Don't call it a spade
Monthly Archives: January 2019
Well, well. Everybody predicted that 2019 would be an eventful year, with Trump realizing he must start to build the wall if he wants to be reelected; Cold War 2 against China heating up, and the trade war doing some serious damage to the Chinese economy, and China’s slowdown dragging down the world economy in exchange. It’s gonna be bad, but it’s not gonna be boring.
And just after we welcomed the new year, this video by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson came out and has owned the attention of political media for more than a week now. And for good reason: it’s good. Well, he’s usually good, but this time he was something more than good. He stated very clearly what the right half of his country wants, what got Trump elected. And he made it very clear to the media, think tanks and the wider propaganda apparatus of the Republican party what they must do to survive. They must go to war with libertarianism. To war with Woke Capital.
The cuckservative media went immediately in panic. Ross Douthat on the NYT, who, besides being the physical incarnation of being a cuck, is a pretty good writer, made a good summary here.
As we all know, the political left, born out of the chaos of the French Revolution, came of age when Karl Marx produced a working formula: class struggle. You go find the low status people in your country, tell them the world is divided in two sorts of people: them, and the guys on top of them. The guys on top are oppressors, the guys on the bottom are oppressed: if you, the oppressed follow me, we’ll turn the table, “liberate you” i.e. grab their stuff and their status and give it to you.
Then after WW2 the Western left realized that the oppressor/oppressed template worked much better with groups disadvantaged biologically than with mere social class. Hence we got Bioleninism. The industrial worker who was so much into socialism could after all become a manager, or start his own company and not be so interested in socialism anymore. Happened all the time. That’s not a good deal if you’re a leftist politician. You want your underlings to stick around and be loyal, and the underclass doesn’t feel so oppressed if there’s not an underclass anymore. Of course, you can change class (in modern Western societies), but you can’t change biology. The average racial minority, the sexual deviant, the mentally ill, the fat cat lady, those will always be low status, always feel oppressed. That’s firm, absolute loyalty right there.
Ever since the Left found out this trick, the ball has been on the Right’s camp. How do you deal with Bioleninism? The only workable strategy was formulated by Steve Sailer decades ago: if the Left is the Coalition of the Fringes, the Right must be the Party of the Normal. In the US, where demographics mean that the minority-supported Democratic party will by 2025 or so have a rock-solid electoral majority, that meant the Republican Party becoming the party of White people. It’s taken a while, but as the critical date when Texas flips blue approaches, the Republicans have slowly, if somewhat unawares, moved in that direction. Hence, Donald Trump.
Of course the Right has to do a lot of work before that change of direction is complete. The Left is more flexible and responsible to change, because its basic formula is simple. They’re the party of the oppressed. If things change they just need to change the identity of the oppressed, and they’re set. Easy. The Right though, can hardly be the party of the oppressors. At its core, sociologically, the Right is the party of the people who wanna be left alone. That’s not a very exciting way of running a political movement, though, so they must always come up with random reasons to justify their attachment to the status quo. The usual are traditional religion, which is useful as it doesn’t need to be justified, and has centuries of history fighting the Left, long a force for atheism. There’s also nationalism, to the extent it is allowed to exist post-WW2, which tends to be the refuge of secular, masculine people who dislike the Left’s push for egalitarianism.
And of course, capitalism. When the Left was primarily about economic socialism, about state-control of the economy, the Right had a very strong Schelling Point in free-market ideology. Opposing socialism made for good politics for non-leftist people, it has a ready source of funding from business owners. And it just makes a lot of sense. Socialism is a very stupid economic policy, which produces poverty. And nobody likes poverty, least of all the poor. So the political Right in much of the Western world, and even out of it, became mostly a coalition of religious people, nationalists, and business owners. God, Country and Capital.
This kinda worked for a while; but it was never very stable. And most importantly, it was never very strong. Of those three parts of the coalition, the religious have the actual numbers. In America, by far, in Europe it’s a closer contest with the nationalists, but I’d say the religious still have a small edge. At any rate, the ones with the money, funding the whole thing was the business owners. Capital. And money talks. Capital was funding and basically running the political right for a long time; and completely so since the Thatcher-Reagan revolution where they took over the whole movement with force, and took over the governments of much of the Western world for quite some time.
