Monday, December 29, 2014

Prominent IT venture capitalist declares entire premise of US education system invalid

He's right, by the way, but that's for another post, and I'm confident it's not the point he intended.

Via The Kakistocracy.
What the anti-immigration people don’t understand is that there is a huge variation in ability between competent programmers and exceptional ones, and while you can train people to be competent, you can’t train them to be exceptional. Exceptional programmers have an aptitude for and interest in programming that is not merely the product of training.
The fact of innate, hereditary talent for a particular skillset is presumably the reason men like Paul Graham devote substantial amounts of their personal time and fortune to lobbying Congress for more H1-B visas. Otherwise, they could just spend the money on schools in places like Camden or Detroit to train all the untapped labor there for the next generation of genius-level programming. Or, if you're Bill Gates, just give your intelligent, bored wife a few extra billion to fund all these Blank Slate/social engineering schemes while your company continues to recruit from a few select colleges.

Of course, when you and I say or do things like this, people scream about eugenics and Hitler.

Other good headline material could be mined from the fact that Paul Graham has apparently never heard of conference calls and e-mails.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Today is born of a Virgin He who holds the whole Creation in His hand.

Today we commemorate the birth of the King of Kings and Prince of Peace. A blessed feast to all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What is wrong with women?

"I would not make it home"

I agree with this Tumblr author. I'm a 220-pound white male and if I did this, I would not make it home.

Imagine me on the left, and a 140-pound female, or even another 220-pound white male on the right. What do you think would happen? I'm guessing those cops in the background would follow their triggered instincts and start raining down blows on my head. So if men and women are truly equals in the eyes of God and everybody, why aren't the cops pummeling this woman? Is it female privilege?

In any other context, a woman this close to a man would be signaling sex, just as a man this close to a woman would be signaling sex. So why shouldn't I assume this woman is, in fact, signaling sex? Has personal space really been obliterated to that extent? Again, if the genders were transposed, would the woman be expected to just stand there and maintain a thousand-yard stare over the man's head?

My hypothesis is we are treating women like men, and they are screaming for help.

To see just how far down the rabbit hole women are falling, check out this iSteve post from December 15.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mad scientist plans to poison the globe with giant clouds of sulfuric acid


Via Marginal Revolution.
Now, there will be some direct risks, for sure. If you put sulfuric acid in the atmosphere, some people could die from the extra air pollution. That’s a serious issue, and not one to take lightly. There’s an ethical aspect to taking action that results in harm.

But it seems clear that the net impacts would be hugely positive. And that seems to me to be true from essentially all climate models. Other people might come to different conclusions.
This guy has no idea what would happen. All he does is program computers to generate models. He does not observe the natural world nor does he perform actual experiments to test his hypotheses, and there is no way for him to account for all variables even if he did.

Keith's statements are deliberately opaque and speculative of course, because he's smart enough to know that at bottom, human economic activity causes carbon emissions. So if we are to reduce carbon emissions, then we stop building roads and start analyzing the carrying capacity of countries and tell immigrants to stay put. Container ships rust in vast, ocean graveyards as carbon-spewing Chinese factories shut down. Africa and India are told to stop breeding or starve, as the protein paste spigot is turned off. Urban scale is reduced and employers enable remote worksites where their employees actually live. The vehicle-choked highways that enable homogenous, atomized, statist culture are left to molder into decay. Nuclear energy maintains living standards, as solar and wind are abandoned as unworkable, unaesthetic, and environmentally destructive.

Keith obviously is worried about the retrograde effect--I personally am getting pretty excited--and of course denounces such prudence as "'morally indefensible' [and politically undesirable] at this stage of history."

This is what happens when we give emotionally stunted people Ph.D.'s and academic tenure.

Note from his bio that Keith also "helps lead Carbon Engineering, a company developing technology to capture of CO2 from ambient air." This is exciting, as I too have developed technology to capture CO2 from the ambient air. Here's how it works:

John at Ad Orientem has a good post on the pathology of the environmentalist Left. They hate Man and his place in Nature, and they actually don't care for Nature, just some gnostic notion of "change."

