Sunday, August 13, 2017

Google Manifesto: Does Biology Explain Gender Disparities in Tech?

An article under the above heading appeared in Live Science, in reply to the claims of James Damore of Google fame.  As one would expect from Left-dominated mainstream academe the answer given is broadly "No".

What they trot out is all old chestnut stuff that basically aims at a straw man.  What psychometricians assert is only a TENDENCY.  There is no claim that men generally are good at tech and women not.  The research finding is that there is a big overlap in male and female abilities. Abilities differ only at the margins. So the various arguments put forward about exceptional female abilities are pointless. In various times and places you can find women who do math and tech well.  And the "No" article is mainly just a trotting out of such examples.

What is of interest is the GENERAL TENDENCY in mental abilities, not a parade of anecdotes about tribes in India etc. And the way to measure a general tendency is to apply a valid and reliable test of problem-solving ability to a representative population sample. And the finding from such studies is that at the top of the IQ range in Western populations, there are always many more men than women. And if we look at mathematical ability only, the gap is even larger. You can theorize yourself blue in the face about why that is so -- "patriarchy" and all the rest -- but there remains there a clear and firm difference in ability that you have to deal with.

It is perfectly reasonable that some populations somewhere have undergone selective pressures which make females better at the top of the range but that does not alter the reality in Western society.

So on the basis of measured facts rather than a lot of speculation, Damore was perfectly right.  You will always get a substantial number of women who are good at tech and mathemstics but they will be greatly outnumbered by men.

In the circumstances, it matters little if the differences are inborn nor not but the way such differences have consistently shown up for around a  hundred years certainly suggest something inborn -- or at least something very resistant to change.   And the various genetic studies -- now including DNA findings -- do show that most of IQ and its component abilities is genetically determined.

So Google's frenetic efforts to introduce "equality" into its workforce were pushing uphill from the beginning. Such efforts were doomed to failure.  Damore's greatest offence may have been to point that failure out.

That despite great efforts Google could not equalize the number of its employees in stat/math applications would seem good confirmation of what the tests show.  Despite its great efforts to  swing the results in the way it wanted, Google ended up finding exactly what the IQ and other tests predicted.  A psychometrician would call Google's experiment good validation of the tests.  Google showed that the tests were right.


Trump Attacked for N. Korea Remarks, But Liberals, Media Okay With Similar Words by Truman, Clinton

Although Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Democrat lawmakers, and many members of the media were quick to criticize President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” remarks towards North Korea, they were wrong to suggest that no other U.S. president had used such tough rhetoric about another country.

For instance, comments made by Democratic President Harry Truman, after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan, were arguably much harsher than what Trump said.

On Tuesday, in response to Communist North Korea threatening to bomb the island of Guam where U.S. troops are stationed, President Trump said, “North Korea best not make anymore threats to the United States, they will be met with fire and fury, like the world has never seen.”

“He [Kim Jong-un] has been very threatening, beyond a normal statement,” said Trump.  “And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power - the likes of which the world has never seen before.”

CNN anchor Jake Tapper criticized the president’s statement, saying “this is a time when words should be chosen and measured carefully. The White House sources tell us that the president spoke extemporaneously when he made that statement about ‘fire and fury.’ Perhaps now might not be the best time to improvise.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also disapproved of Trump’s remarks during an interview on KTAR radio: "I take exception to the president's comments because you gotta’ be able to do what you say you're going to do…. In other words, the old walk softly but carry a big stick, Teddy Roosevelt's saying, which I think is something that should've applied because all it's going to do is bring us closer to a serious confrontation,” said McCain, who is a strong opponent of President Trump.

“I think this is very, very, very serious,” he said. “The great leaders I've seen don't threaten unless they're ready to act and I'm not sure President Trump is ready to act…. It's the classic Trump in that he overstates things.”

In addition, many Democrats attacked the president’s comments. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that, "President Trump is not helping the situation with his bombastic comments,” and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called Trump’s “fire and fury” quote “reckless rhetoric.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) concurred with her Democrat colleagues, going as far as to say that the president’s remarks “demonstrates weakness” and are “recklessly belligerent.”

However, former Democratic Presidents Harry Truman and Bill Clinton have made similar and even stronger comments during times when the security of the United States was being threatened.

