Stupid logic about genes in the BMJ
All British medical journals have a distinct Leftist bias so the conclusion below was predictable. Leftists hate any evidence that genes cause anything so the claim below that genes do not influence social class was to be expected.
Their basic leap of logic is that individual genes have only a narrow mode of action so they cannot cause anything as complex as social class. That's logic? Its like saying that tires can't by themselves make a car move so tires are irrelevant to cars.
The universal conclusion of those who study the relationships between genes and traits is that any one trait is polygenetic. Just as a car needs a lot of bits to make it go, so any trait needs a particular underlying SET of genes for it to manifest itself.
And as Charles Murray showed decades ago, social class is strongly determined by IQ. High IQ people tend to get rich and low IQ people usually stay poor. And IQ IS heavily genetically determined, so the paper below is just counter-factual rubbish aimed at drawing a particular do-gooder conclusion
Genetics and social class
N A Holtzman
Objective: To assess claims that genes are a major determinant of social class.
Design: Using genetic epidemiological principles, five claims on the role of genes in determining social class are examined: (1) traits that run in families are usually inherited; (2) complex traits can be explained by alleles at a single gene locus; (3) complex traits are transmitted intact from one generation to the next; (4) natural selection explains social advantage. (5) Heritability estimates provide a valid estimate of the importance of genes in explaining complex human traits or behaviour.
Results: (1) Traits that run in families can result from environmental exposures that differ by social class. (2) The protein encoded by any single gene has too narrow a range of biological activity to explain traits as complex as social status. (3) Because alleles at different gene loci are transmitted independently, genetic inheritance cannot explain why offspring display the same complex traits as their parents. (4) The propagation of mutations that might result in a selective advantage takes much longer than the time for which any social class has achieved or maintained dominance. (5) Heritability measures are accurate only when environment is maintained constant. This is impossible in evaluating human traits.
Conclusions: The roots of social class differences do not lie in our genes. Consequently, genetics cannot be used as a justification for maintaining a ruling class, limiting procreation among the poor, or minimising social support programmes.
Donald Trump could be ready to order a strike against Iran, Australian Government figures say
Senior figures in the Turnbull Government have told the ABC they believe the United States is prepared to bomb Iran's nuclear capability, perhaps as early as next month, and that Australia is poised to help identify possible targets.
But another senior source, in security, emphasises there is a difference between providing intelligence and "active targeting"
It comes amid intense sabre-rattling by US President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.
The ABC has been told secretive Australian defence facilities would likely play a role in identifying targets in Iran, as would British intelligence agencies.
But a senior security source emphasised there was a big difference between providing accurate intelligence and analysis on Iran's facilities and being part of a "kinetic" mission.
"Developing a picture is very different to actually participating in a strike," the source said.
"Providing intelligence and understanding as to what is happening on the ground so that the Government and allied governments are fully informed to make decisions is different to active targeting."
The top-secret Pine Gap joint defence facility in the Northern Territory is considered crucial among the so-called "Five Eyes" intelligence partners — the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand — for its role in directing American spy satellites.
Analysts from the little-known spy agency Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation would also be expected to play a part.
Canada would be unlikely to play a role in any military action in Iran, nor would the smallest Five Eyes security partner New Zealand, sources said.
Any US-led strike on Iranian targets would be fraught for a region bristling with tensions. Israel would have reason to be anxious about retaliation, given Iran rejects Israel's right to exist.
That said, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in April invoked the so-called "Begin Doctrine" that calls on the Jewish state to ensure nations hostile to Israel be prevented from developing a nuclear weapons capability.
"Israel will not allow regimes that seek our annihilation to acquire nuclear weapons," Mr Netanyahu said.
We should denounce folly
Modern society suffers when tolerance is given to fools. We too often give them the power and prestige they demand
James E. Smith, Ph.D.
An old adage says we should “gladly suffer fools.” The opposing view is that we should “stop doing stupid.” Either way, the key concern is the direct impact that not confronting stupid or shortsighted actions has on morale and the long-term effectiveness of any decision-making/leadership process.
Whether it is managing people, business processes, visionary leadership or important innovation efforts, the need to mitigate stupid, wasteful directives, interjections and interruptions has become an essential requirement if we are to grow socially and economically.
A primary reason we as a species have been so successful is our ability to take advantage of acquired knowledge in making decisions and solving problems. These abilities also allow us to aggressively protect ourselves from the varied and changing environments we choose to live in, amidst the diverse personalities that we are expected to live and work with.
In other words, we have the ability to successfully teach, mentor, lead and manage as required to precipitate the next great something. This becomes a clear necessity in staying ahead of the problems that prior generations created in solving even earlier problems. It also seems to be a primary characteristic for any advancing technological society, where the notion of simply stepping off the progress merry-go-round in favor of “an earlier, simpler time” will lead only to frustration and a train to Emerald City.
And yet many seem to have an apparently endless willingness to allow, or at least tolerate, acts of stupidity. This is certainly not a new problem. Each generation has had to deal with the few, but noisy and persistent, actors who make life and progress just a little harder to navigate. But unlike in the past, when we may have had the luxury to argue trivial points ad nauseam with little consequence, the accelerating rate of our social and technological development means we can no longer tolerate these delays.
