Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nazis infiltrate the Left

I am beginning to think that the Left has been infiltrated by neo-Nazis. Here is a translation of a Sam Harris rant:
"make the case against Trump prior to the election"

please listen, you Hillary voters

"bound to be ineffective in stopping the spread of Islamism"

we need to kill the Moslems

"it is also internally inconsistent"

ignore the inconsistencies in my own position

"opposition to Trump’s order is thoroughly contaminated by identity politics and liberal delusion"

your Trump hatred is wrong

"hire fascists to do the job liberals won’t do"

we need fascism

"speak about the ideological roots of Islamism and jihadism"

we need to snuff them by any means possible

"further provoke and empower Trump"

Go Trump!

"terrifyingly blunt (and even illegal) countermeasures by the Trump administration"

We can only hope.

"you are part of the problem"

Shut up and let the fascists get the job done.
And then PZ Myers attacks him:
“Identity politics” is racist code ...

black people are not more closely related evolutionarily to gorillas than are white people. ..

I reject the politics of white heterosexual male supremacy ...

Sam Harris ... is able to condemn Trump without reservation ...

“Identity politics” is a far right dog whistle. The only identity politics being practiced is a refusal to accept the privileges of being a white man. ...

I have a moral duty to defend Muslims from oppression, violence, and discrimination. I am also able to recognize that someone identifying as Muslim has not confessed to being an Islamist on jihad. ...

At the March for Science, we are committed to centralizing, highlighting, standing in solidarity with, and acting as accomplices with black, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander, indigenous, non-Christian, women, people with disabilities, poor, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, trans, non-binary, agender, and intersex scientists and science advocates.
Myers writes about identity politics a lot, and then tells us that it is racist code. Isn't he just telling us that he is a racist?

Why does he keep saying crazy things like comparing black ppl to gorillas? He couldn't keep his job and following if he kept denigrating black ppl as being like gorillas. So what is a good racist to do? He can cite his expertise in evolutionary biology to keep telling us that black ppl are not just gorillas in disguise.

His defense of Muslims is so weak that it is silly. He as might as well say, "I am not supposed to badmouth Muslims so I will point out that they have not all been convicted of murder."

That "March for Science" statement sounds like a joke. Is there a science of white-Christian-male hatred?

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright tweeted: "There is no fine print on the Statue of Liberty."

This sounds too dopey to be serious. Aren't the pro-immigration folks the ones claiming that there is some fine print on the statue?

My theory is that the lizard ppl have such complete control over ppl like Harris and Myers that they have to say stupid things as code.

Suppose you were a blogger in North Korea, and criticizing the govt or Kim Jong-Un could get you executed. You don't like the dictator and would like to express your disapproval, but do not dare. So what would you do? You would praise the dictator in gushing terms that do not make any sense. He would not execute you for flattering him, and your readers might understand that you are writing in code.

Likewise, I think that Harris and Myers could be neo-Nazis of some sort. Their arguments are silly and undermine their stated goals.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Skepticism about immigration economics

The London Guardian reports:
Nowhere is this more vividly manifest than with immigration. The thinktank British Future has studied how best to win arguments in favour of immigration and multiculturalism. One of its main findings is that people often respond warmly to qualitative evidence, such as the stories of individual migrants and photographs of diverse communities. But statistics – especially regarding alleged benefits of migration to Britain’s economy – elicit quite the opposite reaction. People assume that the numbers are manipulated and dislike the elitism of resorting to quantitative evidence. Presented with official estimates of how many immigrants are in the country illegally, a common response is to scoff. Far from increasing support for immigration, British Future found, pointing to its positive effect on GDP can actually make people more hostile to it. GDP itself has come to seem like a Trojan horse for an elitist liberal agenda. Sensing this, politicians have now largely abandoned discussing immigration in economic terms.

All of this presents a serious challenge for liberal democracy. Put bluntly, the British government – its officials, experts, advisers and many of its politicians – does believe that immigration is on balance good for the economy. The British government did believe that Brexit was the wrong choice. The problem is that the government is now engaged in self-censorship, for fear of provoking people further.
There is nothing wrong with quantitative evidence, when done right, but the public can recognize that the govt is lying about benefits of immigration.

The British claim that immigration has a positive effect on GDP, but the same arguments says that crime is good because it causes us to spend more money on prisons and law enforcement. It neglects effects on the quality of life, and on long term effects. It is like saying negro slavery was good because it boosted cotton production.

