random notes: 11/09/12

about the semai, i forgot to mention that, apart from conflict, they also don’t like competition in activities like sports — from wikipedia (see also Cooperation and competition in peaceful societies):

“The games Semai children play are non-competitive…. A game of badminton for example uses no partition nets and keeps no score. The shuttlecock is deliberately hit so that it could be easily intercepted by the other player and passed back, and so forth.”
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more on the clannish albanians:

“An Insider’s View of EU Efforts in Kosovo”
“‘We Have Achieved Almost Nothing’

“Since 2008, the EU has had thousands of soldiers, judges and prosecutors in Kosovo to help it become a Western-style constitutional democracy. But a German police officer with years of experience there says it is still dominated by corruption, clan loyalties and drugs — with officials just waiting for the high-minded reformers to leave….

“[A] recent report by the European Court of Auditors finds that there have been hardly any successes. It concludes that levels of organized crime and corruption remain high, while the judiciary is inefficient and suffers from too much political influence. A German police officer familiar with conditions in Kosovo for many years confirms the report’s findings based on his own experiences in the country….

“It’s my impression that corruption is quite high among Kosovar police officers. I was told that, if you’re caught with a stolen car, all you have to do is pay the officer a bribe to take care of the problem.

The major criminals are already out of reach, protected by traditional clan structures and the old-boys’ networks within the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), from which many police officers were recruited….

Kosovo is a country in which centuries-old traditions live on, and blood feuds are part of the culture. We Central Europeans have not been able to convince the Kosovars of the benefits of adopting a new legal and value system like the one we have in the West. That’s because they see that the old structures remain powerful while government institutions are weak. I fear that the Kosovars will ride us out, just as the Taliban are waiting for Western troops to withdraw from Afghanistan….”
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the danes consider decriminalizing incest. danish geneticist points out that inbreeding can be a good or a bad thing:

“Aarhus siblings’ love child sets off incest debate”

“The recent case of a brother and sister in the city of Aarhus who said that they are in love and have a five-month-old child together has raised a national debate about sibling sex. The couple, who share the same father but have different mothers, face jail time for violating Denmark’s current statute prohibiting incest and inbreeding….

“The possibility of passing on genetic defects and damaging the social order have been the main reasons cited for making it illegal for siblings to have sex and produce offspring. But Niels Tommerup, a professor of genetics at the University of Copenhagen, said that mutations resulting from inbreeding can be both positive and negative.

“‘Our focus is always on the negative consequences like diseases and malformations,’ he told Information newspaper. ‘But positive mutations help develop the species.’

Tommerup said that mutations like those that occur due to inbreeding can be ‘biologically positive’.

“‘It is hard to imagine that there would be the formation of new species without some form of inbreeding,’ he said.

“Tommerup would not go as far as changing the law prohibiting sex between brother and sister, however. He recommended that family sex get no closer than cousins.

“He said that the famous Danish blue eyes are a mutation that could only have occurred via inbreeding sometime in history.

‘If inbreeding is banned, the possibility of promoting new, positive variants could be lost,’ he said.

“Vagn Greve, a law professor at Copenhagen Business School, would like to see even more taboos removed. Greve said there is ‘no logical reason’ that sex between parents and their children should be against the law.

“‘In my view, we should decriminalise sex between father and daughter as long as they are both adult and the relationship is voluntary,’ Greve told metroXpress newspaper. ‘There is no reason to treat the biological family different from the social family, but the age limit should be 18 or 20-years-old.’

Greve said that sex among immediate family members has been legal in countries like Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and France for 200 years, and that there is no evidence that it has damaged either families or society….

hmmmm….
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(note: comments do not require an email. yay, denmark!)

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8 Comments

  1. the danes consider decriminalizing incest. danish geneticist points out that…

    Dear Lord these people really DO hate their own civilization.

    Reply

  2. Knowing history, we often focus on the “centuries-old” aspect of the insane part of the world stretching from, oh, pretty much Italy along the 40th parallel to the Pacific, thinking if these tribes could just “get over” what happened in 1389, all would be well. But history is often vague and mostly legend to such folks. What matters is that these tribal divisions work for them right now. So they persist.

    Reply

  3. @dearime – “Kosovo: the NATO attack on Serbia was bloody foolish.”

    sure doesn’t seem to have made much sense in hindsight, does it? (prolly not beforehand, either, but i have to admit that i wasn’t paying too much attention at the time….)

    Reply

  4. @avi – “What matters is that these tribal divisions work for them right now. So they persist.”

    yes, but i think there’s also something biological here which really makes the clannishness/tribalism persist. it’s hard to shake genes that have prolly been selected for over the centuries/millennia.

    @avi – “…the insane part of the world stretching from, oh, pretty much Italy along the 40th parallel to the Pacific….”

    heh. (^_^) problem is, the regions of tribalism on either side of that parallel stretch pretty far and wide: all the way to the southern tip of africa, down to australia (aborigines), north to mongolia — and in the new world, from baffin island to tierra del fuego.

    MOST peoples are clannish/tribal to some extent or another. and then there are the odd exceptions to the rule like the semai or the dutch/english who need explaining.

    Reply

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