Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nuclear power is best carbon-free power

Peter Thiel writes in the NY Times:
The single most important action we can take is thawing a nuclear energy policy that keeps our technology frozen in time. If we are serious about replacing fossil fuels, we are going to need nuclear power, so the choice is stark: We can keep on merely talking about a carbon-free world, or we can go ahead and create one.

We already know that today’s energy sources cannot sustain a future we want to live in. ...

The 2011 Fukushima disaster seemed at first to confirm old fears: Nearly 16,000 people were killed by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. But nobody in Japan died from radiation, and in 2013 United Nations researchers predicted that “no discernible increased incidence of radiation-related health effects are expected.”
Some global warming alarmists do say that nuclear power is the only large-scale carbon-free alternative.

But when you hear Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Pope Francis, and other liberals urge drastic action for global warming, but do not mention nuclear power, then it is obvious that they do not take global warming seriously.

Maybe no drastic action is needed. SciAm reports:
he climate change debate has been polarized into a simple dichotomy. Either global warming is “real, man-made and dangerous,” as Pres. Barack Obama thinks, or it’s a “hoax,” as Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe thinks. But there is a third possibility: that it is real, man-made and not dangerous, at least not for a long time.

This “lukewarm” option has been boosted by recent climate research, and if it is right, current policies may do more harm than good. ...

As the upcoming Paris climate conference shows, the world is awash with plans, promises and policies to tackle climate change. But they are having little effect. Ten years ago the world derived 87 percent of its primary energy from fossil fuels; today, according the widely respected BP statistical review of world energy, the figure is still 87 percent. The decline in nuclear power has been matched by the rise in renewables but the proportion coming from wind and solar is still only 1 percent.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Autistic people are fully conscious

Sigmund Freud is famous for stressing the importance of the unconscious mind, while others say that there is no scientific merit to anything he said on this subject. Apparently there is no decisive proof that we even have an unconscious mind of the sort that Freud proposed. (Everyone agrees that there is unconscious mental activity that keeps our hearts beating, but that is not was Freud was talking about.)

Maybe some people have unconscious minds and some do not, as argued here:
As examples, Grandin cites personal experience and others’ observations to show that those with autism share a number of traits with animals that other people do not. Like animals, Grandin argues, she does not have an unconscious mind in the sense that other people do — that is, no subconscious area into which to push unpleasant images and associations so that they do not trouble the conscious mind. This is because the frontal lobe, which malfunctions in autistic people, is responsible for our verbal memory — our sense of our own past as a narrative. The frontal lobe blocks non-autistic people’s abilities to remember things visually — in terms of pictures, instead of words — meaning that without it, autistic people cannot get those unpleasant images out of their minds. Animals have similar problems — whereas most people are able to overcome traumatic experiences, for examples, most animals cannot, as those memories of trauma are so visually powerful that they cannot be “forgotten” the way we forget things by pushing them into our unconscious.

Another example is the way animals deal with pain. Numerous studies have shown that pain, in the sense that we typically experience it, is a function of the frontal lobes. Without complete frontal lobe function, the pain is still present, but it is the frontal lobe that makes non-autistic human beings care about pain so much, and without that function, pain is relegated to the background. Grandin recounts her own hysterectomy, and the fact that she was far less bothered by the pain of the operation than most patients, as evidence. In fact, Grandin argues that much of the concern with mistreatment of animals is misplaced — pain does not bother animals as much as fear, a sentiment shared by autistic people. For Grandin, fear and anxiety were the defining emotions of her childhood and teenage years. In autistic people and in animals, fear occupies the place in the mind that pain does in non-autistic people. She argues that humane treatment of animals must take fear into account, perhaps moreso even than pain.
I do not know how much her personal experience generalizes to others. Autistic people are usually much better grounded in reality, and are much less likely to delude themselves about living in some imaginary fantasy world.

Maybe the unconscious mind should be considered a mental illness, like schizophrenia. Maybe also for being highly bothered by pain.

I have heard people argue vigorously for a Freudian unconscious mind, with the main argument being that it is obvious from personal experience. Maybe those people really do lack a conscious awareness of some of what they are doing, and maybe they dislike people who are fully conscious.

On the subject of autism, some people accused a great physicist of having some sort of high-functioning autism based on anecdotes like this:
He only ever wore a three-piece suit, year round, rain or shine, morning and night. The non-logic of social interactions just didn’t interest him. When he was at Cambridge someone remarked to him, ‘It’s a bit rainy, isn’t it?’ He got up, walked to the window, came back, sat down again, and said: ‘It is not now raining.'”
I guess the point of this story is most neurotypical people have non-logical conversations, such as talking about the weather being rainy, without any concern for whether or not it is really raining. Paul Dirac was sufficiently grounded in reality that he would want to know whether it is raining in order to conduct a conversation on it being rainy. Maybe those controlled by unconscious minds do not care whether it is really raining.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Claiming that China needs more people

The WSJ is in favor of economic growth above all else, and is running articles with pro-population propaganda. From Monday's front page:
The world's new population time bomb: too few people

Ever since the global financial crisis, economists have groped for reasons to explain why growth in the U.S. and abroad has repeatedly disappointed, citing everything from fiscal austerity to the euro meltdown. They are now coming to realize that one of the stiffest headwinds is also one of the hardest to overcome: demographics.

Next year, the world’s advanced economies will reach a critical milestone. For the first time since 1950, their combined working-age population will decline, according to United Nations projections, and by 2050 it will shrink 5%. The ranks of workers will also fall in key emerging markets, such as China and Russia. At the same time the share of these countries’ population over 65 will skyrocket.

Previous generations fretted about the world having too many people. Today’s problem is too few.
And again on Tuesday's front page:
A nation of 1.4 billion faces a labor shortage

Last month, China announced it was abolishing its decades-old policy restricting most couples to one child. But that won’t likely put much of a dent in the country’s looming demographic problem because relatively few Chinese prefer to have more than one child, economists note — and it will be at least 16 years before any additional babies make it to the job market.
No, it is crazy to worry about China not having enuf people. Most of its problems, from water, energy, natural resources, pollution, politics, and everything else stem from too many people.

Are they worried that companies like Apple will have a harder time hiring Chinese workers for a dollar a day? They should not be, as robots will be soon doing those jobs.

These same people are always pushing immigration into Europe and USA, in order to drive down wages and supply cheap labor to businesses. That may be raising the GDP, but it is lowering the average standard of living.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Princeton caves in to black protesters

When I went to Princeton, Wilson was the most revered figured. He was president of both the college and the USA. But now this:
Princeton students ended a 32-hour sit-in in the university president’s office on Thursday night after administrators signed a document that committed them to begin conversations about addressing racial tension on campus, including possibly removing the name of former President Woodrow Wilson from some public spaces, the university and students said.

The sit-in came amid racial tension and escalating student activism on college campuses nationwide and focused in part on what students called Wilson’s legacy of racism. Shortly after the document was signed, an administrator received a bomb or firearm threat by email. It was being investigated late Thursday.
Wow. Glenn Beck has separately persuaded millions of people that Wilson was the worst USA president of the XX century. Wilson shares blame for World War I, the League of Nations, Federal Reserve Bank, income tax, various progressive policies, and letting his wife run the country.

If Wilson were still president of Princeton, I think that he would have expelled all the protesting students. And probably would not have admitted them in the first place.

Of course he was a racist. Most progressives are racists. And so are today's colleges, apparently.

The non-white students say things like "justice is what love looks like in public", and how they are seeking to have their feelings acknowledged. Okay, can we all acknowledge that they are cry-babies?

Update: I just got an alumni email from the Princeton president, saying:
We must commit ourselves to make this University a place where students from all backgrounds feel respected and valued. ...

I care deeply about what our students are saying to us, and I am determined to do whatever I can, in collaboration with others, to improve the climate on this campus so that all students are respected, valued, and supported as members of a vibrant and diverse learning community. ...

One of the most sensitive and controversial issues pertains to Woodrow Wilson’s legacy on the campus.
Conservatives have complained about Wilson for decades, but they did not phrase their complaints in terms of having their feelings respected.

