Saturday, September 21, 2013

Making Clever

There's a clever pun out there about a dude dancing around the notion of taking a more active role in his kid's life and the phrase 'father figure eights.' Before this decade is over, I intend to find it.

You know, father figures and shit. Maybe his son skates.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Which Race Has The Smartest Inmate Population?

I want to do this study sometime. Not because I'm particularly interested in issues of race, crime, or any of that jazz, but because political correctness will bear down on the results with the fervor of 300 angry Spartans. I would like to feel that.

It began when I was reading about average prison IQ in general - it appears to going down. This makes sense - 50 years ago most people could find a menial yet somewhat supportive job. Chalk it up to collective laziness or globalization or the destruction of unions or whatever, but that's no longer the case.

When most people could be reasonably expected of being capable of providing for themselves, the prison population would be driven by what we consider "bad people." Those that commit crimes because they get thrills out of stealing, don't value human life, or can't control their addictions. Those people still end up in jail, but the economic realities of 21st century America mean more and more people are left behind. And there's a pretty stark correlation between intelligence and ability to provide for yourself. So low IQ citizens go without, and the likelihood of committing crime (either out of frustration or as a means to supplement income) goes up. And thus, average prison IQ goes down.

I haven't come across the empirical study backing this up, but that logic is pretty unassailable. However, that's not what I want to study. Looking at prison populations, the racial make up is well known. A significantly greater proportion of the black community is locked up than the white community. And we're not arguing causes (environment, opportunity, culture, institutional racism, poverty all play roles to some degree). I want to look at whether the average black inmate is more intelligent than the average white inmate.

The thinking goes like this: whites, on average, have more opportunities than blacks. They, on average, go to better schools, come from homes with more money, are subject to more constructive expectations, and are more likely to have two-parent homes. Therefore, we expect the next generation to hold better jobs. On average, the whites that don't succeed are more likely to fail due to low IQ (and thus lack of use to society) than a black peer due to the issues discussed above. Painting an example: a white citizen with an IQ of 100 holds the same likelihood of achievement as a black citizen with an IQ of 105 (I'm just picking numbers out of the air here) due to those embedded obstacles.

Let's say the level of achievement hypothesized above is a job with a working wage, consumate with the ability to put a serviceable amount of food on the table, rent for a sanitized apartment, and basic health care. It's on the margin, and one IQ point below means that citizen can't lock down a working wage position and is put at a considerably higher likelihood of committing crime. That would mean an IQ of 99 for your Caucasian, and 104 for your African American. Which means whites are more likely to go to jail if they have IQs of 99 and lower. Blacks, with IQs of 104 and lower. Which would create a prison population wherein one race has an appreciatively higher IQ than another.

Other factors go into this, of course. I believe this would be a driver though. I can also never run for public office.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Running Again

I just registered to run the Boston Marathon. I won't try to run it seriously - I obviously couldn't be competitive even if I wanted to - but I should try to get in good enough shape that it's easy to finish. As such, it's September 13, and I just went for my first run jog this month.

Some people don't understand what I did there, but to me (and a lot of other runners), it's the biggest impediment to starting running again. I'm not an Olympic athlete, but I can run fast. I like that feeling. There's no joy in going for a jog. A lot of marathoners are just exercise addicts that found a socially acceptable outlet for their psychosis. I have too much antipathy to develop an addiction. People like me like the feeling of flying. I assume it's like driving a motorcycle fast. You can also take one around the park at 20 mph, but there's a lot less thrill in that. Right now my body's not capable of doing much more than crawl around the park. I want to push every cylinder to its limit down the Taconic.

To make a distinct point, I've started a new paragraph. And that's the fact I hate jogging. It's just not fun. I'm gonna have to jog for the next few weeks before I'm ready to start running again. But I'll get there. Or I won't. Whatever - too much antipathy for alacrity.

Editor's Note: Never ran the marathon.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Letting Detroit Burn

Just finished Detroit: An American Autopsy. About the quickest I've ever flown through a book (I'm not the best of readers). Charlie LeDuff the author isn't Steinbeck, but I appreciate how he follows a similar intent - kind of a, it's the system's fault so no one person had control to stop it, but everyone has the responsibility to be responsible. Steinbeck would be down with that.

My last girlfriend opened me up to some solid perspective. There was an intriguing oblivity to be exposed to she brought to the relationship. Ideas like how Robert Moses was good for America, and for blatantly selfish reasons. The discrepancies were bloated - Moses essentially wanted to wall black people into the cities and make it really easy for whites to drive to the cities without actually living among them. Detroit was nothing more than niggers shooting niggers. American society can burn as long as the rich can stay rich. But at the same token, being poor was immoral and if you had a shit position in life you probably deserved it. I'm sure there's a nexus of selfishness, indifference, and ignorance that leads people to believe in the existing power structures while also not understanding why people don't just better their socioeconomic class. It's why I think more conservatives should be forced to take behavioral economics courses.

She used to jokingly refer to Red Lobster as Black Lobster, because only black people would be poor enough to want to eat there. This was regularly thrown in my face with the knowledge my parents wouldn't have been able to afford eating there when I was little. I turned into a bad person during that time; I think I'm getting better.