Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are

I’m going to review Robert Plomin’s  new book,  Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are.  It’ll show up in Quillette . By the way, I should someday write a piece for them about how I am not a moderate left-winger who was eventually left behind by the Left getting ever crazier.  I would also not talk about how the New York Times used to be a great paper.  Was that when they called for McClellan to be made dictator, or when they informed Goddard of the “need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react against.” ?

Probably there will be a podcast. The GoFundMe link is here. You can also send money via Paypal (Use the donate button), or bitcoins to 1Jv4cu1wETM5Xs9unjKbDbCrRF2mrjWXr5.

In-kind donations, such as hefty lumps of ambergris and uncirculated 1909 S Vdb Wheat pennies,  are always appreciated.

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144 Responses to Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are

  1. Maciano says:

    I think it’s funny, how leftists tend to make up their own golden age. As if they weren’t always complete shit, and wrong about nearly everything.

    • Coagulopath says:

      I don’t agree. Sometimes leftists are right about stuff.

      Lots of people thought we should invade Iraq, but leftists probably less so than the others. Left-wingers are also right on climate change, although maybe that’s incidental. It’s like a porn fantasy for them. The world will be destroyed…and capitalism is to blame! Though maybe they’re souring n the fantasy now that the median polluter is no longer white.

      The real problem with leftists is that a lot of their motivations derive from Marxist ideas about conflict theory. Disagreement is war. You fight wars by any means necessary. Compromise and reasoned dialog are untrustworthy and should only be used on a tactical basis – otherwise you’re a traitor, a union scab, crossing the picket line and selling your soul to the bosses.

      This sort of thinking is a terrible approach in science.

      Richard Milner tried to defend SJ Gould over the skull-measuring thing, and eventually just threw up his hands and declared that it didn’t even matter, because Gould was “on the side of the angels”. Who cares about scientific malpractice? Gould was on Team Good. What else do you need to know?

      • Maciano says:

        “nearly”, so not everything.

        besides, re climate change, they might be right about the diagnosis. I doubt their solutions will be correct.

        same with Iraq: would leftists have opposed Obama invading Syria? Doubtful.

        I don’t think leftists were wrong about unionizing labour either. You get more of a fist that way. Later on, they took it too far, as always.

        • gkai says:

          Re. Climate change, it’s not only the solutions: they are right beyond reasonable doubt in a very limited sense: the CO2 we out back in the atmosphere will increase average temperature.
          But this is not very interesting: saying “it’s warming” does not really imply anything apart that it’s not cooling, thus we probably should not worry about incoming ice age in the short term.
          The more important questions: How much, what will be the temperature in 20, 50, 100y? And what will be the consequences? No satisfactory answers there, each lobby is firmly on it’s position trying to push their agenda, but any actual predictions that can be trusted? Nope, not really.
          Note that our guest has kept largely away from the climate change debate….Probably significant 😉

          • Toddy Cat says:

            Leftism is like Phrenology or Alchemy – it contains isolated nuggets of truth, but the overall theory and practice is false, although admittedly, phrenology didn’t kill 60-100 million people…

            • gkai says:

              Well when you have some scientific topics/theories tagged left or right, it’s very difficult keeping them “scientific”.
              Any time a science is deeply hijacked by some non-scientific worldview (religious/political/whatever), either because a huge majority of the practitioners share this worldview, or because the science topic is incorporated into the worldview official propaganda, it degenerates into a mess…

          • AppSocRes says:

            We don’t even know for sure where the additional Carbon in the atmosphere is coming from let alone the full impact of that Carbon on average temperature. We do not yet have a complete enough understanding of the Carbon Cycle to fully explain rises and falls in atmospheric Carbon levels. Neither do we have a good understanding of the feed back loops that might establish a correlation between average terrestrial temperature and levels of Carbon in the atmosphere. As an example, does increased atmospheric temperature lead to increased or decreased albedo as increased evaporation adds water vapor to the atmosphere? Asking that question in a room full of climatologists will be guaranteed to raise the local temperature by at least a few degrees. The bottom line is that many current climatologists – particularly the AGW crew – have eschewed the hard work of studying what’s going on for the more pleasurable enterprises of thinking up sets of equations and running endless versions of these on their computers.

        • Thiago Ribeiro says:

          “would leftists have opposed Obama invading Syria”
          To his credit, he did not tried that. Why Bush decided to invade Iraq? We still do not get a good answer.

          • Warren Notes says:

            My theory at the time W. Bush took office was that he intended to find a premise to eliminate Sadaam because of Hussein’s attempt to shoot down H.W. Bush’s plane when he flew to Kuwait to accept accolades for initiating and (1/4 or halfway) winning the Gulf War. Is that too hard to believe when W. Bush is the decider? Not for me. No one seems to remember this. Nor do they remember that – shortly before “Shock and Awe,” Sadaam publicly TRIED to give up – but W. Bush (or more probably Cheney) – decided that it was “too late.”

            • Thiago Ribeiro says:

              I remember the “trying to kill the other Bush” link. Maybe it was that. Seems a little crazy inventing a whole different case for invading Iraq, but it means it is very possible.

          • Obama invaded Libya for no apparent reason.

            • Thiago Ribeiro says:

              Maybe no apparent good reason, but there was a Civil War going on and there was a strong enough international. consesus to pass an anti-Gaddafi UN resolution. Compare and contrast with the case Bush tried to make for the Iraq War. Also, they were bery different interventions. With all the problems Obama may have caused, I am relieved another military quagmire was not one of them.

