Sunday, December 30, 2018

The New Feminist Woman Isn't On The Scene Yet: Marriage, Divorce, And Income

  • Married Men Outearn Single Men And Women As A Whole (St. Louis Fed Study). Translated, women are pretty comfortable letting their mates bring home the bux, and are good at choosing ones who can.
  • Men Without Full-Time Jobs Are 33% More Likely To Divorce. Highlights:
    • "Two thirds of divorces are initiated by women, even though their chances of remarrying are slimmer than their ex-spouses’.
    • "These days guys who have jobs have a predicted divorce probability in the next year of 2.5%, whereas the same guys who do not have a probability of 3.3%."
    Presumably, this means that women kick men out, or the men are so abysmally unhappy that they file for divorce themselves.

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.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Betsy DeVos Announces New Title IX Rules, And The ACLU Hates Them

Reason's Robby Soave has a good look at the new Title IX rules Betsy DeVos released today. A quick synopsis:
1) They define sexual misconduct more narrowly. ...
2) The new rules mandate cross-examination.
Previous guidance did not explicitly forbid cross-examination, but it heavily discouraged the practice due to concern that questioning an alleged sexual assault survivor would be re-traumatizing. The new rules state that neither the accuser nor the accused need to be physically present in the same room, but their attorneys—or support persons provided by the university—must be allowed to submit questions on their behalf for the other party to answer.
3) The new rules let colleges set their own evidentiary standards but require similar standards for non–Title IX adjudication.
That last one has already set off the laughably misnamed ACLU, who ran a tweetstorm denouncing the revisions:
 Of course, FIRE came out in favor of the new regulations, but eliminating Federal policing of dating squabbles would have been better. Too bad we didn't get that, because somebody has to pay for these busybodies on campus.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

'Social Justice" As Religion

B.J. Campbell has an interesting, if incomplete, essay at Medium about the ways in which "social justice" resembles religion. Summarizing a YouTube talk by Helen Pluckrose, James Lindsey, and others, he writes:
Defining religion is tough, because there’s no explicit quality that defines them, but they share a broad range of features which bind them conceptually. They are meaning making structures, which help us make sense of things we find chaotic or don’t understand. Religious communities are organized around adoption and promulgation of certain moral principles. They have scripture, which conveys doctrines and ideology. They focus on moral purity, they focus on the in-group, they demonize the out-group, and they demonize and excommunicate blasphemers. They impart a sense of control, if not actual control, over uncontrollable circumstances.

Social Justice has all this stuff.

There are many important additional parallels. Religions have a tendency to identify everything good with God, so when a religious person hears an atheist say they don’t believe in God, the religious person has a tendency to hear that to mean they don’t believe in Good. Social Justice followers react the same way. When someone questions their equity driven approach to “equality,” that’s hate speech.”

Religious thinkers invent their own epistemologies, in such a manner that their religious teachings become unfalsifiable. The Social Justice approach to this is called “standpoint epistemology,” and finds its roots in cultural postmodernism. If you and I disagree, then that’s because we come from different standpoints, therefore you cannot falsify my claim because you lack my standpoint. This is the Social Justice adaptation of “God put the dinosaur bones there.”
I would argue that a better way to express this is, religious teachings explain the natural world with unfalsifiable first principles, which is what distinguishes them from empiricism. This, in fact, forms the primary reason "social justice", as currently understood, is a kind of religion. If you claim that patriarchy is a myth, that "male privilege" is easily disproved by looking at males in shabby conditions, you directly attack a first principle, and thus have exposed yourself a heretic, as James Damore. Scott Aaronson saw through this some long while back with his brilliant dismissal of "patriarchy".

More, to excuse themselves of acts they accuse others of, social justice advocates play dictionary games. Racism, as Campbell elsewhere writes, redefines the word to exclude academics engaging racist arguments — such as "white privilege". The problem this seeks to elide is that of preferring lazy generalization to taking into consideration specific circumstances, i.e. of having to actually think.

But back to religion, Campbell starts to wrap up:
We could easily take this realization that Social Justice is a religion and use it to bludgeon and troll its proponents, who generally proport themselves be anti-religion, but in my opinion that would be sloppy and unconstructive and generally not very nice.
Given its proponents repeatedly "bludgeon and troll" everyone outside academia, expecting them to kowtow to their benighted mob, "generally not very nice" describes the social justice pitchfork wielders. Theirs is an expansionist, totalitarian ideology, hostile to science. Grievance studies programs therefore rightly need to be chased out of public universities, on the same grounds that we do not have seminaries at Iowa State. If people wish to pursue women's studies, they may do so alongside the Yalies getting divinity degrees.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Physicians Per Capita Continues Up In 2016 FSMB Survey

Good news on a subject I've harped on before: physicians per capita as a fundamental cause of the cost of medicine. Absent adequate supply, it almost doesn't matter what kind of payment system we have: medicine can't get cheaper without a bigger workforce. Accordingly, the Federation of State Medical Boards has published their 2016 survey results (PDF). The topline figure of 953,695 alleopathic and osteopathic physicians represents a 12% increase since 2010, and a 4.09% increase from 2014. This is a 2.01% annual growth rate, which is slightly off the pace of 2.14% rate I calculated in January, 2017 based on the 2014 survey (no longer available). Given the overall US population rate appears to be growing at about 0.7% annually, this is more than keeping pace with overall population growth, a good thing.

