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In the New York Times, Max Fisher offers a little bit more sophisticated take on Israel declaring itself to be the Jewish Nation-State after 70 years as the Jewish State. But he doesn’t appear to know what his favorite word, “democracy,” means:

Israel Picks Identity Over Democracy. More Nations May Follow.

By Max Fisher
July 22, 2018

… But Ben-Gurion insisted that Israel give up the territories it had conquered. If it did not, he said, occupation would distort the young state, which had been founded to protect not just the Jewish people but their ideals of democracy and pluralism. …

But to others, it is a step along Ben-Gurion’s prophesied path: from occupation to endless conflict that would corrode democracy from within, endangering a national character thought to come from ideals as well as demographics.

Above all, the law may be a choice between two visions of Israel that have come into growing tension. American diplomats have long issued a version of Ben-Gurion’s warning: If Israel did not make peace with the Palestinians, they said, it would have to choose between its dual identities as a Jewish state and democratic one.

Israel has largely solved that problem by boosting the Jewish birthrate and driving down the non-Jewish birthrate.

Polls suggest that Israelis have come to agree: Growing numbers see their country as facing a choice between being Jewish first or democratic first. And for many on the political right, the choice is identity first.

Though Israel’s circumstances may be unique, its sense of facing a looming decision about its national identity is not. There is a growing backlash to the idea that countries should privilege democracy over all else. That movement, driven by perceptions of physical and demographic insecurity, insists that, now, identity will come first.

The modern era endowed countries with two rights, supposedly unassailable, that turned out to exist in tension. The right of national self-determination envisioned states as unified collectives; one nation for one people. And the right of democracy prescribed equal participation for all, including in defining the nation’s character.

In contrast, here’s the Merriam-Webster definition of democracy:

noun de·moc·ra·cy \ di-ˈmä-krə-sē \

1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority
b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
2 : a political unit that has a democratic government
3 capitalized : the principles and policies of the Democratic party in the U.S.
from emancipation Republicanism to New Deal Democracy —C. M. Roberts
4 : the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority
5 : the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges

I think Fisher, like so many pundits lately, is overlooking definition #1 — “government by the people; especially : rule of the majority” for definition #3 — “capitalized : the principles and policies of the Democratic party in the U.S.”

Or, to be precise, Fisher is equating democracy with the interests of the Democratic Party in the U.S. (with some consideration for the interests of the Israeli Labour Party and other allies of the American Democratic Party). The Democratic Party stands not for majority rule as for minority rights, or, increasingly rule of minorities, at least until they can assemble a permanent majority of minorities.

In Fisher’s mind, democracy is whatever is good for the Democratic Party and its allied parties abroad.

What could be simpler?

Idealistic world leaders who set out those rights a century ago imagined countries that would be internally homogeneous and static. But reality has proved messier. Borders do not perfectly align with populations. People move. Identities shift or evolve. What then?

Well, in democratic Israel, the majority votes to not let non-Jews move to Israel and become citizens. Israel democratically elects leaders who builds walls to keep outsiders out.

What could be simpler?

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The World Economic Forum is the organization that puts on the annual Davos Confab of the Insufferable.

Personally, I don’t think Lagos will ever have 88.3 million residents.

I’m reminded of the fine 1986 book about Mexico by the NYT’s Mexico City correspondent Alan Riding, Distant Neighbors. Riding took it as a given that Greater Mexico City’s population, then about 18 million, would grow to 30 million. But instead, Mexico City got so awful as its population kept going up that Mexican peasants moved to the United States instead, and Greater Mexico City is around 21 million today.

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Screenshot 2018-07-22 16.47.29

Let’s define low fertility as below 2 babies per woman, moderate fertility as 2 to 4, and high fertility as more than 4. In 1970, there were two regions of the world with low or moderate fertility and five regions with high total fertility rates. Sub-Saharan Africa had the second highest fertility, but it was hardly exceptional in 1970.

Today, six regions have low or moderate fertility, while sub-Saharan Africa is alone with high fertility.

Above is Google’s graph of World Bank estimates of total fertility rates (i.e., babies per woman) showing how most of the major regions of the world have converged near replacement fertility (although Middle East & North Africa seems to have stopped in this century) … except for Sub-Saharan Africa, which is just barely below 5 babies per woman.

While the Sub-Saharan fertility at least is trending down, it’s important to note that it usually takes about 40 or 50 years after fertility hits replacement level for the population to stop growing. That’s why the U.N. forecasts that the African population will keep going up up up to 4 billion by 2100.

The good news is that Africa ought to be able to accomplish what poor countries in the rest of the world have largely managed to do: start seeing some light at the end of the population explosion tunnel.

The bad news is that it seems kind of racist to mention that high African fertility is a huge problem.

