response to jayman’s post

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 consang.net) 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.”

absolutely!

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!)

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41 Comments

  1. You’re welcome! And thank you of course, for coming up with the whole thing!

    Here’s a key bit about Japan that might be the missing ingredient:

    “Perhaps selection for commonweal-oriented, civic-minded individuals (or a functional facsimile thereof) – perhaps imposed by the State – directed the evolution of the Japanese (and perhaps similarly in Korea, etc). Singapore and the anti-corruption measures enacted there may be a window into this process. If corruption and clannishness no longer “pay”, then selection will favor less corrupt, less clannish individuals despite high levels of cousin marriage. Over time, you may turn a Chinese-like population into the Japanese, and perhaps this is what happened.”

    misdreavus said something along those lines. If the State sets things up so that typical clannish behaviors don’t pay off fitness-wise, they will be disfavored, even if there is a lot of inbreeding. I’d imagine doing so would be pretty challenging, but if anyone can manage that, I can see the Japanese doing so.

    The other thing that I have noticed, also noticed by a commenter over at my blog, is that, at least across Eurasia, the outlier areas are all on the periphery, and are fairly isolated places: Iceland, Finland (well, Scandinavia in general), Korea, and Japan. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence, but it’s hard to escape the thought that that might be involved here, somehow. I couldn’t tell you why, but if so, that might be also something worth looking at.

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  2. Selection for relatively principled behavior in a corruption-prone people might be easier for states ruling over small land areas, like the peninsula and archipelago of Korea and Japan respectively.

    Contrast with the behemoth that is historical China. Good luck trying to weed out the more clannish elements if your subject population has even a marginally spread geographic distribution. Not to mention the limits imposed by primitive technology on communication and movement across such vast expanses. It’d be less of a headache for the central government to just let clans handle most disputes (and local matters generally).

    I could be way off here. Just thinking is all…

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  3. “The other thing that I have noticed, also noticed by a commenter over at my blog, is that, at least across Eurasia, the outlier areas are all on the periphery, and are fairly isolated places: Iceland, Finland ”

    Or maybe the peripherality of these places just means that outside commentators get them wrong. Practically no one in the outside world understands Icelandic or Finnish, there is not a lot of interest in the areas and most of what’s written about Finland or Finns in the English-speaking countries is nonsense unless it’s some easily accessible subject like last year’s trade deficit or whatever (presumably the same is true of Iceland as well).

    It’s extremely unlikely that an English-speaking author is categorizing Finland with proper data and it’s a general rule for works trying to make big generalizations of European countries that Finland is assigned a completely random category.

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  4. I ”think”, dark personality traits related to clannishness and good personality traits related to universalism?? (Remember slightly that you already talk about it)
    The spectrum of the dark personality completely related to clannishness because to this, is necessary hierarchy, rules to high to low, familiar authoritarism, ideological artefacts to convince your ”minded-brothers” and the cattle ( to convince the cattle you need showing your teeths and demonstrate power) to cooperate. Old universalism related to justice when clannishness related to exclusivism justice system and in true, is not a real true because part of the assumption that ”my brother deserve more than you, ’cause he’s my bro” or ”- why?? because yes.”(

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  5. Other thing that i think in this exact moment when i was write the first comment. As i think that there essential racial traits i think that universalism of the euro-descendents and specially the northern euros are very older than abolition of practice of cousin marriages and one way to pass new and advantageous mutations is pass to higher number of the people possible like blue eyes, higher intelligence, very lighter skin and tolerance to alcohol and milk. Yes, many of this traits already are little common in euros in the pre historic past but was necessary stronger selections to acquire him and pass to higher number of individuals. If northern euros specially, developed in demographically sparse environment and need the cooperation of non-relatives, so, one of this possible way of milk tolerance (and other advantageous traits very common in euros but not in other peoples) was passed to many people in few periods was marriage with non-relatives, when you avoid to segregate advantageous traits like the higher intelligence of parsis than other indian tribes. I tired it to ”liberal strategy” that i read in ”neuropolitics”. Liberals pass your genes (accord this text) to higher number possible of people while conservatives growing your genes by your racial related family or direct family.
    I think not only in marriage with non-relatives but in a non-so-religious era, sex with stranger, yes, feminism is older also…. I read about the power of women in nordic societies in the past. Sex with strangers, marriage with oiconomic interest specially in areas with strong commercial activities and not more only marriage with relatives.

