Archives for category: Biology

Should there be straight pride?

…as answered on Quora….

Probably not. But there should be no “straight shame,” either.

And, more importantly, most people should practice a bit of modesty, as part of humility and decorum, rather than “pride.”

The point of “gay pride” was, as near as I could make out, a reasonable and necessary push back against the anti-homosexual shaming that was once the norm. That the “pride” movement went overboard, as can be seen in too many of the gay pride parades I have noticed, is sad. By putting aside the question of being unashamed of one’s orientation and instead publicly glorying in indecency and immodesty, “gay pride” paraders have promoted shamelessness when shame be more apt.

You see, the original idea of not feeling shame for one’s desires is good. But the shameless public promotion of private, even lewd activities strikes me as bad, immoral, inconsiderate — what amounts to grand effrontery.

Why would straight people wish to emulate all that?

But straight people do need to defend their desires against the onslaught of anti-straight social forces.

I believe heteronormativity also needs to be defended.

Why? Because the norming of the activities that lead to procreation, to the maintenance of the species, is pro-life, humanistic, civilized. To opposeheteronormativity is to promote decadence.

Quite literally.

Of course, the reader will gather that I think heteronormativity need not be oppressive to the small population of sexual outliers. A society can norm heterosexuality without pride and overbearing condescension and exclusion. Heteronormativity can be humble, not proud.

It is a worse than a shame when it is, instead, shameless and tyrannical.

I believe it is imperative that straight people resist cultural decadence and re-learn modesty, responsibility and the blessing of human reproduction. Also, it might be helpful to relearn that sexual activity can be pleasurable within a context centered around the production of offspring and the raising of same.

But “straight pride” won’t do that. “Straight virtue” might.

twv

“Why does nobody seem to bother about viral immune escape?”

…sort of a follow-up to yesterday’s….

People should be aware that there is a vaccination specialist out there who (a) thinks the technology of the mRNA treatments “vaccines” is brilliant, but is also (b) extremely dangerous, epidemiologically, in that, when used as a mass prophylactic against the current pandemic, has a strong potential to produce a highly resistant strain of coronavirus that will infect the young and could lead to a civilizational and even species threat.

Now, I cannot “vouch” for the man. His name is Geert Vanden Bossche, PhD., and he sure seems on the up and up. But I am not an epidemiologist. Still, as I blogged the other day, I understand the concept of antifragility, and I have long suspected that over-use of some medical technology could end up producing a major plague. Scientists have been warning of this for years, and it has been spun out in numerous science fiction tales, many of which I’ve read with a sort of gallows-interest enthusiasm. And here we do have a viral science technician urging world governments to stop the vaccination campaign, for the health of our species, for humanity.

Specifically, Bossche warns that “this type of prophylactc vaccines are completely inappropriate, and even highly dangerous, when used in mass vaccinaton campaigns during a viral pandemic.

Vaccinologists, scientists and clinicians are blinded by the positive short-term effects in individual patents, but don’t seem to bother about the disastrous consequences for global health. Unless I am scientifically proven wrong, it is difcult to understand how current human interventons will prevent circulatng variants from turning into a wild monster.

Racing against the clock, I am completing my scientific manuscript, the publication of which is, unfortunately, likely to come too late given the ever increasing threat from rapidly spreading, highly infectious variants. This is why I decided to already post a summary of my fndings as well as my keynote speech at the recent Vaccine Summit in Ohio on LinkedIn. Last Monday, I provided internatonal health organizatons, including the WHO, with my analysis of the current pandemic as based on scientfcally informed insights in the immune biology of Covid-19. Given the level of emergency, I urged them to consider my concerns and to initate a debate on the detrimental consequences of further ‘viral immune escape.’

PDF provided by Geert Vanden Bossche; numerous typos corrected, above and in quotations below.

I have opposed the popular “wisdom” of how to deal with COVID from at least last April, when the nature of the lockdowns became clear in the wildly moved goalposts. Since then, most folks have stuck to what their bureaucrats and politicians and public scolds have told them, usually with less knowledge of the subject than I possess. It’s all cultic tribalism on all sides now.

But you should understand what you are getting jabbed with. Start with the CDC. Its website is not outright lying. But it is propaganda.

That being said, the technology is not what most folks think it is. It does not work like a simple vaccine. And that difference could make a difference. How big? Very; extremely:

[I]t’s becoming increasingly difficult to imagine how the consequences of the extensive and erroneous human intervention in this pandemic are not going to wipe out large parts of our human population.

