Thursday, May 31, 2012

You Can Have Diversity Or...

You could have functional large cities where the white people have not been ethnically cleansed by NAMs.
You could have public transit safely usable by white people with children, or you can free blacks from the indignity of having to sit in the back of the bus.
You can have functional communities with shared values, or you can have a society 'Bowling Alone' where NAMs don't have to face the insult of restrictive covenants and Jim Crow official segregation (as opposed to de facto segregation mediated by money).
You can have a society where less than 10% of women are overweight, where official sizes are effectively 4-6 sizes smaller than today's sizes, or you can have one post-segregation, where over half of women are significantly overweight
You can have a society where the artistically inclined can safely take a chance at pursuing long-shot dreams, because they can easily afford to live in a 'safe neighborhood', or you can have a society where everyone who isn't a NAM has to walk on eggshells, with the heart of a Klansman but the tongue of Tim Wise.
You can have a society where gun purchases were cash and carry with no paperwork, even mail order, or you can have a society with over three times the aggravated assault rate, and a comparable homicide rate only because of massive improvements in trauma medicine.
You can have a society where even among NAMs, the legitimacy rate is over 75%, or you can have a society where having both of your biological parents still married to each other at your wedding is unusual.

Would Civil Rights have ever passed if if people recognized the likely outcomes?
Stephen King's new book 11/22/1963 paints a fairly good picture of the late 50s and early 60s.  His picture is pretty congruent to my discussions with my grandparents, who were in their prime in those years, and with my backwards projection from the 70s and 80s, when I was growing up.  I almost think King doth protest too much about the segregation and colored bathrooms---perhaps he is a crypto-reactionary.
Pretty much everything that makes life better today is the result of technology and engineering.  Governance and social organization have worsened markedly.  Looking back to Memorial day, it's pretty easy, through this prism, to see why the soldiers of previous wars were reasonably keen to fight for America.
But the horror of Jim Crow trumps everything...or does it?  When diversity is made a god, it is a far worse devil than any Moloch or Baal ever was.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Homicide Narrative: Revised To Incorporate Improvements In Trauma Medicine

Previously we cited
Murder and Medicine: The Lethality of Criminal Assault 1960-1999 -- Harris et al. 6 (2): 128 -- Homicide Studies
Available Here

I do not presume to take any credit away from these four gentlemen

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Harvard Medical School
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Medical School
They deserve all of the credit for their original paper which I cite above, and the majority of the credit for any value I might add here in this post.
What I have done is take their original methodology and extend their data series up to 2010 (the UCR data is available online presently from 1960-2010).  In addition, I have produced a chart which does not appear in their work.  In this chart I produce an estimate of the homicide rate normalized to the level of medical technology present in 1960, which is our base year.  There are of course some complications that I neglected, for instance, the shift over time in the weapons used to carry out aggravated assault, but this plot should be sufficient for government work.  Or, in this case, it should be adequate to form a rough estimate of the effect of governance.

The raw numbers used are presented at the bottom of the post, if anyone would like to squeeze them further with Excel or similar software to produce more or better insights.  My laziness exceeds my arrogance.
We define, as in the original paper, the lethality rate as the homicide rate/(homicide rate + aggravated assault rate).  This gives us the estimate over time of how lethal aggravated assault is in practice.  As you can see in the data, this ranges from approximately 5.5% in 1960 to around 1.8% presently. 
Lethality Rate in 1960/Lethality Rate is the normalizing factor to adjust homicide to 1960 level medical technology and infrastructure.

What sort of a narrative can we draw out of this?  It looks to me like the adjusted homicide rate rises pretty steadily until a peak in 1992 and 1993, after which it drops off.  Incidentally, the delta between the two curves (actual and adjusted) is a pretty good estimate of the number of people who actually owute their lives to improvements in trauma medicine.  I don't see significant reductions in lethality rate after the year 2000, where the authors originally made their study.  I'm not certain what to make of that.  It strikes me as likely that there has been much more fudging in the aggravated assault rate since then (e.g., the recent stories in Wisconsin), but I don't think that can account for most of the apparent stagnation in lethality rate. 

Were there any justice, politicians would be loathe to pick on doctors as much as they do, considering how relatively good they've made them look (2010 homicide rate approximately the same as 1960 rate, despite around 3x the amount of aggravated assault!).  If you look in the paper's discussion on motor vehicle fatalities, you will see almost exactly the same story.  Nearly all of the improvement in recent years is the result of technology, not governance.

Year Homicide Rate Aggravated Assault Lethality Rate Lethality Rate in 1960/Lethality Rate Adj Homicide Rate

