What percentage of murder arrestees in New York City are young minority males?

February 17th, 2020

Benjamin Dixon, host of “the dopest political podcast in the game,” recently shared audio of Mike Bloomberg’s 2015 Aspen Institute speech, where he says, “Ninety-five percent of your murders — murderers and murdered victims — fit one MO. You can just take the description, xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, sixteen to twenty-five. That’s true in New York; that’s true in virtually every city.”

This is, of course, terribly racist.

That ninety-five percent figure is ludicrously high. What’s the real number? Let’s look at Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea’s 2019 report on Crime and Enforcement Activity in New York City:

Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter in NYC by Race

So, ninety-seven percent of suspects and arrestees are minorities, not ninety-five. We don’t have numbers for age and sex though.

Even when men do well in social cognition tasks, they are not using the cognitive tools most naturally suited to that purpose

February 16th, 2020

On average males have substantially better visuospatial skills than females — as evidenced by the Piaget water-level test and the bicycle-drawing test — while women have better social cognition. Bright men can compensate, as Charles Murray explains (in Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class, based on Diane Halpern’s Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities):

Males are rarely good at both systemizing and empathizing. In contrast, these skill sets are largely independent in women.

[...]

The same study found evidence that men apply systemizing skills to empathizing tasks. Put another way, even when men do well in social cognition tasks, they are not using the cognitive tools most naturally suited to that purpose.

Your two best strategies are to be really healthy and really rich

February 16th, 2020

If you hope to live a long time, Alex Hutchinson (Endure) reminds us, your two best strategies are to be really healthy and really rich:

That’s the conventional wisdom and the statistics seem to back it up. But a surprising new study that links the longevity of Olympic athletes to their socioeconomic status offers a more nuanced picture of why elite athletes tend to outlive the rest of us. It’s not just about muscles and money — it’s also about the stress of competition, not only in sport, but in life.

Adriaan Kalwij, an economist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, combed through the records of every Dutch athlete who competed in the Summer and Winter Games between 1896 and 1964, excluding more recent years because most of those athletes are still alive. Using their birth dates, death dates and stated occupation, he was able to explore how socioeconomic status (SES) influenced their longevity.

The results, published in PLOS One in December, confirmed that the 934 Olympians outlived their age-matched Dutch peers by a few years, as other studies of elite athletes have previously found. They also found that the influence of SES has steadily increased over the past century.

In the oldest cohort of athletes, born between 1852 and 1899, SES had no significant effect on longevity. In a sense, Kalwij says, this is what you might expect of Olympians: “excellent innate health could make them ‘immune’ to a SES-lifespan gradient.”

But in the next cohort of athletes, born between 1900 and 1919, a gradient emerges. Those classed as low SES, such as unskilled labourers, lived on average five years less than medium (teachers, office workers) and high (lawyers, doctors) SES athletes.

And in the most recent cohort, born between 1920 and 1947, an even wider gap emerges: High SES athletes lived five years longer than medium SES athletes, who in turn lived six years longer than low SES athletes — a stunning difference of 11 years between the top and bottom group, despite their healthy youth.

What’s most surprising about this trend is that it’s going the wrong way. You’d expect that the strengthening of social programs such as universal health care and state pensions over the past half-century would have reduced the health penalty incurred by poverty. Instead, Kalwij’s results join a large body of data across numerous countries, including Canada, suggesting that the influence of social class on lifespan has been growing since the 1950s.

While there are numerous factors that could contribute to an SES-health gradient, including access to health care and behaviours such as smoking and drinking, Kalwij believes that psychological stress may play a role.

I think we need to keep in mind that socio-economic status changed dramatically over the 20th Century, from inherited wealth and titles to inherited traits.

Adam Savage harnesses Spot to a dog-cart

February 15th, 2020

Adam Savage wanted to use Spot, from Boston Dynamics, to take him on a trip, so he created what he called a robot rickshaw — but which I’d call a robot dog-cart:

You don’t want your first exposure to be on the street

February 15th, 2020

In New Jersey recently a shoplifter pepper-sprayed two store security guards who confronted her after she stole some merchandise. Greg Ellifritz has been exposed to pepper spray over 50 times in training and on the street and offers his advice:

I think the first step to consider is retreating. Most small cans of chemical irritant have a very limited range. The small keychain type sprays only shoot about five feet. The larger canisters that cops carry shoot a stream that is 10-15 feet. Excepting the large fire extinguisher-style cans, you would be out of range of any commonly carried chemical spray if you could get at least 20 feet away.

