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May 16, 2010

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This, written in 1999, is even more admirable...

http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/pc.html

"Everyone knows that identifiable racial and ethnic groups differ, on average, in many ways even aside from defining racial markers such as skin color. Scandinavians are heavier and taller than people of Mediterranean ancestry, the world's best sprinters come from West Africa and its best marathoners from East Africa, Pygmies are short and the Masai tall (because of geography and climate Africa has more human diversity than any other continent), etc. Why couldn't differences extend to psychometric measures? More important, why should that suggestion arouse such a strong attempt to push it beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse?

He must be awfully smart. His work as an astrophysicist doesn't have direct relevance to this, unlike the others. Physics is a small community and Chu probably went to the guy with the highest G he knew of.

Funny that he teaches at a 2nd rank (3rd rank?) university. Did personality issues prevent him from getting appointed to CalTech, MIT or an Ivy?

"Funny that he teaches at a 2nd rank (3rd rank?) university. Did personality issues prevent him from getting appointed to CalTech, MIT or an Ivy?"

Probably. Wash U in St. Louis is probably no lower than "2nd rank" though, from what I've seen. The only 1600/36 college admission test-taker I know went there for undergrad, and she seemed satisfied with their academic life.

Everything I read from this guy so far has been solid gold. I can't believe he hasn't been Larry Summersed or whatever by now. I'm sure when the Sierra Club gets a hold of this he'll be off the dream team, but he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who will give a crap anyway.

I bet no one sits by him in the lunch room.

"His house uses 20 times as much electricity as the average American house and he flies private jets. Obviously, he does not believe what he preaches; it must be an act."

He probably believes it, but doesn't really care. It's the caring about global warming that's the act, not the believing (though perhaps that's what this guy is getting at). Why wouldn't he believe when most of the scientists believe.

And the private jet comment is a bit unfair. People who fly by private jet seldom fly alone; they're usually accompanied by a staff & if they were to fly commercially, they would take up a lot of seats anyway.

Why does mainstream science push global warming if it's not supported by solid evidence? If there's any propaganda, I would expect it to be on the part of scientists denying global warming since academia is increasingly a corporate puppet, and global warming acceptance works against many corporate interests.

"I like this guy."

Actually his writing style reminds me a bit of yours. Anyway, it's very refreshing to see a member of the Academy who can actually think somewhat critically.

It will be interesting to see if he gets Watsoned. I almost hope that the liberals try it -- I have a feeling that he won't back down.


It is to Obama's credit that he has formed a team of smart scientists to deal with the problem instead of hiring his friends and acquaintances (such as Bush did with heck-of-a-job-Brownie).

Very interesting articles on Katz website http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/

This one is very depressing:
http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/scientist.html
(My son is working on a Ph.D. in a science)

I wonder why he uses a photograph of himself that looks as if it was taken 30 or 40 years ago (he got his Ph.D. in 1973)

Washington Univ. doesn't have a lot of name recognition, but it isn't a 2nd rank, much less a 3rd rank [do you mean "rate"?] school.

US News and World Report rankings are certainly not the be all and end all on this subject, but they're not entirely baseless either. For what it's worth, they place Washington University at 12th in the nation, which is ahead of Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Brown, and Berkeley.

OT, but check out this hilarious article highlighting the success of Finnish education. It has a back-handed ackowledgement of HBD in the last paragraph:

http://www.greatschools.org/students/finland-education.gs?content=2453&page=1

"Funny that he teaches at a 2nd rank (3rd rank?) university."

Do you have any idea how brilliant one must be to teach physics at WashU or a similarly ranked school? [Arguably WashU is a top tier school.]

There really is a marginal difference between most Ivy profs (exempting the Nobel prize winners) and most state school profs (like those at Florida, Wisconsin, Penn State, Texas, etc...).

You can corroborate this claim that admittedly most would find dubious. First, they all went to the same schools (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc...). But even better, the guys from CalTech collaborate extensively with guys from OSU and UC-Davis, etc. If they weren't essentially intellectual equals, this very common collaboration wouldn't happen. There's really only so many people able to be professors so necessarily all of them are top notch. [Hell you can find Ivy league physics grads at community colleges. Hell you might find Ivy league philosophy grads working in high schools.]

I just looked through some of his writings, such as this "Defense of Homophobia":

http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/defense.html

And here he supports the genetic view of the gender math gap:

http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/summers.html

And here he lambasts diversity initiatives:

http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/diversity.html

Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if he reads your site (or happened upon it one day). I'm also shocked he still has a job.

concerned.netizen wrote
Funny that he teaches at a 2nd rank (3rd rank?) university. Did personality issues prevent him from getting appointed to CalTech, MIT or an Ivy?

