Remembering Dan Seligman
February 09, 2009, 05:46 AM
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Listening to speakers at Michael Hart's Preserving Western Civilization conference in Baltimore this weekend praise Daniel Seligman's 1992 book A Question of Intelligence, a brilliantly concise introduction to the IQ issue, I made a mental note to get back in contact with Dan - only to find, on returning home, reports of his death.

Dan was instrumental in recruiting me to Fortune Magazine in 1983. It was a disaster, because that once-great institution had become hopelessly sclerotic.

But, paradoxically, that very sclerosis meant that Dan's own highly politically-incorrect column was effectively grandfathered in and continued as a beacon, especially on the IQ issue, until new editors were imported and finally moved to impose MSM conformity in 1997.

Happily, by then I was able to return the favor by getting Jim Michaels to invite Dan to jump to Forbes. Earlier, Michaels had allowed me to write a supportive account of Dan and his book. It says a lot about Dan and the isues that interested him that I would otherwise say here.

It went through with no intervention from Steve Forbes-he had earlier killed a story by me about Linda Gottfredson and Bob Gordon's work—lulling us to plan a cover story on The Bell Curve, with catastrophic results.

Dan was pessimistic about the Bell Curve controversy, predicting it would would kill public debate, which turned out to be all too true (although Phil Rushton tells me exactly the opposite has happened in specialist academe). But, pessimistic or not, he did not waver. Dan wrote only one article for us, alas, in the very early days of VDARE.COM. But I console myself that we have at least this unique remembrance of him.