If escape isn’t an option, shielding can work. If the spray doesn’t get in your eyes, you will likely still be able to function at almost full capacity. You might cough a bit, but you won’t be disabled. Cover your eyes with a hand. Alternately you can go into a “horizontal elbow shield” position and tuck your face inside the crook of your elbow for protection. Even holding something like a briefcase or notepad over your face will stop the majority of the spray from getting into your eyes.

If you can’t escape or shield, recognize that you are going to be sprayed. Know in advance how you will react. You can usually continue fighting, but some people panic when they are hit with the spray for the first time. Their panic leads to a freezing response that makes them unlikely to be able to defend themselves. The spray painful. It makes you cough and your eyes burn. But most of you can fight through the pain as long as you know what to expect.

You don’t want your first exposure to be on the street while you are fighting a criminal. It would be a great idea if you had someone spray you in a controlled situation first so that you aren’t shocked by the effects when you have to fight it on the street. If you don’t want to take a full spray to the face, spray some OC onto a gauze pad and wipe the corner of your eye with it. You’ll get a good taste of what the spray feels like and still be able to decontaminate relatively quickly.

97 males and 7 females got perfect scores

February 14th, 2020

Average men and women have similar verbal and math abilities Charles Murray notes (in Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class, leaning on Diane Halpern’s Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities), but not as similar at the extremes:

On tests with nationally representative samples, females can be expected to consistently outperform males on a variety of verbal tasks, with a small advantage in reading and a more substantial advantage in writing.

[...]

To the question, “Is the typical male better at math than the typical female?” the answer is close to settled: “If yes, not enough to be noticeable,” with an open possibility that a small gap will close altogether.

[...]

“Sex differences in mathematics become progressively larger as the sample becomes more selective and the type of math skill becomes more advanced,” writes Halpern, and herein lies a major issue in the study of cognitive sex differences.

[...]

The last 60 years have seen major reductions in the male advantage at the extreme high end for 7th graders. For those in the top two percentiles, a ratio of about 2.0 in 1960 appears to have disappeared. For those in the top percentile, a male ratio of about 7.0 has fallen to around 1.5. At the most stratospheric level, the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent, a male advantage that was measured at about 13 to 1 in the 1970s and the early 1980s has fallen to less than 3 to 1.

[...]

In short, what was once thought to be an overwhelming male advantage at high levels of math achievement has been greatly reduced during the last six decades.

[...]

The male-female ratios in the top percentiles of the AMC12 are substantial and they grow larger at the 98th and especially the 99th percentile. In the table, I counted perfect scores of 150 as being in the 99th percentile. When they are broken out separately, it turns out that from 2009 to 2018, 97 males and 7 females got perfect scores: a ratio of 13.9.

A mix of neural networks and depth-aware video frame interpolation

February 14th, 2020

YouTuber Denis Shiryaev took the Lumière Brothers’ 1896 short clip “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat” — digitized at 640-by-480 resolution, and 20 frames per second — ran it through some neural networks, and upscaled it to 4K resolution, at 60 fps:

As you can see, it’s not exactly impressive by today’s standards, so Denis used a mix of neural networks from Gigapixel AI and a technique called depth-aware video frame interpolation to not only upscale the resolution of the video, but also increase its frame rate to something that looks a lot smoother to the human eye.

Memory comes in many forms

February 13th, 2020

Memory comes in many forms — long-term and short-term, “autobiographical,” “episodic,” and “semantic,” among others — Charles Murray notes (in Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class), and females have an advantage in some of them (as Diane Halpern notes in Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities):

  • Females tend to be better than males at remembering faces and names.
  • Females tend to be better than males at recognizing facial emotions.
  • Females tend to be better at remembering the minutiae of an event (labeled peripheral detail), while males tend to be better at remembering the core events (labeled gist).
  • Females tend to remember speech they have heard better than males, particularly when it relates to emotionally laden events in their past.
  • Females tend to retain memories from earlier childhood better than males do.
  • Females tend to have better short-term memory than males (e.g., given a list of single-digit numbers, they remember longer lists than males do).
  • Females tend to have better verbal working memory (e.g., remembering a list of numbers while answering questions about an unrelated topic).
  • Females tend to have better memory for locations of objects (e.g., remembering where the car keys were left).
  • Males tend to have better visuospatial memory (e.g., navigating on the basis of a combination of landscape features).

