Sunday, August 22, 2010
Israel, India, China and IQ
It has always been a puzzle that Israelis tend to score BELOW the Western average on IQ. Israel is such a brilliant nation scientifically and technologically, that the finding almost seems to invalidate IQ tests. India presents a similar puzzle. Indians do very well wherever they migrate but on average seem to have low IQs back home in India.
As is common, however, the problem would seem to arise from generalizations that are too sweeping and fail to look closely at the populations concerned. I will say a bit more about India below but what needs to be noted is that both nations are NOT ethnically homogeneous. High caste Indians are a lot different from "Dalits" and Israeli "Ashkenazim" (Jews of Northern European recent origin) are VERY different from Israelis of Middle Eastern origins.
And MOST Israelis are of Middle Eastern origins. They are mostly the Jews that were kicked out from Muslim lands after the foundation of modern Israel. Hitler got most of Europe's Ashkenazim West of Moscow, leaving NYC as the great remaining Askenazi centre, and NYC is too comfortable for many Jews to leave.
And at least since the story of Ruth, Jews have never been very endogamous, and Yiddisher Mommas grieve over that to this day. One way or another, Jews have tended to become genetically assimilated into the population within which they live. So many Lithuanian Jews look just like Lithuanians and many Middle Eastern Jews look just like Arabs. Sadly, however, it is not only Arab looks that many Israelis share but also Arab IQ, which is low.
So yes. The Sephardim and Mizrachim of Israel are a bit dumb (though it is VERY incorrect to say so), but the Ashkenazim are very bright and it is they who make Israel an intellectual powerhouse.
Although there are similarities, India is not quite the same. The Northern and Southern Indians do appear to be at least partly of different racial origins and the Northerners seems to be descended in part from lighter-skinned conquerors from somewhere North of India. The conquerors were probably relatively few in number, however, as all Indians are pretty brown.
Indians generally are pretty keen endogamists, however, so the Brahmins are relatively fair of skin and are probably the most closely related to the original Northern invaders. And it is of course the Brahmins who run India. So it is the IQ of the Brahmins and other high castes that is crucial and I know of no studies that have separated out Indian IQ by caste.
And even in India some exogamy does happen. In India, you can generally tell how rich a man is not by his skin colour but by the skin colour of his wife. A rich brown Indian will generally have a fairer-skinned wife. So over the centuries capable Indians from all castes will have worked their way up the status tree and contributed higher IQs to the upper ranges of that tree.
But there is clearly a second influence at work in India: The rural effect. For various reasons a rural background tends to go with a lower IQ. You see that even in South Africa. The Afrikaners (whites of Dutch origin) have a lower average IQ than whites of British origin, even though there is no difference between the parent populations in Europe. And the Afrikaners have always been predominantly farmers.
So the current average IQ of the Indian population is undoubtedly held down by its overwhelmingly rural character. And when even Indians of a relatively low caste move elsewhere, that disadvantage seems to be lost and they prosper -- as in Fiji or South Africa, for instance.
A canny critic might at this point say: "But what about China"? The Chinese are mostly rural and their average IQ is high. Again, however, the very word "China" is an oversimplification. There are many distinct nations within China with their own languages and traditions and a generally low opinion of other such linguistic groups. The picture-based written language of China is not so much an anachronism as a necessity. It's the only way many Chinese can communicate with one another.
And from what I can gather most of the IQ testing has been done on Chinese from the coastal cities. Deep inland in rural China the IQ picture will probably be much different.
Palin rattling the Donks
If Sarah Palin runs for president in 2012, she'll have the building blocks of a coalition that extends beyond her star power - and even Democrats have taken notice.
From her list of endorsements, to her Mama Grizzlies' campaign-style video in July, to her Facebook message Wednesday commemorating the 90th anniversary of women's suffrage, Palin is courting female voters, the so-called "soccer moms" that have swung to Democrats in recent campaign cycles. The former Alaska governor is already eliciting responses from Democrats, who, through a series of initiatives this week, revealed some fear that she might be making an impact.
