2013-08-26

Some Links

Remember when I linked to that article showing that health care expenditures are tied to almost completely to employment? Spootville applies the conclusion, and quite well I might add.

Lubos Motl shows us that the 17-year climate trend is negative, i.e. we experienced global cooling.

In a stunning admission of ignorance, Steve Sailer actually writes, "If gender is instantly and unquestionably malleable, how about race?" Just how concrete does Sailer imagine race is?

Robert Murphy writes,
It’s hard for me to put my finger on, but there was just something about this particular movie that seemed dubious to me, in a way that I never got from, say, Harry Potter (let alone Lord of the Rings).
But I wonder why he never experienced that feeling from those other two works of child fiction.

Bryan Caplan writes about what makes a good student, and that we can all become one if we practice hard enough. Well said, Prof. Caplan.

Here's a comparison to get your brain working. Simon Grey writes:
Your success, then, is probably more contingent on upgrading your wardrobe and getting in shape than on learning useful skills. This truth may not be pretty, but then reality doesn’t really care about your feelings.  So, if you want to be successful, it’s better to choose style over substance, though it’s ideal to choose both if at all possible.
Compare that to The Last Psychiatrist, who wrote:
The con artists at Dove didn't select these women to represent you because you are beautiful or ugly, any more than the street hustler selected you for your nice smile.   They were selected because they represent a psychological type that transcends age/race/class, it is characterized by a kind of psychological laziness: on the one hand, they don't want to have to conform to society's impossible standards, but on the other hand they don't want the existential terror of NOT conforming to some kind of standard.  They want an objective bar to be changed to fit them-- they want "some other omnipotent entity" to change it so that it remains both entirely valid yet still true for them, so that others have to accept it, and if you have no idea what I'm talking about look at your GPA: you know, and I know, that if college graded you based on the actual number of correct answers you generated, no curve, then you would have gotten an R.  Somehow that R became an A.  The question is, why bother?  Why not either make grades rigorous and valid so we know exactly what they mean, or else do away with them entirely?  Because in either case society and your head would implode from the existential vacuum.  Instead, everyone has to get As AND the As have to be "valid" so you feel good enough to pay next year's tuition, unfortunately leaving employers with no other choice but to look for other more reliable proxies of learning like race, gender, and physical appearance.  Oh.   Did you assume employers would be more influenced by the fixed grades than their own personal prejudices?
There's a lesson in there somewhere. Probably multiple lessons, considering how many times I have studied that Last Psychiatrist article... and studied it again.