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Interim official campaign photo (color version TK)

From the New York Times:

Michael Bloomberg Actively Prepares to Enter 2020 Presidential Race

Mr. Bloomberg is expected to file paperwork this week in at least one state with an early deadline, although an adviser said the former New York mayor had not made a final decision to run.

Nov. 7, 2019

The 77-year-old billionaire Wall Street and media tycoon (b. 1942) declared that the mounting anti-Baby Boomer fury has convinced him that it is time for America’s rightful ruling generation — those born in the early 1940s — to take power from the 1946-born arriviste Donald Trump.

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A now deleted tweet from the Associated Press:

As Hilaire Belloc might say in 2019:

Whatever happens,
Whites have got
Bad things coming,
And Others have not.

There are a couple of things going on here.

First, this particular polygamist Mormon-offshoot sect has a lurid past.

Second, but still …

It’s like a wire service tweet reading:

Black Lives Matter is forced to confront Africans’ evolutionary history of hoe agriculture after nine women and children died in a gang shootout in Compton.

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From my Taki’s Magazine review of The Irishman:

The Irishman is unusual in the Current Year for nobody insisting that Scorsese be canceled for making a 99 percent white movie. (The only nonwhite role is a Puerto Rican nurse in 2003 who has no clue who Jimmy Hoffa was.) So far, at least, nobody, not even The New Yorker, is demanding to know why Scorsese cast in the Hoffa role Al Pacino instead of, say, Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

But now from The Guardian:

Seen but not heard: why don’t women speak in The Irishman?

Scorsese has created provocative roles for women. But with only six words in his latest film, Anna Paquin’s moral spectre is a sign of a troubling trend in Hollywood

In The Irishman, Anna Paquin plays in the coda the grown version of Robert De Niro’s untalkative but observant little girl. She is shown, as a child, instinctively loathing her godfather (played by Joe Pesci) because he is also a professional godfather. In contrast, she adores her father’s friend Jimmy Hoffa (played by Al Pacino).

Why doesn’t this important character have many lines?

Uh … because why she never speaks to her father again after July 30, 1975 is the whole point of the movie?

But that’s so Not Current Year. Today, directors are supposed to Tell, Not Show. Communicating visually rather than verbally is Over. What matters now is providing tons of lines for the Intersectional.

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From the New York Post’s Page Six gossip column:

CBS News fires staffer who had access to leaked Amy Robach audio
By Sara Nathan November 7, 2019 | 9:30am

CBS News has fired a female staffer believed to have had access to the tape of Amy Robach raging against ABC News, Page Six understands.

We reported on Wednesday that ABC News chiefs discovered a former employee could be behind the leak of the damning footage of Robach slamming the network for shelving her interview with Jeffrey Epstein’s “sex slave” Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Sources told Page Six that a former staffer had access to the footage of Robach as she aired her frustrations over a hot mike — and that employee was now believed to be working at CBS.

A TV source told us later on Wednesday that the woman was let go from CBS, after ABC execs alerted the rival network.

ABC sources confirmed to us that they’d informed counterparts at CBS about the staffer “as a courtesy.”

Isn’t there an old joke about a shipwreck, a priest, a doctor, a lawyer, two Great White Sharks, and “professional courtesy“?

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A curious question is: Why did selective breeding in agriculture show enormous successes here and there — e.g., corn in prehistoric Mexico, the breeding of much larger horses from the chariot ponies of the Bronze Age to the huge horses that could carry medieval knights in shining armor — but … nobody seemed to have much of a clue how to methodically go about breeding better crops and livestock until England in the 18th Century?

The impressive intellectual Gwern Branwen devotes a long essay to this question in a review of a 1986 book by Nicholas Russell entitled Like Engend’ring Like: Heredity and Animal Breeding in Early Modern England. Gwern writes:

People, both ordinary and men of leisure, have been farming animals for millennia and presumably interfering in their reproduction, and had ample opportunity to informally observe many matings, long pedigrees, crosses between breeds, and comparisons with neighboring farmers, and they had great incentive to reach correct beliefs not just for the immediate & compounding returns but also from being able to sell their superior specimens for improving other herds.

