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24 Jun 05:37

The United Nations Disseminates Absurd Lies about Poverty in America

by Dan Mitchell

When writing about the statist agenda of international bureaucracies, I generally focus my attention on the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Today, let’s give some attention to the United Nations.

Based on this story from the Washington Post, the bureaucrats at the UN have concluded that America is a miserable and awful nation.

…a new United Nations report that examines entrenched poverty in the United States…calls the number of children living in poverty “shockingly high.” …the report, written by U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston, says the United States tops the developed world with the highest rates of youth poverty… The results of the report are not out of line with a number of others…in recent years by different organizations in which the United States has turned up at or near the top on issues such as poverty rates.

But I’ve learned from personal experience (see here and here) that the United Nations is guided by statist ideology and I should be extremely skeptical of any of its findings.

For instance, when it intervenes in policy (global warming and gun control, for instance, as well as the Internet, the War on Drugs, monetary policy, and taxpayer-financed birth control), the UN inevitably urges more power and control for government.

So let’s take a jaundiced look at some of the assertions in this new report, starting with that dramatic claim of record child poverty in America.

The United States…has the highest youth poverty rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)… The consequences of neglecting poverty… The United States has one of the highest poverty…levels among the OECD countries… the shockingly high number of children living in poverty in the United States demands urgent attention. …About 20 per cent of children live in relative income poverty, compared to the OECD average of 13 per cent.

So is it true that poverty is very high in the USA and is it also true that America has the highest rate of child poverty of all OECD countries? Even higher than Mexico, Greece, and Turkey? And what is the source of this remarkable assertion?

If you look at footnote #51, you’ll see reference to an OECD publication that contains this supposedly damning chart.

But if you look at the fine print at the bottom, you’ll discover that the chart on child poverty doesn’t actually measure child poverty. Instead, the bureaucrats at the OECD have put together a measure of income distribution and decided that “relative poverty” exists for anyone who has less than 50 percent of the median level of disposable income.

In other words, the United States looks bad only because median income is very high compared to other nations.

Which is the same dishonest data manipulation that the OECD uses when exaggerating America’s overall poverty rate (other groups that have used this deliberately dishonest methodology include the Equal Welfare Association, Germany’s Institute of Labor Economics, and the Obama Administration).

The bottom line is that the key finding of the UN report is based on a bald-faced lie.

By the way, I’m not surprised to see that the UN report also cites the IMF to justify statist policies.

In a 2017 report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) captured the situation…, stating that the United States economy “is delivering better living standards for only the few”, and that “household incomes are stagnating for a large share of the population, job opportunities are deteriorating, prospects for upward mobility are waning, and economic gains are increasingly accruing to those that are already wealthy” …A much-cited IMF paper concluded that redistribution could be good for growth, stating: “The combined direct and indirect effects of redistribution — including the growth effects of the resulting lower inequality — are on average pro-growth.”

For what it’s worth, the IMF’s research on growth and inequality is embarrassingly bad.

Here’s another big takeaway from the UN report.

The United States…has the highest…infant mortality rates among comparable OECD States. …The infant mortality rate, at 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, is almost 50 per cent higher than the OECD average of 3.9.

I’m not an expert on infant mortality. Indeed, I’ve never looked at infant mortality data. But given the UN’s reliance on dodgy and dishonest numbers in other areas, I’m skeptical whether these numbers are true.

And, according to Johan Norberg, the numbers about high levels of infant mortality in the United States are false.

The UN report contains many other ideologically motivated attacks on the United States.

For instance, America is a bad country because taxes supposedly are too low.

The United States has the highest rate of income inequality among Western countries. The $1.5 trillion in tax cuts in December 2017 overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality. …The tax cuts will fuel a global race to the bottom, thus further reducing the revenues needed by Governments to ensure basic social protection and meet their human rights obligations. …There is a real need for the realization to sink in among the majority of the American population that taxes are not only in their interest, but also perfectly reconcilable with a growth agenda.

While the above passage is remarkable for the level of economic illiteracy, I confess that I chortled with glee when I read the part about how the recent tax reform “will fuel a global race to the bottom.”

As I wrote last year and this year, the fact that other governments will face pressure to reduce tax rates is something to celebrate.

Here’s one final excerpt. The UN report also bashes the United States because we don’t view dependency as a human right.

Successive administrations, including the current one, have determinedly rejected the idea that economic and social rights are full-fledged human rights, despite their clear recognition not only in key treaties that the United States has ratified… But denial does not eliminate responsibility, nor does it negate obligations. International human rights law recognizes a right to education, a right to health care, a right to social protection for those in need and a right to an adequate standard of living.

Needless to say, a problem with this vision of “positive rights” is that it assumes there will always be a supply of chumps willing to work hard so the government can tax away their money to finance all the goodies. But Greece shows us that it’s just a matter of time before that games ends with disaster.

In other words, Thomas Sowell is right and Franklin Roosevelt was wrong.

Let’s close with some good news. As the Washington Post just reported, the UN’s dishonest anti-American screed apparently will prove costly to that bloated bureaucracy.

Alston arrived in Washington last fall on a mission from the U.N. Human Rights Council to document poverty in America. …he was told by a senior State Department official that his findings may influence the United States’ membership in the human rights body. …“I think I was being sent a message.” Two other people at the meeting, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed Alston’s account. …Nikki Haley announced this week that the United States would withdraw from the Human Rights Council.

Good for Ambassador Haley.

Her actions stand in stark contrast to some of her predecessors, who apparently believed in taxpayer-financed self-flagellation.

Alston said he was initially invited by the U.S. government under President Barack Obama to study poverty in America. The invitation was extended again by U.S. officials under then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in 2017, he said. “We look forward to welcoming Mr. Alston to the United States for a country visit this December,” Flacelia Celsula, part of the U.S. delegation at the United Nations, said in a meeting of the Human Rights Council on June 8, 2017.

It goes without saying that Mr. Alston should have the freedom write leftist reports. He also should have the freedom to spread lies in those reports. But I don’t want American tax dollars to finance his ideological bilge.

Which brings us to the obvious takeaway. As seems to be the case with all international bureaucracies, the United Nations wastes money at a prodigious pace. With any luck, Alston’s nonsense will convince American policymakers that deep budget cuts for the UN are long overdue.

23 Jun 22:35

Software engineer fired, shut out of office for three weeks by machine

by Kieren McCarthy

HAL 9000 is here – and it's plugged into your HR system

It was only a matter of time before the machines started fighting back. And let's be honest, we all knew the software engineers would be the first to fall.…

23 Jun 22:34

License To Kill: The Murder Of Erik Scott

by Mike McDaniel

Las Vegas has been in the news of late, most particularly for the October 1, 2017 attack on concert goers near the Mandalay Bay Hotel.  Fifty-eight died and more than 800 were injured. I’ve addressed that shooting with only two articles:

Las Vegas Attack: Initial Observations  

Las Vegas: Greater Love 

I’ve not written since because what little information the Metro Police have released has been, to say the least, uninformative.  It has also been revealed that Metro officers were ordered to turn off their body cameras during the event.  I also have not written since because in the eight years I’ve been covering Metro, I’ve discovered it to be arguably the most corrupt police agency in America.  Honest citizens are in greater danger from Metro officers than from criminals.  Of course, Las Vegas is one of the most corrupt cities on Earth.  Whatever Metro is saying about the shooting, whatever they eventually say, cannot be trusted.  Lies and cover ups are daily, routine Metro business.

