Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Why anonymous speech is right-wing

An anonymous poster writes this insight:
Anything anonymous inevitably turns Right Wing, because the only point of being Left Wing is for status, and you can’t win status anonymously, so left wing talking points quickly dissipate, there is no incentive to repeat the pretty lies of the left.

The less anonymous the forum, the less about truth and more about status-signalling the political discussion becomes. It’s why Left Wingers create and congregate in the most deanonymous discussion places, they quickly abandon anonymous places. They can’t hang with unvarnished discussion, and have no status to gain there, so they leave.
This could be empirically tested.

For example everyone praises Martin Luther King Jr in publicly identified speech. But what if we compare all that praise to what people say anonymously?

Reviewers all praised the movie Black Panther. Is it really that good? What do ppl say anonymously?

Almost no public figures criticize MeTooism. A couple of celebrities had some mild criticisms and were forced to recant. This is not healthy. What do ppl say anonymously?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

5 Best Arguments Against Immigration

Here is a libertarian defense of immigration, at Reason.com:
The 5 Best Arguments Against Immigration—and Why They're Wrong ...

They take our jobs and lower wages.
Yes, that is true, but he says: "low-skilled immigrants make things cheaper for all Americans". The biggest thing pro-business libertarians want is lower wages.
They're using massive amounts of welfare.
This one is true also, but they argue that immigrants don't always claim the benefits they are allowed, and thus they collect benefits at a lower rate than poor blacks do.
They don't pay their fair share.
He claims that half of the illegals pay taxes. I doubt it.
They broke the law to get here and they're bringing all their relatives.
No, not all their relatives. Millions of them are on waiting lists to get in.
They're not assimilating.
They say: "By the third generation, just 25 percent of Hispanic households say that Spanish is the dominant language at home.

Maybe assimilation is not the best word here. Even when Mexicans and Hindus and others learn to speak English, they still do not become genuinely American.

Here is what I found most annoying:
More important, immigrants grow the population, which stimulates economic growth, the only way over the long term to improve standards of living.
No, this is crazy libertarian talk. The USA would be a much nicer place if we had 200M residents, and a lot fewer immigrants. While immigration has raised the GDP, it has lowered the standard of living.

And of course the immigrants are not libertarian. The more immigrants we have, the less we will have a free society.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Everyone wants rule by white Europeans

Amy Wax still generates controversy for some common-sense remarks she once made, so I read this Sept 2017 essay attacking her:
I was one of the 33 members of the University of Pennsylvania Law School faculty to sign a letter criticizing Amy Wax’s (joint with Larry Alexander) op-ed and subsequent comments regarding the decline of bourgeois culture and its role in America’s perceived social ills. ...

For starters, in defending her claims regarding the superiority of Anglo-Protestant norms, Wax stated “Everyone wants to go to countries ruled by white Europeans.” This might be surprising to the hundreds of thousands of Chinese immigrants to African countries over the last two decades. While it is true that numbers 1 and 2 on the list of top destination of immigrants are the US and Germany, they are followed by those well-known WASP enclaves of Russia and Saudi Arabia. Number 5 on the list (the UK) fits Wax’s claim, but it is closely followed by that modern-day Mayberry the United Arab Emirates. ...

Wax’s evidence for the proposition that everyone wants to come to Anglo countries due to the cultural norms is about as robust as the evidence for the claim that diversity is our strength. Could be, but how could you prove it? If, as Wax and Alexander suggest in their original op-ed, the US began to deviate from its winning cultural recipe in the late 1960s, their empirical prediction should be that there is less demand to get into the US today than there was in the glorious 1950s.
Is this professor joking?

Yes, there is a lot less demand to live in Detroit since it started going diverse in the 1950s.

Nobody wants to live in Saudi Arabia or UAE, except for the wealth created by white Europeans.

The Chinese are colonizing Africa to exploit its natural resources but they are also coming to the USA to the maximum extent that our immigration and visa laws allow.

This attack on Wax is surprisingly lame. Somehow this guy thought that the issue was important enough that Wax should be condemned, but his essay confirms what she says.

Now her Penn Dean has asked her to take a leave of absence!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Pinker defends cultural appropriation

More from Pinker:
Steven Pinker: Identity politics is the syndrome in which people’s beliefs and interests are assumed to be determined by their membership in groups, particularly their sex, race, sexual orientation, and disability status. Its signature is the tic of preceding a statement with “As a,” as if that bore on the cogency of what was to follow. Identity politics originated with the fact that members of certain groups really were disadvantaged by their group membership, which forged them into a coalition with common interests: Jews really did have a reason to form the Anti-Defamation League.

But when it spreads beyond the target of combatting discrimination and oppression, it is an enemy of reason and Enlightenment values, including, ironically, the pursuit of justice for oppressed groups. For one thing, reason depends on there being an objective reality and universal standards of logic. As Chekhov said, there is no national multiplication table, and there is no racial or LGBT one either. ...

In this regard nothing could be more asinine than outrage against “cultural appropriation”—as if it’s a bad thing, rather than a good thing, for a white writer to try to convey the experiences of a black person, or vice versa.
So what usually follows "as a"? Who is playing the identity politics game?

About 99% of the time, it is someone pushing leftist-Democrat politics based on hatred of white Christian men.

Jews have reason to promote their group interests, regardless of whether they are advantaged or disadvanted. Jews today are probably the most privileged group in the USA, and they still pursue their group interests.

The ADL just got caught making a false claim that the recent school shooter was a white nationalist.

At least Pinker defends free speech:
AR: There is, as you recognize a “liberal tilt” in academia. And you write about it: “Non-leftist speakers are frequently disinvited after protests or drowned out by jeering mobs,” and “anyone who disagrees with the assumption that racism is the cause of all problems is called a racist.” How high are the stakes in universities? Should we worry?

SP: Yes, for three reasons. One is that scholars can’t hope to understand the world (particularly the social world) if some hypotheses are given a free pass and others are unmentionable. As John Stuart Mill noted, “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.” In The Blank Slate I argued that leftist politics had distorted the study of human nature, including sex, violence, gender, childrearing, personality, and intelligence. The second is that people who suddenly discover forbidden facts outside the crucible of reasoned debate (which is what universities should be) can take them to dangerous conclusions, such as that differences between the sexes imply that we should discriminate against women (this kind of fallacy has fueled the alt-right movement). The third problem is that illiberal antics of the hard left are discrediting the rest of academia, including the large swaths of moderates and open-minded scholars who keep their politics out of their research. (Despite the highly publicized follies of academia, it’s still a more disinterested forum than alternatives like the Twittersphere, Congress, or ideologically branded think tanks.) In particular, many right-wingers tell each other that the near-consensus among scientists on human-caused climate change is a conspiracy among politically correct academics who are committed to a government takeover of the economy. This is sheer nonsense, but it can gain traction when the noisiest voices in the academy are the repressive fanatics.
So Pinker should be all in favor of those who attack the leftist identity politics. The leftist identity politics primarily attacks whites, men, Christians, and straights. The necessary response is to defend those groups. In particular, white Christian men should culturally appropriate as much as possible.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Legally fired for telling the truth

Ars Tecnhnica reorts:
Former Google engineer James Damore has attempted to take civil and legal action against his former employer after being fired in August, but on Thursday, a federal memo revealed that one of Damore's filings has been unequivocally denied.

The National Labor Relations Board published its memo this week, which was issued in January after Damore filed a charge against his former employer on August 8. In spite of Damore withdrawing his NLRB filing in September, the board proceeded to examine and issue its own ruling: Google "discharged [Damore] only for [his] unprotected conduct while it explicitly affirmed [his] right to engage in protected conduct." The NLRB emphasized that any charge filed by Damore on the matter should be "dismissed."

In explaining the board's reasoning, NLRB member Jayme Sophir points to two specific parts of the controversial memo circulated by Damore in August: Damore's claim that women are "more prone to 'neuroticism,' resulting in women experiencing higher anxiety and exhibiting lower tolerance for stress" and that "men demonstrate greater variance in IQ than women."

Sophir describes how these gender-specific claims resemble other cases decided by the NLRB that revolved around racist, sexist, and homophobic language in the workplace. She says that specific Damore statements were "discriminatory and constituted sexual harassment, notwithstanding [his] effort to cloak [his] comments with 'scientific' references and analysis, and notwithstanding [his] 'not all women' disclaimers. Moreover, those statements were likely to cause serious dissension and disruption in the workplace."
Got that? If you recite liberal egalitarian opinions that are contrary to the facts, you are protected. If you cite scientific studies that contradict those opinions, you can be summarily fired.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

H-1B workers are like low-wage dog walkers

A couple of leftist Jewish professors write:
While the program might seem crazy at first, it would not be that different from the existing H1-B program, except that individuals like Mary rather than corporations like Google and Exxon would sponsor the workers.
The proposal is to bring in sub-minimum-wage migrants to do jobs like dog-walking.

