Lion of the Blogosphere

Scott Adams, HBD believer

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, writes in his blog:

We have some control over our intelligence, ambition, and character, but not much. On the whole, dumb people stay dumb, lazy people stay lazy, and sociopaths (for example) stay evil. Biology is hard to overcome.

. . .

I was born ambitious. I have no memory of being any other way. Consistent with that observation, I have met lazy people who seem to have been born that way. Does my genetic luck with ambition give me the right to shame the people born without it? I don’t think so. I just got lucky on that one dimension.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 4, 2016 at 10:22 am

Posted in Biology

32 Responses

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  1. That kind of thinking has a flaw though, as it assumes that people don’t respond to social cues at all. Some people are prone to crime and single motherhood, but there was a lot less of that 60 years ago when the culture wasn’t so disgusting.

    You could rewrite it like this: “I’m very ambitious. But some people are not, so we have to make life really intolerable for the poor to maximize their chances of finding a job and being a productive member of society.”


    April 4, 2016 at 10:26 am

    • Hepp, 60 years ago is when we began actively subsidizing irresponsible & anti-social behaviors thru the “Great Society” programs. Now the population selected by these programs has fills our inner cities and old blue collar neighborhoods.

      Over time, if a society subsidizes (rewards) irresponsible & anti-social behavior – drug use, unwed mothers, unemployment, etc – that population will continue to increase as a percentage of the overall population.

      To reward the irresponsible group, the government must also penalize the responsible sector of the population thru heavy taxation. Because the responsible group then has less resources, it then also produces fewer children.

      Over time, this selection is highly dysgenic. The most irresponsible are encouraged to breed like rabbits
      since their behavior is without any real consequences to them. – As far has this cohort is concerned “the village” (i.e: the taxpayers) will raise their children.

      Because Progressives pretend to believe all people are ‘blank slates’ and equal, and that the laws of genetics only apply to dog and cattle breeders, we have now come close to destroying a once great society by ignoring reality.

      Kipling understood the poison of Progressivism in 1919 – That is why he is no longer taught.

      The Gods of the Copybook Headings
      Rudyard Kipling

      AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
      I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
      Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

      We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
      That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
      But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
      So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

      We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
      Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
      But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
      That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

      With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
      They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
      They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
      So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

      When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
      They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
      But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

      On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
      (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
      Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

      In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
      By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
      But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

      Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
      And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
      That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

      As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
      There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
      That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
      And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

      And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
      When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
      As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
      The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

      Nedd Ludd

      April 4, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      • The more things change the more they stay the same.

        Original title: “The White Man’s Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands

        Take up the White Man’s burden, Send forth the best ye breed
        Go bind your sons to exile, to serve your captives’ need;
        To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild—
        Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.

        Take up the White Man’s burden, In patience to abide,
        To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride;
        By open speech and simple, An hundred times made plain
        To seek another’s profit, And work another’s gain.

        Take up the White Man’s burden, The savage wars of peace—
        Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease;
        And when your goal is nearest The end for others sought,
        Watch sloth and heathen Folly Bring all your hopes to nought.

        Take up the White Man’s burden, No tawdry rule of kings,
        But toil of serf and sweeper, The tale of common things.
        The ports ye shall not enter, The roads ye shall not tread,
        Go mark[14] them with your living, And mark them with your dead.

        Take up the White Man’s burden And reap his old reward:
        The blame of those ye better, The hate of those ye guard—
        The cry of hosts ye humour (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:—
        “Why brought he us from bondage, Our loved Egyptian night?”

        Take up the White Man’s burden, Ye dare not stoop to less—
        Nor call too loud on Freedom To cloak your weariness;
        By all ye cry or whisper, By all ye leave or do,
        The silent, sullen peoples Shall weigh your gods and you.

        Take up the White Man’s burden, Have done with childish days—
        The lightly proffered laurel, The easy, ungrudged praise.
        Comes now, to search your manhood, through all the thankless years
        Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom, The judgment of your peers!


        April 4, 2016 at 10:03 pm

  2. By the way, I thought HBD was generally defined as belief in race and sex genetic differences, not just individual differences. By the Scott Adams definition, nearly everyone believes in HBD. What makes it into heretical is the belief in sex differences and, more importantly, race.


    April 4, 2016 at 10:29 am

    • The proper thing to believe is that everything about a person is determined by their environment. This is obviously false but if you believe people have different abilities you’re one misstep away from becoming a racist.


      April 4, 2016 at 12:58 pm

  3. Whites are generally more ambitious and curious, when comparing to other groups, and this is all I know, when it comes to human ambition.

    East Asians are unmotivated by self initiated inquiry.


    April 4, 2016 at 10:56 am

    • Recently I read a book that discussed how the WASP elites discriminated against Jews in American universities before the 1950s. Ironically, the prevailing prejudice against Jews, at that time, was very similar to what HBD types say about East Asians today – i.e., they said Jews were smart but nevertheless boring, grade-grubbing grinds who relied on cramming and memorization, who lacked real creativity, and who weren’t good at sports and weren’t socially desirable. If Jews aren’t like that now, then perhaps there is hope for American East Asians to evolve over time…


      April 4, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      • Jews still aren’t good at sports.

