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Monday, May 12, 2014

Defenestration at the NYT?

For John, BLUFEach of us is an individual.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Over at The Daily Caller is an article on a possible PC firing at The New York Times.  The headline is "30-year New York Times Science Writer Out After Writing Book About Genetics, Race".  The author of said book is Mr Nicholas Wade and the book is A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History.

Maybe Mr Wade just thought it was time for a change and slipped out the back door.  However, this does have a bit of a bad oder.

And, what does this say about arguments in the press that the science is settled for "Global Warming" "Climate Change" "Climate Chaos"?  Is it just more Lysenkoism?

As to the book itself, here is an uneasy review in Slate.

My own view, not having read the book, is that we do want to know where the data leads us, but from a political point of view (and an economic point of view) we want to avoid grouping people and making decisions based upon such groupings, but rather allow each individual to rise to their own level of excellence.  Further, we should provide the schooling to allow that rise.  And the social environment.  This nation is not so rich that we can afford to overlook anyone, regardless of race, color, creed or nation of origin.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  No, I am not recommending the book.  I haven't read it.  It is here for completeness.


C R Krieger said...

It has been pointed out to me that the proper wording would be "where the data lead us".  Data being plural and datum being singular.

On the other hand, that seems rather pedantic.

This is the problem with introducing foreign words and then trying to drag the foreign grammar along with it.  We are all basically Anglo-Saxons in outlook and we don't do grammar.  Just listen to those around you.

Regards  —  Cliff

Neal said...

Pedantic and ill informed. Here's the gouge on "data" from Merriam Webster no less.

noun plural but singular or plural in construction, often attributive \ˈdā-tə, ˈda- also ˈdä-\

: facts or information used usually to calculate, analyze, or plan something

: information that is produced or stored by a computer
Full Definition of DATA
: factual information (as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation
: information output by a sensing device or organ that includes both useful and irrelevant or redundant information and must be processed to be meaningful
: information in numerical form that can be digitally transmitted or processed
Usage Discussion of DATA
Data leads a life of its own quite independent of datum, of which it was originally the plural. It occurs in two constructions: as a plural noun (like earnings), taking a plural verb and plural modifiers (as these, many, a few) but not cardinal numbers, and serving as a referent for plural pronouns (as they, them); and as an abstract mass noun (like information), taking a singular verb and singular modifiers (as this, much, little), and being referred to by a singular pronoun (it). Both constructions are standard. The plural construction is more common in print, evidently because the house style of several publishers mandates it.
Examples of DATA

Smith, himself a stay-at-home dad and a journalist, mixes accessible summaries of social-science data with anecdotes drawn from interviews with couples in which the men have chosen, or have been compelled by economic circumstance, to become primary caregivers to their children. —Eduardo M. Pealver, Commonweal,11 Sept. 2009

Origin of DATA
Latin, plural of datum (see datum)
First Known Use: 1646