Policy On Racism

As I noted in my old post on the false dichotomy between race denial and racism, there is a regrettable degree of overlap between racism and race realism. This shouldn’t however blind us to the real distinctions between the two, which were very succinctly summarized by Half Sigma thus:

The race realist understands The g Factor, The Bell Curve, and other works of scientific research. The racist apparently thinks that because Barack Obama is half black, it’s impossible for him to have a significantly higher g than John McCain.

This applies to comments such as this one joking that only 12 or 13 US Blacks have the cognitive capacity to learn Mandarin, with Obama not among them. This is obviously false. Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law on the basis of blind grading, which implies elite cognitive cognitive ability. And for that matter, I know two Blacks who speak fluent Mandarin. Are they two of the Elite 13? LOL.

That said, I will not as a general rule be censoring “racist” comments, unless they are couched in the most explicit and offensive language (for that there is Stormfront if you are so inclined). Part of the reason is that the line between racism and race realism is blurry and open to debate. For instance, arguing on the basis of statistics that apartheid wasn’t all that bad for Black South Africans probably isn’t racism. What about calling for its return? I do not know. As I said, blurry lines. I have neither the time nor wish to subject individual comments to such detailed scrutiny.

I do however urge commentators to exercise restraint and good taste. After all, the HBD-sphere is plagued by accusations of racism, and not entirely unfairly either; and this is used to stifle valid and much-needed discussion on racial differences. Let’s not give the PC brigade any more ammo if we can possibly help it.

PS. I am following with interest the discussions in the posts on Indian and Chinese IQ. I cannot participate, as I’m now writing a lengthy piece on Pussy Riot, but rest assured the comments will be read and the more interesting ones examined further.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. I totally agree, AK! No racist remark is allowed in this blog, seriously!

    I feel deeply embarrassed for having said that one liner here. I apologise.

    Having said that, yet nevertheless, AK, facing your potentially career-destroying accusation, I am forced to go one step further to defend myself a bit. LOL

    Firstly, I said sorry immediately after that, saying it’s no more than a one-liner light-hearted joke – meant no harm and you could take it down as you see fit.

    Secondly, cum laude of a social science of a uni is no proof of IQ whatsoever IMO. I myself was a cum laude, well, almost, of about equally top ranked uni too, even accidentally by skipping a good part of classes. Let’s be honest here, if Bush could rig Florida, say at ease, how difficult it could be for several tutors to pass you in a course in a social science? Yeah, even in Harvard, and perhaps particularly in Harvard and the likes, the consideration of the huge incentives of political gains aside? I am not accusing someone here, just wondering and showing the question marks, e.g. where are the gradings of his Harvard courses AND those of Columbia? Has he taken and passed Par exam? Ever? Why not hang those nice goodies high in the study and let everyone celebrate the academic excellence together, instead of “it would take to fight and win a multi-million dollar lawsuit in order to know some basic info such as grading which normally are easily available to the public…” as Trump also noted?

    Furthermore, think about it, laws are no more natural science than say Women’s Study in essence thus requires no high IQ per se to start with, or no? If it is no 1+1=2, there’s room for arguments. If there’s room for augments, there’s room for grading, room for grading in both Women’s Study AND Law, yes? The room is so huge sometimes that could walk through an elephant or two I’d say. Granted that many very high IQers go to Law Schools and Harvard Law has been filled with high IQers for potential huge future earnings, yet it’s no water-tight proof that Law Schools per se require very high IQ. Basically it requires a reasonable good IQ (particularly verbal one) including a decent memory chip to pass it. That’s it. Granted that most cum laudes are very high IQers — in fact the toppers of all disciplines including being a very best TV celebrity chef require perhaps equally high IQ as well — yet you can’t prove that the courses they take by and in themselves require high IQ, just because they aren’t natural science after all.