What came out of the increasing influence of Capital in the political right was this weird intellectual movement called “libertarianism”. Libertarianism is a completely American phenomenon; in Europe it has appeared somewhat in the last 10 years, but it’s still completely marginal, and for a long time it was completely non-existent. In the US, though, libertarianism is quite big. Not in numbers, of course, but it is very influential in the economics departments of American academia and, as an extension of that, as economic advisors for the political Right. The DC think tanks and all that crowd. It would be an exaggeration to say that all Republican politicians in the US are libertarians, but they are very influential in those circles, and their academic prestige is quite high.
Libertarianism strikes me as an escapist strategy. Democracy was founded in the idea of frequent changes in government. We have a team of guys running the state; if they stop doing a good job, you change them. Most places developed a two-party system, around a left-right axis, which disagreed more or less on how to do things; but the point is change is built into the system. So everybody has an incentive to play the game, and try to be there when the next change happens.
But at some point, somebody discovered that this theory was crap. Power doesn’t work that way. Governments don’t work that way, fundamentally. You can’t change everything all the time, the incentives are just too big for people in power to find a way of keeping power amongst themselves. Like most important discoveries, different people across the world realized, independently, that alternation in power was absolutely not what happens in democracies at all; that most resorts of power are occupied by permanent bureaucrats, and that the different parties which prima facie compete for power, eventually find ways of helping each other achieve a stable sharing of power and money. The first to make a solid theory on how this works were the Italian elite theorists, Pareto, Mosca and Michels.
Libertarianism is what you do when you realize that the government is socialist by definition. Socialism being the control of the economy by the government, well, yes, odds are the government is going to want to control the economy. So if you don’t trust the government to respect your interests, then you go libertarian. You do that because you are a business person and have an actual reason to want the government to get away from your business. Or you do that if you are opposed to the government for other reasons, say cultural reasons, and just want to signal your distrust of the government. Libertarianism came from both sides of that. Not by coincidence, much of libertarianism came of the American South after the Civil Rights movement. US Southerners realized the US Federal Government wanted to destroy their culture; and many of them became free market fundamentalists as a way to oppose that. That again connects with the 3-way coalition of religious, nationalists and capitalists that has formed the Political Right for decades.
Well, Tucker’s speech basically said this alliance was over. The alliance of God, Country and Capital has achieved some electoral victories over the decades, but it has failed miserably at the only important task: the Culture War, influencing the behavior of the people so that they form stable and moral families. The Left has destroyed traditional culture bit by bit, and neither Nixon, nor Reagan, nor Bush, nor anyone, has been able to do stop it even by an inch. And why is that? Has God failed us? Do the people not love their Country? No, it’s the other guys. Capital has betrayed us. The libertarians have been playing a double game, and they are now pretty much the enemy. They haven’t just surrendered, or been neutralized. Capital today is perhaps the biggest force of the Left. They’re the biggest enemy.
Tucker Carlson makes his argument much better in this video where he is interviewed by Charlie Kirk, one of those classical cuckservatism propaganda guys, doing both the evangelical and the libertarian thing. It goes without saying that Tucker completely destroys him, and he has fun doing it. Understandably given what a complete tool this Kirk guy is. Do watch the whole video.
Of course not all the video is good. The first 10 minutes are actually a very disappointing collection of cuckservative platitudes, where he talks how the increased insanity of Leftist activists is a sign of “fear” on their side. That they’re “losing control”. What is Tucker smoking? The Left is losing control? Of what? They can put transexuals on kindergartens. They have 10 year old boys in drag on national TV. They have successfully derailed pretty much everything that the elected president of the USA Donald Trump has tried to do for 2 years: a point which he makes himself all the time. Yes, sure, Donald Trump is actually president, and he confirmed two justices for the Supreme Court. But the Left is in complete control in pretty much everything they care for. Most importantly, the Left has the demographic advantage. They control the votes of every single Bioleninist constituency, and they are all growing. Single women? Growing. Gays and assorted sexual deviants? (can we call them GASD?) growing. Ethnic minorities? Growing. White Americans just posted the lowest fertility rate in history. It won’t be long until the Hispanic population of Texas grows to the point where the state votes Democrat, and then the Democratic Party will have a permanent electoral majority.