On other campuses, there are a lot of demands for more mental health treatments.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The facts about Islam

I just stumbled across Glenn Beck's book, It IS About Islam: Exposing the Truth About ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate (The Control Series). An Amazon review says:
The heart of this book seems to be Part Two, an extended refutation of the lie that the chaos we see "has nothing to do with Islam." The 13 lies are:
#1-Islam is a religion of peace ...
#2-Islam is not much different than Christianity or Judaism
#3-Jihad is a peaceful, internal struggle ...
#4-Muslims don't actually seek to live under sharia ...
#5-America is safe from sharia law
#6-The caliphate is a fanciful dream
#7-Islam is tolerant toward non-Muslims
#8-Addressing frustration, poverty, and joblessness ...
#9-Critics of Islam are bigots
#10-Islam respects the rights of women
#11-Iran can be trusted with a nuclear weapon
#12-The Muslim Brotherhood is a moderate, mainstream Islamic group
#13-Islam respects freedom of speech

Mr Beck clearly explains what is wrong with each statement, with plenty of examples.
President Barack Obama is the most prominent liar, as he said in a 2009 prepared speech:
So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn't. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.
Only Moslems believe that Islam was "revealed". There is no "partnership between America and Islam". Most stereotypes are true, according to social science research. It is not the responsibility of the President to defend Islam, and certainly not to argue against true stereotypes.

Here is more evidence about Obama's religion.

The review also says:
4: Reestablishing the Caliphate
According to a book published in 2005, September 11th, 2001 was one of the first steps in al-Qaeda's twenty-year plan to bring about the apocalypse:
I: The Muslim Awakening (2000-2003), provoking the West
II: Opening Eyes (2003-2006), recruitment to the cause
III: Arising and Standing Up (2007-2010), expanding the fight to Syria and other places
IV: Collapse (2010-2013), the collapse of western-style regimes in the Arab world
V: Caliphate (2013-2016), the reestablishment and gradual growth of the Caliphate
VI: Total Confrontation (2016-2019), the West's final, dying breath
VII: Definitive Victory (2020), the Caliphate will become the "world's lone superpower"

Beck reminds us that although the final result might seem absurd, "the first five phases have been right on schedule." This is especially worrisome when we observe this summer's [2015] vast, unchecked invasion of "refugees," many of whom are carrying fake Syrian passports.
I do wonder whether the West has the will to stand up to Mohammedan aggression.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Muslim lives matter less

Wash. Post columnist David Ignatius writes:
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates >> Do Western nations think that Muslim lives matter less? Most of us would resist any such characterization of callousness. But Western outrage about the carnage in Paris, coupled with near-indifference to similar killings in the Arab world, suggests to many Muslims that a double standard exists — and they find it deeply upsetting.

In the past week, terrorists apparently aligned with the Islamic State conducted three savage attacks: The assaults in Paris that killed at least 129 people Friday night were the worst. But Sunni terrorists also struck Thursday in Beirut in a double suicide bombing that killed at least 43 in a Shiite neighborhood. Twin bombings in Shiite areas of Baghdad on Friday killed 26, and a string of bombs added at least seven more on Sunday.
Yes, of course Western nations think that Muslim lives matter less. This aspect of human nature was explained by Adam Smith centuries ago.

Only someone suffering from a serious mental illness would believe that all lives are of equal value to him.

Here is a related argument:
President Barack Obama said suggestions that the U.S. impose a religious test on Syrian refugees are “shameful” and un-American, lashing out at Republican presidential candidates, including Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz, who have called for accepting only Christians and excluding Muslims.

“That’s not American. That’s not who we are,” Obama said, responding to a question at a news conference Monday at the Group of 20 summit in Antalya, Turkey. “We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”
I am not saying that Obama is mentally ill. I suspect that he would rather bring in the Muslims than the Christians.

The Christians are peaceful. The Muslims are trying to kill us, and bring down Western civilization. That ought to be enuf of a difference.

A global warming eugenics proposal

What does it take to get a liberal to favor eugenics? This article favors it to make people shorter and combat global warming:
Over the last century, our species has seen an unprecedented species - wide growth spurt — a 4-inch increase on average. The most extreme examples are in Japan, where mean height has increased 5.5 inches in the last 50 years, and in the Netherlands, where people have grown eight inches in the last 150 years. This recent uptick differs from all other height fluctuations in history: It is due, not to natural selection, but to unnatural nutritional overabundance, writes Michael J. Dougherty, now director of education at the American Society of Human Genetics. ...

Liao does argue that, “in light of the problem of climate change,” humanity should consider shrinking, ...

Liao would accomplish this height reduction through pre-implantation diagnosis, a screening test used to determine whether genetic or chromosomal disorders are present in developing embryos before they are inserted into mothers through in vitro procedures.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Nearest exoplanet disappeared

The Diary of Anne Frank was written by her father. So says the copyright owner, who wants to extend the copyright.

That nearby Alpha Centauri exoplanet has disappeared on re-examination of the data.

Here is ISIS claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks. It will be interesting to see who still favors flooding Europe and the USA with Moslem migrants.

AAAS Science magazine admits:
Many scientists argue that Earth formed as a dry planet, and gained its water millions of years later through the impact of water-bearing asteroids or comets. But now, scientists say that Earth may have had water from the start, inheriti

Sunday, November 15, 2015

How people get labeled autistic or psychopathic

The official autism rate is being raised again:
Autism affects one in 45 children in the United States, almost twice the rate from a few years ago, said a survey Friday that uses a new approach to assess the frequency of the developmental disorder.

The latest figures may reflect a more accurate picture of autism spectrum disorder, said the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, and so does not necessarily mean that there is a ballooning autism epidemic.
They are pathologizing normal behavior.
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that may cause a person to have difficulty behaving, learning, communicating and interacting with people. It is believed to be influenced by genetic and environmental factors, though scientists do not fully understand all its causes.

There is no known cure, but early intervention in toddlers as young as two can sometimes help.
If you want lots of funding, what would you do? Take healthy behavior that is slightly outside the norm, declare it an incurable disease, and claim that some bogus therapies somehow help anyway.

So what gets someone labeled autistic? Sometimes it is a sign of a lack of empathy, such as this:
People with psychopathic characteristics are less likely to be affected by "contagious yawning" than those who are empathetic, according to a Baylor University psychology study.
That's right, to these conformist creeps, there is something wrong with you if you do not yawn when everyone else does.

Another tip-off is the use of logical language:
The researchers compared stories told by 14 imprisoned psychopathic male murderers with those of 38 convicted murderers who were not diagnosed as psychopathic. Each subject was asked to describe his crime in detail; the stories were taped, transcribed and subjected to computer analysis.

A psychopath, as described by psychologists, is emotionally flat, lacks empathy for the feelings of others, and is free of remorse. Psychopaths behave as if the world is to be used for their benefit, and they employ deception and feigned emotion to manipulate others.

The words of the experimental subjects matched these descriptions. Psychopaths used more conjunctions like "because," "since" or "so that," implying that the crime "had to be done" to obtain a particular goal. They used twice as many words relating to physical needs, such as food, sex or money, while non-psychopaths used more words about social needs, including family, religion and spirituality.
My guess is that the murderers got diagnosed as psychopathic because, in part, they used logical instead of emotional explanations. The psychologists who do these studies prefer the emotional explanations, and try to pathologize anything logical.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Why Chinese are learning English

The Language Log blog is always claiming that anything can be translated from any language to any other. But in reality, there is no practical substitute for English:
I asked the BC professor how his lectures were going, and he told me that he found it extremely frustrating to talk about his specialty in Chinese. In those days, the level of English knowledge was still minimal in most sectors of the population, including in the universities. He told me that he spent most of his time just trying to convey in Mandarin the meaning of essential technical terms in English. It often ended up that, in essence, he was serving both as a fund of information about biochemistry and also as a teacher of technical English vocabulary. ...

That's just one field in which technical and linguistic transfer were going on simultaneously. It was happening in virtually every field of science and technology, and in later decades it happened in the social sciences and the humanities as well.
Occasionally I hear people say that Chinese language is more important, because of their growing population and economy. No, Chinese languages are unsuitable for the modern world, and they are learning English.