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From the New York Times:

Attacks on Roma Force Ukraine to Confront an Old Ethnic Enmity

By Iuliia Mendel
July 21, 2018

KIEV, Ukraine — The Roma who live in tarpaulin camps and abandoned buildings in and around Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, say they make their money harmlessly by picking wildflowers and selling the bouquets to lovers on the city’s streets.

But members of Ukrainian nationalist groups say that, instead, the Roma pick pockets, steal scrap metal and foul the city with their presence, often dressed in rags or hand-me-downs while begging.

Tensions over the Roma are as old as Ukraine, and run as deep here as anywhere in Eastern Europe, but the ancient enmity has taken a twist recently.

Beginning in April, Ukrainian nationalist groups that were given free rein four years ago to fight the Russian military incursion have taken instead to attacking the softer targets of Roma camps, saying they are “cleaning” Ukraine’s cities.

After an attack in April on a camp in Lysa Hora park outside Kiev, when a nationalist group threw rocks, squirted pepper spray and burned down tents, it seemed like an outbreak of the old ethnic scourge, and the episode drew criticism from Western governments and rights groups.

The Ukrainian government seemed to see the assault differently, at least at first. Far from prosecuting the nationalist group, known as C14, which filmed the attack and posted photographs on the internet, the government gave it a state grant in the form of free rent for auditoriums to support “patriotic education.”

No arrests were made immediately after the April attack. Soon enough, five other major assaults ensued, along with dozens of smaller episodes. After one nationalist group, called Sober and Angry Youth, killed a Roma man, David Pap, last month in Lviv, the police detained suspects. Nothing had been done against this group earlier, though it had posted a video online of its members chasing Roma through the city in “A Safari on the Gypsy.”

In July, a court sentenced one participant in the April attack to two months of house arrest.

The attacks pose a dilemma for the Western-backed government in Kiev, which analysts say is seeking populist appeal before presidential elections next spring. The government is beholden to nationalist paramilitaries for their role in the war in the east, even as some of those same groups espouse ugly ideologies.

“We were called fascists,” Yevhen Karas, the 30-year-old leader of C14, said in an interview, referring to the reaction to the attack in Lysa Hora park. But, he added, “I do not care what they call us.” …

After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the Roma were early targets during the Russian intervention in the east, with abuses starting on the pro-Russia side. Paramilitaries backed by Moscow rounded them up, saying they were dealing drugs. …

I’ve written lots about Gypsies/Roma before, as well as about Ukraine, Crimea, Russia, and so forth. Instead, I want to mention how this latest phenomenon supports John Mueller’s hypothesis in The Remnants of War (which he should have titled The Dregs of War).

Mueller is the Woody Hayes Professor of National Security Studies at Ohio State. He argues that Kursk-Orel battles between mass armies in open fields are over. If they gave that kind of war, nobody would show up.

His specific examples had to do with the 1990s Balkan Wars, which were portrayed in the press as driven by ancient mass enmities. But Mueller argues that the amount of bloodlust in the overall populations was quite low. The various states had massive problems with draft evasion. Basically, nobody wants to go to a modern battlefield with state of the art weapons because everybody figures they wouldn’t last long in the metalstorm.

So, instead, the Balkan politicians tended to instead recruit to do their low-level fighting already organized groups of men who really like violence: soccer hooligan clubs, prison gangs, far-right nationalist groups, car thieves, motorcycle gangs, and the like. They were let know that they could rape and pillage as long as they did it to the enemy’s civilians.

Eventually, the US deep state trained the Croatian army in the lessons of Operation Desert Storm, and they unleashed Operation Storm in the summer of 1995, with another four day walkover. I presume this was the normal Croatian army, because you aren’t going to hand your tanks to a bunch of criminals. But, in general, a lot of the years of fighting was done by the small minority of men who had already showed they really like hurting other people: hoodlums.

The sputtering fighting in the Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine over the last four years appears to have had similarities to Mueller’s portrait of the Balkan fighting: lumpenproles fighting lumpenproles. Putin swans around with a motorcycle gang and Kiev sends fascist ultras, who sometimes prefer to stay home and punch Gypsies.

The Battle of Stalingrad, it isn’t.

So far.

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iSteve commenter Anoni writes:

I work a bit in the climate field. And it really is amazing how immigration and climate is something that you just simply can’t talk about, you just get to shut up very quickly. I even did a little work on the iSteve idea of exactly how much carbon we are adding by importing half of Guatemala. And my findings basically agree with what Steve found, except it’s a lot bigger importing from Central America rather than Mexico cuz Mexico has much higher CO2 per person. But it’s completely unpublishable. Nobody at an environmental economics Journal would look at it at all. It does drive me crazy how doctrinaire conservatives are about climate change. There is something happening for sure, it does seem to be getting hotter, but it drives me crazier that the left can’t recognize that you simply can’t have immigration at the level we are and do anything about climate change. It’s impossible.


