When I worked with a fourth-rate magazine in a run-down building in South Delhi, an “editor” asked me why I brought up “adoption studies” in an article on income inequality. I said intelligence and conscientiousness are the biggest predictors of success. These traits are highly heritable. That dunderhead said he couldn’t see what bearing “adoption studies” can have on all this. He just couldn’t see the relationship. For the life of me, I still can’t figure out how someone can fail to understand such an obvious argument. I was young, and didn’t suffer fools gladly, as I do now. I asked him to get brains. He drove me out. I said, “You’re not a man.”, and he said, “But see what I just did.”
I’m sure the lame toddler who once barged into office crying “Shiphony Didi”, with his funny footwear and computer sketches will soon prove me right. That was his son.
Twin adoption studies study identical and fraternal twins separated at birth, and raised in separate homes. By adulthood, identical twins turn out to be strikingly similar, but fraternal twins aren’t so similar. Adopted children have more in common with their biological parents than with the parents who raised them. They’ve done this repeatedly over many decades, with the same results. It’s undeniable genes are the biggest factor in play here. On fundamentals, there is virtually no disagreement among researchers who professionally review such literature. Continue reading
If Alia Bhatt gropes me, it’ll make my day. But if I grope Alia Bhatt, she’ll call the police. Even if Alia Bhatt finds me sexually attractive, this would hold. This seems banal, but this says much about law, liberty and human nature. Men and women feel differently. The law recognizes this. This is partly why, throughout history, sexual assault was defined as a crime directed at women. This has enormous, broader implications.
If I make an advance at Alia Bhatt, it’s quite likely to make Alia Bhatt worse off. But if Alia Bhatt makes an advance at me, it’s quite likely to make me better off. Even if I don’t find her very attractive, this would hold. Now let’s suppose the attraction is mutual, and Alia Bhatt knows it. (Blushes). I’ve a Nobel Prize level brain. This doesn’t seem entirely implausible. If I don’t send a strong enough signal, she’d probably think I’m duping her. She’d probably think I’m a smug nerd who is convinced I’m entitled to sex with Alia Bhatt. After all, men are supposed to take initiative. Continue reading
Now Hindu fundamentalists wants to ban momos because it is a “cancer-causing Chinese cuisine”. A politician-scientist says, “Besides memory loss, regular consumption for two to three years causes cancer of the stomach. They are found to be more harmful than alcohol and psychotropic drugs. Ajinomoto, a kind of salt, causes serious diseases, including cancer. It is responsible for converting a minor headache into a migraine.”.
“Glutamate is remarkably low in toxicity. A rat or mouse can take a dose of 15-18 grams per kilogram of body weight before it is at risk of dying from glutamate poisoning. It’s also now known that baby mice are particularly sensitive to the effects of MSG. So while nothing is ever truly laid to rest in science – and Dr John Olney spent much of his life after his early animal experiments campaigning for tighter regulation of MSG use – the FDA now says the addition of MSG to foods is GRAS, or ‘Generally Recognised As Safe’. It’s reassurance to the many fans of Chinese cuisine, for whom a lazy weekend just isn’t complete without a few spins of a soy sauce-spattered lazy Susan.”
Most intellectuals, writers and journalists are mediocre. But this doesn’t bother me much. There is a lot of good stuff to read out there on the internet. If you are an intelligent teenager or young adult—or even a full-grown man who disagrees—where should you begin?
Thomas Szasz’ work against psychiatry is great, and I’ve been reading much of his work over the past few weeks. Yesterday, I saw a report on how psychiatrists try to cure people of homosexuality in some bogus country. What people do not know is that Homosexuality and masturbation—and even reading books or being runaway slaves—were seen as mental illness not long ago, by all smarties. Thomas Szasz’ arguments against the concept of mental illness are the best I’ve ever read.
Less Wrong is a community blog which makes you really think.
Satoshi Kanazawa was fired from Psychology Today for saying black women are not very attractive. I am not surprised that much of the prose in Psychology Today is very mediocre.