Libertarians, Anarchists, and Cavemen

25 09 2011

Over a year ago, I posted something about the conflict between my anarcho-capitalist political stance and my newer understanding of human behavior. This came about because market anarchism and other “idealistic” political theory tends to presume and depend on rational behavior among humans. The problem is, that much of our behavior is irrational. I began to realize this when I discovered game, the art/science of being attractive to women.

Game, as it is understood today, came about as a mechanism to get men, especially men of high intelligence (who arguably think too much), to stop projecting rational thinking onto women. Instead, we should behave in a way that takes advantage of their instinctual drives if we should hope to get what we want from them. This doesn’t just work for men on women they want to bang, but it’s definitely the scenario where it’s most pronounced.

I’ve also learned, and this is similar, that if you want to convince people to agree with you, rational argument is not normally the most effective means of accomplishing this goal. It is generally more effective to appeal to one’s emotions. If you can appeal to the more powerful emotions like fear, even better. Understanding this helps explain why democracy doesn’t work so well, why the people who manage to get elected to political offices tend to be awful human beings with no discernible conscience.

Rational arguments work on critical thinkers, typically people of well above average intelligence. The problem is that most people are not critical thinkers. The structure of anarcho-capitalist society is a hard sell, largely because of it’s necessary complexity. It could be argued that people in an anarcho-capitalist society don’t need to “believe in” anarcho-capitalism for things to run smoothly, but I’m not convinced. I’m not saying anarcho-capitalism is the necessary endpoint of critical political thinking, but that any sufficiently complex and sufficiently different social arrangement is too far-out for the typical idiot to understand or accept.

More recently, I’ve been heavily into the ideas of the paleo diet community, and when you think about the natural environment of our ancestors and how it differs from what we have, it’s easy to wonder if we might be seriously ill-equipped to deal with the society we’ve accidentally created. A very recent post by Andrew at Evolvify addresses this. There’s a lot I could say about his post, but right now I’m mostly just referencing his claims about hunter-gatherers. He’s got a lot of footnotes, is what I’m saying.

When we think about humans in paleolithic times or even modern hunter-gatherers, we see small groups of 20-100 people where everyone knows each other. Such small societies are inherently orderly because each person needs the rest of the group for their own survival and reproductive success. Hunting, gathering, and child care are performed communally. Violence within groups exists almost exclusively among males vying for the mates.

What we don’t see are property rights outside of a man’s hut, his tools, and maybe his wife. We don’t see individuals lost among thousands of fellow humans who neither know nor care about each other. Outsiders may be welcome among hunter-gatherers, but they will certainly have to demonstrate that they are trustworthy before they are trusted. In such a world, a man is never expected to interact peacefully with people he’s never met and has no reason to trust, as we are expected to when we go about our business.

The problem here is that this world is very different from what we have today and very different from any future world we can imagine that doesn’t involve massive depopulation, something I’m not a supporter of, to put it mildly. What we can do here is question the practicality and necessity of private property in land, I suppose. I’m not one to argue against the private ownership of land, but I’ve always felt the the arguments of georgists or geoists have some merit. If you fell off a cruise ship, landed on an island, and met a guy who claimed to own the entire island because he got there first, you might really have a problem with his further claim that you must either do as he demands or leave.

In the Evolvify post I linked to above, Andrew notes how common it is for paleo people to also be libertarians and how these ideas are at conflict. Libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism support the institutions of private property, and individual responsibility and autonomy. Communist anarchists favor limited private property rights and shared responsibilities, and this sounds a lot more like the environment to which we are best suited, as long as we’re talking about the social arrangement inside the monkeysphere™. If you’ve never heard the term, please follow the link to Cracked.com and learn. Basically, it’s the size of a group of people we can be part of and care for everyone else in the group, estimated to be about 150 for humans. Of course (as if this is common knowledge), communist anarchists typically support collective societies on a much larger scale, all the way up to the entire population of Earth.