=================================

He may well have personality issues (see below), but the supply of very smart Ph.D.'s far exceeds the number that can be hired by CalTech, MIT and Ivy's. Indeed it exceeds the number that can be hired anywhere into tenure track positions at research universities.

However I don't agree with Katz' article "Don't Become A Scientist!" I think able students who want to go the Ph.D. route should not be discouraged. There are no guarantees about jobs not matter what you go into (except perhaps for medicine). And perhaps many of the new Ph.D.'s will be content to teach at a non-research college, or even at a high school. Indeed, many might prefer not having the stress of being in a "publish or perish" environment. My son (a Ph.D. student) hopes to some day teach at a college in a small town nestled in the mountains where he can spend his spare time snowboarding.

Katz has some sensible ideas, but he seems like a bit of a crank. I often wonder if people who are vocal about being anti-gay are closet cases themselves. He has very bad ratings on Ratemyprofessors.com. Here are some quotes from students:
==========================

Refuses to make eye contact with anyone & is really moody.

Very unapproachable and unsympathetic.

Awful. Very Unapproachable. Boring. Creepy

He's weird. Really weird.
===================================
http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=14936&page=1


he doesent. You are obscure, no matter how much you want popularity.

" I wonder if he reads my blog?"

Your quantcast stats are quite good. I keep waiting for many other blogs to take off and get over 10 or even over 15K readers per day as you have, but it just isn't happening.

I have high hopes that intelligent bloggers will be a way for people to go around the traditional media and get their facts from people who really know what they are talking about, instead of playboy-bunnies-reading-teleprompters.

Talk Radio is huge when I look at the numbers. Limbaugh was having over 600K people daily in liberal Los Angeles. Thats incredible considering that he's really not that good. Our local conservative talk show host is much better, and I know he gets a great deal of his info from blogs and online mags. He's referenced the American Thinker several times, and Im pretty sure he's one of the legion of "secret" HBD-acknowledgers.

This is from his Web site:

“Global warming is real and much of it is probably anthropogenic.”

Matt Drudge will often link to articles critical of some aspect of global warming science, but the articles usually acknowledge anthropogenic global warming as true. It seems like disputing global warming is not the point. The point is just to put down some scientist or politician as if a part of some celebrity feud. At least they are not calling global warming a eugenics plot like Alex Jones does.

I think people should remember that a lot of important US allies are island nations. Singapore plans to hold back the ocean with a giant wall. They are Chinese, after all.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/29/world/asia/29iht-Dikes.2.7301576.html?_r=1

Here is something else from his Web site:

“[R]ace matters only to racists.”

"I often wonder if people who are vocal about being anti-gay are closet cases themselves".

It's a myth which is believed because most people don't know basic probability, namely, the difference between "Probability of B given A" and "Probability of A given B."

In plain language, just because a lot of gays hate themselves, it doesn't follow that gay haters are gay.

I'd be more worried about this:

http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/baghdad.html

Apparently, Katz believed Iraq was behind the World Trade Center attacks.

"I often wonder if people who are vocal about being anti-gay are closet cases themselves"

I do too, but this isn't a guy who is running around every day with a sign that says "GOD HATES FAGS" In other words, it doesn't seem he is obsessed with homosexuality. He just makes the sensible point that gay sex / promiscuity are bad for society since they spread diseases around.

"Awful. Very Unapproachable. Boring. Creepy

He's weird. Really weird"

I have no idea if he is a good professor or not, but I wonder what his comments would be like if he took the politically correct views on global warming, homosexuality, and so forth. I myself have noticed that a lot of people judge me very unfairly if they perceive I am violating the various PC taboos.

"There are no guarantees about jobs not matter what you go into (except perhaps for medicine). "

There is a difference between "no guarantees" and "massively uphill battle."

By analogy, suppose you plan to open a fancy boutique and you are choosing between New York City and Rochester as locations. Either way, there is "no guarantee." But if you open in Rochester, the deck is massively stacked against you.

That's how it is in science these days, particularly if you are a white male.

JMHO

As a physicist, I can tell you that a lot of faculty members at universities have all sorts of opinions. Because they are physicists, no one gives a crap since they are completely powerless, only about how much grant money they can bring into the university.

WashU is an excellent school for physics and anyone who got a faculty position there would have to be very talented.

His opinion piece that Melykin links on "Don't become a scientist!" is something I have thought many, many times and is mostly true. I'm still hanging in there, but my life would have been a lot easier doing something else.

"I just looked through some of his writings, such as this "Defense of Homophobia":

http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/defense.html"

"Homophobia is the moral judgement that homosexual behavior (most of the arguments in this essay refer specifically to male homosexual behavior) is wrong"

It appears that he has one of those strange lesbian fetishes.

There are many global warming deniers, including, but not limited to: David Icke*, Glenn Beck, "Lord" Monckton, and Alex Jones. While individuals like Al Gore* do make the problem seem larger than it is, it doesn't mean we should ignore the problem of global warming. Even without global warming, it would be great to get off oil forever because we would have more energy independence, and, the air quality would be better.

Additionally, moving to an alternative energy infrastructure would help social mobility because alternative energy shareholders, executives, and the suppliers to said companies, would move up the economic ladder, and subsequently divert some of the power from those who run dirty energy companies, who have made society dependent on them for their energy needs. The power is currently monopolized in the hands of the old money establishment families, and they have too much influence over too many individuals. The anti global warming propaganda is fundamentally a stratagem to keep the power concentrated in the hands of those who run these dirty energy companies and their friends.

*Who also believes that lizards rule the world. Nevertheless I do hope he is using that as a metaphor, which would be an excellent metaphor because at the top of the social pyramid they are trained to hide their emotions for social advantage, and are conditioned (i.e.: broken down and built up again) in secondary school to have an owning class mindset. These are the people who inherited their wealth (and therefore haven't earned anything, not that having more money is a sign of moral superiority) who have neighborhood associations meant to keep the nouveaux riches out of the neighborhoods of inherited wealth.

"My son (a Ph.D. student) hopes to some day teach at a college in a small town nestled in the mountains where he can spend his spare time snowboarding."

LOL! Good luck with that.

I thought "don't become a scientist" was right on target and should be required reading for anyone contemplating a PhD. Indeed, what he says about the PhD glut and the low chance of hiring and tenure is even more true for non-science PhDs than for science.

My sister in law has a science PhD, is 39, and has spent the last 7 years in that "holding pattern of postdoctoral jobs" that he talks about, with no sign of it letting up. Oh yeah, and she's teaching in some crappy town in Ohio, not at some scenic college in the mountains where she can snowboard. Will she ever yield to reality and give up the quest for a tenure-track job? Who knows, but meanwhile she's making $35K a year and teaching a bunch of classes every semester, yaay!

"if they were to fly commercially, they would take up a lot of seats anyway"

Private jets burn 4-5 times as much fuel per seat as a widebody airliner. Though I'm a big fan of private jets, in Gore's case the criticism is fair.

"Why wouldn't he believe when most of the scientists believe."

Most scientist believe because most scientists aren't any more qualified to evaluate AGW claims than the general public, and assume (like everybody else pre-climategate) the scientists who are qualified aren't lying or delusional.


"Thats incredible considering that (Limbaugh is) really not that good"

Huh? I don't care for his show, but numbers don't lie; I'm pretty sure Limbaugh is the most successful talk radio host of all time, and not by a narrow margin. I can't stand Bruce Springsteen either, but the guy's obviously doing something right.

I love it when people suggest that gays need to suppress their "unnatural desires."

I'll make a deal with Katz or anyone who so suggests. You suppress your heterosexual desires - no dating, no cuddling, no sleeping with members of the opposite sex - for one year out of choice (not because you can't get any), and I'll suggest my gay desires for the rest of my life.

"His house uses 20 times as much electricity as the average American house and he flies private jets. Obviously, he does not believe what he preaches; it must be an act."

I think he believes, but also thinks there should be one set of rules for the Elite and another for the common people.

[HS: I agree with the above, but of course it's fun to point out the hypocrisy of the elites.]

"meanwhile she's making $35K a year and teaching a bunch of classes every semester"

What's her degree in specifically?

"it would be great to get off oil forever because we would have more energy independence, and, the air quality would be better"

I agree air quality would be better if we stopped using oil and coal for power, but you appear to think nothing else would change, and that seems a little optimistic. Would loss of mobility, radically reduced economic activity, the need to fight wars over some resource necessary to manufacture alternative energy equipment, or environmental destruction associated with its manufacture or use be worth the increase in air quality? Because I can pretty much guarantee one or more of those things will come into play. We don't pollute the environment for spite; we pollute the environment because we derive enormous benefit from doing so. Nobody argues that the damage shouldn't be minimized, but you need to be realistic about the costs and benefits of any given approach.

" You suppress your heterosexual desires - no dating, no cuddling, no sleeping with members of the opposite sex - for one year out of choice"

Seems like all the men in Japan are doing just that, heheh.

