Monday, February 02, 2009

How the economy wrecks breeding


Birth rates do tend to drop in times of economic uncertainty. There was a dramatic decline in fertility rates following the Great Depression in the 1930s, when, for the first time in U.S. history, women went from having an average of three children the previous decade to two.

In each year after the country’s last four recessions, general fertility rates — calculated as the number of women of child-bearing age per thousand who gave birth — dipped slightly. For example, in the year following the 1973-1975 recession, fertility rates dropped from 68.8 in 1973 to 65 in 1976, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Similarly, following the 1980-1982 recession, the fertility rate fell from 68.4 in 1980 to 65.7 in 1983.

MSN


This is terrible, because it means those who can think ahead about breeding are not breeding, while idiots keep surging onward and produce more children even as they impoverish themselves.

Good thinking, humanity.

Are those between clear gender identity more promiscuous?


Psychologists have found that adult females who have prominent chins are more sexually active than those with softer features, yet are less attractive to men looking for a long-term partner.

Larger chins on women are often caused by a high level of the male growth hormone testosterone, present in all women in various amounts.

The hormone also increases sexual assertiveness in a woman, a tendency more commonly attributed to males.

It was concluded that men will shun women with such masculine features when looking for a long-term partner because they fear being cuckolded.

The Telegraph


People hate cheating spouses because they've violated the most sacred human contract there is: to work together to create a family where each member is defended against the world. As we can trust our fellow citizens less and less, this becomes more important.

Masculinized women, in addition to being a blight on the workplace, are more likely to cheat. They lack the complementary force to a male that makes a marriage work. So now you've got a problem. Men who are in touch with their instincts avoid them so they can have functional families instead of joining the world at large in its dysfunction.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Incoming crisis: Food prices rise as supplies fluctuate before a fall

Ahead of the curve learning:


Despite the economic crisis and widespread deflation fears, world food prices are rising. This major escalation in food prices calls to question the conventional wisdom that inflation is not a problem.

Today’s worldwide food inflation is a far different story, because it is happening in the face of widespread deflation fears. Consumers are delaying purchases. Banks are hoarding cash (ie: most Chinese merchants aren’t accepting credit cards because banks are delaying payments). Businesses are scaling back expansions and reigning in spending. Yet, despite all these factors, food prices are going up. Isn’t that interesting?

The US is not immune from rising food inflation: prices for food in US grocery stores jumped 6.6% last year, the biggest spike since 1980. Even this December, which saw gasoline prices fall by 17.2% (the biggest monthly decline in 71 years), food costs refused to fall. If US food prices couldn't muster a fall in December, five months after the commodity bubble burst and deflation fears gripped the world, then they should not be expected to fall at all.

Market Skeptics


So capitalism, democracy, etc. make us free, eh?

Ancient sun temple possibly found in Alberta, Canada

From the "life is awesome" department:


An academic maverick is challenging conventional wisdom on Canada's prehistory by claiming an archeological site in southern Alberta is really a vast, open-air sun temple with a precise 5,000-year-old calendar predating England's Stonehenge and Egypt's pyramids.

The central cairn is surrounded by 28 radiating stone lines, four of which align with the cardinal points of the compass. Those lines are encircled by another ring of stones.

A few metres away lies a stone semicircle, with a large stone between it and the central cairn. The left edge of the semicircle lines up with both the central stone and the right edge of the cairn, and vice versa.

The rising and setting sun on both the longest and shortest days of the year lines up precisely with V-shaped sights in the temple's rocks. The spring and autumn equinoxes, when day and night are equal, are similarly marked. They are not the equinoxes of the Gregorian calendar currently used, however, but the true astronomical equinoxes.

Freeman is convinced the temple contains a lunar calendar as well, because the 28 rays radiating from the central cairn correspond to the length of the lunar cycle.

The Star


But our Native Americans did not have such technologies. How long have humans been this smart? And where did they originate?

