Saturday, January 31, 2015

Leftists disagree with scientists

This report from Pew and AAAS got a lot of publicity:
According to the report, the public is much less likely to view GM foods as safe to eat than the AAAS scientists (37 percent to 88 percent), even though 67 percent of the nonscientists surveyed acknowledged that they lacked a "clear understanding" of the health effects of GM crops.

Other topics with the widest gaps between the views of scientists and nonscientists include a 40-point gap between the two groups on whether eating food grown with pesticides is safe or not. Only 28 percent of the public believes it is "generally safe" to eat such foods (68 percent say it is "generally unsafe"), as opposed to 68 percent of the scientists who say it is safe (31 percent responding "generally unsafe").

Should animals be used in scientific research? Half of U.S. adults surveyed said no, a view expressed by only 9 percent of the scientists.
Note that this is primarily leftist disagreement with scientists. Opposition to GM foods, animal experiments, vaccines, and nuclear power come primarily from the left.

Some other items have mixed politics. "Humans have evolved over time" was the main point of a recent book by NY Times reporter Nicholas Wade, and opposition came from the left. Scientists say that "growing world population will be a major problem" and it is only right-wingers who want to do something about it by limiting migration from developing to developed countries.

I was surprised that so many scientists agreed with "Climate change is mostly due to human activity". The IPCC does say things like:
There is very high confidence that the net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming.[6] {2.2}

Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.[7] It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent (except Antarctica) (Figure SPM.4). {2.4}
Okay fine, but there could be lots of climate change that has nothing to do with human activity.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Recording of Obama opinion on radio show

I called a local radio station talk show on why I am glad Obama did not join Paris march. Here is the audio uploaded to YouTube. The still picture is unrelated to the call.

I make the video by downloading the mp3 audio from the radio station archives, and using Windows Live Movie Maker to turn it into a video. That program is free and easy to use. From a picture (jpeg) and audio (mp3), you can combine to create a video suitable for YouTube. The default format is huge, so you will want to choose a small format to upload.

The only tricky thing is that the program will not let you import the audio until you have imported the picture. So you have to import the picture first. But then the program assigns a default duration for the picture of 7 minutes. If you then upload the audio, and the duration is something other than 7 minutes, then the program will get all confused. So you have to diddle with some obscure settings to try to convince the program that the audio and video should have the same duration.

I wonder how many people give up on a program like this because the simplest thing is so unnecessarily difficult.

The call was amusing because I appeared to actually convince someone of something. That is rare on a radio talk show.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Languages do not make a kid smarter

Many parents get their kids into some sort of bilingual education on the theory that it make them smarter. I commonly see Chinese-Americans teaching their kids Chinese, and Mexican-Americans teaching their kids Spanish, but they may be doing it for cultural or practical reasons. There are also Chinese-Americans teaching a kid Spanish, or parents sending a kid to Chinese lesson, even tho the parents do not speak a word.

Many of the widely-reported benefits to learning a second language appear to be the result of publication bias:
To test the accuracy of claims made about the cognitive powers of bilingual people, Angela de Bruin, Psychology Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh, performed a meta-analysis of academic papers presented at one-hundred and sixty-nine conferences between 1999 and 2012.

Previously, a careful review of the evidence by psychologist Ellen Bialystok in 2012 firmly supported claims that bilingual individuals were more creative and better at switching between tasks (because their brains were used to switching between languages).

But because papers presented at academic conferences address in-progress research, they cover a wider spectrum of work than studies which are published. Of the conference papers de Bruin analyzed, about half provided evidence in favor of special bilingual cognition while the other half refuted such claims.

When it came time to publish, however, the numbers changed. Sixty-eight percent of studies suggesting a bilingual advantage were published in a scientific journal, compared to twenty-nine percent of those that refuted the claim.
See also the stories in the New Yorker and NPR Radio.

It seems possible that there is some benefit to learning some non-English language, but what if all that time and energy were spent learning something worthwhile?

Schools are dropping cursive writing as irrelevant to the modern world, but cursive seems more useful than Chinese.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

LA Times calls for eugenics to thwart climate change

Steve Sailer comments on an LA Times editorial saying this:
If the world population hits 11 billion, what then for climate change?

Overpopulation could thwart attempt to address climate change

Unsustainable human population growth is a potential disaster for efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions ...