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  6. Abolition of marriage cousin turn this universalist traits a common genetic landscape specially in northern euros.
    My idea about, what are the ”universalistic traits” is the same about ”clann traits”. When you marry with a non-relative you combine different genes and produce a different phenotypes. The individual, specially the quintessencial european citizen is a product of combination with different (phenotypically) genes and probably, the european genius is a result of this practice. People with different combinations create the own inside world or personality, the northern societies is a nations based in individuals with different combinations of phenotypes (but no genotypes, because they are the same ethnicity), individuals are like this, when ortodox and amish is like a quasi-same combinations of personality traits or little inside diversity of traits. Most important is not only ”the genes” but the combination of genes and the uterine events (also, a genetic predisposition because the sexual hormonios are also by genetic nature). All people have, like i always said, a probabilities of phenotypes combination. If you have a people with clann and universalistic traits, so, the result of this combination will be exactly ”CU,UC,CC,UU…”.
    The universalist people, my opinion off course, is like a hybrid vigor of this degrees of miscigenation (marry out family)??

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  7. “I ”think”, dark personality traits related to clannishness and good personality traits related to universalism?? (Remember slightly that you already talk about it)”

    If by “dark” you mean those “dark triad” things, probably the opposite. Sociopaths and narcissists aren’t known for sacrificing for their group.

    Oxytocin has been dubbed the empathy hormone and the popular media thinks its an all cuddly thing, but people with higher levels of oxytocin don’t just bond more tightly, oxytocin also increases ingroup favoritism and those “dark” traits towards outgroups.

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  8. ”If by “dark” you mean those “dark triad” things, probably the opposite. Sociopaths and narcissists aren’t known for sacrificing for their group.”

    Some subgroups of sociopaths and narcissists, the high functioning types can cooperate to their communities, specially when they to be in the power, because when they are cooperating in this situation, in fact, they are cooperating to themselves, like today and probably, like the most part of humanity history, at least accord the bbc series ”Horror History”, lol.
    There a little misconceptions about what is empathy and how empathy can be demonstrated. Collective and ethnocentric peoples, in fact, can help which other but it can’t mean ”empathy”, in fact, genuine empathy is like as ”patho-logical altruism”, when people help other without any waiting for beware. Ethnocentric people help their blood brothers like when sociopaths and narcisistic help the societies they dominate, help themselves, to gift a new possibilities of success of your own gene pool.
    The greater majority of people are not objectivelly altruistic, but subjectivelly altruistic.

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  9. Like Staffan demonstrate brilliantly in your blog, the ”illuminist” people today, aka, liberals ”peace,love and politically correct” are not the same that the first higher smart and conscious iluminists of the american independence historical period. Today many ”loser” people find in liberal discourse their own personal life discourse. In the end, smarter people are few in all cultural, ethnic or whatever groups, specially to extremely higher abstract iluminist thinking. Is very difficult to ordinary liberal understand the complexity this. So, the modern illuminists is a degenerate few descendents of thi first groups AND many opportunists like majority of blacks and asians, at least in ”America”.
    There a phenotype that combine very higher conciousness and genuine empathy, like Lisa Simpson and giftdness, but, they are very few people. (My thoughts, obviously)

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  10. Lack of clanishness, lack of ‘corruption’, and the strength of ‘democracy’ all have a common cause: human domestication (whether by wholly natural selection or by some form of artificial selection).

    Of course, the more domesticated a species becomes, the less able it is to survive in the wild.

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  11. “There a little misconceptions about what is empathy and how empathy can be demonstrated. Collective and ethnocentric peoples, in fact, can help which other but it can’t mean ”empathy”,”

    You’re trying to inject your moral judgements into biological instincts. In reality a big part of the evolutionary reason why we even feel empathy is to motivate us to help our kin.

