Human Biological and Psychological diversity

An important new academic paper was recently published.

Many evolutionary psychologists have asserted that there is a panhuman nature, a species typical psychological structure that is invariant across human populations. Although many social scientists dispute the basic assumptions of evolutionary psychology, they seem widely to agree with this hypothesis. Psychological differences among human populations (demes, ethnic groups, races) are almost always attributed to cultural and sociological forces in the relevant literatures. However, there are strong reasons to suspect that the hypothesis of a panhuman nature is incorrect. Humans migrated out of Africa at least 50,000 years ago and occupied many different ecological and climatological niches. Because of this, they evolved slightly different anatomical and physiological traits. For example, Tibetans evolved various traits that help them cope with the rigors of altitude; similarly, the Inuit evolved various traits that help them cope with the challenges of a very cold environment. It is likely that humans also evolved slightly different psychological traits as a response to different selection pressures in different environments and niches. One possible example is the high intelligence of the Ashkenazi Jewish people. Frank discussions of such differences among human groups have provoked strong ethical concerns in the past. We understand those ethical concerns and believe that it is important to address them. However, we also believe that the benefits of discussing possible human population differences outweigh the costs.

Notable quotes include:

Mainstream textbooks, for example, document many instances of human biological diversity. Despite this, the basics of human biological diversity are not integrated into the social sciences.

Evidence from a variety of disciplines, including genetics, anthropology, archaeology, and paleontology, indicates that human populations evolved distinctive features after spreading from Africa and settling in different ecological and climatic niches (Bellwood 2013; Cavalli-Sforza et al. 1994; Molnar 2006; Wade 2014). Although such human biological variation is often ignored by social scientists, it is not really a matter of dispute among researchers in the relevant disciplines.

In a meta-analysis of racial and ethnic differences in self-esteem, Twenge and Crocker (2002) found a pattern of self-esteem differences (Blacks scored higher than Whites after the 1980s and Asians scored lower than both), but ruled out, a priori, the possibility that such differences were related to biology because, according to them, “racial and ethnic categorizations are socially constructed” and are not based on “shared biological characteristics” (p. 371). This means that an entirely legitimate and plausible hypothesis about the etiology of self-esteem differences was ignored, leaving only social or cultural hypotheses. It is, of course, possible that the differences are entirely environmental in origin, but it is not certain, and ruling legitimate hypotheses out a priori on flimsy arguments (see “Race and Human Populations” section) about the nonreality of human biological diversity potentially prevents researchers from fully understanding the causes of differences in self-esteem.

In a paper on racial and ethnic differences in violent crime rates, Sampson et al. (2005) asserted that biological differences among human populations do not hold “distinct scientific credibility as causes of violence,” and proceeded to adjudicate between three environment-only hypotheses about the causes of disparities in violence (p. 224). So, again, these researchers ruled out a priori a perfectly legitimate and plausible hypothesis and proceeded to approach the data with a self-imposed theoretical limitation.

I wonder why this academic blindness is so common? I also wonder why there are so few researchers willing to challenge the egalitarian orthodoxy despite plenty of empirical evidence to the contrary:

Rushton (1995), for example, forwarded an expansive account of population differences based on life-history theory. However, he was viciously attacked by many scholars (e.g., Barash 1995), and his work was quickly marginalized.

There are plenty of examples in the animal kingdom of both behavioral and physical evolution of species in what most biologists would consider a relatively short time. 20 generations or so seems to be enough time for noticeable adaptations to occur, which is approximately 400 years in humans.

Thus far, we have introduced what we called the SEPP, and noted that we were going to recalibrate two of its basic premises. The first premise was gradualism, which contends that evolution by natural selection is a very slow phenomenon and that human populations have not had enough time to evolve meaningful differences. We argued that this position requires adjustment because (1) natural selection can differentially sculpt traits quite rapidly, as documented by many researchers (see “Background” section), and (2) there is copious evidence that human populations differ from each other somewhat physiologically and that natural selection continues to affect human populations (Hawks et al. 2007; Zuk 2013). Adjusting gradualism in this manner requires that we reconsider the idea of a panhuman nature. It would be remarkable, as we will discuss below, if human populations were completely similar psychologically despite having endured different selective regimes in different environments.

There are notable adaptations in humans which likely evolved during geologically short periods of time, such as cold adaptations in high latitudes or low oxygen adaptations at high altitudes. Other examples include darker skin in mid latitudes to protect from ultraviolet radiation or conversely light skin in high latitudes to enhance vitamin D production, or lactose digestion in adults in communities which domesticate milk producing animals.

The article also goes over some of the common, and false, arguments against race being a biological construct including lewontin’s fallacy, which I have previously covered myself.

A final argument often forwarded against the use of racial classifications is that the genetic variation between human populations is small and dwarfed by the genetic variation within populations (Lewontin 1972; Templeton 2013). Therefore, so this argument goes, racial classifications contain almost no meaningful biological information. There are two counterarguments to this. First, if one focuses on the correlational structure among multiple genetic loci instead of serially examining single loci or averaging over multiple loci, then there are clear and biologically informative differences among human populations (Cochran and Harpending 2009; Edwards 2003; Tang et al. 2005). In other words, different human population groups are recognizable by their genetic profiles but only if one examines a pattern of genetic loci. Tang et al. (2005), for example, reported evidence that self-reported ethnicity corresponded very closely with genetic clusters derived from 326 microsatellite markers. Other studies have found similar power to detect accurately people’s ancestry (Guo et al. 2014; Moreno-Estrada et al. 2014). Of course, this would be impossible without sufficient genetic information to distinguish among human populations.

Importantly, it highlights the reality that personality and psychology also has a biological component, and this varies across races:

The human brain is the same as the human body in this regard and is not somehow immune to natural selection. Or, as Nicholas Wade (2014) succinctly noted, “brain genes do not lie in some special category exempt from natural selection. They are as much under evolutionary pressure as any other category of gene” (p. 106). It is almost certain that human populations vary psychologically in interesting, important, and scientifically meaningful ways because they were subject to different selective regimes (Rushton 1985; Wade 2007). To preview one example briefly, natural selection may have slightly dialed up the general intelligence knob on Ashkenazi Jews (i.e., an adjustment on an existing adaptation), who score roughly 110 on standardized intelligence tests (Cochran et al. 2006; Lynn 2011). Whether humans share a universal psychological profile depends upon the question one is trying to answer. If, for example, one wants to know how humans learn to recognize siblings, the concept of a panhuman psychical nature is probably fruitful (Lieberman et al. 2007). If, however, one wants to know why the Ashkenazim prosper in many societies, often despite virulent anti-semitism, then the concept of a universal psychical profile is not only wrong, but it also positively prevents researchers from accurately answering the question (because it leads to a fruitless exploration for sociocultural causes which cannot be the entire story).

Citing specific studies with specific genes, the authors discuss some personality traits which seem to vary over different populations, quite likely due to the genetic differences mentioned, including collectivism (east Asians) vs. individualism (NW Europeans) and Ashkanazi Jewish intelligence.

For additional information on the likely evolutionary pressures which led to an increase in pro-civilizational traits in Europeans, I recommend A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World by Gregory Clark. One of these days I am going to get around to doing a full review of this book.

By political necessity, the article is very conservative with its discussion of racial differences. However, it is a useful step in the right direction in gaining a mainstreamed understanding of the reality of race. The article calls out the social “scientists” who categorically rule out biological causes of racial differences as being unscientific. These “scientists” do so for no particular reason other than personal ideological preference. The article further proposes future research more openly and directly pursue possible biological explanations. Despite the obvious qualification that the article doesn’t go far enough in honestly admitting the primacy of biology in racial differences, it is still an important contribution in advancing the our understanding of human nature by addressing the largest problem currently extant in the academic community: Left-wing bias in favor of (false) universal egalitarianism.

We are not naive about the obstacles a Darwinian approach to human biological diversity faces. We hope only to start a candid discussion and to forward some suggestions about how to proceed with this paradigm. Doubtless, some will continue to resist the notion that human populations differ in biologically meaningful ways. But it seems clear to us that biological diversity is the rule across the vast tapestry of life. It is true among plants, among animals, among humans, and among human populations.

Read full article here.

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“Do you have any advice on writing a controversial, non-fiction book?”

