Wed Open Thread: 770,000 genomes and the American Nations

Wow, is it Wednesday already? Time definitely flies when you’re busy.

In interesting news, Politico ran an article with a long (and somewhat misleading) section about Moldbug, and further alleging (based on unnamed “sources” who are probably GodfreyElfwick again*,) that Moldbug is in communication with the Trump Administration:

In one January 2008 post, titled “How I stopped believing in democracy,” he decries the “Georgetownist worldview” of elites like the late diplomat George Kennan. Moldbug’s writings, coming amid the failure of the U.S. state-building project in Iraq, are hard to parse clearly and are open to multiple interpretations, but the author seems aware that his views are provocative. “It’s been a while since I posted anything really controversial and offensive here,” he begins in a July 25, 2007, post explaining why he associates democracy with “war, tyranny, destruction and poverty.”

Moldbug, who does not do interviews and could not be reached for this story, has reportedly opened up a line to the White House, communicating with Bannon and his aides through an intermediary, according to a source. Yarvin said he has never spoken with Bannon.

Vox does a much longer hit piece on Moldbug, just to make sure you understand that they really, truly don’t approve of him, then provides more detail on Moldbug’s denial:

The idea that I’m “communicating” with Steve Bannon through an “intermediary” is preposterous. I have never met Steve Bannon or communicated with him, directly or indirectly. You might as well accuse the Obama administration of being run by a schizophrenic homeless person in Dupont Circle, because he tapes his mimeographed screeds to light poles where Valerie Jarrett can read them.

*In all fairness, there was a comment over on Jim’s Blog to the effect that there is some orthosphere-aligned person in contact with the Trump administration, which may have set off a chain of speculation that ended with someone claiming they had totally legit sources saying Moldbug was in contact with Bannon.

In other news, Han et al have released Clustering of 770,000 genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America:

Here we identify very recent fine-scale population structure in North America from a network of over 500 million genetic (identity-by-descent, IBD) connections among 770,000 genotyped individuals of US origin. We detect densely connected clusters within the network and annotate these clusters using a database of over 20 million genealogical records. Recent population patterns captured by IBD clustering include immigrants such as Scandinavians and French Canadians; groups with continental admixture such as Puerto Ricans; settlers such as the Amish and Appalachians who experienced geographic or cultural isolation; and broad historical trends, including reduced north-south gene flow. Our results yield a detailed historical portrait of North America after European settlement and support substantial genetic heterogeneity in the United States beyond that uncovered by previous studies.

Wow! (I am tempted to add “just wow.”) They have created a couple of amazing maps:


Comment of the Week goes to Tim Smithers for his contributions on IQ in Are the Pygmies Retarded:

IQ generally measures the ability to learn, retain information, and make logical decisions and conclusions. It is not about mathematics nor reading, at least in modern testing (since about 1980).
Modern IQ tests typically do not have any math or even reading. Many have no verbiage at all, and there is no knowledge of math required in the least.
For example, a non-verbal, non-math IQ test may have a question that shows arrows pointing in different directions. The test taker must identify which direction would make the most sense for the next arrow to go.
I’m very sorry to disappoint, but I’ve done considerable research into IQ testing over the past decade. The tests have had cultural biases removed (including the assumption that one can read) in order to assess a persons ability to learn, to retain information, and to use common logic. …

You may, of course, RTWT there.

So, how’s it going out there?


12 thoughts on “Wed Open Thread: 770,000 genomes and the American Nations

  1. “So, how’s it going out there?”

    What do you think about doubling the taxes on alcohol and tobacco?

    And, prohibiting advertising for alcohol and prescription medications?


    • I haven’t studied the pros and cons of taxing alcohol/tobacco, (I assume the goal is better public health, which could be good if it works) but I don’t generally think we need more taxes. As a replacement for some other tax, though, it could be very reasonable.

      Now, advertizing… *insert long-winded rant* Our whole darn economy is advertising. Obviously I want companies to be able to tell consumers that they exist and what their products do, but most advertising is fundamentally manipulative and tries to convince you to buy things that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Since medication consumption really isn’t something we should aim to arbitrarily increase (or decrease), we probably should be concerned about the total explosion of medical advertising over the past decade or two. Like, there isn’t really much harm if adds convince you to buy your kids a few extra toys, but there can be a lot of harm if you take too many pills.

