Patterico's Pontifications

5/17/2011

The Plot Thickens at Psychology Today–Satoshi Kanazawa Disappears And Then Reappears

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:25 pm



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Strange stuff was happening over at Psychology Today as I was literally writing this post.  Seriously, as events developed, I had to go back and literally rewrite half of this.

Last night Patrick posted on the appalling post by Satoshi Kanazawa’s post as Psychology Today arguing that African American women were “objectively” less attractive than women of other colors, a piece that could only be described as wrong-headed and racist.  And later I found where the same author made a post arguing that Islam was an ethnic trait, passed down by blood.  Yes, really. And I criticized Psychology Today for it, writing “Psychology Today has disavowed declaring black women ugly, but Satoshi Kanazawa has been allowed to publish racist crap before and it’s still there.”

Well, for a few minutes today the site appeared to be scrubbed.  For instance, the index page was dead, and I had to use a google cache to much through his archives.  And we caught them briefly scrubbing the author’s name from certain posts.  For instance, in the comments Dustin linked to a post called “Why we are losing this war” as an example of Kanazawa’s dubious scholarship.  But the only problem was when I went there, Kanazawa’s name as well as the name of his Psychology Today blog “The Scientific Fundamentalist” has been scrubbed (even though the phrase appears in the url), and the author of the piece was reduced to “anonymous.”  Dustin fortunately kept the screenshots of the piece after the name was scrubbed:

(You can’t see very well, but there was an empty space on the right where his name and picture belonged.)

And indeed the text of the post doesn’t even make sense without an author assigned.  For instance, he writes:

As we explain in Chapter 8 of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters (“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”), ethnocentrism (or “racism”) is an innate human tendency. We are designed by evolution to love members of our group and hate members of other groups, in order to motivate and facilitate intergroup conflict. Yes, hate is natural. But remember the danger of the naturalistic fallacy — deriving moral implications from scientific facts. “Natural” means neither “good” nor “desirable.” Nor does it mean “inevitable.” Most of us learn to overcome our innate evolutionary tendencies.

Now don’t get distracted by the “everyone is a little racist” cop out, but notice the link to the book.  If you click on it you go to an Amazon.com link to same book, identified as being written by Kanazawa and Alan S. Miller.  So a casual observer would know this is not anonymous, but in fact apparently written by one of those two men.

But then again you don’t have to guess at who wrote it, because as of this moment Kanazawa’s name has been restored. Seriously, check the link.

Oh, and what he writes in that post, especially in light of his claim that Islam is an ethnic trait, is pretty vile:

It seems to me that there is one resource that our enemies have in abundance but we don’t: hate. We don’t hate our enemies nearly as much as they hate us. They are consumed in pure and intense hatred of us, while we appear to have PC’ed hatred out of our lexicon and emotional repertoire. We are not even allowed to call our enemies for who they are, and must instead use euphemisms like “terrorists.” (As I explain elsewhere, we are not really fighting terrorists.) We may be losing this war because our enemies have a full range of human emotions while we don’t.

This has never been the case in our previous wars. We have always hated our enemies purely and intensely. They were “Japs,” they were “Krauts,” they were “Gooks.” And we didn’t think twice about dropping bombs on them, to kill them and their wives and children. (As many commentators have pointed out, the distinction between combatants and civilians does not make sense in World War III, and the Geneva Convention — an agreement among nations — is no longer applicable, because our enemies are not nation states.) Hatred of enemies has always been a proximate emotional motive for war throughout human evolutionary history. Until now.

Here’s a little thought experiment. Imagine that, on September 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers came down, the President of the United States was not George W. Bush, but Ann Coulter. What would have happened then? On September 12, President Coulter would have ordered the US military forces to drop 35 nuclear bombs throughout the Middle East, killing all of our actual and potential enemy combatants, and their wives and children. On September 13, the war would have been over and won, without a single American life lost.

Yes, we need a woman in the White House, but not the one who’s running.

So it’s an open call for genocide.  And it’s still there.

