hbd rules

over @ altright, man-of-the-people and champion of the working class, scott locklin, has been reviewing (in a terrific series of posts, btw) america’s social classes and the current war between them.

he’s right. there’s a ginNORmous class war in america right now with the upper crusties allied with the lower classes (especially minorities) vs. the hard-working middle and upper-working (especially white) classes.

but he’s wrong when he characterizes hbd studies as all about “race and genetics” (“Many people on the Alternative Right seem to think that race and genetics are the ultimate forbidden topic in America today.”)

hbd is not just “race and genetics”, although one could be forgiven for thinking so since most of the hbd (and related) blogs out there tend to focus mainly on race, iq and the sexes.

but that’s not what hbd is all about – or it shouldn’t be anyway. no – studies of human biodiversity are simply studies of biology with a focus on the various human phenotypes and behaviors.

yes, i’m talking consilience.

sure, there’s a class war in america right now (and prolly in most other countries), but i don’t think it will be understood unless we take a look at the underlying biology generating these behaviors. marxist – or any other social – theory just ain’t gonna cut it.

why are american upper crusties battling the middles classes? what’s in it for their genes?

maybe it’s ’cause the two groups are not very related (genetically speaking) anymore (think of the likes of obama, too). maybe it’s ’cause the upper crusties are mostly psychopaths. maybe they’re just misguided and their behaviors (and, therefore, their genotypes) will be weeded out by natural selection (we can always hope!).

but i guaratee you – their behavior, like everyone else’s on the planet, is rooted in their biology; and without understanding that we will never understand their actions.

THAT is what hbd is all about.

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bug’s got personality…

so it turns out that even bugs have personalities – personalities that are prolly largely innate – but bugs, too, learn and are influenced by their environment – so the personality of a bug is affected by both its nature and nurture. makes sense, really. ma nature is nothing if not flexible.

which reminds me of what (*ahem*) bugs me about research into the biology of human cultures – i.e. that there isn’t much of any! and any little bit that there is tends to emphasize the nurture side of the equation while nearly ignoring the nature side.

take, for instance, this interesting finding that ed yong reported on recently:

Genes and culture: OXTR gene influences social behaviour differently in Americans and Koreans

“Kim [the researcher] looked at a specific version of the OXTR gene, whose carriers are allegedly more social and sensitive. But this link between gene and behaviour depends on culture; it exists among American people, who tend to look for support in troubled times, but not in Korean cultures, where such support is less socially acceptable. Culture sets the stage on which the OXTR gene expresses itself….

“Distressed Americans with one or more copies of the G version were more likely to seek emotional support from their friends, compared to those with two copies of the A version. But for the Koreans, the opposite was true – G carriers were less likely to look for support among their peers in times of need (although this particular trend was not statistically significant). In both cases, the G carriers were more sensitive to the social conventions of their own cultures. But the differences between these conventions led to different behaviour….”

ok. so the cultural context that a person with a certain OXTR allele finds himself in influences how he behaves. culture affects behavior = nuture kinda/sorta seems to trump nature here. or affects it a lot anyway. and that’s really interesting to know, i agree.

but here’s (what i find to be) the most interesting bit:

“Kim also hopes that her work will encourage more scientists to investigate the ways in which genes and culture evolve together. She notes that the G version of OXTR is more common among white Americans than Korea. It’s tantalisingly possible that American culture has come to emphasise social support partly because more people have genes that skew them towards social behaviour. So genes constrain culture, while culture creates the stage on which genes exact their influence.

uuhhhhh – i would say that not only do “genes constrain culture” but that genes really, really, like, strongly influence culture! i.e. sounds like they play a pretty gosh-darn big role in its formation! i mean, amirite? if human (and other) cultures are not, in part, products of biology, then where, exactly, do they come from? where does culture come from?

clearly many aspects of human cultures are accidents of cirucumstance – papua new guineans decorate themselves with feathers from birds of paradise…

…because they can, while austrians decorate themselves with (what?) grouse feathers…

so lots of humans like to decorate themselves with feathers. but, there are differences in how this is done and i don’t just mean in the types of feathers used. the png look above, for instance, is much more ostentatious than the austrian look. why? could it possibly be that there are some, you know, broad, innate personality differences between the png and austrian populations that affect the two very different cultures?

too many researchers seem to poo-poo such thinking. mind you, the researcher above (kim) seemed open to the idea: “Kim also hopes that her work will encourage more scientists to investigate the ways in which genes and culture evolve together.”

exactly! you’d think there must be some feedback thing going on here. nature+nuture affects behavior/culture affects nature again, and so on, and so on….

like i said before – where does culture come from? enquiring minds want to know!

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“you should be dancin’ yeah!”

now, i know the white boyz generally don’t like dancing, but if you should decide to bust some moves to impress the ladies, some advice: vary your moves and jiggle your right leg a lot. that’s what works according to the guys in the lab coats:

“The results, published in Biology Letters, were intriguing: the most attractive movements were those that had ‘variability and amplitude’ in the head, neck and trunk.

“Dr Neave explains that humans move in three planes. You can nod your head backwards and forwards, side to side or twist your neck to look over a shoulder. The women rated big movements in these three planes for both the head and the trunk as the most attractive. However, there was an additional factor, says Dr Neave. Headbanging (sorry, Motörhead fans) was simply not attractive: although it would show a large amplitude of movement in one plane it would not show the variability of movement that seems to appeal to women. Choreographers have told Dr Neave that movements in these three planes comes from strength and suppleness, so they would help to indicate a genetically fit male.

“One curiosity was that, statistically, the speed of movement of the right knee also appeared to be important in signalling dance quality. Dr Neave, however, believes this may simply result from 80% of men being right footed, and so tending to place more weight on their left foot in order to demonstrate leg-waggling prowess with the right one….”

or, just move like this (yowza!):

word

“If we suddenly become aware of our imminent death, and thus feel compelled to ponder the true purpose of our life, we might consider the possibility that we are simply an intermediate process that supports the replication of our genes. If this horrible fate is indeed true, it would be nice to have a brief chat with our genes, wishing them well on their journey throughout time. Unfortunately, such a discussion would likely provoke a rather disturbing reply: ‘who are you?’.

“So much for gratitude. For billions of years, these little ingrates have used life forms as a mere conduit for their compulsion to replicate themselves. They are responsible for the constant state of conflictedness in life: the never ending competitiveness of individual versus individual, group versus group, and species versus species.

“Just like the intelligent machines of ‘The Matrix’, these genes use life forms as their energy source for replication. And just like ‘The Matrix’, they have constructed a very elaborate and illusory world for us to live in: beauty, taste, sex, love, and even god are servants to these genetic masters, and constitute the genetosphere, or the neurobiology that has evolved to trick us into supporting genetic replication and waging their ugly and never ending wars of attrition.”

neuropolitics.org

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