It would make more sense to export our dogs.

This must be how the slave trade of 300 years ago was justified. It cost more to pay free citizens to pick cotton, so it was more economical to import slaves.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Pinker's new book promotes humanism

Harvard Jewish atheist psychologist Steven Pinker has a new book out about everything good can be credited to rationalist atheist Enlightenment thinkers a few centuries ago. They taught us that it is good to live in peace and harmony, and rescued us from the tyranny of narrow-minded Christians.

He writes a British summary:
The idea of a universal human nature brings us to a third theme, humanism. The thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment saw an urgent need for a secular foundation for morality, because they were haunted by a historical memory of centuries of religious carnage: the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch-hunts, the European wars of religion.

They laid that foundation in what we now call humanism, which privileges the wellbeing of individual men, women, and children over the glory of the tribe, race, nation or religion. It is individuals, not groups, who are sentient – who feel pleasure and pain, fulfillment and anguish. Whether it is framed as the goal of providing the greatest happiness for the greatest number or as a categorical imperative to treat people as ends rather than means, it was the universal capacity of a person to suffer and flourish, they said, that called on our moral concern.

Fortunately, human nature prepares us to answer that call. That is because we are endowed with the sentiment of sympathy, which they also called benevolence, pity and commiseration. Given that we are equipped with the capacity to sympathise with others, nothing can prevent the circle of sympathy from expanding from the family and tribe to embrace all of humankind, particularly as reason goads us into realising that there can be nothing uniquely deserving about ourselves or any of the groups to which we belong. We are forced into cosmopolitanism: accepting our citizenship in the world.
Also in the WSJ:
To what do we owe this progress? Does the universe contain a historical dialectic or arc bending toward justice? The answer is less mysterious: The Enlightenment is working. Our ancestors replaced dogma, tradition and authority with reason, debate and institutions of truth-seeking. They replaced superstition and magic with science. And they shifted their values from the glory of the tribe, nation, race, class or faith toward universal human flourishing.
So Pinker is a universalist egalitarian leftist who believes that he should sympathize with people on the other side of the world as much as his own family.

Pinker has no kids. He is married to a woman philosopher with no kids.

I am all for using reason and evidence, but this is kindergarten morality. Reason leads me to favor my family, tribe, and nation over others.

Even if you favor all those supposedly enlightened liberal values, most of the rest of the world does not. Helping the rest of the world means undermining those values.

Pinker complains about the Crusades, but he does not get to the heart of why the European Enlightenment was superior to what was happening in the Islamic world. An essential part was that the Christians were willing to fight wars to keep the Moslems out of Europe. That was far more important than the ramblings of those Jewish/Atheist thinkers that Pinker likes to cite.

He says that he favors a humanism that privileges individuals over groups, but has any great civilization ever been built with such thinking? Or without waging wars against enemies?

Bill Gates recommends Pinker's book. I haven't seen it. It probably has a lot of legitimate facts about how modern life is good, but his theorizing about causality is questionable.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

MeTooism is a plot to enslave men

For the last week, the mainstream news media has been filled with stories about how some White House aide had some fights with his ex-wives. The most serious specific allegation is that they had a fight 2 years into their 5-year marriage, and she ran off to the shower, and he opened the shower door, grabbed her by the shoulders, and yelled at her. She also said that the good times outweighed the bad, that he is a good man, and that she is now consumed with jealousy about his new girlfriend.

This is really trivial. It is hard to see how anyone could think that this was relevant to his White House job, even if it were true. Something else must be going on here.

I think that we are witnessing a new movement taking hold. A coalition of feminists and white knights is promoting the belief that in any dispute between a man and a woman, we must always take the side of the woman. They are aided and abetted by opportunists, who want to sell gossip or take down enemies, and cowards, who are afraid to express their true opinions.

As evidence for this, I point to the increasing ridiculousness of the accusations. It is as if the feminists and white knights deliberately want to make a spectacle out of baseless accusations, in order to make the point that we must all take the woman's side even if it has no merit.

Another target in the news is Woody Allen. The accusations against him don't make any sense, and were obviously cooked up to support a child custody dispute in court.

Furthermore, the accusers in most of these cases are pretty obviously mentally ill. The publicity is not helping them, because it is fueling their delusions, shame, anger, paranoia, and weirdo obsessions.

So what is the point of these accusations? What is the endgame that the feminists and white knights seek?

Believe it or not, there are people who genuinely believe that we should move to a matriarchal society. You see it from Hillary Clinton and others who say "the future is female". But you also see it from some men who consider themselves traditional conservatives. They seem to believe that marriages will be better if the husband is under a constant blackmail threat. That is, if things go bad and the husband does not behave as the wife wishes, then she will claim some sort of abuse, and he will be ruined. She will get the house, the money, and the kids, and he will be permanently blackballed from any respectable position in our society. His future employers will be told to fire him, as what happened to Porter, the White House aid.

What if we passed a law saying that in any dispute between a white man and a black man, the white man is always to be believed and the the black man is not allowed to testify? Everyone would agree that his would just be a trick to enslave blacks. Likewise, MeTooism is a trick to enslave men. The purpose to blackmail all men by holding them under a threat of an accusation from many years that will be impossible to refute.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Women once ruled computers

Bloomberg excerpts Brotopia:
Based on data they had gathered from the same sample of mostly male programmers, Cannon and Perry decided that happy software engineers shared one striking characteristic: They “don’t like people.” In their final report they concluded that programmers “dislike activities involving close personal interaction; they are generally more interested in things than in people.” There’s little evidence to suggest that antisocial people are more adept at math or computers. Unfortunately, there’s a wealth of evidence to suggest that if you set out to hire antisocial nerds, you’ll wind up hiring a lot more men than women.

Cannon and Perry’s research was influential at a crucial juncture in the development of the industry. In 1968, a tech recruiter said at a conference that programmers were “often egocentric, slightly neurotic,” and bordered on “limited schizophrenia,” also noting a high “incidence of beards, sandals, and other symptoms of rugged individualism or nonconformity.” Even then, the peculiarity of male programmers was well-known and celebrated; today, the term “neckbeard” is used almost affectionately. There is, of course, no equivalent term of endearment for women. In fact, the words “women” and “woman” don’t appear once in Cannon and Perry’s 82-page paper; the researchers refer to the entire group surveyed as “men.” ...

Damore’s argument hinged on the conventional wisdom that being interested in people somehow correlated with poor performance as a software engineer. Men were more likely to be antisocial than women; therefore, he intimated, men were inherently better programmers. Damore presented this as a novel observation. In fact, it was the same lazy argument advanced by Cannon and Perry 50 years earlier.
The article (and book, I guess) seems to accept the idea that men are naturally more likely to be antisocial nerds, but reject the idea that men are naturally more suited to computer programming.

If you have some sort of equalist philosophical prejudice, then I guess you would believe that men and women, whites and blacks, Catholics and Moslems, etc would all be equally suited for computer programming. But then I would think that you would insist on believing that all are equally likely to be antisocial nerds.

Once you admit that one group is more likely to include antisocial nerds, then it seems obvious that the group will be more suited to some occupations than others.

Or perhaps there is a belief that our society should be re-engineered in order to make life easier for women and harder for antisocial nerds. If computer programmers were forced to spend half their time doing child care, then maybe it would not appeal to antisocial nerds anymore, and women would take over the field.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Female professionals going back 20 years

From a NY Post op-ed:
Men are scared, and feminists are delighted. But the urge to call out and punish male sexual transgression is bound to clash with an inescapable truth: We’re all in this together, men and women.

Consider what’s happening in the capital of Florida. Female staffers and lobbyists have found “many male legislators will no longer meet with them privately,” reported The Miami Herald. “I had a senator say, ‘I need my aide here in the room because I need a chaperone,’ ” lobbyist Jennifer Green told the paper. “I said, ‘Senator, why do you need a chaperone? ... Do you feel uncomfortable around me?’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘anyone can say anything with the door shut.’”

“I’m getting the feeling that we’re going back 20 years as female professionals,” said Green, who owns her company. “I fully anticipate I’m going to be competing with another firm that is currently owned by some male, and the deciding factor is going to be: ‘You don’t want to hire a female lobbying firm in this environment.’”

This kind of thinking is catching on in aggressively P.C. Silicon Valley, where men are taking to message boards like Reddit to express interest in sex segregation — sometimes labeled “Men Going Their Own Way,” or the “Man-o-Sphere.” How will that work out for women in the tech industry, where they already face substantial challenges?
VP Mike Pence figured this out many years ago. Don't give women the opportunity to make a false accusation.

If trends continue, cautious men will keep all women at a distance, except when using prostitution services. Prostitution will be seen as the most politically correct sexual experience.