(And by his logic, doesn’t that mean he would have wanted us to massacre all of the “Japs” in WWII, too?  In other words don’t just drop the Atom bomb twice, but twenty times until they are all dead—you know, right after the holocaust.)

Meanwhile the post entitled “If Barack Obama Is Christian, Michael Jackson Was White” which I mentioned earlier today disappeared completely.  I could only find it in the google cache.  And now its back.  And it shouldn’t be.  Indeed, one responder at the same site wrote:

I had to read it twice. I couldn’t believe what was on the screen at Psychology Today. But there it was:  “Anybody who believes Barack Obama is Christian must also believe that Michael Jackson was white” and then that President Obama is a Muslim because his “father was a Muslim Kenyan, descended from a long line of Muslims.” Yikes!

What’s going on here? Had Rupert Murdoch bought PT and brought us under the Fox umbrella? Or worse? Has it suddenly become acceptable to (mis)use psychology to support the classic genocidal lie that people of different religions are different races?

Ignoring the dig at Murdoch and Fox, that post appeared on August 23, 2010.  So it’s been up for about nine months as was the post he was responding to.  And briefly Kanazawa’s post disappeared.

And that is far from the only case.  His name was scrubbed from a post entitled “Are All Women Essentially Prostitutes?”, and in contrast to a critic of his who wrote that…

Extraordinary claims (especially those that hurt and damage marginalized groups) require extraordinary evidence and editorial oversight. This isn’t censorship — no one is disputing Kanazawa’s right to publish this on his own site — It’s socially responsible publishing and editing and I’m proud to write for a publication that recognizes this.

…Kanazawa wrote months before asked “Do Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence?” and answered that they did not, and indeed specifically brought up the concept of racial differences in that post:

Worse, what counts as extraordinary depends also on the scientific fads and fashion of the time.  The claims of race and sex differences in intelligence were not at all extraordinary a hundred years ago.  They are considered to be extremely extraordinary today, requiring extraordinary evidence.  They will no longer be extraordinary in a hundred (or, hopefully, five) years from now.

But his name was scrubbed from the post…  until it reappeared.  Likewise, his name was scrubbed from this post and I kept the screenshot of the scrubbed version:

But as of now his name has been restored.  And the article goes on:

Another “stereotype” about physical appearance that is not empirically true is “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” In previous posts, I have explained that women can tell which men would make good fathers and which men would make bad fathers simply by looking at them.  And people can tell who are altruistic and who are egoistic simply by looking at a 30-second video clip without sound.

I suppose next he will be examining the bumps on their heads.

So that post was allowed to stay up, anonymously, while declaring that

In this blog, I have repeatedly emphasized the fact that virtually all “stereotypes” are empirically true.  If they weren’t true, they would not be stereotypes in the first place.  To my knowledge, all of the very, very few stereotypes that are not empirically true, for some reason, have to do with people’s appearance.

But when I followed the link it was dead, and again I had to use a cache.  Here’s a taste from it:

What people call “stereotypes” are what scientists call “empirical generalizations,” and they are the foundation of scientific theory. That’s what scientists do; they make generalizations. Many stereotypes are empirical generalizations with a statistical basis and thus on average tend to be true. If they are not true, they wouldn’t be stereotypes.

He never gets beyond that theoretical level and noting for instance that men tend to be taller than women.  So he doesn’t cross the line into controversial stereotypes about intelligence or something like that, but we are starting to get the picture, right?

Only now suddenly the post is back, name and all.  And bluntly this went on and on.  I clicked link after link after link and either they were gone (but always in the cache, or the post was there but his name was removed).

So why did so many posts find his name removed temporarily?  Why were so many posts themselves removed only to be restored?  And why is it now that the only post removed is the one that started this whole controversy?  And of course it can’t be explained by citing the fact there is no such thing as “objective” beauty, because, well…  the post “Beautiful People Really ARE More Intelligent” remains even though it goes on and on about claiming an objective, scientific measure of physical attractiveness.

So as best as I can tell they removed the first post out of sheer embarrassment.  But they have not (permanently) removed other posts that call for genocide, that state that Islam is an ethnic trait, and that claim  “virtually all ‘stereotypes’ are empirically true.”  Does that make any sense to you?