              • Cloveoil says:

                Gadaffi wasn’t perfect if you look at what he did to Berbers, but he was not an Islamist nor a radical Communist holdover or anything. Exactly as with the bursting of the Asian bubble to get shut of people like Mahathir Mohammed, the present Arab spring was set up to get shut of non-Western peoples seeking alternative modernities. They have Iran in their sights: its something to know ‘Islamist’ Iran has more evolution-based science in her school classrooms than does the US.

              • Thiago Ribeiro says:

                Maybe, but America had intervened against other regimes for much less. Whetherer getting rid of Gaddafi was a net gain or a net loss, at least there was a plausible humanitarian reason. Even Republicans are not clearly about what they want in Syria or Libya, etc. Letting the natives sort it out themselves (I can hear the crys of “leading from behing”). Helping the oppressive govwrnment with ties with America’s enemies? I can hear the hawks talking about how it jeorpadizes America’s interests. Helping the opposition with ties with Islamic terrorism?

                At least, in Libya, there were new developments the world community was reacting, right or wrong, to. It is still hard to understand what was wrong with Saddam in 2002 that was not wrong with him when Reagan or Bush I (particularly after Gulf War I), not to mention Clinton, were in charge. Going after Saddam and binding America to the resulting mess was a baffling decision and one I doubt any other American president would have taken.

              • biz says:

                ‘Islamist’ Iran has more evolution-based science in her school classrooms than does the US.

                Haha, reminds me of the San Francisco Human Rights Commissioner’s brag several years ago that Iran is better for transgenders than the US. In that they both are both
                a) stupid and irrelevant
                b) not actually true in any meaningful sense

              • Cloveoil says:

                @Biz,
                Do you not think the life sciences matter???

      • dearieme says:

        “Sometimes leftists are right about stuff.” The only outstanding example in my lifetime was that the US Left was right that the FBI was a profoundly corrupt organisation. (I was wrong: I had assumed that it was no more corrupt than many another police force.)

        The irony is that now that the corruption is wielded on behalf of the Left, the Left no longer complains about it.

        • gothamette says:

          The left was right about Vietnam, but for the wrong reasons.

          • dearieme says:

            I agree about 75%. I don’t think supporting the communist North Vietnamese government was right. Opposing the little folly of JFK and the huge amplification of it by LBJ was right – but as you imply the motives of the Left were probably vile.

            • gothamette says:

              I think we’re on the same page & I don’t believe in arguing about minutiae. The British resisted our pressure to get involved (where’s that poodle business?) because they wisely thought it a forfeit. That’s my only objection but it’s a big one.

              Not claiming any superior knowledge here but having known a few vets I decided to read up about it, and IMHO, Vietnam was perhaps on a sheer physical level the most difficult war that the US ever fought (w/the possible exception of the WW2 islands, including the Aleutians where my father served for a time) & most of the time our guys served admirably under horrible conditions. But it was from the start an unwinnable war.

              The worst of it was that good people found themselves by the relentless unforgiving chess of politics on the side of treasonous trash like Jane Fonda and Bill Ayers.

              • Bob says:

                “But it was from the start an unwinnable war.” No we in fact did win before the congress of 1975 decided to through that away.

                JEP:
                “We learned not to engage in land wars in Asia, but you would have thought we had learned that lesson previously. We had to make a deliberate exception in Viet Nam because it was critical to our grand strategy of containment; and we actually won that war, and got our land troops out, and defeated the next invasion from the North with air and naval support the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam. Saigon remained Saigon, South Viet Nam remained an ally – at least they thought so — and Communism remained contained. We didn’t have to occupy the North, it cost Russia funds they did not have to maintain the North, and ARVN with our naval and air support could have resisted invasions from the North forever and aye. That was containment, and the collapse of the Soviet Union would not have been delayed.

                The Democrats would have none if it; they controlled Congress, and when North Vietnam invaded the South with armored divisions again, the Democrats voted our “allies” 20 cartridges and two grenades per man – and no air support. Saigon accordingly became Ho Chi Minh city, and the world received another lesson about trusting liberal democracy when the going gets tough. So it goes.”

                https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/congress-cuts-military-aid-to-south-vietnam

              • Thiago Ribeiro says:

                Americans won. Unfortunately, neither the Vietcong nor its Soviet allies nor the South Vietnam regime were informed.

          • Warren Notes says:

            Cloveoil – I’m not speaking in support of the invasion here, but just for the record -you’re right, the Colonel wasn’t perfect. Bombing a disco in West Berlin is not perfection. Pan Am Flight 73 was a bit of a snotnose act as well. Did you see the Colonel’s speech at the U.N.? The man was bat shit crazy. As for Syria, Obama got carried away because he’s a dreamer and a Utopian thinker, and the latter trait characterizes the most dangerous people on earth. In his mind, the “Arab Spring” (an invented media term) was a cool thing, sort of like the students he used to teach sitting in an old rotted out tree on campus to keep the blue meanies from cutting it down. He didn’t take into consideration the brutality and determination of Assad and the witch’s brew of radicals and hat Russia has soldiers. So he just said – Assad has got to GO.

      • Jacob says:

        I don’t believe that they lie because they adhere to a pro-lying ideology. I believe they adhere to a pro-lying ideology because they like to lie.

      • moscanarius says:

        Conflict Theory explains a lot, but then there is plenty of it on Right too — and they don’t taste the same. Conflict-induced bigotry coming from the Left has this condescending, smug, hateful bitterness unlike the openly blatant disregard that comes from the Right.

        I think many of the Left’s most annoying mistakes come from the sort of people they have in their ranks. At least in my experience, the average Left-winger tends to be somewhat more intelligent and sensitive than the average right-winger — but crucially, not as smart or as sensitive as they believe themselves, and hopelessly uncultured. So they are like eternal teenagers, smugly deriding adults who (it should be obvious) know more than they do, falling for some stupid fad that for them is the coolest and newest thing ever, and throwing tantrums when reality doesn’t go as they had imagined.

