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Sep 10 2012

Satoshi Kanazawa is back

Now he’s got a gig at Big Think. Kanazawa, you may recall, is the evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics who loves to make racist arguments and then go racing to the data to find selective support for them; he’s a terrible scientist. I’m no big fan of evolutionary psychology, not because I think its premises are wrong (evolution did shape how our brains work), but because it is trivially easy to find lazy, bad scientists who have hopped on the bandwagon because it is an easy path to media sensationalism — and Kanazawa is the kibitzer dancing in the locomotive cabin, constantly yanking the chain to make the whistle blow.

Kanazawa is the guy who claimed to look objectively at the data and thereby determined that black women are ugly (he also thinks Africans are stupid), and whose data were examined and found to have been selectively extracted. He got a lot of flak for that, and while he wasn’t kicked out of Psychology Today, where he had his column, he hasn’t posted anything there in over a year, so I suspect there was some pressure applied. Which is too bad…every time he opens his mouth, he’s a great target for beating up bad science.

So now he’s at Big Think, and his first column is…the same old thing all over again. The first half of it is all defensive bluster, in which he claims he’s just a dedicated scientist following the data where ever it might go, and his enemies are all Politically Correct cowards and leftists (yeah, he’s also a vicious right wing nutter). And then he goes on to defend, once again, his claim that black women and Asian males are ugly.

He argues that he was just paying attention to other people’s data. He attended a seminar in which data on the dating behavior of 20,000 college people was discussed, and part of that data showed that black females and Asian males had the fewest dating partners, and he just wanted to explain it.

My initial suspicion was that this might be because black females and Asian males were less physically attractive than their competitors. Thus began my scientific interest in race differences in physical attractiveness.

And we’re off! That’s a very peculiar leap: why would you assume that the number of dating partners would correlate with physical attractiveness? My wife is a very attractive woman, but she had one partner in college (me). I’m a homely guy, and I also had one partner in college (her). It seems to me that number of partners is going to be more strongly affected by the strength and stabiity of relationships, which is going to be a consequence of far more than just appearance, and it’s simply odd to leap to the hypothesis that it’s because of physical beauty or lack thereof.

It’s also odd because of Kanazawa’s own premises. Listen to his introductory interview on Big Think, if you can; right at the beginning, he announces that the evolutionary goal of all organisms is reproductive success, and the key to achieving that is 1) status, and 2) access to resources. He must know that status is going to involve more than just appearance. So why doesn’t he listen to the data in that seminar and think, “Hmm, maybe black women have lower socioeconomic status and fewer resources — I wonder if further analysis of the data would show that?” But no, that’s complicated. He instead jumps to the conclusion that black women must be ugly.

Why? Because he’s a goddamned racist.

He also doesn’t pay any attention to the other outcome, that Asian males have fewer dates, too. Is it because they’re all ugly? I suspect it’s more because there are some complex cultural phenomena at play. A real scientist would try to examine the multifactorial inputs into human sexual behavior, rather than just trying to reduce it all to appearance, which is the kind of ad hoc nonsense I’d expect from frat boys watching porn.

And now his argument is that he’s being oppressed because his results are uncomfortable. No, he’s being laughed at because his interpretations are ludicrous and unfounded.

Ultimately, however, it doesn’t matter, because this is no longer about empirical facts or scientific truths. It’s a matter of emotions and feelings, history and culture. What I have learned in this ordeal is that, in the Year 2011, there are certain questions that scientists may not ask, or, more accurately, for some questions, there are certain answers that scientists must a priori preclude from consideration. There are certain conclusions that scientists may not reach about some groups of people. Many commentators have pointed out in vain that, using exactly the same data and exactly the same statistical methods, I have also shown that women are significantly more physically attractive than men and black men are significantly more physically attractive than nonblack men. Few complained about these findings, because they are not politically incorrect.

I’ll complain about all those findings. I personally have a bias that women are far more attractive than men, I agree; I think also that in our culture we tend to associate beauty as a laudable quality in women and strength as the equivalent virtue in men. I think it would be really hard to separate the influence of having women’s bodies as the standard for beauty from our perspectives on men’s bodies; “attractive” is a complicated perceptual phenomenon. So I reject his claims out of hand, not because they’re politically incorrect, but because they’re simplistic to the point of stupidity and focus on trivial phenomena while ignoring their broader foundations in culture.

