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Here’s a letter signed by thousands of people claiming to be professional physicists. I don’t recognize any famous old grand lions of physics like Freeman Dyson, Steven Weinberg, or Stephen Hawking signing this, but I didn’t do a thorough search. Enjoy:

An open letter to SCOTUS from professional physicists
drafted by the Equity & Inclusion in Physics & Astronomy group

Timeline of events
Dear Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States,

We are writing to you today as professional physicists and astrophysicists to respond to comments made by Justices in the course of oral arguments of Fisher vs. University of Texas which occurred on Wednesday, December 9, 2015. First, we strongly repudiate the line of questioning from Justice Antonin Scalia based on the discredited Mismatch Theory[1]. Secondly, we are particularly called to address the question from Chief Justice John Roberts about the value of promoting equity and inclusion in our own field, physics.

… We hope to push our community towards equity and inclusion so that the community of scientists more closely matches the makeup of humankind, because the process of scientific discovery is a human endeavor that benefits from removing prejudice against any race, ethnicity, or gender. Indeed, science relies heavily on consensus about acceptable results as well as future research directions, making diversity among scientists a crucial aspect of objective, bias-free science [2, 3]. …

Objective, bias-free science to be funded being science that generates acceptable results.

Affirmative action is just one part of a larger set of actions needed to achieve social justice within our STEM and education fields. In their brief, Heriot and Kirsanow claim that affirmative action causes fewer minority students to enter technical fields because their completion rates are low. Unlike Heriot and Kirsanow, we are scientists and science educators who are keenly aware that merely adding students to a pipeline is not enough to correct for the imbalance of power. The experience of a minority student in STEM is often much different from that of a white student in STEM[4]. Minority students attending primarily white institutions commonly face racism, biases, and a lack of mentoring.

Minority students suffer from attending primarily white institutions, so affirmative action must be preserved and increased so that more minority students can suffer.

Meanwhile, white students unfairly benefit psychologically from being overrepresented[5]. We argue that it is the social experience of minority students that is more likely to make them drop out, rather than a lack of ability.

Before Justice’s Scalia’s remarks on black scientists, Justice Roberts asked, “what unique perspective does a minority student bring to physics class?” and “What [are] the benefits of diversity… in that situation?” Before addressing these questions directly, we note that it is important to call attention to questions that weren’t asked by the justices, such as, “What unique perspectives do white students bring to a physics class?”

My guess is that Justice Roberts would answer: “None?”

and “What are the benefits of homogeneity in that situation?”

“None?”

We reject the premise that the presence of minority students and the existence of diversity need to be justified, but meanwhile segregation in physics is tacitly accepted as normal or good. Instead, we embrace the assumption that minority physics students are brilliant[6]

Footnote proving this assumption: “[6] Leonard, Jacquelyn, and Martin, Danny B. (Eds.). The Brilliance of Black Children in Mathematics: Beyond the Numbers and Toward New Discourse. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers. (2013)”

and ask, “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”

This is what we see when we look at a minority student in a majority-white physics class: determination and an ability to overcome obstacles and work hard in stressful environments. We see this because we know that many students from minority backgrounds are subjected to social and political stress from institutionalized racism (past and present), a history of economic oppression, and societal abuse from both micro-aggressions

A few years ago when I started writing about the term “micro-aggressions” I feared it would quickly vanish because it’s such comedy gold. But instead, luckily for me (although not for our culture), it has become omnipresent.

and subtle racism. We believe that it is these qualities that make minority students able to succeed as physics researchers.

The implication that physics or “hard sciences” are somehow divorced from the social realities of racism in our society is completely fallacious. The exclusion of people from physics solely on the basis of the color of their skin is an outrageous outcome that ought to be a top priority for rectification. The rhetorical pretense that including everyone in physics class is somehow irrelevant to the practice of physics ignores the fact that we have learned and discovered all the amazing facts about the universe through working together in a community. The benefits of inclusivity and equity are the same for physics as they are for every other aspect of our world.

The purpose of seeking out talented and otherwise overlooked minority students to fill physics classrooms is to offset the institutionalized imbalance of power and preference that has traditionally gone and continues to go towards white students. Minority students in a classroom are not there to be at the service of enhancing the experience of white students.

We ask that you take these considerations seriously in your deliberations and join us physicists and astrophysicists in the work of achieving full integration and removing the pernicious vestiges of racism and white supremacy from our world.

Asian physics majors seem to be doing fine at removing white supremacy, but then Asians don’t really exist in this mental universe, do they?

Theoretical Astrophysics club at Caltech

George Orwell wrote in 1943:

I know it is the fashion to say that most of recorded history is lies anyway. I am willing to believe that history is for the most part inaccurate and biased, but what is peculiar to our own age is the abandonment of the idea that history could be truthfully written. … It is just this common basis of agreement, with its implication that human beings are all one species of animal, that totalitarianism destroys. Nazi theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as ‘the truth’ exists. There is, for instance, no such thing as ‘Science’. There is only ‘German Science’, ‘Jewish Science’, etc. The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, ‘It never happened’ — well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five — well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs — and after our experiences of the last few years that is not a frivolous statement.

… Against that shifting phantasmagoric world in which black may be white tomorrow and yesterday’s weather can be changed by decree, there are in reality only two safeguards. One is that however much you deny the truth, the truth goes on existing, as it were, behind your back, and you consequently can’t violate it in ways that impair military efficiency. The other is that so long as some parts of the earth remain unconquered, the liberal tradition can be kept alive.

So fortunately, we don’t really have to worry about SJWs inventing some new kind of superweapon to take over the world.

 
    []
  1. I weep for my country.

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  2. Horzabky says:

    “So fortunately, we don’t really have to worry about SJWs inventing some new kind of superweapon to take over the world.”

    I think that it actually goes beyond that: politically correct dumbing-down is already making it more difficult for the USA to maintain its technological dominance.

    Imagine you work in a research lab, and your co-workers of color (East Asians excepted) are considered more meritorious than you are, simply because they are not white. After a while, you see no reason to work more than they do. But since they know that they can get away with an amount of laziness and inefficiency which wouldn’t be tolerated if they were white, they see no reason to work more than the most nonchalant whites.

    The letter asks a rhetorical question: “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”

    If they fail their physics classes, how can they be considered “brilliant”?

    Basically, the question means “Minority students are brilliant because I like them. And white nerds are stupid because I find them boring.” The question could have been written by a not-too-bright black activist.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    The letter asks a rhetorical question: “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”

    If they fail their physics classes, how can they be considered “brilliant”?"

    The reason African American and Hispanic students often fail physics is because their teachers are all racist right wing KKK Tea Party Republicans who plan to vote for Donald Trump.
    , @Jack D

    “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”
     
    Well of course this is begging the question, but they are getting at a few things here:

    1. Many state universities (esp. in states where AA was banned by the voters) now have "top 10%" programs where the top 10% of each high school in state is automatically admitted. In the land of the blind, one eyed men are kings - the top 10% coming out of ghetto schools is not that bright by objective standards but they are still "top". But when they get to Flagship State U. and sit in the physics class with all the white and Asian students, they are instantly in over their heads.

    2. The black "self esteem" movement which proclaims blacks to be beautiful, brilliant, etc.

    3. The book that they site (and which Steve mentions) - blacks are (again without any evidence) brilliant but learn in a "different" way so "white" math/physics fails them because it is expressed in terms of all these funny Greek letters and equations instead of in a way that aligns with black brilliance.

    So basically, this is history repeating itself - instead of a Deutsche Physik we are now going to have Black Physics. In both cases, it was ultimately a power grab. Even Himmler ended up rejecting Deutsche Physik because he was more interested in winning the war than he was in promoting one side in a petty academic turf battle.

    All the nonsense that we have now is a sort of fruit of the end of the Cold War - we are no longer fighting for our survival (we think) so we can afford to take science off onto tangents.
    , @Thea
    Perhaps Asians fail at being NFL running backs due to the same white supremacy
    , @U. Ranus

    After a while, you see no reason to work more than they do.
     
    Promote minorities into middle management. Problem solved.
  3. Anonym says:

    Speaking of Asian Astrophysicists, Chandrasekar (Indian) was absolutely brilliant. Interestingly, reminiscent of a frequent iStevey factoid – Darwin/Galton – he won a Nobel prize and his uncle also won a Nobel – a lot of brains in that family.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subrahmanyan_Chandrasekhar

    http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/95/950822.chandrasekhar.shtml

    On another note, a great example of an exception that proves the rule is that of Dr Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian immigrant, played by Will Smith, who published findings of CTE in football players. A lot of iSteve topics there also.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3322364/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennet_Omalu

    Both of these examples succeeded very well in white society.

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    • Replies: @Danindc
    Is Omalu really brilliant? I thought that may have been fictionalized for the movie.
    , @Hodag
    Omalu is an Igbo. The out breeding Christian tribe that founded Biafra.
    http://ozoemenanetwork.com/will-smith-depicts-an-igbo-man-bennet-omalu/
  4. Sounds like an attempt by a campus SJW organization to infect untouched areas of academia. This letter is boilerplate. Their organization has no members. It’s a pile of horse shit. https://www.facebook.com/equity.einstein/?fref=nf

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  5. JLoHo says:

    George Orwell was REALLY wrong wasn’t he?

    The Germans were REALLY right weren’t they? The Germans were the ones pointing out the truth…there is no such thing as Science…all science is biased depending on who is doing the Science-Ing.

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    • Replies: @AnAnon
    Well luckily, as Steve points out, SJW science won't produce any new superweapons that they can use against us.

    as to the Original post:
    "Meanwhile, white students unfairly benefit psychologically from being overrepresented" - white self esteem is too high and needs to be lowered?

    "Instead, we embrace the assumption that minority physics students are brilliant [6]" - when you assume, you make an ass out of u and mption.

    "The implication that physics or “hard sciences” are somehow divorced from the social realities of racism in our society is completely fallacious. " - Maxwell's demon waves a confederate flag.

    "The purpose of seeking out talented and otherwise overlooked minority students to fill physics classrooms is to offset the institutionalized imbalance of power and preference that has traditionally gone and continues to go towards white students." - whites should all vote against this in other words, as it is working counter to our interests.
    , @gruff

    there is no such thing as Science…all science is biased depending on who is doing the Science-Ing.
     
    That was Oswald Spengler's thesis in The Decline of the West. His first argument is that mathematics is entirely cultural - although they share similar forms, the ancient Greek "one two three" is in its essence different from the modern Western "one two three" - we are counting different "things".

    The book is worth reading - he makes a decent case that the issue (of the objectivity of any element of human endeavour) isn't as clearcut as anyone, on either side, would really like it to be.
  6. G Pinfold says:

    Before Justice’s Scalia’s remarks on black scientists, Justice Roberts asked, “what unique perspective does a minority student bring to physics class?” and “What [are] the benefits of diversity… in that situation?” Before addressing these questions directly, we note that it is important to call attention to questions that weren’t asked by the justices, such as, “What unique perspectives do white students bring to a physics class?”

    Never ask a question you don’t know, or wanna know, the answer to. Physics is to white men as bongo drumming is to blacks. Most whites are hopeless at advanced physics; most blacks don’t play bongo drums; but no whites, no physics; no blacks, no bongos.

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    • Replies: @cthulhu
    Richard Feynman was a pretty darned good percussionist, including bongos.
  7. snorlax says:
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    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    NPR reported the mass ape story today, but stressed that it was wrong to attribute it to Arab and African immigrants. Not clear whether they meant factually wrong or hate-factually wrong.
  8. “Instead, we embrace the assumption that minority physics students are brilliant [6]”

    Well, so much for the assumption that STEM students are intelligent and actually care about honesty in things. What a totally asinine statement.

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  9. JEC says:

    “I am Become Inanity, the Dumber-downer of Worlds”

    Nice ironic and apt twist on the words of Oppenheimer.

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  10. tyrone says:

    these people are the teachers and they blame Scalia , put a quark in it and muon…….sorry.

    Read More
  11. JEC says:

    2463 people signed this absurd and dishonest letter. Surely it’s prima facie evidence of brainwashing in the ‘scientific community’?

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    • Replies: @Daniel Williams

    2463 people signed this absurd and dishonest letter. Surely it’s prima facie evidence of brainwashing in the ‘scientific community’?
     
    It's evidence that most people—scientists included—don't especially care about racial differences in intelligence and consider themselves "anti-racist" in the same sense that they consider themselves anti-fascist or anti-child-murder or whatever. If someone puts a letter decrying "racism" in front of them, they sign it. Didn't academics behave the same way about nuclear non-proliferation and anti-apartheid in the eighties?
    , @Hubbub
    Or someone has a gun (academic equivalent) to their collective head.
  12. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I’m very close to a physicist who runs a research lab at UCLA, and can confirm that he is under immense pressure to hire minorities and women. Nevermind that his lab has included Eastern Europeans, east and south Asians, students from “flyover” sort of backgrounds, and even a woman, which is fortuitous, because women rarely train or express interest in his sort of research. There is tacit concern that he has not hired any black and Latino students, and just one woman. From what I understand, it hasn’t quite reached the point where this physicist has been intimidated into hiring less qualified students to satisfy pressures for diversity. But the hard sciences in universities are palbably a new target for the power grab we’ve already witnessed in the humanities and social sciences, whereas until recently people in those departments were largely insulated from all that.

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    • Replies: @Clyde

    I’m very close to a physicist who runs a research lab at UCLA, and can confirm that he is under immense pressure to hire minorities and women.
     
    Forget power grab. Its all about snagging jobs for the unqualified. Our economy is zero-sum these days. The unqualified NAMs and women demand the job slots taken by White and Asian males. I am generalizing here.
    , @AndrewR
    Well why would the hard sciences be immune now? The SJWs have full hegemony in the humanities and most, if not all, of social science. It was only a matter of time before they set their sights on hard science.
  13. berserker says:

    “science relies heavily on consensus”
    - I did not know that but one learns new things every day.

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    • Replies: @Bill
    You've never heard of global warming? The standard social science model?
  14. A post on Reddit about how diversity programs don’t help women or minorities:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/3zfp33/diversity_policies_dont_help_women_or_minorities/

    Many interesting anecdotes in the comments about the downsides to affirmative action. This one is particularly disturbing:

    I work at a hospital. It’s also entirely obvious when we have a diversity physician and we even have coded language about them because their patient’s have some of the most catastrophic complications. What’s telling is that, after their patients have a bad outcome, their patients are then transferred to another team (often white, asian, or south asian doctors) for “higher level care.” …

    I have bunches of stories. Primarily, the worst complications I’ve seen come from the surgical teams. Unfortunately, it’s a lottery who’s on surgical call the night of admission so it’s a toss up who becomes the treating team.

    Often, patients admitted to the “diversity hires” have long, complex surgeries which are performed for reasons that don’t entirely make sense on review. Moreover, given the complex surgeries, outcomes can be poor.

    For example, we recently had one case of a young 30 y/o F who was admitted for appendicitis, but was otherwise normal and healthy. Normally this is treated with a simple laparoscopic appendix removal. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, the patient’s emergent surgery was delayed by several days and she became very septic. The CT scan on admission showed a leaking appendix, which usually merits immediate admission to the OR. She ended up with removal of half her colon, perforation of her colon resulting in several deep abdominal abscesses, and a colostomy bag. Her course ended up becoming so complicated that she stayed several weeks in the ICU and almost died.

    It will be interesting to see how goodthinkers keep AA doctors out of the emergency rooms in their neighborhoods.

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    • Replies: @donut
    I worked in The Health Care Industry for 20 years . I'm certainly more racist than most of the commenters here . The world famous teaching hospital where I worked for abt 15 years here in B-More never saw a brown person they didn't like . Some classes of first year residents were almost 50 % non white . But incompetence and indifference to Pt care had no relation to race/ethnic background . Of the seven worst examples I recall four involved exclusively white MD's and three of those incidents were more akin to negligent homicide than incompetence . The other three incidents involved an Arab in one case (most unethical behavior ) , an Indian :unethical and incompetent and a Jew : incompetent and utter indifference to Pt. welfare. What should alarm all of you aging potential patients is that with no real effort these and several other examples come to mind . My personal experience after a heart attack 2 and 1/2 years ago involved an unethical Indian resident (interventional cardiologist ) . I can only liken the experience to those internet scammers who flash on your screen telling you to call immediately for help fixing your PC . Who you get for a doctor is really hit and miss . I've had better luck with finding car mechanics . I will say that when I had to have back Sx. abt 8 years ago I fortunate in that my GP gave me a non verbal hint which Sx. to choose otherwise no doctor is going to tell you that you are about to go under the knife of Dr. Mengale .The entire system itself is broken beyond repair in my opinion .
  15. Jefferson says:
    @Horzabky
    "So fortunately, we don’t really have to worry about SJWs inventing some new kind of superweapon to take over the world."

    I think that it actually goes beyond that: politically correct dumbing-down is already making it more difficult for the USA to maintain its technological dominance.

    Imagine you work in a research lab, and your co-workers of color (East Asians excepted) are considered more meritorious than you are, simply because they are not white. After a while, you see no reason to work more than they do. But since they know that they can get away with an amount of laziness and inefficiency which wouldn't be tolerated if they were white, they see no reason to work more than the most nonchalant whites.

    The letter asks a rhetorical question: “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”

    If they fail their physics classes, how can they be considered "brilliant"?

    Basically, the question means "Minority students are brilliant because I like them. And white nerds are stupid because I find them boring." The question could have been written by a not-too-bright black activist.

    The letter asks a rhetorical question: “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”

    If they fail their physics classes, how can they be considered “brilliant”?”

    The reason African American and Hispanic students often fail physics is because their teachers are all racist right wing KKK Tea Party Republicans who plan to vote for Donald Trump.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr Curious
    True. When I was in the KKK, THE physics Teachers branch was considered the most fearsome & hardcore.
  16. Clyde says:
    @Anonymous
    I'm very close to a physicist who runs a research lab at UCLA, and can confirm that he is under immense pressure to hire minorities and women. Nevermind that his lab has included Eastern Europeans, east and south Asians, students from "flyover" sort of backgrounds, and even a woman, which is fortuitous, because women rarely train or express interest in his sort of research. There is tacit concern that he has not hired any black and Latino students, and just one woman. From what I understand, it hasn't quite reached the point where this physicist has been intimidated into hiring less qualified students to satisfy pressures for diversity. But the hard sciences in universities are palbably a new target for the power grab we've already witnessed in the humanities and social sciences, whereas until recently people in those departments were largely insulated from all that.

    I’m very close to a physicist who runs a research lab at UCLA, and can confirm that he is under immense pressure to hire minorities and women.

    Forget power grab. Its all about snagging jobs for the unqualified. Our economy is zero-sum these days. The unqualified NAMs and women demand the job slots taken by White and Asian males. I am generalizing here.

    Read More
    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It is now routine in academia to hire lesser contributors to good work who happen to be women when the principal authors go without jobs, or are underemployed (my field is almost without non-Asian minorities).

    There are many cases in which a minor (female) contributor on a good paper gets a good tenure-track job at a fine institution when the principal (male) author, who all acknowledge actually did the work, cannot even get a postdoc position at a third rate department. Worse yet, a few years later the woman is credited with the work. Indeed, in most cases, they come to believe they actually did it themselves.

    And then there is the endless complaining about how unfairly they are treated ...

  17. There appears to be a lot of students in that list. There are signatories that have a M.S. in Physics.

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    • Replies: @Paul137
    Topping the signers who are merely M.S-holders, I saw an actual undergrad physics major listed.

    I'm a retired physicist, and I scanned the first ~500 names in the list of signers. I might have recognized one of the names. Maybe.
  18. Stogumber says:

    Orwell obviously simplified the problem of science and truth.

    Even in physics, matters were more complicated. It’s correct that Newtonian physics left many open questions which were solved by Einstein’s theory. But Einstein’s theory was for around twenty years hypothetical and open to falsification (which needs time, as you can’t organize a quick test in astronomy). In this time span, the irresistible truth of Einstein’s theory was mostly preached by Jewish journalists, as a long-needed proof for Jewish genius. In consequence, Jewish academics were more prone to take Einstein’s theory for granted than Gentile academics.

    In sociology, German sociologist Pfeffer had quite rightly observed that the French and the British had their own local “schools” of sociology and concluded that Germans had their own traditions of sociographical work which could well be the base for a third, German “school” of sociology.

    But Orwell speaks here about historiography, and it’s complete nonsense to deny that every identitarian group has its own historiography. This will always be so, because different groups have different interests and criteria for what must be emphasized and what can be ignored.

    Of course there were philosophers which preached a radical relativism, in and out of Germany. Ist most outspoken representants were Ludwig Wittgenstein and his many followers, particularly in Britain. But neither the Nazi government nor the German media preached such a radical relativism – Orwell, like so many warmongers, has here invented a cultural difference in order to support a war.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    Orwell was not making this up. There really was something called Deutsche Physik (and the same in math and other fields).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Physik

    Maybe in the early days before relativity had been confirmed experimentally, it was still possible to oppose Einstein's work without being an idiot, but by the time the Nazis came to power and Deutsche Physik really took off, it was obvious that Einstein was right and denying it was about Jew hatred and power grabbing (especially the latter) and had nothing to do with science. Even Himmler allowed Heisenberg to teach "Jewish" physics to his students and use it in the German nuclear program as long as he didn't mention Einstein and other Jewish scientists by name.
  19. Danindc says:
    @Anonym
    Speaking of Asian Astrophysicists, Chandrasekar (Indian) was absolutely brilliant. Interestingly, reminiscent of a frequent iStevey factoid - Darwin/Galton - he won a Nobel prize and his uncle also won a Nobel - a lot of brains in that family.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subrahmanyan_Chandrasekhar
    http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/95/950822.chandrasekhar.shtml

    On another note, a great example of an exception that proves the rule is that of Dr Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian immigrant, played by Will Smith, who published findings of CTE in football players. A lot of iSteve topics there also.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3322364/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennet_Omalu

    Both of these examples succeeded very well in white society.

    Is Omalu really brilliant? I thought that may have been fictionalized for the movie.

    Read More
    • Replies: @donut
    You can watch the ESPN episode 30 for 30 about this . I didn't get the impression that he was brilliant , rather he was a competent Dr. doing his job .
  20. Apparently somebody tried to data-mine the membership of the “Equity and Inclusion (formerly Diversity) in Physics and Astronomy” (apparently a Facebook-only entity). Much butthurt whinging ensues:

    https://www.facebook.com/equity.einstein/posts/1420566431600546

    Read More
  21. anonguy says:

    Peak physics was a couple of generations ago, when things like lasers, rockets, nuclear fission/fusion, etc, were coming on stream. Since the end of the Cold War at latest, it has become irrelevant and a boondoggle. Without the gov. welfare, it would revert back to the tweedy pastime it was prior to 1920s/30s and is slowly getting there anyhow. Current crop of physicists are time-servers and really generally useless pussies.

    My undergrad is physics and this was clear to me decades ago, the whole field has been coasting on its laurels since forever.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "Peak physics was a couple of generations ago, when things like lasers, rockets, nuclear fission/fusion, etc, were coming on stream. Since the end of the Cold War at latest, it has become irrelevant and a boondoggle. Without the gov. welfare, it would revert back to the tweedy pastime it was prior to 1920s/30s and is slowly getting there anyhow. Current crop of physicists are time-servers and really generally useless pussies."

    Physics certainly doesn't have the cachet it did fifty years ago. The fact that so many particle physicists (and they consider themselves to be the true vanguard of physics) feel the need to beat their breasts in popular coffee-table books, on NPR, etc. about how supremely awesome physics is, indicates that - as a field - it is kind of past its sell-by date. They gas on about the Higgs boson and the like in popular expositions that don't even really explain anything. I sometimes wonder who it is they are trying to convince: their audience..............or themselves.
    , @Diversity Heretic
    I am not a scientist but I have read that while the 20th Century was the century of physics, the 21st Century will be the century of biology--although that will be much more dangerous to the illusions of the social justice warriors than physics could ever be.

    On the other hand, the thought of an incompetent physicist in the management of a nuclear power plant is fairly terrifying.
    , @Matthew Kelly
    I know of one example supporting this: An old college buddy of mine got his doctorate in theoretical physics, and after spending a year or two in some bunker studying solar neutrino emissions said something much to the effect of your comment. He is now a lawyer.
  22. Tom-in-VA says:
    @tyrone
    these people are the teachers and they blame Scalia , put a quark in it and muon…….sorry.

    I am fermi opposed to these types of puns.

    Read More
  23. Hodag says:
    @Anonym
    Speaking of Asian Astrophysicists, Chandrasekar (Indian) was absolutely brilliant. Interestingly, reminiscent of a frequent iStevey factoid - Darwin/Galton - he won a Nobel prize and his uncle also won a Nobel - a lot of brains in that family.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subrahmanyan_Chandrasekhar
    http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/95/950822.chandrasekhar.shtml

    On another note, a great example of an exception that proves the rule is that of Dr Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian immigrant, played by Will Smith, who published findings of CTE in football players. A lot of iSteve topics there also.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3322364/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennet_Omalu

    Both of these examples succeeded very well in white society.

    Omalu is an Igbo. The out breeding Christian tribe that founded Biafra.

    http://ozoemenanetwork.com/will-smith-depicts-an-igbo-man-bennet-omalu/

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  24. NeonBets says:

    The bios of a couple of these illustrious physicists:

    Beth Newton Watson: Director, Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services, Indiana University Health. … Director, Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services. … I am the director of a department of chaplains, clinical pastoral educators, chaplain fellows, residents and interns, who care for all persons coming ..

    Sarthak Jena–not a physicist. Nonethless, according to his profile he is…”dedicated to educating our clients to help them fulfill their financial goals.”

    And so on…

    Read More
  25. bomag says:

    One way to joke with this is to rewrite it from the perspective of the 100 meter dash club et al:

    “… We hope to push our community towards equity and inclusion so that the community of NFL defensive backs more closely matches the makeup of humankind, because the process of defending the forward pass is a human endeavor that benefits from removing prejudice against any race, ethnicity, or gender. Indeed, defensive football relies heavily on consensus about acceptable results as well as future tactical directions, making diversity among defenders a crucial aspect of objective, bias-free football…”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    It was a good year for black QBs in the NFL, likely the best since 2003.
  26. Jack D says:
    @Stogumber
    Orwell obviously simplified the problem of science and truth.

    Even in physics, matters were more complicated. It's correct that Newtonian physics left many open questions which were solved by Einstein's theory. But Einstein's theory was for around twenty years hypothetical and open to falsification (which needs time, as you can't organize a quick test in astronomy). In this time span, the irresistible truth of Einstein's theory was mostly preached by Jewish journalists, as a long-needed proof for Jewish genius. In consequence, Jewish academics were more prone to take Einstein's theory for granted than Gentile academics.

    In sociology, German sociologist Pfeffer had quite rightly observed that the French and the British had their own local "schools" of sociology and concluded that Germans had their own traditions of sociographical work which could well be the base for a third, German "school" of sociology.

    But Orwell speaks here about historiography, and it's complete nonsense to deny that every identitarian group has its own historiography. This will always be so, because different groups have different interests and criteria for what must be emphasized and what can be ignored.

    Of course there were philosophers which preached a radical relativism, in and out of Germany. Ist most outspoken representants were Ludwig Wittgenstein and his many followers, particularly in Britain. But neither the Nazi government nor the German media preached such a radical relativism - Orwell, like so many warmongers, has here invented a cultural difference in order to support a war.

    Orwell was not making this up. There really was something called Deutsche Physik (and the same in math and other fields).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Physik

    Maybe in the early days before relativity had been confirmed experimentally, it was still possible to oppose Einstein’s work without being an idiot, but by the time the Nazis came to power and Deutsche Physik really took off, it was obvious that Einstein was right and denying it was about Jew hatred and power grabbing (especially the latter) and had nothing to do with science. Even Himmler allowed Heisenberg to teach “Jewish” physics to his students and use it in the German nuclear program as long as he didn’t mention Einstein and other Jewish scientists by name.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    German V-2 missiles and German atomic bombs would have been a nasty combination.
    , @cthulhu
    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that's true?
  27. @bomag
    One way to joke with this is to rewrite it from the perspective of the 100 meter dash club et al:

    "… We hope to push our community towards equity and inclusion so that the community of NFL defensive backs more closely matches the makeup of humankind, because the process of defending the forward pass is a human endeavor that benefits from removing prejudice against any race, ethnicity, or gender. Indeed, defensive football relies heavily on consensus about acceptable results as well as future tactical directions, making diversity among defenders a crucial aspect of objective, bias-free football..."

    It was a good year for black QBs in the NFL, likely the best since 2003.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    We'll see. The season starts this weekend.
    , @Ed
    Really? Sure Cam is doing well but I think RG3 getting benched and then having Kirk Cousins go gangbusters has set things back for black QBs.

    RG3 was supposed to be the smart, non-thuggish, raised by two military parents franchise QB. He turned out to be a bust with the biggest criticism of him being the old bugaboo of black QBs, he couldn't read defenses.

    Here's Dexter Manley on the topic:
    http://screengrabber.deadspin.com/dexter-manley-says-black-quarterbacks-are-more-mobile-b-1750724975
  28. SPMoore8 says:

    “The exclusion of people from physics solely on the basis of the color of their skin is an outrageous outcome ….” — When did this ever happen?

    Read More
    • Replies: @NOTA
    This is the bait and switch. Everyone agrees that a brilliant black kid ought not to be drummed out of physics by his prejudiced teachers. The rhetoric here is intended to use that universal agreement to drive acceptance of something far fewer people agree with, like affirmative action admissions for hard science graduate programs.

    Note that any such AA program would be especially nasty for the intended beneficiaries, who'd find themselves washing out of PhD programs they weren't capable of getting through, or getting a PhD but being unemployable because their research is subpar. That's a great way to take a bunch of smart blacks who should become engineers or doctors and leave them at 30 with nothing to show for their hard work and intelligence.
  29. Well, at least the “Equity & Inclusion in Physics & Astronomy group” got one thing right in their screed when they said “The benefits of inclusivity and equity are the same for physics as they are for every other aspect of our world.”

    Read More
  30. Jack D says:
    @Horzabky
    "So fortunately, we don’t really have to worry about SJWs inventing some new kind of superweapon to take over the world."

    I think that it actually goes beyond that: politically correct dumbing-down is already making it more difficult for the USA to maintain its technological dominance.

    Imagine you work in a research lab, and your co-workers of color (East Asians excepted) are considered more meritorious than you are, simply because they are not white. After a while, you see no reason to work more than they do. But since they know that they can get away with an amount of laziness and inefficiency which wouldn't be tolerated if they were white, they see no reason to work more than the most nonchalant whites.

    The letter asks a rhetorical question: “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”

    If they fail their physics classes, how can they be considered "brilliant"?

    Basically, the question means "Minority students are brilliant because I like them. And white nerds are stupid because I find them boring." The question could have been written by a not-too-bright black activist.

    “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”

    Well of course this is begging the question, but they are getting at a few things here:

    1. Many state universities (esp. in states where AA was banned by the voters) now have “top 10%” programs where the top 10% of each high school in state is automatically admitted. In the land of the blind, one eyed men are kings – the top 10% coming out of ghetto schools is not that bright by objective standards but they are still “top”. But when they get to Flagship State U. and sit in the physics class with all the white and Asian students, they are instantly in over their heads.

    2. The black “self esteem” movement which proclaims blacks to be beautiful, brilliant, etc.

    3. The book that they site (and which Steve mentions) – blacks are (again without any evidence) brilliant but learn in a “different” way so “white” math/physics fails them because it is expressed in terms of all these funny Greek letters and equations instead of in a way that aligns with black brilliance.

