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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Links - 25th September 2018 (1)

Getting Voxed: Charles Murray, Ideology, and the Debate on IQ - "It seems likely that when many first encounter the Black-White IQ gap, they think it environmental in origin because Blacks have faced horrific oppression and discrimination. The high Jewish IQ, however, immediately casts doubt on this intuition (as do copious data, which we have and will discuss) because Jewish people have also faced appalling discrimination throughout much of 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries (and well before, of course). If broad social biases and discrimination ineluctably suppressed IQ, then one would expect that Jewish people would score low on IQ tests and other indices of intelligence (such as intellectual achievement), especially in countries with histories of particularly virulent anti-Semitism. However, this is not the case, and even in countries with the ugliest legacies of anti-Semitism (e.g., Russia, Germany), Jewish people have been remarkably successful... Turkheimer et al’s Vox article is a misleading account of Murray’s (and the hereditarian) position and a one-sided review of the evidence. Turkheimer et al mischaracterize and overstate evidence that supports an environmentalist interpretation of the gap, while ignoring copious data that contradict it... The only way to solve the puzzle is to grapple honestly and fairly with all of the evidence, which Turkheimer et al failed to do. Equally disappointingly, they made dubious moral claims, accusing those who advance the hereditarian position of ethically questionable behavior. This is unfortunate for a couple of reasons. First, accusing honest scientists of immorality for pursuing a particular empirical question, for forwarding reasonable hypotheses, and for propounding those hypotheses publicly is unprofessional. Scientists owe allegiance to the evidence and to the truth, not to a particular moral or political perspective. Second, Vox is a widely read, liberal outlet that could have used this piece to challenge the prior assumptions of its readers. Instead, it published an ideologically saturated, liberally slanted piece that served merely to confirm their suspicions (“Murray really is peddling pseudoscience, so it’s okay to protest his campus talks”)."

The cherry picked science in Vox’s Charles Murray article - "As Timothy B. Lee writes, “This debunking of Charles Murray doesn’t appear to include a single quote of Murray’s arguments in his own words.”... it is important to emphasize just how mainstream Murray’s views are in the field of intelligence research. The most controversial sentence in The Bell Curve attributed about half of the black-white IQ gap to genetics, the rest to environment. In 2013, a survey of 228 intelligence researchers found that the typical scientist in this field agrees"

Million-person genetic study finds gene patterns linked to how long people stay in school - "The largest-ever genetic study on human cognition has found more than 1,000 links between people’s genes and how far they get in school. The work, which involved DNA from 1.1 million people and researchers drawn from 40 institutions, led to a scoring system that can roughly predict how educated someone is by examining that person’s DNA"

Exclusive Test Data: Many Colleges Fail to Improve Critical-Thinking Skills - WSJ - "At some of the most prestigious flagship universities, test results indicate the average graduate shows little or no improvement in critical thinking over four years. Some of the biggest gains occur at smaller colleges where students are less accomplished at arrival but soak up a rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum... 50% of employers complain that college graduates they hire aren’t ready for the workplace. Their No. 1 complaint? Poor critical-reasoning skills"

Singapore Like You've Never Seen Before - YouTube - " In order to bring to you a perspective of Singapore which you may hardly ever get to see, we explored the entire country, then explored even more. There were countless days that we injured ourselves, cut ourselves and braved the weather, rain or shine, just to get this piece out."

Weirdest Video You Will EVER See! GUARANTEED! - YouTube
Damn Japs
Apparently from "Funky Forest: The First Contact"

Ready, Aim, Hire a ‘Fortnite’ Coach: Parents Enlist Videogame Tutors for Their Children - WSJ - "It wasn’t the violence or the amount of time she was worried about. It was the result. He wasn’t winning. So she hired him a coach. For about $50, Ms. Hicks purchased four hours of online lessons from a player she found through a freelance labor website."