So no, they aren’t losing control. They aren’t “terrified”. Well, maybe they are, but that’s besides the point. When Stalin launched his purges in the 1930 Soviet Union, he was quite terrified of losing control. That’s indeed why he launched the purges. Which were wildly successful, killed a million people, displaced tens of millions, and made him a dictator for life. So yes, besides the point. The cuckservative idea seems to be that the utter defeat of the Right in the Culture War is a sign of some sort of demon-induced “insanity”, and that through a few exhortations to calm down given by DC aristocrats (like, say, Tucker Carlson) everybody will calm down and we’ll be back to the 1950s like nothing ever happened.
“When you are standing on principle, and when you truly believe you’re right (…) that you’ll be proving right at some point; you don’t need to get mad (…) you can softly chuckle, and you can persist in the face of all the threats, in saying what you think is true, if you really believe it is. If everybody did that, this crap will end tomorrow.”
No, Tucker, no. I’m sorry, that’s not how it works. The current-year Leftist insanity is not a sign of anything, it’s just the logical progression of the Culture War, which the Left has won, utterly, and is now engaging in mop-up operations, gearing up the insanity just to gloat, to show off the power they have. Which they have, and we don’t. You can’t just tell people to “believe”, i.e. to have “faith”, and everything bad will go away. It won’t. When people oppose the left, they lose their jobs, they lose their friends, they lose everything. Sure, if everybody made a stand, and you had 100 million people in the streets, that would be something. But you don’t have 100 million people. You have at most 80. You have 200 million white Americans, of which taking out gays and single women and weirdos and nerds and snobs and cowards, you have at most 80 million people who oppose the left Out of a country of 330 million. So no, let’s not play the numbers game.
And the Right isn’t even right. The Right doesn’t have a coherent theory of how things work, “consistent with thousands of years of human experience” as he puts it. The Left does: it has Marxism-Leninism, the old template of oppressors and the oppressed, now applied to biological groups. That may be wrong, quite bogus really, but it’s simple, and it works at the job it has to do: building a political coalition. Meanwhile the Right, which prides itself in caring about reality more than politics, can’t even agree on the reality of Human Biodiversity! No, Tucker, no. What we need is not just faith and courage. We need something more. We need smart politics.
But he knows that, and he elaborates that very well in the next part of the talk, where he puts forward his political platform. Tucker Carlson’s political platform is not about Freedom. Or God. Or Improving the world. He makes a much narrow commitment, which sounds strange for the absolute obviousness of its desirability.
—-The goal [of government] is to have an economy which makes it possible for normal, average young people to marry and have kids.
“Period, that’s it”. Yes. That’s exactly it. That’s the one thing that all human societies since the beginning of time. Hell, that’s the one thing that all apes, all social animals are able to achieve. But modern liberal society is incapable of doing. You could rephrase this in more scientific terms to make it even more obvious.
The goal of human society is to have a normal biological cycle of reproduction.
The genius of this is that in order to achieve this utterly obvious, minimal goal of existence, you’d have to completely dismantle liberal society from its foundation. And you could do that without hard feelings, without hate, without outright enmity towards liberalism. Nothing personal here, we’re just optimizing the government in order to achieve a normal biological cycle of reproduction.
Tucker then goes on explaining why he places the focus on government in the economy, not in cultural values per se. He says that the reason why young people can’t get married and have kids early is because of economic reasons, not cultural values, as the Right has been saying for decades. This is an important point. This is the most important point. This is everything.
