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As I pointed out in 1997, over the last quarter of the 20th Century, a narrowing gender gap in Olympic sprinting races is less often proof of the triumph of feminism than proof that runners are getting away with taking more Performance Enhancing Drugs. Because anabolic steroids are artificial male hormones (with some but usually not quite all the virilizing effect of natural male hormones taken out) women get more bang for the buck than men from taking a dose of steroids that is just below the detectable limit. Men start out with an order of magnitude more male hormones than women, so they get less effect from doses that aren’t big enough to get them suspended.

So the fact that the gender gap between the men and women in the Olympic 100 meter finals was likely the narrowest since 1988, suggests that, due to the covid interval, doping was worse in 2021 than in recent Olympics. Sprinters had time to build long term muscle with big doses of steroids over the last 16 months because there was less in-competition drug testing due to fewer competitions and less out-of-competition drug testing due to social distancing and the general official lackadaisicalness of the pandemic era.

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah ran 10.61 to break Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 33-year-old Olympic record of 10.62, while Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy ran 9.80, for a gap of 0.81 seconds.

In contrast, in 2016, Usain Bolt won at 9.81 while Thompson-Hera, ran 10.71, for a gap of 0.9 seconds between the gold medalists.

In 1988, the official fastest men’s time was Carl Lewis’s 9.92. So the 1988 gap was, officially, only 0.7 seconds.

However, that was when Florence Griffith-Joyner set the women’s Olympic record at 10.62 seconds but Ben Johnson’s world record of 9.79 was famously thrown out two days later due to even the drug testing systems of 1988 not being fooled, what with Ben being known as “Benoid” to the other runners because the whites of his eyes had turned yellow from all the steroids he was taking. Flo-Jo was not caught, even though, frustrated in late 1987 that she was still working in the nail salon because she kept getting silver medals behind highly muscular women, called up Ben for training advice, then emerged in the spring of 1988 looking like a comic book superheroine.

iSteve commenter prime noticer points out, harshly but perhaps not unfairly:

The magic yam harvest was especially good this year in Jamaica, causing the women to turn in the least plausible results of all time. Old women and literal mothers in their 30s getting faster (and getting braces), sweeping the medals, running 10.7 with ease into a negative wind, even 10.6 (who was the last woman to run this fast…oh right). and most preposterous – the third Jamaican came in 0.15 seconds ahead of the fourth place runner. what? in an Olympic final?

Steve likes to talk about the Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis era, but this was easily the most drugged up, steroided out final in the history of track and field. it would be an outrage, if women’s sports mattered, which they don’t.

Jamaican men, who have finally been cracked down on, didn’t even get to the final. good riddance to these mega users.



The debate over the nature of biological species has many aspects. One question is the
biological nature of species: are they groups of interbreeding organisms, phylogenetic
branches on the Tree of Life, or something else? Then there is the ontological question: are species natural kinds, sets, or individuals? Recently, the debate over species
has been pitched at a higher hierarchical level. Instead of arguing over the nature of
species taxa, much discussion focuses on whether the species category—the theoretically defined category of all species taxa—exists. Those biologists and philosophers
that discuss the existence of the species category fall into two camps. Skeptics argue
M. Ereshefsky (B)
Department of Philosophy, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
406 Synthese (2010) 175:405–425
that the species category does not exist (Ereshefsky 1998, 2001; Mishler 1999, 2003;
Hendry et al. 2000; Pleijel and Rouse 2000a,b; Fisher 2006). Many of those skeptics
also suggest that the term ‘species’ should be eliminated from biology. Defenders
of the species category respond that with more theoretical knowledge and perhaps a
bit of philosophical reasoning we can be confident that the species category exists
(de Queiroz 1999, 2005, 2007; Mayden 2002; Pigliucci 2003; Pigliucci and Kaplan
2006; Lee 2003; Wilson 2005; Wilson et al. 2009).
This paper suggests a different approach to the species problem. This approach
is far from new, because Darwin employed a similar strategy to the species problem 150 years ago. Darwin’s solution, as I will call it, is threefold. First, we should
recognize that the species category is not a real category in nature. Second, despite
skepticism over the species category, we should not be skeptical of those taxa biologists call ‘species.’ Third, despite skepticism over the species category, there are
pragmatic reasons for retaining the word ‘species’ in biology. The claim that Darwin
was skeptical of the species category is not new (Ghiselin 1969; Beatty 1992; Hodge
1987), though it is contested (Stamos 1996, 2007). What is new is the relevance of
Darwin’s solution to current debates over the species problem. On the theoretical
side, Darwin’s solution is supported by contemporary biology and offers a stronger
answer to the species problem than recent attempts to save the species category. On
the practical side, Darwin’s solution frees us from the endless search for the correct
theoretical definition of ‘species,’ while at the same time


Su Bingtian of China ran 9.83 to be the fastest qualifier in the men’s 100 m dash semifinal. He will be the first nonblack to compete in the 8-man Race to Be the Fastest Man in the World since the 1980 Moscow Summer Games. After 72 consecutive black finalists over the last 9 Olympics, the Streak is over.

He’s the first Asian 100m male finalist since Takayoshi Yoshioka in the 1932 Los Angeles Games.

I wonder whether Su Bingtian will have anything left in the final in a couple of hours. He certainly ran the race of his life in the semifinal.

What next, a nonblack starting cornerback in the NFL?

Spoiler alert, the winner of the final was Lamont Marcel Jacobs of Italy, the American born son of an American soldier and an Italian mother in 9.80.

Lamont Marcell Jacob has a black father, an American Army soldier and was born in El Paso, and and Italian mother and largely raised in Italy. He’s 50% black by nature, but mostly Italian by nurture. He speaks Italian, he says, better than he speaks English.


The Race to Be the World’s Fastest Man, the Olympic men’s 100 meter dash, is a fine generator of data relevant to classic questions of nature and nurture. For the last 9 Summer Games, from 1984 through 2016, all eight men to make the 100m finals each time have been of at least half-black ancestry, an incredible 72 out of 72.

Will that streak be snapped in 2021?

Rohan Browning, a little known white Australian, ran 10.01 in the first round heats to tie for the 5th fastest qualifier for the semifinals.

Su Bingtian, a Chinese, tied for the 12th fastest time. Filippo Tortu of Italy, a white man, was the 18th fastest qualifier at 10.10. (He has broken the 10 second barrier before.)

Here are the top 40 times from the first round heats of the men’s 100m sprint at the Tokyo Olympics:

Three other East Asians, an Iranian, and a member of Taiwan’s indigenous Austronesian Amis people almost made the cut.

Here’s the Taiwanese aboriginal sprinter. The Taiwan natives, who make up about 1% of the population, are more related to Pacific Islanders than to Chinese.

The other 21 of the 24 qualifiers for the semi-finals was at least half-black.

At least two of the qualifiers are half black — Lamont Marcell Jacobs, the son of a black American military man and an Italian mother, who was raised in Italy; and veteran French sprinter Jimmy Vicaut, who has a white father.

Here’s Vicaut with an extremely French facial expression:

Interestingly, there appears to have been more regional diversity among qualifiers of Sub-Saharan ancestry than in the past when guys with roots in West or Southwest Africa dominated. South Africa continues its rise as a sprint power with three semifinalists.

And Ferdinand Omurwa threatens to be the first representative of 400m-to-marathon powerhouse Kenya in the 100m final, having tied Browning for 5th fastest qualifier by tying Kenya’s national record of 10.01. The Kenyan looks more like a traditional 100 meter man than he does a standard Kenyan marathoner.

The semifinals and finals are at a million o’clock in the morning Pacific Daylight Time on Sunday.

