Tuesday, December 11, 2018

More Women Beaten By Transsexual Women In Sex-Segregated Sports

Comes a report now that a transgender female is dominating Australian handball; some months back, I noted a transgender woman winning the UCI Masters championship; a post-victory interview contained this silliness (formatting all original):
VN: Do you feel like you have an unfair advantage because you are a transgender athlete?
Rachel McKinnon: No, absolutely not. If you look at my results at Canadian nationals, in the 500 I was like eighth place (editor: Dr. McKinnon has always competed in the female category). At masters worlds, for the 500 I was a very disappointing fourth. In the Keirin at Canadian nationals, I was fourth. I haven’t won any elite UCI races. I got a third in the Keirin at Trexlertown in June.
On it goes. Because "she" didn't win every time, we are supposed to say, well, fairness prevailed or something. The idiocy and narcissism of transsexuals, who wish to deny the substantial advantages their pre-hormone treatments confer upon them, needs mass public condemnation until this nonsense is chased back to the academy where it belongs.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Bush (And Reagan!) Versus AIDS Patients: The Blamethrowing

With the death of George Herbert Walker Bush, we now go back in time to the late 80s and early 90s, when AIDS activists blamed Reagan and Bush for AIDS deaths. Particularly, this HuffPo piece dropping the blame "nearly 10 years into the epidemic, 150,000 cases of people with HIV had been reported in the U.S., and 100,000 people had died due to AIDS."

This was largely the political view of American gay advocates at the time, who blamed AIDS deaths on Bush and his predecessor, never mind a considerable list of achievements under Reagan (a number of which that were booed as he delivered them at a 1987 speech). But as Elizabeth Whelan wrote in 1988 in Reason, there was precious little the government could do about those deaths:

Can anyone who knows the facts deny that AIDS, as it appears in the homosexual and drug-using population, is a self-inflicted disease? A promiscuous homosexual lifestyle carries inherent health risks, and gays knew this by the mid-1970s when rates of sexually transmitted diseases soared. Just because AIDS or any other fatal disease was not specified on the "morbidity menu" prior to 1982, how can they look to anyone but themselves for an explanation why these infections occurred? This is not to say that gays deserve AIDS, any more than cigarette smokers deserve lung cancer. It comes with the territory.

Was the government blasé about the AIDS epidemic in the years between 1981 and 1984? Yes and no. "Yes" in the sense that 20/20 hindsight now shows AIDS to be a more insidious and formidable opponent than was first thought. But "no" in that federal research dollars were forthcoming, progress was made, and Shilts seems to have forgotten that America had and continues to have other health concerns demanding our attention. While in mid-1983 there were some 1,279 cases of AIDS on record, in that year nearly 450,000 people died from the effects of cigarette-related disease (also the consequence of a chosen behavior).
Gay sexual behavior was always going to be hard to police and needle-sharing as well. In 2000, the CDC released a report on high-risk AIDS behaviors (PDF); its findings included
  • 30% of IV drug users had used needles they suspected or were used by others (Table 10, p. 17)
  • 49% of those surveyed at gay bars had four or more sexual partners in the prior year (Table 12, p. 19)
  • 37% used condoms sometimes or never when having receptive anal intercourse (Table 13, p. 20)
The problems involved are those of addiction, and male evolved sexual preferences, which revolve around partner novelty. Both are hard to solve. Blaming that on Reagan or Bush fails to consider the choices gay men (and drug users) were still making nearly a decade after the latter was out of office.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Postgrad Survivor: Why Academics Won't Defend Academic Freedom

