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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
May 25, 2018 • 32 Comments

From The Atlantic:

The Two Most Important College-Admissions Criteria Now Mean Less

When so many students have outstanding grades and test scores, schools have to get creative about triaging applicants.

JEFFREY SELINGO 8:00 AM ET EDUCATION

For generations, two numbers have signaled whether a student could hope to get into a top college: his or her standardized test score and his or her grade-point average.

In the past 15 years, though, these lodestars have come to mean less and less. The SAT has been redesigned twice in that time, making it difficult for admissions officers to assess, for instance, whether last year’s uptick in average scores was the result of better students or just a different test. What’s more, half of American teenagers now graduate high school with an A average, according to a recent study. With application numbers at record highs, highly selective colleges are forced to make impossible choices, assigning a fixed number of slots to a growing pool of students who, each year, are harder to differentiate using these two long-standing metrics.

Eighty percent of American colleges accept more than half of their applicants, but at the country’s most selective schools, there is something of a merit crisis: As test scores and GPAs hold less sway, admissions offices are searching for other, inevitably more subjective metrics.

Colleges don’t really mind grade and test inflation in high school because they make them look better in USNWR statistics. And a relatively lower ceiling lets colleges pick applicants likely to accept (boosting their yield) and donate (boosting their endowments in the long term) or marry a billionaire’s heir (e.g., Jared Kushner).

So there’s not much interest in boosting the ceilings of the SAT/ACT or GPA because offering more room to compete would disrupt a very cozy cartel in which all the top few dozen colleges can claim their students have higher average test scores and GPAs than in the past.

A few years...

May 25, 2018 • 17 Comments

From the New York Times:

America Last: Trump’s Attack on the Amazon Job Machine

By Timothy Egan
Contributing Opinion Writer

May 25, 2018

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, met at Trump Tower with Donald Trump after the 2016 election. So why does the president hate him?

President Trump has declared war on Amazon, the nation’s second most valuable company. Amazon is creating more jobs than all but a handful of entire states. And nearly every major city in the country is vying to land the second headquarters of this global retailer and the 50,000 high-paying positions it promises to bring.

It is perhaps the biggest job engine in the United States, and Trump is using the power of his office to hurt it.d

Actually, Jeff Bezos somehow seems to be doing okay for himself in this dictatorial Age of Trump. Bezos’s net worth has gone up over $60 billion since 2016.

Exactly how much richer would the World’s Richest Man (current net worth $132.3 billion) be if strongman Literally Hitler Drumpf weren’t out to destroy Bezos by trying to make him pay his fair share for his postage stamps?

May 25, 2018 • 23 Comments

Mischel’s famous Marshmallow Test of children’s willpower to delay instant gratification in return for more rewards in the future (you can eat one marshmallow right now or get more later) is often cited in the usual All We Have to Do About Education articles. Toddlers who resisted the urge to eat the marshmallow the longest tend to get higher test scores later in life.

So All We Have to Do to Raise IQs is something something something marshmallows!

But, of course, the marshmallow test is actually more a clever measure of individual character, IQ, and bourgeois acculturation in a two-parent home than of factors that can be readily social engineered in schools.

Here’s a new attempt at replicating Mischel’s experiment.

Revisiting the Marshmallow Test: A Conceptual Replication Investigating Links Between Early Delay of Gratification and Later Outcomes

Tyler W. Watts, Greg J. Duncan, Haonan Quan First Published May 25, 2018

Abstract

We replicated and extended Shoda, Mischel, and Peake’s (1990) famous marshmallow study, which showed strong bivariate correlations between a child’s ability to delay gratification just before entering school and both adolescent achievement and socioemotional behaviors. Concentrating on children whose mothers had not completed college, we found that an additional minute waited at age 4 predicted a gain of approximately one tenth of a standard deviation in achievement at age 15. But this bivariate correlation was only half the size of those reported in the original studies and was reduced by two thirds in the presence of controls for family background, early cognitive ability, and the home environment. …

Tyler W. Watts tweeted:

Very excited that our study on the Marshmallow Test is finally out @PsychScience. We attempted to replicate the original longitudinal work to see if delay of gratification in preschool predicted later life outcomes: We found that in a more diverse sample of kids, gratification delay...

