May 22nd, 2006



So, what's up?

UPDATE: Right now, I'm enjoying some refreshing Kosher for Passover Coke. One of the great benefits of living in NYC. Down with corn subsidies! Reduce the sugar tariff! Heck, away with all subsidies and tariffs!

Give me Coke with real sugar, or give me water!

FURTHER: lj logged me out again. Who knows why. And I'm reading this op-ed on Title IX being used to demand quotas for women in science, etc.. A few things I'd like to ask:

1) Does Title IX only apply to women, or any sex-based disparities in federally-funded education? If it's supposed to get rid of disparities in %ages of men/women in particular categories, then I'd look to elementary education, pediatrics in med school, and vet schools... they've got proportions at least as bad as the hard sciences, just the other way. I think education programs should cut back enrollment for women so that we can achieve sex parity there.

2) Might it be better to focus on groups who have proportional representation really out of whack? Say, based on ethnicity? There seems to be an "overrepresentation" of those of East Asian ethnicity in the hard sciences, and a huge "underrepresentation" of blacks and Hispanics. Far out of whack compared to the male/female balance.

3) Or might this just be make-work for bean-counting bureaucrats and "activists"? I'm guessing that as real discrimination against women has gone away, too many of these people who suck on the nonprofit teat are casting around for the next thing to bitch about, so they can keep raking in the donor bucks (and federal grant money). Kind of like when NOW was complaining about the golf club where the Masters was being held. Hey ladies, the NY Yankees has only male ball players - why not bitch about that, too?

Yeah, that's the problem I have:

I just read This review of the Da Vinci Code movie and there was one set of remarks that describes my difficulty with conspiracy theories:
Chance is always more frightening than paranoia. The paranoid believes that someone, somewhere, is in charge and controls events; to believe that chance determines events and that no one is in control is often much more terrifying.
As I've told many friends before, I'd love to think there were real large conspiracies in the world, as it would improve my opinion of humanity. Some people take care of the lack of human control of events by putting God in control of all events. But I don't go for either possibility; I'm one of the few people, I guess, that finds randomness comforting. I remember the various people who found quantum mech psychologically repulsive compared to plain old Newtonian physics...but I hate God as watchmaker. I prefer the possibilities left open by chance. If nothing else, it allows for the possibility of free will.


from some blog or other (probably Marginal Revolution), I was pointed to this piece again: The Secret History of the Dismal Science. It's got a surprising link between classical economists, "social reformers", and racism. John Stuart Mill figures prominently, as well as some other guys who I didn't know were involved in the argumentation re: economics.