Personally I believe it is time to deep six this guy and for them to explain why this crank was allowed to post on this blog for this long.  His ideas can be refuted without giving him a megaphone.  And certainly it makes zero sense to only remove one post, for racism or bad science, when it was hardly the only one.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

52 Responses to “The Plot Thickens at Psychology Today–Satoshi Kanazawa Disappears And Then Reappears”

  1. Personally I believe it is time to deep six this guy and for them to explain why this crank was allowed to post on this blog for this long.

    Blog? Ok, agreed, but Psychology Today is a respectable mainstream magazine. At least, it used to be — I used to subscribe to it back in the day (20+ years ago as a psych undergrad).

    Also, what is this guy doing teaching at LSE (my alma mater)? I mean, I don’t want a litmus test for ANYBODY in academia, but one wonders how he managed to land a post in that prestigious institution.

    Kman (5576bf)

  2. kman

    i think a litmus test of “no genocidal racists” is perfectly appropriate.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  3. Is Kanazawa liked by the left?

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  4. Yeah, I have to wonder what this guy is doing teaching. I do think it’s good to refute the kinds of claims he makes. Everyone should face these arguments and understand why they are wrong. But you don’t need to make a genocidal loser a professor to accomplish this goal.

    Let him have his own blog. If Psych Today finds it interesting, they should discuss it from a critical POV rather than simply posting his claims.

    I have no idea what anyone would associate this guy’s work with Rupert Murdoch, of all people.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  5. Kmart went to the London School of Economics? Must have failed, as it still pushes demonstrably discredited collectivist systems. Maybe it majored in cross dressing mendoucheity while stalking.

    JD (822109)

  6. JD, don’t be too surprised if that’s true.

    20 years ago, our academic systems produced a lot of limited thinkers. Those were some of the darkest days. Things are still quite screwed up in academica, of course, but there are plenty of schools that teach “Rules for Radicals” as a good plan rather than a sad stain on democracy.

    The editors that elevated this nonsense probably have a ‘prestigious’ educational background. A good academic credential is not sufficient evidence someone is educated.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  7. “I mean, I don’t want a litmus test for ANYBODY in academia, but one wonders how he managed to land a post in that prestigious institution.”

    Because the guy is brilliant, and he’s looking at questions no one else has looked at.

    Now, part of the problem is that he is, as Patterico says, clueless. He’s an aspy, so he doesn’t quite get how others go apesh*t whenever race differences are mentioned. You know, like provoking people to call others ‘genocidal’ when there is absolutely no evidence of of any ‘genocidal’ intent.

    Now, what he shouldn’t be doing is putting obviously not ready for scholarly review, let alone publication, stuff on sensitive areas out there on a public blog, precisely because an organized witchhunt is going to be the result.

    stari_momak (d5f987)

  8. “Must have failed, as it still pushes demonstrably discredited collectivist systems. ”

    Yeah, that’s why Hayek taught there, and Popper.

    You neocon ‘bots really are blindered to anything outside your little ideology of race-denial and world-wide neoliberal democracy aren’t you.

    stari_momak (d5f987)

  9. “Everyone should face these arguments and understand why they are wrong. ”

    Uh, you do know that is precisely the *wrong* way to approach new material. Not that a lot of folks don’t go looking to refute things they disagree with, but bald statements of prejudice aren’t so common.

    stari_momak (d5f987)

  10. Stari is not only a racist, but has reading comprehension problems. Kmart is lying, I am sure of it.

    JD (d48c3b)

  11. OK

    Hayek and Popper taught there.

    You win.

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  12. ==what is this guy doing teaching at LSE (my alma mater)?==

    Better keep an eye on him. Next he’ll be inviting a psychology class to watch a live f@@ksaw demonstration.

    elissa (daa903)

  13. “He’s an aspy, so he doesn’t quite get how others go apesh*t whenever race differences are mentioned.”

    stari – Claiming to have aspergers is just the latest politically correct excuse for being a complete asshole. It does not excuse anything.

