June 20, 2011

Criminology back from boredom

From the New York Times:
Genetic Basis for Crime: A New Look 
By PATRICIA COHEN
Published: June 19, 2011 
It was less than 20 years ago that the National Institutes of Health abruptly withdrew funds for a conference on genetics and crime after outraged complaints that the idea smacked of eugenics. The president of the Association of Black Psychologists at the time declared that such research was in itself  “a blatant form of stereotyping and racism.” 
The tainted history of using biology to explain criminal behavior has pushed criminologists to reject or ignore genetics and concentrate on social causes: miserable poverty, corrosive addictions, guns. Now that the human genome has been sequenced, and scientists are studying the genetics of areas as varied as alcoholism and party affiliation, criminologists are cautiously returning to the subject. A small cadre of experts is exploring how genes might heighten the risk of committing a crime and whether such a trait can be inherited.     
The turnabout will be evident on Monday at the annual National Institute of Justice conference in Arlington, Va. On the opening day criminologists from around the country can attend a panel on creating databases for information about DNA and “new genetic markers” that forensic scientists are discovering. 
“Throughout the past 30 or 40 years most criminologists couldn’t say the word ‘genetics’ without spitting,” Terrie E. Moffitt, a behavioral scientist at Duke University, said. “Today the most compelling modern theories of crime and violence weave social and biological themes together.”   
... Criminologists and sociologists have been much more skittish about genetic causes of crime than psychologists.  In 2008 a survey conducted by John Paul Wright, who heads graduate programs at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Criminal Justice, discovered that “not a single study on the biology-crime link has been published in dissertation form in the last 20 years” from a criminal justice Ph.D. program, aside from two dissertations he had personally overseen (one of which was Mr. Beaver’s). He also noted that the top four journals in the field had scarcely published any biological research in the past two decades.  
Mr. Wright said he now thinks “in criminology the tide is turning, especially among younger scholars.”

Is criminology a social science? I hadn't realized that. I thought criminology was just what people who wanted to be prison guards majored in at junior college. 

I'm sort of joking, but I'm kinda not. I am, relatively speaking, a devoted aficionado of the social sciences. If you want your field to be of interest to the intelligent layman, I'm exactly the kind of person you need to interest. Yet, there are a whole bunch of social sciences, such as criminology, that have simply faded out of interest for people like me.

Occam's Butterknife is a big reason why criminology has been so boring for so long. Obviously, the most notable fact about street crime in America is that blacks commit a disproportionate share. And, the most obvious reasons for this are the same reasons as why, say, blacks are disproportionately represented playing defense in the NFL. Here is Lawrence Taylor famously breaking quarterback Joe Thiesmann's leg. You look at L.T. and say: he's got all the tools it takes to be a really good mugger. 

Back in 1985, James Q. Wilson (political scientist) and Richard Herrnstein (psychologist) wrote Crime and Human Nature. It reviewed all the twin studies related to crime up through that point. It documented the obvious. That pretty much ruined criminology, because now the highest service any criminologist could render to the field was to not mention the elephant in the living room.

Similarly, Jonathan Haidt made waves a few months ago by making a speech at a social psychology convention, where he asked all the conservative social psychology professors to raise their hands, and he got three out of about a 1000 or so. 

My amazed response was: Social psychology is a discipline? Why hasn't anybody told me about it before? Maybe the fact that it is so ideologically homogeneous has something to do with why it's so boring and so widely ignored?

In contrast, overall psychology is doing much better at keeping the intelligent layman's attention. For example, here's a paragraph from this article:
Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology at Harvard whose forthcoming book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” argues that humans have become less violent over the millenniums, suggests that the way to think about genetics and crime is to start with human nature and then look at what causes the switch for a particular trait to be flipped on or off.

Let me make a prediction: Pinker's book, which is set for release on October 4, 2011, will be huge. Not necessarily in sales, but everybody will be blogging about it.

Granted, Pinker prefers to be called a "cognitive scientist" rather than a psychologist, but Harvard calls him  psychologist, so that's what the NYT calls him.

The point is that psychology, because they haven't managed to totally squeeze out the politically incorrect psychometricians and other members of the awkward squad, is a relatively happening field.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

The research part of psychology may be a relatively 'happening field' but the the clinical side is terminally discredited by Freudianism and more recent disasters. Ask yourself if you would leave your children alone with a psychologist. If the answer is 'yes' the shrink in question is probably no intellectual - just someone, who happens to have a masters degree or a PhD, giving commonsense advice.
Gilbert P.

agnostic said...

I don't know how happening psychology has been in the past 20 years either, though.

Psychometrics figured everything out that it can decades ago.

Behavioral genetics, too.

Sociobiology / evolutionary psychology / behavioral ecology has been going on since Darwin and William James' day, and was a done deal by the end of the '80s, after which the new work has tunneled ever more narrowly into mate preferences.

The cognitive revolution is even older.

The only truly new thing comes from genomic research, pinning down which genes are involved. Those really don't tell us much about psychology, though, but about the evolutionary history behind some trait, DRD4 being a good example.

Same with brain scan studies of the past 20 years.

Certainly there has been a greater audience for these ideas, and pop psychology books may not ever have been this popular. But as for how ground-breaking the new research is -- a little, but how much of it is mind-blowing, compared to the first time you read about psychometric results, sociobiology, or whatever else?

