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Women Increasingly Freezing Their Eggs To Pursue Their Careers

brit74 Re:Obligatory (330 comments)

And people still assert this is in spite of decades of the Flynn Effect.

Here's the thing: the Flynn effect seems to be a real thing, but the Flynn effect seems to have stopped in the past decade or two in developed countries. "Recent research suggests that the Flynn effect may have ended in at least a few developed nations, possibly allowing national differences in IQ scores[4] to diminish if the Flynn effect continues in nations with lower average national IQs." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...

There's even been some reports that IQs have begun declining in developed countries. (I wouldn't put too much stock in this just yet, but it might be a good indicator that the Flynn Effect is a relic of the 20th century.)

Scores on cognitive tests have been very widely reported to have increased through the decades of the last century, a generational phenomenon termed the ‘Flynn Effect’since it was most comprehensively documented by James Flynn in the 1980's. There has, however, been very little evidence concerning any continuity of the effect specifically into the present century. We here report data from a population, namely young adult males in Denmark, showing that whereas there were modest increases between 1988 and 1998 in scores on a battery of four cognitive tests–these constituting a diminishing continuation of a trend documented back to the late 1950's–scores on all four tests declined between 1998 and 2003/2004. For two of the tests, levels fell to below those of 1988. Across all tests, the decrease in the 5/6 year period corresponds to approximately 1.5 IQ points, very close to the net gain between 1988 and 1998. The declines between 1998 and 2003/4 appeared amongst both men pursuing higher academic education and those not doing so.


There's an important genetic component to intelligence, but everything we've see recently suggests fetal development, nutrition, and education make such tremendously larger difference that the "idiocricy effect" could at most be considered a momentary blip.

Or maybe we should treat the Flynn Effect as a momentary blip.

So, what's going on? One possibility is that, in poorer countries, a substantial portion of the population is failing to get sufficient nutrition and stimulation to their children. This would have the effect of creating a portion of the population which is cognitively harmed - thus reducing the average intelligence of the population as a whole. As you get better nutrition across the entire population, you see the average IQ increase - but only because the bottom segments of society are improving (not because everyone is improving).

This would explain why poorer countries are continuing to see Flynn-effect improvements, but developed countries saw it's effect in the mid-20th century but isn't seeing any improvements lately (because the poverty that was harming childrens' brain development isn't happening anymore in developed countries).

Whatever the case, it's time to stop relying on the "Flynn Effect" as some kind of prediction that our future will continue to be bright. Here's an analogy: in the 20th century, we saw the average height of Japanese people increase significantly. This was due to better nutrition (protein, in particular, during childhood is important). We can also say that height is a strongly heritable trait. At this point, I think we should just accept that the Flynn Effect has topped-out in developed countries.

I don't think questions about declining IQs based on genetics is a bad question to ask, and I don't think 'trust the flynn effect' should be treated like it's an adequate answer. I realize I could be opening a whole can of worms, though, with this comment, because nobody wants to see a return of early 20th century style eugenics (which, by the way, was not only used by the Nazis, but was embraced in places like the United States). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...


Footnote regarding the heritability of height and IQ, which seem to be in the same ballpark, as far as heritability is concerned:

"Estimates in the academic research of the heritability of IQ have varied from below 0.5[2] to a high of 0.8 (where 1.0 indicates that monozygotic twins have no variance in IQ and 0 indicates that their IQs are completely uncorrelated)" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H...

"How much variation (difference between individuals) in height is attributable to genetic effects and how much to nutritional effects?" The short answer to this question is that about 60 to 80 percent of the difference in height between individuals is determined by genetic factors, whereas 20 to 40 percent can be attributed to environmental effects, mainly nutrition." http://www.scientificamerican....

2 days ago

Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

brit74 Ivy League Schools (105 comments)

'If a student wants football and Greek life and not doing any work for class, they have every single Ivy League university to choose from,' Nelson says.

Yeah, I'm sure that's an accurate portrayal of Ivy League schools, and not some capitalist's attempt at devaluing the competition.

4 days ago

Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

brit74 Re:Rewarding the bullies... (796 comments)

Why wouldn't it be foreshadowing if, at some point in the future, the bullied kid in the story got a gun and shot his bullies?

about a week ago

Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

brit74 Re:Sex discrimination. (673 comments)

Women are 99% of the prostitutes.