Everyone, from rat-voice Ben Shapiro to Cuckold General David French has come out against Tucker and his suggestion that economic policy may have something to do family formation being unaffordable in the only cities in the world where good jobs are available. It’s all about culture, they say. If people just pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and read Shapiro’s or Jordan Peterson’s latest book, they’d be able to be productive enough to get a high-flying job in a big city and afford their their USD 5k a month rent.
Now, it is certainly true that many of our ancestors used to have lots of children, up to 5 or 6 children per woman, while being much poorer than we are. It is also true that other people, say Africans, have way more children than we do while being much poorer than we are. So sure, cultural values are more of a factor than economic factors are.
But it’s also true that economic policy is orders of magnitude easier to change than cultural values. It may be that people today are spoiled consumerist drones who think they are entitled to living the Sex in the City lifestyle, and even then won’t have much children anyway. That may be right. But it is also the case that economic activity is increasingly concentrated in a few global centers all across the world, and that people who don’t get access to those are increasingly depressed, with an epidemic of suicide by opioid abuse killing thousands of people a year.
The way that cuckservative pundits with their double libertarian-religious shtick (see Kirk and his “Proud Capitalist, Saved by Jesus” line) think of present economic trends reminds me of my friends back home who argue for the legalization of drugs. “People should have freedom”, they say. “Drugs are no worse than alcohol”, they say.
Alcohol is actually a great example. Obviously alcoholism is a big problem in some parts of the worlds, but oddly not everywhere. In many parts of Southern Europe, alcoholism barely exists at all, while in Northern Europe is quite serious. And with peoples like US Amerindians (“Native Americans”) or Australian Aborigenes, alcohol causes severe physical and mental problems to pretty much every single one of them. “Liquid fire” some call it, for how it wastes them.
The only explanation for this fact is that humans in societies with a long history of agriculture have developed genetic adaptations to digest alcohol, while people with shorter histories of agriculture have not. This doesn’t mean that people slowly developed an adaptation while merrily drinking their wine. No, that means that every single alcoholic in France or Italy who couldn’t hold their liquor died, while the few (at the beginning *very* few) who didn’t become addicted were able to survive and leave descendants. I have no idea what percentage of the population of early farmers in Southern Europe had to die in order for widespread adaptation to wine to spread, but given how Amerindians hold their liquor, it may have been in the order of 80%.
Legalizing drugs would start the process all over again. Sure, some people can get high on coke or meth and still be productive. The vast majority can’t. If we legalized coke and meth, we would be basically killing off the 80% of the population who would get addicted and waste away. Is that a reasonable price to pay for “liberty”?
The same applies to our present economic system. At this moment, every single human population with an IQ over 95 has a fertility rate below replacement; and the places where the most intelligent and productive people tend to live, big cities, have generally fertility rates below 1. Not below 2, replacement, but below 1, half of replacement. As I’ve said again and again, big cities today are IQ shredders, where the genes that code for high intelligence go to get shredded in the corporate and bureaucratic rat-race, depriving humanity of the biological building blocks for a better future.
Why? Because some people are making money out of it. Who? The same people who fund the likes of Kirk, Shapiro, and the vast libertarian and associated free-market pundit ecosystem. Why are these guys on the Right at all? Says Tucker Carlson. And he’s right. It’s time they left. The cucks, cry, though “you can’t do this! Capitalists are our allies against Socialism and the Left”.
No. They aren’t. Not anymore. Capitalists were indeed mostly in the Right side of the Culture wars for many decades. But not anymore. Libertarianism was a rational strategy to signal one’s complete rejection of the state and the Cathedral and its associated cultural ideology; because the state wanted Socialism. It still wants it, of course. But not so hard, the Left has long reached an agreement with Capital, through which Neoliberalism lets Capital make some money in exchange of Capital going Woke. Woke Capital is a real thing now. It took decades of brainwashing and back-rubbing and cross marriage and outright coercion, but in 2019, the vast majority of capitalists, of investors, of bankers, of corporate executives, even down to the average middle manager, are now culturally leftist. They are Woke. If you don’t believe me, go read this guy for a couple hours.
