Thursday, July 23, 2015

Nerd Culture and its Discontents


For most of the time that I was growing up, the struggle of nerds for acceptance in mainstream American society was an important part of both my life and the culture I was surrounded by. Movies like Revenge of the Nerds depicted nerds - people who liked to use their brains - as downtrodden outsiders, struggling against a dominant culture ruled by "jocks" and other anti-intellectuals. That struggle dovetailed with the idea that human capital - the ability to do math, program computers, and otherwise use your brain - was going to be crucial to the economy of the future, and that America's anti-intellectual culture was in danger of holding it back. The struggle of the nerd was not just a struggle for inclusion, it was a struggle for the nation's future.

So it's been a sobering and unpleasant experience for me to see the degree to which America's intellectual culture has seemed to turn against nerds in recent years. Mainstream culture has accepted nerds more and more, but this has turned nerds from outsiders into insiders, which means they've lost their cred as downtrodden rebels. That in turn has given rise to a number of problems within nerd-dom - problems which intellectuals have been justified (if over-enthusiastic) in calling out. Here are three of the main lightning rods, and why I think they matter:


1. The Rise of the Ubernerds

The American economy's turn toward higher-value-added activities, and the general advance of technology, have changed the composition of who gets rich. In the past - and here come some huge simplifications - people got rich by organizing other people. That required relationship-building skills, first and foremost. Andrew Carnegie and Leland Stanford were undoubtedly very smart people, but their success came from their ability to deal with others, not from direct application of their intelligence to technical problems. In recent years, that has obviously started to change, with the high proportion of new super-rich people who got rich by creating tech companies. When Bill Gates, a bespectacled computer nerd, claimed the title of Richest Person on Earth, it was clear something had changed.

But when nerds are winners, it's hard to argue that they're a disadvantaged group of outsiders. America has always measured success by money, and now being a nerd makes you get rich. Coders and scientists have great salaries, and more importantly, they have positions of authority within corporate hierarchical organizations. Nerds are no longer despised brain-slaves toiling in the basement without recognition, as in years past (e.g the 1980s Goldman Sachs culture described in Emanuel Derman's My Life As A Quant). Nerds now have equity.

When you're rich, you lose your cred as a downtrodden group. What's more, some nerds seem to realize this, adopting many of the "bro" culture elements that in the past were the exclusive province of relationship-building backslapping frat-boy CEOs. Tri-Lambs, we hardly knew ye.

And as you might expect given these trends, a few of these Ubernerds are starting to look pretty arrogant. You have techno-libertarians reading Ayn Rand and styling themselves as modern John Galts. You have the occasional techie spewing disgust against the homeless. You have the occasional rich tech businessman suggesting that the rich should get more votes than the poor. And it's not just puffed-up rhetoric, either - sometimes it comes with real power. Witness the ease with which Uber just crushed an attack by Bill De Blasio, one of the most powerful local politicians in the country. Power is scary.

Now that nerds have the option to become rich, arrogant overlords, their status as a pariah group is effectively over, along with any sympathy that generated.


2. The Unbearable Whiteness of Nerd-dom

In recent years, we've started to see a breakdown in "intersectionality" - the idea that all outsider groups should fight for each other (oddly, this is happening just as the word "intersectionality" is starting to come into common use), I suppose is only natural, since disadvantaged outsider groups have gained enormously in power (even if they have not yet achieved parity with heterosexual white males). When a diverse coalition of rebels wins big gains, there tends to be increased friction within the coalition. Not only that, but the progress made by some groups, like gays and women and Hispanics, is starkly contrasted with the lack of progress made by blacks, many of whom remain trapped in horrible neighborhoods, gulag-style prisons, and under the thumb of brutal police regimes - not to mention still being poor overall and suffering disproportionately from the Great Recession.

Compared to the travails of blacks, the problems of nerds seem like chump change. Nerds get ignored by girls in high school; black people are getting shot in the street. Not exactly comparable problems. And at some point, people noticed that there are relatively few black nerds; the flood of money to American nerd-dom is doing a lot more for white people than it is for black people. That can make it seem like nerd-dom is entrenching the black-white racial disparity.

In the old days, this was more likely to be ignored. At the end of Revenge of the Nerds, the jocks are about to physically assault the nerds, but the nerds are saved by the intercession of their black fraternity brothers - a memorable fantasy of successful intersectionality between outsider groups. Now, with intersectionality breaking down, the idea of nerds and black people as natural allies is swiftly vanishing.

In addition, we've seen the arrival en masse of a new racial group - Asians. Because Asian immigrants are disproportionately admitted for their technical skills, they are massively over-represented within the nerd community. But within that community, they seem to suffer discrimination. Asian tech workers are regularly bypassed for executive jobs in the tech industry, in favor of white co-workers with less technical skill. That naturally tends to make many Asians feel as if nerd-dom isn't working for them - at least, not as much as it is for white nerds.

So when nerd-dom seems like it's only working for white people, that's going to make an increasingly non-white America less keen on the culture.


3. Nerds and Sex

If nerd-dom disproportionately benefits whites, the gender disparity is even more alarming. Sexist behavior is rampant in the tech industry, as it usually is in male-dominated fields. A well-publicized low point was reached in 2013 with Titstare, a joke about an app that let men stare at women's boobs. Even the protagonists of Revenge of the Nerds were frat boys who were mainly interested in women as sex objects.

A few prominent nerds have made some attempts to fight this by encouraging more women to enter the tech industry - this would be good, since a larger number of women would mean a more welcoming environment for yet more women, as well as disapproval for public displays of sexism. But these efforts are struggling against the tide - very few women go into engineering. In some technical fields, like biology and neuroscience, there have been big strides - women are coming to dominate bio-nerd-dom. But engineering and software still seem like a man's world.

Worse, a subset of male nerds - not a majority but enough to get noticed - harbors an attitude of bitter sexual resentment. Many nerds grew up in the time when being a nerd conferred low social status, and suffered sexual rejection in high school or even later. Some of these men, predictably, became misogynistic as a result. Others simply developed unhealthy attitudes toward sex - witness the travails of MIT computer science professor Scott Aaronson, who expressed a yearning for a time when society would grant him a wife, and bitterly blamed feminism for his fear of romance.

This sexual resentment boiled over in hideously spectacular form with the coming of GamerGate. GamerGate began with a male nerd's bitter rant over his poor treatment by a nerdy girlfriend. The man quickly became a cause celebre for nerdy male gamers, many of whom feel like they have been ill-treated by the female sex, and many of whom are angry at what they perceive to be the intrusion of feminism into "their" gaming culture. The outpouring of male gamer anger quickly became a roach motel for the most vicious right-wing trolls on the internet. Severe harassment of female game designers and journalists evaporated much of the reservoir of cultural sympathy for geeks - and, since geeks and nerds overlap, for nerds as well.

If the Revenge of the Nerds means revenge on women, it's something we can do without.


So the past quarter century has brought the fruition of a childhood dream of mine - the accession of nerds to the mainstream of American society. But as with all successful revolutions, the victory has been bittersweet. I wanted an America that loves intellectual pursuits, and doesn't stuff people in trashcans for preferring math to football. What I didn't want was for nerd-dom to become an exclusive smoke-filled backroom for rich white men to sit around tossing around Ayn Rand quotes and calling themselves the ubermenschen. I didn't want Asian nerds to be sent to the basement to occupy the dingy desks once reserved for nerds of all races. I wanted the nerd to get the girl, sure, but I also wanted the nerd to be the girl. I wanted gamers to spend their time attacking Sephiroth or GlaDOS instead of attacking women on Twitter.

I believe that most nerds out there are good people. They just want to do their thing, same as they always did. Most of them are liberal types, who don't hate women, who would love to see diversity in their fields. It's time for them to stand up and take nerd culture back from the high-profile jerks who are getting all the air time, and open the gates to all those people who are still on the outside looking in.