"What's her degree in specifically?"

Biology.

"It appears that he has one of those strange lesbian fetishes. "

Or maybe he just recognizes that gay sex between men is much more dangerous than gay sex between women.

"You suppress your heterosexual desires - no dating, no cuddling, no sleeping with members of the opposite sex - for one year out of choice (not because you can't get any),"

A lot of married people do exactly that for the sake of their children.

"Why does mainstream science push global warming if it's not supported by solid evidence?"

It depends what you mean by "global warming." The warmistas have capitalized on the ambiguity of that phrase.

I am firmly in the denier camp but I do not dispute that the Earth has warmed over the last 100 years. Nor do I dispute that mankind's CO2 emissions are likely responsible for some amount of that warming.

"I'll make a deal with Katz or anyone who so suggests. You suppress your heterosexual desires - no dating, no cuddling, no sleeping with members of the opposite sex - for one year out of choice (not because you can't get any), and I'll suggest my gay desires for the rest of my life."

The problem with this supposed analogy is that likelihood of transmitting AIDS in an anal intercourse is several times higher than in a vaginal one.
A homosexual abstaining from anal sex would be more like a heterosexual abstaining from sex with prostitutes and drug addicts. Many heterosexuals abstain from these activities, even if they have no alternatives.

"...and I'll suggest my gay desires for the rest of my life." Where's Freud when you need him?

Wash U is a 2nd rank university, according to....Jonathan Katz. Here:

"A second rank institution like Washington University is not going to improve by raiding those of the third rank."

Link:

http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/whatsnew.html

"Do you have any idea how brilliant one must be to teach physics at WashU or a similarly ranked school?"

One STDV,

Yes.

I have a question for you.

Do you know how to read?

I said both here and in the other post about Katz that he likely has high G even relative to other physicists, which is why Chu chose him. Or maybe Garwin did.

Do you know what the word "juxtapose" means? If not, look up this word in a dictionary, because that's what I'm doing. I'm juxtaposing this near certain superhigh G with the fact that he's not teaching at a top-name prestige university (such as the one he graduated from). (Take your pick: an Ivy, or Caltech, MIT, etc.)

Want to quibble about whether Washington U is 2nd rank or top rank?

Take it up with Dr. Katz, not me.

The reason I asked the question is that Katz has terrible ratings on those rate your professor websites. My only explanation is that he's 2 standard deviations smarter than his students and the gulf between them causes resentment.

I guess that he writes those polemical articles because he's disappointed that he can't interact with the best of the best students.

I almost hope they do try to Watson him because he wouldn't back down. He reminds me of Cochran and Feynman: a guileless man who is compulsively honest. He can't not tell it as he sees it. His only boss is Mother Nature.

I hope we are witnessing the birth of a new and refreshing public intellectual.

What Sabril said - Katz was just pointing out that gay so-called sex (actually, sodomy) has consequences, he's not raving about it constantly.

If someone say that heterosexual sex has consequences, is that wrong?

Facts: straight sex gets girls pregnant. Sodomy gets you AIDS. Deal.

Subnuclear:

OK, Wash U has an excellent physics department but let's face it, physics is as prestige-oriented as any discipline.

What is Lisa Randall doing at Harvard? What has she done except write one of those pop physics books with a sexy name that non one really reads?

http://www.physics.harvard.edu/people/facpages/randall.html

Has she advanced her discipline in any fundamental way?

I wrote:
"My son (a Ph.D. student) hopes to some day teach at a college in a small town nestled in the mountains where he can spend his spare time snowboarding."

Lugo wrote:
LOL! Good luck with that.

---------------------------------
It is not as outlandish as it sounds. We are in British Columbia so there are lots of mountains around. Parts of Alberta are also close to the mountains.

The thing is, there are very few "magic bullet" degrees anymore. There are too many teachers, too many lawyers, to many computer programmers, too many of just about everything. So should young people just throw up their hands and give up hope that they will ever have a career? You just can't give up. You just have to keep going and hope for the best.

But can we please stop importing so many grad students from China, India and eastern Europe? What the hell...people who are born here can't get jobs so why are we bringing in more people? They end up getting jobs as taxi drivers and complain bitterly that we are prejudiced against them. HELLO...there are no jobs for ANYONE, including people who were born here. Katz simply throws up his hands and tells bright students not to get a Ph.D. He says let people from China and India get the jobs since they don't care so much if they are poorly paid. This attitude just seems stupid to me and makes me think Katz is a nut.

