Archives for category: blogging

don't panic

many of you may have noticed that blogging’s been a little on the light side around here for the past several weeks. unfortunately, due mostly to hbd chick clan circumstances beyond my control, blogging will remain on the light side for the next couple of months(!). probably all the way through until…*gasp*…christmas!!1! (i know! who the h*ll plans that far in advance?! i normally don’t, coming from the non-“core”-european population that i do. =P )

i’m sorry about this, but as you know, blood is thicker than virtual blogging buddies, or something like that. *sigh* but i do hate it when real life interferes with my virtual one.

this is not to say that there will be NO blogging — it’ll just be limited. maybe one post a week? and a linkfest every other week? more if time allows. (except for over the next two weeks. blogging will be on hold until close to the end of this month.)

this is also not to say that i’m not around. i am around! just won’t be able to devote much time to blogging (although you’ll prolly find me slacking off on twitter…).

also: if you’ve sent me an email in the past few weeks, and i haven’t responded to you…sorry! i haven’t forgotten about you! your email’s probably got a star next to it in my inbox now. i’ll get back to you eventually! (and the check’s in the mail, too…. (~_^) )

another also: there are some comments that some of you have left that i’ve been meaning to reply to, but i just haven’t had the time. i hope to do some “comment catch-up” toward the end of the month, too. sorry again!

that’s all for now. whatever you do, just DON’T PANIC! i’m here, just won’t be blogging a whole lot for a while. DON’T PANIC! (^_^)

i am going to be f*cking off on vacaciones for THREE weeks, so hang ten ’til i’m back, dudes! (^_^)

(i’ll be around — gonna try to stay unplugged for as much as possible, tho.)

chewie and surfboard

so i’ve gone and injured the tendon on the back of my hand — the back of my right hand, and i’m NOT left-handed (or ambidextrous) — and the hand is swollen in a very disturbing way. =/

apparently i shouldn’t use it for a while (4-5 days? a week?), which means i can’t really type. well, i could type just the letters on the left side of the keyboard, b t t e t e se te ces are d ff c t t read.

so blogging — and tweeting — will be light for a bit! =/

fortunately it doesn’t hurt! especially not after the three (shaken and not stirred) martinis i just had for breakfast. (~_^)

more soon!

edit: in the meantime, here’s an old post of mine: me and max (^_^)

this is my response to jayman’s post of yesterday, Where HBD Chick’s Hypothesis Works. i was going to leave these thoughts in a comment to his post, but i quickly realized that my comment was going to be pretty long, so i figured i’d just make it a post here. i should just say at the outset that i agree with pretty much everything jayman had to say (^_^) — with a couple of minor quibbles — so this comment will mostly be me rambling about those, plus i’ll be throwing in a couple of “thoughts for future research.” you should definitely go read his post first if you haven’t already before reading my comments. pay attention to his map of how well the hypothesis works in different areas — it’s great! (^_^)

ok. jayman says:

“As we see, from what we know of historic mating patterns and behavior of people today, HBD Chick’s hypothesis works excellently across much of the world. This is especially true across Europe, the Middle East, and much of the Muslim world, and in China.”

yes. on several occasions i’ve wondered if this inbreeding/outbreeding idea really applies mainly, or only, to the indo-european world + the arabs. but the situation of china seems to fit well, too, so i think the general theory is probably more widely applicable (assuming for a sec that it’s correct at all — which it might not be). as i’ll argue below (one of my quibbles), i think the theory might also hold pretty well for japan although Further Research is RequiredTM. (actually, Further Research is RequiredTM for most areas of the world — especially lots of actual genetic/real scientific research!)

more from jayman:

“There are however a couple of places that don’t seem to fit as well. Most poignant of these is sub-Saharan Africa. HBD Chick’s hypothesis doesn’t cover much of Africa, especially the non-Muslim parts. It’s unclear if the historic mating among non-Muslim Blacks was particularly consanguineous (though it was, and remains in many places, polygynous). However, as we clearly know, sub-Saharans do behave like considerably clannish people in some ways, yet a lot more like typical outbreeders in other ways.”

even though i haven’t posted much about sub-saharan africa — yet! — i have been reading up and taking notes on the mating patterns of sub-saharans africans, and let me tell you — there are a LOT of sub-saharan african populations (tanzania alone has more than 120, or more than 260, ethnic groups depending on how you count them! whew!), so, as you can imagine, there is a wiiiide variety of mating patterns on the continent. if i were to make an off-the-cuff guess from what i’ve read so far, i’d estimate that maybe 40%-50% of sub-saharan populations currently practice cousin marriage or did in the recent past (none of them practice the really inbred fbd marriage type of the arabs — except for some northern muslim populations — and even they don’t marry their fbds as consistently as the arabs do). that is just a guess, though. and, then, there’s the polygamy, which also serves to narrow the genetic relatedness in populations, and, so, might trigger similar selection processes for “genes for clannishness” (whatever they might be). and polygamy seems to be very common throughout sub-saharan africa — it’s found almost everywhere (although not everyone can afford to practice it, of course).

the trick will be to try and reconstruct, if at all possible, the historic mating patterns of sub-saharan african populations, especially since historical records for the continent are few and far between. there are historic records for some sub-saharan populations, mainly dating from post-european contact times, of course, and many of them might be useful — a lot of missionaries were hobby ethnographers and recorded loads of cultural data about the people they hoped to convert. genetic data would no doubt be more useful still. (btw, see what i had to say about the mating patterns of african americans and the igbo of nigeria in the comments thread over on jayman’s blog.)

in jayman’s paragraph above, he referenced this old post of mine — civic societies ii — in which i pointed out that the sub-saharan africans surveyed in the world values survey are quite civic, i.e. they are frequently active in voluntary organizations, much more so than peoples in the middle east or eastern europe (see the charts in that previous post). that seems, to me, to be an outbred trait — at least it is very characteristic of northwest europeans. the bamileke of cameroon, too, have a lot of non-familial associations in their society, and they have probably avoided cousin marriage for at least a couple of hundred years.

seven sub-saharan african countries were included in those world value survey results (see this post) — burkina faso, ethiopia, ghana, mali, rwanda, south africa, and zambia — a selection which offers a fairly good regional spread around the continent. i should drill down into those world values survey results to see if i can find out more specifically which subgroups in those populations (if any in particular) were surveyed in each of the countries, and i should try to find out more about the historic mating patterns of those groups. there’s a plan for some future blogging right there!

from jayman again:

“However, farther south in Africa are the San hunter-gatherers (the Bushmen), who were intentional outbreeders, with marriage occurring across tribes. However, overall rates of violence among them are comparable to those found in their Bantu neighbors.”

ack! i still haven’t read more about the bushmen. put that down on the Further Research is RequiredTM list as well!

and this:

“Muslim Central Asia (including the Uyghur province) hasn’t been directly looked at by HBD Chick. But presumably mating patterns there have been similar to the rest of the Muslim world, which would seem to explain the levels of clannishness and corruption there.”

from what i’ve read, the central asians — especially in all of the -stans — tend to avoid any marriage within the paternal clan out to the seventh generation, so in that way they are very unlike the arabs and pakistanis and afghanis. father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) marriage really does seem to have stopped at the edges of the eighth century caliphate. in some regions of central asia, there is also an avoidance of close cousin marriage within the maternal line out to the third generation; in other places central asians do marry their first and second cousins in the maternal line — or have done until fairly recently. this fits with the broader preference of mother’s brother’s daughter (mbd) marriage in asia (where cousin marriage occurs). also, these patterns of avoiding marriage especially in the paternal line, and even sometimes in the maternal line, matches with at least some of the subgroups in tibet. as we saw the other day, first cousin marriage was commonplace in and around lhasa (at the very least) in the 1700s, but has disappeared since that time. perhaps close cousin marriage was also more common throughout central asia and has disappeared in more recent times — or is still in the process of disappearing. dunno. Further Research is RequiredTM.

