May 29, 2012

Acemogluism

From my column in Taki's Magazine:
MIT’s Daron Acemoglu is a rock star among economists, one of the ten most cited in his profession. This is largely because of the paper the Istanbul-born Armenian cowrote in 2001: The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development. Other economists have found that it provides a suave way to finally answer the embarrassing question of why, in the 21st century, some countries are rich and some are poor. Acemoglu has a big new book out with James A. Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, that makes his case at great length.
To understand Acemoglu’s professional popularity, you have to grasp how awkward the major features of global economic reality are to careerist economists.

Read the whole thing there.

122 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are people who might say that researchers shy away from HBD-related explanations because they don't provide any useful prescriptions for countries with low average IQ's, such as sub-Saharan Africa. That would be wrong. The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there.

Whiskey said...

Hence Steve's noting that Italian Renaissance advances just stopped when the Church enforced dogma by trying Galileo for heresy. Enforcing intellectual dogma has its price -- the Northern Europeans who turned a blind eye to dogma soon advanced far past the Italians.

Because stuff like understanding the Earth revolves around the Sun versus the other way around helps your ships get where they are going and not run aground or get lost at sea.

Understanding how the world works gives real advantages, pretending in harmful fantasy that interferes with an accurate understanding of reality really hurts an individual or society.

The elites in the West are addicted to the fantasy that all peoples are the same with the same intelligence, bravery, dutifulness, and so forth. And that their magic stuff of "Nice Whiteness" can change things.

The real scary thing is when not IF but WHEN the Chinese offer DNA modifications to lower IQ populations (for a price) -- pay the money and your kid will be smarter, say an IQ of 130 instead of 85, to the African elite. Don't think that won't be coming.

We live in a Science Fiction world, count on it.

Whiskey said...

First Anon at 10:31 -- setting up defacto colonies will only provoke more anti-colonialism. Be it European or Chinese colonialism, big surprise Africans don't like it. They'd rather be ruled badly by their own people than well by outsiders. A view I can sympathize with.

Africa has historically been defended by distance, disease, and lack of resources easily extracted; that ended in the late 19th Century. The Chinese exploitation of African resources is unlikely to be any better than say, Leopold of Belgium or the German colonies, and could be appreciably worse (the Tibetans and Uighurs would argue that is so).

Technology generally kills, the people that consistently utilize technology first and better than rivals win, and those who don't lose. I know Pinker etc. think mankind has evolved into some better morality, to me that smacks of the Panglossian "Best of all Possible Worlds."

Africa being weak is likely to experience the fate of most societies that are weak that have something the strong want. Unhappiness. A few elite Africans will sell out their countrymen to get DNA mods for their kids, that's about it.

Anonymous said...

The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there.

That's not really true. The more obvious policy conclusion is that different institutions work better for different groups. Optimal forms of social organization and control could be a function of the composition of the group. The prescription doesn't necessarily involve changing the composition of the group.

Tom Regan said...

As the likes of Diamond and Gladwell have proved,there's a hell of a lot more money to be made by inventing specious theories to explain away racial intellectual inequality than there is by acknowledging it.
Sadly we're not living in an Emperor's New Clothes world - where people mouthed fashionable ideas because they thought it proper while secretly knowing it to be untrue - but rather in a 1984 world where people have convinced themselves of the truth of stupid theories because doublethink is too taxing and potentially dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Duh... The worst part is that Acemoglu fully realizes the extent of his lies.

Anon:
The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there.

Been there, done that, made it work in Rhodesia. Until forces of progress stopped it and created Zimbabwe.

TGGP said...

William Easterly is perhaps an even better known (I dont know if he's more cited) development economist. One of his papers suggests global economic inequality was determined as early as 1000 B.C, before the era of european global colonialism.

The Acemoglu paper on colonialism determining institutions is laughable because his proxy is tropical disease (rather than anything specific to colonialism) and he dismisses the possibility that could be correlated with anything else. He clearly never read Plagues and Peoples, where William McNeill explains that intelligence is less selected by micropredation than macropredation (at least before the invention of microscopes). There are actual economics papers that show a CAUSAL effect from colonial institutions, but they use the effect of tax regimes differing in latin america for arbitrary reasons. Acemoglu never bothers discussing Ethiopia & Thailand (and maybe Liberia?) as countries that unlike their neighbors evaded colonization.

Anonymous said...

Those who would doubt that average IQ affects institutional quality have never had to deal with a typical police force. It's not only average IQ that is useful but there should be a few high IQ folks salted through the organization as well.

For some reason our societies seem to think that only medicine, engineering and the like really benefit from high IQ, including both mathematical and verbal ability. The fact is, there is probably not a field that won't benefit from an unusually talented individual entering that field. When all the high IQ individuals enter a very few well compensated fields, the other areas go wanting.

The people who have made their careers in the other fields don't appreciate this pointed out, even if it's true. That's probably one of the biggest barriers to the acceptance of the validity of IQ; everyone wants to be at the top. Everyone wants to think that they are able to do any career at the highest level. People want to buy the opinion that tells them that they can succeed. They don't want to be told that they are doomed to mediocrity.

When it's only a small percentage of people who can be told a truth that is pleasant to their ears, that truth is never going to sell well.

Anonymous said...

but what makes for better institutions north of the border?

The Americans stole the side of the border with all the paved roads.

Anonymous said...

"they don't provide any useful prescriptions for countries with low average IQ's"

strict monogamy
ban 1st cousin marriage
ultra-strict criminal justice

Anonymous said...

All this talk about 'institutions' as the be all and end all of economic failure is pure bull-poopy.
The claim is that the USA is rich beacause of 'good institutions' and Mexico poor because of 'bad institutions' - and there!, that's all there is to it 'institutions' a convienient bogey man to hang all the blame on to.
But claiming that the USA is rich and Mexico is poor because of 'institutions' is merely a tautology, although it sounds all grand and high falutin', all you are really saying is that the USA is rich because it is the USA and Mexico is poor because it is Mexico, it just takes you back where you started and explains nothing.
And anyway, all 'institutions' are basically just a set of rules and regulations, nothing more, nothing less. Rules and regulations are purely human constructs changeable at whim - why make 'institions' a bugbear?

jody said...

this is still merely the "fell from outer space" hypothesis. all the stuff presently on the surface of the earth fell from outer space, and evil, greedy europeans snatched it all up and hoarded it for themselves before the various other peoples of the world could get their fair share.

it's what leads to the now common lawsuits over "not enough x in enterprise y". all the institutions on earth fell from outer space and somehow europeans grabbed them all and populated them before anybody else even had a chance.

a competing hypothesis, that none of this stuff existed until somebody created it, leads you down an avenue to some uncomfortable conclusions. like, if not for europeans, we wouldn't even be posting comments on the web right now. "humans" didn't land on the moon, europeans did.

if not for europeans, humans probably wouldn't even being generating, sending, receiving, or detecting the electromagnetic signals which we suspect would indicate intelligent life on other planets and solve the fermi paradox. there would just be this planet with millions of humans running around not doing anything at that level of technology. which could be the case on other planets. the aliens are intelligent but not smart enough to be like marconi, so we can never detect them.

and institutions don't fall from outer space and land on the continents. either somehow all the professional sports leagues in the world landed on continents that europeans controlled, or europeans created the entire enterprise of highly paid professional sports from scratch.

in the fall from outer space scenario, what are the odds that 100% of the sports leagues fall on continents controlled by europeans? consult a geologist for the rather bleak probability that all the objects falling to earth even crash on land. he'll probably start going into the K-T extinction event and the chicxulub crater.

is it just random luck that south africa is the most developed nation in africa, or did europeans do everything there, as they usually do? i don't think it's random when south africa can produce guys like elon musk, creator of paypal, tesla motors, and space x.