I had a reader send me a message about book writing after he purchased and read my recently released book, Smart and Sexy: The Evolutionary Origins and Biological Underpinnings of Cognitive Differences Between the Sexes:

Dear Sir

Surely you get a lot of correspondence such as this, so hopefully you won’t mind if I begin by thanking you for your book (I wrote the first review on [trademarked website name]) and for the subreddit. It was good to find a place where the rationalism that breaks the taboos of Western society is not tainted by the emotional vitriol of simple hatred or conspiratorial explanations.

If you are willing to offer me some advice with regards to writing a non-fiction book it would be gratefully received. I am not an academic, so I could not hope to write something similar to your work. However I wonder if I might publish a shorter work perhaps of a similar length and style to ‘The Manipulated Man’.

Having looked into publishing non-fiction a year ago, the advice seemed to be consistent: Write a book proposal, find an agent interested, hope they find a publisher. Agents are looking for accredited academics, or public personas with a media presence, willing to endure media appearances to promote the book. None of these things applied or appealed to me. I certainly did not want to be the regressive left’s piñata.

I was aware that there would be no money in writing the book, and given the controversial flavor the truth has these days I saw no personal benefit alongside a fair degree of personal risk. Knowing the West cannot be saved as the values it defines itself by are what has caused its downfall, I thought there was little point attempting to publish a book that no one would read, that would change nothing, and many might hate me for writing.

Circumstances have changed for me in the last year, and having read your book I would like to contribute a work that might be of use for people and civilizations that come after me.

It is always nice to be appreciated.

He has given me some more specific details in later messages and we have been having an on-going conversation. That isn’t so relevant in general. However, I think that sharing my experience in a general way might be helpful for others considering whether or not to commit to a big project like writing a book. Here is my generalized response with respect to my experience with writing a non-fiction book:

As far as my own experience, I don’t think it was typical. I will elaborate a bit, but your mileage may vary. You might also look through my interview with amerika.org since I talked about my experience and motivation there too.

I am not, nor have I ever intended to be, a professional writer. Life is funny sometimes. I intentionally took the bare minimum of English or writing classes needed for my degree, which if memory serves is a total of 2. Freshman and sophomore English. This has a strong bearing on how valuable or necessary these sorts of classes are. Probably not very. Obviously, there is an innate IQ threshold that comes first, but given that practice makes perfect. In my experience, getting better at writing is mostly about practice with reading and writing. Commenting on reddit was where I got most of my practice with writing. Reading requires finding and reading good writers. If you are smart, you will know them when you see them. (At the risk of sounding cliched, I actually really love the style of writing in books, fiction and non-fiction, from the 1800s and early 1900s. There is a quality of style in there that is absent today).

The book was a work of passion that I felt needed to be made and I was doubtful anyone else would take the time to do it. In the beginning it was nothing more than a slowly increasing collection of notes and citations used to argue with people on the internet. It wasn’t until it really started to grow that I seriously considered turning it into a book. Once I decided this, I more consciously started collecting data and citations.

Early versions of the “book” were nothing more than (1) comments I had written, mostly on reddit, that were related to the topic, (2) Study information (titles, authors, journals) that I wanted to read that I thought might be relevant and (3) bullet point notes from studies I had read completely and listed what I thought was important. As I went through (2) to generate more (3), I usually got anywhere from 5-15 more studies at stage (2) for each one study I took notes on and got to stage (3). Every study was like going down the rabbit hole in Alice in wonderland. Each one was a real chore in and of itself, and it was very daunting to think about how many more needed to be read both with certainty and in potentiality based on previous expansion rates.  I persevered, however, and after years of effort finally got all the studies at stage (3) because over time I eventually got every useful one listed.

I won’t lie, this was a very, very time consuming process and I don’t believe I ever want to do it again. Thinking back, I am still a little amazed I was able to stick it out. It takes a lot of dedication to go through. Fortunately, what most people wish to write probably won’t require anywhere near this level of research (300 or so peer reviewed science papers) so I wouldn’t get too hung up about that. This was probably very particular to this and only this book.

At this point, I launched wholeheartedly into (4) the “conversion” phase as I like to call it. Basically, in order to be a book, all the randomly organized data, commentary, thoughts, what have you, has to be written as a flowing narrative from beginning to end. Narrative isn’t exactly the right word since that has more to do with fiction, but it conveys my meaning here suitably well. Going from A to B to C had to make sense and feel natural. Comments and posts had to be rewritten or adjusted to fit in with the structure, bullet point data had to be pulled together based on topic, bullet point data then had to be written in sentence/paragraph/section form, transitions from one topic to another had to be smoothed over, and even the order of different topics had to be considered strategically. Several whole sections were moved around as this process went forward and I realized better organization structures.

Keep in mind that (1), (2), (3) and (4) were all happening pretty much at every point except in the very beginning and the very end. The relative focus on each one adjusted over time from almost 100% (2) and (3) to 100% (4) with (1) just happening randomly here and there based on my mood and morons to argue with. Morons are very, very helpful for providing motivation to work. They are the secret sauce that pushes you forward. If you want to write something, I highly suggest finding a topic that people are commonly wrong about and willing to engage you on. It is a helpful trick to convert the resulting conversations and research into a book. They also might inspire you (because you want to prove them wrong so bad) to go down a research avenue you wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

I found the division into stages of completion to be very useful to actually getting things done. It was psychologically very helpful to know and feel that I had “completed” something, even if only a small part of one stage. It also helped me focus more easily because I would zoom into and only focus on the very particular task at hand and know I would get that neurochemical reward after each “completion.” Otherwise the quantity of things needing doing at early stages would have simply been too overwhelming. I believe any writer could adopt a similar strategy to help them get through the massive project. Take that basic structure and tailor it to your own needs and project.

Like the reader said, a lot of non-fiction writing goes as such: Writer has an idea for a book; he sends proposals to publishers/agents; if interested the parties negotiate a contract often including an advance for the writer; the writer is given a deadline for completion and submits it when ready. Deadlines are both good and bad. On the one hand, you have a timetable keeping you on track and working. On the other, it could possibly limit how much you can include because at the end you just have to have it done and don’t have time to waste looking through things that may not end up being useful.

My book had an unorthodox beginning, so this wasn’t even a considered possibility way back then. Even after I took the possibility of publishing more seriously, I wanted to take my time and research at my leisure when I had time outside of the rest of life to do so. You can just write the book completely at your own pace and then try to get it published, which is what did. In the past that would have been risky because it would really suck to do all that work then never get it published. However, this is starting to change a bit thanks to online self publishing. Now anyone can publish their book without paying any costs up front and without worrying about rejection through this service. Well, except you want to get a review copy to make sure everything looks right which is like 7 bucks, and if you suck at art like me you will need to hire a designer to make the cover. I recommend upwork for stuff like this. [This trademarked website] also has pretty much the best royalty arrangements you can get anywhere including with traditional publishing so if you end up successful you will get paid way more. Best of all, if your content is especially controversial you don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone before making it available to the public.

The catch is that if you go this route you will have to do all the marketing and advertising yourself. That isn’t easy, and it requires a different set of skills than just writing. If you self-publish, be prepared to research and do a lot of work in this area. You will probably want to set aside an advertising budget.

If you go with a publisher, which is what I decided to do, they will work to promote your book for you. They obviously have lots of experience with this, or they wouldn’t be in business. Typically, they also already have a readership base they can make aware of your book. Even if you have a blog like me, I am quite sure that my readership base and Arktos’ only has so much overlap so it is helpful to have access to that community in addition to my own. If you are writing from the standpoint of reaction, then you already have a list of potential publishers who shouldn’t mind the content being controversial in that direction. Arktos, who I went through, Castallia house publishes Sci Fi mostly, but also has 2 non-fiction titles, and manticore press are three possibilities. There could be more, but I leave that to you to research.

At the end of the day, you have to make a decision to self publish or go with a publisher. Both have pros and cons. At the very least, though, it should be a relief to know that even if rejected by every publisher you can still make your work available.

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Power, Sex, Suicide: Or why do genders exist in the first place?

