This is How You Do It

This evisceration of Sullivan’s obsession with race and IQ is a thing of beauty. Just read the whole thing.

It’s been forever since I read that stupid damned Bell Curve, and all I remember about it was when I got to the end thinking “It took that many fucking pages to tell me that in-group differences are much larger than between group differences, which are essentially inconsequential?” And I have no intention of reading it again, because as far as I am concerned it generated no new knowledge or information and was a huge waste of my time.






164 replies
  1. 1
    Mnemosyne says:

    So you didn’t get enough matoko-loco in the Manning thread? You had to try and invoke her into a new one?

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    Though I do love that Coates points out the thing I keep pointing out about the “Bell Curve” butt-sniffers:

    Advocates of the “p.c. egalitarianism” theory, such as Andrew, evidently believe that the notion that black people are dumber than whites is a cutting edge theory, as opposed to a long-held tenet of slave-holders and white supremacists. They present themselves as bold-truth tellers who will not bow to “liberal creationists.” In fact they are espousing firmly established views that date back to the very founding of this country.

    Your views are not “cutting edge” if you could easily cut and paste them into eugenic screeds of 70 years ago and not have anyone notice the difference. It’s like the guys who think “take my wife, please!” jokes stolen from Henny Youngman are somehow hip and cool and modern.

  3. 3
    schrodinger's cat says:

    OT: A suggestion for an FP post about how Newt’s idea for humane immigration is nothing but a way to have a permanent underclass who can never become citizens and are tied to the whims of their employer.

  4. 4
    justawriter says:

    That book was one of the reasons I advocate for teaching statistics to people at as young an age as possible.

  5. 5
    celticdragonchick says:

    It’s been forever since I read that stupid damned Bell Curve, and all I remember about it was when I got to the end thinking “It took that many fucking pages to tell me that in-group differences are much larger than between group differences, which are essentially inconsequential?”

    Then maybe Sullivan is correct in defending the researcher in the first place, given what you just wrote right now.

    Andrew’s response to TNC today:

    This is roughly the quality of the responses to The Bell Curve when it came out, but with added inaccuracy. No one is arguing that “that black people are dumber than white,” just that the distribution of IQ is slightly different among different racial populations, and these differences also hold true for all broad racial groups:

    Sounds like much ado about nothing.

  6. 6
    kerFuFFler says:

    Although I suspect that the differences between groups in intelligence are likely to be inconsequential (if we could even really get a handle on measuring intelligence….) the argument that “in-group differences are much larger than between group differences, which are essentially inconsequential,” is pretty damn meaningless. Women are shorter than men generally even though the within-gender differences for height in both groups dwarf the differences between the groups.

  7. 7
    Mike G says:

    The main market for The Bell Curve was for rightards to display on their bookshelves to impress other rightards with their Conservative Correctness and provoke discussions of how much they hate the darkies. It wasn’t designed to hold up to scrutiny if a critical thinker actually read it.

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    Look– you just can’t make arguments about race and IQ in a moral and political vacuum. And that, at best, is what people like Jensen and Murray are patting themselves on the back for doing.

    In fact, in real life, politics matters. You’d think a conservative would be aware of this– but.. oh.. maybe not.

  9. 9
    Punchy says:

    I guess I dont have to ask what Sullivan thinks of all this.

  10. 10
    trex says:

    Where have you gone, Steve Sailor? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

  11. 11
    Steve says:

    At least a crypto-racist like Steve Sailer is honest about why he wants to see research on IQ and race: he wants to get rid of disparate impact liability by showing that blacks aren’t discriminated against, they’re just inferior. For some reason I almost prefer that sort of honesty to the whole “hey, I’m just asking questions, what about the free spirit of inquiry” line that Sullivan takes.

    As Dr. X points out, there are actually thousands of studies out there on the subject of IQ. So the issue is pretty moot to begin with. The forces of political correctness are not preventing actual science from being conducted in this area.

  12. 12
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Mike G: I am sure if one digs deep enough we could find some scholarly work by some noted British scholar of yore, telling us how English people are smarter than the Irish. I wonder how open Andrew Sullivan will be to such a hypothesis.

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    No one is arguing that “that black people are dumber than white,” just that the distribution of IQ is slightly different among different racial populations, and these differences also hold true for all broad racial groups. (emphasis mine)

    Uh, does Andy realize that he did, in fact, just argue “that black people are dumber than white” by stating as a supposed fact that the distribution of IQ is slightly different among different racial populations?

    Just because you use fancy words like “populations” to say it doesn’t mean you didn’t just say it, asshole.

  14. 14
    celticdragonchick says:

    @MattF:

    In fact, in real life, politics matters. You’d think a conservative would be aware of this—but.. oh.. maybe not.

    Sullivan has been consistent in being a purist (obsessively so) on matters of scientifc and journalistic freedom of inquiry.

    Matters like social reality don’t seem to figure into his calculus, and The Bell Curve is nobody’s (except Sully’s)good idea of a hill to die on since the conclusions seem pretty fucking inconsequential.

  15. 15
    fafsa99 says:

    kerFuFFler – is that what’s meant by the phrase “in-group differences are much larger than between group differences”? if so, you’re right that it’s meaningless. Wondering if others can let us know if there’s more behind the phrase.

  16. 16
    Percysowner says:

    Oh Andrew Sullivan! I was finally driven away from his blog by his repeated defense of a book that DID in fact argue that as a whole black people are less intelligent than white people and by his refusal to ever apologize for his fifth column comment about people who opposed the intervention in Iraq. I can not help being miffed by the fact that Sully was perfectly willing to put me against a wall and shoot me because I thought starting a war would be disastrous. Call me overly sensitive.

    Sorry, Sully promoting bigotry does not make you brave, just bigoted.

  17. 17
    Slugger says:

    It is simple. Sullivan is in New York. Grab $500 in twenties, and walk around the parks till you find some old, black guy sitting with a chessboard. Offer to play for $20 a game, play twentyfive games, and tell me how much money you have.

  18. 18
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Percysowner:Well currently he is promoting austerity and Bowles-Simpson. He seems to be only aware discrimination if he is at the the receiving end.

  19. 19
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I have not read the work and I do not intend to (having bertter things to occupy my time), but you will find small statistical variations (probably due to cultural/ethnocentric assumptions about what constitutes IQ in the first place) among “populations” on IQ or just about anything else that can be measured, I would guess.

    If my take from what Cole said is correct, the study seemed to conclude that the differences are pretty damned small to begin with…

    So what the hell is the point?
    Sully is obsessed with defending freedom of inquiry.