And as Tucker mentions, in an age of technological revolution, in an age where Facebook, Amazon and Google (FAG) have more capability than any state bureaucracy, these guys are dangerous. And these guys aren’t in our side. They are completely sincerely Leftist. On average the tech population may be even more leftist than your average bureaucratic agency. Google is particularly crazy.
If Capital is now Woke, if the Left has successfully captured the capitalists, why should the Right be nice to them? Because muh-free markets? That was a means, not an end. The goal of the Right is, again…
The goal [of government] is to have an economy which makes it possible for normal, average young people to marry and have kids.
Or in other words, to ensure a future for our children. There’s another version out there in 14 words.
If it takes import tariffs to achieve this? Let’s have them. If it takes higher taxes for some industries or people, let’s have it. If it takes strict anti-monopoly laws, or even the outright nationalization of some companies, Let’s have that. If it takes strict controls on the media, let’s have those too. Whatever it takes. Liberty is a means, not an end.
The problem of means and ends, of process and goals, is of course an old one and a very hard one when you need to coordinate millions of people and keep them focused and loyal. An important point there is the careful use of language. When people speak of Capitalism it can mean a million things. You can have completely unrestricted markets or 90% tax rates, and they’ll both be Capitalism, because the only thing that the word Capitalism means is “not Socialism”, and the actual referents of those two words depend a lot on whether the Soviet Union still exists. National Socialism was less socialist than most capitalist countries today.
See that Tucker is careful to say he’s still a proud Capitalist, even though he’d probably crush most capitalists that live today. At least he sounds like he would. At any rate, using the same words as the Right has for decades is good rhetoric: you do want to signal continuity to the people you want to support you. And besides, Socialism *is* bad for you. Everything else equal, economic freedom does create economic growth. Which is why any good plan to crackdown on Woke Capital must be phrased in a way that blames big Capital of socialist policies, and promises to bring economic freedom to the middle classes and small business owners. That was also Trump’s rhetoric, Salvini’s rhetoric, and the rhetoric of every single successful right winger in a long time.
What the Right needs to do now is to reflect on how the Left was able to capture Capital and turn it into its most lucrative constituency. Any successful country needs a business community, and the capture of the West’s by the Bioleninist left has been so unexpected that still many people refuse to believe it. But happened it has, whether by political coercion, infiltration, or just mere cultural prestige. We better think carefully on what happened, how to reverse it, and use the same tools for our own cause.
So my last post on Nassim Taleb’s mental retardation has triggered quite a lot of laughs and chuckles, and also some criticism. Some people say I was not rigorous enough when writing about Nassim Taleb’s books.
To those people I say: hold my beer. Seriously, people, this is a blog. A free blog, which I write under a pseudonym. I seek nothing from my writing, besides it being an avenue to make interesting friends. Which I have, dozens of them, and God bless them. But surely in this little place of mine which I offer free of charge, I’m entitled to shit on people for fun once in a while, especially if they’ve given good reason, as Taleb did by saying the most retarded thing that anyone can say: that black overpopulation is not a problem because they’ll turn out just as smart as the Germanic tribes did in post-Roman Europe.
That’ s not just retarded, that’s the most harmful and dangerous thing that you can say, period. The most dire danger to Western Civilization, to our lands, to our families, to our friends, to everything we hold dear, is the demographic replacement of Western populations by immigrants from Africa and the Middle East. Taleb is saying that’s not a problem! Well, fuck Taleb, fuck his books, his goatee, his accent. Fuck his deadlift, his insecurity about his racial background, and everything about him. And fuck you.
And besides, this kind of pedantic arguments about “oh you didn’t spend weeks reading his book to understand the math”, or concern trolling about the effects on group morale of criticizing a man who (to his credit, which I had always given before this week) at least makes a point of looking and sounding like a real man and not a soy-infused mangina, reveal you are the kind of person that Taleb hates. Taleb is a middle-eastern man who, by sheer biology, just can’t stand North-Western European nerds. And to be honest I can relate to that. So at any rate, don’t be a nerd and defend Taleb with nerdy, over-rigorous arguments. I don’t care, and he hates your guts.