    • Jim says:

      It seems to me that leftists back many decades ago, at least as I recall them, were a lot less crazy then they are now.

      • Thiago Ribeiro says:

        The Right has said it for years. Reagan called the Democrats communists in 1964. Recall what Republicans said about Roosevelt.

        • Toddy Cat says:

          Well, Roosevelt had plenty of Communists working for him, that’s a matter of public record. And by 1968, you had (some) democrats marching through the streets shouting “Ho, Ho, Ho-Chi-Minh!” so maybe Reagan was just a little ahead of his time.

          As for the Left occasionally being right, yeah, they are, because the Right, being composed of human beings, is sometimes wrong, and the Left reflexively opposes the Right. Sometimes astrologers come up with accurate predictions, too…

          • Thiago Ribeiro says:

            The point is that both Republicans and Democrats keep inventing a golden age when their adversaries actually agreed with them — and keep repeating the invectives their ideological forefathers were alrwdy overusing a fews decades ago.

    • biz says:

      What about child labor laws? Sunday closing laws? Laws against birth control (e.g. Griswold v Connecticut)?

      Weren’t leftists correct about those things?

      • Zimriel says:

        Child labour, yes.

      • dearieme says:

        Was it only leftists who supported “child labor laws”?

      • Toddy Cat says:

        Actually, no on at least one of those, and the jury is still out on two of them…

      • Jeffrey S. says:

        Grisworld v Connecticut is a terrible (i.e. no basis in the Constitution) Supreme Court decision. Whether or not individual states should allow married couples and/or single adults to purchase birth control is neither here nor there — either pass a law allowing them to do so or ban the purchase. Either would clearly be Constitutional — the so-called “right to privacy” does not exist in any common-sense reading of the document.

        • Jim says:

          The actual language of the Constitution or whatever were the intentions of the signers are now totally irrelevant. The judiciary is now for all practical purposes a quasi-legislative body.

        • biz says:

          Ok I was not asking about the SCOTUS ruling per se, but rather the idea that the government would ban birth control. It was generally the Left that was against that and I daresay they were correct in being against it.

          • Toddy Cat says:

            You may be right, but the jury is still out – let’s see if Western Peoples are still around 100 years from now.

      • Cloveoil says:

        At present kids can’t learn trade by setting up lemonade stalls, or do a paper round. This has to contribute to social problems because kids aren’t growing up normally. Should you look at the culture of late-twenties college brats who act and think like children its easy to identify the cause.

    • Maciano says:

      To be fair, this was a common sentiment in the foreign press at the time. I’ve inherited my grandfather’s old Winckler Prins encyclopedia and Hitler is mentioned there quite neutral. It says “German leader… leans heavily towards oratorical skills… currently anti-Semitic, though tamed by prison”, etc.

      My country, the Netherlands, pre-war, tended to be mildly pro-German. Never in a million years did most people anticipate the nazi barbarism to come.

      • dearieme says:

        “Never in a million years did most people anticipate the nazi barbarism to come.” Spot on. My father fought his way from Normandy to Germany: he did not realise the depths of the evil of the Nazi regime until he saw Belsen.

        This same phenomenon shows that the criticism of the appeasers is based almost entirely on hindsight. It was not unreasonable for them to have hoped that Hitler was just another Bismarck. Only when he invaded rump Czechoslovakia did it become clear he was another Napoleon. It took even longer before it was clear that he was much more wicked even than The Corsican.

        • Anonymous says:

          Damn, I still can’t get used to the idea that you perfide Albion warmongers think you were good guys during the Napoleonic wars.

          • dearieme says:

            Whether or not we were good (the Portuguese and Spanish probably thought so) there’s no doubt that The Corsican was an megalomaniac bastard who sent armies of young men from all over Europe to their deaths.

            • syonredux says:

              Napoleonic Wars (1803-15)
              NOTE: The era of almost continuous warfare that followed the overthrow of the French monarchy is traditionally split into three parts:
              The Revolution itself (including all internal conflicts)
              The Revolutionary Wars during which France fought international wars as a Republic
              The Napoleonic Wars, during which France fought international wars as an Empire.
              The numbers here generally refer only to the international wars of the Imperial period, but not always.
              The Napoleonic Empire, 2d ed (1991, 2003) Geoffrey Ellis (citing Esdaile)
              KIA, Died of Wounds + Camp Disease, France Proper: 1,400,000 during the period 1792-1815, incl. 916,000 [65%] under the Empire.
              Total war dead among all Eur. armies: 3 million during the Napoleonic/Revolutionary Era [65% or 1.95M under the Empire]
              Civilians: 1 million

              • Jim says:

                The Napoleonic Wars were a great stimulant to the development of the prosthetic limb industry in France.

        • Jim says:

          Once Germany was unified Bismarck’s foreign policy was quite risk averse. By the way Bismarck was opposed to the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine.

    • Coagulopath says:

      “Hitler Tamed By Prison… ”

      Thank God. Just imagine how bad he would have been if he hadn’t been tamed by prison.

  2. dearieme says:

    DNA: an offspring has had an analysis from one of those testing services. 70% British Isles; 20% French/German; 10% Scandinavian/general NW European.

    They have picked up my wife’s French descent. More surprisingly I learn that my father’s occasional remark “we are Vikings, you know” – which I had assumed was a tease – had perhaps a little bit of truth in it. I’m Vikingish, anyway. I must buy a bigger axe.

    • wontgetthtough says:

      “my wife’s”

      LOL. Several times i’ve thought you were pretty interesting for a woman. I’m going to assume the moniker led me astray.

