Friday, August 28, 2015

Failure to Replicate

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Aarts et al. describe the replication of 100 experiments reported in papers published in 2008 in three high-ranking psychology journals. Assessing whether the replication and the original experiment yielded the same result according to several criteria, they find that about one-third to one-half of the original findings were also observed in the replication study.
Important result...though, of course, not exactly a stunning one.
(h/t: S. rex)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Current Status of the Chibok Schoolgirls Kidnapped By Boko Haram

   This is a story I just couldn't force myself to follow in a rational way. I just kept, as it were, averting my eyes. I'd hear rumor of some promising development, and just let myself think that things had gone in a good direction. I'm irrational like that. Anyway, here's the Wikipedia section on the aftermath. Not good in any way, as everybody but me probably already knows.
   Boko Haram...now there's a bunch that I'd love to vaporize. I imagine one of the many difficult things about being President is resisting the urge to send in the Rangers.  
   Damn what a world.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

David Duke Endorses Donald Trump

I see no reason to say anything at all about this...

Fatal Shooting In Roanoke

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Trumpo The Clown's Weird Megyn Kelly Hang-Up

   Dude's anger really is out of all proportion to even very uncharitable views of Kelly's alleged transgressions...  Is he really this easily twisted up? Surely he can't be unused to people pissing him off, can he? People make fun of Trump left and right...you'd think he'd be better at anger management by now.

Mozilla CEO Wants To Fire Employees Who Express Anti-SJW Sentiments On Reddit

   So...this is batshit insane, is it not?
   Talkcrime on the interwebs is now grounds for termination of employment at Mozilla according to CEO Chris Beard.
   I guess this shouldn't come as a surprise after the Brendan Eich incident.
   So neither of the two defenses liberals have used of these wackos  ((a) they're not wrong and (b) they're wrong but they have no influence/power) seems very plausible anymore.
   Oh and:
The Reddit user welcomed Koehler's exit. "Frankly everyone was glad to see the back of Christie Koehler. She was batshit insane and permanently offended at everything," the user wrote. "When she and the rest of her blue-haired nose-pierced asshole feminists are gone, the tech industry will breathe a sigh of relief." It was that remark that appeared to trigger Beard's warning today. "When I talk about crossing the line from criticism to hate speech, I'm talking about when you start saying 'someone's kind doesn't belong here, and we'll all be happy when they're gone.'"
So "When she and the rest of her blue-haired, nose-pierced asshole feminists are gone, the tech industry will breathe a sigh of relief" becomes spun into [her] kind doesn't belong here, which is something something "hate speech."
   This isn't an aberration. This is a paradigmatic strategy of political correctness. It's exactly the sort of thing they did in the '80's and '90's, and it's exactly why sane people (finally!) realized how insane it all was. But here it is again, ascendant...and once again liberals are defending it. And not merely defending it, accepting it. 
   But, hey. Maybe Chairman Beard will be merciful if he's actually able to dox /u/aioyama. Maybe he'll just send him to re-education camp instead of actually terminating him.

A Very Confused Essay About Objectivity In Journalism

"The Myth Of Objectivity In Journalism," by Richard F. Teflinger.
Jeez. This should have been titled "Ten Common Confusions About Objectivity"...or maybe just "Fallacies On Parade." I really hope this isn't representative of what's taught in Comm schools.
I might just use this in my critical thinking class this year.
I'll probably complain about it in more detail at some point...but for now, I merely post it for you to marvel at.

