for college — drifted into becoming a more dangerous neighborhood. The change? A large concentration of black families moving into the suburbs from the cities. The high school I went to become more dangerous. The neighborhood crime rates skyrocketed. What happened happened, and there’s no way of sugarcoating it if what you are after is the simple statistical truth.

    Now, it may be that there are factors of culture that are specific to east coast, heavily Democrat American blacks who came from urban upbringings that are more important than skin color; and in fact, I tend to think that’s the case. But when you’re deciding whether or not to walk through a neighborhood, you aren’t really concerned with how an increase in danger happened to become associated with skin color; just that it has.

    There is nothing untoward about saying this. Accept that we’ve decided the truth is untoward because it is offensive to those to who it may apply.

    We’ve traded in intellectualism for fluffing self-esteem. And we’re paying the price.

  224. My family lived in a low-income housing project in Sacramento before I started first grade. Our next-door neighbors were differently-pigmented, and there were several other ethnicities represented. Even if my parents had wanted me to stay away from “those” people it wouldn’t have made any difference (in fact, the two oldest boys next door were on my brother’s little-league team).

    And then when we moved out of there into a rented house several miles away, there was a differently-pigmented middle-class family on the other side of our back fence.

    Most of what I learned about dysfunctional race relations in those days was on TV.

  225. But it wasn’t (necessarily) meanness or spite or Hate of The Other that made him bring up IQ differences. It is a real, though obviously fringe, area of study.

    More, it’s an actual scientific area of study, with conditions for repeatability, even if it draws the wrong conclusions from its data because it focuses too exclusive on biological essentialism.

    As such, it problematizes and in a way shames all the feel-good esteem “social science” that has so thoroughly mucked everything up with its social engineering schemes.

    And as we’ve been indoctrinated to accept the social science bromides as intellectual truisms, we’re not prepared to deal with actual science, which remains “fringe” and with respect to the mainstream, unspoken.

  226. Does anyone here remember what happened to Will Saletan when he wrote a series on IQ differences in groups for Slate about 8 or 9 years ago?

  227. It was more like 5 years ago, actually. It was in the wake of Watsons’ comments on the matter, that forced him into retirement from his own lab.

  228. But when you’re deciding whether or not to walk through a neighborhood, you aren’t really concerned with how an increase in danger happened to become associated with skin color; just that it has.

    But the why should be said, especially to those who’ve promoted the culture of victimization that is responsible. It was not always this way.

  229. Everyone wants to be extremely nice and find the best possible answers to questions we don’t even want to ask. Which is nice in a “generally speaking, try not to be a dick” sort of way.

    Some caution is needed with that approach though because not everyone is being nice and by avoiding some topics out of decorum we’re making a decision to let innocent people get the short end of the stick time after time.

    No one wants to talk about a complex issue like intelligence and race but if you’re a high achieving Asian kid trying to get into Berkeley or a white dude taking a civil service exam, you might take note of the fact that you’re being fucked. Why? Because there are disparities and one side has no problem explaining it. Racism.

    Imagine you’re tasked with hiring people for a job that requires a firm grasp of financial math. You’re gonna look at the pool of qualified resumes and realize you’re potentially looking at a class action lawsuit. Again, there are disparities and one side has no problem coming up an explanation. Racism. You, the guy looking at the resumes without a nice, safe option are a racist. Sucks to be you.

    Imagine you’re a cop and you’re pulling over black people at a rate far higher than their population.

    Imagine…

    These are real issues being faced every single day. We don’t want to talk about it because we don’t want to be dicks. The only problem is progressives long ago noticed this and have no problem destroying other people’s lives and careers. Which isn’t a problem for any of us individually until it is. At which point, the individual will quickly come to realize that people value “don’t be a dick” far higher than justice or truth.

    Them’s the breaks, huh?

  230. But the why should be said, especially to those who’ve promoted the culture of victimization that is responsible. It was not always this way.

    Yes, of course, which is why I defended Derbyshire.

    But for purposes of what he was explaining in his “talk,” it needn’t matter why. For the purposes of explaining his talk, it does and should. Instead, he was fired. And we’re being treated to soaring defenses of why he needs to be ostracized.

  231. For what it’s worth, I include myself if that problematic “don’t be dick” category in case it didn’t come across.

  232. include myself in that

  233. Last January the wife had to go to Sacramento on business, and I went with her. We stayed at a Red Lion Inn, which had a nice club on site. Anyway, that night we went to check it out, and it turned out to be karaoke night, and there was about two hundred black folk showed up, with me and a younger guy as the only whites in the place.

    The kid was maybe one of Derbyshires, ‘cuz he split early. Too bad too, he missed some pretty awesome amateur soul and blues.

    Impressed yet?

  234. But would you hang out in a gay bar on karaoke night?

  235. More, it’s an actual scientific area of study, with conditions for repeatability, even if it draws the wrong conclusions from its data…

    If you’re comparing IQ test scores of all U.S. blacks against all U.S. whites, then yeah, you’ll find a racial correlation with the scores. However, such a study cannot tell you WHY there’s a racial correlation to race in this case. Not a damn thing.

    You’re gonna look at the pool of qualified resumes and realize you’re potentially looking at a class action lawsuit.

