The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray

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pages: 350 words: 96,803

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution by Francis Fukuyama


Albert Einstein, Asilomar, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Columbine, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, impulse control, life extension, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, Scientific racism, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Turing test

., “Inheritance of Alcohol Abuse: Crossfostering Analysis of Alcoholic Men,” Archives of General Psychiatry 38 (1981): 861–868. 15 Charles Murray and Richard J. Herrnstein, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (New York: Free Press, 1995). 16 Charles Murray, “IQ and Economic Success,” Public Interest 128 (1997): 21–35. 17 Arthur R. Jensen, “How Much Can We Boost IQ and Scholastic Achievement?,” Harvard Educational Review 39 (1969): 1–123. 18 See, passim, Claude S. Fischer et al., Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996). 19 Robert G. Newby and Diane E. Newby, “The Bell Curve: Another Chapter in the Continuing Political Economy of Racism,” American Behavioral Scientist 39 (1995): 12–25. 20 Stephen J.

The population geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza has mapped out a speculative history of past migrations of early humans as they wandered out of Africa to different parts of the globe, based on distributions of mitochondrial DNA (that is, DNA that is contained within the mitochondria, outside the cell nucleus, which is inherited from the mother’s side).13 He has gone further, linking these populations to the development of languages, and has provided a history of early language evolution in the absence of written records. This kind of scientific knowledge, even in the absence of a technology that makes use of it, has important political implications. We have already seen this happen in the case of three higher-level behaviors with genetic roots—intelligence, crime, and sexuality—and there is much more to come.14 The Heritability of Intelligence In 1994, Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein sparked a firestorm with the publication of their book, The Bell Curve.15 Crammed with statistics and based heavily on a large data set, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the book made two extremely controversial assertions. The first was that intelligence was largely inherited. In the language of statistics, Murray and Herrnstein argued that 60 to 70 percent of the variance in intelligence was due to genes, the rest to environmental factors such as nutrition, education, family structure, and the like.

Mosher, Steven. A Mother’s Ordeal: One Woman’s Fight against China’s One-Child Policy. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993. Munro, Neil. “Brain Politics.” National Journal 33 (2001): 335–339. Murray, Charles. “Deeper into the Brain.” National Review 52 (2000): 46–49. ———. “IQ and Economic Success.” Public Interest 128 (1997): 21–35. Murray, Charles, and Richard J. Herrnstein. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. New York: Free Press, 1995. Muthulakshmi, R. Female Infanticide: Its Causes and Solutions. New Delhi: Discovery Publishing House, 1997. National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Cloning Human Beings. Rockville, Md.: National Bioethics Advisory Commission, 1997. ———. Ethical and Policy Issues in Research Involving Human Participants, Final Recommendations.

pages: 82 words: 21,414

The Myth of Meritocracy: Why Working-Class Kids Still Get Working-Class Jobs (Provocations Series) by James Bloodworth


Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, cognitive dissonance, Downton Abbey, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, income inequality, light touch regulation, precariat, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, zero-sum game

Experiments with identical and fraternal twins (the former share the same DNA and the latter don’t) consistently show that the IQs of identical twins are far more similar in their scores than fraternal twins.97 As Stuart Richie, the author of Intelligence: All That Matters, puts it, ‘The only possible reason for this is genetic: after all, the only thing that differs between the two types of twins that would make them more similar – so long as each pair is raised in the same family – is the percentage of genes they share.’98 Ritchie goes on to say that, on average, around 50 per cent of the reason people vary on intelligence scores is genetic. At the controversial end of debates like this is the 1994 American book The Bell Curve by the political scientists Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray. The central thesis of the book is that intelligence is responsible for the trajectory of a person’s life, and that a deficient IQ is typically the best explanation for poverty. The book proved controversial when it came out, not only because of its reiteration of discredited eugenicist arguments from the nineteenth century – that the ‘cognitive elite’ was being out-bred by a multitude of halfwits – but also because it argued that different ethnic groups possessed varying levels of intelligence.

For those who took the work of Herrnstein and Murray seriously, a society like the United States was immensely unequal because it was a genetic meritocracy. Blacks were poor not because of historic racism and class oppression, but because they were stupid. While the whiff of racism discredited those sections of the book that dwelt on the supposed innate difference in intelligence of different ethnic groups, in conservative circles The Bell Curve remains influential. And, from the political perspective of the largely white elite, one can see why: a thesis that purports to justify economic and racial privileges as neatly as The Bell Curve contains some obvious attractions for those who are doing well out of existing inequalities. Of course, few would argue that human beings are born equal in every respect. Most of us, however much we might practise at kicking a football around a field, will never obtain a fraction of the skill possessed by a player like Argentina’s Lionel Messi.

But now the meritocracy has made them high and lowly, and ordered their estate. 95 ‘Some 95% of 2009–2012 Income Gains Went to Wealthiest 1%’, Brenda Cronin, Wall Street Journal, 10 September 2013. 96 ‘Boris Johnson: some people are too stupid to get on in life’, Peter Dominiczak and James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph, 27 November 2013. 97 Intelligence: All That Matters, Stuart Richie, Hodder & Stoughton, 1st edition (2015). 98 Ibid. 99 Ibid. 100 ‘After the Bell Curve’, David L. Kirp, New York Times Magazine, 23 July 2006. 101 Ibid. Part VIII AN UNGENEROUS INTERPRETATION of left-wing history might argue that an ungrateful British working class, seduced by Thatcherism and New Labour, failed to live up to socialist expectations and so the left moved on like a bored lover to those deemed more deserving of its support. To paraphrase the much-paraphrased Bertolt Brecht, in recent times the working class has shown little interest in overthrowing capitalism and has thus been dissolved in favour of a new proletariat.

pages: 399 words: 116,828

When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor by William Julius Wilson


affirmative action, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, desegregation, Donald Trump, edge city, ending welfare as we know it, fixed income, full employment, George Gilder, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, informal economy, jobless men, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, school choice, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Given the reemergence of the discussion concerning the importance of genetic endowment, it is urgent that social scientists once again emphasize, for public policy purposes, the powerful and complex role of the social environment in shaping the life experiences of inner-city ghetto residents. Since the publication of The Bell Curve in late 1994, a genetic argument has resurfaced in public discussions about the plight of inner-city residents. This controversial book by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray argues that regardless of social, economic, or ethnic background, low intelligence is the root cause of many of our social problems. Herrnstein and Murray attempt to demonstrate that “cognitive ability,” as measured by intelligence tests, powerfully predicts not only earnings but a range of other outcomes from parental competence to criminal behavior. The Bell Curve questions the extent to which the environment influences group social outcomes and whether intervention programs can compensate for the handicaps of genetic endowment.

Appendix C Tables on Urban Poverty and Family Life Study Research TABLE 1 MARRIED-COUPLE FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 YEARS BY EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT OF HOUSEHOLDER FOR BLACK FAMILIES, 1990 % of All Families with Kids Level of Attainment Number of Families at Level of Attainment Not High School Graduate 410,185 37.9 High School Graduate (or GED) 589,183 45.8 Some College/Associate Degree 580,467 49.0 Bachelor’s Degree 188,126 65.1 Graduate/Professional Degree 97,610 69.3 All Levels 1,865,571 46.8 Source: Characteristics of the Black Population, 1990 Census of Population NOTES INTRODUCTION 1 quotations from Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray: Herrnstein and Murray (1994), p. 403. 2 The children of the inner-city ghetto have to contend with public schools: Kenneth B. Clark was one of the first to draw attention to this problem. See Clark (1965). 3 It reflects the cumulative weight of poverty and racial experiences: Heckman (1995) and Patterson (1995). 4 Recent research reveals that additional years of schooling: Neal and Johnson (1995). 5 However, as the economist James Heckman points out: Heckman (1995). 6 the Moynihan report: For the full text of the Moynihan report and a discussion of the critical reaction, see Rainwater and Yancey (1967). 7 revisionist arguments by African-American scholars on the black experience: See, for example, Ladner (1973), Hill (1972), Hare (1969), Alkalimat (1969), and Staples (1970 and 1971). 8 Mitchell Duneier: Duneier (1992). 9 The Truly Disadvantaged: Wilson (1987). 10 The tendency of some liberals to deny the very existence of culturally destructive behavior: For two discussions regarding the importance of considering the influence of both culture and social structure on certain kinds of behavior, see Patterson (1995) and West (1993).

Hechinger, Fred M. 1992. Fateful Choices. New York: Hill & Wang. Heckman, James J. 1995. “Review of The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.” Paper presented at the Meritocracy and Equality Seminar Series, February 2, Chicago. Heckman, James J., Rebecca Roselius, and Jeffrey Smith. 1994. “U.S. Education and Training Policy: A Re-evaluation of the Underlying Assumptions Behind the New Consensus.” In Labor Markets, Employment Policy, and Job Creation, edited by Lewis C. Solmon and Alec R. Levenson, pp. 83–121. Boulder Colo.: Westview Press. Henderson, Vivian. 1975. “Race, Economics, and Public Policy,” Crisis 83 (Fall): 50–55. Herrnstein, Richard J., and Charles Murray. 1994. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class in American Life. New York: Free Press. Hicks-Bartlett, Sharon. 1991.

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 by Charles Murray

affirmative action, assortative mating, blue-collar work, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, David Brooks,, feminist movement, George Gilder, Haight Ashbury, happiness index / gross national happiness, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, income inequality, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, new economy, Ralph Nader, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, working-age population, young professional

Harvard economist Robert Reich was the first to put a name to an evolving new class of workers in his 1991 book, The Work of Nations, calling them “symbolic analysts.”1 Reich surveyed the changing job market and divided jobs into three categories: routine production services, in-person services, and symbol-analytic services. In Reich’s formulation, the new class of symbolic analysts consisted of managers, engineers, attorneys, scientists, professors, executives, journalists, consultants, and other “mind workers” whose work consists of processing information. He observed that the new economy was ideally suited to their talents and rewarded them accordingly. In 1994, in The Bell Curve, the late Richard J. Herrnstein and I discussed the driving forces behind this phenomenon, the increasing segregation of the American university system by cognitive ability and the increasing value of brainpower in the marketplace.2 We labeled the new class “the cognitive elite.” In 2000, David Brooks brought an anthropologist’s eye and a wickedly funny pen to his description of the new upper class in Bobos in Paradise.

