If Trump Loses, Don’t Blame NeverTrumpers for Sitting It Out

If Kasich, Bush, or another of the cuckervatives runs, it may be prudent to, in the course of convincing people to vote against them, blame them for Hillary Clinton’s presidency. Point out how both of them got on that stage, made a promise to support the nominee, and refused to keep it.

But we shouldn’t default to that argument because:

  1. It (probably) isn’t true.
  2. It’s what the NeverTrumpers want in that they want to believe that there’s a large group of ‘Republican’, ‘conservative’ voters who agree with them, large enough to sway an election.

It appears that Republicans rallied behind Trump just as they did for candidates past. Outside of Utah, there is no large group of ordinary people who identify as Republicans and who will vote against Trump. If he loses, it will be because of independent voters. Rather than making the point that treasonous #NeverTrump cuckservatives cost Trump the election, we should point out that the vast majority of Republicans did vote for Trump, and the views of the politicians, talking heads, and intellectuals of #NeverTrump are servery misaligned with the conservative Republicans they claim to speak for. This is the argument that NeverTrumpers fear most.

Posted in Neoconservatism, Republican Party, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Piagatian Conservation

Conservation refers to the ability to recognize that quantities, number, volume, mass, ect, do not change when superficial changes are made, such as when water is poured from one glass into another. Conservation, the theory goes, develop somewhere between the ages of 5-11, with conservation of some quantities understood before conservation of others. Here is an example of the classic experiments being performed:

It has been found that asking questions in this manner will lead the child to give a certain answer, he assumes the answer to the second question will be different from the answer to the first. When this is accounted for, when only one question is asked, conservation will be found to have developed earlier.

There’s another problem with the experiment, does the child truly understand what’s being asked? The child does not have the words “volume” or “mass” in his vocabulary. It is possible that the child assumes that it’s the height of the water, not the volume, that he’s being asked about. Indeed, if you pay close attention in the video, around 1:47, you can hear the child appearing to use the word “height” to describe the water in the identical glasses.

I suspect that, as was recently found for object permanence, this ability develops earlier than commonly assumed. I think the children have an intuitive understanding of volume, they just don’t have the vocabulary to describe it. I’d be interested to see the results of the following experiment: give the children two identical short, fat glasses, in one you pour a clearly larger amount of juice/punch/soda. Then, take the one with less and pour it into a tall, thin glass, so that its height is greater. See which the child chooses.

Posted in Genetics/HBD | 1 Comment

Matt Furie Abases Himself

Matt Furie, creator of Pepe the Frog, and his publisher Fantabooks recently released a statement complaining about the alt-Right’s appropriation of his creation:

Fantagraphics Books and Matt Furie, the creator of the eternally chill comic book character Pepe the Frog, condemn the illegal and repulsive appropriations of the character by racist fringe groups linked to the alt right movement and the Donald Trump presidential campaign. Furie’s character has been categorized as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League as a result of these uses, creating significant emotional and financial harm for the creator.

Most media reports now routinely default to a narrow description of Pepe as a representation of white supremacy, ignoring the mellow, positive-vibed frog that he is in the hands of his creator, Matt Furie, within the pages of Furie’sBoy’s Club comics (as collected by Fantagraphics Books). Yet the myriad copyright violations of recent weeks have resulted in Furie’s name now turning up in Anti-Defamation League database search results.

Having your creation appropriated without consent is never something an artist wants to suffer, but having it done in the service of such repellent hatred — and thereby dragging your name into the conversation, as well — makes it considerably more troubling.

Fantagraphics Books wants to state for the record that the one, true Pepe the frog, as created by the human being and artist Matt Furie, is a peaceful cartoon amphibian who represents love, acceptance, and fun. (And getting stoned.) Both creator and creation reject the nihilism fueling Pepe’s alt-right appropriators, and all of us at Fantagraphics encourage you to help us reclaim Pepe as a symbol of positivity and togetherness, and to stand by Matt Furie.

We encourage reporters and others citing Furie as the character’s creator to also note that he condemns these illegal representations of his character. Matt is available for interviews through Fantagraphics. We encourage fans and others who support Furie to block, report, and denounce the illegal uses of the character by individuals and groups pirating him to foment hatred.

This is all in obvious contradiction to what he said less than a month ago, when he said he was “never bothered” by the appropriation of his cartoon and, in much contrast to MuhEmotionalDistress, said his feelings about the alt-Right’s use of Pepe were “neutral:”

Serwer: Prior to this year, did the ubiquity of its use and people using him in different contexts, did that ever bother you?

