Thursday, May 27, 2010

War Against The Weak

E@L was ranting on the other day about bias, self-interest and paradigms in science research and then something he read tonight kicked him in the head as it was so familiar it just MADE him transcribe it for you...

As you are all aware perhaps the lowest ebb in the tides of scientific progress was the eugenics program. (That, and cold-fusion.) We tend to think of this as some Nazi idea that Hitler and cohorts invented in order to do something with all those spare railways and unused gas chambers, right. And a way to divert all that wholesome Folkisch uber-racial energy into something..., E@L was going to say 'productive', but that doesn't sound right.

More about War Against the Weak
War Against the Weak
Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race
Edwin Black

But no, don't blame Hitler - for this at least! In fact the implementation of the eugenics movement's theories had its genesis (ha, genesis, genetics, eugenics - geddit?) in the good ole USofA. (Not your fault, all my guys and gals readers from the States, you were just following orders - as were we Australians during those bleak days of the slaughter of the indigenous peoples of Terra Nullius).

The slightly weird driving personality (it was not his genes but his upbringing) behind this implementation of Francis Galton's misreading of Darwin, was a zoologist called Charles Davenport. A slim version of Col Saunders and a "sad man" according to this book, he became all excited over the rediscovery of Mendel's work on black-eyed peas (and who doesn't love Fergie's breasts humps).

Davenport fought to cadge money out of the newly founded Carnegie Foundation in order to do experiments on various beasts, fowls and plants and succeeded, but had no idea how to make it all work. All this, btw, was with the support of and with the supposed benefits for, the American Breeders Association. But there was a not-too-well-hidden human "sub-species" agenda.

Then along came a Barnum to Davenport's Bailey, another fellow with a twisted (i.e. religious) childhood, Harry Laughlin, whose job it was to garner political and public support for the extended ideas of Davenport - such as culling the "unfit" who numbered 10% of the American population and, eventually, creating an augmented breeding programs for the top (rich, mainly), "Nordic" types.

Now E@L doesn't want go to deeply into this just yet as he is only up to page 61 (and one wonders how much longer E@L can keep it up - only another 380 densely-typed pages to go) and no doubt has already befuddled readers with an explication of those first 60 in a lamentably inaccurate fashion.

Also, by way of legal prophylaxis, E@L wants to let it be known that any similarity between any of these heinous, disgusting, abhorrent and completely unacceptable ideas and the things that Singapore's beloved Minister Mentor, Sir Harry Lee Kwan Yew, might have ever believed or attempted to implement about race, is of course, merely a well-documented fact (PDF file).

However, once again E@L digresses. [He cannot HELP himself! He needs re-education!]


No, yes, the purpose of this whole exercise - E@L just wanted to quote one chunk of this book at yers:

American eugenicists pressed on even as Pearson of the Eugenics Laboratory [Galton's lab in London, I think] openly quoted criticism by a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, "The educated man and the scientist is as prone as any other to become the victim...of his prejudices.... He will in defense thereof make shipwreck of both the facts of science and the methods of perpetuating every form of fallacy, inaccuracy and distortion." America's eugenicists continued even as their elite leaders acknowledged, "public sentiment demanding action was absent."

Isn't that middle bit exactly what was he saying this morning/yesterday? Prescient is the word for E@L... Pre-See-Ent!

And BTW, these were indeed the American proto-Nazis and white supremacists who, in the guise of scientific authority, fed Hitler those ideas that culminated in his Germany shitting out his "Final Solution".

This book no doubt will go on to further enrage and astound E@L with the single-mindedness of the narrow-minded, as will, inevitably, his continued living in Singapore.

Unless he gets kicked out.


But wait! Steak knives? No, only the most brilliant p.s. EVER!

Just as E@L was typing those last words at about 11pm, there was a noise from the lounge-room. What was that? Some malevolent spirit out to scare poor old E@L? (Izzy always maintained the place was haunted - it was the wine-fridge doing its freon respiration, you superstitious girl!) He ventured into the gloom and couldn't figure it out, nothing big or obvious in the shadows. After switching on a light (der!), he saw at the base of one of his book-shelves a volume that had thrown itself to the ground. E@L picked it up...

I. Kid. You. Not.

More about Lee's Law
Lee's Law
How Singapore Crushes Dissent.
Chris Lydgate

There's a message for E@L in this, not sure what it is though...

Hang on, is that someone at the door?


savannah said...

where do i send letters from home to guests of the state? xoxoxo

expat@large said...

Sav: The song? (Had to Google it. Not on my current play-list.)

knobby said...


knobby said...

i always thought "prescient" was pronounced press-ent. looked it up and i find we're both wrong! it's either presh-ent or pree-shent. or slight variations thereof.

knobby said...

the NTU document you linked to made me cry.

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