1960 5.1 86.1 0.055921053 1 5.1

1961 4.8 85.7 0.053038674 1.054344846 5.060855263

1962 4.6 88.6 0.049356223 1.133009153 5.211842105

1963 4.6 92.4 0.04742268 1.179204805 5.424342105

1964 4.9 106.2 0.04410441 1.267924275 6.212828947

1965 5.1 111.3 0.043814433 1.276315789 6.509210526

1966 5.6 120.3 0.044479746 1.257225094 7.040460526

1967 6.2 130.2 0.045454545 1.230263158 7.627631579

1968 6.9 143.8 0.04578633 1.221348207 8.427302632

1969 7.3 154.5 0.045117429 1.23945566 9.048026316

1970 7.9 164.8 0.045744065 1.222476682 9.657565789

1971 8.6 178.8 0.045891142 1.218558752 10.47960526

1972 9 188.8 0.045500506 1.229020468 11.06118421

1973 9.4 200.5 0.04478323 1.248705207 11.73782895

1974 9.8 215.8 0.043439716 1.287325456 12.61578947

1975 9.6 231.1 0.039883673 1.402103893 13.46019737

1976 8.7 233.2 0.035965275 1.554862371 13.52730263

1977 8.8 247 0.034401876 1.625523325 14.30460526

1978 9 262.1 0.033198082 1.684466374 15.16019737

1979 9.8 286 0.033130494 1.687902793 16.54144737

1980 10.2 298.5 0.033041788 1.692434211 17.26282895

1981 9.8 289.3 0.032764962 1.706733351 16.72598684

1982 9.1 289 0.030526669 1.831875361 16.67006579

1983 8.3 279.4 0.028849496 1.938371909 16.08848684

1984 7.9 290.6 0.026465662 2.112966356 16.69243421

1985 8 304 0.025641026 2.180921053 17.44736842

1986 8.6 347.4 0.024157303 2.314871481 19.90789474

1987 8.3 352.9 0.022978959 2.433576411 20.19868421

1988 8.5 372.2 0.022327292 2.504605263 21.28914474

1989 8.7 385.6 0.022064418 2.534444949 22.04967105

1990 9.4 422.9 0.021744159 2.571773516 24.17467105

1991 9.8 433.4 0.022111913 2.529001074 24.78421053

1992 9.3 441.9 0.020611702 2.713073005 25.23157895

1993 9.5 440.5 0.021111111 2.648891967 25.16447368

1994 9 427.6 0.020613834 2.712792398 24.41513158

1995 8.2 418.3 0.01922626 2.908576701 23.85032895

1996 7.4 391 0.018574297 3.010668563 22.27894737

1997 6.8 382.1 0.017485215 3.198190789 21.74769737

1998 6.3 361.4 0.017133533 3.263836675 20.56217105

1999 5.7 334.3 0.016764706 3.335641736 19.01315789

2000 5.5 324 0.016691958 3.350179426 18.42598684

2001 5.6 318.6 0.017273288 3.237429511 18.12960526

2002 5.6 309.5 0.017772136 3.146557801 17.62072368

2003 5.7 295.4 0.018930588 2.954005078 16.83782895

2004 5.5 288.6 0.018701122 2.990251196 16.44638158

2005 5.6 290.8 0.018893387 2.959821429 16.575

2006 5.7 287.5 0.019440655 2.876500462 16.39605263

2007 5.6 283.8 0.01935038 2.889920113 16.18355263

2008 5.4 276.7 0.019142148 2.921357212 15.77532895

2009 5 264.7 0.018539118 3.016381579 15.08190789

2010 4.8 252.3 0.018669778 2.995271382 14.37730263

Update:  Added Plot of Lethality rate change over time for Alrenous

Friday, May 25, 2012

Satan Issues A Promotion

Apparently this guy has been promoted in Satan's service from being a priest defrocked for child sexual abuse to a TSA supervisor.

Perhaps the Prince of Darkness has been watching his career with great interest.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Waylaid By CS Lewis In Powell's: The Discarded Image

Powell's really is a wonderful place.  Anyone visiting Portland really ought to make a trip by there.  You can pick up used copies of CS Lewis and even Carlyle there for a pittance.  Recently walking through there I was struck by a display in one of the central aisles with a CS Lewis work that I'd vaguely heard of, but never read.  It turns out it was a real jewel also:  The Discarded Image.

The Discarded Image is essentially a guide to the Medieval world view.  It's technically literary criticism I suppose, but you shouldn't hold that against it.  Remember that recommendation I passed on to you back in this post from CS Lewis, to read old books so that you could get a better understanding of the common presumptions of our own age?

Well, besides the Victorian era, the Medieval era is a very likely place that you might turn.  There are lots of wondrous works from that period, from such masters as Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Boethius, and the like.  Many of these works are exceptionally formative to our culture today--forming big pieces and whole tropes in a lot of our present-day mythic narratives.  Just from the standpoint of being able to construct good reactionary propaganda, they're worth the price of admission.

CS Lewis marks that price of admission way, way down in The Discarded Image.  In it he breaks down how Medieval European man thought, especially insofar as authors and poets wrote.  You can get some of this from Carlyle, regarding his own era compared to the Medieval, in his Past and Present.  He'll also show you how to channel a late Old Testament Prophet like Jeremiah, for no extra charge.

This is, I believe, CS Lewis' last published work, and it's from his day job, unlike his apologetics and fiction.  But those of you who are fans of Lewis will find that once again, you're encountering an old friend.

Project Gutenberg, particularly Gutenberg in Australia, will mark the price of many of these old works down yet further for you.  The availability of many of these works has never been greater.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Illegal Infiltrators? Who Says the Jews Never Gave Us Anything?

Apparently illegal aliens in Israel aren't undocumented workers or even illegal immigrants.  They are Illegal Infiltrators.  I love it.
I confess I've always been somewhat fond of Netanyahu, and he gets demographic hegemony.  Now if only his coethnics/coreligionists would get with the program here in the US.

