January 19, 2018

"Do you think racial stereotypes are false? Are you sure? I’m not asking if you’re sure whether or not the stereotypes are false..."

"... but if you’re sure whether or not you think that they are. That might seem like a strange question. We all know what we think, don’t we?... [W]e might be sincerely mistaken about our own beliefs.... Studies show that people who sincerely say that racial stereotypes are false often continue to behave as if they are true when not paying attention to what they are doing.... People think that the stereotypes are true but also that it is not acceptable to admit this and therefore say they are false. Moreover, they say this to themselves too, in inner speech, and mistakenly interpret themselves as believing it. They are hypocrites but not conscious hypocrites. Maybe we all are...."

From "Whatever You Think, You Don’t Necessarily Know Your Own Mind" by Keith Frankish (Big Think).

122 comments:

rhhardin said...

Wittgenstein pointed out that philosophers don't know what they're saying.

Language goes on holiday, he puts is, and philosophers don't recognize when that happens.

Philosophers operate from a picture that they don't analyze. It's like not seeing your own eyeglass frames, even though they're clearly visible.

The major point is that it's not just philosophers. Everything works that way.

Jersey Fled said...

Stereotypes almost always contain an element of truth in them. I have relatives as proof.

rhhardin said...

Racial stereotypes are largely true, however.

Stereotypes supply information in the individual case when information is lacking.

Once information becomes available for the particular case, it overrides the stereotype where it conflicts.

Without doing that, everybody would be lost. Common sense would disappear.

robother said...

Life under soft totalitarianism is getting harder every year.

rhhardin said...

Stereotype and cliche are the same printing press part, one English and one French.

Gahrie said...

The whole reason stereotypes exist is because they reflect the experiences of large numbers of people over long periods of time. The problem is when you use stereotypes to prejudge individuals. (which again is something we all do, all the time..it's how the human mind works)

Big Mike said...

I’ve seen a black Ph.D. geneticist condescended to by someone who, if you challenged her, would take umbrage at the assertion that she believed blacks to be intellectually inferior. I think some stereotypes are true due entirely to this “soft bigotry of low expectations.” I think some (too many!) blacks allow themselves to be coerced into acting dumb due to this soft bigotry from “woke” liberals, where once they were coerced by the hard bigotry of the slave owners and then the KKK.

Sebastian said...

Dismissing stereotypes as false is a stereotypical mistake progs make.

traditionalguy said...

Listening to your lying inner voices has a Psychiatric name. Especially when the inner voices end by ordering the murders of innocent strangers by your cult army. This also has apolitical name: Antisemitism.




John Tuffnell said...

"Stereotypes supply information in the individual case when information is lacking."

That's like a presumption in law. An easy and perhaps lazy way to start, but every presumption is rebuttable.

roesch/voltaire said...

There is some truth to evidence based on statics that often dissolves when confronted by individuals. Example the Irish are a drunken lot as a 2009 Health Board Report showed that 54% of respondents engage in harmful or risky drinking, while my good friend who is. Irish doesn't drink at all because he does not want to follow in his parents footsteps.

TestTube said...

What is race? Is it entirely based on differences in DNA, and if so, how much and in what way do the chromosomes of two people have to differ before they are different races.

Is it appearance? If so, on what characteristics do we characterize? Why should we categorize more on skin color or hair texture, rather than, say, earlobe size or height or body shape? We don't put voluptuous women into one race and petite women into another. Why not?

Is it culture? Why do we categorize both hipsters and hillbillies as White. Why should "Jew" or "Muslim" be considered a racial term and "Christian" not so much? And what is wrong with judging someone by what culture they adhere to?

"Race" is a garbage term. So is "Racist". They don't provide much information about a person.

Gahrie said...

There is some truth to evidence based on statics that often dissolves when confronted by individuals

That is the challenge...not allowing stereotypes to lead you to prejudge individuals.

This is easier for those on the Right who tend to think of people as individuals than the Left who see people as member of a larger group.

Gahrie said...

"Race" is a garbage term.

Tell that to doctors.

And every society and culture that has ever existed on this planet.

Kevin said...

PRINCETON: Well, you know Trekkie Monster upstairs?
KATE MONSTER: Uh huh!
PRINCETON: Well, he's Trekkie Monster, and you're Kate Monster.
KATE MONSTER: Right.
PRINCETON: You're both Monsters.
KATE MONSTER: Yeah.
PRINCETON: Are you two related?
KATE MONSTER: What! Princeton I'm surprised at you! I find that racist!
PRINCETON: Oh, well, I'm sorry! I was just asking.
KATE MONSTER: Well, it's a touchy subject. Now, now all Monsters are related. What are you trying to say, huh? -- That we all look the same to you? Huh, huh, huh?
PRINCETON: No, no, no, not at all. I'm sorry, I guess that was a little racist.
KATE MONSTER: I should say so. You should be much more careful when you're talking about the sensitive subject of race.
PRINCETON: Well, look who's talking!
KATE MONSTER: What do you mean?
PRINCETON: What about that special Monster School you told me about?
KATE MONSTER: What about it?
PRINCETON: Could someone like me go there?
KATE MONSTER: No, we don't want people like you --
PRINCETON: You see?! You're a little bit racist.
KATE MONSTER: Well, you're a little bit, too.
PRINCETON: I guess we're both a little bit racist.
KATE MONSTER: Admitting it is not an easy thing to do...

Luke Lea said...

Stereotypes: first two or three principal component of group differences in behavior? Where would comedy be without ethnic jokes? If we are going to get along we have to be able to laugh at each other (and with each other). Show me one group that isn't funny?

Fernandistein said...

"Do you think racial stereotypes are false?"

No.

"Are you sure?"

Sure enough.

"Return to my question about racial stereotypes. I guess you said you think they are false."

Well, ha ha on you.