Physician immigration continues to be important, with Indian physicians, and physicians studying in the Caribbean countries, being the two most important sources:

India by itself provides about 23% of the immigrant physician population, and 5.1% of all US physicians. A majority of doctors studying in Caribbean countries are US citizens, and this has been true for years:
The largest single age group of physicians is those in their 60s, something that will have consequences as this group nears retirement — and as modern medicine becomes more bureaucratic:
Women physicians under 40 are now nearly double the number of men in the same age cohort, reducing available physician hours:
In all, mostly good news, but there's still an obvious iceberg ahead with pending retirements, Trumpian immigration restrictions, the crisis of part-time physicians, and Medicare internship throttling.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Why #SokalSquared Will Fail

The hoaxes authored by merry pranksters James A. Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian (later dubbed "Sokal Squared" by Yascha Mounk after the 1996 Alan Sokal paper lampooning postmodernists) require at least brief comment. The criticism frequently seen that they have no control papers (i.e. nonsense sent to journals of other, presumably more rigorous disciplines) may be dismissed immediately on the grounds that it would require a good bit of specialized knowledge to do so that the trio outside of Lindsay (a mathematician) lack, and would in any event be unlikely to succeed. It is exactly the dogmatic and anti-empirical nature of grievance studies that make them so ripe for this sort of lancing:
Mounk, by phone, also said the control-group criticism is misguided. He called it a "confused attempt to import statistics into a question where it doesn’t apply." If the authors were claiming that their work proves that some publications are, say, 50 percent more susceptible to hoaxes than the average, or that 100 percent of articles published are nonsense because these seven articles were accepted, then you would obviously need controls. But the authors "do nothing of the sort. They demonstrate that it’s possible, with relatively little effort, to get bullshit published." It "sows deep doubt" about the nature of the academic enterprise in these disciplines.
In that regard, #SokalSquared has performed an admirable public service in exposing the intellectual rot at the heart of these alleged disciplines. (You can find the entire list of papers and their review process feedback here.)

But "alleged" is the real problem there, because none of them has really established a mechanism for correction. The trio described their hoped-for results in Areo:
 Our recommendation begins by calling upon all major universities to begin a thorough review of these areas of study (gender studies, critical race theory, postcolonial theory, and other “theory”-based fields in the humanities and reaching into the social sciences, especially including sociology and anthropology), in order to separate knowledge-producing disciplines and scholars from those generating constructivist sophistry. We hope the latter can be redeemed, not destroyed, as the topics they study—gender, race, sexuality, culture—are of enormous importance to society and thus demand considerable attention and the highest levels of academic rigor. Further, many of their insights are worthy and deserve more careful consideration than they currently receive. This will require them to adhere more honestly and rigorously to the production of knowledge and to place scholarship ahead of any conflicting interest rather than following from it.
This is ultimately wishful thinking, for a number of reasons.
  1. Administrators have less than no reason to perform such a review. As Camille Paglia observed, administrators hastily cobbled together women's studies departments because they "wanted to solve a public relations problem." That is, it would relitigate the foundations of these departments — reopening the same problems the administrators of the 1970s faced.
  2. It would create an existential crisis for members of those departments. Such a review will rightly be seen as a threat to the departments and positions thus created. A review panel including members of even mildly more structured, mathematically-inclined disciplines — say, psychology or biology — would draw shrieking protests, with good reason, because …
  3. The current intellectual laxity and dogmatism is a feature, not a bug. This may be seen, not only in their "un-care-about-able" journals pockmarked with intersectional cant, but in the sorts of arguments they and their defenders marshal otherwise. One such came out a few days ago in Inside Higher Ed from Joel Christensen and Matthew A. Sears as a response to the hoaxes. Larded with misdirections, personal attacks, slur-by-associations, and bait-and-switch tactics, it manages to be both underhanded and weak. If this is the best grievance studies defenders can do, it speaks to the infrequency with which they have to actually develop arguments
  4. They do not control any of the these departments' journals. Raising the standards of these journals would require a war from inside, which, for reason #3, is not only unlikely but unthinkable.
As much as I agree with their aims, I cannot imagine how this will change anything. They provide no credible, serviceable mechanism for doing so. Because the stated aims of such departments is as strongholds of political activism, it seems obvious that this cannot be any longer tolerated from outside. Political means must therefore be used to dislodge them — as happened recently in Hungary, where all state-funded gender studies programs were systematically defunded.

Monday, October 22, 2018

What Was The FDA's Statutory Authority For Granting Marketing Exclusivity On Colchicine?

Maybe this seems obscure, but it gets to the heart of something I've wondered about for quite some time: how did URL Pharma get a licensing exclusivity on colchicine? Colchicine is a drug made from the autumn crocus, Colchicum autumnale, and has been known since antiquity as a curative for gouty arthritis. From Wikipedia:
An unintended consequence of the 2006 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety program called the Unapproved Drugs Initiative — through which the FDA sought more rigorous testing of efficacy and safety of colchicine and other unapproved drugs[27] — was a price increase of 2000 percent [28] for "a gout remedy so old that the ancient Greeks knew about its effects."[28] Under Unapproved Drugs Initiative small companies like URL Pharma — Philadelphia drugmaker — were rewarded with licenses for testing of medicines like colchicine. In 2009, the FDA reviewed a New Drug Application for colchicine submitted by URL Pharma. URL Pharma did the testing, gained FDA formal approval and was granted rights over colchicine. With this monopoly pricing power, the price of colchicine increased.