Incentives on the demand side have interacted with incentives on the supply side. More and more of the best students want to go to the elite schools, and the elite schools, eager to maintain their status, search ever more assiduously to fill their incoming class with the best of the best. The competition on both sides to achieve the same end has proved to be irresistible. In the early 1990s, when Richard Herrnstein and I were writing The Bell Curve, he sat on the Harvard undergraduate admissions committee. One day when we were on the phone discussing the latest draft, he told me happily that Harvard had snagged more exceptionally qualified students for the next entering class than ever before. “But Dick,” I said, “we’re writing about all the problems that causes.” Herrnstein, who loved Harvard, replied (with a smile, I am sure), “I want ’em all.”

Since so much that I was writing grew from thoughts and themes that have evolved for the last forty-five years, I began to take pleasure in embedding bits and pieces of earlier writings—a phrase here, a trope there, sometimes whole sentences—wondering if anyone but me would ever notice. I will give away a few important examples here. The prologue of Coming Apart uses the same literary device that opened Losing Ground, and a few of its sentences echo sentences in Losing Ground. The discussion of the foundations of the new upper class in chapter 2 draws heavily on the analysis I wrote with Richard J. Herrnstein in The Bell Curve. I came across Toynbee’s “Schism in the Soul” because of work I was doing for Human Accomplishment, and my discussion of it in chapter 17 draws directly from an article I wrote about it for the Wall Street Journal. The Europe Syndrome was first described in In Our Hands. The conclusion of chapter 17 draws from the Irving Kristol lecture “The Happiness of the People,” which I delivered while writing Coming Apart.

pages: 440 words: 108,137

The Meritocracy Myth by Stephen J. McNamee


affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, collective bargaining, computer age, conceptual framework, corporate governance, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, estate planning, failed state, fixed income, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, job automation, joint-stock company, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, occupational segregation, old-boy network, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, prediction markets, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, school choice, Scientific racism, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, white flight, young professional

A few years later, the generally low IQ scores of southern, eastern, and central European immigrants were used by the Dillingham Commission to recommend severe limitation of immigration from these areas and resulted in the passage in the early 1920s of what have become known as the Immigration Quota Acts (Schaefer 2005; Parillo 2005). Those tested, of course, were mostly illiterate peasants who were at an extreme disadvantage taking IQ tests designed for English-speaking people. Subsequent test results of these immigrants’ children showed that they were not “idiots” at all: the means and distributions were “normal.” The intelligence controversy was reignited with the 1994 publication of Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. Herrnstein and Murray assert that intelligence is largely genetically inherited and that it largely determines socioeconomic success. Herrnstein and Murray point out that the distribution of intelligence in the general population takes the form of a symmetrical bell curve, or what statisticians refer to as a normal distribution.

Once again, however, we have no idea from this study whether the wealthy have these orientations in any greater preponderance than the nonwealthy or if these traits are responsible for success or are post hoc accounts of success consistent with wider cultural ideals. Along similar lines, Charles Murray, coauthor of The Bell Curve, has written a new book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010 (2012). Consciously staying away from the controversial race implications of The Bell Curve, Murray in this new book depicts a growing gap between a “new upper class” and a “new lower class” among white Americans. He suggests that the growing economic inequality between these groups can be accounted for by a combination of differences in intellectual capacity and “virtues.” The new upper class is part of the “cognitive elite” previously identified in The Bell Curve who are increasingly being sorted out by “the college sorting machine.” With an increasing “market value for brain,” the less capable and less competent lower class falls behind both in terms of first academic and then economic achievement.

Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Forbes. 2012a. “The Forbes 400.” (accessed September 2012). ———. 2012b. “The World’s Most Powerful Celebrities.” (accessed September 2012). Gladwell, Malcolm. 2008. Outliers: The Story of Success. New York: Little, Brown. Gould, Mark. 1999. “Race and Theory: Culture, Poverty, and Adaptation to Discrimination in Wilson and Ogbu.” Sociological Theory 17:171–200. Grammy, Abbas P. 2011. “The Underground Economy.” Economic Research Center. Premier Thoughts: The CSUB Business Blog. (accessed January 14, 2013). Herrnstein, Richard, and Charles Murray. 1994. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.

pages: 165 words: 45,129

The Economics of Inequality by Thomas Piketty, Arthur Goldhammer


affirmative action, basic income, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, Gini coefficient, income inequality, low skilled workers, means of production, moral hazard, Pareto efficiency, purchasing power parity, Simon Kuznets, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, very high income, working-age population

The Coleman Report and other work in the same vein concluded that simply spending more money on education in disadvantaged communities will not improve outcomes because it is within the family unit and the immediate social environment that inequality inevitably originates. Of course, everyone agrees that the factors influencing the transmission of inequality are far more “environmental” than genetic. Or almost everyone: the psychologist Richard Herrnstein and the sociologist Charles Murray made front-page news in 1994 when they published The Bell Curve, which many critics accused of defending the idea that intelligence is to a large extent genetically determined. In fact, Herrnstein and Murray also recognized that adoption studies showed that children from disadvantaged sociocultural backgrounds placed at birth in more highly educated families were just as successful as the biological offspring of those families (Herrnstein and Murray, 1994, pp. 410–413).

Amsterdam: North Holland. ______ 1993. Labor Demand. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Harhoff, D. and T. Kane. 1994. “Financing apprenticeship training: Evidence from Germany.” NBER Working Paper 4557. Henriet, D. and J.-C. Rochet. 1988. “Équilibres et optima sur les marchés d’assurance.” In Mélanges économiques en l’honneur d’Edmond Malinvaud. Paris: Economica. Herrnstein, R. and C. Murray. 1994. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. New York: The Free Press. IMF. 1996. World Economic Outlook. INSEE. 1994. “Un siècle de données macroéconomiques.” INSEE Résultats, nos. 303–304. ______ 1995. “Revenus et patrimoine des ménages, édition 1995.” INSEE Synthèses, no. 1. ______ 1996a. “Séries longues sur les salaires.” INSEE Résultats, no. 457. ______ 1996b. “Revenus et patrimoine des ménages, édition 1996.”

pages: 468 words: 123,823

A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare


affirmative action, British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, payday loans, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration

., 105. 61 Stadum, Poor Women and Their Families, see esp. 116, table 14. 62 Raphael, Saving Bernice. 63 Margaret Somers and Fred Block, “From Poverty to Perversity: Ideas, Markets, and Institutions over 200 Years of Welfare Debate,” American Sociological Review 70, no. 2 (April 2005): 260–87. 64 Josephine Shaw Lowell, Public Relief and Private Charity (New York: Arno, 1971 [1884]). 65 See Stephen Pimpare, The New Victorians: Poverty, Politics, and Propaganda in Two Gilded Ages (New York: The New Press, 2004); Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (New York: Free Press, 1996). For critiques of Herrnstein and Murray, see Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man (New York: Norton, 1996); and Orley Ashenfelter and Cecilia Rouse, “Schooling, Intelligence, and Income in America: Cracks in the Bell Curve,” November 1998, Jacqueline Jones called The Bell Curve “hate literature with footnotes.” Jones cited in Steve Macek, Urban Nightmares: The Media, the Right, and the Moral Panic over the City (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006). 66 Robert Rector, “Welfare: Broadening the Reform,” in Issues 2000: The Candidate’s Briefing Book, ed.

To prevent a constant and alarming increase of these two classes of persons, the only way is for the community to refuse to support any except those whom it can control—that is, except those who will submit themselves to discipline and coercion.64 It became common again with late-twentieth-century welfare opponents such as George Gilder and Newt Gingrich, among others, taking eugenicist and racist form with Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein’s The Bell Curve.65 Here’s how Robert Rector expressed the need to control poor women: True charity begins by requiring responsible behavior from the beneficiary as a condition of receiving aid. True charity seeks to generate in the recipient the virtues, commitment, and self-discipline necessary for success in society, rather than passively subsidizing ever-escalating levels of social pathology.66 These too are old ideas.

Casey Foundation Arceneaux, Grace Palacio Arellano, Luis Arthur Capper–Carrollsburg project (Washington,D.C.) Ash, Stephen Associated Press asylums for the mentally ill poor Atkinson, Oriana attitudes toward poverty and welfare. See shame/stigma of receiving relief Backwords, Ace Baker, John Baldwin, James Ballard, Martha Banks, Ruby Baptist, Willie Barth, Eileen bedbugs begging The Bell Curve (Murray and Herrnstein) Bellevue Hospital Bellomont, Richard Coote Bellows, Barbara L. Bennett, Colleen Besharov, Douglas birth control Black Unity Party of Peekskill, New York blacks. See African Americans; slaves and slavery; women, African American Blake, Walter Bleak House (Dickens) blind persons Bly, Nellie Bolton, Charles C. Bonus March Booth, Charles Boston colonial-era guesthouses for the sick poor destruction of slum neighborhoods ethnic mutual aid societies march of the unemployed (1914) Boston Globe Boston Independent Chronicle Bourgois, Philippe Boushey, Heather Bowles, Samuel Boxcar Bertha Boyd, Daniel Boyd, Janie Brace, Charles Loring Bradford, William Bradley, Amy Morris Brandt, Lillian Bray, Rosemary breadlines Bremner, Robert Bressan, Bullets Brewer, Mary Briar, Scott Bricker-Jenkins, Mary “Brood Mare Stampedes,” Brookings Institution Brown, H.

pages: 901 words: 234,905

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Defenestration of Prague, desegregation, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Hobbesian trap, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, long peace, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, speech recognition, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

At the other it would remove the ethic of noblesse oblige from the upper classes, who now would have “earned” their success and be responsible to no one, rather than inheriting it and being obligated to help the less fortunate. Wooldridge argues that “the left can hardly afford to ignore I.Q. tests, which, for all their inadequacies, are still the best means yet devised for spotting talent wherever it occurs, in the inner cities as well as the plush housing estates, and ensuring that talent is matched to the appropriate educational streams and job opportunities.” For their part, Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray (the authors of The Bell Curve) argued that the heritability of intelligence ought to galvanize the left into a greater commitment to Rawlsian social justice.53 If intelligence were entirely acquired, then policies for equal opportunity would suffice to guarantee an equitable distribution of wealth and power. But if some souls have the misfortune of being born into brains with lower ability, they could fall into poverty through no fault of their own, even in a perfectly fair system of economic competition.

The modern understanding of how phenotypes are inherited through the replication of both genetic and environmental conditions suggests that…cultural traditions—behaviors copied by children from their parents—are likely to be crucial. If you think these are innocuous compromises that show that everyone has outgrown the nature-nurture debate, think again. The quotations come, in fact, from three of the most incendiary books of the last decade. The first is from The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, who argue that the difference in average IQ scores between American blacks and American whites has both genetic and environmental causes.1 The second is from The Nurture Assumption by Judith Rich Harris, who argues that children’s personalities are shaped by their genes as well as by their environments, so similarities between children and their parents may come from their shared genes and not just from the effects of parenting.2 The third is from A Natural History of Rape by Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer, who argue that rape is not simply a product of culture but also has roots in the nature of men’s sexuality.3 For invoking nurture and nature, not nurture alone, these authors have been picketed, shouted down, subjected to searing invective in the press, even denounced in Congress.

