Mr. JayMan Jr. has arrived!
Here he is with his dad.
And here he is with Grandma, well one of them:
So you folks will understand if I’m a bit behind on the posting for a while.
Though I have been paying attention to goings-on out there. So this is to the folks out there – especially those of you on Twitter (you know who you are): stop being such dicks. It is really not necessary.
And of course, joy to the world and all!
JayMan has been making some fireworks! Check it out:
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 250,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 11 days for that many people to see it.
This past summer my wife and I ventured through Eastern New England/Yankeedom (a.k.a., the Canadian Maritimes), and it involved a trip through the remnant of the French colony of Acadia, which in actuality is quite alive and well. In my final post of 2013, I will discuss these fascinating people.
Acadia was the French colony that initially spanned the Canadian Maritimes and eastern Maine (maps from Wikipedia):
The colonist there largely originated from the section of France circled in green (outlined by HBD Chick):
The Acadian colony was conquered by the British in 1710 (after a long period of tension and skirmishes with New England). At first, the British tolerated the Acadian inhabitants, but by the time of the French and Indian War (a.k.a., the Seven Years’ War), the Brits decided the Acadians had to go, so the colony’s French inhabitants were deported. I acquired this poster of their history, which covers the deportation, the migrations, and the eventual return of some of the settlers (to the new thoroughly British) Maritimes.
The deported Acadian colonists scattered across the Atlantic to find refuge. Some managed to escape to Quebec, while others returned to France. Many tried to seek refuge in the American colonies along the East Coast, and some managed to do so in New England. However, they were largely denied, especially across the Tidewater and the Deep South (to where the Roman Catholic “French Neutrals” were not welcome). A great deal of the deportees died in the migrations. A good number of Acadian settlers who had returned to France and were scattered elsewhere later converged on Louisiana, where they became the Cajuns.
This is reflected in the modern New French region of Louisiana, Acadiana:
Eventually, after the Seven Years’ War had ended, some Acadian refugees were allowed to return to their former colony in the Maritimes, giving us the modern Acadia we now have. The British however had already taken much of the prime real estate in the colony, relegating the Acadian resettlers to marginal areas along the colony’s periphery.
Life in the new Acadia developed around smoking fish and sea products, done as a way to preserve the meat. Large smoke houses sprung up along the coast, becoming family enterprises with know-how passed down from generation to generation:
Today, Acadia consists of a few narrow strips along the coastal Maritimes and northern Maine:
The Acadian presence in Maine is why, on my maps of the American nations, I have placed part of Aroostook county into New France:
The Acadian legacy also survives on in Maine in certain place names (like Acadia National Park).
In both New England and in Louisiana, the Acadian identity is distinct and strong:
In Louisiana, the Cajuns established a distinct identity from the Deep Southerners around them. When the Deep Southern plantation colonists arrived in Louisiana, they found a society that they found detestably different from their own. Under the French, Blacks were not initially relegated by racial caste as slaves, and indeed many Blacks were prominent slaveholders themselves. As many of the Cajuns and Blacks in Acadiana originated from Haiti, the Caribbean flavor was distinct and powerful (visible in Louisiana Voodoo). Louisiana was much less sexually modest than the British derived colonies, something Acadiana retains a reputation for this day:
The Acadians seem to have an interesting genetic legacy as well, especially those in Louisiana. Like the Québécois, they have a much higher incidence of certain rare genetic disorders, such as Tay-Sachs disease. Peter Frost speculates that in the case of the Québécois, there was selection for intelligence similar to that of the Ashkenazi Jews. However, as far as I know, it is unclear what the situation with the Acadians could be. I would imagine that almost certainly, this is related to founder effects due their very small founding population (a few hundred in some regions).
So, my observation of the Acadians: they seem to be unlike their New England neighbors in that they don’t have the automatic cheerful friendliness Yankees typically display to outsiders. Indeed, one fellow was staring at me as if he couldn’t tell what to make of me. This wasn’t because there were no other Blacks around; I saw a handful in the area.
