Friday assorted links


4: Well, as long as this isn't the usual baseless hype, and the CEO isn't spewing crap about how world-saving his still-in-trials product is.

>>He speculates that Olli could "deliver medicine" ...

Umm... medicine? Surely not only medicine, right? Why would he call attention to that particular item? This is a bad sign. I'm beginning to think he's got seriously false delusions of grandeur about his product.

>>"or roll up en masse in an area where there is an active shooter and block people so they can get out of harm's way."

Jesus God in Heaven.

Whoops, that was 5, and the driverless(*) bus.

*Driver required for at LEAST another year.

[#5. The self-driving bus]

......yup, same old empty media hype about alleged autonomous vehicles.

Note this highly restricted self-driving bus will only operate "in closed network locations such as campuses and airports".

You both are right, there will not be any changes regarding autonomous vehicles coming. Let's all forget it.

As I type this, I cannot access Vimeo, Reddit, or CNN due to the hacker takedown. Hooray cashless society and trust in networks!

On the positive side ,a painless way to reach Nirvana. HT to the commenter who mentioned Sullivan's article in the comments here.

You know, man, I started that article inclined to agree, and quit halfway through with a shrug.

I enjoy hiking, flying airplanes, and putting my fleshy parts inside other people's fleshy parts. I also enjoy my smartphone.

Andrew's addiction seems like a personal problem.

Like a lot of his stuff I thought it was TMI. I quit reading it at about halfway myself.

Twitter is down in southern California, which really cuts into my "news" addiction. (i am told that this election was not news, just gossip. That is possibly a fair assessment, from gossip about emails to gossip about grabs.)

Who would attack sites that function as alternative news media?!?!?!

Yet the idea that males and females show evolutionary/genetic differences in behavior is also anathema in liberal academia, and for the same reason that population differences are anathema.

It is nothing of the kind. It's just that your research needs to support the proposition that women should have options, and men should have obligations, or to be framed in such a way that it is congruent with the notion that the masculine is pathological, or to demonstrate that some supposed advantage the male of the species is commonly thought to have is a 'myth'.

Indeed. In my FB feed two days ago was a story purporting the "myth of the alpha male."

How could the alpha male idea be a myth? After all, it has been well established that humans are canines, right?

Just asinine.

Canines which, it should be noted, do not actually exhibit the alpha/beta hierarchy as popularly understood in the wild anyway.

Ah, so we have a term derived from researching wolf packs, which was then transferred to describe human individuals in a different social grouping context, which was then later determined to be inaccurate when describing wolf pack hierarchies.

Well, of course then the term must be accurate when describing something completely different. After all, just because phrenology was determined to be laughably useless, no reason not to apply using a craniometer to measure something else, and say that the measurement is accurate to .01 inches, for example.

7. I see that 45% of Republicans are preparing themselves to not accept the election results, which really means that they know which way the wind is blowing.

I think it will ultimately be quiet acceptance though.

Hillary said electing Trump is unacceptable, because she hates our precious, fragile democracy that is apt to be knocked down by political bloviating.

Interesting to watch how the two sides look at this election. Trump people are cautiously optimistic. Clinton people invest all their time trying to convince themselves it is over. It seems to fit with the respective outlooks. Trump people think the world is heading for trouble, but hope for the best. Clinton people believe repeating the same thing over and over makes it come true.

Liberals trust 538, and at 538 Trump has never, ever, been the odds-on favorite. It has all been about the comfort level of the Clinton lead.

Today that lead translates to an 86.5% chance of victory, which is really pretty high.

As ProjectVeritas demonstrated, Hillary campaign workers are willing to commit crimes to ensure Hillary wins. Republicans should not vote absentee, lest some Hillary Hero throws away their votes for 'fascism'.

Its interesting that TC feared Trump becoming a classic "strongman" and now the evidence turns out HC and the Libs are the real goons. Of course TC has to stay silent to maintain his social status.

So I guess you'd be the 7%

Can we view the raw footage yet?

Early vote margins not looking good for Trump.

Those are the votes easiest to steal.


John Podesta: "illegals can vote in 10 states with just a driver's license". #podestaemails, bury you head.

Yawn. I suppose Obama stole both of his too, as did Bill Clinton.

No but Bush definitely stole one.

Actually IMO Bush didn't steal one either. Nader gave it to him.

Kennedy allegedly stole his. The dead of Cook County rose and voted Democrat.

There is no way the Democrats would be so opposed to voter ID laws if they did not know they benefited from the fraud.

Voter ID requirements by their nature reduce both real and fraudulent voting at different rates. Democrats are concerned with the real voting reduction. For Republicans that is a feature.

But then surely you know this.

"No but Bush definitely stole one"

I have been reliably informed that failure to accept results of an election is the Worst Thing in the World!