Dutch reader said...

His surname lookd Turkish rather than Armenian (-oglu is the Turkish equivalent of -son).

dearieme said...

I'm pretty sceptical of much writing on this topic because so many writers seem to ignore the time scale and also the sheer idiosyncrasy of life.

The Triumph of the Whites starts with the explorers in the 1400s (Portugal and Spain), is nurtured in Italy and the Netherlands, and becomes unmistakeable with the Industrial Revolution (Britain). Historically speaking this is both recent and brief.

Many of the white triumphalists are American, which is odd because the USA and its precursor North American Colonies were passengers in this process. Not one top-drawer maker of Western culture was American - I have no idea why this should be but it seems undeniable. And yet I wouldn't draw the conclusion that Americans are just a bunch of thicks because that conclusion would obviously be entirely wrong. It's all very mysterious.

TangoMan said...

So how to explain Ethiopia and Liberia, two African nations where Europeans didn't put down colonialist roots?

Peter A said...

North Korea and East Germany are generally held up as examples of how IQ can't explain everything. Clearly it is possible for bad institutions to make even a high IQ population perform badly. I suppose the best argument is that in both those cases the bad institutions were imposed by outside powers, actually the same outside power - the Soviet Union.

Peter A said...

" The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there."

Like Rhodesia or South Africa? It simply doesn't work. The difference between North America and South America is illuminating - North America was sparsely populated when Europeans started colonizing so the Europeans quickly became the majority population. In most of South America Europeans never became the majority, and the results are pretty plain. Although there does seem to be a pretty good correlation between a Latin American country's success and the % of Europeans. I.e Chile on one end, Bolivia or Paraguay on the other. Even compare the richer regions of Mexico to the poorer, or the richer regions of Brazil to the poorer. How do you explain those discrepancies away as "institutions"?

Anonymous said...

The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there.

WHITE MISCHIEF!!!

Anonymous said...

The epochal conclusion that Deng Xiaoping, urged on by Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, drew from this in the late 1970s was that if all the Chinese folks in the world were getting rich except the Maoist Chinese, the problem must lie more in the “Maoist” than in the “Chinese” part. And, indeed, once liberated from Mao’s dogmas and whims, the Mainland Chinese responded with one of history’s greatest economic surges.

In the early 1920s, the Presbyterian Comintern, headed by Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky MacApfelbaum [nom-de-guerre "Grigory Zinoviev"], sent Grigori Naumovich MacVoitinsky [nom-de-guerre "Zarkhin"] and Mikhail MacGruzenberg [nom-de-guerre "Mikhail Borodin"] to China to inculcate Sun Yat Sen, and his prize pupil, Mao Tse Tung, in the finer points of MacMarxist-Leninist economic theory.

mins said...

@ anonymous, that's exactly what Francis Galton, cousin to Charles Darwin, prescribed as a remedy to the Africa problem.

He said 'Africa for the Chinese.'
http://galton.org/letters/africa-for-chinese/AfricaForTheChinese.htm

Anonymous said...

Nothing will ever top Guns, Germs and Steel theories...

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

I have difficulty imagining academics like Acemoglu writing such nonsense with a straight face.

Anonymous said...

His hypothesis is testable by looking at areas where such groups have displaced whites. or did we dig up the good institutions and take them with us?

Beecher Asbury said...

Acemoglu’s contribution was to come up with a regression analysis that, he claimed, showed that Third World poverty was the fault of those all-purpose bad guys, European imperialists.

I seem to hear daily how European colonialism messed up the world. Maybe it did. But why do we never hear about Ottoman colonialism messing up the Balkans? Why do we never hear about Moorish colonialism in Spain? The list goes on. Yet all we hear about is European colonialism.

Anon wrote, "That would be wrong. The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there."

You'd think liberals would be all over this and push Chinese, Indian, Jewish and European immigration into Africa and other third world hellholes. After all, diversity is a strength and no nation can expect to succeed in this global economy if they are monocultural. Oh well, better get back to critiquing Japan and South Korea into taking more immigrants. We don't want them to fall behind.

Eric Falkenstein said...

Note Acemoglu's post titled Why is Haiti so Poor? Bad French institutions set up in 1791 doomed the poor state.

Anonymous said...

I think productive institutions are a part of the puzzle, but as Steve alludes in his review, intelligent institutions are the brainchildren of intelligent people--good genetic stock. I can think of one case where a good institution, or maybe cultural creed would be more appropriate terminology, changed an otherwise limited civilization into a world power. The rise of Islam in Arab states changed them from a provincial backwater into a world civilization back in the 5th century. Or maybe a rising world power created a good creed as a by-product of its expansion and ascendancy. Social science can be very fuzzy when there is no underlying measureable variable, such as IQ.

David said...

Anon. 10:31 PM:

In other words, the answer is diversity - in the reverse of the usual meaning.

Harry Baldwin said...

Any guesses as to when policy makers will start dealing with HBD reality instead of propping up PC fantasies? Five years, 25 years, never?

Anonymous said...

Incoming.

You will be attacked.

Justin said...

Blacks now dominate US government employee sector: implications, good or bad? Discuss!

pat said...

OK, I'm going to indulge in a little more subjectivism in commenting on what should be an objective intellectual subject. But I have a deep personal insight into all this.

I studied economics as a freshman at George Mason which has subsequently become famous for its economics department. I was the best econ student in the school, proving once again that it's easy to be the smartest guy in the room if you just pick a small enough room.

My econ professor encouraged me to major in economics, and I did. But only one semester revealed the terrible secret about academic economics - there are no women in the classes. I switched to psychology which was less interesting to me but whose classes were all filled with nubile co-eds.

They call economics the dismal science. It's true. All economists have been traumatized by forced celibacy in their formative years.

Albertosaurus

Jehu said...

Anonymous,
Such countries could also:
Fight iodine deficiencies,
Fight iron deficiencies,
Fight folate deficiencies
Work on de-worming most of their population
Work on controlling malaria more aggressively (DDT is good for me!, from the US effort to wipe out same in the US)
The US did all of the above in the 19th and 20th centuries and it helped economic development immensely. The deficiencies are particularly cheap to remedy (fortify salt, flour, bread respectively).

Camlost said...

And blacks tend to ruin any white institutions that they inherit -- see Detroit, Zimbabwe or Clayton County, GA.

DCThrowback said...

Jared Diamond's review is here.

He's generally positive about it (he provided a blurb for the book) and says it probably accounts for 50% of explanation of the differences between nations.

I prefer Roissy's more Occam's Razor-iffic missive: "People aren't fungible!"

pat said...