    So basically, this is history repeating itself – instead of a Deutsche Physik we are now going to have Black Physics. In both cases, it was ultimately a power grab. Even Himmler ended up rejecting Deutsche Physik because he was more interested in winning the war than he was in promoting one side in a petty academic turf battle.

    All the nonsense that we have now is a sort of fruit of the end of the Cold War – we are no longer fighting for our survival (we think) so we can afford to take science off onto tangents.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonguy

    All the nonsense that we have now is a sort of fruit of the end of the Cold War – we are no longer fighting for our survival (we think) so we can afford to take science off onto tangents.
     
    Exactly - the same reason Suzy can dress up and play submariner or Marine grunt, those things don't really matter now and consequently safe/unimportant enough for the ladies to amuse themselves with.

    Having the perspective of a few decades now, it is very striking how much society changed after the Cold War - Tailhook inquisition, paleocon purge, etc was just a taste of things to come.

    , @Eustace Tilley (not)


    A very well-reasoned and well-written letter!

    With one exception: It's "The book that they cite" (as in: "Why dost thou cite Shakespeare rather than Marlowe?"), not "The book that they site" (as in: "Let us site the Globe near the Thames, thereby to take the pleasant aire.").

    This is what happens nowadays when writers rely upon their SpelChek software rather than their erudition.

    , @the raven

    So basically, this is history repeating itself – instead of a Deutsche Physik we are now going to have Black Physics.
     
    Lol - yes, Tragic Mulatto Physics is the same as the German Physics of Gauss and Riemann. And the elite-sponsored pet minorities of today are the same as yesterday's German nationalists.

    Reductio ad Hitlerum isn't just stupid when the left or cuckservatives do it.

  31. The letter doesn’t seem to know what a “paper tiger” is:

    We object to the use of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields as a paper tiger in the debate over affirmative action.

    A paper tiger is “a person or thing that appears threatening but is ineffectual”. In what meaningful sense do “STEM fields” appear threatening but are actually ineffectual? Maybe the author means “shibboleth.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @DWB
    Agree that they have made a hash of two animal metaphors.

    It seems that they said "paper tiger" (which likely more aptly describes a group like "Diversity and Inclusion in Physics", when in reality, they meant a stalking horse.
  32. @Jefferson
    The letter asks a rhetorical question: “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”

    If they fail their physics classes, how can they be considered “brilliant”?"

    The reason African American and Hispanic students often fail physics is because their teachers are all racist right wing KKK Tea Party Republicans who plan to vote for Donald Trump.

    True. When I was in the KKK, THE physics Teachers branch was considered the most fearsome & hardcore.

    Read More
  33. pyrrhus says:

    Dumb people got physics degrees….USA is screwed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber

    Dumb people got physics degrees….USA is screwed.
     
    Going along to get along may be cowardly, but it isn't "dumb"
  34. unit472 says:

    Reads like it was written by a black junior college instructor in Astronomy 101 and circulated by him ( or some BLM like campus group) with a sign it or else warning.

    Read More
  35. anonguy says:
    @Jack D

    “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”
     
    Well of course this is begging the question, but they are getting at a few things here:

    1. Many state universities (esp. in states where AA was banned by the voters) now have "top 10%" programs where the top 10% of each high school in state is automatically admitted. In the land of the blind, one eyed men are kings - the top 10% coming out of ghetto schools is not that bright by objective standards but they are still "top". But when they get to Flagship State U. and sit in the physics class with all the white and Asian students, they are instantly in over their heads.

    2. The black "self esteem" movement which proclaims blacks to be beautiful, brilliant, etc.

    3. The book that they site (and which Steve mentions) - blacks are (again without any evidence) brilliant but learn in a "different" way so "white" math/physics fails them because it is expressed in terms of all these funny Greek letters and equations instead of in a way that aligns with black brilliance.

    So basically, this is history repeating itself - instead of a Deutsche Physik we are now going to have Black Physics. In both cases, it was ultimately a power grab. Even Himmler ended up rejecting Deutsche Physik because he was more interested in winning the war than he was in promoting one side in a petty academic turf battle.

    All the nonsense that we have now is a sort of fruit of the end of the Cold War - we are no longer fighting for our survival (we think) so we can afford to take science off onto tangents.

    All the nonsense that we have now is a sort of fruit of the end of the Cold War – we are no longer fighting for our survival (we think) so we can afford to take science off onto tangents.

    Exactly – the same reason Suzy can dress up and play submariner or Marine grunt, those things don’t really matter now and consequently safe/unimportant enough for the ladies to amuse themselves with.

    Having the perspective of a few decades now, it is very striking how much society changed after the Cold War – Tailhook inquisition, paleocon purge, etc was just a taste of things to come.

    Read More
  36. Thea says:
    @Horzabky
    "So fortunately, we don’t really have to worry about SJWs inventing some new kind of superweapon to take over the world."

    I think that it actually goes beyond that: politically correct dumbing-down is already making it more difficult for the USA to maintain its technological dominance.

    Imagine you work in a research lab, and your co-workers of color (East Asians excepted) are considered more meritorious than you are, simply because they are not white. After a while, you see no reason to work more than they do. But since they know that they can get away with an amount of laziness and inefficiency which wouldn't be tolerated if they were white, they see no reason to work more than the most nonchalant whites.

    The letter asks a rhetorical question: “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”

    If they fail their physics classes, how can they be considered "brilliant"?

    Basically, the question means "Minority students are brilliant because I like them. And white nerds are stupid because I find them boring." The question could have been written by a not-too-bright black activist.

    Perhaps Asians fail at being NFL running backs due to the same white supremacy

    Read More
  37. LBK says:

    There are a LOT of Saudis and Iranians in engineering, particularly electrical. There were a lot of Saudis and Iranians in engineering 30 some years ago when I was in school.

    Speaking of when I was in school, does anyone else find this as funny as I do? It’s a text message conversation with my eldest son, who was about 20 and about halfway through engineering school at the time.
    Him: What did you think of Unit Ops lab?
    Me: It’s a good class so pay attention. I just didn’t like it because I had a bad lab group.
    Him: ?
    Me: Too many chiefs, not enough Indians.
    Him: All the Indians are in computer science.

    Still makes me laugh.

    Read More
  38. Lots of not exactly physicists in that list. And lots of not exactly PhDs. And the PhDs are in not exactly major physics departments.

    Read More
    • Replies: @rod1963
    It's all a study in magical thinking. Blacks think if they say it enough it will happen. You know like old affirmation pamphlets put out by New Agers and occultists for the foolish.

    Normally such public expressions of mental debility are good for a laugh and whatnot. But in this age where ignorance and government mandated social-engineering at the point of a gun or Federal lawsuits, it's quite worrisome.

    Eventually there will be studies in "African physics" and "ghetto logic and math" and degrees from prestigious universities. All enforced by white men with guns.

    Now that part is truly is absurd. In all this social engineering, who provides the muscle and terror for the government and it's organs to enforce this insanity? Thousands of pasty face white men with machine guns who will happily stomp any white who protests these changes into the ground.

    Someone ought to do a study as to why whites in large numbers are willing enforce rules that are in effect suicidal for them and their children's future.
  39. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    What is it with this constant fantasy meme being pushed everywhere that blacks are always geniuses, that they’re uniquely brilliant? I can’t get through a single day, or even half a day, without being subliminally assaulted by having this fantasy being hammered into my brain. It’s not just black Afrocentrists claiming they invented everything but whites in media, advertising, journalism who are busy force-feeding everyone these pleasing fairy-tales. Are people living in some sort of dream world these days? I don’t think I’ll buy the book pictured with this article; being a mere white person it would certainly go over my head.

    Read More
  40. Mr. Anon says:

    “Footnote proving this assumption: “[6] Leonard, Jacquelyn, and Martin, Danny B. (Eds.). The Brilliance of Black Children in Mathematics: Beyond the Numbers and Toward New Discourse. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers. (2013)””

    Perhaps black people could start giving their children names like “Brilliant Astrophysicist Harris-Perry”. Then they could live up to their potential, free from the oppressive luminiferous ether of institutional racism and the phlogiston of white privilege.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Paul137
    "... the oppressive luminiferous ether of institutional racism and the phlogiston of white privilege. ..."

    Excellent coinages!!
  41. Hacienda says:

    The education system is crude, stupid, and feral- all in a context of globalized technological suffocation.

    Because all you’ve been told is bullsh+t. Even from your greatest minds.

    Read More
  42. @Jack D
    Orwell was not making this up. There really was something called Deutsche Physik (and the same in math and other fields).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Physik

    Maybe in the early days before relativity had been confirmed experimentally, it was still possible to oppose Einstein's work without being an idiot, but by the time the Nazis came to power and Deutsche Physik really took off, it was obvious that Einstein was right and denying it was about Jew hatred and power grabbing (especially the latter) and had nothing to do with science. Even Himmler allowed Heisenberg to teach "Jewish" physics to his students and use it in the German nuclear program as long as he didn't mention Einstein and other Jewish scientists by name.

    German V-2 missiles and German atomic bombs would have been a nasty combination.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "German V-2 missiles and German atomic bombs would have been a nasty combination."

    The Germans didn't have the means to do both, even while occupying most of Europe and being able to exploit its resources. They went all out to build the V-2 (they launched something like 1800 of them in anger) and they were at their limit to do that. In fact, the V-2 crippled their war effort, as it represented a massive diversion of resources into a weapon of (at that time) no military value. Building an atomic weapon would have been an even greater drain on them. They never could have pulled it off, which fact they seemed to have realized - they weren't even trying to build a bomb.

    The US on the other hand was able to launch a truly massive effort to build atomic weapons, while simultaneously building the largest navy the world had ever seen, the largest air-force in the history of the world, and training, arming, and fielding a modern, mechanized two-theatre army.
    , @Jack D
    Well, after the war we had American atomic bombs and Russian atomic bombs both sitting on different versions of German V-2s and they were in fact (potentially) nasty combinations.

    But the Nazis never put a lot of resources into their version of the Manhattan Project (they figured it wouldn't be done until the war was over) and even if they had, they had lost (expelled) most of their all-stars to the other team. Note that even the US, with BOTH the resources and the brains, did not cross the finish line on atomic weapons until the war in Europe was over, so the German assessment was right.

    , @donut
    Well we can always dream.
  43. Mr. Anon says:
    @anonguy
    Peak physics was a couple of generations ago, when things like lasers, rockets, nuclear fission/fusion, etc, were coming on stream. Since the end of the Cold War at latest, it has become irrelevant and a boondoggle. Without the gov. welfare, it would revert back to the tweedy pastime it was prior to 1920s/30s and is slowly getting there anyhow. Current crop of physicists are time-servers and really generally useless pussies.

    My undergrad is physics and this was clear to me decades ago, the whole field has been coasting on its laurels since forever.

    “Peak physics was a couple of generations ago, when things like lasers, rockets, nuclear fission/fusion, etc, were coming on stream. Since the end of the Cold War at latest, it has become irrelevant and a boondoggle. Without the gov. welfare, it would revert back to the tweedy pastime it was prior to 1920s/30s and is slowly getting there anyhow. Current crop of physicists are time-servers and really generally useless pussies.”

    Physics certainly doesn’t have the cachet it did fifty years ago. The fact that so many particle physicists (and they consider themselves to be the true vanguard of physics) feel the need to beat their breasts in popular coffee-table books, on NPR, etc. about how supremely awesome physics is, indicates that – as a field – it is kind of past its sell-by date. They gas on about the Higgs boson and the like in popular expositions that don’t even really explain anything. I sometimes wonder who it is they are trying to convince: their audience…………..or themselves.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Physics certainly doesn’t have the cachet it did fifty years ago. The fact that so many particle physicists (and they consider themselves to be the true vanguard of physics) feel the need to beat their breasts in popular coffee-table books, on NPR, etc. about how supremely awesome physics is, indicates that – as a field – it is kind of past its sell-by date. They gas on about the Higgs boson and the like in popular expositions that don’t even really explain anything. I sometimes wonder who it is they are trying to convince: their audience…………..or themselves.
     
    After the nuclear model was confirmed by Rutherford a century ago, these modern particle physicists have not really had anything very groundbreaking or interesting to tell popular audiences. Discovering that things are actually made up of small particles rather than the large blobs and blocks of things of ordinary experience is interesting to ordinary people. The fact that those particles are made up of smaller particles that in turn are made up of even smaller particles and so on is not that interesting anymore.
    , @cthulhu
    There's a lot more to physics than particle physics aka high energy physics. Condensed matter physics, a generalization of what used to be called solid state physics, is really hot (well, lots of it is really cold - as in barely above absolute zero - but you know what I mean).
    , @Anonymous Nephew
    Physics 50-60 years back was the coolest science, and had been so for half a century. But genetics seems to be where all the great breakthroughs are being made now.

    As a kid I was mad about astronomy, and I still follow what's going on. But 40 years back you had recent discoveries like quasars, black holes, nucleosynthesis in stars, cosmic background.

    Only the kit's a lot better, with all the satellite instruments. But I don't see anything really new, unless the 1970s discovery that the observed matter in the universe couldn't explain its rate of expansion be 'new' - they invented Dark Matter to account for it, a bit like the aether that light waves travelled in, or the phlogiston consumed when something burned.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter

  44. Mr. Anon says:
    @Steve Sailer
    German V-2 missiles and German atomic bombs would have been a nasty combination.

    “German V-2 missiles and German atomic bombs would have been a nasty combination.”

    The Germans didn’t have the means to do both, even while occupying most of Europe and being able to exploit its resources. They went all out to build the V-2 (they launched something like 1800 of them in anger) and they were at their limit to do that. In fact, the V-2 crippled their war effort, as it represented a massive diversion of resources into a weapon of (at that time) no military value. Building an atomic weapon would have been an even greater drain on them. They never could have pulled it off, which fact they seemed to have realized – they weren’t even trying to build a bomb.

    The US on the other hand was able to launch a truly massive effort to build atomic weapons, while simultaneously building the largest navy the world had ever seen, the largest air-force in the history of the world, and training, arming, and fielding a modern, mechanized two-theatre army.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss

    The Germans.....never could have pulled it off, which fact they seemed to have realized – they weren’t even trying to build a bomb.

    The US on the other hand was able to launch a truly massive effort to build atomic weapons
     
    The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):

    Father of the Atom Bomb: Oppenheimer
    Father of the Hydrogen Bomb: Teller
    Father of the Nuclear Submarine: Rickover
  45. Brutusale says:
    @Steve Sailer
    It was a good year for black QBs in the NFL, likely the best since 2003.

    We’ll see. The season starts this weekend.

    Read More
  46. Eustace Tilley (not) [AKA "Schiller/Nietzsche"] says:
    @Jack D

    “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”
     
    Well of course this is begging the question, but they are getting at a few things here:

    1. Many state universities (esp. in states where AA was banned by the voters) now have "top 10%" programs where the top 10% of each high school in state is automatically admitted. In the land of the blind, one eyed men are kings - the top 10% coming out of ghetto schools is not that bright by objective standards but they are still "top". But when they get to Flagship State U. and sit in the physics class with all the white and Asian students, they are instantly in over their heads.

    2. The black "self esteem" movement which proclaims blacks to be beautiful, brilliant, etc.

    3. The book that they site (and which Steve mentions) - blacks are (again without any evidence) brilliant but learn in a "different" way so "white" math/physics fails them because it is expressed in terms of all these funny Greek letters and equations instead of in a way that aligns with black brilliance.

    So basically, this is history repeating itself - instead of a Deutsche Physik we are now going to have Black Physics. In both cases, it was ultimately a power grab. Even Himmler ended up rejecting Deutsche Physik because he was more interested in winning the war than he was in promoting one side in a petty academic turf battle.

    All the nonsense that we have now is a sort of fruit of the end of the Cold War - we are no longer fighting for our survival (we think) so we can afford to take science off onto tangents.

    A very well-reasoned and well-written letter!

    With one exception: It’s “The book that they cite” (as in: “Why dost thou cite Shakespeare rather than Marlowe?”), not “The book that they site” (as in: “Let us site the Globe near the Thames, thereby to take the pleasant aire.”).

    This is what happens nowadays when writers rely upon their SpelChek software rather than their erudition.

    Read More
  47. Bill says:
    @berserker
    "science relies heavily on consensus"
    - I did not know that but one learns new things every day.

    You’ve never heard of global warming? The standard social science model?

    Read More
  48. Anon7 says:

    Surely if we go back to Africa we will find a treasure trove of brilliant black physicists! So I googled “African physics education” and then looked at images of these brilliant young minds. Apparently, Africa produces 0.3% of the world’s physics papers, in spite of having 15% of the world’s population. Also, only about 1% of Africans 18-24 are in any sort of school. Lots of comments about how Africa doesn’t seem able to support any sort of educational infrastructure. Most of the work in physics seems to come from South Africa.

    It turns out that South Africa is getting on board with PC; they recently held their first women in physics in South Africa conference. Brilliant black women physicists! In the picture 32 women are shown. However only six of them seem to be of African descent, and those six are very light skinned. Not good.

    I switched gears and looked at an article about the 63rd black woman in the history of America to be given a physics Ph.D. (1,700 physics PhDs are awarded each year in the US) After reading through her litany of complaints, I discovered that she identifies as queer/asexual (she’s a lesbian) and she is very lightskinned.

    Not looking good for the brilliant black physicists…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    I assume you mean this Octoroon lady:

    http://mlkscholars.mit.edu/cprescod-weinstein/

    I would say that perhaps the Weinstein side of her nature predominates. However, if the black team wants to claim her as their own, they can have her.
  49. rod1963 says:
    @PiltdownMan
    Lots of not exactly physicists in that list. And lots of not exactly PhDs. And the PhDs are in not exactly major physics departments.

    It’s all a study in magical thinking. Blacks think if they say it enough it will happen. You know like old affirmation pamphlets put out by New Agers and occultists for the foolish.

    Normally such public expressions of mental debility are good for a laugh and whatnot. But in this age where ignorance and government mandated social-engineering at the point of a gun or Federal lawsuits, it’s quite worrisome.

    Eventually there will be studies in “African physics” and “ghetto logic and math” and degrees from prestigious universities. All enforced by white men with guns.

    Now that part is truly is absurd. In all this social engineering, who provides the muscle and terror for the government and it’s organs to enforce this insanity? Thousands of pasty face white men with machine guns who will happily stomp any white who protests these changes into the ground.

    Someone ought to do a study as to why whites in large numbers are willing enforce rules that are in effect suicidal for them and their children’s future.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JEC

    Someone ought to do a study as to why whites in large numbers are willing enforce rules that are in effect suicidal for them and their children’s future.
     
    The most obvious explanation is they've been brainwashed. The effects of 'diversity' propaganda from the cradle to the grave is producing a collectivity of zombies who will gladly enforce rules that entail national suicide.
  50. Jack D says:
    @Eustace Tilley (not)


    A very well-reasoned and well-written letter!

    With one exception: It's "The book that they cite" (as in: "Why dost thou cite Shakespeare rather than Marlowe?"), not "The book that they site" (as in: "Let us site the Globe near the Thames, thereby to take the pleasant aire.").

    This is what happens nowadays when writers rely upon their SpelChek software rather than their erudition.

    Your write!

    Read More
  51. Anyone can see the injustice here. Ghettos are full of wasted talent. Just the other day I heard two guys outside a liquor store talking about superconductivity. I wanted to join in but was late for a meeting of my model railroad club whose membership is exactly 50% female.

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  52. Anon7 says:

    There’s black students everywhere!

    Here’s a somewhat tortuously written article about how the University of Michigan has “dramatically” improved its black enrollment.

    While the number of black and Hispanic freshmen jumped by a combined 23.5 percent, the number of whites and Asians fell. Black enrollment gained the most, rising to 5.11 percent of the freshman class from 3.84 percent the year before, a gain that though small, just 58 students, has been surprisingly visible, students said.

    “There’s black people everywhere,” Mr. Greenfield said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/05/us/affirmative-action-supreme-court

    -michigan.html

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  53. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “So fortunately, we don’t really have to worry about SJWs inventing some new kind of superweapon to take over the world.”

    I don’t know, I could see them spearheading the thrust for autonomous war robots. They hate everybody, but are too cowardly to actually do violence themselves — but they’re good at video games, so why not program micro-aggression-hunting death droids?

    I guess that’s more “destroying the world” than “taking over the world” but nevertheless…

    Read More
  54. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    There was a lot of overt prejudice against black athletes.

    How did they come to dominate?

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  55. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    “Asian physics majors seem to be doing fine at removing white supremacy, but then Asians don’t really exist in this mental universe, do they?”

    Asians will take umbrage at that.

    1. Success in science is nerdy and uncool.

    2. It reinforces the ‘model minority’ thing.

    3. It makes Asians the target of black/brown ire for undermining the Narrative.

    4. Asians, esp yellows, are imitative running dogs and have swallowed PC themselves. Asians are most likely to oppose Trump and support Sanders. Hungry for status and acceptance by elites, they go with ‘progressivism’.

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  56. jb says:

    I particularly liked the second paragraph of the preface to The Brilliance of Black Children in Mathematics:

    Authors were charged with the task of generating and supporting an alternative discourse about Black children and mathematics, one that focuses on brilliance. However, they were not asked to prove or justify the assertion that Black children are brilliant. Rather, this assertion is the starting point for the discussions that take place in this volume.

    This kind of says it all.

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  57. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer
    German V-2 missiles and German atomic bombs would have been a nasty combination.

    Well, after the war we had American atomic bombs and Russian atomic bombs both sitting on different versions of German V-2s and they were in fact (potentially) nasty combinations.

    But the Nazis never put a lot of resources into their version of the Manhattan Project (they figured it wouldn’t be done until the war was over) and even if they had, they had lost (expelled) most of their all-stars to the other team. Note that even the US, with BOTH the resources and the brains, did not cross the finish line on atomic weapons until the war in Europe was over, so the German assessment was right.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    The uranium bomb was probably ready but by then Germany was done so there was no reason to use it. The Plutonium bomb was different and needed to be tested so that couldn't be used until after they tested it and the Germans had surrendered.
  58. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Was someone blackmailed or bribed into writing this? I mean, it’s so over-the-top. It’s filled with almost an extreme expression of diversity platitudes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    So you're saying that it could be a Higgs-bara publication?

    Perhaps some agit-propellerhead facile material?
  59. iStevefan says:

    This is what we see when we look at a minority student in a majority-white physics class: determination and an ability to overcome obstacles and work hard in stressful environments. We see this because we know that many students from minority backgrounds are subjected to social and political stress from institutionalized racism (past and present), a history of economic oppression, and societal abuse from both micro-aggressions

    If being a minority student in a majority-white physics class is that bad, then why not conduct all minority classes or have these students attend historically black colleges and universities? After all physics is physics and this group embraces the assumption that minority physics students are brilliant. So couldn’t we solve the problem by putting these brilliant students together and away from the distracting white environment?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gringo
    If being a minority student in a majority-white physics class is that bad, then why not conduct all minority classes or have these students attend historically black colleges and universities?

    HBCUs do a better job of producing STEM graduates than other institutions of higher learning. HBCUs -- the Best Producers of Black Graduates in STEM.


    All Black Students (Column 2) ... The first row shows that HBCs enrolled 18 percent of all of the black students who were enrolled in the nation's four year colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 semester. The second row shows that HBCUs conferred 27 percent of the STEM degrees that year. All other things being equal, we would have expected HBCUs to confer 18 percent of the STEM degrees; the additional 9 points represent an excess of 50 percent.

    Black Male Students (Column 3) ... The first row shows that HBCs enrolled 19 percent of all of the black male students who were enrolled in the nation's four year colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 semester. But the second row shows that HBCUs conferred 23 percent of the STEM degrees on the nation's black male students that year. All other things being equal, we would have expected HBCUs to confer 19 percent of the STEM degrees on black males; the additional 4 points represent an excess of 20 percent.

    Black Female Students (Column 4) ... The first row shows that HBCs enrolled 17 percent of all of the black female students who were enrolled in the nation's four year colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 semester. But the second row shows that HBCUs conferred 31 percent of the STEM degrees that year. All other things being equal, we would have expected HBCUs to confer 17 percent of the STEM degrees on the nations black female students; instead they conferred almost twice as many STEM degrees on black female students, i.e., 31 percent. The additional 14 points represent an HBCU share that is 81 percent larger than we would have expected if the support provided by HBCUs for black female students in STEM programs was no more effective than the support provided by non-HBCUs.

     
    HCBU production of black STEM graduates lends support to the mismatch theory, which maintains that a student is less likely to follow through on initial plans to be a STEM major when a student's grade and board scores are below average for a given school.

    If you want black STEM graduates, encourage blacks to go to a HCBU, not to a school where affirmative action admission policies result in the aforementioned mismatch.

    It is interesting that HBCU attendance has a bigger difference in STEM graduates for black females than for black males, given that black females tend to be higher academic achievers than black males.

  60. Veracitor says:

    I particularly admire the letter for baldly asserting that “indeed, science relies heavily on consensus about acceptable results” [emphasis added].

    That is the exact opposite of real science, in which the only test of any result is whether it can be reproduced.

    Anyone who writes of “acceptable” results signals his utter estrangement from science.

    The question now is whether those who signed the letter were under duress or simply incompetent.

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  61. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Mr. Anon
    "Peak physics was a couple of generations ago, when things like lasers, rockets, nuclear fission/fusion, etc, were coming on stream. Since the end of the Cold War at latest, it has become irrelevant and a boondoggle. Without the gov. welfare, it would revert back to the tweedy pastime it was prior to 1920s/30s and is slowly getting there anyhow. Current crop of physicists are time-servers and really generally useless pussies."

    Physics certainly doesn't have the cachet it did fifty years ago. The fact that so many particle physicists (and they consider themselves to be the true vanguard of physics) feel the need to beat their breasts in popular coffee-table books, on NPR, etc. about how supremely awesome physics is, indicates that - as a field - it is kind of past its sell-by date. They gas on about the Higgs boson and the like in popular expositions that don't even really explain anything. I sometimes wonder who it is they are trying to convince: their audience..............or themselves.

    Physics certainly doesn’t have the cachet it did fifty years ago. The fact that so many particle physicists (and they consider themselves to be the true vanguard of physics) feel the need to beat their breasts in popular coffee-table books, on NPR, etc. about how supremely awesome physics is, indicates that – as a field – it is kind of past its sell-by date. They gas on about the Higgs boson and the like in popular expositions that don’t even really explain anything. I sometimes wonder who it is they are trying to convince: their audience…………..or themselves.

    After the nuclear model was confirmed by Rutherford a century ago, these modern particle physicists have not really had anything very groundbreaking or interesting to tell popular audiences. Discovering that things are actually made up of small particles rather than the large blobs and blocks of things of ordinary experience is interesting to ordinary people. The fact that those particles are made up of smaller particles that in turn are made up of even smaller particles and so on is not that interesting anymore.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The atomic bomb was fairly interesting to the public.
    , @Brutusale
    The problem is the need for large, more complex and expensive equipment is needed for research on the fundamental particles. Our crony capitalists in government only fund what their corporate masters tell them to fund, not iffy Big Science. The whole world's attention span is shrinking and has been for years; it have no interest in things with distant payoff horizons.

    Screw the particle accelerator, we need more solar panel companies!
    , @Melendwyr
    The public was absolutely fascinated by Relativity. Granted, it didn't understand its ideas very well. But they were intrigued by being told that properties which seemed so obviously absolute actually depended entirely on relative perspective.

    Which is why Albert Einstein became the icon of intelligence, until he was somewhat dethroned by Stephen Hawking, whose work is similarly difficult to understand on a technical level yet has counterintuitive and enthralling implications.

    Your suggestion that physics hasn't done anything of general interest is wrong, and absurd.
  62. @JEC
    2463 people signed this absurd and dishonest letter. Surely it's prima facie evidence of brainwashing in the 'scientific community'?

    2463 people signed this absurd and dishonest letter. Surely it’s prima facie evidence of brainwashing in the ‘scientific community’?

    It’s evidence that most people—scientists included—don’t especially care about racial differences in intelligence and consider themselves “anti-racist” in the same sense that they consider themselves anti-fascist or anti-child-murder or whatever. If someone puts a letter decrying “racism” in front of them, they sign it. Didn’t academics behave the same way about nuclear non-proliferation and anti-apartheid in the eighties?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JEC

    If someone puts a letter decrying “racism” in front of them, they sign it.

     

    We don't know for sure how many of the signatories are giving their assent to these 'propositions' because they're deeply committed to the ideology which conducts a ceaseless inquiry into 'racism', or whether they're on auto-pilot as you suggest.
  63. Ed says:
    @Steve Sailer
    It was a good year for black QBs in the NFL, likely the best since 2003.

    Really? Sure Cam is doing well but I think RG3 getting benched and then having Kirk Cousins go gangbusters has set things back for black QBs.

    RG3 was supposed to be the smart, non-thuggish, raised by two military parents franchise QB. He turned out to be a bust with the biggest criticism of him being the old bugaboo of black QBs, he couldn’t read defenses.

    Here’s Dexter Manley on the topic:

    http://screengrabber.deadspin.com/dexter-manley-says-black-quarterbacks-are-more-mobile-b-1750724975

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss

    I think RG3 getting benched and then having Kirk Cousins go gangbusters has set things back for black QBs.
     
    To a rational person what you think is laughable. The best quarterback in the NFL this season is black, Cam Newton. So is the best quarterback in college football, Deshawn Watson.

    The third best rated quarterback this season is also black, Russel Wilson.

    Of the 5 black quarterbacks in the NFL 3 have made it to the playoffs, and it is a strong possibility that one of them will make it to the Super Bowl, making it the 4th year in a row that happens.
  64. Jack D says:
    @Anon7
    Surely if we go back to Africa we will find a treasure trove of brilliant black physicists! So I googled "African physics education" and then looked at images of these brilliant young minds. Apparently, Africa produces 0.3% of the world's physics papers, in spite of having 15% of the world's population. Also, only about 1% of Africans 18-24 are in any sort of school. Lots of comments about how Africa doesn't seem able to support any sort of educational infrastructure. Most of the work in physics seems to come from South Africa.

    It turns out that South Africa is getting on board with PC; they recently held their first women in physics in South Africa conference. Brilliant black women physicists! In the picture 32 women are shown. However only six of them seem to be of African descent, and those six are very light skinned. Not good.

    I switched gears and looked at an article about the 63rd black woman in the history of America to be given a physics Ph.D. (1,700 physics PhDs are awarded each year in the US) After reading through her litany of complaints, I discovered that she identifies as queer/asexual (she's a lesbian) and she is very lightskinned.

    Not looking good for the brilliant black physicists...

    I assume you mean this Octoroon lady:

    http://mlkscholars.mit.edu/cprescod-weinstein/

    I would say that perhaps the Weinstein side of her nature predominates. However, if the black team wants to claim her as their own, they can have her.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Well, at least she's Ashkenazi and not Subbotnik.

    I like the part where she write about what "dark matter haloes may be able to tell us about cosmology."

    Also, from the dissertation:

    "We can consider spinning black holes, using our scaling argument from Section 5.3
    and taking a nominal value of a∗ = 0.75."

    Is she is she paraphrasing the Three Fifths Clause here?