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From the New York Times:

Lessons From a Failed Nomination, for Both Brett Kavanaugh and the Senate

Democrats won a surprising victory in helping to scuttle the nomination of Ryan W. Bounds to a federal appeals court.
By Carl Hulse
July 21, 2018

WASHINGTON — The doors to the Republican cloakroom off the Senate floor swung open and out walked Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who is not usually found in the inner sanctum of the majority party.

He had been buttonholing Republican colleagues, trying to persuade them that racially charged college writings by Ryan W. Bounds, a federal appeals court nominee from Mr. Wyden’s home state, were disqualifying and that he should be rejected. His crusade seemed unlikely to succeed, given that disciplined Senate Republicans have been pushing through Trump administration judicial picks with assembly-line efficiency over the heated complaints of Democrats.

But in a stunning development, the nomination of Mr. Bounds was withdrawn at the last minute on Thursday because of Republican objections, a sharp turn of events with significant implications for both the Senate and the coming showdown over the nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Yeah, some of Mr. Bounds’ op-eds for Stanford Review a quarter of a century ago were slightly sophomoric in style, but, then, he was a sophomore. Anyway, you can read all of the “controversial” ones here in Above the Law and see that they are just the usual “content of their character” and Dems R Real Racist mainstream GOP stuff.

But that’s now disqualifying.

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3B076F49-C5D4-4E69-886D-3D4CBBAAEF7F-235-0000001E641B551B is, as you’d expect, a hair care products firm.

Interestingly, it’s founded by hairdresser Lee Rittiner, a white guy from Virginia.

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From the New York Times:

Ta-Nehisi Coates Is Leaving The Atlantic

By Jacey Fortin
July 20, 2018

Ta-Nehisi Coates, among the most influential intellectuals and writers in the United States, is leaving his position as a national correspondent for The Atlantic after a decade with the magazine, its top editor said Friday.

Mr. Coates, 42, gained a wide readership during his time at The Atlantic, where he published sweeping, painstakingly reported essays about systemic racism and white supremacy in the United States.

Mr. Coates, who was hired at The Atlantic in 2008, has written about a range of issues including politics, poverty, the Confederate battle flag, health care and his own name. …

He has written about the black people who were killed by their neighbors, the police or perfect strangers during those years — including Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Renisha McBride — and about an old friend of his, Prince Jones, who was killed by the police in 2000.

But his best-known pieces for the magazine are his long, deeply reported essays about racial injustice …

Mr. Coates did not respond immediately to a request for comment on Friday, but he told Erik Wemple of The Washington Post that his public prominence was a factor in his decision to step down. …

Mr. Coates also left Twitter recently, after he was publicly criticized by the Harvard philosopher and civil rights activist Cornel West, who called him “the neoliberal face of the black freedom struggle.”

Outside of his work at The Atlantic, Mr. Coates’s books have won critical acclaim. “Between the World and Me,” which was written as a letter to his son and mined the experience of being black in America (and, briefly, in France), was hailed by Toni Morrison and won the National Book Award in 2015. …

In 2015, he received what is known as a genius grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

In recent years Mr. Coates, a Marvel Comics fan, has been writing Black Panther and Captain America comics.

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From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Is the door too open or too closed when it comes to population?

By David Crowe
20 July 2018 — 9:07pm

… The lesson from the recent past is that political promises are worthless where population and migration are concerned. Only the numbers count and the numbers show the emptiness of the rhetoric. Every time the federal government updates its forecasts, it admits the population is growing faster.

The population will reach 25 million within three weeks, about nine years earlier than forecast in the Howard government’s Intergenerational Report.

The first Intergenerational Report was in 2002, so missing by 9 years is a lot.

But what could possibly go wrong?


Unless less rain falls on Australia, as in the Millennium Drought of 1997-2009. But that would be “climate change,” and everybody respectable knows that “climate change” is a hoax, so Australia’s elites are perfectly justified in never giving a moment’s thought to the interaction of mass immigration and “climate change.”

What? I got Climate Change backwards? It is respectable to worry about worsening droughts in the future? Oh, okay, thanks …

So then everybody respectable worries about the interplay of mass immigration and climate change?


Why not?

It just never seems to come up? It’s as if the two concepts never occur in the same head at the same time?

How do they do that?

Seriously, if you read Jared Diamond’s 2005 book Collapse very carefully, you might notice that Diamond is skeptical about whether Australia has enough water to support mass immigration:

“Contrary to their government and business leaders, 70 percent of Australians say they want less rather than more immigration.”