    *yawn*

  20. 20
    Dork says:

    This kind of research is catastrophically toxic, IMO. Should a researcher actually demonstrate a race-based significant difference in IQ/intelligence, regardless of the data he/she is likely to be tarred as a racist if it’s published. I understand that science is science and fact is fact, but the MSM doesn’t operate that way. They want controversy, and they’d paint this research as potentially racist, regardless of the facts. As the MSM drives this faulty narrative, watch that research team’s grant money dry up overnight. Career finished.

  21. 21
    EconWatcher says:

    I thought the Coates comment was dignified and subtle in its challenge to Sullivan. But evisceration?

  22. 22
    John Cole says:

    @celticdragonchick: Again, I don’t really remember, but I believe they were small enough that any differences between groups could easily be explained by artifacts of testing.

  23. 23
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @celticdragonchick: He is scientifically and mathematically illiterate. He should just stick to what is real conservatism, bears and posts about Catholicism.

  24. 24
    Mattminus says:

    Maybe I’m cynical, but I think Sullivan is just trolling.

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    If Charles Murray wants to tread the same discredited ground that others have tread for a hundred years before him, he’s certainly free to do so, but he can’t expect to be immune to criticism just because he wrote a book. And Sullivan can’t expect to be immune from criticism when he supports that book and its conclusions.

    It’s a common complaint from conservatives — they want the freedom to do whatever silly statistical research their little hearts desire but they want the rest of us to shut up when it turns out that their numbers don’t add up. Again. For the hundredth time.

  26. 26
    Steve says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    No one is arguing that “that black people are dumber than white,” just that the distribution of IQ is slightly different among different racial populations, and these differences also hold true for all broad racial groups:

    It’s amazing how he can simultaneously argue that the conclusion is utterly banal and unremarkable, and yet the world will end if we don’t encourage massive research efforts in this area.

    It’s a wonder The Bell Curve sold 500,000 copies, if it was really about nothing more than a dry explanation of variations in IQ distributions. It’s a wonder that The New Republic devoted an entire issue to this uninteresting topic.

  27. 27
    Joel says:

    @celticdragonchick: That’s just backpedaling by Sullivan.

  28. 28
    catclub says:

    Very few in the US argue for only allowing Asians to run the country, since that group is smarter. Funny, that.

  29. 29
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    If my take from what Cole said is correct, the study seemed to conclude that the differences are pretty damned small to begin with…

    … but that we should base our social policy on those differences anyway and not bother to make sure that schools that are majority black are of the same quality as those that are majority white.

    That’s the whole problem with The Bell Curve — it comes to conclusions that even the writers admit are sketchy, but insists that we should follow their social prescriptions based on those conclusions anyway because it’s only going to hurt black kids, so who really cares?

    It’s not the research, per se. It’s the prescriptions that the writers make based on that research that Sullivan is arguing in favor of.

  30. 30
    Joel says:

    @celticdragonchick: Maybe he can move on to concern-trolling us about the underrated threat of asteroids or some other such nonsense.

  31. 31
    celticdragonchick says:

    @John Cole:

    Again, I don’t really remember, but I believe they were small enough that any differences between groups could easily be explained by artifacts of testing.

    Exactly.

    That would be the first thing I would suspect. What really fucked me up in my Power Politics and Public Schools class this semester was being told by the professor that African American male students actually test 4-5% lower in standardized tests when they test with white peers compared to when they take the same test with only African American peers. Something about internalized racial disparity that I do not pretend to understand(I know little to nothing about sociology).

    In any event, I would look at the testing methods and what assumptions were built into them right off the bat.

  32. 32
    curiousleo says:

    It appears that Sullivan has doubled down (linking to TNC’s reply to Sullivan’s reply b/c I won’t give Sullivan page views). Shockingly to no one, Sullivan doesn’t see TNC’s point nor backs down. TNC knocks the 2nd post out of the park just like he did the 1st.

  33. 33
    kindness says:

    And from TNC no less. One of Sully’s ‘friends’ over there.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:

    By the way, anyone interested in this subject who has not read Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man really ought to. It absolutely eviscerates the bad science and racism (both conscious and unconscious) that led to eugenics and the classifications of the races along the IQ scale.

  35. 35
    bjacques says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It’s been said that Irish babies are delicious.

    While we’re on the subject of mossy scientific views…as a collector for the Drapetomania Society, maybe I can get Sullivan to sponsor me for the Sprint of Dimes.

  36. 36
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Joel:

    Maybe he can move on to concern-trolling us about the underrated threat of asteroids or some other such nonsense.

    Bolide impacts are actually kinda nasty. They don’t happen real often, but you don’t want to be anywhere in the neighborhood (and the whole planet is the neighborhood in that respect).

    Drop a 5km bolide on a thick sequence of anhydrite deposits and you can actually end up with planet wide acid rain that resembles the stuff in your car battery. There has been some modeling on that with respect to the K-T Boundary mass extinction event.

  37. 37
    Mnemosyne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    It’s called stereotype threat. It’s really an incredibly fascinating phenomenon, especially since it can essentially create a form of test anxiety that means that people who really, really want to perform well end up sabotaging themselves.

  38. 38
    Davis X. Machina says:

    For Sullivan, the wogs begin at Calais, even when they’re not wogs, and it’s not Calais.

  39. 39
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    By the way, anyone interested in this subject who has not read Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man really ought to. It absolutely eviscerates the bad science and racism (both conscious and unconscious) that led to eugenics and the classifications of the races along the IQ scale.

    Gould was one of the best paleontologists/biologists out there. His work Wonderful Life is amazing.

  40. 40
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Beat me to the killer ‘graf of TNC’s comment. The part where Sullivan is compared, not favorably, to slave holders and white supremacists.

    There were two reasons why blacks were imported into this country for plantation work: cheap supply in Africa, and resistance to malaria, which made white indentured servants less than ideal in the old South, the Caribbean, and South America, with tropical or sub-tropical climates. So, in fact, a genetic superiority to whites, at least for the short term and for environmental reasons, was one reason why were imported. The cheap part of course helped a lot.

    The entire “they’re too blockheaded for anything but pickin’ cotton and totin’ bales” thing came later, as a rationalization. Pretty much the same way that “state’s rights” became the after-the-fact “justification” for secession…not the defense of the “peculiar institution”.

  41. 41
    different-church-lady says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Drop a 5km bolide on a thick sequence of anhydrite deposits and you can actually end up with planet wide acid rain that resembles the stuff in your car battery. There has been some modeling on that with respect to the K-T Boundary mass extinction event.

    Obama’s silence on this speaks volumes.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EconWatcher:

    That was the set-up. The evisceration came in the follow-up that curiousleo linked to above.

    But it’s still much gentler than what Coates did to idiot John Derbyshire. That must have stung for days.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I’ve long held that Sullivan’s REAL problem is that he simply could not exist as an upper class twit in Britain; being Irish AND Catholic is just too much of a problematic situation. The gay part might add in, on course.

