Tuesday, July 24, 2018

New Scientist "gets" IQ

"New" is an old Leftist code-word for "Leftist" but is rarely used that way these days. But some names originating in the first half of C20 carry on into the present:  "New Statesman","New School", "New Theatre" etc.  And "New Scientist" magazine is part of that.  And it still does have a Leftist slant. They are apostles of global warming, for instance.  So it is a surprise that they seem now to have largely thrown off the Leftist phobia about IQ. Some excerpts below from their current issue which are entirely reasonable

Far from being an indefinable concept, a single measure of intelligence underpins our problem-solving, musicality and even creativity and emotional skills

When researchers talk about intelligence, they are referring to a specific set of skills that includes the abilities to reason, learn, plan and solve problems. The interesting thing is that people who are good at one of them tend to be good at all of them. These skills seem to reflect a broad mental capability, which has been dubbed general intelligence or g.

That’s not to say people don’t specialise in different areas. Some will be particularly good at solving mathematical problems, others will have particularly strong verbal or spatial abilities, and so on. When it comes to intelligence tests, although these specific skills account for about half of the variation between people’s performance, the other half is down to g. “If you took a sample of 1000 people and gave them all IQ tests, the people who do better on the vocabulary test will also do better, on average, on the reaction speed test, and so on,” says Stuart Ritchie, an intelligence researcher at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

This seems to fly in the face of old ideas. In the early 1980s, Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner argued for the existence of multiple intelligences, including “bodily-kinaesthetic”, “logical-mathematical” and “musical”. However, most researchers now believe these categories reflect different blends of abilities, skills and personality traits, not all of which are related to cognitive ability.



Trump not hurt by controversies about Russia, immigration

Trump’s overall job-approval rating in the poll stands at 45 percent among registered voters — up 1 point from June — while 52 percent of voters disapprove of his job.

That stability in Trump’s numbers stands out given the controversies and news over the past month — the separated families at the border, Trump’s contentious NATO meetings, his less contentious meeting with Russia’s Vladimir

Indeed, the new NBC/WSJ poll finds the president’s approval rating among Republican voters at 88 percent — the highest of his presidency — and 29 percent of all voters strongly approve of his job, which is another high for Trump in the poll.

“The more Trump gets criticized by the media, the more his base seems to rally behind him,” says Yang, the Democratic pollster.



We should IGNORE Leftist accusations

At most, dismiss their accusations in a few words as "Fake news" and leave it at that

It’s time we took a hard look at what we’ve been doing, that we might stop doing what’s not working and striven to better understand where we’ve made gains.

Our adversary, the political Left, does what it does always for strategic or tactical reasons. Continuous awareness of that core precept is vital if we’re to triumph over it.

The multitudinous, unending “accusations” Leftists have leveled at Trump Administration officials have had little to do with the facts, and far more with the prospect of gain for the Left. Their allies in the media march in lockstep with their tactics.

Allow me to repeat an old parable that has great relevance to media relations:

Some years ago, a theater impresario whom we shall call Smith, whose current production Hoity-Toity was, shall we say, not repaying its production costs received a phone call from Jones, a well-known reporter for the prestigious publication Theater Life. Their conversation ran as follows:

     "Mr. Smith," Jones said, "I'm calling to ask a few questions about Hoity-Toity."

     "Go right ahead," Smith said.

     "Well, first of all," Jones said, "the talk is that Hoity-Toity is falling deeply into arrears and will soon be closed. Is that the case?"

     Smith, a careful and experienced man, counted to ten before answering. "I would imagine that if I were to say no, your story in tomorrow's edition would be headlined 'Smith Denies Hoity-Toity Near To Closing.' Am I correct?"

     "Well, yes," Jones said. "Something like that, anyway."

     "Well, then," Smith said, "I'll answer your question if you'll answer one for me. How's that sound?"

     "Fair enough," Jones said warily. "What's your question?"

     "Mr. Jones, is it true that your wife has syphilis?"

     "What?" Jones shrieked. "Why are you asking me that? What put such an idea into your head?"

     "Oh, you know how the rumor mill churns," Smith said breezily. "But, as it happens, you're on speakerphone and Davis is here from Variety. If you were to answer no, he might have a story in tomorrow's edition headlined 'Jones Denies Wife Has Syphilis.' What would you think of a story like that?"

     There was a long silence on the line. Finally, Jones said, "All right, Smith. I take your point."

What would be the effect of a story headlined “Smith Denies Hoity-Toity Near To Closing” – ? It would be to reinforce in the reader’s mind two key elements: “Hoity-Toity” and “closing.” It would suggest that the show is a failure. It would discourage potential patrons of the show. There’s a strong presumption in the human mind that “my fellow humans, when they move or act en masse, are usually right.” We might deplore it. We might call it “the behavior of lemmings,” but it’s there...and you respond to it too.

