76 private showers led the big charade

Harvard says masculinity and testosterone are not ‘connected’

“Harvard University Press International is promoting one of its new books, co-authored by Brooklyn College cultural anthropologist Katrina Karkazis. She’s also a senior research fellow with the Global Health Justice Partnership at Yale University.

The book “debunks the commonly held idea that testosterone and masculinity are connected,” according to the academic press.”

Someone should explain that to the people treating female to male trans individuals with testosterone, and the sports authorities who make low testosterone levels a requirement for male to female trans cheaters. It would also help if the permanent developmental effects of in utero exposure to testosterone was explained.

Such explanation might have saved this school district the money spent on this incoherent gesture.

School district to spend $2.4M on gender neutral locker rooms at Pennsylvania high school

“The changes will only impact the high school and will feature 76 private showers and 48 private changing areas.”

If there’s no difference beyond pronouns between transgendered persons and non-transgendered persons, and no biological difference between males and females, one wonders why you’d have to have private showers or changing areas. It’s almost as if they’re acknowledging the possibility of prurience in teenagers.

Prurience, however, is far from the ‘mind’ of facial recognition software.

Facial recognition AI can’t identify trans and non-binary people

“A recent study by computer-science researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that major AI-based facial analysis tools—including Amazon’s Rekognition, IBM’s Watson, Microsoft’s Azure, and Clarifai—habitually misidentified non-cisgender people.”

I, for one, welcome our new AI overlords. They won’t need separate showers.

Fifth column

Zuckerberg address takes on free speech, China

“The ability to speak freely has been central to the fight for democracy worldwide,” Zuckerberg says. And social media forms a sort of “fifth estate”…

He misspelled “column.”

“So this is one of the reasons that we don’t operate Facebook, Instagram or our other services in China.”

That, and the fact they’re banned in China.


Beto Targets Tax-Exempt Status of Churches Opposing Gay Marriage

The power to tax is the power to destroy. Beta O’Rourke just invoked that taxation power to threaten every church, college, or charity – any institution – which does not toe what should be now be known as the KGBT Line.

“K” is close enough to “L” for government work.

That’s the work which should be governed by the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

But Progressivism is a religion. It’s being established in order to suppress freedom of conscience and freedom of speech. The press is complicit.

Peaceable assembly is attacked by Antifa, academiots, Democratic presidential candidates, and municipal martinets, among others.

The grievances of tiny, vocal minorities – fashionably high in the victimhood competence hierarchy – are being mooted as Federal government policy.

So. A nine year old child was abused in order to abuse the Constitution.

The Progressive audience applauded.

Obviously :-}

Hillary Clinton on potential rematch with Trump: “Obviously I can beat him again”

Perhaps this can be explained as a result of excess Chardonnay consumption. The only way it can be understood otherwise is that she believes winning the popular vote means she won the Presidency.

The thing that’s actually obvious is that she has declared herself unable to take the Presidential oath of office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Since Article 2, Section 1 of that Constitution defines an Electoral College:

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice-President chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

Sexist, Transphobic, Excoriable, Misogynist

That’s how progressive government schools define STEM these days.

Let’s use this look at the poet Robert Frost to expand the point: Rehabilitating Robert Frost: The Unity of his Literary, Cultural, and Political Thought

[F]or about four decades Frost was “the necessary enemy” of both “the political left and the modernist literary elite,”… Frost perceived that the common denominator which linked the political Left with the modernist literary elite was their claim to being “intellectuals,” which ultimately rested upon their faith in modern science, and in the application of the methods of physical science to every branch of humanistic knowledge, including politics and the arts.

In both art and politics, in theory and practice, Frost stood in stark opposition to the… self-styled “intellectual” elite, invariably Marxists, socialists, Freudians, or academic liberals, [who] proud of their sophisticated critical approach to literature, identified greatness in poetry with cultural complexity and obscurity…

The point I want to make is not about Frost, it’s that when Marx started pretending to apply science to politics it was inevitable that his fellow travelers would apply politics to science.

Cultural complexity and obscurity has become the hallmark of our current crop of elite collectivists. They deliberately write opaquely to assert their superiority to each other.

Not content to apply ‘critical theory‘ to poetry or literature in general, postmodernist professors of what used to called the humanities claim that mathematics is racist, physics is sexist, engineering is colonialist, and biology is transphobic, etc. etc.. This explains everything from the degenerate state of climate ‘science,’ to the fact that you can graduate from Yale with a degree in English without ever having read Chaucer or Shakespeare.

For example. Also.


A Climate Modeller Spills the Beans

“Proper ocean modelling would require a tenfold improvement in spatial resolution and a vast increase in computing power, probably requiring quantum computers. If or when quantum computers can reproduce the small-scale interactions, the researchers will remain out of their depth because of their traditional simplifying of conditions.”

This is far from the most important part of that article, but I use it to make the following point: If Greta Thunberg and the Green New Deal hysterics have their way we won’t ever see the quantum computers necessary to those calculations, because we’ll be poor and shivering in the dark while the minimally available electricity is used to heat Al Gore’s pool. We will have already spent all the money we could have used for mitigation of any possible climate change.


