It Must Be Said

There are facts that were once known, sometimes generally known, that are now known to but a few.   Some of this information loss is caused by changes in occupational patterns –  farmers automatically know something about heritability, clerks and workers in dark satanic mills, not so much.

But mostly these facts are unpleasant, at least to some ears.  People who mention such facts are punished – generally in terms of their careers, not being invited to parties, etc.  That’s enough to cause a 10 or 20-fold drop in visibility, which ought to tell you something about how brave people are. Many people assume that everyone is secretly aware of those unpleasant facts, but that is not the case.  A generation that has grown up never hearing those facts will be almost entirely unaware of them, in part because their personal life experiences don’t impinge on those patterns much. This means that they can and sometimes do make serious mistakes that those ‘secretly aware’ types never would.

Now there are a few cases where a lot of information leaks through anyhow – that’s certainly the case with facts concerning the differences between the sexes.  There’s an article about sex-typical play in little kids that has been written over and over and over.  It starts with some Ivy-league nitwit who knows for sure that little boys and girls are just the same, except for minor differences in plumbing, and then can’t quite manage to unnotice his little girl playing with dolls while his four-year old boy chews a piece of toast into the shape of a gun and then mows him down.

Ron Unz has supported The American Conservative, and as a result, had some columns published in that magazine. For the most part, I thought that the points he tried to make in those articles (rapid IQ convergence for Mexican immigrants, Harvard favoring Jews in admissions,  etc) ranged from clearly wrong to unproven, no case made. Recently he submitted a piece on high crime rates among American blacks – Henry and I talked about some of the points in it.  In particular, I had doubts about high estimates for the number of ‘missing’ black men.

But the article was unquestionably correct in its major conclusion.  Blacks in the US have very high crime rates, and there is a very high correlation between the local crime rate and the local black percentage.  That’s the way it is.

And that article is what got Ron kicked off TAC’s board. No good deed goes unpunished.

Someone I know at TAC opined that everyone knows this stuff, and talking about it is just mean.  I think he is mistaken: you have to state important facts every so often, or nobody knows them anymore.

There are a lot of facts like this. It’s made even worse by charlatans spewing falsehoods – sometimes that’s all that the typical undergraduate is exposed to.   For example, average brain size is not the same in all human populations.  Average cranial capacity in Europeans is about 1362;  1380 in Asians, 1276 in Africans. It’s about 1270 in New Guinea. Generally there is a trend with latitude – brain volume is lowest near the equator.  And no,  despite Gould’s bushwa, there is nothing especially difficult about measuring brain volume.  Direct measurement of a healthy brain is best; but that is now done, using magnetic resonance imagery, and the results are about the same –  a mean black-white difference of about 1 standard deviation.

Graduate students in anthropology generally don’t know those facts about average brain volume in different populations. Some of those students stumbled onto claims about such differences and emailed a physical anthropologist I know, asking if those differences really exist. He tells them ‘yep’ – I’m not sure what happens next. Most likely they keep their mouths shut. Ain’t it great,  living in a free country?

Anyhow, I intend to occasionally make a clear statement of some hateful fact – not necessarily because I have anything new to say on the subject (which is what I prefer).   Someone has to corrupt the rising generations.

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127 Responses to It Must Be Said

  1. albatross says:

    Even among those who know the unspeakable facts, not being able to talk about them has a cost. For speakable facts, we can have discussions, lively debates, gather data, run experiments, etc. The result is that everyone involved gets smarter–we get to benefit from others’ insights and ideas and expertise and knowledge. We can discuss their implications for politics or personal choices or whatever. For unspeakable facts, we can quietly notice and observe things, but we can’t talk them over with many people, and so we mostly won’t think through their implications, we won’t notice where we’ve misunderstood something. This is something the internet is changing, I think–it’s possible to find smart people discussing whatever is unthinkable in your community, somewhere on the internet.

    And thinking too clearly and deeply about the unthinkable also has a cost. You stop being able to just parrot back the party line without thought–your own thoughts get in the way, your facial expressions and unthinking first reaction to something will give your doubts away. You’re like an atheist somewhere where falling away from the Church equals becoming an outcast. If you allow to friends that you sometimes have doubts, you can stay a member of the community, but if you start trying to think through the full implications of your lack of belief, you are almost guaranteed to find yourself an outcast.

  2. JayMan says:

    There is this meme about the supposed small size of “racist” brains and the equivalence of the sizes of the brains of people of different races, which made the rounds on social media fairly recently.

    Racist Brain The Smallest | The Inspiration Room

    The brain size thing was one of my cited bits of evidence in my older HBD intro post, where I floated my first pet hypothesis in the HBD world (which actually might still have something to do with something 🙂 )

    IQ Ceilings? | JayMan’s Blog

    • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

      The Racist Brain campaign was developed at Saatchi & Saatchi London, UK, by creative director Adam Kean, art director Ben Nott, copywriter/typographer Adam Hunt, and photographer Nadav Kander.

      I suspect that these people have pretty small brains, then.

    • Julian says:

      Armand Leroi wrote an article ‘On Human Diversity’ which noted the The Natural History Museum in Britain had removed the skull collection. Leroi wrote:

      “Henry Flower became director of the British Museum of Natural History in 1884, and promptly set about rearranging exhibits. He set a display of human skulls to show their diversity of shape across the globe. A century later, the skulls had gone, and in their place was a large photograph of soccer fans standing in their terraces bearing the legend: “We are all members of a single species, Homo sapiens. But we are not identical.” In 2004 even this went, and so it is that the world’s greatest natural history museum has nothing to say to the public about the nature and extent of human biological diversity.

      Of course, The Natural History Museum, as the British Museum of Natural History is now known, is not the only institution to relegate such demonstrations to the basement. After the 1960s, physical anthropologists, struggling to bury the idea of race, buried phenotypes as well – sometimes literally so, as human remains have been reinterred by aboriginal claimants. They turned, instead, to comfortably neutral genetic markers to unravel the highways and byways of human history. This magnificent enterprise has charted our species’ path out of Africa using successive generations of markers: blood type, allozyme, mitochondrial DNA, the Y chromosome, and nuclear single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). But is it enough? I would argue not. I would argue that it is time to resurrect the study of human phenotypic diversity…

  3. Do you know of hateful facts not related to race, sex, religion, nationality, or orientation?

    • Glossy says:

      Is it a fact that, all else being equal, providing monetary incentives for criminals and the poor, regardless of their race, to be sterilized, would reduce crime and poverty over time? I’d say so. But it’s considered hateful to state that. I think it’s generally considered taboo to state that eugenics can work as intended. Forget the question of whether or not it’s moral. Is it possible for it to achieve the goals that its advocates envision? Sure. That’s hateful to state.