But that’s about it for publicity for this topic …

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From USA Today:

BBQ Becky, Permit Patty and why the Internet is shaming white people who police people ‘simply for being black’

Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY Published 6:30 a.m. ET July 18, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — It’s now a weekly, if not daily, occurrence: A video is posted on Facebook or Twitter showing a white person calling police on black people for minor violations or nothing at all, a new form of social media shaming that’s exposed the everyday racism black Americans face and brought swift repercussions for the perpetrators.

Tagged with nicknames like BBQ Becky and Permit Patty, white people who’ve reported black people for sitting in Starbucks, shopping at CVS, mowing lawns, playing golf, staying at an Airbnb or napping on a couch in a college dorm are being publicly named, mocked and, in some cases, fired from their jobs.

White people have been policing black behavior for a long time. If they think someone black seems out of place, they know they can say something to the property manager, a store supervisor or the police, sociologists who study race say. Many black people in these situations don’t bother to complain publicly. They say they’re unlikely to be believed or their concerns will be dismissed. And they don’t want to escalate the situation and end up in jail or worse.

Now footage captured on smartphones and spread instantly on social media is shining the spotlight on how black people are singled out “simply because they are black,” says George Yancy, a professor of philosophy at Emory University and author of “Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America.”

C’mon, Professor Yancy: “Backlash?” That’s pretty boring compared to some of your other titles like “Black Bodies, White Gazes,” “Look, a White! Philosophical Essays on Whiteness” and “Pursuing Trayvon Martin.” Whatsamatta with “Blacklash”? I don’t know what blacklash means, but I’m sure you’d think of something.

Here’s Yancy’s classic interview in the NYT of animal rights philosopher Peter Singer, who appeared to have been under the mistaken impression that he was going to be interviewed about his theory of “speciesism,” but Yancy turned every question from speciesism to what Yancy is interested in, which is, surprise!, racism.

The current firestorm was set off in May by a white woman, Jennifer Schulte, who was rechristened BBQ Becky after she called police on two black men for using a charcoal grill at a public park in Oakland, California. The police eventually advised the men charcoal wasn’t permitted in that part of the park …

People often think of racism as major acts of aggression, but sociologists say smaller scale acts, sometimes referred to as microagressions, are more common. They can include everything from disapproving looks to chastising remarks for perceived infractions of racial etiquette, social norms dating back to slavery days and Jim Crow laws on racial segregation that dictated how black people should behave in public and interact with white people.

The way white people caught in these videos on social media lay claim to public places amount to individual acts of gentrification, sending the message: This is my space and you can only behave here the way I say you can, Yancy says. …

We are always hearing from Raj Chetty about how black people happen to live on all the Tragic Dirt and need to be moved to the Magic Dirt. But blacks, outside of the rural south, aren’t exactly American Indians stuck on remote, eroding reservations. Instead, blacks tend to live in conveniently located urban locales, from which their ancestors drove out the whites via street violence. So they like where they live.

Also, I suspect that a lot of white people have a self-interested reaction to these videos shaming white women. As I’ve often noted, the biggest real estate hot potato in America are poor blacks. Nobody wants this hot potato dumped in their laps. So white people in the rest of the country react negatively to white gentrifiers in Oakland or Cambridge trying to push out local blacks and dump them on somewhere else. Of course, nobody is allowed to express this sentiment or even explain the logic of it, so it gets channelled into a lot of white-on-white hate, for which it is always open season.

America has a legacy of racism going back hundreds of years, so what’s giving people new license to confront blacks and other minorities in public spaces?

John Powell, who leads the UC Berkeley Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, blames President Trump’s rhetoric on race and immigration …

My column in Taki’s Magazine this week, “What’s Your Type?,” remains, as far as I can tell from searches, the only application of the simple concept of Type I vs. Type II errors to the current era of racial hatred directed toward white women.

What if the current War on Becky is part of Putin’s Master Plan to accelerate the centrifugal forces with the Democrats’ Coalition of the Margins?

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When tariff arguments are in the news, I like to point to my 2016 theory of what Trump’s Grand Strategy might be:

Bordering on Success
by Steve Sailer

December 14, 2016

A clever aspect of Trump’s platform that hasn’t been much analyzed is that by merging the issues of immigration and trade into the super-issue of borders, he may have a way to reliably win both votes and political donations. …

A Trump reelection campaign will need to appeal to at least some special interests. The history of the GOP from 1860 onward suggests that trade policy can be a major stimulus for campaign funding.

The weakness of immigration restriction as an issue has not been a lack of popularity with voters, but a lack of pocketbook appeal to major donors. Countless special interests can benefit from lax immigration laws and laxer enforcement, so politicians pushing open borders receive huge payoffs from the wealthy.

