Category Archives: Science And Society

Property Rights On Mars

I don’t know if it will be webcast, but I’m going to be giving a talk tomorrow morning in Pasadena, as part of the final plenary of the Mars Society meeting.

[Update Sunday afternoon]

I think the talk went OK. The crowd was smaller than I expected; I think that the Mars conference in DC has pulled a lot of the audience that Bob used to get for his Mars Society meetings. I called people in the audience “mutant weirdos,” and made a lawyer joke.


Deep-Fried Fair Food

A lot of nutrition mythology in this.

No, you won’t get a coronary from eating fried food, or if you do, it’s not because it’s fried, or has saturated fat. Probably the least unhealthy of these is the fried cheesecake, because at least it has additional sat fat in it, along with protein. The others are basically fried sugar and flour. And at least adding the fat mediates to some degree. Also, counting calories is stupid.

That Dress, Twenty Years On

On the anniversary, my fellow defendant Mark Steyn remembers the last time a president was (entirely justifiably) impeached.

And as I typed this, I just realized that I forgot to commemorate the sixth anniversary of that infamous Blog Post which resulted in the never-ending lawsuit against me, CEI, National Review, and Mark (though he is now eager to go to trial having made a lot of money selling a book against the plaintiff). And it’s been over two years since our request for an en banc appeal, with no ruling from the DC Circuit.

Gender Is A Social Construct

except when it’s not:

A foundational tenet of academic feminism holds that alleged differences between males and females are socially constructed. This credo usually maximizes the opportunities for charging sexism, yet it will be discarded in an instant if acknowledging the innate biological and psychological differences between men and women yields an additional trove of feminist complaint. The current issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine shows how the game is played.

For years, medical research neglected “sex and gender differences” in health, according to the magazine. “Historically, the narrative of medicine has been driven by data derived from white men around the age of 40,” the associate dean for curriculum at the Yale Medical School told the magazine’s reporter. Clinical trials only occasionally included females and when they did, the results were rarely analyzed by sex. It’s mysterious why this alleged neglect should matter, if sex differences are “socially constructed.” If males and females are the same psychologically and physically before the patriarchy starts assigning sex roles, then medical research need not distinguish between males and females, either.

It turns out, however, that males and females differentially respond to stress, environmental risk factors, drugs, and disease, as an initiative called Women’s Health Research at Yale devotes itself to documenting. . . .

Such discoveries should be the death knell for social constructivism. Along with many others like them, they buttress the possibility that uneven sex ratios in various fields are in part the result of males and females’ different average dispositions toward competition, risk, and abstract rather than people-centered work (an observation that got computer engineer James Damore fired from Google).

And yet, feminist social-justice warriors are perfectly capable of proceeding on several contradictory fronts simultaneously.

It’s almost as though they select these whacko theories only in order to serve an agenda.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related: No, the professional engineering exam is not gender biased.

The Fate Of The ISS

Matt Fitzgibbons says it’s like the ancient Roman roads. I’m not sure the analogy works very well, but I do think that it would be wasteful to deorbit it. When he says it’s “only” three or four billion a year, I don’t think he appreciates how much more we’ll be able to do for much less in the near future, But I also think in the next decade we’ll have the ability to move it higher, and preserve it as a museum.