Archives for posts with tag: wake up pc people!

does this make any sense? to anybody?

“Sweden pays jobless youth to move to Norway”
“31 Oct 2012

“A Swedish town has taken to paying people to look for work in Norway in an attempt to reduce soaring youth unemployment….”

meanwhile:

“Sweden to get 50,000 asylum seekers in 2013″
“29 Oct 12

“Over 50,000 asylum seekers are expected to come to Sweden next year, according to the latest prognosis from the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket), pushing the country’s capacity past its limits….”

huh?

(note: comments do not require an email. sweden. wtf happened?)

if you haven’t already, you HAVE to go watch the brainwash series! really. trust me. it’s terrific! and i’m not the only one who thinks so (see some of the comments in this post). (^_^)

the show — from norway, but now with english subtitles (thank you, internet!), available here and here — was conceived and is hosted by a norwegian comedian (yeah, i didn’t know they had any either (~_^) ), a guy named harald eia. i guess maybe it takes a comedian to point out the most absurd aspects of our modern, western society, eh?

wikipedia says:

“‘Hjernevask’ (‘Brainwash’) … contrasted cultural determinist models of human behavior (also referred to as the Standard social science model) with nature-nurture interactionist perspectives.”

but it’s funnier than that. waaaaaaay funnier than that!

the basic layout of the show is that eia picks a topic — gender equality, for instance — and then goes and interviews some norwegian social scientists — you know, “specialists” in the subject — about it (in this episode it was — heh — gender researchers). and then he goes and interviews researchers in touch with the real world, like biologists or whatever, both norwegian and others (american, english). and THEN he goes BACK to the social scientists with recorded interviews of the non-social scientists in hand and gets the reaction of the lost-in-space social scientists to what the real scientists had to say.

needless to say, much hilarity ensues! (^_^)

the first episode is about differences between the genders and whether any of it is innate or not (i know — pretty basic — how could anyone get this one wrong?). more specifically, it’s about a BIG problem they, apparently, have in norway — the “gender equality paradox.” that is, despite the fact that norway has equal — prolly more than equal — opportunities, education, etc., etc., for everyone, they still have this awful, awful problem that something like 90% of engineers are men and something like 90% of nurses are women. the horror! the horror.

the norwegian gender researchers, of course, blame the differences that men and women have in capabilities and interests on the fact that, from day one, boys and girls are treated differently — boys are dressed in blue and called “little tough guy” while girls are dressed in pink and referred to as sweet little things. you know. that sort of thing. according to one (of the more clueless) gender researchers, some guy named lorentzen, men and women are exactly the same in all ways — mentally, emotionally, etc., etc. — there are just a few minor differences like different genitals, women have boobs, men have beards, and so on. *facepalm*

eia records all of them explaining these concepts and then heads off to talk to some people who have at least half a brain.

first, he talks to one norwegian researcher, trond diseth, who studies behavior in babies born with an unclear sex to see if they behave more like boys or girls (i guess this one of the tools they use when considering what sort of gender-reassignment surgery or whatever you call it to maybe perform on a baby). throughout his research, this guy has found that most boy babies born with all of your standard “boy parts” prefer playing with masculine toys, while most girl babies born with all of your standard “girl parts” prefer playing with girlie toys. there are exceptions, of course, but we’re just that — exceptions.

eia then heads to the u.s. where he interviews richard lippa, who has found that, curiously, gender differences in things like job preference (do you want to be an engineer or a nurse?) seem to be consistent on a global basis. strange if these differences have only a cultural cause that the same differences should show up in different cultures. he also visits simon baron-cohen at cambridge who has found that gender differences are present on day one of life [opens pdf], so again it’s hard to see how culture can be 100% of the explanation for the differences between the sexes.

finally, he also speaks with anne campbell, evolutionary psychologist, who explains natural selection beautifully and points out how unlikely it is that men and women should be exactly the same mentally or emotionally:

Campbell: ‘The key to all this is how many descendants you leave behind you and any traits that increase the number of descendants you leave behind you will tend to stay in the gene pool. And that’s what’s selecting in particular traits both in males and in females…. If women are generally the ones that give birth, that lactate, that raise children, it would surprising if there wasn’t some kind of psychological orchestration that helped women achieve those tasks and made those kinds of tasks particularly pleasurable to women. So, things like empathy in women, things like avoiding dangerous confrontations where you may be hurt or injured, things like avoiding social exclusion, being pushed out of the group, all of those are good things. All of those mean that you are more likely to survive and to reproduce, and to leave children who they themselves also reproduce.’