    If you inject people with oxytocin they’ll start acting more empathically but they will also start acting more tribally. It’s not hard to find lots of science on this if you just Google for “oxytocin ethnocentrism” and amusingly I noticed that even NYT will write about this if you put it in terms of Dutch people hurting people called Muhammed…

    So, the same hormone that makes people act more generously towards everyone will also make people favor their in-group if they have to choose between two people. There isn’t going to be any non-pathogenic way of making people truly feel more for out-groups than in-groups.

    “in fact, genuine empathy is like as ”patho-logical altruism”, when people help other without any waiting for beware.”

    I’m guessing you want to brand NW European multiculturalism as “pathological altruism”. It is a silly and uninformative accusation as there’s nothing pathological or altruistic about an individual’s support for multiculturalism. Speaking against it is dangerous for your career and supporting it loudly is often lucrative so supporting multiculturalism is generally selfish and opposing it is sacrificing.

    I see very little empathy here as very few NW Europans personally sacrifice anything for the outsider people.

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  12. Jaakko Raipala @
    ”You’re trying to inject your moral judgements into biological instincts. In reality a big part of the evolutionary reason why we even feel empathy is to motivate us to help our kin.”

    No and yes,
    yes, all our arguments are in the same time, our own judgments. The challenge is the neutrality. I’m try but many times i can’t find by this.
    no, i supposed that i’m near to ”ideal answers” by many reasons. Biologically talking, yes,yes and yes, i know about it, but, in a anthropomorphic perspective, it is wrong, absolutely wrong and explain most part of evitable conflicts among us.
    One of the great problem about HBD stuff is, ”if it is biological, so, is right”. No, we are not savage animals, humans are very very deviant and this is a key of their success. All of our fault born by our direct biologically heritage. The destiny of humankind is evolved to rebuild your own nature, radically or independent of same mechanisms that building the wild and non-human nature.

    Jaakko Raipala @
    ”If you inject people with oxytocin they’ll start acting more empathically but they will also start acting more tribally. It’s not hard to find lots of science on this if you just Google for “oxytocin ethnocentrism” and amusingly I noticed that even NYT will write about this if you put it in terms of Dutch people hurting people called Muhammed…

    So, the same hormone that makes people act more generously towards everyone will also make people favor their in-group if they have to choose between two people. There isn’t going to be any non-pathogenic way of making people truly feel more for out-groups than in-groups.”

    Like i said above, i have little and superficial knowledge about it, but is not the best conclusion who we could have, in a moral answer. If we evolved and significatively when we selected to ”domesticated” traits and it get must better conditions to live, why not continue this way?? Is not because ”nature is like that” that we will stop the domestication, but is necessary ponderation to continue.

    Jaakko Raipala@
    ”I’m guessing you want to brand NW European multiculturalism as “pathological altruism”. It is a silly and uninformative accusation as there’s nothing pathological or altruistic about an individual’s support for multiculturalism. Speaking against it is dangerous for your career and supporting it loudly is often lucrative so supporting multiculturalism is generally selfish and opposing it is sacrificing.

    I see very little empathy here as very few NW Europans personally sacrifice anything for the outsider people.”

    I no have career, my career today called leisure (ócio in português). If i’m try myself a academically golden guy, i will follow true and ponderation (wisdom) where it to be.
    Hmmm, i don’t understand your accusation, i not coined this term and i don’t think that genuine empathy is pathological, in fact, ordinary humans also are not, but are inferior and primitive, like animals. People to seems, search for evitable conflicts.
    You don’t need explain the modern heretic system of divergent thoughts, i know about all of this. Well, the same biological mechanisms that create subjective and tribal ”empathy”, create the ideological tribalism of liberals. Don’t protest, is only a biologically built.