In other words, population is not just a Third World issue. More than a third of the births in the United States are the result of unintended pregnancies, and this month the United Nations raised its prediction of population growth by the year 2050 because of unforeseen, rising birth rates in industrialized nations.
The editorial explains that carbon emissions are driven largely by overbreeding in Third World countries, and in immigrant populations in First World countries. Any serious carbon reduction will require population policies that some will regard as eugenics.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Adult incest and the law

Libertarian-leaning UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh asks why adult incest should be illegal. He points out that the risk of birth defects is not compelling, that court decisions favor sexual autonomy based on mutual consent, that problems of undue pressure can be circumvented, and that severe penalties are not likely.

This demonstrates a flaw in libertarian thinking. For every argument against incest, you can concoct a scenario where it will not hurt anyone, and where it is impractical for the state to do anything about it.

And yet incest is considered immoral for good reason. It is nearly always harmful, and I think that most people find it so repellent that they would rather live in a society where incest is not an acceptable option.

The problem is not just the genetic one, and not just a conflict of interest. We don't want step-parents and adoptive parents having sexual relations with their kids.

We live in a democratic republic, not a libertarian paradise. If there is an overwhelming consensus that something is harmful, then we have laws and public policies that discourage it.

More and more, the public is being asked to accept things that used to be considered immoral. Adultery, sodomy, inter-racial marriage, transsexuals, etc. Putting a transgendered kid in the schools may seem like a liberty for that kid, but it imposes a burden on everyone else to explain it. Sometimes kids think and do foolish things as a result of being given bad ideas.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Details on MIT firing a professor

I mentioned that MIT fires its best professor, and now details of the accusation have emerged. It turns out that the complainer was a 32-year-old woman in France watching free online physics lectures, and she was the one sending naked pictures to him. She was taking medication for various emotional problems, and she made a complaint to MIT a year later.

Meanwhile, Harvard, Princeton, and other fine universities have been found guilty of Title IX violations, and forced by the Obama administration to adopt policies that promptly consider a man guilty-until-proven-innocent if a woman makes a sex harassment complaint.

I occasionally hear people argue that feminism means advocacy of sexual equality. But most feminist complaints involve things like this where women do not want to be treated like men at all. Men do not complain about sexual harassment.

Friday, January 23, 2015

President is race-baiting again

From President Barack Obama's SOTU speech:
We may have different takes on the events of Ferguson and New York. But surely we can understand a father who fears his son can't walk home without being harassed. ...

That's a better politics. That's how we start rebuilding trust. That's how we move this country forward. That's what the American people want. That's what they deserve.
I am surprised that he had the nerve to mention Ferguson. That was not the story of an innocent boy being harassed. That was a boy who tried to murder a cop. The different take is that Obama encouraged black people to riot over the incident, saying that their concerns were justified.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Doomsday clock moves

The iconic Doomsday Clock, considered a metaphor for the dangers faced by the world, was pushed ahead by two minutes over concerns about worsening climate change and the world's failure to reduce nuclear weapons, a trans-Atlantic group of prominent scientists announced.
Climate change? The time scales are a little different.

Russian nuclear ICBMs can destroy American cities in only about 30 minutes. The widely-accepted IPCC estimates on sea level rise are only 7 to 23 inches this century. Miami Florida is considered the most vulnerable city in the world, and could eventually lose some tourist hotels.

We put trust in Sheriff Google

I am amused to see people have a religious-like loyalty to a corporation or politician.The San Jose Mercury News reports:
But in a series of recent episodes with Microsoft, one of its archrivals, Sheriff Google appears to have crossed an ethical line.

In the past three weeks, Google has exposed at least four unfixed Microsoft security flaws, including a serious one just days before the software giant was going to issue the patch as part of a regularly scheduled software update. That bug in Windows 8.1 allows an attacker to remotely gain administrator-level access to a system, giving the hacker the ability to inflict widespread damage. It could allow perpetrators to collect user names and passwords, impersonate users and steal trade secrets. ...

Google has done right by stating its 90-day policy and adhering to it, says Denise Kleinrichert, an associate professor in management and ethics at San Francisco State University. "We put trust in Google to protect our interests," she said. "They violate our trust if they give Microsoft an extra day."
I wonder if she even knows how Google makes its money.