In 2012 Asia’s biggest drugmaker — Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. — acquired URL Pharma for $800 million including the rights to colchicine (brand name Colcrys) earning $1.2 billion in revenue by raising the price even more.[28]

Oral colchicine had been used for many years as an unapproved drug with no FDA-approved prescribing information, dosage recommendations, or drug interaction warnings.[29] On July 30, 2009 the FDA approved colchicine as a monotherapy for the treatment of three different indications (familial Mediterranean fever, acute gout flares, and for the prophylaxis of gout flares[29]), and gave URL Pharma a three-year marketing exclusivity agreement[30] in exchange for URL Pharma doing 17 new studies and investing $100 million into the product, of which $45 million went to the FDA for the application fee. URL Pharma raised the price from $0.09 per tablet to $4.85, and the FDA removed the older unapproved colchicine from the market in October 2010, both in oral and intravenous forms, but gave pharmacies the opportunity to buy up the older unapproved colchicine.[31] Colchicine in combination with probenecid has been FDA-approved prior to 1982.[30]

In August 2009, colchicine won FDA approval in the United States as a stand-alone drug for the treatment of acute flares of gout and familial Mediterranean fever.[32][33] It had previously been approved as an ingredient in an FDA-approved combination product for gout. The approval was based on a study in which two doses (1.2 mg and 0.6 mg) an hour apart were as effective as higher doses in combating the acute flare of gout.[11]
 The Unapproved Drugs Initiative page is singularly unhelpful when attempting to decipher where the FDA thought they were entitled to take this action, but the FDA's page on the colchicine enforcement action is, particularly citing Familial Mediterranean Fever as an excuse the justification for attaching "orphan drug" status to it (21 U.S.C. 360bb). This allowed URL Pharma to get marketing exclusivity for the drug, and all the rest. It's not clear that the Wikipedia page entry's blaming of Hatch-Waxman is appropriate.

Credit to @molratty on Twitter for background assistance.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Justice As An Explicit Roll Of The Dice: How Many Men Are Rapists?

One of the things we heard constantly during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings was the old saw that false reports of rape amount to "2 to 8%". Some while back, Scott Greenfield some while ago published a fine review of the statistics of false reports, which found a disparity in terminology that left us with this:
True-ish: 35.3%
Definitively False: 5.9%
Inconclusive: 58.8%
But the thing I wanted to look at was the reverse of the "2 to 8%" figure (actually, 2-10% per Greenfield). If we're supposed to "believe" accusers on the basis of a low reported false accusation rate, why isn't it equally valid to decide guilt based on the number of genuinely innocent men? That is, shouldn't also "believe" men who claim innocence, on exactly the same evidentiary grounds? But how innocent? Let's try to figure out the percentage of the male population that are rapists. We start with Uniform Crime Report data. This counts reported rapes since 1960; the data tool provides data to 2014. So, using the "Legacy Rape" data*,
  • Sum the number of reported rapes from 1960-2014: 4,002,079
  • Divide by the 2014 population (318,857,056): 1.26%
  • Multiply by 2 (because men are half the population):  2.51%
  • Adjust for the RAINN estimated 69% non-reporting rate: 3.64%
The above assumes a 1:1 ratio of rapes to rapists, which contradicts the repeat offender theory of David Lisak and others. It also assumes that the number of rapists is not in part diminishing, because the oldest rapes in that count includes some that might have been committed by men now dead. This is important, because it artificially raises the male rapist percentage. Nonetheless, if we were to say that the number of false rape reports is a reason to "believe" the accusers, the even smaller percentage of male rapists in the general male population (versus the high end of false accusers at 8% or 10%) is an even stronger reason to acquit.

Of course, both of these are stupid; we don't roll the dice to determine guilt or innocence, but look at the individual circumstances of the charges and the presented evidence. N.b., I also didn't investigate actual convictions, because the Bureau of Justice Statistics website is presently broken.

*"Legacy rape" corresponds well to men raping women; the "Revised Rape" tallies include "penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim", which would obviously include prison rape.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Death Of Science In Academia

It's been a bad couple weeks for anyone concerned about the state of actual science in academia, and Quillette has been all over it. Jeffrey Flier outlines a disturbing scene in which Lisa Littman's work on gender dysphoria was quietly disappeared by Brown University (emboldening mine):
Brown University deleted its initial promotional reference to Dr Littman’s work from the university’s website—then replaced it with a note explaining how Dr Littman’s work might harm members of the transgender community—presents a cautionary tale.
There were also said to be unidentified voices within the Brown community who expressed “concerns” about the paper. But when Brown responded to these concerns by removing a promotional story about Dr Littman research from the Brown website, a backlash resulted, followed by a web petition expressing alarm at the school’s actions. The dean of the School of Public Health, Bess Marcus, eventually issued a public letter explaining why the removal of the article from news distribution was “the most responsible course of action.”
In her letter, Dean Marcus cites fears that “conclusions of the study could be used to discredit the efforts to support transgender youth and invalidate perspectives of members of the transgender community” (my italics). Why the concerns of these unidentified individuals should be accorded weight in the evaluation of an academic work is left unexplained.
 Why, indeed. The real and obvious reason is that the anti-empirical, anti-science, anti-art, anti-men, anti-heterosexual, anti-European Enlightenment politics saturating the academy has enough political muscle to silence anything it doesn't want to hear. They have functionally turned Charles Murray into a non-person, repeatedly getting him uninvited to speaking dates or literally shouting him down, and scalped Larry Summers outright. Its secular wing got James Damore canned from Google for daring to question the party line on diversity. So it was scarcely a surprise when Theodore P. Hill found a published paper he authored on the Greater Male Variability Hypothesis had been disappeared, not once but twice, following complaints from the usual suspects. (Steve Stewart-Williams posted a good synopsis on Twitter.) His paper, co-authored by Sergei Tabachnikov, was accepted for the first issue of Mathematical Intelligencer.
No sooner had Sergei posted a preprint of our accepted article on his website than we began to encounter problems. On August 16, a representative of the Women In Mathematics (WIM) chapter in his department at Penn State contacted him to warn that the paper might be damaging to the aspirations of impressionable young women. “As a matter of principle,” she wrote, “I support people discussing controversial matters openly … At the same time, I think it’s good to be aware of the effects.” While she was obviously able to debate the merits of our paper, she worried that other, presumably less sophisticated, readers “will just see someone wielding the authority of mathematics to support a very controversial, and potentially sexist, set of ideas…”

A few days later, she again contacted Sergei on behalf of WIM and invited him to attend a lunch that had been organized for a “frank and open discussion” about our paper. ...

