what’s this all about?

forgive me, but i’m going to start posting (heavily) about the history of various european populations’ mating patterns, family types, and social structures all over again. i started down this road in 2011, and honestly thought i’d be done with it by now, but things always take longer than you think they will (there’s a rule for that, isn’t there?). (^_^) sorry. also, i’ve come across a bunch more info/data for several european societies, and i’m working on finding out more about the ones i know nothing about (yeah, still mainly eastern europe), so i thought i’d share.

i’m going to begin again with the irish — mostly because a lot of what was going on in pre-christian/early medieval ireland also happened in scotland (especially the highlands and the islands), and i want to set the stage for “explaining” the scots (insofar as ANYbody could possibly do that! (~_^) ) — but the irish are interesting, too, of course, especially since there are so many in the u.s., england, australia, etc. i’ll squeeze the scots-irish in here, too, since they’re so important to how american society turned out.

then i’ll swing down through england — probably won’t post too much about the english just now ’cause i’ve already covered them pretty heavily (see “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column) — and head straight for the netherlands — and then on to switzerland (which is going to be very interesting!).

then … well, i dunno. haven’t thought that far ahead yet (i’m from one of those populations that doesn’t do forward planning very well (~_^) ). i feel that i still need to cover further: france, germany, the iberian peninsula, italy(!), scandinavia … and that’s just western europe. i promise, though — i WILL get off of europe asap!

why am i doing this? what’s this all about?

well, for those of you just joining us (welcome!) — there seems to be a connection between mating patterns and various societal structures like family types AND certain sets of behavioral patterns such as “clannishness” or “clannism.” the fundamental correlation seems to be that, the closer the mating patterns (e.g. the members of your society consistently marry their first cousins over an extended period of time), the more clannish your society is going to be. and vice versa. why this is, i’m not entirely sure, but it likely has something to do with the selection over time for different types of behavioral patterns (clannish vs. not, for example) due to the presence of differing societal structures, namely family types, the presence or absence of extended families or clans, etc.

certain groups in northwest europe — the english, some of the dutch, some northern french, the belgians, the germans (especially in the northern half of germany), some northern italians (not the ones in the alps), and a bit later the swiss and the scandinavians — for some screwy historical reasons all quit marrying closely in the early medieval period (some earlier than others, like the english) and because of that (i think) they became less clannish. they became so less clannish that they, in fact, became quite individualistic, which — trust me — is unusual for humans. in doing so, they set themselves up for some interesting selection pressures to act on them — see gregory clark’s A Farewell to Alms, for example.

some of the english and some of the dutch especially became very individualistic. in doing so, they also paradoxically became very universalistic in their belief systems and collectivistic in their societies. they did strange things like invent liberal democracy and the industrial revolution and modernity. they put aside clannish behaviors like nepotism and corruption — even violent behavior (esp. the fly-off-the-handle stab-the-guy-sitting-next-to-you kind).

and all because some berber-latin guy once suggested that maybe people shouldn’t oughta marry their relatives. funny how things happen sometimes!

so, that’s the plan and the reasons behind it! hold on while we take an historical tour of western european societies — it’s tuesday, it must be ireland! (~_^)

most importantly, always remember: there’s more to hbd than just iq!

(note: comments do not require an email. the observation automobile!)

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the problem with china

i remember reading a long time ago about how, when bangkok’s elevated train system was built (don’t recall if it was the failed berts or the skytrain or what), everything from the pillars to the platforms was made over dimensioned, because everyone, all the city planners and the engineers, knew — they all knew — that there would be cheating involved at every stage of the construction process — watered down concrete would undoubtedly be used, reused steel reinforcements would take the place the new ones that should’ve been installed, etc., etc. everything had to be over dimensioned to ensure that the whole thing wouldn’t just fall over. (costly, no?)

china has the same fundamental problem — what m.g. has referred to a disregard for the commonweal. the chinese (and other asians, with the apparent exception of the japanese) simply care less about unrelated members of their society than northwest europeans do. and this goes way back — from greif and tabellini [pgs. 18-20]:

“Charity in pre-modern China was generally given to kin. The innovator of the clan trust, Fan Chung-yen (989-1052), “had ruled that the lineage should aid only relatives with lineage ties that were clearly documented in the genealogy” (Smith, 1987, p. 316). Only in the early 17th century non-Buddhist, impersonal charity permanent organizations were established on some scale. Although the Chinese authorities encouraged impersonal charity, moral philosophers decried it viewing the diversion of assistance way from kin immoral. A popular 17th century morality book “tells of a generous scholar who was derided by a member of his lineage for lightly giving money away to strangers ”(ibid)….

“The lack of self-governed cities in China was not simply due to a more powerful state, but also to a pervasive kinship structure that facilitated state control over cities. Indeed, immigrants to cities remained affiliated with their rural kinship groups. As late as the 17th century, in a relatively new city “the majority of a city’’s population consisted of so-called sojourners, people who had come from elsewhere and were considered (and thought of themselves as) only temporary residents …. suspicions were always rife that sojourners could not be trusted ”(Friedmann, 2007, p. 274). As noted above, families that moved to cities retained ‘their allegiance to the ancestral hall for many generations, the bonds of kinship being much closer than those of common residence’ (Hsien-Chin, 1948, p. 10).”

allegiance in china, for a very long time, has been to the clan, not the broader community.

china’s being touted nowadays as the “IT” country of the twenty-first century (third millennium?). maybe. certainly the chinese seem to have the requisite number of iq points — and intelligence is, of course, essential in succeeding in this world. you definitely don’t get very far without it.

but — and if anyone ever takes anything away from this blog, i’d like it to be this — there’s more to human biodiversity than iq.

think, for example, about the probable differences in the life histories of your average person with an iq of, say, 135, and a psychopath with an iq of 135. or a neurotypical with an iq of 135 vs. an aspie with 135. different, right? (no, i’m not saying that the chinese are a bunch of psychopaths — i’m just trying to illustrate that iq is not everything.)

the chinese are not trusting — read greif and tabellini — nor particularly trustworthy (they don’t trust each other!). not when it comes to non-family members anyway.

it’s mighty difficult to build a civil society — or, i think, a successful market economy — without trust — without concern for the commonweal. i don’t see the chinese doing it anytime soon — not without a little evolution first.

china might turn out to (continue to) be a smashing economic success story — if it does, it’s going to look very different from what happened in europe/the u.s. the system won’t be built on trust in strangers — maybe in families/clans, but not strangers — so it won’t be built on corporate entities, not public ones anyway (see greif and tabellini, pg. 24). something to keep in mind if you’re gonna do some, what half sigma has dubbed, hbd investing in china.

(note that none of this is meant to be a criticism of the chinese, nor should it be taken as such. they’re merely hbd observations. we westerners might not particularly like how the chinese operate, but in terms of numbers, they are clearly in the lead right now in the Game of Life. their system may prove to be the superior one — although it didn’t get them to the moon first. or mars.)

previously: the return of chinese clans and the return of the return of chinese clans

(note: comments do not require an email. wake me when it’s all over.)