      • Ashkenazim are Caucasians, and thus are genetically closer to White Gentiles than to East Asians.

        Jews were already entrenched in mainstream American society/politics way before the 1950s.

        Americans would not have allowed the Manhattan project to take place, if it wasn’t true. No time bomb would have exploded in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, had Jews not partake.

        Stop reading myths!


        April 4, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      • JS, way to miss the point about the nature of the prejudices.

        And it is FALSE that America would not have had the Manhattan project without Jews. 1940s white gentile Americans knew how to get shit done.


        April 5, 2016 at 9:17 am

      • You just went against your own argument that Jews were heavily discriminated by White gentiles, pre-1950 America, when in fact, many Jews (those mainly of German origin, because German Jews were the most acculturated and educated), were quite entrenched in mainstream society, and were at the forefront of many trends. One could make an argument that Jewish Americans were more successful pre-1950s than post 1950s, given the spectacular rise of this ethnic group in its role in government, pop culture, academia and scientific inquiry from the early 20th century going forward. Jews after the 1950s, began to lost their momentum, culminating to the 21st century, where they were seen as underachievers, when comparing to their heyday in the early 1900s.

        For all of Lion’s NYC readers, master builder henchman, Robert Moses was in charge of the Big Apple for almost a century, before his death in the 1980s. He leveled neighborhoods, including those of NAMs and the elites whom he didn’t like, to suit his grandiose, progressive and often delusional urban renewal project, reminiscent of an Utopian society coming from a Science Fiction novel.

        Many Jewish American scientists were behind the Manhattan project. And this doesn’t include those who came over from Europe to take part in it.


        April 5, 2016 at 10:54 am

      • Sigh. I did not argue that Jews were heavily discriminated against. I merely noted that a book that discussed academic discrimination against Jews stated certain reasons that are analogous to reasons given for discrimination against East Asians today.


        April 5, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      • Also, participation of Jews in the Manhattan Project does not indicate that the project would not have succeeded without them.


        April 5, 2016 at 2:24 pm

  4. Jews are the most ambitious. Help put it well.


    April 4, 2016 at 11:11 am

  5. Adams famously also does’t believe in free will, which is odd. I don’t know how any theory on anything is relevant if you don’t believe in free will.


    April 4, 2016 at 11:43 am

    • Pumpkinseed pointed out how strange the anti-free will argument is weird. If we have no free will, then by definition nothing you can say can persuade me to think that, if stronger factors manipulating my opinion cause me to think otherwise. But I guess these people can’t help themselves.


      April 4, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      • Scott Adams believes that he was born with the genetic attributes to see the fact that there’s no such thing as free will, and he was also born with the desire to write about it later in his life. He was destined to write about the fact that we lack free will. It’s not an exercise of his own free will.

      • Why does it matter what genetic abilities anyone has? If destiny dictates everything then it was destiny that put Adams on the path to write and understand what he does. His “genetic attributes” shouldn’t matter. Even if I changed my genes tomorrow my life path would still be dictated by destiny.


        April 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      • There is a difference between determinism and fatalism. Adams appears to believe in the former.

        Lewis Medlock

        April 5, 2016 at 11:22 am

    • ” I don’t know how any theory on anything is relevant if you don’t believe in free will.”

      Moral judgments cannot be made without the assumption of free will.

      Lewis Medlock

      April 5, 2016 at 11:09 am

  6. Adams is almost definitely a Trump supporter that is, like most white men, angry at the way the country has disintegrated due to the blank statism asumption inherent in open borders, feminism, affirmative action, media mandingo fever and magic minority syndrome (boy, they can do no wrong!…never report it if they do).

    Adams likes saying every now and then that he “disavows” Trump because hates “racism”. When you look at how his mind works, how he writes in favour of his policies, Adams, like Trump is actually a racist by 2016 standards just by belief in HBD alone, but probably not by 1985 standards or earlier funnily enough.

    Its interesting that what our fathers and certainly grandfathers thought about race seems to become more and more “racist” as time goes on, even if the actual stereotypes remain the exact same, if not soften a bit.

    God knows, believing in inherent genetic differences and being hostile towards the ‘other’ was de rigeur for all human history pre 1950, and still is in everywhere in the world except the West.

    By 2016 standards, most Asians, Africans, Latin Americans, Middle Easterners and definitely Slavic peoples are capital r Rayccissss. But Magic Minority Syndrome means we cant call racists racist if they’re a minority.

    The Philosopher

    April 4, 2016 at 1:54 pm

  7. What if you are ambitious but you think being a “suck-cess” is overrated and choose not to associate with such people? I used to work in a professional field and I found the people to be annoying, pretentious and weird. I could be doing so much “better” than I am now, but I chose not to.

