Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Obama: "[we] took care to avoid civilian casualties"

Last night, Barack Obama made a speech. There is an interesting statement within Obama's speech. What is interesting is when he said "No Americans were killed during the operation [...] [we] took care to avoid civilian causalities."

Let us examine the above phrase: "No Americans were killed [...] [we] took care to avoid civilian causalities." If you read in-between-the-lines, it suggests something negative. It implies that innocents were killed during the invasion.

Also, if you look more carefully, the phrase might also suggest that American lives are more important than the lives of non-Americans. (On the contrary, the phrase could be interpreted differently. It could mean that the civilians were possibly guilty due to association. But even if such possibility was true, we should not condone the killing of civilians.)

Here is a comment which goes well with this.

The deaths of brown civilians are seen as collateral damage, you know it’s not a good thing or anything, but they’re just means to an end. It’s so sickening to see how our society an separates the life of an American and places it on a pedestal above the life of someone else. A human being is a human being, a life is a life. But I suppose that this type of internally perpetuated disillusionment that many people have in America is nothing short of what’s expected, when people equate the significance of the victims of 9/11 with a higher worth than the much larger sum of civilians who were killed by American troops in the aftermath, dehumanizing and othering who you see to be the enemy has always been a common tactic in play. I really hope I don’t come off as against the victims from 9/11 in any way, one of my own relatives died because of health problems directly caused by that day, I just don’t like how it always seems that every other innocent person who has died from events related to 9/11 aren’t seen as they are as important when they should be.

—Anonymous (Source)

Barack Obama is a terrorist for planning the invasion. Innocents were killed, and that, by definition, was an act of terrorism. Barack Obama could have prevented the deaths of innocents, just by declining the invasion.

After all, do you think society would improve if Osama bin Laden was killed? Would "terrorism" end? No. The Middle East would continue to be angry at the United States.

The killing of Osama bin Laden is a worthless act. It does nothing to prevent further "terrorism." The Middle East will continue to be angry at the United States.

It's more about the Middle Eastern people, and less about Osama bin Laden himself. Osama bin Laden is merely a symbol of the resentment felt by the Middle East. After Osama bin Laden was called, another leader would replace him. In other words, killing Osama bin Laden would do nothing to fix the root cause of "terrorism."

In addition, innocent people were killed during the invasion. Was it worthwhile to kill Osama bin Laden, at the expense of the innocents who died during the invasion? No. The invasion did more harm than good.

The invasion against Osama bin Laden was not only counterproductive, but it was an act of terrorism. Innocents were killed during the invasion, and that, by definition, is a form of terrorism. Therefore, Barack Obama is a terrorist just like how Osama bin Laden was one.

The invasion was merely an act of vengeance.

I'm not seeing any cause for celebration in the killing of Osama Bin Laden. It's a death produced by anger and hatred which, after all, is what fuels Al-Qaeda.


(The above message demonstrates how the word "terrorism" is used to rationalize our vengeance.)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Few Social Skills

Never apologize. Apologies could be taken as "admission" of guilt. Don't even sympathize. (An exception is made for obvious and explicit wrongs where there's no dispute.)

Never assert your "right" for "free speech." This could be taken "evidence" that you verbally attacked someone.

Never lie. Not even white lies. If you must lie, then it's always best to stay silent. Any lie will have unintended consequences.

Don't qualify yourself, even when someone accuses you of a wrong. Your qualification could be misconstrued as an attack or nagging.

Do assume that your words will be taken literally.

Do realize that people often have a overly suspicious "bullshit detector." Therefore, always sound genuine.

Always rephrase what other people say.

Here are some terms (used throughout this blog) which are changed for accuracy:

Message-passing paradigm -> Message-taking paradigm

"I laughed [at] someone/something" -> "I laughed" (Avoid saying "at" after "laugh." Don't identify the person/object which "causes" your laughter.)

Social placebo effect / Social nocebo effect -> Self-fulfilling prophecy

Perceived Polarization -> Perceived Polarity

Justification confused with attack -> Qualification taken as an attack

Justification confused with advocacy -> Qualification taken as advocacy/nagging

Exaggeration to prove a point -> Perceived exaggeration

(Sometimes.) Main point -> Primary purpose

(Sometimes.) Punishment -> Perceived punishment

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sex Differences: Ability or Motivation?

There's a belief which is held by a lot of people:

Men can have a maternal paternal parental instinct that is as strong as the one found among women, and women can be as good at running companies and countries as men.

I agree in part of that quote. I agree that men can be good parents as women do, and I agree than women can be good executives and men do.

In fact, there's a study that have shown that women are NOT more skilled at men at reading emotions. Women are just more MOTIVATED to read others emotions than men.

When my colleagues and I began doing research on empathic accuracy (everyday mind reading) about 20 years ago, we expected to find that women would be more accurate than men at inferring the specific content of other people's thoughts and feelings. This expectation was based on the cultural stereotype of "women's intuition."

Surprisingly, however, when we tested for evidence of this expected gender difference, we kept failing to find any support for it. In seven straight studies, the average empathic accuracy score of our female participants was not significantly different from the average score of our male participants.

