Friday, October 03, 2003


The nonsense you read on Reuters: Greenies are saying that global warming would NOT benefic icy Russia because it could lead to lower rainfall in the South and thus reduce the grain harvest. But wheat is a dry-climate crop! That is why Australia exports so much of it. Australia is mostly desert! So if a few Russian farmers had to switch from rye to wheat it would not exactly be a hardship.

A good bit of satire about Leftist moral relativism here

A new Australian “paleo” blogger (as if I couldn’t guess his identity!) has some amusing turns of phrase for those who know what he is talking about: “a plague of loci” and “For whom the Pell tolls” etc. It reminds me that there is a popular concept in psychology called “locus of control” (which I deride here) that I have never quite worked up the courage to refer to as “locust of control”.

New Kiwi blogger Light in Dark places picks up some good quotes. I liked this one: “So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word 'Palestinian' any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone points out they're being taped. Instead, let's call them what they are: 'Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death.'" And for those not aware of New Zealand politics, “Helen” refers to their Prime Minister.

American Realpolitik is a great site for humour. They have constantly-changing slogans at the head of their page. I like this one: “For every positive action there is an equal and opposite government program”

The latest Carnival of the Vanities is up at Dodgeblogium. But instead of being posted by the inimitable Andrew Ian Dodge, it seems to have been posted by “Jeannie Fiona Macaulay”. Don’t tell me Andrew has an “INTERN”! Incidentally, I am not sure if Andrew/Jeannie is serious in thinking that “kudo” is the singular of “kudos”, but “kudos” is only a borrowing in English. It is the ancient Greek word for “fame”. Interesting factoid: According to my Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, “kudos” does not occur in the Greek New Testament. Early Christians obviously did not think much of the Greek obsession with fame and renown.

Wayne Lusvardi pulls apart some of the shoddy motivations behind opposition to California’s “racial privacy” initiative.

I have just transferred some of Chris Brand’s recent posts here for convenience. He has some interesting comments on the study by Turkheimer which found reduced heritability for IQ among poor U.S. blacks. He notes that the same result is not found in Britain and in effect says that genetic potential may be poorly realized under the very adverse environmental conditions that prevail in some black U.S. single-parent families.

Ozone depletion’s lessons for global warming: "The Newchurch study concludes ozone depletion in the uppermost portion of the stratosphere is still occurring, but at a rate somewhat slower than was taking place before 1997. While this trend may be due to the Montreal Protocol, as Newchurch and his colleagues assert, more significant ozone trends unreported by Newchurch lead to a very different conclusion.... What some are touting as evidence of a solution to the ozone depletion problem may actually be evidence it wasn’t a great problem in the first place. This may prove to be the real lesson for the global warming debate."

Interesting thought: "[T]here is an underappreciated fact about black America that anyone armed with a decent survey could see: Black people vote like Democrats, but on social issues they think like Republicans. Whether the GOP can ever lure churchgoing African Americans from the revival tent to the party's so-called big tent remains a matter for debate. Now the controversy over gay marriage, a potent brew of religion and politics, is giving Republicans another shot -- but don't bet on their converting it."

The Wicked one has found some uncharacteristic good sense about Islam and antisemitism in the Guardian.

My latest academic upload here (or here) is one of my small number of analytical philosophy papers. In France any mumbo jumbo that sounds obscure and has Leftish conclusions gets a pass as philosophy but in the English-speaking world, academic philosophy is usually as intellectually demanding as any academic discipline there is. In this paper I deride the still-common view that mental events are something other than brain processes and offer some solutions from neurophysiology to problems that philosophers often raise.


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