That suggests that it’s a mistake to reply to, or to attempt to refute, those “accusations.” Every time we do so, we reinforce the key elements of the accusation and thus compound the losses it inflicts on us. Worse, we give the Left a particle of respectability it doesn’t deserve and should not get. Note that this does not imply answering with Left-like vitriol, but rather ignoring them, including their media handmaidens.

There are no gains to be had by responding. Not even minor ones.

Just now, for example, the Trump Administration is racking up the successes in economics and international relations. Those who are paying attention are aware of this – Right and Left. The Left’s denigrations, accusations, and insults are intended to distract the public from Trump’s successes. To the extent that it’s making any gains in that fashion, the credit must go to those who’ve managed to obstruct the real news – that is, reportage about what’s really happening. For among Americans aware of the gains the Administration is accumulating, Trump’s popularity and overall approval are advancing. Therefore it behooves the Left that those gains either go unreported, or are displaced from public attention by its attacks.

The only countermeasure is to keep our focus on what the Administration has achieved, and to talk it up without pausing to respond to the Left’s stream of distractive emissions.



What The Heck Is Hillary Wearing? “She looks like she’s in a hospital.”

Hospital shoes too?

Two Times Presidential Hopeful Loser Hilary Clinton took to the stage to bash President Trump and she looked like hell.  With disheveled hair and wearing what looked like a hospital gown, Clinton got more attention for how she looked that from what she said.

Hillary Clinton spoke at Ozyfest, a two-day festival in Central Park, on Saturday where she complained about Russia and Vladimir Putin for almost 45 minutes straight during a Q&A session with Laurene Powell Jobs, founder of Emerson Collection.

During her diatribe, Clinton claimed that the Russians are still trying to hack into our computer systems  and may actually hack into the voting machines and servers that count the votes during the 2018 midterm election.



Trump Names 'The Real Enemy of the People'

Pushing back against the liberal media on Thursday, President Donald Trump declared them to be "the real enemy of the people."

"The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media," Trump tweeted at 9:30 a.m. "I look forward to our second meeting [with Putin] so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems...but they can ALL be solved!" the president wrote.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump tweeted that the "fake news media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war. They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin. We are doing MUCH better than any other country!"

And: "The Fake News Media is going Crazy! They make up stories without any backup, sources or proof. Many of the stories written about me, and the good people surrounding me, are total fiction. Problem is, when you complain you just give them more publicity. But I’ll complain anyway!"

Trump's comments on Monday at a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin produced scathing reviews from current and former government officials; scorn from liberal cable networks; and even admonishment from a few conservative outlets.

One of the main criticisms was President Trump's tough talk to allies and his apparent deference to an adversary.

In an interview with CBS's Jeff Glor following the NATO summit, Trump was asked to name his biggest global foes:

"I think we have a lot of foes," Trump said. "I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe." He also named China and Russia.

On Thursday, Trump tweeted a "told-you-so." "I told you so! The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the U.S., but not for long!"

In another tweet, the president also thanked "Fox & Friends" for playing video clips of the "many times" Trump has recognized Russian meddling.



Why Trump doesn’t hate Russia

The president’s refusal to embrace Russophobia is no bad thing

US president Donald Trump is in Helsinki for a one-on-one (plus translators), no-advisers-allowed meeting with Russian premier Vladimir Putin. And seemingly everyone is convinced that Russia is undermining liberal democracy, indulging in nefarious interventions around the world, and even dead-set on reviving some larger Russia, for which the annexation of Crimea was only the start. Everyone, that is, except Trump.

So, on the eve of this most black-boxed of presidential tête-à-têtes, his own Justice Department issued an indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents for hacking the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Senators and 18 Democratic members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs have called on Trump to abort the meeting. And, perhaps most remarkable of all, Trump’s own team constantly expressed a fear of Russian aggression.

Just this past week, Trump’s director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, compared the danger of Russian cyberattacks to the terrorist threat posed to the US in the run-up to 9/11. In his trepidation, Coats was merely following Trump’s former national security adviser, General HR McMaster, who warned last year: ‘Russia and China are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.’ Likewise, defence secretary Jim Mattis, secretary of state Mike Pompeo and current national security adviser John Bolton have all been sounding the alarm about Russia’s intentions, and urging Trump to go in hard on Russia’s electoral meddling.

