September 3, 2020

"My crime was to arrange a symposium around an extract [of 'The Bell Curve'], with 13 often stinging critiques published alongside it."

"The fact I had not recanted that decision did not, mind you, prevent TIME, the Atlantic, Newsweek, the NYT and New York magazine from publishing me in the following years. But suddenly, a decision I made a quarter of a century ago required my being canceled. The NYT reporter generously gave me a chance to apologize and recant, and when I replied that I thought the role of genetics in intelligence among different human populations was still an open question, he had his headline: 'I won’t stop reading Andrew Sullivan, but I can’t defend him.' In other words, the media reporter in America’s paper of record said he could not defend a writer because I refused to say something I don’t believe. He said this while arguing that I was 'one of the most influential journalists of the last three decades.' To be fair to him, he would have had no future at the NYT if he had not called me an indefensible racist. His silence on that would have been as unacceptable to his woke bosses as my refusal to recant. But this is where we now are. A reporter is in fear of being canceled if he doesn’t cancel someone else. This is America returning to its roots. As in Salem."

Writes Andrew Sullivan "My run-in with the New York Times/'This is where we now are. A reporter is in fear of being canceled if he doesn’t cancel someone else'" (Spectator).

138 comments:

exhelodrvr1 said...

"We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did.” - Thomas Sowell

Bob Boyd said...

The 1692 Project

Rick.T. said...

The crocodile keeps getting closer....

Kevin said...

This is America returning to its roots. As in Salem.

And he's still voting for Biden.

Lyle said...

Crazy, dangerous time intellectually in America, but I have faith we'll make it through this. Laszlo Spatula will not be Uyghured while I'm around.

Freder Frederson said...

I wish we could so easily cancel the odious Andrew Sullivan.

MountainMan said...

"This is America returning to its roots. As in Salem."

Brilliant. And absolutely correct. I had about given up on Sullivan but it seems like he has a spine again.

Dan in Philly said...

Not a real fan of Sullivan, but he's spot in here.

Also the fact that there is a genetic component to intelligence is so obvious it must be shouted down rather than debate it.

The Crack Emcee said...

Oh shut-up:

You believe in astrology.

You should've been fired when that became known.

rhhardin said...

I don't think it's an open question. Genetics has been disambiguating inherited intelligence from other causes for quite a while now. It could be that they're incompetent or stupid but they've been at it a while.

World Map of IQ

just to make it concrete.

Marshall Rose said...

Don't just hold and stare at that red pill......

Mike Sylwester said...

Amazon is still selling The Bell Curve.

Shouldn't that be illegal?

bleh said...

The anti-woke Left, and I include Sullivan in that despite his protestations of being a moderate or a conservative, is still mostly firmly supportive of the Democrats. I don’t get it. We are constantly told that decent conservatives should support Biden over Trump because this election is about more than policies or judicial appointments or taxes. Why shouldn’t decent liberals be pressured to vote for Trump in order to repudiate the current woke orthodoxy of the Democratic Party? It’s only going to get worse of the Democrats are rewarded for it and voted into power.

Sam Harris, Andrew Sullivan, Joe Rogan, the Weinstein brothers. These guys should all want to break the back of woke politics. If decent conservatives are expected to repudiate Trumpism, shouldn’t decent liberals be expected to repudiate wokism?

Brent said...

I have angrily disagreed with Andrew numerous times over the years. But he is a 100% right on this. This is about more than talent, more than correctness. It's about integrity and character. Things that do not change according to the mores of the moment. The editors of the NYT, Time, Newsweek, et al demonstrate they do not have either one. I stand with Andrew on this one.

Yancey Ward said...

Sullivan trying to cross the crocodile infested river like a wildebeest. My only question is this- does he really want to reach the opposite side of the river? Time will tell.

Fernandinande said...

and when I replied that I thought the role of genetics in intelligence among different human populations was still an open question,

It's literally impossible that genetics doesn't play some role.

Expat(ish) said...

My wife was getting a Ph.D. in one of the social sciences when that book hit, and hit big. It was a big topic of discussion back then, in academia, and turned into a kind of litmus test of your politics. Which were all left, but there was far left and far far left also available.

One a very fringy group was practicing "cancel" on people they disagreed with and the faculty was having none of that. How times have changed.

Also, IIRC, several courses assigned readings from the book to develop critical thinking skills. Not even conceivable today.

-XC

Mike Sylwester said...

Whenever I want an expert opinion about the science of IQ testing, I turn first to Ben Smith, a media columnist at The New York Times.

Gahrie said...

when I replied that I thought the role of genetics in intelligence among different human populations was still an open question, he had his headline: 'I won’t stop reading Andrew Sullivan, but I can’t defend him.

You can never be woke enough. Unpleasant as it is, the science proves there are genetic differences between the races, and that these do effect intelligence among other things. There's a reason Kenyans are good at long distance running, and there's a reason Asians do well in school.

rhhardin said...

What makes a university a university is the promise to be able to publically say anything in pursuit of the truth, not the correctness of its content.

It's that promise that's now missing.

Temujin said...

This is where we are and have been for some time, though it has crossed over to everyone, including the Left's own people now. It's not just that one of the most brilliant social scientists who ever lived had the guts to display his studies (right or wrong) in this one area, and that led to his being canceled before cancelling was even a thing, we're at the point where he is like Covid. Anyone who came into contact with him, read him, quoted him- on any topic, not just the Bell Curve- is to be considered a risk and must be quarantined- indefinitely.

The party of science is not so scientific when the data is not approved data. Not even debatable. It cannot be mentioned.

However, there is still an area of selective outcry and cancellation. If you are important to the Left at a particular moment in time, you get a pass for as long as you are important to them. Not a minute longer. But for that period, you're AOK. For instance, Joe Biden, who has a very inglorious past with his racist, bigoted comments, his grabbing and fondling (and perhaps a rape) of women, not to mention his corruption, is AOK, and he is meeting today with Jacob Blake's father, who has a long trail of racism and anti-Semitism (surprise!) in his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Bigoted, woman-grabbing Joe meets racist, anti-Semitic Mr. Blake. It's been previously approved by the Left and they will be swooning all over it today. Just remember that when you read about Andrew Sullivan being canceled for allowing an article decades ago that should have sparked debate, but instead turned people into non-entities.

daskol said...