“According to Campbell, that’s why today’s women are more oriented towards other people than men.”

the best zinger comes right at the end, tho, from simon baron-cohen:

Baron-Cohen: ‘It’s a very moderate proposal to say it’s a mixture of biology and culture. I’m not saying it’s all biology. I’m simply saying don’t forget about biology.'”

heh! ’nuff said, really. go watch the show to see the reactions of the different types of researchers to each other’s theories — it’s all very amusing — and very informative!
_____

btw, the gender-researcher, lorentzen, is a real winner. not only did he insist that his “culture only” theories were correct, he actually laughed at other sorts of research. and he thought that american researchers were particularly bad. from the show:

“Lorentzen was skeptical of this kind of research [specifically richard lippa's research].

Eia: ‘It’s a funny study… You’re laughing as I say the word “study.”‘

Lorentzen: ‘I get telephones from every media when they get these American studies. They’re often American.’

Eia: ‘Are Americans especially good?’

Lorentzen: ‘No, especially poor, I would say. Or especially speculative.'”

you gotta remember that this lorentzen guy was laughing the whole time he was saying this.

now, don’t take this the wrong way, mr. lorentzen, but i have to point out that it’s not like norwegian gender-researchers are, by any stretch of the imagination, on the cutting edge of human behavior studies. you know, you guys gave us ibsen and the paper clip. feel free to rest on those laurels for as long as you like. really. please don’t think that you have to compete with anybody to prove that you’re the best in show science (only to wind up feeling second-rate like you obviously do).

previously: brainwash and the hard sciences are soooo sexist!

(note: comments do not require an email. the paper clip.)

this is grrrrrreeeeeaaaaat (as tony the tiger would say)! at least this first episode is. (^_^)

i heard about this series before from steve sailer, and referenced it once in this post here, but now someone has apparently gone and added engrish subtitles to the series. yay! (can’t vouch for the quality of the translations.)

unfortunately, i can’t figure out how to embed the video here on wordpress (they’ve got iframe issues and i’m not about to start downloading plugins), but you can watch the video(s) here @mrctv.

here’s more about the series:

“What Eia [the host of the show] had done, was to first interview the Norwegian social scientists on issues like sexual orientation, gender roles, violence, education and race, which are heavily politicized in the Norwegian science community. Then he translated the interviews into English and took them to well-known British and American scientists like Robert Plomin, Steven Pinker, Anne Campbell, Simon Baron-Cohen, Richard Lippa, David Buss, and others, and got their comments. To say that the American and British scientists were surprised by what they heard, is an understatement.”

heh. (i almost feel sorry for the social scientists. almost….)

now why can’t somebody make a series like this in engrish?!

h/t to a commenter over @steve’s blog calling himself the observer for pointing to the videos. (^_^)

previously: the hard sciences are soooo sexist!

(note: comments do not require an email. brainwash!)

“Strangers can spot ‘kindness’ gene: study”

“People with a certain gene trait are known to be more kind and caring than people without it, and strangers can quickly tell the difference, according to US research published on Monday.

“The variation is linked to the body’s receptor gene of oxytocin, sometimes called the ‘love hormone’ because it often manifests during sex and promotes bonding, empathy and other social behaviors.

“Scientists at Oregon State University devised an experiment in which 23 couples, whose genotypes were known to researchers but not observers, were filmed.

“One member of the couple was asked to tell the other about a time of suffering in his or her life. Observers were asked to watch the listener for 20 seconds, with the sound turned off.

In most cases, the observers were able to tell which of the listeners had the ‘kindness gene’ and which ones did not, said the findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences edition of November 14.

“‘Our findings suggest even slight genetic variation may have tangible impact on people’s behavior, and that these behavioral differences are quickly noticed by others,’ said lead author Aleksandr Kogan, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto….”

see also: Thin-slicing study of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene and the evaluation and expression of the prosocial disposition @pnas.

p.s. – from the afp article:

“People in the study were tested beforehand and found to have GG, AG or AA genotypes for the rs53576 DNA sequence of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene.

