Friday, October 19, 2007
WATSON DISCOVERS THE DOUBLE STANDARD
It is courageous of Ms Blackmore to be willing to stand up & say this. On Chanel 5's Wright Stuff this morning the panel were unanimous in saying that no sensible person would say this, even if they believed it (which of course all of them agreed they didn't, at least in the present political climate).
The Science Museum in London has decided to cancel an already sold out lecture by one of the best known Nobel science prize winners living for what are agreed to be purely political reasons. No attempt whatsoever has been made by them to dispute the science. This is absolutely disgraceful. It is the complete antithesis of what science stands for. The director (Professor Martin Earwicker) should be fired instantly. If he disagrees with Watson he is entitled to tell the press so & what his evidence is & I am sure the Guardian would be happy to report his words. He does not have the right to engage in political censorship.
If Watson gets a public drubbing for saying this & Earwicker gets no criticism (& probably some private support) it will prove that censorship pays - a dangerous lesson. His previous jobs appear to all have been in management within government so it is understandable if he knows how politics works better than science.
I note that a number of writers here have pointed out that Ashkenazi (western) Jews, Chinese & Japanese consistently score better on IQ tests & that this should be taken as proof that there is actually no real difference. This is very muddled thinking & indeed while masquerading as anti-racism is implicitly saying that we British can never be anywhere other than at the top of the poll.
When pushed few people actually deny that there is considerable anecdotal evidence that Jews average pretty smart. The interesting thing about this is that if it is genetic such a difference must have evolved in less than the last 2000 years which is a very short time in evolutionary terms.
From last night "This thread has, currently 146 replies, having started 11.18 this morning which is a quite remarkably response, & in my opinion of quite high quality even on the wrong side :-)
Why then has it been removed from the Guardian's current listing?"
"I think it is worth posting this link showing world IQ results on a map.
If we accept the existence of IQ tests & that whatever they measure has a proven correlation with success (however measured) then we cannot ignore the facts.
There are clear differences. They cannot be entirely genetic - the genetic differnces between citizens of the US & Canada or Spain & Panama are slight. On the other hand the possibility that they are partly genetic cannot be dismissed out of hand.
What Watson actually said was simply that IQs in subsharan Africa are lower than average & that development programmes that pretend they aren't will not do good. This seems to me to be evident.
This does not mean that the difference is entirely genetic, indeed it is known that lack of protein, vitamins & salt in childhood permanently stunt IQ. Even if a higher standard of living there would end the difference & I am certain it would at least ameliorate it, we are where we are now & if the intention is to do some good rather than merely make ourselves feel good we must face the facts."
It currently (Sat 4 pm) has 307 responses, the large majority added since the Guardian quickly took it off their listing of most popular items.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Mr Ashdown had written an article endorsing Nick Clegg for LD leader. I said roughly:
"The article contains only 1 paragraph about the qualities which would make Clegg a good leader & that bit is entirely unspecific. "Bounding ambition" & his other qualities, may or may not be desirable in a leader but the article would have been improved by examples of what these have achieved.
In any case since Mr Ashdown perjured himself during the Milosevic trial by claiming to have seen "cleansing" of named villages, while standing on the Albanian border, which were not visible from the border, allowed the firing of someone from his Bosnia & Herzegovina administration for objecting to another member of his administration buying a child to use as a sex slave the party might benefit from a leader more in line with classic liberal values."
I have put up the following response & we will see if it too is censored.
"At least when the Guardian censors something it admits to having done so.
Both things I mentioned about Mr Ashdown are matters which form published court records. I did not engage in gratuitous rudeness such as the "Pantsdown" nickname which I believe rather silly. Presumably the Guardian entirely supports the right to oppose their favoured politicians as long as it is in a silly way.
I regret to see the Guardian censoring stories the Telegraph sees fit to publish"
UPDATE Give them their due the Guardian did not censor my objection to being censored.
Last night, having beaten France & thrashed the Ukraine Scotland got beaten, in what is agreed to be a dismal performance, 2 nil by Georgia.
Ah well at least the BBC didn't put it top of the news.
Now to get through we only have to beat Italy which, since they are the world cup holders should make them the easiest team to beat of all :-)
Monday, October 15, 2007
He has replied to CCNet thus:
Roger Harrabin [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Very quick, Benny, I have only just written that.
