Monday, August 31, 2015

Laws that immunized Silicon Valley tech

Two internet laws of the 1990s, Communications Decency Act and Digital Millennium Copyright Act, were passed over the overwhelming objections from Silicon Valley and cyber rights activists.

And yet these laws have been overwhelmingly favorable to Si Valley companies.

David Post writes:
It has caused me to reflect a bit (again) on a rather remarkable provision of the U.S. Code, Secction 230 of the Communications Decency Act (which was part of the massive Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996):
“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
No other sentence in the U.S. Code, I would assert, has been responsible for the creation of more value than that one; if you have other candidates for that honor you think more worthy, please do share them.

It immunizes all online “content intermediaries” from a vast range of legal liability that could have been imposed upon them, under pre-1996 law, for unlawful or tortious content provided by their users — liability for libel, defamation, infliction of emotional distress, commercial disparagement, distribution of sexually explicit material, threats or any other causes of action that impose liability on those who, though not the source themselves of the offending content, act to “publish” or “distribute” it. ...

Yet it is impossible to imagine what the Internet ecosystem would look like today without it. Virtually every successful online venture that emerged after 1996 — including all the usual suspects, viz. Google, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit, Craigslist, YouTube, Instagram, eBay, Amazon — relies in large part (or entirely) on content provided by their users, who number in the hundreds of millions, or billions.
And the DMCA is what allows Google to cache web pages and post pirate videos contrary to copyrights, as long as it follows take-down procedures after a complaint.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Most Psychology research not replicated

I have posted how much of the published research in medical and social sciences may be wrong. Now the NY Times reports:
The past several years have been bruising ones for the credibility of the social sciences. A star social psychologist was caught fabricating data, leading to more than 50 retracted papers. A top journal published a study supporting the existence of ESP that was widely criticized. The journal Science pulled a political science paper on the effect of gay canvassers on voters’ behavior because of concerns about faked data.

Now, a painstaking yearslong effort to reproduce 100 studies published in three leading psychology journals has found that more than half of the findings did not hold up when retested. The analysis was done by research psychologists, many of whom volunteered their time to double-check what they considered important work. Their conclusions, reported Thursday in the journal Science, have confirmed the worst fears of scientists who have long worried that the field needed a strong correction.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The race war continues

From Shoebat, a site I had never heard of:
The alleged shooter, African American Vester Lee Flanagan II — who went by Bryce Williams on air — shot himself shortly appearing to rant about the victims on Twitter and uploaded a horrifying video he filmed of the shooting. In the video, he appears to approach his three victims, lurk next to them for nearly a minute and then fire more than a dozen times. He whispers “Bitch” after pointing the gun at Parker. He later tweeted “I filmed the shooting see Facebook.”

Update: His grudge against her detailed:
Innocuous phrases Alison Parker used every day to describe her job may have led to her death, simply because Vester Lee Flanagan thought they were racist.

The 24-year-old TV reporter who was shot and killed by the disgruntled ex-employee on Wednesday somehow angered him by using terms like 'swinging' by an address or going out into the 'field' while she was an intern at WDBJ. ...

'We would say stuff like, "The reporter's out in the field." And he would look at us and say, "What are you saying, cotton fields? That's racist".'

'We'd be like, "What?' We all know what that means, but he took it as cotton fields, and therefore we're all racists.'
Update: A leftist propaganda site MediaMatters says that it is race-baiting or ever white supremacist to point out that a black man killed white people out of racial hatred.

Lists of ethnic and other slurs

Wikipedia has a List of ethnic slurs by ethnicity and a List of religious slurs.

Not listed are terms like racist, sexist, xenophobic, antisemitic, homophobic. 90% of the times these are just used as slurs -- ie, just name-calling for the purpose of disparaging someone. Calling a white man a racist is like calling a black man a nigger. It does not mean much, except to express some sort of disapproval.

Here are Michigan lawyers making a racial accusation:
The State Bar of Michigan issued an apology today and withdrew its honorable mention award for a story, Post-Conviction Relief, found to be embedded with racist cues and symbolism. At the same time, the State Bar announced the discontinuation of the contest that resulted in the award. State Bar officials were alerted to the issue by several members contacting the State Bar about the story’s racism.

“We cannot apologize enough,” said State Bar President Thomas C. Rombach. “The short story contest has been popular with many members. But if this result could occur even with the high caliber of the judges who conferred the award, the contest should be discontinued.”
Here is the fictional story. It does not mention the race of anyone. There is also commentary by the author, and by a racist hate site.

