Monday, May 4, 2015

Somebody’s Gotta Say It

     The title of this piece is shamelessly stolen from Neal Boortz’s book of that name. I found that particular book unimpressive, mainly a compendium of soft libertarianisms. There was little original thought in it. It was still of some value; the freedom philosophy can always use another popular voice. My theft pertains to the sort of thing I’ve been writing lately, particularly on the ever-hazardous topic of race.

     We’ve been experiencing race riots. They’ve been massively destructive. They’ve inflicted injuries on both rioters, police, and the uninvolved. They’ve thrown the afflicted locales into social, economic, and political chaos, at least for a time. Yet despite the undiluted racial category of the rioters, the media have resolutely refrained from calling them race riots.

     One or two other low-gauge Internet commentators have noted the correlations and have dared to speak them aloud. Here’s one:

     Then there’s the other narrative, the one no one dares say for fear of being labeled a monster. On the television you see young black males mugging for the cameras as they commit pointless acts of mayhem. You see blacks running from burning stores with arms full of goods. Of course, the liquor store is robbed and you see blacks carrying away the liquor and beer. These scenes are narrated by the same old voices saying the same old things. To spice it up, they interview a local, who mumbles through the interview, confirming everything you see on TV.

     This, of course, is the simple reality of places like Baltimore, Detroit, East St. Louis and so on. When the government banned private discrimination in in the 1960’s, whites fled the cities to avoid having to send their kids to school with blacks. Responsible and intelligent blacks tried to keep it together, but they threw in the towel in the 80’s and 90’s when crack turned American cities into war zones. They headed for the suburbs to live with the whites. What’s left in these urban reservations are low-IQ violent nitwits.

     Of course, no one is allowed to say any of this in public. Racial solidarity requires blacks, who know better, to defend their dimwitted brothers rioting in the streets. Liberal whites think there’s profit in the riots so they cast about for a black hat on whom to pin the blame. Crime thinkers like John Derbyshire believe that the truth of things will eventually will out. I think John is right that reality will always win eventually, but I know I’ll never live to see it. Everyone alive today is too deeply invested in the myth that if we just turn the right knobs and push the right buttons, biology will be overcome. Fantasy is powerful stuff.

     Z Man is probably wiser than I in his decision to go by an anonymizing Internet moniker. It’s not my style and never has been; besides, I want my readers, whoever and wherever they may be, to know that I stand behind my words. If I’m proved wrong, I’ll admit it. This is a subject on which I’d like to be proved wrong. I just don’t think there’s much likelihood of it.

     The reason for my skepticism is the normal distribution.

     Here is a visual depiction of the normal distribution, perhaps better known as the “bell curve:”

     And here is an excellent survey of its properties for the intelligent layman. For the more mathematically inclined, the curve follows the following equation:

     ...where σ (the lower-case Greek letter sigma) is the usual symbol for the distribution’s standard deviation. The standard deviation is a reliable predictor of what percentage of the distribution will fall within a particular band around the horizontal axis of symmetry of the curve, which passes through the arithmetic mean. The mean indicates what it always does: 50% of the points under the curve lie to the left of that axis, and 50% lie to the right of it. (In the first graphic above, the mean has been arbitrarily taken to be 0, though this is merely for simplicity in the depiction of the curve.)

     As for the use of the standard deviation:

  • 68% of the points under the curve lie within 1 standard deviation of the axis;
  • 95% of the points under the curve lie within 2 standard deviations of the axis;
  • 99.7% of the points under the curve lie within 3 standard deviations of the axis.

     Further than that from the axis lies very little indeed.

     The important point about the normal distribution is its normality. Virtually every human characteristic is distributed among humans according to this formula -- not because we want it that way, but because the laws of probability have decreed that it shall be so. Among those characteristics are:

  • height;
  • weight;
  • intelligence;
  • strength;
  • speed;
  • agility;
  • propensity for aggression and lawlessness.

     More, there are some notable correlations among those factors, and between each of those factors and the three anthropologically agreed-upon races of Mankind.

     For as long as general intelligence – i.e., the ability to reason from abstract propositions when presented with specific cases in a relevant context -- has been measured, the scores of the races have fallen into a particular relation:

  • All three curves have been normal distributions;
  • The Caucasian race has exhibited a mean of 100.
  • The Mongolian race has exhibited a mean of 107.
  • The Negro race has exhibited a mean of 88.

     The standard deviation of those three normal distributions / bell curves is 15 points.

     Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray dared to discuss this openly, despite the enormous pressure put upon them by other researchers in the cognitive sciences to keep their conclusions to themselves. Those two unusually accomplished, bright, and candid men published anyway, expecting that controversy, dissension, and vilification would follow...and they got it in spades. But what none of their critics were able to do was to refute their conclusions.