That's not actually true. There are a lot more males working as prostitutes in the developed world than people realize.

"Most astonishing to the researchers was the demographic profile teased out by the study. Published by the U.S. Department of Justice in September 2008, Curtis and Dank's findings thoroughly obliterated long-held assumptions about underage prostitution: Nearly half of the kids — about 45 percent — were boys." http://www.westword.com/2011-1...

On the related topic of sex trafficing, here's an article:

"In my visit to Care Corner Orphanage in Thailand I was shocked that most of the HIV-infected sex slave survivors were boys under the age of ten. I saw and learned of something similar in the Philippines and in Bangladesh. Upon reflection, I think part of the reason for my shock was because I was conditioned through the media, literature, photo and film to believe that this was a crime perpetrated against only girls and women. The photo above actually came from a video released a few days ago by Reuters titled The Trafficking Business in which the entire focus is females as victims and how millions of them are forced into the sex trade or sweat shops. While not untrue, it’s not painting a full picture either.

Speaking broadly on the topic of human trafficking – boys and men are trafficked far more than girls and women because, in part, strong bodies are needed for labor. And as it relates to sex trafficking, girls and women are victims to a larger extent. Many other crimes have such disparities but few place the disparity so high in their definition. All this is to say let’s define human trafficking and sex trafficking for what they are: horrific crimes against the most vulnerable populations. There are loads of ways to be vulnerable. Yes, one of many vulnerabilities is being a woman.
As I mentioned in The Other 20%, men raping boys is still a taboo topic. Even filmmakers who document the horrors of sex trafficking have told me they feel their work wouldn’t be accepted if it instead highlighted the abuse of boys. “The public isn’t ready for it,” I’ve been told. Truth is, we only speak about the victimization of boys when it’s forced on us by breaking-news scandals like those of Jerry Sandusky or The Boys Scouts of America. As the news story fades so too does the conversation. This makes it tough, then, to even entertain the idea of discussing, as I’ve heard from several high-ranking women in anti-trafficking organizations, that the sex traffickers, the actual criminals in the crime, are about 65% men. Such a statistic has a hard time taking root because there’s already the perceived and ingrained idea that men and men-only are the criminals." http://goodmenproject.com/feat...

Women are overwhelmingly the victims of domestic abuse.

When asked, "Has your significant other hit you within the last month?", men and women are about equally likely to reply to that question with "yes". The difference is that women are more likely to be severely injured (because men are stronger) and women are more likely to be taken seriously as victims of domestic abuse. There's a prevailing belief that men should be capable of defending themselves - which leads to dismissal of female-on-male domestic violence, shame, and an unwillingness to admit that they are victims of domestic abuse.

"The Guardian: More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals"
Campaign group Parity claims assaults by wives and girlfriends are often ignored by police and media

about two weeks ago

Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

brit74 "On The Media" report (723 comments)

On The Media just put out some audio on this topic. They came to the conclusion that politicians on both sides (Democrat and Republican) are using some really questionable numbers. Harry Reid (Democrat) claimed 10 million, while John Boehner (Republican) was claiming that there was a *decline* in the number of people with health insurance over the past three months. http://www.onthemedia.org/stor... (7 minutes)

about two weeks ago

Federal Bill Would Criminalize Revenge Porn Websites

brit74 Revenge Porn Extortion (328 comments)

There was at least one revenge porn site that published people's names, addresses, phone numbers, and links to the person's facebook profiles. They also created a service that would allow you to remove those images - for a few hundred dollars. If you don't want those results showing up on google whenever someone googled your name, you were pressured to pay-up.

