Saturday assorted links


1. Laying on the couch eating junk food is bad for you too. As is climbing Mt Everest without using oxygen.

This Joe Jackson song kind of sums it up -

Is this a deep comment c_p, or just a junk food comment? If it's deep, you could argue that the identical twin that stayed behind on earth got fat and lazy compared to his space bound twin (though he was a former astronaut), as is well known to happen to former athletes (they stop training and their body goes to pot), or that being weightless in space is unhealthy, as fluids accumulate, pace the brain, which seems to be stimulated more and get better.

Bonus trivia: they call astronauts "cosmonauts" in the former USSR. Reading an anthology on the USSR written in the early 1980s and it's amazing how none of the Sovietologists saw the collapse coming. One guy--from RAND--named Thane Gustafson, oh! he has a Wikipedia page: - started off his article strong by predicting all kinds of dire things might happen in the 1980s due to the poor late 1970s farm harvests, where the Soviets, to appease citizens, did not cut back on livestock due to bad grain harvests, so the people could eat more meat, and instead bought US farmer wheat on the open market (bad precedent for them, never try and appease the people, that's doom for authoritarian systems), said that the rough 80s would be followed by the tranquil 1990s! Wow, he was the closest anybody got. Even noted anti-Soviets like the CIA (doing a report on behalf of Sen. W. Proxmire), Amy W. Knight and Alexander Solzhenitsyn didn't see the collapse coming, which makes me think but for Gorbachev's blunder, the USSR would still be around today. And what did the USA do with the Soviet "peace dividend"? Except for a few Clinton years where they balanced the budget, they foolishly entered into wars of supposed Arab liberation.

Many people predicted a probable collapse of the Soviet system: Amalrik, Todd, Whittaker Chambers.

I'm not sure you should label Solzhenitsyn as "anti-Soviet". He just seems above and beyond being put in a simple neat political box. Like Tolstoy or Orwell.

He was pro-Great Russian nationalism and anti-Soviet.

The Clintons didn't merely squander the peace dividend, they killed it. It was their war on Serbia that "lost" Russia and brought Putin to power. Yeltsin stepped aside under enormous internal pressure and the siloviki took over.

remember Lisa Simspon?
went to Cal Tech! NSF? black holes?
sounds like a big deal!

4. - People don't experience climate. They experience weather.

There is no cure for stupid.

Climate change (solar output cycles and inter-glacial shifts) is a massive hoax, though less so than Russia election collusion/Orange Man Bad.

Physician cure thyself.

Another Gospel quote: "First, remove the plank from your eye."

Unsurprisingly, that is all you got.

2: Because chicks dig height above almost all else.

Probably. A war against 'heightism' would be an attack on female mating preferences. And here in the 21st century, nothing that women naturally tend to do can be considered wrong or in need of correction.

I know. My wife prefers to mate with tall young bucks! How humiliating! Tee hee.

I dunno about 'correction' (should we really be going around correcting people's 'mating preferences').

But yes, there is little *acknowledgement* in 21st century society that female preferences in men are about as shallow (superficial charm and confidence, looks, height) as male pref. for women, and a fair bit biased by the fact that young women rarely approach young men (so shyness+inexperience much less of a barrier for young women).

Instead it's all "female preferences are such that only 'crap partners' will miss out".

Meh doesn't really matter though, but might help young men if society really portrayed mating success for them as having little to do with character or their worth, as it does for women (no one really suggests that women who are 'crap partners' don't get men, and it's largely acknowledged that for women, getting approached by men, is a shallow game mostly about appearance and superficial charm, nor do they get harangued as wimps for not approaching men).

OTOH, the world is increasingly designed/built for short people.

Subtitle: "Accelerating the Bankruptcy of The Welfare State, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Collapse of Civilization."

Throughout Brooks misspelled the word, "INVASION."

Gracefully bus them all to Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, and all other sanctuary cities.


I wish Brooks brothers and friends would STFU, but they won't.

This is a battle for survival. Here we are in a lifeboat and there are a bunch of crazies drilling holes in the bottom of the boat.


4. First sentence of the abstract: "The changing global climate is producing increasingly unusual weather relative to preindustrial conditions." Is this true? I believe it is in dispute. How long before industrialization are we talking about? Not purchasing the paper, so does it establish the first sentence as fact or assume it? Since we know as much as we do about the climate and weather conditions by means of industrialization, how can we measure same with anything like the same level of resolution pre-industrialization?

