Science

Today in Leftist Absurdity

Featured image My old mentor Stan Evans (bio coming next spring!) liked to quip that “Whenever there is a pressing public policy issue, I want to know what celebrities think. It is important for our lawmakers to hear from Bono.” Behold CNN: But wait—there’s more! Scientific American offers us this commentary on the problematic aspects of Star Wars: The acronym “JEDI” has become a popular term for branding academic committees and labeling »

The panic pandemic

Featured image More than ten years ago, I think, the editors of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal asked me for a blurb to promote the magazine. I wrote a paragraph expressing my appreciation in the course of which I asked the question, “In the age of the Internet, how is it possible for a quarterly magazine to seem the most timely publication in the country?” (Hamlet: “‘Seems.’ madam? Nay, it is.”) Having »

The “Follow ‘the Science'” Clown Show

Featured image “Follow the science” has become one of the most tiresome clichés of our time. It didn’t begin with the climate hustle, and it won’t end with the government’s COVID power lust, which is doing more than the endless hyperbole of the climatistas to reveal to the public what a clown show “authoritative” science has become. The roots of this pretense stretch back to the Enlightenment and the rise of the narrow empiricism »

Down a black hole

Featured image The great Heather Mac Donald is not much given to humor in her documentation of the war on police or the derangement that pervades issues of race and gender on the left. However, her City Journal column “Down a black hole” takes us around a bend into a corner of the Twilight Zone that verges on the humorous: Physicists at MIT and SUNY Stony Brook recently announced findings that the »

The Declining Relevance of Legal Scholarship

Featured image It has been a long-running theme of mine that academic social science, which at its birth promised to bring “scientific” research to bear on solving practical human problems, is increasingly detached from the real world and of almost no use to the larger world. Partly this is because of defects or limitations of positivist social science, the overwhelming leftist bias of most academic social scientists, and the deliberate aloofness of »

Loose Ends (123)

Featured image • First of all, happy Groundhog Day: • Second of all, happy Groundhog Day. • Okay, enough with the jokes. Serious question: Who shot Ashli Babbitt? Usually after a law enforcement involved fatal shooting, we know the name of the officer within a day or two. But the officer who fired the fatal shot at Ashli Babbitt on January 6 has still not been publicly identified, even though news is »

Scenes from the Biden Regency

Featured image For 30 years or more, I’ve been pointing out that when you hear someone at an environmental group, such as the Sierra Club or NRDC, has the title “senior scientist,” you can usually assume the person is a lawyer. Hence this detail from a Northwestern University roundup of Biden’s climate science team jumps out: Some scientists have reservations about the new team, particularly about the need to stress climate reform. »

Mask this

Featured image Based on “the science,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is announcing another set of shutdown measures in yet another of his Joe Isuzu come-ons tonight. Coincidentally comes word of the long-awaited Danish mask study. It was finally published this morning. As expected, it found masks were generally not effective in protecting the wearer of the mask from infection by the Covid virus. This was the largest-ever randomized controlled trial to test »

When “science” follows the left

Featured image Vaping is an alternative to smoking. It’s a way in which nicotine addicts can access that drug without exposure to the harmful tars and chemicals in cigarettes that cause cancer, heart disease, and other maladies. It therefore presents the possibility of saving millions of lives. However, much of the left hates vaping. So it’s not surprising that “science” has been marshaled against it. Last year, the Journal of the American »

The Geek in Pictures

Featured image I’ve got a large backlog of interesting charts, graphs, and tables that I haven’t had a chance to offer up with analysis or commentary, so today I’m going to do a Friday Afternoon Chart Dump just for everyone’s edification. Most of these I’ll post without comment, because you can figure them out for yourselves. Or think of this perhaps as “The Geek in Pictures.” I’ll show myself out. Two more »

The Biggest Defect of the Left [with comment by Paul]

Featured image When asked to name the single greatest defect of the left, I usually answer quite narrowly: an inability to think in terms of tradeoffs. This is why liberals, owing to a Kantian-inspired disposition that favors intentions above consequences, tend always to utopianism, to the view that we if we just have good will and another tax increase, we can have the best yearbook ever! As Thomas Sowell likes to say, “There »

Science!—They Say

Featured image News item: Scientific American magazine has made its first ever endorsement for president. You’ll never guess who they have endorsed. I know the suspense is killing you: Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history. This year we are compelled to do so. We do not do this lightly. The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he »

What Next in 2020?

Featured image I’m going to get the drop on Glenn Reynolds with this item. . . Back in February, I’m sure most people took no notice about this news from the famous and massive Arecibo radio-telescope observatory in Puerto Rico: Arecibo Observatory Discovers Moon Orbiting Near-Earth Asteroid Scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have discovered a moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid 2020 BX12. . . Arecibo radar images released Feb. »

Latest Social Science: Better Looking People Are Conservative

Featured image Regular readers know that one basic problem with social science is that often it spends time proving what is obvious to any alert eight-year-old, though social scientists sometimes strain to defy common sense. So in the past, we’ve reported on social science studies that prove conservative politicians are better looking than liberal politicians, that conservatives smell better than liberals (it’s called “bathing,” libs), and that conservatives are “better groomed” than »

Social Science: The Boss Hogg Hypothesis Confirmed

Featured image You know how political cartoons and other stylistic portrayals of political corruption often depict the offending office holders as fat? (It’s the only kind of “fat-shaming” still allowed, I think.) Well, some social scientists got to wondering, and came up with the following article—which I swear is for real—published last week in the journal Economics of Transition and Institutional Change: Obesity of politicians and corruption in post‐Soviet countries Pavlo Blavatskyy, »

Maybe the Most Important News of the Day

Featured image It is a truism that the most important events are rarely recognized as such when they happen. While newspapers are full of reports that are mostly trivia, truly important developments are often overlooked entirely, or relegated to the back pages. A case in point: The London Times headlines: “New antibiotic promises to win war against superbugs.” The discovery of antibiotics was one of the great milestones in human history, but »

And Now For . . . Data Feminism?

Featured image Feminists were rightly annoyed a couple decades back when Mattel released a talking Barbie doll who had among its canned sound bites the phrase “Math is hard!” But does it help the cause of gender parity in math and science to propose that there is a distinct feminist perspective on data? This is the question of a recent book from MIT Press (which seems to specialize in bizarre leftist books), »