May 25, 2018 • 89 Comments

Because we seem to be drifting in the direction of public life being dominated from day to day by whatever actresses are complaining about currently, I tried looking up the Greek word for “rule by actresses.” But Google only had a single listing in the entire history of the Internet:

Eyelash extension: pluses and minuses, responses and results

https://en.womenmagazines.info › Eyes and eyelashes

Double or threefold D-building is practiced, as a rule, by actresses or singers. Volume isn’t really well perceived in usual life, but on a scene looks perfectly.

So, Rule by Actresses appears to be a fairly novel concept in human thought.

I hope it works out well for us.

In Raymond Chandler’s Hollywood novel, The Little Sister, super-agent Sheridan Ballou explains to private eye Philip Marlowe why actresses are the way they are:

“But show business has always been like that — any kind of show business. If these people didn’t live intense and rather disordered lives, if their emotions didn’t ride them too hard — well, they wouldn’t be able to catch those emotions in flight and imprint them on a few feet of celluloid or project them across the footlights.”

Update: iSteve commenter DFH says “rule by actresses” would be:

ὑποκριτοκρασια – hypocritocracy

May 25, 2018 • 80 Comments

In the iSteve universe, which looks suspiciously like this universe, all moral discourse tends to constantly degrade toward sheer Who? Whom? childish favoritism unless strong recurrent efforts are made to counter this tendency toward ethical entropy with objective standards.

Hence, “sexual harassment” as a career killing offense is now coming to include nonsexual harassment, such as one person yelling at another person during a workplace argument, as long as the yeller is of the Wrong Sex (male) and the yellee of the Right Sex (female).

For example, from the New York Times:

Jason Bateman Apologizes to Jessica Walter Over Jeffrey Tambor

By Sopan Deb
May 24, 2018

Following a blistering reaction on social media, Jason Bateman, one of the stars of “Arrested Development,” apologized on Thursday after an interview with The New York Times during which he defended Jeffrey Tambor, a co-star, and his on-set behavior toward another co-star, Jessica Walter. Critics accused Mr. Bateman of excusing Mr. Tambor’s verbal harassment at the expense of Ms. Walter, during an era in which male toxicity in Hollywood is facing a reckoning.

Jessica Walter was upset at Jeffrey Tambor (Hey Now Hank Kingsley on “The Larry Sanders Show”) for yelling at her on set. She specified that there was nothing sexual-related about the incident.

Jason Bateman got in big trouble for then saying in defense of Tambor, who has been a comic supporting actor of growing legend since Three’s Company in the 1970s:

What we do for a living is not normal, and therefore the process is not normal sometimes, and to expect it to be normal is to not understand what happens on set. Again, not to excuse it, Alia, but to be surprised by people having a wobbly route to their goal, their process — it’s very rarely predictable. All I can say, personally, is I have never learned more from an actor that I’ve worked with than Jeffrey Tambor. And I consider him one of my favorite, most...

May 24, 2018 • 90 Comments

From the New York Times:

What Philip Roth Taught Me About Being an American Jew

By Taffy Brodesser-Akner
May 24, 2018

… Roth’s books answered the question of how all this Jewish education I was getting would translate into the real world, should I survive the ordeal of childhood. What did it mean to be Jewish in America? Were we supposed to convey pride in our religion and our culture? Were we the punch lines to a joke that was constantly being made? Were the jokes at least funny? And such small portions? Was being Jewish a bad thing? Were we proud? Were we embarrassed? Did we still have to watch our backs? How should a modern Jew behave in the world? How should a modern Jew assert his or her Jewishness? Were we white? You’re kidding yourself if you think we’re white! Do the goyim like us, or do they simply tolerate us? You’re kidding yourself if you think they tolerate us! How to act, how to assimilate but not too much, how to remind them about the Holocaust when they got uppity about Jewish privilege. How to not break into laughter when someone used the phrase “Jewish privilege.”

Really? Does anybody besides me use the term “Jewish privilege?” Where in the oeuvre of Philip Roth does the concept of “Jewish privilege” come up?

