don’t take it personally

it’s practically guaranteed now that whenever i blog about a population that i haven’t previously discussed — whether it’s to do with the “clannishness” idea or intelligence or some other aspect of human biodiversity — someone (purportedly) from that group will turn up and angrily complain that i’ve got it all wrong or that hbd is nonsense or whatever.

to date, i have felt the wrath of members of all sorts of groups: the scots, the irish, the scots-irish, the spanish, the italians, the greeks, the serbs (boy, was that guy ever mad!), eastern european ashkenazi jews. there was one pashtun guy that was really p*ssed off at me on account of what i’ve had to say about father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) marriage. and there was even one fellow supposedly from a subsaharan african country who was annoyed at me for insulting polygamy (which i hadn’t done).

(i say “purportedly” and “supposedly” because, of course, i can’t know for sure that any of you are who you say you are or that you’re really from where you say you’re from. ip addresses can be faked. you could all be [very sweet and lovable!] dogs for all i know! certainly some people out there are convinced that i am a b*tch. (~_^) )

on the other hand, plenty of other individuals from various populations that i’ve blogged about who have disagreed with me — about what i’ve written about their own populations — or found my posts lacking in some way, have simply come on the blog and calmly disagreed with my interpretations of the data and/or corrected points which they thought i had wrong. sometimes they were right — i was wrong! and i’m very grateful for their input! some poles and russians and finns come to mind, for example. i’ve even gotten a lot of positive feedback (via email) from a person who claims to be an arab from the middle east (i think that they really are).

this is how it should be. no one should get their panties in a bunch over human biodiversity, neither the facts of nor especially not speculations about hbd, which is what i mostly engage in around here. whether or not some individuals have a certain set of traits while others different sets, or whether or not one group is characterized by an average set of traits while others possess some other ones, is nothing to take personally. these things are just the result of evolution! and, frankly, imho, that’s just cool and nothing to get worked up about.

i do, however, confess that sometimes i let my own biases slip out. for various reasons, i happen to prefer anglo/anglo-american society (which is a product of the nature(s) of anglos/my “core europeans”, i think). that’s just how it is, even though i’m (probably) not anglo myself. (guess some of my people would say i’m suffering from stockholm syndrome. (~_^) )

despite what i’ve been telling my husband for the past twenty years, my opinion doesn’t count for diddly-squat. (please don’t tell him i admitted to that.) i am not the final arbiter on which society is the best or worst or whatever. in fact, it doesn’t matter at all what sort of society i or you or anybody else happens to like. all that matters is what works from an evolutionary point of view. so just ignore my own personal partialities. really.

the most important thing to remember is to not take (genuine) discussions about human biodiversity personally. to paraphrase the mobsters: it’s nothing personal, it’s just human biodiversity.

previously: know thyself and you and me and hbd
_____

when i’m up to it, my very next post will be my response to kevin macdonald’s comments from january(!). and then, i swear to god, come h*ll or high water, i will start on that manorialism series!

(note: comments do not require an email. it’s not personal…)

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36 Comments

  1. You don’t ask for much, do you Chick?

    Just in time:

    Reply

  2. @jayman – “You don’t ask for much, do you Chick?”

    @larry – “I’m sorry, but I think it’s simply unrealistic to expect people not to react adversely to the theses you (or other HBD-ers) advocate.”

    yes. i know. for many i ask too much.

    but, and this is for larry, all of the angry commenters i mentioned in my post reacted angrily only when i brought up their own group. many of them (except for the italian, the pashtun, and the subsaharan guy) i know are quite okay when hbd is applied to other groups, but not to their own, knowwhatimean?

    on the other hand, i call my own population clannish and not very bright, because we are the former (i think) and we’re not the latter. i evaluate myself and my own group with the same hbd-eye. i understand that others might not be able to do this, but it’s worth asking them to try anyway.

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  3. Observably and undeniably bad people once stressed the differences and inferiority of different groups and races. This is simply true. Therefore, some people will never entertain any idea that even looks like it might head in that direction.