Update: Google just released Apple vulnerabilities. So now the Apply fanbois are not gloating anymore.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Easter Island not destroyed by logging

Jared Diamond is probably the world's best known anthropologists, and certainly the best known geography professor, and gets high praise for his books. I have always been skeptical, as he does a lot of grand theorizing without much facts to back him up. In particular, he has detailed theories about the downfall of Easter Island, even tho there are no written records.

Now new research says that much of Diamond's theory is false:
Synopsis: Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is one prominent example where the decline of its indigenous population seems to have preceded contact from Europe. Stevenson and colleagues used archaeological survey methods to understand the use of land in different periods of Rapa Nui prehistory, finding that the reduction in land used for crops was gradual and seemed to reflect the land productivity under changing climatic conditions.

Important because: Jared Diamond prominently featured the Rapa Nui "collapse" as a case where a colonizing human population pushed its environment past the limit, resulting in a catastrophic loss of the ability to sustain a large population. Stevenson and colleagues find that land use reflects a more complex picture, and suggest that the idea of a collapse is too simple. They conclude that the data "better reflect a framework of environmental constraint than of environmental degradation—although constraint and degradation can intergrade, as in the case of infertile soils that are suitable for shifting cultivation being degraded through overuse."

Friday, January 09, 2015

Mathematicians attack the NSA

I wrote a letter suggesting that the American Mathematical Society not get too excited about the National Security Agency, and the AMS published this reply in the AMS Notices:
The AMS must justify its support of the NSA

Roger Schlafly (letters, November 2014) accuses mathematicians of an "overwrought" and "over-excited" response to the recently-revealed activities of the National Security Agency (NSA). So, let us look at some cold facts. In 2011, the NSA explicitly stated its goal of universal surveillance, describing its "posture" as "collect it all", "know it all", "exploit it all". The same year, the NSA's close British partner GCHQ said it was intercepting over 50 billion communication events per day. In 2012, a single NSA program celebrated its trillionth metadata record.
Those numbers sound big, but much more data is being harvested by Google, Facebook, and ATT. Why no criticism of them?
On encryption: the NSA's 2013 budget request sought funds to "Insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems". The NSA described its secret program Sentry Raven as "work[ing] with specific US commercial entities ... to modify US manufactured encryption systems to make them exploitable for SIGINT [signals intelligence]". The aim is clear: that no two human beings shall be able to communicate digitally without the NSA being able to listen.
The NSA's aim is to spy on military and terrorist enemies. It has no interest in others.
Schlafly is, at least, correct in noting that outrage at the intelligence agencies' abuse of surveillance powers is nothing new: from the FBI's bugging of Martin Luther King and subsequent attempt to blackmail him into suicide, to the 2011 extrajudicial killing of an American child by CIA drone strike (a program to which the NSA supplies surveillance data). He is justified in worrying about the data held by Google, Facebook, etc., but he writes as if concern over that and state surveillance were mutually exclusive, which of course they are not; and much of that data is harvested by the NSA's PRISM program anyway.
I said nothing about the FBI's invesigation of King, and I am not sure it matters, as it was very far removed from the business of a math society. Nor about the Obama administration killing a 16yo enemy combatant.

My understanding of USA law is that an American who takes up arms against the USA can be killed without judicial process. If this Britain mathematician disagrees, then he can state his political opinion, but I suspect that the laws in his country are similar.
Further, his comparison with 1970s technology distracts from the awesome invasive power of today's internet. As the NSA's former general counsel Stewart Baker said, "metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody's life". Former NSA director Michael Hayden agreed, adding "we kill people based on metadata".
Sure, the US military acts on whatever intelligence it can get.
By collaborating with the NSA, the AMS sends a strong political message: that it is proud to support the NSA's work and welcomes it into the mathematical community. It is just as surely a political position as withdrawing cooperation would be. Many members are vigorously opposed to much of what the NSA does; indeed, when the Notices set out to organize the series "Mathematicians discuss the Snowden revelations", its editors could not find anyone to write in the NSA's defense. (And when they finally did, it was a longtime NSA employee.)
Yes, the only reason I wrote my letter was that no one else was expressing the foolishness of the AMS trying to boycott the NSA. I was not defending the NSA; I expressed no opinion about the merits of NSA spy programs.
How does the AMS leadership justify its continued cooperation with the NSA? Is it certain it has the backing of the membership? And what exactly would the NSA have to do in order for the AMS to declare "Enough: this partnership brings mathematicians into disrepute"?

