Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday December 02 2014, @10:30PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the come-here-I-need-you dept.

Nicholas St. Fleur writes at The Atlantic that in the sad final chapter to a career that traces back to racist remarks he made in 2007, James Watson, the famed molecular biologist and co-discoverer of DNA, is putting his Nobel Prize up for auction, the first Nobel laureate in history to do so. Watson, best known for his work deciphering the DNA double helix alongside Francis Crick in 1953, made an incendiary remark regarding the intelligence of black people that lost him the admiration of the scientific community in 2007 making him, in his own words, an "unperson". That year, The Sunday Times quoted Watson as saying that he felt “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours—whereas all the testing says not really.” Watson added that although some think that all humans are born equally intelligent, “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true.” Watson has a history of making racist and sexist declarations, according to Time. His insensitive off-the-cuff remarks include saying that sunlight and dark skin contribute to “Latin lover” libido, and that fat people lack ambition, which prevents them from being hired. At a science conference in 2012, Watson said of women in science, “I think having all these women around makes it more fun for the men but they’re probably less effective.” To many scientists his gravest offense was not crediting Rosalind Franklin with helping him deduce the structure of DNA.

Watson is selling his prized medallion because he has no income outside of academia, even though for years he had served on many corporate boards. The gold medal is expected to bring in between $2.5 million and $3.5 million when it goes to auction. Watson says that he will use the money to purchase art and make donations to institutions that have supported him, such as the University of Chicago and Watson says the auction will also offer him the chance to “re-enter public life.” “I’ve had a unique life that’s allowed me to do things. I was set back. It was stupid on my part,” says Watson “All you can do is nothing, except hope that people actually know what you are.”

Related Stories

Politics: Nobel Prize-Winning American Scientist James Watson Stripped of Honorary Titles 226 comments

James Watson: Scientist loses titles after claims over race

Nobel Prize-winning American scientist James Watson has been stripped of his honorary titles after repeating comments about race and intelligence.

In a TV programme, the pioneer in DNA studies made a reference to a view that genes cause a difference on average between blacks and whites on IQ tests. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said the 90-year-old scientist's remarks were "unsubstantiated and reckless". Dr Watson had made similar claims in 2007 and subsequently apologised.

He shared the Nobel in 1962 with Maurice Wilkins and Francis Crick for their 1953 discovery of the DNA's double helix structure.

Dr Watson sold his gold medal in 2014, saying he had been ostracised by the scientific community after his remarks about race. He is currently in a nursing home recovering from a car accident and is said to have "very minimal" awareness of his surroundings.

Previously: Disgraced Scientist is Selling his Nobel Prize


Original Submission

Watson gets the Nobel Prize Medal Back 36 comments

Spotted over at The Scientist is the report that the winning bidder will return Watson's Nobel prize medal following the auction last week.

It turns out that James Watson’s Nobel Prize medal, which he won in 1962 for co-discovering the structure of DNA, will be staying with the biologist after all. The Russian entrepreneur Alisher Usmanov, who paid $4.1 million for the medal at an auction last week (December 4), will return the prize to its original owner, The New York Times reports.

The New York Times' report adds:

Mr. Usmanov said his father had died of cancer, so he valued Dr. Watson’s contributions to cancer research. “It is important for me that the money that I spent on this medal will go to supporting scientific research,” [Usmanov] said, “and the medal will stay with the person who deserved it.”

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday December 02 2014, @10:45PM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Tuesday December 02 2014, @10:45PM (#122036) Homepage

    He sounds like a pretty cool guy, pretty straight-up. I'd buy him a beer and shoot the shit with him.

    Unlike a certain other Nobel Prize winner, this guy actually somewhat deserved his.

    Watson for president!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:16PM (#122049)

      You fool! [youtube.com]

    • (Score: 2) by turgid on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:19PM

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:19PM (#122051) Journal

      Buy me a beer instead. I can talk unlimited rubbish, especially after a few pints of strong foreign lager.

