Since the beginning of the year, among readers of HBD-related blogs there’s been an increased interest in trying to improve articles related to race and intelligence at Wikipedia. The appeal of this is easy to understand, since very few books or articles written for a popular audience accurately present the scientific consensus about this topic. (Some pop-science books about it, such as The Mismeasure of Man, are infamous for the amount of misrepresentation they involve.) On the other hand, while peer-reviewed journals and academic textbooks often do present this consensus, these generally aren’t accessible to lay people. Wikipedia is the most commonly-used source of information in the world, so if it can accurately represent how this topic is presented in the professional psychology literature, it’s providing a service that’s provided almost nowhere else.
However, there’s a problem. Many of these new editors don’t realize that contributing to any topic at Wikipedia requires more than just knowledge about the topic itself–it also requires an understanding of how to conduct oneself there. This is especially true in articles on controversial topics, and race and intelligence is the ninth most controversial topic at Wikipedia. Over the past few months, several of these editors have come to me for advice about how to make a positive difference in this area, so I’ve decided to write up some of my advice for them in a blog post here.
One point needs to stated before anything else: The most useful thing anyone can do on these articles is keep watch over them, and undo vandalism when it happens. The largest problem with most of the articles is that they aren’t being watched by anyone who cares about them. This means that people can remove chunks of sourced material without giving a reason, or add material without a source, and the changes often won’t be undone.
A long-time reader and an occasional commenter (under various pseudonyms) in the “Steveosphere”, I’m making my debut as a blogger on these topics. My intention is to post both empirical analyses and more general pieces touching on human biodiversity.
My professional background is not in psychometrics, genetics, or anything related. However, I believe that diligent amateurs can break new ground on these topics, as exemplified by John Fuerst’s work at Occidental Ascent. While HBD is thriving in academia in the form of research programs on individual differences, research on race differences is moribund. Amateurs will have to pick up the slack.
Others have remarked that they cannot entirely disentangle their interest in HBD from their political views. This applies to me, too, and I think, probably naively, that hard-hitting discoveries in HBD could mitigate some of the more negative trends in Western society. But more on that later, perhaps.
I can be contacted at mr_dalliard at hotmail dot com.
An editor from The HBD Bibliography sent the following:
The HBD Bibliography
Web: http://www.humanbiologicaldiversity.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/HBDBibliography Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greetings! I’m one of the editors of the HBD Bibliography. I became interested in HBD about five years ago, began to read widely in the field, and started to maintain a bibliography of things I had read (a habit from grad school). I shared this bibliography with others, and we decided to put it on line so others could benefit from it. I do not claim to be an expert on HBD; the bibliography is part of my learning experience as well. After we had put the bibliography online, we received many emails from people suggesting materials, so the bibliography has grown at least tenfold in size. While we don’t agree with every book or article on the bibliography, we put them out there so others could benefit from them. There are hyperlinks for all the books, articles and blog posts on the reading list. Many of the journal articles and books have hyperlinks to free PDFs on various websites. If you can think of anything that should be added or corrections that should be made, please email them to email@example.com. Please also email new articles, blog posts and books. We’ll typically tweet blog posts (to our 2,500 followers), and tweet and add to the bibliography books and articles. (We’re trying to cut back on adding blog posts to the bibliography, unless they’re exceptional.) I hope you enjoy. Please share the bibliography with friends and colleagues.
I don’t know where to begin. If I have to introduce myself I could say that I’m chinese, that my english is awful, that no one knows who I am, and that the average reader of this blog is probably much older than me. Also, it is clear that Jason Malloy and John Fuerst have followed the IQ-race debate for many years now and I am not as knowledgeable as they are – far from it – but knowledgeable enough to write this. To be honest, around two years ago I didn’t even know that blacks have a lower cognitive ability than any other races, as assessed by IQ tests, until I came across this paper “Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability” – in February/March 2011 if I remember correctly. This has caused a stir in my mind, and struck my curiosity. Since that day, I wanted to be better informed, collecting information and data that either reject or confirm the theory posited by the hereditarians. Gradually I was moving to the dark side. You could say I am a hereditarian now.
Among all the books and papers I have read so far, I would highly recommend Arthur Jensen (e.g., The g Factor, Educability & Group Differences, Bias in Mental Testing). I think he is the one who has made the most devastating criticisms against the environmental-cultural hypothesis, and James Flynn being the toughest opponent of the hereditarian side. I am not particularly interested in the consequences of the victory of one side over the other, but if I have to say a word about my political view, which is not worth discussing, the only thing I would say is that no one (and even asians – at least those who live in western countries) would agree with me. I indeed see all the advantages of an ethnically homogeneous country, regardless of the tenability of the “race realism” thesis, which has become my new obsession. My goal in joining this blog is to pursue what I was constantly trying to succeed in for these two last years : refuting the race realism case. And I have not yet succeeded.
Welcome to Human Varieties. My name is Jason, and I’ve inhabited the “Sailersphere” for some 12 years, mostly as a drive-by datamonkey and armchair theorist in comment sections. I can fairly be described as a hereditarian, and my Internet presence has loosely been fashioned around that paradigm and its allied disciplines. I used to contribute, however infrequently, to Razib Khan and Godless Capitalist’s Gene Expression group blog between 2003-2008, drawing the most attention with my review of Richard Lynn’s Race Differences in Intelligence, my discussion of cognitive ability and sexual behavior, and my defense of James D. Watson in 2007. The Watson post, in particular, had three interesting consequences. First, I was contacted and interviewed by earnest New York Times reporter, Amy Harmon. This interview was used for her DNA age article, which subsequently (and not unjustly) won the Pulitzer Prize. Second, I was invited to adapt my post into an editorial for the journal Medical Hypotheses by then Editor-in-Chief, Bruce Charlton. Most remarkably, though, I was called and thanked personally by the great man, James Watson himself! (The comical mismatch between my obscurity and Watson’s eminence, unfortunately, underscores the alarming ubiquity of his ill treatment during that whole manufactured scandal.) Watson even invited me to dine with him personally in early 2008; this was all the more flattering (and not a wee bit ironic) given that he had just published a book titled Avoid Boring People!
Since that time—an eternity in Internet years—John Fuerst has emerged as a much more meticulous and energetic hereditarian dilettante than I ever was or could be. However we have different things we can contribute to our overlapping interests and goals, and furthermore, we are not the only people who could use an active forum for exploring these issues in greater depth. So we started this website to assemble and nurture an online community of human diversity sleuths who can collaborate, respond to, and build off each other’s labor. Ideally, this site can serve as both an alternative to and a launching pad for standard published journal research.
If you have any questions or would like to join this blog as a contributor, please send me an email.