Sunday, December 31, 2017

White Genocide professor resigns

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

This week, he resigned, ...

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 29, 2017

Violence decline is just a scaling effect

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Allowing judges to dictate choice of school

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Brainwashed college girl cannot accept mom's facts

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Human capability peaked before 1975

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Possible backlash against MeTooism

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

MeTooism is intolerant of distinctions

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

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

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

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

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

So these are all supposed to be the same?

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

The world has gone mad.

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

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

Monday, December 18, 2017

Many states considering shared parenting

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Webster's words of the year

They are:
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2017 is feminism. The word was a top lookup throughout the year, ...

Today’s definitions of feminism read: “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” and “organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests.”
Not everyone realizes that these two definitions are opposites in many contexts.

If you listen to women who call themselves feminists, they hardly ever talk about equality issues. For example, their biggest current complaint is about sexual harassment, but 90% of their complaints are things that no man would ever complain about.
Complicit means “helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way.” It comes from the Latin word meaning “to fold together.”

The word has been used in connection with the Trump administration throughout the year: first, regarding whether members of Trump's administration were complicit in the firing of James Comey, and later whether they were complicit in Russian disinformation campaigns meant to disrupt the 2016 election.
This word is misused also, as it is generally agreed that the firing of Comey was legal and proper.

Lookups of recuse spiked several times this year, and all the spikes were in reference to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. ...

Recuse means “to disqualify (oneself) as judge in a particular case” and “to remove (oneself) from participation to avoid a conflict of interest.” Recuse came to English from French and ultimately traces back to the Latin word recusare (meaning “to object to” or “to refuse”).
Sessions removed himself from active participation in Mueller's investigation, but he still has a constitutional obligation to oversee Mueller and fire him if necessary.
Empathy means “the ability to share another person’s feelings” and ultimately derives from the Greek word meaning “emotional.”
Wikipedia lists other definitions.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Mueller blinded the FBI to terror threats

Robert Spencer writes:
It has come to light that as director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, who is currently the special counsel looking for any dirt he can find on Donald Trump, presided over the 2012 removal of all counterterror training materials of any mention of Islam and jihad in connection with terrorism. Since then, our law enforcement and intelligence officials have been blundering along in self-imposed darkness about the motivating ideology behind the jihad threat. This, it turns out, was Mueller’s doing.

In February 2012, the Obama Administration purged more than one thousand documents and presentations from counter-terror training material for the FBI and other agencies. This material was discarded at the demand of Muslim groups, which had deemed it inaccurate or offensive to Muslims.
So a terrorist ideology tries to kill us, and Mueller hushes up the causes. But Russia broadcasts some criticism of Hillary Clinton on RT TV, and Mueller seems to be trying to use it to impeach Donald Trump.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Porn novelist complains about porn

The NY Times editorializes:
Last week, The Washington Post reported the allegations of six women who had worked for the judge as clerks or staff members, and who accused the judge in detail of crude behavior and sexual harassment.

Heidi Bond, who clerked for Judge Kozinski in 2006 and 2007, said he repeatedly called her in to look at pornography on his computer, and asked if she was aroused by it. ...

Ms. Bond wrote that after one encounter with the judge, “I felt like a prey animal.” The stress of working under those conditions, she said, nearly led her to quit. It damaged her mental health and derailed a promising legal career, which she eventually gave up to write romance novels.
Here is the Wikipedia article for Courtney Milan, her porno pen name:
Milan was raised in Southern California. She wrote her first book at the age of ten, and intended to be an author from a young age.[1] After failing spectacularly at this, she changed her mind. She received a double major in mathematics and chemistry from Florida State University in 2000, and went on to get a Master's degree in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 2003, where she did research on computer models of glassy behavior.[2]

She then went to the University of Michigan Law School, where she graduated summa cum laude,[3] after which she clerked for Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit, followed by Retired Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor[4] and Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States.[5] She was a law professor at Seattle University School of Law for several years, teaching contracts and intellectual property, before quitting to write full-time.[6]
So looking at porn derailed her career? On the contrary, it appears that she went on to have a very successful legal career, and then left it for a more rewarding porno book career.

Her blog story does make her sound mentally or emotionally damaged. She is obviously living in some sort of fantasy world. By her own account, she was the one to tell Kozinski of her interest in porn, and he suggested against it.