America, Meet America: Getting Past Our Toxic Partisanship - WSJ - "in the 1970s, the U.S. chapter of AFS started an additional program for exchanges within the country. Over the life of the program, more than a thousand teenagers would travel from Kansas to California, from Florida to New York and beyond—crisscrossing the country to live for a summer or a semester with host families, discovering new food and strange customs within their own country... “We had a Brown student who had spent a semester in Amsterdam, and she said it was nowhere near as different from Providence as Tougaloo,” says Elise Morse-Gagné, who teaches English at Tougaloo. “The food is very different. The economy is different. The attitude toward education is different. Religion is colossal.”... “What we have found is that it’s really difficult to hate someone you’ve had deep, meaningful, transformative experiences with—and whose community you’ve really come to value because you’ve felt welcome and appreciated there.”"

Hunting for Soft Skills, Companies Scoop Up English Majors - WSJ - "the pay numbers show employers are seeking hires with communication skills and comfort in multicultural environments... Behind the numbers is a growing desire among employers for hires with strong communication skills"

The dystopia of the child-protection industry - "In Norway, there has been a steep rise since 2008 in the number of children taken into emergency care. The most common reason is not parental violence, but ‘lack of parenting skills’, which can include what a representative of the state child-protection agency refers to as ‘connection problems between parent and child’ and ‘falling behind in school’. Rather than offering advice and support, children have been immediately removed when parents practiced mild forms of physical discipline, which is banned in Norway... The Welsh government has recently announced plans to push through legislation to remove the defence of reasonable chastisement in relation to smacking children, despite the fact that polls suggest a majority of the population is against criminalising smacking. Ministers claim that the change is meant to ‘send a message’ about how children should be raised and that the intention is not to criminalise parents. Similar promises were made in New Zealand, and they turned out to be untrue. There is no reason to believe that the UK will be any different to New Zealand or Norway. There is already a huge problem in the UK with over-intervention into family life. A recent study found that 22.5 per cent of children born in the 2009/2010 financial year were referred to social services before their 5th birthday. Everyone was up in arms recently at children being separated from parents at the US border. Yet the same thing is happening in other countries, too. Raising children is now seen as a set of skills that officials must impart to us. Don’t want your children taken away? Then don’t raise them in ways we don’t approve of. That is the message of many child-protection agencies today. We are sleepwalking back to the era when huge numbers of children were taken from their parents simply because the parents were poor, unmarried, indigenous or otherwise deemed incapable of producing the ‘right’ sort of citizen. The number of ‘looked after’ children in the UK is at an all-time high and the vast majority of these children are from the poorest sections of society. In Norway, children with immigrant mothers are four times more likely to be forcibly taken from their families. A child-centred society might sound utopian and idyllic, but we are now seeing its dystopian results."
When you're obsessed with "protecting" children...

Twitter Explodes After Ocasio-Cortez Attacks Shapiro In Response To Debate Offer - "Shapiro offered to donate $10,000 to Ocasio-Cortez's campaign if she agreed to a debate or discussion on his "Sunday Special" — or, if she preferred, to use the debate to raise money for charity."
Hopefully this will make some people realise you can't take feminist accusations like catcalling seriously
Addendum: This was about AOC claiming challenging her to a debate was like catcalling

WATCH: Ocasio-Cortez Forgets To Introduce Endorsee At His Own Rally - "At the event for Hawaii State Rep. Kaniela Ing, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that her own life was shaped by "runaway income inequality, an unaddressed history of imperialism, and poverty." Previously, Ocasio-Cortez was caught lying about her childhood upbringing after she claimed to have a rough upbringing in the Bronx but was later revealed to have come from Westchester, an affluent suburb."