95 comments:

  1. "Not only that, but the progress made by some groups, like gays and women and Hispanics, is starkly contrasted with the lack of progress made by blacks, many of whom remain trapped in horrible neighborhoods, gulag-style prisons, and under the thumb of brutal police regimes - not to mention still being poor overall and suffering disproportionately from the Great Recession."
    -Hispanics have made progress? Since when?
    Also, when unemployment percentages are subtracted, Blacks have suffered more from the recession. When they're divided, Whites have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/09/04/hispanic-college-enrollment-rate-surpasses-whites-for-the-first-time/

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/hispanic-students-are-making-steady-math-progress/2014/11/09/b786ed3e-66bc-11e4-bb14-4cfea1e742d5_story.html

      Delete
    2. College enrollment as a share of High School graduates doesn't matter; test scores and college completion as a share of the ethnicity's general population do.
      I see no progress here, except for Asian children:
      http://theunsilencedscience.blogspot.com/2013/10/black-suits-gowns-skin-sat-scores-by.html
      And I don't see any Hispanic relative progress here:
      http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2012/11/socialtrends-2012-11-05-educ-attainment-06.png
      Also, absolute scores don't matter -it might be something wrong with the test. The score gap matters. The Flynn effect lifted all boats, but nobody ever cared.

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    3. Anonymous1:48 AM

      Some Hispanics are doing much better than others:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispanic_and_Latino_Americans#Socioeconomics

      It's kind of silly to lump them all in the same group. Same for the various Asian-American ethnicities.

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    4. "Some Hispanics are doing much better than others:"
      -And they always have.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous2:02 AM

      Not all of those groups are White, if that's what you're thinking. Let me guess, you think Chileans are "White"? kek:

      http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150317/ncomms7472/fig_tab/ncomms7472_F4.html

      It's hilarious how the first commentator on this article, pithom, embodies everything that is ugly, deceitful, hypocritical, and awful about large swathes of nerd culture, the very things Noah was referring to.

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    6. Chileans are, on average, more mixed with natives than Argentines. But you haven't provided any evidence on Native American admixture in well-performing groups of Latinos in America. And no, that's not what I was thinking, but thanks for mentioning the possibility.

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    7. By "America" I mean the United States of America.

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    8. Anonymous2:40 AM

      That kind of detailed admixture data doesn't exist for Hispanic-Americans by ethnicity because of how this countries tends to agglomerate all those groups together, but without that data, there's not much reason to assume they're all or predominantly White except for your racism and prejudice. :) Anecdotally, I've know quite a few visibly mixed South Americans in top graduate programs, and they wouldn't need affirmative action either.

      But those are anecdotes. You might be interested to know that the admixture data for Latin America itself doesn't necessarily support your racist assumptions, at least for Amerindian admixture, which is even more remarkable considering that the region has only recently begun to make strides towards a more equitable social order. The data available are actually rather noisy:

      http://humanvarieties.org/2015/05/18/regional-admixture-and-aptitude-in-colombia/comment-page-1/#comment-12226

      Some of the more interesting comments:
      "It is interesting that regional Amerindian ancestry was not associated with regional ability in the case of Salzano and Sans’ (2014) admixture estimates. While on the national level, Amerindian ancestry negatively correlated with ability, as areas which were heavily populated by self-identifying Indigenous individuals did poorly, one might expect a more constant effect, one that would show up in Salzano and Sans’ (2014) restricted data set, which included only interior and coastal departments. The lack of association might have been due to the unreliability of the data, the specific samples analyzed, or the specific sampling of interior and coastal departments. Possibly, Amerindian ancestry is not negatively correlated with regional outcomes outside of largely indigenous regions."

      "I noticed a similar pattern in your regional analysis of Mexico. In particular, I’m referring to this graph, which compares regional PISA scores with Amerindian admixture levels...In any case, if you remove those four states from the Mexican regional PISA graph, the correlation between scores and Amerindian admixture looks much much weaker. You have states which are only 35-40% Amerindian (such as Sonora and Sinaloa) scoring in the same range as states which are around 70% Amerindian (such as Puebla, Quintana Roo, and Morelos)."

      "Yes, I am uncertain about a spatial Amergenome x outcome association. When it is found it is not robust, unlike the Afrgenome one...

      When I toss in a variable for the four low scoring states, the association indeed drops. I’m not sure that this is the best approach, though. An alternative would be to control for % indigenous speakers; when doing so the association again drops but not as severely. Another way to investigate this is to split the file by percent Amer ancestry. When you do so, what you find is that among the 17 most Amer states (Amer admix > 0.58, range: 69% to 84%); there is a strong negative association (beta: -0.692), but among the 15 least Amer states (Amer admix < 0.58, range: 46% to 55%), there is a weak POSITIVE association (beta: 0.12). Of course, these 15 states have average scores higher than the 17 more Amer states, so the overall association remains negative. Interestingly, % indigenous has the same negative relation in both sets of states (beta -0.4 to -0.5). Also, for HDI (human development index) Amer ancestry is negative associated about equally in both sets."

      So, yeah, inconclusive. But thanks for admitting that you're racist trash.

      Delete
    9. "But thanks for admitting that you're racist trash."
      -In Anon's magical world, looking at the evidence and concluding that not all populations are evolved equally makes you "trash".

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    10. Anonymous12:14 PM

      In pithom's world, pointing to cherry-picked data, distorted statistics, the work of dishonest ideologues such as Richard Lynn and J. Philippe Rushton, as well as many other third-rate "scholars" with dubious research methods, means that your bigotry is "science" and those who tell you otherwise are just in denial.

      And yes, you are trash. People with your attitudes have done lots of damage to the world and caused real harm to many innocents. You deserve to be ostracized and shamed out of existence.

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    11. OK, how do you explain the vastly different TIMSS and PISA test scores of Indians in India (miniscule smart fraction) v. Vietnamese in Vietnam (I once informally estimated their smart fraction to be equivalent to that of Latvia, percent-wise)? Both have approximately the same RGDP per capita, both were ruled by the most horrid imperialists, both had and have shitty governments and terrible schools. What's the big difference?

      Also, do you seriously deny that only 1/3 of the Black-White IQ gap is removed when controlling for income? That poor Chinese and Vietnamese in America are more upwardly mobile in income and wealth than poor Mexicans and Salvadorans? Why do you think that is? The world certainly looks like genetics plays a huge role in interracial average intelligence and personality differences. Otherwise, why would Blacks in Wisconsin be doing so poorly?

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    12. Anonymous1:46 PM

      First, Vietnam. Do some actual research instead of just accepting all of those numbers at face values as you bigots are wont to do when they suit your prejudices:

      Vietnam's PISA scores:

      ""Coverage Index 3: Coverage of 15-year-old population" shows what percentage of the cohort are represented if the test taking sample was projected to the whole country. I subtracted this percentage from 100% to come up with the % Missing index. For example, Costa Rica only managed to test half the people they were supposed to, and Albania only tested 55%. Vietnam, which made a splashy PISA debut with high scores, somehow couldn't find 44% of their 15-year-olds. At the other end, the dutiful Dutch managed to test slightly more students than were thought to be around."

      http://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/12/pisa-which-countries-not-to-trust.html

      In addition...

      "What explains Vietnam's good score? Christian Bodewig of the World Bank says it reflects, among other positive things, years of investment in education by the government and a "high degree of professionalism and discipline in classrooms across the country”. But Mr Bodewig adds that the score may be impressive in part because so many poor and disadvantaged Vietnamese students drop out of school. The World Bank reports that in 2010 the gross enrolment rate at upper-secondary schools in Vietnam was just 65%, compared with 89% and 98% in America and Britain, respectively. South Korea's rate was 95%.

      In 2008, researchers from Harvard reported that Vietnam's higher-education system was in "crisis", and that it lagged far behind the systems of Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, to say nothing of those in China, Taiwan and South Korea. As a warning, they pointed to the comparative lack of articles published by Vietnamese researchers in peer-reviewed international journals. The Harvard memo also said the government was awarding research funding "uncompetitively”, and that there was a vast difference between what graduates had learned and what prospective employers wanted them to know."

      http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2013/12/education-vietnam

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    13. Anonymous1:55 PM

      And for PISA scores in general, well, what explains the vastly different scores of countries like the Netherlands, Estonia, and Poland with countries like Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Cyprus? Is that also genes?

      But I've also been somewhat baffled why your kind treats PISA scores as solid proxies for IQ. By the standard, countries like Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Cyprus have IQs in the range of 82-90. Do you believe that? I've noticed it's a common hereditarian tactic to invoke "environment" when it's convenient (i.e. when genetic determinism is an obviously silly answer), but otherwise default to genetics as the explanation.

