Monthly Archives: July 2013

IQ and Progress

From an old Gary North article:

Fred Reed has written his most important article in about five years. It’s on IQ and economics. It shows why Mexico has low IQ and a lot of progress.

http://www.fredoneverything.net/MexicanIQ.shtml

Mexico is no longer a third world nation. It is second world. It is making great progress, despite the drug wars. Why? Not because of low IQs.

He cites IQ and the Wealth of Nations. The book is overpriced. It also has one glaring anomaly. It ranks Israel’s IQ as substandard: 94. Sorry, guys, but I’m not buying it. Check your methodology. If the response is “Sephardic Jews are low-IQ people who pulled down the average IQ,” I suggest re-thinking the methodology. If the explanation is “too many Arabs,” I’m still not buying it. There is nothing stupid about Arabs.

Ashkenazi Jews have high IQs. They are very successful economically. They weren’t 250 years ago. They were peddlers or small businessmen. These are important skills, but peddlers were not billionaires. A lot of Jews are today. What’s different? Not IQ. Opportunities.

Egypt has a lot of very smart people, but much of the population is illiterate. This failure of Arab culture – not Arab intelligence – will cost them dearly.

America has a lot of very smart people, and – until recently – we had a predictable legal system that limited government power while guarding our lives, liberty, and property. Now, our protection is more by a failing habit and a bureaucratic inability to really fasten the chains than the true rule of law (see our Above-the-Law State Security agencies for example).

But worse than our rotting politics and legal system is the elite-led destruction of the family, with men – first black men, now increasing white men – born and reared in fatherless households, without jobs in their twenties, uninterested in marriage, and without hope in the future.

What is Mexico’s problem? Worldview, especially ethics.

So, the IQists ask reasonably, if Mexicans are not stupid, why is the country backward? Where are the Nobelists in physics, the Intels, the Apollo programs? Why no Bill Gates?There are several becauses. Because the society is profoundly corrupt, with (it sometimes seems) everything and everybody being for sale. Because of a lack of entrepreneurial spirit, a tendency to be content with enough. Because Mexicans tend to live entirely in the present, instead of having one foot in the future as Americans do. Because of a resentful envy of the smart and ambitious (cf. “acting white”) instead of following their example; this is serious. Because envy and distrust of one another make it hard for them to work together. Because of a lack of interest in study. Because so very many of the young marry at sixteen, have a baby, and do nothing thereafter.

Confessions have consequences. Covenants have consequences. Faith has consequences.

A smart man can steal me blind. Give me an honest man every time. Even if he has a lower IQ.

Same with nations.

Actually, I believe that careful study and careful obedience of the Word of God, in and of itself, can raise the IQ of entire civilizations.

If you want to really know God, you have to know his Word. To know His Word, you must read. To really grasp what He is saying, you need to exercise your brain power to grasp increasingly difficult concepts – from being fed with milk to being fed with meat. To apply His Word, you must build your bravery, your integrity, and your faith. Mastery of His Word is needed to successfully communicate it to your children. Actual obedience brings actual rewards, so teaching logic and the law of consequences, and rooting your understanding in a reality governed by predictable law, not random magic.

But the foundation of all this is not initially IQ. It is first rooted in submission and faithful obedience to God. Everything else naturally follows.

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The Loss of Faith in these United States

From an interview with Charles Murray, author of Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 

Do you think we are exceptional in the same way today? If not, where have we fallen short?

The American personality is still recognizable around the world, but in most other ways we are becoming just another social democracy, obsessed with security, fearful of risk, and highly regulated.

Unfortunately, the Euro-adoring Establishment is winning in its desire to neuter America, and turn it into an insipid clone of dying Europe. Murray dates the end of American optimism and uniqueness from Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society fiasco; other authors have tied it to Nixon’s abandonment of the gold standard, and the following stagnation/decline of the American standard of living. I myself date it from the time we decided to kill the future to protect our current position, with Roe vs. Wade.

People who don’t have faith in the future, who fearfully attempt to control and limit and destroy it, who desire no sacrifice, but only pleasure… these are a dead people. I am confident that there remains a remnant, even a large remnant, that will lead to a rebirth of the best of America – but we are going to have to fight through some hard times first.

 

The Dying Daily Show, and When to Think Like a Jew

Problem

I am confident that many Christians heard of the recent incident on the Daily Show, where believers who challenged the delusion known as ‘gay marriage’ was cruelly – and unjustly – mocked.