Also, I’ve heard that claim that “I’m not racist because I also make judgments about my own ethnic group” somewhere else. It’s not convincing.

Even less convincing is the argument from martyrdom.

…certain questions may still not be asked, and certain conclusions may still not be reached. It’s a very difficult world for the Scientific Fundamentalist.

Yeah, yeah, crawl up on that cross, Kanazawa, and keep yanking on the train whistle.

72 comments

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  1. 1
    Ichthyic

    ah Kanazawa… the Glen Beck of Evolutionary Psychology.

  2. 2
    Blondin

    Why? Because he’s a goddamned racist.

    And extremely shallow, too. Perhaps his assumptions betray his own priorities.

  3. 3
    blf

    I’m a homely guy, and I also had one partner in college ([now the Trophy Wife]).

    You also have the horns, barbed tails, claws, squids, and so on — all of which make most would-be rescuers think thrice. A damsel-in-distress in a high tower guarded by a moat, fire-breathing dragon, evil wizard, and some peas, is a doodle in comparison.

  4. 4
    Ace of Sevens

    Maybe he’s looking for an explanation why he was a dateless wonder, which clearly has something to do with humans in general and not him personally.

  5. 5
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    …there are certain answers that scientists must a priori preclude from consideration.

    I’m just asking questions! What’s wrong with asking questions? When did you stop beating your wife? What’s the matter, it’s just a question!

  6. 6
    dianne

    I’m a homely guy

    Excuse me. I know this is a distraction and not at all your main point, but I just have to say, “Oh cut that out! You’re very cute!”

  7. 7
    hypatiasdaughter

    Black women are ugly – but Black men aren’t? Which is why all we White women are so hot to trot to have sex with them? I guess that is the root of the great White male fear that Black men will go after their womenfolk – because they know their womenfolk prefer Black men to them. (See, I can do really shit evo-psych analysis, too!)
    But, it really doesn’t explain why, historically, almost all black-white miscegenation comes from WHITE men having sex with BLACK women. (Well, only if you define rape as “sex”.)
    Sometimes I wonder why Blacks don’t go on mad killing sprees when they get insulted with this kind of crap. It simply makes my blood boil that not only is it racist at face value, but it takes an actual reality (historically, White men have found Black women attractive enough to rape) and turns it on its head (to Black women are so ugly no one wants to have sex with them) to make another racist shot. UGLY. UGLY. UGLY.

  8. 8
    sadunlap

    This nudnik and Penn Gillette and a host of other evidence-free ranters have made “Big Think” crack-pot heaven. It’s a web-based illustration of crank-magnetism.

    I joined because it hosted a favorite blogger (who fled less than a year after joining) and I continue to see the e-mails turn up in my spam folder – no way to unsubscribe (there’s a surprise).

    It’s a woo-zoo kiddies. It’s OK to laugh but don’t throw peanuts. That would be cruel.

  9. 9
    Ace of Sevens

    To be fair,Bill Nye is at Big Think and there’s nothing apparently wrong with him.

  10. 10
    Raging Bee

    He argues that he was just paying attention to other people’s data.

    Well, yeah, he was listening to people talking about how ugly they thought black women and Asian men were. LOTS of people. And not black or Asian people either, ’cause they’re biased. That’s data, innit? Oh wait…

  11. 11
    Antares42

    Really, he closes his article with Galileo’s “E pur si muove” (“and yet it moves”)?

    It’s like he’s literally playing the Galileo gambit… However, “[it] is not enough to wear the mantle of Galileo: that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment. You must also be right.”

  12. 12
    anteprepro

    What I have learned in this ordeal is that, in the Year 2011, there are certain questions that scientists may not ask, or, more accurately, for some questions, there are certain answers that scientists must a priori preclude from consideration

    Yes. Scientific dogma doth proclaim that you are not allowed to offer certain answers. Those happen to be “Answers that completely ignore alternative explanations, overlook obvious confounding variables, and selectively forget about any and all other data points that are in consistent with the Answer”. Those damn Politically Correct Scientists!

  13. 13
    vaiyt

    And yet, the most “resourceful” people according to his parameters… actually have the smallest rate of reproduction.

