Today, an excerpt of Chapter 9 from Everything You Believe Is Wrong. A refutation of the precautionary principle. See if you notice any similarities with what is happening our your window.
You may also download a PDF of the entire first chapter (with Table of Contents).
Get the book at Amazon (paper, kindle; it seems to be at all country-Amazons, too), Barnes & Noble (paper and nook), Alibris (link), Super Book Deals (best price so far), ABE Books (at a slight premium).
Chapter 12: Race To The Finish
Your father looked at your mother and said, “That’s one fine looking woman.” Your mother reciprocated. You ensued.
You, and every you out there, are a mix of your parents, and of your environment. But you also contain a soul, an ineffable, immaterial irremovable component of you. That soul makes you unlike anybody else, at least in part, even if you are a twin sharing all your genes with another.
Even if you don’t believe that, because you share bits and pieces of your parents, and most of the same environment, too, you are more like them, and your brothers and sisters, than you are to people outside your family. Your family is more like your aunts and uncles and cousins than to other families. And your distant relatives are more like you than distant peoples.
Most scientists agree with these facts. Maybe not woke scientists under the grip of the Equality delusion. But most scientists. The agreement means little to nothing, of course, because these are facts.
Like Looking In A Mirror
Because you are most like your parents, and your family are more like your extended family than others, race exists. Yet because we are each of us men, there is only one race, the human race.
There is no contradiction. It only seems there is because the word race is over-loaded, to borrow a term from computer programming. Race means different things depending on the context. It’s when the word is thrown around lacking that context, or when the context rapidly shifts during conversation, that troubles arise and the Equivocation Fallacy, a.k.a. One Thing Into Another Fallacy, exists.
Because groups of families have stayed in the relative vicinity of each other over long periods of time, peoples grow to be more like themselves than those living elsewhere. This goes on long enough, and it doesn’t take all that long, in the end we have a race, or races, of people, who differ from others in certain ways.
This simple fact, like the facts above, never confused anybody before the Race Doesn’t Exist & Only Whites Are Racist Fallacy became popular. But since it and the Equality Fallacy have become debased dogma, more than a few academics have taken to saying race doesn’t exist.
That’s false if they mean there aren’t groups which largely share sets of characteristics, and true if they mean humanity as a whole. But these academics aren’t that sharp and do deny the existence of groups that share characteristics, except for whites, who share only evil traits.
INSERT ELLIPSIS HERE
One objection is that race is superficial, that we can only tell peoples apart because they look different. I answer this by quoting the movie Desk Set (1957), which has computer expert Spencer Tracy giving an intelligence test to research librarian Katharine Hepburn. Tracy asks, “What is the first thing you notice about a person”, to which Hepburn replies with perspicacity, “Whether that person is a man or a woman.”
Why looks can’t count to discriminate between persons, or that looks are wrongly called “superficial”, are both bad arguments.
Another objection is to point to various genetic measures and say something about their variability between and inside races. These arguments are always pointless. Suppose every race only differs by a set of alleles on one gene only. Then, given the wide variety of characteristics we observe (from all history), the worst we could say is, “Gee, that is one important and influential gene!” This objection is thus the Quantity Fallacy, that differences in phenotype can’t be great because differences between genotypes aren’t.
A third objection is soft boundaries. The critic will point to individuals who are best classed as a different race than the ones the individuals identify with. The critic says the boundaries between races are somewhat fluid, especially in time, and not rigid, and that the races themselves undergo changes.
I answer by saying, yes, that’s all true. And that this confirms there are races, rather than denies it. Only hard core racial purists say there are absolute inflexible measures that classify races.
Anyway, there isn’t a man, man pretending to be a woman, actual woman, or child who doesn’t believe in race in practice. Denying race is something that takes place only in theory, as a way for academics to signal to one another their virtue. Further, everybody knows this, including the deniers.
>Taller & Shorter
Anybody Have A Stopwatch?
There’s a race of people who have developed anomalously large spleens which, for some reason or other, allows them to survive underwater for long periods of time (sharp readers will have noticed in this book my fondness for spleens). These are the Bajau. They wander around east Asia and can stay under water “for as long as 13 minutes at depths of around 200 feet.” So says the National Geographic, and I believe them.
Try holding your breath for more than two minutes. Go on. I’ll wait.
Hold up. I should have told you I also wanted you to wave your arms and legs around at the same time. Go back and try again.
Have a hard time? Now try it for thirteen minutes after plunging to a depth of 200 feet.
I can’t do it, but then I am of Northern European stock and my superpowers revolve around eating cheese and solving philosophy and physics problems. My spleen is only average. If you are as white as I am, your spleen is very likely nothing special, either.