    I always appreciate you stopping by to give us the Stormfront perspective.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  14. Kmart is lying, I am sure of it.

    Comment by JD — 5/17/2011 @ 2:25 pm

    Yeah, you’re right.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  15. I did not say that LSE pushed discredited schools of thought, I said kmart did. I have no idea what is taught at LSE, I just doubt kmart went there, given his profound idiocy on matters economic.

    JD (306f5d)

  16. Uh, you do know that is precisely the *wrong* way to approach new material. Not that a lot of folks don’t go looking to refute things they disagree with, but bald statements of prejudice aren’t so common.

    Comment by stari_momak

    Well, it’s not new material. It’s material normal people have considered and rejected early on. I already understand it’s wrong.

    You aren’t able to handle any material. Just look at how you handled that CATO study on busing, coming to precisely the wrong conclusion, and putting words in their mouths that show some real problems.

    Anyway, I’m talking about people like you. I’m talking about people with an open mind. They should consider ideas and understand they are wrong. Once someone understands why it’s wrong, sure, stromfronters will whine that we’re not giving BS enough respect. So what? What are you going to do? Repeat something that is completely unconvincing? Tell us how smart your leader is?

    Who cares?

    Dustin (c16eca)

  17. I just doubt kmart went there, given his profound idiocy on matters economic.

    Comment by JD

    Yeah, this is a very good point, but since when do we take Kman’s assertions seriously? How many times has this guy told a bald faced lie, even about his own comments?

    Anyway, I agree that Kman doesn’t seem well educated on economics. I don’t care where he went to school.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  18. I don’t hang out here enough to understand your internal dynamics, so I didn’t understand that ‘it’ referred to this Kman fellow — I stand corrected.

    I thought you were referring to LSE. Fact is you can get through LSE as an undergrad or (as most students are), MS student and never take an econ course — the school teaches all social sciences (or ‘sciences’ if you prefer). The Econ department leans pretty heavily neo-liberal, not ‘collectivist’. It ain’t Chicago or George Mason, but no far off. The entire school is famous for its ‘diversity’ of opinions among scholars — with for example Popper (who believed an ‘objective’ science was possible, one based on null-hypothesis testing) and Lakotos, who believed that scientific knowledge — like other knowledge — is ‘socially constructed’.

    stari_momak (d5f987)

  19. For example, every ten year old child probably should consider the validity of Kawazany’s racial theories. That’s about the time most people are smart enough to understand it. Every eighteen year old should consider the concept of the state owning the means of production. Even into adulthood, people should consider new ideas about health and science.

    But once you’ve identified a real stinker, you can reject it forever. Someone who preaches genocide doesn’t deserve an even handed summary, and adults who still find those ideas serious should seek medical attention.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  20. Am I the only person that thinks that kmart told a bald faced aggressive lie about being an alumnus of the London School of Economics?

    JD (318f81)

  21. Comment by daleyrocks — 5/17/2011 @ 2:34 pm
    I’m sure some people claim to be aspies in order to get away with bad behavior, but even it is true it doesn’t excuse this guy. I’m an aspie and I learned as a kid that racial differences are nonsense (I guess Stari hasn’t quite grasped that), and that people get a little upset in the presence of bigots. Of course, being a Jew growing up a generation after the Holocaust might have something to do with that.

    Oh, Stari, meine Shatzi, das Wort ist “aspie”, nicht “aspy”.

    kishnevi (437df2)

  22. And certainly it makes zero sense to only remove one post, for racism or bad science, when it was hardly the only one.

    Maybe they realized that in this age of Google cache, they can’t memory hole him?

    It might bear watching to see what shows up on those pages in a day or two.

    kishnevi (437df2)

  23. And by his logic, doesn’t that mean he would have wanted us to massacre all of the “Japs” in WWII, too? In other words don’t just drop the Atom bomb twice, but twenty times until they are all dead—you know, right after the holocaust.