The "you don't know your own mind" stuff is a minor subset of the belief that people have free will; after - the important word - your brain makes decisions it presents you with the subjective sensation of having made those decisions "consciously". e.g.

Luke Lea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
exhelodrvr1 said...

Some stereotypes are clearly valid. But most "racial" stereotypes are really "cultural segment" stereotypes.

traditionalguy said...

Remember Left Handed people are sneaky criminals. And type B blood types cannot be trusted. And Geminis think too fast.

See how easy that gets with a little practice.

Luke Lea said...


Example of a good Jewish joke from years past:

Question: What does a Jew do when he gets a flat tire?

Answer: He buys a new car.


A good redneck joke:

How can you tell your mother is a redneck when she gets pulled over by a cop for speeding?

Answer: She doesn't take the cigarette out of her mouth when telling him he can kiss her ass.

TestTube said...

One more question: Is "Race" the same as "Tribe", and if not, how does it differ? "Tribe" can mean a mixture of DNA, Appearance, and culture. But often it does not! Cultural groups are often referred to as Tribes.

And by culture, I include common belief systems, such as religion or politics or adherence to various scientific models or fields of study.

Gahrie said...

One more question: Is "Race" the same as "Tribe", and if not, how does it differ?

Race is biological, tribe is cultural.

Gahrie said...

The Hutu and the Tutsi are the same race, but different tribes.

William Chadwick said...

What interests me is how an increasing number of people (or so it seems to me) act out the worst stereotypes of whatever group they belong to. I see this on public transportation a lot: young African Americans dressing and talking in stereotypical ghetto ways. I'll often see the same thing among White Trailer Trash types on shows like "Cops." Seeing such people I often wonder if the thought ever hits them, "Gee, I'm a walking stereotype."

tcrosse said...

Apart from stereotypes, we 65-plus cis-gendered straight white men are all alike. Or so I have read.

Mike said...

"Even your unformed thoughts are wrong. Repent!"

mockturtle said...

What interests me is how an increasing number of people (or so it seems to me) act out the worst stereotypes of whatever group they belong to. I see this on public transportation a lot: young African Americans dressing and talking in stereotypical ghetto ways. I'll often see the same thing among White Trailer Trash types on shows like "Cops." Seeing such people I often wonder if the thought ever hits them, "Gee, I'm a walking stereotype."

Wm, maybe they see you as a 'walking stereotype'. ;-)

TestTube said...

Gahrie, I am happy to tell that to any number of doctors or societies or cultures.

I'm not denying that there are some important genetic differences, but they don't really define where we draw the lines for where one race starts and another ends.

As for appearances, yep, we look different, but no one is talking seriously about "The race of voluptuous women" or "The race of bald men". We do seem to put an emphasis on skin color, but that is not very useful in determining other biological traits, and leaves open a very large gray area -- ask Rachel Dolezal

And everything else is better described by "Tribe" or "Culture"

So "Race" isn't a very useful term, even if it is a popular one.

R.J. Chatt said...

"People think that the stereotypes are true but also that it is not acceptable to admit this and therefore say they are false." And if you are a classic liberal you overcompensate to prove you don't see the stereotype or have bias towards racial minorities. That's why the victim culture is so well developed in minority communities on the Left. The strategy of accusing Trump of being a racist was/is a classic display. The article seems like a convoluted attempt to address this issue.

rhhardin said...

Race is isolated populations mating for many generations without interbreeding.

The population becomes selected for local conditions and comes to differ with other populations with other local conditions.

Isolated because otherwise there's interbreeding.

Mostly happened before transportation was easy.

mockturtle said...

I agree with those who point to culture, rather than race, as the defining factor in behavior. My second husband [yes, I've had three!] was black. He was born and raised in Texas, his father was career military, he rode horses, and liked to hunt and fish. His best friends were white guys with southern backgrounds. Other than some musical preferences, he had nothing in common with inner-city blacks.

Drago said...

roesch/voltaire: "There is some truth to evidence based on statics that often dissolves when confronted by individuals."

That makes zero sense.

The group or sub-group statistics don't "disolve" when "confronted by individuals".

BTW, that is an utterly incoherent statement.

However, in fairness, you were probably simply inartful in trying to say that group statistics doesn't necessarily tell you anything meaningful about individual data points.

We do know the left absolutely believes in these racial stereotypes since they have long established rules for applying different grading structures to different races.

Obviously.

Gahrie said...

So "Race" isn't a very useful term, even if it is a popular one.

So why has every society and culture that has ever existed used it?

Why does the government use it?

Why do Democrats and the Left obsess over it?

Kevin said...

I keep hearing that race is a social construct.

I keep hearing that from the people most vehemently pushing affirmative action and diversity quotas.

Roughcoat said...

Where there's smoke there's fire, where there's glitter there's gold, where there's stink there's shit.

But the quantities vary.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I know that anecdote is not the singular of data, but...

I'm a white man, and I can't jump.

Make of that what you will.

William Chadwick said...

It's possible, mockturtle. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Inner City Youths see me and think, "Typical White Guy with his nose in a book." Once I was approached by some redneck who asked me if I were Jewish. I'm not, but I guess in his mind I fit the stereotype: scholarly looking and reading a book.

Otherwise friends who know me well tell me I am "sui generis."

TestTube said...

Gahrie,

Darn good questions. Why DO we use "Race" to describe the primary way we sort people?

I would quibble whether EVERY society or culture uses "Race", but certainly enough of them do to prove your point. So why do they do that? Does "Race" mean the same thing to each of these societies and culture? I don't think so. Used to be, there was an "Irish race" and an "Italian race". Now there is just a "White" race.

And I am really really really interested in why the Government uses it. And how the Government uses it. Seems for practically every purpose, it could be replaced by "Culture" or "Tribal Group". Maybe "Appearance" as well, since that seems to be the primary criteria by which society sorts people into groups.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

TestTube said...

