putnam’s paradise

more (probable) evidence that Diversity Doesn’t Work (h/t t!):

“In God we trust, maybe, but not each other”
“Nov 30, 9:04 AM (ET)
“By CONNIE CASS

“WASHINGTON (AP) – You can take our word for it. Americans don’t trust each other anymore.

“We’re not talking about the loss of faith in big institutions such as the government, the church or Wall Street, which fluctuates with events. For four decades, a gut-level ingredient of democracy – trust in the other fellow – has been quietly draining away.

These days, only one-third of Americans say most people can be trusted. Half felt that way in 1972, when the General Social Survey first asked the question.

“Forty years later, a record high of nearly two-thirds say ‘you can’t be too careful’ in dealing with people.

“An AP-GfK poll conducted last month found that Americans are suspicious of each other in everyday encounters. Less than one-third expressed a lot of trust in clerks who swipe their credit cards, drivers on the road, or people they meet when traveling.

“‘I’m leery of everybody,’ said Bart Murawski, 27, of Albany, N.Y. ‘Caution is always a factor.’

“Does it matter that Americans are suspicious of one another? Yes, say worried political and social scientists.

“What’s known as ‘social trust’ brings good things.

“A society where it’s easier to compromise or make a deal. Where people are willing to work with those who are different from them for the common good. Where trust appears to promote economic growth.

Distrust, on the other hand, seems to encourage corruption. At the least, it diverts energy to counting change, drawing up 100-page legal contracts and building gated communities.

“Even the rancor and gridlock in politics might stem from the effects of an increasingly distrustful citizenry, said April K. Clark, a Purdue University political scientist and public opinion researcher.

“‘It’s like the rules of the game,’ Clark said. ‘When trust is low, the way we react and behave with each other becomes less civil’

“There’s no easy fix….”

hmmmm. now what could be different about america today versus america forty years ago? hmmmm. i just can’t imagine [see bottom chart in that section].

as robert putnam discovered a few years ago [pdf]: “New evidence from the US suggests that in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to ‘hunker down’. Trust (even of one’s own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer.”

in other words, Diversity Doesn’t Work. it doesn’t even work in twenty-plus million (20+ MILLION!) virtual diverse worlds! no matter how you cut it, Diversity Doesn’t Work.

but the social scientists keep telling us that it will work out great in the end, just you wait and see! just like in syria, indonesia, kenya, the balkans, egypt, rwanda, burma, the caucasuses, malaysia, northern ireland, afghanistan, the philippines, cyprus….

see also: classic article on putnam’s findings Fragmented Future from steve sailer.

previously: “the community-diversity dialectic”

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

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27 Comments

  1. >hmmmm. now what could be different about america today versus america forty years ago?

    Forced desegregation of Blacks.

    Keep in mind that Blacks don’t trust anybody or each other (see data in article).

    Forty years ago, they were segregated apart from Whites and therefore Whites would answer questions about “trusting others” from a default standpoint of that question applying to “other Whites.”

    Today, after forty years of school bussing, destruction of projects to scatter clusters of Blacks throughout the area (re: Atlanta prior to the 1996 Olympics), and forcing landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers in various jurisdictions (as well as the mere existence of Section 8), when you ask Whites in the U.S. about “trusting others,” they have to answer from a default standpoint of “others including Blacks.”

    So Whites answer the question differently today (as opposed to Blacks, who answer it the same as they did 40 years ago).

    The Hispanic migrations’ impact on trust is much smaller than that of desegregation of Blacks.

    Reply

  2. @some guy – “The Hispanic migrations’ impact on trust is much smaller than that of desegregation of Blacks.”

    and your data for that is from…where exactly again?

    Reply

  3. I suspect that part of it is Turchin’s cycles of inequality. In a more unequal society, individual competition is more fierce, and with everyone trying to get ahead, trust is bound to be lower:

    The Strange Disappearance of Cooperation in America | Social Evolution Forum

    Of course, it probably doesn’t help, as M.G. once pointed out, that the periods of high inequality are also times with large numbers of recent immigrants around (in both cases, clannish ones).

