Monday, September 17, 2007


The boot was heard going into the late Jacques Derrida's `intellectual' descendants as the greatest living British novelist, Vidia S. Naipaul, a true heir to Joseph Conrad, called for the closure of all university departments of English Literature for being full of postmodernist nonsense* (Times, 26 viii; Times Higher, 1 ix 2007). But these hell-holes of quasi-philosophical relativistic leftism** were not alone in attracting the ire of the notoriously curmudgeonly and realistic Indian but Caribbean-born 2001 Nobelist and devotee of European culture, for in a new 2007 book, A Writer's People, he turned out to have declared that, after sixty years of independence, "India has no autonomous intellectual life" (Daily Telegraph (Review), 1 ix). In The Middle Passage (1962), he had infamously offended his Caribbean birthplace by stating: "Nothing was created in the West Indies."

* Times: "I think it would be a great fillip, a great boost to the intellectual life of the country. It would immediately have a great impact. It would release a lot of manpower. They could go and work on the buses and things like that." Huge chuckle. In fact, he believes universities should "deal in measurable truth" and teach only science.

** In Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey, published in 1981, simply by letting people speak, he had exposed the delusions, anger and fanaticism in Islam that would lead, twenty years later, to 9/11. That book was a phenomenally prescient document, but it seemed to isolate Naipaul - notably infurating the great & good of Harvard.


The nationalist Swiss People's party (SVP), sharing power in Switzerland's governing coalition, proposed new legislation that would see entire families of immigrants deported if their children were convicted of crimes involving violence, drugs or benefit fraud. By this time, 20% of Switzerland's population were foreigners. It was thought likely that the SVP would be able to collect the 100,000 signatures necessary to triggering a referendum.


Kiwi liberal-leftist Jim Flynn abandoned his historical position that his grandfather was probably just as intelligent as himself and urged that easy exposure in the twentieth century to tasks of abstraction had yielded real IQ-type gains for those who had availed themselves of such opportunities, with special gains on such Wechsler subtests as Similarities and Picture Arrangement (VDare, 3 ix, Steve Sailer).

Unfortunately, Flynn's theory ignored the facts that test score gains had been found in infants (hardly spending their time practising abstraction|), that he could not demonstrate the widening standard deviation on `abstract' sub-tests that his theorizing had to predict, and that what all his high-boost subtests had in common (as they also had in common with multiple-choice tests which show even bigger gains) was that it helped if testees were willing to make guesses - as explained in Chapter 4 of The g Factor.


Rather than take a lead from Tory grandee Michael Ancram, Marquess of Lothian, and back freedom (re sex, drugs, track choice, speech) and the family (to choose health insurance type, schools, pensions, level of policing), Eton-educated `Not the Conservative Party' leader (taunted by Prime Minister Brown that he lacked admiration for Lady Thatcher) compounded his already expressed dislike for grammar schools by urging that nice rural schools take in pupils from inner-city `deprived' areas.

The Daily Mail percipiently warned (5 ix): "Transporting children from the inner cities to more affluent areas would be reminiscent of the hugely-controversial bussing of black children into white areas in the U.S. Deep South in the 1960s and 1970s in an attempt to integrate the communities."

{At the same time, Dave's apparently equally dotty Shadow Chancellor was proudly announcing that he would keep public spending up to Labour levels through the first three years of any Conservative government - giving no hope of relief from bureaucrats, Eurocrats, quangoes, human rights judges and devolved assemblypersons.}

{Soon, Daft Dave revealed his Mafia streak, telling Michael Ancram et al. that they were "blasts from the past" and should "think carefully before they open their mouths." As his policy-for-the-day initiative, intended to suggest he had been thinking, he came up with modernized national service for youf - lasting a mere six weeks and being entirely voluntary, so hardly the jail-emptying Humanitarian Task Force for Africa long proposed in this diary/blog.}


An article in Physics Today (7 viii) documented the abysmal failure of Mueslis to contribute to science in the past century. It did not blame low Muesli IQ - itself probably fuelled by fundamentalism and religious divisions among Mueslis; but its writer, a senior Pakistani academic, was express that it was not the West that was to blame, saying that, after a 7th-century flourishing of the alphabet, algebra and medicine, "Internal causes led to the decline of Islam's scientific greatness long before the era of mercantile imperialism."