      --
      Don't let Righty keep you down.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:20PM (#122052)

      No surprise that Ethanol-racist supports this guy.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @06:22AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @06:22AM (#122144)

      His focus on colour and gender as determinants of intelligence and "usefulness" instead of other already well-known influences suggests he'll be an irritating bigot who's unaware of reality beyond his biases.

      http://www.businessinsider.com.au/poverty-effect-on-intelligence-2013-8 [businessinsider.com.au]

    • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Wednesday December 03 2014, @10:35AM

      by moondrake (2658) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @10:35AM (#122184)

      I am convinced you would like him :)

      But in all seriousness, its not that he goes around being annoying 100% of the time. I met him once, in 2009 I think, when he was visiting our institute. Did not get to have a beer with him as a Nobel price winner visiting is always surrounded with a lot of formalities and since I was not the director, it was rather out of the question. I do not remember him saying anything politically incorrect at the time, though I do not remember well.

      I find the "no income outside of academics" a bit funny as I am sure he was paid, a lot, for the visit and talk. And I am sure he is doing this regularly (also shows he is not that far out of favor with academics).... Unless he has an expensive hobby, I'd say he is off better than most of us.

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday December 03 2014, @07:37PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @07:37PM (#122371) Journal

      He sounds like a pretty cool guy, pretty straight-up. I'd buy him a beer and shoot the shit with him.
       
      Go ahead. You are perfectly free to use your freedom of expression and association to support a racist, sexist, douchebag.
       
      Meanwhile, the rest of civilized society is also free to use our freedoms to criticize and shun said douchebag.

  • (Score: 1) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday December 02 2014, @10:46PM

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 02 2014, @10:46PM (#122037)

    So if he is claiming that Africans are not as smart as everyone else, can anyone point me to these tests that show this?

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:06PM (#122044)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:35AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:35AM (#122078)

        "adopted by advantaged white families"

        Do adopted children get the same treatment as biological children? The same willingness to invest into their education (ie: tutors, etc...).

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:41AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:41AM (#122081)

          Tutors, preschool, books, college tuition, school supplies, heck even cars and transportation expenses, the need to work, nutritional requirements (are they more likely to cook healthier foods for a biological child vs an adopted one, buy them fruits and vegetables and encourage them to eat right), etc...

          How are biological children treated differently and how may that factor into the equation.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @02:03AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @02:03AM (#122093)

            Are we talking adopted, or foster?

            Foster kids are taken in as a profit center for the home, and, no, they don't get equal treatment (in general.)

            Adopted kids, on the other hand, are often treated as well as biological children, and, on the whole - due to the selectivity of the adoption process vs pregnancy, the average adoptee is probably better off than the average biological child.

        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday December 03 2014, @04:24PM

          by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Wednesday December 03 2014, @04:24PM (#122301) Homepage
          Adopted white kids in all-white homes might - and the kids may not even know they're adopted.
          Adopted two-non-white-parent kids in all-white homes quote probably can work out from an early age that they don't really fit in in every way.

          The whole study looks completely flawed, as there's *no control*. Nothing which isolates "race of child". If they start adding some figures for all-white kids adopted by two non-white parents, then that would go some of the way to being able to work out whether not visually fitting in makes you not socially fit in, in the familial and school environment.

          The fact that that study shows that asian kids, who if you look at the related studies often seem to over-perform, underperform under adoption implies that adoption has skewed things so much that if there is any signal, it's been lost in the noise.
          --
          I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 1) by theronb on Wednesday December 03 2014, @03:00PM

        by theronb (2596) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @03:00PM (#122246)

        Interesting that for all the kids, regardless of background or race, IQ went down between ages 7 and 17. Apparently even receiving a "advantaged" upbringing and education makes a child dumber over time.

        • (Score: 2) by metamonkey on Wednesday December 03 2014, @06:18PM

          by metamonkey (3174) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @06:18PM (#122345)

          I'm convinced that babies are born with an IQ of 250. Every time they hit their head on something, they lose a point. By the time they're adults, they're as dumb as the rest of us.

          --
          Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
          • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Wednesday December 03 2014, @07:51PM

            by etherscythe (937) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @07:51PM (#122373) Journal

            Whereas I posit that kids are born with massive psychoses which they grow out of to some degree. Mostly.