Friday, November 13, 2015

No tolerance for intolerance

NPR radio reports:
In the interview with the magazine, Obama talks about a number of topics, such as the first openly gay person he knew (a professor at Occidental), how Malia and Sasha and their generation view LGBT people (no tolerance for intolerance), and about Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and religious freedom (nobody is above the rule of law).
Of course Pres. Obama campaigned as an opponent to same-sex marriage, and tried to act above the law by refusing to defend and enforce the law on the subject.

Worse is the new leftist mantra of no tolerance for intolerance.

If Bill Clinton was our first black president, then Obama is our first gay Moslem president. Maybe our first female president also.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Film falsely blames man for attack

Here is CNN propaganda against college men:
Nineteen Harvard Law professors have written a letter condemning "The Hunting Ground," a film purporting to be a documentary about campus sexual assault. The film has been getting some Oscar buzz, and CNN is preparing to air the program next week.

In a press package for the film, CNN singled out a story in the film about a sexual assault accusation at Harvard. The press packet named the accused student, even though he was not identified in the film. The 19 professors want to be sure viewers are aware that the film is highly misleading.

The accusation involved former Harvard student Kamilah Willingham, who claimed in the film that she and a friend passed out after a night of drinking and were forcibly sexually assaulted by their male friend, who possibly drugged them. Willingham claims Harvard had an "extreme reluctance to believe her" and that even though the school suspended the accused student, it allowed him to return to campus.
In reality, she tried to frame the guy with falsified evidence.

I would think that the social justice warriors would be able to find some bad behavior on some college somewhere. Instead, there examples are almost entirely lies. I hope CNN gets sued for defamation.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Islam caused the Dark Ages

I have always been told that the Decline of the Roman Empire was caused by moral decline, complacency, and conversion to Christianity, thereby plunging Europe into the Dark Ages. Classical civilization might have been lost, if it were not preserved by the Islamic World, which was much more civilized than the Christian world. Europe did not get its act together until the Enlightenment, when all the great scholars rejected Christianity and became atheists.

This subject is way out of my expertise, and I am having trouble verifying any of it. I am not even sure asking why the Roman Empire fell is a good question. A better question might be why it lasted so long. It did not really fall around 400 AD; it moved east and became the Byzantine Empire. It was weakened by Islamic invasions more than anything else.

The Dark Age was mainly dark in the sense of a lack of historical written records. Some Roman technology was lost in some areas, but historians argue that intellectual and technological progress continued.

If Christianity were somehow the cause of a collapse, then I would expect the collapse to be greatest in the more Christian areas. But history says the opposite. The collapse was greatest in areas like Britain, which were not Christian at all in the Dark Age.

So I do not understand why Christianity is blamed. Christians were not burning books, or forbidding scientific experiments, or anything like that. Sometimes it is claimed that Christians disallowed autopsies and dissections, but that seems completely false.

Starting in around 630 AD, the Mohammedans waged war against Christians in the Byzantine/Roman empire, and soon in Romanized western Europe. They also invaded the Persian empire, and became the world's biggest empire.

The Muslim Times argues:
The blame of Dark Ages should be placed squarely on the irrationality and coercion preached by the Church
The source is the Encyclopedia Britannica article on the Middle Ages:
The sack of Rome by Alaric the Visigoth in 410 ce had enormous impact on the political structure and social climate of the Western world, for the Roman Empire had provided the basis of social cohesion for most of Europe. Although the Germanic tribes that forcibly migrated into southern and western Europe in the 5th century were ultimately converted to Christianity, they retained many of their customs and ways of life; the changes in forms of social organization they introduced rendered centralized government and cultural unity impossible. Many of the improvements in the quality of life introduced during the Roman Empire, such as a relatively efficient agriculture, extensive road networks, water-supply systems, and shipping routes, decayed substantially, as did artistic and scholarly endeavours. This decline persisted throughout the period of time sometimes called the Dark Ages (also called Late Antiquity or the Early Middle Ages), from the fall of Rome to about the year 1000, with a brief hiatus during the flowering of the Carolingian court established by Charlemagne. Apart from that interlude, no large kingdom or other political structure arose in Europe to provide stability. The only force capable of providing a basis for social unity was the Roman Catholic Church. The Middle Ages therefore present the confusing and often contradictory picture of a society attempting to structure itself politically on a spiritual basis. This attempt came to a definitive end with the rise of artistic, commercial, and other activities anchored firmly in the secular world in the period just preceding the Renaissance.

After the dissolution of the Roman Empire, the idea arose of Europe as one large church-state, called Christendom. Christendom was thought to consist of two distinct groups of functionaries: the sacerdotium, or ecclesiastical hierarchy, and the imperium, or secular leaders. In theory, these two groups complemented each other, attending to people’s spiritual and temporal needs, respectively. Supreme authority was wielded by the pope in the first of these areas and by the emperor in the second. In practice, the two institutions were constantly sparring, disagreeing, or openly warring with each other. The emperors often tried to regulate church activities by claiming the right to appoint church officials and to intervene in doctrinal matters. The church, in turn, not only owned cities and armies but often attempted to regulate affairs of state.
I guess the Muslim Times does not agree with this separation of church and state powers, but this was essential to modern civilization.

Edward Gibbon supposedly wrote the last word on the fall of the Roman Empire, but he was a big Christianity blamer.
Gibbon's work has been criticised for its scathing view of Christianity as laid down in chapters XV and XVI, ... More specifically, the chapters excoriated the church for "supplanting in an unnecessarily destructive way the great culture that preceded it" and for "the outrage of [practicing] religious intolerance and warfare".
It makes no sense to me to blame Christianity for a fall of a civilization, when even Christian society is more civilized than every non-Christian society. Christian culture turned out to be much greater than the Roman culture preceding it, by any measure. If anything, Christendom was too tolerant of Islam, as Islam was an existential threat.

Some people have their gripes about Christendom, and some claim that it had fallen behind the Islamic empire, China, and India during the Dark Age, but it created modern civilization. Christianity promoted individualism, pluralism, rule of law, free will, pursuit of truth, science, and many other essentials. These things took centuries to develop, and they did not all develop elsewhere without Christian influence.

It seems possible to me that the only religious beliefs holding back Europe during the Dark Age were that of Islam. Because of the Islamic empire, Christendom was frequently defending itself against Mohammedan invaders, and losing territory and trade routes.

Maybe someone could have said that Islam was the superior religion in 900 AD, as it was gaining power and territory and Christendom was losing. That would be about like saying in the 1930s that Communism was superior to Capitalism. Maybe it looked that way to a superficial observer. But nobody could say anything so ridiculous now.

Now Moslems are threatening to overrun Europe again. Europe seems to lack the will to defend itself. I wonder if they even realize how Christianity helped get them where they are today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The censors are the bigots

With colleges and other leftists trying to shut down views that are supposedly offensive, this essay points out who the bigots really are:
That the hounders of Greer can call her a bigot in one breath and then suggest she has no place in the media or polite society in the next suggests they don’t only need a lesson in what freedom of speech means — they also need a dictionary. For bigotry means one pretty simple thing: intolerance of those who think differently to oneself. A bigot is not simply a nasty person, or a racist, or an ‘Islamophobe’, or a really opinionated, obstinate person — it’s a person who is ‘intolerant towards those who hold different opinions’. As the authors of Values, Violence and Our Future put it, ‘What distinguishes bigots is that they are intolerant of [persons] who hold conflicting beliefs or opinions’. This is why ‘intolerance is fundamental to bigotry’.
That's right. When a leftist group tries to suppress a supposed bigot, then the bigots are actually the ones doing the suppressing.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Asking questions as a fit test

Those who study human nature often try to use evolutionary psychology to understand behavior. Evolution teaches Survival of the fittest, so women must somehow assess the fitness of a potential mate. Men are less selective.

So women devise fitness tests for the purposes. Such a test could be called a "fit test", but the more common term is a shit test:
A test that a girl performs on a male by saying or doing something to judge the reaction or response from him.
Men find these tests puzzling because they can flunk a test by correctly answering a question.

Typical scenario: Girl tries to manipulate a boy with some remark or question. Boy appeases girl. Girl decides boy must be weak or low-status if he is so easily manipulated.

I am wondering if the same concept can be applied to political campaigns, and other social issues.

Example: Politician is accused of racism or sexism. He apologizes. Voters decide he is weak for being so easily manipulated.