The traditional misgivings about human nature were folded into a hard-left ideology, and scientists who examined the human mind in a biological context were now considered tools of a reactionary establishment. The critics announced they were part of a “radical science movement,” giving us a convenient label for the group.2 Weizenbaum was repelled by the attempt within artificial intelligence and cognitive science to unify mind and mechanism, but the other sciences of human nature evoked acrimony as well. In 1971 the psychologist Richard Herrnstein published an article called “IQ” in the Atlantic Monthly.3 Herrnstein’s argument, he was the first to point out, should have been banal. He wrote that as social status becomes less strongly determined by arbitrary legacies such as race, parentage, and inherited wealth, it will become more strongly determined by talent, especially (in a modern economy) intelligence. Since differences in intelligence are partly inherited, and since intelligent people tend to marry other intelligent people, when a society becomes more just it will also become more stratified along genetic lines.

pages: 404 words: 134,430

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer


Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anesthesia awareness, anthropic principle, butterfly effect, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological principle, discovery of DNA, false memory syndrome, Gary Taubes, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, laissez-faire capitalism, life extension, moral panic, Murray Gell-Mann, out of africa, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

How, then, did Free Press sell over 500,000 copies of a $30 book (yes, that's $15 million) filled with graphs, charts, curves, and three hundred pages of appendices, notes, and references, all on the obscure topic of psychometrics? Because one of those curves illustrates a fifteen-point difference in IQ scores between white and black Americans. In America, nothing sells like racial controversy. The Bell Curve (1994), by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, generated a furor among scientists, intellectuals, and activists throughout the country that continues to this day—the Bell Curve Wars, as one debunking book is titled. The arguments in The Bell Curve are not novel, in our time or any other. In fact, earlier that same year, the prestigious journal Intelligence published an article by another controversial scientist, Philippe Rushton, in which he claimed that not only do blacks and whites differ in intelligence but also in maturation rate (age of first intercourse, age of first pregnancy), personality (aggressiveness, cautiousness, impulsivity, sociability), social organization (marital stability, law abidingness, mental health), and reproductive effort (permissiveness, frequency of sexual intercourse, size of male genitalia).

In other words, I am not only interested in examining data, I am interested in exploring the motives and biases that go into data collection and interpretation. So, the question is, how can one explore this interesting and (I think) important aspect of science without being accused of the ad hominem attack? In the end, however, this chapter is about race, not IQ, nor Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein's controversial book The Bell Curve. The subject is similar to what is known as the "demarcation problem" in discriminating between science and pseudoscience, physics and metaphysics: Where do we draw the line in the gray areas? Similarly, where does one race begin and another leave off? Any formal definition must be arbitrary in the sense that there is no "correct" answer. I am willing to concede that races might be thought of as "fuzzy sets," where my colleagues can (and do) say "come on Shermer, you can't tell the difference between a white, black, Asian, and Native American?"

Simpson applauding the closing statement of Marcia Clark, inasmuch as the author would probably include the Saturn-thesis, to which I subscribe, amongst the pseudosciences he revels in exposing. Yet praise it I must, for this is a damned entertaining and provocative book." Praise from Brutus indeed, yet Cochrane, along with other reviewers and numerous correspondents (some good friends), have taken me to task for my chapter on The Bell Curve (15). Some accused me of indulging in ad hominem assaults in my analysis of Wycliffe Draper, founder of the Pioneer Fund, an agency that, since 1937, has funded research into the heritability and racial differences in IQ. In this chapter I show the historical connection between racial theories of IQ (that blacks' lower IQs are largely inherited and thus immutable) and racial theories of history (the Holocaust is Jewish propaganda) through the Pioneer Fund that also has a direct connection to Willis Carto, one of the founders of the modern Holocaust denial movement.

pages: 209 words: 80,086

The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes by Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder, David Ashton


active measures, affirmative action, barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, glass ceiling, global supply chain, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market design, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, post-industrial society, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, working poor, zero-sum game

As individuals, we are born with the capacity for intelligence—an ability to acquire and interpret information, to solve problems, to think critically and systematically about the social and natural world, to communicate ideas to others, and to apply new skills and techniques. Developments in the social world stimulate the mind’s potential for new forms of feeling, reasoning, and understanding. 28. Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve (New York: Free Press, 1994). 29. Phillip Brown and Hugh Lauder, Capitalism and Social Progress (New York: Palgrave, 2001). 30. Yet in the nineteenth century, the emerging concepts of culture and capital were Siamese twins. Culture was capital in its public form (libraries, museums, civic buildings, public universities, etc.), and capital was culture privatized through private property.

pages: 717 words: 150,288

Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham


airport security, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, DARPA: Urban Challenge, defense in depth, deindustrialization, digital map, edge city, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Earth, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loose coupling, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, McMansion, megacity, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, one-state solution, pattern recognition, peak oil, planetary scale, private military company, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, white picket fence

., Securing an Urban Renaissance, Bristol: Policy Press, 2007. 37 David Simon, ‘The Escalating Breakdown of Urban Society across the US’, Guardian, 6 September 2008. 38 Quoted in Paul Street, ‘Republicans, Cities, and Cruise Ships’, Znet, February 2004. 39 Ibid. 40 Steve Macek, Urban Nightmares: The Media, The Right and The Moral Panic Over the City, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2006, 37–70. 41 It is striking how Christian Fundamentalists regularly espouse the pseudo-science of Social Darwinism whilst rejecting out of hand the overwhelming accumulation of hard-scientific evidence supporting Darwinian theories of Evolution. See George Monbiot, ‘How these Gibbering Numbskulls Came to Dominate Washington’, Guardian, 28 October 2008. 42 Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structures in American Life, New York: Free Press, 526. 43 In Autumn 2002, US suburbanites around Washington DC’s Beltway, still reeling under the impacts of the 9/11 attacks, were subjected to a campaign of murderous sniping. Ten were dead within three weeks. Several died whilst filling their cars with petrol or gas at station forecourts. Reversing over half a century of racialized dispersal, suburbanites started to drive into the centre of the city to fill up their vehicles.

This creates a vicious circle of more calls for surveillance, more imagery produced and consumed as entertainment, and more demonization of the city by sub- and ex-urban voyeurs. Right-wing renderings of the savage city as home to the losers in a fair and equal, Social Darwinian struggle41 have fed into the erection of the ‘homeland security state’ by the Bush administration. Murray and Herrnstein’s 1994 book The Bell Curve, for instance, has emerged as the bible of neoconservative urban social policy and criminology. In it, they caution that the polarization of America between ‘the cognitive elites’ and the IQ-deficient (and highly fertile) underclass would eventually require a ‘custodial state’, which, they imagine, would be ‘a high-tech and more lavish version of the Indian reservations for some substantial minority of the nation’s population, while the rest of America goes about its business.’42 Pejorative, racialized representations of urban areas abound in mainstream US media.

See urban warfare, training cities Balkans, 17 Balko, Radey, 23 n.92 Baltimore, 18 Bangladesh, 1 Baraka, Matthew, 215 n.101 Barakat, Seymore, 263 n.1 Baranoski, Edward, 166 n.41 Barghouti, Omar, 235 Barlow, Jason, 278 n.49 Barnett, Thomas, 53 n.70&74, 54, 297 Barriot, Patrick, 274 n.37 Baruma, Ian, 41 n.24, 42 battlespace, 31 Baudrillard, Jean, 58, 220 Bauman, Zygmunt, 10, 109 Baumholder. See urban warfare, training cities BBC, 224 n.136, 374 Beckert, Stephan, 141 n.185 Behnke, Andreas, 294 n.121 Beijing, Olympic games, 125 n.124 Beinin, Joel, 232 n.17, 233 n.23 Beiser, Vince, 190 n.23, 191 Bell, Jonathon, 311 n.43 Bellamy, Chris, 153 n.1 Bellflower, John W., 30 n.129, 300 The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structures in American Life (Herrnstein & Murray), 45 Ben-Horin, Ro’i, 244 Bénit-Gbaffou, Claire, 107 n.67 Benjamin, Walter, 220 n.118 Berlusconi government, 113 Berman, Ilan, 233 Berman, Marshall, 10, 18 n.73, 226 Bernstein, Sam, 319 Bertozzi, Massimo, 333 n.132 Bevan, Robert, The Destruction of Memory,17 n.69 Bhabha, Homi, 136 n.172 Bhopal, 374 Bialasiewicz, Luiza, 29 n.124, 53 n.72, 234 n.30 Bible, 10 Bichlbaum, Andy, 374 Bichler, Simon, 87 n.110, 259 n.124, 307 n.25 Biersteker, Thomas, T11 e Rebordering of North America,80 n.73, 134 n.162 Bigelow, David, 181 n.101, 182 Bigo, Didier, 90–91, 132 bin Laden, Osama, 32, 41, 57, 59, 233, 262, 295 biofuels, xxiii, 308, 341–45, 353 biometrics, xi, xxi, 23, 27, 63, 75–76, 99,113, 117, 119, 126, 127–29, 131, 136–38, 140, 145, 164, 166, 198, 244, 255, 330 biopolitics, 307–9 BIRD, 257 Bishara, Azmi, 238 Bishop, Ryan, 13 n.53, 64, 65 n.15 Bisley, Sven, 75 n.55 Bismuth, Chantal, 274 n.37 Black, Jeremy, 175 Blackmore, Tim, xv n.4, 30 n.127, 31 n.131, 173 n.71, 179 Blackwater, xxvi, 73, 323–24 Blair, Tony, 82, 224 Blakeley, Ruth, 279, 280 n.56, 282 n.66 Blakely, Edward J., 24 n.104 Blanche, Ed, 248 n.76 Blandy, Sarah, 107, 109 n.71 Blech, Jörg, 170 n.54, 171 n.58, 173, 180 n.98 Bleiker, Roland, 71 n.38 Blum, H.

pages: 142 words: 18,753

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks


1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Community Supported Agriculture, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, Silicon Valley, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

