URLs du Jour

2018-09-08

[Amazon Link]

  • At the invitation of Senator Rand Paul, I went to the Andy Sanborn rally at SNHU in Hookset yesterday. Got to shake the hands of both. If you have a burning need to see the back of my balding head, it's in the first few seconds of the video accompanying the WMUR story (second row, light blue shirt).

    Yeah, looks like Sanborn has my vote on Tuesday.


  • At Quillette, Theodore P. Hill writes: Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole.

    In the highly controversial area of human intelligence, the ‘Greater Male Variability Hypothesis’ (GMVH) asserts that there are more idiots and more geniuses among men than among women. Darwin’s research on evolution in the nineteenth century found that, although there are many exceptions for specific traits and species, there is generally more variability in males than in females of the same species throughout the animal kingdom.

    Evidence for this hypothesis is fairly robust and has been reported in species ranging from adders and sockeye salmon to wasps and orangutans, as well as humans. Multiple studies have found that boys and men are over-represented at both the high and low ends of the distributions in categories ranging from birth weight and brain structures and 60-meter dash times to reading and mathematics test scores. There are significantly more men than women, for example, among Nobel laureates, music composers, and chess champions—and also among homeless people, suicide victims, and federal prison inmates.

    Which is all well and good until you actually write a paper on the topic, have it accepted at a journal, and word gets out to the local chapter of People Who Have Nothing Better To Do. You'll never believe won't be surprised at what happens next. RTWT for the sorry story (and, for the math-inclined, a link to the paper People don't want you to read).

    Today's Amazon Product du Jour is "Memory Hole (Jamatar Remix)" by Ubiq. The sample provided at Amazon is catchy!


  • Justified was chock full of great acting, accompanying interesting stories (disclaimer: Season Five, not so much) and inventive action. Nick Searcy was outstanding as Chief Deputy Art Mullen. He's at National Review writing about his new movie: Why I Directed Gosnell.

    Fear is now killing the movie business. This fear of allowing certain viewpoints to be presented is producing predictable, boring films with no danger in them, no truth, no tension, and no drama, and it is driving people away in droves. And that is partly why I chose to direct Gosnell. As we learned in grade school, we have to stop being afraid of bullies.

    This film had to go around Hollywood to make its way to the audience. That is a long and difficult road right now — but the trail has been blazed. Movies such as the recent hit I Can Only Imagine have forged it, and found their audiences. While it might just be a rocky wagon trail now, I can see a day when it is a mighty freeway, bringing films with all viewpoints to the audiences who want to see them.

    You don't expect actors to be good writers, but there you go. (And since I follow Mr. Searcy on Twitter, I expected more hilarious insults. But there you go.)


  • I shared this Reason link with Mrs. Salad (Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Prof Emeritus): Most Nutrition Research Is Bunk. I'm still typing, so far so good. But if this is my last blog post, you'll know what happened.

    Government nutrition advice based on decades of "research" by nutrition epidemiologists has now been shown to be mostly unwarranted scaremongering, writes Stanford University statistician John P.A. Ioannidis, who has been at the forefront of criticizing the misuse and abuse of statistics to justify the publication of shoddy and just plain wrong research in numerous disciplines.

    In his justly famous 2005 PLoS Medicine article, "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False," Ioannidis concluded that "for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias." As the co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS) Ioannidis has turned his attention to what passes for nutrition science in a recent analysis, "The Challenge of Reforming Nutritional Epidemiologic Research," in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    I only believe the studies that tell me to (a) eat what I like and (b) drink too much wine.


  • At Law and Liberty, Benjamin A. Kleinerman writes about Trump and the Norm of Presidential Dignity. He rebuts a op-ed defense of Trump's "norm breaking" by Charles R. Kesler of the Claremont Institute.

    What is striking over the course of American history is how consistent this norm of presidential dignity and unification remained despite other dramatic transformations of the office. Even as the President became more “rhetorical” in the wake of Woodrow Wilson and ever more partisan as the political primary process pushed Presidents in the direction of their more extreme electoral bases, they still aimed at unity and carried themselves with dignity once in office. Although they might, at times, become more aggressively partisan or less aware of the constitutional norms, both the political culture and their own understanding of the office pulled them back from the brink. As Washington hoped, the norms of the office shaped the behavior of its occupants. Without those norms, the national government seems to lose much of its dignity and unity, and, without these, it loses its strength.

    This captain-of-the-ship norm is the one Trump should not be breaking. We as a people almost instinctively, as though it’s part of our constitutional genome, know that. The positive reactions to his first State of the Union address, which was tempered and gracious, indicate how much we want him to act better. We want him to represent all of us at our best. Even those who hate him, I suspect, would prefer it if he just carried himself with more dignity. Many might have supposed he would act on the lesson that was there to be learned from that first State of the Union address: he would enjoy much more political authority if he leveraged the distinctly presidential authority of the office.

    We can only hope things snap back to normal, dignity-wise, after Trump is outta here.


  • Newsbusters reports a big surprise: NBC Discovers Midterm Voters Don’t Care About Trump Tweets, Russia. It's a surprise, that is, to NBC. Not so much to normal people.

    Earlier on Wednesday’s Today show, even Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd admitted that a new tell-all book from Bob Woodward about the Trump White House probably wouldn’t resonate with anyone outside of political and media circles: “Look, I don’t know if outside of Washington this is anything more than, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s just another crazy story involving the Trump White House.’ I don’t know if it penetrates that much outside of our bubbles.”

    It’s nice to see that NBC journalists are at least aware that they live in a bubble. If only the network’s political coverage would actually reflect that self awareness.

    Two things I'm not holding my breath to see: (1) Trump becoming a dignified President; (2) the MSM getting over its anti-Trump obsessions.