October 25, 2010

The War on Pattern Recognition

In Slate, Shankar Vedantam of the Washington Post informs us how Science explains why Juan Williams is made nervous by Muslims on flights:
We Are All Juan Williams
Associating minorities with crime is irrational, unjust, and completely normal.
Juan Williams told Bill O'Reilly that he gets nervous at airports when he sees Muslims. For this, Williams has been roundly denounced as a bigot. But Williams' association between innocent Muslims and the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks was less about bigotry—at least, bigotry conventionally defined—than about his mind working normally. To live in America in the post-9/11 age and not have at least some associations between Muslims and terrorism means something is wrong with you. 

I am not suggesting that associating ordinary Muslims with terrorists is either rational or right. It's neither. But the association arises via a normal aspect of brain functioning, which is precisely why so many people entertain such beliefs—and why those beliefs have proved so resistant to challenge.

The left is wrong to wish the association away only by pointing out how unfair it is, because that denies the reality of how our minds work. The right is wrong to believe the association must be accurate merely because it is widespread. 

See, it's all the fault of evolution:
Our ancestors constantly drew conclusions about their environment based on limited evidence. Waiting for causative evidence could have proved costly, whereas extrapolating causation from correlation was less costly.

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 were unusual. (Even if you take all the terrorist attacks in the world, they are still unusual.) In seeking explanations for those events, our minds are drawn to other unusual things linked to them—especially at the group level. ...
Muslims are only the latest victim of illusory correlations in the United States. African-Americans have long suffered the same bias when it comes to crime. In every country on earth, you can find minority groups that get tagged with various pathologies for no better reason than that the pathologies are unusual and the minorities are minorities.

Whenever people who strongly believe in illusory correlations are challenged about their beliefs, they invariably find ways to make their behavior seem conscious and rational. Those who would explicitly link all Muslims with terrorism might point to evidence showing that some Muslims say they want to wage a war against the West, that a large preponderance of terrorist attacks today are carried out by Muslims, and so on. This is similar to our longstanding national narrative about blacks and crime. 

But even if blacks and whites do not commit crimes at the same rate, and even if Muslims are overrepresented among today's terrorists, our mental associations between these groups and heinous events are made disproportionately large by the unconscious bias that causes us to form links between unusual events and minorities. ...
People in Thailand will associate white American tourists with pedophilia even though many more acts of pedophilia are committed by Thais. But white Americans are a minority in Thailand, as are acts of pedophilia. So you will hear Thai people shout until they are blue in the face about individual anecdotes showing white Americans who are pedophiles. (The same is true of gay men and pedophilia in the United States.)

There's this obscure Thai cultural concept that might be helpful in understanding the irrational bigotry of Thais' views of single white male tourists in Thailand: it's called "on average." The Thais think that single white guys who have spent thousands of dollars to visit, out of all the places in the world, Bangkok, might, on average, be different from the average Thai who happened to be born in Bangkok.

See, they get the joke.

What we really need is an in-depth analysis of the systematic causes of anti-empirical bias in elite discourse.

The first is the professional deformation that journalists and fictional storytellers experience in their hunt for non-boring Man Bites Dog stories.You make more money coming up with interesting stories about anomalies than for pointing out the same old same old.

The second is the Platonic Temptation among intellectuals to think only in terms of absolute categories: e.g., Vedantam projects his own bias against thinking probabilistically when he claims, without citing any evidence, that there are "Those who would explicitly link all Muslims with terrorism..."

The third is The Smartest Guy in the Room Syndrome: the presumption that the more moving parts and unlikely assumptions in your theory, the smarter you must be to hold it all together in your head, so, therefore, you win.

69 comments:

Nanonymous said...

Stanford-trained Harvard fellow and Columbia faculty Shankar Vedantam writes:

"Muslims are only the latest victim of illusory correlations in the United States. African-Americans have long suffered the same bias when it comes to crime" (Emphasis mine).

Right. It's an "illusion". Blacks do not commit vastly disproportionate number of violent crimes. That's all you need to know about Shankar Vedantam's writing. The guys is lying and he perfectly understands that he is lying. There is nothing else. Shankar Vedantam lies for money. That's his career choice.

John said...

But even if blacks and whites do not commit crimes at the same rate, and even if Muslims are overrepresented among today's terrorists, our mental associations between these groups and heinous events are made disproportionately large by the unconscious bias that causes us to form links between unusual events and minorities. ...

Some 25% of blacks spend time in jail or prison. How unusual is it, really, for them to commit crimes, and for everyone else to, you know, notice?

Vedantam projects his own bias against thinking probabilistically when he claims, without citing any evidence, that there are "Those who would explicitly link all Muslims with terrorism..."

Has anyone every met anyone who links "all Muslims" to terrorism?

The author has the logical skills of a child. How do some of these people in print journalism remain employed?

Anonymous said...

When it comes to Muslims and terrorists, I think the point to consider is the following. Even if most terrorists today are Muslim, most Muslims by far aren't terrorists. So in this regard, our fear is irrational. I know that Steve has actually advocated treating all Muslim Americans with suspicion, in one of his earlier VDare articles, which is perhaps the kind of over the top irrationality that the author is warning against. I think it's important to address the fact that certain groups are disproportionately represented in certain kinds of behavior or activities. But the key point is to not erroneously assert that somehow that behavior is representative of that group as a whole.

