That was unexpected

The Bengals finally part ways with Marvin Lewis:

The Bengals officially announced that Marvin Lewis is out as their head coach on Monday morning and the statement from the team called it a mutual decision to part ways.

Cue the drums beating for Eric Bienemy, whether he is ready to make the leap to head coach or not. Affirmative action destroys a lot more people than it helps.

Gase is out at Miami too. I suspect seeing the rapid success of Doug Pederson, Frank Reich, Sean McVey, and Matt Nagy is influencing a lot of owners these days.


The sacrifical Fake Indian

Elizabeth Warren tosses her headdress in the ring:

With a mere 673 days until the 2020 US presidential election, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren has announced the formation of an “exploratory committee” to consider a run for the highest office in the land.

In American politics jargon, this means the Democratic senator is most definitely running for president. Warren had repeatedly been named as a possible 2020 candidate since 2016 and even earlier, so her candidacy has come as no surprise to pundits.

(sniff, sniff)

Do you smell that? That’s what TRUMPSLIDE 2020 smells like!


The Hollywood line holds

The Hollywood Mafia managed to kill the Esquire story on director Brian Singer:

J.Michael Trautmann@JMACdaKID
Whatever happened to that @esquire piece??

AJ Benza@RealAJBenza
I’m gonna talk a little on it on the next show (1/2). But, it seems to me what I feared. Possibly a major studio that Singer has either worked for or will be working for soon (Red Sonja perhaps?) stepped in and stopped it. I fear this became a war between lawyers. And Singer won.

But the line won’t hold forever. There is very good reason to believe that #MeToo is a controlled burn meant to protect the serious predators in Hollywood.


Progress

Do tell us more about how the USA has changed for the better:

In 1960, for example, average weight of an American man was 166 pounds, according to a previous CDC report. By 2002, it had increased to 190. During that same time period, average height increased by a single inch for men, from about 5 feet 8 inches on average to about 5 feet 9 inches.

Add another 14 years, bringing us to 2016, and average height stayed the same (or maybe even dropped a fraction of an inch), while weights jumped another 8.5 pounds on average for men– up to 197.9 pounds, according to the newer CDC report.

The numbers weren’t much better for women, for whom weights on average rose from 163.8 pounds in 2000 to 170.6 pounds two years ago.

They left out the bit about women weighing, on average, only 140.2 pounds in 1960.  And only 127.7 for women 20-29. What a hellish place the pre-1960s USA must have been!



Last chance

This is the final day of the Alt-Hero Q campaign, so if you’re interested in getting on board, this is your last chance to do so.  Remember to turn off NoScript if you’re placing an order! Thanks very much to all 1582 backers of the three components of the campaign; this has proven to be a more successful, and more significant, crowdfunding campaign than we had ever anticipated.

Arkhaven still has a long way to go before we can set the cruise control, but we are systematically putting the infrastructure in place for consistent long-term success and we really appreciate the way Arkhaven’s backers are continuing to make that posssible.

In other news, QMAMD #4 and #5 are being completed, Swan Knight’s Saga #1 is almost ready to go to the letterer, and the first Premium editions of Alt-Hero as well as the first Alt-Hero novel will be published in January.

And, of course, the complete Right Ho, Jeeves omnibus edition is now available in a beautiful 152-page paperback that includes all six individual issues.

UPDATE: A high-level back of AH:Q shares his thoughts about backing the original campaign at the digital edition level:

I had no idea it would be so good and really regret only supporting for digital editions. Since then, I have gone for all the editions on the Alt-Hero: Q, during the silent campaign


Mailvox: the creation of Jordan Peterson

I was sent this by a Canadian gentleman this morning. A selection from his email:

After graduating from Fairview High (1979) Jordan studied Poli-Sci at Grande Prairie Regional College for two years before transferring to the University of Alberta (Edmonton) where he earned a BA (1982). Low grades and a poor LSAT score torpedoed foundational dreams of a legal career; leaving Jordan despondent.

Jordan stayed at U of A; defaulting his major to what was then Canada’s academic catch-basin, Psychology. Transferring credits and completing requisite courses fetched a second BA (Psych) in 1984.

From 1985 to 1991 Jordan studied at Montreal’s McGill University. After getting his Ph.D. he haunted McGill’s halls for three additional years as a Post-Doc before being rescued by a professors’ assistant posting at Harvard. Four years later he landed a teaching professorship at U of Toronto. Despite fictionalised autobiographical accounts of a varied, storied career; Jordy’s a schoolie.