Also, it seems older gentlemen appear to like to gather together in the local eatery and (loudly) discuss what’s what. Perhaps this is a general Mediterranean thing?
Coincidentally, while my wife and I were in the Maritimes, we watched a Tommy Lee Jones film called In the Electric Mist, which takes place in Cajun Louisiana (good movie, by the way). The film featured the song “La Terre Tremblante,” about the life in Louisiana, here performed by a French band. I thinking it is a fitting song for this post:
Here are the lyrics and their English translation (from here):
Les pêcheurs mettent leurs lignes comme des
Piégeurs, voleurs des âmes
Les attrapes sont mises pour les innocents
Gambleurs, éviteurs des blâmes
Dans l’eau saumâtre
A la terre tremblante
Les voleurs, ça met leurs appâts sur la ligne
La bouteille, la fierté et l’argent
Ça voit pas qu’ils sont piégés pour toujours
Dedans un fil étranglant
Dans l’eau saumâtre
A la terre tremblante
The fishermen set their lines like
Trappers, stealers of souls
The traps are set for the innocent
Gamblers, shirkers of blame
Into the brackish water
To the quicksand
The thieves put their bait on the lines
The bottle, pride, and money
They don’t see that they are trapped forever
In a strangling web
Into the brackish water
To the quicksand
The song is featured throughout the score of the film. Here is the musical suite from the movie, which I believe is a fitting ending tribute to this year in HBD, especially the section from about 7:50 onward.
And with that Happy New Year to you all. See you in 2014!
I wanted to feature two new versions of Colin Woodard’s map of the American Nations that I have created. For reference, here is Woodard’s map:
We know we can split the cultural and political behaviors (and many other aspects) of the United States and Canada according to these maps (see Maps of the American Nations and Nations of Canada). Most poignant among them (and the one that interests most people) is the electoral behavior, which follows predictable regional patterns, as seen in the county level election results of the 2012 presidential election:
Now, here’s a partial explanation for some of these results:
This is a modification of a map found here (ultimate source unknown). I’ve superimposed the American nations boundaries on it. The white-colored counties on the map are overwhelmingly Republican voting White counties, but in some cases reflect counties with a mix of populations that don’t fit into the colored categories.
As we’ve seen in my earlier post on the matter (Rural White Liberals – a Key to Understanding the Political Divide), significant regional differences in the White American vote exists. Particularly, there is a broad left-leaning area across Yankeedom (Greater New England), in parts of the Midlands, and along the Left Coast. These reflect genetic differences as established by the founding (and immigrant) populations across these various regions (see aforementioned post).
The ethnic composition of El Norte and south Florida is evident here. Racial composition also demonstrates part of the reason the Tidewater and the Far West are becoming national swing regions. In the latter case, the expansion of the Hispanic population is serving to turn key states in the area Democrat (additionally, there is a segment of liberal Whites colonizing Colorado).
The legacy of slavery – the institution that was the backbone of the Tidewater and the Deep South – remains visible today as home to the primary concentrations of the country’s Black population. Is national (regional) pride what motivates Kanye West to embrace the ethnocultural symbol of the Deep South, the Confederate flag?
As well, note that much of eastern Oklahoma contains significant Native American populations, however, they are not visible here because they are typically in the 10-20% range as a fraction of each county’s population.
Also, as a bonus, see this map:
This is a map of the American nations superimposed upon a nighttime image of the U.S. Some interesting features become evident. One of the most striking is the orthogonal layout of the Midlands, patterned after its founding city, Philadelphia. This orthogonal layout follows a continuous band from southern New Jersey in the east running westward along Interstate 80 to where the Midlands unfolds in Iowa. The layout in Yankeedom follows a hierarchical structure following patterns of settlement radiating from the central hubs to their satellite cities and towns. In the Tidewater and Deep South, we see the haphazard settlement, resulting from interconnection of the formerly independent plantation steads. We can also see the abrupt “end” to civilization that occurs at the border of the Far West (which resumes on the Left Coast).
The circled lit up area in the Far West are gas flares from North Dakota’s fracking boom, a boom which continues the Far Western tradition of drawing settlers and transients seeking a living, and perhaps wealth, from the exploitation the region’s natural resources (and, additionally, of its people).