So collegial. Just say Ben Smith is a pussy, and get on with it. Until you start calling out these craven institutionalists who pose as intrepid journalists, you're just a craven institutionalist yourself. I guess Andrew still thinks he may get a job at one of these places. LOL.

Lucid-Ideas said...

All you have to read about 'race and intelligence' is Nobel winner and French polymath Albert Schweitzer. There are too many quotes to quote, but what he had to say in general was that there wasn't a lack of intelligence in Africans so much as their was a lack of planning and a general impulsiveness that resulted in a lack of similar civilizational accomplishments when you look at Middle Eastern, Asian (Chinese), or Western Civilizations. He believed that it was a natural resource abundance and the climate in Africa that was largely responsible for this (since mostly debunked).

Lack of planning and impulsiveness, while not necessarily any sign of intelligence or lack thereof, go hand in hand. It's less intellect but definitely more cultural, a kind of learned helplessness passed down over multiple generations for millennia...it's the idea that you can always move somewhere further into the interior to get away from the hostile neighboring tribe or that nature will always end up providing, just wait awhile. Interestingly, many Chinese nationals who've been working in African countries for almost 20 years now have been captured on the record as saying almost the same things.

It's cultural, which means it's upstream from raw intellect and far far upstream from politics.

daskol said...

If anyone should have the platform to act boldly and call out this pathetic trend in intrepid journalism, it ought to be Sullivan, who's proven time and again that he can rebuild his platform outside the sponsorship of a single media organ. I guess he's a spendthrift if he hasn't accumulated the cash, the fuck-you money, to call these people what they are. Should have saved and invested better, dude. You could have been a contender, maybe still can be, but you've got to take the gloves off.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Any evidence the reporter is afraid of being cancelled? In this case, isn't it possible the reporter is just eager to cancel people?

Kate said...

Why all the stuff about BoJo and Keir? Name-dropping to fill the word count?

Sully can be brilliant and honest, but then he squirrels off on a tangent and I can't read the rest of his nonsense. The man has no inner editor.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The NYT is a leftwing cult

M Jordan said...

Sullivan is getting a big dose of karma. He’s always been too cute by half and now the other half is evening things up.

Tommy Duncan said...

Democrats choose the narrative ("truth") over facts.

Bay Area Guy said...

How the Leftist Marxism Works - 101A.

1. Have reasonable, impressionable, well-intended, liberals be the face of revolution.
2. If prevail, shoot the reasonable reasonable, impressionable, well-intended, liberals first.
3. Then, deem all those folks not down with the struggle as "Counter-Revolutionaries"
4. Then, shoot the Counter-Revolutionaries"

(See, Russia, 1917; see North Korea, 1950, see Cuba, 1959; see Vietnam, 1968)

Wince said...

The tough and brave part for Andrew now is admitting that Trump is the only choice, if only because something better might follow, because the forces behind Biden represent permanent epistemic closure and enforced ideological conformity.

Oso Negro said...

The New York Times! Which some of us have been cheerfully trashing here for YEARS. Deservedly.

roesch/voltaire said...

Even bloggers here who disagree with Sullivan don't stop reading and chastising him for some issues, which is what this reporter wrote. Sullivan exaggerates the issue for his readership; I understand that.

Lawrence Person said...

This is entirely predictable from what those of us who have tangled with Social Justice Warriors before, namely:

* Social Justice Warriors always lie
* Social Justice Warriors always double-down

Related: Social Justice Warriors reject logic itself as being among the "master's tools" it needs to cast down as part of the complete reordering of society.

Quaestor said...

The Nooyawk Times is on the bell curve as well -- about a standard deviation to the left of the mean and sliding downhill every day. At the current rate of decline, it won't be long before the output of monkeys chained to typewriters will be more intelligible.

This does present a dilemma classical liberals living in the Weimar Republic had to face -- read the Völkischer Beobachter, or use it for house training puppies? Does the clear-thinking person turn away from the NYT as one should turn away from the most vile sorts of pornography? Or should the clear-thinking person also embrace his duty to liberty and justice by keeping a weather eye on the propaganda of the Enemy?

Swede said...

When lefties aren't lefty enough, they'll get canceled by other leftists who are more to the left.

A pattern seen in history.

rcocean said...

Its curious that Sullivan decided this was the hill he was going to die on. Or rather be "cancelled" on. I vaguely remember his NR symposium and was quite upset about it. The Bell curve was NOT about Race or genetics. But for some odd reason, the Left and people like Sullivan decided that was the whole point of the 500 page book. IRC, Murray had ONE 20 page chapter on race and genetics in the book, and he basically said the evidence of IQ being influenced by genetics was a 50/50 coin toss and not really relevant to his thesis. But almost every interview Murray had went like this:

Interviewer: Welcome Professor Murray. Why did you decide to write a book on race/IQ, isn't that inflammatory?
Murray: The book is not about that, the book is about blah, blah, blah
Interviewer: Interesting. So getting back to Race/IQ - don't you think that's racist?

Paco Wové said...

The New York Times has become the lovechild of Buzzfeed and Twitter. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Francisco D said...

the media reporter in America’s paper of record said he could not defend a writer because I refused to say something I don’t believe.

When the Democrats take over, we will have our version of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. People like Sullivan will either recant their apostasy or suffer the consequences.

Universities already sponsor struggle sessions. Some corporations do as well. In the not too distant future, you will have to repeat approved Marxist speech or you will not be able to get the job, license or housing that you have earned.

Sebastian said...

"The fact I had not recanted that decision did not, mind you, prevent TIME, the Atlantic, Newsweek, the NYT and New York magazine from publishing me in the following years. But suddenly"

Not that suddenly. But that was then, this is now.

"'I won’t stop reading Andrew Sullivan, but I can’t defend him.' In other words, the media reporter in America’s paper of record said he could not defend a writer because I refused to say something I don’t believe."

So? What gives you the right to stick to wrong "beliefs"? When black lives matter, science does not.

"This is America returning to its roots. As in Salem."