      Furthermore, it seems like, even in Northern European countries, many students don't take PISA tests all that seriously. For example, in Iceland:

      "Furthermore, Hildur told reporters that in post-test interviews with students, a great number of them said they were aware that this test would not count against their grades in school or have any effect on whether or not they would graduate. Many of these students decided to simply complete the test as fast as possible, without putting much thought and consideration into their answers."

      http://grapevine.is/news/2014/06/27/pisa-results-for-icelandic-schools-raise-questions/

      You take these scores seriously. kek

      Delete
    14. Anonymous2:21 PM

      As for Asian-Americans, you may want to read James Flynn's Asian Americans: Achievement Beyond IQ. Flynn looked over the IQ studies of Asian-Americans and found that their IQ scores were actually a a few points lower than Whites. Their success could not explained by a superior IQ.

      Furthermore, lower-class Asian-Americans actually do benefit from the capital of middle-class Asian-Americans, especially when it comes to academic preparation. Asian parents tend to share information and network with each other when it comes to schools, afterschool programs, etc. In addition, Asian-American students compare themselves with other Asian-Americans, regardless of ethnicity, because of how America's "racial" categories lumps them all together, and this induces more pressure on them to succeed. I've already provided data below showing just how many of the Asians in our universities are international students, drawn from the best and the brightest in their country. Finally, lower-class Asians are probably more positively selected than lower-class Mexicans/Central Americans, because there's an entire ocean to cross. Lower-class Asians can't just sneak across the border into America. They need to have the intelligence, means, and industriousness to make the trip all the way to America. We rarely if ever get any of Asia's true country bumpkins.

      In case you're wondering where the claims of superior East Asian IQ came from, there are primarily two:

      1) The shoddy research of Richard Lynn. As is usual with Lynn, when calculating East Asian "IQ", he used unrepresentative samples which gave him his desired results. The vast majority of his samples were drawn from urban populations in cities like Shanghai, which are most certainly not representative of China as a whole. Here are some of the sources he used in his 2012 book Intelligence: A Unifying Construct for the Social Sciences that I was able to track down:

      01 – (6-16) – 660 – WISC-R – 107 – Dan et al., 1990
      (Urban sample from Shanghai as the title indicates: "Report on Shanghai norms of the Chinese translation of the Weschsler Intelligence Scale for Children")

      03 – (14-15) – 297 – Various – 103 – Li et al., 1996
      (Utilized students that “attended one of the three participating schools in and around Beijing.”)

      04 – (6-12) – 269 – SPM – 104 – Geary et al., 1997
      (Urban sample from Shanghai.)

      08 – (17) – 218 – SPM – 103 – Geary et al., 1999
      (Drawn from “Chinese high school students from Columbia, Missouri, and Shanghai, China, respectively.")

      09 – (19) – 218 – SPM – 113 – Geary et al., 1999
      (Drawn from “undergraduate students from East China Normal University, Shanghai, China.”)

      10 – (6-8) – 300 – BTBC-R – 107 Zhou & Boehm, 2001
      (Drawn from "“Three hundred kindergarten, first and second grade children from Beijing, China.”)

      I emailed Prof. Jelte Wicherts about this, and this is what he told me:

      "When we used methodology similar to inclusion criteria used in our rejoinder to Lynn and Meisenberg (2010), we ended up with only 10 useful samples of IQ scores of North-East Asians. The median IQ (UK NORMS) was 101. The N-weighted mean (inflated by an outlier) was 102.2."

      So, yeah, not much of an IQ advantage based on actual IQ tests.

      2) The other data come from "IQ proxies" such as PISA, the SAT, etc. But these are highly dubious proxies, as you should be realizing by now. Furthermore, much of their supposed correlations rely on Lynn's untrustworthy IQ scores mentioned above. If Lynn's numbers are wrong, those correlations either diminish or evaporate.

      Delete
    15. "And for PISA scores in general, well, what explains the vastly different scores of countries like the Netherlands, Estonia, and Poland with countries like Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Cyprus? Is that also genes?"
      -Absolutely. It is well known that the more southerly nations of Europe have lower average IQs.
      "But I've also been somewhat baffled why your kind treats PISA scores as solid proxies for IQ. By the standard, countries like Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Cyprus have IQs in the range of 82-90. Do you believe that?"
      -All those you named but Montenegrins have PISA scores higher than those of Black Americans, who have an IQ of 86.
      http://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/12/graph-of-2012-pisa-scores-for-65_4.html
      If those Bulgars, Montenegrins, Romans, Serbs, and Cypriots grew up in the U.S., their scores would likely be in the lower 90s -barely higher than those of Hispanic Americans and much lower than those of White Americans in general, who, if you remember, originated mostly from Britain, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Scandinavia, and Italy. I strongly doubt they'd rise by much more than a third of a standard deviation if those test-takers were raised in America.
      "Furthermore, Hildur told reporters that in post-test interviews with students, a great number of them said they were aware that this test would not count against their grades in school or have any effect on whether or not they would graduate. Many of these students decided to simply complete the test as fast as possible, without putting much thought and consideration into their answers."
      -So that explains why Icelandic scores are at Southern European levels.

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    16. Anonymous2:47 PM

      "Absolutely. It is well known that the more southerly nations of Europe have lower average IQs...If those Bulgars, Montenegrins, Romans, Serbs, and Cypriots grew up in the U.S., their scores would likely be in the lower 90s...So that explains why Icelandic scores are at Southern European levels."

      Oh man, I'm dealing with a Nordicist. This just became a lot more comical. It's also a lot easier to not take you seriously. I hope everyone else realizes this and laughs at you now.

      Okay dude, how did those Southern Europeans as well as those Bulgars, Montenegrins, Romans, Serbs, and Cypriots end up with lower average IQs than Northern Europeans when all Europeans are so genetically similar? Humor me some more.

      Delete
    17. "Flynn looked over the IQ studies of Asian-Americans and found that their IQ scores were actually a a few points lower than Whites."
      -Plausible for descendants of poor Japanese and Chinese laborers crowded into automobile-less ghettos and forced to attend segregated schools. Just like Blacks in Detroit may well have lower average IQs than those in the American South.
      "Their success could not explained by a superior IQ."
      -A recent study found that the Asian-White grade gap in America was 25% intelligence and 75% effort.
      http://www.pnas.org/content/111/23/8416.full
      "The median IQ (UK NORMS) was 101. The N-weighted mean (inflated by an outlier) was 102.2.""
      -That sounds about one IQ point too low, but may well be pretty much accurate. It has long been suspected by much of the HBD community that the test scores of Chinese in the interior may well be lower than those results most prominently known to us.
      "Finally, lower-class Asians are probably more positively selected than lower-class Mexicans/Central Americans, because there's an entire ocean to cross. Lower-class Asians can't just sneak across the border into America."
      -Maybe, but refugees tend to be more environmentally deprived than economic immigrants.

      Delete
    18. "Okay dude, how did those Southern Europeans as well as those Bulgars, Montenegrins, Romans, Serbs, and Cypriots end up with lower average IQs than Northern Europeans when all Europeans are so genetically similar?"
      O rly?
      http://www.unz.com/gnxp/allowing-the-dead-to-speak/

      Now it just became a lot easier for everyone here not to take you seriously. Do you seriously think a typical Chechen is "genetically similar" to a typical Finn? That a typical Finn (or Chechen) is "genetically similar" to a typical Russian? That a typical Russian (or Chechen) is "genetically similar" to a typical German? That a typical German (or Russian) is "genetically similar" to a typical Greek? Sure, all Europeans are human. They're all "genetically similar" in the sense that they're not monkeys (or Blacks, or Asians, or Native Americans). But the idea that they're all "so genetically similar" as to have exactly the same average environmentally-independent IQ in all regions of Europe is just nonsense.

      There's much more early agricultural/Middle Eastern admixture in the South. Also, Cold Winter theory. But, honestly, I don't have a comprehensive theory of why Caucasians, Indians, and Southern Europeans tend to be, on average, so low-IQ and Chinese, on average, are so comparatively bright. I'm working on it.

