linkfest – 01/15/12

The Case of the Missing Polygamists

A German by Any Other Name… – @those who can see. the globe stats for traits like “future orientation” and “collectivism” are really interesting. (thnx, m.g.!)

Changes in positions on social behaviors over time, by country – @the audacious epigone.

Class, Caste, and Genes – from henry harpending – h/t jayman!

Digit ratios and celebrity worship“[G]irls with more feminine digit ratios are much more likely to worship celebrities.” – @the inductivist.

Why Republicans Deny Science: The Quest for a Scientific Explanation – lots of good points in this article, but it’s really just the pot calling the kettle black.

Evolution: A Game of Chance – not much new here for a lot of you, but still a good read. maybe it’d be good to email it to confused family and/or friends. (~_^)

Inside Darwin’s Tumor – cancer evolves. @the loom.

Why Women Report Being in Worse Health Than Men“Women have a higher rate of underlying chronic health problems.”

bonus: Scientists discover soldier bees

bonus bonus: Smaller Than a Dime, The World’s Tiniest Frog Has Been Discovered

(note: comments do not require an email. smallest frog in the world. he’s so cuuuuuuuuute!)

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20 Comments

  1. I notice the Globe survey put China’s “in-group collectivism” at the very opposite pole compared to Western European societies. What does that mean? Does it have implications for China’s capacity to establish free markets and the rule of law?

    Reply

  2. @luke – “What does that mean? Does it have implications for China’s capacity to establish free markets and the rule of law?”

    good question! i dunno. (^_^)

    lemme finish my coffee here first … that might help. (might.)

    Reply

  3. I notice the Globe survey put China’s “in-group collectivism” at the very opposite pole compared to Western European societies. What does that mean?

    I’d love to better understand this data, I often throw it up hoping someone cleverer than I can make sense of it.

    If it helps, here is a link to the precise questions asked to create these indices (careful, some of them are reverse-coded, you’ll quickly see which).

    [FO – future orientation, IC – institutional collectivism, IGC – in-group collectivism, PO – performance orientation, UA – uncertainty avoidance]

    (I’ll try to post the questions for ‘in-group collectivism’ here, hope they don’t end up looking like gobbledygook:)

    -In this society, children should take pride in the individual accomplishments of their parents /Strongly agree/ /Neither agree nor disagree/ /Strongly disagree/

    -In this society, parents should take pride in the individual accomplishments of their children /Strongly agree/ /Neither agree nor disagree/ /Strongly disagree/

    -How important should it be to members of your society that your society is viewed positively by persons in other societies? /It should not be important at all / /It should be moderately important/ /It should be very important/

    -Members of this society should /Take no pride in being a member of the society/ /Take a moderate amount of pride in being a member of the society/ /Take a great deal of pride in being a member of the society/

    Also, these are only selected countries; I left out a great many countries which appear on the original indices. The whole list is fascinating, maybe I shall post it.

    Reply

  4. Oh dear, forgot to say– the GLOBE team asked the same questions two times, once in as it is form (how are things currently in your country?), and once in should form (how should things be in your country?) The list I linked to shows the questions in ‘should’ form, but the scores on the lists I posted are from the ‘as it is’ indices. So just change ‘should be’ to ‘is’ and you’ll have the right questions. Mea culpa.

    Reply

  5. Does it have implications for China’s capacity to establish free markets and the rule of law?

    Hong Kong seems to rate fairly high, though at the bottom of the pack for Chinese nations, while Singapore is near the top. Hong Kong is (famously?) a free market country, I think. Singapore I’m not sure about.

    Endogenous development might be another question though (given HK and Singapore are postcolonial).

    Reply

  6. @luke – “I notice the Globe survey put China’s ‘in-group collectivism’ at the very opposite pole compared to Western European societies. What does that mean?”

    the chinese scored higher than western european societies on the “in-group collectivism” questions (m.g.’s listed them above), so that must mean that the chinese disagreed more often/strongly with these two questions than europeans did…

    -In this society, children should take pride in the individual accomplishments of their parents

    -In this society, parents should take pride in the individual accomplishments of their children

    ..while they agree more often/strongly with these two questions than europeans did…

    -How important should it be to members of your society that your society is viewed positively by persons in other societies? It should be very important

    -Members of this society should Take a great deal of pride in being a member of the society

    so, the chinese seem to think one should be more proud of one’s society and societal achievements than individual achievements.

    @luke – “Does it have implications for China’s capacity to establish free markets and the rule of law?”

    i dunno. maybe these attitudes could impede free markets/rule of law — if you don’t take pride in your own accomplishments, maybe the opposite is true, too — maybe you don’t feel much shame if/when you fail — like fail to follow the law. i dunno. i’m just thinking out loud here….

