Monday, April 30, 2018

"Cultural Appropriation" LOL: Prom Dress Edition

"Cultural appropriation" is no more of an actual thing than is "white privilege." They're both exactly as morally wrong as blasphemy or witchcraft or some other damn made-up thing.
   Actually, I hereby resolve to look for ways to piss off the "appropriation" police. If you've got any good ideas, send 'em my way. I wish it were cheaper to dress like a samurai...shit's awesome, yo.
   Hm. I wonder what'd happen if I wore that prom dress? If something is both "appropriative" and "trans" does that even out? Or maybe I could argue that my "white privilege," if real, should protect me from charges of cultural appropriation. So they've gotta choose: either STFU about "cultural appropriation" or admit that we don't have "privilege."
   Or how about this: actually, non-white and non-males have schmivilege. Schmivilege is totally better than privilege, and having it means that you have to STFU about privilege.
   We should also make up some bullshit centrist nonsense transgression to throw at them. Like being a fuckwit. No, wait...that's actually a real thing. Um. I don't know. Why do I have to figure everything out? Just make something up. It doesn't even have to be vaguely's just got to have an annoying name. Jeez, it's kind of hard to come up with completely nonsensical transgressions. How do the PCs do it? They seem to crank those things out like its nobody's business.
   More beer needed, obvs. You can't be expected to come up with this kind of crackpottery sober...

The Chronicle: State of Conflict

How a tiny protest at the U. of Nebraska turned into a proxy war for the future of campus politics.
   This seems way, way slanted to the left to me--until, possibly, the last couple of sections. But I don't trust my judgment about such things anymore.

David E. Bernstein At The Volokh Conspiracy Responds to Simkovic Nonsense

It's Those Evil Conservatives That Are Provoking Good, Pure Lefty Students Into Rioting And Shouting Down Speakers

Michael Simkovic at Leiter's other blog.
Oh, also the uber-evil Koch brothers 'n' members of a conservative cabal such as...uh...Inside Higher Ed and FIRE????
Man. That post is pretty awful IMO.

North Korea Is Shifting Its Time Zone 30 Minutes To Align With South Korea's

Yep. I definitely have no idea what's going on.

Michael Mannheimer / Ilya Somin: The First Amendment Is The Best Defense Against Trump's Travel Ban

Sunday, April 29, 2018

"Lovecraft Country" Is Gonna Be A T.V. Series

I really liked the book; will definitely give the series a try.

Kim Prepared To Cede Nukes If U.S. Promises Not To Invade

Is Converting Garbage Into Cockroaches A Good Idea?

'Cause...the answer isn't clear to me.
Maybe we could deploy some Bolivian tree lizards...

Everything Is *ist: Superheroines Not Wearing Ponytails Is Sexist

Counterpoint: STFU.
   Also: what about Thor?
   Honestly, the cultural left isn't worth refuting anymore, and is barely even worth ridiculing.

Leonid Bershidsky: "A Nobel Prize For Trump And Kim Is No Joke"

One thing has become clear: this is the weirdest timeline.

Michael Hayden: The End Of Intelligence

The historian Timothy Snyder stresses the importance of reality and truth in his cautionary pamphlet, “On Tyranny.” “To abandon facts,” he writes, “is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so.” He then chillingly observes, “Post-truth is pre-fascism.”
   Nothing much new, but worth reading. Trump is unlikely to be as bad as he's portrayed. But even if he were only half as bad, it would be cause for great concern.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Did Donald Trump Just End The Korean War?

Because if he did, then I basically need to admit that I don't understand anything about anything about foreign policy or probably anything else.

Saletan Cracks On Race And IQ

This (Will Saletan, "Stop Talking About Race And IQ") is painful to read. The tl;dr--despite his impassioned denial--is:
(Please?) stop acknowledging that our current best evidence strongly suggests that race and IQ are pretty likely to be genetically linked
Well, I've said it before: I'm as unhappy about the evidential trajectory as anyone. I think it's a real test of one's commitment to reason in general and science in particular. Saletan, sadly, couldn't hack it, and has gone from being right about this to being wrong about it. I'd guess that he cracked from the pressure. He doesn't want to believe that there's a link (who does?), and he's likely tired of being called a racist. Pseudo-moral social pressure is a powerful thing. It wears people down. Also: if you admit that there's likely a link and turn out to be wrong, you'll be held up as an example of early-21st-century racism for a looong time into the future. If you deny that there's a link, there's no social cost and lots of social benefits. (This is one of the most dangerous and irrational aspects of political correctness: its deeply anti-rational / anti-scientific orientation, and its vicious and relentless use of social pressure to enforce its edicts.)
   This is, of course, also what's driving the race nominalism of the academy--denying that race is ("biologically") real is a very effective way to defusing the race/IQ debate. No race, no problem.
   Oh, but wait...the orthodox view is that there is race...races are real!...don't forget that! Political correctness is multi-layered on this point. The whole confused apparatus of "social constructionism" is deployed so that race can be just what the academic left wants / needs it to be: semi-fictional...but real enough that they can continue to make it the centerpiece (along with "gender") of, like 117% of their research.
   Many of Saletan's arguments in that piece are downright painful to read. But everybody screws up sometimes. I don't think anyone can deny Saletan's intellectual honesty. He's clearly displayed it over and over. But this issue taxes even the most intellectually virtuous. It's the scientific equivalent of admitting to your small-town neighbors that you don't believe in the divinity of Jesus; you'll never be looked at the same again.
  And, hell, maybe buried down in details that I don't understand are better arguments than I think. There seems to be enough vagueness in play that it's permissible to hope that we're on the wrong track. As I've said many times, though: I don't think your IQ affects your moral worth, and I'd rather see us fix that important idea firmly in place than see us commit ourselves to to a policy of tactical intellectual dishonesty.

