Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 8th, 2007

Want to reduce crime? Reduce lead exposure

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Fascinating. This, BTW, is another example of the fallacy of the “market forces will solve all problems” ideology (aka Libertarianism). That idea is that, given the terrible effects lead has when it’s freely released into the environment, market forces will naturally cause lead-based products to be replaced by lead-free substitutes—no government action needed. Those who believe that will believe just about anything.

UPDATE: More on what lead abatement can do.

… Although crime did fall dramatically in New York during Giuliani’s tenure, a broad range of scientific research has emerged in recent years to show that the mayor deserves only a fraction of the credit that he claims. The most compelling information has come from an economist in Fairfax who has argued in a series of little-noticed papers that the “New York miracle” was caused by local and federal efforts decades earlier to reduce lead poisoning.

The theory offered by the economist, Rick Nevin, is that lead poisoning accounts for much of the variation in violent crime in the United States. It offers a unifying new neurochemical theory for fluctuations in the crime rate, and it is based on studies linking children’s exposure to lead with violent behavior later in their lives.

What makes Nevin’s work persuasive is that he has shown an identical, decades-long association between lead poisoning and crime rates in nine countries.

“It is stunning how strong the association is,” Nevin said in an interview. “Sixty-five to ninety percent or more of the substantial variation in violent crime in all these countries was explained by lead.”

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Written by Leisureguy

8 July 2007 at 9:30 am

Politically incorrect truths about human nature

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Intriguing article. Here are the truths, read the article for the explanation:

  1. Men like blond bombshells (and women want to look like them)
  2. Humans are naturally polygamous
  3. Most women benefit from polygyny, while most men benefit from monogamy
  4. Most suicide bombers are Muslim
  5. Having sons reduces the likelihood of divorce
  6. Beautiful people have more daughters
  7. What Bill Gates and Paul McCartney have in common with criminals
  8. The midlife crisis is a myth—sort of
  9. It’s natural for politicians to risk everything for an affair (but only if they’re male)
  10. Men sexually harass women because they are not sexist

The article is excerpted from Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters, by Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa, to be published by Perigree in September 2007.

Written by Leisureguy

8 July 2007 at 8:35 am

Posted in Daily life, Science

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