  14. 14
    bortedwards

    And this is why I’ll stick to studying the evolution and sexual proclivities of plants.
    So much simpler when you can just pull their leaves off with no brains to worry about and misinterpret.

  15. 15
    Bernard Bumner

    My initial suspicion was that this might be because black females and Asian males were less physically attractive than their competitors.

    Because there is nothing quite like constructing a loaded hypothesis in order to confirm one’s prejudices.

    According to teenage birth rates (another arbitrary measure of sexual success which ignores socio-economic reality) black women are more attractive.

    The racist science game is so confusing.

  16. 16
    Keith Peterson

    bortedwards, that does sound more interesting than anything Kanazawa has to say.

    Do you happen to have a favorite reproductive strategy in the plant kingdom?

  17. 17
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Why? Because he’s a goddamned racist.

    That’s an understatement.

    While it’s true that the (American) standard of beauty* is largely skewed toward white women, I’m gonna go ahead and guess** this is due to centuries of systematic oppression of African American women and not because we’ve evolved to think black women are icky.

    *Not the same as attractiveness. Two totes different things.
    **If that asshole Kanazawa can do it, why can’t I?

  18. 18
    Rutee Katreya

    The racist science game is so confusing.

    It’s really, really simple, I promise. “Does it make white people look the best? Does it make non-white people look worse?” If the answer to either of these is ‘yes’, then there’s a pretty good chance it’s valid.

  19. 19
    Pierce R. Butler

    … Asian males have fewer dates, too. Is it because they’re all ugly?

    I got nowhere socially in high school either, but I didn’t try to make a career Grand Social Theory out of it.

  20. 20
    Loqi

    I love how critics try to show the absurdity in his methods by pointing out that by this logic, he also “proved” that women in general are more attractive than men. It’s telling that he doesn’t see the absurdity and instead pulls the politically incorrect card. They try to point to an absurd conclusion that makes his bias and data manipulation obvious and he responds with, “well, *I* think women are more sexually attractive than men, so it makes sense that my data shows that.” It takes a Romneyesque lack of self-criticism to be that oblivious. Has Fox News offered him a job as their science correspondent yet?

  21. 21
    Cuttlefish

    Actually, according to his Wikipedia entry, he was dismissed by Psychology Today last year.

    I was looking, because I thought his degree was in marketing, not in evolutionary psychology–does anyone know for sure?

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/cuttlefish/2011/04/07/when-experts-arent/

  22. 22
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Ace of Sevens:

    Maybe he’s looking for an explanation why he was a dateless wonder…

    That seems to be a common motivation for many ev-psy fans. Women avoid them not because the EP fans have repellent personalities, but because they’re not rich or otherwise “high-status” (even the ones who are affluent by any reasonable estimation). Bitchez is all gold-digging ho’s, which is a proven fact because female chimpanzees trade food for sex. **sage nod**

  23. 23
    raven

    defend, once again, his claim that black women and Asian males are ugly.

    Huh!!! What!!!

    I’m reminded of an old Frank Zappa song.

    What is the ugliest part of your body?
    Some say your nose, some your toes.

    But I think it is your mind.

    Kanazawa has an ugly mind.

  24. 24
    nms

    Ultimately, however, it doesn’t matter, because this is no longer about empirical facts or scientific truths. It’s a matter of emotions and feelings

    Well I’m glad we got that cleared up

  25. 25
    Ingdigo Jump

    That seems to be a common motivation for many ev-psy fans. Women avoid them not because the EP fans have repellent personalities, but because they’re not rich or otherwise “high-status” (even the ones who are affluent by any reasonable estimation). Bitchez is all gold-digging ho’s, which is a proven fact because female chimpanzees trade food for sex. **sage nod**

    ThE MRA mentality. Those poor blighted “betas”

    Great now I’m imagining all MRAtrolls as tiny little majestic finned fish furiously slapping flippers against keyboards

  26. 26
    Ingdigo Jump

    I also love that a scientist gets corrected on missing interpretations or other data points or other skewing factors and his reaction is to claim people are being emotional and ignoring data and throw a giant hissy fit.

    Dude, science may not be the field for you.

  27. 27
    dianne

    Ok, I think it’s been pretty thoroughly established that Kanazawa is a racist who can’t do science. Here’s the next question: Why is anyone taking him seriously? Why did Psychology Today ever give him a column (even if they dropped him out of embarrassment later), why is he being interviewed, why is he considered an “expert”? These things don’t just happen. Someone agrees with him.

