Known to but a few

I’m told that geneticists had seen the weird Andamanese-like component in Brazilian Amerindians years before anyone published.  It was just too weird: insiders knew, but they didn’t tell.  Something like the upper-atmosphere lightning, known to pilots for decades before it became officially true.

So what do you and your homies know that’s not ready for prime time?


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138 Responses to Known to but a few

  1. jonathanjones02 says:

    Relevant to your most recent prior post, I believe the American Left during the Cold War, so often wrong about communism, will be proven to be mostly correct about the CIA.

    Second, by the evidence of “materialism” alone, more and more will the paranormal be accepted: plenty of once “dead” patients have described hospital rooftops.

    • Adjunct-Filth says:

      The hospital rooftop thing supports the Stoics’ aetherial-matter account of psychic composition? They seem to have held that when people die their souls become aether-spheres that float up to just beneath the lunar shell and remain there until the Conflagration. At least, this would be the case with Virtuous souls — vicious ones might hang around familiar locales in humanoid ghost-form.

    • aka Jamie says:

      Do you have any references on “seeing the rooftops”?

      I’m aware of an experiment that demonstrated exactly the opposite: in a hospital, I think in England, they put some signs that flashed random messages, but would be only visible from the vantage point of someone looking down from the ceiling level (as people reporting the out of body experience described looking down on their own bodies). No patients reporting the near-death experience (where their ‘souls’ raised from their bodies and they were able to look down and see their bodies) could report on what the signs were showing.

    • Zeinish says:

      American Left overestimated CIA influence, skill and competence in a big way. If CIA was 1/10 as powerful as they said, there would never be any Cold War in the first place.

  2. Woof says:

    It is both shocking and unbelievable, but decades of studies indicate that there are some differences between men and women.

    • Jason says:

      Handicapper General: Do you renounce gender and all its works, the vain pomp and glory of toxic masculinity, with all covetous desires of the same, and the sinful desires of the feminine, so that thou wilt not follow, nor be led by them.
      Answer. I renounce them all; and, with intersectionality’s help, will endeavour not to follow, nor be led by them

    • JP Irwin says:

      Woof, you and I are gonna be great pals in the FEMA camp

  3. Martin says:

    I was trained as a civil engineer and have 30+ years experience in demolitions. All my colleagues in demolitions and I know that jet fuel can’t melt steel beams.

  4. Coagulopath says:

    There’s an old Michael Crichton book where he speculates that Neanderthals and humans may have interbred.

    Was this a commonly held view in 1976?

    • Smithie says:

      Eaters of the Dead? Been a long time since I read it, but I think he mentioned something about a race of dwarfs too.

      Of course, in “Congo”, which was his next book, he has a race of gorilla-chimpanzee-human hybrids, which would probably be a bridge too far, I’d guess.

    • bob sykes says:

      In Jane Auel’s “Clan of the Cave Bear” (1980) Neanderthals and CroMagnons interbreed.

    • Capra Internetensis says:

      It wasn’t at all an unusual, though whether or not any given skull showed evidence of such admixture was often fiercely debated.

      Mayr, 1963: “Cro-Magnon Man, on his arrival in western Europe, seems to have been remarkably free from admixture with the immediately preceding Neanderthal, There is, however, some evidence of mixture in the material of the two caves of Mt. Carmel in Palestine…. Repeated re-examinations of the Mt. Carmel material have thus substantiated the long-standing claims that this material is evidence for interbreeding between Neanderthal and sapiens.”

      We don’t have aDNA from these Near Eastern early modern humans (yet?), but he may have been completely right.

    • gregor says:

      Carleton Coon suggests Neanderthal admixture in his book Races of Europe from 1939.

      “At any rate, the main conclusion of this study will be that the present races of Europe are derived from a blend of (A) , food-producing peoples from Asia and Africa, of basically Mediterranean racial form, with (j5), the descendants of inter glacial and glacial food-gatherers, produced in turn by a blending of basic Homo sapiens, related to the remote ancestor of the Mediterraneans, with some o-sapiens species of general Neanderthaloid form. The actions and interactions of environment, selection, migration, and human culture upon the various entities within this amalgam, have produced the white race in its present complexity.”

    • aiaslives says:

      look up “Edenism”

  5. protokol2020 says:

    Real AI easier than expected. AGI, if you want.

    • realist says:

      Not so sure, depends on your definition, to me “Real AI” would be commonsense + mathematical proficiency at the level of Fermat theorem, Riemann hypothesis and P=NP.
      We’re not the yet, are we?

      • protokol2020 says:

        mathematical proficiency

        An independent proof of the Fermat’s last theorem, discovered by a computer program,
        would be an excellent and clear sign, that we are probably dealing with a “Real AI” here. RH and P!=NP are not necessarily provable at all. But if at least one of those two is, then we have another one or two great benchmarks. But there are at least 1000 unsolved mathematical problems out there and many should be solvable and are also great benchmarks. And there are at least 100 000 proven theorems, for which any better (simpler) yet unknown proof would be nice. And above all, billion, trillion and more unknown and therefore unproven theorems are also likely. Some of those quite useful, I imagine.