On Tuesday, EMILY's List launched a new effort, "Sarah Doesn't Speak for Me." A press release announcing the launch warned, "Sarah Palin has predicted a rising tide of mothers and women voters will support her so-called ‘Mama Grizzly' candidates. Today, we call upon women - and men! - to let their voices be heard and to reject Palin's reactionary candidates and backward-looking agenda. We're asking Democrats, Independents, and moderate Republicans who have no home - to join us in our new campaign." On the same day, the Democratic National Committee blasted an e-mail to supporters noting the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and reminding voters all that Democratic lawmakers have contributed to the women's movement.
Palin made her own splash on the subject Wednesday with a lengthy Facebook post about the suffrage movement. She weaved in seven more endorsements of female candidates, including four Republican women running for competitive House seats against incumbent Democrats, two women running for attorney general in swing states and another running for secretary of state in Alabama.
Mary Anne Marsh, a Boston-based Democratic strategist, noted that Democrats have begun to lose the support of independent voters, and that many women are independent voters, especially suburban women. "She's making a clear swing at them," Marsh said of Palin.
"The lion's share of independents are women," she said, adding, "you can't win without them." And looking ahead to the 2012 elections, she noted that EMILY's List and the other Democratic groups are pressing hard for women because, "you can't start soon enough to get them back."
Gregg Keller, who served as national coalitions director for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, noted, "During the span of the Obama administration, you've seen the Democrats lose some of their coalition groups one by one." He explained that Democrats first lost moderate Republicans after passing big-ticket items like health care reform, then lost single-issue voters like those supportive of gun rights, and then started to shed moderates like small business owners. "Now that their electoral prospects are worsening, they're starting to lose more of their base coalitions," he said.
Keller added, "That's why you're seeing Democrats get so nervous and skittish about losing their base coalitions like women. It would be a political apocalypse in November for them if they continued to lose women."
Beyond the 2010 elections, Palin's efforts could have an impact on her own electoral prospects if she launches a White House bid some time next year.
In her book, "Notes from the Cracked Glass Ceiling," Washington Post reporter Anne Kornblut writes that Hillary Clinton's adviser, Mark Penn, counted on Clinton securing 94 percent of young female voters in the primary without courting them. In a piece summarizing her book, Kornblut concludes: "Clinton erred strategically early on, ceding college campuses -- including college women -- to Obama. She also struggled with whether to portray her campaign as ‘historic,' debating the idea of a speech on gender for months. Focused on proving her toughness, she missed out on key endorsements from women, including Oprah Winfrey and Caroline Kennedy."
Palin has so far taken the opposite route by selling gender with her politics. None of her potential rivals for the GOP presidential nomination have made similar efforts in courting women specifically, and all of them happen to be men.
Marsh noted that the success rate of each presidential candidate's endorsees misses the point. Instead, she said, the candidates who lose - including the women she supported - will continue to assist Palin if she launches a bid.
Both Marsh and Ralph Reed, a longtime Republican strategist who's now leading the Faith and Freedom Coalition, pointed out that simply because Palin could be the only female in a field of males doesn't guarantee electoral success.
But, Reed noted, "she won't just be a big fish in a small pond. She'll be a whale in a bathtub." He added, "If every Republican who's looking at running runs, she would have a shot at making an appeal based on the rather obvious fact that she's running against a bunch of white guys." He suggested that gender-based appeals might not work in a GOP primary the way he believes they might in a Democratic field.
Nevertheless, Reed argued that Palin is offering a new style of feminism that could ignite a new coalition of conservative, professional women. "I'm fascinated by what that could mean for the future of American politics," he said.
Tea party movement shows ‘wisdom of crowds’
By: Mark Tapscott
It may not please New Yorker magazine’s James Surowiecki to hear this, but the tea party movement could be the clearest evidence yet of the growing relevance of his landmark book, “The Wisdom of Crowds,” and its application in politics.