Meanwhile, the Wash. Post reports on male frustration on the other side of the world:
Nigel, a handsome gannet bird who lived on a desolate island off the coast of New Zealand, died suddenly this week. Wherever his soul has landed, the singles scene surely cannot be worse.

The bird was lured to Mana Island five years ago by wildlife officials who, in hopes of establishing a gannet colony there, had placed concrete gannet decoys on cliffsides and broadcast the sound of the species’ calls. Nigel accepted the invitation, arriving in 2013 as the island’s first gannet in 40 years. But none of his brethren joined him.

In the absence of a living love interest, Nigel became enamored with one of the 80 faux birds. He built her — it? — a nest. He groomed her “chilly, concrete feathers ... year after year after year,” the Guardian reported. He died next to her in that unrequited love nest, the vibrant orange-yellow plumage of his head contrasting, as ever, with the weathered, lemony paint of hers.
A trolling neo-nazi site celebrates:
Everything we’d hoped for when we began the Metooist journey is coming to fruition.

This is more than we ever could have hoped for.

There are two angles in this golden triangle:

Jews are getting destroyed at a much higher rate than anyone else
It is making feminism totally non-viable as a system, given that the implications of “any woman can say anything and be believed” means that no man is willing to be around women, and women are thus less desirable as employees or colleagues

This is liberal lupus: the body is attacking itself.

And the thing about this train is: it’s like an Amtrak – it has no brakes!

They can’t somehow walk this back or say that a time is coming when men won’t be mobbed and fired for touching a woman’s leg. They have committed themselves to giving women the right to destroy the life and career of any man they wish to target, and there is no path to take away that power within the liberal system. This is very similar to the way that when they triggered blacks and Antifa to attack Confederate heroes, there was no way to stop them from going after Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

The liberal Jewish system can only go forward, never backward.

And how can sustained metoo possibly be compatible with the modern mutlti-sexual workplace? ...

The feminist idea was forced on society by Jews. It is unnatural. And its ultimate end is obviously sex segregation, which is the thing that it was initially designed to oppose.

Again, this is similar to the way blacks are now demanding racial segregation at universities and elsewhere.

The natural order will always assert itself. Everything works toward that end. The only way to keep the natural order at bay is to constantly be applying force against it, as the Jews have done. But the longer you do that, the more force is necessary as the pressure builds.

This is why this super-authoritarianism has emerged from the J-left, where everything is about shutting down speech and punishing people for any small disagreement with the system while also attempting to bury white people under a mountain of brown third world sludge. But that mindset is what created Donald Trump. And the pressure that is being applied to Donald Trump will ultimately create an even more aggressive right-wing force.

The tides of the universe itself are now turning in our favor, friends. All we need to do is continue the sabotage of the social order.
I wonder if the MeTooism folks realize that their actions are aligned with neo-nazi trolls.

Monday, February 05, 2018

No immigration reform is feasible

I meant to post of list of things that I have learned in 2017. I have sometimes posted such lists in previous years.

Here are a couple.

I no longer think that any reasonable immigration reform or compromise is possible. The white-haters are convinced that they now have the momentum to turn the USA into a non-white-majority country, and they will refuse to deal.

As someone pointed out, the Democrats are somewhat like the Palestinian Arabs who are always demanding some sort of deal, but then turn down every reasonable deal that is proposed. They are bent on radical policies that will lead to disaster.

Cape Town South Africa is running out of water. Would American tolerate something similar happening here? We shall see. I think that we will have some ugly fights, no matter what.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Child support is evil

Dalrock is a Bible-reading Christian, and he criticizes other Christians
Brother Jed preaches the gospel of child support: ...

In preaching this evil gospel, for the destruction of marriage is evil, Brother Jed is ignoring the only truly innocent party to the process he loves: the children. Child support is designed to replace marriage, and it is wickedly effective at this. The point of the post Brother Jed was responding to was that child support creates a powerful incentive for women to deliberately become single mothers. ...

Over a million and a half children are now born out of wedlock each year in the US alone. Not all of this “progress” is due to the financial incentives Bro Jed loves so much. Part of the credit must go to the moral cover Bro Jed and other conservatives provide for single mothers.
Dalrock is right to call out these Christians who supposedly support Christian marriage, but actually support a variety of anti-marriage policies. The biggest is child support. If policymakers were trying to devise an evil plot to destroy marriage, it is hard to see how they could have done a better job.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Why leftists hate YouTube

The Guardian reports:
He believes one of the most shocking examples was detected by his program in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. As he observed in a short, largely unnoticed blogpost published after Donald Trump was elected, the impact of YouTube’s recommendation algorithm was not neutral during the presidential race: it was pushing videos that were, in the main, helpful to Trump and damaging to Hillary Clinton. “It was strange,” he explains to me. “Wherever you started, whether it was from a Trump search or a Clinton search, the recommendation algorithm was much more likely to push you in a pro-Trump direction.”
YouTube is owned by Alphabet/Google, and management was openly supporting Clinton in the election. How can this be?

It is simple. YouTube has too much content for management to efficiently censor. The mainstream news media was ducking the real campaign issues. If you wanted clear-cut explanations for a Trump vote, you could find them on YouTube.

I watched the pro-Clinton videos also, but they were painful. Her ads appealed mainly to those who hate white males. Her incompetence and dishonesty were astounding. It was amazing that anyone could think that she was fit to be President.

The article complains that YouTube promoted videos by Alex Jones and his "far-right conspiracy theories". Jones does have some fringe material, but if you watched him, then you would have known the revelations in the House intel FISA abuse memo about a year ahead of everyone else.

YouTube tries to censor right-wing videos, but hasn't figured out how to do it yet. For a while, it was tagging disclaimers to some videos with offensive views. I watched a couple of them, and they were completely reasonable fact-filled videos. Google was effectively saying that these were dangerous facts, just as it was saying by firing James Damore.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Why Hollywood is liberal

A sociology professor writes in the NY Times:
It’s award season in Hollywood, and it looks like the big winner will be progressive politics. ... What makes actors so liberal?
He gives some explanations, including demographic ones, but strangely omits the most obvious demographic, except to say that the industry "had become an ethnic niche for Jews."
There is, however, a third explanation worth pondering: that the emotional requirements of acting are conducive to progressive politics. ...

But in a recent paper, the psychologist Adam Waytz and his colleagues report a more nuanced finding: The main thing distinguishing liberals and conservatives in this regard isn’t how empathetic they are overall; rather, the key difference is how much empathy they feel for specific groups. Where conservatives empathize foremost with family members and country, liberals extend the bounds of empathy to include friends, the socially disadvantaged and citizens of the world, to whom they’d like government to lend a hand.
No, I really doubt that the Harvey Weinsteins of Hollywood have any more empathy for anyone, except fellow Jews. They live in gated communities and want personally nothing to do with the socially disadvantaged. Pretending to have empathy for specific groups is just part of their religion.

The same paper has this interview:
[Philip Galanes] The motto of the foundation is: “Every life has equal value.” And in your new book, Steven, there’s the idea that we can’t want something good for ourselves without wanting it for everyone. But in truth, I want better things for my husband and my kids than for you. Is that evil, or human?

[Bill Gates]]BG That’s natural. It’s even predicted by evolutionary logic. What makes Papua New Guinea — where there’s no police and revenge after revenge — different from Western society is that when we give ourselves over to the law, we want it to be executed impartially. We gain stability. But if you could get your son off, of course you’ll try.

[Steven Pinker] You left off a crucial piece in framing the proposition, Philip — which comes from Spinoza. He said those under the influence of reason desire nothing for themselves that they do not desire for all humankind. But reason is not a powerful part of human nature. Innately, we favor family over strangers, our tribe over other tribes. It’s only when we’re called upon to justify our beliefs — not consult our gut feelings, but convince others of the right way to act — that we conclude that all lives have equal value.
Spinoza was a 17-th century Jewish atheist philosopher. Pinker's "Better Angels" book attacks Christianity, and instead credits Spinoza for inventing peaceful thinking. Pinker has a sequel about to be published, Enlightenment Now.
In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. ... Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism ...
I am skeptical about humanism, but I'll wait for the book. I previously criticized Better Angels.

Thinking that all lives have equal value is not a rational or enlightened view. It is just what I call kindergarten morality. That is, it is something we tell small children in order to induce certain behaviors. With small kids, you can get away with unjustified platitudes if they sound fair to a 5-year-old.

Even Gates seems to concede that his own slogan runs contrary to evolutionary logic. Saying that lives have equal value is just a dumbed-down way of saying that we get stability from applying the laws impartially.