Crass Frat Banners At ODU, And Defining "Harassment" Downward

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  The banners were crass, gross, and stupid. But I don't see how they constitute harassment...and they have nothing to do with sexual assault. "Baby girl" here refers to female persons of the age of consent. It's slang, as we know. So only a sophist would try to work that angle. The only people who might be targets of harassment here are parents, I suppose. I mean, the import of the signs is pretty close to:  Bring us your daughters! We're a bunch of loathsome douchebags with money, so we'll be screwing them soon enough anyway...  And, granted, I expect if I were a father dropping off his daughter at ODU, I might be tempted to go slap a punk upside the head... But none of that has anything to do with harassment or assault. Well...except for that part about slapping them upside the head...
   Well anyway. Gross, stupid, lecherous, classless, creepy, and just downright nauseating...but, to the extent that the message is directed at college girls at all, it's an invitation not a threat. It will put off some girls and attract others. The kinds of women it will put off aren't the kind that the frat wants at their parties anyway. Anybody want to take place any bets about whether a frat that hangs such banners will have any trouble attracting women to their parties? I mean...if they're not suspended? Guys who would hang such a sign are probably douchebags of a rather high order. Such guys abound. Some girls don't like such guys. Some girls do. If being an arrogant douchebag actually did revolt all women, I expect evolution would have selected against it by now. But the facts are: many dudes are douchebags, and many girls are attracted to that. It's gross, but it's not illegal. These banners are, basically, the mating call of the douchebag. And it will work a fair bit of the time. If it drove women away, they probably wouldn't have hung it up in the first place.
   So anyway. We can lament these facts...humans are gross in a bunch of ways. But we can't pretend that this is harassment, nor that it in any way expresses any kind of pro-rape message. Guys of this kind may very well be more likely to harass and commit sexual assaults--but that's a different matter entirely.
   This is a pretty typical kind of case these days. Instead of trying to stop actual sexual assaults and actual acts of harassment, the alliance of feminists, far leftists and panicky college administrators goes after something else entirely, pretending that they're doing the other thing. This is bad in virtue of being false and delusional, in virtue of promoting sexual puritanism, in virtue of stifling free expression, and in virtue of just being damn stupid.
   So I guess I'm on the side of the douchebags in this one.
   Gross.

Amanda Marcotte: Still Pushing "Rape Culture," Still Hedging On The UVA/Rolling Stone Gang Rape That Wasn't

   As much as I disagree with Marcotte and people like her, I really can understand getting oneself all twisted up in feminist dogma over rape, sexism and sex-based inequality. They're absolutely maddening. And that's a mitigating circumstance.
   Be that as it may, Marcotte is part of the problem. Or, rather, part of the other problem. Rape is a problem. Rape crisis hysteria is the other problem--a to-some-extent understandable problem, but a problem nonetheless. Rape crisis hysteria is not the solution to rape. Irrationally expansive definitions of rape, feminist fables about "rape culture," legislating/micromanaging people's sex lives, and classifying innocent people as rapists are not reasonable responses. 
  Anyway, among other things, Marcotte is still refusing to admit what was obvious from the beginning with respect to the UVA/Rolling Stone gang rape that wasn't. Writing of some book or other, Marcotte:
This chapter invariably brings to mind the fiasco over the Rolling Stone’s story about sexual assault at the University of Virginia, which was retracted after it was discovered the centerpiece of the story, an alleged fraternity gang rape, was likely fabricated by just such an attention-seeking and troubled young woman, “Jackie.” Perhaps if Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely and her editors had read Harding’s book, they would have spotted the red flags in Jackie’s story.
Um..."was likely fabricated"? American "rape culture," you see, is a definite thing...no qualification nor hedging is required... "Jackie"s story, however...well...we'll never really know, will we? Even a confession of lying could be false... Even if we had a videotape of ever room in the frat house, these could be fabricated... Even if...even if...  Standards of proof, you see, are different in such cases... Such credulity is warranted in response to rape accusations that no evidence can ever be sufficient to genuinely defuse it. Listen and believe...and never surrender that belief, no matter what.
   ...Speaking of which...how about the last bit of that quote, eh? If we're supposed to "listen and believe," how is Rolling Stone justified in scrutinizing "Jackie"s story? And, of course: "Jackie" herself bears no responsibility for telling the lies...but that's a well-entrenched part of the official PC mythology by this point...no sense in pounding our heads against that bit...
   Ok, I'm done. I was just following links around and ended up at Marcotte's place, and that always, like totally triggers me with all its like...uh...microaggressions or whatever?...and, uh, paid blogger privilege and whatnot...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rutgers: "There Is No Such Thing As 'Free' Speech" [updated x2]

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(via)
   So...I'm thinking that maybe we can put to rest the canard that the illiberal left has no power/influence?