The next paragraph offers unwavering support for “studying and supporting the health and well-being of sexual and gender minority populations,” as well as “unshakable” support for the “full diversity of gender and sexual identity.” These statements of support are entirely appropriate. But in contrast to the material contained in the prior paragraph on academic freedom and inquiry, there appear in this section no caveats or clarifications. One cannot avoid the conclusion that the author sought to communicate a hierarchy of principles, with diversity on top, academic freedom underneath.
Oh, but it gets better: the National Science Foundation wrote to Tabachnikov "requesting that acknowledgment of NSF funding be removed from our paper with immediate effect".
...[A] Freedom of Information request subsequently revealed that Penn State WIM administrator Diane Henderson (“Professor and Chair of the Climate and Diversity Committee”) and Nate Brown (“Professor and Associate Head for Diversity and Equity”) had secretly co-signed a letter to the NSF that same morning. “Our concern,” they explained, “is that [this] paper appears to promote pseudoscientific ideas that are detrimental to the advancement of women in science, and at odds with the values of the NSF.”
Mathematical Intelligencer then rescinded its publication notice, claiming "publication would provoke 'extremely strong reactions' and there existed a 'very real possibility that the right-wing media may pick this up and hype it internationally.'" Imagine that. (Someone needs to tell these people about the Streisand Effect.)

Hill resubmitted the paper (minus Tabachnikov's co-authorship, to suppress political problems for him) to the New York Journal of Mathematics, which agreed to publish a revised version... right until it, too, was disappeared again.
Three days later, however, the paper had vanished. And a few days after that, a completely different paper by different authors appeared at exactly the same page of the same volume (NYJM Volume 23, p 1641+) where mine had once been. As it turned out, Amie Wilkinson [who was instrumental in censoring the paper at Mathematical Intelligencer] is married to Benson Farb, a member of the NYJM editorial board. Upon discovering that the journal had published my paper, Professor Farb had written a furious email to Steinberger demanding that it be deleted at once. “Rivin,” he complained, “is well-known as a person with extremist views who likes to pick fights with people via inflammatory statements.” Farb’s “father-in law…a famous statistician,” he went on, had “already poked many holes in the ridiculous paper.” My paper was “politically charged” and “pseudoscience” and “a piece of crap” and, by encouraging the NYJM to accept it, Rivin had “violat[ed] a scientific duty for purely political ends.”
 The author, a Vietnam War veteran and former U.S. Army Ranger, has not stepped away from the controversy, and has since published at ArXiv. (Reason's Robby Soave has also got a useful summary.) Amie Wilkinson published a statement regarding the affair that mentions the "unfounded allegations" Hill made against her that doesn't exactly refute them (many of the charges are leveled at her Facebook comments, wherein she attacked the authors and the paper). This can be easily resolved by an email trail; the charges of behind-the-scenes coercion for political ends are all too believable.

Update 2018-09-16: Farb has his own statement, which is just as unimpressive as Wilkinson's. Having the paper disappeared by the NYJM and replaced with some random paper is hardly normal practice. It is not an explanation, but a confession.

Update 2018-09-19: A semi-complete inventory of germane emails at Retraction Watch (headline intro here). Notably, none actually rebut Hill's claims that his paper was un-published, which is to say, they amount to a confession rather than an explanation. Andrew Gelman penned a long-form piece in which he claims that such revocations are commonplace, without any citations (supposedly had happened to him frequently). This comment from Gelman is a particular howler:
There are no saints here. Just people trying to do their jobs and making mistakes along the way. Based on everything I’ve heard about this case, it’s my impression that everyone in the story, including Hill, Tabachnikov, Wilkinson, Farb, Peterson, Pinker, and all the journal editors involved, all support free and open discussion. I don’t think that supporting free and open discussion makes anyone into a saint. All the people in this story did things that I wouldn’t have done in their place. And I’m no saint either.
Hannah Arendt, pick up your white courtesy phone!

Update 2018-09-23: Added the link to the Lisa Littman story. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Nike's Cynical Kaepernick Calculation

Let us take as a given that Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protests are legitimate.
  1. Without an actual organization, with concrete aims, to capitalize on the attention this is giving to the issue of young black men being killed by police, it is highly unlikely the situation will change.
  2. This actually benefits Nike, in the same way that legalized abortion benefits anti-abortion crusaders on the right. Just as the latter can campaign on ending abortion without delivering, so can the former keep selling sneakers (and keep the public's eyes away from their Asian sweatshops) without moving the bar toward less deadly police encounters.
Whatever Kaepernick might have intended to change is now more entrenched, not less, with an even murkier path toward redemption.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Shooting The Messenger On Part-Time Female Physicians

Tell the truth these days (or come close to it) and your assured destruction at the hands of the feminist lynch mob will soon ensue. Take Dr. Gary Tigges, M.D., P.A., who recently said of the alleged gender gap in pay among physicians,
Yes, there is a pay gap. Female physicians do not work as hard and do not see as many patients as male physicians. This is because they choose to, or they simply don’t want to be rushed, or they don’t want to work the long hours. Most of the time, their priority is something else … family, social, whatever.

