The criminally insane

I don’t know if you’re still allowed to make fun of the criminally insane (isn’t insanity just a social construct?). But, this being a hate-blog anyway, I’ll take my chances:

criminally insane

So yeah. The inmates have been running the asylum for a while now, but then this ↑ just happened.

Protip: Don’t joke. Don’t tweet. And whatever you do, for the love of humanity, do not joke about worms on twitter.

Pre-traction watch

We’ve made use of Sailer’s useful concept of “frontlash” in the past, and now offer a coinage of our own: pretraction. This is prompted by the folks running NIPS this year (sorry, the new name triggers me). Always careful to ride the crest of the progressive wave (which can be rather nasty if it overtakes you), these folx included the following item on this year’s review form:

12. Does the submission raise potential ethical concerns? This includes methods, applications, or data that create or reinforce unfair bias or that have a primary purpose of harm or injury. If so, please explain briefly.

Again, we’re talking about a theoretically bent machine-learning conference. A couple of years ago, such an item would have prompted a flood of suggestions that the conference chairs get their heads checked. But in our retraction-happy age, this makes perfect sense. We live in an age where Turing laureates can be shouted down on twitter by bias/fairness “experts”. (That particular fiasco merits a post of its own, but the gist goes something like this.) So maybe the chairs wanted to save authors the trouble of retracting their papers later — when wrongthinkers “misuse” the findings (and no, not even for a millisecond due to “mob pressure” or “distaste for the political views of people citing the work approvingly”!).

Pretraction, to pre-empt the retraction.

Relax, American Jews–

you’re still in charge. At least that’s what Sailer is stage whispering in this post. As usual, an astute commentator like Sailer rarely completely has no point; it’s just that occasionally his valid points get distorted by animus. The valid point here is that generic white people (i.e., those who cannot claim any intersectionality points) are completely fair game. They can be smeared and vilified in the most grotesque, obscene ways, with nothing but praise for the “courage” of the vilifiers. Courage for, y’know, standing up to “the man”; the irony, of course, is the vilifiers are the man.

I suspect the majority of type A Jews will find Sailer’s reassurance lacking. They read the statistics of black-on-Jew assaults in NYC — and (the more naive ones) wonder why the media doesn’t talk about this. Those who dig deeper discover that Farrakhan’s terrorist goons receive public funding to the tune of tens of millions, and also have an FBI liaison. Say, did the JDL ever hold sensitivity training sessions for the FBI?

PTT’s advice is to rely less on Sailer in these matters and to get those Aliya forms in already.

Hazony’s hypocrisy

So Hazony had a response in the Federalist to the Harper’s “Letter on Justice and Open Debate.” His title was good: “Liberals’ Only Hope Against Neo-Marxists Is An Alliance With The Right.” Lots of good bits throughout as well:

too many of the signatories have spent years systematically trying to stifle reasonable public debate by delegitimizing conservative voices and creating a context in which it’s too costly to engage with them in a public way.

[…]

Here’s what is not going to work: Liberals trying to exclude conservatives from every kind of legitimate discourse (because conservatives are “the real threat”), while granting ever more influence to the very neo-Marxists who are working to bring them down. It’s not going to work because neo-Marxists aren’t like conservatives: They don’t believe in democracy. They don’t believe in compromise. And they don’t share power.

Nevertheless, that’s what this letter is about, isn’t it? It’s about excluding conservatives from even the most elementary declaration of civic principles in order to throw a bone to the left in the hope that they’ll take it.

This is all great, except… yeah, except. Hazony himself has dabbled in a bit of exclusion. What did that disgraceful gambit buy him, btw? How’s his project (which I support!) moving along, anyway?

Signs of the resistance

We are heartened to see that not only has Steven Pinker not yielded an inch to the braying mob, but also the Linguistic Society of America has wisely decided not to act on that “open letter” (for now). You can be certain that the woke gangsters will keep trying.

Also encouraging was Prof. Joshua Katz’s brave rebuke of his Princeton colleagues’ shameful betrayal of the principles of open inquiry and free speech. ” I am embarrassed for [my colleagues],” writes Katz, and we know the feeling all too well. A particular low point for our colleagues was #ShutDownSTEM; you can be certain that greater depths of debasement will soon be plumbed.

