"Race realism"? It's toxic racist crap. Let's discuss why.


#290

What characteristics are these?
How do you quantify them?
How do you have specific measures?
Are these measures subjective in any way? How can you tell?
Are these measures affected by other factors (environmental, cultural, learning methods, teaching methods, learning environment, exposure to information relative to maturity rate)? Yes, including nutrition! Cognition is complicated. Learning more so.
How do you establish control populations to eliminate these other factors - all of them - statistically?

Assuming you find some small facet of intelligence where all of the above is possible, and then yes, it would be some small facet … how do you then correlate it with anything useful and control for those variables? Proving something is causal rather than correlated is usually harder than explaining the difference. Like with any other gene, that mutation or similar ones may already exist or spontaneously occur in other populations. This was one of my warnings on the prior physical thing. Even should you isolate a specific testable genetic component, how big a factor in the overall spread of scores? I doubt it would be huge.

In the meantime … let me measure height … easy.
Oh, have we sorted out what of the differences across populations are due to environmental things? Nope, not yet. Height is easy to measure, but growth a little more complicated.

Yes, what use is this information? How would it help someone? Except to be misunderstood by a racist?

I think it would be a fairly big waste of research money to study “intelligence”, but useful if looking for a cause of a specific, quantified disorder to consider potential genetic contributors. That may only be useful if it leads to better treatment options. But there is a lot of frivolous money spent like to research chocolate.

I know! We can use it to sell chocolate!

In one example, a Columbia University researcher, [Adam Brickman] http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/dept/taub/faculty-brickman.html), led a Mars-funded study, looking at how cocoa flavanols might affect the dentate gyrus, a region of the brain whose deterioration with age is associated with memory decline. His paper concluded that flavanols may improve dentate gyrus function, according to specific cognitive ability tests.

And that article shows the pitfalls should much of the research be funded by large sums of money invested in the outcomes. Don’t get me started on the state of research funding either.


#291

There are two big issues which make the entire “scientific debate over racial differences” something to avoid. First is the simple scientific fact, proven over and over and over and over and over and over and motherfucking over again, that individual variation is far larger (orders of magnitude of standard deviation larger) than group variation. Period. So we should treat people as individuals. Again, Period.

Second, there is a real, objectively measurable, well documented, and again motherfucking obvious history of discrimination, bias, racism, oppression, etc, that despite some gains, is still with us today. This creates two huge problems for “scientific analysis of racial differences”. One, every goddamn single tiny factoid in this topic has to be carefully scrutinized to separate real facts from the legacy of discrimination, assumptions based on bias, etc. Getting real data would require superhuman levels of objectivity and may not even be possible given the complexities of human experience and pyschology. Second, unless you do a 100% job on #1 above, AND unless you also have evidence so goddamn strong that it shits upon preponderance of evidence, looks downs upon clearing and evidence and farts in the general direction of beyond a reasonable doubt, then you are opening a can of worms of potential justification for oppression without even remotely adequate evidence to justify the potential harms.

Just stop.

The racial divisions we use have almost nothing to do with real biology. All of the evidence we look at it is tainted by testing bias, cultural influence, the history of discrimination, etc. AND, any group variation detected is going to be a pimple on the ass of individual variation. So any “scientific analysis” is going to be extremely weak tea at best. Compared to that, you risk justifying and rationalizing both the long and terrible history of human racism and the very real ongoing racism still sadly all around.

Lastly, yes I have consumed a couple of triple strength Belgian abbey ales tonight and my normal vehemence is +5 Holy Weapon-ized. Deal with it.


#292

Isn’t this basically like asking if we can have an objective discussion about whether Hitler did nothing wrong?

The answer is no.


#293

No, it is more like asking specifically about all the things he did and analyzing them, if only to come up with actual reasons as to why they were wrong instead of just kneejerk “Nazis bad!” reactions (which while true, simply aren’t very educational).

Knowledge isn’t good or bad. It just is.


#294

Sherpa’s use oxygen more efficiently due to centuries of living at high altitudes. Europeans are less prone to lactose intolerance due to centuries of consuming dairy. And apparently Japanese don’t have body odor because I bloody cannot find any good deodorant in Tokyo.


#295

Can we have with a more objective discussion, with the humility that I stand to be educated by people in this thread:

(1) Has Destarius has stopped beating his children?

I think if we can have a data-driven discussion, that would be really enlightening. I mean, I would love to think that Destarius has stopped beating his kids, but given his heated temperament, it seems to me rather naive to me to think that he has stopped beating them unconscious with jumper cables. FWIW, I’m short tempered, and I once yelled at my cat!

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More seriously, one time on this forum you thought that someone was implying that you beat your kids. And you got super het up about it and thought it was out of line. Imagine if instead of that one time, it was a constant drum beat all through your life of people, just wondering, if you had stopped beating your kids. And all your family members have to deal with the same questions. And sometimes you think you’re done with the question, and you’re just going to have a nice conversation about Marvel movies, and then the question pops up again. And some of those people asking the question just might not know the history of your child beating or not beating, while others are trying to use the question as the tip of the wedge in an effort to have you sent to jail for child abuse.