It may well be a good idea be part of a monkeysphere™ of some sort, where wealth and and responsibilities may be shared to some extent. I think fraternal orders might be good for this, and I think those who embrace paleo-living concepts would likely benefit from building interdependent groups based on this one common interest. I also think that it’s impractical and unwise to totally abandon private property and individual autonomy for several reasons, including the fact that the cost of being shunned from a group just isn’t what it used to be and that we quite literally don’t need to depend on each other the way we once did. Also, I can’t ignore the reality that even if we build wonderful monkeyspheres™ for ourselves we will still need to deal peacefully with outsiders on a regular basis.

In conclusion, I don’t really know what to conclude. I still believe the state, especially the nation-state is an unnecessary evil, but maybe voluntary socialism on a small scale isn’t a terrible idea, and I should point out that we have that already in families. I’ve touched on a lot of stuff here, and I have a lot more to say in seven different directions. For inspiring me to think about this stuff, in addition to the game and paleo bloggers out there, I’d like to acknowledge Joe Rogan, for continually referencing our ape ancestry and our evolutionary limitations on his podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience, which is the most open-minded and informative podcast by a household name in all of the internet. I should also mention Richard Nikoley of freetheanimal.com, who twittered the Evolvify post to me and recently posted two related articles, If You Want Someone Dead Kill Them Yourself and Are You More Moral, More Benevolent and More Competent than Any Politician? Then Act Like It.





Merry Xmas.

24 12 2010

I’m an emotionless robot and I don’t like Christmas. I don’t hate it, but I don’t like all that much. I gave up Christmas shopping years ago, with the exception of my son, because the experience makes me feel like an idiot. I worked in retail one year over Christmas, and the experience was awful. On the 23rd, there were people still in line for the registers an hour after we “closed”, and they were not happy. The next week was awful. Almost nobody came to the store to trade their little green rectangles for goods, but hordes came to do the opposite. The store was empty and dreary for the entire month of January. It seems it would be better for all if would just buy things that we need when we need them, instead of buying things for other people that they wouldn’t bother to part with their own money for at a certain time of year. Gift-giving makes sense when you’re buying gifts for people who can’t afford them (little kids), but not so much for people who would already own whatever you might give them if they really wanted one.

So there’s that, and then there’s the fact that I haven’t spent Christmas with my extended family in five years, and I actually like these people. In movies and TV shows, I’ve been subjected to the idea that spending time with family is what makes the holidays stressful and unpleasant, but staying away does the trick for me.

Today, I’m not an emotionless robot. Today, I’m a sad robot:





More Exercise?

25 03 2010

Yesterday I saw this article in the Arizona Republic (from the LA Times)  saying that the Journal of the American Medical Association released a new recommendation for women to exercise for 60 minutes per day every day in order to avoid gaining unwanted weight. Yahoo has the same basic story (from Reuters). I find the Yahoo article particularly offensive because it’s titled, “For women, battle of the buldge just got tougher”, as if the recommendations have changed how diet and exercise effect women’s body fat; and they have a picture of an obese woman in a bathing suit, as if someone reading the article might not know what a fat person looks like.

Whenever you see an article about any kind of scientific research, it’s best to skip to the actual science. Or in this case, “science.” From the Republic:

The study was based on surveys of more than 34,000 U.S. women who were, on average, age 54 at the start of the study. They reported their physical activity and body weight, as well as health factors such as smoking and menopausal status, over 13 years. On average, the women gained 5.7 pounds during the study.

What? They were 54 years old on average? That means the average age at the end was 67 (depending on who died). I don’t understand how or why they would derive recommendations for all women based on survey data from post-menopausal women. Nor do I understand how an average weight gain of less than half a pound per year is at all significant.

From Yahoo:

Only 13 percent of women in the study maintained a healthy weight throughout the study — and those who got an hour of exercise a day on average or more were by far the most likely to be in that group.