Hydrogen is a bad car fuel, but maybe a decent boat fuel?

February 13th, 2020

Hydrogen is a bad car fuel, Toyota has learned from the Mirai hydrogen experiment, but it may make a decent boat fuel, as it hopes to demonstrate with its Energy Observer, a former racing catamaran with some new additions:

The Energy Observer uses a pair of wind turbines and a vast array of solar photo-voltaic cells to both propel the vessel and provide power to its on-board hydrogen-creating electrolysis process. Sea water is essentially zapped into its component parts and the isolated hydrogen is captured to be expended inside the Toyota fuel cell generator. The process emits nothing but oxygen and water out the “tailpipe”.

Toyota Energy Observer

In optimum conditions, the boat is propelled entirely by wind and solar. A rack of lithium cells onboard keep the thing running when it’s cloudy or calm winds, and Toyota’s fuel cell system takes over to produce the boat’s propelling energy at night.

I’m thinking it might be a better airship fuel.

Females have an advantage on certain perceptual-motor tasks

February 12th, 2020

In Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class, Charles Murray continues his list of specific skills and aptitudes that each sex performs better, taken from Diane Halpern’s Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities, with a look at perceptual-motor tasks:

  • Females have an advantage on certain perceptual-motor tasks. On digit-symbol coding, for example, where each symbol corresponds to a number (e.g., “substitute 2 for #”), women code faster than men do.
  • Females have an even larger advantage in a variety of fine motor skills involving hand-eye coordination.
  • In tests of motor skills, it sometimes happens that men are faster but women are more accurate.
  • Men have a substantial advantage in many large motor skills, but few of them have much to do with cognition. The major exception is males’ pronounced advantage on tasks that involve throwing objects accurately at stationary or moving targets, because that accuracy is highly dependent on visuospatial processing in the brain.

Throwing like a girl is definitely a thing.

Time makes these problems worse

February 12th, 2020

Peter Thiel reviews Ross Douthat’s The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success:

Douthat outlines four aspects of decadence: stagnation (technological and economic mediocrity), sterility (declining birth rates), sclerosis (institutional failure), and repetition (cultural exhaustion).

Stagnation is the most evident. Look up from your phone, and compare our time to 1969. “Over the last two generations,” Douthat writes, “the only truly radical change has taken place in the devices we use for communication and entertainment, so that a single one of the nineteenth century’s great inventions [running water] still looms larger in our every­day existence than most of what we think of as technological breakthroughs nowadays.”

Sterility is not immediately obvious outside of a few places like San Francisco. In public debates, low birth rates are treated as a matter of personal preference. If they mean anything more, it is as a drag on future economic performance—hence an argument for immigration. Douthat goes beyond economistic abstractions to point out that missing kids weaken a society’s connection to the future. He thus explains a key current in “populist” skepticism of the elite consensus: “[Immigration] replaces some of the missing workers but exacerbates intergenerational alienation and native-immigrant friction because it heightens precisely the anxieties about inheritance and loss that below-replacement fertility is heightening already.” Douthat does not ignore racism, but he focuses on the dynamics that explain our unique moment instead of inveighing against an age-old evil.

“Sclerosis” refers to our diseased institutions, especially the inability of our government to get anything done. Assessing the record of rule by experts, Douthat again emphasizes historical contingency rather than doctrinaire ideology:

Time makes these problems worse, as popular programs become part of an informal social contract that makes them nearly impossible to reform; as the administrative state gets barnacled by interest groups that can buy off and bludgeon would-be reformers; and as the proliferation of regulations handcuffs administrators and deprives them of the room to respond to changing times.
In other words, the New Deal could only happen once, and whatever competence prevailed at its experimental dawn no longer exists.

“Repetition” names the condition of our culture, endlessly remaking remakes of remakes. Whereas the fifties, the sixties, the seventies, and the eighties all had distinctive by-the-decade styles in design, clothing, music, and art, from the nineties to now feels like one big remix.

Seymour Cray had a hobby of digging tunnels under his house

February 11th, 2020

Seymour Cray, of Cray supercomputing fame, had a hobby of digging tunnels under his house, Whyvert mentioned, and he found it helpful:

“While I’m digging in the tunnel, the elves will often come to me with solutions to my problem.”