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There has been a lot of crap happening the last few weeks, so I thought a not particularly political post might be a nice respite for some. Please bear with the large digressions in this post. It may not seem like it, but it is all related in a meandering sort of way. I promise. I will get to the point eventually and hopefully you will learn some interesting things along the way. Anyway, I wanted to expand on the evolutionary origins of two sexes (as opposed to none or more than 2). I did not cover it in Smart and Sexy because it wasn’t directly relevant enough to be included. The focus in the book was the intellectual differences between human genders, not why gender exists in the first place. It would have been too much of a digression to include that. I think it is an interesting question nonetheless and wanted to address it at some point. Especially since a growing group of lunatics keep wanting to expand the number of genders to the limit of infinity.

On to the first “non sequitur,” or so it deceptively seems. There was recently an askreddit thread which asked about atmospheric oxygen concentrations during the carboniferous period and reminded me of the topic of this post. Specifically, the oxygen concentration was an astounding 35% compared to today’s 21% and the person wanted to know why it was so high and why it dropped so much afterward. If we went back in time to that era, we would suffer from oxygen poisoning. I imagine that wildfires then must have been quite a hellish sight. Literally. This high oxygen concentration probably also explains why insects grew to be so large during this time, such as seagull sized dragon flies. Most insects depend upon passive diffusion to get oxygen to their cells and that is more effective at higher partial pressures of oxygen. Our lower concentration of oxygen today probably isn’t enough to enable such large insects, which is why they evolved to be smaller. Anyway, I had actually read some books which tried to answer this question and I relayed that info in the following comment:

Like most of the other ideas here this is a hypothesis. Life has made various evolutionary innovations over history and one idea is that woody bark/stems first evolved some time immediately proceeding the carboniferous. Woody stems are stronger and more resilient because there are protein cross links between cellulose strands. Cellulose being a long strand of linked sugars. Woody stems are very difficult to digest, which is why pretty much nothing eats it. When it first evolved, literally nothing ate it because it was so new and no organism had the tools to break it down. So, during the carboniferous trees and plants with woody stems proliferated because they had few or no natural predators, and probably also because they could grow taller than their competitors thanks to the strong stems and thus had better access to sunlight.  They did still die of old age however, and that woody material would just sit there without decaying. Eventually it would be buried and millions of years later we would dig it out of the ground as coal or oil. Most of the coal and oil deposits date from this period which is why it is called the carboniferous period.

Well, the process plants use to grow is that they take CO2 out of the atmosphere to build cellulose and other structural molecules and release oxygen. So what was happening in the carboniferous was that this was a very one way process. The carbon was being fixated and nothing was breaking down the large organic molecules to re-release it.

That all changed when fungi, think mushrooms and molds, eventually evolved the enzymatic equipment to break down woody stems. Some time at the end of the carboniferous presumably. With this second innovation, the woody part of plants didn’t just sit around waiting to be buried, it was broken down and the fixated CO2 was released back into the atmosphere. Obviously this added a new variable to the equation and the oxygen level in the atmosphere struck a new and lower balance.

I suggest “Oxygen: The molecule that made the world (Oxford Landmark Science)” and “Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life” by Nick Lane if you are really interested in this subject.

Some of the other comments did touch on this same idea but some people argued that the carbon dioxide concentration wasn’t high enough to account for all the oxygen. That honestly doesn’t make sense to me. The only process I know of which can oxygenate an atmosphere is photosynthesis, and photosynthesis absolutely requires carbon dioxide molecules to run to completion and release oxygen. One carbon atom is fixated for every one molecule of oxygen released (elemental oxygen is a diatomic molecule [except ozone which is triatomic oxygen but that doesn’t matter for this discussion]). Yes, CO2 was much lower in concentration than oxygen but that was because it was being used up. Venus and Mars both have much more carbon dioxide, for example, and presumably so would Earth if there were no photosynthesis.  Wildfires and volcanism were probably the main things getting CO2 back into the atmosphere which explains why it was never completely used up. In fact, carbon dioxide concentrations at the time were three times higher than pre-industrial levels, and double today’s level, but that was still only about 1-1.2% of the atmosphere. My guess is that Earth’s core was hotter, and that there was far more volcanism then than today. That would have made for a very high rate of carbon dioxide release which fueled the one way carbon fixation trip going on in the plant world. The point is, the idea that “there wasn’t enough carbon dioxide” is a red herring. oxygen release simply can’t happen without carbon dioxide, period, and the reason it was so low and not 96% of the atmosphere like on Mars is because of the stupid high rates of fixation.

As a side note, life seemed to get along just fine with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels double that of today during the carboniferous… Plants grew so abundantly in fact that this time period produced great deal of our oil reserves; perhaps even most of it. We also had monster sized insects. I don’t know why climate skeptics never mention this. It goes a long way in demonstrating a bit higher carbon dioxide concentration isn’t going to end the world.

At the end of my comment I mention two of my favorite lay-person science books. Both by Nick Lane, the first is Oxygen and the second is Power, Sex, Suicide. (You can consider the majority of this post to be an indirect summary of these books). The first one I read was the later, which also came out after Oxygen. Both books are great, but I have to note that there is a great deal of overlap between the two. For those of you familiar with mitochondria you can probably guess why. If not, the short answer is that mitochondria take oxygen and use it to to break down organic molecules into water and carbon dioxide. The energy released via this reaction is captured and used to fuel life itself. So, a book on the history of oxygen is by necessity going to overlap a lot with a book on mitochondria. My impression overall is that the material in Oxygen was reworked, improved, and added to new material to create Power, Sex, Suicide. Thus, if you read the later you will have most of the information you could have gotten in the former (though not all). If you had to pick only one to read, Power, Sex, Suicide is the best choice.

The title of the book was absolutely inspired. If you read the title your first thought is that it is about some game of thrones-esque political intrigue. Chimps throwing shit at each other is of course one of the most attention grabbing topics for humans available so anytime you see it on amazon, your gaze is instantly drawn there. The provocative title is what made me take a closer look. However, what makes it even better is that it is in no way deceitful. It is a book about mitochondria which are the power stations of the eukaryotic cell. All large multi-cellular life depends on this power generation. This is the most widely known fact about mitochondria and I will leave it to the reader to learn more about it.

Skipping sex for a second to briefly mention suicide, it turns out that mitochondria are important for signaling apoptosis, or programmed cell death. I.E., suicide. Two of the main reasons for this to happen is for fine tuning body structure and reducing the risk of cancer. In the first case, an example would be when hands grow in the embryo they are initially webbed then cells between the fingers intentionally die off so the fingers are separate. In the later, when a cell becomes damaged and malfunctioning (and thus more likely to eventually become cancerous) this can usually be detected and trigger the cell to commit suicide before developing into full-blown cancer. Obviously this doesn’t always work, but it definitely helps to cull damaged cells. Aging may be tied to this phenomenon because over the course of a lifetime the population of stem cells slowly depletes as they become damaged and are culled to prevent cancerous growths. Stem cells are the most likely to turn cancerous because they are the only cells which continue to rapidly divide, which means bad mutations are more likely to occur and regular or rapid cell division doesn’t need to be turned on via new mutations before the cell line becomes cancerous. Of course, having a lower population of stem cells reduces your body’s ability to keep all your tissues in a youthful state. Thus it is possible that aging, at least in part, is a result of evolved mechanisms for reducing the risk of cancer. Those suicidal mechanisms require mitochondria.

And now on to Sex. What does mitochondria have to do with Sex? Well, as it turns out, they have everything to do with sex. But to understand that, you first need to know the history of how mitochondria came to be. When life first came to exist on Earth, the planet did not have an atmosphere with much oxygen. There were plenty of reduced molecules floating around the oceans and being released via volcanic vents which could be oxidized for energy. (The term “oxidized” was originally coined when scientists thought only oxygen participated in this type of reaction, which was a long time ago. The definition has since been expanded to include reactions which don’t involve molecular oxygen but the name stuck. Path dependence. Obviously the first life wasn’t using molecular oxygen to derive energy when there wasn’t any molecular oxygen available.)

