Sentence of Enduring Value

It’s up in the air because McCain’s appeal to independents cancels the problems with being a Republican in 2008, while Hillary’s negatives cancel out the advantages of being the Democrat in 2008.


Well, enduring through November at least…

First nominee for essay of the year

Daniel Kahneman on the hedonic treadmill.

Actually, check out all of the essays at that site. Edge asked about a billion of the world’s smartest people what issue they changed their minds about. Here’s an essay by Freeman Dyson on Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Here’s Helen Fisher telling us about human serial monogamy and here’s one talking about the fact there’s more to science than hypothesis testing by Irene Pepprberg.

Stylized facts

From McElreath and Boyd (2007), two evolutionary biologists somethings ((They’re both in Antropology departments)):

This result ((The result he’s talking about is the fact that even with very low amounts of migration (just one individual per generation), there won’t be significant genetic variation between groups.)) is what economists call a “stylized fact,” a conclusion that glosses over many complications, is held by no one to be an actual description of the world, but nevertheless tells us something valuable.


Sentences of Enduring Value

(Extremely depressing edition)

One of the most disturbing, I think perhaps the most disturbing fact in our whole book is that black students coming from families earning over 70,000 are doing worse on their SATS, on average–it’s always on average–than white students from families in the lowest income group. You want to cry hearing that figure. I mean, it’s so terrible.

— Abigail Thernstrom as quoted in this depressing article on race and IQ at gnxp.