    So, it was off across the pond for him, where Irish Catholic upper class twits are pretty common.

  44. 44
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s called stereotype threat. It’s really an incredibly fascinating phenomenon, especially since it can essentially create a form of test anxiety that means that people who really, really want to perform well end up sabotaging themselves.

    Thanks for the link and the info. Like I said…this is not my area of knowledge.

  45. 45
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Do you think Niall Ferguson has a similar problem, being Scottish and all?

  46. 46
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I don’t remember if he said it in that book. But I read one of Gould’s essays where he pointed out that IQ differences between “black” and “white” groups (Gould also held that the notion of race itself was utterly bogus) didn’t matter worth a damn: “You don’t judge an individual by his group mean.”

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Given that the Brit upper class twits are really into tartan, and have a thing for kilts and bagpipes, I’m not sure that Scots have the same basic problem. Plus, they’re not Catholic, for the most part.

    Still, not precisely on the same level as your old descended from Anglo-Saxons and Normans upper class twits.

  48. 48
    celticdragonchick says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Do you think Niall Ferguson has a similar problem, being Scottish and all?

    If you want to make any Scottish comments, I can always arrange to introduce you to the business end of a basket hilt claymore…

    (only half kidding…)

  49. 49
    slag says:

    @curiousleo:

    But I believe true empathy–not squishy self-serving conflict avoidance–is the hand-maiden, not the enemy, of reason and intellectual inquiry.

    Beautiful! Truly beautiful.

  50. 50
    jl says:

    Coates and others are pretty mild in their criticism of The Bell Curve. You want to see ferocious attacks, read reviews of the book by statisticians, particularly James Heckman, and another by the late Arthur Goldberger (co-authored by Charles Manski).

    Edit: sorry, no time to find links now. Both should be findable, if still online with a google scholar search.

    The Goldberger review is more damning because it explores all the ways that the statistical methods of the book are a mess (and a mess in ways that should be taught, or at least I teach, in intermediate stats courses). Heckman loses it and basically starts yelling and throwing things half way through his review.

    If the pc police have shut down research that uses bad study designs, misuse of ANOVA and misunderstood measures of heritability, and botched nonlinear regression analysis in the study of IQ, that is a good thing.

  51. 51
    prufrock says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I once read a brilliant comment that The Bell Curve was one of the only “research” books ever refuted seven years prior to publication (by The Mismeasure of Man). I wish I could remember who said it.

    For those of you who don’t want to read it, shorter Steve Gould in The Mismeasure of Man:

    The idea that as complex a phenomenon as human intelligence can be reduced to a single number is a con perpetrated by people who are mostly small minded bigots (and I will thoroughly document this thesis).

  52. 52
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    (Gould also held that the notion of race itself was utterly bogus)

    Biologically speaking, “race” simply does not exist. It is an artificial (or cultural) construct.

  53. 53
    William Hurley says:

    Ahh yes, it’s been a while since I’ve heard reference to Charlie Murray’s racist apologia. The Murray/Herrnstein “work” is, among other things, an example of the right-wing’s multi-discipline fishing expedition to see if the familiar shape of Guasse’s bell curve could be exploited to pervert political discourse to their advantage the way Art Laffer did through the misapplication of the “curve” to tax policy. Murray, Herrnstein and Laffer – and others too – were and remain members of the right-wing’s “intelligentsia” – more appropriately described as unrepentant and sophisticated liars. So too is Sullivan, as his record over the years demonstrates.

    The odd part is that Andy has been an Obama defender – directing his ire at “DFHs” rather than righties who speak ill of the President.

    just sayin’….

  54. 54
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @celticdragonchick: I have nothing against Scottish people, and didn’t mean to offend. I just am not too fond of Ferguson and his revisionist history of the British Empire.

  55. 55
    Loneoak says:

    Here’s a great way to come up with a research paradigm:

    1) Develop a culturally-loaded measure of an ambiguously biological trait.
    2) Divide human beings into ambiguous groups largely based on pre-scientific criteria for human difference.
    3) Measure the between-group differences of ambiguously biological trait in the ambiguous social groups.
    4) Insist that anyone who thinks this is a waste of resources is pc-egalitarian fool.
    5) Live off of idiots who believe 4).

    We didn’t even need to note that the groups in 2) were largely developed to justify one of the most horrific economic/political/social practices in human history, and it still looks like a fucking outrage.

    Why do we care if some unreformed Tory is dumb enough to fall for this?

  56. 56
    trollhattan says:

    Sully established long, long ago he doesn’t do maths, but he keeps pretending to understand those number thingies when they’re needed to bolster some demented position. He’s just McMegan with 50% more Madonna and 50% less kitchen gadgets.

  57. 57
    Silver says:

    Once you get Sullivan out of his comfort zone (Pet Shops Boys discography, reader submitted window photos) it’s pretty clear that his best qualification for his job is his accent.

  58. 58

    @Mnemosyne: Stephen Jay Gould’s debunking of The Bell Curve is important here. See also Howard Gardner’s criticism at that link.

    As I said at TNC’s place: “The long and the short of it is, The Bell Curve was a deliberately misleading, highly tendentious work motivated by tribal affiliation, not impartial pursuit of scientific information.” Even apart from Cole’s point that it didn’t even prove that much on its own terms! But there’s something deeply alarming going on here, as Gardner points out:

    I became increasingly disturbed as I read and reread this 800 page work. I gradually realized I was encountering a style of thought previously unknown to me: scholarly brinkmanship. Whether concerning an issue of science, policy, or rhetoric, the authors come dangerously close to embracing the most extreme positions, yet in the end shy away from doing so. … Scholarly brinkmanship encourages the reader to draw the strongest conclusions, while allowing the authors to disavow this intention.

    It’s not a book worth looking into for any scientific purpose, but it does provide us with certain rhetorical and sociological insights, including but not limited to the congenital moral weaknesses of many white people.*

    * – This last clause is a joke.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’ve been slowly working my way through the TNC-recommended Civil War class from Yale that’s available on iTunes, and it’s really fascinating to see how different slavery was in the US than it was from pretty much any other time in history. We seem to be the only culture to have race-based slavery where any person with the “wrong” color skin was assumed to be a slave and could even be kidnapped into slavery. And we were also one of the few cultures where the children of slaves were automatically slaves themselves — IIRC, that’s not the way it worked in, say, Greece or Rome.

    The Civil War class is interesting because he talks about how Southern culture went from viewing slavery as essentially a necessary evil to deciding that it was the central fact of their culture that could not be altered or meddled with and all of the rationalizations they came up with for continuing the system even as it was becoming increasingly unviable economically.

