Live Blog

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I heard this reported on NPR yesterday (sheepishly, and more in sorrow than in anger) but I didn't really believe it until I read it in the paper:

The “reproducibility crisis” in science is erupting again. A research project attempted to replicate 21 social science experiments published between 2010 and 2015 in the prestigious journals Science and Nature. Only 13 replication attempts succeeded. The other eight were duds, with no observed effects consistent with the original findings.

The failures do not necessarily mean the original results were erroneous, as the authors of this latest replication effort note. There could have been gremlins of some type in the second try. But the authors also noted that even in the replications that succeeded, the observed effect was on average only about 75 percent as large as the first time around.

The researchers conclude that there is a systematic bias in published findings, “partly due to false positives and partly due to the overestimated effect sizes of true positives.” This latest project provides a reminder that the publication of a finding in a peer-reviewed journal does not make it true.

OK, I lied -- I totally believed it, mostly because if it was on NPR you knew the findings were so bad for the "social science" Left that they simply had to acknowledge them, even as they tried to explain them away...

Scientists are under attack from ideologues, special interests and conspiracy theorists who reject the evidence-based consensus in such areas as evolution, climate change, the safety of vaccines and cancer treatment. The replication crisis is different; it is largely an in-house problem with experimental design and statistical analysis.

If you have to modify the word "science" with an adjective, it probably isn't science. I've long thought that "social science," like psychiatry (aka Viennese Voodoo), is mostly twaddle, a product of a specific place and time, and nothing about these revelations surprises me. Some examples:

One of the studies that didn’t replicate attempted to study whether self-reported religiosity would change among test subjects who had first been asked to look at an image of the famous Auguste Rodin sculpture “The Thinker.” The study found that people became less religious after exposure to that image.


Another experiment, conducted in Boston in 2008 and published in Science in 2010, divided passersby into “heavy” and “light” groups and gave them either a heavy clipboard or a light clipboard containing the résumé of a job applicant. The original experiment found that people holding the heavier clipboard were more likely to rate applicants as suitable for the job. The replication found no such effect.

It's all one big racket, folks.


Go home, everybody. Clickhole wins Tuesday.

Things are starting to come apart in Germany:

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday condemned violent far-right protests that degenerated into attacks against foreign-looking people, saying 'hate in the streets' has no place in Germany. After the fatal stabbing of a German man, 35, allegedly by a Syrian and an Iraqi, thousands of protesters marched in the eastern city of Chemnitzfor two straight days, some chasing down people they believed were immigrants.

Police reported assaults by extremists against at least three foreigners on Sunday, while investigations were opened in 10 cases of the protesters performing the illegal Hitler salute. At least 20 people were injured on Monday as pyrotechnics and other objects were hurled by both far-right demonstrators as well as anti-fascist counter-protesters in the city. 'What we have seen is something which has no place in a constitutional democracy,' Merkel told journalists.

Worth noting that the Saxon city of Chemnitz had been renamed Karl-Marx-Stadt during the communist period.

The circumstances that led to the death of the German man remain unclear, but the far-right quickly mobilised Sunday as word spread online that the key suspects were foreigners. Saxony's interior minister Roland Woeller said hooligans from across Germany, including as far as the western states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony, had travelled to Chemnitz for the marches.

State premier Michael Kretschmer warned that a false claim that the man was stabbed while defending a woman was circulating online, as he urged the population to seek credible news sources. He also stressed that the nationalities of the suspects were 'absolutely no reason to cast general suspicion on all foreign-born citizens'.

Saxony state, where Chemnitz is located and which is the birthplace of the Islamophobic PEGIDA street movement, has repeatedly come under intense scrutiny as a hotbed for hate crimes. The state is at the heart of misgivings over Germany's decision to welcome more than a million asylum seekers since 2015, many from war-torn Syria and Iraq.

This won't end well.

A reminder, if you needed one, that professional licensing is a scam -- a racket designed to increase the incomes of established players, prevent competition from undesirables, and put politicians in power positions to broker the winners and losers.

Political correctness ruins everything, Tuesday edition.

Stephen King, no conservative, recalled John McCain's "finest moment."

Here's the video.

Naturally, a Lebanese lady (not lesbian, Lebanese, as in from Lebanon) attacked this as "literally one of the most hurtful moments of my life."

Thankfully, this offended Arab did not get the last word. Another Arab-American journalist shot back.

I have no love for John McCain's votes and policies in the Senate, but the idea that his response in this moment should be attacked as hateful or bigoted infuriates me. The man was a war hero who had an excellent, civil response to this woman's invidious statement.

But the Left's identity politics can ruin anything.