Erik Scott

I know this because I’ve been writing about the July 10, 2010 murder of West Point graduate and decorated former Army officer, Erik Scott at the hands of three panicky Metro cops. The SMM Erick Scott archive is available here.  As regular readers know, it’s a story of rampant corruption in the police department, criminal and civil justice systems, and in every Las Vegas agency related to the case.

I’ve been working on a book about the case for years, and have discovered just how very difficult it is to get a paper and ink book published these days.  The Internet has changed publishing dramatically, and since I’m not a disgraced, Democrat politician or bureaucrat, it’s almost impossible to be published, and forget any advance.  But finally, my co-author and I found a publisher. The book is in paperback and is exhaustively documented.  I’m afraid anyone hoping for a leather bound, gold inlaid edition might have to wait a bit longer until the demand is a bit more obvious.  It is available via Amazon, with an e-book version to come.  I also just discovered the publisher forget to include my photo and bio.  I’m not  that pretty, but I’m assured they’ll fix it immediately.  Sigh.  Sic transit gloria mundi.

Erik Scott and his fiancé were shopping in a Costco.  Erik stooped to examine merchandise on a low shelf, momentarily exposing his lawfully carried concealed handgun as his shirt rode up.  A panicky security guard called management and the police.  This set off a bizarre chain of events that sent a huge number of police vehicles, and even a helicopter, rushing to the Costco.  Erik never threatened anyone, wasn’t behaving oddly, and posed no danger to anyone.  At the order of a police administrator that wasn’t at the scene and had no idea what was happening, the store was evacuated.

Erik Scott, Armor Officer

Erik and his fiancé were merely two of the more than a hundred shoppers calmly walking out of the store, where three sweaty, panicked cops lurked by the main entrance, their guns already drawn. Erik was so unremarkable, he walked right past the cop–William Mosher–that would kill him.  The security guard pointed Erik out to Mosher, who grabbed Erik by the shoulder.

Erik turned around, Mosher screamed three contradictory commands, and shot Erik in the heart and right thigh, all within two seconds.  Erik had no time to do anything.  The other two cops, Joshua Stark and Thomas Mendiola, fired five additional shots into Erik’s back as he fell and lay, face down on the pavement, this in the middle of a huge crowd of people.  Despite being on the force only a few years, Mosher had killed before. Mendiola was soon fired, but for giving a firearm to a convicted felon.

William Mosher

Mosher claimed Erik drew his handgun, a Kimber 1911 pattern .45 and pointed it at him–still in its holster.  Erik, already dead, was quickly thrown into an ambulance.  On the way to the hospital, one of the EMTs found that gun and holster on Erik and gave it to a Metro officer.  The gun was quickly returned to the scene and planted on the pavement near Erik’s body.

This was a major problem for Metro.  How could they explain the gun found in the ambulance if Erik’s gun and holster were supposedly dropped on the pavement when Mosher shot him?  They discovered Erik’s concealed carry paperwork in his wallet that indicated he had a Ruger.380 pocket pistol.  They could claim this was the gun the EMTs found on Erik.  But where was it?  This began a panicky search for the pistol that ended about seven hours later when the police, without a warrant, broke into Erik’s home and stole the pistol from the nightstand by his bed.  They claimed Erik was carrying this pistol too, but it was a gift for his mother he purchased a short time before, intending to give it to her the next time they were together (she lived out of state).  He never carried it.

If this sounds incredible, gentle readers, it’s only the beginning.  The cover up was so bizarre no Hollywood screenwriter could have imagined it.  Disappeared video, tampering with witnesses, tampering with evidence, rampant perjury, virtually any corrupt police practice one can imagine happened in the Scott case. By the time Erik was murdered, it was so common for Metro to kill innocent citizens, activating the well-oiled Metro cover up machine was routine.  It’s a practice that has continued to date.

Metro was used to sweeping its murders under the rug with little blowback.  They were shocked when the Scott family, and this scruffy little blog, would not let them get away with murder.  I was eventually able to obtain copies of the complete Metro report, as well as interviews and depositions, all of which made the book possible.

The book details all of this, and much more.  It’s a fitting tribute to the memory of an extraordinary man.  It also reminds us of our responsibility to keep those we hire to protect and serve honest.  In Las Vegas, that may well be impossible.

I hope, gentle readers, you’ll buy the book, and recommend it to your friends, and as always, thank you for taking the time to read this scruffy little blog.

23 Jun 18:32

Ep. 1185 Her Family Fled Three Communist Countries; Now She’s an Ancap

by Tom Woods

My guest today is known on social media by her pseudonym The Pholosopher. She’s been very successful at spreading the message of voluntaryism, so we discuss what’s been working.

Guest’s Website

Guest’s YouTube

The Pholosopher

Guest’s Twitter


Guest’s Website


Episode Mentioned

Ep. 1169 How to Make Someone an Instant Opponent of the State (Keith Knight)

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23 Jun 18:29

The Left's Most Dangerous Game

by Eric Erickson
Debra Strop owns Uncle Loui's Cafe in Duluth, MN. Last week, a television news crew reached out to see if they could do their news program from the cafe. The program would be covering President Trump's speech in Duluth. Ms. Strop agreed. That is when the progressive thugs attacked. The news program was Fox & Friends, and the progressive mob had to punish Strop. Her family came under attack on social media. Organized mobs posted fake reviews of her cafe to rate it negatively. The store itself saw protests. All Strop did was allow a television news program to broadcast from her cafe. In the...
23 Jun 16:04

Science In The 16th Century

by tonyheller

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.

  • Galileo Galilei

Ned Nikolov works for the US Forest Service in Fort Collins, Colorado. In 2016 he published the rather obvious observation that planetary temperature correlates with atmospheric pressure, not atmospheric composition.

Scientists published climate research under fake names. Then they were caught. – The Washington Post

While Obama was president, it was unacceptable for government employees to believe anything which strayed from the dogma of the global warming religion. Employees were implicitly threatened with termination for climate heresy.  So Ned used a pseudonym, and the Washington Post ignored their research on that basis.

Sally Jewell: ‘I Hope There Are No Climate Change Deniers In The Department Of Interior’ | HuffPost

I have lost several jobs (immediately) after the company I was working for discovered I was a climate skeptic. No company wants to be called out and boycotted by green fascists.  We live in dark times now – science and truth are for all intents and purposes illegal.

In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

– George Orwell

23 Jun 07:29

The citizen scientist who finds killers from her couch

How CeCe Moore is using her genetic knowledge to expose murderers.
23 Jun 06:54

Windows NT and VMS: the rest of the story

by (Thom Holwerda)

This is an article written 20 years ago by Mark Russinovich, which compares VMS and Windows NT.