Offhand, all I can think of is his 1950s short story “Defender of the Faith,” in which Roth wrote about a Jewish Army sergeant on a stateside peacetime base having to deal with several goldbricking Jewish privates trying to get out of military duties by citing religious obligations. But that’s not what the few people who these days mention the almost nonexistent concept of “Jewish privilege” as being interestingly analogous to endlessly denounced “white privilege” are talking about.

This seems to have far more to do with the recent obsessions of Jewish media people than with the works of Philip Roth.

As for Roth purportedly taking a stand against the US Census’s...

May 24, 2018 • 33 Comments

From PBS in 2016:

Students at Eastern Michigan U. protest ‘KKK’ and other racist graffiti
Nation Sep 20, 2016 5:18 PM EDT

Staff members at Eastern Michigan University discovered racist graffiti on the side of a dormitory building Tuesday morning, campus newspaper The Eastern Echo reported.

“KKK” was spray painted in red, white and blue on the brick wall of dorm Julia Anne King Hall. Below the letters was the racial slur, “Leave N—–s.” University president James Smith said the school’s Department of Public Safety was investigating the incident.

“The University strongly condemns such a racist and thoughtless act, which runs completely counter to the values and welcoming environment of our highly diverse Eastern Michigan University community,” Smith said in a statement.

“Rest assured, we will investigate this criminal act to our fullest abilities and will advise our campus community on our progress,” he added.

At EMU, African-Americans made up 18 percent of all enrolled students in fall 2014, according to the latest federal data from the National Center for Educational Statistics. White students made up 66 percent.

By 9:40 a.m. today, school officials were on site to discuss plans to remove the hate speech, the Echo reported. The graffiti was shortly removed later that morning.

Several students, however, thought the university’s statement was insufficient.

After the wall had been cleared of the racist graffiti, senior Zack Badgerhouse told WEMU, the local NPR station, that he was staging a one-man silent protest at the site, because “African-American students are highly upset.”

He held a sign that read, “I need answers,” WEMU reported. By this afternoon, other EMU students had gathered at the scene of the incident as well, the Echo reported.

“What is the administration going to do about this?” Badgerhouse said. “It’s deeper than just taking it off the wall. I want answers and I want them now.”

Also this afternoon, several...

May 24, 2018 • 43 Comments

From reading Establishment writers, such as New York Times deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weisman’s recent book (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump, it’s clear that the conventional wisdom propounders among the US media believe implicitly but wholeheartedly in a conspiracy theory about a vast globe-spanning anti-Semitic Putin-Trump plot.

After all, haven’t you seen Fiddler on the Roof? The Czar is always out to get us poor Jews.

One problem with this popular conspiracy theory, though, is that both Trump and Putin, not to mention the third triumvir, Netanyahu, are quite close to many rich and powerful Jews. Thus, from the Jewish Telegraph Agency wire service:

Know your oligarch: A guide to the Jewish machers in the Russia probe

By Ron Kampeas May 22, 2018 5:40pm

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The special prosecutor’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election offers an unsettling journey for anyone steeped in Russian Jewry, and the transition from the repression of the former Soviet Union to the relative freedoms of the Russian Federation.

Of 10 billionaires with Kremlin ties who funneled political contributions to Donald Trump and a number of top Republican leaders, at least five are Jewish. (The Dallas Morning News has a handy set of interactive charts.)

There’s Len Blavatnik, the dual British-American citizen who dumped huge amounts of cash on Republican candidates in the last election cycle, much of it funneled through his myriad investment firms. (The same Len Blavatnik funds scholarships for IDF veterans and who is friends with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.) …

But first: What was going on in the Soviet Union as it headed towards collapse in the late 1980s that led to the proliferation of Jewish names among its powerful business leaders?

“Not all oligarchs are Jewish, of course, not the majority, but there is a significant number,” said Mark Levin, the CEO of the National Coalition Supporting...

May 25, 2018 • 24 Comments

This has apparently been getting harder (h/t Betlo):

The panel also noted that it is now more difficult to recruit intelligence sources inside Russia than it was during the Soviet era. During the Soviet era, the CIA relied upon “volunteers” who would approach American intelligence officers, Bearden said, but the pool of Russians willing to betray their government largely has dried up. It is not entirely clear why this is the case, but Bearden suggested that given previous Soviet and Russian penetration of American intelligence services, it is possible that the fear of compromise has driven away many potential sources.