Off the top of my head, the only really new stuff that strikes me as eye-opening is the cross-cultural research in experimental economics -- where they show, e.g., how trust levels in a community affect how people interact in those game theory games like donating to a public goods pool, punishing cheaters, etc.

Anonymous said...

When I was an undergrad at NYU 20 years ago I took a criminology course because I thought it would be interesting. Little did I know the FBI would come recruiting! (Not for me, of course.)

Marlowe said...

Pinker has the role of making genetic explanations of human behaviour acceptable to liberals by demonstrating how liberal beliefs can survive the coming tsunami of gene studies.

Anonymous said...

'Don’t expect anyone to discover how someone’s DNA might identify the next Bernard L. Madoff. '

lol...in this round, we look only at white crime...

Chicago said...

Black crime is invariably dreary, unimaginative and sordid; few people want to dwell on it.
Whites commit more interesting crimes, ones people are more likely to want to follow. Watching the media one can get the impression that there's a white crime wave going on, whereas white crime in reality isn't all that high in the US.

Anonymous said...

Steve, let me let you into a little secret.The 'social sciences', all of them, are little more than back of the envelope empirical charlantry, larded with verbose, prolix theorizing - that happens to justify whatever prejudice the author of the verbosity happens to have.
The sad fact is that this bullshit is mistaken for scholarship and intellectualism.
Basically, all modernday 'crimionology' is, is the dregs and leavings of a few nuggets of choice marxism (with the authors, of course, misunderstanding the essence of marxism).
'Criminology' ceased to be interesting after Lombroso died.
Modern 'criminology' can be summed up thus "blah, blah, blah, blacks are victims, blacks are good,blah, blah ,blah, evil whites terrorize balcks" - really nothing deeper or more significant than that when you strip out the long words.
Talking of charlantry, the biggest duffers of them all the economists are spending this week looking like right jerks.The Euro currency an ongoing slow motion trainwreck that is destroying Europe reaches its apotheosis - 'economists by the thousand squawked up to sing its praises before the damn thing was launched.

sykes.1 said...

Pinker's "The Blank Slate" ultimately bored me, and I never finished it. But it seemed to me that he is pretty much conventionally politically correct. I'm not going to read his new book.

nooffensebut said...

I follow this science pretty closely, and you can read more details on my blog about the published studies. Some recent highlights are that the supposedly rare 2-repeat allele of MAOA is 10-times more common in African Americans than whites. The weaker 3-repeat allele is what linked MAOA with the “warrior gene” label. However, a whole new promoter VNTR was just identified that influences antisocial behavior. This could make study results on this gene more precise and robust. I am disappointed that psychiatrists are ceding the lead on this issue to a criminologist like Beaver, but part of the problem is the DSM, which is their diagnostic bible. Studies come out that show mild associations with antisocial personality disorder that are being driven by the diagnostic criteria related to actual violence. If psychiatry were more evidence-based in studying this, it would treat violent behavior as a separate diagnosis. There is a diagnosis called intermittent explosive disorder, but it is considered rare and is rarely studied. We are another two years away from a new DSM. You also might be interested in a new Atlantic article that mentions violence genes and explicitly criticizes the “myth of equality.”

Anonymous said...

OT: the gut reaction of a New York public school teacher to the arrival of ROTC at his high school:

_________________

The union representative, Arthur Goldstein, did not want him there. “I said, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to have kids marching in circles doing stupid stuff,’ ” recalled Mr. Goldstein, who teaches English to immigrant students and describes himself as “politically to the left.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/education/20oneducation.html?gwh=2A8CD9D170B80EE6DE866956A806A4DB

Nanonymous said...

Let me make a prediction: Pinker's book, which is set for release on October 4, 2011, will be huge. Not necessarily in sales, but everybody will be blogging about it.

Meh. Given his fame, Pinker could write a washing machine manual and everybody will be blogging about it. Let's see the book first.

The Cultural Wallflower said...

They haven't managed to squeeze us out no, but it's stifling as hell unless you have power and don't mind being an asshole from time to time. We grad students in the field keep our heads down and our mouths shut about it, much like walking around a prison yard, half the day.

On the other hand, the poor Asian admits don't have any intuitive sense about what not to say. They try as hard as they can to appear normal, but sometimes forbidden thoughts fall through the trap and seize a voice.

Speaking of being an asshole, being too agreeable may be one reason psychologists are so obtuse, often times. The field is stuffed with people, many very nice women, who just want to help the poor and downtrodden. All in all we're not the group of people inclined to sniff out life's saltier truths.

But the cognitive psychologists, and psychometricians, there's a salty lot. And one day, the weight of truth in the journals will break free to the public (it's already there), and some poor fool will immolate himself making it more broadly available. But that's already happening too.

Anonymous said...

The president of the Association of Black Psychologists at the time declared that such research was in itself “a blatant form of stereotyping and racism.”

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Thrasymachus said...

It is my understanding criminology is a branch of sociology. Sociology, psychology, and all the other social "sciences"- including economics for that matter- consist of coming up with elaborate rationalizations for why certain blindingly obvious truths aren't truths at all, but primitive and evil superstitions, and why we need to let the government run our lives.

Anonymous said...

Men should call this study 'sexist' since it likely implicate men more than women.

The objection from black psychologists tells us they have something to hide. Opposing something not on the basis of its facts but on the basis of its possible consequences is anti-science.
We might have suppress all stories about poverty since inequality had been used in the past to justify 'class warfare', aka communism, which killed tens of millions and banned civil liberties.