But surviving theoretical scientific discussions of heredity are baffling. People lurch between ‘only fathers matter’ & ‘only mothers matter’, endlessly elaborating on wildly speculative (and wildly wrong) mechanistic explanations of how exactly sperm & eggs & embryos connected and formed …

I suspect that many farmers’ discoveries before the 18th Century were kept as trade secrets, so there was little general advancement, despite isolated accomplishments. Note that Isaac Newton in the later 17th Century was inclined to keep his physics and math discoveries as trade secrets of his business of being a sage, and he had to be cajoled into publishing them by his more modern-minded Royal Society pals.

In contrast, Darwin’s books 175 years later are full of information sent to him by a multitude of correspondents, whom he credits by name.

The concept of “publish or perish” is much derided, but the idea that you should tell the world about your discoveries has done a lot for the world.

Gwern focuses on Robert Bakewell (1725-1795), an English sheep breeder who made methodical breeding of more productive lines of sheep fashionable. Bakewell never published anything on what he was up to, so it’s difficult to tell what exactly he accomplished. But it’s clear he was a charming host and generous mentor who exemplified for his peers the improving spirit of the agricultural revolution. Darwin cited Bakewell as showing that artificial selection worked, thus implying that natural selection could work by happenstance.

Gwern’s essay is full of interest. Here’s one paragraph on one of my favorite topics: that the British obsession with horseracing fed into the Anglo-Scottish intellectual revolution associated with names like Smith, Darwin, and Galton:

The aristocratic & government interest in racehorses & war horses gradually led to many specialized horses being kept and better record-keeping. The creation of the “stud book” and the classist superstition of “blood” in horses, where even distant ancestry from a famous thoroughbred elevated a horse above common horses, appears to have accidentally backed into success: by creating a reason to track ancestry carefully, and importantly, ensuring that a thoroughbred’s offspring with a horse not in ‘the book’ would be worth much less (regardless of their performance or true genetic potential), a closed breeding population under steady selection was created and ensured that what progress was made was not then immediately undone by careless haphazard matings. Arabian/Turkish stallions were permitted, and now that they were no longer being immediately diluted by outside 100%-non-thoroughbred horses, gradually “graded up” the closed thoroughbred gene pool towards more Arabian/Turkish genes. Further, the mania for racing was not satisfied by the stock of mature stallions so races began expanding to include younger horses (accelerating generational turnover and thus annual gains) and also mares (finally capturing critical performance data and allowing selection on the other half of the equation). Before too long, the import of full-blooded Arabian stallions was no longer particularly necessary as thoroughbred performance had thoroughly outraced them. Russell remarks that thoroughbreds, like cats or dogs, were then (and still are, based on the crudity of the racehorse genetics papers I’ve read) bred in an unsystematic and inefficient manner, but this seems to have been enough.

Our word “race,” meaning a lineage or breed, is etymologically linked to our word “race” meaning a test of speed, in part because breeding faster racehorses took up a lot of space in the English mind.

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People have been looking forward to/dreading this — the computerized revival of dead actors — for some time now, with James Dean long striking me as the likeliest due to his die young, stay pretty career. From the Hollywood Reporter:

James Dean Reborn in CGI for Vietnam War Action-Drama (Exclusive)

6:10 AM PST 11/6/2019 by Alex Ritman

The cultural icon, who died in 1955, will return to the screen via CGI using actual footage and photos for ‘Finding Jack.’

James Dean, who died in a 1955 car crash at the age of 24, is making an unexpected return to the big screen.

The cultural icon, known for Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden, has been posthumously cast in the Vietnam era action-drama Finding Jack. …

While Finding Jack will be live action, The Hollywood Reporter understands that Dean’s performance will be constructed via “full body” CGI using actual footage and photos. Another actor will voice him.

… The filmmakers are now hoping that the CGI technology used to bring Dean back to life onscreen could soon be deployed on other well-known figures.

“This opens up a whole new opportunity for many of our clients who are no longer with us,” said Mark Roesler, CEO of CMG Worldwide, which represents Dean’s family alongside more than 1,700 entertainment, sports, music and historical personalities, including the likes of Burt Reynolds, Christopher Reeve, Ingrid Bergman, Neil Armstrong, Bette Davis and Jack Lemmon. …

Barton added: “Now that we have closed with this iconic figure, we look forward to rapidly closing our remaining actors.”