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  7. @m.g. – “I’d love to better understand this data, I often throw it up hoping someone cleverer than I can make sense of it.”

    these are really interesting data! i hadn’t heard of the globe survey before (don’t know what planet i’ve been living on). thanks for posting them!

    @m.g. – “The whole list is fascinating, maybe I shall post it.”

    yes, please. (^_^)

    Reply

  8. “I notice the Globe survey put China’s “in-group collectivism” at the very opposite pole compared to Western European societies. What does that mean? Does it have implications for China’s capacity to establish free markets and the rule of law?”

    How very interesting.

    The two that jump out in terms of this site are in-group collectivism and institutional collectivism which i would call clannishness or clan-orientation and i’d go with MG’s choice of commonweal-orientation as a good term for the second.

    The list fits this site’s general thesis.

    1) There’s a general inverse pattern between clan-orientation and commonweal-orientation among Europeans (which is probably universal except, as suspected, in East Asia). I think this is more or less a straightforward relationship between levels of inbreeding. Inbreeding -> clannish. Outbreeding -> commonweal.

    2) There’s a more or less direct relationship between commonweal-orientation and national surplus. This is because clan-orientation, for all its good points, hinders national scale cooperation and thereby national economies of scale (again with the suspected exception of East Asia).

    2a) The wealth advantage may change if the commonweal-orientated go too far in extracting private wealth for public goods. Originally the commonweal-orientated extracted wealth for public investment i.e. sewers, clean water, which had a far greater return than the cost but the return on things like “no child left behind” is zero. I think northern Italy is possibly a good example of that. Their disinclination to pay taxes and follow rules was a wealth handicap 100 years ago when the northern europeans were pooling funds to provide public investment but since the northern europeans overshot into public malinvestment the Italians caught up.

    3) The East Asians solved the economies of scale problem in a different way to Europeans. They retained the clannishness but over-rode it with elite-directed commonweal-orientation i.e. conscientousness i.e. the whole Confucian obedience to father-parent thing extended to the state. The clannishness is still there (hence corruption imo) but it is suppressed by thousands of years of high-density living breeding conscientousness. I’m not sure conscientousness is the best word as what i mean is almost a secular version of religiosity. Either way they selected for it over a very long time – much longer than Europeans have been living (contiguously) lin large-scale high-density.

    It would be interesting to apply these traits to the Todd groupins.

    Reply

  9. The East Asians solved the economies of scale problem in a different way to Europeans. They retained the clannishness but over-rode it with elite-directed commonweal-orientation i.e. conscientousness i.e. the whole Confucian obedience to father-parent thing extended to the state.

    This is interesting. There seems to be something in the East Asian character that is more submissive to authority, more willing to place itself in the hierarchy without rebelling, more conformist. Could it indeed be the result of millennia of high-density living?

    I also wonder what is different in the Chinese and Japanese characters/histories to have made them take such different political/economic paths.

    It would be interesting to apply these traits to the Todd groupins.

    I agree. What is most frustrating about the GLOBE indices is that they only give nation-state level data. How I would love to see these broken down to the regional level. I think they would tell a more interesting story.

    Reply

  10. “Could it indeed be the result of millennia of high-density living?”

    I think so, +1% frequency of conscientousness per century or something like that.

    If so, some other groups should have the same e.g. Egyptians, some Middle East, South Asians and SE Asians but they may not have other traits like ordnung which i think might be a latitude thing so East Asians did it (jumped to national scale cooperation) with ordnung + conscientousness while Germans did it with ordnung + outbreeding?

    I think that’s basically the key to the broad brush differences – a quite small number of critical traits combined in different ways.

    thinking aloud – trying to think what the minimum list of combination traits might be
    – IQ (latitude?)
    – ordnung (latitude imo – winter preperations)
    – conscientousness (or some other word for applied confucianism) (selected for over time by high-density societies?)
    – outbreeding (religious imposition modifed by ordnung) vs clannishness (natural)

    – FTO (applied IQ?)(derived trait?)(IQ*trust i.e. IQ*outbreeding) or where IQ*clannishness -> low FTO potentialy replaced by East Asian form of (IQ*state FTO*conscientousness)(reliance on benign state?)

    .
    “I also wonder what is different in the Chinese and Japanese characters/histories to have made them take such different political/economic paths.”

    I think the yellow/yangtse rivers may be part of it i.e. Japanese adopted parts of Chinese culture which were derived from Chinese genetics but not the actual genes.