    It should be mentioned that companies prefer to hire people who are easy to fire over those who carry a Big Discrimination Lawsuit Stick with them. In my current position, I am a contractor, six-months with a possible hire at the end of that period. Why? Because my predecessor was a total screw-up and they don’t want to get stuck for long with someone who sucks.

    I got hired, partly, because I’m easy to fire. If I were under ADA or similar, they’d see me as a bigger risk and pass me up for someone less risky.

  236. I got hired, partly, because I’m easy to fire. If I were under ADA or similar, they’d see me as a bigger risk and pass me up for someone less risky.

    As someone with responsibilities in the hiring area for a small business, I can confirm that “fireability” is an important matter.

    While I haven’t seen any evidence of this impacting any particular race negatively, I have good reason to believe that I’ve seen this hurt older people.

  237. I’m not sure I buy that IQ is as “scientific” vs “social scientific” as it’s made out to be.

    Until they find some measurable physical or chemical attribute, any intelligence test, measurement or metric of a single person or entire group is suspect.

    Maybe some day there will be some Star Trek tri-corder thingy that can beam into someone’s head and tell me exactly how base-level smart someone is, but until then, the guy with the degree who thought it was a good idea to pick up his mower by the exhaust manifold isn’t as intelligent as the half-mongoloid working for my neighbor who has knocked on my door at 6:30 am every day the past week because he can’t remember which house he’s working at but nonetheless can cut rafters perfectly using only a framing square and chop saw. Lenny (I call him Lenny because he likes my the idiot who burned the shit out of his hand’s rabbit) also solved a persistent bird roosting problem with five words (You kin bend thet down), whereas I the moron with the burned hand covered in bird shit and rotten eggs, who (I’m told) can speak in full sentences (sometimes), has spent full weekends on shaky ladders and steep roofs fighting with jays and starlings and praying for death.

    Shorter LMC: I think it’s all bullshit. If I thought the Ungadunga tribe had the greatest intelligence of all people in the world, I’d find a way to measure it. Fucking dolphins are super smart, but those motherfuckers are still in my tuna. One more example:

    Fucking Mensa .

    I have no problem with telling my kids to stay away from black guys in hoodies with their pants around their knees. I also have no problem with telling my kids not to get into fistfights with Mexicans , or into a car alone with Father McFeely. I would never tell my kids that that black people as a group are less intelligent than white people as a group. And even if I did, I wouldn’t print it on the internet, because doing that sort of proves the opposite point, doesn’t it?

  238. If you’re comparing IQ test scores of all U.S. blacks against all U.S. whites, then yeah, you’ll find a racial correlation with the scores. However, such a study cannot tell you WHY there’s a racial correlation to race in this case. Not a damn thing.

    Didn’t I say that in the very same comment?

    I thought I did.

    I seem to get corrected quite a bit lately for arguments I haven’t made.

    Any way, off to the doctor. My wife, for those keeping score at home, is at 37 weeks, and I’m betting on an early settlement. She bent over to pick up a dishrag she dropped yesterday and I could have sworn I saw my new son wave at me.

  239. Saletan’s two pieces, here and here. Seems he still writes there.

  240. dicentra:
    This is a map of world IQ averages, from the book IQ and the Wealth of Nations. I haven’t read that book at all and I know nothing about it, so its data may be borked. But it puts black American IQs slightly higher than African IQs in toto (~85 v ~75). Look, correlation is not causation. There could be a really high statistical correlation between race and IQ and it still has nothing to do with race causing IQ. But, again, this correlation is not a uniquely American phenomenon. (And if it were only in America, that in and of itself would be really good and important to know because it would show something unique and very wrong was happening here.)

  241. But would you hang out in a gay bar on karaoke night?

    Unlikely. I can’t take many Broadway show tunes.

  242. A showtunist, eh? Me too.

  243. here’s saletan part 3.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_nature/features/2007/created_equal/all_gods_children.html

    and I have to run, but be sure to see his mea culpa about even writing this series.

  244. Actually, this can be my entire point about the Deb thing. [S]omething unique and very wrong is happening here.

    I think it is safe to say something has gone horribly off the rails societally.

  245. Saletan’s part 3 and 4.

  246. Didn’t I say that in the very same comment?

    I thought I did.

    I seem to get corrected quite a bit lately for arguments I haven’t made.

    Corrected?

    No, no, no. This is me flashing my “Derb’s got a right to his opinion even if I totally don’t share it” creds, so that sometime, in the distant future, if someone digs up my comments on this topic, I can’t be accused of being crypto-racist or whatever.

    Also known as “I’m not happy until I can state something in my own words, even if someone just said it perfectly well in theirs.”

  247. So I don’t share Andy’s insouciance about how what’s sauce for the MSNBC race huckster, Hollywood address-tweeter and New Black Panther bounty-offerer should be a “hanging offense” for the iconoclastic right-wing gander, and them’s the rules and we just have to accept it. The Left is pretty clear about its objectives on everything from climate change to immigration to gay marriage: Rather than win the debate, they’d just as soon shut it down. They’ve had great success in shrinking the bounds of public discourse, and rendering whole areas of public policy all but undiscussable. In such a climate, my default position is that I’d rather put up with whatever racist/sexist/homophobic/Islamophobic/whateverphobic excess everybody’s got the vapors about this week than accept ever tighter constraints on “acceptable” opinion. The latter kills everything, not least the writing skills of the ideologically conformist: Note how cringe-makingly limp the Derbyshire “satires” are, even in the marquee publications.