    Not competent to judge, but abstract is here: https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/handle/10012/5498?show=full

    Entire dissertation (all 99 pages of it, with 43 pages of appendices) is here: https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/bitstream/handle/10012/5498/Prescod-Weinstein_Chanda.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y

    Someone care to assess?
    , @Anonymous
    Prescod-Weinstein's twitter seems to be all identity politics all the time:
    https://twitter.com/IBJIYONGI
    , @International Jew
    Gotta love her personal statement at the top of her page:

    I still find that my most challenging experiences with discrimination are an awful non-linear combination of how people respond to my gender presentation, to my racial/ethnic presentation, and the assumptions people make about the socioeconomic class I grew up in.
     
    Physics doesn't seem to be one of her top interests.
  65. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I’ve looked through the list of supposed signatories. Most have a dubious or non-existent connection to professional physics. The majority claim to be, for example, high school or middle school teachers, education administrators, people who work in hospitals in various capacities, current undergraduates, and BS, MS, or PhD recipients with no specified current employment. There are also many people who don’t even pretend to have a connection to physics, listing their degrees in biology, mathematics, and other fields.

    And then there’s stuff like this:

    “1706. Ellen Buettner, Daughter of a physicist who worked on the space shuttle, Keller Williams ”

    “1697. Randy Skaggs, Fine Arts Chairman, St. Joseph School ”

    “1820. Pete McCabe, Resident Dramaturg, HERE Arts Center ”

    “1817. Kirsten Tamayo, JD Candidate, CUNY School of Law ”

    “1821. Eugenia Zacks-Carney, JD, American Jet Brokers ”

    “1489. Charles D. Allen, Esq., Jurist Doctorate, Advocates for Social \& Economic Justice ”

    etc…

    This is canonical political astroturfing, and not even a good attempt.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rob McX
    Hereditary physicists, in 2016, how about that?
  66. @Anonymous

    Physics certainly doesn’t have the cachet it did fifty years ago. The fact that so many particle physicists (and they consider themselves to be the true vanguard of physics) feel the need to beat their breasts in popular coffee-table books, on NPR, etc. about how supremely awesome physics is, indicates that – as a field – it is kind of past its sell-by date. They gas on about the Higgs boson and the like in popular expositions that don’t even really explain anything. I sometimes wonder who it is they are trying to convince: their audience…………..or themselves.
     
    After the nuclear model was confirmed by Rutherford a century ago, these modern particle physicists have not really had anything very groundbreaking or interesting to tell popular audiences. Discovering that things are actually made up of small particles rather than the large blobs and blocks of things of ordinary experience is interesting to ordinary people. The fact that those particles are made up of smaller particles that in turn are made up of even smaller particles and so on is not that interesting anymore.

    The atomic bomb was fairly interesting to the public.

    Read More
  67. U. Ranus says:
    @Horzabky
    "So fortunately, we don’t really have to worry about SJWs inventing some new kind of superweapon to take over the world."

    I think that it actually goes beyond that: politically correct dumbing-down is already making it more difficult for the USA to maintain its technological dominance.

    Imagine you work in a research lab, and your co-workers of color (East Asians excepted) are considered more meritorious than you are, simply because they are not white. After a while, you see no reason to work more than they do. But since they know that they can get away with an amount of laziness and inefficiency which wouldn't be tolerated if they were white, they see no reason to work more than the most nonchalant whites.

    The letter asks a rhetorical question: “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”

    If they fail their physics classes, how can they be considered "brilliant"?

    Basically, the question means "Minority students are brilliant because I like them. And white nerds are stupid because I find them boring." The question could have been written by a not-too-bright black activist.

    After a while, you see no reason to work more than they do.

    Promote minorities into middle management. Problem solved.

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  68. “We argue that it is the social experience of minority students that is more likely to make them drop out, rather than a lack of ability.”

    You do not merely assert this, but “argue” it. Where can this argument be found? Please cite the double-blind studies on which this conclusion is based.

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  69. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I’m a physicist at a certain national lab. I got curious so I ended up scanning the entire list. I found I knew 3 names from my undergrad institution (2 faculty, 1 classmate), one name from my grad institution (faculty), which is much larger than the undergrad, and none from my current institution – which has far more staff and postdoc physicists than the universities I attended). Not surprising, since I suppose this issue is of more relevance at educational institutions. I also noticed that quite a few of the signatures belonged to people who don’t appear to be physicists or astronomers at all – medical doctors, chemists, event “artists”. Assuming I know the names of roughly 500 physicists (100 faculty, 100 classmates, 100 from my national lab, 200 whose research I’m familiar with), then 1% of the physicists I know of signed up. The list is also very heavy on current students.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    "A physicsist"

    Are you for real?

    It is spelled 'physicist'.
  70. Do we need more Black Bodies in physics and astronomy in order to study Dark Matter and Black Holes?

    “Instead, we embrace the assumption that minority physics students are brilliant”

    If these folks are so hot to embrace “assumptions” I suggest they join me in a less rigorous discipline like economics. I know I don’t have it in me to be a real physicist, why should we assume anybody can? Isn’t that what tests are for?

    Although I sure couldn’t make it as a physicist, and I can’t really judge their actual scientific output. I suspect these academics gravitate toward SJW trouble-making because they weren’t able to make their mark with real science. Get back to work at the particle accelerators and telescopes. And if you can’t make any real contributions there, get out of the lab to make space for somebody who can.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Advice for black students with a 700 on the math portion of the SAT: don't kill yourself in physics up against people who got an 800, instead major in econ and then get an MBA. Seriously.
  71. SPMoore8 says:
    @Jack D
    I assume you mean this Octoroon lady:

    http://mlkscholars.mit.edu/cprescod-weinstein/

    I would say that perhaps the Weinstein side of her nature predominates. However, if the black team wants to claim her as their own, they can have her.

    Well, at least she’s Ashkenazi and not Subbotnik.

    I like the part where she write about what “dark matter haloes may be able to tell us about cosmology.”

    Also, from the dissertation:

    “We can consider spinning black holes, using our scaling argument from Section 5.3
    and taking a nominal value of a∗ = 0.75.”

    Is she is she paraphrasing the Three Fifths Clause here?

    Not competent to judge, but abstract is here: https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/handle/10012/5498?show=full

    Entire dissertation (all 99 pages of it, with 43 pages of appendices) is here: https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/bitstream/handle/10012/5498/Prescod-Weinstein_Chanda.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y

    Someone care to assess?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    I'm not in a position to assess but I can tell you this - there's no way in hell that someone with a degree from a 200+ rank school like Waterloo gets anywhere near an MIT faculty appointment (she is just a "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. " postdoc but I'm sure if things go well they will offer her a position) unless she is there on the basis of affirmative action. She went to Harvard undergrad and then a Masters at UC Santa Cruz (already a big step down) but "changed directions" (read couldn't hack it) and went to Waterloo for her PhD. http://www.cprescodweinstein.com/

    For an Asian dude with the same downward trajectory, they would hit delete as soon as they got to that line in his CV unless he had discovered the Higgs Boson or something. He would be lucky to get a job teaching intro physics at some community college in Podunk.
    , @Tim Howells
    "Someone care to assess?"

    Forget it. Unfortunately much of cosmology and particle physics has entered the realm of the untestable and incomprehensible. After well over ten years it is still debated whether of not the theoretical physics theses of the Bogdanov twins (University of Burgundy) and their several published papers were for real or hoaxes, or something in between.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogdanov_affair
  72. @anonguy
    Peak physics was a couple of generations ago, when things like lasers, rockets, nuclear fission/fusion, etc, were coming on stream. Since the end of the Cold War at latest, it has become irrelevant and a boondoggle. Without the gov. welfare, it would revert back to the tweedy pastime it was prior to 1920s/30s and is slowly getting there anyhow. Current crop of physicists are time-servers and really generally useless pussies.

    My undergrad is physics and this was clear to me decades ago, the whole field has been coasting on its laurels since forever.

    I am not a scientist but I have read that while the 20th Century was the century of physics, the 21st Century will be the century of biology–although that will be much more dangerous to the illusions of the social justice warriors than physics could ever be.

    On the other hand, the thought of an incompetent physicist in the management of a nuclear power plant is fairly terrifying.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonguy

    On the other hand, the thought of an incompetent physicist in the management of a nuclear power plant is fairly terrifying.
     
    The thought of a competent physicist in the management of a nuke power plant isn't much more comforting. Nuclear power plants are run by operators who make their way up the ranks and recieve specialized training on, naturally, how to run a nuclear power plant. Typically, there is a bunch of nuclear engineering in the training in addition to straight operational stuff with enough physics theory to provide background.

    Traditionally, lots of guys come out of USN programs. Physics helps with some of the material, engineering degrees help with other portions. And other things come into play.

    I knew two guys with physics degrees who washed from Navy nuke training, one from Princeton, one from Duke, so they weren't slouches intellectually. But managing a nuclear plant also requires personal qualities in a crisis, what the Navy calls "command presence", the ability to take charge, impose your will upon situations, and, at the end of the day, that is what these guys lacked, both were kind of nerdy, and the Navy was pretty upfront about it. Civilian programs look for the same, can't have a shrinking violet in charge in certain siuations.
  73. AnAnon says:
    @JLoHo
    George Orwell was REALLY wrong wasn't he?

    The Germans were REALLY right weren't they? The Germans were the ones pointing out the truth...there is no such thing as Science...all science is biased depending on who is doing the Science-Ing.

    Well luckily, as Steve points out, SJW science won’t produce any new superweapons that they can use against us.

    as to the Original post:
    “Meanwhile, white students unfairly benefit psychologically from being overrepresented” – white self esteem is too high and needs to be lowered?

    “Instead, we embrace the assumption that minority physics students are brilliant [6]” – when you assume, you make an ass out of u and mption.

    “The implication that physics or “hard sciences” are somehow divorced from the social realities of racism in our society is completely fallacious. ” – Maxwell’s demon waves a confederate flag.

    “The purpose of seeking out talented and otherwise overlooked minority students to fill physics classrooms is to offset the institutionalized imbalance of power and preference that has traditionally gone and continues to go towards white students.” – whites should all vote against this in other words, as it is working counter to our interests.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    as to the Original post:
    “Meanwhile, white students unfairly benefit psychologically from being overrepresented” – white self esteem
     
    Considering that white peoples comprise about 65% of the population, are they really overrepresented in physics? From the looks of the picture that Steve posted of the Cal Tech students, Asians look like they might be actually be overrepresented.
  74. JEC says:
    @rod1963
    It's all a study in magical thinking. Blacks think if they say it enough it will happen. You know like old affirmation pamphlets put out by New Agers and occultists for the foolish.

    Normally such public expressions of mental debility are good for a laugh and whatnot. But in this age where ignorance and government mandated social-engineering at the point of a gun or Federal lawsuits, it's quite worrisome.

    Eventually there will be studies in "African physics" and "ghetto logic and math" and degrees from prestigious universities. All enforced by white men with guns.

    Now that part is truly is absurd. In all this social engineering, who provides the muscle and terror for the government and it's organs to enforce this insanity? Thousands of pasty face white men with machine guns who will happily stomp any white who protests these changes into the ground.

    Someone ought to do a study as to why whites in large numbers are willing enforce rules that are in effect suicidal for them and their children's future.

    Someone ought to do a study as to why whites in large numbers are willing enforce rules that are in effect suicidal for them and their children’s future.

    The most obvious explanation is they’ve been brainwashed. The effects of ‘diversity’ propaganda from the cradle to the grave is producing a collectivity of zombies who will gladly enforce rules that entail national suicide.

    Read More
  75. JEC says:
    @Daniel Williams

    2463 people signed this absurd and dishonest letter. Surely it’s prima facie evidence of brainwashing in the ‘scientific community’?
     
    It's evidence that most people—scientists included—don't especially care about racial differences in intelligence and consider themselves "anti-racist" in the same sense that they consider themselves anti-fascist or anti-child-murder or whatever. If someone puts a letter decrying "racism" in front of them, they sign it. Didn't academics behave the same way about nuclear non-proliferation and anti-apartheid in the eighties?

    If someone puts a letter decrying “racism” in front of them, they sign it.

    We don’t know for sure how many of the signatories are giving their assent to these ‘propositions’ because they’re deeply committed to the ideology which conducts a ceaseless inquiry into ‘racism’, or whether they’re on auto-pilot as you suggest.

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  76. the raven says:
    @Jack D

    “Why does physics education routinely fail brilliant minority students?”
     
    Well of course this is begging the question, but they are getting at a few things here:

    1. Many state universities (esp. in states where AA was banned by the voters) now have "top 10%" programs where the top 10% of each high school in state is automatically admitted. In the land of the blind, one eyed men are kings - the top 10% coming out of ghetto schools is not that bright by objective standards but they are still "top". But when they get to Flagship State U. and sit in the physics class with all the white and Asian students, they are instantly in over their heads.

    2. The black "self esteem" movement which proclaims blacks to be beautiful, brilliant, etc.

    3. The book that they site (and which Steve mentions) - blacks are (again without any evidence) brilliant but learn in a "different" way so "white" math/physics fails them because it is expressed in terms of all these funny Greek letters and equations instead of in a way that aligns with black brilliance.

    So basically, this is history repeating itself - instead of a Deutsche Physik we are now going to have Black Physics. In both cases, it was ultimately a power grab. Even Himmler ended up rejecting Deutsche Physik because he was more interested in winning the war than he was in promoting one side in a petty academic turf battle.

    All the nonsense that we have now is a sort of fruit of the end of the Cold War - we are no longer fighting for our survival (we think) so we can afford to take science off onto tangents.

    So basically, this is history repeating itself – instead of a Deutsche Physik we are now going to have Black Physics.

    Lol – yes, Tragic Mulatto Physics is the same as the German Physics of Gauss and Riemann. And the elite-sponsored pet minorities of today are the same as yesterday’s German nationalists.

    Reductio ad Hitlerum isn’t just stupid when the left or cuckservatives do it.

    Read More
  77. NOTA says:
    @SPMoore8
    "The exclusion of people from physics solely on the basis of the color of their skin is an outrageous outcome ...." -- When did this ever happen?

    This is the bait and switch. Everyone agrees that a brilliant black kid ought not to be drummed out of physics by his prejudiced teachers. The rhetoric here is intended to use that universal agreement to drive acceptance of something far fewer people agree with, like affirmative action admissions for hard science graduate programs.

    Note that any such AA program would be especially nasty for the intended beneficiaries, who’d find themselves washing out of PhD programs they weren’t capable of getting through, or getting a PhD but being unemployable because their research is subpar. That’s a great way to take a bunch of smart blacks who should become engineers or doctors and leave them at 30 with nothing to show for their hard work and intelligence.

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  78. donut says:
    @JEC

    "I am Become Inanity, the Dumber-downer of Worlds"
     
    Nice ironic and apt twist on the words of Oppenheimer.

    The Bhagavad Gita not Oppenheimer .

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    • Replies: @JEC
    I know that. Oppenheimer quoted the lines at the time of the first explosion of the atomic bomb.

    I assume you knew that?
    , @donut
    I thought you did but sometimes my concern with minute details gets the better of me.
  79. There are a lot of unspecified PhD’s in the signatory list, but very few of them specify what their PhD is in.

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  80. “So fortunately, we don’t really have to worry about SJWs inventing some new kind of superweapon to take over the world.”

    No, because SJWs aren’t trying to take over the world by a physical weapon. Instead they seek to take over our minds, thoughts, and all acceptable forms of public discourse.

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  81. Redacted says:

    As the education system is dominated by the Left, this type of foolishness will only accelerate the well earned demise of said system. Give these fools everything they profess to want and more. Mandate STEM majors for all Blacks, Hispanics, and women until full equality of result is achieved. Mandate all minorities attend only Tier One universities. Mandate all Prizes, Fellowships, and Scholarships go to the oppressed until the end of time. The Left is busy destroying their brand; don’t interrupt them.

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  82. Jack D says:
    @SPMoore8
    Well, at least she's Ashkenazi and not Subbotnik.

    I like the part where she write about what "dark matter haloes may be able to tell us about cosmology."

    Also, from the dissertation:

    "We can consider spinning black holes, using our scaling argument from Section 5.3
    and taking a nominal value of a∗ = 0.75."

    Is she is she paraphrasing the Three Fifths Clause here?

    Not competent to judge, but abstract is here: https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/handle/10012/5498?show=full

    Entire dissertation (all 99 pages of it, with 43 pages of appendices) is here: https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/bitstream/handle/10012/5498/Prescod-Weinstein_Chanda.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y

    Someone care to assess?

    I’m not in a position to assess but I can tell you this – there’s no way in hell that someone with a degree from a 200+ rank school like Waterloo gets anywhere near an MIT faculty appointment (she is just a “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ” postdoc but I’m sure if things go well they will offer her a position) unless she is there on the basis of affirmative action. She went to Harvard undergrad and then a Masters at UC Santa Cruz (already a big step down) but “changed directions” (read couldn’t hack it) and went to Waterloo for her PhD. http://www.cprescodweinstein.com/

    For an Asian dude with the same downward trajectory, they would hit delete as soon as they got to that line in his CV unless he had discovered the Higgs Boson or something. He would be lucky to get a job teaching intro physics at some community college in Podunk.

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    • Agree: SPMoore8
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    I note that the "Association of Black Physicists" has a website (not to be confused with the "Association of Hispanic Physicists") and they have numerous job offers posted there, however, the full time position as an "IceCube Winterover Experiments Operator" at the South Pole has been posted for four weeks now, along with a tenure track position in "Health Physics" at U Mass.

    http://nsbp.org/jobs/

    The dissertation struck my non-Physics eyes as rather self indulgent and goofy, since it comprised mostly text which was heavy on broad speculative generalizations derived from generic astrophysics equations (which I don't claim to understand.) The constant reference to dark energy, dark matter, and black bodies is also rather amusing since she frontloaded the dissertation with African contexts ranging from Langston Hughes to Igbo folklore.

    Not really sure what contribution MLK made to physics to justify naming a fellowship after him, that seems to scream "tokenism." Then again, his grandson is named Isaac Newton King, Jr., IIRC.
  83. AndrewR says:
    @Anonymous
    I'm very close to a physicist who runs a research lab at UCLA, and can confirm that he is under immense pressure to hire minorities and women. Nevermind that his lab has included Eastern Europeans, east and south Asians, students from "flyover" sort of backgrounds, and even a woman, which is fortuitous, because women rarely train or express interest in his sort of research. There is tacit concern that he has not hired any black and Latino students, and just one woman. From what I understand, it hasn't quite reached the point where this physicist has been intimidated into hiring less qualified students to satisfy pressures for diversity. But the hard sciences in universities are palbably a new target for the power grab we've already witnessed in the humanities and social sciences, whereas until recently people in those departments were largely insulated from all that.

    Well why would the hard sciences be immune now? The SJWs have full hegemony in the humanities and most, if not all, of social science. It was only a matter of time before they set their sights on hard science.

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  84. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Jack D
    I assume you mean this Octoroon lady:

    http://mlkscholars.mit.edu/cprescod-weinstein/

    I would say that perhaps the Weinstein side of her nature predominates. However, if the black team wants to claim her as their own, they can have her.

    Prescod-Weinstein’s twitter seems to be all identity politics all the time:

    https://twitter.com/IBJIYONGI

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  85. donut says:
    @FactsAreImportant
    A post on Reddit about how diversity programs don't help women or minorities:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/3zfp33/diversity_policies_dont_help_women_or_minorities/

    Many interesting anecdotes in the comments about the downsides to affirmative action. This one is particularly disturbing:


    I work at a hospital. It's also entirely obvious when we have a diversity physician and we even have coded language about them because their patient's have some of the most catastrophic complications. What's telling is that, after their patients have a bad outcome, their patients are then transferred to another team (often white, asian, or south asian doctors) for "higher level care." ...

    I have bunches of stories. Primarily, the worst complications I've seen come from the surgical teams. Unfortunately, it's a lottery who's on surgical call the night of admission so it's a toss up who becomes the treating team.

    Often, patients admitted to the "diversity hires" have long, complex surgeries which are performed for reasons that don't entirely make sense on review. Moreover, given the complex surgeries, outcomes can be poor.

    For example, we recently had one case of a young 30 y/o F who was admitted for appendicitis, but was otherwise normal and healthy. Normally this is treated with a simple laparoscopic appendix removal. For reasons that aren't entirely clear, the patient's emergent surgery was delayed by several days and she became very septic. The CT scan on admission showed a leaking appendix, which usually merits immediate admission to the OR. She ended up with removal of half her colon, perforation of her colon resulting in several deep abdominal abscesses, and a colostomy bag. Her course ended up becoming so complicated that she stayed several weeks in the ICU and almost died.
     

    It will be interesting to see how goodthinkers keep AA doctors out of the emergency rooms in their neighborhoods.

    I worked in The Health Care Industry for 20 years . I’m certainly more racist than most of the commenters here . The world famous teaching hospital where I worked for abt 15 years here in B-More never saw a brown person they didn’t like . Some classes of first year residents were almost 50 % non white . But incompetence and indifference to Pt care had no relation to race/ethnic background . Of the seven worst examples I recall four involved exclusively white MD’s and three of those incidents were more akin to negligent homicide than incompetence . The other three incidents involved an Arab in one case (most unethical behavior ) , an Indian :unethical and incompetent and a Jew : incompetent and utter indifference to Pt. welfare. What should alarm all of you aging potential patients is that with no real effort these and several other examples come to mind . My personal experience after a heart attack 2 and 1/2 years ago involved an unethical Indian resident (interventional cardiologist ) . I can only liken the experience to those internet scammers who flash on your screen telling you to call immediately for help fixing your PC . Who you get for a doctor is really hit and miss . I’ve had better luck with finding car mechanics . I will say that when I had to have back Sx. abt 8 years ago I fortunate in that my GP gave me a non verbal hint which Sx. to choose otherwise no doctor is going to tell you that you are about to go under the knife of Dr. Mengale .The entire system itself is broken beyond repair in my opinion .

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  86. donut says:
    @Danindc
    Is Omalu really brilliant? I thought that may have been fictionalized for the movie.

    You can watch the ESPN episode 30 for 30 about this . I didn’t get the impression that he was brilliant , rather he was a competent Dr. doing his job .

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  87. donut says:
    @unit472
    Reads like it was written by a black junior college instructor in Astronomy 101 and circulated by him ( or some BLM like campus group) with a sign it or else warning.

    ta-nehisi coates

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  88. donut says:
    @Steve Sailer
    German V-2 missiles and German atomic bombs would have been a nasty combination.

    Well we can always dream.

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  89. I saw this letter shared by a physicist friend a little while ago and I wondered when it would show up here. It was sad to read.

    Anyway, it reminded me of high school, when I was lucky enough to take classes from a skilled, superbly educated, passionate, and extremely intelligent instructor. He is black and was a leftist.

    The advanced class had one girl in it–a black girl! Within a week, she dropped the class. She did alright in the demanding biology course, but was in over her head (everyone was).

    Of the remaining 20 or so boys in the class, most went on to get undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in physics, engineering, materials science, etc.

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  90. Gringo says:
    @iStevefan

    This is what we see when we look at a minority student in a majority-white physics class: determination and an ability to overcome obstacles and work hard in stressful environments. We see this because we know that many students from minority backgrounds are subjected to social and political stress from institutionalized racism (past and present), a history of economic oppression, and societal abuse from both micro-aggressions
     
    If being a minority student in a majority-white physics class is that bad, then why not conduct all minority classes or have these students attend historically black colleges and universities? After all physics is physics and this group embraces the assumption that minority physics students are brilliant. So couldn't we solve the problem by putting these brilliant students together and away from the distracting white environment?

    If being a minority student in a majority-white physics class is that bad, then why not conduct all minority classes or have these students attend historically black colleges and universities?

    HBCUs do a better job of producing STEM graduates than other institutions of higher learning. HBCUs — the Best Producers of Black Graduates in STEM.

    All Black Students (Column 2) … The first row shows that HBCs enrolled 18 percent of all of the black students who were enrolled in the nation’s four year colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 semester. The second row shows that HBCUs conferred 27 percent of the STEM degrees that year. All other things being equal, we would have expected HBCUs to confer 18 percent of the STEM degrees; the additional 9 points represent an excess of 50 percent.

    Black Male Students (Column 3) … The first row shows that HBCs enrolled 19 percent of all of the black male students who were enrolled in the nation’s four year colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 semester. But the second row shows that HBCUs conferred 23 percent of the STEM degrees on the nation’s black male students that year. All other things being equal, we would have expected HBCUs to confer 19 percent of the STEM degrees on black males; the additional 4 points represent an excess of 20 percent.

    Black Female Students (Column 4) … The first row shows that HBCs enrolled 17 percent of all of the black female students who were enrolled in the nation’s four year colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 semester. But the second row shows that HBCUs conferred 31 percent of the STEM degrees that year. All other things being equal, we would have expected HBCUs to confer 17 percent of the STEM degrees on the nations black female students; instead they conferred almost twice as many STEM degrees on black female students, i.e., 31 percent. The additional 14 points represent an HBCU share that is 81 percent larger than we would have expected if the support provided by HBCUs for black female students in STEM programs was no more effective than the support provided by non-HBCUs.

    HCBU production of black STEM graduates lends support to the mismatch theory, which maintains that a student is less likely to follow through on initial plans to be a STEM major when a student’s grade and board scores are below average for a given school.

    If you want black STEM graduates, encourage blacks to go to a HCBU, not to a school where affirmative action admission policies result in the aforementioned mismatch.

    It is interesting that HBCU attendance has a bigger difference in STEM graduates for black females than for black males, given that black females tend to be higher academic achievers than black males.

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    • Replies: @iSteveFan
    Good info.
    , @Triumph104

    It is interesting that HBCU attendance has a bigger difference in STEM graduates for black females than for black males, given that black females tend to be higher academic achievers than black males.
     
    Females do better in female environments. HBCUs are majority female. Many like Howard are 2/3 female. Clark Atlanta is 3/4 female.

    Eileen Pollack's The Only Woman in the Room cites a lot of research on women and succeeding in STEM.
  91. The same producer who did the Negro Space Program (NAASA) needs to present a documentary how Negro scientists discovered radioactivity, split the atom, developed the cyclotron and built a working nuclear reactor (providing power to sharecropper cabins) years before white scientists did anything similar; only to have their work ignored by prejudiced and indifferent media. Perhaps it can even show that the Greeks stole the atomic theory of matter from sub-Saharan Africans. It was only the humanity of the Negro physicists, coupled with fear that they would fall into the wrong hands, that prevented the scientists from working on atomic weapons.

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  92. Bliss says:
    @Mr. Anon
    "German V-2 missiles and German atomic bombs would have been a nasty combination."

    The Germans didn't have the means to do both, even while occupying most of Europe and being able to exploit its resources. They went all out to build the V-2 (they launched something like 1800 of them in anger) and they were at their limit to do that. In fact, the V-2 crippled their war effort, as it represented a massive diversion of resources into a weapon of (at that time) no military value. Building an atomic weapon would have been an even greater drain on them. They never could have pulled it off, which fact they seemed to have realized - they weren't even trying to build a bomb.

    The US on the other hand was able to launch a truly massive effort to build atomic weapons, while simultaneously building the largest navy the world had ever seen, the largest air-force in the history of the world, and training, arming, and fielding a modern, mechanized two-theatre army.

    The Germans…..never could have pulled it off, which fact they seemed to have realized – they weren’t even trying to build a bomb.

    The US on the other hand was able to launch a truly massive effort to build atomic weapons

    The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):

    Father of the Atom Bomb: Oppenheimer
    Father of the Hydrogen Bomb: Teller
    Father of the Nuclear Submarine: Rickover

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):

    Father of the Atom Bomb: Oppenheimer
    Father of the Hydrogen Bomb: Teller
    Father of the Nuclear Submarine: Rickover
     
    And none of them were Black, or Mestizo, or, etc, etc
    , @MarkinLA
    The US succeeded because of sheer weight of numbers. The US spent 2 billion dollars on the Manhattan project. That was a lot of money back then. They also had everything the British had done on their bomb project prior to the war and the British scientists were working with them. It wasn't like the only people who knew about the atom being split or radioactivity were the Jews. The project was as much an engineering project as a research one.
    , @Mr. Anon
    "The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):"

    That is a common conception, and it is a misconception. As Jack D pointed out, there is no "jewish physics". Physics is physics. It doesn't require the magical touch of any one tribe.

    Oppenheimer did not really function as a scientist in the Manhattan project, but as an administrator (albeit an able one). Teller functioned as a pest. If they had followed his advice, they probably wouldn't have produced a functioning weapon during the war. He did have a key insight about the H-bomb, however the implementation was due to other people. The guy you're looking for is Hans Bethe (who was jewish); as head of the theoretical group at Los Alamos, he was pretty important. Fundmentally however, it was not this or that physicist (or which ethnicity they belonged to) who permitted the US to build the bomb. It was the vast resources that the US could bring to bear on the problem.

    Same with Rickover. He was a competent (and ruthless) administrator, and he was technically competent. But we still would have had a nuclear navy without him. The Russians didn't have him.
    , @5371
    You are taking the metaphor of fatherhood far too literally.
    , @Bliss
    Speaking of Hydrogen Bombs, North Korea just exploded one today.

    Damn, what a way to start out the new year: saudi wahhabis vs iranian ayatollahs reaching a fever pitch, Ruby Ridge redux in Oregon, Stock Markets crashing worldwide.....and now the craziest nation in the world has the Hydrogen Bomb (and the missiles to throw it with)? All in the first 5 days of this new year...

    Fasten your seat belts folks, 2016 is going to be one hell of a ride....
  93. SPMoore8 says:
    @Jack D
    I'm not in a position to assess but I can tell you this - there's no way in hell that someone with a degree from a 200+ rank school like Waterloo gets anywhere near an MIT faculty appointment (she is just a "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. " postdoc but I'm sure if things go well they will offer her a position) unless she is there on the basis of affirmative action. She went to Harvard undergrad and then a Masters at UC Santa Cruz (already a big step down) but "changed directions" (read couldn't hack it) and went to Waterloo for her PhD. http://www.cprescodweinstein.com/

    For an Asian dude with the same downward trajectory, they would hit delete as soon as they got to that line in his CV unless he had discovered the Higgs Boson or something. He would be lucky to get a job teaching intro physics at some community college in Podunk.

    I note that the “Association of Black Physicists” has a website (not to be confused with the “Association of Hispanic Physicists”) and they have numerous job offers posted there, however, the full time position as an “IceCube Winterover Experiments Operator” at the South Pole has been posted for four weeks now, along with a tenure track position in “Health Physics” at U Mass.

    http://nsbp.org/jobs/

    The dissertation struck my non-Physics eyes as rather self indulgent and goofy, since it comprised mostly text which was heavy on broad speculative generalizations derived from generic astrophysics equations (which I don’t claim to understand.) The constant reference to dark energy, dark matter, and black bodies is also rather amusing since she frontloaded the dissertation with African contexts ranging from Langston Hughes to Igbo folklore.

    Not really sure what contribution MLK made to physics to justify naming a fellowship after him, that seems to scream “tokenism.” Then again, his grandson is named Isaac Newton King, Jr., IIRC.

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  94. I read up a lot on the big names in various branches of science, I didn’t read every last name but skimmed the whole list a couple of times and noticed only one name I have ever heard of, a physicist at Ohio State, a former child prodigy named Christopher Hirata. I don’t think he has quite lived up to the hype surrounding him, but that’s literally the only one of note I saw. I think he is half Japanese and half Korean ancestry, so not even remotely of African or Mestizo ancestry.

    However you are right about a lack of big names, no Dyson, Weinberg, Gell-Mann, Witten, Wilczek, Gross, Politzer, Seiberg, Susskind, Bjorken, Thorne, Maldacena, etc…none of the big names or even second tier names.

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    • Replies: @another fred
    I would bet almost all are in "Academia."

    Not signing would be like being the first Iraqi to stop clapping after Saddam made a speech.
  95. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs

    No worries. Hillary’s going to close all below average schools.

    Problems solved.

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  96. @SPMoore8
    Well, at least she's Ashkenazi and not Subbotnik.

    I like the part where she write about what "dark matter haloes may be able to tell us about cosmology."

    Also, from the dissertation:

    "We can consider spinning black holes, using our scaling argument from Section 5.3
    and taking a nominal value of a∗ = 0.75."

    Is she is she paraphrasing the Three Fifths Clause here?

    Not competent to judge, but abstract is here: https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/handle/10012/5498?show=full

    Entire dissertation (all 99 pages of it, with 43 pages of appendices) is here: https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/bitstream/handle/10012/5498/Prescod-Weinstein_Chanda.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y

    Someone care to assess?

    “Someone care to assess?”

    Forget it. Unfortunately much of cosmology and particle physics has entered the realm of the untestable and incomprehensible. After well over ten years it is still debated whether of not the theoretical physics theses of the Bogdanov twins (University of Burgundy) and their several published papers were for real or hoaxes, or something in between.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogdanov_affair

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogdanov_affair

    That's pretty wild -- two French TV star twins who are smart enough to host science shows got themselves doctorates with dissertations that might be either genius or gibberish.

  97. @Unladen Swallow
    I read up a lot on the big names in various branches of science, I didn't read every last name but skimmed the whole list a couple of times and noticed only one name I have ever heard of, a physicist at Ohio State, a former child prodigy named Christopher Hirata. I don't think he has quite lived up to the hype surrounding him, but that's literally the only one of note I saw. I think he is half Japanese and half Korean ancestry, so not even remotely of African or Mestizo ancestry.

    However you are right about a lack of big names, no Dyson, Weinberg, Gell-Mann, Witten, Wilczek, Gross, Politzer, Seiberg, Susskind, Bjorken, Thorne, Maldacena, etc...none of the big names or even second tier names.

    I would bet almost all are in “Academia.”

    Not signing would be like being the first Iraqi to stop clapping after Saddam made a speech.

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  98. Mr. Blank says:

    …the discredited Mismatch Theory.

    I hate this rhetorical technique. Obama is particularly fond of it.

    I’m sure there’s a name for it, but it escapes me at the moment. But it’s incredibly irritating; it’s when an author glancingly implies a particular controversy has been definitively resolved, when said controversy is actually very much alive.

    If some study really succeeded in “discrediting” the “mismatch theory,” you can bet the New York Times would have been shouting about this important new research from its front page for a full week. But alas, no such study has ever been released. Instead, if you follow the footnote, they’re referencing some obscure article in some Blackety-Black academic journal that nobody reads. Upon this slender reed rests their curt dismissal of Scalia’s question.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    On the other hand, the evidence for Mismatch Theory isn't as strong as I imagined it would be when I first heard about it 30 or 40 years ago. The issue is that richer colleges are generally better at pushing marginal students through to graduation than are poorer colleges.
    , @gruff
    Teach the controversy!
  99. Hubbub says:
    @JEC
    2463 people signed this absurd and dishonest letter. Surely it's prima facie evidence of brainwashing in the 'scientific community'?

    Or someone has a gun (academic equivalent) to their collective head.

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  100. Bliss says:
    @Ed
    Really? Sure Cam is doing well but I think RG3 getting benched and then having Kirk Cousins go gangbusters has set things back for black QBs.

    RG3 was supposed to be the smart, non-thuggish, raised by two military parents franchise QB. He turned out to be a bust with the biggest criticism of him being the old bugaboo of black QBs, he couldn't read defenses.

    Here's Dexter Manley on the topic:
    http://screengrabber.deadspin.com/dexter-manley-says-black-quarterbacks-are-more-mobile-b-1750724975

    I think RG3 getting benched and then having Kirk Cousins go gangbusters has set things back for black QBs.

    To a rational person what you think is laughable. The best quarterback in the NFL this season is black, Cam Newton. So is the best quarterback in college football, Deshawn Watson.

    The third best rated quarterback this season is also black, Russel Wilson.

    Of the 5 black quarterbacks in the NFL 3 have made it to the playoffs, and it is a strong possibility that one of them will make it to the Super Bowl, making it the 4th year in a row that happens.

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    • Replies: @bomag
    The instructive lesson here is that Blacks succeed at NFL quarterbacking at a certain rate, depending on their mental and physical skills. That rate doesn't necessarily reflect their distribution in the population at large or the distribution of Blacks in other NFL positions.

    Likewise, Black physicists will succeed at a certain rate; but not necessarily at the same rate that reflects their proportion of the population at large.

    There are differences between people, and between groups of people. This is acknowledged in a multitude of ways, but it is actively suppressed/forgotten when discussing SJW topics.
    , @e
    and it is a strong possibility that one of them will make it to the Super Bowl, making it the 4th year in a row that happens.

    To be fair, that would only be so because Russell Wilson has been there twice before he goes a presumed third time...

    Two successful black qbs in the NFL--Russell Wilson, Cam Newton.
    , @Ed
    I specifically said with the exception of Cam lol & who is to say he doesn't end up like Colin Kaepernick? Once the defenses catch up to him, will he be able to adjust?

    Also Russell Wilson is from the black elite, grandparents, parents were either academics or lawyers. He's a "III" for a reason. So although black he doesn't act "black". In fact the popular memes on urban blogs that compare Russell to his fuance's ex, the rapper Future, highlight this difference clearly.

    There are always exceptions but in the main black QBs aren't that hot in the NFL at the moment.
  101. TangoMan says:

    We see this because we know that many students from minority backgrounds are subjected to social and political stress from institutionalized racism

    Thank you God. I never thought I’d ever have the opportunity to ask this question to a group of physicists. What is the unit of measurement for institutional racism?

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    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    I thought it was established that institutional racism, as well as sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia and xenophobia are all measured in mH (microHitlers) up to the range of (gH) gigaHitlers which is equal to one Trump.

    Speaking of which, a further symptom of our cultural malaise is I have yet to hear a single good joke about The Donald which references Bridge.
  102. MarkinLA says:
    @Jack D
    Well, after the war we had American atomic bombs and Russian atomic bombs both sitting on different versions of German V-2s and they were in fact (potentially) nasty combinations.

    But the Nazis never put a lot of resources into their version of the Manhattan Project (they figured it wouldn't be done until the war was over) and even if they had, they had lost (expelled) most of their all-stars to the other team. Note that even the US, with BOTH the resources and the brains, did not cross the finish line on atomic weapons until the war in Europe was over, so the German assessment was right.

    The uranium bomb was probably ready but by then Germany was done so there was no reason to use it. The Plutonium bomb was different and needed to be tested so that couldn’t be used until after they tested it and the Germans had surrendered.

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  103. Start looking into the people who signed it. Not very impressive and many (most?) of them aren’t even physicists. High school teachers? Really?

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  104. SPMoore8 says:
    @TangoMan
    We see this because we know that many students from minority backgrounds are subjected to social and political stress from institutionalized racism

    Thank you God. I never thought I'd ever have the opportunity to ask this question to a group of physicists. What is the unit of measurement for institutional racism?

    I thought it was established that institutional racism, as well as sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia and xenophobia are all measured in mH (microHitlers) up to the range of (gH) gigaHitlers which is equal to one Trump.

    Speaking of which, a further symptom of our cultural malaise is I have yet to hear a single good joke about The Donald which references Bridge.

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  105. @Jack D
    I assume you mean this Octoroon lady:

    http://mlkscholars.mit.edu/cprescod-weinstein/

    I would say that perhaps the Weinstein side of her nature predominates. However, if the black team wants to claim her as their own, they can have her.

    Gotta love her personal statement at the top of her page:

    I still find that my most challenging experiences with discrimination are an awful non-linear combination of how people respond to my gender presentation, to my racial/ethnic presentation, and the assumptions people make about the socioeconomic class I grew up in.

    Physics doesn’t seem to be one of her top interests.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    Pursuing racial grievances is much more likely to get her a job than pursuing physics, so I don't blame her.

    Some interesting tidbits from her lengthy dedication - apparently her "black" side is from Barbados (one of the more functional Caribbean islands) so she has zero American slave ancestry. I'm sure MLK would be delighted to see his scholarships going to 7/8 white Barbadian Yiddish speakers (see below).

    And she offers this touching dedication in Yiddish:

    For Grandpa Norman, who was there every step of the way:
    Ikh hob dikh azoyfil nokh gebenkt. Ikh hob dikh lib.
    (In English – I have missed you so much. I love you.)

    I really don't blame this girl for her shtick. People respond to incentives - she didn't create this crazy system. If her mother hadn't dabbled in race mixing she might have even had the IQ to be a real physicist.
    , @Anonymous
    "I still find that my most challenging experiences with discrimination are an awful non-linear combination of how people respond to my gender presentation, to my racial/ethnic presentation, and the assumptions people make about the socioeconomic class I grew up in."

    Some of these people attribute so much to their race, gender, and class but it might be that other people are actually responding to their annoying personalities and chips on their shoulders.
  106. @pyrrhus
    Dumb people got physics degrees....USA is screwed.

    Dumb people got physics degrees….USA is screwed.

    Going along to get along may be cowardly, but it isn’t “dumb”

    Read More
  107. Jack D says:
    @International Jew
    Gotta love her personal statement at the top of her page:

    I still find that my most challenging experiences with discrimination are an awful non-linear combination of how people respond to my gender presentation, to my racial/ethnic presentation, and the assumptions people make about the socioeconomic class I grew up in.
     
    Physics doesn't seem to be one of her top interests.

    Pursuing racial grievances is much more likely to get her a job than pursuing physics, so I don’t blame her.

    Some interesting tidbits from her lengthy dedication – apparently her “black” side is from Barbados (one of the more functional Caribbean islands) so she has zero American slave ancestry. I’m sure MLK would be delighted to see his scholarships going to 7/8 white Barbadian Yiddish speakers (see below).

    And she offers this touching dedication in Yiddish:

    For Grandpa Norman, who was there every step of the way:
    Ikh hob dikh azoyfil nokh gebenkt. Ikh hob dikh lib.
    (In English – I have missed you so much. I love you.)

    I really don’t blame this girl for her shtick. People respond to incentives – she didn’t create this crazy system. If her mother hadn’t dabbled in race mixing she might have even had the IQ to be a real physicist.

    Read More
  108. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Clyde

    I’m very close to a physicist who runs a research lab at UCLA, and can confirm that he is under immense pressure to hire minorities and women.
     
    Forget power grab. Its all about snagging jobs for the unqualified. Our economy is zero-sum these days. The unqualified NAMs and women demand the job slots taken by White and Asian males. I am generalizing here.

    It is now routine in academia to hire lesser contributors to good work who happen to be women when the principal authors go without jobs, or are underemployed (my field is almost without non-Asian minorities).

    There are many cases in which a minor (female) contributor on a good paper gets a good tenure-track job at a fine institution when the principal (male) author, who all acknowledge actually did the work, cannot even get a postdoc position at a third rate department. Worse yet, a few years later the woman is credited with the work. Indeed, in most cases, they come to believe they actually did it themselves.

    And then there is the endless complaining about how unfairly they are treated …

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde

    It is now routine in academia to hire lesser contributors to good work who happen to be women when the principal authors go without jobs, or are underemployed (my field is almost without non-Asian minorities).

    There are many cases in which a minor (female) contributor on a good paper gets a good tenure-track job at a fine institution when the principal (male) author, who all acknowledge actually did the work, cannot even get a postdoc position at a third rate department.
     
    Michael Savage used to complain more about it. But he experienced this crap years ago (maybe 30 years?) and left his field in disgust. He wanted to teach and get onto a tenure track but he kept losing out to inferior women and minorities. I once heard him go on for ten minutes about how he got screwed by the PC university maggots of that time. At UC Berkley.
    He obtained a Ph.D. in 1978 from the University of California, Berkeley, in nutritional ethnomedicine._____wikipedia
  109. @anonguy
    Peak physics was a couple of generations ago, when things like lasers, rockets, nuclear fission/fusion, etc, were coming on stream. Since the end of the Cold War at latest, it has become irrelevant and a boondoggle. Without the gov. welfare, it would revert back to the tweedy pastime it was prior to 1920s/30s and is slowly getting there anyhow. Current crop of physicists are time-servers and really generally useless pussies.

    My undergrad is physics and this was clear to me decades ago, the whole field has been coasting on its laurels since forever.

    I know of one example supporting this: An old college buddy of mine got his doctorate in theoretical physics, and after spending a year or two in some bunker studying solar neutrino emissions said something much to the effect of your comment. He is now a lawyer.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonguy

    I know of one example supporting this: An old college buddy of mine got his doctorate in theoretical physics, and after spending a year or two in some bunker studying solar neutrino emissions said something much to the effect of your comment. He is now a lawyer.
     
    See, all physics guys aren't necessarily really smart if it took him that long to figure it out. Happened to me in my third year, I'm still glad I caught on early. Finished the degree and moved on.

    Another thing about physicists - yes, people tend to think they are smart and consequently often give their opinions greater weight than warranted. One result of this is the field tends to attract people who want other people to think they are smart or even to convince themselves over their insecurities that they are natural genius.

    This dynamic is/was (been out of it for years) extremely prominent, just oozes from everyone in the field, the neediness to feel like they are incredibly smart, as opposed to hardworking, people. Even as an undergrad, I could see this in all my profs and was another major thing in me pursuing other options in life, I didn't want to have colleagues with this pathetic neediness. Really, nearly every competent physicist is constantly in a battle to prove how smart he is, even the really smart accomplished ones. Kind of sucks being around people like that all the time, IMO.
  110. @Tim Howells
    "Someone care to assess?"

    Forget it. Unfortunately much of cosmology and particle physics has entered the realm of the untestable and incomprehensible. After well over ten years it is still debated whether of not the theoretical physics theses of the Bogdanov twins (University of Burgundy) and their several published papers were for real or hoaxes, or something in between.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogdanov_affair

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogdanov_affair

    That’s pretty wild — two French TV star twins who are smart enough to host science shows got themselves doctorates with dissertations that might be either genius or gibberish.

    Read More
  111. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @International Jew
    Gotta love her personal statement at the top of her page:

    I still find that my most challenging experiences with discrimination are an awful non-linear combination of how people respond to my gender presentation, to my racial/ethnic presentation, and the assumptions people make about the socioeconomic class I grew up in.
     
    Physics doesn't seem to be one of her top interests.

    “I still find that my most challenging experiences with discrimination are an awful non-linear combination of how people respond to my gender presentation, to my racial/ethnic presentation, and the assumptions people make about the socioeconomic class I grew up in.”

    Some of these people attribute so much to their race, gender, and class but it might be that other people are actually responding to their annoying personalities and chips on their shoulders.

    Read More
  112. @Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta
    Do we need more Black Bodies in physics and astronomy in order to study Dark Matter and Black Holes?

    "Instead, we embrace the assumption that minority physics students are brilliant"

    If these folks are so hot to embrace "assumptions" I suggest they join me in a less rigorous discipline like economics. I know I don't have it in me to be a real physicist, why should we assume anybody can? Isn't that what tests are for?

    Although I sure couldn't make it as a physicist, and I can't really judge their actual scientific output. I suspect these academics gravitate toward SJW trouble-making because they weren't able to make their mark with real science. Get back to work at the particle accelerators and telescopes. And if you can't make any real contributions there, get out of the lab to make space for somebody who can.

    Advice for black students with a 700 on the math portion of the SAT: don’t kill yourself in physics up against people who got an 800, instead major in econ and then get an MBA. Seriously.

    Read More
  113. Necaviar says:

    I don’t really understand how so many people could believe in the nonsense they are taught.

    On the one hand, I could see how upper class folks would really have no idea what it is like to live with blacks or mexicans, because they really never deal with them, and if they do, it is the best of them.

    And I could see how blacks and mexicans themselves would not be able to realize facts about themselves that are true but unflattering.

    But, what about normal people? How is it so easy to teach otherwise sensible people things that run entirely contrary to what is going on in front of their eyes?

    Does anyone have a good answer?

    I suppose what I say is that the human mind is somehow religious, and will always need to believe in things that are magical.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    There is a whole book written about it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_Popular_Delusions_and_the_Madness_of_Crowds
  114. syonredux says:
    @Bliss

    The Germans.....never could have pulled it off, which fact they seemed to have realized – they weren’t even trying to build a bomb.

    The US on the other hand was able to launch a truly massive effort to build atomic weapons
     
    The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):

    Father of the Atom Bomb: Oppenheimer
    Father of the Hydrogen Bomb: Teller
    Father of the Nuclear Submarine: Rickover

    The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):

    Father of the Atom Bomb: Oppenheimer
    Father of the Hydrogen Bomb: Teller
    Father of the Nuclear Submarine: Rickover

    And none of them were Black, or Mestizo, or, etc, etc

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss

    And none of them were Black, or Mestizo, or, etc, etc
     
    None of the STEM nerds from as recently as ~1500 years ago were germans or scandinavians or scots etc etc. On the other hand african STEM geniuses built this 4500 years ago:

    http://www.phantastische-zeiten-shop.de/images/sphinx.logo.jpg
  115. “science relies heavily on consensus about acceptable results”

    That’s a new one on me.

    “however much you deny the truth, the truth goes on existing, as it were, behind your back, and you consequently can’t violate it in ways that impair military efficiency.”

    The solution for that is fake wars that don’t require military efficiency. Then you get to control the narrative however you like. I suspect that in ’1984′ the supposed rival powers Eurasia & Eastasia didn’t even really exist, just a narrative of endless war justifying the Inner Party’s control.

    Read More
  116. @snorlax
    OT: 1,000-man gang rape in Germany

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3384423/German-police-hunt-group-1-000-men-Arab-North-African-origin-sexually-assaulted-numerous-women-threw-fireworks-crowds-Cologne-train-station-New-Year-s-Eve.html

    NPR reported the mass ape story today, but stressed that it was wrong to attribute it to Arab and African immigrants. Not clear whether they meant factually wrong or hate-factually wrong.

    Read More
  117. There is an episode of the Big Bang Theory where the Leonard Hofstadter character a physicist, is strongly encouraged to have sex with a very wealthy and much older women to secure a grant from her.

    In today’s college environment, I’m guessing there is more then one physicist who goes home to listen to his Nazi Punk or Black Metal collection (on head phones) who knows well enough that he had to sign the letter when it was passed to him. Be it a government grant or from the many progressive non profits who provide research grants, one has to indicate you’ve been assimilated.

    FYI -I work for a Fortune 500 company, I always know to nod my head yes when diversity propaganda comes around. Call me a sell out, but income is income.

    Read More
  118. rvg says:

    Is there any track record of Indian brahmins being as good in civil administration as the Chinese? I mean for all of their IQ India was a giant disunited mess compared to China, and the high IQ brahmins never did manage to make an equivalent of the imperial civil service exam.

    Read More
  119. @Mr. Blank

    ...the discredited Mismatch Theory.
     
    I hate this rhetorical technique. Obama is particularly fond of it.

    I'm sure there's a name for it, but it escapes me at the moment. But it's incredibly irritating; it's when an author glancingly implies a particular controversy has been definitively resolved, when said controversy is actually very much alive.

    If some study really succeeded in "discrediting" the "mismatch theory," you can bet the New York Times would have been shouting about this important new research from its front page for a full week. But alas, no such study has ever been released. Instead, if you follow the footnote, they're referencing some obscure article in some Blackety-Black academic journal that nobody reads. Upon this slender reed rests their curt dismissal of Scalia's question.

    On the other hand, the evidence for Mismatch Theory isn’t as strong as I imagined it would be when I first heard about it 30 or 40 years ago. The issue is that richer colleges are generally better at pushing marginal students through to graduation than are poorer colleges.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    I don't have the sources at hand, but I seem to recall that mismatch theory shows up pretty strongly in law school - something like half of black enrollees in law school (many of them people who could never have gotten into ANY law school but for AA) never pass the bar exam. There's no possibility of switching to African Studies or some easier major in law school. There's no AA (yet) on the bar exam. You might be able to get some extra tutoring but that won't get you very far.

    And the big kicker for elite law schools is this - 2nd tier (and below) law schools are generally run like 3 year long bar review courses for the law of the state they are located in, but top tier law schools consider themselves national and intellectual and don't teach to the bar exam of any state - that's too pedestrian. So they will teach you the theoretical basis for having a statute of limitations but they won't teach you that the statute of limitation for contractual disputes in NY is 6 years. They figure that if you are smart enough to get into their school, you are smart enough to memorize the boring specifics in a couple of months of a bar review course. But for an AA admit that is not super sharp, an 8 week bar review course is not going to do it. So they are WORSE off going to say Columbia instead of Brooklyn Law School where they would spend 3 years instead of 8 weeks going over the NY statutes.
  120. Paul137 says:
    @Another Canadian
    There appears to be a lot of students in that list. There are signatories that have a M.S. in Physics.

    Topping the signers who are merely M.S-holders, I saw an actual undergrad physics major listed.

    I’m a retired physicist, and I scanned the first ~500 names in the list of signers. I might have recognized one of the names. Maybe.

    Read More
  121. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    I'm a physicist at a certain national lab. I got curious so I ended up scanning the entire list. I found I knew 3 names from my undergrad institution (2 faculty, 1 classmate), one name from my grad institution (faculty), which is much larger than the undergrad, and none from my current institution - which has far more staff and postdoc physicists than the universities I attended). Not surprising, since I suppose this issue is of more relevance at educational institutions. I also noticed that quite a few of the signatures belonged to people who don't appear to be physicists or astronomers at all - medical doctors, chemists, event "artists". Assuming I know the names of roughly 500 physicists (100 faculty, 100 classmates, 100 from my national lab, 200 whose research I'm familiar with), then 1% of the physicists I know of signed up. The list is also very heavy on current students.

    “A physicsist”

    Are you for real?

    It is spelled ‘physicist’.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "Are you for real?

    It is spelled ‘physicist’."

    It is spelled "typo". Even physicists make them.
  122. Paul137 says:
    @Mr. Anon
    "Footnote proving this assumption: “[6] Leonard, Jacquelyn, and Martin, Danny B. (Eds.). The Brilliance of Black Children in Mathematics: Beyond the Numbers and Toward New Discourse. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers. (2013)”"

    Perhaps black people could start giving their children names like "Brilliant Astrophysicist Harris-Perry". Then they could live up to their potential, free from the oppressive luminiferous ether of institutional racism and the phlogiston of white privilege.

    “… the oppressive luminiferous ether of institutional racism and the phlogiston of white privilege. …”

    Excellent coinages!!

    Read More
  123. Dennis Dale says: • Website

    science relies heavily on consensus about acceptable results as well as future research directions, making diversity among scientists a crucial aspect of objective…

    It’s like Soros copping to waging war on borders with migrants, these guys. Objectivity is the problem for which Diversity is the solution.
    The scientific tradition begins with the Greeks first attempting to understand the world without reference to mythology. These guys are going to finally fix that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @NOTA
    Consensus really does have an impact in terms of both funding and whether/where your paper gets accepted.
  124. I think about every application for an NSF grant has to include a statement about how the grant, if funded, will be used to Pursue Diversity.

    So being the Ph.D. advisor of a woman is pretty helpful, especially if it’s a field without many women. Being the Ph.D. advisor of a black is a very big plus.

    Traditionally one of the big hurdles in getting a STEM Ph.D. was passing “qualifying exams” covering the basic knowledge that graduate students were supposed to have acquired before starting their research. Students of Diversity often could not pass these qualifying exams, so quite a few graduate programs have gotten rid of them. With a little luck an incompetent black graduate student can find an advisor who will write his or her thesis to get the Diversity bonus points.

    Read More
  125. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer
    On the other hand, the evidence for Mismatch Theory isn't as strong as I imagined it would be when I first heard about it 30 or 40 years ago. The issue is that richer colleges are generally better at pushing marginal students through to graduation than are poorer colleges.

    I don’t have the sources at hand, but I seem to recall that mismatch theory shows up pretty strongly in law school – something like half of black enrollees in law school (many of them people who could never have gotten into ANY law school but for AA) never pass the bar exam. There’s no possibility of switching to African Studies or some easier major in law school. There’s no AA (yet) on the bar exam. You might be able to get some extra tutoring but that won’t get you very far.

    And the big kicker for elite law schools is this – 2nd tier (and below) law schools are generally run like 3 year long bar review courses for the law of the state they are located in, but top tier law schools consider themselves national and intellectual and don’t teach to the bar exam of any state – that’s too pedestrian. So they will teach you the theoretical basis for having a statute of limitations but they won’t teach you that the statute of limitation for contractual disputes in NY is 6 years. They figure that if you are smart enough to get into their school, you are smart enough to memorize the boring specifics in a couple of months of a bar review course. But for an AA admit that is not super sharp, an 8 week bar review course is not going to do it. So they are WORSE off going to say Columbia instead of Brooklyn Law School where they would spend 3 years instead of 8 weeks going over the NY statutes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    Source here, from Stanford Law Review:

    http://www2.law.ucla.edu/sander/Systemic/final/SanderFINAL.pdf
  126. NOTA says:
    @Dennis Dale
    science relies heavily on consensus about acceptable results as well as future research directions, making diversity among scientists a crucial aspect of objective...

    It's like Soros copping to waging war on borders with migrants, these guys. Objectivity is the problem for which Diversity is the solution.
    The scientific tradition begins with the Greeks first attempting to understand the world without reference to mythology. These guys are going to finally fix that.

    Consensus really does have an impact in terms of both funding and whether/where your paper gets accepted.

    Read More
  127. rvg says:

    How prominent are Americanized East Asian women among the female SJW group, I recall seeing some of them on twitter.

    Read More
  128. MarkinLA says:
    @Bliss

    The Germans.....never could have pulled it off, which fact they seemed to have realized – they weren’t even trying to build a bomb.

    The US on the other hand was able to launch a truly massive effort to build atomic weapons
     
    The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):

    Father of the Atom Bomb: Oppenheimer
    Father of the Hydrogen Bomb: Teller
    Father of the Nuclear Submarine: Rickover

    The US succeeded because of sheer weight of numbers. The US spent 2 billion dollars on the Manhattan project. That was a lot of money back then. They also had everything the British had done on their bomb project prior to the war and the British scientists were working with them. It wasn’t like the only people who knew about the atom being split or radioactivity were the Jews. The project was as much an engineering project as a research one.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    As a Gedankenexperiment, imagine that the US also had anti-Semitic policies that excluded all Jewish scientists from the Manhattan Project, so that we used only our best gentile physicists instead. Would the bomb have gotten done in the same amount of time (before the war was over)? We can't know, but personally I doubt it.

    I view the Manhattan Project as an example of the synergy that occurs when you add Jewish brilliance to WASP organizational ability. Someone like Feynman was brilliant but his nature was too anarchic to oversee the plodding day to day details of building uranium enrichment plants, etc. Someone like Groves was great at building things (he built the Pentagon before he built all the Manhattan Project facilities) but he lacked the intellectual HP necessary to understand the inner workings of the atom. What made America the leading military, industrial, financial, cultural, everything power of the 20th century was the magic that happened when you combined the two.
  129. Bliss says:
    @syonredux

    The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):

    Father of the Atom Bomb: Oppenheimer
    Father of the Hydrogen Bomb: Teller
    Father of the Nuclear Submarine: Rickover
     
    And none of them were Black, or Mestizo, or, etc, etc

    And none of them were Black, or Mestizo, or, etc, etc

    None of the STEM nerds from as recently as ~1500 years ago were germans or scandinavians or scots etc etc. On the other hand african STEM geniuses built this 4500 years ago:

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    And none of them were Black, or Mestizo, or, etc, etc

    None of the STEM nerds from as recently as ~1500 years ago were germans or scandinavians or scots etc etc. On the other hand african STEM geniuses built this 4500 years ago:

    http://www.phantastische-zeiten-shop.de/images/sphinx.logo.jpg
     
    Not very impressive as an example of" STEM genius", dear fellow. Or, to put it another way, it's not very impressive when compared to the work of Archimedes, Hipparchus, Diophantus, Newton, Leibniz, Gauss, etc

    And the fellows who built the Sphinx weren't Sub-Saharan Africans.....
    , @Andrew Jackson
    We wuz kaaangs!
  130. MarkinLA says:
    @Necaviar
    I don't really understand how so many people could believe in the nonsense they are taught.

    On the one hand, I could see how upper class folks would really have no idea what it is like to live with blacks or mexicans, because they really never deal with them, and if they do, it is the best of them.

    And I could see how blacks and mexicans themselves would not be able to realize facts about themselves that are true but unflattering.

    But, what about normal people? How is it so easy to teach otherwise sensible people things that run entirely contrary to what is going on in front of their eyes?

    Does anyone have a good answer?

    I suppose what I say is that the human mind is somehow religious, and will always need to believe in things that are magical.

    Read More
  131. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @AnAnon
    Well luckily, as Steve points out, SJW science won't produce any new superweapons that they can use against us.

    as to the Original post:
    "Meanwhile, white students unfairly benefit psychologically from being overrepresented" - white self esteem is too high and needs to be lowered?

    "Instead, we embrace the assumption that minority physics students are brilliant [6]" - when you assume, you make an ass out of u and mption.

    "The implication that physics or “hard sciences” are somehow divorced from the social realities of racism in our society is completely fallacious. " - Maxwell's demon waves a confederate flag.

    "The purpose of seeking out talented and otherwise overlooked minority students to fill physics classrooms is to offset the institutionalized imbalance of power and preference that has traditionally gone and continues to go towards white students." - whites should all vote against this in other words, as it is working counter to our interests.

    as to the Original post:
    “Meanwhile, white students unfairly benefit psychologically from being overrepresented” – white self esteem

    Considering that white peoples comprise about 65% of the population, are they really overrepresented in physics? From the looks of the picture that Steve posted of the Cal Tech students, Asians look like they might be actually be overrepresented.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Also, if this notion of over representation is such a big deal, then we need to talk about blacks in sports and Asians and Jewish students at top schools and other plum positions in our country.
  132. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous

    as to the Original post:
    “Meanwhile, white students unfairly benefit psychologically from being overrepresented” – white self esteem
     
    Considering that white peoples comprise about 65% of the population, are they really overrepresented in physics? From the looks of the picture that Steve posted of the Cal Tech students, Asians look like they might be actually be overrepresented.

    Also, if this notion of over representation is such a big deal, then we need to talk about blacks in sports and Asians and Jewish students at top schools and other plum positions in our country.

    Read More
  133. WhatEvvs [AKA "Recovering Internet Addict"] says:
    @Charlesz Martel
    I weep for my country.

    I used to, a lot, but it didn’t reciprocate, so now I am focusing on cultivating my own garden.

    Read More
  134. Hibernian says:

    Physics majors tend to be like English majors, politically.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonguy

    Physics majors tend to be like English majors, politically.
     
    Yes, they and the math majors (I was physics) tend to gravitate towards the avant garde despite their nerdiness. Engineering students, at least traditionally, have tended to be far more conservative IME.
  135. cthulhu says:
    @G Pinfold

    Before Justice’s Scalia’s remarks on black scientists, Justice Roberts asked, “what unique perspective does a minority student bring to physics class?” and “What [are] the benefits of diversity… in that situation?” Before addressing these questions directly, we note that it is important to call attention to questions that weren’t asked by the justices, such as, “What unique perspectives do white students bring to a physics class?”
     
    Never ask a question you don't know, or wanna know, the answer to. Physics is to white men as bongo drumming is to blacks. Most whites are hopeless at advanced physics; most blacks don't play bongo drums; but no whites, no physics; no blacks, no bongos.

    Richard Feynman was a pretty darned good percussionist, including bongos.

    Read More
    • Replies: @G Pinfold
    I can see the divergence going that way... But jazz hounds from West Africa who dabble in physics? Now that would be something.
  136. syonredux says:
    @Bliss

    And none of them were Black, or Mestizo, or, etc, etc
     
    None of the STEM nerds from as recently as ~1500 years ago were germans or scandinavians or scots etc etc. On the other hand african STEM geniuses built this 4500 years ago:

    http://www.phantastische-zeiten-shop.de/images/sphinx.logo.jpg

    And none of them were Black, or Mestizo, or, etc, etc

    None of the STEM nerds from as recently as ~1500 years ago were germans or scandinavians or scots etc etc. On the other hand african STEM geniuses built this 4500 years ago:

    http://www.phantastische-zeiten-shop.de/images/sphinx.logo.jpg

    Not very impressive as an example of” STEM genius”, dear fellow. Or, to put it another way, it’s not very impressive when compared to the work of Archimedes, Hipparchus, Diophantus, Newton, Leibniz, Gauss, etc

    And the fellows who built the Sphinx weren’t Sub-Saharan Africans…..

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss

    And the fellows who built the Sphinx weren’t Sub-Saharan Africans…..
     
    What does the Sphinx of Giza look like to you then? European? GTFO...

    You were humiliated in your last incarnation and were forced to go away for months, yet you are shameless and masochistic enough to return for further abuse...
  137. cthulhu says:
    @Jack D
    Orwell was not making this up. There really was something called Deutsche Physik (and the same in math and other fields).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Physik

    Maybe in the early days before relativity had been confirmed experimentally, it was still possible to oppose Einstein's work without being an idiot, but by the time the Nazis came to power and Deutsche Physik really took off, it was obvious that Einstein was right and denying it was about Jew hatred and power grabbing (especially the latter) and had nothing to do with science. Even Himmler allowed Heisenberg to teach "Jewish" physics to his students and use it in the German nuclear program as long as he didn't mention Einstein and other Jewish scientists by name.

    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that’s true?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that’s true?
     
    It's not.
    , @anonguy

    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that’s true?
     
    I read up on some of this years ago and my memory is sketchy. However, without reviewing the material, my impression remains that Heisenberg was rather an ardent Nazi or at least markedly slavish in courting official Nazi/governmental favor.

    The slowing down claim came across to me as post-war revisionism/rehabilitation. Most of the slow progress IIRC was simply lack of resources & commitment by the German government. Apparently Hitler was at least mildly concerned that an uncontrolled uranium fission reaction (i.e, explosion) could spread to the atmosphere in sort of an ice9 fashion, obliterating the earth.

    Sounds childish and silly then, but Hitler, and whichever advisors put this notion in his head, were hardly alone. Apparently there were at least a few sighs of relief among various (non-idiotic) Americans after Trinity/Los Alamos that this didn't happen.

    Again, details are fuzzy, this is from long ago reading and maybe the material has been debunked/changed since then.
    , @AnAnon
    Germany simply lacked the resources necessary to build a bomb, it took a colossal effort here to build one. Of all the blunders Germany made, not ardently seeking a nuclear weapon was pretty low on the list, if even on there.
  138. cthulhu says:
    @Mr. Anon
    "Peak physics was a couple of generations ago, when things like lasers, rockets, nuclear fission/fusion, etc, were coming on stream. Since the end of the Cold War at latest, it has become irrelevant and a boondoggle. Without the gov. welfare, it would revert back to the tweedy pastime it was prior to 1920s/30s and is slowly getting there anyhow. Current crop of physicists are time-servers and really generally useless pussies."

    Physics certainly doesn't have the cachet it did fifty years ago. The fact that so many particle physicists (and they consider themselves to be the true vanguard of physics) feel the need to beat their breasts in popular coffee-table books, on NPR, etc. about how supremely awesome physics is, indicates that - as a field - it is kind of past its sell-by date. They gas on about the Higgs boson and the like in popular expositions that don't even really explain anything. I sometimes wonder who it is they are trying to convince: their audience..............or themselves.

    There’s a lot more to physics than particle physics aka high energy physics. Condensed matter physics, a generalization of what used to be called solid state physics, is really hot (well, lots of it is really cold – as in barely above absolute zero – but you know what I mean).

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonguy

    There’s a lot more to physics than particle physics aka high energy physics. Condensed matter physics, a generalization of what used to be called solid state physics, is really hot (well, lots of it is really cold – as in barely above absolute zero – but you know what I mean).
     
    This may be true, but it still doesn't change the fact that physics is no longer Big Physics and has lost the imagination of the public. When it had it it was a field of demonstrably high and immediate consequences for, well, everyone and everything.

    I have a degree in physics and haven't had the slightest interest in any physics breakthrough since my undergrad days. And that isn't sour grapes, I was very capable, top student and all, sought after for grad work, etc. But even back then, I felt the glory days had passed for the field, at least in my lifetime, and went to other (highly technical) things that seemed a lot more relevant.

    The best thing about having a physics degree is everyone else invariably thinks you are the smartest guy in the room providing you are the only one there with such a thing. This actually has consistently worked to my advantage over the decades and for that reason alone I could easily recommend a young person pursuing a physics degree. Undergraduate is enough - I have a insanely propellor-headed grad degree that required a lot more mental horsepower, but the undegrad physics degree is what people always notice and defer to me as more being more intelligent than them.

    Really, it gives people a face-saving out, naturally anonguy is smart, he has a physics degree. Not that it makes him right, but conceding smart is a long way to conceding right.

    This thread is a case in point. Would anyone be paying the signatories the slightest heed if it were a petition signed by chemists? And many commenters seems to be relieved that many/most signatories aren't really legitimate physicists rather than saying who gives a rat's patoot about physicists.

    , @Mr. Anon
    "There’s a lot more to physics than particle physics aka high energy physics. Condensed matter physics, a generalization of what used to be called solid state physics, is really hot (well, lots of it is really cold – as in barely above absolute zero – but you know what I mean)."

    Yes, there are other branches of physics, but the public doesn't care about them. Nobody writes popular books on the fractional Hall effect or spin-glasses. For the most part, it is particle physics and astrophysics that define physics for the general public.
  139. Mr. Anon says:
    @Bliss

    The Germans.....never could have pulled it off, which fact they seemed to have realized – they weren’t even trying to build a bomb.

    The US on the other hand was able to launch a truly massive effort to build atomic weapons
     
    The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):

    Father of the Atom Bomb: Oppenheimer
    Father of the Hydrogen Bomb: Teller
    Father of the Nuclear Submarine: Rickover

    “The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):”

    That is a common conception, and it is a misconception. As Jack D pointed out, there is no “jewish physics”. Physics is physics. It doesn’t require the magical touch of any one tribe.

    Oppenheimer did not really function as a scientist in the Manhattan project, but as an administrator (albeit an able one). Teller functioned as a pest. If they had followed his advice, they probably wouldn’t have produced a functioning weapon during the war. He did have a key insight about the H-bomb, however the implementation was due to other people. The guy you’re looking for is Hans Bethe (who was jewish); as head of the theoretical group at Los Alamos, he was pretty important. Fundmentally however, it was not this or that physicist (or which ethnicity they belonged to) who permitted the US to build the bomb. It was the vast resources that the US could bring to bear on the problem.

    Same with Rickover. He was a competent (and ruthless) administrator, and he was technically competent. But we still would have had a nuclear navy without him. The Russians didn’t have him.

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    • Replies: @5371
    Bethe had one Jewish parent.
    Teller may have contributed more over a long period to the fusion bomb's design than anyone else of the many involved, but the most important single insight came from Stanislaw Ulam.
  140. Mr. Anon says:
    @Anon
    "A physicsist"

    Are you for real?

    It is spelled 'physicist'.

    “Are you for real?

    It is spelled ‘physicist’.”

    It is spelled “typo”. Even physicists make them.

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  141. @Bliss

    And none of them were Black, or Mestizo, or, etc, etc
     
    None of the STEM nerds from as recently as ~1500 years ago were germans or scandinavians or scots etc etc. On the other hand african STEM geniuses built this 4500 years ago:

    http://www.phantastische-zeiten-shop.de/images/sphinx.logo.jpg

    We wuz kaaangs!

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  142. anonguy says:
    @Hibernian
    Physics majors tend to be like English majors, politically.

    Physics majors tend to be like English majors, politically.

    Yes, they and the math majors (I was physics) tend to gravitate towards the avant garde despite their nerdiness. Engineering students, at least traditionally, have tended to be far more conservative IME.

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  143. gruff says:
    @JLoHo
    George Orwell was REALLY wrong wasn't he?

    The Germans were REALLY right weren't they? The Germans were the ones pointing out the truth...there is no such thing as Science...all science is biased depending on who is doing the Science-Ing.

    there is no such thing as Science…all science is biased depending on who is doing the Science-Ing.

    That was Oswald Spengler’s thesis in The Decline of the West. His first argument is that mathematics is entirely cultural – although they share similar forms, the ancient Greek “one two three” is in its essence different from the modern Western “one two three” – we are counting different “things”.

    The book is worth reading – he makes a decent case that the issue (of the objectivity of any element of human endeavour) isn’t as clearcut as anyone, on either side, would really like it to be.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    Sorry, not buying it. Numbers exist independent of any culture. Things like "what is funny" are (to some extent) culturally bound but numbers are numbers. Some primitive cultures (Australian aborigines) didn't have words for numbers beyond two or three, but that's because they were primitives - all advanced cultures have number systems and "two marbles" to the ancient Greeks meant EXACTLY the same thing as two marbles to us.
  144. Clyde says:
    @Anonymous
    It is now routine in academia to hire lesser contributors to good work who happen to be women when the principal authors go without jobs, or are underemployed (my field is almost without non-Asian minorities).

    There are many cases in which a minor (female) contributor on a good paper gets a good tenure-track job at a fine institution when the principal (male) author, who all acknowledge actually did the work, cannot even get a postdoc position at a third rate department. Worse yet, a few years later the woman is credited with the work. Indeed, in most cases, they come to believe they actually did it themselves.

    And then there is the endless complaining about how unfairly they are treated ...

    It is now routine in academia to hire lesser contributors to good work who happen to be women when the principal authors go without jobs, or are underemployed (my field is almost without non-Asian minorities).

    There are many cases in which a minor (female) contributor on a good paper gets a good tenure-track job at a fine institution when the principal (male) author, who all acknowledge actually did the work, cannot even get a postdoc position at a third rate department.

    Michael Savage used to complain more about it. But he experienced this crap years ago (maybe 30 years?) and left his field in disgust. He wanted to teach and get onto a tenure track but he kept losing out to inferior women and minorities. I once heard him go on for ten minutes about how he got screwed by the PC university maggots of that time. At UC Berkley.
    He obtained a Ph.D. in 1978 from the University of California, Berkeley, in nutritional ethnomedicine._____wikipedia

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  145. gruff says:
    @Mr. Blank

    ...the discredited Mismatch Theory.
     
    I hate this rhetorical technique. Obama is particularly fond of it.

    I'm sure there's a name for it, but it escapes me at the moment. But it's incredibly irritating; it's when an author glancingly implies a particular controversy has been definitively resolved, when said controversy is actually very much alive.

    If some study really succeeded in "discrediting" the "mismatch theory," you can bet the New York Times would have been shouting about this important new research from its front page for a full week. But alas, no such study has ever been released. Instead, if you follow the footnote, they're referencing some obscure article in some Blackety-Black academic journal that nobody reads. Upon this slender reed rests their curt dismissal of Scalia's question.

    Teach the controversy!

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  146. anonguy says:
    @cthulhu
    There's a lot more to physics than particle physics aka high energy physics. Condensed matter physics, a generalization of what used to be called solid state physics, is really hot (well, lots of it is really cold - as in barely above absolute zero - but you know what I mean).

    There’s a lot more to physics than particle physics aka high energy physics. Condensed matter physics, a generalization of what used to be called solid state physics, is really hot (well, lots of it is really cold – as in barely above absolute zero – but you know what I mean).

    This may be true, but it still doesn’t change the fact that physics is no longer Big Physics and has lost the imagination of the public. When it had it it was a field of demonstrably high and immediate consequences for, well, everyone and everything.

    I have a degree in physics and haven’t had the slightest interest in any physics breakthrough since my undergrad days. And that isn’t sour grapes, I was very capable, top student and all, sought after for grad work, etc. But even back then, I felt the glory days had passed for the field, at least in my lifetime, and went to other (highly technical) things that seemed a lot more relevant.

    The best thing about having a physics degree is everyone else invariably thinks you are the smartest guy in the room providing you are the only one there with such a thing. This actually has consistently worked to my advantage over the decades and for that reason alone I could easily recommend a young person pursuing a physics degree. Undergraduate is enough – I have a insanely propellor-headed grad degree that required a lot more mental horsepower, but the undegrad physics degree is what people always notice and defer to me as more being more intelligent than them.

    Really, it gives people a face-saving out, naturally anonguy is smart, he has a physics degree. Not that it makes him right, but conceding smart is a long way to conceding right.

    This thread is a case in point. Would anyone be paying the signatories the slightest heed if it were a petition signed by chemists? And many commenters seems to be relieved that many/most signatories aren’t really legitimate physicists rather than saying who gives a rat’s patoot about physicists.

    Read More
  147. syonredux says:
    @cthulhu
    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that's true?

    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that’s true?

    It’s not.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    But what was Heisenberg's nuclear program focused upon: weapons or energy?
    , @cthulhu
    Ok, I got further interested in spite of myself, and found this:

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sanders/214/other/news/Bethe.html

    So you're right, but trivially so - according to Bethe, Heisenberg didn't work on the German bomb, he was working on nuclear reactors, with a possible but by no means certain relationship to the German bomb effort.
    , @donut
    I hope not .
  148. anonguy says:

    Fundmentally however, it was not this or that physicist (or which ethnicity they belonged to) who permitted the US to build the bomb. It was the vast resources that the US could bring to bear on the problem.

    Exactly. Figuring out uranium enrichment at Oak Ridge, Tenn was at least as important as anything that happened in Nevada. And the theoretical basis of the bomb was understood before the war. It was engineering after that. Tons of it, but basically engineering.

    Read up on Leo Szilard. He actually had a patent on nuclear fission in the 1930s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss

    Read up on Leo Szilard. He actually had a patent on nuclear fission in the 1930s.
     
    I read up on Leo Szilard (thank God for the internet) and discovered that he was jewish as well (ethnic not religious). On the other hand Enrico Fermi, also known as the architect of the atomic bomb, was a gentile italian, but he did have an ethnic jewish wife so had to escape from Europe to America.

    So many of Europe's best scientists and engineers ended up in America because of Hitler...
  149. @syonredux

    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that’s true?
     
    It's not.

    But what was Heisenberg’s nuclear program focused upon: weapons or energy?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    But what was Heisenberg’s nuclear program focused upon: weapons or energy?
     
    Here's an article that discusses the Heisenberg-German atomic program in some depth:

    Thomas Powers, Heisenberg's War: the secret history of the German bomb (Jonathan Cape, £20)

    "Politics is prior to the vagaries of science" - Green Gartside
    The German bomb was the dog that didn't bark in the Second World War. What was to become the Manhattan Project was initially approved by Roosevelt "to see that the Nazis don't blow us up". Many of the world's leading nuclear physicists were German; some had fled the country, but many had remained. Yet there was no German bomb: US forces entering Strasbourg in 1944 discovered that German physicists were still "debating the fundamentals of reactor design". The question is why.

    Powers gives us two stories and one answer. There is the story of the German bomb programme itself, and of its passage from desk to desk in the bureaucratic nightmare that was the Nazi state: this, despite the book's subtitle, is curiously scanted and unfocussed. By contrast the story of what the British and US governments knew about the programme and what they did about it is told with energy and precision, illuminating part of the war's covert underside. There is the high drama of a successful, though ineffectual, commando raid on a heavy water plant in occupied Norway; the tragicomedy of "Operation Shark", a bungled attempt by the OSS - forerunner of the CIA - to bring nuclear physicists out of occupied Italy; the black farce of an OSS agent sitting through a lecture on "S-matrix" theory with a gun in his pocket, prepared to shoot the lecturer if he made any reference to bomb physics. The predominant tone of these episodes is of inefficiency, wasted effort and absurdity, but then covert operations were ever thus.

    Neither the history of the German atomic programme nor the Allies' successive, fumbling attempts to understand or prevent it furnishes Powers' answer. That lies in one man: Werner Heisenberg. The co-founder of quantum physics with Niels Bohr, Heisenberg was the greatest of all the physicists who had made their peace with Hitler: "the most dangerous possible German in the field because of his brain power", in the words of a British physicist. (These words were taken seriously in OSS circles - hence the lecture-theatre operation). If anyone could secure funding for a bomb programme it was Heisenberg; if anyone was to lead a bomb programme and make it succeed, Heisenberg was the man. And if Heisenberg didn't want to build the bomb? This is not a hypothetical question: in the words of a message sent to US physicists in 1941, "We are trying here hard, including Heisenberg, to hinder the idea of making a bomb. But the pressure from above... Heisenberg will not be able to withstand longer the pressure from the government".

    Powers argues that this was to underestimate Heisenberg: that Heisenberg withstood the government to the point of undermining the German bomb programme. Every step of the way, Heisenberg stressed the risks and difficulties of the project; asked point blank to set a timescale, Heisenberg denied that a bomb could be built in time to assist the war effort. Heisenberg even visited Bohr in occupied Denmark in 1941, knowing that Bohr had contacts with the Allies, and spoke openly about his work on the bomb programme before suggesting a worldwide physicists' agreement not to work on nuclear weaponry. Far from being "the most dangerous possible German", Heisenberg was the Allies' biggest asset; if anything, Heisenberg's opposition to nuclear weapons research makes him contrast favourably with the physicists of the Manhattan Project.

    There are three main propositions here. Firstly, Heisenberg was an anti-fascist, unafraid to give away classified information to the Allies. Secondly, although Heisenberg accepted official positions under the Nazis, he obstructed atomic weapons research as effectively as if he had offered the regime open resistance, if not more so. Lastly, Heisenberg's resistance was crucial in preventing a serious German bomb programme, which otherwise could have parallelled the Manhattan Project and won the war for Hitler. A book could be written demolishing this argument; unfortunately Powers' book is dedicated to stating and re-stating it, often in the teeth of the facts it documents. I believe it is wrong on all counts: Heisenberg's politics, his supposed stand against the bomb programme, the significance of that stand and the feasibility of a German bomb programme under the Nazis.

    Powers argues that Heisenberg as a young man "had no politics in the usual sense of the term", and appears to believe that his later anti-Nazism rested on this unworldly base. Yet well into his twenties Heisenberg was a keen member of the Jugendbewegung (Youth Movement), an organisation combining outdoor pursuits with a philosophy made up of elitism, anti-intellectualism and ethnic nationalism. At the age of 17 Heisenberg served in a Munich citizens' militia, assisting the Freikorps forces which violently suppressed the 1919 Communist government of Bavaria. According to one source the Munich rising was organised by the Thule Society, a mystical nationalist organisation with links to the early Nazi Party; Thule associates included Rudolf Hess, who also fought in Munich as a member of the Freikorps.

    Far from having "no politics", Heisenberg had political views which he expressed with remarkable consistency and frankness. When Hitler took power Bohr remarked to his assistant Leon Rosenfeld, "I have just been to see Heisenberg and you should see how happy Heisenberg is. Now we have at least order." (Bohr, who was half-Jewish, revised this opinion subsequently). In 1938 Heisenberg dismissed the possibility of a Nazi-Soviet pact with "No patriotic German would ever consider that option". In the course of his visit to Bohr in 1941 he expressed satisfaction at the subjection of Eastern Europe, arguing that "these countries were not able to govern themselves", and looked forward to Germany defeating Russia; in 1943 he argued that it was Germany's historic mission to defend Europe against Eastern barbarism, and that a German-ruled Europe might be the lesser of two evils. (Powers says only that "There are times when the 'lesser evil' is a defensible choice, but October 1943 was not one of them". Perhaps if it had been the lesser evil...) As late as December 1944, Heisenberg conceded that the war was lost but added that "it would have been so fine if we had won".

    Powers explains these remarks and the offence they caused by proposing either tactlessness or the constraints of office on Heisenberg's part, compounded by over-sensitivity on his audience's. A truer reading might be that, while Heisenberg was no Nazi - he was not anti-semitic, for example - he shared much of the Nazi world-view and hoped for a German victory. He believed that the Nazi leadership would not survive the end of the war, using the analogy of muddy water: stir it up and the dirt rises to the top, let it settle and the dirt drops to the bottom. "I'm not a Nazi but a German," he protested in 1944; earlier that year Albert Speer had expressed similar priorities, proclaiming that "we shall continue to do our duty so that our German people will be preserved".

    Albert Speer was appointed Minister of Armaments in 1941 and given formal powers to direct the German economy in March 1942. Speer was a technocrat, relatively unburdened by Nazi ideology, and a long-time enthusiast for the Peenemünde rocket programme which culminated in the V-2s; if anyone could initiate a German Manhattan Project he could. However, the Powers interpretation runs, Speer was no match for Heisenberg's delaying tactics. At a conference on nuclear fission organised by the Education Ministry in June 1942, Heisenberg told Speer that an atom bomb would take two years to develop and left the impression that research was still in its first stages; told that Autumn "not to count on anything for three or four years", Speer "scuttled the project". For the rest of the war German research concentrated on the peaceful applications of nuclear fission. If Heisenberg had said a bomb could be built, Speer would have supplied the money and the manpower; Heisenberg said it couldn't be done, and it was not done.

    This interpretation misses everything of significance. Firstly, if Heisenberg had genuinely wanted to hinder the German atomic programme he had only to leave Germany. Nuclear physics was initially rejected by the Nazis as "Jewish physics" owing to its origins in the work of Einstein. In 1938 Heisenberg fought a protracted battle with proponents of Newtonian - "Aryan" - physics, ultimately resolved by a personal approach to Himmler. If depriving Germany of the atom bomb was the object, nothing could have been more effective than leaving the field and giving "Aryan physics" a free run. Secondly, although Heisenberg - like many other nuclear physicists - appears to have been genuinely opposed to bomb development, his timescales were not in fact overly pessimistic: in America almost three years elapsed between presidential approval and the christening of the Manhattan Project, another three before the first bomb test. In 1942 no honest physicist could have promised an atom bomb inside two years. Speer might have been willing to hurry the process along by pouring resources into fission research, had there been anything to pour them into: unlike the V-2, the Army's pet project since 1937, fission research in 1942 was still at too early a stage to be funded on an industrial scale. Finally, the reason why the Education Ministry had charge of fission research in 1942 was that the Army had abandoned it the previous year. The bomb had already been rejected for the war effort before Heisenberg's intervention.

    In understanding why atomic weapons research was dropped, first by the Army and then by Speer, the timescale is decisive. At the end of 1941 almost all of continental Europe was under Axis control, Britain was blockaded and German armies were advancing into Russia. Victory in Russia seemed assured; all Germany had to do was to reach terms with Britain and the US - then newly at war with Japan - and the era of German-ruled peace anticipated by Heisenberg could begin. Heisenberg's visit to Bohr fits in this context: far from sending a message to nuclear physicists working for the Allies, Heisenberg was canvassing Bohr's co-operation, as a citizen of the German empire, in the post-war development of nuclear power. Under these circumstances it made no sense for the Army to back long-term programmes which might some day lead to new weapons: the old ones were doing the job, after all.

    By 1943 the situation had been reversed, in Russia, in Africa and in the air. The pressure of imminent defeat called for the acceleration of existing weapons programmes, such as the V-2, and the introduction of new weapons which could be developed quickly, such as the V-1 flying bombs: once again, for different reasons, atomic weapons research seemed too speculative and too long-term to be worthwhile. Add to this the practical effect of Allied bombings, which in 1943 destroyed the Norwegian plant which was Germany's only source of heavy water, and the German bomb was a non-starter. Speer concluded after the war that "with extreme concentration of all our resources" - including the abandonment of Peenemünde - "we could have had a German atom bomb by 1947".

    Even this was probably a hopeful estimate. Paradoxically, "extreme concentration of resources" was not easy in Nazi Germany. Hitler's rule was based on the dispersal of power: from his immediate subordinates to regional party officials, everyone in authority had their own power base, their own interests and the freedom to pursue them. The consequence was that, unlike the ideological mobilisation of the population, the mobilisation of the German economy for war happened piecemeal if at all. After the Army had taken control of the atomic programme in 1940 research was carried out, not in the barracks conditions of the Manhattan Project, but by what was called the Uranverein (Uranium Club); Powers remarks that even the word "club" is too formal for what was "an unruly mailing list of competing scientists". The situation is illustrated by the fact that Germany's only particle accelerator was held by the Post Office.

    The German bomb never existed: even the German nuclear reactor, the peaceful project onto which Heisenberg claimed to have redirected government attention, was barely in existence at the end of the war. The only "secret history" behind this state of affairs is the entire complex and scattered story of atomic research under the Nazis. Powers does not tell that story: physicists other than Heisenberg appear from time to time, but what they all did during the war is unclear. Nor does he follow the course of the war and its effects on atomic research; nor does he consider the political differences between Heisenberg and other physicists in the US, in occupied Europe and in Germany. Instead he tells the tale of Heisenberg: how Heisenberg stopped the Nazi bomb programme in its tracks, how Heisenberg proposed a pre-emptive nuclear freeze, how the Allies responded by trying to kidnap or kill him.

    There is something deeply unsatisfactory here. It is hard to see that Heisenberg did anything of any significance either to resist the Nazis or to forestall the German atom bomb. Heisenberg and other German physicists worked on nuclear fission through the war; even if a German atom bomb was not a real possibility, their work brought it measurably nearer. Moreover, there is nothing to suggest that any of them - even Otto Hahn, who said he would kill himself if his work led to a bomb - would actually have refused to work on a German Manhattan Project: if, for example, nuclear fission had been discovered in 1929 rather than 1939, and Peenemünde had been devoted to the A-bomb instead of the V-2. The decision whether or not to build an atom bomb was a political choice, on which the humanitarian intentions of any individual scientist could have no effect - the Manhattan Project itself is witness to that.

     

    http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/amroth/scritti/heisenberg.htm
  150. anonguy says:
    @Diversity Heretic
    I am not a scientist but I have read that while the 20th Century was the century of physics, the 21st Century will be the century of biology--although that will be much more dangerous to the illusions of the social justice warriors than physics could ever be.

    On the other hand, the thought of an incompetent physicist in the management of a nuclear power plant is fairly terrifying.

    On the other hand, the thought of an incompetent physicist in the management of a nuclear power plant is fairly terrifying.

    The thought of a competent physicist in the management of a nuke power plant isn’t much more comforting. Nuclear power plants are run by operators who make their way up the ranks and recieve specialized training on, naturally, how to run a nuclear power plant. Typically, there is a bunch of nuclear engineering in the training in addition to straight operational stuff with enough physics theory to provide background.

    Traditionally, lots of guys come out of USN programs. Physics helps with some of the material, engineering degrees help with other portions. And other things come into play.

    I knew two guys with physics degrees who washed from Navy nuke training, one from Princeton, one from Duke, so they weren’t slouches intellectually. But managing a nuclear plant also requires personal qualities in a crisis, what the Navy calls “command presence”, the ability to take charge, impose your will upon situations, and, at the end of the day, that is what these guys lacked, both were kind of nerdy, and the Navy was pretty upfront about it. Civilian programs look for the same, can’t have a shrinking violet in charge in certain siuations.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    If I recall, one of the things that caused the Three Mile Island near-meltdown was the fact that the guys they had on duty were basically low level technicians who couldn't properly analyze or respond to what was going on. They had started out with more educated operators but the job consisted of sitting and staring at dials that never moved (when everything was going right, which was almost all of the time) and it was mind numbingly boring for someone highly intelligent (and maybe the utility figured they could save money by hiring less educated operators). Then one day the dials did move and the techs on duty were incapable of dealing with it.
  151. 5371 says:
    @Bliss

    The Germans.....never could have pulled it off, which fact they seemed to have realized – they weren’t even trying to build a bomb.

    The US on the other hand was able to launch a truly massive effort to build atomic weapons
     
    The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):

    Father of the Atom Bomb: Oppenheimer
    Father of the Hydrogen Bomb: Teller
    Father of the Nuclear Submarine: Rickover

    You are taking the metaphor of fatherhood far too literally.

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  152. anonguy says:
    @cthulhu
    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that's true?

    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that’s true?

    I read up on some of this years ago and my memory is sketchy. However, without reviewing the material, my impression remains that Heisenberg was rather an ardent Nazi or at least markedly slavish in courting official Nazi/governmental favor.

    The slowing down claim came across to me as post-war revisionism/rehabilitation. Most of the slow progress IIRC was simply lack of resources & commitment by the German government. Apparently Hitler was at least mildly concerned that an uncontrolled uranium fission reaction (i.e, explosion) could spread to the atmosphere in sort of an ice9 fashion, obliterating the earth.

    Sounds childish and silly then, but Hitler, and whichever advisors put this notion in his head, were hardly alone. Apparently there were at least a few sighs of relief among various (non-idiotic) Americans after Trinity/Los Alamos that this didn’t happen.

    Again, details are fuzzy, this is from long ago reading and maybe the material has been debunked/changed since then.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "Apparently Hitler was at least mildly concerned that an uncontrolled uranium fission reaction (i.e, explosion) could spread to the atmosphere in sort of an ice9 fashion, obliterating the earth."

    I'm not sure that Hitler ever even contemplated the idea of an atomic bomb, or if he was ever briefed on it. The Germans had alreadly fairly early in the war given up on any idea of building a nuclear weapon. Their research was directed solely at building a reactor, based on what I have read anyway.
    , @Mr. Anon
    "Apparently there were at least a few sighs of relief among various (non-idiotic) Americans after Trinity/Los Alamos that this didn’t happen."

    Teller raised the concern that a fission bomb might ignite a sustained thermonuclear reaction in atmospheric nitrogen. Bethe (or maybe Teller himself, or both) were able to discount that concern fairly early in the project.
    , @5371
    [my impression remains that Heisenberg was rather an ardent Nazi or at least markedly slavish in courting official Nazi/governmental favor.]

    Your impression is highly inaccurate.
  153. 5371 says:
    @Mr. Anon
    "The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):"

    That is a common conception, and it is a misconception. As Jack D pointed out, there is no "jewish physics". Physics is physics. It doesn't require the magical touch of any one tribe.

    Oppenheimer did not really function as a scientist in the Manhattan project, but as an administrator (albeit an able one). Teller functioned as a pest. If they had followed his advice, they probably wouldn't have produced a functioning weapon during the war. He did have a key insight about the H-bomb, however the implementation was due to other people. The guy you're looking for is Hans Bethe (who was jewish); as head of the theoretical group at Los Alamos, he was pretty important. Fundmentally however, it was not this or that physicist (or which ethnicity they belonged to) who permitted the US to build the bomb. It was the vast resources that the US could bring to bear on the problem.

    Same with Rickover. He was a competent (and ruthless) administrator, and he was technically competent. But we still would have had a nuclear navy without him. The Russians didn't have him.

    Bethe had one Jewish parent.
    Teller may have contributed more over a long period to the fusion bomb’s design than anyone else of the many involved, but the most important single insight came from Stanislaw Ulam.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "Teller may have contributed more over a long period to the fusion bomb’s design than anyone else of the many involved, but the most important single insight came from Stanislaw Ulam."

    Ulam realized that radiation from the primary would be required to compress the fusible material. it was Teller who realized that the form of radiation required would be x-rays, rather than neutrons, as Ulam had proposed.
  154. iSteveFan says:
    @Gringo
    If being a minority student in a majority-white physics class is that bad, then why not conduct all minority classes or have these students attend historically black colleges and universities?

    HBCUs do a better job of producing STEM graduates than other institutions of higher learning. HBCUs -- the Best Producers of Black Graduates in STEM.


    All Black Students (Column 2) ... The first row shows that HBCs enrolled 18 percent of all of the black students who were enrolled in the nation's four year colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 semester. The second row shows that HBCUs conferred 27 percent of the STEM degrees that year. All other things being equal, we would have expected HBCUs to confer 18 percent of the STEM degrees; the additional 9 points represent an excess of 50 percent.

    Black Male Students (Column 3) ... The first row shows that HBCs enrolled 19 percent of all of the black male students who were enrolled in the nation's four year colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 semester. But the second row shows that HBCUs conferred 23 percent of the STEM degrees on the nation's black male students that year. All other things being equal, we would have expected HBCUs to confer 19 percent of the STEM degrees on black males; the additional 4 points represent an excess of 20 percent.

    Black Female Students (Column 4) ... The first row shows that HBCs enrolled 17 percent of all of the black female students who were enrolled in the nation's four year colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 semester. But the second row shows that HBCUs conferred 31 percent of the STEM degrees that year. All other things being equal, we would have expected HBCUs to confer 17 percent of the STEM degrees on the nations black female students; instead they conferred almost twice as many STEM degrees on black female students, i.e., 31 percent. The additional 14 points represent an HBCU share that is 81 percent larger than we would have expected if the support provided by HBCUs for black female students in STEM programs was no more effective than the support provided by non-HBCUs.

     
    HCBU production of black STEM graduates lends support to the mismatch theory, which maintains that a student is less likely to follow through on initial plans to be a STEM major when a student's grade and board scores are below average for a given school.

    If you want black STEM graduates, encourage blacks to go to a HCBU, not to a school where affirmative action admission policies result in the aforementioned mismatch.

    It is interesting that HBCU attendance has a bigger difference in STEM graduates for black females than for black males, given that black females tend to be higher academic achievers than black males.

    Good info.

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  155. cthulhu says:
    @syonredux

    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that’s true?
     
    It's not.

    Ok, I got further interested in spite of myself, and found this:

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sanders/214/other/news/Bethe.html

    So you’re right, but trivially so – according to Bethe, Heisenberg didn’t work on the German bomb, he was working on nuclear reactors, with a possible but by no means certain relationship to the German bomb effort.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Ok, I got further interested in spite of myself, and found this:

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sanders/214/other/news/Bethe.html

    So you’re right, but trivially so – according to Bethe, Heisenberg didn’t work on the German bomb, he was working on nuclear reactors, with a possible but by no means certain relationship to the German bomb effort.
     
    A bit more than "trivially so," I would argue. The " Heisenberg myth" revolves around the notion that he deliberately hindered Germany's attempts to develop an atomic bomb. And that is simply not true.
  156. Mr. Anon says:
    @cthulhu
    There's a lot more to physics than particle physics aka high energy physics. Condensed matter physics, a generalization of what used to be called solid state physics, is really hot (well, lots of it is really cold - as in barely above absolute zero - but you know what I mean).

    “There’s a lot more to physics than particle physics aka high energy physics. Condensed matter physics, a generalization of what used to be called solid state physics, is really hot (well, lots of it is really cold – as in barely above absolute zero – but you know what I mean).”

    Yes, there are other branches of physics, but the public doesn’t care about them. Nobody writes popular books on the fractional Hall effect or spin-glasses. For the most part, it is particle physics and astrophysics that define physics for the general public.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    You have got to ramp up all the hoopla about fusion reactors. I remember that being all the rage in the 70s.
  157. anonguy says:
    @Matthew Kelly
    I know of one example supporting this: An old college buddy of mine got his doctorate in theoretical physics, and after spending a year or two in some bunker studying solar neutrino emissions said something much to the effect of your comment. He is now a lawyer.

    I know of one example supporting this: An old college buddy of mine got his doctorate in theoretical physics, and after spending a year or two in some bunker studying solar neutrino emissions said something much to the effect of your comment. He is now a lawyer.

    See, all physics guys aren’t necessarily really smart if it took him that long to figure it out. Happened to me in my third year, I’m still glad I caught on early. Finished the degree and moved on.

    Another thing about physicists – yes, people tend to think they are smart and consequently often give their opinions greater weight than warranted. One result of this is the field tends to attract people who want other people to think they are smart or even to convince themselves over their insecurities that they are natural genius.

    This dynamic is/was (been out of it for years) extremely prominent, just oozes from everyone in the field, the neediness to feel like they are incredibly smart, as opposed to hardworking, people. Even as an undergrad, I could see this in all my profs and was another major thing in me pursuing other options in life, I didn’t want to have colleagues with this pathetic neediness. Really, nearly every competent physicist is constantly in a battle to prove how smart he is, even the really smart accomplished ones. Kind of sucks being around people like that all the time, IMO.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    [See, all physics guys aren’t necessarily really smart if it took him that long to figure it out. Happened to me in my third year, I’m still glad I caught on early]

    ...

    [Really, nearly every competent physicist is constantly in a battle to prove how smart he is, even the really smart accomplished ones. Kind of sucks being around people like that all the time, IMO.]

    Irony is dead.
  158. Mr. Anon says:
    @5371
    Bethe had one Jewish parent.
    Teller may have contributed more over a long period to the fusion bomb's design than anyone else of the many involved, but the most important single insight came from Stanislaw Ulam.

    “Teller may have contributed more over a long period to the fusion bomb’s design than anyone else of the many involved, but the most important single insight came from Stanislaw Ulam.”

    Ulam realized that radiation from the primary would be required to compress the fusible material. it was Teller who realized that the form of radiation required would be x-rays, rather than neutrons, as Ulam had proposed.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    The Teller-Ulam design relates to hydrogen bombs. These came after the war was over - the Manhattan Project involved only fission bombs. Fermi casually gave Teller the idea of using a fission bomb (which did not yet even exist) as the trigger for a fusion bomb as early as 1941 and Teller immediately realized the implications and seized on the "Super" as being a much more interesting intellectual exercise (and capable of producing MUCH larger explosions). The plutonium bomb was also quite a scientific challenge because you had to create a perfect spherical implosion but the uranium bomb was really pretty mundane. The challenge was in producing enough enriched uranium but once you had it, it wasn't really that hard to trigger the chain reaction - basically you shoot a uranium bullet containing 1/2 the critical mass down a cannon barrel where it meets the other half and then it goes boom - something not very interesting for a mind of Teller's caliber.
  159. Mr. Anon says:
    @anonguy

    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that’s true?
     
    I read up on some of this years ago and my memory is sketchy. However, without reviewing the material, my impression remains that Heisenberg was rather an ardent Nazi or at least markedly slavish in courting official Nazi/governmental favor.

    The slowing down claim came across to me as post-war revisionism/rehabilitation. Most of the slow progress IIRC was simply lack of resources & commitment by the German government. Apparently Hitler was at least mildly concerned that an uncontrolled uranium fission reaction (i.e, explosion) could spread to the atmosphere in sort of an ice9 fashion, obliterating the earth.

    Sounds childish and silly then, but Hitler, and whichever advisors put this notion in his head, were hardly alone. Apparently there were at least a few sighs of relief among various (non-idiotic) Americans after Trinity/Los Alamos that this didn't happen.

    Again, details are fuzzy, this is from long ago reading and maybe the material has been debunked/changed since then.

    “Apparently Hitler was at least mildly concerned that an uncontrolled uranium fission reaction (i.e, explosion) could spread to the atmosphere in sort of an ice9 fashion, obliterating the earth.”

    I’m not sure that Hitler ever even contemplated the idea of an atomic bomb, or if he was ever briefed on it. The Germans had alreadly fairly early in the war given up on any idea of building a nuclear weapon. Their research was directed solely at building a reactor, based on what I have read anyway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonguy

    I’m not sure that Hitler ever even contemplated the idea of an atomic bomb, or if he was ever briefed on it. The Germans had alreadly fairly early in the war given up on any idea of building a nuclear weapon. Their research was directed solely at building a reactor, based on what I have read anyway.
     
    What I seem to vaguely remember is someone recounting a conversation with Hitler where he expressed this concern and maybe it was not only about bombs but reactors as well. But again, I'd have to go back and dig around for details, but I'm certain about the recollection of Hitler discussing/entertaing the thought, and it was also fairly early in the war IIRC.
  160. Mr. Anon says:
    @anonguy

    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that’s true?
     
    I read up on some of this years ago and my memory is sketchy. However, without reviewing the material, my impression remains that Heisenberg was rather an ardent Nazi or at least markedly slavish in courting official Nazi/governmental favor.

    The slowing down claim came across to me as post-war revisionism/rehabilitation. Most of the slow progress IIRC was simply lack of resources & commitment by the German government. Apparently Hitler was at least mildly concerned that an uncontrolled uranium fission reaction (i.e, explosion) could spread to the atmosphere in sort of an ice9 fashion, obliterating the earth.

    Sounds childish and silly then, but Hitler, and whichever advisors put this notion in his head, were hardly alone. Apparently there were at least a few sighs of relief among various (non-idiotic) Americans after Trinity/Los Alamos that this didn't happen.

    Again, details are fuzzy, this is from long ago reading and maybe the material has been debunked/changed since then.

    “Apparently there were at least a few sighs of relief among various (non-idiotic) Americans after Trinity/Los Alamos that this didn’t happen.”

    Teller raised the concern that a fission bomb might ignite a sustained thermonuclear reaction in atmospheric nitrogen. Bethe (or maybe Teller himself, or both) were able to discount that concern fairly early in the project.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Check into the Castle Bravo nuke test. Annie Jacobsen's new book about DARPA has a chapter on it, and even in 1954 there were concerns about an unchecked reaction. The test itself was a miscalculation of epic proportions.
  161. anonguy says:
    @Mr. Anon
    "Apparently Hitler was at least mildly concerned that an uncontrolled uranium fission reaction (i.e, explosion) could spread to the atmosphere in sort of an ice9 fashion, obliterating the earth."

    I'm not sure that Hitler ever even contemplated the idea of an atomic bomb, or if he was ever briefed on it. The Germans had alreadly fairly early in the war given up on any idea of building a nuclear weapon. Their research was directed solely at building a reactor, based on what I have read anyway.

    I’m not sure that Hitler ever even contemplated the idea of an atomic bomb, or if he was ever briefed on it. The Germans had alreadly fairly early in the war given up on any idea of building a nuclear weapon. Their research was directed solely at building a reactor, based on what I have read anyway.

    What I seem to vaguely remember is someone recounting a conversation with Hitler where he expressed this concern and maybe it was not only about bombs but reactors as well. But again, I’d have to go back and dig around for details, but I’m certain about the recollection of Hitler discussing/entertaing the thought, and it was also fairly early in the war IIRC.

    Read More
  162. syonredux says:
    @cthulhu
    Ok, I got further interested in spite of myself, and found this:

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sanders/214/other/news/Bethe.html

    So you're right, but trivially so - according to Bethe, Heisenberg didn't work on the German bomb, he was working on nuclear reactors, with a possible but by no means certain relationship to the German bomb effort.

    Ok, I got further interested in spite of myself, and found this:

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sanders/214/other/news/Bethe.html

    So you’re right, but trivially so – according to Bethe, Heisenberg didn’t work on the German bomb, he was working on nuclear reactors, with a possible but by no means certain relationship to the German bomb effort.

    A bit more than “trivially so,” I would argue. The ” Heisenberg myth” revolves around the notion that he deliberately hindered Germany’s attempts to develop an atomic bomb. And that is simply not true.

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    • Replies: @5371
    No, the Heisenberg "myth" revolves around his extraordinary contributions to physics in 1924-25. And it's not a myth.
  163. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer
    But what was Heisenberg's nuclear program focused upon: weapons or energy?

    But what was Heisenberg’s nuclear program focused upon: weapons or energy?

    Here’s an article that discusses the Heisenberg-German atomic program in some depth:

    Thomas Powers, Heisenberg’s War: the secret history of the German bomb (Jonathan Cape, £20)

    “Politics is prior to the vagaries of science” – Green Gartside
    The German bomb was the dog that didn’t bark in the Second World War. What was to become the Manhattan Project was initially approved by Roosevelt “to see that the Nazis don’t blow us up”. Many of the world’s leading nuclear physicists were German; some had fled the country, but many had remained. Yet there was no German bomb: US forces entering Strasbourg in 1944 discovered that German physicists were still “debating the fundamentals of reactor design”. The question is why.

    Powers gives us two stories and one answer. There is the story of the German bomb programme itself, and of its passage from desk to desk in the bureaucratic nightmare that was the Nazi state: this, despite the book’s subtitle, is curiously scanted and unfocussed. By contrast the story of what the British and US governments knew about the programme and what they did about it is told with energy and precision, illuminating part of the war’s covert underside. There is the high drama of a successful, though ineffectual, commando raid on a heavy water plant in occupied Norway; the tragicomedy of “Operation Shark”, a bungled attempt by the OSS – forerunner of the CIA – to bring nuclear physicists out of occupied Italy; the black farce of an OSS agent sitting through a lecture on “S-matrix” theory with a gun in his pocket, prepared to shoot the lecturer if he made any reference to bomb physics. The predominant tone of these episodes is of inefficiency, wasted effort and absurdity, but then covert operations were ever thus.

    Neither the history of the German atomic programme nor the Allies’ successive, fumbling attempts to understand or prevent it furnishes Powers’ answer. That lies in one man: Werner Heisenberg. The co-founder of quantum physics with Niels Bohr, Heisenberg was the greatest of all the physicists who had made their peace with Hitler: “the most dangerous possible German in the field because of his brain power”, in the words of a British physicist. (These words were taken seriously in OSS circles – hence the lecture-theatre operation). If anyone could secure funding for a bomb programme it was Heisenberg; if anyone was to lead a bomb programme and make it succeed, Heisenberg was the man. And if Heisenberg didn’t want to build the bomb? This is not a hypothetical question: in the words of a message sent to US physicists in 1941, “We are trying here hard, including Heisenberg, to hinder the idea of making a bomb. But the pressure from above… Heisenberg will not be able to withstand longer the pressure from the government”.

    Powers argues that this was to underestimate Heisenberg: that Heisenberg withstood the government to the point of undermining the German bomb programme. Every step of the way, Heisenberg stressed the risks and difficulties of the project; asked point blank to set a timescale, Heisenberg denied that a bomb could be built in time to assist the war effort. Heisenberg even visited Bohr in occupied Denmark in 1941, knowing that Bohr had contacts with the Allies, and spoke openly about his work on the bomb programme before suggesting a worldwide physicists’ agreement not to work on nuclear weaponry. Far from being “the most dangerous possible German”, Heisenberg was the Allies’ biggest asset; if anything, Heisenberg’s opposition to nuclear weapons research makes him contrast favourably with the physicists of the Manhattan Project.

    There are three main propositions here. Firstly, Heisenberg was an anti-fascist, unafraid to give away classified information to the Allies. Secondly, although Heisenberg accepted official positions under the Nazis, he obstructed atomic weapons research as effectively as if he had offered the regime open resistance, if not more so. Lastly, Heisenberg’s resistance was crucial in preventing a serious German bomb programme, which otherwise could have parallelled the Manhattan Project and won the war for Hitler. A book could be written demolishing this argument; unfortunately Powers’ book is dedicated to stating and re-stating it, often in the teeth of the facts it documents. I believe it is wrong on all counts: Heisenberg’s politics, his supposed stand against the bomb programme, the significance of that stand and the feasibility of a German bomb programme under the Nazis.

    Powers argues that Heisenberg as a young man “had no politics in the usual sense of the term”, and appears to believe that his later anti-Nazism rested on this unworldly base. Yet well into his twenties Heisenberg was a keen member of the Jugendbewegung (Youth Movement), an organisation combining outdoor pursuits with a philosophy made up of elitism, anti-intellectualism and ethnic nationalism. At the age of 17 Heisenberg served in a Munich citizens’ militia, assisting the Freikorps forces which violently suppressed the 1919 Communist government of Bavaria. According to one source the Munich rising was organised by the Thule Society, a mystical nationalist organisation with links to the early Nazi Party; Thule associates included Rudolf Hess, who also fought in Munich as a member of the Freikorps.

    Far from having “no politics”, Heisenberg had political views which he expressed with remarkable consistency and frankness. When Hitler took power Bohr remarked to his assistant Leon Rosenfeld, “I have just been to see Heisenberg and you should see how happy Heisenberg is. Now we have at least order.” (Bohr, who was half-Jewish, revised this opinion subsequently). In 1938 Heisenberg dismissed the possibility of a Nazi-Soviet pact with “No patriotic German would ever consider that option”. In the course of his visit to Bohr in 1941 he expressed satisfaction at the subjection of Eastern Europe, arguing that “these countries were not able to govern themselves”, and looked forward to Germany defeating Russia; in 1943 he argued that it was Germany’s historic mission to defend Europe against Eastern barbarism, and that a German-ruled Europe might be the lesser of two evils. (Powers says only that “There are times when the ‘lesser evil’ is a defensible choice, but October 1943 was not one of them”. Perhaps if it had been the lesser evil…) As late as December 1944, Heisenberg conceded that the war was lost but added that “it would have been so fine if we had won”.

    Powers explains these remarks and the offence they caused by proposing either tactlessness or the constraints of office on Heisenberg’s part, compounded by over-sensitivity on his audience’s. A truer reading might be that, while Heisenberg was no Nazi – he was not anti-semitic, for example – he shared much of the Nazi world-view and hoped for a German victory. He believed that the Nazi leadership would not survive the end of the war, using the analogy of muddy water: stir it up and the dirt rises to the top, let it settle and the dirt drops to the bottom. “I’m not a Nazi but a German,” he protested in 1944; earlier that year Albert Speer had expressed similar priorities, proclaiming that “we shall continue to do our duty so that our German people will be preserved”.

    Albert Speer was appointed Minister of Armaments in 1941 and given formal powers to direct the German economy in March 1942. Speer was a technocrat, relatively unburdened by Nazi ideology, and a long-time enthusiast for the Peenemünde rocket programme which culminated in the V-2s; if anyone could initiate a German Manhattan Project he could. However, the Powers interpretation runs, Speer was no match for Heisenberg’s delaying tactics. At a conference on nuclear fission organised by the Education Ministry in June 1942, Heisenberg told Speer that an atom bomb would take two years to develop and left the impression that research was still in its first stages; told that Autumn “not to count on anything for three or four years”, Speer “scuttled the project”. For the rest of the war German research concentrated on the peaceful applications of nuclear fission. If Heisenberg had said a bomb could be built, Speer would have supplied the money and the manpower; Heisenberg said it couldn’t be done, and it was not done.

    This interpretation misses everything of significance. Firstly, if Heisenberg had genuinely wanted to hinder the German atomic programme he had only to leave Germany. Nuclear physics was initially rejected by the Nazis as “Jewish physics” owing to its origins in the work of Einstein. In 1938 Heisenberg fought a protracted battle with proponents of Newtonian – “Aryan” – physics, ultimately resolved by a personal approach to Himmler. If depriving Germany of the atom bomb was the object, nothing could have been more effective than leaving the field and giving “Aryan physics” a free run. Secondly, although Heisenberg – like many other nuclear physicists – appears to have been genuinely opposed to bomb development, his timescales were not in fact overly pessimistic: in America almost three years elapsed between presidential approval and the christening of the Manhattan Project, another three before the first bomb test. In 1942 no honest physicist could have promised an atom bomb inside two years. Speer might have been willing to hurry the process along by pouring resources into fission research, had there been anything to pour them into: unlike the V-2, the Army’s pet project since 1937, fission research in 1942 was still at too early a stage to be funded on an industrial scale. Finally, the reason why the Education Ministry had charge of fission research in 1942 was that the Army had abandoned it the previous year. The bomb had already been rejected for the war effort before Heisenberg’s intervention.

    In understanding why atomic weapons research was dropped, first by the Army and then by Speer, the timescale is decisive. At the end of 1941 almost all of continental Europe was under Axis control, Britain was blockaded and German armies were advancing into Russia. Victory in Russia seemed assured; all Germany had to do was to reach terms with Britain and the US – then newly at war with Japan – and the era of German-ruled peace anticipated by Heisenberg could begin. Heisenberg’s visit to Bohr fits in this context: far from sending a message to nuclear physicists working for the Allies, Heisenberg was canvassing Bohr’s co-operation, as a citizen of the German empire, in the post-war development of nuclear power. Under these circumstances it made no sense for the Army to back long-term programmes which might some day lead to new weapons: the old ones were doing the job, after all.

    By 1943 the situation had been reversed, in Russia, in Africa and in the air. The pressure of imminent defeat called for the acceleration of existing weapons programmes, such as the V-2, and the introduction of new weapons which could be developed quickly, such as the V-1 flying bombs: once again, for different reasons, atomic weapons research seemed too speculative and too long-term to be worthwhile. Add to this the practical effect of Allied bombings, which in 1943 destroyed the Norwegian plant which was Germany’s only source of heavy water, and the German bomb was a non-starter. Speer concluded after the war that “with extreme concentration of all our resources” – including the abandonment of Peenemünde – “we could have had a German atom bomb by 1947″.

    Even this was probably a hopeful estimate. Paradoxically, “extreme concentration of resources” was not easy in Nazi Germany. Hitler’s rule was based on the dispersal of power: from his immediate subordinates to regional party officials, everyone in authority had their own power base, their own interests and the freedom to pursue them. The consequence was that, unlike the ideological mobilisation of the population, the mobilisation of the German economy for war happened piecemeal if at all. After the Army had taken control of the atomic programme in 1940 research was carried out, not in the barracks conditions of the Manhattan Project, but by what was called the Uranverein (Uranium Club); Powers remarks that even the word “club” is too formal for what was “an unruly mailing list of competing scientists”. The situation is illustrated by the fact that Germany’s only particle accelerator was held by the Post Office.

    The German bomb never existed: even the German nuclear reactor, the peaceful project onto which Heisenberg claimed to have redirected government attention, was barely in existence at the end of the war. The only “secret history” behind this state of affairs is the entire complex and scattered story of atomic research under the Nazis. Powers does not tell that story: physicists other than Heisenberg appear from time to time, but what they all did during the war is unclear. Nor does he follow the course of the war and its effects on atomic research; nor does he consider the political differences between Heisenberg and other physicists in the US, in occupied Europe and in Germany. Instead he tells the tale of Heisenberg: how Heisenberg stopped the Nazi bomb programme in its tracks, how Heisenberg proposed a pre-emptive nuclear freeze, how the Allies responded by trying to kidnap or kill him.

    There is something deeply unsatisfactory here. It is hard to see that Heisenberg did anything of any significance either to resist the Nazis or to forestall the German atom bomb. Heisenberg and other German physicists worked on nuclear fission through the war; even if a German atom bomb was not a real possibility, their work brought it measurably nearer. Moreover, there is nothing to suggest that any of them – even Otto Hahn, who said he would kill himself if his work led to a bomb – would actually have refused to work on a German Manhattan Project: if, for example, nuclear fission had been discovered in 1929 rather than 1939, and Peenemünde had been devoted to the A-bomb instead of the V-2. The decision whether or not to build an atom bomb was a political choice, on which the humanitarian intentions of any individual scientist could have no effect – the Manhattan Project itself is witness to that.

    http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/amroth/scritti/heisenberg.htm

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    That gives new meaning to "when I hear the word bomb, I reach for my gun".
  164. 5371 says:
    @anonguy

    I know of one example supporting this: An old college buddy of mine got his doctorate in theoretical physics, and after spending a year or two in some bunker studying solar neutrino emissions said something much to the effect of your comment. He is now a lawyer.
     
    See, all physics guys aren't necessarily really smart if it took him that long to figure it out. Happened to me in my third year, I'm still glad I caught on early. Finished the degree and moved on.

    Another thing about physicists - yes, people tend to think they are smart and consequently often give their opinions greater weight than warranted. One result of this is the field tends to attract people who want other people to think they are smart or even to convince themselves over their insecurities that they are natural genius.

    This dynamic is/was (been out of it for years) extremely prominent, just oozes from everyone in the field, the neediness to feel like they are incredibly smart, as opposed to hardworking, people. Even as an undergrad, I could see this in all my profs and was another major thing in me pursuing other options in life, I didn't want to have colleagues with this pathetic neediness. Really, nearly every competent physicist is constantly in a battle to prove how smart he is, even the really smart accomplished ones. Kind of sucks being around people like that all the time, IMO.

    [See, all physics guys aren’t necessarily really smart if it took him that long to figure it out. Happened to me in my third year, I’m still glad I caught on early]

    [Really, nearly every competent physicist is constantly in a battle to prove how smart he is, even the really smart accomplished ones. Kind of sucks being around people like that all the time, IMO.]

    Irony is dead.

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  165. 5371 says:
    @syonredux

    Ok, I got further interested in spite of myself, and found this:

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sanders/214/other/news/Bethe.html

    So you’re right, but trivially so – according to Bethe, Heisenberg didn’t work on the German bomb, he was working on nuclear reactors, with a possible but by no means certain relationship to the German bomb effort.
     
    A bit more than "trivially so," I would argue. The " Heisenberg myth" revolves around the notion that he deliberately hindered Germany's attempts to develop an atomic bomb. And that is simply not true.

    No, the Heisenberg “myth” revolves around his extraordinary contributions to physics in 1924-25. And it’s not a myth.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    There is a separate Heisenberg myth that he intentionally undermined the German atomic bomb project and that's why the Germans didn't get the bomb. In my opinion, this is pure BS.
    , @syonredux

    No, the Heisenberg “myth” revolves around his extraordinary contributions to physics in 1924-25. And it’s not a myth.
     
    Assuming that you are not being ironic, has anyone ever doubted Heisenberg's stature as one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century?

    Even on a pop-cultural level, his status is quite high (Walter White using Heisenberg as his nom du crime on BREAKING BAD, etc).
  166. 5371 says:
    @anonguy

    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that’s true?
     
    I read up on some of this years ago and my memory is sketchy. However, without reviewing the material, my impression remains that Heisenberg was rather an ardent Nazi or at least markedly slavish in courting official Nazi/governmental favor.

    The slowing down claim came across to me as post-war revisionism/rehabilitation. Most of the slow progress IIRC was simply lack of resources & commitment by the German government. Apparently Hitler was at least mildly concerned that an uncontrolled uranium fission reaction (i.e, explosion) could spread to the atmosphere in sort of an ice9 fashion, obliterating the earth.

    Sounds childish and silly then, but Hitler, and whichever advisors put this notion in his head, were hardly alone. Apparently there were at least a few sighs of relief among various (non-idiotic) Americans after Trinity/Los Alamos that this didn't happen.

    Again, details are fuzzy, this is from long ago reading and maybe the material has been debunked/changed since then.

    [my impression remains that Heisenberg was rather an ardent Nazi or at least markedly slavish in courting official Nazi/governmental favor.]

    Your impression is highly inaccurate.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    It's true that he was never an ardent Nazi but he thought of himself as an ardent German patriot who felt obligated to support the Nazis in order to preserve the German nation - sort of the same position as much of the German military. His politics also grew from the same (right) side of the tree as Nazism but on a different branch. So he was what you might call a "fellow traveler".

    In addition, he could have never retained the positions that he did without cooperating closely with the Nazis. At one point he was in trouble with the "Aryan physics" idiots because he was still teaching "Jewish physics" (relativity) and his mother intervened with Himmler's mother , who was a personal friend - "why is your Heinrich being mean to my Werner". Heisenberg met with Himmler and they reached a compromise - Heisenberg could still teach "modern" (aka Jewish) physics as long as he didn't mention any Jews by name.
  167. JEC says:
    @donut
    The Bhagavad Gita not Oppenheimer .

    I know that. Oppenheimer quoted the lines at the time of the first explosion of the atomic bomb.

    I assume you knew that?

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  168. @Gringo
    If being a minority student in a majority-white physics class is that bad, then why not conduct all minority classes or have these students attend historically black colleges and universities?

    HBCUs do a better job of producing STEM graduates than other institutions of higher learning. HBCUs -- the Best Producers of Black Graduates in STEM.


    All Black Students (Column 2) ... The first row shows that HBCs enrolled 18 percent of all of the black students who were enrolled in the nation's four year colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 semester. The second row shows that HBCUs conferred 27 percent of the STEM degrees that year. All other things being equal, we would have expected HBCUs to confer 18 percent of the STEM degrees; the additional 9 points represent an excess of 50 percent.

    Black Male Students (Column 3) ... The first row shows that HBCs enrolled 19 percent of all of the black male students who were enrolled in the nation's four year colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 semester. But the second row shows that HBCUs conferred 23 percent of the STEM degrees on the nation's black male students that year. All other things being equal, we would have expected HBCUs to confer 19 percent of the STEM degrees on black males; the additional 4 points represent an excess of 20 percent.

    Black Female Students (Column 4) ... The first row shows that HBCs enrolled 17 percent of all of the black female students who were enrolled in the nation's four year colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 semester. But the second row shows that HBCUs conferred 31 percent of the STEM degrees that year. All other things being equal, we would have expected HBCUs to confer 17 percent of the STEM degrees on the nations black female students; instead they conferred almost twice as many STEM degrees on black female students, i.e., 31 percent. The additional 14 points represent an HBCU share that is 81 percent larger than we would have expected if the support provided by HBCUs for black female students in STEM programs was no more effective than the support provided by non-HBCUs.

     
    HCBU production of black STEM graduates lends support to the mismatch theory, which maintains that a student is less likely to follow through on initial plans to be a STEM major when a student's grade and board scores are below average for a given school.

    If you want black STEM graduates, encourage blacks to go to a HCBU, not to a school where affirmative action admission policies result in the aforementioned mismatch.

    It is interesting that HBCU attendance has a bigger difference in STEM graduates for black females than for black males, given that black females tend to be higher academic achievers than black males.

    It is interesting that HBCU attendance has a bigger difference in STEM graduates for black females than for black males, given that black females tend to be higher academic achievers than black males.

    Females do better in female environments. HBCUs are majority female. Many like Howard are 2/3 female. Clark Atlanta is 3/4 female.

    Eileen Pollack’s The Only Woman in the Room cites a lot of research on women and succeeding in STEM.

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  169. Anonym says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The atomic bomb was fairly interesting to the public.

    Lol. English in its understatement.

