Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Subtle Differences among the third world

So I was tuned into a nytimes article earlier today on rice market betting in Senegal.

Here is a key phrase to look out for:

In countries like Senegal, which, with a population of 13 million, consumes about 600,000 tons of rice a year, cheap imports of staples like rice and wheat from farms in Asia that are vastly more efficient, and often government-subsidized, typically flood local markets. The imports drive out more expensive locally produced rice.
Rice is the staple of the Senegalese diet — the national dish, thieboudienne, consists of fish and broken rice grains cooked in a thick and spicy tomato sauce.

But the price of producing rice locally made it more expensive than imports, and as a result, Senegalese farmers produce on average only about 80,000 tons of rice a year, and often struggle to sell that much, according to farming experts here.

The question is why. Why, in a country like Senegal, with a per capita income of 1,800, unable to compete in prices with a big rice exporter like Thailand, with a per capita income of 8,700?

Shouldn't the low wages of the Senegalese workers make it cheap to produce a given quantity of rice in Senegal vs. Thailand?

I have the answer.

Human capital.

In economic terms, we view things simply


Production is a function of labor and capital.

But, what if human capital isn't equal? What if for the same level of capital and labor two groups produce difference products?

HC2>HC1 as the IQ of human capital group 2 is higher than 1.

F(L,C,HC1) < F(L,C,HC2) becomes the only logical conclusion.

You wonder why the Senegalese can't compete? THIS is why.

Read it and weep. Read between the lines. IQ is everywhere. The fall will come one day. It may be sudden, it may be gradual. It may come after genetic engineering makes it irrelevant. But it will come. And we will be vindicated.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why the Singularity Can't Wait

So every day that totalitarian governments gain access to future technology while the average person remains aloof is a bad thing.

A Saletan post on Iranian citizens using cell phone cameras to tape a mixed gender soccer game and the resulting aftermath.

The first mixed soccer game—females vs. males—since the 1979 Islamic revolution led to swift punishment Monday, as an Iranian soccer club said it had suspended three officials involved and handed out fines of up to $5,000. Iran's strict Islamic rules ban any physical contact between unrelated men and women, and Iranian women are even banned from attending soccer games when male teams play. ... [The club] said its disciplinary committee suspended two officials for a year while a third was suspended for six months.

The officials—a coach and two managers—first denied the game took place, but video clips on cell phones of the game were used as evidence against them, the daily newspaper reported.

democratized technology can be used just as easily to enforce tyranny as to challenge it. Devices won't point us in the right direction. We'll have to be the ones who point them.

This is why I advocate people keeping up with machines to prevent them being used to turn us into sheep.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tempering Obama fever

Politicians are not supposed to be worshiped.

They are politicians, after all.

Barack Obama is no exception.

But yet, on Tuesday, in the National Mall in Washington DC, I was treated to a pretty amazing sight. The entire Mall was filled stretching back to the Monument and beyond.

People are saying he's an amazing man. Sure, his meteoric rise in American politics is amazing, but that is a testament to the openness of our system rather than his ability.

For one, he rose through the Illinois political establishment and ingratiating himself to a racist pastor (who he later throws under a bus when he's no longer convenient) by accommodating the corrupt powers at large. Then, to get his senate seat he was going against Alan Keyes.

You're kidding me, right?

Anyway, this guy never truly faced hardship in life. He was never accused of anything, never served in the military, and failed upwards his life. Sure, maybe racial identification issues, but that's the case with every ABCD (American Born Confused Desi) also!

But anyway, returning to the inauguration. African Americans celebrated, and they deserve that celebration. But, here's a difficult question: what is it that they are celebrating?

Obama is an African American, but he's the son of a PHD Kenyan student and a white woman from Kansas. He grew up in Hawaii. Culturally, his background is as far from the average African American as anyone else in the US.

Obamas behavior is classic "acting white". He would be ridiculed if he grew up in any inner city ghetto.