When Microsoft released the first version of Windows NT in April 1993, the company's marketing and public relations campaign heavily emphasized the NT (i.e., New Technology) in the operating system's (OS's) name. Microsoft promoted NT as a cutting-edge OS that included all the features users expected in an OS for workstations and small to midsized servers. Although NT was a new OS in 1993, with a new API (i.e., Win32) and new user and systems-management tools, the roots of NT's core architecture and implementation extend back to the mid-1970s. And now... The rest of the story: I'll take you on a short tour of NT's lineage, which leads back to Digital and its VMS OS. Most of NT's lead developers, including VMS's chief architect, came from Digital, and their background heavily influenced NT's development. After I talk about NT's roots, I'll discuss the more-than-coincidental similarities between NT and VMS, and how Digital reacted to NT's release.

Great read.

23 Jun 02:13

Thirty Years On, How Well Do Global Warming Predictions Stand Up?

by Anthony Watts
The short answer, is not all that well. On June 23, 1988, NASA scientist James E. Hansen testified before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where he expressed his “high degree of confidence” in “a cause-and-effect relationship between the claimed CO2 induced “greenhouse effect and observed warming.” The 30th anniversary of Mr. Hansen’s…
23 Jun 02:12

US Fourth Largest Mobile Provider Partners on Automotive Blockchain Platform

by Cointelegraph By William Suberg

US No.4 mobile provider Sprint has partnered to develop a blockchain powered platform for the automotive industry

23 Jun 01:59

GOOD LORD: 13-Year-Old Charged with Felony for Recording Conversation with School Principal. “If I …

by Stephen Green

h/t Jts5665

GOOD LORD: 13-Year-Old Charged with Felony for Recording Conversation with School Principal. “If I do go to court and get wrongfully convicted, my whole life is ruined.”

The incident took place last February at Manteno Middle School, which is about an hour outside of Chicago. Young Paul Boron was arguing with Principal David Conrad and Assistant Principal Nathan Short.

About ten minutes into the meeting, which was held with the door open, Boron told the men he was recording it. At that point, the principal told Boron he was committing a felony and ended the conversation. But then, according to the Illinois Policy Center:

Two months later, in April, Boron was charged with one count of eavesdropping – a class 4 felony in Illinois.

“If I do go to court and get wrongfully convicted, my whole life is ruined,” said Boron, who lives with his mother and four siblings…”I think they’re going too far.”

…. Members of the Manteno Community Unit School District No. 5 board, Conrad and Short have not responded to requests for comment on the incident.

Unfortunately for Boron, there is a law against recording people without their consent in Illinois. There’s even a rule against it in the student handbook. But the handbook also says that it is fine for the school to have video cameras monitoring the public areas of the building. In other words, it’s fine to keep the kids under constant surveillance, just not the administrators.

You don’t ruin a kid’s life over anything so trivial. You erase the recording and send him back for extra detention.

Unless of course you’re less interested in educating children and more interested in establishing authority over them.

22 Jun 14:32

Bitcoin is getting smoked as the crypto market eyes its lowest level of the year

by Frank Chaparro


Bitcoin was eyeing its lowest level of the year Friday morning, according to Markets Insider data

The coin, which soared close to $20,000 at the end of 2017, was trading down 8.6% at $6,144 as all of the major cryptos were under pressure. Ethereum was trading down 11% at $467 a token while bitcoin cash, a spin-off of the original bitcoin, was trading down 13% at $751 a coin.

As for bitcoin, it hit its 2018 low of $5,922 in February. In total, the entire crypto market has shed half of its value since the beginning of the year, according to CoinMarketCap data. At last check, the market stood at $267 billion. In April it hit its lowest point of 2018, falling below $250 billion. 

The market for cryptocurrencies has been under pressure throughout much of 2018 following a massive bull-run last year, which was triggered by the launch of bitcoin futures, a derivatives product. Many thought those products would legitimize the nascent market and precipitate the entrance of institutional money into the space. For the most part, asset managers and other large investors have stayed away from the volatile market, which is not for the faint of heart.

Still, the market has attracted major Wall Street trading firms and high-frequency traders such as DRW and Jump Trading. Goldman Sachs is working on a crypto trading desk. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Learning to celebrate failure at a young age led to this billionaire's success

22 Jun 14:11

30 years after Hansen’s testimony

by gavin

Interesting to compare/contrast this write-up with Motl's. Here's what I notice:
(i) The skeptical coverage mentioned all observational data sets, alarmists only mention 1 (GISS).
(ii) They needed a major el nino in 2017 and massive data adjustments to make Hansen's "B" scenario look "skillful" according to just that 1 data set
iii. CO2 emissions actually matched scenario "A", which still doesn't look "skillful", even by the alarmist data.
iv. When comparing against the null hypothesis, the alarmists didn't announce the time frame in advance, IOW, they're cherry picking the end point at a time when their prediction happens to seem plausible.

“The greenhouse effect is here.”
– Jim Hansen, 23rd June 1988, Senate Testimony

The first transient climate projections using GCMs are 30 years old this year, and they have stood up remarkably well.

We’ve looked at the skill in the Hansen et al (1988) (pdf) simulations before (back in 2008), and we said at the time that the simulations were skillful and that differences from observations would be clearer with a decade or two’s more data. Well, another decade has passed!

How should we go about assessing past projections? There have been updates to historical data (what we think really happened to concentrations, emissions etc.), none of the future scenarios (A, B, and C) were (of course) an exact match to what happened, and we now understand (and simulate) more of the complex drivers of change which were not included originally.

The easiest assessment is the crudest. What were the temperature trends predicted and what were the trends observed? The simulations were run in 1984 or so, and that seems a reasonable beginning date for a trend calculation through to the last full year available, 2017. The modeled changes were as follows:

  • Scenario A: 0.33±0.03ºC/decade (95% CI)
  • Scenario B: 0.28±0.03ºC/decade (95% CI)
  • Scenario C: 0.16±0.03ºC/decade (95% CI)

The observed changes 1984-2017 are 0.19±0.03ºC/decade (GISTEMP), or 0.21±0.03ºC/decade (Cowtan and Way), lying between Scenario B and C, and notably smaller than Scenario A. Compared to 10 years ago, the uncertainties on the trends have halved, and so the different scenarios are more clearly distinguished. By this measure it is clear that the scenarios bracketed the reality (as they were designed to), but did not match it exactly. Can we say more by looking at the details of what was in the scenarios more specifically? Yes, we can.

This is what the inputs into the climate model were (CO2, N2O, CH4 and CFC amounts) compared to observations (through to 2014):

Estimates of CO2 growth in Scenarios A and B were quite good, but estimates of N2O and CH4 overshot what happened (estimates of global CH4 have been revised down since the 1980s). CFCs were similarly overestimated (except in scenario C which was surprisingly prescient!). Note that when scenarios were designed and started (in 1983), the Montreal Protocol had yet to be signed, and so anticipated growth in CFCs in Scenarios A and B was pessimistic. The additional CFC changes in Scenario A compared to Scenario B were intended to produce a maximum estimate of what other forcings (ozone pollution, other CFCs etc.) might have done.