Why DO we use "Race" to describe the primary way we sort people?

What do you mean, we.

The primary way I sort people is by sex. For obvious evolutionary reasons.

Anthony said...

Racial stereotypes (apart from certain biological trends) are false.

Cultural stereotypes loosely aligning with "race" are generally not.

Ray said...

And with inter-marriage, the concept of race becomes even more meaningless. Not to mention whom is a minority.

Obama is considered Black / African American, even though he is 50% White. And his Father is from Kenya. And he grew up in Hawaii, that has little to do with the Black experience.

Strange times. And with Hispanics, that is not a race, but rather country / language group that you are from, the term becomes even more meaningless. And in the 3rd generation, Hispanics often identify as White.

Roughcoat said...

Physical appearances can be stereotypical, I think they usually are. I have a stereotypical Irish look (albeit one of several, there are about four or five such). Hence when I'm in Ireland the Irish confide in me and ask me for directions generally treat and regard me, at first blush, as a member of the tribe. Which I am, in fact, but removed by three generations.My first time in Ireland, literally the moment I got off the plane and walked through Shannon airport, I couldn't believe what I saw: a whole nation that looked, more or less, like me. It was like going to a Catholic boy's school in an Irish community on the South Side of Chicago.

However . . . I wrote a book about a Polish Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust mainly because she had blond hair and blue eyes, she looked like a member of the master race. Her father and brother and little sister, same. The Catholic Church in Lvov provided her with a Christian name and identity papers. The Red Army, which drafted her brother, did much the same for him. She was also stunningly beautiful, which vastly helped her efforts, further aided by her wearing her long blond hair in what she called "Gretchen braids." SS officers propositioned her on more than one occasion. Her little sister, whom the Germans murdered, looked like a "little shiksala doll" with her blond hair, blue eyes, freckles, and pert turned-up nose. They were secular Jews and I learned in my research for the book that secular Jews wherever they are tend take on, via intermarriage, the genetic traits of the local non-Jewish population; whereas Shtetle Jews retain their Semitic appearance (and culture).

Balfegor said...

Re: Test Tube:

I'm not denying that there are some important genetic differences, but they don't really define where we draw the lines for where one race starts and another ends.

Line drawing between "races" is fuzzy on the edges (e.g. products of miscegenation like me), but seriously, the only fuzzy boundaries the average American encounters on a regular basis are Hispanics and Middle-Easterners. Whites, Blacks, and Asians are generally pretty easily and accurately distinguishable, something like 90% of the time. The fact that maybe 10% of the time the line is fuzzy doesn't mean that the categories aren't useable. That's like saying that "red" and "yellow" aren't meaningful categories because look! There's "orange!" And "yellow-orange" and "orange-red!"

The fuzziness around Hispanics and Middle-Easterns is a place where the usual American racial categories break down, though. My impression is that modern Americans generally lump Hispanics together into a quasi-racial/ethnic group separately from Whites and Blacks and Native Americans and lump Middle-Easterners -- North Africans, Persians, Arabs, Turks -- into their own separate category. In my experience, race activists tend to try to conflate these two categories together with South and South-East Asians as "Brown" people, but I don't think that's common outside of activist circles. Unlike the White/Black/Asian categorisation, which does map pretty well onto the historical paths of the great Völkerwanderung that spread mankind across the globe, none of those categories really map well at all; nor (I suspect) does phenotype have the same relationship to ancestry among Hispanics as it does with other peoples. People (e.g. Steve Sailer) sometimes mock American Hispanic race activists for looking like blond Aryan Nazi Ubermenschen, but they probably descend from more or less the same roots as people who are much darker.

Stephen said...

For commenters who are interested in one potential tool for knowing their own minds, check out this link.

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

J. Farmer said...

I've been in the social sciences for almost 20 years, and it's a concept that certain people seem disposed not to understand. There is a fundamental difference between talking about groups and talking about people. Stereotypes about groups are not only true, they are essential. But they have nothing to do with judging individuals, who should be judged on their individual character and behavior. So, if you point out the IQ differences between whites and blacks, someone thinks shouting "Neil deGrasse Tyson" as if it were some kind of rejoinder. It isn't.

M Jordan said...

Stereotypes are the result of inductive reasoning, that is, seeing lines connecting the dots of data. Sometimes we connect them wrong — not enough dots — but if inductive reasoning is banned, as liberals often attempt to do, progress is halted. We need deductive reasoning to prove the hypotheses inductive reasoning comes up with. We need both types even though the inductive side can be dangerous.

Balfegor said...

Re: Stephen:

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

I did one of those implicit bias tests before (with the images and the word associations), and I came out as unusually positively disposed towards Blacks . . . but I think the problem was that it tested images of Blacks vs. Whites, and I am somewhat racist against Whites (not a joke -- I have been aware of this for a long time, and actively and consciously course-correct to compensate). I am probably also racist against Blacks, to be fair. That said, I am not quite convinced that these implicit bias tests are actually finding something real.

Kirk Parker said...

Roughcoat,

Title of the book? Sounds like it would be very interesting!

Stephen said...

And some stereotypes are flat out false.

http://beta.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-global-african-immigrants-explainer-20180112-story.html

William Chadwick said...

Not sure Neil Degrasse Tyson is the best example one could use as an example of an intelligent African American. Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell, sure.

Bay Area Guy said...

2 simple thoughts:

1. Make judgments about INDIVIDUAL people, before making judgments about GROUPS.

2. Be soft on judgments about GROUPS. There is a point where enough bad individual apples spoil the whole barrel, but most often we don't get to that point.

Jupiter said...

Anthony said...
"Racial stereotypes (apart from certain biological trends) are false."

Yes, and dogs (apart from certain biological trends) are cats.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Stephen said...

http://beta.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-global-african-immigrants-explainer-20180112-story.html

What is the stereotype that you think people have, that your link shows to be false?

Gahrie said...