Monday, August 24, 2015

School achievement is heritable

It has long been known that IQ is heritable, but it has also been assumed that school achievement is mostly a function of school quality, tutoring, and hard work, once the IQ effects have been subtracted out. Maybe not.

A British Nature genetics podcast describes new research:
Kat - We often talk about things being “in the genes”, from traits such as eye or hair colour to our risk of diseases. One of the main ways that scientists figure out how much a particular characteristic is down to genetics - known as its heritability - is by comparing identical twins, who share 100 per cent of their genes, with non-identical or fraternal twins, who only have 50 per cent of their DNA in common. Thanks to a unique study tracking thousands of pairs of twins as they grow up, Professor Robert Plomin and his team at King’s College London have now discovered that genetics makes an unexpectedly large contribution to children’s GCSE grades across a wide range of subjects.

Robert - In this twin study which we call the Twin’s Early Development Study which is a study of about 7,000 pairs of twins in the UK, I was interested in focusing on an area that hasn’t been studied much and that’s school achievement. So on the one hand, we know that cognitive ability like intelligence shows substantial genetic influence. But people hadn’t really studied the business end of it in terms of school achievement. And so, we were surprised to find from the very first years of school that school achievement as measured by the national curriculum scores. It’s very highly heritable, like 60 per cent heritable. That means, of the differences in children’s performance in the national curriculum test, over half of those differences between children are due to DNA, genetic differences, between them. So, we’re not identifying the DNA, but we’re using the twin method to estimate, not only the significance, but the effect size of genetic influence on school children. It’s very high.

So, we’ve been following them all along and now that they hit 16, we wanted to use the GCSE scores - there aren’t many countries where the same national tests are administered to everybody. And so, what we’ve found is the same sort of thing that GCSE scores are highly heritable. But what's new is that all the tests – there's over 80 subjects that people can take for GCSEs - and all of them are highly heritable. That surprised me because I would’ve thought the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering, math – would be more heritable for some reason maybe because it involves intelligence to a greater extent than drama and art. This is just totally exposing my biases of course as a scientist, but it wasn’t true. They are all equally heritable. It’s interesting that scores are as equally heritable despite the fact that some children are getting tutors and going to schools that have prepped them for GCSEs. Schools – we make a big deal about schools - you just say what school our kids in explain far less than 20 per cent of the variance. Explaining 50 per cent of the variance with genetic differences is extraordinary when education totally ignores genetics. In teacher training or whatever, not a word is said about genetics. And so, I'm just saying genetics is very important.

But what's really novel about this study is a little bit harder to understand and that is to say, “Okay, genetics affects all of these GCSE subjects” but is it different genes for every one? Are there genes for drama, genes for music, and genes for math? And the answer is definitely not. The same genes are affecting performance on all of these GCSE scores. The differences are probably more environmental. If you're good at drama and not good at math, that’s probably more of an environmental thing. But the genetic action has to do with what's in common in performance across all of these things.

Kat - Is it not just that they're just generally smart? They’ve got good intelligence genes?

Robert - That’s what most people would say and so, what we did is we took out intelligence. We corrected for intelligence. You can correct scores for age and sex, and you can correct scores for intelligence. So, you can take these GCSE scores and make them independent of intelligence, statistically. And then the interesting thing was that we got the same results. So, everything is equally heritable, independent of intelligence, and what's even more surprising, again, it’s the same genes that affect all of those intelligence corrected GCSE scores. So what that means is that, your hypothesis is a good one that a lot of what the genetic correlation among all these GCSE scores is about intelligence. But what's amazing is you take out intelligence and you find, yes, there's still genetic influence, but it also works in a very general way and that’s suggests it’s like an academic ability, genetically driven academic ability.
Here is a new American study that seems to get similar results.

People are spooked by studies like this, but it seems essential to understanding what schools are doing for us. Maybe schools ought to track kids according to genetics, or use other strategies that take genes into account for better results.

My guess is that people are afraid that there might be racial implications.

Most measurable human traits are heritable, so maybe this should not be surprising. But we spend maybe a trillion dollars a year on schooling. Shouldn't we have a better idea of what causes success in school?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Using empathy to combat climate change

People seem to come to conclusions about global warming based more on politics and emotion, than on hard science or practical realities. Usually advocates claim to be making scientific arguments, but this interview tries to make more emotional arguments:
What can we, as individuals, do to help with climate change?

Dr Roman Krznaric is from the London-based a cultural enterprise think tank 'School of Life' and he’s also author of Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution.

