Your Lying Eyes

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03 December 2005

More on Pinker: Goyishe Kopf

I somehow forgot this little anecdote that kicked off Steven Pinker's lecture the other night. I don't have the details down exactly, but basically Pinker was talking about his grandfather who owned a garment factory where they made neckties. One day Pinker's father went to visit him and was told he was in a backroom. There Pinker's father saw the grandfather working on fabric with a sewing machine. He asked him what he was doing. He was working on the cut-out remnants of fabric and "if I sew them a certain way I can get a few exta ties out of the lot." Ok, said his father, but why are you doing this rather than one of your workers. The grandfather looked at him, poked a finger to his head, and said "Goyishe Kopf" - Gentile brains!
The story gives a flavor of the kind of audience Pinker was addressing - it's telling that several of the older audience members around me laughed at the "Goyishe Kopf" - they didn't need to wait for the translation. I think part of Pinker's message with the story was to set the table for the audience that the idea of superior Ashkenazi intelligence should be nothing shocking - they all know it already even if they don't admit it.

48 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The slide "Is it Good for the Jews?" also got a big laugh.

December 03, 2005 5:17 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Yes - it did. As I recall he set that up by proclaiming the CHH paper to be "good science. But...."

December 03, 2005 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This could be bad for the Jews if it leads to research showing differences in white matter and gray matter. Differences in white/gray matter are found in pathological liars and autistics who can't lie. Such differences are highly inheritable suggesting descend along racial lines also. If the ratios differ between Jews and goys, then it could validate what anti-Semites' complaint of chronic lying.

http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/002091.html

http://www.psychiatrysource.com/psychsource/News/article1861.htm

http://www.world-science.net/othernews/051002_liarsfrm.htm

December 03, 2005 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine someone standing up at YIVO, New York City, and giving a talk about his grandfather who was a white farmer in the South.

One day his grandfather and his father were plowing a field in a certain complex route that allowed him to finish the fields slightly faster.

When his father asked why he didn't have one of his black workers do it, his father pointed to his own head and said, "Negroes are stupid!"

--and the YIVO audience laughing good-naturedly at the lighthearted anecdote.

Intellectual: a person who tells other people how to view the world.

December 03, 2005 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also thought the comment was kinda mean. Yes, Jewish people are extraordinarily intelligent and talented. No need to rub it in though.

December 04, 2005 1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then again, I've known Jews who were dumb as fenceposts. Let's not get carried away here.

I'm curious if there's been any European response to this story. Haven't heard any but there could have been some stir caused by this study and subsequent hub bub.

December 04, 2005 2:26 AM  
Blogger Dennis Dale said...

It reminds me of a story I read about a famous intellectual married couple; he was jewish, she was gentile. They were of the standard leftist stock of their class and maintained a liberal point of view regarding civil rights, etc. A friend of theirs was being interviewed and related how the husband would take every opportunity to taunt his wife over the disproportionate success of jews in the intellectual fields, glorying over the data showing their higher achievement; just the sort of thing he would have denounced as racist had it been coming from anyone else.

December 05, 2005 1:50 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Obviously there's one helluva double standard going on here. But I'd rather there'd be some honesty than no honesty at all. Asymmetrical honesty is not ideal, but it's refreshing to see somebody willing to chip away at the wall of deception.

December 05, 2005 6:41 PM  
OpenID brianakira said...

"Jewish people are extraordinarily intelligent"

1. Jews are very accomplished due to historical factors.

2. If Jews are so fucking smart, how come they voted for Obama?

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Hello Ziel. Pinker sure has a good sense of humor. Thanks so much for sharing.

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