I'm not really surprised that pro-piracy Mike Masnick is also in favor of revenge porn extortion.

about three weeks ago

UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

brit74 Climate Denial (987 comments)

Wow, the climate deniers are out in force on Slashdot today. Out of curiousity, are you paid? Do you all get instant alerts whenever the subject of climate is posted on Slashdot, like the Digg Patriots? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

about three weeks ago

Adam Carolla Joins Fight Against Podcast Patent Troll

brit74 Re:Headline misleading (126 comments)

Your comment is a good example of the fake victimization shtick of American conservatives. Take note everyone.

about a month ago

Adam Carolla Joins Fight Against Podcast Patent Troll

brit74 Re:slight exaggeration (126 comments)

> "So-called patent trolls are not generally interested in shutting down infringers"
It's a little more complicated than that. First: they care mostly about the big-budget podcasters (like Adam Corolla, Marc Marron, Stuff You Should Know, etc.). If a bunch of little guys get shut down, they don't care because they weren't trying to extort money from those guys. Secondly, they have an incentive to keep their prices high to milk the big-guys. If they offer a "$10/year price to all podcasters", they can't effectively milk the big guys. They want the big guys to pay $10,000/year or more. This causes a conflict because you don't want to let the little guys pay a small price when you also want the big buys to pay a big sum. Perhaps they'll try to charge podcasters per-download or something (so they can milk everybody based on their assumed revenue), but that would be hard to track when we're talking about tens of thousands of podcasts.

Whatever the case, Personal Audio doesn't really have much of an incentive to keep a lot of small-time podcasters in business.

I mean, you could use traditional sales as an example. Businesses have an incentive to keep prices low because they want to sell to as many people as possible. At the same time, there's a limit to how low they want to sell. If you have the option of getting $10 profit from 10 people (=$100) or $1 profit from 50 people (=$50), you're better off selling for a $10 profit. It's not actually in your interest to sell to as many people as possible. Your goal is to maximize profit, and that means not selling to those 40 people, unless you can come up with some clever way to segment the market and still capture their sales (without pissing off your higher-paying $10 customers).

about a month ago

Florida Judge Rules IP Address Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate

brit74 Re:First (158 comments)

Have fun dealing with everybody trying to get free internet. My neighbor didn't lock his down, and once his internet started running like molasses, he checked and found six different people using his internet at the one time. Personally, I'd be worried not only about slow internet, but also about facilitating illegal activities on the internet (not only piracy, but child porn and other ugly activities).

about a month ago

Unreal Engine 4 Launching With Full Source Code

brit74 Re: This is very exciting for indie devs (149 comments)

Geez, it's 5%. Stop pretending like this is an onerous burden on developers. Commercial 3d engines used to cost a flat fee in the mid-six-figure range (i.e. $250,000 to $500,000).

about a month ago

Unreal Engine 4 Launching With Full Source Code

brit74 Re:This is very exciting for indie devs (149 comments)

Unreal has had some good licensing terms for years. Three years ago, I their offer was 25% of sales and your first $50,000 of income is free (i.e. you owed nothing to Epic if your game grossed less than $50,000).

about a month ago

Google Chairman on WhatsApp: $19 Bn For 50 People? Good For Them!

brit74 Re:Economics of envy (303 comments)

I'm not how to respond to your post. Did you read the comment above mine that said that the reason the middle-class is struggling is because Americans are paying twice as much money in taxes as in 1950? Your point about who the taxes are hitting may be correct (and I'm not going to argue against it), but I was responding to the false claim about taxes going up -- which is generally a Republican claim that we're all getting overtaxed, and things were so much better back in the 1950s.

about a month and a half ago

Google Chairman on WhatsApp: $19 Bn For 50 People? Good For Them!

brit74 Re:Economics of envy (303 comments)

Tax receipts in 1957, per capita: ... about $3900... Tax receipts in 2013, per capita: $8754. Or a bit more than double that 1957 per-capita after you adjust for inflation

Yeah, but you have to take into account the fact that the reason that people are paying more taxes is because people are earning more today than they did in 1950. If the average income of a person in 2014 is twice what it was in 1950, then that "double the taxes" thing simply disappears because it means people are still paying the same *percentage* of their income to the federal government. The way you state your argument, you make it sound like people are paying twice as much money (as a percentage of their income) in 2014 as they did in 1950, which is simply not true. Here's a graph of the average incomes in the US over the past 100 years. The dollar amounts have been adjusted to 2006-dollars, and you'll note that the average income has roughly doubled (from around $25,000/year in 1950 to $50,000/year in 2004): http://visualizingeconomics.co...