      • Anon says:

        Who’s to say he’s not a lesbian, you bigot!

        • dearieme says:

          Who’s to say I’m not BLTPDQNBG?

        • wontgetthtough says:

          I was confident based on the details of the comment. The 10% Scandinavian offspring and the Vikings heritage implied that the father was probably dearieme and not some random sperm donor.

          It happens. Years ago, I met a group of Freepers at a bar and they had thought I was a woman based on the wrong one the two phrases in which my moniker could be interpreted.

          By the way, I was supposed to be “Won’t Get Through” b/c i was frustrated at not getting through moderation.

  3. Thiago Ribeiro says:

    “or when they informed Goddard of the ‘need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react against’?”.

    Yet, you neglect to mention that they published a correction in July,1969 ( https://www.nytimes.com/1976/03/16/archives/rocket-launching-50-years-ago-to-be-noted-at-ceremony-today-work-in.html ). They have spent more time being right than wrong about rockets and vacuum.

    • Toddy Cat says:

      Seeing as how that was the month and year that we landed on the Moon, I think that we can say the correction was issued none too soon.

      • Thiago Ribeiro says:

        “The Times finally ran a correction on July 17, 1969”.

        To be fair, they beat the Moon landing by three days.

  4. RCB says:

    Plomin is also the main author on a many-edition Behavioral Genetics textbook. Worth buying for those of us who need a reference on the methods and results in this field.

  5. gothamette says:

    ” I am not a moderate left-winger who was eventually left behind by the Left getting ever crazier.”
    Heh, me neither.
    ” I would also not talk about how the New York Times used to be a great paper.”
    I’ve hated the NY Times since I was 12.

  6. gothamette says:

    From the Amazon description: “A top behavioral geneticist makes the case that DNA inherited from our parents at the moment of conception can predict our psychological strengths and weaknesses.”

    I’m in 100% agreement with this, but our genes can’t affect the environment into which they are recklessly flung. Someone with a great deck can have inherited horrible circumstances.

    OT, but it seems Ron Unz has completely jumped the shark. His latest about Judaism is simply insane.

    • gkai says:

      [quote]but our genes can’t affect the environment into which they are recklessly flung. Someone with a great deck can have inherited horrible circumstances.[\quote]
      Can, but usually don’t. That’s probably the real reason why people oppose the heredetitarian view, it’s subtler but more annoying from a political view than the direct gene-phenotype link (even when phenotype includes behavior).

      • gothamette says:

        “usually don’t.”
        You must have lived a very sheltered life.

        • gcochran9 says:

          On average, American have led sheltered lives.

        • gkai says:

          Seems I need to be more explicit: Yes, I’ve had a sheltered life, more than the average joe (as a european, but it’s the same).
          And the reason for a sheltered life are
          1) my parents
          2) living in a better than average country. It’s better than average because of it’s current inhabitants, and the infrastructure/societal system built by past inhabitants, not because of local geography and certainly not because of the weather.

          1) is clearly linked to my genes. 2) less so, but linked too because of population gene clustering

          Bad luck can happen (it did, in my region, 100 and 70 years ago), but living a sheltered life is indeed correlated with your genome, in more ways than one.

          • gothamette says:

            Well, I didn’t live a sheltered life and I’ve seen what happens when Good People Grow Up In Bad Environments.

            We don’t necessarily end up in jail, but some of us might have gone to Yale, and didn’t.

            I believe that everyone has a finite amount of will power and it can get awfully sapped as you constantly swim upstream against a tide of unfavorable circumstance.

            And time – it takes time to learn languages, musical instruments, how to hit a baseball, dance ballet. If you really need that after-school job, you don’t have that time.

            I agree w/Plomin that Tiger-momming is useless and is probably their form of virtue signalling. And that most of our “poor” kids are in historic terms not poor, and have ample leisure time, and are simply spoiled brats.

            But there really are still people who have to struggle against tremendous odds and the “genes are all” folks should take that into account.

            • gothamette says:

              Wanna say some more about the importance of parenting. We live in a brutally competitive society and every little marginal advantage is important. Parents can’t magically confer special gifts on their lil darlings. But they can give them contact, tips and tricks, and so much of life is social sledding, and on very thin ice. There are numerous chances, inflection points in life which if you aren’t in the position to take, are lost. And the most talented person cannot keep pulling aces out of their sleeve as they age.

              If all that a good parent does is teach his kid to play their cards intelligently and to recognize the rules of the game, then that’s good parenting. And don’t tell me that smart kids know that, and if you fuck up your just a dummy anyway. I really don’t like to get personal on comment lines to win arguments but I’ll make an exception here. I screwed up numerous opportunities in my life because I wasn’t raised in a middle-class environment. Ironically, my mother was a huge believer in native intellect. Well, I believe I got my share. But if you don’t know how to deploy it in the real world, it’s worthless. Rant over.

              • gothamette says:

                “your” oops, “you’re”

              • gkai says:

                US is probably more competitive than western europe…But brutaly competitive? I don’t think so: Exceptions exists, but the obstacles to a middle class life in western society are not really high for the so-inclined with normal abilities. Middle class is not sexy, less and less so, but if you have reasonable intelligence, normal look, physical and social abilities, and most important: do not exhibit a very short time preference or high tendency to addiction, it would take quite a lot not to end up middle class. I mean quite a lot like child abuse in the legal sense. Time preference/impulsion control and no tendency to addiction (are they different?) really trumps everything else, certainly more than IQ that is overated imho (but correlated so it’s difficult to tell for sure).
                Now for reaching rich/highclass status, it’s different. Here non-genetic luck is probably more important, except if your are a worldlevel athlete or genius, or other marketable ability. Without being such an outlier, to become rich, parenting really has a role, mostly parenting as old fashioned wealth transmission 😉
                My feeling is that the impression of a brutally competitive world comes from the feeling that not ending in your dream position is a failure, even if you end up doing something that provides roughly the same type of life. That or an over-sensitivity to status.