    The net result of Derb’s summary execution by NR will be further to shrivel the parameters, and confine debate in this area to ever more unreal fatuities. He knew that mentioning the Great Unmentionables would sooner or later do him in, and, in an age when shrieking “That’s totally racist!” is totally gay, he at least has the rare satisfaction of having earned his colors. Yet what are we to make of wee, inoffensive Dave Weigel over at Slate? The water still churning with blood, the sharks are circling poor old Dave for the sin of insufficiently denouncing the racist Derbyshire. Weigel must go for not enthusiastically bellowing, “Derbyshire must go!” Come to think of it, I should probably go for querying whether Weigel should go.

    NR shouldn’t be rewarding those who want to play this game. The more sacrifices you offer up, the more ravenously the volcano belches.

    PS If Derb’s piece is sufficiently beyond the pale that its author must be terminated immediately, why is its publisher — our old friend Taki — proudly listed on the NR masthead?

    link

  248. Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences is a good resource for sussing out these arguments.

    LMC’s anecdote is a perfect example of people being talented in one or more areas and total nimrods in others.

  249. Well, I have been tasked with such hiring before for a larger financial firm and diversity was a much higher priority than fireability. In fact, a Veep explicitly mentioned it before specific qualifications.

    Large firms with deep pockets have different concerns. And they’re more likely to draw Jessie Jackson’s attention.

    My point stands, right?

  250. Did Steyn forget to put bullets in his gun? Sure looks like it to me.

  251. Steyn disappoints.

  252. I completely agree, bh. In fact, I’d say that maybe 10% of the calls I get from headhunters that I already have relationships with are to ask if I know any blacks who are any good (at what I do).

  253. I know exactly what you’re talking about, Abe. In my line of work, it’s women, too.

    They are in demand.

  254. sdferr says April 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Did Steyn forget to put bullets in his gun? Sure looks like it to me.

    leigh says April 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Steyn disappoints.

    What are you two talking about?

    I just read the Steyn piece and think it’s terrific. I have been waiting for it (thanks nr) and hoped it would be this good.

    It seems to me that Steyn is making essentially the same point that Jeff is. But at a much bigger risk, given that he writes for them, so I give him extra credit for that.

    What didn’t you like?

  255. Lets say we do a study and discover that; get a hundred whites in one room and a hundred blacks(however you decide that) in another, you’ll find out 8 out of 10 groups will have ten white morons and eleven black morons, while 2 times in 10 there will be eleven in morons in each room.

    Now what?

    Personally, I’d blame it on a little Jamaican yeast leavening the whole loaf.

    That, and the assassination of MLK. And JFK. We took a bad turn after that…

  256. I was kidding about the Jamaican thing…

  257. in an age when shrieking “That’s totally racist!” is totally gay

    That’s fabulously homophobic of Mark Steyn.

  258. I wonder if you put a hundred southern whites in one room, and a hundred northern whites in another, how that would turn out?

    Might find out what part diet plays…

  259. PS If Derb’s piece is sufficiently beyond the pale that its author must be terminated immediately, why is its publisher — our old friend Taki — proudly listed on the NR masthead?

    I thought that was a nice hand grenade casually tossed over the shoulder while walking away from the wreckage, myself.

  260. I wonder if you put a hundred southern whites in one room, and a hundred northern whites in another, how that would turn out?

    I seem to remember Sowell mentioning that during WWI they found out northern blacks had slightly higher IQs than southern whites.

  261. Yeah, I thought Steyn hit all the right points. What bullets were you hoping for sdferr?

  262. “What didn’t you like?”

    Steyn says: “NR shouldn’t be rewarding those who want to play this game. The more sacrifices you offer up, the more ravenously the volcano belches.” I think he’s on the money there.

    And he’s doing what with regard to his own relationship to NR? Rewarding them.

  263. mr ernst here

    link

  264. @sdferr …. rewarding them with what exactly?

  265. His team-membership.

  266. I suppose that might yet to be seen. I doubt he needs them as much as they need him.

  267. “I doubt he needs them as much as they need him.”

    I don’t disagree. All the more reason to have walked already.

  268. Heh … but he did shoot one over the bow.

  269. Steyn says: “NR shouldn’t be rewarding those who want to play this game. The more sacrifices you offer up, the more ravenously the volcano belches.” I think he’s on the money there.
    And he’s doing what with regard to his own relationship to NR? Rewarding them.

    Speaking for myself, I find the idea that Steyn is obliged to sever his ties with NR, either as a demonstration of his solidarity with Derbyshire or as an expression of his contempt for managerial cowardice, almost (but not quite) up there alongside of the idea that Sarah Palin was obliged to remain in office.

  270. If Steyn sees his peers at NR as salvageable, then he has every reason to stick around and try to make them see the error of their ways. If he thinks they’re past the point of saving, then by all means he should walk away.

    I think Steyn’s going to make this a teachable moment for his counterparts over there. I think he sees more to gain by correcting old friends than by antagonizing new enemies. I’m certainly willing to extend Steyn the benefit of the doubt, given his evident wisdom to this point.

  271. A showtunist, eh? Me too.

    Well jeez, don’t take it out on Steyn! Different strokes and all that!