The biggest current controversy is about Syrian immigration. Can anyone tell me specifically how such immigration has any positive effect on Britain or the USA at all? Where I live, most of the social problems are traceable to immigration.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

TED Talk reveals Moslem hatred

TED talks always have leftist messages, and you will never see one that is anti-immigration. I once saw a TED official claim that they did not have political criteria, but then the interview asked if they would consider a talk skeptical about global warming. He said no.

Consider this TED Talk:
As the child of an Afghan mother and Pakistani father raised in Norway, Deeyah Khan knows what it's like to be a young person stuck between your community and your country. In this powerful, emotional talk, the filmmaker unearths the rejection and isolation felt by many Muslim kids growing up in the West -- and the deadly consequences of not embracing our youth before extremist groups do.
All I got out of this was that Moslems from that part of the world are horrible ppl; that you would be crazy to let any of them into a Western country; and if you do, you better surrender to them as children or they will grow up to be terrorists who will kill you.

She says violence will not work against Moslem terrorists, because they want us to be intolerant like them. A better plan, she says, is for Western countries to turn over our white girls to the Pakistani Moslems so that those Moslems will not feel rejected.

Did this audience realize what it was applauding?

Another recent one is the Sofia Jawed Wessel TED Talk
"When we tell women that sex isn't worth the risk during pregnancy, what we're telling her is that her sexual pleasure doesn't matter ... that she in fact doesn't matter," says sex researcher Sofia Jawed-Wessel. In this eye-opening talk, Jawed-Wessel mines our views about pregnancy and pleasure to lay bare the relationship between women, sex and systems of power.

Sofia Jawed-Wessel
Sex researcher
Sofia Jawed-Wessel's teachings utilize a sex-positive and pleasure-inclusive approach to providing medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education.
This talk reminded me of this insight:
Chateau maxim: “the goal of feminism is to remove all constraints on female sexuality while maximally restricting male sexuality”
She is a prime example. All she can talk about is increasing her own personal sexual pleasure, while putting down male sexuality.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Racist inquiries about Neanderthals

The NY Times reports:
Geneticists tell us that somewhere between 1 and 5 percent of the genome of modern Europeans and Asians consists of DNA inherited from Neanderthals, our prehistoric cousins.

At Vanderbilt University, John Anthony Capra, an evolutionary genomics professor, has been combining high-powered computation and a medical records databank to learn what a Neanderthal heritage — even a fractional one — might mean for people today. ...

What we’ve been finding is that Neanderthal DNA has a subtle influence on risk for disease. It affects our immune system and how we respond to different immune challenges. It affects our skin. ...

Was there ever an upside to having Neanderthal DNA?

It probably helped our ancestors survive in prehistoric Europe. ...

Maybe those of us of European heritage should be thinking, “Let’s improve their standing in the popular imagination. They’re our ancestors, too.’”
So research by Capra and others has shown that Neanderthals were human ancestors and Europeans today have traits associated with Neanderthal genes.

This is perfect material for the NY Times, as its editors have said that they most like stories that challenge our beliefs about what it means to be human.

But then the interview gets weird:
What has been the response to your Neanderthal research since you published it last year in the journal Science?

Some of it’s very touching. People are interested in learning about where they came from. Some of it is a little silly. “I have a lot of hair on my legs — is that from Neanderthals?”

But I received racist inquiries, too. I got calls from all over the world from people who thought that since Africans didn’t interbreed with Neanderthals, this somehow justified their ideas of white superiority.

It was illogical. Actually, Neanderthal DNA is mostly bad for us — though that didn’t bother them.
He does research on how Africans differ from Neanderthals and other humans, and he is offended that ppl ask questions about his research?

It appears that they just wanted the facts about the diffences, since they were not bothered by whether the differences were good or bad. That is completely normal curiosity about what it means to be human.

It appears to me that any genetic or anthropological research in this field must badmouth the white race in order to be politically acceptable. Articles always refer to Africans as modern humans, and Neanderthals as backward and inferior, even tho Neanderthals were human and Neanderthal genes may have been crucial to the development of civilization.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Obama's farewell speech

Barack Obama's crying farewell speech said:
If we're unwilling to invest in the children of immigrants, just because they don't look like us, we will diminish the prospects of our own children -- because those brown kids will represent a larger and larger share of America's workforce. (Applause.)
What does he mean here? That we have to pay brown kids to come to America and take our jobs, and that will somehow make our children better off?

No, our children do not benefit from importing brown kids.