This is End Times stuff, really. Which is why “smart people” will resist. They are easily embarrassed by end-of-the-world predictions, since most are by kooks, are heavily ideological, or quickly proven wrong.

But Bossche’s case is quite familiar to us. The concepts he is talking about are part of the general scientific approach of our age. He is not pushing Conspiracy Theory here (though that shouldn’t make us mindless, either). He is advancing a quite-familiar approach to the evolution of contagions. Standard neo-Darwinian science.

But he is obviously worried. He says there is no time to spare, yet worries even more because, in his words, “I have not received any feedback thus far. Experts and politicians have remained silent while obviously still eager to talk about relaxing infection prevention rules and ‘springtime freedom.’ My statements are based on nothing else but science. They shall only be contradicted by science.” Yet “the elite of scientists who are currently advising our world leaders prefer to stay silent.”

This reminds me of some tragedies that occur in tyrannical societies, where the experts fear to speak up, not unreasonably imagining reprisals. Examples abound in the Soviet Union, including the infamous cases of Lysenkoism and Chernobyl.

Though we are talking a possible end to our civilization, I do think proponents of mRNA vaccines can be funny. The especially funny ones fall into two categories, as I blogged yesterday:

  1. The same people who normally extol the FDA and its long, killer waiting periods and expensive regulatory hurdles now push a drug that Donald Trump moved heaven and earth to get around, while
  2. the people who dislike the FDA because of its huge and deadly regulatory burden now like this drug since it has been pushed through — while not recognizing that it is massively subsidized, distributed by an untrustworthy government, and has a demand built up by psy-op and coercive threats, explicit and implicit.

I do not plan on taking this experiment in genetic manipulation . . . though, if the doctor is right, I may be more susceptible to the killer strain it produces than its users.

It is possible we are witnessing the greatest crime against humanity in world history, in its early stages. And the reason? Because experts and politicians will not properly consider scientific evidence that contradicts their favorite policy proposals. And they resist this, despite the dangers, because the general political culture has moved away from free speech and vigorous debate to cultic tribalism. While I have been saying that these anti-free-speech tendencies of today’s hyper-partisanship could kill our civilization, I do not remember considering that they could do so in precisely this manner, and so quickly.

But what do I know? Just go along with the flow. We all gotta die sometime.

Do we really need to all go together when we go, though?

twv

It has been over a month since the last episode of my podcast, so, with my latest episode, I’m starting a new “season.” It sounds better that way than to explain why there was such a long gap between episodes.

Season Two, Episode One.
The Masks Do Not Work; Lockdowns Are “Medieval”

You can stop freaking out now. Watch this video by Ivor Cummins and come to the understanding: THIS WAS ALWAYS KNOWN.

The alarmism was pushed mainly by people who did not know much epidemiology. But there were “scientists” who pushed alarm — including geniuses like Taleb — because they, well, I won’t speculate.

Not being a scientist myself, it took me a while to remember what I had once known. But the shape of those curves: that was known.

So the pandemic panic was perpetrated — pushed onto the population — by people with politics in mind: propagandists. Folks who still pretend we need to change the way civilization works because of this new variant of a virus have embraced error and propound social poison.

Give it up. Those who now understand a bit of the science must resist EVERY political-governmental “lesson” promoted by the alarmists. It is a power grab by the power mad.

No more madness, please. Reason is the answer. A “casetemic” does not a viral pandemic make. But it does make for the madness of crowds, the formation of mobs, and general memetic contagion.

Nevertheless, you can still find “studies” puled in the press purporting that SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 are grave transformative dangers. But what is actually transformative? Ignorance, error, misunderstanding, and lies.


Ivor Cummins considers something I’ve been saying for a few months now, and he considers it a reaonable hypothesis: to the minor extent masks and social distancing have an effect, they may very well be negative. Stay through to the end of the video. 

It’s a bit of a puzzler, though, since one would think masks and other mitigation efforts would alter the curves if effective, and since they did not, how can they alter summertime normal acquisition of immunity?

I’m very curious how this will play out.

But remember: there appears to be scant evidence that mitigation really “flattened the curve.” For we have the data. This doesn’t need to be argued over in white heat. Just look at the data, folks.