  28. 28
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Dianne

    One possible answer. The thunderf00t situation offers another. He knows people personally in some places who have a blind spot for him because they’re on friendly terms.

  29. 29
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    I’ve found that I’m attracted to women of all ethnicities. Does that mean in Kanazawa’s world I’m an evolutionary freak? Or a dead end?

    My genes are very confused right now.

  30. 30
    zmidponk

    You know, it occurs to me that there is a simple little thing that renders this chump’s hypothesis very doubtful. You want to know what it is?

    Porn.

    You look around the internet, there is porn, not just of black women or asian men, but every colour, shape, size, age, or any other category you can think of. This is why the unofficial 34th rule of the internet is ‘if it exists, there’s porn of it’. For that porn to get made, and be consumed, if that’s the right word, people have to find the people (or tentacles, robots, anthropomorphised animals, etc, etc, etc) depicted attractive. Thus, the mind-bending variety of porn available throws doubt on the idea that a man or woman is universally ‘ugly’ because of a simple matter of the colour of their skin.

  31. 31
    Ingdigo Jump

    I’ve found that I’m attracted to women of all ethnicities. Does that mean in Kanazawa’s world I’m an evolutionary freak? Or a dead end?

    My genes are very confused right now.

    Actually according to my evopsyche class it’s evident of a selected for attraction to a variety of mates so as to maximize chances of an offspring surviving.

  32. 32
    Rutee Katreya

    Great now I’m imagining all MRAtrolls as tiny little majestic finned fish furiously slapping flippers against keyboards

    That’s an improvement in my mind, tbh.

  33. 33
    David Marjanović

    I’m with comments 20 and 26.

  34. 34
    Noadi

    I certainly find men more attractive than women, that might have something to do with the fact that I want to have sex with men and not because men are objectively more attractive. I learned a long time ago that just because I like something doesn’t mean that everyone does, somehow Kanazawa managed to miss this lesson that most people figure out well before adulthood.

    I like sour pickles, I think sweet pickles are an affront to pickledom, but I don’t try to say that sour pickles are somehow objectively better because of evolution and use the popularity of dill pickles in the US as the proof. All that proves is that in one group of humans more people like dill pickles more than other varieties, it doesn’t prove anything about all humans and certainly proves nothing about effects evolution had on our food choices. I think it’s almost impossible to tease out all but the basics of how evolution shaped our behavior because culture is such a huge confounding factor. Honestly have none of the people in evolutionary psychology never taken a cultural anthropology class?

  35. 35
    magistramarla

    Asian men are ugly? Tell that to my former students!
    When the new reboot of Star Trek film was about to come out, the girls in my classes were all a-twitter about the “hot Asian” who was taking the part of Sulu.
    Those girls were Hispanic, Asian, Black and Anglo – it didn’t matter- they all considered him to be “hot”.
    I saw the film, and I agreed with them.

  36. 36
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    John Cho is pretty dreamy.

  37. 37
    Rutee Katreya

    I certainly find men more attractive than women, that might have something to do with the fact that I want to have sex with men and not because men are objectively more attractive

    You are doing evopsyche so wrong then.

    John Cho is pretty dreamy.

    He really is.

    Would it be kosher to ask to devote the thread to sexy non-white dudes? It’d be so much more fun.

  38. 38
    magistramarla

    I’ve often thought that the children of mixed-race couples were exceptionally beautiful and intelligent. My scientist husband called this “hybrid-vigor”.
    I think that this goes along with the conversation at #29 and #31. (Remember – I’m a Latin teacher, not a scientist).
    I was delighted when my children dated people of all races. It showed that they were considering a huge variety of future mates.
    My son just married a beautiful young Mexican lady who has roots in Italy and Spain. I could not be more pleased.
    OK – I’ll admit that I’m thinking of the beautiful, intelligent future grandchildren.
    The conservatives are very frightened by this scenario.
    The angry old white men are quickly becoming the minority, and they fear the future.

  39. 39
    Ace of Sevens

    @37: Sexy white dudes, too. We need to prove we can be just as good-looking as black dudes. (His ideas here seems to be based around whites being default and other races departing from them in various ways.

