Saturday, May 30, 2015

RoK celebrates masculine men

Return of Kings is considered one of the more offensive sites on the web, but it is really just a site that celebrates masculinity in men (and femininity in women), and is not particularly political at all. There is very little talk of men's rights, and it is quite tame and small compared to major feminist sites.

Here it lists some of its beliefs:
1. Men and women are genetically different, both physically and mentally
2. Men will opt out of monogamy and reproduction if there are no incentives to engage in them
3. Past traditions and rituals that evolved alongside humanity served a clear benefit to the family unit
4. Testosterone is the biological cause for masculinity. Environmental changes that reduce the hormone’s concentration in men causes them to be weaker and more feminine.
5. A woman’s value significantly depends on her fertility and beauty. A man’s value significantly depends on his resources, intellect, and character.
6. Elimination of traditional sex roles and the promotion of unlimited mating choice in women unleashes their promiscuity and other negative behaviors that block family formation.
7. Socialism, feminism, cultural Marxism, and social justice warriorism aim to destroy the family unit, decrease the fertility rate, and impoverish the state through large welfare entitlements.
A liberal critic
disputes some of this. For example, he says that socialist policies like paid maternity leave can raise fertility rates.

On the subject of men and women, Bernie Sanders has just had to repudiate a 1972 essay/story he wrote.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A superhero movie is not cultural genocide

Movie critic Richard Brody writes in the New Yorker magazine:
In a recent video interview to promote “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Robert Downey, Jr., Iron Man, lost his mettle. The interviewer quoted a remark by the director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu that superhero movies are “cultural genocide.” Downey seemed taken aback and responded offensively, with a nativist slur: “Look, I respect the heck out of him, and I think for a man whose native tongue is Spanish to be able to put together a phrase like ‘cultural genocide’ just speaks to how bright he is.”

There’s no defending Downey’s remark.
I'll defend Downey's remark. It is about the kindest thing that ought to be said when some leftist jerk from another culture accuses an actor of mass murder for making a popular movie.

Nobody uses terms like ‘cultural genocide’ unless they are Marxist hate-mongers. Those using the term should be mocked in the harshest terms. Downey was easy on the guy, and could have told him to go back to Mexico.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Parental contribution is mainly genetic

Bryan Caplan argues that reading helps kids more than anything:
The big result is the lack of results. Controlling for family and child background, time in school and studying barely help - and television viewing barely hurts. Contrary to wishful assertions that exercising the body improves the mind, sports don't matter either. Out of nineteen activities, only two predict greater academic success across the board: reading and visiting.

The estimated effect of visiting is modest. Reading, however, is a huge deal.
Visiting refers to certain organized out-of-school activities.

A Nature study reports:
Meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits based on fifty years of twin studies

Despite a century of research on complex traits in humans, the relative importance and specific nature of the influences of genes and environment on human traits remain controversial. We report a meta-analysis of twin correlations and reported variance components for 17,804 traits from 2,748 publications including 14,558,903 partly dependent twin pairs, virtually all published twin studies of complex traits. Estimates of heritability cluster strongly within functional domains, and across all traits the reported heritability is 49%.
You can download the full article here.

People think that kids are shaped by schools, TV, parenting, etc. The data says that these things matter less than you think.

Saying that heritability is 50% makes it sounds as if parenting and schooling are the other 50%. But other studies show that the other 50% is mostly measurement error and unkown factors, as the measurable aspect of the environment seem to have very little effect.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fat shamer on Dr. Oz show

Physician and Turkish-American TV personality Mehmet Oz regularly promotes quack medicine, with the endorsement of Oprah Winfrey. In particular he has promoted bogus weight-loss alternative medicine that borders on fraud. His physician colleagues have denounced him.

So you would think that he is against being fat. But much of his audience is fat women, and he does not want to offend them. So he introduced an anti-fat TV guest as a monster in Fat Shaming by Roosh V.

In spite of being ambushed on the show, Roosh stays calm and on point, describing how American women have become unhealthy and unattractive by getting fat. He also encourages fat men to join a gym, lose weight, and get in better shape. Men respond to logic and reasoned arguments, he says, but women do not and must be shamed.

