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Showing posts from July, 2019

Book Reccomendation: Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell

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Is there one book that will trigger both racists and hard left social justice warriors? Yes.

"Black Rednecks and White Liberals," by Thomas Sowell is that book.

The left claims that racial disparities are caused by structural racism, a history of slavery, and Jim Crow. Racists claim those disparities are due to genetic differences.

Thomas Sowell, a brilliant Stanford economist (and incidentally a black man), answers this question by rejecting both those positions. His argument is that differences are the result of significant cultural differences.

Sowell starts with the following 1951 quotation from an Indianapolis Newspaper,
These people are creating a terrible problem in our cities. They can’t or they won’t hold a job, they flout the law constantly and neglect their children, they drink too much and their moral standards would shame an alley cat. For some reason or other, they absolutely refuse to accommodate themselves to any kind of decent civilized life. Sounds pretty…

Leave the Confederate Monuments

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Slavery sucks. The south was wrong about that. Big time.

But I do not hate Robert E. Lee. I actually like Stonewall Jackson. Amazing men.

If I hate slavery so much, how can I not hate the guys that fought for it? Why not tear their statues down? They were, after all, on the wrong side of history. Right?

My answer to this is a thought experiment. Suppose some foreign power attacked America because of an issue you happened to agree with. If you are a pro-life republican like me, that issue might be abortion. But if you are a liberal democrat, let's suppose it is healthcare or immigration. Whatever. Suppose Russia or China or France of whoever attacked America because of our problems. Something you agree with.

For me this is an easy thought experiment. Russia attacks us with the stated reason being abortion. I hate abortion. I think it is murder. I think that it is a holocaust of the innocents. A black mark on our nation. I think it is every bit as bad as slavery in our history.

But…

More thoughts on why IQ is Ridiculous

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"IQ is predictive. It predicts how you do on SATs."

Hmm. It is almost as though an SAT and an IQ tests were designed with the same assumptions in mind.

"IQ tells us how much money people are going to make."

Huh. We make IQ tests (SATs) the entrance exams for schools and then we find it surprising that IQ and income correlate. What is shocking is not that there is a correlation but how absolutely minor it is. R^2 values less than 0.1. That means that another IQ point is terrible at predicting whether that means another dollar for the person.




In fact, putting a straight line trend on this is silly. Remove the trend line and let your eyes look at the dots. What do you see? I see buck shot. Maybe a slight trend but not something I would do any sort of engineering based on.

My undergraduate is engineering. Before I decided to move in other directions educationally and career wise (moving to business then philosophy) I worked in several transportation markets including A…

3 Reasons Why Minimum Wage is Ridiculous

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There has been a big push to increase the minimum wage to $15/hr nationally. Several cities have already done it. Several democratic candidates have promoted it.

The logic behind the minimum wage is that people need a 'living wage.' Making $9/hr is not enough to pay for a house, a car, and keep food on the table. Let's raise that number up where people making minimum wage can survive.

Now, the obvious next question should be why stop at a 'living wage?' Why not bump that up to a very comfortable upper middle class wage? Why not ensure that the minimum wage is not enough to buy two SUVs and a McMansion in the suburbs?

And while that may get the wheels spinning for Bernie and AOC, the rest of us intuitively understand there might be a problem with that.

The truth is that raising the minimum would be ridiculous. It would be bad for the poor, bad for the economy, and bad for consumers.

1) Unemployment Rates Will Increase
To explain why, let me touch on something that e…

Stop Comparing Homosexuality to Skin Color

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Update on Fertility : USA Fertility Rate Hits an All Time Low

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I take a lot of interest in fertility rates. I have posted in the past some of the reasons that I find the global drop in fertility rates to be troubling. Today, CNN had another article on fertility rates dropping.

From CNN:

America's fertility rate and the number of births nationwide have been on the decline in recent years. A report of provisional birth data published by the National Center for Health Statistics in May showed the number of births last year dropping to its lowest level in about three decades. The article goes on to say that we now have the statistics broken down demographically:

When examined by race, the data showed that fertility rates declined 2% for white and black women, and 3% for Hispanic women, between 2017 and 2018.The data also showed that the teen birth rate, for ages 15 to 19, fell 7% from 2017 to 2018. When examined by race, the data showed that teen births declined by 4% for black teenagers, and 8% for white and Hispanic teens.
 I think that these …

Book Recommendation - "My Early Life" by Winston Churchill

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Most people know Winston Churchill as the old prime minister of the United Kingdom who, through stirring speeches and crafty strategy, saved Europe from Hitler. That is certainly an impressive accomplishment. But after reading, "My Early Life," I realized that defeating Hitler might not be in the top 10 most interesting things that he did in his life. This autobiographical book tells his story from birth up to his mid-twenties and barely touches on his political career at all. But it is better for it. Because by the time he was 27, he had lived a life that makes the Indiana Jones movies seem sleepy and dull.

Here are some on the things he did (in no particular order):

- Was a soldier
- Fought in the Boer War of South Africa
- Saved a military transport train
- Became a prisoner of war
- Escaped from a prisoner of war camp
- Hid out in a mountain cave for week
- Fought in for Spain during the Cuban revolution
- Fought in Egypt against rebels
- Won the Polo championship wh…

How Christianity Ended Slavery in the UK

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Why IQ is BS and Why Culture, Not Race Shapes Societies

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A few years ago, I was at the library and noticed a book sitting on top of the shelf. I picked it up and looked it. It was titled, "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" by psychologist Richard Lynn and political scientist Tatu Vanhanen. Intrigued, I checked it out, read it, and was unsettled by what it said. The book made a persuasive argument:

1) IQ varies along ethnic/racial lines
2) IQ is heavily correlated to financial success
3) Therefore, at least some of the differences we see in national wealth are inherent to the IQs of the population

Now, I recognized at the time the uncomfortable racial element to this argument. If IQ is somewhat fixed and heritable and if it relates to wealth, then some races are inherently going to be more prone to poverty, crime and etc.I didn’t like these answers because I, like everyone else, was raised to hate racism.

But… I also recognized that science was not a moral thing. It was possible for science to give us uncomfortable facts. Science does…