    Reply

  4. @jayman – “…the periods of high inequality are also times with large numbers of recent immigrants around….”

    yup. afaics, that’s exactly what turchin’s “double helix” shows!

    and, now, since the 1970s, there’s been a 15 point reduction in the percentage of whites in the country (as of 2010). we’ve got WAY more diversity now than we’ve EVER had!

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  5. I am with J-man here. We can cite Putnam’s “E Pluribus Unum” until the day is done, but we forget that it was an afterthought to Bowling Alone “E Pluribus Unum” supplements the original work; it does not supplant it.

    As Putnam notes there, most of the change we are talking about here is generational – that is to say, the problem is not that people became less trusting over time, but that the next generation down the line does not inherit the trust of their parents. The “greatest generation’s” ability to trust did not decrease as the number of immigrants increased, or as America desegregated, or anything like that. They went to their graves with about as much as trust and social solidarity as they had back in the 40s. This is one place we can say pretty conclusively that socialization matters. Recent research confirms the picture – the stuff you experience in your teen-age years shapes your ability to trust others.

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  6. @t.greer – “As Putnam notes there, most of the change we are talking about here is generational – that is to say, the problem is not that people became less trusting over time, but that the next generation down the line does not inherit the trust of their parents.”

    so what? the fundamental problem still remains that when there is greater diversity, people trust less. if we had not increased diversity between the days of the greatest generation and the subsequent ones, americans would still be trusting one another.

    Diversity Doesn’t Work.

    i’m as disappointed as everyone else. i LIKE (bio)diversity! i like all sorts of different types of people. but putting them all together in the same space just simply does not make for the best functioning society. (see the references in the 20+ million virtual diverse worlds paper.)

    Reply

  7. @t.greer – “Recent research confirms the picture – the stuff you experience in your teen-age years shapes your ability to trust others.”

    btw, that research quite confirms the point that Diveristy Doesn’t Work:

    ” We found that greater exposure to war created a lasting increase in people’s egalitarian motivations toward their in-group, but not their out-groups, during a developmental window starting in middle childhood (around 7 years of age) and ending in early adulthood (around 20 years of age).”

    people do NOT become more altruistic towards (and presumably more trusting of) OTHERS — of people from other groups — thanks to war. war, when experienced in childhood/teenage years, does NOT increase trust of DIVERSE people.

    similarly, diversity does not increase trust in societies. in fact, it decreases it.

    Reply

  8. “Stuff you experience in your teenage years shapes your ability to trust others”

    Small sample size problem, I know, but I was much more trusting as a teenager than I am now in my early middle age. What has happened since my teenage years and now? Shazaam — More diversity. And also, since I’m older now than I was when I was a teenager, I’ve been able to pay attention and notice things, and deposit the lessons therefrom into my mental file cabinet.

    Reply

  9. hbdchick-

    Two points.

    1. On the out group/in group thing –

    The out groups and in groups discussed in the article are the two groups at war with each other. It is difficult to use such a proxy to make inferences about how in groups and out groups in the US work, for we have not had a martial conflict that required substantial national sacrifice for more than 70 years. (A mysterious correlation with our most trusting generation…)

    (Note: I only cited it b/c it is a good evidence that socialization and learned trust norms do in fact exist).

    But lets take it at face value anyway for sake of argument. War helps with the in groups. Doesn’t help with the out groups.

    Ok, sure. But this (and that other theoretical – and thus to be frank, silly -computer model study that has been making the rounds recently) leaves one thing wide open: just who is in your out group?

    Now the gut 21st century reaction to that question is blacks and whites or something like that – war will make relations between one white and another better and do the same between blacks.

    But lets try another scenario. You are 18 your old white kid. You are drafted. The mate in the bunk next to you is another 18 year old kid, but he is black. The two of you and your platoon are parachuted into some land where the people don’t speak English, don’t believe in your God, and don’t want you there.

    Just who is in your in group and your out group in this situation?