Something’s not right here if they all averaged a 13-year weight gain of 5.7 pounds while only 13% maintained a healthy weight. At this point, I’m inclined to dig into the actual numbers, but I’m not about to pay $15 for the privilege. Without getting into it, I can’t really tell, but it smells like the data do not fit the conclusion. I think what’s going on here is that current government recommendations (150 minutes of moderate exercise per week) aren’t working and instead of questioning whether exercise causes weight loss or prevents weight gain, the experts will just conclude that it’s not enough. This study is being used because it weakly shows the desired conclusion.

I’ve been convinced that exercise is not a reliable means of weight loss (or weight gain prevention) ever since reading this article by Gary Taubes:

There was a time when virtually no one believed exercise would help a person lose weight. Until the sixties, clinicians who treated obese and overweight patients dismissed the notion as naïve. When Russell Wilder, an obesity and diabetes specialist at the Mayo Clinic, lectured on obesity in 1932, he said his fat patients tended to lose more weight with bed rest, “while unusually strenuous physical exercise slows the rate of loss.”

The problem, as he and his contemporaries saw it, is that light exercise burns an insignificant number of calories, amounts that are undone by comparatively effortless changes in diet. In 1942, Louis Newburgh of the University of Michigan calculated that a 250-pound man expends only three calories climbing a flight of stairs—the equivalent of depriving himself of a quarter-teaspoon of sugar or a hundredth of an ounce of butter. “He will have to climb twenty flights of stairs to rid himself of the energy contained in one slice of bread!” Newburgh observed. So why not skip the stairs, skip the bread, and call it a day?

More-strenuous exercise, these physicians further argued, doesn’t help matters—because it works up an appetite. “Vigorous muscle exercise usually results in immediate demand for a large meal,” noted Hugo Rony of Northwestern University in his 1940 textbook, Obesity and Leanness. “Consistently high or low energy expenditures result in consistently high or low levels of appetite. Thus men doing heavy physical work spontaneously eat more than men engaged in sedentary occupations. Statistics show that the average daily caloric intake of lumberjacks is more than 5,000 calories, while that of tailors is only about 2,500 calories. Persons who change their occupation from light to heavy work or vice versa soon develop corresponding changes in their appetite.” If a tailor becomes a lumberjack and, by doing so, takes to eating like one, why assume that the same won’t happen, albeit on a lesser scale, to an overweight tailor who decides to work out like a lumberjack for an hour a day?

Credit for why we came to believe otherwise goes to one man, Jean Mayer…

It’s always one man.





“I’d love to be 1000lb”

16 03 2010

I shall first quote myself where I was describing the type of fat people who disgust me:

I’m talking about the tubs of goo who ride the scooters at Walmart when they’re buying their cookies and ice cream, people who wear sweatpants because that’s all they have that fits.

From the Telegraph, we have Donna Simpson: woman who wants to be world’s fattest

Miss Simpson, 42, from New Jersey, USA, already holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s biggest mum. She was 520lbs when she had daughter Jacqueline, three, becoming the largest woman to give birth.

Now she weighs a mega 600lbs, or 43 stone, and hopes to break the 1,000lbs or half a ton mark.

Miss Simpson, who wears XXXXXXXL dresses, eats whole cakes and bags of donuts and tries to move as little as possible.

That seems a good recipe for her goal, but why have such a horrid goal?

She runs her own website where people pay to watch her eat, or see her wash her huge body.

Oh my. I would think that at 1000lbs, she would not be able to wash her body (let alone take care of her children). It is really something that in an age of endless free porn, people actually pay for stuff like this.

The cash helps fund the family’s $750 a week food shop, which Miss Simpson carries out in her mobility scooter.

Helps fund? Who foots the rest of the bill?

She met her partner Philippe, 49, seven years ago on a dating site for plus-size people.

Philippe, who weighs just 150lbs, is a self-confessed fat admirer, who will only look at a woman if she weighs over 28 stone.