Oz had some obese women denounce him, saying that they were happy to be fat and their inner beauty is what matters.

Oz's audience was mostly fat women, and they sided with him. All of which just help Roosh make his point that fat acceptance has led to a generation of repulsive people.

I have tried watching the Dr. Oz a couple of times. One time he discussed a minor medical problem that I was familiar with, and his advice was abominable. I say that Oz is the monster.

Very few people would dare say what Roosh V says, but he is reasonable and sensible compared to Oz.

Speaking of politically incorrect views, here are a couple of other examples.

Anthropologist Peter Frost says A synthesis has been forming in the field of human biodiversity. This consensus differs from how the leftist-Marxist-globalists deny race. It is hard to refute anything Frost says, but very few academics are willing to say it.

John Derbyshire attacks Bill Nye:
What did the Science Guy have to say to the Rutgers graduates? Well, he warned them of the horrors of climate change, which he linked to global inequality.
We’re going to find a means to enable poor people to advance in their societies in countries around the world. Otherwise, the imbalance of wealth will lead to conflict and inefficiency in energy production, which will lead to more carbon pollution and a no-way-out overheated globe.
Uh, given that advanced countries use far more energy per capita than backward ones—the U.S.A. figure is thirty-four times Bangladesh’s—wouldn’t a better strategy be to keep poor countries poor? We could, for example, encourage all their smartest and most entrepreneurial people to emigrate to the First World … Oh, wait: we already do that.
Again, hardly anyone is willing to say this, but if global warming is really such a big threat, then maybe the best thing we can do is to keep the Third World poor.

I mentioned how prominent skeptic-atheists have become disillusioned with the whole movement, but I am afraid that I have understated the matter. See the videos on Why 'Feminism' is poisoning Atheism. It appears that creepy leftist social justice warriors have hijacked to whole movement. Even the conferences sound very unpleasant.

Here is someone afraid to use certain words:
When it hit the national news that searching for certain racist and offensive words in Google Maps brought up the White House, I was immediately appalled. As someone who grew up listening to Hip-Hop music, I've heard similar language before, so I was not offended by the words themselves. I was, however, disappointed in the apparent disrespect towards our President and the ignorance of the perpetrator.
Apparently searches for "Nigger King" or "nigga house" would get you the Presidential White House. Note that the author not only refuses to write the N-word, he has to \give an excuse for even having heard the word before.

Google apologizes for this, but it bragged that during the G.W. Bush administration a search for "miserable failur"e gave the White House as the top result. That was changed when Barack Obama moved in, and the search gave Obama's biography. Google decided that was disrespectful, and the search now gives an article about how it used to point to Bush.

Update: Half of Democrats favor making hate speech a crime.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Risky to ask a woman to cut the cake

It is sometimes argued that STEM subjects should be minimized to make them more appealing to women. A female mathematical physicist attacks the idea:
But by proposing that women focus on work that is “societally meaningful” and that supports “humanitarian” goals, Ms. Nilsson indulges in two fallacies.

One is the premise that women are attracted to work consistent with the cultural notion that these are appropriate roles for women (traditionally, nursing and teaching).

In some sense, she is advocating “pink science” while ignoring the large number of female mathematicians, physical scientists and engineers who find the subject matter itself attractive.

It is analogous to telling women in medical school that they should become pediatricians and ob-gyns rather than neurosurgeons.

The other fallacy is that women are so shortsighted as to see only projects directly aimed at improving “the lives of people living in poverty” as having a meaningful societal effect. Surely, we all have a vested interest in enterprises like designing bridges and airplanes that are structurally sound.