The American nations remain alive and visible, and continue to underlie life and society across the continent.
Contra Italianthro’s claims,
JayMan is an HBd blogger obsessed with IQ, heredity and achievement, and probably Richard Lynn’s #1 fan. He claims to be Jamaican, which makes him either the most insanely self-hating black person on earth, or a white Nordicist pretending to be black so he can get away with insulting blacks and everyone else who isn’t Northwestern European.
I wanted to leave this here to show everyone that yes, I am Black. And yes, I do indeed have a White wife:
And I am in fact quite proud of my Blackness and Jamaican heritage. (See About Me) That is my soon-to-arrive son’s crib in the background, and a copy of The Atlantic magazine…
“Racial Reality” (RR), also known as “Italianthro,” has apparently responded to my challenge. He claims to have left a comment to my post, but I didn’t see one. I haven’t looked in my spam box in a while, so if it ended up there, it may have gotten deleted (spam comments are automatically deleted after 30 days). In that case, my apologies.
In any case, RR wrote a post with objections to my claims, and for that matter, HBD in general:
JayMan is an HBd blogger obsessed with IQ, heredity and achievement, and probably Richard Lynn’s #1 fan. He claims to be Jamaican, which makes him either the most insanely self-hating black person on earth, or a white Nordicist pretending to be black so he can get away with insulting blacks and everyone else who isn’t Northwestern European. Either way, he’s an idiot.
Recently he “called me out” on his blog re: my stance on environmental factors in global IQ disparities. I had debated him there about a year and a half ago and easily won, and I guess he’s been traumatized by it ever since.
Well, as my (blond, Nordic-Baltic Yankee) wife assures me, I am quite Black. When I get back home, I’ll leave a treat for everyone.
Of course, had RR been following along here, he would have noticed that I have discussed more than a few unflattering characteristics about “Northern Europeans” (specifically Northwest Europeans and their descendants). See An HBD Summary of the Foundations of Modern Civilization, How Inbred are Europeans, and Rural White Liberals – a Key to Understanding the Political Divide.
RR must have a thing with Richard Lynn, since regular readers might note that I don’t really discuss racial differences in IQ or cite Lynn much. Lynn has made very important contributions to our understanding of IQ and human differences, but he only one of very many researchers to do so. As is true with HBD Chick and Peter Frost, my interests don’t lie primarily with IQ – especially racial differences in such – but with other topics (see my previous milestone post, 100 Blog Posts – A Reflection on HBD Blogging And What Lies Ahead and my American nations series). In any case, I discuss the facts as they are.
Let me start by making it clear that RR is a bullshit artist par excellence. He engages in some serious motivated obfuscation when it comes to race, heredity, and IQ (as do many others on these topics). In this post, I will show how and where he has done so.
RR’s first bit of evidence against the mountains of data for heritable human differences as presented in my post calling him out (which included a link to my HBD Fundamentals page, among other things) was the study by Anandi Mani et al “Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function.” Yes, that one.
To that, there’s only one appropriate response:
Of all things to use to support your case against HBD, you use this obviously bullshitological study, one that was criticized on numerous grounds (and was criticized by me)? I guess that gives us an idea of what RR’s argument has got.
These guys are trying to pull a fast one and overturn all the evidence linking IQ and wealth, both on an individual and group level.
Researchers publishing some groundbreaking findings today in the journal Science have concluded that poverty imposes such a massive cognitive load on the poor that they have little bandwidth left over to do many of the things that might lift them out of poverty – like go to night school, or search for a new job, or even remember to pay bills on time
Right. So why then is IQ predictive of earnings within families? Why of IQ and childhood SES, IQ is by far the stronger predictor of future earnings?
The finding further undercuts the theory that poor people, through inherent weakness, are responsible for their own poverty – or that they ought to be able to lift themselves out of it with enough effort. This research suggests that the reality of poverty actually makes it harder to execute fundamental life skills. Being poor means, as the authors write, “coping with not just a shortfall of money, but also with a concurrent shortfall of cognitive resources.”This explains, for example, why poor people who aren’t good with money might also struggle to be good parents. The two problems aren’t unconnected.
