I receive the Taki Magazine newsletter in my In-Box.
I often click on it for a quick once-over.
With some exceptions, speed reading is the mode reserved for the stuff. With exceptions like Sailer, of course (Pat Buchanan is read on WND), the reason for this was touched upon in a Feb. 15, Facebook, thread with a Fred Reed fan.
While I too think “Fred Reed rocks,” information-rich work is my preference. I love Reed for his audacity, but riffing does not do it for me. I need information.
Unless I learn something substantive in the process, I’m not interested in other people’s opinions. I have too many of my own.
As I was skimming a riff by a character called Jim Goad (one of whose light-reading posts I was decent enough to reference in a January post of my own; naturally I cite my sources)—I came across a remarkably familiar line on a rather obscure matter of logic, also the only analytical part in this riff of a column.
This character was motivating (dah) against an “egalitarian … fallacy, which roughly runs thusly.” And Goad writes:
Differences within any group are greater than those between groups.
The familiar part of the Goad column was this:
“Against every known rule of logic,” he notes,” “this statement is always used as some blanket proof of equality.” Goad promises to “carefully dismantle this super-dumb time bomb.” He continues:
Here’s why the statement is deceptive: Differences between highs and lows WITHIN a group do not discount or magically wash away differences between group AVERAGES.
High and low did I search Barely A Blog, but was unable to locate the familiar point of logic made on BAB so long ago. Finally, it came to me: I would have alluded to inter-group differences. Yes! I found what I was after using the “inter” prefix in the BAB search window.
The post is “The Kindness Of (Caucasian) Strangers (On Brotherly Love).” It’s dated 01.31.10. My identical line of reasoning about this obscure matter is as follows, verbatim:
… no; we’re not all the same. A common liberal refrain (I would like to see what Steve Sailer has said in this regard) is that differences between individuals are statistically more significant than those between cultural, ethnic, and racial groups. I don’t see why the fact of inter-individual differences would nullify inter-group variance. That’s liberal logic for you. [ILANA MERCER]
Moreover, I have never heard of the formal fallacy Goad cites to label his inquiry. However, on perusing the Wikipedia entry, I found empirical refutations but no analytical ones–no allusion was made to the deduction that appears in the Mercer post titled “The Kindness Of (Caucasian) Strangers (On Brotherly Love).”
Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but unacknowledged, lifting someone’s ideas without attribution is disgusting—it tells me all I need to know about a person.
Alas, borrowing of this nature is mostly impossible to prove. This is why passing off the often-idiosyncratic ideas or references of others as their own is “par for the course” in these circles. Nevertheless, shame we shall when we come across this lowly practice.
About the natural law, Sir William Blackstone noted that it should include such precepts as that human beings should live honestly, hurt nobody, and render everyone their due (in Conway, 2004). Clearly, this is an instinct alien to some.
UPDATE (3/2): As my dear (most original) friend professor Walter Block once said to me, when we first met (2000?), “You are a natural praxeologist.” I’m sure I make a lot of mistakes, but this method comes naturally. Mercer columns tend to consist in logical deductions. Other than in similar circles, this is not a common style/habit. (We stand on the shoulders of the brilliant David Gordon.) When you see your reasoning, it’s like seeing an image of your offspring. Others might say, “All babies look the same,” but you know that bundle is yours.