Given that being in Congress [rollcall.com] makes one quite wealthy [opensecrets.org], perhaps a lot of that redistribution is strictly for the benefit of those IN Government. It's still a Federal Government by the people and of the people, but increasingly FOR Government, not for the people.

That may be true that people in government can become quite wealthy, but to say that the redistribution is strictly for the benefit of those in government is missing a sense of scale. The amount of wealth gained by government officials is a drop in the bucket compared to tax revenue or the US economy in general. First of all, you're comparing the net worth of members of congress (i.e. most of them were millionaires *before* they gained office). In order for your argument to work, you need to track the amount of money gained by members of congress as a result of being in congress. Saying that (as the articles claim) the combined net worth of those members of congress is over a billion dollars is mostly irrelevant. Saying that members of congress earned a billion dollars a year as a result of being in congress is much more relevant (but that's not what the articles claim). Keep in mind that the US government is bringing in a tax revenue of 3.0 trillion dollars in 2014. Even if we (falsely) claimed that members of congress were pulling in an addition 1 billion dollars in income each year as a result of being in government (which they clearly are not, certainly not in a single year), it would still mean that their additional income would be 1 billion compared to 3,000 billion in taxes. That works out to 0.03% of the federal tax revenue. The argument that some large share of the tax revenue is simply going to enrich members of congress just doesn't make sense.

about a month and a half ago

Google Chairman on WhatsApp: $19 Bn For 50 People? Good For Them!

brit74 Re:Economics of envy (303 comments)

Do you have a source? Because I recently looked at federal revenue as a percentage of GDP. It's been surprisingly constant since World War 2. Specifically, government revenue (i.e. taxes) have fluctuated between 15% and 20% during that entire period.

Look at the graph "Government Receipts and Expenditures as a Fraction of GDP", it's the second chart on this webpage: Source: http://www.deptofnumbers.com/m...

about a month and a half ago

Autodesk Says It's Killing Softimage Development, Support

brit74 Re:... because the competition was not there ! (85 comments)

You know that Autodesk buys up their competitors, don't you? It sucks. Softimage was a competitor, and they were selling for a lot less than 3d Max. It seems to me that Autodesk accomplished what it set-out to do by buying Softimage: to eliminate a competitor. It doesn't matter what they do with it afterwards, getting rid of a "fast moving" competitor who was selling at a much-lower cost was the goal.

about a month and a half ago

PC Game Prices — Valve Starts the Race To Zero

brit74 Re:It's not free (212 comments)

Team Fortress 2 and Portal 1 didn't *used* to be free-to-play. You used to have to buy them. At this point, they're so old that they've reach "bargain bin" prices (in this case, free). There's a huge difference between "used to cost money, but are now free to play" and "has always been free to play" - that difference being the fact that the pay model is what paid for their development, so it's kind of irrelevant to say "they're great games and they're freemium games" (as if freemium payments actually paid for their development into awesome games).

about a month and a half ago

The Tech Industry Is Getting Ridiculous

brit74 Kim Dotcom (102 comments)

I'd bet that someone else got the #1 spot in COD and then Kim Dotcom pirated the account. Publicity stunts and piracy are his MO.

about 2 months ago

Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay

brit74 Re:Sounds like a problem (98 comments)

You have to admit that he's got a point: some pirates are pirates because pirating is cheaper than paying. I don't see why that fact is "off limits" in the discussion.

about 2 months ago

Why Your Online Impersonation of a 16-year Old Girl Won't Last Long

brit74 Gender Genie? (137 comments)

Didn't Gender Genie already attempt to do this? https://www.google.com/search?...
(I say "attempt" because I found that even in cases where I wasn't trying to fool it, it would often come up with the wrong gender.)

about 2 months ago



Fear Mongering Against the ACTA?

brit74 brit74 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

brit74 (831798) writes "The past few weeks have seen a lot of commentary on the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). But, other voices are accusing Geist of using "fear mongering and misinformation" to stir-up moral outrage against the ACTA. Similarly, Doctorow claims that, under the ACTA, "it would be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger", yet Google (owner of YouTube and Blogger) has had input on the document. Given that Geist and Doctorow have been in favor of legalized filesharing and against copyright, are we being strung along by voices trying to build opposition to copyright in general?"


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