So men can be good parents just as women. It's just that men don't have much of a preference to care about children as women do. Given a choice, men would prefer more masculine activities such as running a company rather than parenting. But if he has no choice except parenting, then men would do just as well as women do, as mentioned above.

I think the same thing happens with the male dominance in business. There are not much women who run companies. That's not because women aren't capable of doing it. It's because women aren't too motivated to run companies. Women have an maternal instinct to care for their children, so they choose to take care of their children more. But if women are forced to run a large company, they will do just as well. Women just aren't motivated to make money rather than raising children, compared to men. I believe that the differences are based on difference preferences rather than difference abilities.

Yes, some exceptions do exist. Men do have greater spatial manipulation abilities than women do. But that's just an exception, not the general rule. In general, sex differences are due to differences in preferences and motivations rather than differences in abilities.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Why I Ditched Left-Libertarianism

Sorry, but I'm not a "left-libertarian" anymore. My rejection of "left-libertarianism" goes beyond the label.

I'm using the definition of "left-libertarianism" of Charles W. Johnson. He defines "left-libertarianism" as someone who is not only a libertarian, but also supports the feminist movement, the anti-racist movement, and the anti-police movement.

I don't think that this society oppresses females more than males. I think some feminists are misconceived of the male-female "wage gap" and the "glass ceiling." I don't think it's due to discrimination at all.

Yes, I agree that rape is a big issue towards society. I agree that rape is not uncommon and it's sometimes under-reported. However, there are so many false accusations of rape against men. I agree that those false accusations of rape against men downplay the seriousness of rape against women.

However, I don't think "rape" is only a female issue that should be listed under "feminism." Men don't rape women because they hate women. But it's common for feminists to label "rape" as a "hate crime" against women.

I don't think patriarchy does exist in this society as it did in the past. But feminists think patriarchy does exist, because of the "wage-gap" and the "glass ceiling." There are not many powerful women. There are not many rich women. That's what they argue.

However, I think it's more due to culture rather than discrimination. Females choose take care of their children and do housework than men. So they don't have much time to pursue careers.

Violence against women by men is stigmatized. Contrastingly, violence against men by women is trivialized.

There's actually a huge bias against males. For example, if a conflict occurs between and male and a female, the male will be immediately assumed as responsible for the conflict, even though there is NO PROOF that the male is indeed responsible. In other words, if there's evidence suggest that it's the *male* is responsible, the evidence will be remembered. However, any evidence which suggests that the *female* is responsible will be *ignored* or rationalized away. This is because they have a confirmation bias against males.

It's the same thing with the anti-racist movement. I don't think this society is racist. Yes, it was racist in the past. But I don't think the current society is racist, except for the few white supremacists.

I think the underachievement of blacks and Hispanics is more due to culture rather than discrimination. It's common for anti-racists to paint "wage-gaps" as a result of "racism" when I think it's due to culture.

Same thing with the feminist double-standard. Violence against blacks by whites is stigmatized. But violence against whites by blacks is trivialized.

I think that the feminists and anti-racists are being overly superstitious. They cherry pick the violence against women and minorities and then exaggerate them, so they seem to be more prevalent than they are. Conversely, they ignore the violence towards males and white people because they think it's more due to a specific circumstance rather than discrimination.

You know, it's common for people to exaggerate their enemies:

  • Referring the "free speech activists" as people who want the right to offend people.
  • Referring those who want to reduce immigration as "bigots."
  • Referring the anti-feminist movement as "misogynists."
  • Referring those who oppose homosexual marriage as "homophobes."
  • Referring people who doesn't hire racial minorities as "racists."
  • Referring the government as "criminals."

Again, I think police officers are portrayed as more evil than they actually are. Violence against civilians by the police is exaggerated, so police officers seem more violent than they actually are. It's due to a confirmation bias.

If you think about how many people have their lives saved by police officers, then you wouldn't hate them anymore.

Police officers, by themselves, aren't power-hungry or sadistic. *All* people will become sadistic and evil if you grant them the power.

In summary, I don't support the feminist movement, the anti-racist movement, and the anti-police movement anymore. While I do think that those movements are helpful in the past, I don't think those movements should still exist in this current society as much as they existed in the past.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Placebo Effects in Human Relationships, A Summary

An authority figure can "spin" a situation to look more violent that it actually is. Confirmation bias can do such a thing. Conformity can also do such a thing. Placebo effects are yet another thing.

Such situations almost always happen unintentionally. All it has to do is for the authority figure to believe that his subordinate is violent, to make them more violent. As said above, this is like a placebo effect, where the "experimenter" is the authority figure and the "subjects" are his subordinates. Because the authority figure believes that he is violent prior to the event, he will interpret his subordinates' actions to be more violent than it actually is.

Such situations are common in situations such as police brutality, controlling parenting, and other hierarchical relationships. The "abuser" almost always don't realize that they are doing something evil. They feel that their behavior is legitimate, given that they think that their subordinates are perceived to be evil.