In this view, maybe there are voters who don't really care if the politician might have made an offensive remark. But they do care whether he can be manipulated by race-baiters or gay-baiters or other liberal thought police, so they are very interested in how he handled the accusation. The voters want the fittest candidate to survive the struggle.

I used to be annoyed when politicians duck a direct question. Now I have reversed my opinion. Some questions serve no useful purpose except to bait the candidate into saying something that can be used by his enemies. The more fit candidate will either smoothly transition to answering a more appropriate question, or directly object to the question.

This partially explains the popularity of Donald J. Trump. Most of the Republican politicians are disgustingly weak, and will cave in to the demands of their enemies if they face a little criticism. They are easily manipulated. We need a President with a backbone.

White Christian Americans are the least racist people on Earth. They are far less racist than blacks, Jews, Moslems, orientals, Hindus, or just about any other group you can name. But liberals are always calling them racists anyway. Why?

I used to think that liberals believed white Christians to be racists. Now I believe that is an error. Evolution teaches that people (and animals and plants) will do whatever works to propagate their kind, without necessarilary any understanding of what they are doing.

Liberals are like women who are unable to directly assess the fitness of others, and must resort to fit tests. So they try to manipulate white Christians by calling them racists. It does not really matter whether the accusation is true or even whether it makes any sense. The important thing is that it is an exercise in manipulation.

Likewise with accusations of misogyny, homophobia, anti-semitism, or other liberal sins. These accusations do not mean anything, except as a means to show weakness.

The big story on colleges today is about students who want protection from possible frightening Halloween costumes. The NY Times reports:
In response, Erika Christakis, a faculty member and an administrator at a student residence, wrote an email to students living in her residence hall on behalf of those she described as “frustrated” by the official advice on Halloween costumes. Students should be able to wear whatever they want, she wrote, even if they end up offending people. ...

Ms. Christakis’s email touched on a long-running debate over the balance between upholding free speech and protecting students from hurt feelings or personal offense. It also provoked a firestorm of condemnation from Yale students, hundreds of whom signed an open letter criticizing her argument that “free speech and the ability to tolerate offence” should take precedence over other considerations. ...

Ms. Christakis’s email also led to at least one heated encounter on campus between her husband, Nicholas Christakis, a faculty member who works in the same residential college, and a large group of students who demanded that he apologize for the beliefs expressed by him and his wife, which they said failed to create a “safe space” for them.

When he was unwilling to do so, the students angrily cursed and yelled at him, according to a video posted to YouTube by a free speech group critical of the debate. On Sunday it had been viewed over 450,000 times.

“You should step down!” one student shouted at Mr. Christakis, while demanding between expletives to know why Yale had hired him in the first place. “It is not about creating an intellectual space! It is not! Do you understand that? It is about creating a home here!”

“You’re supposed to be our advocate!” another student yelled.

“You are a poor steward of this community!” the first student said before turning and walking away. “You should not sleep at night! You are disgusting.”
It is hard to believe that Yale students are this pathetic. If kindergarten kids behaved this way, they would be called crybabies.

Another explanation is that the students know that they are being completely unreasonable, but testing the extent to which they can bully college officials.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The danger of Leftism to any movement

The Urban Dictionary defines O’Sullivan’s Law
O’Sullivan’s Law states that any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time. The law is named after British journalist John O’Sullivan.

Television shows are the best examples of this. 24, House. Charitable foundations are worse but harder to see.

One of the reasons for this is leftist intolerance versus right-wing tolerance. Right wingers are willing to hire openly left-wing employees in the interest of fairness. Left-wingers, utterly intolerant, will not allow a non-Liberal near them, and will harass them at every opportunity. The result over time is that conservative enterprises are infiltrated by leftists but leftist enterprises remain the same or get worse.

Also, leftism is in and of itself a form of decay. It’s what happens not just to television shows but to nations, churches and universities as the energy given off by the big bang of their inception slowly ebbs away. Rather than expend vitality in originality and creation they become obsessed with introspection, popularity and lethargy. Leftism is entropy of the spirit and intellect.

Another reason is that the parasitic nature of Liberals/Leftists attracts them to existing money.

An enterprise can stave off O'Sullivan's Law if their creators keep it in mind and remain vigilant and truthful.
I doubt that the Unabomber was reading National Review in 1989, but he was concerned in his 1995 manifesto that an anti-technology movement would be taken over by leftists:

213. Because of their need for rebellion and for membership in a movement, leftists or persons of similar psychological type are often unattracted to a rebellious or activist movement whose goals and membership are not initially leftist. The resulting influx of leftish types can easily turn a non-leftist movement into a leftist one, so that leftist goals replace or distort the original goals of the movement.

214. To avoid this, a movement that exalts nature and opposes technology must take a resolutely anti-leftist stance and must avoid all collaboration with leftists. Leftism is in the long run inconsistent with wild nature, with human freedom and with the elimination of modern technology. Leftism is collectivist; it seeks to bind together the entire world (both nature and the human race) into a unified whole. But this implies management of nature and of human life by organized society, and it requires advanced technology. You can't have a united world without rapid transportation and communication, you can't make all people love one another without sophisticated psychological techniques, you can't have a "planned society" without the necessary technological base. Above all, leftism is driven by the need for power, and the leftist seeks power on a collective basis, through identification with a mass movement or an organization. Leftism is unlikely ever to give up technology, because technology is too valuable a source of collective power. ...

219. Leftism is totalitarian force. Wherever leftism is in a position of power it tends to invade every private corner and force every thought into a leftist mold. In part this is because of the quasi-religious character of leftism; everything contrary to leftists beliefs represents Sin. More importantly, leftism is a totalitarian force because of the leftists' drive for power.
One of his concerns was that machines would take over the world. That has been portrayed in science fiction many times, such as in the Terminator movies. I never found those plausible. However, I now think that the Unabomber's scenario is likely:
173. If the machines are permitted to make all their own decisions, we can't make any conjectures as to the results, because it is impossible to guess how such machines might behave. We only point out that the fate of the human race would be at the mercy of the machines. It might be argued that the human race would never be foolish enough to hand over all the power to the machines. But we are suggesting neither that the human race would voluntarily turn power over to the machines nor that the machines would willfully seize power. What we do suggest is that the human race might easily permit itself to drift into a position of such dependence on the machines that it would have no practical choice but to accept all of the machines decisions. As society and the problems that face it become more and more complex and machines become more and more intelligent, people will let machines make more of their decision for them, simply because machine-made decisions will bring better result than man-made ones. Eventually a stage may be reached at which the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so complex that human beings will be incapable of making them intelligently. At that stage the machines will be in effective control. People won't be able to just turn the machines off, because they will be so dependent on them that turning them off would amount to suicide.
Just look at how people let Google, Apple, and Facebook make decisions for them. People are reduced to clicking "Like" as a meager way of informing the machine of a minor preference, so the machine can make better choices. A few years ago I would not have believed that the people could be so easily enslaved.

Monday, November 02, 2015

E-signatures are taken less seriously

The function of signatures in business transactions is widely misunderstood, even by social science experts.

If you are using a signature to get into a bank safe deposit box, the bank compares it to the signature on file, and requires a match. But when you sign for a bank credit card purchase, no one compares, and you can write a smiley face or anything else. That is because the signature is only ever used to convince you that you made the purchase, in case you forget. So a distinctive smiley face is as good as a literal signature.

Many web sites ask you to check a box or something similar to indicate a signature, and that can be legally binding, but it does not produce an image that will convince either you or the bank.

An NPR radio story reports:
INSKEEP: And you can think of that moment when you sign something, if it's a mortgage or a car loan, something like that, it feels like a very formal moment. But are you suggesting here that it's different if you're doing an e-signature of some kind?

VEDANTAM: That's exactly what Chou is finding, Steve. She conducted a series of experiments where volunteers used different signatures. So Chou had them, for example, solve puzzles and anagrams and report whether they succeeded or failed. Or she had them flip coins and report what happened so that they could win a reward if the coins came down a certain way. Or she gave them a job and she said, report how much time you spent working on the job so I can compensate you for the amount of time you've spent. In each case, volunteers had to sign saying they had provided accurate information. But some signatures were in handwriting, whereas others were e-signatures. And systematically, Chou finds that volunteers are more likely to cheat - to report they've solved more anagrams, worked longer, gotten luckier with the coins - when they used e-signatures rather than handwritten signatures.