Dumbest Article Ever?: "Maybe White People Shouldn't Take Drugs From Indigenous Cultures"

By one Liz Posner.
This is idiotic. I the scale idiotic. It really is just a cornucopia of stupid. Consider this bit, for example:
Drug use can certainly fit into contemporary definitions of cultural appropriation, which is legally defined as "taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else's culture without permission," Susan Scafidi, the author of Who Owns Culture? Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law, told Jezebel, "This can include unauthorized use of another culture's dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc. It's most likely to be harmful when the source community is a minority group that has been oppressed or exploited in other ways or when the object of appropriation is particularly sensitive, e.g. sacred objects."
The mind, it reels. Note that the link (re: "contemporary definitions of cultural appropriation" is to Jezebel. That's their citation. Jezebel. I'm not kidding.) So...this is a matter of law? Because they give no evidence that it actually is. If it were, this would be alarming in the extreme. Perhaps this Scafidi person is referring to this U.N. business.
   Then there's this bit:
Whatever their intent, the appropriation of ayahuasca has negatively impacted the economies of the communities they come from, particularly when tourists travel to pursue psychedelic drugs. In 2016, Vice reported on the impact of the ayahuasca craze in the Amazon, where community experts say it has commodified the practice in a way that cheapens the actual spiritual practice of ayahuasca. “As ayahuasca has become more and more popular with foreign tourists….we have found that pseudo shamans have sprung up everywhere to cater for the demand," Valerie Meikle, a Reiki master and holistic healer, told Vice. "This means that the ayahuasca rituals have obviously lost some of their original power and very often the ceremony is adapted to suit foreigners who are ready to pay high prices on low-quality rituals." The overall impact cheapens the very practice these tourists seek.
The "appropriation" of ayahuasca has "negatively impacted the economies" of the relevant's attracted tourism, you see, and...uh..."commodified" it so as to "cheapen the actual spiritual practice." negative economic not economic at all...and is, in fact, entirely unquantifiable. In fact unvarifiable. In fact, let's face it, imaginary.
   Maybe a group can have some kind of historical group right to something like a share of profits with respect to medicine or something. I have no idea. Not a lawyer over here. But as for "cultural appropriation" generally, that's just bullshit.
   But it does reveal something about the mentality of the totalitarian left: in the guise of "multiculturalism," this stuff is mandatory; in the guise of "cultural appropriation," it's forbidden. The one thing it can't be, of course, is discretionary. Because the real point is to micromanage our actions and thought. The particular details about the content of the micromanagement are far less important than the micromanagement itself.

BJ Campbell: The Surprisingly Solid Case Of The Tinfoil Hat Gun Prepper

Friday, April 27, 2018

Michelle Goldberg: "Democratic Politics Have To Be Identity Politics"

I think Goldberg is usually very reasonable. However, if Democratic politics...become? remain?...identity politics, I'm done with the Dems. There's little I'm more opposed to than the tribal psychosis of identity politics.
[At least Goldberg gets that political correctness is bad. But I'm not sure she understands how bad. Yes, I'm sure there are some crazy Trumpists who are confused about it. But I'm not sure how relevant that is. Dumb people being against x doesn't mean that x isn't horrible. PC is anti-free-speech, anti-reason, anti-science, and pro-identity politics. It's also, let's be honest, committed to the destruction of Western Civilization. Even Trump isn't bad enough to get me to vote for that. I'd rather risk another four years of that moronic jackass than risk further entrenching far-left insanity.
   Of course there's an easy solution: the Dems could repudiate the crazies and move back to the center. That's what Bill Clinton did. I hoped that's what HRC would do. But I don't expect that to happen now.]

[link fixed]

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Yet Another Evergreen Freakout

UCSD Requires Statement of Faith

The Cult Of "Diversity"

Nothing new here. Every now and then I just want to blow off steam about the various kinds of insanity that have gripped my university. It kinda seems as if we've become a giant organization for the promotion of so-called "social justice"--primarily "diversity and inclusion." On the side, we do some research and teaching. Though: the teaching part had better have some m*ther f*cking "diversity" in it, ah tell you whut. Our goal is to introduce our students to the most diverse that has been thought and said.
   Once upon a time, there was an idea in there that wasn't insane. It's as if every idea that gets notice by universities is either suppressed with extreme prejudice or spun into an absurd, hyperbolic version of some lefty fad.
   The mind of the university has become deranged. There's almost no actual thought in it. It's a collection of fads and superstitions and rationalizations for the advancement of leftist politics.
   Or, anyway, that's the way it strikes me just about as often as not.

SIU-Carbondale Advertises For "Volunteer Adjuncts"

Maybe with the money they save they can hire some more para-faculty, counselors, "diversity" "experts," "engagement" "facilitators," and student hand-holders. Or bump up administrator salaries or something.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Yet More Absolutely Conclusive Proof That Trump Indubitably Did Something Or Other

Stegasaurus Had A Beautiful Singing Voice Because It's Not Like Falsehoods Hurt Anybody Or Whatever

There's an actual contemporary view of science here

Georgia Police Use Anti-KKK Law To Arrest "Anti-Racism" Protesters

"Anti-racism" LOL

Facebook Tells Two (Black) Women That Their Pro-Trump Views Are "Unsafe"

Anything that the PC left disagrees with is either (magically, undetectably) a threat to their safety or (even more magically and undetectably) actually constitutes a kind of violence against them. Really, this kind of nonsense should disqualify people from participating in public discussions.

"In 12 Years Free Speech On Our Campuses Has Gone From Routine To Besieged"

This is about The Great White North...there but for the grace of the First Amendment go we...
   Though, honestly, we're not in much better shape.

Everybody Stop Talking About the Yellowstone Supervolcano

I just started getting myself to stop worrying about that daggum thing.

George Will On The Takings Clause

PC WCs: You Will Be Decided For

The key characteristic of “Stalled!” [a type of public restroom design] is its complete desegregation. Open circulation encourages the masses to pass casually through a restroom with ease, re-absorbing the once-polarizing and isolating area into the public realm.
Whelp, I did predict this.
Again: I'm not even necessarily opposed to the sex-desegregation of all facilities in principle--though I am against it in practice, actually. I already don't like being around crowds, honestly, I grew up on a farm, and I've never completely gotten used to being around lots of other people. And I'm not exactly the biggest fan of peeing around even other dudes. If you want to maximize my discomfort in public, you could hardly do better than to integrate public restrooms by sex. Needless to say, I don't count, and neither do you. Who counts are: the 0.00000001% of the population who not only want to dress like the opposite sex (as is their right), but that also believes that we should restructure society to shore up their fantasy that they are the opposite sex. (Which is not their right.) 
   Look, I'm cool with having the discussion; I realize we may look back on sex-segregated facilities of all kinds the way way now look back on sex-segregated swimming areas. But being pushed into this by this weird alliance of (a) a tiny, probably-mentally-ill fragment of the population and (b) our progressive cultural overseers...with no discussion and no input from "the masses" as we may or may not be called in the linked piece...honestly, we ought to be pissed off about that.
   And how, exactly, is it that sex-specific public restrooms are "polarizing?" Is it because some of us Neanderthals prefer the single-sex convention? And the solution, of course is...completely restructure everything in order to satisfy the most extreme possible evolution of the preferences of the "progressive" side in the disagreement... 
   I really am starting to understand why conservatives are so pissed off.