This speech got a lot of praise, but all I get out of it is that he hates white ppl, and favors policies that subsidize brown kids replacing white kids.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Psychology textbooks filled with errors

I have posted many times about bogus psychology research, and this article shows that the textbooks are bad:
Psychology is mired in a replication crisis: Many famous, established findings that experts had assumed to be robust have, in the light shed by newer and bigger and more sophisticated follow-up studies, been revealed as rather flimsy. But what about the very basic, Psych 101 stuff taught in introductory textbooks? That stuff’s all on safe ground, right?

Maybe not. In a paper published last month in Current Psychology by Christopher Ferguson of Stetson University and Jeffrey Brown and Amanda Torres of Texas A&M, the authors evaluated a bunch of psychology textbooks to see how rigorously they covered a bunch of controversial or frequently misrepresented subjects. The results weren’t great.
For another example of bad research, implicit bias studies are flawed. These supposedly show that ppl are racist, but they don't work.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Facebook can spy on your messages

Ars Technica reports:
The Guardian roiled security professionals everywhere on Friday when it published an article claiming a backdoor in Facebook's WhatsApp messaging service allows attackers to intercept and read encrypted messages. It's not a backdoor — at least as that term is defined by most security experts. ...

Critics of Friday's Guardian post, and most encryption practitioners, argue such behavior is common in encryption apps and often a necessary requirement. Among other things, it lets existing WhatsApp users who buy a new phone continue an ongoing conversation thread.
No. I am an encryption practitioner, and such behavior is neither common nor necessary.

Since Facebook refuses to fix this problem, it should not be promising "end-to-end encryption". Facebook has engineered in a system for spying on messages.

Facebook/WhatsApp argue that their system is more convenient than true end-to-end encryption. That may be. It may also turn out to be useful for law enforcement to track possible terrorists or child molesters. Most users do not need to be concerned about this vulnerability. They are happy to give up some privacy in order to get some free services. But I would not recommend the system for high-security messages.

Update: Bruce Schneier concludes:
How serious this is depends on your threat model. If you are worried about the US government -- or any other government that can pressure Facebook -- snooping on your messages, then this is a small vulnerability. If not, then it's nothing to worry about.
It is a little strange that Facebook/Whatsapp refuses to fix it.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Trump as a kind of steppingstone

NPR Radio celebrates the decline of the Alt-right:
"I see Donald Trump as a kind of steppingstone. He is a step in the right direction in terms of understanding America and history and the world in essentially racial terms," Taylor says.

But white nationalist enthusiasm for Trump has fallen off substantially. Since the election, the so-called alt-right has splintered, and the movement now looks a lot less potent than it once appeared. ...

"I think it's good to be the person talked about, even when it's negative," Spencer tells NPR. "Our ideas are entering the discourse." ...

A movement that sprang from obscurity with Trump's election seems to be dropping back into the shadows even before Trump takes power.
This is wishful thinking. The Alt right got the most publicity when Hillary Clinton gave a speech denouncing it, and when she called the Trump voters deplorable.

Trump's election has redefined the Alt right to be what his administration is doing. Sure, there are factions who are trying to steer him in other directions, and fringe players who troll the press. Milo is probably the biggest trolls. These factions did not agree before Trump, and they will not agree now either.

They agreed that Trump is far better than Hillary Clinton, and so did millions of others.

The Alt-right will always have fringe groups trolling the Democrats, and the Democrats will be calling them deplorable. The possible new DNC leader says:
Top Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) told his party on Friday that Donald Trump has brought “white supremacy” back to the White House.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Trying to abolish marriage licenses

Some marriage law reformers announce:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 11, 2017) – A bill introduced in the Indiana House would end government licensing of marriages in the state, effectively nullifying in practice both major sides of the contentious national debate over government-sanctioned marriage.

Rep. Jim Lucas introduced House Bill 1163 (HB1163) on Jan. 9. The legislation would eliminate three marriage requirements currently in place in the state.

That individuals obtain a marriage license before getting married
That the marriage be solemnized by an individual specified by state law
That the marriage license be filed with a circuit court clerk and the state department of health.

The bill instead “provides for marriage by marriage contract by any two individuals who are competent to contract in Indiana or otherwise permitted to marry in Indiana.”
There are a lot of ppl who foolishly say that disputes over marriage policy can be dodged by govt getting out of the marriage business.

