Random thoughts and links 5-29-2017

  1. Does Capitalism Hurt Women?
    The article answers no. I think the abbreviated explanation is satisfactory.
  2. What might actually be leading to apparent increases in autism?
    I am aware of no scientific evidence for the connection between autism and vaccines, but all that bluster might be a bit of a distraction from several contributing factors that are less politically correct to mention:

    1. Maternal Age
      Women have children later and later in life. It’s not just that they’re continuing to have children, it’s that they’re having their first children much later (in the upper classes, anyway…women continue to have children prior to marriage in lower socio-economic rungs). But because careerism is pushed so hard, the biological realities are rarely explained to women who want a family and a career, but advancing maternal age predicts autism spectrum disorder
    2. Maternal Obesity
      We’re fatter than ever. There are several risks for this state of affairs to anybody residing in the womb of an obese person, but it is rarely hinted that autism is one of them.
    3. Maternal Antidepressant Use
      A few studies suggest a link between autism and maternal antidepressant use. While the link is small, the most recent look into the issue (2016) suggests that more research needs to be done. It does appear to be true that boys are more susceptible to ASD from in association with SSRIs. This particular issue is of some importance in light of the fairly recent revelation that 21% of American women are on psychiatric drugs.
    4. Paternal Age
      Because of several factors, ranging from delayed marriage, delayed reproduction, or the remarriage of older men to younger women (after men age physically, they’re typically more resource rich, so they seem to remain in the dating pool potential for younger women), men are fathering children at older ages than in the past. And the data on autism spectrum and paternal age is “robust.”
    5. Endocrine Disruptor Exposure
      While air pollution is verified to have neuro/psychological effects, another key environmental factor to consider is endocrine disruptor exposure. These chemicals are quite common in plastics. Based on Simon Baron-Cohen’s research on the connection between in-utero androgen exposure and autism, it’s worth a look. And as it turns out, some evidence is beginning to emerge.
  3. Yale University has awarded those who oppose free speech. There are several solutions to problems of this sort. My favorite is solution is that the universities should continue to cater to this small but noisy coterie of agitators while a group of smaller schools follow a market model designed around product quality and efficiency. People underestimate the possibility of this because they assume that sports or other interests will overtake a school if it becomes market oriented, but this is simply untrue. Most schools take donations and government money which determine the sort of product that can be offered. If a school taught specific skills at a high level, even the skills of the humanities, such a school could thrive if is was reasonably priced and owned/managed by the professors. Churches did this in the past.  Of course, that’s all idealistic, somebody has to build it.
  4. Jordan Peterson’s lectures on the Bible have started:
  5. Vicki Larson writes that marriage shouldn’t receive social benefits of privileges. The thesis is interesting. The argument is not only boring, but unconvincing. Insofar as a society exists in which parents prefer to take prime responsibility for their own children, marriage will continue to exist. And insofar as procreation is how society continues to exist, then marriage will be the prime theatre for social responsibility and therefore privilege. Why? Because privilege and responsibility usually go together.

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