A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
iSteve Blog

Charlie Kaufman isn’t infallible (Human Nature, anyone?), but if your three best screenplays (at least among those that have made it to the big screen) are Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, then attention must be paid. Here’s Charlie Kaufman (played by Nicholas Cage in Adaptation) attempting to tie all natural history together in one pre-credits sequence:

From Deadline Hollywood:

Charlie Kaufman has been signed to do a page one rewrite of I.Q. 83, an adaptation of Arthur Herzog’s classic 1978 science fiction novel that Paramount is now developing as a star vehicle for Steve Carell. Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar is producing with Walter Parkes. The plan is for Carell to play Dr. James Healey, who led a group of scientists that conducted DNA experiments that unleashed an airborne virus that ravages the population. The affliction isn’t fatal but pretty bad; it progressively lowers the IQ of the afflicted, more effectively than a marathon of the Kardashians’ reality show. It becomes a race against time as the scientist struggles for a cure, even as he feels himself growing dumber. He watches crowds regressing into animal packs and sees the president of the United States try to comfort the masses, only to babble and drool on television.

Similarities and differences between this project and Mike Judge’s Idiocracy are apparent. (Here’s a recent Mike Judge interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones about the conspiracy to deepsix Idiocracy.) Of course, Idiocracy bore some resemblance to C.M. Kornbluth’s 1951 sci-fi short story The Marching Morons. And I’d hardly be surprised if Kornbluth’s readers two generations ago saw similarities to something that has since been lost in the mists of time.

This reminds me: what percentage of Hollywood projects have a distinct Nature / Nurture angle?

 

From the New York Times:

Joan Quigley, Astrologer to a First Lady, Is Dead at 87
By DOUGLAS MARTIN OCT. 24, 2014

In his 1988 memoir, Donald T. Regan, a former chief of staff for President Ronald Reagan, revealed what he called the administration’s “most closely guarded secret.”

He said an astrologer had set the time for summit meetings, presidential debates, Reagan’s 1985 cancer surgery, State of the Union addresses and much more. Without an O.K. from the astrologer, he said, Air Force One did not take off.

The astrologer, whose name Mr. Regan did not know when he wrote the book, was Joan Quigley. She died on Tuesday at 87 at her home in San Francisco, her sister and only immediate survivor, Ruth Quigley, said.

Mr. Regan said that Miss Quigley — a Vassar-educated socialite who preferred the honorific Miss to Ms. (she never married) — had made her celestial recommendations through phone calls to the first lady, Nancy Reagan, often two or three a day. Mrs. Reagan, he said, set up private lines for her at the White House and at the presidential retreat at Camp David.

Further, Mrs. Reagan paid the astrologer a retainer of $3,000 a month, wrote Mr. Regan, who had also been a Treasury secretary under Reagan and the chief executive of Merrill Lynch.

I’ve long been struck by how closely this was anticipated by Robert Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land way back in 1961, in which astrologer Alexandra Vesant, formerly a magician’s assistant named Becky Vesey, is the most trusted advisor of the First Lady. If you want the Secretary General of the World to do something, you start with his wife’s astrologer.

To be frank, Madame Vesant is not as good at the astrological calculations as her late husband, the magician, but she has horse sense and reliable intuitions about what her clients want to hear. Once she gets rolling at writing a horoscope:

… she found, as always, that words on paper proved themselves — they were so beautifully true!

(By the way, that reminds me that I advise most people who feel daunted by the challenge of working a complex argument out in their heads before writing: just put your hands on the keyboard and start typing.)

In Stranger, Madame Vesant gives the First Lady broad but welcome advice that is always interpreted as confirming whatever the First Lady wants to do, which she passes on to the Secretary General, who was kind of feeling like doing it anyway.

A sample of Madame Vesant’s advice to the First Lady:

“The aspect of Venus is most favorable and potentially dominant over Mars. Venus symbolizes yourself, of course, but Mars is both your husband and young Smith — as a result of the unique circumstances of his birth [on Mars]. This throws a double burden on you and you must rise to the challenge; you must demonstrate those qualities of calm wisdom and restraint which are peculiarly those of woman. You must sustain your husband, guide him through this crisis, and soothe him. You must supply the earth-mother’s calm wells of wisdom. This is your special genius … you must use it.”

While this may sound vague, to the First Lady it’s very clear:

Mrs. Douglas got busy at once, happy that Allie had confirmed all her judgments. She gave orders about the campaign to destroy the reputation of the missing Berquist … she summoned Commandant Twitchell of the Special Services Squadrons — he left looking unhappy and made life unbearable for his executive officer. Then she thought about hot to nail down Pakistan’s votes.

Presently she called her husband and urged him to support Pakistan’s claim to a lion’s share of the Kashmir thorium. Since he had been wanting to, he was not hard to persuade, although nettled by her assumption that he had been opposing it.

I wonder which historical figures this minor aspect of Stranger was based upon. Becky sounds a little like Madame Blavatsky, the 19th Century Russian theosophist who was one of the founders of the New Age movement. Like Madame Vesant, Madame Blavatsky had been in show biz (supposedly a daring bareback rider in the circus) but, like Miss Quigley, was also from the upper class (her younger cousin Count Witte, Czar Nicholas II’s finance minister, wrote about her in his memoirs).

But which politician was Heinlein thinking of? Rasputin’s relationship with the Czarina probably was in Heinlein’s mind (interestingly, in August 1914, Witte and Rasputin separately advised the Czar to stay out of the Great War). But I suspect Heinlein had some American politician in mind as well. But who?

By the way, the NYT obituary says that Mrs. Reagan first reached out to Miss Quigley, who was a regular guest on Merv Griffin’s talk show, after Mr. Reagan’s near assassination in early 1981.

This reminds me that that shooting was one of the hinges of recent history. I was skiing at Mammoth when I heard the President had been shot while getting off a chair lift (or perhaps it was me who was getting off the chairlift: who can remember that far back?). Mammoth Mountain skiers are probably not demographically representative, but I’d say my view was shared by most people on the mountain that depressing afternoon: the President would die and this assassination would be as disastrous for the country as JFK’s 18 years before.