“India and Southeast Asia also haven’t been discussed much by HBD Chick, either.”

india. *sigh* gotta love india (and indians!) for all of its anthropological diversity, but i have to admit that i have been avoiding india due to the complexity of the mating patterns there. all of those castes!! *sigh* the one very, very general broad pattern that i do know about india right now is that consanguineous marriages are more frequent in southern india than in the north (see the map on AND a lot of those consanguineous marriages have been awfully close — uncle-niece marriage is common in southern india — up until very recently (there’s still quite a bit of uncle-niece marriage in the south nowadays, i believe). so, if the theory’s right, then (looking away from the muslims and christians and sikhs, etc., and just focusing on the hindus) there ought to be more clannishness and nepotism and corruption in southern india than in the north. i don’t know if that’s the case or not, but that ought to be how it is. the population ought to be more clannish in the south. similarly, there ought to be more clannishness/corruption/etc. in southern than in northern china — and i do know that clans are more important in southern china than in the north. again, need to try to reconstruct if close marriages were common historically in india and/or china — this should be easier for these populations than for africa since india and china are, obviously, literate civilizations and have been for many millennia.

southeast asia i just haven’t gotten around to yet, unfortunately.

“The Muslim sections of Southeast Asia fit the pattern seen with the core Muslim world, it would seem.”

yes and no. like the central asian muslims — and unlike the arabs/pakistanis/afghanis — the muslims of southeast asia probably avoid fbd marriage. it would be interesting to know if the population of aceh province in indonesia happens to practice particularly close marriage, though, since they have some of the strictest islamic codes of anywhere in indonesia.

jayman again:

“And the Papuan people of New Guinea are famous for being the most tribal people in the world, with the island hosting over *1,000* different languages!

like sub-saharan africans, png-ers have a wide variety of mating patterns! some groups absolutely, definitely have a preference for marrying close cousins while others outbreed. look for a post real soon on some apparent outbreeders from png — the baining!

more jayman!:

“Korea and especially Japan do not fit quite as seamlessly. Japan has had a history of cousin marriage, and the situation in Korea is unclear. Yet neither country is fractured into mutually distrustful clans as is China. Indeed, Japan has a functioning ‘commonweal’ society. However, it is not necessarily like the outbred Northwest Europeans either, possessing some characteristics of a clannish society [those are all unique links in this sentence-h.chick]. It is possible that these countries, like Finland & Iceland in Europe, are also ‘inbetweeners’ of sorts, and possess a distinct hybrid between clannish and non-clannish, as was the topic of my post Finland & Japan.”

yeah. can’t tell you anything at all about korea, because i still haven’t read up on korea yet! (except what misdreavus told me, which is that the upper classes in korea avoided close marriages. interesting.)

japan. yes, japan. japan is probably some sort of “inbetweener” group like jayman suggests — inbetweeners being not extremely inbred (like the arabs) but not being very outbred either (like northwest europeans). japan is apparently not as squeaky clean civic-wise as most of us think, although obviously the japanese are WAY more civically behaved than most peoples! if you look at anatoly karlin’s corruption reality index, the japanese actually score lower than most northwest europeans, and group together with bulgaria, croatia, france, and argentina, as far as corruption goes. and nearly as bad as italy! in 2010, nine percent of japanese people responded that they had to pay a bribe during the previous year, whereas zero percent of danes reported this, one percent of british people, two percent of germans, and five percent of americans. (meanwhile, eighty-nine percent of liberians did! and eighty-four percent of cambodians.) i also had a researcher tell me that, in a study which they conducted (not published yet, i don’t think), the japanese actually scored pretty low on interpersonal cooperation tests — which surprised these researchers. so, something is up with the japanese. they did marry close cousins at a pretty significant rate (ca. 22% — that’s roughly half the rate of sicilians in the early twentieth century) right up into the early twentieth century (see also here). so, i think that the japanese might actually fit the “clannishness” model more than is supposed. they don’t behave as clannishly as the chinese, but they are rather clannish.

jayman had this to say about the japanese and east asians — with which i heartily agree:

“The other possible ingredient could be this: local conditions – often imposed by the State or other local powers – may affect the course of evolution of a people despite the local frequencies of inbreeding/outbreeding. We see this to an extent in China, where considerable genetic pacification – under the direction of the State – served to reduce aggressiveness of the Chinese people despite their considerable clannishness. Perhaps this explains what we see in Japan.”

also this:

“As well, of course, the initial characteristics of the people in each of these areas may have some bearing on their outcomes today, as these traits may affect the precise course of evolution in these places.”


the other populations of the world that jayman mentions that i haven’t discussed (like australian aborigines) i just simply haven’t researched. yet! Further Research is RequiredTM! (^_^)

i’m obviously not the first person to think that mating patterns + inclusive fitness might affect the selection of genes related to social behaviors. that would be william hamilton [pdf]. other population geneticists have played around with the idea, too. in the blogosphere, steve sailer was the first to connect cousin marriage with things like nepotism and an absence of (liberal) democracy in societies — after parapundit pointed out the odd connection between those things in the middle east. even saints augustine and thomas aquinas (and st. ambrose, btw) figured there was probably a connection between mating patterns and the structures and functioning of a society. so does the economist avner greif [pdf], although he doesn’t consider the biological side of it (which is completely ok!).

furthermore, the historian michael mitterauer — who specializes in the history of the european family — understands that there is some sort of connection between mating patterns and family types and size (and the functioning of society), although he doesn’t grasp that the explanation is probably biological either (which is completely ok!). (the more inbred the larger the family; the more outbred, the smaller — i think.) and all sorts of thinkers from engels to weber to durkheim to todd have figured out, in different ways, that family types and structures affect the workings of society.

so even if the specific inbreeding/outbreeding theory discussed on this blog is wrong, i think it’s valuable to examine the mating patterns and family types of human populations. who mates with whom — in other words, the ways genes flow through a population down through the generations — has got to be one of the more important topics in population genetics, afaics! and, at the very least, the prevalence of specific family types in populations must affect selection pressures, since families are a large part of the social environment in any society.

in any event, i just personally find all the different mating patterns and family types interesting! especially in the light of sociobiology. so i’m probably not going to stop blogging about them any time soon. don’t say i didn’t warn you! (~_^)

oh, and very importantly — thanks, jayman! (^_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. albatross!)

reached one million page views here on the blog today! woo-hoo! (^_^)

i know that’s probably roughly the number of hits heartiste gets on an average weekend (i mean page views — PAGE VIEWS! — always with your minds in the gutter, you people! (~_^) ), but hey — i don’t write much about sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll (maybe i should start…)!

this is page views, mind you, and not the number of unique visitors. for all i know, there could be just one of you out there constantly refreshing your browser. (~_^) wordpress tells me that this figure does not include search engine bots either — but, again, you could all be robots for all i know. and maybe i’m a brain in a vat. hmmmm….?

in any case, thanks for hanging around on my goofy blog here! (^_^) and thanks so much for all the constructive and informative comments! (^_^) over one million served and counting…!


rca indian head test pattern

sorry, but i need to take a (hopefully very short) break from blogging due to a minor(-ish) crisis — an illness in the family (not me – i’m fine!). so, i need to be dutiful loved one for a bit and prolly won’t have the time/energy to focus on blogging. not sure for how long — could be two days, could be two weeks. in either case, i am around! — just won’t be posting.

back soon. promise! (^_^)

sorry for the slow posting lately. yes, i’m still slacking off. (~_^) regularly scheduled programming should resume this weekend. (^_^)

in the meantime, i thought i’d steal a blogging idea from peter frost, and give ya’ll an idea of what to expect from this blog during 2014. (tl;dr: more of the same, really. (~_^) )

- more on mating patterns: long-term inbreeding and outbreeding practices in human societies and why some peoples go for inbreeding and why others do not. also, the relationship(s) (if any) between mating patterns and family types (think emmanuel todd). also, more on the connections between mating patterns and clannishness (or not) and behavioral patterns like civicness, corruption, and nepotism.

- i hope to explore further how different long-term mating patterns and family types create/affect selection pressures for various innate social behaviors in populations.

- individualism/collectivisim vs. familism/non-collectivism

- universalism vs. particularism

- democracy: including the contrasts between liberal vs. consensus democracy and the idea that there are democratic tendencies in a lot of societies — probably the majority of societies — but very few places where you’ll find liberal democracy and even fewer places where liberal democracy works.

- i want to look further at how renaissances and reformations happen, and why human accomplishment has most definitely not been uniform across the globe.

- violence: mostly the differences (if any) between societies where feuding is common vs. those that engage in large-scale warfare (thanks, grey!).

- also, i’ll continue to ask (in a hopefully annoying, gadfly-like way): where does culture come from?