We need to move forward with more female scientists in all fields rather than relegate them to certain subspecialties and pretend that such work is more valuable to our society.
And then there are those women who want to be treated like men, such as this one who refused to cut the cake:
My daughter majored in electrical engineering and got a job at a major electrical company. At a social gathering during work hours, her male associates asked her to cut a birthday cake, serve it and do the dishes. She refused, left for the day and eventually resigned.
Any attempt to push women into STEM fields might be pulling them away from better choices.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Trashing a skeptic for being skeptical

Philosopher and skeptic-atheist Massimo Pigliucci rants about all the jerks and social justice warriors in the Skeptic Atheist Movement, and then complains when a prominent skeptic is actually skeptical about something (global warming):
he [Randi] had absolutely no business even expressing an opinion on a technical matter of that magnitude. He’s a magician, not an atmospheric physicist! Same with Bill Nye ...
Apparently the movement is dominated by folks who believe that if you are smart enuf to be a skeptic-atheist, then you must also be a leftist-feminist-SJW, because that is the only rational belief.

They also wonder why the movement attracts dysfunctional creeps.

My guess is that most people would join the SAM unless they had some desire to shut religions. Right-wingers do not care to stop the religious beliefs of others, and left-wingers seek social conformity. Leftists seem to want everyone in the movement to have the same opinions.

Someone said that organizations tend to go left-wing unless they have some charter or something keeping them right-wing. If so, then SAM groups are likely to go left-wing.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Academics still do not want Gould criticism

The late Stephen Jay Gould was famous for writing The Mismeasure of Man, a book that is widely regarded as garbage by experts in the field, but widely praised by academic leftists who liked his ideology.

Evolutionist/philosophers Joshua Banta, Jonathan Kaplan, and Massimo Pigliucci write a summary of a paper they published:
Why would the popular media be interested in a story about a historical argument surrounding measurement techniques and statistical summaries of human skull volumes? ...

Gould was, and remains, a divisive figure. His strong opposition to “genetic determinism” led to some very public fights with other science popularizers, such as Richard Dawkins and E.O. Wilson, whose work he viewed as encouraging naïve views of the relationship between genes and development. Gould’s longstanding commitment to anti-racism came together with his concern about simple-minded genetic explanations offered by “hereditarianism,” ...

In one of his popular books, The Mismeasure of Man, Gould set his sights on Samuel G. Morton, a 19th century American physician who catalogued and reported the cranial volumes of human skulls he collected ...

Lewis et al. claimed that Gould was wrong, and that Morton was correct. ... members of the White Supremacist website StormFront immediately trumpeted Lewis et al.’s results as proving that Gould was a fraud, and took them to be broadly supportive of their explicitly racist agenda [6]. And it is worth remembering that Nicholas Wade, as the science editor for the New York Times, was, at least in part, responsible for the unusual degree of attention that Lewis’ paper received ... Speculating that Wade publicized Lewis et al.’s paper to support his racist program seems, on the whole, not entirely unreasonable. ...

it isn’t at all clear what question Morton was trying to answer, if any, ...

Some historians have argued that, again, while Morton had many racist beliefs, his work on skulls was just an attempt to gather data with no particular purpose. Indeed, during the same time he was producing his big Catalog of Skulls, he was also publishing detailed descriptions of fossilized crocodile skulls, of all things! And even his Catalog of Skulls contains a surprising number of descriptions of nonhuman (birds, reptile, fishes, other mammal) skulls. ...

The basic conclusion at which we arrive regarding Lewis and colleagues versus Gould is “a pox on both your houses!” Morton’s data is simply not useful for anything, and talking about “races” as people perceived them at some point in history is not scientifically relevant.

What is troubling is that the Lewis and colleague’s paper passed through peer review in such a high-profile journal and picked up so much popular media attention, leaving many people with the erroneous impression that there is evidence suggesting that individuals of different “races” really do differ in their skull sizes, and that this then tells us anything of any interest at all. That Lewis and his colleagues work, surely unwittingly, gives cover to racists is even more unfortunate.
These philosophers are to call people racists, but they don't like criticism of their anti-science views. They deleted my comment from Scientia Salon, so I am posting it here:
It is amazing how much leftists will rush to the defense of dishonest work by a fellow leftist/Marxist. Here the defense of Gould consists mainly of race-baiting innuendo and claims that Morton, who died in 1851, might have had some opinions that are not proved by his data.