              • Jim says:

                Status is what is important here. A person living on welfare in the US today has material things of all sorts completely unknown not so long ago. Their medical care is superior to that of the wealthy of a hundred years ago. But even so they are nobody.

                Technological advances have immensely raised the standard of living in countries like the US but such advances cannot do anything to raise the average status of people. Status is a good the supply of which unlike say shoes cannot be increased per capita.

              • gkai says:

                Indeed status is 0-sum, hence much more competitive than wealth…
                That’s why the more status sensitive you are, the more the world seems competitive. Especially when your are at the bottom I guess…
                But does it mean that status is less gene-driven, more susceptible to patenting influence, than wealth? I don’t think so, if anything I guess it is even less nurture…but it’s also difficult to measure…

      • sterling sorbet says:

        The amazing thing about genes is their ability to create and interpret their own environment.

  7. Martin L. says:

    Ron Unz has always been a Nazi; being of Semitic descent has no bearing on the matter. Some of the most brutal liquidation camp guards/officers were Kapos.

      • pop says:

        Unz’s transfermation was strange, but he’s never been “hard to pin down.”

        He was a fairly standard paleo-conservative until about 2 or 3 years ago, with the exception of some eccentric views about US Hispanics, expounded in poorly reasoned and long-winded articles he wrote for the American Conservative. Those views were that Hispanic Americans have crime rates comparable to non-hispanic whites, and that the rapid increase in Irish IQ he claims to have documented would probably happen for US Hispanics too.

        His views now are basically those of anti-Semitic and Russophile white nationalists. I am familier with both his writing, Richard Spencer’s, and Kevin MacDonald’s. I don’t think they’d disagree on much of anything, and Unz heavily promotes their work and reprints articles they write, and also similar people write on MacDonald’s Occidental Observer.

        The only area Unz really goes beyond the standard WN is the degree of his conspiracy theorizing about Jews. Spencer for instance does think Jews conspire to promote third world migration in order to undermine the West, but he strikes me as too grounded to buy into Unz’s theory that the Mossad was behind 9-11, the murder of JFK, and the rock concert mass-murder in France. Unz also believes American Jews conspired to kill General Patton, who died in a car wreck, and has written several articles about this.

    • Coagulopath says:

      Politically he’s hard to pin down.

      https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=Ron+Unz

      Donations to Bernie Sanders, Ron Paul, Elizabeth Warren, Mike Huckabee, Pat Buchanan, ActBlue…

      Ron doesn’t have a political outlook, he has an aesthetic: he’s eDgY and oUtSiDe tHe bOx. Sometimes that means running articles by Holocaust deniers, apparently.

      • Toddy Cat says:

        He’s also very, VERY pissed at the American Jewish elite right now. I’m not saying that he doesn’t have cause (I sometimes wonder if people like Julia Ioffe and Max Boot aren’t Nazi plants, trying to make Jews look as bad as possible), but going full “Protocols” is not exactly going to help.

        • Maciano says:

          Anyone who believes agitators like Ioffe and Boot or swines like Weinstein are representative of Jews, really is antisemitic.

          • Maciano says:

            I never see critics of Jews mention Kubrick, Jonas Salk or Otto Warburg. I could literally mention 1000s of Jews like that who have been nothing but a net contribution to WestCiv.

            And even if you believe Jews are solely responsible for the more malign leftist ideas and political correctness (and I won’t belittle their contributions here), you must also explain why the majority of white Europeans keep falling for it. Even Finnish and Croat nationalists complain about pervasive leftism — these people have no Jews pushing their ideas upon them, leftist bullshit must just be naturally appealing to them.

            I don’t understand why people fall for bullshit either, but it’s quite stupid to blame it all on the Jews (because that’s bullshit, too.)

            • Toddy Cat says:

              Sure, but when I turn on my TV, I don’t see Salk or Warburg. I see idiots like Ioffe and Boot and Kristol and Soros. Of course they’re not representative of Jews, but they are a terrible “public face” for Jews as a whole, that’s why I said that they might as well be Nazi infiltrators. Jews have made outstanding contributions to the West, and some have also fallen hard for some really outstanding idiocies (psychoanalysis, Communism, Open Borders). When it comes to contributions both good and bad, the Jewish people seem to have, as Nassim Taleb would put it, “Fat Tails”.

              • dearieme says:

                The fact that horrors like Soros or Dershowitz establish the public reputation of Jews just shows that Jewish life can’t all be one big conspiracy. Or, at least, not one intelligent, successful big conspiracy.

              • Thiago Ribeiro says:

                Who are the “public faces” of Blacks and Whites that show up on your TV?

              • gothamette says:

                I don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I do turn it on, I never see “I see idiots like Ioffe and Boot and Kristol and Soros” and neither do you.

          • Greying Wanderer says:

            Ioffe and Boot are representative of the people the media’s owners want to employ

            • Toddy Cat says:

              Of course it’s not a conspiracy. That still doesn’t get around the fact that Jews have been over-represented in both the good and bad developments of the last 150 years, as one would expect from people with an IQ about one SD higher than the general population. And idiots like Ioffe and Boot are, as they used to say, “Bad for the Jews”, as well as the rest of us. Jews do seem to be over-represented in the current open borders hysteria, and pointing out that Black and White idiots also exist hardly changes this.