She has a weird complaint that a friend emailed her 20 years later that the judge undressed her with his eyes! How would anyone know that? Then there is a complaint that he referred her to a reporter writing a book on the courts. She said that she can't talk about confidential matters, and he said that was fine. So what's the problem? I refuse to believe that a woman who writes porn for a living could really be upset by seeing a picture with a little photoshopped nudity.

I don't know what this woman's problem is, but it is very strange for the NY Times and Wash. Post to make an issue out of some trivial conversations 10 years ago.

Update: Kozinski resigned a couple of days later, on Dec. 18. The carnage continue. I wonder if the accusers will ever suffer any consequences for their behavior.

Update: This story gets weirder:
Which brings us to Bond’s career choices. Her rejection of what might have been — an illustrious future as a law professor, government lawyer, judge, law firm partner — seems to have its roots with her awful experience with Kozinski. And though she writes that she had a positive time clerking for Justices O’Connor and Kennedy, it’s ultimately Kozinski who cast the biggest shadow in her career.
Did she try to seduce Kozinski, or what? It appears that she fell in love with him.

Half of all rape accusations are false

CR reports:
With the cooperation of the police agency of a small metropolitan community, 45 consecutive, disposed, false rape allegations covering a 9 year period were studied. These false rape allegations constitute 41% the total forcible rape cases (n = 109) reported during this period. These false allegations appear to serve three major functions for the complainants: providing an alibi, seeking revenge, and obtaining sympathy and attention. False rape allegations are not the consequence of a gender-linked aberration, as frequently claimed, but reflect impulsive and desperate efforts to cope with personal and social stress situations. ...

Back in 2013 I did some digging on this. And I remember that study you cite: Eugene Kanin at Purdue conducted a study that showed, according to police reports from one city, that 41% of rape claims were untrue, and a full 50% of claims at two universities were untrue. Other researchers have come up with similar numbers for false rape accusations: Gregory and Lees, 1996: 45%. Jordan, 2004: 41%. Chambers and Millar, 1983: 22.4%, Grace et al., 1992: 24%. McDowell and Hibler, 1985: 27%. Buckley, 1992: 25%. Washington Post, Virginia and Maryland, 1991: 25%. Even the lowest number is TEN TIMES the number of false rape allegations that feminists will admit to.
The news has been dominated women's sexual allegations that are much less serious than rape. They mostly consist of some inappropriate flirting. How many of those do you think have been described accurately? Is there any example of any of them that has been substantiated to have been described accurately?

A lot of flirting sounds awkward and inappropriate when described out of context. When the words and facts get distorted, it can sound worse.

I am not doubting, for example, that some actresses were having relations with Harvey Weinstein in order to get movie parts, but I don't think that we are getting the whole story in any of these allegations.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Fired for being a skeptic

The sex harassment witch-hunt continues to ruin innocent ppl. This guy was fired for just expressing a personal opinion of skepticism in his own free time.

The NY Times reports:
On the sidelines of a children’s soccer game in Los Angeles this month, a Netflix executive reportedly told a woman that people at the company did not believe the rape allegations against Danny Masterson, an actor who was starring in the series “The Ranch.”

Andy Yeatman, the executive, did not know that the woman he was speaking to was one of several who had come forward to accuse Mr. Masterson of rape, HuffPost reported. Shortly after she revealed this, the conversation came to an abrupt end.

On Wednesday, Netflix confirmed that the executive, Andy Yeatman, no longer worked for the streaming service. ...

“Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit,” Mr. Masterson said in a statement. “I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.”
I don't know the details, but I probably wouldn't believe it either if the police investigated and rejected the claims 15 years ago.

The paper also reports on The Race to Erase Kevin Spacey. This is creepy. Sony spent an extra $10M to unperson Spacey from a completed $40M movie. This is really sick.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Where did Neanderthals come from?

The NY Times Science section explains:
Q. Where did Neanderthals come from?

A. Most scientists think that Neanderthals probably evolved in Europe from African ancestors.

The consensus now is that modern humans and Neanderthals shared a common ancestor in Africa about 700,000 years ago. The ancestors of Neanderthals left Africa first, expanding to the Near East and then to Europe and Central Asia. DNA extracted from a 430,000-year-old Neanderthal skeleton found in Spain, reported in the journal Nature in 2016, is believed to be the oldest human DNA ever studied.

Modern humans emerged in Africa about 200,000 years ago and remained there until roughly 70,000 years ago, when they too began venturing into other parts of the world. Recent genetic studies have concluded that modern humans and Neanderthals met up again in Europe — and interbred. As a result, the genes of all living non-Africans are roughly 1 percent Neanderthal. Our cousins went extinct about 40,000 years ago.
The facts are consistent with current thinking, but the terminology is wrong.

