[ExI] Racism is rational (was Taiwan is standing)

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Mon Mar 16 05:17:23 UTC 2020

On Sun, Mar 15, 2020, at 1:53 PM spike wrote:


> Open season for a day, please.  All the usual societal guidelines for propriety are temporarily set aside.

You will regret this I bet.

I have long suspected that racism is rational.

Human groups have been subjected to different selections and as a
result, vary in important ways at the group level.  If you can
identify a person by race, that's a useful criterion for what behavior
you can expect in interacting with them.  Cooperation for example.

I first ran into this in Gregory Clark's work where he documented the
spread in surviving children between the well off and the poor in the
UK up to about 1800.  The selection was intense and went on for at
least 20 generations.  20 generations of selection were enough to
change wild foxes into tame ones.  In the UK, those who had the
psychological traits for numeracy and literacy plus other traits such
as being less impulsive and the trait to defer gratification became
well off and had about twice as many surviving children as the

Intelligence was probably pulled along in the selection process.
Recently a UK study found about 30 genes that were found to be
associated with wealth.  Only a few of them were directly related to
intelligence.  For data close to 30 years old, see

The same selection occurred to some human groups in a few other
places, Northwestern Europe, Japan, and China.  If you have any doubt
about the selection of personality types, in China, simple
psychological observation of people can make an accurate estimate if
their ancestors were rice or wheat farmers.

On average people of these racial backgrounds are just different from
those who lived in other places.  Of course, other races were being
selected by the environment around them.  In some places, the very
opposite psychological traits were favored.

Finally, this is not of long term significance.  We will either have
complete control over our DNA or simply upload.

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