But then we started to hear the jokes the President made on the way to the operating room, which buoyed everybody’s spirit. In reality, of course, we know now that Reagan’s wound was extremely serious. But of course that just made his survival, the sense that history wasn’t going to repeat this time, all that more galvanizing. I don’t think I’m exaggerating all that much in saying that the political basis for Reagan’s subsequent historic triumphs hinged upon that one day.

One odd coincidence is that the years 1963 and 1981 seemed to serve as bookends for an era of astrology and New Age silliness. When JFK died, American culture was especially technocratic. (The proto-hippy wooziness of Stranger in a Strange Land was discordant in the early 1960s: the book didn’t become a giant bestseller until late in the decade.) Within a few years, the culture was obsessed with talking to plants.

While Mrs. Reagan may have hired an astrologer in the wake of her husband’s assassination, that was the year that the bull market for books on astrology and the like came to an end.

 

From the Washington Post’s high end political science blog, The Monkey Cage:

Monkey Cage
Could non-citizens decide the November election?

By Jesse Richman and David Earnest October 24 at 3:06 PM

Could control of the Senate in 2014 be decided by illegal votes cast by non-citizens? Some argue that incidents of voting by non-citizens are so rare as to be inconsequential, with efforts to block fraud a screen for an agenda to prevent poor and minority voters from exercising the franchise, while others define such incidents as a threat to democracy itself. Both sides depend more heavily on anecdotes than data.

In a forthcoming article in the journal Electoral Studies, we bring real data from big social science survey datasets to bear on the question of whether, to what extent, and for whom non-citizens vote in U.S. elections. Most non-citizens do not register, let alone vote. But enough do that their participation can change the outcome of close races.

Our data comes from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES). Its large number of observations (32,800 in 2008 and 55,400 in 2010) provide sufficient samples of the non-immigrant sub-population, with 339 non-citizen respondents in 2008 and 489 in 2010. For the 2008 CCES, we also attempted to match respondents to voter files so that we could verify whether they actually voted.

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010. …

Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin.

Wow.

And, of course, many of the non-citizens in Minnesota aren’t lackadaisical Latinos, but hyperclannish and notoriously politically active Somalis. Veteran liberal Democratic state legislator Phyllis Kahn has been on the warpath about Somali vote fraud against her in primary elections. (Ms. Kahn hasn’t been as exercised about Somali vote fraud in general elections of course.)

It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina’s adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin.

We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted.

An alternative approach to reducing non-citizen turnout might emphasize public information. Unlike other populations, including naturalized citizens, education is not associated with higher participation among non-citizens. In 2008, non-citizens with less than a college degree were significantly more likely to cast a validated vote, and no non-citizens with a college degree or higher cast a validated vote. This hints at a link between non-citizen voting and lack of awareness about legal barriers.

So, most of the noncitizens who vote tend to be just extreme versions of the base of the Obama Coalition: low-information dwellers on the fringe of the American body politic.

Now, it could also be that a lot of these uneducated aliens who claim to have voted are just easily confused idiots who don’t remember accurately. For them, of course, we must have a Path to Citizenship!

 

From the Daily Mail:

Transgender military personnel from 18 countries where open service is allowed gather to discuss whether US military could lift ban

Tourist with the Ignatius J. Reilly bronze statue on Canal St.

It’s kind of like in A Confederacy of Dunces when obese medievalist / French Quarter hot dog salesman Ignatius J. Reilly has an epiphany about how to head off World War III and put his Communist ex-girlfriend Myrna Minkoff in her place via his Save the World Through Degeneracy plan:

“Good grief. How many of the military leaders of the world may simply be deranged old sodomites acting out some fake fantasy role? Actually this might be quite beneficial to the world. It could mean an end to war forever. This could be the key to lasting peace. … The power-crazed leaders of the world would certainly be surprised to find that their military leaders and troops were masquerading sodomites who were only too eager to meet the masquerading sodomite armies of the other nations to have dances and balls and learn some foreign dance steps. …

The one whom we finally make Chief of Staff will only want to attend to his fashionable wardrobe, a wardrobe will will, alternately, permit him to be either Chief of Staff or debutante, as the desire strikes him. In seeing the success of their fellows here, perverts around the world will band together to capture the military in their respective countries. …

Ballets and Broadway musicals and entertainments of that sort will flourish everywhere and will probably make the common people of the world happier than the grim, hostile, fascistic leader of their former leaders. Almost everyone else has had an opportunity to run the world. I cannot see why these people should not be given a chance. …

Their movement into power will be, in a sense, only a part of the global movement for opportunity, justice, and equality for all. (For example, can you name one good, practicing transvestite in the Senate? No! These people have been without represenation long enough. Their plight is a national, a global disgrace.)

John Kennedy Toole couldn’t find a publisher for his comic novel and he killed himself in 1969.

By the way, I like to keep up to date with Hollywood’s latest plans to film the late Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, which have been been a-brewing for 35 years without anything actually happening. Every single Hollywood actor less skinny than Peter O’Toole, from John Belushi to Zach Galifanakis, has been Mentioned as Ignatius J. Reilly.

The latest appears to be Nick Offerman, the very funny Teddy Roosevelt-looking fellow from Parks and Recreation and We’re the Millers.

As Steven Soderbergh, who could probably get an environmental impact report greenlighted (on video, using non-SAG actors), said in 2013: “I don’t know what’s happening with it. I think it’s cursed. I’m not prone to superstition, but that project has got bad mojo on it.”

 

The Carlos Slim-bailed out NYT concern-trolls:

In Raising Immigration, G.O.P. Risks Backlash After Election
By JEREMY W. PETERS OCT. 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — New Hampshire has one of the smallest populations of illegal immigrants in the country. Only about 5 percent of its 1.3 million residents are foreign-born, and 3 percent are Hispanic.

But tune into the Senate race between Scott P. Brown, the Republican, and Jeanne Shaheen, the Democratic incumbent, and you might think the state shares a border with Mexico, not Canada.

When someone called a talk radio show to ask Mr. Brown about global warming the other day, Mr. Brown immediately started talking about border security. “Let me tell you what I believe is a clear and present danger right now,” he said, brushing aside the caller’s concerns about the environment. “I believe that our border is porous.”