CHOU: While these signatures are objectively the same, they do not carry the same psychological and the symbolic weight.

INSKEEP: Why not?

VEDANTAM: Well, Chou thinks that when we use an e-signature, it allows us to psychologically distance ourselves from the promise that a signature is supposed to imply. So when she allows volunteers to submit a computer-generated code, for example, rather than a signature, cheating goes up even further. When you handwrite a signature in this highly personalized form that you've created, you're putting yourself, literally, on the line.

INSKEEP: Wow, so this causes me to think about e-signatures in a totally different way. You worry about e-signatures, that someone could fraudulently create your signature. But actually, the fraud you need to worry about is in your own head.
No, the e-signature is not objectively the same. It does not perform either of the two functions listed above, and it should be no surprise that people take it less seriously. These researchers and reporters are morons.

Friday, October 30, 2015

China population still growing

UK BBC news reports:
China has decided to end its decades-long one-child policy, the state-run Xinhua news agency reports.

Couples will now be allowed to have two children, it said, citing a statement from the Communist Party.

The controversial policy was introduced nationally in 1979, to slow the population growth rate.

It is estimated to have prevented about 400 million births.
So now we will have those 400M extra Chinese kids?

The population of China grew from about 900M to about 1.4 billion under its one child policy. Its population will be growing out of control for the foreseeable future. But it may be passed by India's population.

Pres. Obama is still not happy:
The White House is welcoming China's move to end its "one-child" policy but says the decision doesn't go far enough. ...

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the shift in policy is a positive step by China. But he says the U.S. is looking forward to the day when birth limits in China are abandoned altogether.
So why does Obama want more Chinese babies? If he were really concerned about global warming and other environmental issues, then he should want to slow Chinese population growth. Or if he really believed that countries should manage their own affairs, he would assume that China is doing what is good for China.

Update: Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute writes in the WSJ:
The one-child mandate is the single greatest social-policy error in human history. ...

Fertility levels in urban China were already well below replacement by 1980. Today the country is on track to go gray at a shocking tempo. Two years ago, working-age manpower began to decline, according to Chinese authorities. The only close comparator is post-bubble Japan: not a cheering vision for what remains a relatively poor society. ...

The “fatal conceit” (to borrow Friedrich Hayek’s term) of China’s population planners was that they could micro-calibrate the behavior of the men and women under their command. The new two-child policy suffers the same flaw. As long as Beijing deforms Chinese society with these misbegotten tools, the nation’s future will be compromised, poorer and sadder than it otherwise could be.
This is crazy stuff. Sure, the policy is authoritarian, but why is it so important to replace the huge expansion on China's population? China would be doing real well if it did as well as Japan.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Evil leftism infects universities

Certain forms of Leftism should be regarded as a mental illness. You find it in otherwise intelligent university professors, so it is not just stupidity. Here is an example.

The NY Times Magazine reports:
What made them so uncomfortable was not that Anna was 41 and D.J. was 30, or that Anna is white and D.J. is black, or even that Anna was married with two children while D.J. had never dated anyone. What made them so upset — what led to all the arguing that followed, and the criminal trial and million-­dollar civil suit — was the fact that Anna can speak and D.J. can’t; that she was a tenured professor of ethics at Rutgers University in Newark and D.J. has been declared by the state to have the mental capacity of a toddler. ...

Marjorie Anna Stubblefield goes by her middle name, pronounced with an aristocratic a, as in the word ‘‘nirvana.’’ Her last name is her former husband’s. Years ago, she was Margie McClennen, an honors student who grew up Jewish in the nearly all-white town of Plymouth, Mich. ‘‘I was raised to believe that I have the responsibility of tikkun olam, repairing the world,’’ Anna wrote in her 2005 book ‘‘Ethics Along the Color Line.’’ As a high-school student, she put that lesson into practice, writing articles for the school newspaper — one about a classmate who became pregnant, and another about a press-freedom case involving Plymouth students. Each won a national award. While a sophomore, Anna played the title role in a town production of ‘‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’’ ‘‘Marjorie just was Anne Frank,’’ says Elyse Mirto, a fellow cast member who is now an actor. ‘‘You know that famous quote — ‘I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart’? That was Marjorie.’’

Her parents were involved in local politics, environmentalism and women’s rights, but their most enduring cause was that of people with disabilities. Each trained in special education for their Ph.D.s. Her mother, Sandra McClennen, started working with blind, cognitively impaired children in 1963. For decades, she taught disabled people social skills, like shaking hands and talking appropriately with strangers, in the hope of helping them move out of state-run hospitals and into community housing.

Anna shared this interest in disabilities: As a high-school student, she studied Braille and learned the alphabet in sign language. But as a junior academic, she would apply the mandate of tikkun olam to a different focus — the fight for racial justice. Since getting her Ph.D. in 2000, she has become a prominent scholar in the field of Africana philosophy, has published widely on race and ethics and has served as the chairwoman of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on the Status of Black Philosophers — the first and only white scholar ever to have done so. ‘‘Our world is in shambles,’’ she wrote in ‘‘Ethics Along the Color Line.’’ ‘‘White supremacy is central to this state of affairs, and we cannot repair the world without ending it.’’

Her own family is mixed-race — she has two children with her ex-husband, Roger Stubblefield, a black tuba player and classical composer. For 11 years, she served on the faculty at the Newark campus of Rutgers University, whose student body is among the nation’s most diverse. Yet for all her work on behalf of African-Americans, she worried that she might be ambushed by the ‘‘habits of racism.’’ ‘‘Even in well-intentioned quests to be antiracist,’’ she wrote, ‘‘white people all too often invade or destroy the space of nonwhite people.’’ The same essay lays out what could be a thesis statement for her whole career: It is crucial, she wrote, for white philosophers ‘‘to wrestle with the horrors and conundrums of whiteness.’’

Those ‘‘horrors and conundrums,’’ as Anna saw them, formed the nexus of oppression she had sworn to fight in all its forms. As the years went by, her mission seemed to broaden and merge into her mother’s. By 2007, Anna had begun to argue that a person’s intellect — and the degree to which he or she is ‘‘disabled’’ — could be as much a social construct, as much a venue for tyranny, as race, gender or sexuality. It was, after all, white elites, she wrote, who first devised measures of I.Q. ‘‘as both a rationalization and a tool of anti-black oppression.’’

With this shift in her scholarship, Anna began to wrestle not just with race but with disability; not just with racism but with ableism.
So she is just another self-hating Jew, you might think. No, she is much worse. She has taken her leftist hatreds to a whole new level.

She was the Rutgers chairwoman of the philosophy department and was convicted of raping a black mentally retarded invalid:
The jury had convicted the 45-year-old philosophy professor of sexually assaulting a 34-year-old disabled man, known as D.J., who has cerebral palsy and is unable to speak beyond making noises. Psychologists have determined he is mentally incompetent and cannot consent to sexual activity.

Stubblefield had claimed she and D.J. fell in love, saying he is not intellectually impaired and was able to communicate through a controversial typing method, known as "facilitated communication." ...

"This is a professor at a respected university who used her position of power to take advantage of a severely disabled individual, not only to satisfy her own sexual desires, but also to use him additionally to further her career," Plant said. ...

But Plant presented testimony from experts who had evaluated D.J. and collectively found he has intellectual disabilities and is unable to consent to sexual activity. D.J. also is physically disabled, wears diapers and requires assistance with walking, bathing, dressing and eating, his family members said.

Plant also highlighted how studies have shown facilitated communication does not work and that several scientific organizations have issued statements that the technique is invalid.
She is crazier than the Unabomber. They both want to bring down our modern system of civilization, for different reasons. But the Unabomber had to live by himself in a Montana cabin, and she was a high-status professor. The state was paying her to teach her nonsense to college students.

Somehow she thinks that it is noble to hate white people, to hate able-bodied people, to hate success, and to hate scientific knowledge. She married a black man just to prove how anti-racist she was. You would think that would be a tip-off to her friends and relatives. She thinks that she is on a Jewish mission to use racial and other animosities to subvert modern civilization.