Properly skeptical?

In a post describing social media propaganda techniques Corey Doctorow says the following:

“We’re not living through a crisis about what is true, we’re living through a crisis about how we know whether something is true. We’re not disagreeing about facts, we’re disagreeing about epistemology. The “establishment” version of epistemology is, “We use evidence to arrive at the truth, vetted by independent verification (but trust us when we tell you that it’s all been independently verified by people who were properly skeptical and not the bosom buddies of the people they were supposed to be fact-checking).”

The “alternative facts” epistemological method goes like this: “The ‘independent’ experts who were supposed to be verifying the ‘evidence-based’ truth were actually in bed with the people they were supposed to be fact-checking. In the end, it’s all a matter of faith, then: you either have faith that ‘their’ experts are being truthful, or you have faith that we are. Ask your gut, what version feels more truthful?””

However unintentionally*, Doctorow has accurately described the ‘argument from authority,’ shut-down-the-debate propaganda of ‘climate change’ activists.
*He’s compared Greta Thunberg to Joan of Arc. I.e., he approves of Thunberg’s propaganda. She can hardly be considered an authority.

We can imagine he accepts the authority of the ‘97% of scientists agree with CAGW theory‘ misdirection (see also here and here).

We can be sure he would not approve my appropriation of his words in support of the links that follow below. But they do speak to the question he asks about what feels truthful:
ClimateGate fallout continues: CRU admits original data deleted – 2009

“SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.”

“The dog ate my temperature data” would be far less suspicious if the scientists involved hadn’t been caught discussing how to avoid FOIA requests for their data; if they hadn’t asked each other to delete emails expressing internal doubts about some of their research assumptions; if the programmers hadn’t complained in their comments about unreliable data custodianship and sloppy organization, or pointed out algorithms where the actual data record was ‘corrected.’ It might be more believable if one of those scientists, Micheal Mann, hadn’t refused to release data and algorithms used in his hokey stick calculations, and if he hadn’t viciously attempted to destroy – professionally and personally – any who voiced the slightest question about that tree ring magnum opus, including interference and intimidation of scientific publishers. Science is falsifiable or it isn’t science.

On the Validity of NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU Global Average Surface Temperature Data & The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding – 2017

“The conclusive findings of this research are that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality. In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.”

GAST is Global Average Surface Temperature.

Canada’s global warming models threw out actual historical data and substituted models of what the temperature should have been – 2019

“Canadians already suspicious of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax are likely be even more suspicious given a report by Ottawa-based Blacklock’s Reporter that Environment Canada omitted a century’s worth of observed weather data in developing its computer models on the impacts of climate change.

The scrapping of all observed weather data from 1850 to 1949 was necessary, a spokesman for Environment Canada told Blacklock’s Reporter, after researchers concluded that historically, there weren’t enough weather stations to create a reliable data set for that 100-year period.

“The historical data is not observed historical data,” the spokesman said. “It is modelled historical data … 24 models from historical simulations spanning 1950 to 2005 were used.””

Maybe the models they used as input to the models were meticulously prepared even though the preparers had a conflict of interest. Maybe it would be better if when they don’t know something, they say so.

Here’s an easily understood critque of how data is manipulated in U.S. National Climate Assessment.
My Gift To Climate Alarmists ~13 min

No way to spin that: So-called scientists feel free to cherry pick their data. The choices strongly imply an agenda. An agenda related to funding.

Finally, here’s a long, insightful, humorous post (That last quality being one possessed neither by Greta Thunberg nor Joan of Arc, though one might suspect Greta does have a martyrdom complex.) touching on arguments from authority and proper skepticism at the website of the invaluable Dr. Judith Curry.
A philospher’s reflections on AGW denial An excerpt:

“…what, if anything, to do about AGW is a political decision, subject to the same forces at play in any other political decision, namely the interplay of conflicting interests. One can hope that someone else’s interests, as she herself sees them, will dovetail with one’s own. But to get in high moral dudgeon when hers don’t betrays the moral maturity of a three year old.”

Ah yes, it is a public policy question about which we’re told we must accept the judgment of some experts (though not experts in public policy) regarding a complete redefinition of our economy.

Ultimately, argument from authority must end in attempts to rank the sincerity, knowledge, methods, and success of predictions from theory of the authorities invoked by each side. The point I want to leave you with is that it’s not the climate change skeptics who are insisting global warming theory is not falsifiable. So, which authorities are practicing science rather than religion?

Conspiracy of silence -2007
James Robert Cardinal Bellarmine Hansen -2008
Who’s a “denier” now? -2009
What a piece of work is Mann -2015

Gentlemen, you can’t say that here!

This is the free speech society!*

Trans row: Man who said ‘women don’t have penises’ banned from free speech society panel

The dogma is settled.

Later, he was removed from his assistant editorship at Durham University’s philosophy journal.
Student editor who retweeted “women don’t have penises” story fired from university journal

Then the Merseyside Police and mayor of Liverpool started looking into the transgression**:
Is it a crime to say ‘women don’t have penises’?

