Friday, October 30, 2015

China population still growing

UK BBC news reports:
China has decided to end its decades-long one-child policy, the state-run Xinhua news agency reports.

Couples will now be allowed to have two children, it said, citing a statement from the Communist Party.

The controversial policy was introduced nationally in 1979, to slow the population growth rate.

It is estimated to have prevented about 400 million births.
So now we will have those 400M extra Chinese kids?

The population of China grew from about 900M to about 1.4 billion under its one child policy. Its population will be growing out of control for the foreseeable future. But it may be passed by India's population.

Pres. Obama is still not happy:
The White House is welcoming China's move to end its "one-child" policy but says the decision doesn't go far enough. ...

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the shift in policy is a positive step by China. But he says the U.S. is looking forward to the day when birth limits in China are abandoned altogether.
So why does Obama want more Chinese babies? If he were really concerned about global warming and other environmental issues, then he should want to slow Chinese population growth. Or if he really believed that countries should manage their own affairs, he would assume that China is doing what is good for China.

Update: Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute writes in the WSJ:
The one-child mandate is the single greatest social-policy error in human history. ...

Fertility levels in urban China were already well below replacement by 1980. Today the country is on track to go gray at a shocking tempo. Two years ago, working-age manpower began to decline, according to Chinese authorities. The only close comparator is post-bubble Japan: not a cheering vision for what remains a relatively poor society. ...

The “fatal conceit” (to borrow Friedrich Hayek’s term) of China’s population planners was that they could micro-calibrate the behavior of the men and women under their command. The new two-child policy suffers the same flaw. As long as Beijing deforms Chinese society with these misbegotten tools, the nation’s future will be compromised, poorer and sadder than it otherwise could be.
This is crazy stuff. Sure, the policy is authoritarian, but why is it so important to replace the huge expansion on China's population? China would be doing real well if it did as well as Japan.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Evil leftism infects universities

Certain forms of Leftism should be regarded as a mental illness. You find it in otherwise intelligent university professors, so it is not just stupidity. Here is an example.

The NY Times Magazine reports:
What made them so uncomfortable was not that Anna was 41 and D.J. was 30, or that Anna is white and D.J. is black, or even that Anna was married with two children while D.J. had never dated anyone. What made them so upset — what led to all the arguing that followed, and the criminal trial and million-­dollar civil suit — was the fact that Anna can speak and D.J. can’t; that she was a tenured professor of ethics at Rutgers University in Newark and D.J. has been declared by the state to have the mental capacity of a toddler. ...

Marjorie Anna Stubblefield goes by her middle name, pronounced with an aristocratic a, as in the word ‘‘nirvana.’’ Her last name is her former husband’s. Years ago, she was Margie McClennen, an honors student who grew up Jewish in the nearly all-white town of Plymouth, Mich. ‘‘I was raised to believe that I have the responsibility of tikkun olam, repairing the world,’’ Anna wrote in her 2005 book ‘‘Ethics Along the Color Line.’’ As a high-school student, she put that lesson into practice, writing articles for the school newspaper — one about a classmate who became pregnant, and another about a press-freedom case involving Plymouth students. Each won a national award. While a sophomore, Anna played the title role in a town production of ‘‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’’ ‘‘Marjorie just was Anne Frank,’’ says Elyse Mirto, a fellow cast member who is now an actor. ‘‘You know that famous quote — ‘I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart’? That was Marjorie.’’

Her parents were involved in local politics, environmentalism and women’s rights, but their most enduring cause was that of people with disabilities. Each trained in special education for their Ph.D.s. Her mother, Sandra McClennen, started working with blind, cognitively impaired children in 1963. For decades, she taught disabled people social skills, like shaking hands and talking appropriately with strangers, in the hope of helping them move out of state-run hospitals and into community housing.

Anna shared this interest in disabilities: As a high-school student, she studied Braille and learned the alphabet in sign language. But as a junior academic, she would apply the mandate of tikkun olam to a different focus — the fight for racial justice. Since getting her Ph.D. in 2000, she has become a prominent scholar in the field of Africana philosophy, has published widely on race and ethics and has served as the chairwoman of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on the Status of Black Philosophers — the first and only white scholar ever to have done so. ‘‘Our world is in shambles,’’ she wrote in ‘‘Ethics Along the Color Line.’’ ‘‘White supremacy is central to this state of affairs, and we cannot repair the world without ending it.’’

Her own family is mixed-race — she has two children with her ex-husband, Roger Stubblefield, a black tuba player and classical composer. For 11 years, she served on the faculty at the Newark campus of Rutgers University, whose student body is among the nation’s most diverse. Yet for all her work on behalf of African-Americans, she worried that she might be ambushed by the ‘‘habits of racism.’’ ‘‘Even in well-intentioned quests to be antiracist,’’ she wrote, ‘‘white people all too often invade or destroy the space of nonwhite people.’’ The same essay lays out what could be a thesis statement for her whole career: It is crucial, she wrote, for white philosophers ‘‘to wrestle with the horrors and conundrums of whiteness.’’

