some opinion for Jake

Mike Lieber (U28550@UICVM.BITNET)
Wed, 26 Oct 1994 18:23:19 CDT

I'll reply to Mark Flinn in a later post. Right now, I'd like to solicit your
help for Jake, an Australian journalist working for a South China newspaper,
who just called me to pose 2 questions re: the Bell Curve. According to Jake,
if you follow out the logic of biggest-brain Asians, next-biggest Whites, and
smallest Blacks, and if bigger brains confer greater intelligence (forget
Neanderthals), the it is clear that Asians are or are about to be the dominant
"race" on this planet, and that Whites and Blacks will ultimately be
subservient to them in one way or another. Yet, in all of the outcry over
the Bell Curve, it's the White-Black comparison that excites American interest.
The Asian implication seems to excite little, in any interest. Why is this?

Second, one of the core values of Americans is that of social mobility. But
isn't that implication denied by The Bell Curve? That is, if race constrains
intelligence and intelligence constrains upward mobility, then isn't that
mobility a myth? And if that is so, what is the American dream about?

For the first question, try to be informants as well as anthropologists. First
think about whether that implication struck you one way or the other. Second,
put your analytical skills to work on why Asian dominance--particularly given
the recent history of trade deficeits and Japan bashing--doesn't seem to
strike a responsive chord in all of this.

For the second question, do your analytical best. I will take all the posts
that come in by about 11:00 CST and send them on to Jake. Please indicate
to me whether you want you name deleted from what I send and if you think that
Jake should mention ANTHRO-L as his source of opinion.

Happy thinking, and thanks in advance. Mark Flinn will have to wait a while,
but I'll only say for now that the best defense is a good offense, especially
in his case.
Mike Lieber