    I am quite ready to accept that humans are hard wired to live with groups in and out. It seems much less clear to me that there is any sort of universal law that determines who is filed into what group. Back when I was tromping around a New England ghettos I remembered being humored by how many poor 2nd gen Cambodian and Viet kids hung out, had kids with, and joined gangs with each other.No way in heck would you ever see that happen in Cambodia. Popular anger against the Vietnamese there is very strong – some of slurs I have heard Cambodians use against Viets make your standard off-color black jokes in the U.S. look like the mark of polite society.

    But in these neighborhoods they seemed to do quite well with each other – especially among this second generation that spoke English better than it did anything else. Why? Well, there were a ton more Cambodians than Vietnamese, so the second group had trouble massing the numbers to maintain the kind of identity outsiders would notice. As far as the other folks in ghetto-land were concerned, Lao, Thai, Viet, and Khmer were all the same. They did not go into the white group, nor the black group, nor the Hispanic group, so they had to be Asians.

    And you know, when both you and the Khmer kid are getting shot at for being Asian the differences between you and him seem quite a bit smaller.

    Anyway, that is just one long example. I have dozens of others. History provides a hundred others.In and out occur most easily along ethnic, linguistic, and racial cleaves, but they do not have to be drawn on those lines. (Especially when those different cleavages do not al align up neatly). In, out – very malleable concepts, when folks are socialized in the right circumstances.

    (I would suggest that social justice types use this to their advantage. The phrase “person of color” is specifically designed to make whites the out group and everbody who is not white the in group).

    2. “so what?”

    Well, the big so what, I suppose, is that these results were stronger in terms of generational change than they were in terms of geographic change. He notes: “with respect to change in civic engagement, we do not find any readily identifiable “hotspots” on the demographic map of the anticivic decline epidemic that would give us a clue to its origins.” (p. 186).

    Putnam uses the tiny rural hamlets of Vermont as an example. People who live there are super citizens. Their civic activity and community trust is leaps and bounds ahead of NE urban centers like Boston. And as the diversity theory would predict, they are overwhelmingly white.

    But their measures of social trust have declined just as fast as the rest of America. They only remain more civically minded than the rest of America because they started out this way.

    And here the problem becomes clearer. The racial profile of these hamlets in Vermont have changed very little over the last 70 years. They were white then and they are white now. Diversity in their communities, at least, cannot be the reason they acquired their distrustful attitudes. Some other factor must be at play.

    Peter Turchin would further point out that these cycles of trust and distrust can be seen all across human history, including in polities that had none of the ethnic mixing of modern America. This also suggests that diversity is not the main reason America’s communities are falling apart.

    Diversity may have played a part – but I do not think the evidence is strong enough to state that it was the main reason or even one of the main reasons for modern America’s lack of trust. It probably fits somewhere between suburban sprawl and watching the television.

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  10. “But lets try another scenario. You are 18 your old white kid. You are drafted. The mate in the bunk next to you is another 18 year old kid, but he is black. The two of you and your platoon are parachuted into some land where the people don’t speak English, don’t believe in your God, and don’t want you there. ”

    No whites in Ww2 had blacks in their units. The armed forces were totally segregated at that time. Few units were integrated in Korea, either. But there was lots of integration in Vietnam, where officers were getting fragged, a race riot broke out on the Kitty Hawk, and social trust plummeting on the homefront.

    Are you going to change your anecdote to say that blacks in whites whom never met each other and never fought together somehow forged a tight bond in war?

    So we already know why JayMan is interested in preposterous theories about “cycles of inequality” or “Yankees vs Cavaliers”, what’s your axe to grind here?

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  11. “And you know, when both you and the Khmer kid are getting shot at for being Asian the differences between you and him seem quite a bit smaller. ”

    Where does this happen?

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  12. T. Greer
    “As Putnam notes there, most of the change we are talking about here is generational – that is to say, the problem is not that people became less trusting over time, but that the next generation down the line does not inherit the trust of their parents.”

    “This is one place we can say pretty conclusively that socialization matters. Recent research confirms the picture – the stuff you experience in your teen-age years shapes your ability to trust others.”