Those ‘‘horrors and conundrums,’’ as Anna saw them, formed the nexus of oppression she had sworn to fight in all its forms. As the years went by, her mission seemed to broaden and merge into her mother’s. By 2007, Anna had begun to argue that a person’s intellect — and the degree to which he or she is ‘‘disabled’’ — could be as much a social construct, as much a venue for tyranny, as race, gender or sexuality. It was, after all, white elites, she wrote, who first devised measures of I.Q. ‘‘as both a rationalization and a tool of anti-black oppression.’’

With this shift in her scholarship, Anna began to wrestle not just with race but with disability; not just with racism but with ableism.
So she is just another self-hating Jew, you might think. No, she is much worse. She has taken her leftist hatreds to a whole new level.

She was the Rutgers chairwoman of the philosophy department and was convicted of raping a black mentally retarded invalid:
The jury had convicted the 45-year-old philosophy professor of sexually assaulting a 34-year-old disabled man, known as D.J., who has cerebral palsy and is unable to speak beyond making noises. Psychologists have determined he is mentally incompetent and cannot consent to sexual activity.

Stubblefield had claimed she and D.J. fell in love, saying he is not intellectually impaired and was able to communicate through a controversial typing method, known as "facilitated communication." ...

"This is a professor at a respected university who used her position of power to take advantage of a severely disabled individual, not only to satisfy her own sexual desires, but also to use him additionally to further her career," Plant said. ...

But Plant presented testimony from experts who had evaluated D.J. and collectively found he has intellectual disabilities and is unable to consent to sexual activity. D.J. also is physically disabled, wears diapers and requires assistance with walking, bathing, dressing and eating, his family members said.

Plant also highlighted how studies have shown facilitated communication does not work and that several scientific organizations have issued statements that the technique is invalid.
She is crazier than the Unabomber. They both want to bring down our modern system of civilization, for different reasons. But the Unabomber had to live by himself in a Montana cabin, and she was a high-status professor. The state was paying her to teach her nonsense to college students.

Somehow she thinks that it is noble to hate white people, to hate able-bodied people, to hate success, and to hate scientific knowledge. She married a black man just to prove how anti-racist she was. You would think that would be a tip-off to her friends and relatives. She thinks that she is on a Jewish mission to use racial and other animosities to subvert modern civilization.

She is not just an isolated pervert. She openly described her sick ethics, and the state made her an ethics professor and paid her to teach her hatred of the white society to college students.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cal adopts intolerance policy

I mentioned this university being intolerant of intolerance, and now it has a new policy:
Students, professors and activists wrangled at a public forum Monday over how best to address intolerance at the University of California, with some Jewish groups arguing the schools should adopt a policy with a more precise definition of anti-Semitism and others saying it would stifle free speech. ...

David and other Jewish groups pressed university leaders to adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, which includes denying Israel’s right to exist and blaming it for all interreligious or political tensions.

UC President Janet Napolitano said in a radio interview in May that she believed the system should adopt the definition. Her remarks drew criticism from First Amendment advocates and those critical of Israel’s policy toward Palestinians, saying it could be used to censor free speech.
I thought that Jewish groups often objected to the idea that American Jews are more loyal to Israel. But apparently it is the opposite, and they say that criticism of Israel is an offensive attack on American Jews.

The word anti-Semitism used to mean people hating the Jews. Now it means Jews hating other people.

Israel limits immigration to Jews. If it is bigoted to oppose that, then it is also bigoted to urge Europe to accept Moslem migrants.

For other example of college attacks on free speech, see campus censorship, Hans Bader, feminist calls for restrictions, Atlantic article, UK threats, The Rise of Victimhood Culture, Suzanne Venker.

Also California state law allows for an individual to be civilly committed just because he does not ‘think correctly’.

Update: Even a famous feminist might be censored, because she said that wearing a dress does not make a man a woman. More on Venker.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The evil of oversocialization

A famous 1995 essay argued:
15. Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate America, they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality. The reasons that leftists give for hating the West, etc. clearly do not correspond with their real motives. ...

16. Words like “self-confidence,” “self-reliance,” “initiative,” “enterprise,” “optimism,” etc., play little role in the liberal and leftist vocabulary. The leftist is anti-individualistic, pro-collectivist. He wants society to solve everyone’s problems for them, satisfy everyone’s needs for them, take care of them. He is not the sort of person who has an inner sense of confidence in his ability to solve his own problems and satisfy his own needs. The leftist is antagonistic to the concept of competition because, deep inside, he feels like a loser. ...