- i’ll also be asking: how does assimilation happen? and i’ll be asking/looking for evidence for if/how it does.

this past summer, i started posting about the history of mating patterns in europe, and i had a plan all worked out, but i got (seriously) side-tracked. typical! i’m going to pick up that posting plan!…right after i post about the history of mating patterns/family types/social structures in the nordic nations…right after i post about the mating patterns/family types/social structures of the franks.

got all that? good. (^_^)

p.s. – oh. i also take reader requests! (^_^)

previously: top ten list 2013

(note: comments do not require an email. keep calm and… (^_^) )

links don’t appear in this backup post. but i’ve got them in the blog backup files — so if you really want a link from an old open thread comment, just ask. (^_^)

01/02/2013 at 5:57 AM (Edit)

Hey, looks like someone at the New York Times has been reading your blog: ;)

When Latvia’s economy first crumbled, it wrestled with many of the same problems faced since by other troubled European nations: a growing hole in government finances, a banking crisis, falling competitiveness and big debts — though most of these were private rather than public as in Greece.

Now its abrupt turn for the better has put a spotlight on a ticklish question for those who look to orthodox economics for a solution to Europe’s wider economic woes: Instead of obeying any universal laws of economic gravity, do different people respond differently to the same forces?

Used to Hardship, Latvia Accepts Austerity, and Its Pain Eases –
hbd chick
01/02/2013 at 7:03 AM (Edit)

@jayman – “‘Instead of obeying any universal laws of economic gravity, do different people respond differently to the same forces?’”

different peoples is different! (~_^)

hbd filtering into the mainstream? maybe. wouldn’t THAT be cool. (^_^)
01/12/2013 at 7:27 AM (Edit)

Ah, damn… ;p:

White House politely declines Death Star petition, citing $850 quadrillion cost
hbd chick
01/12/2013 at 8:58 AM (Edit)

@jayman – awww, come on! after all — $850 quadrillion would only increase the deficit slightly more than it is now! and think of all the stormtrooper jobs that would be created! and anyway — couldn’t we just pay for it with an $850 quadrillion coin? (~_^)
hbd chick
01/12/2013 at 9:00 AM (Edit)

“In an official response entitled ‘this isn’t the petition response you’re looking for’….”

heh. (^_^)
01/15/2013 at 6:07 PM (Edit)

@HBD Chick:

You’ve previously remarked that the fact that people don’t farm anymore has something to do with the denial of heritable differences in the West. Well, see this story:

Big Farm, Big Family, Healthy Kids – ABC News

Check out the video at the bottom of the link. Notice the answer the farmer whips right out to the reporter’s question about his “secret” (around 0:32).

This isn’t the first time an ABC News interviewee has given a similar answer, only for it to be downplayed in the story.
LInton Herbert
01/16/2013 at 4:41 AM (Edit)

A Jayman. “Check out the video at the bottom of the link” Wow. Thanks.
hbd chick
01/16/2013 at 5:24 AM (Edit)

@jayman – “Notice the answer the farmer whips right out to the reporter’s question about his ‘secret’ (around 0:32).”

good genes! (~_^)

(i love those PIGS! (^_^) )
01/17/2013 at 6:07 AM (Edit)

It is finished…

HBD: An Abbreviated History of Quisqueya and the Rise of Today’s Dominicans (and Haitians) :: Concourse Expressions

…but since it’s part of my Hispanic HBD series, mayhap it’s more appropriate to say it is started… ;-)
Greying Wanderer
01/17/2013 at 10:40 AM (Edit)

Something i came across on teh interwebs

I don’t know how representaive that is of the average heights at the time but if it was can you imagine what a regiment of Brits or Yanks must have looked like to an average Japanese?

I think the psychological effect of height differences in the history of the euro expansion – and possibly at other times in history also – may be significant.
01/19/2013 at 12:40 PM (Edit)

Food, health, and HBD:

See this: Fat Head » The Spanish Paradox

Now, apparently, Tom Naughton, who made a documentary called Fat Head criticizing the conventional wisdom about diet, obesity, and health, produced an excellent post with a great table of the cardiovascular death rates in Europe and selected other countries (mostly Euro-offshoots). This seems to clearly weaken the association between diet and health according to the conventional wisdom, but what else jumps out at you?

Yes, notice that death rates of related countries are similar. Slavs the highest, then Celtic countries (nicely separates the UK for us), then Germanics/Anglos, then Mediterranean countries, including France, at the bottom (East Asian countries seem more scattered however).

These data suggest that genetics might be playing a role. Hence, I tweeted it. Naughton responded, and see the Twitter exchange.

He seems to be stuck on the area of intermarriage between the English and the French. Not only was I skeptical of the extent that that occurred, the genetic data reveal that they are distinct populations. For some reason, he can’t seem to get that part though. I know you’ve had similar problems.

It would seem to be prudent to compare the Quebecois with British Canadians, even though that would have its limits since the Quebecois aren’t representative of all French…
01/19/2013 at 12:42 PM (Edit)

Hmmm, seems my post may have ended up in the spam filter….
Big Nose Kate
02/19/2013 at 12:05 AM (Edit)

@ HBDC “are you Hungarian?”
I was thinking about BNK and that got me to thinking about unrequited love and I decided that top of the list must be Wuthering Heights. So then I started thinking about the opposite, enduring love, and decided that top of that list could well be Mr and Mrs Beaufort. [I could probably put my parents on that list too and, coincidentally, their wedding cake was decorated with one red and one white rose, coz that's where they hail from.] How interesting :) :)
LInton Herbert
02/19/2013 at 4:26 AM (Edit)

@BNK “top of the list must be Wuthering Heights” Ah yes, Wuthering Heights. My mother said the Lintons probably hailed from Yorkshire. The child “Linton” so far as I know is the only other first name Linton on record. He died young because he lacked “LIFE FORCE.” You’d say that about in LInton kin as well until the spit hits the fan. Then just when everybody else gets paniced or depressed they wake up, cheer up, and start fixing things. Enduring love? Oh, yes.
Off topic, but the other LInton doesn’t come up for debate much.
02/20/2013 at 7:18 AM (Edit)

Here you go. I think this one would be near and dear to you…

‘Star Wars’ Needs a New Approach to Gender—Not Just More Women – Noah Berlatsky – The Atlantic
hbd chick
02/20/2013 at 2:23 PM (Edit)

@jayman – “Here you go. I think this one would be near and dear to you…”

i know. i saw that. i really hope that don’t add more heroines just to have an equal number of women in the new movies. *facepalm* i mean, they already ruined those prequels (wait. what?! prequels?! what prequels? who said that?!!)…. (~_^)
Big Nose Kate
02/22/2013 at 5:22 AM (Edit)

I’ve just been reading over some of my favorite bits of your blog.

I’m sure you don’t need my advice but I would really like a longer ‘recent comments’ so, I was thinking how that could be achieved.

Is the tag cloud a must-have? How vital are the categories?
It would be cool if the ‘mating patterns in Europe series’ started under Search in the mid-column.

on a more intrusive note – I think these three sections
don’t miss
relatedness matters
family types

encapsulate the background theory; genetic and socio-structural.

Could these be condensed into 2 batches labelled with explicit titles? – relatedness matters and family types are good titles but, for people who aren’t familiar with your hyp. could you perhaps be a bit more elucidating?

Equally, could posts like ‘theories’ be labelled more specifically? – your comments on that page are really great.

I’m almost inclined to suggest the ‘updates’ would be better placed before ‘recent posts’.

Or…………….. maybe I’m not your target market.
Big Nose Kate
02/22/2013 at 5:32 AM (Edit)

@LH “so far as I know is the only other first name Linton”

I didn’t think of that – I don’t know the book, but I think the story isn’t about class or nationality. I think the Bronte sisters sat around pondering the masculine and feminine principles and whether it was really possible to get the brooding male _and_ the big house. Austen’s heroines managed better. Patrick Bronte outlived his whole family by decades, so weird.
02/22/2013 at 7:53 AM (Edit)

See this:

5 Insane Theories About Why We Haven’t Discovered Alien Life |

These are actually not all that insane. Some of these are more likely than others. Indeed, I disagree with the notion that the existence of the human species (and hence, by extension, all technological species of the universe) is finite, or at least respect to the universe itself. I see no a priori reason that necessitates this (despite the current situation of the world).