No chance. A lot of states already has common law marriage, so having marriages without govt-issued licenses is nothing new. The article gives the impression that the law would be a return to practice in previous centuries, but that is not true either. The Catholic Church has required marriage ceremonies for 800 years.

The govt has taken over a long list of marriage issues, such as this:
A man in Oklahoma is hoping to change the law after he has to continue to pay child support for a baby that is not his, according to our affiliate KOTV.

When Thomas’ high school girlfriend got pregnant, he married her. Five months later she had a little boy and he believed he had a son, but their marriage fell apart.

Thomas decided to take a paternity test when the boy was three years old.

“It comes back zero percent. I was in my office and I saw that. I should’ve expected it but I didn’t and it hit me. I’m telling my co-worker how shocked I am that someone could do this to someone,” he said.

The judge ordered Thomas to take another DNA test and he got the same result. The judge first ruled that Thomas was off the hook financially, but then reversed the decision because Oklahoma law says men must question paternity within two years of the child’s birth.

Thomas said that he had no reason to question it before he did, but, because he missed the deadline, the judge ordered him to pay around $500 a month in child support and nearly $15,000 in back support – for a child that is not his.
Oklahoma has common law marriage, but this problem is independent of that.

There have been many changes to marriage law, and they are nearly all to increase state control over families. Same-sex marriage is just one of those changes.

Update: It is divorce season.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Europeans want Asimov's laws of robots

Some Europeans are panicking about robots:
To combat the robot revolution, the European Parliament's legal affairs committee has proposed that robots be equipped with emergency "kill switches" to prevent them from causing excessive damage. Legislators have also suggested that robots be insured and even be made to pay taxes. "A growing number of areas of our daily lives are increasingly affected by robotics," said Mady Delvaux, the parliamentarian who authored the proposal. "To ensure that robots are and will remain in the service of humans, we urgently need to create a robust European legal framework." CNNMoney reports:

The proposal calls for a new charter on robotics that would give engineers guidance on how to design ethical and safe machines. For example, designers should include "kill switches" so that robots can be turned off in emergencies. They must also make sure that robots can be reprogrammed if their software doesn't work as designed. The proposal states that designers, producers and operators of robots should generally be governed by the "laws of robotics" described by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. The proposal also says that robots should always be identifiable as mechanical creations. That will help prevent humans from developing emotional attachments. "You always have to tell people that robot is not a human and a robot will never be a human," said Delvaux. "You must never think that a robot is a human and that he loves you."
I used to agree with some of this, but now I think that it is naive.

We will have robots doing functions so critical that no one will dare turn them off. We will also have robots with software derived from AI learning, and no one understand how it works or how to fix it to correct the behavior.

There will also be human-like robots, and ppl will want robots to love them.

Google and Microsoft now have natural language translation systems that are derived from so much data that no one really understands them. Microsoft even has real-time Skype translation. It is possible that these could become essential parts of the infrastructure of our civilization. It is also possible that translation quirks result in some ppl getting killed. Asking Google or Microsoft to fix those quirks might be hopeless.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Neanderthals were humans and ancestors

I posted before Neanderthals belonged to the human species. Now the NY Times Magazine has a long article on Neanderthals Were People, Too
But Neanderthals weren’t the slow-witted louts we’ve imagined them to be — not just a bunch of Neanderthals. As a review of findings published last year put it, they were actually “very similar” to their contemporary Homo sapiens in Africa, in terms of “standard markers of modern cognitive and behavioral capacities.” We’ve always classified Neanderthals, technically, as human — part of the genus Homo. But it turns out they also did the stuff that, you know, makes us human.

Neanderthals buried their dead. They made jewelry and specialized tools. They made ocher and other pigments, perhaps to paint their faces or bodies — evidence of a “symbolically mediated worldview,” as archaeologists call it. Their tracheal anatomy suggests that they were capable of language and probably had high-pitched, raspy voices, like Julia Child. They manufactured glue from birch bark, which required heating the bark to at least 644 degrees Fahrenheit — a feat scientists find difficult to duplicate without a ceramic container. In Gibraltar, there’s evidence that Neanderthals extracted the feathers of certain birds — only dark feathers — possibly for aesthetic or ceremonial purposes. And while Neanderthals were once presumed to be crude scavengers, we now know they exploited the different terrains on which they lived. They took down dangerous game, including an extinct species of rhinoceros. Some ate seals and other marine mammals. Some ate shellfish. Some ate chamomile. (They had regional cuisines.) They used toothpicks.