Data source:

For aesthetic reasons, I used a screenshot above, but if you want to work with the data yourself, I am posting it beneath the fold:

Rank Result Name Country Race Region Semi? Heat Position Lost by Note
1 9.91 de GRASSE Andre Canada Black Diaspora Q 5 1 SB
2 9.94 JACOBS Lamont Marcell Italy Half black (US) Diaspora Q 3 1 NR
3 9.97 KERLEY Fred USA Black Diaspora Q 5 2
4 9.98 ADEGOKE Enoch Nigeria Black West Africa Q 2 1 PB
5 10.01 OMURWA Ferdinand Kenya Black-East African East Africa Q 5 3 -0.001 NR
5 10.01 BROWNING Rohan Australia White European Q 7 1 -0.01 PB
7 10.02 OGUNODE Femi Qatar Black (Nigeria) Diaspora Q 2 2
8 10.03 BAKER Ronnie USA Black Diaspora Q 1 1
9 10.04 HUGHES Zharnel UK Black Diaspora Q 2 3 -0.033 SB
9 10.04 SEVILLE Oblique Jamaica Black Caribbean Q 3 2 -0.035 PB
9 10.04 LEOTLELA Gift South Africa Black Southern Africa Q 4 1 -0.036
12 10.05 BROMELL Trayvon USA Black Diaspora q 2 4 -0.047
12 10.05 SU Bingtian China East Asian East Asia Q 4 2 -0.05
14 10.06 BLAKE Yohan Jamaica Black Caribbean Q 7 2
15 10.07 VICAUT Jimmy France Half black Diaspora Q 1 2 SB
16 10.08 SIMBINE Akani South Africa Black Southern Africa Q 6 1 -0.074
16 10.08 UJAH Chijindu UK Black Diaspora Q 7 3 -0.074
18 10.10 TORTU Filippo Italy White European q 5 4 SB
19 10.12 PRESCOD Reece Britain Black Diaspora q 5 5 -0.111 SB
19 10.12 MASWANGANYI Shaun South Africa Black Southern Africa Q 3 3 -0.112
21 10.13 AZAMATI-KWAKU Benjamin Ghana Black West Africa 7 4
22 10.15 CISSE Arthur Ivory Coast Black West Africa Q 6 2 -0.143
22 10.15 ITSEKIRI Usheoritse Nigeria Black West Africa Q 1 3 -0.143
22 10.15 YAMAGATA Ryota Japan East Asian East Asia 3 4 -0.145
25 10.16 XIE Zhenye China East Asian East Asia 3 5
26 10.17 CAMILO Paulo Andre Brazil Black Brazil Q 6 3
27 10.18 WU Zhiqiang China East Asian East Asia 1 4
28 10.19 TAFTIAN Hassan Iran Middle Eastern Middle East 6 4 SB
29 10.20 MUSAH Kojo Denmark Half black Diaspora 7 5
30 10.21 ROGERS Jason St. Kitts Nevis Black Caribbean Q 4 3 -0.206
30 10.21 YANG Chun-Han Taiwan Indigenous Austronesian Pacific 1 5 -0.209 SB
32 10.22 KOIKE Yuki Japan East Asian East Asia 4 4 -0.215
32 10.22 TADA Shuhei Japan East Asian East Asia 1 6 -0.218
34 10.24 DO NASCIMENTO Rodrigo Brazil Black Brazil 7 6
35 10.25 MATADI Emmanuel Liberia Black West Africa 6 5 -0.245
35 10.25 HARVEY Jak Ali Turkey Black (Jamaica) Diaspora 5 6 -0.246 SB
35 10.25 GREENE Cejhae Antilles Black Caribbean 6 6 -0.249
38 10.26 BARDI Felipe Brazil Black Brazil 2 5 -0.253
38 10.26 ZOHRI Lalu Muhammad Indonesia Southeast Asian Southeast Asia 4 5 -0.254 SB
40 10.28 WICKI Silvan Switzerland White European 2 6



From ABC News:

CDC mask decision followed stunning findings from Cape Cod beach outbreak

A group of vaccinated beachgoers changed our knowledge of the delta variant.

ByAnne Flaherty andArielle Mitropoulos
July 29, 2021, 1:49 PM

A week after the crowds descended upon Provincetown, Massachusetts, to celebrate the Fourth of July — the holiday President Joe Biden hoped would mark the nation’s liberation from COVID-19 — the manager of the Cape Cod beach town said he was aware of “a handful of positive COVID cases among folks” who spent time there. …

But within weeks, health officials seemed to be on to something much bigger. The outbreak quickly grew to the hundreds and most of them appeared to be vaccinated.

As of Thursday, 882 people were tied to the Provincetown outbreak. Among those living in Massachusetts, 74% of them were fully immunized, yet officials said the vast majority were also reporting symptoms. Seven people were reported hospitalized.

That’s a low hospitalization rate, although I’m not sure if that’s just those from Massachusetts. Provincetown attracts many from outside the state: e.g., Andrew Sullivan flies in each summer.

The initial findings of the investigation led by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seemed to have huge implications.

Before Provincetown, health officials had been operating under the assumption that it was extraordinarily rare for a vaccinated person to become infected with the virus. And if they did, they probably wouldn’t end up passing it on to others, such as children too young to qualify for the vaccine or people who were medically vulnerable.

The idea that vaccines halt transmission of the virus was largely behind the CDC’s decision in May suggesting vaccinated people could safely go without their masks indoors and in crowds, even if others were unvaccinated.

But that assumption had been based on studies of earlier versions of the virus. Delta was known for its “hyper-transmissibility,” or as one former White House adviser put it “COVID on steroids.”

Strikingly, a three-letter word missing from this long article about Provincetown is “gay.” Provincetown is perhaps the gayest place in America. From KALW Public Media in the SF Bay Area:

Provincetown – The Gayest Little City in the World
KALW | By Eric Jansen
Published April 16, 2015 at 9:50 AM PDT

But you’re never supposed to mention anything involving gays transmitting infections while partying. After all, we now know that the AIDS epidemic in America was the fault of Ronald and, especially, Nancy Reagan, not the people who infected other people. Follow the Science!


From the Chicago Sun-Times news section:

State’s new ‘thought leader’ on equity focused on ‘long game:’ Moving Illinois from diversity to equity

Nearly three and a half months after joining Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration, Sekile Nzinga will get to put her theory into practice as head of a new office of equity that the governor plans to create Friday through an executive order.

By Rachel Hinton Jul 30, 2021, 5:00am CDT

Diversity is not the end point, but the starting line.

That’s what Sekile Nzinga believes.

Nearly three and a half months after joining Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration, Nzinga will get to put that theory into practice as head of a new office of equity that the governor plans to create Friday through an executive order.

“I think diversity is our basement, it’s our sub-basement,” Nzinga told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Professional equity demanders just can’t stop thinking about your house.

“Yes, every place in our world is diverse, and so why wouldn’t our agencies be diverse? So that’s the basement — that’s the minimum standard.”

The finish line is equity.

Named the chief diversity officer in April, Nzinga said she changed her title to chief equity officer because her goal is “to get to equity, to move us off the sub-basement, but recognizing that the sub-basement is where we start.”

Yup, when they talk about equity they are thinking about getting their hands on your home equity.

All state employees will be required to participate in annual trainings focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Hostile environment harassment.

Other headlines in the Sun-Times:

Citing lack of diversity in media ownership, members of Congress urge FCC to do equity audit

Mayor Lightfoot calls out media for glaring lack of diversity

Pritzker signs bills aimed at economic access, equity in employment, contracts, cannabis industry: ‘Hope is in the air’


Razib Khan reviews Charles Murray’s Facing Reality in Quillette:

Charles Murray’s ‘Facing Reality’—A Review

written by Razib Khan

July 29, 2021

And Robert Verbruggen reviews Facing Reality in National Review:

What to Make of Racial Gaps

July 29, 2021 11:25 AM

Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America, by Charles Murray (Encounter Books, 168 pp., $25.99)

With Facing Reality, Charles Murray aims to provide an extremely brief corrective to our current debate over racial inequality. That debate, he says, is missing “two truths”:

The first is that American Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and Asians, as groups, have different means and distributions of cognitive ability. The second is that American Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and Asians, as groups, have different rates of violent crime.

Once we recognize that these differences exist and will be with us “indefinitely,” we should stop blaming all racial inequality on racism, abandon race-conscious policies, and rededicate ourselves to the American ideal of treating one another as individuals.