That's another reason why you take the words of any Wikipedia administrator, forum moderator, or teacher, with only a grain of salt. If they accuse another of "trolling" or "bullying", it's often a mere perceived evil. None of their words may be an accurate representation of the supposed "bully".

Often "bullies" are "evil" only because others falsely accuse them of an alleged wrong. But, ironically, the accusers themselves are also often wrong.

People rationalize. And they also rationalize their friends' behavior. For example, suppose a teacher saw some other teacher yelling and apparently abusing a student. But he won't accuse him as malicious, partially because he thinks adults aren't as mean as children, and partially because he is his friend so he would rationalize his behavior as non-malicious.

Why are people who are abused by authority figures "assumed" bad? Such as the incident in which the police tased a student and the student responded "don't taze me bro."

People hypnotize each other. For example, when they are accused of something, they will apparently believe that the accusation is true.

For example, the victim of the "don't taze me bro" incident actually believed that he did something "wrong", even though at the time of the incident, he didn't believe he did anything wrong.

A "bully" can be a person who stands up for himself, a person who disobeys authority, or a rebel who wants to do things his own way.

I don't believe that "bullies" or "trolls" exist as commonly perceived. Then why do some many people believe that they do exist? It's partially caused from the placebo effect as described above, and then exaggerated through the media. Television shows commonly show that people who often do evil things actually have an evil personality. This is far from reality. It's even undetermined if the "bully's" actions were malicious or negligent, or whether if it's a whole misunderstanding.

I may write a series of posts explaining why so many accused "bullies" weren't bullying at all.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Theory of Western Innovation

(This is an article that I (anarcho-mercantilist) wrote three years ago. I have then discovered that Jared Diamond had independently developed a very similar theory in his last chapter of Guns, Germs, and Steel.)

Europeans have had the most technological advances. This article promotes a theory of their advances, comparing them with East Asians.

Criticism on the genetic hypothesis

Genetic researchers have claimed that East Asian peoples have higher intelligence than European people, [1] but they have unusually "low" achievements compared to whites. Lynn suggests that Asians have lower IQ because of their conformist culture,[2] but this is just part of the story.

The book IQ and the Wealth of Nations[3] is flawed. First, IQ does not measure general intelligence, but primarily visuospatial intelligence. Second, the governments are not as free as Western nations so they are poor raised. Third, the governments have lots of corruption powered by oligarchies. That's why most of the not westerns have lower IQ.

This article will proclaim that the kind of government and culture is highly dependant on technological progress.

Invention of capitalism

Chinese philosophers Taoist Lao Tzu and Wu Wei invented capitalism. They held a laissez-faire belief that the government that governs best governs least. It was requoted by Thomas Jefferson. [2][3] They invented theories of how taxation and regulation damages the economy. They invented theories of inflation and how it damages the society. Missionaries discovered these works and translated them, which led Enlightenment philosophers to market the ideas to society.


Some mathematical theorems and physics was invented by the Indians and Chinese but was later translated by Westerners, and some Western scientists and mathematicians may have plagarized them. Steel, paper, gunpowder were invented by the Chinese, centries before the Europeans adopted them.

Geography and competition

As Montesquieu believed, geography affect the conditions of competition between monarchies. [4] According to Montesquieu, European has a very mountainous terrian, while Asia has a flat terrian. This resulted in many emperors competing in Europe and few Emperers in East Asia.

Like the free market, the competition of governments in Europe resulted in the best government there due to natural selection. The most properous, innovative and friendly governments survived. This led to the development of merchantalism, and eventually implementation of capitalism in Europe.

Likewise, the little competition of governments in East Asia due to their flat terrian resulted in a poor government. This kept the conformist, bureaucratic, anti-technological government in China. [5]

The great competition of nations amongst Europe resulted in a nation that promoted the structures that led the Reinaissance.

Ming Dynasty

The Yongle Encyclopedia may be stolen by anti-technological. The takeover by the Manchus resulted in lesser innovation. The Manchus were highly anti-technological and conformist.

Competition in Europe resulted in easy colonization

A theory says that China descovered the Americas, and colonized them well before the Europeans. [6] Why didn't china own the Americas?

European emperors like to grab power, due to "governmental evolution" in Europe. This resulted in best European emperors grabbing power in the Americas.

Capitalism is also a factor of easy colonization. Columbus discovered gold and wanted to make money so they exploited the Native Americans. This stimulated more and more Europeans to settle America.

The American revolution

The American revolution is based on the Ancient Greek and Roman republics. The great competition in Europe resulted in a diverse range of governments. The republican form of government in some European nations, such as Holland and Switzerland, set an example of how republican forms of government survuved. [7]

So the United States reformed a republican form of government.

Language and creativity

The logographic Eastern languages curbed creativity, while the word based languages of the West promoted creativity. [8] [9] [10] [11]

Why did East Asian peoples use logographic characters? Because of their high spatial intelligence, it is easier to just make a drawing than to spell out words. But the alphabetic Korean language, Hangul, was invented in 1440s. Pehaps the lack of competition of governments and languages in East Asia preserved the old, logographic languages of Asia. But syllabic/alphabetic words such as Kana, Kanji, Hangul and even Vietnamese are still considered more concrete than Western words. [12]

The roman characters in Europe led to the invention of the printing press, which led to progress in the Enlightenment. It is difficult to invent a machine that would copy logographic characters.

