Tuesday, 5 June 2018

What I've Been Reading, May 2018

This note used to say that the links below appear in the order I read them and was meant imply that they were more or less random in their subject matter, other than being of interest to me. Recently I started a few new sections at the bottom of the links on subjects that are of particular interest to me. But I can see that as time passes I am moving to a greater degree of "curation", which the dictionary tell me is about organizing and maintaining a collection. Applied to this collection of links and books I guess this will mean selecting links less randomly and trying to make them relevant in the context of this blog and whatever is going on in the world during the month.



  • The unwelcome revival of "race science", by Gavin Evans, The Guardian
  • Socioeconomic Status Modifies Heritability Of IQ In Young Children, by Eric Turkheimer et al, University of Virginia
    "Results demonstrate that the proportions of IQ variance attributable to genes and environment vary nonlinearly with SES. The models suggest that in impoverished families, 60% of the variance in IQ is accounted for by the shared environment, and the contribution of genes is close to zero; in affluent families, the result is almost exactly the reverse."

Poverty, Homelessness, Minimum Wage

Puerto Rico

Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles



  • Step to the Stars, by Lester del Rey
    I originally read this when I was about 10 years old. Re-read it purely for nostalgic reasons.
  • Nemesis Games, by James S. A. Corey
    Book five of the Expanse series.
  • On a Red Station Drifting, by Aliette de Bodard
  • Into the Fire, by Elizabeth Moon
    Another episode in the "Vatta's Peace" series
  • After the Last Day, by Don Hayward
    The author is a fellow I actually know, who lives in Goderich, the next town south from Kincardine along Lake Huron. What mainly attracted me to the book, though, is that it is a story of life after the collapse of civilization in the area where I grew up. It starts in the town where I went to high school, and then the plot expands to include most of Southern Ontario and a small part of Northern Ontario. Don has done a pretty good job of sketching out the events following a major financial collapse.


I'm still wading slowly through The Bell Curve, in order to be able to criticize it with some degree of credibility. This has also lead to reading some scholarly articles about IQ on the web, further slowing down my other reading. So I didn't read any other non-fiction books this month, even those I have a growing pile that I'd like to get to. To make up for this lack, here is a short list of some gems from my bookshelf:


Robert Callaghan said...

Great stuff, my Grandfather used to work at the nuclear plant there. Lot's of back roads to race cars on in the 70s.

Michael said...

You might want to read something to balance the "Big 6" corporate propaganda that GMO Answer puts out.

Irv Mills said...

@Robert Callaghan
I shudder to think of the stupid things I did in the 1970s involving cars and speed on the back roads of Southern Ontario. But marriage and fatherhood brought that to a stop.
"https://wordpress.com/post/lokisrevengeblog.wordpress.com/33189" took me nowhere, unfortunately. But Googling Loki's Revenge blog took me to a blog with lots of good posts. If it's yours,then kudos to you. Can you explain "100% private carbon dividends" further?
The list of links on Reddit is good too.
I think climate change is going to make collapse even harder than it needs to be. But I sure don't see us doing much to alleviate climate change. Here in Canada our prime minister, who was such a climate change cheerleader at the Paris talks, is now talking about spending billions of pipelines to get diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to market. Payback for those who funded his election campaign, I guess. Bad, bad news for the rest of us.

Irv Mills said...

@ Micahel
And you might want to read something to balance the propaganda put out by the organic food industry, much of which is blatantly false. I would suggest having a close and open minded look at some of the links I post here.
The scientific consensus is the GMOs are not harmful. There are far more serious issues to worry about--climate change and peak oil among them.
Indeed that is one of the main ideas behind this blog--that both the "Business As Usual" people and the counter culture (crunchy) people have a lot of ideas that aren't reality based.
In particular the crunchies have bought into the BAU propaganda that science is on the side of BAU and as a result crunchies reject much that has been solidly established by science. And of course, the BAU folks would have us believe a lot of stuff that isn't supported by science, either.

Michael said...

I have; but thanks for assuming I hadn't. When conflicting "facts"are muddying the water I think back to what my departed father used to say: "When someone's trying to separate you from your cash take a large grain of salt with what they have to say". I enjoy your blog a lot, it seems to be well grounded while others of its type seem to have gone off the deep end; the Dimitry Orlov and James Kunstler blogs come to mind.

Irv Mills said...

nice of you to say. I do try to stay grounded in reality.
About being separated from one's cash, it's good to remember the organic food is a multi-billion dollar a year industry that relies on fear to sell its products. So I find it very hard to take them seriously.
The reality seems to be that safety wise, organic and conventionally grown foods are about the same. And, sadly, both organic and conventional farming are also pretty much equally unsustainable based on their dependence on fossil fuels.