There is another reason why HBD explanations are not in favor with so many social scientists. They don't like where that line of thought takes them. It looks like an inevitable future of concentration camps and genocide factories. I don't think so. But I'm very definitely in the minority.

Consider Detroit. What do we do about this black city? I drive a Japanese car - you too probably. The Big Three once provided a place for blacks escaping from the fields in Mississippi. No more. All the easy, simple jobs have been automated away. The remaining largely higher skilled positions are contested among all the races. Blacks have to compete against whites and Asians for front office jobs - jobs that take intelligence and education.

Every liberal accepts readily that private industry has failed the blacks who travelled up from the South in The Great Migration. They think the answer is more government.

As it happens I know a lot about government job programs. I've read all the studies and I've conducted my own studies too. The picture isn't completely clear to the public because the results depend on whether you use a cross sectional or a longitudinal design. But cutting to the chase, just trust me. All CETA and similar job programs have failed to help black males. Oddly enough white males are actively hurt. The only group that shows positive gains are black females.

It's easy to understand when you realize that government jobs programs are training and education programs. They select participants for their previous record of failure in school and then send them back to school. It should not surprise anyone that this approach seldom works. Black females can be taught to type and almost all the job program success has been in this one narrow area. Or it was before people learned how to use a computer and word processing software.

The government's solution is more education. Currently half of all Detroit blacks are illiterate.

No one has a solution. Detroit looks like a "behavioral sink". It's bad and it's getting worse and no one has a solution.

Except me.

Economists like Acemoglu see all this, but they turn away. They think the only path is some kind of Nazi eugenics program through genocide. And they would be right if they restrict themselves to the kind of solutions conventionally proposed.

The streets are filled with angry young protesters who want to stamp out inequality. Me too. But they are demand side. I'm a supply side inequality advocate.

People have unequal outcomes in life because they start with unequal inputs. Blacks have better legs (White Men Can't Jump). Whites have better brains. Both of these racial inequalities must be fixed. All races must have the same average IQs. All races must have an equal chance to make it in the NBA.

I was also in Nixon's War on Cancer. That was a flop but at least everyone wanted it to work. I propose a War for Brains. We must bring the average black IQ up to 100. Unfortunately many will oppose this kind of program. They will continue to deny differences. But there really is no choice. There are no other ideas that offer any hope for Detroit and American blacks. It is the only approach that will keep economists like Acemoglu from keeping their heads so resolutely in the sand.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Yes, but how does Acemogulism explain why cities in the US without sizable black and Mexican populations do much better than US border cities. And why is it that cities set up by whites in California are now breaking down under the control of Hispanics i.e. Vallejo, Stockton, Santa Ana, Oxnard. Wikepedia provides a list of examples for study.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_California_communities_with_Hispanic_majority_populations

I'm surprised to hear that this guy is faculty at MIT. Shouldn't he be peddling this snake oil from the Kennedy School of Government?

David said...

Btw, Steve, a great analysis, superbly written. The hair on the back of my neck stood up at times. Your Occam's Butterknife concept was used to a most eviscerating effect.

Anonymous said...

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2012/05/steven_chu_vs_b.html

Black Death said...

There are two countries in Sub-Saharan Africa without roots in European colonization - Liberia and Ethiopia. By Acemoglu's reasoning, they should be beacons of stability, prosperity and harmony. How are they doing?

Well, in the last fifty years or so, Liberia has been a bloodbath. In 1980, Samuel Doe overthrew President Tolbert and murdered him and most of his cabinet. Doe then made himself president in a rigged election and started executing his ethnic foes. Doe lasted until 1989, when Charles Taylor led an insurrection against him. Taylor won and killed Doe and most of his followers. During Taylor's reign, Liberia was a leader in all sorts of illegal trade, including blood diamonds. More civil wars followed in 1999 and 2003, and Mr. Taylor was overthrown and captured. He was just sentenced to fifty years for war crimes by the international court in the Hague. During much of this period, Liberia was receiving lots of aid, mostly from the United States.

Ethiopia is even better, or worse, depending on your perspective. Haile Selassie, who styled himself "King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God and Power of the Trinity," ran a brutal dictatorship until he was overthrown and probably murdered by Mengistu, who set up a Soviet-style regime, which was despotic even by African standards. Hundreds of thousands died during periods of terror and famine. In 1991, Mengistu was overthrown and fled to Zimbabwe, where he still resides. Ethiopia remains a backwater of violence, famine and corruption.

But it's all the fault of the wicked European colonialists, except in this case, there weren't any colonialists.

Anonymous said...

There are people who might say that researchers shy away from HBD-related explanations because they don't provide any useful prescriptions for countries with low average IQ's, such as sub-Saharan Africa. That would be wrong. The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there.

They did that once. It was called colonization.

Anonymous said...

off topic :

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/science/spread-of-chagas-is-called-the-new-aids-of-the-americas.html?_r=1

"Like AIDS, the authors say, Chagas disease has a long incubation time and is hard or impossible to cure. Chagas infects up to eight million people in the hemisphere, mostly in Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia and Central America. But more than 300,000 of the infected live in the United States, many of them immigrants."

Anonymous said...

Assmugly is a devious man.
Consider the way he uses 'inclusive'. Generally, according to PC, 'inclusive' means diversity, yet the successful economies tended not to be very diverse. Whites in Massachusetts didn't 'include' American Indians but drove them out. They were 'inclusive' not of diversity but of their own people. Thus, it was homogeneous inclusiveness, not diverse inclusiveness. Indeed, homogeneity breeds inclusiveness since elites at top and the masses in the middle and bottom share same culture, race, language. Thus, elites feel more generous and sympathetic toward people below and people below are more trusting of people at the top.

Leftists push 'diversity' and 'inclusiveness', but diversity undermines political and economic inclusiveness since there might be lots of distrust and differences among people of varying loyalties and values. Thus, white elites of Latin America tended to be less inclusive of non-whites, and non-white masses tended to be less trusting of white Latin elites and also aspiring.

Of course, homogeneity alone doesn't ensure success. Detroit is largely black, but given the lower IQs and wild temperament of many blacks, it's mired in poverty and crime. Indeed, increased diversity--Chinese and Indian businessmen and workers--in Africa have led to
economic development. If a nation of full of idiots, adding diversity of smart people from other nations is a plus. If a nation is full of smart people, adding diversity of dumb people from other nations is a minus.. as Europe and California are finding out. (Of course, the danger of increasing diversity by adding smarter people to a nation is that the latter can come to dominate everything. Thus, Chinese came to dominate SE Asian economies, and Jews came to dominate the US--against the interests of white majority.)

Also, the shameless and self-centered personality of blacks make it more likely that their elites will shamelessly leech off everyone else. But then, even honest black leaders in time become 'corrupt' because every time they share their wealth in good faith with lower blacks, the latter just steal and rob it for their own selfish interests. So, even good blacks wonder.. 'why should I be good and generous when brothas and sistaz all be stealing and shit.' Since decent successful blacks don't wanna share more of their wealth with lower blacks, they pass the buck to white tax payers.

