21 Responses

  1. Welcome back.


  2. I stumbled on this site, which is an Onion style blog for military news.

    thought this one was fun:


    edit — and of course, people think it’s real: http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20120814/NEWS/208140313/Satirical-military-news-site-fools-some-readers


  3. NoVA: I sent you a pic on Wednesday–did you get it? It may have been sent by my BioScribe address rather than the one you know.


  4. Just got it. ping me if you send me something. i don’t check that account otherwise.
    hope you enjoyed


  5. Just drinks. . . but the wine was fine!

    (I was looking for you, but didn’t see any top hats)


  6. michi — pl crashed for me. catch you later


  7. It’s a one-off you stupid Wingnut!

    The reason for the mass retraction is mind-blowing: A “peer review and citation ring” was apparently rigging the review process to get articles published.

    Gawd, you morons are exhausting. Climate Scientists are the ELITES of the science community. They’re like fucking Navy SEALS!


    Does it not feel hot to you?!?!?!?



    • McWing:

      Take your slippery-slope arguments and pound sand, wingnut

      Who could have ever predicted such a bizarre and illogical eventuality? Oh, wait….


  8. Fantastic Teh Krugman column.


    Really well worth your efforts. His understanding of the .01 percent OPENED MY EYES!


  9. That piece is easily one of his worst.

    “The really big losers from low interest rates are the truly wealthy — not even the 1 percent, but the 0.1 percent or even the 0.01 percent. ”

    No, they aren’t. See stock gains. You can’t argue that income inequality is worse than it’s ever been due to the gains of the groups he cites and at the same time argue that they’ve been the worst hit by Fed interest rate policy.

    He’s bought into the Piketty view of class which is pretty much from the 19th century. Marc Andreessen put it well:

    “This is exactly what you’d expect form a French socialist economist. He assumes it’s really easy to put money in the market for 40 years or 80 years or 100 years and have it compound at these amazing rates. He never explains how that’s supposed to happen.”



  10. I’m an open borders / instant citizenship guy and what the government is doing with these kids is really freaky. First, they are allowed to fly with only their paperwork on when they have to show up at court for their immigration status hearing. Hunh? You and I can’t fly like that. Second, they are being released to whom? How do we know these are relatives? We’re going to find out that a not insubstantial number of them are going to end up as prostitutes and / or slaves.

    This will be a very dark period in US history I’m afraid.

    We’re going to have to deport all unaccompanied minors with no ID. We can’t round them up after the border either, we have to turn them back at the crossing.

    Now, a family, with ID? Welcome, you are now citizens, don’t forget to register to vote wherever you end up.

    Question, is a life of prostitution in US better then poverty in Guatamala, Honduras, Nicaraugua or El Salvador? I say no.


  11. @McWing: Open borders how? I’m for easy borders, easy green cards, easily extended visas, etc. I think the path for citizenship is fine.

    I think we could accommodate a lot of folks coming to work, and it would be the same thing for all practical purposes. Announce that it’s easy to legitimately come to work, no matter how poor you are uneducated, and have ’em do the paperwork and get the visa at the border. Then announce anyone crossing illegitimately will be considered a drug runner and shot with a drone, with extreme prejudice, no recourse.

    I kind of like the idea of starting mass evictions and closing the borders to Mexico (including deploying the military to the borders) until Mexico gets it’s drug cartels under control, or gives us caret blanche to come in there and kill them. But that’s just me, I don’t think that would ever get through congress. Pansies!

    “Question, is a life of prostitution in US better then poverty in Guatamala, Honduras, Nicaraugua or El Salvador? I say no.”

    I say yes. And it would be way fucking better if prostitution was legalized in some form in more states.


  12. RE: slipper slope.

    “Adults Surviving Child Abuse president Cathy Kezelman told the Sydney Morning Herald that equating homosexuality to incest is “as ill-informed as it is outrageous.” She added that regardless of their ages, relations between siblings is “abhorrently criminal.””

    So consensual sex between same sex partners is awesome, but consensual sex between siblings is abhorrently criminal? Arguably, incest between parent and a minor child is and always should be aberrantly criminal, but between consenting adults? Why?

    Part of our natural assurance against inbreeding causes us to find those who we grow up with in our formative years to be sexually unattractive, so it’s not likely you’ll find many brother/sister couplings of siblings not reared apart. Similarly, we do not find our parents or children sexually attractive through the same mechanism: we are driven to seek out at least some marginal sexual diversity, and since we cannot see genes this judgement is made at a base level base on familiarity and proximity. It’s a natural assumption that those whom we have known for all of our or their lives are genetically related, and thus not suitable mates.

    But the only practical objection to genetic brother/sister couplings is the reinforcement of bad genes, and technology can allow us to assess that risk. However, nothing is likely to change the lack of attraction bred by constant familiarity. You can be a super model, but if I naturally identify you as a close genetic relative, I don’t find you attractive, except perhaps in the abstract sense.

    As an older man, I find there is a general lack of attraction to young, though fertile, women. I think this may be the same mechanism. Older women who I would not have found attractive as a teenager, or not especially, I find much more attractive. Girls I would have found super hot as a teenager I now find not particularly attractive. I notice the cut off seems to be a few years over the age of my oldest child, as if I’m naturally identifying qualified genetic candidates who are least likely to be a relative.