For a recent discussion on how Gould was a notorious academic fraud, see Trivers on Gould.

If Morton's samples were not the best, the scientific approach would be to get better data. The anti-science approach of Banta-Kaplan-Pigliucci is to launch race-baiting ideological attacks. Gould had no longstanding commitment to anti-racism. He just used racist name-calling to substitute for scientific analysis.

The popular media was interested in this story because the world's best known and credentialed evolutionist wrote a book that sold millions of copies and became required reading at hundreds of universities, and it was almost entirely bogus in its content. It was fake science being propped up by leftist politics.

These philosophers are typical of leftist academic Marxist biases and tactics. They attack perfectly legitimate scientific work on the grounds of supposed bad motives. Next they denigrate with guilt-by-association. That is, they suggest that something must be wrong with the science if it is quoted on a web site with a racist following. They argue that certain data should be ignored, and that certain subject should not be talked about. Finally they attempt censorship, by arguing that aa legitimate scientific paper should not have been published.

Nobody is going to endorse racist views based on skull measurements by a physician who died in 1851. But Gould used misrepresentations of those measurements to become America's most famous scientist, and he needs to be exposed until professors quit defending him.

They pretend to be anti-racist, but they are the opposite. The Marxist view requires an oppressor class and a victim class, and they have to stir up racial animosity to achieve their political goals. So they create racial divisions and call everyone else racists.

Ron Unz recently wrote:
In corrupt societies, bad deeds frequently go rewarded, and in the years that followed, Gould, a notorious academic fraud, was provided the platform of some of America’s most prestigious media outlets—The New York Review of Books and Natural History magazine to promote his scientific opinions, many of which were incorrect, nonsensical, or dishonest; his books, such as The Mismeasure of Man, became widely assigned texts in college courses, thereby serving to misinform entire generations of students. And by an amusing irony of fate, the noisy attacks on mainstream evolutionary theory by this self-proclaimed Marxist eventually caused him to become a leading inspiration for ignorant religious Creationists, who gleefully used his arguments in their long but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to expel Darwinism from our public schools during the 1980s and 1990s.
This was in an introduction to comments by Robert Trivers, a highly respected evolutionary biologist:
Many of us theoretical biologists who knew Stephen personally thought he was something of an intellectual fraud precisely because he had a talent for coining terms that promised more than they could deliver, while claiming exactly the opposite. One example was the notion of “punctuated equilibria”—which simply asserted that rates of (morphological) evolution were not constant, but varied over time, often with periods of long stasis interspersed with periods of rapid change. All of this was well known from the time of Darwin. The classic example were bats. They apparently evolved very quickly from small non-flying mammals (in perhaps less than 20 million years) but then stayed relatively unchanged once they reached the bat phenotype we are all familiar with today (about 50 million years ago). Nothing very surprising here, intermediate forms were apt to be neither very good classic mammals, nor good flying ones either, so natural selection pushed them rapidly through the relevant evolutionary space.

But Steve wanted to turn this into something grander, a justification for replacing natural selection (favoring individual reproductive success) with something called species selection. Since one could easily imagine that there was rapid turnover of species during periods of intense selection and morphological change, one might expect species selection to be more intense, while during the rest of the equilibrium stabilizing selection would rule throughout. But rate of species turnover has nothing to do with the traits within species—only with the relative frequency of species showing these traits. As would prove usual, Steve missed the larger interesting science by embracing a self-serving fantasy. Species selection today is a small but interesting topic in evolutionary theory, not some grand principle emerging from paleontological patterns.