Anyway, the success of the Anglo-model all over the world shows that its economic inclusiveness was predicated on racial exclusiveness. Anglos in Australia drove out the aborigines and set up a white nation. Thus, whites included other whites. In the US, whites drove out or excluded the Indians and were inclusive toward fellow whites. Some may call this 'racist', but it was natural since people of same race and culture tend to work much better together and understand one another. Also, they share the same values, and so there's mutual trust and understanding(of right and wrong).
If a people are inclusive toward a people with different values, culture, customs, rules, and habits, the whole system may fail... which is why Jews in Israel are mostly inclusive of other Jews than of Arabs who live as second class citizens. And there are huge walls around Gaza and West Bank.
And South Africa was an institutional success because whites had been able to exclude blacks. Apartheid South Africa was economically and politically inclusive of whites and succeeded on that basis. If white South AFricans had included native blacks in the economic and political process from the beginning, it would have been a mess. With blacks causing too much trouble and dissension, whites never would have had the chance to build up a functional system that produced a bigger economy than all the rest of AFrica combined.

Steve Sailer said...

You might think that when discussing historical reasons for why Haiti is so poor, you might get around to discussing the massacre of nearly all white Haitians in the Independence Struggle, but Acemoglu doesn't.

Jared Diamond's explanation of why Haiti is poorer than adjoining Dominican Republic is much better.

Anonymous said...

Not one top-drawer maker of Western culture was American - I have no idea why this should be but it seems undeniable.

No? Who harnessed electricity, invented the light bulb, the automobile, the telephone, the computer, the Internet, was first in flight?

Anonymous said...

In the early 1920s, the Presbyterian Comintern, headed by Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky MacApfelbaum [nom-de-guerre "Grigory Zinoviev"], sent Grigori Naumovich MacVoitinsky [nom-de-guerre "Zarkhin"] and Mikhail MacGruzenberg [nom-de-guerre "Mikhail Borodin"] to China to inculcate Sun Yat Sen, and his prize pupil, Mao Tse Tung, in the finer points of MacMarxist-Leninist economic theory.

Pretty amusing.

Anonymous said...

Nothing will ever top Guns, Germs and Steel theories...

What the hell does this even mean?

Anonymous said...

The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there.

No. The obvious policy prescription is that optimal social institutions/controls may vary as a function of demographics. In other words, "institutions" aren't one-size-fits-all.

Maybe keep that in mind the next time you are bashing Islam.

Anonymous said...

Not one top-drawer maker of Western culture was American - I have no idea why this should be but it seems undeniable.

Americans created some the worlds finest universities.

RKU said...

The epochal conclusion that Deng Xiaoping, urged on by Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, drew from this in the late 1970s was that if all the Chinese folks in the world were getting rich except the Maoist Chinese, the problem must lie more in the “Maoist” than in the “Chinese” part. And, indeed, once liberated from Mao’s dogmas and whims, the Mainland Chinese responded with one of history’s greatest economic surges.

Yes, exactly. That's why I'd rank Lee Kuan Yew among the most important figures of the second half of the 20th Century, even though he doesn't get 5% of the recognition he deserves.

South Korea and Japan were doing fine, but they weren't Chinese and had been bitter enemies of China during WWII and the Korean War.

Taiwan was doing well, but it was run by (back then) the arch-enemies of the PRC, who'd obviously never dream of following their lead.

Hong Kong was doing fine, but it followed ultra-free market near-anarchism, and it looked terribly disorderly and chaotic from the PRC perspective. Plus it was still under British-colonial rule, with British-colonial institutions. The Chinese couldn't really use that as an example.

But there was also Singapore, ultra-orderly, ultra-disciplined Singapore, with no littering, no slums, and no political unrest. Run as (effectively) a one-party state by its ruling Chinese Socialist Party (once suspected by the British of being crypto-Communists), with the same Chinese leader and his close circle running the political show for decades. All of that must have seemed very reasonable and attractive to Deng and the other Politburo leaders. And Singapore did just as well economically as Taiwan, Hong Kong, or the other places.

I remember thirty-odd years ago, I and my friends used to joke that maybe Deng should test out Lee's ideas by giving him a smallish Chinese province to run, maybe 40 million or 50 million people and seeing how it worked out. Instead, Old Deng decided he and his friends could just do the job themselves, and that's exactly what they did.

Steve Sailer said...

Indeed, the Chinese actually did invite the government of Singapore to come in and run a city or two as a demonstration project for Chinese officials in how to do things right, although that wasn't until after the big shift Deng began in the late 1970s.

heartiste said...

"Not one top-drawer maker of Western culture was American - I have no idea why this should be but it seems undeniable.

No? Who harnessed electricity, invented the light bulb, the automobile, the telephone, the computer, the Internet, was first in flight?"

dearieme is singing his usual britslop shuck n jive anti-american tune. the dude is still p.o.ed about the revolutionary war. or maybe it's the fact that brit women are about the only western women in the world that american women can haughtily denigrate as trashy, binge-drinking sluts.
to lost empires, ol' chap! chin chin!

Steve Sailer said...

"Not one top-drawer maker of Western culture was American - I have no idea why this should be but it seems undeniable."

!8th Century Frenchmen would disagree with you about the importance of Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin's career is worthy studying for the strengths and weaknesses of the American setting. Essentially, there was so much opportunity that it discouraged specialization. For example, according to Thomas Kuhn, Franklin suddenly became the world's leading physicist in the 1750s. But then he largely moved on to affairs of state. A local political struggle in Pennsylvania inspired him to come up with what we now call Malthusian theory, making Franklin, in effect, the grandfather of Darwinism (he knew Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles Darwin and Francis Galton, by the way). Franklin's Autobiography was hugely influential in the 19th Century (read D.H. Lawrence's fevered denunciation of its influence).

Unlike other intellectual giants whose political careers were somewhat unhappy, such as Bacon, Machiavelli, and perhaps Confucius, Franklin was epochally successful at world-historical affairs of state. For example, he talked the French monarchy into bankrupting itself so America could have its independence (thus leading to the French Revolution, by the way).

eah said...

Acemogluism

That looks like a word the smart Indian kid would spell correctly to win the National Spelling Bee.

eah said...

Not one top-drawer maker of Western culture was American...

I think they were too busy fighting Indians, cutting down trees, and going off to die in wars started by cultured Europeans.

Bob Arctor said...

No, Acemoglu is Armenian - his first name of Daron (like Daron Malakian) gives that away. His name looks Turkish because under Turkish law everyone in the country has to have a Turkic surname. My grandmothers last name ended in that suffix and she, obviously, wasn't a Muslim Turk.

elvisd said...

Thanks for your mention of Franklin, Steve. He doesn't get brought up much these days.

Anonymous said...

The Triumph of the Whites starts with the explorers in the 1400s (Portugal and Spain), is nurtured in Italy and the Netherlands, and becomes unmistakeable with the Industrial Revolution (Britain). Historically speaking this is both recent and brief.


Many of the white triumphalists are American, which is odd because the USA and its precursor North American Colonies were passengers in this process.



If you define the "process" as ending sometime in the early 19th century - and you do appear to be doing exactly that - then the mystery which you feign bewilderment over is not a mystery at all. The USA was not even a passenger in the process, because the USA hardly even existed while the process - as chronologically defined by you - was going on.

JSM said...

"There are people who might say that researchers shy away from HBD-related explanations because they don't provide any useful prescriptions for countries with low average IQ's, such as sub-Saharan Africa. That would be wrong. The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there."