Uhhhh … I believe the phrase “we look forward to rapidly closing our remaining actors” is actually intended in a less dystopian sense than it sounds. They don’t mean “put our society’s remaining actors out to pasture,” they mean “close contractual deals with the rest of our intended cast, most of whom are living human beings.”

I think.

Does CGI really work? Is it yet practical to keep old actors going indefinitely? In my review of The Irishman, I consider whether Netflix got its money’s worth out of digitally de-aging the old time actors.

I suspect teenage girls will be the last demographic to give up on living celebrities. They like new celebrities just a little older than themselves.

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From Variety:

ABC is in development on a follow up to the drama series “Revenge,” Variety has confirmed.

The new project hails from “Revenge” creator Mike Kelley and original series writer Joe Fazzio. It is said to follow a young Latinx immigrant who is guided by an original series character as she arrives in Malibu to exact revenge on a Sackler-esque pharmaceutical dynasty, whose insatiable greed lead to the murder of her biochemist mother, the destruction of her family, and a global epidemic.

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I can remember a time (was it the late 1980s?), when the Style sections of newspapers were full of articles about how the Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pig was trendy because it was the perfect apartment pet because they never ever grew to be heavier than 50 pounds.

It has since turned out that, to be precisely accurate, they never grew to be over 50 pounds in an apartment in Vietnam before, uh, going to live on a farm.

In the softer-hearted West, however …

As The Telegraph reported in 2001:

Be grateful you don’t live with a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig
Celia Haddon on pets with a difference. This week: the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig

By Celia Haddon 12:01AM GMT 03 Nov 2001

A SWEET little striped piglet can grow into a gigantic porker weighing 200 lb – with formidable tusks and a big belly. You can litter-train a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, but you will need a huge compost bin for the 13lb of muck it produces every day.

From the Pickens Progress in 2017:

… “One of the main problems is that [the pigs] can breed at 12 weeks and have a four-month gestation period,” she said. “They’re not full grown until at least three years and people think that a six-month old mom is full size, but that’s only like 40 pounds. Most full grown are between 80 and 150 pounds. We also joked that they could breed through brick walls. It gets out of control.”

Bragg, like other pot-bellied advocates, say people are often misled by breeders who claim their pigs will stay small if they are fed a restricted diet. The North American Potbellied Pig Association estimates that, “The rate of pigs being re-homed because they grew bigger than expected has been reported at 90 percent or higher in the first year.”

The NAPPA website also warns potential pig owners not to fall for the myth of teacup, micro or apartment pig myth.

“People have paid 1000s of dollars to be disappointed when a pig reaches weights greater than 100 pounds,” the site states. “Do not have unrealistic expectations. All pigs grow. The tiny pig you may see or even buy will grow much bigger.”

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From New York Times Opinion Columnist and veteran iSteve go-to content generator Charles M. Blow:

Stop Blaming Black Homophobia for Buttigieg’s Problems!
Let’s put an end to this racist trope.

By Charles M. Blow, Opinion Columnist, Nov. 6, 2019

Reducing Pete Buttigieg’s struggle to attract black support solely to black homophobia is not only erroneous, it is a disgusting, racist trope, secretly nursed and insidiously whispered by white liberals with contempt for the very black people they court and need.

I have never been blind to this — the people who see black religiosity as an indicator of primitive thinking and lack of enlightenment.

(For the record, I am bisexual and not a religious man.)

They are those who see black people as a blight on our big cities, pathologically prone to violence and in need of pity and crumbs they cast about and call philanthropy….

It is tiresome and disappointing to constantly have to defend yourself not only from people who are openly hostile to you, but also from those who feign friendship but are secretly hostile to you.

It is in the tribal nature of gay culture that white men still center their white maleness as privileged, if one step removed from that enjoyed by their heterosexual brothers, where racial minorities are too often fetishized and thing-ified, seen more as an opportunity than an equal. …

And the people who are so committed to the black homophobia narrative must search themselves for the answer to this question: Why do you want — need! — this trope to stay alive?

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This looks promising:

I presume this is about the origins in the 1950s of that upscale all-black neighborhood in Baldwin Hills south of Beverly Hills that I’ve mentioned before.