But the model sees the net effect of all the trace gases (and whatever other effects are included, which in this case is mainly volcanoes). So what was the net forcing since 1984 in each scenario?

There are multiple ways of defining the forcings, and the exact value in any specific model is a function of the radiative transfer code and background climatology. Additionally, knowing exactly what the forcings in the real world have been is hard to do precisely. Nonetheless, these subtleties are small compared to the signal, and it’s clear that the forcings in Scenario A and B will have overshot the real world.

If we compare the H88 forcings since 1984 to an estimate of the total anthropogenic forcings calculated for the CMIP5 experiments (1984 through to 2012), the main conclusion is very clear – forcing in scenario A is almost a factor of two larger (and growing) than our best estimate of what happened, and scenario B overshoots by about 20-30%. By contrast, scenario C undershoots by about 40% (which gets worse over time). The slight differences because of the forcing definition, whether you take forcing efficacy into account and independent estimates of the effects of aerosols etc. are small effects. We can also ignore the natural forcings here (mostly volcanic), which is also a small effect over the longer term (Scenarios B and C had an “El Chichon”-like volcano go off in 1995).

The amount that scenario B overshoots the CMIP5 forcing is almost equal to the over-estimate of the CFC trends. Without that, it would have been spot on (the over-estimates of CH4 and N2O are balanced by missing anthropogenic forcings).

The model predictions were skillful

Predictive skill is defined as the whether the model projection is better than you would have got assuming some reasonable null hypothesis. With respect to these projections, this was looked at by Hargreaves (2010) and can be updated here. The appropriate null hypothesis (which at the time would have been the most skillful over the historical record) would be a prediction of persistence of the 20 year mean, ie. the 1964-1983 mean anomaly. Whether you look at the trends or annual mean data, this gives positive skill for all the model projections regardless of the observational dataset used. i.e. all scenarios gave better predictions than a forecast based on persistence.

What do these projections tell us about the real world?

Can we make an estimate of what the model would have done with the correct forcing? Yes. The trends don’t completely scale with the forcing but a reduction of 20-30% in the trends of Scenario B to match the estimated forcings from the real world would give a trend of 0.20-0.22ºC/decade – remarkably close to the observations. One might even ask how would the sensitivity of the model need to be changed to get the observed trend? The equilibrium climate sensitivity of the Hansen model was 4.2ºC for doubled CO2, and so you could infer that a model with a sensitivity of say, 3.6ºC, would likely have had a better match (assuming that the transient climate response scales with the equilibrium value which isn’t quite valid).

Hansen was correct to claim that greenhouse warming had been detected

In June 1988, at the Senate hearing linked above, Hansen stated clearly that he was 99% sure that we were already seeing the effects of anthropogenic global warming. This is a statement about the detection of climate change – had the predicted effect ‘come out of the noise’ of internal variability and other factors? And with what confidence?

In retrospect, we can examine this issue more carefully. By estimating the response we would see in the global means from just natural forcings, and including a measure of internal variability, we should be able to see when the global warming signal emerged.

20th C temperatures with only natural forcings

The shading in the figure (showing results from the CMIP5 GISS ModelE2), is a 95% confidence interval around the “all natural forcings” simulations. From this it’s easy to see that temperatures in 1988 (and indeed, since about 1978) fall easily outside the uncertainty bands. 99% confidence is associated with data more than ~2.6 standard deviations outside of the expected range, and even if you think that the internal variability is underestimated in this figure (double it to be conservative), the temperatures in any year past 1985 are more than 3 s.d. above the “natural” expectation. That is surely enough clarity to retrospectively support Hansen’s claim.

At the time however, the claim was more controversial; modeling was in it’s early stages, and estimates of internal variability and the relevant forcings were poorer, and so Hansen was going out on a little bit of a limb based on his understanding and insight into the problem. But he was right.

Misrepresentations and lies

Over the years, many people have misrepresented what was predicted and what could have been expected. Most (in)famously, Pat Michaels testified in Congress about climate changes and claimed that the predictions were wrong by 300% (!) – but his conclusion was drawn from a doctored graph (Cato Institute version) of the predictions where he erased the lower two scenarios:

Misleading graph from Michaels/Cato Institute (1998)

Undoubtedly there will be claims this week that Scenario A was the most accurate projection of the forcings [Narrator: It was not]. Or they will show only the CO2 projection (and ignore the other factors). Similarly, someone will claim that the projections have been “falsified” because the temperature trends in Scenario B are statistically distinguishable from those in the real world. But this sleight of hand is trying to conflate a very specific set of hypotheses (the forcings combined with the model used) which no-one expects (or expected) to perfectly match reality, with the much more robust and valid prediction that the trajectory of greenhouse gases would lead to substantive warming by now – as indeed it has.


  1. J. Hansen, I. Fung, A. Lacis, D. Rind, S. Lebedeff, R. Ruedy, G. Russell, and P. Stone, "Global climate changes as forecast by Goddard Institute for Space Studies three-dimensional model", Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 93, pp. 9341, 1988.
  2. J.C. Hargreaves, "Skill and uncertainty in climate models", Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, vol. 1, pp. 556-564, 2010.
22 Jun 13:25

Hansen's testimony: 30th anniversary

by Luboš Motl
Tomorrow, it will have been exactly 30 years from the day (June 23rd, 1988) when James Hansen gave a testimony before the U.S. Senate. For the first time, the American politicians were told by a "mainstream looking" active scientist that the global warming would kill us unless we dramatically change our industries and society.

As a professional propagandist, James Hansen chose a blisteringly hot day in D.C. The temperature went up to 98 Fahrenheit in the U.S. capital. He was sweating like mad. The Weather Underground predicts the high temperature 73 F for today and 86 for tomorrow – a cooling by 27 or 14 Fahrenheit in 30 years, respectively.

The New York Times have announced that an expert told the Senate that the global warming had begun. Well, there was nothing special happening to the climate in 1988 or any similar year but something has begun on that year: The global warming hysteria among the mainstream Western politicians and journalists.

The year 1988 was really essential for the birth of that pseudoscientific movement. While James Hansen – formerly a decent atmospheric physicist analyzing the conditions in the atmosphere of Venus, among other things – has made a big impact in the U.S, the U.K. climate alarmists successfully globalized their panic and promoted their national organization to a global one: the IPCC was founded in 1988, too.

The Real Climate – well, Gavin Schmidt – reminds us about the anniversary. A part of the Hansen 1988 package was this paper, Global Climate Changes as Forecast by [GISS 3D] model.

Note that in 1988, it was fashionable to use the plural for "climate changes". Incidentally, this is still the convention in Czech – and I guess in other languages. In English, for some reason, a single "climate change" became much more popular. The singular form was probably supported by some leftist organizations promoting Gaia and its unity – or the unity of all nations in the world. It probably sounds more impressive when a single important thing ("the climate") is changing then if you admit that there are just mostly random changes of thousands of quantities that are really separate from each other.