All these differences magnified the inventions in Europe. [13]


The high achievements of Europeans are not because of their intelligence, but their geography. Something simple, like geographical competition led infinite technological progress compaired to East Asia.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Lynn, R. and Vanhanen, T. (2002). IQ and the wealth of nations. Westport, CT: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-97510-X
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Common Sense (Thomas Paine)
  8. ^
  9. ^ Hannas, W. C. (2003). The writing on the wall: How Asian orthography curbs creativity. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  10. ^ Cognitive contours: recent work on cross-cultural psychology and its relevance for education
  11. ^ Script And Cognition. 
  12. ^ Script And Cognition. 
  13. ^ DeWit, Andrew, "Scientific Stereotypes East and West," ZNet, May 19, 2005. [1]

The Future of Search Engines

How does a search engine work? A typical person will respond that search engines retrieve data related to the keyword. Search engines do indeed work that way. But ththis answer isn't general enough to accommodate the gist of what a search engine does.

We have identified a two-step process in which search engines work:

Step 1: Infer what the user has intended to search.
Step 2: Retrieve all webpages which match the user's wishes.

This is basically how search engines work. But they usually combine the two steps. They retrieve the webpages that match the user's search term, even when the search term is too ambiguous or vague to know what the user's intention's were. This is problematic, because search engine may retrieve webpages even if it doesn't know what the user really intended to search. Ambiguous keywords and phrases are examples of this.

A solution is simple, such as suggestion keyword refinements. But in general, this is a problematic step in search engines.

But they all must rely on inferring the meaning of the user, and inferring the meaning of the webpages. Even obtaining the user's meaning is by far concise.

We will argue what will happen to the future of web search:

  1. Web pages are evaluated by thousands of heuristics; no single heuristic can override the evaluation done by other heuristics. This is useful, because if a heuristic goes wrong by making a false positive, the overall evaluation isn't as affected as much. So including hundreds of heuristics lessen the errors.
  2. Common heuristics include the number of incoming links, the keyword density of the term, and how popular the site is.
  3. The more and more the search engine understands the webpages, the less and less the algorithm will rely on incoming links and keyword density.
  4. Search engine companies are increasingly incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) to their evaluation function. Thus, their algorithm will be less reliant on the ad hoc heuristics, and more reliant on the actual content.
  5. Thus, search engine optimization (SEO) specialists are going to focus more on quality content rather than focusing on link-building and other keyword density schemes. They will work harder and harder in hiring writers in generating original content rather than scraping content from other sources.
  6. As a side-effect, black hat SEO firms will be introducing more sophisticated ways to build links and generate content automatically. For example, they will use artificial intelligence for machines to generate original articles.
  7. The arms race between the search engine providers and black hat SEO firms is going to be more knowledge-based, and less based on link building algorithms.
  8. There will be a significant increase of utilization of artificial intelligence on both sides. The search engines will use AI to combat spam and detect if the content is genuine, rather than some generated content. The black hat SEO firms too will get more sophisticated, and will use its own AI to deceive the search engine's AI.
  9. Search engines will become "smarter." But I doubt it's going to be real AI.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why are Asian People Short?

East Asian people, who appear to be stereotypically shorter, have been increasing their average height relatively quickly through dietary improvements, as seen in nations such as South Korea and the People's Republic of China. [1] [2][3] [4] [5] Cultural influences, such as malnutrition and differences in diet, still prevalent in developing nations such as North Korea and the People's Republic of China, decrease the overall Asian growth rate. [6] [7] [8]

The short stature of East Asians may be contributed by micronutrient deficiency in developing nations or even consuming Asian diets in developed Western nations. These kind of malnutrition [9] such as low calcium intake partially due to lactose intolerance in 90% of their adult population, [10] [11] [12][13] limited consumption of protein, calories,[14] [15]iron,[16][17][18] vitamin A,[19] reduced vitamin D, partially from their nutrition; and also from their darker skin that synthesize vitamin D at a slower rate than whites, [20][21] iodine, [22] [23] [24] [25] [26][27] amongst many other nutritional deficiencies. Other factors, such as the consumption of large quantities of soy products which contains isoflavone may reduce growth rate.[28] [29] zinc,[30][31] amongst many other nutritional deficiencies. Other factors, such as the consumption of large quantities of soy products which contains isoflavone may reduce growth rate.[32][33][34][35][36] [37] Schools in The PRC is giving students soy milk. [38] Also, the Asian diet does not promote as much testosterone as Western diets do. [39] Consumption of white rice, the most popular staple food amongst Asians, and refined noddles and bread, can lead to micronutrient deficiency. [40] The consumption of white rice instead of whole grains, can also instigate a sudden increase of insulin production, which causes hormone imbalance and reduces growth hormones. [40]

Other factors such as their culture that devalues exercise [41][42] and calorie deficiency, and the Great Leap Forward that plausibly created famines, stunted the growth of many Chinese people. Fluoride poisoning and other environmental conditions, which have affects including growth stunting, and affect millions of East Asians. [43] [44] [45] [46]

