Saturday, January 28, 2017


"I was told by the founding members of the Women's Studies Department at the State University of New York at Albany that I had been brainwashed by male scientists to believe that hormones even existed, much less had any role in the shaping of our identity and character."--Camille Paglia

Low morale at the National Security Agency is causing some of the agency’s most talented people to leave in favor of private sector jobs, former NSA Director Keith Alexander told a room full of journalism students, professors and cybersecurity executives Tuesday. The retired general and other insiders say a combination of economic and social factors — including negative press coverage — have played a part.
“I am honestly surprised that some of these people in cyber companies make up to seven figures. That’s five times what the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff makes. Right? And these are people that are 32 years old.”
“Do the math. [The NSA] has great competition,” he said.

Starbucks Corp co-founder Howard Schultz's plan to build a new prestige brand is a bet that moving upscale can raise the profile of the world's largest coffee brand with millennials. 
Schultz in April will step down as chief executive to focus on building 1,000 new "Reserve" brand stores. Over time there also will be as many as 30 large, showcase Reserve Roastery and Tasting Rooms in major cities around the world. One such cafe on Manhattan's Upper East Side offers $10 cups of coffee made in glass siphons, $10 "flights" of Reserve brews and nitro cold brew via a separate Reserve menu.

After shooting John Lennon four times, Chapman sat down on the sidewalk to read the book The Catcher in the Rye while he waited for police. Lennon kept a journal. His last journal entry quotes the beginning of Robert Browning's "Rabbi Ben Ezra," turned into song in Lennon's last year-"Grow old along with me! / The best is yet to be...."

There is a new book called ADHD Nation about the incredible campaign the Pharmas created to advance their ADHD diagnosis and drugs. An article on it includes this story of Leo Tolstoy as a child who was said to exemplify the classic Tolstoy "wildness:" "As the household sat down to table, the boy took a running jump headfirst through the first-floor window above them, explaining, when he regained consciousness, that he had wanted to surprise everyone."

The origin of the phrase "dismal science:" Economists such as John Stuart Mill argued that it was institutions, not race, that explained why some nations were rich and others poor. Thomas Carlyle attacked Mill for supporting the emancipation of slaves. It was this fact—that economics assumed that people were basically all the same, and thus all entitled to liberty—that led Carlyle to label economics 'the dismal science.'

What is...CRISPR?

An industry, supported by more than $200 million from the National Science Foundation, of sexual discrimination of women in science persists despite overwhelming evidence—from experiments as well as extensive studies of who gets academic jobs and research grants—that a female scientist is treated as well as or better than an equally qualified male. In a rigorous set of five experiments published last year, the female candidate was preferred two-to-one over an equivalent male. The main reason for sexual disparities in some fields is a difference in interests: from an early age, more males are more interested in fields like physics and engineering, while more females are interested in fields like biology and psychology (where most doctorates go to women).

Half of American imports are raw materials or intermediate goods used by U.S.-based producers. So they are really intermediaries for American production. So, how is that bad?

In a 1976 book, The Genesis Strategy, the climatologist Stephen Schneider advocated a new fourth branch of the federal government (with experts like himself serving 20-year terms) to deal with the imminent crisis of global cooling. He later switched to become a leader in the global-warming debate.

Mansuetude: noun: 1. mildness; gentleness: the mansuetude of Christian love.

You are safe, dear old man, you are safe, temporarily, in the mansuetude of our care, Julie said. The what? The mansuetude that is to say mild gentleness of our care.
-- Donald Barthelme, The Dead Father, 1975
Mansuetude first appears in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (“The Parson’s Tale”) and is usually associated with its opposite vices—anger, ferocity, and violence. The frequency of mansuetude has steadily declined since the 1920s and is now considered rare or archaic. The word entered English in the 1390s.

When Obama diplomatically ducked a question on the campaign trail about the age of the Earth (“I don’t presume to know”), the press paid no attention. When Marco Rubio later did the same thing (“I’m not a scientist”), he was lambasted as a typical Republican ignoramus determined to bring back the Dark Ages.