In the past million years there were four glaciations with four long periods of warming interspersed. About a million years ago, the first glaciation was the Gunz/Nebraskan. About 700,000 years ago the second glaciation was the Mindel/Kansan. About 300,000 years ago was the Riss/Illinoisan. About 100,000 years ago was the Wurm/Wisconsin glaciation. Both the climate and the face of the Earth greatly changed during the four advances and retreats of immense glaciers. We are living in an interglacial period, with comparatively little change in the past 10,000 years.

Anthropomorphic Climate Change is a hoax.

Nah, it's a fraud.

We aren't supposed to tie these things together, but as @BillKristol noted on Apr 12:

"Since the 2016 presidential election year, white college graduates have gone from being evenly divided in their political preferences to preferring the Democratic Party by double-digit margins in 2018 (52% to 42%) and 2019 (54% to 41%)."

Or as @RealDonaldTrump noted in 2016:

"I love the poorly educated."

There is something poignant about a stupid movement that reinforces itself.

Since college graduates aren't learning much, education is a class marker, stupid.

The quality of Trump advocates has declined over time as well.

The mental stability of Trump opponents (who give us daily, off-topic rants) has declined much more.

Are you disappointed that no one else popped in with a brilliant defense of Trumpism?

It's not a coincidence.

"Something broke in America this week. We have been spiraling downward since Trump's election, but this week, we crossed a line. The President and his men began asserting that they were above the law--and effectively no one in our system did anything to stop them."


Only the very dregs sign on at this point.

A troll quotes a twitter troll. Par for the course.

That is an interesting thing to say as you defend the Twitter Fool in Chief.

File under "Notes From The Higher Education Apocalypse."

Of course, most college educated to institute socialism and to return to the halcyon days when Barack Hussein Obama was creating 98,000 new jobs and 125,000 new food stamp clients.

Gauging the rapidly-developing mass stupidity is a main reason I read these blog comments. That and it adds to my proctology post-doc field work.

College graduates want us to pay their college loan debts. They borrowed money to buy a bad product, now they are mad. Some other young people spent 4-5 years earning money and learning a trade. Now they are contractors and homeowners and and don't have 60k in tuition loan debt.

Now, tell us again, who is stupid?

just to be clear, you believe the science done by climatologists about historical trends but when it gets to the past 100 years with much more data they become fakes? at least you’re consistent.

" "The changing global climate is producing increasingly unusual weather relative to preindustrial conditions." Is this true? I believe it is in dispute."

The latest IPCC report disputes itself. The policy section says that it is true but the science part says it is false and that the evidence is weak.

While specific, local outcomes of climate change are uncertain, recent
assessments project alteration in the frequency, intensity, spatial extent,
or duration of weather and climate extremes, including climate and
hydrometeorological events such as heat waves, heavy precipitation
events, drought, and tropical cyclones (see Chapter 3). Such change, in
a context of increasing vulnerability, will lead to increased stress on
human and natural systems and a propensity for serious adverse effects
in many places around the world (UNISDR, 2009e, 2011). At the same
time, climate change is also expected to bring benefits to certain places
and communities at particular times.

From Chapter 1, here:

"project alteration" is a future phrase, right?

Why is that an interesting question? It seems straight-up handwaving after a report that did indeed predict change.

"Such change, in a context of increasing vulnerability, will lead to increased stress on human and natural systems and a propensity for serious adverse effects in many places around the world."

Straight up.

I do buy the idea that such change could become a new normal, but that doesn't make it less of a change.

Hand waving? All I said is that the science section states that there s not strong evidence that there has been an unusual pattern of extreme weather events due to warming despite the media repeatedly saying that there has been.

you are correct that in IPCC documents the Executive Summary is sometimes at odds - or, more convolutedly, not exactly at evens - with the science section.

Read carefully too. The language often implies things it doesn't exactly say. So when it says "Heat waves are clearly increasing over parts of Europe, Africa, and North America, while some regions are not experiencing increasing heatwaves" (note that the "some regions" that aren't experiencing increasing heatwaves are about twice the size of the regions that are experiencing increasing heatwaves; it's a sort of accentuate the positive approach, at least where positive means "backs up my preconceived notions).

The policy summary is 180 degrees from the science section. English is my first language.

1. It has become apparent that, once you square away the engineering, space problems are biological. Many of those biological problems are both hard and under-studied. This is a good start.

By the way, while Biosphere II was a big messy hack, long running sealed environment experiments on Earth could tackle some of these problems (the biome kind) at much lower cost.

We should certainly do that before we send doomed souls off in a can to Mars.

Ascension, but with full disclosure.