  60. 60
    ruemara says:

    @Slugger: head down to WashSqu. I guarantee you can lighten your hefty cash wad in less than a hour. And I include Sully in this bet too. Signed, me. One of those much dumber black people. Fucktard.

  61. 61
    celticdragonchick says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    No offense taken. Thanks for clarifying. :)

    Go read what Fallows had to say about the guy (link further down on the front page) :)

    Ferguson is an apologist for Pax Brittania bullshit. I imagine an awful lot of his fellow Scots are not too keen on his work either.

  62. 62
    jl says:

    Also too in addition, I do not see how the Bell Curve fiasco has shut down interesting research in IQ, that includes aspects of cultural and racial differences, and heritability. No time for links, but some recent examples come to mind.

    genetic studies of relatives, including twins, that try to untangle the genetic structure of intelligence. Some researchers are floating a hypothesis that individual ‘intelligence’ skills are functions of hundreds or thousands of genes. High general IQ scores are a function of a few ‘generalist’ genes that interact with individual skills.

    Studies of why different groups score differently on IQ test questions with the same logical content, but expressed in different ways. Some groups tend to better on geometric formulations, other on algebraic formulations. All groups do better on formulations in terms of their every day cultural experience, than in abstract terms.

    Plasticity of IQ: turns out to be greater between childhood, adolescence and adulthood than expected.

    I find all of these lines of research, which may be on a right or wrong track, but at least pose interesting questions, better than ANOVAs used in inappropriate ways, using misinterpreted measures of heritability.

    If the research I read today is a product of ‘shutting down’ old style race and IQ research, then I say, great!

  63. 63
    John Weiss says:

    When biologists use the term ‘race’, it means trivially different and it is always controversial. The Bell Curve, which I could not finish, is a tub of hogwash.

  64. 64
    celticdragonchick says:

    @trollhattan:

    Sully established long, long ago he doesn’t do maths, but he keeps pretending to understand those number thingies when they’re needed to bolster some demented position. He’s just McMegan with 50% more Madonna and 50% less kitchen gadgets.

    That drew blood. Ouch.

  65. 65
    ant says:

    So how do Asians compare to whites on this “bell curve” IQ bullshit?

  66. 66
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @trollhattan: Poor thing can’t even calculate a percentage correctly. He could just use Wolfram Alpha or ask one of his elebenty interns help with the math.

  67. 67
    Zandar says:

    We’re mostly missing the larger issue here, which is that whenever conservatives defend science, they invariably do so by taking the opposite conclusion of whatever actual science has presented and then saying “We don’t buy your conclusions, you’re trying to stifle our true science which questions everything you know, therefore you are the small-minded bigots!”

    The fact they keep doing this with things like “blacks are intellectually inferior to whites”, “global climate change doesn’t exist”, “evolution is a sham” etc. works off of the issue of how science itself works: theories.

    You can have a theory, have massive evidence to support your theory, have it widely accepted by other scientists who are able to reproduce results based on that theory, etc simply doesn’t matter to people who say “Well it’s just a theory and if you don’t admit my theory is just as valid then you’re a bigot!” in response to whatever evidence you present.

    Conservatives have been doing this for years now to try to discredit science itself. All this pussyfooting around whether scientific principles are being upheld overlooks the fact that when you come into science with a specific agenda like the right does, it’s not fucking science.

    Let’s stop treating it as such. At best it leads to “both sides differ on what the data means” equivalence bullshit, which is exactly what the right wants. It’s an attack on science itself.

    Fuck em.

  68. 68
    Joel says:

    @celticdragonchick: I was making a Gregg Easterbrook joke, but that’s okay.

  69. 69
    slag says:

    @jl:

    I find all of these lines of research, which may be on a right or wrong track, but at least pose interesting questions, better than ANOVAs used in inappropriate ways, using misinterpreted measures of heritability.

    Yeah. But how many pageviews does writing about that stuff give you?

    Seriously, I’ve become convinced that this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHCQA1EJiC0 represents the pinnacle of conservative thought on these issues. Though sometimes they do use bigger words to express that thought.

  70. 70
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Zandar: I did say in my earlier comment that Sullivan is scientifically illiterate and that goes for Bobo and most of the conservative pundits (probably true about most pundits regardless of ideology)

  71. 71
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Joel:

    I thought you may have been, but I was not sure.

  72. 72
    Zandar says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Which is why I said “mostly”.

  73. 73
    Joel says:

    @jl:

    Plasticity of IQ: turns out to be greater between childhood, adolescence and adulthood than expected.

    Anecdotally true. I’m a lot dumber as an adult than I was as a kid.

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Consider that, 100 years ago, there were a lot more “races” out there than there are now. Within Europe itself, there were three distinct ones (the Germanic, the Latin, the Slavic) and numerous odds and ends and further refinements amongst the major three.

    Given that if I, a guy of Scots-Irish, English, German, Dutch, and some Amerind ancestry, can make a baby with some babe from Lagos or Shanghai, the notion of “race” as biological destiny is rubbish.

  75. 75
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Zandar:

    This is why I want to take people who question the “Theory” of Evolution up in helicopters, then we can toss them out and see if the “Theory” of Gravity is just as “theoretical”.

  76. 76
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Cole

    “essentially inconsequential?”

    i think the between group differences were statistically significant as published.
    is that how you define essentially inconsequential?

    i guess that means you think IQ is plastic, and thus you are not only a cudlip, but a bio-luddite cudlip.
    /sadface

    i still dont get the BJ obsession with a 16 or 17 year-old book by a political “scientist”.
    theres plenty of fresher research if you look around.
    it must be some sort of primitive tribal shibboleth.

  77. 77
    burnspbesq says:

    Yawn.

    Can we perhaps talk about the interesting thing that happened today, i.e., Judge Rakoff’s rejection of the proposed settlement between the SEC and Citi?

  78. 78
    Emma says:

    @Percysowner: his refusal to ever apologize for his fifth column comment about people who opposed the intervention in Iraq. I can not help being miffed by the fact that Sully was perfectly willing to put me against a wall and shoot me because I thought starting a war would be disastrous. Yeah.

  79. 79
    Loneoak says:

    @Zandar:

    It’s always worth reiterating how different the meanings of “theory” are in science and in colloquial usage. In science, a theory is the best thing you can have and is a tremendous achievement involving many people doing many years of research that coherently and productively explains a shit ton of observations and experiments. See, for instance, quantum mechanics or evolution. In colloquial usage, a theory is a hunch. See, for instance, Bachmann’s insistence that HPV vaccines give to teenagers retroactively cause mental retardation. When conservative “defenders of science” talked about scientific theory they are typically doing their best to conflate these meanings, if they even understand them in the first place.

