really great comments…

…from other people’s blogs.

these were so good — soo, so good — i just wanted to draw attention to them. this first one is from dennis mangan’s post “Social Engineering on an Unprecedented Scale.” it pretty much sums up in two paragraphs what i’ve been struggling to say in a multitude of blog posts. i feel i should just retire now. (~_^) seriously — this is great. from anonymous:

“[someone else said:] ‘Tribalism does scale.’

“It doesn’t and can’t. The more endogamous a population is the more altruistic they are to their *close* relatives and the less altruistic they are to everyone else. It’s zero-sum. If unity is entirely based on blood, like it is in the shittier parts of the world, then it doesn’t and can’t scale and you end up with a copy of the shittier parts of the world.

“If a population becomes exogamous enough to get past tribalism into *idealogical tribalism* i.e nationalism where it’s a mixture of blood and idealogy then that can scale. That’s what the european nations used to have and it proved to be the most efficient and productive form of organisation humans have come up with.

“Shame it’s being deliberately destroyed.”

exactly. thank you, anonymous!

the other comment is from our very own r.s. (hope you don’t mind me reproducing it here, r.s.) — and it completely knocked my socks off. i’m gonna meditate on this for half-an-hour every morning after coffee from now until christmas. no, really. i am! from steve sailer’s recent post, “West Hunter”:

“There is a fundamental shortage of energy and safety, in every species of organism, which is why there’s a reason for basically every one of their traits. The entire game of life is harvesting maximum net energy while minimizing risk of debility and death, whereas your vaunted molecules have nothing to do with life forms. If you make an energy profit while staying alive you spend it on mating effort and creation of offspring and in some species donation of energy to offspring. That’s it, that’s biology.”

h*ly f*cking sh*t, that was brilliant, r.s.

(note: comments do not require an email. happy sunday, everybody!)

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5 Comments

  1. Very nice comment from r.s.

    In the same vein, many people are interested in life extension via extreme caloric restriction. The great irony is that in such circumstance men stop making sperm and women stop ovulating, so they are to all intents and purposes dead. Unfortunately, not before they annoy us.

    Reply

  2. I guess there might be some who might lean more toward my worthy foe, at least in a sense, rather toward than what I said. Neutralism vs adaptationism, if I recall the former term right. I didn’t feel like getting into it – basically I was just kind of antsy late at night and felt like mouthing off.

    Stronger forms of (even relative) non-adaptationism is pretty darn implausible, but difficult to completely get rid of.

    Reply

  3. I bought a big postgrad ecology text once, and kind of veered off and fetched a 40 oz down the street after 19 pages… happens a lot. Bury me with the unread tomes when I buy the farm. What inspired me in that direction was Wrangham’s Demonic Males. If you delight in ecological theory, his(?) theory on ecological origin of bonobo vs chimp violence levels will hearken unto your mind ; it is really surprising, and astoundingly plausible for how roundabout it is – I’ll not spoil it for you in case you should like to read it. Some of it is a retread of Pinker vs Margaret Mead, yada yada, but only 40% or so.

    Another delicacy related to my comment is adaptive senescence, the idea that indefinite self-repair and survival is ‘probably possible’ for organisms in the abstract but is fitness-reducing compared to the clear senescence we actually see in almost all organisms or at least almost all higher ones. The core idea is that every individual must die at some time through ‘violence’ as it were – predation, parasitism, combat, falling from a tree – so you are actually fitter if you have neglected the repair of the soma to some extent by the time p(death)=0.30, and moreso by the time it equals 0.45… etc, because this neglect spares the energy you would otherwise spend. This theory is rather sublime but may have a few considerable problems.

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  4. @bob sykes – “The great irony is that in such circumstance men stop making sperm and women stop ovulating, so they are to all intents and purposes dead. Unfortunately, not before they annoy us.”

    heh. (^_^)

    (i’d make a joke about zombies here, but i hate that stupid zombie meme, so i’ll refrain.)

    Reply

  5. @r.s. – “Wrangham’s Demonic Males”

    it’s now on The List. thnx!

    @r.s. – “Another delicacy related to my comment is adaptive senescence, the idea that indefinite self-repair and survival is ‘probably possible’ for organisms in the abstract but is fitness-reducing compared to the clear senescence we actually see in almost all organisms or at least almost all higher ones. The core idea is that every individual must die at some time through ‘violence’ as it were – predation, parasitism, combat, falling from a tree – so you are actually fitter if you have neglected the repair of the soma to some extent by the time p(death)=0.30, and moreso by the time it equals 0.45… etc, because this neglect spares the energy you would otherwise spend.”

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. cool thinking.

    i need to read more — i don’t know what you call it — theoretical biology? — ’cause this sort of thinking really appeals to my little gray cells. as soon as i finish learning about all human societies everywhere and their mating patterns…. (~_^)

    Reply

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