So what exactly is empathy and how can evoking empathy combat climate change?

Kat - So, can you explain a little bit about, how does the issue of empathy tie-up with climate change?

Roman - Normally, we think of climate change as something that needs technological scientific solutions, but try and think about it through the lens of empathy. I mean, 98% of us have the ability to empathise, to step into other people’s shoes, wired into our brains. And climate change can be seen as a problem of a huge empathy deficit. We’re not putting our empathy into practice in two ways. We’re failing to step into the shoes of people in developing countries who were being hit by extreme weather events related to climate change. We just heard about Anneil there in Bangladesh being hit by floods. And equally, we’re failing to step into the shoes of future generations. What's it like to be a teenager living in Dublin or Dubai in 2100 in a climate changed world? Unless we can make that empathic leap, we’re not actually going to create the kind of grassroots social movements, the kind of political action, that is required to push the politicians to come to new global agreements.
If you could really make an empathic leap to a teenager living in Dublin or Dubai in 2100, you would probably be in favor of burning more fossil fuels. The warming is helping Dublin, and Dubai has gotten rich from the oil.
Kat - How do we evoke empathy for the climate? Is the solution just, cute pictures of polar bears?

Roman - I'm sorry to say that all those cute polar bear pictures haven't actually been very good at galvanising people over the last few years on climate change because the social science research tells us that actually, what motivates us is caring about other people more than plants or animals. That’s the reality of it and there needs to be much more campaigning about trying to give a human face to the people whose lives are being affected by climate change today and in the future.
I would have thought that many people care more about cute polar bears than teenagers in Dubai. Either way, be prepared for scientifically tuned propaganda to manipulate you by triggering emotional responses in your brain.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Professors defending jury nullification

Libertarian law professor Ilya Somin writes:
Jury nullification occurs when jurors choose not to convict a defendant they believe to be guilty of the offense charged, usually because they conclude that the law in question is unjust or the punishment is excessive.
I am surprised that someone would defend jury nullification this way, but apparently the common definitions include the juror believing that the defendant is guilty of the crime.

I always thought that jury nullification included situations where the jury agrees that the defendant did the alleged acts, but maybe did not have the required criminal intent, or has some other valid legal argument for an acquittal.

Guilty is a legal determination, not just a factual determination. If the jury says that the defendant is not guilty, then he is not guilty.

The prosecutor may argue that if the defendant pulled the trigger, or possessed the drugs, then he is guilty. But legally, it is always more complicated than that. There has to be admissible evidence against him, a fair trial, mens rea, etc.

If a juror agreed with the law, but did not agree with how it was applied in the case and honestly voted for the defendant being not guilty, then I thought that a prosecutor might call it jury nullification. But by the above definition, I would say that it is probably not jury nullification, as the juror could have a legitimate argument for a not guilty verdict.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Trump is not a cuckservative

A leftist hate site complains about the word cuckservative:
Part Internet meme, part scathing social commentary from the right on its leading politicians, there’s a freshly minted term that has spread fast across the radical right. And much to the delight of those who use it, it’s found its way into the political mainstream.
It goes on to argue that it is a racist term.

The most popular usage seems to be to explain the success of Donald Trump:
You ask, "Why"? Why are his poll numbers skyrocketing? Why is he getting away with saying things a normal politician would never say?

Because we're sick of your shit.

Now, I'm not saying that a billionaire reality TV star is going to save the West. But, damn, you have to start somewhere. Real, right-wing Americans are looking for someone who isn't afraid of being called racist by people who hate him and would never have voted for them anyway.

The Cuckservatives have bowed to the left for years, recoiling in fear every single time a leftist, who, once again, will never vote for them anyway calls them "racist", "sexist", "homophobic", etc.

Cuckservatives have gone up on the presidential debate stage for years and have begged and apologized and spent half of their stage time explaining that they aren't racist and that they're sorry that they believe in neoliberal economics. What person would ever, in their right minds, be attracted to that shit? Who are you pandering to? Why do you seek the approval of those that hate you? Why do you fear their shit-slinging?

Donald Trump doesn't fear any of that shit. He's unapologetic. He's advocating for policies that will ensure that the right remains strong and relevant for years to come. He's pushing back on the Overton window in a way that has not been done in decades.

He wants to stop third world socialists from pouring into our borders and destroying everything we hold sacred.
This argument is convincing. There is something sickening about supposedly conservative politicians who are always groveling to appease people who will never vote for them anyway.

