Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for May 2013

The impact of immigration reform on STEM

The New York Time article headline is Engineers See a Path Out of Green Card Limbo, and it’s about how glorious it will be for foreign engineers living in the U.S. because they will finally be able to get green cards.

The actual provisions of the proposed legislation are not clearly defined in the article, but what I can gather from perusing the web is that the new bill is not only significantly increasing the number of H1-B easier, but there will be a massively large increase in the number of green cards handed out to people with advanced degrees and to quote the article, “the bill would make it much easier for science, math and engineering graduates of American universities to become permanent residents.”

The end result of this will be that any field today that has a large percentage of educated foreign workers will see a massive surge in such workers and lower wages. If you work in such a field, get out. If you are thinking about getting into such a field, stop thinking about it. This will especially impact computer programmers and engineers. After this bill gets passed, if you are a native-born white American, you don’t want to do anything STEM.

This makes it more important than ever for young people to graduate from an elite university so they can get into a value transference field. The STEM option from a state school will be a lot less appealing after immigration reform.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 24, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Another post about the top-out-of-sight

The key characteristic of the top-out-of-sight class is multiple generations of private school attendance. And we are talking about private schools attended by children of wealthy people, not crappy Catholic schools. Generally, in order for a person to be top-out-of-sight, he must have attended private school, and so did his parents, and so do his children.

The top-out-of-sight are not famous and do not have high-visibility jobs, because they have to be out of sight. Out-of-sight should not be taken too literally. Many of the top-out-of-sight are hiding in plain sight in places such as Manhattan.

The top-out-of-sight insulate themselves from proles. For example, if they live in New York City, then they live in a doorman building and they avoid subways and buses.

Philanthropy is an important part of their lives and all top-out-of-sights must count philanthropy among their major hobbies.

They socialize nearly entirely with other people from the top-out-of-sight class.

Howard Hughes is not an example of top-out-of-sight, because the top-out-of-sight are not weirdos; they are very social, but they only socialize with their own class so if you lead a middle-class life you will never bump into them in a social setting. Hughes was also too famous in his reclusivity to be out-of-sight. Amanda Brooks is a better example of someone who might be top-out-of-sight were it not for the New York Times article enhancing her visibility.

They do something that looks like work. This is not times past when rich people did nothing besides attend parties. The work they do may even be real work that pays good money, although it would be some work that’s respectable or self-actualizing. A top-out-of-sight person wouldn’t work as a dentist. They might work in finance (maybe hedge funds or venture capital, but never as an accountant or stockbroker), the arts, philanthropy, or teach at a quality private school.

If they attend religious services, it’s at a mainline Protestant church. There are now some Jews in this class, and they only attend Reform synagogues. Orthodox Judaism and evangelical Christianity are prole.

Blacks are never top out-of-sight, not because the top-out-of-sight are racist (in fact, they primarily voted for Obama, overwhelming so in the northeast), but because black people identify with being black, and to be in the top-out-of-sight class, you must identify only as a member of that class.

They summer someplace where there aren’t any proles around. Never at Seaside Heights, probably nowhere on the Jersey Shore at all because the entire Jersey Shore is very accessible to proles. Nantucket is a good place to find the top-out-of-sight; the only way to get there is by airplane or a long ferry ride, so that keeps away the proles as well as the middle-class strivers.

One does not have to be super-rich to be top-out-of-sight. At the bottom end of the top-out-of-sight, you just need to be able to afford private school for two children plus incidental expenses like vacations. Because the top-out-of-sight can have jobs of some sort (although never the kind where a boss yells at them and they have to punch a timecard), the amount of inherited money they need is not as high as commonly assumed. Their social capital allows them to get paid a lot more for their work than you might think given their lack of true value creation.

The top-out-of-sight are not showy people; they don’t flaunt their wealth with huge houses, Rolls-Royces, and other unnecessary bling. In fact, to be true top-out-of-sight, you need to be slightly embarrassed about your wealth. The top-out-of-sight shop at exclusive stores not so they can buy merchandise that will impress people with how rich they are, but rather so they can avoid the proles who shop at regular stores.

If you’re a CEO of a major corporation, then you have too much visibility to be out-of-sight and you’re merely upper class.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 23, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Posted in Wealth

Progression to the outliers

Commenters around here write to often about regression to the mean.

I think the reality will be that today’s children will experience progression to the outliers compared to their parents, with respect to overall life success.

That means that children of prole and middle class will do worse than their parents.

Children of upper-middle and upper class will do better than their parents. (Can one do better than upper class? Sure, there’s the top out-of-sight class.)

This is the reality of the increasing polarization of society.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 22, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Computers for children?