M.G. Miles said...

There's been sadly little empirical research on the question, but lots of philosophical hand-wringing. Here's a good recent sum-up:

Owen D. Jones (professor of both biology and law), Behavioral Genetics and Crime in Context

He recounts this, which is the problem in a nutshell:

"I attended the 1994 conference on genes and crime, at which interrupting protestors famously chanted, "Maryland conference, you can't hide; we know you're pushing genocide." Two signs illustrated their concerns. One read: "Jobs, Not Prozac." The other read: "This Conference Predisposes Me to Disruptive Behavior Disorder."

But he does point out schizophrenia, epilepsy, and mental retardation have all been successfully used as defense tactics in the past. Why not "genetic predisposition to low impulse-control" too?

This Duke Law Journal article from 2003 does a good job picking through the thorny implications:

"However, now, for the first time, these genetic realities may force the American criminal justice system to be almost entirely based on these 'excuse' exceptions. This could lead to a completely unworkable system where all are excused for every crime based upon their own individual predispositions."

Frankly, I don't know why left isn't all over this. It takes the "rotten background defense" to new levels. No longer "Gee Officer Krupke, we're very upset; we never had the love that every child oughta get," but rather "we never got the genes that every child oughta get." Sounds like a slam-dunk to me.

Dutch Boy said...

There is an extensive bibliography documenting the relationship between nutritional deficiencies/anomalies and aggressive/criminal behavior (heredity plays a role in the process).
http://www.hriptc.org/content/aggressive.php

Anonymous said...

Off Topic:


From Politico:

Obama’s campaign team is trying to raise historically low rates of Hispanic registration and voter turnout in at least a half-dozen swing states, and one Obama adviser involved in his reelection effort recently told POLITICO, “Hispanics could very well decide this election.”



I guess the Republicans will win besides their own best efforts.

Anonymous said...

"millenniums"

................

The NYT, ladies and gentlemen.

Bojo said...

Social Psychology is the field best known for producing classic conformity studies, namely the Milgram Experiment and the Asch Experiment--Steve, you've heard of those, right? But that was a while ago. There is actually a reasonable amount of clever experimental work in the field, even now. But in recent years, social psychology has become annoyingly p.c. and has also focused on experiments that are less difficult to carry off (and therefore more trivial) than what went on in the old days. Some of the most well-known work in the field lately combines both of these deficiencies (e.g., "stereotype threat" research, which merely shows that you can get people to screw up by insulting and rattling them in ways that would never occur in any real testing situation and thus has zero implications about actual test performance gaps between groups; and the "IAT Test" which supposedly shows that people harbor unconscious racism, but really shows nothing of the sort, as many critics have explained.)

Still, as you say, the psychology field as a whole has not been grotesquely politicized as many academic fields have been--many academic psychologists are honest empiricists with no particular political axe to grind in their own work.

Dominion of Canada said...

Saw this on the hockey post but it is two days old:


I wonder how white nationalists feel about this.

Downside: wow, white people acting like savage scum. Shame for our race.


Firstly, I wouldn't say this riot was particularly savage. There were no Reginald Denny-style curb stompings, for instance. It was more of a "boys will be boys" riot.

Secondly, the whole city mobilized to clean up downtown. I was down there at 10am the next day and it was spotless. When was the last time the black community did that after a riot?

Anonymous said...

HELP! I'm stuck in iSteve moderation!!

anony-mouse said...

Wouldn't the phrase 'cognitive scientist' just mean that he is a scientist who thinks? Unless he's trying to say that he's the only scientist who thinks.

Nanonymous said...

"millenniums"
................
The NYT, ladies and gentlemen.


Wow. LOL

Anonymous said...

"Is criminology a social science?"

It's more like most of social science is a crime.

agnostic said...

To the extent that we want to figure out how the criminal mind works, what causes crime rates to go up or down, how nature and nurture contribute to criminality, I'm fine with criminologists ignoring the disproportionate amount of crime that blacks cause in America.

In any community that is entirely Northwestern European -- whether Holland, Australia, Utah, or Vermont -- blacks and non-whites in general have nothing to do with crime, being absent.

Even in such a homogeneous utopia, we will still have to figure out the answers to the questions about crime, the nature of good and evil, and so on.

Perhaps not among realist researchers, but among a good deal of realist internet commenters, a focus on the race issue closes their mind to the big picture -- everything is about how many NAMs there are.

That blinds them to the fact that the crime wave of the 1960s - 1980s hit every state, even ones with no NAMs, and just about every nation in the West, not just the racially heterogeneous ones.

There were at least two earlier waves of violence away from the secular downward trend -- the Early Modern wave (ca 1580-1630), and the Romantic-Gothic wave (ca 1780-1830). Obviously NAMs have nothing to do with these waves, nor with the periods of tranquility that they interrupted.

This may be why there was better criminology work in Victorian and early 20th C England, in Scandinavia at any time, and in suburban white America of the 1950s during sociology's heyday. They had to discover what mechanisms there were, not having the confound of race.

Does family structure matter, like father absence? How much people trust each other? A shift from artisanal / craftsmen work to rote mechanized work? Urbanization of a rural population? Religious activity and belief?

That's what we need a deeper study of, not the race and crime topic, which will get solved as a by-product. I.e., are blacks more criminal because they have higher rates of father absence, because urbanization is more outta-whack with their evolutionary history, because they have different levels of hormones, gene frequencies, facial features, etc., that predict crime even among homogeneous whites?

