Below is a simple comparison of English speaking volunteers who were asked if a particular string of letters was an English word they recognized. Knowing a definition was not required. Made up ‘words’ were included, and marking one of those as a real word was penalized.
You will quickly see an overall pattern. The blank slate crowd will argue that this pattern is entirely a symptom of social conditioning. This is a key tenet of identity politics. Any disparity between groups is solely a result of pernicious thinking which can be corrected by the State.
Totalitarian utopias (a redundancy) depend on the idea that human minds can be conditioned to think only State approved thoughts. Those who think human minds have no inherent structure, and can be inscribed at will by society, could benefit from a little research into the science. Two short suggestions. One. Two.
Anyway, I was curious about the chart and the study that produced it. The test is so simple that the only bias would be based on individual vocabulary. Which is what the test is measuring.
I’ve been looking at the M/F table a bit, rating my own knowledge and wondering about patterns and oddities. I could define all the male-side words and half the female-side ones. I knew 9 of those were fabrics, but I couldn’t have told you the difference. This proves females have been conditioned by the patriarchy to be more concerned about style than STEM.
There were 4 words I didn’t know were words: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen whipstitch, peplum, or boucle. I also didn’t know espadrille, but had to look twice to see it wasn’t escadrille, which is how I initially read it. On reflection, it seemed unlikely that women would be more knowledgable about French air force squadrons than men. Espadrille (is that also the plural?) are shoes. My mistake proves I am a programmed dupe of the patriarchy.
Of course, I then had to download the full spreadsheet to see if escadrille was in the 62,000 words. It was.
I found out that about 400 people of the 220,000 participants were exposed to each of the 62,000 words.
Gives you an idea about the magnitude of the research.
I noticed the highest recognition percentage for both sexes in the male column is for one word – “shemale.” “Taffeta” is that word on the female side, at very nearly the same ratio. It’s a curiosity that there’s one word on each list that has the highest recognition factor for both sexes. You see below that I would have expected that word to be jacquard on the female side.
Shemale (trans women with male genitalia) is associated with pornography. Is there some association between shemale and taffeta? I don’t know if it’s significant, but Duck Duck Go returns a lot of hits for ‘+taffeta porn’ and ‘shemale +taffeta’.
Turns out to be true for damask and jacquard, too. ;)
If they run this study again, they should ask about sexual orientation. We need a column of words known by men who think they are women.
Words with multiple definitions… or, at least, pathways to recognition. Jacquard, for example, could be recognized as a digital loom, or as the fabric it produces. That’s partly a STEM vs. fashion distinction. The male side of the table is mostly STEM, while the female side is preponderantly related to appearance (fashion/makeup). You might expect more men to recognize jacquard than chambray, taffeta, or damask, but they don’t.
I already mentioned confusing espadrille and escadrille. There’s also pessary and peccary.
If you are curious about the methods used in this experiment, it’s worth reading the short abstract here: Word prevalence norms for 62,000 English lemmas A lemma is the word that appears as an entry in a dictionary, it stands for all forms of the word. “Build” is the lemma for “builds”, “building”, “built”, etc..
Here’s the intro:
We present word prevalence data for 61,858 English words. Word prevalence refers to the number of people who know the word. The measure was obtained on the basis of an online crowdsourcing study involving over 220,000 people. Word prevalence data are useful for gauging the difficulty of words and, as such, for matching stimulus materials in experimental conditions or selecting stimulus materials for vocabulary tests.
I don’t want an argument about irrelevancies, so let’s stipulate that warming of the earth is a factor in California’s infernos. For our purposes here, it’s irrelevant. Whether it’s anthropogenic or not, California doesn’t control it. What they could control, they leave to chance.
Claims that wildfires started by lightning can be ameliorated today in California by achieving tenths of a degree reductions in global temperature by the year 2050 are facially specious. California’s only proven anthropogenic wildfires came from arson, poorly maintained power lines, and gender reveal parties.