But whatever US Jews choose to do, Israel has given us a new rallying cry:

Expel All the Illegal Infiltrators!
How many illegal infiltrators do you want in your nation?
Infiltrator is an even better word than Alien in terms of the connotations.

Update:  I've also amended my blog list, removing TheColdEquations which has been down for a long time now.  We at the Chariot miss it and we left the link up for some months in the hopes that it might return.  I've also changed Collapse:The Blog to the Orthosphere link where Proph now blogs and added Steve Sailer's blog, which I confess I'm remiss in not doing so some time ago.

Update:  It gets even better:  Pogrom in Tel Aviv!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Who Gets Screwed Because We Are Socially Required To Speak in Code

Steve Sailer brings us the news of a Chinese couple suing because their offspring was murdered while attending USC and their recruitment materials gave a false impression of the safety of the immediate area around the campus.

Of course, the materials used the code word 'urban' in describing the campus.  Most Americans know what that is code for, but the requirement to speak in code terribly screws over the naive and the foreign.  In this case our collective mendacity on race quite possibly cost two students their lives.

But foreigners aren't the only people screwed over.  Check out below what a real estate agent isn't allowed to tell you, even, or perhaps ESPECIALLY when the information is a matter of public record.

Imagine this sort of conversation, which despite the euphemisms in play, would still be illegal for a real estate agent to participate in---so we'll assume it's with a work associate and a naive newcomer to a city:
I'm thinking of moving to Jezebel Heights
Oh, I hear the schools are really bad there... (implicitly---dude, it's FULL of NAMS)
Well, I don't care much about the schools, I'm not even married yet
(heard by the work associate)---I'm down for some gentrification---not---I'm blissfully unaware of what you meant by 'bad schools'

Euphemisms destroy communication when the cipher 'key' isn't shared.  They also eventually start to get used as premises in arguments, leading to no end of nonsense.

Monday, May 21, 2012

German Greek Tourism Only Down 30% Versus Last Year

I find that particularly surprising--or is it that all of the nice places for a summer vacation on the beach in Europe are going the same direction as Greece?  I know the German tourist is stereotypically a lover of sunny beaches---I saw hordes of them in Florida growing up.  Has the TSA made a Florida vacation much less appealing to Germans?  Or is Florida painted as a powderkeg in the wake of the Zimmerman trial in Europe?  I recall there was a spate of crimes targetting German tourists some years back in Florida, to the point where some of the tourists started practicing protective coloration (I saw some German tourists wearing NRA baseball caps, which confused me a bit at the time).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Racist Reactionary Bloggers Nearly Totally Correct on Zimmerman Case MSM Nearly Totally Wrong

In this case, Dershowitz agrees with our little cabal of 'reactionary racist' bloggers.

Is there anyone alive who would honestly take an even odds wager that Zimmerman is guilty with God as the arbiter?

Didn't think so.  You'd demand at least 9 or 10 to 1 odds, wouldn't you?
Yes, it's logically possible that Zimmerman said something like---You're going to die you Dirty 'insert preferred racial slur here', and pulled his gun, and Martin then pummeled him in self defense.  But it's not bloody likely.  You might even have to hold out for 90-100 to 1 odds after you consult your better judgment (you know, that part of your brain that thinks about 'good schools' and 'safe neighborhoods').

So unless you're an inverted jackass who insists that the defendant prove his innocence beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt, and your shadows are really long, the man is not guilty.  Period.
In a preliminary hearing, he is supposed to have the opportunity to get the charges dismissed if the preponderance of evidence (a slightly more than 50% standard) can be satisfied that he acted in self defense.

Based on the fact that nobody is going to wager with their own money at even odds, this should be a slam dunk.  But it won't be, for the reasons of cowardice and mendacity.  The fact that the judge even needs to think about it or deliberate in his chambers is proof only of the qualities above.  Yes, to act justly or honorably is going to devastate any future career advancement, and probably will result in riots.  But that's your job.  You can, and probably will shirk your duty.  Don't be surprised when people loathe you as a result.  Such things create hatreds that NEVER die.

Anyone here ever punished in grade school by the authorities for defending themselves?  Do you remember the feeling of injustice still?  I bet you do.  I bet you can remember the name of the authority figure to this very day.  The Zimmerman case is this on steroids.  Be careful what lessons you teach.  You may find the tuition very steep indeed.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Complementarian Versus Assortive Marriages

On a previous post in the comments, this little exchange occurred.

Steve Sailer May 18, 2012 1:35 AM

Along these lines, I was fascinated by a recent offhand comment by tech guy Jaron Lanier that nobody has yet written the history of the role of women in Silicon Valley. The impression I got was that very bright, very social ladies in Silicon Valley have introduced a lot of the extremely bright, not very social nerds at the core of successful start-ups to each other, the way salon hostesses in 18th Century France introduced so many of the philosophes to each other. But maybe that's the wrong impression ...

Jehu May 18, 2012 9:20 AM


I agree that a lot of such men used to outsource an awful lot of their family social functioning to their wives. Are marriages of that sort (seriously complementary with heavy specialization) terribly common in Silicon Valley anymore?