And by the way? Cummins calls this latter effect of summertime mitigation in the form of an increased wintertime death toll as “unintended consequences.” I’m iffy about that. I think there are indeed people in government who know this very well and have been pushing it for this reason. They want more deaths in the winter, to call a “second wave” and therefore increase your political demand for mandatory vaccinations, complete with Bill Gates’s nanotechnology to track you.

Normal Americans have lost an important political skepticism, and become bleating ruminants.

Modern politics and the major ideologies, including organized racism, are attempts to make up for the difficulty of managing the commons in a diverse society. 

Nationalism makes up for ethno-diversity by creating an over-arching statist culture to “identify” with, above the level of the kin, kith and ethnic group; woke multiculturalism, like politically correct socialistic agendas before it, counters with a rigid ideological monoculture the better to manage people as ever-more commons are created through socialization.

Neither old-time nationalists nor woke multiculturalists can stand alt-right ethno-nationalists because alt-righters believe — not without some realism — that even vague kinship similarities work better at beating back defection strategies by participants in a commons (which includes funds secured by taxation) than can ideology. Woke multiculturalists especially hate them because, in addition to alt-racists seeking to create a kinship-based monoculture rather than an ideological monoculture, the woke also engage in a characteristic treason strategy of bringing in outsiders to upset existing nationalistic hierarchies, and are more tolerant of anarcho-tyranny than other groups. Alt-racists prefer regular tyranny to anarcho-tyranny.

In both standard, familiar nationalism and woke multiculturalism, a doctrinal ideology is preferred to more natural methods of group solidarity. Obviously ethno-nationalism is anathema to both. It is too “natural” and not “civilized” enough — meaning not artificial . . . and thus “anti-intellectual.”

But classical liberal and libertarian strategies outdo both nationalism and multiculturalism in the doctrinal department by pushing the lateral-thinking move of reducing commons problems — and the inevitable defections (“tragedies” in Garret Hardin’s terminology) — by reducing the number and scope of resources accessed and held in common. Instead of planned against, and fought in a public programs, the Tragedy of the Commons is largely obviated under classical liberal and libertarian programs.

Nationalists understand the move, since nationalism grew out of liberalism, and nationalists are more than willing to use commons-limitation strategies to reduce the over-access problem. Nationalism is a mixed-strategy approach. 

Woke multiculturalists cannot even wrap their heads around the liberal-libertarian approach, since their mindset identifies increasing the scope of common resources as the best way to bring outsiders into the in-group, and thereby upset and re-integrate the hierarchy. (Woke folk often pretend to be against hierarchies, but that’s only a piety to encourage stupid people to join the revolution.)

On this reading, ethno-nationalism seems the most natural course for statism, the most stable course. Doctrinal nationalism, on the other hand, by engaging in ideological nation-building, prompts further ideological development — simply by mimesis, the meme of using ideology to manage the commons encourages the growth of socialism and its variants, which merely take the idea of using ideology to manage commons-access to a daring extreme.

But doctrinal nationalism has obvious advantages in international relations because of its mixed strategy. That is, it can marshal more resources to the state than can the narrower, extremist doctrines of socialism’s fake-anti-nationalism, since it destroys fewer resources. And probably encourages more production of easily-alienable wealth.

Indeed, the genius of the State in ancient times was how it encouraged the growth of easily alienable wealth. Socialists imagine wealth as communally shared and thus inalienable as such, which itself limits the utility of the State as anything other than a driver of human beings — their freedom being the easiest thing to alienate in the commonwealth.

The problem with liberalism/libertarianism is that it gives so little scope for political action that ambitious people find little reason to accept its strictures. Thus ambition alone, but mixed also with greed, would take a minimal state to the nation-state and beyond to dirigisme; add in envy to the ambition-greed mix and at least one sector of the population will almost inevitably demand full socialism.

Minarchism does not appear to be a stable solution.

twv

Meme overkill: isn’t the truth rather different? This “meme” found on Gab.com suggests untruths.

Vaccination never works 100% of the time, on an individual basis. The more people who get vaccinated, though, the less likely a contagion will spread into an epidemic. The contagion has trouble spreading when most potential hosts block the spread with their own immune system’s antibodies. It is a matter of the modal potential host: if the modal possible victim of a virus is immune, the virus has trouble spreading, unable to quickly multiply in society. That is the idea of herd immunity.

