Barrel Strength

Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

Barrel Strength - Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

Physical beauty matters

That is one of the many reasons I like the monarchy. It celebrates health, youth and beauty, in the right measure and at the right time. It rejects the acceptance of ambi-sexual, obese blobs called “Pat”, and their ideological flat-mates in academia.

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Here we see Prince Harry charming the fit Australian girls, as they charm him. Being heir to the throne is a tough job, but for a time in your twenties and thirties, being a Prince must be a lot of fun.

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Here is the future

I once read a book by Bernard Fall about the siege of Dien Bien Phu. He said the French designers of the forts placed only 9 feet of earth on top of their dugouts, but a 155mm. shell takes 12 feet of earth to stop its blast. (Maybe the figures were 12 and 15, but they were of that order). Hence the French, who perfected military engineering in the 17th century, failed to follow the implications of what they already knew to be true when they built Dien Bien Phu. So the first days of the Viet Minh artillery barrage stove in their dugouts, and to cite Thucydides, “the strong will do what they will, and the weak shall suffer what they must”.

I think about multiculturalist proponents of “all cultures are equal”, and “race is just a social construct”, when I see figures such as those shown in the series of bell curves below. Like the builders of Dien Bien Phu, we tend to think we can hold back the implications of statistically different racial intelligence achievements by shaming, firing, thought crimes trials, special tribunals, head start programs, affirmative actions, “trigger warnings”. “white privilege” conferences, and preventing “hate” – any negative expressions towards any conceivable group except whites.

Leonard Cohen once wrote:

“Though altars were built in parliaments, they could not shelter men”

So society will become more fractious, less cooperative, less trusting, more fearful, less accomplished, and inevitably more segregated (racially, class-wise, ethnically) and all these negative outcomes will continue, as far as I can see, indefinitely into the future, all the time we prevent any thought or action that challenges and refutes the cultural-Marxist hegemony, indeed, almost regardless of what we do.

And like the French at Dien Bien Phu, we will suffer what we must because we have ignored facts which we knew but forgot in our huge arrogance. There are days when I think our civilization is rapidly going downhill. This is one of them. Sorry about that. I may feel better tomorrow.

BellCurve

Fire on the Moon: the accomplishment gap

Norman Mailer wrote a book called “Of a Fire on the Moon“. It dealt with the first landing by men on the moon, in 1969: American, and men, and as it turns out, white. I steal this from Frank Kersey.

“Mailer writes of a party he attended in Houston while the three white astronauts were completing the journey to the moon.

“At the party, he encountered a usually loquacious black Ivy League professor (who espoused some form of ‘black power’ and mentored black students on campus), who was uncharacteristically laconic and drinking heavily. Mailer writes: “He was normally so elegant a man that it was impossible to conceive of how he would make a crude move – now, you could know. Something raucous and jeering was still withheld, but the sourness of his stomach had gotten into the sourness of his face. His collar was a hint wilted.” (p. 124)

“It is here Mailer unloads with the most masterful part of his book, observing the source of the black Ivy League professor angst:

“But there were other reason for drinking as well. America had put two White men on the moon, and lifted them off. A triumph of White men was being celebrated in the streets of this city. It was even worse than that. For the developed abilities of these White men, their production, their flight skills, their engineering feats, were the most successful part of that White superstructure which had been strangling the possibilities of his own Black people for years. The professor was an academic with no mean knowledge of colonial struggles of colored peoples. He was also a militant. If the degree of his militancy was not precisely defined, still its presence was not denied. 

His skin was dark. If he were to say, “Black is beautiful” with a cultivated smile, nonetheless he was still saying it. Aquarius had never been invited to enter this Black man’t vision, but it was no great mystery the Black believed his people were possessed of a potential genius which was greater than Whites. Kept in incubation for two millennia, they would be all the more powerful when they prevailed. It was nothing less than a great civilization they were prepared to create. Aquarius could not picture the details of that civilization in the Black professor’s mind, but they had talked enough to know they agreed that this potential greatness of the Black people was not to be found in technology. Whites might need the radio to become tribal but Blacks would have another communion. From the depth of one consciousness they could be ready to speak to the depth of another; by telepathy might they send their word. That was the logic implicit in CPT. If CPT was one of the jokes by which Blacks admitted Whites to the threshold of their view, it was a relief to learn that CPT stood for Colored People’s Time. When a black friend said he would arrive at 8 p.m. and came after midnight, there was still logic in his move. He was traveling on CPT. The vibrations he received at 8 p.m. were not sufficiently interesting to make him travel toward you – all that was hurt were the host’s undue expectations. The real logic of CPT was that when there was trouble or happiness the brothers would come on the wave. 

Mailer noted what the moon landing meant to the concept of black superiority and black power in a now forgotten book chronicling the Apollo 11 mission

Well, white technology was not built on telepathy, it was built on electromagnetic circuits of transmission and reception, it was built on factory workers pressing their button or monitoring their function according to firm and bound stations of the clock. The time of a rocket mission was Ground Elapsed Time, GET. Every sequence of the flight was tied into the pure numbers of the time line. So the flight to the moon was a victory for GET, and the first heats of the triumph suggested that the fundamental notion of Black superiority might be incorrect: in this hour, it would no longer be as easy for a militant Black to say that Whitey had built a palace on numbers, and numbers killed a man, and numbers would kill Whitey’s civilization before all this was through. Yesterday, Whitey with his numbers had taken a first step to the stars, taken it ahead of Black men. How that had to burn in the ducts of this Black man’s stomach, in the vats of his liver.

Aquarius thought again of the lunar air of technologists. Like the moon, they traveled without a personal atmosphere. No wonder Blacks had distaste for numbers, and found trouble studying. It was not because they came – as liberals necessarily would have it – from wrecked homes and slum conditions, from drug-pushing streets, no, that kind of violence and disruption could be the pain of a people so rich in awareness they could not bear the deadening jolts of a civilization on each of their senses. Blacks had distaste for numbers not because they were stupid or deprived, but because numbers were abstracted from the sense, numbers made you ignore the taste of the apples for the amount in the box, and so the use of numbers shrunk the protective envelope of human atmosphere, eroded that extrasensory aura which gave awareness, grace, the ability to move one’s body and excel at sports and dance and war, or be able to travel on an inner space of sound. Blacks were not the only ones who hated numbers – how many attractive women could not bear to add a column or calculate a cost. Numbers were a pestilence to beauty. 

There was something to be said after all for arriving on time. CPT was excellent for the nervous system if you were the one to amble in at midnight, but Aquarius had played the host too often.

“You know,” said the professor, “there are no Black astronauts.” 

“Of course not.”

“Look,” said the Black professor, “do they have any awareness of how the money they spent could have been used?”

“They have a very good argument: they say if you stopped space tomorrow, only a token of the funds would go to poverty.”

“I’d like to be in a position to argue about that,” said the Black. “Damn,” he said, “are they still on the moon?”

“They took off already,” said Aquarius. 

“No trouble?” 

“None.”

If the Blacks yet built a civilization, magic would be at its heart. For they lived with the wonders of magic as the Whites lived with technology. How many Blacks had made a move or inhibited it because the emanations of the full moon might affect their cause. Now Whitey had walked the moon, put his feet on it. The moon presumably had not spoken. Or had it, and Richard Nixon received the favor and Teddy Kennedy the curse? Was there no magic to combat technology? Then the strength of Black culture was stricken. There would not be a future Black civilization, merely an adjunct to the White. What lava in the raw membranes of the belly. The Black professor had cause to drink. The moon shot had smashed more than one oncoming superiority of the Black.  (p. 125-127)

 

Norman Mailer wrote this in 1969. Magical thinking by American black intellectuals persists (see Ta-Nehisi Coates below). It will not get them to the moon, it will not make manna drop from heaven, it will not stop them from killing each other in astonishing numbers. Nothing will, except the same virtues that every other people on earth, including other Africans, have used to advance themselves. Industry, thrift, chastity, family, faith, diligence, and learning. There is no magic in this, and that is probably a strong reason why the traditional virtues are of no interest to so many of them.

My injury gap needs reparations

The  American Negro  writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, in a long article in the Atlantic magazine, argues that black Americans are owed reparations from the American federal government for the American black experience of slavery.

To ignore the fact that one of the oldest republics in the world was erected on a foundation of white supremacy, to pretend that the problems of a dual society are the same as the problems of unregulated capitalism, is to cover the sin of national plunder with the sin of national lying. The lie ignores the fact that reducing American poverty and ending white supremacy are not the same. The lie ignores the fact that closing the “achievement gap” will do nothing to close the “injury gap,” in which black college graduates still suffer higher unemployment rates than white college graduates, and black job applicants without criminal records enjoy roughly the same chance of getting hired as white applicants with criminal records.

When you make an argument for special economic privileges on the basis of race, as Coates does, it is vital to brush aside all previous attempts to remedy the situation of American blacks, and to place the the issue in a territory of pure feeling. In effect, Coates argues that any measures that close the achievement gap will not resolve the injury gap, the felt sense of injury for which no economic or practical measure is or can be sufficient. My people are angry, my grievance is  permanent. Pay up.

The more the black intelligentsia insist on the existence of white supremacy, the more I am inclined to believe it myself.

Here is Jared Taylor’s eloquent dismissal of this tripe.

The idea of reparations has a hypnotic effect on blacks. Not only does it console them with the idea that black failure is someone else’s fault, it comes with the intoxicating fantasy that money will drop out of the sky.

Let me make something perfectly clear. American blacks are an ethnic group, not a race. Africans wherever they may be in the world are a race, a term we use for the fuzzy set of people more related to one another than to outer groups. Ghanaians, Nigerians, Barbadians, Ethiopians, and so forth, are some of the people whose ancestry is African. African-Americans, as they are now known, are an ethnic group, formed by the same processes of inbreeding by which every tribe and nation has ever been formed. Afrikaners, and  French-Canadians are tribes or nations that have come into existence in the course of colonization of new continents (for them). In the same way African Americans are quite distinct from more recent African immigrants to the United States, and if you ever want an interesting conversation, talk to an African or black Caribean immigrant taxi driver about their African-American fellow citizens. If you move gently and allow the conversation to open up, you may be astonished how much their views of African-Americans  resemble your own.

Cultures that invest time and effort into self-improvement do not have time for perpetual “injury gaps”.

 

 

Nicholas Wade’s “A Troublesome Inheritance” has been published

The most important book of social science since The Bell Curve has been published this week. It is called “A Troublesome Inheritance” by the science writer Nicholas Wade. You should read it.

Here is an excerpt from the review of Wade’s book by Charles Murray, co-author with Richard Hernnstein, of the Bell Curve.

 

Before they have even opened “A Troublesome Inheritance,” some reviewers will be determined not just to refute it but to discredit it utterly—to make people embarrassed to be seen purchasing it or reading it. These chapters will be their primary target because Mr. Wade chose to expose his readers to a broad range of speculative analyses, some of which are brilliant and some of which are weak. If I had been out to trash the book, I would have focused on the weak ones, associated their flaws with the book as a whole and dismissed “A Troublesome Inheritance” as sloppy and inaccurate. The orthodoxy’s clerisy will take that route, ransacking these chapters for material to accuse Mr. Wade of racism, pseudoscience, reliance on tainted sources, incompetence and evil intent. You can bet on it….

“A Troublesome Inheritance” poses a different order of threat to the orthodoxy. The evidence in “The Bell Curve,” “Male/Female” and “A Blank Slate” was confined to the phenotype—the observed characteristics of human beings—and was therefore vulnerable to attack or at least obfuscation. The discoveries Mr. Wade reports, that genetic variation clusters along racial and ethnic lines and that extensive evolution has continued ever since the exodus from Africa, are based on the genotype, and no one has any scientific reason to doubt their validity.

And yet, as of 2014, true believers in the orthodoxy still dominate the social science departments of the nation’s universities. I expect that their resistance to “A Troublesome Inheritance” will be fanatical, because accepting its account will be seen, correctly, as a cataclysmic surrender on some core premises of political correctness. There is no scientific reason for the orthodoxy to win. But it might nonetheless.

So one way or another, “A Troublesome Inheritance” will be historic. Its proper reception would mean enduring fame as the book that marked a turning point in social scientists’ willingness to explore the way the world really works. But there is a depressing alternative: that social scientists will continue to predict planetary movements using Ptolemaic equations, as it were, and that their refusal to come to grips with “A Troublesome Inheritance” will be seen a century from now as proof of this era’s intellectual corruption.