      "Oh man, I'm dealing with a Nordicist. This just became a lot more comical. It's also a lot easier to not take you seriously."
      -Why? Because I go where the evidence leads, unlike you, who lets your egalitarian prejudices take your brain where they want?

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    19. ""Coverage Index 3: Coverage of 15-year-old population" shows what percentage of the cohort are represented if the test taking sample was projected to the whole country. I subtracted this percentage from 100% to come up with the % Missing index. For example, Costa Rica only managed to test half the people they were supposed to, and Albania only tested 55%."
      -I took that into account when calculating Vietnam's smart fraction.

      "The World Bank reports that in 2010 the gross enrolment rate at upper-secondary schools in Vietnam was just 65%"
      -India's is a sky-high 71%.

      "In 2008, researchers from Harvard reported that Vietnam's higher-education system was in "crisis", and that it lagged far behind the systems of Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, to say nothing of those in China, Taiwan and South Korea."
      -All much richer countries, except the Philippines, which has a long tradition of Western-style higher education.

      Delete
    20. Anonymous4:02 PM

      "But, honestly, I don't have a comprehensive theory of why Caucasians, Indians, and Southern Europeans tend to be, on average, so low-IQ and Chinese, on average, are so comparatively bright. I'm working on it."

      Can't wait to read your fanfic, dude. At least you admit you're not bothering with "science" anymore.

      "It has long been suspected by much of the HBD community that the test scores of Chinese in the interior may well be lower than those results most prominently known to us."

      Of course they are. The Chinese bureaucracy identifies promising talent at a young age and relocates them to urban centers with better schools. As a result, the populations of cities like Shanghai and Beijing are much much much more than those in outlying areas. They are emphatically not representative of the country as a whole.

      "Plausible for descendants of poor Japanese and Chinese laborers crowded into automobile-less ghettos and forced to attend segregated schools."

      Flynn looked at studies from the 80s and early 90s when those practices had largely ended for Asian-Americans.

      By the way, thanks for that study "Explaining Asian Americans’ academic advantage over whites". It corroborates just about everything I said above about Asian-American ethnic networks for education, how Asian-Americans compare themselves to each other which reinforces the pressure to succeed, etc.

      From that study:

      "We find that the Asian-American educational advantage is attributable mainly to Asian students exerting greater academic effort and not to advantages in tested cognitive abilities or socio-demographics."

      "Cultural orientation, immigrant selectivity, and adaptive strategies that emphasize the instrumental value of education for upward mobility all play a part in shaping Asian-American youth’s outlook toward the value of effort in attaining achievement. However, this outlook is sustained and reinforced by important processes that we do not directly observe. These processes include ethnic communities that offer newly arrived Asian immigrants access to ethnic-specific resources such as supplemental schooling, private tutoring and college preparation, and vital information necessary for navigating the education system, resources that are often unavailable to other immigrant groups and poor or working-class natives (4). These communities not only provide critical resources but also serve to legitimize beliefs regarding the importance of effort and help reinforce parental expectations for academic success (4, 34)."

      "Regardless of its origin, the effect of culture wanes as youth assimilate to American norms over generations such that by the third generation, Asian Americans no longer differ from whites in terms of their educational profiles (5)."

      Regression to the mean? Regression to the mean doesn't work how you think it does, by the way. But why would Asians regress to the same mean as Whites if they supposedly have a higher IQ?

      Another salient point from that study:

      "In eighth grade, between 9% and 58% of this gap is attributed to cognitive ability but between 42% and 91% is attributed to academic effort. In 12th grade, between 1% and 25% is attributed to cognitive ability, but between 75% and 101% is attributed to academic effort.'

      But how could that be when hereditarians claim that genetic IQ becomes MORE important and determinant as children get older?

      That said, you're actually a Nordicist. kek

      Delete
    21. "But why would Asians regress to the same mean as Whites if they supposedly have a higher IQ?"
      -Chinese? By one or two points! Vietnamese-Americans? Lower by one point. Filipinos, Laotians, and Cambodians? Lower by several points. Only Indian-Americans have strongly higher genetic IQs than White Americans, and I suspect they are falling due to less selective immigration.
      "But how could that be when hereditarians claim that genetic IQ becomes MORE important and determinant as children get older?"
      -It does, but so does effort and self-control.
      "At least you admit you're not bothering with "science" anymore."
      -What about this is unscientific?

      In any case, I have known some very smart Chinese in America. But I also have known those who are surprisingly ordinary and intellectually dull (though not dumb or stupid), clearly surviving only by hard work, not any higher knowledge and intellect than typical White Americans. And these are children of smart technical workers! I have always understood Indians in America better than the mysterious Chinese.

      Delete
  2. "When a diverse coalition of rebels wins big gains, there tends to be increased friction within the coalition."
    -Someone's been reading Esteban Marinero.
    "Nerds get ignored by girls in high school;"
    -And in their 40s.
    "Even the protagonists of Revenge of the Nerds were frat boys who were mainly interested in women as sex objects."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ7mJFNkLAU
    "black people are getting shot in the street."
    -90%+ by other members of their race.
    "A few prominent nerds have made some attempts to fight this by encouraging more women to enter the tech industry - this would be good, since a larger number of women would mean a more welcoming environment for yet more women, as well as disapproval for public displays of sexism"
    -But what about the users of tech? That's the important question. No more than a tiny fraction of men or women are ever going to be coders, or even proficient in HTML/JavaScript/CSS.

    And you didn't even mention the fact that GamerGate is about ethics in game journalism, and that most harassment of women related to gaming doesn't come from GamerGate. And that most GamerGaters aren't right-wing. And since when has even a tiny fraction of GamerGaters condemned more than a tiny fraction of women?
    "I didn't want Asians to be sent to the basement to occupy the dingy desks once reserved for nerds of all races."
    -You do realize that Asians are still overrepresented among tech CEOs in proportion to their share of the general population. Just as Blacks are underrepresented among tech CEOs in proportion to their share of the general population.
    "I wanted gamers to spend their time attacking Sephiroth or GlaDOS instead of attacking women on Twitter."
    -How 'bout men on Twitter.

    Also, Noah, given your status, I find it totally unsurprising you didn't mention Jews in any of this.
    "Most of them are liberal types, who don't hate women, who would love to see diversity in their fields."
    -Just as most GamerGaters.

    Where do you come up with this stuff? Start watching more Sargon of Akkad (I know his videos are mind-numbing, but his voice smooths them) and the Amazing Atheist. Neither are right-wing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BTW, Jonathan McIntosh has been harassed just as hard as AnSark in proportion to his fame.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1:52 AM

      "And you didn't even mention the fact that GamerGate is about ethics in game journalism"

      That line alone pretty much destroyed all of your credibility. Well, that and citing TheUnsilencedScience blog as a trustworthy source. And I say that as someone who never took sides in the GamerGate wars.

      Delete
    3. What don't you like about either of my supposed sins? And why don't you have a 'nym?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous1:55 AM

      For the record, "GamerGate is about ethics in game journalism" is like that GamerGate equivalent of Confederate sympathizers who claim that "the Civil War wasn't really about slavery."

      Delete
    5. Anonymous1:58 AM

      People who claim that "GamerGate is about ethics in game journalism" are fundamentally dishonest people and not worth engaging. I've spent enough time around GamerGaters to know that those words are mendacious propaganda.

      And thus it doesn't really surprise me that you'd also cite a deceitful racist blogger who pretends to be an impartial researcher without an agenda, like TheUnsilencedScience.

      Delete
    6. "mendacious propaganda". That's rich, considering you haven't substantiated any of your claims. As is your DAS RACIS!!!

      Delete
    7. The Civil War wasn't really about slavery from the side of the North. It was mostly about slavery from the side of the South. Slavery lasted in the United States after the surrender of the Confederate States.

      Delete
    8. Also, why call it a "civil war"? It was the War of Southern Secession.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous2:46 AM

      Oops. Double post. Also, lmfao, "War of Southern Secession." Troll.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous3:01 AM

      Dear Pithom, I'm not the anon above. I hope the energy you pour into this sad-sack dunning krugery at least distracts you from yourself.

      Delete
    11. High Plains Gamer10:47 AM

      Actually, the United States government refers to it as the "War of Rebellion."