Anonymous said...

"Black crime is invariably dreary, unimaginative and sordid; few people want to dwell on it.
Whites commit more interesting crimes, ones people are more likely to want to follow."


I disagree. It's not that black crime is inherently drearier than white crime. It's that black crime is interesting only if you're black. If you're white, not so much. (And vice versa.)

It's like the obligatory soap-opera subplots involving black characters. If you're not black, you go and get a snack while waiting for the white characters to come back on.

flunky said...

"Wouldn't the phrase 'cognitive scientist' just mean that he is a scientist who thinks? Unless he's trying to say that he's the only scientist who thinks."

It's a speciality that has a lot of overlap with learning psychology. Basically, it studies how the mind works. The more fun studies are done on perceptual illusions but it also deals heavily in things like working memory and memory in general. Pinker is probably trying to distinguish himself from therapist types: Don't go bitchin' to Pinker when your life isn't working out (unless you want to talk about your crappy heuristics) but he'd love to help you find your car keys.

nooffensebut said...

That was a funny article, with all of its incorrect disclaimers. I would like to mention that I once attended a presentation by Dr. Troy Duster, the archetypical anti-science guy in the article. He is a black sociologist who sees eugenics in any science that deals with race. At the time, he was promoting a book, but mostly he was campaigning against FDA approval of BiDil, the black blood-pressure drug. The funny thing about his presentation was that the lecture hall had an A-V problem: whenever he started a sentence, a loud thud reverberated through the room, as if he had hit the podium with his fist. He complained about the problem bitterly, but it perfectly matched the self-righteous, humorless tone of his presentation.

Anonymous said...

" But it seemed to me that he is pretty much conventionally politically correct. I'm not going to read his new book."

Uh, nope. The opposite of PC.

Anonymous said...

"Meh. Given his fame, Pinker could write a washing machine manual and everybody will be blogging about it. Let's see the book first."

Yeah, that´s why everybody blogged up a storm over "The stuff of thought". Oh, wait...

Anonymous said...

"Black crime is invariably dreary, unimaginative and sordid"

I dunno. Gangsta rap seems to fascinate a lot of people.

Nanonymous said...

Yeah, that's why everybody blogged up a storm over "The stuff of thought". Oh, wait...

Wait for what? 65 Amazon reviews, 213,000 Google hits in blogs. For comparison: "The 10000 Year Explosion", arguably a book blogged to death, has 51 Amazon reviews and 117,000 Google hits in blogs.

I think the picture is clear. Also, the subject of violence in "The Better Angels of Our Nature" by itself is guaranteed to draw more attention than the subject of thinking and language in "The Stuff of Thought". Then again, washing machines are pretty popular, too :-)

Svigor said...

Black crime is invariably dreary, unimaginative and sordid; few people want to dwell on it.
Whites commit more interesting crimes, ones people are more likely to want to follow. Watching the media one can get the impression that there's a white crime wave going on, whereas white crime in reality isn't all that high in the US.


Er, this is a bit like saying Soviet man loved the Party. How do you separate the people who think white crime is "interesting" from the people who know black crime is taboo, and either from those who are just too ignorant to know anything the media doesn't feed them?

Svigor said...

The president of the Association of Black Psychologists at the time declared that such research was in itself “a blatant form of stereotyping and racism.”

The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Actually, she was right. The fault happens at "racism is bad," everything else there works.

Svigor said...

We might have suppress all stories about poverty since inequality had been used in the past to justify 'class warfare', aka communism, which killed tens of millions and banned civil liberties.

Indeed. We might have to suppress research into poverty. Good call. But the same logic applies to social justice, welfare, egalitarianism, anti-nationalism, etc.

Bah. Kid's stuff - what really gets me is how many people buy the specious, stupid 'Blame Hitler' 'logic.' You find this bit of kindergarten logic on the lips of perfectly intelligent, educated people. Boggles my mind. Dovetails with what I've said many times before about how a huge share of the population REALLY doesn't seem to like thinking about media power, or the people who wield it.

Svigor said...

Maybe it's about alienation? It's not comforting, the idea that the people who run the media are quite different, maybe even hostile. It's the sort of thing that changes the whole tenor of a man's relationship from society. Maybe to avoid that alienation, and retain that sense of belonging, most people will do pretty much anything?

Can the psychologists sound off on this one?

Anonymous said...

"we never got the genes that every child oughta get."

Are genes the real "white privilege"?

Truth said...

"It's like the obligatory soap-opera subplots involving black characters. If you're not black, you go and get a snack while waiting for the white characters to come back on."

And if you have a life and/or job, you're not watching soap-operas.

Anonymous said...

"And if you have a life and/or job, you're not watching soap-operas."

Indeed. Dude has a really bad instinct for what's a guilty pleasure if he just admitted to THAT.

Carol said...

"millenniums"

The news editors no longer edit, lest his corrections make the reporter feel marginalized.

Lucy said...

"Are genes the real "white privilege"?"

No. Let's say the controversial theory that there is a place for every type of person in our society has been accepted by the majority.

I'm going with "bounded rationality" to explain the blinders we put on ourselves and others when determining what it is that is best to BE in the world. There's also a bit of hypocritical deception of self and others that may be termed an "affect heuristic"(? see wiki). IMO, you have upper class whites who strive for one of these preferred careers: doctor, lawyer, professor, etc. Emotions are in gear on two fronts. Logically, they know not everyone can achieve at this level but they desperately want to try for one of these special careers to feel successful. Yet they also want to be perceived as altruistic and fair-minded so, rather obtusely, create policies such as No Child Left Behind that make potential "successes" feel better about themselves.