Anonymous said...

I want to play poker with Shankar Vedantam.

Garland said...

Well, wait. What about just politics?

Almost every instance of anti-pattern-recognition that I notice (speaking of noticing patterns) occurs when the speaker doesn't like the pattern, or at least senses (in that if-A-then-B/crimestop way you described in your latest VDARE piece) that admitting the pattern will lead straight to patterns he doesn't like.

So here Vedantam doesn't like the Muslim pattern. Or in a piece some years ago about how people don't think statistically (on average!), Derbyshire described an instance in which people refused to accept "men are taller than women" because they could point to Long Tall Sally. They probably weren't hugely offended by the height difference in the sexes but they could sense crimestop-style that it could lead to differences they wouldn't like.

But when the pattern is neither objectionable to them on moral/political grounds, or does not seem to be a slippery slope toward something that will be, people, including the elite, seem to be okay with averages. Our elite discourse is filled with pattern-recognition and average, it just has to be politically acceptable. If I said, "I know an elderly person who hates social security and wants it abolished now even if he never gets another dime," the elite discourse would look at me like I was an idiot or else being deliberately difficult. They certainly wouldn't rethink their assumption that elderly voters support entitlements. And they wouldn't let a Man-Bites-Dog profile of this oddball senior citizen transform the overall narrative that seniors aren't like him.

Point is, all three of your causes are sound, but there still seems to be at least one more cause, which is politics (or ideology or whatever the precise description). Because, on average, the patterns being denied in elite discourse are political, while pattern recognition that isn't out of political line seems to be reasonably accepted and practiced (Maybe not statistician-accurate, but at least the concept of an average is being accepted).

Maybe this was all too obvious to point out, but a lot of pieces like this go on about people's numeric illiteracy and inability to think probabilistically (eg, Derb's piece mentioned above) and it always seems this rather important point is not even acknowledged. Again, maybe you think it goes w/out saying...

Garland said...

And look, maybe that was too obvious to point out, but a lot of pieces like this go on about people's numeric illiteracy and inability to think probabilistically (eg, Derb's piece mentioned above) and it always seems this rather important point is not even acknowledged. But again, maybe you think it goes w/out saying...

Anonymous said...

'Vedantam projects his own bias against thinking probabilistically when he claims, without citing any evidence, that there are "Those who would explicitly link all Muslims with terrorism..."'


But isn't that precisely an example of probabilistic thinking? It's like believing somewhere out there somebody speeding on a motorcycle hits a cow, flips 360 degrees head over heels, and lands on his feet. This event, though extremely rare, is actually quite likely to happen some place in the total phase space of possible motorcycle collisions and outcomes.

And given that 25% of 7 million Muslims in America approve of Jihad, the expectation value of *Muslims who want Sharia law in America and are willing to do something about it* is probably a number greater than 1000, assuming that acts of Jihad are similar in nature to acts of gang violence in, say, Hispanic communities.

And given that random shootings in public places, airplane hijackings, and car bombs are the modus operandi of the worlds mostly Muslim terrorists, it only makes sense to reduce one's exposure to risk by being vigilant of patently Muslim people on planes, in shopping malls, and near national landmarks.

Svigor said...

Race liberals (i.e., everyone who believes most of what we're allowed to say in public about race) are so confused:

Our ancestors constantly drew conclusions about their environment based on limited evidence. Waiting for causative evidence could have proved costly, whereas extrapolating causation from correlation was less costly.

They often squeeze healthy thinking like this into racially liberal pieces like this. It's almost as if their subconscious brains are trying to seapk ni cdoe and mkae abitof snsee depiste tmeveleshs.

Not that you're making a whole hell of a lot of sense, either:

Seriously, what we really need is an in-depth analysis of the systematic causes of anti-empirical bias in elite discourse.

The first is the professional deformation that journalists and fictional storytellers experience in their hunt for non-boring Man Bites Dog stories.You make more money coming up with interesting stories about anomalies than for pointing out the same old same old.


This is absurd. Everyone knows dogs bite men, not the other way around. Everyone knows HBD is untrue, too. If you say dogs bite men, you get yawns. If you say HBD is true, you get screams, denunciations, show trials. It's simply absurd to compare a politically, economically, and culturally enforced taboo with dog-bites-man banality.

The second is the Platonic Temptation among intellectuals to think only in terms of absolute categories: e.g., Vedantam projects his own bias against thinking probabilistically when he claims, without citing any evidence, that there are "Those who would explicitly link all Muslims with terrorism..."

Steve, what kind of game are you playing here? The "who - whom?" aspect of this temptation is O-B-V-I-O-U-S. If they applied their criteria across the board, they'd never say anything, about anything, because the vast majority of the categories they discuss are every bit as fuzzy as the ones we deal with in HBD. Heh, you can't be serious with this crap.

Let's discuss ten topics that professional scribblers deal with regularly. I'll buy you a beer for every topic I can't shred by applying this "Platonic Temptation."

Has anyone every met anyone who links "all Muslims" to terrorism?

The author has the logical skills of a child. How do some of these people in print journalism remain employed?


