We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, January 14. 2019
Why hip surgery wouldn’t help extend Andy Murray’s tennis career
R. Kelly: Why So Many Ignored the Warning Signs. The R&B star has enjoyed fame despite decades of claims that he’s abused teenage girls. Why?
Is weed as safe as many think?
'Fortnite' and the collapse of parenting
Kids should be outdoors playing sports and having real adventures. Adults who play these games are infantile by definition
Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers must face $1 billion syphilis infections suit
Nobel Prize Winning DNA Pioneer Stripped of Titles After Sharing His Views on IQ and Race
Even though he is correct, you can't say this. IQ is heavily genetic, same as height
Campus police want students to report acts of 'bias'
Like East Germany - report your neighbor
10-Year-Old Boy 'Drag Kid' Photographed With Naked Adult Drag Queen
Every day is Halloween
Good news: De Blasio loses twice to the little guys
Democrat Menendez Spotted Partying with Bikini Girls in Puerto Rico During Government Shutdown
Elizabeth Warren Makes The Tough Call On… Ditching Columbus Day
Jonathan Turley: FBI's 'Cognitive Bias' May Have Triggered Trump Russia Probe
Rosenstein Bent the Rules to Protect Mueller — and It Worked. The deputy attorney general should have recused himself at least twice, but didn’t, and stood up to Trump in the process
What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion? On the New York Times’s Latest Bombshell
Andrew McCarthy: FBI Russia investigation was always about Trump
CNN's Cuomo goes against CNN wall narrative
How dare he? Racist
Just in time for Democrats arguing walls don't work: New caravan readies to roll in
Flashback: Democrats Built Tall Fence To Keep Protesters Out Of Their 2016 Convention
"... no foreign-policy initiative undertaken by President Trump, however wise it may be in regard to US national interests, will be accepted by the establishment."
Conrad Black: America's resurgence is reshaping the world. The U.S. is demonstrating almost effortlessly how illusory is the idea that any other country or group of countries can challenge its pre-eminence
Jerusalem, Israel's Capital: Watch the Masks Fall
Malian slaves risk lives to end centuries-old institution, see hope in Trump
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Bob "Short Eyes" Menendez with girls in bikinis? What could go wrong there? Better check their birth certificates.
How can the Demorats be concerned about any individual having a "Catholic" mentality when their very own Pelosi was born, raised Catholic. Having had five children of her own one questions her true feelings about birth control. Her comment about "the wall is immoral" comes straight out of Liberation Theology textbooks--which is now the core curriculum at many Catholic universities.
"The only rule in science is that the final arbiter is observation - that you just have to look at the world and report what you see."
Shame that's been forgotten in so many contexts, and that everything is 'problematic' when it comes to reality.
people who call others infantile because of not agreeing with their chosen passtimes are not worth listening to.
I've managed to get a master's degree, marry (35 years now), raise three decent, smart, strong sons, served in the Air Force, and later in law enforcement and I have enjoyed gaming for years, among other hobbies. Trust me I am anything but infantile.
Not to sure about the guy making that claim though.
Nobel Prize Winning DNA Pioneer Stripped of Titles After Sharing His Views on IQ and Race
Bird Dog: Even though he is correct, you can't say this. IQ is heavily genetic, same as height
Nearly all scientists agree that intelligence is heritable to a large degree (heritability refers to the proportion of variation attributable to genes), but the Flynn Effect (increases in IQ over generations of the same population) shows that there are other factors involved. Watson's problem was making facile claims about race. Watson has always exhibited repugnant behavior, such as repeated instances of misogynistic behavior towards Rosalind Franklin, even though it was her data from x-ray crystallography that provided the key to unlocking the structure of DNA. (They used the data without her permission, and she never knew the extent of her own contribution.)
If it was a small difference I might agree but it is a huge difference. The Bell curve of IQ for people of Northern European descent peaks at 100. The Bell curve of IQ for people of Black African descent peaks at 80, and is a sharper curve.
"but the Flynn Effect (increases in IQ over generations of the same population) shows that there are other factors involved."
Yes! There are no African Americans whose family have lived in America for generations who are 100% African. There has been and ongoing mixing of that race with people of Northern European descent. If anything this shores up the theory that IQ is indeed determined by genetics and NOT the opposite as you imply.
American Lysenkoism has arrived.
Marxism is truly a cancer.
Rusty: American Lysenkoism has arrived.
You are confused. Lysenkoism is the theory that environmental influences are inherited. The Flynn Effect is consistent with Darwinian evolution in that IQ is believed to be only partly heritable, but that exposure to the complexities and advantages of the modern world, including education and nutrition, tends to lead to the kind of skills that then result in higher IQ test results.
