Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Wednesday Potpourri

 First, if you have always suspected that men and women think differently, science has just caught up with your intuition. Researchers from Stanford University have discovered that male and female brains are distinct.

The Telegraph reports the findings:

‌There has never been any definitive proof of difference in activity in the brains of men and women, but Stanford University has shown that it is possible to tell the sexes apart based on activity in “hotspot” areas.

‌They include the “default mode network”, an area of the brain thought to be the neurological centre for “self”, and is important in introspection and retrieving personal memories.

‌The limbic system is also implicated, which helps regulate emotion, memory and deals with sexual stimulation, and striatum, which is important in habit forming and rewards.

‌Experts said the brain differences could influence how males and females view themselves, how they interact with other people and how they recall past experiences.

‌Dr Vinod Menon, prof of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Stanford, said: “This is a very strong piece of evidence that sex is a robust determinant of human brain organisation.”‌

“Our findings suggest that differences in brain activity patterns across these key brain regions contribute to sex-specific variations in cognitive functioning.”

This tells us that men and women are not interchangeable. But, you already knew that.

Second, it does not seem to be limited to one or another sex, but Gen Zers have already learned how not to be up to the job. Their bad manners began with dating but now extend to their jobs. Not that you will find that surprising.

Yahoo news has the story:

Ghosting isn’t just for dating anymore. Now Gen Z are treating their would-be employers like bad dates and not showing up for job interviews or their first day on the job without as much as a phone call.

Employment website Indeed surveyed 1,500 businesses and 1,500 working people in the U.K. and found that job ghosting is rife, with 75% of workers saying they’ve ignored a prospective employer in the past year.

But the youngest generation of workers are by far the worst offenders.

A whopping 93% of Gen Zers told the global recruitment platform that they’ve flaked out of an interview.

Worse still, a staggering 87% managed to charm their way through interviews, secure the job, and sign the contract, only to leave their new boss stranded on the very first day.

Their reason for doing so? According to the survey, it makes them “feel in charge of their career”.

But it’s having the opposite effect on businesses left high and dry: More than half of businesses surveyed have said that ghosting has made hiring more difficult.

Third, as an adjunct piece of information, American schoolchildren are continuing to fall behind in international assessments. This, from the Epoch Times:

The most recent results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) highlight a concerning trend for U.S. students in the field of math.

In comparison to their counterparts in other industrialized nations, American students are falling behind. The rather sobering results revealed a 13-point decline for U.S. students when compared to the 2018 exam.

In stark contrast, 28 countries and economies managed to either maintain or improve their 2018 math scores, with countries such as Switzerland and Japan leading the way—and leaving the United States in the dust. These considerably more successful nations share a number of common characteristics, including, most notably of all, shorter school closures during the pandemic, as noted in the report.

America continues to suffer from pandemic era school closures. Time to ban teachers unions, don’t you think?

Fourth, the Biden administration has been hard at work onshoring manufacturing, especially semiconductor manufacturing. Without very much success. Apparently, as I have reported, America does not possess the human capital needed to fun modern chip manufacturing plants. Our educational system is producing social justice warriors but not tech savvy engineers.

The New York Times has the story:

In December 2022, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the key maker of the world’s most cutting-edge chips, said it planned to spend $40 billion in Arizona on its first major U.S. hub for semiconductor production.

The much ballyhooed project in Phoenix — with two new factories, including one with more advanced technology — became a symbol of President Biden’s quest to spur more domestic production of chips, the slices of silicon that help all manner of devices make calculations and store data.

Then last summer, TSMC pushed back initial manufacturing at its first Arizona factory to 2025 from this year, saying local workers lacked expertise in installing some sophisticated equipment. Last month, the company said the second plant wouldn’t produce chips until 2027 or 2028, rather than 2026, citing uncertainty about tech choices and federal funding.

Fifth, diversity quotas are killing American ingenuity. The College Fix reports:

The continued embrace of diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM combined with a broad decline in academic standards is producing a generation of scientists who are less capable than their predecessors, warned some scientists in recent interviews with The College Fix.

From easier math classes in high school to the elimination of standardized tests to extreme grade-inflation to DEI tropes that elevate lived experiences and ways of knowing over facts and data, the trend represents a pressing problem for science professors working to protect STEM and preserve its standards and meritocracy.

