Links for 2010-08-16

  • "The context in which adolescent sexual activity occurs can substantially moderate the negative relationship between sexual intercourse and education, according to research to be presented at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

    "Compared to abstinence, sexual intercourse in committed romantic relationships is often academically harmless, whereas in other types of relationships it is more detrimental," said Bill McCarthy and Eric Grodsky, sociologists at the University of California-Davis and the University of Minnesota, respectively. "Females and males who have sex only with romantic partners are generally similar to abstainers on most of the education measures we examined.""

  • "Here are four informal interpretations of the P vs. NP problem that people give, and which I can endorse as capturing the spirit of what's being asked:"
  • Much of the analysis of "Jose Chung's" over the years has focused on two points: 1.) How much of what happens in the episode really happened as depicted and how much is created by the influence of either hypnosis or the wild conjecture of men like Fox Mulder (this may be the episode with the lowest opinion of Mulder of any X-Files episode)? 2.) How much of the episode is meant to be mocking X-Files fans for their passion for the show? While I'd like to engage with both of those questions directly, I think both are barking up the wrong tree. The genius of this episode is all in that final monologue, which could be overwritten by Darin Morgan or over-delivered by Charles Nelson Reilly (as Chung) but miraculously avoids both fates.
  • "Looking at the US case, it seems fair to say that, if you ignore the asterisks (women, blacks, native Americans and the emerging industrial working class), the 19th century setup was a fair approximation to the libertarian ideal. I'm going to ignore the industrial part of the economy for the moment, and, for the sake of argument, treat slavery and Jim Crow as aberrations peculiar to the South. Finally, and again for the sake of argument, I'll concede the possibility that the legal rights of women and men could have been equalized (at least in formal terms) without upsetting the C19 applecart.

    That leaves on remaining asterisk - native Americans - and it seems to me that this is the one that can't be avoided."


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