It is my conviction, based on observation, that the tenured university social scientist is one of the least curious, least fact-driven, least analytical of people. He and she is the hierophant of a dogmatic revelation that asserts that race is a social construct, that human evolution stopped 30,000 years ago and that man is inherently equal but for an evil existing “system” which promotes inequality. In all important respects humans are the same, except of course, as regards our position for or against “the system”, which position acts as the sole relevant criterion of moral worth. Their ability to internalize and spout the religion of social science got them their jobs. They are priests of an ideology, which has the force and status of an established church. Do not ask them to understand what they are paid not to understand.

 

Abortion and Race

Gleefully tossing a salad composed of the two most toxically loaded subjects ever, I came across this statistical analysis of pregnancies, abortions and births by race, based on national US figures :

 

In 2008, while 69% of white pregnancies resulted in a live birth, only 49% of black pregnancies led to live births. The abortion rate for white women was 12.4%, and the rate for black women was nearly three times higher, at 35.6%. Thus, despite a higher pregnancy rate than whites, black pregnancies are much less likely to result in a live birth, largely because of their dramatically higher abortion rate.

The article is found here.

I am having   very politically incorrect thoughts here, such as: is this the reason no one on the conservative side in the States, apart from genuine Christians, is much concerned by abortion anymore?

The most offensive idea yet

I came across this on Edge.org. Jonathan Haidt describes himself as a secular atheist Jewish leftie. That he may be, but he is also the most interesting social scientist writing today, exceeding Pinker, in my view. Haidt is one of the few lefties who understands what conservatives believe and why they believe it, and rather than being repelled, is genuinely sympathetic.

Haidt was among many scientists asked “what will change everything?”  Haidt’s answer attacks  the contention that “race is skin deep and does not really exist” a belief that dominates social discourse.

The answers by scientists to that question, found at the hyperlink above, ought to satisfy your appetite for important thoughts for many months to come.

Here is Haidt:

FASTER EVOLUTION MEANS MORE ETHNIC DIFFERENCES

The most offensive idea in all of science for the last 40 years is the possibility that behavioral differences between racial and ethnic groups have some genetic basis. Knowing nothing but the long-term offensiveness of this idea, a betting person would have to predict that as we decode the genomes of people around the world, we’re going to find deeper differences than most scientists now expect. Expectations, after all, are not based purely on current evidence; they are biased, even if only slightly, by the gut feelings of the researchers, and those gut feelings include disgust toward racism..

A wall has long protected respectable evolutionary inquiry from accusations of aiding and abetting racism. That wall is the belief that genetic change happens at such a glacial pace that there simply was not time, in the 50,000 years since humans spread out from Africa, for selection pressures to have altered the genome in anything but the most trivial way (e.g., changes in skin color and nose shape were adaptive responses to cold climates). Evolutionary psychology has therefore focused on the Pleistocene era – the period from about 1.8 million years ago to the dawn of agriculture — during which our common humanity was forged for the hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

But the writing is on the wall. Russian scientists showed in the 1990s that a strong selection pressure (picking out and breeding only the tamest fox pups in each generation) created what was — in behavior as well as body — essentially a new species in just 30 generations. That would correspond to about 750 years for humans. Humans may never have experienced such a strong selection pressure for such a long period, but they surely experienced many weaker selection pressures that lasted far longer, and for which some heritable personality traits were more adaptive than others. It stands to reason that local populations (not continent-wide “races”) adapted to local circumstances by a process known as “co-evolution” in which genes and cultural elements change over time and mutually influence each other. The best documented example of this process is the co-evolution of genetic mutations that maintain the ability to fully digest lactose in adulthood with the cultural innovation of keeping cattle and drinking their milk. This process has happened several times in the last 10,000 years, not to whole “races” but to tribes or larger groups that domesticated cattle.

Recent “sweeps” of the genome across human populations show that hundreds of genes have been changing during the last 5-10 millennia in response to local selection pressures. (See papers by Benjamin Voight, Scott Williamson, and Bruce Lahn). No new mental modules can be created from scratch in a few millennia, but slight tweaks to existing mechanisms can happen quickly, and small genetic changes can have big behavioral effects, as with those Russian foxes. We must therefore begin looking beyond the Pleistocene and turn our attention to the Holocene era as well – the last 10,000 years. This was the period after the spread of agriculture during which the pace of genetic change sped up in response to the enormous increase in the variety of ways that humans earned their living, formed larger coalitions, fought wars, and competed for resources and mates.