I'm not denying that there are some important genetic differences, but they don't really define where we draw the lines for where one race starts and another ends.

If you took pictures of average Whites, Blacks, Asians and gave them to average whites, Blacks and Asians from all over the world, all of them would be easily able to sort the pictures by race.

The fuzziness around Hispanics and Middle-Easterns is a place where the usual American racial categories break down, though.

That's because there is no race of Hispanics. Hispanic is a culture. Hispanics can be White with blond hair and blue eyes, they can be Black with dark hair and brown or black eyes and anywhere in between. It depends on how much European, African or Indian ancestry they have. The push to consider Hispanic a race has to do with the desire for political power in domestic politics.

Gahrie said...

http://beta.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-global-african-immigrants-explainer-20180112-story.html

Trump talked of immigrants from shithole countries...not shithole immigrants. This article actually reinforces Trump's claim.....the elites are leaving these countries because they are shitholes and they have the resources to do so. So things only get worse for those left behind.

buwaya said...

This is hardly new of course.

A lot of the point in a Catholic retreat, or the ones I have known, is to inquire about the state of our faith, and come clean about the lies we are telling ourselves. Done with some sincerity it is like peeling an onion, or one that regenerates its layers. The truth is elusive, human nature is built to evade truth.

It helps to work on things, a career that fundamentally requires not lying, because the universe does not care for lies. You can't lie to things, to natural phenomena. When looking for an answer as to why something is not working its vital to not delude yourself.

Christy said...

All my pals are exceptions to stereotypes, but I notice all of yours fit the stereotype. Just a way to say we fear those we don't know.

I agree that cultural differences are most important. Truthfully, in the world of engineering, race and nationality rarely made people "different." Engineering is a culture in itself.

traditionalguy said...

The Japanese discovered that there actually was a segment of a strong American racial group who were all murderously cruel, insane asylum escaped killers, that had been selected to be armed and landed on Pacific Islands. They were called the US Marine Corps and were actually a difficult sub-group from the Scots-Irish culture.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Unlike the White/Black/Asian categorisation, which does map pretty well onto the historical paths of the great Völkerwanderung that spread mankind across the globe, none of those categories really map well at all; nor (I suspect) does phenotype have the same relationship to ancestry among Hispanics as it does with other peoples. People (e.g. Steve Sailer) sometimes mock American Hispanic race activists for looking like blond Aryan Nazi Ubermenschen, but they probably descend from more or less the same roots as people who are much darker.”

The problem racially with Hispanics is that they aren’t a race. One of the interesting factoids about Vicente Fox was that he was the first Hispanic looking President of Mexico is quite some time. The rest of them could just as easily come straight off the streets of Madrid. Ditto for most of their TV stars. Most of the Hispanics I see on a daily basis have a large percentage of (American) Indian blood - which is to say Oriental by race. Mostly you can tell them apart from our native Indians, who are most typically Navajo and related tribes, coming out of a much later migration. As I understand it, it is more a class thing - the ruling aristocracy is still fairly European throughput much of Latin America, and has been for 500 years now. And those on the bottom are almost entirely American Indian, with everyone else somewhere between. But then, different places of origin have different racial and ethnic histories, with a fair amount of Black blood in some of the Caribbean countries. Etc. By cumulative blood volume, it would be interesting to see what the racial mixture of “Hispanic” is - my guess is > 75% Oriental, with Caucasian predominating for the rest.

Jupiter said...

Bay Area Guy said...

"2. Be soft on judgments about GROUPS. There is a point where enough bad individual apples spoil the whole barrel, but most often we don't get to that point."

That's an easy generalization to make, if no bad individual has blown your brains out.

buwaya said...

As with all natural phenomena, the race business is solvable through normal scientific processes. It is a question of genomes and population genetics.

But this is politically and culturally inconvenient, and not just in ways immediately relevant to US politics. Nature does not care about human philosophy, theology, or ethics.

AllenS said...

Affirmative action is proof that stereotypes do exist. Think about that.

Jupiter said...

"They are hypocrites but not conscious hypocrites. Maybe we all are."

Yeah, or maybe not. I get a little tired of all these high-powered psychological scientists explaining that they have thought long and hard about it, and decided thinking doesn't work. Maybe they should get a job. Here in Oregon, you can make minimum wage pumping gas.

mockturtle said...

J Farmer, 'social sciences' is one of those oxymoronic descriptions of a non-science struggling to be taken seriously as a real science. Like 'economic science' and 'political science'. Please call them something else.

TestTube said...

Ignorance is Bliss: Noted. You are not part of the "we" that considers "Race" a useful term for categorization.

Question is, why is there even such a "we"? And how do they define and differentiate between different racial categories.

Gahrie: Good point on the pictures, but the same could be said of voluptuous vs. petite women. Yet no one considers those to be two different races, or even two defining races, even though people DO sort and judge women by body type. Big time.

So what's up with "race"? After this discussion, I am ready to offer a hypothesis:

1) Humans are really, really good at sorting things, and especially other people, and drawing conclusions.

2) Humans are much, much better at this sorting and differentiation process than they are at actually describing or defining the process. Probably we don't even understand how we perform this sorting and differentiation process.

3) Therefore, "race" is one of those weird semi-categories that is not easy to define using words. Skin color and facial characteristics are a big factor, but ear size, finger length, bustiness and body type, not so much (even though those are noticeable and important differences). Culture plays a fuzzy role as well.

4) "Race" is a fluid concept as well, expanding, shrinking, consolidating, or dividing depending on the current situation. What is now "White" is different from what it was a generation ago. Really hard to pin down what "Race" means, let alone what define different "Races"

4) An organization trying to use it as an objective category, like in a census, causes problems by the inability to write out a definition. A lot of the time the organization punts, as an example using self-definition.