There have been various graphs in Hansen's paper – and the testimony. Those graphs contained wiggles that they couldn't really predict. And the real world data contain interannual oscillations, too. But what is "actually" predicted are the trends of the global warming. Hansen predicted:

Scenario A: 3.3±0.3ºC/century (95% CI)
Scenario B: 2.8±0.3ºC/century (95% CI)
Scenario C: 1.6±0.3ºC/century (95% CI)

Here, Scenario A was meant to be business-as-usual in which the CO2 emissions kept on increasingly at a very slightly accelerating rate. Scenario B assumed some slowdown of the emissions. Scenario C assumed that we would stop emitting CO2 immediately.

Well, the actual history of CO2 followed Scenario A most closely – the CO2 emissions kept on rising at a slightly accelerating rate. So you can see that Hansen predicted the warming trend about 3°C per century. The actual observed trend from the 1980s (well, early 1980s) has been about 1.3°C per century according to satellite and slightly below 2°C per century according to weather stations. Although we didn't really stop CO2 emissions at all, the temperature was growing almost exactly like Hansen's scenario in which the CO2 concentration becomes constant after 1988!

To say the least, Hansen overstated the warming trend by a factor of two or so (perhaps between 1.5 and 2.5, depending on which observational data you build upon).

The evolution of the concentrations of N2O was between the "immediate halt" and "lower emissions", despite the fact that no policies against this gas have really been enacted. Hansen's false predictions are even clearer in the case of CH4. He predicted a fast growth in the absence of effective policies. But even though no one has really adopted policies that would effectively discourage CH4 emissions, the CH4 concentration basically stopped growing. And so did CFC11 and CFC12, some complicated greenhouse gases.

When it comes to the concentrations and temperature changes, Hansen overstated the problem by a factor of two. It's a big inaccuracy but you could say it isn't completely game-changing. But his contribution was important because he has also pioneered the hysterical discourse when it comes to the hypothetical "detailed additional consequences" of the "climate changes". There have been virtually none – but he was predicting many. I am talking about the frequency of wildfires, hurricanes, torrential rains, droughts, and all these unwelcome events. Nothing has really become worse about them at all.

I think that the temperature change isn't really the core of the propaganda – the real-world temperature is changing by amounts that are approaching one degree in the recent century and they're only predicting twice or thrice that amount. It's primarily the additional, "less physically calculable" impacts where they're really lying. Their predictions of those changes are either completely wrong or overstated by at least an order of magnitude.

James Hansen remained a radical activist – who hasn't hesitated to be arrested. In his new book, Hansen criticizes Barack Obama and other leftists as losers. They could have enacted something insane and effective, like a global carbon tax, but they did nothing and James Hansen despises them.

Some temperature change has taken place but I think that 30 years after Hansen's testimony, all sensible people may see that the idea that "something bad was gonna happen to the climate within our lifetimes" seems utterly implausible. There's nothing "worse" about the climate of 2018 relatively to the climate of 1988. We're 30 years older – some of us weren't around in 1988 – but the climate is doing fine and vegetation and ecosystems are arguably much healthier than in the late 1980s.

1988 was the year of the peaking advanced socialism in my country. I remember insane emissions at that time, dirty cities, dust, carcinogenic emissions, acid rains etc. Those should have been reduced and they were reduced within less than a decade dramatically. But a problem with CO2? Not really. Incidentally, soda and beer makers are just facing shortage of CO2 that they need to add to their beverages. That's quite ironic in a world where lots of people claim that CO2 is basically a poison.
22 Jun 00:40

10 things in tech you need to know today (FB)

by Rachel Sandler and Shona Ghosh


is this a pigeon butterfly anime meme

Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

1. Instagram unveiled a new app to help it compete with the likes of YouTube and Snapchat on Wednesday. The app, IGTV, lets users create longform videos — longer than the 60 seconds users currently have on the main Instagram app.

2. Cambridge Analytica insiders said the company didn't take the growing data scandal seriously, even in its final days and as investigators seized its servers. Most employees stuck around until the firm filed for bankruptcy.

3. Facebook is beginning to test a feature that would let Facebook Group admins charge a monthly fee for access to exclusive content. The pilot program only involves a small number of groups right now, including Declutter My Home, Grown and Flown Parents, and Cooking On A Budget: Recipes & Meal Planning.

4. A committee of European lawmakers voted to accept "disastrous" changes to copyright law, which might kill off the meme. Another change would let publishers charge online sites for linking to their news content.

5. The White House is working on a federal version of online privacy law as Europe rolls out GDPR, according to Axios. Gail Slater, President Trump's special assistant for tech, has met with tech and telecoms firms to discuss ways to implement new privacy rules.

6. Match, which already owns dating services Tinder and OkCupid, has now acquired anti-Tinder service Hinge. Match will take a controlling 51% stake in the company.

7. The Chinese smartphone maker Oppo just announced one of the priciest phones you can buy, costing about $2,000. The "Lamborghini Edition" of the company's Find X phone boasts superfast charging, meaning it can charge a battery from 0% to 100% in 35 minutes.

8. Tesla is suing the employee Elon Musk claimed committed sabotage against the company. The lawsuit alleges the former employee "unlawfully hacked the company's confidential and trade secret information and transferred that information to third parties."

9. Microsoft has bought Bonsai, an artificial intelligence company that helps non-experts develop machine learning tools. Bonsai could help make an "AI toolchain" for running autonomous services on Microsoft's Azure cloud.

10. AMC Theatres has decided to up its subscription game and go head-to-head with MoviePass. For $19.95 (plus tax) a month, subscribers can see three movies per week and you get perks like free refills of popcorn and online ticket fees waived, while also being allowed to see a movie in any format and see the same movie as many times as you want.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How Apple can fix HomePod and Siri

21 Jun 23:21

21e800: Bitcoin, Satoshi and the Mystery Twitter Is Obsessing Over

by Christine Kim
The hash value of bitcoin block 528249 unlocked on Tuesday has the crypto community in wonder about the potential hidden meaning behind "21e800".
21 Jun 23:21

Bitcoin Just Got a Shoutout in a New US Supreme Court Opinion

by Stan Higgins
That's not something you see every day: an opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that makes a reference to cryptocurrencies.
21 Jun 02:50

An astronomer's stunning photo of the Milky Way shows our galaxy through a crystal ball

by Dave Mosher

milky way galaxy crystal ball astronomer marble juan carlos munoz mateos

  • Astronomer Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mateos took a photo of the Milky Way through a crystal ball.
  • The image shows our galaxy projected through the orb of glass like a celestial marble.
  • Muñoz-Mateos, who works at a telescope in Chile, said photos of taken through water droplets inspired his shot.

A stunning new photo of the Milky Way (shown above) came about because of a flea-market purchase, a late night on a Chilean mountain range, and a dash of inspiration.

The photo, taken by astronomer Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mateos, shows our home galaxy projected backward and upside-down through a crystal ball.

Muñoz-Mateos focused his camera's lens on the orb of glass to bring out crisp details of the Milky Way, resulting in an image that seems to lock the galaxy inside a marble.

"I love photographing the Milky Way, but it's a tricky subject in the sense that there are many pictures of it out there, and it can be hard to come up with a novel way to portray it," Muñoz-Mateos, an astronomer who studies galaxy formation and evolution, told Business Insider in an email.

How to capture the Milky Way in a crystal ball

Muñoz-Mateos works for the European Southern Observatory — a group of world-class telescopes sprinkled all over Earth. He works at and most often observes the universe with the Paranal Observatory in Chile.

The idea for his remarkable new shot, which has already been shared thousands of times on Twitter, came about in a flea market in the Santiago neighborhood of Barrio Lastarria.

"I stumbled upon this one stand selling all sorts of used artifacts, among which there were a bunch of crystal balls, and I couldn't help buying one," Muñoz-Mateos wrote in an Instagram post about the photo. "For just a few bucks, this may very well have become my new favourite 'lens'!"

milky way galaxy crystal ball camera setup astronomer marble juan carlos munoz mateos labeled

A few days later, the astronomer began a late-night observing run at Paranal Observatory, a telescope is in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The site is high, dry, and far away from light pollution — making it an exceedingly clear place to take images of the night sky.

Muñoz-Mateos stepped outside after his observation shift with his camera, a tripod, and the crystal ball.

"I've always been inspired by macro photographs that use water droplets to magnify a subject in the background," he said.

He placed the crystal ball on a handrail post, then aimed his Canon 6D camera at the orb. He chose a 24mm (wide-angle) lens so that he could capture the Milky Way in the background and also through the ball. The plane of focus is razor-thin, though, so the background stars and other celestial objects appear as fuzzy points of light (an effect that photography buffs call bokeh).

A few tries later, and after 30 seconds of exposure time, Muñoz-Mateos ended up with his image. It shows the thick cluster of stars, gas, and dust inside the Milky Way; in effect, we're looking toward the center our disc-shaped spiral galaxy.

milky way galaxy sun solar system earth location nasa labeled 2

Muñoz-Mateos said the photo required a bit of noise reduction to come out clear, but that he was "rather excited" when he first saw the photograph on his camera screen.

"If you have the chance to buy one of these cheap crystal balls, I totally recommend it. They're really fun to use, and they can add a very original spin to your photography," he said. "I already have a few crazy ideas in mind for future images. Stay tuned!"

You can see Muñoz-Mateos' ongoing photography work on Instagram, where he shows off pictures of setting moons, astronomical lasers, solar green flashes, and the beautiful Chilean landscape.

SEE ALSO: The whole universe fits in one image with a special trick of math

SEE ALSO: This may be the most accurate Milky Way galaxy simulation ever made

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We’re on a collision course with the Andromeda Galaxy — here’s what will happen to Earth

21 Jun 01:22

Up to 60 organizations may sue SPLC for defamation

A reformer branded a "Muslim extremist" by the SPLC won a $3-million settlement for defamation.
20 Jun 18:41

10 things in tech you need to know today

by Rachel Sandler and Shona Ghosh


Elizabeth Holmes Theranos thumbnail

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

1. An increasing number of tech CEOs are speaking out against the Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant families at the border between the US and Mexico. The condemnations come days after Microsoft employees also protested the company providing cloud services to ICE. 

2. Facebook is taking on the massively popular HQ Trivia app. The social media giant announced on Tuesday that it will let pages host their own live quiz shows. At launch, partners BuzzFeed, Fresno, and Insider will all launch game shows on Facebook Live.

3. Snap was in discussions to buy buzzy augmented reality startup Blippar, but the deal fell through and Blippar quit Silicon Valley. Snap has acquired European startups before, buying game engine PlayCanvas and French map startup Zenly.

4. Tim Draper, an eccentric Silicon Valley investor, publicly defended Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes after she was indicted on charges of wire fraud last week. Draper said he believed that Holmes was "innocent until proven guilty" and that he was still close to the disgraced entrepreneur.

5. Security software company Symantec revealed Tuesday that a hacking campaign based in China had burrowed into satellite operators, defense contractors and telecom companies in the US and southeast Asia. The company said the hackers were driven by national espionage goals, which include intercepting military and civilian communications.

6. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey shared at least 17 tweets from a confirmed Russian troll. According to an analysis from The Wall Street Journal, Dorsey shared tweets from an account linked to the now-infamous Internet Research Agency between late-2016 and mid-2017.

7. Apple was fined $6.6 million by Australia's consumer rights watchdog for misleading iPhone and iPad users about third-party repairsApple had said users were not entitled to get their devices fixed because they had been previously repaired by a third party, but this is against Australian consumer law.

8. Popular battle royale game Fortnite has racked up $100 million in revenue, according to Sensor Tower data. That's in the game's first 90 days on iOS alone.

9. A South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, halted trades amid a $31 million hack, according to CoinDesk. Bithumb hasn't said which currency was under attack, but said it would cover the losses.

10. Food apps such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo might kill the kitchen, according to UBS. In a note to investors, the bank predicted that millennials could end up eating mostly takeout or preparing food with meal delivery kits.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What the future of Apple looks like

20 Jun 18:37

The SEC has received nearly 200 pages of complaints about Coinbase, the $1.6 billion cryptocurrency trading platform

by Zoë Bernard

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong

  • Coinbase users allege that the company has stolen funds and not responded to their complaints, according to complaints filed with the SEC.
  • Coinbase says that it's addressing the complaints, and that it has hired more support staff to respond to user inquiries.

Coinbase has long positioned itself as a trusted trading platform among cryptocurrency enthusiasts, but a series of complaints filed with the SEC reveals that the cryptocurrency exchange is not without its troubles.

According to 164 pages of complaints obtained by Mashable, multiple Coinbase users say that they've had issues with the platform. Among the most egregious allegations are the claims that Coinbase "stole" cryptocurrency holdings from its users, repeatedly ignored customer complaints regarding missing funds, and systematically defrauded its customers.

Here's are a few of the complaints filed with the SEC against the company:

  • "I have lost...5000$ [sic] of my investment because they never tried to solve my issue."
  • "Coinbase has not credited [$21,000 wired to my account], and has not responded to my multiple attempts to contact them to get this issue resolved. I now believe that they are acting criminally."
  • "Coinbase suddenly and erroneously account [containing more than $100,000 of bitcoin] without explanation more than one month ago...Coinbase does not get back to you...Coinbase effectively cuts off consumers from their rightful property and forces risk of loss and lost profits."
  • "Coinbase accepts money from users under the pretense of being able to return gains, but systematically disallows that ability once tested...and then cuts [off] all contact with its customers."

That Coinbase is experiencing issues handling its users' funds isn't all that surprising: Cryptocurrency trading platforms are notoriously difficult to scale, and Coinbase has acknowledged that it's been slow to respond to customer inquiries in the past. 

In an email, a representative for Coinbase told Business Insider that the company was proactively tackling any issues with customer complaints. In the past few months, Coinbase has hired more people for its support team, decreased its average time to respond to inquiries, and addressed a backlog of complaints, the representative said. Now, the company estimates that it responds to users in less than ten hours. 

Read the full story over at Mashable here.

SEE ALSO: The top 30 companies where Ivy League graduates who studied computer science say they most want to work

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's why coating our streets white could help lower temperatures in the summer

20 Jun 18:03

Impeachment: What Did the Founders Mean By “High Misdemeanors?”

by Rob Natelson

The Constitution states “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

It is clear officers can be impeached and removed for major crimes, but what is a “high . . . Misdemeanor?”