Update: I see that the Grammy Awards TV show featured Hillary Clinton reading from an anti-Trump book, and the show had the lowest viewer rating in its history. Face it -- Hollywood is at war with mainstream America.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

New fossils from ex-Africans

NPR Radio reports:
Archaeologists in Israel have discovered the oldest fossil of a modern human outside Africa. The fossil suggests that humans first migrated out of the continent much earlier than previously believed. ...

A detailed analysis of the jawbone and the teeth confirmed that it indeed belonged to someone of our species, Homo sapiens. And when they dated the fossil, it turned out to be between 177,000 and 194,000 years old, making it the oldest known such fossil outside the African continent.
No, we have Neanderthal fossils older than that, and they are human and found outside Africa.

These new fossils are from humans who were not modern humans, and not known to be ancestors to modern humans. What was found was that the teeth look slightly more similar to Africans than to Neanderthals and other human relatives. And they only got about 100 out of Africa, so this is not a big deal.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Lost without Indian engineers

The San Jose Mercury News reports:
Foreigners are wrecking America, some say, but new data suggests that Silicon Valley would be lost without them.

About 71 percent of tech workers in the valley are foreign-born, compared to about 50 percent in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward region, according to a new report based on 2016 census data. ...

Although 2016 data released by the federal government last year shows that outsourcing companies — mostly from India — raked in the bulk of H-1B visas, Google took more than 2,500 and Apple nearly 2,000 to hire foreign workers, about 60 percent of them holding master’s degrees.

Large companies, the Seattle Times pointed out, are better equipped to bring in workers under the H-1B.
Lost without them? Not a chance.

Americans sent a man to the Moon without Indian engineers. Sure, we had Werner von Braun, but nearly all the work was done by Americans.

And now we need Indians to make some web sites for Google and Facebook? This is pitiful. Every one of those H-1B jobs could be better done by an American.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Most people are irresponsible for their actions

Artist Raoul Martinez gives this TeDx talk:
Much about who we are is determined by the lottery of our birth. We inherit genes we didn't ask for, and are faced with a world we played no part in creating. In short, we are shaped by forces over which we have no control. Raoul Martinez examines the radical implications this has for our personal and political freedom. He challenges the way we think about responsibility, blame, punishment, and, ultimately identity, compelling us to question the forces — religious, cultural, economic and political — that have shaped us.
He previously wrote this book:
‘If our choices are produced by a brain we didn’t choose, I don’t think it makes sense to say we are truly responsible for our actions,” says Raoul Martinez, pausing to sip from his glass of stout. I eye him over my cappuccino. If I spilled his pint now, would I deserve punishment for this action, in the form of a punch on the nose from the 33-year-old author of this season’s must-have text for thinking radicals? Apparently not. “If that is true,” resumes Martinez, “then the moment we blame or say certain actions deserve punishment seems to be incoherent.”

This may seem the stuff of a million undergraduate philosophy essays on the free will versus determinism puzzle. ...

What makes his arguments unusual is that they lead to some chastening conclusions. Here are a few: prisons need to be emptied of all but those who pose a threat to society. Elections must be exposed as a shabby trick on a deluded populace, a lie of democratic choice in a system controlled by money. The media must be revealed as what it is – a corporate capitalist machine to mass-produce stupidity (with the happy exception of this article). The planet needs to be conceptually reconfigured as something other than a resource to be despoiled to keep us in lifestyles that don’t make us happy or fulfilled. The pursuit of economic growth, profit and consumption must be shown up as a damaging value system that, as he puts it, “drives us to chase things that don’t matter and disconnect from things that do”.
He appears to be some sort of neo-nazi who has carefully tempered his conclusions to be palatable to the Crtl-Left.

If he is right, then it is a waste of time to try to persuade or reform other peoples and cultures. If you want to raise your nation into something better, then you have to exile or exterminate the undesirables.

Democracy is a big sham. Votes are manipulated, and predicted by demographics. Ultimately you need some sort of ethnic cleansing to maintain democracy, or else the barbarians will take over.

Economic growth is another false god. We already have enough riches to make everyone happy, at least in the USA. Chasing profits disconnects us from the corrupting influences of forces outside our control.

He seems to believe that some people can achieve freedom, while most people are effectively slaves. We should stop pretending that the slaves have any agency in their behavior, and start treating them likes the slaves that they are.

I am not saying I agree with him. He states some strange opinions about what is good and bad. He overstates genetic determinism. But if he says he has no free will, maybe we should believe him.

Here is a leftist-atheist-evolutionist who denies free will:
I have no confidence in free will, even though, like all people, I feel as if I have agency. But if I think about it for a millisecond, I know that I could not do otherwise than what I do—nor can anybody else. Has that made me fatalistic, subject to a deteriorating mind? I don’t think so! ...

I don’t deny for a minute that all of us feel that we make real choices, and could have made different choices. But feeling that and believing that it’s true are different matters. We can still feel that we have agency, but at the same time realize that we don’t—and society will survive. It’s members will be like me, and though you may say that’s not such a good thing, I contend that a nation of determinists is not a nation doomed.
It is hard to see how democracy can work if most people do not have free will. It is also hard to see the libertarian ideal of a consensual society can exist, if people do not have the freedom to make the choices that they appear to have.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Brooks on the power of touch

David Brooks writes in the NY Times:
In 1945, the Austrian physician René Spitz investigated an orphanage that took extra care to make sure its infants were not infected with disease. The children received first-class nutrition and medical care, but they were barely touched, to minimize their contact with germs. The approach was a catastrophe. Thirty-seven percent of the babies died before reaching age 2.

It turns out that empathetic physical contact is essential for life. Intimate touch engages the emotions and wires the fibers of the brain together.
I don't believe this. It suggests that 37% of the babies died because they were not touched? No, they were dying of something else, and "barely touched" is just an excuse.

From googling this, I see that Spitz was a Jewish psychoanalyst student of Freud.
One unintended effect of this disenchantment is that it becomes easy to underestimate the risks inherent in any encounter. The woman who talked in an online article about her date with Aziz Ansari is being criticized because what happened to her was not like what happened to the victims of Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K. There was no workplace power dynamic and no clear violation of consent. The assumption seems to be that as long as there’s consent between adults, everything else is kosher.

Surely that’s setting the bar amazingly low. Everything we know about touch suggests that even with full consent, the emotional quality of an encounter can have profound positive or negative effects. If Ansari did treat her coldly or neglectfully, it’s reasonable to think that the shame she felt right after was the surface effect of a deeper wound. Neglectful, dehumanizing sex is not harassment, but it’s some other form of serious harm.
This is weird. Ansari is not accused of treating her coldly or neglectfully. He is accused of the opposite.

The accusations against Louis C.K. did not involve any workplace power dynamic or clear violation of consent. His accusers were groupies who went to his hotel room after a comedy act, and they reported that he explicitly asked them for consent, and he refrained if they said no.
The abuse of intimacy erodes all the building blocks of agency: self-worth, resiliency and self-efficacy (the belief that you can control a situation). It is precisely someone who lives within a culture of supposedly zipless encounters who is most likely to be unable to take action when she feels uncomfortable. It’s the partner’s responsibility to be sensitive to this possibility.
The slut who went home with Ansari later complained that he was just like the other men that she dated. Did that mean that she was unable to recognize her discomfort? No, that's crazy. It meant that she knew exactly what she was doing, and was consciously consenting to it.

Brooks is probably mainly known for appearing on TV representing Republicans, when in fact he denounces Donald Trump in the harshest terms. For his personal life, see this 2015 Politico story:
New York Times columnist David Brooks is getting the full Washington book party treatment Thursday night, with a fancy party to be hosted at the Kalorama mansion of his old friends Atlantic owner David Bradley and his wife. The new Brooks book, The Road to Character, extols the virtue of a noble life via the study of a handful of leaders and thinkers. However, it’s the effusive 110-word display of admiration and gratitude Brooks gives to Anne C. Snyder, his 30-year-old former New York Times research assistant, which is catching people’s attention. Brooks, easily one of the most admired conservative columnists in America, with a distinguished list of bestselling books, and a vocal critic of morality and cultural habits, devotes the opening paragraph of the “Acknowledgements” section to Snyder, gushing about the “lyricism of her prose” and the “sensitivity of her observations.” Brooks says it was Snyder’s influence that led him to write a book about “morality and inner life” and that she was a close partner in the “three years of its writing.”

The big-thinking journalist even gives credit to Snyder for the ideas in The Road to Character, writing: “If there are any important points in this book, they probably come from Anne.” Contacted Wednesday, Brooks backpedaled a bit. “That phrase,” he said, “was probably a poor choice of words on my part. I was trying to be appreciative and lighthearted.” Yet Anne Snyder, who now lives in Houston, stands in the acknowledgements as the only person not given a specific title: Fact-checker, editor, friend, parent, or even “ex-wife.” Brooks recently divorced his wife of 28 years, Sarah Brooks, and she gets a brief nod in the very last paragraph of the Acknowledgements for the “amazing job” she has done raising the couple’s three kids. Brooks didn’t respond to a question about his relationship with Snyder, and when asked whether the columnist and Snyder had ever been in a relationship, Brooks’ publicist answered only in the present tense: “He is not in a relationship with Anne Snyder.”
Yeah, it was just what you think. Politico was astute to notice this. Brooks is now married to Anne Snyder. It is funny how a mistress can persuade him to dump his wife and write a book about “morality and inner life”.