The protective “wall” is about to come crashing down, and all sorts of uncomfortable claims are going to pour in. Skin color has no moral significance, but traits that led to Darwinian success in one of the many new niches and occupations of Holocene life — traits such as collectivism, clannishness, aggressiveness, docility, or the ability to delay gratification — are often seen as virtues or vices. Virtues are acquired slowly, by practice within a cultural context, but the discovery that there might be ethnically-linked genetic variations in the ease with which people can acquire specific virtues is — and this is my prediction — going to be a “game changing” scientific event. (By “ethnic” I mean any group of people who believe they share common descent, actually do share common descent, and that descent involved at least 500 years of a sustained selection pressure, such as sheep herding, rice farming, exposure to malaria, or a caste-based social order, which favored some heritable behavioral predispositions and not others.)

I believe that the “Bell Curve” wars of the 1990s, over race differences in intelligence, will seem genteel and short-lived compared to the coming arguments over ethnic differences in moralized traits. I predict that this “war” will break out between 2012 and 2017.

There are reasons to hope that we’ll ultimately reach a consensus that does not aid and abet racism. I expect that dozens or hundreds of ethnic differences will be found, so that any group — like any person — can be said to have many strengths and a few weaknesses, all of which are context-dependent. Furthermore, these cross-group differences are likely to be small when compared to the enormous variation within ethnic groups and the enormous and obvious effects of cultural learning. But whatever consensus we ultimately reach, the ways in which we now think about genes, groups, evolution and ethnicity will be radically changed by the unstoppable progress of the human genome project.

World’s happiest countries

just happen to be mostly white. I just cannot imagine why there is a relationship. Can you?

The happiest of countries — many of which are in Scandinavia according the latest World Happiness Report — have a robust combination of higher life expectancy, gross domestic product per capita, social support, generosity, freedom to make life choices and lower perceptions of corruption. By analyzing happiness data, officials hope to improve the world’s social, economic and environmental well-being.

World Happiness Report 2013 (PDF)

 

A target-rich environment (2): microaggressions

I wrote recently about how feminist discourse on the Internet was being poisoned by the impossibility of saying anything that did not offend someone well-versed (usually black and lesbian) in finding aggression, homophobia, gender-fixation, able-ism and other thought crimes in the writings of some other person  -preferably white and middle class. (Tone Policing, January 31st, 2014)

Now tone policing  has come to broader public attention through the antics of the McGill University students’ association. There is even a non-ironic site called McGill micro-aggressions (I am not making this up!) where everyone’s little senses of hurt can be set out for the cosmos to see and be concerned about.

Excellent coverage of the event is given at Legal Insurrection here.

The image in question was an extension of the cultural, historical and living legacy surrounding people of color—particularly young men—being portrayed as violent in contemporary culture and media. By using this particular image of President Obama, I unknowingly perpetuated this living legacy and subsequently allowed a medium of SSMU’s communication to become the site of a microaggression; for this, I am deeply sorry.”

Of course, the last thing ever to be discussed is whether the portrayal of young black males, or African American males, as more aggressive than other races is true. That remains undiscussable. Or as Thomas Sowell said in Race and Culture (at p.227):

“History itself has become the target of a desperate attack by those for whom truth threatens devastating consequences to their visions, their egos, or their projects. A whole new class of intellectuals has arisen to supply history geared to what people currently wish to believe, rather than to record the past”.

But no one is fooled. To make an issue of the fake gif of President Obama kicking a door only shows the power of the stereotype. Yet the stereotype of the aggressive black male is founded on reality, not on someone’s unfounded racial prejudice.

The equity policy says that if someone is offended, that is the fact which has to be addressed. Reality has nothing to do with it, indeed, reality may have to be denied, because the fact of comparative differences constitutes the offence.

-I believe you are a witch. Therefore, according to the rules of the campus equity policy, you must defend yourself against the accusation of witchcraft. The burden of proof is on you.

-But there are no witches because witchcraft is scientifically impossible!

-Your assertion that witchcraft is impossible is part of the hetero-normatve, phallocentric, able-ist  white logical mindspace which is the offence!

Fortunately, the occasional eruption of this sort of shit provokes the necessary and beneficial social reaction against it.

Anyone for an explicit political purge of universities? Volunteers, anyone?