  40. 40
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Those poor blighted “betas”

    Ing-the word you wanted was “benighted.” Not nit-picking, just trying to help you use an awesome word!

  41. 41
    ChasCPeterson

    This clown is low-hanging fruit.

  42. 42
    Noadi

    @40 Though “blighted” isn’t too shabby a word.

  43. 43
    Ingdigo Jump

    #Josh

    Blight definition #3
    Something that impairs growth, withers hopes and ambitions, or impedes progress and prosperity.

    No I was correct, I was playing into the victim complex they have as the lesser males

  44. 44
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Dianne:

    Here’s the next question: Why is anyone taking him seriously? Why did Psychology Today ever give him a column (even if they dropped him out of embarrassment later), why is he being interviewed, why is he considered an “expert”? These things don’t just happen. Someone agrees with him.

    A lot of people agree with him. But he’s got a career because the media like to troll for page hits.

    Chas:

    This clown is low-hanging fruit.

    Yes, and? He’s got a media platform. That makes him important to rebut.

  45. 45
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    magistramarla @38:

    I’ve often thought that the children of mixed-race couples were exceptionally beautiful and intelligent.

    I’m glad you think so, because I am one such. Back when I was just a kid, I was Othered pretty severely. “Half-breed” and “piece of shit mongrel” were common epithets. The only kids I could hang out with for a while were Asians, who offered me some sympathy.

    My mixed heritage hasn’t been an issue for thirty years now, which is good, because my own kids are the result of two mixed heritage* parents. I think they’re absolutely beautiful, but that’s probably because I’m in love with them and they’re little and cute.

    Funny. Not sure why I’m sharing this now, it’s not something I ever mention. But I’ve come to appreciate that Pharyngulites are wonderfully protective of safe spaces.

    *When I say “mixed heritage” I mean something more radical than an Italian-Scots mix. More like Indian-Scandinavian, or Chinese-Latina.

  46. 46
    andrewriding

    Well yes, those races are ugly… so long as we define beauty purely by what media leads us to desire. I’ve seen enough of Hollywood to know that they basically despise both races for not being more white- in the early days we didn’t even cast actors of those races for characters of those races, just slap some black of yellow paint on a white actor and maybe some other cheap gimmick for a single recognizable facial feature.

    I’m not as knowledgeable about the plight of black men so I’ve just got the apparent focus on macho masculinity (they certainly aren’t all body builders but television could easily convince you that 70% or more of them are,) but I do know quite a bit about how Asian women gained screen presence by going hyper-female in respect to the traditional traits, but with a little bit of a prostitution angle since we were so fascinated with Geisha just as soon as the Japanese surrendered. They got into basically every television role they get because we get to place a white male in a position of dominance over them. It’s a complete fluke on any of those rare (very rare) occasions where we give them a lead role, but even then there’s the obvious gender role baggage they have to keep playing to.

    On the other side of the card Asian males are still suffering from WWII propaganda. We portrayed the Chinese as cruel monsters up until the Japanese started beating them and then we switched over to portraying them much like starving African children- beaten down and lacking any kind of vigor. Of course at the same time we switched to showing the Japanese as the monsters until that role no longer made any sense. All the while Asian immigrants had much the same reputation as modern Mexicans, though without the macho-pride angle to it. We jump back into these old portrayals just about any time we put a group of Asians on screen with uzis or rifles, scenes I’m sure anyone that watches action movies can recall.

    It gets really disturbing watching the Asian males all look like they’re broken pitiful sacks of crap lest the have the motivation to go out and shoot up a bunch of civilians.

    But it is clear that Asian males can be plenty strong, masculine at a minimum or even macho, but we vilify the ever loving shit out of it any time they try.

    That leaves just African females, but I’m left clutching at straws as I guess that they just got pushed so far below white folks culturally that we’re not even interested in putting white males over them. It would be interesting to see how all these dynamics change as members of these races generally accumulate enough wealth to move up closer to where Caucasians sit on the social hierarchy- but that’s going to take a damn long time if social justice movements can’t make any progress toward equalizing the opportunities.

  47. 47
    Ingdigo Jump

    But it is clear that Asian males can be plenty strong, masculine at a minimum or even macho, but we vilify the ever loving shit out of it any time they try.

    The two names synonymous with macho warfare are Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan.

