The Russian Reaction

In January 2015, Ron Unz invited me to join The Unz Review, where I blogged until moving to Substack in October 2021. The commenting community around my old blog there remains active at The Unz Review as of 2023.

Je m’en fous de Charlie Hebdo

A couple of Islamist terrorists, the brothers Kouachi, murdered a bunch of cartoonists. Another terrorist, Coulibaly, went on a rampage. All three ended up taking hostages. Counter-terrorists win! Within minutes, everyone had become an expert on Charlie Hebdo’s work, and the typical and inevitably dreary debate began.

Some said Charlie’s cartoons were clearly, stridently Islamophobic, and that although they “of course” condemned the murders, it was understandable why they happened: Cue your standard spiel about failed integration policies, racism, discrimination, the legacy of colonialism. The apologetics sometimes reached nauseating proportions. After all, people “know the consequences” (from Anjem Chodary, so over the top Islamist that he is probably an MI5 mole), and besides, the “sin of provocation” is no less dangerous than “the sin of those who are capable of succumbing to that provocation” (Russian Council of Muftis).

Others, especially journalists, focused on the sanctity of the right to free speech. Though many papers still made sure to cover their asses by pixelating out the offending Mohammed cartoons. It was also widely noted that Charlie Hebdo were, to their credit, at least equal opportunity provocateurs, involving everyone they disliked in their scrotular and scatological fantasies:

charlie-hebdo-cartoons

Do you still believe in the theory of historical progress?

Equal… but some groups were nonetheless plus égaux que d’autres, at least so far as Charlie Hebdo were concerned. In 2009, the cartoonist Siné, a longtime contributor to Charlie Hebdo, joked that Sarkozy’s son, Jean, would “go a long way, that little lad” on rumors that he was planning to convert to Judaism. For any basically normal, non-SJW inclined person, this would be nothing more than a harmless observation on the Jewish talent for economic success (something that is discussed at length by our own Steve Sailer, not to mention by Jews themselves). But for Charlie and the French Establishment, including the “philosopher” Bernard-Henry Lévy, the appropriate response was to fire him and then prosecute him for anti-Semitism (he was acquitted). On another occasion, Charlie started a signature collection campaign to get the Front National banned. Clearly, their own regard for free speech was very far from absolute.

That didn’t stop the masses from pinning #JeSuisCharlie to their Twitface avatars in their millions, and joining European leaders on their so-called unity march, from which Marine Le Pen – representing about a third of the French electorate – was excluded. On the plus side, it was probably the continent’s biggest collective circlejerk since the Nuremburg rallies. A few days later, a total of 54 cases and counting were opened in France related to pro-terrorism “hate speech,” including against the comedian Dieudonné. Politicians who insisted on going against the multiculturalist dogma, such as the elder Le Pen and Orbán, found themselves castigated for political haymaking (if so what was the unity march?) and using a free speech rally to exercise free speech:

Orban told Hungarian state TV in the margins of the rally, held in support of free speech and tolerance in Europe, that the Charlie Hebdo murders should make the EU restrict access to migrants with “different cultural characteristics”.

Referring to the flow of African and Arab migrants to the EU, he said: “Economic immigration is a bad thing in Europe, it should not be seen as having any benefits, because it only brings trouble and danger to the peoples of Europe”.

“Immigration and cultural questions related to that must be discussed in a much more open, honest and straightforward manner than until now. I hope that a composed, calm analysis of the recent events will guide European leaders and Brussels towards a tough policy restricting immigration”, he added.

“While I am PM, Hungary will definitely not become an immigration destination. We don’t want to see significantly sized minorities with different cultural characteristics and backgrounds among us. We want to keep Hungary as Hungary”.

Reasonable, no? No! It’s nothing but dangerous demagoguery, and statements like Orbán’s are outright harmful. You’re placing yourself onto the same platform as Marine Le Pen, and Golden Dawn. There are other triggers. It’s failed integration policies, especially France’s citizenship concept, that are to blame. Scandinavian countries do better. “We against them” will not solve the problem.

All paraphrased from a real Twitter conversation I had with a bona fide EU think-tank person (who is otherwise a genial and intelligent fellow, not an ideologue).