    It’s a given in all discussions for another generation at least. Talk to the other people. It’s all you can do.

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  4. Well, if you ever post about the particular peculiarities of an American southern ethnic sub-isolate of Welsh\Irish\Germanna colonist\first family of VA\southern indenture then I’ll simultaneously try to not take it personally while also wondering where the hell you managed to come up with something so specifically personal.

    In all seriousness, I’d say that there are often very practical benefits for individuals as well as peoples to briefly abandon detachment and empiricism when the |Group| becomes the topic. I suspect that the social instinct, and with it behaviors such as visible identification and signalling, is going to be the predominant influence on a given individual’s thoughts and statements when one’s particular tribe comes into focus.

    When is the last time you saw a few sports fans sit down and try to impartially quantify the relative merits of their favorite teams, and toss around a few ideas about the psycho\social\hereditary underpinnings of a particular team’s behavior? You’ll sometimes find people discussing the role biology plays in creating an Olympic world-record-breaking super athlete, but when it comes to YOUR team, the question itself is apt to become another arena for competition.

    I doubt it has ever been particularly biologically adaptive for an individual member of a given clan, tribe, or band to sit down and unemotionally categorize and clearly analyze the comparative merits and behaviors of his group. If a discussion of that nature ever cropped up, it seems to me the most biological adaptive knee-jerk of a gut instinct would be to demonstrate in-group solidarity while simultaneously attacking the |Other|. Granted, such signalling and assaulting might take odd forms, like demonstrating that you’re a morally and intellectually enlightened member of the elite by effusively praising whatever cause du jour is serving as a membership badge in your clique this week and mocking those benighted pagans in the wilderness who are simply too dim and uncultured to adopt the proper attitudes.

    I’ve seen enough normally rational people descend into the throes of emotionalism when they’ve been asked to examine some aspect of their group identity that I sometimes wonder if they’re even aware of the sea-change that has come over their mental state. Worse, that makes me wonder how much of my own supposedly cherished empiricism gets quietly turned off by my animal brain when I start thinking about mein volk.

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  5. @neo – “When is the last time you saw a few sports fans sit down and try to impartially quantify the relative merits of their favorite teams, and toss around a few ideas about the psycho\social\hereditary underpinnings of a particular team’s behavior?”

    yeah, well, i don’t get sports, either, so i guess i’m just destined to go through life confused. (~_^)

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  6. Hey there are quite a few negative qualities found in Blacks, in the English, in Chinese, and in Indians, and I’ve pointed out many of these for all these groups at some point. So I too understand the facing unflattering aspects of one’s own group(s), and I generally have no problem when someone brings up unflattering facts about my groups, so long as they’re accurate (and thats means not distorted with convenient omissions). Most people can’t be neutral to the facts, but still have to “shame” them when they’re not.

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  7. “I’m sorry, but I think it’s simply unrealistic to expect people not to react adversely to the theses you (or other HBD-ers) advocate. If a race/subrace of people is much more prone to traits that most people consider “bad”, then it is arguably an inferior race (or subrace or nationality, etc.).”

    This is a wonderful example of the knee-jerk emotionalism I mentioned in my earlier post. How much of that was careful analysis of the issue, or objective consideration of your own assumptions, and how much was just an emotive lurch towards your own tribal shibboleth? Your reply didn’t have much of anything to do with the topic, you just glossed over all the parts that didn’t relate to your own particular brand affiliation, and used the topic as an excuse to make sweeping and unrelated moral statements likely to appear to your own particular tribe.

    Really, your post is simply a shining example of the “xenophobia, clannishness, and ethnocentrism” that you mentioned. You identify your group, your tribe, you take up the banner of your chosen people’s thesis, and you make an ideological punch at the |Other|.

