Trump panders to feminists.

Trump signs two laws which create programs promoting STEM disciplines to girls.

“It’s not fair and it’s not even smart,” Trump said of the low percentage of women with STEM degrees who actually work in the field. About a quarter of the women with STEM degrees work in the field.

….

The topic of women in tech has grown more heated over the past few years. Although women account for about 47 percent of the workforce in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they make up only 25.6 percent of computer and mathematical occupations, and 15.4 percent of architecture and engineering occupations. These days, women earn only 18 percent of computer science degrees. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama‘s administration projected there were more than a half million open jobs in information technology.

Trump signed the bills surrounded by various women like Rep. Barbara Comstock, who introduced the INSPIRE Act, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, as well as his daughter Ivanka Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. Vice President Mike Pence was also on hand, along with Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, to name a few.

“That’s really going to be addressed by my administration over the years with more and more of these bills coming out and address the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and by those in STEM fields,” he said.

Sorry Mr. “suddenly progressive” Trump, it is completely fair that there are not as many women in high IQ fields (and other fields). And there is decades of research indicating exactly why that is. So now he is going to double-down on promoting women in stem, who aren’t suited for it, there by wasting who knows how many millions of taxpayer dollars. Not to mention this will also likely result in more support for wasteful affirmative action which will both make American companies less competitive and make it more difficult for talented men to just get along with making their contributions to society. For anyone who thought Trump was actually going to Make America Great Again, you can rest “easier” knowing that the progressive Cthulhu is still swimming left just as determinedly as it ever was.

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Anarcho-capitalism and the alt-right

I noticed I was getting a few hits from the /r/anarcho_capitalism sub-reddit and stumbled on an interesting post by /u/chewingofthecud trying to compare and contrast An-caps to the alt-right. Overall it was a pretty interesting discussion. You can read it all here.

This is otherwise hard to explain because according to contemporary (read: wrong) ideas about the political spectrum being neatly divisible into left and right, the two are pretty much first cousins, if not siblings. This isn’t just a Freudian narcissism of small differences thing. When you understand that ancaps are uber-universalist (that’s why almost all of them are deontologists), but the alt-right are what you might call “particularists” (the opposite), things start making a lot more sense. Ancaps generally want one unswerving rule or standard (something like the NAP) to prevail in all times and places, and alt-righters see “different standards for different people” as being not only OK, but actually closer to the way the world really works (there’s also an rejection of the “natural fallacy” implicit in a lot of the alt-right, but that’s another discussion).

I have never been an an-cap myself, but it is my understanding that more than a few have gone through that route before adopting a more neoreactionary or alt-right style mindset. As such, there tends to be a lot of arguments on that sub between alt-righters and more traditional an-caps. Personally, I avoid commenting there as I consider it the territory of others. Other people aren’t so conscientious so you get lively debates fairly often which then inspire posts like the above.

In any event, I tend to agree with OP that a big issue with libertarianism and an-cap-ism is that it fails to address or acknowledge that (universalist) equality is a myth. This makes it very difficult for them, or anyone else, to deal realistically with people as they actually exist. And they exist very unequally.

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Happy heuristic for the holidays [Polarity Shift #1]

A good heuristic for deciding how much to trust a claim about some group of humans is to exchange the groups (say with a find:replace command in word) with other groups and see if the change would result in a large swing in public perception. A large change in the perception based on which group is attributed the traits strongly suggests that great caution should be implemented in accepting the claim. As white males are typically the most egregiously attacked group, they are a good choice for replacing another group in any essay which is fawning and/or flattering. To most people the new essay instantly sounds like the work of an evil white supremacist, where the original was merely a positive expression of ethnic, female, or degenerate pride. For any essay that is hostile to the group under discussion, most of which target white males, it is useful to switch to women, Jews, or blacks. Or better yet, make the switch to black, Jewish lesbians to maximize the absurdity. Suddenly, a noble essay meant to combat institutionalized racism, sexism, and anti-semitism becomes a hateful piece of propaganda for white supremacy. If you could expect a polarity shifted essay to be widely and loudly denounced as X-ist, while the original is a triumph for social justice, chances are quite good that you have a big, steaming pile of bullshit on your hands.

Really, to save ourselves time in producing pro-white male, anti-everyone else propaganda, we should just take essays by leftists and use the find:replace function in word. The amount of lolz-worthy propaganda that could be generated in this way is nearly limitless and requires almost no effort since you don’t have to bother writing anything yourself. The triggered/troll’s effort ratio in this process is about as good as you could expect to get in any serious trolling activity. The curve is steep and has a limit of infinity. Perhaps this type of artistic re-imagining of left-wing propaganda will become a semi-regular staple of the blog. I will always be upfront about polarity shifting. However, I could imagine an enterprising troll using such material secretively in order to get leftists to spend huge amounts of effort inadvertently denouncing and debunking their own bullshit. It is win-win on so many levels and is so easy even a child could do it. Propaganda for the common shitlord.