      It’s somewhat hateful to deny that humans are causing global warming. Are we though? That I don’t know.

      It’s certainly hateful to disparage universal suffrage. For example, advocating limiting the right to vote to those who are solvent or possess a certain amount of wealth or who score above a certain level on IQ tests – that would be widely considered hateful. And it’s definitely taboo to advocate for any kind of political setup that doesn’t include elections – absolute monarchy, military rule, theocracy. Over the grand sweep of history have elections and the widening of suffrage correlated with peace, prosperity or creativity? I doubt it. That’s a pretty taboo thing to say. If I remember correctly, Murray did not find much correlation between the nature of political systems and the frequency of significant figures before the 20th century. Republics and constitutional monarchies didn’t produce more intellectual achievement than neighboring, contemporary absolute monarchies. And based on my own reading of history, I doubt very much that republics have, on average, been better at maintaining peace, either internally or externally, than absolute monarchies or theocracies. This is somewhat measurable. One could compare casualty estimates for wars and rebellions. If these sorts of statistics averaged over centuries don’t favor republics, elections and the widening of suffrage, that would be a bit of a hate fact.

      • Glossy, I greatly agree. I will note that one of the difficulties of comparison is in deciding what constitutes an election. Hitler was elected at first and then… Saddam was elected and then…

        As to James D Miller’s question about “hateful” facts, we do have some others in mental health – about trauma, parenting, choices vs. biological inheritance, motive. They somewhat derive from your list, but not entirely.

        And as to Greg’s original point about not knowing things, my experience is humorous and illustrative. I had a minor in anthropology from a prestigious east-coast college in the 1970’s. Which means I learned a great deal of politically correct nonsense, plus a lot about Mesoamerican pottery, maize, and reciprocal economic arrangements in the Caribbean. We become persuaded that the unspeakable is known but unstated because we run across an occasional person who does indeed know but does not say. I have known many psychologists who do IQ testing as part of the evaluative battery they perform on psychiatric patients. Many of them do understand and know of Jensen, and Murray, but their voices drop as they say it. That does not mean that all psychologists do. There are plenty who, despite all their experience and reading fo the actual data, believe that racial differences in IQ are a minor and temporary artifact of bad schools and persistent racist attitudes.

      • Ralph Hitchens says:

        Glossy: “Over the grand sweep of history have elections and the widening of suffrage correlated with peace, prosperity or creativity? I doubt it.” Your doubts are misplaced. Any number of historians and social scientists have noted that despite all the bad news in the media one sees, today’s world is, in fact, a more peaceful place than at any time in the recorded past. On a percentage basis fewer people die in wars and, I believe, fewer die of starvation. More people than ever before live under democratic governments. As Casey said, you could look it up. There are many residual problems in the world, but it’s a unique perspective that would suppose that restricting suffrage back to what prevailed in the early 19th century could solve any of these.

      • reiner Tor says:

        @Ralph Hitchens: The problem is that the trend (in Europe) towards less wars started well before the advent of democracy, right after the 30 Years’ War. The 19th century was already more peaceful than the 18th, with hardly any democracy. The most democratic country in the 19th century was the US, with roughly 30-40% of the male population having suffrage. Would you consider Apartheid SA a democracy? As democracy advanced further by the early 20th century, we had two world wars. Only then was war in the Western world all but abolished (we are still waging wars in places like Afghanistan), and I’m not sure how much that had to do with democracy and how much with the advent of nuclear weapons, or with all Western democracies being part of the same military alliance (NATO), for the most part against a common enemy (USSR). In 1923 there was near-war between Weimar Germany on one hand and France and Belgium on the other, the confrontation didn’t result in war only because Weimar Germany had no effective army.

    • Philip Neal says:

      “Do you know of hateful facts not related to race, sex, religion, nationality, or orientation?”

      It is a hate fact to suggest that the under-representation of the working class at elite British universities is explained by class differences in IQ.The only permissible explanations are deprivation and prejudice. (Search on ‘Les Ebdon’.)

  4. albatross says:

    Individuals differ enormously in their abilities. Most people simply cannot become a mathematician or even a doctor, for much the same sort of reason that most people simply cannot become an NBA star, or even a minor-league baseball player. Most citizens of the US and other countries do not understand a lot of science, economics, foreign policy, etc. Some of this is disinterest, and some is lousy education, but a lot is just lack of brains. This is impolite to say, it sucks, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.

    The big decisions in our society are made by fools. Our elites are in general overpromoted and spend far more mental energy keeping power and climbing the ladder than actually understanding what they need to know to make good decisions. At times they are shockingly ignorant of the matters they’re supposed to be experts on. Far, far more often than most people want to admit, they make momentous decisions on the basis of solving immediate political problems, or winning at office politics, or to make themselves feel good. Often they are the captives of their advisors, and their advisors are similarly usually overpromoted and self-interested rather than focused on good decisison. (The polite version of reality says that they’re all hard-working smart people who mean well; the acceptable version says this of your political side but not of the other.)

    There is nothing all that exceptional about the US. While we have relatively good institutions and some other benefits, a lot of our extraordinary position in the world comes down to luck. We had big, wide oceans between us and all our competent adversaries for our whole history, and the big European powers that might otherwise have been our rivals have often wrecked each other in wars, leaving the way clear for us–as with the postwar economic boom in the US, driven largely by having all our competitors in ruins. When we’ve had power, we’ve used it as brutally and incompetently as any other great power. (This is fine to say in some quarters, but a presidential candidate who said it would be done for.)

    And so on. Race, sex, religion, etc., is a rich source of taboo claims about reality, but they’re far from unique.

  5. JayMan says:

    Anyhow, I intend to occasionally make a clear statement of some hateful fact – not necessarily because I have anything new to say on the subject (which is what I prefer). Someone has to corrupt the rising generations.

    By the way, on that, I think I can relate… 😉

    Is it any wonder…? | JayMan’s Blog

  6. Thanks for all the hate facts. Keep up the good work.

  7. dearieme says:

    Question. How about brain mass? Is there much variation in brain density?

    Second question. It’s well known that women have a smaller standard deviation in IQ than men. Do they have a smaller standard deviation in brain volume?

  8. Omar says:

    Of course it is a pity that certain facts are censored when they are considered “hateful”. But facts are never considered in isolation. When facts emerge, we fit them in existing frameworks, utilize them to them to support arguments we favor. If they don’t fit, we consider them not only useless but even possibly destructive. So when facts are censored by one group, it is far too simplistic to just conclude that it is because that group is anti-intellectual or too ideological or allergic to facts while proponents of those particular facts are vanguards of science or empiricism. Show me a group that is complaining about a particular fact being suppressed and I will give you an example of another fact that they would prefer not being publicized. This is not to say there is no value to facts that have been empirically established.

    • Sideways says:

      “. Show me a group that is complaining about a particular fact being suppressed and I will give you an example of another fact that they would prefer not being publicized”

      People here. Go to it.

    • ziel says:

      “Show me a group that is complaining about a particular fact being suppressed and I will give you an example of another fact that they would prefer not being publicized.”

      Well sure there are the global-warming-skeptic types. But these are usually libertarian types, among whom Cochran’s hate facts would be most unwelcome (because it conflicts with the necessary assumption among libertarians that everyone is capable of productive and responsible lives as long as government stays out of the way).

      I’d be interested in some examples of where you’ve found that proponents of “hate facts” are seeking to suppress other facts or are denying reality.

      • 420blazeitfgt says:

        “I’d be interested in some examples of where you’ve found that proponents of “hate facts” are seeking to suppress other facts or are denying reality.”

        there are hate facts to do with sex differences (being innate or not) that are pushed by men, but i’ve seen them also push the ideas that men and women are equally violent and abusive, that paternal care is equally important as maternal care, or that being raised by single mothers has bad outcomes.

      • ziel says:

        “but i’ve seen them also push the ideas that men and women are equally violent and abusive, that paternal care is equally important as maternal care, or that being raised by single mothers has bad outcomes.”

        Aside from your last point, I don’t see those ideas promoted here or related blogs. I know those views exist, but haven’t seen them given much bandwidth on HBD sites.

        As to your last point, single motherhood is obviously highly correlated with bad outcomes. Whether these bad outcomes are due to the father’s absence per se or the result of the bad genes that typically get passed on in such relationships is a tough nut to crack.

      • 420blazeitfgt says:

        “Aside from your last point, I don’t see those ideas promoted here or related blogs. I know those views exist, but haven’t seen them given much bandwidth on HBD sites.”

        I’ve seen them on places that cross evo psych/hbd with men’s rights.

        “Whether these bad outcomes are due to the father’s absence per se or the result of the bad genes that typically get passed on in such relationships is a tough nut to crack.”


      • Rex May says:

        FWIW, I’m one of what I fear is a minority of libertarians on this issue. I don’t believe for one second that everyone is so capable.

  9. reiner Tor says:

    Science has already disproved these hateful “facts”, everybody knows race and gender are both just social constructs. Your racism and sexism just show you the bigoted moron you are. Now everybody go back minding your own business, there’s nothing to see here.

    • cynic says:

      LOL. Thanks for making his point. Now would you mind divulging whether you’re a troll or a run-of-the-mill hate-filled bigot?

  10. teageegeepea says:

    I thought Unz was the owner and couldn’t be kicked off.

  11. dave chamberlin says:

    The other day I turned on CNN to watch the reporting on the chaos in Egypt. The reporter was standing inside a metal container peeking out a 6 inch wide opening and trying to inform the TV public just what was going on out there. She of course had absolutely no clue, she was after all hiding in what appeared to be a dumpster. Investigative journalism at its finest.

  12. Greying Wanderer says:

    “Blacks in the US have very high crime rates, and there is a very high correlation between the local crime rate and the local black percentage…Someone I know at TAC opined that everyone knows this stuff, and talking about it is just mean.”

    If part of this is genetic and heritable and if the underclass environment has been *selecting* for the traits that cause the high crime rate then not talking about it verges on accessory to murder imo.

  13. Your figures are beyond way off. I suspect a typo on your part. Rushton and Ankeny’s paper (p. 18 of reports adult brain size as 1362 cc, 1378 cc and 1392 cc for blacks, whites and Asians respectively.

  14. Rushton et al. were reporting brain size for African-American blacks. Perhaps the difference between your number for Africans and his for blacks reflects the sizeable degree of white genetic background of African-Americans.

    • P says:

      Rushton’s figures are from a sample of US Army personnel, i.e., people screened for IQ. Cochran’s figures are from an analysis by Beals et al. of 20,000 skulls from around the world.

    • alcestiseshtemoa says:

      According to some sources, African-Americans are on average and in general 20-25% white. I would say that this is correct because from personal experience African-Americans look quite blackish in their facial/body features (it’s not highly Caucasoid), skin colour and behaviour. It’s not mulatto (1/2 white), quadroon (3/4 white) and octoroon (7/8 white) level of admixture unfortunately.

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  16. Gottlieb says:

    In my country, people say the government wants to” keep the population uneducated and alienated” in order to rule them more easily.
    To understand what is happening in the West today, you should read 1984, the famous novel by George Orwell, we understand why the powerful are implementing these policies extremely disgenics and I would say more, for the genocidal population itself.
    They discovered how to perpetuate itself in power to” always”. Through systematic dumbing down of the population. I believe that people of average IQ may have some elasticity in their cognitive abilities. Just realize that the average American joey 50s was much more dignified and elegant behaviorally than the average joey even 30 years later.
    Besides numbs them, the rulers also aim to eliminate competition, ie, intelligent people, and in this case, they should encourage divisions within society as feminism, political parties and different political ideologies and individualistic behavior, drying the fertility of the population mid-high iq and pushing racial mixing.
    The elites are then eliminating (believing) future rebellions of poor and middle classes and reign supreme as Gods. I believe that many of this elite are extremely intelligent.