5) At present, here, "Culture" "Appearance" or "Tribe" are probably more useful and descriptive than "Race". It is best to avoid being defined as a racist. Better to be considered a "Cultural Tribalist"

MaxedOutMama said...

The problem with sterotypes is that they may be somewhat accurate in the average, but yet in our day-to-day dealings we are not dealing with an average and the content of the interaction generally determines whether you use the average or much better information available at the moment. So people may not be hypocritical at all - they just may be very pragmatic about the limits of the stereotype.

It is true, for example, that on average persons in their 70s who do not exercise and who eat two scoops of ice cream at dinner are more prone to developing Type II diabetes, but that in no way justified the question of the reporter at the Trump health news conference who earnestly asked about Trump's diabetes - after hearing proof positive that Trump doesn't have diabetes.

Using the best and most specific information we have available is rational, and since in our own lives, we don't deal with groups of people, but with individuals, using a stereotype is rarely rational when it comes to action.

hstad said...

Blogger TestTube said...
Gahrie,

".....I would quibble whether EVERY society or culture uses "Race"....?

Please inform us which "..society or culture....", in your opinion, does not use "....Race..."?

buwaya said...

"The rest of them could just as easily come straight off the streets of Madrid."

Those of the 20th century, yes indeed. A fact often missed is that the Porfirio Diaz regime, that which was regularly denounced as racist in the 20th century cultural consensus, was very "Indio". He looked just like any number of elderly Chicano gentlemen in Los Angeles, or for that matter my father-in-law.

Porfirio Diaz

The other object of hate of that consensus was Victoriano Huerta, another mestizo. The Mexican Army of the time, descendants of Juarez' forces, were in that mold. The evil Federales of legend were more Indio than most of their opponents, save for Zapata's pure Indios. The song "La Cucaracha" in its popular modern form, was explicitly racist in its terms of abuse against Huerta. Huerta was "La Cucaracha", because he was, of course, brown, and the use of marijuana was a stereotypical "Indio" thing - as explained by my father-in-law, a refugee from the revolution.

Victoriano Huerta

An under-explored reason for the Mexican Revolution was a revolt of the white upper classes, and the border mestizos, whiter than the southerners, against the much more Indio Mexican "deep state" of the day.

robother said...

The debate often was stated in terms of nature (race) vs. nurture (culture). The reality, of course, is that cultures arise out of isolated genetic populations and are in a continuous feedback loop with the gene pool (certain genotypes get favored or disfavored in reproduction based on cultural values). Cultures and genomes also change in response to extraneous environmental changes (including conquest by neighboring tribes). The blank slate posited by most SJW and Marxist theory (that individuals humans are radically equal and purely shaped by culture) is the kind of nonsense only an intellectual would adopt. (And as the cited article admits, even they only pretend to adopt.)

I suspect that European agrarian populations (and mostly only west of the Hajnal Line) are unique in their cultural curiosity about and acceptance of racial and tribal groups outside their own. The individual traits tied up in those views have been counterproductive to individual survival and reproduction in virtually all other cultures and races. Ironically the extinction of that white racial group and their "natural" culture by replacing their populations with those from strongly tribal cultures (e.g., Muslim, African, Chinese) will be the principal scientific falsification of the blank state hypothesis.

Fernandistein said...

Stephen said...
And some stereotypes are flat out false.


Do tell.

The African engineering students at the University of the Witwatersrand are the highest scoring African sample measured to date, solving an average of 22 out of the 36 problems on Set II of the APM. The East Indian and White students solved 25 and 29 out of 36, respectively. ...

The African–White difference amounted to 1.54 S.D. (based on the total sample S.D. of 5.92). There was no evidence of a bimodal distribution among the African students or of a higher scoring African group equal to Whites, as conjectured might be the case by Rushton et al. ...

As university students in Africa likely score 1–2 S.D. above the general average, their scores are consistent with the results of previous studies which found the mean IQ score of the African general population to be around 70.

The present study also confirms the findings that African–White differences reflect g rather than culturally specific ways of thinking. The g effect is robust and implies that African–White differences are due to factors similar to those in other countries, such as the US and the Netherlands.

++

Gahrie said...

One of the basic characteristics of human behavior is otherizing. It can be as benign as the difference Between Giants and Dodger fans, or as malignant as the Hutu/Tutsi "difference". It probably goes back to our days as hunter-gatherers and the need to protect resources from competing bands of hunter-gatherers.

You and I couldn't tell the difference between a Hutu and a Tutsi...not only could they do it, doing so was literally a matter of life and death.

One of the basic problems in the United States is the fact that instead of seeing ourselves as one people (E Pluribus Unum) the Left depends on otherizing for its political power.

jwl said...

wiki - "The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom is a 2006 psychology book by Jonathan Haidt ....

Haidt focuses on this last division, between the conscious/reasoned processes and automatic/implicit processes.

His metaphor is a rider on the back of an elephant in which the conscious mind is the rider and the unconscious mind is the elephant. The rider is unable to control the elephant by force: this explains many puzzles about our mental life, particularly why we have such trouble with weakness of will."

buwaya said...

The cost of lies re race is that maintenance of a false consensus, one that does not correctly describe nature or take its processes into account, is that public policy is twisted in disastrous ways.

Especially in the case of education. An enormous effort has been put into closing the black-white "gap" over the last 70 years. This effort has been not merely costly, but completely earnest. The cost has been disastrous.

The US has fallen tremendously in the quality of its K-12 instruction; it no longer knows how to develop high-performance (with small exceptions), it has, on the whole, rejected tracking and the specific development of talent; it has reduced standards of material, it has simplified and dumbed-down. Worse, the ideology taught in the schools, forced into every developing brain, is a litany of excuses, dissatisfactions, and barely suppressed rage, by the educational system, at the decades of failure. The white majority children are, by policy, made to feel near-suicidal from guilt about their "privilege" (the fashionable term these last few years, but analogous to the same line in decades past).