    Actually, thinking on it, a dozen years ago I was dating a girl who’s best friend was gay, and I accompanied them to a gay bar one time. It was all techno music there though, which, it turns out, I have a high tolerance for. ‘Cuz I came of age in the disco era probably.

    Though I was more into Steve Miller, the Doobies, and Kansas myself those days, I hasten to add…

  272. Going forward, I recommend the following expression for anyone who without regard for the consequences, or even specifically to provoke people, fearlessly or out of stupidity, treads right where we are all either too cautious, too well mannered, too smart or too afraid to tread, without any of the necessary qualifications, hemming and hawing or other acknowledgment of the sensitivities of others “Going full Derb.”

  273. I wonder if the people who express strong reservations about IQ tests also have problems with colleges using SAT and ACT scores.

    Is it the nebulous concept of general intelligence and trying to find that with a test while a more knowledge based test (that just happens to have a very high correlation with general intelligence tests) is more predictive. As in, if the SAT measures what you were supposed to have learned then it’s more predictive of your capacity to learn and so then predictive of your college success?

    Or is it just tests?

    I hope it isn’t just tests.

  274. It was all techno music there though, which, it turns out, I have a high tolerance for.

    I love learning stuff like this about the pw peoples.

  275. I miss the old National Review of my college years which had a strong voice and was kind of intimidating. But I suppose you’re looking at the difference between a publication built in Buckley’s image and Lowry’s subsequent merry band of mediocrities. I wouldn’t fault Steyn for keeping his soapbox there. That’s all it is, really. Nobody goes there to read Mark Steyn AND idiots like Michael Potemra and Maggie Gallagher anyway. It’s a very pick and choose sort of place.

  276. hi Mr. Abe did you see *the pitch* yet here it is for you to click and see

    not the most likeable bunch of human being people really

  277. I love learning stuff like this about the pw peoples.

    Wait. You’re not going to say anything are you?

  278. BTW: Once dated a black chick, who had a brother who seriously wanted to beat my ass to death. He was just incensed that a whitie was (as he put it) “messin’ with my sister”…

    No, not probative, just, y’know, ironic.

    PS: I survived.

  279. Oh, hey, ‘feets, thanks for the heads up on Enrique’s musical corruption of fair Dev. That was… troubling.

  280. Heh, nah, Lee. Mum’s the word.

  281. hi Mr. bh… I’m disappointed and confuzzled by how she apparently went into that with the catarac guys’ blessing

    i thought they were looking out for her

  282. Mark Steyn was or perhaps still is, embroiled in a battle with the Canadian government regarding his having committed the crime of Hatespeech when writing about Muslims. It was so bad (or still is, since I haven’t kept up) that he couldn’t go to Canada for fear of being arrested.

    Having suffered through being an outcast for the cause of freedom of speech, I expected more from him here. He says a number of times that he disagrees with Derb. Fine. Derb is being censored for speaking out about a problem that has been tiptoed around for fifty years.

    For all of their bluster, NR/NRO are a bunch of bowties wearing snobs. Derb isn’t One of Thier Kind.

  283. Would it be “going full Derb” if I make a note to tell my kid not to mess with Asian gangs, cuz they are much smarter and might get tricksy with him?

  284. “obliged”

    Did I say obliged? He gets to make his own choices. I get to notice them.

  285. No you didn’t say “obliged”, sdferr. My hippie friends in California like to pretend I also said things I did not.

  286. And would it also be “going a fuller Derb” ( and mean, to boot) to advise him that, while he can beat the test scores of “other” races, they can still beat him with a brick.

  287. Now that was purely “indefensible”. Bravo Foxtrot Delta.

  288. RI Red, after watching the Supreme Court’s heath care mandate spectacle, I’ve concluded NOTHING is indefensible.

  289. I wonder if the people who express strong reservations about IQ tests also have problems with colleges using SAT and ACT scores.
    Is it the nebulous concept of general intelligence and trying to find that with a test while a more knowledge based test (that just happens to have a very high correlation with general intelligence tests) is more predictive. As in, if the SAT measures what you were supposed to have learned then it’s more predictive of your capacity to learn and so then predictive of your college success?
    Or is it just tests?
    I hope it isn’t just tests.

    Here’s what Davd Lebedoff had to say about that bh:

    The ticket to college itself is the Scholastic Aptitude Test, which tests ability, not knowledge. The author of the SAT, Carl Brigham, did not design it for the purpose of sifting college applicants. In fact, when such usage was proposed in 1938, he fired off an angry letter to President James Bryant Conant of Harvard. That letter was, alas, quite prescient. It says in part:

    If the unhappy day ever comes when teachers point their students toward these newer examinations,… then we may look for the inevitable distortion of education in terms of tests. And that means that mathematics will continue to be completely departmentalized and broken into disintegrated bits, that the sciences will become highly verbalized and that computation, manipulations and thinking in terms other than verbal will be minimized, that languages will be taught for linguistic skills only without reference to literacy values, that English will be taught for reading alone, and that practice and drill in the writing of English will disappear. (As quoted in Nicholas Lemann, The Big Test, 40-41)

    (The Uncivil War: How a New Elite is Destroying Our Democracy, 91)

    I’m afraid, not only is it just tests, but that tests are all there is anymore.

  290. …tests are all there is anymore.