    As an aside in regards to biological differences and diversity among the biological distinct peoples of the world: differences are not “bad”, as if they existed in some fevered dream of mystic dualism, differences just ARE. Whether a given difference is adaptive or maladaptive is a consequence of a given situation or environment. Whether fast-twitch muscle or lack of myostatin inhibition is “bad” is a temporary and situational value, and that value ultimately rests on numerous assumptions that won’t be true in a slightly different time, or place, or during a slightly different task, or with different inputs and preconditions. One is necessary for sprinters, the other for musclebound champion power lifters, and whether one is “bad” or not depends on what you need your muscles to do, how you need them to do it, and what you have to fuel them with.

    Is criminality “bad”? Hell no. Every man, woman and child alive today has the blood of rapists and murderers flowing through their veins. The individuals, and their tribes, that most effectively slaughtered and enslaved their competitors flourished. For virtually all of human pre-history the behaviors and traits of the barbarian were supremely adaptive, and history seems to imply that those civilizations that most effectively harnessed state monopoly on violence ended up domesticating their native populations into irrelevance, ultimately ensuring their eventual subservience to foreign barbarians.

    But, in this brief situation and environment that we modern westerners find ourselves in, it is advantageous for us to minimize, mitigate, otherwise constrain criminality. You’d be hopelessly near-sighted and historically ignorant if you couldn’t manage to envision a future where humanity needs to dust off the old knives and get back to a little bit of old-fashioned back-stabbing. Can one build a civilization predominantly of murderers, rapists, loan sharks and used car dealers? Probably not, and certainly not all that nice of one. But it takes a certain kind of scoundrel to open up a frontier, and we’d be ill advised to break the unused tools in our psycho\social\hereditary toolbox.

    Your particular type of cognitively dissonant “xenophobia, clannishness, and ethnocentrism”, though I find it offends my sense of intellectual honesty, I must say that it is indeed adaptive behavior under some circumstances. In the modern west, one signals both conformity to the ingroup and adopts an air of privileged status by vocally defending the irrational dogmas of the prevailing elite. You, by making a public declaration of faith in the professed ideals of your cultural\ethnic\class group, especially ideals that contradict observed reality, you are making a powerful declaration of allegiance and public identification to your own group; further, you cast moral aspirations and thinly-veiled scorn at an obvious member of an outgroup.

    Such attacks have many beneficial effects. Announcing your loyalty helps assuage your individual sense of social insecurity within your own group, and professing the ideals of your people and attacking the outgroup makes it appear as if you’re a useful and productive member of your community. Attacking the other may encourage members of your own group to self-identify more strongly against a perceived outsider threat, also attacking the other might demoralize an outgroup competitor and put them on the defensive. Attacking the outsider might also generate reciprocal hostility from the outgroup that paradoxically contributes to ingroup solidarity among your own people in the face of those reprisal attacks.

    However, if you can manage to summon up some objectivity in the middle of your tribal war-dance there and stop hooting for a moment, I have a question: under what circumstances does your particular brand of “xenophobia, clannishness, and ethnocentrism” cease being adaptive? A follow-up question, considering that at the moment you think it’s most beneficial to throw around an outdated brand of moralistic pablum, can you imagine a time or place where it would be maladaptive to stifle intellectual inquiry and objective analysis by loudly screaming the tired old moral dogmas of a dying philosophy?

    As an aside, in a hundred and fifty years or so, when the descendents of the most competitively successful human groups of the 21st century set down to write their history books, how do you think they will look back on late 20th century SWPL antifa posturing? Or how do you think the early 21st century’s militant sexual moralizing of the LGBTWTFBBQ mafia will look in retrospect? Have you considered that maybe your particular philosophical, cultural, and ethnic tribe of western reactionary anti-biologists are going to look rather foolish when a more capable peoples comes along to write the narrative? And, back to the main point, how much of what’s swirling around in your brain right now — as you read my offensive and emotional triggering post — is rational and how much is just rationalization? Can you look beyond your own emotional attachment to your particular type of tribe, and realize how your animal’s social instinct is driving some of that thought-soup that’s simmering behind your eyes right now?