Nothing needs to be “done” about this unless female physicians actually want to work harder and put in the hours. If not, they should be paid less. That is fair.
Of course, this yielded a pointless apology from him, a dumb parody piece (uncharacteristically) from Gomerblog — and the usual horrified objections disconnected from any actual rebuttal. Take this one from the American Council of Science and Health, by Jamie Wells, M.D. Mostly indignant offense-taking, she finally settles down to marshal something resembling an argument. And by "resembling", I mean just that, because it isn't much of one. For instance:
Dr. Tigges' misguided statements, out of step with more than a decade of data that disputes his biased assertions demonstrating that female physicians are not only as good as their male counterparts but in many instances provide higher quality care with better outcomes, are commonly held beliefs throughout the healthcare system, particularly by those in management and administrative roles (see here and here).
But wasn't the issue compensation due to time spent in patient care, not administrators and managers? Okay, let's keep going. Maybe she provides something of substance anon.
Another example that is standard fare for those subscribing to the Tigges way of thinking is that more women physicians work part-time. The reasons for this are often mischaracterized as "their choice." This is often not the case. Practices don't have to cover benefits or pay as much for part-time, so they offer it instead which uniformly results in full-time work for part-time pay. Changing jobs or accepting the reality of seeing more for less until something better comes is a mainstay dilemma for countless women.
This word salad rebuts not at all Tigges' assertion that women see fewer patients. Perhaps it is not their fault. But so what? Earlier, she complains of "the perverse payment incentives of the RVU (relative value unit) system here which values low quality, high volume patient mill type medical practice." All these things may be true. But, again, they do not form a counterargument.  At last, she drags out the big guns, from something called Equity Quotient. There, we learn
  • Of 446 major U.S. occupations, physicians have largest median gender-based pay gaps; in some subspecialties, as much as $90k (Wall Street Journal 2016)
  • Over $9,000 per physician/per year is spent by healthcare organizations due to gender inequality — cost accrued from attrition, burnout and litigation (discrimination/sexual harassment).
  • Total cost of recruitment, on-boarding, lost revenue, about $400k (up to $600k) for a single hospitalist
At last, an on-point citation with numbers! Unfortunately for Equity Quotient and Dr. Wells, the underlying 2016 Wall Street Journal story buttresses Dr. Tigges' assertion, not hers. The devil is in the details (paywall, emboldening mine):
The biggest gaps in many white-collar professions don’t easily lend themselves to legislative remedies. In fact, the Journal’s findings belie policy makers’ hope that the most-educated women would lead the way in shrinking the gap. Currently, more women than men graduate from college.

Wage transparency—requiring employers to report salary data—is “just not going to move the needle much,” says Claudia Goldin, a Harvard University economics professor and one of the country’s foremost scholars on gender and pay. Prof. Goldin found in a 2010 paper that men and women earned almost the same salaries right after receiving University of Chicago M.B.A.s. At least a decade after graduating, the women earned 57% of their male classmates.

The main factor, she and her co-authors concluded: Women became mothers, interrupted their careers and eschewed lengthy hours that generated higher paychecks. “These particular occupations,” Prof. Goldin says, “are not very forgiving of taking time off and having kids.”

The Journal’s analysis of Census Bureau data for the five years through 2014 found male doctors working full time earned about $210,000 annually on average. Female physicians made 64% of that, about $135,000 a year. Among personal financial advisers, men took in about $100,000 while women made about $62,000.

Many white-collar jobs give substantially larger financial rewards to those logging the longest hours and who job-hop often, phenomena that limit white-collar women who pull back for child-rearing. Researchers on the topic say ingrained workplace cultures also impede women’s earnings.
What those "workplace cultures" are, the unnamed researchers don't say later in the article, but one suspects it has to do with the expectation of long hours, among other things. As with the overall and principally bogus "pay gap", hours, continuity, and specialization produce higher returns. A multivariate analysis based on specialty, time spent on the job, and continuity of employment would be useful. Too bad we don't appear to have it.

Previously: The Crisis of Part-Time Physicians

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Sad, Futile, Career-Ending Gesture Of Colin Kaepernick

Everywhere today blared the news that Nike continued to pay Colin Kaepernick since his banishment from football.
 Kaepernick, born of a white mother and a black father, and raised in California's Central Valley by white adoptive parents,  protested a number of controversial police shootings of blacks on social media, calling Alton Sterling's death a "lynching". In protest, he famously took a knee rather than stand for the national anthem, an act copied by many other players. And yet, if you were to look at his foundation and try to estimate what their aims were, you would find yourself stymied to make any sort of connection to ending senseless police shootings of young black men, besides the most tenuous ones. "Know Your Rights Camp" takes as its mission statement "to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and instruction to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios." Aside from my universal banishment of all charities whose principal aim is "awareness", does this not seem like weak tea, the product of a meeting with lawyers and public relations types? If you were going to immolate your career for something, shouldn't it be more concrete and take direct action — such as political activism aimed to demilitarize the police (say)? As phrased, this sounds like "how to avoid being lynched" lessons.

Update 2018-09-04: Nike shares are down 4% following the news. This announcement may well prove disastrous to the sneaker manufacturer:
"The fallout was no surprise but Nike may be betting that the upside of a Kaepernick endorsement is worth angering conservative Americans and supporters of President Donald Trump," writes Bloomberg.

That might prove to be a bad bet, however. As Bleacher Report notes, a recent NBC News/WSJ poll found that a majority of voters (54%) thought Kaepernick's protest movement was "inappropriate," while just 43% said it was "appropriate."

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Raising The Curtain On Peggy McIntosh

I have mentioned elsewhere Peggy McIntosh's seminal rant-disguised-as-an-academic-exercise, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible KnapsackPeggy McIntosh" (PDF). It has received an unusual number of citations (3,895 by Google Scholar's count), i.e. more than one, and with good reason: it is foundational to the enterprise of intersectional politics, i.e. the scaffolding supporting the entire parasitic operation. Yet not enough attention has been paid to the woman herself, an oversight happily rectified today by William Ray at Quillette. McIntosh, it turns out, benefited mightily from wealthy parents and deep, aristocratic connections:

So central has this doctrine [of intersectionalism] become to progressive politics, pedagogy, and activism, that to even question its validity is to invite the inquisitorial wrath of ‘social justice’ radicals. But it is for this very reason that it is important to subject McIntosh’s ideas to scrutiny.