By being aware of the taboos, including the taboo on mentioning the taboos. E.g., that "Hispanic" dude CNN just fired.

Svigor said...

Here are a few things that WOULD fall under the aegis of your "Platonic Temptation," if not for "who - whom?"

Weather
Sex ("Gender")
Tea Parties
Evil White Folks
War
Automobiles
Soldiers
Terrorists
Criminals
Oceans
Mountains
Valleys
Cities
Children
Adults
Species
Organisms
Art
Color
Energy
Matter

I could go on and on. What doesn't qualify? Quarks? Protons, Neutrons, Electrons?

Svigor said...

There is nothing else. Shankar Vedantam lies for money. That's his career choice.

That's what they ALL do. There are only exceptions that prove the rule.

Svigor said...

Reasons number 1, 2, and 3: They want to keep their jobs and hopes of advancement.

Svigor said...

I'm serious, Steve. Pick a topic, ANY topic. If I can't find a way to apply this "PT," then it's only because I haven't thought about it long enough, or I'm not smart enough. If we put enough smart heads together, 1/1000th of the energy race liberals have put into their deconstructions will yield a fuzzy category from a "Platonic" one, every time. EVERYTHING is "socially constructed."

SFG said...

Yeah, it's just politics. That and even if they don't believe in this scheisse, they'll say they do to avoid losing their jobs. Look at all the trouble Steve gets into. How many of you admit you believe in HBD at work? It's like being an atheist in Medieval Europe.

Anonymous said...

And given that random shootings in public places, airplane hijackings, and car bombs are the modus operandi of the worlds mostly Muslim terrorists, it only makes sense to reduce one's exposure to risk by being vigilant of patently Muslim people on planes, in shopping malls, and near national landmarks.

Pace Wieseltier, it would make even more sense to never allow them into one's country in the first place [thereby reducing the risk to zero].

Anonymous said...

The elite have had their postion covered on the Muslim issue by the success of law enforcement and the collective bumblings of would-be muslim terrorists.


If Nadal Hasan had shot 30+ people in New York City at lunch hour instead of on a Texas military base, that crime would have been harder to shove down the memory hole.

If Faisad Shazal's truck bomb would have went off in Manhattan instead of smoldering, and would have killed 100 passers-by, that incident would have not have dissappeared from memory, and the elite wouldn't have dared spun-it as "guy in forclosure loses it".

If those four black muslims who wanted to bomb 4-New York area synagogues with shoulder-hoisted missle launchers would have been successful and killed 500 people, that story would have not been shoved down the memory hole.


Make no mistake, there will be successful terrorist incidents in America at some point in the future. Unfortunately at that time we really probably will have a signifigant Muslim population here with authentic vote-strength and political clout.


The media have devolved to the point to where they now openly obfusciate vital information from the public. A local story perfectly encapsulates my point here: http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=13385612

A man breaks into a couples' home, lies-in-wait with a gun, forces them to the ground, steals their wallet, keys, and Volvo. The couple sees him, speaks with him. "If you have any information, contact Murfreesboro Police" is printed at the end of the article. What the article wont give you is any description of the man. Is he black, hispanic, white, muslim, asian? The couple seen him and talked to him up close, but the media doesnt want to spread "bigotry" so they wont tell you his race. How am I as a citizen supposed to help? If they described him, maybe I'd recognize him at the bank, grocery store, or wherever. Its ridiculous. If he was white........they'd have told you that it was a white male. So we can infer he is a minority. Thats how crime gets reported in my area, with blinders.

Silver said...

The guys is lying and he perfectly understands that he is lying. There is nothing else. Shankar Vedantam lies for money. That's his career choice.

Well, if you looked like Shankar Vedantam you'd probably lie for a living too. (Good grief, if I don't lie I might be "discriminated against," which is the worst thing in the world and in all of recorded and unrecorded history. Arggh!)

Fact is, the natural tendency towards pattern-recognition is just one more way in which diversity is no strength. In fact, forget about patterns for a moment. Our brains will record what was unique about any traumatic incident in an effort to help us avoid such trauma in the future. That's why if you've been involved in a traumatic road accident you might feel shudders driving past the same stretch of road.

With respect to racial diversity, if you've been mugged by blacks (assuming you aren't black) your brain will register the fact that your assailant(s) was black and will attempt to warn you of approaching danger the next time you see a black. Of course, this effect is also subject to conditioning and wear off with time and contrary exposure and can most certainly be overridden by carefully considered reflection, but the average man on the street isn't much aware of any of this and just reacts to what his gut tells him. The constant bombardment of reality-denying liberalism can scramble his system some, which inhibits his ability to articulate just why he feels the way he does, or frightens him away from even attempting to articulate it (because that's EVIL), which, when you get down to it, results in him living a lower quality of life than he otherwise would have had.

RKU said...

Well, as is frequently the case, the score reads: Steve's Victim, 0, Steve Himself, also 0...

As a commentator noted, something like 25% of blacks are convicted criminals. Actually, I think a recent Bob Herbert NYT column claimed the figure was around 1/3.

Now 30-odd percent is a pretty high fraction, so if you see a black it's reasonable to be a little nervous.