Furie: It’s never bothered me, in fact it’s been kind of inspiring to me, just seeing how mostly kids and teenagers, and kind of the youthfulness of Pepe, is what I’m attracted to, and it’s been an inspiration and something that I’m proud of.

Serwer: How do you feel about the way it’s been adopted by the so-called alt-right?

Furie: My feelings are pretty neutral, this isn’t the first time that Pepe has been used in a negative, weird context. I think it’s just a reflection of the world at large. The internet is basically encompassing some kind of mass consciousness, and Pepe, with his face, he’s got these large, expressive eyes with puffy eyelids and big rounded lips, I just think that people reinvent him in all these different ways, it’s kind of a blank slate. It’s just out of my control, what people are doing with it, and my thoughts on it, are more of amusement.

What happened? Most likely, Furie realized his career would be harmed unless he could show himself being 100% on the SJW bandwagon. It’s likely someone “helped” Furie come to that conclusion.

The accusation that the alt-Right is committing “copyright infringement” by using Pepe is laughable. You can’t spend a decade saying it’s okay for people to remix your creation and then decide to retroactively revoke your permission and declare the uses “illegal.”

This episode brings to mind a quote by Theodore Dalrymple:

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

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*The Land is Full*

The Land is Full, written by Israeli academic Alon Tal, makes the argument that Israel ought to cease its high rate of population growth. It is an interesting book, I was especially interested in the analysis of the demographic effect of child benefits(Tal argues they have a positive effect on fertility) and the history of pro-natalism in Israel. Tal criticizes the politically correct environmentalists for their refusal to address population growth as a cause of environmental problems. Although the introduction to The Land is Full is written by the notorious doomer Paul Ehrlich, Tal deserves credit for avoiding the extreme, idiotic rhetoric that characterizes much of the environmental movement. He never claims the world is on the edge of starvation, and though he claims Israel is nowhere near self-sufficiency in food production, he doesn’t make a big deal about it, recognizing that food can be imported from elsewhere with little fuss. His main concerns are reasonable, involving economics and quality of life. Still, I think he overstates his case. One of his weakest claims is his analysis of Israel’s healthcare situation, he attributes the shortage of hospital beds in Israel to population growth. But Israel, with historically high fertility rates, has a lower population of the aged who disproportionately consume healthcare services, considering this, demographic factors cannot explain Israel’s poor performance in healthcare.

Because of it’s high fertility rate, Israel has a lower proportion of the population who are aged 15-64 than any country in Western Europe, and has the same number as Japan. It has fewer elderly people, but a lot more under 15s. It is undeniable that this will affect Israel’s economy, but there are reasons a lower population might not be a good thing for Israel. If you look at countries which are isolated by geography and compare to ethnically similar non-isolated countries, it does not look good. The Nordic Faroe Islands is a country of ~50,000, it is much poorer than other Nordic countries. Iceland is as rich as mainland Scandinavia when measured by per capita GDP, but this is only accomplished through the Icelanders working many more hours than do Scandinavians. New Zealand is significantly poorer than Britain. Although not isolated by geography in this way, Israel is isolated by virtue of being surrounded by poorer, potentially hostile and unstable countries.

Being a small, isolated nation has many problems. The lack of a large market necessitates the expensive importation and exportation of a large proportion of goods and services. These nations find it hard to offer the variability in education, jobs, and lifestyle that people demand, with the result that they have high rates of emigration. They say quantity has a quality of its own, and, if the low productivity levels of these isolated places are any indication, low quantity seems to lead to low quality, all else being equal.

I am no believer in pro-natalism for it’s own sake. Though I’d be very reluctant to limit them, I do not believe in the doctrine of “reproductive rights” as inalienable rights  that can never be restricted.(Once something becomes a “right,” people no longer have to explain how the exercise of that right benefits society.)  It would astonish me, if, 3,000 years from now, humanity has not enacted universal prohibitions on the number of children women are permitted to have. Eventually, evolution will select out the preference for small families, and population growth cannot last forever.

Nevertheless, it is not obvious to me that the high-IQ nations of Europe and America are at the point where they would not benefit from a larger population. Large population density seems to be a problem only when other factors prevent the nation from dealing constructively with them, when zoning laws prevent housing development or when pollution is treated as a non-issue. Are Germany or the Netherlands bad places to live because of population density? People’s revealed preference seems to be for suburbs. In all but the most dense nations of the world, there’s room to build more. If agricultural land is consumed, than so what? Our modern “factory” farms hardly achieve the highest yields per acre which are possible. They focus on maximizing output per acre and could easily produce more with less land, if the incentive was there.