  48. 48
    vaiyt

    Attila is, most of the time, not even seen as Asian at all.

  49. 49
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    And then he goes on to defend, once again, his claim that black women and Asian males are ugly.

    My family has pretty fucked-up genes then.

    I’ve always been very attracted to asian men and my brother to black women.

  50. 50
    magistramarla

    Silomowbray,
    I had a student who was a mix of black, white and Asian. She was exquisitely beautiful and bright as can be.
    She flattered me when she gave me a hug and told me that I reminded her of her white Grandma who had passed on.
    My students always knew that when they stepped into my classroom they were accepted no matter who they were. I was also the teacher/mentor for the GSA, so my LGBT kids knew that they could be themselves, too.
    We had a safe place to learn in that room, and I tried to encourage acceptance and a love of learning.

  51. 51
    Olav

    zmidponk, #30:

    Thus, the mind-bending variety of porn available throws doubt on the idea that a man or woman is universally ‘ugly’ because of a simple matter of the colour of their skin.

    Now you are assuming that people watch porn to see beautiful/attractive people. I am not convinced of this. They may just be watching to see people having sex.

  52. 52
    Amphiox

    This clown is low-hanging fruit.

    If unaddressed, said fruit can still ripen, drop seeds, and sprout up new trees.

  53. 53
    vaiyt

    The most obvious error of Kanazawa’s reasoning is to assume today’s standards of beauty in his own neck of the woods are valid to all times and places.

  54. 54
    hypatiasdaughter

    #45 silomowbray
    Being no biologist, I was wondering if “race mixing” wasn’t better for our species as a whole?
    I think I read that Africans have more genetic variation as the mother “race”. The groups that immigrated out have less variation as they settled in isolated groups (until the last few thousand year).
    Remixing up all those isolated pools of genes sounds like a good thing to me.

  55. 55
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    My initial suspicion was that this might be because black females and Asian males were less physically attractive than their competitors. Thus began my scientific interest in race differences in physical attractiveness.

    I wonder if a zombie would even want this guy’s brain…

  56. 56
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Amphiox:

    If unaddressed, said fruit can still ripen, drop seeds, and sprout up new trees.

    If that happens, please make sure no Adam’s or Eve’s are around. We don’t need *another* 6000 years of Penalty by Sin.

  57. 57
    birgerjohansson

    While Kanazawa looks discredited, I can think of non-racist explanations if some surveys actually produced this result.
    Cultural “programming” would certainly affect what factors we find attractive. In a culture where the default beauty ideal is a young caucasian those falling outside that ideal might suffer.
    — — — — —
    For the record I am a single fifty-something but I don’t need some pseudoscience to prop up my ego.
    — — — — — —
    To quote the Mad Magazine parody of “Hill Street Blues”:
    “I have a bigotry problem. Every ethnic group -including my own- think that I am inferior to them…and they are right!”

  58. 58
    Crommunist

    Would it be kosher to ask to devote the thread to sexy non-white dudes? It’d be so much more fun.

    Racialicious.com does regular features on sexy and impressive people of colour. Worth reading – not just eye candy either.

    Just a tip for those tempted to ever use the “mixed kids are sooo cute” meme (don’t even get me started on how much the term “hybrid vigour” makes me want to vomit) – please don’t. Mixed kids get “exoticized” enough without well-meaning liberal folks paying them (us) “compliments” about how cool it was that our parents screwed. It also has the fun distinction of not being even close to true.

  59. 59
    imthegenieicandoanything

    He’s another of the “New Toms” – people who don’t care about how they earn a living and get their name in front of the public.
    As Double-cream Oreos Cain and Thomas have shown, there are few limits now on how much money and fame you can get by becoming a New Tom, if you’re fierce in your defense of the Mas’sars and willing to condemn your own heritage in no uncertain terms, the dirtier and more outrageous the better.
    If you have real talent, even if you have a vagina but no penis, like Condi Rice, they may even let you become a member of their clubs (and no open use of the word “token” will be made).

    This guy is looking into getting on the gravy train. He’ll do pretty well, in the short run, anyway. But what is needed is membership IN the group you are denigrating with specious, racist nonsense, and even wingnuts are intimidated by Japanese and Chinese and Indian success, so stuff like doing variations on the old “Yellow Perilism” isn’t going to lift him above the “comfortable life” level of success, and his “scientific racism” attacks on “Africans” (aren’t we ALL African in origin?) aren’t going to give him anything but notoriety, which quickly won’t pay.