Peggy McIntosh was born Elisabeth Vance Means in 1934. She grew up in Summit, New Jersey where the median income is quadruple the American national average—that is to say that half the incomes there are more than four times the national average, some of them substantially so. McIntosh’s father was Winthrop J. Means, the head of Bell Laboratories electronic switching department during the late 1950s. ...

Elizabeth Vance Means then attended Radcliffe, a renowned finishing school for the daughters of America’s patrician elites, and continued her private education at the University of London (ranked in the top 50 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings), before completing her English Doctorate at Harvard. Her engagement to Dr. Kenneth McIntosh was announced in the New York Times‘s social register on the same page as the wedding of Chicago’s Mayor Daley. McIntosh’s father, Dr. Rustin McIntosh, was Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Columbia University. His mother was President Emeritus of Barnard College, an institution in the opulent Morningside Heights district of Manhattan, famous since 1889 for providing the daughters of the wealthiest Americans with liberal arts degrees. This was once the stomping ground of American cultural luminaries like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cecil B. DeMille, and several Supreme Court Justices. Kenneth McIntosh was himself a graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy, which boasted alumni including Daniel Webster, the sons of Presidents Lincoln and Grant, and a number of Rockefeller scions. He later completed his elite education at Harvard College and the Harvard Medical School. By the time of his marriage to Elizabeth, Kenneth McIntosh was a senior resident at the prestigious Brigham Hospital in Boston, founded by millionaire Peter Bent.

In other words, Peggy McIntosh was born into the very cream of America’s aristocratic elite, and has remained ensconced there ever since. Her ‘experiential’ list enumerating the ways in which she benefits from being born with white skin simply confuses racial privilege with the financial advantages she has always been fortunate enough to enjoy.
"One is left to wonder why," Ray continues, "given her stated conviction that she has unfairly benefited from her skin color, there seems to be no record of her involvement in any charity or civil rights work." If you are your movement's Moses, your reputation is already secure.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

How Big Data Is Raising Costs And Killing Doctors

This week, I interviewed two doctors starting a new practice in Little Rock using the Direct Primary Care model. We talked a good bit about a number of issues, but particularly, those of Electronic Medical Records (EMR), their distribution, and security. It came up that their days as employees of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences went something like this:
  • 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM: see patients (with fit-ins possibly pushing that back to 1:00 PM)
  • Lunch
  • 1:00-2:00 PM to 6:00 PM: paperwork (ICD-10 coding, mainly)
That is to say, they were expensive secretaries whose time was better spent doing other things. Doctors are scarce as it is, and this makes a bad situation worse. It also meant that these two young women were unable to pick up their children from daycare, even given a ten-hour window! It is all too sadly typical:
A recent study in the Annals of Family Medicine used the E.M.R. to examine the work of 142 family medicine physicians over three years. These doctors spent more than half of their time — six hours of their average 11-hour day — on the E.M.R., of which nearly an hour and a half took place after the clinic closed.

Another study, in Health Affairs, tracked the activities of 471 primary care doctors over a three-year period, and also found that E.M.R. time edged out face-to-face time with patients.

This study came on the heels of another analysis, in the Annals of Internal Medicine, in which 57 physicians were observed directly for 430 hours. The researchers found that doctors spent nearly twice as much time doing administrative work as actually seeing patients: 49 percent of their time, versus 27 percent.
The insanity of such paperwork loads is obvious, and contributes mightily to physician burnout. According to a study from the Mayo Clinic, 1 in 5 doctors plan to curtail their clinical hours over the next two years, and 1 in 50 plan on leaving the field altogether. Big Data comes with real-world consequences. Remember that the next time you see some self-interested company pitching its wares as a means to improve outcomes or costs,  or some dimwit politicians endorsing it using fatuous acronyms.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Why Don't Federal And Texas Homicides By Illegal Immigrants Match?

I recently encountered a piece at American Thinker purporting to show that illegal immigrants murder at much higher rates than the general US population. Randall Hoven's piece starts with a March, 2011 GAO survey (PDF) estimating the number of murderers among the ranks of "criminal aliens" (a group that includes people legally in the United States) in state jails under the DOJ's State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, or SCAAP) and ones in the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) committed over two periods:
To determine the number and nationalities of criminal aliens incarcerated, we analyzed BOP data on criminal aliens incarcerated in federal prisons from fiscal years 2005 through 2010 and SCAAP data on criminal aliens incarcerated in state prisons and loca l jails from fiscal years 2003 thorough 2009.
Hoven takes 2009 DHS estimates of 10.8 million illegal aliens in the United States, and a total alien population of 25.9 million, from the GAO study. Given there are two periods and two prison populations studied by the GAO, this leads to obvious problems with coming up with the right numerator and denominator. Over the study period, on page 21 (PDF page 27) they claim 25,064 criminal aliens were imprisoned for homicide. Assuming a static population over the longer of the two terms studied (which is clearly false but will serve to increase the rate otherwise), that means
Let’s take homicide as an example. The GAO estimates “criminal aliens” were arrested, convicted and incarcerated for 25,064 homicides. If non-citizens committed them over seven years, the annual rate would be 14.2 per 100,000 non-citizens. If illegal aliens committed them over four years, the annual rate would be 58.0 per 100,000 illegal aliens. Either way you compute, those are high rates.
So far, so bad (at least for what this means). We should expect to see similar figures from the states. Yet this hasn't materialized. Texas, according to the DHS, had 1.9 million illegal immigrants as of 2014 (PDF). The Texas Department of Public Safety records only 225 homicide convictions over a seven-year period from 2011 through 2018. This correlates with an annual homicide rate of around 1 per 100,000, which is dramatically lower than the general US population figure of around 5/100,000 — more than an order of magnitude of those calculated by Hoven, in fact.