Extremists are like tribesmen out of an anthropology ethnography

February 11th, 2020

Gwern sees John Carpenter’s 1988 film They Live as an entertainingly ironic backfire:

I enjoyed , and They Live was the next-most famous Carpenter movie.

They Live expresses the in a package justly made iconic by its thrifty but effective use of special effects: the protagonist flips between social consensus and a monochrome Art Deco-esque reality revealing 1984-like slogans painted everywhere by the secret alien masters of the world, which brainwash everyone (even though such priming ads , it at least makes a great metaphor). The pace is perhaps unnecessarily slow, and I had to wonder why a fist fight implausibly takes up several minutes—it’s a great fight, but it has little to do with the rest of the movie and requires the characters to act stupidly. The overall plot is reasonably straightforward and doesn’t need to invoke too much plot armor to explain how the aliens are defeated. I would not say it was as good as The Thing, but few movies are, and this was reasonably entertaining. They Live did give me some food for thought, however.

They Live takes pains to make clear its liberal credentials: if you somehow missed how Reaganism was responsible for everything bad in America and growing slums and homelessness, it shows an alien on TV giving Reaganesque speeches. ( for Carpenter’s hamartiology, it puts heavy stress on homelessness as criticism, and yet, where is homelessness the worst now in the USA? Those places Reagan is most hated, like the Bay Area. Another irony is that in depicting the 1980s, it reminded me chiefly of how poor 1980s America was in comparison to now, which can be seen in how crude and limited are many of the things then : it’s not just the aliens sporting advanced wristwatches which are little more than two-way radios, but also the shabbiness of cars, the terrible TVs everywhere, the limited selection in the grocery store he confronts the aliens in…)

But there’s something about this that began to bug me. Consider this 100% accurate description of They Live’s world-building:

“America, and the world as you know it, is not controlled by people like you—but by an alien race of invaders, parasites from far away, who have secretly wormed their way into our society and taken it over relatively recently. They hunger only for money, and have little genuine culture of their own, assimilating into yours to pass as one of us, despite their distinctly different (and often repulsive) facial appearance. They are few, but they are well-coordinated, highly intelligent, & technically adept and they occupy the heights of business, finance, politics, and media, from which they constantly beam out propaganda to delude the masses that threaten them, and which allows the parasites to execute their globalist free-trade agenda: to accelerate economic growth, homogenize the world under one government, drain us dry, discard the empty husk, and move on. Given enough strength of mind, some individuals can overcome the brainwashing, or they can use advanced new technology to learn the truth and see the world with moral clarity in black and white, for what it really is, and the coded commands from the aliens. Unfortunately, those of us who discover the truth, alerted by a , are either bought off by money & power (the aliens assume we are just as craven as they are, and are all too often right), suppressed as evil crazy ‘conspiracy theorists’ when our late-night broadcasts sometimes get through uncensored, or if they take action and try to defend us against the invaders, executed as ‘terrorists’. Organizations which resist are crushed, and infiltrated with traitors in the pay of the aliens. Their weakness is, however, they are cowardly, physically weak compared to our strapping working-class soldiers, and vastly outnumbered by the rest of us. If we can recruit enough ‘strong men’ and awaken the masses, we work together to defeat them and restore America to its former glory, and send the aliens back whence they came—the planet Zion!”

OK, OK, I made one change there: Carpenter doesn’t name any alien planets. But everything else sounds straight out of far-right fantasy: there’s even black sunglasses as the initiation instead of red pills. (Maybe the sequel can use fedoras?) I thought perhaps I was being silly, until I looked at the Wikipedia article and found that this is such a common interpretation of They Live & popular among neo-Nazis that Carpenter has angrily denied it!

Now, of course, I believe Carpenter when he says he didn’t have that in mind and only intended a critique of Reaganism. But the more interesting questions here would be: how could Carpenter make a film which is so naturally and so easily misread in neo-Nazi tropes to the point of making one wonder if Carpenter dictated the screenplay while clutching a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in one hand & Mein Kampf in the other, without ever realizing it? And what does this blindness mean?

It looks to me like an example of ‘horseshoe theory’: the reason Carpenter’s They Live can be so misread is because extremists on both ends of the spectrum are more alike than they are different—embracing a paranoid conspiracy theory explanation of the world, merely playing Mad Libs with the labels. They Live, accidentally rather than deliberately, demonstrates the same thing as or : the flexibility of the paranoid style in enabling extremists to accommodate both anti-Reaganism & anti-Semitism is not a merit but discredit (much as discredits him).