    • Ilya says:

      @ Gottlieb: I agree 100%! In fact, it’s something I wanted to put on WestHunter as well. You see, all this talk and whining of slow-but-sure genetic dumbing of general populace, is just that: talk.
      The rulers, however, need not be intelligent themselves, actually. They need to be reasonably smart, mostly to be able to keep power. There is always going to be a need for truly intelligent people to keep the system running, but most other people can just as well be almost as dumb as monkeys. In fact, the latter is preferable.

      • Ilya says:

        And just to add, this is where religion comes in to counteract those things. The only true reactionary religion is Orthodox Judaism, and, as a secular Jew, I’m seriously contemplating joining the Orthodox branch.
        (I’m not necessarily promoting it to the vast masses, btw.)

      • Gottlieb says:

        our society is quite materialistic and capitalist and Western hybrid elite simply apply the logic of the market, eliminating the competition.
        It is not good for them to have a huge population, especially if it is composed of segments of the Caucasian race, in which we see a balance of intelligence and psychopathic personality. ( Notice, they want to eliminate especially people who look like them, through ideological pollution or pursuit of ultra individual behaviors).
        In other words, people like us, or we join them or we will become their biggest enemies.
        Here in my country, in fact, the society is entering a slow but steady disintegration as its administrative functional capacity , precisely because the tenuous balance between a small and technically smart elite and a great mass of stupid people broke.
        In this case I see the middle class as a fundamental and essential to the functionality of any society.
        All societies composed of an elite psychopathologically smart (pre-Columbian civilizations, Egypt …) succumbed to demographic tide.
        And selfishness can only explain their fall, more than any other.
        We know that people who seek for power has a greater tendency to narcissism. Oh, how wonderful it would be a world of stupid people who praise their ‘white gods’ without rebelling?
        I admit, it’s tempting.
        I live in the country where they want to transform the world and I tell them, is quite unpleasant and very little functional for now.
        Because in a few years, it will become a living hell here.
        These people do not read history books?
        I find amusing because they managed to completely tame white people, however, have concluded that they must eliminate them now.
        This is very strange and foolish. If I were the president of their sect, would never consider eliminating the precious white, after all, and smart and creative, they are now fully domesticated. Nor need lies brainwashed into it.
        These elite people are stupid, because they realized that the world praises only one person (abstract, that is).
        You want to dominate everyone?
        They do good and only good will and canonized in life.
        Be THE God.

      • Ilya says:

        @ Gottlieb: what you are saying is interesting. You are saying that society in your country is disintegrating. Which country is that?
        I don’t think that ever in history of humanity there was a period where just a few percent of population can feed, clothe, and house the remaining ones. The emergence of mass scale technologies, and their application not only to production of food, goods, weapons, etc., but also, as a by-product of same thinking, to humans themselves, e.g. the emergence of “social institutions” like welfare/re-distribution on such a wide scale — these are completely novel phenomena. Just read Robin Hanson’s blog and books like “Farewell to Alms,” Crone’s “Pre-industrial societies” and Schumpeter to entertain yourself with illustrations of the richness of this evolution.
        Again, I pretty much agree that the traditional logic of homo-economicus, as applied on wide scale, in the context of *post-industrial economy*, leads to disgenic results via fertility deflation among members of homo-economicus themselves. My question at this point whether developed societies are going towards some kind of steady state situation: a certain (possibly, extremely high) amount of homo-degeneratus, a moderate amount of homo-policianus, a small amount of homo-economicus/elitus and a tiny amount (probably, a sub-population of homo-economicus) of homo-westhunterus. Likely, homo-policianus (i.e. the cops), will be themselves a sub-population of homo-economicus, too.
        Surely, the steady-state will be supported by two things: 1) necessity and 2) ideology/religion. Necessity is simple to understand: you need a certain number of people that, say, run nuclear reactors and server farms. Ideology is something abstract, something appealing to sentiments (e.g. “you must reproduce to spread towards the heavens” or “thou shall please Gregory Cochran and thy future is assured”). “Castles in the sky” for society, in other words, but *normative* in its expression.
        If the homo-economicus support mostly comes from #1, necessity, then this steady state is very fragile. Because if some kind of global cataclysm happens, and suddenly there is a need to re-deploy and restore, little (if at all) human talent redundancy is available, and society can degenerate to either consist of entirely homo-degeneratus or be extinguished altogether (they’re similar scenarios to yours truly).
        If, on the other hand, some kind of idealism plays a role — now, the steady state has bigger space of possibilities for the ratios between homo-degeneratus and homo-economicus and its various sub-groups. This leads to less fragile situation in the context of survival after a catastrophe (and even a higher likelihood of preventing some altogether!)

    • gcochran9 says:

      I don’t think your view has much to do with reality, but I can say that of so many people…

      • Gottlieb says:

        I live in a complicated country in South America (I think we all are, LOL), but mine is worse because it brings together several features that simply do not match. The place where I live strides to become an extension of the mainland side, as in the geological past.

        Yes, I think the explanation for the decay of most ancient civilizations is the behavior of the elite, from the moment that their societies increased population. It’s like the theory of Malthus, while the availability of smart people decreases with increasing overall wealth of the nation increases the dependent population (mostly stupid). We are waiting for a super population but stupid super population, dependent on technology and the culture of the intelligent minority.
        And after that?
        Transform ourselves into a large modern Egypt?

        I think that ideology is important for us to feel like humans and not like animals. The human soul needs ideas and ideals, but we become by natural selection, like other animals, psychopaths.
        If humans evolved to question their own existence, so it was necessary to establish a culture of criticism that could feed your sense of loneliness.

