Monday, 13 March 2017

09:41 – It was 27.5F (-2.5C) when when I took Colin out around 0730 this morning. The forecast snow still hasn’t showed up, although they swear it’s supposed to show up this afternoon and evening, this time for sure. Barbara is off to the gym. When she gets back, we’ll start on yet more kit stuff.

Someone emailed me to ask what kind of oils to buy for LTS. The truth is, it doesn’t matter much. All of the common oils are reasonably shelf-stable. Keep them in sealed glass or plastic containers at room temperature or below out of direct sunlight and they’ll remain good for years.

In general, the more saturated the oil/fat, the longer it’ll store. The most saturated common oil is coconut oil, which is about 91% saturated fats. It stores on the shelf indefinitely. Some brands don’t even put a best-by date on their containers. After that, the solid fats like lard and shortening have the longest shelf lives, but even common oils like peanut, olive, and soybean are good for several years at room temperature and much longer if refrigerated or frozen. Most people who do much cooking at home go through enough cooking oil that shelf-life shouldn’t be a problem.

Answering that email prompted me to eyeball our LTS lipids inventory. We were a bit light for comfort, so I ordered a 3-gallon container of peanut oil from Walmart, as well as another dozen cans of Keystone canned pork. Three gallons (12 liters) of oil is sufficient for one person/year.

There was a lot of discussion about IQ in the comments yesterday, including a link to Fred Reed blathering on about it. What Fred doesn’t get, something he has in common with most people, is that mean IQ doesn’t matter. The IQ of groups differs, but all that really matters is that a population has enough really, really smart people to do the science and invent things. Once that’s done, the averagely bright can implement.

For centuries, the group with the highest IQ has been the Ashkenazim, with a mean IQ of about 115, or one standard deviation above the mean for the general population. (Not the Sephardim, whose mean IQ is about 100.) Then there’s the Chinese and Koreans, at about 105 mean. (Not the Japanese or other east Asians, who again average about 100.)

There are also differences between men and women. The mean IQ of men species-wide is probably about 101 to 101.5, with women at 98.5 to 99. That difference is trivial overall. What really matters is that the standard deviation for men is much larger than that for women. That in turn means that at the extremes of the bell curve, men are dramatically overrepresented relative to women, both on the smart end and the stupid end. In other words, the curve for men is a lot flatter than that for women, who tend to cluster centrally.

But it isn’t only IQ that matters. White European culture and particularly white northwest European culture overwhelmingly dominates intellectual and scientific matters not just because it’s had a good number of really smart people through the centuries, but because of the English language and even more critically a heritage of political, economic, and intellectual freedom.

Yes, the Chinese (and India) have more really bright people than the US does. But both are hampered by their languages and by their historic lack of freedom to innovate and to profit from those innovations. In short, freedom to create and profit is as important as IQ.

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