In the gripping hand, we have technology to mitigate wildfire. And we know that California refuses to employ it, even as science tells them they should. Decreasing the amount of fuel available to a wildfire and creating clear-cut firebreaks are within the direct control of California. Eliminating CO2 and cow farts world-wide are not.
Academics believe that between 4.4 million and 11.8 million acres burned each year in prehistoric California. Between 1982 and 1998, California’s agency land managers burned, on average, about 30,000 acres a year. Between 1999 and 2017, that number dropped to an annual 13,000 acres. The state passed a few new laws in 2018 designed to facilitate more intentional burning. But few are optimistic this, alone, will lead to significant change. We live with a deathly backlog. In February 2020, Nature Sustainability published this terrifying conclusion: California would need to burn 20 million acres — an area about the size of Maine — to restabilize in terms of fire.
Now, it’s not as if California lacks deep, ongoing experience with wildfires. And they do indeed know what to do. Here’s a blurb from the CAL FIRE website about plans submitted to the Governor in 2019. Emphasis mine:
Using locally developed and vetted fire plans prepared by CAL FIRE Units as a starting point, CAL FIRE identified priority fuel reduction projects that can be implemented almost immediately to protect communities vulnerable to wildfire. Socioeconomic characteristics were also considered, including poverty levels, residents with disabilities, language barriers, residents over 65 or under five years of age, percent non-white, and households without a car. [Decide for yourself which of those criteria are best addressed so as to prevent widespread conflagrations.]
Through this process 35 priority projects were identified, reducing risk for over 200 communities. Project examples include removal of hazardous dead trees, vegetation clearing, creation of fuel breaks and community defensible spaces, and creation of ingress and egress corridors.
As Governor, if you sincerely believed climate change was THE major factor in your well established wildfire problem, and knew you had little control over that, is it prudent to ignore the means of significant mitigation your advisors recommend, or is it better to have an excuse for having ignored the advice?
I’d like to assure you that all 35 CAL FIRE proposed fire break/prescribed burn/fuel reduction projects have been completed. CAL FIRE is nice enough to provide a link:
… which leads to the California Natural Resources Agency. Where we get this:
It’s usually easier for bureaucrats and politicians to find a reason not to take an action which requires a decision or represents any immediate risk to their sinecure. Sometimes, though, responsibility avoidance goes pear shaped: The Governor attracts an argument from Donald Trump about it because, you know, California is burning. Then, decisions avoided must be clumsily disappeared.
Back to the Propublica article:
“[P]lanning a prescribed burn is cumbersome. A wildfire is categorized as an emergency, meaning firefighters pull down hazard pay and can drive a bulldozer into a protected wilderness area where regulations typically prohibit mountain bikes. Planned burns are human-made events and as such need to follow all environmental compliance rules. That includes the Clean Air Act, which limits the emission of PM 2.5, or fine particulate matter, from human-caused events. In California, those rules are enforced by CARB, the state’s mighty air resources board, and its local affiliates. “I’ve talked to many prescribed fire managers, particularly in the Sierra Nevada over the years, who’ve told me, ‘Yeah, we’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars to get all geared up to do a prescribed burn,’ and then they get shut down.” Maybe there’s too much smog that day from agricultural emissions in the Central Valley, or even too many locals complain that they don’t like smoke [Ed: Well how do you like the smoke you’ve got now?]. Reforms after the epic 2017 and 2018 fire seasons led to some loosening of the CARB/prescribed fire rules, but we still have a long way to go.”
It’s natural to want the beauty of nature to go undisturbed. In California it’s become natural to assume man’s limited mastery of nature is sufficient to create a wildfire safe space through the power of imagination. And you might well believe this if you aspire to effect a global change in the composition of the atmosphere from your San Francisco penthouse by forcing rolling blackouts on the unwashed.
The chemistry of fire is an objective fact, which probably makes it patriarchal and colonialist. Still, It Burns.
One thing we can say is that the extent of California wildfires have an anthropogenic origin. We can name names.
“[C]limate alarm causes nothing but anxiety and bad policies, arguing we can do better with smarter solutions to the problem…. If climate change really could end the world, then perhaps this alarmism might be warranted, but that is simply not the case.“.