Diving On In
So here we have two races, Northern whites and Bajau. There may be exceptions at the “tails” of the distributions in abilities of diving and physics solving, but the average behavior is such that the Bajau will beat the whites diving, and vice versa solving physics puzzles.
In other words, race makes a difference in behaviors and attitudes. Yes, attitudes. Think of how these two races will think about diving! Few whites are going to venture a career in a capella diving (or whatever they call it), and few Bajau will aim at becoming string theorists. The way both peoples think of these activities will differ greatly, and because these are not isolated abilities, we should and do find differences across activities in entire cultures built around race.
INSERT MORE ELLIPSIS HERE TO INDICATE WE HAVE COVERED ONLY A FRACTION OF THIS CHAPTER — INCLUDING THE CRUCIAL TOPIC OF CULTURAL VALUE OF ACTIVITY
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Categories: Book review, Culture
EYKIW came a couple days ago.
I’m kinda disappointed.
It’s the same paragraph, over and over, like any of Coulter’s books.
It’s mildly entertaining.
I was expecting something more like Mortimer Adler.
I beg to differ, Kitty. Everything You Believe Is Wrong is excellent, a must read, enjoyable and informative throughout, with multiple messages.
Chief among them is that logic and reason are vital for a properly lived life. They yield more than good thinking skills; they reveal deep truths. You need those.
Yes, I was aiming for an average audience, the same sort Coulter points to. Read Uncertainty for more in depth critiques.
Now if only I could get Everything You Believe Is Wrong to sell like one of Coulter’s books…
Woohoo! My copy just came in the mail–a Christmas present from my husband. Can’t wait to read it.
Thanks, Teddi. Merry Christmas to you both.
Briggs, I’m reading your book. Disappointed. I hoped it was going to read like Ann Coulter, but now I see it reads like Mortimer Adler.
The font is quite good, however, so it’s not a total ruin.
I put a crack research team, real Experts, into designing that font. They tell me it’s called “Default”.
There’s emerging understanding that our bodies – all human bodies, not just some – have a natural affinity to water. There’s a semi aquatic aspect to our nature.
I’m a scuba diver with about 80 dives. Every thirty feet you dive, you add pressure equivalent to one terrestrial air atmosphere. I specify air atmosphere, because all the water on the planet is actually also a part of our atmosphere. I’ve been to two atmospheres – c. 60 ft – dozens of times, three atmospheres – c. 90 ft- several times, and to four atmospheres between 120 and 150 ft once, in the incredible Blue Hole in the barrier reef off Belize.
It’s difficult to explain what diving that deep is like. It was a sort of psychedelic experience. I became psychically one with the ocean. I was there, but not there. It was a sort of beyond death experience, in that I was conscious and there but no longer cared. The nitrogen compression does something profound to your mind, stripping it in some sense of its ego.
Which is just to say that our reality above sea level, and our reality 200 hundred feet beneath the sea are two very different things. Very few of us spend much time down there, fewer still attempt to do it without breathing apparatus.
But the few who do, have shown that we really have very little idea of what our bodies are capable of under water. This presentation delves into this aspect of ourselves:
Some interesting data points from this talk:
Free divers – a young sport – can reach down to 700 feet for up to 12.5 minutes now. They will exceed this current record.
Water is 800 times denser than air. The deeper we go the more pressure increases, the more air condenses. That’s why if you dive beyond 3 atmospheres you risk narcosis and the bends, which is a type of nitrogen poisoning caused by nitrogen accumulating in and disrupting your tissues.
Newborns can comfortably dive for 45 seconds at a time without any stress. We lose this capacity when we begin to walk, but can easily re-train ourselves to re-attain it. I have dove with free divers, and am strongly drawn to training in it myself. Free divers have recorded heart rates at depth as low as 7 beats a minute. All your tissues – brain, lungs, heart – compress and use less oxygen. That means that with training probably anyone can learn to hold their breath for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, even at somewhat shallow depths like 60 feet.
There is footage of a free dive by Guillaume Néry at about 8:30 mins. Watch this, it is amazing. This is that same footage, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA8eDUeABTI
Néry gave a TED talk, apparently, that I have not seen. I noticed it searching for that last video, and am going to watch it now. I’m sure it is also worth your attention. This topic is fascinating stuff, very worth pondering: https://www.ted.com/speakers/guillaume_nery
I ordered two copies of your book from Super Book Deals in Columbia, Maryland about three weeks ago and still have not received the books. Not sure how much control you have over who sells your books, but you may want to avoid Super Book Deals. They do not seem to be reliable.
An interesting tangent…