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  8. “yeah, well, i don’t get sports, either, so i guess i’m just destined to go through life confused. (~_^)”

    In all honesty, there’s a dose-dependent relationship between interest in a given sporting event and alcohol consumption during said event. I find there’s a lower-threshold I can’t go below and still find certain sports interesting. I have childhood nostalgia for baseball, and respect for football, but the only sports I can watch and really enjoy stone-cold-sober are boxing and UFC. I’d die of alcohol poisoning before golf managed to catch my interest (that is until the PGA takes up my suggestion of turning it into a contact sport).

    However, outside of an excuse to drink, for some people the sport or the team really seems to become a surrogate for the tribe, especially when you’ve got your friends and family involved. Aside from gender differences in sporting interests, I wonder if you’ve got enough family, tribe, and clan in your own life that you don’t feel a compelling desire to adopt the “Microsoft Seahawks” as you called them.

    I suspect the Nika riots were partly caused by the lack of organic tribal and clan affiliations in the late-empire, an example of an urban and deracinated peoples cut off from their ancestral gens and tribes, adrift in a faceless and impersonal city, subject to a sterile and alien state authority, creating and passionately embracing a new tribe in the middle of the social desert. The Blues and the Greens seemed to become everything the Byzantines had lost socially, from tribes, gens, even perhaps family; given the political realities of the age, I wonder if the hippodrome was almost a surrogate senate or forum as well.

    It’s noteworthy how much effort modern sporting teams and leagues put in to removing divisive or identity-laden elements from their teams. Race, ethnicity, culture, regional affiliation, politics, etc.. How much has soccer hooliganism declined since the major teams lost much of their local and ethnic identification? Can you imagine how dangerous it would be to the state for a sport, and sport teams, if they functioned as a fraternal order, extended family, political action group, tribe, and to top it all off, competitive entertainment? Yeah, I can see how a sport riot in that case could bring down an empire. I’d watch that on pay-per-view.

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  9. …someone (purportedly) from that group will turn up and angrily complain that i’ve got it all wrong or that hbd is nonsense or whatever.

    Rabbie Burns:

    O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
    An’ foolish notion:
    What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
    An’ ev’n devotion! (To a Louse)

    It applies in politics too:

    And his sharp, though affectionate, skits on the left, such as As Soon as this Pub Closes…, are now rare and much sought-after items. This pamphlet in particular has a unique quality, in that all who read it laugh heartily at what he says about the other organizations, only to become deeply indignant when they come to his descriptions of their own. (John Sullivan (1932-2003))

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  10. It’s not just hbd that’s interesting, so is hcd – human cultural diversity. I don’t mean the rubbish that fascinates anthropologists, who so love retelling whatever adolescent leg-pulls they have most recently fallen for. I mean more intellectual stuff. I was struck once when I picked up a book on the history of India to discover that Indians had had virtually no historians. It was scholarly hobbyists in the East India Company who started the writing of Indian history. Why? It’s presumably not a genetic trait: it just was what it was. I don’t know about China: presumably they had historians? Presumably much of what they wrote was destroyed from time to time in cultural revolutions?

    Is there anything elsewhere that we’d recognise as proper history, before Herodotus and Thucydides? (And don’t say the Old Testament: a bunch of folk-tales and fabrications isn’t history. I’ll grant that shortly before the Exile and thereafter bits of genuine history seem to enter the mixture.) What about ancient Iraq, Egypt, Persia?

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  11. I haven’t taken anything from your blog personally. My background is Turkish muslim. The FBD and clannishness articles don’t personally concern me, but I can see how this stuff might affect me as a matter of ethnic and historical background. To be honest, I have never felt clannish or behaved clannish in any way. I am a member of the upper classes, though, and my parents are not cousins (in fact they are from different parts of the country). I am probably the most non-clannish person you could meet from that part of the world, though. I would fight and engage in war with half of my family (even my brother) if they took a side in an ideological matter opposed to mine. And I certainly like interesting foreigners more than boring cousins.