Climate change panic policy today boils down to limiting access to cheap energy, (women, children, and the poor hit hardest) and promoting alternative energy sources (subsidizing Warren Buffets windmills- he should pay more taxes by foregoing the subsidies). Since energy = wealth, opposing zero-emission nuclear power tells you all you need to know about the actual motives of Big Green.
This is a book recommendation. Sadly, it’s out of print, and I can find none in any of the used book sites I have used. The good news is it’s cheap on Kindle.
I found out about it here if you want a short opinion second to the one that follows.
I can’t believe I’d never heard of the book, either.
The flying car topic of the title is used to weave a sort of ‘back to the future’ look at at technology, American ingenuity/entrepreneurialism, and government regulation. There is a strong science fiction presence used to ask “Why did, or did not, the predictions of 1930-1960 SF come to pass?” It’s a good summary of my contention that much of that literature should have been required reading.
Appearances, among many others, by H. G. Wells, Issac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke.
The brilliant Dr. Richard Feynman also takes a bow in a discussion of Heinlein’s novellas Waldo and Magic Inc..
I cut my teeth on SF with Tom Swift, and my strong technological optimism arguably started with that series. (I wonder if there is anything comparable now for 10 year olds?)
The author, J Storrs Hall, is a techno-optimist, too, and he suggests that after the 1960’s America became a much less “can do” polity than we had any reason to expect. We went from the Wright brothers to 747s in 50 years, from Goddard (1926) to the moon in 43. Now we’re mired in CAFE standards and cronyism.
Hall does spend a fair bit of time discussing the history of ‘flying cars’ and that alone is fascinating. There’s much more. He also makes very intriguing points about nanotech, nuclear power, AI, cybernetics, economics, city planning, and other topics.
One major consideration is envirostatism (my term), where he contends that the GREEN point isn’t CO2, pollution, or any of the other excuses offered. It is essentially anti-human nihilism.
“Green ideas have become inextricably intertwined with a perfectly reasonable desire to live in a clean, healthy environment and enjoy the natural world. The difference is of course that in the latter case, the human enjoying the natural world is a good thing, but to the fundamentalist Green he and all his works are a bad thing.”
Lest you think this is hyperbole, he supplies some words from the mouths of the horses-asses:
“The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”
“Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
“It would be little short of disastrous for us for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it.”
The title of this piece is Cassandra backwards. I closely paraphrase J Storrs Hall,
“There seems to be a bizarre reverse-Cassandra effect operating in the universe: whereas the mythical Cassandra spoke the awful truth and was not believed, these days “experts” speak awful falsehoods, and they are believed. Repeatedly being wrong actually seems to be an advantage, conferring some sort of puzzling magic glow upon the speaker.”
We hear California wildfires are caused by global warming climate change, when it’s actually envirostatist mismanagement, and the conscious intent to build windmills rather than maintain power lines. The California satraps agree with Rifkin, Ehrlich, and Lovins. In order to cripple the supply of energy, what have their like told us that wasn’t true?
California wildfires are caused by climate change. Gavin Newsom – yesterday
Four billion people will die between 1980 and 1989 from climate change. Paul Ehrlich – 1970
The polar ice cap will disappear by 2014. Al Gore – 2007
The planet will warm by 3 full degrees (0.1, actually). James Hansen – 1988
We will see the ‘end of snow.’ Untrue, no matterhowmanytimesit’sbeenpredicted. various – 2000, 2015, 2017, 2020
Air pollution will reduce the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half. – Various – 1970
Amusingly, we also didn’t see an ice age by the year 2000. Kenneth Watt – 1970
Meanwhile, we see the very people who want zero CO2 emissions steadfastly oppose nuclear energy. Which is zero emission, safe, and causes immensely less environmental damage than windmills or solar panels. They are not protecting the environment, they are attacking the very idea of human well-being. This antipathy is in the spirit of Rifkin, Ehrlich, and Lovins. It is about authoritarian power in the way Critical Theorists describe it: There are no objective truths. Human history and culture are merely examples of a struggle in relative political power dynamics.