The Hinge Years But even as those Episcopal brides with early settler ancestors, cotillion memories, and upper-class husbands were staring out from the pages of the 1959 weddings page, their world had already been fatally undermined. The earth-shaking decisions had been made, as many crucial decisions are made, by a college admissions committee. Without much fuss or public discussion, the admissions officers wrecked the WASP establishment. The story at Harvard, told by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray in the relatively uncontroversial first chapter of The Bell Curve, epitomizes the tale. In 1952 most freshmen at Harvard were products of the same WASP bastions that popped up on the Times weddings page: the prep schools in New England (Andover and Exeter alone contributed 10 percent of the class), the East Side of Manhattan, the Main Line of Philadelphia, Shaker Heights in Ohio, the Gold Coast of Chicago, Grosse Pointe of Detroit, Nob Hill in San Francisco, and so on.

pages: 306 words: 78,893

After the New Economy: The Binge . . . And the Hangover That Won't Go Away by Doug Henwood


accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, deskilling, ending welfare as we know it, feminist movement, full employment, gender pay gap, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Internet Archive, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, occupational segregation,, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K, zero-sum game

Stiglitz: time to snuff the IMF?" (interview with Joseph Stiglitz), Left Business Observer 102 (September) <>. Herman, Edward S., and Ceceilia Zarate-Laun (1999). "Globalization & Instability:The Case of Colombia," Z Magazine, September, pp. 30-4. Herman, Tom (2000). "Tax Report," Wall Street Journal, JxAy 5,p.Al. Herrnstein, Richard J., and Charles Murray (1994). The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (NewYork:The Free Press). Hirst, Paul, and GrahameThompson (1996). Globalization in Question (Cambridge, UK.: Polity Press). Hoogvelt, Ankie (1997). Globalization and the Postcolonial World: The New Political Economy of Development (Baltimore:Johns Hopkins University Press). Howard, Pachard (1998). "How I "Escaped" From Amazon.cult," July 16-22 <vrww.>.

Those and the welfare state, which Gilder found irrationally generous, and fatal to the male authority necessary to keep social discipline, since it provided a check to women independent of husbands. Gilder never repudiated any of his early positions. There's "an actual difference between male and female brains," he revealed to a Seattle Weekly journaHst (White 1999). In a 1996 speech (quoted in Bronson 1996), using stats he must have gotten from The Bell Curve, he declared: Among people of influence in America, racism is dead. Racism has virtually nothing to do with the plight of black America. If you adjust for age and credentials, black women earn 106 percent of the wages of white women. If you adjust for age, IQ, and gender, black full-time workers earn 101 percent the wages of white workers. The intellectual distance from the 1970s books to Wealth and Poverty is actually rather short.

Going beyond such static measures, even interruptions in income of the sort caused by unemployment have adverse health effects (Kaplan and Lynch 1997). And "sustained economic hardship leads to poorer physical, psychological, and cognitive functioning"—with consequences that last a decade or more (Lynch et al. 1997). Contrary to prevailing wisdom, it's very difficult to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. No one can take the crackpot science of The Bell Curve (Herrnstein and Murray 1994) seriously when it attributes alleged racial differences in intelligence to genetic differences. But more reputable racialized analyses may also be seeing biological causes in place of social ones—even for purportedly measurable factors Uke birth weights (theorized to be lower in blacks than whites for genetic reasons) and hypertension (theorized to be more prevalent among blacks than whites, also for genetic reasons).

pages: 348 words: 99,383

The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism Is the World Economy's Only Hope by John A. Allison


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, disintermediation, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, high net worth, housing crisis, invisible hand, life extension, low skilled workers, market bubble, market clearing, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, moral hazard, negative equity, obamacare, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, too big to fail, transaction costs, yield curve, zero-sum game

In contrast, a Harris Poll of the American general public in 2004 found only 18 percent describing themselves as liberal, versus 33 percent describing themselves as conservative. 6. See Mark Kramer, ed., The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999). 7. See Charles Murray, Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality (New York: Random House, 2008). Chapter 24 1. “The BB&T Philosophy,” available from BB&t, 200 W. Second Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. 2. See Ayn Rand, “Reason,” in The Ayn Rand Lexicon: Objectivism from A to Z, ed. Harry Binswanger, introduction by Leonard Peikoff (New York: New American Library, 1986), 3. See Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994). Index Please note that index links point to page beginnings from the print edition.

pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker


1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser,, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Since IQ tests have been administered in massive numbers all over the world for much of the 20th century, in some countries, down to the last schoolchild and draftee, one can plot a country’s change in measured intelligence over time. Flynn scoured the world for datasets in which the same IQ test was given over many years, or the scoring norms were available to keep the numbers commensurate. The result was the same in every sample: IQ scores increased over time.229 In 1994 Richard Herrnstein and the political scientist Charles Murray christened the phenomenon the Flynn Effect, and the name has stuck.230 The Flynn Effect has been found in thirty countries, including some in the developing world, and it has been going on ever since IQ tests were first given en masse around the time of World War I.231 An even older dataset from Britain suggests that the Flynn Effect may even have begun with the cohort of Britons who were born in 1877 (though of course they were tested as adults).232 The gains are not small: an average of three IQ points (a fifth of a standard deviation) per decade.

And contrary to the conventional wisdom that says that people with too much self-control are uptight, repressed, neurotic, bottled up, wound up, obsessive-compulsive, or fixated at the anal stage of psychosexual development, the team found that the more self-control people have, the better their lives are. The people at the top of the scale were the mentally healthiest. Are people with low self-control more likely to perpetrate acts of violence? Circumstantial evidence suggests they are. Recall from chapter 3 the theory of crime (championed by Michael Gottfredson, Travis Hirschi, James Q. Wilson, and Richard Herrnstein) in which the people who commit crimes are those with the least self-control.97 They opt for small, quick, ill-gotten gains over the longer-term fruits of honest toil, among them the reward of not ending up in jail. Violent adolescents and young adults tend to have a history of misconduct at school, and they tend to get into other kinds of trouble that bespeak a lack of self-control, such as drunk driving, drug and alcohol abuse, accidents, poor school performance, risky sex, unemployment, and nonviolent crimes such as burglary, vandalism, and auto theft.

They follow an 80:2 rule: almost 80 percent of the deaths were caused by 2 percent of the wars.77 The lopsided ratio tells us that the global effort to prevent deaths in war should give the highest priority to preventing the largest wars. The ratio also underscores the difficulty of reconciling our desire for a coherent historical narrative with the statistics of deadly quarrels. In making sense of the 20th century, our desire for a good story arc is amplified by two statistical illusions. One is the tendency to see meaningful clusters in randomly spaced events. Another is the bell-curve mindset that makes extreme values seem astronomically unlikely, so when we come across an extreme event, we reason there must have been extraordinary design behind it. That mindset makes it difficult to accept that the worst two events in recent history, though unlikely, were not astronomically unlikely. Even if the odds had been increased by the tensions of the times, the wars did not have to start.

pages: 437 words: 132,041

Alex's Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos


Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, beat the dealer, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Edward Thorp, family office, forensic accounting, game design, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Myron Scholes, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, SETI@home, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, traveling salesman

In retrospect, it is easy to see how ranking traits – such as intelligence or racial purity – can lead to discrimination and bigotry. Since the bell curve appears when human features are measured, the curve has become synonymous with attempts to classify some humans as intrinsically better than others. The highest-profile example of this was the publication in 1994 of The Bell Curve by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, one of the most fiercely debated books of recent years. The book, which owes its name to the distribution of IQ scores, argues that IQ differences between racial groups are evidence of biological differences. Galton wrote that the bell curve reigned with ‘serenity and in complete self-effacement’. Its legacy, though, has been anything but. Another way to appreciate the lines of numbers produced by the quincunx is to lay them out like a pyramid.

Galton’s research corroborated Quételet’s in that it showed that the variation in human populations was rigidly determined. He too saw the bell curve everywhere. In fact, the frequency of the appearance of the bell curve led Galton to pioneer the word ‘normal’ as the appropriate name for the distribution. The circumference of a human head and the size of the brain all produced bell curves, though Galton was especially interested in non-physical attributes such as intelligence. IQ tests hadn’t been invented at the time, so Galton looked for other measures of intelligence. He found them in the results of the admission exams to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. The exam scores, he discovered, also conformed to the bell curve. It filled him with a sense of awe. ‘I know of scarcely anything so apt to impress the imagination as the wonderful form of cosmic order expressed by the [bell curve],’ he wrote. ‘The law would have been personified by the Greeks and deified, if they had known of it.

The pattern is described by the following curve, called the bell curve: Gauss’s graph needs some explaining. The horizontal axis describes a set of outcomes, for instance the weight of baguettes or the distance of stars. The vertical axis is the probability of those outcomes. A curve plotted on a graph with these parameters is known as a distribution. It shows us the spread of outcomes and how likely each is. There are lots of different types of distribution, but the most basic type is described by the curve opposite. The bell curve is also known as the normal distribution, or the Gaussian distribution. Originally, it was known as the curve of error, although because of its distinctive shape, the term bell curve has become much more common. The bell curve has an average value, which I have marked X, called the mean.

pages: 415 words: 125,089

Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter L. Bernstein


Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Bayesian statistics, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, buttonwood tree, capital asset pricing model, cognitive dissonance, computerized trading, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, endowment effect, experimental economics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fermat's Last Theorem, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, index fund, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, linear programming, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, mental accounting, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, spectrum auction, statistical model, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, trade route, transaction costs, tulip mania, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game

We would have no way of estimating the probability that an event will occur-rain, the death of a man of 85, a 20% decline in the stock market, a Russian victory in the Davis Cup matches, a Democratic Congress, the failure of seatbelts, or the discovery of an oil well by a wildcatting firm. The process begins with the bell curve, the main purpose of which is to indicate not accuracy but error. If every estimate we made were a precisely correct measurement of what we were measuring, that would be the end of the story. If every human being, elephant, orchid, and razor-billed auk were precisely like all the others of its species, life on this earth would be very different from what it is. But life is a collection of similarities rather than identities; no single observation is a perfect example of generality. By revealing the normal distribution, the bell curve transforms this jumble into order. Francis Galton, whom we will meet in the next chapter, rhapsodized over the normal distribution: [T]he "Law Of Frequency Of Error"... reigns with serenity and in complete self-effacement amidst the wildest confusion.