    Having said that, the last point is about 12 or 13, correct? LOL. Dear AK I am afraid that you’re confusing several drastically different concepts here. Do Speaking (pronouncing), Reading (recognising), and Writing similar, require the same degree of effect/IQ? Yes for most European languages. What you speak is how you read and write such as Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, even German, English and Dutch, albeit increasingly tricky when it deals with French and say Catalán or Basque.

    NO for Mandarin! The doubt Huax raised is a legit one. Even I joked with 12 or 13, the answer in fact was not way too off the line when take a closer look purely for argument’s sake (no racism here as I can extend that to even overseas Chinese who have never been to Hanzi schools). If speaking Mandarin, even “fluently, with a stench of imagination of course” a la Kevin Rudd (120+IQ?) who majoring Chinese and studying Chinese in China for years, is skin to the difficulty of some junior school arithmetic formulas as most backpackers to China could demonstrate one or two sentences, reading it (recognising the characters) , however, is certainly more than that of comprehending the intricacies of advanced high school / college algebra. Wring it though, is an utterly different world amigo mio.

    3000 characters with any degree of fluency as Haux mentioned when many of them are as complex as Schrödinger’s equation for gods sake – the dedicated hardcore memory and IQ behind perhaps equalise that of a semi finalist of Spellbee! How many Black adults in America could pass Spellbee preliminary contest? How many of them , now plus those 6-old kids with natural striking language learning capacity, and perhaps add on the Whites here and even all the overseas Chinese as well, have proven track records to endure the sheer degree of rigorousness and possess the stunning discipline along with hardcore memory bazooka of learning these 3,000 characters with decent degree of fluency as every 6-year-old Chinese school kid does >8 hour per day, day in and day out, for 9 years?!

    Why not have a try yourself , AK? Randomly pick 30 characters see how many days, weeks or more it would take for you to master them, by which I mean speak, read and write fluently. Then imagine 100X of them, before mixing them all up. I can assure you that the process is not simple linear extrapolation.

    BTW, pls let me know which non-East Asian Sinologist (120+ IQ?) can write beyond 1,000 Hanzi characters, Marco Polo included. Thanks in advance.

    Racist? Naah, Me aren’t racist, Mr Karlin! and you, boss! LOL.

    If I were, my close Black friends Jamal and Jojo would laugh all the way to the banks of Mississippi I guarantee you that.

    …oke, oke, there are about 24 spellbee semi finalists! Can we shake on that?

    • Isn’t Kanji more about repeated exposure than IQ ? Japanese are known to forget some when they leave Japan (i’m only familiar wirth Japanese hence might not apply to Chinese)

      • Same with Hanzi I believe. personally I have to constantly look up a dictionary for some simple words ( know how to say them just can’t recall how to write them) if i want to write sth in Chinese.

        • Have to add that repetition is not a simple task as many realise, particularly when dealing with huge amount of different data each has its own meaning (e.g. Hanzi/ Kanji). Yes, it does require memory. But isn’t memory capacity also a part of IQ?

          More importantly, beyond a simple repetition of for instance a, b or c which bears no intrinsic meaning, Hanzi/Kanji represents IMO a unique way of organising thoughts and expressing sentiments that is so different from others and highly sophisticated as they are that its evolution itself likely demonstrates involvement of either special kind of IQ input from the start, or ability of efficient adaptation (again, IQ) as the follow-up, or more likely both.

      • SP is correct here.

        Vocab depth is one of the best and simplest gauges of IQ.

        I’m sure it’s the same with hanzi/kanji in China and Japan.

        • Yes, absolutely,. I put it the wrong way – what I meant was I can’t imagine a black person having troubles with the kanji provided that there are exposed to them as much as the next person (Obviously there are differnces in how many kanjis Japanes know depending on how widely they read/education/IQ etc.)

          • @ AM : Agreed, under the assumption that persons involved are genetically and the culturally almost the same.

    • As I said, you’re not in trouble or anything. No apologies needed. The post was a clarification of my thinking on the matter.