What is the target audience for such an argument? Murray says one group is a special priority: “people on the center-left who are liberals in the tradition that extended from FDR through Bill Clinton and included Senator Joe Biden.”

It is true, of course, that there are real and highly consequential racial gaps in test scores and crime rates — and that we’ve expended considerable effort trying to close them, with mixed-at-best results. It’s less clear that many Americans are unaware of these gaps, that Murray is the right person to convince a skeptic, or that the case he has assembled here is well tailored to that purpose.

To begin with, I would posit that most Americans know about these problems, even if they’d rather not dwell on them or state them out loud in crude terms. Some may cringe at the assertion that different racial groups have different levels of “cognitive ability” on average, for instance, but gaps in academic performance are widely accepted. Every year we hear about gaps on standardized tests and debate how to address them. High rates of crime in minority neighborhoods are similarly obvious and troubling to mainstream and center-left Americans. In 2016, Barack Obama called the black murder rate “way out of whack compared to the general population.”

My main subject matters are:

Pointing out how the world works;

Pointing out that the typical New York Times’ subscriber’s model of how the world works increasingly doesn’t work.

But that doesn’t mean that the white population of the non-ultraorthodox parts of Brooklyn don’t know about crime and education gaps between the races when it comes to, say, why the think this block would be ideal to profit from off gentrification but that block will have to wait.

On the other hand, their awareness of the existence of racial gaps seems to vanish when it comes to matters of public policy not personally affecting them. To take a pertinent example, they seem sincerely shocked that black men in Ferguson, Missouri are hassled more by the police. The obvious Occam’s Razor explanation that that’s because of the much higher crime rate, especially for murder, among black men simply does not seem to occur to them when they read the headlines.

Personally, I’m always trying to think through how truths we know from private life, such as those involving real estate, affect public life, such as criminal justice, and vice-versa. But lots of intelligent people rarely ever make this connection and seem to see the private and public as two completely separate intellectual domains. It’s just wrong to apply the knowledge you’ve gain in where to buy a condo and where to send your children to school to thinking critically about the doctrines of Black Lives Matter and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.

Back to Verbruggen:

Further to the left, there certainly is a growing segment of “woke” folks who deny Murray’s truths, the ones who would eliminate standardized testing and blame racial differences in incarceration entirely on a biased justice system.

This extreme left is winning at eliminating standardized testing.

But even this ideology — obsessed with a subtle “systemic racism” that can perpetuate inequality even through colorblind rules and good-intentioned people — doesn’t have to deny the facts about test performance and violence, which can simply be seen as effects of systemic racism in themselves. Two Urban Institute re­searchers wrote last year, for example, that “violence and the disproportionate rates of victimization in Black communities” are “a product of structural racism.”

But Woke excuses sound more plausible when most Americans aren’t aware of the size of the gaps and assume there are only moderate gaps in line with differences in income and educational status. For example, I broke the news last September that blacks per capita in the FBI 2019 crime stats were 8.2 times more likely than nonblacks of all other races to be known murder offenders. I haven’t seen anybody in the MSM repeat that hatestat. Without actual numbers, it’s hard to think critically about Woke dogmas. For example, Hispanics are about as poor and undereducated as blacks, but have a much lower murder rate.

So, it may not really come as a shock to center-left Americans, and even some with more radical inclinations, that there are different levels of crime and academic performance among racial and ethnic groups.

But they don’t talk about it much.

Anyway, a fundamental problem is that the Woke Mainstream pursues solutions to the wrong problems. They don’t act as if deep-seated “structural racism” that causes blacks to act more violently and less intelligently is the real problem. If that were true, you’d want to continue to measure reality so you’d have evidence that your brilliant plan to dismantle structural racism is working as planned.

No, they act as if the problem is the cops arresting too many blacks and psychometric tests being unfairly biased against blacks, so they take destructive steps that, for example, drive up the black on black murder rate.

To me, the beginning of wisdom is “First, do no harm.”

But to the mainstream the beginning of wisdom is to assume that reality must concur with your hopes and wishes.


From the New York Times:

Simone Biles’s Brother Is Acquitted of Murder Charges

Tevin Biles-Thomas was charged in the fatal shooting of three people at a New Year’s Eve party in 2018. This week, a judge said prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to convict him.

By Eduardo Medina and Alyssa Lukpat
June 16, 2021

Tevin Biles-Thomas, the brother of the Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles, was acquitted of murder charges this week, less than a month after a Cleveland judge declared a mistrial in his case.

Mr. Biles-Thomas, 26, was charged in the fatal shooting of three people at a New Year’s Eve party in Cleveland in 2018. On Tuesday, Judge Joan Synenberg of Common Pleas Court in Cuyahoga County acquitted him, court records show, granting a motion filed by Mr. Biles-Thomas’s defense lawyers arguing that prosecutors had failed to provide enough evidence to justify a guilty verdict.

… Mr. Biles-Thomas’s previous trial ended abruptly on May 25 after jurors told Judge Synenberg that they had mistakenly seen legal briefs among the trial evidence.

It was not immediately clear how the briefs became mixed with the evidence, but they reportedly reflected debate between prosecutors and Mr. Biles-Thomas’s defense lawyers about whether he had acted in self-defense, reported.

After the second trial adjourned on Tuesday, Judge Synenberg said, the mother of one of the victims, who was “very upset” with the outcome, ran toward Mr. Biles-Thomas, seemingly intent on injuring him. Video footage obtained by WKYC-TV shows the woman being pulled away by security officers in the courtroom. …

Representatives for Ms. Biles, a five-time Olympic medalist, did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment.

Mr. Biles-Thomas was arrested in August 2019 and charged with murder, homicide, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault and perjury in connection with the shooting at a house party on Dec. 31, 2018, the authorities said.

Three people were killed: DeVaughn Gibson, 23; DelVaunte Johnson, 19; and Toshaun Banks, 21.

The authorities said in a statement at the time of Mr. Biles-Thomas’s arrest that “an uninvited group” had entered the house around 11:30 p.m. the night of the shooting and that “an altercation ensued between the uninvited guests and those who were invited.” Shots were fired, striking “multiple” people, including the three who died, they said.

Jill Leovy, the L.A. Times’ homicide reporter whose book about impunity due to snitches getting stitches in South-Central L.A., Ghettoside (I’m guessing it was originally entitled Ghettocide), pooh-poohed the notion that most black-on-black shootings were the result of Michael Corleone-like organized crime cold-blooded calculations, but instead were due to excitable dumb stuff like “unwelcome party guests.”

Ms. Biles, 24, said on Twitter after her brother’s arrest in 2019 that she was “still having a hard time processing” what had happened.

“My heart aches for everyone involved,” Ms. Biles said. “I ask everyone to please respect my family’s privacy as we deal with our pain.”

In an essay for CNN in 2018, Ms. Biles said that she and her siblings had been removed from her mother’s custody when Ms. Biles was 3. Her mother had a drug addiction.

Ms. Biles is headed to Tokyo to compete in her second Olympic Games next month. Last month she became the first woman to ever execute a Yurchenko double pike, a dangerous move involving a back handspring and two flips in a pike position before landing on her feet.

From ESPN a few days before the judge ordered the acquittal:

Judge asked to order arrest of witnesses in triple slaying involving brother of Simone Biles

Jun 12, 2021
Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Prosecutors in Ohio asked a judge to issue arrest warrants for three witnesses sought in the retrial of the brother of Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles in a deadly 2018 New Year’s Eve party shootout that left three men dead.

Tevin Biles-Thomas is charged in Cuyahoga County with murder, voluntary manslaughter and felonious assault; prosecutors on Tuesday dismissed a perjury count. The U.S. Army soldier’s first trial ended in a mistrial last month, after jurors were inadvertently given legal paperwork related to the case.

Authorities said gunfire broke out at the Cleveland party in 2018 when a group of men arrived uninvited. Nineteen-year-old DelVaunte Johnson, 21-year-old Toshaun Banks and 23-year-old DeVaughn Gibson were killed. reported that prosecutors told a judge last week that they have been unable to find the only witness who reported seeing Biles-Thomas fire a weapon. Prosecutors also said they cannot find two other witnesses, including one man who was shot in the head.

It’s almost as if snitches get stitches.

Last month, the judge issued arrest warrants for two witnesses who failed to appear to testify during the first trial; both took the stand later in the day wearing handcuffs, ankle chains and jail uniforms, reported.

Prosecutors told jurors Thursday that two men got into an altercation and Biles-Thomas pulled a gun and opened fire. Authorities allege that one of the men who had been scuffling returned fire, killing the other, and Biles-Thomas then shot two others and fled. Police never found the guns and found no bullet casings with Biles-Thomas’ DNA.

Defense attorney Joe Patituce told jurors Thursday that Biles-Thomas didn’t fire any shots and was wearing a jacket of a different color than what witnesses described. He also attacked the credibility of a key witness, saying he had gotten “the golden ticket” of leniency in that case and another one after agreeing to implicate the defendant.

All this would weird me out and make me antsy about doing a back handspring and two flips in a pike position.


The semi-official Governors Highway Safety Association released a report last month on traffic fatalities per 100,000 from 2015-2019 (thus leaving out the big increase in the black death rate that began in June 2020):

An Analysis of Traffic Fatalities by Race and Ethnicity

Whites appear to now be worse drivers than Hispanics, which is interesting. I can recall Thomas Sowell remarking many decades ago about how many Mexican-American males were killed drunk driving for macho reasons. (On the other hand, lady Latinos tend to be pretty meek and mild — e.g., they have quite low murder rates.)

The GHSA reports summarize some previous research back into the 1990s, which usually saw Hispanic males with high traffic death rates.

One methodological issues is that this is per capita not per mile driven. If per capita whites drive a lot more miles than Latinos, then whites might not be worse per mile driven.

It’s surprisingly hard to find estimates of Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) per capita by race. But the Rand Corporation in 2013 said Hispanics drive the most VMT. Another graph from 2009 suggests whites drive more, but it’s pretty close.

So it looks like Hispanics have improved as drivers in recent years. Good for them.

In general, whites appear to be pretty bad drivers these days, almost as bad as blacks (at least before the Racial Reckoning) and worse than Hispanics. And the white vs. Asian gap is just terrible.

Do better.


From the Washington Post news section:

The best place to ride out a global societal collapse is New Zealand, study finds

By Adam Taylor
Today at 1:00 p.m. EDT

If the skies were to darken, seas swell and economies crumble, where would be the best place to ride out global civilizational collapse?

In the southwestern Pacific, in a country with some six times as many sheep as people, according to a recent study.

New Zealand could be one of the last places standing.

Released this month in the journal Sustainability by researchers at Britain’s Anglia Ruskin University, the study aimed to build understanding of which destinations could survive independently in the face of a global disaster caused by the likes of climate change, a pandemic, a financial collapse or other cataclysmic disruptions.

Or, as the paper puts it, which destinations could survive as “nodes of persisting complexity” in the face of a period of rapid, uncontrolled and worldwide “de-complexification.”

Islands in temperate regions and with low population densities generally came out on top. Destinations were ranked on a variety of factors, including land area per capita, distance from other population centers and potential for renewable energy and agriculture.

Other potential “nodes” include Iceland, Tasmania and Ireland, the study found, and the researchers said they were surprised by a relatively strong showing from Britain. However, New Zealand was found to have the most “potential.”

Though New Zealand’s economy is highly globalized and the country currently relies on imports, it has “abundant” energy resources and agricultural land, the study found.

Riding out the apocalypse in New Zealand sounds pretty good, so long as you like mutton.


The great physicist, who won the Nobel in 1979, has died at 88. Weinberg’s fellow U. of Texas physicist Scott Aaronson has written an appreciation. Here’s one part of it that’s not over my head:

It would be an understatement to call Steve “left-of-center.” …

All the same, during the “science wars” of the 1990s, Steve was scathing about the academic left’s postmodernist streak and deeply sympathetic to what Alan Sokal had done with his Social Text hoax.

Steve also once told me that, when he (like other UT faculty) was required to write a statement about what he would do to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, he submitted just a single sentence: “I will seek out the best candidates, without regard to race or sex.” I remarked that he might be one of the only academics who could get away with that.


From the New York Times news section:

Critics Pounce on Naomi Osaka After Loss, Denting Japan’s Claim to Diversity

The tennis star, who lit the Olympic cauldron, took a drubbing on social media, with some questioning her identity or right to represent the country.

By Motoko Rich

“Motoko Rich” would be a good name for a villainess in a James Bond movie.

July 27, 2021

TOKYO — Just four days after Naomi Osaka mounted the stairs to light the Olympic cauldron, presented as a symbol of a new, more inclusive Japan, that image was undermined on Tuesday by a backlash that followed her surprise defeat in Tokyo.

Many Japanese were stunned by Ms. Osaka’s third-round loss to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic after she had been favored to take the women’s tennis gold medal on home soil.

But as the face of a Summer Games riddled with scandal and anxiety over an unstinting pandemic — Tokyo posted a record number of new coronavirus cases on Tuesday — Ms. Osaka took a drubbing on Japanese social media, with some questioning her identity or right to represent the country at all.

“I still can’t understand why she was the final torchbearer,” one commenter wrote on a Yahoo News story about her loss. “Although she says she is Japanese, she cannot speak Japanese very much.” Several comments like that one that were harshly critical of Ms. Osaka were given “thumbs up” by 10,000 or more other Yahoo users.

As the Japanese-born daughter of a Haitian American father and a Japanese mother, Ms. Osaka has helped to challenge Japan’s longstanding sense of racial and cultural identity.

She has been enormously popular in Japan, and some online commenters voiced support for her on Tuesday. The news media covers her victories extensively, and her face appears on advertisements for Japanese products ranging from Citizen watches to Shiseido makeup to Nissin Cup Noodles.


Her selection as the final torchbearer at the opening ceremony on Friday demonstrated how eager the Olympic organizers were to promote Japan as a diverse culture. The Washington Wizards star Rui Hachimura, who is of Japanese and Beninese descent, also featured prominently as a flag-bearer for the Japanese Olympic team. But in some corners of society, people remain xenophobic and refuse to accept those who don’t conform to a very narrow definition of what it means to be Japanese.

And they must be hunted down and dealt with.

Ms. Osaka may have also touched some nerves when she pulled out of the French Open in May after a dispute with tennis officials over her decision not to appear at a news conference. She then revealed on Instagram that she had struggled with depression and anxiety.

Many of the online comments in Japan following her loss on Tuesday referred disparagingly to her mental health.

“She conveniently became ‘depressed,’ conveniently healed, and was given the honor of being the final torchbearer,” wrote one commenter on Twitter. “And then she loses an important game just like that. I can only say that she is making light of sports.”

Mental health is still something of a taboo subject in Japan. Naoko Imoto, an education specialist at UNICEF who is an adviser on gender equality to the Tokyo organizing committee and a former Olympian who swam for Japan, said in a news briefing on Monday that mental health was not yet well understood in Japan.

Whereas in the United States, we understand mental health perfectly, which is why the mental health of young women has gotten worse during the Great Awokening.

… Some of the comments about Ms. Osaka seemed to echo conservative criticism in the United States of the movement for racial justice, which the tennis star has vocally supported.

“Her selection as the final torchbearer was wrong,” wrote another commenter on the Yahoo News story about Ms Osaka’s loss. “Was the theme of the Tokyo Games human rights issues? Is it to show Japan’s recovery and show appreciation to the many countries which supported Japan? BLM is not the theme. I don’t think she was able to concentrate on the match, and she deserved her defeat.”

Nathaniel M. Smith, an anthropologist at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto who studies right-wing movements in Japan, said that online critics could now copy from a global pool of commentary.

“A Japanese online right-winger is aware from being in the Twitter environment of both Black Lives Matter but also how white people critique Black Lives on Twitter,” Mr. Smith said. “So there is this shared digital repertoire of how to attack.”

Whew, it turns out that white people are to blame after all. I was worried their that the article was criticizing non-white people. But now it appears that whites are at the root of the mean tweets about Naomi Osaka’s flop.

By the way, why did the press decide that the verb to describe what conservatives do is “pounce?” Are conservatives really known for their cat-like agility? Seems rather complimentary…


From the Associated Press:

Navy charges sailor with setting fire that destroyed warship

Thu, July 29, 2021, 2:17 PM·2 min read

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The U.S. Navy charged a sailor Thursday with starting a fire last year that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard docked off San Diego, marking the maritime branch’s worst warship blaze outside of combat in recent memory.

The amphibious assault ship burned for more than four days. Left with extensive structural, electrical and mechanical damage, the ship was later scrapped. Estimates to replace it ran up to $4 billion.

The sailor was a member of the crew at the time, Cmdr. Sean Robertson, a U.S. 3rd Fleet spokesperson, said in a statement. The sailor was charged with aggravated arson and the willful hazarding of a vessel, Robertson said. No name was released.

No other details were provided, and it was unclear what evidence was found or what the motive was.

So that clears that all up!

Move along, folks, nothing to see here.


From the New York Times opinion section, a very clever op-ed designed to get NYT subscribers nodding along and saying, “Why, of course!” Admittedly, rather like Steve Goodman and David Allan Coe’s “You Never Even Called Me by My Name,” to be the perfect NYT op-ed, it would need to add references to transphobia, redlining, and black women’s hair. But it’s one heckuva an effort.

There Is No Good Reason You Should Have to Be a Citizen to Vote

July 28, 2021

By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian

Atossa Araxia Abrahamian (@atossaaraxia) is the author of “The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen.” …

From Wikipedia:

Abrahamian was born in Canada and grew up in Switzerland. Her parents, who are Iranians of Armenian and Russian descent, worked for the United Nations. She holds Swiss, Canadian and Iranian citizenship …

Back to the NYT:

This essay is part of a series exploring bold ideas to revitalize and renew the American experiment. Read more about this project in a note from Ezekiel Kweku, Opinion’s politics editor.

Washingtonians love to complain about taxation without representation. But for me and my fellow noncitizens

You aren’t a noncitizen, you are a citizen of 3 foreign countries. And you want to vote here without becoming an American citizen.

, it is a fact of political life that we submit to unquestioningly year after year, primary after primary, presidential election after presidential election. Nearly 15 million people living legally in the United States, most of whom contribute as much as any natural-born American to this country’s civic, cultural and economic life, don’t have a say in matters of politics and policy because we — resident foreign nationals, or “aliens” as we are sometimes called — cannot vote.

Considering the Supreme Court’s recent decision undermining voting rights, and Republicans’ efforts to suppress, redistrict and manipulate their way to electoral security, it’s time for Democrats to radically expand the electorate. Proposing federal legislation to give millions of young people and essential workers a clear road to citizenship is a good start. But there’s another measure that lawmakers both in Washington and state capitals should put in place: lifting voting restrictions on legal residents who aren’t citizens — people with green cards, people here on work visas, and those who arrived in the country as children and are still waiting for permanent papers.

Expanding the franchise in this way would give American democracy new life, restore immigrants’ trust in government and send a powerful message of inclusion to the rest of the world.

It’s easy to assume that restricting the franchise to citizens is an age-old, nonnegotiable fact. But it’s actually a relatively recent convention and a political choice.

It’s socially constructed!

Early in the United States’ history, voting was a function not of national citizenship but of gender, race and class. As a result, white male landowners of all nationalities were encouraged to play an active role in shaping American democracy, while women and poor, Indigenous and enslaved people could not. That wholesale discrimination is unquestionably worse than excluding resident foreigners from the polls, but the point is that history shows how readily voting laws can be altered — and that restrictive ones tend not to age well.

It’s like racism. American citizens are on the wrong side of history. In the future, when the USA has been renamed something less discriminatory-sounding, such as Power Mall One, people will look back with horror on when only Americans were allowed to vote in America.

Another misconception is that citizen voting rights have always been the prerogative of the federal government. In fact, states have largely decided who had a say in local, state and national elections. Arkansas was the last state to eliminate noncitizen voting in 1926, and it wasn’t until 1996 that Congress doubled down with the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which made voting in federal elections while foreign — already not permitted because of state-level rules — a criminal, and deportable, offense. (This means that congressional Democrats working on immigration and election reform can reverse the 1996 sanctions the same way they voted them in.)

The strongest case for noncitizen voting today is representation: The more voters show up to the polls, the more accurately elections reflect peoples’ desires.

Similarly, shoplifting makes shoplifters happier, and they are people too.

The United States already has plenty of institutions that account for noncitizens: The census aims to reach all residents because it believes everyone, even aliens, matters. Corporations enjoy free speech and legal personhood — and they’re not even people.

Glenn Weyl is probably right now inspired to dream up an explanation for why Google should get to cast 100 million votes for President.

Would it be such a stretch to give noncitizen residents a say in who gets elected to their state legislature, Congress or the White House?

What’s more, allowing noncitizens to vote in federal, state and municipal elections would help revitalize American democracy at a time when enthusiasm and trust are lacking. …

Democrats are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of this change — at least at first. But it could have interesting ripple effects: Elected Republicans might be induced to appeal to a more diverse constituency or perhaps to enthuse their constituents so deeply that they, too, start to vote in greater numbers.

Or maybe we’ll just disenfranchise everybody who voted for Trump.

It’s also just good civics: Allowing people to vote gives them even more of a sense of investment in their towns, cities, communities and country. There’s a detachment that comes with not being able to vote in the place where you live. Concerns about mixed loyalties, meanwhile, are misplaced.

Mis placed, I tell you. For example, you never, ever hear immigrants lecturing us on why immigrants should get more power or why America must let in more of their cousins. And who has ever heard of Cubans, Armenians, Venezuelans, Jews, or Taiwanese trying to influence American foreign policy?

The United States not only allows dual citizenship but also allows dual citizens to vote — and from abroad. Is there any reason to think resident foreigners should be less represented?

After all, everybody in America thinks dual citizens voting in two countries is an absolutely swell idea, which is why you hear about Afroyim v. Rusk as often as Brown v Board of Education.

You don’t?

… And what better way to learn about American life than to play an active role in deciding its elections?

… Last fall, I grew so frustrated that I started mailing ballots to my hometown in Switzerland.

… I hope that Democrats seize their chance, and realize the power and the enthusiasm of their potential constituents. They — and we — will not regret it.

This kind of thing is persuasive in today’s zeitgeist. I mean who could imagine that the US government exists for any other purpose than to inclusively foster and facilitate the ongoing Scramble for America among the seven billion non-Americans?

Whoever heard of a thing called The Preamble?

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


I’ve long argued that you can’t understand the contentious topic of college admissions without understanding which type of alumni are more likely to donate to their dear old alma maters.

In 2011, I read about a man in the metal bending business donating $200 million to USC:

David Dornsife is Chairman of the Board of the Herrick Corporation, a California based steel fabrication company, and its subsidiaries. A 1965 graduate of the USC Marshall School of Business, he was a shot-putter on the University’s track team that won two national championships.

David Dornsife’s parents, Harold and Ester, were USC alumni and longtime supporters of their alma mater. The elder Dornsifes gave the lead gift for the HEDCO Neuroscience Building, which helped establish USC’s position as a pioneering and important leader in the emerging field of neuroscience. Dornsife’s mother, Ester, a pre-med major in the College, maintained a lifelong interest in the medical field, and in particular its neuroscience program.

From Wikipedia:

At USC, he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity.[4]

I believe some of his children have gone to USC as well. And he donates to Republican candidates.

In other words, the kind of guy who is most likely to someday write a $200 million check to his alma mater is exactly the type of chad bro — a white man, jock, frat boy, Republican, legacy, father of legacies, business major — that is most hated by the academic establishment. But they can’t do without his ability to make huge piles of money and his loyal generosity.

I then got a comment by somebody who claimed, credibly, to have done statistical modeling for a famous university’s development office. He said I was right on the money.

Since then I’ve been looking for an academic study of who donates to their colleges. I’ve finally found one. Here’s a 2009 study by two economists, one from Princeton and one from Stanford, of an unnamed top research university’s development office database of 32,000 alumni who graduated from 1972-2005.

Which college? Average SAT score of alumni is 1400 (in post 1995 scoring). 13% of alumni went to high school at a boarding school. And it was all-male “until the 1970s,” So it’s probably Princeton (or Yale, both of which went coed in 1969).

Altruism and the Child Cycle of Alumni Donations

By Jonathan Meer and Harvey S. Rosen*

We study alumni contributions to an anonymous research university. If alumni believe donations will increase the likelihood of their
child’s admission, and if this belief helps motivate their giving, then
the pattern of giving should vary systematically with the ages of their
children, whether the children ultimately apply to the university, and
the admissions outcome. We call this pattern the child cycle of alumni
giving. The evidence is consistent with the child-cycle pattern. Thus,
while altruism drives some giving, the hope for a reciprocal benefit
also plays a role. We compute rough estimates of the proportion of
giving due to selfish motives. (JEL D91, D64, I21) …

Represented here are 32,488 alumni who graduated from 1972 to 2005. …

As is typically the case, a few relatively large gifts account for a disproportionate amount of Anon U’s donations. For example, in 2006, the top 1 percent of gifts accounted for 69.2 percent of total giving. … . For example, the three largest gifts in our sample are $3.1 million, $6 million, and $31.1 million.

The problem is that the researchers are scared of the tiny sample size of huge donors, even though they are of greatest interest to universities. So the paper focuses on likelihood of donation per year, even though at this hyper-loyal college with the most famous reunions, an incredible 56% of alumni donate each year.

Table 1 shows that about 55.6 percent of the giving opportunities result in a donation to the university. Relative to other schools, this is a high participation rate. Indeed, Anon U is at the edge of the right tail with respect to the proportion of alumni who make contributions

The authors are mostly interested in the question of altruism and show that alumni parents ramp up their donations to their alma mater while their child is applying and especially after their child is accepted by Dear Old Princeton (or Yale). On the other hand if their kid is rejected, screw you, Princeton.

While 59% of the alumni’s children apply for admission, 41% are accepted. But the parents of the unaccepted kids are not pleased.

The oldest child’s rejection reduces the amount given by 14.5 percent (imprecisely estimated), while the second child’s rejection reduces the amount given by a statistically significant 39 percent. The first and second child’s acceptances increase the amount given by 134 percent and 118 percent, respectively, and both figures are statistically significant.

But I’m more interested in who donates to colleges by demographic groups:

For example, in our basic model, being an economics major

I.e., a Republican who wants to work on Wall Street

increases the amount of giving by about 85 percent. Once we take occupation into account, however, this figure drops to 37 percent. In part, the coefficient in the basic model reflects the fact that Anon U’s economics majors are particularly likely to go into the field of finance which, by itself, increases the amount of giving by about 75 percent, ceteris paribus.

Then they redo the analysis with alumni going all the way back to 1914 (for whom they don’t have SAT scores):

The results are reported in Table A1. The coefficients on the linear and quadratic terms for years since graduation imply that the probability of making a gift falls for about the first 20 years after graduation, and then turns upward. With respect to gender, men are 4.6 percentage points less likely to donate in a given year, ceteris paribus.

Interesting, but I’d like to see this evaluated on amount donated rather than merely whether you donate.

Whites are more likely to contribute than American Indians, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.

My anecdotal impression is that South Asians are pretty generous toward educational institutions, while East Asians are not. But I could be wrong.

The gap is largest with African Americans, who are 16 percentage points less likely to make a gift than are whites. These gender and ethnic/racial differentials are similar to those reported in previous studies (Monks 1993). Alumni who attended boarding or private schools are somewhat more likely to contribute than those who attended public schools. There is no discernible impact of home or alternative schooling on the probability of giving relative to public school attendees.

As noted above, the admissions office produces summary evaluations of applicants on the basis of both academic and nonacademic criteria, such as musical talent, athletic ability, volunteer work, and so on. An A is the highest score and an E is the lowest score. Alumni who received the lowest nonacademic ratings at the time of admissions are 6.9 percentage points less likely to make donations. On the other hand, students in the highest academic category are somewhat less likely to make donations than those with lower ratings. SAT scores do not appear to have any statistically significant impact on the probability of giving.

Eggheads aren’t that loyal but lower scoring people who got in because somebody favored them are more generous.

We now turn from variables that are known before matriculation at Anon U to those that reflect the alumnus’s undergraduate experiences. Involvement in a varsity sport increases the probability of giving by about 5 percentage points, and membership in one of Anon U’s fraternities or sororities increases giving by 13 percentage points. These results are consistent with previous findings that students who were actively engaged in extracurricular activities as undergraduates are more likely to make donations as alumni (Dugan et al. 1999). With respect to academic performance, receiving honors has no effect on the probability of giving. However, the probability of giving increases with grade point average (GPA). Those in the bottom quartile of the GPA distribution were 5.7 percentage points less likely to make a gift, while those in the third quartile were 2.1 percentage points less likely. There is no significant difference in giving between the second and top quartiles. Consistent with earlier studies, giving patterns differ substantially by course of study (Dugan, et al. 1999, Monks 2003). Alumni who majored in engineering, economics, and public policy have relatively high probabilities of making a gift later in life. Those who majored in the small social sciences (such as sociology) and small humanities departments (such as linguistics) tend to have relatively low probabilities of making a gift later in life. Students with minors in finance are more likely to make subsequent gifts (by about 9 percentage points), while those with minors in theater are less likely (by about 7 percentage points).

Note that the biggest increase in likelihood to donate is becoming an MBA, followed by earning a law degree, spouse is an alumni too, belonging to a fraternity/sorority, and doctors, then small engineering majors, finance minors, American studies majors (Tom Wolfe earned his Ph.D. in American studies at Yale), and econ majors.

The worst traits for being a donor are being black, Hispanic, Asian, a theater major, and having the lowest “nonacademic” rating.

Turning to schooling after Anon U, alumni who continue their education are more likely to make donations than those who do not, a finding consistent with previous studies (Dugan et al., 1999, Monks 2003). Finally, we note that, consistent with previous research (James H. Grant and David L. Lindauer 1986, Olsen, Smith, and Wunnava 1989) the likelihood of giving increases substantially during reunion years, with the probability increasing by 6.3 percentage points.

In other words, to get more donations, you want to admit Republican Chad Bros.

Keep in mind that they are just measuring propensity to be a donor per year at a college where 88% of grads are likely to be donors over their lifetimes. (Princetonians tend to love Princeton. E.g., Republican Secretary of State George Shultz had a Princeton Tiger tattoo.)

My guess would be that the really big donors tend to be even more skewed toward the Chad Bro demographic.


From Glamour:

Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, and the Revolutionary Power of Black Women’s Rest

Rest is not a trend but a birthright.
By Melissa Kimble

July 28, 2021

… Inspired by fellow super-athlete Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from the Grand Slam competitions leading up to the Olympics to protect her own mental health, Biles took a stance that shocked many and left others confused.

My impression now is that Simone Biles pulled out to protect her neck. She felt herself losing the cognitive ability to stay focused on where she was in the air while doing her dangerous routines. (This might have something to do with Ritalin being illegal in Japan. Or maybe not. It turns out Adderall is illegal in Japan, but you can get a Ritalin prescription for sleep problems, of all things.)

Gymnasts call this disorientation in space the “twisties.” It happened to Biles before in 2019.

I don’t know whether it correlates with age. It’s often compared to the yips in golf, in which pros in their 40s lose the ability to stay focused and smooth while putting, although that may be totally different for all I know.