18. Modern leftish philosophers tend to dismiss reason, science, objective reality and to insist that everything is culturally relative. ...

many leftists are oversocialized ...

26. Oversocialization can lead to low self-esteem, a sense of powerlessness, defeatism, guilt, etc. One of the most important means by which our society socializes children is by making them feel ashamed of behavior or speech that is contrary to society’s expectations. If this is overdone, or if a particular child is especially susceptible to such feelings, he ends by feeling ashamed of HIMSELF. ...

Self-hatred is a leftist trait.

21. Leftists may claim that their activism is motivated by compassion or by moral principles, and moral principle does play a role for the leftist of the oversocialized type. But compassion and moral principle cannot be the main motives for leftist activism. Hostility is too prominent a component of leftist behavior; so is the drive for power. ...

22. If our society had no social problems at all, the leftists would have to INVENT problems in order to provide themselves with an excuse for making a fuss.
This was brilliant. Leftists are commonly oversocialized, and have an inferiority complex.

Sometimes I think that the main purpose of the public schools is oversocialization, not education. I have many times discussed ideas for improving school education, but if the idea detracts from oversocialization, then people are against it. They was everyone to be trained to behave like everyone else, whether for better or worse.

Global warming is a good example of a problem invented by leftists to provide an excuse for making a fuss. Yes, there is some possibility that some people might have to move away from the beach in a century, but the benefits could easily outweigh the harms. Leftists love global warming because it excuses leftist policymaking on a broad range of issues.

The above argument can explain why leftists hate Donald J. Trump so much, and like Barack Obama. They can never say what they like about some Obama policy, or what they dislike about some Trump policy. Leftists are just socialized to reinforce certain hatreds. Obama makes them feel good about their hatreds, and Trump makes them feel like losers.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ethics professors kill kidney patients

You might think that modern over-educated scholars would have superior views of ethics than medieval Bible-reading monks, but it is not the case. The wackiest opinions come from medical ethicists and university philosophers.

The Si Valley newspaper reports:
Five years later, a growing number of patients like Rubinstein are using the site to find living donors. Johns Hopkins Hospital is piloting an app to make it easier for people who need transplants to craft a Facebook post. And an ethical debate rages on in the medical community.

Some medical ethicists fear the use of social media creates a separate organ donation system in which the cutest kid or most computer literate person receives a transplant, allowing them to bypass long waits for organs from the deceased.

"There's potential discrimination and unfairness. The more tech-savvy you are the more likely you are able to make this work," said Dr. Robert Veatch, a medical ethics professor at Georgetown University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics. "Closely related to that, the effect is likely to increase the transfer of organs to people who are attractive recipients."

In the United States, 122,543 people are waiting for an organ transplant and an average of 22 people die every day because they don't receive one in time, according to October data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
Apparently the ethics professors would rather let 22 people a day die, than allow people to donate kidneys to attractive recipients, or sell them to less attractive people.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Closet eugenicist attacks a sperm bank

I just listened to a rebroadcast of this podcast, including David Plotz saying this:
My father, who was suddenly burst out with anger that it was the kind of project that Hitler would do trying to create super children. [at 30:05] ...

I remembered my father's rage, and I decided to dig into this sperm bank.
For background, you can read his Slate article or his book.

For Jews like the Plotzes, getting angry and making a comparison to Hitler is about as bad as it gets. Plotz's wife, Hanna Rosin, was born in Israel, and is best known for writing an essay on "the end of men".

I am wondering what the Plotzes were so agitated about. The sperm bank in question was just like all the other sperm banks today, and they are not particularly controversial. The story involved a couple that wanted a child, and they used a sperm donor because the husband was infertile.

There are sperm banks in Israel, so the concept is acceptable to most Jews. But somehow Jewish leftists hate the idea of non-Jews having some choice about using a sperm bank.

Looking for an explanation on the web, I find this:
Glad's controversial thesis: since the 1960s, a prominent group of Jewish public intellectuals has been systematically and unscrupulously campaigning to discredit eugenics — but, in a great paradox, other Jewish intellectuals, and Zionists, have been actively interested in eugenic principles, both historically and currently, to secure the posterity — health and wellbeing — of Jews. Collectively, it amounts to a case of Do As I Say — Not As I Do.
Jews have a long history of supporting eugenics among Jews, according to this and this, and opposing it for non-Jews.

This would suggest that Plotz is some sort of closet eugenicist. Is there a better explanation?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Women celebrate getting drugged again

SciAm reports:
Addyi, the first prescription medication approved to boost female libido, hits the market today. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved marketing the drug to premenopausal women whose low libido doesn’t stem from a medical or psychiatric condition, medication or other substances, but from a lack of desire characterized as hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or HSDD.