I am not trying to MeToo Brooks, he is irritating with bogus research reporting and anti-American politics. One professor remarked:
We all know that New York Times columnist David Brooks deals in false statistics, he’s willing and able to get factual matters wrong, he doesn’t even fact-check his own reporting, his response when people point out his mistakes is irritation rather than thanks, he won’t run a correction even if the entire basis for one of his columns is destroyed, and he thinks that he thinks technical knowledge is like the recipes in a cookbook and can be learned by rote. A friend of facts, he’s not.

Friday, January 19, 2018

ADL targets whites for blame

CNN reports:
White supremacists were responsible for the majority of extremist killings in 2017 compared to other groups, according to a newly released report by the Anti-Defamation League.

Of the 34 people the league's Center on Extremism found were killed by domestic extremists last year, right-wing extremists killed 20 people, with 18 of those killed by white supremacists, it said in the report released Wednesday.
Really? Did I miss all those news stories? I only remember the one Charlottesville death, and that one might turn out to be an accident, or self-defense. The accused guy had no relation to the organizers, and his motives are unknown.

The ADL list of white supremacists includes one guy who "had been a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders—seemingly because he thought Sanders would smash the establishment." Another who "allegedly shot to death two of his roommates for making fun of his recent conversion to Islam." Another who "arrested on first-degree murder charges for the murder of his uncle, Randy Gene Baker. Baker’s wife and sister were similarly arrested. The motive was apparently personal."

This is a Jewish organization making bigoted and hateful attacks against non-Jews, and using group generalizations to impune bad motives to white non-Jews. Okay, fine, they hate non-Jews, whites, and right-wingers. They are like the mirror image of the Daily Stormer, which tries to blame everything on Jews.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

No discernible empathy for Trayvon

From The Nation:
Indeed, four days after Zimmerman’s acquittal, the Pew Research Center asked people in a nationwide survey if they were satisfied or dissatisfied with the verdict. The racial divide could not have been starker: 86 percent of blacks surveyed expressed dissatisfaction, compared with 30 percent of whites. When respondents were asked if “race is getting more attention than it deserves” in the Zimmerman case, 60 percent of whites agreed, compared with just 13 percent of blacks. ...

Shortly after the Zimmerman verdict, my wife Stephanie and our children attended a bar mitzvah for the son of some dear friends down the block. Their kid now goes to the same high school as our daughter — a school that counts among its alumni both the musician Lauryn Hill and the alt-right shock jock Mike Enoch. At the reception, ... insisting that Zimmerman had killed Martin in self-defense. “I was taken aback,” Stephanie recalls. Our neighbor had “no discernible empathy for Trayvon.” ...

These new white supremacists are coming not with tiki torches but with reasoned arguments, buttressed by facts and figures, to make palatable racist ideas that many people, deep down, have always felt were true. And while white liberals have the luxury of deciding whether to maintain a fight against this white-nationalist threat, black people don’t; neither do Mexican Americans, Muslim Americans, or any number of immigrants.
To today's Left, you are a white supremacist if you side with the hispanic guy who was being beaten to death by a young black thug.

Empathy for Trayvon was almost 100% anti-white hatred. Those with reasoned arguments, facts and figures, inevitably conclude that there is an anti-white war going on.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

You guys are all the same

The Daily Stormer gets called neo-nazi for pointing out things like this, but it says 68% of Those Metooed in 2017 Were Jewish. Not yet on the list is the biggest dark-skinned Muslim Hollywood star, Aziz Ansari:
We spoke to Grace last week. When we met, Ansari had just won Best Actor for his Netflix show “Master Of None” at the Golden Globes, where he declared his support for the fight against sexual assault and harassment by wearing a “Time’s Up” pin on the red carpet. ...

“I remember saying, ‘You guys are all the same, you guys are all the fucking same.’” Ansari asked her what she meant. ...

Grace compares Ansari’s sexual mannerisms to those of a horny, rough, entitled 18-year-old. She said so to her friends via text after the date and said the same thing to me when we spoke.

But Aziz Ansari isn’t an 18-year-old. He’s a 34-year-old actor and comedian of global renown who’s probably done more thinking about the nuances of dating and sex in the digital age than practically anyone else. He wrote a book about it, “Modern Romance”, and it was a New York Times bestseller. ...

Grace responded. “You ignored clear non-verbal cues; you kept going with advances.”
This is bizarre. By her own admission, Grace aggressively pursued Ansari and twice started to give him a blow job. When a woman puts a man's penis in her mouth, she is indeed giving a clear non-verbal cue. It appears to me that Ansazi did not ignore the cues at all.

Guys all the same? I infer from this that Grace has a long history of slutty behavior with men. She probably likes men who pretend to support feminist causes, while being sexually aggressive in private.

See Caitlin Flanagan for a more sensible view.

Update: This video has more analysis. They think Ansari is a big charlatan for promoting man-hating feminist drivel.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Increasingly Dangerous To Be A Christian

NPR Radio reports:
Report Shows It's Increasingly Dangerous To Be A Christian In Many Countries

Open Doors USA released its annual list of the most dangerous countries for Christians. Among those where anti-Christian hostility has grown are India and Turkey, two important U.S. allies. ...

Among the 50 countries on this watch list are ones you'd expect. North Korea is the worst place to be a Christian. Afghanistan is a close second. Most are countries where Islamist radicals target non-Muslims.
And the biggest offender is Afghanistan, which the USA has occupied since 2002.

Will someone please explain to me why the USA fights Islamic wars, for Islamic causes, and installs Islamic governments that persecute Christians?

Friday, January 12, 2018

Pinker swallowed the red pill

I mentioned that the Ctrl-Left was all upset that Steve Pinker made some favorable comments about the Alt-Right, and now a NY Times op-ed by Jesse Singal has joined the action.
The idea that Mr. Pinker, a liberal, Jewish psychology professor, is a fan of a racist, anti-Semitic online movement is absurd on its face,
Note the identity politics. The assumption is that you can deduce his views from the fact that he is a Jewish professor.
The clip was deeply misleading. If you watch the whole eight-minute video from which it was culled, it’s clear that Mr. Pinker’s entire point is that the alt-right’s beliefs are false and illogical — but that the left needs to do a better job fighting against them.
No, that is not Pinker's point at all. Pinker says that the Alt-Right has beliefs based on true facts, and on logical inferences from those facts.
This problem presents itself when it comes to “the often highly literate, highly intelligent people who gravitate to the alt-right: internet savvy, media savvy, who often are radicalized in that way, who ‘swallow the red pill,’ as the saying goes, the allusion from ‘The Matrix.’”
Pinker's point is that intelligent ppl on the Alt-Right have swallowed the red pill, and squarely accepted truths about the real world that mainstream academics try to conceal or deny.
That’s unfortunate, Mr. Pinker argues, because while someone might use these facts to support bigoted views, that needn’t be the case, because “for each one of these facts, there are very powerful counterarguments for why they don’t license racism and sexism and anarcho-capitalism and so on.”
This is an Alt-Right opinion. There is no agreement on the Alt-Right about what to do about racism and sexism. There is agreement that objective facts about race, sex, and human nature should be recognized, and addressed by policies.

Pinker has swallowed the red pill.

This is not really new, and his book The Blank Slate clearly demonstrates that he accepts aspects of human nature that his leftist colleagues prefer to ignore.

Pinker self-identifies as a Canadian-born Jewish atheist psychology professor. So it is fair to assume that his tribal sympathies lie there. Most of those on the Alt-Right have different identifications. Pinker is very hostile to Christianity, and has written that Christianity is an evil influence on the world. Some on the Alt-Right would say similar things about Judaism. So they have religious differences. That's obvious, and we don't need a NY Times op-ed to point that out.

Many on the Alt-Right expect Jews to be anti-Christian, so there is nothing remarkable there. The point here is that Pinker clearly identifies himself as someone who has taken the red pill, and that is what the Alt-Right likes to see.

The mental inference fallacy

Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett is an expert on emotions, and she mostly denies that there is any such thing in the way that ppl think of emotions.

