Sigh… another good reason to live in Huntsville. In terms of salary value, Huntsville ranks #2 in the nation behind New London, Conn and ahead of Baltimore. The “interestingness” of the city leaves a great deal to be desired, but at least there’s a silver lining. Hyuck hyuck.
Can’t wait for the godawful awesomeness.
1. Both Newsweek and USNews released their annual best high school lists. Grissom ranks 623 and 804 respectively. Unfortunately, USNews this year failed to provide the same sorting features they did last year, so you can’t find a list of schools with high minority enrollment unless you make it yourself. Also unfortunately, their methodology rewards high non-Asian minority representation unlike Newsweek which doesn’t look at race and is therefore more strictly meritocratic. Newsweek’s weakness is that they only looked at a fraction of the schools that USNews did – something like 2000 compared to 22,000.
2. More PISA analysis that delves into how much immigrant populations affect PISA scores and national IQ. For most nations, the effect is unfortunately negative. Noticeable exceptions are some middle eastern nations like Qatar and Dubai where the immigrants far outscore the natives. The differences are so stark that I wonder if they’ll soon develop market dominant minorities along with all its consequences. 2nd generation scores also differ, and show that some countries with elitist high IQ immigration laws like Singapore and Australia have kids that get better scores than natives. Singapore’s results are interesting in particular because of Lee Kuan Yew’s opinions on race realism and the fact that he tailored his immigration policies in part based on those beliefs.
3. This graphic makes me thirsty. Head here for the math.
1. 90% of Asian schoolkids are nearsighted. That’s insane.
2. Some very original tutting to dubstep by two south Asians. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen hair tutting before.
3. Narrative science improves. While previously relegated to sports tickers, advances may broaden the horizon of computer written news.
4. In 10 years, will our brains be wired for browsing?
The military has picked up on the idea of using games to train top soldiers in keeping track of multiple moving objects. The system was already being used by top athletes to help them keep track of things moving on the playing field, and the military has picked up on it too. The game as it currently exists shows players 8 balls moving in 3D space and asks them to keep track of 4 of them while ignoring the others. There’s an evaluation session and further training is based on how well you tested in that session. The better players perform, the faster the balls move. There’s also a pvp mode and they plan to integrate physical conditioning into it too.
In addition to training, the military is going to use the game as a tool to see which soldiers need to work harder at brain training. I wonder if there’s a future where soldiers who have consistently poor performances will get cut from the program, just as if they had repeatedly failed physical tests. It would be interesting to see how progamers performed at the game. My guess is that SC2 players’ scores would be off the charts, but it’s also possible that top QB’s like Manning or Brady would naturally score well.
Imagine what could happen if this game became a widely available cognitive evaluation tool. Kids could get tested at a young age and adjust their sports/gaming expectations accordingly. As an athlete, if you’re terrible but physically fast, run track. If you’re decent and fast, play runningback. If you’re amazing and fast, you’re Cam Newton. If you’re a gamer and terrible, stick to Farmville or the Sims.
Phillippe Rushton, the always controversial race researcher, has a new study out with inflammatory implications. His study involved investigating the behavior of 40 different species of vertebrates to see if the amount of pigmentation in individual animals could be correlated to violent behavior and sexual activity. Apparently he found positive correlation between the two in animals and then compares the results to similar studies in humans.
Darker colored offspring placed with lighter colored adoptive parents and vice versa didn’t affect the behavior of the offspring. The range of animals included mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and fish. Domestication of a fox species for desirable behavior towards humans pulled lighter patches of coat color along with tameness. Similar results from the domestication of rats are mentioned.
The result of this study makes me wonder if there’s a deeper reason that some cultures, notably in various regions of Asia (but certainly not limited to those regions), use skin whitening products for women. Yes, Japan has had counterculture movements like ganguro girls, but they were always noted for their contrast to traditionally held notions of beauty.
Might there be an evolutionary reason to prefer lighter skin? Is there some inner unconscious bias towards less pigmentation because it’s presence indicates higher potential for violence? Of course, the greatest challenge to this theory are white people like tanning mom. While she’s an obvious outlier, tanning in general amongst whites is prevalent. The other problem is that the behavioral traits associated with pigmentation don’t seem to benefit each other. It makes sense that people might desire partners with less violent tendencies, but does that logic hold true when sexual activity also falls, and is it true in equal measure for both sexes? Across different societies? Perhaps the two traits follow each other because they’re both regulated by impulsive tendencies and not for other reasons. Also, what of high latitude animals or ones that change coat color through the year? Wild polar bears don’t resemble the cute and cuddly ones seen in Coke commercials.
Note: I don’t discuss the rather… loathsome political/ethical aspects of this paper or why he concentrates his research in these areas on purpose. Whatever motivation Rushton had for undertaking this study, data über alles.
(First seen here)