    No, not until they are all dead. Just until they stop being our enemy. As long as they are trying to kill us (whoever the “they” of the moment happen to be), then we inflict as much pain and death as we can until they stop. Why, because we just love dishing out death? Of course not. Because it is a betrayal to ourselves and our loved ones to do less than what we can to end the killing being inflicted upon us. If nuking one or two of their cities is what it takes, then let nuke ’em and get it over with.

    And then the healing can begin.

    Anon Y. Mous (cb1134)

  24. JD

    well, i certainly invite Kman to prove it. Heh.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  25. I’m an aspie and I learned as a kid that racial differences are nonsense

    Or at least that you’re in a world of trouble if you don’t insist that they are… I suspect he finds he can’t bring himself to care if people go apesh*t when he says something he thinks is right. There are a fair number of people like that, it’s just that it’s fairly unusual for the people who aren’t like that to allow them to be heard.

    Brett Bellmore (6652c2)

  26. “I’m an aspie and I learned as a kid that racial differences are nonsense ”

    Brett Bellmore is a wise, wise man.

    stari_momak (d5f987)

  27. I suspect he finds he can’t bring himself to care if people go apesh*t when he says something he thinks is right

    Either that or he’s an attention whore whose comprehension challenged fanboy uses some medical condition to excuse his inability to argue a point coherently.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  28. Re comments 25 and 26–I guess Stormfront sent stari some reinforcements.

    Listen, meine Schatzi, what makes people different is far less important than what makes people similar. You see several races. I see only one race, the human race, created in the image of G-d.

    kishnevi (66c376)

  29. Sorry, that last comment was meant for this thread.

    kishnevi (66c376)

  30. I am getting really mixed up this evening. Please ignore the last comment, at least until I figure out what thread I want it to be in :)

    kishnevi (66c376)

  31. JD, I think that Kman just used the acronym “LSE.” I wonder to what other institutions those three letters could refer?

    Simon Jester (75c592)

  32. Yeah, i could imagine LSE being Lancaster Sexual Education…

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  33. I will google. Brb

    JD (318f81)

  34. Linux scalability effort
    London stock exchange
    Liberty simulation environment
    Caplease Inc.
    Link Shell Extension
    Lacrosse WI airport code
    Lahore School of Economics
    Lucas software engineering
    Linguistics search engine
    Lafayette Steel Erector
    Laser System Europe

    JD (318f81)

  35. You see several races. I see only one race, the human race

    Me too, mate.

    Plenty of smart and dumb and pretty and ugly people, and to attempt to use race to filter for those qualities is frankly quite stupid.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  36. I’m one of the bloggers on Psychology Today, and the reason posts or names kept disappearing is that the site crashed after all the press about this blogger and post. NO, no conspiracy, just technical crash – we still can’t view our internal info yet, either, and couldn’t see or change our own posts for several hours.

    Also, how fascinating to read the opinions here. I’d love to know how many have science or PhD’s or are social scientists or clinicians. Oh, just looky-loos? It only took 2 sentences for Mr. Worthing to use the r word – racist. Now THAT’S science for you!

    Donna B. (85d809)

  37. Donna,

    I don’t need a PhD to criticize a piece that discusses physical attractiveness as an objective characteristic. What’s next? Studies showing which piece of art is objectively more artistic?

    But then, I guess I’m just a “looky-loo.” So you can safely ignore my view.

    Patterico (4363dd)

  38. Gosh, Patterico. What articles did “Donna B.” write at Psychology Today?

    Simon Jester (75c592)

  39. Also, how fascinating to read the opinions here. I’d love to know how many have science or PhD’s or are social scientists or clinicians. Oh, just looky-loos? It only took 2 sentences for Mr. Worthing to use the r word – racist. Now THAT’S science for you!

    Comment by Donna B.

    That’s a pretty ignorant attitude, Donna. I don’t need a PHD to opine on this topic. Your shrink in this case uses ‘evolutionary psychology’ to study economics. In other words, he practices psuedoscience.

    Of course it’s racist. What other word would you use for the idea that we have inherent differences in characteristics due to our races? I guess you don’t have too many English PHDs on staff, do you?