Eventually photosynthesis evolved in the ancestors of modern day cyanobacteria and chloroplasts. Light was a readily available source of energy which did not require any preexisting source of reduced molecules. Carbon dioxide at the time was probably at Venus or Mars percentages so that was absurdly abundant too. The cyanobacteria thus did extremely well, spread everywhere including places with no other source of energy, and proceeded to oxygenate the atmosphere at a massive scale. At first, however, preexisting reduced molecules present in the oceans would have quickly reacted with the released oxygen and thus the build up of the gas would have been delayed. Perhaps for millions of years. Evidence for this comes in the form of banded iron formations. Reduced iron is far more soluble in water than oxidized iron, so oxygen would be released, it would react with the iron, then the new molecule (rust basically) would sink to the bottom of the sea floor forming these bands.

Eventually, however, these reduced reactants would have ran out and oxygen would have started building up in the atmosphere. Believe it or not, oxygen is actually a very poisonous gas. And yes, that includes to you as well. We can live in it only because of evolved mechanisms that deal, incompletely, with its extreme reactivity. (This is not an endorsement for antioxidant products, personally I think that stuff is useless. Or worse than useless if it keeps cells functional long enough to avoid triggering apoptosis and thus allowing them to become cancerous). All of this poisonous oxygen in the atmosphere created a selection pressure for mechanisms that could mitigate the problem. In short, eventually this led to not only the ability to mitigate the presence of oxygen free radicals, but to actively harness oxygen as an electron acceptor in the production of usable energy. Some bacteria, including the ancestors of mitochondria, developed this ability. Though it isn’t entirely clear how it happened, one of these oxygen loving bacteria was engulfed by an archaeal cell (site with more detail). Probably with the intention of using it as food. Either that or the oxygen loving bacteria became parasitic on archaeal hosts. At some point this predatory or parasitic relationship goofed up and both cells started working symbiotically. The larger cell could provide shelter and sources of food, while the newly formed mitochondria could use oxygen to efficiently convert that food into energy and possibly transfer oxygen defense mechanisms to the host cell if it started out oxygen intolerant. This was the origin of all subsequent multicellular eukaryotic life, including you. A descendant of this lineage similarly engulfed a cyanobacteria and that become the universal ancestor of plants.

Some time later, the early eukaryotes developed sexual reproduction where genetic material is shared between two individual members of the species in order to reproduce as opposed to earlier binary fission. Reasons why are debated, but my preferred explanation is that sexual reproduction increases the probability of novel genetic combinations which may have increased evolutionary fitness especially with respect to, but not limited to, evading predators and parasites (including infections). Keep in mind that the origin of sexual reproduction is not the origin of the sexes. You don’t necessarily have to have two genders to sexually reproduce. (This is a general biological fact and should in no way be misconstrued as an endorsement of any sort of mental illness related to gender in humans. It doesn’t matter how worms do it, we are human and we only have two genders).

The advent of sexual reproduction, however, created a problem not dissimilar in type to the penis fencing worms in the previous link. That is, evolutionary self interest creating bad incentives for competition during reproduction. In the case of worms they are trying to reproduce without incurring the metabolic costs of growing eggs. Between mitochondria competition needs a bit more explanation, though. Mitochondria within eukaryotic cells have never completely lost their genome even today. Each eukaryotic cell thus has two methods of transmitting genetic information to descendants. One is through the mitochondria and one is through the nucleus. Even though mitochondria only increase in number via binary fission, random mutations can occur during that process thus allowing separate mitochondrial lines to evolve independently of one another. Since mitochondria have their own genome, reproduce, and are variable they are subject to natural selection. If in sexual reproduction two mitochondrial lines are placed together within the same cell, you create a situation of direct competition between both lineages for the domination of that cell and thus the opportunity to be passed on down the line. Competing mitochondria could and would evolve ways of eliminating rivals. Ways which would only have minimum concern for the overall well being of the host cell. What does it matter how the host cell does if that other mitochondria wipes you out?  Even at the cellular level, diversity + proximity = war. An evolutionary war between mitochondrial lineages going on within the cell is obviously not a desirable situation for the organism as a whole. Eliminating the potential for mitochondrial war would be a great advantage to any eukaryotic organism which managed to accomplish it. Basically, the nuclear genome would need to step in and tell everyone to play nice… Na, its much easier to build a big wall.

Which, 2500 or so words in, FINALLY gets us back to the title of this post. I do apologize, but I feel the explanation is incomplete without the requisite background information. Having two sexes is a direct response to this issue of battling mitochondrial lineages and is what gives us our most universal definition of two sexes. Having distinctive male and females genders is “the wall” so to speak keeping different mitochondrial lineages from directly competing with each other. Specifically, the female sex is that which donates mitochondria to offspring and the male is that which does not donate mitochondria to offspring. That’s it. This is the commonality, the only commonality, between all males and all females in all species which have distinct genders. It also explains why more than two genders is in no way necessary. Two individuals is enough to gain the benefits of sexual reproduction and two sexes is enough of a wall to prevent intracellular competition via natural selection in mitochondria.

As I have already pointed out, there are examples of sexually reproducing species which do not utilize two different genders. In the case of fungi, I am not sure how they deal with the issue of mitochondrial war (or if anyone else does) but I am sure they have some mechanism for it even if unknown. Maybe creating billions of spores renders it a moot issue because there is more than enough opportunity for both lineages. In the case of the penis fencing worms, you can see the problem of not distinguishing genders quite saliently. Two individuals attempt to forcefully inject (rape?) each other with sperm while not getting injected themselves. You have got to love the sadistic creativity of nature for creating a species in which each individual acts as both the rapist and the rape victim at the same time. You’ve got to rape before you get raped. This method of reproduction can and does cause injury to the rape “victim” which could lead to infection and other issues. Not exactly ideal from a fitness perspective.

And this is why sexually reproducing organisms have evolved a binary gender dynamic many, many times independently. Evolving a male and female sex is one of the best examples of convergent evolution because it has happened so many different times.  Most people are already familiar with sex determination in mammals which is determined via an XY system. Two X chromosomes gear the human form to passing on mitochondria (i.e., female) as well as other things, while an X and a Y chromosome gears the human form to not pass on mitochondria (i.e., male) again among other things. But the mammalian XY system isn’t the only way this mitochondrial division of labor can be accomplished. Fruit flies, for example, have an independently evolved and completely unrelated XY sex determination system. Hymenoptera insects (ants, bees, and wasps) have a haplodiploidy sex determination system in which the male only has one set of chromosomes (haploid) while the female has two sets of chromosomes (diploidy). A number of lizards and other reptiles use a temperature determination system. Some fish determine sex via social hierarchy. (Again this is not an endorsement of mental illness in humans, despite wikipedia believing it is.) Even plants can’t wait to give up hermaphrodism and divide into two sexes and that has happened independently a ton of different times. Last in my list, though I won’t claim it is exhaustive, is the ZW sex determination system present in some birds, turtles, crustaceans and so on. Mirroring the XY system, ZZ is male and ZW is female. Like with mammals and fruit flies, when these species are not closely related chances are these systems are also independently evolved. It has recently been called into question that the bird ZW is actually independent of the mammalian XY because of discoveries with the playtpus sex determination system. I tangentially discussed this in an April fools article I wrote on hybridization theory a while ago and I will let you read it to come up with your own conclusions. Keep in mind, a joke works better if you mix in some facts to make it more believable…

Regardless, you can see that using two and only two sexes has evolved again and again and again and again and again in completely unrelated species with incredible levels of divergence. Even in the sex changing fish they opted to have two sexes rather than just stay hermaphroditic. The fish are never both male and female at the same time. Having two and only two sexes, regardless of how that is accomplished, seems to be some sort of evolutionary equivalent of an energy minimum. Dealing with mitochondrial war doesn’t strictly require two sexes and other arrangements can work (in species that aren’t human), but clearly the two sex binary is one of the easiest and most effective ways for nuclear genomes to prevent intracellular war between mitochondrial lineages. Judging by the widespread level of convergence, cellular civil war must be a very common and extremely grave problem for biology to deal with. The existential urgency of preventing the internal war probably accounts for why an astoundingly large and diverse list of species have all converged on the two and only two sex binary. They keep falling back to that arrangement via remarkably different yet equally effective systems. And so that is why we have two sexes and not zero or a million. And it is why we will always have two and only two sexes.

