In the New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell puts the smackdab on William Saletan's effort to resurrect The Bell Curve theory of innate racial differences in intelligence. Stephen Metcalf did a good job a while back of exposing the racist background and funding of the authors of The Bell Curve; in this piece, Gladwell describes some interesting evidence on IQ tests found by James Flynn, a social scientist at the University of Otago in New Zealand.
The New York Times has at least three good stories:
- Judith Warner writes about Christianity in the US presidential race. I'm tempted to coin a new word, "Christianism", to use in this context. It would be more accurate, sort of like telling the difference between community and Communism.
- Steven Rinella points out that one really good way to eat locally is to hunt your own meat, starting with the deer that are infesting the suburbs.
- This story, about a West African refugee in Staten Island who sent her son back to Liberia to keep him safe from gangs, made me cry; but then I always get a little unsteady when it comes to the international departure lounges at airports.