“People who have two copies of the G allele are generally judged as more empathetic, trusting and loving.

“Those with AG or AA genotypes tend to say they feel less positive overall, and feel less parental sensitivity. Previous research has shown they also may have a higher risk of autism.”

i got AG, btw. (~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. got oxytocin?)

well, he actually wasn’t anywhere near being watsoned since he committed his politically incorrect faux pas in the early 1980s, but he did get a good telling off. he definitely would’ve been booted out today, though.

he thought political correctness was stupid, and his swpl-lady-accuser — well, i dunno what he thought of her, but i think she’s stupid. what on earth would he have made of our situation today?

from “Narrow Roads of Gene Land, Vol. 2″ [pgs. 303-04, 307-09]:

“By 1984 two aspects of life in the USA had made me feel differently [about moving back to the uk]. One was the level of violence — this was felt even in a seemingly rural university town like Ann Arbor….

“The other main incentive for the move was also a ‘rising level’ and this had changed in the 2 years [since the last offer of a job in the uk], and was about as depressing for me as the violence. I see it now as the beginning of what came to be called ‘political correctness’, but then it just seemed an increasing intolerance about how others lived and spoke, a rising pressure to conformity. Mountain men in remote valleys might escape the new social climate but one couldn’t in Ann Arbor….

“While the ‘anti-smoke’ pollution of human freedom was one factor pushing me to Britain in the early 1980s it still wasn’t the most significant event telling me I was getting seriously out of touch with America and was going to find it difficult just to be myself if I remained there. Rather it was the experience of being telephoned by a lady academic…”

… ugh. you just know it’s going to be bad …

“…to talk to me about a letter I had sent to her department recommending one of my graduate students for an advertised post. She told me that phrases I had used were very harmful both to the student’s chances and to my own reputation. Because I had taken great care in writing the letter and considered it to contain, in fact, the strongest support I had ever given to any student, I was immediately dismayed and puzzled. I was soon enlightened by her where the trouble lay. I had written to the effect that the student was ‘exceptionally strong on the theoretical and statistical side and with an ability especially remarkable in view of her sex and non-mathematical background’….”

… heh …

“…The offending words will be obvious to anyone today: my informant made it clear to me that I ought to have treated the student as if I had never noticed its gender.

“Hundreds of experiences have taught me that women are not as good on average at maths and spatial problems as men. This matter seemed really to need no statistical tests although plenty have been recorded. In a related field, day-to-day orientation, many women seem almost to boast about their tendency to get lost in towns and buildings: very few men do. The entire sweep of history as I knew it suggested to me the same things, and the difference continues even right up to the present in spite of all the recent equalizing forces that have been applied. Even in rats females have been shown to be less good at spatial and route-finding tasks than males although why this should be is still largely a mystery. As always, of course, the overlap of abilities is wide and there are innumerable women who are much better mathematicians and visualizers than innumerable men — I could name many who are better than me. For sure also, plenty of good women engineers, physicists, and the like are qualifying where there exists the will to enter these activities. Still, the average difference remains for me striking and is confirmed through a multitude of channels. Aptitude tests performed on small children are just the start of them. Nowadays some parents make a special point of trying to override any cultural bias that may have existed in erstwhile courses of infancy and childhood and I, too, have made my own small intrafamily attempts, out of interest, to see if the tendency could be overridden (diagrams of theorems of Euclid pinned inside the hood of one daughter’s perambulator formed a part of one experiment). But neither I nor others who have tried it, I think, can record much success (my daughter, however, did pass advanced-level school maths).

