Archive for October, 2003

Gender Genie

Want to know whether you’re male or female? Among other ways to tell, you can use the Gender Genie. Enter a block of text and it will tell you the likely gender of the author. Cool.

Brain teaser

Here’s a nice little puzzle I came across in Godfrey Thomson’s Instinct, Intelligence, and Character (1924): “Imagine a cube, which is going to be cut in two by a straight saw cut. The saw-cut section, the raw face of the cut, can clearly be of various shapes, as square, or triangular (if a corner were […]

Sociological Dogmas

Sociological Versus Psychological Theories of Crime .. . . sociological theories [of crime] are not usually put in a way that makes them testable. If unemployment is a powerful factor, does it work immediately? Is there a delay, and if so how long – 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? Similar questions can be asked […]

A new ethnic classification

Reading today’s Guardian newspaper (UK, 30 October) I came across the following: “For young boys like Jake and his cousin John, the world is divided into two groups: the Pakis and the Porkies. The Pakis are the Muslims who seem to go to the mosque a thousand times a day, who fast and pray and […]

Sweatshop vs. Sweatshop

Simple minded celebrity over @ Gweilo. Posted by razib at 11:49 AM

ID in schools? (II)

From the message board: The issue here isn’t whether evolution is true, but whether it’s wise to teach it to young children Do you really want your children to be taught that life is a constant struggle of person against person, family against family, class against class, sex against sex … … and of children […]

ID in schools?

Should evolution be taught in high school science classes?. Simple (minded) wisdom: Simple wisdom on the origins of mankind I am a bus driver and while waiting on the bus about a week ago, a high school student and I had some “small talk.” The subject of evolution came up. All I asked was, “Do […]

g by any other name?

General Symbol Machines: The First Stage in the Evolution of Symbolic Communication over at Human Nature. This is a long and wordy paper (the philosophical preliminaries and review seemed to be interminably gas-baggish) which scales back (or at least qualifies) the “modular” conception of human cognition advocated by Pinker & co to some extent. I […]

Creationist racialism?

I have spoken of the connection between secular scientific polygenism and racialist theories in the past to caution those who believe that "progress" and "secularism" are always on the side of the right (in hindsight). But, I didn’t know that some mainstream Creationists also espouse some racialist thinking (Mormon racism is a well known historical […]


In a recent post Razib raised the puzzle that minority languages (such as Latvian) often survive despite political and economic domination by other ethnic groups. Here I want to consider the opposite case, where one language is replaced by another without any political and economic domination to explain the change. So… why do the Scots […]

NKVD tactics

For those of you who feel that I’m too paranoid about anonymity, or who believe that I’m somehow exaggerating the danger to my academic career by even posting here…you need to read this post. First, some background. XSteve and One People’s Project are organizations with a history of using Nuremberg Files type tactics, by publishing […]

Bad atheists, bad!

Speech communication professor: Darwin fish symbols on cars are an act of ‘ritual aggression’. “In several respects, displaying the Darwin fish is the symbolic equivalent of capturing and desecrating an enemy’s flag, an act of ritual aggression,” says Tom Lessl, an associate professor of speech communication at UGA who studies the rhetoric of science. “The […]

West and the Rest

Discussion between Jared Diamond & Victor Davis Hanson about why the West beat the Rest (you need Real Player to listen to the audio file). From Plato to Nato by David Gress is a great book about the West that I recommend to all who find the above interview interesting. Related reading: Guns, Germs and […]

Not black?

Black guy discovers he’s not black, via genetic testing. Like the German guy who finds out he’s part Asian, I think part of the problem is that people look at this sort of science as deterministic (A -> B) instead of statistical (90% of the time A -> B , 10% A->C). See godless’ elaboration […]

Genetic history

Genetics as history: …Professor Petersen’s Y chromosome showed a very rare result – it seems his paternal ancestors came from North Africa about 5000 years ago and worked their way up into Norway. They were then part of the Viking incursions into Britain. Posted by razib at 05:42 PM

Magic & Machine guns

This article relates to the discussion in my last post on Africa: To glimpse the depth of magical thinking, of spiritual vision, that lies beneath the cannibalism, I arranged for a display of spiritual power. In khaki slacks, a neatly pressed white dress shirt and a gaucho-style hat made of ”witch material,” Vita Kitambala, a […]

My Jewish “problem”-and ours

First, I am paraphrasing Norman Podhoretz’s famous essay My Negro Problem-And Ours, though this post will bear only a flimsy resemblance to that. I titled it for the attention, I admit it…. Due to time constraints, I won’t be able to blog much in the near future (measured in a few weeks). I thought that […]

Of note

It seems this blogger (3 children) might be homeless soon. Do what you can if inclined…. Posted by razib at 02:42 PM

No modernity please!

A few years ago 60 Minutes profiled the Kingdom of Bhutan’s policy of keeping a high wall between it and the rest of the world. In keeping with this Bhutan regulates tourism and extracts a high price from those who wish to visit. Take a look at health conditions in this “authentic” Buddhist nation. Because […]

SAT bias?

SAT biased against blacks? Godless comments: This article has some pretty sloppy passages, including: For the high school class of 2002 the average score for a non-Hispanic white student on the 1600-point test was 1060. The average score for a black student was 857, or 203 points lower. (For Asians the average was 1070, and […]