Scientists at University of Texas Southwestern identified a genetic "master switch" that tells the body whether to store or burn fat (Daily Telegraph, 5 ix). The `adipose gene', known for fifty years to be present in fat fruit flies, was turned on and off by researchers and directly affected fat accumulation in mice.


Confirming that my life and times in Britain had not been entirely mis-spent, a Conde-Nast survey of the 30,000 trend-setting readers of its travel magazine gave the country's top ten cities as (Daily Telegraph, 5 ix): (Last year's position, if any, in brackets)

1 Durham (new); 2 Edinburgh (2); 3 London (3); 4 Glasgow (1); 5 Manchester(12); 6= Canterbury (new), Liverpool (7), York (11);
9 Oxford (6); 10= Bath (8), Cambridge (10).

Yes, I had lived in 3, had relatives in a further 2, lectured or debated in 8 (as also in the attractive Irish cities of Dublin, Cork and Coleraine), and visited all at some time.


Thirty years after London School psychologists began to assert that the human sexes differed in IQ range (males wider), as for many other traits, and that men tended to `go to extremes' in pursuit of evolutionary success (some, like Genghis Khan, populating the planet, but many leaving no great-grandchildren at all), such faxalife were set before a high-level American Psychological Association audience (though not with any mention of who discovered them) (Dennis Dutton, 24 viii).

The late-in-the-day acknowledger of such realities, Professor Roy Baumeister, Florida State University, did a good popular job of soothing his audience of feminist harridans and hangers-on into concluding that nature and culture both treated men as dispensable (as Doctor Johnson had perhaps been the first to explain when demanding the law should back men to make up for females' otherwise overwhelming advantages) and finished with: "A few lucky men are at the top of society and enjoy the culture's best rewards. Others, less fortunate, have their lives chewed up by it. Culture uses both men and women, but most cultures use them in somewhat different ways. Most cultures see individual men as more expendable than individual women; and this difference is probably based on nature, in whose reproductive competition some men are the big losers and other men are the biggest winners. Hence it uses men for the many risky jobs it has. Men go to extremes more than women, and this fits in well with culture using them to try out lots of different things, rewarding the winners and crushing the losers."


American Renaissance (25 viii): "I worked in the Nigerian oil-patch some 40 years ago. During my time there I was constantly offered child `daughters' on an exclusive monthly rental basis as `comfort girls' by nigerians working for the national oil company or international contracting companies. Let's be clear about this, these men were not unemployed, poor starving, non-english speaking or poverty stricken. I couldn't understand how they could do this until I was advised by long-time expats that these men would pay poor families to `rent' their children to sub-contract."


Anyone wondering how the Eirish were coping with their 25,000 African slaves ooops asylum seekers over the previous decade got their answer as the nice north-Dublin suburb of Balbriggan turned out to have closed the doors of its schools to immigrants - by the traditional expedient of demanding that would-be pupils should be Catholic - or at least Gaelic-speaking (American Renaissance, 3 ix).


Struck by the commercial success of the (scientifically empty) `Emotional Intelligence' (EQ), South African business studies personages advanced to invent `Spiritual Intelligence' (SQ) - complete with nudges to Harvard's Howie Gardner that he should acknowledge the breakthrough, with its "transformative power" amidst his own multidimensional nonsense (Marketing Web, 4 ix). - Nice to see businesspersons trying to square the circle! Perhaps they will next turn their hands to explaining the doctrine of the Trinity? Come on, boys, don't you read the core message to you, `Why ignore the g factor'?