But, the main point I wanted to call attention to here is this. Note how HBD is filtering into the mainstream:

hey have literally let entire civilizations obliterate themselves for the sake of the Prime Directive. This is an actual theory about extraterrestrial life that scientists call the “Zoo hypothesis”, which suggests that super advanced aliens do exist, but they refrain from contacting Earth in order to keep from interrupting our natural evolution and development. Essentially, the aliens are content to sit back and watch until we reach their level, and only then will they share their time-traveling rocket boot technology with us.

What a bunch of shitheads, right? Well, maybe not. Charity, no matter how well-intentioned, can backfire in unpredictable ways. For example, there have been a number of projects to increase the standard of living in Ethiopia, which is a country literally famous for being impoverished. One such project involved installing water taps in Ethiopian households. While this had several incredibly beneficial effects, most notably dropping the infant mortality rate, it ultimately contributed to household shortages. More children means more family members to support, and those water taps weren’t spitting out any extra money — so essentially, the children were surviving infancy only to grow up starving. By solving one problem, another equally devastating problem was created.

LInton Herbert
02/23/2013 at 4:39 AM (Edit)

@Jayman “I disagree with the notion that the existence of the human species (and hence, by extension, all technological species of the universe) is finite, ”

You know, I’ve been thinking about that. Just for argument, suppose I’m right that the limitation of mating pool size is a natural law. If you wonder why, do check out and look at December 21 last year. As you will see from the arguments there, there is no reason this phenomenon should be peculiar to earth or even to carbon based life forms. It’s as fundamental as evolution.

So let’s say there is a high tech species in the Andromeda galaxy about equal to us. They must be facing extinction because their technology offers a huge social pool just like we have. Hence they will never arrive any more than we will go there. If there were the equivalent of I there, screaming hoarsely that this is important, he would be ignored. I don’t know of any law of nature that requires that, but I sure have a lot of experience with it. Maybe if you can figure that one out, they can do it in Andromeda as well and the future becons us to the stars. You will have proved your point.
02/24/2013 at 12:27 AM (Edit)

New post: Hispanic Genomic Diversity, Part I :: Concourse Expressions

Question: I know you blogged about certain Europeans with African/Middle-Eastern descent; ’twas wondering which of your posts specifically mentioned ‘em since, in my research, I found that some Hispanics possessed certain chromosomal haplotypes traced to North Africa and the Middle East…
LInton Herbert
02/24/2013 at 4:23 AM (Edit)

@Nelson. “in my research, I found that some Hispanics possessed certain chromosomal haplotypes traced to North Africa and the Middle East” I used to be a skeptic on this one, but there is (kind of) a band of Rh negative running from the Kurd area and the Sudan more or less to the mediterranian, across north Africa and up the west coast of Europe as far as Scotland and Bergen and megalithic archetecture has been found from the Sudan up through egypt, Malta, west coast europe, up to Scotland and the Faroe Islands, then aruably over to the western Hemisphere although that was a lot later. It seems plausible that somebody moved somewhere, but in which direction I really don’t have a clue. When I read about it, it is just assumed that the movement had to be out of Africa apparently because that’s scripture.
02/24/2013 at 7:12 PM (Edit)

@LInton: Interesting; thanks for the tidbits.
04/14/2013 at 10:27 AM (Edit)

Ms. HBD chick!!
> Can a devoted reader from azerbaijan ask you a question? You are acquainted
> with people who have studied race differences in intelligence. As you
> probably know Azerbaijan is in the temperate zone and has an average IQ of 90, and as such is incapable of building a technological/commercial civilization.
> I wish to fix this, O great HBD chick!! how unfair that your Caucasoid ancestors
> moved to the arctic and mine didn’t!!!
> Can you consult your chrystal ball for me and see if there is anything at all that I can do to increase the IQ in my country to about…oh I don’t know…something like
> 175.You see, we also all want to be hyper intelligent aspie bloggers like you, and not gormless sheep grazers. We will then be able to build a moon base — complete with kebab stands and super-smart molecular biologist belly-dancers. Also, if any information comes your way about solutions to excessive hirsutism, please inform me, we are rather famous for having problems with that:
04/14/2013 at 9:36 PM (Edit)

Uh-oh, ‘chick. You have become semi-famous on the Internet and have thus attracted smartasses which come from the woodwork out, like Gnurrs. I hope you don’t have to hire bodyguards. You have mentioned having a large family. I hope and trust that they like you and will look out for you.

I feel fortunate that I am nobody in particular, and nobody cares enough about whether I live or die to try to influence my existence in either direction.
04/22/2013 at 7:41 AM (Edit)

You know, I thinking we should call European outbreeders “Germanic” rather than “Northwestern European”, because I find that the latter term leads to confusion like this.

Often, when I say “NW European” to critics, one of the first responses I get is “what about the Scots/Irish – they’re NW Europeans?” While that’s technically true, it’s not clear that the historically outbreeding NW Europeans generally excludes those in the “Celtic fringe”.

Of course, “Germanic” runs into trouble in northern Iberia and northern Italy, since I’m not quite sure how “Germanic” those areas are.

On a semi-related note, about those clannish Irish:

Muslims Find a Welcoming Home in Famously Catholic Ireland – Megan O’Neil – The Atlantic
hbd chick
04/22/2013 at 11:51 AM (Edit)

@jayman – “You know, I thinking we should call European outbreeders ‘Germanic’ rather than ‘Northwestern European’, because I find that the latter term leads to confusion like this.”

yeah, i agree, “northwest european” is not ideal because, like you say, people start thinking about the highland scots and the irish and that’s just … wrong!

“germanic” is probably better, but then idiots like those guys over @roissy’s might not realize that the french (and belgians) would be included in that. that’s why i’ve been using nw europeans — or my own “core europeans” — but who ever heard of that term? (~_^)

@jayman – “…about those clannish Irish….”

yeah, not so clannish anymore!

keep in mind that some amount of english people also settled in ireland (see also here), but i have no idea how many. i think a lot of the settlement did take place in and around dublin, though. i really have no idea of the numbers, however, so i don’t know how much of an effect they might’ve had on the population.
LInton Herbert
04/22/2013 at 12:19 PM (Edit)

@hbd chick ” i think a lot of the settlement did take place in and around dublin” I heard once they put up an fence around the settlement. Anything outside was considered uncool or “beyond the pale.”
hbd chick
04/22/2013 at 12:23 PM (Edit)

@linton – “I heard once they put up an fence around the settlement.”

absolutely! keep out the barbarians. (~_^)
LInton Herbert
04/22/2013 at 12:50 PM (Edit)

@hbd chick “keep out the barbarians.” Yep. Gotta love them outbreeding English. :o)
04/22/2013 at 1:00 PM (Edit)

W.E.I.R.D. would be a good substitute for NW European, although I don’t like the fact that it emphasizes institutions over heredity, it does give the notion how unusual the Western social/psychological mores are to mankind
04/23/2013 at 2:56 PM (Edit)

You need to see this. How (some) liberals react to my advice:

More Words, Deeper Hole – Count the problematic assertions!

“The Inevitable Triumph of Conservativism the TFR way!”

Apparently a liberal journal site is discussing my blog post (Another reminder…) which advises them to have children to maintain liberalism in the future. The response is interesting, to say the least…

This of course is heavily relies on your own work to explain just why NW Euro liberals are liberal…
hbd chick
04/23/2013 at 4:48 PM (Edit)

@jayman – “You need to see this. How (some) liberals react to my advice….”

well, now my head hurts. maybe banging it against this brick wall over here would make it feel better. (~_^)

i dunno how you manage to “discuss” things with people like that. i don’t have the stamina!
Elijah Armstrong
04/23/2013 at 5:01 PM (Edit)

I like the guy who flatly asserts that “there is zero evidence that intelligence is heritable.”

As hbd chick implied, you are wasting your time with these idiots.
04/24/2013 at 10:10 PM (Edit)

Even the megalopolis apartment complexes in Hong Kong were based on the courtyard house:

Mapping the Horrors of Hong Kong’s ‘Lawless’ Walled City – Cool Graphic Thing – Curbed National
Big Nose Kate
05/22/2013 at 12:52 PM (Edit)

Hello anybody there? Woolwich murder – google if you haven’t heard. Kate
hbd chick
05/22/2013 at 3:09 PM (Edit)

@kate – “Hello anybody there? Woolwich murder – google if you haven’t heard. Kate”

i see it. jesus. =/

where the f*ck are these guys from? i mean, what’s their ethnicity? they’re black, not afghani or something.

isn’t it just great that the british population has been de-armed.
Greying Wanderer
05/22/2013 at 4:04 PM (Edit)

“where the f*ck are these guys from?”

they look west african – possibly west indians converted and radicalized in jail.
hbd chick
05/22/2013 at 5:01 PM (Edit)

@grey – “possibly west indians converted and radicalized in jail.”

terrific. =/
05/26/2013 at 1:47 AM (Edit)

As a professing Christian, I deplore the doing of murder. As a professing Christian, I also don’t mind too much the shooting dead of people who are about to murder one, if that’s the only way to stop them. Sometimes, that’s the only way to stop them.