This of course prompts me to wonder to what extent marriages have become less complementary than in the past.
First, let me explain what I mean.
When a man looks for a wife in the complementary model, he's looking for a wife that complements him in the sense that she covers his areas of relative weakness, making their partnership a more complete whole.  The classic example of this is the extremely social and extroverted wife who creates the social calendar for her introverted husband out of whole cloth.  Said wives are usually around 1 sigma lower in raw mental ability, but have far and away more social capability than their husbands  (read the term 'very' as typically being 2-3 sigma, and extremely as 4+ sigma, and you won't go very far wrong).
I'd say a majority of the wives I knew when I was growing up were of this type---these were baby boomer  and silent generation women.  There was even a conventional wisdom at the time---if you're introverted, get an extroverted wife, with the converse less frequently recommended for extroverts to pick an introverted wife.
Now though the model seems to be a lot more of an assortive one.  Your wife usually has a talent set not too terribly dissimilar to your own.  For instance, my wife and I are both INTJs, and we have several INTJ-INTJ couples as friends of ours.  Samson refers to this as 'Professional Class Incest'
Whereas my father in law (an engineer) picked a gentle church secretary who studied drama in college as his wife, I went for another engineer.  His choice was pretty typical of his generation, and mine reasonably typical of my own.  Interestingly, we both have a complementary model for roles within marriage, with extremely similar divisions of labor and specialization, but his arrangement was far more common when he was my age than mine is presently.
Sailer is probably on target that the wives of engineers in Silicon Valley had a major role in lubricating a lot of the ad hoc companies that got started there in their early days.  Wives of Engineers, or WOE for short was in fact a support group near a university that I attended back in the 90s--although the group was mostly at least a half generation older than me, so they were mostly complementary rather than assortively selected wives.  Anyone want to bet that said support group networked on their husbands' behalf like crazy?  Were I a betting man, I'd wager that 3-4 handfuls of Major Professors were more influential than the WOE equivalent, but they're probably the only group with more weight.  Major professor networking is still extremely strong---I've both been helped and have helped to get jobs through my major professor's network.
Assortively-selected wives is a pretty massive social experiment when you think about it.  It would be a topic for some bona fide social science to investigate what sort of impact it has actually had.  Performed with an honest search for truth, it could probably even meet the 'Smart Redneck' gold standard of social science---which is to say that it could produce superior predictions and insight to the group I described in
I did consult a smart redneck friend of mine when deciding whether to offer marriage to my wife, and he considered it to be a good idea, but one datapoint hardly constitutes a consensus over the whole class of which he is an exemplar over the whole notion of assortive mating.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Democracy of the Dead

Florida is taking steps to disenfranchise the Dead.  Only the Dead in Chicago are to have suffrage.

“The way is shut. It was made by those who are dead, and the dead keep it. The way is shut."

Perhaps the Dead could all vote one last time for Silent Cal, and regain their honor, and be free of the eternal bondage of having to rise every election day to vote for Democrat politicians.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No Coalition in Greece, New Elections, Will the Dawn be More Golden?

The elites in Greece are perhaps now discovering something I've been pushing for quite a while:

If you call everyone who wants to preserve demographic and cultural hegemony in their own country Nazis, don't be too terribly surprised when something awfully close to Nazis pops up as a real viable party.  Also, if you let the antifa streetfight with them with impunity, don't be surprised if they get good at defending themselves.  And don't be surprised if they adopt some of the snazzy trappings of the Third Reich.

They probably don't want to avenge their humiliation in WWI by the French at Versailles.  They probably also don't want to claim lebensraum in the Soviet Union and exterminate lots of Slavs either.
Honestly speaking, most governments today have the fascist negatives without any of the fascist positives.  I mean---lots of 'invade the world'...lots of 'in hock to the world', plenty of crony capitalism and socialized losses with privatized gains.  Lots of socialism with transfer payments and the like.  Plenty of pious environmental rhetoric.  Only the scapegoats have changed really (some scapegoats, like 'Speculators' seem eternal, regardless of who is doing the scapegoating).

I suspect that I'd hate the Golden Dawn less than most of the other Greek parties.  They're even calling for what amounts to Operation Wetback (how would that translate into Greek, anyway?).

Monday, May 14, 2012

Credit Where Credit Is Due: The Elegant Design of Hypergamy

Hypergamy as an instinct causes terrific problems in our society, probably moreso than the flip side for males, the instinct towards polygamy.  But today I'll leave off any such judgment and look at the design of the instincts.

Whether you come at this from an intelligent design/creationist perspective or an evolutionary psychology perspective, you get to more or less the same place.

This is because, if your priors are to expect design, you will see design.  Design and massive amounts of code reuse---cut & paste jobs with a few parameters tweaked, and mutational load providing the metaphor for bugs.
If on the other hand you expect to see evolution and common descent, that's what you'll see---essentially most systems occupying at least a LOCAL maximum of fitness.

So let's look at hypergamy---the instinct of woman to go after the highest status men they're able to keep (and sometimes higher than that).  How does this design work?
When you think about it, this is really a hard problem.  What is high status is a slippery question, and any single person's 'status estimator' is going to be VERY inaccurate indeed.  I mean---what the hell do you do as a designer?  Set the estimator to value physical size and strength?  That'll work for a lot of historical societies, but some work nearly the reverse of that (check out the history of the word 'Restaurant', where for a period, being of somewhat weak and delicate constitution was high status in France, which was the status leader of much of the world).  Set it to evaluate raw economic power?  Again, this is better than nothing, but even so, societies where the richest classes aren't the highest status ones are pretty common.
So how does the neurotypical woman's status estimator actually work?
It works by performing what amounts to a sensor fusion of what she can estimate for a given man, what status he behaves as if he possesses, with a huge correction applied for how her competition (other women) estimate the status of that man.  When you think about it, this is probably the best design you could come up with, given that it has to be relatively stationary compared to the rate of social and cultural evolution.  It comprehends the fact that it is inherently very unreliable, and uses the estimates of its peers to refine its estimate.  And, given the fact that status for men is such a nebulous thing, to a great extent, it's estimates BECOME the reality.  You're not going to suffer much relative to the competition if your estimator is buggy in some cosmic sense as long as theirs is buggy in largely the same ways.  It doesn't have the immediate feedback of reality in the same way that say, a faulty range estimator in your 'fire control' software would.