(The additional irony is that Orbán isn’t really a friend to European nationalists. When they and a bunch of their American friends decided to have an identitarian conference in Budapest, the event was banned and people who turned up anyway got arrested and deported. Naturally, neither the EU nor the US State Department had much, or anything really, to say on that particular expression of Orbán’s authoritarianism).

“We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends,” said Bernard Holtrop, who survived the massacre by dint of absenteeism. Beginning to nod your head in agreement? Don’t. You missed the previous part where he identified the True Enemy: “We have a lot of new friends, like the pope, Queen Elizabeth and Putin. Marine Le Pen is delighted when the Islamists start shooting all over the place.”

Monsieur Holtrop is presumably too self-absorbed to consider the possibility that her primary concern might not be so much his friendship, or even his freedom of speech, but securing the future of the French people and European civilization.

Given this litany of two-faced hypocrisy and concern trolling from virtually everyone, I do not feel ashamed to proclaim:

Je m’en fous de Charlie Hebdo!

Even debates about the relative weights to be assigned to artistic merit, freedom of speech, and upkeeping civility are of secondary importance.

My own partisan bias is that Charlie Hebdo’s crude scribblings would demean a bathroom stall, but many people would disagree with my opinion and that’s fair enough. I may happen to think it would be an example of social and cultural decadence, but that by itself survivable, at least so long as the nation walls itself off demographically from more virile peoples who are generally unable or unwilling to appreciate artistic masterpieces like Piss Christ, the Paris Buttplug, or, well, Charlie Hebdo. Japan is a byword for decadence, but it’s not like it’s in any danger of foreign cultural inundation.

Moreover, since Charlie Hebdo did not forcibly impose their views on the general public – you can always, like, not buy their stuff – they should be completely immune from any “hate speech” prosecution. But I acknowledge that opinions on this matter can legitimately differ: My friend Alexander Mercouris at Sputnik News makes a solid, legally-grounded argument for why it would be legally and morally defensible for any West European nation to prosecute Charlie Hebdo, and my own objections are normative in nature, and not a little self-interested, in the sense that if interpreted sufficiently widely, I too could be potentially prosecuted in Europe, not to mention half the contributors to The Unz Review.

So… let’s start building the case?

The terrorists were Islamists, and they did have a religion: Islam. Trying to insist otherwise strikes me as being rather pathetic, like the tweed-jacketed old Marxists insisting that the Soviet Union wasn’t really Communist. How credible would it be to deny that Breivik was a European nationalist, or that the Crusaders weren’t real Christians?

As Marine Le Pen just wrote in The New York Times, the threat must be named: “France Was Attacked by Islamic Fundamentalism.” They were Islamists, and – even she shies away from making it explicit – they were also Muslims, no more and no less than the brilliant philosopher Ibn Khaldun or ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi.

Progressive outlets like The Daily Beast and Think Progress claim that we are getting it all wrong, that Muslims only account for “less than 2%” of terrorist acts in Europe and 6% in the US. Just a quick scan through the FBI link they give reveals “terrorist incidents” such as the following:

Terrorist Incidents

March 2002 – November 2002

Vandalism and Arson
Erie, Harborcreek, and Warren, Pennsylvania

(Six acts of Domestic Terrorism)

Between March 2002 and November 2002, a series of animal rights and ecoterrorism incidents occurred in Erie, Harborcreek, and Warren, Pennsylvania. On March 18, 2002, Pennsylvania State Police discovered heavy equipment used to clear trees at a construction site in Erie, Pennsylvania, spray painted with the statements “ELF, in the protection of mother earth,” and “Stop Deforestation.” On March 24, 2002, police responded to the same construction site, where a large hydraulic crane had been set on fire, causing approximately $500,000 in damage.

History of terrorist attacks in Europe. Source: The Economist.

History of terrorist attacks in western Europe. Source: The Economist.

Yes, totally comparable to 9/11.

So this is either a case of astoundingly lackadaisical research and critical thinking, or deliberate disingenuousness. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because there are other, more relevant measures – the body count (see the infographic to the right). Islamists are responsible for the overwhelming majority of terrorism-related deaths in Europe, despite Breivik’s single-handed archievements, and despite only constituting 5% of the West European population.