Andy, quick question for you: might anything you have done since editing The New Republic have contributed to that return? Might you have been on the side of the forces of cultural destruction?

Birkel said...

Sullivan tried to cancel Sarah Palin's uterus.
He used up all the goodwill he might have had.

Now he had better hope Republicans win in November.
Or those fake guillotines might become real ones.

Leftists never learn.

Martin said...

It might appear that the only way to be safe is to never have said or done anything, but a newish meme from the woke is that silence in the face of oppression is violence against the oppressed, so that wouldn't work either.

Basically, it doesn't mater what you say or do, if someone wants to get you they will try and get you, and it seems they succeed about 90% of the time. That will continue until the people in charge of all these institutions decide they have to reassert control, but as they support the goals (which pretend to be fighting racoism, etc., but are actually revolution) as they mis-understand them, and the short-term path of least resistance is to give the mob what it wants, and for maybe 30 years we have been systematically eliminating courage and integrity out of our people, don't hold your breath.

mikee said...

He doesn't name his executioner, because NEVER HURT THE LEFT!
There are useful idiots so idiotic, they stop being useful and are sacrificed to encourage the others, that they might continue their useful idiocy.

Geoff Matthews said...

Sew the wind . . .

Bruce Gee said...

Snake, biting its tail.

buwaya said...

The evidence for that bit of "The Bell Curve" is much better now than then.
This is the ultimate unmentionable.

The argument and evidence it raises strikes right at the center of the ideology of the modern American progressive system, or culture, or caste. It is the scientific riposite to the whole chorizo. Where is the argument against racial inequality if it is simply the result of nature? Nothing to do with a twisted society or unearned privilege or injustice of any sort.

It makes all that ... emotional investment I guess, on the part of millions of powerful people, in many cases the core of their moral system, seem absurd. It made all those years and resources and lives they have invested in the equivalent of trying to bulldoze the Earth flat, look like so much idiotic futility.

It is a challenge to the complete pseudo-religion that has grown up in American academia and which has infected the rest of US culture. This above all is why we have these attacks on reason and science as "white".

"Bell Curve" is an enormously important book, a historic game-changing book. Its effect was a negative of Luthers 95 Theses, in that it forced a tremendous counter-movement among the liberal-left much more than it changed anything on the Right.

It started the whole "cancel" business because after it the objective changed to, across the board, suppression and exclusion, a denial of argument, the entire American death of the mind.

Temujin said...

Bay Area Guy-

I'll add, Czech state, 1945: Neo

Achilles said...

But this is where we now are. A reporter is in fear of being canceled if he doesn’t cancel someone else. This is America returning to its roots. As in Salem."

No Andrew.

This is the left returning to it's roots.

They call themselves Socialists.

Just like the Nazi's called themselves Socialists.

American's are going to defeat the Statist Thugs for you again.

Then you can go on bitching about how bad America is from your very nice house after other people give you your freedom.

Achilles said...

Freder Frederson said...

I wish we could so easily cancel the odious Andrew Sullivan.

The Nazi mask slips again.

To be honest it is a very transparent mask.

Only stupid people or fascists vote for people like Hillary and Obama and now Biden.

rehajm said...

...we're at the point where he is like Covid. Anyone who came into contact with him, read him, quoted him- on any topic, not just the Bell Curve- is to be considered a risk and must be quarantined- indefinitely

I like this analogy and to expand that idea- once you've been cancelled...er...exposed you are free to gather and associate with others who have passed through to the other side. We've had a crtical mass of people cancelled but we're still not seeing them gather togeher to form alliances where they would be free to speak their mind.

Instead we get lone wolves hocking their wares in carefully worded twitter feeds.

We've got capital if these people want to start something...

buwaya said...

In a way the fact that most of "Bell Curve" had nothing (directly) to do with race was one reason it was so dangerous to the Liberal-Left amour-propre. It was that Herrnstein and Murray made a compelling case, established a productive approach to tying "Social Science" to some actual science, which made the obvious extension of this into that which had become the core obsession of American Social Science so dangerous.

So across the board it could no longer be permitted to do science, cite science, if it was in opposition to core politics. Consider the reaction to James Damore at Google, or the blocking of funding to AGW critics, and the vast array of other matters.

rehajm said...

Why cling to the places that once were. They are dead and hollowed out...Iowahawk and all...

Michael K said...

Freder Frederson said...
I wish we could so easily cancel the odious Andrew Sullivan.



Knee------> Jerk

buwaya said...

The reaction has suppressed research into the nature of the brain and its connection to genetics.

This has had an enormous effect on genetics research also.

Mankinds progress towards an understanding of humanity has been crippled.

Michael K said...

Freder Frederson said...
I wish we could so easily cancel the odious Andrew Sullivan.



Knee------> Jerk

buwaya said...

The reaction has also, sadly, affected global science, not just that of the US.
It would be one thing for a society to go mad, but that the US is such a cultural-economic hegemon makes much of the international society of science and its funding institutions flee from the field.

buwaya said...

The US elite "cannot handle the truth", and its maneuvers to avoid the truth have put it in state of titanic backlash. A backlash that seems to occupy most of its deteriorating brain.

Scott said...

Andrew Sullivan is like Bill Maher. Although their schticks are somewhat different, they are both basically left tribalists who feign enough open-mindedness to maintain a commercially useful level of controversy. Maher seems a little more honest about his biases than Sullivan; whose Ph.D. allows him to eminate his mentations from a more socially-elevated perch. But they're both creepy.

Readering said...

The part of his piece that got me thinking was reminiscing about the Tory and Labour leaders he happened to grow up with, both in their mid to late fifties. In contrast to our presidential candidates in their mid to late seventies. Crazy.

Big Mike said...

I get so upset with IQ studies. IQ is not meaningless (my own is pretty high) but there are people who have genius-level IQs but who are not very shrewd, and people who seem to be pretty average in IQ but who are very, very shrewd. I have worked with both types, as well as people who are both very high IQ and very shrewd (people who are neither don’t generally do well in high tech so I have met far fewer of them). Likewise there are people who have high IQs but who are not good problem solvers and vice-versa. This is the exception to my earlier generalization about people whose IQs are less than stratospheric and not shrewd doing well in high tech — high tech has an insatiable need for problem-solvers.