On the other hand, there are several million Muslims in America, and how many have committed "terrorism" in the last few years? I don't know, maybe 5 or something. So we're talking about maybe 2 per MILLION or something like 0.0002%. Now that's a pretty small fraction, so people who get nervous around Muslim "potential terrorists" are the same sort of people who are too scared to go outside on a clear day for fear of being hit by lightning.

Just because Harvard professors are often dishonest or innumerate doesn't mean that the people who criticize them aren't also dishonest or innumerate...

Anonymous said...

"The author has the logical skills of a child. How do some of these people in print journalism remain employed?"

Political correctness, boot licking, brown nosing, ass kissing, etc.

Black Sea said...

A second-rate Malcolm Gladwell. He's trying to coat his argument in a pseudo-scientific gloss, but it's really, all too obviously, flop sweat.

Statsquatch said...

I hope those Thai kids do not read Slate or at least know Bayes' rule.

AmericanGoy said...

"But when the pattern is neither objectionable to them on moral/political grounds, or does not seem to be a slippery slope toward something that will be, people, including the elite, seem to be okay with averages."

Black penises are statistically longer than (pathetic) white Americans members.

This stereotype is OK in today's world.

Disclaimer - being a well fed on mostly natural food European I exclude myself and place myself firmly in the outlier category :)

David Davenport said...

... Now that's a pretty small fraction, so people who get nervous around Muslim "potential terrorists" are the same sort of people who are too scared to go outside on a clear day for fear of being hit by lightning.

Or maybe the common American folk correctly perceive that a growing Muslim population in North America is a bad thing, regardless of what percent of Muhammedans in the USA are active terrorists.

Anonymous said...

O'Reilley got roasted for saying "Muslims" killed us on 911. (As thought that were an over-generalization or sthg.) I liked his reply, "What were they, Norweigians??"

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

When it comes to Muslims and terrorists, I think the point to consider is the following. Even if most terrorists today are Muslim, most Muslims by far aren't terrorists. So in this regard, our fear is irrational."

I am very unlikely to be hit by lightning, even if I go walking in a thunderstorm. Does it therefore follow that it is rational to go out walking in a thunderstorm? That's a whole category of violent death, the probability of which I can reduce to virtually zero, by the very simple expedient of not going out in a thunderstorm. Seems worth it to me.

The likelihood that one would be killed by muslim terrorists can likewise be reduced to just about zero by the simple expedient of not letting muslims into this country. To say nothing of liberating ourselves from the systematic exercise of invasive, abusive, and stupid security measures which the threat of muslim terrorism has engendered.

N Ackerman said...

The article also mistakenly states that Timothy McVeigh was a Christian. He wasn't.

David said...

"it only makes sense to..."

"but this is irrational and wrong"

Sproing! Zing! The springs are hanging out. Conceptual dissonance is deafening...

>there are several million Muslims in America, and how many have committed "terrorism" in the last few years? I don't know, maybe 5 or something. So we're talking about maybe 2 per MILLION or something like 0.0002%. Now that's a pretty small fraction, so people who get nervous around Muslim "potential terrorists" are the same sort of people who are too scared to go outside on a clear day for fear of being hit by lightning.<

How many Nazis were directly responsible for murder? An extremely small fraction. Ditto those who knew about the Holocaust (Goldhagen be darned). The fraction is probably frivolous. So, why should anyone have gotten frightened when spotting a friendly German nationalist in a brown shirt in 1938, say? Sure, SOME Nazis are bad, but ALL? That's "irrational." You shouldn't fear Nazis.

Islam = Nazism? In terms of its ultimate effects, you're darn right. How tolerant is Islam of the existence and prosperity of other religious cultures? "Religion of peace" is a LIE that should be opposed every time it's told.

Meanwhile, go tell some black guy he would be nuts to feel strange if a fully robed KKK member sits down beside him on the plane.

David said...

Pattern recognition is a necessary but not sufficient condition of knowledge. You can't discover anything new or understand anything old if pattern recognition is short-circuited.

Thus the "Platonic form" comment. In the anti-pattern-recognition people's worldview, there are two absolutely distinct states: ignorance, and the possession of revealed knowledge. With no bridge between them. "Knowledge" has to be of the revealed variety because you can't get there from here. You can't notice things and start putting correlations together, testing them, using them. All that is "unreasonable" and "unjust." The priests will tell us what is reasonable and just. Priests (or philosopher-kings) just like Stanford-trained Harvard fellow and Columbia faculty member Shankar Vedantam.

Here are the stats on black crime, by the way. Don't read this if you want to stay on Shank's good side:

The Color of Crime

Black Sea said...

Given that most incidents of drunk driving don't result in traffic accidents, and most traffic accidents are not caused by drunk driving, isn't it time law enforcement called off the entirely irrational harrassment and discriminatory profiling of intoxicated drivers.

--Lindsey Lohan's Lawyer

Whiskey said...

The Risk from Muslims is not just terrorism. It is legal Sharia, legal Jihad.

Like traditions such as Birthdays (Muslims don't celebrate them and frown on non-Muslims doing so), Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, scantily clad Cheerleaders, Fourth of July, Bacon, Hot Dogs, pork ribs, and sausage?

They your direct interest is in limiting as much Muslims as you can in the US, and encouraging as many to leave. Already in some CT and MI schools, traditional holidays such as Thanksgiving are not held to make way for Eid and such.