"Choice" Architecture, Nudging, and "Gender" "Neutral" (i.e. Sex-Integrated) Public Restrooms

The internet has defeated me at last.
This is satire. I know it has to be satire.
But some of the links that I thought constituted winks and nudges are themselves either nutty or deadpan satire.
Honestly, I gotta have some help here. Somebody please tell me for sure that the page on the other end of that link is not serious.
You win this round, internet.

De Pauw Descends Into Race Madness

I haven't even finished reading this yet. What insanity.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Palate Cleanser: Three F-15s Race A Solar Eclipse

Nashville Waffle House Shooter Had Tried To Breach White House Perimeter; Officials Seized, Then Returned, His Guns

Yet another mass shooter who could have been stopped by competent law enforcement.
I expect these are just the cases we hear about.
But damn.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Race: Still Real

The debate about race is one of the best illustrations of the central error (and danger) of political correctness: the subordination of reason to politics. Or we could say, the subordination of facts / evidence / objective inquiry / science thereto. PC is, at its core, neo-Lysenkoism. These sound like the kinds of claims you might find on a nutty far-right blog...but...well...they're true. So. We're stuck with 'em, crazy as they might sound.
   I continue to think that the most illustrative example is transgenderism, because that involves--once you clear away the ground clutter--only relatively simple ideas / concepts. Those simple ideas are obfuscated by bad (more accurately: dumb and dishonest) terminology...but that can be cleaned up with a bit of attention. 
   However, though the ideas are a more complicated, race is also a pretty good example. The attempt to convince people that races are not natural kinds is almost entirely motivated by left-wing political obsessions and preferences. It does gain strength from the nominalism that's an unfortunate part of much of contemporary consciousness...though it could be argued that that, too, is associated with the left's obsession with trying to make everything out to be social / linguistic. But that might be a stretch. Nominalism is a view that captures people everywhere on the intellectual / political spectrum. It's one of those views that's easy to understand, has a kind of natural allure, and just seems to come readily to people's lips when they are forced to say something about kinds and abstract objects. IMO that's partially because it sounds sophisticated in virtue of sounding rather skeptical.
   At any rate, an objective look at the evidence and arguments clearly indicates that races are real. New evidence and arguments may, of course, emerge. But right now, the more reasonable view by far is that there are real, biological patterns of sameness and difference that correspond closely enough to our ideas of races to count. There's no perfect fit, of course. But were that our criterion, I'm not sure any commonsense category would be real.
   Anyway, the real point of this post is: behold, JayMan's blog on the topic! This is a really nice piece of work.
Read more »

Saturday, April 21, 2018

CA Bill Would Ban Certain Politically Incorrect Goods, Services and Advertisements

  Assembly Bill 2943 would make it an “unlawful business practice” to engage in “a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer” that advertise, offer to engage in, or do engage in “sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.”
   The bill then defines “sexual orientations change efforts” as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”
Political correctness over freedom, once again. On the left, everything not compulsory is forbidden.* 
   Doesn't this mean that it would be illegal to sell books that (e.g.) advertised therapy to cure pedophilia? Or other crazy shit like "object sexuality" or whatever the hell it's called? So if, say, I get a knock on the head and subsequently only feel sexual attraction for prime numbers...I'm just SOL in the People's Republic of California? 
   I'm neither for nor against people trying to change their sexual preferences. Well, maybe a little against it in the most common kinds of cases, but just insofar as I'd rather everybody just learn to be themselves and like what they like (within reason). But outlawing it? **** that ****. Children are a special case; I don't think parents should be able to force their kids to undergo sexual reprogramming. But if a grown-up person wants to do it, the government has no right to stop him. What a consenting adult and a consenting therapist do in the privacy of the latter's office is no business of the rest of us. I'm under the impression that such stuff isn't too successful...but that's a completely different matter. 

Yes, I realize that I've slightly modified the quote. Don't be a wanker about it.

F-22-F-35 Hybrid?

The proposed aircraft “would combine the F-22 and F-35 and could be superior to both of them,” said one of the sources. OMGOMGOMG OK EVERYBODY JUST CALM DOWN...

Reed Capitulates to PC Bullshit

This is repulsive.
It's not that I think there aren't any decent reasons for preferring world civilization courses to Western civilization courses. I'm of two minds about the question. But caving in to totalitarian PC bullshit in this way is inexcusable. Behold, the guardians of the Western intellectual tradition, helpless before the wrath of petulant, uneducated, extremist children. Those who know accept the judgement of those who don't know about what is worth knowing. Needless to say, the totalitarians aren't satisfied:
“...we're calling for the Humanities 110 faculty to pick different cities from the old syllabus for the first two semesters,” the post says [ambiguously]. “We feel that these cities should be outside of Europe, as reparations for Humanities 110's history of erasing the histories of people of color, especially black people."
Never, ever give in to the illiberal left. It never works. It's part of the "logic" of the PC left: they're never satisfied. Every victory is simply a beachhead in the next battle against Western civilization.
   I'm rather inclined to think that this isn't so much the fault of the students. They're idiots--but they're children. And: children who have been brainwashed by the PC left...undoubtedly including many of their past teachers. But there's no excuse for the capitulation of the faculty.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Megan McArdle: Bias Against Conservatives Works Like Any Other Prejudice

Pretty much right on the money.

The Hypersonic Weapons Gap

Which...who even knew was a thing? about to get shrank, mofos.
   Man. Is there really any chance that we're going to keep producing new and better ways of pureeing each other without using them at some point? I mean...look at that war-boner-inducing illustration, right? Who could resist firing a couple of those off? I've got a right mind to try out a couple of them things on somebody right now.
   I mean...obviously we gotta build us some. But it's depressing. And, of course, exhilarating.

