Posts Tagged: USA

Feb 10

U.S. Divides Into 7 “Nations”, Says Facebook Data

This is an interesting use of the data Facebook exposes. It shows a way the U.S. can be “naturally” divided. The author took the publicly available Facebook data and showed how people in the U.S. cluster. See the map….


Feb 10

Scots and U.S. Scientists

Blogger Ron Guhname (not his real name) aka the Inductivist (not his real name either) did a little digging into the General Social Survey and found that, in the U.S., Scots — people of Scottish descent — seem to be disproportionately represented in the Natural Sciences in the U.S.

(Warning, there is a small N involved. So taking this with a grain of salt might be prudent.)

The General Social Survey asks respondents (American) about occupation and ethnic background. Here are the percent of all natural scientists in each ethnic group (those who are less than 5% of the total are excluded):

The ratio refers to the share of natural scientists compared to the ethnic group’s share of the total population. You can see that Americans of English, Irish, Italian and especially Scottish descent are natural scientists in disproportionate numbers.


Correlation is not causation, of course. But when we see correlation we wonder if there is causation involved.

It would be interesting to see how representative these U.S. Scots are representative of Scots in Scotland. Also, do Canadian Scots seem as gifted at Science? What about Australian Scots?

Jan 10

One Third Of Women In U.S. Military Get Raped

According to the NPR

In 2003, a survey of female veterans found that 30 percent said they were raped in the military. A 2004 study of veterans who were seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder found that 71 percent of the women said they were sexually assaulted or raped while serving. And a 1995 study of female veterans of the Gulf and earlier wars, found that 90 percent had been sexually harassed.

This really isn’t surprising. (And note that I don’t say that as a justification for rape. Rape is immoral. It is just as I said, it isn’t surprising.) For one, this is one of the classic reasons why people have traditionally argued against women being in the military: that women shouldn’t be in the military because they will get raped.

A little speculation though… I think the type of cognition that one develops that allows them to kill and murder, and worse (as one would need to wage war) also will tend to allow them to rape. That you cannot have the former without the later.

Jan 10

Canadian Diplomat to Iran was CIA Spy

From "Canada’s man in Tehran was a CIA spy "

The diplomat praised for sheltering Americans during the Iranian Revolution tells The Globe he was made ‘de facto CIA station chief’ in a secret deal between a U.S. president and prime minister Joe Clark

Ken Taylor, the Canadian diplomat [...] actively spied for the Americans and helped them plan an armed incursion into the country.
His intelligence-gathering activities were kept secret by agreement between the Canadian and the U.S. governments [...]

Trent University historian Robert Wright, author of Our Man in Tehran , a new account of the incident released today, strongly implies that then-prime-minister Joe Clark insisted Mr. Taylor’s spying be kept quiet, fearing a negative political fallout if the Canadian public learned that one of its envoys was a U.S. spook.
The request that he provide “aggressive intelligence” for the Americans was made personally by U.S. president Jimmy Carter to Mr. Clark, likely in a telephone conversation on Nov. 30, 1979, according to Prof. Wright.


Jan 10

Minimum Wage destroying jobs again. This time in Samoa

In reading and blogging about Samoans and Football I noticed an excerpt from the article, that is yet another example of minimum wage laws destroying jobs.

Football has never been more important to the island than right now, because this season there’s been more than the usual trouble in paradise. The island may lose its tuna industry. One cannery, Chicken of the Sea, has left. And because the U.S. Congress wanted to help Samoa by imposing American minimum wage, Governor Tulafono is worried that the last cannery, Starkist, could look to other shores.

Tulafono said that some economists have estimated that 80 percent of the Samoan economy is wrapped up in tuna canneries.

“Eighty percent of everything that goes on around here,” he stressed, “is dependent on the prescence of the canneries.”

And they just lost one of those canneries on Sept. 30.

“What does that mean to you?” Pelley asked.

“Devastation,” Tulafono sighed.


UPDATE: There’s a video for this available. (H/T David Henderson)

Jan 10

American Democrats and Republicans actually look different

An interesting paper…

Democrats and Republicans Can Be Differentiated from Their Faces

Nicholas O. Rule*, Nalini Ambady


Individuals’ faces communicate a great deal of information about them. Although some of this information tends to be perceptually obvious (such as race and sex), much of it is perceptually ambiguous, without clear or obvious visual cues.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Here we found that individuals’ political affiliations could be accurately discerned from their faces. In Study 1, perceivers were able to accurately distinguish whether U.S. Senate candidates were either Democrats or Republicans based on photos of their faces. Study 2 showed that these effects extended to Democrat and Republican college students, based on their senior yearbook photos. Study 3 then showed that these judgments were related to differences in perceived traits among the Democrat and Republican faces. Republicans were perceived as more powerful than Democrats. Moreover, as individual targets were perceived to be more powerful, they were more likely to be perceived as Republicans by others. Similarly, as individual targets were perceived to be warmer, they were more likely to be perceived as Democrats.


These data suggest that perceivers’ beliefs about who is a Democrat and Republican may be based on perceptions of traits stereotypically associated with the two political parties and that, indeed, the guidance of these stereotypes may lead to categorizations of others’ political affiliations at rates significantly more accurate than chance guessing.

(Emphasis mine.)


(H/T Dienekes Pontikos)

Jan 10

How Things Got Better In Iraq

An except from “Why Are They at War With Us?“…

Consider. America lost 4,000 soldiers in six years in Iraq, with 30,000 wounded. Yet not one American of the 125,000 soldiers in Iraq was killed in December [2009]. Why not? Because we no longer conduct raids, patrol streets, kick down doors, and pat down suspects. We have ended our combat operations, withdrawn to desert bases, and seem anxious to go home. When we stopped fighting and killing them, they stopped fighting and killing us.