East Asian cultures value white skin. [47] Many of the Asians often avoid participating in sports to avoid being tanned. [48] Therefore, they will not grow tall due to the lack of exercise and vitamin D defiency from avoiding the sun. [49] [41] Skin whiteners, which are unusually popular amongst Asians, contain toxic chemicals such as mercury or hydroquinone as the active ingredient, stunts growth of Asians including fetuses in pregnant women. [50][51]

Lactose intolerance only affects 2% of Swedish and 5% of Northern European adults and whites have the highest vitamin D intake. Thus, studies hypothesized that this might be an explanation for their relatively tall height.[52] [53][54][55]


  1. ^ "By the time the baby boomers reached adulthood in the 1960s, most northern and western European countries had caught up with and surpassed the United States. Young adults in Japan and other prosperous Asian countries now stand nearly as tall as Americans do." American diet may explain height
  2. ^ "Calcium deficiencies is also very common, and is thought to be one of the reason for shorter stature of some Asian populations, such as Vietnam and Laos compared to their counterparts in other Asian countries such as Singapore and Taiwan."
  3. ^ Human nutrition in the developing world, 
  4. ^ Effects of famine: Short stature evident in North Korean generation (2004) The Seattle Times
  5. ^ North Korea is failing to meet growth target (2004) Guardian Unlimited
  6. ^ Jiang Y (2006). "Effect of B vitamins-fortified foods on primary school children in Beijing". Asia Pac J Public Health 18 (2): 21-5. PMID 16883966. 
  7. ^ Asians, Diet of
  8. ^ Kaiser, Ann P.. The Effects of Poverty on Parenting Young Children. 
  9. ^ Jiang Y (2006). "Effect of B vitamins-fortified foods on primary school children in Beijing". Asia Pac J Public Health 18 (2): 21-5. PMID 16883966. 
  10. ^ Kerry, A. Jackson, Lactose Maldigestion, Calcium Intake and Osteoporosis in African-, Asian-, and Hispanic-Americans, 
  11. ^ Wang YG, Yan YS, Xu JJ, et al (1984). "Prevalence of primary adult lactose malabsorption in three populations of northern China". Hum. Genet. 67 (1): 103-6. PMID 6235167. 
  12. ^ Enattah N, Sahi T, Savilahti E, Terwilliger J, Peltonen L, Järvelä I (2002). "Identification of a variant associated with adult-type hypolactasia". Nat Genet 30 (2): 233-7. PMID 11788828. 
  13. ^ Lactose Intolerance: The Molecular Explanation, UC Davis Nutritional Genomics website
  14. ^ Energy Balance: Interpretation of Data from Rural China, 
  15. ^ Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian diets, 
  16. ^ Zhu Y, Liao Q (2004). "Prevalence of iron deficiency in children aged 7 months to 7 years in China". Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi 42 (12): 886-91. PMID 15733354. 
  17. ^ Yang F, Ma A, Zhang X, Jiang D (2006). "Status of vitamin A, vitamin B2, iron and an-oxidantive activity in anemic pregnant women in China". Wei Sheng Yan Jiu 35 (3): 320-2. PMID 16921759. 
  18. ^ Georgieff M (2007). "Nutrition and the developing brain: nutrient priorities and measurement". Am J Clin Nutr 85 (2): 614S-620S. PMID 17284765. 
  19. ^ Jiang J, Toschke A, von Kries R, Koletzko B, Lin L (2006). "Vitamin A status among children in China". Public Health Nutr 9 (8): 955-60. PMID 17125556. 
  20. ^ Vitamin D supplements for Asian kids, say researchers., Europe: Health Condition News, August 31 2006
  21. ^ Asian Children Should Receive Vitamin D Supplements For Two Years From Birth, Medical News Today, September 1 2006
  22. ^ Consensus statement on iodine deficiency disorders in Hong Kong. 
  23. ^ Mild iodine deficiency and thyroid disorders in Hong Kong, 
  24. ^ Heywood P, Marks G (1993). "Nutrition and health in South-East Asia". Med J Aust 159 (2): 133-7. PMID 8336591. 
  25. ^ DONALD, McNEIL (December 16), "In Raising the World’s I.Q., the Secret’s in the Salt", The New York Times, 
  26. ^ Seshadri S. "Prevalence of micronutrient deficiency particularly of iron, zinc and folic acid in pregnant women in South East Asia". Br J Nutr 85 Suppl 2: S87-92. PMID 11509095. 
  27. ^ Chen X, Wang W, Yan H, Yin T, Xu Q. "Studies on iron deficiency anemia, rickets and zinc deficiency and their prevention among Chinese preschool children". Prog Food Nutr Sci 16 (4): 263-77. PMID 1492154. 
  28. ^ Fritz W, Wang J, Eltoum I, Lamartiniere C (2002). "Dietary genistein down-regulates androgen and estrogen receptor expression in the rat prostate". Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. 186 (1): 89-99. PMID 11850125. 
  29. ^ Vitamin D Intake: A Global Perspective of Current Status. 
  30. ^ Seshadri S. "Prevalence of micronutrient deficiency particularly of iron, zinc and folic acid in pregnant women in South East Asia". Br J Nutr 85 Suppl 2: S87-92. PMID 11509095. 
  31. ^ Chen X, Wang W, Yan H, Yin T, Xu Q. "Studies on iron deficiency anemia, rickets and zinc deficiency and their prevention among Chinese preschool children". Prog Food Nutr Sci 16 (4): 263-77. PMID 1492154. 
  32. ^ Fritz W, Wang J, Eltoum I, Lamartiniere C (2002). "Dietary genistein down-regulates androgen and estrogen receptor expression in the rat prostate". Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. 186 (1): 89-99. PMID 11850125. 
  33. ^ McVey M, Cooke G, Curran I (2004). "Increased serum and testicular androgen levels in F1 rats with lifetime exposure to soy isoflavones". Reprod. Toxicol. 18 (5): 677-85. PMID 15219630. 
  34. ^ MacArthur, John "Soy and the Brain," The Weston A. Price Foundation for Wise Traditions, April 28, 2004
  35. ^ Fallon, Sally & Enig, Mary G. Soy: The Dark Side of America's Favorite 'Health' Food, The Weston A. Price Foundation for Wise Traditions, February 2004
  36. ^ Rutz, The Big Picture: Soy is making kids 'gay', WorldNetDaily, Dec. 2006.
  37. ^ Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian diets, 
  38. ^ Soybean Milk Plan to Be Promoted in Schools, People's Daily, 
  39. ^ Suhana N, Sutyarso, Moeloek N, Soeradi O, Sri Sukmaniah S, Supriatna J (1999). "The effects of feeding an Asian or Western diet on sperm numbers, sperm quality and serum hormone levels in cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) injected with testosterone enanthate (TE) plus depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA)". Int. J. Androl. 22 (2): 102-12. PMID 10194642. 
  40. ^ a b Nutrition and fitness: Carbohydrates, Sugar, and Your Child, 
  41. ^ a b How We Grew So Big, 
  42. ^ Diabetes Becomes Growing Threat for Affluent Asians, 
  43. ^ Human nutrition in the developing world, 
  44. ^ Fluoride Health Effects Database, Fluoride Action Network, 
  45. ^ Fluoride's Neurological Effects: studies show there may be grave implications for Alzheimers, Dementia, Attention Deficit Disorder, reduced IQ in children, 
  46. ^ Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards. The National Academies Press. 2006. 
  47. ^ "Glamour at a price in Asia". 
  48. ^ "Asian Finest: Skin whitening". 
  49. ^ Borer KT (1995). "The effects of exercise on growth". Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) 20 (6): 375-97. PMID 8614759. 
  50. ^ Countera, S. Allen; Leo H. Buchanan. Mercury exposure in children: a review. 
  51. ^ Clarkson. The Toxicology of Mercury and Its Chemical Compounds. 
  52. ^ Calvo, Mona S.. Vitamin D Intake: A Global Perspective of Current Status. 
  53. ^ Lactose and Lactase, Norman Kretchmer, Scientific American, October, 1972
  54. ^ Identification of a variant associated with adult-type hypolactasia, Enattah NS, Sahi T, Savilahti E, Terwilliger JD, Peltonen L, Jarvela I, Nat Genet. 2002 Feb;30(2):233-7
  55. ^ Lactose Intolerance: The Molecular Explanation, UC Davis Nutritional Genomics website

