244monadic(Preserving this great thead here- via @crimkadid on Twitter)
This is the Big One: the “why are Northwest Europeans so...different from everyone else?” post. I’m going to argue that they really do possess a significant mental advantage over other people, a result of frontal lobe overgrowth enabled by lactose tolerance.
Back in 2000 or so, there were lots of Nordicist attempts to explain NW European advantages by invoking ancient hunter gatherers. These arguments run into the problem that it's NE Europeans, like Latvians, who possess the highest amount of this ancestry, not Isaac Newton.
245monadicSince 2010 some people have made the assumption that maybe NW Europeans have the highest amount of Indo-European steppe blood; again they don't and again Latvians are #1. Here's a nice spreadsheet from the great Davidski illustrating the point:
246monadicIf NW Europeans really do possess distinct mental advantages they would have to be of very recent origin, within the last 5,000 years or so.
There are three traits I know of where Northwest Europeans really do represent a worldwide extreme: lactose tolerance, frontal lobe size, and a low waist to hip ratio. I think all three are related and complement each other.
Northwest Europeans grow up thinking of lactose intolerance as a disease, but it’s the worldwide norm everywhere outside of Cowland. EIGHTY-ONE percent of Czechs are lactose intolerant.
247monadic>>246 That Czech number should jump out at you, because cattle have been around for ages in Eastern Europe. I actually think they were much more lactose tolerant in the recent past, and that their shift away from it coincided with a dramatic brachycephalization.
249monadicWestern anthropologists lost interest in this subject after Hitler, but academics in Communist Poland continued to dig at it and their research unearthed several important clues, although they were unable to piece them together into a unified theory.
The first is that East European brachycephaly coincided with Christianization and the rises of cities. The trend toward short, wide skulls began first in towns before it spread into the country, and rural areas only began to catch up with the rise of feudalism.
Georgian historians have noticed a similar process in their own country that also coincided with feudalism and which I think created a convergence in personality and appearance with East Europeans that I’ll get to in a bit.
That this process first began in cities may help to explain how a similar trend apparently took place in the densely urbanized mountain regions on both sides of Alps, here shown in a time series from Weidenreich (pic related)
250monadicNazi anthropologists were a bit disconcerted when they discovered that Germans as a people are actually quite brachycephalic. The only section of the country to have totally resisted the trend were the cattle raising people of Schleswig-Holstein
Pre-Nazi anthropologists divided Europe into three races: long, narrow headed Nordics, short, narrow headed Mediterraneans, and Alpine bulldog heads. “Alpine” is a phony category, reflecting not a deep racial similarity but this shared recent trend.
251monadicThe most important piece of data discovered by the Poles was that prior to urbanization, dolicocephals had a substantial fitness advantage through the lifespan, being more likely to make it out of infancy and once mature to make it to old age.
I think the advantage that dolicocephals possessed was that dolicocephaly in North Europeans is actually a consequence of brain overgrowth induced by milk consumption. The lactose tolerant enjoyed a strong advantage in the country that was lost in cities; milk is hard to move.
252monadicThe trend toward feudalization was probably more decisive than urbanization in the long run. Northwest Europeans preserved tolerance partly because of their low population density but also because they broke away from feudalism early and independent farmers drank more milk.
The benefical cognitive effects of milk consumption on IQ are mediated by brain growth: nature.com/articles/pr201066 The growth itself was probably incidental to the large number of health benefits provided by a milk rich diet
253monadicSo why, absent milk, do bracycephalics outcompete the longheads? Well, they're better at everything: they conserve heat more easily, have a higher ratio of brain volume to surface area, and it's easier to for a small, spherical head to stay symmetrical and pretty than a long one.
In my first post on Polynesia I passed along what Houghton had noticed: that Polynesians should have long narrow heads but instead have a polar brachycephalic type instead. A perceptive commenter noted that North Europeans saliently defy this trend.
Anthropologists have noticed the same anomaly, which is most true of the super-dolicocephalic Norwegians and Swedes. The interesting question about brachycephalization is not why it happened, but why it took so long to happen and why it never happened in the Swedes (pic related)
255monadicA junkyard dog hostility to foreigners is a famous Slavic tendency and this sharp difference from milkmen is maximally developed not in the genetically distant Russians but in the next door Czechs and Hungarians
257monadicThere a similar, but weaker trend toward xenophobia in the German speaking Alps as exemplified by….well you can figure it out.
One last famous Slavic stereotype relates to their good looks. Czechs are quite similar to East Germans genetically, but to me they’re the most foreign looking people in Europe, with elegantly spherical heads and thin, delicate bones.