The syllable "cuck" comes from cuckold, and that comes from cuckoo birds, which put their eggs in the nests of other birds.

Fear the market

Here is a Chinese view of financial markets, following a devaluation of its currency:
Yi Gang, deputy governor of the central bank, said it stood ready to step in if volatility became "excessive" and the market started "behaving like a herd of sheep".

"Trust the market, respect the market, fear the market, and follow the market," he told a press conference.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Heading for AOL 2.0

Jacques Mattheij writes:
We're heading Straight for AOL 2.0 ...

Imagine an internet where every other protocol except for the most closely related to ‘plumbing’ ones (TCP/IP/UDP/DNS) are no longer open but closed. That may sound far-fetched but even though the number of RFCs is still growing the last RFC with an article in the wikipedia list of rfcs is the iCalendar Specification (RFC 5545) and it dates from 2009. Since then there has been a lot of movement on the web application front but none of those has resulted in an open protocol for more than one vendor (or open source projects) to implement. One explanation is that we now have all the protocols that we need, another is that more and more protocols are layered on top of HTTP in a much more proprietary manner.
I believe that Bill Gates predicted this about 20 years ago, and everyone made fun of him for supposedly not understanding the internet.

I am amazed that companies spend advertising money asking me to Like them on Facebook. No thanks. It only makes me think that they are too incompetent to make their own web site.

A lot of companies do have terrible web sites.

Meanwhile, AOL has some useful services. I never used AOL 1.0, but I use the current AOL more than Facebook.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Fighting the NSA has hurt Rand Paul

Libertarians and leftists have sought to make a big deal out of the Snowden revelations, and tried to shut down NSA surveillance. One politician, Rand Paul, has made it his signature issue in his campaign for President.

And yet this issue gets very little public support. Paul's poll numbers have declined to where he is just getting support from libertarian Republicans who liked his father.

There are professors who say that this issue is important, but I have not heard any of them endorse Rand Paul. Cryptographers pretend to be shocked, but nearly all of the NSA activities were known to them.

My conclusion is the great majority of the public approves of the NSA surveillance. No one has given an example that offends people. Rand seems like a phony idealist who is not prepared to do what needs to be done to combat national adversaries.

I am not opposing privacy here. I would like to see laws strengthening our privacy rights. But those complaining about the NSA seem to be ignoring 99% of the privacy threats to us.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Intolerant people of color

Japanese American Aimee Mizuno writes an op-ed:
We must not tolerate anti-immigrant rhetoric

At the risk of giving undeserved attention to Donald Trump and the political spectacle created by his campaign, I feel compelled to respond to his racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric in the context of the history of scapegoating, disenfranchisement, and criminalization of immigrants in the United States. Trump’s recent comments characterizing Mexican immigrants as “criminals” and “rapists” that should be purged from the country fit a pattern of abuse that has been used not only against Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, but against many groups of immigrants in the history of our country.
Trump did not say that they were all criminals. He wasn't even talking about immigrants, but illegal aliens.
The anti-immigrant spotlight was then cast on the Japanese as they became settled and gained more economic strength, particularly in California. Existing racial animosity climaxed with the start of World War II, when Japanese and Japanese-Americans on the West Coast were rounded up and incarcerated. This may be one of the most horrifying examples of the criminalization of an entire immigrant community.
She is the one criminalizing the Japanese, as they were not considered criminals at the time.
We, as people of color and their allies, have the responsibility ...

In times when racism rears its ugly head, let us, as individuals, organizations and community groups stand with our neighbors and brothers and sisters to promote a humane and accurate depiction of the groups under attack. Then, we can say that immigrants are workers, parents, children, teachers, friends, neighbors, students and activists who will not tolerate being depicted as “criminals.”
Here she is saying that non-white (who hate white people) should combine to express their intolerance for the truth about immigration.

She seems to think that it is okay for her to express her own racial hatreds as long as she is attacking white people and calling them racists.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Suppressing science to promote egalitarianism

Leftist pseudoscience philosopher Massimo Pigliucci
From my standpoint as a biologist it is hard to conceive of any major aspect of being human that is not the result of nature-nurture interactions (as opposed to straight influences of either nature or nurture), even though these are hopelessly complex to disentangle empirically. We know this to be the case for pretty much every other species on the planet that we have been able to properly study, so why should it be different for Homo sapiens?