Recently something brand new has emerged about Steve that is astonishing. In his own empirical work attacking others for biased data analysis in the service of political ideology—it is he who is guilty of the same bias in service of political ideology. What is worse—and more shocking—is that Steve’s errors are very extensive and the bias very serious. A careful reanalysis of one case shows that his target is unblemished while his own attack is biased in all the ways Gould attributes to his victim. His most celebrated book (The Mismeasure of Man) starts with a takedown of Samuel George Morton. Morton was a scientist in the early 19 th Century who devoted himself to measuring the human cranium, especially the volume of the inside, a rough estimate of the size of the enclosed brain. He did so meticulously by pouring first seeds and then ball bearings into skulls until they were full and then pouring them out and measuring their volume in a graduated cylinder. He was a pure empiricist. He knew brain size was an important variable but very little about the details (indeed, we do not know much more today). He thought his data would bear on whether we were one species or several, but in any case he was busy creating a vast trove of true and useful facts.
Millions of college kids today are taught that Morton was an evil racist, just because he collected skull measurements.

Update: Massimo Pigliucci argues:
“people tend to hold political and policy views that are in their self-interests, whether they realize it or not.”

Seriously? I would think that my self-interest is much better served by supporting race and gender inequality, since I’m an older white male, than equality. Go figure. ... Ah, so this ought to confirm my suspicion that most Republicans, including those in high offices, have low cognitive ability. The nonsense truly never stops.
No, a white male professor is acting in his self-interest when he recites a leftist cultural Marxist orthodoxy about how there is no such thing as race, and similar nonsense. As you can see, Gould was forgiven for being wrong on a lot of issues because he was supposedly politically anti-racist. These professors can tell themselves that their ability to be anti-racist in the face of their own privileged background proves that they have higher cognitive ability, and those who do not subscribe to these leftist beliefs must be stupid.

The truth is more nearly the opposite. It does not take any intelligence to have kindergarten morality and go around calling everyone else a racist. I have more comments here.

Update: Scientia Salon approved this comment:
Curious debate. On one side, we have folks who deny objective science, who defend Marxism, who brag about being anti-racist while calling scientists and reporters racist, and who oppose saying anything that might encourage the anonymous posters on Stormfront. If presented with data or quotes to refute what they say, they brag how they are smarter and have a superior understanding.

Gould’s book is an embarrassment to modern science. Defending it is like defending Soviet Lysenkoism. It is just bad science that is promoted for leftist ideological or self-interest reasons. And yes, it is in the self-interest of white male soft-subject professors who make a career out of denouncing racism and pseudoscience.
For examples of one of them making a career out of denouncing racism, see Ignorance, Lies, and Ways of Being Racist or Realism, Antirealism, and Conventionalism about Race. This is race-baiting, not anti-racism. He seeks out "some evidence of racist intent" in order to brand people as racists. I do not know whether he is a Marxist, but he sure acts like one.

Update: Update: A comment asks:
Schlafly, what is your purpose?

C. Van Carter’s purpose is obvious – heighten suspicion of those those with greater melanin in their skin. This achieves what? – besides greater antagonism and social repression of those you don’t like.
Comments are closed, so I answer here.

A better scientific understanding of humanity is a worthwhile goal in itself. It is bizarre to me that it is acceptable to study varieties of fruit flies but not human beings.

Studies about human nature are especially interesting because they tell something about who we are. Humans are similar to chimps in some ways, and different in others. There are similarities and differences between the sexes, and between ethnic groups, and within groups. Information about heredity tells us something about nature v nurture.

Similarities and differences between men and women have enormous practical utility. So does information about traits being innate or immutable.

Marxists and fellow travelers hate this, because they see it as interfering with their goal of a classless egalitarian society. So they want to suppress the scientific knowledge and call everyone else racist.

Whenever they see diversity or inequality, it translates to Marxist-speak as "social oppression" because they frame everything as one class oppressing another. They claim to be against antagonism but they actually encourage it because they want a revolution from the oppressed classes.

So yes, I also have a purpose of exposing the hypocritical leftist truth-denying professors who promote Marxist nonsense. We would all be living like Cuba if they had their way.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Christian culture is superior

A Moslem congressman wants to ban a prominent Dutch poltician because:
Mr. Wilders’ policy agenda is centered on the principle that Christian culture is superior to other cultures.
I thought that most Christians believe that Christian culture is superior. If they thought that Islamic or Confucian culture were superior, then maybe they would convert.

Maybe Moslems do not understand this, as many of them are born into Islam and are not permitted to convert out.