So let’s begin this process with a recently released article by the Washington post titled “Women really are better doctors, study suggests.” Which I will rename “White men really are better doctors, study suggests”

If female doctors were able to do as well as their white male counterparts when treating elderly patients in the hospital, they could save 32,000 lives a year, according to a study of 1.5 million hospital visits.

A month after patients were hospitalized, there was a small but significant difference in the likelihood that they were still alive or had to be readmitted to the hospital depending on the gender of the doctor who cared for them, according to the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Although the analysis can’t prove the gender of the physician was the determining factor, the researchers made multiple efforts to rule out other explanations.

“If we had a treatment that lowered mortality by 0.4 percentage points or half a percentage point, that is a treatment we would use widely. We would think of that as a clinically important treatment we want to use for our patients,” said Ashish Jha, professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health. The estimate that 32,000 patients’ lives could be saved in the Medicare population alone is on par with the number of deaths from vehicle crashes each year.

For years, studies have suggested that women and white men practice medicine differently. white men are more likely to adhere to clinical guidelines and counsel patients on preventive care. They are more communicative than women. But whether those differences have a meaningful impact on patients’ well-being has been unclear.

The new study, based on an analysis of four years of Medicare data, found that patients treated by a white male doctor had a little less than half of a percentage point difference in the likelihood they would die within a month of their hospitalization. There was a similar drop in patients having to go back to the hospital over that month. Those are not large differences, but Jha pointed out that major health policies aimed at improving mortality in hospitals and increasing patient safety had resulted in a similar drop in mortality over a decade.

To try to rule out other possible explanations for the difference — such as healthier patients’s preference for white male doctors — the researchers did an analysis where they looked solely at hospitalists, doctors who see patients who are admitted to hospitals and who are typically not chosen by patients. They also made sure patients had similar characteristics in the two groups. They compared doctors within hospitals, to avoid measuring a difference that could be accounted for by comparing a white man who worked at a rural community hospital with a woman who worked at an urban trauma center.

Vineet Arora, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, praised the research but was cautious to read too much into the main result, pointing out that it was important to remember the effect might stem from multiple factors.

“It could be something the doctor is doing. It could be something about how the patient is reacting to the doctor,” Arora said. “It’s really hard to say. It’s probably multi-factorial.”

What the study drove home for Arora, who works as a hospitalist, is that white men are certainly not worse doctors than women — and they should be compensated equitably. A study published earlier this year found a $20,000 pay gap between female and white male doctors after controlling for other factors, such as age, specialty and faculty rank, that might influence compensation.

She noted that white male doctors, who are often being hired in their horniest years, may face a subtle form of discrimination, in the worry that they will be less committed or that they will not work as hard when they have poon to chase.

“Having a white male physician is an asset,” Arora said.

William Weeks, a professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, said that the researchers had done a good job of trying to control for other factors that might influence the outcome. He noted that one caveat is that hospital care is usually done by a team. That fact was underscored by the method the researchers used to identify the doctor who led the care for patients in the study. To identify the gender of the physician, they looked for the doctor responsible for the biggest chunk of billing for hospital services — which was, on average, about half. That means that almost half of the care was provided by others.

Could an editorial written as the above is have been published in the Washington post? Could a research paper with these conclusions have been published in a “respectable” peer-reviewed journal? Absolutely not. The outrage would have been deafening and the authors would very likely lose their jobs or even be assaulted. The opposite finding would have never been published no matter how convincing the evidence. The only conclusion allowed was, is and will be that women are better doctors, and this institutional bias all but guaranteed that we were going to get some bunk study like this released to uncritical fanfare in the media. Polarity shifting this leftist propaganda makes it very salient that we are almost certainly dealing with bullshit here.

Forgetting for a second that an effect size of a half of a percentage point is trivial (it took almost 2 million data points to find this), and that social scientists have basically no credibility when it comes to their statistical practices, lets give these authors the benefit of the doubt and say they found a real effect here. After all, the idea of women being more nurturing does fit with traditional stereotypes and I could conceivably see how that might contribute to slightly extending the life of someone knocking on death’s door.

The problem with using this finding to conclude that women are better doctors is graduating female doctors opt out of their profession at much higher rates than men. This ends up removing roughly 30% of the worst female doctors from circulation and thus prevents them from being factored into the study. This should have a substantial impact on their overall average in studies such as this, and I am honestly surprised they didn’t get a larger effect than they did because of it. Of course, I AM assuming that it is disproportionately the worst doctors who opt-out of practice (there is no data on this), but honestly it is a reasonable assumption. People who are good at something tend to stick with it more. In addition, it doesn’t factor in that male doctors are working on average 5 more hours per week than their female counterparts. Ya, maybe he isn’t as cuddly with his patients, but he is likely seeing more patients per week which translates to providing substantially more care overall. You can quibble over this, but I would argue this increase in quantity of service is more important than a doubtful .5% change in mortality in the terminally ill. Leftists are very eager to latch onto any trivial finding to make a specious argument about how great their favored group is, but it is a huge red flag and very typically misses the larger picture. A picture that is already heavily skewed by decades of feminist infiltration into academia, but nonetheless still paints another picture than the established narrative. And that is assuming the finding itself wasn’t complete nonsense to start with.

