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October 22, 2007

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Does being a card-carrying Liberal mean you have to soft on crime and find excuses as to why someone who has committed a crime doesn't have to face any real responsibilty? If so, then that may explain why I don't a card even though I tend to prefer mostly Liberal views on society. Actually I doubt the geniune "I can't help it because . . ." could account no more than around 1%-5% of criminals, the rest are simply looking a five-finger discount in society. Undoubtedly stern punishment is needed as most criminals are oppurtunity seekers and punishment is the main way to shift the opportunity cost high enough where a crime isn't worth committing. The real question perhaps then should punishment be one eye for an eye or two eyes for an eye? Namely the punishment should fit the crime (100% 'tax' rate) or should the punishment really exceed the crime (200+% 'tax' rate)?

This lead-causes-crime theory dovetails nicely with the Freakonomics abortion-cuts-crime theory, as the phaseout of leaded gasoline in the United States happened at about the same time as the legalization of abortion.

I am fearfully waiting for the latest horrible crime wave due to all the lead that is in the many products coming from China.

But underlying the idea is another idea that drives liberals crazy with anger; that people can have a biological disposition to being criminal.

Strawman.

It is certainly an interesting theory. But I myself find it unpersuasive.

Lead from cars was pretty evenly distributed. Why would it cause crime only in poor areas?

I'm reading "The Tipping Point". That book regurgitates the Broken Windows theory. I find it much more persuasive.

Another compelling and cogent arguement, JA.

Lead from cars was pretty evenly distributed. Why would it cause crime only in poor areas?

If you picture criminality along overlapping normal distributions with different means, and a threshold where everyone below that is a criminal (a simplification) equal shifts in the means towards criminality will make the group that had the left hand mean even more criminal, presuming that a fairly small fraction of both populations were below the crime threshold.

See la griffe for the methods.

Liberals are all for biological/scientific explanations except when it is something they disagree with. Homosexuality is genetic? Fine. Global warming? It is settled science. Racial differences in intelligence? We get this: More study is needed. What is intelligence? What is IQ? There are different kinds of intelligence. You racist!

...and conservatives think the world is 6,000 years old, there is no global warming, and scientists in general are a big atheist conspiracy... except when it comes to race and IQ.

Wow, stereotyping the opposition is very productive!

and conservatives think the world is 6,000 years old ... and scientists in general are a big atheist conspiracy

No, that's what fundamentalist Christians believe.

"He also doubts that the hypothesis could explain the plunge in the U.S. murder rate from the 1930s through the 1950s." Quite. Anyway, surely the rise in violent crime correlates best with the rise in noxious pop music?

Lead from cars was pretty evenly distributed. Why would it cause crime only in poor areas?

From what I recall, it wasn't just lead from gas, but also lead in paint and in various other things, which one may get more exposure to in high-density areas.

Not sure I buy the theory either, though. Here's a Washington Post article on the subject.

I was always under the impression that Guiliani brought crime under control because he got tough on criminals. liberals and minorities whined about it, but it did seem to work. It seemed Guiliani did suscribe to the "Broken" Windows theory.

Lead from cars was pretty evenly distributed.

Not really; obviously, if you live in an area with a lot of car traffic (a city), you'll get more lead in your air. So if you look at a population from NYC 1970-1976 (see here),
you can see that the average blood lead levels are way above what we consider harmful today. Seems like 10ug/dl is the modern screening threshold, where the average level for NYC kids in 1971 looks to be about 22-25. Further, the blood levels drop quite significantly over the 1970-76 time period where the atmospheric levels of lead are cut in half.
People in the country (including rural minorities, obviously) would not have been exposed to much of this lead. While I don't know exactly what the composition of NYC's population was in 1970, it looks like 6 in 10 schoolchildren that year in NYC were minority. So the lead would have hit minorities harder.
The issue of older housing stock and poorly maintained (peeling) lead paint as a risk factor is a separate issue, but again I would guess that poor and minority populations would be more affected.

tough on criminals ... It seemed Guiliani did suscribe to the "Broken" Windows theory.