It is the same as people who have encountered the disease in the wild, and develop antibodies from actually getting and fighting off the contagion: a disease even in a pandemic slows down its rate of spread and then wanes the more people develop antibodies. Even in the worst pandemics not everyone gets infected. Because the herd immunity threshold eventually gets reached.

Vaccination is an attempt to spur antibody growth without actual infection and the risks associated with suffering through the disease. As a mass program, vaccination often makes sense.

The actual incentives to the individual run this: I take the vaccine and hope it works, but others being vaccinated provides extra protection, but . . . others being infected and surviving is BETTER YET.

That is, me getting vaccinated and others suffering through the disease is the best egoistic strategy.

Extrapolate this out and vaccination would seem the most rational social action.

IF WE CAN TRUST THE VACCINE.

That is one big IF. And lack of trust of vaccine producers (merited or unmerited) throws a huge monkey wrench into our calculations of advantage.

Regarding the current “pandemic,” the disease is deadly only to a small set of the population — that set of people who suffer from co-morbidities such as diabetes and Vitamin D deficiency. Those who are healthy tend to do very well.

If healthy people were even a teensy altruistic, and not sniveling poltroons, they would valiantly risk the disease and let those in jeopardy cower in sequestration, waiting for a vaccine.

Meme engineers out to change human behavior use many techniques. The technique used in the visual meme at top is a cautionary case. It suggests something not true: that what is relevant is that “work” versus “not work.” There are degrees. The desire for others to be vaccinated is not irrational, contrary to the innuendo of the meme.

But there are even more rational strategies.

The most rational one is honesty. Not because dishonesty doesn’t “work” but because honesty encourages rationality generally. It works better.

Right now, we could use a lot more rationality. We are ruled by people whose strategy is to increase fear-based reaction and mass compliance to authoritarian demands. And we are surrounded by cowards who, so fearful, cannot accept new information or wait to make up their minds when actual contexts become clear.

These people have succumbed to the meme of servility. Which is worse than SARS-CoV-2 and its co sequent disease, COVID-19. Our civilization can survive even worse plagues, and has. But can we survive mass servility?

twv

Is it true that girls tend to be attracted to the guys
that give them the least amount of attention?

…as answered on Quora….

No. But women (and girls) are often attracted to men (and boys) who show enough strength and confidence not to fall all over themselves in a mad rush to fawn over the objects of their affection and lust.

Women tend to admire strength, confidence. Men who attend to women too earnestly often turn women off.

There is an antimony here. It may seem schizoid. But we humans have more than one need we aim to fill when we seek to mate, and those distinct needs drive us to behaviors that can seem paradoxical. Some of our desires and standards are buried deep on one level, while others burst out, unmissable, into the open. Though it is dangerous to cite studies that only back up one’s favored point of view, I merely note here that some studies have shown that women tend to prefer different types of men at different times in their hormonal cycles. It might be helpful to learn this lore, which is developing in evolutionary psychology. (I’d avoid “women’s studies” because these “disciplines” — wholly the creatures of feminism and state subsidy — appear relentlessly ideological and unscientific.)

And men, too, have seemingly contradictory and transitory impulses. The lore on this is commonplace. Men are said to “only want sex” (sexual gratification) and yet they move heaven and earth to please women and take care of children.

How the welfare state, feminism and sexual (“gender”) egalitarianism have affected the playing out in individual men and in society of these two quite distinct urges is the subject of ongoing ideological conflict. The current trend of outing creepy, rapey men in politics and in the performing arts (but I repeat myself) for their abusive behaviors is not unrelated.

“The least amount of attention” in the question references, I gather, the “cool stance,” a sexual strategy very common in developed capitalist society. This stance is liken unto “peacock feathers” and other extravagant plumage among birds, and massive antlers in ungulates — aesthetic excesses that subtly signal strength. The idea being that “I am so strong I can afford to ‘waste’ resources on ‘useless’ beauty.” Women are programmed to admire strength. The species would not have survived had they not found mates strong enough to protect them and their babies. The cool stance, as well as drug use (tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, heroin — the more dangerous the stronger the signal) attracts those attracted to power, seeking natural signs of power.

But coolness is just one strategy that can signal male power. Another is behaving like a criminal, like “an asshole.” You know, as in “bad boys.” It is a staple of narrative fiction and feminist dispute to note just how common this is. More obvious signals of male power are wealth (“like my shiny new car?”), athletic prowess, and uniformed military and police service.