The problem with the extreme naturist position, then, is twofold: on the one hand, it is based on often shaky science — consider for instance neuroscientist Cordelia Fine’s masterful debunking of what she calls neurobiological “delusions of gender” [11]. On the other hand, far too many naturists, while claiming the (alleged) objective mantle of science, reveal themselves to be sympathetic to sexist or racist, and certainly politically regressive positions (for instance Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein, authors of the infamous The Bell Curve). Even when this is not the case, their research provides easy cover for the most vicious sexist and racist sub-cultures of our society.

Murray and Herrnstein always argued for traits being a combination of nature and nurture, just as the biologists say. So what is the objection?

Leftist soft-subject professors like him nearly always argue fallaciously. Here he announces disagreement with the political views of authors who make a social science argument, and then uses name-calling against those who follow the work. It is a form of guilt-by-association, except that Pigliucci is blaming the authors for who might have read the book.

It is true that nearly all human and animal traits are a combination of nature and nurture. A recent article says Ape study shows anxiety and depression are inherited . Most people are surprised at how much is inherited.

Pigliucci is one of these anti-science leftists who likes to downplay any genetic or nature human influences because it conflicts with his cultural Marxism.
Moreover, all of this, it seems to me, is entirely unnecessary: from a philosophical, and particularly an ethical, perspective, the biological bases of human behaviors are irrelevant to how we ought to treat other human beings. Whether women, or gays, or transgenders, statistically adopt certain behaviors because of culture, genes, epigenes or — again, more likely — an inextricably complex interaction among those factors, who cares?
First, most real scientists favor pursuing knowledge regardless of whether it promotes personal political views.

Second, nearly all those who promote gay rights do so based on a theory that sexual preferences are innate. Even the recent US Supreme Court marriage decision mentioned that.

Third, even if you believe that all people should be treated the same, then how would you even know if you are doing that or not, unless you are aware of underlying causes of behavior? If, say, you are trying to figure out why one group has higher unemployment than another, it may be because the groups are different or that they are treated differently. You cannot tell unless you study the group differences.

Fourth, no one really treats all people alike. That is just Marxist nonsense.

Update: A reader points out that Pigliucci's main argument for "The false dichotomy of nature-nurture" is based on a misunderstanding of the word dichotomy. The dictionary defines it as:
being twofold; a classification into two opposed parts or subclasses ("The dichotomy between eastern and western culture")

a difference between two opposite things : a division into two opposite groups M-W

a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities ; also : the process or practice of making such a division
There certainly is a dichotomy between nature (genes) and nurture (environment). Nature and nurture are opposites, and twin studies and other studies do indeed divide between nature and nurture.

The word does not in any way imply that a trait must be entirely nature or entirely nurture. Some are, such as eye color being entirely nature and spoken language (like English or Chinese) being entirely nurture. Most other traits are some combination, with maybe subtle interactions. It is really not that difficult to understand, unless it upsets your Marxist egalitarian anti-science worldview.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Immigration causes global warming

Kit Brewer writes:
Obama has recently demanded a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions from our power plants. The power companies are howling and threatening to sue, but wouldn’t it be logical for them to point out that much of our carbon emissions are directly caused by out of control immigration since 1965? ...

Our population has doubled since 1965, almost all of that due to third world immigrants and their high fertility. The USA is responsible for 25 percent of the world’s energy consumption. It doesn’t take much math to figure out that if our population had remained about 160 million or so, the amount of green house gases released in our atmosphere would be about half what it is. The amount of green house gasses worldwide would be reduced 12 percent.
Yes, if the Obama administration were serious about global warming, then it would stop immigration from Third World countries.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Kahneman wants to eliminate overconfidence

The London Guardian reports:
Daniel Kahneman is ... a man whose experimental findings have shifted our understanding of thought on its axis – someone described by Steven Pinker as “the world’s most influential living psychologist”.

His 2011 book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, a primer on a career’s worth of psychological inquiry, won the US National Academy of Sciences book award, and the enthusiastic approval of his peers. It tells the story of “two systems” of thought, one automatic and intuitive, the realm of systematic biases, the other conscious and deliberative. It is a challenging work, clearly written but stuffed even so with difficult problems and counter-intuitive explanations. Despite that, it has sold millions of copies around the world. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, professor of risk engineering and author of The Black Swan, places it “in the same league as The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith and The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud”.
There is a backhanded compliment. The Smith book was a great classic. Freud's book is widely regarded as pseudoscientific nonsense.