About 40% of Muslims in the UK want Sharia imposed. Unless you're big on Polygamy and women in tents, discrimination against non-Muslims, you'll want to have as few US Muslims as possible.

Because their interests are directly opposed to yours.

rob said...

The media have devolved to the point to where they now openly obfusciate vital information from the public. A local story perfectly encapsulates my point here: http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=13385612
...
What the article wont give you is any description of the man. Is he black, hispanic, white, muslim, asian? The couple seen him and talked to him up close, but the media doesnt want to spread "bigotry" so they wont tell you his race. How am I as a citizen


From the article

The suspect was described as a white man who stood about 5' 8" and weighed about 160 pounds. He was dressed in dark clothes and a dark baseball cap.

Looks like a description to me.

Anonymous said...

RKU, if I stay out of Mattapan and Roxbury (Boston's majority black areas) my chances of being mugged, shot, stabbed, etc. approach zero, as the crimes are mostly committed in these areas.

Muslim terrorist attacks, on the other hand, are random. Where crime in the black areas mostly takes place in the shadows, the terrorist wants a crowd to maximize the carnage; our experiences tell us that we are safest from physical harm in a crowd with a lot of witnesses around.

I will continue to treat Muslims with suspicion.

Brutus

RKU said...

The likelihood that one would be killed by muslim terrorists can likewise be reduced to just about zero by the simple expedient of not letting muslims into this country.

Well, another useful comparison is that the percentage of American white gentiles who are neonazis is vastly larger than the percentage of American Muslims who are terrorists.

So presumably "Mr. Anon" is pretty nervous about all the white gentiles walking around the streets.

Actually, it wouldn't totally surprise me if "Mr. Anon" were indeed one of those American "whites" with exactly those concerns, who therefore strongly supports taking "preemptive" measures---ha, ha, ha...

RKU said...

Islam = Nazism? In terms of its ultimate effects, you're darn right. How tolerant is Islam of the existence and prosperity of other religious cultures? "Religion of peace" is a LIE that should be opposed every time it's told.

Meanwhile, go tell some black guy he would be nuts to feel strange if a fully robed KKK member sits down beside him on the plane.


Well, I certainly agree with "David" that "radical Islam" is every bit as great a threat to American society and the entire world as are the KKK and the Nazis...

In fact, I've seen 2,945 TV documentaries and Hollywood movies on all of those vile movements, merely different branches of the worldwide Islamo-Fascist Front, so I'm absolutely confident in my views---ha, ha, ha...

Wonder if "David"'s full name is "David Horowitz"...

bjdouble said...

If you want to see perfect example of "pc makes you stupid," watch these two 150 IQ'ers discuss race as if there were no racial differences. In fact, it's so obvious as to be beneath examination and anyone who disagrees, even subconsciously, is diagnosed by these two as suffering from a case of "alief." I can't satirize it, but it's ripe for satire.

http://www.philostv.com/tamar-gendler-and-eric-schwitzgebel/

Anonymous said...

Most sharks don't attack and kill people. So if I am surfing in California and a great white shark swims near me I can ignore it and safely stay in the water, right? Nobody should be engaging in shark prejudice or shark profiling.

Shouting Thomas said...

The Smartest Guy in the Room Syndrome is a great bit, Steve.

Explains a lot.

I've already borrowed (er, stolen) it.

Anonymous said...

Nice how Slate used a darkened photo of McVeigh (his hair was actually dark blond and his eyes were blue) and a picture of Atta taken with a close flash that bleaches him out to try to show their similarities. I'm also sick of McVeigh being called a Christian when he stated repeatedly that he didn't believe in God. (Dawkins is in good company.) Plus, McVeigh might have been a soulless psycho but using him as an example of a white terrorist without acknowledging the government's role in OKBOMB is either ignorant or disingenuous.

According to wiki, Vendantam lives in Cambridge, MA. Anyone wanna bet he didn't use pattern recognition when choosing a neighborhood?

Marlo said...

More censorship? C'mon, what I wrote wasn't that offensive. It was the honest truth. No PC bulljive.

Maybe if I word it differently my comment will be posted :) Here goes...

Blacks, unlike whites, are at least punished for committing crimes. And the 30% figure RKU mentioned includes many people who are arrested for non-violent crimes (often for drugs, or trumped up charges that lead to longer prison terms and make it harder to find work). In terms of absolute numbers of people who committ violent crimes blacks and whites are about equally violent.

So, if it's reasonable to be nervous among blacks, then it's perfectly reasonable to be nervous around whites--who have a history of killing off entire groups of people (think of the millions of Native Americans who died at the hands of whites, the millions of Africans who died during slavery, Jews...).

Not to mention the fact that whites U.S. soliders are responsible for raping and killing innocent civilians throughout Asia and the Middle East at a rate much higher than blacks. And yet, when things like this are pointed out, it's censored or dismissed as bigotry towards whites. The "sphere" is supposed to be a place where everyone can speak openly about race without being called bigoted or censored. Or does this only apply to whites?

Kylie said...

Anonymous said..."Nice how Slate used a darkened photo of McVeigh (his hair was actually dark blond and his eyes were blue) and a picture of Atta taken with a close flash that bleaches him out to try to show their similarities."