 

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One of my favorite twitter accounts deleted (On peer review and social “science”)

Recently, one of my favorite twitter accounts was deleted. The name of the account was @realpeerreview and the main focus of this account was to take excerpts from truly retarded social “science” research papers and show how stupidly our tax money is being wasted. You can see an archive of his work here and an archive of the archive in case that goes down. I would read through all those. It is both hilarious and infuriating at the same time. Why does the public have to pay for such stupidity?

Of course, other social “scientists” didn’t like public attention to their “research” and threatened to doxx the individual broadcasting how atrocious most social “science” research actually is. These cockroaches prefer to stay in dark under the rug and don’t like anyone lifting up a corner. @realpeerreview was, I guess, left no choice but to back off because his career was possibly on the line. Some one else quickly snatched up the account name after finding out about this typically leftist hiding of the truth to continue on the good work. I don’t know if she will do as good a job, but I hope she can give them hell.

Anyway, just one more example why academia, at least in the humanities, should not be trusted at all. I have written on stuff like this before on how stereotype threat is bunk and how standardized tests are rigged against boys, however, it was nice to see how widespread the sickness is. It spans hundreds of papers and hundreds of topics. Defunding the humanities would wipe out 100 times more cancerous tumor than healthy tissue. It is time for some emergency surgery.

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PCU

The Hestia Society has recently created an “official” forum for neoreaction and the Dark Enlightenment. One of the first forum posts asked what movies or TV shows are out there which aren’t completely drenched with progressive nonsense. As I and others have detailed, many forms of entertainment and writing are little more than progressive propaganda including movies like 12 angry men, TV shows such as the walking dead, video games like mass effect, high school reading assignments, and even standardized tests with reading and writing portions. Also worth considering is that the tests themselves are designed to give skewed results with respect to comparing genders; which can then be used as infallible “science” in other propaganda. Convenient that. Please note that I think the tests still work, just not nearly as well as they could when it comes to specifically comparing average scores between genders.

Anyway, I spent some time thinking about this and gave a few answers in a comment and moved on (which you can see in the second link in this post). However, I had that on the back of my mind while I started on the next thing. Almost immediately after that comment I decided to do some in-depth digging to see what exactly was going on at Mizzou with all these protests in greater detail. Previously I had just glanced at a few articles. I find these sorts of outrage-porn events in the news-cycle depressing and tend to skip over many of them for the sake of my sanity at least until it grows large enough to force me deal with the despair and to look deeper. Events include hunger strikes by a student from a family worth 20 million but who is nonetheless O so oppressed (affirmative action or cronyism?), heads of the University resigning, and “professors” being hit with assault charges. (Also Mizzou isn’t the only University undergoing craziness.) Students are afraid to disagree with the protests because the university is shutting down freedom of speech (not to mention fear of retaliation from extremely crazy leftists),

The University of Missouri police department sent an email urging students to report offensive or hurtful speech – not because it is illegal – but so the Office of Student Conduct could take disciplinary action against these students.

Several of us are afraid to disagree with other students, who in turn may report us to the authorities so we can be “dealt with.” Many students have told me they are also afraid to speak out against the protest narrative, afraid they will be called “racist” and become campus pariahs.

Struggle sessions are real friends. This whole thing is just completely Kafkaesque. I mean the whole scene there just seems to be going completely nuts beyond all reason. People are getting hysterical if the reports are to be believed.  And most people actually seem to be against the radical leftists this time; a hopeful sign I suppose.

There were supposedly two big triggers, although I have to admit it is convoluted and different articles say different things. In one that I have seen, some black guy got mad because allegedly someone yelled “nigger” at him while driving by in a truck. I actually sympathize with him. I really do. I once had some asshole in a truck pass as fast and as close as he could while I was riding a bike and the passenger screamed out his window right as they passed me. I nearly had a heart attack. That was, after all, extremely dangerous for me if I had fallen or he had hit me. As in real danger, unlike someone yelling nigger but doing nothing else otherwise… He then got stopped ahead at a light, though, and I broke his mirror off as I myself ran the light and went on a trail next to the road in some woods where they couldn’t follow in the truck and wouldn’t keep up without a bike of their own. It was a nice revenge, and I don’t feel bad about it. What I am trying to say here is that I know what it is like to be the recipient of grief from an obnoxious asshole in a truck and can even understand why this guy would be mad. However, I can tell the difference between a singular asshole in a truck who needs an ass-kicking (or just ignoring) from a society wide problem of discrimination warranting protests, hunger strikes, and university president resignations. [People do protest for more bike friendly regulations etc, and I have never taken part in such a demonstration]

The other important incident is something I would expect from the onion. Apparently an unknown person went into a unisex bathroom at one of the dorms, shat on the floor, smeared shit all over the walls and door handle, then as a cherry on top (poorly) drew a swastika with their own poop:

Mizzou shit swastika cropped

I am not going to lie. When I first read about this, I laughed. I don’t mean a mild chuckle either, I mean a deep gut laugh that carried on for some minutes. I find this hilarious. Not so much that poop was spread along the walls (which is pretty immature), but the fact that thousands of people have completely gone ape-shit (chimped-out?) over poop on the walls. Like, how is this the reality we live in? How is it people don’t just step back and think “we are talking about poop on the walls, maybe we shouldn’t take this or ourselves so seriously?”

Now, this could have been a false flag where some deranged SJW carries out crimes in an effort to stir up a hornet’s nest of other SJWS, like with the “black church burnings” also happening in Missouri and which probably has contributed to the current growing craziness. Or the fake “confirmed KKK presence” also part of the absurd events going on at Mizzou. As detailed in the previous church burning link, it turns out that a black man was pretending to be a racist white burning churches because he just wants to stir up shit I guess (that is, he wanted to generally increase racial animosity). Of course, I doubt there was any reflection to strike the burnings off the list of white “crimes” after the truth was revealed. That doesn’t fit the desired narrative after all.

As far as the poop swastika goes, this is what I believe happened assuming it wasn’t a false flag. Someone, probably male between the ages of 18 and 21, got drunk and/or high, came back to the dorms late and had to take a shit. He was feeling mad or mischievous or antisocial or something and decided to make a big mess. He then proceeded to shit on the floor. Or perhaps he was so messed up he just shit on the floor for drunk reasons with no particular purpose [it happens…] then decided “I went that far, might as well roll with it. It gives me some ‘good’ ideas….” He then proceeded to spread the shit everywhere and thought it would be funny to make a swastika while he was at it. The only purpose behind his actions were to make people mad and disgust them by breaking taboos so why not? (I seriously, seriously doubt a real Nazi would use shit as his artistic medium) He was after entertainment rather than interested in making a point, as most trolls are. Well, I doubt he expected his shit trolling to escalate into world wide media coverage. Who would? Somewhere there is a poop brigader going “oh shit, my shit really caused a shit storm.” No troll could possibly imagine their extremely intoxicated decision to draw a poop swastika would result in weeks of protests, a hunger strike, complete stifling of free speech, and high ranking university officials resigning. Who would expect that level of over-reaction to some poop spread on the walls of a dorm? As cynical as I am about leftists and how crazy they are, even I wouldn’t have guessed that.

So anyway, these two things plus other alleged grievances led to a series of protests to end “racism,” as was already linked to earlier. In one case a professor, who happens to be an extremely homely white woman, tried to dismiss several journalists from the protest and physically engaged one guy recording video with his phone. Look at the the study topics and publications of this “professor” in the previously linked article:

A closer look at her Mizzou faculty page reveals much.

Her current subjects of reseach include: “50 Shades of Grey readers, the impact of social media in fans’ relationship with Lady Gaga, masculinity and male fans, messages about class and food in reality television programming, and messages about work in children’s television programs.”

Selected publications: “Click, M. A., Lee, H., & Holladay, H. (2013). Making monsters: Lady Gaga, fan identification, and social media. Popular Music & Society, 6(3), 360-379.

Click, M. A., Aubrey, J. S., and Behm-Morawitz, E. (Eds.). (2010). Bitten by Twilight: Youth culture, media, and the vampire franchise. New York: Peter Lang.”

Accolades: “Outstanding Mentor” (2011) and as “Graduate Advisor of the Year” (2013).

How do people like this, doing such asinine and pointless “research,” manage to stay employed? On the taxpayers dime no less (she apparently is paid 4,700 a month). She’s a completely worthless parasite and I wish we could all get a refund on subsidizing higher education. This reminds me of how the taxpayers have spent millions of dollars studying why lesbians are fat. I could have answered that for free.