     Those conclusions led immediately to a statement that John Derbyshire was roundly castigated for making:

     The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday situations. “Life is an IQ test.”

     Poor John Derbyshire, an eloquent conservative and a mathematically able man inclined toward stating a conclusion when it stares him in the face, has been so viciously vilified for noting the above that he’s become anathema in conservative circles. He failed to comply with Heinlein’s Law:

Being Right Too Soon
Is Socially Unacceptable.

     Yet his numbers are accurate and his conclusions flow from them.

     There is another correlation with race that our media refuse to allow us to draw, mainly by suppressing the data that would lead us to it: the correlation between race and propensity for lawlessness.

     You will not see American Mongolians as rioters. You’ll see very few American Caucasians destroying property or looting stores. You will see an overwhelming preponderance of American Negroes at such an event. Some will even allow themselves to be filmed doing it.

     Are all American Negroes willing lawbreakers? Of course not. But the bell curve seems to have put a greater fraction of them reasonably close to the mean that when given a rationale, that fraction will riot, burn, and loot. There will be some inclined to help the police to restore order. However, as The Z Man notes in his above-cited essay:

     Responsible and intelligent blacks tried to keep it together, but they threw in the towel in the 80’s and 90’s when crack turned American cities into war zones. They headed for the suburbs to live with the whites. What’s left in these urban reservations are low-IQ violent nitwits.

     In other words, they did what sensible, adequately perceptive people do when confronted with a dangerous situation they’ve decided is beyond their control: they fled those environs. The ones that remained there are the lawless – the “low-IQ nitwits” – who have so narrow a reasoning horizon that they cannot or will not see that their actions will leave them worse off than before.

     For the purposes of this tirade, please take a collectivity to be a group of persons who share some observable characteristic and who exhibit behavioral cohesion. Following from that, the social acceptability of any collectivity will depend upon its discipline in adhering to social norms. Such discipline can only come from two places:

  • From within the collectivity itself;
  • From outside it.

     In the former case, there will be minimal tension between that collectivity and the larger society. In the latter, the collectivity will be deemed “unruly,” in need of “restraint,” perhaps requiring it to be “civilized.” If the measures put to that end are sufficient, the collectivity might eventually shed its unruly ways and thereafter be accepted equally in the larger society. If not, there are only two possible outcomes:

  • Separation of the collectivity from the larger society;
  • Warfare, possibly ending in the extermination of the collectivity.

     The American Negro collectivity has exhibited cohesion in several ways, but most important for the purposes of this tirade is its observable disinclination to discipline its unruly sub-cohort. The American Left, which dominates the educational system, the communications and entertainment media, and the political elite of both parties, has stood firmly against the external application of effective restraining or civilizing measures to that collectivity.

     Draw your own conclusions. I stand by mine.

     To suppress a truth is to give it force beyond endurance – Victor Hugo


Erbo said...

You're absolutely right, but there's another half to the problem. Karl Denninger has pointed out the other half.

If you have an "average" IQ, half the citizens will be above it, and half below it. If you're not going to literally murder that lower half of the population (which I'm sure you would consider unacceptable), you have to have a social, political, and employment system that provides opportunity for all. Unfortunately, the jobs that those people on the lower end of the bell curve used to perform have largely been exported to places like China, where the factories can employ de facto slave labor to cut costs. Meanwhile, government deficit spending destroys their purchasing power and their ability to accumulate wealth, and, unlike those on the higher end, they have no defense that can give them any financial security. You can't lay the blame for this solely at the door of the Democrats or the Republicans; both political parties are complicit here. Is it any wonder that their despair has turned to crime and rioting? How long before the entire nation becomes Baltimore writ large?

YIH said...

I found that particular book unimpressive, mainly a compendium of soft libertarianisms. There was little original thought in it.
Though I've not read that one, I strongly suspect that it's like many ''wrote'' by other talk-radio hosts - show transcriptions, edited into book form.
They do sell well, so there's that.
I used to be a regular listener of Boortz (since retired, succeeded by Herman Cain), and he has his issues indeed.
There was his brainless boosterism of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' despite the fact that it was an abject failure - and was even before 0bama came on the scene.
Also he authored The Fair Tax which literally became such a joke that when Herman Cain ran for President he sidestepped it and cribbed 'the 9-9-9 plan' from the game SimCity (no, seriously).

Eskyman said...

Excellent post, Francis. Concise and information-rich.

That mean old bell curve tells no lies- though I remember (in a previous life) hearing of some psychologists back in the 1920s who gave IQ tests to Australian Aborigines; they interpreted their results as, "them guys is dumber than rocks!"

