am reading edith hall’s Introducing the Ancient Greeks. good stuff! (^_^) here’re some excerpts that i posted to twitter:
read all about phalaris, the most tyrannical of (sicilian) greek tyrants, here. *gulp*
(i know! i know! the greeks didn’t wear togas, it was the romans. i know!)
(note: comments do not require an email. oh noes!)
(…also, i think that’s some really bad french! (*^_^*) )
seriously, tho. this is not me returning to blogging. sorry! i think i need another week or so of r&r.
but, i have been binge watching a lot of netflix shows/youtube videos, and i thought i’d share one with you: a bbc horizon documentary from 2011 — Are We Still Evolving? — hosted by one dr. alice roberts.
for the first ten or fifteen minutes, you might feel like poking out your eyeballs, but the show does get better and quite adequately explains rapid evolution, recent human evolution, and even — *gasp* — human biodiversity, albeit only such “nonthreatening” aspects of hbd like lactase persistence and high-altitude adaptations. still, it’s pretty cool that the show goes there at all.
of course roberts gives behavioral genetics a wiiiiiide berth. in fact she doesn’t even mention biological/genetic explanations for behavioral traits at all — until near to the end when she talks to the very frank dr. jeffrey steinberg about genetic engineering and intelligence briefly comes up. oops!
pay close attention to what stephen stearns has to say at ca. 47:45:
“Well I think what is very probably going on is that selection is moving a population up and down all the time. It goes off in a certain direction for a while, and then it goes back in the other direction. It’s only if you get a significant change in the environment that it will then continuously go in a new direction.”
in other words, the average frequencies of genes in populations matter, and those frequencies can vary over time depending up the selection pressures.
k. that’s all i’ve got for you. back to my la-z-boy. enjoy! (^_^) :
(note: comments do not require an email. this is not the pipe you’re looking for.)
it’s never too early to get organized for christmas, right?! if you’re wondering what to get me this year, here’s my wishlist. well, it’s more like a wish-item, ’cause there’s only one thing on the list (h/t to kristen for pointing this out to me — thanks, kristen! (^_^) )…
raymond of penyafort‘s Quia Tractare Intendimus with TABLES OF CONSANGUINITY AND AFFINITY!! (^_^) an illuminated manuscript on vellum in latin created by raymond while he was scribing away in mid-13th century paris:
the manuscript will be up on the auction block at christie’s tomorrow (july 15th), and it’s estimated to go at between $46,500 and $77,500, so it’s a steal really! (>.<)
raymond sounds like he was my kinda guy, btw:
“Having reached his 60th year, Raymond retired to a reclusive life in Barcelona.
“Within the year, however, Raymond was appointed to the position of Archbishop of Tarragona, the capital of the Kingdom of Aragon, over his strenuous objections. He did not appreciate the honor bestowed on him and ended up getting sick and resigning within two years.
“Raymond returned to Barcelona in 1236. Not long able to remain in seclusion, however, he was elected the Master of the Order of Preachers by the General Chapter of 1238. He immediately set out on foot to visit all the houses of friars and nuns of the Order. Even in the midst of this, he was able to draft a new set of Constitutions of the Order, in which he included a resignation clause for the Master. When it was adopted by the next General Chapter of 1240, he immediately took advantage of that option.”
seriously. if you’ve got a spare 46-77K lying around and feel like purchasing raymond’s manuscript, please donate it to an appropriate library/archive!
even more seriously, if you’ve got any spare cash lying around at all (check under the sofa cushions!), give it to greg cochran. (^_^)
p.s. – i have to go off and do some hospitaly/medical testy things. back in a few days! (^_^) behave yourselves!
(note: comments do not require an email. scribble, scribble.)
i dunno about you, but i barely do. (*^_^*)
if you’re like me, and you want to understand statistics better, have a look at emil kirkegaard’s understanding statistics page!
it’s a work in progress, but what he’s got there so far is really cool!
email says he’s got one planned for regression to the mean. any suggestions for other concepts?