Yet Trump seemingly refuses to toe his team’s line, let alone that of Congress or the Justice Department. Instead, he seems content to accept the Kremlin’s contention that ‘the meddling never happened’, or, as he put it in November, ‘Every time [Putin] sees me, he says, “I didn’t do that”, and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it’. More striking still, some worry that Trump may even recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2015 as legitimate, despite the US, the EU and NATO all condemning it as a violation of international law and subsequently imposing sanctions. Trump, however, has said that Crimea ought to be part of Russia, given that the majority of Crimeans speak Russian. ‘That is not the position of the United States’, countered Bolton.

And that’s the problem. Regarding Russia, Trump’s administration, which is meant to be articulating the ‘position of the United States’, seems torn in two, with Trump on one side, and everybody else on the other. It is as if there are in fact two positions of the United States on Russia. Trump says simply ‘if we can get along with Russia, that’s a good thing’. Everybody else says you can’t trust Russia, because they’re the bad guys, usually with a reference to Putin’s past as a KGB agent. Trump will be having a spectacularly private chat with Putin. Everybody else will be working on possibly public agreements and disagreements with Moscow. As the New York Times puts it, ‘Trump is wholly untethered from his administration when it comes to dealing with Moscow’.

But too many seem to misunderstand the reasons for this untethering. They seem to think that it has something to do with Trump the person. So they psychoanalyse him, speculating on his attraction to Putin’s machismo, his desire to see reflected in the Russian president some of the qualities – strength, cunning, and sheer butchness – that he himself would like to have. Others go deeper into more conspiratorial territory, either outright turning Trump into some lurid parody of the Manchurian Candidate, or alluding to the Kremlin’s possession of a recording of some tawdry hookers-and-hotel escapade which it might or might not be using to blackmail him.

Yet perhaps it is not Trump who has the Russia problem. Perhaps it is not Trump who has the Putin fixation. In fact, it is the American political class, indeed the political and media classes of much of the West, which has developed – or rather revived – an obsession with Russia as The Enemy. Have they not turned it into an object of evil, determined to undermine and corrode the institutions of the West? Hence Russia is blamed for the bloodshed in Syria, despite the West’s considerably larger role in the unravelling of the entire Middle East. It is condemned for the conflict in Ukraine, despite NATO and the EU’s longstanding provocations. And, above all, it is held responsible, in some distant behind-the-scenes way, for the election of Trump, Brexit and every other Western popular revolt of recent years. That is why Russian meddling in the US presidential election has become such a crusade for the US political establishment. It explains away the very real estrangement of the political class from those they have for too long failed to represent. It explains away their failure to speak for the whole of society, rather than just a professional, middle-class coastal stratum. It explains away the domestic reasons for the erosion of the political establishment’s grip on power.

Trump is no political visionary. But neither is he part of the political establishment. After all, he was the beneficiary of people’s turn against the establishment. And, as such, he is not overdetermined to see Russia as the enemy, the baleful power upturning the world. He stands apart from almost everybody else in Washington DC and in Western foreign-policymaking circles in approaching Russia and Putin as a state entity that it might be possible to deal with.

And that is too much for too many to bear. Domestically it is too much for those politicians, and their cheerleaders, who have found in the spectre of Russian electoral meddling a readymade excuse for their own political fall. And internationally, it is too much to bear for those Western political elites, seeking refuge in NATO and the EU, which have found, in facing down the spectre of Russian military malignity, a raison d’être. The split in Trump’s administration reflects the deeper split between those who have a need to conjure Russia up as an existential threat, and those who, in Trump’s case, clearly do not.



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Robert said...

Regarding the article about how we should ignore Leftist accusations:

This column says very well what I have also noticed about those who emulate Satan, the Great False Accuser, or The Slanderer. Just as Satan employs the tactic of making accusations against God's people, the political Left makes accusations against their political competitors. In both cases, the accusations are usually baseless or irrelevant. And just as the godly are never going to win the affection of Satan, neither are liberty-loving conservatives going to win the affection of humanity-hating socialists, communists, and fascists. Nor should either one want to. The Satanic will only speak well of others who are similarly Satanic. And just as the godly should focus on their relationship with Yahowah (God) and not be distracted by the opinions of their sworn, unalterable enemies, neither should liberty-loving conservatives be distracted by their sworn, unalterable enemies, the socialists, communists, and fascists.
If I had to deal with such characters myself, the response I have mentally practiced is, "Why should I care about what the satanic think of me?"

Anonymous said...

Re. "Trump not hurt by controversies about Russia, immigration"

The reason Trump retains his support regardless of his personality is for the same reason that he was elected, it is because he stands against political correctness. From the perspective of Trump supporters, no mistakes Trump makes are as bad as the left telling us what we are allowed to think and say.