More Oral Sex, More Oral Cancer

Studies from Maura L. Gillison and others found that oral sex is linked to HPV, even when many confounding variables (such as tobacco and alcohol, number of sexual partners, etc.) have been controlled. Recall that the human papillomavirus (HPV) is commonly spread via oral sex : HPV increases the probability of getting an oral cancer. This is true whether women practice oral sex on men or men practice oral sex on women.

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Jewish Genius, by Charles Murray

Jewish Genius,” by Charles Murray — April 2007 [PDF]


From 800 B.C.E. through the first millennium of the Common Era, we have just two examples of great Jewish accomplishment, and neither falls strictly within the realms of the arts or sciences. But what a pair they are. The first is the fully realized conceptualization of monotheism, expressed through one of the literary treasures of the world, the Hebrew Bible. It not only laid the foundation for three great religions but, as Thomas Cahill describes in The Gifts of the Jews (1998), introduced a way of looking at the meaning of human life and the nature of history that defines core elements of the modern sensibility. The second achievement is not often treated as a Jewish one but clearly is: Christian theology expressed through the New Testament, an accomplishment that has spilled into every aspect of Western civilization.

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The Attack on The Bell Curve, by Richard Lynn

The Attack on The Bell Curve by Richard Lynn

Personality and Individual Differences 26, (1999), pp. 761-765.

B. Devlin, S.E. Fienberg, D.P. Resnick and K. Roeder (Eds). Intelligence, Genes and Success: Scientists Respond to The Bell Curve, Springer-Yerlag, New York (1997), ISBN 0-387-94986-0, 376 pp.
C.S. Fischer, M. Hoot, M.S. Jankowski, S.R. Locas, A. Swidler and K. Yoss (Eds), Inequality by Design: Cracking The Bell Curve Myth, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ (1996). ISBN 0-691-02899-0, 318 pp.

It is doubtful whether any book in the entire history of psychology has been so extensively attacked as The Bell Curve by the late Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray (1994). The book has been the subject of several hundred critical reviews, a number of which have been collected in edited volumes, some of whose very titles such as Measured Lies (Kincheloe, Steinberg and Gresson, 1996) betray the emotional strength of the hostility the book has evoked. However, many of the initial attacks on The Bell Curve fell wide of the mark. Now we have two more serious books, both of which examine the arguments of The Bell Curve and find then deficient. They contain contributions from geneticists, psychologists, sociologists and statisticians, and they attempt to refute all the essential arguments made in The Bell Curve.

The Failure of the New Economics, by Henry Hazlitt

The Failure of the “New Economics” (Henry Hazlitt, 1959)

Chapter II


2. Wage-Rates and Unemployment

In explanation of the passage I have just quoted, he goes on:

Wide variations are experienced in the volume of employment without any apparent change either in the minimum real demands of labor or in its productivity. Labor is not more truculent in the depression than in the boom — far from it. Nor is its physical productivity less. These facts from experience are a prima facie ground for questioning the adequacy of the classical analysis (p. 9).

Are they? Keynes has here tumbled into a glaring fallacy. The absence of change in physical productivity is completely irrelevant to money wage-rates. What counts in economics is only value productivity — and value productivity stated in this case, of course, in monetary terms. If the marginal productivity of a worker is a given unit of a commodity that previously sold for $10, and the price of that unit has now fallen to $5, then the marginal value productivity of that worker, even though he is turning out the same number of units, has fallen by half. If we assume that this fall in prices has been general, and that this represents the average fall, then the worker who insists on retaining his old money wage-rate is in effect insisting on a 100 per cent increase in his real wage-rate. Whether the worker is “truculent” or not is entirely beside the point. If prices fall by 50 per cent, and unions will accept a wage cut, but of no more than 25 per cent, then the unions are in effect demanding an increase in real wage-rates of 50 per cent. The only way they can get it, and retain full employment, is by an increase of 50 per cent in their physical (or “real” value) marginal productivity to make up for the drop in the price of the individual unit of the commodity they help to produce. [Hazlitt, 1959, p. 20-21]

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Criticism of the Efficiency-Wage Theory

The “Efficiency Wage” is a New Keynesian theory aimed to highlight a so-called market failure. Gregory Mankiw describes the theory as follows :

There are various theories about how wages affect worker productivity. One efficiency-wage theory holds that high wages reduce labor turnover. Workers quit jobs for many reasons—to accept better positions at other firms, to change careers, or to move to other parts of the country. The more a firm pays its workers, the greater their incentive to stay with the firm. By paying a high wage, a firm reduces the frequency of quits, thereby decreasing the time spent hiring and training new workers.

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Understanding Human History, Michael H. Hart – Chapter 15, 16 & 24

Understanding Human History, Michael H. Hart. 2007.

Chapter 15

Racial Differences in Intelligence

Section 3 – IQ data: Blacks and whites in the United States

Although the studies differ, virtually all show a large difference between the average scores of American blacks and whites, with the differences clustering around one standard deviation. A few of those studies, including several of the largest ones, are listed in Table 15-1. [footnote 4] It is worth remarking, though, that those studies (like most others) probably underestimate the true value of δ (where δ is defined as the difference between the mean IQ of American whites of European descent and the mean IQ of American blacks). At least two factors contribute to this:

1) Many such studies include only students who are attending school, and omit high school dropouts. This factor causes us to overestimate average IQs. As proportionally more blacks than whites drop out of high school, the effect is to reduce the measured value of δ. [footnote 5]

2) Almost all such studies omit the prison population. Since prisoners, on average, have much lower IQs than the public at large, omitting them has the effect of overestimating the average IQ of every racial group in the United States. Since about 3% of American blacks are prisoners (but less than . of 1% of whites), omitting this factor leads to underestimating δ.

