Posts

Casting Shade on Bohr

The semi-famous philosopher Tim Maudlin takes on a couple of books in a review entitled
The Defeat of Reason.  One of the books, What Is Real?: The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics by Adam Becker, is concerned with Bohr and the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, and I won't discuss the other one.  I first heard of the book, the review, and an apparent comment on the review by linguist and evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker via a critique by Lubos Motl.  Lumo's review, as usual, was long on invective but short on fact and logic, but it did pique my interest.

If I recall correctly, I once wrote a post entitled "Tim Maudlin is an Idiot", so I'm not a member of his fan club.  He is, however, a philosopher who knows a lot about quantum mechanics and history, so my dismissal was perhaps a bit harsh.  That said, I am not impressed by his review, and, based on that review, unimpressed by the book.

The basic argument appears to be that Ni…

Mexico 1, Germany 0

A lot of teams are probably wondering today where they can find some more of those prostitutes the Mexican team allegedly partied with before the World Cup.

Their shocking victory over the Germans was hard earned, but they also had to get pretty lucky, and get some darn good goalkeeping.  Both teams, but especially Germany, left a number of goals on the field, as a large number of good opportunities were squandered.

Mexico looks dangerous, and so, of course, does Germany, but they need to figure out how to patch a leaky midfield.

Rakhigarhi: DNA vs PC Indian Style

Vasant Shinde, the principal investigator on the Rakhigarhi DNA from the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) has given an bizarre interview on his results.  Apparently they were not very successful in their attempts to extract ancient DNA, probably not too surprising since both they and their Korean partners were beginners in the business, but they do seem to have gotten useful DNA from two skeletons.  Those genomes showed Iranian DNA but no Central Asian DNA.  Now for the weird part.  From an article in The Tribune:
Three years after digging out human skeletons from the Harappan-era graveyard in Rakhigarhi village, archaeologists have concluded that there was no large-scale influx of foreigners or migration of locals, indicating those living in Haryana and the Ghaggar basin now are descendants of original inhabitants.Prof Vasant Shinde, Vice Chancellor of Deccan College, Pune, said on Friday that the DNA analysis of 5,000-year-old skeletal remains belonging to the Indus Valley Civilisatio…

Spain vs. Portugal

Just watched now.  Wow! If Americans could pass like Spain I'd watch American soccer.

Locking Him Up

Manafort's jailing could be a come to Jesus moment for both him and Michael Cohen.  TBD.

Quotas: Harvard

Harvard systematically discriminates against Asian students, claims a new lawsuit, according to a New York Times article by Anemona Hartocollis.  The discovery process has revealed some long secret details of the school's admissions process.  It seems that while Asian students systematically score better than others on such traditional qualifications as academic performance, test scores, and extracurriculars, they systematically score worse in personality.  As a white person, I suppose I ought to be grateful that we as a group are so damn personable, but it might be nice if it were in some less subjective (and easily manipulable trait).  One of the most damning revelations:
Alumni interviewers give Asian-Americans personal ratings comparable to those of whites. But the admissions office gives them the worst scores of any racial group, often without even meeting them, according to Prof. Arcidiacono. Whites apparently would be the main losers if the personality evaluations were disco…