Neanderthals are called "human", while Africans are called "modern humans". There is no good reason for calling Africans any more modern than Neanderthals. On the contrary, Neanderthal appears to have been more advanced.

If your genes are 1% Neanderthal, then Neanderthals are your ancestors, not your cousins, and they did not go extinct. Billions of their descendants live today.

I think that the NY Times uses this terminology because it is owned and operated by white-haters who wish to put down those of European ancestry at every opportunity. They look forward to the day when they can say that white Europeans are just cousins that went extinct.

I know that sounds goofy, but you tell me why a well-edited newspaper would say that someone was an ancestor in one sentence, and then an extinct cousin in the next. It doesn't make any sense, except to try to give the impression that Europeans were irrelevant and inferior to Africans.

Here is another NY Times article with a political angle on race and science:
Sickle cell anemia was first described in 1910 and was quickly labeled a “black” disease. At a time when many people were preoccupied with an imagined racial hierarchy, with whites on top, the disease was cited as evidence that people of African descent were inferior. But what of white people who presented with sickle cell anemia? ...

Professor Yudell belongs to a growing chorus of scholars and researchers who argue that in science at least, we need to push past the race concept and, where possible, scrap it entirely. Professor Yudell and others contend that instead of talking about race, we should talk about ancestry (which, unlike “race,” refers to one’s genetic heritage, not innate qualities); or the specific gene variants that, like the sickle cell trait, affect disease risk; or environmental factors like poverty or diet that affect some groups more than others.
This reminds me of the campaign to replace the name GRIDS with AIDS, because science had proven that it was not a gay disease. Now, 30 years later, it is as much a gay disease as it ever was. The campaign was political.

The article makes distinctions that don't make any sense. It distinguishes between ancestry and race by saying that ancestry refers to genetic heritage while race refers to innate qualities. No, this is just nutty. Ancestry and race are both innate, and both being just different ways of expressing the same genetic heritage.

I understand that physicians could have been misled by racial generalizations in the past, but the article examples do not back that up.

Consider the case of kidney disease. Scientists have found that African-Americans fare worse than whites when it comes to this illness. The assumption had long been that some environmental factor explained the difference. But in recent years, scientists have linked certain variants of a gene called APOL1 to worse kidney-related outcomes. Those variants are enriched in people of African ancestry. Girish N. Nadkarni, a kidney specialist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, explained to me that scientists think this may be because those variants protect against the sleeping sickness endemic to some parts of Africa.
In other words, the scientists using race were completely correct. Anti-race propagandists tried to convince them race was not the issue, but when new DNA evidence became available, it turned out that race was the issue exactly as the earlier scientists had suspected.
Not everyone agrees that it is possible or even desirable to completely scrap the race concept. ... Science seeks to categorize nature, to sort it into discrete groupings to better understand it. ... The problem is, the concept is imprecise. ... Now, at a time when we desperately need ways to come together, there are scientists — intellectual descendants of the very people who helped give us the race concept — who want to retire it.
Notice the reluctance to use races in the above article on Neanderthals, even when the science requires it. It says "all living non-Africans" when it really means all those not belonging to the negro race. The South Africa whites have the Neanderthal genes.

For more criticism, see Prof. Jerry Coyne.

Monday, December 11, 2017

IQ correlated with disorders

SciAm reports:
Now there’s some bad news for people in the right tail of the IQ bell curve. In a study just published in the journal Intelligence, Pitzer College researcher Ruth Karpinski and her colleagues emailed a survey with questions about psychological and physiological disorders to members of Mensa. A “high IQ society”, Mensa requires that its members have an IQ in the top two percent. For most intelligence tests, this corresponds to an IQ of about 132 or higher. (The average IQ of the general population is 100.) The survey of Mensa’s highly intelligent members found that they were more likely to suffer from a range of serious disorders.

The survey covered mood disorders (depression, dysthymia, and bipolar), anxiety disorders (generalized, social, and obsessive-compulsive), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autism. It also covered environmental allergies, asthma, and autoimmune disorders. Respondents were asked to report whether they had ever been formally diagnosed with each disorder, or suspected they suffered from it. With a return rate of nearly 75%, Karpinski and colleagues compared the percentage of the 3,715 respondents who reported each disorder to the national average.