The inability to accept physical reality, and the consequent inability to change it, has caused the US educational system to effectively become suicidal.

buwaya said...

It is in large part the consequences of this psychosis of your education system that makes me so pessimistic about this country.

So many decades of accumulating poisonous insanity, and in recent years there is not a single sign of change, not a bit of improvement. In decades past, in the late 1980's, the 90's to the early 2000's, serious attempts were made in California. All such attempts were resisted with a fanatical intensity, and have since been ended or reversed. The problem is now that the entire personnel of your public education system is indoctrinated in madness.

mockturtle said...

Especially in the case of education. An enormous effort has been put into closing the black-white "gap" over the last 70 years. This effort has been not merely costly, but completely earnest. The cost has been disastrous.

I agree with you there, buwaya. The 'race gap' and the 'gender gap' are what they are. That is why Affirmative Action is so wrong. The proponents used the 'racial' construct to engineer society, causing embarrassment to minorities and women who merited their positions as well as infuriating whites/men who were deprived of theirs. As usual, it is always the Progressive strategy to keep the identity groups divided and angry. A pox on them and their house.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

"And if you are a classic liberal you overcompensate to prove you don't see the stereotype or have bias towards racial minorities"

Except in their circle of trust, especially if that circle includes conservative family members. Then they feel free to drop n-bombs and make crude generalizations about Blacks and Asians. The practice of racism is as much tribal as it is racial.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Gahrie said...
The Hutu and the Tutsi are the same race, but different tribes.

1/19/18, 11:35 AM


Oh? I thought it was blacks vs. browns.

JMS said...

Scientists know race is a social construct, while gender is real. Lefties would have you believe it's the other way around.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/race-is-a-social-construct-scientists-argue/

robother said...

Gahrie: "...the Left depends on otherizing for its political power."

Makes complete sense, when they are intent on replacing an open, individualistic population with those from communal, envious cultures.

Jupiter said...

"The problem is now that the entire personnel of your public education system is indoctrinated in madness."

I couldn't agree more. When our youngest child was about three, I started getting ready to have a huge fight with my wife about school. One day I bit the bullet, and flatly told her that I thought we should home-school our children. Turned out she thought exactly the same thing and had been worrying about having a huge fight with me about it.

Tim in Vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jupiter said...

JMS said...
"Scientists know race is a social construct, while gender is real. Lefties would have you believe it's the other way around."

I would find your assertion more compelling if you had linked to something other than Scientific American. It was once a very good magazine, many years ago, but it is now an utterly discredited PC rag.

n.n said...

Judge people by the content of their character, then observe the correlations to a diversity class (e.g. color). It requires a little more effort, but it avoids missing the trees for the forest dilemma. You could also use a statistical model, paint people with broad, sweeping strokes, and deny individual dignity. Go left, young man.

Tim in Vermont said...

“Race is a social construct”

Do you have any other massive assertions of a negative that you would like to make? You could follow the same reasoning to get to the idea that species is a social construct (Which it often is) and on an on and on.

Taxonomy is politics, so saying that “race is a social construct” is like saying “Democrats are always wrong.” You might sincerely believe it, but it’s just an opinion.

Speed of light? Not an opinion! Quantum Mechanics? Not an opinion! Race is a social construct? An opinion, and more poorly supported than most.

Tim in Vermont said...

“My formula cannot distinguish faces, therefore, faces are all the same!”

Same argument! Most people would say, go back and work on your formula a little more, same on the whole race thing.

TestTube said...

hstad,

The point is a quibble, and not central to my argument. However, various isolated and remote tribes would lack the experience with people different enough in appearance to be considered a different "Race". Nor am I convinced that "Race" was always used as a primary sorting mechanism, especially in times or places where "Tribe" means so much more. Example, Hutus and Tutsis. Or "People", as used by any number of groups.

Gahrie said...

(The U.S.) has, on the whole, rejected tracking and the specific development of talent; it has reduced standards of material, it has simplified and dumbed-down.

That's because to do otherwise produces unpleasant demographics.

Tim in Vermont said...

The same people who tell you that Florida panthers are in danger of extinction because of some minor genetic differences, visible only in their DNA, with the Rocky Mountain variety of panther will tell you that humans are of a single race.

It’s all politics. They could let some panthers from the Mountain West go in Florida, and top up the population pretty quickly.

Tim in Vermont said...

Lot’s of examples of tribes of mixed race around, I am sure, who had no concept of race. So I would love to see an example. I just see a lot of persiflage intended to mask motivated reasoning. “I don’t want race to matter, therefore, for mumble mumble mumble reasons, there is not such a thing as race!”

Posit a remote tribe who had never seen a person of another race, and then extrapolate from their lack of the concept? That’s like saying that there are no elephants because no authentic eskimo had ever seen one and didn’t have a word for it.

Jupiter said...

TestTube, you seem to be conflating the attribution of race with the reality of race. As rhardin said, racial differences arise as a result of separate evolution. They are easily discernible in the DNA. The longer two groups have been separated, the larger the genetic difference. That is the reality of race.

As others have pointed out, the attribution of race considers a white man from Spain and an Amerindian from Mexico to be members of the same race. There is no genetic basis for that absurd attribution.

Jupiter said...

"They could let some panthers from the Mountain West go in Florida, and top up the population pretty quickly."

Not so sure about that. Apparently pythons are becoming the apex predator in Florida.

buwaya said...

"the attribution of race considers a white man from Spain and an Amerindian from Mexico to be members of the same race."

It doesn't work that way, for the most part.
The specific rules about race (which vary quite a bit from institution to institution) prevent me from being "hispanic" in all cases in spite of my Spanish passport and actual heritage, though I am free to call myself "Asian".

While our children are correctly "hispanic" on account of their Mexican grandfather, or they could be "Asian" on my account, or they could be "white" according to their appearance as their ethnic heritage does not show on them. The kids could indeed be plopped down on a Madrid street and seem as Spanish as anyone.

