Friday, March 9, 2018

Reducing Infant Mortality Leads to Increase in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Would you believe that by reducing infant mortality we are increasing neurodevelopmental disorders?  I think we have all noticed that the two are correlated, but if the one causes the other, what would be the mechanism?

It could be the lack of genetic culling, but would you imagine that in a single generation that would lead to an epidemic of epic proportions? If not due to lack of culling, then wouldn't you suspect that the same environmental force that is saving babies from death is dooming them to disability?


Julia Hanna and I are doing livestreams every Friday night at around 8:00pm Central Standard Time on both our channels. For notifications, please make sure that you are subscribed to my channel. Click on the link below, and if you are not yet subscribed, it will give you a chance to do so.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Better for What?

There are some people who are sure they are better than other people, and the most infuriating part of their assumption is that they never seem to ask themselves: better for what? I think all of these people should listen to this song by Leslie Fish.

I have been surfing YouTube a little more, to see what sorts of things get the most views and the most subscribers. In the process, I have discovered Jordan Peterson. In one video, he was discussing IQ with a Dr. Richard Haier. Both of them agreed that IQ was highly heritable. They cited the fact that a person with an IQ below 83 is so unemployable and untrainable that even the US Army will not enlist him. They also discussed how interventions like Head Start, which were meant to improve the intelligence of "at risk" preschoolers only managed to improve academic performance for the first few grades of school, after which the individuals fell back into their previous lower performance, relative to classmates. The conclusion was that low IQ is heritable, can't be fixed by environmental changes, and that it dooms those who have it to being unable to support themselves in our society. But not to worry!  Haier said that since intelligence is so highly heritable, and since we have made great strides in deciphering DNA, we could possibly correct people's intelligence in the future, so that those on the lower end can gain ten or twenty points and become employable.

Wait a minute! Isn't IQ, just like poverty, defined in relative terms? How could you ever get a society where nobody scores in the lowest range?

Attribution:By Dmcq - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

I quote from the Wikipedia:

IQ scales are ordinally scaled.[46][47][48][49][50] While one standard deviation is 15 points, and two SDs are 30 points, and so on, this does not imply that mental ability is linearly related to IQ, such that IQ 50 means half the cognitive ability of IQ 100. In particular, IQ points are not percentage points. On a related note, this fixed standard deviation means that the proportion of the population who have IQs in a particular range is theoretically fixed...

Attempts to fix inequality always seem to flounder when the geniuses in charge of fixing things forget that what they are looking at are relative rather than absolute differences. In absolute terms, we have all been getting smarter. It's called the Flynn Effect.  Raw scores on the various IQ tests have been going up since the tests were first devised, but having a better raw score does not help anyone, because what is being measured by the IQ score is not real intelligence. It's who is better!

Better than whom? Better for what? That is what we should be asking ourselves. What is considered an important skill for survival in one society is useless in another. Survival of the fittest is only survival under particular circumstances. Change the circumstances, and who is more fit also changes.

The variability of human intelligence as measured by IQ scores is a good thing for our species. It means that when the circumstances change, people who are more gifted in areas we undervalue at the moment will be able to thrive and survive, when today's elite flounder and fail. The worst possible thing we could do is to try to artificially tamper with brain structure or the DNA that determines it to guarantee an equal playing field for all from birth. That inequality that the elite are trying to combat is precisely the thing that makes our society function and that could save the human race in a pinch.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

First Review for Audible Vacuum County

A year ago, Audible Vacuum County was just a glimmer in our eyes. Kelly Clear sent me a demo, I liked it, and we decided to create an Audible version. Read all about it here:

And yesterday, we got our first review, from Australia.

Read the Review on Audible

Hopefully there will be many more, and lots of sales, to make up for the other paystream I just lost:

Here is a video I made, dramatizing the review with a text-to-speech reading.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Libertarian Ideas Are About Repealing Government Mandates

Libertarian positions on any issue are about repealing government mandates. They are not about telling other people what they should or should not do.