The biggest differences between the Mensa group and the general population were seen for mood disorders and anxiety disorders. More than a quarter (26.7%) of the sample reported that they had been formally diagnosed with a mood disorder, while 20% reported an anxiety disorder — far higher than the national averages of around 10% for each. The differences were smaller, but still statistically significant and practically meaningful, for most of the other disorders. The prevalence of environmental allergies was triple the national average (33% vs. 11%).
This is interesting, but how is it that in 2017, research like this is still being published without a control group?

Maybe Mensa appeals to neurotic people. Maybe neurotic ppl are more likely to respond to these questionnaires. Maybe smart ppl are more likely to self-diagnose with some oddball disorder.

These confounders can be reduced by using a control group. They could have sent out similar questionnaires to a couple of groups that seem similar to Mensa, except for the high IQ admission requirement. It is not that complicated. Social science studies without a control group are usually worthless.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Expand the travel ban

Need proof that the Arabs do not want peace?

BBC News:
There have been violent clashes near the US embassy in Lebanon, in the latest protest against President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Security forces fired tear gas and water cannon to force back flag-waving protesters close to the embassy complex north of the capital, Beirut.

Overnight the Arab League condemned the US decision.
The USA can put its embassy wherever it wants. Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel forever. What's the problem?

We should not have friendly relations with any country that tries to tell us where to put our embassy. We should expand the Trump travel ban to the entire Arab League, whatever that is.

The Palestinian Arabs have been offered peace deals many times, and turned them all down. They do not want peace with Israel, and they are incompetent to govern themselves. The deal that they have now is much better than they deserve.

We should make it clear that these hateful Arabs and Moslems have no home in America. We don't need them bringing their wars over here.

They don't just hate the Jews. They try to interfere with American policy as well.

Speaking of Jews, here is a prominent one that claims that inbreeding among white Christian Americans has led to the creation of monstrous dimwits! I thought that Jews were the most inbred religion on Earth. Maybe some Moslem sects are worse.

Friday, December 08, 2017

The witch-hunt complaints get weirder

The casualties of the current sex witch-hunt are getting stranger. The London Guardian reports:
The Arizona congressman Trent Franks has announced he will resign from Congress at the end of January after discussing child surrogacy with female staff members.

“I have recently learned that the Ethics Committee is reviewing an inquiry regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable,” Franks said in a statement on Thursday. “I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress.”

However, the Arizona Republican insisted, “I want to make one thing completely clear. I have absolutely never physically intimidated, coerced or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff.” ...

The House speaker, Paul Ryan, said in a statement that on 29 November he had been “briefed on credible claims of misconduct by Rep. Trent Franks” that he found “serious and requiring action”. He also said that Franks, when presented with the accusations, did not deny them and that Ryan told him he should resign.
This is not sexual harassment by any definition in use before 2017. He did not make sexual advances, did not touch a woman, did not discuss any sexual acts, and did not persist. Sexual harassment means persisting in some sexual behavior of some kind.

So what's the problem? Two women felt uncomfortable by the conversation? How is he supposed to know that some ordinary topic of conversation is going to touch on their neuroses and anxieties?

This is pretty crazy. A congressman needs to have staff who can discuss controversial issues of the day, without freaking out.

Now he says he is quitting, because he was not sufficiently sensitive to how a staff woman might react to a personal subject. Here is more detail:
Franks, a staunch conservative, asked two 'female subordinates' to bear his child in 2011, three years after he and his wife had twins using a donor egg and a surrogate. ...

The Associated Press spoke to one of them, who said Franks offered her money – ultimately, $5 million – on four separate occasions if she were willing to carry his child. ...

He explained that he and his Filipina wife Josephine chose the surrogate method after struggling with infertility and experiencing three miscarriages.

When his twins were three years old they kept asking for another sibling and that's when he approached his staffers about surrogacy.
Note that this conversation occurred in 2011! If the women do not approve of surrogacy, then why were they working for him? The process is completely legal, in most states.

And what's the matter with Paul Ryan? That guy is disgusting in almost everything he does. I guess child surrogacy is one of those subjects that some women are hyper-sensitive about, like abortion, menstruation, venereal disease, and adoption.

The accusations against Al Franken are fairly trivial also. He is one of the biggest jerks in Senate. Many say he stole his election. I've seen clips of him asking questions in committee hearing, and he is just a blustering moron. Maybe that is part of why his colleagues are making him resign.

Aesop's fable trumps the facts

Radio host James Edwards writes:
As many of you know, after prayerful consideration, I sued The Detroit News last year for publishing that I was a leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Alas, the journey came to an end yesterday morning when the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled against me and in favor of the defendants.

he panel of judges mention in the first sentence of their decision that the law was on my side, but that Aesop’s fables instructs them to judge a man by the company he keeps.