Prudent immigration policy, in contrast, is good for ourselves and our posterity, but there’s no way to get rich off it. By itself, immigration restriction is just too clean of an issue.

… Protectionism was a notorious moneymaker for the Republican Party because the politicians had so much control over the size of each tariff. If a Republican fund-raiser in 1888 told the buggy-whip manufacturers of America that they’re going to get only a 2 percent tariff while the domestic velocipede makers will benefit from a 40 percent tariff, they were apt to bargain.

The centrality of tariffs to the financial health of the businessman’s party was a key insight of Clay, Lincoln, and McKinley. Whether protectionism is good for the country or not, it tends to be good for the protectionist party because it gives their politicians something to sell.

Therefore, a GOP reorganized around the centrality of borders—immigration restrictionism and protectionism—is a party that could conceivably attract both the votes of the people and the contributions of the CEOs.

I have no idea if this reflects Trump’s thinking, but you can see how a party linking tariffs’ special interest money and immigration restrictions idealistic patriotism could have some institutional staying power, so it’s not surprising it is so anathema to the globalist establishment.

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From Fox Business:

Paramount TV president fired over ‘racially charged’ comments

By Jade Scipioni Published July 20, 2018

Paramount has fired the head of its television division, Amy Powell, after complaints rolled in that she made inappropriate and “racially charged” comments during a conference call.

Advice to corporate executives: In 2018, don’t make conference calls.

While Gianopulos’ memo did not elaborate on the nature of Powell’s statements beyond saying that they were “inconsistent with company values,” a source did tell Variety that she made racially charged statements about “black women being angry” for various reasons during a conference call about the “First Wives” series.

Okay, so the executives were discussing an upcoming Diverse tv show based on Paramount’s 1996 hit movie comedy “First Wives Club” in which divorced women plot vengeance on their ex-husbands and their new bimbos, but this time with a black cast. The black lady screenwriter who wrote last year’s hit movie comedy “Girls’ Trip” had been hired to run the show.

All this fulfills the Diversity mandate and makes good business sense — get a hot screenwriter to revive your unused intellectual property — so what could possibly go wrong?

The call was with series producer Karen Rosenfelt and a handful of others, including an African-American assistant to another Paramount TV executive, who reportedly complained to studio leaders about the reference, Variety said.

Well, apparently, the white lady CEO had some “racially charged” notes to offer on this racially charged show. The public hasn’t been told what they were, other than, yet again, a black assistant listening in on the conference call thought it would be a good idea to make a big stink about them.

If Corporate America is supposed to make more and more Diverse products, but white corporate executives are not supposed to express in words any opinions on how to make them better, what should be done?

Perhaps executives should avoid all conference calls on anything Diversity-related and only communicate with trusted yes-men in face-to-face meetings?

But what if some underling is wearing a wire (i.e., carrying a smartphone set to record)?

Perhaps executives should avoid speech all together and only communicate via grunts and gestures?

No, clearly, the only practical solution is for all white executives to be fired and replaced by Diverse executives.

By the way, Paramount’s Amy Powell is at least the second high-ranking Becky named Amy P. to get fired in Hollywood for “racially charged” remarks. Amy Pascal, head of Sony pictures, got fired when the purported “North Korean hack” revealed her exchanging a few lame jokes about President Obama’s supposed taste in movies.

Once again, this is more evidence that in 2018 white women don’t enjoy many Intersectional Pokemon Points.

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As white people ever more often get hammered in the national media — with potential lifelong effects on their employability — for a single Type I (false alarm) error involving calling the cops on black people who turn out to be law-abiding, it’s only natural to look to Artificial Intelligence to get you out from under the vast amount of hatred hunting for Evil White People. “Hey, it wasn’t me who called the cops, it was the AI system!”

But what if the AI crime-reporting robots turn out to be Beckies and Permit Patties too?

Not surprisingly, the conventional wisdom increasingly believes Artificial Intelligence needs a dose of Artificial Stupidity to keep it from being as racist and sexist as Natural Intelligence. Otherwise, the Robot Pool Patrol Paulas will run amok, warning police about black youths. Nature has a plan:

AI can be sexist and racist — it’s time to make it fair

18 JULY 2018

Computer scientists must identify sources of bias, de-bias training data and develop artificial-intelligence algorithms that are robust to skews in the data, argue James Zou and Londa Schiebinger. …

Biased decision-making is hardly unique to AI, but as many researchers have noted1, the growing scope of AI makes it particularly important to address. Indeed, the ubiquitous nature of the problem means that we need systematic solutions. Here we map out several possible strategies.

Most of these are pretty sensible for applications not concerned with important real time tasks such as crime prevention, but there is no thought about the dangers of Type II errors in public safety systems.