The design for men to evaluate how attractive a woman is can be, and is, a whole lot simpler.  Essentially, all you have to do is look at her.  This means that the ways of 'hacking' that algorithm have a much lower return, even though the industries that make such hacking products are pretty large.

For women though, the status estimator is a strong, high value target for such social hacking.  All three components of it get worked pretty hard.  Consider, if Tim Tebow were to take a fairly ordinary woman out on a date---something he has done on several instances for young women with massive health problems---would this raise that woman's attractiveness to men?  Obviously not, it might even lower it as a lot of men would presume, possibly correctly, that they couldn't make her tingle anywhere near as much as Mr Tebow.

Now compare that to an exceptionally attractive woman accompanying an average man on a date and presenting the appearance that he was the center of the universe, at least insofar as she is concerned.  Will this raise his status relative to the opposite sex?  I don't think YES is quite affirmative enough.
Those who aren't neurotypical should exercise more humility than is usually the case in their view of neurotypicals.  YOUR algorithms for determining value in the social arena haven't been the subject of thousands of years of people learning how to game them.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Raw Animus Against The TSA Intensifies

Check especially the comments.  In general, the mainstream news comments section is the most interesting and conveys the most actual information, especially when it has up/down ratings on comments.  It gives you an actual sense, normalized to the political position of the outlet, of what ordinary people are feeling.
The sentiment against the TSA is very strong.  Romney would be prudent to run against them.  Doing so would give him an opportunity to bash the malfeasance and security theater of both Obama AND Bush.

Providing adult supervision to government is probably the most winning narrative he can convincingly put forward---other than the default narrative that---I suck a reasonable amount less than does Obama, and the press will actually criticize me when I do evil things, and the permanent bureaucracy will resist my crazier schemes moreso than it would resist Obama.  That narrative has the advantage of being God's honest truth, but it's unlikely to actually inspire many people.

Actually aggressively attacking things that people actually hate probably would.  The list of things that the population hates is pretty damned long, but the TSA has bipartisan hatred and even substantial hatred among self-styled cultural elites.  Hang a TSA uniform on Obama and beat him like a pinata.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Of Smart Rednecks and Low Church Libertarians

One segment of the population that I'm actually quite fond of, and whose interests I try to advocate and work towards is the group I'll call Smart Rednecks.
This group tends to be in the same IQ range as the 'Second Sigma'---i.e., between around 115 to 130---but generally tends to be stronger in mathematics and spatial relationships (especially) than verbal IQ.  They very frequently work as techs, contractors, or highly skilled trades.  An associates degree is the most common level of education for them, followed by a high school diploma.  There appears to be a strong thread of independence in this group---one friend of mine who fits into this category tells me he has NEVER had anyone who he called 'boss', just customer.  They tend to know a LOT of useful skills, often including things like flying helicopters and airplanes.

I honestly see a lot more actual intellectual curiousity from them than I see from the Second Sigma types.  They almost always have a fair set of real interests where they have read a lot and where applicable, actually practiced.  They tend to often be interested in meaningful discourse with you, but only if you can demonstrate that what you're talking about can be used to make good predictions or actual useful products.  They've got little use for studies.  Their world models actually tend to be pretty good--I've been able to refine and improve mine in quite a few instances by talking to them.  For one thing, they've actually frequently hired and subcontracted things to people of average or lower intelligence.  They've got a decent grasp of what people in those categories actually CAN and CAN'T usually handle.  Frequently they've also had a great deal of experience working with the law as it is actually applied in business.  Interestingly, this group doesn't tend to watch sports much at all, preferring to participate in sports rather than watch them.  The exception is that if they're into playing a sport, they'll sometimes watch it in hopes of picking up pointers with which to improve their game.  Yes, I've a friend who watches NASCAR sometimes for exactly that reason (he likes to race cars and motorcycles himself).  That's also the only reason I can fathom why people watch golf.

Politically, most of them are what I call 'Low Church Libertarians'.  I don't mean Low Church as an insult---frankly I like Low Church Libertarians much better than the High Church version anyway.
A low church libertarian has a general presumption that they want to be left alone inasmuch as is feasible.  They also have no particular desire to rule over other people and do so only grudgingly when  Reality requires it.  They're not in love with philosophical abstractions like a 'nonaggression principle', and they tend to be nationalistic (another thing I like about them).  Live and let live, 'it's a free country', and 'leave us alone' are their most frequently articulated slogans.  They tend fairly conservative in their tribal affiliations, although much more paleo than neo---but again, they're unlikely to use such terms.