My late brother in law was a truck driver, but he could spot me a rook and checkmate me every time. And what about the ability to read people? I’m glad they don’t put chess problems on IQ tests. There are people who, with a two-way finesse for the queen of clubs will “guess” right 97% of the time. If I had the fine muscle control of a top-flight painter, could I still look at a lily pond and paint it as well as Monet? If I looked as good as Brad Pitt (the wife can dream!) could I act as well as Brad Pitt? Though I must be brighter than Brad Pitt in some way, because I would never leave my wife for a piece of trash like Angelina Jolie.

So as far as I am concerned the sooner we get off IQ as a be-all, end-all the better. I am not saying that whatever an IQ test measures is totally meaningless, but I am saying that it is merely one aspect of what makes a person bright and opens them up to success in life.

gspencer said...

Ask Shockley and Jensen about the bell curve.

Achilles said...

buwaya said...

The reaction has also, sadly, affected global science, not just that of the US.

It would be one thing for a society to go mad, but that the US is such a cultural-economic hegemon makes much of the international society of science and its funding institutions flee from the field.


The fact that what is happening in the US starts here has nothing to do with the US outside of the issue that it is the US leading against the old aristocracy.

It has to do with the fact that the globalist forces that are in opposition to science and to freedom are internationalist in nature.

The biggest issue that I have with moderation is that the back and forths with posters like buwaya are no longer really possible.

buwaya said...

Herrnstein & Murrays main point was that the practical significance of IQ in the modern world was (probably) vastly greater than it ever had been, given the changing nature of technology and its integration into every aspect of society and economics.

One corollary is that ever greater proprtions of humanity are simply becoming unemployable and cannot be made employable.

Granted that IQ does not perfectly predict personal success, but it is a highly effective predictor for every sort of performance outcome. If you were to place bets on group or personal success by whatever other measure, according to IQ, and no one else does, you will get rich pretty quick.

Joe Smith said...

This is Stalinism which inevitably leads to gulags, slavery (intellectual and otherwise), and death on a mass scale.

The left is evil.

mizpants said...

Wince: Your comment at 9:12 is the most succinct and persuasive argument for Trump that I've come across anywhere. I've been agonizing about my vote, and I'll probably wobble toward Biden again before it's all over but for the moment you've pulled me into the Trump camp.

MadisonMan said...

I still recall a straight-A EE major when I was an undergrad asking me if I had the right watt bulbs for a light socket. As if there were 60-w sockets, and 45-w sockets. He was brilliant and dumb all at the same time.

buwaya said...

If IQ differences are mainly the hard-wired result of genetics then it makes hash of much human philosophizing and emotionally driven beliefs.

One can be emotionally driven by perceptions of injustice. But this is not possible if the situation is akin to a mismatch of screw guages.

Joe Smith said...

"My late brother in law was a truck driver, but he could spot me a rook and checkmate me every time."

Why can't a truck driver be smarter than you?

buwaya said...

Add to that that most criticisms of the validity of IQ, of the anecdotal sort, deal with cases of restriction of range and ignore probabilities.

In the case of probabilities the argument by anecdote is easy to dismiss. Lots of unfavored horses win their races, but to make it a sport one must give different payouts else the punters wouldnt bother.

In anecdotal cases also one is very rarely comparing people with IQs of 80 to those of 120. But the significance of the Bell Curve is the same across the range, and there are as many people with IQ 80 as 120.

AllenS said...

You don't need a PhD to know which way the wind blows.

William said...

I'm mostly Irish-Catholic in background. Nobody ever mistook the Irish for the master race, and I don't think the Irish are overly represented at elite schools. I don't care. I've gotten most of what I deserved to get in life--both good and bad. I think this is the ideal we should strive for. There are differences between races, classes, sexes, ethnic groups, religions, but the best deal is to get people to accept and move past those differences rather than to deny or resent them.....That said, I think some of my trifling flaws can be attributed to the eight hundred years of English oppression of the Irish. If some of the haute wasps who frequent this site could donate as little as $50 a month to me as reparations for their ancestors past misconduct, I think it would go a long way towards helping me adjust to this unkind world and would, moreover, help relieve their own guilt feelings. We would both be better people because of such a donation. Something to think about.

Michael K said...

The argument and evidence it raises strikes right at the center of the ideology of the modern American progressive system, or culture, or caste. It is the scientific riposite to the whole chorizo. Where is the argument against racial inequality if it is simply the result of nature? Nothing to do with a twisted society or unearned privilege or injustice of any sort.

Yes, and that is why it cannot be tolerated in academia today. We have a racial Lysenko system. As long as "Black Engineering" does not go on to design bridges, we will survive it. Eventually, the absurdities will bring it down on their heads but it can do a lot of damage in the interim. Let's hope Boeing keeps "Black Physics" out of the design of airplanes. One 737 Max is enough.

buwaya said...

The international hegemons are not really concerned with issues like IQ.
It does not affect them. Nobody is goung to displace them because they dont test well.

Indeed they tend to behave with an implicit acceptance of the reality and value of IQ. The field of H1b visas is embedded in this tacit acceptance. And this was noted by Herrnstein & Murray.

There is a separate mostly-American religious reaction to biological IQ.

Yancey Ward said...

Yeah, high IQ ain't everything. I know a guy who is at least 150+ who once complained to me that the garbage/recycle collectors in our town worked only one day a week picking up the garbage, and yet were paid for full time work. It was all I could do to not laugh in his face hysterically, but I channeled my mirth into just letting him continue to believe it.

gerry said...

One can be emotionally driven by perceptions of injustice. But this is not possible if the situation is akin to a mismatch of screw guages.

Dammit, screw gauges are systemically racist and sexist. They've got to be, somehow.

Tina Trent said...

How long until Ben Smith is made to stop reading Andrew Sullivan, or be cancelled too?

Jupiter said...

