From the ancient Greek for equality in freedom of speech; an eclectic mix of thoughts, large and small
Monday, October 31st, 2016
Amazon now offers a variety of Audible “channels” free to Prime members. In addition to “handcrafted playlists” — which seem to be NPR-style radio shows or podcasts — they have a number of classic audiobooks, including Dracula, which seemed timely.
Alrenous: The good emperor raises good feelings for the government, accelerating its cancerous growth. As the host is choked out, the cultural immune system rallies a bit and there’s a remission, but the cancer always rallies in turn and kills the patient.
Carrick: Maybe the old and derided technique of bloodletting to cure illness wasn’t entirely misguided.
Phil B.: As another observation, the discrepancy between male and female heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases under approximately age 45 is marked but once over age 45, the discrepancy disappears. The reason? Every month, females dump a lot of blood and reduce the amount of iron in their bodies. After menopause, they don’t. A coincidence? What do you think?
Charles W. Abbott: I am never really convinced that the test scores in Africa mean what we think they mean. Especially, I fear that they are measuring crystallized knowledge rather than “raw horsepower.” I think until you have a reading culture, a test-taking culture, and the whole academic ethos of Scarsdale, it’s not clear to what extent the scores are comparable across cultures and continents. That is not to say that I disbelieve the scores, or that I consider the scores to be of no...
Bruce: Frank Herbert (in Dream Makers) strongly supported small teams competing with each other, as opposed to one big team.
Slovenian Guest: They are so innovative, they even re-defined what profitability means: Why Amazon Has No Profits (And Why It Works) “Bezos is deferring that profit-producing, investor-rewarding day almost indefinitely into the future. This prompts the suggestion that Amazon is the world’s biggest ‘lifestyle business’ – Bezos is running it for fun, not to deliver economic returns to shareholders, at least not any time soon.” And another: Stop Worrying and Love...
James James: If “elite overproduction” is a problem, what to do about it? I always thought the production of dullards in “Brave New World” was a mistake — if you can make everyone a genius, why wouldn’t you? — but it seems Turchin and Huxley agree. It was certainly a shame the Germans went to war against the other Europeans in 1939, instead of invading somewhere else, but that’s the nature of evolution. There are organisms fighting against their close...
Harper's Notes: Memory’s two decades old and so a bit hazy, but I recall in the book Plagues and Peoples some attribution of the fall is given to two major plagues, around 155–180 and then another around 250 very roughly, as greatly de-populating Rome the city. As always with history, reverse causality issues abound.
Alrenous: …but doesn’t question the value of educational gains. The very fact their GDP diverges from their mathematical skills strongly challenges the idea of economies needing educated workforces. Further, we should expect the self-righteous scholar caste (progressives) to say everyone needs to be like them and judge themselves like them, with zero or negative justification. We should expect them to bullshit it, in other words. It’s rather likely that “student attainment”...
Bob Sykes: The average IQ among the Bantu (the people once enslaved and brought to the New World) is in the mid 60s to mid 70s; for the Bushmen it is in the 50s to 60s; and for the pygmies it is lower yet. Lynn has the details (“Racial Differences in Intelligence,” Washington Summit Publishers, Augusta, GA, 2006). The IQs of African Americans average about 85 (std. dev 12) because of White admixture.