Footage of agents patrolling the rocky, arid Southwestern landscape is featured in Mr. Brown’s ads — not quite the piney highlands of New Hampshire.

Of course, if there were a lot of illegal aliens in New Hampshire, then of course the NYT would be explaining to New Hampshire voters that it’s far too late to do anything about them. As Christopher Caldwell noted about a similar issue: “One moves swiftly and imperceptibly from a world in which affirmative action can’t be ended because its beneficiaries are too weak to a world in which it can’t be ended because its beneficiaries are too strong.”

Republicans have long relied on illegal immigration to rally the conservative base, even if the threat seemed more theoretical than tangible in most of the country. But in several of this year’s midterm Senate campaigns — including Arkansas and Kansas, as well as New Hampshire — Republicans’ stance on immigration is posing difficult questions about what the party wants to be in the longer term.

Some Republicans are questioning the cost of their focus on immigration. Campaigning on possible threats from undocumented immigrants — similar to claims that President Obama and the Democrats have left the country vulnerable to attacks from Islamic terrorists and the Ebola virus — may backfire after November.

So, Republicans, stop worrying about the long term effects of immigration policy and start worrying about the long term effects of immigration politics. Especially, stop it right now in October 2014 when you are playing what appears to be a pretty good hand in the November 2014 elections.

At that point, the party will have to start worrying about its appeal beyond the conservative voters it needs to turn out in midterm elections.

“You should never underestimate the ability of the Republicans to screw something up and blow an ideal opportunity,” said Ralph Reed, an influential conservative who has battled with hard-line Republicans to take a more charitable view on immigration.

If you saw “Casino Jack” with Kevin Spacey as Jack Abramoff, you’ll remember Ralph Reed as Abramoff’s partner in sleaze. But now he’s Albert Schweitzer because he’s for more immigration.

“There is a sense in which, I think, the overwhelming desire to gain control of the Senate has kind of so fixated the party’s strategic brain trust that trying to get a hearing on long-term strategic issues doesn’t seem to be possible at the moment,” he said.

Hey, Ralph, “Republican brain trust” is my line.

 

From ESPN:

A report commissioned by the University of North Carolina says school academic advisers steered athletes into sham classes over an 18-year period but does not directly implicate coaches or athletic administrators in the scheme.

The report, released Wednesday, says academic advisers in North Carolina’s athletic department colluded with a manager in the African and Afro-American Studies department for student-athletes to take classes to boost their GPAs and keep them eligible in their respective sports.

Here’s a question I’ve never seen asked: What percentage of African-American Studies professors in the United States have their jobs because white Republican boosters of college football and/or basketball teams demand victories from their alma maters’ administrations?

I don’t know the answer, but it seems like an interesting question. (I’ll leave it up to you to fill in the chain of logic for why this would be so.)

At Rice U., there used to be a jock-only major called Commerce. But, in a bout of post-Sixties idealism, the professors revolted and made Rice get rid of the phony, non-academic Commerce major. During my four years at Rice in the late 1970s, the football team won 7 games and lost 37. Cause and effect?

But what if instead of Commerce, jocks were channelled into, say, African-American Studies? What kind of vicious racist hater would complain about the academic worthiness of African-American Studies?

 

From the New York Times Editorial Page Editor’s blog:

To Prevent Another Ferguson, Vote in Georgia

By DAVID FIRESTONE OCTOBER 22, 2014 2:33 PM

A Georgia Democratic Party flyer.

ATLANTA — Georgia Republicans are furious about a flyer just released by the state Democratic Party that invokes the shooting in Ferguson, Mo., as a new incentive for black voters to cast a ballot in the midterm election.

“If you want to prevent another Ferguson in their future — vote,” the flyer says, over a photo of black children holding “don’t shoot” signs. “It’s up to you to make change happen.”

This is described as a “racial grenade” and “scaremongering” by the right-wing blog Hot Air.

“What does Ferguson, Missouri have to do with electing Michele Nunn to the Senate and Jimmy Carter’s grandson to the governorship in Georgia?” the blog post asks, and then supplies its own answer: Georgia Democrats want black voters to think their children might be shot if they don’t vote for Ms. Nunn and Mr. Carter.

The flyer, though, makes a very different point, and a good one that applies in virtually all of the major races this year. The white domination of the mostly black city of Ferguson is the direct result of local residents not participating in the political system. If people don’t like the results they’re getting from their political leaders — whether it’s the makeup of the police department in a suburb or the refusal to raise the minimum wage in Congress — they need to step up and make their voices heard.

As the flyer says: “Ferguson, Missouri’s population is 67% African-American. But the city’s mayor, five of its six City Council members, and 94% of its police force are white. What are we going to do about it? If we want a better, safer future for our children, it’s up to us to vote for change. The choices may not always be perfect, but the cost of inaction is simply too great.” (It goes on to list the times and places for voting early in the election.)

This is hardly a grenade or racial pandering — in fact, it describes the essence of what political action is about. For too long, many of Georgia’s Democratic voters have stayed home during midterm and state legislative elections, and the cost of that inaction has been high.

Maybe that’s why the right wants to see this message suppressed.

It’s been obvious since the convenience store video was released on August 1 5, that the New York Times’ narrative about Ferguson was part of a Democratic get-out-the-vote-drive. In recent weeks, the evidence has become ever more overwhelming.

Will there ever be any accountability?

• Tags: Ferguson Shooting 

One reason people moved in large numbers to the suburbs after WWII was because they were quieter for sleeping, especially in summer when you needed to keep your windows open. Lower density means less noise means more hours of sleep per night means happier, more productive days.

Before suburbanization, really rich families simply went some place cool for the entire summer. Affluent families sent the wife and kids away for the summer while the husband stayed home, as in The Seven Year Itch.

For example, in the 1920s, my father lived in Oak Park, Illinois, just west of Chicago. Oak Park is about as famously suburban as any place in America — the house next door was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and native son Ernest Hemingway derided Oak Park for its broad lawns and narrow minds.

But even Oak Park was too hot in summer. So my father, his mother, and his siblings spent the summer in a cabin in Michigan on the other side of Lake Michigan. They drove the Model A down to Navy Pier and took the ferry boat from Chicago to, I believe, Muskegon, MI. My grandfather stayed home in Oak Park and took the El down to the loop every day to work at the Victor corporation marketing x-ray machines. He’d take the ferry across for the weekend. (You can probably find descriptions of a similar lifestyle in Hemingway’s short stories: he was born in Oak Park 18 years before my father. Hemingway’s famous The Big Two-Hearted River is about a PTSD victim of WWI returning to his boyhood summer fishing grounds in Michigan.)

My grandfather was not always the easiest guy to have around the house, so I imagine my grandmother didn’t mind getting away with the kids like this for awhile. On the other hand, this lifestyle isn’t that popular with modern wives, partly because marriages are more companionate today, and partly for reasons explained in the video above.

However, there have been a number of technological developments that have lessened this advantage of low density living in being quieter at night during the summer:

- Central air conditioning: Just keep your windows shut.

- Double pane noise-absorbing windows.

- Better earplugs: most of the earplugs sold in drug stores are slick kinds that don’t work well, but my wife recently ordered 400 of the nonslick ones. I sleep much better with earplugs.

 

Kevin Vickers, Sergeant-at-Arms, Canadian parliament

From ABC:

Ottawa shootings: Kevin Vickers, sergeant-at-arms of Canada’s parliament, identified as man who shot assailant

The Canadian parliament’s 58-year-old head of security is being hailed as a hero after shooting dead a gunman who stormed the building.

Ministers and lawmakers identified the House of Commons’ sergeant-at-arms, Kevin Vickers, as the man responsible for firing the shots that brought down the assailant, identified as Muslim convert Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.

Mr Vickers, a 29-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was appointed sergeant-at-arms in 2006.

The position leaves him in charge of security at the parliamentary buildings.

He also carries the mace, the symbol of parliamentary authority, during formal proceedings and ceremonies.

Member of parliament Craig Scott said on Twitter that Mr Vickers had shot the gunman just as he approached rooms packed with politicians.

 

From the Washington Post:

Evidence supports officer’s account of shooting in Ferguson

By Kimberly Kindy and Sari Horwitz October 22 at 6:39 PM

Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown fought for control of the officer’s gun, and Wilson fatally shot the unarmed teenager after he moved toward the officer as they faced off in the street, according to interviews, news accounts and the full report of the St. Louis County autopsy of Brown’s body.

Because Wilson is white and Brown was black, the case has ignited intense debate over how police interact with African American men. But more than a half-dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided testimony to a St. Louis County grand jury that largely supports Wilson’s account of events of Aug. 9, according to several people familiar with the investigation who spoke with The Washington Post.

Some of the physical evidence — including blood spatter analysis, shell casings and ballistics tests — also supports Wilson’s account of the shooting, The Post’s sources said, which cast Brown as an aggressor who threatened the officer’s life. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are prohibited from publicly discussing the case.

The grand jury is expected to complete its deliberations next month over whether Wilson broke the law in confronting Brown, and the pending decision appears to be prompting the unofficial release of information about the case and what the jurors have been told.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch late Tuesday night published Brown’s official county autopsy report, an analysis of which also suggests the 18-year-old may not have had his hands raised when he was fatally shot, as has been the contention of protesters who have demanded Wilson’s arrest.

Read the whole thing there.

The larger point is not the precise details of what happened during Michael Brown’s crime spree. It’s the long-running pattern of the prestige press collaborating with the Democratic Party to concoct narratives of white racist violence against innocent blacks that routinely turn out to be immensely disingenuous.

 

There has been a fair amount of speculation about how the advent, Real Soon Now, of the self-driving Google Car will change life as we know it forever.

Because the temper of the times is flowing toward urbanization and away from suburbanization, lots of people have assumed that having a robot car would be like having a chauffeur-driven limousine, which is a really nice way to live in Manhattan. Thus, in the future, everybody will live in high rises and ride around in Google Cars, and you won’t have to go through all the hassle of parking as you visit another high rise. Your Google Car will just go somewhere while you are inside, and then be waiting for you as you step off the elevator as you leave.

Right now, if you are a Master of the Universe, Senior Grade, your limousine drops you off at the door of the building you’re visiting, then goes away somewhere, then picks you up again at the door. You’re not exactly sure where it parks itself while you are inside, but that’s not your problem.

Of course, this is immensely expensive: in Bonfire of the Vanities, for example, Sherman McCoy, junior grade MotU, reflects bitterly upon how much it costs him to rent a limo a la carte to take him and his wife to a party a mile away and then pick them up five hours later.

But what if the technology of the Google Car doesn’t evolve to deal well with crowded, narrow urban streets and parking garages? What if the Google Car evolves to deal best with, say, freeways retrofitted with electronic signals?

From Slate:

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

By Lee Gomes

In summary, so far the Google Car doesn’t represent what we imagine to be artificial intelligence: it’s strength isn’t in responding brilliantly to the ever changing outside world, it’s strength is in having an incredibly detailed inch-by-inch map of the streets around Google’s Mountain View headquarters downloaded into its memory.

It’s like how Google Translate doesn’t actually understand what that French website is saying and translates it into English for you, it just looks up phrases in bilingual documents published by the government of Canada and the like and lets you, the human being, make sense out of what it comes up with. If you have enough data, Google don’t have to be terribly smart. But Google Translate presupposes that an intelligent human being will be able to make sense of what it dishes up.

But, because the point of Google Car is to take away the human intelligence at the end, a lot of human-hours have been put in earlier in the process into interpreting those super-maps of the Mountain View area to make automated driving safe.

My guess is that mapping can work well on controlled roadways like freeways, but the streets of Manhattan are constantly changing with transient obstacles, such as pedestrians and the remarkable number of holes in the streets being dug at all hours by workmen.

Google may have the resources to someday monitor Manhattan’s streets second by second, but it seems unlikely, contrary to much speculation, that the Google Car would lead to the rest of America being Manhattanized.