Sixth, apparently, the lust to punish Donald Trump is costing New York State. Certain businesspeople are adding New York to the list of loser states, states they do not want to invest in. Our governor, Kathy Hochul, says that there is no problem, but that can only mean that there is a problem.

This, from Newsweek:

Conservative businesspeople and public figures including investor Kevin O'Leary and author Scott Adams have vowed to stop doing business in New York, following the ruling that banned Donald Trump from running a company in the state for three years.

O'Leary, a Canadian businessman and television personality, told Fox Business on Monday that he would never invest in New York now, saying he was shocked at Judge Arthur Engoron's ruling. On Friday, Engoron—who is overseeing the New York Attorney General Letitia James' civil fraud case against Trump—ordered the former president to pay $355 million plus interest for lying about his wealth and inflating the value of his assets. The former president still denies any wrongdoing.

"I can't even understand or fathom the decision at all; there's no rationale for it," O'Leary said.

"It doesn't matter what the governor says; New York was already a loser state, like California is a loser state. There are many loser states because of policies, high taxes and uncompetitive regulations," he added. "It was already at the top of the list of loser states. I would never invest in New York now, and I'm not the only person saying that."

Seventh, when you have lost the New York Times, you have a serious problem. Such is the case of one Joe Biden, via the Daily Mail:

New York Times' publisher has revealed the White House said they have been unhappy at recent press coverage in the newspaper after a series of opinion articles focused on President Joe Biden's age and his unsuitability to run for a second term.

A.G. Sulzberger, 43, who has been publisher for the last six years, said the White House was 'extremely upset' - yet he insists the paper will 'continue to report fully and fairly.'

'We are going to continue to report fully and fairly, not just on Donald Trump but also on President Joe Biden,' he told the Reuters Institute in an interview. 

Eighth, obviously, the Biden foreign policy is a calamity. War in Eastern Europe; war in the Middle East; terrorists shutting down shipping through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

And yet, our foreign policy maven, one Antony Blinken, has gone to war against people who misgender.

The New York Post has the story:

Attention, enemies of America: You can go ahead and kill, bomb and terrorize with impunity — just make sure you don’t misgender anyone. 

That’s American foreign policy in a nutshell under President Biden, a fact confirmed by recent reports that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned his staffers in a memo against using gendered language. 

No more “manpower,” for example. (Also presumably forbidden would be “Uncle Sam” and “Lady Liberty.”) 

Blinken also wants Staties to ID themselves by preferred pronouns — like “ze/zir,” per the memo — in meetings and emails. 

This is what our secretary of state spends his time on, as the world burns around him?

The country is not in the best of hands. We are becoming an international laughing stock.

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Anonymous said...

I sense an opportunity for an entire new field of medical specialty: Brain Transitioning.

Bardelys the Magnificent said...

Eh, I'm with Gen Z on this one. They're just doing to employers what employers have done to prospective employees for decades. Hiring managers started this, and turnabout is fair play.

JPL17 said...

"Hiring managers started this, and turnabout is fair play."

I'll tell you what else turnabout is. It's incredibly stupid. Generally there are far more potential employees than there are potential employers, and eventually the job-seeker will ghost him/herself right out of an entire job market.

So much for “feeling in charge of one's career”.

370H55V I/me/mine said...

Sorry JPL17, but I'm with Bardelys on this. I went on all too many interviews in my checkered career after which the employer never even bothered to get back to me. I'm old and retired now, but even then my last was in 2010. The company flew me out for the interview and paid for my stay, and after five months of not hearing from them I told them in no uncertain terms where they could shove their job. I was working elsewhere at the time and reminded them that because of that they had to sell themselves to me just as much as I had to sell myself to them.

I heard later that it took them a full year to fill the position, which was not all that high-ranking in the organization--a hell of a lot longer than it takes the College of Cardinals to elect a new pope. I found out subsequently that the guy they ultimately hired lasted all of three years. I think I would have stayed longer, just to get vested for the company pension.

The problem is that as companies fill up with women, they act in the same way they do when screening out men as potential mates. At least some of us have alternatives.