BREAKING: Our tendency toward single explanations!


It's all anthropology now:
As we noted on Saturday, a new report has reported, for the ten millionth time, that black students are suspended from school, and otherwise disciplined, more often than their white counterparts.

Kevin Drum has offered a post about the new study.
More specifically, he ponders the cause, or the causes, of this "disciplinary divide:"
DRUM (4/9/18): So is this disciplinary divide a result of racism? It’s impossible to say. Hispanic students are underrepresented, which suggests something else might be at work. But again: you simply can’t draw any conclusions from this report aside from the fact that there is a difference—which we already knew—and that more detailed study is needed to determine the causes.
There's more, but that's the gist.

We note that, in that last sentence posted, Drum refers to possible "causes" (plural) of this phenomenon. That said, the opening sentence posted above may seem to suggest that racism could be the cause (singular), and of course that's always possible, since everything always is.

In comments, almost everyone began searching for the cause (singular) of the differential discipline. Anthropologically speaking, it seems that our remarkably weak human brains tend to work this way.

The differences in rates of discipline tend to be rather large. As someone who's actually worked in schools, we can think of many factors which could contribute to this, some of which have been mentioned by people in comments.

(One example: Black principals in all-black or largely-black schools may sometimes tend to be more inclined toward "discipline" than educators elsewhere, partly as a cultural factor, partly out of apparent necessity. There can be a lot of despair, unhappiness and anger in struggling neighborhoods and schools.)

We're talking about millions of students across a continental nation with vastly different racial/ethnic cultures, differences which have been created over hundreds of years of tortured human history. It's very unlikely that any one factor can explain the differences here, but that seems to be the way our swamp-evolved minds tend to work.

We humans are fairly good at building things. Our technologies tend to work fairly well, though they could always be more advanced.

We just aren't especially good at puzzling out conundrums. Especially at highly fraught times like these, this horrible anthropological fact tends to come to the fore.

We tend to look for the ideologically pleasing single cause. We rarely seem to appreciate how little we actually know.

Absent potent moral/intellectual leadership, we simply aren't an impressive species. (Source: Human history, all over the world.) At present, our "intellectual leadership" comes from corporate cable news and other such ludicrous sources.


  1. Bob Somerby, Saturday, April 7, 2018, discussing a Washington Post op-ed:
    "The editorial discusses a new study about public school suspensions. You haven't heard about this new study"

    And he said this: "You never hear about this at your favorite web sites"


    Sorry, Bob. Kevin Drum said this in his post: "This GAO report was brought to my attention by German Lopez at Vox, " (

    The Vox report appeared on April 5.


  2. FBI Raids Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen’s Office, Home, And Hotel Room

    According to The NY Times: "The F.B.I. on Monday raided the office of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, seizing records related to several topics including payments to a pornographic-film actress."

    1. Alan Dershowitz: "If FBI Raided Hillary's Attorney, ACLU Would be ‘Jumping Up and Down’"

    2. Hey David, you treasonous bastard. If President Clinton had refused to disclose her tax returns, had blown off the emoluments clause by not putting his business in a blind trust and then had installed her daughter and son-in-law in important positions in the WH, both of whom cannot even pass a security clearance but yet were given access to top secret information daily, she would already have been impeached.

      If President Clinton had lied to the country repeatedly even a small fraction of the time President Pussygrabber had, she would already have been impeached.

      If a President Clinton had committed obstruction of justice in broad daylight repeatedly like President Pussygrabber had done, she would already have been impeached.

      If a President Clinton had signaled to persons in her organization who had already plead guilty to felonies that a pardon was waiting for them, just as President Pussygrabber had done, she would already have been impeached.

      I love these "if" games, you know what I mean shithead?

    3. If Clinton had tried to govern left of center, she would already have been impeached.

  3. Kevin Drum is essentially saying the same thing you're saying about the study, Bob. "Good for you, Kevin"...(which is what Somerby won't say).

    Not content to try to needle Drum despite agreeing with him, Somerby then proceeds to diss Drum's commenters: "In comments, almost everyone began searching for the cause (singular) of the differential discipline."

    Some did, some didn't. It wasn't "almost everyone." It's a discussion, Bob. Sometimes, people throw out extreme or provocative ideas to see where they land and how people will respond. Did you participate in the discussion over at Kevin's blog?
    One can only imagine the Somerby contribution: "You liberals are dumb, lazy, and immoral, and if you disagree with me, it's just your lizard brain talking."

    Interestingly, Bob Somerby puts forward a suggestion similar to Drum commenter William C:

    Somerby: "(One example: Black principals in all-black or largely-black schools may sometimes tend to be more inclined toward "discipline" than educators elsewhere, partly as a cultural factor, partly out of apparent necessity."

    William C: "black teachers/administrators traditionally are very strict disciplinarians, especially with black students. This chart shows that effect. A school with 75%-100% poverty is most likely all minority, and its got a great chance to be run by a black administrator."

  4. Somerby projects despair onto the kids he taught. Oddly, there is often less despair among the people you think ought to be feeling it than one would imagine.

    I wish Somerby wouldn't keep calling his speculations "anthropology." He doesn't know what the word means and he is not doing anything like anthropology, especially when he expects certain people to necessarily feel certain ways based on his own ideas about them.

    As a teacher, he should have discovered this the first time he encountered a student delighted to have gotten a C on a paper or exam, when you expected despair over not getting an A. Or the first time he had a student in tears over a B+ because only an A is acceptable to him. Students react to their own lives in very different and often unpredictable ways.

  5. Maybe one reason Black principals in all-black or largely-black schools sometimes tend to be more inclined toward "discipline" might be that Black principals know that discipline is in the best interests of the students.