Tom Leinster
University of Edinburgh
What would it take? The essence of his complaint is that the NSA has a spy program against foreign enemy combatants. The program has the approval of the leaders of both our political parties. The purpose is to prevent terrorist attacks. War is an ugly business sometimes, and maybe it is a necessary evil. I do not personally agree with some of the military actions. But what does Leinster want? To shut down the military? To shut down NSA? To prohibit military spying?

The AMS is not a political organizations. It is just mathematicians wanting to do math. It is formally American, so if there is an American consensus to send drones into Yemen to kill terrorists, then it is not the place of the AMS to try to obstruct it. If some mathematicians disagree, they can join political organizations to vote our leaders out of office.

The AMS hardly does anything to support the NSA. Maybe it accepts some employment ads. If the AMS is helping mathematicians find job that assist the USA government in the war against terrorism, then the AMS ought to be proud to have that role. I fail to see how it would be any better to help mathematicians find jobs at Google or Facebook.

Leinster posted a similar complaint last year against mathematicians cooperating with a British intelligence agency.

The AMS published another letter attacking me:
Difference between the NSA and Google

In his June 28, 2014, letter to the Notices[November 2014 issue], Roger Schlafly claims that he does not see a distinction between the dangers posed by the massive collection of data by commercial companies like Google and the collection of data by the NSA. Perhaps that is because he is also unable to see a distinction between public and covert oversight. No doubt the practices of Google are a real danger, but commercial companies are subject to regulations and can be brought before open courts whose judges are appointed by an elected president and have to be approved by the Senate. The regulations governing the NSA are classified, and the NSA is answerable only to a closed court whose judges are appointed, without further review, by a man who himself was appointed by a president who believed that one can defeat terror by declaring a war on it. Maybe these distinctions seem trivial to Dr. Schlafly, but even he should be able to understand why somebody like Alexander Beilinson, who grew up in a country where all courts were secret, does not.

—Daniel W. Stroock
Professor emeritus
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
I original letter mentioned that Alexander Beilinson was a Russian-American professor, as I thought that him growing up in Russia had some relevance. The editors removed that. My guess is that they thought that his ethnicity was a distraction, or that I was insinuating that he might be a commie or something.

The NSA is much more tightly regulated in its spying than Google. In its most controversial program, the NSA has collected metadata on Americans, but regulations prevent it from searching the data except in a few hundred cases where Americans were talking to known terrorism suspects in places like Afghanistan. Google is under no such restrictions. It collects whatever it can get, and keeps it forever. And not just metadata. It keeps email, search terms, sites visited, videos watched, and ads viewed.

Stroock reveals his politics by slyly referring to Pres. Obama as the "elected president" but Pres. G.W. Bush as "a president who believed that one can defeat terror by declaring a war on it." Bush has been out of office for 6 years. His war on terror has been continued by the Obama administration, as so has NSA surveillance. These policies have broad support in Congress and with the American people.

When I submitted my letter to the AMS, the editor said she got 7 or more opinions on it, and they all recommended against publishing it. One of the objections was that only the government puts people in jail, not Google. I replied:
The NSA does not put people in jail either. Google is, in fact, quite capable of instigating action to jail someone. See this recent story:

"Google sees alleged child porn in man's email, alerts police A Houston man is charged after police say Google tips them off to alleged child porn in his e-mail."
How many Americans have been harmed by NSA spying? Go ahead and count the enemy combatant in Yemen.

I am actually surprised at how little public concern there is about the NSA. Various people in the news media and academia are constantly telling about how some leak is outrageous, or about how the NSA has too much metadata, or about how some court lacks sufficient due process. But when pollsters ask people about reasons for their votes, the NSA is never even mentioned. Nobody cares.