      While de jure slavery existed until the adoption of the 13th amendment, de facto slavery lasted much longer; some might say that it lasted well over a century after the War of Rebellion. And yet others would argue that the aura of slavery exists to the present day.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous2:30 AM

    Noah, so Uber is a horrible and scary company for lobbying for more competition that is beneficial for the consumer and involves drivers that are voluntary joining the company, but Yellow Taxis, who lobbied aggressively for the status quo so not to loose market power is somehow the good side? You'll need to explain this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, those guys are worse.

      I'll go with Lyft. :-)

      This was a post about culture, not economics...

      Delete
  4. Wow, pithcom, you have gone even more nuts on this thread than the previous one, although I am not going to chase after you here. I am too old of a nerd to really be able to comment on any of this seriously.

    However, I must correct you on one thing. I know you do not care about what people say, but "the War of Southern Succession" is not used by anybody. There are three names that have been used: the Civil War, the War Between the States, and the War of Northern Aggression. Some of my close relatives still call it this last one.

    Oh, and I guess you are in your 40s and are so intense here because some woman left you, or is it that you have never even managed to get one?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree, and have little or nothing to add.

    It's worth noting that the high-profile ascension of some nerds to superstardom hasn't really been all that helpful for the ordinary nerd. If you were in the right place at the right time with the right idea and the right skills, you might be a tech CEO right now.

    Otherwise, white male or not, you're probably not on a track to get there. Middle-aged nerds still work in basements (honestly, on the whole, tech jobs haven't changed that much since the '90s,) and young nerds have graduated into a job market with no jobs, often ending up unemployed and unemployable or underemployed with the wrong kind of experience.

    I don't know where I'm going with that observation, but the separation of nerds into an overclass and an underclass seems like a bad thing, especially when the overclass seems determined to make the rest of us look like dicks.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The most ridiculous nerd conceit ever: "Movies like Revenge of the Nerds depicted nerds - people who liked to use their brains..."

    As if carpenters, basketball players, and shopkeepers succeed with their brains turned off!

    A dare say that to succeed as a player in an NBA basketball game requires far more "brainpower" than does writing decent computer code. The latter taps a *very* specialized sort of brain function: manipulating formal symbolic expressions. The former involves processing, in real time, a myriad of physical and interpersonal interactions.

    LeBron James "uses his brain" far more than the average academic economist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah but LeBron, as a jock, doesn't "like to use" his brain. He hates it, obviously. He doesn't play basketball because he's extremely athletic and 6'8" 250 lbs; he plays it because he doesn't want to be thought of as a nerd and he hates the fact that he has to use his brain at all when he plays. Get with the program Gene, jocks hate brains!

      Delete
    2. I missed that point, Donk: LeBron hates using his brain, but simply is forced to. :-)

      Delete
  7. "GamerGate began with a male nerd's bitter rant over his poor treatment by a nerdy girlfriend."

    Not getting into GamerGate, because I really don't care about it. This is just an odd way to characterize an abuse victim chronicling his abuse. (Link is to a blog written written by a transgendered feminist.)

    "... witness the travails of MIT computer science professor Scott Aaronson, who expressed a yearning for a time when society would grant him a wife, and bitterly blamed feminism for his fear of romance."

    Did you read Scott Aaronson's actual comment? The one where he talks about how he was so worried about harming women by sexually objectifying them that he tried to get himself chemically castrated? This worry, rather than the lack of a wife, was what he blamed feminism for. You can read his response to the controversy here. Morally speaking, you should read both if you're going to characterize him in this way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course, I read the whole thing in great detail. What I said was not inaccurate in the slightest!

      Delete
    2. If you're read Aaronson's comment and post and stick by your characterization, fair enough.

      But I do think your characterization of Quinn/Gjoni is way off-base.

      Delete
    3. I think the young Scott Aaronson deserved as much sympathy as any of the "oppressed groups" you identify in this post. He should not be thrown under the bus as a "nerd jerk." Especially since no evidence was presented of him actually oppressing anyone.

      Delete
    4. Pedro9:39 AM

      Alas, Noah, I do feel that your characterization of Aaronson is the only point where I disagree with all of the above. There are plenty of other examples that would have better fit your text and I honestly feel that you've missed the point he was trying to make; certainly my own experiences resonate with his writing.

      I don't quite understand why, but it seems like he's been lumped into the 'anti-feminist' group (not helped by his own characterization and some of the people he's linked to at times) when, judging from what I've read of his writings and from a few email exchanges, he's anything but. I feel it's a classic example of the whole 'us vs them' mentality that's so pervasive in internet culture.

      Pretty much everything else, particularly when it comes to GamerGate, you're spot-on. People who attempt to claim that GamerGate is anything but sexual harassment and abuse and has NOTHING to do with ethics in videogames is severely misguided; as a nerd and geek who is very passionate about videogames and having done my homework (aka, actually gone and read what GamerGaters claim, seen what they've done and read others have to say about it), I completely agree that it can't be characterized as anything else.

      Delete
  8. I feel like you totally missed the point on this aspect of Gamer Gate. There is flurry of feminist media policing the world demanding X% of protagonists be female and they have been doing this in pretty much all mediums(movies, tv shows etc). The GG crowd are gamers and the nerd culture of "gameplay above all" is what they believe in. While there might be some misogynists in there, they are according to Auberbach a minority that is below 1%.

    If you really are aware of gamer culture, you would know that Gamers don't exhibit any anti women tendencies. They are however big on trolling culture, which means you get any information you can on a person and use it to insult them. If you find out a gamer is a girl you use stereotypical girl tropes "back to the kitchen". Similarly if they find out you are asian on a voice chat channel they might start mocking your accent. Greeks now get trolled for being poor/in debt, Germans are made fun of with south park Nazi quotes. Its just banter, most gamers aren't anti anything its just that trollng culture has found a place in there and newcomers often handle it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous5:10 AM

      I thought it was about ethics in games journalism? Apparently ethics means shutting down criticism you don't like.

      As a gamer, I find the points you're trying to make incredibly naive. Do you have any sense of introspection at all?

      Delete
    2. I did say"This aspect of gamegate". GG seems(I don't follow it too closely) to be about a bunch of things. Ethics in journalism includes journalists not pushing their politics, there is a blurring of news and opeds in the media Most gamers just want good/fun games, and a disproportionate amount of attention goes to issues like representation.

      You can't just say my view is naive. Its a legitimate hypothesis into nerd culture that explains our observations equally well if not better than what the media is spinning as misogyny. Why would you think Occam's razor isn't on my side?

      Anecdote: I recall that when I was younger(12ish) and played online with my cousins, we would start saying we were girls because we was tired of all the male genitalia/loser insults and preferred the female genitalia/kitchen ones.(its much harder to get creative when insulting using female genitalia).

      Delete
    3. Sorry for all the mis-spellings.

      Delete
  9. Story time: I went to a public high school where roughly half the population was Hispanic. Not only was roughly half the population Hispanic, but these Hispanics were fucking smart. A lot of them were active members of the math club. At least a quarter of them took Calculus. At least half of them took at least two AP classes. At the time of my graduation, my high school had the highest percentage of Hispanics pass AP tests in the country.

    I was among those Hispanics who took a lot of AP classes, particularly STEM classes. I never felt left out. I wasn't aware of my classmates' whiteness or Asian-ness for most of my high school career. (That ended when college admissions rolled out, and a bunch of them bitched about Hispanics getting into Ivy Leagues, MIT, and Stanford over them, but that's another story.) Point being, I rarely felt like I wasn't welcomed in nerddom, and it was primarily because the high school I went to was in an upper middle class neighborhood.

    So to speak about nerddom regarding underrepresented minorities, I think you need to talk about the resources they have to develop their nerddom. Any Hispanic kid at my high school could join the robotics club, or take AP Physics C because the resources were available to them. But barely any high schools offer AP Physics C; barely any high schools have robotics clubs; barely any schools put a lot of time and effort into developing a first rate math program.