So please retract this Mortal Danger to Democracy comment. Thank you for your coperation.

The 1960 election was razor thin, Clinton won't need to steal anything (although if she did I'm pretty sure she's at least look into it)

Democrats are concerned with the real voting reduction. For Republicans that is a feature.

Yeah, you're really inconvenienced by pulling your driver's license out at the polls or sending a photocopy of it with your absentee ballot.

"Among young adults, the declines are smaller but still significant—16.4 percent fewer 20-to-24-year-olds had licenses in 2014 than in 1983, 11 percent fewer 25-to-29-year-olds, 10.3 percent fewer 30-to-34-year-olds, and 7.4 percent fewer 35-to-39-year-olds. For people between 40 and 54, the declines were small, less than 5 percent."

Tens of millions of voters do not have a driver's license.

Tens of millions of voters do not have a driver’s license.

So what? 82% of the population over the age of 16 has a driver's license. Aside from that, you have school IDs, work IDs, and alternative identity documents readily obtainable from state governments. Your whole argument is that we cannot have ballot security because it would inconvenience people who seem to live completely outside of ordinary social networks and institutions. I just recently had to get a replacement ATM card. What does she ask for? My driver's license. You think people might have a more acute need for a bank account than they do to shlep to a polling place once a year?

Big Sister is watching.

When they're not shit-canning GI absentee ballots, the mail-in and early votes are overwhelmingly fraudulent: students voting at college and at home; ineligible mail-in illegals; frauds; dead people; et al.

The more Obama, et al deny massive election theft, the more you know vote fraud is real.

Here is the death knell of the system. There is no justice in the Justice Department. It criminally conspired (Lynch - Slick Willie airport tarmac deal - how much $$$?) with the Clinton Crime Foundation, the corrupt FBI, the imperial White House, and who knows how many other criminal/government enterprises to criminally refuse to enforce the law by not indicting Secretary Clinton. You see the rule of law subverted. You no longer live under a constitutional republic. You no longer live in a free country.

Regardless of all the above flak and November 8, corrupt and incompetent sociopath Hillary will never be president for tens of millions of irredeemable and deplorable Americans.

2. I can accept easily that gender differences exist, and even original, isolated, population differences, but I can see a reason that funding might be hard to come by.

Most research funding is medical. The NIH, the largest funding organization in US science wants to cure shit. Abstract differences between sexes or archaic groups are a poor way to do that. Instead you go straight to women with breast cancer, etc.

You have outed yourself as a misogynist and racist in the eyes of social science.

Have a nice day.

The thing that makes #2 uncomfortable is that while it is not at careful reading misogynist or racist, it contains many of the things misogynists or racists would pull from contex the way they do.

And that might cast some suspicion on those who do look for "differences" which do not have direct health or other benefits.

It's not like you are curing cancer.

Are you curing the gender wage gap? Are you curing prima facie discrimination based on 'disparate impact'?

You are trying to sidestep, but you've already outed yourself. Your spidey sense is tingling. I get it. So is mine. Touchy subject.

The piece doesn't discuss funding at all, as best as I can tell. But to the extent that's a place where this taboo manifests, the medical focus of federal grantmaking is a red herring, because that affects sociology as a discipline writ large. The relevant place to look for whether funding enforces the taboo would be to see how the money that does find its way into sociology departments ends up being distributed.

In the big picture, sociology is basically unfunded.

Impossible to underfunded a discipline which provides negative value.

He said "un" not "under"

#2 Anthropologists agree that they don't do science - so why would we care about their views when they expressly reject the idea that falsified beliefs (e.g. men = women) should be reconsidered?

Well cultural anthropologists don't purport to be scientists, do they? Physical anthropologists, I'd assume so.

I believe Derek Freeman spoke of anthropology properly conducted and informed as a scientific endeavour, in the broad sense as an endeavour of discovery and an endeavour wherein one seeks to verify propositions through observation. The terms 'science' and 'scientific' appear in his last book on Mead's work. IIRC, cultural anthropologists ca. 1983 were dubious about some of Freeman's work up to that time because Freeman was open to considering biological influences on human behavior.

Nicholas Wade is somehow a good source for the demarcation of science? Svante Paabo would disagree, as would most population geneticists. The good in cultural anthropology is found in its rich descriptions of gender's constitution. If anything, cultural anthropologist flesh out what differences in gender are, its just that there is a focus on cultural mechanisms rather than biological ones. Have you read ethnography before? It may change your mind.

My own take is that the separation of human subgroups has been so recent that there hasn’t been a lot of time for extensive genetic differences to evolve, though clearly there’s been time for marked physical differences to evolve.