We close with a criminally heretical thought communicated to us by a wise man (lightly edited):

Affirmative action, lowering the standards of admission, hiring, etc. looked like a bargain. You dilute the quality a bit, and purchase peace and stability. That was a static analysis. A dynamic analysis shows that those admitted because of their membership in a group, seemingly as an exception or a temporary measure, are now the first to demand a permanent lowering of standards, permanent group rights. They dont want to remain charity cases, they want to remodel the institutions in their image.

Just so. “One moves swiftly and imperceptibly from a world in which affirmative action can’t be ended because its beneficiaries are too weak to a world in which it can’t be ended because its beneficiaries are too strong,”  said Caldwell, but this applies far beyond affirmative action programs. A while ago, mentioning IQ data was impolite; now it’ll get you fired. Same for crime data. You’d think we’d have learned Chamberlain’s lesson by now: There is no peace in our time.

Steven Pinker: round II

Pinker’s long uncancelled run has been a subject of some wonder in our circles. Sure enough, the usual mob has had him in their sights for years, but until now, their lurches in for the kill have been unsuccessful. This open letter to the LSA (Linguistic Society of America), with its call “for the removal of Dr. Steven Pinker from both our list of distinguished academic fellows and our list of media experts” may or may not be a big deal. We like to hope it’s all bark and no bite, but there are two factors working against Pinker: (1) the rapidly changing climate and (2) the fact that the mob is relentless.

Just for sport, we made a good-faith effort to discover some valid criticism of Pinker. This Salon piece had at first seemed promising. The appearance of “annoying white male intellectuals” in the title suggested it was hatebait (an admitted perverse pleasure of ours), but the author actually did raise some substantive objections to Pinker’s recent scholarly output and public demeanor. Unfortunately, we had to stop reading at “Jeffrey Epstein, the child sex-trafficker who recently killed himself in a New York jail cell” — to clean up the coffee spill from our keyboard. Whoever this Phil Torres is, he’s not a serious person, and deserves not a second more of our time.

We mourn for Robin Hanson

— the same one PTT once gave two cheers for “for expressing unpopular views [and] refusing to back down and apologize”. That was two years ago, and the march of progress has considerably picked up the pace. Now Hanson is under review by his university for having tweeted a few days back, “So what food is appropriate to celebrate Juneteenth? We actually like fried chicken & watermelon a lot.”

We confess to not having heard of Juneteenth until just now, and for the record, we see nothing racist in that tweet. But trying to apply logic to religious rituals is a fool’s errand, and we’re surely in occult territory by now. Thou shalt not take the name in vain.

They must’ve threatened him pretty good: how else to explain the cringe-inducing, groveling apology he tweeted? The once-bête noire contrarian has been reduced to writing, “I will work to learn from my mistake and become more sensitive to the concerns that I neglected here. I welcome suggestions for training programs, readings, and other appropriate activities.” What is this expert in human signaling trying to tell us? “I am a crushed, broken man. You’ve gotten your scalp, now move on to the next target please.”

Strategically, he’s making a mistake. One should never apologize in such a situation: the smell of blood only whets the sharks’ appetite. A Bo Winegard outcome seems unlikely here, but we could easily see him getting Bret Weinstein’ed. We do wonder whether, after he’s been thoroughly humiliated and canceled, Hanson will summon his last breath to utter “e pur si muove”.

Another forced retraction

There is a petition to force Springer to pull an article apparently in the publication pipeline. It appears Springer has already caved. The article’s title is “A Deep Neural Network Model to Predict Criminality Using Image Processing”. I could not locate it online; its university host has already taken it down. Since I can’t read the article, I won’t be able to discuss its methodological merits — but that won’t be necessary, since the petition is entirely ideological. Its categorical tone brooks not dissent:

Data generated by the criminal justice system cannot be used to “identify criminals” or predict criminal behavior. Ever.

Ponder that statement, and take a moment to appreciate what a colossal betrayal it is by “expert researchers and practitioners [in] statistics, machine learning and artificial intelligence” of their respective fields. (Expertise devaluation is very much in vogue.)

Let us go on record as emphatically rejecting their categorical claim. Data generated by the criminal justice system can certainly be noisy or biased. If, say, the police, for some unfathomable reason, are fond of arresting and roughing up peaceful, law-abiding redheads, then statistical algorithms trained on this data will incorrectly predict criminal tendencies for redheads. There are ways to mitigate* such noise and biases — that’s pretty much what the field of statistics is all about! To say that data generated by process X can NEVER be used to make predictions regarding process X is barmy nonsense.