              By the way, this probably has much less to do with anything inherent in Jews or Judaism than in the American Jewish experience, and the lockstep conformity of the American chattering classes. For example, public opinion polls in Britain indicate that most British Jews are strong immigration restrictionists.

              • dearieme says:

                One thing I have learnt from the internet: our Jews are far better than your Jews.

              • Toddy Cat says:

                There’s a lot of truth to that, dearieme. Any idea why?

              • Pangur says:

                “For example, public opinion polls in Britain indicate that most British Jews are strong immigration restrictionists.”

                And boy, what a bangup job they’ve done on Britain!

              • dearieme says:

                I don’t know why. My father once sang me a hymn of praise of Jews, meaning the Jews he’d met in the British Army in WWII, and the Jews he’d done business with. Then he frowned: “I mean British Jews. I’m not at all sure about the American and Israeli ones.” I’d forgotten all about this conversation until I began to wonder along those lines decades later.

                Maybe the tenor of British Jewish life was set by Jews who’d lived here a long time, rather than late 19th century refugees from the Tsar’s empire. Although Presbyterianism is rather oriented to the Old Testament (and therefore you might expect Scots to be philo-semitic) that’s not true of Anglicanism. But the English seem broadly to have no trouble with Jews either. The only filthy anti-semitism I’ve heard from Britons has been from Roman Catholics, specifically from people of Irish and Polish descent. (You will guess that my meaning of “Briton” excludes some recent accretions to this realm.)

                We had a Jewish Prime Minister in the 19th century. The Conservative Party had a second Jewish leader (this one with less religious ambiguity) in the late 20th century. The Labour Party had a Jewish leader in the early 21st century. We even had rather a good joke about the success of Jews in politics when Mrs Thatcher’s Cabinet was described as having more Estonians than Etonians. As far as I can tell Jews also fitted in well in Australia and NZ. The Ozzie general who was a national hero in WWI, Sir John Monash, was Jewish.

                Here’s a guess. The British – both English and Scots – tend to look upon religion as a private matter and not, on the whole, a suitable topic of conversation. Maybe this let Jews assimilate more easily than in a society where shouting about one’s religion seems to happen more often.

                Maybe – here’s a second guess – British life suited Jews better and was less likely to bring out a less pleasing side of their culture than American life was. Suppose there is some merit in a caricature of American life as gangsterism ameliorated by Christianity and the civic virtues of old-fashioned “mainstream” Americans. What then of immigrants who are not Christian – perhaps even anti-Christian – and uncomfortable with those civic virtues – or perhaps just uncomfortable with old-fashioned “mainstream” Americans?

              • Jim says:

                Weren’t the Jews expelled at one time from Britain and later Cromwell readmitted them?

              • dearieme says:

                All Jews were expelled from England in 1290 by the Frenchman who was King of England. In later years tiny numbers had drifted back. Cromwell noted that Jews were of public benefit among the Dutch and set up an enquiry into the business of the expulsion. It was concluded that only the individual Jews of 1290 had been expelled: there was no legal objection to different Jewish individuals living in England in the 17th century. And so Jews returned. Which is why they were able to settle the English colonies in North America. Cromwell’s motives also seem to have involved Puritan doctrines about the Jews – ideas broadly familiar among modern US evangelicals, I imagine.

                http://www.olivercromwell.org/jews.htm

              • Jim says:

                Blame everything wrong in English history on those damn Norman frogs.

              • dearieme says:

                What on earth makes you think Edouard I was a Norman?

              • Jim says:

                I guess his grandfather was the last English King who was also Duke of Normandy.

              • Anonymous says:

                I think it’s because American culture is hypercompetitive in a way that European countries aren’t. Jews here have always had an attitude of “may the best Tribe win”. Also in the UK they never really had the numbers to threaten the existing power structure in the first place, so it’s a different dynamic.

                On immigration in particular I think there’s another explanation. Jewish immigrants in the early 20th century mythologized America as the promised land for them, almost like a substitute Zionism. Immigration has been sacrosanct for American Jews for over 100 years and the consensus among them has never weakened, even after the supply of actual Jewish immigrants dried up. In the wake of the Holocaust in the early civil rights era their motives shifted to “anti-racism” and such, alongside all the platitudes we’ve come to know so well.

                It’s only in the past decade or so that the national dialogue around immigration has started to change, and Jews are still adjusting. But the elite ones, with careers in the spotlight and pressure to publicly flatter their own class, seem very set in their ways.

              • dearieme says:

                Here’s one for the pub quiz. Who is the current Duke of Normandy?

              • pop says:

                Dearie, the Dukedom of Normandy no longer exists because titles of nobility are no longer recognized in French law. The QEII claims the title, but only as to the Channel Islands. The various inbreds who claim defunct titles of nobility in France and other republics should be ignored. It is annoying the Wikipedia so often implies these titles exist as a matter of either law or cultural practice, or includes noble forms of address in articles about the alleged heirs to non-existent titles. This is especially bad in Germany, where use of noble titles is against the law.

            • dearieme says:

              Hitler was ruler of Normandy – that didn’t make him a Norman.

              Unless you think that anyone who conquers Normandy automatically becomes a Norman. On that principle many Roman Emperors were automatically Gauls, Jews, Britons, Egyptians, Greeks, and so on.

        • gothamette says:

          “Julia Ioffe and Max Boot”
          They are not a part of the American Jewish elite; they are just a couple of idiotic scribblers.

      • moscanarius says:

        Agreed on Ron Unz. By the way, great site, Coagulopath.

  8. Zenit says:

    Status is what is important here. A person living on welfare in the US today has material things of all sorts completely unknown not so long ago. Their medical care is superior to that of the wealthy of a hundred years ago. But even so they are nobody.