Fortunately my son is in a field of science (wildlife ecology) that doesn't seem to attract people from China or India so much. My other son is going into secondary education (to teach Chemistry and math) -- jobs are mighty scare in that too but I refuse to discourage either of them from studying what they want. After all, if they don't go to school what other options are there?

Its a good question whether Lisa Randall's field in general has advanced since 1973, so its hard to say whether she's helped or not. (The real advancement in the field will be from the thousands of experimental physicists working at the LHC and other facilities). She is no doubt an extremely high IQ person who has a ton of publications, but there are a lot of high IQ people in physics with tons of publications, so she must have some careerist abilities that others don't. No doubt being female opens doors to grad schools, trendy research groups, prestige post-docs and faculty positions, but she is not the only high IQ woman competing for these positions.

"Katz has terrible ratings on those rate your professor websites."

Anyone who teaches a intro level courses in math or hard science, and takes it seriously, has terrible ratings, courtesy of all the students from fluff majors who simply don't grasp the concepts. Doesn't mean he sucks at teaching.

"After all, if they don't go to school what other options are there?"

The sky is the limit for motivated, self-employed plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and mechanics.

"ortunately my son is in a field of science (wildlife ecology) that doesn't seem to attract people from China or India so much."

Is it possible that's the reason he chose it?

Rast wrote
"Anyone who teaches a intro level courses in math or hard science, and takes it seriously, has terrible ratings, courtesy of all the students from fluff majors who simply don't grasp the concepts. Doesn't mean he sucks at teaching."
--------------------------------------
I know from first-hand experience that this is not true. First-year service courses for non-math majors certainly do form a large portion of all math courses, and often the students in these courses are weak in math. However, it is still possible for a teacher to be friendly and helpful and approachable. It is true that there will still be a few disgruntled students, but most of the students will not hate you, even if you fail them. Notice that Katz's comments are almost universally very negative. I would guess he might have problems relating to people. Maybe he is semi-autistic or something. It could be that his non-PC views also contribute to some of the vitriol on Ratemyprofessors.com, but I would think it is safe to say he does not have a warm fuzzy personality.

"fortunately my son is in a field of science (wildlife ecology) that doesn't seem to attract people from China or India so much."

Is it possible that's the reason he chose it?
=============================================
He chose it because he likes outdoor adventures. His research is in the Rocky Mountains and the Arctic.

Yawner wrote:
"The sky is the limit for motivated, self-employed plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and mechanics."
=================================

If any of my children had expressed an interest in a trade I would certainly have supported them to pursue it. However, I was not going to tell them they couldn't go to university and must take up a trade instead. Do you have any kids? Would you tell them to go into a trade even if they had excellent grades and wanted to go to university?

In any case my kids seemed to be very strong minded and made up their own minds about these things. One of them did try a trade but got tired of it after a few years and went back to university.

"More on the job situation in physics from another professor:

http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2005/02/tale-of-two-geeks.html"
=====================================

Read the comments (which were written 5 years ago.) There is a lot of talk about physicists quitting physics to become hedge fund managers. Maybe this explains what happened on Wall street!

Linda: "Why does mainstream science push global warming if it's not supported by solid evidence? If there's any propaganda, I would expect it to be on the part of scientists denying global warming since academia is increasingly a corporate puppet, and global warming acceptance works against many corporate interests."

Isn't Goldman Sachs working with US government on the carbon offset scheme? it's the next goldmine for them.

"What is Lisa Randall doing at Harvard? What has she done except write one of those pop physics books with a sexy name that non one really reads?

http://www.physics.harvard.edu/people/facpages/randall.html

Has she advanced her discipline in any fundamental way?

Posted by: concerned netizen | May 17, 2010 at 02:08 PM"

Isn't it obvious why she was hired by Harvard over other physicists?

Randall was hired because is a media savy, pop-sci book writing PILF (Physicist I'd Like to &%$#).

She is at Harvard for *precisely* the same reasons FOXNews hires blond bimbos to be news presenters, i.e. Randall attracts far more positive media attention than a high IQ nerd like Katz or Half Sigma would.

And let the record show that I personally support her gorgeous PILF ass working for Harvard regardless of whether she has "advanced the field the of physics".

Amen.

Lisa Randall's IQ is at least as high as Katz's and much, much higher than Half Sigma's.

As a matter of fact, Lisa Randall was hired by Harvard *before* her media-sensation book was published. Just maybe it had something to do with her being the *top cited physicist in the last 5 years* at the time she was hired. Translation: no one in all of physics had more citations.

You guys are sexist idiots.

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