So, if they say "we did it, we got the presidency" I don't think so. White people in Iowa who were willing to vote for him did it. Sure, electorally African Americans helped Obama, but given that they voted for him based on his race rather than his policies

is this something to be celebrated?

So look. This election is something for Americans to celebrate because it shows the world that we have the most open, fair, meritocratic society out there.

African Americans, on the other hand should be afraid.

The jig is up. The myth of racist America is dead. If a first generation African American can win the Presidency with no accomplishments and no executive experience, running on a theme of change(which is quickly being thrown out the window) and good speeches, then the country truly is open.

Already, writers are trying to pre-empt this notion of a non-racist America with no more excuses

Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina, the majority whip, tapped into the fervor Monday night at the BET Honors awards in Washington when he proclaimed, “Every child has lost every excuse.”

What? That’s where I have to put my foot down. That’s going a bridge too far.

I’m a big proponent of personal responsibility, but children too often don’t have a choice. They are either prisoners of their parentage or privileged by it. Some of their excuses are hollow. But other excuses are legitimate, and they didn’t magically disappear when Obama put his left hand on the Lincoln Bible.

Too late. Americans are sick and tired of racial guilt. You want racism? Travel ANYWHERE is the world outside the US. I have experienced it. I've been through racism. The US doesn't compare.

So, we're going to be skeptical of excuses made by blacks.

We're going to expect Obama to change the ghetto culture

Until at least 2013, the whole world will watch a debonair black man whose studiousness and diligence transported him from a broken home to the world's most famous house. He will share it with Michelle Obama, his wife of 16 years. Just like her husband, the first lady avoided the 50-percent black high-school dropout rate, graduated from an Ivy League university and earned a Harvard law degree. The Obamas' two daughters know their father and enjoy him in their daily lives.

What a great thought. Black America sees a great role model and emulates him and removes themselves from the pits of American society.

Sorry to burst your bubble, people, but this ain't going to happen.


Because behavior is genetic. And the behavior of African Americans (failure in schools, out of wedlock births, high crime rate) is genetic in nature.

Sorry, folks.

Even more fascinating, Roissy has a post on inter racial dating.

Why don’t black chicks dig white guys and vice versa? In a word: testosterone. Blacks have more of it, and more androgen receptors, than other races. The same testosterone that imbues black men with attractive masculine features and musculature makes black women look less feminine. On average. This isn’t an assertion from anecdote, because in my personal life I know quite a few really cute black chicks. I’m judging based on general observations and what I’ve heard from men of all races when the subject came up. Since women are attracted to men with lots of testosterone (for fucking, at least), it stands to reason that black women would want men who have more of it relative to their own. Here, few white and even fewer Asian men qualify as acceptable partners for black women.

It's really that simple. Steve Sailer has been talking about it for a decade.

So now we get the racist accusations from his readers. Hedgie claims:

This is some racist shit, but hey whatever keeps you happy.

But guess what? Roissy knows his shit. Call him racist, but that doesn't make it wrong.

The jig is up. Human nature is doomed. Enter the singularity.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ants and the Islam

Is this the root of our sexual prudery, back millions of years ago when humans diverged from ants?

Roissy generally has scathing things to say about them. To me, it's simple. Marriage is a dead institution. Let women be sluts as long as they use birth control. But apparently our cultural intolerance of profligate sex isn't just a human thing.

To the long list of reasons you should be glad you're not an ant, add this: You'd have to forget about having sex. You'd also have to forget about even trying. Sneak off for a little insectile assignation and the other members of the colony would know immediately — and attack you for it...

Ants that are capable of reproducing naturally emit hydrocarbon-based odors, and the eggs they produce smell the same way. Ants that can't reproduce emit no such odor. Liebig and Smith produced a synthetic hydrocarbon in the lab that had the same olfactory properties as the natural one, then plucked a few innocent ants from a nest and dabbed the chemical on them. When they were returned to the colony, they were promptly attacked — never mind that they had essentially been framed.