“Anyway, consequently I didn’t believe the theory that the difference comes wholly from cultural factors, and I assumed that, in spite of all the outcry of a few based so far as I could see on very flimsy evidence and excuses, most intelligent people of both sexes would interpret my letter the same way as I meant it. Holding this expectation, I had wanted to be sure my student would not be automatically devalued by a reader of my letter who might interpret it as a more vague complement: ‘Exceptional,’ he says, but he means no doubt ‘as women go’ — who wouldn’t leave this unsaid of his own student?’ I had added the phrase to forestall this, to make clear that I was aware of the average difference and nevertheless gave unqualified praise. I assumed any ‘search’ committee would understand this and that it would raise, not lower, my student’s chance. I still can hardly credit that what I wrote would be interpreted in any other way…. But in the gathering new climate — in which, by analogy, I suppose you are not supposed to mention in a letter that you happen to have noticed that a student has the handicap of being blind — they were not harmless: some acid remarks from the person on the phone made this plain when, amazed, I tried to explain what I had meant….

“The end result was that I decided, rather as I had done at Cambridge when I had been told there was no possible connection between genetics and social anthropology, that I should try to pursue my career as a misogynist somewhere else with the corollary to this decision that I needed to be careful about taking on more graduate students generally if my best efforts were going to harm them in ways I had become too socially blind to see.”

reading this account reminded me of something pat buchanan wrote just the other day — The Equality Racket:

“And here is the unvarying argument of the left since Karl Marx: If you give us power, we will take from the rich who have so much and give it to you who have so little. But before we can do that, you must give us power.

“This is the equality racket. As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:

“‘The sole condition which is required in order to succeed in centralizing the supreme power in a democratic community, is to love equality, or to get men to believe you love it. Thus the science of despotism, which was once so complex, is simplified, and reduced … to a single principle.’

When they come preaching equality, what they want is power.

uh-huh.

(note: comments do not require an email. find x.)

…person who is really wrong about the gender imbalance issue in china and india.

in her recently published book, she apparently blames westerners for all the missing girls. from the guardian:

“Much of the literature on sex selection has suggested that cultural patterns explain the phenomenon. But Hvistendahl lays the blame squarely on western governments and businesses that have exported technology and pro-abortion practices without considering the consequences. Amniocentesis and ultrasound scans have had largely positive applications in the west, where they have been used to detect foetal abnormalities. But exported to Asia and eastern Europe they have been intricately linked to an explosion of sex selection and a mushrooming of female abortions.

“Hvistendahl claims western governments actively promoted abortion and sex selection in the developing world, encouraging the liberalisation of abortion laws and subsidising sales of ultrasounds as a form of population control.

‘It took millions of dollars in funding from US organisations for sex determination and abortion to catch on in the developing world,’ she writes.”

yes, yes — it was the evil westerners. again.

never mind that she’s totally wrong.

coincidentally, emmanuel todd brought up this very topic in his book that i just posted about yesterday [pgs. 48-49]:

“Female infanticide

“Undoubtedly the best indication of the fiercely agnatic character of the Indian family is the existence of a virulent tradition of female infanticide, more marked in north India even than in China. Recent Indian censuses consistently reveal a striking imbalance between the sexes: and excess of males denotes a massacre of female babies. A special supplement to the 1971 census was devoted to the sex ratio which, while normal in south India, frequently falls below 9 women to 10 men in north India (8.8 in Uttar Pradesh, near Delhi). In one group of villages in the Kangra district (Punjab) where a census was held in 1855, there were among children aged 4 to 14 only 393 girls for 1,000 boys.

1855. that’s just a few years before ultrasounds and amniocentesis tests were exported to the east by us evil westerners.

for a change, i’m in agreement with richard dawkins: Sex selection and the shortage of women: is science to blame?

(note: comments do not require an email. or … omg! fish can count up to three! huh?)

…stephen jay gould was a crappy scientist (but you already knew that, didn’t you?):

- Stephen Jay Gould: incompetent or biased?
A mismeasured Mismeasurement of Man
Stephen Jay Gould: The Misrepresentation of Science

research article: The Mismeasure of Science: Stephen Jay Gould versus Samuel George Morton on Skulls and Bias

p.s. – i <3 greg cochran.

edit: see also Gould’s “Unconscious Manipulation of Data”

(note: comments do not require an email. leave your biases at the door!)

scientific american invited a guest blogger to respond to kanazawa’s post about race and attractiveness (altho the views expressed are not necessarily those held by scientific american…).

the guest blog — The Data Are In Regarding Satoshi Kanazawa — written by someone named khadijah britton — almost ends (almost) with an important point that i actually stand behind:

“The intent behind a question can establish an immoral line of inquiry and instigate immoral research methods (see the Nazi doctors’ experiments). But a question itself is not evil. Scandalous, offensive and sometimes frightening questions are often at the root of important scientific inquiry. When supported by data significant enough to support them, these questions drive us toward the truth (see, e.g., ‘the Earth is round’)…. Kanazawa does not earn censure with the political incorrectness of his question…” [my emphasis.]

hear, hear! (*hbdchick applauds vigorously*)

but, britton is not really very convincing ’cause she continues … in the very same sentence:

“…but earns social and scientific irrelevance through the weakness of his research. This irrelevance earns Kanazawa a special place in hell in today’s link-driven media economy – one where no one will hear him scream.” [my emphases.]

wait. what?

how did all-of-a-sudden-like SOCIAL irrelevance enter into this discussion? and, in hell? that’s mighty emotional, now, isn’t it? i thought we were talking about SCIENCE. (yeah, i know, i know. humor me.) as in, you know, the scientific method? the search for TRUTH and FACTS and all that? i mean, wtf?

if you haven’t read the whole post you’re in for a treat!, you might be surprised at this apparent turn in her … reasoning? but, there were hints … LOTS of them … that this conclusion was coming. here’s some choice bits from earlier in the post (again, my emphases):

“As it turns out, Kanazawa is a REPEAT OFFENDER, with years of roundly criticized and heartily debunked PSEUDOSCIENCE-based SHOCK-JOCKERY under his belt. Despite this, he is STILL posting on the blog of a reputable mainstream publication, STILL teaching at a respected university and STILL serving on the editorial board of one of his discipline’s peer-reviewed research journals. Though, possibly not for long: this particular post’s RACIST [oh no! not that! the horror, the horror.] hypothesis offended many, unleashing SERIOUS RIGHTEOUS OUTRAGE across the internet: social media users raced to blog, tweet and even petition demanding that Psychology Today remove Kanazawa as a contributor to their Web site and magazine….

“I see a more central flaw with Kanazawa’s method beyond its CREEPINESS, reliance on unscientific conjecture or abuse of factor analysis….”

oh no! not creepiness! pass me my smelling salts — i’m think i’m going to faint. (echos of pc myers on galton.)

britton doesn’t like the add health research very much, either:

“I am DISTURBED by the fact that the Add Health study’s adult researchers even answered the question of how attractive they rated these youth. I am EVEN MORE DEEPLY DISTRUBED by the idea that we are to extrapolate a general theory of desirability from these adult interviewers’ subjective assessment of the children’s attractiveness….”

so much for a question, itself, not being evil. deeply disturbing, and especially waaaaaycist, questions apparently should NOT be asked. eveh. never mind evil ones. if they do get asked … get prepared for some SERIOUS RIGHTEOUS OUTRAGE.

but, khadijah britton, like many women (yes, including yours truly), is an emotional gal, so kanazawa’s conclusions offended her … deeply …

“I drafted this post after spending a couple of days sorting through my emotions on Kanazawa’s work. Seeing that the man clearly relishes his role as an agent provocateur, I knew I could not impact him or those who respond to his work from a place of emotion. He has made that much clear.

As I tweeted after reading Kanazawa’s post, ‘Imagine a little Black girl reading this filth. [Toni Morrison's novel] The Bluest Eye is not history to her. It’s reality.’ I want to protect that little girl – and wish I could heal all the little girls that came before her and grew up into beautiful women like this one, made to feel ugly by a racist society. I stand in solidarity with Black women and hope you will heed this blog’s cry to stand stronger than ever in self-love.” [my emphases.]

preach it, khadijah!

*exasperated sigh*

look. it’s ok to respond emotionally to what happens in the world. emotions are a part of being human — prolly more so for most women than most men.

but you’ve GOT to leave your emotions at the door when evaluating science! even if you think it’s shoddy science. just SHOW that it’s shoddy (if it is) and leave it at that.

we’ve got to be open and honest here. (as honest as we possibly can.) otherwise, we’re never gonna understand the world (and, potentially, really help people).

previously: the offensive mr. kanazawa and silly refutations of kanazawa’s blog post

(note: comments do not require an email. or anger-management therapy.)

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