  80. 80
    different-church-lady says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Given that if I, a guy of Scots-Irish, English, German, Dutch, and some Amerind ancestry, can make a baby with some babe from Lagos or Shanghai, the notion of “race” as biological destiny is rubbish.

    Yes, today’s use of the term ‘race’ is more or less a euphemism for ‘color coding’.

    Nothing amuses me quite like talking to someone who thinks they’ve got my ethnicity or nationality pegged, and then I get to bore them to death with the details of my twisted family tree.

  81. 81
    Emma says:

    @celticdragonchick: No, he’s not. He’s obsessed with pushing research that has been debunked every which way from Sunday. He keeps on going back and claiming “the research hasn’t been done” and ignoring people pointing out that the damn research has indeed been done and provide citations.

  82. 82
    trollhattan says:

    Not entirely unrelated, Fox is wearing out the dogwhistle.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....033754.php

  83. 83
    Samara Morgan says:

    pardon, i meant Cole thinks IQ is infinitely plastic with any between group difference entirely dependent on environment.
    if that was true we could make individuals with functional retardation (IQ < 70) into theoretical physicists.
    there is a biological basis for all behavior.

  84. 84
    slag says:

    @Joel:

    Anecdotally true. I’m a lot dumber as an adult than I was as a kid.

    Me too! Though I think it was This American Life that explained to me that, in your early stages of puberty, you’re producing a crazy number of brain cells and neural connections, many of which essentially die off throughout puberty. Personally, I use this information to confirm the supposition that, at age 12, I did, in fact, know everything.

  85. 85
    William Hurley says:

    @Loneoak:

    Indeed. My favorite example is to compare the “Theory of Gravity” with the “Theory of Rational Agents”. The former is science, the latter is propaganda draped in the rhetorical use of science-y sounding language.

    For your enjoyment, you can find the latter “theory” and its application lampooned and thoroughly invalidated in the film, The Flaw.

  86. 86
    handy says:

    @trollhattan:

    I wonder if Hillary was consulted.

    /Ducks for cover

  87. 87
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Loneoak: for example, in the new domain of Social Brain Hypothesis we don’t have enough data to build a theory yet.

  88. 88
    Stillwater says:

    @burnspbesq: Thanks for mentioning that. But … what does it mean?

  89. 89
    jl says:

    Even the literature review in the intro chapters of the Bell Curve stunk. I found out myself when I took the book to a local university psych library and spent an afternoon looking stuff up. The literature review is very selective (edit: actually, incomplete is a better word), very biased towards what the authors believed, and out of date. Literature reviews are always out of date in a book, but there are reasonable limits to out of dateness, which the Bell Curve far exceeded.

    It does not take statistics whizz bang expertise to spot flaws in the books scholarship. The book’s lousy literature review creates big first strike in the first couple of chapters. Strikes two through umpteen (too many to count) continue through the rest.

  90. 90
    uptown says:

    The common Sullivan surname means “hawk-eyed” or “little dark-eyed one,” derived from the Irish súildhubhán, from suil, meaning “eye” and dubh, meaning black.

    So this all comes from feelings of inferiority. Poor little Andrew had to grow up with an Irish surname in England, and now he wants to be one of the elite.

  91. 91
    Samara Morgan says:

    @jl: but so what?
    that is a 16 year old crap book by a political “scientist” that is a rockribbed paleo-conservative with an agenda. who cares?
    sullivan is a conservative shill. One would think ppl would get that by now.
    periodically the juicitariat works themselves into a frenzy over this stupid book.
    its like a full moon cycle.

    Its almost impossible to study the genetics of intelligence either in the US or the UK because it is socially contentious. You can say that the net effect is that it helps perpetuate a system where people are dumb.– Dr. James Watson

  92. 92
    Maus says:

    When can we finally stop pretending Sullivan’s not an ignorant asshole, and not have his occasional stopped-clock observations brought up as a sign that he’s not?

  93. 93
    Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill says:

    @celticdragonchick: As someone who read MISMEASURE before Bell Curve (and after), I really cannot recommend it enough. Gould is relentless in attacking the history behind this, the very history Coates underlines from the African-American perspective.

    And then in the revised version, he shreds their maths in horrific detail, and takes a great deal of pain to break it down for laypeople.

    Honestly, it’s a book not just about this controversy, but really for anyone who gives a damn about understanding the nature of scientific controversy and inquiry. It’s insights are as applicable to Creationism and Climate Warming skepticism in many key ways as they are to the subject at hand.

  94. 94
    Samara Morgan says:

    @jl: heres another of my favorites.

    The tendencies to deny all genetic inequality in mental ability are rooted in cloud cuckooland, however laudable their political or moral motivation. –Richard Dawkins

  95. 95
    gnomedad says:

    @bjacques:

    as a collector for the Drapetomania Society, maybe I can get Sullivan to sponsor me for the Sprint of Dimes.

    I’ve heard the concept before, but not the word. Maybe Rush would find it useful on his march from “uppity” to you-know-what.

  96. 96
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill:

    It’s insights are as applicable to Creationism and Climate Warming skepticism

    like the General Bioludditry on spectacular display at BJ, neither creationism or AGW skepticism are based on any sort of scientific controversy.

    And Jay Gould was a poseur.
    punctuated equilibrium my fine white ass.

  97. 97
    gaz says:

    my $0.02

    (ignoring the fact that IQ is slippery and environmental)

    Any time you engage in a “scientific” study by partitioning people on the very unmeasurable lines of “race” you need to stop calling yourself a scientist, and start calling yourself an idiot.

    You can’t empirically or objectively partition studies along racial lines, although it may be possible to partition people along regional (or in some cases cultural/class lines)..

    Any thing else is just bullshit tribalism.

    The fact that Sully doesn’t see that means he’s trapped in a vortex of anti-intellectual stupidity. But he’s an american conservative, so I suppose said vortex is probably his comfort zone.

    *yawn*

    Bell Curve… fucking ROFL… next he’ll be recommending the Turner Diaries to his readers.

  98. 98
    Samara Morgan says:

    heh.
    at least this is breaking up TNC’s love affair with sully.
    niiice.
    go bioluddites.

  99. 99
    Bnad says:

    I think of “Essentially inconsequential” this way:
    Assume intelligence is a valid single measurable quality that is being measured accurately by current studies. Then assume you’re a Type X individual and you’re “smarter” than 60% of the other Type X individuals and “dumber” than 40% of Type X individuals. Type Y has a slightly lower average intelligence, meaning that you are also “smarter” than 60.5% of Type Y individuals and “dumber” than 39.5% of them.
    It may be a statistically significant difference, but in practical terms, not so much, as it doesn’t give you any real world basis for feeling superior to any given Type Y individual.
    Now erase that first assumption and even the statistical significance of the overall Type X vs Type Y comparison falls apart.