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  13. @jayman – “If the State sets things up so that typical clannish behaviors don’t pay off fitness-wise, they will be disfavored, even if there is a lot of inbreeding. I’d imagine doing so would be pretty challenging, but if anyone can manage that, I can see the Japanese doing so.”

    yes, that’s an interesting idea. could be right. i favor it, anyway!

    the thing about china is that they had millennia of clans running the state (emperors + their clans + some allies) — and then other clans challenging whichever clan happened to be running the state and taking over if they managed to overthrow the current emperor. but whatever emperor+clan happened to be in charge were presiding over loads and loads of other clans. and none of them ever engaged in any substantial way in outbreeding — not the lower classes and not the upper classes either.

    meanwhile, in nw europe, the leaders put themselves through the outbreeding project as well.

    not sure where i was going with that…. oh — just that whatever pacifying process the state put the chinese through — and nails that were sticking up in china have been hammered down to a large extent — it was all done in the context of a clan-based society. kinda cool. kinda different. (^_^)

    dunno about japan.

    @jayman – “The other thing that I have noticed, also noticed by a commenter over at my blog, is that, at least across Eurasia, the outlier areas are all on the periphery, and are fairly isolated places: Iceland, Finland (well, Scandinavia in general), Korea, and Japan. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence, but it’s hard to escape the thought that that might be involved here, somehow. I couldn’t tell you why, but if so, that might be also something worth looking at.”

    oh! that is very interesting! thanks for pointing that out. hmmmmm….

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  14. Jaarko Raipaala@
    ”I see very little empathy here as very few NW Europans personally sacrifice anything for the outsider people.””

    This is your perspective and you to be generalizing this group. Many ”nw europeans” who to be SACRIFICE ANYTHING in fact, are the true empathetic people. I’m not a empathetic, if you to be thinking, i’m try to be, well, is complicated.
    Probably, in a very cold, demographically sparse and very difficult pre historic european geography, this act of heroism was important to survive and in the past, this act happen to non-relative people.
    The problem about ”empathy” in this case, is that also related to many other traits, well, to human behavior ever or quasi-ever, ‘one trait’ in fact, is a many traits combined to artificially create a behavior phenotype. One trait, already is a sum of many other traits, they are organically related, without one trait is not there other.

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  15. Yes, India. You’ve read Todd so you know they do interesting things. Southeast Asia also. Personal experiences with Cambodians suggests they are one of your middle cultures. One day when I have time I may blog about that.

    I am very curious where this idea that Chinese people are naturally- genetically?- “less aggressive” comes from. Recently read a book that characterized Chinese history as running the wire between “violence of mobs and the oppression of officials.” I would like to see some long term data on crime stats by province, before I say more, but a knowledge of China’s political history makes me pretty comfortable with the following:

    Over the last four centuries, the average Chinese had a much higher percentage participating in an armed uprising, banditry, being drafted into an army or dieing :a violent death than the average Englishman or American ever did.

    Also noteworthy that the current rising generation (the balinghou) is the only generation in the last century not to participate in a mass protest movement or armed revolution.

    Not exactly what I call submissive, these Chinese.

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  16. It would be interesting, although daunting, to include other variables into something like a unified theory of social and societal behavior. As Jayman pointed out, the political setup is one thing, but isn’t it rather malleable and often a consequence rather than a cause? I’d look at more unbudging factors, things like geography, climate, pathogens. The fact that your theory applies differently across the world may well be due to such variables.

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  17. India gives your a falsifiable hypothesies. Write down your predictions know, before you know too much.

    The Indo-European areas where your predictions appear to work are also associated with horses, for the military upper classes at least. This gave the mobile classes a wider mate pool. The alternative to the horse was the river.

    In SS Africa horses did not thrive beyond the Sahel. River trade, not mediated by Arabs, didn’t seem to be that developed either. So, do other horseless societies track Africa’s peculiarities = Americas. The mating patterns of the Cherokee are probably quite well recorded somewhere. They were literate and Christian.

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  18. Gottlieb, Are there any published measurements that indicate Parsees are more intelligent than average? Socio-economically, they are very similar to Jews ( or Armenians or Lebanese or overseas Indians et al. Maybe even British (not US) Quakers.) .