Even his masthead boast about being a Clinical Psychologist is largely bogus. His clinical (private practice) work was a minor sideline. In Map of Meaning (1999) he bemoans his lack of clinical experience. Since then teaching paid the bills. Sorties into the media, writing, and a self-help publishing venture left little room for private practice. When his celebrity career took off he abandoned his few clients.

Peterson’s grooming by state broadcasters began in 2004 when TV Ontario produced a 13-part series based on Map of Meaning. Viewers tuned-out in droves. Following his UN gig in 2012-13, Peterson began uploading his lectures onto YouTube; attracting scant attention. Then a miracle…

On September 27, 2016 Jordan posted the video: “Professor against political correctness.” Within 24 hours, Canada’s main newspaper chain’s flagship, National Post, ran an article plugging the video. Two days later “As it Happens” – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s weekday evening radio show (1.6 million weekly listeners) – interviewed Peterson, again plugging the video. CBC re-ran this show online titled “I’m not a bigot” accompanied by a flattering photo of Peterson. 

While billed as a populist Internet sensation, Peterson is, in fact, a mainstream media balloon. Even his Internet success was amped.  In December 2016 Peterson began podcasting. Weeks later he hired a team to record his class-room lectures. These were edited and disbursed across the web. Then YouTube’s gnomes went to work. Peterson’s mug-shot became ubiquitous in YouTube’s spontaneous suggestion columns. Persons not remotely interested in Peterson were persistently shunted to an array of cookie-cutter YouTube sites that exist solely to publicise chosen e-celebs. Comments sections of Peterson’s scatterbrained lecture videos contain numerous complaints of “click-bait.”

It would be interesting to know if the Canadian LSAT was also an IQ proxy, as this would prove that Peterson has been exaggerating his IQ. There are already some anomalies in his self-description of it; the fact that such an ambitious individual first attended a regional college also tends to suggest that his test scores were less than superlative.

You can see exactly how trivial a figure Jordan Peterson was prior to October 2016 from this Google Trends comparison from 2011 through the end of September 2016. Keep in mind that this chart begins more than 7 years after a 13-part televised series dedicated to Peterson’s first book.

UPDATE: If it is true that Peterson applied to law school but did not get in, then he is lying about his supposedly high level of intelligence. From the Canadian Mensa site concerning prior evidence it accepts of a 98th percentile IQ.

LSAT Prior to 1982: 662. Effective 1982 (total percentile rank): 95. The average LSAT accepted by the University of Alberta Faculty of Law is the 90th percentile. In current terms, the 90th percentile is a score of 164, which equates to an estimated IQ of 124. That is the ceiling on Jordan Peterson’s IQ.

UPDATE: Jordan Peterson’s IQ claim:

I don’t know what my IQ is. I had it tested at one point. It’s in excess of a hundred and fifty but I don’t know exactly where it lands now…. I’m not overwhelmingly intelligent from a quantitative perspective, you know. I think my GRE scores for on the quantitative end of things for about 70-75th percentile which isn’t too bad given that you know you’re competing against other people who are going into graduate school, but there’s a big
difference between 75th percentile and 99th percentile, and I think that’s where
it was verbally, something like that.

Now remember, Jordan Peterson is a habitual liar. Also note that if we put together the 75th percentile and 99th percentile on the GRE that he claims would indicate that he is at the 87th percentile combined. We can see that Mensa equates the 95th percentile on the GRE with the 98th IQ percentile, so adjusting for the difference in populations would move him up to the 90th percentile, or an IQ of 120, which fits right beneath his estimated IQ ceiling of 124.

UPDATE: Boom. Got him. I cannot believe I missed this! From Maps of Meaning.

I wanted to become a corporate lawyer—had written the Law School Admissions Test, had taken two years of appropriate preliminary courses. I wanted to learn the ways of my enemies, and embark on a political career. This plan disintegrated. The world obviously did not need another lawyer, and I no longer believed that I knew enough to masquerade as a leader.

So, he did take the LSAT, he does know his IQ, and now, so do we. Looks like we’ll be adding Appendix D to JORDANETICS next week. Needless to say, I’ll be doing a Darkstream on the subject tonight.


The failure of the Rooney Rule

Affirmative action cannot work in a meritocracy:

The proof is hiding in plain sight; currently, minority coaches and executives are dwindling, not thriving, in the NFL. Only one African-American coach or G.M. has control over a football operation, and Ravens G.M. Ozzie Newsome will be retiring at season’s end. That will leave no coach, no General Manager, no V.P. of player personnel, no one who has practical or contractual final say over the construction of an NFL roster.

