What else am I going to whine about? (and protests)

Protests: I suppose one can do disruptive protests for many reasons: fire up those who think the way that you do, vent, deliberately anger others, etc.
But if you want society to come around to your way of thinking …well, maybe what you are doing does not work so well:

The backlash to violent protest may have changed the course of American history. For his own working paper on protest movements, Omar Wasow, a politics professor at Princeton University, carefully tracked both violent and nonviolent protests by African-American groups in the 1960s and attempted to measure their impact on white voters. His most important finding was that, as he explains in the abstract, “In presidential elections, proximity to black-led nonviolent protests increased white Democratic voteshare whereas proximity to black-led violent protests caused substantively important declines and likely tipped the 1968 election from Hubert Humphrey to Richard Nixon.” In other words, all else being equal, whites who were exposed to nonviolent black protests were more likely to vote for the candidate who was more liberal on racial-justice issues than were those who were exposed to violent black protests (and yes, Masow controlled for a variety of potentially confounding factors in his analysis).

Masow explains in the paper that this is, to his knowledge, “the first article to establish a causal effect of protests on voting,” and that his findings support that idea that “subordinate groups” like African-Americans, “can help shape national agendas and frame demands” in important ways — but that when it comes to big, broad movements, backlash can lead to severe consequences.

For what it’s worth, while Masow’s empirical approach may be new, the idea that the riots and violence of the 1960s sparked a white backlash isn’t: Among political scientists, this is a widely accepted idea. It doesn’t mean, of course, that the violence in question wasn’t often sparked by meaningful, urgent grievances — it means that there was a potentially preventable cost to expressing those grievances in a violent manner.

Now this is talking about rioting..and not less violent but disruptive things. I’d recommend reading the rest of the article.

It was icy when I walked to and from the gym, and to work. Ugh..

The workout: kind of a disaster. usual pull ups and PT went ok; bench: 10 x 135 (ok) 1 x 190 (ok), 5 x 185 (good). But then I attempted 10 x 170 in the decline, got a ding at reps 8 and 9 (left shoulder). That precluded doing any more chest pressing, though rows (2 x 200 Hammer, 1 x 110 machine) were ok, and careful, slow standing military presses with dumbbells (10 x 40, 10 x 45, 10 x 45) went ok too. Usual abs, 2:30 plank, 10 miles cycling (switched bikes to get one with the footstraps at mile 5) was ok.

Still that left shoulder..every once in a while I get careless and “ding” it. I might need 2-3 weeks rest..or to just be careful with my next set of presses.

So that is what I am whining about (someone asked me on Facebook: “what will you whine about next”. So now you know, Stripper Girl.


April 2, 2018 Posted by | bicycling, weight training | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

April 1?

And yes, in the afternoon, several of the major bridges crossing the Illinois River were shut down due to accidents. Oh boy.

Still I got out for my walk before it all happened (10.1 miles in 2:50 or so; I slowed toward the end). Foot: some aching afterward…some whinyness around mile 7-8. But mostly, I am just out of walking shape. About 3.5 miles into it, I got passed by the University women’s track/XC team. They were very nice to me…as they always are.

Personal/Issues: I am writing up my talk, but I took time to watch the awesome Mississippi State vs. Notre Dame NCAA Women’s basketball championship game. It was one for the ages; ND rallied from 15 down to win with a buzzer beating 3 pointer with about 1 second to go.

I also thought about some of the infighting between the social justice warriors and the scientists. Many of the SJWs are upset with David Reich’s article about “how to talk about genes and race”. The fundamental issue: if you look at two clusters of humans that evolved separately for a long time (say, a few thousand years), you’ll see some difference in the frequency distribution of alleles between the groups, and it makes sense that there might be some statistical genetic differences between the groups.

The SJWs can’t stomach that..thinking that if this fact were accepted, well maybe some claims made by the racists are right (and no, they aren’t). Nevertheless, they want to be given some influence over the work of scientists:(via Jerry Coyne)

Their main beef seems to be that those like Reich who unravel the genetic patterns of our species need to constantly consult with people like cultural anthropologists and social scientists. I’m not sure this is good advice, since those people have, by and large, tried to foist ideological views onto research on human groups. The bit below, for example, smacks of an unwarranted hubris:

Precisely because the problems of race are complex, scientists need to engage these issues with greater care and sophistication. Geneticists should work in collaboration with their social science and humanities colleagues to make certain that their biomedical discoveries make a positive difference in health care, including the care of those studied.

Of course discoveries should be used constructively, but is that the responsibility of people like Reich, who simply look at the frequencies of disease genes in different groups and the pattern of genetic differentiation across the globe? I don’t think so. How to use the findings of geneticists in medicine is the purview of bioethicists and physicians, not paleoanthropologists.

This push-back against science sure seems to give right wing criticisms of academia some merit (yeah, I know,..some of those right wingers are those getting their feelings hurt because intelligent design and creationism are treated as crackpot ideas..which they are).

April 2, 2018 Posted by | basketball, social/political, walking | , , , | Leave a comment