Monthly Archives: July 2018

What is in a surname? Helps figure decline of Northern England…

Mostly Economics

Fascinating research on economic history by Profs Gregory Clark and Neil Cummins.

They try figure decline in Northern England compared to Southern England. They use surnames to figure migration and development which raced in South but not North:

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FIDE may nix Tunisia’s World Chess Championship because it won’t give visa to 7-year-old Israeli chess champion

Why Evolution Is True

About a week ago I called attention to the fact that Tunisia banned the 7-year-old Israeli girl Lial Levitan, a young chess wizard, from playing in the upcoming International Chess Championship simply because she was Israeli. Regardless of what you think of Israeli’s politics, there’s no justification for punishing a young girl who wants to be a world champion. Here’s a video of Liel, European champion in her age class. She’s adorable:

Now, however, FIDE has mustered up some courage and, as the Jerusalem Post reports in the article below (click on screenshot),

Tunisia, which is currently scheduled to host the 2019 World Schools Chess Championship, could have its hosting privilege revoked if the country refuses to grant a visa to a seven-year-old Israeli girl.

The country, which has no diplomatic ties with Israel, does not permit Israelis to enter its borders, and is refusing to make an exception for…

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The growing anti-Semitism of France

Why Evolution Is True

It’s an open secret that France is experiencing an increasing amount of anti-Semitism, at least as reported in this New York Times article from yesterday (click on the screenshot to read it).

Let me first state emphatically that any bigotry or violence against people based on their ethnicity, gender, or religion is reprehensible. It’s just as odious to attack or spit on someone because they’re a Muslim as it is because they’re Jewish. And France has its anti-Islam bigots as well.

Still, the statistics show that the chance of being the victim of a hate crime in France if you’re Jewish is substantially larger than if you’re Muslim. It’s just that far less attention is paid to French anti-Semitism, just as it is to British anti-Semitism. Here are the facts from the article (direct quotes are in quotes):

  • “Nearly 40 percent of violent acts classified as racially or religiously motivated…

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Why was Italy so Ineffective in WWII? | Animated History

An interesting video. Italy’s problems were mainly incompetent generalship, poor equipment and inadequate supply lines.

Utopia - you are standing in it!

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Rawls, Nozick and Gore Vidal on envy

Utopia - you are standing in it!

Nozick argues that one of the unchallenged assumptions made by egalitarians is that the have-nots resent the haves only to the extent that the haves possess power and wealth that were unearned. The envious man, if he cannot also possess a talent and success that someone else has prefers that the other not have it either. The envious man prefers neither have it if he does not have it.

An old Russian joke tells of a poor peasant whose better-off neighbour has just bought a cow. In his anguish, the peasant cries out to God for relief from his distress. When God replies and asks him what he wants him to do, the peasant replies “shoot the cow.”

Nozick said that what really rankles the have-nots is the haves who clearly earned their status and possessions:

It may injure one’s self-esteem and make one feel less worthy as a person…

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Loneliness is a relatively recent invention, dating from around 1800

This claim is somewhat surprising.

Utopia - you are standing in it!

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The Conversation’s dumb article on why New Atheism is just as violent as religion

Why Evolution Is True

I don’t know what’s happened to The Conversation site, but one would almost think it was funded by Templeton. Here we have a new article by Nick Megoran and Russell Foster arguing that the arguments of the New Atheists are just as violent as religion. Click on the screenshot to see it, but note the title: THE ARGUMENTS of the New Atheists are just as violent as religion. That is, the New Atheists themselves aren’t as violent as, say, Islamist terrorists, but their arguments are. That is a false equivalence.

The two authors simply analyzed the prose of some New Atheists and found “calls for violence” in it, which include approbation for the U.S./UK attacks on Afghanistan and, in the case of Hitchens, for the invasion of Iraq (a misstep on Hitchens’s part, I think). But the “calls for violence” by the three New Atheists are not at all the…

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Kristian Niemietz “The Economics of Political Correctness”

He talks for about 45 minutes – the rest is questions. Whether you agree with him or not, his analysis is quite insightful.

Utopia - you are standing in it!

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Asteroid Impact – Could we save the Earth in time ?

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Readers’ wildlife photos

Why Evolution Is True

Reader Joe Dickinson continues his photographic perusal of Australian wildlife. His notes are indented:

Following on my earlier submission of native mammals from Australian “wildlife parks” in Cairns and Sydney, here are some of the non-mammalian inhabitants of those same parks plus a reptile canter in Alice Springs.  New Zealand up next.
First up is a laughing Kookabura (Dacelo novaeguinae).
A southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius):
 A black-necked storkEphippiorhyn asiaticus:
Central bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps:
Common goanna or peretie (Varanus giganteus), the largest monitor in Australia and one of the largest in the world:
The very striking Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus):
The terminally cute little penguin (Eudyptule minor) from Australia’s not-too-antarctic south coast.
The ubiquitous and often intrusive Australian white ibis (Theskiornis moluccus).  In the second photo, “junior” has his head well down mom’s (or dad’s) throat to feed.

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