It seems that most of you have figured out by now, that IQ differences between races are a solid, reproducible scientific result, one that you accept unless and until contrary evidence can be shown against it. What you don't seem to have grasped is that this scientific fact is a !! racist !! scientific fact. It implies that !! racial prejudices !! are statistically justifiable. This means that, if you accept this scientific fact, then you have a !! racist !! belief. Which means you are !!! racist !!, and have been for years, for good reasons. So isn't it maybe time you stopped allowing the shitheads to use !!! racist !! as a hate-marker, when all it means is that one is susceptible to persuasion by evidence? I'm racist, I'd be a fool not to be. You're racist too. So what? C'mon in, the water's fine.

Jason said...

Freder Frederson "I wish we could so easily cancel the odious Andrew Sullivan."

Scratch a liberal, you'll find a fascist. Every time.

GRW3 said...

I looked at the Bell Curve data. What struck me was so much ado about not much. Yes the Gaussian distribution of IQs among African Americans peaked below that of Caucasians but not dramatically. I think that might be the problem and why this information has been damned. I don't think the difference coincides with the overall difference in outcomes between the two groups. That being the case, the spotlight would need to be on the public policies (all deep blues) that have negatively impacted the African American communities.

robother said...

But, depend upon it, Sullivan will still find a way to blame Trump for this too. Andrew has a fishbowl to fill, don't be a Conservative sucker for his clickbait.

Sally327 said...

I don't know what role, if any, genetics plays in human intelligence but I do think that it is not a helpful line of inquiry and could never be pursued in some purely intellectual, scientific way, not at this time and probably not for a thousand years. What purpose is served here anyway?

But then I don't have a lot of sympathy for Andrew Sullivan. I'm surprised he isn't advocating a symposium on women who say they've given birth but maybe they're really hiding that the child belongs to someone else. There would be a lot of different issues there that only someone with his intellect could discern.

Gahrie said...

What purpose is served here anyway?

Providing an explanation of why some groups do better academically than others other than systematic racism.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"America’s paper of record" - Wikipedia lists four papers of record for the United States:

Los Angeles Times
The New York Times
Wall Street Journal
The Washington Post

If there are four, there isn't one, and by circulation USA Today could also be considered a paper of record for the United States. In terms of reputation for accuracy, I would rate the WSJ highest. Perhaps it's coverage is not as broad as the NYT, but the accuracy of the NYT goes down the further the story is from NYC, hence the New York Times v. Sullivan standard. U.S. libel law is based on the propensity of the NYT to get things wrong.

Gahrie said...

Yeah, high IQ ain't everything.

Ignorance does not depend upon IQ.

Steven said...

Is there general intelligence factor, g, that varies between humans? Yes, absolutely.

Is it genetically-linked? Yes, absolutely.

Is there a human cline in g, which means different populations will be of different average intelligence? Almost certainly.

None of that has anything to do with whether "race" in humans is a valid biological concept. It does mean that sociological "race" can correlate with measures of g regardless of the biological validity.

Francisco D said...

IF genetics plays a role in the differences between Black and White, one hypothesis is that slave traders tended to capture the less intelligent Africans for shipment to the Americas. Once there, the more intelligent slaves may have been weeded out in order to ensure the slaves remained docile and not subject to Spartacus-like moments.

Note that I capitalized "IF". We do not really know how much of a role genetics plays, but it is most certainly a non-zero probability.

narciso said...

and yet his solution is vote biden, he hasn't learned anything in 12 years,

Steven said...

What purpose is served here anyway?

Yes, what possible purpose is served by scientific truth? Clearly areas of scientific investigation should be prescribed by the Party to avoid any uncomfortable facts. Just send anyone who dares question the dogma that every human has equal potential intelligence to the gulag for their impertinence.

And then lock the kids with Down's Syndrome in remedial education until they finally put forth the necessary effort to master calculus.

RMc said...

World Map of IQ

I'd be more impressed with this list if it got the rankings correct. For instance, it has Hong Kong and Singapore tied for first, then South Korea second, when it should be third. And so on.

Fernandinande said...

Herrnstein & Murrays main point was that the practical significance of IQ in the modern world was (probably) vastly greater than it ever had been, given the changing nature of technology and its integration into every aspect of society and economics.

Linda Gottfredson has a lot of papers about that, e.g. 40% (or was it 24%?) of "inner city" people cannot read and understand the instructions on their medical prescriptions, as well as articles on the suppression of research. I've always been surprised she hasn't picked for cancellation more than she has been, and she has been at it long before The Bell Curve was published.

Unfortunately many of the papers are scanned from her contributions to books, like "g theory: How recurring variation in human intelligence and the complexity of everyday tasks create social structure and the democratic dilemma".

IQ is not just about academics and fancy degrees.

buwaya said...

GRW3-

The difference between black-white IQ averages is a standard deviation.
That has been shown very reliably to match all sorts of other measures. 1 SD matters a lot. It explains why you have a vastly lower proportion of black plumbers, lawyers, physicians, programmers, successful businessmen. Further, the effect of 1SD on the right "tail" of a normal distribution is magnified, and is even more visible to the black elite.

And that 1 SD is the entire cause for complaint by black activists vs American society. They are behind in every measure of conventional, mass-based achievement. The artist and athlete elite simply doesnt matter in terms of numbers. That lack of population-wide achievement is why you have a racial problem.

buwaya said...

" but I do think that it is not a helpful line of inquiry and could never be pursued in some purely intellectual, scientific way, not at this time and probably not for a thousand years. What purpose is served here anyway? "

Democratic politics is driven by group animosities created by perceptions of threat, injustice and envy. Groups of people become convinced they are being unfairly treated if their social position, on avetage, is below that of their rival groups. They, or rather their political-intellectual leaders, find it easy to stoke this perception and use it as a weapon against their enemy tribal group.

If group differences can be shown to be artifacts of underlying natural differences there will be that much less ability to claim injustice. Or the ideological foundations of your inimical leadership caste will be weakened anyway. They will not have a moral leg to stand on.

The purpose is peace, against your impending war that is driven by mythically and emotionally amplified bitterness.

You are in a desperate state as it is, put there by fantasies and lies. You dont have a thousand years. You may not have another year.

Joe Smith said...