Wearing feathers, eating seals — maybe none of this sounds particularly impressive. But it’s what our human ancestors were capable of back then too, and scientists have always considered such behavioral flexibility and complexity as signs of our specialness. When it came to Neanderthals, though, many researchers literally couldn’t see the evidence sitting in front of them.
The author of this article is still infected with this ignorant anti-Neanderthal bias. It refers to "our human ancestors" to mean non-Neanderthals.

The fact is that DNA tests of the last 5-10 years have proved that Neanderthals were ancestors to the vast majority of non-Africans today. They had large brains, and now archaeological evidence shows that they were behaviorally very similar to other human ancestors.

There is every reason to call Neanderthals our human ancestors. They were humans and ancestors (to all but sub-saharans).

30 years ago, textbooks said:

(1) Neanderthals were very primitive and sub-human.
(2) Neanderthals went extinct, with no extant DNA.
(3) A wave of anatomically modern African migrants 70-100k years ago are our sole ancestors.
(4) Humans have not evolved since that wave.

These are all now known to be completely false.
Some of this is documented in this 2016 PNAS article, Neandertals revised, which also says:
However, from the hundreds of thousands of years in which Neandertals and their African near-modern contemporaries littered their landscapes with all kinds of artifacts, nothing has been retrieved that is in any way comparable to the visual representations (“art”) and the general increase in diversity in material culture we see from around 40 ka onward. These developments coincided with a significant range expansion of modern humans, for the first time in human history colonizing the arctic parts of the Old World (121, 122), as well as moving into Sahul (123), crossing a major biogeographical boundary that had prevented hominin eastward migration for more than a million years.
The date "40 ka" (40,000 years ago) is crucial because that is the time that Africans migrated into Europe and the time that Neanderthals got wiped out. The obvious explanations are that the African killed off the Neanderthals, or out-competed them for resources, or spread disease. Whatever the explanation, it appears that interbreeding resulted in humans that were capable of much more advanced art and travel than either the Neanderthals or African migrants by themselves.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lame report on Russia

The Obama administration just released this report:
We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

Moscow’s approach evolved over the course of the campaign based on Russia’s understanding of the electoral prospects of the two main candidates. When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign began to focus more on undermining her future presidency. ...

RT's criticism of the US election was the latest facet of its broader and longer-standing anti-US messaging likely aimed at undermining viewers' trust in US democratic procedures and undercutting US criticism of Russia's political system. RT Editor in Chief Margarita Simonyan recently declared that the United States itself lacks democracy and that it has "no moral right to teach the rest of the world" (Kommersant, 6 November). ...

RT has also focused on criticism of the US economic system, US currency policy, alleged Wall Street greed, and the US national debt. Some of RT's hosts have compared the United States to Imperial Rome and have predicted that government corruption and "corporate greed" will lead to US financial collapse (RT, 31 October, 4 November).
Are we supposed to be impressed by this?

Of course Putin does not like Hillary Clinton. She was a warmonger who was threatening war on multiple fronts, economic sanctions against Russia, and NATO troops on Russia's borders.

But Obama has our spy agencies tell us that Russian TV badmouths us? I have heard worse stuff about the USA from the Democrat Party.

These are spy agencies that were not smart enuf to know that Trump might win the election, and now they are 70-90% certain that the Russians do not like Clinton?!

Now we are told that the classified version of the report has some dirt on Trump, but no one can verify any of it. This is really lame. I think that Obama just wants to undermine Trump.

I watched the Meryl Streep rant againt Trump that got so much publicity. She first says that she has lost her mind, and so she has to read from notes. Then she says that Hollywood is the most vilified segment of American society right now. After mentioning a couple of blacks and an Israeli, she says that all the nicest ppl are Canadian. Then she attacks Trump for imitating a disabled reporter. Finally she says that we need a press that will tell the truth.

Yes, she has lost her mind. If you think that you saw Trump imitating a disabled reporter, then go watch the video of the reporter, and tell me if you see any similarities. And watch also the videos of Trump criticizing others who have been badmouthing him. Then you will see that the press has been lying to you.

Or maybe Streep is a closet Nazi. When ppl say that Canadians are the nicest, it is just a polite way of saying that white ppl are nicer than blacks and Jews. When ppl blame Trump for how he waves his arms when he criticizes others, they are just saying that they have no substantive criticisms of him. Obviously Streep could not openly be a Nazi or a Trump supporter and get Hollywood jobs, but maybe this is as close as she can get.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bogus theories of attachment and spanking

The NY Times reports:
It’s called attachment theory, and there’s growing consensus about its capacity to explain and improve how we function in relationships.