    “The judge made his comments during the trial of a man accused of raping his younger sister. The man pleaded guilty to having sexually assaulted his sister in the 1970s when she was ten or eleven years old, but pleaded not guilty to similar charges from when she was 18 and he was 26.”

    This seems an odd distinction. Given the history of abuse, it seems likely that whatever occurred when both were consenting adults was still abuse, irrespective of their genetic relationship. It’s as if the point is not to judge the case, but advance a goal of normalizing incest.


    • KW, the sibling relationship is one that has a different sort of logistic to it than a romance. Siblings in good relationships are best friends. That is more typical than sibs as indifferent or sibs as enemies, I have read. I think there is evidence that confusing the sib relationship with a sexual one is emotionally harmful for most who would try it. If I were not lazy and busy at the same time I would hunt up some study or another, but I couldn’t vouch for the study if I found it, so never mind.

      My own experience wrt the advancing age of women I see as attractive is like yours. The metric of a daughter’s age + is one that you should seek a grant to study.


      • Mark:

        I have read. I think there is evidence that confusing the sib relationship with a sexual one is emotionally harmful for most who would try it.

        Wasn’t the same said about homosexual relationships at one time?


  13. @McWing: “Gawd, you morons are exhausting. Climate Scientists are the ELITES of the science community. They’re like fucking Navy SEALS!”

    Clearly, you are on the payroll of the Koch brothers, in addition to being anti-science.

    Climate scientists are long-range meteorologists, only their field is far more nascent and undeveloped. IMO. I can elaborate on that if necessary.

    Peer-review is a very modest effort at surety. Better than none, certainly, but hardly foolproof, and as fallible as any human system. Regarding it as sacrosanct is dangerous, because peer-review has very few devil’s advocates. It’s mostly making sure material conforms to accepted thinking, or at least poses no significant challenges to it. In many cases, peer-review and article acceptance is as influenced by issues of money and reputation as it is scientific accuracy.

    Stephen Jay Gould made the point several times in his work that scientists are highly fallible human beings who often get things wrong, and that the scientific method is just that: a method, not something that magically vacuums out human emotions and motivations and leaves pure facts. And Stephen Jay Gould was a very liberal scientist.

    Of course, he and Niles Eldridge developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium to challenge the steady-progress view of evolution common at the time, and despite both the imminent logic of the theory and how it better explained the fossil record and more closely hewed to what we see happening at the genetic level, it was assailed on all sides as non-scientific rubbish by people who dismissed it out of hand. Which may have informed Gould’s views on the human fallibility of scientists.


  14. I imagine confusing the sib relationship is emotionally harmful, given both the cultural taboo (relevant even for genetic siblings who perhaps did not even know of each other before meeting as adults), but especially for siblings reared together, as the natural inclination, at a base level, would be to feel no more attraction for a sibling than for an animal. So if one sibling develops a sexual or romantic attachment to their sibling, something is malfunctioning for them (likely to bring other emotional issues), and if the other is being seduced against their natural inclination, that natural inclination will bring with it constant emotional conflict. We are designed to find those we are reared with to be genetically incompatible, thus preventing undesirable genetic outcomes. Fighting natural drives based on millions of years of natural selection will bring ongoing issues.

    Regards finding younger women attractive: I wonder if this is typically true of men with children, and calibrated to the age of their oldest child. I often find young girls who look older attractive out of context, but do not when I see them in a context that clearly establishes their age. Yet I wonder if older men who are childless have any limitations: perhaps any age past the onset of fertility would do.


    • Yet I wonder if older men who are childless have any limitations: perhaps any age past the onset of fertility would do.

      Fleshing out your grant application? Good idea.

      I have known two sibling sets who coupled. Disaster for one – 15 YO sister seduced 13 YO brother and they continued through HS like that and were plagued by it for a lifetime. Lapsed Catholics as adults. Both had to tell everyone about it as if they could clean up by public confession. The other were a very narcissistic seeming coupling of twins. They seemed childish in their games with each other when I last saw them, in their early 30s. Neither had ever dated, as far as I know. Physically attractive, smart, but I thought suffering from no developed social skills. Anecdotes for my grant application, I guess.


  15. I wonder if age+attraction suggests that young women the age of your children, even if not related, might be progeny of your siblings or other close genetic relatives. In small tribes, it would be likely most people would have their first children and similar ages, and that these children would remain in the tribe for some time, if not forever, thus making reproduction with a far younger person more likely to be incest, especially if you had perhaps risked reproduction with the mates of other tribe members, which was likely quite common and remains common today.

    But it would be genetically much safer from a reproductive standpoint to have sex with your brother’s wife than it would be to risk having sex with your brother’s daughter. Thus, making older women more attractive to you as an older man reduces the risk of reinforcing bad genes by making you more attracted to mates who are less likely to share a significant genetic relationship with you.


  16. @ScottC: “Wasn’t the same said about homosexual relationships at one time?”

    Yup, and it can still be true: if a homosexual successfully seduced a heterosexual (going along with the party line that they are born that way, which I think is the case) then clearly it would cause trauma for the heterosexual.

    @Mark: Any upbringing specifics? From married or divorced households, do you know? Any time separate (separate early childhood education, boarding schools, etc?)? The natural “ewwwww” of incest normally comes from a consistent presence, one I think might break if there are long periods of separation between the siblings. If not, and no other likely factors (drug use or alcohol; divorce or other abuse) then so much for my grant!


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