… As much as possible, data curators should provide the precise definition of descriptors tied to the data. For instance, in the case of criminal-justice data, appreciating the type of ‘crime’ that a model has been trained on will clarify how that model should be applied and interpreted. …

Lastly, computer scientists should strive to develop algorithms that are more robust to human biases in the data.

Various approaches are being pursued. One involves incorporating constraints and essentially nudging the machine-learning model to ensure that it achieves equitable performance across different subpopulations and between similar individuals.

Hey, what could be wrong with “essentially nudging” the data? It’s just a nudge. It’s not like we’re fudging the data, we’re just nudging the data toward the politically desirable result.

A related approach involves changing the learning algorithm to reduce its dependence on sensitive attributes, such as ethnicity, gender, income — and any information that is correlated with those characteristics.

This is the Blue Whale in the bathtub. For say, teenage males, the difference in criminal propensity between African-Americans and Asian-Americans is between one and two orders of magnitude. If you reduce AI’s dependence on “ethnicity, gender, income,” you are pretty much dead in the water when it comes to public safety, especially if “age” gets added to the list as another “sensitive attribute.” Everything else, such as measuring the body language of the individuals or their vocabularies, will have massive Disparate Impact problems.

Such nascent de-biasing approaches are promising, but they need to be refined and evaluated in the real world.

An open challenge with these types of solutions, however, is that ethnicity, gender and other relevant information need to be accurately recorded.

This is obfuscation intended to trigger confusion in readers’ minds. Say your AI visual recognition system for crime prevention occasionally confuses African-American youths with dark-skinned Dravidian-American youths. Making its ethnicity recognition module more accurate would just make the system more biased against African-Americans, not less.

Unless the appropriate categories are captured, it’s difficult to know what constraints to impose on the model, or what corrections to make. The approaches also require algorithm designers to decide a priori what types of biases they want to avoid.

The problem is that when it comes to crime, reality is biased.

… As computer scientists, ethicists, social scientists and others strive to improve the fairness of data and of AI, all of us need to think about appropriate notions of fairness. Should the data be representative of the world as it is, or of a world that many would aspire to?

For example, as Good People we aspire to a world in which black youths get arrested for street crime no more often than Asian youths. If a human Becky or two or three gets mugged or raped because of our noble aspirations, well, that’s just a price the Beckys will have to pay for our moral superiority.

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I pay little attention to all this Spy vs. Spy stuff, nor do I watch much TV, so I really don’t know what I’m talking about. But I suspect that Trump’s problem this week is that he looked beta to Putin’s alpha at their much denounced press conference.

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As I’ve mentioned before, Boyle Heights is a 94% Hispanic (as of 2010) neighborhood just east of booming downtown Los Angeles. It shows up in the news a lot recently for anti-gentrification brouhahas, such as vandalizing art galleries.

From CBS local news in Los Angeles:

Residents of a rapidly gentrifying enclave of Los Angeles tried to shut down the grand opening of a new coffee shop, saying the owner’s support of President Donald Trump’s stance on immigrants is reason alone to want him out of the neighborhood….

“So what’s the connection? This is what I don’t understand. I’m confused — the connection between Donald Trump and good coffee,” Israeli-born businessman Asher Shalom told CBS2 News.

The kosher cafe was set to have a grand opening on July 12, the day anti-gentrification activists were met by Los Angeles Police officers blocking the entrance.

According to Eater LA, about 30 protesters associated with the group Defend Boyle Heights (DBH) showed up to speak up against Shalom, who they called “an anti-immigrant trump loving gentryfier” in a Facebook post.

… “It was very scary,” said Shalom’s daughter Yael. “There was a lot of people protesting outside wearing masks […] and they threw a significant amount of feces at our windows.”

… In a letter from chamber president Jennifer Lahoda, she mentions a photo shared by Shalom on his Facebook page reading, “I wish Democrats would fight as hard for Americans, as they do for illegals.”

… “Boyle Heights thrives because of our diverse immigrant population — The Chamber will always celebrate and support this fact. We will not support anyone who chooses to conduct themselves in a hateful manner, especially toward members of our community.”

A commenter says: “95% Hispanic so 95% diverse.”

I spent a little time in Boyle Heights about a year and a half ago and, in reality, it wasn’t all that exciting. There aren’t that many cool white people there yet, and the locals didn’t seem to have much of a problem with an uncool white person like me.

In contrast, I spent a couple of days recently in the gentrifying Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn, on the far side of beautiful Prospect Park from yuppie Park Slope. Flatbush is one of those great old Dutch names from the 17th Century and the neighborhood was famously associated with the Brooklyn Dodgers (although under today’s neighborhood boundaries, Ebbets Field would have been just north of Flatbush in Crown Heights).