With so much of this damaging evidence generated in psychology laboratories, in experiments with young students, in hypothetical situations where the penalties for error are minimal, how can we have any confidence that the findings are realistic, reliable, or relevant to the way people behave when they have to make decisions? The question is an important one. There is a sharp contrast between generalizations based on theory and generalizations based on experiments. De Moivre first conceived of the bell curve by writing equations on a piece of paper, not, like Quetelet, by measuring the dimensions of soldiers. But Galton conceived of regression to the mean-a powerful concept that makes the bell curve operational in many instances-by studying sweetpeas and generational change in human beings; he came up with the theory after looking at the facts. Alvin Roth, an expert on experimental economics, has observed that Nicholas Bernoulli conducted the first known psychological experiment more than 250 years ago: he proposed the coin-tossing game between Peter and Paul that guided his uncle Daniel to the discovery of utility.26 Experiments conducted by von Neumann and Morgenstern led them to conclude that the results "are not so good as might be hoped, but their general direction is correct."'-' The progression from experiment to theory has a distinguished and respectable history.

.* Leibniz's admonition-"but only for the most part"-was more profound than he may have realized, for he provided the key to why there is such a thing as risk in the first place: without that qualification, everything would be predictable, and in a world where every event is identical to a previous event no change would ever occur. In 1730, Abraham de Moivre suggested the structure of the normal distribution-also known as the bell curve-and discovered the concept of standard deviation. Together, these two concepts make up what is popularly known as the Law of Averages and are essential ingredients of modern techniques for quantifying risk. Eight years later, Daniel Bernoulli, Jacob's nephew and an equally distinguished mathematician and scientist, first defined the systematic process by which most people make choices and reach decisions.

pages: 407 words: 136,138

The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler


always be closing, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, David Brooks, full employment, illegal immigration, late fees, low skilled workers, payday loans, profit motive, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, working poor

According to a summary of studies in the 1980s, “Children from highly stressed environments are at increased risk for a variety of developmental and behavioral problems, including poorer performance on developmental tests at eight months, lower IQ scores and impaired language development at four years.” Class is a factor: At school age, children from highly stressed families of low socio-economic status display “poorer emotional adjustment and increased school problems” than those from upper-income families who are also highly stressed.15 Causal connections are hard to trace, and IQ has been seen as more cause than effect by some researchers, most notably Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, whose 1994 volume, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, argues that intelligence is overwhelmingly inherited. In their view, people with lower IQs naturally do less well in life, gravitate to lower socio-economic levels, and tend to have lower-IQ chil-dren who repeat the pattern. Other researchers have found that twins raised apart, in different socio-economic settings, display similar abilities and personalities.

pages: 619 words: 197,256

Apollo by Charles Murray, Catherine Bly Cox


cuban missile crisis, fault tolerance, index card, old-boy network, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, V2 rocket, War on Poverty, white flight

We have included photographs that do not show up well on some ebook reading devices as of 2010, assuming that the technology will soon improve. About the Authors Catherine Bly Cox and Charles Murray were born and raised in Newton, Iowa, six years and three blocks apart. She was educated at William and Mary, Oxford, and Yale, and was a professor of English literature when she and Murray re-met in their thirties and married. He was educated at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has made his career as a writer about public policy. Since 1990, he has been a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Among his other books are Losing Ground, The Bell Curve (with Richard J. Herrnstein), and Human Accomplishment. Cox and Murray already shared a long-standing fascination with the exploration of space when they took Jack Trombka’s astrophysics course in 1983 and decided to write a book about the people on the ground.

—Charles Petit, San Francisco Chronicle “Murray and Cox’s description of the final moments of lunar lander Eagle’s descent is tension defined.” —Philadelphia Inquirer “An excellent new history. . . , an epic ‘captured in miniature.’” —Thomas Mallon, Wall Street Journal “Mission accomplished.” —Peter Spotts, The Christian Science Monitor “This book is a ‘GO.’” —Walter J. Boyne, Chicago Tribune APOLLO Charles Murray & Catherine Bly Cox Originally published as Apollo: The Race To the Moon Copyright © 1989 by Cox and Murray, Inc. Published by Simon & Schuster 2004 edition copyright © 2004 by Cox and Murray, Inc. Published by South Mountain Books Ebook edition copyright © 2010 by Cox and Murray, Inc. This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people.

Think back to what you were doing ten years and nine months ago, and realize how short a time that is. Now try to imagine a nation beginning a space program on that day with forty-five people, no launch vehicle, no spacecraft, no launch facilities, no experience with manned space flight—and landing on the moon this morning. What the people of Apollo accomplished is already hard to believe. In a few decades, it will be almost beyond imagining. Welcome to their world. Catherine Bly Cox & Charles Murray Burkittsville, Maryland 2 July 2004 Acknowledgments The idea for Apollo came from Jack Trombka, who told us fascinating stories about life in Building 30. Then, after we had written a précis but decided we didn’t have time to do the book, Apollo survived because Amanda Urban, our agent, refused to take us seriously—and worked out a way that gave us time after all. To Jack and to Binky go our lasting gratitude for making it possible to live in the world of Apollo for the past four years.

pages: 225 words: 55,458

Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education by Mike Rose


blue-collar work, centre right, creative destruction, delayed gratification, George Santayana, income inequality, moral panic, new economy, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the built environment, urban renewal, War on Poverty

Norton Grubb and Helena Worthen, Honored but Invisible: An Inside Look at Teaching in the Community Colleges (New York: Routledge, 1999); Mary Soliday, The Politics of Remediation: Institutions and Student Needs in Higher Education (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002); and Jane Stanley, The Rhetoric of Remediation: Negotiating Entitlement 203 NOTES 125 125 127 128 133 133 133 134 134 and Access to Higher Education (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010). “One influential expert . . .”: Samuel Orton, “The ‘Sight Reading’ Method of Teaching Reading as a Source of Reading Disability,” Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 20, 1929, 135–143. “. . . 1930 textbook on written . . .”: Alfred Lang, Modern Methods in Written Examinations (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1930), 38. “Witness The Bell Curve. . .”: Richard J. Hernstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve. “But . . . remedial education has worked for some students . . .” Paul Attewell et al., “New Evidence on College Remediation,” Journal of Higher Education, vol. 77, 2006, 886–924. “This is the kind of thing that captivated me . . .”: Rose, The Mind at Work. “In The Republic Plato . . .”: Plato, The Republic of Plato, trans. F.M. Cornford (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1945), 203. “. . . and in his Politics . . .”: Aristotle, Politics, Book 6, trans.

To legitimize their view 21 I N T RO D U C T I O N of the economy and society, then, conservatives have to justify advantage. One way to account for unequal opportunity is to claim that intelligence is a factor and that the families and their children at the lower end of things are there because they’re not that bright— so various compensatory programs, in fact, won’t help that much. You’ll certainly hear this kind of talk in private, and a few bold pundits like Charles Murray, of The Bell Curve fame, say it in public. But scientifically it doesn’t hold water, and it is so politically unpalatable that few politicians would risk uttering it. In various ways, a number of the chapters in Back to School address this issue of social class and intelligence. Another way to explain away inequality—one that has a long history in the United States and is still very much with us—is the moral argument.

Paul Ryan puts it . . .”: Michael Tomasky, “GOP Set to Self-Destruct,” Daily Beast, November 29, 2011. “Recent studies . . . parental income . . .”: “Ever Higher Society, Ever Harder to Ascend,” Economist, January 1, 2005. “A report from the Pell Institute . . .”: “Developing 20/20 Vision on the 2020 Degree Attainment Goal,” (Washington, DC: Pell Institute, May 2011). Richard J. Hernstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (New York: Free Press, 1994). 199 NOTES 24 27 29 “Not many boys can expect . . .”: Fink, Ragged Dick and Mark, the Match Boy, 30. “A particularly trenchant critique . . .”: Gordon Lafer, The Job Training Charade (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002). “One study suggests . . .”: Adelman, Moving into Town, xvi. Chapter 1 35 “. . . a little over four thousand adult education programs . . .”: Lennox McLendon, “Adult Student Waiting List Survey” (Washington, DC: National Council of State Directors of Adult Education, 2009–2010). 43 “By one estimate, only 10 percent . . .”: Robert Balfanz et al., “Grad Nation: A Guidebook to Help Communities Tackle the Dropout Crisis” (Washington, DC: America’s Promise Alliance, February 2009). 44 “(about 7 percent of the population held a degree)”: Joseph Kett, The Pursuit of Knowledge Under Difficulties: From SelfImprovement to Adult Education in America, 1750–1990 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994), 250. 44 “Approximately 40 million American . . .”: Catherine Gewertz, “Higher Education Is Goal of GED Overhaul,” Education Week, November 16, 2011. 44 “People, who, . . . gain the most labor market benefit . . .”: Richard J.

pages: 452 words: 110,488

The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead by David Callahan


1960s counterculture, affirmative action, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, David Brooks, deindustrialization, East Village, fixed income, forensic accounting, full employment, game design, greed is good, high batting average, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, job satisfaction, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, McMansion, microcredit, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old-boy network, Plutocrats, plutocrats, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Oldenburg, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, young professional, zero-sum game

They are on AEI's board because their companies are among the dozens that donate handsomely to AEI, funding a steady stream of highbrow studies that trash government regulation, advocate repealing taxes on corporations and the rich, propose ways to dismantle America's social safety net—and even seek to rehabilitate social Darwinist ideas about the innate superiority of some groups of human beings over others, as AEI did when it supported Charles Murray's research for his controversial book on human intelligence, The Bell Curve. "Corporations provide important input to AEI on a wide variety of issues," admits AEI's annual report. Yet what serious think tank would want input from entities designed solely to maximize shareholder value? Self-interest is why so many corporations give money to AEI—over $5 million a year—but self-interest is antithetical to what sound scholarship is all about.

