Sentences to ponder

…modest genetic selection/concentration was evident for teen pregnancy and poor educational outcomes, suggesting that neighbourhood effects for these outcomes should be interpreted with care.

Note however:

Findings argue against genetic selection/concentration as an explanation for neighbourhood gradients in obesity and mental health problems.

Here is the full piece, via K.


tldr; Your genes make you dumb and pop them out young but not fat and crazy.

Seems more like genes do influence fat and crazy, but don't control socio-economic status (and hence neighborhood). I.e. Fat/crazy genes aren't negatively correlated with intelligence genes.


Hmmmm ... if genes determine skin color is it ok to use the "n" word? No, of course not.

The Progressive conclusion: "Three generations of illiterates are enough."

Still smarter and less corrupt than the cronies Trump appoints to the Fed.

If the past appointees to the fed are all that smart then we are in more trouble than we think. But in all fairness I don't thiink that past stupid decisions of the fed were the result of stupidity I think they were the result of dishonesty and collusion with other actors.

A draft version of the article in Biorxiv:

This part is quite interesting:

"Children inherited genetic and neighborhood risks from their parents - E-Risk children were aged 5-12 years during the period when neighborhood data were collected. It is unlikely that they actively selected themselves into different types of neighborhoods. Instead, a hypothesis for why children’s polygenic and neighborhood risks are correlated is that both risks are inherited from their parents. According to this hypothesis, genetics influence parents’ characteristics and behaviors, which in turn affect where they live. Children subsequently inherit their parents’ genetics and their neighborhoods. "

So, the parents can move to a nicer place but children still have the parents' genes. Sounds discouraging but solving half of the problems is already good.

Also genes determine outcomes, but not fully determine them. The teenage pregnancy rate has gone down by ~70% from 1990 to 2017. Genes have not changed over 27 years. Wwhat may have changed is individual education or.....the neighborhood =)

The teenage pregnancy rates 1990-2017

"Also genes determine outcomes, but not fully determine them. "

That first use of "determine" is daft.

"Genes have not changed over 27 years."

That's getting near on two generations of teen pregnancy. Wouldn't you expect substantial genetic effects if the world from 1990 forward was different from the world prior? For one thing, I'd expect increased access to abortion and effective birth control. New parents in 1990 were born prior to widespread easy access to abortion, for example, so the evolutionary pressure they face as adults was new to their germline.

Abortion and birth control was pretty widespread in the 1990s, in fact the abortion rates were higher than today. While teenage pregnancy plummeted, births to single women in their 20s skyrocketed. Women still thought it a good idea to have kids out of wedlock, just not at 15.

The point is that abortion wasn't widespread in 1975, but was widespread in 1990. So potential new parents in 1990 (born in 1975 or earlier) felt new evolutionary pressure from that, but those in 1975 (born 1950 or earlier) didn't.

Whether we really believe the tagged SNP variants are really causal or just correlated with some complex "dark matter" social-cultural genetic structure, this calls into question ideas of structural "neighbourhood" level advantage and disadvantage.

I'm still prepared to believe in geographical effects, but there should be a broad-scale, clear and direct causality laid on the line - family living in a city means cheaper rents in that city means more likely to get job and attend education in that city, and so on.

But some of the effects of apparent geographic structure people believe in probably due to selection alone.

Another good example - -

Superlinear growth in cities has been explained as an emergent consequence of increased social interactions in dense urban environments. Using geocoded microdata from Swedish population registers, we remove population composition effects from the scaling relation of wage income to test how much of the previously reported superlinear scaling is truly attributable to increased social interconnectivity in cities. The Swedish data confirm the previously reported scaling relations on the aggregate level, but they provide better information on the micromechanisms responsible for them. We find that the standard interpretation of urban scaling is incomplete as social interactions only explain about half of the scaling parameter of wage income and that scaling relations substantively reflect differences in cities’ sociodemographic composition. Those differences are generated by selective migration of highly productive individuals into larger cities. Big cities grow through their attraction of talent from their hinterlands and the already-privileged benefit disproportionally from urban agglomeration..

Radically changes our estimates of benefits of moving people to the city - if moving to the city generates itself only half as much income advantage as thought above selection, and the cost of living disadvantage remains the same.... We have a much more ambiguous case for urban density than we did.

If the scaling parameter of wage income is not high, do cities really grow anyway?