This wasn’t written by scientists. It was written by grievance-studies drones:

This crisis stems from the fact that machine learning scholars are rarely trained in the critical methods, frameworks, and language necessary to interrogate the cultural logics and implicit assumptions underlying their models. Nor are there ample incentives to conduct such interrogations, given the industrial incentives that are driving much machine learning research and development.

“Interrogate”. Did we mention that there were demands? Are such petitions ever issued without demands?

To reiterate our demands, the review committee must publicly rescind the offer for publication of this specific study, along with an explanation of the criteria used to evaluate it. Springer must issue a statement condemning the use of criminal justice statistics to predict criminality and acknowledging their role in incentivizing such harmful scholarship in the past. Finally, all publishers must refrain from publishing similar studies in the future.

As @cringelabcoat said on twitter, “This is really evil and you are ruining statistics.” To which they might respond, “Yes, but I’ll preside over the ruins.”

 

* Needless to say, if the redheads are being harassed by the police for no good reason, a reform is in order. But that’s beyond the scope of this post.

The chips are falling

This is not a “current events” blog. Our preferred modus operandi is to let the events settle in and cool down, while the usual pundits have their turn at the news and the meta-news, so we can enjoy the higher meta-levels from our tenured perch.

Reality has really been picking up the pace lately, and we do not foresee a stable status quo in any near future. We had a series of posts revolving around the theme of why we can’t have “nice things“, as well as some more somber “dark thoughts“. For years, we have been sounding the alarm about how the woke diversicrat call-out culture is going to destroy civilization — and yet the rapidly accelerating pace at which it’s happening now was a surprise even to us. Two recent markers: (1) Caving to pressure from the progressive thugs, The Fisher Lectureship is going to be renamed [Galton and Pearson are on their way out as well.] (2) Cravenly giving in to the braying mob, MSU’s leadership has ousted Steven Hsu from his VP position. No, renaming a lectureship or making someone resign from a VP position does not, in itself, spell the end of civilization. But the near-certainty that the braying mob will get its scalp certainly does encourage and empower it. We predict many more such craven cavings in the very near future.

The signs were all there a while ago, they were just more sparsely placed. Academics getting fired for legitimate research, published papers being pulledthose were indeed frightening harbingers of impending catastrophe. But we honestly thought it would take a few more years. It was when several professional scientific societies called upon their members to stop doing science for a day and instead engage in grievance-theater mumbo-jumbo that it really hit us. To really drive the point home, Mathematics, that glorious queen of the sciences, was promptly forced down on her knees and defiled.

This is starting to read like the book of Lamentations, so let us end on a pragmatic note. You don’t have to go along with this. The moment you start to snivel and apologize — that’s when they swoop in for the kill. Apologizing has never saved anyone; never apologize. Take personal inspiration from the few brave individuals willing to be a public voice of sanity in the deluge of madness. Prof. Harry Crane is one such individual, who put up a valiant fight trying to block the Fisher name change. Despite the recent flurry of commentary decrying — quite aptly — the Sovietization of American culture, keep in mind that this is not quite early 20th century Russia. Physical violence as punishment for thoughtcrime is still the exception rather than the rule; fear of termination and ostracism is more than enough to keep most people in line. Game-theoretically, it makes sense for any individual to keep quiet and conform, even if he’s privately horrified by the rabid insanity rapidly taking over. But know this: every time you speak out, you empower others who think like you but are afraid. Every time you bite your tongue, you lose a large chunk of your dignity kill a small piece of your soul — to say nothing of ceding power the thugs and hastening the fall. When Glenn Reynolds kindly linked to a previous post of ours, he did so with the comment “The proper response is “fuck off.”” He’s exactly right.

[To forestall the inevitable — and legitimate — rejoinder about this blog’s anonymity, let us say that (1) we do our share of onymous speaking out and (2) we do not want to jeopardize the careers of our colleagues and students — many of whom, we hope, would refuse to denounce us.]

It’s a numbers game

So the BLM “protest” in this small Ohio town didn’t go so well: they were “overrun by 700 white counterprotesters armed with rifles, handguns and baseball bats” (video at the link). Despite Daily Mail’s transparent attempts to paint the counter-protestors in the most unfavorable light (“overrun”), PTT wonders what other reasonable steps a community can take to prevent the kind of burning, looting and vandalism that have accompanied the other “mostly peaceful” protests.  The cops largely stood back, which, at this point, seems like their only sound strategy. So the PTT pro-tip to anyone who wants to keep his life, dignity, and property is: don’t be outnumbered.