    John S

    April 4, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    • That’s what losers always say after they get schlonged by the winners. =)


      April 4, 2016 at 10:50 pm

  8. I don’t know what Scott Adams thinks about race. He definitely is a “determinist” to use the term very loosely, and he does believe that genetics play an important role in determining who we are.

    On the other hand, I’ve met plenty of people, especially atheists, who entertain the cognitive dissonance that only white Americans are influenced by their genes, and that the differences between races are socially constructed. So the genes that lead to high IQ are just as evenly distributed among blacks as they are among whites, but the reason why blacks do so poorly is that they have to deal with institutional racism, an anti-intellectual black culture, being trapped in awful schools with bad teachers, etc. If they had the same advantages as whites, then their social outcomes would match what whites have.

    These people are also the most insecure about their belief in racial equality. In general, if you’re smart enough to have strong opinions on genes, IQ and free will, you’re smart enough to understand that the reasons why some whites are poor and unintelligent would easily, easily explain why so many blacks are scoring low on the SAT, in prison, etc.

    When they denounce “racism,” they tend to give elaborate reasons as to why the differences between races are social in nature. They also tend to make a point about denouncing figures like Galton and R.A. Fisher. Most SJWs, in contrast, don’t even bother to think or give reasons for their beliefs. They just preach what they believe and call people who disagree with them racists and fascists.


    April 4, 2016 at 4:53 pm

  9. I think this post was lazy. I do not consider myself ambitious or lazy. Many people I know are conscientious. They may not want or ask for more responsibility but they don’t shirk their duties to their current position at all. Other people make more money and have more responsibilities but they don’t actually do more work than the people they supervise. They don’t realize how much more professional they could be or how much better their department could be running so they sleep well at night. Ambitious and lazy, that reminds me of a couple of recent Presidents. For some reason, the pairing of ambitious and lazy really annoyed me. I guess it hits too close to home for this gen-x slacker.


    April 4, 2016 at 5:57 pm

  10. LotB: I was born ambitious…I just got lucky on that one dimension.

    The harder I work, the luckier I get!

    E. Rekshun

    April 4, 2016 at 7:28 pm

  11. Adams thinks he was lucky to be born ambitious, but maybe it’s actually luckier to be born lazy. It’s probably easier to be happy.

    Jose Habib

    April 4, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    • I think you might be correct. I once worked in a large corporation that had a diverse staff of clerical and lower-level workers. After one large lay-off, all the laid-off White workers were heavily depressed while the laid-off blacks didn’t seem to care at all.

      Similar observation regarding criminal convictions and incarceration – just doesn’t seem to psychologically affect blacks but all the White people I know would be suicidal.

      E. Rekshun

      April 5, 2016 at 5:44 am

      • I wonder what the happiness levels of blacks versus whites are at a certain income level where happiness in the population generally levels off. I think it’s around $75,000/household/annum. My hunch would be that blacks are overall happier than whites. My observations over my lifetime are that they are happy just to lounge around and shoot the crap.


        April 5, 2016 at 9:19 am

  12. I read Adams book and somewhere in the book he says something like, its better to be happy, so choose to be happy. It’s that simple. And I wondered, reading the book, what the downsides were of avoiding negative emotions. Why not just avoid negative emotions and choose to be positive all the time, like Scott Adams? His emotional range is very narrowly focused in a positive band.

    He mentions in the book losing a lot of money investing in Webvan stock. He had believed in the company, the model had been proven in one city, but he held onto the stock right into bankruptcy. That’s one of the downsides of always being optimistic. He had lost all that money because he had ignored the negative signals. Signals like “don’t buy this stock. It keeps on going down. It’s not as good as it looks.” It also inhibits empathy. Adams is a lot like Bryan Caplan. Adams and Caplan have very little empathy because they personally don’t have much experience with negative emotions like fear, anxiety, regret, etc.


    April 5, 2016 at 5:45 am

    • It’s been shown that Ashkenazi Jews are less happy than Gentiles. blacks are the happiest, because they are the least ambitious, opposite of Jews, who are very goal driven.


      April 5, 2016 at 11:09 am

  13. So “we” have some control but not much and no free will? Doesn’t no free will mean “no control whatsoever”? Free will was never supposed to mean total control.
    I also agree with the commenter who said that most people are neither ambitious nor all that lazy. They are more complicated but most are conscientious. They want to do their job properly but they also want to be treated fairly and often do not like overambitious strivers.
    One problem with the destruction of more traditional economic relations (conscientious is enough to keep a good job and even get ahead to some extent, ambitious ones would usually be rewarded considerably) that the choice seems more between slacking (because one will not get ahead anyway) and overambitious rat race to secure even lower middle class income.
    So the current state generally rewards ambitious sociopaths and only mildly punishes lazy slackers. But most people are neither.

    nomen nescio

    April 6, 2016 at 5:15 am

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