        Are we near? I guess we are decades away. Just as we were decades away from a Go winning, self-taught program, only a few years ago. Leela Zero of today is reinventing chess from scratch. A humble neural network. A not too distant future “Leela” or “AlphaGoZero”, not necessarily “just a NN”, but using some evolutionary computing, for example, could start reinventing math, physics, chemistry, informatics and everything important from scratch — quite soon.

        I wouldn’t care much for the “common sense” or for the Turing test at all. Those are not important problems, really. But still solvable, probably with the very same technique.

  6. Rich Rostrom says:

    Present-day American attitudes about immigration (especially at elite levels) are in large part descended from Jewish sensibilities on the issue. (The Jews don’t even know they did this.)

    • magusjanus says:

      not just on immigration…..

      There’s a part of me that’s sympathetic to those that fall into the JQ and go nutz. And it’s because it’s party (maybe mostly?) true. They don’t ‘run’ everything, but man it’s hard to tell a history of late 19th and 20th century and Western politics that is not heavily influenced by them, or rather, by their hatred of Western Civilization.

      So instead we get this weird sanitized history that tries its best to ignore their role, but when you read into by golly don’t we see a recurring theme. So then some people go insane and go “conspiracy!” and start seeing the J behind everything, which is several bridges too far. But that’s not to say they’re not behind (even if only partially) a great deal of things.

      Anyways, the whole thing can become distasteful real fast, and it’s professional suicide so best avoided in public outside trusted society or family.

    • Jacob says:

      Doesn’t Steve Sailer have some stuff on this? As in, a lot of people think America started at Ellis Island.

      Emma Lazarus comes to mind regardless.

  7. catte says:

    Physiognomy is real. There have been a few papers recently on predicting traits like criminality from facial features; it gets scoffed at in the mainstream press. There’s really no reason it can’t work though, given enough sample size.

  8. Ilya says:

    North American “megafauna” were actually the war beasts of the Andaman Islander-like original inhabitants of the Americas, and were annihilated in an attempt to stave off the Siberian onslaught.

    Few know this. Even fewer are brave enough to admit this.

    • catte says:

      I believe it. The quarantine zone around North Sentinel isn’t to protect them from us, it’s to protect us from them. Who do you think brought down MH370? POWERFUL magicks reside there.

      • BB753 says:

        The real secret is that the North Sentinel Island is a real-life Wakanda, keeping her advanced high-tech and superhuman wisdom safe from the rest of humanity for her own good, under the disguise of primitivism.

    • engleberg says:

      No, the Andaman-Islander-like original inhabitants of the Americas were the sex slaves and massage therapists of the megafauna, and died for their johns.

  9. epoch says:

    Moore’s Law is dead.

  10. cthulhu says:

    If I told you, I’d have to kill you…

  11. Maciano says:

    I knew early on that bitcoin was a big deal. That sure helped me. (Right now, you’ll hear a lot of snickering responses related to the ongoing crash; “haha tulips, bubble, ponzi”, but it’ll go up again in the near future.)

    • aka Jamie says:

      “it’ll go up again in the near future” – can you tells us how soon it’ll go up, please, we want to get right too! \s

    • The people who said it was going to be a big deal early on said it would be used as a currency. It isn’t, overwhelmingly the value derives from speculation.

      • Maciano says:

        This is the interesting part of bitcoin: today you still have people arrogantly dismissing it, even laughing at it as some sort of fad. I thought the ’17 bull-run would finally end this nonsense, but it, clearly, will not. Funny, you can’t win; even though time proved its viability.

        Maybe this is a different phenomenon than Greg meant here.

        • “even though time proved its viability.”

          ~5 years is not “time.” If it’s north of 5K(inflation adjusted) in 20 years, then I’d say you’re right.(I put it on my predictions page:

          • Maciano says:

            At the start of bitcoin I got into discussion with Peter-Schiff-like-Austrians who kept saying bitcoin couldn’t work because of the regression theorem. They kept hoarding gold. All the while bitcoin rose 10x-100x-1000x etc. Crashing, too, tbf.

            Then I got into discussions with Keynesians and monetarists who kept saying bitcoin couldn’t work because of “hoarding”, money needs to be spent etc. All the while going up 10x-100x-etc.Bubble, ponzi, scam, tulips, money for drugdealers, etc..blabla

            The past 2 years, I’ve seen every contra argument levelled against it. Too much electricity, bad distribution, bad hard cap limits. and of course tuliponzibubble, small blocks, miner monopolies, yada yada. I’ll tell you what I told them all: good luck with all your theories; I’ll go by what works, you’ll go by your ideas.

            • “Keynesians and monetarists who kept saying bitcoin couldn’t work because of “hoarding”, money needs to be spent etc”

              They are right that it isn’t being used as a currency, except for illegal transactions.

              • Maciano says:

                you’re very badly informed and you don’t know what you’re talking about.