Idiot Prof Flings Boilerplate Insult At Barbara Bush; University President Loses His Mind

Professor what's-her-name is an idiot.
Flinging groundless accusations of racism is SOP on the PC left, obvs. It's gross, but you can't really take it seriously anymore. It's like fundies saying that you're a sinner. It's almost contentless at this point. It really just means REEEEEEEEEEEE
The worrisome part is the University president's response:
On Wednesday, Castro told the Bee that Jarrar’s comments were “beyond free speech. This was disrespectful.”
“A professor with tenure does not have blanket protection to say and do what they wish,” he said. “We are all held accountable for our actions.”
It would be funny to see these people reap what they've sown...if what they'd sown weren't academic / cultural / intellectual apocalypse. 
   The template that such things are "beyond free speech"...whatever the hell that dangerous. That seemed to start with the "hate speech is not free speech" nonsense. The largely incoherent formulations garble their point, but the most coherent interpretation is: what you/they said is not Constitutionally protected. Which is false. 
   More to the point: it seems obvious that PWHN's statements are protected by academic freedom. The AAUP, which never lifts a finger against the crazy left, is likely to get involved in this given that the reaction is coming from the right. So PWHN is likely to have backup on this.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"Chick-Fil-A's Creepy Infiltration Of New York City"

This is, well, kinda creepy, honestly.

[To be clear I mean: the article is creepy, not Chick-Fil-A.]

Trump Suggests Comey Should Be Jailed

I can't think of anything civil to say about this.

Monday, April 16, 2018

"Social Construction"(ism) Is A Conceptual Train Wreck

It's the same batch of confusions every time.
[Oops--my bad. There's some in there that I've never seen before.]

Sunday, April 15, 2018

RIP R. Lee Ermey

Swedish University Student Under Investigation For Providing Other Students With Dangerous Facts Upon Request

This recording is outrageous. In a saner world, people would be out in the streets over something like this. It's like something out of 1984. In our world, however, it's starting to become routine. It's reminiscent of the Lindsay Shepherd recording.
   The story, apparently: guy gets into a discussion (argument?) with two feminist students. He claims that the majority of gang rapes in Sweden are perpetrated by foreigners. The feminists challenge him to prove it. He brings them a hard copy of some numbers. They are outraged and spread them to fifteen other people, who freak out and scream at the guy en masse. Guy is reported for the distribution of upsetting facts. That's the point at which the recording takes things up. (So far as I can tell, no one is seriously disputing the truth of what he printed out.)
   This guy completely shreds his inquisitors. In the end, they break, and start pleading prudence--if they don't press the charges, they could get in trouble. That's the one small positive thing in this absolutely unbelievable mess. But they are capable of asserting that war is peace with great confidence for a long time, and they seem not to realize that their retreat to prudential arguments is an admission of defeat.
   Swedish universities have, seemingly, gone largely to hell.

Has the AMOC Slowed 15% Since the Mid-20th-Century?

Eric Bennett: "Dear Humanities Professors: We Are The Problem"

I don't know what to make of some of this, and I disagree with some other stuff. But worth a read, I say.
(via the nefariously transgressive Philosophy Metaforum)

F-22 Mishap

Hey, they're not makin' any more of those, ya know.

The Politicization Of The MCAT

Posting this again.
   This is huge. It ought to send you to DEFCON 1. This element of the left is straightforwardly is illustrated on the other end of the link. Even an aptitude test for medical doctors is not immune. What, exactly, ought to remain apolitical if not something like the MCAT?

Alex Fine: "My 72-Hour Safari In Clinton Country"

I found this kinda interesting, largely just because it inverts the standard coastal sophisticate explores the dark red heart of the continent trope.

Are Trump Collusion Claims A Crucial Experiment?

So far as I can tell, the general sentiment on the left is: Trump is very obviously guilty of collusion. And the sentiment on the right is: This is very obviously a witch-hunt. (So: he obviously didn't collude.)
   This seems to me to be something akin to a crucial experiment. Somebody's really, really wrong. When we find out which side it is, that will tell us something important about the comparative degrees of delusional-ness of the two sides.
   OTOH, one might say: both sides are nuts. One side will just (probably) get luckier than the other. Lucky and nuts is still nuts.
   Which...seems pretty plausible.
   So maybe we can't learn anything comparative. But at least one side will at least have to admit that it was delusional.

   The comparative impulse in politics, I'm finally realizing (or: believing, at least) is very bad. Both sides seem insane to me right now...though, of course, I think that the PC/SJ left is completely off the scale crazy. Even Trump isn't (IMO) as stupid/nuts as the vocal vanguard of the left right now.
   But insisting on comparisons just fans the flames of partisan competition. Trump's a horrible dude with some good policies. The PC left is utterly insane, but right about a few things. Sane people should be deeply and passionately dedicated to getting rid of both of them. Comparative judgments are, perhaps, unhelpful.

Will: Paid Maternity Leave? Your Baby Will Get The Bill

I don't understand such issues, so I try not to have an opinion. Except on the general point: TANSTAAFL. Maybe we should have mandatory paid maternity leave. But it would be better if the decision were made in light of  the recognition that it isn't free, and information about who will bear the cost.

Affirmative Action for Men at Universities?

We've suspected that this is going on sub rosa at my school for twenty years. They seem to have decided to not let the percentage of males fall below about 40%. But nobody acknowledges it.

Andrew Sullivan: Power, Reason and Liberalism

Andrew Sullivan is a damn national treasure.
The second bit here, "Power, Reason, and Liberalism," is great. I've been thinking about this stuff for 30 years and probably couldn't have said it better myself.
Also nobody would listen, of course--but that's a different matter.
   I'd tweak a few bits and add a bit maybe, but why nit-pick?
   I haven't watched that podcast yet, but Ezra's been slipping toward the dark side for awhile now. Harris is not who I'd choose as the champion of objective reason...but it sounds like he did alright--and good on him for doing it.
   One thing I'd add that Sully didn't is: the postpostmodern mishmash that has taken over as the vocal vanguard of the progressive left is self-refuting. It argues that reason, science, etc. aren't (to put it briefly and a bit inaccurately) real, or aren't objective, or aren't actually doxastically efficacious...which, if true, would leave all the premises their position requires unsupported. Both the obviously true and justified ones like The U.S. has a long and terrible history of racism, and the false and nutty ones like All politically incorrect scientific conclusions are merely manifestations of white privilege. People tend to forget that the popomo mishmash is a collection of positive positions. And positive positions can't be supported by skeptical arguments. The popomos try to deploy skepticism selectively so that it undermines unwanted scientific conclusions like IQ is pretty heritable, but doesn't undermine favored historical conclusions about racism, colonialism etc. By their own lights, their position is no more well-supported than ours is: if they're right, then both are entirely unsupported. They both take on the status of something akin to mere preferences. And even by their own lights, their insistence that science is corrupt and can't be objective is entirely unsupportable.
Read more »