(p.s. – i am slowly working on my response to kevin macdonald. will try to get that up over the weekend, fingers crossed. buiyt nort whoile i’n tyyypoing. (~_^) )
(note: comments do not require an email. correlation≠causation)
it’s practically guaranteed now that whenever i blog about a population that i haven’t previously discussed — whether it’s to do with the “clannishness” idea or intelligence or some other aspect of human biodiversity — someone (purportedly) from that group will turn up and angrily complain that i’ve got it all wrong or that hbd is nonsense or whatever.
to date, i have felt the wrath of members of all sorts of groups: the scots, the irish, the scots-irish, the spanish, the italians, the greeks, the serbs (boy, was that guy ever mad!), eastern european ashkenazi jews. there was one pashtun guy that was really p*ssed off at me on account of what i’ve had to say about father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) marriage. and there was even one fellow supposedly from a subsaharan african country who was annoyed at me for insulting polygamy (which i hadn’t done).
(i say “purportedly” and “supposedly” because, of course, i can’t know for sure that any of you are who you say you are or that you’re really from where you say you’re from. ip addresses can be faked. you could all be [very sweet and lovable!] dogs for all i know! certainly some people out there are convinced that i am a b*tch. (~_^) )
on the other hand, plenty of other individuals from various populations that i’ve blogged about who have disagreed with me — about what i’ve written about their own populations — or found my posts lacking in some way, have simply come on the blog and calmly disagreed with my interpretations of the data and/or corrected points which they thought i had wrong. sometimes they were right — i was wrong! and i’m very grateful for their input! some poles and russians and finns come to mind, for example. i’ve even gotten a lot of positive feedback (via email) from a person who claims to be an arab from the middle east (i think that they really are).
this is how it should be. no one should get their panties in a bunch over human biodiversity, neither the facts of nor especially not speculations about hbd, which is what i mostly engage in around here. whether or not some individuals have a certain set of traits while others different sets, or whether or not one group is characterized by an average set of traits while others possess some other ones, is nothing to take personally. these things are just the result of evolution! and, frankly, imho, that’s just cool and nothing to get worked up about.
i do, however, confess that sometimes i let my own biases slip out. for various reasons, i happen to prefer anglo/anglo-american society (which is a product of the nature(s) of anglos/my “core europeans”, i think). that’s just how it is, even though i’m (probably) not anglo myself. (guess some of my people would say i’m suffering from stockholm syndrome. (~_^) )
despite what i’ve been telling my husband for the past twenty years, my opinion doesn’t count for diddly-squat. (please don’t tell him i admitted to that.) i am not the final arbiter on which society is the best or worst or whatever. in fact, it doesn’t matter at all what sort of society i or you or anybody else happens to like. all that matters is what works from an evolutionary point of view. so just ignore my own personal partialities. really.
the most important thing to remember is to not take (genuine) discussions about human biodiversity personally. to paraphrase the mobsters: it’s nothing personal, it’s just human biodiversity.
when i’m up to it, my very next post will be my response to kevin macdonald’s comments from january(!). and then, i swear to god, come h*ll or high water, i will start on that manorialism series!
(note: comments do not require an email. it’s not personal…)
first of all, let me apologize for the lack of posting over the last few weeks. annoyingly, i have been unwell since just before easter. the family curse has finally caught up with me! =/ (dr*t! i thought i was going to get through this life without experiencing it, but it was not to be.) you do *not* want to know any details, trust me. but suffice it to say that the d*mned condition often leaves me with only enough energy to lay on the sofa and press the retweet button on twitter or to binge watch stupid tv shows.**
the good news is: i’m all caught up on mad men! the bad news is: i’m all caught up on mad men! (>.<)
steve sailer had a run of posts recently on how one of matt weiner's major personal drives in creating mad men has been his grudge over what he perceived as discrimination against jews by wasps when he was growing up in los angeles in the 1970s and 1980s. (see here and here here, for examples.) here’s weiner himself:
“I’ve always said this is a show about becoming white. That’s the definition of success in America—becoming a WASP. A WASP male. The driving question for the series is, Who are we? When we talk about ‘we,’ who is that? In the pilot, Pete Campbell has this line, ‘Adding money and education doesn’t take the rude edge out of people.’ Sophisticated anti-Semitism. I overheard that line when I was a schoolteacher. The person, of course, didn’t know they were in the presence of a Jew. I was a ghost.”
i have to say that steve’s posts (and weiner’s own revelations) certainly make the show much more understandable. i honestly couldn’t make head nor tail of it before learning about weiner’s hang-ups (the clothes were fun to look at, though!).
