Science

The Great Issue of Our Time…

Featured image …is whether, as a people, we are too dumb to sustain a democracy. This question arises often; for me, most recently, upon seeing this Daily Mail headline: “Twitter user stuns the internet with math that proves one 18-inch pizza has more in it than TWO 12-inch helpings.” The theory was posted by U.S.-based Twitter user @fermatslibrary. Theory. Supported by a graphic, the theory proves that one 18 inch pizza is »

Settled Science: There Really Are ‘Latte Liberals’

Featured image I’m sure most readers took note of the hoax identity politics academic journal articles recently, but I have found a real article that you could easily suppose to be a hoax. The article is “The Real Reason Liberals Drink Lattes,” and it appears in PS, which is a secondary journal of the American Political Science Association (APSA). (That’s PS, not BS, you wiseacres out there!) This relevant bit of social »

When Did NASA Go to Pot?

Featured image If you study the history of NASA’s Apollo program in the 1960s, one thing you come to realize is that the tight timetable to reach the moon by the end of the decade meant that NASA didn’t have time to ossify into a bureaucracy, and they did things (i.e., took risks) in those days that would never be permitted today. But you knew NASA had slipped into the maw of »

“Ban the Box” Gets Boxed in Again

Featured image We reported here last year about research showing that a favorite Obama policy initiative known as “Ban the Box” (that is, prohibit employers from inquiring about a person’s criminal history on employment applications) was having the opposite effect, and was increasing discrimination against blacks. Two women economists writing in the Quarterly Journal of Economics concluded: Our results support the concern that BTB policies encourage racial discrimination: the black-white gap in »

Science: The Cultural Politics of Gluten

Featured image And now for something completely different. . . Sometimes science can be positively hilarious, except when it sets up another screen for detecting bigotry and sexism. That’s the case for a brand new study just out from the National Institutes of Health entitled “Too picky for my taste? The effect of the gluten-free dietary restriction on impressions of romantic partners.” Summary: turns out that being gluten-free is just fine if »

Conservatives Pass the Smell Test

Featured image Oh those wacky social scientists. In past years we’ve noted the social “science” findings that conservatives are supposedly paranoid, dumb, authoritarian (though in one celebrated case, the study gots its codes backwards and it was actually liberals who were all of these things), but also that conservatives are better looking than liberals, and even smell better, too. But it turns out—can you believe it?—that conservatives have a better sense of smell »

Is America a Seething Hotbed of Racism and Bigotry?

Featured image The premise of diversity training at places like Google (and the various identity politics departments in universities that churn out endless theories of racism, sexism, etc. that back it up) is that implicit racism, sexism and all-around bigotry is pervasive in American society. Maybe DNC members like Bull Connor no longer turn firehoses on blacks in the South, and maybe Democratic jurists like Roger Taney no longer openly proclaim white »

An Emetic for Gore

Featured image Ten years ago, after An Inconvenient Truth appeared, I produced my own 48-minute video lecture on what’s wrong with Al Gore’s account of the whole matter, which I called An Inconvenient Truth—Or Convenient Fiction? (It’s still up on YouTube, along with a short update I did one year later, but both are way out of date now, so I don’t especially recommend them.) I just haven’t got it in me to suffer »

Apoc-Eclipse After Action Report

Featured image The Power Line Northwest News Bureau is now styling by the pool after an exhausting morning of eclipse chasing. Is this one of Daniel Boorstin’s “pseudo-events,” or just the media coverage, whose dire warnings of epic traffic jams out here in central Oregon were totally not true at all? But somehow this image does seem accurate: Faithful Power Line reader and punchline provider David Deeble points out that democracy must »

Apoc-eclipse Preview

Featured image As mentioned the other day, I’ve trekked up to central Oregon, near Bend, to take in the total eclipse tomorrow. They’re calling it “apoc-eclipse,” but I think the predictions of traffic armageddon is fake news, rather like the predictions for massive gridlock at the 1984 LA Olympics, where in fact just the opposite occurred—it saw the least traffic congestion in years. Some other time maybe I’ll explain why this is »

Silicon Valley’s Next Gender Thoughtcrime

Featured image Power Line can announce that it has identified the next Gender Thoughtcrime offender in Silicon Valley, and it is a doozy. First, here are a few samples from the transgressing article (author ID and publication reference at the end): [O]ver the past 15 years or so, there’s been a sea change as new technologies have generated a growing pile of evidence that there are inherent differences in how men’s and »

Liberals Are For Science—Until They’re Not

Featured image I think it was our pal Charles Kesler who first quipped that “social Darwinism” was the only kind of Darwinism liberals opposed—a line I have deployed to great effect many times. But it appears he may be mistaken about this. It appears that liberals are increasingly upset with evolutionary science as it reveals gender differences, and goodness, some of this science might even show up on a Google search, at »

The Factual Feminist on Gender Differences in Math and Science

Featured image Leave it to Christina Hoff Sommers, in her “Factual Feminist” video series, to bring clarity to the Google-fueled controversy about women in math and science. This video is from three years ago, but it gets right at the heart of the matter. (I wonder if it comes up in a Google search? Well, I’m not going to waste my time finding out.) »

How Google Has Just Harmed Its Women Employees

Featured image Last week we noted here how the move to “ban the box” of criminal convictions on employment application forms actually increased discrimination against blacks, and with its decision to fire the author of the infamous “diversity memo,” Google has just done its women employees a huge disservice, likely leading to more discrimination against women. David Bernstein of the Scalia Law School at George Mason University offers this shrewd observation: How »

Liberalism Backfires Again, Chapter 14,279

Featured image One thing that is reliable about liberal policy ideas is that they will generate unintended consequences and perverse results, 95 out of 100 times. So of course one might have predicted that the move to “ban the box” asking about criminal convictions on employment application forms would result in increased racial discrimination. And now we have the social science to back up this common sense perception. From the Quarterly Journal »

Round Up the Usual RoundUp Suspects

Featured image It’s been no secret that environmentalists have wanted to ban the popular herbicide RoundUp for a long time now—because chemicals! Because Monsanto!—and their persistent lobbying paid off when in 2015 the UN’s World Health Organization declared glyphosate, the active ingredient of RoundUp, to be a “probable carcinogen”—a conclusion not shared by any U.S. or European government agency. The WHO’s declaration was based on “finding” of its own International Agency for »

This Week in the Annals of Social Science

Featured image The Washington Post reports the following: A host of research suggests that as it gets hotter, people tend to make worse decisions: Not only do we get more ornery and cranky — we can also make unwise long-term decisions whose effects we’ll feel well after the temperature has dropped. This may explain a lot about Congress. As good a reason as I can think of for simply shutting down Washington »