One really important question for long-duration Mars missions is how 1/3 gravity will affect humans. It's possible that's enough gravity that we dont suffer any ill-effects; its also possible it's as bad for us as zero g. Determining that will tell us whether long-term Mars colonies are really workable or not.

No one will ever go to Mars


No, not within your lifetime.

#2 "Adults in the room" type posturing, which is at least as bad as any other sort of posturing. "Something must be done, by someone, to stem 'The Crisis'". (Though there isn't "a Crisis" when it comes to building a barrier, of course.)

"We should certainly do that before we send doomed souls off in a can to Mars"

yeah, manned trips to Mars are suicide missions.
Mars colonization is absurd.
Moon & Mars are worthless dead rocks.
NASA is an ultra expensive hobby shop for dreamers.
Radiation is extremely dangerous outside of Earth's protective cover.

Maybe think through why we stopped going to the moon, and why we never built a permanent base there.

NASA is great, when they aren't selling hype to Congress, because Congress is bored by better projects.

The question isn't about "danger", it's about the local definition of acceptable conduct (and sanity). We're all dead in the long-run; it's simply a question of how we spend ourselves. I think there will always be "mountain men" who will accept enormous risks, actual damage, and assorted difficulties. The question in my mind is what kind of large organization will enable this behavior. I'm hopeful it won't be the West simply because it violates (for most technical types) the Golden Rule. I can see Russia or China easily going the distance, no matter the cost. And who knows, by then the USA may be so dystopian / nationalistic, that we send our brave lads & lasses "for the flag". We spent $100 billion on the ISS with little to show for it. BTW, the Friday WSJ has an article which is very different than WP's. And, for the few BS'ers who can count, a twin study with 1 PAIR of twins is n=1.

3: The selective enforcement of privilege and who "deserves" empathy is what ruins the implementation of the concept. It's good to be conscious of the fact that people are born with advantages and disadvantages. But it's like touching a hot stove as soon as you get to privileges more fundamental than "race" and "gender." Class privilege is one layer deeper, and that's the dividing line that gets fought over. The even deeper stuff -- height privilege, attractiveness privilege, cognitive privilege -- people *really* do not want to think about, and will do almost anything to avoid considering.

It may have been Sailer who speculated that our notions of fairness are tied to genetic fitness. People do some internal calculation and then, if groups of people are succeeding more or less than our mental estimate, we generate outrage. So -- although people would never admit it and would confabulate reasons when confronted on it -- the reason heightism is tolerated is because on some deep monkey level it's considered evidence of bad genes and thus less success/esteem is expected/"fair."

Abuse of the congenitally disabled (rightly) tends to generate upset though. Fatness acceptance diatribes are common to boot. Prejudice against athletes and sportspeople seems to be more common than the opposite in some circles.

You're right about the disabled. Possibly some sort of agent/nonagent dividing line -- those with agency subject to judgment, those seen as nonagents simply get pity. In society in general it seems clear that athleticism is massively net valued, hard to speculate about what's true in individual isolated circles.

Not sure how fat acceptance fits in to the picture, and I don't want to posit this framework as explaining more than it does. But it's interesting to think about and to me it feels like there is explanatory power there.

I guess acceptance of disabled people involves exercising signalling mechanisms that are healthy.

#3) One reason may be that short people don't want to view themselves as victims, particularly short intelligent and successful men, who are the short people most likely to have intellectual influence. To emphasize heightism might be self-emasculating. Short people are more likely to combat heightism by trying to positively promote the consideration of height-neutral qualities like intelligence, character, etc. than by trying to negatively suppress the consideration of height. John McCain does not strike me as someone that would look to define himself as a victim nor view victimhood as something that would serve his ambitions.

Another reason may be that a finite amount of societal attention. We can only focus on so much stupid stuff at one time, and heightism just didn't make the cut.

John McCain was exactly average height, no?

I mention McCain because Sailer does. Unprompted by Sailer, I doubt anyone, supporter nor detractor, would describe McCain in height-conscious terms. The descriptors that most likely come to mind are all height-neutral: courage, integrity, maverick, statesman, etc. Detractors might add stubborn, self-righteous, or even war monger, but all still height-neutral. Replacing any of these descriptors with height-conscious terms like height-justice advocate or inspiration-to-short-guys would seem like a decided step backwards in any attempt to combat heightism.

McCain is listed in Wikipedia at 5'9", although that would have to be as a young man. I assume that normal aging plus his years as a POW didn't do his height any good.

" To emphasize heightism might be self-emasculating. "

OTOH, emphasizing *-ism is an independent source of status nowadays.