Good grief, I didn't even realize that was supposed to be Timothy McVeigh until you pointed it out. I don't see well even with glasses so I glanced at the pics of two dark-haired men and though I was looking at two Middle-Easterners. Once I read your comment and then looked more closely at the features in the smaller photo, I did recognize McVeigh by the shape of his head and his features.

My reading comprehension is good so I detect things like selective editing (e.g., omitting or mentioning race depending on whether or not that benefits NAMs). But that photo of McVeigh is so doctored that I didn't recognize him. How bloody disingenuous.

Thanks for pointing it out. I'll be doubly on my guard everywhere but here from now on.

As to Steve's entry: Long story short, Vedantam is saying humans think and respond like humans and that's OK--except when white humans do so in a way not beneficial to groups favored by our elites.

Nothing new here, move along now.

Svigor said...

Given that most incidents of drunk driving don't result in traffic accidents, and most traffic accidents are not caused by drunk driving, isn't it time law enforcement called off the entirely irrational harrassment and discriminatory profiling of intoxicated drivers.

--Lindsey Lohan's Lawyer


Black Sea gets it. But let's really apply the logic and point out that, since there's no bright line between a sober driver and a drunk one, drunk drivers do not exist.

Svigor said...

Censorship, Marlo? Steve was probably trying to protect you from yourself.

alonzo portfolio said...

I think that in explaining this to younger people, it would be helpful to point that the War on APM is a phenomenon of the older boomers. That is to say, people under 45 who buy into this b.s. are just validating a project dreampt up by oldsters, something they'd ordinarily instinctively reject. Man, I can remember the pressure high school teachers put us under in the early '70's to avoid "stereotypes." The idea, of course, was that Jim Crow had caused black people to act in ways that would eventually disappear through gradual immersion into the larger culture. The failure of that assumption means that the verbal adepts' chief claim to sophistication turned out to be a crock, and so now they're redoubling their efforts in other contexts. C'mon kids, those gray ponytails don't know shit.

PRCalDude said...

The article also mistakenly states that Timothy McVeigh was a Christian. He wasn't.



They've been corrected often enough on that error that we can safely assume they're just repeating that lie often enough to make it the truth.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Marlo -

In terms of absolute numbers of people who committ violent crimes blacks and whites are about equally violent.

You seem confused about absolute and relative numbers. The fact that six percent of the US population accounts for fifty percent of its violent crime is nothing short of astounding. Historically, any minority group that restive would simply not be tolerated.

So, if it's reasonable to be nervous among blacks, then it's perfectly reasonable to be nervous around whites--who have a history of killing off entire groups of people (think of the millions of Native Americans who died at the hands of whites, the millions of Africans who died during slavery, Jews...)

The point to take away is that one should avoid going to war with whites. You are trying to prove that you'd be at greater peril touring a military base than an urban black ghetto. Why don't you test your hypothesis?

Anonymous said...

It'd take a better statistician than me to work this out, but, just brainstorming, here's a rough sketch:

Out of the 5,000,000 Muslims in America, a small number N are terrorists.

Out of the 500,000 young Muslim males in America, the same small number N are terrorists. (cf. Out of the 500,000 elderly Muslim females in America, zero are terrorists.)

Out of the 5,000 young Muslim males in an American airport at any given moment, a slightly smaller number N' are terrorists.

Out of the 100 young Muslim males in an American airport at any given moment, with a scary look in their eyes and traveling alone or in a small group of Muslim males with scary looks in their eyes, a slightly smaller number N'' are terrorists.

What's the percentage now?
Is N''/100 >> N/5,000,000?

At some point the percentage shifts from negligible to non-negligible, and Juan Williams' concern shifts from ridiculous overreaction to not-quite-so-ridiculous.

-Overreactor

bitten hand said...

"In terms of absolute numbers of people who committ violent crimes blacks and whites are about equally violent.:"

What does that mean--absolute numbers? How freaking goofy can you get.
Before the 1950s, you could walk the streets of downtown Baltimore at night safely. By the 60s, that was not possible. Every city that gained even a large minority of blacks, much less a majority, rotted. White Insitutions like Johns Hopkins were surrounded by black violence.
I'm not sure what those "absolute numbers" mean to you. To me it means occasional criminals but not the destruction of entire cities.

A French general commenting on the (limited) use of black American soldiers in France during WWI was horrified at their propensity to rape. He was particularly amazed because these would have been the best blacks Americans could find.
Blacks have a much higher rate of violence and rape. There has been nothing like it in Amerian urban history. The Irish rarely committed rape, and murder on the extent perpetrated by blacks was unimaginable.
Blacks are not always "punished" for their crimes. They commit 30,000 rapes of whites per year. White on black rape? About 10, I think, last count. FBI Stats.
Blacks are punished? Like the black who murdered the 20 year old white girl? (only one of many examples.) He had fathered eleven children, all of whom are born and raised on the dime of the taxpayers he is ready to rape and murder. If there is one thing that truly astounds me about black criminality in this country is that they bite, in fact destroy, the hand that feeds them
Regarding the tragic history of Indian/whites, Indians died of disease for the most part. They did a lot of murdering themselves, both other Indians and whites. The black slaves were not murdered. They increased in numbers and are still increasing long after slavery. They are living better than blacks anywhere else in the world. They are coming willingly from Africa for the white mans country.
So you are afraid of whites? What a load of bunk. You know perfectly well what kind of neighborhood you'd rather be in after dark.
Whites created modern civilization. There are some psychos among them, but take away the whites and you'd have Detroit cum Africa. Take away the blacks and we'd get our cities back and the criminality would about on par with that of Europe, which is to say, not nearly what is here today.
And we could walk the streets at night, 99% better off despite those "absolute numbers" of white criminals.