The so-called “female Viagra” — something of a misnomer because Addyi does not affect arousal as Viagra does but rather increases libido — was mired in controversy prior to its approval, in large part because clinical studies did not show dramatic improvements in sexual desire and used measures that many experts criticized as inadequate. Despite such concerns, Addyi’s drugmaker, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, was purchased by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International for $1 billion once the drug received approval.

With about 10 percent of women suffering from HSDD, Valeant projects a healthy market for this once-a-day pill, and that does not include a large group of women who are likely to be prescribed the drug for another kind of desire problem: the low libido that is a common side effect of antidepressants.

Although Addyi has not been approved by the FDA for antidepressant-induced libido problems, once a drug hits the market, doctors can prescribe it off-label for other uses other than its approved indication. Nearly one in five women in the U.S. takes an antidepressant, and as many as 70 percent report dampened sexual desire as a result.
A study shows that Viagra increases female arousal and satisfaction, but apparently that is not what women want.

20% of US women are hooked on antidepressant pills?! I had heard that before, but did not believe it. That is huge. Presumably millions of other women are just as crazy but refuse to take pills.

I have noticed that ads directed at women often tell them to take whatever pills their doctor recommends. In private conversation also, women commonly say that they take whatever drugs their doctor says to take, as if they were not even allowed to have an opinion on the matter. So I guess they take antidepressants just because they are told, and soon they may be taking libido boosters also, even with all the side effects. Strange.

Here is an example of an NPR news story assuming that women like to do what they are told:
But what was surprising, she says, was that, after discussing family history and personal health, her doctor determined that because Nichols was not at high risk for getting breast cancer, it was probably too soon to get that first scan. ...

Nichols says she felt comfortable with that decision, "knowing that my risk for breast cancer was low compared to the risk of having to have more invasive procedures such as biopsies or lumpectomies."

She's right about the statistics. Researchers say that, across a 10-year period of getting annual mammograms, women overall have a 50-50 chance of being called back at least once for further testing that turns up nothing cancerous.
She has the choice of whether to do that scan, and then whether to have that more invasive procedure. Her physician is probably just following standard guidelines that anyone can read on the web. If not, his advice is probably worse. Apparently women want to do what they are told.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Teaching kids to be better liars

Ars Technica reports:
An unexpected side-effect of a selfless kid? They may become better liars
Helping kids develop a theory of mind may have some unsettling outcomes.

Theory of mind is the ability to understand that other people have beliefs, feelings, and experiences different from your own. According to a new study published in Psychological Science, children who are trained to consider these concepts gain the ability to partake in the complex thinking required to lie to another for personal gain.
Yes, of course teaching theory of mind is almost the same as teaching lying. I don't know why the article says "unexpected". What else would anyone expect?

The people with the best understanding of others' minds are the psychopaths who use that to manipulate others.

Perhaps people think that empathy is good, so teaching kids empathy will make them better. But there is plenty of evidence that empathy is bad, and leads to bad behavior.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Caplan says parenting is worthless

Libertarian economist Bryan Caplan writes:
If you're afraid of every group, though, shouldn't you support whatever group has the minimum chance of doing terrible things once it's firmly in charge? Not at all. There's another path: Try to prevent any group from being firmly in charge. In the long-run, the best way to do this is to make every group a small minority - to split society into such small pieces that everyone abandons hope of running society and refocuses their energy on building beautiful Bubbles. As Voltaire once put it:
If one religion only were allowed in England, the Government would very possibly become arbitrary; if there were but two, the people would cut one another's throats; but as there are such a multitude, they all live happy and in peace.
The argument is that it is to the advantage of Jews to be constantly undermining the majorities in white Christian Western countries, so that Jews can do well as privileged minorities. For most of history, Christian countries have allowed Jews to prosper as semi-autonomous groups.

For this reason, Caplan and other Jews favor open immigration of non-whites and non-Christians into Western countries.

Except for Israel, of course, where Jews maintain majority control by only allowing Jews to immigrate, and by isolating the occupied territories.

This strategy has worked well for Jews in the past, but I doubt that they will be helped by Europe and the USA taking Islamic immigrants of the sort that Israel would never accept.
Despite my lovely experiences with Mormons, they scare me.

To be fair, they're hardly alone. You know who else scares me? Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, and atheists. Sunnis, Shiites, Catholics, and Protestants. Whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and American Indians. Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, Marxists, and reactionaries. Even libertarians scare me a bit. Why? Because given enough power, there's a serious chance they'll do terrible things. Different terrible things, no doubt. But terrible nonetheless.
This is really some twisted thinking. If Jews really scared him, he would be working against that Jewish majority in Israel.

Maybe Jews see all gentiles as the same, but it is crazy to lump all those groups together. Mormons do not go around becoming suicide bombers. Jews are doing very well in Christendom today, while they are persecuted in the Moslem world.

Caplan is also promoting his book, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, as in this podcast.

He points to research trying to compare parenting strategies, and how there is hardly any evidence that any parenting practices have any long-term advantages over any others. Eg, reading to your kids is often held out as the best thing a parent can do, but it is probably worthless.

He says that today's helicopter parents invest more time and money in their kids than previous generations, and that some have fewer kids because they require too much attention. His advice is to go ahead and have the kids, because all that attention is wasted anyway.

There is a lot of merit to this argument, altho I am doubtful about whom he might convince. It is nearly impossible to convince parents that what they are doing is worthless, or that they should follow scientific research instead of their peer group. Maybe his libertarian rationalist colleagues sometimes accept these arguments.

As I write this, a radio ad say:
You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.
It is a public service ad promoting foster care. The foster care agencies are very picky about who can be a parent, and apply prejudices with no evidentiary merit. Social service programs are always trying to justify what they do, because they could get billions in more funding if they could ever prove that they are actually improving kids somehow.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Poor defense of 2008-2009 bailouts

A WSJ op-ed claims:
The publicity surrounding former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s memoir prompts a look-back at the stunning array of policy responses promulgated by the Fed, Congress and two administrations to avert catastrophe during the financial crisis in 2008-09. This is important because many of these initiatives haven’t aged well in the eyes of politicians and the public.

TARP, fiscal stimulus, quantitative easing and auto bailout remain dirty words to many people who increasingly blame them for prolonging the Great Recession and the slow pace of recovery. But in a study released Thursday for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, we found the reverse to be true: These extraordinary policies ended the crisis and jump-started an economic recovery that is stronger in the U.S. than in most countries.

Specifically, we estimate that:
• The peak-to-trough decline in real gross domestic product, which was barely more than 4%, would have been close to a stunning 14%.
• The contraction would have lasted three years, more than twice as long as it did. ...
No, I do not believe this. There are more details, and I have not studied them.

They assume that General Motors and Chrysler would have disappeared without the bailouts. But that is doubtful. Also the govt could have taken less drastic measures, such as guaranteeing loans to car buyers, or not bailing out the unions.

A comparison should be made to the tech crisis of 2000. By some measures, such as lost capital, that was as big a crisis as the 2008 financial crisis. It was a bigger crisis here in Silicon Valley. And yet no one was bailed out.

The severity of the 2008 crisis is constantly exaggerated. The biggest losers were people who bought houses at the peak of the boom with money they did not have, by lying on their loan forms, and by banks and others who seemed to be acting with criminal negligence. Some speculators also lost money. Long-term homeowners were not significantly affected.

The op-ed continues:
The Federal Reserve has also come under attack for its unprecedented actions, especially its quantitative easing or bond-buying programs. Yet QE lowered long-term interest rates and boosted stock and housing prices — all to the economy’s benefit. Yes, QE has possible negative side-effects, but for the most part they have yet to materialize.
No, saying that boosting housing prices benefits the economy is like saying that boosting oil prices benefits the economy. Sure, it benefits those in the housing or oil businesses. But most people are better off when goods are cheaper, not more expensive.

To me, this just reveals what a warped view these financial experts have. They are full of opinions about what is good for the economy, but it is from a banker's point of view. They think that it is great to spend trillions on the banking system to prop it up. I think that in a few years, we will not even need the banking system as we know it today.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dentist lion hunt was legal

Remember all the jerks on TV and the net ostracizing a dentist? Now the NY Times reports:
Just this summer, Zimbabwe was pressing to extradite an American dentist involved in the hunt that killed a lion known as Cecil, with the environment minister denouncing him as a “foreign poacher” who had absconded home.

On Monday, it changed course, saying not only that the dentist would not be charged but that he was welcome to return. “He is free to come, not for hunting, but as a tourist,” Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri said of the dentist, Dr. Walter J. Palmer of Minnesota.

The killing of the 13-year-old lion in July outside Hwange National Park in northwestern Zimbabwe set off a fierce outcry among animal rights advocates. Dr. Palmer, 55, an experienced big-game hunter, became the target of furious attacks on social media sites and closed his dental practice for more than a month.

But Zimbabwe said Monday that his documentation for the hunt had been proper, as he had said.
This was predictable. There is something sick about the people who made a big deal out of this.

NPR Radio news reports:
A Race To The Far Right In Hungarian Politics ...

Meanwhile, the prime minister's right-wing party, Fidesz, has surged in the polls.