Sunday, December 7, 2014

This is getting tiresome

How right, and how ahead of the curve I am.

India's Public Health Disaster, from Eric Margolis, 12/6/14.

Antibiotic Apocalypse Now, from Business Insider, 12/7/14:
In India, that scenario may already be unfolding.

Last year, 58,000 newborns there died of bacterial infections that didn't respond to antibiotics. "While that is still a fraction of the nearly 800,000 newborns who die annually in India," Gardiner Harris writes in The Times, "Indian pediatricians say that the rising toll of resistant infections could soon swamp efforts to improve India’s abysmal infant death rate." (India already has one of the highest rates of newborn death in the world.)

"Five years ago, we almost never saw these kinds of infections," New Delhi neonatologist Neelam Kler told The Times. "Now, close to 100% of the babies referred to us have multi-drug resistant infections. It's scary."

The bacteria are likely transferred to newborns from the mother, who comes into contact with them just like everyone else — via the water, animals, and soil in her surroundings. Unlike adults, however, newborns are especially vulnerable to infection since their immune systems haven't had a chance to develop completely yet.

A nightmarish combination of crowded slums, a lack of toilets, and the country's severe over-reliance on antibiotics (doctors and pharmacists give them out for everything from undiagnosed to mild infections) is making India's problem worse. Plus, getting antibiotics almost never requires a prescription .

That's not to say severe infections — ones that actually require antibiotic treatment — don't happen. With half the population relieving themselves outdoors, bacterial infections are rampant. Powerless to address the root problems, however, doctors simply give out as many antibiotics as they can.
The Anti-Gnostic, from 1/4/14:
FDA acts decisively to curb super-bug threat

By banning your hand soap.

... And of course, never a word about the fact that most countries on the globe lack the technology and know-how for functioning sewage systems and waste disposal, as the denizens of such places are enthusiastically welcomed here.
My prescience is not limited to the future direction of the environmental movement and public health. On June 17, 2014, I made the point that Iraq, among other countries in the region, no longer existed. Here's's Andrew Bacevich, in goggle-eyed amazement at a friend reaching the same conclusion on November 23, 2014.
“Iraq no longer exists.” My young friend M, sipping a cappuccino, is deadly serious. We are sitting in a scruffy restaurant across the street from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It’s been years since we’ve last seen each another. It may be years before our paths cross again. As if to drive his point home, M repeats himself: “Iraq just doesn’t exist.”

His is an opinion grounded in experience. As an enlisted soldier, he completed two Iraq tours, serving as a member of a rifle company, before and during the famous Petraeus “surge.” After separating from the Army, he went on to graduate school where he is now writing a dissertation on insurgencies. Choosing the American war in Iraq as one of his cases, M has returned there to continue his research.
Ah, man. Where's my research grant?

In the past week, Steve Sailer called the narrative-breakdown on Rolling Stone magazine's lurid account of a gang-rape at the University of Virginia. Way back in November 2013, I made the same call on the NFL's Martin/Incognito dust-up.

The sad part is not so much being right on troubling, consequential matters; it's that the supposed professionals are so slow on the uptake.

Or, as Vox Day notes on the apparent drying-up and blowing away of the venerable New Republic, that's actually the good news. Professional writers expect middle-class incomes for their mediocre, dated, and frequently erroneous storylines. Myself and the folks in that blogroll on the left are doing it for free.
In other words, a small group of people will no longer enjoy the stranglehold they once possessed over politics, literature, philosophy, history, religion, music, and fine art, to "set the terms of Washington’s debates" and tell readers "what they should care about". [Recall's fatuous mission statement to, "Explain the news."]

This is supposed to be a bad thing? Are you kidding me?

The New Republic is gone. It would be a good thing for the American Right if National Review followed suit.
Let the creative destruction begin.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Speaking of colleges ...

They are in debt and barely viable, despite the income stream from $100 billion in guaranteed student loan funds per year. "Guaranteed" means a government-chartered company known as Sallie Mae, which will never be allowed to go bankrupt promises to buy those loans which meet its generous criteria.