Its taken awhile to get to the point but the article about the professor and the journalists is what caused me to remember a specific movie that, if not really reactionary, isn’t supportive of SJWs and is what gave me the title of this post. You see, when the professor and student protesters were trying to evict the student journalists they came up with a chant:

“Hey hey, ho ho, reporters have got to go.”

This real-life chant is extremely similar to one used by ultra-feminazis in the 1994 movie PCU. Toward the end of the movie, a group of militant “womenists” chant “This penis party has to go, Hey, hey. Ho, ho.” in protest to a large party being thrown by the protagonists. Talk about synchronicity. I just happened to have non-PC movies on the back of my mind when I read this article thanks to the neoreactionary forum post and immediately remembered that scene in PCU when the eerily similar chant at Mizzou was described.

The gist of the story is that a recent high school graduate (Tom) is going to various universities he was accepted to in order to decide which one he was going to attend. The weekend the movie takes place during is centered at Port Chester University (PCU) in Connecticut. In other words, it is a pun which can be doubly interpreted as Politically Correct University. I think it is also loosely based on a real school in Connecticut called Porter and Chester, though I have no reason to think that school is exceptionally politically correct. The name just happened to be convenient and that is probably the end of the reference. Tom ends up getting assigned someone to show him around who is essentially a nihilistic party animal (Droz) as a result of a practical joke on the later by one of Droz’s friends. Droz reluctantly does show him around after seeing there was no shirking the duty. Tom then proceeds to learn about all the many different radical, prig prog, leftist, student organizations which regularly protest and cause problems on campus. Blacks, gays, militant lesbian feminists, “the causeheads” which have a new cause every week, the grateful dead inspired mega-stoners etc, as well as people pursuing absolutely worthless degrees. Protests in the movie are obnoxious and disturb any sane people within proximity, not unlike real protesters at real universities today. The last group isn’t technically a protest group though; they just get mad that their “work” was deleted thanks to some messing with electricity to the computers by one of the protagonists. And not to leave conservatives out, the movie also has a very cloistered group of white republican Frat guys led by David Spade who spend most of their time hiding (literally) from radical leftists. Ya, really.

This movie definitely isn’t reactionary. If there is a moral to the story it is probably nihilism and hedonism (or maybe just be easy-going and have fun). However, I kind of think “a moral of the story” is a little too much to attribute and expect from a story along the lines of van wilder. It is first and foremost a comedy with a large number of one liners meant to make you laugh, and at that it succeeds masterfully. I feel it should be appealing to reactionaries simply because, if not reactionary itself, it spends the vast majority of its time making fun of SJWs (before the term was even coined). 90% of the time, SJWs are the butt of the joke. This simple fact is quite the breath of fresh air compared to the typically progressivism-oriented fair produced by the media. In that sense it is reactionary from the perspective of the middle, if you want to call anti-moralizing hedonists the middle. Let’s face it, we reactionaries moralize quite a bit and so do SJWs but from essentially diametrically opposed sets of morals. “Middle ground” might be an appropriate, if imperfect, description. I laughed quite a bit watching this movie which, combined with them actually targeting SJWs for once, allows me to forgive their essentially hedonistic message.

I first watched this movie when I was in high school and thought it was very funny. The most memorable moment (from my high school days perspective) being an interaction between a stoner and an old lady which I won’t ruin for you; you will have to watch the movie to find out what I am referring to.  I remember once in college I told many people about it and convinced a group to sit down and watch it. They liked it, but they seemed to think I over-hyped it. One friend (one of two who knows me in person and knows I write this blog, and will be forwarded a link to this post) even said that it was very dated or that it didn’t age well. We watched the movie together in 2006 or so and SJWs weren’t quite our primary concern. Though radical leftism was surely going on, we weren’t as interested or as informed about it as we are now. Needless to say, we have both moved pretty far to the right since we watched this back then…. I took the criticism in stride at the time, but with hindsight from the events from 2010 to 2015 I would say the movie is better suited to the current cultural climate now than it was then, or even probably when it was first released in 1994. In many respects, the satire in the movie has become essentially a reality today; the chanted lines in the movie and in Missouri for example. The leftists of reality today are very like the satirical leftists in PCU from 1994. The convergence of satire and reality is what give the comedic elements their punch. The pilloried leftists in the movie are much like how I would expect the leftists at Mizzou today to act and the movie leftists believe what the Mizzou leftists of today believe. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t do too well when it was first released; it was too prescient and ahead of its time I guess.

Now I want to go ahead and discuss specific quotes and events in the movie, but I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it already. If you go to duckduckgo.com, a search engine which values privacy and doesn’t block streaming websites, and search “PCU 1994 stream” you may be able to watch the movie for free at the first link. I don’t know, though, because I never tried that.

[spoilers follow after the add, stop reading here if you would like to watch this movie prior to learning specific details about the jokes in it or keep going if you don’t care]

The movie starts with Tom going into the frat house dubbed “The Pit.” There is no one there to greet him so he just walks in and observes some pictures on the wall. In the frames from 1950s up to 1967 it shows in each a collection of pictures of respectable looking white men in suits. Then there is a change and in the 1969 image it is just one picture with a bunch of stereotypical dirty hippies; which are also now co-ed. You find out later that frats were banned at the University in 1967, which is what causes the change. It should be noted that banning frats (i.e., congregations of white males) seems to be a real goal today. As Tom moves through the pictures up until the contemporary year, they degenerate and get more shabby until the year prior to the setting of the movie (1993) where it is just a polaroid thumb-tacked to the wall. A not too subtle symbolism of advancing degeneracy. Overall, “the pit” is a very nice old building that is horrendously maintained and disrespected. Its a mess, people rollerblade inside, and grafiti is all over the walls in some rooms.

One of the earliest gags is about how people today often major in quite useless degrees. One of the members of “the pit” is nicknamed “Pigman” and they approach him as he is watching TV and “working” on his senior thesis. Droz explains Pigman’s thesis to Tom. Pigman is trying to prove the Caine/Hackmen theory which postulates that no matter what time of the day or night or which day of the week; there is always at least one Michael Caine or Gene Hackmen movie playing. Droz responds to Tom’s incredulity with the following line “That’s the beauty of college these days, you can major in Gameboy if you know how to bullshit.” Funny to be sure, but also disturbing when you compare it to the work of the actual professor mentioned above whose “research” is on twilight, 50 shades of grey, and lady gaga…. You can’t make this stuff up. This satire is barely satire. Scratch that, a Caine/Hackmen theory is actually more respectable than research on lady gaga and 50 shades of grey by a fair margin.

Towards the end of the movie the topic of useless majors is revisited. A series of people had their theses deleted as a result of an event earlier in the movie, and Droz peddles in providing completed theses to lazy students. To calm nerves he offers to help these people out by providing them ready-made work at no charge. One student wants a thesis for Sanskrit; to which Droz replies awestruck “Sanskrit? You’re majoring in a 5000 year old dead language?” He then gives him a thesis on latin saying that is the best he could do. The next student comes to him and tells Droz that he is majoring in Phys. Ed.  Droz replies “Phys. Ed.? You, out of my room. Seriously get out.” In 2015, we are no longer surprised to read about or meet people getting worthless degrees and doing worthless research since worthless degrees have only gotten more popular over time.

One of my favorite scenes occurs shortly after the description of the Caine/Hackman thesis. Droz finally agrees to really show Tom the campus and he proceeds to describe the culture of political correctness that we are all by now familiar with:

[Droz] “Here’s the deal, you have to get all of that 50s cornball shit out of your head. Its a whole new ballgame on campus these days and they call it PC.”

[Tom] “PC?”

[Droz] “Politically correct and its not just politics, its everything. Its what you eat, its what you wear, and its what you say. If you don’t watch yourself you can get in a boatload of trouble.

[as the conversation goes on, they walk out of the frat house and past a bunch of protesters, agitators, prig progs and advocates who are making noise]

[Droz] “For example, see these girls?”

[Tom] “Ya”

[Girl 1] “We have rights too”

[Girl 2] “choose to choose now”

[Droz] “No you don’t, those are women, call them girls and they’ll pop your face.”