    Oh, and he can fuck off and get a real job.

  60. 60
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    imthegenieicandoanything, are you black? Because if you’re not, your comments are pretty fucking creepy.

  61. 61
    Olav

    Crommunist, #58, thanks for mentioning Racialicious.com.

    Instant favourite!

  62. 62
    lpetrich

    There’s a certain problem with evolutionary psychology applied to our species.

    Why do women seem more concerned about their appearance than men do? How cross-cultural is it? There’s plenty of cross-cultural evidence of male vanity, it must be said, but on average, at least in our society, women seem to be more vain.

    Some feminists consider this a sort of male conspiracy, and indeed some men like to see women wear awkward clothing, and worse. But that does not explain a taste for pretty but non-awkward clothing, hairstyles, jewelry, etc.

    -

    Now let’s see what most of the animal kingdom is like. If there is any sex that tends to be more ornamented or flashier-looking, it’s the male sex. One can do experiments to test the attractiveness of various features, like the long tail feathers of male widowbirds and the manes of male lions, and one finds that female widowbirds and lions are indeed interested in them.

    So what about our species? Some male features seem like they fit, like facial hair and broad chests and low voices and perhaps baldness. That would make greater female concern with appearance an anomaly.

    Some evolutionary psychologists have indeed addressed that issue, but they don’t have much more than Just So Stories.

  63. 63
    observer17

    The Wicherts & Hoffman critique manages to cherry pick the ADD Health data too.

    http://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/silly-refutations-of-kanazawas-blog-post/

  64. 64
    crocswsocks

    Wait a minute… he’s an Asian male too, isn’t he? Or does he just have a Japanese name? (I haven’t seen a picture of him, and don’t really care to)

  65. 65
    observer17

    @ 64,

    Correct.

  66. 66
    Ace of Sevens

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_nJY2ifP4w

    He’s definitely a Japanese guy. This doesn’t mean he can’t buy into racist narratives.

  67. 67
    Ichthyic

    Being no biologist, I was wondering if “race mixing” wasn’t better for our species as a whole?

    actually the concept of race in a biological sense doesn’t even apply to humans.

    there isn’t enough genetic variation between populations of people to qualify.

    the term is fairly useless from that aspect.

  68. 68
    opposablethumbs

    lpetrich #62

    There’s plenty of cross-cultural evidence of male vanity, it must be said, but on average, at least in our society, women seem to be more vain.

    (my emphasis)

    Well, duh.

    If you think about it for a second (and think a bit more about historical as well as cultural variations) you’ve answered your own question. Also, wtf is up with using a loaded term like “vanity” to refer to an emphasis on visual display in this context? Given the massive, massive minefield of presupposition that evo-psych seems to be?

    On second thoughts, I may be misreading you (I certainly hope so). If your comment is essentially pointing out the gaping holes in evo-psych as it is all-too-often indulged in, then I would take back the above … though I would like to suggest that your use of terms like “vanity” makes your comment less clear than it might be.

    you put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting Vanity

    TY, Berger

  69. 69
    Feminace, formerly Qurikythrope

    Oh boy, Kanazawa’a back! I can resume adding more weight on my fledgling self-image because SCIENCE! tells me I’m both ugly and unfuckable. Thanks, asshole!

    Shhh, don’t tell my partner, or anyone else I’ve ever slept with this “fact”. It’ll break their hearts.

    btw, ZOMGItsCriss did a pretty awesome takedown of the concept of “race” in humans in one of her past vids:

  70. 70
    lpetrich

    In response to #68,

    If your comment is essentially pointing out the gaping holes in evo-psych as it is all-too-often indulged in, then I would take back the above

    Yes, indeed I was.

    though I would like to suggest that your use of terms like “vanity” makes your comment less clear than it might be.

    I will concede that “vanity” may not be the best word here. I wanted some simple word for “preoccupation with appearance that may seem excessive”.

  71. 71
    observer17

    ***there isn’t enough genetic variation between populations of people to qualify.***

    #67, @ Ichthyic

    Not true. In fact the level of variation amongst human races is not dissimilar to that between many sub species groups.

  72. 72
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Observer

    Citation needed.

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