              • Steven C. says:

                Given the difficulty of tracking transactions, and the near impossibility of knowing what goods or services are being purchased; how would you know that it’s being used solely, or mostly, for illegal transactions? Or is it the mere fact of using it the illegality? This doesn’t just apply to cryptocurrencies; how about any private transaction between individuals? If I arrange through social media to purchase a TV from an individual and exchanged money in person; how would any third party know that I didn’t actually exchange money for heroin?

  12. Richard York says:

    ADHD and PTSD are not real.

    By which I mean that the term ‘ADHD’ is applied to a broad range of symptoms, regardless of cause, to define a set of behaviors that a certain subset of people–i.e., teachers–do not like. In other words, it’s just a fancy way of saying that some people do not behave in a way that is conducive to operating in a classroom environment or any other environment that involves menial and repetitive tasks. Coming up with a medical ‘diagnosis’ for this is the definition of junk science. Same deal with ‘PTSD’–it describes maladjustment to some sort of shock, irrespective of what may have caused that maladjustment. It does not describe a physical deformity, and should not be treated as grounds for handing out disability pay.

    I’m not a clinical psychologist but this is my general impression of dealing with kids/vets and reading the literature out there, especially from mainstream newspapers. Anecdotally ADHD seems like a reason to drug up perfectly normal kids, especially boys, to make them sit through the excessively feminized world of public school education. Not a coincidence that Ritalin prescription/ADHD ‘diagnosis’ exploded from the 1950s onwards as parents in the United States began to coop up their children instead of letting them run outdoors and play freely the way they used to. ADHD testing doesn’t exist in East Asian countries, and not having it doesn’t seem to have done anything to retard their citizens’ academic performance.

    PTSD is a more complicated issue, what with the hyperbolic media coverage of the supposed trauma American soldiers have suffered in the War on Terror and the guilt-fueled sacralization of the American military that has occurred since the disgraceful end of the Vietnam War. A fair number of soldiers probably are mentally ‘damaged’ from their war experiences, but it doesn’t follow from that that there is any evidence to justify treating it as a ‘condition’ on a level with an actual physical handicap, and there definitely shouldn’t be disability pay for it. Only a minority of soldiers, even from combat units, ‘display’ symptoms of PTSD, and it is practically invisible in elite military units. This suggests to me that PTSD is entirely mental, and can therefore be overcome by the correct mental ‘conditioning’.

    My prognosis for eventually shoving ADHD into the dustbin of history along with Sigmund Freud’s theories is fair, at least in comparison to the ideology of gender equality. There isn’t an organized political lobby that thinks of ADHD as its sacred cow in the same way that, say, New York Times columnists think transgenderism ought to be encouraged, and there is actually a fair amount of disagreement in the medical community over whether or not ADHD even exists. Fingers crossed on that one. My prognosis for getting rid of ‘PTSD’ as a diagnosed medical condition is bleak, there’s no constituency that supports doing it and its prevalence permits soldiers to hold a hallowed place in the victimization totem pole of American culture, which seems to be the only thing that matters in our society these days.

    • Zeinish says:

      If PTSD was only in America, you would have a point. But, in the late Soviet Union and post-soviet Russia, PTSD was well known as “Afghan syndrome” or “Chechen syndrome”. There were no perks, no benefits and no admiration for Afghan and Chechen veterans (or for anyone else).

      • Richard York says:

        I didn’t argue that PTSD is an ‘only in America’ phenomenon. I used the United States as an example to contextualize the issue and explain why I think it will be hard to get rid of the concept. My main point is that ‘PTSD’ is treated as a sort of disease/disability by the rest of American society, to such a degree that the U.S. government hands out large sums of money to those deemed to be suffering from it. In reality I think it is more accurate to describe ‘PTSD’ as a catch-all, not very precise term to describe maladjustment to the stress of combat. It is by no means a disease in the medical sense of the word–e.g., as a physical ailment which has an identifiable cause with well-defined symptoms. It does not even afflict the majority of those who experience combat. This suggests to me that the experiences which ’cause’ these behaviors can be overcome with the correct conditioning, which in turn suggests that there is no reason to pay out benefits to those who ‘suffer’ from it. The minority of combat troops who suffer from PTSD went to war with soldiers who do not manifest ‘symptoms’ of PTSD, why should the former therefore receive benefits that are denied to the latter, who went through exactly the same experiences?

        • Zeinish says:

          You might be right that the cult of the “veteran” is excessive. Traditionally, broken and worn out cannon meat was left to die on the streets, and there was always enough new recruits for glorious imperial wars.

        • Glengarry says:

          PTSD is apparently also something that severely afflicts feminists.

    • Henry says:

      If ADHD doesn’t exist then why does taking Adderall improve your focus and concentration on boring tasks?

      Have you ever taken any study drugs before?

      • Doesn’t Adderal do that for everyone, though, regardless of diagnosis?

      • Richard York says:

        I second EvolutionistX’s point about Adderall. I wasn’t making an argument about the drugs used to treat ADHD; I was arguing about the reasonableness of the concept of ADHD. This is a completely fallacious effort to answer my argument, summarized in the second and third paragraphs of my comment.

      • Glengarry says:

        If transgenderism is not something to be treated, why is ADHD?