In her article, Marine Le Pen continues:

Yet this distinction can only be made if one is willing to identify the threat. It does our Muslim compatriots no favors to fuel suspicions and leave things unspoken. Islamist terrorism is a cancer on Islam, and Muslims themselves must fight it at our side.

This is an entirely legitimate point, as are her ensuing arguments that sorting out immigration policy is essential for victory in this struggle:

First, the dogma of the free movement of peoples and goods is so firmly entrenched among the leaders of the European Union that the very idea of border checks is deemed to be heretical. And yet, every year tons of weapons from the Balkans enter French territory unhindered and hundreds of jihadists move freely around Europe. …

Second, the massive waves of immigration, both legal and clandestine, our country has experienced for decades have prevented the implementation of a proper assimilation policy… Without a policy restricting immigration, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to fight against communalism and the rise of ways of life at odds with laïcité, France’s distinctive form of secularism, and other laws and values of the French Republic. An additional burden is mass unemployment, which is itself exacerbated by immigration.

What she wisely doesn’t mention are some of the politically incorrect but no less real factors that make Muslim integration so difficult, and as such the case for immigration control so compelling.

First and foremost must be the simple, inescapable fact that European Muslims are, on average, duller (in the IQ sense) than the native populations. Moreover, while the second generation almost always performs significantly better than the first – a natural consequence of the environmental improvements from moving from a developing country to a developed one, i.e. Flynn-on-steroids – it never converges with native scores.

Below is a table of 2009 PISA-derived IQs for 1st generation immigrants, 2nd generation immigrants, natives, and the national average. (Not all the immigrants will be Muslim, of course, but since many of the other of the other immigrants are from similarly high-IQ European nations, such as the Poles, that would if anything knock the Muslim figures down even lower). Immigration is also a hotly debated issue in the US, including in its cognitive impacts – remember the Richwine Affair? – so I give figures for the US too.

1st Gen IQ 2nd Gen IQ Native IQ National IQ
France 89.4 91.8 101.2 99.6
Germany 93.7 94.5 105.0 101.5
Italy 87.1 92.4 98.7 97.9
Netherlands 95.4 95.7 105.0 102.9
Spain 89.1 94.2 99.0 97.6
Sweden 87.6 92.1 100.8 99.3
UK 95.1 99.3 101.2 100.0
USA 97.2 96.1 100.3 99.4

Lower IQs are almost inevitably associated with higher delinquency, higher crime rates, higher unemployment, and poorer general life outcomes. It has next to nothing to do with discrimination or white privilege, and a lot to do with employers valuing competent workers over incompetent ones; next to nothing to do with cops looking for some brown person to bully, and a lot to do with brighter people being generally better at cost-benefit analyses, e.g. as to the advisability of dropping out of school, selling drugs, or stealing that shiny new iPhone.

Modern welfare states spend a lot of resources just helping the more socially (and, inevitably, biologically) disadvantaged members of their societies stand on their own two feet.

As the blogger at Those Who Can See has found out, all three of the Charlie Hebdo terrorists benefited a lot from those programs:

An old friend from their orphanage has revealed some choice bits, a near-caricature of petty Arab thugs:

‘Cherif was a loudmouth, a fighter, loved to bling out in Lacoste tracksuits and screw girls, hated the ‘Gauls’ (native French) […]  Saïd was different, non-violent, civil and well-liked, though he wasn’t crazy about ‘Gauls’ either…’

An ex-colleague of Saïd’s has also spilled to the press.  He claims the elder brother worked under him for the City of Paris trash detail, but was ‘unmanageable’ (e.g. refusing to shake hands with female colleagues), was transfered five times, then let go.

It is in reading between the lines that one figures out that his job, ‘recycling ambassador,’ was an invented make-work post of the type created to occupy (and pay) otherwise unemployable immigrants. The City of Paris, according to the article, had many such ‘ambassadors’ who went door-to-door to explain the joys of recycling to the city’s residents.  The snitch in the article says a large number were unmanageable Islamists, about which they alerted their bosses often but were rebiffed because ‘the subject was taboo.’

This anecdote may seem neither here nor there, but in the larger narrative, progressives rail endlessly that France isn’t doing enough to integrate its Arabs.  Here we have the City creating cushy do-nothing jobs for them in order to buy social peace, and the unhappy Saïd still manages to get himself fired for incompetence.  Integration failed–but who is at fault?