        I do not think the increase in population results in degeneration simply, but in a higher variability of phenotypes and new combinations of phenotypes that can be fished and selected. The more variable (up to a certain limit) is a population, it is more adaptable.
        I think the term degeneration, must be strictly respected, because the new behaviors of human beings, many of them, the most intelligent, not a form of degeneration, but socio-cultural experimentation that must be studied.
        I think to increase the intelligence, we must establish a new culture that values​​, because this our modern culture simply does not value intelligence as it should be.
        The change of sexual selection occurs by changing the culture. Should portray certain phenotypes of creative and intelligent people to make them more attractive to the market of marriage, give great support to women who pursue academic careers and encourage poorer people, for valid economic, social and humanistic (environmental also) reasons to have fewer children, according to domestic robots begin to replace them. Human evolution must continue.
        We have before finding all phenotypes cognitive styles that ensure the equilibrium of society, therefore, we must look not only people of high IQ, but also those with all forms of intelligence and select them.
        I believe that we will walk to a society divided by caste as Indians, if such measures are taken.

        But I think we are more or less divided into castes. All human societies are divided by caste, only the Indians who were honest in conceptualizing them explicitly.

  17. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:
  18. JayMan says:

    There are facts that were once known, sometimes generally known, that are now known to but a few. Some of this information loss is caused by changes in occupational patterns – farmers automatically know something about heritability, clerks and workers in dark satanic mills, not so much.

    Also on that, HBD Chick mentioned this a few times, and a while back I showed her a news story which demonstrates this:

    Big Farm, Big Family, Healthy Kids – ABC News

    Check out the video at the bottom of the link. Notice the answer the farmer whips right out to the reporter’s question about his “secret” (around 0:32).

  19. Obumbrata et Velata says:

    Graduate students in anthropology generally don’t know those facts about average brain volume in different populations.

    It’s good to keep things like that quiet, because the unenlightened might think that differences in brain volume, structure, chemistry etc could have some bearing on psychology and psychometrics. In chimpanzees or fruitbats or tripod-fish, yes, clearly such differences do matter. But not in humans. We’re a post-genetic, post-biological, post-material species. Ideas and willpower determine what happens to humans, not “chemicals”. So suppressing “facts” about the human brain is all to the good:

    Indeed, Plato was the first recorded thinker to formulate a rationale for intellectual, religious, and artistic censorship. In his ideal state outlined in The Republic, official censors would prohibit mothers and nurses from relating tales deemed bad or evil. Plato also proposed that unorthodox notions about God or the hereafter be treated as crimes and that formal procedures be established to suppress heresy…

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  21. goodspeed says:

    What do you guys make of this:

    Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function
    “The poor often behave in less capable ways, which can further perpetuate poverty. We hypothesize that poverty directly impedes cognitive function and present two studies that test this hypothesis. First, we experimentally induced thoughts about finances and found that this reduces cognitive performance among poor but not in well-off participants. Second, we examined the cognitive function of farmers over the planting cycle. We found that the same farmer shows diminished cognitive performance before harvest, when poor, as compared with after harvest, when rich. This cannot be explained by differences in time available, nutrition, or work effort. Nor can it be explained with stress: Although farmers do show more stress before harvest, that does not account for diminished cognitive performance. Instead, it appears that poverty itself reduces cognitive capacity. We suggest that this is because poverty-related concerns consume mental resources, leaving less for other tasks. These data provide a previously unexamined perspective and help explain a spectrum of behaviors among the poor. We discuss some implications for poverty policy. ”

    Seems pretty interesting, no? Maybe some of the IQ differences can be explained by poverty.

    • I can’t access this paper so I can’t comment on it specifically. However many papers of this type (social science paper claiming to verify some semi-plausible sounding hypothesis) have proven to be mistaken (or worse). There is a lot of pressure on academics to publish and apparently little effective quality control in the social sciences so a lot of nonsense gets published. So I wouldn’t give a lot of weight to a result based on a single paper.

      See here for an account of how a social scientist published many outright fraudulent papers over many years.

    • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

      Maybe some of the IQ differences can be explained by poverty.

      More likely that most of the poverty can be explained by IQ differences.

    • JayMan says:

      I already had something to say to it. It’s pretty much feel-good rubbish.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now I’m going to have to get a copy of this paper, read the damn thing, and figure out what’s wrong with it (98% chance it’s bullshit).

      Thanks a lot.

    • Gottlieb says:

      This research is crap, it is obvious that when you have people with emotional problems, they will do poorly on cognitive tests.
      That’s the basics of psychology.
      It is not poverty that makes people poor, since it is a conceptual abstraction, without matter is something that is part of human thought.
      Are only humans who can do something and those who are poor generally do poorly, according to the mechanistic demands imposed by modern society.
      It is sad to note that the pseudo science Lamarckian has spread to other knowledge centers.
      Any professional in the field of psychiatry, know that it is necessary that the patient is in good psychological condition to perform correctly a battery of cognitive tests.

  22. Anon says:

    More stating facts and less right-wing political nuttery.

    Thank you,

    -Devoted Reader

    • gcochran9 says:

      Probably you need to be more specific.

      • vijay says:

        More precisely, american conservative Vs. Ron Unz means nothing to most people especially outside the US. We are looking for a plain statement of scientific facts and proposals (conjectures?), and do not really understand or care about the right and left, as pertaining to the US politics.

      • md says:

        Well then, you are free to leave. Because C&H live in the USA and thus “care about the right and left, as pertaining to the US politics.” And it just happened to be their blog.

  23. Pingback: Elites and spending time doing other stuff instead of understanding | Simone Vincenzi

  24. Candide III says:

    > There are facts that were once known, sometimes generally known, that are now known to but a few.
    One such thing is knowledge about the mechanics of sex. When there are lots of farm animals around and new siblings pop out every other year, there is little chance to remain ignorant.

  25. To go back to the beginning, the problem with speakable and unspeakable facts is not just the paucity of the latter, but their absence when a particular speakable fact is used to justify a particular social policy. For example, the higher arrest rate for young black men is used as sole proof of police bias, because the coupled fact of higher involvement in crime by young black men is considered unspeakable. Equally, poverty reducing life chances is OK, whereas low intelligence reducing learning ability leading to poverty cannot be mentioned. It is the inadmissibility of immediate counterfactuals which causes so much damage to evidence based debate.

  26. Pingback: The American Conservative Going Out of Business? | Occam's Razor

  27. albatross says:

    I might have assumed that the biological basis of race and racial differences in crime rate were well-enough known that they were in the set of “things all reasonably informed adults know, but don’t say out loud for politeness reasons.” But I have encountered communities of educated, smart people who clearly didn’t know or believe these things, and who were willing to swallow them only reluctantly if at all, after being pointed at a lot of evidence.