In 1993, The New York Times reported: “On his weekend visit to South Korea, President Clinton warned that if North Korea developed and used an atomic weapon, ‘we would quickly and overwhelmingly retaliate.’ ‘It would mean the end of their country as they know it,’” he said.

Democratic President Truman also used harsh language in 1945 when facing the ongoing threat posed by Japan. “It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East,” said Truman in a statement on August 6, 1945, after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.  (The second bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945.)

“We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city,” said Truman, the only U.S. president to order a nuclear strike on largely civilian targets. “We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan’s power to make war.”

“If they do not accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on this earth,” said Truman.  “Behind this air attack will follow sea and land forces in such number and power as they have not yet seen and with the fighting skill of which they are already well aware.”

Neither McCain, Feinstein, Pelosi, Tapper, or other members of the liberal media have said the comments by Clinton and Truman were too harsh or dangerous.



Union Foolishly Persists, Wasting Time and Resources

In 2011, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and its co-conspirators started invading Maryland Walmart stores and harassing customers and staff. Perhaps the UFCW thought it could get away with its outrageous behavior in a union-friendly state or that the federal courts would weigh in on its behalf. But, either way, it was in for a series of surprises.

The UFCW claims that it launched this campaign of harassment to improve working conditions for Walmart employees and that it does not wish to represent Walmart workers itself. Of course, since the UFCW is at least as honest as any unscrupulous used car salesman, its claims may or may not be accurate.

During this campaign, which went on for several years, the UFCW would assemble “flash mobs” to block traffic, block check-out lanes, sing, dance, scream, use bullhorns indoors, litter, confront managers, force their way into management meetings, etc. UFCW protesters would then refuse to leave as they were instructed to do by Walmart managers. The police would be called, and they would order the protesters to leave.

In response to this harassment, Walmart lawyers repeatedly sent cease and desist letters to the UFCW; and the union stubbornly refused to honor them. So, in March of 2013, Walmart filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the union of coercing Walmart employees to join the union.

In September of 2013, Walmart filed a lawsuit against the UFCW for trespassing and nuisance in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County. The UFCW filed a motion to dismiss the case, which was denied. Walmart requested a preliminary injunction preventing the union from trespassing on company property; the UFCW argued that the state’s trespassing law was preempted by federal labor law. Rejecting the union’s argument, the court issued a preliminary injunction just before Black Friday in 2013 and a permanent injunction in early 2015.

The permanent injunction prohibited UFCW from entering Walmart property in Maryland for the purpose of “picketing, patrolling, parading, demonstrations, chanting, ‘flash mobs,’ handbilling, solicitation, customer disruptions, manager delegations or confrontations, or associate engagement for a non-shopping purpose.” The injunction also prohibited

“Interfering with, obstructing or blocking Walmart’s and its customers’ access to, and use of, easements and/or right-of-ways granted by  Walmart across or upon apron sidewalks and parking lots adjacent to stores for which Walmart has a “building only” lease; and engaging in any nuisance conduct off Walmart’s private property which disrupts and/or interferes with Walmart customers’ or associates’ access to, or ability to move around or exit, Walmart private property…”

Hoping for a more favorable ruling, the UFCW appealed the circuit court’s decision to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. That court unanimously affirmed the lower court’s ruling.

Still not able to accept that it was wrong, the UFCW appealed to the highest court in the state, the Court of Appeals. Late last month, the court handed down its decision. Once again, the UFCW’s arguments were found to be without merit, and the Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the ruling of the Court of Special Appeals. In other words, the UFCW’s lawyers could not persuade even one of the seven judges on the Court of Appeals – whether appointed by a Republican or a Democrat – to side with the union.

For over three years, the UFCW spent its members’ money paying lawyers to fight a losing battle with Walmart in Maryland courts, and the union has absolutely nothing to show for it. Of course, the union tried its shenanigans at Walmart stores in a number of other states. And judges from California to Ohio to Florida also told the UFCW to stop trespassing on Walmart property.



Hopes rise for diabetes patients as trial jab brings the disease to a halt

A twice-monthly injection can stop type 1 diabetes in its tracks, according to an early-stage study that raises hopes of a vaccine for the disease.

Scientists have found the first strong evidence that the previously untreatable disorder can be halted by reining in attacks from the immune system.

Combined with advanced blood tests that spot the disease before symptoms appear, the approach has the potential to prevent most of the 16,000 new cases diagnosed in Britain each year.



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