The correct, obvious policy prescription would be to encourage the (admittedly few) high-IQ individuals in SubSaharan Africa, etc., actually OF that ethnicity, to have lots and lots of kids, and those of low IQ to have few or none.

Henry Canaday said...

Norman Cantor argued in “The Civilization or the Middle Ages” that for many centuries, roughly from the late Middle Ages until fairly recently, the highest value-add professionals in the West were lawyers, whose education often began in the canon law schools of the Church. That sounds counter-intuitive in over-lawyered modern America, but it makes sense. One of the first things Western or any society needs is a set of rules by which energetic people can collaborate in creating a better life, rather compete in the brutal and less-than-zero-sum game of stealing wealth from each other.

Anonymous said...

"strict monogamy
ban 1st cousin marriage
ultra-strict criminal justice"

You also need to select for empathy, so bring some snow makers and sabertooths. then wait 30,000 years and you'll be done. Maybe throw in a small minority of people to study complicated verbal arguments for the last 2000 years of it.

As far as electricity, the distribution network over long distances is probably the single most important part of that, and we have that thanks to Tesla and Edison.

Steve Sailer said...

U.S. history in the 18th and 19th Century features a remarkable number of lawyers. Having a lot of lawyers to draw up contracts is a workable alternative to having a powerful central state to regulate things.

Anonymous said...

dearieme:
"Many of the white triumphalists are American, which is odd because the USA and its precursor North American Colonies were passengers in this process. Not one top-drawer maker of Western culture was American - I have no idea why this should be but it seems undeniable. And yet I wouldn't draw the conclusion that Americans are just a bunch of thicks because that conclusion would obviously be entirely wrong. It's all very mysterious."


Well, the proper point of comparison is not with nations in the Western heartland (Italy, France, Germany, England)but with other Western colonies:Australia, Canada, Mexico, etc.Compared to their cultural/scientific output, the USA is colossus.Indeed, Mexico is probably the most salient point of comparison, as it has huge advantages over the USA in terms of population, wealth, and temporal depth (first quarter of the 16th century vs first quarter of the 17th), yet its cultural/scientific achievements are insignificant in comparison.


Syon

Steve Sailer said...

One thing to keep in mind is that Franklin spent a huge fraction of the second half of his life in England and France, partly for business, partly because there were many more people on his level of intellectual sophistication to talk to.

There are more than a few examples of supersophisticated Americans moving to Europe for the company, such as Henry James and T.S. Eliot. This was especially true of great American painters such as Whistler and Sargent.

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/08/25/giant-african-rats-swarm-in-brooklyn/

Anonymous said...

Rwandan leader Paul Kagame is an unabashed admirer of Lee Kuan Yew and has tried to implement a lot of Singapore-like policies into his sub-Saharan African country. The results have been...


...well, actually pretty impressive. Rwanda's a lot better governed than its neighbors, poverty is going down faster, and the capital city isn't a fetid cesspit because Kagame makes the entire population go out and clean the place once a month.

http://www.economist.com/node/21548263

Anonymous said...

dearieme:

"Many of the white triumphalists are American, which is odd because the USA and its precursor North American Colonies were passengers in this process. Not one top-drawer maker of Western culture was American - I have no idea why this should be but it seems undeniable. And yet I wouldn't draw the conclusion that Americans are just a bunch of thicks because that conclusion would obviously be entirely wrong. It's all very mysterious."


What is your definition of "top drawer?"The closest thing that I know of to an "objective" yardstick is Murray's HUMAN ACCOMPLISHMENT, and he ranks Hubble (astonomy, p. 122), Thomas Hunt Morgan (biology, p. 123), Edison (technology, p. 129), Franklin (technology, p. 129), Maury (Earth sciences, p. 125)in the "Giants" category. If film had been included (Murray deemed it too young of an art form for solid judgements to have been formed), Orson Welles, Griffith, Howard Hawks, et al. would doubtless have been listed.


To be sure, there are mysteries that defy facile explanations.For example, why has England's achievements in painting and music (Handel was German)lagged so far behind Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands?

Anonymous said...

People who equate the encouragement of the immigration of high-IQ people into the sub-Saharan countries with colonialism are glossing over what colonialism actually entailed. Colonialism involved - by law enforced by serious penalties - the monopolization of the territory's productive land, of given occupations and of the types of economic transactions locals could engage in. Over the course of the 20th century these proscriptions moderated somewhat, but by then, the systematically discriminatory policies of the colonial powers, combined with their frankly-racialist rhetoric and attitudes, deeply alienated the local elites, and made wars of independence all but inevitable.

An immigration policy implemented by existing African governments that provides incentives for high-IQ foreigners to settle would have none of the above defects. The interesting thing about IQ determinism is its explanatory power. In Southeast Asia's regional economic bloc ASEAN, the original core group countries listed in order of descending per capita income (formerly described as the Asian tigers) are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Incidentally or not, the list of ASEAN countries in order of descending percentages of ethnic Chinese citizens are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Note that these countries had widely-different experiences during the colonial era. Starting in the 16th century, Singapore and Malaysia alternated between the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British empires. Thailand has been independent of Western control for most of its history, even though it operated more or less as a Japanese protectorate during WWII. Indonesia alternated between the British and Dutch empires and the Philippines were controlled by Spain followed by these United States.

And yet the one thing that is correlated with the relative wealth differences between those countries is the percentages of ethnic Chinese that populate them. I'd say no one touches these explanations because they're too obvious - simplistic even. How does one win a Nobel prize for saying something that is simultaneously so self-evident and so politically-incorrect that one risks being shunned as an academic leper? Far better to seek out counter-intuitive explanations that are false but don't jeopardize one's continued participation in the halls of academia.

Anonymous said...

"Because stuff like understanding the Earth revolves around the Sun versus the other way around helps your ships get where they are going and not run aground or get lost at sea.

Understanding how the world works gives real advantages, pretending in harmful fantasy that interferes with an accurate understanding of reality really hurts an individual or society."

Didn't Catholic Spain and Portugal sponsor a lot of the voyages of discovery though?

Anonymous said...

An immigration policy implemented by existing African governments that provides incentives for high-IQ foreigners to settle would have none of the above defects... the list of ASEAN countries in order of descending percentages of ethnic Chinese citizens are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Why should one genetic group necessarily want to cede control of its economy to an endogamous competitor? Are the non-Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia happy that the Chinese control their countries?

There is perhaps more to life than per capita GDP.

Anonymous said...

"strict monogamy
ban 1st cousin marriage
ultra-strict criminal justice"

"You also need to select for empathy"

I think the criminal justice system and strict monogamy does that (by selecting against the opposite).

.
"then wait 30,000 years"

If the marxist blank-slaters hadn't blocked this line of scientific enquiry i think we'd be close to having a good list of neccessary traits and how to select for them and could homoform populations in a lot less than 30,000 years.

Anonymous said...

For example, why has England's achievements in painting and music (Handel was German)lagged so far behind Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands?

Are you familiar with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, or The Who?

Why have the achievements of Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands in music lagged so far behind those of England?

not a hacker said...

I don't know much history, but would we have basketballs if not for colonialism? Requires rubber, right?

Anonymous said...

