End the Rooney Rule

It’s racist, pointless, and stupid:

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Carroll has agreed on a deal to take the job. According to Schefter, the only hangup is that the Seahawks can’t make the hiring official until they comply with the Rooney Rule by interviewing a minority candidate. Of course, at this point, if the Seahawks do interview a minority candidate solely to comply with the Rooney Rule, they would be making a complete mockery of the Rooney Rule. Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has reportedly decided to sit for an interview after being assured that Carroll doesn’t have the job yet. Perhaps after reading Schefter’s report, Frazier will change his mind.

I hope he does. Frankly, I’m a little tired of black Minnesota defensive coordinators getting hired to be head coaches and win Super Bowls elsewhere. I wanted the Viking front office to fire Denny Green and promote Tony Dungy before he left for Tampa; I not only would have preferred Tomlin to Childress but would frankly have settled for David Chapelle in preference to Childress at the time. Now, the team has greatly improved under Childress and he appears to have stopped trying to prove that The Tarvaris Jackson Experiment is a starting NFL quarterback, so I can’t honestly say that I’d prefer the unknown quantity that is Frazier to the known strengths and weaknesses of Chilly.

But I do wish we could have some success without losing every doggone defensive coordinator who helps make it happen. Anyhow, it’s a ridiculous rule and it would be amusing to see the teams mock it more openly than they already are by interviewing black comedians, Hispanic gang leaders and young Asian violin prodigies. This is, by the way, your NFL playoff post… is there even a single individual here who likes Cincy today? Well, I think the Bengals and the Cowboys will make it through.

Pederasts and their atheist enablers

I found it difficult to believe that Uganda was on the verge of passing a law that would require the death penalty for merely being homosexual as various atheist sites have been reporting, especially since by all reports it is an extremely popular law. Unsurprisingly, about thirty seconds of research revealed that the critics of the law have played a little fast and loose in their portrayal of it. While homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and has been for more than 100 years, the death penalty attached to the new law is primarily intended to stop the homosexual rape of children and the disabled and passing on the HIV virus.

Given that Uganda is one of the third-world countries presently targeted by sex tourists and the country also passed laws against cannibalism and sex tourism recently, it should be perfectly clear that the law involves more than societal hatred for homosexuals. Now, I don’t support capital punishment in criminal law because I believe giving the state the power of life or death over its citizens is an inherently dangerous idea. Nor do I understand how locking up homosexuals in same-sex prisons is supposed to be an effective deterrent. I would not support a law like the anti-homosexuality bill being enacted in the United States since legality is not morality and homosexuals should be free to choose Hell in their own way, just like everyone else is.

However, the more pressing question is not why some Western Christians would fail to denounce this law, but rather, why those who so vehemently oppose it are defending the right of gay pedophiles to rape children. Now, it’s perfectly reasonable to take a position opposing the long-term jailing of individuals for the crime – and in Uganda, it has long been a crime – of engaging in homosexual acts, although it’s not actually all that reasonable unless you are normally in the position of expressing your opinion regarding Ugandan law. But life sentences for practicing homosexuals is clearly not the only thing most of these sites are complaining about because they are specifically referencing the death penalty.

This reaction against what is clearly a very popular law in Uganda highlights the anti-democratic aspect of Western progressivism. If the great majority of people in Uganda don’t want to put up with homosexuality, why should they? It’s clearly the sacred Will of the People, after all. And more importantly, how is this of concern to anyone who doesn’t live in Uganda, barring those who will have to give up their pedophile safaris in the future? Given their opposition to such laws, you would think that banning the mass importation of Ugandans and other like-minded third-worlders who will support similar laws here in the United States would be a more urgent issue, but ironically, importing third-worlders is a policy favored by most progressives.