      Pornography: I’ve never seen any evidence that putting resources into censoring porn results in increased well-being for people, and there is evidence that the increased availability of porn is correlated with a drop in violent sex-related crimes like rape and assault.


  2. Can you translate the American nations data into sociologist speak? I’m typically quite skeptical of the general thesis, having lived almost exclusively in areas where the majority arrived less than a century before.

    I’m also underwhelmed by the genetic explanations for things like divorce, since we’ve seen rates increase significantly over generations. The anthropological (or dare I say, Marxist) explanation seems more robust. A change in the means of production, from agriculture to industrialization, to whatever we have now renders old adaptations contextually inappropriate, which will manifest in many varied and interesting ways.


    • I’m not sure I understand your objection. Obviously some areas have more recent immigrants, some older populations. For example, I live about 20 minutes from a graveyard where 4 generations of one branch of my family are buried; my dad can see the hilltop where his grandmother was born from his house. (And my relatives tend to match their “American Nations” profiles pretty well.) Every now and then I see a news article about someone who is obviously from a distant branch of one of my family trees, and it’s a bit disconcerting. Like wow, that person looks like my cousin… But of course JayMan is really the guy to go-to for American Nations data :)

      I don’t think divorce is purely genetic. Obviously things like “is divorce legal?” and “will you starve if you leave?” have a big effect on people’s decisions. I also think people over-estimate just how monogamous the past was–not just affairs and people quietly going their own way, but we also have to consider the maternal death rate. If women die frequently in childbirth and men re-marry, there is less pressure to develop life-long monogamy and more pressure to develop serial monogamy.

      That said, some of the people I know just seem more talented at stable marriage than others.


    • “the general thesis”

      I don’t believe there is much doubt about the original variations among the different groups. The question is how strongly are those differences expressed today? What are the real time after effects considering years of intermarriage and population mobility? I say that in some instances it is pretty obvious. It is not by chance that MIT and Harvard are located where they are and that the University of Alabama has a decent football team.

      “I’m also underwhelmed by the genetic explanations for things like divorce”

      The general idea would be that different genetic groups possessed different varying degrees of intensity and propensity for marriage. This has been cast by some in racial terms in the US. Since the white underclass is fast approaching parity in some measures with the black underclass, this argument fails somewhat. Cognitive and class stratification of whites seems to indicate that the “genetic propensities” of the white underclass towards marriage and family formation are considerable less than that possessed by upper class whites. If you strip away all of the religious, legal and social mechanisms that encourage and insist upon marriage, you end up with a mostly un-married and part-time cohabitating underclass.


      • My impression from Jayman and HBDchick was that the [region] is progressive because its founding population was progressive and its current population descends from them (and vice versa). This seems plainly untrue, since 1) the regions considered conservative vs. progressive have swapped at times, and 2) huge amounts of immigration and migration have occurred.

        Divorce correlates negatively with IQ (I’m guessing), and is probably tied to a boatload of confounding factors. That said, certain subcultures probably show weaker correlations. I’d wager that there’s also a correlation between divorce and narcissism, which is supposedly genetic as well, yet has seen incredible increases through the generations.


    • “My impression from Jayman and HBDchick was that the [region] is progressive because its founding population was progressive and its current population descends from them (and vice versa).”

      Yes, NE was the hotbed of abolitionist thought and we still have Puritans in Massachusetts that are driving the national liberal narrative.

      “narcissism, which is supposedly genetic as well, yet has seen incredible increases through the generations.”

      Like I said, remove the cultural, legal and economic restraints and the genetic propensities will come to the fore. And if you go through enough generations you can change the variation in the propensities.


  3. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Trump campaign/administration hasn’t at times noticed us. We were afterall mostly supportive from the beginning, they would have noticed on a self-search.

    I’ve been thinking that maybe “‘the Russians” (i.e. real KGB, or whatever PR firm they use, the Russians are social media savvy) might have noticed us too. Supposedly they support national interest nowadays. Doubt they have much actual influence in our case but they might have noticed at some point if they follow such things.

    Or maybe we’re all a bunch of nobodies! Even if campaign research came accross our little posts,, they are now appointing professionals.

    Or maybe we’re just a bunch of nobodies but can make a difference, six degrees of seperation and all that. It need not be only two!


    • And then again, great minds think alike. Given the situation we all inhabit who says they didn’t come up with many of the same things too…


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