The Triumph of the Whites starts with the explorers in the 1400s (Portugal and Spain)...

Obviously you mean the SECOND triumph of the whites - the first [ancient Rome & ancient Greece] having been lost to the Dark Ages.

Also, I'd push your timeline back rather significantly.

In political matters, the West started forging ahead with Magna Carta, in 1215 AD.

In philosophical & mathematical matters, the West started forging ahead with John Duns Scotus, circa 1300AD, and in literature, the West started forging ahead with Dante Alighieri at about the same time.

And then, of course, there's music - no one else even came close to developing the contrapuntal and harmonic structures which Christianity introduced as it moved out of the Dark Ages.

If you want to hear what music sounded like to even a group of peoples as sophisticated as the ancient Greeks & the ancient Romans, then go here and click on "The Melodies".

By contrast, listen to In dulci jubilo, written circa 1328, by Heinrich Seuse [although it should be noted that Chanticleer is singing some more recent arrangements, from e.g. Michael Praetorius, circa 1600 AD, and JS Bach, circa 1725 AD].

Anonymous said...

No? Who harnessed electricity, invented the light bulb, the automobile, the telephone, the computer, the Internet, was first in flight?

I thought the first viable cars were built in Germany, perhaps Ive been misinformed?

The computer? Well thats kind of a mixed bag. The first computer was British by a couple of measures or American by another.

The internet is hardly a discrete entity, lots of stuff needed first to make it work but yes largely American though I think packet switching came from Britain.

However we can say with confidence that these were all white inventions.

An idiot female on Facebook told me that the internet was developed in 'the east'. Lol!

Anonymous said...

"People who equate the encouragement of the immigration of high-IQ people into the sub-Saharan countries with colonialism are glossing over what colonialism actually entailed."

But Jews got their ass whupped but they now control the world.
Germany lost 1/3 of its population in the 100 yrs war, but it rose to greatness.
China lost 100 million due to war, famine, and communism in the 20th century, but it's rising today.

Anonymous said...

Nothing will ever top Guns, Germs and Steel theories...

What the hell does this even mean?


That Diamond's explanations are more far fetched than Acemoglu's?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Are you familiar with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, or The Who?

Why have the achievements of Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands in music lagged so far behind those of England?"

I'm not sure if this response is completely serious, but, assuming that it is, I would note that these worthy gentlemen are not quite in the same league as the titans of Western music:Beethoven, Mozart, J.S. Bach, Wagner, Haydn, Handel, Debussy,et al.

Britain does have some significant composers (Purcell, Elgar, Britten), but they cannot be ranked with the giants.

Syon

Anonymous said...

The correct, obvious policy prescription would be to encourage the (admittedly few) high-IQ individuals in SubSaharan Africa, etc., actually OF that ethnicity, to have lots and lots of kids, and those of low IQ to have few or none.

Right. This coupled with more and stronger border controls to restrict trade, capital, labor, etc. flows is the correct policy. The goal should be to institute a eugenic culture that fosters local ability to create local carrying capacity.

Ron Woo said...

"In philosophical & mathematical matters, the West started forging ahead with John Duns Scotus, circa 1300AD, and in literature, the West started forging ahead with Dante Alighieri at about the same time."

Why not cite Roger Bacon - who could be considered a key progenitor of the scientific revolution - as opposed to Duns Scotus, who was considered by early modern philosophers to be synonymous with the arid pedantry of Scholastic philosophy. Both of them are also late Scholastic philosophers.

Saying that literature in the West "surged ahead" with Dante is silly - literature and art does not undergo the same linear progression that technology or economic growth do. English poetry hasn't exactly surged ahead since Shakespeare or Milton, and so much modern, self-conscious high art and literature is asinine drivel. Ming and Qing prose literature was also some impressive stuff.

Svigor said...

The Triumph of the Whites starts with the explorers in the 1400s (Portugal and Spain), is nurtured in Italy and the Netherlands, and becomes unmistakeable with the Industrial Revolution (Britain). Historically speaking this is both recent and brief.

If you skip the whole Greeks and Romans thing, yeah.

North Korea and East Germany are generally held up as examples of how IQ can't explain everything.

It's great that they got that straw man whipped. Back in the real world, it's the nature + nurture crowd, vs. the nurture crowd. They project determinism onto others because they're determinists (and liars).

Note Acemoglu's post titled Why is Haiti so Poor? Bad French institutions set up in 1791 doomed the poor state.

Set "bad French institutions" equal to "freedom for blacks" and that equation actually balances.

Well, in the last fifty years or so, Liberia has been a bloodbath. In 1980, Samuel Doe overthrew President Tolbert and murdered him and most of his cabinet. Doe then made himself president in a rigged election and started executing his ethnic foes. Doe lasted until 1989, when Charles Taylor led an insurrection against him. Taylor won and killed Doe and most of his followers. During Taylor's reign, Liberia was a leader in all sorts of illegal trade, including blood diamonds. More civil wars followed in 1999 and 2003, and Mr. Taylor was overthrown and captured. He was just sentenced to fifty years for war crimes by the international court in the Hague. During much of this period, Liberia was receiving lots of aid, mostly from the United States.

Which was the one who was the first to be executed on television? You did include him, didn't you? That's one of my favorites. Africans don't innovate, pffft.

Obviously you mean the SECOND triumph of the whites - the first [ancient Rome & ancient Greece] having been lost to the Dark Ages.

I disagree with this. I think the "dark ages" were essentially an interregnum, while Europe (particularly Germanics) absorbed and incorporated the knowledge of the Roman Empire. The "dark age" only lasted about half a millennium, and paved the way for the modern age.

You see this with organisms. Eat, grow, consolidate, eat, grow, consolidate.

Ron Woo said...

"And then, of course, there's music - no one else even came close to developing the contrapuntal and harmonic structures which Christianity introduced as it moved out of the Dark Ages."

Agreed.

Svigor said...

That Diamond's explanations are more far fetched than Acemoglu's?

Maybe "specious" is a better choice?

Ron Woo said...

"Africa has historically been defended by distance, disease, and lack of resources easily extracted; that ended in the late 19th Century. The Chinese exploitation of African resources is unlikely to be any better than say, Leopold of Belgium or the German colonies, and could be appreciably worse (the Tibetans and Uighurs would argue that is so)."

Yikes Whiskey - your knowledge of history and international relations is almost as defective as your understanding of the opposite sex.

I'd be really surprised - given the international community's current moral climate - if the Chinese in Africa began piling up the severed arms of young children to serve as a deterrent against revolt by restive natives.

I've been to Tibet and Xinjiang - believe me those places are in no way "appreciably worse" than what's depicted in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

Anonymous said...

having/getting a high IQ does not make you a white person.

You have to be clear about what you want to do.

Anonymous said...

"U.S. history in the 18th and 19th Century features a remarkable number of lawyers. Having a lot of lawyers to draw up contracts is a workable alternative to having a powerful central state to regulate things."

I think Ralph Nader said that there were many more law suits in the 19 century than now, or at least per capita.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, what's your take on Dr Christian Head's lawsuit v. UCLA? I'd think you would offer some good analysis. Black MD claims he was depicted as a gorrilla and called an affirmative action hire.

Anonymous said...