"Diversity Of Thought Is White Supremacy"

And war is peace, etc. etc.
   It's at The'know...cheating...
   Like other such sites, they seem to have thrown some kind of monkey wrench into the clicking gives 'em clicks.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The "Nice Girl" Who Saved The Second Amendment

You better thank your lucky stars for Joyce Lee Malcolm.
Some excerpts:
She learned the truth in 1995, when House Republicans invited her to testify before a subcommittee on crime. The subcommittee’s ranking member was Representative Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York (and today’s Senate minority leader). In his opening remarks, Schumer scoffed at Malcolm and other witnesses. “The intellectual content of this hearing is so far off the edge that we ought to declare this an official meeting of the Flat Earth Society,” he said. “Because the pro-gun arguments we will hear today are as flaky as the arguments of the tiny few who still insist that the Earth is flat.”
Malcolm still bristles at those words. “I was a Democrat at the time,” she says. “I was raised a Democrat. I was just there to tell them what I had found out. It wasn’t a political issue for me. But the Democrats were nasty. Schumer was nasty.” After the hearing, Malcolm came to a realization: “For some people, opposition to individual gun rights is an article of faith, and they don’t care about the historical evidence.” Ever since, she has received regular reminders of this fact. In 1997, for example, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia praised Malcolm’s “excellent study” but also erroneously called her “an Englishwoman.”
Read more »

Everything You Like Is Politically Incorrect: All Music Is Evil Edition

Oh, brave new world that has such...well...such few things in it... 
   (link to a non-USA Today site as part of standard click-denial protocol.)
   It doesn't have much good music in it, that's for sure. First of all, it's all digital now WHICH MEANS BINARY WHICH MEANS TOTALLY RAPE CULTURE SHITLORD.
   Also, if the treacly "Ebony and Ivory" can't even squeak by, then what can? Here's the apparently offending lyric:
“Ebony and ivory / Live together in perfect harmony / Side by side on my piano keyboard / Oh lord, why don't we?”
Here's the apparently explanation of the offensiveness of the lyric:
Why it wouldn't fly today: McCartney and Wonder meant well with their hyper-literal interpretation of race relations. But their message of “people are the same, there’s good and bad in everyone, so let’s just get along” would be interpreted as hilariously naïve by the more woke factions of today's cultural discourse.
So...naivete is politically incorrect? Not just imprudent, but immoral?
   Though really I can't tell whether the authors are bitching about this one, too, or honestly just saying that some people would bitch about it. Maybe that's a PC defense mechanism: even if you don't complain about something, mention that there are grounds for doing so, and then use that as a defense in case you get bitched at for not bitching.
   Postmodernism remains important to the PCs--as I keep saying--because it lets them interpret whatever they don't like however they want. So if you think they can ever be reasoned with on this stuff, you can give up on that right now. They don't acknowledge that there are facts about meaning. So they can always make up something about whatever they decide to frown upon today. 
   Also I Kissed A Girl is verboten on account of being "borderline gross for its exploitative take on same-sex experimentation." not not correctly gay...because straight people might like it. Homosexually incorrect, as we might say. 
   The Moral Majority was a goddamn barrel of laughs compared to the PC neo-puritans. 
   Wonder where the PCNPs stand on these guys?: 

The Left's On-Going Self-Parody: "Four Ways Queer And Trans Parents Are Raising Revolutionary Children During The Trump Era"

This one is out of the blocks fast with this first sentence:
Sometimes becoming a parent feels out of my reach. My wife and I both have uteruses, and sperm costs too damn much.
Well...yeah...if you insist on that vegan organic artisanal small-batch sperm...sure...who can afford that?

Friday, April 13, 2018

14-Dimensional Underwater Chess: BACK TO THE TPP! Edition

Boy, things change fast these days, eh?

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Soave: CUNY (Law?) Students Try To Shout Down Josh Blackman

DC and NYC Will Look The Other Way If You Illegally Bar Men From Your Social Club...

But they might not if you also bar men pretending to be women.
   Oh, brave new world...
   In general, though,, this is the sort of thing I used to be against, but now I think I'd be ok with it if it were applied equitably, and all-male social clubs were also permitted. Not that I can, in all honesty, think of any good reasons for wanting to belong to a club such that every one of its events is absolutely guaranteed to be a sausagefest. But to each his own.
   OTOH, it seems unprincipled to allow single-sex social clubs but not single-race analogs. principle, I'd probably be ok with, monumentally repulsive as the idea is. But in actual practice...damn, my innate libertarianism grows faint of heart at that point, I gotta admit.

Scott Alexander Thinks Jordan Peterson's _Twelve Rules For Life_ Is Pretty Good

I'm inclined to think Peterson is pretty good, so this doesn't surprise me too much.

Priya Satia: "The Whitesplaining Of History Is Over"

Anonymous Congressman: Trump Is Like "An Evil, Really F*cking Stupid Forrest Gump"

Erick Erickson reports.
   Damning, but in no way surprising.
   I've consistently thought and said that, if Trump won, it'd mean disaster for the Pubs.

Trump Judicial Nominee Won't Say Whether Brown v. Board Was Correctly Decided

It might very well be that she just doesn't want to comment on any particular decision...but damn...this is the kind of thing that jolts you to red alert.

A Truly Craptastic Essay On Charles Murray

By this dude, one Nathan J. Robinson. There's a lot of huffing and puffing about how, despite the fact that Murray is routinely attacked unfairly, he really is a big fat racist anyway! Which could be, of course....but you can't prove it by this piece of crap essay. Or not by the first half, anyway, which was all I could manage. I stopped at the point where Robinson notes that Murray shows that whites, blacks, and hispanics of equal IQs tend to fare equally well. Then this:
For a person of left-wing values, what any correlation between IQ and success means is that the structure of rewards in society should be readjusted so that they do not disproportionately favor people who have some particular random arbitrary characteristic (like being good with numbers), just the same as a society in which the elite is comprised solely of people who are good painters would also be unfair.
This is the sort of insanity that makes the left genuinely bizarre: we should re-engineer society so that good characteristics and bad characteristics are equally rewarded. Because intelligence is a "random, arbitrary characteristic." Jesus, do these people ever listen to themselves?
   Not wasting any more time on this nonsense.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

George Lakoff: Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech

George Lakoff is a gift--a gift!--to my critical thinking classes, that is.
   Sadly, however, I must report that this is hate speech. Posts like this can make people like me so mad that they might continue to fume about them on my way to campus, and they might inattentively trip and fall and that can do physical harm. Even if they don't trip, the internal neural violence you do to them can do more damage than a fist. Or, who knows? Maybe even an orange or some other fruit or foodstuff thrown by someone with the wrong politics.
   Honestly, academia is filled with people educated beyond the limits of their intelligence. On top of that, it's filled with people who put their crackpot totalitarian ideologies over an interest in truth.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Got His Law Degree From "The Worst Law School In The Country"

A Whistle-Blower Alleges Corruption In Rick Perry's DoE

Via Pete Mack
As I already asserted in comments: this is like something straight out of Greider's Who Will Tell The People?

