Lauren Southern can actually do basic science

Youtube’s recommendations are a mystery. I was watching my favourite “SJW” Youtube channels, and I got a suggestion for a contentless video titled “Transgender Professor INSULTS Jordan Peterson, Gets OWNED With Ease.” Never one to ignore the other tribe, I did watch half the video before giving up.

But now, YouTube thinks I am a conservative. When I get recommendations now, I don’t beforehand know the socio-political stance of the vloggers anymore. I got suggested Lauren Southern’s video below.

This video is really good. So I liked and subscribed as she told me to. Today, I took a look at her other videos. A quick review of some videos whose title suggested entry-level content.

The first video I watched is a speech at California Polytechnic State University titled Return of the Traditional Woman. It contained a nugget of information as to why they call it “cultural Marxism.”

What does feminism have to do with Marxism and what does Marxism have to do with traditionalism? The answer to that is everything! Feminism has been Marxism since the very beginning. [..] They’re all based on commenting class struggle: they’re based on the narrative of the oppresor and the oppressed.

I would never have guessed this, so I did learn something. Later on, Lauren talks about how Marx and Engels were supportive of women’s rights and that that is bad. All her critical science reading skills went out of the window for this video. 2/5 stars, not worth watching

It is easy to forget that the other tribe has internally consistent thought as much as your tribe. Watching some of their better Youtubers always reminds me of that fact. Here is the nicest one out of my sample, excluding the one up top.

Review: The Incredibles 2

Like everything, reviewing movies is probably a skill that you can practice. So that is what I do.

I went to The Incredibles 2 at the cinema. I have waited 15 years for this movie, and it was totally worth it. 10/10 will watch again.

The plot is based around Elastigirl (Helen Parr) getting a new job as a hero, while Mr Incredible (Bob Parr) has to stay home with the kids. Elastigirl’s plot has action scenes and a plot twist that kid-me would have enjoyed a lot. But to me, the real meat was in Bob’s part of the movie. Bob is not very good with his kids, and he is jealous that his wife gets to be a hero again. While that sounds like the most cliché sexist plot possible,  Brad Bird manages to make it work and make it good and make it not be sexist. Bob is a caring father with his own feelings and vulnerabilities. He is realistically capable but lacks practice in caring for his own kids, though he steadily improves over the course of the movie.

Together with the previous movie, the Incredibles has had 3 villains: Syndrome, the Underminer and the Screenslaver. All three are tech geniuses, and none are considered to have superpowers by any of the characters. I am not yet sure what kind of social commentary this is supposed to be.

Links #1: Modern computers are complicated

David Chisnall: C is not a low-level language

A modern Intel processor has up to 180 instructions in flight at a time (in stark contrast to a sequential C abstract machine, which expects each operation to complete before the next one begins). A typical heuristic for C code is that there is a branch, on average, every seven instructions. If you wish to keep such a pipeline full from a single thread, then you must guess the targets of the next 25 branches. This, again, adds complexity; it also means that an incorrect guess results in work being done and then discarded, which is not ideal for power consumption. This discarded work has visible side effects, which the Spectre and Meltdown attacks could exploit.

Matt Klein: Meltdown and Spectre, explained

Each cache miss adds a substantial amount of delay time to program execution. In order to mitigate this, processors are capable of executing ahead and out of order while waiting for memory loads. This is known as speculative execution. The following code snippet demonstrates this.

if (x < array1_size) {
  y = array2[array1[x] * 256];

In the previous snippet, imagine that array1_size is not available in cache, but the address of array1 is. The CPU might guess (speculate) that x is less than array1_size and go ahead and perform the calculations inside the if statement. Once array1_size is read from memory, the CPU can determine if it guessed correctly. If it did, it can continue having saved a bunch of time. If it didn’t, it can throw away the speculative calculations and start over. This is no worse than if it had waited in the first place.


Bayes’ theorem and transgender lesbians

Some time ago I read a cool post on Tumblr, but I can’t find it anymore. It was about calculating P(trans|WLW), the fraction of women who love women that is transgender, from P(trans), the fraction of the general population that is transgender, P(WLW), the fraction of the population that is a woman-loving woman, and P(WLW|trans), the fraction of gynephillic trans women among trans people. Bayes’ theorem says

P(trans|WLW) = P(WLW|trans)P(trans)/P(WLW).

I remember that the resulting number was significant. As I could not find it again, here is a quick and dirty reconstruction. For every statistic, I picked the first one I found that did not seem completely unrealistic.

So Bayes’ theorem gives us P(trans|WLW) = 0.15.

Bonus: suicide attempts

While preparing this post, I stumbled upon this report. Page 8 lists:

  • P(attempted suicide) = 0.016.
  • P(attempted suicice|trans) = 0.41.

Bayes now says P(trans|attempted suicide) = 0.26. Big if true.*

Section of Doubt

Applying Bayes’ theorem like this seems to give unreasonably good mileage. That suggests that social scientists aren’t allowed to use numbers from different studies and get conclusions from them, or asymmetric misreporting makes these calculations error-prone.

The last number above is big. Makes one wonder why so little effort is spent explicitly targetting at-risk trans people.

* Added July 16th: I just met a subject expert, she said this figure sounded about right.

Traveling while vegan

Whenever I start doing a new thing, I try to find other’s experiences with it and make sure I don’t gloss over any obvious pitfalls. But, somehow, I completely missed all the articles about traveling as a vegan. It is very unpleasant.

The past few weeks I have been visiting conferences for work. By itself, that is exhausting; waking up early, spending all day attending talks, meeting new people and otherwise talking shop. But being vegan somehow makes it even worse.

Getting food at a foreign grocery store is as unpleasant as first starting veganism like being a new vegan again – you have to look at all the lists of ingredients because you don’t know which products are vegan. But harder, as the ingredients are written in French.

Having lunch and dinner with colleagues is worse. If you’re unlucky, 9 out of 10 restaurants don’t serve any vegan dish. This makes having lunch with a group of people you don’t know non-trivial. You have to be loud and assertive enough to make sure they don’t go to a wrong restaurant and leave you behind. Doing so does not come naturally to me. And when people do agree to find another restaurant it is reluctantly.

Oh well. Worth it.