    Pretty much, Ernst. Teachers bitch all of the time about “teaching to the test” especially since the NCLB legislation. Great in theory, lousy in application, it ties school test performance and graduation or advancement rates to federal funding.

  291. The idea that Steyn should quit is only slightly less ridiculous than the idea that Palin shouldn’t have quit.

    I am no more bound to please you with my opinion than Steyn is sdferr.

    We just happen to disagree here, that’s all.

  292. I’m perhaps missing some of your thrust there, Ernst. (I do take the point on knowledge based which I tried to address with “more”.)

    In the simplest possible terms, if I want to find out if someone can solve a quadratic equation, how should I proceed if not giving them a quadratic equation to solve?

  293. hi Mr. Abe did you see *the pitch* yet here it is for you to click and see

    not the most likeable bunch of human being people really

    No. Not the most likable bunch of human beings. I’d say that the world started going to hell at roughly the moment where people started wearing glasses again. Tracy Wong is a pretty talented dude though. I kind of wonder how the hell they’re going to make a series out of something that 99% of the time involves a couple of people in a closed office staring at the ceiling.

  294. How do they find the time to teach? What with all the phonying up of the test scores going on.

  295. The SATs are knowledge-based, of course, regardless of one’s attempt to divine aptitude.

    It’d be hard to know what those odd math symbols mean otherwise. And they are in English, right?

  296. I guess I still am missing the point or maybe I’m missing some tongue in your cheek.

    I went to school, I have some recollection of it. They taught things. I learned them. When I learned them well, I did well on the test. When I learned them poorly, I did poorly on the test.

  297. I’ve heard it said, bh, that the only thing the SAT tests is your ability to take the SAT.
    In our mania for testing we’re reducing the sum of human intellect to either those things that the test makers determine are important, or to those things that they determine are testable. Or perhaps both, since, for the test makers, what’s testable is what’s important.

    Following with your example, what does the ability to solve a quadratic equation tell us about a person, other than he can solve quadratic equations?

    By the way, since I haven’t performed a quadratic equation since the early 90s (because I haven’t had to) I’m not entirely sure I could do it, absent a tutorial.

  298. My take on the “teaching to the test” complaint is the class ends up being taught to the lowest end of the curve, and those on the upper end are not being taught to their potential because of it. It’s the “standardized” part that kills individual exceptionalism.

  299. Derb is being censored for speaking out about a problem that has been tiptoed around for fifty years.

    He’s being fired from an opinion mag. That’s hella different from being genuinely censored, i.e, tried/fined/jailed in the courts of a sovereign country.

    Don’t give Steyn a hard time. He’s already earned his “courage of my convictions” cred many times over, so none of us in these here comment sections, our real names not available and our livelihoods not on the line, has room to criticize Steyn.

  300. “standardized”

    yea mass production will do that. oh for a diversity in the venues for edumacation.

  301. I’ve heard VDH complaining about this before:

    A growing number of prospective students, however, aren’t qualified to enter college, despite completing high school. A 2008 study revealed 54 percent of Minnesota community and technical college applicants needed to take at least one remedial education course. Of those seeking to enter state colleges, 22 percent faced the same requirement, said “Getting prepared: A 2010 report on recent high school graduates who took developmental/remedial courses.”

  302. Some of this might be explained by different fields, Ernst.

    When you say: “Following with your example, what does the ability to solve a quadratic equation tell us about a person, other than he can solve quadratic equations?”

    I respond: “You can’t work here unless you can solve quadratic equations. I hope they tested your ability in this regard because I’m about to.”

    I guess that’s a bit like saying, my day to day job is a bit like taking intelligence tests. Solve for X until you leave for the day. This might explain why I view it as more useful. Similarly, we probably want to be sure the engineers and physicists we employ are comfortable solving for X all day. Now, that can be reduced down to all the SAT measures is your ability with the SAT. Okay, sure. It does seem to yield some quite useful correlations to other abilities though.

    On the whole? I have some sympathy for your position in some limited areas but I don’t think testing can be eliminated nor should it.

  303. Would it be “going full Derb” if I make a note to tell my kid not to mess with Asian gangs, cuz they are much smarter and might get tricksy with him?

    Not really.

    You understand, I am sure, that when I talk about race, I am talking about blacks and nonblacks, the two races that inhabit the United States.

    Plus this.

  304. has room to criticize Steyn.

    steyn could have squeezed the word “marvelous” in to his post.

  305. I’ve heard it said, bh, that the only thing the SAT tests is your ability to take the SAT.

    Which tend to predict your ability to do college work.

    Again, not a measure of all kinds of intelligence, just of one kind. Not being able to handle the structures/strictures/stupidities of college coursework is not a good index of whether you’ll fall for the Nigerian inheritance scam.

  306. I respond: “You can’t work here unless you can solve quadratic equations. I hope they tested your ability in this regard because I’m about to.”

    When I applied for a job at a tech-writing firm, they gave me a series of writing tests, in addition to looking at my resume and writing samples.

    Why? Because people who can’t pass those particular writing tests can’t handle the work at that firm (and some of the people who can still have to be let go for tech-savvy failure).

    College entrance tests are supposed to measure whether you can hack college coursework.

    Period.

  307. steyn could have squeezed the word “marvelous” in to his post.

    I thought that went without saying.