She is not just an isolated pervert. She openly described her sick ethics, and the state made her an ethics professor and paid her to teach her hatred of the white society to college students.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cal adopts intolerance policy

I mentioned this university being intolerant of intolerance, and now it has a new policy:
Students, professors and activists wrangled at a public forum Monday over how best to address intolerance at the University of California, with some Jewish groups arguing the schools should adopt a policy with a more precise definition of anti-Semitism and others saying it would stifle free speech. ...

David and other Jewish groups pressed university leaders to adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, which includes denying Israel’s right to exist and blaming it for all interreligious or political tensions.

UC President Janet Napolitano said in a radio interview in May that she believed the system should adopt the definition. Her remarks drew criticism from First Amendment advocates and those critical of Israel’s policy toward Palestinians, saying it could be used to censor free speech.
I thought that Jewish groups often objected to the idea that American Jews are more loyal to Israel. But apparently it is the opposite, and they say that criticism of Israel is an offensive attack on American Jews.

The word anti-Semitism used to mean people hating the Jews. Now it means Jews hating other people.

Israel limits immigration to Jews. If it is bigoted to oppose that, then it is also bigoted to urge Europe to accept Moslem migrants.

For other example of college attacks on free speech, see campus censorship, Hans Bader, feminist calls for restrictions, Atlantic article, UK threats, The Rise of Victimhood Culture, Suzanne Venker.

Also California state law allows for an individual to be civilly committed just because he does not ‘think correctly’.

Update: Even a famous feminist might be censored, because she said that wearing a dress does not make a man a woman. More on Venker.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The evil of oversocialization

A famous 1995 essay argued:
15. Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate America, they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality. The reasons that leftists give for hating the West, etc. clearly do not correspond with their real motives. ...

16. Words like “self-confidence,” “self-reliance,” “initiative,” “enterprise,” “optimism,” etc., play little role in the liberal and leftist vocabulary. The leftist is anti-individualistic, pro-collectivist. He wants society to solve everyone’s problems for them, satisfy everyone’s needs for them, take care of them. He is not the sort of person who has an inner sense of confidence in his ability to solve his own problems and satisfy his own needs. The leftist is antagonistic to the concept of competition because, deep inside, he feels like a loser. ...

18. Modern leftish philosophers tend to dismiss reason, science, objective reality and to insist that everything is culturally relative. ...

many leftists are oversocialized ...

26. Oversocialization can lead to low self-esteem, a sense of powerlessness, defeatism, guilt, etc. One of the most important means by which our society socializes children is by making them feel ashamed of behavior or speech that is contrary to society’s expectations. If this is overdone, or if a particular child is especially susceptible to such feelings, he ends by feeling ashamed of HIMSELF. ...

Self-hatred is a leftist trait.

21. Leftists may claim that their activism is motivated by compassion or by moral principles, and moral principle does play a role for the leftist of the oversocialized type. But compassion and moral principle cannot be the main motives for leftist activism. Hostility is too prominent a component of leftist behavior; so is the drive for power. ...

22. If our society had no social problems at all, the leftists would have to INVENT problems in order to provide themselves with an excuse for making a fuss.
This was brilliant. Leftists are commonly oversocialized, and have an inferiority complex.

Sometimes I think that the main purpose of the public schools is oversocialization, not education. I have many times discussed ideas for improving school education, but if the idea detracts from oversocialization, then people are against it. They was everyone to be trained to behave like everyone else, whether for better or worse.

Global warming is a good example of a problem invented by leftists to provide an excuse for making a fuss. Yes, there is some possibility that some people might have to move away from the beach in a century, but the benefits could easily outweigh the harms. Leftists love global warming because it excuses leftist policymaking on a broad range of issues.

The above argument can explain why leftists hate Donald J. Trump so much, and like Barack Obama. They can never say what they like about some Obama policy, or what they dislike about some Trump policy. Leftists are just socialized to reinforce certain hatreds. Obama makes them feel good about their hatreds, and Trump makes them feel like losers.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ethics professors kill kidney patients

You might think that modern over-educated scholars would have superior views of ethics than medieval Bible-reading monks, but it is not the case. The wackiest opinions come from medical ethicists and university philosophers.

The Si Valley newspaper reports:
Five years later, a growing number of patients like Rubinstein are using the site to find living donors. Johns Hopkins Hospital is piloting an app to make it easier for people who need transplants to craft a Facebook post. And an ethical debate rages on in the medical community.

Some medical ethicists fear the use of social media creates a separate organ donation system in which the cutest kid or most computer literate person receives a transplant, allowing them to bypass long waits for organs from the deceased.

"There's potential discrimination and unfairness. The more tech-savvy you are the more likely you are able to make this work," said Dr. Robert Veatch, a medical ethics professor at Georgetown University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics. "Closely related to that, the effect is likely to increase the transfer of organs to people who are attractive recipients."

In the United States, 122,543 people are waiting for an organ transplant and an average of 22 people die every day because they don't receive one in time, according to October data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
Apparently the ethics professors would rather let 22 people a day die, than allow people to donate kidneys to attractive recipients, or sell them to less attractive people.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Closet eugenicist attacks a sperm bank

I just listened to a rebroadcast of this podcast, including David Plotz saying this:
My father, who was suddenly burst out with anger that it was the kind of project that Hitler would do trying to create super children. [at 30:05] ...

I remembered my father's rage, and I decided to dig into this sperm bank.
For background, you can read his Slate article or his book.

For Jews like the Plotzes, getting angry and making a comparison to Hitler is about as bad as it gets. Plotz's wife, Hanna Rosin, was born in Israel, and is best known for writing an essay on "the end of men".

I am wondering what the Plotzes were so agitated about. The sperm bank in question was just like all the other sperm banks today, and they are not particularly controversial. The story involved a couple that wanted a child, and they used a sperm donor because the husband was infertile.

There are sperm banks in Israel, so the concept is acceptable to most Jews. But somehow Jewish leftists hate the idea of non-Jews having some choice about using a sperm bank.

Looking for an explanation on the web, I find this:
Glad's controversial thesis: since the 1960s, a prominent group of Jewish public intellectuals has been systematically and unscrupulously campaigning to discredit eugenics — but, in a great paradox, other Jewish intellectuals, and Zionists, have been actively interested in eugenic principles, both historically and currently, to secure the posterity — health and wellbeing — of Jews. Collectively, it amounts to a case of Do As I Say — Not As I Do.
Jews have a long history of supporting eugenics among Jews, according to this and this, and opposing it for non-Jews.

This would suggest that Plotz is some sort of closet eugenicist. Is there a better explanation?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Women celebrate getting drugged again

SciAm reports:
Addyi, the first prescription medication approved to boost female libido, hits the market today. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved marketing the drug to premenopausal women whose low libido doesn’t stem from a medical or psychiatric condition, medication or other substances, but from a lack of desire characterized as hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or HSDD.

The so-called “female Viagra” — something of a misnomer because Addyi does not affect arousal as Viagra does but rather increases libido — was mired in controversy prior to its approval, in large part because clinical studies did not show dramatic improvements in sexual desire and used measures that many experts criticized as inadequate. Despite such concerns, Addyi’s drugmaker, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, was purchased by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International for $1 billion once the drug received approval.

With about 10 percent of women suffering from HSDD, Valeant projects a healthy market for this once-a-day pill, and that does not include a large group of women who are likely to be prescribed the drug for another kind of desire problem: the low libido that is a common side effect of antidepressants.

Although Addyi has not been approved by the FDA for antidepressant-induced libido problems, once a drug hits the market, doctors can prescribe it off-label for other uses other than its approved indication. Nearly one in five women in the U.S. takes an antidepressant, and as many as 70 percent report dampened sexual desire as a result.
A study shows that Viagra increases female arousal and satisfaction, but apparently that is not what women want.

20% of US women are hooked on antidepressant pills?! I had heard that before, but did not believe it. That is huge. Presumably millions of other women are just as crazy but refuse to take pills.

I have noticed that ads directed at women often tell them to take whatever pills their doctor recommends. In private conversation also, women commonly say that they take whatever drugs their doctor says to take, as if they were not even allowed to have an opinion on the matter. So I guess they take antidepressants just because they are told, and soon they may be taking libido boosters also, even with all the side effects. Strange.