The counter argument to “women don’t have penises” can be summarized with this contemporaneous example from Newsweek:

“Well, since gender identity is not determined by what kind of genitals someone has, a person with a female gender identity might well have a penis. In other words, yes, some women do have penises.”

This is true – if you use the same definition for “person with a female gender identity” and “woman.” And, therefore, it is boringly trivial.

Since the question under consideration is whether women can have penises, simply substituting the word “women” in your conclusion for the phrase “people with a female gender identity” in your premises dishonestly enlists tautology as a defense.

Assuming your conclusion through poorly executed semantic trickery – ‘gender identity’ is exactly the same as ‘sex’ – does not advance your cause. Just because you think (“feel” in the parlance) that your wife is a hat doesn’t mean you can wear her on your head.

Let me clarify Newsweek‘s defense of calling penises female genitalia (changes emphasized): “Well, since gender identity is not determined by what kind of genitals someone has, a person with a female gender identity might well have a penis. In other words, yes, some people with a female gender identity do have penises.

There are women who are objecting to this conflation of ‘gender identity’ with ‘sex.’ I welcome them to the club of those who’ve been objecting since the ’60s, to the idea that sex roles are totally socially constructed. I celebrate the fact we’re all now subject to deplorableness.

I don’t expect the editors at Newsweek to understand logical thinking most of us learned in grade school, but it’s worse than that. That meaningless syllogism emanates from the Ivory Towers of the University of Nottingham, where its author is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy. It’s likely, therefore, she is familiar with the logical requirements of a syllogism. It’s equally likely she rejects logic itself as patriarchal, heteronormative, colonialist, and misogynist; or some combination of all of those.

How did universities worldwide come to be hotbeds of this delusion? I’m working on a post to explain that, which will be published in a day or three.

*With credit to President Merkin Muffley who said, “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!”

**How long before the word transgression is banned?

Philosopher ‘pretenders to the throne’

This is a nice, short (7 min) introduction to Friedrich Hayek’s insights on emergent order. If you haven’t read Road to Serfdom (free downloads at the link), maybe this will nudge you to do so.

Order without intent: How spontaneous order built our world. from The IHS on Vimeo.

Allowing order without intent to flourish is how we might avoid the tyranny of good intentions.

Related, from Edward Snowden:

“The most unflattering thing is to realize just how naïve and credulous I was and how that could make me into a tool of systems that would use my skills for an act of global harm. The class of which I am a part of, the global technological community, was for the longest time apolitical. We have this history of thinking: “We’re going to make the world better.””

The idea that “making the world better” is apolitical shows Snowden is still naive and credulous. The toolmakers of the global technological community may have good intentions. They may be motivated by thoughts of the benefits they are bringing to humanity. They may also be motivated by profit and ideology.

How a better world is constituted, in any case, is an ethical and moral question beyond the ken of their meta-data, and in direct conflict with the ethical ‘principles’ demonstrated by their business models.

Who defines “better?” We have ample evidence Google/Facebook/Twitter aren’t up to the task.

“Making the world better” can be apolitical only in terms of each individual’s actions. It cannot be apolitical for giant corporations whose tools are designed to deceive users into acts of self harm: A system of fools.

Politics is the very essence of social media and the control of access to information.

Politics, noun. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
-Ambrose Bierce

And, in ways Bierce couldn’t imagine – conducting private affairs for public advantage. Affecting elections for example.

Snowdon’s NSA is simply the government instantiation of the Facebook/Google/Twitter business models. They are all dedicated to making their subjects “better.”

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
-H. L. Mencken

Order with intent is the model practiced by authoritarians for “your own good,” public or private, from de Blasio to Google.

So, I’ll close with some relevant Friedrich Hayek quotations on good intentions, control of information, collectivist ethics, and the limits of knowledge: All of which apply to government and to the massive private enterprises whose control of information and manipulation of public opinion Hayek couldn’t imagine:

“Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. The basis of unfavorable comparisons with elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions–all will be suppressed. There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced.”

“Our freedom of choice in a competitive society rests on the fact that, if one person refuses to satisfy our wishes, we can turn to another. But if we face a monopolist we are at his absolute mercy. And an authority directing the whole economic system of the country would be the most powerful monopolist conceivable…it would have complete power to decide what we are to be given and on what terms. It would not only decide what commodities and services were to be available and in what quantities; it would be able to direct their distributions between persons to any degree it liked.”

“All political theories assume, of course, that most individuals are very ignorant. Those who plead for liberty differ from the rest in that they include among the ignorant themselves as well as the wisest. Compared with the totality of knowledge which is continually utilized in the evolution of a dynamic civilization, the difference between the knowledge that the wisest and that the most ignorant individual can deliberately employ is comparatively insignificant.”

“To act on behalf of a group seems to free people of many of the moral restraints which control their behaviour as individuals within the group.”

“The idea of social justice is that the state should treat different people unequally in order to make them equal.”