Peter Frost, who also writes here at The Review, assigns higher Muslim crime rates and terrorism to their more macho and “alpha” cultural upbringings, deriving as they do from regions that had not managed to suppress violence as did Europe.

Murder was increasingly punished not only by the ultimate penalty but also by exemplary forms of execution, e.g., burning at the stake, drawing and quartering, and breaking on the wheel (Carbasse, 2011, pp. 52-53). This “war on murder” reached a peak from the 16th to 18th centuries when, out of every two hundred men, one or two would end up being executed (Taccoen, 1982, p. 52). A comparable number of murderers would die either at the scene of the crime or in prison while awaiting trial (Ireland, 1987).

I am somewhat skeptical of this explanation. Civilization in the Maghreb, to say nothing of Egypt or Mesopotamia, is far older than anything in Europe north of the Mediterranean… Even if they were less effective at stamping out violence, they had a heck of a lot longer to do it. “Our empire was old before dragons stirred in Old Valyria…”

My thesis is that the roots of the deep ailments that affect most Muslim societies lie elsewhere: In their extensive rates of inbreeding, which goes all the way up to the double cousins. The latest research indicates that first cousin matings could lower offspring IQ by as much as 30 points. (It need hardly be said that this is astoundingly bad; basically, it’s a drop from normal to retardation). Now consider that 37% of Pakistani marriages in the UK are between first cousins. The rates are not dissimilar amongst most other European immigrant Muslim communities.

The institution of cousin marriage is not integral to Islam per se. To the contrary, it was likely an outshoot of Mohammed’s instructions that daughters should also get a share of the family inheritance, thus creating a perverse economic incentive to keep wealth within the family by cousin marriage. Andrey Korotayev wrote a brilliant paper on this, which I highly recommend checking out if you’re interested in the historic origins of the Muslim family type.

Extensive first cousin, including FBD, marriage can explain a lot.

It explains the emphasis on keeping women veiled and accompanied by male guardians. Since future partners are, in many cases, “prearranged,” there is absolutely no need for extracurricular dalliances. Men, too, can experience specific problems under this system… with a significant percentage of the female population “wardened off” so, where do they seek release? Not everyone has a guaranteed wife, or a high enough SMV to game non-Muslim girls. Porn satisfies many but not all. After this, only more and more unorthodox solutions are left.

It explains the “clannishness” that Peter Frost notices.

It explains the massively depressed IQs seen throughout the Muslim world, especially relative to their estimated genotypic potential. Average IQs in oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where first cousin marriage is particularly endemic, are not substantially higher than in dirt-poor sub-Saharan countries.

And because of the critical import of IQ to virtually all aspects of human behavior, it explains a whole host of other domains – crime, unemployment, etc. – in which Muslim immigrants continue to underperform.

The solution is obvious enough, right?

It might not work straight away, but if strictly enforced, it will work eventually. Cousin marriage rates will fall, as they did in southern Italy or Japan in the 20th century, though those two countries had the advantage of starting from far lower bases. IQs will rise. We will finally get some measure of integration. Multiculturalism might even stop being the byword for social dysfunction that it has become today.

Right?

Wrong. You’re forgetting IQ is a social construct. And HBD is just what the old school racists now call their racism. Cousin marriage is a venerable tradition, and you have no right to tell Muslims whom they can or cannot marry. It would insult their religious beliefs (even though they have nothing in common). Besides, gays marry, so why not first cousins? Einstein did it. And what about the Darwin-Wedgwood clan? That one example completely disproves everything!

So the second logical alternative to the HBD explanation is the cultural one: That Islam really is an innately sick culture, and all societies that follow its precepts are doomed to economic irrelevance and social retrogression. They hate us for our freedumbs!

And this is how you get neocons, Breiviks, and multi-trillion dollar foreign adventures in far off deserts.

Or maybe Muslims really are kept down by the Man. He refuses to hire them, wages war on their coreligionists, and props up oppressive dictators. Because he wants Muslim oil and answers to Jewish shitlords. Islam isn’t the problem; it’s the solution. Allahu akbar! Behead those who insult Islam!