The Parasite Underground - The New York Times - "the disappearance of parasites — largely eradicated from American life in the early 20th century through improvements in sanitation — might have left our immune systems unbalanced, increasing our vulnerability to all types of inflammatory disorders... Weinstock was already experimenting with “re-parasitizing” people with inflammatory bowel disease, using a helminth called Trichuris suis, the pig whipworm... The prevalence of autoimmune and allergic diseases has increased between two- and threefold in recent decades. Roughly one in five Americans has an allergic disease, ranging from seasonal hay fever to life-threatening food allergies. Roughly one in 13 has an autoimmune disease"

Finally, proof that Christmas songs really do your head in | Arwa Mahdawi - "a quarter of retail staff think an excess of Christmas music in their workplace makes them less festive and one in six said that it negatively affects their emotional wellbeing... a quarter of British shoppers dislike being subjected to Christmas music while out and about"

Silke Schoenfleisch-Backofen: 3ft 8in lawyer sues witness who laughed at her and sang 'Hi Ho' - "She decided to become a lawyer after failing to get into medical school because of the dwarfism that hindered her growth - in immediately set about suing the health ministry for refusing her entry."

Gladiator 2: The strangest sequel never made? - "Musician Nick Cave wrote a time-travel saga in which Maximus is not a gladiator – and an emperor laments his lightning-struck giraffe"

Jeremy Corbyn admits being present at wreath-laying for Munich terrorists but says 'I don't think I was actually involved in it' - "Jeremy Corbyn has admitted attending a ceremony for the terrorists behind the Munich massacre, but denied laying a wreath himself. The Labour leader said he was “present” at a memorial event commemorating those responsible for the 1972 attack, despite his office previously insisting he was only at the event in question honouring Palestinians killed in an Israeli air strike. Mr Corbyn was forced to explain himself after pictures showed him holding a wreath next to a memorial plaque for the perpetrators of the Munich attack. The latest row has fuelled the Labour party’s antisemitism crisis, with a senior Labour MP saying “there can never be a ‘fitting memorial’ to terrorists”... Mr Corbyn’s team had previously insisted he had only laid a wreath at another memorial – to pay tribute to the 47 Palestinians killed in an Israeli air strike on a PLO base in Tunisia in 1985. But images published by the Daily Mail show him holding a wreath in 2014 next to the memorial to the Munich bombers... Labour MP Luciana Berger, the parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, criticised Mr Corbyn’s latest comments. She said: “Being ‘present’ is the same as being involved. When I attend a memorial, my presence alone, whether I lay a wreath or not, demonstrates my association and support.” “There can never be a ‘fitting memorial’ for terrorists. Where is the apology?”... Sajid Javid, the home secretary, suggested Mr Corbyn should quit over the issue. He wrote on Twitter: ”If this was the leader of any other major political party, he or she would be gone by now.”"

The World of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Is as Crazy in Real Life - "For director Jon M. Chu, it was the “different tiers of rich” that interested him most. For the very richest, “it wasn’t about flash,” he says. “It’s about subtlety and class. It’s about how you were raised, and you can’t tell those things by the label.”... “For the superrich, it’s not about what you can buy, it’s about how creative you can be with your money,” Chu says. “Anyone can pay for stuff, but to have that idea and pay for it is another thing.”

Ryan Fournier on Twitter - "The media would rather focus on 30 person neo-Nazi rallies in DC than a Muslim extremist training kids at a New Mexico compound to shoot up schools."

Plus-Size Activist Complains She Was ‘Fetishized’ After Stripping to Bikini in Times Square - "Fashion blogger and plus-size activist Anna O’Brien recalled in a recent Cosmopolitan essay the harrowing experience of being "fetishized" after stripping down to a bikini in Times Square. O'Brien picked New York's famously hectic hub for a photo shoot last month with a German news crew that was doing a story about her. However, she saw the stunt as having a larger purpose: to offer an alternative to the usual "perfected and somewhat vanilla" plus-size modeling on offer... O'Brien had expected to be mocked for her weight, and that did happen. But much worse, she said, was the unexpected sexual praise she received"
- overweight, body positive feminist decides to pose in a bikini in Times Square
- hopes to get negative comments about her weight
- doesn't and instead gets sexualised comments
- is offended she wasn't offended in the way she want to be but is still offended she was sexualised."

Trump’s tweet on anniversary of Charlottesville riots was presidential, predictably not good enough for CNN Conservative News Today - "Within hours of President Donald Trump posting a sensible tweet Saturday morning rightly condemning “all types of racism and acts of violence,” a host from CNN slammed him."
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