I have previously written about why the #SokalSquared hoax will go nowhere, mainly due to institutional incentives that all point the wrong way. More along this line comes today from James A. Lindsay, who asks, "Are Academics Cowards?" I incline to think his question is a tendentious way of expressing the underlying problem — and he explains, so does he. The thesis, basically, is that academics in the sciences (i.e., anything harder and more empirical than grievance studies) invest absurd amounts of their lives in very narrow areas. This extreme specialization makes them overqualified for work in the private sector (and much in government), while putting their careers increasingly at risk should they fail to advance toward a teaching spot, and more, to one with tenure.
Chances are, if you’re looking for academic jobs, especially in the sciences, you’re coming off a postdoc or two, so you’ve literally spent the last decade or more in training for the job you hope to get. You’ve made incredible sacrifices for it. You’ve invested more into getting past the first hurdle of a future career than almost anyone else. Just imagine training at double full time, paid less than minimum wage, for a decade for a job and then being able to think it’s worth risking the career you’re working for to make a political point, even a really important or necessary one.
 So, such people act rationally when confronted with a chiefly political threat: they ignore it as best they can, and defer to the extent necessary to continue their careers. The problem with this is obvious. "Social Justice approaches", Lindsay writes, "do not seek to further improve the objectivity of science. Instead, they aim to introduce opposing biases, which they see as effectively counteracting existing ones." That is, academia now is a game of Survivor. It takes the smallest offense to be voted off the island — even in the sciences. The Lysenkoist attack on these disciplines is an attack on civilization itself.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Regulatory Compliance Costs: Keeping General Aviation Aircraft Stuck In The 1950s

A simply fantastic post about compliance costs overwhelming all else that needs to be read in its entirety to be appreciated:
General aviation is a tiny, but clear example.  Go to your local airport, and contrast the ramp (where planes park) to the parking lot. The ramp is typically an excellent example of a Cuban used car lot. Lovingly maintained aircraft either from the 1950s or designed in the 1950s predominate.  Beautiful, yes, to nostalgic eyes, but not exactly practical. Small aircraft engines are much less reliable than automobile engines. Why? Well, they all must be FAA certified, and it's not worth the cost to certify, say, a new model of spark plug. The parking lot is full of Teslas. Well, in Palo Alto. BMWs elsewhere. But stuffed with the latest technology. Planes are not inherently more durable than cars. They're just regulated differently.
Staggering. How many others must be like this?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Grievance Miners Expand The Wage Gap

The strip-miners of grievance have come up with yet another garbage "study" purporting to find an even bigger wage gap than had previously been reported, the bogus 80-cents-on-the-dollar having been multiply debunked (also all these). At first, we get the sense that The Atlantic's Annie Lowrey will treat this tendentious trash with the disdain it merits:
Comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges, women earn close to what men earn: Women in similar workplaces with similar titles and similar credentials make pretty much what their male peers do, whether they are fast-food employees making close to the minimum wage or corporate executives making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. This has led some publications to argue that the pay gap is far smaller than generally understood, and yet others to argue that the pay gap is a myth.
Oh, but we can't have that, so then, the backhand return:
This splicing of the data has its own serious shortcomings, though. Study after study has shown that women do not get equal pay for equal work, nor do they have access to equal work. Women struggle to get hired and to ascend the corporate ladder; in one study, men were promoted at a rate 2.2 to 3 percentage points higher than women. When women surge into a given field, pay in that field tends to drop, as if women were some kind of industry-wide reputational pollutant. The bulk of the evidence shows that women earn less, in part because of discrimination.

Moreover, women’s employment patterns are different from men’s, Rose, a labor economist at the Urban Institute, told me. They are less likely to work full-time and to spend years-long, uninterrupted stretches in the labor force. They are more likely to have to take time off to have a child, or to have to work part-time in order to care for family members.
Imagine, employers paying less for employees who spend less time on the job, who aren't willing to devote themselves to their employers. But it actually gets worse, if this is possible: reading the text of this "study" (PDF), the authors rapidly show their colors in just the highlights of their methodology:
When measured by total earnings across the most recent 15 years for all workers who worked in at least one year, women workers’ earnings were 49 percent—less than half—of men’s earnings, a wage gap of 51 percent in 2015.
So if a woman worked one year of fifteen, her earnings were piled up against a man who had worked all fifteen of them. That would include men who worked overtime, men who had continuous employment during that time. So of course they found women brought home less money. Could anything be more absurd?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Conor Friedersdorf's Intersectional Blind Spot

Is there some reason Conor Friedersdorf keeps fumbling the snap? His memory lapses, even when the subject stares him in the face, as to how much power the intersectional left has already acquired (while thirsting for more) are disturbing. I first noticed it with his essay on the Scott Aaronson kerfuffle, in which he kept backfilling for the broken concept of "privilege" (though in the end he confessed it had no practical value in solving societal problems), and for his burying the comments of one of Aaronson's more vile detractors in a footnote. He pulled the same lame stunt with his essay responding to Susan Danuta Walters' two-minutes'-hate in the Washington Post, claiming such views were "unrepresentative" of modern feminism.