Extremists are like tribesmen out of an anthropology ethnography: everything bad that happens is due to “witchcraft”; people never get sick because of chance or because some pork went bad, and if some are healthier or sick, richer or poorer, it definitely has nothing to do with individual differences, but malign trafficking with the ruinous powers. Once you postulate that all existing social ills can be explained by witchcraft, you will go looking for witches, preferably fellow tribals who aren’t as equal as others and should be taken down a notch in the interests of hardwired egalitarianism (pace Graeber), and whether those witches are Jews or capitalists or cishet white men, witches must be found and found witches will be. To fill the hole in the extremist worldview, by working backwards to ‘save the appearances’, they must have certain powers, they must be numerically minorities, they must be motivated by lurid impure things like money (surely we have more sacred values), and so on. And the result is that you try to create a critique of Reaganism, by depicting your paranoid worldview where Reaganites are the witches, but your witches’ allegorical coating happen to superficially resemble a different set of witches and hey presto, you accidentally created neo-Nazis’ favorite allegorical movie. Oops.

The problem here, such as it is, comes well before any specific choices by Carpenter to portray the aliens as ugly or as rich corporate executives…

The story is mostly one of small female advantages

February 10th, 2020

In Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class, Charles Murray relies on Diane Halpern’s fourth edition of Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities (2012) for his list of specific skills and aptitudes that each sex performs better. He starts with sensory perception:

When it comes to the five senses — taste, touch, smell, sound, vision — the story is mostly one of small female advantages.

  • Females tend to be better than males at detecting pure tones.
  • Adult females tend to have more sensitive hearing for high frequencies than males.
  • Females tend to have better auditory perception of binaural beats and otoacoustic emissions.
  • Females tend to detect faint smells better than males.
  • Females tend to identify smells more accurately than males.
  • Males under 40 tend to detect small movements in their visual field better than females.
  • Age-related loss of vision tends to occur about ten years earlier for females than for males.
  • Males are many times more likely to be color-blind than females (the ratio varies by ethnic group).
  • The balance of evidence indicates that females are more accurate than males in recognizing the basic tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter), though some studies find no difference.
  • Females tend to be better than males at perceiving fine surface details by touch. This holds true for blind people as well as sighted ones.

Women are also more sensitive to pain and to disgust.

It is the disagreement over which of the two constitutions shall prevail

February 10th, 2020

Christopher Caldwell’s The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties is an explosive rethinking of history since JFK’s assassination, Steve Sailer says, which “comes to the reactionary conclusion that the only salvation for American conservatism is to repeal the sainted 1964 Civil Rights Act and restore the constitutional right to freedom of association”:

In contrast, I’ve never felt any regard for the long-gone Jim Crow era, which I’ve always found almost Hindu-like in its grotesque caste rules. I’ve always sympathized with the Southern whites of the 1960s who wanted to put Jim Crow in their rearview mirror and get on with joining modern America. As a Californian who grew up around East Asians and Latinos as well as blacks, 21st-century America’s obsession with seeing everything as black and white, instead of from a more informative multiracial perspective, seems to me like some primitive relic from the Southern past.

Instead, I have always pointed to civil rights going wrong later than 1964, in roughly the 1969–1978 era: the Nixon administration introducing race quotas in 1969; the 1971 Griggs Supreme Court case unveiling the concept of disparate impact discrimination; and the 1978 Bakke decision that, out of the blue, sanctified diversity as America’s new highest value.

This is not to imply that Caldwell wants to go back to Jim Crow, just that, much as Burke did a better job in 1790 of forecasting the course of the French Revolution, he finds that the old Southern critics of the new order foresaw the implications of the civil rights revolution more clearly than did its advocates:

Those who opposed the legislation proved wiser about its consequences than those who sponsored it…. A measure that had been intended to normalize American culture and cure the gothic paranoia of the Southern racial imagination has instead wound up nationalizing Southerners’ obsession with race and violence.

Thus, by 2020:

In the prevailing culture, whiteness was a lower spiritual state, associated with moral unfitness and shame, and it was hereditary. Whiteness was a “bloody heirloom,” as [Ta-Nehisi] Coates wrote….

