Thursday, March 30, 2006

"Stirring the possum" and European IQ differences

"Stirring the possum" is a common expression in Australia but I doubt that the term is much understood outside Australia so I will try to summarize what it means. For a start, Australia has lots of possums (a different species from the American opossum). I even have some living in the roofspace of my house -- as is common in Brisbane. They are however nocturnal and if you disturb one during the day it may well snarl and spit at you. And people know that. So if they DO stir a possum, they expect to be growled at.

So when Australians deliberately say something provocative but not terribly serious they will often refer to it as "Stirring the possum". Note however that such stirs are intended in good humour. Very few Australians would think of harming a possum (unlike in New Zealand, where they trap them) so stirring one is not an aggressive act. It is seen as a bit of harmless fun.

So when I referred recently to the interview in "The Times" with Richard Lynn as an example of "Stirring the possum" I was implying that Lynn was having a bit of fun with "The Times" rather than making a fully-rounded assessment of his subject -- which was national differences in European IQ. And the claim that Germans and Poles were considerably more intelligent than the English was indeed a delicious stir.

So I think I should note that on pages 21 and 22 of his recent book "Race Differences in Intelligence" (reviewed here and here), Lynn reports considerable variations in European IQ estimates: Irish from 87 to 97, Poland from 92 to 106, and Germans from 90 to 107. And if, as is common practice, one takes the median of these scores, one ends up with averages as follows: Ireland, 92; Poland 99; Germany 99. And none of that is particularly surprising.

What is slightly surprising is that Lynn's comments about European IQ were greeted and publicized without rancour -- while the vastly lower median scores found with African populations are usually ignored and sometimes execrated. But an impartial committment to truth is of course not to be expected from the media.


Stranger than fiction

I have concluded that the "Majority Rights" blog is a perfect example of why people should be conservative. The fundamental truth that only conservatives seem able to recognize is that the world is far more complex than any theory can accommodate. More than that, reality actually makes utter nonsense of most theories. I have two favourite examples of that: The neo-Nazi guy (hello Martyn!) I knew whose best friend was a very dark Bengali and another guy I knew (the sadly deceased Brian Jackson -- a lovely man) who despised Asians but was married to a Filipina!

And something similar goes on with "Majority Rights". I put up by far the most posts on that blog even though I am a cast-iron supporter of the State of Israel and even though most other people associated with the blog are Judeophobes! Can you get more wacky than that?

And yet my posts help to keep the blog humming. About 50% of the time they generate a fair bit of discussion. Even my post about dogs was well received.

So find a theory that fits all that! The only theory that fits it is a conservative one: Truth is stranger than fiction. Though even that is an empirical generalization rather than a theory.

I suspect that my posts on MR actually give a sort of perverse pleasure to many readers there. My posts there give the commenters the satisfaction of shooting me down. I am the accessible ogre who can be dispatched with a quick reference to race-theorists such as McDonald or Salter (Hello Frank!). The fact that I don't remotely feel shot down is beside the point.

So why do I continue to post there? Easy. I just LOVE "stirring the possum". And even Christ supped with sinners.


Brookes News Update

Keynesian nostrums still plague the US economy: That Keynesianism is still the prevailing orthodoxy among the economic commentariat is plain to see. What is not so plain is the consequences of this thinking.
France revolts against economic reason: You defy the market at your peril. France is now paying the price for her defiance. Such self-deception could only flourish in an environment dominated by economic illiteracy.
Is the Democratic Party a fifth column?: Those who believe that the Democratic Party is corrupt are absolutely right. But it is an ideological corruption that threatens America's very existence.
Black History Month ignored genuine black heroes: Eusebio Penalver suffered three times as long in Castro's Gulag as Solzhenitsyn suffered in Stalin's. He suffered longer than Mandela suffered in South Africa's - 28 years. He's the longest serving black political prisoner of the 20th century.
The Academy Awards are war by another name: In my more cynical moments I recognize the 'best picture' category of the Academy Awards to be nothing other than an intentional assault upon America by people who seek its destruction.
Latte leftist defends the ABC's phony independence with phony economics: Errol Simper is a typical leftist, smug, ignorant and patronizing. According to this clown the ABC is not to be held accountable to those elected by the people and whose money funds its operations.
Did Bracks and Ronnie Walker rip off a gun club?: Has the Bracks' Government committed serious crimes in its efforts to destroy common law rights?


I have just put up on Australian Politics an interesting comparison between New Orleans and the cyclone-hit Australian town of Innisfail.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here). I also post several times a week on "Tongue-Tied". There is an archive of my "Tongue-Tied" posts here or here


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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