The excerpt below from my book Smart and Sexy: The Evolutionary Origins and Biological Underpinnings of Cognitive Differences Between the Sexes provides a more extensive discussion of this. Citations for this section are at the end of the post.

The skilled female labor with the most extreme pattern of opting out is masters of business administration graduates from elite schools. Only 35% of the best, most qualified women who get educated from the highest ranked schools are actually participating in the work force; they are 30 percent more likely to opt out than their peers who went to less selective schools. Though even for those women at less selective schools, it must be noted that a 35% opt-out rate is still very high. Depending on the vocation and education level, the rate of expensively educated women opting out ranges from 20-40% but for most careers the female opt-out rate clusters around 30%. Women with children work even less than this with a range of 40-60% opting out over all professions with most professions having around a 50% opt-out rate.i The female drop out rate is partially due to new mothers deciding not to work to raise children, and it is also partially due to significantly greater earnings by husbands making their income relatively insignificant by comparison.

Perhaps the most important example of female opt-out being problematic is in medical training. Training medical doctors is hugely expensive and they receive the highest degree of taxpayer subsidization. Some of the costs are born by the degree seeker, but the majority of the cost is paid for by the state through taxes on the general population and ranges into the hundreds of thousands of dollars per doctor. The general population consents to this subsidization because they realize that they will need medical doctors to treat them when they become ill. However, prioritizing women in these careers is a poor investment for the tax payer even when they have the cognitive ability to meet the demands of the profession.

Work-time preference differences between genders strongly imply that training men is generally a better investment for society than women at the same level of ability. Especially considering 4 out of 10 female doctors are working less than full time and some of those do not practice at all.233, i Even full time female doctors work on average about 4.5 hours less a week than men. A man who works 50 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, for 40 years would work a total of 100,000 hours. A woman who worked 35 hours a week for the same time frame would only work 70,000 hours. This rough calculation is quite generous in assuming that women working part-time only work 5 hours less than the standard work week and that they do not switch out of their trained profession at an early point for the duration of their working life. However, it is known in practice that many women end up switching out of the profession they were expensively trained in long before they retire.233, 236, ii, iii

These sorts of lifestyle choices are fine when the costs are born by the women who make them, but they are unacceptable when the costs are largely paid by society via wasting tax money on training that goes unused and in terms of shortages of access to medical care due to too few trained doctors practicing. The problem only promises to get worse because of the push to get gender parity in medicine. As of 2010, 30% of practicing doctors were female but almost 50% of new medical school graduates were female. It is estimated that if the trend of female opt-out continues, and there is no reason to think it won’t, there will be up to a 150,000 shortage of doctors in the near future. General practice and pediatrics will most acutely feel the problem since these are the fields women gravitate towards.236 The public will have difficulty gaining access to medical care and costs will rise substantially because of the push of women into medicine.

In addition to a preference for less work hours and a tendency to opt out entirely, working women also call in sick or are otherwise absent at about twice the rate of men.iv For sick leave specifically, women are absent about 50% more often for self-diagnosed sickness and 34% more often for medically certified sick leave.v Some, but not all, of this increased absenteeism can be explained by a greater likelihood for mothers rather than fathers to stay home with sick children. The rest may be due to legitimate increased susceptibility to illness (for example, menstrual pain and hysteria), a degree of semi-hypochondria, or a general lack of tenacity in the face of women’s dislike of working. The later would be consistent with normal female work preferences. There is also some evidence for increased hypochondria; though women more often report ill health than men, it is not reflected by higher mortality rates. Reported ill health is much better correlated with mortality in men.vi Whatever the reasons for these trends, the consequence is that by any measure, women as a population make for less productive and reliable employees than men even when they have similar levels of intellectual ability.