    • There’s a good book you should read called “Achilles In Vietnam” which draws together similar responses from soldiers across time and space. Or, you could stop being so damn stupid and stop thinking that playing with guns on a range makes you some sort of expert on combat and its sequelae. Just a thought.

      • Richard York says:

        You should have read my arguments first before posting insulting comments about me.

        I have no doubt that some soldiers suffer greatly after their experiences in war. But the majority do not, or suffer very mildly–why, then, should we sacralize the suffering of that minority, when their comrades were apparently able to overcome the difficulties which they experienced? For whatever reason, ‘PTSD’ is treated as a sort of disease/disability by the rest of American society, to such a degree that the U.S. government hands out large sums of money to those deemed to be suffering from it. In reality I think it is more accurate to describe ‘PTSD’ as a catch-all, not very precise term to describe maladjustment to the stress of combat. It is by no means a disease in the medical sense of the word–e.g., a physical ailment which has an identifiable cause with well-defined symptoms. It does not even afflict the majority of those who experience combat. This suggests to me that the experiences which ’cause’ these behaviors can be overcome with the correct conditioning, which in turn suggests that there is no reason to pay out benefits to those who ‘suffer’ from it. The minority of combat troops who suffer from PTSD went to war with soldiers who do not manifest ‘symptoms’ of PTSD, why should the former therefore receive benefits that are denied to the latter, who went through exactly the same experiences?

    • gruffles says:

      There’s some evidence suggesting that close exposure to explosions can affect the brain physically (due to pressure waves bursting cells or something like that) so it might be that some cases of “PTSD” are genuine shell-shock.

    • Dividualist says:

      Counter-point: I was diagnosed at 35 with ADHD, teachers were not involved, due to me wanting to find out what is with me being like a typical absent minded professor type, misplacing items, forgetting things and then there is the impulsive part like always finishing other people’s sentences. The main part of the diagnosis was the DIVA test: and if you read it you can see it contains questions both about adulthood and childhood that are not really about just behavior a teacher does not like. If you keep losing your phone because you left it at a random bathroom when you put it down to wash your hands, it is pretty much something like a real problem.

      Giving meth to kids is probably a bad idea, and I find it suspicious that where I live it is allowed for kids with ADHD but not for adults with ADHD. Instead I got a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (Strattera). This makes actual sense. Living with adult ADHD is best described as living in a boring world. Leave the phone in the bathroom because washing hands is so boring, you are somewhere else with your thoughts. Finish other people’s sentences because part of you feels like everybody keeps saying the same things, even when it is not so. Boost noradrenaline is basically like pumping in some excitement so that one actually pays attention.

      I grant it, it can be entirely wrong how ADHD in kids gets diagnosed and treated but it does not make it a non-thing. I would handle it very differently, for example, ADHD kids must come to school half an hour earlier and spend that with fairly strenuous exercise/play.

      From my adult perspective, ADHD is just the medical term for what we knew for ages, the stereotypical “absent minded professor”.

  13. JRM says:

    Group selection is real.

    • Jacob says:

      It probably has happened, when groups (with certain alleles) replace each other faster than individuals (with the opposite alleles) do.

      For a trait favored by group selection to persist across an organism’s evolutionary history, group selection favoring the allele would have to be, on average, greater than or equal to selection against the allele by other selection pressures for a very long time, all the way to the present.

      That’s a tall order, I think.

  14. Nick Rowe says:

    Ponzi schemes/chain letters are sometimes sustainable and a good thing. (if the interest rate is less than the growth rate.)

  15. Squidgy Puff says:

    Neurologically, women are basically overgrown kids.

  16. Schrodinger's Genital Wart says:

    I believe that another commenter mentioned materialistic science proving some aspects of the paranormal, and I agree with him. I won’t describe it all here, but I have read a large amount of works on the topic, and I am convinced that this will be the case. It is frustrating, because all this knowledge that I have about these “esoteric” subjects (I hate to use the word but I can’t think of a better one) has no real practical application, and is conducive to madness if you can’t talk about them in normal society (and you can’t). For example, look at the works of Dean Radin.

    I am actually diagnosed with a schizophrenic spectrum disorder, and I attribute that to my precocious mind stumbling upon alt right materials (of which this site is one, though the authors of this blog would never describe themselves with that label) at an early age, and sperging out about them in polite society, which has caused all sorts of untoward social repercussions that f****** me up emotionally.

    • Zeinish says:

      This is something I never comprehended. Why you feel the need to preach to normies, even when you know it is highly unwanted and unwelcome? If you need to talk with them, talk about weather or football like everyone else.
      You live in the internet age. Community of any kind, of the most minuscule and esoteric interest imaginable and unimaginable, is at your fingertips. You will be never alone, why you need to bother with the normies?

    • Dave Pinsen says:

      Remote viewing has obvious practical applications if it exists.

      • Thersites says:

        I’ve read enough to believe that a fair amount of paranormal strangeness is real, but also that most of it isn’t terribly useful or even very interesting. Preternaturally-derived knowledge isn’t all necessarily untrue, but even when true it’s usually more harmful than helpful- “Things man was not meant to know“, as a pulp writer might put it. The Stargate Project may or may not have occasionally retrieved some genuine information, but if they did it was largely worthless. Obsessing over the paranormal is far more likely to drive you nuts than help you solve serious problems, and the self-appointed “experts” in the field remind me of pre-Flexner Reform doctors.