  308. Attacks on the SAT strike me as more defensive than purely cerebral, I must say. But the word “regatta” is culturally biased. Heaven knows my days sailing around Newport with Biff and Kitty made me uniquely prepared for the verbal portion of the SAT.

  309. The Radio Derb link has been removed from the NRO home page banner links. All his content will be completely expunged.

  310. I didn’t necessarily intend my quadratic equation hypothetical as analogous to the SAT. Was intended more on the most basic aspect testing. Can someone do something? How well?

    But, it does sort of work as an SAT analogue. If you can’t handle high school math when you’re in high school, that’s probably predictive of your ability to handle college math when you’re in college.

    The big divide in college is whether or not you take calc. It’s the basic prereq to the sciences. Get an 800 on the math section, you’ll probably have no problem with calc. Get a 400? Probably should avoid it. That seems useful to me.

  311. And now Andrew McCarthy is feuding with Steyn, at least on this point.

    It would also seem that Lowry shut off comments because it was the weekend (no one to approve/monitor them), so now he’s opened them up here.

    Maggie Gallagher weighs in, but after skimming the first two paragraphs I have no idea where she comes down.

  312. I don’t know about white vs. black Americans, but it’s obvious the Asians are light years ahead of of us all .

    While hot dog stuffed crust pizza sounds like it would be a truly American invention, this meat-stuffed pizza is (sadly?) only available in the UK. Moreover, it turns out this innovative pizza has been available in Thailand and Japan for years.

    It seems like other countries have somehow managed to out-Americanize the Americans.

  313. The “unperson” treatment. How soviet of them.

  314. The Radio Derb link has been removed from the NRO home page banner links. All his content will be completely expunged.

    Apparently NRO is also censoring public commentary. My civil and resonable remark never escaped “moderation”.

    One less psuedo-right wing outlet to waste time on.

  315. Jeez Ernst, when did I suggest you’re “bound to please” me in your opinions? That’s absurd.

    So we disagree as to the conflict of Steyn’s principle vs. Steyn’s choice (which has nothing to do with Palin in my view, by the way)? It’s not a big deal, either here at pw, nor there at NRo, evidently.

  316. Hey, Jeff. Any chance you can start a third thread? My Kindle hates scrolling and I might hurt my thumb.

  317. When you say: “Following with your example, what does the ability to solve a quadratic equation tell us about a person, other than he can solve quadratic equations?”

    I respond: “You can’t work here unless you can solve quadratic equations. I hope they tested your ability in this regard because I’m about to.”

    Which is fine. The problem arises when somebody less knowledgeable but more enlightened than you says, “you can’t solve quadratic equation. So who gives a shit what you think about (race relations, global climate change, peak oil, Islamic fundamentalism etc. etc.)?”

    I don’t think testing should be eliminated either, but I think the American mania for testing is part of our general knowledge-specific knowledge/rule by “experts” problem.

  318. That was bh.

  319. Don’t give Steyn a hard time.

    Or what? It’s a free country and I disagree with him.

  320. College entrance tests are supposed to measure whether you can hack college coursework.

    The inventor of the SAT never intended that it be used as a college entrance test. The reason that it now measures whether you can hack college coursework or not is that we’ve arranged our secondary coursework (and I would guess tertiary—albeit perhaps not yet to the same extent) around the test. In consequence we have a growing number of know-it-all busybodies who believe themselves entitled to run your life for you however they see fit, because if you could run your own life, your test scores would have been as high as theirs.

    It’s the ruling class/country class problem.

  321. Nevermind.

  322. “Apparently NRO is also censoring public commentary” Today, Lowry put up a comments-allowed Corner post. Other NR contributors are weighing in bit by bit.

    LGF, frenzied by the fresh blood in the water, has identified another minor NR thought-criminal to be fired. Will Lowry submit again, or will he rue his Derb decision in the completely predictable onslaught of lefty demands for more heads? When the mob comes for Steyn, what does NR do?

  323. “While hot dog stuffed crust pizza sounds like it would be a truly American invention, this meat-stuffed pizza is (sadly?) only available in the UK. Moreover, it turns out this innovative pizza has been available in Thailand and Japan for years.
    It seems like other countries have somehow managed to out-Americanize the Americans.”

    I think they may have “American” slightly mixed up with “State Fair Concessions”.

  324. If the pizza were on a stick or in a cup, then yes.

  325. If NRO listens to LGF then that is a sure sign of dementia. And as well, they probably have way too much free time on their hands.

  326. The reason that it now measures whether you can hack college coursework

    like wymens studies. hahahaha what a joke .

  327. leigh says April 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Don’t give Steyn a hard time.

    Or what? It’s a free country and I disagree with him.

    What do you disagree with? His decision to keep his job, or what?

  328. I already said upthread that Steyn has been a victim of political correctness himself. I think he should have spoken more strongly, in fact, he should have chastized Lowry for being a coward. As someone else said, NRO needs him more than he needs them.

    If it were me, I would have quit. But, I am not Steyn and he can do as he pleases.