"I was convinced, because I knew that Koran was giving them the responsibility to do that."

Change we can believe in? Let's wait and see. Multicultural tolerance is not going to do anything for women in the Islamic world.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dawkins on Speciesm

So for the upteenth time: It's wrong to eat meat just because humans dominate animals. Why? Because whites used Africans for slave labor because they "could". And then we realized that it was wrong.

So when I bring this up to the typical HBD crowd they freeze up. To them, most vegetarians that they criticize are tree hugging Obama groupies who eat organic and want the welfare state.

Not me. I'm a cold hearted atheist utilitarian who simply thinks it's barbaric to kill sentient beings just for nutrients that we can get more efficiently from other sources.

What's the defense of the HBD community? Humanity matters. Blacks are human beings so we don't enslave them.

But here's a simple question: So what?

A species is just a species. It's just a bunch of living beings who can mate with each other. Membership is not automatically a guarantor of rights. I fight hobbes in that respect, though I still like democracy (it's the worst system, aside from all the others).

So, I have a likely ally in the fight. Richard Dawkins. In response to the edge question of the year: What will change everything? Here is his answer:

Our ethics and our politics assume, largely without question or serious discussion, that the division between human and 'animal' is absolute. 'Pro-life', to take just one example, is a potent political badge, associated with a gamut of ethical issues such as opposition to abortion and euthanasia.

What it really means is pro-human-life. Abortion clinic bombers are not known for their veganism, nor do Roman Catholics show any particular reluctance to have their suffering pets 'put to sleep'. In the minds of many confused people, a single-celled human zygote, which has no nerves and cannot suffer, is infinitely sacred, simply because it is 'human'. No other cells enjoy this exalted status.

But such 'essentialism' is deeply un-evolutionary. If there were a heaven in which all the animals who ever lived could frolic, we would find an interbreeding continuum between every species and every other. For example I could interbreed with a female who could interbreed with a male who could ... fill in a few gaps, probably not very many in this case ... who could interbreed with a chimpanzee.

We could construct longer, but still unbroken chains of interbreeding individuals to connect a human with a warthog, a kangaroo, a catfish. This is not a matter of speculative conjecture; it necessarily follows from the fact of evolution.


One of the greatest biologists of the century just declared that human being doesn't matter.

I recommend morningstar farms for beginners. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I am immortal (and so are you).

Don't know, but check out this post by Saletan.

The announcement, from the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, requests "a highly interactive PC or web-based application to allow family members to verbally interact with virtual renditions of deployed Service Members." The application must "produce compelling interactive dialogue between a Service member and their families … using video footage or high-resolution 3-D rendering. The child should be able to have a simulated conversation with a parent about generic, everyday topics. For instance, a child may get a response from saying 'I love you', or 'I miss you', or 'Good night mommy/daddy.' "

What we have here is a primitive form of uploading

In transhumanism and science fiction, mind uploading (also occasionally referred to by other terms such as mind transfer, whole brain emulation, or whole body emulation) refers to the hypothetical transfer of a human mind to a substrate different from a biological brain, such as a detailed computer simulation of an individual human brain.

Mind uploading, then, is the act of copying or transferring this "software" from the hardware of the human brain to another processing environment, typically an artificially created one.

The concept of mind uploading then is strongly mechanist, relying on several assumptions about the nature of human consciousness and the philosophy of artificial intelligence. It assumes that strong AI machine intelligence is not only possible, but is indistinguishable from human intelligence, and denies the vitalist view of human life and consciousness.

The idea of uploading human consciousness in this manner raises many philosophical questions which people may find interesting or disturbing, such as matters of individuality and the soul. Vitalists would say that uploading was a priori impossible. Many people also wonder whether, if they were uploaded, it would be their sentience uploaded, or simply a copy

It's actually quite simple. You record as much of your personality as possible. Let's say we can have a camera follow us around and record everything we say. Then it uses an algorithm to predict our next words. Do this over the course of 10 years. That's alot of interactions. Freeze it and upload it. Parent dies, kid can still talk to it when it feels lonely.