Problem is that our resources are being squandered by trying to prepare a large percentage of our population for a handful of careers. Then there are the emotions to be dealt with when observing reality. No one considers the value of doing something necessary. Also, the emotion-laden processing of the highly ambitious contaminates perceptions in society at large (just look at how many tv programs are devoted to the few "worthwhile" careers.). How many people pondering law school or med school legitimately weigh the effort and the cost against the long hours, consider what level of income they'd be satisfied with vs striving for wealth and prestige, realize that you're no smarter or dumber by virtue of having a certain job.

So, rather than being happy with what we are and fitting in where we can best satisfy our true needs while being of some benefit to society, everyone's caught this contagion of vicarious shame at not being one of a supposed cognitive elite.

black swan said...

Where's the persona know as Steve Sailer, btw? I don't think anything's been his writing for days now. I mean you guys are dreadfully bigoted but you don't incite nearly the same level of anger. You just come across as old fuddy duddies.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

You're not giving the "Criminologists" enough credit. They're boring because they won. They convinced elite America not to look at the Biological racial aspects of crime. They convinced the elite that the Death Penalty was bad (and our Legal elites have made it almost impossible to put anyone to death except in Texas).

They convinced everyone that "punishment" was bad and Prisoners had extra special rights. So, in California you're going to have 30,000 let out of jail because the SCOTUS thinks they aren't getting adequate medical care (or something).

So, one reason they're dull and reactionary, not open to knew ideas is because they won.

Fernandinande said...

Much as I hate to defend the NYT -

millennium –noun, plural -ni·ums, -ni·a

Svigor said...

We might have suppress all stories about poverty since inequality had been used in the past to justify 'class warfare', aka communism, which killed tens of millions and banned civil liberties.

Indeed. We might have to suppress research into poverty. Good call. But the same logic applies to social justice, welfare, egalitarianism, anti-nationalism, etc.

Bah. Kid's stuff - what really gets me is how many people buy the specious, stupid 'Blame Hitler' 'logic.' You find this bit of kindergarten logic on the lips of perfectly intelligent, educated people. Boggles my mind. Dovetails with what I've said before about how a huge share of the population REALLY doesn't like to think about media power, or the people who wield it.

Svigor said...

Whoops, sorry for the double-post Steve.

Anonymous said...

While HBD people make valid points and definitely worth considering, After riding your blog-roll, I now believe that the biggest problem with the HBD-sphere is that HBD'ers tend to be unattractive people: They are not only likely to be physically unattractive but also have unattractive personalities.

Mr. Anon said...

"black swan said...

I mean you guys are dreadfully bigoted but you don't incite nearly the same level of anger. You just come across as old fuddy duddies."

Here, let me remedy that.

F**k you, asshat!

Josh Goldstein said...

Beaver

Race: Crime a Biosocial Analysis

Wright

Inconvenient Truths: Science, Race, Crime

Josh Goldstein said...

***unattractive personalities.***

Outrageous! Have you read
Unamusement Park?

jody said...

irish hooligans versus irish golf champions:
the vancouver riot posts got me thinking about the general topic of violence levels in european nations. after easily and completely discrediting the idea of the "fist hierarchy" merely by looking at lots of nations around the world, i started to wonder, hey, what DID happen to those year 1890 irish hooligans? today you have an irish golfer winning the 2010 US open and then the next year another irish golfer totally dominating the 2011 US open to the point where he put in the best performance of all-time by a HUGE margin, obliterating the old record score of -12 with a score of -16. this is one of the cool things about golf over tennis or boxing or wrestling i suppose. at least there is a measured score, a number, with which to compare performance against performance, even if it is not quite as clear cut as track or swimming or weight lifting.

ireland is dramatically less violent and more productive now than it was 100 years ago, and there are like 8 africans in the entire nation. the idea that the presence of a higher violent crime rate group is the factor which reduces the violent crime rates of lower violent crime rate groups is a total bust. so what changed in ireland which greatly reduced the violent crime rate while at the same time greatly increasing the per capita GDP? not only is the general violence level much lower, the IRA were one of the most intelligent, most effective, least violent terrorist groups of all-time. instead of going for maximum human damage which would cause sentiment to swing against them in britain, they went for maximum economic damage to make it not worth britain's time or budget to continue to resist their agenda. and they achieved their political goals. they killed very few, while britain was busy killing them, and they still won.

contrast this with the english, who seem to have become more violent over the last 20 years, despite a growing african population. i've posted before about a dysgenic trend there, and the locals have a word for this. they call the violent underclass "chavs". chavs are generally worthless and many of them carry around knives and stab people. perhaps the sex pistols were the vanguard of the chav generation in england. or, consider the greeks. since when did they become riot prone? maybe i need to check my greek history over the previous 100 years but i'm under this impression the greeks were mostly laid back during that time frame. now suddenly, it's a genuinely serious riot every other year.

Wandrin said...

"Yet, there are a whole bunch of social sciences, such as criminology, that have simply faded out of interest for people like me."

It's been nothing but blindingly obvious wishful thinking for decades (and they must know because they have to manipulate the stats in particular ways to obscure the truth).