Hungary's crackdown on migrants has been a boon to the government's popularity. It's co-opting messages from the far-right Jobbik party — and winning. By moving to the right, it seems to be putting the far-right fringe out of business.

When Jobbik organized an anti-immigrant rally last week in Szentgotthárd, a rural factory town near the Austrian border, only about 20 people showed up. Guarded by police, they waved anti-European Union placards and Jobbik flags.

One sign read, "Why have a fence if the gates on it are open?" — in reference to how some migrants are still allowed to pass through openings in Hungary's border fences.
This is leftist anti-white-Christian propaganda as usual.

When Hungary starts putting limits on the invading Moslem migrants, the Left claims that it is stealing a "far-right" idea from some party that had 20 people in a rally.

Refusing migrants is a centrist position. Angela Merkel is the radical, as she has no kids and is selling out the future of Germany.

Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded to 3 Scientists for Parasite-Fighting Therapies. No help for Hungary.

What kind of newspaper would say this?
The column relied on the repeatedly disproven premise that race is a biological category. The Herald regrets the publication of the column. We apologize to our readers for the factual errors and offensive claims made in it and for the shortcomings of our editorial process. In an effort to be transparent about our mistake, we are leaving the column online. We initially made the decision to publish the column, as we generally edit opinions columns for style and clarity alone, giving our columnists great leeway in making their argument as part of our commitment to freedom of expression. We regret that decision and believe it’s clear that this column crossed the line from an opinion we merely disagree with to one that has no place in our paper.
An Ivy League college newspaper.

Speaking of race, there is new evidence that many Africans have some European blood. Of course the scientists who write papers on this subject all accept that race is a biological category.

Some people blame autistic peoplefor gun violence. Weird. Autistic people are among the most peaceful and law-abiding in our society.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Deep corruption of academic psychology

The whole academic subject of social psychology has been recently revealed to be plagued by unreplicated and irreproducible results, fraudulent research, and extreme left-wing bias.

In related fields, the most famous result in decision theory is wrong, and another hyped gay gene theory is bogus. And I am just criticizing the research of reputable scholars that is published in the most prestigious journals. Of course the lower level stuff is junk.

According to Wikipedia, the most influential post-WWII book was The Authoritarian Personality, published in 1950 by a left-wing Jewish organization whose mission is to advocate for Jewish ethnic interests.

Based on the summary there, the book is a wacky mixture of Freudianism, homophobia, Jewish paranoia, leftist dogmatism, and anti-family propaganda. Most of all, it was an attempt by Jews to pathologize non-Jews.

The authors hated the Nazis, and I can understand that, but they keep trying to associate right-wingers with Nazis and authoritarians. The Nazis were socialists, not right-wingers. Leftists are much more authoritarian than right-wingers.

The book has no scientific merit. The authors were even opposed to the idea of empirically testing the claims of the book. And yet it was the leading book in the field.

The book's thesis about right-wing authoritarianism continues to be used by Jews and other anti-Christian academics to promote claims that right-wingers are evil in various ways. Because of the definitions used, Jews are claimed to be the least authoritarian of major religious groups.

But Jews are actually much more authoritarian than other religious groups. I used to think that the Catholics were the most authoritarian, but they are much less authoritarian than Jews, Moslems, and even many Protestants. But Catholic authority is mainly over who can perform the sacraments, and what can be represented as official doctrine. Judaism teaches obedience to institutional authority. Rabbis pass judgment on disputes that Catholic priests would never consider.

If you look at authoritarian movements, from Marxism to the modern Democrat Party, you will find Jews supporting and leading them.

Another major point of the book, and of its Jewish sponsors, was to create racial animosity by making various bogus accusations of racism. And another point was to attack the autonomy of the nuclear family.

The book's thesis about right-wing authoritarianism continues to be used by Jews and other anti-Christian academics to promote claims that right-wingers are evil in various ways. Because of the definitions used, Jews are claimed to be the least authoritarian of major religious groups.

But Jews are actually much more authoritarian than other religious groups. I used to think that the Catholics were the most authoritarian, but they are much less authoritarian than Jews, Moslems, and even many Protestants. Catholic authority is mainly over who can perform the sacraments, and what can be represented as official doctrine. Judaism teaches obedience to institutional authority. Rabbis pass judgment on disputes that Catholic priests would never consider.

If you look at authoritarian movements, from Marxism to the modern Democrat Party, you will find Jews supporting and leading them.

I am not trying to criticize Jews here. If some Jewish organizations want to promote Jews by attacking other ethnic groups, they could be said to be just acting in their own interests. They are no more offensive than Japanese or white nationalist organizations. My quarrel here is with university social science departments that have adopted all this cultural Marxist hate speech, to the exclusion of more scientific and less left-wing views. These academic disciplines have been rotten for decades.