It's a very simple idea. You replace one neuron in your brain with a chip that simulates the neuron perfectly and feel exactly the same. Do the same thing a billion times and still feel the same.

Who is the real you?

My question is simple: How are Muslims going to possibly handle the challenge of mind uploading and AI in the future? That barbaric religion is finished first.

15-20 years before the modern world (or at least Deep Blue/Blue Gene verson 10.5) laughs and pities them. Then the rest of the devout and environmental hippies.

At that point, who the hell cares about race and IQ? People, the meaning of
HUMAN-DEATH-LIFE-EXISTENCE-IS is changing before our eyes.

I could see why Saletan dropped IQ, even though he was right. The simple fact is that while its implications are important, in the long run it DOES NOT MATTER.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The World is not fuzzy

So, some article to point out that have a mild thread of tearing down a kumbaya vision of the world. So let's get to it.

We'll start with a Wall Street Journal article linked by Steve Sailer.

For years, immigrants to the U.S. have viewed buying a home as the ultimate benchmark of success. Between 2000 and 2007, as the Hispanic population increased, Hispanic homeownership grew even faster, increasing by 47%, to 6.1 million from 4.1 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Over that same period, homeownership nationally grew by 8%. In 2005 alone, mortgages to Hispanics jumped by 29%, with expensive nonprime mortgages soaring 169%, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

An examination of that borrowing spree by The Wall Street Journal reveals that it wasn't simply the mortgage market at work. It was fueled by a campaign by low-income housing groups, Hispanic lawmakers, a congressional Hispanic housing initiative, mortgage lenders and brokers, who all were pushing to increase homeownership among Latinos.


Mortgage lending to Hispanics took off between 2004 and 2007, powered by nonprime loans. The biggest jump occurred in 2005. The 169% increase in nonprime mortgages to Hispanics that year outpaced a 122% gain for blacks, and a 110% increase for whites, according to a Journal analysis of mortgage-industry and federal-housing data. Nonprime mortgages carry high interest rates and are tailored to borrowers with low credit scores or few assets.

Between 2004 and 2007, black borrowers were offered nonprime loans at a slightly higher rate than Hispanics, but the overall number of Hispanic borrowers was much larger. From 2004 to 2005, total nonprime home loans to Hispanics more than tripled to $69 billion from $19 billion, and peaked in 2006 at $73 billion.

Regions of the country where the housing bubble grew biggest, such as California, Nevada and Florida, are heavily populated by Latinos, many of whom worked in the construction industry during the housing boom. When these markets began to weaken, bad loans depressed the value of neighboring properties, creating a downward spiral. Neighborhoods are now dotted with vacant homes.

So yeah... the MSM now knows where to point to finger.

But taking this even further is an column in National Review:
"The Upside of Obama"

Hey, I voted for Obama for a variety of reasons. But one of the more subtle reasons was to demonstrate to the world and minorities that the US is not a racist nation. Looks like someone got the message.

If the election of Barack Obama — a 47-year-old black man with a political resume as ephemeral as a Mets pennant drive and a governing philosophy as dubious as Paris Hilton’s choice of boyfriends — accomplishes nothing else, it should illustrate the peculiar distorting effect on American society of white liberal guilt.

Ouch. But it gets better.

Whatever caused the current fiscal crisis, therefore, must be considered a prime factor in McCain’s defeat. The seeds of the crisis date back the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 — which initiated a concerted, decades-long effort by the federal government to coerce banks into making loans to lower-income borrowers.

The sentiment was noble, albeit rooted in a desperate race consciousness: If more black families owned their homes, the theory went, they’d accumulate wealth as the properties increased in value. They would pass that wealth down to their children, and the financial inequalities stemming from America’s sordid racial past would gradually diminish.