  329. Okay, I hear where you’re coming from on that side, Ernst.

    Two strong-ish caveats: 1) Has testing created this circumstance? Did standardized testing create these technocractic know-it-alls?* Indeed, some people test well and then come under the mind control of Hayek where they see such idiocy for what it is. I think it’s more likely that it was all will-to-power and then the subsequent justifications for that naked desire. 2) There is a positive ideal that testing can be used for. Poor kids with no chance for nepotism have for years now been introduced to a better life for their families through cognitive ability and a desire to take education seriously. The tool can promote a technocratic rule of mediocrities or it can promote a meritocracy.

    That makes it a bit like a gun, right?

    *Neither Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover took SATs.

  330. The reason that it now measures whether you can hack college coursework

    like wymens studies. hahahaha what a joke .

    I do think that is a very valid criticism, btw. As are all the criticisms about intelligent people doing extremely clever yet stupid things. Or just plain stupid things.

    Of course, I never viewed college as anything but a way to make more money than anyone in my family had ever managed before. I realize the value of a real liberal arts education now but I wouldn’t have taken on debt for it at the time.

  331. Or what? It’s a free country and I disagree with him.

    Or I will give you the stink-eye from here behind my monitor.

  332. There’s no need to take on debt to get a liberal arts education, bh. Libraries are free and abundant.

  333. While “technocractic” was a typo above, I do sorta like how it sounds. Technocrat on crack.

  334. palaeomerus, to be fair(if I may), a little more reading at the link gave some needed context, but to encapsulate, the author basically defined “American [food]” as “State Fair Concessions”.

    There’s something to be said of the notion. I mean hell, we eat mexican, chinese, italian, even hamburgers and sausage(hotdogs) are German. Everybody eats steak. Seafood can hardly be labeled American.

    You know what American is? A deep fried Twinky on a stick. Anything delivered ready to eat. Chicken nuggets and fish sticks. Microwave(formerly known as TV) dinners. Now Thats’a Americano!

  335. Or I will give you the stink-eye from here behind my monitor.

    Heh. I was worried there for a minute that I was going to get a wet cat in a box on my porch.

  336. There’s no need to take on debt to get a liberal arts education, bh. Libraries are free and abundant.

    That’s what I do now, leigh. Often guided by more knowledgeable people in the comments here.

    What a country, amirite? (No, seriously.)

  337. Oh, I agree, bh. I have learned so much from you and sdferr and geoffb and of course, JeffG.

  338. I realize the value of a real liberal arts education now but I wouldn’t have taken on debt for it at the time.

    that the thing: you don’t need anyone to teach you if you want to know. ask the young andy carnegie. but what do you do about a large sub culture in society that deems this “acting white/conservative”

  339. nr, I think it will have to be like the advice that alcoholics are given: If they want to remain sober (substitute: be valuable members of society and not jailed felons), they need to remove themselves from people, places and things that make them drink (substitute: steal, pack heat, deal dope, commit b&e, etc).

    Since removing them all wholesale from their environments/friends/family is probably not possible or necessarily desirable, mentorships can be tried. They will fail in most cases, but a few may find their wings. I’m more worried about the girls who are becoming wilder and more feral. Having babies in middle school, dropping out, hanging with dudes who are freshly sprung from jail and ten years older than them, etc.

    It’s not just blacks who act this way. Impoverished hispanics in large concentration also are more interested in being thugs than scholars. There is a really great film from about 15 years ago called Mi Vida Loca (I think) or My Crazy Life about Mexican-American girls in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles. Two best friends have babies by the same guy, nearly shoot each other over it, come to their senses, et al. It’s very sad, but also quite telling about the lack of direction they have from home.

  340. leigh, Theodore Dalrymple has been recounting the decline of the British working class along the lines you just described for well over a decade now.

  341. I read a great tweet the other day, leigh, wait a sec, here:

    It’s impossible to have a neck tattoo that says “Hire me”.

    That’s sorta this whole dealio in a nutshell.

    (Funniest guy on Twitter, btw.)

  342. Come to think of it, it would be interesting to see if there’s a decline in IQ among Brits living in working class neighborhoods that corresponds with cultural decline.

  343. That’s awesome, bh.

    Ernst, I’ve been following Dalrymple for at least that long. He is been working (now retired) with the prisons system in the UK for ages. My favorite line of his was something along the lines that he had never met a guilty man in all of the time he had spent counseling inmates.

  344. Well, I am guessing there is a correlation between none or little education and lower IQ. Having no one in the home who works (hi, Newt!) or values education is going to drive your acquisition of neck tattoos and scary knives.

  345. I was going to get a wet cat in a box on my porch.

    It’s probably just me, but that sounds delightfully filthy.

    I’m not sure exactly what it would entail, but I’d definitely download the video, ‘s all I’m sayin’.

  346. Would it be “going full Derb” if I make a note to tell my kid not to mess with Asian gangs, cuz they are much smarter and might get tricksy with him?

    No, as geoffb pointed out, it is not. Do I even need to mention that you don’t ever go full Derb? Will Saletan only went half-Derb, and you see what happened to him.

  347. di, I don’t think “feuding with Steyn” is a good characterization of the McCarthy link. Seems like a reasonable reply to one small aspect of Steyn’s piece–he is correcting Steyn’s comments about his own comments.

    That civil discussion illustrates why I think it’s MUCH better that Steyn said what he did instead of quitting.

    Lowry tried to shut down the conversation immediately. I found myself in agreement with happyfeet the other day; when I read that first Lowry bit I thought it was quite weird. He immediately knows that everyone at the whole magazine agrees with him about a given article published elsewhere? Creepy.