There is, of course, a perfectly rational solution to the situation. Since Uganda doesn’t want its gays, and American progressives insist that gays and immigrants are good for a community, why don’t progressive communities across America simply encourage gay immigration from Uganda? Everyone wins! And it’s eminently practical too, since Uganda’s estimated 500,000 gays would make up less than one-third of the 1.8 million foreigners who annually immigrate to America.

Economics and evolution

Scott Hatfield of Monkey Trials brings an interesting series of posts by David Sloan Wilson to our attention:

One important theme that emerged was the yawning gap between economic theory and evolutionary theory. Economists are very smart people, but when smart people take off in the wrong direction, they go a very long way. As Eric Beinhocker (one of the participants) recounts in his book The Origin of Wealth, neoclassical economics was originally inspired by physics and led to an enormous body of formal theory based on assumptions that are required for mathematical tractability but that make no sense from an evolutionary perspective…. If economics and evolution are different paradigms with a yawning gap between them, then it will be very difficult to get from one to another in an incremental fashion. Every time we try to make one assumption in economic theory more realistic from an evolutionary perspective, it will conflict with the other assumptions and will be resisted by those accustomed to the economic paradigm. Scientific progress will require comparing the two paradigms as package deals and accepting or rejecting them on that basis.

I have to say that it is refreshing to see an evolutionist admitting that perhaps economists may actually be intelligent, (their recent performance notwithstanding), and simply have a different way of looking at things. This is much preferable to the defensive shrieking and finger pointing we have come to expect from biologists forced to confront basic economic concepts. Unfortunately, the response to perfectly reasonable questions like “what is the average rate of evolution?” tends to be some variant of “You know nothing about evolution or science and the reason I can’t answer any of your questions is because you’re stupid!”

Well, that’s helpful. I’m much more convinced that you know what you’re talking about now….

Now, the Walrasian-Keynesian neoclassical formalist paradigm to which Wilson refers was a detour from the earlier and in many ways superior economics of Turgot and the School of Salamanca and it certainly has many weaknesses. Since I favor the Austrian School, I am by no means wedded to the mathematical assumptions and artificial equilibria which Wilson implicitly questions. However, despite the gaps, I also see many similarities between what has now evolved into a Samuelsonite Neo-Keynesian macroeconomic orthodoxy and the Neo-Darwinian orthodoxy of the evolutionists. Both scientific consensuses are highly intolerant of criticism, produce predictive models that are reliably wrong, and take an approach that should be labeled “Kuhn’s Ostrich” toward anything that might threaten their current dogma.

Unfortunately for the sake of evolutionists who are actually interested in improving their theories rather than defending their dogma, the time scale on which they operate prevents their theoretical flaws from being exposed as rapidly as is the case with illegitimate economic orthdoxies. Pure Keynesian general theory was vanquished during the recession of the 1970s, the two Japanese Lost Decades eviscerated the monetarist heretics of the Chicago School, and the current contraction should cause the collapse of the SNK synthesis over the next decade. The false dichotomy of monetarism vs Neo-Keynesianism has already been exposed; whether the successor is some Minskyite Post-Keynesian doctrine, the Austrian school, or, as I expect, a blending of the two with a strong dash of behavioral economics, economics will be greatly transformed.

While I have hopes for genetics eventually putting the final stake through the tattered remnants of TENS that still survive the modern synthesis, it’s quite clear that in the absence of an unexpected Kuhnian crisis, biology will continue to be handicapped by its reliance on what is at its core nothing more than a quasi-medieval philosophical foundation rather than a properly scientific one. But Wilson’s perspective is an unusual one and I expect to follow his Paradigm series with interest.

I am, however, more than a little dubious of Wilson’s attempt to construct an analogy fitting paradigms into evolutionary stable strategy. “Intriguingly, paradigms can be regarded as the intellectual equivalent of local stable equilibria in complexity theory and adaptive peaks in evolutionary theory.” This sounds suspiciously like Dawkins’s “meme” nonsense to me, especially in light of Wilson’s obvious awareness of the risks inherently involved in adapting concepts from one discipline into another.