    Alternatively they *do* inherit the trust of their parents but their *experience* negates it.

    For example

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2513653/Sexual-violence-gang-neighbourhoods-like-war-zones-girls-young-11-groomed-raped.html

    “Britain’s worst gang hit neighbourhoods are seeing levels of sexual violence as bad as in war zones, it was claimed today.”

    Say for the sake of argument that *exactly* the same thing has happened in every single white bluecollar neighborhood in America that has experienced integration and white flight over the last 60 years then over that time an increasing percentage of white people would have “stuff you experience in your teen-age years shapes your ability to trust others.”

    The proof would be to break out the level of white trustingness in homogeneous white regions that are both homogenous and haven’t received a lot of white flight and see if there is a *massive* difference.

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  13. T. Greer

    “The out groups and in groups discussed in the article are the two groups at war with each other. It is difficult to use such a proxy to make inferences about how in groups and out groups in the US work”

    “Recent research confirms the picture – the stuff you experience in your teen-age years shapes your ability to trust others.”

    The analogy with war is an exactly correct proxy at the level the process is occurring which is youth gangs and schools.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2513653/Sexual-violence-gang-neighbourhoods-like-war-zones-girls-young-11-groomed-raped.html

    “Britain’s worst gang hit neighbourhoods are seeing levels of sexual violence as bad as in war zones, it was claimed today.”

    Exactly the same thing happened in every white bluecollar neighborhood in America that was integrated and experienced white flight from “West Side Story” onwards. It’s why there is/was white flight – the ethnic youth war in the schools that the media have covered up for sixty years.

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  14. T. Greer

    “Diversity in their communities, at least, cannot be the reason they acquired their distrustful attitudes. Some other factor must be at play.”

    White flight – people move away. Where do they move? Urbanites from New York and Boston move to rural Vermont. Look for hotspots of trust in places too far away for urban white flighters to settle.

    (I don’t disagree that there is more to it then the effect of diversity on the existence of a common culture and sense of commonweal. There’s also the media’s active destruction of the common culture that previously existed.)

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  15. You people will equate a solar eclipse with white people being wronged.

    I think all of you good white folk need to buckle up. Karma is like a knife, but sharper on the rebound. You have yet get your @sses kicked.

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  16. OK, I need to reign this discussion in:

    @T. Greer:

    I might have let this discussion go if it wasn’t for this statement:

    “Note: I only cited it b/c it is a good evidence that socialization and learned trust norms do in fact exist).”

    First of all, let me state for the record that I don’t buy it. I haven’t looked at the study yet, so I can’t dissect it as I’d like at the moment, but I’m highly doubtful that they could have found a reliable “environmental” effect like that.

    For the record, and I take a lot of flack for saying this (just wait until my next blog post), but I must state that the truth of the matter is that demonstrating a genuine environmental effect is very difficult. The most reliable ways of doing so – behavioral genetic studies, find that the shared childhood experiences don’t matter (0 shared environment) and the rest, what makes identical twins different (“unique environment”, but more accurately is the unexplained variance) – could be entirely due to developmental noise (that is, beyond what is actually genetic, if not inherited, since identical twins have different de novo mutations – there’s no reason to assume that those mutations are always inconsequential).

    All other studies that to purport to turn up environmental effects always turn up empty upon closer inspection. So you will understand if I am highly suspicious of these effects.

    “I am quite ready to accept that humans are hard wired to live with groups in and out. It seems much less clear to me that there is any sort of universal law that determines who is filed into what group. Back when I was tromping around a New England ghettos I remembered being humored by how many poor 2nd gen Cambodian and Viet kids hung out, had kids with, and joined gangs with each other.No way in heck would you ever see that happen in Cambodia. Popular anger against the Vietnamese there is very strong – some of slurs I have heard Cambodians use against Viets make your standard off-color black jokes in the U.S. look like the mark of polite society.

    But in these neighborhoods they seemed to do quite well with each other – especially among this second generation that spoke English better than it did anything else. Why? Well, there were a ton more Cambodians than Vietnamese, so the second group had trouble massing the numbers to maintain the kind of identity outsiders would notice. As far as the other folks in ghetto-land were concerned, Lao, Thai, Viet, and Khmer were all the same. They did not go into the white group, nor the black group, nor the Hispanic group, so they had to be Asians.

    And you know, when both you and the Khmer kid are getting shot at for being Asian the differences between you and him seem quite a bit smaller.”

    This is the concentric allegiances thing, yes? White conservatives have much in common with the clannish non-Whites they concern themselves with (since they are clannish themselves). In this particular example, this is wisdom common to the Muslim world (“I against my brother. My brother and I against my cousin. My cousin and I against the world”). In-group/out-group is situationally dependent and more often than not follow lines of increasing genetic relatedness.

    “Putnam uses the tiny rural hamlets of Vermont as an example. People who live there are super citizens. Their civic activity and community trust is leaps and bounds ahead of NE urban centers like Boston. And as the diversity theory would predict, they are overwhelmingly white.

    But their measures of social trust have declined just as fast as the rest of America. They only remain more civically minded than the rest of America because they started out this way.”

    That may have something to do with that are hardly the same people. See:

    Further Testing the Pioneer Hypothesis: Canada and Russia | JayMan’s Blog

    Included for comparison are the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont … The vast majority of the population growth in these states—particularly as of late—stem from new arrivals from other states (the “people from away”; I’m included in that group)—suburban expansion from Boston in the case of NH. Indeed, in Vermont (which is blazing blue on the political map), nearly half of the current residents were born outside the state. It has the lowest fertility rate of any state. In essence, Vermont can be regarded as a place where slow-breeders go to die.

    Rural White Liberals – a Key to Understanding the Political Divide | JayMan’s Blog

    Northern New England (from Maine to northern New York) is perhaps the area of Yankeedom that most consists of the descendents of the original Puritan settlers. However, this area gradually diffuses into New France, with Maine’s Aroostook county hosting a strong Acadian-French speaking population (where I live, French speakers are far from an uncommon occurrence). French Canadians make up a considerable share of the population all along this region. Like the rest of New England, this area received a considerable Catholic Irish influx, but less so than southern New England. Scots are also present, mostly arriving from farther east in Yankeedom (from the Maritimes). This area is not very wealthy, with the major industries (lumber, paper) mostly long since gone. The area is largely dependent on tourism, maple syrup production (particularly in Vermont), and fishing (particularly lobster) along the Maine coast.

    The largest urban center in the region (when southern Maine and southern New Hampshire are exempted as being part of the Boston metro area) is in Vermont, the Burlington metro area straddling the beautiful Lake Champlain. This city is home to the University of Vermont (one of the “Public Ivies“). The state of Vermont is the most Left-leaning of the area, notable for being the home of the socialist senator Bernie Sanders. But like Sanders, most of the residents of the state originate from outside Vermont, from both within the region and from without. These newcomers have impressed themselves on to the area’s Puritan culture and have moved it squarely to the political left.

    “Peter Turchin would further point out that these cycles of trust and distrust can be seen all across human history, including in polities that had none of the ethnic mixing of modern America. This also suggests that diversity is not the main reason America’s communities are falling apart.”

    It’s hard to fully extricate “diversity” from the cycle, impossibly so in the U.S. Perhaps one might actually become less trustful of one’s own group during unequal times when competition is more fierce (and hence, there is more dog-eat-dog behavior), but can we surely say so? That requires some close analysis that has been discussed here, so far.

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  17. @bleach:

    “So we already know why JayMan is interested in preposterous theories about ‘cycles of inequality’ or ‘Yankees vs Cavaliers'”

    What’s so preposterous about them (on the assumption that you’re not being sarcastic)? Break it down in detail for us please.