        I’m slightly fond of a crackpot hypothesis that the scientific method may have arisen specifically in the West because Christian exorcists were so effective at driving away unclean spirits. This destroyed the (already-limited) effectiveness of sorcery and witchcraft, forcing men to problem-solve through natural cause-and-effect rather than through things that go bump in the night. I doubt anyone today in either the History or the Theology department is interested in probing the question, though.

        • Zeinish says:

          Indeed. During Cold War, both CIA and KGB spent lots of time and money on various crazy paranormal woo, with zero effect (at least this is what they want us to know)

          Obligatory XKCD cartoon:

          I’m slightly fond of a crackpot hypothesis that the scientific method may have arisen specifically in the West because Christian exorcists were so effective at driving away unclean spirits.

          Great idea! Quickly, go and write urban fantasy paranormal conspiracy thriller, where witches, vampires and verewolves are the bad guys and inquisitors and witch hunters are the heroes!

        • Erik says:

          Touching on that crackpot hypothesis, I once ran into a fascinating book on possession and exorcism in the Orient, written by a British sort from the latter days of the Empire, and it has a very unusual, down-to-earth tone throughout. The sort of high man the British Empire produced, who would calmly and thoroughly look into what was going on and put a stop to it with violent dignity if necessary.

          I can’t find it at the moment, but it struck me with a sense of calm sanity that is hard to put into words. It was the sort of man who might walk into the Royal Society and present his preliminary findings – not a fundie ranting about the glory of God and the fallen angels, but a professional administrator reporting in a measured tone on the kinds of behavior that the census had observed among the supposedly possessed when confronted with cross, bible, priest, church, et cetera.

          If the paranormal was gradually driven back the way you describe, the author would very much be the sort to have participated in it.

      • Jacob says:

        I met someone who believed in that. It was weird.

        Did not take the opportunity to ask the color of my own underwear. I regret that.

      • Dividualist says:

        There is a book about the Stargate project that claims the CIA actually used them and they were able to get the basic shape of new unknown Soviet submarine and suchlike, but mostly it was simply not efficient.

        I tend not to believe in the paranormal, but I find it fallacious that if it exists, it is supposed to be effective, accurate etc and as such obvious. It could be a rare talent and it could require excessive training and so on. Most humans are able to learn to read and write but we did not know it before we actually invented writing. What parapsychos tend to report is that on guessing a card with 25% chance some people can get like 32% and that is statistically significant. While of course entirely useless for say espionage. But note that they just test random people. If it is really a thing, nobody really knows how to find the talented ones. And most of these folks have no training either, albeit if the Stargate is not a lie they did get training. But, again, that training was mostly to just go and practice. Which is crap training. It is like training football players just by playing football instead of lifting weights etc.

        I still don’t really believe it, but the whole thing is much like taking a time machine before writing was invented, telling people you can record speech on drawing lines into the mud with a stick, and then the scepctical locals expect you to prove it by making randomly selected, untrained people be able to read well it immediately.

        No, it is pretty clear even if something is real about it, it is an unreliable, rare, hard to develop, ineffective ability and it is not the practical use that would be interesting but figuring out the mechanism.

  17. Tvat says:

    Modern art is a scam

    • megabar says:

      Yes. Any organization that does not have an external correction factor applied (e.g. measurements in hard sciences, income in a commercial endeavor) will likely drift further away from sanity over time.

    • ziel says:

      I don’t believe that. The genius behind the works of representative art can be articulated because their depictions can be compared to real-world experience. But the beauty of modern art can’t be articulated (without bullshit) because they are abstract and thus whatever quality they have that fires off the pleasure-inducing neurons in our brains cannot be described.

      I don’t know if there have been studies like this, but I’d think it would be easy to set up an experiment where lay subjects rated modern art that was recently auctioned and those ratings were compared to the auction prices. The null hypothesis is that these ratings and the auction prices would be uncorrelated (or even negatively correlated). A positive correlation would disprove it.

      • gruffles says:

        Wealthy people invest in art for tax purposes.

      • Tvat says:

        I exaggerated (a wee bit) , of course. But this is a personal experience. I work as a musician, often in theatrical settings. (“Art” here being theatre art, poetry art etc, notwithstanding the painting on the wall-aspect). They are all about new effects and whatnot, an incessant search for “originality”, which they don’t possess, as long as their brains never consider (almost) anything but outward presentation. And they are 95 percent utopian simpletons. At least here in Norway, maybe it’s better elsewhere.

    • Rosenmops says:

      And modern architecture is often ugly.

  18. ghazisiz says:

    In the social sciences, it isn’t so much that phenomena are ignored, it’s that socially acceptable interpretations are made. No one wants to admit that genes matter as much or more than environment in creating socially desirable outcomes. So myths continue that spending more money on schools will lift the low performers; that starting education earlier will turn everything around; that distributing books to low income homes will make a big difference; or that inter-racial disparities are caused by mysterious forces such as “white privilege”.