Jupiter said...

I was referring to the practices of the US government, not the opinions of sane people. :)

n.n said...

Nature and nurture creates or masks a complex constellation of physical and mental traits.

Bob Loblaw said...

That's like a presumption in law. An easy and perhaps lazy way to start, but every presumption is rebuttable.

Stereotypes aren't lazy. They're integral to how you process information and make decisions. You can't treat everyone and everything as a complete unknown and still function.

Josephbleau said...

Statistical science treats group means and individuals perfectly well. If we have a random sample of say, IQ (Evil to do I know), or height, or other similar characteristic, with a largish random sample (in the US 3000 or so individuals) we can compute the population distribution with a smallish error. This may be a Normal, or Gamma, or some other distribution. This lets us calculate the percentage of the population in any subset of the group. We can find the percentage of people with IQ over 140 for example. If the mean between groups (races, state of residence?) is different then there are less people above 140 IQ in the low mean group than in the high mean group.

That certainly does not mean that there are no very high individuals in the low mean group, only that there are fewer of them. So you will find high ranking individuals in all groups if the population is large enough. At the extreme right tail it may be hard to find an individual with 160 IQ in the low mean group but there may be several examples from the higher mean group. So perhaps a stereotype is merely the probability of finding a certain characteristic in a population.

buwaya said...

The effect of the obsessive focus on mitigating the black-white "gap" in US public education, the attempt to overcome nature without understanding it, is visible in international comparisons. Its not that the US scores badly, considering the ethnic makeup of US K-12, what makes US K-12 stand out in international comparisons is the very small proportion of high scores. The US effectively suppresses its best.

This is the 2015 PISA summary (PISA an OECD operation).

https://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisa-2015-results-in-focus.pdf

Go down to page 5 for a summary international comparison table. Check out the US "Share of Top Performers".

The share of the top is much worse than the mediocre median. France for instance has a slightly lower median (and France has its own demographic problems) but a much higher share of the top.

This is not unique to this assessment. Its been noted in other studies (such as TIMMS), over the last twenty years or more.

Owen said...

Mockturtle @ 11:50: "I agree with those who point to culture, rather than race, as the defining factor in behavior." Yes. I think "race" is a lazy way to "bin" some general features in whatever debate you're having. It might be a starting point but it is unlikely to get you far toward any real understanding. Culture is a better explanation, in the sense that most of what we "know" and how we are trained and constrained to behave, comes from an internal imagination of ourselves as members of a group based on its values, its goals, its sense of mutual obligation. You can call on Mr. X because he is "one of us," and the "us" is not because Mr. X is the same color, it's because his uncle knew your cousin way back when, or he goes to the same synagogue, or you've done some business with him. Real world stuff. Sometimes that cohesion is wound around race/color/language as well, but "culture" is as good a word as any to point toward what we mean.

Ideally, of course, we get through all crap and face one another as individuals, accountable (for better or worse) only for what we actually do and say.

Owen said...

Josephbleau @ 3:33: "So perhaps a stereotype is merely the probability of finding a certain characteristic in a population."

Bingo. It's a starting approximation, a heuristic. When it becomes an end in itself, it is no longer useful, it is downright pernicious.

As we all know, far too well.

But SO handy for fear-mongers and mountebanks.

Balfegor said...

Re: TestTube:

However, various isolated and remote tribes would lack the experience with people different enough in appearance to be considered a different "Race". Nor am I convinced that "Race" was always used as a primary sorting mechanism, especially in times or places where "Tribe" means so much more. Example, Hutus and Tutsis. Or "People", as used by any number of groups.

I think this is more or less right. I think, though, that the current American category of "race" is just one of a number of different macro categories (at a higher level of generality than "tribe") that people have historically used to slice up the population they have to deal with. For example, "Turk" has been a meaningful category in Europe in the past, but I don't think it was specific to the Ottomans -- the Seljuks and perhaps Tatars would also have fit into that same mental category.

Asians of various sorts -- South, East, Southeast, and Pacific Islanders -- all get lumped together in the American racial categorisation scheme, but I doubt they would have viewed themselves as belonging to a single salient sub-category of mankind or even the particular sub-categories I just used as shorthand.

Lumping all Asians together as a single category is sort of novel. You see a bit of that in the late 19th century, and there's an undercurrent of Pan-Asianism with a lot of those early 20th century Asian revolutionaries who were studying in Tokyo. Pan-Asianism ended up as part of the major anti-Western/anti-Colonial propaganda push underlying the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere (大東亜共栄圏), and that racial categorisation has been more or less replicated intact in the modern USA.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Stephen said...
For commenters who are interested in one potential tool for knowing their own minds, check out this link.

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/


Stephen, I'm sure you've kept up with the latest research (showing the standard implicit bias tests to be damn near worthless), right?

Here are the top two articles from the ol' Googlebox:

Psychology's Racism Measuring Tool Isn't Up To The Job

Can We Really Measure Implicit Bias?

So that you know I'm not cherry-picking sources, here's one from Vox (!):

For Years People Took This Test - But It Might Not Work At All

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Just as a complete aside: I really enjoy when the "science-loving " Left insists that it's wrong to shorthand sex as binary since "only" 98% of individuals fall into that distribution, but who say that we can make broad conclusions about different groups based on crummy tests like the implicit bias test as long as we have some moderate number of people from group A who respond in a relatively-similar way.

In other words: me saying "most men are taller than most women" is sexist since even if it's true it isn't always and everywhere the case that all men are taller than all women and my framing reality in that way "privileges" a "biased" view...WHILE simultaneously being very happy & confident in saying "Group A is more racist/sexist/homophobic than Group B because 20% more of the people we surveyed in Group A scored 5% higher on this crappy implicit bias test we ran."

Oh well. Having consistent standards is probably a sign of racism, too.

n.n said...