Noah Berlatsky: Bad Ideas Aren't Worth Debating

Whew, what a steaming pile of rhetorical poop.
   I mean...that's bad even by the standards of the HuffPo.
   For the love of God, look at his list of cutting-edge lefty "thinkers" he cites. I mean...those are the people he's holding up as their best and brightest? Seriously?
   But the real point is this: the PC left basically thinks that it's right about everything, that anyone who disagrees with it is willfully obtuse and outright evil, and that all such people--those of the "bad ideas"--deserve to be "deplatformed" / shouted down.
   This is one of the many reasons that narrowing the bounds of free speech is such a terrible idea: the very people who argue that the very worst speech ought to be suppressed tend to categorize everything they disagree with as the very worst speech.

   (And incidentally (and as Mill notes): bad ideas are often eminently worth debating, for a number of reasons. For one thing, arguing against bad ideas helps us understand good ideas.)

Kevin D. Williamson: Laverne Cox: Also Not A Woman

Again, he's right on target:
As a matter of government, I have little or no desire to police how Cox or any other man or woman conducts his or her personal life. But having a culture organized around the elevation of unreality over reality in the service of Eros, who is a sometimes savage god, is not only irrational but antirational. Cox’s situation gave him an intensely unhappy childhood and led to an eventual suicide attempt, and his story demands our sympathy; times being what they are, we might even offer our indulgence. But neither of those should be allowed to overwhelm the facts, which are not subject to our feelings, however sincere or well intended.
As I've always said: Cox and people like him should be able to live and look however they damn well please. But it's impossible, at our current level of technology, to change your sex. (And, as a sidebar: it's insane to mutilate your junk given that you'll end up, at best, with a quasi-functional simulacrum of the opposite kind.) And any attempt to make the rest of us pretend that hes are shes and vice-versa is a psychotic slice of totalitarianism.

Kevin D. Williamson: Bradley Manning Is Not A Woman

This is right on the money.

Apu: Totally Politically Incorrect And Rape Culture Or Whatever

If the left had not become so ridiculous about race and so forth (by which I mean: everything else), I'd probably take this more seriously. (By which I mean: it's not impossible that I would.) But, y'know, a joke is, like, the epitaph on the death of a feeling or whatever. And, unlike the left, I enjoy humor. And another thing: I've been predicting for a long time that, if we remain on our current trajectory, the Simpsons will be purged from television. Grandpa Simpson would already be a bone of contention if the extremist left didn't hate old white people so much. Flanders? LOL. Well, you know why that stereotype is PC-permissible. Soon enough Homer will be scandalous (fat, differently smart). Lisa will be NOT OK (on account of her representation being anti-vegetarian, anti-progressive, misogynistic). Uter: verboten (national stereotype, overweight, possibly illegal alie...uh...differently naturalized citizen). Like Grandpa Simpson, Mr. Burns will be ok (old, white, anything goes), as will Cletus and the rest of the Spucklers (country, white, hillbillies...though they're sure.)
   Is there even anything bad about the stereotypes Apu instantiates? He's hard-working, kind, insightful, and just an all-around good dude. Is it just the accent? know Indian people actually do tend to speak English like that, right?
   Ah, whatever. I'm so fed up with this crap that I can't be objective anymore.

Is Gym Class Racist?

Do bears sexually harass other bears in the woods?
Special guest stars: "whiteness," "colonialism," ""neocolonicalism," problematic," "whitewashed," "problematize," "Eurocentric," "construction."

Monday, April 09, 2018

CJ: The Left's War On Science

I think such comparative judgments are, when possible, to be avoided...for purely practical reasons. However, I absolutely agree with this: the left is more anti-science than the right. The right denies scientific conclusions...but it doesn't reject the very idea of science. It doesn't harbor and promote crackpot pseudophilosophical ideas that aim to debunk science...not to mention subordinate it to literary criticism, women's studies, and other brainless, politicized scholarly wastelands.
   The right says: we don't believe in anthropogenic global warming. Well, honestly, that's not that bad. No ordinary people understand the science. And anyone who's paying attention knows that sciences and social sciences that impinge in any way on social or political issues tend to cheat to the left.
   The left, OTOH, insists that men can become women by dressing like them--and they insist that this is science. Anyone with half a brain can see that it isn't true. It's not a complicated issue. It's not rocket science. It's not climatology. It doesn't leave any room for rational skepticism. Any ordinary person can see that Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner is not a woman. Night is not day. Freedom is not slavery. Ignorance is not strength. And yet the vocal vanguard of the left insists that it's not only true, but that even questioning it is verboten. It's the magic of "social construction"...
   There is simply no doubt about it. The left poses a much, much greater threat to science than the right.

[Now with more link!]

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Raising Children "Without Gender"