I do hope and trust that hbdchick has armed herself with a small but effective pocket pistol and takes it with her every time she goes out.

It would be even better if such were legal in the jurisdiction in which she lives. I am betting that that is not so. I think she should do it anyway.
hbd chick
05/26/2013 at 11:37 AM (Edit)

@justthisguy – “I do hope and trust that hbdchick has armed herself with a small but effective pocket pistol and takes it with her every time she goes out.”

never fear! i’m a big fan/supporter of the second amendment. (~_^)
06/02/2013 at 9:49 AM (Edit)

Tyler Cowen linked to this on the high student debt (despite free tuition) in Sweden resulting from kids moving out and paying their own rent:

That in turn linked to an interesting paper by Reher on family co-residence patterns in Europe which are divided north/south rather than along the Hajnal line. The Roman empire, Germanic norms and Muslim/Oriental culture is all said to play a role at some point, but the earliest correlation they mention is kids leaving the house to work as servants. Sounds like the sort of thing that would be up your alley.
hbd chick
06/02/2013 at 2:57 PM (Edit)

@tggp – “That in turn linked to an interesting paper by Reher on family co-residence patterns in Europe which are divided north/south rather than along the Hajnal line.”

thanks! i have seen the reher paper before thanks to m.g. (from the now closed down “those who can see” blog =( — come back to us, m.g.!), but i should look at it again. definitely up my alley! (^_^)
06/09/2013 at 12:41 PM (Edit)

Well, hbd* chick, looks like you’re about to get your wish – M.G. (Those Who Can See) is back! (I also tweeted about it.)
hbd chick
06/09/2013 at 12:52 PM (Edit)

@nelson – “M.G. (Those Who Can See) is back!”


06/21/2013 at 10:10 PM (Edit)

I just got notified by email of a very nasty troll comment on this thread. I don’t see it here. Thanks for that, ‘chick!
Tim Ossman
07/09/2013 at 8:06 AM (Edit)

This new theory of human evolution WILL be the most amazing thing you read today!

(Spoiler: Chimp + Pig = Human)
LInton Herbert
07/11/2013 at 12:37 PM (Edit)

@Tim Ossman “This new theory of human evolution WILL be the most amazing thing you read today!” Wow. You are quite right. Amazing. I like it. Can’t give it more than an open mind, but it’s a lot to think about. At last somebody is thinking as far outside the box as I am and is totally original. I shall certainly write to him.
07/12/2013 at 8:34 PM (Edit)

I recently attended a family reunion of sorts, first time in many years…. two of my first cousins blatantly hit on me for several days, one of them even told me I was the most handsome man she knows…. unfortunately one of them is married and the other lives far away, so what should I do? did I blow it by not seducing my hot cuz? Linton Herbert, please advise. we are Scotch-Irish and the single one is my mother’ brother’s daughter if that matters.
LInton Herbert
07/13/2013 at 4:25 AM (Edit)

@bleach “Linton Herbert, please advise” Of course I can’t actually advise anybody about anthing except my medical specialty, which this isn’t. But on an friendly, casual basis I’d say you are in great shape. The married one is obvioulsy off limits. But at least you know she’s married. I have not always known when I was dating a woman. As for the other, long distances are less of an issue than they once were. I think there is a real question as to whether first cousin is a bit too close. I would only use that in retrospect, if it never goes anywhere you can just say “oh well, first cousin.” Can’t lose. As far as how to proceed I think the usual course is to blab to everybody that knows both of you. Don’t need to ask for an opinion. That you’ll get no matter what.
That’s the best I can do. All the best luck.
07/13/2013 at 8:50 AM (Edit)

@HBD Chick:

You’ve made it to the final frontier. See the comments:

Aliens: Angels or Demons? (Space Exploration II) | Social Evolution Forum
hbd chick
07/13/2013 at 9:50 AM (Edit)

@jayman – “You’ve made it to the final frontier. See the comments.”

hbd chick iiiinnnnnnnn spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaccccccceeeeeeeeee!!!! (~_^)

awesome! thanks for the plug. (^_^)

you know, i have to say that i’m with hawking on this — QUIT trying to contact the aliens, ’cause that could go really wrong! =/ (the movies ‘alien’ and ‘aliens’ left a big impression on me. (~_^) )

i’d love to find them, of course … but in some sort of stealthy way so that they didn’t know we were here.
07/16/2013 at 7:41 AM (Edit)

@hbd chick.

How do you feel about mulattoes?

Also how do you feel about mulattocentrism/centrists? (i’m one, but not racist)
hbd chick
07/16/2013 at 2:06 PM (Edit)

@mixedraced – “How do you feel about mulattoes?”

i feel about mulattoes — and any mixed ethnic/race people — they way i feel about all humans. people are people! i take each individual as they come. (^_^)

@mixedraced – “Also how do you feel about mulattocentrism/centrists?”

never thought about it. i didn’t even know there was such a thing as “mulattocentrism.” guess it shouldn’t surprise me — pretty much all (probably all) groups of people are “-centric” in their own fashion.
07/16/2013 at 10:35 PM (Edit)

I am not an expert on kin selection. What do you think of GNXP’s criticisms of the Rushton-Harpending model of ethnocentrism?
hbd chick
07/16/2013 at 10:48 PM (Edit)

@elijah – “I am not an expert on kin selection. What do you think of GNXP’s criticisms of the Rushton-Harpending model of ethnocentrism?”

are you thinking of/referring to something written by razib recently or some older stuff on the old blog (i’d have to have a read — or re-read maybe — of either to see what i think of it now)?
07/16/2013 at 10:50 PM (Edit)

hbd chick
07/16/2013 at 10:52 PM (Edit)

@elijah – thanks! i’ll have a look at it in the a.m. (^_^) (or more likely, the p.m. (~_^) )
hbd chick
07/17/2013 at 9:00 PM (Edit)

@elijah – “What do you think of GNXP’s criticisms of the Rushton-Harpending model of ethnocentrism?”

i couldn’t find those criticisms by gnxp that you mentioned — the link you gave seems to go to a critique of tim wise and the question of “do races exist?”, yada, yada, yada — so, instead i’ll just give you some of my thoughts on the matter. these aren’t my final thoughts, by any means — i’m still trying to work it out, too!

the centerpiece of this whole discussion is, of course, hamilton’s inclusive fitness theory. once you understand/accept that, then the question becomes: can ethnocentrism be selected for given how (we think) inclusive fitness works?

unfortunately for me, i s*ck at math, so i have to take the word of the population geneticists on this, and most of them (presumably the gnxp boys, too) present arguments re. the evolution of ethnocentrism along the lines of what greg cochran said here. and i get what he’s saying there, and i largely agree with it … but, of course, i feel as though he (and the rest of them) are overlooking the effects of inbreeding/outbreeding.

all populations don’t have the same kinship coefficients, and you would think that altruistic behaviors would have a greater genetic pay off in inbreeding societies rather than outbreeding ones (and that is what the modelling seems to show). because there are greater inclusive fitness payoffs in inbreeding societies, i think that some strong selection pressures for very altruistic/clannish individuals can arise in those populations. then it seems that you wind up with divided societies in which every clan is at each other clan’s throats — the arabs being a wonderful example.

greg cochran, in that post i linked to above, thinks that they got this way because they had the altruism bred out of them (through millennia of fighting for large empires) and, so, only have really close familial altruism left. i think it’s just the opposite. i think that they’ve had the really close familial altruism bred into them via at least a couple of millennia of really close inbreeding (fbd marriage). the arabs, then, have a hard time being ethnocentric at all, under their traditional circumstances (i.e. living in tribes), because they are so genetically divided (see henry harpending’s graph of druze kin relatedness here) AND because they have so many “genes for familal altruism” (whatever they are). imo, middling inbred — or even very outbred — populations might have a better chance of being ethnocentric, because they would probably not be so hung up on their own extended families/clans.

