14 comments posted · 1 followers · following 0

103 weeks ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - A primer on fentanyl(s) · 0 replies · +1 points

This entire narrative screams hope! It’s fascinating, and potentially revealing (about the incentives of academia is my guess), that Kleiman has the opposite take-away.

My background is as a recovering addict and former public defender. Opioids are significant at the moment because of two features:
1. They are popular.
2. They are lethal.

Kleiman’s narrative demonstrates that these two features are not connected to each other by necessity and they both arose from highly contingent processes. There is no reason our most popular illicit drug is deadly except that it is.

This is the same insight that you downplayed with mj and alcohol: the one that causes you to run people over and beat your wife is legal. But make mj legal and wife beating will go down. And it did. People who don’t want to beat their wife substitute one for the other. People will do the same here. Give them a cost effective high that isn’t deadly and all of the sudden people will stop dying.

I guess this is the “burn itself out” scenario given that the addiction level with opioids makes switching hard for current users.

103 weeks ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Racist genetics · 1 reply · +2 points

Parents definitely discriminate based on skin tone.

103 weeks ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Racist genetics · 0 replies · +2 points

I can’t find the quote (feel like I heard it on Guardian science podcast. May have been E.O. Wilson quoting Jane Goodall). But if you look at this paper on chimpanzee hunting, where only one group demonstrates clear collaboration

And compare anything you’ve seen on wolves of Yellowstone, etc... It’s easy for me to imagine Neanderthals hunting like chimps and dog-humans hunting like wolves, with a clear result matching what we know from paleo-anthropology.

103 weeks ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Racist genetics · 1 reply · +1 points

Jane Goodall in an interview. I’ll try to find a link. Also, the bonobos species of “peace and love” idea is waning I believe.

103 weeks ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Racist genetics · 3 replies · +1 points

Not to feed the trolls, but...

My understanding is that the Vitamin D hypothesis for white skin is a bit shaky. Meanwhile, the major genetic event that keeps getting pushed further back in time is the beginning of human-dog co-evolution. The inherent conservatism of academia is all that is stopping this from being a revolutionary change in the way we understand ourselves.

Homo sapiens are an order of magnitude more social than any other primate. Our social behavior is more like wolves than chimps. Meanwhile, Neanderthals had bigger brains. Why did we conquer the world, killing off the megafauna as we went, including competing humans? Dog-human hunting teams.

The evolution of white skin could be related to the anecdotal evidence of “racist” dogs: white skin evolved because higher levels of contrast on our faces proved easier for dogs to read.

The hole in my speculation: the use of dogs by native Africans? I think the absence of studies is not evidence of absence.

210 weeks ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Lies, damned lies and ... · 1 reply · +1 points

I love the reasoning process and wonder why you call it "unscientific". There seems to be an academic bias toward "real" statistics in publishable papers that has destroyed intelligent commentary on the political process. Instead of studying how and why people get elected, scholars get a big set of numbers from BLS and then another set from exit polls and then hunt for "causal" connections. They are then awarded a blog at the WaPo or the NYT.

216 weeks ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Don't waste my time wi... · 0 replies · +2 points

James, while you are on the subject of how our otherwise adaptive cognitive processes tend toward error, I think I might have stumbled onto a habit of mind that explains economics.

The question is, how does one explain the persistence of economics? Given this:

The answer, I think, is promiscuous teleology, which causes school children to believe in intelligent design until taught otherwise:

My thinking, in short, is that economics and its Marxist critics both attempt to use Newtonian mechanics as a metaphor to understand a dynamic complex system of the type that we now know is understood through the science of Darwin.

Since both sides are wrong for the same reason, no progress can be made. But why does 200 years of being wrong not cause somebody to break free? Because selection pressures have produced human beings that prefer Newtonian cause and effect that can be translated in the language of purpose (i.e., teleology). The purpose of markets is to spread information. The purpose of wages are to keep the proletariat down, etc, etc.

I post this here because the incentives of academia and publishing make this even more invisible. My only hope is that enough of my fellow blogosphere gadflies can finally get the nudist colony of Emperors to wake up to the world outside the colony walls.

296 weeks ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Rape, privilege, and t... · 0 replies · +1 points

Mark, Your response indicates that you hold a view that the appropriate level of due process should be determined on a forum by forum basis without regard to the alleged acts being adjudged and without regard to the seriousness of the penalties. A friend of mine named Matt Kaiser wrote a very good op-ed (in the WSJ, I think) exposing just how backwards that approach is.

302 weeks ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Lead and crime, continued · 1 reply · +1 points

It strikes me that the use of the word "cost" here reflect just how deeply we have swallowed free market dogma. If it means anything, it means that society loses money as a result. But who loses money? Not the workers who remove the lead. Not the children that grow up to be more creative and not in jail. I think the background meaning is that it lowers future GDP, but that is only true if the money spent on remediation would have been better spent on something else. The totally unproven assumption behind that idea is that government directed spending, by definition, contributes less to GDP than non-government directed spending. Of course the obvious consequence of that would be that China has a negative GDP. But that's not true, is it?

309 weeks ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Do Primary Challenges ... · 0 replies · +1 points

No. You are wrong. Edwards was major in 2008 before imploding and did stake out the health care ground.