James Pethokoukis at AEI reports on a study that shows that home computers do not help poor children (hat tip to Gucci Little Piggy ):

Although the experiment substantially increased computer ownership and usage without causing substitution away from use at school or other locations outside the home, we find no evidence that home computers had an effect (either positive or negative) on any educational outcome, including grades, standardized test scores, or a host of other outcomes. Our estimates are precise enough to rule out even modestly-sized positive or negative impacts. We do not find effects at notable points in the distribution such as pass rates and meeting proficiency standards, throughout the distribution of post-treatment outcomes, throughout the distribution of pretreatment achievement, or for subgroups pre-identified as potentially more likely to benefit. … Our results indicate that computer ownership alone is unlikely to have much of an impact on short-term schooling outcomes for low-income children.

Rich people, as usual, are ahead of the curve, because in October 2011, there was an article in the NY Times about parents who send their children to expensive private schools that ban computers:

The chief technology officer of eBay sends his children to a nine-classroom school here. So do employees of Silicon Valley giants like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard.

But the school’s chief teaching tools are anything but high-tech: pens and paper, knitting needles and, occasionally, mud. Not a computer to be found. No screens at all. They are not allowed in the classroom, and the school even frowns on their use at home.

Of course, if Adam Karp’s mother took the non-computer approach to child-rearing, Karp wouldn’t be the quarter-billionaire founder of Tumblr. You can’t raise a kid who will become a high-tech computer prodigy genius if you ban computers. But the parents of the children at the Waldorf schools don’t care about that; they don’t want their children to work in the computer field, which they not-so-secretly think is only for funny-smelling Indian immigrants. They believe that a non-computer approach to child rearing will more likely lead their children to a self-actualizing or value-transference career.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM

How to be successful without going to college

There are athletes, musicians, actors, and models who became successful without going to college. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi became a rich and successful celebrity without going to college, but that was a random event that no one could have anticipated based on her life trajectory before she was picked to be a reality show participant.

Peter Jennings became a successful news anchor even though he dropped out of college, but that was in the past. That’s extremely unlikely to happen today. The best way to become a news anchor today is to attend an Ivy League or other elite school. Nicole Lapin, the young anchor at CNN, graduated valedictorian from Northwestern University.

There are the usual commenters who insist that it’s better to become a plumber than go to college. However, the reality is that in order to become a plumber, one may obtain a Plumbing Associate in Science Degree followed by a four-year apprenticeship and then passing a state licensing exam, so one doesn’t become a plumber without formal education and training, it’s just a different path then going to Harvard. And it doesn’t pay all that well either. The average salary is $51,830 per year. This is a decent salary for a prole occupation, but it’s not something that someone who has the opportunity to attend Northwestern should bother to consider. And you also have to literally deal with people’s crap.

There are also the usual commenters who insist that young people can start a business instead of going to college. And that is also not likely to happen. The vast majority of successful businesses happen when the founder learns the industry by working for someone else first. Can you imagine an 18-year-old starting a successful hedge fund? Or an architecture firm? Or a bank? Or an accounting firm?

If there is an exception to the above, that exception would be in computer-related businesses. All the people you hear about who became successful entrepreneurs without graduating from college, their businesses were computer-related. Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Mark Zuckerberg are the most obviously successful. And then of course there is David Karp who founded Tumblr, and he’s the reason I am writing about this topic today. Karp actually one-upped Gates, Dell and Zuckerberg, because he dropped out of high school.

I think that what all of these successful young computer-related entrepreneurs had going for them is that they became experts in some brand-new technology or concept before older people with real jobs had the opportunity to become experts. The computer field is rather unique in this respect; in most other fields you can’t become an expert in anything without working for someone else first, and working for someone else almost always requires formal education unless your parents own the business; otherwise, no one will hire you because our business culture demands formal education.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 21, 2013 at 2:37 PM

David Karp’s mother

This NY Times article about David Karp is interesting:

When David Karp was 14, he was clearly a bright teenager. Quiet, somewhat reclusive, bored with his classes at the Bronx High School of Science. He spent most of his free time in his bedroom, glued to his computer.

But instead of trying to pry him away from his machine or coaxing him outside to get some fresh air, his mother, Barbara Ackerman, had another solution: she suggested that he drop out of high school to be home-schooled.

“I saw him at school all day and absorbed all night into his computer,” said Ms. Ackerman, reached by phone Monday afternoon. “It became very clear that David needed the space to live his passion. Which was computers. All things computers.”

