We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, July 22. 2018
Since I am American, I tend to consider people as individuals rather than as a part of any kind of statistical group but at the same time I know that cultures and subcultures can heavily influence individual life choices and goals.
What is of interest to me with any person are basic questions: "What are your goals in life, and how do you plan to pursue them?" It should not be surprising than many people have non-economic goals.
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Looking at Cavali-Szforza's data, there are at least 20 to 30, maybe more than 50, easily distinguishable human races, and some, say at least 10, might be actual separate species in Homo. These groups vary morphologically, physiologically and metabolically, and psychologically and behavioraly/culturally. The idea that different races and species should be expected to have the same outcomes in a given environment is absurd.
Your approach is in line with the ideology and superstition of civic nationalism, but it does not account for the reality of the human condition. Recognizing the real, genetic difference among the human races and species, and accommodating them, is better than forcing everyone into the same round hole.
Cavalli-Sforza: From a scientific point of view, the concept of race has failed to obtain any consensus; none is likely, given the gradual variation in existence. It may be objected that the racial stereotypes have a consistency that allows even the layman to classify individuals. However, the major stereotypes, all based on skin color, hair color and form, and facial traits, reflect superficial differences that are not confirmed by deeper analysis with more reliable genetic traits and whose origin dates from recent evolution mostly under the effect of climate and perhaps sexual selection.
I am aware that statistically blacks have a much lower average IQ than whites or Asians. But I tend to believe that IQ is not that simple to measure AND that it is not a good or perfect indicator of success. I think that the difference is cultural, pure and simple. While most Asian families dote on their children, monitor their time and school work and push them to succeed. Perhaps even more importantly they "expect" them to succeed and that expectation is palpable, the child knows that their parents expect them to excel and if need be will make them excel.
The black culture is different, mt just in America but in Africa as well. But there is an environmental component in that the black race baiters and hustlers have for generations kept blacks down so that their sub average success in America could be used to imply/prove that there is racism or something. This has worked out well for the black elite but not for most blacks. What black families need is a tiger mom culture and to throw off the chains and limitations that the black race hustlers put on them. I do believe that blacks could do as well in school as whites and do as well in work and life as whites do today. Their biggest impediment is the low expectations pushed on them by their black leaders.
Ditto for Hispanics and American Indians.
"It should not be surprising than many people have non-economic goals."
I am continually amazed at the proportion of Americans who are, in fact, economically secure. From my perch, I see a huge number of college students who are economic dunces, most likely going to die in debt. The lucky ones are those working their way through school, getting a crash course in budgeting and time management. Even they are clueless about managing money and working towards a successful career.
Add in the differences among ethnic cultures, and differential outcomes are pretty much baked into the system.
What black folks need is to recognize what opportunities are available, take advantage, and avoid backsliding*. What they don't need is B'wana telling them how do it.
* Oh, that goes for poor white folks, too, doesn't it?
IQ has nothing to do with planning a life. Sometimes culture has more to do with outcomes.
I come from a family with a strong Irish Catholic tradition and when I compare my upbringing to today's young women's I can see that my sisters and I haven't always benefited from the "children first" and "family first" mentality of our Irish Catholic culture.
While it's very beneficial for children to put "family first", (if you can count on family to support you later), it doesn't work when you put your children and family first as a young mother and as a middle aged mother, but when you're older and your husband leaves you for a younger woman and you haven't been in the work force and you have no social security benefits and you don't have a career to return to, and you have no income...when it's too late to start a career...you may be left out in the cold.
I think historically, times of transition are challenging for those who are caught in the middle of the transition. It used to be ok to devote yourself to your family at the expense of a career, but in our individualistic society in the US, times have changed.
This may sound like an anachronism, but I know so many people in this situation. I don't regret putting my children first, but I'm not in as hazardous a situation as some of my friends.
I also see my daughters wanting to stay home with their children and not being able to...working long hours and coming home when the baby has already gone to sleep for the night.
I don't for a minute regret devoting myself to my children because I dedicated myself to raising happy children and they turned out very happy.
Yes, but if you don't devote yourself to your husband as well you certainly can't expect him to stick around. The ones that leave know the financial hit that's coming. But it's still the rational choice.
And besides, 80% of divorces are initiated by the wife because they're UNHAAAASPY.
I'm still married (37 yrs). The women I'm talking about above were good women and good wives, but their husbands got swept up in the cultural mess. It's not always as simple as it seems. Those of us who are close to the situation see that it's not always equally the husband and wife who are at fault, sometimes it's one or the other who cause the upheaval. You can't stereotype.
You don't know that they were good women and good wives. That is what you want to believe. My wife is a good wife but she cannot help herself from acting as her mother did when she drove her husband away. Never happy, second guessing all decisions, complaining endlessly about minor things. Always has a headache...
I'm sure I made it sound worse than it is. I love her dearly and just deal with it. I'm sure she too is not happy with everything I do. But no one knows, really, what goes on in a couples life. It is easy to take one side. I guess that was my real point.
I don't think that Asians, regardless of ability, should be attending U.S. schools. The American University system was designed to enlighten American youth. Primarily, places like Harvard and Yale were looked upon as Liberal Arts Colleges where students would debate questions such as: what is happiness? and what is our responsibility to our fellow man? Plato, Socrates, Bacon, and the ideas of hundreds of other famous people were discussed very seriously. The high standards of intellectual decorum in place at the time were something that modern youth could barely fathom. They've been dragged through the mud for so long that they hardly even recognize truth and beauty.