    The issue of allowing Hispanics into the pearly gates of nerddom is another issue entirely from what I'm describing because the onus falls squarely on HR at companies. It's one I think you're addressing throughout the post, and it's one that requires cultural change, if anything else. But how can you get Facebook or Twitter to hire more Hispanics outside of cultural change? I feel like school funding is much more within our control on a policy level.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:26 AM

      Bizarrely, Hispanics don't seem to have much trouble competing with the best White and Asian students at math olympiads when they don't have to deal with America's toxic racial bullshit. Take a look at this year's IMO Gold medal winners:

      https://www.imo-official.org/year_individual_r.aspx?year=2015&column=total&order=desc

      Or just look at the faces on Page 2 here: http://issuu.com/imo2015newsletter/docs/imo_newsletter_issue_7

      Delete
    2. "and it's one that requires cultural change"
      -Cultural change among Hispanics. Your experience is exceptional, not typical.
      "when they don't have to deal with America's toxic racial bullshit."
      O rly?
      http://www.iadb.org/res/laresnetwork/files/pr299proposal.pdf

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:22 PM

      I love how you chose to ignore the IMO results -- no Affirmative Action at work there! -- and instead cite something completely unrelated in order to maintain your pathetic bigotry.

      Yes, the education system in Latin America sucks. Everyone there will tell you that. This is true even in the more "European" countries like Argentina and Uruguay, as their PISA scores reveal. The students who do well at the Olympiads are those lucky enough to attend private schools with much better resources.

      And it's funny how, under the right conditions, their potential turns out to be very very high, as high as many of the top White and Asian students from around the world, isn't it?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:40 PM

      By the way, if you actually read my words, you'd notice I specifically said:

      "Hispanics don't seem to have much trouble competing with the best White and Asian students at math olympiads when they don't have to deal with America's toxic racial bullshit."

      I said nothing about their education system or society at large.

      In other words, Hispanic talent at the very high end can compete and acquit themselves respectably against White and Asian talent at the very high end at an impartially adjudicated, extremely difficult, and highly esteemed competition like the IMO where Affirmative Action has no influence.

      And it's weird how this high-end Hispanic talent seems more likely to come from outside of the USA than from within it. The vast majority of the Hispanics in top-ranked American graduate programs are international students, not American-born Hispanics. (Then again, the same is true of Asians and Asian-Americans. See here: https://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/08-0608-AAPI.pdf

      "For example, whereas data from the Eighth Annual Status Report for Minorities in Higher Education show that 32 percent of doctorates conferred in the United States were to “Asians” in 2000, 86 percent of these degrees were actually conferred to international students from Asia, rather than “Asian Americans.” A recent National Science Foundation publication reported that in the same time period, doctoral degrees awarded to Asians who were U.S. citizens accounted for a mere two percent of all doctoral degrees awarded."

      And:

      http://www.ibtimes.com/asian-americans-increasingly-defying-stem-stereotype-246578

      "Shinagawa pointed out another interesting phenomenon; later generation (second, third, fourth, etc.) Asian Americans on average have markedly lower education and income compared to immigrant Asians.

      In 2007, 33 percent of PhDs conferred in the U.S. were to Asians. However, of that 33 percent, only 2 percent were Asians Americans born or raised in the U.S.”

      I know this is about Asians and not Hispanics, but the stats are similar for Hispanics and the above data demonstrate just how much these trends can distort perceptions and statistics.)

      I mention this because it's myth among reactionaries, hereditarians, and other racists that America "maximizes" the potential of all groups (usually PISA/TIMSS scores of dubious value are trotted out to make this point).

      But if that were true, then why is lots of the foreign talent we import so much better than our home-grown talent? Why are we so many of those Asians, Hispanics, and others in our top graduate programs international students rather than American-born and raised? Many people are unaware of this because the way America collects its racial/ethnic statistics doesn't make these kinds of nuanced distinctions.

      Delete
    5. "And it's weird how this high-end Hispanic talent seems more likely to come from outside of the USA than from within it."
      -Not really. Mexico isn't really sending us the best of their best. If it was located where India is today, it might. And there's something called the regression to the mean. Google it.

      "Asian Americans are increasingly shifting away from traditional professions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and into the fields of law (politics) and business."

      -New. Jews.

      "As to why they choose business and law specifically, he explained that many Asian Americans do not feel they can compete with immigrant Asians in STEM fields, so they opt for law and business, which offer the same or better pay and prestige compared to STEM jobs."
      -Comparative advantage+regression to the mean.

      "But if that were true, then why is lots of the foreign talent we import so much better than our home-grown talent?"
      -Noah's favorite explanation: selective immigration.
      Also, Marinero's favorite explanation: regression to the mean.

      "Hispanics don't seem to have much trouble competing with the best White and Asian students at math olympiads when they don't have to deal with America's toxic racial bullshit."
      -There's a smart fraction in every country. Even one as low-IQ as India. Why are you surprised that, despite Peru's terrible education system in general, it still hasn't killed its smart fraction off, Pol Pot-style? It's the least surprising phenomenon in the world.

      And what's dubious about PISA/TIMSS?

      "Shinagawa pointed out another interesting phenomenon; later generation (second, third, fourth, etc.) Asian Americans on average have markedly lower education and income compared to immigrant Asians."
      -Are you sure these are basically the same people genetically as present first-generation Asians?

      Delete
    6. "And it's funny how, under the right conditions, their potential turns out to be very very high, as high as many of the top White and Asian students from around the world, isn't it?"
      -The International Math Olympiad is hardly some kind of equitable international smartest-fraction IQ test. Not everyone in the world has the same opportunities or will to participate. And all those in the top 15 are still East Asians&Whites. Doesn't exactly confirm your Peruphilia. The Indian and Arab worlds had their geniuses too, despite low average IQs. That doesn't mean Indians and Arabs don't have low average IQs.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous3:45 PM

      ""Asian Americans are increasingly shifting away from traditional professions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and into the fields of law (politics) and business."
      -New. Jews."

      Except that Asians don't do as well in Law as you'd expect. For example, take the passage rates for the California Bar Exam (CA has one of the largest Asian-American populations in the country):

      Whites: 74.7%
      Asians: 63.6%
      Hispanics: 57.4%
      Blacks: 44.4%

      http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/portals/4/documents/gbx/july2012stats.122112_r.pdf

      By the way, the third-generation decline among Asian-Americans is well-documented in the literature on the topic, e.g.:

      "Using data from recent Current Population Surveys (CPS), this study compares third-and-higher generation with earlier generation Asian Americans and non-Hispanic whites in terms of socioeconomic characteristics and demographics. The findings suggest a “third-generation decline or flattening” for Asian American and white men as well as Asian American and white women. For each of these groups, the mean of years of schooling among the 2.5 and third generations is lower than among the first and second generations. This pattern is most pronounced among Asian Americans. As for wage determination, the generational differentials can be explained by educational attainment and other basic demographic variables. Overall, these results suggest that assimilation beyond the first generation immigrants no longer improves socioeconomic attainments as expected by traditional assimilation theory. Furthermore, in the case of Asian Americans, cultural assimilation across the generations may actually lower educational attainment and thereby reduce wages contrary to traditional assimilation theory.

      It is widely noted that Asian immigrant parents have higher educational and socioeconomic expectations and motivations for their children than do non-Hispanic white parents (e.g., Goyette and Xie 1999; Kao 1995, 2004). Asian families also tend to invest more aggressively in financial, human, and within-family social capital than families from other racial groups (e.g., Sun 1998). Yet, protective effects of ethnic cultures and resources decline according to more acculturation into the mainstream U.S. society (e.g., Kao and Tienda 1995). As third-or-higher generation Asians become more “Americanized,” they tend to embrace the prevailing U.S. norm that as long as good efforts have been made based on one’s ability, the outcome would be acceptable even though one has not achieved the best performance or reached a higher level of education (Chen and Stevenson 1989; Stevenson 1988)."