The essence of the libertarian doctrine

Here are a few libertarian positions:

  • Taxation should be repealed.
  • Mandatory Education should be repealed.
  • Mandatory Health Insurance should be repealed.
  • Mandatory service -- military or otherwise -- should be repealed.
  • Government funding of any product or service should be repealed.
  • Government prohibition on the possession of any product or object or animal or thing should be repealed.
  • Government interference in freedom of contract should be repealed.
  • Any law telling people what to do in their private lives with other consenting adults should be repealed.

Here are some examples of non-libertarian positions:

  • Telling people that they should educate their children.
  • Telling people what they may or may not say, write or publish.
  • Telling people what religion they may belong to. 
  • Telling people how to prepare food.
  • Telling people what substances they may imbibe, inhale or eat.
  • Telling people how to use their money.
  • Telling people what sorts of agreements they can make with other people.
  • Telling people that if they are not educated enough or wealthy enough they should not have children.
  • Telling people what they may not do for a living. 
This should not be all that hard to understand. And yet I constantly hear people who hold office in the Libertarian Party saying things about what people should do. Just stop it! You are not helping the cause.

Here is a recent discussion about some of these issues that I had with Julia Hanna.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Taking Things Literally

One of the reasons that most of my writing isn't deliberately set in the science fiction or fantasy genre is that I do hope that the insights that people get from reading my works can be translated into their real lives, rather than being interpreted as "allegorical". I mean, if a hero in a fantasy slays a dragon, sometimes that is just translated into real life as standing up to our fears and conquering our anxiety. But when I say "Go slay a dragon!" I don't mean that. I really do want that tyranny toppled.

Well, that was probably as clear as mud. So I'll try to say it a different way. I once met a man who lived in a hole in the ground, but he wasn't trying to be a Hobbit. He wanted to be like John Galt. And when all the other good little Objectivists heard about it, they laughed. Because to them, Atlas Shrugged was just an allegory.

The truth is that I myself am far less of a hero than I would like to be. I do pay my taxes, local, state and Federal. But I wait for the day when the dream of liberty can become a reality.

In order to bring that about, we need to recognize than none of us is as pure as the man who lived in the hole in the ground. We can't go attacking parents for sending children to public school and teachers for working at public schools, while doing nothing to repeal the school district. One LP officer told people that they should not have children if they are going to send them to public school. But did you know that if the school district and its taxes are not repealed, then home owners would still have to pay taxes to educate non-existent children, and to pay non-existent teachers? Like the Catholic Church in a world where all mankind has died out, according to Ted Sesame in Our Lady of Kaifeng: Courtyard of the Happy Way, the School District will exist even in a world without children.

So instead of telling people not to have children, wouldn't it be better to repeal the taxes? Slay the dragon. Leave the virgins alone.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Interview with Julia Hanna about Vacuum County with Kelly Clear

Julia Hanna recently interviewed Kelly Clear and me about Vacuum County. It was via livestream, and each of us were live on our own channels. Here is the finished interview.

One of the insights from this interview: If you enjoy science fiction, there's a good chance you will like Vacuum County. For more insights, watch the entire interview. And here's a tip: the closed captioning on YouTube is really good. So if you are having trouble hearing any one of us while we talk or cannot understand something because were are interrupting each other, you can always turn on the cc and get a written version of what was said.

Kelly Clear: "[If you] enjoy sci-fi there's a good chance you will like Vacuum County."

To order the Audible version of Vaccuum County follow this link.  Or go to and search for Vacuum County.

Vacuum County on Audible -- Get it now

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

You, too, Can Get Audible Vacuum County

On the 24th of January, an event was held at our Village computer center to help people learn how to download Audible Vacuum County. In preparation  for that event, I made a few videos to explain what Audible is and how to download the free book

My interest in Audible began with F.L. Light, so it was only right that my demonstration of how Audible works began with his translation of the Iliad. But as I thought more about it, I realized that the reason Light preferred to listen to Vacuum County rather than to read it with his eyes was his almost archaic insistence that poetry and literature are best appreciated as oral culture. However, the need for a simple tutorial about how to download a free book became apparent as the event approached.

The above tutorial was available on each computer at the computer center on the day of the event.

After the event was over, I shared the recorded livestream with Bow, so that he did not miss anything.

If you are reading this at home, you, too, can see everything that happened. And you, too, can get a free copy of Vacuum County.

Buy Now!