I tend to use this group as my benchmark for judging whether a social science has any merit to it.  Can said school or group within the social sciences make better predictions than a Smart Redneck?  If not, how much value does it have, other than perhaps the attempt to force a willfully delusional society to face reality.

This group isn't huge---maybe 5% or so of the population---but they provide an awful lot of what makes our standard of living so high in the US.  Readers would be advised to cultivate at least some contacts within it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Justice Department Sues Sheriff Joe, Reaction Wins Either Way

Check out in particular the comments.  Yahoo is in general a  somewhat left of center news outlet in its comments.  It also has the thumbs up/down counters that make it easier to read the mood of the readers.  The sentiment is pretty overwhelmingly in favor of Sheriff Joe and against Obama.

Hopefully Joe's department will be able to filibuster this until closer to the election through legal delays and the like.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Facing Reality in Europe: Why Their Budgetary and Debt Problems Can't Be Fixed Either
The European countries can't live within their means either, and will likely hit the wall before the US does.  Greece is probably gone from the EU by the end of the year---their vaguely pro-EU parties were devastated in the recent elections and there's some question as to whether anybody will be able to form a ruling coalition.

The downside from the US standpoint is that this is likely to prop up the US dollar to some degree via the 'tallest pygmy' effect.  Foreigners will be disinclined to heed our advice that they stop enabling our drug-addicted Uncle Sam, simply because most of the other prospects will look worse.

Oh, and that remark that civilized people don't buy gold---riddle me this, why is it that central banks are far and away the largest holders of said heavy metal?  Is it because they're not civilized people?  Hmmm, there may be more truth in that than the speaker recognized or intended.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

North Carolina Bans Gay Marriages and Civil Unions

Apparently by fairly substantial margins also (@60-40)
The pro-gay marriage side raised approximately twice as much money, and enjoyed plenty of free favorable media coverage. 
We're constantly told in the media that the public is changing its mind on this issue, but I don't see any substantial evidence of change here---this particular measure is much harsher than most.

Maybe the population is starting to become aware of my position, that there are only two real possibilities as regards homosexuality in America in the long term.  Either it is illegal, or it is illegal to criticize it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hypocrisy and the Three Levels of Concern

Hypocrisy has been the favorite accusation in political discourse for at least a century, probably for longer.  Warren Buffet and Stephen King are the latest having said accusation hurled their way, regarding their incessant pleading to 'tax us more'.  The typical rejoinder is, 'why, if you think you ought to be taxed more, don't you simply voluntarily give more of your money to Leviathan?'  After all, he'll gladly take your personal check and has a bottomless appetite for filthy lucre.  Given their stony silence to such retorts, the volley of hypocrisy is let fly, often before the silence can be reasonably described as stony.

I'm going to argue that hypocrisy probably really isn't the best descriptor of Buffet and King's behavior.  It can certainly be criticized, rather vehemently I might add,  but the true offense is considerably more complex than simple hypocrisy.

Let's go first to what I'll call the three levels of concern.  For this purpose, I'll call them the transcendental, the existential, and the preferential.  Let's start with the existential.  It's pretty easy to define:

A concern is existential if you view it as being a matter of life and death, or at minimum a long term threat to your (and/or your descendants') continuing existence as you know it.  Two great examples are the concern of nuclear annihilation or the loss of demographic hegemony.  Both are still very live concerns---did you think that with the supposed end of the Cold War that the first concern was no longer with us?

Next we'll move to the transcendental concern.  This sort of concern trumps even existential concerns, because the person with a bona fide transcendental concern believes that DEUS VULT!  GOD WILLS IT!
You can of course pick the deity or abstract philosophy of your choice here, and many do.
One of my central arguments here at the Chariot is that the overwhelming majority of concerns that people attempt to pass off as transcendental aren't actually transcendental for them, or for the vast bulk of their supporting coalition.

Instead, what they are is preferential.  A preferential concern is one that is below existential.  It is a concern of preference.  For instance, Warren Buffet might genuinely believe that the US would be 'better' if all people remotely nearly as rich as he is had to pay higher taxes.  He might even make arguments based on utility or universalism or the like.   When I'm in a particularly charitable mood, I might even infer some implicit premises in his proposal, like---said proposal needs to be mandatory and not voluntary or stingier folks than me might gain a leg up on the status ladder.  When I'm feeling less charitable, I read the pleading as 'look at me, I'm SO High Status I can afford to blow smoke about wanting higher taxes that my minions will insure that I Never Pay'.
But either way, it's a preferential level argument.  Warren Buffet, little as I may like him, is not Al Gore.

Al Gore, by contrast, advances an argument that everyone is going to perish in the Fires of Hell (ok, he calls it Global Climate Change) unless his agenda is adopted.  We'll leave aside that those who developed his agenda do not believe it would be sufficient to stave off the supposed doom even if adopted with perfect alacrity and perfect compliance.

But then he goes and amasses a carbon footprint far and away exceeding the combined total I wager of all of the blogger households that interlink with this one.  How can this be?

Were this a genuine transcendental or even existential concern to him, we would expect much different behavior. 
For instance, the person who believes that God Wills that he tithe from his income does not fail to do so based on the fact that the average person only contributes 2-3% to charity in the US.  He simply obeys God, or whatever transcendent entity or philosophy that he actually believes in.  Similarly, the man who believes that the world will end or radically change unless X is done either prepares for said end or change or works towards doing X, regardless of whether his plea falls on deaf ears.