258monadicSomebody can demonstrate it statistically, but I think the Czechs produce more supermodels per capita than anyone else except maybe the Dutch, who have the major advantage of not looking “foreign”. They are purty
259monadicThe same combination of extreme good looks (Kim Kardashian and xenophobia (Mark Krikorian) can be seen in the recently brachycephalized peopled of the Caucasus.
The uniquely American film genre of a tough, white guy and a tough, black guy moving past their differences to solve some problem sort of works because both races have a shared dolicocephalic innocence.
I was going to pretend to be squeamish about this part, but let’s get straight to it: Czech and Armenian girls have the greatest asses in the world. A large frontal lobe steals fuel from the rest of the body and the easiest place to take it from is the useless fat on the ass.
This has been overall a very pro-Slavic series of tweets but I’m now going to pivot back toward explaining why you’re reading these tweets in English and not Czech and to clarify the specific role of the frontal lobe.
A 2011 study found a cline of increasing frontal lobe volumes moving from SE to NW in Europeans, with the SE pole represented by Ashkenazi Jews. “Intracranial and brain volumes and cortical surface area progressively increase with the amount of inferred NW European ancestry”
This effect was independent of height. If you’re Jewish and offended by this don’t worry: you’ll have your own opportunity to have your cock sucked in just a bit, too.
260monadicThe blogger n/a made the connection between frontal lobe volume and head size as recorded by the old school anthropologists like Coon. The Irish are both Europe’s biggest headed and most lactose tolerant population
262monadicThe same tendency toward frontal overgrowth has been demonstrated on a continental level by comparing CEU(Utah Mormons) to more distinct groups like the Yoruba and Asians: “The proportion of the CEU component is associated with protrusion of the occipital and frontal surfaces”
263monadicThe regions of the brain that most strongly differentiate the CEU from the rest are that they have a shrunken occipital cortex (region 2) and a massive dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (region 11). The DLPFC is so small in West Africans you can barely see it in the image.
It was Coon in 1955 who first noticed was has now become doctrine, that it is easier to cool a long, narrow head than a short, broad one. This explains the skull type seen in Africans and Abos and also why the frontal lobes are so small: they produce more heat
Of course a sophisticated buttocks connoisseur takes into size and shape, but as far as sheer bulk nobody on Earth can compare with black Africans, whose asses face so little metabolic competition from their brain.
“Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex” is a clunky term, but it’s very likely the most closely researched and dissected part of the human brain, playing a decisive role in executive function, planning, and inhibition.
264monadicI know it well too, because it appears often in the context of autism research, something I pay a lot of attention to. There is an old body of literature indicating enlarged head circumference in autistics, especially early in development.
The brain is in many respects the most notable of any in this series.... The surface configurations of the cerebrum are remarkable for the multiplicity of fissures and the great complexity of the convolutions....
The richness of fissuration is particularly notable in the frontal region while the subparietal regions, especially the marginal and angular gyres, exhibit a relatively enormous expansion.
The average brain-weight of the 108 individuals is 1473 grams, exceeding the various averages given for the European brain by 75 to 100 grams, and this without allowing for the advanced age of the men in this series.” This is more than would be expected from a 0.3 correlation.
268monadicYou may have noticed the tendency for famously accomplished nerds like Quentin Tarantino to have colossally overgrown foreheads. What you may not have appreciated is how that extreme creativity can co-exist alongside a relatively low IQ:
272monadicOne thing Hader and Norm have in common is that they have classically masculine 1950’s good looks, athletically broad shoulders, and yet surprisingly weak, wheezy voices, which reflects the atrophy of their bodies. The frontal lobe is a metabolically demanding furnace.
273monadicWhen a black comedian does an impression of a white voice it’s really a Northwest European voice: he’s imitating the tendency toward weak wheeziness which reaches its maximum development in supernerds like Norm. Slavic voices are on the other hand intimidatingly deep and strong.
I think the missing link between brain size and creative achievement is a kind of bulk, Quiz Bowl memory of the Greg Cochran variety.
I’m going to circle back to Jews now, who have the relatively small frontal cortex of a Mediterranean people while also possessing greatly superior intelligence and offer them as a contrast to nerdy Northwest Europeans.
A question I’ve never heard anyone around these parts raise is “Why don’t Jews dominate Jeopardy the way they dominate everything else?” There don’t seem to ANY Jews among the top achievers in a competition that rewards verbal memory www.jeopardy.com/contestant-zone/hall-of-fame
274monadicBased on everything right thinking 21st century people are allowed to know there is only explanation: the Jeopardy casting committee is composed of Yale blue bloods who keep out Jews in favorite of handsome Dutchmen like Charles Van Doren.
