Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Gender Differences in Violent Offending

From the abstract:
It is concluded that there are important differences in violent offending between male and female patients. Most importantly, female violence was more often directed towards their close environment, like their children, and driven by relational frustration. Furthermore, female patients received lower punishments compared to male patients and were more often considered to be diminished accountable for their offenses due to a mental illness.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Definition of Cheating

Listen to this intriguing Ted Talk, 6.5 million people already have.

It's filled with great lines like,
Why do we think that men cheat out of boredom and fear of intimacy, but women cheat out of loneliness and hunger for intimacy?
Monogamy used to be one person for life, today monogamy means one person at a time.
As Marcel Proust said, 'it's our imagination that is responsible for love, not the other person'
One line I'm not so fond of,
Throughout history men practically had a licence to cheat, with little consequence, and supported by a host of biological and evolutionary theories that justified their need to roam. So the double standard is as old as adultery itself.
First, no, adultery is far older than evolutionary or even biological theories of it. Her last sentence does not follow from what came before.

Second, there's a difference between explaining it and "justifying" it. Biology can explain men's proclivity to cheat without justifying it. This is a case of the naturalistic fallacy.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

How Google Plans to Kill the Mosquitos

From Bloomberg:
It was Dobson’s lab that figured out how to infect mosquitoes with a form of Wolbachia that’s different from the type of the bacteria that mosquitoes usually carry. That’s what makes the eggs unviable. MosquitoMate makes two species of mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia, A. aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Fresno became one of its test sites.
But don't mosquitos like everything else play an important part in the ecological balance?

Read the balance of nature myth here, here, and here.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

How Free Markets Address the Disabled and Destitute

Someone on Quora asked,
How do advocates of a completely free market address those people are are unable to compete, e.g. the disabled, or destitute?
So I answered:
The free market doesn’t fix every problem in the world. Neither does any other system 
Consider the following questions: how does the non-free market address cops shooting innocent people by mistake? How about when child protective services separates parents from children for illegitimate reasons? How about when government decides that people should be arrested for carrying a plant in their pocket? How about when government decides that people of Japanese ancestry should be put in concentration camps? How about when 63,000,000 people vote for Donald Trump? I’m sure you have your own list. How is government going to address that? 
Sometimes government does “address” these problems by various means, just like the free market addresses the disabled and destitute through charity, trade, and economic growth. Yet when someone points out that this is an imperfect solution it seems like some kind of knockdown argument against free markets. Are government solutions not imperfect? Does government never exasperate these problems? Does government never inhibit markets from treating these problems? Do government solutions not come bundled with a bunch of government created problems? 
I think what happens is we compare what government should do to what the private sector will do. This is comparing an ideal version of one thing to a realistic version of another. This is not apples to apples. 
A completely free market addresses the disabled and destitute the same way government does, partially, sometimes negatively, sometimes merely theatrically, and always imperfectly.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Where Jonathan Haidt thinks the American mind went wrong | Ezra Klein Show

Listen to two cool cucumbers Jonathan Haidt and Ezra Klein talk about how parenting has changed, how it's influencing journalism, the academy, and tech, and how accurate the social justice lens is.

"Teen anxiety, depression, and suicide rates have risen sharply in the last few years," he writes in The Coddling of the American Mind, co-authored with Greg Lukianoff. "The culture on many college campuses has become more ideologically uniform, compromising the ability of scholars to seek truth, and of students to learn from a broad range of thinkers."

Monday, December 3, 2018

Walls around Boarders and Brains

I wrote a short post over at AFinerGrain, it makes an obvious bare rarely noticed point,
But if you're pro-immigrant, should't arguments for the wall's futility make you more pro-wall? The more effective the wall would be, the more you should be against it. The less effective, the less you should be against it.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Michael Huemer's New Blog

Philosopher Michael Huemer has started blogging. He used to write rather long posts on Facebook, now I'm happy to see he's transitioned to a blog that organizes his posts a little better.

For a good first post try Ideology and Outrage:
What do feminists and Trump supporters have in common? Lots of things. Both are humans, both are mostly ideologues, both will hate this question. Also, both of them are easily scammed. That’s because ideology makes people suckers. 
How to scam an ideologue: tell them a story that fits their narrative about society and plays into their stereotypes.