Tal cites a quote by David Attenborough, who said that he has never seen a problem that could not be improved by having fewer people. I can think of a few. Certainly America and the Soviet Union were glad they had a large population during world war II. In which nation is cancer more likely to be cured, a nation with 50 million people, or the same nation with the same ethnic composition and 100 million people? At a certain value, the poverty of a society reduces its potential to innovate, but I don’t think the industrialized West is anywhere near that point. If we were a little poorer due to population growth, we’d still invent things, we’d just have smaller backyards.

To reduce Israel’s fertility rate, Tal advocates cutting off Israel’s very generous child allowances. He also proposes other policies such as more public transit, better subsidized daycare, and government-provided driving lessons in order to subsidize female employment enable women to work outside the home. As a liberal, he isn’t concerned much with questions of ethnic nationalism or eugenics. He assumes that, as many Israeli Jews apparently believe, “Israel has won the war of the cradle with the Arabs.” Indeed, Israel’s Jews appear to have a fertility rate very close to the Arab rate: 3 children per woman. Israeli Arab Muslims have more, but Arab Christians and Druze have fewer, around 2 children each. Israel might have “won” the battle, but the war isn’t over. Just as fertility wasn’t unchangeable in 1980, it will likely change in the future. If Israel’s Jews reduce their birthrate to 2 children per woman, what’s to say Israeli Arab Muslims will do the same? They might be motivated to have more children, as the “war” becomes “winnable.” Israel may think it is making “peace,” but the Arabs might just interpret it as “surrender,” in the same way Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and South Lebanon gave it not goodwill but rockets.

For these reasons, I would advise Israel’s leaders to continue it’s pro-natal policies and culture.


Alon Tal, The Land is Full, Yale University Press, 2016

Population ages 15-64 (% of total), World Bank, accessed October 8 2016 http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.1564.TO.ZS

GDP per hour worked, OECD, accessed October 8 2016 http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.1564.TO.ZS

Posted in Israel, Jews | Leave a comment

The Decline of Male Labor Force Participation

I don’t think it has much to do with wages. Wages have stagnated, but they haven’t gone down. And keep in mind that the rising costs of education and healthcare aren’t going to be borne by uneducated young men. If they can live with their parents, they’ll have avoided the third major inflationary pressure in the form of housing costs. Their McWages will buy more food and durable goods than they used to. I think the unemployment rate is telling us the truth, there just aren’t that many people who want jobs but can’t find them. There’s more than zero, though.

I have three main explanations:

The first is simply that these men don’t need to work. Remember that before the 20th century in most cultures including the West, the wealthy of both genders saw no obligation to work. Today, we live in such material abundance that men can live comfortably without doing much work. When they turn 18, they simply don’t move out, parents, at the peak of their incomes, have little trouble supporting them, the house still has four bedrooms after all. This type of parasitism is a socially disapproved behavior, so it’s unsurprising it’s mainly indulged in by men. This why I disagree with Maggie Gallagher’s theory that it’s caused in part by a decline of masculinity. If men got significantly more “masculine” tomorrow, I’d expect less participation in the workforce, as masculine men are more likely to “rebel” and refuse society’s demand to work.

The second big explanation is the “sexual market.” Men used to want to earn money so they could get married and they wanted to get married so they could have sex. But now, lots of women aren’t interested in marriage and (some) men can get sex easily.

The third explanation is that video games, better TV, and the internet have provided a more attractive alternative to work.

I don’t see this as a very pressing problem, as a separate phenomenon from the wider problems of the current year such as low White fertility rates. If all these men got up tomorrow and started applying for jobs, it’d be disaster, because the jobs aren’t there. They were automated or sent to China.

Posted in Economics | Leave a comment

TV Shows I’ve Watched Recently

[Spoilers Follow]

Colony is about the aftermath of a successful alien occupation, the aliens set up a collaborationist administration in Los Angeles. There is a “resistance” which engages in seemingly pointless small scale bombings, though its hinted that there’s something more dramatic to come. In real life, at least in an occupied Los Angeles, there would be no violent, warlike resistance beyond the actions of a few deranged individuals. The response of the human population would be to focus on improving its own lot, learning the aliens technology, evading certain regulations, and negotiating better treatment. It’s human nature when confronted with an overwhelmingly more powerful enemy. See the almost complete lack of slave revolts on the plantations of the American South. It is no coincidence that Nat Turner, who led the most successful of all the slave revolts, was a man who believed he was told to revolt by the Holy Spirit.(Or at least, that’s what he told the other slaves.) People don’t revolt unless they see a reasonable chance at victory, either through the revolt itself or eventual liberation by foreign allies.