They certainly are connected. That “shortfall of cognitive resources” causes both.
Before responding, the subjects were given a series of common tests (identifying sequences of shapes and numbers, for example) measuring cognitive function and fluid intelligence. In the easier scenario, where the hypothetical repair cost only $150, subjects classified as “poor” and “rich” performed equally well on these tests. But the “poor” subjects performed noticeably worse in the $1,500 scenario. Simply asking these people to think about financial problems taxed their mental bandwidth.
That “shortfall of cognitive resources” again. The differences between higher IQ and lower IQ people become more evident on harder tasks, because there’s only so good one can be on easy tasks.
Now that all of these perspectives have come together, the implications for how we think about poverty – and design programs for people impacted by it – are enormous. Solutions that make financial life easier for poor people don’t simply change their financial prospects.
I’m a big proponent of making the lives of the poor easier; even a poor citizen of should have a place in society. But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that that’s going to perform miracles and boost their brainpower. Mountains of evidence simply say otherwise.
It is well known a variety of factors can affect IQ test performance at a given instance (say self confidence). That’s a why repeated testing (with different tests) is often necessary to remove test bias in scores. It’s one heck of a stretch to claim that a temporarily lowered IQ score from one setting translates to permanently lowered IQ. Never mind that g wouldn’t be affected.
Look, I will grant that intelligent people likely operate less efficiently when they are short on resources. That is a far cry from the nonsense they are trying to pull here.
In short, even if their data is valid, of which Wicherts et al wasn’t convinced, it wouldn’t address all the other evidence we have demonstrating the causal relationship between IQ and wealth/poverty.
RR’s other piece of evidence was a paper that claimed that “the differences in the timing of agriculture transition and the histories of States, not population IQ differences, predict international development differences before the colonial era.”
The paper makes the claim based on some rather tenuous evidence that modern levels of average IQ around the world don’t predict level of civilizational development in the year 1500.
One problem becomes immediately obvious. We don’t know what average IQs of historic peoples were. 500 years ago was enough time that there could have been, and likely were, significant differences between the average IQ of people of the time and their current values.
Indeed, current thinking in the line of the work of Gregory Clark and Ron Unz (supplemented by Peter Frost, Greg Cochran, and Henry Harpending) posits that average IQs were rising in the northern civilized societies at this time. See HBD Fundamentals: On the evolution of modern advanced civilized peoples. Differential evolutionary trajectories not just for IQ but also behavioral traits would have affected the level of economic and technological development of people at the time. In addition, particular technological innovations and geographic factors likely were stronger determinants of economic and technological prosperity then.
But how off is the level of development in the year 1500 from what average IQs roughly similar to modern levels would lead us to expect?
This is a map of the Eastern Hemisphere in AD 1500. As we see, aside from Europe, the principle states at the time were the East Asian nations (China, Korea, Japan), the collapsing former Mongol Empire, the various states in India, and some up and coming Middle Eastern empires, particularly the Ottoman Empire. As well, there were some West African and Southeast Asian states. Also, of course, there were the soon to be conquered Meso-American empires not shown here.
In short, the main powers were the East Asian nations, the Middle East, India, and Europe.
Of course, 1500 was the dawn of the European age, as the Enlightenment and the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions were soon to follow. Indeed, the state of affairs doesn’t appear as incongruent as Daniele’s paper is making out.
The correlation between present-day average IQs and growth, as measured in these datasets, is strong. Of course, Daniele is trying claim that the causation runs from growth -> average IQ, rather than the reverse. In the paper, he invokes the Flynn Effect to make the case that the average IQs of the current impoverished nations will catch up as they develop.