I can say UNJUSTLY with confidence, as the Christian speaker’s words were carved up, edited, and spliced to suit the goals of The Narrative, rather than what was actually said. And not for the first time, either.

As Mollie Hemmingway mentioned in Putting Away “The Daily Show” and Other Childish Things:

A few years ago, I was speaking with someone who had once been a personality on “The Daily Show.” I heard horrible stories about how much work was required to find dupes to be exploited, how much energy went into building trust with the interview subject, how many hours upon hours of taping were required to get one snippet that could be used to make fun of the target.

The Establishment will do whatever is necessary to strengthen the power of the Establishment. And of course, while busy mocking those Christians who insist they are being attacked for their faith, they will carefully ignore such persecution when it occurs – like when two street preachers were assaulted at a gay pride rally.

I will let you imagine the outrage, had it been two gay men at a Christian demonstration. Certain people are protected by Our Leadership, and certain people are hated and ignored.

Consequences

Now, the God-State they worship has grown increasingly weaker and discredited: liars like the Daily Show people have to work harder and harder to find Christians who will actually trust them, and the glory days when the Establishment could simply command that only their viewpoint be heard are as wind.

Even the Daily Show is a reflection of the past, when TV and Cable directed the conversation of America. Both mediums have hit their peak: while their decline will be gentler than it was for newspapers and the magazines, they are increasingly artifacts of the past, not the wave of the future. Surprisingly, the same can be said for the universities and colleges that provide Establishment direction for approved ways of thinking.

Decisions

As Spengler writes regarding the suicide of the West – a suicide no obedient Christian need imitate:

Evidence for the link between faith and fertility is overwhelming. And there is no better indicator of this than the fact that 74% of all Jewish children in the greater New York metropolitan area are in Orthodox homes. 40% of Jews in New York identify as Orthodox. We have detailed data on the New York area, the largest concentration of Jewish population, thanks to a recent survey by the New York United Jewish Appeal; national data is still lacking.

Christians should learn from the Jews how to be a minority. It may be possible that Orthodox Judaism may represent the greatest concentration of religious study in America today.

Sure, I believe that there are many things Christians can learn from the Jews at their best – from the importance of business and capitalism, to respect for law and learning and an intense focus on Scripture.

From Gary North, in his article “The Day General Grant Expelled the Jews”

For a defense of how Jewish businessmen view money and business, which upsets liberal intellectuals, whether Jews or gentiles, read Rabbi Daniel Lapin’s book, Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money (2002). Commandment 1: “Believe in the Dignity and Morality of Business.” The other nine are subordinate to this one.

And again, from his article Jews, Scots, Armenians, Dutch:

All four groups have this in common: a strong sense of the covenant. The covenant is an Old Testament idea: Abraham’s covenant with God, marked by circumcision. Membership in the religious community is basic to the survival of the group.

Family and cultural ties are common to most groups, especially prior to the Industrial Revolution. But the covenant ideal meant that God had singled out a group to represent Him, and that He promises to make it prosper if members obey Him. Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 are the central passages.

[…]

CONFIDENCE ABOUT THE FUTURE

Members of all four groups have seen themselves as hand-picked by God to dominate trade. They have regarded themselves as possessing an advantage over everyone else, either in brains, trade, or the ability to prosper under the radar. This outlook came earliest to Jews, then the Armenians, then the Dutch, then the Scots. Their sense of group solidarity was not unique, but their sense of participation in a covenant that promises economic success has been unique.

The Dutch and the Scots have lost their sense of inevitable covenantal victory, but not their sense of frugality. They have transferred to thrift what they once attributed to God’s covenant. Adam Smith wrote Wealth of Nations (1776) as a manifesto of this theological shift.

Innovation, uncertainty, cost-cutting, new markets, profit and loss: here is the program of personal success for the entrepreneur. When you belong to a group that will help you when you fall, which will provide start-up capital to get you going, you have an advantage. The Koreans have this outlook and group support in the United States. The Koreans, more than any Asian immigrant group, are Christians: specifically, Presbyterians. It is interesting that the dairy farming Dutch in Southern California have sold their land to developers, who in turn sold new homes to the Korean children of the family-run, drive-through dairy stores of 1960. The Dutch then moved to Lynden. That relocation process has been going on for three decades.

Without confidence in the future, the entrepreneur cannot function. He becomes at best an investor in bonds or other fixed-income ventures. He accepts statistically insurable risk in place of unpredictable uncertainty. He becomes frugal, advancing himself by means of the steady excess of income over outflow. He does not change society through innovation.