      (1) I am always ready to be surprised to the downside, but I do not see how what you are saying applies to Harvard Law. It’s blindly graded. And at the time, I don’t think anybody could have imagined he would be attaining huge political influence or even the Presidency to risk corruptly helping him.

      Law is fundamentally different from women’s studies. In the former, as I envision the thing, you need to actually learn tons of law – then apply it in ways that will convince the professors who actually have real legal experience. In women’s studies you just learn perhaps 100 words of vocab of specialized jargon (patriarchy, female space, privilege, rape culture), nonsensical slogans (“the personal is political”) and some odd bogus rape stats then apply it to various situations and events in nonsensical, pseudo-intellectual ways.

      (2) Come on. I intermittently study Chinese and I know about 800 hanzi (last time I took this test). Now granted I’m not representative, but the typical Chinese person I recall knows something like 5,000-6,000 hanzi. If we assume Blacks are a bit more than 1 SD or so below ethnic Chinese, that’s still 10% or so who’ll manage the task. 3,000? Maybe 20%.

      BTW, pls let me know which non-East Asian Sinologist (120+ IQ?) can write beyond 1,000 Hanzi characters, Marco Polo included.

      ?? You get above 1,000 Hanzi after HSK level 4 or so. I assume that the vast majority of Western Sinologists who have studied Chinese will know that many.

      • @ AK

        I try to keep it short, LOL

        Perhaps women’s study is not the exact accurate analogy for Law as I picked it out of random in a hurry, but I hope you get the drift of my point that many social sciences, law and economics specificly, are drastically over-rated as a “proxy” of IQ, let alone some titles.

        On Obama…many issues and question makes still remain…let’s forget it and leave him to Romney?

        Important : are 2 people from different races with the same IQ score perform similar in learning Hanzi? Again many question marks here such as:
        1/ hanzi involves Imo both verbal and spatial issues, what is your assumption on the break-up scores?
        2/ many salient traits of Chinese ( or East Asians in general) developed which facilitate learning are prudence/ patience( lowest hormone level?), resilience AND the sheer ability ( the genetic part) to be able to sit in a classroom for example for as long as it takes, quietly, with full concentration, with or without administration of teachers, if needed. Can 100 IQ Black people on average do the same?
        3/ We’re all aware of Confucius work ethics, and Protestant work ethnics in the West for that matter, and I am yet to be enlightened on Black American work ethnics in general nowadays (the cultural part), in this case on learning Hanzi.
        4. An East Asian with 100 IQ is a “standard issue”, while a Black people with 100 IQ is not but relatively more relying on random mutations. Is 100 really = 100 on all IQ -related tasks theoretically speaking?

        …etc. etc.

        All these in reality will drastically shrink your draft figure. Let’s agree on disagreement here, oke?

        And I concede on Sinologist thing… was a tongue-in-cheek remark. lol

    • The first 30 is easy and useful (allows you to read the date, some numbers, the character for alcohol,bus, train, taxi etc). The next 700 are useless because it doesn’t allow you to read anything and only after that can you get training by doing (as in reading)

  2. Richard Sharpe says

    Since the ability to learn to speak a language seems inbuilt in children, learning to speak a second language seems orthogonal to cognitive ability. Of course, the younger you learn it, the better, it seems.

    I have seen black Africans who speak Mandarin.

    By the same token, I have seen intelligend Chinese who struggle with English, although if they were exposed to English early enough and intensively enough, they learn it very well.

    • can speak =//= can read=//=can write, the sophistication (i.e. accuracy, efficiency, logic, etc.) of the corresponding contents aside.

      Let’s say learning a language to a degree close to perfection requires in many cases the need, rather than capabilities, agree?

  3. race realist says

    Well what is interesting is that the liberal himself IS a race realist. If they did not understand the significance of race and the bell curve then they would not advocate for non color blind policies such as affirmative action. I believe their race denialism is part of the dog and pony show and a way for them to attract the “race denier lemmings” that usually flock to the liberal cause.