[Tom and Droz continue walking past a series of other activists]

[Male 1] “Save the whales!”

[Male 2] “Gays in the military now!”

[Male 3] “Free Nelson Mandela!”

Notice how the middle one is now a reality…. All of these activists so far are white people for the most part. I would say that is pretty accurate; with the exception of identity politics most of the random SJW causes without reference to a specific human group are majority white. Sad really. At this point Tom and Droz spot a group of ultra-feminazi butch dykes.

[Tom and Droz stop and look ahead, brief pause]

[Tom] “What? Are those women?”

[Droz] “Those aren’t women Tom, they’re womenists”

[shows a bunch of short-haired butch dykes in camo all  looking angry; there is one attractive one]

[Dreadlocked butch dyke to attractive chic] “Hey Sam, isn’t that the guy you used to, uh…?”

[Sam] “Ya”

[Third plain-looking dyke] “You went out with a WHITE MALE!?” [surprised unbelief; all three are white women…]

[Sam] “What?! I was a freshman.”

[Dread Dyke] “Fresh person please.

[Droz attempts to approach Sam]

[Dread Dyke] “He’s coming over here, [blows a rape whistle] Sister’s form a wall!”

[A line of butch dykes form a wall between Sam and Droz.]

[Droz] “Hello, is Sam in there?”

[Dread Dyke] “In there? whats that supposed to mean?”

[Plain Dyke] “Ya, cock man oppressor!”

[Droz] “Why thank you. Can you just tell her that Mr. pokey stopped by”

[blank stares; Tom and Droz leave]

[Dread Dyke] “What the hell does that mean; Mr. pokey?”

[Plain Dyke] “I think he meant his [hmphf] phallus” [erects index fingers]

[Dread Dyke angrily turns to Sam] “You participated in a phallus naming?”

[Sam] “No, no i have no idea”

[Dread Dyke] “You stay away from him Sam, he’s an animal.”

I find this depiction of feminists gratifying. Saying that angry feminists aren’t women is true enough. It also captures the impotent rage well, as well as their stupidity. I also enjoyed Droz’s use of a cocky-funny response and how he held frame during this massive shit test. There are also stories of White! women who seem to hate white men and won’t date them. It is a small group; but they are invariably radical leftists which is what gives them that hate of their own race. They buy, hook, line and sinker, the propaganda that whites are evil oppressors and seek their own destruction. Though they probably did exist in 1994; I can only assume they are more common now. Or else they just get a lot more notoriety and news coverage. Either way, this attitude is perceived to be real among some small groups of radical leftists.

[Tom and Droz continue walking]

[Tom] “This place is kind of insane.”

[Droz] “Wait till you meet the causeheads.”

[Tom and Draz approach a university building. Hippi-looking people have formed a circle holding hands outside the building. Other hippis are dancing weirdly in the circle. Several are dressed in cow costumes. A chic is in front of them with a megaphone leading a chant. You find out later her “name” is Moonbeam.]

[Moonbeam] “What don’t we eat?”

[Protesters] “Meat”

[Moonbeam] “Why don’t we eat it”

[Protesters] “It’s murder”

[repeat ad nauseum]

[Droz] “These, Tom, are your causeheads. They find a world threatening issue and stick with it… for about a week.”

[Tom and Droz approach another pitfiend; a resident of the pit]

[Pitfiend] “Last week it was the ozone layer but now its meat. They were making chili burgers and won’t let anyone in.”

At this point about 7 pitfiends sneak past the protesters by new-age dancing through the crowd. They enter the cafeteria and grab the hamburger and meatballs and other things. As a hippi plays guitar singing hippi music and Moonbeam explains how the life of a student (dying from starvation) is worth sacrificing for a cow or other animals, the pitfiends hurl several hundred pounds of raw meat at the protesters from an upper story window. How satisfying that would be to do in real life.

Shortly afterward, the pitfiends are running but Tom is the last to get out and the only one the causeheads see. A large ultra-leftist mob then chase, with seeming violent intent, one solitary guy. This witch hunt scenario is a continuing gag throughout the movie and true enough in a figurative sense to how actual leftist mobs behave. As Tom was escaping, he happens to run into the group which is most like that of the current most radical and obnoxious protesters. Though in the movie they weren’t portrayed as obnoxious as their real life counterparts with the exception of their opinions. In terms of loudness and physical intimidation real life is worse than fiction (see also, and this). I like to call this all-black group in the movie “the Quanza group.” When Tom runs into them, the leader is giving a monologue on the evils of whiteness. The Quanza leader is saying “And the walls are painted white, and the chalk is white, and the paper is white, and even the copy machine is painted white. This my friend is a white devil’s conspiracy.” This is so absurd that you can’t help but laugh. Unfortunately, it isn’t too far off from the paranoia of real life black activists. The concept of white privilege can be pretty much summed up by the previous statements. Everything, no matter how trivial, is interpreted in terms of white vs. black by many protesters and far left academics. Yet the things often focused on as “white privilege” are typically just as asinine in real life as they were in this satire.

After Tom manages to escape from all the rabid leftists, making their attempt at lynching fruitless, they proceed to plan B and en masse submit complaint forms against the pit. The complaint form is one of my favorite additions to the movie. I used it as the post image at the top, but here it is again below (open in a new tab to read it):

PCU complaint form correct

The reason there are lines through it is because the movie shows this as a close up as “Moonbeam” fills it out. I swear, that name makes me laugh every time. I had to merge several screenshots so you could see everything in one image. I find this very funny. Levels of insensitivity can be no less than “typical.” This suggests that no matter what anyone does everyone is persistently and consistently “insensitive.” Sounds a lot like “white privelege”  and other leftist complaints in real life to me. When it comes to leftists, there is no such thing as someone doing the right thing and everyone is guilty of sins against political correctness. The other options are funny too; levels of offendedness and suggested punishments including written apologies and sensitivity workshops.

At this point the president of the university shows up and has a conversation with “Moonbeam” about the pit and expresses she also would like to get rid of them. Rather than go over every situation in detail; I will just provide some choice dialogue from the university president throughout the film. Some of it is pretty quotable stuff because of its absurdity; at least in my opinion.

  • [Talking to Moonbeam] “Those pit offenders are single-handedly destroying sensitivity levels on campus.”
  • [Addressing the residents of the pit] “Need I remind you that this house already has enough complaints to qualify for a sensitivity awareness weekend? You passed out cigarettes for a smoke-a-thon on earth day. You installed speed bumps on the handicap ramps, and most recently poured 100 pounds of meat on a peaceful vegan protest.” [Beyond hedonism, the pit is a group of super trolls who willfully rustle the jimmies of anyone prigging out]
  • [Addressing a University board member at a upscale party] “Well I think bisexual Asian studies should have its own building, but the question is who goes? The math department or the hockey team?”
  • [Addressing board members again] “I am going to announce the changing of the mascot from the offensive Port Chester Indian to an endangered species. Gentlemen, meet our new mascot: the Port Chester whooping crane.”

The last two especially remind  me of problems in universities today. Creating whole departments dedicated to advancing degeneracy is certainly something modern universities engage in. Various “victims” studies programs is common and a complete waste of taxpayer money. Moreover; leftists do legitimately seem interested in prioritizing these worthless cronyism departments at the expense of real academics and even sports; the later of which at least more people can enjoy. The last quote reminds me very much of the recent controversy with the Washington Redskins. Prig prog bureaucrats recently revoked their trademark primarily because it was “offensive.

Well, this post is already almost 5000 words so I am going to finish with two last scenarios. There are certainly other scenes and jokes worth mentioning; but I will leave it to you to watch the movie and see what they are. I suppose I should also mention that George Clinton the “funk” musician makes an appearance at the end. I am not really a fan; so that could have been left out in my opinion. However, I don’t think it detracts too much from the movie overall. It’s just there. Clinton doesn’t express any opinions, he just sings a song.

In the end there was a depiction of the victim Olympics which I enjoyed. In the scene, all the various groups are in line waiting to get into the party being thrown by the pit. They are impatient so they start trying to use their “victim” status to cut in line. Not only is it funny seeing various groups try to out-victim one another, but it is also illuminating to see the real reasons such groups engage in this: A selfish desire to gain social and financial advantage without actually contributing anything. It starts with the Quanza leader:

[Quanza leader] “I’m a black man; there is no justice for me here in America. I should be at the front of the line.”