The popular use of "Lysenkoism" does not deal with the specifics of what Lysenko worked on. It's reference goes more to the practice of confirming the conclusion of one line of reasonings to the purposeful exclusion of any studies that challenge it.
But you knew that.
Dale: The popular use of "Lysenkoism" does not deal with the specifics of what Lysenko worked on. It's reference goes more to the practice of confirming the conclusion of one line of reasonings to the purposeful exclusion of any studies that challenge it.
We were discussing genetics, and Lysenkoism has a well-defined meaning in the field. However, we do understand that Rusty was just handwaving in the general direction of genetics, and not attempting to make a coherent point.
As for "any studies that challenge it", you forgot to provide any specifics. The Flynn Effect has been verified many times by many different studies. It has occurred in developed countries around the world, in different cultures, with different ethnicities.
Did the "Flynn Effect" predict the current downturn in highly advanced countries? No?
Then it is not science.
Rusty: Did the "Flynn Effect" predict the current downturn in highly advanced countries?
The Flynn Effect is an observation, not a prediction. And yes, observations are part of science.
Actually, it's a phenomenon.
The difference being I can easily predict your trolling behavior but no one predicted the reversing of the Flynn Effect.
Lysenkoism: a biological doctrine asserting the fundamental influence of somatic and environmental factors on heredity in contradiction of orthodox genetics
The fact that I referenced Marxism should have told you I was referring to the politically correct movement.
You knew that.
But the temptation to troll was too strong, wasn't it?
Rusty: The fact that I referenced Marxism should have told you I was referring to the politically correct movement.
Thought it was a nervous tick, like Tourette syndrome. In any case, we responded that Watson is free to speak his mind, and others are free to criticize those opinions. How did you think free speech worked?
Even Lysenko knew that de-platforming begins with a simple whisper to a sympathetic newspaper.
Rusty: Even Lysenko knew that de-platforming begins with a simple whisper to a sympathetic newspaper.
Britain is still a free country. Watson can be a racist if he wants, and people can criticize him if they want.
Rusty: Even Lysenko knew that de-platforming begins with a simple whisper to a sympathetic newspaper.
Let's try it this way. Do you think people have the right to criticize Watson for his opinions?
De-platforming is not removing all of your free speech rights. It is removing a platform. ie:, James Watson no longer has a voice at Cold Spring Harbor. He can no longer speak as chancellor, he can no longer speak at board meetings, he can not speak at his honorary chair. His email and website access has been terminated.
Rusty: It is removing a platform. ie:, James Watson no longer has a voice at Cold Spring Harbor. He can no longer speak as chancellor, he can no longer speak at board meetings, he can not speak at his honorary chair.
Yes, and, as a private organization, they can control who speaks with the imprimatur of their organization. Watson still has a greater platform for speaking than anyone at Cold Harbor. So? How did you think free speech worked?
Consider the case of Nikolai Koltsov, Head of the Koltsov Institute of Experimental Biology who was accused of racism by a student, Nikolai Dubinin. He responded almost almost in the exact way that Watson responded: "I do not take back a single word I have ever spoken about genetics."
Within a few years, Lysenko was elected to the board of the Institute, and Nikolai was ousted.
This is how it begins. Cultural Marxism begins in the culture before it takes hold in the government.
How free speech "works" is less important than how free speech dies.
Rusty: This is how it begins. Cultural Marxism begins in the culture before it takes hold in the government.
Oh gee whiz. When Koltsov was purged, Stalin ruled an avowedly Marxist Soviet Union.
It happened before Lysenko came into power and long before anti-Lysenkoism was outlawed by the government.
Rusty: It happened before Lysenko came into power and long before anti-Lysenkoism was outlawed by the government.
But you said it "beings in the culture before it takes hold in the government", using Koltsov as an example, when that event occurred long after Stalin took power in an avowedly Marxist Soviet Union.
The government told Dubinin to accuse Koltsov of racism?
Interesting theory. Breathtakingly stupid. But interesting.
Rusty: The government told Dubinin to accuse Koltsov of racism?
Koltsov is not an example of how "cultural Marxism begins in the culture before it takes hold in the government. The government was Marxist long before Koltsov was killed by the secret police.
There is nothing inherently marxist about denying genetics. There is no communist plank about denying genetics. There is nothing in the communist manifesto denying genetics.
This took place in the academic culture more than a decade before denying genetics became the law of the land.
However, I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to hear that cultural marxists are once again pushing back against genetics and once again de-platforming scientists who speak in favor of it.