Here is an example of an NPR news story assuming that women like to do what they are told:
But what was surprising, she says, was that, after discussing family history and personal health, her doctor determined that because Nichols was not at high risk for getting breast cancer, it was probably too soon to get that first scan. ...

Nichols says she felt comfortable with that decision, "knowing that my risk for breast cancer was low compared to the risk of having to have more invasive procedures such as biopsies or lumpectomies."

She's right about the statistics. Researchers say that, across a 10-year period of getting annual mammograms, women overall have a 50-50 chance of being called back at least once for further testing that turns up nothing cancerous.
She has the choice of whether to do that scan, and then whether to have that more invasive procedure. Her physician is probably just following standard guidelines that anyone can read on the web. If not, his advice is probably worse. Apparently women want to do what they are told.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Teaching kids to be better liars

Ars Technica reports:
An unexpected side-effect of a selfless kid? They may become better liars
Helping kids develop a theory of mind may have some unsettling outcomes.

Theory of mind is the ability to understand that other people have beliefs, feelings, and experiences different from your own. According to a new study published in Psychological Science, children who are trained to consider these concepts gain the ability to partake in the complex thinking required to lie to another for personal gain.
Yes, of course teaching theory of mind is almost the same as teaching lying. I don't know why the article says "unexpected". What else would anyone expect?

The people with the best understanding of others' minds are the psychopaths who use that to manipulate others.

Perhaps people think that empathy is good, so teaching kids empathy will make them better. But there is plenty of evidence that empathy is bad, and leads to bad behavior.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Caplan says parenting is worthless

Libertarian economist Bryan Caplan writes:
If you're afraid of every group, though, shouldn't you support whatever group has the minimum chance of doing terrible things once it's firmly in charge? Not at all. There's another path: Try to prevent any group from being firmly in charge. In the long-run, the best way to do this is to make every group a small minority - to split society into such small pieces that everyone abandons hope of running society and refocuses their energy on building beautiful Bubbles. As Voltaire once put it:
If one religion only were allowed in England, the Government would very possibly become arbitrary; if there were but two, the people would cut one another's throats; but as there are such a multitude, they all live happy and in peace.
The argument is that it is to the advantage of Jews to be constantly undermining the majorities in white Christian Western countries, so that Jews can do well as privileged minorities. For most of history, Christian countries have allowed Jews to prosper as semi-autonomous groups.

For this reason, Caplan and other Jews favor open immigration of non-whites and non-Christians into Western countries.

Except for Israel, of course, where Jews maintain majority control by only allowing Jews to immigrate, and by isolating the occupied territories.

This strategy has worked well for Jews in the past, but I doubt that they will be helped by Europe and the USA taking Islamic immigrants of the sort that Israel would never accept.
Despite my lovely experiences with Mormons, they scare me.

To be fair, they're hardly alone. You know who else scares me? Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, and atheists. Sunnis, Shiites, Catholics, and Protestants. Whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and American Indians. Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, Marxists, and reactionaries. Even libertarians scare me a bit. Why? Because given enough power, there's a serious chance they'll do terrible things. Different terrible things, no doubt. But terrible nonetheless.
This is really some twisted thinking. If Jews really scared him, he would be working against that Jewish majority in Israel.

Maybe Jews see all gentiles as the same, but it is crazy to lump all those groups together. Mormons do not go around becoming suicide bombers. Jews are doing very well in Christendom today, while they are persecuted in the Moslem world.

Caplan is also promoting his book, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, as in this podcast.

He points to research trying to compare parenting strategies, and how there is hardly any evidence that any parenting practices have any long-term advantages over any others. Eg, reading to your kids is often held out as the best thing a parent can do, but it is probably worthless.

He says that today's helicopter parents invest more time and money in their kids than previous generations, and that some have fewer kids because they require too much attention. His advice is to go ahead and have the kids, because all that attention is wasted anyway.

There is a lot of merit to this argument, altho I am doubtful about whom he might convince. It is nearly impossible to convince parents that what they are doing is worthless, or that they should follow scientific research instead of their peer group. Maybe his libertarian rationalist colleagues sometimes accept these arguments.

As I write this, a radio ad say:
You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.
It is a public service ad promoting foster care. The foster care agencies are very picky about who can be a parent, and apply prejudices with no evidentiary merit. Social service programs are always trying to justify what they do, because they could get billions in more funding if they could ever prove that they are actually improving kids somehow.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Poor defense of 2008-2009 bailouts

A WSJ op-ed claims:
The publicity surrounding former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s memoir prompts a look-back at the stunning array of policy responses promulgated by the Fed, Congress and two administrations to avert catastrophe during the financial crisis in 2008-09. This is important because many of these initiatives haven’t aged well in the eyes of politicians and the public.

TARP, fiscal stimulus, quantitative easing and auto bailout remain dirty words to many people who increasingly blame them for prolonging the Great Recession and the slow pace of recovery. But in a study released Thursday for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, we found the reverse to be true: These extraordinary policies ended the crisis and jump-started an economic recovery that is stronger in the U.S. than in most countries.

Specifically, we estimate that:
• The peak-to-trough decline in real gross domestic product, which was barely more than 4%, would have been close to a stunning 14%.
• The contraction would have lasted three years, more than twice as long as it did. ...
No, I do not believe this. There are more details, and I have not studied them.

They assume that General Motors and Chrysler would have disappeared without the bailouts. But that is doubtful. Also the govt could have taken less drastic measures, such as guaranteeing loans to car buyers, or not bailing out the unions.

A comparison should be made to the tech crisis of 2000. By some measures, such as lost capital, that was as big a crisis as the 2008 financial crisis. It was a bigger crisis here in Silicon Valley. And yet no one was bailed out.

The severity of the 2008 crisis is constantly exaggerated. The biggest losers were people who bought houses at the peak of the boom with money they did not have, by lying on their loan forms, and by banks and others who seemed to be acting with criminal negligence. Some speculators also lost money. Long-term homeowners were not significantly affected.

The op-ed continues:
The Federal Reserve has also come under attack for its unprecedented actions, especially its quantitative easing or bond-buying programs. Yet QE lowered long-term interest rates and boosted stock and housing prices — all to the economy’s benefit. Yes, QE has possible negative side-effects, but for the most part they have yet to materialize.
No, saying that boosting housing prices benefits the economy is like saying that boosting oil prices benefits the economy. Sure, it benefits those in the housing or oil businesses. But most people are better off when goods are cheaper, not more expensive.

To me, this just reveals what a warped view these financial experts have. They are full of opinions about what is good for the economy, but it is from a banker's point of view. They think that it is great to spend trillions on the banking system to prop it up. I think that in a few years, we will not even need the banking system as we know it today.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dentist lion hunt was legal

Remember all the jerks on TV and the net ostracizing a dentist? Now the NY Times reports:
Just this summer, Zimbabwe was pressing to extradite an American dentist involved in the hunt that killed a lion known as Cecil, with the environment minister denouncing him as a “foreign poacher” who had absconded home.

On Monday, it changed course, saying not only that the dentist would not be charged but that he was welcome to return. “He is free to come, not for hunting, but as a tourist,” Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri said of the dentist, Dr. Walter J. Palmer of Minnesota.

The killing of the 13-year-old lion in July outside Hwange National Park in northwestern Zimbabwe set off a fierce outcry among animal rights advocates. Dr. Palmer, 55, an experienced big-game hunter, became the target of furious attacks on social media sites and closed his dental practice for more than a month.

But Zimbabwe said Monday that his documentation for the hunt had been proper, as he had said.
This was predictable. There is something sick about the people who made a big deal out of this.

NPR Radio news reports:
A Race To The Far Right In Hungarian Politics ...

Meanwhile, the prime minister's right-wing party, Fidesz, has surged in the polls.

Hungary's crackdown on migrants has been a boon to the government's popularity. It's co-opting messages from the far-right Jobbik party — and winning. By moving to the right, it seems to be putting the far-right fringe out of business.

When Jobbik organized an anti-immigrant rally last week in Szentgotthárd, a rural factory town near the Austrian border, only about 20 people showed up. Guarded by police, they waved anti-European Union placards and Jobbik flags.

One sign read, "Why have a fence if the gates on it are open?" — in reference to how some migrants are still allowed to pass through openings in Hungary's border fences.
This is leftist anti-white-Christian propaganda as usual.