.
"And, the most obvious reasons for this are the same reasons as why, say, blacks are disproportionately represented playing defense in the NFL."

I'd describe it as (PCT - R) where PCT is potential criminal traits (a collection of traits not all of them bad in all contexts) and R is restraint. Sportsmen are liable to be higher R than average because of the training required.

(Counter intuitively rappers are the same for the same reason - they need to practise).

But otherwise yes, if for the sake of example you say the PC traits are low empathy, low impulse control, high aggression and low forethought (related to low IQ imo) then most of them are helpful or neutral for certain sports.

If you had an island to yourself and a population you wanted to homoform to perfection then you'd want to reduce most of those traits but keep aggression as it's good for drive as long as restraint is stronger. On a ten point scale you'd want your soldiers to be 10/10 and your average men to be something like 7/9 - enough aggression for a strong drive with a solid buffer of restraint.

.
"suggests that the way to think about genetics and crime is to start with human nature and then look at what causes the switch for a particular trait to be flipped on or off."

Urbanization and thousands of years of the death penalty selecting for reduced PCT and increased R. If the average started at 9/3 then after a few thousand years it might stabilize at 6/6.

Those groups that have spent the longest in dense urbanized environments with very harsh criminal justice systems would have the lowest violent crime rate.

Those groups that never went through that process would still be 9/3 and have a very high violent crime rate - although in theory they could eventually evolve out of it themselves if the body count got large enough.

Alcohol shows that it's the interplay between PCT and restraint that matters. A drunk 9/9 is the same as a sober 9/3.

Wandrin said...

agnostic
"That's what we need a deeper study of, not the race and crime topic"

If 12% of your population is responsible for 48% of your murders then if the aim is to reduce the number of victims the ONLY logical place to start looking is among that 12% group.

Even more so if it turns out that half of that number of murders is committed by 10% of the say 20% of that 12% group who are young men then you have 24% of your murders committed by 0.24% of the population.

In US terms that averages somewhere around 4000 a year for 50 years.

200,000 people.

That's what the media's Big Lie about crime has cost.

Wandrin said...

svigor
"a huge share of the population REALLY doesn't seem to like thinking about media power, or the people who wield it."

"Maybe to avoid that alienation, and retain that sense of belonging, most people will do pretty much anything?"

You may recall the Plato(?) story about people in a cave who were told by their priesthood there were monsters outside the cave and if they wanted to stay safe they should stay put.

White people have been conditioned by the PC priesthood to believe ethno-centric thoughts lead to bad things so they consciously try to avoid thinking them.

At the same time non-white people have been encouraged to think solely in terms of their ethnic identity.

martin hussingtree said...

Agnostic - if we are witnessing recurring 50-year crime sprees at 200-year intervals, on an international or even a global scale, then in a more fanciful moment I might wonder if we're at the mercy of some cyclical geological, climactic, atmospheric or even cosmic forces.

M.G. Miles said...

Wandrin, I've been studying the Arabs lately, and thinking about your hypotheses. You talk about the effects of urbanization, and you've spoken before about the likelihood that those first settled farming tribal 'confederations' (like the Cucuteni group) were likely very violent at the first, until they weeded out the super-high outgroup-emnity people.

I've been wondering, though, about nomadic herders (like Arabs til recently) vs.settled farming groups (like Cucuteni) vs. full-on cities (like ancient Sumeria, Thebes, etc., giant 50,000-strong urban centers).

Your 'PCT' traits would seem, to me, to be the very strongest in nomadic herders, slightly less strong in Cucuteni groups (small sedentary tribal confederation), and weakest of all in big urban centers (loads of diff. ethnies in concact, even in ancient times). Would you say that's a likely hypothesis?

Second, do you think the recent human about-face on the death penalty (in some cultures) could be reversing that ancient weeding-out of sociopathy, and if so, how fast?

Wandrin said...

M. G Miles

"Would you say that's a likely hypothesis?"

Yes, i think evolution, including man-made evolution reacts to need.

I think the actual equation for internal violence would be something like (PCT/R)*PD where PD is population density.

So with ten-point scales, if you had 10/1 people living at a density of 1 e.g. nomadic pastoralists, then you have (10/1)*1 for a total score of 10.

The same people living in a big city, (10/1)*10 would have a score of 100.

The higher the total score the greater the need to do something about it and below a certain threshold there's no great need.

Nomadic pastoralists don't have the need to do anything about it while they remain as nomads (nor if they come to other lands as a relatively small number of conquerors who take over as the elite).

An example that might fit the theory would be the big jump in crime in England with the industrial revolution as the rural population moved into the cities followed by the equally dramatic long-term reduction caused(?) by transportation to Australia.

A lot of the transportees would be decent but daring types reacting to actual poverty i.e. not having enough to eat, who once transported would thrive but England would also have got rid of a lot of its natural criminals who given their traits and the state of Australia at the time likely ended up as spider food.

.
Another aspect of this is it hints at one of the reasons nomadic pastoralists are so often conquerors if/when they can ever combine forces long enough to invade somewhere.

Another aspect specifically considering the Arabs is when the Mongols conquered China they became Chinese but when the Arabs conquered the lands of the Caliphate they imposed their culture on the originally much more advanced culture they'd conquered.

Also i think low average IQ is a PCT trait because a lot of dim people don't seem to think ahead more than a few days. So after four thousand years of selection by execution a population with an average 85 IQ might still have a higher base violent crime rate than a population with a 100 IQ and the same four thousand years of urban evolution but maybe less than a population with a 100 average IQ who've only had a thousand years worth.