A simple question about the minimum wage:  Would people accept wages that third parties don’t like if there were better alternatives available? If not, then the price is market-set. So, then, is the wage fiat-set as "minimum" arbitrary or based upon some market concept?

Golden oldie:

Thomas Leonard's thesis in his book, Illiberal Reformers, is that the issues of race and eugenics were prominent in the period between the appearance of Darwin's Origin of the Species and the Nazi era. His account of the times reveal several similarities with the current campaign to address climate change. First, there was the widespread belief among the eugenicists that their views were grounded in science. Second, there was a fear that the future of humanity depended on developing the will and the means to intervene to change course. "'Race suicide' was a Progressive Era catchphrase, coined by the captious Edward A. Ross to describe the theory that races compete, and racial competition is subject to a kind of Gresham's Law (that is, bad heredity drives out good). Workers of inferior races, because they are able to live on less than the American workingman, accept lower wages. American workers refuse to reduce their living standards to the immigrant's low level, so, in the face of lower wages, opt to have fewer children. Thus did the inferior races outbreed their biological betters." (Leonard)
This has often been in the background of minimum wage legislation.

CRISPR, the new genome editing tool, is going to court, but not to assess its terrifying potential. No, several big universities--East Coast vs. West Coast--are arguing over the rights to patent.

The world is awash in the bad experiments of non-scientific thinkers using science badly. The 19th Century and early 20th are filled with half-baked social manipulations and quasi-science.  "And the great cry that rises from all our manufacturing cities, louder than their furnace blast, is all in very deed for this,—that we manufacture everything there except men; we blanch cotton, and strengthen steel, and refine sugar, and shape pottery; but to brighten, to strengthen, to refine, or to form a single living spirit, never enters into their estimate of advantages." John Ruskin wrote that.
And the economists agreed. The American Economic Association [AEA] was formally established in 1885. In 1888, the AEA offered a prize for the best essay on the evils of unrestricted immigration. A few months after the Statue of Liberty was lit, progressive economist Edward Bemis devised the literacy test as a technique for identifying and 'rigorously excluding the plainly unfit.'
"The American Economic Association was never a bastion of support for free trade, limited government intervention, and the dignity of every individual. On the contrary, it was founded by men who were steeped in doctrines that elevated the collective over the individual, who were convinced that markets were inferior to expert planning, and who believed in racial hierarchy as a scientifically-grounded concept with profound social significance." (Kling)

World Values survey now finds that one in six Americans regard the idea of military government as either ‘good’ or ‘very good’ whereas only one in sixteen felt this way a few years ago.

Will on Trump's Carrier deal: "So, this is the new conservatism’s recipe for restored greatness: Political coercion shall supplant economic calculation in shaping decisions by companies in what is called, with diminishing accuracy, the private sector. This will be done partly as conservatism’s challenge to liberalism’s supremacy in the victimhood sweepstakes, telling aggrieved groups that they are helpless victims of vast, impersonal forces, against which they can be protected only by government interventions.
Responding to political threats larded with the money of other people, Carrier has somewhat modified its planned transfers of some manufacturing to Mexico. This represents the dawn of bipartisanship: The Republican Party now shares one of progressivism’s defining aspirations — government industrial policy, with the political class picking winners and losers within, and between, economic sectors. This always involves the essence of socialism — capital allocation, whereby government overrides market signals about the efficient allocation of scarce resources. Therefore it inevitably subtracts from economic vitality and job creation."

8 percent of the human genome has changed since the departure of homo sapiens from Africa. New analysis has revealed five distinguishable races that evolved in response to regional conditions: Africans, East Asians, Caucasians, the natives of the Americas, and the peoples of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Yet there is a conscious effort on the part of Western culture to eliminate race as a concept. The American Anthropological Association declares race to be “a human invention” that is “about culture, not biology.” The American Sociological Association calls race a “social construct.” Epigenetics will probably be a component in the debate as well.

There is a moral foundation to Classical economics because, as Adam Smith claimed, the concept of "fairness" is required for trade to take place. To trade we must recognize that the other has a moral standing equal to our own.

AASAAAaaaannnnnnndddddd......a graph:

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