    It’s odd that your site changed the name of the author to anonymous. That’s a very strange crash you had.

    I realize nobody out there knows who Donna Barstow is, but I actually do. You sent legal threats to the ISP of someone who criticized your cartoon while showing the cartoon. You wanted to shut down criticism because you were embarrassed.

    The cartoon in question? If I am not mistaken: making fun of Obama because you think black people’s hair looks like a chia pet. That isn’t even funny, jackass.

    You also deleted comments that criticized your work, right? Correct me if I’m wrong, but you can’t handle the kind of criticism you’re willing to dish out, are you?

    Dustin (c16eca)

  40. This isn’t even funny.

    It says nothing. It throws in a reference to a vogue phone for no reason. You aren’t even a good cartoonist. Why are you the gatekeeper to opinions on psychology?

    Are you the person who inspired the Seinfeld episode about how stupid the New Yorker’s cartoons are?

    And let’s not forget your blogging. Here’s your latest. There isn’t an interesting thought to be found.

    At least here there’s a thought, but it’s just pathetic envy:

    Ted Rall is a liberal who hates most things President Obama has done this year. I am (mostly) conservative, who thinks Obama is doing a decent job, although I can’t point out anything in particular that is great. So we’re kind of going in opposite directions, but I enjoyed pointing out to him recently on Facebook that it’s fun watching him hotfoot over to the other side!

    Occasionally you make the most basic conservative criticism, but I’ve yet to see one that actually makes the case in a compelling way. You’re no Chris Muir.

    Do I sound like I’m too hard on her? If you check her blog out, you’ll see a recurring theme of hers is to reprint the cartoons of others and explain how she’s proud she didn’t do them. But if you display a cartoon of hers to explain your criticism of it, or worse, a photograph of Donna Barstow, she will email your ISP to report a violation of their policy against Threats and Harassment.

    Donna Barstow says: So…not enough to write about? You have to steal other people’s cartoons, what they do for a living? Not to mention it’s ILLEGAL to use images and intellectual copyright without permission.
    See the little © symbol on the side? That means you don’t get to use the cartoon without permission or paying. I own all rights. And hello, links? Name of the cartoonist? Where did you learn to blog?
    Just to be very clear, servers will shut down blogs for using work illegally. Please remove the cartoon immediately.

    And here’s your racist cartoon about Obama.

    Anyway, LA Times cartoonist and bitter elistist/uncreative moron, don’t worry so much about people stealing your cartoons. They only want them in order to complain that they are defective. I honestly looked and cannot find anyone who wants to talk about your cartoons for any other reason.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  41. In checking our kishnevi’s comment, I found the entire paragraph to be unbelievably stupid.

    What accounts for the markedly lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women? Black women are on average much heavier than nonblack women. The mean body-mass index (BMI) at Wave III is 28.5 among black women and 26.1 among nonblack women. (Black and nonblack men do not differ in BMI: 27.0 vs. 26.9.) However, this is not the reason black women are less physically attractive than nonblack women.

    Then why did you even bother talking about this?

    Black women have lower average level of physical attractiveness net of BMI. Nor can the race difference in intelligence (and the positive association between intelligence and physical attractiveness) account for the race difference in physical attractiveness among women. Black women are still less physically attractive than nonblack women net of BMI and intelligence. Net of intelligence, black men are significantly more physically attractive than nonblack men.

    In other words, all blacks are stupid, I think (I have proven!) black men are super attractive, so stupidity alone isn’t the culprit.

    He goes on and on from here, and it’s too stupid to even bother discussing. You might as well study which number is the best one. The fact that he’s searching for something to explain why he finds one race prettier than another shows that he realizes (somewhere in his mushy brain) that something other than race is the deciding factor. If he was just going to say he’s not attracted to fat and stupid people, no matter what their race is, why didn’t he? Because he’s suffering from confirmation bias in his quest to justify being a bigot.

    Stari Momack claims this guy is brilliant.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  42. This is, I think, a pretty clear example of “political correctness”, which is to say, the notion that some propositions can’t be right even if they are, because they’re wrong politically.