   I'm not some big fan of ostentatious gender. IMO our own culture typically turns it into a grotesque parody. Going to extremes with respect to gender wasn't something we really had on the farm so much. Radically over-muscled dudes ape-walking around exaggerating their masculinity and hyper-feminized women both tend to strike me as a little bit weird, honestly.
   But Jesus Christ, those people in that article are nuts. For one thing, of course, they're experimenting on their own kid. For another, the experiment is strongly predicated on an incoherent idea--"gender identity." (Two incoherent ideas, I guess, if you count "social construction...")
   Look, gender isn't "social." It's behavioral. The genders are masculine and feminine. (And, sort of, androgynous. Though that's more like not having a gender.)  As for the idea of not pushing your boys to exaggerate their natural masculinity as it develops--I'm on board. Largely, at least. Ditto not pushing your girls to exaggerate their natural femininity as it develops. But trying to isolate them from understanding this somewhat significant (though radically overblown) aspect of human behavior is...well...pretty fucking crazy, honestly. But none of this is really about the kids, I'd bet. This is all about the parents getting to implement their nutty political ideas. Every good thing about this stuff could be achieved just by making it clear to the kids that they don't have to go out of their way to act masculine or feminine. All the cloak-and-dagger shit about keeping the kids sexes secret and insulating them from normal humans...that's way messed up. Kids're gonna end up puzzled they were raised by a cult or postmodern wolves or Mennonites or something. Or, rather: that's my guess. But I guess we'll see.
   I'm all for not necessarily playing by our society's somewhat weird rules on this score. To my mind, gender isn't some big-ass deal. It's just a thing. But I'm not for this kind of crazy crap. Though it's about what I might have expected from the following person:
But as her partner, Kat — who goes by they/them pronouns — contemplated what sort of parent they wanted to be, they realized that “Mom” didn’t seem like a good fit, that, actually, they felt more like a trans man. “They were undergoing their transition while we were trying to get pregnant through sperm donation,” Andrea explains. “They had top surgery while I was pregnant. It was a lot of change.”
These are obviously not the most mentally stable tools in the shed. Oh, hai, "mom" doesn't sound like a good fit...think I'll chop my breasts off...
   Here's hoping that the kid turns out alright--but I'm not what you'd call super optimistic.

Time For Knife Control? London Had A Deadlier February Than NYC

Everything You "Know" About The Sherman Is Wrong

Well, not everything...but a ton of stuff. If Moran is right.
This video is really good. Philosoraptor say: two toe claws up:

Death Throes Of The University: UW-Stevens Point: Vocationland! And: Why Does A University Need A History Major, Anyway?

I mean, waddayagonnado with that? Open a history store?

The part where I take it back (the snark that is):
Actually, I think this is a topic for serious discussion. Every school needs a history department and history classes. I suppose maybe a school could get by without a history major... But I'm skeptical. People sometimes say: students who want a history major could transfer to another school in the system. But, speaking for myself, I'd never have thought of that. I was the first person in my family to go to college. I went to a fourth-tier-ish school with, as they say, two directions in the name. It was the only one we could afford. I never thought of transferring. I'm not even sure I knew one could. In fact, I wanted to be a journalism major...until I found out we didn't have one... Just a minor. Did I transfer? I did not. I just shrugged and found a different major.
   The worst thing about that essay, though is the enthusiastic embrace of vocational stuff. I's the only reason we have the extensive higher ed system we do have. But I'm not so sure it's been, overall, a good thing for universities. In order to expand, we've arguably become something that isn't worth having. We've kind of become vo-tech training centers melded with leftist reeducation camps...that teach a little history on the side. Or so it sometimes seems to me.

Death Throes Of The University: General Education Transformed: How We Can, Why We Must

I threw up a little in my brain:
This publication calls for a re-envisioning of general education with clear, purposeful pathways for all students, allowing them to actively demonstrate their learning through high-impact practices and teaching strategies that are transferable across disciplines, [sic] departments, institutions, and even state systems. Reflecting the core vision articulated in General Education Maps and Markers, it addresses student success in terms of both college completion and achievement of essential twenty-first-century learning outcomes, including those articulated in LEAP and in Lumina Foundation's Degree Qualifications Profile. The publication also addresses how this general education framework helps to foster essential capacities for career, citizenship, and global engagement for today's diverse and mobile students. This is an excellent resource for general education reform and curriculum committees. [My emphasis]
Between the PC left, the vocationalizing right, and these clueless, shit-for-brains educrats, the Ivory Tower is...besieged like...Minas Tirith... Y' forces of Mordor, and the Easterlings, and the Haradrim. Get it?
Shit, man. This is no laughing matter. Just read that goddamned nonsense edubabble. That's not about universities. That's about some shithead successor institution SKOOL2k or MULTIVERSITY4U. Vocationland! WTF ever.
If we let these people take over, then universities belong dead.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Daphne Patai: The Battle Over Pronouns Coming To A College Near You

McArthur "Genius" Grants Lean Hard To The Left

This thought never really occurred to me until yesterday. This seems to confirm it.
   For the record, I do realize that I'm becoming a kook...but when you finally start seeing this's freaking everywhere! How did I go so long without seeing it???

The Politicization Of The MCAT

At Anon's urging, I'm moving this up in the queue. I agree that it's jaw-droppingly insane. Important American institutions are being taken over by the "social justice" cult, and we're all just sitting around watching it happen. 
A wee taste:
One MCAT practice question (from a collaboration between the AAMC and online-education nonprofit Khan Academy), for example, asks whether the wage gap between men and women is the result of bigotry, sexism, racism, or biological differences (no other options are provided, and the "correct" answer is sexism). Another asks whether the "lack of minorities such as African Americans or Latinos/Latinas among university faculty members" is due to symbolic racism, institutional racism, hidden racism, or personal bias (the correct answer is institutional racism). Yet another asks test-takers to select from a list of debatable definitions for "the terms 'sex' and 'gender.

Did John Kelly Blow Up At Trump In An Oval Office Meeting And Threaten To Quit?

At this rate of attrition, I've decided I should steel myself for a president Bolton by this time next year.

Next Stop: Separate Water Fountains

Students at the New School demand "PoC"-only "spaces."

Democrat Vilified For Accidentally Saying 'Colored People' Rather Than 'People Of Color'

'People of color' is a ridiculous phrase--in part (but not entirely) because it is such a minuscule and contrived variation of 'colored people.' (Also: 'non-white' serves just fine. Just as 'non-Asian' is the obvious way to reference everyone who is...well...not Asian... (though, as I've argued before, there's nothing wrong with 'oriental', either...) I wouldn't be caught dead saying 'people of color.' It's ridiculous. And doubly so if you've already lived through the political incorrectification of 'colored people.' Not to mention the political incorrectification and political correctification of 'black' and 'African-American' respectively. Then the slow politically re-correctification of 'black.' That happened, perhaps, because, for about a decade there, Americans had no PC-acceptable way of referring to non-American black people. When 'black' was still on the lefty-left's Index, I heard many people say things like "British African-Americans are..." and "African-Americans are a majority in South Africa."
   It's also important to refuse to dance on command by giving in to the ever-changing terminological whims of the left. And make no mistake about it: it's the PC left that's pushing the phrase, not your average non-white American in the street. I don't think it's entirely crazy to think that a group should have some authority with respect to what it's called. But that's not really relevant in this case. Furthermore, you only get to do this so many times. The more often such fashions change, the less important it is to conform to them.
   And hey, anybody know what the NAACP has to say about all this?
   Not to mention the...egad!...NSFW...United Negro College Fund!
(At the risk of seeming to virtue-signal, that latter's an organization to which I sometimes contribute. Is such a contribution politically incorrect now, I wonder? I mean, contributing to an organization that uses "the other n-word," as we might call it...damn...I could end up with a 2-minute hate on the Tweeter for such white supremacy or rape culture or whatever... To make matters still worse, I also sometimes contribute to the United American Indian College Fund! Crap! I'm even damnder than I was before! And surely that crowd needs to check its privilege and change the name to the United Native American College Fund. Doesn't it?)
   We're not quite down to haggling over iotas yet...but we're gettin' there.