"IF genetics plays a role in the differences between Black and White, one hypothesis is that slave traders tended to capture the less intelligent Africans for shipment to the Americas."

I like people who weren't captured : )

Rick said...

His silence on that would have been as unacceptable to his woke bosses as my refusal to recant.

In the past people on the left who claim to oppose cancel culture have claimed (essentially) that the younger employees push wokeness and the bosses go along with it. This was clearly the model for The Atlantic firing Kevin Williamson in March of 2018. Now Sullivan identifies the bosses themselves as woke.

The sprint left continues. Run Forrest, run!

Paco Wové said...

"I do think that it is not a helpful line of inquiry and could never be pursued in some purely intellectual, scientific way, not at this time and probably not for a thousand years. What purpose is served here anyway?"

Ah, yes, the McArdle-Althouse stance (if I'm not mistaken). "The conclusions of this field are disturbing and depressing, therefore we should avoid it."

Luke Lea said...

The problem is that America's current trade and immigration policies hurt the life chances of the left-hand side of the Bell Curve, which disproportionately affects African Americans. But since BIG Money makes big money off of these policies and also controls the medic, it doesn't want to talk about any of this.

On the other hand, if we lived in a society in which anyone in, say, the 85th percentile or below in general cognitive ability "who worked hard and played by the rules" could reasonably look forward to leading a rich and fulfilling life, then a lot of the racial tension in our society would probably disappear. At least in my opinion. Ann might disagree.

In any case, for a picture of what such a society might look like, here is one possibility: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1735316008

Bob Loblaw said...

Everyone's favorite amateur gynecologist finally ends up on the right side of an issue. Broken clock and all that.

James Graham said...



Neck-down genetics is utterly stupid.

But it is PC.

Richard Dolan said...

There's lots of push-back popping up against the inquisitors enforcing Critical Race Theory and it's nice to see Sullivan energetically adding to it. The BLM/Antifa riots have really underscored how widespread that corrosive CRT crap has spread, and why it's essential to push back against it. That fight will only get more intense as time goes on, and will ultimately turn into a fight over control of the American university where it all began.

It's easy to forget that the Crits began as a loony fringe in the law schools in the '70s, who were indulged because they seemed harmless enough while still adding a bit of color to overwhelming colorless institutions. But far from going the way of other academic fringe fads (the Marcuse fascination, same with McLuhan, ZPG, SDS, the French deconstructionists, etc.), CRT took root and has come to dominate the academy, where it's entrenched as the 'Diversity and Inclusion' infrastructure. It has now spread to much of American media and corporate culture under the same 'D&I' guise, and even to federal agencies and contractors (witness the recent internet uproar at Sandia Labs over the mandated 'anti-racist, white privilege' training).

The CRT inquisitors are pushing hard to compel compliance -- it's become a fight you might not want but won't be allowed to decline. Silence may not be violence, but in this case it's inviting a beat-down that those inquisitors are only to eager to administer. So nice to see Sullivan adding his voice to that fight, speaking clearly and forcefully. Good for him.

Geoff Matthews said...

Big Mike

The reason why IQ is still valued isn't just because of its predictive power for success/productivity/smartness, etc. It's because we can measure IQ pretty well.
How would you accurately measure shrewdness? Determination? Grit?
All three of these matter, but can we measure them? Can we come to a consensus on what they are? The consensus of what intelligence is pretty easy to come to, and we can measure it pretty well.

wayworn wanderer said...

The Times bashes Sullivan because he's gay.

JAORE said...

How can anyone that believes in free speech ever vote for a liberal in today's world? Have any prominent leftist denounced cancel culture,or the heckler's veto in any meaningful way?

[Tut-tut, isn't it a shame doesn't count.]

Jon Ericson said...

I don't know what role, if any, genetics plays in human intelligence but I do think that it is not a helpful line of inquiry and could never be pursued in some purely intellectual, scientific way, not at this time and probably not for a thousand years. What purpose is served here anyway?

I think if biological "racial" differences were to be accepted or acceptable we all might shrug and say OK and accept it and understand why, say, some percentage of Chicago afams seem to have a problem with obeying laws.

But certain political parties would not be happy. They court "Nice" people who believe Chicago afams are breaking the law because white people have an aversion to their skin color.

Big Mike said...

Why can't a truck driver be smarter than you?

@Joe Smith, no reason at all. Some truck drivers undoubtedly are pretty bright, however you’ll just have to accept that in most ways my brother in law was of average intelligence or a bit above. But man, could he play chess!

And my point was that there are so many components to what we call “intelligence,” that it is silly to try to reduce it to a single three digit number (two digit, if you’re a Democrat).

JAORE said...

"I still recall a straight-A EE major when I was an undergrad asking me if I had the right watt bulbs for a light socket. As if there were 60-w sockets, and 45-w sockets. He was brilliant and dumb all at the same time."

Uhhhh, perhaps he asked because there ARE wattage ratings on light sockets. Even though you can screw a 90 watt bulb into a socket rated for60 watts,it can cause problems. Take a look some time there is typically a label that states the maximum wattage for the lamp.

"Installing light bulbs with wattage ratings that are higher than the fixture ratings does not necessarily damage the electrical circuit wires, nor is it likely to cause a circuit breaker to trip or cause other problems to the house wiring. The potential danger usually lies in the fixture itself. Light fixtures have wire leads that are attached to the circuit wiring, and the heat that is naturally generated by a light bulb can cause these wire leads to overheat and possibly melt the insulation on the leads. "

rcocean said...

"Herrnstein & Murrays main point was that the practical significance of IQ in the modern world was (probably) vastly greater than it ever had been, given the changing nature of technology and its integration into every aspect of society and economics."

Exactly. And one of their points, was that we were seeing a stratification of wealth and IQ. High IQ were no longer being distributed throughout society and professions, but were concentrating themselves in high income areas and professions.

As a result, there was tendency among them to have contempt for the rest of society and feel no need to rule for the benefit of all, but just for the smart, rich, people. The book has been an accurate forecast. Today, society has never been more stratified, with the richest 1-5 percent grabbing more and more of the nations wealth, and seemingly insulated from any economic downturns.