They don’t mean power as in horsepower, they mean justifying the political power of Antifa and BLM riots.
Full disclosure. I have never met the author, but my copy was a gift from his father. Maybe that affects my review, but I think I have given an objective assessment.
If selecting appropriate outdoor gear is of any interest to you – if you’re into backpacking, camping, hiking, hunting, wondering about optimal choices for your bug out bag, even just blowing the snow from a 1,000 foot driveway – you should click the link above. And you needn’t take my word for it, check out the videos.
Brad Groves has written an engaging… well what the title says. It is well and profusely illustrated. The advice on equipment is intelligent and guided by vast experience. Practical details abound. Beginning and experienced backpackers will benefit from Coach Groves advice.
Beginners will want to read straight through. More experienced folks are also likely to find new insights. In either use case it could benefit from an index, or a searchable digital edition.
For example, a book addressing backpacking will necessarily include much discussion of the weight of items. On page 65 there’s a note on the weight difference in two nearly identical down vests – almost half a pound (a lot) – 37 pages later there is a note on the weight of a pair of camp shoes. Avoidable weight is important. Easily finding these examples of how to calculate avoided weight would be nice: I can trade off this weight for this weight for this cost.
I’m a geek. I would have a spreadsheet or two on this.
Without an index you have to RTWT. Which you will do because the writing will hold your interest, but being able to easily collate various references would be useful.
This does not detract from the quality of the content.
My relative expertise in these matters is tiny and ancient, but in my younger days I did a fair bit of backpacking. I still have some of the micro-sized stoves and other ultra-low weight gear popular in the 70s.
Following is a backpacking experience of my own, where weight and camp shoes combined with youth and optimism to override intelligence and experience.
Yes, that pack was too heavy… read on.
My most adventurous trip was backpacking on several of the Hawaiian islands in 1975, and the most notable trek of that excursion was Haleakala Crater on Maui.
The Haleakala caldera is essentially an 8,000 foot high desert. There’s a 2,000 foot wall of mountains around it which blocks almost all the 55 inches of rain annually falling on nearby Hana. We needed to carry water for four days. So, everyone started out pack heavy.
I well recall setting off at 10,000 feet at the Sliding Sands Trailhead.
About a mile in…
…I came to regret a couple of my “gear” decisions.
1- There were four of us – in our twenties. We wanted to have some alcohol along for end of day celebrations. So, in addition to my normal gear (and extra water), I was designated wine carrier. Four bottles. At two pounds twelve ounces each. As noted below, I knew the weight was an issue, but how often do you get to carouse on the caldera of a dormant Hawaiian volcano?
2- I was wearing relatively new boots. Hadn’t hiked in them before, but I’d worn them about the yard and house for a few weeks prior to the trip. They seemed well enough broken in. I did carry a pair of low cut Converse All-Stars as a backup and for use in camp. I wrote off the additional weight as “just in case.”
The first day was a 10 mile long descent of 2,000 feet – over some pretty rough terrain. I exchanged my boots for the All-Stars about half way. Blisters.I worried about twisting an ankle for that last 5 miles.
On page 82, under “Footwear Height” Groves explains why my understanding of ankle support was flawed. If I was going accept the weight of an extra pair of shoes, I could have had much better ankle support.
While we’re on weight, my first comment after we had camp set up was,
“We’re drinking all this wine. TONIGHT!’
Not that I was naive about carry weight. Fanatic would be more accurate. I trimmed the edges off my maps. I pulled the tags and strings off teabags.
So, the section titled “Footwear Weight” on page 81 is in my youthful mistake wheelhouse, as are the comments on camp shoes under the photo on page 102. If I had had Brad Groves’ book in 1975, I might have reconsidered my boot break-in technique, the All-Stars, and the wine. Intelligence might have suggested replacing the wine with a single fifth of Jack Daniels. ;)
Groves’ advice about weight doesn’t go near the extent of my obsession (which started with a 70s book on backpacking). It is sensible. And professional.