Obnoxious, pretentious, fake-humble fool gets pwnt


Kirsten Brydum pedaled away from the Howlin' Wolf club into the darkness of another American city that she didn't know very well.

She arrived in New Orleans in late September with a rail pass, a little red notebook and a head full of ideas about the oppressive forces of capitalism and government, and how they might be replaced with something better.

Brydum and an old boyfriend drew up the list of places she would visit: alternative health centers, collectivist punk communes, anarchist bookstores and "guerrilla gardens" planted by activists on land they do not own. Her plan was to document on a website what she found, allowing radicals to share ideas and strengthen tiny institutions that she believed would "prefigure a world without capitalism."

At the now-defunct New College of California, where she earned her bachelor's degree, she immersed herself in contrarian thinkers, particularly the anarchists: Emma Goldman, imprisoned by U.S. authorities for opposing the draft in 1917; David Graeber, the anthropologist who studied the egalitarian communities of northwest Madagascar; and Hakim Bey, a scholar who extolled history's "pirate utopias," which operated beyond the grasp of governments.

Central to her thinking: "She didn't believe that we lived in a world of scarcity," Viola said. "That scarcity was a myth that was used to keep people divided. And so if resources and goods are taken care of and shared equitably, then there's enough for everybody."

LA Times


We don't live in a world of scarcity.

We live in a world of plenty, where minimal effort -- using scientific methods, and learning, and common sense -- yields good results.

But then idiots destroy it with disorganization, illusion, chaos, etc. so stuff ends up scarce, and the rest of us end up defending ourselves against masses of delusional fools.


Her body had been found by a church group gutting houses in the 9th Ward; it was lying unidentified in the morgue. Brydum had been shot four times in the face. New Orleans police detectives began their search for a killer, but have thus far had no luck.

When the news reached the Bay Area, some of her fellow activists wondered if there had been a conspiracy. Some suspected the CIA.

Other family members noted, with a disgusted irony, that the killer may have been covering up a robbery. Brydum's bag and bicycle were not found at the scene.


That's because they're loony narcissists who think anyone cares about their cult of disorganization.

This story is designed for your amusement. Pompous young "activist" decides she knows better than others, and determines to justify herself with false humility; New Orleans criminal laughs, takes her bicycle and shoots her in the face.

Satan is illusion and Brydum gave her soul to Satan, who never announces that he's evil. (Insert your own token of evil, selfishness, stupidity, solipsism, illusion, delusion, dysfunction, deception, corruption and monkeyness in place of "Satan"; I use the term for convenience.)

What the Buddhists got right

Instead of focusing on goals, they focused on method -- clear the mind of irrelevant BS brought on by social influences and monkey-derived, evolutionary throwback stupidity:


Raj asked Buddha, “Reverend Sir, how come my mind wanders around to forbidden places and yours does not?” “Sir, how come I do back-biting and you don't?” “Sir, how come I don't have compassion for others, while you have?” All the questions that Raj asked were of similar nature.

Buddha replied, “Raj, your questions are good, but it seems to me that in 24 hours from now you will die.”

Raj got up and started getting ready to go.

Buddha asked, “Raj, what happened? You came with such vitality now you are totally dismayed.”

Raj said, “Sir, my mother told me that your words are true and are to be held in high esteem. So please let me go so that I may meet my family members, friends and others before I die.”

Buddha said, “But there are still 24 hours. Sit, we will talk more.”

Raj said, “Reverend Sir, please let me go. I must meet my people before I die.”

So Raj left and went home. Met his mother and started crying. The word spread. His friends came; other family members came; neighbors came. Everyone was crying with Raj. Time flew.

Raj was busy either crying or counting the hours. When only 3 hours were left, he pulled up a cot and lay down. Although the Death had not yet arrived, poor Raj was kind of dead.

When only an hour was left, Buddha walked in.

Buddha said to Raj, “Raj, why are you lying down on the cot with your closed eyes. Death is still an hour away. And an hour is 60 minutes long. That's a lot of time. Get up, let us talk.”