And the elite has never been more hostile. Look at Bezos, he's worth 200 billion but he pays his workers shit, and wants to import even more cheaper foreigners. Or Bloomberg, who actually praised illegal immigration because he needed them for his Golf Course!

Amadeus 48 said...

A-ha! But surely Comrade Sullivan is aware of the Party line on this matter. He is a dangerous deviationist from the truths adopted at the last meeting of the Central Committee.

We are watching you, Comrade Sullivan.

Meanwhile, Republicans are pouncing on this feud within the Party about Party matters.

We must unite, comrades!

The mental and moral midgets haunting the columns of NYT should be liquidated because of their over-zealous commitment to tedium.

Biden in 2020--because the senile and and substandard deserve a chance, too.

Sam L. said...

I despise, detest, and distrust the NYT.

Narr said...

IQ been very very good to me.

Crummy grades, no extra-curriculars, no family connections . . . if it wasn't for ACTs and SATs I'd never have gotten into college. Not even the halfassed overgrown normal college down the street.

Narr
That's what IQ tests are good for

Narr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RichardJohnson said...

Why can't a truck driver be smarter than you?
It is possible. I am reminded of fraternal twins from my hometown. One became a math professor. One became a truck driver. The occupational difference was probably a reflection of their respective IQs, as the truck driver took 5 years to finish high school, and the future math professor finished a BA in 3 years.


There are different skills. Reading comprehension or math comprehension would be 2 among many skills that people master at varying levels of success. I once hitched a ride from Miami to NYC with a Mayflower moving van. In return for the ride, I was expected to help unload. We hit a driveway in rural PA. He backed his van up a driveway carved into a hill. I was very impressed. That was, from my point of view, one very skilled truck driver. He had mastered a skill that I hadn't mastered, and probably would never have been able to master.

Roughcoat said...

The difference in the DNA coding of a human and that of pig is, famously, very small.

What does this tell you?

Careful, Buwaya, it's a trick question.

Michael said...

Freder, of course, is all in on cancel culture. Expected.

JaimeRoberto said...

So as far as I am concerned the sooner we get off IQ as a be-all, end-all the better.

If I recall correctly from the book, the author says IQ accounts for about 60% of the variation in outcomes. That still leaves 40% for other factors. And it says nothing about how we should treat individuals.

Jon Ericson said...

It's nice that the "this is the way things are" people can peacefully interact with the "this is the way I believe things should be" people.

Joe Smith said...

@Big Mike

I was just giving you crap. I know what you were trying to say. Putting the 'but' in there...

: )

tcrosse said...

IQ accounts for about 60% of the variation in outcomes. That still leaves 40% for other factors.

There are plenty of stupid children of wealthy parents who manage to do quite well in life.

Michael K said...

Francisco D said...
IF genetics plays a role in the differences between Black and White, one hypothesis is that slave traders tended to capture the less intelligent Africans for shipment to the Americas. Once there, the more intelligent slaves may have been weeded out in order to ensure the slaves remained docile and not subject to Spartacus-like moments.


If you talk to black African immigrants, as I have, especially Nigerian Igbos, they are convinced of the truth of this. Jamaica got a disproportionate share of Ashante and Igbo slaves, which might explain the success of black Jamaicans.

gahrie said...

We must not forget the whole point of the cancel/shut up strategy is to avoid engaging in arguments they cannot win. Not necessarily because of their ideas, but because they don't know how to engage in reasoned discourse. They're simply bad at it. Granted, their ideology places them at a disadvantage, but most of us could do a better job at presenting the Left's case than the average Lefty could. The reverse is certainly not true.

Nichevo said...

Big Mike said...
Why can't a truck driver be smarter than you?

@Joe Smith, no reason at all. Some truck drivers undoubtedly are pretty bright, however you’ll just have to accept that in most ways my brother in law was of average intelligence or a bit above. But man, could he play chess!


I agree, being a skilled truck or bus or large equipment driver takes considerable skill, and intelligent ones would presumably be better than stupid ones. The rap on truck driver IQ is that statistically, so say the industrial research boys I think, long distance trucking is a more appropriate employment for lower IQ people, less so for high IQ people.

The rationale, I gathered, was that the tedium, monotony, repetition would be harder on a more intelligent, possibly a more imaginative, sensitive person (if these qualities are allied).

rhhardin said...

Richard Epstein (podcast) has had it with lefty mayors, the NYT and the New Yorker.

rhhardin said...

IQ accounts for about 60% of the variation in outcomes. That still leaves 40% for other factors.

The important thing to the argument is averages. If you give an IQ test or a lieutenants' exam to a large number of people, blacks on the average will pass at a much lower rate than whites, 86 average IQ vs 100 average IQ.

This is not due to structural racism. The worst thing you can do for race relations is stir up anger over it in blacks, with the corresponding stirring up of ill feeling where there was none in whites by accusing them again of something they're doing the opposite of.

If you want stirred up race relations, of course, it's good for you. Say you're a politician or social theorist.

Knowing about IQ now, not in 1000 years from now, gives a retort that stops the initial stirring up if it's allowed to get out.

Ralph L said...

one hypothesis is that slave traders tended to capture the less intelligent Africans for shipment to the Americas.

Except the African-Africans have lower averages than African-Americans.

Curiously, the countries in black Africa that had been in the British Empire did better than the others. Better missionary schools and more European DNA left behind?

Jamie said...

What purpose is served here anyway?

One very practical purpose is that if we ignore the issue, we open the door to the charge that the greater proportion of men (for instance - using a different criterion than race just to stir the pot, I guess) who enter and excel in STEM vs women is the result of sexism. And THIS charge opens ANOTHER door to watering down the criteria for competence in those fields in order to correct a spurious "injustice."

And THAT decision can cost lives and treasure.

And exactly this is what we're seeing in academia now.

Unknown said...

"This is not due to structural racism. The worst thing you can do for race relations is stir up anger over it in blacks, with the corresponding stirring up of ill feeling where there was none in whites by accusing them again of something they're doing the opposite of."

Stephen Molyneux was banned from Youtube (had over 14 years of videos) for making essentially this same argument. His critics call this "scientific racism" - big tech agrees.

Michael McNeil said...