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I’ve barely seen any movies this year, but I still felt reasonably confident to write in my new review of The Irishman:

The Irishman is one of the most imposing movies so far this year, along with the neo-Scorsesean Joker, the Korean Parasite, and of course Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

By next week a likely fifth movie will be Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach, starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. Baumbach makes Woody Allen-like Upper West Side movies, and he’s probably, on the whole, been better than Allen since his 2005 The Squid and the Whale. I quite liked his 2014 comedy with Driver and Ben Stiller While We’re Young.

At this point I’d vote:

Best Foreign Film: Parasite

Best Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time, over Al Pacino, The Irishman

Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker, over Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time.

Best Original Screenplay: Steve Zaillian, The Irishman (although Baumbach ought to always be a contender)

Best Director: Quentin Tarantino, Once

Best Picture: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

These films, by the way, are Not Diverse.

So what film is going to keep next year’s Academy Awards from being plagued by #OscarsSoWhite(andAsian) hashtags?

The most plausible woman director to nominate might be Greta Gerwig — whose autobiographical 2017 film Lady Bird with Saoirse Ronan as the high school Greta Gerwig, was quite entertaining — for the umpteenth Little Women remake. But she’s Baumbach’s girlfriend, for whom he left Jennifer Jason Leigh (an event that is presumably the subject matter of Marriage Story). Or maybe Olivia Wilde for Booksmart, who is some kind of distant relation of Evelyn Waugh. (Her English Communist grandpa Claude Cockburn, who wrote the John Huston-Humphrey Bogart movie Beat the Devil, was Waugh’s cousin.)

A movie that seems to be appealing to audiences in limited release is JoJo Rabbit, which is described as an anti-Hitler satire. The concept sounds dire, but audiences apparently like it (as they enjoyed last year’s Best Picture winner Green Book). And the last movie by its director, Taika Waititi (who is half New Zealand Maori and half Jewish), Thor: Ragnarok, was witty for a Marvel movie. So maybe we can expect to hear a lot during Oscar Season about how Hitler would have hated Maoris (if he were aware of their existence, although judging from Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, the Maori were awfully Hitlerian toward the poor Moriori of the Chatham Islands).

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My review of the new film The Irishman is up at Taki’s Magazine:

by Steve Sailer

November 06, 2019

Martin Scorsese is trending on Twitter for denouncing superhero movies as being more like theme parks than films because “Cinema is an art form that brings you the unexpected.” And yet the director’s The Irishman proves that the expected can have its cinematic pleasures.

Imagine the best possible gangster movie that Marty Scorsese could make in his later 70s. Well, The Irishman is it, Scorsese’s autumnal reprise of his peak 1990 film, GoodFellas, reuniting the old gang of Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci from Raging Bull and Casino, while adding a likable Al Pacino (in, after all these years, his first Scorsese film) as doomed Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa.

Immensely long at three hours and thirty minutes, The Irishman still held my attention all the way through despite its lack of novelty. This is the best talent of the 1970s getting together in 2019 for one last hurrah…and not disappointing.

Read the whole thing there.

Pacino & De Niro

One more bit:

The digital de-aging process doesn’t really work yet: De Niro starts the movie, when his character is supposed to be in his early 30s, looking about 55 rather than his current 76. While De Niro is no doubt spry for his age, Scorsese’s insistence that the 5’9″ star awkwardly clomp around in huge platform shoes to imitate his character’s 6’4″ height doesn’t help the de-aging effect.

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From the Atlantic:

Is DNA Left on Envelopes Fair Game for Testing?

The genealogist’s dream of testing old, spit-laced artifacts is coming true—but raising questions about who controls dead people’s DNA.

MAR 1, 2019

Last fall, Gilad Japhet, the founder of a DNA-testing company, got up at an industry conference to talk about his grandmother Rosa’s love letters.

Japhet’s company, MyHeritage, sells cheek swabs to people interested in their family history. It now has 2.5 million people in its DNA database, making it the third largest behind 23andMe and AncestryDNA. But Japhet wasn’t satisfied with only testing the living; he wanted to test the dead. Which brings us to the love letters—or really, the envelopes they came in.