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  18. If the level of trust between Americans has drastically lowered over the last 40 years then I can certainly believe that increasing ‘diversity’ and large scale immigration have played a major part in that. However, I imagine that there are many other factors at work also (not to downplay the effects of ‘diversity’). Do Americans move around more for career advancement than they did 40 years ago? Are people moving around more to upgrade to larger houses or moving into newly built suburbs than was the case 40 years ago? All of this would result in increasing numbers of streets where a large proportion of residents are commuters that don’t know each other and have moved there from all over the place in search of job promotions etc.
    This is certainly the case where I live in the UK. For example in the counties surrounding London, there are commuter towns and dormitory suburbs which might be 98% white British, with everybody being from similar socio-economic backgrounds and with similar levels of education, but yet nobody knows or talks with each another in the same street, everybody having moved there from other places for job reasons. This has become much more the case in the last 30 years. There may be low crime rates in those neighbourhoods there but there is also a total lack of sense of community or trust.

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  19. sorry, guys – i haven’t got time to respond to comments this evening (i HATE when that happens!), but i kinda/sorta did in a new post. (^_^)

    more tomorrow! (or, prolly, wednesday, as i’ll be away from my desk tomorrow…ack!)

    Reply

  20. >“The Hispanic migrations’ impact on trust is much smaller than that of desegregation of Blacks.”

    >and your data for that is from…where exactly again?

    Ever see a White guy needing manual labor go down to a Black-occupied street corner and say “I need 5 guys for 8 hours’ work and I’ll provide the tools?”

    Yeah, me neither.

    There’s a reason that most low-skill domestic work (maids, lawns, etc.) that involves TRUSTING the domestic with some aspect of possession (in the house, around the property, supervising the children) is done by Hispanics rather than Blacks.

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  21. “What’s so preposterous about them (on the assumption that you’re not being sarcastic)? Break it down in detail for us please.”

    I’m not going into detail, but In broad strokes, applying Turchin’s theory to data from the GSS is bad science because the GSS doesn’t go back far enough to prove what he’s trying to prove. Woodard’s theory is absurd in any situation, because immigrants/ migrants really don’t assimilate to any host culture unless they come in tiny numbers, and the USA is a country defined by mass immigration. (and actually, knowing what we know about heredity, it is unlikely that even small numbers of immigrants can truly assimilate except in a superficial way.) To say that eg. Maryland and NoVa are part of some “Cavalier culture” is just stupid and absurd, like saying the current inhabitants of Richmond are Powhatan. Woodard wrote a history book about a country which does not exist anymore, and selectively interprets current events to fit his theory.

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  22. @bleach:

    First, let me say that before you declare what someone else said as being “preposterous”, it’s important to be clear on what they actually said.

    In general, you’re arguing against claims I’m not making.

    “I’m not going into detail, but In broad strokes, applying Turchin’s theory to data from the GSS is bad science because the GSS doesn’t go back far enough to prove what he’s trying to prove.”

    No. Actually, it’s important to see if the GSS conforms to what his theory would predict. What he describes should be visible in multiple datasets.

    “Woodard’s theory is absurd in any situation, because immigrants/ migrants really don’t assimilate to any host culture unless they come in tiny numbers, and the USA is a country defined by mass immigration.”

    Well, this is a bit twisted. Immigration to the U.S. – from anywhere in the world – has in general been low except for two distinct periods: ~1850s or so until 1926, and 1965 until today. Colonial Americans did indeed make up the dominant stock in many parts of the country, especially the modern South.

    “(and actually, knowing what we know about heredity, it is unlikely that even small numbers of immigrants can truly assimilate except in a superficial way.)”

    I never claimed that immigrants assimilate. Rather, I use to paint analogy. Two factors generally are at play: immigrants sort themselves in their new land, both in terms of who comes in the first place and, equally important, who stays in the new land. The immigrants who came to the various American nations were ones that were most compatible with the area – or at the very least, the ones that found the people willing to tolerate their presence. The paint analogy then says that immigrant stock impresses upon the resident population, their two cultural characteristics then blending into a new one (particularly if there is a lot of actual intermixing, which there was in America).

    “To say that eg. Maryland and NoVa are part of some ‘Cavalier culture’ is just stupid and absurd, like saying the current inhabitants of Richmond are Powhatan.”