Commentators have been all over the lot on this one. Some claim it’s just another word for a crime. Others claim it’s anything Congress wants it to mean. Most have been in the middle, but for the most part the standards they have suggested have been so fuzzy as to be almost useless.

Several years ago, while researching the subject for my book, The Original Constitution: What It Actually Said and Meant, I reviewed all the historical evidence I could. I became convinced it that “high misdemeanors” are what we now call “breaches of fiduciary duty.” (The founders had a variety of names for that concept.) Although I reported some of the evidence in my book, I’ve now published it in more complete form for the legal journal Federalist Society Review.

Fiduciary duties are a set of well-established obligations a person has when managing the interests of others. Examples of fiduciaries are trustees, bankers, attorneys and accountants, guardians for children or incompetent people, agents, and those who administer the estates of deceased people. Their fiduciary obligations include honesty (“good faith”), loyalty toward those they work for, following instructions, reasonable care, treating those they work for impartially, and presenting accounts of what they have done. A fiduciary violating his duties may be liable for any losses incurred and, in many cases, for disgorging any personal benefits he received from the breach. A fiduciary is not, however, liable for mistakes or misinterpretations made with a reasonable basis and in good faith.

The Founders were committed to furthering fiduciary government to the extent reasonable and practical, so they included “high misdemeanors” as a way to remove officers who, while perhaps not guilty of crimes, have been dishonest, disloyal, overly-biased, or negligent. But an officer is not impeachable merely for mistakes in policy or reasonable disagreements over interpretation of the law.

You can read the article here.

20 Jun 04:35

Leftist Ideas That Keep Black People Down

by Walter E. Williams

For several decades, a few black scholars have been suggesting that the vision held by many black Americans is entirely wrong.

Shelby Steele, a scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, said: “Instead of admitting that racism has declined, we [blacks] argue all the harder that it is still alive and more insidious than ever. We hold race up to shield us from what we do not want to see in ourselves.”

John McWhorter, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, lamented that “victimology, separatism, and anti-intellectualism underlie the general black community’s response to all race-related issues,” adding that “these three thought patterns impede black advancement much more than racism; and dysfunctional inner cities, corporate glass ceilings, and black educational underachievement will persist until such thinking disappears.”

In the 1990s, Harvard professor Orlando Patterson wrote, “America, while still flawed in its race relations … is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; [and] offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa.”

During an interview in December with The Daily Caller, Steele said the anti-Americanism that started during the 1960s and has become mainstream and visible in the black community is “heartbreaking and sad.” That anti-Americanism that so dominates the American black identity has been “ruinous to black America, where we are worse off than we were under segregation by almost every socio-economic measure.”

Some people might challenge Steele’s assertion that in many measures blacks are worse off than during segregation. How about some numbers?

As late as 1950, female-headed households were only 18 percent of the black population. Today 70 percent of black children are raised in single-parent households.

In the late 1800s, there were only slight differences between the black family structure and those of other ethnic groups. In New York City in 1925, for example, 85 percent of kin-related black households were two-parent households. According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year 11 percent of black children were born to unwed mothers. Today about 75 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers.

From 1890 to 1940, a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults. Today about twice as many blacks have never married as whites.

The bottom line is that the black family was stronger the first 100 years after slavery than during what will be the second 100 years.

What about the labor market?

In every census from 1890 to 1954, blacks were either just as active as or more so than whites in the labor market. During that earlier period, black teen unemployment was roughly equal to or less than white teen unemployment. As early as 1900, the duration of black unemployment was 15 percent shorter than that of whites; today it’s about 30 percent longer.

Would anyone suggest that there was less racial discrimination during earlier periods?

White liberals and the Democratic Party are the major beneficiaries of keeping black people fearful, angry, victimized, and resentful. It’s crucial to both their political success and their efforts to change our nation. Racial harmony would be a disaster for leftists, be they politicians, academic liberals, or news media people.

As for black politicians and civil rights hustlers, Booker T. Washington long ago explained their agenda, writing:

There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs—partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.

The post Leftist Ideas That Keep Black People Down appeared first on The Daily Signal.

20 Jun 02:13

The EU's bizarre war on memes is totally unwinnable

by (Thom Holwerda)
On June 20, the European Parliament will set in motion a process that could force online platforms like Facebook, Reddit and even 4chan to censor their users' content before it ever gets online. A proposed new European copyright law wants large websites to use "content recognition technologies" to scan for copyrighted videos, music, photos, text and code in a move that that could impact everyone from the open source software community to remixers, livestreamers and teenage meme creators.

Anybody who has ever had any dealings with YouTube's Content ID system will know just how terrible of an idea this is.

20 Jun 02:13

Microsoft ports Windows 10, Linux to homegrown CPU design

by (Thom Holwerda)
Microsoft has ported Windows 10 and Linux to E2, its homegrown processor architecture it has spent years working on mostly in secret. As well as the two operating systems, the US giant's researchers say they have also ported Busybox and FreeRTOS, plus a collection of toolkits for developing and building applications for the processor: the standard C/C++ and .NET Core runtime libraries, the Windows kernel debugger, Visual C++ 2017's command line tools, and .NET's just-in-time compiler RyuJIT. Microsoft has also ported the widely used LLVM C/C++ compiler and debugger, and related C/C++ runtime libraries. The team wanted to demonstrate that programmers do not need to rewrite their software for the experimental chipset, and that instead programs just need to be recompiled - then they are ready to roll on the new technology. I had no idea Microsoft was working on its own instruction set - even if only for research purposes. The Register has some more information on what E2 is like.
The Register understands from people familiar with its development that prototype E2 processors exist in the form of FPGAs - chips with reprogrammable circuitry that are typically used during the development of chips. For example, a dual-core implementation on Xilinx FPGAs exists, clocked at 50MHz. The team has also developed a cycle-accurate simulator capable of booting Windows and Linux, and running applications. Qualcomm researchers were evaluating two EDGE chip designs with Microsoft: a small R0 core, and an R1 core running up to 2GHz fabricated using a 10nm process. The project, we must stress, is very much a work in progress.

It seems to be a radical departure from the norm, and I'm very interested to see where this will lead.

19 Jun 22:55

Table of the Day: Master’s degrees for Class of 2016 by field and gender. Oh, and the overall 31% master’s degree gap for men! - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

Table of the Day: Master’s degrees for Class of 2016 by field and gender. Oh, and the overall 31% master’s degree gap for men!

Following my post yesterday for bachelor’s degrees by field and gender in 2016, the table above shows the number of master’s degrees by major field of study and gender for the Class of 2016, ranked by the female share of each field (based on recently released Department of Education data here). A few observations:

1. Overall, women earned 59.2% of all master’s degrees in 2016, which means there were 145 women graduating from graduate school with a master’s degree that year for every 100 men. It also reflects a whopping 31% gender master’s degree gap for men, who earned only 320,234 master’s degrees in 2016 compared to 464,925 degrees earned by women (320,234 / 464,925 = 0.69, or 69 degrees for men per every 100 for women = gender master’s degree gap of 31% for men).