The envelopes were sealed by his grandmother, and the stamps on them presumably licked by her. “Maybe our ancestors did not realize it,” Japhet said, a smile growing on his face, “when they were licking those stamps and the envelope flaps, they were sealing their precious DNA for you forever.” Then he made the big announcement: MyHeritage would soon begin offering DNA testing on old stamps and envelopes.

He didn’t stop there. If you can test the letters of your grandmother, why not those of historical figures? Japhet is a prodigious collector of autographs, and he revealed that he possessed handwritten letters from Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill. In an intriguing if provocative PR move, he promised that “their DNA is coming to MyHeritage very, very soon.”

In a surprising coincidence, DNA testing of the envelopes has revealed that both Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill were trim women who could type 90 words per minute.

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In other words, the NYT wants you to know that the American family recently murdered by the Mexican cartel had it coming, for the usual Current Year antiquarianist reasons.

They’re not immigrants, they are settlers!

Unmentioned: The Romneys were run out of Mexico during the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s. The Mexican government paid them a cash settlement for their lost land in 1938 as part of its nationalization of foreign oil interests: the leftist government wanted to dot the I’s and cross the T’s to show it wasn’t stealing the oil, it was paying compensation to the oil companies. So it went ahead and did the same for some Americans like the Romneys with old claims going back to the chaotic Revolution.

It actually shows that Mexico has often been less violent than it is at present.

For example, I knew a Mennonite (monogamous, of course) (or perhaps a Molokan, who are like Russian Mennonites) who was born on a farm in Baja California. Mennonites are more or less pacifist, so the huge Mennonite migration (often from Canada) into Mexico, beginning in the 1920s, suggested a lot of trust in the ability of the Mexican state to provide law & order. What’s the Matter with Mexico is an interesting topic, but one that doesn’t come up much in the U.S. in the 21st Century.

UPDATE: It turns out Ervil LeBaron was not a pacifist. From Wikipedia:

Ervil Morrell LeBaron (February 22, 1925 – August 15, 1981) was the leader of a polygamous Mormon fundamentalist group who ordered the killings of many of his opponents, using the religious doctrine of blood atonement to justify the murders. He was sentenced to life in prison for orchestrating the murder of an opponent, and died there.

He had at least 13 wives in a plural marriage, several of whom he married while they were still underage, and several of whom were involved in the murders.

Thanks to commenters.

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From the Seattle Times, a story about the Seattle – Tacoma Airport:

Sheriff says SeaTac Bob’s Burgers takeover-robbery was a ‘hoax’ in attempt to qualify for visa for crime victims

Nov. 4, 2019 at 5:48 pm Updated Nov. 4, 2019 at 6:56 pm

By Asia Fields

Seattle Times staff reporter

The King County Sheriff’s Office believes 10 people staged a takeover-style robbery at a SeaTac restaurant last month in an attempt to obtain visas that are available to some victims of crime, it announced Monday.

Deputies and officers from the SeaTac Police Department responded to Bob’s Burgers & Teriyaki the night of Oct. 19 after an employee reported a robbery. There, officers were told that two robbers, one of whom had a gun, tied up a restaurant manager and six customers, then stole their belongings and sexually assaulted two women, said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott.

“It was all a lie,” Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht said at a Monday press conference. “Every employee present that evening, every customer, participated in a deliberate hoax.”

There was a staged robbery, as the two alleged robbers dressed up in masks, tied up the others and drove off in one of their cars, which hasn’t been located yet, Abbott said. But detectives believe all 10 people — the six customers, a manager, the employee who called police and the two alleged robbers — were in on the hoax.

SeaTac Police Chief Jon Mattsen said the the stories from those involved didn’t align. Then, Abbott said, two of the people told detectives the robbery was staged in an attempt to qualify for a U visa, which is granted to some undocumented crime victims who assist officials in investigating and prosecuting the crimes. The Sheriff’s Office does not know how many of the people involved hoped to apply for a U visa, as it does not ask about immigration status, Abbott said.

Investigating the case was a “tremendous waste of resources,” Mattsen said.

None of the people involved, who range from 38 to 51, is in custody, Abbott said. Detectives had not yet finished their investigation when conservative talk-show host Jason Rantz posted that the robbery was a hoax, citing anonymous law-enforcement officials.