And this is how you get Islamists, ISIS, and terrorist attack after terrorist attack.

"An act of exceptional barbarism..." "That's not what you said when you sent them to me."

Not a Charlie Hebdo cartoon, naturally. “An act of exceptional barbarism…” “That’s not what you said when you sent them to me.”

Marine Le Pen, again:

Third, French foreign policy has wandered between Scylla and Charybdis in the last few years. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s intervention in Libya, President François Hollande’s support for some Syrian fundamentalists, alliances formed with rentier states that finance jihadist fighters, like Qatar and Saudi Arabia — all are mistakes that have plunged France into serious geopolitical incoherence from which it is struggling to extricate itself.

And these guys, jihadists, are sent off with Western blessings (and money, and guns) to destabilize yet more Arab states…against those same dictators whom Islamists believe the West supports. Dictators who are usually the only power keeping those disparate, clannish states together and offering any hope of effecting lasting reform. But we better! We know from Fukuyama-via Marx-via Hegel that liberal democracy is universal, equally suited for an advanced high-IQ European or East Asian society, and a low-IQ ethnic medley where 75% of the populations wants the death penalty for apostasy.

And the resulting wars and anarchy displace more and more people, many of whom end up as immigrants on European shores.

And the cycle of invade/invite the world continues.

The way it sustains itself, one has to admit, is really quite elegant, if ultimately disastrous for everyone concerned.

Iraqis, Lybians, Syrians, and other victims of Western universalism get their countries wrecked by jihadists picked up from European banlieues and Arab street gutters, sometimes in conjunction with American bombs. The European peoples get to be enriched by more and more diversity in an offer they can’t refuse. The American taxpayer gets to pick up the tab.

But at least the American gets to walk away from the whole mess. La Raza Cósmica sure beats Eurabia.

Genetics, IQ, and Convergence

In a new paper at the (conveniently open) journal The Winnower (h/t @whyvert), building on his earlier work, geneticist Davide Piffer has tried to calculate the genotypic IQs of various world populations, and how they compare to measured phenotypic IQ:

Piffer, David – Estimating the genotypic intelligence of populations and assessing the impact of socioeconomic factors and migrations.

Here is the abstract:

Factor analysis of allele frequencies was used to identify signals of polygenic selection on human intelligence. Four SNPs which reached genome-wide significance in previous meta-analyses were used. Allele frequencies for 26 population were obtained from 1000 Genomes. The resulting factor scores were highly correlated to average national IQ (r=0.92). A regression of IQs on genetic factor scores of developed countries was used to estimate the predicted genotypic IQs of developing countries. The residuals (difference between predicted and actual scores) were negatively correlated to per capita GDP and Human Development Index, implying that countries with low socioeconomic conditions have not yet reached their full intellectual potential.

As far I can see, the methodology is sound (perhaps apart from a few quibbles over phenotypic IQ sources). But this is exceedingly minor, and doesn’t really change anything in a material way. So I will focus here mostly on the real world impacts these findings would imply.

As one might expect, there is a gap – usually a very significant one – between calculated genotypic and measured phenotypic IQ in developing countries. This is only logical, since developing countries frequently suffer from a variety of maladies, such as malnutrition and parasitic disease load, that are almost entirely absent in the First World. These maladies have a negative impact on IQ. (To a very large extent this also explains the Flynn Effect of secular rises in IQ in the developed world. Effectively, developing nations may be considered as living in the the First World’s past).

Not good for IQ.

Not good for IQ.

Below is a table showing measured IQ in developed countries and predicted IQ from the paper.

IQ developed countries Predicted (G.wich) IQ
Vietnam 105.9
HanChineseBejing 105 104.3
HanChineseSouth 105 103.6
Japanese 105 103
Chinese Dai 102.7
British 100 100
UtahWhites 99 99.3
Finns 101 99
Spanish 97 98.1
TuscanItaly 99 97.9
Gujarati Ind. Tx 97.1
Mexican LA 95.1
Indian Telegu UK 95
Punjabi Pakistan 94.9
Puerto Rican 93.5
Colombian 92.5
Bengali Banglade 91.4
Peruvian 91
SriLankanUK 88.7
US Blacks 85 84
Mende Sierra Leo 83.7
Afr.Car.Barbados 83.6
Esan Nigeria 82.1
Gambian 82.1
Yoruba 82
Luhya Kenya 81.4

And here is another table, displaying, for peoples in developing nations, predicted IQ (relative to the standard “Greenwich mean” of 100 for the UK); 100 in the UK); the difference between the predicted and the measured IQ; and GDP per capita in purchasing power terms. They are arranged in order of the size of the phenotypic/genotypic difference.