Post-secondary education is one of the clearer examples of government good intentions paving the road to hell, and the distortions are obvious and legion: completely unmarketable and academically shoddy Grievance-Studies and other programs; tenured, Marxist bureaucrats; minor league for the NFL; duplicative and unnecessary science, such as professors of Polar and Marine Biology in, of all places, the University of Alabama at Birmingham; tuition rising to the clouds, even as the job market shrinks. I could devote a whole separate blog to this, with an entry each day.

Why does government have any involvement at all in the post-secondary aspirations of legal adults? If an adult wants education past high school then he or she can pay for it, or the parents, spouse, friends or investors can pay for it. And where they live and what they do on the weekends will be up to them instead of loading the taxpayers with yet another hothouse flower who must be constantly fretted over and sheltered from any adverse outcome.

The whole corrupt structure is a ridiculous middle and upper class subsidy that should be ended tomorrow. In one month, we’d be wondering why we didn’t pull the plug 50 years ago.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

This is why we can't have nice things

Once upon a time, colleges were land-grant institutions chartered by the State, for the important task of providing a broad education in the Western canon to society's ruling elite.

Not any more.

Thus, women have gained access to these elite male spaces. And make no mistake, "elite" means "male" and no amount of liberal handwringing will change this biological fact. When the walls are knocked down to let everybody else in, the institution is no longer "elite." It is now demotic, not meritocratic, and everybody knows it in their bones.

Of course, women don't like being slotted into hierarchy or being kicked down the totem pole from Dad's Precious Snowflake to one of thousands of atomized strangers on campuses that have been transformed into island-fortresses with their own police forces. Colleges started in bucolic or high-trust settings have seen their environs transformed, with their students subject to attacks by human predators.

Thus, we get the uniquely 21st century problem of "rape culture" dreamed up by lonely, confused women insisting they are the objects of unremitting sexual assaults on campus, and requiring all manner of extruded, rococo mechanisms to keep them safe.

In the first place, if colleges really are these horrific, conveyor-operated rape factories, then women should be running screaming from the institutions. They should be forging nuclear and extended family ties and patronage networks so they can always have a trusted male chaperone at hand. They should be demanding a homogenous, high-trust society of reduced scale, so everybody knows everybody. They should demand an end to co-education and promoting religious strictures against promiscuous sex. None of this is happening of course, so we may conclude this is more about protecting the feelings and life-outcomes of women who want safe, consequence-free sex with attractive strangers who treat them shabbily.

In the second place, if colleges really are such dysfunctional, misogynistic hellholes, then they need to be torn down and that will be the end of this 21st century problem. Revoke their land grants and tax-exempt status. Students can live at home and go to commuter schools which operate under the same rules of premises liability and risk management as everybody else.

So that's the end of this:

And now it's all going to be this:

And that's why we can't have nice things, because egalitarian democracy screws everything up.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

US military to defend the borders

Of Poland.

This got ridiculous a long time ago. If European countries must rely on the US to defend their borders against Russia, then they are no longer sovereigns in their own right and should be paying us for the privilege of pretending to be sovereign. If the troops paid for with my tax dollars are going to be off protecting Europe, then Europe had better sign a lopsided trade agreement with me to provide a guaranteed market for my goods and low-cost raw materials for me to buy. Of course, the actual threat to the cultures of Europe--unassimilable, r-selected Africans and Middle Easterners--is allowed free ingress.

The world is full of tiny countries that would be reduced to provinces of their larger neighbors without the Pax Americana. Do I as an American really care if Lichtenstein or Luxembourg are independent states? Monaco? Belgium? Three fairly large countries, Syria, Iraq and Libya, have ceased to exist in their previous forms. Has this made any difference in any American's life? Would anybody in the US really care if Ukrainians paid taxes to Russian bureaucrats instead of their hilariously corrupt, incompetent countrymen? Europeans appear no longer to care about their countries as geographic redoubts of their particular ethnic kin, so why should we? Better they be ruled by Orthodox Christian Russians than homegrown Muslim barbarians, which is where all the demographic trends are pointing.

Of course, I've answered my own questions here. This is all, always, about maintaining the status of the dollar as the world reserve currency.