For one thing, parking is a nightmare for Google right now. Parking doesn’t map well because the obstacles keep changing. And parking is one of the key tasks people who have the Limo Model in mind want Google Car to do: drop you off downtown and automatically drive off somewhere and park itself where parking doesn’t cost $20 per day.

Instead, Google Cars might lead to a revival of the exurbanization trend that died with the increase in the price of gasoline in the first half of 2008. With the price of gasoline seemingly moderating, it’s worth thinking about how computers might make long distance commuting more attractive.

Say Google worked with governments to have freeways and major highways retrofitted with electronic sensors and the like that would interface very well with the Google Car. So, your Google Car could drive on the freeway for you, but you’d have to drive the surface streets and park yourself. For example, say your daily commute looks like:

Morning:

Driveway to freeway onramp: 5 minutes

Freeway: 60 minutes

Freeway offramp to office parking spot: 5 minutes

Evening:

Office to freeway onramp: 5 minutes

Freeway: 60 minutes

Offramp to driveway: 5 minutes

Currently, if you commute five days a week, that’s 11.6 hours per week you need to have at least one hand on the steering wheel and shouldn’t be reading.

In the scenario I’ve outlined, your Google Car could let you do reading/typing work ten additional hours per week while you automatically ride the freeway. But you have to drive the surface streets yourself for 1.6 hours per week.

This is much like taking commuter rail to work, which is a pretty nice way to live. The Chicago metropolitan area has a lot of commuter rail lines and houses near stops, such as in Lake Forest, are at a premium. (So, you could model how much people would be willing to pay for a car that drives the freeways by itself by looking at home prices near and away from commuter rail stops.)

In the Chicago area, commuter rail differs from the crowded inner El in that everybody who gets on in Lake Forest gets a seat. It’s an extremely civilized Mad Men way to live. But, it’s very hard to build more commuter rail lines these days. Light rail that has to stop at red lights doesn’t cut it. Heavy rail that rips along without stopping is wonderful, but just a gigantic problem to retrofit into a developed metropolis.

Moreover, most of the United States isn’t Chicago where job concentrations grew up around rail lines. Sunbelt cities grew up around freeways. Automated freeway driving opens up the possibility of the convenience of working while moving to places that aren’t going to get commuter rail.

Retrofitting freeways with transponders or whatever will take decades, but all freeway lanes have to be torn up and repaved every so many decades anyway, so embedding electronics in the pavement isn’t asking too much: look how those shiny bumps between lanes got embedded over the years.

So, a Google Car that automatically drives the freeways but not the surface streets would kind of like be extending commuter rail networks.

(Competing with this, of course, are voice recognition technologies that some people could use while driving themselves safely.)

But all this suggests that the 2020s or 2030s might be an era not of Manhattanization, but of Lake Forestization.

 

From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

Liberals such as Barack Obama increasingly rely upon a verbal crutch of asserting that their opponents are on “the wrong side of history.” This neo-Marxist hand-waving phrase grew from 524 occurrences in news articles in 2006 to 1,800 last year.

The “wrong side of history” claim became a cliché during World War G over gay marriage, and now is taken for granted in the ongoing World War T (2013-?) over all things “transgender.” …

The Marxist roots of the “wrong side of history” phrase are obvious, but what’s striking is how today’s neo-Marxists have flipped Karl’s pyramid of power upside down. The left now assumes the direction of history is rightfully moving in the exact opposite path of what Marx championed. Instead of priding themselves on siding with the “workers of the world,” they root for transgender CEOs.

While Marx claimed his science of history proved that power would inevitably devolve from the aristocratic few to the bourgeois many to the proletarian masses, today’s conventional wisdom assumes that the whip hand should belong to ever more microscopic minorities, such as Ebola-bearing Liberians and the infinitesimally small number of Seven Sisters students who suffer from Freudian penis envy.

Read the whole thing there.

 

IBM System/360 ad, 1964

From NPR:

When Women Stopped Coding
by STEVE HENN
October 21, 2014 8:54 AM ET

Modern computer science is dominated by men. But it hasn’t always been this way.

IBM ad

A lot of computing pioneers — the people who programmed the first digital computers — were women. And for decades, the number of women studying computer science was growing faster than the number of men. But in 1984, something changed. The percentage of women in computer science flattened, and then plunged, even as the share of women in other technical and professional fields kept rising.

What happened?

We spent the last few weeks trying to answer this question, and there’s no clear, single answer.

But here’s a good starting place: The share of women in computer science started falling at roughly the same moment when personal computers started showing up in U.S. homes in significant numbers.

I.e., about the time when computing stopped being a career, it started being an adventure. Before the personal computer came along, computers were most famously associated with IBM. IBM was the most valuable company on the New York Stock Exchange for much of the 1960s and represented extreme respectability (with a certain muted sexy Mad Men glamor):

IBM System/360 ad

Part of IBM’s shtick had been that it shied away from the kind of Disruption Hype we’re used to hearing from the computer industry today. Instead, IBM presented its computers as a reassuring part of the evolution of office machines, such as its old keypunch machines and its superb electric typewriter beloved by secretaries everywhere. (Possession of an IBM Selectric was a status symbol among secretaries when I started working in offices in the 1970s.)

IBM emphasized how anti-Disruptive its computers were: it put tremendous efforts into making business computers as painless to adopt as possible for large corporations. They were immensely expensive for what they did, but IBM tried very hard to make them not scary. Not surprisingly, women had a not insignificant role in this latest version of Office Work.

Tom Watson Sr., the famous CEO of IBM, recognized that women made up a huge fraction of office workers. From an IBM promotional document:

By 1953, IBM had enacted an unequalled string of progressive workplace programs and policies, from hiring the disabled in 1914, to the arrival of professional women and equal pay for equal work in 1935, to appointing the company’s first female vice president, Ruth Leach Amonette, in 1943. Amonette was one of the first executives, male or female, to publicly state the business case for diversity. Upon her appointment she asked, rhetorically, “Doesn’t it make sense to employ people who are similar to your customers?”