Indeed, most mothers would have worried about their son’s lack of social and athletic development and would have forced him to become more normal. Not many would have the courage to let their kid pursue his passion. This bold parenting approach has paid huge dividends, because Karp is now super-wealthy after selling Tumblr to Yahoo for $1.1 billion (from which he netted approximately $250 million).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 21, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Posted in Nerdy stuff

John Maynard Keynes: a very evil guy

According to some guy named Brendan O’Neill:

[Keynes] believed Europe was overpopulated, and fretted about a worrying “growth in numbers” among “the element which we regard as least good”. That is, the poor, the stupid, the riff-raff. Keynes wrung his hands over the fact that “it is the poorest and least intelligent part of the population which reproduces itself most rapidly”, and something would have to be done about it, he said.

That something might be eugenics, he believed – the improvement of the genetic composition of the human race through promoting higher levels of reproduction among desirable people and discouraging reproduction among “the poorest and least intelligent part of the population”. Keynes was director of the British Eugenics Society from 1937 to 1944. He described eugenics as “the most important, significant and… genuine branch of sociology that exists”.

I suppose the author most be some sort of conservative, because conservatives don’t like Keynes, and anyone who believes in eugenics is very evil, so this conservative type is trying to let liberals know that their go-to guy on economics is an evil racist.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 19, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Posted in Biology, Economics

NY Times says that immigration is bad for the immigrant

There’s an article in the NY Times about how America is bad for the health of Hispanic immigrants.

A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in this country, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than the parents.

The pattern goes against any notion that moving to America improves every aspect of life.

So if this is true, then why is the NY Times in favor of more immigration and granting amnesty to illegal immigrants? We should deport all of the illegal immigrants, and close the borders, for immigrants’ own good, so they can live longer and healthier lives.

* * *

And by the way, the article is full of a lot of bogus assumptions. Puerto-Ricans, who are black, are mixed in with Mexicans who are Mestizo. There aren’t any Puerto-Rican illegal immigrants because they are all allowed to move here legally if they want to. Blacks are known to have shorter life expectancy than whites, who in turn have shorter life expectancy than both Asians and Native Americans, the latter who share Asian ancestry because they came to the New World from Asia back when there was a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska before the last Ice Age ended.

So if the article is comparing first-generation and illegal immigrants (who are likely to be Mestizo) with Hispanics who are born here (who are a lot more likely to be Puerto Rican), then you mixing stuff together.

Also, the reason why immigrants become fat after they move to America is because food is so cheap here relative to wages, even minimum wages, compared to poor countries. In other countries, poor people are skinny because they can’t afford to buy food. Only in America are poor people fat because food is so cheap.

Strangely enough, food is usually exempt from state and local sales taxes. Maybe we have that backwards? Maybe we should have very high taxes on food, and stop the food stamp program which gives food away for free, so that poor people can’t afford to get fat.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 19, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev not very smart

As reported at Buzzfeed:

John Miller, senior correspondent at CBS and former assistant director of the FBI, reported Thursday morning that authorities found a note inside the Slip Away II confirming suspected Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s motive for the attack.

It was apparently scribbled on the interior wall of the boat’s cabin, which had several bullet holes through it.

“Basically the note says that he does not mourn his brother Tamerlan, that Tamerlan was a martyr now and that he was in paradise, that Dzhokhar expected to join him there soon,” Miller said. “That the bombings were in retribution for the US crimes against Muslims in places like Iraq and Afghanistan; that the victims of the Boston bombing were ‘collateral damage,’ the same way innocent victims have been collateral damage in US wars around the world, summing up that when you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims.”

It was dumb of Dzhokhar to explain so clearly that he was a jihadi who believed that he would go to Paradise for martyring himself by killing Americans (although this was barely reported in the mainstream liberal-controlled media which is constantly downplaying the existence of Islamic terrorism).

If Dzhokhar were smart, he would have written that he was with the Tea Party and protesting taxes. The liberal establishment would have eaten that up (as hard as it would be to believe given that Dzhokhar is a Muslim), and law enforcement authorities would then spend all their efforts investigating Tea Party types and would completely ignore the Islamic Fifth Column in our midst, making it a lot easier for the next jihadi to succeed.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 17, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Posted in News

Is Catholicism now a communist religion?

From the Telegraph:

Pope Francis has attacked the “dictatorship” of the global financial system and warned that the “cult of money” was making life a misery for millions.

He said free-market capitalism had created a “tyranny” and that human beings were being judged purely by their ability to consume goods.

Money should be made to “serve” people, not to “rule” them, he said, calling for a more ethical financial system and curbs on financial speculation.

Countries should impose more control over their economies and not allow “absolute autonomy”, in order to provide “for the common good”.

And Republicans want to make millions of illegal-immigrant Catholic Hispanics citizens because they are “natural conservatives.” Ha ha.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 16, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Posted in Religion

%d bloggers like this: