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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.
I don’t know what it is about psychology and such, but Luby et al. is another classic example of pure junk science. On the unexpected plus side, they do plot data for once, but then their diagrams’ legends have no units and don’t explain, what exactly is shown. What they find is a tiny effect whose significance is statistical only – the whole difference between the extreme ends of the range comes to about a third of the (estimated, no values given) standard deviation and is driven by a few outliers alone. The predictive value is essentially nil again. And of course a tiny effect like this is well in the range of confounders. Personality is heritable to a large degree. My best guess is, that
“maternal support” is driven by just those traits that are measured and which, on the mother’s side, are the common cause and driver of this barely visible correlation.
On a side note the rate of diagnosed personality disorders for all subjects is half for internalizing and a full two thirds for externalizing ones. In America it seems, there no longer exists a spectrum of diverse and healthy personalities, but only a single abstract ideal, from which just about everybody pathologically diverts.
Dávid-Barrett & Dunbar’s model, according to which only the genus Homo but not Australopiths was able to venture out into the open Savannah is consistent with Reichholf’s hypothesis, that this ability provided access to (nearly) fresh meat out of the reach of predators and that this fueled their rise in brain size.
At first glance Moorjani et al.’s result comes as a surprise. 27 a looks old for the age of parentage in primitive societies. But then it has always been known that the life expectancy for adults was far higher then the usually quoted one at birth. Considering that high infant and female mortality requires something like five to six births per surviving mother and that birth intervals were about three years or more, those 27 years do indeed come out as a sensible and expected median for the age of parenthood.
Each human brain is different and individually shaped by its environment. Richard Philipps Feynman has already mused on how differently two people may actually be doing apparently the exactly same thing like counting – and he strictly tested that hypothesis by experiment – but now it’s confirmed through Tavor et al.’s brain scans too.
With Alley and the sources cited therein we have data not models, and these need to be taken seriously. Of course what they measure is the net CO2 emission after all the sinks have already extracted their share, so we don’t really know what part of that burning all the fuels will achieve, but there no reason for complacency either.
As they hinted at the time, the main reason why the whistle blowers in the La Cour & Green case took the time to investigate the falsification was, that they themselves were currently researching the same thing. And now Broockman & Kalla and Paluck have published their results and they are nearly identical to the earlier fake ones. So are they really as novel and as surprising as the press releases made them out to be? Now that I’ve seen the method in more detail it seems eerily familiar. Their
“perspective taking” is exactly the kind of personal reasoning, Jehova’s Witnesses have been using for ages to convince their listeners.
But never mind, the real – and so far unmentioned – point about this research is something else entirely. If this method really works as well as is claimed, there is now a scientifically proven method for indoctrinating people into the current politically correct values and convictions. I’ve already seen us sliding into Orwell’s 1984 for some time now, this innovation is bound to accelerate and optimise the process.
“Die Gedanken sind frei” may well become a thing of the past and seem like a fictitious fairy tale to our grandchildren unless somebody somewhere or many of us everywhere finally begin to reverse the process.
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