A case study: In the fall of 1984, the late Dr. Gerry Eskin, the vice-chairman of the market research company where I worked, gave me his PC XT and I immediately went nuts over the potential of the PC. I worked full time on introducing PCs to the company from 1986 to mid-1988. My nemesis during this era was D., the woman in charge of the huge staff that ran the mainframe, who hated microcomputers.

Back to NPR:

These early personal computers weren’t much more than toys. You could play pong or simple shooting games, maybe do some word processing. And these toys were marketed almost entirely to men and boys.

Wozniak and Jobs, 1975

This idea that computers are for boys became a narrative. It became the story we told ourselves about the computing revolution. It helped define who geeks were and it created techie culture.

Movies like Weird Science, Revenge of the Nerds, and War Games all came out in the ’80s. And the plot summaries are almost interchangeable: awkward geek boy genius uses tech savvy to triumph over adversity and win the girl.

So, it’s like Society then engaged in a Giant Conspiracy to undermine the Rousseauan paradise of the gender equal computing industry before The Evil Woz came along and ruined everything by inventing the personal computer.

The Woz, 2012

In reality, however, the IBM Era had been a giant conspiracy by IBM to make computers as non-disruptive as possible. Before the PC, computing was the most famously well-organized and decorous career-path in America. The PC liberated the male sex to finally do what a lot of guys had been itching to do for hundreds of thousands of years: not shower, stay up all night, and obsess over something in which human emotions and codes of polite manners played no role.

 

Reopening gala for Denver’s Union Station railroad terminal, July 2014

Denver has been doing well, with the third fastest growth in the number of youngish college graduates since 2000 (behind Houston and Nashville). Now, Denver’s grand old Union Station (built between 1881 and 1914) has been all spiffed up and is a huge hit, at least with white people.

From the Denver Post:

Did diversity miss the train in Union Station’s architecture?
The urban playground at Union Station isn’t drawing people of color and it may be the building’s fault

By Ray Mark Rinaldi
Denver Post Fine Arts Critic
POSTED: 10/19/2014 12:01:00 AM MDT 77 COMMENTS| UPDATED: 2 DAYS AGO

Thursday, 1 p.m.: 186 whites, 1 black, 4 Latinos, 4 Asians.

Friday, 6 p.m.: 647 whites, 6 blacks, 6 Latinos, 7 Asians

Saturday, 11 p.m.: 693 whites, 4 blacks, 2 Latinos, 7 Asians.

It’s dangerous to assign race to people simply by glancing at their faces. Some people don’t look at all like their race. Many people are a mix.

But if my recent counts of people in the restaurants, bars and shops in and around Denver’s rehabbed, reopened Union Station are even close, it’s an overwhelmingly white place. How can the new cultural jewel of our city — where 47 percent of the population is minority — draw a crowd that is 98.2 percent Caucasian on a bustling, buzzed Saturday night?

The station’s owner, the Regional Transportation District, worked long and hard to develop a city center that would reflect and showcase Denver’s particular personality. None of the eateries are chains; the beers are Colorado-brewed. The architects, builders and programmers who turned the original 1914 building into a contemporary social hub are nearly all local.

But walking through the station, it doesn’t look at all like Denver in 2014. More like Denver in 1950. More like Boise, Idaho, or Billings, Mont. This is a public place, owned by all of us, open to all, but the invitation to visit was declined by many, and it’s obvious who isn’t showing up.

Three months in, the place hums early and late. The Crawford Hotel on the top floors is a hit, and the best 8 p.m. restaurant tables are gone weeks in advance. A few years ago, the station was a ghost town. Now it is wildly popular, and in many ways, a smashing success.

If, that is, you are white and not paying attention. Or if you think diversity doesn’t matter. If you do, you can’t help but feel like something is off amidst all the clinking of martini glasses in the swank Cooper Lounge on the mezzanine, or the low hum of pucks sliding across shuffleboard tables in the Great Hall.

If you are a tourist — and there is hope the station will impress out-of-towners with our farm-to-table menus, craft cocktails and trendy gift shops — you might get the idea that Denver doesn’t have people of color. Or worse, you might think it’s one of the most segregated cities in the U.S. That’s not the case.

… But we’re no St. Louis, a city where decades of inequality has the good citizens at a boiling point. …

Let’s start with the building itself, the actual architecture. Union Station is a neo-classical mix of styles — European styles. The symmetry, arched windows, ornate cornice and stacked, stone walls have their roots in the glory days of France, England, Greece and Rome, in empires that were nearly absent of ethnic minorities and who felt fully at ease invading, exploiting and actually enslaving the people of Africa, subcontinent Asia and South America.

Yes, that’s all in the past; things have changed. But the $54 million renovation of Union Station doesn’t take that into account. It restores the symbols of an old world with no updates. The gilded chandeliers have been rewired, the marble polished, but there’s no nod to the present, no interior walls in the bright colors of Mexico, no Asian simplicity is in the remix. There are no giant sculptures by African-American artists bonused into the lobby, no murals on the basement walls.

No graffiti (yet).

… But a preservationist just might end up with a building that draws mostly white people — with a Union Station.

The present restoration harkens back to Union Station at its height, in the first half of a 20th century when many Americans suffered the social indignity and economic disadvantage of a segregated America. Denver’s neighborhoods, parks, schools and social amenities were divided sharply by race. Denver’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan, one mayor a member, kept things in their place.

The trains themselves were not officially segregated here, but you can bet many people on them boarded or disembarked in stations where blacks entered in separate doors and rode in restricted cars.

Denver’s bigshot bigots are gone, schools and workplaces desegregated. But the structures of back then look the same — are they to be honored or altered to make the past palatable for everyone?

We should just blow up all the beautiful buildings of the past. That way no nonwhites will be made uncomfortable by ever being reminded of what their ancestors didn’t accomplish.

Exclusivity has its own historic baggage. Whether it’s about keeping Jewish people out of a subdivision or gay people out of the military, it historically benefits the majority.

But this project has defined us narrowly, darkly [i.e., whitely], negligently. There is danger in that, too.

Ray Mark Rinaldi: 303-954-1540, rrinaldi@denverpost.com or twitter.com/rayrinaldi

The reader comments are pretty funny.