If Chris Grier remains in Miami (his status is unclear), he’ll be the only minority G.M. when the dust settles on 2018. For coaches, it could become nearly as bad. With Hue Jackson already out in Cleveland, and Vance Joseph, Todd Bowles, and Steve Wilks expected to be fired in Denver, New York, and Arizona, respectively, the NFL will have only four minority coaches: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin (whom many locals want to see fired), Bengals coach Marvin Lewis (who could be out), Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, and Panthers coach Ron Rivera (who’s currently expected to be safe).

That’s not what the league or the Fritz Pollard Alliance envisioned more than 15 years ago, when the standard named for the late Dan Rooney first emerged as a device for rectifying decades of unfairly biased hiring practices by NFL teams, as demonstrated by the raw numbers.

The problem is a straightforward one of distributed intelligence among the various population demographics. The complexity of modern NFL offenses and defenses strongly favors intelligence. It’s no longer enough to be a confident leader of men with charisma and personal discipline. And it’s not an accident that Bill Belichick, despite his personality and character flaws, has become the most successful coach in NFL history, as he is one of the most intelligent and studious men to ever coach a team, and he surrounds himself with highly intelligent assistants and players.

All that forcing more black coaches and executives on the NFL is likely to do is to reveal their intellectual shortcomings in comparison with their smarter white colleagues. What did giving Hue Jackson an additional year to fail at a historic level accomplish? Affirmative action is nothing but enshrining the Peter Principle in law; it guarantees systematic failure. And while it might unearth the occasional pearl, it is much more likely to expose the overmatched and the fraudulent in an embarrassing manner.

The black coach challenge is the exact opposite of the black quarterback issue of the 1980s. As playcalling moved to the sidelines and coaches were allowed to communicate directly with their quarterbacks, the cognitive challenge of playing quarterback was temporarily reduced, making the position more viable for less intelligent players. But even that trend has now been reversed, as the increasing importance of pre-snap reading of the defensive formations and quickly going through the route progressions has caused it to rise again.

The only way to salvage the purpose of the Rooney Rule is to systematically reduce the requirements for cognitive capacity among NFL coaches and executives. I leave the likelihood of that ever happening to the reader.


It’s not over

Don’t believe the mainstream media. The Yellow Vest protests are very, very far from over.

French police have deployed tear gas in a bid to quell Yellow Vest protesters in a tense stand-off in the city of Rouen in Normandy. Demonstrations quickly spiralled out of control in the northern French city on Saturday as protesters and riot police clashed in the streets of the picturesque town. Paris, the scene of the most dramatic demonstrations since the rallies began in November, was significantly quieter than previous weeks but it also saw dozens of Yellow Vests gathered on Champs-Elysees on Saturday. On Thursday, a group of the protesters attempted to storm the Mediterranean castle that serves as President Emmanuel Macron’s summer retreat.


The inaugural Bookstream

The inaugural Bookstream includes a discussion of the sex predators in science fiction and a preview of the audiobook version of THE LAST CLOSET, narrated by author Moira Greyland, now available in MP3 format for $19.99 in the Arkhaven store. 14 hours and includes the ebook in EPUB and Kindle formats.

Now that we’re getting more serious about audiobooks, I’m going to do a weekly Bookstream. Some will be book reviews, others will be previews of our new audiobooks, and if I can ever get the stream to permit a live second party, we may even do author interviews.

One thing that we are considering is developing our own combined ebook/audiobook reader app that is integrated with the Arkhaven store. We’d probably crowdfund it to test the demand, so let me know a) what features would be of interest and b) what rewards would make crowdfunding such an app of interest to you, if any.

It occurred to me that emulating Whispersync’s ability to keep track of where you are in the same book across formats would be a lot easier if you used the same app to read the book or listen to the book on your phone or tablet, especially since we plan to include the ebooks with our audiobooks. So, that’s an obvious feature, one that is less obvious but absolutely vital to me would be the ability to export notes and highlights; it is a never-ending source of aggravation to me that Aldiko lets me highlight portions of the text, but I can’t export them to a text file. We’d also want to incorporate MoonReader’s ability to connect to the GoldenDict dictionary apps, for easy foreign language translations while reading.

Please note that we have NOT yet decided to do this, as while the initial response to our direct audiobook sales has been promising, it doesn’t justify this level of support yet. It’s simply us thinking about where we want to go strategically in 2019 and how we can best arrange to get there. Anyhow, if you have any ideas, feel free to share them here.

Note: if you’re using the Arkhaven store, be sure to turn off NoScript in your browser, as we’ve been informed that may be a contributing factor to charges being declined.