It's not just a function of time, though, is it? It's also a function of how intense the different selective pressures faced by the subgroups are, no? Take that nasty little bug, plasmodium falciparum, for example, and its effect on the genetic endowment of peoples native to its habitable range.

Yes that seemed a rather odd comment. Physical differences are genetic differences, right?

Of course - we, just because a population has a larger amount of protein available has no effect on something genetically predetermined like height. Which is why the Japanese are genetically destined, just like any authority on genetics in the 1930s could have told you, to remain a short race.

And the fact that they were a short race? Total coincidence.

Japanese remain 2-3 inches shorter than the British on average.

Is your point that you don't believe in genetics, that you want to raise the status of 1930's science, or what? You think differences in skin color between the races are due to environmental factors?

He may have meant to write 'phenotypic' and tapped out 'physical'.

FWIW, biologists and physical anthropologists insist that the other subspecies of homo sapiens have all died out (however they define subspecies). You might think australoid or khoi-san or pygmy populations are eccentric might qualify as subspecies, but they supposedly do not.

An interesting comment on that link argues that if humans were treated the way other species are currently, there would be multiple separate species of humans according to biological taxonomy. First time I've heard that, but if that is the case obviously the entire world would go apeshit if anyone even attempted to make that happen.

Separate species? I thought the main way to differentiate a species was if members cannot interbreed with other species'. Which is obviously not true for homo sapiens.

No, subspecies. All subsets of humanity can breed with each other, so there is only one species.

I wish I'd said that.

I might know what Cliff is referring to. Biologists had identified species, and then cheap genetic sequencing came in, then they discovered that some of their species had the same genetics. I would say that these were not species, but populations, and I think most biologists agree .. but it is taking time for species designation to catch up.

Example: the wolf species that isn't a wolf species

#7. I kind of thought Justin Wolfers was supposed to be smart, but this paper isn't really reinforcing that theory for me.

yes, that eye catching {#7} Washington Post headline is unsupported by the actual text/facts of that article. It's cynically intended to discourage potential Republican voters & motivate Democratic Party voters.

The WashPost is 1,000% committed to defeating Trump and electing Hillary.

Objective journalism is but an occasional distraction from the WashPost political agenda.

#7 Turnout in Colorado is more often driven by the ballot initiatives than other factors. This year's lineup seems more likely to bring out left-leaning voters.

6. Here in Australia I can tap a card against things to pay for stuff, but I never do in order to avoid bank fees. We're well trained by the financial institutions that could benefit massively from a reduction in the use of cash to use cash. The older portion of the population certainly has taken the lesson to heart and so we'll probably be using cash for a very long time, despite having most of the infrastructure required to do without it already in place.

#6 - The cashless society is not a quick-fix to the economy, since money is largely neutral, meaning playing around with the money supply will not give growth, sorry Milt Friedman. The study that shows this among others is Ben S. Bernanke's 2002 FAVAR paper (available online) found monetary policy shocks by the Fed had a very weak effect on real variables (3.2% to 13.2% for 1959 to 2001). You notice how the NYTimes article starts out with the beneficial "cashless society will help prevent tax dodging and crime" before it eases into the 'real' effect, the bogus monetary claim. All that cashless society will do is encourage people to hold hard assets like gold.

And this is clearly wrong: "The U.S. dollar is an unofficial currency in both unstable economies (such as the Philippines) and under-the-table oligarchies (China, Russia)." - I live in the Philippines, deal with poor people, and not once have I even seen a US dollar. When I visited Russia nobody mentioned buying dollars from me, same in China. Only in Cuba did the people clamor for dollars, and actively ask for them.

Since IMO money is neutral, a cashless society will not be a catastrophe (money is neutral), it will simply not work to boost the economy and merely will drive the price of gold higher, which is fine with me since I own gold.

> My own take is that the separation of human subgroups has been so recent that there hasn’t been a lot of time for extensive genetic differences to evolve, though clearly there’s been time for marked physical differences to evolve... But we shouldn’t assert that any trait beyond the most obvious physical differences between groups shows complete equality among them.

Very disappointing to see the author argue for biological sex differences, but ignore the evidence for biological racial differences. I think we can all agree that psychometric differences go well beyond "superficial" physical differences. And yes, the evidence is very firm that significant genetic differences exist between races on the psychometric level. There is absolutely no question that racial sub-groups vary at a population level along nearly every psychometric dimension: intelligence, personality, political orientation, even reaction times.

Furthermore mountains of evidence demonstrate that 100% of the heritability of these traits is genetically mediated. The only reasonable conclusion is that racial groups do, at a population level, significantly differ at a cognitive and psychological level. Which is about the least superficial genetic difference that I can imagine. Furthermore the notion that outward physical appearance evolves any faster than any other part of the phenotype is totally unsupported. If two populations differ in appearance, then chances are that their entire genotypes also differ to the same degree.

