I Will Now be Blogging at The Unz Review

Tomorrow the Russian Reaction blog at http://www.unz.com/akarlin/ will go live, so please reorient your bookmarks and feed subscriptions.


The Unz Review is a webzine dedicated to publishing “interesting, important, and controversial perspectives that are largely excluded from the American mainstream media.” You may know Ron Unz, its owner and chief editor, from my old discussions with him at this blog about the evolution of Chinese IQ, as well as from his many other journalistic and political activities. I am honored to join Steve Sailer and Razib Khan as The Unz Review’s third permanent blogger.

I will continue to enjoy editorial freedom, and posting will be more regular than even during the heydays of my independent blogging. As before, I will be writing about:

  • HBD & Psychometrics
  • Russia and the Ukrainian Conflict
  • Geopolitics/world affairs
  • Futurism and transhumanism
  • Ancestral health, paleo, nootropics
  • Gamergate/SJWs/the culture war
  • Book reviews
  • Various other odds and ends

My original plan after closing down Da Russophile had been to move all my blogging to a single platform at this blog. I got the email from Ron in the midst of cleaning it up and preparing it for a relaunch, making the exercise redundant. Since running two blogs on the same themes is unrealistic not to say pointless, this site will function only as an archive and a platform for important announcements, at least so long as I remain at The Unz Review.

Otherwise, you can also follow my work at:

  • @akarlin88 on Twitter.
  • Subscribe to me on Facebook (nothing personal… but please don’t Friend me unless I know you).
  • Subscribe to my YouTube channel (currently empty, but I finally have a video camera and plan to experiment with it as soon as I manage to figure out video editing).
  • Da Russophile will remain as an archive for my old (pre-2015) Russia-related work.
  • I might also get a column at RIA’s successor news agency, Sputnik News. Will update when/if that happens.

apollos-ascentFinally, I will also keep you posted here on my progress on a new book I’m writing, tentatively titled APOLLO’S ASCENT, about the role of intelligence in world history. Below is the basic thesis, as I’ve been describing it to my friends (while the “core” is about Western Europe vs. China, it will of course also extensively touch on other civilizations such as the Muslim world, India, Japan, and Russia). It is, I think, a somewhat new perspective in the “big history” literature, but requires quite a lot of research and statistics gathering to convincingly argue it.

My basic thesis is that the rate of technological progress, as well as its geographical pattern, is highly dependent on the absolute numbers of literate high IQ people. While medieval European literacy lagged China’s, the advanced areas of Europe had caught up by the 15th century, and were definitely well well ahead by the 17th (van Zanden). Now, IQ is a bigger puzzle, since the Chinese and other East Asians, if anything, score higher than Caucasians on IQ tests. However! There are four points to be made:

1) East Asians’ IQ is heavily weighted towards the visuo-spatial, whereas their verbal and logical IQ’s are almost indistinguishable from those of Germanics. (This is according to the PISA tests). Furthermore, a crucial point is that verbal IQ appears to be the most closely correlated with economic success (various studies).
2) Malnutrition is a major depressant on IQ. And there is evidence that the quality of East Asian diets was far lower than that of Europeans since at least the Black Death, e.g. almost all carbohydrates, very little meat. This is supported by historical height, skeletal evidence.
3) So is consanguineous marriage (inbreeding), which was firmly stamped out within the Hajnal Line thanks to the Church but not anywhere else. It’s an established fact that cousin marriage depresses IQ. There is also a good case to be made that it has some other “bad” effects, such as fostering clannishness. It is particularly endemic in the Muslim world, which surely explains their low national IQs, but was also quite prevalent in pre-Communist China if in less debilitating forms.
4) This is far shakier ground, but I’m also going to make the argument that the Chinese script (hieroglyphic-based) was far more maladapted for technological/commercial innovation than alphabetic systems.

So, my argument goes, there were in reality fewer high IQ (“smart fraction”) people in medieval China than Europe – especially in the critical verbal/logical component. And following the Reformation, which had the effect of massively expanding literacy across northern and western Europe, Europe pulled ahead decisively in that department too. And with that Europe attained the intellectual critical mass that eventually allowed it to carry out the industrial revolution.

Naturally, I will be throwing out various ideas and theories connected with this in the course of my subsequent blogging. See you over at The Unz Review!


  1. Great to hear. Just yesterday I was thinking about how well written Durant’s book was, then I thought about your review. Then I thought “what a shame he doesn’t blog anymore”.