            --
            "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
    • (Score: 2) by naubol on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:08PM

      by naubol (1918) on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:08PM (#122045)

      It would have to be controlled for nutrition, environment, etc.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by frojack on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:22PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:22PM (#122053) Journal

        Merely cataloging such results, let alone posting them would bring hellfire and brimstone down on your head.
        Nobody will do this even though the data is there is SAT scores.

        Some things you simply can not mention. Watson is living proof of that. A masterful scientist, more or less lost to the world due to things he said in a society that pretends to preach tolerance and free speech.

        We are the descendants of the B Arc after all.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:35PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:35PM (#122057)

          Previous AC has already disproven your paranoid fantasies by linking to one such study.
          Of course there are other studies from different angles that haven't found differences, but they aren't note worthy.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:44PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:44PM (#122060)

          Some things you simply can not mention.

          No, it is more a case that you shouldn't go out on a limb and speak with authority on issues that you don't know anything about, then be surprised when you're called out for being wrong and/or a jackass. Just because you gained insight into the molecular shape of DNA doesn't mean you know shit about genetics, sociology, intelligence, etc. You can blather on like the racist grandpa that embarrasses everyone at Thanksgiving by what he says, but don't pretend that you have any special insight outside of molecular biology if you didn't do ANY research outside of that field.

          I don't know why you consider him a masterful scientist. Is it simply because of the medal? He was well known in his field for being pretty narrow-minded, and he treated biologists outside of his field like shit because they didn't work on the awesomeness that was the molecule.

          He says he's selling the medal because he needs the money, and he's going to use the money to make philanthropic donations. Basically what he is saying is that he needs money to whitewash his past before he dies. Maybe he can ask Google to respect his right to be forgotten while he's at it.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:23AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:23AM (#122069)

            You believe in evolution? Just not from the neck up? We are all equal after all, some are even more equal than others!

        • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Wednesday December 03 2014, @10:50AM

          by moondrake (2658) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @10:50AM (#122188)

          Not to argue against your main point, but I find the sentence about Watson silly. He is not a masterful scientist, nor is he lost to the world (and even if he were, he is not really productive anymore).

          What did the guy ever do for it. Ah yes, he came up with the double-helix model for DNA. At least...He claims so. Though the actual experiments where done by Rosalind Franklin, who was, at the time Watson published, aware of the structure herself as it was a rather logical step combining her work with previous knowledge. And Watson himself (did you read his book?) has always claimed Crick was the one with the brains anyway.

          Also..DNA structure...what is it good for anyway? It is not like it influences the genetic info. It is sort of nice to know how the molecule looks like, but it is not very important for all the subsequent work (well, it is important sometimes, but not overly so, certainly not worth of a Nobel).

          Lost to the world...bah..Most Nobel-graduates tour the world to give silly philosophical talks (I saw Watson's one, it was underwhelming). Interesting, but not that important. And they get overpaid jobs and prestigious institutes and committees. Usually they are not really qualified, it just looks good to have a Nobel graduate their. Honestly, we good do with losing a few more of them...

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by zocalo on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:29PM

      by zocalo (302) on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:29PM (#122056)
      Heritability of IQ [wikipedia.org]
      Race & Intelligence in the US [wikipedia.org] (Rushton & Jensen in particular)

      Plenty of linked papers and other citations there I looked at when the claims were originally made, but many seem to be posited on using an IQ test as a metric which many consider dubious at best and I'm not going to make any statements on how valid the work might be because I haven't read any of them in depth, but there does seem to be a fair bit of consistency in the findings that backs up the core point of Watson's claim. Fact is that *someone* has to come bottom of any given league, and if the current leagues put Africans there and that was what Watson was expressing, then perhaps he is really just a victim of political correctness and a poor choice of words over a taboo subject (he does long established track record there).