I think these are two distinct things. Getting tough on criminals/crime generally means long sentences for serious crimes and/or things like the three strikes laws. The broken windows theory has more to do with maintaining a non-threatening neighborhood through civic maintenance and consistent enforcement of laws against nuisances (like squeegee guys, graffiti, littering). You could easily be an advocate for broken-windows style reform while being soft on serious crime, or vice versa.

and conservatives think the world is 6,000 years old ... and scientists in general are a big atheist conspiracy

No, that's what fundamentalist Christians believe.

68% of Republicans "Do not believe in evolution."

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2007/05/democrats_believe_bush_
knew_about_911_attacks_in_advance/

Complete link...

Jewish Atheist, creationism is global warming for fundamentalist Christians.

At Half Sigma, where logic is valued over groupthink, we don't believe in either.

At Half Sigma, where logic is valued over groupthink, we don't believe in either.

If you value logic so much, why do you keep:

1) attributing the actions of one liberal to all liberals;
2) pretending that there are no rational, informed "liberals;" and
3) engaging in constant straw-man arguments?

JA, if you can point to me a liberal who both (1) understands that global warming is nonsense; and (2) also understands that racial IQ differences are genetic, then maybe we have a starting point to discuss the issue.

I should also point out that the most famous anti-evolutionist was DEMOCRATIC presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan.

JA, if you can point to me a liberal who both (1) understands that global warming is nonsense; and (2) also understands that racial IQ differences are genetic, then maybe we have a starting point to discuss the issue.

(1) is accepted science. It is your side that is anti-scientific on this one.

(2) most scientists probably get this and most scientists are liberal. Pinker is one example. The majority on both sides are ignorant, although because the right has its share of racists, they are probably more willing to jump on this topic. Just read the comments over at Sailer's sometime and tell me if you think their primary motivation is knowledge or confirming their prejudices.

I should also point out that the most famous anti-evolutionist was DEMOCRATIC presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan.

Great, another argument by anecdote. You're right, Democrats obviously are more anti-evolution than Republicans. And the Democrats today are identical to the party of yesteryear. /sarcasm

The Democrats/9-11 poll does not necessarily say what some people think it says. It doesn't necessarily say that 2/3 believe that Bush knew precisely when and how the attacks were going to occur and let them happen for his own evil little reasons. A person couple respond affirmatively by simply believing that Bush knew that an attack was planned and didn't do enough to stop it or one can respond that they don't know just by admitting it's possible. It's not that outlandish a theory and it's not comparable to the Truthers that believe that there was a massive conspiracy.

JA, it does not follow that because they don't believe in evolution that they necessarily believe that the world is 6,000 years old. A startling number do believe that, but a lot reject evolution and believe that the world is older than 6,000 years. Many take creationism more figuratively and believe that humans have been around as-is for millions of years. Of the anti-evolution people I know, far more believe that the earth is 6,000 years old than not. Some of that is the company I keep, most likely, but not all of it.

"(1) is accepted science. It is your side that is anti-scientific on this one."

Thank Gaia it is settled. But this almost sounds like religious belief to me.


JA, tell these guys:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

All I had to do was use an internet search engine! I had no idea that they had these things. Try it sometime. But use caution, you may find something you don't like.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_
assessment_of_global_warming

Link corrected. Not like you'll use it anyway.

Great, you can use an internet search engine! I knew you could do it. So by posting that link you are implying that there may be people who are dissenting from the theory of Darwinism? Interesting. So there may be other scientific theories that people may dissent from too, or maybe they are just "settled" already.

I wish I could remember where I read this study, but there are certain disorders which lead people to crave eating weird things like dirt and paint chips, and which are also associated with lowered cognitive functions.

In other words, why assume that eating paint chips makes you stupid? It could just as easily be that being stupid makes you eat paint chips.

"Just read the comments over at Sailer's sometime and tell me if you think their primary motivation is knowledge or confirming their prejudices."

Since speculation about other peoples motivations is fair game....

I'd bet your at Sailer's to confirm a better, nay, higher set of prejudices.

Oh! the horrors you must endure...