      Delete
    8. Anonymous3:45 PM

      Link to the above study:

      http://paa2009.princeton.edu/papers/90354

      Delete
    9. Anonymous3:48 PM

      By the way, MCAT scores also seem to over-predict Asian performance in medical school, which is what you'd expect if those higher MCAT were attributable to effort rather than a cognitive advantage:

      "Although White students on average scored highest, followed by Asian Americans, Hispanics, and African Americans, these gaps become narrower after controlling for MCAT scores and undergraduate GPAs. One might expect Asian Americans, who as a group have had the highest mean MCAT scores, to outperform other racial groups during medical school. However, two major studies across time and across medical schools have reported lower mean performance for Asian Americans than for White students in medical school."

      http://www.docin.com/p-586576062.html

      Delete
    10. "Asians: 63.6%"
      -Do they decompose that into first, second, and later generations? It may just be the lack of language skills from the first (and maybe second) generation.
      "One might expect Asian Americans, who as a group have had the highest mean MCAT scores, to outperform other racial groups during medical school. However, two major studies across time and across medical schools have reported lower mean performance for Asian Americans than for White students in medical school.""
      -Could it be education realist's favorite hypothesis: cheating on the tests and gaming them so that scores have no relation to actual ability?
      I looked at the study, and I still don't see any answer in it to my question "Are you sure these are basically the same people genetically as present first-generation Asians?".
      I did find this:
      "For example, using data from the 2000 U.S. Census, Takei, Sakamoto, and Woo’s (2006) findings indicate that various groups of single-racial (i.e., immigrant Japanese who were born and schooled in Japan; 1.5-generation Japanese who were born in Japan but schooled in the United States; native-born Japanese who were born in the United States) and multi-racial (i.e., Chinese-Japanese; white-Japanese; black-Japanese; and single-race whites with Japanese ancestry) Japanese-origin persons tend to have higher schooling than native-born non-Hispanic whites. Among Japanese-origin groups, single-racial and Chinese-Japanese persons tend to have higher schooling than multi-racial persons."

      Delete
  10. My name is "Absalon" and I am a nerd. I have a degree in physics and I do math and computer programming for fun. I am also a lawyer.

    The richest man I know inherited the foundation of his wealth (over $100 Million). All the other rich people I know (net worth ten to fifty million dollars) made their fortunes by working hard, being able to organize other people, being able to spot opportunities and being willing to take calculated risks. There are very few uber rich nerds even though they have a high profile and the wealthiest among them have more than just technical skills.

    Even in high tech, to rise you need to be able to lead and inspire. That could be one reason why Asians are left in the front line technical jobs and others, with better social skills, are promoted to management.

    If there were vast untapped pools of talent among Hispanics, blacks or women then someone with good organizational skills would have exploited that market breakdown. If you, dear reader, think that you have discovered a market breakdown then I suggest that you make your fortune by setting up a start up that exploits the lower wages of women, blacks and Hispanics. If you are female, black, Hispanic or Asian, so much the better. On the Internet, no one can see the color of your skin. And if you are a member of a minority you are free to run a pure meritocracy without fear of being accused of being a racist or sexist.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Wow! Absalon actually says something intelligent, worthwhile, and correct on Noah's blog for once!

      Delete
    2. Pithom's approval says all you really need to know about Absalon's statement.

      Delete
    3. Wow! Absalon actually says something intelligent

      Pithom - You have posted fifteen out of 47 comments on this post. You are single-handedly destroying Noah's comments section.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous3:02 PM

      Even in high tech, to rise you need to be able to lead and inspire. That could be one reason why Asians are left in the front line technical jobs and others, with better social skills, are promoted to management.

      70 years ago Absalon's father:

      Even in high finance, you need to be able to lead and inspire. That could be one of the reason why the kikes are left behind in the front line technical jobs while the WASP achieves his natural, genetically dictating place as the leader.

      Delete
    5. Eh, Anon, Jews were known for their role in high finance since the tenth century. Before they even had high average IQs.
      http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0003_0_01978.html
      Also, who the heck were those Lemon Brothers?

      Delete
    6. 70 years ago Absalon's father:

      Godwin's Rule verified once again.

      The reality is that 70 years ago my father was still celebrating the liberation of his country from German occupation.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous5:01 PM

      Ya, he didnt enjoy his guard tower duties that much? Good thing he passed on his prejudices to you before dying though, those servile gooks need a strong white leader like you.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous - I take it you are one of those people who blames your failures on the color of your skin. Maybe people just don't like you because you're an ***-****.

      Delete
  11. "It's time for them to stand up and take nerd culture back..'

    Well, good luck on that. Very few of us are actually willing to stand up in the world (as opposed to making comments on message boards and blogs). It's pretty much human nature to make "You ought to do this.." comments, with the emphasis on "you", which is why there are so many old sayings about that sort of thing. Oddly enough, though, it gets easier with age as you run out of fucks to give.
    It doesn't help in this sort of situation that the loud-mouthed adolescents get into a feedback loop, where each wailer has to wail louder to out-wail the previously loudest wailer, and they manage to convince themselves that they're the only important ones out there, and the most common, to boot. For some reason (the appeal of rationalized self-centeredness?) these overgrown toddlers seem to gravitate toward the GOP end of the spectrum, which helps to explain how and why Europe went into the religion/racial/cultural purity and nationalism kick in the 1920s and 30s, and why we're doing it now. Leadership is often just a matter of loudness and self-confidence.

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    1. Eh, Silicon Valley is one of the most anti-GOP sectors in the U.S.:
      http://www.businessinsider.com/charts-show-the-political-bias-of-each-profession-2014-11
      Also, Jeb! and Billary is of the "religion/racial/cultural purity and nationalism kick"? LOL

      Delete
    2. Not is, "are".

      Delete
  12. I've seen intersectionality used differently - as (simplification alert) "because there are many different forms of oppression, we all experience different forms and can therefore not know what another person is experiencing or sympathize or empathize with it." I prefer your version.

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  13. You should also write a post about the regrettable dominance of the black culture in the NBA. Another unfolding tragedy, which needs urgent attention of the diversity police.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly, Krzys. There's a crisis in American Basketball cultural diversity, and we need to solve it now! :-)

      Delete
  14. Anonymous5:09 PM

    See Noah, your comment section is pretty illustrative of the problem with nerd culture today. Being called faggots for 10 years in their formative years created a subgroup that is nerdy but also pretty embittered. The pithom and the Krys of the world are now no longer browbeaten by their dumber but socially more adequate MBA types and get to vent their impotent rage of an oppressed youth onto groups who arent as good as nerd culture at harnessing the power of 'meritocracy' to climb out of the social structure that oppresses. As Absalon so eloquently explains the ideology, the negro, the spick and the woman just lack the will power to work hard and actually achieve the intellectual capacity to be nerds while the Asiatic hordes who actually dominate SV in actual technical capacities are too servile and weak to lead. Thus the heavy burden falls on the white nerd, the most oppressed and therefore the most morally deserving group humanity has ever produced.

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    1. America is totally like a feudal country, right, guy?

      Delete
    2. If you genuinely believe that there is some large pool of high tech talent languishing out there it is your personal opportunity to become wealthy. Start a company. Create your own app. Maybe do contract programming. Maybe provide temp programmers. Or act as an employment agency for visible minority programmers. Given the political correctness floating around these days around Silicon Valley you could probably charge a nice premium for a black woman who was a good programmer.

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  15. I remember those pre-engineering prerequisites back in late 80s Seattle with 600 kids in a cavernous auditorium of which two were dumpy girls in coke-bottle glasses. But I guess I wasn't enough of a nerd-patriot to stay with them. I had one elective hour second quarter and took a poetry class. My math nerd identity soon unraveled.

    Even though honestly I was much better at it than most of my pre-engineering class mates. I'd been programming professionally after school since high school. They were at least as money-hungry as nerdy, and most under parental pressure. About 1 in 6 would make the minimum GPA barrier to get into the electrical engineering program, as I recall. A career at Microsoft was the goal.

    I'm not sure that kind of nerd culture, the tech kind, will ever be gender balanced. I know it has made a lot of progress since my memories of it. And maybe that's okay. I'd gladly support my daughter if she becomes a math nerd but I won't push that on her. I got into it because it was fun to be the best kid around at it, and I'm very glad I got out and had a liberal arts education, even though to some extent I ended up getting back in.

    The nerds will be good for San Francisco. The old left really has been a disaster.
    What other top American city has a deserted center at night and urban young people going out on the weekend getting in cars and driving out of the city. San Francisco will change, it has to.

    Uber didn't beat De Blasio, it just threatened to and he backed down. He's not actually very powerful, but more importantly the taxi lobby has zero public support.

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    1. The Uber episode should be seen as a demonstration of what a strong political position it and other taxi apps are in. The medallion system drove up prices and drove down service levels, leaving the industry with no hope of appealing to the public for support. All Uber has to do is shine a light here and there on pols trying to protect taxis and they will climb down.