Going back to the gist of Taleb’s argument, all he said was a bunch of wrong and disingenuous arguments about the importance of IQ (you can read a good summary here) , all done for the sole purpose of signaling his long dislike of nerds. And again, I can relate. There’s much to dislike about nerds. They are often annoying, and their lack of skill at enjoying the many pleasures of life is *very* harmful for many of us who just want to have a pleasant life and not live a life of drudgery at work. Let alone the harm that nerds do at showering thots and assorted single women with heaps of attention and money. Yes, nerds are bad. If Taleb had just said if he were King he’d randomly kill 5 nerds every fortnight just to make a point, I’d probably have retweeted that with implied approval.
But that’s not what he said. He went on a long obfuscating tirade about IQ being pseudoscience. And yes, IQ fetishism, the idea that IQ is all that ever matters, is weird and wrong, and mostly a vehicle for nerds who have nothing besides IQ going on for them, to feel good about themselves. But so what? Are nerds and their small attempts at mutually licking their wounds and achieving some tiny amount of self-esteem a serious problem for our world?
No, not even close. The real problem in our world is that high-IQ people, not just nerds, but just basically everybody half-functional, is failing to produce children, leaving a huge demographic vacuum which greedy business-owners and evil politicians are using to import dumb and hostile foreigners into our lands. *That* is the problem. And in our modern world, where the rights of ethnic peoples to their own homelands on purely ethnic and historical grounds is not accepted (because Nazis), in our modern scientistic modern world where the only acceptable public arguments must be written in the form of formal science, the only effective, true, empirically provable, and most importantly, legal argument to oppose the influx of millions of dumb and hostile immigrants into our lands, is the biological basis of IQ, and the different distribution of IQ between racial groups.
I wish it weren’t so. I wish the French could just say that France belongs to them and their posterity because they freaking say so, and everyone else will be expelled or killed. I wish White Americans could say they colonized and developed the continent, so it belongs to them, period. Talking about IQ is just a roundabout way of saying that dumb and hostile foreigners don’t belong to our countries. It has the obvious pitfall that East Asians are even higher-IQ than Whites, and yet nobody wants 100 million Chinese to immigrate to their countries.
Yes, it would be much better if we had solid measures of not only intelligence, but creativity, integrity, decisiveness, leadership abilities, and whatnot. If we had, we’d surely find out that different ethnic groups have different distributions of every trait. We could even use them to define the national character of many countries, and perhaps plausibly use that definition to set a psychological legal standard for the demographics a country wants to maintain. Perhaps we’ll get there some day. But we’re not there yet.
All we have is IQ, which individually tells you indeed very little about how useful a man is going to be for a particular task, but when averaged over populations tells you if a place is a shithole full of dumb people, or it’s a civilized and mildly pleasant place. IQ does an *exceptional* job at predicting that. Japan is nice. Denmark is nice. Morocco is not nice. Black Africa is awful. You may not like China, but it’s orders of magnitude more pleasant to live in than India.
So again, I understand all the criticisms about IQ itself, or about IQ-fetishism, or about nerds in general. I get it. I really do. My IQ is nothing special, I’m no nerd, I do my deadlifts myself. But that’s completely besides the point. The fight right now is for every civilized country to defend itself and its people. It’s a tough fight, and right now we’re losing it. Nerds are part of my people. Taleb, and the Africans he is so “sensitive” abut are not. A time will come to de-emphasize the importance of IQ and all that. But now it’s not that time.
Happy New Year folks, welcome to the 8th (!) year of Bloody Shovel. Let me start this sure to be eventful year with one of these posts which just need writing. A quick internet search didn’t come out with any article with this title; so if I’m lucky this post will at some point become viral on Google. You think Taleb is retarded? You heard this exact phrasing here first.