Raj: “Sir, what is it now that you want to talk? Just let me die peacefully.”

Buddha: “Raj, there is still time and our talk will get over before the 'ordained' time.”

Raj: “Okay, Sir . . . say what you have to say.”

Buddha: “In the past 24 hours, did you curse anyone?”

Raj: “How could I curse anyone? I was all the time thinking about death.”

Buddha: “In the past 24 hours, did you think or wish ill for anyone?”

Raj: “How could I do that? I was all the time thinking about death.”

Buddha: “In the past 24 hours, did you steal?”

Raj: “Sir, how can you even ask that? I was all the time thinking about death.”

Finally the Buddha said, “Raj, I don't know who has to die and who has to live. But understanding the ultimate truth — i.e. death — can be very enlightening. All the questions you posed to me have been answered by yourself because of the awareness of death that you experienced during the past 24 hours. The difference between me and you is that you were aware of death for the past 24 hours, I have been aware for the past 24 years.”
24 hours to die


There's a simple lucidity in this:

Most people will deny reality, and relapse into themselves. They can socialize, they can make money, they can consume. All of these things reinforce self.

Others see how fragile the self is, and instead try to find meaning in the world that connects the self to the world. These are mentally healthier.

If we could learn this discipline -- and I don't suggest doing it by Buddhism, as the religion is corrupted -- we would not be committing ecocide, wasting our lives in boring obligation, etc.

However, it's not accessible to everyone. It probably requires at least 120 IQ points to see.

I guess we could always enforce a "natural selection event" which peeled off the under-120s. Hmm.

The real cause of ecocide: overpopulation

Can't love this article too much:


Jonathon Porritt, former chairman of the Green party, and the heart of the Sustainable Development Commission, is back on the scene today, reminding us that the battles we are waging against global warming are not reaching the real root of the problem... population control!

You wouldn't help an alcoholic much by picking up the beer cans from around their yard, you wouldn't help a sex addict by providing free condoms at their doorstep every morning, and you certainly couldn't solve all the global warming issues of the world with advanced technology alone, when its the overpopulation of people who are causing the greatest burden on the planet.

Porritt is not advocating lining every adult male and female up for involuntary vasectomies and tubal ligation's. He is recommending that couples be taught about the importance of their responsibility for their our own carbon footprint and do what they can to reduce it. This means having fewer children, who would otherwise add a whole other imprint upon your own footprint.

Treehugger


His conclusions, however, are daft.

Our problem is that we have a species of glorified monkeys who have no problem eating a candy bar and throwing the wrapper on the ground -- wherever they are.

Instead of trying to stop breeding by begging educated, compassionate people to stop breeding, guaranteeing that the next generation will be dumb and discompassionate, we should urge the dummies, criminals, perverts, impoverished, etc. to stop breeding so we don't get more of them.

Oh no, that's blasphemy! Worse than racism or Satanism! More vile than Stalin or Hitler!

Yeah, well, take your hidebound thinking and shove it. You liberals -- people who believe humans as individuals are more important than a collective goal -- have basically sponsored this ecocide, and now your empire's crumbling.

It's our turn now, and we aren't addicted to insane proclamations of human value that don't correspond to reality. Most people are stupid and defective, cruel and destructive, careless and wasteful, and most of all, not very bright. They're a half-step up from monkeys.

When we took over from nature by forming civilizations, we basically agreed to be responsible for our own natural selection. Because some fear, we've been chiseling away at that idea for centuries, creating this illusion of the self as higher than reality itself -- in religion, it's called evangelical Christianity; in secular circles, it's called humanism.

Let's grow up, for once, and actually solve a problem. And all you antiquated, outdated, pathetic people who think liberalism is a solution will see how brainwashed and delusional you've been.


The Muslim population in Britain has grown by more than 500,000 to 2.4 million in just four years, according to official research collated for The Times.