But, the Seattle Times sermonizes, Science has proven that immigrants are morally better and more deserving than you crime-prone Americans:

Research also has consistently shown that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the U.S. A 2018 study published in the journal Criminology did not find a positive relationship between the number of undocumented immigrants and crime rates.

In addition, research including a prominent 2010 study from the University of Massachusetts Boston has found that false reports of sexual assault are low and make up between about 2% and 10% of reports.

Asia Fields: [email protected]; on Twitter: @asiakmfields.

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From Ross Douthat’s in the NYT:

Liberalism’s Latinx Problem

Why is Elizabeth Warren describing Latinos with a term that few would use themselves?

By Ross Douthat, Opinion Columnist, Nov. 5, 2019

But a lot of Trump-era polling shows the president holding or even expanding his Hispanic support, and it shows Warren, in particular, struggling with Latino voters, both in the primary and the general races.

Which is what you’d expect if, as my colleague Tom Edsall has argued, Hispanics (and African-Americans and Asians) now represent the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, the pocketbook-conscious, somewhat culturally conservative flank. In that case they’re a constituency where a less-bigoted-seeming G.O.P. could make substantial inroads, and where even a figure like Trump, if the economy is strong enough and the Democrat seems sufficiently culturally extreme, can at least win enough minority support to keep himself competitive.

A big question is whether the underlying Democratic strategy I first spelled out in full 6.5 years ago is going to work: Keep the Democrats’ Coalition of the Margins united by ginning up hate for the most non-marginal: cisgender straight white males.

For example, Senator Warren’s “Latinx” fetish is due to the Non-Binary having a lot of Intersectional Pokemon Points under the current dispensation, enough to trump less current year ideas like: Spanish is a major language with an impressive literature, so let’s act like we respect it.

One problem the Democrats have is that since nobody in the mainstream media will come out and explain that the central strategy of the Democrats is to demonize cisgender straight white males in order to unify everybody who is not a a cisgender straight white male (you are just supposed to grasp that from the mood music), a whole bunch of people wind up saying in effect: Well, I’m not a cisgender straight white male, but I am non-trans, not-gay, and white and non-trans, , straight, and male, or non-trans, white and male, or whatever else, and the democrats sure sound like they hate me.

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From Science:

In decision certain to draw fire, journal will publish heavily criticized paper on gender differences in physics

By Dalmeet Singh Chawla Nov. 1, 2019 , 4:00 PM

In a move likely to attract criticism, a peer-reviewed journal has agreed to publish an Italian physicist’s highly contested analysis of publications, which concludes that female physicists don’t face more career obstacles than their male colleagues. The journal says it will also simultaneously publish critiques of the paper, which one member of the journal’s editorial board says is “flawed” and contains “unsubstantiated claims.”

Last year, physicist Alessandro Strumia received widespread criticism after presenting a talk at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, where he was a guest professor. During the presentation, he asserted that physics was built and invented by men, and stated on a slide that “Physics is not sexist against women.” Thousands of physicists signed a letter voicing concerns about Strumia’s views and some researchers published detailed critiques of his findings and methods, which focused on published papers in the field of “fundamental physics” that includes theoretical and experimental studies of fundamental particles, cosmology, and astrophysics. Some of Strumia’s critics have argued that such literature analyses are not sufficient to support his claims. Both CERN and Strumia’s employer, the University of Pisa in Italy, launched investigations. Earlier this year, CERN cut all ties with Strumia and the university released a statement condemning his comments.

The upcoming paper, which Strumia has posted on his website, has been accepted for publication by Quantitative Science Studies (QSS), which publishes “theoretical and empirical research on science and the scientific workforce.”

Strumia’s paper is 45 pages long and contains 72 graphs.

Strumia’s study examines 1.3 million fundamental physics papers, published from 1970 to this year, which are indexed by CERN’s INSPIRE database. After identifying authors as men or women based on their names, the study confirms what Strumia calls a “well known” gender skew in fundamental physics: For every four new male Ph.D.s who publish, there is just one new female Ph.D. Strumia also concludes that male and female physicists have similar opinions about which papers deserve to be cited, and that authors of both genders cite their own studies at similar rates. (That finding diverges from a 2016 analysis, which Strumia cites, that concluded male authors cite their own work on average 56% more than female authors.) Strumia also finds that the publication records, which show institutional affiliations, reveal no statistically significant difference in how quickly men and women are hired after receiving their Ph.D.s, or the rate at which they stop publishing in the field, which Strumia uses as an indicator for when a researcher has left academic research. Strumia notes this finding contradicts other studies that have found that a higher proportion of women drop out of academia than men.