Shocked, I say.
Stunning, isn't it? One day archivists will marvel at the depth of bald-faced gaslighting that went on in the early 21st century on a small internet site called Maggies Farm.
Well, them kiddiez sure seem to know their Marxism.
"We" is a renown expert on anything it can dredge up if the point is to condescend while gaslighting. On that it is the undisputed champion jeenyus, easily the most vivid and notable example I've ever encountered.
Rusty: There is nothing inherently marxist about denying genetics.
That is not the case. Lamarckism is a more natural fit for Marxism, as it posits that the traits of organisms, including humans, are determined by their environment, that people could be remade for a utopian communist society. The opposite extreme on the right is that people are immutable and doomed by their inheritance. Of course, the truth is in the muddled middle.
Somebody forgot to tell all the marxist eugenicists.
You stupid shit. Lysenkoism was a political power grab.
The similarities to the modern de-platforming of Watson are obvious.
Rusty: The similarities to the modern de-platforming of Watson are obvious.
Watson still has a platform because of his fame, and can make any racist or misogynist claims he wants. Other people have the right to criticize his opinions if they want. How did you think free speech worked?
"We were discussing genetics", Gasbot, "however, we do understand that you were just handwaving in the general direction of trolling, and not attempting to make a coherent point."
Sound familiar? Funny, Rusty's leisurely takedown of your unmitigated diversionary handwaving bullshit was as epic a defeat as I've seen and I've seen many of your defeats.
Regardless, if you had a foundational principle that guides your obsessed, "freely given" intrusions it'd have shown itself. Unless that's all they've ever been, of course.
The pattern repeats itself. Make an uncontroversial statement that is observably true, and zachriel will argue against it with all the self-assured confidence of a 5th grader with Aspergers.
R: This sounds like Lysenkoism.
Z: Wrong. Lysenkoism is a biological theory.
R: I was obviously talking about the political de-platforming.
Z: Wrong. Watson wasn't de-platformed.
R: Actually, he lost his platform, so he was de-platformed.
Z: So what? He can still talk, can't he?
R: For now.
Z: You know, genetics is a right-wing thing.
R: Did your parents keep you in a crate and feed you with a slingshot?
LOL. And the dumbass thing somehow gathers that nobody notices this flood of gaslighting. The cherry on top is the oblivious arrogance, as if presenting as some Oracle of objective fact.
Human: Roses are red.
Gasbot: You are confused. Einstein hypothesized that the light from objects moving away from an observer would shift red.
Human: I seem to recall that Armstrong brought a single white orchid to the moon.
Gasbot: This is incorrect. In contravention of common rightwing belief, Snopes says that Marx never leapt an orbiting body. Handwaving.
Gasbot: Sure. We simply observed that we observe that we observed...
And this goes on every weekday. Ask the damn thing who pays it - we all pretty much know - and it regurgitates, "all our opinions are factual and freely given".
Like involuntary bowel movements, they certainly are freely given.
Hehehe! Might be a paid troll. But the first person plural tic leads me to think aspergers. He may likely consider us his only friends.
Rusty: Make an uncontroversial statement that is observably true
Actually, you made the false claim that the Flynn Effect was not science. You also said "American Lysenkoism has arrived" in reply to a comment about the Flynn Effect.
Anon: If it was a small difference I might agree but it is a huge difference.
It's about the same as the Flynn Effect. African IQs are about where American whites were a century ago. (The Flynn Effect may have leveled off in the most developed nations.)
Anon: There are no African Americans whose family have lived in America for generations who are 100% African.
The Flynn Effect holds within ethnic groups. The effect is found in most other developed nations, including in Western Europe, as well as Japan and Korea.
"African IQs are about where American whites were a century ago."
Not true. Very little change. It is interesting that there is an effort to "ethnically cleanse" the data to support what is essentially your and the left's opinion RATHER than simply discover the truth. Think about it if there is a genetic issue we could possibly address that issue in education and other factors to benefit this ethnic group. But if we continue to keep our head in the sand no effective measures will be or could be take to mitigate the problem. Sadly, this seems to be consistent with the left, i.e. to promote a politically correct cause and solution to a problem because the truth doesn't fit their narrative AND a real solution was not in their agenda anyway.
Anon: Not true.
In 1932, Americans had an average IQ of about 80 based on the standard of today's IQ tests, just about what the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans is today. See Neisser, Rising Scores on Intelligence Tests, American Scientist 1997.
The Neisser Study does not state that. It was a questionnaire asking teachers what they thought.
Nice try, kiddiez.