Intelligence, of all things, has even been known to serve to attract women. Whodathunk?

So, there are a variety of strategies available, for both men and women, to attract mates.

There is no one dimension, and certainly no single strategy, upon which sexual selection and the mating market play.


See, among many possible references, The Origins of Cool in Postwar America (2017), by Joel Dinerstein (I purchased a copy but have not found time to read it yet; it looks great), and The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature (2001), by Geoffrey Miller.

The kick-ass female action “hero” was a novelty with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But after the millionth iteration, it is wearing thin, to say the least.

To say the most? It is a form of misogyny.

How so? It imputes to women the natural and traditional propensities and roles that men admire in men and aspire towards — and that women have desired in men and want men to be. So women are now routinely being judged by a standard that was naturally-cum-fancifully apt almost only for men. This functions as a performative repudiation of femininity, and a triumph of masculinity. It is a strange twist on “trans.” And for men to admire women chiefly for filling masculine roles strikes me as preciously close to the liking of women for being like men.

So, what men and women who assert the value of “female action heroes” (NOT heroines) are really doing is saying “no one really likes women”; that the feminine is disgusting or pitiable and that women, to be admired, should “be more like men” or, better yet, aspire to be “better than men” as understood by unrealistic standards once held by men for themselves.

Like so much of modern politics, and of course feminism, this strikes me as creepily misogynistic.

I am reminded of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, where the citizenry is “decanted” not begotten naturally, and where “fatherhood” is a joke and “motherhood” a gross indecency. To the extent that the female superhero theme is not pornography (and that is the source of some of the attraction: watching lithe bodies contorting onscreen for our delectation) it’s a repudiation of the feminine telos.

Which strikes me as misogynistic.

Not hatefully misogynistic. It may not be borne of hate. It is borne of discomfort. Queasiness. Distaste. Discomfort with the natural, the animal reality of our species and our very mammalian success. Our civilization is imagining a new non-animalistic conception of life. It used to be the gods, now it is stefnal superheroes and the looming, all-too-real specter of cyborgian AI.

Decadence, for the most part. But hey: maybe the future is less Brave New World and more Day Million.* But I doubt it.

Of course, we have a choice of dystopias.

* “Day Million” is a terrific short story by Frederik Pohl, as well as a name of a short story collection.

Comparing the coronavirus daily mortality curves* of Sweden and these United States, which looks better, in its general shape? Sweden’s. It looks like the Nordic country has achieved her immunity — without lockdowns. If the country could have only better controlled its old-age home/nursing home crisis, the country’s curve would even look better.

Friends Olof and Rocco and Lee and I discussed some of the problems on a recent LocoFoco podcast:

Note that we ended on that key concept, herd immunity.

But what I really wonder about is this: the slope of the curve: we were told at the beginning that the reason for the “mitigation efforts” was to “flatten the curve,” to distribute the worst cases over a longer stretch of time; we were told that we could not really much change the bulk of cases within the curve, for if you flattened it too much, the curve would re-bulge worse next winter. Could the U.S. mitigation efforts have “flattened” the curve too well, now making it, well, concave, with the recent re-emergence of harsh cases?

There are many factors, though. For it looks like one problem with fatalities is that effective protocols for actually fighting ARDS — the worst extreme cases diagnosis of COVID-19 — have not been nationally implemented, because they would make Trump look good, one of the most effective treatments including HCQ, which the president had touted early.

Is it possible that Trump Derangement Syndrome is responsible for tens of thousands of needless deaths?


* Graphs from the European Union Times and worldometer.

You’re on, Costanza!

It seems like a nifty analogy to me. But the big differences between the two situations are several:

  1. if bombed, survival was, shall we say, not likely, but most people who catch the coronavirus weather through just fine;
  2. the more people who survive the virus, the less of an epidemic it is, since we reach the herd immunity threshold — but the more people bombed and survived had no similar salutary effect for the non-bombed;
  3. what if masks are more like venetian blinds at full open, and they would only diminish the risk by a little, thus giving people false confidence so they would be less likely to go into a shelter when the sirens skirl?
  4. while lights-out was good for manned bombing runs, it made no difference with V-2s — so what if SARS-CoV-2 is more like a V-2 than a bomber run?

There are probably many more, but I think this meets Mr. Alexander’s request for debate.

twv