When Hungary starts putting limits on the invading Moslem migrants, the Left claims that it is stealing a "far-right" idea from some party that had 20 people in a rally.

Refusing migrants is a centrist position. Angela Merkel is the radical, as she has no kids and is selling out the future of Germany.

Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded to 3 Scientists for Parasite-Fighting Therapies. No help for Hungary.

What kind of newspaper would say this?
The column relied on the repeatedly disproven premise that race is a biological category. The Herald regrets the publication of the column. We apologize to our readers for the factual errors and offensive claims made in it and for the shortcomings of our editorial process. In an effort to be transparent about our mistake, we are leaving the column online. We initially made the decision to publish the column, as we generally edit opinions columns for style and clarity alone, giving our columnists great leeway in making their argument as part of our commitment to freedom of expression. We regret that decision and believe it’s clear that this column crossed the line from an opinion we merely disagree with to one that has no place in our paper.
An Ivy League college newspaper.

Speaking of race, there is new evidence that many Africans have some European blood. Of course the scientists who write papers on this subject all accept that race is a biological category.

Some people blame autistic peoplefor gun violence. Weird. Autistic people are among the most peaceful and law-abiding in our society.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Deep corruption of academic psychology

The whole academic subject of social psychology has been recently revealed to be plagued by unreplicated and irreproducible results, fraudulent research, and extreme left-wing bias.

In related fields, the most famous result in decision theory is wrong, and another hyped gay gene theory is bogus. And I am just criticizing the research of reputable scholars that is published in the most prestigious journals. Of course the lower level stuff is junk.

According to Wikipedia, the most influential post-WWII book was The Authoritarian Personality, published in 1950 by a left-wing Jewish organization whose mission is to advocate for Jewish ethnic interests.

Based on the summary there, the book is a wacky mixture of Freudianism, homophobia, Jewish paranoia, leftist dogmatism, and anti-family propaganda. Most of all, it was an attempt by Jews to pathologize non-Jews.

The authors hated the Nazis, and I can understand that, but they keep trying to associate right-wingers with Nazis and authoritarians. The Nazis were socialists, not right-wingers. Leftists are much more authoritarian than right-wingers.

The book has no scientific merit. The authors were even opposed to the idea of empirically testing the claims of the book. And yet it was the leading book in the field.

The book's thesis about right-wing authoritarianism continues to be used by Jews and other anti-Christian academics to promote claims that right-wingers are evil in various ways. Because of the definitions used, Jews are claimed to be the least authoritarian of major religious groups.

But Jews are actually much more authoritarian than other religious groups. I used to think that the Catholics were the most authoritarian, but they are much less authoritarian than Jews, Moslems, and even many Protestants. But Catholic authority is mainly over who can perform the sacraments, and what can be represented as official doctrine. Judaism teaches obedience to institutional authority. Rabbis pass judgment on disputes that Catholic priests would never consider.

If you look at authoritarian movements, from Marxism to the modern Democrat Party, you will find Jews supporting and leading them.

Another major point of the book, and of its Jewish sponsors, was to create racial animosity by making various bogus accusations of racism. And another point was to attack the autonomy of the nuclear family.

The book's thesis about right-wing authoritarianism continues to be used by Jews and other anti-Christian academics to promote claims that right-wingers are evil in various ways. Because of the definitions used, Jews are claimed to be the least authoritarian of major religious groups.

But Jews are actually much more authoritarian than other religious groups. I used to think that the Catholics were the most authoritarian, but they are much less authoritarian than Jews, Moslems, and even many Protestants. Catholic authority is mainly over who can perform the sacraments, and what can be represented as official doctrine. Judaism teaches obedience to institutional authority. Rabbis pass judgment on disputes that Catholic priests would never consider.

If you look at authoritarian movements, from Marxism to the modern Democrat Party, you will find Jews supporting and leading them.

I am not trying to criticize Jews here. If some Jewish organizations want to promote Jews by attacking other ethnic groups, they could be said to be just acting in their own interests. They are no more offensive than Japanese or white nationalist organizations. My quarrel here is with university social science departments that have adopted all this cultural Marxist hate speech, to the exclusion of more scientific and less left-wing views. These academic disciplines have been rotten for decades.

Update: Here is more explanation of gay gene statistical errors.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Players have hot hands after all

Economist Steve Landsburg writes:
Thomas Gilovich, Robert Vallone and Amos Tversky (I’ll call them G, V and T) made quite a splash back in 1985, with a claimed debunking of the hot hand “myth”. According to the authors, a player who has just made his foul shot is thereby rendered neither more nor less likely to make the next one.

Now a new paper by Joshua Miller and Adam Sanjurjo (call them M and S) claims that G, V and T drew the wrong conclusions
Statistician Andrew Gelman explains, and so does a WSJ article.

Landsburg compares the issue to this Google interview question:
In a country in which people only want boys every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?
The answer is that each birth has a 50% probability of a boy regardless of previous births, parental intent, or anything else. (Technically it is closer to 51%, but this puzzle assumes 50%.) So the country will have about the same number of boys and girls.

Landsburg points out that if the country only has 5 families, and if they are allowed to complete their plans, and if you assume a peculiar weighting of the boys and girls when computing averages, then you can get a different number. In particular, if kids from larger families are weighted less, then you will expect fewer girls because larger families are mostly girls. You can read his posts for details. He seems to feel very strongly that there is some merit to this set of strange assumptions.

Your first reaction to this will be to wonder why anyone would interpret the puzzle to use such a stupid weighting. The intent of the puzzle seems to be whether some country like China could have an excess of boys because of how parents decide to stop having kids. The answer is no.

It appears that the 1985 hot hand analysis did indeed use such a stupid weighting to claim to prove that there was no such thing as a hot hand. This was widely acclaimed as a great work, and it is written up in textbooks. It helped one of the authors get one of those fancy Sweden prizes. One of the biggest selling science works of the last 5 years, if not the biggest, is a long story by Kahneman about how this is an example of a human cognitive bias, where we think that we see hot hands and the math proves that we don't.

For 30 years no one noticed that the analysis was wrong because of the crazy way it weighted the data. Other studies show that basketball players do have hot hands.

I have criticized Kahneman's book several times on this blog, on other grounds. A lot of these decision theory arguments about cognitive bias seem dubious to me. The whole field must have very poor standards that such a simple error lasted so long without anyone noticing.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Accepting robot orders

Today's Argyle Sweater.

Dilbert was also funny.

I do now think that most of our population will welcome our new robot overlords. I have seen people happily take medical orders, even when the evidence, diagnosis, and reasoning was dubious. I think that they would gladly take pills if they were assured that they were recommended by an objective algorithm running on some fancy computers.

Roissy goes MGTOW

The blog that was previous run by a mysterious man under the name Roissy, and later with even more mysterious authors under the names Citizen Renegade and Chateau Heartiste, has now endorsed MGTOW:
Disengaging from Facebook is a specific instance of a wider disengagement from America, which every truth-loving dissident should be doing now. Disengage from your country which has abandoned you, except to do those things that are necessary to maintain poolside time and then only with the barest minimum of interaction required by the system. I suggest everyone do this, because America is lost and she ain’t ever gonna be found again. Not in the incarnation of her glorious past. Say your final goodbyes to America as she was, and NEXT her. You’ll discover that this break-up is very liberating. You’ll have the freedom to game a new America who truly loves you and pledges her loyalty to you.
MGTOW means men going their own way. The blog endorsed Donald Trump several months ago.

The blog is probably the best of the red pill blogs. It has a coherent view of the world that is strikingly different from what you find in respectable sources. I do not know who is behind it, and it is so politically incorrect that the authors probably have to stay anonymous. Whoever they are, it has brilliant insights. The material could fill a couple of books, and be better than any similar book on the market.

There are lots of more offensive blogs. For example, I recently discovered Daily Stormer, and it has a lot of offensive political content. Chateau Heartiste is not like that at all. CH is more about explaining male-female differences, and how it is human nature to prefer beauty over ugliness. And it is all from a man's point of view. I think that the NY Times is more offensive, myself.

Update: See the video The Case for Patriarchy for a partial explanation of why more and more men are disengaging from society.