Clement suggested that Russian perceptions of the United States have deteriorated so badly that even educated Russian liberals take a dim view of Washington—making the recruitment of spies extremely difficult. Moreover, many Russians who might have betrayed their government in previous eras no longer feel compelled to risk imprisonment or death by working for the CIA. Instead, those dissidents can simply leave Russia for the West—which was not an option during the Soviet era.

Beebe, however, suggested that in the information age—where biometrics and social media are prevalent—the age of recruiting traditional human intelligence sources is over. “Biometric data means essentially that you can’t put someone under cover here in Washington and then have them travel around the world, pose under diplomatic cover and recruit people,” Beebe said. “Doesn’t work. Who they are, their identity is instantly known to governments that want to know who they are.”

Other reasons:

1. The Russian Federation is 85% Russian, not 50% like the USSR. The guy who revealed the Soviet biological weapons program to the US was called Kanatzhan Alibekov.

2. Internal Russophobia is on the decline. This can even be seen amongst the liberals, where the most odious of that lot have been utterly marginalized, and are demographically dying off (e.g. Novodvorskaya)...

May 24, 2018 • 128 Comments

Moscow 2018.

Can’t believe it has been almost a month since the last Open Thread.

Quick updates:

  • Was in the UK for a couple of weeks (as you presumably gathered). Apart from the march in London, I also took the opportunity to tick off Canterbury and the Tank Museum in Bovington.
  • Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the London Conference on Intelligence in Aarhus, Denmark, as I had originally planned to. Fortunately, we have James Thompson here to tell us all about it anyway.
  • I am going to be in Romania from June 1-June 11: Couple of days in Ploiesti, three in Transylvania, the rest in Bucharest. Why Romania? Friend’s wedding, otherwise it’s about 50th on my travel list.

ROGPR news – Kirill Nesterov’s latest video was so hardcore that YouTube banned it. Here it is (in Russian ofc):

We are also going to be launching a new website any day now.

***

Featured News

* Alexander Mercouris: Netanyahu in Moscow for Victory Day: why did Putin invite him? MUST READ, especially for those who have been complaining about Putin bending over before Israel and calling me a “ziocuck” or whatever.

* Alexander Mercouris is blackpilled on Iran:

Note that Bershidsky disagrees… but then again, he has always had inflated expectations of the EU. Even so he points out how the EU, Russia, and China can keep trade and investment with Iran running.

* I was pessimistic about M5S/Lega Nord – in particular, European leftists, including ostensibly Russophile ones, have a habit of disappointing (see Syriza). But perhaps they really will be the first major exception. I also find their economic program, combining bold ideas such as a 15%/20% flat income tax and universal basic income, to be very interesting and potentially very revitalizing for an Italy that is widely regarded as being stifled by bureaucr...

May 24, 2018 • 108 Comments

Broke: Russians downed MH17 so Russia must pay reparations, withdraw from the Ukraine, Putler must go to the Hague.

Woke: Muh Ukrainian false flag. *scribbles 5,000 words on obscure alt media webzine that no-one will read*

Bespoke: Russians downed MH17 and Russia must face up to it like a civilized, Western country (i.e. no apologies, no acknowledgement of responsibility, award a medal to whoever’s responsible).

May 23, 2018 • 45 Comments

I recently had a look at the polling for the Ukrainian Presidential elections in March 2019.

They don’t look good for him, to put it mildly.

While austerity, stymied reforms and continuing corruption, and the lack of a resolution to the War in Donbass have been dragging at Poroshenko’s ratings for several years now, since the start of this year he has not even generally been getting assured of taking second place in the first round and going through to the second round.

For instance, here are the results of the latest KIIS poll:

8% – Yulia Tymoshenko
6,3% – Anatoly Gritsenko
6,1% – Oleg Lyashko
6% – Petro Poroshenko
5,4% – Volodymyr Zelensky
4,8% – Svyatoslav Vakarchuk
4,4% – Vadim Rabinovich
4,3% – Yury Boyko

He also loses all of the realistic second round runoffs:

Poroshenko is losing against Boyko, the head of the Opposition Bloc (reformatted Party of Regions), though this should not be mistaken for a pro-Russian victory because the party, apart from losing most of its support, is no longer even remotely as pro-Russian.

