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.