.
"Second, do you think the recent human about-face on the death penalty (in some cultures) could be reversing that ancient weeding-out of sociopathy, and if so, how fast?"

I wouldn't have thought so as long as they still get life sentences with no ability to breed but i'm no expert on how fast these things change under normal levels of selection pressure.

I'd have thought you'd need pretty extreme selection pressures (like transportation) on rare-ish traits to make a big impact quickly.

.

Anonymous said...

"I'd have thought you'd need pretty extreme selection pressures (like transportation) on rare-ish traits to make a big impact quickly."

Transportation was based on the environmental, not genetic, hypthesis - British crims were supposed to become good citizens of the Australian colonies. And it pretty much worked. Not only is Oz quite lo-crime, but I gather a lot of the crime is in the hands of immigrant groups from continental Europe, not te good old convict stock.

NOTA said...

Anon 6/20/11 7:09 PM:

Your description of the victory of liberal criminologists would be a lot more plausible, if it agreed at least minimally with the facts.

This Pew Center report shows that since 1987, the number of people in prison has roughly tripled. Roughly one person in a hundred in the US is in jail, one way or another. This chart of executions per year in the US similarly doesn't track so well with your story--it shows executions climbing from 1984 to 2000, and declining somewhat since then.

In the last decade or so, much of the opposition to the death penalty has come from DNA tests that more-or-less proved people innocent who were sitting on death row. (This is really striking, since those guys are required to have had appeals courts look at their cases.)

Truth said...

"ireland is dramatically less violent and more productive now than it was 100 years ago, and there are like 8 africans in the entire nation. the idea that the presence of a higher violent crime rate group is the factor which reduces the violent crime rates of lower violent crime rate groups is a total bust."

Not exactly, Sport. According to some of your peoples, Ireland has the highest population of Nigerians outside of Nigeria (don't quote me on that, this is from the preview page, and I can't open this brilliant, intellectual forum at work).

www.stormfront.org/forum/t598047

Truth said...

"the IRA were one of the most intelligent, most effective... terrorist groups of all-time."

Is that why Northern Ireland is still part of the United Kingdom?

M.G. Miles said...

but maybe less than a population with a 100 average IQ who've only had a thousand years worth.

And the huge population that allowed those four thousand years of urban selection came about in clannic latitudes but not in northern ones, because of the better soil and clement conditions (two growing seasons per year in Nile valley, etc.)?

I wouldn't have thought so as long as they still get life sentences with no ability to breed...

If sociopathy is one end of the scale (with unlimited out-group emathy at the other end, like Williams Syndrome), I wonder if intense out-group emnity is always correlated with high aggression?

...when the Arabs conquered the lands of the Caliphate they imposed their culture

They did to a certain extent, but it took a pretty long time in some places. What I'm curious about, which relates to your PCT theory, is how widely they were able to impose their genes on these settled (lower-PCT) peoples. My impression is it was much, much less than previously thought in certain places.

Thanks for your responses.

Tanstaafl said...

Blackballed?

"The Rube Goldberg ish logic underlying the conventional wisdom is, roughly, that

A) If it became socially acceptable to admit in public that blacks might have on average genetic advantages in jumping and sprinting; then

B) It might become acceptable to admit that maybe blacks have lower average IQs for genetic reasons; which would then

C) Let the gentiles find out that Jews might higher average IQs for genetic reasons; thus,

D) The goyim will come for us with their torches and pitchforks; and therefore,

E) We must just bury the whole topic in mindless kitsch to prevent A from ever happening.
"

Likewise criminality and other personality traits.

One glaring omission:

F) Dissidents will be shunned, scorned, censored, defamed, fired, fined, boycotted, and prosecuted if possible.

black swan said...

Crime or murder or violent crime? You can't keep changing the meaning. Plus, those violent young males tend to kill other violent young males. I'd think this would burn itself out within a decade. Meanwhile, you're trying to make it an excuse to reduce all our privacy rights. Please, no one notices you enough to want to kill you, Wandrin.

It amazes me how many people are paranoid delusional enough to actually believe that someone wants them dead. Outside of being a gang member or living in one of the few centers of violent crime we have left in the US, your chances of being a victim in a homicide are pretty slim (unless you bring it on yourself).

Most of our prison population is there because of the War on Drugs not because of violent crimes.

You must be the frailest most timid creature on the planet, Wandrin.

stats please said...

"ireland is dramatically less violent and more productive now than it was 100 years ago, and there are like 8 africans in the entire nation."

What are your statistics for crime in Ireland 100 years ago (aside from political movements)? In a well known book about the mid-century famine, the author noted the low crime in Ireland (I think the English was compared and was higher but not sure), and the ability of someone to walk about, night or day, city or meadow, and be unmolested. At least unmolested by violent strangers.

Anonymous said...

"European -- whether Holland, Australia, Utah, or Vermont -- blacks and non-whites in general have nothing to do with crime, being absent."