  28. Lucky White Male says:

    Great post

  29. Pingback: Unz Update | Handle's Haus

  30. feministx says:

    Regarding this-

    “verage cranial capacity in Europeans is about 1362; 1380 in Asians, 1276 in Africans. It’s about 1270 in New Guinea. Generally there is a trend with latitude – brain volume is lowest near the equator. ”

    Aren’t New Guineans much smaller than blacks and whites? Many of them are pygmies, so is the figure for brain volume counting pygmies? I thought that brain volume to body weight ratio was what correlated with IQ, not brain volume itself. Not so?

    • gcochran9 says:

      People in PNG are not particularly short. I doubt if the ratio of brain weight to body weight is the best measure: if it were, obese people would all be stupid.

      • feministx says:

        “I doubt if the ratio of brain weight to body weight is the best measure: if it were, obese people would all be stupid.”

        Certainly in practice, brain to body weight does not produce the best possible predictive model of intelligence due to the obesity epidemic, but ordinarily across animal species, isn’t intelligence seemingly dependent on the encephalization quotient rather than overall brain mass? I would think that among humans, if we all ate as many calories as we expended each day and were at our ideal weights, encephalization quotient would correlate better with IQ rather than just pure brain mass. As it stands, I don’t think there are huge differences in body size for blacks, whites and asians if they are equally nourished, so brain mass is a meaningful enough benchmark.

        However, I am a bit disturbed that you merely *doubt* my statement. Can it be that in 2013, the study of brain mass to body mass is so ill developed that someone like you doesn’t even have a clear answer on something so basic? Whether overall brain mass or brian to body mass ratio is a better measure of cranial capacity is something that the field of anthropology should have determined 60 years ago.

        • gcochran9 says:

          Looking at a wide range of species, people have argued that the best measure of encephalization ought to be brain volume divided by the-thirds power of body mass. The reasoning is that brain activity is mostly processing sensory inputs and sending out motor commands, both kinda-sorta proportional to surface area, and thus to the two-thirds power of body mass. This has to work less well as a higher fraction of brain activity is devoted to Weltschmerz and schadenfreude rather than straightforwards sensory processing.

          I am not aware of any survey that tries to determine if considering body weight tells you anything more than looking at brain volume alone. There have been some that looked at the relative influence of different brain regions on IQ.

          Probably normalizing brain volume by body weight is just a mistake.

      • Nero Wolfe says:

        The brain can be hoodwinked but not the stomach.

      • feministx says:

        “I am not aware of any survey that tries to determine if considering body weight tells you anything more than looking at brain volume alone. There have been some that looked at the relative influence of different brain regions on IQ.”

        Ok, maybe there was never a study (though I think it is worth looking into). For gender according to this thread-

        Normal Male: 1354.338 ± 111.556
        Normal Female: 1215.653 ± 105.602

        The difference between male and female brain size is more than 1 standard deviation. However, this does not correspond well with the observed IQ difference between males and females, which I think has never been credibly estimated as more than 8 points. Certainly, there are a lot of structural differences between male and female brains, so pure size difference doesn’t necessarily mean anything regarding the intelligence difference between the two sexes.

        Still, if you create an average brain to body mass ratio for the brain mass difference between men and women, men have a slightly higher ratio, which would seem to correspond better with what is observed in the IQ difference between men and women- that men have an advantage of a few points.

        “Probably normalizing brain volume by body weight is just a mistake.”

        Why is it probably a mistake?

      • Douglas Knight says:

        (1) Empirically, what’s better, 2/3 or 3/4? I’ve seen people make both claims, though none who admit the existence of people who disagree with them.

        (2) If you do need sensory nerves to scale like surface area, it’s easy to imagine that all the nerves aggregating that data lead to a higher exponent.

        (3) It makes no sense that output muscular control should scale like surface area. I have about the same number of joints as a mouse. Can I control the angle of my elbow more precisely than a mouse can? Can I pick up an object as small as a mouse can? I doubt it. So I see no need for more control nerves than the mouse. Maybe I have more muscle cells. How does that number scale? I don’t know, but that suggests volume, not surface area. But such fanning out is probably done outside the brain. In any event, we know an exponent of 1 is too big.

        (4) Input nerves scaling like surface area is more plausible than output nerves, but still doesn’t make sense to me. Is my resolution of where a pin pricks me as fine as a mouse’s? I doubt it, but I don’t know. Again, fanning the data could be done outside the brain.

  31. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda says:

    >> as a secular Jew, I’m seriously contemplating joining the Orthodox branch

    the homeland of ethnic-Hebrews is Israel. Moses led us there; we are under written instructions to live there; we belong there. Living in the Exile amongst the nations will ruin your mind.

    There is the place called Tarzana, California. Large concentration of transient Israeli-Americans. Silicon Valley also has a ton of restaurants whose menus are IN HEBREW.

    These folks ===seldom=== socialize with non-Hebrew-speaking Jews. Why should they – American Jews are clowns and trouble-makers!!

    The WN’s are correct about this.

  32. says:

    feministx – Do you mean “intelligence” instead of “cranial capacity”? The best measure of cranial capacity is cranial capacity. Wikipedia says that some pygmies exist in the interior mountains of New Guinea. Not much seems to be known about them but certainly they are a tiny percentage of the population of New Guinea. I doubt that Beal’s skull sample contained any skulls from these people. It is not the case that “many” of the people of New Guinea are pygmies. You are perhaps thinking of the populations of Negritos found in a few places in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and the Andaman Islands. But these populations are all very small (in numbers as well as size).

    • feministx says:

      I mean intelligence not cranial capacity. I thought natives of PNG were small for some reason- probably because all the people I see on documentaries of PNG are the little ones.