Update: Here is more explanation of gay gene statistical errors.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Players have hot hands after all

Economist Steve Landsburg writes:
Thomas Gilovich, Robert Vallone and Amos Tversky (I’ll call them G, V and T) made quite a splash back in 1985, with a claimed debunking of the hot hand “myth”. According to the authors, a player who has just made his foul shot is thereby rendered neither more nor less likely to make the next one.

Now a new paper by Joshua Miller and Adam Sanjurjo (call them M and S) claims that G, V and T drew the wrong conclusions
Statistician Andrew Gelman explains, and so does a WSJ article.

Landsburg compares the issue to this Google interview question:
In a country in which people only want boys every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?
The answer is that each birth has a 50% probability of a boy regardless of previous births, parental intent, or anything else. (Technically it is closer to 51%, but this puzzle assumes 50%.) So the country will have about the same number of boys and girls.

Landsburg points out that if the country only has 5 families, and if they are allowed to complete their plans, and if you assume a peculiar weighting of the boys and girls when computing averages, then you can get a different number. In particular, if kids from larger families are weighted less, then you will expect fewer girls because larger families are mostly girls. You can read his posts for details. He seems to feel very strongly that there is some merit to this set of strange assumptions.

Your first reaction to this will be to wonder why anyone would interpret the puzzle to use such a stupid weighting. The intent of the puzzle seems to be whether some country like China could have an excess of boys because of how parents decide to stop having kids. The answer is no.

It appears that the 1985 hot hand analysis did indeed use such a stupid weighting to claim to prove that there was no such thing as a hot hand. This was widely acclaimed as a great work, and it is written up in textbooks. It helped one of the authors get one of those fancy Sweden prizes. One of the biggest selling science works of the last 5 years, if not the biggest, is a long story by Kahneman about how this is an example of a human cognitive bias, where we think that we see hot hands and the math proves that we don't.

For 30 years no one noticed that the analysis was wrong because of the crazy way it weighted the data. Other studies show that basketball players do have hot hands.

I have criticized Kahneman's book several times on this blog, on other grounds. A lot of these decision theory arguments about cognitive bias seem dubious to me. The whole field must have very poor standards that such a simple error lasted so long without anyone noticing.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Accepting robot orders

Today's Argyle Sweater.

Dilbert was also funny.

I do now think that most of our population will welcome our new robot overlords. I have seen people happily take medical orders, even when the evidence, diagnosis, and reasoning was dubious. I think that they would gladly take pills if they were assured that they were recommended by an objective algorithm running on some fancy computers.

Roissy goes MGTOW

The blog that was previous run by a mysterious man under the name Roissy, and later with even more mysterious authors under the names Citizen Renegade and Chateau Heartiste, has now endorsed MGTOW:
Disengaging from Facebook is a specific instance of a wider disengagement from America, which every truth-loving dissident should be doing now. Disengage from your country which has abandoned you, except to do those things that are necessary to maintain poolside time and then only with the barest minimum of interaction required by the system. I suggest everyone do this, because America is lost and she ain’t ever gonna be found again. Not in the incarnation of her glorious past. Say your final goodbyes to America as she was, and NEXT her. You’ll discover that this break-up is very liberating. You’ll have the freedom to game a new America who truly loves you and pledges her loyalty to you.
MGTOW means men going their own way. The blog endorsed Donald Trump several months ago.

The blog is probably the best of the red pill blogs. It has a coherent view of the world that is strikingly different from what you find in respectable sources. I do not know who is behind it, and it is so politically incorrect that the authors probably have to stay anonymous. Whoever they are, it has brilliant insights. The material could fill a couple of books, and be better than any similar book on the market.

There are lots of more offensive blogs. For example, I recently discovered Daily Stormer, and it has a lot of offensive political content. Chateau Heartiste is not like that at all. CH is more about explaining male-female differences, and how it is human nature to prefer beauty over ugliness. And it is all from a man's point of view. I think that the NY Times is more offensive, myself.

Update: See the video The Case for Patriarchy for a partial explanation of why more and more men are disengaging from society.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Economic arguments for nepotism

The latest Freakonomics book, Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain , starts by saying:
Is it a good idea to pass along a family business to the next generation?

Sure, if your goal is to kill off the business -- for the data show it's general better to bring in an outside manager.
The book does not explain, but apparently that is based on the authors podcast and transcript:
So why, instead of tapping that big talent pool, do you want to draw from your tiny little gene pool instead? The economists who study family firms say that you destroy value when you hand off the business to your blood relative.
But the podcast explains that the American data shows that the firms do fine unless the rich kid is so dumb that he only got admitted to a third-rate college.