Though yag leaders unfailingly protest that homosexuality has nothing do with paedophilia, a strong connection emerged in the case of two men, Ian Wathey, 42, and Craig Faunch, 33, jailed for repeated sexual activities with 8-14-year-old boys (including having boys watch others' masturbatory feats) in their care as council foster parents. Yes, the pair were homosexual and had a same-sex `civil partnership.' These facts, together with the couple being known as excellent carers who dealt `well' with difficult cases, encouraged social workers to send 18 boys in 15 months for the special attentions of Wathey and French, and discouraged them from pursuing inquiries even when shown pictures taken by W&F in a toilet at a Butlins holiday camp - for, yes, the social workers feared being accused of discrimination


An engaging Speccie article (8 ix) by Anthony Browne gleefully pointed to defections over recent years by top lefties Andrew Anthony (Observer), Nick Cohen (Observer), Melanie Phillips (Observer), Christopher Hitchens (New Statesman), Frank Field (Labour MP and Minister), Alan Milburn (Labour MP and Minister), Polly Toynbee (Guardianista who had turned to opposing low-skill immigration), Trevor Phillips (CRE supremo with doubts about multiculturalism - see this diary/blog, above) as giving reason to hope the tide of Clinton-Blair multicultural neosocialism was at last turning. Encouraging as this was, the happy process had not resulted in anyone actually becoming a Conservative. By contrast, there had been plenty of defections from right to left:

Sion Simon (from right-wing columnist to Labour MP, 1990s)
Simon Jenkins (top columnist, from Times to Independent, sometimes Guardian, c. 2003))
John Bercow MP (homosexualist, becoming adviser to PM Brown, 2007)
Patrick Mercer MP (`racist', becoming adviser to PM Brown, 2007)
Johan Eliasch (big donor to `Conservative' Party, becoming adviser to PM Brown, 2007)$478085.htm
Quentin Davies MP (switched over homosexuality, vi 2007)
Robert Jackson MP 2005
Bill Newton-Dunn MEP (to Liberal) 2002
Shaun Woodward MP xii 1999
Peter Temple-Morris MP
Alan Howarth MP

So the picture was more one of `a plague on both your houses' - with Labour idealism having delivered little but remaining attractive to the usual suspects (notably homosexualists, who were being promised opportunities to use the criminal law by any who `humiliated' them) and the Conservatives having no fun to offer, certainly not the restoration of classical British freedom (of speech, substance-use, gun ownership, property defence, spanking, school leaving, sex & marriage from 14 etc.) or the 3-child family with stay-at-home mother.


After ten years of abject subservience to NuLabour's Sir-Wm-McPherson-o'CLuny-backed peecee nonsense (that police should not stop and search Bleck youf), top British bureaucop Chief Superintendent Ian Johnston, President of the Police Superintendents' Association, was sufficiently miffed to mumble (Daily Quislingraph, 7 ix): "Some of the biggest challenges facing the police service and our society today relate to violent crime, anti-social behaviour, youths [sic] out of control, knife crime and gun crime. Violent crime is a cancer that eats away at the very heart of society. A failed education system, family breakdown, alcohol and drug abuse, inadequate prison and probation services, an unresponsive criminal justice system, an entertainment industry that promotes violence and a media that glorifies in [sic] failure rather than success are all symptoms of a society in desperate need of treatment." Of course, the words race, Black, IQ and immigration were not allowed to pass his lips.


Reflecting the disappearance of the grammar schools which once made for social mobility, Sheffield University researchers reported widening SES divisions, with children in some areas 50 times more likely to get into a decent university than children in others (Sun, 8 ix; Guardian, 8 ix). Comparing the 2007 class divide to that of the 1930s, report author Dr Bethan Thomas said: "Our conclusion is that Britain is becoming increasingly segregated across all ages by class, education, occupation, home ownership, health status, disability and family type." {And this clear demonstration of Labour's hopeless inability to achieve its most treasured objective of advancing equality was obtained even without using the most meaningful method of social classification of people, into the HAVE YACHTS, the HAVE TOTS [no single parents allowed in this high-responsibility group], the HAVE BOTS [beauties with prospects of rapid advance] and the HAVE NOTS..}


While PM Gordy's right-hand man, Ed Balls tried to persuade Brits horrified by the killing of 10-year-old Liverrpuddlian Rhys Jones that they `had nothing to fear but fear itself,' top left-wing columnist Nick Cohen admitted the reality: "The idea that it's middle-class paranoia ignores the fact that lawlessness really is getting worse" (Observer, 9 ix). The NuLabour wheeze of `AntiSocial Behaviour Orders' (ASBOs) had not worked, said a police chief who had conducted research from the Cambridge University Department of Criminology (Guardian, 10 ix).