See materialsm Moral Compass, The (Bennett), [>] Moral Foundations of Trust, The (Uslaner), [>], [>] morality: laissez-faire economics and, [>] Lakoff on, [>]–[>] and social values, [>]–[>], [>]–[>] Turiel on development of, [>]–[>] and unequal punishment, [>]–[>] Morze, Mark, [>]–[>] Mount Holyoke College, [>] multilevel marketing: by doctors, [>]–[>], [>]–[>] Municipal Credit Union: ATM fraud at, [>]–[>], [>]–[>], [>] Murray, Charles: The Bell Curve, [>]–[>] Losing Ground, [>] and racism, [>] music piracy, [>], [>], [>]–[>], [>] Napster, [>]–[>] National Association of Securities Dealers: inadequate disciplinary standards, [>]–[>] National College Athletic Association: and media contracts, [>], [>]–[>] National Food Service Security Council, [>] National Football League, [>] Neal, Randy: on résumé cheating, [>]–[>] Neurontin: marketing scandal, [>], [>]–[>], [>] New Republic: and Stephen Glass, [>], [>]–[>], [>] New White Nationalism, The (Swain), [>] New York Times:on bribery of doctors, [>] and Jayson Blair, [>]–[>], [>]–[>] Olasky, Marvin, [>] O'Leary, George: lies on résumé, [>], [>], [>] On the Origin of Species (Darwin), [>]–[>] Orange County, California: bankruptcy of, [>] Overspent American, The (Schor), [>] Pai, Lou, [>]–[>] Paine, Lynn Sharp, [>] Papows, Jeff: lies on résumé, [>] parents: encourage student cheating, [>]–[>] Parke-Davis: evades clinical trials, [>]–[>] and Neurontin marketing scandal, [>]–[>], [>] Parker, Tom: on college admissions cheating, [>], [>] Partnoy, Frank: Infectious Greed, [>], [>]–[>], [>]–[>] Paulino, Rolando: and Little League cheating scandal, [>] "Pay Hall of Shame," [>] Pepperdine University: corporate ethics program, [>]–[>] Peters, Charles, [>] Petersen, Tom: on athletic corruption, [>] Pew Center, [>] Pfizer: and Neurontin marketing scandal, [>], [>] pharmaceutical: advertising by, [>] bribe doctors, [>], [>], [>], [>], [>]–[>], [>]–[>], [>] and FDA, [>]–[>] inadequate prosecution of, [>]–[>] Pitt, Harvey, [>] politics: and campaign finance, [>], [>]–[>], [>], [>] effect of wealth on, [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>] moral and religious issues in, [>] and new social contract, [>]–[>] and special interest groups, [>]–[>] Primary Colors (Klein), [>] Princeton University: breaks into Yale computers, viii "principled conscience," [>]–[>] Prudential Securities, [>], [>] Public Citizen, [>] Public Oversight Board, [>] punishment, inequality of: and "country club prisons," [>]–[>] and fines, [>]–[>] morality and, [>]–[>] wealth and, [>]–[>], [>], [>]–[>] in white-collar crime, [>]–[>], [>]–[>] Putnam, Robert: and decline of civic life, [>], [>] Quart, Alissa: Branded, [>] Qwest Communications, [>]–[>], [>] race: and social contract, [>]–[>] racism: Murray and, [>] Rand, Ayn: The Virtue of Selfishness, [>] "rank and yank" personnel management, [>]–[>] Reagan, Ronald, [>] deregulation program, [>] on wealth, [>]–[>] Recording Industry of America: fights music piracy, [>] Resolution Trust Corporation: victim of overbilling, [>] résumés: cheating on, [>]–[>], [>]–[>] Retin-A: marketing scandal, [>] Rich, Ken, [>]–[>] Rigas, John, [>] Roche, James M., [>] Rodriguez, Alex, [>] Ronan, Monica, [>] Rossotti, Charles: on inadequate IRS resources, [>], [>] Rubin, Jerry, [>] Rutgers University, [>] cheating at, [>] Safran, Ronald, [>]–[>] Salomon Smith Barney: and WorldCom, [>], [>] Sandan, Ronah, [>]–[>] San Francisco Giants, [>]–[>] Sarbanes-Oxley Act, [>], [>] savings and loan failures, [>] accounting firms and, [>] Scaife, Richard Mellon, [>] Schaeffer, Esther: on character education programs, [>] Schilling, Curt: on drug use in sports, [>] Schiltz, Patrick J., [>]–[>], [>] Scholastic Aptitude Test: cheating on, [>]–[>], [>]–[>], [>] Schor, Juliet: The Overspent American, [>] Sears Automotive: encourages fraud by mechanics, [>]–[>], [>]–[>], [>] investigations of, [>]–[>] Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, [>]–[>] Segraves, Donald: on automobile insurance fraud, [>]–[>] self-interest: individualism and, [>]–[>] Seniors Coalition, [>] Shad, John: and corporate ethics programs, [>] as head of SEC, [>]–[>] Shalit, Ruth, [>] Sherman, Scott: and corporate ethics program, [>]–[>] shoplifting, vii, [>] "Short Happy Life of the American Yuppie, The" (Hertzberg), [>] Siciliano, Thomas, [>]–[>] Silicon Valley: corruption in, [>]–[>] Silverado Savings and Loan, [>], [>]–[>] Silverman, Jeffrey, [>]–[>] Simon, David, [>]–[>] Simpson, O.

The poor didn't need handouts to improve their lot, conservatives said, they needed the discipline of work instead. While liberal ideas emphasized the harsh vicissitudes of a capitalist system—where not everyone could always find work, or work that afforded them basic life necessities like food, housing, and health care—conservatives emphasized the downside of trying to correct for the market's shortcomings. Charles Murray's bestselling attack on welfare, Losing Ground, exemplified this line of logic.12 More generally, conservatives equated unfettered economic competition with virtue. They took issue with the antimaterialist values of the '60s. A focus on making money wasn't bad, but exactly the opposite: Wealth was the reward for those who worked hard and competed successfully. Wealth signaled virtue, not vice.

pages: 160 words: 53,435

Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder, Richard Todd


Atul Gawande, demand response, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, moral hazard, Norman Mailer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Yogi Berra

When he invokes his professional status it is to wonder how he would treat the news if he himself failed to measure up to the profession’s highest standards: If we … discovered that I am one of the worst, the answer would be easy: I’d turn in my scalpel. But what if I were a B–? Working as I do in a city that’s mobbed with surgeons, how could I justify putting patients under the knife? I could tell myself, Someone’s got to be average. If the bell curve is a fact, then so is the reality that most doctors are going to be average. There is no shame in being one of them, right? Except, of course, there is. “The Bell Curve” is of general worth for the issue it raises, and it also has great value for a writer of essays. In discovering the right place to stand in relation to his subject, Gawande accomplishes what every writer must accomplish. In his case, this means that, without removing his white coat, he becomes something more than a “professional.”

This may have come to seem natural to those who do it, but to many readers (to us) it seems self-congratulatory. But then again, we are members of a generation that hears a stern voice in the ear enforcing the old rule. It is a weak defense to point out that the voice belongs to a woman who was teaching sixth grade. Other solutions have been proposed. The conservative writer Charles Murray has an idea that is simplicity itself: use the pronoun appropriate to your own sex. (Jane says everyone/her; John says everyone/his. Unfortunately no one seems to recognize this rule except Charles Murray, and it costs him nothing to follow it since he is a man. The language has yet to come up with a universally acceptable solution. In most cases it’s possible to write around the problem, by making the subject plural or changing the sentence structure in some other way. • “May” and “might.”

In the mind of whatever perverted dreamer might loose the lightning, New York must hold a steady, irresistible charm. White and Didion may represent extremes, each admirable, in the essayist’s use of the self. Atul Gawande offers an equally admirable example of the use of the professional self. Gawande is a surgeon and professor of medicine at Harvard, and he has published several books of essays on medical subjects. In “The Bell Curve,” he contemplates a simple fact that most doctors find hard to discuss: that some of them are better than others. Gawande reports that the differences have become quantifiable and can be expressed in a bell curve, and he ponders the effects on patients and doctors alike. Though it is plain that Gawande writes with an implicit authority (and no doubt with special access) because of his professional identity, he never pulls rank on the reader.

pages: 377 words: 110,427

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig


affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game

That means 10,000 additional quotes of right-wing ideology, misleading statistics, distorted facts, and so on. There’s no way that doesn’t unfairly skew the public debate. * Greg Robinson, “Why the Media Should Stop Paying Attention to the New Book that Defends Japanese Internment,” History News Network, 9-9-2004. Endorsing Racism: The Story of The Bell Curve June 8, 2006 Age 19 If you have any doubt about the power of the think tanks, look no further than the story of The Bell Curve. Written by Charles Murray, who received over $1.2 million from right-wing foundations for his work, the book claimed that IQ tests revealed black people to be genetically less intelligent than whites, thus explaining their low place in society. Murray published the 845-page book without showing it to any other scientists, leading the Wall Street Journal to say he pursued “a strategy that provided book galleys to likely supporters while withholding them from likely critics” in an attempt “to fix the fight . . . contrary to usual publishing protocol.”

Because a huge number of well-meaning whites fear that they are closet racists, and this book tells them they are not. It’s going to make them feel better about things they already think but do not know how to say.”‡ That’s certainly what The Bell Curve did, replacing a debate over how to improve black achievement with one about whether such improvement was even possible. There was just one problem: none of this stuff was accurate. As Professor Michael Nunley wrote in a special issue of the American Behavioral Scientist on The Bell Curve, after a series of scientific articles debunked all the book’s major claims: “I believe this book is a fraud, that its authors must have known it was a fraud when they were writing it, and that Charles Murray must still know it’s a fraud as he goes around defending it. . . . After careful reading, I cannot believe its authors were not acutely aware of . . . how they were distorting the material they did include” (WLM?

The Attraction of the Center The Conservative Nanny State Political Entrepreneurs and Lunatics with Money Postscript by Henry Farrell Media Introduction by Cory Doctorow The Book That Changed My Life The Invention of Objectivity Shifting the Terms of Debate: How Big Business Covered Up Global Warming Making Noise: How Right-wing Think Tanks Get the Word Out Endorsing Racism: The Story of The Bell Curve Spreading Lies: How Think Tanks Ignore the Facts Saving Business: The Origins of Right-wing Think Tanks Hurting Seniors: The Attack on Social Security Fighting Back: Responses to the Mainstream Media What Journalists Don’t: Lessons from the Times Rachel Carson: Mass Murderer? Is Undercover Over? Disguise Seen as Deceit by Timid Journalists Books and Culture Introduction by James Grimmelmann Recommended Books Guest Review by Aaron Swartz: Chris Hayes’ The Twilight of the Elites Freakonomics The Immorality of Freakonomics In Offense of Classical Music A Unified Theory of Magazines On Intellectual Dishonesty The Smalltalk Question Unschool Introduction by Astra Taylor School Welcome to Unschooling School Rules The Writings of John Holt Apprentice Education Intellectual Diversity at Stanford David Horowitz on Academic Freedom What It Means to Be an Intellectual Getting It Wrong Epilogue Legacy Contributor Bios INTRODUCTION It is a fair question whether it’s fair to any of us to gather in one place the writings of a person’s life.

pages: 212 words: 80,393

Getting By: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain by Lisa McKenzie


British Empire, call centre, credit crunch, delayed gratification, falling living standards, financial exclusion, full employment, income inequality, low skilled workers, moral panic, New Urbanism, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, unpaid internship, urban renewal, working poor

Abject whites, neo-liberal modernisation and middle class multiculturalism’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, vol 19, no 3, pp 351-70. Haylett, C. (2003) Culture, class and urban policy: Reconsidering inequality, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Hebidge D. (1979) Subculture: The meaning of style, London: Methuen. Hebidge, D. (1983) ‘“Ska tissue”: the rise and fall of two tone’, in S. Davis and P. Simon (eds) Reggae international, London: Thames & Hudson. Herrnstein, R.J. and Murray, C. (1994) The bell curve: Intelligence and class structure in American life, New York: Free Press. Hewitt, R. (1986) White talk, black talk: Inter-racial friendship and communication amongst adolescents, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hewitt, R. (2005) The white backlash: The politics of multi-culturalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hill, A. (2007) ‘Council estates spawn a new underclass’, The Observer, 30 November.