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The structure of production reconsidered – Jörg Guido Hülsmann

The Cambridge Capital Controversy (CCC) is sometimes cited as one of the strongest refutation of the Austrian Business Cycle Theory, considered by Mark Blaug as “the final nail in the coffin of the Austrian theory of capital”.

We must first point out that the “reswitching controversy” is empirically refuted. From Zonghie Han and Bertram Schefold (2005) :

An empirical investigation of paradoxes: reswitching and reverse capital deepening in capital theory

This paper examines the empirical relevance of the capital controversy. The price model of Sraffa and the dual models of the price and quantity systems of von Neumann become the basis of the investigation. In the course of the controversy, it proved easy to construct theoretical examples which contradicted the fundamental neoclassical hypothesis of an inverse capital demand function. This paper presents empirical examples for the first time. Thiry-two input-output tables from the OECD database serve as data. As a result, one envelope is found which involves reswitching. Reverse substitution of labour or reverse capital deepening are observed in about 3.65% of tested cases: they involve at least two switchpoints.

Theoretically, Guido Hülsmann, in “The structure of production reconsidered”, had investigated the issue. He explains that the interest rate and the production structure are not necessarily negatively related (i.e., a lower interest rate is related to a lenghtening of the structure of production) even though the interest rate still affects relative spending, as theorized by austrians. He proposes to develop and enrich the theory of the structure of production. He lists 8 possible scenarios, each of them having different implications. He finally investigates the implication of the consumer credit and the variation of monetary conditions. The former simultaneously thins and lengthens the structure of production. The latter has no systematic impact on the structure of production.

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On the So-Called ‘Failure’ of Free Banking in Australia : the Banking Crisis of 1893

The anti-free bankers sometimes rehash Hickson and Turner’s paper “Free banking gone awry: the Australian banking crisis of 1893” (2002) as a refutation of the theory of free banking while ignoring the many other successful episodes. In fact, some evidence provided by the paper contradicts their conclusion that the root cause of the 1893 crisis stems from the fact that “Australian banks opportunistically diverted dramatically increased deposits into overly risky assets without corresponding increases in equity capital”. Hickson and Turner ironically support the evidence brought by Selgin that the boom is caused “not by any increase in the bank money multiplier, but by injections of high-powered money from Austra-lian gold mines and from the British capital market”.

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The Tragedy of the Euro, Philipp Bagus

The Tradegy of the Euro, Philipp Bagus, Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Chapter 4

Why High Inflation Countries Wanted the Euro

Socialized Seigneuriage

Some countries, especially France, made gains at the expense of the Germans due to a socialization of seignorage wealth. [3] Seignorage are the net profits resulting from the use of the printing press. When a central bank produces more base money, it buys assets, many of which yield income. For instance, a central bank may buy a government bond with newly produced money. The net interest income resulting from the assets is seignorage and transmitted at the end of the year to the government. As a result of the introduction of the Euro, seignorage was socialized in the EMU. Central banks had to send interest revenues to the ECB. The ECB would remit its own profits at the end of the year. One could imagine that this would be a zero sum game. But it is not. The ECB remits profits to national central banks based not on the assets held by individual central banks, but rather based on the capital that each central bank holds in the ECB. This capital, in turn, reflects population and GDP and not the national central banks’ assets.

The Bundesbank, for instance, produced more base money in relation to its population and GDP than France, basically because the Deutschmark was an international reserve currency and was used in international transactions. The Bundesbank held more interest generating assets in relation to its population and GDP than France did. Consequently, the Bundesbank remitted relatively more interest revenues to the ECB than France, which were then redistributed to central banks based on population and GDP figures. While this scheme was disadvantageous for Germany, Austria, Spain and the Netherlands it was beneficial to France. Indeed, the Bundesbank profits remitted back to the German government fell after the introduction of the Euro. In the ten years before the single currency, the Bundesbank obtained euro 68.5 billion in profits. In the first ten years of the Euro the profit fell to euro 47.5 billion.

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IQ-Motivation : réfutation de Angela Lee Duckworth

L’étude “Role of test motivation in intelligence testing” (2011) menée par Duckworth et ses collègues est régulièrement citée par les partisans “anti-QI” comme une preuve à l’encontre de la “thèse du QI”. Il y a premièrement un grand malentendu. Comme Duckworth et al. ont noté dans leur conclusion :

It is important not to overstate our conclusions. For all measured outcomes in Study 2, the predictive validity of intelligence remained statistically significant when controlling for the nonintellective traits underlying test motivation. Moreover, the predictive validity of intelligence was significantly stronger than was the predictive validity of test motivation for academic achievement. In addition, both Studies 1 and 2 indicate that test motivation is higher and less variable among participants who are above-average in measured IQ. These findings imply that earning a high IQ score requires high intelligence in addition to high motivation. Lower IQ scores, however, might result from either lower intelligence or lack of motivation. Thus, given closer-to-maximal performance, test motivation poses a less serious threat to the internal validity of studies using higher-IQ samples, such as college undergraduates, a popular convenience sample for social science research (43). Test motivation as a third-variable confound is also less likely when experimenters provide substantial performance-contingent incentives or when test results directly affect test takers (e.g., intelligence tests used for employment or admissions decisions).

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