I didn’t think Colony was that good. The most notable aspect of it is the atypical portrayal of the primary villain of the first six episodes which I watched, a guy named Snyder. Played by Jewish looking actor Peter Jacobson, Snyder, referred to by his last name, is the leader of the collaborationist authority(the aliens are never shown) and he is portrayed, at least in the first six episodes, as a very evil person. Given the show’s setting and his mannerisms, looks, and name, this brings to mind the Jewish Hollywood executive.

Peter Jacobson at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg

Peter Jacobson

I also watched the first season of Bloodline. While the first few episodes did not hook me to the show, it gets very good afterwards. The plot of the show revolves around the “black sheep of the family,” Danny, who is welcomed back by his mother and, in various degrees, by his middle class adult siblings. He, in turn, screws them over. It is thus a portrayal of pathological altruism. The show is very dark, portraying Danny as truly evil, in contrast the usual portrayals of criminals,(other than sexually deviant serial killers) which usually portrays them as somewhat good.

Posted in Televison | Leave a comment

Are High School Girls Better At Math Than High School Boys?

Wendy Morrison and Grace Finley in AEI question whether this is true. We know there are significantly more boys among the top scorers, but is this true on average? Their first suggestion about why it may not be, high scoring boys dragging up the mean, is pretty inane. 1 percent of the population can’t drive up a mean by very much unless it was very non-normal. But their idea that low scoring boys might simply not take the test is plausible.

The ratio of boys to girls around that age is about 1.05. The ratio of boys to girls who took the SAT is a much lower, at .87. Thus, if girls participated in the test at the same rate as boys, you’d expect ~17 percent of the females who took it to not take it. Assume that these girls are all at the bottom of the score distribution and assume the distribution is normal. Thus, removing the bottom 17 percent of the scorers would result in the average moving from the 50th percentile to the 58.5th percentile. As InverseNormal(.585) = .215 SD’s, the female score would improve by .215 SD’s * (116 points/sd) = 25 points. As the female average score is 494, this would give them a new average of 419 519, still trailing the male average by 5 points. Of course, if you did reduce female participation by 17 percent, with the females comparing to the female average in the same way that the missing males compare to the male average, you wouldn’t shave off the entire bottom 17 percent, you’d take a varied sample mostly from the bottom 50 percent, so the improvement would be much less than 25 points. Thus, it is clear that boys do better than girls on the SAT and this can’t be explained by boys selectively not taking the test.

I looked at the data for eleventh graders on California’s 2015 state standardized test and found that girls score higher.(Too see this, go here and select “Review Results by Group/Subgroup.”) In California, you can’t drop out until you’re 18 years old, so the effect on eleventh graders should be small, and the gender ratio is much closer to it’s true value, at 1.033 males per female. In any case, it would advantage the boys, as a larger number of dumb boys would drop out. My hypothesis to explain this is that boys are more likely to slack off on a test where the result doesn’t effect them.


My comment on the post was deleted by AEI. I know that two people from the website clicked-through to my site, so I doubt it was immediately removed by a spam-bot because it contained a link. It was probably removed by someone at AEI, not necessarily the authors. Meanwhile, the following comment was not deleted:

Ken October 7th, 2016

Wendy Morrison and Grace Finley proving that girls and women just aren’t that good at math.

While I understand the urge to post these kinds of comments, and have on occasion indulged in it myself, keep in mind that they’d much rather get those kinds of comments than reasoned critique. I’ve noticed a similar effect on the Jewish Daily Forward website, with the most radical 1488er comments getting tolerated while more reasonable ones got memory-holed.

Further Edit:

My comment at AEI is back up. Mark Perry emailed me to say it was not removed by anyone at AEI, it might have been removed automatically by the spam filter.


Wendy Morrison and Grace Finley, Actually, SAT results don’t confirm boys are better at math than girls, American Enterprise Institute, October 6 2016 http://www.aei.org/publication/sat-results-dont-confirm-boys-better-at-math-than-girls/

2016 Total Group Profile Report, College Board, https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/sat/total-group-2016.pdf

2015 Test Results for English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics, California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, accessed October 7 2016 http://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/SB2015/ViewReport?ps=true

Posted in Education, Genetics/HBD | Leave a comment