    Look, tear the guy apart, if he’s actually wrong, or using bad reasoning. But that’s the basis he should be torn apart on, not because he’s saying something you’re not supposed to say.

    Maybe some things we’re not supposed to say are true. Maybe tomorrow we’ll have a DIFFERENT set of things we’re not supposed to say.

    Brett Bellmore (6652c2)

  43. What’s next? Studies showing which piece of art is objectively more artistic?

    Don’t let Ayn Rand hear you say that. Among her preachings is the idea that ultimately there will be objective standards of art and beauty. Of course, not even the Objectivists have managed to come up with anything close to that.

    She also (at least in her novels) described her characters in a way that equates handsomeness/beauty with intelligence and moral uprightness, and ugliness with stupidity and moral failure. But she never linked it to race, and she wrote one of the most stinging indictments of racism ever made (it’s in the Virtue of Selfishness, if you’ve never read it).

    kishnevi (d785be)

  44. This is, I think, a pretty clear example of “political correctness”, which is to say, the notion that some propositions can’t be right even if they are, because they’re wrong politically.

    I disagree.

    It is irrational to say you have objectively proven something like who is more pretty than who. Read his article and it’s not well reasoned or well written, but simply irrational.

    It’s not like they simply said ‘racism is wrong, therefore you are wrong’. They actually took the time to face his arguments.

    Maybe tomorrow we’ll have a DIFFERENT set of things we’re not supposed to say.

    OK, fair enough. Even stupid POVs shouldn’t be squelched just because we don’t like them. Everyone should have a chance to consider even the dumbest POVs, if only so they learn why they are wrong. However, this was terrible ‘science’. It reflects poorly on Psychology Today even before you worry about whether these are unacceptable ideas. If they want to push the envelope, they probably should make it worth the trouble.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  45. Satoshi Kanazawa also published a piece saying liberals are smarter than conservatives:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201003/why-liberals-are-more-intelligent-conservatives

    Steve (4703f5)

  46. Oh, excuse me for entering the angry men’s club here. At the very top of the post it ASKS FOR TIPS. So you don’t want facts, just the usual rants and suck-upery? As I clearly said, the site was down for 10 to 12 hours. ALL of our posts kept disappearing, cache was wrong, etc. But because you couldn’t possibly be wrong, Aaron, you must be right.
    And is Patterico also Aaron? Since you take offense at what I said to the author? Is everyone here the same person? Sounds like it.
    The only reason I volunteered anything is because Cathy Seipp thought highly of this site, and I came across it while looking at press on PT. Then I get ad hominem attacks by anonymous asshole Dustin. Which I’m going to ignore, because I stand behind my name always, and you’re an anonymous asshole.
    I don’t have an advanced degree either, and I’m in awe of some of the bloggers in PT who do understand statistics and science, etc. Many of the bloggers there are quite upset by that post, some because the science was misinterpreted, more because of racial statements. Some people want the author to be banned, etc. I don’t care what PT decides, but I do think it’s censorship. Some agree with me, others know nothing about blogs and just think that what one guy says tarnishes the whole profession.
    Apparently the study, ADDHealth is quite famous, been around for 17 years, supported by dozens of Fed Agencies, etc. I don’t know. Neither do most people here.

    Donna B. (ec78f9)

  47. “Studies showing which piece of art is objectively more artistic?”

    There are objectively more pleasing forms, objectively more pleasing landscapes, in the sense that a sample of people will rate one form or landscape higher than another. This isn’t a new idea — it goes back to the golden ratio of the ancients. And yes there are people out there conducting scientific research into aesthetics right now.

    Dustin, Kanazawa doesn’t fully explain what he is doing in this one post,you’d have to have followed his work and/or blog for a while to understand (and probably have at least an inkling of ANOVA or multiple regression models.

    He is using an ‘objective’ ranking of attractiveness derived from responses of many interviews to various pictures of people. The average ranking for each picture is the independent variable. His dependent variables are things like intelligence, race, BMI, etc. It’s pretty easy to develop a model that accounts for all those, punch it into the computer, and be able to say thinks like — given similar levels of intelligence and bmi, a black man will be rated higher on attractiveness than a white man, or that black women are rated lower than Asian women, even when they have the same BMI.

