Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Polyglot babies" nonsense

The article reproduced below shows what a religion Leftism is among social scientists. They found (surprise!) that humans are tribal from infancy on. They found that very young kids can recognize the accents of the tribe they are growing up in. Anybody who has observed how quickly babies become disturbed when they are handed to someone outside their own family will not be the least bit surprised. It is a survival instinct for a baby to recognize danger from outsiders and the baby will turn on his alarm (cry) whenever he detects strangers too close to him.

From all that, the researchers below conclude that babies born into a multilingual household will grow up more tolerant -- a complete non-sequitur full of too many assumptions to name -- though the fact that they did not examine any multilingual households may be mentioned.

Such knotheaded folly is less surprising when we see who is the chief researcher concerned. Elizabeth Spelke has a quite crippling leftward lean. Her grip on reality is so tenuous that she claimed recently that there is "not a shred of evidence" for inborn male/female differences in abilities -- despite around a century of evidence showing that females have better language abilities and males have better mathematical abilities.

Quite obviously, Spelke has a robotlike inability to see, hear or think anything except that which supports her ideology. Like most Leftists, Spelke is incapable of admitting that preference for others who are similar to oneself is not "racism" but is basically human. So when they find out how basically human it is they quickly have to invent circumstances when it would not happen.

A study of newborn babies and preschoolers has revealed that language may be the root of prejudice - and the way to avoid it. US and French researchers have found that the language babies hear spoken in their first six months of life leads to a preference for speakers of that language. The preference is so entrenched that by age five youngsters prefer playmates who not only speak the same language but do so with the same accent.

A key implication ["implication"? A wild extrapolation, more accurately] of the findings - reported in the US publication Proceedings of the National Academy of Science - is that children exposed to different languages grow into more tolerant adults than their monolingual mates. University of Sydney linguist Stephen Crain tended to agree: "I've always thought it would be beneficial to expose our children to more than one language," he said. "If they no longer have a prejudice against people who don't sound the same as they, they may be more accepting of people from different backgrounds who don't sound the same," Professor Crain said.

Cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Spelke of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, conducted a series of experiments with Harvard doctoral student Katherine Kinzler and Emmanuel Dupoux of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. They judged the preferences of three groups of children. Five-to six-month-old infants looked at native speakers longer than non-native speakers. Ten-month-olds selected toys most often from native speakers, and most five-year-olds chose native speaking playmates over children with an accent.

According to Professor Spelke, the most surprising result came from the group's experiment with five-year-olds. "The findings suggest that (the preference) has nothing to do with information, the semantics of language, but rather with group identity," she said.


Perhaps I should mention that not all psychologists are as cognitively handicapped as Spelke. Social psychology textbook author Roger Brown (1986) surveyed the large body of extant psychological research on the genesis of group loyalty and group identification and concluded that they are are rooted in "universal ineradicable psychological processes". In other words, group loyalty is not only normal but universal.


Brown, R. (1986) Social psychology. (2nd. Ed.) N.Y.: Free Press



Height: Leftists are still going on about how terrible it is that Americans are not on average the tallest nation on earth. Since some very tall national groups (as in East Africa) are at the bottom of just about every index of wellbeing, that hardly has the significance Leftists claim. It is is just another example of the desperation Leftists have to knock America. I have commented on this twice already (scroll down) so will leave it to Taranto to comment further. Mitchell Langbert also comments.

The negligence of Brazil's Leftist government caused the recent airliner crash there. Despite long delays the runway was still under repair and the grooves to drain water off and prevent skidding had not been installed.

Surprise! Democrats find one government office they want to cut back. It's the one that exposes union corruption: "The new Democratic Congress has finally found a government agency whose budget It wants to cut: an obscure Labor Department office that monitors the compliance of unions with federal law. In the past six years, the Office of Labor Management Standards, or OLMS, has helped secure the convictions of 775 corrupt union officials and court-ordered restitution to union members of over $70 million in dues. The House is set to vote Thursday on a proposal to chop 20% from the OLMS budget. Every other Labor Department enforcement agency is due for a budget increase, and overall the Congress has added $935 million to the Bush administration's budget request for Labor. The only office the Democrats want to cut back is the one engaged in union oversight.

The Kuwait Arab Times just published a call to arms -- not against Israel but Tehran: ""The entire Arab world is in danger, after becoming the epicenter of Iran's policies. Iranian dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's aggressive policies confirm our fears. Many issues which concern only Arabs have now fallen into the hands of Iran. ..." "Currently, Iran is trying to extend its aggressive policies to all the Gulf countries and to Egypt ... . This raises the question: Why are Arab countries not taking any steps or holding a summit to wrest control of these issues, which essentially belong to them? They should tell Tehran to focus on its internal affairs instead of interfering in the affairs of other countries. "We cannot forget the three islands which rightfully belong to the United Arab Emirates; the recent assault on a Kuwaiti diplomat in Tehran; or (those) who made the Palestinians die twice - once at the hands of the Israelis and a second time at the hands of their own brothers"

Black Group Calls Senate Leaders "Hypocrites": "Project 21 members say the liberal Senate leadership, which has embarked on an overnight session to "highlight Republican obstructionism" on consideration to legislation to withdraw troops from Iraq, is hypocritical, as these senators have used the same tactics they now condemn to block the confirmation of President Bush's judicial nominations over the past six-and-a-half years. "The immoral duplicity of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his henchmen once again unambiguously shows there are no depths too low for liberal politicians to plumb," said Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie. "It is extraordinarily incongruous that, on one hand, Reid would complain about a conservative filibuster against an arbitrary and predetermined withdrawal date in Iraq while he and his gang have stalled on the confirmation of people such as Judge Southwick since the day President Bush announced his judicial first nominees."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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