So in order for American Universities to remain bastions of Western thought and culture, they have to be peopled by Westerners. Having thousands of blacks and Asians wandering around, dilutes the cultural atmosphere to such an extent that standards of decorum are impossible to maintain. And the culture is diluted to such an extent that higher ideals, such as civil conduct, are not respected.
I recommend sending all blacks back to Africa (really) and sending all Asians back to Asia. (really). The university system should be 95% white, and 80% male. But reforming the University system in itself is not enough. We have to reform the whole country as well.
Barrister, I wish we could treat everyone as individuals. I certainly spend my time doing exactly that, as all of us diverge from the average of all of the groups we belong to. But as long as people make public policy on the basis of group membership, it will have to be answered.
I will do my usual consciousness-raising here, not that genetics is an entire explanation (though I think the evidence is large), but that it might just maybe kindasorta have a teensy-weensy effect that should at least occur to everyone attempting to understand all this.
@ bob sykes. As you know, I would concur but hold toward the lower number of races. Also, as "races" seems to be a loaded word that prevents people from listening further, I am comfortable with other names for slightly distinct groups. Wish I had a good one.
@ GWTW - IQ is easy to measure, but smarts, cleverness, wisdom, etc are not. The tests never pretended to be a measure of success, but one predictor of some kinds of success. We overvalue it compared to diligence, charm, discretion, virtue, beauty, or a hundred other good qualities, but that is our fault, not the test-makers.
To the OP and link: The Quillette article makes several good points. However, the word "genetics" does not even seem to make it to the table, not as 50% of the variance, not 20%, not even as 5% of the explanation. It is studiously avoided, as if it has no effect whatsoever. It is not those who claim some effect who are the extremists - it is those who always seem to forget about it, preferring all other explanations. As impulsivity and violence also have at least some genetic (and perhaps prenatal) components, they are also part of the lack of generational wealth. Nearly everything that looks cultural to our eyes can as easily be genetic, or a cultural adaptation to genetics. Yet the reverse is not true.
@ Rob Liebermann - that is a very non-Western idea. It is fairly common everywhere but the West.
Assistant Village Idiot: I will do my usual consciousness-raising here, not that genetics is an entire explanation (though I think the evidence is large), but that it might just maybe kindasorta have a teensy-weensy effect that should at least occur to everyone attempting to understand all this.
Most researchers believe that intelligence has a strong genetic component, most estimates ranging from 50-80%. However, there are amplifiers that exaggerate the differences between people. Individuals with intelligent parents tend to have more intellectually stimulating environments, tend to seek out more intellectually stimulating situations, and are rewarded for achieving intellectually.
One indication of the effect of stimulation is the Flynn Effect, whereby average intelligence in populations has been increasing over decades, much too fast to be attributed to genetic evolution, even under strong sexual selection.
Assistant Village Idiot: The tests never pretended to be a measure of success
I returned and saw under the sun that—
The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.
— King Solomon
I agree with your comments about IQ. I would like to add a point that does indeed show that IQ tests do not measure what people generally think they measure. There are 100 companies out there who advertise that they can improve your IQ or your child's IQ and they can. Anyone could raise their IQ by 10 points with a simple program of study and many of us could raise their IQ (as tested) by much more than 10 points. The reason is simple; IQ tests don't really measure "intelligence" they measure how much you know of what you have been taught. And they assume that as a 10th grader or 12th grader that you were taught the things they are testing. Well many students were not taught these subjects; simple as that. Because they were not taught them they cannot pass that portion of the IQ test and it lowers their grade. They could be geniuses and they would still receive a lower grade. Secondly many students are "taught" these subjects (or at least attend the class where they are taught) but they do not pay attention in class and do not do the homework. They do not learn the subject and their IQ scores reflect this.
There is another less obvious problem with IQ tests. Some children and young adults literally "get off" on performance and pleasing parents and teachers. Not putting this down, it's probably a good thing. But they memorize/learn a lot of things that help them in tests but they can simply not apply in real life. I'm not saying they aren't smart, what I'm saying is their actual IQ (If there really is such a thing as actual IQ) may be 100 but through greater effort and confidence they test at 120.
"It should not be surprising than many people have non-economic goals."
From Russell Kirk:
"The great line of demarcation in modern politics, Eric Voegelin used to point out, is not a division between [classical] liberals on one side and totalitarians on the other. No, on one side of that line are all those men and women who fancy that the temporal order is the only order, and that material needs are their only needs, and that they may do as they like with the human patrimony. On the other side of that line are all those people who recognize an enduring moral order in the universe, a constant human nature, and high duties toward the order spiritual and the order temporal."
These are some good questions and comments, to which I'd like to add Ayn Rand's thoughts on happiness (from Atlas Shrugged):
Happiness is the successful state of life, pain is an agent of death. Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values. A morality that dares to tell you to find happiness in the renunciation of your happiness—to value the failure of your values—is an insolent negation of morality. A doctrine that gives you, as an ideal, the role of a sacrificial animal seeking slaughter on the altars of others, is giving you death as your standard. By the grace of reality and the nature of life, man—every man—is an end in himself, he exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose.If there is one evil concept taught universally in our schools and everywhere throughout the culture, it is that your goal in life should be sacrifice to others.
But neither life nor happiness can be achieved by the pursuit of irrational whims. Just as man is free to attempt to survive in any random manner, but will perish unless he lives as his nature requires, so he is free to seek his happiness in any mindless fraud, but the torture of frustration is all he will find, unless he seeks the happiness proper to man. The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.
What is wrong with sacrifice to others? Isn't that the very definition of motherhood?
I wish there were a more active comment section on this site, because I'd like to hear a reply to my comment, from snopercod.