‘Broken’ Britain Symbolic violence has been visited on the poor for many generations in the UK, often through the language of the ‘underclass’ and the negative connotations attributed to those that it describes. The language, which demeans the poor, is powerful and has been with us for many generations, and political parties both left and right have used it in gaining political capital among the electorate, when needed. Margaret Thatcher, in the 1980s, along with Charles Murray, who later became the co-author of the notorious Bell curve (Herrnstein and Murray, 1994), spoke clearly of the problems the ‘underclass’ caused with their ‘cycle of poverty’, while the Blair government used the language of exclusion and ‘the excluded’ (Welshman, 2007, pp 4-6). The Cameron Conservatives commissioned a report by the right-wing think tank, the Centre for Social Justice, in 2006 to look at welfare in the UK.

The description that Oscar Lewis painted of this community in Mexico City is very harsh, but he also described a mutual solidarity among neighbours and moral obligations among family members. What Lewis described is a defensive value system created within this poor neighbourhood in order for that community to survive the extremes of social inequalities at that particular time in that particular place. However, Lewis’ theory of the ‘culture of poverty’ was misused by the UK Conservative government and the US neoliberal and right-wing social commentator Charles Murray in the 1980s in order to create their own theory of ‘the cycle of deprivation’ – the supposed perverse effects of welfare dependency – to implement neoliberal policies by rolling back welfare and state benefits and focusing on the family rather than the structural or societal causes of inequality. Indeed, Oscar Lewis’ work has been criticised as perpetuating the notion that the poor are responsible for their own poverty, especially through his theory of ‘the culture of poverty’.

pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee


2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage,, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

It’s not just that a small group at the top sees big increases. It’s also a change in the fundamental structure of the distribution. When revenues are roughly proportional to absolute performance, as in the example of the bricklayer, the earnings distribution is likely to roughly match the distribution of aptitude and effort. For many characteristics, humans fall roughly along a normal distribution, also known as the Gaussian distribution or the bell curve. That’s the approximate distribution for height, strength, speed, general IQ, and in all likelihood many other characteristics such as emotional intelligence, management savvy, and even diligence. Normal distributions are very common (hence the name), and they have an intuitive pattern. As you move further and further into either tail, the number of participants drops precipitously. What’s more, the mean, median, and mode of the distribution are all the same number.

His conclusions are unequivocal: The consequences of high neighborhood joblessness are more devastating than those of high neighborhood poverty. A neighborhood in which people are poor but employed is different from a neighborhood in which many people are poor and jobless. Many of today’s problems in the inner-city ghetto neighborhoods—crime, family dissolution, welfare, low levels of social organization, and so on—are fundamentally a consequence of the disappearance of work.11 In his 2012 book Coming Apart, social researcher Charles Murray put numbers to the problems Wilson described and also showed that they weren’t confined to inner cities or largely minority neighborhoods. Instead, they were squarely part of mainstream white America. Murray identified two groups. The first comprises Americans with at least a college education and a professional or managerial job; these are dubbed residents of the hypothetical town ‘Belmont,’ named after a prosperous suburb of Boston.

Don Peck, “How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America,” The Atlantic, March 2010, 10. Jim Clifton, The Coming Jobs War (New York: Gallup Press, 2011). 11. William Julius Wilson, When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor, 1st ed. (New York: Vintage, 1997). 12. Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010 (New York: Crown Forum, 2013, repr.). 13. Murray argues that harmful changes in values are the most important explanatory factor. As he writes, “The deterioration of social capital in lower-class white America strips the people who live there of one of the main resources through which Americans have pursued happiness. The same may be said of the deterioration in marriage, industriousness, honesty, and religiosity.

pages: 317 words: 101,475

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones


Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, deindustrialization, Etonian, facts on the ground, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, pension reform, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, Right to Buy, rising living standards, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working-age population

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act described a council estate as a 'barracks for the poor' and included plans to increase rents from £85 to £360 a week.9 Hammersmith and Fulharn is often mentioned as Cameron's favourite council. It certainly showcases some of the Tories' least constructive attitudes to working-class people. Many of the Tories' ideas about social inequality-such as blaming people for their circumstances-have a firmly Thatcherite pedigree. But they can also be traced back to a right-wing pseudo-political scientist, the American Charles Murray. Murray is perhaps most famous for his controversial (to say the least) 1994 book, The Bell Curve, which suggested that inherent racial differences had an impact on IQ levels. Like today's Tories, Murray claimed that family breakdown had triggered the rise of an 'underclass' in British society. He argued 'that the family in the dominant economic class-a-call it the upper middle class-s-is in better shape than most people think, and is likely to get better.

'Children without fathers' was one of the factors identified by Tory Prime Minister David Cameron; it was a point echoed by right-wing commentators. The Daily Express appeared to find no contradiction in claiming that 'we have bred feckless, lawless males who pass on to their own children the same mistakes' and, in another paragraph, that 'fatherlessness is the single most destructive factor in modern society'. It smacked of the arguments of US right-wing pseudo-sociologist Charles Murray, who claimed that rising illegitimacy among the 'lower classes' had produced a 'New Rabble'. This was classic demonizarion, reducing complex social problems to supposed individual failings and behavioural faults. Pervading the backlash was the talk of a 'feral underclass'. This was the idea of the Victorian 'undeserving poor' taken to a new level: the rioters and their families weren't just undeserving, they were barely human.

pages: 558 words: 168,179

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer


affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bakken shale, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, centre right, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collective bargaining, corporate raider, crony capitalism, David Brooks, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, energy security, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Gilder, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, More Guns, Less Crime, Nate Silver, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, working poor

“Typically, it was not just the same university but the same department, and in some cases, the same scholar,” Bruce Murphy wrote in Milwaukee Magazine, charging that this led to a kind of “intellectual cronyism.” The anointed scholars were good ideological warriors but “rarely great scholars,” he wrote. For instance, Joyce stuck with Murray in the face of growing controversy over his 1994 book, The Bell Curve, which correlated race and low IQ scores to argue that blacks were less likely than whites to join the “cognitive elite,” and was loudly and convincingly discredited. The Manhattan Institute fired Murray over the controversial project. “They didn’t want the grief,” says Murray. But Joyce reportedly kept an estimated $1 million in grants flowing to Murray, who decamped to the American Enterprise Institute.

At least two-thirds: According to James Barnes, “Banker with a Cause,” National Journal, March 6, 1993, 564–65, well over two-thirds of the $20 million that the Bradley Foundation doled out each year went to “conservative intellectual” support. Continuing the strategic emphasis: Katherine M. Skiba, “Bradley Philanthropy,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 17, 1995. “Typically, it was not just”: According to Bruce Murphy, Joyce spent $1 million subsidizing Murray’s writing of The Bell Curve. Murphy, “When We Were Soldier-Scholars,” Milwaukee Magazine, March 9, 2006. “the chief operating officer”: Neal Freeman, “The Godfather Retires,” National Review, April 18, 2001. “package for public consumption”: “The Bradley Foundation and the Art of (Intellectual) War,” Autumn 1999, was a twenty-page confidential memo prepared for the foundation’s November 1999 board meeting, a copy of which was obtained by the author.

By the time he was sent off to Deerfield Academy at the age of fourteen (the same prep school attended eight years later by David Koch), Scaife was already a drinker. Caught drinking off campus with some local girls in his senior year, in violation of Deerfield’s rules, he almost didn’t graduate. Scaife recalls that his parents hastily donated funds for a new dormitory for the school in order to assure his diploma. Years later, he would nonetheless help fund the social critic Charles Murray, a leading proponent of the theory that a superior work ethic and moral codes account for much of the success among the affluent. Despite having barely squeaked through prep school, Scaife was accepted at his father’s college, Yale, from which he was soon expelled following several drunken benders. A reputation as a frat boy bully was cemented by an episode in which an empty beer keg was rolled down a flight of stairs, injuring a classmate.

pages: 255 words: 75,172

Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America by Tamara Draut


affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, battle of ideas, big-box store, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ending welfare as we know it, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, full employment, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, payday loans, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

The report validated the strongly held belief of conservative readers that poverty is caused by a pathological culture, and government programs like welfare and food stamps do nothing but add another pathology to the tangle: dependency. Because Moynihan was a liberal and a Democrat, his report mainstreamed the idea that cultural breakdown causes poverty. Our social, cultural, and economic norms have long been set by the white upper-middle class, with any failure to conform to those norms seen as deviant. In 2014, Charles Murray, well known for his infamous book The Bell Curve, which argued that blacks were genetically intellectually inferior to whites, broadened Moynihan’s analysis to the white working class. In Coming Apart, Murray bemoans a white working class that has seemingly lost the hunger to work and is now engaging in all manner of activities similar to those of the “black underclass”: illegitimacy, crime, and drug use. Political scientist Robert Putnam also explored the disparities in familial upbringing between college-educated and non-college-educated households in his most recent book, Our Kids.

pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

As offshoring accelerates, college graduates in the United States and other advanced countries may face daunting competition based not just on wages but also on cognitive capability. The combined population of India and China amounts to roughly 2.6 billion people—or over eight times the population of the United States. The top 5 percent in terms of cognitive ability amounts to about 130 million people—or over 40 percent of the entire US population. In other words, the inescapable reality of the bell-curve distribution stipulates that there are far more very smart people in India and China than in the United States. That will not necessarily be a cause for concern, of course, as long as the domestic economies in those countries are capable of creating opportunities for all those smart workers. The evidence so far, however, suggests otherwise. India has built a major, nationally strategic industry specifically geared toward the electronic capture of American and European jobs.

Active income like wages from a job, self-employment income, or earnings from a small business either would not be means-tested at all or would occur at a much higher level. This should ensure a consistent incentive for everyone to work as hard as possible, given the opportunities available. A guaranteed income scheme would also be likely to create a number of more subtle incentives for both individuals and families. Conservative social scientist Charles Murray’s 2006 book In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State argues that a guaranteed income would be likely to make non-college-educated men more attractive marriage partners. This group has been the hardest hit by the impact of both technology and factory offshoring on the job market. A guaranteed income might help increase marriage rates among lower-income groups, while helping to reverse the trend toward more children being raised in single-parent households.