  33. Rex May says:

    Wonderfully frank. I’ve taken the liberty of reblogging it and riffing on it here:

  34. Robin Munn says:

    While biological differences may be significant, I suggest that culture is far more important (orders of magnitude more important). If I were hiring people to do a job requiring careful attention to detail, and had two candidates equal in all other ways (race, physical strength, age, whatever), I would far rather hire a guy with a 90 IQ who grew up in a farming culture where “everybody needs to pitch in and work” was the norm, rhan a guy with a 110 IQ who grew up in an inner city where he learned to get by on government handouts. The former might make more mistakes than the latter, but the latter would require constant supervision to make sure he was actually working, whereas I could trust the former to just do his job.

    Likewise, compare and contrast a person who immigrated to the US from a poverty-stricken country, with someone of the same race who grew up in an American inner city. I’d hire the first guy over the second in a heartbeat.

    • Robin Munn says:

      I don’t know I managed to compress “rather than” down into “rhan” in my comment above. That’s a pretty large typo. Since there’s no edit button, consider this my edit.

    • infovore says:

      You sound like a clueless idiot, spitballing “what if”s when presented with hard data when you’re afraid of the conclusion.

      • Robin Munn says:

        If you’ve somehow gotten the impression that I’m afraid of the conclusion that there’s brain size difference between ethnicities (“race” is the wrong word for the concept, as it paints with far too broad and undiscriminating a brush), then I clearly failed to make myself clear. Of course there are differences in average brain size between different ethnicities; there are differences in just about everything else. I’m not sure what the relation of brain size to IQ is, but let’s postulate for the sake of argument that it’s a straightforward one where larger average brain size = higher average IQ. That’s the starting point I was assuming when I laid out my hypothetical about hiring two different people, with different IQs, from different cultures. I would far prefer to hire the one from the “work hard to get ahead” culture than the one from the “laze around as much as possible” culture, even granting the second guy a 20-point IQ difference.

        Finally, a word of advice. Lay off the ad hominems; they’re not good for your reasoning faculty. In this particular case, for example, you managed to completely misread the comment you were responding to. Afraid of the conclusion? When the foundational assumption of my hypothetical was a 20-point IQ difference? I’d sure like to see how you get “afraid of the conclusion” from that.

      • feministx says:


        I think you are extrapolating the mind set of average people in the inner cities to everyone in the inner city. That’s why you would say that a person from a hard working background with IQ 90 would be better than someone with IQ 110 from the inner city.

        But I don’t think so. I have seen people on the higher end of the intelligence spectrum from the inner city, and they can be hard workers. They don’t act like the average person from the inner city and they get out of the ghetto in their adult lives. My experience is that black people with IQ 110 from the projects who actually bother to try and earn their own keep and want to move out of the projects work as well as other IQ 110 black people who grew up in more upper class environments.

      • albatross says:

        I suspect some jobs are almost impossible without the requisite intelligence. Good intentions and hard work are great, but if you want to break the other guy’s codes or make a jet engine work for the first time or develop a new HIV drug, the hardest working guy in the world with an IQ of 85 is probably a lot less valuable to you than the lazy pain in the ass guy with an IQ of 150.

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  36. Pauli says:

    The Unz piece on blacks and crime was way too long. So it is possible that the editor rejected it on length rather than content.

  37. Snippet says:

    There’s a hand-wringing piece in today’s (9/6) Minneapolis Star Tribune about how the police have not quite been sufficiently warning folks of certain dangers associated with being downtown at night (two people have been killed in robberies lately), with unconvincing explanations about the “balancing act” between “sowing fear” and “protecting the public” that police have to be cognizant of … blah blah yadda yadda. Three guesses why accurate information about these events has been not forthcoming.

  38. says:

    Robin Munn – Orders of magnitude – ie at least a hundred times greater? Don’t be absurd. Maybe culture and genetics are of roughly equal importance.

    • Robin Munn says:

      Okay, an order of magnitude — 100x may be pushing it, but 10x is not exaggerating. Have you ever experienced the difference in culture between an African immigrant and someone who grew up in the American inner city? I had a roommate from Chad for about a year and a half, and a more hardworking, nose-to-the-grindstone guy I have never met. Whereas the worst roommate I ever had was a guy with a victimhood complex who wouldn’t accept any responsibility for anything that happened to him. He lost his job? His boss hated him, it wasn’t his fault. He couldn’t find another job? Nobody was willing to give a guy a break. I believed him for a while, but pretty soon I started to notice his victimhood complex.

      Guess which guy I trusted with a HUGE loan (which he has almost finished repaying, thus demonstrating that I was right to trust him), and which guy I wouldn’t have trusted with a loan or $20?

      P.S. In re-reading this, I realized I may have given a mistaken impression. The roommate with the victimhood complex was not from the inner city. He was from an affluent middle-class family, and his parents did NOT have the same victimhood complex he did; he was an outlier from his own culture. So perhaps I should rephrase my point a little: the hardware of the brain doesn’t matter nearly as much as the software, the ideas and worldview one carries around in one’s head. That, more than anything else, is the best predictor of whether someone will succeed or fail: whether their parents, their culture, their schooling, etc. taught them “the best way to get ahead is to work hard” or whether their world view is “sit around and eventually your ship will come in.” The former will succeed, the latter will not.

  39. herbork says:

    Thank you. Courageous and, of course, on the money. All these various degrees and shades of “unspeakable facts,” to me, foreshadow something so monstrous that most people flinch from it. This following will chill even your soul, sir.

  40. Jim says:

    Robin – I believe the correlation cefficent between brain size and IQ is about .4.

  41. panjoomby says:

    @ Dr. Robin Munn: there is much research on the predictive power of “g” — high scores predict successful outcomes (no matter what group/subculture one is from — a low score on a “g” laden test predicts poor performance on educational/job performance criteria – no matter if the person is black or white, rich or poor, etc.) the ASVAB predicts well who is most likely to graduate from a difficult school in the military (say, lab school). Our compassionate hearts wish that the fine young hard working sailors who finally got into lab school (with low-ish ASVAB scores) but showed pluck & dedication in getting there & being allowed to go for it would then go on to win the big game & graduate — BUT, such hard working low-scoring sailors graduate at much lower rates than high scoring (yet lazy middle class majority group) types who didn’t have to spend years in the fleet to get there. Biology is brutal & rude. Biology is stronger than culture. culture is merely the onion skin on biology. a few low scoring people might get thru this lab school, but are not given the chance b/c: finite world with limited resources – so cutoffs must be used. the tests are not the ogres our compassionate hearts think them to be (but merely reflect reality). the military has plenty of research: those with high “g” have better outcomes than hard working lower “g” sailors. hunter & schmidt & colleagues have done much excellent research in “g” predicting work success. these tests are excellent predictors, despite most folks having a wistful anecdotal reference to the contrary. “g” even correlates with motivation, hard work, etc. tho think in terms of the scatterplot: there will be some lazy high-g types & some extremely hard working low-g types, allowing for our happy “i know a smart one” or “hard working” one references. but, the power of “g” to predict is overwhelming when looking at data on lots of people at once.