Grayson Allen Dirty Plays And Temper-Tantrums

As we bid farewell to the d00kiest d00kie to ever d00k a compilation,
(Sorry, d00kie friends. To be more precise: sorry that your team sucks with the suckage a million black holes...each of which has sucked in a billion, like, top-of-the-line Dyson vacuum cleaners.)

Trade War

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Lindsay Shepherd: Goodbye To The Left

Drum: More Money For Research Into Race And IQ

...because his"read of the evidence so far is that racial IQ differences are very unlikely to be biologically based..."
   Whatever evidence he's reading must be selective if it entails that such differences are "very unlikely" to be biological. I understand wanting to believe that. And it seems to me that it's still reasonable to hope that the differences aren't genetic. But I don't see that they're "very unlikely" to be.
   By all means, do more research and find out for sure. But, as I've long said, it's (a) better and truer to acknowledge right now that it's not unlikely that average intelligence varies across groups, and (b) more intelligence doesn't mean more moral worth. You're not a worse person than Stephen Hawking. probably are...but people in general aren't. That is: they aren't less worthy qua humans than Hawking merely because his IQ was higher.
   I expect what the usual suspects will do is: continue to deny the evidence and vilify anyone who doesn't deny it...and continue to argue for related kooky auxiliary propositions like IQ isn't a good measure of intelligence, and race is socially constructed. Continue all that, anyway, until the evidence makes those positions entirely untenable...whereupon they'll have no choice but to, as a last resort, fall back to the true and relevant position: moral worth doesn't vary with intelligence.
   Actually, even that position has no place in the discussion, really. This is a question of fact, and should be treated as such. Moral--and especially political--considerations need to be banned from such discussions. Even if more intelligence did make you a better person (and there's a wildly counterfactual counterfactual for you), that wouldn't mean we shouldn't research questions about natural differences between groups.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

More Americans Are Killed By Stinging Insects Every Year Than Die In Mass Shootings

MLK, 50 Years On

I've got nothing worth saying. I'm just noting the date.
He wasn't perfect, but he was, as they say, a real American hero.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Mueller: Trump Remains Under Investigation But Is Not A Criminal Target

I predict much skyward shrieking by the REEEEEEEEsistance.

Nevin Sesardic: "Race: The Social Destruction Of A Biological Concept"

I've posted this before, but it's really good.

Since Everything Is Political, Journalism Is Activism

The left sure does love this dumb idea.

We Ought To Engineer Manpanzees...Because Reasons...

Wow this is terrible.
   The thesis is that we ought to genetically engineer humanzees because it will...and I want to stress that I am not making this up....demonstrate that humans are continuous with other species, and so make us all vegans and shit.

The More Equality Between The Sexes, The Fewer Women In STEM

More evidence

Niall Ferguson: White Men Are Bad?

Two pillars of the PC left: anti-male sexism and anti-white racism.

Amanda Marcotte Contra Free Speech

God, she's an idiot.
But she's in no way out of step with the progressive left on this. It's a commonplace over there that a commitment to free speech makes you teh Hitler.

Surgeon Prediction Market

Surgeons should have to make predictions about their surgical outcomes, and the actual outcomes should be described by independent evaluators. Each surgeon would then have a score indicating how good he or she is at predicting outcomes. Patients would be assessed blind, pre- and post-op.
   This isn't actually a market, obviously. I'm not sure what to call it.

I Hate Bein' Right All The Time: "Visit The Washington Monument While You Still Can" Edition

The most phallogoproblematicalisticmacroaggressive of all monuments.

Andrew Sullivan: "Denying Genetics Isn't Shutting Down Racism, It's Fueling It"; A Criticism

I like Sullivan very much, and he's certainly on the side of the angels, yet again, about this. It's particularly depressing to see that Ezra Klein has continued his slide toward the illiberal / irrational left. (And don't forget that Vox video on race in which every single argument is invalid.)
   But: Sullivan fails to sufficiently emphasize the most important point: with respect to the scientific (and philosophical) question "Are races natural kinds?,": questions about racism are irrelevant. The political (and even the moral) questions are irrelevant when what we are asking, of some factual/descriptive proposition: Is it true? To address questions of race scientifically, we basically can't care what the effects of our conclusions will be.
   I actual think Sullivan's right, and the left's penchant for substituting fantasy for reality with respect to its pet issues like race and sex (and "gender"...whatever that term means now...) is causing a certain amount of anger. People should get angry when powerful social institutions insist that obvious falsehoods are true. And they should get very angry when they are called racists (or some analog of racists) for refusing to ooh and ahh over the emperor's duds. It's good that a few of us, at least, are willing to call bullshit on bullshit. To the extent that this anger is purely intellectual, it's good. But I suspect that it may also be causing a backlash that could make racism worse. But I also think that those of us who are interested in the scientific question can't let that influence us in any way. So I tend not to talk about it.
   There's simply no doubt that the left's acceptance of "social constructionist" theories of more-or-less everything is largely political. The left prefers social explanations to biological ones, in part because they like social programs. And their preference for such accounts is almost entirely political in the case of race. Their goal is to fight (certain forms of) racism, not to find the truth. They have got it in their head that they can fight racism by arguing that racial similarities and differences are not biological. And they are inclined to believe what accords with their political preferences and allegiances. (Everybody does that to some extent; but the PC left is really, really bad about it.) What's needed here is a generic opposition to this kind of neo-Lysenkoism. To argue against them by arguing that their approach fosters racism is to come damn close to accepting their most erroneous and destructive premise--that concerns about "social justice" (a misnomer...but let it pass...) are relevant to settling scientific questions. 

Monday, April 02, 2018

Go Blue

Beat them bastages.

538: How Popular is Trump?

Not very.
(Scroll down to compare to previous presidents.)