He is even projected to be beaten by Lyashko, probably the biggest lolcow in Ukrainian politics (and that’s saying something).

To be sure, there is still just under a year to those elections, and a lot can change between now and then. The economy will probably continue to recover at a modest pace. And Poroshenko has access to the “administrative resource.” I suspect he’ll still eke out a place in the second round. But there he’ll very likely be beaten by Yulia Tymoshenko (who is polling almost twice as much as him in a direct runoff), or perhaps one of the newer faces in politics, such as Vakarchuk, a young West Ukrainian rock musician who performed before the Maidan crowds and has a degree in theoretical physics – and is projected to get almost three times as many votes as Poroshenko.

(Speaking of young, pro-Maidan rock musicians. There is a small...

May 23, 2018 • 44 Comments

I have long been pointing out that one of the clearest electoral patterns in Russia is the inexorable collapse of the KPRF as you go down the age pyramid.

This decline is reflected in a FOM poll published on May 5, the 200 year anniversary of Marx’s birthday.

Whereas there are no major differences between sex, education, income (!), or urban/rural habitation, younger people are far less enamored of Marx than older people:

60+ year olds: 31% positive, 5% negative
46-60 year olds: 24% positive, 7% negative
31-45 olds: 10% positive, 5% negative
18-30 olds: 5% positive, 3% negative

This is a good, wholesome trend, though it would be nice if there were more people who were negatively-inclined. Perhaps there should be more efforts to let Russians know what Marx thought about Slavs.

Zhirinovsky delivering on that.

Still, at least positive sentiment is collapsing. As a party still firmly committed to Marxist-Leninist rhetoric, the KPRF is going down with him.

May 22, 2018 • 238 Comments

To IQ research (h/t whyvert):

Strictly speaking, this isn’t exactly accurate – Lynn and Vanhanen peg Somali IQ at around 72 – but it’s certainly closer to the mark than the politically correct European 100.

Anyhow, while I realize that Sweden is basically a meme country at this point, this is still an incredible development.

In previous years, the Swedish media had merely hounded doctors who made factually correct statements about IQ.

Now we are at the stage where the criminal justice system of a country that scores 100/100 on Freedom House’s freedom rating is being used to effectively ban IQ research, following in the footsteps of noted SJW Stalin in the 1930s.

I think we all suspected this would happen eventually. Sweden is the canary in the coalmine so far as general trends in the West are concerned. If this case sets a precedent, we could see a gradual stifling of this research in Europe, Britain, and eventually the US (ironically, at about the same time as race differences in IQ are definitively confirmed by advances in genomics).

Anyhow, hopefully someone will keep an eye on this case. Perhaps IQ researchers in the area could volunteer their services to try to make this into a Scopes Monkey Trial.

If not, well, too bad for Western civilization. But China has no time for baizuo idiocy and will continue to plow ahead.

May 21, 2018 • 157 Comments

Either Iran fulfills the following, or it gets the “strongest sanctions in history”:

Since this is two more demands than the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia in 1914, and they are in principle unfulfillable anyway, why not go the full hog and make some further additions:

  • Convert to Evangelical Christianity
  • Host a gay pride parade in Tehran
  • Accept Eritrean refugees from Israel

In other news, things have again been heating up in the Donbass, with an important bridge that lies on the main non-frontline road between Lugansk and Donetsk getting blown up by what were presumably Ukrainian special forces. At the start of this year, I said that if the Ukraine is to try for its version of Operation Storm, it would be best to do it on the eve of FIFA World Cup 2018.

May 20, 2018 • 160 Comments

The blogger Audacious Epigone has done yeoman’s work over the past couple of years documenting the surprising “basedness” of Generation Z(yklon).

With the collapse of the Alt Right and Trump turning out to be a damp squib, it might well be that Gen Z is the last best hope for America to remain a somewhat American country.

Not great that we’re essentially down to wagering on demographics, given that the usual narratives portend things such as a Blue Texas by the 2020s, but there you go.

Here is a selection of Anepigone’s classic articles on Gen Z:

Collection of the more interesting graphs:

Assuming that Generation Zyklon shitlords will be able to withstand SJW brainwashing in the modern college madrassas, this would overturn...