The real threats to your privacy are coming from Google, Facebook, Apple, Obamacare, video cameras, credit agencies, consumer marketing databases, and various new technologies. Not NSA. The AMS would be very foolish to get into a political fight over the NSA.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

The enemies of free speech

Two years ago, someone made an obscure YouTube video that was critical of Islam. Pres. Barack Obama apologized to the Mohammedan world for the video, asked YouTube to take it down, had the maker jailed, and gave a United Nations speech saying:
The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.
I think that he encouraged the murder of the French cartoonists.

Update: A London newspaper reports that not all Moslems agree with murdering the cartoonists. Some are concerned that images of prophets like Mohammad and Moses could encourage idolatry. There are probably Moslems who believe in free speech to criticize Islam, but the article does not mention any.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Colleges want to extract the maximum money

I listed to this public radio broadcast from 2 years ago:
Most private schools give out aid packages based on merit, often trying to compete for students from wealthy families who could already afford to send them to college. But the president of Kenyon College in Ohio is calling for a nationwide return to a system of need-based aid.

Guest: S. Georgia Nugent, President of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
She wanted all the colleges to more consistently charge higher tuition, and cut back on financial aid. She complained:
Here is one example, Student A. Our need analysis showed that this family could afford probably $44,000 toward their college tuition. Yet other schools offered the student $20,000, $30,000, and $40,000 in aid. [at 3:00]
Presumably the student went to a competing college that charged less money.

Her position was that colleges should be able to examine the financial records of the parents, determine how much they can be forced to pay, and then not have to compete against another college offering a better deal. That way the colleges could extract the maximum amount possible in tuition.

I am amazed that anyone puts up with this attitude from colleges. When I go into a restaurant, the hostess does not say, "We have scanned your bank records and determined that you can afford to pay $100 for this meal. So that is what we are charging you. Furthermore all the other restaurants in town are on the same system, so they will also charge you $100."

When I was in college, the Ivy League schools traded info on applicants for the purpose of tuition and aid price-fixing. I understand that is now considered illegal, but the colleges are still trying to figure out a way to be sheltered from competition.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Almost gullible trust in strangers

CH writes:
If you read Peter Frost (and others like him), you’ll be familiar with the theory that white pathological humanitarianism — i.e., white ethnomasochism (as commonly practiced by today’s SJWs) — is a psychological disposition of Northwest Europeans that evolved in the not-too-distant past under the twin environmental pressures of manorialism and non-kin marriage. Radical outbreeding essentially selected for people who were very trusting of outsiders. This high level of trust allowed Western Civilization as we know it to find purchase and flourish.

But, as Frost et al have hypothesized, a powerful altruistic impulse combined with an almost gullible trust in strangers has, over time, become corrupted in the people who possess these normally positive traits. The congenial indulgence granted to non-kin locals that worked so well in a largely racially homogeneous geographic region has turned inward and reconfigured into a self-flagellating penance for imagined sins against the world’s steaming masses. The Columbus Knights of the European Empire have turned to the dark side.
This is a curious theory. The idea is based on a couple of developments about a millennium ago. The Catholic Church banned cousin marriages, and even marriages among distant cousins like 5th cousins. Private property had not been invented yet, but the manorial system in northwestern Europe allowed a single family to run a small farm, and the oldest son could inherit the farm. The other kids were on their own.

Most of the rest of the world was broken down into clans, where people had arranged marriages with cousins, and no one trusted anyone outside the clan.

This is why northwestern Europe became the place for individualism, nuclear families, and anti-racist views. These attitudes are now being tested by high immigration from areas that are racially, religiously, and culturally quite different.

An LA Times editorial argues that no one should identify as European-American:
Last year students at Georgia State University started a White Student Union, which they insisted was not a racist organization. Here’s the report from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution:
“Freshman Patrick Sharp said he started the club so that students of European and Euro-American descent can celebrate their shared history and culture and discuss issues that affect white people, such as immigration and affirmative action. …

“ ‘If we are already minorities on campus and are soon to be minorities in this country why wouldn’t we have the right to advocate for ourselves and have a club just like every other minority?’ said Sharp, 18. Why is it when a white person says he is proud to be white he’s shunned as a racist?’ ”
In theory, it might be no more bizarre for white students to celebrate “white culture” than it is for black students to band together to celebrate “black culture.” White nationalists can argue that they’re simply lifting a page from the identity-politics playbook of other racial and ethnic groups.