Furthermore, it seems to me that there is a huge gap in the economic analysis. They ask whether the son outperforms when the business is handed to him from his father. A better question is whether the father outperfoms when he anticipates handing the business to his son.

The Freaks are arguing that it is bad policy for businesses to be handed father to son. Maybe so, but it seems to me that to prove that, you need to show that neither the father nor the son outperform.

My guess is that it is the fathers who would outperform, if they believe that they are building businesses for their sons to take over. I cannot understand why the economists would ignore this point.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

The Martian is for space buffs

I enjoyed the movie about Apollo 13, but was disappointed that many scientific and technological matters were complete unexplained, such as the cause of the failure that is the whole basis of the movie.

Then I read reviews complaining that the movie did not spend more time dwelling on the feelings of the astronauts' wives back home.

There are millions of wives who have waited while their husbands went to war or other dangerous activities. We do not need rockets to tell that story.

The new movie The Martian is partially inspired by the parts of Apollo 13 that show solving provlems. It skips the shots of anguished family back home. This is a movie about astronauts being astronauts, mission control engineers being engineers, and NASA being NASA. Sure, it is fiction, and has some over-dramatized events and sentimentality. But this is a movie for people who dream of a NASA trip to Mars.

I haven't seen any reviews yet, and I am guessing that some will complain it lacking character development, or other complaints about the plot being more about space travel than human relationships. I bet that the movie does well. There are plenty of other movies about human relationships.

Friday, October 02, 2015

A patriarchy can value women

The book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is impressive in its scope. It makes many sweeping statements like:
At least since the Agricultural Revolution, most human societies have been patriarchal societies that valued men more highly than women.
Patriarchal, yes. Devalue women, no.

A patriarchy means a society structured around men, but implies nothing about how women are valued. For example, a patriarchy will use men to fight and die in its war, but maybe they are sheltering the women because they are valued more highly.

It is sometimes argued that women are valued less in India and China, but Christian countries value women as much as men.

Here is a rebuttal to a similar claim in another popular book:
Harvard professor Steven Pinker is a superstar scholar and a champion of science and truth-seeking. His book, The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined, is an international best-seller. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, who each are probably more influential world-wide than any politician, lauded Pinker’s book.[1] Pinker’s book explains that prior to the eighteenth century, or perhaps prior to the past few decades, women had no rights, men held women as property, and men could rape and beat women with impunity. But much more work remains for men to do to protect women:
At the top, a consensus has formed within the international {elite} community that violence against women is the most pressing human rights problem remaining in the world. ...

it was also during that era, the age of Enlightenment {18th century}, that women’s rights began to be acknowledged, pretty much for the first time in history.
... High-quality data freely available online makes clear that, in the U.S., four times more men than women die from violence. Much higher levels of violence in medieval Europe were even more disproportionately directed against men. Loss of men’s lives through suicides, workplace fatalities, and battlefield casualties vastly outnumber the corresponding loss of women’s lives. These gender inequalities in lives lost attract remarkably little public attention even in our time of intense concern about gender equality. Evolutionary psychologists might explain that, because of sex differences in reproductive potential, men’s lives are socially less valued than women’s lives. But Steven Pinker and most elite thinkers declare that women’s lives have been socially devalued throughout most of history. To ordinary persons not thoroughly indoctrinated, that elite view is obviously, egregiously false.
Pinker is way off base here. See for example Women in ancient Rome, where it is explained that women had all sorts of right, such as owning land and businesses. And no, husbands could not beat their wives with impunity. See also Women in Ancient Egypt, where women were also highly valued and had many rights.

The Israeli Sapiens author goes on to present gender role theories based on men being stronger, more aggressive, and more competitive. [p.152-159] But he rejects all these, and says that maybe men have "superior social skills and a greater tendency to cooperate." A combination of all of these is the obvious conclusion.

If you think that it is odd to say that men have better social skills, just look at Bill and Hillary Clinton. Bill knows 100s of people that he can make deals with, if not 1000s. But it is hard to imagine Hillary cooperating with a large number of people.

The Sapiens book is filled with opinions about how no one is better than anyone else, no religion is better, history is a bunch of chance events, cultures are just lucky and not better, and even the invention of agriculture was not really progress. I guess he has to say stuff like that to get a broad audience. From a book review:
Nine Key Takeaways are discussed in this summary. Here are a couple to whet your appetite:

#3 - "Laws, corporations, money and religion are collective myths, or inter-subjective beliefs that collapse unless believed but enable strangers to cooperate and live in peace. The same forces that created the economy and social safety nets also support racism, class division and sexism."

#9 - "Humans are rapidly approaching an era in where they can significantly augment themselves with technology, apply intelligent design to their environment, create inorganic life forms, and possibly achieve a-mortality."
The back cover brags that you will be amazed at his logical leaps.