      The deeper question here is how far down the slippery slope of sensitive subjects like this do we want our scientists to go, bearing in mind that they are almost certainly going to have to discuss that subject in quite frank terms as part of their work? Different subsets of the population *do* have different genetics, diet, upbringing and other societal factors that bring problems specific to those differences, Sickle Cell Anaemia for instance, and it's only by researching why that is that we are going to be able to understand the cause of that any maybe do something about it. Some of those issues are almost certainly going to be emotive in our overly politically correct world, particularly when they touch on historical (and not so historical) abuses or are more abstract concepts like intelligence, but if we are not careful scientists are not going to want to work in fields that really do need research to be undertaken for fear of being branded as bigots.
      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
      • (Score: 1) by jcm on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:55PM

        by jcm (4110) on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:55PM (#122063)

        In fact, IQ is a way to measure our western culture.

        We focus on our ability to solve problems with our brains, so we value our ability to think logically.
        The other cultures value other parameters, like social proximity, which mostly disappeared in our western culture (and that's why people are attached to the fake relationships in Facebook).

        This clearly appears in the way we treat time, with monochronic and polychronic cultures:
        http://mgmtblog.com/?p=60 [mgmtblog.com]

        Some western scientists decided that intelligence (what kind ?) can be measured with logic tests, because it's easy to measure and because they are good at them, since they are clever, after all.
        People who are not interested in these tests are clearly idiots !
        Sadly, some countries like South Korea have put the IQ bar very high, so they are already beating us at this game.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @04:48AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @04:48AM (#122128)

        > Fact is that *someone* has to come bottom of any given league,

        What? It is a huge leap to go from "someone" to "this group of people defined by their skin color."
        Why skin color rather than height or cranium size or blood type or any of a million other characteristics?

        • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Wednesday December 03 2014, @09:32AM

          by zocalo (302) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @09:32AM (#122175)
          It not really a leap so much as a function and natural result of how this *particular* league table was defined in the first place. You could (and people have) just as easily draw up a similar league table based on any other suitable demographic that you care to pick (height, cranium size, blood type...) and look for a correlation with IQ there too, and no doubt those at the lower end of the table would take exception to it as well. The issue here is that the league table in question was based around ethnicity and because blacks came out bottom it is seen as discriminating against blacks and cries of racism abound (no doubt made far worse by the history there) regardless of whether the method and results are demonstrably valid or not.

          Other than perhaps religion (for which similar research [wikipedia.org] has also been done) I can't think of a divisor more likely to prompt an automatic outcry and ostracism on this kind of level without any real kind of consideration of whether or not the statement is, in fact, an accurate, albeit extremely uncomfortable, truth. I doubt very much that this would have even made the news if Watson's comments had been based around some other far less sensitive divisor like blood type, or perhaps even if some other, less victimised, ethnic group had come bottom to the table. That's the slippery slope I mentioned; what is considered politically incorrect is growing by the day, and as it does so more and more topics are going to become taboo, with the risk that we might reach a point where scientists are afraid to work in fields that are crying for study in case they get accused of bigotry.
          --
          UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 04 2014, @06:45PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 04 2014, @06:45PM (#122657)

          Why skin color rather than height or cranium size or blood type or any of a million other characteristics?

          You have a point. But then, why not skin color?

      • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Wednesday December 03 2014, @10:57AM

        by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @10:57AM (#122192) Journal
        The Race and Intelligence wikipedia article has been completely rewritten since I last looked at it and, unfortunately, now misses one of the most important graphs, which plots the distribution of black, white, and asian ethnic groups. The immediate thing that you gain from this is that, even if IQ is a good metric for intelligence and the data doesn't contain any biases, the vast majority of people of any ethnicity are in the area that overlaps all three ethnic groups that they investigated. This means that if you take a random black person and a random white person, it tells you absolutely nothing about their relative intelligence.
        --
        sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Thexalon on Wednesday December 03 2014, @03:21PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @03:21PM (#122259)

          This means that if you take a random black person and a random white person, it tells you absolutely nothing about their relative intelligence.

          That's hardly surprising: In just about every field of endeavor, the difference between groupings of humans is dwarfed by differences within that group.

          For example, on average men are faster runners than women, and the fastest men are faster than the fastest women, but the fastest women are faster than the vast majority of men. So even if it is true (and this is very questionable) that those of African descent are less smart than those of European descent on average, folks like Neil Degrasse Tyson are much smarter than your average white guy. And there's a similar variation in, say music performance - Bootsy Collins is probably the best funk bassist of all time, and black performers were on average better at playing funk than white performers, but Alan Gorrie is a far better funk bassist than the vast majority who try.

          The conclusion to draw is that prejudging somebody based on things like gender and race is not just morally wrong, it's factually wrong.

          As far as why African-Americans do so much worse than European- and Asian-Americans in academics, the most likely explanations based on current research have to do with (a) high levels of lead poisoning and other environmental health risks in the areas they tend to live, (b) lower parental income and ability of parents to be involved in teaching, (c) lousy schools compared to their European- and Asian-descended counterparts (schools are nearly as racially separated now as they were before Brown v Board of Education), and (d) being too smart in school can make you a target for lethal violence in a lot of places in the US.

          --
          The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by q.kontinuum on Wednesday December 03 2014, @05:37AM

      by q.kontinuum (532) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @05:37AM (#122139) Journal

      That would be the wrong kind of racism ;-) I hear lots of comments about Asians being awesomely intelligent and to probably supersede western culture in the area of science, and most (western) people I see take it as a serious warning to keep on their toes, instead of feeling threatened by racism. Like with sexist studies about woman allegedly being more empathic, more communicative, creative and whatnot.

      That said, I work in a multicultural environment with colleagues from >50 nations from all continents, men and women (well, not for all those countries both sexes, I assume). I met geniuses, idiots and solid performers from all continents, all ethnic appearances all sexes (well, obviously biological women and men, not sure about trans-gender, hermaphrodites etc. - it usually doesn't come up as a topic in the coffee area, and I don't care too much.). In history, black people, women and many other minorities were treated badly and unfairly, which might not justify to give some of them an unfair advantage now, but does definitely call for a special sense of sensitivity to avoid some unproven blanket-statements, and even when publishing research results. E.g. the mean intelligence of a group might be lower(higher) because of some real retards(geniuses) skewing the results. The median of the intelligence might still be higher(lower). Or, if the variance is higher, the probability to find a genius in a group might be higher even if the mean intelligence is slightly lower.

      For bar-room discussions, these details are never considered and usually studies are interpreted against minorities, overlooking the fact that the specimen of bar-room-philosophers are themselves often not at the top of their ethnic and might often range somewhere below the mean value of the discussed minorities.

      --
      Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday December 03 2014, @01:14PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 03 2014, @01:14PM (#122214)

      It's HIGHLY politically incorrect to pretend "The Bell Curve" by Herrnstein and Murray ever existed, much less that it may have been correct in spirit if not detail. I guess I'm getting old because I remember when it was brand new and its had its 20th anniversary of publication this year...

      It is useful outside the race/IQ discussion as all of the attacks against it that I'm aware of fall into various categories of logical fallacies and sophistry. So if you're trying to learn debate "skills" and can ignore the IQ stuff, its extremely educational.

      Its a pretty good book. I got a copy and read it in the 90s. Observations of reality at international relations level since then seem to match the conclusions in the book. For example its no great surprise given the national stats that Scotland and Japan are not in anarchy but Somali just can't form a stable nation-state.

  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:16PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:16PM (#122048)

    I think this guy is being unfairly targeted.
    This sort of miserable rhetoric needs to stop. There was nothing wrong with what he said, and this bitch is using it as an excuse to push her agenda.
    Someone post her email for me, someone needs to verbally slap this bitch.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:24AM (#122072)

      Hi #gamergate! How are the Nazis and the KKK?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @03:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @03:54AM (#122116)

      There's only one way to change things.
      The progressives use police, prisons, and loss of income.
      That's called "force".
      Learn about it.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:16PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:16PM (#122050)

    I'm not lacking in ambition. I may be slightly deluded in thinking that if I try really, really hard I can achieve something (earning a living, keeping a roof over my head etc.) but the fatness came when I had to start taking anti-depressants. Unfortunately, unless someone invents a cure for clinical depression, I'm going to be a fat git forever. Like I said, I try really hard, but it's never enough...