Nobody ever mistook the Irish for the master race, and I don't think the Irish are overly represented at elite schools.

Not so. During the first couple of centuries of the “Dark Ages” following fall of the Roman Empire in the West, Ireland bore one of the few thriving, literate civilizations west of Constantinople. Fluent with both Latin and Greek classics, the Irish — in the guise of the Celtic Church — were largely responsible for the return of literate civilization to the Continent. Read the book How the Irish Saved Civilization (through the Althouse Amazon portal of course) — which title really isn't too strong a statement.

Fernandinande said...

"A black man invented the light bulb, not a white guy named Tom Edison" — Joe Biden Video

I like the "man" vs "guy" distinction.

rhhardin said...

"This is not due to structural racism. The worst thing you can do for race relations is stir up anger over it in blacks, with the corresponding stirring up of ill feeling where there was none in whites by accusing them again of something they're doing the opposite of."

Stephen Molyneux was banned from Youtube (had over 14 years of videos) for making essentially this same argument. His critics call this "scientific racism" - big tech agrees.


It actually is racism, in the literal sense, but without the usually connoted ill will - just the opposite, it's trying to help. The races differ, so what should the public policy be so that everybody does well. I suggest teaching good character, which trumps IQ in life. Scott Adams says the same thing obliquely with his teachers' union rant, and suggesting reciprocity as a power that blacks don't use, namely doing something for whites. The karma comes back pretty quickly.

As for women vs men, that's not the same, first because nagging is a natural female trait, and second because men and women like each other as well. The ill will, grudges, suspicions and posturings get domesticated. It may be a bad idea for women to encourage them choosing STEM careers that they will mostly find stress-inducing though, where a guy finds the same career engrossing.

ken in tx said...

When someone 'grabs' an unfair share of the nation's wealth, who do they grab it from? Where did those people get it? Did they grab it from somebody else? Where did the wealth come from?

Maybe the people who obtained and organized resources, legally and uncoercively, created the wealth and didn't grab it from anyone. Maybe that's who it belongs to, and it's not unfair.

bagoh20 said...

OK, but Salem has little to do with America. The problem of mass hysteria and lazy thinking goes way back before that. In fact, that statement by Sullivan itself is an example of the problem, which to me is that people who we listen to are often just not that bright, or at least they can't think clearly. Too much crap in the way, and Sullivan is one of them. You can't get things right once in a while and be very helpful, but with that record, you can still get a gig writing or broadcasting your less than average ideas and insights. The bell curve has most journalists, left of center. Maybe that's why they call the Left "the Left".

cubanbob said...

As mentioned above thread, high IQ does not equal common sense, shrewdness, work ethic or moral behaviour. I suspect if by magic the average IQ were raised to 150 we still would be full of fools, the lazy, grifters and parasites and degenerates.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

Lucid-Ideas said...
All you have to read about 'race and intelligence' is Nobel winner and French polymath Albert Schweitzer. There are too many quotes to quote, but what he had to say in general was that there wasn't a lack of intelligence in Africans so much as their was a lack of planning and a general impulsiveness that resulted in a lack of similar civilizational accomplishments when you look at Middle Eastern, Asian (Chinese), or Western Civilizations. He believed that it was a natural resource abundance and the climate in Africa that was largely responsible for this (since mostly debunked)."

Thomas Sowell has a different take. He notes that Europe, while much smaller than Africa, has three times the amount of coastline and many natural harbors and navigatable rivers. That is important because natural harbors and rivers are where cities develop. And when you have cities, you develop trade - and civilization. Even in the days before cars and mass transportation, it was far easier to transport goods and people in Europe than it was in Africa. If you don't have cities and trade is limited, you stick together in isolated tribes rather than developing into a nation. The sub-Saharan Africans were limited by the geography of their continent.

Stephen St. Onge said...

rcocean said...
Its curious that Sullivan decided this was the hill he was going to die on. Or rather be "cancelled" on. I vaguely remember his NR symposium and was quite upset about it. The Bell curve was NOT about Race or genetics. But for some odd reason, the Left and people like Sullivan decided that was the whole point of the 500 page book. IRC, Murray had ONE 20 page chapter on race and genetics in the book, and he basically said the evidence of IQ being influenced by genetics was a 50/50 coin toss and not really relevant to his thesis.
----------------------------

        You remember correctly.

        As for the "odd reason," it's because almost everyone actually believes the IQ score differences are genetic in origin.  And they aren't prepared to deal with that possibility, intellectually or emotionally.  So they must deny the very possibility that it is true.

Stephen St. Onge said...

Left Bank of the Charles said...
"America’s paper of record" - Wikipedia lists four papers of record for the United States:

Los Angeles Times
The New York Times
Wall Street Journal
The Washington Post

--------------------------------

        There is only one newspaper of record in the U.S., and it The Babylon Bee.  I'm shocked that I have to point this out.

Stephen St. Onge said...

Francisco D said...
IF genetics plays a role in the differences between Black and White, one hypothesis is that slave traders tended to capture the less intelligent Africans for shipment to the Americas.
-------------
        Said hypothesis is false.  The IQ of African-Americans is one standard deviation of more greater than that of sub-Saharan Africans.

Narr said...

Less intelligent, or just unlucky? Or both?

Then, over centuries, they interbred with the slavers. When I was coming up here in the tail end of Jim Crow, it was commonplace among older white Southerners that the "pure African" was not all that bad in his or her place, but mixed race people were the worst--after all, only the lowest type of white man would rape a slave or a Black woman!

So the Euro-genes were a mixed bag.

Narr
That's what they said, like it or not


Narr said...

As for the geography, absolutely.

All but one of Africa's great rivers have very poor outlets to the seas.

And what is true of Europe as a whole, is even more true of Greece and the Aegean--the most complicated coastline in the world, with very poor land communications, encouraged the development of water-borne trade and interaction.

In a way, Europe is just an enlarged Greece: interactions, both peaceful and warlike, in a
relatively confined space, spurred social, political, and economic developments that could NOT have arisen elsewhere.

Narr
At least, they didn't arise elsewhere

Narr said...

Andrew "Bareback Mountin'" Sullivan.

Narr
That is all