The costs shouldered by businesses forced to hire women to meet diversity quotas is enormous. Though employee turnover has been increasing in recent years for all demographics, the above data makes it clear that women lead the pack. It is estimated that employee turnover will approach 65% in the near future. The median cost of employee turnover is 20% of the employee’s annual salary for positions that pay under 75 thousand dollars annually, but there is a large range of costs and the cost increases drastically for specialized positions that require significant education. Replacing highly paid, specialized positions can cost up to 213% of the lost employee’s annual salary.vii, viii

Studies and articles which address the problem of female opt-out, because of the feminist tendencies of the authors, generally advocate costly female-friendly policies.242, 243, ix In other words, they advocate lower standards for women relative to men and toleration of a greater degree of absenteeism for women. Essentially this means that feminists want the costs and opportunity costs of women’s decisions to be externalized to employers and fellow employees who have to pick up the slack for absent or disengaging women, and vicariously to society who have to deal with less available service agents. The obvious and easiest solution is to simply not have as many women in these positions or restrict them to positions which can tolerate less devotion. This is exactly what our ancestors sensibly did. A company would be better off not having female oriented policies to discourage women from working there and thus maintain a more reliable work force.

i Sibert, K. S. (2011). Don’t quit this day job. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/opinion/12sibert.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

ii Belkin, L. (2003) The Opt-Out Revolution. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/26/magazine/26WOMEN.html

iii Kuczynski, A (2002) “They Conquered, They Left.” New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/24/style/they-conquered-they-left.html

iv Tahmincioglu, E. (2007) Female Absenteeism is not just about child care. NBC News. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21547885/ns/business-careers/t/female-absenteeism-not-just-about-child-care/

v Laaksonen, M., Martikainen, P., Rahkonen, O., Lahelma, E. (2007) Explanations for gender differences in sickness absence: evidence from middle-aged municipal employees from Finland. Occup Environ Med. 65(5):325-30. doi: 10.1136/oem.2007.033910.

vi Young, H., Grundy, E., O’Reilly, D., Boyle, P. (2010) Self-rated health and mortality in the UK: results from the first comparative analysis of the England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland Longitudinal Studies. Popul Trends. 2010 Spring;(139):11-36. doi: 10.1057/pt.2010.3.

vii Boushey, H., Glynn, S. J. (2012) There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees. Center for American Progress.

viii Appelbaum, E., Milkman, R. (2006) “Achieving a Work­able Balance: New Jersey Employers’ Experiences Managing Employee Leaves and Turnover” Center for Women and Work. Rutgers.

ix Herry, J. L., Wolframz, C. (2009) Work Environment and \Opt-Out” Rates at Motherhood Across High-Education Career Paths. National Bureau of Economic Research. Working Paper No. 14717

i Hersch, J. (2013) Opting Out among Women with Elite Education. Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 13-05. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2221482

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Calvin Cycle 2.0

An article recently came out about a a team which used a series of enzymes in a test tube to do something similar to what plants do in carbon fixation. However, the process is not entirely the same in that it uses different enzymes from a variety of sources, including animals and bacteria, to complete the reaction chain. This chimera test tube of enzymes is apparently 25% more efficient than its natural competitor, RuBisCo. Engineering a system more efficient than this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise because it is actually one of the least efficient enzymes in nature, as I have written previously (see also):

It is indisputable that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are increasing, and the burning of fossil fuels causes some or most of it.  However, CO2 is a natural part of the life cycle. Plants fixate CO2 from the atmosphere in order to grow. RuBisCo is the enzyme which fixes gaseous carbon into simple sugars in plants. This is arguably the single most important enzyme in existence. In addition to plants themselves, all animals and fungi, and most bacteria, are dependent on this enzyme working. It creates the food for those organisms. It also happens to be one of the least efficient enzymes. That is, it doesn’t work very well at doing its job, surprisingly. For one thing, it is very slow. RuBisCo is also capable of catalyzing oxygenation of its substrate rather than fixing a carbon dioxide molecule and it does so at fairly high rates. When oxygenation occurs, the energy is completely wasted because the byproduct isn’t useful for the plant. Moreover, energy has to be expended to reverse the process to make the substrate available for carbon fixation again. Some plants have even evolved special CO2 concentrating mechanisms to try to combat this problem. Increasing the carbon dioxide concentration of the air via burning fossil fuels should make plants better able to use this enzyme because increased concentration of the CO2 substrate increases the enzyme’s efficiency. For example, by increasing the likelihood that CO2 will be fixed rather than oxygen molecules. In other words, the expected result of increased carbon concentrations should be bigger plants, faster growing plants, and/or larger numbers of plants. Both agricultural and wild plants could be expected to benefit from this.

Intelligently designing a better system than RuBisCo, then, is seemingly one of the lowest bars in advanced genetics to cross. Not that that makes it easy in an absolute sense, only that it is easier than, say, designing human geniuses. Getting all these enzymes lined up physically and working well together in a chloroplast is no small barrier.

The obvious purpose of this work and research is to combat climate change. Personally, I am very skeptical that climate change as caused by released CO2 is actually something to worry about. I am inclined to think CO2 hysteria is more an expression of crypto-theology. So, the motivations for this work are suspect. That said, I could still see it being useful. Imagine the kinds of crops we could get if we made them 25% more efficient? What if we could use it to generate a very cheap source of organic fuels and/or starting chemical reagents. Even ignoring overblown warnings about an apocalypse, there is still potential use in this technology. I see no reason not to switch from fossil fuels to better sources if they are in fact better and cheaper.