The problem, of course, is that mathematical probabilities don’t bend to noble sentiments. The reason banks weren’t lending to black borrowers as frequently, or on as good of terms, as to white borrowers, had nothing to do with racism. It had to do with risk analysis. Writing loans to lower-income, lower-collateral borrowers means more defaults.

Oh man. I sense something tough coming.

Ironies abound. The most bitter is that a disproportionate number of foreclosures have affected black homeowners, because they were riskier buyers to begin with. But the most profound is that the fiscal crisis precipitated decades ago by the Community Reinvestment Act has contributed decisively to the election of the first black president, Barack Obama.

The fallacy behind the Community Reinvestment Act, AFDC expansion, forced busing, and affirmative action is that government intervention can accelerate the natural progress of blacks in American society. Experience has shown, time and again, that the government can only ensure equal opportunities. It cannot compel equal outcomes. That’s the work of generations — just as the subjugation and exploitation of blacks was the work of generations. The white-liberal-guilt-besotted desire for quick remedies to racial inequities has produced more far more misery than redress.

Then he goes on to describe the elation people felt on election night. I felt it too when partying in DC and yelling with the mobs near the white house.

On election night, at the moment Barack Obama’s electoral vote count surpassed the necessary 270, I was walking down Ninth Avenue in midtown Manhattan, a bar-and-restaurant district. People streamed out onto the street, screaming and cheering; men and women, friends and strangers, black and white, young and old, began hugging. A number were weeping with joy. Amid the commotion, a 30-ish black man came running up the sidewalk and yelled, “There’s a new sheriff in town!” I didn’t realize he’d directed the remark to me until I saw him pass a young black couple with a knowing nod, then yell it again at a group of three white women.


No one has ever assumed the presidency with the unrealistic expectations Obama faces.
Obama, therefore, is certain to disappoint as soon as he passes from promiser to decider. But he’s also uniquely situated to effect a genuine change in America’s race consciousness.
The best-case scenario, though the least likely, is that President Obama, in a Nixon-to-China moment, turns to the NAACP, the Congressional Black Congress, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the entire ethno-grievance chorus and says, “Enough.” There are, he explains in a primetime speech, no governmental quick fixes to the collective inequalities in American society. Indeed, every time the government intervenes, it sets back the cause of justice for generations. Over time, without government interference, through parental sacrifice and individual initiative, inequalities will even out — unless, of course, you believe that black people and white people are INNATELY DIFFERENT IN THEIR POTENTIALS.

Caps mine. But, look at the tone in the paragraph. This guy who wrote this reads Sailer and Lynn. He knows what's up and is directly taunting people to challenge him.

Obama isn’t being kept down by the Man. He is the Man. How will that fact sit with the subset of blacks, especially black men, who attribute their personal failures to invisible racist conspiracies working against them? The thought has to cross each of their minds: If nothing stopped a black man from becoming president, then maybe the reason my life is screwed up is because I’ve screwed it up.

In the final analysis, if an Obama presidency accomplishes any of the above — if it brings an end to the politics of white liberal guilt, or provides a role model for struggling blacks — it could serve a cause that outweighs and outlasts whatever wrongheaded policies the president-elect might pursue.

People, this is what I have been saying since I wrote this after the election.

This is important. Obama's election should demonstrate a simple fact that I've long discovered over and over again while traveling: the United States is not a fundamentally racist country. In fact, the rest of the world is much, much more wedded to race than we are. Even before the election, an Indian American, Neal Kashkari, was chosen to run the bailout program.

So, what happens if African Americans are confront with this?

Despite the admirable openness of the American people, the achievement gap and high prison population remains. Africa remains a basket case. While Saletan's landmark piece on race and intelligence was widely condemned, the data remains and the state of the modern African American is still dismal.

I think this election will allow moderates and those tired of Al Sharpton's rants a chance to shed their guilt and instead focus on perfecting the Union for ALL americans.

So what happens when HBD clashes with the reality of the American promise? People will start asking questions. And people will demand solutions.

