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

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 16 14:10:22 UTC 2020

I have thought for some time that racism or any kind of xenophobia is

When the baby is in the womb it hears his mother's voice-  his father's
much more dimly.  After being born it tends to favor people like his mother
- the nursemaid, for example.  Fathers get short shrift - the voice is
deeper.  Babies take some time to get used to that.  You have to admit that
from being in the womb to being in the world is a very big step to get used

Babies are generally afraid of me.  I am tall and have a deep voice.  Any
differences in skin color, hair style, clothing, just anything can cause a
kid to have some fear.  All of this is happening long before parents and
others may tell or the kid may overhear racist feelings.  Sure, some racism
is learned in society, but the basic fears occur long before that.

Also, fear is probably the most powerful of all emotions, so it takes
precedence over anything else. Forcing people to experience what they fear
is usually bad except when done by a therapist.

Also keep in mind that people of any age are basically irrational.  You can
point out facts about safety of airplanes and people will still get in cars
and drive long distances, thinking they are safer.

I don't understand Keith's essay.  Notice that I have not said anything
about the role of genetics - because I don't know anything about it.  It
could all be learning, starting in the womb.

bill w

On Mon, Mar 16, 2020 at 12:20 AM Keith Henson via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Mar 15, 2020, at 1:53 PM spike wrote:
> snip
> > 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
> poorest.
> 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
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bell_Curve
> 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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