Consider how our society often indulges foolishness by individuals or groups acting out of ignorance or petulance. These people expect to continue getting away with their interference, obstruction, stupidity and obnoxious behavior because they think they are entitled, above reproach or simply smarter than the rest of society, or they have ensconced themselves high up in the hierarchical or governmental pecking order.
Many people who fit this description actually begin as foolish, but appeal to the mercy of their associates or subordinates, learn what is needed, and use the group’s combined skill set to move the process forward. This preferred path eventually removes the party from the “stupid group.” (Your own past experiences can judge what percentage of the population chooses this option.)
Others, however, ignore reality and micro-manage whatever capabilities, skill sets and authorities they have been given or assigned – and often request more time and resources to advance their beliefs, agendas and ignorance. Ultimately, if they fail to accomplish their goals, they find ways to blame everything and everyone around them for their failure. If they plead their case well enough, they may even be rewarded with a promotion and even greater responsibilities that they can’t or won’t handle in the future.
This latter situation is clearly too prevalent in our society at all levels of corporate America, and, of course, within the government: local, state and federal. It is also prevalent in our social programs and the very activities we subject ourselves and our children to. In many of these cases, people get fed up and walk out, while others feel compelled by societal, employment and governance rules and expectations to put up with it all.
It is clear to a growing number of us that we as a society have sat too long letting people who have perfected the art of stupid continue to add ever increasing levels of nonsense to our already busy lives, through accident, oversight, ignorance, laziness, personal gain, or just plain self-entitlement.
Letting “stupid” continue, with no relief or recourse, is affecting our home, social and work environment, our creative and innovative talents, and the governance we expect and subject ourselves to.
We shouldn’t have a problem with ignorant people who are willing to learn and to do the best they can. The problem is with those who are unwilling to learn, or to develop new skill sets but still expect to be allowed by silent assent to do as they please. Even worse are the growing numbers of people who expect to succeed by virtue of their imperious demands and loud, obnoxious, even threatening behavior.
Non-reaction on our part has perpetuated growing levels of such behavior on their part, and an increasing degree of hopelessness and complacency on the part of decent, reasonable people. That has an additional downside.
Failure to respond and act in response to stupid or bad behavior breeds greater incompetence, as equally or more incompetent people are recruited at all management and leadership levels, to ensure that “stupid” isn’t exposed or jeopardized. More importantly, we also get a lowered performance bar, reducing or even removing challenges and the need for excellence. This result makes us all stupid.
Clearly, stupid has been around since little Jimmy decided to poke the sleeping bear with a stick.
I do believe, though, that we as a population have increasingly (and incorrectly) decided that it is just plain easier to let things continue as they are. We have become a nation of people who are too busy to get involved; too indoctrinated into believing the current state of affairs was mandated on high; or too intimidated by loud, menacing street mobs to question their wisdom or asserted “will of the people.”
These will eventually become more opportunities for well-deserved Darwin Awards to weed out the worst practitioners of stupid (or worse) behavior.
I don’t believe today’s “middle America” had any real input into the present situation, though it may be complicit through its silence. But I get an uneasy feeling that what is being pontificated, decided and decreed is being listened to and accepted by too many people who are either clueless, apathetic or feeling obligated by self-imposed, job-related or socially pressured expectations to just sit there and take it.
I also believe a growing percentage of those same folks simply don’t notice or acknowledge what they read or hear about, or even witness with their own eyes. So why do we continue down this path?
I don’t have an answer. Maybe we just need a few people with the courage and presence of mind to speak out, step forward and refuse to take it anymore. It may require a groundswell from the general population to get noticed. But that is unlikely to happen without a few brave people taking a stand.
All I know is, a lot of individuals in this world are still plugged-in and aware enough to know things are not right, or not right enough.
We all see and call things wrong at times, or frequently. However, if we haven’t made a few mistakes, we probably haven’t done anything good either, or we are still in bed with the covers pulled over our heads.
Making well-reasoned decisions – and standing up to bullies, oppression and intolerance – are hallmarks of our nation’s success story. Our continued success, and even survival, depends on this continuing. It seems to me it’s time for each one of us to identify and challenge a small piece of the human foolishness around us, and work to improve the situation, by demanding that the perpetrators “Stop Doing Stupid!”
We're racist towards robots, too, study finds
All this shows is that Africans have made the colour brown a danger sign
Have you ever wondered why you rarely see a brown or black robot?
A couple of researchers at Monash University in Melbourne and Canterbury University in New Zealand were having trouble finding any — why were all the robots white?
It led them to investigate whether people ascribe race to robots, and if this changed their behaviour towards them. What they discovered was that humans carry their racial biases over to robots.
"If you ask anybody, 'Are you racist?' of course they will say no," said Dr Christoph Bartneck, one of the study's authors and a professor at the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
Instead, the researchers adapted a research tool called the "shooter bias" paradigm.
This is where the participants are asked to play the role of a police officer.
They are then shown images of people and they have to decide whether to shoot at the person or not.
In the original study, participants were shown images of people who were either white or black, armed or unarmed.
In this study, participants were also shown robots with two "skin" colours.
"What we observed is that the exact same bias observed with humans can also be observed with robots," Professor Bartneck told RN Drive. "People changed their behaviour towards brown robots in comparison to white robots."
Professor Bartneck said the race of the participant did not play a role.
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