Thursday, January 31, 2019

Engaging In Thoughtcrime


Silence on how the H-1B visas transformed the field of IT, the field that was sold to Americans as a chance to have a middle-class lifestyle as manufacturing plants were shut down. What happened? Nearly 30 years of the H-1B program being used to avoid hiring American workers, crush the wages of the Americans they were employing, the virtual hostage-taking of their American workers by threatening them with unemployment if they protested against the 80-90 hour work weeks demanded of them, and then told they were racists not standing in solidarity with their immigrant co-workers if they had any complaints.
      The hostility to genetics [research] springs entirely  from the fear that Mr. Watson will be proved right–that it will show blacks to be less intelligent than whites.  Of course the politically correct don’t really believe in the intellectual equality of the races. If they did, they would welcome genetic research as a way of establishing the equality. You do not fear investigation unless you suspect it will give the wrong answer.
          A similar though smaller gap is suspected between whites and Latinos. For this there is evidence,and counterevidence. A gap seems to exist between whites and various Asians. We shall see. But the black-white gap is the bombshell. Here the evidence is overwhelming, and there is no counterevidence. Thus the furious repression.
             That intelligence is genetic should be obvious regardless of technical knowledge. ... If intelligence were cultural as we are obliged to say, almost on pain of death, all the children who grew up in Isaac Newton’s neighborhood would have been towering mathematical geniuses. Were they?
               A dread question: Is it not now obvious, has it not been obvious for a very long time, that blacks cannot function in a technological society? A few, yes. Most, no. This is the case worldwide. Low intelligence, perhaps accompanied by poor impulse control, explains well the urban chaos, the crime, the poverty. 
                 We are accustomed now to the intractable gap between blacks and whites.  The gap appears on all tests of cognitive capacity and academic achievement: all of the IQ tests, the SATs, GREs, MCATs, LSATs, ACT, National Merit, AFQT, and others. This is so predictable as to make the value of pi seem capricious.  ...
                   Yearly the horrible news pours from the schools.  The results of Maryland’s state test of academic achievement are typical. In 2017 in Baltimore there were thirteen high schools in which not a single student tested proficient in math. Customarily this is blamed on poor schools, but every aspect of the Baltimore system, from the mayor to the students is controlled by blacks, and the per-student expenditure is high. Similar results from other cities–Detroit, Chicago–are common, normal, expected.
                   A question no one asks, at least not out loud: To what extent are blacks dependent on the charity of whites? What would happen if all public assistance, all programs specifically or de facto for blacks were withdrawn?
                Racial identity (for all but whites), and its hostilities, are on the rise in American politics, unsurprising when you consider Finnish researcher Tatu Vanhanen’s findings of a correlation of .726 between conflict and the degree of diversity in a given area. Consider that on the first day of Democrat control of the House of Representatives, we were treated to the following by their party members: a comparison of President Trump to Adolf Hitler by Representative Hank Johnson; a pledge by Representative Rashida Tlaib that, “We’re gonna impeach the motherfucker”; an introduction of the articles of impeachment against Trump by Representative Brad Sherman; an introduction of a bill to grant Washington, DC (which went 90.8% for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, 5.1% for various independent candidates, and 4.1% for Donald Trump) statehood by Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton; and the introduction of a bill to abolish the electoral college by Representative Steve Cohen. For those keeping score at home, Johnson is black, Tlaib is a Palestinian-Moslem, Sherman is Jewish, Norton is black, and Cohen is Jewish. Not long after, a bill to abolish ICE was introduced by House Democrats Adriano Espaillat (Dominican), Pramila Jayapal (Indian), and Mark Pocan (gay Jew).
                  Could genetic differences have an effect on the flavor of culture in different populations?  Well, even allowing for differences in intelligence: sure.  Identical twins like the same things, pick similar clothes,   read similar authors:  genetically different populations could and must have different tastes and preferences, on average.
                  • "Biogeographic Ancestry, Cognitive Ability and Socioeconomic Outcomes" by Emil O. W. Kirkegaard, et al., in the journal Psych. From the abstract: "In regression models using four different codings for SIRE [self-identified racial/ethnic group] as a covariate, we found incremental relationships between genetic ancestry and both general cognitive ability and parental socioeconomic status (SES)." And the key graphic:
                  Figure 3. Association between European ancestry and cognitive ability (z score) in the African American (Standard) SIRE Group.
                         A far cry from its ostensible scholarly mission, academia today resembles “a priesthood or a guild” or even a “cult“, with peer review serving an essential administrative need in a system of promotion, tenure, funding, and accolades designed to maintain the established order. Under this model, political posturing and bogus theorizing have become indistinguishable from scholarship in some fields. Identity politics and demagoguery have even infected mathematics, as seen in the recent saga of Ted Hill’s twice accepted, once published, and twice rescinded article on the Greater Male Variability Hypothesis. In health-related disciplines, with big money at stake, conflicts of interest dictate which results are reported, and what stays in the file drawer. In our own field, small cliques monopolize the flagship journals, as nearly half of all articles published in The Annals of Statistics are authored by a member of its own editorial board.
                         Even ignoring the subversiveness and pettiness that current norms enable, this system fails in its major promise to ensure the quality of published literature. It is widely believed that most published scientific findings are false: a recent analysis successfully replicated only 61 percent of social science findings published in Science and Nature, and an earlier study replicated just 39 percent of findings from top psychology journals. Scientists who were once celebrated have become maligned amidst allegations of fraud or shoddy scholarship. Meanwhile, thoughtful, potentially transformative ideas struggle to see the light of day, as chronicled in Francis Perey’s four-decade quest to publish foundational work on probability theory. On top of these well-publicized incidents, individual researchers privately trade stories about their own experiences with discrimination, incompetence, and obfuscation in their respective disciplines.

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