So why the discrepancy? Digging deeper into the Bureau of Justice Assistance website, it turns out SCAAP eligibility (PDF) is contingent upon
Each applicant government is to provide detailed information about the individuals —
(1) whom the applicant government “incarcerated” for at least four consecutive days during the “reporting period,” and
(2) who the applicant government either knows were “undocumented criminal aliens,” or reasonably and in good faith believes were “undocumented criminal aliens.”
Which is to say, there's a considerable financial incentive to overreport such individuals. This isn't the end of this discussion, but it bears substantial further investigation, especially given the policy stakes.

Update: One interesting comment on this comes from the National Council of State Legislatures, which mentions that SCAAP eligibility changed starting in 2012: "SCAAP payments will only be made to states and localities only for those inmates that DHS can verify as illegal aliens. DHS will no longer reimburse states for “unknown” inmates (58 percent of the program in 2010)." Indeed, looking at the 2010 data (Excel spreadsheet, the closest year available before the 2011 GAO report, more years available here), 43% of the total presented to UCA for SCAAP reimbursement (21,831 of 50,402 total from Texas) fell into the "unknown" category. This seems ripe for exaggeration, as well.

Update 2: It would appear that SCAAP data would also admit illegal aliens, suspected or actual, who had been jailed in preparation for a trial in which they may have been exonerated. So the "crime" listed might entirely be speculative.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Sarah Jeong Gets A Job At The Racial Animosity Factory

It's hard to say anything of substance about the Sarah Jeong story without duplicating things everyone else has said, so I here succumb to the temptation to link dump, mostly. The basic story is by now well-known; Jeong got hired to write unsigned editorials for the New York Times after a stint at The Verge and Harvard Law. Her tweets — literally, years of them — "reveal a vicious hatred of an entire group of people based only on their skin color" as Andrew Sullivan put it. Those of us on the receiving end of her nasty rhetoric (including expressions of "eliminationist" wishes — "#cancelwhitepeople") must understand that all this is just fine:
Jeong definitionally cannot be racist, because she’s both a woman and a racial minority. Racism against whites, in this neo-Marxist view, just “isn’t a thing” — just as misandry literally cannot exist at all. And this is because, in this paradigm, racism has nothing to do with a person’s willingness to pre-judge people by the color of their skin, or to make broad, ugly generalizations about whole groups of people, based on hoary stereotypes. Rather, racism is entirely institutional and systemic, a function of power, and therefore it can only be expressed by the powerful — i.e., primarily white, straight men. For a nonwhite female, like Sarah Jeong, it is simply impossible. In the religion of social constructionism, Jeong, by virtue of being an Asian woman, is one of the elect, incapable of the sin of racism or group prejudice. All she is doing is resisting whiteness and maleness, which indeed require resistance every second of the day.

That’s why Jeong hasn’t apologized to the white people she denigrated or conceded that her tweets were racist. Nor has she taken responsibility for them. Her statement actually blames her ugly tweets on trolls whose online harassment of her prompted her to respond in turn. She was merely “counter-trolling.” She says her tweets, which were not responses to any individual, were also “not aimed at a general audience,” and now understands that these tweets were “hurtful” and won’t do them again. The New York Times also buys this argument: “her journalism and the fact that she is a young Asian woman have made her a subject of frequent online harassment. For a period of time, she responded to that harassment by imitating the rhetoric of her harassers.”
Sullivan, who rightly called this excuse "the purest bullshit", found himself shortly thereafter attacked by the usual dimwits, including Ezra Klein, who stupidly used the fact that one of her tweets was about Sullivan to dismiss any criticism of it. (This was also picked up by Tyler O'Neil, who noted that Jeong used the tweet to whip up anti-Sullivan sentiment.) The Federalist had good responses from Warren Henry ("The scandal is not that the NYT hired Sarah Jeong. The scandal is that so many progressives cannot conceive of it being scandalous.") and Sumatra Maitra, for whom this graf stands out (emboldening mine):
One cannot possibly imagine how superficially polite but internally toxic and Stasi-esque the environment of a New York Times editorial meeting is, unless of course, you accept that all the men and women who work at The New York Times are groveling, self-hating cowards. It would be a great social science experiment to take an anonymous survey of the New York Times office to unearth what people really feel about their co-workers.
Likewise Jonah Goldberg in National Review; do we really have to spell out that racism against white people can be a thing? I guess so:
If all you need to know about Oscar Wilde is that he was a gay dude, just like Richard Simmons or Milo what’s-his-name, you’re a bigot. If Meyer Lansky and Albert Einstein are merely two Jews to you, you’re an anti-Semite. If Margaret Thatcher, Joan of Arc, and Lizzie Borden are just three chicks, you’re a sexist.

...But for some bizarre reason, for many people, this idea evaporates like water off a hot skillet when you replace any of these categories with “white” or, very often, “male.”