It looks like young white people are slowly pushing blacks out of Flatbush, but in the meantime, Flatbush looks like a Tiny Duck dream come true with a huge number of black male-white female couples. In general, stereotypical black male-white female couples appeared to be much more common in Manhattan in 2018 than the last time I was there in 2014.

In contrast, in the more fashionable parts of Los Angeles, black male-white female couples aren’t as common as they suddenly are in NYC. Conversely, in L.A. white male-black female couples are less rare than in other parts of the country, probably because black women in the nicer parts of Los Angeles tend to have some connection with the entertainment industry and thus are rather good looking on average. For example, on Ventura Blvd. a beautiful young black woman with extraordinarily long legs walked past me recently. “Who was that?” I wondered. “Tina Turner’s granddaughter?” I did a little math and decided that there was no more than a 5 or 10% chance that she was Tina Turner’s granddaughter.

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Screenshot 2018-07-20 00.22.19 From The Guardian:

Labour plans radical selection overhaul including all BAME shortlists

“BAME” stands for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic.

The whole article is pretty incomprehensible to my American eyes but I think it means the British Labour Party is going pretty heavily for quotas in picking candidates.

Exclusive: ‘Democracy review’ aims for diversity but causes concerns about deselections

The only concern apparently is that some current white Labour office holders might eventually get the boot. Nobody cares about future whites who want to run for office under the Labour banner.

But the picture (to the right) accompanying the Guardian article suggests that Labour may have in its ranks already the perfect Candidate of the Future, checking all 57 boxes for gender, race, and species.

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From the New York Times:

Why Latino Students Flock to One California College


Though they make up California’s largest ethnic group, Latinos are underrepresented in the state’s universities. But not at the University of California, Merced.

Why do so Hispanics wind up at UC Merced in the rural Central Valley?

… In the decades since a ballot measure banned affirmative action in California’s public institutions, the University of California has faced persistent criticism that it is inadequately serving Latinos, the state’s largest ethnic group. The disparity between the state’s population and its university enrollment is most stark at the state’s flagship campuses: at University of California, Los Angeles, Latinos make up about 21 percent of all students; at Berkeley, they account for less than 13 percent.

But at Merced, the newest addition to the 10-campus University of California system, about 53 percent of the undergraduates are Latino, most closely mirroring the demographics of the nation’s most diverse state.

Merced lacks the same national reputation for academic excellence as other campuses in the University of California system. It has the highest acceptance rate by far (70 percent compared with 16 percent at U.C.L.A.), and some students across the state do not see it as in the same league as the other campuses. Graduation rates have consistently been lower than at any other campus in the system: 45 percent of freshmen who entered in 2009 had earned a degree four years later, compared with 65 percent at San Diego and 76 percent at Berkeley.

Merced has yet to hire the star faculty found at other U.C.s and has a much smaller graduate program. The college does not attract the state’s top-scoring applicants when it comes to test scores and grade-point averages. Eligible students from California who are rejected from other University of California campuses are often funneled to Merced, which offers them a spot even if they have not applied. But more than 90 percent of those students rejected the offer, according to a 2016 state audit.

In other words, Hispanics flock to UC Merced because they can’t get in to better UC schools because on average Hispanics can’t compete with Asians on test scores.

It’s almost as if mass immigration has been making California more unequal.

In other California college news, the claws are out for STEM-oriented Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the best of the second tier Cal State system for lacking diversity. While blatant affirmative action is, theoretically, outlawed at California public colleges, the well-budgeted UC schools use “holistic admissions” to impose quotas de facto. But since nobody cares about most of the Cal State schools, they just let kids in based on test scores and grades. But, Cal Poly SLO ten miles inland from Pismo Beach is the jewel in the party hat of the Cal States. So, cunning eyes are being turned on SLO to figure out how, in the name of Diversity, to make the college less diverse. From the San Luis Obispo Tribune:

Cal Poly is the whitest public university in California — by a lot

[email protected]

April 19, 2018 03:43 PM

Cal Poly has the least racially diverse student population among all public universities in California, according to enrollment data provided by the CSU and UC systems.

And it’s not close.

In fall 2017, 54.8 percent of Cal Poly’s student body identified as white, which is the highest mark of any school within the 23-campus CSU system, as well as the 10-university UC system.

So 54.8% white and 45.2% nonwhite is the epitome of homogeneity? Or is Diversity just getting rid of whites?

Nobody seems to know what the word “diversity” means in principle, so people just junk their principles.

The next-closest schools in the CSU — home to 484,297 students — are the Maritime Academy (48.5 percent white), Sonoma State (44.6) and Chico State (43.0). (Fresno State was at 19.6 percent.)

Additionally, Cal Poly has the lowest percentage of African American students among all public universities in the state, the data shows.