Why should one genetic group necessarily want to cede control of its economy to an endogamous competitor? Are the non-Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia happy that the Chinese control their countries?

There is perhaps more to life than per capita GDP.


Where religion isn't a factor, the natives don't seem too put out. Thailand's leaders (including its royal family) are largely descended from ethnic Chinese. Ditto with the Philippines, where the national hero, Jose Rizal is of Chinese extraction. Indonesia and Malaysia are much more sensitive about it, to the extent of enacting discriminatory measures against ethnic Chinese. However, none of these countries appears to be concerned enough to conduct the kinds of genocidal massacres that we saw in Rwanda and the Congo. There's also a key difference between the Chinese presence in Southeast Asia and any immigration measures that might theoretically be implemented in sub-Saharan Africa - the Chinese were imported by various European powers to fill niches in the local economies, whereas any such policies in Africa would presumably require the approval of its citizens.

As to whether the preservation of their genetic heritage comes into play as a fundamental interest for sub-Saharan Africans, that's obviously something they have to figure out for themselves. But per capita GDP is a non-trivial matter for most Africans given that so many are perennially on the edge of starvation.

Anonymous said...

Why should one genetic group necessarily want to cede control of its economy to an endogamous competitor? Are the non-Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia happy that the Chinese control their countries?

There is perhaps more to life than per capita GDP.


I think it also has to be said that most Americans of non-Scots Irish origin aren't too put out that a significant chunk of our major corporations are run by Scots Irish like Ellison, Grove, Brin and Zuckerberg, to cite a few in the tech sector alone. I expect Africans would be no less pragmatic.

Anonymous said...

I would note that these worthy gentlemen are not quite in the same league as the titans of Western music:Beethoven, Mozart, J.S. Bach, Wagner, Haydn, Handel, Debussy,et al.

Those guys were pretty good, but the Beatles, Stones, and Led Zep are better. I'll give it to you that Floyd and The Who might not be in the same league.

Anonymous said...

I think it also has to be said that most Americans of non-Scots Irish origin aren't too put out that a significant chunk of our major corporations are run by Scots Irish like Ellison, Grove, Brin and Zuckerberg, to cite a few in the tech sector alone. I expect Africans would be no less pragmatic.

There's an integration between the Scots Irish Americans and other Americans that you don't see between the Chinese and the Southeast Asians they rule over. I'm not sure it is such a good deal for the underclass to become the underclass in a country they previously controlled.

Anonymous said...

You may not know that Harvard profs. Glaeser and Shleifer already have a 2004 paper Do Institutions Cause Growth? questioning AJR and putting the true cause as human capital. Now they waffle by focusing on education. But Jones and Schneider have already shown that IQ is the major component of those findings. So the mainstream is being opened up to HBD but discreetly. Also, bigshots Galor and Putterman at Brown have started to discuss iq more directly. And even Alesina has been toying with it.

Ron Woo said...

"I disagree with this. I think the "dark ages" were essentially an interregnum, while Europe (particularly Germanics) absorbed and incorporated the knowledge of the Roman Empire. The "dark age" only lasted about half a millennium, and paved the way for the modern age."

Interesting - but you also could conversely argue that the past five centuries of Western domination are an atypical blip in history.

The Teutonic tribes comprised a wholly fallow and unaccomplished race until pretty recently - this is what makes their staggering contributions over the past five centuries and their current domination all the more remarkable.

Anonymous said...

There's an integration between the Scots Irish Americans and other Americans that you don't see between the Chinese and the Southeast Asians they rule over. I'm not sure it is such a good deal for the underclass to become the underclass in a country they previously controlled.

You must be referring some other breed of Scots Irish and some other breed of Americans. Thailand's king is of ethnic Chinese origin. The past 5 elected prime ministers have been of ethnic Chinese origin, including the current one, Yingluck Shinawatra. The Philippines's Patrick Henry, Jose Rizal, was of ethnic Chinese origin. Its first president and the Pinoy equivalent of George Washington, Emilio Aguinaldo, was of Chinese descent as is Benigno Aquino III, the current president.

The exceptions to this record of inter-ethnic amicability are in Indonesia and Malaysia, where the ethnic Chinese have apparently been loathe to adopt Islam and are consequently systematically discriminated against. I'd say the principal difference between the relationship between ethnic Chinese minorities in Indonesia and Malaysia and the Scots Irish minority here is that Americans are a lot more tolerant than the average Indonesian or Malaysian. If the ethnic Chinese community filed a lawsuit to ban Islamic studies in the schools in Indonesia or Malaysia, I expect the reaction would be immediate and violent. In fact, Muslim mobs in both countries have openly destroyed churches and temples even as the local police watched without interfering.

Anonymous said...

"I think the "dark ages" were essentially an interregnum, while Europe (particularly Germanics) absorbed and incorporated the knowledge of the Roman Empire."

After the fall of Rome there was no money supply for 800 years. With no money supply you can only have a subsistence economy. Europe woke up again when the money supply was turned back on again.

jody said...

"Many of the white triumphalists are American, which is odd because the USA and its precursor North American Colonies were passengers in this process. Not one top-drawer maker of Western culture was American"

this is way, way wrong, although nobody wants to read some long boring jody post explaining why. suffice to say, the US is responsible for a huge amount of modern western culture in all fields.

it is true though that the US was largely an agragrian society up until world war 1, so that's 1790 to 1910, or about 120 years, of not doing much. and only half the nation was even participating in the industrial revolution during most of that time. the other half was primarily still using all human labor. an american was not awarded a nobel science prize until about 1920.

it's a hot summer night here though, so i'll turn up the air conditioner, a "not top drawer" expression of western culture, provided courtesy of american engineer willis carrier, and see what's on the television, another "not top drawer" product of western culture, courtesy of american inventor philo farnsworth.

jody said...

"For example, why has England's achievements in painting and music (Handel was German)lagged so far behind Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands?"

the english are the most musically gifted people who ever lived. don't wanna make another long post about this. adele took most of the awards at the second highest rated grammy awards show ever this year, and is about to become the first artist with an RIAA diamond album in 10 years.

american idol seems to have finally run it's course, but we can thank english guys for the highest rated show on US television for years.

rob said...

There are people who might say that researchers shy away from HBD-related explanations because they don't provide any useful prescriptions for countries with low average IQ's, such as sub-Saharan Africa. That would be wrong. The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there.

Spoken like a rootless cosmopolitan. The obvious solution is artificial selection to increase their average IQ.

Besides, all large, high IQ populations are in relative decline. There aren't enough brains who wanna move to the poorest regions, like Africa, India, or China. They can't even keep the brighter natives from moving to greener (meaning whiter) pastures: how could they recruit more?

Anonymous said...

Jody:"the english are the most musically gifted people who ever lived."


Now that is, without a doubt, the funniest thing that I have read in a long while.


Syon

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Those guys were pretty good, but the Beatles, Stones, and Led Zep are better. I'll give it to you that Floyd and The Who might not be in the same league."

I seem to have fallen amongst satirists of Swiftian calibre.

Syon

FredR said...

The hero of the medieval icelandic epic "Njal's Saga" is basically a lawyer, and the whole story is about how terrible things get when people don't listen to lawyers.

ben tillman said...

The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there.