CONCLUSION

If you can buy from a [ ], sell to a [ ], and make a profit, your future is secure. Most people can’t.

As the free market erodes family ties, group solidarity, and persecution, members of many groups can get in on the cornucopia. It is clear that the Japanese have a similar mindset as the four groups, but without the doctrine of the covenant. The Chinese are now adopting it. The freedom to compete breaks down the barriers to entry. But, as the free market moves westward, those who belong to subgroups that have the same outlook as the Big Four enjoy an initial advantage. Group solidarity fades in the face of open competition, but this takes time. When an innovator has confidence in the future, which includes confidence in the safety net of his family or his confessional group, he has an advantage: less fear of failure.

Our Future

This confidence, this trust in God – and not in some weak substitute, such as Thrift, or State Power –  is what is important.

This is why faithful Christians who know Who Holds the Future – and knows that He has ordained VICTORY, rather than crawling and hiding – are more important than the mockery of a dying world order. Liars are failures, truth-speakers are winners. The faithless shrink and dwindle and fail, but the faithful grow and expand and win.

As Oliver Cromwell understood, the Jews are to be welcomed in Christian nations until they willingly choose to embrace Christ – now, or 100,000 years from now, the time involved is beside the point in God’s holy eyes. Other groups who follow Christ must stick with Him: if they fall away, like the Scots and the Dutch have, they cannot expect the protection of their descendants like the Jews enjoy.

The world will rejoice when the Jews are again regrafted into the Living Tree, the Church. But even before then, there is much we can learn from them: but they are obviously now perfect in understanding, or they would have embraced Jesus long ago. We Christians must be even more covenantally true and loyal to God’s Law-Word than we are today, if we are to attract them to the Messiah, Jesus.

As for the laughter of a dying world? It will soon fade like the wind. Focus on Christ, and all the good things you desire will be given to you, well-shaken and in ample measure.

New LIfe, not Alien Life

Because our physical programming is done via DNA and genes, the coming biological revolution will be more important than the computing revolution.

Steward Brand wrote:

The pace of advance in engineering life is Moore’s-Law-times-four

Once a month I recommend a book for Global Business Network.  This month it’s a book by genomic engineer George Church, with whom I am working on a project.

REGENESIS: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves, by George Church and Ed Regis

Genetic code technology is accelerating even faster than computer code technology—four times faster.  While Moore’s Law has been revolutionizing the world of communication and computation every couple years for decades, the pace of advance in engineering life is Moore’s-Law-times-four.  That’s why this is the century of biology.

These benefits will come with costs. Especially when the idea of viruses and diseases come into play.

The Book That Made Your World

I’ve just finished reading The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created The Soul of Western Civilization by Vishal Mangalwadi. A really good read. Just to touch on the subjects it covers, here’s a copy of it’s index (with my comments in italics):

Part I The Soul of Western Civilization

1. The West Without Its Soul: From Bach to Cobain

A reasonable introduction to the loss of meaning in the West: without meaning, there is no drive to improve, or to make things better.

Now, a man can reasonably disagree with me, and claim that in the West, “better” means more fornication, more welfare, less responsibility, and an ever-expanding welfare state. Fair enough: that would make a good definition for baby-boomers, judging by their actions. The problem is that younger people may enjoy their whoring, but don’t care for the lack of jobs and the declining hope of things ever getting better.

Sure, they may never have families or children, or care for them, but they are not particularly happy living with their parents, without hope of any independent living. Numerous illiterate black families in the ghettos need never worry about food, housing or medical care, but their reaction isn’t happiness, but hatred (of self, other blacks, and whites), drug use, and violence. Same deal for the Muslims in Europe: it is not religion per se that drives their hatred, but the lack of jobs or a future as anything but as a ward of the State.

Power-elite liberals may rejoice, but the poor man does not. Neither does his woman/women. Neither does his children.

And what happens with the welfare state dies, in Europe and America?

Part II: A Personal Pilgrimage

2. Service: Or a Ticket to Jail?

What drives a man to serve his Hindu neighbours? Hint: it isn’t Marx. Nor is it caste-driven Hinduism, which sees no need to lift a finger when it comes to people ‘suffering for their sins in a past life’.

3. Quest: Can Blind Men Know the Elephant?

Summary: You can either insist on God being unknowable – and so escape any possibility of judgement – or listen to the man who can see, and heed his words.