As I’ve said, Biles would have been better off if the media’s narrative had emphasized that she’s trying to repeat as Olympic champion at a rather advanced age for a woman gymnast (e.g., Nadia Comaneci dominated at 14 but finished second in the all-around at 18, then retired; Mary Lou Retton won the all-around at 16 and retired two years later), and the postponement of the 2020 Olympics by a year has made the challenge even greater for her. So, if she’d pulled off this difficult feat, everybody would have been happy for her. But instead the press went with Greatest of All Time and Black Girl Magical Supremacy.)

But us pundits have to punditize, so everything serves our particular hobby horses. And a big one has become in recent years and especially during the pandemic about how black women are exhausted from microaggressions and all their emotional labor and thus need to nap more (e.g., Teen Vogue’sBlack Power Naps Is Addressing Systemic Racism in Sleep“).

Back to Glamour:

Biles’s stepping away didn’t just challenge the status quo—it obliterated it.

But for Black women, her decision resonated on a deeper level. Here we have a woman who made an intentional decision to choose her mental health over more medals, over glory, over the expectations the world had placed on her. “Black womanness sits at the intersection of society’s most marginalized identities,” says Duanecia Evans Clark, cofounder of of The Creative Summer Company. “To show up in today’s world as Black and woman requires that we are hypervigilant for ourselves and our families. After all of that vigilance, we have no choice but to demand rest of ourselves and the sisters around us.”

In a society that values productivity over humanity, and places superhuman expectations on Black women, Biles’s stepping away didn’t just challenge the status quo—it obliterated it.

Black women are programmed to believe that rest is not for us. “For hundreds of years we have carried the weight of the world on our shoulders,” says Alisha Robertson, an intentional business coach. “We’ve fought and advocated for those who wouldn’t normally do the same for us.”

So as Biles and Osaka have so bravely exemplified, for Black women, “rest is revolutionary. ”

“In 2021, rest is more revolutionary for Black women than it ever has been, and for no other reason than we finally have the choice,” says Evans Clark. “Our ancestors fought for this moment. We owe rest to ourselves, but we also owe it to them for the centuries they could not.”

During a time when workplace rules and boundaries are constantly shifting as many of us navigate new realities of remote work or lives as digital nomads, Simone and Naomi are also examples of how Black women are continuing to impact the way we all push back against toxic work environments and the systems that create them.

“I worked for a very big sports media company,” says Krissy Brierre-Davis, a business operations consultant. “As a Black woman in that company, I was expected to be on all of the time. It’s almost as if I was placed in certain positions to compete with my coworkers. While my white counterpart was praised for the bare minimum, I worked 24/7 and never received acknowledgement for a job well done. I was burned out.” Ultimately, she decided to leave to save herself, her family, and her sanity. “Unfortunately, many don’t have the ability to do that, but I knew that if I didn’t, I risked losing far more than I was willing to,” she says.

There is a growing movement for the radical prioritization of rest among Black women. Community healers like The Nap Ministry and Erika Totten remind us of the importance of rest. Armed with decades worth of experiences, resources, and tools that lead people to liberation, they teach Black women about the past, the present, and the power of rest. It’s not a trend but a birthright—a revolutionary stance in itself. “When you’re resting, it’s restoring your body so that you do have enough capacity to move on toward your vision,” says Totten via her #ToLiveUnchained sessions on Facebook Live. Or as Tricia Hersey, affectionately known as the Nap Bishop of The Nap Ministry, puts it: “There is never enough rest and leisure for those with a legacy of enslavement. Claim it.”

… The current cultural conversation around Black and women rest is also revolutionary because it ties into an even bigger discussion about what we need in order to strengthen our communities. While Black women are resting and being examples of liberation by prioritizing their well-being, they’re also ensuring the betterment of our world.

Melissa Kimble is a Memphis-based cultural writer and strategist, writing and building at the intersection of culture, community, and wellness.

That sounds exhausting.

An anonymous iSteve commenter points out this recent article in the extremely expensive Harvard Business Review, with his comments in italics:

Give Black Employees Time to Rest and Recover

Has Harvard Business Review been ScientificAmericaned already?

Maybe HBR has been TeenVogued?

Black employees are exhausted. Over the past year, their cognitive, emotional, and physical resources have been disproportionally depleted due to two deadly and intertwined pandemics: Covid-19 and structural racism.

Four bylines for this one: Three black professors and one black Ph.D. candidate.

Employees may need to “call in Black” instead of showing up to work when racially traumatic events occur.

Great idea, self-assigned last-minute paid holidays for black employees.

“Call in Black” is a hilariously racist phrase.

Anti-Black racism may inadvertently become internalized as imposter phenomenon — the internal experience of believing you are not capable or deserving of high achievement.

Commonly mistaken for situations in which the black employee in fact actually was hired into a job beyond his or her ability, a practice known as “affirmative action” or “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

About 1 in 13 African-Americans have a natural tendency toward mild anemia (sickle-cell trait) because they have one copy of the recessive falciparum malaria-fighting sickle cell gene that causes the terrible burden of full sickle cell anemia if you are unlucky enough to inherit two copies. But my impression is that the typical black woman op-edsters who are industriously churning out all this much in demand punditry about how exhausted they are are actually go-getters. Most likely, they tend to be affirmative action beneficiaries who have been tossed in over their heads.


From Nature:

28 July 2021

The lack of people of colour in science images must be fixed

Archives, libraries, photo agencies and publishers need to do better to reflect science’s true past and present.

Whoever thought that the words “do better” would become a tell for a proto-Stalinoid mindset?

Unlike many other Black scientists from history, high-quality images of agricultural scientist George Washington Carver — shown here with students at the Tuskegee Institution in Alabama — are readily available. Credit: Bettmann/Getty

Last month, Nature published a Comment article on how researchers and communities helped each other during a water crisis in Flint, Michigan. While sourcing pictures for the article, Nature’s photo editor discovered that there are few images available of the people involved, many of whom are Black.

Recently, we also needed an image of the physicist Elmer Imes, who, in 1918, became only the second African American to be awarded a PhD in physics in the United States. His doctoral work provided early evidence of the quantum behaviour of molecules. But university archives that Nature contacted did not have a copy of his photograph. Commercial photography agencies also had nothing. Low-resolution, grainy images do exist, but, shockingly, even the US Library of Congress in Washington DC — which holds images of many important scientists from the nation’s history — does not have a photograph. However, such images are available for a number of notable white scientists from Imes’s time.

Like Einstein. Why are there more photos available of Einstein than of Imes? Racism, that’s why!

iSteve commenter Paperback Writer found a picture of Dr. Imes, and adds “Actually, his work sounds pretty nifty: ‘The work provided the first accurate determination of the distances between atoms in molecules, expanded the range of applicability of quantum theory, and provided evidence for the existence of two isotopes of chlorine.'”

Perhaps Nature is complaining that there is no super high-quality photo of Imes like Yousuf Karsh’s famous photo of Einstein?

Also, Nature needs colour photos of long-dead people of colour scientists.

This is far from an isolated case. Nature often illustrates articles reporting on communities and countries that are under-represented in science using generic images, in part because universities, national libraries and commercial photo agencies hold relatively few images of people from such communities.

In other words, the agencies that gin up generic photos make sure to feature a ton of black scientists.

Although we do our best to work with generic images in such situations, they tend to be less compelling than pictures showing real scientists doing real research. When we do use photographs of the researchers themselves, this can boost the impact of the article — attracting greater social media attention, for example — which, in turn, can benefit those individuals and their work.

Are they saying that black scientists don’t like to have their picture taken? Or that there are still more white male than black female scientists doing work worthy of being publicized and therefore Steps Must Be Taken?

Systemic racism and science’s diversity deficit extend to images, creating a distorted and exclusionary picture of science’s past and present. This is an issue that needs attention, and there are several potential ways to rectify it.

… A second and related problem — the lack of high-quality historical images, particularly of people of colour — is also not insurmountable. For example, such images might be available in university records or archives, and, if not, these institutions will often know how to find such images or will have access to ways of improving the quality of the images they do have. National libraries need to work with universities to identify and publish images of notable researchers.