Who cares about the comments at Sailer's, this is HS. Tomorrow belongs to me...

I do accept the possibility of genetic differences between races, though you haven't convinced me about the global warming yet.

So, I'm sort of new to reading this blog. What's with all the liberal bashing:
"But underlying the idea is another idea that drives liberals crazy with anger" and "liberals only think intelligence is important when we can blame evil corporations".

Lots more in other posts as well.

It says at the top "Neither Republican, Democratic, nor Libertarian". But I always associated Liberal bashing with Rush Limbaugh types (crazy super conservatives).

Why are we reading this guy who posts stuff like "liberals only think...". Its just flame bait isn't it? Is this guy for real or just making money off the Google Ads?

I wish I could remember where I read this study, but there are certain disorders which lead people to crave eating weird things like dirt and paint chips, and which are also associated with lowered cognitive functions.

It's called pica. I've never heard it associated with lower intelligence, although it is sometimes associated with autism or mental retardation. It is also common for toddlers and pregnant women. The most common craving is dirt.

Why are we reading this guy who posts stuff like "liberals only think...". Its just flame bait isn't it?

HS overstates his case at times. We've decided to find it cute.

"HS overstates his case at times. We've decided to find it cute."

He also thinks black people are stupid. Not so cute.

"He also thinks black people are stupid. Not so cute."

The average black scores lower on IQ tests than the average white. You deny this?

The problem is that somebody like HS with this knowledge may treat black people poorly because the average black person scores lower than the average white person. In fact, I can't even confirm if HS treats black people poorly due based on these facts, but I wouldn't be surprised if he does so.

"The problem is that somebody like HS with this knowledge may treat black people poorly because the average black person scores lower than the average white person."

That blacks, as a group, score lower than whites, as a group is already common knowledge.

The problem is that somebody like HS with this knowledge may treat black people poorly because the average black person scores lower than the average white person.

But David, for all your insecurities, you actually seem pretty interested in discussions of intelligence and IQ. Do you really think the subject shouldn't be studied or discussed?

That blacks, as a group, score lower than whites, as a group is already common knowledge.

Yes, but we can blame underclass culture, poor schooling, and other environmental factors on their failure. With the shit to genetic inheritance of IQ, fixing those factors won't change much solve the problem, so the shift for blame moves from the environmental factor to the bad genes that serve as the blue print for blacks. As I've said multiple times already, these studies may not purposely do so, but they effectively prove the inferiority of the black population versus the other races.

But David, for all your insecurities, you actually seem pretty interested in discussions of intelligence and IQ. Do you really think the subject shouldn't be studied or discussed?

I'm interesting in the topic because it effective shows that "my people" to use a loaded term are worse than "your people" or "HS's people". It's easy for everybody here to discuss this topic because except for me, the owner of this blog and the commenters here are either white or Asian, and thus, unaffected by this study. Your identities are less connected to the status of your group's population, and thus, you're free to be individuals to be treated as individuals. In contrast, for blacks, you're effectively the "representative" for the black population for whites, and whatever you do is highly scrutinized for any slight error to possibly prove failure in the black community. For me, these IQ studies presuming they're not jury-rigged only add more insult, and serve as a tool for other populations to reinforce whatever hatred and prejudice that they had towards blacks. In fact, I believe that such knowledge will push people who were once tolerant of blacks to develop a hatred for them because of their newfound apparent inferiority.

Unlike my cousins who developed an Afro-centric viewpoint of the world, I ended up adopting my grandmother's viewpoint which one can argue was basically about worshiping whites. Of course, she learned that from her great aunt who beat her severely for even considering a romance with a dark skinned man back in our native Haiti. I can't see myself as an Afro-centric person since it's a silly philosophy built on paranoia, lies, and a bizzare ideological underpinnings. Seriously, how the hell can somebody worship frigging Africa when it's a broken continent with nothing to show for itself. In contrast, whites have a lot to show over the past 500 years in terms of development. I like hanging around with whites, and most of my friends are whites, and I don't feel comfortable around black people, but I still feel paranoid around white people. There's a certain feeling when you see that you're the only black person around and you suspect that at any moment, some Stormfront/closet-KKK member will come out of nowhere and either beat the crap out of you or convict you of some felony that requires spending years in prison. It's why I stay out of bars, and why the idea of roadgeeking (one of my hobbies) in rural areas in the US (oddly, yet not in Canada) is so frightening. Even just the looks you get from people and not fitting in becomes frustrating and tiring, but running to a black neighbourhood and staying there is frustrating in a different sense because black people and their habits and behaviour frustrate the shit out of me in a way that whites don't. Maybe I'm just simply being paranoid or elitist and snotty, but when you're black, when white see red, you see blue.