Yes, the truth is politically uncomfortable, even unpalatable. Yes, it gives ammunition to some groups with very repugnant ideas. But no, those aren't valid criticisms to deny the science. That's exactly the same argumentation being used to deny the evidence of biological gender differences. If you are willing to bite the bullet on one, but not the other, either you are ignorant of the evidence or a hypocrite.

Don't worry. In a decade or two the Chinese experiments have identified all the smart genes and charted their frequencies across populations. They will tell us what we already know, but in greater detail.

I think the science leads exactly opposite, from crude population averages to individual reality.

If you want to know my genes, don't average my county, sequence me specifically.

On the whole, it helps to do both. If we took you sample and tried to design population agnostic models that predicted traits from variants, we'd tend to get worse models. You aren't just an individual.

I am speaking of where science leads, when we get past predicting traits from variants, and have that figured out. Right now, yes, it is a big data problem.

Yes, but your genes came from somewhere, along a distinctive ancestral line, and traits for that ancestry can be plotted to show a bell curve.


This kind of gets back to the suspicion that people looking for bell curves are looking to prop up racism, rather than to help me specifically with my health or life outcome.

Yes, we know you're a precious snowflake whose health or life outcome should matter to the rest of us. In the real world, your snowflake-ism has consequences. Immigration, education, the life sciences are being hugely distorted by snowflake-ism.

This wouldn't actually come up except as a reaction to the loony dogma that everybody is equal, and therefore differences in intelligence, physicality, criminality must be due to structural racism, class warfare, etc. But since you have to ask WHY do people pay more for certain neighbors and there are more Ashkenazi Ph.D.'s, then the bell curves are going to come out.

Again, if you wanted to be a modern eugenicist you'd do it the modern way, with "snowflake" tests at the immigration gate.

But of course the humane view is completely different, that we are one species, we are all pretty good, though none of us are perfect, and we should just all try to get along.

I mean, how old or experienced of the world do you have to be to know that you didn't pick your parents, and neither did anyone else?

You didn't pick your parents, but your parents picked you, and decided who they wanted you to be when they selected breeding partners and where to live and what sort of cultural inputs they'd give you. In isolation, this is an innocuous event. Extrapolate out enough, and that's what separate countries are for.

Again, this wouldn't have come up but for people looking at university admissions, home sales, criminal convictions, and declaring SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. The science is telling you why nothing should be done.

I am very happy in California, a place not at all about maintaining a uniform regional genome or a static culture. YMMV.

California is highly stratified. That's why San Francisco is hip (and has a bunch of state parks around it to make sure it stays hip) and Oakland is not so hip.

From the text: "it’s clear that human intermixing, facilitated by transportation and increased mobility, will tend to efface all of these differences."

Even if you think historic populations had interesting characteristics, it might be a fair question why an immigrant population, with individuals rarely of pure genetic history, should care.

The average American names at least a few nations of origin. It is not uncommon to name a couple continents.

Some might worry that the "population genetics" effort leads to pigeonholing people back to an assigned race, rather than a recognition of personal genetics.

#7. It is sometimes worth the trouble to try to understand things, even if we imagine they will in the future be seen as ephemeral. Because sometimes the future is wrong about that. Who can credibly state that Karen Carpenter did not deserve those Down Beat best drummer votes as much as Zimmerman deserved those Swedish votes? If this is a simple world, simplicity is complex. Maybe, or maybe not, Trump is the sad Elvis of the 50s - the Grammies went to real musicians - and in the next few cycles we will see new improved more circumspect Elvises.

By the way I have to give total props to Dylan for (so far) refusing to recognizing the big prize they tried to give him - I have never met him but I feel sure he feels a little funny being singled out when there are so many songwriters that he admires who were never singled out .... Refuse the prize Dude!

that there hasn’t been a lot of time for extensive genetic differences to evolve, though clearly there’s been time for marked physical differences to evolve.

No, the mental and behavioral differences are there. You're just not allowed to talk about them.

The popularity and responses to #2 are astounding, to me. This links to a blog post focusing on a sole study with n=23. How are any of the arguments made in this article better than those arguments of straw presented to be critiqued?

Such clumping as "feminists, liberals, sociologists, and cultural anthropologists" tells you this author has an axe to grind. Consider the Minangkabau of Indonesia, some Native American tribes, and other matriarchal societies. The issue of studying gender is measurement. It's hard to define any essential feminine/masculine trait. Not saying impossible - just that gender is so highly politicized and volatile that attempts to study it and reify certain traits are bound to get caught up with what we call gender in the first place. Classic social science problem - the set of behavioral outcomes is not an ordinary set.

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