    1. Maybe it would have been better for the country if President Pussygrabber had a black principal or two to kick the shit out of him a few times, he might not have grown up to be such a sociopathic sack of shit. I'm sure you would agree, Comrade.

    2. The ol’ “Strict Daddy” approach. Give the naughty kids a surrogate father to teach them TANSTAAFL.
      Set them on the path to that shining city on the hill.

    3. Which would you rather do -- excoriate conservatives or help black children?


    4. You're not q conservative anymore, Comrade. You're a fucking radical as is your party. The party of extreme radicals. Look in the fucking mirror, traitor.

    5. There is a special stupidity working when David assumes that his choices are mutually exclusive and then throws out a link from the bigots at the National Review - a rag that like David went from neverTrumpers to rabid fans - thinking he is being persuasive.

      A really special stupid.

    6. "excoriate"?
      I'd rather bury Conservatives under 80 feet of concrete and steel. It'll make it way easier to solve our other problems, including helping black children.

  6. "Absent potent moral/intellectual leadership, we simply aren't an impressive species."

    Whoa, Bob, 'leadership', eh? Now, that's what they call 'authoritarian mindset'. Tsk. Well, you always have the Pope, I suppose.

    1. Hopefully, no one remembers just this week, when the Russian bot called the President "Donny the Magnificent".

      Somebody needs to send "Mao" back to the coding room. One of his binary loops has gone haywire.

    2. It ought to be disconnected.

  7. Hello, i am Jessica Wayne from TX, USA. Life without my husband was a real mess for me and my children I am so happy to get my Ex back through the help of Dr Noble the spell caster . My greatest surprise was that 48 hours after the Doctor prepared the spell for me, my husband who has abandoned me for 4 years suddenly called me unexpectedly and am so happy that we have come to become one again through the help of Dr Noble and am so happy to be with my husband once again. Dr Noble is a very wonderful spell caster, you can contact him if you need his assistant because i know he can also help you. contact him through his email: call him on or whatsapp +2348145643630 immediately

  8. Effective powerful love spell to get your Ex lover back urgently after breakup/divorce!.
    Hi everyone,
    I'm so excited. My ex-boyfriend is back after a breakup, I’m extremely happy that will are living together again.
    My boyfriend of a 4yr just broke up with me and am 30 weeks pregnant. I have cried myself to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again. Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes, my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time. Generally he is a very nice guy, he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along. He is right we’ve been arguing during the pregnancy a lot .After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change. I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with. I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn’t have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe. He texts me now and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy, he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy.
    I was really upset and I needed help, so I searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Ahmed can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and I did it then he did a spell for me. 17 hours later, my bf came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my bf are living together happily again...
    All thanks to Dr Ahmed if you have any problem contact Dr Ahmed now and I guarantee you that he will help you. Here’s his contact. Email him at: Call/what’s-app him: +2348160153829

  9. Hello,

    I'm Dr Ogudugu a real and genuine spell caster with years of experience in spell casting and an expert in all spells, i specialize exclusively in LOVE SPELL/GET YOUR EX LOVER BACK, FRUIT OF THE WOMB SPELL, HIV CURE SPELL, BECOMING A MERMAID SPELL, BECOMING A VAMPIRE SPELL, SAVE CHILD BIRTH SPELL. If you have any problem and you need a real and genuine spell caster to solve your problems, contact me now through my personal Email Address...Note-you can also Call and WhatsApp.

    Contact me -
    Phone No: +2348139793075
    WhatsApp No: +2348139793075


  10. I’m giving a testimony about Dr.Zack Balo. i won 15,000 million dollar in my play lottery, I took an advice from some person who talked about this great spell caster called Dr.Zack Balo the person placed a testimonies on a blog saying how Dr.Zack Balo helped him win the lottery by sending him the winning numbers i was curious and i thought it was all joke not until i contacted this spell caster to know for myself how this work cause i have spend a lot buying tickets and i never win. I contacted him and he told me the necessary things that need to be done and i did it and he told me to wait for 3days and truly he gave me the winning numbers to play the lottery which i did, Can you believe my name was the first among winners. He told me (my daughter all i need you to do for me is make sure that you share this testimonies to others so that they can also win the lottery cause i do not have much time to spend on the internet) so that is why i am sharing this testimony with you that if you want to win the lottery this is the way online tips can help you, his email address: website: OR reach him on +13203967742 is the only answer to that your problem of winning the lottery


    Hey guys, my name is John Carlos, am from London United Kindom, Life has being very difficult for me Since when my Wife left me and my Kids, She left for no reason. I and my kids had being dwelling in pains for almost two years now, Recently, A Friend of mine Directed me to this great spell caster named Dr Noble, he is a Powerful Spell caster, he helped me and before 48 hours, My Wife that left me came back and started begging for forgivness. What more can i say, Dr Noble showed me How powerful Hes Love spell is. I will drop Hes Email address along with this testimony of mine in case anyone want to contact him, There is His Email: (
    Whats_App number or Call +2348145643630

  12. Hello,

    I'm Dr Ogudugu, a real and genuine spell caster/Spiritual healer with years of experience in spell casting and an expert in all spells, i specialize exclusively in LOVE SPELL/GET REUNITE WITH EX LOVER, MONEY SPELL, POWERFUL MAGIC RING, ANY COURT CASES, FRUIT OF THE WOMB, HIV CURE, CURE FOR CANCER, HERPES, DIABETE, HERPERTITIS B, PARKINSON’S HERBAL CURE, BECOMING A MERMAID, BECOMING A VAMPIRE, SAVE CHILD BIRTH. They are all %100 Guaranteed QUICK Results, it most work. If you have any problem and you need a real and genuine spell caster to solve your problems, contact me now through my personal Email Address with problem case...Note-you can also Text/Call on WhatsApp.

    Contact me -
    WhatsApp No: +27663492930