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:26PM (#122054)

      Try less hard. Really, if you are trying as hard as you can and it still isn't working, try less hard. Put less motivation and will behind it. This occasionally is the cure to the paradox of hedonism: the more someone tries to be happy (or lose weight) the less likely they are to achieve it. If you try too hard to lose weight, you become stressed and dissatisfied, even so much as being unable to perceive progress. Culminating in a slowing metabolism, increased hunger, increased eating, and making negative or no progress. Just do things that are shown to reduce weight consistently over a long period without worrying about results. Make it part of your routine. But again, worry not, try less hard.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by jcm on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:45PM

        by jcm (4110) on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:45PM (#122061)

        Exactly !
        In fact, even if you do your best, success may not happen.
        The belief is "if I'll do my best, then I'll succeed".
        Success has nothing to do with effort (unless you listen to these lucky CEOs who claim that their success is due to their hard work).
        The consequence of this belief is that when success doesn't happen, you'll feel miserable, because you believe that you didn't put enough effort.

        To the GP:
        I had a massive burn-out, which left me absolutely powerless during several years, so I know that depression happens as long as you try to keep your old way of being, even though it doesn't work.
        Try to find what makes you suffer. Your life probably needs a big clean-up.
        Try to embrace change ! "Change" happens, do not try to force it !

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:31AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:31AM (#122077)

        Calories in - Calories out = Change in body mass

        Eat less calories and even the medication you're on won't be able to stop the weight loss.
        Sure we have some powerful antidepressants available from doctors today but I haven't heard of one yet that could violate Newton's Laws.

        • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by mj on Wednesday December 03 2014, @01:48AM

          by mj (399) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @01:48AM (#122091)

          oh rly?? how you count the out calories? who's ready to start weighing feces?? then burning it to determine its caloric value?? lulz. you can't know how many calories you're burning because 1/3 of your out calories go to a sodium potassium pump and many many more go to thinking your wishful thoughts.

          --
          The nihilists have such good imaginations.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @05:42PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @05:42PM (#122337)

            Exercise

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @05:21AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @05:21AM (#122135)

          Newtons law concerning the conservation of mass? or the conservation of energy? cal is a measure of energy and energy doesn't translate to mass. Way to keep the convo on topic though, by misapplying scientific concepts and making yourself look like a dick.

          E in - E out = E final

          M in - M out = M final

          am i right? this is why counting calories doesn't help you lose weight really

          The only way to reallllly lose weight and keep it gone is to gain a bunch of muscle mass then sit around sweating as your huge muscles will use a massive amount of calories just trying to maintain themselves, then keep your body in a fat burning state all night by not eating near bed time and you'll sleep the weight right off. Also, you can only lose 1-2 lbs per week due to bodies natural weight set point, which if you gain/ lose more - your metabolism will just change and you'll return to normal.

            Anyway i'm sure newton thought about this topic a ton when he was coming up with his almost completely unrelated laws./s

          • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday December 03 2014, @07:45AM

            by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @07:45AM (#122156) Journal

            Oh, energy does translate to mass, via E=mc². However if you calculate that mass for the calories of your food, you'll see it's clearly not the one you see on your scales.

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @08:00AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @08:00AM (#122161)
          1) Not all calories are the same. If you don't believe me, please go drink some gasoline.
          2) Not all calories are excreted similarly, and by similar people.
          3) http://www.nature.com/news/bacteria-from-lean-cage-mates-help-mice-stay-slim-1.13693
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @09:22AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @09:22AM (#122173)

          SSRIs make you feel really, really hungry (and thirsty) all the time. Even after an enormous meal, the hunger comes back in half an hour. I try to stuff myself with fruit and vegetables, but I always end up giving into the carbs and fatty meat eventually.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @10:59AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @10:59AM (#122193)

            Leave off carbs, but do eat fats. This is the basic principle of "Atkins diet" and its workalikes.
            I used it myself. It works. Rather an easy way to lose weight *without* feeling hungry.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @06:47PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @06:47PM (#122354)

              Atkins leads to ketogenesis and then cannibalization of the brain due to the fact that the brain can only use glucose or protein as an energy source. So although it does put you in a fat burning mode (ketogenesis) not to eat carbs after awhile, you risk your brain using itself as a source of protein as your body shifts to using fat as the sole energy source.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @11:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @11:23AM (#122196)

        the more someone tries to be happy (or lose weight) the less likely they are to achieve it

        Not to mention to get offspring.