Predicted (G.wich) IQ “Pseudoresiduals” (Predicted minus measured IQ) GDP per capita PPP (2010-2013) HDI (2012)
Gambian 82.1 20.1 1613 0.438
Mende Sierra Leo 83.7 19.7 1432 0.368
Esan Nigeria 82.1 11.1 5303 0.5
Yoruba 82 11 5303 0.5
Punjabi Pakistan 94.9 10.9 4353 0.535
Bengali Banglade 91.4 10.4 2679 0.554
Puerto Rican 93.5 10 34183
SriLankanUK 88.7 9.7 0.745
Colombian 92.5 9 11540 0.708
Luhya Kenya 81.4 7.4 2626 0.531
Mexican LA 95.1 7.1 15813 0.755
Vietnam 105.9 6.5 4851 0.635
Peruvian 91 6 10756 0.734
Afr.Car.Barbados 83.6 0.6 15324
HanChineseBejing 104.3 -0.7 10485 0.715
HanChineseSouth 103.6 -1.4 10485 0.715
Gujarati Ind. Tx 97.1
Indian Telegu UK 95

Some observations we can consequently make:

Africa: The biggest gaps are all in West Africa. Not only is the region grindingly poor, but it also has perhaps the world’s most acute parasitic disease load, thanks to the hot, humid equatorial climate and low-lying, swampy geography (which the region’s disorganized and resource-pool governments are unable to mitigate) . The gap is lower in Kenya, which as a hilly country can be expected to have a lower parasitic disease load, and non-existent amongst Afro-Caribbean Barbadians, who live in a relatively prosperous country (likely in large part thanks to its “smart fraction”) with one of the most salubrious climates on the planet. On average, it appears that their phenotypic IQ is ~high 60s and their genotypic IQ is ~low 80s. US Black IQ is given as 85, but bear in mind that they have 20% admixture with Caucasoids. (Though on the other hand, US Blacks do slightly better according to PISA, at ~88. If this figure is substituted for in the calculations, then the genotypic estimate for Africans would also rise, though not by very much). Either way, there is thus very substantial room for improvement, but even were that to happen, the overall outlook for self-sustained African convergence to developed world living standards would remain grim.

Latin America: Has a phenotypic IQ of ~mid 80s and genotypic IQ of ~low 90s. As expected, the gap is smaller than in Africa or India (Latin American countries are after all far more socially developed than in West Africa or India, albeit one should should treat straight GDP per capita figures with caution due to the massive levels of inequality). In the developed US, it is basically non-existent, what with Latinos scoring ~low 90s in the PISA tests. The big gap seen in Puerto Rico is intriguing, considering that its close economic ties with the US has allowed it to have a very high GDP per capita relative to its IQ, so lack of money can’t be a limiting factor. But in general, Latin America is already pretty much “where it should be” in terms of prosperity as implied by its level of human capital.

South Asia: Has a phenotypic IQ of ~low 80s and genotypic IQ of ~low to mid 90s. The gap is much bigger than for Latin America, – indeed, comparable to West Africa’s – which is perhaps explainable by dint of India’s greater parasitic disease load, high rates of malnutrition (which is perhaps even higher than in Sub-Saharan Africa), and, in the case of the Punjabis and Bengalis, a strong tradition of FBD marriage, which has very strong negative effects on IQ [AK edit: See also Razib’s comment]. But on the whole, this is positive news. Countries with an average IQ of ~95 include Romania, Greece, Turkey, and Israel (!). If the South Asian continent could successfully resolve its malnutrition, parasitic disease load, and inbreeding issues – admittedly, no small challenge – then it could well expect to eventually rise close to southern European living standards.