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  19. Parsees are inbred due to small communities but do things like leave their wealth to (mostly Parsee) charity rather than their families.

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  20. ““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.”

    The closer to self someone else is the more harmful it is to self to kill them so outbreeding might make individuals *less* restrained towards their close family than they had been previously but more restrained towards their now wider and more related exogamous group.

    If that is correct then I’d have thought the effect of outbreeding on violence might depend on the proportions of clan to individual violence. In a heavily populated clannish farming region where most of the violence was over clan conflicts then the balance might be one way but in a lightly populated HG region where most of the violence was over individual conflicts then maybe not so much.

    I also wonder if all farming cultures have a pacifying effect and outbreeding cultures were simply more efficient at it so something like:

    clannish culture + 4000 years of farming pacification = outbreeding culture + 1000 years of farming pacification

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  21. My impression is that distinctive Northwest European cultural traits revolve around tolerance, non-retaliation and psychological independence, while remaining culturally involved (e.g. tolerance, not “I’ll live in my introverted, private world and you’ll live in yours” NIMBYism). Their organisations work well because most of the members are focused on individual success and are relatively lacking in petty retaliation over minor slights against status and hierarchy – there’s less grit in the machine more than that the parts work together for a common result.

    Non-retaliation might map better to outbreeding, if you see the engine of genetic tendencies to retaliation to be kinship feud, and outbreeding as a consequence (or tool?) of general policy of breaking down kinship feuds.

    High fear, high empathy, high humility or high sociability might also offer a path towards functional states without much violent feuding between local micro-ethnies, and these might be more selected in other cultures.

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  22. Hbd Chick,
    i was thinking about the ”middle eastern genetic component” in european ethnogeography and i see that ‘scandinavians, britains and many other continental germanic europeans have less this ‘middle eastern genes’ than other regions. This can have influence in pattern marriages?? Italy for example is more endogamic in north areas, like Spain where the celtic genes predominate in north and moor invasion vestigies is found in south, southern central and Catalonia, some areas.
    To seems slavic people also have some middle eastern genes more than nordic, austrian, swiss and bavarians have more middle eastern genes than northern germanics. This genetic map to seems ”marry” perfectly with the marriage endogamic patterns. Pure euro genes = universalistic, middle eastern= collectivistic…

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  23. I think this has some relevance to trust and social capital in general, with respect to India.

    Near the end of the book A Farewell to Alms, Greg Clark has a chapter where, amongst other things, he has a digresson on Indian cotton mills. British India, he argues, had institutional & ideological conditions that should be the wet dream of any neoliberal. Almost no taxes, little regulation, free trade, free capital mobility, a predictable & efficient administrative of justice, and the replication of British property rights. Investors — British as well as members of the cosmopolitan minorities like Parsis and Jews — took advantage of this business-friendly climate to set up cotton mills.

    How did they do ?

    Despite risible wages, Indians mills ended up with almost no cost advantage over higher-wage operations in the UK and the USA, and were decidedly less competitive than the Japanese mills. (Before WW2 and autos, the Japanese were ravaging the world’s textile industry). From 1900 on, the Japanese mills grotesquely outpaced the Indian mills in productivity growth.

    The Indian mills were managed mostly by middle-class Britons who today would be called “expats”, and there was no reason to think there was any managerial incompetence on their part. The machinery was imported from the UK or the USA and was otherwise the same as those used elsewhere. Clark quickly narrows things down to labour quality : the brute fact of the matter was, what it took a single worker to perform in the USA or the UK or Japan, it required 3 Indian workers. Working conditions were characterised by indiscipline, absenteeism, informal “subcontracting” (to friends, family, etc.), chaotic meal times, family visits, etc. — in short the very stereotype of Indian chaos and the very opposite of Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp image of the mechanised factory regime. Clark notes that after independence this problem was acknowledged by Indians themselves.

    Then I notice, nearly 10 years before the book, Clark had written a paper with Susan Wolcott specifically on India which covered the same ground, but contained a very intriguing speculation on this labour quality issue which was left out of the book.