Conceived more than 50 years ago by the British psychoanalyst John Bowlby and scientifically validated by an American developmental psychologist, Mary S. Ainsworth, attachment theory is now having a breakout moment, applied everywhere from inner-city preschools to executive coaching programs. Experts in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, sociology and education say the theory’s underlying assumption — that the quality of our early attachments profoundly influences how we behave as adults — has special resonance in an era when people seem more attached to their smartphones than to one another.
Many psychologists say attachment theory as the most scientific thing in all psychology, but it is more like voodoo. See criticisms here and here.
The main idea of Bowlby's attachment theory can be summed up by the following, "...observation of how a very young child behaves towards his mother, both in her presence and especially in her absence, can contribute greatly to our understanding of personality development. When removed from the mother by strangers, young children respond usually with great intensity; and after reunion with her, anxiety or else unusual detachment" (Bowlby, 1969, p. 3).
That is an easy experiment that is supposed to have great significance, but 50 years of research has not proved much. The observations are supposed to have broad policy implications, but none have verified.

Furthermore, there is no proof of the nuture assumption that parents influence the personality of their kids.

But beliefs persist:
A new law in France bans spanking of children, making it the 52nd country to prohibit the practice. ...

A growing body of research suggests that spanking poses risks to children. A 2016 analysis of more than 50 years of research found that children who are spanked are more likely to defy their parents, develop mental health problems and show antisocial behavior and aggression.

Most countries in Europe now ban spanking, with the exception of the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, the Telegraph said. The United States allows spanking.
Yes, and ppl who take aspirin are more likely to have headaches.

Correlation is not causation. Perhaps the defiance and anti-social behavior is causing the kids to get spanked. There are no good studies showing that any other method of discipline works better than spanking.

The anti-spanking zealots say that it is unethical to do a scientific study on spanking because it is unethical to ever hit a child. But there are twin studies, and they do not show any harm to spanking.

Of course most parents believe that they are profoundly influence their kids, and they may be right, but currently there is very little science to back up those beliefs.

Stefan Molyneux (Freedomain Radio) has another anti-spanking video to brag about the new French law. His position is that spanking violates his philosophical "non-aggression principle", as it is contrary to his utopian ideals of everyone of all ages living in peace and harmony thru rational judgment and mutual consent.

While he wants spanking to be illegal, he refuses to express an opinion on what the penalty should be. That is not the job of a philosopher like him, he says. He can say what is moral and what is not, but he is not concerned with the consequences.

Eg, if a 5yo kid wants to run out into the street, the parent is supposed to be persuasive enuf to non-violently explain the matter to the kid. I think that Molyneux's wife is some sort of psychotherapist, and psychotherapists say nonsense like that.

I like Molyneux's podcasts, but he is way off the deep end with this one. We live in a world where civilization depends on the use of force, and kids need to be prepared for the real world, not Molyneux's hypothetical philosophers libertarian paradise. And psychotherapists tend to make the worst parents.

Monday, January 09, 2017

$237M for phony recovered memories

AP reports:
It’s called attachment theory, and there’s growing consensus about its capacity to explain and improve how we function in relationships.

Conceived more than 50 years ago by the British psychoanalyst John Bowlby and scientifically validated by an American developmental psychologist, Mary S. Ainsworth, attachment theory is now having a breakout moment, applied everywhere from inner-city preschools to executive coaching programs. Experts in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, sociology and education say the theory’s underlying assumption — that the quality of our early attachments profoundly influences how we behave as adults — has special resonance in an era when people seem more attached to their smartphones than to one another.
AP reports:
Penn State's costs related to the Jerry Sandusky scandal are approaching a quarter-billion dollars and growing, five years after the former assistant football coach's arrest on child molestation charges.

The scandal's overall cost to the school has reached at least $237 million, including a recent $12 million verdict in the whistleblower and defamation case brought by former assistant coach Mike McQueary, whose testimony helped convict Sandusky in 2012.

The university has settled with 33 people over allegations they were sexually abused by Sandusky, and has made total payments to them of $93 million.
All that, and no physical or contemporaneous evidence that Sandusky ever abused anyone. McQueary is probably the biggest villain here, as he is the only one who certainly did bad things, and he got $12M.

Just ask yourself -- with that much money changing hands, shouldn't there be some critical assessment? Why does everyone so blindly believe the recovered memories of ppl who collecting millions of dollars for telling fanciful stories of implausible events that supposedly happened many years earlier?