Caldwell summarizes his thesis:

…what had seemed in 1964 to be merely an ambitious reform revealed itself to have been something more. The changes of the 1960s, with civil rights at their core, were not just a major new element in the Constitution. They were a rival constitution, with which the original one was frequently incompatible…. Much of what we have called “polarization” or “incivility” in recent years is something more grave — it is the disagreement over which of the two constitutions shall prevail: the de jure constitution of 1788, with all the traditional forms of jurisprudential legitimacy and centuries of American culture behind it; or the de facto constitution of 1964, which lacks this traditional kind of legitimacy but commands the near-unanimous endorsements of judicial elites and civic educators and the passionate allegiance of those who received it as a liberation.

The author notes that the two parties now consisted of the winners (Democrats) and losers (Republicans) from the new quasi-constitution imposed in the 1960s:

The Democrats were the party of those who benefited: not just racial minorities but sexual minorities, immigrants, women, government employees, lawyers — and all people sophisticated enough to be in a position to design, run, or analyze new systems. This collection of minorities could, with discipline, be bundled into an electoral majority, but that was not, strictly speaking, necessary…. Sympathetic regulators, judges, and attorneys took up the task of transferring as many prerogatives as possible from the majority to various minorities.

In contrast:

Republicans were the party…of yesterday’s entire political spectrum, of New Deal supporters and New Deal foes….

That’s why in November 2000 I recommended that Republicans not bother with Karl Rove’s plan to try to turn Mexicans into Republicans but instead focus on working-class whites in crucial states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — a strategy that proved effective in 2016.

Caldwell continues:

Those who lost the most from the new rights-based politics were white men. The laws of the 1960s may not have been designed explicitly to harm them, but they were gradually altered to help everyone but them, which is the same thing…and because the moral narrative of civil rights required that they be cast as the villains of their country’s history. They fell asleep thinking of themselves as the people who had built this country and woke up to find themselves occupying the bottom rung of an official hierarchy of races.

Caldwell argues that racial preferences and politically correct censorship are not perversions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as optimists like myself have long argued, but logical concomitants:

…affirmative action and political correctness…had ceased to be temporary expedients. They were essential parts of this new constitutional structure, meant to shore it up where it was impotent or self-contradictory, in the way that Chief Justice John Marshall’s invention of judicial review in Marbury v. Madison (1801) had been a shoring-up of the first constitution.

To Caldwell, privatized censorship, also known as political correctness, was:

…an institutional innovation. It grew directly out of civil rights law. Just as affirmative action in universities and corporations had privatized the enforcement of integration, the fear of litigation privatized the suppression of disagreement, or even of speculation. The government would not need to punish directly the people who dissented from its doctrines. Boards of directors and boards of trustees, fearing lawsuits, would do that.

Caldwell is caustic about Ronald Reagan’s legacy:

“Political correctness” was a name for the cultural effects of the basic enforcement powers of civil rights laws…. Reagan had won conservatives over to the idea that “business” was the innocent opposite of overweening “government.” So what were conservatives supposed to do now that businesses were the hammer of civil rights enforcement, in the forefront of advancing both affirmative action and political correctness?

It’s hard to deny that Caldwell is onto something here as the most absurd progressive causes reliably triumph in the long run:

Once social issues could be cast as battles over civil rights, Republicans would lose 100 percent of the time. The agenda of “diversity” advanced when its proponents won elections and when they lost them.

He notes:

The wildest utopian suggestions of the “radicals” turned out to be only the smallest down payment on the system-overturning change they would eventually get….

All institutions were now under the purview of the civil rights laws. Aggrieved minorities no one had considered in 1964 had a mysterious set of passwords and procedures that would require government and business to drop everything and respond to their demands.

Thus by 2016 the NBA, of all institutions, went to the mat to force the state of North Carolina to allow a handful of mentally ill grown men to shower in women’s locker rooms.

Most terrifyingly, the conventional wisdom from about the time Mexican monopolist Carlos Slim bailed out The New York Times in 2009 has drifted toward the notion that the world’s 7 billion non-Americans deserve the civil right to move to America, and only un-Americans (who are “not who we are” as Obama would taunt) would dare oppose that.

Caldwell offers cold comfort to anti-racist citizenist conservatives like myself:

Republicans and others who may have been uneasy that the constitutional baby had been thrown out with the segregationist bathwater consoled themselves with a myth: The “good” civil rights movement that the martyred Martin Luther King, Jr., had pursued in the 1960s had, they said, been “hijacked” in the 1970s by a “radical” one of affirmative action, with its quotas and diktats…. None of that was true. Affirmative action and political correctness were the twin pillars of the second constitution. They were what civil rights was.