Tuesday Links

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007
  • Meat! I concur with Glenn Reynolds. The wild boar looks delicious. I got to try a bit in Argentina. Awesome. Especially when smoked.
  • A photographic guide to the goofiness that is the BMI.
  • Goa’uld grasshopper.
  • Surprising look at how much the top 7 contenders for president are worth.
  • The Cato Institute now has websites in ten languages. Very cool.
  • Interesting look at Lagos, Nigeria, one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
  • Malcolm Gladwell has the soberest take to date on this silly black/white IQ business.
  • Mike Huckabee goes negative. (Yes, it’s a joke.)
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    14 Responses to “Tuesday Links”

    1. #1 |  mike | 

      I am amazed at how little Fred Thompson is worth. His net worth is below his total earnings from last year. Doesn’t seem like a responsible way to be 65. I’m sure he would be a better steward of America’s money than he’s been with his own. /sarcasm

      Edwards absolutely disgusts me. Since most of the natal science he used to compile his fortune has since been proven false, I think it’s despicable that he joined the wealthier of the “two Americas” by ruining the careers and lives of doctors, who it turns out, did nothing wrong.

      Had some wild board sausage in Germany, and it was excellent. Goes great with a big pile of kraut, some spicy mustard and large mugs of beer!

    2. #2 |  Michael Pack | 

      As long as their not Wraith or replicators.

    3. #3 |  MikeT | 

      Genetics very well may give some groups an edge over others, but that edge does not mean an insurmountable obstacle for the other groups. If blacks were, as a group, to really adopt the same sort of intellectual culture that dominates Jewish communities, there is little doubt that you would the average black IQ start to go up significantly, possibly bringing them to parity with the groups near the top of the average IQ list.

      The problem is, until many blacks realize that it is ok to be educated and intellectual, that this does not compromise (rather it enhances) their identity, the IQ differences probably won’t go away.

    4. #4 |  Legate Damar | 

      The BMI is pretty ridiculous. The “obese” people all look heavier than they “should” be (by which I mean heavier than they’d be if I were king of everything) but only some of them were to level that I’d be concerned about.

      Most of the “overweight” people looked as good (or better) than the “normal” people.

      I typed in my high and low weights over the last 4 years (a 23-lb range) and no matter which value I put in, I was “overweight.” I can tell you that when I was at the low end of that range, I was one handsome devil! And, at the time, fast both on the track and in the pool.

    5. #5 |  Zeb | 

      People take statistics about groups way too personally. Even supposing that there is some genetic difference in intelligence between racial groups, that says absolutely nothing about the relative intelligence of a given black person and a given Asian person.

    6. #6 |  Ochressandro | 

      Given that I’ve got some items from Amazon that the USPS has managed to not deliver for going on two weeks now, I’m not sure how I feel about ordering meat from them.

    7. #7 |  John | 

      I work in medicine, and am shocked at the acceptance of the BMI. The worst result to this inaccurate scale shows up in public health studies – studies based on BMI consistently show “overweight” people to be healthier than they should be (since the “overweight” category includes anyone who is athletic or of a large build). Any lay person who reads these results then assumes that since they are overweight (according to the every day definition), they will enjoy the same health outcomes as the people deemed overweight using the BMI scale.

    8. #8 |  Ruud | 

      Hundreds of billions of dollars in oil profits yet 70% of the country lives on about $1 per day.

      Corruption has killed that beautiful continent.

    9. #9 |  mtc | 

      The BMI link wasn’t as bad as a I figured. I suppose from a pure health standpoint, the science now seems to say the people who are ‘overweight’ aren’t really any more unhealthy than those who are considered ‘normal’. But from an aesthetic/sexual attractiveness standpoint, I found the BMI ratings to be pretty much on target. Different strokes for different folks, and I’ve heard a lot of arguments to the effect of cultural/social influences greatly determine the individual’s conception of beauty, but most of the overweight and obesse women seemed to be just that from my perspective (which is entirely dominated by my beauty/sexual preferences, i’m sure).

    10. #10 |  wade | 

      boar is delicious – but watch out for mail order meat. It’s often delivered in vacuum pacs, which marinates the meat in it’s own blood, and as the blood oxidises imparts a metallic tang to it.

    11. #11 |  M. Simon | 

      Re: IQ.

      There are tests that have no cultural content that validate the results of IQ tests.

      It turns out that higher IQ people are “faster” and low IQ people are “slower”.

      Some of the tests are: a light is flashed and the EEG is monitored for speed of response. Another test: there are lights – when they flash in a certain pattern take your finger off the “home” button and push the correct response button. In that tests it turns out that whites (on average) made decisions faster (off the home button) but got to the correct response slower. For blacks (on average) the opposite was true.

      So there you have it a confirmation of what we actually experience – whites higher IQ – blacks better motor skills.

      However, the averages say nothing about a given individual.

      It may be true that none of this is immutable. However, no one knows what works. And genetics does seem to play a part. Just as it does with drug “addiction”.

      If you want fast runners look for people descended from people born in a certain valley in Africa. If you want a smart person look for a Jew. Not always true of course, but if you have no other information it is the way to bet.

      BTW the Flynn effect seems to have flattened out in the most advanced countries. Plus it does not seem to have affected the rank order of population sub-groups. Just raised everyone’s level. So there is probably a strong nutritional component of intelligence.

    12. #12 |  Ben | 

      I concur: Boar meat is wonderful. My boss is a big hunter and has some insane limit on wild boar up in NH (they’re vermin). Every christmas we do a breakfast for our drivers and customers and he brings in wild board sausage. Best you’ll ever eat.

    13. #13 |  Jim Collins | 

      Someone needs to figure out the BMI for all professional athletes and look at the results. I’ll bet that over 75% of them fall in the obese catagory. Sad thing is that the US Military uses the BMI when determining the fitness of their members. Physical ability doesn’t count. They just want people who look good in their uniforms.

    14. #14 |  Jana Alba | 

      I looked through the Flickr pool, and even though a number of the pictures are taken with the individuals wearing concealing clothing or standing in obscuring poses, I saw no problems with any of their BMI calculations and subsequent analysis.

      The people in that pool that labeled overweight and obese certainly look overweight and obese to me.

      I am now in my late twenties and I’m overweight by BMI standards, and I know it. If you saw my picture, you would say it too.

      In my teens and early twenties, I was both underweight and normal, so I know what that feels like, and it’s different than being overweight. I am a fat woman. I have gotten fatter over the past six years.

      We are a fat nation, and we are getting fatter. Both younger and older people are getting fatter but paying less attention to their weight–even though we are constantly being told of the danger this poses to us as a country.

      Most of us choose a common tactic when we are confronted with this–we say that the BMI measure is ridiculous, or flawed in some way. While that may have some truth, the fact that has greater truth, and that we avoid at our peril, is that we are not doing what we need to as a country to control our weight and eat responsibly.