They don't want to think about it because it would mean that you'd have to create a eugenics program so that every one is a clone. That's the logical conclusion of a ridiculous egalitarianism ( a la Rawls) that demands that everyone starts off life in an equal position.

3. “Why is heightism barely a term in 2019?”

I wonder if how about correcting the gender pay gap by height? There is a gap in pay in regards to women who are on average as tall as men on average?

I'm taller, so I should get more? Clothes cost more and I need to pay extra for more leg room on a plane. It's a lot easier not to get size 13 shoes than it used to be. Most stores carry up to 13, or maybe even 14. I

Silly, possibly pedantic question, but isn't this n = 1, with both the control group and the experimental group having only 1 data point to draw observations from?

I was thinking on the lines of n=4 , i.e a study of his 4th space flight showed up problems. (Though it wa sreally the length of the stay). So go thrice into space but don't go forth later.

1. That's why they should do tests in simulated partial gravity, by rotating spacecraft in orbit using either tethers or simply docking them together. It used to be believed that you had to have a really low rotation rate (2 rotations per minute or less) to do that, but more recent research suggests people can adapt to at least 6 RPM and higher. You don't need colossally huge spacecraft for this, or really long tethers.

We're going to need to do that anyways before sending astronauts to Mars for long stays, just to see what the health effects of partial gravity are (the Moon is close enough that we could do the tests on the Moon). That would mitigate the vast majority of the health issues for astronauts being in space.

Radiation is harder. The solar storms are dangerous, but feasible to shield against. The cosmic rays really aren't feasible to shield against in terms of mass, but mostly they seem to just represent a slightly higher risk of cancer - the big Question Mark is how dangerous the Heavy Iron Ions in Cosmic Rays are. For that, we really need to send up a bunch of mice into High Earth Orbit in returnable capsules to get some idea of the health effects of those.

4. The reference point for normal conditions appears to be based on weather experienced between 2 and 8 y ago.

That's probably true. I don't remember what the weather conditions were on April 13, 1999.

Climate change exposes people to conditions that are historically unusual but that will become increasingly common over time.

Big assumption being made, probably erroneous.

We use the volume of social media posts about weather to measure the remarkability of different temperatures and show that remarkability changes rapidly with repeated exposure to unusual temperatures.

This reads like a social media post. Weather or whether? Social media activity is a good index of fashion or music but perhaps less of weather. Most social media posts are made by people with little exposure to any kind of weather. In fact, personal exposure to weather among modern Americans is pretty much limited to the dash from the the car to the fitness center or supermarket.

2. David Brooks on immigration (NYT).

Pay walled him off. I never thought highly of him anyway.

California Guv, Gavin went down to El Salvador, trying to find out why Pelosi calls them all up every election season.

The solution is down there, I give Gavin credit for making the trip. 20% of them are headed to LA, courtesy of Mayor Garcetti. Another bunch headed for Seattle where they have $100,000 per head in housing money. They go to New York, but not for long; LA is their home.

We will have more teachers and nurses strikes, more regressive sales taxes, more sorting of the population to get viable business down to Texas. Gavin has a mess on his hands.

Our legislator is no help, mostly funded with cartel money via non profits, the average legislature has a sixth grade education. It is the Spanish system, and unions inherited the monarchy. The unions cannot hold it, cartel money is everywhere in Southern California and LA is literally a chemical warfare zone, a more refined version of Tijuana.

Correct on all counts.

#2 "Suppose one night there is a knock on your door. You open it to find 100 bedraggled families shivering in your yard"

No, 'you find, one night, strangers in your kitchen helping themselves.....'

#2... I'm guessing my views are obvious from this. I do favor legal immigration, but that includes people accepted here on the basis of persecution.

"Suppose one night there is a knock on your door." Well, if they're Jews, don't let them in," many people answered. Choose the history you respect..

"Allied victory brought an end to Nazi terror in Europe in May 1945, and to the war in the Pacific in August. Six million European Jews had been murdered. Hundreds of thousands of liberated Jews, suffering from starvation and disease, emerged from concentration camps, hiding places, and places of temporary refuge to discover a world which still seemed to have no place for them. Visual evidence of the Holocaust, shown in popular magazines, newspapers and movie theater newsreels, did not change Americans’ minds towards immigration or refugees. In a December 1945 Gallup poll, only 5% of Americans were willing to accept more European immigrants than the nation had prior to the war.

