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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Colds Always Leave Me Confused

I cannot quite shake this one, which may account for my confusion over this article.

Are they really saying that liberals are promiscuous, alcoholic, gambling risk-takers, but it's not their fault due to a gene? No, I'm NOT making this up:
A particular version of a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4 is linked to people's tendency toward both infidelity and uncommitted one-night stands, the researchers reported Nov. 30 in the online open-access journal PloS One.

The same gene has already been linked to alcoholism and gambling addiction, as well as less destructive thrills like a love of horror films. One study linked the gene to an openness to new social situations, which in turn correlated with political liberalism.
Here's a link to an article about liberalism/gene thing. Read carefully in view of the first article, one wonders if the "having a lot of friends in adolescence" really means "was a teen slut".

The perils of really bad science seem to grow with each year. Assistant Village Idiot is guilty of bringing this lot of garbage science to my attention.

The actual study is here, if you are interested. Among the more hilarious moments occurs when you realize that the average age of the human subjects assessed was 20, the total sample was 181 persons, and only 24% of those had the risk gene.

You might suspect that this would result in a paucity of data about sexual experience, and you might be right. More than 20% of the subjects had no sexual experience (Binghamton University; it is not precisely the hub of the world). The virgins were not concentrated in the population without the risk gene. Among those who did not have the risk gene, the average number of ex-relationship sexual partners was about one, and among those who did have it, the average number was less than two. Among the "promiscuous" population with the risk gene, less than 45% of the group reported any one-night stand.

Assessing long-term fidelity is not going to be possible in subjects of this age. Given the age of the participants and the general lack of getting around, one might just as well conclude that the "risk" gene was expressed as being better at getting someone to go to bed with you!

More tax dollars hard at waste.

I know the taxpayers fund a lot of good research, but my sister is a Ph. D at Harvard and tells me that the majority of the grant money they get goes to mindless projects like this - and she ought to know since the bulk of her job is writing grant requests.

I'd be happy if the feds simply cut this research money by 100%. Sure, a lot of good research wouldn't get done (for a while) but it would really weed out the useless waste (like, say, Ben Bernanke) because they simply couldn't survive without Uncle Sugar. Once these morons are weeded out of academia, then the 20% of useful research can be funded by the taxpayer again.
There is a lot of wasted research money out there.

I don't know the best way to handle this. I am sure that if you asked a bunch of average men and women if they wanted to shift their SS money into stuff like this, they'd answer "No!"
Hello Mama,

I'm wondering if you can help me out here. I thought the 1-2 punch of Kroger and Best Buy getting hammered (their profits, not the comon stocks, though that's interesting too) would have been a bigger deal.

I haven't read anyone trying to connect those dots. I still check the Consumer Metric graphs on a regular basis and those are pretty bad as well, though I'm not sure if it's more seasonal related.

So, I'm not sure if it's just me, or is the rest of the world really whistling past the grave yard? I'm wondering if this is going to be ignored until after Christmas and the New Year and then everyone starts looking around at gas prices and mortgage rates and suddenly "remembers" retail sales stunk and then panics?

I guess what I'm asking is, is it as bad out there as I seem to think it is?
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