In particular, she claims that ppl are mostly wrong when they try to read the emotions of others. In the case of animals, she writes:
In the world of animal research, mental inference is rampant. For example, baby rats, when separated from their mother after birth, make a high-pitched noise that sounds to us like crying. Some scientists inferred that the brain circuitry responsible for the crying must be the circuitry for distress. But these baby rats aren’t sad. They’re cold. The sound is just a byproduct as the baby rats try to regulate their body temperature ​— ​a task normally done by their absent mothers. It has nothing to do with emotion. But to an observer, even a well-meaning and highly intelligent one, the sound is easily and automatically perceived as sadness.

Mental inference is normal. Children assign fascinating personalities to their toys. Adults do likewise with their cars. People constantly guess at the meanings of each other’s actions, from raised eyebrows to teenage eye rolls. But scientists in the lab must resist the lure of mental inference, lest they fall prey to the mental inference fallacy and unknowingly taint their research.
Her popular book is How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain. She just gave a TED Talk on the subject.

I haven't read the book, but I suspect that she is wrong in that she is denying human nature. Humans have natural innate biological emotions, and they are not all learned. But I suspect that she is right that nearly all humans are making fallacious mental inferences all the time. She claims to have a lot of published research to back her up on this, and I believe it.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Clumsy flirting is not an offense

This is funny. Feminists are in hysterics about this:
Paris (CNN)A collective of 100 French women including film star Catherine Deneuve have signed an open letter defending men's "freedom to pester" women, sparking an angry response from a group of feminist activists.
The open letter, which criticized the #MeToo movement and warned about a new "puritanism" sparked by recent sexual harassment allegations, was published Tuesday in French newspaper Le Monde.

The group of writers, performers, academics and businesswomen denounced a "hatred of men and sexuality" and the recent wave of "denunciations." Men's "freedom to pester" is "indispensable to sexual freedom," they wrote.
"Rape is a crime, but insistent or clumsy flirting is not an offense, nor is gallantry macho aggression." ...

Deneuve and others argue that while the Harvey Weinstein scandal had led to a "legitimate wake-up call to the sexual violence exercised against women," the "fever" of publicly denouncing abusers "really only serves the enemies of sexual freedom."

Cycle of shame: Harassed in the street, then again on social media

To make matters worse, they wrote, "the movement chains women to the status of the eternal victim" by framing them as "poor little things who are dominated by demon phallocrats."

Not only that, but the movement has spawned a wave of hatred toward the accused, they said, who are mentioned in the same breath as sexual aggressors without being given the chance to defend themselves.

This new type of "swift justice" has already claimed its victims, they wrote, citing men forced to resign "when all they did wrong was touch a knee."

This comment is a clear reference to the resignation of former UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, who stepped down in November after admitting to touching journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer's knee in 2002.
Even the NY Times published a MeTooism criticism:
But privately, I suspect, many of us, including many longstanding feminists, will be rolling our eyes, having had it with the reflexive and unnuanced sense of outrage that has accompanied this cause from its inception, turning a bona fide moment of moral accountability into a series of ad hoc and sometimes unproven accusations.
I am beginning to think that no one expects women to make any sense on this subject.

When those women wore black at the Golden Globes, were they trying to make a statement that they too had traded sexual favors to get movie roles? And when women complain about sexual harassment, how many of them are just trying to brag that they are pretty enough to attract male attention. Most of these complainers appear to be seriously mentally disturbed.

Pinker explains the Alt Right

Some leftists are upset by this:
Steven Pinker starts out by explaining that the alt-right are "highly literate, highly intelligent people" who have been "radicalized" by exposure to "true statements that have never been voiced on college campuses". ...

And what are some of these true statements he’s referring to? Handily, he provides examples in the very same speech:

“Capitalist societies are better than communist ones.”
“Men and women are not identical in their priorities, in their sexuality, and in their tastes and interests.”
“Different ethnic groups commit violent crimes at different rates.”
“Worldwide, the overwhelming majority of suicide-terrorist acts are committed by Islamist extremist groups.”
Here is an example of leftist denial of reality:
Susan Wojcicki is said to have been the loudest voice in Google’s executive ranks demanding the firing of heretic James Damore to encourage the others. The funny thing about it is that Wojcicki consistently explains that Damore had to be fired for the most maternal reasons imaginable: she felt that his memo affected her emotional relationship with her five children.
In her words:
Wojcicki, who was part of the team at Google that decided to fire Damore, recalled talking about it over dinner with her children, to whom she had always tried to promote diversity and equality.

“The first question they had about it [was], ‘Is that true?’” Wojcicki said on the latest Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher. “That really, really surprised me, because here I am — I’ve spent so much time, so much of my career, to try to overcome stereotypes, and then here was this letter that was somehow convincing my kids and many other women in the industry, and men in the industry, convincing them that they were less capable. That really upset me.”
So instead of answering whether the claims were true, she fired the guy.

As long as the Left is in the business of suppressing the truth, the Alt-Right will be primarily about exposing the truth. The truth will set you free.

Jerry Coyne says "Pinker smeared again by those who distort his words". I am not sure he has been smeared. This is a battle between the Alt-Right and the Ctrl-Left. Recognizing objective truths about groups puts Pinker on the side of the Alt-Right, even if he is a leftist Jewish atheist childless Canadian Harvard professor Trump-hater. If he went full Alt-Right, he would probably get kicked out of Harvard and ostracized from his intellectual circles. We can only expect him to go so far.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Skeptic article says Sandusky is innocent

Leftist evolutionist professor Jerry Coyne writes:
Was Jerry Sandusky, “the most hated man in America”, guilty of sexual child abuse?

Up to now, virtually everyone would have to answer the title question with a resounding “YES!”, but after reading a new article in Skeptic magazine by Fred Crews (former chair of English at Berkeley, a debunker of Freud and recovered-memory therapy and, for full disclosure, a friend), I’d have to answer “I’m not sure.” ...

At the time of the trial, nobody had any doubt about Sandusky’s guilt, and the press jumped on the story. ...

Then, in October of last year, Mark Pendergrast, who’s also published on the fallacy of “recovered memory”, came out with a book called The Most Hated Man in America: Jerry Sandusky and the Rush to Judgement . In his view, Sandusky is “probably innocent.” But how could that be, with ten alleged victims in the trial  and the press backing up the allegations?

I haven’t read Pendergrast’s book, but the Skeptic article by Fred Crews, “Trial by therapy: the Jerry Sandusky case revisited“, summarizes the book in an accessible way. I’d recommend reading it, as Crews isn’t somebody who is gullible, and has spent his career as a skeptic, largely about Freud and issues of recovered memory. I note as well that THE expert on the fatal flaws of “recovered memory”, Elizabeth Loftus, has also endorsed Pendergrast’s book ...
Almost everyone believed Sandusky's guilt. Not me. At the time of the trial, I posted many times on this blog about the absurdity of the evidence against him. It was essentially all recovered memories of carefully coached witnesses who were also suing Penn State for millions of dollars. There was never any good evidence.

This case is just one of several where the public was overwhelmingly convinced of guilt, even tho the facts were wildly implausible. Others were the McMartin preschool, Duke lacrosse, UVa fraternity rape, Trayvon Martin, and Ferguson Mo police. These were all witch-hunts that no one with common sense should have ever believed.

When I first started posting on Penn State, I did not know anyone with an ounce of skepticism about the official story. No journalist or any public official showed any skepticism. It seemed obvious to me that the Freeh report was just a crooked lawyer hatchet job to generate legal fees for plaintiffs' attorneys.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Google Stifles Conservatives

A sample from the Damore v Google lawsuit:
Google Even Attempted to Stifle Conservative Parenting Styles

123. Google furnishes a large number of internal mailing lists catering to employees with alternative lifestyles, including furries, polygamy, transgenderism, and plurality3, for the purpose of discussing sexual topics. The only lifestyle that seems to not be openly discussed on Google's internal forums is traditional heterosexual monogamy.

124. In March of 2017, Google HR strongly suggested to a Google employee that conservative and traditional parenting techniques were unwelcome at Google.

125. Google HR brought up the following post that the employee made in response to a Google thread in which someone specifically requested conservative parenting advice:
"If I had a child, I would teach him/her traditional gender roles and patriarchy from a very young age. That's the hardest thing to fix later, and our degenerate society constantly pushes the wrong message."
126. Google HR stated, "We did not find that this post, on its face, violated any of Google's policies, but your choice of words could suggest that you were advocating for a system in which men work outside the home and women do not, or that you were advocating for rigid adherence to gender identity at birth. We trust that neither is what you intended to say. We are providing you with this feedback so that you can better understand how some Googlers interpreted your statements, and so that you are better equipped to ensure that Google is a place in which all Googlers are able to reach their full potential." In other words, Google scolded the Google Employee for, among other things, believing that gender identity is set at birth biologically-a position held by the vast majority of the world's populace that Google professes to serve.