    Clark & Wolcott note when Indian labour was transplanted outside of India and employed in the UK (postwar Indian immigrnats in British textile mills), South Africa and East Africa, this labour quality issue largely disappeared. They can’t quite figure out why.

    They further note that in England prior to the industrial revolution the worker-employer relationship had evolved over the centuries from a kind of subcontractor type to the normal employment relationship that we see today. Clark & Wolcott speculate that for whatever reason Indian workers could not be regimented along modern factory lines because they were accustomed to the work habits and routines of small scale, cottage industry. As potential evidence they cite the unusual persistence of the manual home spinners of cotton textiles even to this day, whose products remain quite competitive with the output of the huge, modern mechanised mills in India.

    Sounds like something Fukuyama might have mined for data in his book Trust, but did not.

    In an entirely separate paper, Wolcott (this time by herself) studies labour strikes in interwar Bombay. She notes the remarkable number of strike action by Bombay workers, even though they were not unionised. For what ever reason there was a kind of spontaneous organisation and coordination amongst these workers. Their rate of strikes was comparable with union-organised strike action in England and Massachussetts at the same time.

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  24. It’s also worth pointing out the little nation of Estonia. It is, apparently, the least corrupt nation in Eastern Europe, coming in at 68 at Transparency International. Maybe there’s something about Finnic peoples? But, I don’t know off hand when the Finns and the Estonians split, so maybe shared evolutionary history is involved. Or maybe they were under the same selective pressures as the Finns (whatever those were). Admixture with their Baltic and Russian neighbors might explain the remainder of the difference.

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  25. Is there somewhere in a single blog entry a comprehensive summary, in her own words, of HBDchick’s thoughts/findings on marriage patterns and consanguineous marriages ? Or is Jayman’s ( http://jaymans.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/where-hbd-chicks-hypothesis-works/ ) a good summary ?

    Also, it’s been noted that the French broke the European Marriage Pattern once they settled in the New World and married earlier than they had done in France itself (which, as an exemplar of the EMP, was the first in Europe to undergo the demographic transition). The change in marriage age & fertility for the French in Quebec is usually interpreted to mean that EMP had been a response to population density in a Malthusian economy. Once you had lots of free virgin land in North America, the EMP broke down. Any trace of this with the English settlers ? Eastern Europe had pretty low population density well into the 20th century (compared with Western Europe). Given all the frontier land in the Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth and Russia, it was still practically empty in the late middle ages ( http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/pop-in-eur.asp )

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  26. Addendum : starting around 1000 Germans started moving east and settling in what are today Poland, the Baltics, Czechia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, etc. After all, that’s how you got Prussia. This process is called Ostsiedlung in German historiography (though disparaged as “Drang nach Osten” in the XXth century.) These colonisation events were completely reversed, of course, by the aftermath of the Second World War. But it would be interesting to see if the Germans moving east changed their marriage and fertility patterns.

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  27. @jayman – “I don’t know off hand when the Finns and the Estonians split, so maybe shared evolutionary history is involved. Or maybe they were under the same selective pressures as the Finns (whatever those were).”

    one thing to remember about northern populations (like the finns and estonians) is that they tend to have higher amounts of roh simply because they have had historically smaller population sizes (’cause they’re up north in marginal regions and who the h*ll can live up there?!).

    dunno if that fact has *anything* to do with the finns/estonians not being very corrupt — it just came to mind. (^_^)

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  28. @ivan – “Good luck trying to weed out the more clannish elements if your subject population has even a marginally spread geographic distribution…. It’d be less of a headache for the central government to just let clans handle most disputes (and local matters generally).”

    yeah, you could be right about that! bad long term planning, but perhaps it works ok in the short term. (^_^)

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  29. @jaakko – “Practically no one in the outside world understands Icelandic or Finnish, there is not a lot of interest in the areas and most of what’s written about Finland or Finns in the English-speaking countries is nonsense….”

    need to start blogging, jaakko! (~_^)

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  30. @t.greer – “Personal experiences with Cambodians suggests they are one of your middle cultures. One day when I have time I may blog about that.

    oh, yes, please! (^_^)

    @t.greer – “I am very curious where this idea that Chinese people are naturally- genetically?- ‘less aggressive’ comes from.”

    yeah. dunno. not the impression i have from chinese history, either. and i mean very recent history, too!