[Camera moves towards front of line]

[Gay dude] “Ya well, I’m gay and subject to ridicule and discrimination wherever I go.”

[Camera moves even closer to the front of the line]

[Dread dyke] “Women are oppressed throughout the world, give it a rest.”

And I will leave you with the pitfiend’s take on the whole of PC culture. Though not exactly deep, I think it really captures the zeitgeist of the modern left without going into any sort of detailed analysis. These lines come before the party actually starts and it is getting protested by the “womenists.” This is when they are chanting the quote which reminded me of this movie and is similar to the real chant at Mizzou.

[Womenists] “This penis party has to go. Hey, hey. Ho, ho.

[Droz] “You try to spread joy and the PC shock troops shut you down.”

[Pitfiend Girl] “God, don’t they want to have a good time at least once in their lives?”

[Droz] “That’s a damn good point. The majority of students today are so cravenly PC they wouldn’t know a good time if it was sitting on their faces.”

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The Kite Runner

I was recently asked to help a 9th grader with a “research paper” that was supposed to be related to a book he was assigned to read in class. This book was called “The Kite Runner.” I had never read this book before, so I was limited to focusing on more generic elements such as “Don’t begin every sentence with the pronouns, and especially not the same pronoun” and make sure that when you switch subjects you make it clear that you did instead of using “they” again and again while switching between different groups: Both problems this student had. (Independent of the book content or essay topic, the essay was horrible. He almost certainly didn’t read the book and didn’t try very hard to BS his way through it).

However, I am not entirely convinced that this student’s lack of interest both in the book and in the essay were all that bad in the grand scheme of things. Specifically, the summaries I have since read on this book strongly suggests to me that it is a very clear case of progressive propaganda being forced onto unwitting children. In fact, I was at once reminded of my own experience in high school with similar propaganda. “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson. Where as speak was only concerned with feminists conceptions of rape, “The Kite Runner” appears to focus more on Muslims/Afghans (although it also goes into rape as well).

In summaries of the plot, it follows two boys in Kabul who play with kites together. One is of an Islamic sect which is considered lower class than the other. The lower class boy in one scene protects his superior from being beaten up, while in another, later scene the higher class boy does nothing to stop the former from being raped (by a male). Typical prog lionization of lower classes; as well as an awkward insertion of rape. Later the high class boy escapes the soviet invasion and moves to America as a refugee where he experiences guilt at his luck generally (he regularly imagined the hard lives of his friends back home) as well as specifically with respect to this friend he didn’t save from the rape. Finally, he finds out that this friend who he didn’t save from a rape both had died and also had a son during the general turmoil in the country. He goes back and saves this friend’s son and brings him to America as well.

In this story we seem to have both support of cat-lady style saving of refugees as well as touching on rape hysteria. There was probably little mention that there might be a connection between the ethnicity involved and tendency for rape and violence. At least that is how it seems. Without reading the book, I can’t be entirely sure of how much it is in fact propaganda and how much it is just a story (though my own experience with progressive propaganda leads me to a specific guess). I won’t comment further on the content of the story itself. However, the student also showed me his rubric and instructions on what topics were allowed for the essay. All of the designated topics were clearly progressive points of interest (such as “human rights,” which is what this student chose) which leaves no doubt that whatever merits this story has on its own, if any, it is being used in schools to indoctrinate children into progressive positions.

Moreover, the author also hinted that the story is at least to some degree auto-biographical. The degree that his personal life experiences are in the book, or the degree to which it is completely fictionalized, is not entirely clear. Summaries imply that it isn’t really known how much really happened to the author. My guess is that it is mostly fiction with very loose inspiration from real life events, with the events radically changed in the process of writing. It is far easier to warp fiction to meet the acceptable narrative than to fit real life to it. This ambiguity probably allowed the author to sell more copies to gullible progressives without outright lying about its authenticity. From Wikipedia:

According to Hosseini, the narrative became “much darker” than he originally intended. The Kite Runner covers a multigenerational period and focuses on the relationship between parents and their children. The latter was unintentional; Hosseini developed an interest in the theme while in the process of writing. He later divulged that he frequently came up with pieces of the plot by drawing pictures of it. For example, he did not decide to make Amir and Hassan brothers until after he had “doodled it.” Like Amir, the protagonist of the novel, Hosseini was born in Afghanistan and left the country as a youth, not returning until 2003. Thus, he was frequently questioned about the extent of the autobiographical aspects of the book. In response, he said, “When I say some of it is me, then people look unsatisfied. The parallels are pretty obvious, but … I left a few things ambiguous because I wanted to drive the book clubs crazy.”

Even though the author does seem to be pretty open about it being almost entirely a fictional story, it has not seemed to stop progressives from believing it is only a slightly fictionalized auto-biography.

Anyway, I focused mainly on non-content related suggestions to improve his essay. However, I also made a point that when he spoke of human rights he did so in a very general sense, yet all of the examples from the story were from a very specific group of people with a very specific religion. After all, we don’t hear about Theravada Buddhists raping and murdering Mahayana Buddhists. To generalize Muslim culture in Afghanistan as if it were a world wide issue for every group of people is inaccurate and absurd. This is as much crimethink as I dared to inject into the situation, but I think the point was taken and will be considered by the student. In my head, I thought facetiously that the human rights issue he should write about is forcing young children in schools across the country to read and write about progressive propaganda; with their essay conclusion being determined in advance of writing. I did not say this however, as I anticipated the comment would not be appreciated by the adults who would no doubt hear about it. If you are a parent, I would suggest keeping an eye out for this story in your child’s curriculum so that you can do any necessary damage control when they are forced to regurgitate prog propaganda as a graded assignment.

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Daily Absurdity

Short post today. First, sorry about the theme change. There was a problem with an update to my old theme so this is a stand-in until I can get the old back. If I can. This was actually an issue the developer of the theme introduced, so it is possible that one is gone for good. Or at least long enough for me to decide on something else. [edit, this has since been fixed]

On another note, I got reminded why I do not watch much, if any, TV anymore. I was visiting with some family and we  decided to turn on netflix for some background noise. What was chosen was the netflix original series called “Between.” The premise is there is a virus that kills all of the adults in what looked like a New England town. There is a quarantine instituted and the under 22 years old survivors have to fend for themselves. The first scene shows a guy barely able to grow a beard walking towards a fence when all these military guys with guns rush it and tell him to go back. This lasted about 5 seconds. The next scene flashes back 10 days to before the quarantine and we see the main character walking through her high school. She is about 8 months pregnant. The show couldn’t go 15 seconds without going full prog propaganda. Needless to say, I was annoyed. Then she started talking about going to MIT. ya… I ended up walking out of the room and just talking to some other people outside of this show. I hate watching propaganda, or even being in the same room when it is on.

I checked to see if I actually heard her correctly in claiming she was going to be going to MIT despite having a new-born, but it turns out she was talking about her male friend not herself according to wikipedia. My bad. I guess that is still too delusional for propaganda purposes, but if it was part of the plot I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised. But still, degenerate unwed mothers were in saner times sent out of high schools so they couldn’t spread their degeneracy. Now they are main characters of TV shows. She is probably depicted as sassy, strong and independent if I had bothered watching a few episodes. I am not though, I have seen enough progressive propaganda to know that this is probably true, and that I don’t really care to see it. Ostensibly, this is just a show about some teenagers trying to survive a freak virus. In reality, that is only half of the show. The rest is progressives trying to completely redefine what is and is not moral and normalize degeneracy. I have reviewed multiple items of this sort and in much greater detail in the past (see list below) and it follows a very familiar pattern. Almost all mass produced “entertainment” has it which is why I don’t watch mainstream TV or movies anymore.

Giving this insignificant show the time to watch it and find all the best propaganda moments isn’t worth it. It isn’t popular, it isn’t even highly rated by people who don’t grok the cultural Marxism. If you want some examples where I put in the full effort for more notable works, see below:

A Neoreactionary Analysis and Review of “12 Angry men”

A Review of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

How Cultural Marxism Ruined the Mass Effect Franchise

How Cultural Marxism Ruined The Walking Dead

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