Anyway, I hope that metaphor helps make it more clear why people have very little patience for this trope of “Are people X fully human? Discuss.” People don’t want to have to try and prove this, over and over again, to questioners who may or may not be white nationalists.


#296

A more interesting question is this: Who’s more human than human?

All I know is that if some unscrupulous superpower decides to breed humans like dogs and cattle, I wouldn’t want to be the poor saps that turn out like Pugs or Fainting Goats.


#297

What are those factors? What effect do they have? Why do you think that? What is your training in this area?


#298

“Let’s have an honest discussion about race and crime statistics”

Is this Stormfront, /pol/ or The_Donald? Because they are the only type of places this occurs. It’s one of my prime “red flags” for spotting crypto-racists and concern trolls.


#299

I mean, someone is basically saying even though actual scientists actually say X, I wonder if they can’t be entirely wrong and the truth is Y, which only coincidentally matches my own socio-political views. Now where have we heard that argument before?


#300

It’s not possible to have a rational discussion so I will just delete all my comments and bow out.


#301

What training do you have in the field that permits you to lead that rational discussion?


#302

It’s a catch 22. Anyone from a scientific background who says so (and there have been many) is clearly in your eyes a racist, and therefore not qualified to say so.


#303

That may or may not be true, but it’s irrelevant to the question what does an ignorant person have to say of any interest at all on the subject?


#304

Who are these many? People with a scientific background have spoken in this thread, and articles have been linked, all saying this is not so. So again, who are this many you are referring to?


#305

I’m guessing the usual suspects:

Today, the term “scientific racism” may be used by some to refer to research seeming to scientifically justify racist ideology. Contemporary researchers and authors include the late Arthur Jensen ( The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability ); the late J. Philippe Rushton, president of the Pioneer Fund ( Race, Evolution, and Behavior );[127][128] the late Chris Brand ( The g Factor: General Intelligence and Its Implications ); Richard Lynn ( IQ and the Wealth of Nations ); Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein ( The Bell Curve );[129] and Nicholas Wade ( A Troublesome Inheritance ), among others.[130] These authors themselves, while seeing their work as scientific, may dispute the term “racism” and may prefer terms such as “race realism” or “racialism”.[131]


#306

I think there are small differences in mental aptitudes and preferences on a biological level between different categorisations of people based on obvious physical characteristics. But is it worth trying to quantify them? It’s going to do a lot more harm than good in my opinion.

There are also much larger differences in preferences due to cultural/environmental factors, and that’s not always a bad thing (although it often is).

There are much larger differences in aptitude due to environmental factors and this is a huge problem - to the point that I believe the single most powerful thing we can do to address differences in outcomes for different groups is to ensure a universal high standard of public education.

What I find hard to deal with is arguments of the form “[minority] is [X%] of the population but only [Y%] of [this industry], therefore this industry is racist”(*). There are so many possible explanations - differences in education before people get anywhere near the industry, differences in preferences which mean people from that background are less interested in going into the industry, and, indeed small differences in mean aptitude of the groups as a whole (Although this is more of a trap because it’s an obvious place to look when looking for explanatory factors, but if there is an effect it’s small and looking for it both makes you look like a racist and actively helps racists).

Ultimately the “benign cultural preferences” thing is the biggest confounding factor:

It’s much more persuasive to me to take smaller less debateable datasets to really drive home the message. It also really focuses people’s minds on specific outcomes that need to change. (“women are 25% of tech firm hires, but only 5% of senior leadership. African americans are 10% of tech firm hires, but only 2% of senior leadership. This is evidence of institutional racism and sexist that must be addressed” [All numbers made up, but based on roughly what I would expect the real numbers to be]).

tldr; Yes race realism is toxic racist crap, but putting that aside the censorious attitude of left wing activists really irritates me. It’s not on my list of top 10 problems though, so it’s fine to be suspicious of people constantly waving the free speech flag and complaining about it.

(*: politics is an exception to this analysis. It’s self-evidently essential to the health of our democracy that different groups are all represented in governance roughly proportionately to their prevalence in the population)


#307

Do people really make that argument? I hear people say things like it is because of racism or sexism that there aren’t more X in Y, but that isn’t necessarily an attack on Y so much as an attack on the society or environment in which X and Y exist. In other words, the social pressure or constraint is applied long before X even approaches Y, so that it can be that Y isn’t racist or sexist at all, but still few Xs attain it.

Not to mince words, but tough shit. It is a war; and getting irritated when the victims and their allies decide to fight back is, well, special.


#308

I get the impression I see it all the time. Maybe I’m missing some nuance. shrugs

Hopefully not in Tom’s living room it isn’t :)


#309

This is Sparta!

But seriously, people don’t bring this shit up because they are curious. They bring this shit up because they a racists who probably beat their children.