The obvious policy prescription is no prescription at all. They are not our chattel, nor our lab mice.

We have no obligation, nor any right, to attempt to change them.

Of course, we do have the right to live separately from them.

ben tillman said...

The Teutonic tribes comprised a wholly fallow and unaccomplished race until pretty recently - this is what makes their staggering contributions over the past five centuries and their current domination all the more remarkable.

During the "Dark Ages", German political philosophers surpassed all who preceded or followed them.

Read Otto von Gierke.

ben tillman said...

After the fall of Rome there was no money supply for 800 years. With no money supply you can only have a subsistence economy. Europe woke up again when the money supply was turned back on again.

With no money supply -- i.e., decentralization -- you can also have community and reciprocally enforceable moral obligations.

David said...

>the english are the most musically gifted people who ever lived<

And the best cooks, too, right?

Practically every musician of note in the 18th and 19th centuries would have disagreed with you, even Haydn. The British Isles were widely held to be a musical backwater (though containing well-paying audiences) as compared to Europe.

I'll give you the Britain of the past 90 years, as well as the Beatles, possibly - but American Idol? American Idol?

Anonymous said...

With no money supply -- i.e., decentralization -- you can also have community and reciprocally enforceable moral obligations.

Interesting. Could it be that "money supply" disincentivizes community and reciprocity?

Anonymous said...

Jody:"the english are the most musically gifted people who ever lived."

Now that is, without a doubt, the funniest thing that I have read in a long while.

Syon


So how do you explain the Beatles, Stones, and Led Zeppelin, Syon? You think they were German?

Anonymous said...

I'll give you the Britain of the past 90 years, as well as the Beatles, possibly

Weren't the Beatles part of the Britain of the past 90 years?

Anonymous said...

There are people who might say that researchers shy away from HBD-related explanations because they don't provide any useful prescriptions for countries with low average IQ's, such as sub-Saharan Africa. That would be wrong. The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there.

Why is any "prescription" necessary? Who agrees there is even a problem? What is the diagnosis?

Anonymous said...

The obvious policy prescription would be to import lots of high-IQ people, by giving them land or other inducements to set up shop there.

Mind your own business, White Man. It might even do you a world of good.

Anonymous said...

If Democracy is an institution; It has failed India. In an Nation of Idiots, the Corrupt Idiot is the King.
Decent and hardworking people get the Shaft.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"So how do you explain the Beatles, Stones, and Led Zeppelin, Syon? You think they were German?"

What is there to explain?They are good composers of popular music;they are nowhere near the equals of Wagner or Beethoven or Mozart or...etc. To argue otherwise is equivalent to stating that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the equal of Shakespeare.One must always remember the yawning chasm between good and great.

Syon

Anonymous said...

They are good composers of popular music;they are nowhere near the equals of Wagner or Beethoven or Mozart or...etc.

Why not? To listen to them is to be put in awe.

Ron Woo said...

Ben Tillman said:

"The Teutonic tribes comprised a wholly fallow and unaccomplished race until pretty recently - this is what makes their staggering contributions over the past five centuries and their current domination all the more remarkable.

During the "Dark Ages", German political philosophers surpassed all who preceded or followed them.

Read Otto von Gierke."

Could you cite some of these all-surpassing German political philosophers who flourished during the Dark Ages - a period by definition characterized by widespread illiteracy and lack of substantive historical records? Didn't Norman Cantor say you could fit all the written historical records we have for the first period of Frankish domination into a slim paperback?

Anonymous said...

"With no money supply -- i.e., decentralization -- you can also have community and reciprocally enforceable moral obligations."

There was a means of exchange in Roman times - gold and silver coins. That means of exchange was inflated beyond use by the time of the Roman collapse - and was possibly the cause of that collapse.

Without money there can't be a cash economy, only a subsistence one with all that that entails.

Europe woke up almost instantly after the money supply problem was fixed.

Anonymous said...

They are good composers of popular music;they are nowhere near the equals of Wagner or Beethoven or Mozart or...etc.

Anonymous:"Why not? To listen to them is to be put in awe."

I had thought that Charles Murray was exaggerating the state of our decline in HUMAN ACCOMPLISHMENT, but comments like these are making me wonder.If people can no longer discern the difference in artistic achievement between The Beatles and Beethoven, perhaps we truly have entered into a period of cultural darkness.


Syon

Anonymous said...

"the english are the most musically gifted people who ever lived."

I don't think that's it. The English may have a disproportionate ability to think outside the box and with a good education system that might display as an FTL drive and with a crap education sysytem it displays as pop music but i think the common root is innovation.

Anonymous said...

I had thought that Charles Murray was exaggerating the state of our decline in HUMAN ACCOMPLISHMENT, but comments like these are making me wonder.If people can no longer discern the difference in artistic achievement between The Beatles and Beethoven, perhaps we truly have entered into a period of cultural darkness.

All you are doing is repeating that your guys are better. Why are they better? Are you even very familiar with the oeuvre(s) of Beatles, Stones, and Led Zep?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"All you are doing is repeating that your guys are better. Why are they better? Are you even very familiar with the oeuvre(s) of Beatles, Stones, and Led Zep?"

Why is Shakespeare better than Conan Doyle? Why is Rembrandt better than Norman Rockwell?

Syon

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"All you are doing is repeating that your guys are better. Why are they better? Are you even very familiar with the oeuvre(s) of Beatles, Stones, and Led Zep?"

I think that in this comment I have just witnessed the final triumph of the Leftist mentality.

Syon

rob said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous:"All you are doing is repeating that your guys are better. Why are they better? Are you even very familiar with the oeuvre(s) of Beatles, Stones, and Led Zep?"

Why is Shakespeare better than Conan Doyle? Why is Rembrandt better than Norman Rockwell?

Syon


Eff Shakeseare. Why you think Willy Wagstaff is a gooder writer than myself, an' shit?

rob said...

A reasonable prescription from HBD, and maybe Acemogluism, though Acemoglu would be unlikely to recommend it is to put down the white man's burden. Every uplift attempt has failed, and any gains per capita are quickly translated into an expanding population until they're worse off than before.

Western institutions do not translate to non-western people, even when they live far away from tropical diseases.

Africans can't skip a few thousand years of bio-social development: they have to develop themselves. A big chunk of Americans are "skeptical" of vaccination. Imagine how hard getting people who've never heard of germ theory or adaptive immunity, or much of anything really, how hard is getting them to get vaccinated with clean needles every time going to be?

The only shot Africans of this generation have is if friendly, paternalistic whites run refugee camps as prison-lite. No one would stand for that.

Nyk said...

It seems some people are trying to prove that Blacks have the same IQs as Whites using something other than ad-hominems:

http://occidentalascent.wordpress.com

He basically says that the American Blacks really do have lower IQs, but that is due to dysgenics during the slavery period, and that Blacks immigrants to Europe are close to European IQ levels. Got to appreciate that this guy is at least willing to try a (sort of) scientific rebuttal using data gather by some European social scientists (whom I don't particularly trust). A marked improvement, but one which I find still lacking and unconvincing.

I'd like to see a debate between him and people in the HBD community who know the arguments inside and out. To be honest, I don't even know how to begin to offer counterarguments to his contrived explanations.