  42. erica says:

    Robert Munn: “While biological differences may be significant, I suggest that culture is far more important (orders of magnitude more important).”

    Does it not occur to you that cognitive capabilities/traits along with physical ones create culture? The culture created by the bright doesn’t look at all like the culture created by the dull.

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  44. Phil McKann says:

    “A generation that has grown up never hearing those facts will be almost entirely unaware of them…” is a very salient point. To wit the recurring stories of culturally-ignorant white women thinking they can pop off to blacks with impunity, as they might with their beta-male fathers and boyfriends. They think blacks are cool like Will Smith, and that results in unfavorable situations. It is tantamount to willfully engaging in a bear encounter with the believe that bears are like Yogi Bear.

    A woman in Arizona yells out the window at two female blacks in front of her at the McDonald’s drive through that littered. Result: ass kicking.
    A female reporter at an intersection in Richmond yells out the window at a stream of black youths who continue to cross after her light turns green. Result: ass kicking..
    Woman in Pittsburgh has bottle thrown at her car by group of black females, confronts them. Result: ass kicking.

  45. What I’ve found is this. Those who like to state ‘uncomfortable’ facts, or rather claims thereof, are typically very selective in the data they point to and the data they ignore. I’ve met few people who are equal opportunity truth-seekers and truth-speakers. The hardest ‘uncomfortable’ facts to face are those that are personally uncomfortable. Pointing out facts uncomfortable to others is the easy part.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Pretty much bullshit. There are certain facts that the powers that be don’t like to hear: that’s only one such set, because there’s only one set of rulers. Talking about those gets you fired, ruins your career, etc. At the margin, it only causes people to surround you and harangue you, Cultural-Revolution style.

      • That is a rather defensive response. Did I touch a nerve? I didn’t even point fingers and yet you assumed I was pointing fingers at you.

        There are many powers with competing narratives and competing sets of data. In a capitalist society, if you point out the failures and problems of capitalism, do you think you likely won’t be fired, have your career ruined, etc? There are politicians, left and right, with power. There are academics and capitalists with power. Those with power, no matter their agenda, tend to act to maintain their power. Nothing new to that insight.

        There are many people with their own truths or assertions of truth who think of themselves as challenging various powers that be and various status quos. It’s truths against truths. But whose truths are most true? Maybe many different people have pieces of the puzzle and too often mistakenly think they have the whole puzzle.

        This type of thing is normal human behavior. We tend to see what we want to see and not see what we don’t want to see. And we tend to feel in conflict with those who see differently.

      • Calm down. There is nothing to get all excited about. i was just talking about how difficult it is to be genuinely intellectually humble along with being honest and self-aware. If you’re not into that kind of thing, that is fine. Each to their own.

      • reiner Tor says:

        @Benjamin David Steele: Could you provide us a list of people who lost there jobs for stating something uncomfortable about capitalism over the past – say – two years? I woulda’ thunk it’s mostly the opinions that are verboten across the political spectrum that could get you in trouble, and that would just be one set of opinions.

      • @reinter Tor: Don’t make stupid requests unless you want to appear stupid. If you want to find people pointing out uncomfortable truths, they are easy to find. If you don’t want to find them, even having someone point them out to you won’t help you. It isn’t just about capitalism. I just used that as an example. Take your pick about anything and you’ll find some people who don’t want to have pointed out particular problems and failures. It is just normal human behavior. Anyone who thinks they are immune to it are lying to themselves.

      • @Benjamin David Steele:

        You are unable to answer Reiners question.

        We all know the reason why: stating some uncomfortable truths get you fired. Others not. Exactly as Cochran said.

        It takes a certain kind of mind to desire to deny something so transparently obvious.

      • You and reiner are unable to respond to the point I was making. Why are you afraid to respond to that point? Is intellectual humility really that scary of a prospect? That seems strange to me. I’m all for equal opportunity criticism, but I realize not everyone is.

  46. reiner Tor says:

    @Benjamin David Steele: Your point was irrelevant. Of course everybody has blind spots, that’s not a deep insight. It doesn’t matter if I have a blind spot, and redzengenoist will confront me with those uncomfortable truths, or redzengenoist has blind spots, and you can confront him with it, etc.

    However, you failed to address that there is one set of uncomfortable truths which are uncomfortable to the powers that be, and this is a blind spot no-one is pointing out, or else anybody mentioning these uncomfortable truths loses their jobs.

    • My point was an extension of the point of the entire post. If you think my point is irrelevant, then what does that say about your post?

      • reiner Tor says:

        The original post (by Dr. Cochran) stated that there are truths which are largely lost in our society, and that stating these truths in public (or in private and then somehow leaked to the public) could cost you your job.

        Your point was irrelevant to that.

  47. Greying Wanderer says:

    “Robert Munn: “While biological differences may be significant, I suggest that culture is far more important (orders of magnitude more important).”

    What would happen if you had a neighborhood where the culture was for the 10% most violent males to form a big gang and thus create an environment where they could attack people and if that person of their family reported it to the police then the rest of the gang would seek retribution i.e. an environment where the people in that neighborhood stopped reporting those attacks to the police out of fear.

    Now say those attacks included gang-rapes of girls who wouldn’t go with one of the gang members voluntarily.

    Would you think that might lead to a situation where between them the gang-members – the most violent 10% of the males – might make up c. 15-20% of the baby-daddies?

    Would that environment become increasingly psycho – and would the culture become increasingly psycho also?

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  57. Just because there may be a difference in volume this does not equate to more intelligence. That was the purpose of the photo.

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