But saying, I think it would be more optimal if we did X than what we're presently doing doesn't sound all that sexy does it?  We reach for the moral argument when we ourselves don't really believe it because experience and our zeitgeist seem to dictate that it will be more effective.

Insisting that everyone clothe their self-interest in sanctimonious sophistry simply makes liars of us all.  Furthermore, for those issues which actually ARE existential or transcendent, the constant 'crying wolf' drains any currency that they might otherwise enjoy.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What Happens When Most of the Middle Class Recognizes that the Elite Follow the Gospel of Uncle Andrew?

One of our commentors stirred something loose from my memory, which I alluded to in my response, but I think I'd be remiss in not sharing in more detail.

From 'The Magician's Nephew'

“‘Rotten?’ said Uncle Andrew with a puzzled look. ‘Oh, I see. You mean that little boys ought to keep their promises. Very true: most right and proper, I'm sure, and I'm very glad you have been taught to do it. But of course you must understand that rules of that sort, however excellent they may be for little boys -- and servants -- and women -- and even people in general, can't possibly be expected to apply to profound students and great thinkers and sages. No, Digory. Men like me, who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules just as we are cut off from common pleasures. Ours, my boy, is a high and lonely destiny.’

As he said this he sighed and looked so grave and noble and mysterious that for a second Digory really thought he was saying something rather fine. But then he remembered the ugly look he had seen on his Uncle's face the moment before Polly had vanished: and all at once he saw through Uncle Andrew's grand words. ‘All it means,’ he thought to himself, ‘is that he thinks he can do anything he likes to get anything he wants.’” (The Magician’s Nephew)

Do you have an Uncle Andrew, or have you met some such Uncles?  I wager CS Lewis knew him well.  Some of us likely even know an Uncle Andrew lurking within our own selves.
Of course the really interesting question is what happens when the ordinary middle class recognizes how common Uncle Andrew is among their elites.  Do they react with a pogrom, or perhaps by making 'strategic default' look small fry?

Friday, May 4, 2012

How Long Is the Invisible Breadline

Looking at these numbers I see a @50% increase since 2008 (from around 30-31M to 44-47M) in persons receiving SNAP---which is the new name for Food Stamps.
So calling Obama the Food Stamp President is probably not doing any violence to the truth.  Also, by these numbers, you've got on the order of 15% or so of the population receiving food stamps.  That is one really long bread line.  It's far less visible than the Depression version, of course, and even less invisible than when food stamps were actually stamps rather than EBT, but it is no less real.
It is impossible, in my view, to square such a massive increase in SNAP with any narrative that the economy is in a meaningful recovery, especially if you combine this view with the view of the number of Americans actually presently employed and ignore such bogus numbers as U3. (For these numbers, search for Population Employment Ratio).


(Data as of April 30, 2012)