  100. 100
    Samara Morgan says:

    you know, i sneer at the jucitariat for having periodic PMS meltdowns about some old crap book…but a fierce belief in the infinity of human potential is not a bad thing to have.
    its a shield against the Dark.

  101. 101
    Loneoak says:

    TNC’s next post on the topic is even more devastating.

  102. 102
    gaz says:

    @Samara Morgan: whatevs, ya troll…

    First of all, I never liked sully.

    Secondly, a lot of folks at BJ do actually think for themselves.

    I imagine the reason you think they don’t probably has something to do with projection, on your part. A common hallmark of fools, as is your habit of casually insulting every poster here with your extremely broad brushes.

    I humbly suggest you get over yourself. You are not nearly as smart as you seem to think you are.

  103. 103
    Judas Escargot says:

    I’m one of the damned fools who actually read The Bell Curve way back when. Never mind the politics– as a work of statistics it was a failure. (Memory fails me as to what the exact numbers were, but their correlations were pretty weak).

    Assume (for argument’s sake) that you’ve ‘proven’ that, within some confidence interval, one race’s mean IQ will be slightly less than that of another race. Ok, fine… of what use is that information?

    Someone else has already quoted SJ Gould’s point, that group stats have nothing to do with the individual. So you can’t make hiring decisions based on group membership (ie you don’t know MY IQ until you test it directly, regardless of my group membership).

    So, can you use this info to set policy? I remember the Bell Curve authors announcing that Head Start programs for minorities were now ‘proven’ to be a waste of money, so they should be killed at once. (Of course, you could just as easily use this same finding to argue for more funding for those neighborhoods– just as we tend to spend more on flood prevention for coastal areas).

    They also wrote something along the lines of “it makes perfect sense to hire a friend’s son for a job, because the son is likely to be as smart as the father”. So now we have a scientific basis for nepotism and aristocracy, also, too. How convenient.

    My point: Sullivan seems very, very eager to prove a notion that, even if true, would have no real worth or usefulness.

    Maybe he’s feeling bruised by his last Maher appearance, and needs to piss off some liberals for a week or so to get his conservative identity recalibrated.

  104. 104
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Bnad: okfine. i’ll accept that, but its a crap book and has zero influence in the field, except to suppress research.

    Its the Bell Curve Shouters like Cole that are fucking with our chance to study intelligence.

  105. 105
    jl says:

    @Samara Morgan: I don’t see the point of the comments you posted. There is a lot of evidence that an individual’s general IQ measure has a genetic component.

    There is a lot less scientifically or statistically sound evidence that there are practically significant, or any, differences in native intelligence between racial and ethnic groups. Unless you want to be a slave to simple factor analysis of flawed, culturally biased, IQ test results.

    And, there is no evidence, or sound argument, from any field that I know of, that it is a good or ethical idea, to use aggregate group performance on IQ tests to design social policies that would limit opportunities for random individuals just because of their race and ethnicity. And this last bit was an explicit recommendation of The Bell Curve. That third leap is quite a bit more ambitious that simply acknowledging that there is a genetic component to an individual’s scores on IQ tests.

  106. 106
    Samara Morgan says:

    @gaz: oh please– do you need me to link all the whining over that bell curve book in the last three years?
    This is a herd of cudlips.
    of course they all think the same.

  107. 107
    slag says:

    @Bnad: Extremely useful summary.

  108. 108
    RSA says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    He is scientifically and mathematically illiterate. He should just stick to what is real conservatism, bears and posts about Catholicism.

    I think this, from Sullivan, is suggestive:

    I certainly don’t have profound knowledge of the deep research of experts in the field. But since the Bell Curve contretemps, I have kept up a little with some in the field who sympathize with my own position on this.

    He’s willing to put his opinions out there, even without “profound knowledge” (I’d guess it’s a bit less than that), because he talks to people who agree with him.

  109. 109
    gaz says:

    @Samara Morgan: The Bell Curve is a thoroughly debunked piece of trash, produced by people to pathetic too see past their own tribalism.

    It’s statistically unsound, suspect in it’s methods, it requires that one accept that the G factor can be determined empirically, but it can’t.

    It does nothing for science. It in fact, undermines it because it is unsound to the core. The “Bell Curve shouters” dislike the work on scientific grounds (but may also dislike it on moral grounds)…

    The fact that you seem to think otherwise means you don’t actually get the problem. It’s a failure on your part (just like Sully’s). This is not about PC. This is about science. Bell Curve is simply not a scientifically sound. That’s it.

    I imagine you’ll never get it. Because you want to believe it. Go ahead. There’s plenty of people being wrong on the internet (and stupid in meatspace) all the time. But the fact that you *want* to believe in the efficacy of material doesn’t make you right. Just stupid.

  110. 110
    Samara Morgan says:

    @jl: again… who cares about the Bell Curve book?
    it influences nothing.

    there are likely MEASURABLE racial between group differences in IQ, just like there are MEASURABLE differences in brain morphology and function between the sexes, just like there are MEASUREABLE between group differences between the sexes in IQ.
    we MEASURE things like that to UNDERSTAND THE MECHANISM in science.

    to use aggregate group performance on IQ tests to design social policies that would limit opportunities for random individuals just because of their race and ethnicity.

    that is bulshytt. no scientist believes in that.

  111. 111
    gaz says:

    @Samara Morgan: I don’t need the links. I have plenty that debunk it on it’s lack of scientific merit. see google

  112. 112
    gwangung says:

    @Samara Morgan: You wouldn’t make those statements if you knew what you were talking about.
    But like current Republicans, you keep doubling down.

  113. 113
    gwangung says:

    @Samara Morgan: BOy, you just spouted four untruths there.

    All because you really don’t understand the material.

    And you keep doubling down.

  114. 114
    Comrade Luke says:

    The best rebuttal to the fact-free argument that blacks are dumber than whites is:

    Oh yea? Then how do you explain Ta-Nehisi Coates and Andrew Sullivan?

  115. 115
    gaz says:

    @Comrade Luke: no shit right?, LOL

  116. 116
    different-church-lady says:

    @jl:

    I don’t see the point of the comments you posted.

    You don’t understand why someone would say anything they had to just to create (or further) an argument?

    Samara’s a ‘pure’ troll: she doesn’t really have a point of view or a purpose to what she says other than to make sure you stay in ‘debate’ with her.

  117. 117
    gaz says:

    anyway, I’m back to work.

    I have little time to debunk the same arguments the phrenologists were trotting out 100 years ago. If it weren’t for sully and some of the modern lay-phrenologists trolls here, I’d have thought that this was settled – at the very least since the ’70s or so. Apparently some are especially slow to catch up to the rest of the human race. *shrug*…

  118. 118
    slippy says:

    @catclub: Ah, you see, Asians are inferior to whites in some other way that hasn’t yet been statistically determined. Drop a “chinese-made” quip into any rough-and-tumble comments section of a news site and watch the racst comments SOAR about how “you just can’t trust the Chinese.” Trust me, I’ve seen it.