Having failed for years to discuss race, IQ and what to do about useless, state-dependent, illiterate and criminal immigrants and asylum seakers, Daft Dave's `Not the Conservative Party' found itself upstaged as PM Gordon Brown demanded GCSE-level qualifications in English for new settlers in Britain (Guardian, 10 ix) - though whether the demand would apply to Pakistanis' imported brides as well as to jobseekers remained unclear (not that Daft Dave would be likely to ask..).


Differences between self-styled American `liberals' and `conservatives' in brain activity in the anterior cingulate cortex were reported in Nature Neuroscience by a New York University researcher, David Amodio (Chicago Tribune, 10 ix). Liberals, who were better at suspending habitual reactions when suddenly asked to do so, showed higher electrical activity. {A strong link of liberalism-conservatism to genetic factors was first made by Eaves & Eysenck in 1974 (in Nature); and linkage of attitudes to personality and information-processing was envisaged by me in 1997 (in The Scientific Study of Human Nature).} { From "The Devil's Dictionary" by Ambrose Bierce: "Conservative, n. A statesman enamored of existing evils, as opposed to a Liberal, who wants to replace them with new ones."}


Seven top legal eagles and adminpersons in France's Department of Justice resigned in protest at what they called the "incompetent Stalinism" of Sarkozy-appointed iconic Black female minister Rachida Dati who had promised tougher minimum sentences and harsher treatment of recidivists (Gulf Times, 10 ix; Daily Telegraph, 10 ix). But Dati apparently knew whereof she spoke, for two of her eleven Bleck siblings were in trouble with the law; and her willingness to get tough on crime was going down well with punters, according to French polls.


As the widely-celebrated charges by Blacks and hangers-on of gang rape against Duke U.'s partying lacrosse players collapsed in total ignominy (after a multi-million-dollar year of legal investigation), the Wall Street Journal felt brave enough to mention the scandal of Whites backing even the most ludicrous allegations against other Whites in order to spare themselves from accusations of the dreaded `racism.' (6 ix). Apparently, the local prosecutor, `Michael' Nifong, "was desperate to win a close primary election and needed black votes, so he proceeded with an unjustified prosecution and publicly vilified innocent young men."

Apparently: "The vitriolic rhetoric of the faculty and Durham's "progressive" community--including the local chapter of the NAACP--helped to intensify the scandal and stoke the media fires. The New York Times' coverage was particularly egregious... It ran dozens of prominent stories and "analysis" articles trying to plumb the pathologies of the lacrosse players and of a campus culture that allowed swaggering white males to prey on poor, defenseless young black women. As one shrewd Times alumnus later wrote: "You couldn't invent a story so precisely tuned to the outrage frequency of the modern, metropolitan, bien pensant journalist." Such Nifong allies--unlike the district attorney himself--paid no price for their shocking indifference to the truth."


A handy, up-to-date and welcome summary of London School research was provided at and by `new boy on the block' Bob Williams, an early-retired reactor physicist of hereditarian persuasion and with nice gifts for rapid mastery of a new field and clear exposition of the major results.

No, nothing had changed hugely since The g Factor; but new confirmatory contributions by Phil Rushton, Richard Lynn and Alex Beaujean were summarized and the recently re-realized importance of iodine to child intelligence was mentioned along with newer dietary discoveries of iron and folate being important - whereas TgF had identified only breast-milk and Evening Primrose Oil (providing fatty acids, important to myelination of nerve sheaths) as offering a route to IQ-boosting.

According to Williams, some workers were linking IQ-assisting myelination to vision-limiting myopia - an idea that would have delighted Sir Cyril Burt, who was the first to identify the myopia-IQ link as being genetic (rather than due to swots ruining their eyesight as so many educators once thought, leading to studious children being pushed on to games fields). Williams concluded with a reasonable faith that assiduous, Labourite and low-key Bob Plomin (lately Cambridge and London) would be the first to come up with precise genes for IQ - not perhaps knowing of the work of Sudha Seshadri at Boston University (told to aficionados of this diary/blog, 14 v 2007).


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Some history.