I think that the public has been conned, as the public has been in other child abuse scandals.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

They live

Wired mag reports:
Late Tuesday night, writer-director John Carpenter — the man behind such late-night-cable classics as Halloween, The Thing, and Escape from New York — sent out a jarring, seemingly random tweet about one of the best-known entries in his decades-long filmography: They Live, the cult sci-fi conspiracy thriller about a working-class drifter (played by wrestling icon “Rowdy” Roddy Piper) whose discovery of a pair of special sunglasses leads to the revelation that Los Angeles — and possibly the world — is under the control of blister-faced, poorly wigged aliens. ...

In recent years, They Live has in recent years become a meme-muse for online neo-nazis, some of whom have adopted the film’s messages about media manipulation and secret powers, and used them for their own anti-Zionist propaganda ... more importantly, the fact that such an interpretations makes no sense ...
Really? If the interpretations make no sense, why are you writing an article about it?

Why would neo-nazis put out anti-Zionist propaganda? I thought that they would be happy to have all the Jews live in Israel.

Maybe Wired is neo-nazi, and it is deliberately vague so that you will go read a neo-nazi. One says:
THEY LIVE is about yuppies and unrestrained capitalism. It has nothing to do with Jewish control of the world, which is slander and a lie.

— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) January 4, 2017

One of the major themes presented in “They Live” is how an alien race took over our systems by pretending to be humans. Specifically, the film focuses in on how they took control over banks, big business and media. Sound familiar? This is what Jews have done to the West. They have masqueraded as a member of our own people and have exploited our trusting nature to subvert our societies.

Quite honestly it does not matter what Carpenter’s original intention for “They Live” was. Art takes on a life of its own through the people who experience it. There are obvious similarities between the aliens depicted in the film and Jews in real life. To pretend that this connection doesn’t exist is to deny reality.

If you watch “They Live” and look at the aliens as Jews, the movie can be perceived as a documentary on Jewish power.
Or it can be perceived as about the elites who use mass media to manipulate the public.

In the movie, the aliens are most fearful of anyone who might see them for what they are.

Friday, January 06, 2017

School choice is a parental right

Reason blogger Robby Soave writes:
A recent New York Times story that slams the free market approach to education policy is rife with inaccuracies. Amazingly, the author of the piece misrepresents the very data she is using to build her erroneous case against school choice.

"Free Market for Education? Economists Generally Don't Buy It," claims Susan Dynarski, a professor of education, public policy, and economics at the University of Michigan, in The Times. This is a betrayal of expectations, according to Dynarski, because economists generally understand that free markets produce better outcomes than central planners (much to the chagrin of education professors). Economists are usually the ones calling for less regulation and more unrestricted capitalism; if they're super conflicted about markets in education, that would be a serious indictment of the school choice approach.
He is right that the NY Times is lying about the data, but I have a different point. It gives the impression that most economists are against school choice, but only about 5% are against it.

Both sides are a little sloppy about what is meant by terms like "better outcomes" and "higher quality". They act as if there is some agreement about what is better.

If there were agreement about what is better, then we could require the public schools to do that. But there is no such consensus. For example, some say teaching English is paramount while others are more concerned with LGBT bathrooms.

Free markets in things like cars give better outcomes partially because competition forces higher quality cars, but also because diverse cars are better able to meet the demands of consumers.

Supposed you asked: Would consumers be better served by having a choice of cars to buy?

Most everyone would say yes, because having a choice is better than not having a choice.

So why would anyone say that choice leads to a worse outcome? Presumably they think worse schools will somehow trick students into going there. Or maybe they don't like the costs of competition, such as undermining teachers unions. For example, the Democrat Party gets a lot of support from public school teachers unions, so it is against anything that the teachers unions don't like.

Is there a concern that ppl will choose worse schools? If so, then how is it that economists or other do-gooders know better than the parents?

This goes right to the heart of the merits of school choice. The best argument for school choice is not that charter school students will have better test scores or other objectively-defined advantages.

The better argument is that parents should have the right and authority to decide what is best for them and their kids. One school might suit the needs of a particular child better. Choice also makes the school more accountable to the parents, so they can switch to another school if something is unsatisfactory.

Leftists generally believe that families should not have that sort of autonomy, and that the schools should be used to indoctrinate the next generation and absorb them into the collective. So leftists hate school choice.