Well, here we go again, this time regarding Democrats complaining about the alleged racism of white women:
Some conservatives insist that performative, hyperbolic white-woman bashing is broadly representative of the Democratic Party and the political left. It is not. This rhetorical mode is widely seen as wrongheaded. In my experience, it elicits eye-rolling from most residents of deep-blue neighborhoods and from most Democrats in all racial groups. It is the work of a tiny, largely white, mostly privileged vanguard.
Widely seen by whom? Again and again, we see intersectional bashing of people because of their race, and especially, sex, and by people in very high positions of power. As for instance, a piece by Friedersdorf appearing days later in The Atlantic condemning the ACLU's craven and partisan rejection of Betsy DeVos's new Title IX rules. What is the construction of kangaroo courts with their "believe the victim" conclusion-assuming but presumptive male-bashing? As Scott Greenfield recently wrote, the ACLU under Anthony Romero has become just another social justice organization with only its name to reflect its origin story. How is it he dismisses Russlyn Ali's monster as somehow unrepresentative of widespread male bashing? How of legislative success in California adopting a bogus, unknowable "affirmative consent" rule for sexual encounters where consent can be revoked ex post facto by the woman with no knowledge by the man? It's like he doesn't even read his own copy.

Update 2018-11-26: Useful and interesting exchange between Friedersdorf and Scott Greenfield here, with additional response from Greenfield at Simple Justice; if I wanted to summarize my problem with Friedersdorf, I could scarcely do better than this graf from the latter: “Conor Friedersdorf is a name often mentioned here, both because I think he’s exceptionally smart and occasionally too kind, generous to a fault to people who might not be worthy of his largesse”. That's a good explanation of the problem I have with Friedersdorf: he routinely overlooks examples of bad faith.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

On Female Preferences In Men's Earning Power

I have for a while repeatedly gone back to a 2014 Pew Research study (usually via this HuffPo story) showing that 78% of women polled want a spouse with "a steady job". I've pretty much read that as meaning women are much more interested in male earning power than any other attribute of a potential spouse. But it came up in conversation yesterday on Twitter that maybe this is a weak interpretation:
This is a pretty good point, and the YouGov survey she links to puts money far down the list of women's concerns (last, by volume):


While I think this is an important distinction, it's also important to know what women do rather than say. And while I cannot make any unambiguous claims here, it seems there is a gap between what women claim they want, versus who they actually end up marrying — or even dating. I've previously covered the latter in the context of Tinder, a male-centric dating site that reduces its users to a photo and a swipe — the "hot or not" visual approach that men use as a first-cut means to assess women. That men can get away with this is largely due to demographic influences: women only infrequently marry down in either earning power or educational status, creating an artificial shortage of "eligible" men. More, a marginally-employed husband increases the annual divorce risk by one-third, and an unemployed husband increases the risk of either partner dissolving the marriage (emboldening mine):

We noted the asymmetric nature of gender change, such that, despite increases in women’s employment, there is little toleration for men not remaining employed breadwinners. A deviation from this norm appears to make either partner more likely to leave.
...
Consider this broad-brush interpretation of our findings: men’s nonemployment increases divorce because it violates norms, while women’s employment increases divorce by providing a way to support oneself outside marriage for women deeply unsatisfied with their marriages, not because it violates norms. Both of these effects probably emanate from the greater change in women’s than men’s roles; women’s employment has increased and is accepted, men’s nonemployment is unacceptable to many, and there is cultural ambivalence and lack of institutional support for men taking on “feminized” roles such as household work and emotional support. Women’s employment is translated into exit rather than voice in many cases because the changes that would most increase women’s marital satisfaction would entail men “feminizing” their roles in a way that many are still ambivalent about and institutions don’t support. Men’s breadwinning is still so culturally mandated that when it is absent, both men and women are more likely to find that the marital partnership doesn’t deserve to continue.
It's probably worth a deeper dive into the US Census Bureau's Current Population Survey to see how these numbers are affected by recency of marriage.