The primary takeaway from his study, Strumia tells ScienceInsider, is that men and women have equal opportunities in fundamental physics, and women don’t necessarily face a more hostile work environment. “This is what comes out from the data,” he says. “I believe [this] because I see this in the data.”

Strumia’s paper is likely, once again, to attract fierce pushback.

It’s almost as if the women physicists pushing the conventional wisdom tend to have a vested financial interest in silencing dissenting science.

Occam’s butterknife is used to butter one’s bread.

Also, as I’ve mentioned a few times:

High IQ women tend to prefer the Life Sciences, like biology, more than they prefer the Death Sciences, like physics. Very few women have ever felt that “I am become Death, destroyer of worlds” sounded awesome. But more than a few men have.

Update: Dr. Strumia clarifies in the iSteve comments about the Science story:

Alessandro Strumia says:

November 5, 2019 at 7:43 pm GMT • 100 Words

Just to clarify: CERN adopted a single formal act: the opening of an investigation to check if my talk might have violated rules such as “obligation to exercise reserve and tact“, “reserve in expressing personal opinions“, “communications to the public“. In this case a procedure would have been opened such that I would have had the opportunity to officially explain my reasons. Instead, after 6 months, CERN closed the issue concluding: “CERN will not pursue disciplinary proceedings”. I thank colleagues who later invited me to work on physics at CERN, but I also had to write a scientific paper about gender, so free speech was important and I cannot accept flexible rules that subjectively restrict it.

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The next Democratic presidential candidate debate will be November 20 at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. To keep viewers from tuning out from boredom, the DNC has announced that the debate will conclude with a Final Jeopardy-style question in which the candidate who can name the most components of an acronym beginning LGBT will become the nominee.

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We are often told that Science has proven that “there is hardly any connection between genes and race.” But in reality, 21st Century genomics has shown that most Americans’ self-identifications of their own race (what the Census uses) are fairly reasonable.

iSteve commenter Genome Voyager writes:

Race and ethnicity are overwhelmingly correlated with genetic ancestry in the United States. Recent, large-scale studies of ~11,000 cancer patients and ~202,000 military veterans found that individuals’ self-identified race and ethnicity showed 95.6% (cancer) and 99.5% (veterans) correspondence to genetic ancestry clusters.

Yuan et al. (2018) Cancer Cell. 34: 549–560

Fang et al. (2019) Am J Hum Genet. 105:763-772

You can read the full PDF of Fang’s 2019 paper here.

Among nearly 202,000 individuals with SIRE [Self-Identifying Race/Ethnicity], 1,079 (0.53%) had GIA [Genetically Inferred Ancestry] strongly indicating a different racial/ethnic group.

So, 0.53% of these U.S. military veterans’ self-identified race/ethnicity (using four “continental-scale” race/ethnicities used by the US Census: white, black, Asian, and Hispanic) appeared to be extremely wrong from genome scans. The could be typos or adoptees or cuckoos eggs or whatever.

A somewhat larger percentage of self-identifications would be arguable from the genetic data but not ridiculous like the 0.53%.

For example, Barack Obama self-identified on the 2010 Census as only Black. Genetically, it would have been more accurate for him to self-identify as both Black and White, but it’s not ridiculous for him to put down only Black.

Is 0.53% a big number or a small number?

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Elizabeth Warren’s Good Judgment, Part MCXXVI: She refers to “Latinx families,” because who doesn’t love the word “Latinx”?

By the way, if you are wondering how to pronounce “Latinx,” she says “Latin-ex,” as if the families used to be Latin but now they aren’t anymore.

So now you know.

Next, she’ll discuss the financial problems not only of Latinx families, but of Latinx husbands and their Latinx wives.

When Senator Warren is President, she will refer to southwestern states as Californx, Nevadx, and Arizonx to not be sexist.

She’ll award Elon Musk a medal for degenderizing the formerly phallic business of rocketry with his SpaceX.

Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

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