Vietnam: Phenotypic IQ of 99, versus a genotypic IQ of 106. Certainly a major surprise, considering it is even higher than China. The gap is substantial, but smaller than in India or Africa. This is not surprising, since although Vietnam has the GDP per capita (PPP) of India, it is led by conscientious Communists and is much better off in terms of social development and nutrition (e.g. meat consumption per person is equivalent to that of neighboring, much richer countries). This makes its excellent performance in PISA 2012, which I wrote about in my introductory post on this site, much easier to explain. Consequently, it would also be a strike against Ron Unz’s theory of the East Asian Exception (i.e. that East Asian IQs are very resilient to negative socio-economic and environmental factors). There would still be a substantial gap between Vietnamese genotypic and phenotypic IQ; it’s just that the former are so phenomenally high that the latter can’t help but be very high as well, since Vietnam is at least in terms of social provision no longer a truly Third World country.

China: No gap. Phenotypic IQ (~105) actually higher than genotypic (~104), which is very unusual for a developing country. Here, however, I must stress two things. First of all, with a GDP per capita (PPP) of $12,000, China has already substantially passed the point at which wealth or the absence of it is a significant limiting factor to realizing genotypic IQ potential. Consult this post where I go into this in greater detail in my debate with Ron Unz. Second, I believe that 105 is, at least today, a substantial overstatement of Chinese IQ. My own estimate based on declassified PISA data is 102.5. So that’s already a gap, even if a very small one. But note also that Asian-Americans scored ~107 in PISA 2009, and Asian-Americans in the US include relatively lower IQ Thais, Filipinos, etc. If we set that as the genotypic IQ of the Han people, then there is still very substantial room for further improvement (with the consequence that the Flynn Effect really does apply very much to East Asians too).

Regardless, short of them embarking on some new Maoist adventure, or getting flooded off the world map by runaway global warming, or getting nuked, or some other similarly apocalyptic scenario, China’s and Vietnam’s convergence to at least Japan’s level is all but certain in the long run.

Russian Reaction

russian-reaction

So who are you and why should I read you?

I am a businessman, journalist, and talentless PhotoShopper based in the SF Bay Area. My blogging career began in 2008, when I perceived an increasingly absurd discrepancy between the doom-mongering rhetoric of the Western media towards Russia, which painted it as a “weak,” “dying,” and “finished” country in between hysterics about Putin’s plans to subjugate Middle-Ear- oops, I mean Europe… and its rather mundane and mediocre reality.

I launched my first blog with the intention of clearing up these myths not so much because they were Russophobic as because they were logically implausible or just factually wrong. Personally, the thing I’m most proud of there was modeling and correctly predicting Russia’s demographic turnaround. It is not an exaggeration to say I was a lone voice in the wilderness on this question in 2008.

I will not go into any further detail, because many of you will either be already familiar with my Russia blog, or simply uninterested. If neither of that applies to you, please feel free to explore my extensive, hand-selected posts archive here: http://darussophile.com/start/

Soon my interests soon began to extend well beyond the Eurasian carapace into topics such as geopolitics, futurism, and psychometrics. I found it expedient to launch a second blog to explore these topics. I started reading Steve and Razib. I leafed my way through the Index Librorum Prohibitorum of our days – books by Murray and Rushton, Lynn and Jensen – and found the case for human biodiversity to be near incontrovertible. I started exploring the ways in which human biological differences might have influenced history (e.g. the classic puzzle of why the Industrial Revolution began in NW Europe), affected the present (e.g. why are rich countries rich and poor countries poor?), and what they could portend for the future of our civilization (e.g. will China manage to converge to First World living standards? Will India? Will Russia? Will Africa?). And what practical lessons can we draw from these findings in areas from immigration policy (probably restrict it) to the welfare state (surprising wide range of legitimate arguments)?

It is through these online debates and discussions that I first encountered Ron Unz.

We met at the somewhat arcane intersection of Chinese academic performance, the urban/rural IQ divide, and the Flynn effect. Why are East Asian IQs seemingly so much more resilient than European IQs to negative socio-economic influences? Could it be an artifact of poor sampling? Or maybe we were just comparing the wrong tests? On the other hand, Unz’s theory conflicts with historical anecdotal data, and opens up an additional can of worms in the sense that it makes the question of why China didn’t have an Industrial Revolution first all the more puzzling. But the balance of evidence swings one way then another. In the 2012 PISA, Vietnamese students did as well as the Germans and almost two (!) standard deviations better than the Indians had done in 2009, even though Vietnamese per capita incomes are at India’s level and nowhere near Germany’s. That’s some major support for Unz’s theory of the East Asian Exception!