    Do you think if the education-media-entertainment-advertising complex dropped the “we hold these truths to be self evident” “you can do it” “follow your dreams” bullshit, and started teaching “be thankful for your blessings” “be content with your station of life” “be humble and obedient to your betters”, everything will be calmer and everyone will be happier?

    • gkai says:

      Not easy to remove status seeking, it’s presumably one of the hardwired component of the human social instincts.
      But maybe some societies can better control it than others, doing a better job aligning status with productive behavior…maybe even slightly reduce status seeking, although I do not see good ways to do that.
      One (bad) way I see is becoming more Malthusian: status tends to take second seat against a good meal when you are sufficiently hungry…

    • Jim says:

      Sounds like Americans becoming Chinese.

    • Warren Notes says:

      As your own label makes evident, the “education-media-entertainment-advertising complex” is heterogeneous, both in purpose and motives. There’s a commercial on prime-time TV lately for the online Southern New Hampshire University in which a commencement speaker states: “The world in which we live equally distributes talent, but it doesn’t equally distribute opportunity.” Nauseating as this may be, we do have freedom of speech, and they do have a profit motive for saying that.

  9. Little spoon says:

    Has the left gotten crazier? It kind of seems like they were getting less crazy for decades and then suddenly got way crazy in the last 10 years.

    But some of the behavior that looks crazy now was going on before without anyone reporting on it. Like I never new we were handing out residency permits en masse to Haitians after their natural disasters, under the bizarre guise that they would be called “temporary”. Apparently we have done this since the 80s. And what of our policy of automatically handing asylum to all Cubans even after their dictator emptied asylums and jails and sent the inmates to us on rafts. That’s even worse that what Merkel did and no one lost political power over that. Before people were kept so poorly informed about unskilled third world migration that they didn’t even know the problem was being imported and they didn’t know who to complain to when it happened. And look at affirmative action- that came from the 70s. It probably would be an unelectable policy today had people not come to expect it.

    So maybe the left hasn’t gotten more crazy’s maybe they’re just really indignant over not being able to get away with these things anymore. But I am not so old and I don’t remember what the left was like 20 years ago.

    • Coagulopath says:

      Has the left gotten crazier?

      No. The 70s will forever remain the high water mark of left wing “activism”.

      The Symbionese Liberation Army, the Earth Liberation Front, the Jim Jones cult, I don’t know of any modern leftist movement in the US remotely comparable with that kind of stuff. Maybe a few antifa/black bloc thugs, who are powerless and have more FBI informants in their ranks than actual members.

      Meanwhile, you had respectable intellectuals like Noam Chomsky denying the Cambodian genocide, and Gould/Lewontin saying adaptionism lead in a direct line to Nazi gas chambers.

      The 70s sucked. When David Bowie moved to LA, he attempted to survive on a diet of chili peppers, full fat milk, and cocaine. This was 1970-1979 in a microcosm. People often go crazy, but it’s not often that they try to induce craziness, and the results weren’t pretty.

      We have only 51.5 years remaining until that awful decade repeats and if I haven’t died by then, I will.

      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s not forget “political lesbianism”.

      • Cloveoil says:

        David Bowie was a fascist at that time.

        Is the left really not stranger than back then? Transgenderism? Race denial? At least 70s strangeness has a retro charm.

      • Jim says:

        But the Symbionese Liberation Army was a small group of psychos. They weren’t endorsed by the political left. As for Chomsky at that time he had no mass political following of any significance. Yes I suppose in the past there were far out fringe elements of the left that were totally nuts but the politically relevant part of the left was semi-sane.

        • Thiago Ribeiro says:

          “”Yes I suppose in the past there were far out fringe elements of the left that were totally nuts but the politically relevant part of the left was semi-sane.”

          And when Democrats nominate for President an openly gay person or a trans, we will hear that early 21th Century Left was semi-sane on gender. It is funny how American ideologues from both sides invented on their minds a golden age when leftists were not leftists and rightwingers were not rightwinger. Yet, their forefathers were exchanging basically the same accusations they are now.

      • Jim says:

        But the Symbionese Liberation Army were a small group of psychos. They weren’t endorsed by the political left. As for Chomsky he was basically politically irrelevant. There were fringe elements of the left that were nuts but the politically relevant left was semi-sane.

      • Ivan says:

        I disagree with your disagreement.

        This level of craziness was unimaginable in 1970:
        “the parents do not reveal the sex of their children to anyone — including the children themselves. If no one knows a child’s sex, these parents theorize, the child can’t be pigeonholed into gender stereotypes.”
        https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/boy-or-girl-parents-raising-theybies-let-kids-decide-n891836

        Chomsky’s Khmer Rouge genocide denial sounds harmless in comparison and quite limited in its effect. Here, we deal with destroying children lives by lunatic millenial parents.

        This gender fluidity thing is rather mainstream The article apparently approvingly quotes “Christia Spears Brown, a developmental psychologist and author of “Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue: How to Raise Your Kids Free of Gender Stereotypes.” who claims “that it’s society and culture that are shaping the differences that we see — not innate differences from birth.”

        • biz says:

          The article says there are around 200 families nationwide currently doing that. If you took the craziest 200 families in the 1970s what would they have been doing? Probably lots of free love and group orgies, in front of, and in extreme cases with, their children. Or bringing the kids into cults – almost 1000 people followed Jim Jones into the jungle after all.

          • Ivan says:

            Actually, according the reference below “there over 10,000 followers in a Facebook group devoted to gender-neutral parenting” with about 1,500 group members.