The Restatement (Second) of Torts § 559 lists “membership in the Ku Klux Klan” as the quintessential illustration of a defamatory statement. In an opinion piece in The Detroit News, columnist Bankole Thompson asserted that radio show host James Edwards is a “leader” of the Ku Klux Klan. There is no record evidence to suggest that Edwards holds a formal leadership position in the Ku Klux Klan, nor is there any record evidence to suggest that he is even a member. Notwithstanding this lack of formal relationship, Edwards has espoused views consistent with those associated with the Klan and, equally as important, he has repeatedly and publicly embraced several individuals who are strongly associated with the Klan. Mindful of Aesop’s lesson, “A man is known by the company he keeps,” we hold that Edwards cannot make claims of defamation or invasion of privacy and affirm summary disposition in favor of defendants.
Please click here and take the time to read this remarkable ruling in its entirety.
This illustrates how it is nearly impossible to win a libel suit in the USA.

Remember this next time you read a newspaper associate someone with the Ku Klan Klan. The newspaper could have just made it up, like the Detroit News, for the purpose of smearing someone.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Inevitability of legal prostitution

I have come to the conclusion that it is inevitable that prostitution will become legal, and publicly acceptable.

Prostitution is legal in more and more places. It is legal in Germany. Canada has decriminalized it. It is trending towards legality about like marijuana.

California has a legal porn video industry, so prostitution is legal as long as you say that you are making a porn movie, or auditioning for one.

Public opinion has turned against the sex habits of Harvey Weinstein, so what is a guy like that supposed to do?

The public has been trained to approve of homosexuality and other acts that have been traditionally considered immoral, with the argument that nothing can be wrong with a consensual act.

In this modern lens, prostitution is the most fully consensual sexual act of all. As it is usually practiced, all parties are freely and voluntarily participating with no unusual pressure or coercion.

Some are now arguing that almost anytime two co-workers date, there is a power imbalance that detracts from it being fully consensual. If an actress seduces Weinstein to get a movie part, then someone has more power. Either the actress, because she is young and beautiful and captivating, or Weinstein because he can award the movie role. Usually feminists blame the man, of course even tho 30% of the victims of sexual harassment are men.

Even in marriage, there are those today who consider it rape if the husband unduly pressures the wife to have sexual relations with him.

But with prostitution, there are no ongoing promises, commitments, or pressures. It is the perfect consensual act. Either party can walk away at any time, with no repercussions. Everyone gets exactly what they want.

I am not saying that I agree with these trends. I think that co-workers ought to be able to flirt at work. I think people ought to be able to make moral judgments about the consensual acts of others. I think spouse should be able to make long-term sexual commitments. But hardly anyone in the major news media agrees with me.

With the current views that dominate public sexual attitudes, I don't see any grounds for rejecting prostitution.

It is not practical to enforce laws against prostitution anyway. Prostitute can advertise on online dating sites, and say they want a no-strings-attached sexual relationship. The man will understand that he should bring a gift. Then it is all legal, even if prostitution is illegal.

So legal prostitution will be here to stay. Get used to it.

Update: A feminist article says: "being pro-sex worker is a necessary pillar of dismantling the patriarchy." The rest of the article is so wacky that it appears to be a joke, but I don't think it is.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Charlottesville officials created the chaos

NPR Radio news reports:
An independent review of Charlottesville's handling of the white nationalist rally there in August found that law enforcement and city officials made several significant mistakes, resulting in violence and distrust.

The city commissioned the report, which was prepared by Timothy Heaphy, a former U.S. attorney in Virginia. In conducting the investigation, Heaphy said his team pored through hundreds of thousands of documents, interviewed hundreds of witnesses, and reviewed countless hours of video and audio.

The resulting 220-page report is a detailed record of the chaos and conflict that unspooled in the Virginia college town. It is unsparing in identifying the errors authorities made that day and in the preceding months.

The city failed to protect either free expression or public safety, the report finds: "This represents a failure of one of government's core functions — the protection of fundamental rights. Law enforcement also failed to maintain order and protect citizens from harm, injury, and death. Charlottesville preserved neither of those principles on August 12, which has led to deep distrust of government within this community."

The "most tragic manifestation" of the failure to protect public safety was the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, the report says.
The news media had been blaming the white nationalist organizers. The city finally admits that the blame belongs with their own officials.