127. These examples were just a few instances of Google bending over backwards to support liberal views while punishing conservative views.
This is not the worst. There are many pages of blacklists and other spiteful Google conduct.

Google could have avoided this lawsuit, and not fired Damore. My theory is that Google wanted this lawsuit. Sure, it will cost Google many millions of dollars to defend against it, but Google has other lawsuits against its racist and sexist management, and it probably regards those suits as more damaging.

Google also went out of its way to seize the dailystormer.com domain name, in a case of internet censorship purely for political views. (The site is currently at dailystormer.red. It is funny, irreverent, and sharply discusses political views of various groups, if you can get past the offensive imagery.) Apparently Google wants to be known as a censor of Alt Right views. It also wanted to be known as a big supporter of Hillary Clinton. Some social justice warriors will credit Google for fighting the good fight. I think that Google is a menace.

Google is a business, of course, and maybe its business interest is to be a 21st century white slaver company. It makes billions of dollars off white-haters and those sympathetic to white-haters. I am glad to see Damore call it out for what it is.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Likes Trump policies, hates the man

NPR Radio broadcast an interview on
Controversial Social Scientist Charles Murray Retires

Murray says that immigration, globalism, and liberalism are destroying America, and it will never be great again. He implies that any fixes would be so drastic that he would never publicly advocate them. America is in an irreversible decline, and he has no suggestion.

Furthermore, he is a never-Trumper. He hates everything about Trump, and probably voted for Hillary Clinton.

However, Murray agrees with everything Trump has actually done in office.

Why did anyone consider Murray a great thinker or social scientist? He is a walking contradiction. He is like Sam Harris and a long list of other intellectuals.

If you listen to what they say, and exclude all the sentences including the name "Trump", then you would conclude that they should be firm Trump supporters. But when asked about Trump, they start babbling nonsense about some sort of emotional rejection of him.

An intellectual should be able to give intelligent and reasoned arguments for his positions. And yet Murray cannot seem to give a coherent argument against Trump. What is the problem?

I believe America is declining. I posted before that we might not be able to put a man on the Moon again. But irreversible? No, it is just a matter or will.

When we put a man on the Moon, we were putting our best men on the project. We had a 24-year-old engineer in Houston making a critical decision for the Lunar Lander. Now that job would be filled using a lot of factors other than competence, and no one would similarly trust him or her.

Murray is either clouded by his limited thinking, or chicken to say what needs to be done.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Bonobos prefer socially dominant jerks

With all the talk about MeTooism, is there anyone who dares to say what baloney it all is?

Men and women have fundamentally different natures. They have to get together, or the human race dies out.

Men are the aggressors. Women passively enhance their beauty in the hopes of attracting a mate. Men have to prove themselves, and make the moves. Women act like prizes to be won, and just want to accept or reject the masculine advances.

Not always, of course. In some societies, the parents arrange marriages to cousins at an early age, and there is no dating.

New research shows that bonobos prefer the socially-dominant jerks, just like human female instincts, as NPR Radio reports:
NPR Radio reports today:
This bias toward helpfulness seems almost hardwired in humans. Back in 2007, for example, researchers reported that 6- and 10-month-old infants could evaluate social interactions that they saw in puppet shows. ...

Humans might not want to interact with someone who is not nice, but it looks like bonobos interpret the meanie's behavior as a sign of dominance. "Dominance is really important for apes because it determines access to resources, access to food and mating opportunities and things like that," says Krupenye. "They're attracted to an individual who might be a powerful friend or ally, as opposed to someone who is just generally helpful or pleasant."

The researchers did this experiment in bonobos because these apes are known for being particularly friendly and social.
See also SciAm article.

The researchers suggest that humans are different, but that is based on research on babies as young as 3 months. A 3-month-old human baby can barely focus her eyes on a shiny object. I do not believe that such a baby can make the complex social judgments described here.

Whether you agree with this or not, millions of women dress up and put on make up in order to attract socially dominant jerks making sexual advances.

The MeTooism crowd say that it is wrong for a man to make unwanted sexual advances. Maybe so, but why is it any more wrong than for a woman to dress like a slut?

The situations seem symmetrical to me. In both cases, the men and woman are following customary mating rituals. The woman who dresses like a slut is potentially creating discomfort for most of the men around her sexual advertising.

But men like to look at attractive women, you might say. This is like saying women like to attract male attention. Yes, they do, but there is a time and a place for it. Men usually do not like being distracted by cockteasers in the office, when they are trying to get some work done.

You might say that this burden on men is trivial. Maybe so, but is it any more trivial than the burdens on women that make up most of the MeTooism complaints?

Any honest discussion of MeTooism should address these issues: (1) Women instinctively desire socially dominant jerks. (2) Women only complain about sexual harassment if the man is not high-status enough. (3) Women who dress like sluts are just as obnoxious as the men who sexually harass.

My guess is that no one wants to address these issues because no one wants to deal with a bunch of irrational feminists anyway.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Who controls what you see

CH has posted a chart of who owns and runs the major media companies that control your mind. I was surprised at how few of them are white people.

Do you expect your news reporting to be ideologically balanced? Your entertainment? Of course not. Consider the source.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

White Genocide professor resigns

The Bezos Wash. Post reports:
Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher tweeted that all he wanted for Christmas was white genocide.

This week, he resigned, ...

The Christmas tweet was meant to be satirical, as white genocide is an “imaginary concept” used by the far right to scare white people, Ciccariello-Maher said.
I am not in favor of firing someone for a tweet, but it appears that his explanation made things worse. He is like someone who tweets, "All I want for Christmas is a Jewish Holocaust", and then explaining that there was never any such thing as Jewish Holocaust anyway.

He got in more trouble for other remarks:
The professor had drawn attention for a series of inflammatory remarks. Most recently, he was placed on administrative leave after he blamed the Oct. 1 Las Vegas massacre of 58 people on the “narrative of white victimization” and “Trumpism.”

In another instance, Ciccariello-Maher in March said he wanted to “vomit or yell” after seeing an airline passenger giving up a first-class seat to a U.S. military service member. On Christmas Eve last year, he said that all he wanted for the holidays was a “white genocide.”
Again, he is entitled to his opinion, but college professors usually get fired if they keep denigrating a race of people.

Wikipedia calls White Genocide a "conspiracy theory". The article does not allege a conspiracy in the sense of a secret plot. This is like saying the Jewish Holocaust is a conspiracy theory.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Violence decline is just a scaling effect

AAAS Science mag reports:
Are people in big, modern societies more or less violent than our forebears? The answer is neither, according to a controversial new study: People who lived in small bands in the past had no more proclivity toward violence than we do today. The finding—based on estimates of war casualties throughout history—undercuts the popular argument that humans have become a more peaceful species over time, thanks to advances in technology and governance. ...

But a team led by anthropologist Rahul Oka at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana wondered whether there was a mathematical explanation for why fewer people proportionally are lost to violence nowadays. They reasoned that as populations get bigger, their armies don’t necessarily grow at the same rate. In a small group of 100 adults, for example, it would be perfectly reasonable to have 25 warriors, says anthropologist and study co-author Mark Golitko, also at Notre Dame. But in a population of 100 million, supporting and coordinating an army of 25 million soldiers is logistically impossible, to say nothing of such an army’s effectiveness. Researchers call that incongruity a scaling effect.
I made a similar point on this blog in a 2011 post:
Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature is one of the better-selling science-related books of the year. As noted below, it claims that violence has declined over history in spite of Christianity.

Pinker's quantitative analysis seems to based on the assumption that violence should be expected to scale linearly with population size. So he compares the Mongol invasion to recent wars by counting deaths, as a proportion of the population at the time. His trick has the effect of making the Mongol invasion seem much more deadly than it was.

This assumption seems dubious. If we have a population of N people, and we assume that each pair of people has a 1% chance of being enemies, then we expect about 0.01N2 pairs of enemies. If violence occurs between enemies, then we might expect violence to grow quadratically in N.

However civilization would be impossible if violence grew that rapidly. Maybe it makes more sense to assume that potential friendships grow quadratically in N. Then maybe societies can use those friendships to self-organize into peaceful communities, and violence would grow sublinearly in N. Maybe violence only grows like the square root of N, or even the logarithm of N.
I posted some additional criticisms of Pinker's book in 2012.

Pinker's book got a lot of praise, and this scaling problem seemed obvious to me. Was I really the only person to notice this problem in 6 years? Hard to believe.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Allowing judges to dictate choice of school

UCLA prof E. Volokh has moved his blog to a Libertarian site, while claiming that he is only "Often Libertarian", and not necessarily a true libertarian.