    Now, maybe this is all just a Western cultural construct — that’s a legitimate argument against the findings. I frankly I don’t think Kanazawa should be putting out such controversial stuff before its been polished, highly. But simply screaming ‘racist’ and covering your ears is a childish response.

    stari_momak (d5f987)

  48. Donna

    I admit I didn’t see your coments, so let me respond to the highlights.

    > Oh, just looky-loos? It only took 2 sentences for Mr. Worthing to use the r word – racist. Now THAT’S science for you!

    Actually it took until reading Patrick’s first post on the subject, and I added to it by pointing out that he bizarrely thinks that Islam is a racial trait. That is racism.

    But hey do please explain to me what isn’t racist about saying that black women are uglier and stupider

    > Oh, excuse me for entering the angry men’s club here.

    We aren’t all men and I in particular am not angry. Usually my response is mockery. Although I will confess that racism pisses me off. Having faced discrimination it bothers me more than most people, I suspect.

    > At the very top of the post it ASKS FOR TIPS. So you don’t want facts, just the usual rants and suck-upery?

    Where do you get that from?

    > As I clearly said, the site was down for 10 to 12 hours. ALL of our posts kept disappearing, cache was wrong, etc. But because you couldn’t possibly be wrong, Aaron, you must be right.

    You know, if the site was just down, that would be one thing. But how on earth do you suddenly lose just the author’s names? And only on certain posts that coincidentally all look like the most obviously racist ones? Your explanation is implausible because it doesn’t fit the facts.

    > And is Patterico also Aaron?

    No, Patterico is the owner of the site. I am the guest blogger. And he got annoyed because your criticism applies to his own post. There is no scientific definition of “objective” attractiveness, my rule 5 joking aside.

    I mean my wife thinks I am handsome, so clearly you can be completely daft in your definition of attractiveness.

    > I don’t have an advanced degree either, and I’m in awe of some of the bloggers in PT who do understand statistics and science, etc. Many of the bloggers there are quite upset by that post, some because the science was misinterpreted, more because of racial statements. Some people want the author to be banned, etc. I don’t care what PT decides, but I do think it’s censorship.

    Can’t disagree more. Freedom of the press and speech means you are free to either pay for the transmission of your messages yourself, or to convince someone else to transmit it. it doesn’t mean anyone has a right to it. I don’t even know how that would work, practically.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  49. And is Patterico also Aaron? Since you take offense at what I said to the author? Is everyone here the same person? Sounds like it.

    I criticized your comment because you implied that people who don’t have “science or PhD’s or are social scientists or clinicians” are mere “looky-loos” whose opinions on this topic are not important. If that’s your position, and it appeared to be from your comment, I think it is a silly position. So I criticized it.

    If others agree with me, it does not mean that we are all the same person. It means others agree with me. At least, that’s my conclusion, as someone with no PhD or science degree.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  50. Patrick

    > If others agree with me, it does not mean that we are all the same person.

    Actually truth… you have multiple personality disorder. there is no DRJ, there is no Karl, there is no Lee, indeed there is no Aaron. It was all you, you just didn’t know it.

    :-)

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  51. Oh, excuse me for entering the angry men’s club here.

    Oh, this is just pathetic.

    You really do hate being criticized, though, don’t you? You can dish it out, but you can’t take it.

    Anyway, Psychology Today claims to be aimed at non-professionals. It claims to have over 600 blogs. Why do you think you get to say who is and isn’t a valid critic?

    Perhaps we would take you more seriously if you offered an argument that was rational, instead of merely insulting those offering the argument?

    But again, you have a pattern of being unable to handle criticism. You say you’re on awe of those who understand statistics and science. Donna: it’s not a degree that gives someone that ability. Anyone can learn how to do that. Anyone who does so can discuss these matters. I don’t know why that threatens you so much.

    Dustin (c16eca)


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