Arguably the most difficult, although no less important, task will be to bring about change in the commercial photography agencies. These agencies are a crucial source of images for media organizations. At Nature, we use them all the time, and credit them next to the images. But, more often than not, our searches for photos of particular Black scientists and scientists of other marginalized ethnicities yield negative results, and we are compelled to fall back on generic images of people modelling a generic scene, instead of photos of the scientists themselves. In some cases, photos do exist, but are incorrectly captioned or are not tagged with appropriate keywords, meaning they cannot be found.

… Universities, libraries, publishers and photo agencies — the organizations that hold the keys to so much of the world’s photography — must all take steps to diversify our imagery. Science’s historical record will remain incomplete while it is missing pictures of people who have contributed to discovery and invention. Such efforts are also essential to make research more welcoming for people from under-represented communities, and to ensure that future generations of researchers reflect those that science has often failed to attract in the past.

C’mon, Nature, stop beating around the bush and say what you really want: Photoshopping diversity into old photos of scientists.

Stalin mostly had colleagues he’d had shot airbrushed out:

But we have the tools to now Photoshop the Good People in!

Pretty soon, due to Do Betterism, old photos of the 1962 Nobel Prize ceremony will have James D. Watson and Francis Crick Photoshopped out and the late Rosalind Franklin and the Hidden Figures lady Photoshopped in.

Update: A reader sends me this much-improved archive photo:


From the Associated Press:

Brisbane picked to host 2032 Olympics without a rival bid
July 21, 2021

TOKYO (AP) — Brisbane was picked Wednesday to host the 2032 Olympics, the inevitable winner of a one-city race steered by the IOC to avoid rival bids.

The Games will go back to Australia 32 years after the popular 2000 Sydney Olympics. Melbourne hosted in 1956. Brisbane follows 2028 host Los Angeles in getting 11 years to prepare for hosting the Games. Paris will host in 2024. …

The IOC gave Brisbane exclusive negotiating rights in February. That decision left Olympic officials in Qatar, Hungary and Germany looking blindsided with their own stalled bidding plans. …

Brisbane’s renowned cricket stadium, known as the Gabba, will be upgraded and may host the sport at the Games. Cricket was played once at the Olympics, at the 1900 Paris Games.

The next three Summer Games hosts — starting with Paris in 2024 — are now secured in wealthy and traditional Olympic nations without any of the trio facing a contested vote.

Brisbane’s renowned cricket stadium, known as the Gabba, will be upgraded and may host the sport at the Games. Cricket was played once at the Olympics, at the 1900 Paris Games.

The next three Summer Games hosts — starting with Paris in 2024 — are now secured in wealthy and traditional Olympic nations without any of the trio facing a contested vote. …

The IOC and its hands-on president, Thomas Bach, have torn up the template of traditional bidding campaigns and hosting votes to lock down preferred cities with the minimum risk.

Paris and LA were competing for 2024 until Bach and Coates oversaw including the 2028 rights in an unprecedented double award four years ago.

The Olympics are declining in popularity and prestige, so the IOC, rather than playing off rival bidders for bribes and absurd stadium building concessions, recently chose two old reliable giant cities, Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

Paris built an 80,000 seat super-stadium, the Stade de France, in time for the 1998 World Cup soccer final. The stands were built on rails so they can be rolled back to the larger dimensions required by the Olympic track. Ever since, the International Olympic Committee has been telling rival bidders to host the Olympics, “Well, obviously, the logical choice would be Paris, but perhaps you can change our minds …”

Los Angeles hosted the 1984 Olympics without building a lot of new stadia, using the Coliseum that hosted the 1932 Games, and made large profit off it.

The truth is that you don’t really have to build new stadiums to host an Olympics or World Cup. It’s just a bunch of games. Your metropolis probably has plenty of playing fields already.

In 1984, Los Angeles just ordered up a lot of crepe paper in an au courant color scheme called Festive Federalism to decorate its old ballparks, and everybody who went loved it.

… The future hosts offer stability for the IOC which was stung by the two previous Summer Games contests being tainted by allegations of vote-buying when multiple cities were on the ballot.

The 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics are still under investigation by French prosecutors. They have implicated officials who then lost their place in the IOC family as active or honorary members.

A low-risk future beckons for the IOC following the often-troubled Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games in February, which will throw scrutiny on China’s human rights record.

Key partners have also been secured through 2032. The IOC’s signature broadcasting deal with NBC and top-tier sponsors Coca-Cola, Visa and Omega are tied down for the decade ahead.

… Brisbane said it already has 84% of stadiums and event venues in place to fit the IOC’s modern demand of avoiding excessive spending and potential white-elephant projects.


That was the only bidder for the 2032 Olympics, although deciding 11 years ahead of time seems excessive.

Brisbane is at only 27 degrees south, and agreed to the mid-winter late July to early August time period that NBC in America likes due to the lack of other competition on TV. Melbourne 1956 and Sydney 2000 needed to use later in the year time slots that competed with the NFL on US TV. The average high temperature in Brisbane in July is 71 degrees and it gets one inch of rain that month. So it sounds nice.

Australia is a great Olympics country because it’s not overly obsessed with soccer, so I could see going back there a third time. On the other hand, Brisbane is kind of like putting the Olympics in San Diego: a nice, fast-growing place but only the third city of California, one without much history.

OK, I can see the IOC’s logic: Brisbane won’t have BLM riots, even in 2032.

Maybe the Summer Olympics will then go to Auckland in 2036 and Perth in 2040, followed by Reykjavik in 2044 and from then on Iceland will be home to the Summer Olympics.

In contrast, the Winter Olympics should be fine: the next two are in Beijing and Milan-Cortina. After that, possibilities include Jackson Hole, St. Moritz, Aspen, Whistler, Park City, Bozeman, Stowe, Lake Tahoe, Sun Valley, Bretton Woods and Coeur d’Alene, before the final retreat to Reykjavik in perpetuity in the later 21st Century.


From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

Contact Highs, Abstract Lows

Steve Sailer

July 28, 2021

If racism is the only thing that could possibly account for the problems of blacks in 2021, shouldn’t their troubles be declining steadily? After all, the effects of redlining (outlawed in 1968) and the other usual suspects should logically be steadily vanishing into the mists of time. But instead, nothing much seems to change as the decades roll by.

A landmark new study titled “Task-Based Discrimination” looks into exactly why the white-black wage gap among men declined dramatically from 1960 to 1980, but today it is just as wide as it was at the end of the Carter administration (and has been worsening in this century). It turns out it has to do more with fundamental changes in technology than it does white evilness. …

In contrast, this new in-depth study by Erik Hurst and Kazuatsu Shimizu of the U. of Chicago and Yona Rubinstein of the London School of Economics provides a fascinating framework for analyzing the past sixty years of trends among black and white male workers.

Read the whole thing there.


iSteve commenter Gamecock Jerry writes:

My wife is a former Olympic gymnast (from [an Eastern European country]) and we were discussing this today. I was shocked how sympathetic she was to Simone. She said as you get older you start to fear the routines that when you were 16 you didn’t even think about.

She’s 24, which is old for a female gymnast. Maybe she would have lived up to the hype if the Olympics had been held in 2020 when she was a year younger.

Her routines are sometimes so extraordinarily difficult that the governing authorities have decided not to give her extra points for her hardest stunts because they are too dangerous.

Simone had reduced the difficulty of her routines while performing and this was causing her to make mistakes on easier stuff.

I think most of us can think back on things we did as kids and think wtf was i thinking. We weren’t.

Hopefully she can regroup before the individual events.

Okay, now back to the hair.

In general, judged events have a tendency to get more and more dangerous as competitors try ever more extreme stunts. Among the well-informed, there’s a particular concern about women competitors injuring themselves trying to land crazy aerials because they are not as sturdily built.

NOTE: To all commenters, sorry about being slow with moderation today. Unfortunately, moderation will likely be slow for the next week.

Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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