Category Archives: Social Commentary

No Surprise To Me

Women are more attracted to men who are already taken. This matches up with my own experience that wearing a ring can be a chick magnet. It’s unfair, too, because it creates something like a barrier to entry. Errrr….so to speak.

There’s also this other shocking news:

Other researchers say the study provides interesting insights into mate poaching. “It tells us something about the role of social desirability in mate preference,” says Fhionna Moore of the University of Abertay Dundee, UK, whose own research has shown that richer women are more choosy about mates.

Richer women are more choosy about mates? Who would have guessed?

How do I get money for these kinds of studies? I think I’d like to do a study on whether or not men date women to have sex. Maybe there’s something in the stimulus bill.

[Update a few minutes later]

I would note that this is due to a similar psychology among employers — it’s easier to find a job, and you’re more attractive to them, if you already have one. It gets tougher to get one when you’ve been laid off.

Every Man

“…would give up his brain for a decent size.”

That was the subject of one of the myriad spam emails I get encouraging me to enhance…something or other. I have to believe that women get them, too.

Anyone who responds to such idiocy had no brain to give up in the first place. It’s as stupid as the ones that tell me that no one can resist buying a new watch. Watch me.

The Holy War On Religion

…by some scientists.

Even though I generally agree with them, I am as put off by atheistic evangelizing as I am by any other kind. This is not a productive strategy to promote either science, or secularism. And I’m interested to read Chris Mooney’s latest book. I enjoyed Storm World, and it looks like his views have evolved somewhat from this book, which I found overly polemical.

Some Thoughts On Comparing The President To Hitler

They seem to have won back their democracy, no thanks to the White House.

As a test of the state of “Bush the Nazi” rhetoric, I went to Google and typed in “Bush is a Nazi” and got 420,000 hits, well behind “Hitler was a Nazi” (654,000 hits), but then Hitler WAS a Nazi and had a 75-year head start. (Computer searches like this are very crude instruments. They sweep up many references that cannot fairly be listed as slurs. But they do offer a rough idea of the amount of name-calling.)

President Clinton did fairly well in the Nazi sweepstakes (158,000 hits, but that’s only 20,000 references for each presidential year, compared to 120,000 annually for the 3 1/2 year-incumbency of George Bush.) The odd thing is that I typed in the names of every Nazi I ever heard of, excluding only Hitler himself, and the group total was still less than George Bush gets alone. This might indicate that either that George Bush is by far the second most important Nazi of all time, or that the Democrats and the left now require some sedation.

But that was then, this is now…

And remember, that was five years ago. I’ll bet that a similar search now would provide much larger results.

Yes, And No

Some people in comments there think that Keith Cowing is making too big a deal of NASA’s inability to keep up with who does and doesn’t work for it, and even who still remains on the preferred side of the dirt.

I agree that, in itself, it is a pretty trivial issue, in the context of the much bigger problems at the agency, and it’s certainly one that most people don’t do well with, or many bureaucracies. But I’ll bet that there are some organizations that get this kind of thing right, because they have an organizational culture to get everything they do right. This isn’t, after all (to use the hackneyed and inaccurate expression) rocket science. If NASA can’t do something as basic as this, why should we trust it with billions of taxpayers’ dollars to build manned launch systems? Particularly when, even if they meet their own program goals, they will have such trivial capabilities (a few people to space a few times a year)? And if NASA can’t do something as basic as this, it might be for the same reasons that they have trouble developing new cost-effective launch systems.

Anyway, the evidence so far indicates that we shouldn’t trust them to do so.

I’m One, And Didn’t Know It

John Bossard coins a useful concept: Exvironmentalism:

…whereas Environmentalism is focused on conservation and improvement of the environment of the Earth, Exvironmentalism seeks to turn the focus outwards, so that the ideas of conservation, and improvements of terrestrial environments are part of much broader and more inclusive notions regarding life not just on Earth, but also of life in our solar system, and out into the Cosmos.

I think that there is another important distinction between Exvironmentalism and Environmentalism. I believe that Exvironmentalism should see human beings as part of the solution, as opposed to being part of the problem. Humans can and must play an important role in enabling the growth of living creatures, plant, animal, and other, in the otherwise sterile exvironments of the cosmos. As such, human life has intrinsic value and worth, like all living and sentient creatures, and therefore is also worthy of respect and should be valued.

Just the opposite of the misanthropic Deep Eeks. I like the logo, too.

The More Things Change

The more they remain the same:

…the masses are morons who respond only to simple messages repeated thousands of times (a perspective I discuss at length in my book).

Seventy-some years later, this belief is as popular with the powers that be as it was in 1933.

You know, like Hope! And Change! And we can spend our way out of bankruptcy. And that you’ll get to keep your private insurance.