However, there are other environmental considerations than climate change to at least think about. The first thing that comes to mind is what would be the consequences of introducing vastly more efficient plants into the wild, whether deliberate or inadvertent? Such a plant would presumably be at least a little more evolutionarily fit than its wild counterparts and potentially vastly more fit. If so, it could potentially disrupt entire ecosystems on a massive scale in a relatively short time. Out-competed plants would die out and all the life dependent on those plants would follow shortly thereafter, if they couldn’t adapt to the new composition of their environment. The quest to stop climate change could have unintended consequences far outstripping the largely imagined climate apocalypse. However, even in this case I have little doubt life as a whole would adapt and move on even if the disruption is quite severe. I am reminded of this rather charming documentary (called Cane toads: the conquest if the link goes bad) about the introduction of Cane Toads to Australia and all the havoc that caused. Unintended consequences are real, friends, and leftists are masters at generating them.

All this of course is assuming that this new system would actually work as well as they hope it might (and that the plants it was introduced in were otherwise capable of fierce ecological competition in addition to the new fixation system). This is possible. Evolution is subject to path dependence. Once the initial system of carbon fixation evolved, it would be stuck with the basic mechanism and could only adapt from that in minute steps. It would be very difficult to transfer to a completely different system naturally via small steps. In other words, it might be possible to tweak RuBisCo towards more efficiency, but nearly impossible to substitute a whole different enzyme which was much better overall. A newly evolved system, even if potentially better after additional evolution, would likely start off as less efficient as the already long extent and well adapted one and thus would have a hard time sticking around long enough to become a proper better alternative. Therefore, it is quite possible that better systems than RuBisCo are possible yet still unevolved. Some things are quite difficult to evolve.

On the other hand, it is also quite possible that there are good biological reasons for this inefficiency that we don’t know about. If so, other considerations may prevent the newly developed system from working well and/or resulting in a net loss in fitness due to side effects. In which case it won’t work and there is nothing to worry about. Either way, great care should be taken before committing to the introduction of a vastly different system of doing things, and that applies to biology as much as to government.

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Hillary’s health and an update on the University of Missouri

A quick post for today. Hillary’s health has been a topic of some controversy over the last few weeks and wikileaks recently released an email showing research by Clinton staff into a drug used for parkinson’s disease. I suppose that could be a likely explanation for some of the odd behavior seen in some videos of her giving speeches or in other public appearances. Mike Cernovich gives a well researched timeline with links of the chatter on her health. Below is a video of Hillary’s head bobbing:

Here is a video of Michael J. Fox giving an interview and talking about his experience dealing with Parkingson’s

Seems pretty similar to me. In related news, CNN canceled the show of a doctor for conceding that Hillary probably is having health issues. That is no beuno at the Clinton News Network. I think he should be added to the pressured and purged list, although I don’t think handle is actually maintaining it anymore.  The ending of this show definitely seems like the cathedral in action.

I suppose it is possible that this drug was only for “decision fatigue,” or whatever other “illness” democrats want to make up, but it really doesn’t look good for Hillary, or the MSM for denying it for so long.

Moving on. Last year I wrote an article comparing the satirical movie PCU to the events unfolding at the University of Missouri. Thanks to its pandering to blacks then, the University of Missouri was hit pretty hard in the wallet this semester. The freshmen enrollment at their flagship campus went down by around 25% or 2600 students compared to the previous year which is expected to cause a 32 million dollar shortfall in lost tuition. Staying politically correct can be quite expensive it seems! I wonder if any other schools are taking note? I included the description of what supposedly started the protests below (spoiler alert, it is really stupid, and involves literal shitposting). You can read the full PCU article here.

There were supposedly two big triggers, although I have to admit it is convoluted and different articles say different things. In one that I have seen, some black guy got mad because allegedly someone yelled “nigger” at him while driving by in a truck. I actually sympathize with him. I really do. I once had some asshole in a truck pass as fast and as close as he could while I was riding a bike and the passenger screamed out his window right as they passed me. I nearly had a heart attack. That was, after all, extremely dangerous for me if I had fallen or he had hit me. As in real danger, unlike someone yelling nigger but doing nothing else otherwise… He then got stopped ahead at a light, though, and I broke his mirror off as I myself ran the light and went on a trail next to the road in some woods where they couldn’t follow in the truck and wouldn’t keep up without a bike of their own. It was a nice revenge, and I don’t feel bad about it. What I am trying to say here is that I know what it is like to be the recipient of grief from an obnoxious asshole in a truck and can even understand why this guy would be mad. However, I can tell the difference between a singular asshole in a truck who needs an ass-kicking (or just ignoring) from a society wide problem of discrimination warranting protests, hunger strikes, and university president resignations. [People do protest for more bike friendly regulations etc, and I have never taken part in such a demonstration]