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blame Hierarchy, Not the People

Parents and schoolteachers are domineering to their subordinates. When were in school, our teachers will accuse us of being "disrespectful" for not following their vague rules. They will also accuse us of not following their contradictory rules, directions, and expectations. They will tell us to "shut up" when we tell them to clarify their rules by questioning the reasons behind them.

But we don't know that parents and teachers are like that because we only know the parents' and teacher's side of it. That's because we don't let our children have a fair trial: we just silence them. We just gossip about our children: it's common for teachers to gossip about their students privately. But we don't know that gossiping is ridiculously inaccurate.

All authority figures are potentially domineering to their subordinates. They are judgmental, accusative, arrogant, and controlling to their subordinates. They think that they are "better" to the subordinates only because they can tell them to "shut up", so the subordinates can't show that the authority figures are sometimes wrong. This sets up a structure which makes authority figures self-affirm their superiority over their subordinates, so they feel justified to be presumptuous, controlling, and condescending to their subordinates.

In addition, we have presumptions that children are "selfish", "spoiled" and "manipulative" brats who want to waste their parents' time and money. However, we often don't notice how our actions make our children behave way. Parents and schoolteachers criticize, condemn, punish, and control children as all the time. But they will never think of doing anything like this to their friends.

Why is this? It is because parents and children are in a hierarchical relationship, and hierarchical relationships make the controllers self-justify their superiority over their subordinates, and also make the controllers self-justify the inferiority of their subordinates. This sets up another situation which the authority figures can use their confirmation bias to selectively affirm their subordinates as inferior.