This particular debate encapsulates what I find so entrancing about HBD and psychometrics. They have immense explanatory power. Nothing else explains why the wealth of nations is so unevenly distributed, or why China started growing so fast after it threw away its Maoist shackles, quite as well and convincingly. But they also open up new conundrums almost as soon as the old ones are resolved.

My blogging fell to near zero in 2014 as I concentrated on real life(TM) things. But I missed the old days of blogging and the indepth research that went into it; quickfire exchanges on Twitter were no substitute. By a happy coincidence, Ron emailed me with an offer to join The Review just as I was about to sit down and update my websites in preparation for resumed blogging.

He believes that my interests in HBD/psychometrics, geopolitics, and Eurasia tie in well with the general themes of The Review. I sure think (hope?) so too, and for my part I am am honored to work with him, and alongside Razib and Steve, two bloggers I have long followed and respected, and the many other great and wonderful columnists who call The Review their home. I am looking forwards to this.

Why the Russian Reaction?

I am a Russian reacting to things. And many people would call me a reactionary. (Though I am broadly sympathetic to NRx, I don’t formally identify with them. They have too many unsubstantiated ideas, like their strange hard-on for monarchy, and rejection of climate change science. It is an ideology like any other and virtually all ideologies have their own specific blinkers).

What are you going to write about?

I will aim to produce about one post per day spread across the following major topics:

  • HBD and Psychometrics – Analysis of topical news from this perspective. New research papers. My own theories/connections between this and various aspects of world politics and history.
  • Geopolitics and the Ukrainian conflict.
  • Russian politics, economics, demography; its portrayal in the Western media.

Apart from this I will also occasionally do book reviews and write posts about futurism, transhumanism, energetics, ancestral health, biohacking, SJW insanities, topical scandals like Gamergate, and other topics that interest me (and hopefully at least some of you).

Where else can I follow you?

  • @akarlin88 on Twitter.
  • Subscribe to me on Facebook (nothing personal… but please don’t Friend me unless I know you).
  • I have some vague plans to start doing YouTube videos. Will update if it happens.

Otherwise, I am working on a book tentatively titled APOLLO’S ASCENT, about the role of intelligence in world history. My basic thesis is that the rate and global distribution of technological and, consequently, economic progress is strongly dependent on the absolute numbers of literate, high-IQ people. Naturally, it ties in quite strongly with the themes I will be blogging about, so I’ll definitely be throwing a lot of ideas out of it here (and your ideas… into it?).

What is your moderation policy?

It is not my choice, but premoderation is system-wide on this website. That said, it does allow me to add exceptions, so I’ll be continuously doing that.

I rarely censor/ban. When I do, it will almost inevitably be for one of the following reasons:

  • Particularly gratuitous ad homs, personal attacks, and/or slander against me or other commentators.
  • Spam.
  • Idiotic unfunny trolling. I tolerate intelligent trolling, and I tolerate funny trolling. But if you are neither intriguing us nor entertaining us, then you are just taking up space. Go do it elsewhere.
  • SIFs (Single Issue Fanatics). You know that one guy who goes on and on and on about the Federal Reserve, the Rothschilds, and how 9/11 was carried out by the Bilderberg Group? Without the option of downvoting him into well-deserved oblivion, like you can do on Disqus, there is no choice but to eradicate his ramblings so that the rest of us sheeple can have a normal conversation.
  • Crude ethnonationalist propaganda (including Holocaust denial). What is the difference between racism and race realism? Half Sigma: “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.” I specifically allowed this comment from “David” to use as an example of what I do not want to see here. If you insist on polluting the comments thread with rants about “WHITE EXTINCTION AND WHITE GENOCIDE,” I am certain you would find a more appreciative reception at a certain weather-related forum.

I am absolutely sure that the above will not concern 99%+ of you. But it’s always good to get these things clear straight off the bat.

Anything else?

That’s it. The Russian Reaction begins now.