I’m reminded of the truism that it takes a pretty smart person to screw up spectacularly. Oh, and that only the highly educated are capable of some kinds of stupid.
Let’s take a look: over at Vox Day’s place, a commenter, jasmer, takes issue with the you’ll-be-treated-as-you-treat-others rule. Basically, claiming that he got ripped up one side and down the other without cause. Unfortunately… he’s the only one who thinks he’s been wronged, and he argues exactly like a troll, so jasmer is probably a typical example of a Concern Troll (complete with Christians-must-be-nice theological doctrine!) and I’d like to take this time to point out his many, many levels of utter fail.
First, let’s look at this comment: My personal example is best – I asked what VD’s evidence for considering other races to be unable to follow his own 1000-year hypothesis, and he got all sneery and called me a moron, never even bothering to answer or refer.
Now, why might jasmer have been called a moron for asking this question? Well, the answer is pretty simple, actually – I pay pretty close attention to the civilization/evolution posts, and can’t recall Vox ever claiming that some races are unable to follow the 1000-year hypothesis. What he has claimed – and backed up with evidence – is that the black race is currently not fully civilized, which, as per his theory, is unsurprising because they haven’t been in close enough contact to civilization for long enough yet.
So of course, if you accuse someone of saying something he never actually said – especially if it’s a libel that’s been bandied about certain political groups well known for trolling – you’re going to be sneered at and called a moron. If your “good faith question” boils down to calling someone a racist – which is exactly what jasmer just described himself as doing! – uh, you think you deserve a polite response?
Now, longtime Ilk commenter Nate responds to this allegation, quite politely: There are likely over a dozen posts that VD has put up explaining that theory and the evidence to support it. Did you bother to look for them?
Not much to say here, other than to point out that (1) the Ilk play rough as a default setting, so Nate’s polite response is laudable, considering that jasmer’s full comment has been full of Christian Concern Trolling; and (2) it was obvious to more than just me that jasmer didn’t actually know what he was talking about. He’s either repeating a libel he heard elsewhere, or he doesn’t understand the issue at hand at all.
Next, jasmer goes Full Troll in his response. Please read carefully. I have no qualms about the 1000-year concept. I have no qualms about races and continuing micro-evolution of same. I think there’s a huge leap from there to the proposition that some races are incapable of civilization (rather than not wanting to participate), and that’s what I asked for. I’ve never seen anything of any legitimacy that VD has provided to show a solid link; just lots of correlation, arm waving, and inside-Voxball jargon. (see “Calvinball”)
Now, remember that the 1000-year concept is that it takes roughly 1000 years from “first contact” with a civilized culture for a population group to make the transition from primitive tribalism to full civilization – and that it’s a combination of cultural choices influencing genetics that causes a people to go from barbarism to civilization. This theory is based on past historical events (northern Europe’s contact with the Greco-Roman civilization, for instance) as well as current evidence progressing to the modern day (what happened after the colonial powers left Africa, for example) and there are plenty of posts, as Nate says, detailing this evidence.
But, of course, our troll jasmer nakedly asserts that all that evidence is bunk. None of it’s “solid” enough for him. This is the exact same stupid “technique” used by atheists: “God doesn’t exist because He hasn’t bowed to my every whim and proved Himself to MY satisfaction!” Jasmer says he has no qualm with the 1000-year theory… and then brings up a qualm by questioning the 1000-year theory’s main point and dismissing all the evidence for it out of hand. Right. Either jasmer is a moron, aka he literally doesn’t know how to think rationally, or he’s a troll. (And remember, he’s already padded nearly all his comments with Concern Trolling. Now he’s Disqualified the evidence, on no factual basis whatsoever.)
While prepping some delicious meat for tomorrow’s dinner, I discussed this comment of jasmer’s with my husband, and he pointed out something even more insidious that I missed: what jasmer’s just implied as his opinion – that some ethnic groups aren’t civilized because they don’t want to be – is FAR worse than anything Vox has ever said. Because if a population group chooses barbarism over civilization as a matter of preference, they can never become civilized. Time-to-civilization for that group: infinity. Toss the whole “noble savage” myth in the wastebin: what jasmer is implying is that some population groups would rather remain in a state of tribal warfare, brutal oppression, slavery, raping and pillaging, exploiting the weak, subsistence living on the edge of survival, etc. than adopt the advantages of civilization. We still have war, but it’s a very different kind of war; we’ve lifted forms of oppression that have existed for all of humanity’s previous history; we have more wealth and prosperity than Midas himself could have imagined in his wildest opium dreams. Is there any population group – EVER – that has not wanted the benefits of civilization? Seriously, are there ANY? Because I certainly have never heard of any, and that includes fringe groups like the Amish and survivalists, who are already civilized and just being picky about how they express it. Population groups might want to pick and choose what they get out of civilization (every method of social organization does have its problems), but they always want at least some of the perks. Like, you know, lower infant mortality rates and fewer women dying in childbirth? Or even just the raw power that comes with technological innovation and wide-based social organization that goes beyond tribal affiliation?
And how would you conceivably tell the difference between a people group that is theoretically capable of civilization and just prefers to live in mud huts and go on raids to kidnap and rape the neighboring tribes’ women and steal their cattle while living at the edge of famine all the time, and a people group that just isn’t capable of civilization yet? And even if our whining troll jasmer were to actually present some kind of falsifiable theory for how to tell the difference, why should anyone listen to him present his evidence when he’s so obviously not willing to intellectually engage Vox’s argument?
And lest anyone feel that I’m unfairly tarring jasmer, a quick Google search of his handle crops up many comments across several posts in which jasmer is consistently demanding that Vox produce some “proof” that’s “good enough” for him, and dismissing everything Vox has already said as observational evidence in exactly the same terms (although slightly politer) than a leftist troll would use.
Okay, so jasmer doesn’t find the evidence that genetics is involved in human behavior, and thus culture, convincing. So what? Why should we care? Why should he crop up every time it comes up demanding that Vox Day personally deliver “convincing” evidence? Jasmer has never actually argued that Vox Day’s evidence is wrong, or points to another conclusion – he’s just declared it not good enough. Usually in insulting terms, while never actually putting forth any evidence for his own position!
Right. Well, if he wants to argue his all-culture no-genetics position someday, I’d be interested in actually reading it, but the biological evidence that behavior has a significant genetic component is pretty much overwhelming. Why else would children of the same parents have different temperaments? Why else would studies of twins separated at birth and raised in different families show that the twins grow up to be strikingly similar to each other in unexpected ways?
And the domestication experiments that show that breeding for “nonphysical” traits like tameness in silver foxes result in changes to the foxes’ physical appearance, like the shapes of their ears and tails and the color of their fur… well. The implications are rather chilling, aren’t they? Especially once those same bred-for-tameness foxes started showing increased intelligence, too.
Now imagine what might happen if a culture started influencing women to choose mates not on the basis of “tameness” (Will he remain loyal to me and our children and be a good citizen who works to provide for himself and his family?) but on the basis of pure Dark Triad sexual attractiveness (and the government will provide the welfare check if he doesn’t pay child support). That’s even scarier. Who needs a centrally-directed eugenics council, when the culture itself will provide some “artificial” sexual selection pressure? And what happens when that sexual selection pressure stops selecting for civilized behavior? What do you think happens when women prefer the barbarians over the civilized?