    I don’t see real signs that the veils are lifting.

    • Jacob says:

      I knew of at least three students at my alma mater who had read The Bell Curve, and one other who was familiar with it, without my having introduced them to it. Wrongthink isn’t dead; it’s just sleeping.

      In my opinion, two things can fix the social sciences, by burning down existing structures:

      1) Make them look as stupid as they are. See hoax papers, meta-analyses of shitty ideas, replication attempts of shitty papers. Importantly, we need alternative media that will report on this, and be seen/read.

      2) Make them economically unfeasible in their current state. Quickest path to that is probably targeting the university racket itself. But how?

  19. Conventional wisdom: The collapse of complex societies (Maya, Ancestral Puebloan, Harrapan, Bronze Age Mediterranean) is due to climate change, environmental degradation, overpopulation, or some kind of complex system breakdown.

    Not ready for primetime: All of the above collapses resulted from barbarian invasions, a special case of “Wars are caused by undefended wealth” (Douglas MacArthur)

    1. The best known, best documented collapse of a complex society, the fall of the western Roman Empire, is the result of barbarian invasions.
    2. Archeologists have been allergic to blaming anything on marauding barbarians, just as they’ve been allergic to thinking anybody migrated anywhere before 1492.
    3. The archeological case for invasion in all these cases is not conclusive, but pretty strong.

    • Zeinish says:

      The “barbarians” who defeated Rome were literate, Christian, well organized and generally as “civilized” as Romans. The Gothic kingdom of Italy was the first time of peace and prosperity in about 100 years.

      Ancient civilization fell in the mid 6th century, hit by triple whammy of two natural and one manmade catastrophes.

      Imagine if during WW2 Earth was hit by volcanic explosion or asteroid impact that caused worldwide famine, and then epidemic that killed most of the population. Want to bet that our technological civilization would fare better?

      The problem is people who want to turn history into some kind of “moral lesson”. Sometimes, a big rock will fall on your head out of nowhere, and there is nothing you can do about it.

      • Bob says:

        The big rock will come, there is plenty we can do about it. Do we have the will, that is the question.

        • Zeinish says:

          Of course we can do something about literal rock from the sky, and we will have the will – the world’s decision makers know nothing about science, but grew on science fiction and understand that big incoming stone means bad news.

          The metaphorical rock as expression of incomprehensible and unsolvable problem, something we can stop as succesfully as ancient Romans could stop the plague, is another matter…

      • Jim says:

        The Western Roman Empire never really “fell” in one single event. The barbarian kingdoms tried to emulate as best they could Roman practices and fancied themselves to be continuing it. But over time the term “Roman” became used less and less and more people began referring to themselves as “Goths” or “Franks” or whatever. Then eventually people realized that the Roman Empire was gone in the West.

    • Jim says:

      Only the Highland Maya cities were destroyed. The Lowland Maya cities were still around when the Spanish arrived. As for the Highland Maya there was clearly deliberate destruction of some of the monuments but there is no archaeological evidence of new populations. Perhaps an internal rebellion. This could also be the case for Teotihuacan where the city was obviously destroyed but no evidence of a new population thereafter.

      Obviously the “Peoples of the Islands” destroyed Mycenae and the Hittite Empire and overran the Egyptian Empire in the Levant. There are no serious signs of decline prior to this onslaught.

      • ghazisiz says:

        “Only the Highland Maya cities were destroyed. The Lowland Maya cities were still around when the Spanish arrived.”
        Isn’t it the other way around? Iximche, the Kaqchikel capital, was a busy place when Pedro de Alvarado began his conquest. Tikal, on the other hand, was abandoned around 1000 AD.

    • Nigel B says:

      Don’t say Battle Axe Culture, say Corded Ware Culture.

  20. (a) Pilots who observe and report on aircraft that they think are (they see one at a time, I think there was one report that two were seen on the same mission) the size of a volvo sedan pulling extremely high g’s are not sufficiently, even though they have “skin in the game” – they are, after all, fighter pilots who know more than most of us about g-forces — aware of the laws of physics to realize that the aircraft which they see “pulling an amazing numbers of g’s” are probably tiny drones, power supply unspecified but I can guess, pulling along with themselves almost weightless (and less prone to gravity) airframes 100 times their size as they dart back and forth in their various vectors ……

    (b) Political repression of individual dissidents , and of critics of the local government, is on the rise not just in places that we criticize, but literally everywhere, Google, Facebook, the international libertarian movement, the mainstream portions of the Catholic Church, the Saudi-sponsored Sunni organizations, both parties in almost all countries with two or more political parties, almost all the big NGOs, are in on it, not just a little, but a lot. Some places – parts of India, parts of Mexico, parts of the United States – are getting better —- but repression is more or less on the rise everywhere in a very scary way.

  21. thesoftpath says:

    That Steve Sailer is the best journalist in America.

  22. TB says:

    Not hidden, particularly, but unknown to most patients. Opiate drugs don’t work very well in controlling chronic pain.

    • JerryC says:

      What does?