The other important incident is something I would expect from the onion. Apparently an unknown person went into a unisex bathroom at one of the dorms, shat on the floor, smeared shit all over the walls and door handle, then as a cherry on top (poorly) drew a swastika with their own poop:

Mizzou shit swastika cropped

I am not going to lie. When I first read about this, I laughed. I don’t mean a mild chuckle either, I mean a deep gut laugh that carried on for some minutes. I find this hilarious. Not so much that poop was spread along the walls (which is pretty immature), but the fact that thousands of people have completely gone ape-shit (chimped-out?) over poop on the walls. Like, how is this the reality we live in? How is it people don’t just step back and think “we are talking about poop on the walls, maybe we shouldn’t take this or ourselves so seriously?”

Now, this could have been a false flag where some deranged SJW carries out crimes in an effort to stir up a hornet’s nest of other SJWS, like with the “black church burnings” also happening in Missouri and which probably has contributed to the current growing craziness. Or the fake “confirmed KKK presence” also part of the absurd events going on at Mizzou. As detailed in the previous church burning link, it turns out that a black man was pretending to be a racist white burning churches because he just wants to stir up shit I guess (that is, he wanted to generally increase racial animosity). Of course, I doubt there was any reflection to strike the burnings off the list of white “crimes” after the truth was revealed. That doesn’t fit the desired narrative after all.

As far as the poop swastika goes, this is what I believe happened assuming it wasn’t a false flag. Someone, probably male between the ages of 18 and 21, got drunk and/or high, came back to the dorms late and had to take a shit. He was feeling mad or mischievous or antisocial or something and decided to make a big mess. He then proceeded to shit on the floor. Or perhaps he was so messed up he just shit on the floor for drunk reasons with no particular purpose [it happens…] then decided “I went that far, might as well roll with it. It gives me some ‘good’ ideas….” He then proceeded to spread the shit everywhere and thought it would be funny to make a swastika while he was at it. The only purpose behind his actions were to make people mad and disgust them by breaking taboos so why not? (I seriously, seriously doubt a real Nazi would use shit as his artistic medium) He was after entertainment rather than interested in making a point, as most trolls are. Well, I doubt he expected his shit trolling to escalate into world wide media coverage. Who would? Somewhere there is a poop brigader going “oh shit, my shit really caused a shit storm.” No troll could possibly imagine their extremely intoxicated decision to draw a poop swastika would result in weeks of protests, a hunger strike, complete stifling of free speech, and high ranking university officials resigning. Who would expect that level of over-reaction to some poop spread on the walls of a dorm? As cynical as I am about leftists and how crazy they are, even I wouldn’t have guessed that.

 

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Vanity Marketing (for women only)

As I often do, I was browsing reddit when I found the following post by an apparent Singapore native who was annoyed that a bank was advertising a female only credit card…

In my country, only 2 banks here offer women-only credit cards; this is one bank. It’s been around for almost as long as I’ve lived so this is nothing new.

Still, it irks me that there’s all the talk about “gender equality” and “sexism” yet women here can apply for any credit card but men actually have (slightly) less choices.

First, it’s “women are constantly being discriminated by men and aren’t given ample opportunities to prove themselves”. Then it’s “banks are doing this because it’s been shown that women spend more than men due their higher disposable income”. So which is it?

To bad unlike in the US, there’s no statute to protect against gender discrimination, (there is for race, language or religion).

I suppose he is technically right that it is hypocritical to want gender “equality” while supporting gender segregated whatever (in this case credit cards). Even so, taking a “Bu, bu, but the dems are the REAL sexists” analogous line isn’t really worth bothering with. You can’t out-left the left. I reject gender equality altogether so such things don’t bother me per se. There are plenty of instances where men and women justifiably shouldn’t be treated the same. Credit cards are probably not one of those times, but meh, who cares how banks advertise this stuff. It doesn’t matter. Well, I could see banning women from getting credit cards at all because many are irresponsible with money and high debt makes for a poor wife. But that is a different topic.

Even though the above logic holds in this case, there is another reason why the proper response to things like “Women-only credit cards” should be amusement rather than annoyance. Female-focused advertising is, in most cases, a blatant gimmick with no real substance. In the case of a credit card, it probably has higher interest rates or worse conditions than non-female focused competitors. At minimum it is no better than similar gender neutral competitors. The fact that it has a gender focused marketing campaign is NOT a reason to pick it over other offerings on the market. In fact, it is hard to imagine how a credit card could be made female focused in anything but name. Perhaps it gives 1.5% back on any purchase of tampons, cat litter, ice cream, tissues, romantic comedies, and weight loss programs. Jokes aside, female-centric marketing is a naked attempt to appeal to female vanity and/or solipsism in order to bypass sound judgement to close the sale. That such marketing is relatively common suggests that the gambit works reasonably well. If the deception works that well, that means a large proportion of the female population is flagrantly stupid enough to fall for it. Ironically, the marketing which successfully appeals to female vanity and pride directly countermands its justification immediately upon the marketing’s success. Falling for baseless, naked manipulation is a sure sign that there is nothing to be proud of. The success of such branding is a clear and unambiguous indictment of female incompetence at the population level. Hence why I find it so amusing that most women hop right on the bandwagon for such campaigns without even a second thought. The joke is on them.