circumstances matter, though, and people’s behaviors can be manipulated and their innate feeling can be misapplied in the wrong circumstances — i mean, we might be “programmed” to behave in certain ways (eg. clannish) thanks to natural selection, but those behaviors might’ve been selected for in a certain environment. remove an individual from his “natural” environment and place him in a new one, and his behaviors might be mismatched. for example, the ottoman turks took some very clannish individuals (out of the caucasus region and the balkans) and turned them into very loyal, hard-fighting soldiers (the janissaries) — loyal to the turks, that is. so, clannish behaviors can be used (and abused), if you can get at individuals at a young enough age. i think the tsarnaev brothers are a sort-of example of this — they were removed from their “natural” habitat (their chechen clans living and fighting in the mountains), and they searched around — and were probably influenced by others — for a purpose in life — and they applied their clannish behaviors towards a greater chechen/muslim cause. they became ethnocentric thanks to changing circumstances.

having said all that, henry harpending and frank salter have (if i’ve understood it correctly) a very interesting idea which they’ve presented in a recent paper (which i really ought to blog about one of these days), and that is that, given The 10,000 Year Explosion — i.e. that human evolution has sped up in the last 10,000 or so years due to the huge population increases — there might’ve been greater chances for ethnocentrism to develop because there were more people and more populations interacting. you can especially imagine this working in the fertile crescent where there’s been rather large-ish populations now — city-states, etc. — for many millennia now. it’s an interesting idea — and i need to think about it some more.

rushton definitely found a lot of interesting and good evidence showing that people are attracted to individuals like themselves, presumably genetically similar individuals, although that would work better in a traditional, homogeneous society rather than in modern, multi-ethnic ones. but i don’t think that his genetic similarity theory can explain ethnocentrism. i think it’s more complicated than that, but what the right answer(s) is, i don’t know. the jury’s still out!
07/17/2013 at 9:25 PM (Edit)

Sorry – wrong link. Here is a better one:
hbd chick
07/20/2013 at 8:03 PM (Edit)

@elijah – “Sorry – wrong link. Here is a better one.”

ah. davidb’s discussions on salter’s book. i remember those.

i never understood why davidb bothered to write so much about it — from a technical, scientific point-of-view, that is — when salter’s book is a political, not a biological, treatise. davidb acknowledged as much:

“It is essential to understand that Salter is *not* presenting a biological theory of how people have evolved, how they will evolve in future, or why they behave in the way they do. [Note 2] As Salter puts it himself: ’the present work is not primarily a theory of human behavior, but of interests. Rather than being a work of explanation, this is mainly an exercise in political theory dealing with what people are able to do if they want to behave adaptively (p.85)… my main goal in this chapter is not to describe how people actually behave. Rather, I explore how individuals would behave if they were attempting to preserve their genetic interests (p.257)’….

“Note 2: Although Salter frequently refers to W. D. Hamilton’s theory of inclusive fitness, he does not claim that this explains interactions between distant ethnic groups: ’From the point of view of Hamiltonian theory, the adaptiveness of altruism is dependent on local, not global, circumstances (p.149).”

so, salter and davidb are, as far as i can ascertain, (probably) in agreement about whether or not ETHNOcentric feelings can evolve (unlikely — see my comments above).

however, frank salter would like people to at least contemplate political decisions along ethnic lines, whereas davidb really seems to not like that idea at all.

and never the ‘twain shall meet, prolly.

those discussions were more of a political one than anything else, afaict.
07/20/2013 at 9:04 PM (Edit)

But you did say above that ethnocentrism pays off genetically, that it can evolve under Hamiltonian circumstances, etc. davidb would disagree.

Out of curiosity, do you yourself subscribe to Salter’s prescriptions?
hbd chick
07/20/2013 at 9:29 PM (Edit)

@elijah – “But you did say above that ethnocentrism pays off genetically, that it can evolve under Hamiltonian circumstances….”

no. according to the population geneticists — and i’m forced to take their word on this (’cause i’ve been too lazy to brush up on my limited algebraic skills and try to work it out for myself) — ETHNOcentrism does not pay off genetically. or, rather, the genetic payoffs wouldn’t result in ethnocentrism (that’s the way to look at it). most people in your ethnic group are not closely enough related to you for the genetic payoff to work. as greg cochran says — the math doesn’t work. apparently (and i can kinda see this) after ca. first cousins, the genetic payoff is so small that it would be hard to get altruism (in this case, ethnocentrism) to evolve under those circumstances.

my objection to what these population geneticists have to say is that, i think, they’re overlooking that some groups wind up having more intense altruism feelings because they’re inbred. and otoh very outbred groups seem to wind up with strong universalistic feelings, but that shouldn’t be confused with ethnocentrism. such universalistic sentiments can get directed in all sorts of ways.

@elijah – “Out of curiosity, do you yourself subscribe to Salter’s prescriptions?”

i haven’t read salter’s book, only a million or so blogposts on it. (~_^)

i’m what i like to call a natural conservative — i’m not a religious one or anything like that — i just think it’s a good idea to exercise caution before changing things. it’s not that i don’t like change (bring on the robots!) — i just think one ought to think and think twice before making BIG changes.

if western civilization (which i happen to like) is somehow connected to the natures of the peoples who built it (i think it is), then i think we should be cautious before making BIG changes to that population. for me, that means mass immigration.

wrt things like inter-ethnic or inter-racial marriage, i could care less. i don’t have any negative gut reactions to such pairings — in fact, they typically bring out the inner-hippie in me, and i wind up saying things like “well, it’s not like there’s too much love in the world!” (~_^) and it’s not as if the influx of new genes into a population is always a bad thing either.

otoh, if tomorrow the entire white world wanted to marry with non-whites (that includes east asians), i’d ask them to think twice about it. i wouldn’t advocate stopping everybody, but i’d ask them to inform themselves and make sure that they’re sure about what they’d be doing.
Benjamin David Steele
07/26/2013 at 1:01 PM (Edit)

@hbd chick – I guess you’re on vacation or something at the moment. Let me leave you a gift here for when you return.

I’ve recently started reading some books on African ethnicities and cultures as they relate to the slavery-driven African diaspora. My studies have only begun, but I’ve already learned much.

There were many different ethnic groups that had large numbers enslaved. They were a diverse lot: Polytheists, Muslims, Christians, tribes, kingdoms, matrilineals, patrilineals, miners, dye makers, weavers, architects, artists, th highly educated, etc.

For various reasons, slaves of the same ethnic groups clustered in the same places. Partly, this was just about transportation routes from and the closest ports to particular slave trade locations in Africa. Also, slaveholders often sought out particular ethnicities. There is the reason of the skills that certain ethnicities were specialized in. Plus, it could be easier to manage slaves who shared the sae language, a language the slaveholder might be familiar with.

An even more basic reason was in socializing African captives to the life of slavery. For example, the Igbo were known for being prone to suicide. Meeting other Igbos that were slaves was a great comfort to them. In general, slaves often sought out other slaves of their ethnicity, even traveling to nearby plantations which wasn’t uncommon.

Slaves didn’t give up their ethnic identities easily or quickly. Generations after being enslaved, slaves would still give their children Traditional African names. Similar to the Irish and Italians, distress made them cling to their ethnic identities all the more strongly.

There appears to be a lot of recent research showing how African ethnic groups influenced the societies they became apart of. For example, 18th century South Carolina was majority black and they were often the ones raising the white children. A large part of white Southern culture originates from Africa. It really is a creole culture or so the argument goes.

The reason I was thinking of you as I was reading is that I occasionally noticed references to family and social structures. Enslaved Africans seem like a good case group for exploring how culture gets passed on and transformed as family and social structures change. You might be able to glean some useful info from the following books:

The African Diaspora
Patrick Manning

Diasporic Africa
Michael Gomez

Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas
Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

Africans in Colonial Louisiana
Gwendlyn Midlo Hall

The Akan Diaspora
Kwasi Konadu

Black Rice
Judith A. Carney

Strange New Land
Peter Wood

Black Majority
Peter Wood

The World They Made Together
Mechal Sobel

Reading African into American Literature
Keith Cartwright
LInton Herbert
07/26/2013 at 4:52 PM (Edit)

@ Benjamin David Steele “For example, 18th century South Carolina was majority black and they were often the ones raising the white children.” I had ancestors there at that time and, yes, that sounds right to me.
Benjamin David Steele
07/26/2013 at 6:15 PM (Edit)

@Linton Herbert – One of the things researchers have discovered is that rice cultivation developed in Africa independently of Asia. It was African rice plants and techniques that were imported to South Carolina and Georga. Thi required the importation of slaves from specific ethnic groups that grew rice and with them came their rice-growing social structure, culture and customs.