 

From The View From Hell:

The History of Fertility Transitions and the New Memeplex

October 18, 2014
Sarah Perry, October 2014

Abstract

European cultures have historically prevented people from restricting family size within marriage. The European marriage pattern allowed for the control of fertility only through delaying and restricting nuptiality.

The average Englishwoman from 1200 to 1800 got married in her mid-20s, about a half dozen years later than the average Chinese woman. China’s population tended to grow faster during good times, but crater during bad times, while England seldom had catastrophic famines.

A new pattern, allowing for controlled fertility within marriage, simultaneously originated in New England and France in the late eighteenth century. The new pattern traveled with a new set of values, including suffrage, democracy, equality, women’s rights, and social mobility. Its main mechanism of spread was education, the availability of which also incentivized the new fertility pattern’s adoption by providing a clear way for parents to compete for the future status of their children by having fewer children. The new pattern spread across Europe, North America, and Australia during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, encountering temporary, partial resistance from some groups. Even Catholics and Mormons worldwide adopted controlled fertility by the early twentieth century or earlier. As the new pattern grew to dominate the western world in the twentieth century, Asia and Latin America transitioned to the new pattern. Sub-Saharan Africa entered a fertility transition beginning in the 1980s that is ongoing. In each of these transitions, when controlled fertility was adopted, the pre-transition positive (eugenic) relationship between fertility and wealth became a negative (dysgenic) relationship. Only tiny pockets of culture that maintain extreme separation from the new pattern – especially through refusing outside education and preventing women from contact with the outside world – have fertility patterns plausibly consistent with uncontrolled fertility. These may include the Amish and Hassidim in the United States. Once the fertility transition to controlled fertility occurs in a population, its fertility generally continues to decline until it is below replacement. The benefits of the new pattern are increased material wealth per person, a reduction in disease, starvation, and genocide, and upward social mobility. The main drawback is the onset of a dysgenic phase that may end civilization as we know it.

Francis Galton, for example, likely noticed this historic transition in the family of Charles Darwin, who had more children than grandchildren.

 

Mickey Kaus writes:

New York Times Cocoon, Verified!

9:41 PM 10/16/2014

677 Caterpillars: A man named Tyler Pearson had posted a list of the 1000 Twittter accounts most commonly followed by the 677 New York Times staffers on the paper’s public list. It is, as you would expect, embarrassingly cocooned: Times staffers follow people who share the liberalish/leftish viewpoint of the Times itself, meaning these staffers are less likely to even find out discordant information. Which may be why they are so often surprised, or late to a story. …

I’ll admit to not getting Twitter. I feel like I’m being pelted by intellectual ping-pong balls. But, even so, this has to be the most boring list of Twitter accounts in captivity. Glancing through it I see one journalist who might be considered “edgy,” Matt Taibbi, and one controversial comic, Patton Oswalt. Otherwise, these 1000 Twitter accounts are immensely Respectable.

A quantitative researcher could do a lot with this list to determine the characteristics of Establishment Thought as of c. 2014. For example, back in 2009, I took the “Atlantic 50″ list of supposedly the top 50 pundits and looked up their demographics. That was pretty interesting. This represents an even bigger database to analyze.

Okay, why is this huge list so boring?

- Professional backscratching. Everybody signs up to follow people who might retweet their tweets or give them a job someday.

- It’s a public list, so you’d better be respectable.

- Everybody assumes these days that nothing is private, so you’d better be respectable.

Anyway, it’s awfully dismal.

 

A Wendy’s training video, apparently from 1989:

We didn’t have training this epic when I worked at Burger King in 1977.

Is that Elizabeth Shue of Leaving Las Vegas fame at 1:45?

 

A well-pleased Obama in his natural element: lecturing on Power Relationships at an Alinskyite confab

One obvious aspect of the President’s personality is how academic he is. He’d be a lot happier if the Oval Office came with a blackboard at which he could give lectures.

To non-academic audiences, however, the President can be less than galvanizing. From USA Today:

Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, people leave early

BY JEFF MASON
UPPER MARLBORO Md. Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:22pm EDT(Reuters) -

President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.

With approval levels hovering around record lows, Obama has spent most of his campaign-related efforts this year raising money for struggling Democrats, who risk losing control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm election.

Most candidates from his party have been wary of appearing with him during their election races because of his sagging popularity.

Not so Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown of Maryland, who is running for governor, and Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois, who is running for re-election. Obama plans to appear at an event for Quinn later in the evening.

“You’ve got to vote,” Obama repeated over and over at a rally for Brown in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, near Washington.

Upper Marlboro is the county seat of Prince George’s County, Maryland, the only upper middle class black county in American. So if Obama is laying an egg in Prince George’s County …

Obama’s academic orientation is a little bit puzzling in nature-nurture terms because, while his mother eventually was granted a Ph.D. in anthropology, his Kansas grandparents, who mostly raised him, weren’t college graduates. They got out of high school near the beginning of WWII and found war work and got married. After the war, Stanley tried taking classes at UC Berkeley, but quickly dropped out.

But the President’s Jayhawk grandparents each had a sibling who earned a Ph.D., which was pretty rare in the middle of the 20th Century. Stanley’s brother Ralph Dunham got a Ph.D. at Berkeley and mostly worked for the federal government (generally not in intriguing agencies – I checked). Fittingly, the name “Ralph” had earlier entered the family line as a tribute to Ralph Waldo Emerson, the pluperfect post-Puritan.

A more obscure figure was the President’s grandmother’s sister Margaret Arlene Payne, who died this year at age 87. She earned a doctorate from the U. of Chicago and was a professor at the U. of Kansas and the U. of North Carolina in some field like nutrition. Perhaps one reason for her low profile is that she maintained what Henry James called a “Boston marriage” with another lady professor for several decades. (You can’t get much WASPier than that.)

The great-aunt’s Chicago Ph.D. helps explain the U. of Chicago connection that runs throughout the Payne side of the family: his grandmother’s brother Charles heard about a job on campus as a library manager from his sister, then spent his career at the U. of C. The President’s mother is said to have been accepted at U. of Chicago at age 15 under the famous accelerated education system (that produced such graduates as James D. Watson, Philip Glass, and Nathan Leopold of Leopold & Loeb notoriety), but her parents decided against it. Obama of course was a lecturer at the U. of Chicago law school for years.