        Stress is a killer.

      • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Wednesday December 03 2014, @04:33PM

        by cubancigar11 (330) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @04:33PM (#122305) Homepage Journal

        I was told this in a Mens Rights training session for depressed (harrassed husbands and fathers without child custody):

        In engineering, if you focus on the problem, the problem gets solved. That is why engineers face more social problems than others. Because in Life, more you focus on the problem, the problem gets bigger. To solve any problem of life, stop focusing on it.

  • (Score: 1) by cybro on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:44PM

    by cybro (1144) on Tuesday December 02 2014, @11:44PM (#122059)

    But no one respects him since he gave in to terrorists. Failed the character test.

  • (Score: 1) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:27AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:27AM (#122074)

    Time for the hipsters to burn their Watson posters.

    http://www.amazon.com/Original-Watson-Think-Different-Poster/dp/B004XX51YA [amazon.com]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @03:52AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @03:52AM (#122114)

    Gigabytes of media contributions "don't exist" if one has the wrong belief (that men should beable to marry young girls, and feminists should be killed (they and theirs bomb anti-feminist countries to rubble)), nor do years of code contribs:

    "He has not contributed anything to the open source community." -Erich Schubert, Debian Developer.

    One program was rejected from Debian because they don't like authors with anti-feminist opinions:

    https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=770314 [debian.org]

    The "good" people need to be hunted down and removed from their positions. Whenever a movement is noticed
    it is taken over by social justice warriors and feminists, anyone else is kicked out.

    • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by johnck on Wednesday December 03 2014, @04:22AM

      by johnck (1560) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @04:22AM (#122120)

      Absolutely, we've already seen Gnome become thoroughly infested with feminist SJWs. The infection is generally pretty easy to spot too: look for something dominantly popular that takes a nosedive in fiscal accountability and quality and then becomes utterly irrelevant within a short period of time.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bradley13 on Wednesday December 03 2014, @08:29AM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 03 2014, @08:29AM (#122168) Homepage Journal

    What James Watson actually said, was that he was pessimistic about prospects in Africa, because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says not really." He is referring to numerous studies that have shown differences in "IQ" or "g"; the studies are pretty much undisputed, and it's a shame that one cannot discuss this openly in polite company. The fact is: most of Africa is a mess; decades of aid programs have largely failed at producing long-term beneficial change.. If cognitive differences are a possible reason, then denying this reality is just not helpful.

    The real question is: why are cognitive differences present? They could be genetic, in which case we need to change our approach to helping Africa. They could be due to nutrition or disease, in which case the problem is eminently fixable. Either way, researchers are never going to investigate the cause as long as admitting the problem itself is equivalent to career suicide.

    If even a Nobel Laureate is not allowed such a gentle criticism of the social policies directed at Africa, what hope do ordinary mortals have?

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @02:39PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @02:39PM (#122237)

      The fact is: most of Africa is a mess; decades of aid programs have largely failed at producing long-term beneficial change..

      That's not true, the aid programs were effective and efficient in producing beneficial change. The benefits just happen to go someplace else, outside Africa and the change stays in Africa. And changes always bring resentment and people willing to fight change. (Try replacing and old program some administrative personnel is working with with something new that e.g. reduces their paper work)

      To be on topic and say something politically incorrect: I think not helping Africa will be the most efficient and most short-term and long-term effective we can do. The population size will simply move back to the size the lands can support. (That a lot of people die in that process is something we don't like, but then again, I thought we didn't like routinely bombing children and civilians either)

    • (Score: 2) by metamonkey on Wednesday December 03 2014, @06:25PM

      by metamonkey (3174) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @06:25PM (#122350)

      It's a problem with Africans, not black people. I don't think there's anything inherent to being black that leads to lower intelligence. But, we are the product of the genetic makeup of our ancestors.