      • TB says:

        Time. Tylenol.

        • dearieme says:

          I’ve used Oramorph, a liquid form of morphine; worked a treat. No sign of addiction nor any interesting hallucinations.

      • David Chamberlin says:

        Opiate drugs work very well for one time pain relief, like recovering from surgery but not very well at all for long term pain management.

        • TB says:

          Exactly. If you want long-term disability, keep taking those Norcos and Percocets after the first week. You are better off with chiropractic, moxibustion and acupuncture. At the least you’ll get a nice placebo effect from those without the negative long-term consequences.

          With exceptions for burn victims, pancreatitis, cancer and other such extremely painful things. Sometimes we don’t care about long term when the immediate is so horrible.

  23. mapman says:

    Huge doses of valerian root extract (20-40 capsules per day) are completely safe and more effective than benzos in avoiding the dangers of alcohol withdrawal.

  24. adreadline says:

    Nothing, really.

    I do recall thinking, while riding the bus over a decade ago, that a single day of hitting all those potholes definitely would do something long-lasting to one’s brain. Which would imply that most commuters here are affected. Didn’t even know what CTE was at the time. That’s it, I guess.

  25. S3 says:

    I once met a palm reader in India who told me I had a mind like no one else. I am not Terrence Tao, but I am pretty smart. How could he tell?

  26. David Chamberlin says:

    The Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis
    This hypothesis just a got a huge boost in it’s probability of being true because a huge meteor crater was very recently found under the Greenland ice sheet. If true that a 3/4 mile wide meteor hit at this location right around 12,000 years ago than it definitely is, but it has not yet been accurately dated or even confirmed . That big a meteor hitting the earth is incredibly infrequent and would cause devastation to a huge area and cause a climate crash such as the one dated to around 11.700 years ago.

  27. ChrisA says:

    That actually the world is being managed by some alien civilisation or perhaps some other power. It is pretty weird to me just how much the good guys won in the last century. Really liberal capitalist democracies somehow managed to win through against all the bad guys? Of course we love to bitch about some of the idiots around but overall the world in 2018 is a pretty good place compared to what it might have been if most of the organisations around say in the 1930’s had had their way.

    • David Chamberlin says:

      I don’t believe we are a simulation but a lot of really bright people think it is highly probable. We are just the ant farm of some higher intelligence who is entertained by us.

      • jacquesongoo says:

        The thing about that is that the simulation would have to necessarily be less complex than the universe that is running the simulation, purely because you cannot have enough computing power to simulate all the particles in that universe, at least faithfully. And this kind of ruins their argument about recurrent, infinite simulations on top of each other.

        Btw, I’ve posted another comment but it wasn’t published (first time poster long time lurker here), hopefully this one gets through, any idea why that is?

        Did Greg censor it? xD

      • I’ve got a small child who thinks the world is a simulation, too. I don’t think this is a falsifiable belief.

    • Rye says:

      The good guys always win, and they’ve always got an all-encompassing cradle-to-grave non-stop brain-bludgeoning propaganda torrent to make damn well sure that we know it.

    • Erik says:

      Under what circumstances of alternate history would the winners of the last century not be viewed as the good guys in that history?

      • Rye says:

        If it turned out that the victorious good guys surreptitiously believed that all members of your entire extended cultural and genetic lineage were in fact the bad guys who lost, and it was the policy of the ruling good guys to work tirelessly in order to implement a multi-generational global Morgenthau Plan to neutralize every last pocket of bad guys on the planet.

    • BB753 says:

      The good guys lost in 1918. Those who won in 1945 were only marginally better or worse than the losers.

  28. Lior says:

    The field of criminology is bonkers and criminologists’ views on crime are the exact opossite of reality.

    In a survey ranking the causes of crime on a 1 to 9 scale the five lowest scoring causes were:
    Low intelligence (3.41)
    Genetic factors (2.83)
    Hormonal factors (2.72)
    Punishment too lenient (2.05)
    Evolutionary factors (natural selection) (1.64)
    The highest rated causes without disagreement were various home and peer influences

    Criminology models leave 90-80% of the variance in crime unexplained.
    from(“How Well Do Criminologists Explain Crime? Statistical Modeling in Published Studies”)

    Criminology textbooks states that racial differences in crime rate doesn’t exist based on research who uses self reported crimes
    from Larry J.Siegel Criminology(2011):
    “Early efforts by noted criminologists found virtually no
    relationship between race and self-reported delinquency, a
    fi nding that supported racial bias in the arrest decision process.
    114 Other, more recent self-report studies that use large
    national samples of youths have also found little evidence of
    racial disparity in self-reported crimes committed.115 These
    and other self-report studies seem to indicate that the delinquent
    behavior rates of black and white teenagers are
    generally similar and that differences in arrest statistics may
    indicate a differential selection policy by police.”
    from Criminology(2013 anderson):
    “The NYS data tend to refute the UCR data. With regard to serious and violent
    offenses, there did not appear to be any racial difference in the rates of crime
    commission by the fifth year of the study and when social class was controlled,
    the race relationship disappeared (Huizinga & Elliott, 1987).”