Cal Poly’s student body in fall 2017 was 0.7 percent African American — the ninth consecutive year under 1 percent — making it the only school in the state with an African American population less than 2 percent this academic year.

Cal State Dominguez Hills has the largest African American population at 12.3 percent, followed by Cal State East Bay (9.8), Sacramento State (5.8) and CSU Bakersfield (5.6). Fresno State is at 3.0 percent.

Fresno State is almost exactly as Hispanic as SLO is white, but that makes Fresno more Diverse.

Cal Poly’s racial divide has been under the microscope in recent weeks after multiple racist photos emerged on social media, prompting President Jeffrey Armstrong to place all fraternities and sororities on suspension.

Looking at the CSU system as a whole, Mexican American students make up the largest ethnic group at 31.8 percent, followed by white students (23.5 percent) and Asian students (11.6). That means Cal Poly’s proportion of white students is more than double the CSU average.

On the UC side, Asian students comprise the largest ethnic group at 33.7 percent, followed by Latino students (24.2 percent) and white students (22.5).

None of the 10 UC schools has a white population larger than 34 percent, including universities comparable to Cal Poly such as UC Davis (24.7) and UC Santa Barbara (31.8).

“They’re really unique in the system, in terms of both their geographic setting, the programmatic offerings and the way they’re set up,” said Mike Uhlenkamp, senior director of public affairs for the CSU. “So they pull not only from the state, but they pull from across the country, which is unique for CSU campuses, which lends to their demographics.”

Still, Armstrong noted that Cal Poly has made progress in diversifying its campus over the last decade.

In 2005, more than 67 percent of Cal Poly students identified as white, and that number has been declining nearly every year since.

Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier said applications for under-represented minorities for fall 2018 were more than double the number the university received in 2008. He reiterated that Cal Poly is “committed to, and has a documented track record of, supporting diversity and inclusion.”

“The effort is ongoing,” Lazier said, “and the university’s work is not complete until Cal Poly’s faculty, staff and students reflect the diversity of the state of California in every facet — gender, race, sexual orientation, class, ideology, ethnicity and more.”

But not ethnicity of who paid the biggest share of tax dollars.

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From Quillette:

Black American Culture and the Racial Wealth Gap

written by Coleman Hughes

Published on July 19, 2018 comments 73

… No element of culture harms black wealth accrual more directly than spending patterns. Nielsen, one of the world’s leading market research firms, keeps extensive data on American consumer behavior, broken down demographically. A 2017 Nielsen report found that, compared to white women, black women were 14 percent more likely to own a luxury vehicle, 16 percent more likely to purchase costume jewelry, and 9 percent more likely to purchase fine jewelry. A similar Nielsen report from 2013 found that, while only 62 percent of all Americans owned a smartphone, 71 percent of blacks owned one. Moreover, all of these spending differences were unconditional on wealth and income. …

Coleman Hughes is an undergraduate philosophy major at Columbia University. His writing has been featured on Heterodox Academy’s blog as well as in the Columbia Spectator. You can follow him on Twitter @coldxman

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From the New York Times:

Israeli Law Declares the Country the ‘Nation-State of the Jewish People’

By David M. Halbfinger and Isabel Kershner
July 19, 2018

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has long demanded that the Palestinians acknowledge his country’s existence as the “nation-state of the Jewish people.” On Thursday, his governing coalition stopped waiting around and pushed through a law that made it a fact.

In an incendiary move hailed as historic by Mr. Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition but denounced by centrists and leftists as racist and anti-democratic, Israel’s Parliament enacted a law that enshrines the right of national self-determination as “unique to the Jewish people” — not all citizens.

The legislation, a “basic law” — giving it the weight of a constitutional amendment — omits any mention of democracy or the principle of equality, in what critics called a betrayal of Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence, which ensured “complete equality of social and political rights” for “all its inhabitants” no matter their religion, race or sex.

The new law promotes the development of Jewish communities, possibly aiding those who would seek to advance discriminatory land-allocation policies. And it downgrades Arabic from an official language to one with a “special status.”…

Its passage demonstrated the ascendancy of ultranationalists in Israel’s government, who have been emboldened by the gains of similarly nationalist and populist movements in Europe and elsewhere, as Mr. Netanyahu has increasingly embraced illiberal democracies like that of Hungary — whose far-right prime minister, Viktor Orban, arrived in Jerusalem for a friendly visit only hours before the vote.

So obscure Israel is merely following the lead of mighty Hungary? As a recent newcomer to the world stage, Netanyahu is of course looking for clues as to how to behave from the veteran Orban?

Or could it possibly be that the success of Israeli nationalism has made Israel the vanguard style-setting country of the last 70 years and much of the rest of the world is now looking to the example long set by The Jewish State?

Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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