      The most technologically advanced regions are those farthest from Africa. Go all the way east to the Pacific Ocean and you've got Japan. Go all the way west and you're in Silicon Valley. Africa, the birthplace of civilization is the least civilized. I don't think it's far-fetched to say it's because modern-day Africans are the descendants of people who, for 10,000 years, looked around and said, "this is fine" and were not curious enough about the world to leave and go explore it. Curiosity of the hallmark of intelligence.

      So what do you think is the reason Africa never developed technological civilization after Egypt? It can't be explained away with colonialism, as that was only in the past few hundred years. Africa had a huge head start on civilization. If they'd developed a technological civilization first, they'd have been the colonizers and conquerers. Vast, fertile land rich in natural resources. Livable climate. Why is it in the shape it is today?

      --
      Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
      • (Score: 1) by t-3 on Thursday December 04 2014, @01:58AM

        by t-3 (4907) on Thursday December 04 2014, @01:58AM (#122442) Journal

        Africa never needed to invent the technology or the internally competitive economic and social structures that arose in Europe. Struggling to survive has been the main driver of innovation throughout history. If you don't need to struggle, you don't need to innovate.

        • (Score: 2) by metamonkey on Thursday December 04 2014, @05:51PM

          by metamonkey (3174) on Thursday December 04 2014, @05:51PM (#122632)

          What about comfort? And what makes you think they didn't struggle to survive? Disease, lion attacks, warring tribes. They had tribal conflict, and war spurns innovation like nothing else.

          --
          Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
          • (Score: 1) by t-3 on Sunday December 07 2014, @05:39AM

            by t-3 (4907) on Sunday December 07 2014, @05:39AM (#123399) Journal

            They didn't have to fight the environment anywhere near as much as Europeans did. Disease, animals, and war are everywhere. Snow is not. Europe also has more limited resources and historically more competition for them.

  • (Score: 1) by PiMuNu on Wednesday December 03 2014, @10:11AM

    by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 03 2014, @10:11AM (#122180)

    But the headline says "Disgraced Scientist" - discovery of DNA was one of the great foundations of the modern world, like inventing computers or whatever. SN readers should know who he is!

    • (Score: 2) by fnj on Wednesday December 03 2014, @11:20AM

      by fnj (1654) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @11:20AM (#122195)

      Disgraced in the eyes of shallow fools only.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @10:39AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @10:39AM (#122187)

    He didn't discover DNA; Friedrich Miescher did that in 1869.

  • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Wednesday December 03 2014, @11:42AM

    by RamiK (1813) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @11:42AM (#122201)

    This is why people from the hard sciences need to take literacy classes. He could have gotten away with it with a simple "clarification" on how he meant Black people just think differently not worse...

    Hell, he could have used my personal favorite rebuttal against the typical idiot racist on how Black people are just too smart to be fooled by their so called "leaders and politicians" and, as such, political unrest is unavoidable until enough wars will cull out the smarter people like it did with white people :D

    Luckily for me, I have no clue what my ethnicity is exactly (anyone really has paper works going back 400 years?!) so I'm an amused third party :D

    --
    compiling...
  • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday December 03 2014, @03:58PM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday December 03 2014, @03:58PM (#122288)

    in the sad final chapter to a career that traces back to racist remarks he made in 2007, James Watson, the famed molecular biologist and co-discoverer of DNA, is putting his Nobel Prize up for auction, the first Nobel laureate in history to do so. Watson, best known for his work deciphering the DNA double helix alongside Francis Crick in 1953

    His career didn't trace back to the racist remarks, the controversy did.

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @04:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @04:47PM (#122313)

      Isn't it "the sad final chapter to a career that traces back" ?
      as opposed to
        "the sad final chapter to a career, which traces back" ?

      Not that I would know, as non-native speaker....