Wednesday, September 16, 2020

An Elite Preparing for Seppuku (If They Are Lucky)

 9/8/20 San Francisco Chronicle:

Wine language is so often absurd that it’s a punchline. Notes of smoldering tobacco or forest underbrush or underripe Jonagold apple — it sounds almost farcical in its specificity. Even worse is when the descriptor is inedible. How many people have actually tasted a wet river stone, anyway?

But now, it’s becoming clearer than ever that the conventional language used to describe wine isn’t merely intimidating and opaque. It’s also inextricable from racism and sexism, excluding dimensions of flavor that are unfamiliar to the white, Western cultures that dominate the world of fine wine and reinforcing retrograde notions of gender.

For those who think a white majority is a bulwark against the loss of Western Civilization, how much more WASPy can you get than being the newspaper's wine writer?


  1. When I was working on an EU funded project analyzing consumer perception of 'quality', two of our team flew to UC Davis to participate in a workshop on Professor Ann Noble's schema for wine-descriptors.

    It is all based on multivariate statistics of sensory data from double-blinded taste-testing. Those who use the 'wine wheel' descriptive terms regularly are remarkably consistent both internally (same person test retest days or even moths apart) and externally (consistency person to person, even across different races & cultures).

    I think that this is one of the reasons why when a new region of the world becomes suddenly noticed for the quality of its new wines, when you look into vineyard personnel there you will find that the prominent vineyards have one or more UC Davis Viticulture and Enology graduates in key positions, and the others around are copying them.

    The same approaches are being applied most comparably in other beverages, but also to food more generally worldwide

    It's like the number of crayons in the crayola box - I'm content with 8, and but I can distinguish between the different 'greens' in the 16- and 32-crayon boxes. I understand that others with more visual acuity training may find the differences to be really important between the green crayons "shamrock" and "carribean green" or between Crayola "mountain meadow" and jungle green". But for me, I wouldn't be able to pick out which was which without the printed label.

    So yes, we rib people who talk about the distinction between aquamarine and turquoise, but although there are certainly poseurs, to say that "excluding dimensions of flavor that are unfamiliar to the white, Western cultures that dominate the world of fine wine and reinforcing retrograde notions of gender" is pretty much the opposite of the truth, and those who say it would know it to be false if they had even read one (pre-controversy) wikipedia article on the subject.

  2. Clayton, I asked a few posts back, "how many conservative white candidates for statewide or national office can you name who got the support of a majority of non-white voters in their district?" You can't name even one.

    Instead, you offer two substitute bits of evidence to make the argument that conservatives shouldn't worry about racial demographics.

    1) Black and Hispanic Californians voted for Proposition 8.

    2) A single non-white demographic (Cubans) in one state (Florida) supports Trump in 2020.

    These are weak counter-examples when you have no evidence at all that non-whites in aggregate will vote for conservative white candidates. Virtually nothing in the U.S. is decided by referendum. And if we did determine policy that way, the 2nd Amendment would be doomed in the relatively near future (check the numbers). The three most fanatically anti-gun states are the ones with the highest percentage of foreign born citizens. Not a coincidence.

    Non-white Americans, particularly blacks, tend to be remarkably tribal in their voting. Look, for example, at how blacks who self-describe as "conservative" voted in lockstep to give Obama a second term. The Democratic left understands all this perfectly well, which is why they celebrate immigratation-driven "diversity." See for example this (California) and this (Virginia).

    You want to mock the possibility that "a white majority is a bulwark against the loss of Western Civilization," but a glance at the demographic voting patterns that drove Trump's 2016 election should correct your misunderstanding of the problem. The numbers are unambiguous: a non-white electorate would have given Hillary Clinton an unprecedented landslide victory.

  3. Che: No question that non-whites (really most blacks and many Hispanics) overwhelmingly vote left. But I do not see that as inevitable. There are an increasing number of blacks who figured out that they were played by Obama, and this is why Trump's black numbers are better than for many previous Republicans.

    Tying an ideology to race is what the left has historically done. We are better than that. Ideas matter, not race.

  4. Clayton, you begin with a moral premise:

    - It's wrong to tie ideology to race, that's what the left has done, and we're better than that.

    And you deduce from this what you think is a fact about the world:

    - Ideas matter, not race.

    My response:

    1) You seem to be saying that race *shouldn't* matter, and therefore it doesn't. But the objective world doesn't necessarily correspond to your moral intuitions.

    When you imagine they necessarily correspond, you're thinking like a leftist. In fact, that's what makes them leftists. Leftism is a war against nature in preference for what leftists imagine the world *should* be like: No God, no objective sexes, no races, no borders. They pretend their equalist fantasy is reality.

    Moreover, Christianity doesn't require the belief that different races are behaviorally and functionally identical. It just requires you to regard them as having equal moral worth.

    2) The best data we have shows that diversity increases social conflict. It's immoral to inflict this problem on our descendants because we want to believe race/ethnicity/religion shouldn't matter.

    3) Human beings are naturally tribal. They readily group themselves according to observable similiarities and differences. When you increase diversity, you increase tribalism. A society with a dominant supermajority can more easily focus on good policy. A minority-majority society will focus on status competition between "teams." That trend is observable in the U.S. over the last half-century.

    Witness, for example, high IQ Asians boosting Democrats even though the party absolutely requires universities to engage in affirmative action, which harms Asians more than any other group. Tribalism is so powerful that it often trumps material self-interest. The problem isn't that Asians are natural leftists. It's that they more naturally see themselves as members of what Steve Sailer calls "the coalition of the fringes" than as allies of what they perceive to be the traditional-white-Christian team. (And of course this is a generalization with millions of exceptions. The generalization is still accurate. I first noticed this after Romney lost to Obama, and The American Conservative ran a story with lots of comments from Asians explaining why they couldn't vote for a whitebread Christian guy.)

    This is why political theorists from Aristotle to John Stuart Mill have stressed the importance of a homogeneous population.

    Aristotle: "A state cannot be constituted from any chance body of persons, or in any chance period of time. Most of the states which have admitted persons of another stock, either at the time of their foundation or later, have been troubled by sedition."

    Mill: "Free institutions are next to impossible in a country made up of different nationalities."

    The problem is particularly bad in a representative democracy, which naturally encourages faction.

    Aristotle again: "Another mark of a tyrant is that he likes foreigners better than citizens, and lives with them and invites them to his table; for the one are enemies, but the others enter into no rivalry with him."

    That describes the Democrat party perfectly. That's why they fanatically demand high immigration. They are consciously importing allies against the existing American majority. It's exasperating that you want to gamble they're wrong about how this will turn out.

    You grew up in a much whiter, more homogeneous America than what exists today, and now you live in very-white Idaho, isolated from the growing chaos. I don't think you understand what's happening to the country you love, or why it's happening.