Assorted links

by on August 5, 2008 at 1:18 pm in Web/Tech | Permalink

1. Arnold Kling on Shiller’s new book.

2. What music shows about your teen; in my view you want your kid to like indie rock.

3. Do socially dominant males stay in the gene pool?  Maybe not.

4. How to test new search engines.

5. Go for it!: the Google test for any human choice.

Steve Sailer August 5, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Greg Clark noted that 26% of male English aristocrats during the era of Shakespeare’s history plays died violently. So, dominance is a high reward but high risk strategy.

On the other hand, one shouldn’t focus exclusively on the male line, which can come to an abrupt end. The daughters and granddaughters of dominant males will often marry upstart dominant males — e.g., Joe Kennedy Sr.’s granddaughter Maria Shriver has four children by Arnold Schwarzenegger — so the genes in general carry on.

jsalvati August 5, 2008 at 2:34 pm

This sounds like they just made up stuff. If I were going to rely on this study at all, I would pay very close attention to their methodology. If there are any subjective evaluations not done by the teens themselves, the study is useless.

Noah August 5, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Regarding the music one: First of all, another study proving the obvious. Secondly, you could say those results apply to the artist of the song, not just the listener. And how do the researchers factor in ubiquitous marketing of certain types of music?

Axis August 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm

I wonder what the study determined about Indie rock? Maybe that the kids were pretentious, arrogant and judgmental. Even though given the other choices, I’d still happily select it.

Noah Yetter August 5, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Why would you want your kid to like indie rock? Most indie rock is AWFUL. That’s why it’s indie! Much better to hope they discover The Beatles.

Also:
“…those who attended dance parties were much more likely than their peers to be taking drugs.”

I don’t think we needed a Serious Study to tell us that!

J. August 5, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Indie rock listeners have a higher than average chance of being annoying and listening to lousy music.

Steve Sailer August 5, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Indie rock is for white kids with 3 digit IQs.

KROQ in LA, the indie rock superstation, plays exactly the same kinds of guitar rock today as in 1982. All that’s changed is that their acceptable styles have gotten narrower: no more bands with girl singers, no more synthesizer dance music, and no more fun songs.

JH August 5, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Notably absent from the list of music that teens hear: country. I wonder what “country” says. In my experience, listening to country as a teenager means that you argue a lot on the bus about why country is better than rock and rap.

But if I had teens in this day and age, I’d love for them to get into folk.

Jared August 6, 2008 at 3:02 am

I just tried the “I should/shouldn’t have kissed her.” Got about 3.6 million for “shouldn’t” and 9 million for should. Still on the should side, but the relative price is not as severe as suggested.

Aric August 6, 2008 at 9:03 am

Jared: The searches were with quotes. Try searching for “I should have kissed her” with the quotes – that way, it only finds pages with that exact phrase on them.

d.cous. August 6, 2008 at 1:04 pm

@ Rex Rhino: I don’t wish to be uncivil, but I think that most of the “totally” different” styles you mentioned, and their corresponding subcultures, are a lot more similar than you think. I think you’re talking about subdivisions within a subculture, but the aggregation in this case probably obscures very little. I do think that if the psychologists wish to glean any useful information on the questionnaire they will need to be more specific, but I think that the dance/techno/electronica/ecstasy crowd could probably be lumped together somewhat safely.

@ vic: That’s pretty funny/interesting, if only because it’s about what you’d expect to find. Not that googling certain phrases is rigorous social science, but as more and more people use the Internet for social interaction and personal expression, does your selection bias diminish?

I’m not sure where they draw the line with different types of musical styles, like with R&B/Jazz, or even “Pop.” Does rock in a major key automatically count as pop? Is it really helpful to put people who listen to Miles Davis in the same category as people who listen to Lionel Ritchie? I really hope that there’s more to the actual methodology than what the write-up is telling us.

James Hanley August 6, 2008 at 10:28 pm

I’m not sure I care what kind of music my kids listen to, but they’re sure as hell going to have a shock when they get old enough to realize that their mom and dad still listen to Fear, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, etc. I noticed the study didn’t consider the effects of punk–since I know at least 2 Ph.D. holders who love punk, I’ll conclude there’s a direct correlation. It sounds as well-founded as this study.

And, by the way, I know I’ll be damn proud the day our daughter sneaks out wearing her mom’s Motorhead shirt.

Jimmy Higgins August 26, 2008 at 10:36 am

On the Google test, vic’s parameters are flawed twice–by the lousy Electric Flag song and by the fact that the verb “to leave” has too many meanings. The phrase in quotes “I should have left her” can be completed with “alone” or “the car keys” or “my entire fortune” or “some space” or…

Try “I should have dumped him [her]” on teh google.

Him: 1200
Her: 448

Hypergyny perhaps, or just a reflection the unsatisfactory character of English-speaking males as mates?

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