Yet most people (I hope) would reject that symmetry. The problem is explaining why we accept some kinds of ethnic or racial self-consciousness and solidarity and reject others.
White non-hispanics are already a minority in California, and is dropping to about a third of the population. There is a web site on Today In White History that simply celebrates accomplishments much as any other ethnic group might, without denigrating anyone. It is strange that people like the LA Times columnist wants to elevate every other ethnic group but whites.

Frost writes:
A synthesis has been forming in the field of human biodiversity. It may be summarized as follows:

1. Human evolution did not end in the Pleistocene or even slow down. In fact, it speeded up with the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago, when the pace of genetic change rose over a hundred-fold. ...

2. When life or death depends on your ability to follow a certain way of life, you are necessarily being selected for certain heritable characteristics. ...

3. This gene-culture co-evolution began when humans had already spread over the whole world, from the equator to the arctic. ...

4. Humans have thus altered their environment via culture, and this man-made environment has altered humans via natural selection. This is probably the farthest we can go in formulating a unified theory of human biodiversity. ...

5. Antiracist scholars have argued against the significance of human biodiversity, but their arguments typically reflect a lack of evolutionary thinking. ...

The end of the Cold War might have brought an end to the war on racism, or at least a winding down, had it not replaced socialism with an even more radical project: globalism. This is the hallmark of "late capitalism," a stage of historical development when the elites no longer feel restrained by national identity and are thus freer to enrich themselves at their host society's expense, mainly by outsourcing jobs to low-wage countries and by insourcing low-wage labor for jobs that cannot be relocated, such as those in construction and services. That's globalism in a nutshell. ...

A lot of money is being spent to push a phony political consensus against any controls on immigration. This isn't being done in the dark by a few conspirators. It's being done in the full light of day by all kinds of people: agribusiness, Tyson Foods, Mark Zuckerberg, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and small-time operations ranging from landscapers to fast-food joints. They all want cheaper labor because they're competing against others who likewise want cheaper labor. It's that simple ... and stupid.

This phony consensus is also being pushed at a time when the demographic cauldron of the Third World is boiling over.
He has references for much of what he says.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Healthier to pig out

From the business news:
McDonald's has hit hard times. Its earnings report in 2014 was the lowest in over a decade.

But the company announced a big change that may help spur sales: It's rolling out custom burgers across the country.
Custom burgers? That is the most annoying thing about McDonald's. Every other burger chain has no problem selling you a burger the way you like it. Only McDonald's makes it difficult.

Meanwhile health research offers these tips.
Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health.

It is better to concentrate your food in big meals:
A new study by researchers at the Salk Institute cautions against an extended period of snacking, suggesting instead that confining caloric consumption to an 8- to 12-hour period-as people did just a century ago-might stave off high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.

The results, published December 2, 2014 in the journal Cell Metabolism, add to mounting evidence suggesting that it's not just what we eat but when we eat it that matters to our health. Although the intervention has not yet been tested in humans, it has already gained visibility as a potential weight loss method-and, in mice, it may reveal what causes obesity and related conditions in the first place.
So turn off your heat, head out to some burger chain giving you a decent choice, and pig out. You will be healthier and happier.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Dysrationalia and Intelligence

A SciAm article claims that people can have high IQ but still have dysrationalia as evidenced by giving different answers to these questions:
Imagine that the U.S. Department of Transportation has found that a particular German car is eight times more likely than a typical family car to kill occupants of another car in a crash. The federal government is considering resticting [sic] sale and use of this German car. Please answer the following two questions: Do you think sales of the German car should be banned in the U.S.? Do you think the German car should be banned from being driven on American streets?

Imagine that the Department of Transportation has found that the Ford Explorer is eight times more likely than a typical family car to kill occupants of another car in a crash. The German government is considering restricting sale or use of the Ford Explorer. Please answer the following two questions: Do you think sales of the Ford Explorer should be banned in Germany? Do you think the Ford Explorer should be banned from being driven on German streets? ...

This study illustrates our tendency to evaluate a situation from our own perspective.
I think that someone could be sympathetic to the Ford for reasons unrelated to it being not German. If you Tell someone that a car is dangerous and nothing else, then banning the car is logical because the car is probably poorly made. But if you say that it is a Ford Explorer, which is well known to be a very large family car, then the hazard is likely to be the size, and not any engineering problem.