BTW I came across some other details about the Igbo. Besides suicde, they were alos prone to run away. This made them less attractive to many slaveholders, but there was another trait that made them more valuable. The Igbo were quite the exogamous bunch. I guess that meant that they weren’t picky about their mates, even if no other Igbo were around. This led them to have lots of kids
Benjamin David Steele
07/26/2013 at 9:38 PM (Edit)

The book I’m reading right now is Hall’s Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas. Here are two choice bits:

“Igbo did not adjust to working in large slave gangs growing sugar or cotton. According to Michael Mullin, South Carolina slave owners considered Igbo unsuitable for rice production. This could explain why they were not appreciated in South Carolina, where rice was the major export crop, and were more appreciated in Virginia, where tobacco reigned.”
Kindle Location 1902

“In regions like the Chesapeake, where natural reproduction of the slave population was a high priority, the Igbo were probably not “refuse” slaves but actually preferred. Because of the independent positon and stance of Igbo women in Africa, their willingness to mate outside their ethnicity and to bear and raise children, their identification with small, local places, and their attachment to the land where their first child was born, they were well equipped to establish new communities on small estates where clear hierarchical structures were weak or absent. African Americans are likely to be descended directly from African women via the female line because they have many more white male than white female ancestors. In the United States, African mothers were reasonably likely to be igbo or Wolof. [ . . . ] quoting from Dike: “Perhaps the overriding genius of the Ibos, Ibibios, Ijaws, Ekoi, and Efiks and their political institutions lay in their extraordinary powers of adaptability [ . . . ]”
Kindle Location 1917

Isn’t that fascinating?

Two things strike me. First, Virginia ended up having uch a surplus of slaves, along with a surplus of citizens, that Virginia did more than its fair share in populating the rest of the South. Second, what makes the Igbo so unique, particularly in the South, was their extreme lack of clannishness.
LInton Herbert
07/27/2013 at 5:40 AM (Edit)

@ Benjamin David Steele “rice cultivation developed in Africa independently of Asia. It was African rice plants and techniques that were imported to South Carolina” That’s fascinating. It used to be said as a joke, “In South Carolina we are Chinese; we eat rice and worship our ancestors.” Sad world when you can’t even beleve jokes, eh?
07/28/2013 at 1:10 AM (Edit)

@Tim Ossman

(Spoiler: Chimp + Pig = Human)

(Pig + Man + Bear = ManBearPig)
08/25/2013 at 11:12 PM (Edit)

Might be of interest to you. Latest from Peter Turchin:

Ibn Khaldun on the Rise and Decline of Corporate Empires | Social Evolution Forum
LInton Herbert
09/06/2013 at 6:50 AM (Edit)

@ Eren Jäger ” I would appreciate it if you could direct some traffic there.” I took a look at your site. Maybe I should have posted this note there.

At all events, yes it seems to me that “epigenetics” is well accepted as a phenomenon and epigenetic markers are, to a degree, passed from one generation to the next. There have indeed been suggestions that environmentally induced epigenetic signals can be passed along.

My own interest is in fertility. There is substantial evidence that if breeding is to close – inbreeding – there is a fertilty price to pay. If kinship is too remote – outbreeding – there is a similary penalty. Past some point, oh say 10th cousin, the mechanism saturates and there is no further penalty. However, the mechanism appears to be such that infertility accumulates over multiple generations. My suspicion is that this is what has caused the demographic decline in the west, and it would take a miracle to avert a disaster.

So far as I can tell the mechanism must be epigenetic. I cannot invent a classical genetic mechanism that would account for the evidence. I post what I can find out at

Keep up the good work.
Linton Herbert
Bob Wallace
09/24/2013 at 10:51 AM (Edit)

Thanks for the link.

Do you ever write about imaginative introverted types capable of great concentration? Say Adam Smith? I get the distinct impression these people have been responsible for a great many discoveries/inventions – probably than any other group.
hbd chick
09/25/2013 at 4:48 PM (Edit)

@bob – “Do you ever write about imaginative introverted types capable of great concentration? Say Adam Smith? I get the distinct impression these people have been responsible for a great many discoveries/inventions – probably than any other group.”

no, i haven’t, but i think you’re probably right. i was enjoying flipping through this book the other day. (^_^)
Greying Wanderer
09/26/2013 at 1:20 AM (Edit)

“no. according to the population geneticists — and i’m forced to take their word on this…ETHNOcentrism does not pay off genetically. or, rather, the genetic payoffs wouldn’t result in ethnocentrism (that’s the way to look at it). most people in your ethnic group are not closely enough related to you for the genetic payoff to work.”

I wonder about this – but will have to learn some math to prove it (or prove myself wrong).

If you start from now and look at it from the point of view of a particular individual and do the math on the basis of degrees of relatedness from that individual then yes i see that point.

But if you start from the beginning with a founder population expanding then you’re talking about a population who *start off* sharing a lot of genes.

It’s why i think exogamous marriage within an endogamous limit – for most of history an ethnic limit based on physical geography – makes the population more related rather than less. Imagine a highly related founder population arriving in Ireland for example. They start off with the same collection of genes and as they divide and spread out over the island the various clan groups become *less* related through drift etc but they are still more related to each other than they are to Africans. If at some point the population adopts an exogamous marriage form and applies it for long enough within that island limit so the variation between those clan grous is averaged out then i think they end up with everyone 4th or 5th cousins.

So i think ethno-centrism may turn out to pay off genetically on condition
– shared founder population
– exogamous marriage within the limit of that shared founder population over a long enough time to average out the relatedness
– small population size so the level of relatedness at the end of the process is still high

I think the result of being part of a population of say five million 5th cousins would show in things like attitude to publicly funded health, education, clean water etc – can’t prove it though :)
LInton Herbert
09/26/2013 at 4:44 AM (Edit)

@ Greying wanderer “I think the result of being part of a population of say five million 5th cousins would show in things like attitude to publicly funded health, education, clean water etc – can’t prove it though :)” I think somebody did a project that found that Ashkenazi Jews in this counry are related as seventh cousins, so that might be your test case.
On the other hand, the fertility payoff is probably not genetic at all. It’s epigenetic.

If you look at the Iceland data concerning consanguinty and fertility (go to and scroll down to An Association between Kinship and Fertility of Human Couples Agnar Helgason et al. SCIENCE vol. 329 no. 5864 February 8, 2008 page 813 – 816) you will see that the fertility boost fades away after only a few generations. The Asheknazi are related as seventh cousins genetically, but that took thousands of years. It’s not like they had a common ancester 8 generations ago. If they had their fertiltiy would be really good, and it’s not.
Bob Wallace
09/27/2013 at 4:25 PM (Edit)

“Flatlanders vs. Mountain”

That’s interesting. My father was a general contractor. What we noticed (and perhaps this has being going on for a long time) is that whites live up in the hills and non-whites live in the valleys.
09/28/2013 at 9:41 PM (Edit)

You’ve waited over seven months (excepting my blog post on the Jakiyah McKoy controversy) – now the wait is OVER!

HBD: On Puerto Ricans and Their Heritage, Part I: Before the Taíno :: Concourse Expressions
10/02/2013 at 11:11 AM (Edit)

love…Love…LOVE your linkfest! But one question…in the, “Maths is a man thing” post, does anybody know why people from the UK say “maths” instead of “math” like we do in the US??? They don’t say “sciences” and they don’t say “futbols” in reference to the sport…so why do they say “maths”…I find this quite vexing!
10/03/2013 at 4:31 AM (Edit)

@Robin “does anybody know why people from the UK say “maths” instead of “math”” I have no idea, but I’ll bet if you asked they’d respond, “For the same reason you say “mathematics” instead of “mathematic.”
10/25/2013 at 2:32 PM (Edit)

In reference to this article:
[from hbdchick's twitter]

“Ancient DNA Links Native Americans With Europe”

“Where did the first Americans come from? Most researchers agree that Paleoamericans moved across the Bering Land Bridge from Asia sometime before 15,000 years ago, suggesting roots in East Asia. But just where the source populations arose has long been a mystery.
Now comes a surprising twist, from the complete nuclear genome of a Siberian boy who died 24,000 years ago—the oldest complete genome of a modern human sequenced to date. His DNA shows close ties to those of today’s Native Americans. Yet he apparently descended not from East Asians, but from people who had lived in Europe or western Asia. The finding suggests that about a third of the ancestry of today’s Native Americans can be traced to “western Eurasia,” with the other two-thirds coming from eastern Asia, according to a talk at a meeting* here by ancient DNA expert Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen. It also implies that traces of European ancestry previously detected in modern Native Americans do not come solely from mixing with European colonists, as most scientists had assumed, but have much deeper roots.”