Kahneman is most famous for arguing that stereotyping can lead to faulty estimates of probabilities, such as in this example:
When told of a student, Tom, who has a preference for neat and tidy systems and a penchant for sci-fi, most of us guess that he’s studying computer sciences and not a humanities subject. This is despite the fact that the group studying the latter is far larger.
Somehow he has convinced the world that this is a profound example of a cognitive bias. The above guess is only wrong if you make certain additional assumptions.
Not even he believes that the various flaws that bedevil decision-making can be successfully corrected. The most damaging of these is overconfidence: the kind of optimism that leads governments to believe that wars are quickly winnable and capital projects will come in on budget despite statistics predicting exactly the opposite. It is the bias he says he would most like to eliminate if he had a magic wand.
Yes, governments can over-estimate what a war can accomplish. But they might be under-estimating it just as often, for all I know.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Christians exterminated from the Mid East

The NY Times reports:
From 1910 to 2010, the number of Christians in the Middle East — in countries like Egypt, Israel, Palestine and Jordan — continued to decline; once 14 percent of the population, Christians now make up roughly 4 percent. (In Iran and Turkey, they’re all but gone.) In Lebanon, the only country in the region where Christians hold significant political power, their numbers have shrunk over the past century, to 34 percent from 78 percent of the population. Low birthrates have contributed to this decline, as well as hostile political environments and economic crisis. Fear is also a driver. The rise of extremist groups, as well as the perception that their communities are vanishing, causes people to leave.

For more than a decade, extremists have targeted Christians and other minorities, who often serve as stand-ins for the West. This was especially true in Iraq after the U.S. invasion, which caused hundreds of thousands to flee. ‘‘Since 2003, we’ve lost priests, bishops and more than 60 churches were bombed,’’ Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Erbil, said. With the fall of Saddam Hussein, Christians began to leave Iraq in large numbers, and the population shrank to less than 500,000 today from as many as 1.5 million in 2003.

The Arab Spring only made things worse. As dictators like Mubarak in Egypt and Qaddafi in Libya were toppled, their longstanding protection of minorities also ended. Now, ISIS is looking to eradicate Christians and other minorities altogether. ...

The future of Christianity in the region of its birth is now uncertain. ‘‘How much longer can we flee before we and other minorities become a story in a history book?’’ says Nuri Kino, a journalist and founder of the advocacy group Demand for Action. According to a Pew study, more Christians are now faced with religious persecution than at any time since their early history.
The USA has been fighting Mideast wars for 25 years now, and the net result has been to accelerate the extermination of Christians. We have sided with Moslems in Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, and maybe other countries.


Kids today are taught that Christianity has an evil history, and proved by the Crusades. The Crusades were part of the wars that kept the Moslems from invading Europe. Our entire civilization today depends on European Christians being willing to defend themselves. How exactly was that a bad thing?

Today, we no longer have leaders who are willing to stand up for Christian culture and civilization.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Harvest Blood From the Dead

Real Clear Science reports:
Scarcely a week goes by without news of a blood shortage somewhere in the United States. Summertime in particular sees supplies on the wane. With families on vacation and schools out of session, the American Red Cross regularly witnesses a dip in donations.
No, we have not had a blood shortage in decades.
But with one simple change, blood shortages in the United States could be drastically reduced, or perhaps eliminated entirely. It's a solution seemingly out of Count Dracula's playbook: drain blood from the dead.

Unpalatable and macabre at first glance, the idea actually makes a lot of sense. Roughly 15 million pints of blood are donated each year by approximately 9.2 million individuals. Over the course of the same year, about 2.6 million Americans will -- sadly -- pass away. If hospitals were to harvest the blood from a third of those people, roughly 4.5 million liters would be added to the reservoir.

Contrary to what you might think, blood from cadavers is not only usable, but quite safe.
I suspect that the reason is that we are getting too much blood from live donors already. If we got blood from the dead, then the live donors might see their blood as unnecessary.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

When should you get pregnant?

NewScientist advises:
IT’S a question many people will ask themselves at some point in their lives: when should I start a family? If you know how many children you’d like, and whether or not you would consider, or could afford, IVF, a computer model can suggest when to start trying for your first child.

Happy with just one? The model recommends you get started by age 32 to have a 90 per cent chance of realising your dream without IVF. A brood of three would mean starting by age 23 to have the same chance of success. Wait until 35 and the odds are 50:50 (see “When to get started”).
(Archived here.) I am surprised at this. It seems to imply that women have to spend 20 years trying to get pregnant just to have 3 kids.

Before birth control, women would sometimes have 10 kids.

Mark Zuckerberg's wife is probably over 30, and she is pregnant after 3 miscarriages. So it is apparently taking her several years (at least) to have 1 child.