What the psychologists didn't know was that the Aborigines had no concept of passing time. There's "now" and "then" and "dreamtime." Most Aborigines were (and are) pretty unreliable on the concept of number too, and anything over 3 is uncertain.

On the other hand, if those psychologists were dropped in the middle of the Great Sandy Desert, I wonder how long they would last; no matter where they placed on the Bell Curve, it wouldn't help keep them alive.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Well, Esky, abstract reasoning is itself a specialization of societies in which subsistence / survival lifestyles are no longer necessary, so there's a good argument that the concept is inapplicable to Aboriginal society. On the other hand, without the concepts of time and measurement, there's no way (as far as I can see) to reason causally, which is integral to the concept of abstract intelligence. So the Abos' path to the sort of society in which intelligence is a useful concept still lacks a few steps.

(This whole notion of abstract intelligence is itself a bit...abstract, wouldn't you say?)

Anonymous said...

You have stated facts clearly, and applied properly reasoned logic; clearly proving, you are racist.

Facts and logic? Check your patriarchal privilege, man.

Anonymous said...

How can stating facts and applying logic be racist? Facts and logic are indisputable, however, "racist" is subjective, albeit quite convenient for those devoid of ideas. I'd argue that anyone who throws around the phrase "racist" is most likely a racist themselves, suffering from white guilt and looking for a way to absolve themselves in front of their psychotic liberal friends, at the expense of the productive members of society. Hint: good people don't lie about facts just to make other people feel good, and they don't require others to do this either. This country wasn't built by people who were looking for ways to minimize their talents and gifts, or to build a reality on a framework of lies. There's plenty of glory to go around, unless your primary skills are collecting unemployment, popping out daddy-less babies, and rioting, in which case a little introspection is probably past-due.

Dystopic said...

Like anything in life, intellectualism comes with trade-offs. My wife is less intellectual than I am, and yet she can be remarkably insightful because her mind is correspondingly less cluttered than mine.

When I was looking to trade down on my car, to eradicate the payment, I was caught in an endless loop which prevented me from making a choice. Multiple variables were in my brain: fuel efficiency, handling, power, cost, expected depreciation, reliability, miles, condition, etc etc... Each of the vehicles I was looking at had pros and cons. I was locked, unable to make a decision.

My wife asked me the simple question: "well, which one do you like better?" It doesn't naturally occur to me to think along those lines, but it certainly made the decision easier.

Intellectualism comes with a price, and it's one that some societies can ill afford. Aborigines don't have time to debate ad nauseam in their minds before making a critical choice related to survival. They must act, quickly and decisively. This seems to shrink time preference, compared to more advanced societies. But the critical point to remember is that this is a positive attribute in the context of their society.

It only becomes negative when introduced into ours, or vice-versa. Short time preference may, for example, increase the proclivity to violence. But when a society is limited to bows, arrows and swords, the damage they can do is limited. Introduce RPGs and AK-47s into that mixture, however... and you get cesspits like Somalia.

Vox frequently mentions a theory of his, where he suspects it takes roughly 1000 years of contact with an advanced civilization for a more primitive society to fully civilize itself. And to silence those who would say this is racist, he applies this equally, regardless of race. Indeed, it seemed to take Latins, and then the Germans after them, similar amounts of time. Perhaps this is natural selection at work, changing the time preference and analytical intelligence to more closely match the civilized society. Whatever the mechanism, however, it seems anecdotally true. And if it is true, then those who expect Sub-Saharan Africa to suddenly become part of the First World, after a mere 300-400 years of prolonged contact, are fooling themselves.

Reg T said...

I wonder if the silence exhibited by reasonable, intelligent blacks, or their inability to successfully affect the behavior of the savages in the inner cities is due more to fearing the response ("Uncle Tom", "Oreo") and possible attack from those sub-par blacks.

Sowell, Walter Williams, and other black men of intellect who have a real concern for the situation realize they have no "handle" by which they may grasp the issue to useful effect. Many conservative blacks wish to have no part of these savages, understanding that even speaking out puts them and their families at risk, much as the so-called "moderate" apostates of islam would in attempting to deal with orthodox, violent muslims.

Add to their lower IQ, their inability - and unwillingness - to assimilate into American culture (speaking English instead of Ebonics, behaving appropriately), and the damage done by the welfare system which has destroyed the black family and made them dependent on the State, and you have a recipe for complete failure. When you still in the toxic contributions of the race-baiters (of which Sharpton, Jackson, and Obama are "masters" ;-), there remains zero hope of improvement, of a peaceful, non-violent correction.