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  170. some physicists from the list, best of:

    996: Professional homemaker
    1028: Retired Juvinile Probation Officer [sic]
    2447: Director of Diversity at The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine
    431: licensed crank, see below
    170. Executive Chef
    409. Fine Artist
    1706. Daughter of a physicist who worked on the space shuttle
    1569. Licensed Clinical Social Worker
    1240. average citizen, planet Earth

    =========================================

    21. Larry Strickler, Educator, Iowa education system retired
    123. Michael Harold, Inventor
    167. Brian Lewis, J.D., Self Employed
    170. Robert Donohoe, Executive Chef
    184. David Gierlach, Musician
    275. Dorothy, instructor, retired
    299. Bill Kelly, Fine art image
    317. D. Curtis Showers, Deacon, From our home.
    318. Marc M. Mahan, Photographer, Retired
    409. Jennifer Hathaway, Fine Artist
    410. May Palace, Student
    420. Valerie Hood

    431. Andrea French, JD, RN, MS Informatics student (decided against a physics engineering degree in 1989 due to racism), Lockheed Martin;

    (thedailyrecord.com): “A nurse attorney for Lockheed Martin has filed a $300,000 race and sex discrimination lawsuit against the company, claiming she was harassed by her supervisor about her status as a single mother, forced to reduce her hours and then retaliated against when she complained. Andrea French has worked for the Bethesda-based company in an office dedicated …”

    476. Stephen Kanim
    479. Anna Marie Lubonski, ParaProfessional, Haverford High
    492. Enrique Rueda
    509. Victor Madge, Architect
    510. Jay Banks
    537. Sammy Little, Ms., Self employed
    557. Shandre Delaney, Grassroots Activist, Abolitionist Law Center
    558. Shanna Brown
    675. Elizabeth Wilkes, Mrs
    692. Wanda Ashman
    715. Heather Bloemhard, AAS
    996. La Bien Nance, Professional homemaker
    882. Edgar Hernandez, Masters of Social Work, Government
    967. Anna Marburger, eSalon
    983. Brian Colding, Educator
    1028. Elizabeth Eeosti Jacobson, Retired Juvinile Probation Officer, Sonoma County, CA.
    1042. Farah Tavakoli
    1066. Marcoantonio Arellano, writer
    1082. Roslyn Shapiro
    1121. Dr. Lourdes del Castillo, Dr. Social work, Univ. of SC
    1145. Mable Anthony, Political Activist, Retired
    1159. Anna Crowe Dewart, Ass’t Prof., English, retired, College of Coastal Georgia
    1240. Cheryl B., average citizen, planet Earth
    1337. Kimberly N. Hooper, MPP- Econometrics and Demography (also a black woman), New York Department of Education
    1489. Charles D. Allen, Esq., Jurist Doctorate, Advocates for Social & Economic Justice
    1503. Angie Cazares, MSW, social services
    1569. Sandra Simmons, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Oakland Unified School District
    1706. Ellen Buettner, Daughter of a physicist who worked on the space shuttle, Keller Williams
    1569. Sandra Simmons, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Oakland Unified School District
    1815. Nebiyou Samuel, 1st Year Medical Student, UC Sandiego School of Medicine
    2212. Natalia Antrobus, NYC legal fund
    2218. Andrea Chen, MEd, Propeller: a force for social innovation
    2281. Crystal Bailey, Careers Program Manager, American Physical Society
    2447. Worokya Duncan, EdD, Director of Diversity, The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine

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  171. Bliss says:
    @syonredux

    And none of them were Black, or Mestizo, or, etc, etc

    None of the STEM nerds from as recently as ~1500 years ago were germans or scandinavians or scots etc etc. On the other hand african STEM geniuses built this 4500 years ago:

    http://www.phantastische-zeiten-shop.de/images/sphinx.logo.jpg
     
    Not very impressive as an example of" STEM genius", dear fellow. Or, to put it another way, it's not very impressive when compared to the work of Archimedes, Hipparchus, Diophantus, Newton, Leibniz, Gauss, etc

    And the fellows who built the Sphinx weren't Sub-Saharan Africans.....

    And the fellows who built the Sphinx weren’t Sub-Saharan Africans…..

    What does the Sphinx of Giza look like to you then? European? GTFO…

    You were humiliated in your last incarnation and were forced to go away for months, yet you are shameless and masochistic enough to return for further abuse…

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    And the fellows who built the Sphinx weren’t Sub-Saharan Africans…..

    What does the Sphinx of Giza look like to you then? European? GTFO…
     

    Looks like a sphinx to me....

    You were humiliated in your last incarnation and were forced to go away for months, yet you are shameless and masochistic enough to return for further abuse…
     
    MMMM, is that what happened? And here I thought that I was working on a book proposal.....
  172. Bliss says:
    @anonguy

    Fundmentally however, it was not this or that physicist (or which ethnicity they belonged to) who permitted the US to build the bomb. It was the vast resources that the US could bring to bear on the problem.
     
    Exactly. Figuring out uranium enrichment at Oak Ridge, Tenn was at least as important as anything that happened in Nevada. And the theoretical basis of the bomb was understood before the war. It was engineering after that. Tons of it, but basically engineering.

    Read up on Leo Szilard. He actually had a patent on nuclear fission in the 1930s.

    Read up on Leo Szilard. He actually had a patent on nuclear fission in the 1930s.

    I read up on Leo Szilard (thank God for the internet) and discovered that he was jewish as well (ethnic not religious). On the other hand Enrico Fermi, also known as the architect of the atomic bomb, was a gentile italian, but he did have an ethnic jewish wife so had to escape from Europe to America.

    So many of Europe’s best scientists and engineers ended up in America because of Hitler…

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  173. Bliss says:
    @Bliss

    The Germans.....never could have pulled it off, which fact they seemed to have realized – they weren’t even trying to build a bomb.

    The US on the other hand was able to launch a truly massive effort to build atomic weapons
     
    The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants. The following are all jews (ethnic not religious):

    Father of the Atom Bomb: Oppenheimer
    Father of the Hydrogen Bomb: Teller
    Father of the Nuclear Submarine: Rickover

    Speaking of Hydrogen Bombs, North Korea just exploded one today.

    Damn, what a way to start out the new year: saudi wahhabis vs iranian ayatollahs reaching a fever pitch, Ruby Ridge redux in Oregon, Stock Markets crashing worldwide…..and now the craziest nation in the world has the Hydrogen Bomb (and the missiles to throw it with)? All in the first 5 days of this new year…

    Fasten your seat belts folks, 2016 is going to be one hell of a ride….

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  174. Jack D says:
    @Jack D
    I don't have the sources at hand, but I seem to recall that mismatch theory shows up pretty strongly in law school - something like half of black enrollees in law school (many of them people who could never have gotten into ANY law school but for AA) never pass the bar exam. There's no possibility of switching to African Studies or some easier major in law school. There's no AA (yet) on the bar exam. You might be able to get some extra tutoring but that won't get you very far.

    And the big kicker for elite law schools is this - 2nd tier (and below) law schools are generally run like 3 year long bar review courses for the law of the state they are located in, but top tier law schools consider themselves national and intellectual and don't teach to the bar exam of any state - that's too pedestrian. So they will teach you the theoretical basis for having a statute of limitations but they won't teach you that the statute of limitation for contractual disputes in NY is 6 years. They figure that if you are smart enough to get into their school, you are smart enough to memorize the boring specifics in a couple of months of a bar review course. But for an AA admit that is not super sharp, an 8 week bar review course is not going to do it. So they are WORSE off going to say Columbia instead of Brooklyn Law School where they would spend 3 years instead of 8 weeks going over the NY statutes.
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  175. Jack D says:
    @MarkinLA
    The US succeeded because of sheer weight of numbers. The US spent 2 billion dollars on the Manhattan project. That was a lot of money back then. They also had everything the British had done on their bomb project prior to the war and the British scientists were working with them. It wasn't like the only people who knew about the atom being split or radioactivity were the Jews. The project was as much an engineering project as a research one.

    As a Gedankenexperiment, imagine that the US also had anti-Semitic policies that excluded all Jewish scientists from the Manhattan Project, so that we used only our best gentile physicists instead. Would the bomb have gotten done in the same amount of time (before the war was over)? We can’t know, but personally I doubt it.

    I view the Manhattan Project as an example of the synergy that occurs when you add Jewish brilliance to WASP organizational ability. Someone like Feynman was brilliant but his nature was too anarchic to oversee the plodding day to day details of building uranium enrichment plants, etc. Someone like Groves was great at building things (he built the Pentagon before he built all the Manhattan Project facilities) but he lacked the intellectual HP necessary to understand the inner workings of the atom. What made America the leading military, industrial, financial, cultural, everything power of the 20th century was the magic that happened when you combined the two.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde
    Correct for that era though Israel has since shown it can be done without wasp organizational principles
    , @Bliss

    I view the Manhattan Project as an example of the synergy that occurs when you add Jewish brilliance to WASP organizational ability
     
    Jewish success in STEM is a very recent phenomenon (it really took off in the 20th century). Historically the hebrews were non-entities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, art, architecture, music etc. They even had to outsource the construction of their Temple to foreigners.

    And the ancestors of the anglo-saxons (and all other northern europeans) were complete barbarians not so long ago. The jews at least had their Book, the Bible. The nordics had nothing to show at all....
  176. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anon7
    There's black students everywhere!

    Here's a somewhat tortuously written article about how the University of Michigan has "dramatically" improved its black enrollment.

    While the number of black and Hispanic freshmen jumped by a combined 23.5 percent, the number of whites and Asians fell. Black enrollment gained the most, rising to 5.11 percent of the freshman class from 3.84 percent the year before, a gain that though small, just 58 students, has been surprisingly visible, students said.

    “There’s black people everywhere,” Mr. Greenfield said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/05/us/affirmative-action-supreme-court
     
    -michigan.html

    Pure Michigan

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  177. Jack D says:
    @Mr. Anon
    "Teller may have contributed more over a long period to the fusion bomb’s design than anyone else of the many involved, but the most important single insight came from Stanislaw Ulam."

    Ulam realized that radiation from the primary would be required to compress the fusible material. it was Teller who realized that the form of radiation required would be x-rays, rather than neutrons, as Ulam had proposed.

    The Teller-Ulam design relates to hydrogen bombs. These came after the war was over – the Manhattan Project involved only fission bombs. Fermi casually gave Teller the idea of using a fission bomb (which did not yet even exist) as the trigger for a fusion bomb as early as 1941 and Teller immediately realized the implications and seized on the “Super” as being a much more interesting intellectual exercise (and capable of producing MUCH larger explosions). The plutonium bomb was also quite a scientific challenge because you had to create a perfect spherical implosion but the uranium bomb was really pretty mundane. The challenge was in producing enough enriched uranium but once you had it, it wasn’t really that hard to trigger the chain reaction – basically you shoot a uranium bullet containing 1/2 the critical mass down a cannon barrel where it meets the other half and then it goes boom – something not very interesting for a mind of Teller’s caliber.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "The Teller-Ulam design relates to hydrogen bombs."

    Yes, that's what I was talking about.
  178. Jack D says:
    @gruff

    there is no such thing as Science…all science is biased depending on who is doing the Science-Ing.
     
    That was Oswald Spengler's thesis in The Decline of the West. His first argument is that mathematics is entirely cultural - although they share similar forms, the ancient Greek "one two three" is in its essence different from the modern Western "one two three" - we are counting different "things".

    The book is worth reading - he makes a decent case that the issue (of the objectivity of any element of human endeavour) isn't as clearcut as anyone, on either side, would really like it to be.

    Sorry, not buying it. Numbers exist independent of any culture. Things like “what is funny” are (to some extent) culturally bound but numbers are numbers. Some primitive cultures (Australian aborigines) didn’t have words for numbers beyond two or three, but that’s because they were primitives – all advanced cultures have number systems and “two marbles” to the ancient Greeks meant EXACTLY the same thing as two marbles to us.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Was the Roman zero the same as ours? How about their calculus?
    , @gruff
    Don't base your opinion of Spengler's thesis entirely on a single internet comment from a random nobody (me). Read the book yourself. Spengler is an intelligent, very well read man, and his thesis is carefully laid out. The book is richly rewarding. It's also of interest to those concerned with, you know, the decline of the West.

    Just on the marble question: he doesn't say that "two marbles" meant something different to the Greeks. He says that "two" meant something different to the Greeks. Reflect for a moment: what do you "see" when you think of two qua two - when you consider "twoness"? Think carefully, and bring that notion with you when you open Spengler's masterwork.
  179. Jack D says:
    @anonguy

    On the other hand, the thought of an incompetent physicist in the management of a nuclear power plant is fairly terrifying.
     
    The thought of a competent physicist in the management of a nuke power plant isn't much more comforting. Nuclear power plants are run by operators who make their way up the ranks and recieve specialized training on, naturally, how to run a nuclear power plant. Typically, there is a bunch of nuclear engineering in the training in addition to straight operational stuff with enough physics theory to provide background.

    Traditionally, lots of guys come out of USN programs. Physics helps with some of the material, engineering degrees help with other portions. And other things come into play.

    I knew two guys with physics degrees who washed from Navy nuke training, one from Princeton, one from Duke, so they weren't slouches intellectually. But managing a nuclear plant also requires personal qualities in a crisis, what the Navy calls "command presence", the ability to take charge, impose your will upon situations, and, at the end of the day, that is what these guys lacked, both were kind of nerdy, and the Navy was pretty upfront about it. Civilian programs look for the same, can't have a shrinking violet in charge in certain siuations.

    If I recall, one of the things that caused the Three Mile Island near-meltdown was the fact that the guys they had on duty were basically low level technicians who couldn’t properly analyze or respond to what was going on. They had started out with more educated operators but the job consisted of sitting and staring at dials that never moved (when everything was going right, which was almost all of the time) and it was mind numbingly boring for someone highly intelligent (and maybe the utility figured they could save money by hiring less educated operators). Then one day the dials did move and the techs on duty were incapable of dealing with it.

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  180. Jack D says:
    @5371
    No, the Heisenberg "myth" revolves around his extraordinary contributions to physics in 1924-25. And it's not a myth.

    There is a separate Heisenberg myth that he intentionally undermined the German atomic bomb project and that’s why the Germans didn’t get the bomb. In my opinion, this is pure BS.

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  181. Jack D says:
    @5371
    [my impression remains that Heisenberg was rather an ardent Nazi or at least markedly slavish in courting official Nazi/governmental favor.]

    Your impression is highly inaccurate.

    It’s true that he was never an ardent Nazi but he thought of himself as an ardent German patriot who felt obligated to support the Nazis in order to preserve the German nation – sort of the same position as much of the German military. His politics also grew from the same (right) side of the tree as Nazism but on a different branch. So he was what you might call a “fellow traveler”.

    In addition, he could have never retained the positions that he did without cooperating closely with the Nazis. At one point he was in trouble with the “Aryan physics” idiots because he was still teaching “Jewish physics” (relativity) and his mother intervened with Himmler’s mother , who was a personal friend – “why is your Heinrich being mean to my Werner”. Heisenberg met with Himmler and they reached a compromise – Heisenberg could still teach “modern” (aka Jewish) physics as long as he didn’t mention any Jews by name.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde
    Heisenberg with his uncertainty principle was always a cool name. I loved it when Breaking Bad appropriated his name for Walter White's criminal nickname.
    Science!
    And great story about Heisenberg meeting with Himmler over teaching "Jew physics".
    , @Clyde

    Edward Teller:
    When he was a young student, his right foot was severed in a streetcar accident in Munich, requiring him to wear a prosthetic foot, and leaving him with a lifelong limp. Werner Heisenberg said that it was the hardiness of Teller's spirit, rather than stoicism, that allowed him to cope so well with the accident.[8] (wikipedia) (hardiness also that Edward Teller lived to 95)
     
    Edward Teller was a doctoral student of Werner Heisenberg. He would have been a good person to ask about Heisenberg and the Nazi A-Bomb. You can look at the list of Heisenberg's doctoral students (wikipedia) and seems 25%-33% were Jewish.
  182. Brutusale says:
    @Anonymous

    Physics certainly doesn’t have the cachet it did fifty years ago. The fact that so many particle physicists (and they consider themselves to be the true vanguard of physics) feel the need to beat their breasts in popular coffee-table books, on NPR, etc. about how supremely awesome physics is, indicates that – as a field – it is kind of past its sell-by date. They gas on about the Higgs boson and the like in popular expositions that don’t even really explain anything. I sometimes wonder who it is they are trying to convince: their audience…………..or themselves.
     
    After the nuclear model was confirmed by Rutherford a century ago, these modern particle physicists have not really had anything very groundbreaking or interesting to tell popular audiences. Discovering that things are actually made up of small particles rather than the large blobs and blocks of things of ordinary experience is interesting to ordinary people. The fact that those particles are made up of smaller particles that in turn are made up of even smaller particles and so on is not that interesting anymore.

    The problem is the need for large, more complex and expensive equipment is needed for research on the fundamental particles. Our crony capitalists in government only fund what their corporate masters tell them to fund, not iffy Big Science. The whole world’s attention span is shrinking and has been for years; it have no interest in things with distant payoff horizons.

    Screw the particle accelerator, we need more solar panel companies!

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    One of the reasons why the Germans didn't get very far with atomic energy is that the "German Physics" idiots were more in favor of applied physics which could have immediate payoff (jet engines, rockets) than theoretical physics. One of the things that Heisenberg attempted in order to remain in the Nazi's good graces was to show that his "theoretical" branch of physics also had practical implications - mainly he tried to sell the Nazis on the idea of a nuclear "engine" (i.e. reactor) rather than bomb.

    In the case of nuclear fission, the time from theory to application was exceptionally short (mainly because the war gave urgency to development). Until January, 1939, no one knew that nuclear fission even existed and by August of that year, Einstein was already writing to Roosevelt to urge him to make a fission weapon before the Germans did and by December of '42, the first nuclear reactor went critical and by August of '45, nuclear fission ended the Pacific War.

    Anyway, my point is that what may seem to be purely theoretical developments can sometimes (and sooner than you think) turn out to have tremendous practical implications. Subatomic particles may one day be harnessed to do computing on a massive scale (rendering all current encryption schemes breakable) or for faster than light communications.

  183. @Mr. Anon
    "Peak physics was a couple of generations ago, when things like lasers, rockets, nuclear fission/fusion, etc, were coming on stream. Since the end of the Cold War at latest, it has become irrelevant and a boondoggle. Without the gov. welfare, it would revert back to the tweedy pastime it was prior to 1920s/30s and is slowly getting there anyhow. Current crop of physicists are time-servers and really generally useless pussies."

    Physics certainly doesn't have the cachet it did fifty years ago. The fact that so many particle physicists (and they consider themselves to be the true vanguard of physics) feel the need to beat their breasts in popular coffee-table books, on NPR, etc. about how supremely awesome physics is, indicates that - as a field - it is kind of past its sell-by date. They gas on about the Higgs boson and the like in popular expositions that don't even really explain anything. I sometimes wonder who it is they are trying to convince: their audience..............or themselves.

    Physics 50-60 years back was the coolest science, and had been so for half a century. But genetics seems to be where all the great breakthroughs are being made now.

    As a kid I was mad about astronomy, and I still follow what’s going on. But 40 years back you had recent discoveries like quasars, black holes, nucleosynthesis in stars, cosmic background.

    Only the kit’s a lot better, with all the satellite instruments. But I don’t see anything really new, unless the 1970s discovery that the observed matter in the universe couldn’t explain its rate of expansion be ‘new’ – they invented Dark Matter to account for it, a bit like the aether that light waves travelled in, or the phlogiston consumed when something burned.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter

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  184. Clyde says:
    @Jack D
    It's true that he was never an ardent Nazi but he thought of himself as an ardent German patriot who felt obligated to support the Nazis in order to preserve the German nation - sort of the same position as much of the German military. His politics also grew from the same (right) side of the tree as Nazism but on a different branch. So he was what you might call a "fellow traveler".

    In addition, he could have never retained the positions that he did without cooperating closely with the Nazis. At one point he was in trouble with the "Aryan physics" idiots because he was still teaching "Jewish physics" (relativity) and his mother intervened with Himmler's mother , who was a personal friend - "why is your Heinrich being mean to my Werner". Heisenberg met with Himmler and they reached a compromise - Heisenberg could still teach "modern" (aka Jewish) physics as long as he didn't mention any Jews by name.

    Heisenberg with his uncertainty principle was always a cool name. I loved it when Breaking Bad appropriated his name for Walter White’s criminal nickname.
    Science!
    And great story about Heisenberg meeting with Himmler over teaching “Jew physics”.

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  185. bomag says:
    @Bliss

    I think RG3 getting benched and then having Kirk Cousins go gangbusters has set things back for black QBs.
     
    To a rational person what you think is laughable. The best quarterback in the NFL this season is black, Cam Newton. So is the best quarterback in college football, Deshawn Watson.

    The third best rated quarterback this season is also black, Russel Wilson.

    Of the 5 black quarterbacks in the NFL 3 have made it to the playoffs, and it is a strong possibility that one of them will make it to the Super Bowl, making it the 4th year in a row that happens.

    The instructive lesson here is that Blacks succeed at NFL quarterbacking at a certain rate, depending on their mental and physical skills. That rate doesn’t necessarily reflect their distribution in the population at large or the distribution of Blacks in other NFL positions.

    Likewise, Black physicists will succeed at a certain rate; but not necessarily at the same rate that reflects their proportion of the population at large.

    There are differences between people, and between groups of people. This is acknowledged in a multitude of ways, but it is actively suppressed/forgotten when discussing SJW topics.

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  186. Jack D says:
    @Brutusale
    The problem is the need for large, more complex and expensive equipment is needed for research on the fundamental particles. Our crony capitalists in government only fund what their corporate masters tell them to fund, not iffy Big Science. The whole world's attention span is shrinking and has been for years; it have no interest in things with distant payoff horizons.

    Screw the particle accelerator, we need more solar panel companies!

    One of the reasons why the Germans didn’t get very far with atomic energy is that the “German Physics” idiots were more in favor of applied physics which could have immediate payoff (jet engines, rockets) than theoretical physics. One of the things that Heisenberg attempted in order to remain in the Nazi’s good graces was to show that his “theoretical” branch of physics also had practical implications – mainly he tried to sell the Nazis on the idea of a nuclear “engine” (i.e. reactor) rather than bomb.

    In the case of nuclear fission, the time from theory to application was exceptionally short (mainly because the war gave urgency to development). Until January, 1939, no one knew that nuclear fission even existed and by August of that year, Einstein was already writing to Roosevelt to urge him to make a fission weapon before the Germans did and by December of ’42, the first nuclear reactor went critical and by August of ’45, nuclear fission ended the Pacific War.

    Anyway, my point is that what may seem to be purely theoretical developments can sometimes (and sooner than you think) turn out to have tremendous practical implications. Subatomic particles may one day be harnessed to do computing on a massive scale (rendering all current encryption schemes breakable) or for faster than light communications.

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  187. e says:
    @Bliss

    I think RG3 getting benched and then having Kirk Cousins go gangbusters has set things back for black QBs.
     
    To a rational person what you think is laughable. The best quarterback in the NFL this season is black, Cam Newton. So is the best quarterback in college football, Deshawn Watson.

    The third best rated quarterback this season is also black, Russel Wilson.

    Of the 5 black quarterbacks in the NFL 3 have made it to the playoffs, and it is a strong possibility that one of them will make it to the Super Bowl, making it the 4th year in a row that happens.

    and it is a strong possibility that one of them will make it to the Super Bowl, making it the 4th year in a row that happens.

    To be fair, that would only be so because Russell Wilson has been there twice before he goes a presumed third time…

    Two successful black qbs in the NFL–Russell Wilson, Cam Newton.

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  188. Clyde says:
    @Jack D
    It's true that he was never an ardent Nazi but he thought of himself as an ardent German patriot who felt obligated to support the Nazis in order to preserve the German nation - sort of the same position as much of the German military. His politics also grew from the same (right) side of the tree as Nazism but on a different branch. So he was what you might call a "fellow traveler".

    In addition, he could have never retained the positions that he did without cooperating closely with the Nazis. At one point he was in trouble with the "Aryan physics" idiots because he was still teaching "Jewish physics" (relativity) and his mother intervened with Himmler's mother , who was a personal friend - "why is your Heinrich being mean to my Werner". Heisenberg met with Himmler and they reached a compromise - Heisenberg could still teach "modern" (aka Jewish) physics as long as he didn't mention any Jews by name.

    Edward Teller:
    When he was a young student, his right foot was severed in a streetcar accident in Munich, requiring him to wear a prosthetic foot, and leaving him with a lifelong limp. Werner Heisenberg said that it was the hardiness of Teller’s spirit, rather than stoicism, that allowed him to cope so well with the accident.[8] (wikipedia) (hardiness also that Edward Teller lived to 95)

    Edward Teller was a doctoral student of Werner Heisenberg. He would have been a good person to ask about Heisenberg and the Nazi A-Bomb. You can look at the list of Heisenberg’s doctoral students (wikipedia) and seems 25%-33% were Jewish.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    You could have looked at a list of ANYONE's doctoral students in Physics for the last 100 years and 1/4 to 1/3 would be Jewish. Prior to 1933, Jews were as common in German academia as they are today in American academia.
  189. Ivy says:
    @Anonymous
    Was someone blackmailed or bribed into writing this? I mean, it's so over-the-top. It's filled with almost an extreme expression of diversity platitudes.

    So you’re saying that it could be a Higgs-bara publication?

    Perhaps some agit-propellerhead facile material?

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  190. Ed says:
    @Bliss

    I think RG3 getting benched and then having Kirk Cousins go gangbusters has set things back for black QBs.
     
    To a rational person what you think is laughable. The best quarterback in the NFL this season is black, Cam Newton. So is the best quarterback in college football, Deshawn Watson.

    The third best rated quarterback this season is also black, Russel Wilson.

    Of the 5 black quarterbacks in the NFL 3 have made it to the playoffs, and it is a strong possibility that one of them will make it to the Super Bowl, making it the 4th year in a row that happens.

    I specifically said with the exception of Cam lol & who is to say he doesn’t end up like Colin Kaepernick? Once the defenses catch up to him, will he be able to adjust?

    Also Russell Wilson is from the black elite, grandparents, parents were either academics or lawyers. He’s a “III” for a reason. So although black he doesn’t act “black”. In fact the popular memes on urban blogs that compare Russell to his fuance’s ex, the rapper Future, highlight this difference clearly.

    There are always exceptions but in the main black QBs aren’t that hot in the NFL at the moment.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    In the MVP vote, Newton and Wilson will likely be in the top 4 along with Palmer and Brady.
  191. Ivy says:
    @syonredux

    But what was Heisenberg’s nuclear program focused upon: weapons or energy?
     
    Here's an article that discusses the Heisenberg-German atomic program in some depth:

    Thomas Powers, Heisenberg's War: the secret history of the German bomb (Jonathan Cape, £20)

    "Politics is prior to the vagaries of science" - Green Gartside
    The German bomb was the dog that didn't bark in the Second World War. What was to become the Manhattan Project was initially approved by Roosevelt "to see that the Nazis don't blow us up". Many of the world's leading nuclear physicists were German; some had fled the country, but many had remained. Yet there was no German bomb: US forces entering Strasbourg in 1944 discovered that German physicists were still "debating the fundamentals of reactor design". The question is why.

    Powers gives us two stories and one answer. There is the story of the German bomb programme itself, and of its passage from desk to desk in the bureaucratic nightmare that was the Nazi state: this, despite the book's subtitle, is curiously scanted and unfocussed. By contrast the story of what the British and US governments knew about the programme and what they did about it is told with energy and precision, illuminating part of the war's covert underside. There is the high drama of a successful, though ineffectual, commando raid on a heavy water plant in occupied Norway; the tragicomedy of "Operation Shark", a bungled attempt by the OSS - forerunner of the CIA - to bring nuclear physicists out of occupied Italy; the black farce of an OSS agent sitting through a lecture on "S-matrix" theory with a gun in his pocket, prepared to shoot the lecturer if he made any reference to bomb physics. The predominant tone of these episodes is of inefficiency, wasted effort and absurdity, but then covert operations were ever thus.

    Neither the history of the German atomic programme nor the Allies' successive, fumbling attempts to understand or prevent it furnishes Powers' answer. That lies in one man: Werner Heisenberg. The co-founder of quantum physics with Niels Bohr, Heisenberg was the greatest of all the physicists who had made their peace with Hitler: "the most dangerous possible German in the field because of his brain power", in the words of a British physicist. (These words were taken seriously in OSS circles - hence the lecture-theatre operation). If anyone could secure funding for a bomb programme it was Heisenberg; if anyone was to lead a bomb programme and make it succeed, Heisenberg was the man. And if Heisenberg didn't want to build the bomb? This is not a hypothetical question: in the words of a message sent to US physicists in 1941, "We are trying here hard, including Heisenberg, to hinder the idea of making a bomb. But the pressure from above... Heisenberg will not be able to withstand longer the pressure from the government".

    Powers argues that this was to underestimate Heisenberg: that Heisenberg withstood the government to the point of undermining the German bomb programme. Every step of the way, Heisenberg stressed the risks and difficulties of the project; asked point blank to set a timescale, Heisenberg denied that a bomb could be built in time to assist the war effort. Heisenberg even visited Bohr in occupied Denmark in 1941, knowing that Bohr had contacts with the Allies, and spoke openly about his work on the bomb programme before suggesting a worldwide physicists' agreement not to work on nuclear weaponry. Far from being "the most dangerous possible German", Heisenberg was the Allies' biggest asset; if anything, Heisenberg's opposition to nuclear weapons research makes him contrast favourably with the physicists of the Manhattan Project.

    There are three main propositions here. Firstly, Heisenberg was an anti-fascist, unafraid to give away classified information to the Allies. Secondly, although Heisenberg accepted official positions under the Nazis, he obstructed atomic weapons research as effectively as if he had offered the regime open resistance, if not more so. Lastly, Heisenberg's resistance was crucial in preventing a serious German bomb programme, which otherwise could have parallelled the Manhattan Project and won the war for Hitler. A book could be written demolishing this argument; unfortunately Powers' book is dedicated to stating and re-stating it, often in the teeth of the facts it documents. I believe it is wrong on all counts: Heisenberg's politics, his supposed stand against the bomb programme, the significance of that stand and the feasibility of a German bomb programme under the Nazis.

    Powers argues that Heisenberg as a young man "had no politics in the usual sense of the term", and appears to believe that his later anti-Nazism rested on this unworldly base. Yet well into his twenties Heisenberg was a keen member of the Jugendbewegung (Youth Movement), an organisation combining outdoor pursuits with a philosophy made up of elitism, anti-intellectualism and ethnic nationalism. At the age of 17 Heisenberg served in a Munich citizens' militia, assisting the Freikorps forces which violently suppressed the 1919 Communist government of Bavaria. According to one source the Munich rising was organised by the Thule Society, a mystical nationalist organisation with links to the early Nazi Party; Thule associates included Rudolf Hess, who also fought in Munich as a member of the Freikorps.

    Far from having "no politics", Heisenberg had political views which he expressed with remarkable consistency and frankness. When Hitler took power Bohr remarked to his assistant Leon Rosenfeld, "I have just been to see Heisenberg and you should see how happy Heisenberg is. Now we have at least order." (Bohr, who was half-Jewish, revised this opinion subsequently). In 1938 Heisenberg dismissed the possibility of a Nazi-Soviet pact with "No patriotic German would ever consider that option". In the course of his visit to Bohr in 1941 he expressed satisfaction at the subjection of Eastern Europe, arguing that "these countries were not able to govern themselves", and looked forward to Germany defeating Russia; in 1943 he argued that it was Germany's historic mission to defend Europe against Eastern barbarism, and that a German-ruled Europe might be the lesser of two evils. (Powers says only that "There are times when the 'lesser evil' is a defensible choice, but October 1943 was not one of them". Perhaps if it had been the lesser evil...) As late as December 1944, Heisenberg conceded that the war was lost but added that "it would have been so fine if we had won".