Year Persons Households COSTS Per Person Per Household


FY 2011 44,708,726 21,072,113 71,813,402,544 133.85 284.00

FY 2010 40,301,878 18,618,436 64,704,450,126 133.79 289.61

FY 2009 33,489,975 15,232,115 50,359,917,015 125.31 275.51


FY 2009

Oct 2008 30,841,790 13,900,815 3,697,627,592 119.89 266.00

Nov 2008 30,884,729 13,963,078 3,561,221,137 115.31 255.05

Dec 2008 31,567,037 14,284,026 3,648,865,577 115.59 255.45

Jan 2009 31,983,716 14,499,693 3,633,188,682 113.60 250.57

Feb 2009 32,332,622 14,677,736 3,703,673,185 114.55 252.33

Mar 2009 32,928,433 14,982,155 3,776,012,112 114.67 252.03

Apr 2009 33,524,074 15,269,505 4,499,580,155 134.22 294.68

May 2009 34,171,518 15,578,702 4,596,450,757 134.51 295.05

Jun 2009 34,882,031 15,916,305 4,675,320,239 134.03 293.74

Jul 2009 35,602,939 16,259,749 4,779,752,451 134.25 293.96

Aug 2009 36,241,857 16,560,753 4,851,752,501 133.87 292.97

Sep 2009 36,918,948 16,892,857 4,936,472,627 133.71 292.22

FY 2010

Oct 2009 37,672,818 17,253,466 5,070,759,256 134.60 293.90

Nov 2009 38,184,306 17,516,954 5,107,066,778 133.75 291.55

Dec 2009 38,979,289 17,886,438 5,244,898,952 134.56 293.23

Jan 2010 39,431,128 18,118,005 5,253,958,400 133.24 289.99

Feb 2010 39,588,993 18,242,903 5,287,836,749 133.57 289.86

Mar 2010 40,120,254 18,532,065 5,375,721,434 133.99 290.08

Apr 2010 40,430,679 18,696,485 5,390,405,728 133.32 288.31

May 2010 40,801,591 18,894,549 5,450,290,971 133.58 288.46

Jun 2010 41,275,687 19,143,572 5,503,801,482 133.34 287.50

Jul 2010 41,836,469 19,435,457 5,601,253,390 133.88 288.20

Aug 2010 42,389,926 19,721,947 5,677,253,633 133.93 287.86

Sep 2010 42,911,396 19,979,385 5,741,203,353 133.79 287.36

FY 2011

Oct 2010 43,201,052 20,183,177 5,778,525,983 133.76 286.30

Nov 2010 43,596,084 20,404,895 5,810,737,592 133.29 284.77

Dec 2010 44,082,361 20,668,184 5,889,655,092 133.61 284.96

Jan 2011 44,187,874 20,748,799 5,868,438,404 132.81 282.83

Feb 2011 44,199,479 20,791,408 5,889,268,903 133.24 283.25

Mar 2011 44,587,275 21,045,909 5,983,950,234 134.21 284.33

Apr 2011 44,647,781 21,071,176 5,949,815,789 133.26 282.37

May 2011 45,410,683 21,435,915 6,121,457,837 134.80 285.57

Jun 2011 45,183,927 21,394,401 6,039,397,710 133.66 282.29

Jul 2011 45,345,473 21,458,822 6,087,831,755 134.25 283.70

Aug 2011 45,794,474 21,723,850 6,131,029,980 133.88 282.23

Sep 2011 46,268,250 21,938,820 6,263,293,265 135.37 285.49

FY 2012

*Oct 2011 46,224,775 21,969,100 6,235,255,578 134.89 283.82

*Nov 2011 46,286,314 22,027,321 6,208,449,452 134.13 281.85

Dec 2011 46,514,155 22,162,774 6,217,746,266 133.67 280.55

Jan 2012 46,449,737 22,188,732 6,152,100,362 132.45 277.26

Feb 2012 46,326,352 22,155,497 6,160,543,658 132.98 278.06

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Elizabeth Warren and the System Gaming Gap

Elizabeth Warren is all over the news and the blogs presently for what amounts to gaming the system---or min/maxing as one of our regular commentators is inclined to put it.
With a shaky claim to 1/32 blood quantum, she claimed to be American Indian on her application for employment at Harvard Law.
Now, with the 'Rules as Written', if she actually crossed all her T's and dotted all of her eyes (which she didn't apparently), she could technically qualify as Cherokee, although she'd have to get registered and so forth.
But in the court of public opinion, what she has done is far worse, violating the spirit of the rules or 'Rules as Intended'.  The level of respect for 'rules as intended' has changed tremendously from when I was a teenager.  Consider,
The author could have taken his stepfather's last name, which is EXTREMELY Spanish, and claimed to be 'Hispanic' on all of his relevant applications.  This would have resulted in substantial additional amounts of scholarship support and probably a full ride through graduate school without need to secure various research and teaching assistant positions.  The author could also have claimed American Indian ancestry with a slightly higher quantum than Warren---just about anyone with substantial portions of their ancestry running through Georgia can.  But he did not, and such was nearly unthinkable.
A friend of the author's wife could have claimed, very honestly, to be 'African American', as she was a US citizen born in Ethiopia.  But she's whiter than Warren, and did not.  While she often jokes about it, it is and was similarly unthinkable to her.
Why was it unthinkable?  Basically what HalfSigma refers to as 'Middle Class Honor'.  Lots of other things were considered beneath the board by this group also...for instance

Redshirting children...beneath the board, in fact WAY beneath the board
Taking SAT/ACT preparation classes as such...beneath the board
Taking the SAT more than once...considered sketchy
Doing various activities/volunteer work solely for how it made you look on relevant applications...way beneath the board
Running for elective positions to pad one's resume...beneath the board

Now almost all of these things are considered really normal, and many are practically expectations.  The meta-rule back then was, it was considered disreputable to attempt to game any sort of metric and the definition of 'gaming it' was very expansive.

Honestly speaking, it would be a better world if nobody gamed any of the metrics, as such is a negative sum game.  But it is simply stupid not to game the system once a critical mass of your counterparts have begun doing so.  New rules need to be drawn up such that the gaming of such is less destructive, since any consensus against gaming them has utterly collapsed (the upper middle class and upper classes never had anywhere near the degree of compunctions against gaming the system anyway).

But lots of the electorate still remembers the old rules and is incensed at Warren.  Lots of them COULD have gamed it with even less questionable minority claims than hers, but didn't.  Both ethical outrage and being made to feel like a chump play a part in the hostility she has uncapped.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More on Medical Technology and the Homicide Rate

From comments at


The effect of medical advances on the homicide rate is quantified in this article:

The methodology is obviously not perfect, but this does give at least a good first cut.
Figure 1 in that document is where the gold is, showing an approximately 3.5-4x drop in lethality from 1960 to 2000.  The drop off is mostly linear, with a steeper drop immediately after Vietnam.
Figure 2 demonstrates that this improvement is largely in lockstep with automobile related mortality.
Figure 3 shows the same roll off, but with higher lethality rates in areas with less in the way of medical resources, supporting the claim that it is medical improvements largely driving this reduction in the lethality of aggravated assault.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More Desperate Thrashing Against Homeschooling and Private Schools

Note especially the response by the readers of this SF magazine in the embedded poll---at this time 89% choose sanity---i.e. the best interests of their OWN children.
Hey, if 'it's for the children' is useful as a 'root password to the Constitution', it can be pressed into service by reaction as well.  The sanity on this issue, in SF of all places, really is quite extraordinary.

The next big wedge probably ought to be officially tolerating what goes on under the table---for instance, a woman homeschooling and providing day care for 2-3 children besides her own who are from similarly socially situated families.  That model wasn't terribly uncommon back during the first Great Depression, and pretty much only fear of regulatory enforcement keeps its pervasiveness down.