You might also want to carry my comment piece on the Internet too making
my view clear that the Gore film is political, and expressing my
disquiet when I saw it
And indeed his comment piece does say that while distancing the film from all the "real" global warming aka climate change stuff.
I have spent much of the last two decades of my journalistic life warning about the potential dangers of climate change, but when I first watched Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth I felt a flutter of unease.
Not because the central message - that climate change is happening and almost certainly caused by mankind - is untrue; but because in several points of the film, Mr Gore simply goes too far by asserting or implying facts that are contentious.
I would quibble with the term "contentious" to describe specific untruths but cannot fail to welcome this.
What a great shame that Roger only thought to make his doubts public in this article dated 11th October 2007 a year after the BBC started sanctifying the film & some hours after his memo became public.
May we next year expect the BBC's Environment Analyst to be publishing that he always had doubts about the claim that warming was actually taking place & that 1998 had been the "warmest year in a millennium", with 2007 predicted to be warmer, but that, apart from the lack of warming all the other fears of global warming are not "debatable".
UPDATE his reply:
If you are referring to the Gore Online piece I refer you to Newsnight March 27th - well before the judge or Mr Dimmock - and the day I sa the Gore movie
While I do not personally remember that episode his previous link says that he "challenged" Gore on ice core data but mentions nothing about any of the points the judge said were untrue (or in BBCspeak "swaying from the consensus") - it says much about the BBC that to ask a question not wholly supportiveon on one part of the warming propaganda can be portrayed as hard hitting.
"BEST JOURNALISM IN THE WORLD"
DIY TREATMENT AS NHS DENTIST NUMBERS FALL
A serious story - the NHS seems to have given up on providing a dental service but won't admit it. The Americans do jokes about British bad teeth they way we do ones about the Irish being thick.
BROWN "TACKLE OBESITY QUICKLY"
Somebody put out a press release to catch the Sunday media which is always short of news, on how if we don't stop eating more we will all get fatter & that this is as great a problem as global warming. Indeed it is. Complete rubbish but the PM gets a soundbite out of it.
BRITISH WOMAN SPEAKS OF THAI CAVE HORROR
Brit & a few Europeans killed in unusual accident
POLICE SCRAP MANCHESTER GIGS
WOMAN BEATS OF GREAT WHITE SHARK
Anglo Saxon woman (Australian) not killed in unusual way
BROWN "RESOLUTE & DETERMINED"
Gosh & I expected him to say he hadn't a clue. Pure Government; soundbite
worst of the rest
REPEATS OF THE GREAT STORM PREDICTED
"On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the great storm there are warnings climate change could bring more of the same" - pure puff piece - no evidence, no need for any, no real news, no actual facts at all, merely a 20th anniversary to hang it on.
& ASIA TIMES
TURKEY FEARS KURDS, NOT ARMENIANS
About Turkey sending troops into the Kurdish section of Iraq
WHITE HOUSE WORKS TO AVERT RIFT WITH ANKARA
Result of US Congress' somewhat belated recognition that the Armenian genocide was genocide.
INDIA'S CONGRESS PARTY BACKS OFF NUCLEAR PACT
The Indian government pulled out of a deal with the US to buy nuclear technology from them because there was a parliamentary majority against it. This reflects both on Indian attitudes to the US & on their refreshing lack of nuclear adventurism. Since India is fast becoming a major player an important story I have heard absolutely nothing about in the UK media.
MASTERS OF WAR PLAN FOR THE NEXT 100 YEARS
What the Pentagon plans for us all.
LAW IS CLEAR: BLACKWATER IS NOT ABOVE IT
HU READS HIS SCRIPT
Chinese President's plans for running the country for the next few years. More of what is working now - "harmonious society" and "scientific outlook of development" - here the latter would be more controversial than "fighting" obesity.
None of UK stories seem, for some reason, to be important in Asia & the only one of their's I have seen reported here is the Congress vote on the Armenians (though not the Turkish incursions into Iraq). Wonderful thing a free press, keeps us all properly informed.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
This is not a minor achievement & if things which are unexpected are particularly newsworthy then this counts.
Surely if the English result was top of the list this should at least have been mentioned as well. Football is after all a vastly more popular game than rugby.