This is not unsurprising. There are connections if one looks at HLA alleles & haplotypes.
For example:

HLA B*27:05

Sweden Northern Sami [N=154] 20.00%
USA Alaska Yupik [N=252] 11.50%
Sweden Southern Sami [N=130] 10.50%
USA North American Native [N=187] 8.60%
USA Arizona Pima [N=100] 7.90%
USA South Dakota Lakota Sioux [N=302] 7.40%
Belgium [N=99] 7.10%
USA Arizona Gila River Amerindian [N=492] 6.20%
Finland [N=91] 6.10%
Poland [N=20,653] 4.68%
Ireland South [N=250] 4.20%
England North West [N=298] 4.20%
India Tamil Nadu Nadar [N=61] 4.10%
Austria [N=200] 3.80%
Croatia [N=150] 3.70%
Germany [N=8862] 3.71%

etc. etc. etc.

hbd chick
10/25/2013 at 6:42 PM (Edit)

@chris – “This is not unsurprising. There are connections if one looks at HLA alleles & haplotypes.”

cool! (^_^)
10/25/2013 at 8:37 PM (Edit)

Hey all, I’m laofmoonster, I’ve been vaguely aware of HBD for years but have been getting into it for the last 6 months or so. I was wondering, has anyone proposed that exogamy selects for high verbal IQ? People in exogamous cultures are forced to socialize with strangers more. To find a suitable spouse, they have to put more individual effort into courtship than in a clannish culture with arranged marriage.

This would explain the higher verbal IQ of Europeans compared to East Asians. As hbdchick has noted, Europeans have been exogamous since medieval times, while East Asia commonly had cousin marriages into the 20th century.
10/25/2013 at 9:21 PM (Edit)

I believe one of the Japanese inbreeding studies showed a relatively strong effect of inbreeding on verbal ability, so this is possible.
hbd chick
10/26/2013 at 4:35 PM (Edit)

@elijah – “I believe one of the Japanese inbreeding studies showed a relatively strong effect of inbreeding on verbal ability, so this is possible.”

huh. interesting! thanks, elijah.
10/27/2013 at 4:27 AM (Edit)

@hbd chick “@elijah – “I believe one of the Japanese inbreeding studies showed a relatively strong effect of inbreeding on verbal ability, so this is possible.”

huh. interesting! thanks, elijah.” Wait. I’m getting disoriented. I thought the Japanese were smarter than everybody else by a big margin. And I thought everthing bad was being attributed to inbreeding. Where did I miss the boat?
10/27/2013 at 11:55 AM (Edit)

I thought I would just mention here. I’ve had a WordPress account since 2009 but never used it. However yesterday (Saturday) I had an hour or so where I wasn’t busy, so decided to create my first ever blog post. When or if there will be another post I couldn’t say yet. But justifies having a WordPress account I suppose. Anyway here it is:

[I probably need to learn how to actually write a blog post. Should there be a beginning, middle, and end for example? I must read up on it.]
hbd chick
10/27/2013 at 4:58 PM (Edit)

@anonymous – “And I thought everthing bad was being attributed to inbreeding. Where did I miss the boat?”

well, perhaps it’s because inbreeding isn’t always a bad thing. or that inbreeding isn’t a wholly bad thing.

as i’ve said before:

“obviously inbreeding is not (always) the whole story wrt high or low iqs. (i don’t see why this hasn’t been obvious to everybody since inbreeding is how we get thoroughbreds, after all! inbreeding can be good for you.)”
hbd chick
10/27/2013 at 5:06 PM (Edit)

@chris – “…decided to create my first ever blog post.”

oh, yay! (^_^) seriously — that is excellent! please, post more!

and do, please, re-post your guest post from here on hla’s over on your new blog. (^_^)

maps. maps would be great. visual aids. isn’t there a map function on
hbd chick
10/27/2013 at 5:14 PM (Edit)

@chris – “I probably need to learn how to actually write a blog post. Should there be a beginning, middle, and end for example? I must read up on it.”

(~_^) i still haven’t figured that out, either. if you find out, lemme know! (^_^)
10/28/2013 at 4:25 AM (Edit)

@hbd chick “well, perhaps it’s because inbreeding isn’t always a bad thing. or that inbreeding isn’t a wholly bad thing.” Thanks. Got it. My brain feel better now.
10/28/2013 at 4:29 AM (Edit)

@hbd chic, “i still haven’t figured that out, either” I think it’s unanimous that you’re really good.
10/28/2013 at 12:36 PM (Edit)

@hbdchick – “oh, yay! (^_^) seriously — that is excellent!”

Cheers! Thank you very much..

“please, post more!”

Will do, thanks.

Definitely some good advice about re-posting my guest post from this blog, don’t know why I didn’t think of that first. Will do it.

You are absolutely right about the maps. A visual element is what is needed. does have maps. Will have to do a bit of reading up on how to actually use WordPress, maybe upgrade my account at some point as well. Thanks.
Greying Wanderer
11/02/2013 at 3:34 PM (Edit)

Why mass immigration causes hidden deflation

11/03/2013 at 4:36 AM (Edit)

@greying wanderer “Why mass immigration causes hidden deflation” What oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed.
Greying Wanderer
11/03/2013 at 4:11 PM (Edit)


ty. it’s been instinctively (and visually) obvious to a lot of people but hard to put your finger on exactly what the mechanism is.
11/04/2013 at 5:17 PM (Edit)

Human superbiodiversity chick, eh? Sounds all sorts of awesome, but I must ask – what is superbiodiversity?
11/28/2013 at 3:11 PM (Edit)

I have some questions after reading your blog for a bit:

There’s the thesis that outbreeding among north-west Europeans contributed to their disavowal of nepotism, clan rivalries, advancement of capitalism, etc. They trusted distantly related people more than did their more inbred cousins in southern and eastern Europe. This brings me to my confusion – in European colonies the attitudes towards the natives seems to be the opposite of what this hypothesis would predict. Northwest Euro colonizers (British, Dutch, later the Germans ..) had very restrictive rules about how different ethnicities interacted with each other – segregation and apartheid. In contrast, the more clannish Euros mixed much more freely with the natives and imported slaves – the Portuguese are canonical examples, but the Spanish did the same. I would have thought that it would be the other way around.

Is this a problem for the hypothesis? Or is it accounted for in a way that I haven’t grasped yet?
hbd chick
11/29/2013 at 6:23 AM (Edit)

@ckp – “This brings me to my confusion – in European colonies the attitudes towards the natives seems to be the opposite of what this hypothesis would predict. Northwest Euro colonizers (British, Dutch, later the Germans ..) had very restrictive rules about how different ethnicities interacted with each other – segregation and apartheid. In contrast, the more clannish Euros mixed much more freely with the natives and imported slaves – the Portuguese are canonical examples, but the Spanish did the same. I would have thought that it would be the other way around.”

yeah, that’s a good question!

i think the difference probably stems from the differing migration patterns between the nw european colonizers vs. the iberians: the britich, dutch, and germans tended to migrate in whole family units — mom, dad, the kids (see Albion’s Seed on this, for example) — whereas the iberians tended to be mostly males (at least early on — i’m not sure why this was, actually — did they have an excess of second sons or what?). with the mostly male spaniards and portugese in the new world, of couse they were going to “fraternize” with the locals, because they wanted wives (and there were comparatively few iberian girls to choose from)! the nw europeans in north america — they were arriving with whole societies in tow — priests, merchants, farmers — and all with their families. they were really and truly transplanting themselves and their (ideal) societies in the new world.

i think that’s probably the explanation, although i could be wrong. could always be a problem for my theory. (~_^) i’ll keep it in mind. thanks for bringing it up!


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