            Perhaps, those are pioneers-practitioners, so to say. However, more interestingly, “half of Millennials believe that gender is not limited to male and female; that gender exists on a spectrum.” according to :
            http://tiltmn.com/gender-blur and https://splinternews.com/half-of-young-people-believe-gender-isnt-limited-to-mal-1793844971.

            So, no, these ideas are not fringe they are quite mainstream in the current child bearing generation(s), and the fringe practices may or already have become mainstream too. “Ideas own people”.

            • Aldono says:

              Go look up virtue signalling. I doubt many of the followers would let a man in a dress follow their daughters into a bathroom.

            • Jim says:

              10,000 people in a nation of well over 300 million doesn’t seem very significant. I doubt that the course of human evolution will be much affected.

            • biz says:

              Ok, the number of Facebook followers thing is meaningless – people will follow anything on Facebook. The number of active group members is slightly more meaningful, so you’re talking 1500 worldwide. Not really a thing. And even of that pool, if the first article is to be believed only ~200 have actually stepped up to do this stuff. For now it is a real nothingburger.

              On the other hand I will grant that half of millennials being confused on what the genders are is a sign of the extremity of the times.

              • Jim says:

                The results of such surveys are not very meaningful. Slight differences in the wording of questions can result in totally contrary findings.

        • Little spoon says:

          Actually my bet is that the theybabies thing will end up being perfectly harmless for those children. Go ahead and let them decide their gender. I bet very few would pick anything out of the ordinary.

        • Jim says:

          Very few Americans in the 1970’s (or today for that matter) had ever heard of Chomsky. His political significance was zilch.

        • gkai says:

          Not sure about the denial part, but from what I have read, Khmer Rouge bloody craziness seems hard to beat. The scope in term of population percentage and the selection of the victims (prime example of disgenism) is really disgusting. I guess it’s too far away to diplace nazism as the modern incarnation of evil, but imho it should.
          yeah, apart from being far away, it’s also an(other) example of how bad leftism can go…which do not please left-inclined historians/medias.

          • Jim says:

            Chomsky at first did deny that the Khmer Rouge were committing mass murder despite good evidence that they were. For awhile his reputation was considerably damaged but he seems to have lived it down.

            But Chomsky neither then nor today ever had any significant real world political impact.

          • Cloveoil says:

            But is Khmer Rouge relevant to 70s America? I doubt they approved of the New Left – what ppl are saying in this thread is like when shitlibs confuse Libertarians with Nazis. There really isn’t a comparison – any comparison – unless you willfully ignore what ppl think and do.

      • Warren Notes says:

        The 70s will forever remain the high water mark of left wing “activism”. Be careful about your assumptions…infinity is rare in politics. The 70’s – a lot of stuff flew under the radar then. There was much lower political correctness, and a lot of escapism. Even the continued bombings of the now-irrelevant Weathermen (who missed the bus to get down and boogie and must have been getting their first whiff of middle-aged melancholy in hiding) weren’t given much attention, America was in deep mourning. We had lost the War.

        • Cloveoil says:

          ‘There was much lower political correctness…’ – a point made by the TV show, Life On Mars. It wasn’t just tolerance of fringe leftists like paedophile apologists and their ilk… people didn’t care about things that are shibboleths today, back in the 1970s.

      • Abelard Lindsey says:

        I agree. I’m old enough to remember bits and pieces of the 1970’s and, yeah, it was worse. There were over 1,000 bombings in the U.S. during the 71-72 period. The vast majority of these were quite minor and did very little damage, let alone kill anyone.

        The Left of this decade is soft, like marshmellos, compared to the 1970’s Left.

      • saintonge235 says:

        Leftists committing mass murder in one country is normal, and leftists in other countries denying it is occurring is also the norm. Chomsky just showed the depths of his evil with the Cambodian lies.

        And if you want craziness, the idea that the length of one’s hair was an important moral and political issue is hard to beat.

        Still, I have to agree, it’s gotten worse. In the early 1960s, I read Methusalah’s Children, and was astounded at Heinlein’s vision of the “Crazy Years.” By 1970, they sounded far less weird. Today, we’re living in the Very VERY Crazy Years.

    • There was no Internet back in the 70’s and 80’s . We had to rely on MSM.

    • Thiago Ribeiro says:

      “Has the left gotten crazier? It kind of seems like they were getting less crazy for decades and then suddenly got way crazy in the last 10 years.”
      By 1964, Reagan was calling the Democrats communists.

      • biz says:

        So what? The relevant question here is not what names the Left has been called, but what names they deserve.

        • Thiago Ribeiro says:

          Whatever they deserve to be called now, they probably were called that a long time ago. Again, it is hard to see anything at the left now that beats the accusations if was soft on Commumism or red itself. From Reconstruction to the New Deal ro the end of the Soviet Block, left and right have had more important disagreements than “which bathroom?”.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      the good part (imo) of Leftist motivation is wanting to minimize individual harm by sharing it out among a larger group of people

      the problem with that is the Left’s ideas about how to achieve this were flawed (mainly cos they don’t take account of genetics)

      before those ideas had been tried long enough to have clearly failed Leftists could make a rational (theoretical) case for those ideas but now the cognitive dissonance is making them nuts,

      we WILL make summer wheat grow in winter dammit!

  10. Cyber Phallus says:

    I feel like there’s an Encino Man reference in there somewhere.

  11. Jim says:

    It will be interesting to see what the response to Plomin’s book will be. Wil it be a rational response or will Plomin simply be demonized like Murray or Ridley?

  12. J says:

    Regarding your order for ambergris, I am unable to supply it because the possession and trade of ambergris is prohibited by the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Should you be interested, I could send you locally produced jojoba soap, which has similar content of wax esters. Jojoba soap was not vomited by a sperm whale, which may be point in its favor, or not.

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