Free Markets, Free People

Stray Voltage

Is science in a death spiral?

Over-reliance on models, misapplication of statistical methods, and lack of repeatability are the hallmarks of the new pseudoscience that is replacing the traditional practice of science, real science. Has science entered a death spiral, as indifferent, inept scientists raise up new generations of even poorer researchers? The facts look grim.

Now perhaps the contention that science might have entered a “death spiral” is a bit of an overstatement, but there is no question that it has, in a way I’ve not noticed before, begun serving politics in many areas.  Agenda driven science – the money dictates the outcome – is clearly upon us.  And in that regard, it is apparent a significant portion of “science” is “for sale”.

Economic ignorance has struck again as the Obama Administration has unilaterally decided that the overtime rules need to be revamped and expanded to include overtime pay for higher wage workers.  As usual, they seem completely unfamiliar with the concept that labor is a cost to business.  And therefore, increasing costs usually means less profit.  So since businesses are all about profit (not paying higher and higher wages or providing jobs), business will do what is necessary to allay these costs.  The White House is sure it has hit on a means of making the middle class “stronger”.

Increasing overtime protections is another step in the President’s effort to grow and strengthen the middle class by raising Americans’ wages.  This extra income will not only mean a better life for American families impacted by overtime protections, but will boost our economy across the board as these families spend their hard-earned wages.

Yup, they’ll spend their hard earned increased wages on products with now higher prices, because, you know, labor is a cost to business and there are only so many ways you can lay off that increased cost.  One of them, of course, is automation.  What the administration is doing, by this economically ignorant move, is making automation more attractive.

Oh, and as Reason points out, how smart is it to make labor cost more in a struggling economy (2% growth).  Not very.

Yes … the outcome of this sort of nonsense is completely predictable, as usual.  Damn those laws of economics!

If you’re interested in the latest in uncritical thinking from the SJWs of the left, try this:

“How am I a white supremacist?” self-described “white ally” Emily Pothast asks in a piece for The Establishment titled “True Confessions Of A White Supremacist.”

“Well, I was born and raised in the United States of America, a country built by slave labor on stolen land, and every privilege I’ve ever enjoyed has come at the expense of someone else’s oppression,” she answers.

[…]

“The very foundations of my way of life are in white supremacy, and the list of microaggressions I have committed, and will no doubt continue to commit in spite of my ‘good intentions’ for as long as I’m alive, is virtually endless,” she writes.

Everything she is, has or ever will be has “come at the expense of someone else’s oppression”.  What a absurd take this misguided youth has on her life.  This is purely the result of combining uncritical thinking with a single point of view from which one isn’t allowed to deviate.  I say uncritical thinking because it wouldn’t take much in terms of basic reasoning to know how badly flawed this premise is.  She undoubtedly thinks she has penned something brilliant because her echo chamber (and mentors in this silliness) have made approving noises about her groveling bit of self-criticism and apparent “enlightenment”.

I call them The New Red Guard for a reason.

You remember the Rolling Stone story about “Jackie” at the University of Virginia who claimed to have been raped at a fraternity party by five guys?  Well, that story fell apart quickly when people, other than the Rolling Stone author, actually started to look into the details.  Of course plenty of damage had been done by then, but it pretty much discredited “Jackie” and Rolling Stone (not a first for them).

Well, there are civil suits going on now and apparently, the plaintiff’s lawyers in the case may have found a “smoking gun” in reference to “Jackie” and her false charges:

New evidence shows that a University of Virginia student who alleged that she was gang raped at a campus fraternity created the fake persona of the alleged ringleader of the attack, according to lawyers representing a U-Va. official who is suing Rolling Stone magazine for defamation. …

The data from Yahoo that Eramo’s lawyers acquired via subpoena shows that the e-mail account “Haven.monahan@yahoo.com” was created on Oct. 2, 2012 while connected to U-Va.’s computer network. The next day, Duffin received an e-mail from “Haven” passing on a letter Jackie had written to “Haven” about Duffin. In the letter, Jackie confesses her love for Duffin.

If you’ve followed the case you know the “fake persona” was key to Jackie’s claims.  Now, it appears, it was Jackie who created Mr. Monahan.