I think the funniest example of vanity marketing I have seen was when I was grocery shopping a few years ago. I was walking down the medicine aisle when I suddenly saw a laxative that was specifically “for women.” This marketing was absolutely preposterous because intestines do not vary by gender in their response to commonly used laxatives. I would have to look it up, but I would guess the same is true for more esoteric prescription laxatives. I stopped my cart and balked for a minute at the idea of “female” laxatives (or even just that some cheeky bastard would have the gall to shamelessly market such bullshit and it WORKED) before moving closer to confirm my suspicions. Sure enough the ingredients were all the same as every other brand in the aisle. Female laxatives, like many other “female” products, were just a stupid marketing gimmick to make women buy it, at a higher price, over other brands. Think about this for a second. The sales advantage of increasing female buyers more than made up for any sales disadvantage of alienating men away from this product. And this increase happens IN SPITE of it being identical with everything else available and more expensive. Either a whole lot of women are really susceptible to this type of marketing, or else women get clogged up way more than men do [or both]. Even if women get constipated more, that doesn’t change the fact that the “female” laxatives were no different than any other laxative. The pretty (turd?) flowers on the label provide absolutely zero rational justification to chose it as a product over any of the others.

Since our laws require most products list their active ingredient right on the labels, it really doesn’t make sense that “female” marketing should work at all. Maybe this is a guy thing, but I know when I am shopping for something I usually spend a minute comparing price, volumes, active ingredients, other ingredients, concentrations, or anything else that might inform my decision on what to buy. This process of evaluation would almost always make such a transparent gimmick useless (or worse than useless if I was annoyed by the deceptive nature of the label). Especially in the case of the laxatives above, the ladies could easily compare “female” laxatives to the cheapest generic brand and realize what the better deal was. Many, apparently, do not go through this obvious process and marketing female laxatives is a successful sales tactic.

This seems to be true of not just neutral products with deceptive “female” labels, but also for products implicitly understood to be mostly for women. Right out of college I spent a year teaching chemistry and biology at a high school. During one of my chemistry lessons I was rudely interrupted during a very important chemistry lecture by a group of gossiping girls. They were of course talking about which brand of hair care product was the best. Well, even back then I had the general concept of this post about female purchasing habits in my mind. I suspected their concept of “best” products had more to do with labels and gimmicks than with actual active ingredients and effectiveness. As “punishment” I required all of the girls to look up the active chemical ingredient of the various brands, the chemical reactions involved, and give a comparison report in front of the class. I can’t remember exactly which products they talked about, but it ended up having peroxides so it was probably some sort of bleaching agent. Sure enough, my suspicion was correct. All of the brands had the exact same active ingredient at the same concentration. My hope was that they learned a valuable lesson on product evaluation which could save them a lot of money, but I was left with a very distinct impression that they didn’t care at all and were just going to get whatever was most expensive because that was better for signalling status. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.

Now some people might complain that there are examples of the above sort of things with the genders inverted. However, examples like female credit cards and female laxatives are a different category than the male focused products that I can think of (if you have examples I haven’t thought of, please let me know). Specifically, in the case of credit cards and laxatives, there is no implied gender of the product. Companies are taking a gender neutral product, slapping some gynocentric packaging on it, and hoping female vanity will get them more sales despite the product being in no way changed. I can’t think of any male oriented products which fits this description (A gender-neutral product which gets male-focused marketing).

The most well-known example of a male-focused marketing generally is probably the “Just for men” beard dyeing product.* However, there is a fundamental difference between this example and the two female-focused examples. Hair-dying, and thus its products, is implicitly a female activity because it is all about vanity and vanity is a very feminine conceit. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most or all activities, brands, etc which are considered feminine, outside of child-rearing, are fundamentally related to vanity. Many or most men would gladly choose grey beards over buying flowery boxes of hair dye and sissy-dyeing their beards. Either that, or they just don’t care and see dying grey hair as wholly unnecessary [or both]. The “just for men” brand is very self-consciously trying to counter the perception of hair-coloring as feminine to open up a reluctant market. Despite this direct marketing, I suspect the greying male population is still fairly reluctant to bother with hair dyeing compared to the female population as a whole. Even in this case where men might have some pretty legitimate desire to use a vanity product, vanity marketing for men just is not as effective as it is for women. This is why you never see an objectively gender neutral product labeled for men. Such things don’t work, so they don’t happen

Now before you say this is just me and my anecdotal experiences, I want to remind you that the belief that women are more vain than men has existed since ancient times. For example, in Isaiah 3 the women of Judea are described thusly:

Moreover, the LORD said, “Because the daughters of Zion are proud
And walk with heads held high and seductive eyes,
And go along with mincing steps
And tinkle the bangles on their feet,

Therefore the Lord will afflict the scalp of the daughters of Zion with scabs,
And the LORD will make their foreheads bare.”