one scene from the final season (in “Time & Life”, s07e11) really makes sense now! it’s not available on youtube, so i’ve transcribed the dialogue for you. in it, pete campbell — a wasp (at least his mother was) — and his ex-wife, trudy, meet with the principal of a school — the school in their area — when their application for their five year old daughter is rejected. i should say that, for the audience, this whole scene comes right out of the blue. we haven’t heard before that the campbells are having difficulties getting their daughter into the best of schools, and we don’t hear what they decide to do instead either when their application is once again firmly rejected, although their big ending [they move to another state] changes all the possibilities for them anyway. still, when i saw this episode, i thought it odd that this is really a stand alone scene that has no bearing on the rest of the storylines. it’s like a play within the play.
so, here it is. pete campbell and his ex-wife, trudy, go to the school to meet with principal macdonald. here’s what happens:
pete campbell: well, i assume you know why we’re here, mr. macdonald. we feel there’s been a mistake regarding our daughter, tammy. it’s a campbell family tradition to receive the inimitable education of greenwich country day.
mr. macdonald: but you didn’t go here.
pete: no. but a campbell has been in attendance since…it was a barn! (laughs. pete’s attempting to use his best accounts man/sales persona here.)
macd: i’m sorry, but our decision is final.
pete: now, trudy explained to me that you said it’s a question of space, and i say tammy would make it worth your while. she wouldn’t feel extra at all.
macd: it’s not a question of space. your little girl scored very low on her draw-a-man test.
pete: well, that’s news to us. and i find it hard to believe.
macd: your ex-wife and i discussed this. children had to draw a man, and their development is assessed based on the volume of details: eyes, nose, ears, ten fingers, ten toes, etc. your daughter had only a head, moustache, and necktie.
pete: moustache? (looking suspiciously at his ex-wife. pete doesn’t have a moustache.)
trudy campbell: she didn’t understand what you wanted, and i’ve been told anything beyond a stick figure is considered advanced for her age.
pete: albert einstein didn’t speak until he was four years old.
macd: this is not about your little girl.
(pete and trudy looked puzzled.)
mcd: the real problem is that your former wife failed to submit applications to other schools. that was careless and arrogant.
pete: how dare you!
macd: i think we’ve said all there is to say. (getting up.)
pete: we’re not leaving until you apologize to trudy!
trudy: (to her ex-husband.) peter, it doesn’t matter.
macd: (shaking his head.) heh. einstein.
pete: would you like to step outside?!
macd: are you sure you wouldn’t rather get me while i’m sleeping like a real campbell?!
pete: are you kidding me?!
macd: no macdonald will ever mix with a campbell!
trudy: what are you talking about?!
pete: it’s some stupid story! it’s three hundred years old! he’s obviously nuts!
macd: (addressing trudy) you should know that his clan took advantage of the gift of hospitality and murdered my ancestors while they slept!
pete: the king ordered it!!
macd: (still addressing trudy) just be grateful you can remarry and get rid of that name.
trudy: (shocked, raising her hand to her mouth.) oh!
pete punches macdonald.
pete: come on, trudy. (escorts her out.)
macd: (rubbing his chin.) another sucker punch from the campbells! coward!!
so, here we have it, i think — matt weiner fiiiinally getting a chance to show wasps — and not just any wasp, but the very guy who made the snide comment about “the rude edge out of people” — how it feels when the shoe is on the other foot. pete campbell can’t get his daughter into an exclusive school simply because of who they are — campbells! so there!
the scene plays out as a comic one — principal macdonald comes off as a complete loon (once he reveals his true motive for rejecting tammy’s application) — but it’s a lesson for us all: there are crazy people out there in the world who hold grudges for a loooong time (like members of the macdonald clan…and some weiners?), and if they have any power, they will exclude people that they don’t like.
the most fun for me was just getting to see a heeland clan skirmish on tv. that’s always a good time! (~_^)
edit: see also “Mad Men” Trolls HBD Chick: Clan War in Connecticut from steve sailer. (^_^)
**never fear! i have every confidence that i’ll get this thing under control eventually (with diet, etc.) and will feel better once again! (^_^)
(note: comments do not require an email. the king ordered it!)