Surowiecki’s fundamental insight is this: The aggregate knowledge, experience, analytical prowess and inductive powers of a group are often greater than those of any one of its members. This observation isn’t always and everywhere true or evident, but compelling demonstrations of its operation in daily life are plentiful.
With everybody connected to everybody else via the Internet, new means of uncovering the wisdom of crowds become possible. The political implications therein remain rather murky, though.
I was reminded of Surowiecki earlier this week in a Wall Street Journal op-ed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and his tea party co-conspirator, Freedomworks.org President Matt Kibbe. The Journal piece coincided with publication of their new book, “Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto,” published by HarperCollins.
Armey and Kibbe wrote that the tea party movement “has blossomed into a powerful social phenomenon because it is leaderless — not directed by any one mind, political party or parochial agenda,” resulting in the creation of “a virtual marketplace for new ideas, effective innovations and creative tactics.”
This “beautiful chaos” is analogous to the “spontaneous order” Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek said results from the proper operation of free markets, according to Armey and Kibbe.
The clincher here was their noting that the tea party movement reminds Americans that “decentralization, not top-down hierarchy, is the best way to maximize the contributions of people and their personal knowledge.”
But if Armey and Kibbe are right, if the tea party movement is indeed sparking new ideas, innovative tactics of social and political organization, greater personal freedom and enhanced opportunities for individual expression, why is its mere mention certain to inspire frothing, spittle-spewing fury in your typical liberal, aka “progressive”?
The answer is, as Armey and Kibbe tell us, “the big-government crowd is drawn to the compulsory nature of centralized authority. They can’t imagine an undirected social order. Someone needs to be in charge — someone who knows better. Big government is audacious and conceited.”
Put otherwise, the right believes in freedom from the bottom up, the left loves contemporary expressions of the Guardians, Plato’s race of philosopher kings.
Once you get your mind around that reality, it clears up many of the apparent anomalies about the current state of American politics. Here’s an example: Less than two years after winning the presidency, Barack Obama said, “After 18 months, I have never been more confident that our nation is headed in the right direction.”
That sentiment puts Obama at dire loggerheads with two-thirds of his fellow citizens, who think he’s taking the country off the deep end.
Obama is reaching so far to the left, toward political centralization, a top-down command-and-control economy, and a Washington-knows-best regulatory mentality, that he’s becoming a fringe voice alien to most Americans who believe government authority must be decentralized and individuals thereby empowered to act voluntarily from their local communities.
The tea party movement is the heart of the 70 percent of the citizenry who fear Obama has gotten the country seriously off the right track. They want fundamental change and they won’t settle for more Washington, D.C., double-talk, backroom dealing or broken promises.
Tea party activists are the vanguard of a revolutionary renewal of the American founding. And that’s why they inspire such irrational hatred and fear in so many of the precincts of the left.
The American taxpayer is now subsidizing luxury apartments in Manhattan: "Obama is all about restoring a government for the people, he says. And folks in million-dollar condos in Gramercy Park are people, too: The Federal Housing Administration agreed in March to insure mortgages for apartments at the 98-unit Gramercy Park development, known as Tempo. That enables buyers to make a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent in a building where apartments are listed at $820,000 to $3 million. “It’s a government seal of approval,” said Gollinger, a director at the Developments Group of New York-based brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “We need as many sales tools as we can have these days, and it’s one more tool.”
Do women have the right to control their own bodies?: "The problem I have with most pro-abortion people is that they are stunningly hypocritical. While they speak from one side of their mouths about a woman’s right to control her own body when she wishes to get rid of an unwanted fetus, from the other side they deny her the right to control her own body in a thousand other circumstances. If a woman’s body belongs to her, then she has the right to exchange sexual favors for money, she has the right to be photographed however she likes, she has the right to either take or refuse any drugs, medicines, vitamins, and foods (natural or unnatural) that she chooses.”
My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 12:07 AM