The population multiplied 10 times faster than the rest of society, the research by the Office for National Statistics reveals. In the same period the number of Christians in the country fell by more than 2 million.

Experts said that the increase was attributable to immigration, a higher birthrate and conversions to Islam during the period of 2004-2008, when the data was gathered.

The Times


Why is it that the whole world wants to immigrate to Europe and the USA?

Oh: because through the hard work of our ancestors, and their intelligence, we invented wealthy societies.

Why do the others not have wealth? Obviously, they weren't oppressed for all 3,000 years by the white man.

Something went wrong in their societies, obviously. Funny how it corresponds to the IQ of each nation, which corresponds to its wealth.

That's racist or classist, you say? Well, note how many white nations differ in IQ and so do their fortunes. So it's obviously not racist. Also note how class isn't mentioned. All I'm talking about is intelligence -- which as Stephen Pinker noted, is biological not "taught" -- which seems to be distributed unevenly.

Do we cry over the unevenness, dooming ourselves to the past, or move on? Some helpful words:


Mankind does not represent a development of the better of the stronger in the way that it is believed today. 'Progress' is merely a modern idea, that is to say a false idea. The European of today is of far less value than the European of the Renaissance; onward development is not by any means, by any necessity the same thing as elevation, advance, strengthening.

In another sense there are cases of individual success constantly appearing in the most various parts of the earth and fro the most various cultures in which a high type does manifest itself: something which in relation to collective mankind is a sort of superman. Such chance occurrences of great success have always been possible and perhaps always will be possible. And even entire races, tribes, nations can under certain circumstances represent such a lucky hit.

- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ


Knock yourselves out. (By "race" he means what we in modern times would call ethnicity, like Finnish or Nordic.)

Life would be easier this way but we choose to ignore it


Cartwright's von Stauffenberg, you won't perhaps be surprised to learn, is a complex, nuanced figure, loathing Hitler but absorbed in an almost mystically conceived Teutonic past that leads straight back to Junker notions of an exclusive national destiny.

The Independent


Oh, the wise witty modern. Surrounded by his wasteland of a city strewn with crime and debris, in a disposable world, he scorns those antiquated notions of "exclusive national destiny," which means an organic society: one nation, one people, one culture, one language.

Yet every day we see how diversity means dumbing us all down into a generic culture, and how wasted our society is, and how neurotic and miserable everyone is.

Smart people would consider options, even those that had been used in the past.

Dumb people just keep congratulating themselves on how above it all they are.

Misconceptions about sluts


“A lot of women may call me a slag, but I’m not. The sex is on my terms — I call the shots.”


This is from Louise, who likes to bed random strangers:


The 25-year-old bar manager is hooked on net sex and has slept with 200 online date mates.

She admits: “I can’t explain the buzz I get from meeting someone for the first time and knowing that in a couple of hours we’ll be ripping each other’s clothes off. It’s addictive.

News of the World


Louise, a slag is someone who is addicted to sex in lieu of having a plan. A slut is someone who sleeps with others easily. You're the ultimate easy -- they just have to go along with it and, thinking you're in control, you act out your slaggishness.

Brought to you by the committee for the correct usage of insults.

Italy defends its culture, culinarily

Other European countries do this, just indirectly and not as effectively. Asian countries are more forthright about it -and- no one wants to import cuisine into the land of lemon chicken.


The tomato comes from Peru and spaghetti was probably a gift from China.

It is, though, the “foreign” kebab that is being kicked out of Italian cities as it becomes the target of a campaign against ethnic food, backed by the centre-right Government of Silvio Berlusconi.

The drive to make Italians eat Italian, which was described by the Left and leading chefs as gastronomic racism, began in the town of Lucca this week, where the council banned any new ethnic food outlets from opening within the ancient city walls.

The Times


It's sensible to be honest in what we want:


  • Set a goal

  • Define the steps that need to be taken

  • Make sure those who do them are rewarded

  • Clearly define what is not wanted



Most Western societies let money, not the law, do the talking for them, because they're afraid of revolutions.

