Monday, May 14, 2018

Beware of Incongruous Anecdotes: The “Social Genomics” Scam

By Nicholas Stix

An NYU sociology professor, who also picked up a Ph.D. in biology, Dalton Conley has co-authored a book with Jason Fletcher, The Genome Factor, which purports to show… I don’t know what it purports to show.

My sometime colleague Steve Sailer sought to explain Conley, but … I can’t remember his explanation, because Steve got lost in the sauce, talking about b.s. “studies” Conley referred to in his book.

Re-reading Princeton’s PR thing, it looks like this:

Conley and co-author Jason Fletcher say that genetics are really important in influencing characteristics like height and body mass, but play no role regarding intelligence, which is determined by environment.

However, genetics are really important for determining who can benefit from super-expensive, designer pedagogical interventions.

In other words, Conley and Fletcher are the same old, same old, pseudoscientific racial socialists, but they have a new sales spiel: “Social genomics,” the “interaction” between genes and social class.

Every few years, the white net taxpayers of this country get pickpocketed out of additional billions, or is it trillions of dollars for some brilliant new “intervention” (pedagogy, computers, textbooks, etc.) that is going to revolutionize everything. “Universal pre-K,” anyone?

They never do, because no such miracle cure exists for low IQ. And on top of low IQ, the kids in question are racist, anti-intellectual, refuse to do homework, have monstrous womb/sperm donors, low or non-existent impulse control… you know the drill.

Beyond the obvious, what would one of these educational miracle cures look like? And how would schools that are run by racial socialist imbeciles implement them?

Fifteen years ago, black supremacist New York Times editorial writer Brent Staples promised such manna from heaven for teaching reading to kids with “undiagnosed learning disabilities.” Conley & Fletcher may have read the same Staples column I did. Then again, the education industry and propaganda have been full of con men peddling such boondoggles for generations.

Staples was promoting the practice of forcing public school districts to pay out of taxpayers’ pockets to educate kids with “undiagnosed learning disabilities” at private schools. Staples’ prescription had at least … shortcomings:

1. The learning-disabled kids (? his examples sounded like dyslexia) first have to be diagnosed;
2. Blacks have been screaming “Racism!” for years over a higher proportion of black than white kids being diagnosed as learning-disabled; they want to see most learning-disabled black kids re-defined as normal;
3. The magic bullet Staples promoted is “phonics-based”: Educrats have for generations fought against phonics-based reading instruction (private school teachers attend the same teachers ed schools as their public school counterparts); and
4. Blacks demand that only blacks may teach black kids, and special ed pays better than normal education, which would mean that the program would be dominated by incompetent and abusive blacks, and thus doomed.

Intelligent Dasein says: • Website
May 12, 2018 at 8:34 am GMT • 300 Words

Princeton PR promo: “Questions about the importance of race and class crystalized when his friend Jerome was struck by a stray bullet while walking down the street and paralyzed for life at age 13.

“‘That event haunted me for the rest of my life, and really, really drove me to ask the questions that I ask in my day job,’ Conley said in a 2015 TEDx talk at the University of North Carolina. ‘Why did he end up getting shot and I ended up getting to go to college?’”

I find this passage a bit strange.

The implied argument seems to be that people who dwell among one of society’s outcast groups—whether by virtue of belonging to an excluded racial minority or by reason of poverty, a bad upbringing, underachievement, low intelligence, criminality, poor hygiene or whatever—are thereby more likely to inhabit bad neighborhoods where the stray bullets fly, and consequently have an increased likelihood of ending up paralyzed for life. And since (it is assumed) one’s genetic heritage contributes to the production of the aforementioned factors, it is possible to use polygenetic studies to predict the probability of one becoming the victim of random violence. Ever attentive for a practical application, another expert helpfully adds that such predictions could form the basis of targeted “interventions” designed to help at-risk individuals avoid the worst aspects of their genetic fate.

I’m sorry, but this seems like a rather long way to go in order to establish a tenuous and not particularly illuminating connection, which is then followed by an unconvincing sales pitch. These are precisely the kind of conditions that generate boondoggles like Theranos. The entire biotech-medical-pharmaceutical complex seems to be caught up in a style of thinking that proceeds from vast data-mining through statistical analysis and product-cycle development designed to attract investment, all of it driven by hopium-like paeans to the humanitarian ends their research will supposedly serve, the final result of which is only to allow the principal players to line their pockets while virtue-signalling their avowed commitment to science and progress.

N.S.: A giveaway is the use of dramatic but inappropriate anecdotes. I have nothing against powerful anecdotes, which are simply individual cases, but they have to support one's argument.

Conley asks a rhetorical question, regarding his maimed friend, “Why was I so much more advantaged than my neighbors for the most part?”

Certain propagandists like to say, “There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.” Actually, there are many stupid questions, and Conley’s was moronic.

It’s not really a question at all, but a rhetorical strategy meant to both virtue signal and deceive.

Virtue signal: ‘Although I grew up poor, I too feel patronizing pity for the same black trash for which the rich people I seek to hobnob with feel patronizing pity.’

(Keep in mind: Most of Conley’s black neighbors in such an area were bound to be criminals.)

Deception: Conley was not at all advantaged over his black neighbors.

If you’re white and male and grow up among blacks, you have nothing but disadvantages. Unless you’re really big, or famous as a terror in a fight, anyone can casually walk up to you and violate your person.

Actually, this even happens to really big whites. My old American Enterprise editor, Karl Zinsmeister, who is at least 6’4,” wrote 20 years ago of being casually sucker-punched by a black stranger some years earlier, when he was painting his fence in D.C.

If Conley had been honest, he’d have been written off as a “racist” by the same white phonies who write me off as a racist.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is better to have colored teachers only teach negro children. Maybe that is how it should be! Teach them some simple basics at their own pace in their own manner of learning. Cannot do worse than what exists now.