Rape and rape allegations should be taken seriously, got that … we all have got that.  But there isn’t anything lower than someone who sets out to fabricate a felony offense against others for whatever stupid reason.  And they should have their lives ruined … just like they attempted to ruin the life or lives of others.  Rape charges should be taken seriously.  But not anymore seriously, in my opinion, that false rape charges.  As someone said once after being falsely charged, “where do I go to get my reputation back?”  And, in the age of the internet, we all know the answer.

For the latest chapter in the ongoing academic Theater of the Absurd, starring the special snowflakes of the millennial generation, we have to travel to California State University – Los Angeles, where a special batch of SJWs are having one heck of a time getting over their trauma of two months ago:

“On February 25th, our campus experienced immense hurt and trauma,” states the description for the event, which will take place on Tuesday night.

“Almost two months later, students are still feeling the emotional, mental, and physical effects that this event posed, and nothing has been done to facilitate our healing,” it continues. “How can we help each other heal and move forward? How were you affected emotionally, physically, psychologically?”

Thankfully there’s been a “healing space” set up for these poor traumatized and abused children.

Of course the fact that most of them didn’t even attend the speech in question isn’t important here … it’s how they “feel” in relation to it.

Ack, I can’t take anymore of this.

Have a great weekend!

~McQ

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25 Responses to Stray Voltage

  • SJWs,. not SWJs. I hope I did not hurt your feelings by writing this! LOL

  • How can science be in a death spiral? The most famous and regarded scientists are the guy who runs the glorified movie theater and the creepy old guy from dancing with the stars

  • Without integrity, science and every other rational endeavor are dead. When you have “scientists” who are partisans for a dogma, or who are for sale, you don’t have scientists. Just trained advocates for one side or the other. Just technicians with an agenda.

    Integrity seems to be one of the greatest deficits in the US at the moment, along with the world.

    As with so much before it, the Obamic overtime mandate is impossible to assign to pure ignorance of economic reality. I has to be intentional. Again, it is not neutral, which doing nothing at this point would be. It is obviously and aggressively harmful.

    Victimhood is the new cool. “Jackie”, the poor white supremacist chickie, and the SJW snowflakes are all striving for victim status in their own ways. Being unintentionally and without any control “white” makes you, perversely, a victim, too. See? I mean, good gawd, there’s literally NOTHING you can do..!!! You are consigned to “micro-aggress” on into whatever future you have in the universe. As white people, we have designed the perfect self-replicating perpetual motion machine, and it’s pure evil!

    • Technicians with an agenda.
      I disagree, you have acolytes, priests, bishops and so forth.
      Or apprentice witch doctors, witch doctors and senior witch doctors.

      Calling them technicians is far too polite and generous.

      • But my central thesis stands. You’re just fussing over how to describe the people. Which is fine, as I won’t say your preferred style is wrong.

        • Agreed, your thesis is untouched by my insistence on different labels.

          As observed in “a rose is a rose is a rose” – though, not in this context of course.

    • Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

      Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

      The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
      Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.

  • Yeah, Obama figures he didn’t do enough damage to whitey middle class, so this is one of the many extra bricks I expect him to throw to the drowning middle class before his ascension to legend.

  • “On February 25th, our campus experienced immense hurt and trauma,” states the description for the event, which will take place on Tuesday night.”

    “experienced”(past tense) …”…will take place…”(future)

    Yep, SJWs are nothing if not predictable.

  • For the record …

    On May 25, 1987, [Reagan Secretary of Labor Ray] Donovan (and all of the other defendants) were acquitted, after which Donovan was famously quoted as asking, “Which office do I go to get my reputation back?”

  • On the subject of Democrats and labor costs, this Venn Diagram says it all! 🙂

  • Of course, these folks would be “science deniers” as we all know that this science is “settled” …

    Have We Been Interpreting Quantum Mechanics Wrong This Whole Time?

    For nearly a century, “reality” has been a murky concept. The laws of quantum physics seem to suggest that particles spend much of their time in a ghostly state, lacking even basic properties such as a definite location and instead existing everywhere and nowhere at once. Only when a particle is measured does it suddenly materialize, appearing to pick its position as if by a roll of the dice.