Back to the topic at hand, could this research lead to new treatments for low IQ? It's possible, but if the treatments are available, it really doesn't change the situation for us at all. It just simply means that we now need medicines made by white people in order to just simply operate at their levels and norms. It still doesn't make the racists go away, and it just reaffirms their points about black inferiority. It brings back the old affirmative action complaints, but with the treatments (the niggers wouldn't have jobs without their fancy treatments). Plus, god knows if these treatments won't widen the gap between blacks and whites if whites take them as well. In addition, I'd imagine adoption of the treatment will be low if black people see the treatments as an insult to them. Shit, I wonder if the poor underclass can even afford, or comprehend the consequences of using such technology. Even if you boost the intelligence of the children, it doesn't get them out of their poor environments.

So in short, maybe I'm illogical, but I really can't give an answer. I've given reasons as to why they shouldn't research, but they're strictly emotional answers that maybe fed off stress and depression working together to destroy my pissant brain. All I can do is simply explain how I feel, but I'm not expecting to change any minds here or in the public sphere.

"we can blame underclass culture, poor schooling, and other environmental factors on their failure"

Those factors are not incompatible with the proposition that some of the variation in the results between the races is due to innate factors. They compliment rather than supplant each other. Only at the extremes (all-inheritance or all-environment) do they exclude each other. (And I can't think of any published thinker who professes either extreme.)

"With the shift to genetic inheritance of IQ, fixing those factors won't change much solve the problem, so the shift for blame moves from the environmental factor to the bad genes that serve as the blue print for blacks."

Trying to lift the left tail of the distribution upward is more difficult, not less difficult, if a person render himself deliberately blind to the factors that actually produce the distribution.

Ignorance-is-Bliss is a recipe for failure.

"As I've said multiple times already, these studies may not purposely do so, but they effectively prove the inferiority of the black population versus the other races."

People already know that blacks score lower than whites on tests. Refusal to come to terms with human biodiversity virtually guarantees than blacks will continue to be "inferior".

I think you're a pretty standard neurotic black intellectual, David. I suspect that as an intellectual, you secretly like data about IQ and intelligence because they feed your secret sense of individual superiority. :) Regardless of whatever guilt or concern you might feel on behalf of your race.

David, it is likely that smart drugs would benefit people with low IQ more than people with high IQ. Whatever tweaks a smart drug does will be more likely to already exist among the very high IQ. Look at anti-depressants. They help people who are depressed feel ok, but don't do much for people who aren't.

I think you're a pretty standard neurotic black intellectual, David. I suspect that as an intellectual, you secretly like data about IQ and intelligence because they feed your secret sense of individual superiority. :) Regardless of whatever guilt or concern you might feel on behalf of your race.

I really can't feel superior if I'm a paranoid wreck wondering if my nephew has low IQ and if it will doom him to failure and a criminal lifestyle. I have an older brother who's currently sitting in prison and an older cousin who was in prison as well, and I wonder if they're smart, but made bad choices or if they're simply low IQ idiots. I look at all these young black students and wonder if their education will be wasted and more cost-effective to just jail them from the start of their lives or not bother with any schooling at all, and if they'll ever know the pleasure of living in a safe, white middle class neighbourhood. You can't really feel superior when most of the people who look like and resemble you will never be happy like whites and will always be the "underclass" of society. You'll spend the rest of your life feeling guilty and rather thankful to God that you didn't end up like the others.

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