He has a libertarian view of the 1st and 2nd Amendments, but he agrees with this family court decision:
That's correct, I think; the father doesn't have a right to demand that R.A. go to a religious school over the mother's objection, but neither does the mother have a right to demand that R.A. go to a secular school over the father's contrary preference. When there is such a conflict, a court must decide, and it must do so on a basis other than the school's religiosity; the Nevada Supreme Court noted several religion-neutral factors for lower courts to consider in making this decision:

(1) The wishes of the child, to the extent that the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference;

(2) The child's educational needs and each school's ability to meet them;

(3) The curriculum, method of teaching, and quality of instruction at each school;

(4) The child's past scholastic achievement and predicted performance at each school;

(5) The child's medical needs and each school's ability to meet them;

(6) The child's extracurricular interests and each school's ability to satisfy them;

(7) Whether leaving the child's current school would disrupt the child's academic progress;

(8) The child's ability to adapt to an unfamiliar environment;

(9) The length of commute to each school and other logistical concerns;

(10) Whether enrolling the child at a school is likely to alienate the child from a parent.
Allowing a judge to force a school choice on parents based on those factors is one of the most anti-libertarian decisions possible.

In the case, the divorced parents agreed to split the cost of private school if they agreed on a private school, but they did not agree to one.

I don't see judge's opinion of those factors 1-10 have any relevance. If the parents don't agree to pay for private school, then the kids can attend public school. Or one parent might offer to pay for private school. But there agreement explicitly rejects the idea that one parent could force the other parent to pay for private school, and the judge should not be able to force that parent either.

I guess that there are Libertarians who believe that children should have individual rights independent of the preferences of their parents. But how would that ever work? It would mean that govt bureaucrats and judges take over the most personal decisions that families make. It would have some of the worst aspects of Communism.

I used to think that Libertarians were pro-freedom, and I was all in favor of that. But more and more, I see Libertarians applaud the most anti-freedom policies.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Brainwashed college girl cannot accept mom's facts

Here is the advoce column in my local newspaper yesterday:
Dear Amy: My mother is a very hardworking and dedicated mother, but she has some very problematic views of the world. She assumes that refugees are going to terrorize our country and that women only gossip and tear each other down (for instance). The thing is, she is an immigrant herself from a Latin country.

When I explain to her how problematic her thinking is, she tells me one story about something she saw that backs up her claims.

I was privileged enough to graduate from a private liberal arts school (through scholarships). That experience opened my eyes to racism, sexism and other problems in our country and around the world.

I visit my mother once a week and we read the newspaper together. We start a dialogue about the never-ending stories about sexual assault and police brutality, and it always ends in a fight.

I want to spend time with my mother, but it's hard to listen to the things she says.
This is funny. The mother is obviously much wiser than her dopey college daughter who has been brainwashed to be a social justice warrior. The mother even backs up her opinions with facts and evidence!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Human capability peaked before 1975

John Derbyshire says we aren't going back to the Moon, because of politics, budgets, and this 2010 essay:
Human capability peaked before 1975 and has since declined
I suspect that human capability reached its peak or plateau around 1965-75 – at the time of the Apollo moon landings – and has been declining ever since.

This may sound bizarre or just plain false, but the argument is simple. That landing of men on the moon and bringing them back alive was the supreme achievement of human capability, the most difficult problem ever solved by humans. 40 years ago we could do it – repeatedly – but since then we have *not* been to the moon, and I suggest the real reason we have not been to the moon since 1972 is that we cannot any longer do it. Humans have lost the capability.

Of course, the standard line is that humans stopped going to the moon only because we no longer *wanted* to go to the moon, or could not afford to, or something…– but I am suggesting that all this is BS, merely excuses for not doing something which we *cannot* do.

It is as if an eighty year old ex-professional-cyclist was to claim that the reason he had stopped competing in the Tour de France was that he had now had found better ways to spend his time and money. It may be true; but does not disguise the fact that an 80 year old could not compete in international cycling races even if he wanted to.

Human capability partly depends on technology. A big task requires a variety of appropriate and interlocking technologies – the absence of any one vital technology would prevent attainment. I presume that technology has continued to improve since 1975 – so technological decline is not likely to be the reason for failure of capability.

But, however well planned, human capability in complex tasks also depends on ‘on-the-job’ problem-solving – the ability to combine expertise and creativity to deal with unforeseen situations.

On the job problem-solving means having the best people doing the most important jobs. For example, if it had not been Neil Armstrong at the controls of the first Apollo 11 lunar lander but had instead been somebody of lesser ability, decisiveness, courage and creativity – the mission would either have failed or aborted. If both the astronauts and NASA ground staff had been anything less than superb, then the Apollo 13 mission would have led to loss of life.
Back then we had a telephone system that was 99.999% reliable. I wonder whether we will ever see any complex system that reliable again.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Possible backlash against MeTooism

I commented on how many feminists refuse to make distinctions between serious crimes like rape, and commonplace flirting that some consider rude.

Here is a Politico essay by Emily Yoffe:
Why the #MeToo Movement Should Be Ready for a Backlash

In the past few weeks, a number of accused men have disappeared Soviet-style from public life, with the work of some—Louis C.K. and Garrison Keillor, for example—withdrawn from distribution. There has been discussion about whether everyone accused deserves a professional death penalty, or whether there should be a scale of punishment. After all, the violations run the gamut from multiple allegations of rape to unwanted touching. But in a statement on Facebook calling for Franken’s resignation, New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand came out against making such distinctions. “While it’s true that his behavior is not the same as the criminal conduct alleged against [Alabama Senate candidate] Roy Moore, or Harvey Weinstein, or President Trump, it is still unquestionably wrong,” she wrote. “We should not have to be explaining the gradations between sexual assault, harassment and unwelcome groping.”

In a New York Times op-ed, actress Amber Tamblyn wrote that making distinctions will mean the cultural change that is happening will stall and bad behavior will win out. So, she wrote, “The punishment for harassment is you disappear. The punishment for rape is you disappear. The punishment for masturbation in front of us is you disappear. The punishment for coercion is you disappear.” (She conceded that some men may be allowed to come back professionally after a period of contrition.)

This erasing of distinctions between the criminal and the loutish was a central feature of the campus initiatives of the Obama administration and led to many unjustified punishments. “Definitions of sexual wrongdoing on college campuses are now seriously overbroad,” the feminist Harvard Law professors wrote. “They are so broad as to put students engaged in behavior that is overwhelmingly common in the context of romantic relationships to be accused of sexual misconduct.”
Remember this next time you hear some feminist say that someone was raped. Maybe the accused just made a rude comment, and the feminist refuses to distinguish that from rape.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

MeTooism is intolerant of distinctions

The NY Times reports:
The actor Matt Damon waded into the national conversation about sexual assault in an interview with ABC News on Thursday, observing that men are being lumped into “one big bucket” when in reality there is a “spectrum of behavior.”

“You know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?” he told Peter Travers of ABC. “Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”

Those comments were met with anger and frustration online, where many women, including the actress Alyssa Milano, rejected attempts to categorize various forms of sexual misconduct.

“They all hurt,” Ms. Milano wrote on Twitter on Friday. “And they are all connected to a patriarchy intertwined with normalized, accepted — even welcomed — misogyny.”

Other critiques soon followed — with some women speaking up in Mr. Damon’s defense — but the tenor of the conversation was the same: frustration, anger and exasperation.
Some of the complaints are really trivial. Some are things that 99% of the population would take no offense to.

So these are all supposed to be the same?

This reminds of feminists who say that all rape is the same. A brutal stranger rape is just the same as routine drunken sexual relations between lovers who did not formally articulate consent.

The world has gone mad.

Meanwhile, others are saying that MeTooism is anti-semitic, because the big majority of the high-profile targets have been Jewish men.

I guess MeTooism is a good name for knee-jerk liberal feminist blaming of Jewish men for behavior many years ago, with no one allowed to doubt the accusers or distinguish the seriousness of the rude behaviors.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Many states considering shared parenting

The Bezos Wash. Post reports:
Now lawmakers are accelerating this trend toward co-parenting, with legislatures in more than 20 states this year considering bills that would encourage shared parenting or make it a legal presumption — even when parents disagree. ...

The legal push for custody arrangements follows years of lobbying by fathers’ rights advocates who say men feel alienated from their children and overburdened by child-support obligations. This movement is gaining new traction with support from across the political spectrum, as more lawmakers respond to this appeal for gender equality and, among some conservatives, the frustration of a newly emboldened constituency of men who say they are being shortchanged.

Critics of the bills ... say that stricter laws will ... take discretion away from judges who are tasked with deciding what is in the best interest of children.
There are many arguments for shared parenting, but I don't think that the best are either fathers' rights or gender equality.

The most convincing arguments are the studies that overwhelmingly show that shared parenting works best, especially when the parents have conflict or disagree.

I think that the best argument is the negation of the last one from the critics. We should take discretion away from judges who are tasked with deciding what is in the best interest of children. We want children reared by their parents, not micro-managed by judges.