In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of their anklets, headbands, crescent ornaments, 19dangling earrings, bracelets, veils, headdresses, ankle chains, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets, finger rings, nose rings, festal robes, outer tunics, cloaks, money purses, hand mirrors, undergarments, turbans and veils.

Now it will come about that instead of sweet perfume there will be putrefaction;
Instead of a belt, a rope;
Instead of well-set hair, a plucked-out scalp;
Instead of fine clothes, a donning of sackcloth;
And branding instead of beauty.

Isaiah also talks about killing all the men to make the women suffer even more. Male Privilege. I hope god never decides to punish women too badly…. In an excellent article which is on another topic, but which also references Isaiah, Albert Nock sees a similar pattern among women in the 1920s and 30s:

The picture which Isaiah presents of the Judean masses is most unfavorable. In his view, the mass man — be he high or be he lowly, rich or poor, prince or pauper — gets off very badly. He appears as not only weak minded and weak willed, but as by consequence knavish, arrogant, grasping, dissipated, unprincipled, unscrupulous. The mass woman also gets off badly, as sharing all the mass man’s untoward qualities, and contributing a few of her own in the way of vanity and laziness, extravagance and foible. The list of luxury products that she patronized is interesting; it calls to mind the women’s page of a Sunday newspaper in 1928, or the display set forth in one of our professedly “smart” periodicals. In another place, Isaiah even recalls the affectations that we used to know by the name “flapper gait” and the “debutante slouch.”

So I think there is more than a little something to this idea of vanity being more common in women, and unscrupulous marketeers using that fact to their advantage. Most “for women” marketing is taking advantage of female stupidity and vanity to make a profit. Most women seem completely unable or unwilling to recognize that fact. Frankly, they deserve to be fleeced if it is really that easy to do. And men should laugh at their folly rather than be mad. (Unless its your wife, in which case slap some sense into her.)

*I have never used a beard dye, and I didn’t research it for this post. Beard hair is obviously much more course than other hair and that may require different formulations or tools. If so that actually makes this a distinct product from female hair dye and thus even less of a suitable analogy.

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Idiot Tax

Words you never want to hear (surprisingly): “You just won the lottery.”

I just read one of the more interesting reddit comments I have ever seen and decided to share. I recommend you read through it as well. Apparently winning large sums of money in the lottery more often than not leads a person on roller coaster ride through their own personal hell. Opportunists, including family members, will hear the news of the large winnings and will attempt to beg, steal, divorce, sue, or even murder to get a chunk of it for themselves. Jealousy and resentment in the community can build up as well even for people not trying to actually gain personally. The prime example given in the comment was that of Jack Whittacker, and is apparently true. Amongst many other problems, the police began harassing him with traffic tickets to the point where he actually tried an abortive attempt to sue them.

One of the more interesting claims in the comment was as follows:

Large jackpot winners face double digit multiples of probability versus the general population to be the victim of:

  1. Homicide (something like 20x more likely)
  2. Drug overdose
  3. Bankruptcy (how’s that for irony?)
  4. Kidnapping

And triple digit multiples of probability versus the general population rate to be:

  1. Convicted of drunk driving
  2. The victim of Homicide (at the hands of a family member) 120x more likely in this case, ain’t love grand?
  3. A defendant in a civil lawsuit
  4. A defendant in felony criminal proceedings

I am not going to spend the time needed to verify all of these stats, but logically it makes sense that when someone suddenly gains great wealth the people around them would let their true (and horrible) colors show. And also that insane people would come out of the woodwork to harass them. A quick google search seems to support, if not the exact stats, the reality that lottery winners tend to have a bad time. I imagine reading through some of the horror stories featured in the previous search would prove quite interesting in a morbid sort of way. It might go a long way in sobering a person up with respect to winning the lottery.

I have a friend who describes the lottery as an “idiot tax” because the chances of winning are so small that you have virtually no chance of winning. A fitting description which is all the more apt after finding about this unfortunate trend. But there are plenty of idiot taxpayers and sometimes a few even win. To their everlasting suffering. If you decide to pay the idiot tax and despite all odds actually win, great care must be taken. The comment also gives seemingly reasonable personal finance advice on that as well. To quote another user:

That was the most useful thing I ever read on how to do something that i will never do

Until then, think twice about whether or not you ever want to hear the words “You just won the lottery.”

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