    So, in the end it’s still just pathetic racism. The excuses are legion, the behavior is still that of small hateful minds.

  119. 119
    Citizen_X says:

    @jl:

    @Samara Morgan: I don’t see the point of the comments you posted.

    To the Management: Could we please have a button that pastes the quoted part? It would save a lot of time.

  120. 120
    Satanicpanic says:

    It’s broadly true that people who refer to other humans as “bovine” or “sheeple” are never as smart as they think they are.

  121. 121
    jl says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Measure what? For real science in caps, it is nice to have an operational definition of an observable characteristic, and the measure of changes in a characteristic that is independent of the theory.

    That is the case for theories of motion for the time it takes balls to roll down a ramp that can be measured with a clock. That is physics, definitely science in caps with measurement in caps.

    But that is not the case for intelligence tests. You cannot observe the construct of human intelligence directly, with a clock, with yardstick, or a scale, or anything else. All you have is a statistical construct, in this case the principal factor from a simple factor analysis, that explains ‘most’ (in some sense) of the variation in a pattern of responses to little math and logic puzzles and word games written down on paper.

    As I mentioned earlier, there have long been obvious problems with using standard western style IQ tests to measures human intelligence. One is that different groups score differently on question with the same logical content and difficulty, when expressed in equivalent ways, for example, as a geometric puzzle compared to an algebra puzzle. So, there is something that a factor analysis of responses to a standard culturally biased test does not seem to capture.

    And, whether scientists believe it or not is not the issue. The issue is that influential pundits and political leaders believe nonsense, and spread disinformation.

  122. 122
    gaz says:

    @jl: Spot on

    adding, the same applies to race. Race is a culturally specific term. It means different things to different people. You can’t just say someone is African-American and call it good, or even African, or Chinese (i’m near certain the northern chinese would test higher on IQ tests than the southerners, at least if history is the judge)… it’s effin slippery. It’s culturally sensitive. Sapotec != Mexican (ask a Sapotec – or ask a non-indiginous mexican – if you can find one). Is Native-American a “race” or do they deal in tribal affiliations. Are we all americans?. For that matter let’s *not* talk about defining “white” heh.

    I mean hell. Operational parameters – as you said.

    so you actually have two questionable variables that are heavily culturally and environmentally prone to bias, and you are trying to draw your conclusions based on the interactions of them? really?

    Yeah. You are so right. Anyone that doesn’t understand this is functionally scientifically illiterate, so far as I can tell.

    it’s sloppy

  123. 123
    Samara Morgan says:

    @jl:

    Measure what?

    aye, theres the rub. sure our current psychometrics leave a lot to be desired….but what happens when there are functional and morphological differences….in fMRI? brain size (for example) correlates with cognitive ability, doesnt it?
    How about differences in neurochemistry?

    Consider red/blue genetics…what some people are calling neuropolitics….liberals have more grey matter in the ACC, conservatives in the amygdala.
    what happens when those sort of metrics begin to show between group differences in race?
    you wont be able to blame cultural bias.
    i suspect there are measurable between group differences in many, many variables.

  124. 124
    Samara Morgan says:

    @gaz: race, like religion, is self-determined on surveys.
    in america, apparently the one drop rule still applies. :)

    hahahaha

  125. 125
    jayackroyd says:

    I’m late to this, and rushed, but I just want to point out that the “Bell Curve” is not a research result, but an assumption. The idea that performance on these tests is distributed normally is not the result of research. The distribution is imposed on the raw scores–and the way it is imposed changes over time as the population’s scores shift.

    For instance, performance on the spatial recognition sections has improved dramatically over the last fifty years, as kids spend more and more time in simulated environments that train people in more effective spatial recognition skills. So they’ve had to, like the SAT people, reweight, and recenter the test repeatedly over time in order to produce a Normal distribution from the raw scores.

  126. 126
    Samara Morgan says:

    @gaz:

    let’s not talk about defining “white” heh.

    white is defined on surveys as non-hispanic caucasian.
    see how easy that is?

  127. 127
    gaz says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    @gaz: race, like religion, is self-determined on surveys.
    in america, apparently the one drop rule still applies.

    So the study essentially studies the correlation between the race people choose to identify as, and our incomplete statistical model for measuring intelligence. If you want to draw conclusions based on that be my guest. But that’s not science, no matter how much you wish it were so. It’s an opinion poll w/ an IQ test. There’s a difference.

    Way to miss my point.

    That’s basically my point.

  128. 128
    Samara Morgan says:

    @jayackroyd: agreed.
    Murray’s results are dated….like phrenology.
    so why rage about that stupid book?
    ;)

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    brain size (for example) correlates with cognitive ability, doesnt it?

    No, it doesn’t.

    The fact that you don’t even know these extremely basic things is why no one takes you seriously, no matter how much half-understood jargon you vomit out.

  130. 130
    gaz says:

    SM – Yeah I see how easy it is – for you to pack so much dumbstupid into one little sentence.

    Good for you

  131. 131
    Samara Morgan says:

    @gaz: yup.
    bad psychometrics.
    but you can take jl’s question….a lot of SCIENTISTS believe there are a lot of between group differences that we will be able to MEASURE in fFMRI and neurochemistry.
    hard data.
    we can do gene sequencing to determine racial component.
    what happens then?

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    white is defined on surveys as non-hispanic caucasian.

    So all Asians are actually white since the Caucasus Mountains that give the “caucasian” group its name are in Asia.

    Good to know.

  133. 133
    gaz says:

    @Samara Morgan: Care to show me the place in the Bell Curve where they cited genetic studies as racial identifiers?

    what? you can’t find them?

    gee…

  134. 134
    Peter says:

    I’m just going to point out that for all her dismissive talk abotu it now, Matoko actually had to have The Bell Curve’s flaws pointed out to her in appalling detail by the ‘juiceitariat’. She spent a 300+ comment thread defending it before that.

  135. 135
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mnemosyne: oh, it does. that is what social brain hypothesis is all about.
    ;)

  136. 136
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    we can do gene sequencing to determine racial component.

    Then, as happened to Henry Louis Gates, we discover that a whole lot of “black” people in the US and Europe are actually mostly “white”/European, and people like you scramble to find another halfway plausible reason why their skin color makes them inferior.

    As TNC said, it’s been going on for at least a century now, so I don’t see any reason you would stop now.

  137. 137
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Ah, yet another fact-free statement. What a shock.