Here is where I will invoke a new verb I’m coining in honor of man who noted it. I am going to “Staffan” this study. The man behind Staffan’s Personality Blog noted that modern commenters try to explain away the problems of modern peoples or the incongruities between these peoples and whatever pet theory commenter is trying to advance by claiming that we need to adjust for some feature of these peoples’ present or recent history. An example would be trying to explain the reduced development and low average IQ of sub-Saharan Africa by their poverty; another would be trying to explain away the lower trust and reduced development of Eastern Europe vis-a-vis Northwestern Europe by the former’s history of communism. But, as Staffan put it (emphasis mine):
It’s clear that Whites and East Asians are doing better than the rest. In Latin America we find that the most European countries, Uruguay and Chile are doing best. But at the same time we see countries like Russia struggling. Some would say this needs to be adjusted for communism, but I say they created communism and weren’t doing well before that either. We can’t adjust for their entire history. So just being White is clearly not enough, or even necessary for that matter.
In the case of Daniele’s paper, he is trying to claim that presently impoverished states, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, in fact do have average IQs comparable to those in Northern Europe or East Asia, we just need to take their poverty into account. But no, as his own paper makes clear, we can’t adjust for their entire history.
On that note, in fact, the innovation we have seen out of Northern Europe (seen in Charles Murray’s work, as referenced by HBD Chick), particularly Northwestern Europe…
This whole process is seen here (from The Economic History of the Last 2000 Years: Part II – Derek Thompson – The Atlantic):
This is share of GDP of the various states for the past two millennia. While it may seem that Europe is meager on the world stage in 1500, this is mainly a product of population. European has a smaller GDP because it has a smaller population.
Now here is the trajectory in GDP per capita:
Northwestern European standard of living was already ahead of much of the world by 1500 and eclipsed the rest of the world’s since.
Much of this, especially pre-Industrial Revolution, was the result of the permanent improvement in wages brought about by the labor shortages in the wake of the Black Death. But, Northwestern European development has since ran away – leading, eventually, to the modern world. Peter Frost discussed this (Evo and Proud: On global inequality).
The bottom line is that Europeans, particularly Northwestern Europeans, were already fairly well off by 1500, with the East Asians next behind. Other groups were left behind, many failing to advance even to this day. This demands explanation. Average IQ is very likely part of the puzzle. It’s not enough to note that today’s impoverished nations poverty holds them back. What of the past five centuries? The East Asian nations, and for that matter Eastern Europe, despite lagging behind their Northwestern European counterparts in terms of innovation, nonetheless have a history of technological ability the present impoverished world lacks, in accordance with their relative average IQs.
Regular readers here will note that other heritable psychological traits, and even cognitive abilities (such as creativity) are very important factors, and likely go a long way towards explaining the differences between Northwestern Europe and its counterparts with comparable average IQs in Northeastern Europe and East Asia.
For the record, I’m not vouching for the reliability of these analyses of historic national economic performance, but there we are.
As for the explanation for the path of national development up until year 1500, that remains an ongoing area of scientific exploration. Because of the inability to directly measure the traits and abilities of past people, we can only infer their cognitive and behavioral traits from our (imperfect) historical records and data. But on that front, Peter Turchin et al created a model that captures roughly 65% of the variance in the presence of states during the 3,000 from 1500 BC to AD 1500.
Turchin also explains more here. Now, I’m not claiming that Turchin et al’s model is correct, but it is interesting, and perhaps part of the puzzle when it comes to understanding the course of human history.
However, fundamentally, a key problem with Daniele’s paper is this: claims about the causal relationship between IQ and national development don’t make any statement, either way, about conditions far in the past. That is, we claim that IQ plays a causal role in national development today. How it got that way is a separate proposition. Regardless of Daniele’s and RR’s claims, we have considerable evidence for the relationship between IQ and economic success, both for individuals and for nations (some of which is discussed in my post Welcome Readers from Portugal!). Even if Daniele were to discredit the association between IQ and economic vitality for past nations (assuming we even knew what the average IQ of past peoples were), it wouldn’t change the known strong relationship that exists in the present day. As we see here, it’s unclear that the situation for AD 1500 is that mysterious. Further research is needed.
Racial Reality, if you choose to respond, please do so here or please write a blog post. If your comment doesn’t appear, please let me know and I will check my spam box.
Thanks to all those who have donated, and I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!