    Powers explains these remarks and the offence they caused by proposing either tactlessness or the constraints of office on Heisenberg's part, compounded by over-sensitivity on his audience's. A truer reading might be that, while Heisenberg was no Nazi - he was not anti-semitic, for example - he shared much of the Nazi world-view and hoped for a German victory. He believed that the Nazi leadership would not survive the end of the war, using the analogy of muddy water: stir it up and the dirt rises to the top, let it settle and the dirt drops to the bottom. "I'm not a Nazi but a German," he protested in 1944; earlier that year Albert Speer had expressed similar priorities, proclaiming that "we shall continue to do our duty so that our German people will be preserved".

    Albert Speer was appointed Minister of Armaments in 1941 and given formal powers to direct the German economy in March 1942. Speer was a technocrat, relatively unburdened by Nazi ideology, and a long-time enthusiast for the Peenemünde rocket programme which culminated in the V-2s; if anyone could initiate a German Manhattan Project he could. However, the Powers interpretation runs, Speer was no match for Heisenberg's delaying tactics. At a conference on nuclear fission organised by the Education Ministry in June 1942, Heisenberg told Speer that an atom bomb would take two years to develop and left the impression that research was still in its first stages; told that Autumn "not to count on anything for three or four years", Speer "scuttled the project". For the rest of the war German research concentrated on the peaceful applications of nuclear fission. If Heisenberg had said a bomb could be built, Speer would have supplied the money and the manpower; Heisenberg said it couldn't be done, and it was not done.

    This interpretation misses everything of significance. Firstly, if Heisenberg had genuinely wanted to hinder the German atomic programme he had only to leave Germany. Nuclear physics was initially rejected by the Nazis as "Jewish physics" owing to its origins in the work of Einstein. In 1938 Heisenberg fought a protracted battle with proponents of Newtonian - "Aryan" - physics, ultimately resolved by a personal approach to Himmler. If depriving Germany of the atom bomb was the object, nothing could have been more effective than leaving the field and giving "Aryan physics" a free run. Secondly, although Heisenberg - like many other nuclear physicists - appears to have been genuinely opposed to bomb development, his timescales were not in fact overly pessimistic: in America almost three years elapsed between presidential approval and the christening of the Manhattan Project, another three before the first bomb test. In 1942 no honest physicist could have promised an atom bomb inside two years. Speer might have been willing to hurry the process along by pouring resources into fission research, had there been anything to pour them into: unlike the V-2, the Army's pet project since 1937, fission research in 1942 was still at too early a stage to be funded on an industrial scale. Finally, the reason why the Education Ministry had charge of fission research in 1942 was that the Army had abandoned it the previous year. The bomb had already been rejected for the war effort before Heisenberg's intervention.

    In understanding why atomic weapons research was dropped, first by the Army and then by Speer, the timescale is decisive. At the end of 1941 almost all of continental Europe was under Axis control, Britain was blockaded and German armies were advancing into Russia. Victory in Russia seemed assured; all Germany had to do was to reach terms with Britain and the US - then newly at war with Japan - and the era of German-ruled peace anticipated by Heisenberg could begin. Heisenberg's visit to Bohr fits in this context: far from sending a message to nuclear physicists working for the Allies, Heisenberg was canvassing Bohr's co-operation, as a citizen of the German empire, in the post-war development of nuclear power. Under these circumstances it made no sense for the Army to back long-term programmes which might some day lead to new weapons: the old ones were doing the job, after all.

    By 1943 the situation had been reversed, in Russia, in Africa and in the air. The pressure of imminent defeat called for the acceleration of existing weapons programmes, such as the V-2, and the introduction of new weapons which could be developed quickly, such as the V-1 flying bombs: once again, for different reasons, atomic weapons research seemed too speculative and too long-term to be worthwhile. Add to this the practical effect of Allied bombings, which in 1943 destroyed the Norwegian plant which was Germany's only source of heavy water, and the German bomb was a non-starter. Speer concluded after the war that "with extreme concentration of all our resources" - including the abandonment of Peenemünde - "we could have had a German atom bomb by 1947".

    Even this was probably a hopeful estimate. Paradoxically, "extreme concentration of resources" was not easy in Nazi Germany. Hitler's rule was based on the dispersal of power: from his immediate subordinates to regional party officials, everyone in authority had their own power base, their own interests and the freedom to pursue them. The consequence was that, unlike the ideological mobilisation of the population, the mobilisation of the German economy for war happened piecemeal if at all. After the Army had taken control of the atomic programme in 1940 research was carried out, not in the barracks conditions of the Manhattan Project, but by what was called the Uranverein (Uranium Club); Powers remarks that even the word "club" is too formal for what was "an unruly mailing list of competing scientists". The situation is illustrated by the fact that Germany's only particle accelerator was held by the Post Office.

    The German bomb never existed: even the German nuclear reactor, the peaceful project onto which Heisenberg claimed to have redirected government attention, was barely in existence at the end of the war. The only "secret history" behind this state of affairs is the entire complex and scattered story of atomic research under the Nazis. Powers does not tell that story: physicists other than Heisenberg appear from time to time, but what they all did during the war is unclear. Nor does he follow the course of the war and its effects on atomic research; nor does he consider the political differences between Heisenberg and other physicists in the US, in occupied Europe and in Germany. Instead he tells the tale of Heisenberg: how Heisenberg stopped the Nazi bomb programme in its tracks, how Heisenberg proposed a pre-emptive nuclear freeze, how the Allies responded by trying to kidnap or kill him.

    There is something deeply unsatisfactory here. It is hard to see that Heisenberg did anything of any significance either to resist the Nazis or to forestall the German atom bomb. Heisenberg and other German physicists worked on nuclear fission through the war; even if a German atom bomb was not a real possibility, their work brought it measurably nearer. Moreover, there is nothing to suggest that any of them - even Otto Hahn, who said he would kill himself if his work led to a bomb - would actually have refused to work on a German Manhattan Project: if, for example, nuclear fission had been discovered in 1929 rather than 1939, and Peenemünde had been devoted to the A-bomb instead of the V-2. The decision whether or not to build an atom bomb was a political choice, on which the humanitarian intentions of any individual scientist could have no effect - the Manhattan Project itself is witness to that.

     

    http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/amroth/scritti/heisenberg.htm

    That gives new meaning to “when I hear the word bomb, I reach for my gun”.

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  192. MarkinLA says:
    @Mr. Anon
    "There’s a lot more to physics than particle physics aka high energy physics. Condensed matter physics, a generalization of what used to be called solid state physics, is really hot (well, lots of it is really cold – as in barely above absolute zero – but you know what I mean)."

    Yes, there are other branches of physics, but the public doesn't care about them. Nobody writes popular books on the fractional Hall effect or spin-glasses. For the most part, it is particle physics and astrophysics that define physics for the general public.

    You have got to ramp up all the hoopla about fusion reactors. I remember that being all the rage in the 70s.

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  193. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Jack D
    Sorry, not buying it. Numbers exist independent of any culture. Things like "what is funny" are (to some extent) culturally bound but numbers are numbers. Some primitive cultures (Australian aborigines) didn't have words for numbers beyond two or three, but that's because they were primitives - all advanced cultures have number systems and "two marbles" to the ancient Greeks meant EXACTLY the same thing as two marbles to us.

    Was the Roman zero the same as ours? How about their calculus?

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  194. AnAnon says:
    @cthulhu
    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that's true?

    Germany simply lacked the resources necessary to build a bomb, it took a colossal effort here to build one. Of all the blunders Germany made, not ardently seeking a nuclear weapon was pretty low on the list, if even on there.

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  195. Melendwyr says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    Physics certainly doesn’t have the cachet it did fifty years ago. The fact that so many particle physicists (and they consider themselves to be the true vanguard of physics) feel the need to beat their breasts in popular coffee-table books, on NPR, etc. about how supremely awesome physics is, indicates that – as a field – it is kind of past its sell-by date. They gas on about the Higgs boson and the like in popular expositions that don’t even really explain anything. I sometimes wonder who it is they are trying to convince: their audience…………..or themselves.
     
    After the nuclear model was confirmed by Rutherford a century ago, these modern particle physicists have not really had anything very groundbreaking or interesting to tell popular audiences. Discovering that things are actually made up of small particles rather than the large blobs and blocks of things of ordinary experience is interesting to ordinary people. The fact that those particles are made up of smaller particles that in turn are made up of even smaller particles and so on is not that interesting anymore.

    The public was absolutely fascinated by Relativity. Granted, it didn’t understand its ideas very well. But they were intrigued by being told that properties which seemed so obviously absolute actually depended entirely on relative perspective.

    Which is why Albert Einstein became the icon of intelligence, until he was somewhat dethroned by Stephen Hawking, whose work is similarly difficult to understand on a technical level yet has counterintuitive and enthralling implications.

    Your suggestion that physics hasn’t done anything of general interest is wrong, and absurd.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "The public was absolutely fascinated by Relativity. Granted, it didn’t understand its ideas very well. But they were intrigued by being told that properties which seemed so obviously absolute actually depended entirely on relative perspective.

    Which is why Albert Einstein became the icon of intelligence, until he was somewhat dethroned by Stephen Hawking, whose work is similarly difficult to understand on a technical level yet has counterintuitive and enthralling implications.

    Your suggestion that physics hasn’t done anything of general interest is wrong, and absurd."

    His assertion was that physics hasn't done anything of general interest in a long time. Einstein' theory of Special Relativity was published in 1905, General Relativity in 1915. True, those did cause a public sensation..........90 or 100 years ago.

    Hawkings work is not so important, compared to that of Einstein - it was not as fundamental nor as wide-ranging. I suspect that Hawkings' celebrity owes more to his disability than it does to his scientific output. If Hawking didn't have ALS, very few people would have ever heard of him.
  196. DWB says: • Website
    @FactsAreImportant
    The letter doesn’t seem to know what a “paper tiger” is:

    We object to the use of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields as a paper tiger in the debate over affirmative action.

     

    A paper tiger is “a person or thing that appears threatening but is ineffectual”. In what meaningful sense do “STEM fields” appear threatening but are actually ineffectual? Maybe the author means “shibboleth.”

    Agree that they have made a hash of two animal metaphors.

    It seems that they said “paper tiger” (which likely more aptly describes a group like “Diversity and Inclusion in Physics”, when in reality, they meant a stalking horse.

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  197. syonredux says:
    @5371
    No, the Heisenberg "myth" revolves around his extraordinary contributions to physics in 1924-25. And it's not a myth.

    No, the Heisenberg “myth” revolves around his extraordinary contributions to physics in 1924-25. And it’s not a myth.

    Assuming that you are not being ironic, has anyone ever doubted Heisenberg’s stature as one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century?

    Even on a pop-cultural level, his status is quite high (Walter White using Heisenberg as his nom du crime on BREAKING BAD, etc).

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  198. syonredux says:
    @Bliss

    And the fellows who built the Sphinx weren’t Sub-Saharan Africans…..
     
    What does the Sphinx of Giza look like to you then? European? GTFO...

    You were humiliated in your last incarnation and were forced to go away for months, yet you are shameless and masochistic enough to return for further abuse...

    And the fellows who built the Sphinx weren’t Sub-Saharan Africans…..

    What does the Sphinx of Giza look like to you then? European? GTFO…

    Looks like a sphinx to me….

    You were humiliated in your last incarnation and were forced to go away for months, yet you are shameless and masochistic enough to return for further abuse…

    MMMM, is that what happened? And here I thought that I was working on a book proposal…..

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  199. Jack D says:
    @Clyde

    Edward Teller:
    When he was a young student, his right foot was severed in a streetcar accident in Munich, requiring him to wear a prosthetic foot, and leaving him with a lifelong limp. Werner Heisenberg said that it was the hardiness of Teller's spirit, rather than stoicism, that allowed him to cope so well with the accident.[8] (wikipedia) (hardiness also that Edward Teller lived to 95)
     
    Edward Teller was a doctoral student of Werner Heisenberg. He would have been a good person to ask about Heisenberg and the Nazi A-Bomb. You can look at the list of Heisenberg's doctoral students (wikipedia) and seems 25%-33% were Jewish.

    You could have looked at a list of ANYONE’s doctoral students in Physics for the last 100 years and 1/4 to 1/3 would be Jewish. Prior to 1933, Jews were as common in German academia as they are today in American academia.

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    • Replies: @Clyde
    BTW I saw the Amazon series "Man In The High Castle" and the German atomic bomb is called the Heisenberg Device
    http://the-man-in-the-high-castle.wikia.com/wiki/Heisenberg_Device
  200. @Ed
    I specifically said with the exception of Cam lol & who is to say he doesn't end up like Colin Kaepernick? Once the defenses catch up to him, will he be able to adjust?

    Also Russell Wilson is from the black elite, grandparents, parents were either academics or lawyers. He's a "III" for a reason. So although black he doesn't act "black". In fact the popular memes on urban blogs that compare Russell to his fuance's ex, the rapper Future, highlight this difference clearly.

    There are always exceptions but in the main black QBs aren't that hot in the NFL at the moment.

    In the MVP vote, Newton and Wilson will likely be in the top 4 along with Palmer and Brady.

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  201. Brutusale says:
    @Mr. Anon
    "Apparently there were at least a few sighs of relief among various (non-idiotic) Americans after Trinity/Los Alamos that this didn’t happen."

    Teller raised the concern that a fission bomb might ignite a sustained thermonuclear reaction in atmospheric nitrogen. Bethe (or maybe Teller himself, or both) were able to discount that concern fairly early in the project.

    Check into the Castle Bravo nuke test. Annie Jacobsen’s new book about DARPA has a chapter on it, and even in 1954 there were concerns about an unchecked reaction. The test itself was a miscalculation of epic proportions.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "Check into the Castle Bravo nuke test. Annie Jacobsen’s new book about DARPA has a chapter on it, and even in 1954 there were concerns about an unchecked reaction. The test itself was a miscalculation of epic proportions."

    The Castle-Bravo test had a yield about 50% higher than expected. As I recall, that was due to the designers not having an accurate value for the cross-section of tritium-breeding from lithium. It didn't have anything to do with burning the atmosphere. That just isn't going to happen.
  202. donut says:
    @donut
    The Bhagavad Gita not Oppenheimer .

    I thought you did but sometimes my concern with minute details gets the better of me.

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  203. Mr. Anon says:
    @Brutusale
    Check into the Castle Bravo nuke test. Annie Jacobsen's new book about DARPA has a chapter on it, and even in 1954 there were concerns about an unchecked reaction. The test itself was a miscalculation of epic proportions.

    “Check into the Castle Bravo nuke test. Annie Jacobsen’s new book about DARPA has a chapter on it, and even in 1954 there were concerns about an unchecked reaction. The test itself was a miscalculation of epic proportions.”

    The Castle-Bravo test had a yield about 50% higher than expected. As I recall, that was due to the designers not having an accurate value for the cross-section of tritium-breeding from lithium. It didn’t have anything to do with burning the atmosphere. That just isn’t going to happen.

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  204. Mr. Anon says:
    @Jack D
    The Teller-Ulam design relates to hydrogen bombs. These came after the war was over - the Manhattan Project involved only fission bombs. Fermi casually gave Teller the idea of using a fission bomb (which did not yet even exist) as the trigger for a fusion bomb as early as 1941 and Teller immediately realized the implications and seized on the "Super" as being a much more interesting intellectual exercise (and capable of producing MUCH larger explosions). The plutonium bomb was also quite a scientific challenge because you had to create a perfect spherical implosion but the uranium bomb was really pretty mundane. The challenge was in producing enough enriched uranium but once you had it, it wasn't really that hard to trigger the chain reaction - basically you shoot a uranium bullet containing 1/2 the critical mass down a cannon barrel where it meets the other half and then it goes boom - something not very interesting for a mind of Teller's caliber.

    “The Teller-Ulam design relates to hydrogen bombs.”

    Yes, that’s what I was talking about.

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  205. Mr. Anon says:

    “You have got to ramp up all the hoopla about fusion reactors. I remember that being all the rage in the 70s.”

    Ah yes, fusion. It’s the technology of the future. And it always will be.

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  206. Mr. Anon says:
    @Melendwyr
    The public was absolutely fascinated by Relativity. Granted, it didn't understand its ideas very well. But they were intrigued by being told that properties which seemed so obviously absolute actually depended entirely on relative perspective.

    Which is why Albert Einstein became the icon of intelligence, until he was somewhat dethroned by Stephen Hawking, whose work is similarly difficult to understand on a technical level yet has counterintuitive and enthralling implications.

    Your suggestion that physics hasn't done anything of general interest is wrong, and absurd.

    “The public was absolutely fascinated by Relativity. Granted, it didn’t understand its ideas very well. But they were intrigued by being told that properties which seemed so obviously absolute actually depended entirely on relative perspective.

    Which is why Albert Einstein became the icon of intelligence, until he was somewhat dethroned by Stephen Hawking, whose work is similarly difficult to understand on a technical level yet has counterintuitive and enthralling implications.

    Your suggestion that physics hasn’t done anything of general interest is wrong, and absurd.”

    His assertion was that physics hasn’t done anything of general interest in a long time. Einstein’ theory of Special Relativity was published in 1905, General Relativity in 1915. True, those did cause a public sensation……….90 or 100 years ago.

    Hawkings work is not so important, compared to that of Einstein – it was not as fundamental nor as wide-ranging. I suspect that Hawkings’ celebrity owes more to his disability than it does to his scientific output. If Hawking didn’t have ALS, very few people would have ever heard of him.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Black holes have been of broad interest.

    In astronomy, the search for planets around other suns has provided a steady trickle of stories for the last decade and should go on for several more decades.

  207. donut says:
    @syonredux

    Speaking of Heisenberg, I recall some speculation that he deliberately slowed down the Nazi nuclear program. Anybody know if that’s true?
     
    It's not.

    I hope not .

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  208. @Mr. Anon
    "The public was absolutely fascinated by Relativity. Granted, it didn’t understand its ideas very well. But they were intrigued by being told that properties which seemed so obviously absolute actually depended entirely on relative perspective.

    Which is why Albert Einstein became the icon of intelligence, until he was somewhat dethroned by Stephen Hawking, whose work is similarly difficult to understand on a technical level yet has counterintuitive and enthralling implications.

    Your suggestion that physics hasn’t done anything of general interest is wrong, and absurd."

    His assertion was that physics hasn't done anything of general interest in a long time. Einstein' theory of Special Relativity was published in 1905, General Relativity in 1915. True, those did cause a public sensation..........90 or 100 years ago.

    Hawkings work is not so important, compared to that of Einstein - it was not as fundamental nor as wide-ranging. I suspect that Hawkings' celebrity owes more to his disability than it does to his scientific output. If Hawking didn't have ALS, very few people would have ever heard of him.

    Black holes have been of broad interest.

    In astronomy, the search for planets around other suns has provided a steady trickle of stories for the last decade and should go on for several more decades.

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  209. CharlesM says:

    This was in the latest issue of the weekly “Newspaper” here in the Twin Cities, it seems slightly relevant to the topic.

    http://www.citypages.com/news/the-wrath-of-mo-7943862

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Would you want your fourth grader taught by a teacher named Bong?
  210. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “…The US succeeded where Germany failed largely due to the contributions of jewish physicists, many of them immigrants.”

    Well it certainly helped, but I think this point is an exercise in myth-making. It also likely overestimates the power of the “hero” in the modern world.

    I once asked someone I worked with closely, who had been at Los Alamos in a position to work with all the famous physicists, why the US got the bomb first.

    He replied instantly and adamantly, “Because of DuPont and Union Carbide”.

    Institutional infrastructure is largely invisible and doesn’t make as good a story as the lone hero.

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  211. @CharlesM
    This was in the latest issue of the weekly "Newspaper" here in the Twin Cities, it seems slightly relevant to the topic.

    http://www.citypages.com/news/the-wrath-of-mo-7943862

    Would you want your fourth grader taught by a teacher named Bong?

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    • Replies: @CharlesM
    Depends on the Bong I suppose.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_I._Bong_Memorial_Bridge
  212. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “…Are people living in some sort of dream world these days?”

    I think it’s possible that many are actually living according to what their brains have learned from all the fiction on television. People often live in the TV-world nearly as much or more than in the real world, in particular with respect to stuff that they don’t engage in in the real world. Everyone always says “oh, that’s just TV”, but maybe our brains aren’t really smart enough not to learn from TV and other sources of “realistic” fiction (movies, some video games).

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  213. CharlesM says:
    @Reg Cæsar
    Would you want your fourth grader taught by a teacher named Bong?
    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    I think we drove over the Dick Bong Bridge on our honeymoon. Didn't notice a sign!
  214. Clyde says:
    @Jack D
    As a Gedankenexperiment, imagine that the US also had anti-Semitic policies that excluded all Jewish scientists from the Manhattan Project, so that we used only our best gentile physicists instead. Would the bomb have gotten done in the same amount of time (before the war was over)? We can't know, but personally I doubt it.

    I view the Manhattan Project as an example of the synergy that occurs when you add Jewish brilliance to WASP organizational ability. Someone like Feynman was brilliant but his nature was too anarchic to oversee the plodding day to day details of building uranium enrichment plants, etc. Someone like Groves was great at building things (he built the Pentagon before he built all the Manhattan Project facilities) but he lacked the intellectual HP necessary to understand the inner workings of the atom. What made America the leading military, industrial, financial, cultural, everything power of the 20th century was the magic that happened when you combined the two.

    Correct for that era though Israel has since shown it can be done without wasp organizational principles

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  215. G Pinfold says:
    @cthulhu
    Richard Feynman was a pretty darned good percussionist, including bongos.

    I can see the divergence going that way… But jazz hounds from West Africa who dabble in physics? Now that would be something.

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  216. The killer is that math is so “un-subjective”.

    All-black schools, with no whites around to upset them, should therefore show equal results, correct?

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  217. Bliss says:
    @Jack D
    As a Gedankenexperiment, imagine that the US also had anti-Semitic policies that excluded all Jewish scientists from the Manhattan Project, so that we used only our best gentile physicists instead. Would the bomb have gotten done in the same amount of time (before the war was over)? We can't know, but personally I doubt it.

    I view the Manhattan Project as an example of the synergy that occurs when you add Jewish brilliance to WASP organizational ability. Someone like Feynman was brilliant but his nature was too anarchic to oversee the plodding day to day details of building uranium enrichment plants, etc. Someone like Groves was great at building things (he built the Pentagon before he built all the Manhattan Project facilities) but he lacked the intellectual HP necessary to understand the inner workings of the atom. What made America the leading military, industrial, financial, cultural, everything power of the 20th century was the magic that happened when you combined the two.

    I view the Manhattan Project as an example of the synergy that occurs when you add Jewish brilliance to WASP organizational ability

    Jewish success in STEM is a very recent phenomenon (it really took off in the 20th century). Historically the hebrews were non-entities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, art, architecture, music etc. They even had to outsource the construction of their Temple to foreigners.

    And the ancestors of the anglo-saxons (and all other northern europeans) were complete barbarians not so long ago. The jews at least had their Book, the Bible. The nordics had nothing to show at all….

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Jewish success in STEM is a very recent phenomenon (it really took off in the 20th century). Historically the hebrews were non-entities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, art, architecture, music etc. They even had to outsource the construction of their Temple to foreigners.
     
    Cf Greg Cochran's work:The ancient Israelites were not regarded as sharper than average by the other literate Mediterranean peoples. This was in contrast to the Ancient Greeks, who were universally regarded (by the Israelites themselves, the Romans, the Persians, etc) as being the intellectual heavyweights of Antiquity.

    What changed things? The Middle Ages, when the Ashkenazim specialized in high IQ, White Collar activities (tax-farming, banking, estate management, etc). And that had a eugenic effect over the centuries.

    Of course, the Ashkenazim were still held back from contributing in significant ways to the arts and the sciences during the 16th-18th centuries by traditional Jewish culture, which was designed to create Talmudic scholars and businessmen, not scientists and mathematicians.


    And the ancestors of the anglo-saxons (and all other northern europeans) were complete barbarians not so long ago.
     
    Depends on how one defines "not so long ago." Literacy (the sine qua non of civilization) has been present in Northern Europe for 1,000+ years. And, since you are so fond of the Egyptian Sphinx, there's always Gothic architecture....

    The jews at least had their Book, the Bible. The nordics had nothing to show at all….
     
    The Bible is hardly evidence for high IQ; it certainly takes less brainpower to read the Bible than it does to read Plato and Aristotle....

    And Northern Europe has been producing important thinkers for centuries: William of Occam, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Kepler, Tycho Brahe, John Wallis, Newton, Hobbes, John Napier, Huygens, Van Leeuwenhoek, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Copernicus, Dürer, the Holbeins, van Eyck, Spenser, Francis Bacon, etc, etc,

  218. Seran says:

    It seems the further blacks are from whites, the more discriminated they get.

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  219. syonredux says:
    @Bliss

    I view the Manhattan Project as an example of the synergy that occurs when you add Jewish brilliance to WASP organizational ability
     
    Jewish success in STEM is a very recent phenomenon (it really took off in the 20th century). Historically the hebrews were non-entities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, art, architecture, music etc. They even had to outsource the construction of their Temple to foreigners.

    And the ancestors of the anglo-saxons (and all other northern europeans) were complete barbarians not so long ago. The jews at least had their Book, the Bible. The nordics had nothing to show at all....

    Jewish success in STEM is a very recent phenomenon (it really took off in the 20th century). Historically the hebrews were non-entities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, art, architecture, music etc. They even had to outsource the construction of their Temple to foreigners.

    Cf Greg Cochran’s work:The ancient Israelites were not regarded as sharper than average by the other literate Mediterranean peoples. This was in contrast to the Ancient Greeks, who were universally regarded (by the Israelites themselves, the Romans, the Persians, etc) as being the intellectual heavyweights of Antiquity.

    What changed things? The Middle Ages, when the Ashkenazim specialized in high IQ, White Collar activities (tax-farming, banking, estate management, etc). And that had a eugenic effect over the centuries.

    Of course, the Ashkenazim were still held back from contributing in significant ways to the arts and the sciences during the 16th-18th centuries by traditional Jewish culture, which was designed to create Talmudic scholars and businessmen, not scientists and mathematicians.

    And the ancestors of the anglo-saxons (and all other northern europeans) were complete barbarians not so long ago.

    Depends on how one defines “not so long ago.” Literacy (the sine qua non of civilization) has been present in Northern Europe for 1,000+ years. And, since you are so fond of the Egyptian Sphinx, there’s always Gothic architecture….

    The jews at least had their Book, the Bible. The nordics had nothing to show at all….

    The Bible is hardly evidence for high IQ; it certainly takes less brainpower to read the Bible than it does to read Plato and Aristotle….

    And Northern Europe has been producing important thinkers for centuries: William of Occam, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Kepler, Tycho Brahe, John Wallis, Newton, Hobbes, John Napier, Huygens, Van Leeuwenhoek, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Copernicus, Dürer, the Holbeins, van Eyck, Spenser, Francis Bacon, etc, etc,

    Read More
  220. Bliss says:

    Depends on how one defines “not so long ago.” Literacy (the sine qua non of civilization) has been present in Northern Europe for 1,000+ years.

    A thousand years is not so long ago in the history of human civilization.

    And, since you are so fond of the Egyptian Sphinx, there’s always Gothic architecture….

    Gothic architecture is <900 years old or not so long ago compared to the Sphinx which is >4500 years ancient. How the hell did you become a teacher?

    The Bible is hardly evidence for high IQ; it certainly takes less brainpower to read the Bible than it does to read Plato and Aristotle….

    Plato and Aristotle were greeks not anglo-saxons. The greeks acknowledged their civilizational debt to the egyptians who preceded them. By the way, according to Aristotle the ancestors of WASPs were of low intelligence compared to the greeks and persians of his time. Which explains why they could never create a civilization on their own.

    Of course, the Ashkenazim were still held back from contributing in significant ways to the arts and the sciences during the 16th-18th centuries by traditional Jewish culture

    Wrong again. They were held back by the traditional christian culture of western europe. And they were liberated by the tradition-busting Enlightenment Movement.

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  221. Rob McX says:
    @Anonymous
    I've looked through the list of supposed signatories. Most have a dubious or non-existent connection to professional physics. The majority claim to be, for example, high school or middle school teachers, education administrators, people who work in hospitals in various capacities, current undergraduates, and BS, MS, or PhD recipients with no specified current employment. There are also many people who don't even pretend to have a connection to physics, listing their degrees in biology, mathematics, and other fields.

    And then there's stuff like this:

    "1706. Ellen Buettner, Daughter of a physicist who worked on the space shuttle, Keller Williams "

    "1697. Randy Skaggs, Fine Arts Chairman, St. Joseph School "

    "1820. Pete McCabe, Resident Dramaturg, HERE Arts Center "

    "1817. Kirsten Tamayo, JD Candidate, CUNY School of Law "

    "1821. Eugenia Zacks-Carney, JD, American Jet Brokers "

    "1489. Charles D. Allen, Esq., Jurist Doctorate, Advocates for Social \& Economic Justice "

    etc...

    This is canonical political astroturfing, and not even a good attempt.

    Hereditary physicists, in 2016, how about that?

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  222. @CharlesM
    Depends on the Bong I suppose.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_I._Bong_Memorial_Bridge

    I think we drove over the Dick Bong Bridge on our honeymoon. Didn’t notice a sign!

    Read More
  223. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Meanwhile, white students unfairly benefit psychologically from being overrepresented

    On what planet?

    When I was in engineering school in the 1980′s, my classes were almost all Asian and Middle Eastern, with a couple of South Asians and Africans. Americans of any description (including US born Asian and half-Asian) were only about 20%. I recall one class where there were only 8 Americans (5 white) in a class of over 40.

    Being a minority didn’t harm me psychologically in the least. Nor did it affect my ability to study.

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  224. Clyde says:
    @Jack D
    You could have looked at a list of ANYONE's doctoral students in Physics for the last 100 years and 1/4 to 1/3 would be Jewish. Prior to 1933, Jews were as common in German academia as they are today in American academia.

    BTW I saw the Amazon series “Man In The High Castle” and the German atomic bomb is called the Heisenberg Device

    http://the-man-in-the-high-castle.wikia.com/wiki/Heisenberg_Device

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  225. Clyde says:
    @syonredux

    And the fellows who built the Sphinx weren’t Sub-Saharan Africans…..

    What does the Sphinx of Giza look like to you then? European? GTFO…
     

    Looks like a sphinx to me....

    You were humiliated in your last incarnation and were forced to go away for months, yet you are shameless and masochistic enough to return for further abuse…
     
    MMMM, is that what happened? And here I thought that I was working on a book proposal.....

    on a book proposal…..

    credible to me!

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  226. gruff says:
    @Jack D
    Sorry, not buying it. Numbers exist independent of any culture. Things like "what is funny" are (to some extent) culturally bound but numbers are numbers. Some primitive cultures (Australian aborigines) didn't have words for numbers beyond two or three, but that's because they were primitives - all advanced cultures have number systems and "two marbles" to the ancient Greeks meant EXACTLY the same thing as two marbles to us.

    Don’t base your opinion of Spengler’s thesis entirely on a single internet comment from a random nobody (me). Read the book yourself. Spengler is an intelligent, very well read man, and his thesis is carefully laid out. The book is richly rewarding. It’s also of interest to those concerned with, you know, the decline of the West.

    Just on the marble question: he doesn’t say that “two marbles” meant something different to the Greeks. He says that “two” meant something different to the Greeks. Reflect for a moment: what do you “see” when you think of two qua two – when you consider “twoness”? Think carefully, and bring that notion with you when you open Spengler’s masterwork.

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