2. Although data are not yet available for master’s degrees by field and gender in 2017, the Department of Education reported last month that women earned 477,792 and 59.4% of all master’s degrees last year compared to only 326,892 degrees for men, which increases the gender master’s degree gap for men to 31.6%. Women also now have an uninterrupted 36-year record of earning the majority of master’s degrees in the US that started back in 1981. The Class of 2017 was also noteworthy for being the 13th straight graduate class that had more than 59% female representation for earning master’s degrees – a milestone first reached by the Class of 2005.

3. Women earned more than 57% of master’s degrees in biology in 2016, which is one of the fields in the STEM area that we hear so much about in terms of female under-representation. And actually, if you include health professions as a STEM field (which BLS does, see here and here), women earned a majority (55.1%) of STEM master’s degrees in 2016 (132,004 females vs. 107,439 males) for degrees in the seven STEM fields above marked with an asterisk (*). Or if you count just biology, mathematics, and physical sciences (e.g., chemistry, physics, etc.) women earn nearly half (49%) of those of those STEM degrees. It’s really only when you include engineering and computer science that men have an overall majority of STEM degrees.

4. Note the wide variation in degrees by gender shares. Women earn the large majority of degrees in 18 of the fields in the table above, including health professions (81.5%), psychology (79.8%), education (76.8%), public administration (75.1%), communication (70.4%), and English (66.4%) and men earn the large majority of degrees in engineering (75%), computer science (69.2%), and theology (65.3%).

Questions for discussion (same as for yesterday’s post on bachelor’s degrees):

  • Is it possible that these master’s degree shares by gender and field represent natural, and possibly optimal, voluntary outcomes that reflect natural differences in academic interests by gender?
  • Or should efforts and funding be directed towards attempting to “socially engineer” different, “more optimal” degree master’s outcomes that converge to greater gender parity in all fields?
  • If there are concerns about gender imbalances in graduate master’s degrees by field, should those concerns be applied equally to both female under-representation (e.g., in engineering and computer science) and female over-representation (e.g., in health professions, education, psychology), or just the former?
  • If there are concerns about gender imbalances in higher education, should there be any concern about the overall 31% gender master’s degree gap for men (320,234 master’s degrees for men in 2016 vs. 464,925 for women)?

Table of the Day: Master’s degrees for Class of 2016 by field and gender. Oh, and the overall 31% master’s degree gap for men!
Mark Perry

19 Jun 22:42

STRZOK OUT: The Anti-Trump Agent is ‘ESCORTED’ from FBI Offices

by CO2Insanity
19 Jun 21:08

Stossel: Jordan Peterson vs. “Social Justice Warriors”

by ReasonTV

Many leftists hate Jordan Peterson, a Canadian psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto.

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Leftists began to hate Peterson after he said he'd disobey a proposed Canadian law that would force Canadians to call anyone who doesn't want to be called "he or she" something else, like "ze" or "xe."

When Peterson said he'd refuse to obey, angry students shouted Peterson down, blowing air horns and screaming to make sure others couldn't hear.

Peterson defends his position to John Stossel: "I don't care what people want to be called. That's fine, but that doesn't mean I should be compelled by law to call them that."

It's not just students who slam Peterson. In one TV interview, Peterson stayed calm while the host tried to put words in his mouth.

"You are saying that women aren't intelligent enough to run these top companies....You don't believe in equal pay," Cathy Newman, the reporter at Britain's Channel 4 News, insisted.

"No, I'm not saying that at all," Peterson responded. He hadn't said that. What he had said, is that natural differences explain most of the gender wage gap.

As an example, Peterson cites studies that find, in wealthy countries that focus most on equality, like Sweden, even fewer women major in science and math. Instead they pick fields that deal with people, like teaching, and men tend more toward technical fields.

Peterson says this shows that when men and women have the most freedom to decide what they do, they pick fields that line up with their natural biological interests.

That idea infuriates leftists. "It should infuriate them," Peterson tells Stossel. "Because I'm going right at the heart of the radical leftist doctrine."

That doctrine is social justice, the idea that all groups should have equal outcomes; that there should be just as many female CEOs, scientists, and computer programmers, because men and women are essentially the same. If outcomes differ, it must be sexism.

Peterson says that the focus on group equality is a spinoff of Marxism. That after Marxism failed spectacularly in the economic realm, Marxists applied their way of thinking to issues like the difference between men and women.

"We've got a hundred million corpses stacked up to demonstrate" the failure of Marxism, says Peterson. And the new Marxism-derived focus on group equality won't end any better.

Peterson calls for the opposite of Marxism–a focus on the individual.

He says people should stick with "the principles that govern the West; capitalist principles. The free market principles." With those principles "we do better than any place has ever done."

The views expressed in this video are solely those of John Stossel, his independent production company, Stossel Productions, and the people he interviews. The claims and opinions set forth in the video and accompanying text are not necessarily those of Reason.
19 Jun 15:01

CVS just made a move that could protect itself from Amazon

by Lydia Ramsey

patients at cvs pharmacy in target 4 HR

  • CVS is getting into the prescription delivery service game.
  • The pharmacy giant said Tuesday that its chain of 9,800 pharmacies would offer next-day delivery, and in some cities like New York and Sna Francisco, the pharmacies will have a same-day delivery service. 
  • The move comes at a time when speculation that Amazon could get into the prescription drug business has been running rampant and startups have sprang up to deliver medications for those who'd rather not pick it up in the store. 

For those frustrated with waiting in line for a prescription, the largest pharmacy chain in the US has a solution.

On Tuesday, CVS Health said it would start to offer a prescription delivery at its 9,800 pharmacies. In some cities, that delivery will happen the same day the prescription's ordered. 

The service costs $4.99 for a delivery in one to two-days, while same-day service will set you back $8.99 if you choose to do it and live in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Miami, Philadelphia, or Washington, D.C. 

In addition to prescriptions, CVS said it'll also be delivering other items the pharmacies sell, including cold medication, vitamins, and allergy medication. 

The move comes at a time when brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling the pressure from Amazon. Grocery chains, for instance, have started offering delivery services to compete with Amazon. 

While it remains to be seen whether Amazon decides to get into the prescription-drug business, the e-commerce giant already sells over-the-counter medication, including an exclusive line called Basic Care. And Amazon could stand to put a lot of pressure on the pharmacy businesses including CVS, should it start to directly compete by delivering prescription drugs.

Elsewhere, startups including Capsule and PillPack have set up delivery services as an alternative to picking up prescriptions at a pharmacy, either by courier or by mail. 

SEE ALSO: 'Waiting for its Uber moment': America's biggest companies are shaking up the healthcare system

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by Anthony Watts
Yesterday, Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. responded to Seth Borenstein’s Tweet about his article in the Associated Press on the upcoming 30 year anniversary of Dr. James Hansen’s Climate Predictions from 1988. Borensteins title was: ” Warned 30 years ago, global warming ‘is in our living room’ Thirty years later, it’s clear that Hansen and other…