But I don’t think so, because I’ve noticed a similar striking absence of Jews from the same part of the Quiz Bowl section of the right wing that I belong to. As far as I can tell not even one of the 147 minted World Grandmasters of Memory are Jewish.
The big division in human memory is between a semantic memory for isolated facts and an episodic memory for real events. Scores on all mental tests are positively correlated, but I think these qualities get in each other's way in the sense of the absent minded professor.
An early unifying theory of autism was that it’s a kind of amnesia, an extremely poor episodic memory that detaches autistics from the world around them and forces them to revel in their obsessions.
My working hypothesis is that Jews have by far the world’s best episodic memories: A Jewish lawyer can act as his own stenographer, repeating back word for word what his opponent said five minutes earlier. A Jewish actor can memorize huge paragraphs of lines with amazing speed.
A person with a poor episodic memory tends to forget exact wording but remembers the essence, the Platonic ideal of the sentence he read in a way that facilitates recall of specific facts later.
This difference in memory accounts for the difference in interests: Jews like politics, finance, the law, the real, present world. Northwest Europeans prefer history, fantasy, nerdy stamp collecting and the pursuit of meaningless knowledge for its own sake.
Part of the difference in memory is attributable to the fact that NW European are better at autistically clumping facts into categories in the sense of bug collectors, movie buffs, and Internet HBD guys.
Richard Feynman likes to tell a story about his father and how he taught him that it didn’t matter what you called a thing like a bird, what mattered was the real thing, the bird:
275monadicFeynman himself, one of the smartest guys ever, had real trouble with any kind of technical vocabulary of the kind displayed by Asperger’s “little professors”. He famously asked a librarian if she could show him “a map of the cat” for his biology class.
The people that stand out as the direct opposites of Jews in cognitive style and interests are the Scandinavians. Whereas Jews are sharp eyed and attuned to their surroundings, Scandinavians are detached and otherworldly.
They way comedians like the Coen brothers make fun of Scandos is by exaggerating the way they seem to understand everything said to them on a 1-2 second delay, all the while dumbly nodding their heads to show agreement:
276monadicThe Irish have slightly larger skulls overall, but Norwegians are the world's all time forehead champions. They're no more tolerant than the Irish, but their cooler climate allows the hot frontal lobe to growth with no constraints
277monadicOne last way that NW Euros represent a worldwide extreme is the low hip to waist to hip ratio of their women. In a 19 country WHO survey Austrian women had the lowest and Czech women the highest ratios
280monadicOne way to prove that this cluster of distinctive mental and physical qualities in NW Europeans are connected is by demonstrating that a similar suite of traits exists in other milk drinking populations around the world and Mongols are a perfect example.
The World Memory Championship is more popular in China than anywhere else, but in 2017 1.2. Billion Han could not find a man to best Munkhshur Narmandakh of Mongolia.
Narmandakh is not a one-off exception; Mongolians have by far the best rote memories of any people on earth. Here’s a list of countries that produced the greatest number of recognized Memory Grand Masters (pic rel)
281monadicMongolians dominate here because they bring together the autistic mental organization of NW Europeans with a superior 105 East Asian IQ, a combination whose effectiveness in memory competitions was recently demonstrated by the half-Japanese, half-German James Holzhauer.
It may not a coincidence that the Mongols are responsible for the greatest per capita military achievement in history.
The most spectacular military conquests of the last 2,000 years were accomplished by the Germanics, the Turks, the peninsular Arabs, Mongols, and NW Europeans; all ethnos who consumed substantially more dairy than the people they conquered.
The wide ranging conquests of the Vikings and the Arabs were accompanied by surprisingly impressive literary achievements: The Eddas, the Icelandic Sagas, the Koran. The frontal lobe is a Swiss Army Knife, useful for many tasks, but mostly stabbing things.
Nerds may not be perfect in many ways, but one thing you can never take away from them is that when they get together in groups they’re extraordinarily good at killing people.
NW Europeans are not smarter than other Eurasians. It wasn’t an Englishman that invented paper, gunpowder, or the water mill. There were early signs of a military superiority in the far ranging conquests of the Vikings and the French in the Holy Land, but nothing overwhelming.
But from the moment Gutenberg invented the printing press the rest of the world was doomed. The easy spread of literacy allowed the mental advantages of autistic milk drinkers to become apparent in the formation of scientific societies.
Jews produce more high quality science per capita than any other group in the world, but only NW Europeans could have built up the nerdy critical mass to invent science itself and once they did their superior rote memories gave them an insurmountable advantage.