In addition, because most parents and schoolteachers think that children are evil creatures coming out to "get us", they will generalize their conception of their own children to all children. Parents and schoolteachers will treat all children as if they are evil, so that's one reason why some schoolteachers are mean to all children. (Have you ever wondered why the older teachers treat their students more harshly compared to the younger teachers? It's possibly because older teachers are more likely to have children, so they are more likely to think that their children are "evil" just because they appear that way to them. Then they will generalize their conception of their children to their students. Anyway, that's just a hypothesis.)

Cops are also controlling to their subordinates. They are accusative. They are trigger-happy. They can do anything to you if they're angry. But one thing that all cops have in common is that they believe that their actions are "justified." Parents and teachers, too, believe that their controlling behavior is "justified." If they don't feel that their actions are legitimate, then their empathy and remorse will prevent their controlling behavior onto their subordinates.

As authority figures justify their controlling and condescending behavior from their own biases, so will children. When the children grow up and become parents: controlling, domineering, and judgmental. Even the most rebellious teenager might possibly become a controlling parent, because they don't realize that authority positions are self-justifying. If they control their children a little bit, they will then feel justified to control their children even more.

The more rules and expectations a parent makes, the more likely that children won't follow them, because the likelihood that the rules and expectations will contradict one another. Think about how complicated it is to follow all the laws in the United States. It's so complicated that's it's impossible to follow without contradicting one another. The same thing happens to children. The more rules a parent make, the harder and harder it is for the children to follow the rules without contradiction. So the children will appear to disobey some rules because it's contradictory to follow all rules at once.  The parents will blame it on their children for "disobedient" rather than blaming on themselves for making the contradictory rules in the first place.

The parents will respond to their perceived "disobedience" by making even more contradictory rules, expectations, and punishments. This makes the children even harder to follow all the rules consistently. So the parents will respond to that again by making more rules and punishments. This vicious circle continues, so the children will become perceived as "rebellious", when they aren't trying to be rebellious at all!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ramblings on Sex and Racial Differences in Intelligence

It's widely believed that men are more successful than women because there are more male geniuses than female geniuses. However, Richard Feynman has an IQ of only 126, and James_Watson has an IQ of only 115. Why are they very successful dispite their low IQs? Aren't men supposed to be more intelligent than women?

There's a study that testosterone increases status-seeking behavior. This study may suggest that males succeed not because of their intelligence, but because of their ambition.

There may be many women who are geniuses, but these women don't have the motivation to use their intelligence to become successful. Genius may be a product of ambition, rather than intelligence.

It's sad to realize that the testosterone levels of both sexes are falling, and humanity in general is becoming less and less ambitious.

I will respond to an article on the Health Correlator. I will post a summary of my views below:

I have some hypotheses of why there are more male idiots than female idiots:

  • Females have two X chromosomes, so the X chromosomes have protective effects against each others. In contrast, males have only one X chromosome. So males don't have the protective effect of two X chromosomes, thus men may have a greater chance of being an idiot.
  • Men are more risk-taking. So men are more prone to do activities which result in brain trauma, thus producing more idiots.
  • Men are more independent than women. Men are less submissive and more tolerant to conflict than women. So a greater proportion of men might not care about scoring high on IQ tests as women do.

Typical IQ tests measure a person's pattern matching and pattern recognition abilities. So IQ tests are skewed towards spatial intelligence. In fact, men have much better spatial intelligence than women. So this explains why men score higher on IQ tests than women.

Spatial intelligence is correlated with logical-mathematical intelligence. People who are good on IQ tests would also have good mathematical skills.

There are also differences in spatial intelligence between the races. For example, there's a stereotype that Asians, who have good spatial abilities, are good at mathematics.

Evolutionary Hypothesis

Surviving in cold climates require more spatial intelligence than surviving in the tropics. In the tropics, there are plenty of fruits and tubers to eat all year around. However, in cold climates, these plant's aren't as abundant, so humans who live in a colder climate must hunt more animals.

Spatial intelligence is required for hunting skills. Navigating the terrain, estimating how far an object is, identifying animal tracks, and estimating the speed of a moving object, are spatial skills; which are vital for hunting animals.

Asians evolved from very cold climates. East Asians on average have higher spatial intelligence than whites; about one standard deviation higher.[1]

Also, men have visual-spatial intelligence about one standard deviation higher than women, which is the result of natural selection during the hunter-gatherer society.

Spatial Intelligence and Mathematical Ability

Spatial intelligence is highly correlated with logical-mathematical intelligence. The higher the visual-spatial intelligence, the better the math skills. Solving a math problem requires the human mind to imagine and manipulate symbols in their visual memory. Mathematical symbols, such as numbers, must be visualized and manipulated in the human brain. The higher the visual-spatial intelligence, the faster you solve a math problem. This is faster because you can visually calculate in your head instead of solving the problem on paper or using the limited and slower short-term memory.