    • No offense to minds that are without argument greater than mine, but, I’m with Einstein, “no dice”.

      I bow to any collection of individuals who can “think” their way into the heart of the machine of the universe though.

      • Pshaw. You just aren’t spiritual enough. Reality is just another ideology, my friend.

        • I just want to know –
          If a particle doesn’t express it’s nature until it is measured, what suddenly measures it to cause them to fulfill their probability.
          Why is that which measures and causes Schlesinger’s cat to die…. is not always measuring, is it distracted?

          The pilot wave theory makes more sense to me.
          As to the deterministic thingies. You might be able to measure the path of each particle, but it seems like you could only do that for a finite time slice. Like taking a picture of a river, you could see where everything went/was for just one instant and then it carries on to other points.

          I cover all this in my lectures on space time when I’m not taking students to 6th street in Austin to throw up on tourists.

          • Pilot wave theories fail. They can’t reproduce most of the results of “standard” quantum mechanics. They’re also inconsistent with relativistic physics as well if I remember correctly. They’re basically attempts to make quantum mechanics classical again, which just can’t work. Anyhow it isn’t that particles don’t express their nature until measured, it is that the observer or measurer can’t know what is going on until the measurement is made. That is encoded in the wavefunction which tells you the probabilities of various outcomes based on your prior knowledge. Most of this was set down by Born, Bohr, Heisenberg, etc many decades ago and the fundamentals have never really been proven wrong. But you always get people trying to make it classical again, or old hippies like Scott looking for a new religion 😉 But to be fair Einstein was not great at quantum mechanics which led to him never progressing far with it.

          • Let me be honest and say it might be okay if I had conversations with Bohr or Einstein that consisted of
            “May I get you gentlemen another cup of tea?”

            🙂

            Maybe.

  • 1. Raise tobacco taxes to discourage consumers from using tobacco. Ok.
    2. Raise the price of labor to discourage companies from using labor. Uh,..wait, what?

    I have used these two simple sentences many times and the ignorant ones cannot figure it out. And then they vote.

    • It’s quite simple, you left out a step…

      1. Raise tobacco taxes to discourage consumers from using tobacco. Ok.
      2. Collect underpants.
      3. Raise the price of labor to discourage companies from using labor. Profit!

  • Over-reliance on models…

    I think many of these fools have forgotten that reality trumps models. If reality seems to disprove the model, well, there must be something wrong with reality. Time to adjust the data.

    Their models are so elegant and beautiful. And reality is so messy.

    • As the great mathematician, George Box said, all models are wrong but some are useful.

      Climate models are wrong, but very useful for keeping the 29 Billion dollar/year scam going!

  • The absurdist philosopher Albert Camus stated that individuals should embrace the absurd condition of human existence while also defiantly continuing to explore and search for meaning.

  • Let’s not forget this wart on the government …

    The IRS’s Ugly Business as Usual

    A lower-court judge had blithely accepted the IRS’s claim that the targeting had stopped, that applications for nonprofit status had been approved, and that the matter was therefore moot.

    The federal judges hearing the appeal, among them David B. Sentelle and Douglas H. Ginsburg, weren’t so easily rolled. In a series of probing questions the judges ascertained that at least two of the groups that are party to the lawsuit have still not received their nonprofit approvals. The judges determined that those two groups are 501(c)(4) social-welfare groups, which are subject to far less scrutiny than 501(c)(3) charities, yet are still being harassed by the IRS five years later. The judges were told that not only are the groups still on ice, but that their actions are still being “monitored” by the federal government.

    As one lawyer for the plaintiffs noted, despite the IRS’s claim that it got rid of its infamous targeting lists, there is “absolutely no showing” that the agency has in fact stopped using the underlying “criteria” that originally “identified and targeted for mistreatment based on political views.”

  • “Do you think it’s wise to even consider pulling somebody like a Sherrod Brown (D-OH) or a Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) out of the United States Senate at a time when Democrats are trying to win the body back,” MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid, no known relation, asked the senator.

    “If we have a Republican governor in any of the states the answer is not only no, but hell no,” Reid replied. “I would do whatever I can and I think most of my Democratic colleagues here would say the same thing.”

    NB: Governors: Charlie Baker (R-MA), John Kasich (R-OH)