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Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam


assortative mating, correlation does not imply causation, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, full employment, George Akerlof, helicopter parent, impulse control, income inequality, index card, jobless men, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, school choice, selection bias, Socratic dialogue, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the built environment, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel, white flight, working poor

Useful entryways to the massive literature on this topic include James S. Coleman et al., Equality of Educational Opportunity (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health, Education & Welfare, Office of Education, OE-38001, and supplement, 1966), 325; Gary Orfield and Susan E. Eaton, Dismantling Desegregation (New York: New Press, 1996); Claude S. Fischer et al., Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996); Richard D. Kahlenberg, “Economic School Integration,” in The End of Desegregation, eds. Stephen J. Caldas and Carl L. Bankston III (Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science, 2003), esp. 153–55; Russell W. Rumberger and Gregory J. Palardy, “Does Segregation Still Matter? The Impact of Student Composition on Academic Achievement in High School,” The Teachers College Record 107 (September 2005): 1999–2045; John R.

Carlson and England, “Social Class and Family Patterns in the United States,” 7. 53. For emphasis on other “behavioral” explanations, including differences in sexual initiation, use of contraception, self-efficacy, and the ability to self-regulate, see England, McClintock, and Shafer, “Birth Control Use and Early, Unintended Births.” 54. For the argument that the pre-1996 welfare system encouraged family breakup, see Charles Murray, Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950–1980 (New York: Basic Books, 1984); National Research Council, Robert A. Moffitt, ed., Welfare, the Family, and Reproductive Behavior: Research Perspectives (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 1998); and McLanahan and Percheski, “Family Structure and the Reproduction of Inequalities,” 263–64. Also relevant to this debate is the finding of Juho Härkönen and Jaap Dronkers, “Stability and Change in the Educational Gradient of Divorce: A Comparison of Seventeen Countries,” European Sociological Review 22 (December 2006): 501–17, that more extensive welfare state policies are associated with lower divorce rates, especially among less educated couples, suggesting that welfare state generosity reduces strain on lower-income couples. 55.

For a useful synthesis of approaches to the problem of the opportunity gap, see Lane Kenworthy, “It’s Hard to Make It in America: How the United States Stopped Being the Land of Opportunity,” Foreign Affairs 91 (November 2012): 103–9. I am especially indebted to Tom Sander for a thorough review of policy options to address the opportunity gap. 30. For a treatment of the growing class gap that often coincides with my account descriptively, but that offers a quite different diagnosis, see Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010 (New York: Crown Forum, 2012). 31. For evidence of the powerful influence of religious communities on the attitudes and behavior of their members, see Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010), especially chapter 13. 32. Isabel V. Sawhill, Generation Unbound: Drifting into Sex and Parenthood Without Marriage (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2014), 91–93, citing Robert G.

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Creating Unequal Futures?: Rethinking Poverty, Inequality and Disadvantage by Ruth Fincher, Peter Saunders


barriers to entry, ending welfare as we know it, financial independence, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, marginal employment, minimum wage unemployment, New Urbanism, open economy, pink-collar, positional goods, purchasing power parity, shareholder value, spread of share-ownership, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

A Study of Class Mobility in Industrial Societies, Clarendon Press, Oxford Esping-Andersen, G. 1990 The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Polity Press, Cambridge ——1994 After the Golden Age: welfare and employment in open economies, Synthesis paper for UN Social Summit, UNRISD Ettema, J.S. and Glasser, T.L. 1988 ‘Narrative form and moral force: the realization of innocence and guilt through investigative journalism’ Journal of Communication vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 8–26 European Academy of the Urban Environment 1998 New Industrial Arrangements in the Labour Market: Transitional Labour Markets as a New Full Employment Concept, The Academy, Berlin 234 PDF OUTPUT c: ALLEN & UNWIN r: DP2\BP4401W\MAIN p: (02) 6232 5991 f: (02) 6232 4995 36 DAGLISH STREET CURTIN ACT 2605 234 REFERENCES European Commission 1997 ‘Modernising and improving social protection in the European Union’ soc-prot/com97102/commuen.htm Eurostat 1990 Poverty in Figures, Europe in the Early 1980s, Statistical Office of the European Communities, Luxembourg Fagan, R.H. and Webber, M. 1994 Global Restructuring: The Australian Experience Oxford University Press, Melbourne Farley, R. 1996 ‘The age of extremes: a revisionist perspective’ Demography vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 417–20 Feldstein, M. 1998 Income Inequality and Poverty NBER Working Paper 6770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Mass Ferrante, A. and Loh, N. 1996 Crime and Justice Statistics for Western Australia: 1994, mimeo, Crime Research Centre, University of Western Australia, Perth Fincher, R. and Nieuwenhuysen, J. eds 1998 Australian Poverty: Then and Now, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne Fincher, R. and Wulff, M. 1998 ‘The locations of poverty and disadvantage’ Australian Poverty: Then and Now eds R. Fincher & J. Nieuwenhuysen, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, pp. 144–64 Fischer, C. et al. 1996 Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey Fitchen, J.M. 1995 ‘Spatial redistribution of poverty through migration of poor people to depressed rural communities’ Rural Sociology vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 181–201 FNQ 2010 Regional Planning Project 1998 Strategic Directions and Regional Priorities for Far North Queensland draft for Consultation, Far North Queensland Regional Planning Advisory Committee for the Queensland Department of Local Government and Planning Forde, S. 1997 ‘A descriptive look at the public role of the Australian independent alternative press’ Asia-Pacific Media Educator no. 3, pp. 118–30 ——1998, ‘The development of the alternative press in Australia’ Media International Australia no. 87, pp. 114–33 Fraser, N. 1989 Unruly Practices: Power, Discourse and Gender in Contemporary Social Theory, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis Froud, J. et al. 1997 ‘From social settlement to household lottery’ Economy and Society vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 340–72 Froud, J. et al. 1998 ‘Accumulation based on inequality’: a Keynesian analysis of investment for shareholder value, Paper presented at the 20th Conference of the International Working Party on labour market segmentation, Arco (Trento), July ——1999 ‘The Third Way and the jammed economy’ Capital and Class no. 67, Spring, pp. 155–66 Fuchs, V. 1965 Toward a Theory of Poverty in the Concept of Poverty Task Force on Economic Growth and Opportunity, Chamber of Commerce of the United States, Washington Galbraith, J.K. 1992 Culture of Contentment, Sinclair-Stevenson, London 235 PDF OUTPUT c: ALLEN & UNWIN r: DP2\BP4401W\MAIN p: (02) 6232 5991 f: (02) 6232 4995 36 DAGLISH STREET CURTIN ACT 2605 235 CREATING UNEQUAL FUTURES?

The marked discrepancy between the enormous increase in underlying vulnerability to poverty and the negligible increase in measured income poverty in Finland is explained by these authors as the result of welfare state institutions achieving what they were designed to do. But not everyone is agreed that welfare state interventions have been successful or desirable. In recent years there has been increasing concern that the provision of social assistance may lead to long-term dependence on social security payments. These concerns have been expressed most strongly in the United States by commentators such as Charles Murray, who, in his well-known book, Losing Ground, argued that the payment of welfare benefits has reduced incentives to work and has also created incentives for family breakdown (Murray 1984). From this perspective, the 40 PDF OUTPUT c: ALLEN & UNWIN r: DP2\BP4401W\MAIN p: (02) 6232 5991 f: (02) 6232 4995 36 DAGLISH STREET CURTIN ACT 2605 40 UNDERSTANDING POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION welfare state itself is seen as the main cause of the poverty it is ostensibly designed to alleviate.

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Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism by Sharon Beder


American Legislative Exchange Council, battle of ideas, business climate, centre right, clean water, corporate governance, Exxon Valdez, Gary Taubes, global village, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, price mechanism, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning

Edwin Feulner, the Foundation’s President, was appointed by Gingrich and Republican Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole as Vice Chairman of the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform.70 Traditionally, newly elected members of congress have attended Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for their orientation programme, but now Republican congresspeople are flocking instead to a programme set up by the Heritage Foundation and Empower America to hear speeches from the likes of Charles Murray (of The Bell Curve fame) and Rush Limbaugh (right-wing radio talk-back host).71 Heritage employees claim that much of the Contract with America was shaped by them. Indeed some members of Congress admit that Foundation researchers were ‘key architects’ of some proposed legislation, including the plan to overhaul welfare. “When GOP congressional staffers met in June with conservative leaders to help map current legislative efforts to cut federal funding for leftleaning advocacy groups, the closed-door meeting took place at Heritage headquarters.”72 According to the Foundation’s policy analyst John Shanahan, a former labour-management specialist in the Bush administration, “Our influence comes from ideas.

pages: 1,737 words: 491,616

Rationality: From AI to Zombies by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, anti-pattern, anti-work, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, cellular automata, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, effective altruism, experimental subject, Extropian, friendly AI, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, Nash equilibrium, Necker cube, NP-complete, P = NP, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, planetary scale, prediction markets, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific mainstream, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Solar eclipse in 1919, speech recognition, statistical model, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, Turing complete, Turing machine, ultimatum game, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

I don’t know all the tricks used in video games, but I can guess some of them—challenges poised at the critical point between ease and impossibility, intermittent reinforcement, feedback showing an ever-increasing score, social involvement in massively multiplayer games. Is there a limit to the market incentive to make video games more engaging? You might hope there’d be no incentive past the point where the players lose their jobs; after all, they must be able to pay their subscription fee. This would imply a “sweet spot” for the addictiveness of games, where the mode of the bell curve is having fun, and only a few unfortunate souls on the tail become addicted to the point of losing their jobs. As of 2007, playing World of Warcraft for 58 hours straight until you literally die is still the exception rather than the rule. But video game manufacturers compete against each other, and if you can make your game 5% more addictive, you may be able to steal 50% of your competitor’s customers.

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. 1st ed. London: John Murray, 1859. ———. The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. 2nd ed. London: John Murray, 1874. Darwin, Francis, ed. The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin. John Murray, 1887. Dawes, Robyn M. House of Cards: Psychology and Psychotherapy Built on Myth. Free Press, 1996. ———. Rational Choice in An Uncertain World. 1st ed. Edited by Jerome Kagan. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988. De Camp, Lyon Sprague, and Fletcher Pratt. The Incomplete Enchanter. New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1941. Denes-Raj, Veronika, and Seymour Epstein.