    About hostility on the internet in general? Half of these Nrx people will be roadkill if they spoke with me in person, how they might be tempted to speak under cover of anonymity. I don’t take any threats from anonymous people online seriously. People who don’t have skin in the game aren’t worth taking seriously.

    Chatting on the internet is nice, but ultimately anything that has to have an effect in the real world has to move beyond the internet. So if I ever have anybody I can influence to direct policy or enact laws from an HBD perspective, I will influence them.

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  12. Sorry you’ve been the brunt of hostility. My own impression is that American social skills are bad and deteriorating, and I’d not be surprised if that included my own. I read Disney World is firing a raft of people but asking them to stay long enough to train their foreign replacements. Mr. Obabma explained the reason he’s still going to spy on us; his reasoning leaves me cold, which is bad enough, but in telling us why he – our servant – is doing what we don’t want, his tone of voice is as if he’s scolding us. That’s not real sociable.
    My impression is that this boorishness is very American; every other ethnic group I have encountered, and it is very many indeed, is marked by heart melting sociability. Sooo I imagine those who attack your views while claiming to be part of a society you have taken an interest in may indeed not be members of that group. I, for instance, will tell you I”m Scotch Irish. But that’s not utterly true. I once counted 24 difference nationalities among my ancestors. Scotch Irish is only the biggest component. So I would imagine the people who are being aggressive are not full blooded and cultured members of that group. And I’d ask them as much. When they said, “Yes,” I’d say, “Then why are you using English?” See what I mean. No social skills.

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  13. Just thinking about it I created the idea of ​​three personalities, two of which would be instinctives and would relate to our tendencies to unreflective behavior, expressing through interactions, what we are biologically. The third personality or third factor would be precisely the attempt to seek the neutrality, if we reflect, that means we can see ourselves as a separate entity of our biology, i.e, we can try to analyze the environment and ourselves, from a neutral point of view, basically trying to understand the context.
    The cultural process in which the self-consciousness begins to predominate in relation to the instinct.

    Just as we walk (or not!!!) to turn the men’s competition or war, in sports, in something recreational, you could also consider doing the same with the instinct, at least regarding those who are more willing to accept the challenge.

    Culture can be summarized regarding the situation in which a psychologist offers 4 sweets to a child within a week if she avoid picking up two sweets now (work=money). The child better understand this relationship will be more adapted to society, ideally speaking.

    I did not understand what are the differences between the Eastern and Western Ashkenazi Jews. And even over other Jewish groups. They do not have similar behaviors **
    You may have heard of crypto-Jews who have become an important part of the elite in Turkey, for example, and they are not Jews from Eastern Europe.

    Because I was very rude but realistic about the intelligence of the south italians, on average, of course, I got kicked out forever, the Anthroscape community. I do not know if it was coincidence, but the community moderator is south italian.

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  14. @kamran – “I haven’t taken anything from your blog personally.”

    good! i’m glad. because none of it is meant to be taken personally (i.e. none of it is meant to be insulting). (^_^)

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  15. @anonymous – “Sorry you’ve been the brunt of hostility.”

    oh, don’t worry about me! i’ve been on the internet for so long now, i know to expect the worst (and the best!) from people.

    my concern is that there are people who take discussions of human biodiveristy personally (as some sort of an insult) — in particular when their own group is under the hbd microscope — and that they get all hot and bothered by it. clouds the judgement.

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  16. @santoculto – “I do not know if it was coincidence, but the community moderator is south italian.”

    prolly not a coincidence then. (>.<)

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  17. @jp – “why is there no capitalization?”

    just a quirky stylistic preference of mine. (*^_^*)

    (i’m hoping the hipsters will pick up on it someday, and then i can say i was here first! right after e e cummings. (~_^) )

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  18. The proclivity for some people to take easy offense is growing so rapidly that it may soon become a classifiable trait in itself.

    Clannishness is a trait for some peoples simply because it has “worked” in evolutionary time. This just means that the trait has historically reinforced the ability of those peoples to survive and thrive in the environment which they inhabit.