IQ Tests are Biased

Intelligent quotient (IQ) tests, which have time limits, are related to math skills and symbolic manipulation skills. The faster you will solve the pattern in an IQ test, the more problems get done, and the higher score you will get. High spatial intelligence is advantageous in IQ tests since problems can be quickly visually solved in the mind, instead of using the slower and limited short-term memory. Without a high visual-spatial intelligence, you cannot manipulate the symbols as easy, and will manipulate them slower, then getting a lower score on a IQ test.

There are no significant differences in "general intelligence" between the races if and only if "general intelligence" doesn't take account of spatial intelligence. However, the general intelligence factor, especially testing among the Raven's Progressive Matrices, is strongly correlated with spatial intelligence.

Spatial Intelligence confused with "General Intelligence"

I don't believe in "general intelligence." But let me explain why people confuse these two things.

The reason that Ashkenavi Jews score high on IQ tests is not because of their spatial intelligence, since theirs is low. But we do conjecture that Jews possess a high short-term auditory memory. The reason that they score high on IQ tests is not visual-spatial intelligence such as Asians do, but their short-term memory. Evidence: They have good verbal intelligence, which may be an effect of their short-term memory. Information must be articulated in short-term memory to retain. John von Neumann, a Jew, is able to recite thousands of digits after memorizing them in a few minutes. (But do they are able to recite the digits backwards? Reciting backwards is much harder, since it apparently requires an extraordinarily amount of visual-spatial memory, which Ashkenazi Jews Lack. They need visual-spatial memory to represent the digits so they can recite digits backward efficiently (read the digits backward in the visuospatial sketchpad). Therefore, we hypothesize that Asians are better in reciting digits backwards.) He also has fast mental calculation.

Some evidence supports this hypothesis. Jews have a much more incidence of diseases like Tay-Sachs. People with Tay-Sachs have improved brain function.

Some sources (reliable or not) suggest that Asians have lower processing speed than "whites" (or mistakenly Ashkenazi Jews, since Jews are often mistaken to whites). If these "whites" are actually Jews, then we believe that these Jews have much higher and faster short-term memory than Asians. It says that Jews have faster processing speed (mental calculation) than Asians. Short term memory is better than visuospatial memory for mental calculation, since it is a more efficient representation than visuospatial. We believe that is because Jews must have high short-term memory to compensate the visuospatial memory of Asians to succeed at IQ tests. More short-term memory manipulations are required to solve an IQ problem than the number of visualspatial manipulations. Therefore, Jews must have a MUCH higher short-term memory to exceed Asians. Since short-term memory is more efficient in mental processing than IQ tests, that is why Jews has faster mental processing time.

East Asians score high on the visualspatial sections of the IQ test. Jews score extremely high on the verbal sections (short term memory) of the IQ test.

For example, the Black-White gap is larger on tests that require the recall of a series of digits in reverse order than on tests that require the recall of a series of digits in forward order. Across a large number of test, the standardized mean Black-White gap varies from near zero to over one standard deviation. According to Jensen 1998b, "this variation between tests in the size of the standardized mean W-B difference is not explainable in terms of test bias or in terms of differences in types of item content or other formal or superficial characteristics of the tests."

For example, the Black-White gap is greater on backward digits span (a test where subjects repeat digits in the reverse order that they are given, and the more g-loaded test) than forward digits span (a test where subjects repeat digits in the same order that they are given, and the less g-loaded test). As predicted by Spearman's hypothesis, the B-W gap is largest on the most g-loaded tests. Narrowing of the B-W gap has been seen mostly on less g-loaded tests, such as literacy tests.[2]

The gap is larger to recall digits in reverse because blacks are much lower in visual intelligence.

"a test where subjects repeat digits in the reverse order that they are given, and the more g-loaded test"

IQ tests, and specifically "g-loaded" tests, are biased against blacks because they are designed to test people with high visualspatial intelligence, which blacks are relatively low at.

This is also supported by the study that IQ tests are biased in favor males because IQ tests measure spatial intelligence, which men excel at. [3]

IQ Testing is Flawed

Some racist scientists would trust studies which conclude that Africans have an average IQ of 70. This is flawed because most Africans are illiterate and most of them don't know how to take the test. In addition, most Africans live in an impoverished environment and have experienced fluoride poisoning, heavy metal poisoning, iodine deficiency, vitamin A deficiency, vitamin K2 deficiency, and many other stressors which lower their average IQ.

There are plenty of examples of testing bias when done to African children. At the first attempt the African children scored an average of 70 on the IQ test. However, after the instructors taught the children how to do these tests, the children improved their score to 85.


Yes, the above hypotheses makes me sound like a racist to some, but I have argued otherwise. I have argued that IQ tests are biased against black people. I have used the research from the racist scientists to argue against these scientists themselves.

And, please, don't assume that I believe that men, on average, are "more intelligent" than women. Like I mentioned at the top of the article, the reason that almost all successful people are men but not women has nothing to do with their intelligence. It's because men are more status-seeking than women are.


[1] Rushton, J (2000) Richard Race, Evolution and behavior

[2] Murray, C. (2005) The Inequality Taboo. Commentary Magazine, September 2005.

[3] Abad, F. et al (2002) Sex differential item functioning in the Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices: evidence for bias. School of Psychology, Autonomous University of Madrid