I agree that it is better to have real life, outdoor adventures than only have online adventures. When I was growing up, the only way to coordinate adventures with friends was to hang out with them in person. But today, it is very easy for friends to get together online and play a game together. My kids do it all the time, and it requires many of the same skills as social interactions in person: teamwork, trust, dedication. And the payoffs are there: winning together and sharing experiences.
Fortnite has more of a "hook" than most massive multiplayer games do. It is free and the graphics are cartoonish. There is violence, but it doesn't feel real like the depictions of blood and gore in most games or Hollywood movies.
I have no idea how many adults might play it. I have no idea why an adult might want to play Fortnite if they could play Battlefield instead.
I put limits on how long my kids can play video games (or stay awake reading, etc). There will be a day when they can regulate themselves fully. Until they leave my home, I have the ultimate authority for that.
Oh, and I meant to say this originally:
There is no scenario where I would call the cops on one of my kids for something like this.
First, it is MY responsibility to get them to wake up, do chores, etc. If I failed, I wouldn't try to outsource it to law enforcement.
Second, while most of my local PD and sheriff's deputies are superb people, if one of them is having a bad day and my kid was to make a bad mistake, it could end tragically. So I would NEVER have law enforcement in my home for something like this. Even that small risk is too much to take.
"PG&E Corp. announced Monday that it will begin filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of January amid mounting liabilities from the past few years’ deadly California wildfires."
This kind of thing is a mistake. It is driven by ambulance chasing lawyers and it is counter productive. Hospitals have been closed as a result of stupid lawsuits (a gang member dropped off another gang member at the front door of the hospital at 3 AM instead of at the emergency room door. The gang member dies because the hospital door is locked, The resultant lawsuit forces the hospital to shut down.) Does anyone think that PG&E intentionally did something wrong to cause this fire? No, it will be decided by emotion because of the impact of the fire. So if the investors in PG&E lose billions and PG&E loses assets how is this good for PG&E customers and what about the future not just for PG&E but for any semi-public company?
I'm still wondering about the photos of autos melted to a crisp including their window glass while groves in the background remained green. Also large trees burning from the inside out? Huh? Maybe I should have taken more science...
This isn't even the first time PG&E has gone through bankruptcy. They filed shortly after 2000 and stayed in for years and years. That time the problem was the crazed functioning of the energy market largely brought about by inexplicable California laws and PUC decisions. I worked on that case for several years.
They had a pretty sharp bankruptcy judge. I hope they'll be that lucky again.
Truscott: God help us, Trump is right about something.
Then he might be right about other things, too.
IQ and race only matters where there is outcome based discrimination tests. Then you're talking averages, and the result is that white people are told they're discriminating when they know they're not, and black people are told they're being discrimated against and that's why they're not doing well, and black people get mad.
So it's a constant thorn in race relations, instead of being individual IQs and you fall where you fall and everybody's just an American.
The move against Watson's Nobel prize makes me sick, but nothing that absurd committee can do could ever change Watson & Crick's triumph in figuring out the structure of the double helix.
Is there some way to find the identities of the members of the committee who did this to Watson. We should start "outing" the cowards who do things like this!
Another One: Is there some way to find the identities of the members of the committee who did this to Watson. We should start "outing" the cowards who do things like this!
They're hiding in plain sight.
Does anyone think Watson was not aware that his statements would be disliked, and he would be accused of wrongthink? And yet he and other scientists say these things anyway. As there is a personal cost to them, what could their possible motives be?
Additional note: Flynn Effect ceilings when basic childhood nutrition, disease-avoidance, and stimulation needs are met. For those Americans above the poverty level (which was less than 50% in the 1930's), the increase is not significant.
Watson's achievement was not more because the Nobel committee acknowledged it. Their prize was more because he was an example of what they had the good judgment to admire.
Texan99: Watson's achievement was not more because the Nobel committee acknowledged it.
Quite so! But nor is his prejudice any less pernicious because he is good at chemistry. People are mixed bags.
Assistant Village Idiot: Flynn Effect ceilings when basic childhood nutrition, disease-avoidance, and stimulation needs are met. For those Americans above the poverty level (which was less than 50% in the 1930's), the increase is not significant.
Most researchers agree that fetal and childhood nutrition, disease-avoidance, and education are factors. However, the Flynn Effect is still prevalent in those with higher incomes. See Ang, The Flynn Effect within Subgroups in the U.S.: Gender, Race, Income, Education, and Urbanization Differences in the NLSY-Children Data, Intelligence 2011. Nor is it clear that the Flynn Effect has plateaued in the U.S.