   There's a lot that's of concern on that page. Obviously the claim that "There is no such thing as 'free' speech" could actually use a bit of discussion. There's obviously some wiggle room in there...and Rutgers will undoubtedly be doing some mad wiggling in the near future... If pressed, they could deny that they're actually denying the reality of free speech per se. They can claim that they're using an inflammatory-sounding claim to make the point that all speech has consequences. (Actually, that's not exactly true...but certainly a lot of speech does.) But the claim actually seems to be a kind of double entendre, aiming to assert both points.
   Denying the reality of free speech is bad enough...but the emphasis on the consequences of speech rather than its content is almost as worrisome, it seems to me. I'm inclined to think that this is a general problem on the left--a kind of skepticism about or denigration of things like representation, content, intellectual purport and intention, intellectual/scholarly/scientific goals, and so forth and an emphasis on things like tangible harm. The traditional (broadly) liberal view is something like: our intellectual existence and projects are so important that they get presumption. You can constrain speech on the grounds that it causes harm only when the speech does not actually seek to convey content, but itself merely seeks to effect some action in a non-rational way (that's one take on what's wrong with yelling 'fire' in a...well, you see where I'm going with this...) The left, for all it's anti-scientific bent, also exhibits its own peculiar brand of scientism. And prioritizing things like psychological harm over things like the expression of ideas is one manifestation of that...or so it seems to me...  Something like that, anyway.
   In summary, I would like to say: this BS is cause for alarm.
   [h/t: CampusReform.org]

   [update]
   Maybe I should be worried that I am getting a feel for the SJW / neo-PC mind...but anyway, I figured Rutgers would backpedal on this. Apparently they have, and have deleted the "no free speech" claim from their website. But it was there...oh yes it was:




[update 2]

Reason is also discussing this, and also notes the change on the website.

Trump Widens Lead

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When Bush (ultimately '43) was gaining ground in the run-up to 2000, I was all like "Z0MG this is so great he absolutely cannot win the general!!!!1".
So yeah, I learned my lesson there.
Nobody is too stupid nor loathsome nor unqualified to win.
So I'll admit, I'm torn among shadenfreude, sorrow, revulsion, bafflement and concern.
If anybody can help me narrow the field down to two or three of these, please let me know.

Three Americans Who Thwarted Terrorist Attack On French Train Are Knighted

Just about everything about this story is cool.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

RIP Julian Bond

   Damn.
   I've always admired Bond very much. He was particularly important to me as a teenager, especially as a young teen as I was first trying to understand American society and politics. My father--among his other evil and psychopathic characteristics--was a virulent racist. And there was a fair amount of racism in general where I grew up. Anti-black racism was particularly prevalent, perhaps in part due to the fact that blacks were the only non-whites in the area. It always repulsed and angered me, but, at first anyway, I was just a kid and it all rather confused me.
   I distinctly remember the first time I saw Julian Bond on television. He was opposite a high-ranking Klansman, and--as you might expect--just shredded the hell out of him. I particularly remember a point at which some Klan march came up--perhaps the one in Greensboro, NC. The Klansman claimed, at one point, that no weapons had been found. Bond pulls out a list and rattles off all the weapons that had been found...x number of guns, y number of knives, z number of blackjacks, etc. etc.  Not a moment Bond would even recall were he still with us, I'm sure. Not significant compared to the most important actions of a long and consequential career. But I remember standing up and cheering. It was just a beautiful evidential beat-down. It's hard for me to think about that without getting kind of emotional, actually.
   I'd always hoped that I'd get a chance to meet him, and I'm exceedingly sorry that I won't.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Terrorists in France Choose Target Poorly

Props to the USMC.
Could have been very, very bad.

It Seems Likely That Congress Will Approve the Iran Deal

Don't want to prematurely enumerate the G. domesticus ...but this is promising.

Witch Hunt

   A documentary by Sean Penn about the malicious prosecution of 36 innocent people on fabricated child abuse charges in Kern county, CA.
   Mostly by this evil lunatic, Ed Jagels.
   One thing I didn't realize is that apparently this kind of mass fabrication of child-abuse charges began before it all took the even more bizarre turn into "satanic panic." (On which subject, I recommend Satan's Silence by Nathan and Snedeker.)