The result is a maze of hidden rules and regulations and inefficient enforcement that will collapses as soon as 20 guys with AKs arrive angry in the same place at once.

We are starved for real experience


Companies are sending staff to experience a plane crash in simulators run by British Airways as the ultimate team-building exercise.

For £130 a head, employees are taken to a hangar at Heathrow where they board a shortened version of a Boeing 737 mounted on a motion platform.

After “takeoff”, they are plunged into darkness and put into a nose-dive from 3,000ft as the cabin begins to fill with smoke.

Once the plane has hit the ground, the “passengers” have to get out as fast as they can through the front and rear exits. By this stage, the employees are so pumped up that on three separate occasions businessmen have shorn through a half-inch steel bolt by hand so as to lift a 45lb overhead escape hatch and climb onto the plane’s wing.

The Times


People have no meaning in their lives.

Give them an emergency and they leave their comfort zones and wish-fulfillment fantasies, and feel "real" again.

Instead they get this surrogate, which probably causes massive depression when it's over.

What does modern society do to children?


Experts warn that young people are suffering from stress and anxiety, parents are too scared to let their children play freely and newspaper headlines paint a picture of Britain in which childhood is fast disappearing.

• Depression and anxiety have increased for boys and girls aged 15 to 16 since the mid-1980s, as have what are called "non-aggressive conduct problems" such as lying, stealing and disobedience

• One in five children and young people have mental health problems at some point, and one in 10 have a clinically recognisable mental health disorder

• Up to one in 12 children deliberately hurt themselves on a regular basis - the highest rate in Europe

• Children have lost the freedom to play outside because of their parents' fears.

The Guardian


And:


BRITAIN’S cult of individualism, greed and selfishness has so blighted children’s lives that families and pupils need basic training in love and moral responsibility, according to a landmark report on the state of childhood.

The report, endorsed by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, is likely to be used as a weapon by the Conservatives to attack Labour for what David Cameron has called “broken Britain”.

A Good Childhood states emphatically that society has been damaged by rampant individualism, that Britain is one of the countries worst affected and that this ethos needs to be replaced by a greater sense of personal responsibility and the common good.

The Times


Society has lost track of a positive goal.

We support facilitative goals, like diversity and openness, but not having an actual goal.

As a result, chaos surges in. From that, parents get scared. Schools have to educate the stupid instead of the smart. Childhood becomes a boring, fearful time.

And this is in one of the richest nations on earth! Good thinking. Where you went wrong was in pandering to the broadest elements of your electorate.


Since all instinctive behaviors have an evolutionary advantage or they would not have been retained for millions of years, chances are that this one too has helped us survive as a species. And, indeed, accumulating evidence strongly suggests that eating dirt is good for you.

In studies of what is called the hygiene hypothesis, researchers are concluding that organisms like the millions of bacteria, viruses and especially worms that enter the body along with “dirt” spur the development of a healthy immune system. Several continuing studies suggest that worms may help to redirect an immune system that has gone awry and resulted in autoimmune disorders, allergies and asthma.

These studies, along with epidemiological observations, seem to explain why immune system disorders like multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and allergies have risen significantly in the United States and other developed countries.

NYT


It's a metaphor: in our quest to rid ourselves of "bad," we have been left with not "good" but an incomplete cycle.

The full cycle requires both good and bad, like life is both birth and death.

We want to convince everyone they're OK so we can manipulate them. This is a byproduct of specialization of labor: you need to get other people to do stuff for you, and the best way is through conspicuous altruism, or "demonstrating" to them that you're good by:


  • Helping those who cannot help themselves (pity)

  • Accepting all blindly (equality)

  • Crusading against those who do not accept the above (solidarity)



So we've removed dirt, hackers, racists, fundamentalists, etc. -- the list will always go on.

But we're not left with health. Instead, we have broken lives in which our defenses attack ourselves because we're incomplete.

That's how societies die.