Maybe this dweeb helps feed her. If my math is on, 28 stones is about 390lbs. In the post I linked to above, I noted how fat women are usually not happy to be someone’s fetish. They want to be loved in spite of their obesity, not because of it. The refreshing things about the woman in the story are that she isn’t in denial about her physique, and she is able to earn an income because of it. I could be wrong, but I would suspect that she understands and accepts that most men, most people, are disgusted by her appearance. She just doesn’t care and welcomes the attention she gets.

It might be a bit disturbing that’s she’s basically trying to kill herself, but that’s not unlike the self-destructive behavior you’ve probably witnessed in alcoholics and drug addicts.

Go here to read about the heaviest people ever.





Sexism

15 03 2010

Here’s something stupid. It’s called Do you write ‘Mr and Mrs’? Scientists claim it is a sexist throwback to the 16th century. Real scientists should be offended.

They said letters that begin ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ and references to ‘Mr and Mrs’ are both remnants of an old -fashioned world view that placed men before women.

Starting from there they did some research and found that people are more likely to name the male first when they mention male/female couples and apparently more likely to name the more masculine of the two when they speak  of same sex couples. Does any of this actually matter? Of course not.

Dr Hegarty said: ‘The results of our studies suggest that people tend to put men, or male qualities, before women. As this is a remnant of the sexist grammar of the 16th century, it would seem that psychologically we are still sexist in writing.’

I don’t see how saying one person’s name first implies at all that they are superior or more important.

Several years ago, I remember reading about how it became considered sexist, in Sweden I think, for men to pee standing up. From Yahoo Answers:

Urinals seem like a man’s way of saying “Haha! I can pee standing up, but you can’t!” Meanwhile, women are forced to sit on toilet seats that are often dirty. It’s completely disrespectful to women.

It’s also a way of requiring women to submit. Women must literally and figuratively lower themselves to urinate, while men are allowed to stand up and be above it all.

I think everyone agrees that we should strive for complete equality between men and women. If women are required to sit on toilet seats, shouldn’t men too? Should urinals be removed from public places?

This look like a joke, but the person may well be serious.

From 2007:

Young women in Sweden, Germany and Australia have a new cause: They want men to sit down while urinating. This demand comes partly from concerns about hygiene — avoiding the splash factor — but, as Jasper Gerard reports in the English magazine The Spectator, “more crucially because a man standing up to urinate is deemed to be triumphing in his masculinity, and by extension, degrading women.” One argument is that if women can’t do it, then men shouldn’t either. Another is that standing upright while relieving oneself is “a nasty macho gesture,” suggestive of male violence. A feminist group at Stockholm University is campaigning to ban all urinals from campus, and one Swedish elementary school has already removed them. In Australia, an Internet survey shows that 17 percent of those polled think men ought to sit, while 70 percent believe they should be allowed to stand. Some Swedish women are pressuring their men to take a stand, so to speak. Yola, a 25-year-old Swedish trainee psychiatrist, says she dumps boyfriends who insist on standing. “What else can I do?,” said her new boyfriend, Ingvar, who sits.

What else can you do, Yola? How about instead of wasting your time being pointless, you find something useful to do. Make me a fucking sandwich or something.





I got nothin

6 03 2010

I should have something later, though. For now, learn about vajazzling, or getting vajazzled. I will never again find Jennifer Love Hewitt attractive.





What Do You Do?

10 01 2010

I hate this question. I’m a machinist, and it seems that most people have little to no idea what that is. I tell them this, and if they think they have a clue what a machinist is they ask where I work. I say Tempe. Then, they want to know the name of the place where I work. It’s very small. Nobody’s ever heard of it, so if give the name, I have to repeat myself and insist that it’s okay if they don’t know what I’m talking about. If they don’t know what a machinist is, they want me to tell them.

I’m going to start telling people that I’m a bathroom attendant. Everyone knows what that is.