    Steyn told the truth about what he thinks, refusing to let Lowry speak for him. That changed the dynamic immediately. All of a sudden it’s not Everyone Against the Racist, it’s a discussion about whether individuals associated with the publication think the article was racist or not, and whether they think it’s a firing offense or not, and all *in the context* of the Left’s use of this social issue.

    As to Gallagher, skim to the bottom and she finally makes her point. She thinks the Derb piece is racist. Yawn.

  348. The SATs are knowledge-based, of course, regardless of one’s attempt to divine aptitude.

    It’d be hard to know what those odd math symbols mean otherwise. And they are in English, right?

    Speaking of which: it’s awfully difficult to do well on the English part of the test unless you’ve actively and willingly immersed yourself in the language for a decade and a half, more or less, prior to testing. For me, that just meant reading nearly everything within acquisition range, rather than paying close attention in class.

    I didn’t score super-high on the test, but I did achieve a balance that is fairly uncommon among engineers. 660/690, in pre-1995 scoring.

  349. If one may ask, Slart, was English not your mother tongue, and if so what was? I inferred that from your “For me”.

    FWIW, I’ve never suspected that English was *not* your first language so if it wasn’t then kudos to you. If it *is* your first language, then I’m (1) needing more coffee 2. reading too much into your comment c) needing more coffee.

  350. I didn’t score super-high on the test, but I did achieve a balance that is fairly uncommon among engineers. 660/690, in pre-1995 scoring.

    if your memory is accurate, that is indeed super high (99th percentile) and higher than the average at the very top universities of the country.

  351. If you’re curious, this is the SAT to IQ conversion page for the pre-recentered scores:

    http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/oldSATIQ.aspx

  352. Like Slart, I scored up around 700 on both halves of the SAT. Got me invited to a number of very interesting places, though I stuck with the state school, since my family had little money.

    And if I’m understanding Slart correctly, it isn’t that he’s a non-native speaker, but rather that he learned more simply by reading every book he could get his hands on than he could have by paying attention in English or Reading classes taught by education majors. In my case, I couldn’t agree more.

  353. Squid has it right. I used to read all the time. And by that I mean: at school, in class (instead of paying attention), walking to and from school, walking to and from the bus stop, while riding the bus, while delivering papers, occasionally while riding a bicycle, and whenever (later, in high school) I was not swimming, eating or sleeping.

  354. I didn’t get invited to so many interesting places, partly because I didn’t send my test scores to very many places, and partly because I didn’t take the PSAT. My younger brother took the PSAT, and was one of two national merit scholar finalists (didn’t make the last cut, though) from our town, and got a great many offers from places like Cornell and Stanford, but wound up going to Indiana University because it was close and it was one of the better QBA schools in the country at the time.

    My offers were limited to a swimming scholarship from the University of Evansville, which I declined because of their near void in the areas of Physics and Engineering.

  355. I seem to remember 1280, though I can’t remember the breakdown. It was long ago. Totally agree with the reading thing. And it wasn’t like I didn’t pay attention in class, but that I had already read tomorrows assignment last week. THAT’S why I had the MAD magazine hidden behind my textbook Mr. Anderson.

    I’ve taken two IQ tests in my life, one by the friendly local Army recruiter, the other twenty years later, and got very close results, within 2 points(the chart mt_molehill linked was down 10!). I don’t remember much if any difference between those tests and the SAT’s though.

  356. Pingback: Derbyshire, Goldstein and Lowry : The Other McCain

  357. Pingback: dustbury.com » Those were the days, my friend

  358. Squid has it right. I used to read all the time.

    Here’s what I wonder: did you do well because you read all the time? Or, did the fact that you did well on the test coincide with, say, an intelligence that needs constant stimulation, which is why you were reading all the time? I lean towards the latter, and think you were probably hungry for stimulus. In my case, at least, that would explain the very strange and elaborate things I think while watching the supposedly mind deadening reality TV my wife loves.

  359. I lean towards the latter, and think you were probably hungry for stimulus.

    I would tend to agree with you, though I maintain that reading a book a week for ten years will prepare you for the verbal SAT far better than anything you could pick up in a high school class. That goes double if your English teachers were as miserable as mine were.

  360. I would say that the latter is correct. But also: I didn’t grow up in a culture that penalizes literacy. It’s not so much that my family actively encouraged me to read as it is that my peers didn’t think it was worth kicking my ass overly much over.

    Which isn’t to say I didn’t take some grief, but it wasn’t life-threatening.

  361. at least your dad didn’t name you “Sue”

  362. I mean, imagine: you like to read all the time AND your name is Sue.

  363. I often think of this song when the matter of heredity and environment is discussed:

    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/johnnycash/aboynamedsue.html

    (it’s actually a shel silverstein penned lyric)

  364. I’m guessing it was the norm for the pw commenters but I read everything I could get my hands on when I was younger as well. Don’t know what percentage of my education in science or math was self-directed but it was probably 90% of what I learned about the rest.

    A couple odd byproducts from that included mispronouncing a large number of words until college and having some extremely idiosyncratic takes on various books.

  365. The mispronunciations are the worst.

  366. One of the nice accidents of ancient Greek: no one alive knows how it was pronounced, so there isn’t any serious check on our attempts.

Leave a Reply