  138. 138
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mnemosyne: aisan is a race. caucasian is a race.
    go chew your cud, mooo moooo.

  139. 139
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mnemosyne: i dont think black people are inferior– i think stupid people are inferior …..AND christians that proselytize.
    ;)

  140. 140
    gaz says:

    @Samara Morgan: Care to tell Chinese person they are the same race as a Japanese person, or vice versa?

    Let me know how that works out for ya!

  141. 141
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Peter: false– i had to have the BJ obsession with a crappy old book explained to me, i wasnt defending it lol!
    to me, “the bell curve” just means normal or gaussian distribution– it apparently means something else to juicers.

  142. 142
    Peter says:

    @Samara Morgan: You sure did intersperse that with a lot of defense of its results.

  143. 143
    Samara Morgan says:

    ahh, the rabid chihuahua pack.

    sayonara.
    ;)

  144. 144
    Phylllis says:

    @celticdragonchick: A conclusion qy
    Hickey drawn in Nell Painter’s A History of White People. Terrific book; if you’re a Teddy Roosevelt fan, it’ll turn you off him pretty quick.

  145. 145
    gaz says:

    @Mnemosyne: lol right.
    That’s why I don’t use the term Caucasian. It’s less accurate than white (since that’s what people in the US mean by Caucasian generally).

    All of the terms that samara mentioned are predominantly specific terms employed amongst white north americans, and those non-white minorities who have broadly adopted many aspects of our culture.

    But in any case, this time I’m actually closing the browser… for realz this time… Work beckons…

  146. 146
    Phylllis says:

    @Phylllis: ‘quickly’, not qy Hickey, which wtf? FYWP and auto-correct.

  147. 147
    jl says:

    @Samara Morgan: The bottom line is that if we let people in the countryside of sub Saharan Africa, for example, write the IQ test questions in their cultural context, and weighted algebraic formulations more than geometric formulations of logic puzzles, they would be smarter that white snoots, perhaps many at Harvard.

    I think we basically agree (not sure to be honest, but I think we do). But that kind of variation based on measurement technique is a little too much in my book to call IQ testing a measurement of anything real in the outside world. It might be, and we just don’t understand what it is yet, or maybe it is just a statistical artifact of how various kinds of IQ tests are written and scored.

  148. 148
    Jay says:

    Shorter Sullivan: “White Supremacist cant. LOL!”

  149. 149
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    aisan is a race. caucasian is a race

    Wow. Stupid is as stupid does.

  150. 150
    gwangung says:

    @Samara Morgan: Translation: As usual, I’m getting my ass creamed here, and I have no defense against the facts and science.

  151. 151
    burnspbesq says:

    @Stillwater:

    What does Rakoff’s rejection of the proposed settlement mean? There are a number of possibilities.

    One thing he said is that he doesn’t have enough facts to judge whether the proposed settlement is in the public interest. My sense is that he won’t approve anything that doesn’t involve enough of an admission of wrongdoing by Citi so that it would be collaterally estopped in subsequent private litigation. That could be remedied if the SEC makes something like an offer of proof and Citi admits that the SEC could prove it.

    Bigger picture, it seems that the SEC’s historic practice of entering into consent decrees in which the defendant effectively says “we didn’t do anything wrong, but we promise to never do those non-wrong things again” is toast.

    I wouldn’t be very upset if the SEC were to decide that this is the hill to die on, and actually goes to trial. I’m willing to bet that you wouldn’t be upset if that’s how it plays out. A $700 million restitution order would be a rounding error in Citi’s quarterly results, but it would send a loud message to the banking sector that clowntime is over (take that, DougJ).

  152. 152
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @burnspbesq: Isn’t that the case where the judge quoted “Alice’s Restaurant” in the decision?

  153. 153
    burnspbesq says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Don’t remember that. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Google SEC v. Citigroup Global Markets.

  154. 154
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @burnspbesq: Might not have been that one. I saw it somewhere in the past few days. should have bookmarked it.

  155. 155
    harlana says:

    Just read the whole thing. . . . as far as I am concerned it generated no new knowledge or information and was a huge waste of my time.

    I’ll take what’s behind Door 2.

  156. 156
    THE says:

    Nothing to do with race, but rather IQ & Genetics:

    I noticed that the Cognitive Genomics Lab at BGI (formerly known as the Beijing Genomics Institute) is currently undertaking a study of IQ-intelligence and genetics, determined through cognitive testing and Genome-Wide Association Studies.

    They are looking for volunteers. (GoogleTechTalks Video Presentation)

  157. 157
    Slugger says:

    @ruemara: To clarify: I’d like Sully or any other white guy intellectual concern trolling to try the chess challenge. I did get my wallet lightened up when I thought that being pretty good in the chess club at a Midwestern college meant anything in Washington Square. I did enjoy the drum circle. Saturday afternoon in October in Wash Square…one of those life experiences no one should miss out on!
    I should have played the Sicilian defense!

  158. 158

    […] That’s Ta-Nehisi Coates’ credo as stated in the post disembowling Andrew Sullivan that John linked to below. […]

  159. 159
    Barry says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    “@Villago Delenda Est: Do you think Niall Ferguson has a similar problem, being Scottish and all?”

    Or the UK is smart, and exports their smart-sounding/dumb as rocks pseudo-intellectuals to the States.

  160. 160
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    I avoid it because I have a bias toward knowing what I’m talking about.

    I’m sorry, sir. There’s just no future for you on the Internet. Perhaps you’d be better off applying your efforts to some other line of work where knowing what you’re talking about is of some value.

  161. 161
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Oh, honey, no. Now you’re just embarrassing yourself.

    Howard Gardner had some words for you:

    Why is this so singularly off-putting? I would have thought it unnecessary to say, but if people as psychometrically smart as Messrs. Herrnstein and Murray did not “get it,” it is safer to be explicit. High IQ doesn’t make a person one whit better than anybody else. And if we are to have any chance of a civil and humane society, we had better avoid the smug self-satisfaction of an elite that reeks of arrogance and condescension. (p. 71)

  162. 162
    SoINeedAName48 says:

    Concerning your obsession with Sullivan …

    Give it a FUCKING REST!

  163. 163
    wetcasements says:

    So John, you’ve come around to mocking Andrew as he should be mocked — thoroughly and constantly.

    So maybe down the road we can take the next step and just ignore his blather entirely.

  164. 164
    Maus says:

    @wetcasements:

    So maybe down the road we can take the next step and just ignore his blather entirely

    YES PLEASE DEAR GOD

    Then we can stop hearing “even the noted conservative pundit Sully” in between Sullivan cheering on colonialism and other shitty racist conservatisms.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] That’s Ta-Nehisi Coates’ credo as stated in the post disembowling Andrew Sullivan that John linked to below. […]

Comments are closed.