Mr. Anon said...

"RKU said...

Well, another useful comparison is that the percentage of American white gentiles who are neonazis is vastly larger than the percentage of American Muslims who are terrorists."

Completely false. How many neonazis have have you ever met? How many murders have been committed by neo-nazis in this country, and how many have they killed? Anyway. probably one out of every four neo-nazis or klansman is a government informant. And it's not just terrorism that's the problem - it is there will, upon which the act, to turn our lands into places of thier liking, not ours.

Silver said...

Now that's a pretty small fraction, so people who get nervous around Muslim "potential terrorists" are the same sort of people who are too scared to go outside on a clear day for fear of being hit by lightning.

You're right. "Potential terrorism" is by far the weakest reason to feel uneasy around muslims. I can think of plenty of much better reasons,like: they're a wholly disagreeable, arrogant and antagonistic bunch of people to be around, thus being around them detracts markedly from one's quality of life; therefore the sight of one or a few of them makes one "nervous" in the sense of being reminded of an important factor that decreases quality of life for Americans (Canadians, Britons, etc).

All this would be too obvious for words were it not for the fact that (white) liberals freak out because someone who admits to being uneasy around one identifiable group of people is likely to also feel uneasy around the group that occupies pride of place in the hierarchy of liberal sainthood: blacks. (Jews of course have their own reasons for freaking out, since everyone knows that being critical or skeptical of jews definitely means -- no two ways about it -- you want to kill every last one of them.)

Anonymous said...

Debated a guy once in a psychology class. He insisted that young black men were arrested and convicted at rates far beyond whites due to racism. It was all due to racism. No, they did not commit more crime the victims were all coerced into false statements by police.

Having been a police officer I was understandably a little miffed at the gentleman. I did not tell him I was a cop though, I wanted to see how far off the truth he would go. He made broad generalizations about all cops saying that every white cop was part of some 'Plan' (you could hear the capital letter).

I knew half way through his second long winded diatribe we would never agree. I invited him to put his money where his mouth was and volunteer as a therapeutic foster home for those misguided youth that would otherwise be sent to an institution. For some reason, he declined.

Marlo said...

Svigor:"Censorship, Marlo? Steve was probably trying to protect you from yourself."

Nah, I'm pretty sure he censored me because of the content. He may have percieved my comment to be anti-white. Other frequent commenters, including some white power types, have complained about censorship too.

The Anti-Gnostic: "You seem confused about absolute and relative numbers."

Actually, I'm not confused :) I know what relative means. Do you? I know that relative to other groups, whites are more likely to molest children. Does this fact make it reasonable to be nervous around whites? Better yet, does this fact warrant discrimination against whites?

"The point to take away is that one should avoid going to war with whites."

I agree. But we're not talking about war, we're talking about whites killing off entire groups of innocent people who had no desire to go to war with them.

And I'm not trying to prove anything. Just stating the facts. Last week, for example, a vietnamese child in my town was molested by a white pedophile. Or how about the guy who flew to Haiti and sexually abused underaged boys in exhchange for money, food and schooling? Would it be "reasonable" for me, in considering the fact that whites are more likely to do this sort of thing, to hate whites or discriminate against them?

Svigor said...

I know that relative to other groups, whites are more likely to molest children.

Sources? I've seen this claimed plenty, but never backed up. Given blacks' across the board impulse control problems, I find it hard to believe. In fact, I see no evidence that black populations have anywhere near the tendency to care about the problem, or think about it as such, as white populations.

(P.S., Steve deleted both my other responses to you)

Does this fact make it reasonable to be nervous around whites?

Yes. Run away, as fast as you can, as far as you can.

Better yet, does this fact warrant discrimination against whites?

What fact?

David said...

RKU said

>In fact, I've seen 2,945 TV documentaries and Hollywood movies on all of those vile movements<

That's your problem. You're unfamiliar with the real world. If you weren't, you would know what Islam means and is.

>Wonder if "David"'s full name is "David Horowitz"...<

I am not a Jew.

David said...

>I know that relative to other groups, whites are more likely to molest children.<

Source, please. (Absolute numbers in largely white areas will not be accepted.)

Svigor said...

Take away the blacks and we'd get our cities back and the criminality would about on par with that of Europe

If you throw a correction for population density, maybe. Otherwise we'd probably have less criminality (though the right to bear arms would complicate things).

Svigor said...

I agree. But we're not talking about war, we're talking about whites killing off entire groups of innocent people who had no desire to go to war with them.

All the groups you mention should indeed run away from whites as fast as their vulnerable little legs can carry them. Strangely, the opposite seems to be happening.

David said...