Suddenly fancy words and phrases fly like sawdust from a wood chipper: “structures of oppression!” “decontextualized!” “ahistoricized!” etc. It’s all so clever and complicated. The same people who take to the streets at the slightest suggestion that Muslims can be judged by the evil deeds of other Muslims will lecture and harangue you for hours, mob you on Twitter, or condescendingly dismiss you for not understanding that all white people have it coming.
A coda from David French:
...[T]his argument confuses the gravity of an offense with the existence of the offense. A powerless person’s hate may not harm the powerful, but it is still hate. A powerless person’s hate may even be grounded in specific experiences, but it is still hate. The essence of bigotry is to look at the color of a person’s skin and, on that basis alone, make malignant judgments about his character or worth.
A corollary illustrating how stupid the left's position here is that racism is geographic. If racism only exists in the contexts of power, and if you don't happen to be among the powerful majority, then a white person can't be racist in China, and a Chinese can't be racist in the west. Claire Lehmman credited the addled thinkers excusing Jeong with "[having] to defend their bailey position (racism=power+prejudice) rather than simply retreating to their motte position (dictionary definition of racism)", but so far as I have seen, this hasn't happened. The definition of racism got a good working over at Slate Star Codex:
So we have a case where original coinage, all major dictionaries, and the overwhelming majority of common usage all define “racism” one way, and social justice bloggers insist with astonishing fervor that way is totally wrong and it must be defined another. One cannot argue definitions, but one can analyze them, so you have to ask – whence the insistence that racism have the structural-oppression definition rather than the original and more commonly used one? Why couldn’t people who want to talk about structural oppression make up their own word, thus solving the confusion? Even if they insisted on the word “racism” for their new concept, why not describe the state of affairs as it is: “The word racism can mean many things to many people, and I suppose a group of black people chasing a white kid down the street waving knives and yelling ‘KILL WHITEY’ qualifies by most people’s definition, but I prefer to idiosyncratically define it my own way, so just remember that when you’re reading stuff I write”? Or why not admit that this entire dispute is pointless and you should try to avoid being mean to people no matter what word you call the meanness by?
The answer to that should by now be obvious: the people behind it want institutional power and this is a way to get it without accountability. "If you can't be racist against white people, then why are you trying so hard?"

Cathy Young:
So, what is the final lesson of the controversy over Jeong? Some conservative critics have slammed the New York Times for a “racial double standard” in standing by her, while others have denounced her tweets while agreeing that she shouldn’t be fired. But, interestingly, there has also been some angry reaction on the left. On Splinter News, Libby Watson called the Times’ handling of the incident “pathetic”; the newspaper’s statement, she fumed, not only validated “bad faith” right-wing complaints about Jeong but seemed to endorse the view that “being flippant about white people” was “comparable to actual racism.”

The Jeong controversy has revealed to what an extent a toxic form of identity politics is prevalent on the left today. The silver lining is that both the New York Times and Jeong have agreed that white-bashing is bad. Perhaps we can start a new conversation from that point.
Yes, especially given that Asian-American families out-earn their white counterparts by about 28% (PDF), it's hard to see how someone like Jeong, educated at an elite school, gets to make snotty comments about "all white people" — a group that includes a lot of Appalachian poverty. Jeong's tweets, it seems to me, amount to a sort of argot that provides a passkey to the cool kids hangout in the upper tiers of American society. They may not be meant seriously, but they not only did not cost her her job at The Verge, they got her an upgrade at the NYT.

Inkoo Kang at Slate essentially told white people to shut up, chiding the Times for "how protective it’s being of white feelings at a time of renewed and active discrimination against people of color", as though somehow being actually considerate toward others wasn't part of the process of convincing them to your point of view. But in keeping with the argot theory of Jeong's tweets, Jeong's job at the Times isn't one of convincing people so much as telling them the right thing to think. In fact, as Yascha Mounk (also in Slate) put it,
But while I do not think that Jeong should be fired for her tweets, I am depressed by the extent to which they are now being celebrated. This is true both because the content of her tweets is, from a liberal perspective, much worse than her defenders want to admit and because the kind of rhetoric in which she engaged is detrimental to the prospect of building a just society.

The core of the Times’ defense of Jeong is that she “responded to … harassment by imitating the rhetoric of her harassers.” In the most obvious reading of the statement, this is simply untrue. If Jeong had been imitating the rhetoric of her harassers, we would expect most instances of it to come in direct response to trolls. But in reality, she took aim at “white people” in standalone tweets on a wide range of subjects, from food to television.

The only tenable interpretation of the Times’ statement is therefore much broader: Because Jeong has frequently encountered abuse from white social media users—something that is, sadly, beyond doubt—she imitated their style and rhetoric when tweeting about white people in general, even when unprompted by any specific incident of harassment.
It seems incredible that Mounk needs to make the obvious point that, "the defensive inversion of bigotry ... is also a massive gift to the very people who are most intent on doing harm to them." That is to say, it is a kind of political suicide, one that reminds me of Freddie deBoer's response to the "magic words" concept.

Update 2018-08-09: Reihan Salam in The Atlantic:
In some instances, white-bashing can actually serve as a means of ascent, especially for Asian Americans. Embracing the culture of upper-white self-flagellation can spur avowedly enlightened whites to eagerly cheer on their Asian American comrades who show (abstract, faceless, numberless) lower-white people what for. ... <

Think about what it takes to claw your way into America’s elite strata. Unless you were born into the upper-middle class, your surest route is to pursue an elite education. To do that, it pays to be exquisitely sensitive to the beliefs and prejudices of the people who hold the power to grant you access to the social and cultural capital you badly want. By setting the standards for what counts as praiseworthy, elite universities have a powerful effect on youthful go-getters. Their admissions decisions represent powerful “nudges” towards certain attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, and I’ve known many first- and second-generation kids—I was one of them—who intuit this early on.

Consider the recent contretemps over Harvard’s undergraduate admissions policies. Critics argue that the university actively discriminates against high-achieving Asian American applicants by claiming that a disproportionately large number of them have lackluster personalities. One obvious reaction to this charge is to denounce Harvard for its supposed double standards. This reaction might be especially appealing to those who see themselves as the sort of people who’d be dismissed by Harvard’s suspect screening process, and who’d thus have every reason to resent it. ...

So what if you’re an Asian American who has already made the cut? In that case, you might celebrate Harvard’s wisdom in judiciously balancing its student body, or warn that Harvard’s critics have a darker, more ominous agenda that can’t be trusted. This establishes you as an insider, who gets that Harvard is doing the right thing, while allowing you to distance yourself from less-enlightened, and less-elite, people of Asian origin: You’re all being duped by evil lower-whites who don’t grok racial justice.