Having consistent standards is probably a sign of racism, too.

Principals before principles. Diversity before character.

Their not PC or Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, and politically congruent (the other PC).

Jupiter said...

Josephbleau said...

"That certainly does not mean that there are no very high individuals in the low mean group, only that there are fewer of them. So you will find high ranking individuals in all groups if the population is large enough."

Just as some small fraction of cats bark and chase automobiles.

mockturtle said...

Jupiter is of the opinion that people of different 'races' are different species, like cats and dogs. The human race is one species, always was and always will be unless we start making human-robot blends.

mockturtle said...

I have to confess I categorize Progs as nincompoops.

Jupiter said...

No, I don't believe the different races are different species, although the definition of species is rather imprecise, and tends to drift about. What I do believe is that traits which are caused by genes that are not present in a population are not found in that population.

Jupiter said...

"I have to confess I categorize Progs as nincompoops."

It is tempting, but remember they think the same about us. And they're wrong. I'm afraid it is possible to be both intelligent and well-informed, and still be a Prog. I don't quite understand it, but there it is.

Unknown said...

People try to protect their self-image, even from themselves. Everyone wants to think of themselves as a good person. I remember reading about the mafia, how they had an honor code, how often the murders they did were revenge for something, and therefore justified. The thief says "corporations won't miss it", "whitey stole it from us anyway". Someone who cheats on their marriage justifies it in some way. And the racist leftist will never admit his racism. In some ways it is the worst kind because clothed in kind words. It ends up with the assertion that blacks can never get ahead and need white help for everything (because of racism of course) but the effect is quite negative.

Gospace said...

Commonly held stereotypes are true, for the most part, for groups.



Stereotypes are not necessarily applicable to individuals within the group.

You can simultaneously hold a negative stereotype about a group, while liking or being friends with a member of that group. It's not cognitive dissonance; it's judging people as individuals.

At the same time, you can have a positive stereotype about a group, and intensely dislike a member of that group. For me, there are a number of (so-called self proclaimed) Christians who fall in that category.

And understanding statistics goes a long way. As some above have pointed out. kind of. Averages are averages; there are people in every identifiable group who fall above and below the group's average, whether it's SAT scores, 100 yard dash time, height, weight, muscle mass, whatever can be measured and then applied to a group. But a high outlier in Group A may be only an average in Group B.

Josephbleau said...

Jupiter, I would only say that the probability of a cat barking without the appropriate physical organs would be small in all cases.

Spaceman said...

Nothing more racist than a joke. Maybe Miss Ann won’t boot me off directly

A Chinese man walks into a bar

He is native from China and has a heavy accent.

The bar seems to be getting to wrap up. No one is there but Tom the bartender, and he is wiping stuff down.

Tom is well loved by his patrons for helping them out in a pinch. Despite it being close to clocking out... he will gladly let anyone grab a last minute drink and stick around.

He was also known for being a key member of the civil rights movement in his state along with his other black brothers. He rightfully took pride in his black heritage.

The Chinese man approaches, sits on a stool, and says "Hey niggah, get mee uh jiggah"

You can imagine how taken aback Tom was. "Hey man, you can't talk like that. This is 2018 and things are different. You don't understand the power that word has when used by someone who isn't black. This is my establishment. How would you feel if someone arrived at your place of work... and was grossly racially insensitive to you being asian?"

"Okay." the Chinese man replied.

"Yeah? Fine... we'll see how you like it. Lets pretend this is your bar. Ill go outside and come back in pretending to be YOUR customer." Tom proposed.

"Okay." The Chinese man replied... He got up and went behind the bar and started wiping it down while Tom exited.

Tom waits 10 seconds, and then reenters. He sits at the bar and says: "Hey chink, get me a drink"

The Chinese man stops wiping, and slowly looks up at Tom... "Oh so solly...

we don't serve niggah."

Bad Lieutenant said...

Spaceman, tee hee! Crying.



Josephbleau said...
Jupiter, I would only say that the probability of a cat barking without the appropriate physical organs would be small in all cases.

1/19/18, 8:15 PM


How do you make a dog go meow?

Freeze him in a block of ice and run him through a sawmill.


How do you make a cat go woof?

Soak him in gasoline and light a match.

Anonymous said...

Breyer's statement and Klarman's statement can both be true. And probably are.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I commented on the wrong thread by accident.

Even Homer nods. Especially Homer Simpson.

Spaceman said...

Bad lieutenant;

Yes, but what if the cat self-identifies as a dog? Do your conclusions still apply? I know we may have to consult some science experts on this hypothesis. You know, you can't argue with experts.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Aw Spaceman, why you gotta do me like that, I didn't step in your shit did I?

No, it doesn't pay to argue with experts, not when a bullet costs a quarter.

Spaceman said...

Bad lieutenant;

Oh no, not dissing on ya.

Experts are like science, you have to agree with it. It's a rule or something, I hear.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I guess Grace must have thought that Aziz Ansari was an expert at something. That would explain a lot.

Spaceman said...

Might have thought Aziz wuz one of them Karmar Sutures love experts - got mad when the Karmar didn't meet expectations. Should have known a Carolina boy couldn't do the flying mongoose in the banana basket position.

Kirk Parker said...

Gahrie,

"You and I couldn't tell the difference between a Hutu and a Tutsi...not only could they do it, doing so was literally a matter of life and death."

Neither could they; not with any reliability! Quoth the some-times reliable Wikipedia: "In addition to the arms deliveries, troops from the Rwandan government began checking identity cards which identified individuals as Hutus or Tutsis. These cards would later allow Hutu militias to identify their victims with accuracy." (From the second paragraph of the linked section.) I've heard pretty much the same thing from folks on the ground there, including one teacher recounting being asked by a student, "M[r|rs] XYZ, what am I?" (Yeah, there was a fair amount of intermarriage between the two.)