    Reply

  11. @g.w. – “The two that jump out in terms of this site are in-group collectivism and institutional collectivism which i would call clannishness or clan-orientation and i’d go with MG’s choice of commonweal-orientation as a good term for the second.

    The list fits this site’s general thesis.”

    yup. (^_^) commonweal-orientation is a good phrasing! i’ve been struggling to find the right words for it — the opposite of clannishness.

    @g.w. – “The East Asians solved the economies of scale problem in a different way to Europeans. They retained the clannishness but over-rode it with elite-directed commonweal-orientation i.e. conscientousness i.e. the whole Confucian obedience to father-parent thing extended to the state.”

    yeah, i was thinking the same thing — that the filial piety thing has just been transferred to the state somehow. todd talks about this, albeit from a psychological/freudian point-of-view (which is not all that terrible — todd just overlooks the evolutionary side of it) — that the exogamous community family (strong father, communal living) leads to such societies. i mean, think of the GIGANTIC pictures of chairman mao everywhere — talk about filial piety! and the recent happenings in north korea with the death of their Dear Leader.

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  12. wait. who around here was talking about the neonatism of east asians (or did i just read that on someone else’s blog?)? this is kinda far out, but what about east asians being sorta “neonates” not just physically, but also emotionally — like having strong, long-lasting attachments to parents?

    (i gotta go get some dinner. my brain is obviously suffering from a lack of kilojoules….)

    Reply

  13. @m.g. (and g.w.) – “There seems to be something in the East Asian character that is more submissive to authority, more willing to place itself in the hierarchy without rebelling, more conformist. Could it indeed be the result of millennia of high-density living?”

    cochran and harpending talk about the selection for conformism in east asians in “The 10,000 Year Explosion” — from pg. 112 (i posted about it here before):

    “We know of a gene that may play a part in this story: the 7R (for 7-repeat) allele of the DRD4 (dopamine receptor D4) gene. It is associated with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a behavioral syndrome best characterized by actions that annoy elementary school teachers: restless-impulsive behavior, inattention, distractibility, and the like.

    “The polymorphism is found at varying but significant levels in many parts of the world, but is almost totally absent from East Asia. Interestingly, alleles derived from the 7R allele are fairly common in China, even though the 7R alleles themselves are extremely rare there. It is possible that individuals bearing these alleles were selected against because of cultural patterns in China. The Japanese say that the nail that sticks out is hammered down, but in China it may have been pulled out and thrown away.”

    Reply

  14. “that the filial piety thing has just been transferred to the state somehow.”

    yes, i think the basic pattern is,
    1) clan-orientation is the natural state but prevents economies of scale
    2) modified clan-orientation which gets people to the city-state / large tribe level
    3) people mostly got stuck at this point and the only larger scale organisations were imperial i.e. a bunch of tribe / city-state units were coerced into a single entity. as they weren’t voluntary they would break apart into their constituent units as soon as the military coercion stopped.

    so far so good. i think the jump form (1) to (2) is likely to be at least partly a product of marriage patterns being adopted that led to a reduced level of inbreeding.

    4) In Europe, increased outbreeding from the cousin-ban reduced clan-orientation over time. I think natural commonweal-orientation has a more or less inverse relationship with clan-orientation so it increased leading to the jump to the national scale starting in northern europe. If the data was available i wouldn’t be surprised if you could match the year of the jump to a national sense of identity for each country with their drop in consanquinity levels – partly because counter-intuitively a drop in consanquinity also means increased relatedness at the national level.

    5) In East Asia they didn’t go this route but they did seem to get to national identity some other way. If you look at the Chinese civil service it brought people from all over China and sent them to govern all over China which i think would have had the same outbreeding effect as in Europe but only for the ruling caste and not the whole population. So i wonder maybe in China they got to a commonweal-orientated national elite overlying a still clan-orientated population?

    (I wonder if that’s what happened during the Raj with the civil service gathering and mixing up Indians from all the different city-states equivalents and in the process creating a national sense of identity that wasn’t there before.)

    A commonweal-orientated elite overlying a very clan-orientated population like Libya wouldn’t create a nation imo so you’d need another component that over-rode the clannishness. If we define conscientousness as the result of centuries of selection pressure against rebeliousness caused by high-density living then the East Asian model would be a commonweal-orientated elite ruling a populatuion that was conscientous on the surface but still clannish underneath.

    (This modified by increased outbreeding in Korea and Japan since the 60s and China since the 80s – which i would expect to increase creativity and innovation at the cost of reduced conscientousness – which given the very high starting values might not notice much.)

