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+ - Race Is Real. What Does that Mean for Society?-> 2

Submitted by Third Position
Third Position (1725934) writes ""Recent, copious and regional." These are three words, according to New York Times science correspondent Nicholas Wade, that describe human evolution. That is, our development as a species has continued to the present, has involved significant changes, and (at least until modern travel became available) proceeded separately in each part of the world.

Or, in other words: Your eyes aren't fooling you, and those sociology and cultural-anthropology professors you had in college were full of it. Human races exist.

Wade has been gently broaching this subject for a long time, regularly reporting new genetic findings on the pages of the Times and even including a chapter on race in his terrific 2006 book Before the Dawn. But in his new work, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History, he dives in head-first. He covers everything, from the hard facts that establish the biological reality of race to highly speculative theories about how, exactly, racial groups might differ from each other genetically."

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+ - Occupy founder calls on Obama to appoint Eric Schmidt 'CEO of America'->

Submitted by Third Position
Third Position (1725934) writes "One of the co-founders of the Occupy Wall Street movement has called on Barack Obama to resign as president, and “appoint Eric Schmidt CEO of America”.

Justine Tunney, a self-styled “champagne tranarchist”, is now a software engineer at Google, but remains involved with Occupy Wall Street, through the occupywallst.org website, which she created."

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Comment: Re:Don't be too sure of yourself. (Score 2) 279

by Third Position (#46498493) Attached to: The Billionaires Privatizing American Science

What if the Billionaire WANTS a certain answer and lets the scientist know it, so that the "data" can be published for a huge return on investment for the billionaire? Tobacco industry did this.

Or maybe billionaire just has an answer he emotionally wants to hear and funds science to get that instead of sensible science? If Jenny McCarthy had billions what sort of research d'you think she might fund?

Or what if billionaire wants research on life extending treatments for him and him alone and screw publishing?

I don't see any compelling reason billionare science would be any better than publicly funded science. I'd rather everyone own the results, too, than a billionaire.

I mean, one thing a billionare is VERY good at is hoarding good things (money) for themselves AREN'T THEY.

--PeterM

And the incentives of the people deciding which research will get public funding differ exactly how? You seem to start with the assumption that the career bureaucrat won't dispose of assets under his control to his greatest advantage whereas the career businessman will. I'm not seeing it.

Comment: Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (Score 3, Informative) 303

Private companies just don't need the sorts of skills that the typical person has. Nobody wants to hire an average programmer (at least, not at US wages), or an average marketer, etc. Today we have hyper-specialization and if you're in the top 1% of whatever you do you'll have a job for life, and if not you'll be lucky to ever have a job. We're still in transition, but all the trends are there.

We life in a country which has a huge economy, and yet tons of people who are unemployed.

Oddly enough, a libertarian economist, Tyler Cowan, wrote a book that agrees with you. Average is Over.

Comment: Re:"Protecting jobs" at the expense of what? (Score 1) 182

by Third Position (#46363843) Attached to: IBM Begins Layoffs, Questions Arise About Pact With New York

In principle, I agree. But that only holds true as long as management is correctly evaluating what and who is performing efficiently. Judging from IBM's performance and stock price, management is not doing so hot at making that judgement.

That's also a nice thing about markets. They not only punish inefficiency, they also punish stupid management. It may take a while, but eventually the chickens come home to roost.

While government shouldn't protect the inefficient employees, it shouldn't protect incompetent management, either.

Also, economic efficiency isn't everything. Would you be comfortable offshoring industries our national defense is dependent on, even if economic efficiencies could be obtained by doing so?

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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