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  31. @grey – “The closer to self someone else is the more harmful it is to self to kill them so outbreeding might make individuals *less* restrained towards their close family than they had been previously….”

    i’ve kind of had the impression that with greater inbreeding, the more expendable close family members actually become — counterintuitively. honor killings, for example: it starts to make sense to cut loose one closely related member (errant daughter) for the sake of the four or five other closely related members (i.e. so your other kids can get married).

    maybe this is a sort of special case though? dunno. ’cause what you say seems to make logical sense as well. -??-

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  32. @gottlieb – “i was thinking about the ‘middle eastern genetic component’ in european ethnogeography and i see that ‘scandinavians, britains and many other continental germanic europeans have less this ‘middle eastern genes’ than other regions. This can have influence in pattern marriages??”

    yes, except for the fact that pre-christian germanics seem to have been marrying their cousins, too. so, if there’s something about the germanics that made them more receptive to the idea of outbreeding, it’s not clear what it is (at least not to me!).

    certainly, though, the arabs/berbers/turks definitely brought their inbreeding traditions with them to southern spain and italy and the balkans in historic times — and left those traditions behind them.

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  33. @pseudoerasmus – “Is there somewhere in a single blog entry a comprehensive summary, in her own words, of HBDchick’s thoughts/findings on marriage patterns and consanguineous marriages?”

    sorry. ‘fraid not! (*^_^*) i’ve been promising to do a Big Summary Post on mating patterns and family types, etc., etc. — for over a year now! — and i still haven’t gotten around to it. (*^_^*) keep getting distracted!

    jayman’s post is the best summary around (he did an earlier one, too — thanks, jayman!).

    you could also have a look at these posts from me which do summarize many of my thoughts, but not the whole enchilada in one place unfortunately: clannishness defined and big summary post on the hajnal line. the map in this post is very important wrt western europe. also, many important points wound up in this post — not entirely by design, tho. (*^_^*)

    all of my posts related in inbreeding/outbreeding and altruistic sorts of behaviors are listed by region below ↓ in the left-hand column, btw. (^_^)

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  34. @pseudoerasmus – “Any trace of this with the English settlers?”

    that i don’t know! never heard anything along those lines. dunno.

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  35. @pseudoerasmus – “starting around 1000 Germans started moving east and settling in what are today Poland, the Baltics, Czechia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, etc. After all, that’s how you got Prussia. This process is called Ostsiedlung in German historiography…. But it would be interesting to see if the Germans moving east changed their marriage and fertility patterns.”

    oh, yes! the ostsiedlung. absolutely! from a sociobiological point-of-view, probably the most underappreciated event in recent western european history. that and the reconquest of spain. never mind the migrations of late antiquity! (well, not really — they were very important, obviously.) the ostsiedlung is where it was AT as far as the creation of central europe goes!

    the germans moving eastwards did *not* change their marriage and fertility patterns. what they did, in fact, was to bring their outbreeding and late marriage along with them as they settled the east — primarily because most of this settlement was done in the context of manorialism. this is why we’ve wound up with the hajnal line line where it is today in eastern europe — see my big summary post on the hajnal line. see also here and here.

    i’ve had in mind for a while now a plan to do a post on the ostsiedlung. that WILL happen, i promise you! (^_^)

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  36. So HBDchick, what are your thoughts on the European demographic revolution of the 18th century ? That is, before the industrial revolution clearly had an impact on European populations in the 19th century, there had been a fairly sizeable increase in populations. The reason this revolution can’t be attributed to the industrial one is that, except in northern England / southern Scotland, there hadn’t yet been an industrial revolution anywhere before 1800. Even in the south of England, industrialisation hadn’t spread. Yet, there was a kind of simultaneous, spontaneous fall in the age of marriage across society and classes.

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