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  19. I’m not too surprised by people leaping to take offence; what’s less pardonable is their failing to calm down and discuss the business like adults.

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  20. Russians are the gopniks of the white race.

    There, I said it! ;) I don’t have an issue with facts, or stereotypes unless I factually know them to be blatantly wrong.

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  21. Love this thread and especially all the insightful comments. Somewhat off-topic, but I really enjoy HBD*chick’s use of the word “prolly”. Not only is it adorable, but it’s a wonderful example of the evolution of language and how certain words can get stuck in your brain. I would be pleased to join any clan that can use prolly in daily conversation.

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  22. Many threads in this post hbd chick.

    Some of it has to do with writing style. Is the information presented as this is the way it is and you don’t need to do any reading or thinking? You don’t usually write like that; unlike some of your faithful commenters.

    Does one have to be a member of the group to make jokes about the group?

    Can a white write about blacks? Can a male write about females?

    Who gets to decide which traits define the ideal type?

    Do Italians have to be cast as the Mafia types?

    Can Mestizos play American Indian parts?

    Who gets to decide who the human beings are and who the others are?

    How many times do you get to mention or emphasize the negative qualities of my group before I start to wonder what you are going for?

    You say you are apolitical then you put up a post like this one.

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  23. “all that matters is what works from an evolutionary point of view”

    I’m not sure I agree with that. All that matters is what works for my children and grandchildren is the way I feel. But, then, maybe that’s evolution too.

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  24. I’m of Serbian ancestry and that story about the Serbian guy being the angriest made me chuckle. It’s behaviour that i recognise. Anyway, just wanted to say that i love your blog. You talk about stuff that i’ve been thinking about since i was a teenager. It feels like some weird form of validation for my weird obsessions. Keep up the good work!

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  25. Sometimes i think ”darwinian evolution theory” explain more about adaptability than evolution, and evolution, generally, isn’t the same thing than adaptability. Adaptability is short therm survivability when evolution is long-term collective (or individual) survivability or improvement of this adaptation, amplification of defenses against extinction (or increase of ”safe-space”, in this case, specially for animals, humans include of course)

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  26. @ Cracker1 – “Who gets to decide which traits define the ideal type?”

    Evolution is a phenomena that has been around since life first arose on this planet (1+ billion years). Humans have only been around for a few million years at most, and have only been actively sentient and cognitive for a few hundred thousand years. Modern humans with complex language and cultural adaptation have only been around for a dozen millennia or so, and the philosophical notion of “ideal” has only been with for a few thousand years. Evolution is not a who that looks forward in time towards an ideal. It just a word that we use to describe the historical road that we see behind us.

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  27. TomA

    I wasn’t thinking of ideal type in the classical sense. I should have used archetype or stereotype. Your comment is on target and it was my mistake to not use a better word for my intent. I am in complete agreement with your comment; no intelligent evolution or intelligent design for that matter.

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  28. @hbd chick

    Some time ago I made a post saying I was mad at you for calling the Scots clannish. I was actually trying to be funny. I thought it was funny, the way it is funny when Achmed says “If you say Islam is violent I KEEEEL YOU! ”

    I hope you didn’t think I was really mad. I may have been posting under a different name then. It was around the time you were talking about people from highland areas (in general) being clannish. I posted a obituary of one of my grandparents, I think. We were talking about whether people in the Highlands of Scotland were Catholic and I pointed out that my grandparents from the far north belonged to the Free Church of Scotland and I couldn’t find any Catholics in the family going back to about 1800 which is as far as there are good records.

    I think the English stamped out Catholicism and clans (or tried to )in the Highlands after the Stuart uprising at Culloden in 1745. (Mind you I got most of this idea from reading the Outlander novels )

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  29. Neo something wrote
    I’d say that there are often very practical benefits for individuals as well as peoples to briefly abandon detachment and empiricism when the |Group| becomes the topic.

    Most of us abandon the detachment when it comes to our own immediate family. Good thing too. There are some situations were it is good to be irrational.

    Reply

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