People, this Singularity starts here. At the very moment that Obama is inaugurated.

Anyway, continuing on the notion of a difficult world, just some more comments.

Fareed Zakaria on Samuel Huntington

Look around. So many of the world's problems—from terrorists in Waziristan to the devastating AIDS epidemic in Africa to piracy in Somalia—are caused or made worse by governments that are unable to exercise real authority over their lands or people. That was the central insight of Samuel P. Huntington, the greatest political scientist of the last half-century, who died on Christmas Eve.

Living through change, people have often stuck with their oldest and most durable source of security: religion. That was the most important message of "The Clash of Civilizations." While others were celebrating the fall of communism and the rise of globalization, he saw that with ideology disappearing as a source of human identity, religion was returning to the fore.

Nation states don't rise up out of nothing. People will not pay taxes or put their lives on the line to support an entity that has little relevance to them. And that's why we won't have world government for quite some time.

So, how does Huntington close his book?

He closed one of his books, another classic, by noting of such critics, "[They] say that America is a lie because its reality falls so far short of its ideals. They are wrong. America is not a lie; it is a disappointment. But it can be a disappointment only because it is also a hope."

But you know what? I actually have another comment. The one sidedness of the Israel-Hamas war, in both moral authority and military power, will continue to humiliate the Muslim world and force them to confront the reason for resentment of Israel:

The presence of a successful, open, democratic society in the middle of the dysfunctional Middle East.

The essential dilemma Israel faces is this: It can't ignore Hamas's attacks, not only because of the damage they inflict, but also because of the terrible precedent they set. Israel has always been a state that is one battle away from destruction, and it cannot allow its enemies to think that it can be attacked with impunity. But at the same time Israel cannot do what it takes to wipe out the enemy, because of the constraints imposed by its own public, which is far less willing than in the past to suffer or inflict bloodletting.

IQ disparities in the Middle East cause a portion of resentment towards Israel. Enter the Singularity. Solve the unsolveable.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

College: Irrelevant

So in addition to Murray's column

For most of the nation’s youths, making the bachelor’s degree a job qualification means demanding a credential that is beyond their reach. It is a truth that politicians and educators cannot bring themselves to say out loud: A large majority of young people do not have the intellectual ability to do genuine college-level work.

We have another recent column in the washington post on the need for job qualification tests:

Small wonder, then, that many employers, fearing endless litigation about multiple uncertainties, threw up their hands and, to avoid legal liability, threw out intelligence and aptitude tests for potential employees. Instead, they began requiring college degrees as indices of applicants' satisfactory intelligence and diligence.


Is it just me, or are people starting to question things now that the Obama election is disproving the notion of a racist America?

Clarence Page even thinks so

Yet on CBS's "The Early Show," Rush pressed further. He compared plans by Senate Democrats to block Burris to white governors in the Jim Crow south who blocked the desegregation of public schools and colleges. Never have images from the bad old days of white bigotry sounded so breathtakingly inappropriate, especially when they come so soon after the election of the nation's first black president.

Is this where the revolution has come? Has the black community become the last refuge for scalawags like Blagojevich, whose approval ratings had fallen to only 13 percent in a Chicago Tribune poll even before his arrest?

As a fellow African American, I resent that notion, and I don't appear to be alone. Secretary of State Jesse White, a black Democratic friend of Rush and Burris, nevertheless is refusing to certify Burris' appointment in what he called "a moral decision," even if it fails to hold up in court.

I don't know. Something is in the air. Especially this column vindicating Huntington.

Far from the smug racist many critics accused him of being, Huntington was attempting to shake arrogant Americans out of their delusion that the rest of the world's people are like them - or want to be. Believe that nonsense, he said, and you'll blunder into all kinds of trouble. Within a decade, the 9/11 attacks and the Bush administration's catastrophic moral crusade to turn Muslims into good Western liberals would do much to prove Huntington's point.