• Tags: Barack Obama 

From the Los Angeles Times:

8 killed, 18 injured in China land dispute

During World War II, Gao Shangpei fought Japanese soldiers invading his hometown. This week, the 85-year-old said he found himself taking up arms again as men wielding steel pipes and knives invaded his village over a land dispute, sparking clashes that left eight people dead and 18 others injured.

The incident in southwest Yunnan province appears to be one of the bloodiest confrontations in recent years between property developers and local villagers.

In a statement Wednesday, the local government said eight people were killed in Fuyou village

Fuyou is a great name.

when staff from a local project developer clashed with villagers. But locals said “thugs” hired by the developer stormed the village and tried to beat up residents who had vowed to protect their land till death.

“Around 2:30 p.m. [Tuesday], a group of over 1,000 thugs hired by the developer came to our village carrying steel pipes and long knives,” Gao said in a phone interview. “When we tried to stop them, they started to beat local villagers, including women and old people, indiscriminately.”

According to Gao, more than 2,000 of his fellow residents joined in the fray. After two villagers were killed, locals got so angry that they captured and killed some of the attackers, he said.

Four of the developers’ staff were burned alive by villagers.

As far as I can tell, the central government owns all the land in the People’s Republic of China, but the current tenants and the local governments assume they have various customary rights to it. So, every so often a property dispute arises. And then it’s: You get your lads together and we’ll get our lads together and then we’ll find out who holds proper title, Seven Samurai / Three Amigos-style.

If this were a movie, the sequel would be called Fuyou 2.

… When the armed men surrounded his village, Gao said, he didn’t bother to call the local police. “They breathe through the same nose with the developers. They’re useless,” he said.

The Chinese language is extremely old and it’s barnacled with these great idioms like “They breathe through the same nose.”

• Tags: Fuyou, Real Estate 

Cecil Adams writes in his Straight Dope column:

What’s the racial breakdown of people killed by cops?
September 19, 2014
Dear Cecil:

I keep seeing a stat saying Americans are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist. How does this data break down into black, white, Hispanic, and Asian-American?

— Eric Ward

Cecil replies:

I was hoping you’d ask.

To hear some in the media talk, the racial breakdown for Americans killed by cops is a deep mystery. While the FBI publishes annual statistics for “justifiable homicides” by law enforcement, the race of the victims isn’t publicly available. In the wake of the Ferguson killing, nobody seemed to know how you could find out….

To start with the basics:

While the FBI doesn’t publicize the racial breakdown of people killed by cops, the information is obtainable if you know where to look. It’s kept in the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data, a public website maintained through the University of Michigan. The FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHRs) are available from 1976 to date. …

One thing jumps out when you start browsing: the number of justifiable homicides by law enforcement officers (hereinafter JHBLEOs) has been surprisingly steady over the years, fluctuating between 300 and 462. There were spikes around 1980 and again in the early 1990s, possibly reflecting jumps in violent crime in those years. Then again, we seem to be in a mini-spike now (there were 426 JHBLEOs in 2012), even though violent crime has dropped.

Another striking phenomenon is the massive drop in the percentage of black people among those killed by cops. From 1976 to 1980, exactly half of JHBLEO victims (967 of 1,934) were black. The trend since then has been down. For the most recent five years available, 2008-2012, it’s about 30 percent. I’ve posted charts showing the racial breakdown over time in numbers and in percentages.

Since you asked, the number of Asian- and Native Americans killed is low, usually in the single digits per year. Hispanic JHBLEOs show up in the SHRs only from 2003 on, and fluctuate in the range of 15 to 19 percent. The Hispanic fraction of the U.S. population is 17 percent.

What do we conclude from all this? Black people inarguably are killed by cops in disproportionate numbers, and are more likely to get caught up in the criminal justice system. Is that direct evidence of racism?

Not necessarily. It may simply mean there’s more violent crime in black communities.

Black people account for a disproportionate share of arrests for violent crime — in 2012, 49 percent of murder arrests, 55 percent of robberies, 34 percent of aggravated assaults, and so on. Does that reflect unfair targeting by police? Not likely. According to a Justice Department study, 47 percent of murder victims between 1980 and 2008 were black, and 93 percent of black victims were killed by other blacks. Nobody can seriously claim those numbers were cooked.

Conclusion: there’s a lot of violent crime in black communities, and thus presumably a lot of police activity. It stands to reason that, the more times people with guns are sent into a community looking for other people with guns, the more violence will result. It’s not necessary to impute this to racism.

Look again at the trend. In 1976, black people accounted for 52 percent of murder arrests, 47 percent of murder victims, and 52 percent of JHBLEOs. In 2012, black people accounted for 49 percent of murder arrests, 49 percent of murder victims, but just 30 percent of those killed by cops.

So, in recent years, the black percentage of people killed by cops is well under the black percentage of murderers, whereas in the late 1970s there was more racial equality in treatment by cops relative to rates of lethality.

Obviously, one possibility is that cops are more leery of getting in trouble for shooting blacks these days, although we shouldn’t underestimate the strength of political correctness in the late 1970s, either.

But I have a hunch that one racial difference would be in rates of “Suicide-by-Cop.” In reading through thousands of summaries of killings in Los Angeles County collected by the L.A. Times, white shooting victims seemed more likely to act in a manner as if they had planned beforehand to provoke the cops to kill them. For example, in December 2012 some guy tired of living in his car, either white or Hispanic, went to the crowded Newport Beach mall and shot his gun in the air 54 times without hitting anybody: classic suicide by cop behavior. (Surprisingly, the cops subdued him without shooting him.)

I didn’t do a numerical analysis of this pattern, it’s just something that started to emerge as I was reading. So, I might be all wrong about it, but in general blacks have low suicide rates, so they might well have low suicide-by-cop rates too.

So, it could well be that a lower percentage of blacks than whites who get shot by the police want to get shot by the police.

• Tags: Fuyou 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

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


PastClassics
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