Is it really all that much cheaper to live in a rural area than somewhere like Atlanta or Dallas? Even for folks who aren’t world beaters in the labor market, it still seems like there would be lots of benefits to moving to a large and low cost city like those two.

Good point, rural is certainly not guaranteed to be the local optima.

Was Elizabeth Holmes genetically predisposed to commit fraud? Was Dennis Muilenburg genetically predisposed to approve a defectively designed aircraft? Was Donald Trump genetically predisposed to be a jackass? If so, we need to genetically test people who are promoting an innovation, people who are considered for the top job at companies that produce inherently dangerous products, and people who want to be president. Limiting genetic testing to the low end of humanity seems a waste of resources given their low potential for affecting the lives of lots of people.

"I am a big believer in having good genes,” Trump says in meeting with WWII veterans.

Tyler is playing with some real Brave New World stuff. The old racism was bad, but at least it was crude. Not so much personal genome prejudice.

Got lazy fat genes? Being in the right race isn't going to save you. In the genetic predisposition utopia(?) you'll be accurately filed.

Naturally any public facing positions should be screened for sufficient empathy ..

By the way, on trauma and the heritability of genetic expression:

Is that your excuse? Something bad happened to your grandparents?

You talking to me? I'm the kind of raging success that white supremacists try to free ride on. I'm out here bringing up *all* the averages.

Seriously, that is where this goes. If you move from racism to personal genetics, you eliminate free riding, but add a prejudice that might be harder to shake.

Maybe I did have genes that said all this success shouldn't have happened? A lot of us probably do.

Lulz. You can't even write two coherent sentences in a row.

It makes sense to me. If you are a high achiever in anything, be that IQ, or income, or athletics, or art, or music, or international modeling, why would you want to define yourself downward into a racial group that is much more average?

Why identify with group achievement rather than your own? It must be because you think that is your 'claim to fame," so to speak.

The jeans are like personal performance. They are about you.

(Blue Steel!)

Exactly. This is why it's the below average intelligence whites who tend to be the most racist. That way they can still feel superior to someone, even if they have no meaningful personal accomplishments. And the fact that white identity politics is weighted towards the "dumb" end of the white spectrum also has the side effect of making above average intelligence whites identify even less with racial identity politics. Why would I want to associate with that bunch of tiki-torch wielding knuckleheads? If those are the representatives of the white race, the white race can go f-- itself.

I think it's less dramatic than all that. It's more classist. Low class whites act as you say, and low class blacks are racist blaming others for their failure. Upper class whites and blacks are much less racist to distance themselves from the low class.

You sound like a bigot. Apparently you are also a mind reader ("...they ...feel superior..."). How do you know that?

Also, you wrote, "...fact that ...weighted toward ...". Is that a fact? Do you have numbers?

Do you not see the assumptions and bigotry in your post?

This is what really irritates me about the elite intellectual class - the hatred and bigotry they display towards their less gifted and less privileged fellows.

No wonder Trump won.

You hit on a good point. While pandering sells, what you really want to build a following (and make bank) is victimization.

Find people ready to feel like victims, for someone else.

It can't really be the case though; highly intelligent Chinese have a strong Chinese identity and to be very much for power of their ethnic group, highly capable Jews tend to strong supportive of Israel, the "talented 10th" of African-Americans don't opt out of nationalistic in group concern for their people, Japanese that scale the heights of achievement scarcely reject the title of nihon-jin.

Taking humanity as a whole, I'd guess strong group identification is probably more normal in the talented, with disaffection and lack of interest in group identity in those with a lower than average talent profile.

(Even within the Anglo segment of the west, more nationalistic, and ethnically self consciously WASPy Tories and Republicans as more talented than the general run of the mill is totally plausible, certainly until fairly recently).

It might not always be the case, but certainly there is a business model (and a political potential) for pandering, even if you think you yourself are the cat's pajamas.

Whether pandering is to strong a word might depend on the rationality of the argument for group adversity.

Possible explanation for how Kings were always able to get peasants to die fighting in their wars. The royal "We" being one part of the tool suite. The concept of national identity being another.

The internationalised European royalty and aristocracy tended to prefer for their subject to appeal to personalised respect and relationships, with them as a sovereign and individual. Also liked religion too! Often divide et imperia (individuals standing alone on their "accomplishments"). Not so fond of "nationalism".

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