I paraphrase: “Don’t carry unnecessary stuff, and here are some examples of unnecessary stuff.” The reasons for excluding that ‘stuff’ are made very clear. He gives you parameters for identifying ‘stuff’ you need not carry. The edges of paper maps and tea bag tags don’t appear on a list. The list is up to you. Groves gives you good guidance for decision making. With a touch of humor.
Next, I’m reading the section on cold weather boots and gloves, and seeking a balaclava solution that leaves my glasses less fogged: Because my old hands too easily get cold and I have a 1,000 foot driveway I must clear of winter snow.
Conversational Guide to Backcountry Equipment is a very good book, and a fine gift. I should know.
My initial reaction to the release of Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans was bemusement. Sure, it’s tittilating that some far left icon would point out the Green energy fraud. But, I was also conflicted. On one hand, some envirostatist heads are exploding. On the other, I expected an hour and forty minute exposure to an indictment of capitalism by a multi-millionaire who makes shit up.
Not exactly. Crony capitalism is the symptom here. The real problem is human beings.
If you’ve been paying attention to the windmill and solar panels flimflam, you won’t find very much new about the Green energy con men, though it is devastatingly presented, and many people won’t be aware of the details. The feature that has catastrophic global warming skeptics talking about the film is its condemnation of the corrupt public-pirate partnerships which Moore erroneously calls capitalism while eliding the fact that without the government’s “Green” subsidies this bullshit would stop immediately. Be careful about enjoying the ‘split’ on the Left. Because, while Green energy is a scam, that isn’t Mr. Moore’s end game.
The novelty of a far left critique of the Green energy cabal wears off fairly quickly. The film carefully sets up a no win ecological dilemma only to be solved by drastic reductions in human population and impoverishment of those who remain. Except for Extinction Rebellion leaders, of course, who will still be compelled to fly about in private jets making sure we conform.
Planet of the Humans is an extended public service announcement for Extinction Rebellion, whose goal is to reverse the industrial revolution. And, more broadly, drastically cut human population, “Corona is the cure, humans are the disease.”
Now, ER has distanced themselves from this (bad PR), but it’s right in their wheelhouse, and isn’t a new or controversial idea. It’s simply an update of Malthus (1798), Paul Erhlich (1968), The Club of Rome (1972) and the Duke of Edinburgh:
“In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.”
-Prince Philip speaking to Deutsche Press Agentur in 1988.
The radical depopulation message is not expressed directly, but it is left lying face up on the table as our only hope. Yes, Michael, Big Green is a bunch of lying profiteers whose ruinous solutions to imaginary problems are magical thinking – which some of us have been telling you since forever – but that doesn’t mean we don’t already have a well developed technological solution for your CO2 concerns.
I’ve never seen a better argument for nuclear power plants. Nukes solve the CO2 ‘problem,’ create high paying jobs, provide secure energy, save destruction of wild places, strengthen the grid, are less expensive, cause less ancillary pollution than ‘green’ energy, and are an actually sustainable power source because we can recycle and reuse the fuel – even create it – as part of the energy cycle.
That nuclear power goes entirely unmentioned in a film calling out technological advancement as futile proves my oft stated point: It’s not about wildlife or CAGW. ER admits this. It’s about white supremacy, colonialism, patriarchy, racialism, Eurocentrism, hetero-sexism, and class hierarchy. Like every other Leftwing intersectionality cult: It’s about the power to dictate how, where and whether you live. Gretchen Whitmer is showing us the trailer here in Michigan.
I did learn one thing from the film; that radioactive waste from mining rare earth metals necessary for solar panels and windmills is simply spread over the desert, despoiling the ecosystem. So, even the nuclear waste argument from the anti-nukers fails.
I did laugh out loud at the company name the narrator used for the corporation formed by Al Gore and David Blood (Goldman Sachs’ Asset Management head), but this film is not a joke at the expense of the Left. It would be good if it resulted in the disappearance of the Green energy extortion industry, but Mr. Moore’s preferred policy replacement is far more draconian and portends a huge increase in human suffering.