Discussion of charter school test scores is a smoke screen. Likewise with homeschooler test scores. I guess some parent homeschool their kids in the hope of getting higher test scores. but most have other reasons, and those parents should have the right to base their own decisions on their own judgments and priorities.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Trolling is a good thing

In 2016, I changed my mind about trolling. I now think that it is a good thing.

If the Ctrl-Left is trying to limit what you can say, then the proper response is to say whatever offends them the most. Trying to be nice and to avoid all their supposed micro-aggressions is foolishness.

Our computer systems are made more secure by hackers trying to punch holes in them. Spammers can be annoying too, but these are part of the costs of a free society. Tools should be available to block the stuff you do not want, but there is no need to censor it from everyone.

Every since Trump was elected, the mainstream news media and lizard ppl have been complaining that hackers, leakers, and trollers might have had some influence. If so, so much the better.

If the lizard ppl get their way, you will get your news on Facebook, with the unapproved stories being blocked. We need trollers to make such censorship impractical.

Monday, January 02, 2017

One button mouse is bad design

NPR Radio reports:
Design Thinking Could Help Those Who Want To Get Unstuck
Listen · 6:46
6:46 Download

January 2, 20175:04 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition
Shankar Vedantam

Psychologists and self help gurus have advice for people who feel stuck. If you're looking for new ways to reboot your life as you enter the new year, you could also turn to the tech world.
This is a regular source of dubious research. Today's story brags about the "design thinking" that convinced Apple to use a 1-button mouse, instead of 2 buttons.

No, that was bad design, it came from a bad design ideology. Apple is all about constraining the user. Another company would have just make both kinds of mouse, and let the user decide. Or make the 2-button mouse, and let the user use just one, if he wants.

Simplicity is good, but the 1-button mouse is not simple. To make the Mac work with it, Apple had to introduce double-clicking, triple-clicking, and shift-clicking. Furthermore, it had to add a bunch of other shift keys to the keyboard with goofy symbols on them. I have a keyboard with the usual "Ctrl" and "Alt", but Apple maps these in inconsistent ways, so I have to guess which one will work.

Apple seems to realize that the 2-button mouse is better, as the system lets you use such a mouse. But Apple won't admit. It goes against their religion to do what the customer wants.

For another example of how NPR Hidden Brain distorts the research, see this.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Dylann Roof fires his attorneys

The NY Times reports:
“I want state that I am morally opposed to psychology,” wrote the young white supremacist who would murder nine black worshipers at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., in June 2015. “It is a Jewish invention, and does nothing but invent diseases and tell people they have problems when they dont.” ...

“I will not be calling mental health experts or presenting mental health evidence,” he wrote to Judge Richard M. Gergel of Federal District Court on Dec. 16, a day after a jury took only two hours to find him guilty of 33 counts, including hate crimes resulting in death, obstruction of religion and firearms violations. ...

Mr. Bruck and his team have argued in court filings that Mr. Roof, a ninth-grade dropout, “has no right to represent himself in a capital trial, and even less so at the penalty phase.” But in the 41 years since the Supreme Court recognized a Sixth Amendment right of self-representation for criminal defendants, in Faretta v. California, the court has never specifically narrowed that holding for death penalty trials, despite their complexity.
This makes sense to me. With his attorneys arguing, he is 99% likely to get the death penalty. If he argues the penalty phase himself, he is no going to change that probability much.

He apparently committed this horrible crime to make some sort of statement, and he was willing to die for it. However misguided his thinking, he would probably rather explain himself in court than have some lawyer say he was crazy. Besides, he gets a lot of free appeals if he is on death row, and he throws a monkey wrench into the process by forcing lawyers and judges to spend years discussing his motives.

What I learned in 2016

A year ago, I posted:
I should post every year what I have learned in the year. Here is where I have changed my mind in 2015. ...

More than ever, the USA is ruled by elites who are selling out the interests of the American people. It appears that Donald J. Trump is the only one who can save us. ...

Six months ago I thought that Donald Trump was a buffoon. Now I think that he is a genius.
In 2016, this became conventional wisdom.

A lot of ppl complained about political polarization during the G.W. Bush era. But the Trump v Clinton election was Good v Evil. The efforts of the lizard ppl to elect Clinton exceeded my expectations, and so did the free citizens who voted for BREXIT and Trump.

I am not saying that everyone who voted for Clinton is evil. Most of them are just stupid, misinformed, or brainwashed. They are unwitting tools of the lizard ppl.