  29. Eugene Swin says:

    Greg should look at “Assembly of a pan-genome from deep sequencing of 910 humans of African descent”, Nature Genetics, 19 November 2018. Was a man with half African ancestry added to the reference genome for hg38? Were any of the 13 or so NY volunteers used for the previous reference genome of African descent? Are there really 300 million base pairs not in European genomes but in African genomes, of 3 billion base pairs? Why? What happened to them in Europeans? Should there be many reference genomes, one for Danes, one for Icelanders, one for Koreans, one for Han Chinese, and then how many for the more diverse Africans?

  30. epoch says:

    The internet as concept is turning into a nightmare.

  31. Eugine Nier says:

    Pandas are carnivorous. They have the teeth and digestive system of carnivores. The myth that pandas prefer to eat bamboo was probably started because someone once saw a panda eating bamboo and a bunch of vegan hippies fell in love with the idea that an animal “designed” as a carnivore could “go vegan”. The panda reproduction crisis, with pandas refusing to have sex in zoos, is caused by the zookeepers feeding the poor things a dies of bamboo rather than meat.

  32. Henry Scrope says:

    Bit disappointed with this, I was expecting more from the army of darkness.

    Unless of course Greg is holding back all the really juicy stuff in moderation so that he can monetise it in his bid for global domination.

  33. Tim Reinlieb says:

    I demand that someone try to sequence Philip of Macedon’s genome. Also the skeletons Schliemann found at Mycenae. Is no one else curious as to the Steppe admixture share in these???

  34. jacquesongoo says:

    So three crackpot theories/evidence that are that seem to have something going for them, in the form of respectable people backing them up and the data itself being suggestive:

    1) There is a physicist that claims there was an atomic war of some sort in ancient Mars. He says that there is no other way to explain the high concentration of the isotope Xe-29 in there. He claims that a natural model is insufficient to explain it, and that no other planet on the solar system has that trace signature except for Earth, that saw rises in Xe-29 isotopes once we got ourselves in the atomic age. Name of the guy is John Brandenburg

    2) Some researchers like Ian Stevenson and his disciple Jim B Tucker have documented lots of cases of children between age 2 and 7 having extremely accurate memories of past lives; these were cross-referenced and had multiple checks to avoid scams, and apparently this is a real phenomenon.

    3) Numerous military personnel in ICBM silos and the like reporting Ufo presence and missile malfunctioning. Here’s a video with retired officers reporting the issue; it’s hard to see what would they gain by doing so, difficult to see any self-interest in it, or delusion coming from these highly trained, psychologically stable guys.

  35. Glengarry says:

    Just a shot in the dark: in order to explain life success, g is insufficient and will be supplemented by quantifiable, measurable, predictable and quite possibly heritable factors m, machiavellianism, and perhaps also n, nepotism.

  36. quagmire says:

    Apparently, as part of their campaign to create discord in the US, the Russians bought Facebook ads promoting Black Lives Matter, and some other left-wing causes.
    I don’t have hard evidence for this, but I suspect that endocrine disruptors might be contributing to gender abnormalities in the human population.
    What you do on a cloud vendor’s hardware is a lot less private than you might think. One of the reasons why Amazon is able to introduce so many new products is because they can just log in to their servers and see what people are doing and using.
    The Android, Windows 10, and ChromeOS operating systems send back a huge amount of telemetry data to their makers. Some of this data gathering can be disabled, but a lot of it can’t. Similar stories could be told about web browsers, web sites, “smart home” devices, medical devices, etc. Post-Snowden, I think most people understand that the government spies on people. But I think people would still be shocked by the extent to which modern software spies on ordinary consumers, if they knew about it.
    You should assume that every big company will cooperate with the intelligence services of the country that it’s based in. Does this mean we are fools for buying computer hardware made by megacorps in China? Yes. Yes, it does.

  37. NJ Micro Buy says:

    Autism is just another term for mental retardation and rates have been constant. Any increase is just due to diagnostic creep b/c white suburban moms cannot tolerate the idea of a retarded child and prefer the term autistic, as it implies a disease with possible causes, treatments and cures, lots of foundations, charity events, fundraising drives, Facebook groups, etc. rather than the cold hard truth which is scrambled genetics due to random errors in gamete formation and embryogenesis.

    • vanessa says:

      I agree. Autism is highly associated with intellectual disability. The rise in autism diagnosis corresponds to an equal decline in rates of mental retardation. Prior to 1990 most autistic kids would have been labeled mentally retarded. While people are alarmed at the rise in the number of autistic children , we never discuss the decline in the number of children diagnosed as mentally retarded.

  38. engleberg says:

    https:/ scientists of reddit whats craziest or/
    Serious scientists of reddit: what’s the craziest or weirdest thing in your field that you suspect is true but is not yet fully supported by data?

  39. Ron Mexico says:

    Heritable differences in not only intelligence and all behavioral traits, but in capacity for empathy and thus for higher morality will be proven between population groups. This will show that not only should WEIRD countries exclude low-ability, low self-control immigrant groups, but also high-ability but functionally sociopathic groups such as Asians.

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