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Comment author: gjm 23 April 2016 08:37:26PM -1 points [-]

That's very curious, because "intellectually dishonest passive aggressive innuendo" is pretty much exactly how I would describe your response to me, and I honestly can't see that I've engaged in anything of the kind. So clearly we have a failure of communication.

I'm not sure what open discussion you want to have that you think I'm avoiding, but let me try making a few things more explicit.

  • I do not know whether any HBD-ish thesis is true. I think it entirely possible that some might be. My impression is that what evidence there is almost all points that way, but that much of the evidence in question is really questionable in various ways, and the whole field is severely enough politicized (and difficult enough on account of a zillion confounding factors, not to mention weirdnesses like the Flynn effect) that I wouldn't be surprised to find a large fraction of the work in the field total crap.
  • I have not put a lot of effort into investigating HBD-ish claims, not because I fear that my doing so would somehow give cover to horrible racists[1] (I don't see how it would) but because I have only so much time and energy, and investigating HBD doesn't seem to score very well in terms either of fun or of utility.
  • I think some HBD advocates are horrible racists[1]. I think some HBD advocates are very much not horrible racists. So far as I can tell from introspection, my working assumption is that people who gleefully bring up HBD theses at every opportunity are more likely to be horrible racists, whereas people who merely say "yeah, probably" when asked about it are likely not to be.
  • So far as I can recall, nothing I have said on LW has been intended to insinuate that any other LWer is a horrible racist, with the possible exception of Eugine.
  • When I said that one reason why a lot of people are not keen on investigating HBD theses is that the most likely "interesting" outcome of doing so is giving cover to horrible racists, I meant what I said, and I did not mean either (1) that I personally avoid such investigation for fear of helping horrible racists -- again, how would that work? -- or (2) that anyone advocates lying about these issues (I bet some people do, but I wouldn't think that's common) or (3) that I endorse lying about them.

Does any of that help?

[1] I have used this phrase a few times and it occurs to me that it could readily be misconstrued. I refer specifically to "horrible racists" rather than just to "racists" because there are some definitions according to which anyone who accepts any sort of HBD thesis is ipso facto racist, no matter what their motives or attitudes or policies. By "horrible racists" I mean something like: people who denigrate[2] and/or work against the interests of some racial group(s) because they hate or fear them, or because they see the success of that group and the success of their own racial group as opposed to one another, and choose to harm the other guys for their own benefit.

[2] I swear I chose that word before it occurred to me what its etymology is.

In response to comment by gjm on Suppose HBD is True
Comment author: torch 24 April 2016 03:01:56AM 3 points [-]

By "horrible racists" I mean something like: people who denigrate[2] and/or work against the interests of some racial group(s) because they hate or fear them, or because they see the success of that group and the success of their own racial group as opposed to one another, and choose to harm the other guys for their own benefit.

You mean like all the Al Sharpton-style black demagogues? There are certainly a lot more of those people than there are white people satisfying your definition of "horrible racist".