    Well indeed. But I go to great lengths to note that the “culture” of the various American nations is a result of the genetic traits of the people that live in it. The “culture” of the original settlers is most visible in the places that are mostly composed of the original stock.

    That said, the effect of self-assortment is most visible in the western reaches of Yankeedom and the Midlands, where Germans and Scandinavians migrated to areas with alongside Yankees and Quakers, who shared values.

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  23. chrisdavies

    “However, I imagine that there are many other factors at work also (not to downplay the effects of ‘diversity’). Do Americans move around more for career advancement than they did 40 years ago? Are people moving around more to upgrade to larger houses or moving into newly built suburbs than was the case 40 years ago? All of this would result in increasing numbers of streets where a large proportion of residents are commuters that don’t know each other”

    In terms of pmpy that is diversity i.e. the number of people you are related to within nth degree minus those you aren’t related to within that degree.

    Race starts at the level of the individual imo and then works outwards in concentric circles. Kin-recognition is self-recognition. It’s not race downwards it’s individual upwards.

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  24. @Some Guy

    “Ever see a White guy needing manual labor go down to a Black-occupied street corner and say “I need 5 guys for 8 hours’ work and I’ll provide the tools?” Yeah, me neither.”

    That used to happen and probably still does in some parts of the rural south. The urban gang culture selects for sociopaths.

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  25. “Ever see a White guy needing manual labor go down to a Black-occupied street corner and say “I need 5 guys for 8 hours’ work and I’ll provide the tools?” Yeah, me neither.”

    Actually I did something like that a few years back. Except that I advertised in the local newspaper. We were digging out large planters for trees on a tiled plaza (Blue Cross headquarters) where heavy equipment could not go. The guys who applied for the job, all black, were told that they would get $100 for every planter they could dig all the dirt out of no matter how fast they did it. What followed was such a fevered spectacle that upper managment (peeking out of the upper floors naturally) got in touch to find out how I got these black guys to work so much harder than their regular maintenance crew. I didn’t divulge the secret but did start getting jobs as an outside contractor. It was a big turning in my fortunes.

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  26. Just to throw some agreeing and disagreeing with the arguers here.

    @bleach – the fact that the armed services were less tight in VN than when segregated does not refute T Greer’s point. Apples and oranges. You were quick to impugn JayMan’s motives for holding his opinion, and I suggest that is projection. You are casting wide – I have not read any analysis that suggests fragging officers was a racial expression, for example – to put tangential evidence in play. I am wondering why.

    If one observes young people traveling in groups you will indeed see that the racially diverse Americans, Brazilians, and Canadians at least, do group by nationality more than race. They happily hang out with each other, not the nationals of wherever they have gone. (They usually have a try at international flirting.) It is not either/or, and the racial preferences persist within each group, but the trend is unmistakeable. Similarly, the Jugoslavs where I work associate together even though their families remain enemies back home, and some have legitimate reasons to retain hatred. Language, food, and culture are powerful, so SE Asians identifying together when here does not surprise me.. I have seen Americans in Budapest strike up conversations with black people on the calculation that they are probably countrymen. I would say that is weakest amonst Anglosphere whites, who are perhaps the most likely to associate with each other cross-nationally. An American might well hang out with Aussies rather than many (though hardly all) black Americans. But language is added to race as a similarity there, so the measurement isn’t very clean.

    In social situations, age is a much stronger force for segregation than race, though probably not stronger than language or country. Strong common interest, such as a particular sport or particular style of music performance (rather than sports or music in general), or a very close regional match, can also trump race. When I attended HS sporting events, I did not hang out with the teenagers because they were white. I went immediately to the other dads for conversation.

    However, bleach is correct about who it is that populates northern New England now versus fifty years ago. Vermont received a lot of New Yorkers, NH got a lot of Eastern Massachusetts spillover. (The Connecticut River remains a powerful divider mentally if one goes more than 20 miles from its banks in either direction. Odd.) The percentage in both states of those born elsewhere is likely around 50%. (Which is why those states are now Democratic instead of rock-hard Republican.) Hard to draw cultural conclusions over time from that.

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