Bottom line:

If you're a cop on the lookout for violent criminals, begin with black males; if you're an airport screener on the lookout for terrorists, begin with Muslims; if you're working for the SEC and you're on the lookout for major financial criminals, begin with Jews; if you're a recruiter looking for a manager, begin with white men. Fish in places (no matter how small) containing more fish; then move on to places (no matter how large) containing fewer fish.

Everyone with sense and experience knows all this. But almost no one will say it, such is the oppressiveness of cultural communism, which isn't only entitled to have its own opinions while no one else is, but is also evidently entitled to have its own facts.

Kylie said...

Svigor said..."Censorship, Marlo? Steve was probably trying to protect you from yourself."

Only full-body armor and a lobotomy could do that.

As to censorship, I'm less ruffled by Marlo's knee-jerk anti-white stance than I am by the incredibly idiotic assertions she makes to bolster it. I really do think we should be spared that sort of thing.

Truth said...

"If you're a cop on the lookout for violent criminals, begin with black males; if you're an airport screener on the lookout for terrorists, begin with Muslims; if you're working for the SEC and you're on the lookout for major financial criminals, begin with Jews...........if you're a recruiter looking for a manager, begin with white men."

Objectivity at it's finest!-

Truth said...

"Anonymous said..."Nice how Slate used a darkened photo of McVeigh (his hair was actually dark blond and his eyes were blue) and a picture of Atta taken with a close flash that bleaches him out to try to show their similarities."

I thought the whole purpose was to villity whites. If that is true, why wouldn't htey have lightened a picture of Atta to make him look WASPy?

Truth said...

"You are trying to prove that you'd be at greater peril touring a military base than an urban black ghetto."

The 250,000 - 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens killed by US soldiers were basically "touring a military base."

Truth said...

"All the groups you mention should indeed run away from whites as fast as their vulnerable little legs can carry them. Strangely, the opposite seems to be happening."

Oh, come on Svigor; you know that white people have been recruiting, and basically begging others to come for 45 years.

Svigor said...

And I'm not trying to prove anything. Just stating the facts. Last week, for example, a vietnamese child in my town was molested by a white pedophile. Or how about the guy who flew to Haiti and sexually abused underaged boys in exhchange for money, food and schooling? Would it be "reasonable" for me, in considering the fact that whites are more likely to do this sort of thing, to hate whites or discriminate against them?

I notice you didn't mention if the Vietnamese child is a boy or a girl. If the former, maybe you should be profiling homosexual males.

Svigor said...

Oh, come on Svigor; you know that white people have been recruiting, and basically begging others to come for 45 years.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but "our" elite (same group doing the recruiting and begging) has also just as loudly been blaming large swathes (if not the majority) of white Americans of systemic, pernicious racism against and exploitation of non-whites. Shouldn't the invitees find two brain cells to rub together, add 2 and 2, and come to the conclusion that "our" elite are nutjobs?

Who invites 100 lb women into broom closets with violent misogynists? Throws puppies into cages with violent dog-haters? Homosexuals and violent "homophobes"?

Seems like 2+2 suggests "our" elite want to harm non-whites - not the kind of party smart people attend.

David said...

>I thought the whole purpose was to villity whites. If that is true, why wouldn't htey have lightened a picture of Atta to make him look WASPy?<

They did. And darkened the McVeigh picture. Thus they impugned whites by implying that the incidence of terrorists in both peoples is equal.

>The 250,000 - 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens killed by US soldiers were basically "touring a military base."<

You're equivocating, but that's clever nevertheless.

Silver said...

I agree. But we're not talking about war, we're talking about whites killing off entire groups of innocent people who had no desire to go to war with them.


You mean like the African Bantus wiped out the African San as they expanded through that continent? Yeah, I think I follow.

Or perhaps you meant "killed off" figuratively, as in "transformed the way of life of," you know, the way the Arabian hordes swept through the near east and north africa, turning upside down the lives of centuries old (and, in a broad/loose sense, "white" to boot! take that!) christian civilizations. Again, I think I follow.

Truth said...

"You mean like the African Bantus wiped out the African San as they expanded through that continent? Yeah, I think I follow."

This point has been brought up many times here, and there is no evidence, that I'm aware of of any large-scale violent displacement anywhere in Africa. If you know of a mass gravesite please paste a link. Gotta catch a plane, later.

Svigor said...

Notice how I made some pretty bold claims here, and no one's challenged me on them? I'd honestly like to test my hypothesis and find a few things I couldn't deconstruct. It's totally possible I'm full of it.

But it's also possible that people intuitively sense I'm right, that it's easy to lawyer your way past an argument. It's certainly been my experience that there's no "beating" a lawyer, except by pointing out we aren't in a courtroom.

Svigor said...

I can't even point out by way of analogy that no, Anne Frank (and her entire extended family, for that matter) didn't die by execution, just as McVeigh was not a Christian (a science-worshiping atheist, actually), not a white nationalist (an avowed anti-racist with race-mixing best friends, actually), not a militia member (they knew he was bad news and refused to accept him)?

Loosen up a bit.

Svigor said...

McVeigh was a science-worshiping atheist and anti-racist, and member of no militia.

But depending on who wins, in a hundred years, he might very well become a racist Christian militia-member.