    Reply

  15. @g.w. – “If the data was available i wouldn’t be surprised if you could match the year of the jump to a national sense of identity for each country with their drop in consanquinity levels….”

    that would be COOL! (^_^)

    @g.w. – “In East Asia they didn’t go this route but they did seem to get to national identity some other way.”

    parallel evolution. like with light skin color — different genes, similar effect.

    @g.w. – “If you look at the Chinese civil service it brought people from all over China and sent them to govern all over China which i think would have had the same outbreeding effect as in Europe but only for the ruling caste and not the whole population. So i wonder maybe in China they got to a commonweal-orientated national elite overlying a still clan-orientated population?”

    that’s a really interesting thought. i wonder. need to read/learn more about china! they still have problems with clans and clannishness in china today … and they (tptb) know it.

    Reply

  16. @g.w. – “If we define conscientousness as the result of centuries of selection pressure against rebeliousness caused by high-density living then the East Asian model would be a commonweal-orientated elite ruling a populatuion that was conscientous on the surface but still clannish underneath.”

    i don’t even know if the chinese are all that conscientious, though. the japanese, yes, but the chinese? they’re not rebels, definitely. always concerned about saving face. but everything i read about all the dodgy things that go on in china — the toxic milk scandal, the poisoned pet food they sold to the u.s., a 30 story building just falling over ’cause it wasn’t constructed properly — i don’t get the impression that they’re very conscientious. conscientious towards their family or clan maybe — and this weird thing with being overly loyal to the father-leader — but not conscientious on the whole, i think.

    put it this way: i think in tokyo i’d get back my lost handbag whereas i doubt it in beijing or even hong kong.

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  17. “i don’t even know if the chinese are all that conscientious, though. the japanese, yes, but the chinese? …i don’t get the impression that they’re very conscientious. conscientious towards their family or clan maybe — and this weird thing with being overly loyal to the father-leader — but not conscientious on the whole,”

    I agree really. i can’t find the right word. i think words like conformity and obedience sound too negative, which among a wider audience would lead to lots of wasted time arguing over terminolgy but also because i don’t think it quite fits for the sort of reasons you gave – corruption, toxic milk etc- as it’s more a hybrid of public commonweal-orientation and private clan-orientation an explicit compromise.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chinese had a word for it – possibly even something connected to the meaning of “filial” even.

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  18. “they still have problems with clans and clannishness in china today … and they (tptb) know it.”

    Reading this again,

    https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/china-today/

    what the Chinese government is trying to do with rural clans seems very similar to those posts you made about Greece and Rome creating artificial electoral tribes to break up the real ones.

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  19. @g.w. – “what the Chinese government is trying to do with rural clans seems very similar to those posts you made about Greece and Rome creating artificial electoral tribes to break up the real ones.”

    plus a little st. thomas aquinas strategery thrown in — i.e. banning cousin marriage!

    Reply

  20. @g.w. – “5) In East Asia they didn’t go this route but they did seem to get to national identity some other way.”

    another possible clue – from a footnote in “The peasant economy and social change in North China” [pgs. 11-12]:

    “In two major works in particular (Hu Rulei 1979; Fu Zhufu 1980), we find sustained analyses of the differences between the socioeconomic structure of imperial China and that of the precapitalist West…. For Hu Rulei, the key lies in the differences between Chinese ‘feudal landlordism’ (fengjian dizhuzhi) and European ‘feudal manorialism’ (fengjian lingzhuzhi). In the European feudal manor, landownership or economic power was merged with military, administrative, and judicial powers; each manorial lord exercised the entire range of those powers. The state system of manorialism was thus one in which sovereignty was parceled out. In Chinese landlordism, by contrast, political authority came to be separated from economic power through private land-ownership and the frequent buying and selling of land. This made possible the centralized imperial state system. Landlordism and the centralized imperial state thus made up an interdependent politicoeconomic system that must be distinguished from European manorialism. Hu’s is an analytical model that can help explain the differences and hence also their different paths of sociopolitical change in the modern era.

    “Fu Zhufu has pointed to another difference between manorialism and landlordism. In the serf-based manorial system, the lord had to look to the subsistence and reproduction of his workers, lest the very basis of the manorial economy be undermined. But the Chinese landlord was under no such constraints. He could seek the highest possible returns that the land-rental market would support (Fu 1980: 9-10, 201-2). Though Fu skirst the issue here, it is obvious that such principles became harshest when the pressures of social stratification were joined by the pressures of population; under those conditions, a tenant who failed to survive could always be replaced by another. Landlordism could become an institutional system in which the poor tenants were pressed below the margins of subsistence.

    Reply

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