What am I talking about? Most of you should know who Nassim Taleb is; a finance man turned maverick public intellectual by virtue of a book, called the Black Swan, which basically saved all the western financial establishment from blame about the great financial crisis of 2008. If you read Steve Sailer you very much knew that all those Mexicans buying real estate with no down payments were going to unleash a subprime mortage crisis at some point. Not so! Said Taleb: that was a Black Swan.
A what? Some completely unpredictable scenario, a massive statistical outlier, he meant. He then colored the theory with a lot of fancy math. All those financial traders in Wall Street then could finally look themselves at the mirror again and not feel like evil failures. “It wasn’t our fault! It was unpredictable! Look at all that fancy math in the book. Only a genius like Taleb could understand that stuff”. It helped that Taleb is a Brown Man; hence a genius by default in our modern culture.
I know nothing of Taleb’s theories; although people who I respect intellectually, such as Eric Falkenstein, have written at length that they aren’t buying them. On the other side I see thousands upon thousands of bugmen and cucks who have nothing but praise for the swarthy bearded brown dude who likes to talk like an Italian mafioso because he’s convinced himself that being born close to the Mediterranean makes one white.
I could be wrong and the guy is actually a genius. But the geniuses I respect have a habit of not saying retarded things; at least not in public and when sober. That is not something that applies to Taleb anymore. One could read with some interest his stuff about finance math or “antifragility”, but now Taleb has come out as a full-fledged retard by saying what amounts (in my book) to the most retarded claim anyone can claim.
Taleb went on a Twitter rant (then about how IQ is a “pseudoscientific swindle”). His observation was based on his experience with “quants”, high-IQ math people who work for financial firms. He found them to be good at numbers but lacking at other skills, e.g. LARPing like a New York downtown mafioso or taking instagram pics doing low-weight deadlifts.
Now, to be fair to the guy; he’s right there. IQ explains some things. But it doesn’t explain personality, drive, extraversion, focus, dominance; a lot of stuff. But it doesn’t have to. Quants are quants. If he found them to be bad at making money in Wall Street; well maybe making money in Wall Street is not just about IQ. Big deal.
But IQ is real all the same. All else equal, a higher IQ is a desirable trait in any living thing. A high IQ may not guarantee success at any particular endeavor, but a low IQ absolutely guarantees failure at pretty much any advanced skill.
But of course everybody knows that. Which is why nobody really finds IQ to be controversial in normal life. Yes, it’s better to be smart than to be not smart. But to be smart, but a pussy, or a coward, or annoying, or just weird in personality is a bad thing. Nobody contests that.
IQ and psychometrics in general are only controversial, only a topic of discussion when applied to groups. Most importantly, to racial groups. That’s the only one reason why anybody objected to IQ research. To be put it even more clearly, the only reason IQ is controversial is that black people test low in IQ tests. And that’s why Taleb *had* to come out and say, oh, saying black people have low IQ on average is *insensitive*. After all, northern Europeans weren’t rich until after 1600.
Letting alone the point that the Chartres Cathedral was up by 1220; the very simple point that Taleb here is ignoring is this thing called genetics. Surely those “Meds” he feels so proud of (after all, the concept allows him to claim the glory of the Roman Empire, instead of accepting that the Levant has been a complete backwater for 2500 years) are genetically quite close to those Northern Europeans who, besides beating Roman legions pretty much all the time, were indeed not living in societies as complex as those of Southern Europe or the Middle East. Germanic and Celtic tribes even spoke closely related languages to Greece and Rome.
Not something that Africans can say; they’re the most distant race to Caucasians (and Asians) that lives on earth. And late last year we found very very interesting data on their genetic make up.
We estimate that individuals in two African populations have 6 − 8% ancestry through admixture from an unidentified archaic population that diverged from the ancestors of modern humans 500 thousand year ago.
Does Taleb know about this? Does he know about anything? Of course not. He makes a living by selling books to the soul-less bugmen in the finance industry; and he won’t be able to be able to keep being called to TV if he can’t claim to be part of the Bioleninism racket by hating on white people at regular intervals. He may not like being brown (half his waking hours are spent in loud reminders that he’s not an Arab), but he surely enjoys the privilege of not looking white.