4. Self: Am I like Dog or God?

Islam insists that we are as nothing before God. Atheism insists that we are of no significance. Unlike the State, which atheistic cultures typically reveres and adores above all things in our supposedly meaningless existence – because of its power to kill and steal, of course.

Jesus teaches us something… different. He is of value before God, and He has given Christians of His flesh and blood, so we can share in His worth. Even unbelieving humans are of great worth in our Father’s eyes: else, why would He send His Son to die for them?

 

Part III: The Seeds of Western Civilization

5. Humanity: What Is the West’s Greatest Discovery?

Sophisticated Moderns have routinely claimed that it is the Greeks who teach us how to be human. Now, that’s delusional: the only thing those Greeks taught was submission to some Above-the-Law Philosopher-King with his Noble Lies and thirst for limitless power ‘for the Good of All’.

The party or official ideology of Our Masters is utterly beside the point… but we all knew that already.

It is God who gives us human worth, not some lying self-adoring State.

Naturally, then, Christians should not thirst for political power, or howl for revolution: that’s just replacing Oppressor A with Oppressor B. Build up your own home, your own neighbourhood, your own local county and town, decade after decade: that’s the way forward!

6. Rationality: What Made the West a Thinking Civilization?

Since the Bible is a logical book, that assumes an orderly Lord that designed the Cosmos and the Earth as a blessing for all men – something we should learn from, following His footsteps – it is natural that Christianity is the fount of orderly, reasonable civilizations. As opposed to escapist cultures, or crushing tyrannies.

7. Technology: Why Did Monks Develop It?

My favourite quote: “The Egyptians living along the Nile built the pyramids while barbarians inhabited Western Europe. The problem was that the engineers who made pyramids to honor the bones of kings and queens did not bother making wheelbarrows for their slaves.”

Work is honourable, in God’s eyes, but time is valuable, so technology is needed as well. He has given us brains and eyes for a reason.

Part IV: The Millennium’s Revolution

8: Heroism: How Did a Defeated Messiah Conquer Rome?

The self-sacrificial love of God provides salvation. Not swords or the acclaim of the masses.

9: Revolution: What Makes Translators World Changers?

Spreading the truth means the spread of life everlasting. The Bible displays the foundation of Truth itself for all who wish to read, and on this solid ground, great victories and profound joy may be build up.

Part V: The Intellectual Revolution

10: Languages: How was Intellectual Power Democratized?

The power of the Bible was no longer hidden behind a dead language, allowing only a select priesthood access to its life-giving waters.

11: Literature: why Did Pilgrims Build Nations?

The Bible depicts free agents that can really change their nations, for good or ill. We follow and live this truth, and naturally write about it, giving rise to the novel. But it couldn’t happen until the Bible was brought into our native languages.

12: University: Why Educate Your Subjects?

For India, the Christian University was essential to bringing in the desire for liberty. But I admit, here I disagree with the author, seeing the University only a State/Church (nowadays, just a State) way to control thought. But the days of the Establishment University will be drawing to a close in the coming decades, thanks to the Internet…

13: Science: What Is Its Source?

God created the world, and invited His children to understand and master it. With our minds, as well as our hands and our muscles. The rest naturally follows.

Part VI: What Made the West the Best?

14: Morality: Why Are Some Less Corrupt?

If God Sees and God Judges, increased self-control naturally follows.

The State, on the other hand, can be easily blinded by bribes, friendships, and family connections.

15: Family: Why Did America Surge Ahead of Europe?

Family is father and mother and children, not a patriarchal clan. With independent families, young men mature and are given both authority and responsibility, and as a rule maturity follows. No maturity? Then the man will suffer the pain of an unhappy family.

16: Compassion: Why Did Caring Become Medical Commitment?

Christ did nor leave the sick to die, but healed them. Christians naturally strive to follow in His footsteps.

17: True Wealth: How Did Stewardship Become Spirituality?

Money here is meant to be spent in expanding Christ noble and compassionate kingdom. Not as a tool to build some kind of worthless monument to ourselves, or to secure a life of indulgent ease and pleasure.

18: Liberty: Why Did Fundamentalism Produce Freedom?

God is the King, and all are equal under His Law. And obedience to His Law naturally brings happiness and success: no need to steal from Unbelievers or envy those wealthier than you…

Part VII: Globalizing Modernity

19: Mission: Can Stone Age Tribes Help Globalization?

It is Christ that reaches out to all in their own language – and encourages them to change the world for the better!

20: The Far Future: Must the Sun Set on the West?

Not if the West repents.