The non-whites in Scandinavia commit almost all the violent rapes (as opposed to those more ambiguous situations); they are mostly refugees the politicians invited for some ungodly reason to make themselves feel better than everybody else in the world. I take it those politicians don't suffer the consequences; the average people do. Pakistanis and Africans. One 14 year old Norwegian girl recently committed suicide after being gang raped by 3 "non-western" Muslims. Well yeah. They would be "Muslims." I have heard hospitality is much esteemed among Arabs and middle-easterners in general. You'd think they would not violate so horrifically, the hospitality of their host countries. But they do. http://holgerawakens.blogspot.com/2011/06/14-year-old-norwegian-girl-commits.html

Anonymous said...

jody - "ireland is dramatically less violent and more productive now than it was 100 years ago, and there are like 8 africans in the entire nation."

In 2008 one in seven - about 14% - of the Republic's citizens were born abroad.

Anonymous said...

Jody wrote"the IRA were one of the most intelligent, most effective, least violent terrorist groups of all-time. instead of going for maximum human damage which would cause sentiment to swing against them in britain, they went for maximum economic damage to make it not worth britain's time or budget to continue to resist their agenda. and they achieved their political goals. they killed very few, while britain was busy killing them, and they still won."
I suppose you're one of those Irish-American sickos who paid for the IRA thru NORAID. Right now there's an inquiry going on into a typical IRA operation - the Kingsmill massacre. A van taking 11 workers home from a textile factory was stopped by IRA gunmen. The only Catholic worker was told to run away, and the 10 Protestants were shot dead. I hope you're proud of yourself and your NORAID comrades, Jody.

Wandrin said...

Anon,

"Transportation was based on the environmental, not genetic, hypthesis"

The reason wouldn't matter if the two were connected in various ways, for example environment exposing the underlying traits e.g. a man with a predisposition to theft living in a small village with no anonymity may have that trait suppressed until he moves to a bigger town.

As long as the end result is the frequency of criminal traits goes down the effect will be the same whatever the reason.

.
"British crims were supposed to become good citizens of the Australian colonies. And it pretty much worked."

I think one of the potentially criminal traits is daring. If you have a lot of actual poverty i.e. not enough food, then a lot of men who in other times might be cops will be criminals instead. Not all potentially criminal traits are bad in themselves imo.

As to the rest 1) what was the death rate in the early colonies? 2) what was the hanging rate? 3) did the transportee settlements have much lower population densities? etc

My guess is Britain shipped out a lot of their best (but poor) and worst to environments with a higher survival threshold. The best thrived and a lot of the worst died. The end result being a lower crime rate in England (despite the environment staying the same) and a lot of taller and healthier Australians.

Wandrin said...

NOTA

"Your description of the victory of liberal criminologists would be a lot more plausible, if it agreed at least minimally with the facts."

Their victory is in acceptable public discourse. However they are totally wrong about everything and the majority of the population knows it hence the hypocritical slide to having ever more prisons while politely ignoring the genetic roots of the problem.

Wandrin said...

M.G Miles,

"And the huge population that allowed those four thousand years of urban selection...because of the better soil and clement conditions"

And the presence of one of the great riverine valleys that the early civilizations were built on. Those agrarian states dominated well beyond their immediate hinterland. Europe didn't have one of those.


.
"What I'm curious about, which relates to your PCT theory, is how widely they were able to impose their genes on these settled (lower-PCT) peoples. My impression is it was much, much less than previously thought in certain places."

Yes i see what you mean and i think you're probably right. The PCT effect of the conquest, if real, would be greatly diluted.

However if they did impose their marriage culture that would have changed the base population in a different way by making them more clannish than they were before, and if the theory is right, then more clannish would also mean less co-operative than they were before the invasion hence possibly the gradual decline in those terriotories after the conquest.

Wandrin said...

black swan,

"Crime or murder or violent crime? You can't keep changing the meaning."

Fair point. I'm not an academic and could use more precision.

.
"Plus, those violent young males tend to kill other violent young males."

Very true *but* the same small percentage are also responsible for a vastly disproportionate amount of other violent crime where the victims are innocent.

.
"an excuse to reduce all our privacy rights. Please, no one notices you enough to want to kill you, Wandrin."

No idea what that means. If the media would report the truth you could use stats and a three strikes rule to figure out a way to maximize the reduction of violent crime with the least number of long-term prisoners.

.
"Most of our prison population is there because of the War on Drugs not because of violent crimes."

The War on Drugs is a proxy war. Drug gangs pull in certain types of young men and give the police an easy way to convict them. Combined with something like a three strikes rules you get the desired effect of targeting a certain type of young man without saying you're targeting a certain kind of young man.

However i do think the end result could be greatly improved if clever people with honest stats could argue about it honestly.

If drugs were legalized the same young men would be in jail for street robberies and home invasions.

.
"You must be the frailest most timid creature on the planet, Wandrin."

lolz

.

ben tillman said...

Black crime is invariably dreary, unimaginative and sordid; few people want to dwell on it.
Whites commit more interesting crimes, ones people are more likely to want to follow.


I think you mean that TV shows, using White or Jewish actors to play the criminals, portray crimes that are more imaginative and interesting than those occurring in real life.

White DUI's are not more interesting than Mexican DUI's.

NOTA said...

ben tillman:

There's surely an ideological slant to this, but I think mostly, it's because most crime is just ugly and depressing and stupid, rather than interesting. (Motive for the murder: "He was lookin at me funny.")

Similarly, if the criminal is well-dressed, rich, and glamorous, it's more fun to watch than if he's sponging off his mom and baby mommas to supplement his meager drug-dealing and mugging income, and everyone in the apartment where he's sleeping is missing most of their teeth and could no more read a book that flap their arms and fly.