The mainstream news media at the time blamed the white nationalists for everything, even tho they weren't even present when Heyer died. The white nationalists explained that the city officials were creating a dangerous riot, and now that appears to be the correct story.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Scared of medical diagnostic tests

From the medical examiner column:
We Don’t Want to Know What Will Kill Us
Years of data on genetic testing reveal that when given the option, most people want less information, not more. ...

When, in 1996, French nun Mariannick Caniou found out she didn’t have Huntington’s disease, the lethal, degenerative genetic disorder, she fell into a depression. Throughout her life, she had been convinced that she would develop the illness that had killed her mother and grandmother. So convinced, in fact, that all her most important decisions had been based on that conviction: her decision not to marry, for example, or not to have children. ...

In those preparatory surveys, roughly 70 percent of those at risk of Huntington’s said they would take a test if it existed. In fact, only around 15 percent do — a proportion that has proved stable across countries and decades. A similar pattern emerged when tests became available for other incurable brain diseases, including rare familial forms of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia: The vast majority of people prefer not to know.

There is a certain logic to this. Why know if there’s nothing you can do about it?
I think that she is misreading these studies. Huntington's is incurable, but obviously Caniou's (faulty) knowledge did influence her decisions. There were things that she could do about the Huntington's info.

I have posted examples of genetics experts who refuse to get their genes sequenced. Sometimes they complain that the tests are too unreliable, and sometimes that they are too reliable.

A lot of ppl are also afraid to take an IQ test. Some sort of phobia is at work here.

While some ppl have these problems, I refuse to believe that it is a majority. Most ppl have no problem with other diagnostics, like cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes tests. These are pushed by physicians who want to prescribe drugs for treatment, but the drugs don't really cure the problems.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Sexual harassment is purely subjective

An NPR Radio news guest explains sexual harassment:
MARSHALL: Yeah. The episode that just turned up in the last 24 hours involving Representative Kihuen really sets this out, I think, which is that - remember that sexual harassment is defined by how the recipient of it feels. If it's welcomed, it's not sexual harassment. If it isn't welcomed, it is sexual harassment. And it opens - the way the law is written and the way we look at it is someone who can change their mind about whether it was welcomed or not some time after it actually occurred. And men who - men who think that any conduct from them is welcomed often may find themselves in the situation of suddenly finding it was not. And this comes from, often, what their experience is, how attractive they are.

I have a script that I use in my training where, you know, a George Clooney level of actor and someone who looks like Steve Buscemi, for example, both hit on the same employee over and over again. That's sexual harassment, except eventually she agrees to go out with the good-looking guy. And the other guy who's just sort of inept is sent to HR with a complaint. And my audiences don't get this. They say it's unfair. And I say, well, that's sexual harassment. It depends on the victim's perception.

MARTIN: So - wait a minute. Are you really trying to tell me that somebody good looking behaving in a boorish fashion is OK as long as the target eventually thinks it's OK? I mean...

MARSHALL: I don't think it's OK. But it's not - but - I don't think it's OK. However, they will not get in trouble for sexual harassment because of the way the law is written. A hostile work environment means that the recipient of this has to feel hostility. They don't like it. So, for example, if somebody - I have a hypothetical that I'm sure has happened where someone is grabbed by Donald Trump back when he's a celebrity, and she comes home. And she's kissed, and she tells her roommate that was cool. Donald Trump kissed me. And then when everybody she knows detests Donald Trump, she suddenly says that not - you know, I was harassed.
In other words, there is no way you can know whether you are sexually harassing someone or not.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Spinelessness and contempt for democracy

I did not expect to agree with the World Socialist Web Site on anything, but it is a voice of reason on the US sexual witch-hunt:
The purge of the US entertainment, media and political world initiated in early October by the New York Times has chalked up two more victims. The spinelessness and contempt for democracy in these circles seems almost universal and unlimited.

NBC News announced Wednesday it had axed Matt Lauer, longtime co-anchor of its “Today” show, after receiving a complaint on Monday night about his alleged sexual impropriety. ...

The case against Keillor, 75, seems even more preposterous. ...

With the toll of disgraced and disappeared mounting daily, one can only wonder, who’s next?
However creepy the accused men appear, the accusers, the news media, and their accomplices are much creepier.

Speaking of socialists, I mentioned the NY Times profiling a national socialist. Now the guy has lost his welder job, and the NY Times has attached a disclaimer to the original story. There is another witch-hunt in progress.

Four world maps