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  16. Commenting again since I read over this section:

    "Not only that, but the progress made by some groups, like gays and women and Hispanics, is starkly contrasted with the lack of progress made by blacks, many of whom remain trapped in horrible neighborhoods, gulag-style prisons, and under the thumb of brutal police regimes - not to mention still being poor overall and suffering disproportionately from the Great Recession."

    So yea, it's true that Hispanics have made progress. We've also made progress in dubious areas too. Citing statistics from UPenn's Marie Gottschalk, "Hispanics have overtaken blacks in the dubious distinction of being the most disproportionately imprisoned" in federal prisons. (http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/scariest-explanation-americas-vast-prison-population-want-way-95477). The L.A. Times recently wrote a piece on Hispanics and police brutality because it hasn't garnered any attention. (http://www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-me-0718-latino-police-20150718-story.html#page=1) The wealth gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites is about the same as the wealth gap between blacks and non-Hispanic whites, etc, etc.

    I don't mean to play oppression olympics here, so if it comes across like that, I apologize. I'm merely pointing out that Hispanics are terribly affected by prisons too, and in the case of federal prisons, it's gotten worse.

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    1. "So yea, it's true that Hispanics have made progress."
      -Again, I just don't see any, within or without America, except in Chile, Bolivia, Peru (mostly thanks to a Japanese dude), Panama, and the Dominican Republic.
      ""Hispanics have overtaken blacks in the dubious distinction of being the most disproportionately imprisoned" in federal prisons."
      -No doubt this is due to immigration (and possibly drug) offenses.
      "The L.A. Times recently wrote a piece on Hispanics and police brutality because it hasn't garnered any attention."
      -Probably no police is more brutal in the U.S.+Territories than in Puerto Rico. Also, Hispanics in America do not have a strong history of slavery, and most of them have immigrated within the past forty years, so there's no surprise the media doesn't cover them as much.
      "Over the last five years in L.A. County, coroner's data show that Latinos, who make up about half of the county's population, also represent about half the people killed by police."
      -What inequity!
      "The wealth gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites is about the same as the wealth gap between blacks and non-Hispanic whites, etc, etc."
      -You mean poor Mestizos on welfare aren't likely to purchase stocks in a recession or treasuries during a booming economy? How surprising!

      Delete
    2. Would the Hispanics have been better off staying in Mexico?

      The per capita GDP in Denmark is double the per capita GDP in Spain - is that the result of endemic Danish discrimination against Hispanics?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous5:41 PM

      Mark, much of what you mention is probably the result of immigration trends among Hispanics rather than any kind of deep-seated animosity towards them, e.g.

      "Hispanics have overtaken blacks in the dubious distinction of being the most disproportionately imprisoned" in federal prisons"
      "The wealth gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites is about the same as the wealth gap between blacks and non-Hispanic whites"

      Maybe because a wildly disproportionate number of the immigrants we get from Mexico, Central America, and Puerto Rico are poorly educated, low skilled, low income, and low class? As a result, they bring low class and uneducated culture with them. I mean, why are you surprised by the wealth gap? Do you expect those people who haven't even completed high school and have no skills behind manual labor to become millionaires overnight? If we started importing millions of low class Russian hoodlums, we'd probably find similar patterns.

      If those statistics bother you, perhaps you should oppose the influx of unskilled, uneducated, poor immigrants from Latin America. Replace them with more educated and middle class immigrants and you'll probably be happier.

      From what I've seen, middle class Hispanics are no more crime-prone than middle class Whites. Hispanics who project a good image also don't face much in the way of discrimination. The ones who police rough up most likely dress and act like ghetto gangbangers. Again, what do you expect?

      Delete
  17. "It's time for them to stand up and take nerd culture back from the high-profile jerks who are getting all the air time, and open the gates to all those people who are still on the outside looking in."
    -The gates are open. The outsiders do not enter.

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  18. Anonymous2:27 AM

    This article is dumb. It conflates the technology industry and "nerd culture". Also the "asians are passed over" links to an article that doesn't link to the study: of course you've uncritically linked to it and a paywalled article allegedly about sexism.

    You got to signal moral supremacy though. Maybe the tax payers will get something more from your work as a finance professor one day than subsidizing your playing on Twitter all day and writing garbage like this.

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    1. Anonymous7:33 PM

      Sorry, shouldn't have written that. You probably don't care and maybe did not even read it but for some reason I worry. Can't really tell the difference between sincere writing like this anymore and Straussian satire anyway. I hope everyone gets to keep doing whatever they want to do, I don't really care if I get to keep doing anything, just don't want to suffer too long.

      I don't know, maybe I should become a crusader for the things this post is for and against those that it is against. I have nothing to contribute and projected that onto you I think.

      I really don't know what to do. Sorry, again.

      Delete
    2. I don't really care if I get to keep doing anything, just don't want to suffer too long

      Noah wrote a really good piece about depression http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.ca/2013/01/a-few-thoughts-on-depression.html

      It sounds like you could use a helping hand. You should reach out to a doctor or a counselor.

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    3. Straussian satire anyway

      And if your apology is just intended as "Straussian satire" you still need help. It is like staring into the abyss until the abyss stares back, that stuff will steal your soul.

      Delete
  19. I think GamerGate also has the feel, like D. Trump, of the normal folk finally having some voice against evil progressive Big Gov't / Newspeak Stalinist types.

    Noah, you need to say whether there was abuse or not. The ThingOfThings blog (Nov 214) is fairly convincing: >>
    It is not normal behavior to convince your partner that they are going insane in order to cover up your lying and cheating. That is gaslighting, and that is abusive.
    ...
    throughout the logs, Zoe engages in a repeated pattern of shifting the blame from herself to Eron. She blames her cheating on Eron not loving her; she blames her lies on Eron not trusting her immediately after he had discovered her cheating. She guilt-trips Eron when he tries to set boundaries. She constantly lies and withholds information, far beyond what would be necessary to cover up her cheating– from claiming to be tested when she hadn’t to contradicting herself about her emotions and desires. It’s important to note that, while blame-shifting, guilt-tripping, and lying and withholding are unhealthy, everyone engages in unhealthy relationship patterns sometimes, particularly when they’re angry. However, in nonabusive relationships, both partners eventually take responsibility for their part in problems, respect their partners’ boundaries without guilting them, and tell the truth before they get called on it. Zoe Quinn, on the other hand, blame-shifts continually and with no self-awareness about what she’s doing and no taking accountability.
    <<

    Just like the Civil War really was about slavery ... if GamerGate really is about a woman abusing a man, that should be more clear by those who write about it.

    Tho here's another way to characterize part of it (Nov 2013, a year earlier):
    Narcissist Bum Fights: Anita Sarkeesian vs. the Basement Dwellers
    http://mattforney.com/anita-sarkeesian-vs-basement-dwellers/
    >> That’s the essence of the “cyber-harassment” Anita Sarkeesian suffered; one narcissist who found herself outgunned by a larger horde of narcissists. There are no good guys here, just two gangs of loathsome cretins—feminists and gamers—trying to claim first prize at the Pity Party. Bum fights.
    <<

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  20. "That required relationship-building skills, first and foremost. Andrew Carnegie and Leland Stanford were undoubtedly very smart people, but their success came from their ability to deal with others, not from direct application of their intelligence to technical problems. In recent years, that has obviously started to change, with the high proportion of new super-rich people who got rich by creating tech companies. When Bill Gates, a bespectacled computer nerd, claimed the title of Richest Person on Earth, it was clear something had changed."

    Prove it. Prove that Bill Gates programming skills were better than his relationship building skills. In counterpoint, I offer: http://www.zdnet.com/article/bill-gates-programmer/

    You might be able to make a case with Larry and Sergei. Maybe with Mark Zuckerberg. But Bill Gates is not your poster child for alpha programmer.

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  21. "A few prominent nerds have made some attempts to fight this by encouraging more women to enter the tech industry"
    Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Meyer come to mind. Between them, they're pushing some big-time changes through Silicon Valley.

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  22. High Plains Gamer10:51 AM

    I'm shocked, shocked to find that nerds are sexist!

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