President Harry S. Truman favored a liberal immigration policy toward displaced persons (DPs). Faced with Congressional inaction, he issued a statement, known as the "Truman Directive," on December 22, 1945, announcing that DPs would be granted priority for US visas within the existing quota system. While overall immigration into the United States did not increase, between 35,000–40,000 DPs, most of whom were Jewish, entered the United States between December 22, 1945, and July 1, 1948, under provisions of the Truman Directive.

Three years after the end of the war, there were still a substantial number of displaced persons in Europe. They included Jews who had survived the Holocaust and many others who were fleeing the Soviet control. By June 1948 Truman had pushed for some sort of legislation on behalf of displaced persons for at least eighteen months. In his 1947 State of the Union, Truman stated, “We are dealing with a human problem, a world tragedy.” In his 1948 State of the Union, he argued for “suitable legislation at once so that this nation may do its share in caring for homeless and suffering refugees of all faiths. I believe the admission of these persons will add to the strength and energy of the nation.” Still, Congress delayed action.

Congress finally passed a Displaced Persons Act only reluctantly, and without public hearings. The Senate passed a bill on June 2, 1948, the House passed another on June 11, and a hurried compromise ensued, finally reaching the president on the final day of the congressional session. Truman, disappointed by the limited reach of the act, said that he would have vetoed it had Congress been in session, but signed the act so there would be some legislation to aid displaced persons, rather than none.

The Act, which authorized 200,000 displaced persons to enter the United States, “mortgaged” the still-extant 1924 immigration quotas, allowing up to 50% of future quota spaces to be used on behalf of displaced persons, with few exceptions. Truman particularly criticized the fact that the bill restricted eligibility to people who had entered Germany, Austria, or Italy prior to December 22, 1945, effectively discriminating against Jewish displaced persons, many of whom had been in the Soviet zone of occupation and only traveled to western Europe later.

“The bill,” Truman stated, “reflects a singular lack of confidence by the Congress in the capacity and willingness of the people of the United States to extend a welcoming hand to the prospective immigrants.”

Public opinion was more in line with Congress than Truman: an April 1948 poll showed that 53% of Americans disapproved of the plan to allow 200,000 displaced persons to enter, compared with 40% who approved. Polling also showed that more Americans supported immigration limits on Jewish DPs than on Germans who had left their homes fleeing Soviet occupation.

In 1950, Congress amended the Displaced Persons Act, an amendment Truman signed “with very great pleasure.” The Act authorized a total of 400,744 visas for displaced persons (of which 172,230 had been issued in the previous two years) and removed the geographical and chronological limits which had discriminated against Jewish DPs. Approximately 80,000 Jewish DPs entered the United States between 1948 and 1952 under the Displaced Persons Act.

"Suppose one night there is a knock on your door." Well, if they're Jews, don't let them in," many people answered. Choose the history you respect..

He gets more egregious as he ages. The disreputable Mr. Sailer has offered that the European theatre in World War II seems to be the only historical frame of reference these cretins have.

Daily life is disagreeable in places where administrative ineffectuality and an ingrained vendetta-culture generates a great deal of violent crime. It's also comparatively disagreeable in situations where society A experiences more rapid economic development than society B. Both street crime and human capital deficits are banal conditions of life. The Honduran government isn't putting a large fraction of the country's professional and merchant class into concentration camps a propos of lunatic historiography.

There isn't any persecution in Central America, bar a haphazard sort in Nicaragua for people involved in politics. Even were there persecution, it's a rigamarolish response to tromp all the way across Mexico searching for sanctuary in Arizona.

Then they won't be let in. No matter how you feel about their plight, if they make it to the U.S., then they can apply for sanctuary from persecution, and deserve a fair hearing. That's what our agreements and decency demands. As a Jew, reading the history posted above is very painful. Groups don't apply for sanctuary, people do, wherever they come from.

and deserve a fair hearing.

A fair hearing is 7.5 minutes in front of Judge Wapner. And they sit in detention from the moment they arrive until the moment they are deported.

2. Socialist dictators are dumping their social problems on the US taxpayer, aided and abetted by the Democratic Party and the UN.

Yes. Decoupling the actor and the karmic debt is a sin against nature and cannot endure. So, it will become more and more expensive to try. Ah, well.

"The disreputable Mr. Sailer has offered that the European theatre in World War II seems to be the only historical frame of reference these cretins have."

That's an asinine point. The reference is important because it led to countries eventually signing treaties to try and keep such atrocities from occurring again. It's a start.

4. North America has been the same for around 300 million years... probably the same for other continents. Can you really extrapolate 300 million years of weather from 150 years?

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