Monday, February 27, 2006

Re: In Defense of Polygamy

Here is a post I made in a comment about In Defense of Polygamy. The comments (some of them) are as interesting as the entry; if you want to comment, you might comment there.

It is important to distinguish polygyny so far as (male) resources are concerned and polygyny so far as sex is concerned. A better approach than a society of polygamy or strict monogamy would be one of what one might call monogamous polygyny, i.e., one in which males are able to care for essentially just one mate, but are able to have sex with many females. I am inclined to think marriage for the male should be about promising caring, but not about promising sexual exclusivity. It doesn't really hurt women for a male to have (meaningful, procreative) sex with multiple (clean) females so long as he didn't take much effort getting them, and so it is rather selfish of wives or would-be wives to claim they much want such exclusivity (most of the women claiming to want such probably don't really in fact want that, they just find it convenient to pretend males desiring responsibility-free sex are immoral inasmuch as creating such a belief in a would-be mate makes it less likely he would merely screw her if that is the extent of his affection).

There seems confusion present as to the disadvantage of polygamy. The problem is not that polygamy, by encouraging bad males to spread their resources about broadly like Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters, does punish highly talented females. No, that would be a good thing, because the mates of bad males are likely bad. What encourages talent to evolve slowly in bad women is good; not everything that is immoral is reprehensible (worthy of punishment or severe stigma). No, the problem is that polygamy doesn't sufficiently allow good women to be unselfish. In a Western Society, a woman has a real opportunity to choose quality vs. quantity. Bad women, wanting quantity, are more-or-less completely demanding of marriage, because marriage is quite the benefit. A good woman, though naturally she would prefer marriage, is going to be much more willing to merely (in the clean sense) fuck, if she finds a man she really loves but can't have in marriage. The practice of common-law marriages rather make this difficult, but traditionally (especially in France, where only marriage was considered legal proof of affiliation) and even now to a certain extent, western society has given to females the right to have children by males without the males being required to be responsible or to be afraid of being responsible. If marriage gives just a fraction of a would-be husband's resources, as in polygamous societies, marriage just isn't sufficiently selfish for women. And strict monogamy undesirably forces good women to mate males that they don't find beautiful or sexually pleasant.

Men not spreading their resources about like Halloween candy makes female selfishness significantly easier for females, which by encouraging bad females to be selfish, hurts bad males by causing talented bad males to not be able to get the especially rewarding responsibility-free sex as easily as good talented males can. And as is good, bad males can still be selfish (to their likely bad present or future mates) in a polygynous monogamy, because they have the opportunity to fritter away their youth trying to seduce females into responsibility-free sex, and because they can spend their money to "buy" a wife as opposed to being a good uncle or to taking risks for the greater good.

One disadvantage of polygynous monogamy is that when a male loves two women almost equally who are both willing to get fucked by him, it seems kind of arbitrary (and introducing of an undesirable noise in how sexual selection operates) that he should have to give all his resources to just one if he loves them. A way around this that would work in many circumstances would be that if a male can fuck a close friend or relative of some other female whom he loves about the same or just a little more, then he should be able to spread his caring about more broadly. In such a case, where a friend or close relative of some other female is willing to give sex for totally free, it is not likely that the other female is selfish when it comes to demanding his resources, and so strict marriage in this case doesn't particularly encourage bad females to be selfish.

As for non-strict monogamy encouraging loss of diversity, that is true. That said, it is not decreased diversity that is particularly bad or dangerous, but a high rate of decrease. And it is important that natural selection be balanced with sexual selection. Income differences make for natural selection (at least to the extent the income differences are reasonable). In a strictly monogamous society, unselfishness in sexual selection, which is mostly what drives the evolution of unselfishness, depends on incomes differences. The only significant way to mate unselfishly in a strict monogamy is to mate worthy poor people; the unselfishness depends on income differences. In an asymmetric (i.e., women take care of all their children, men only take care of wife's children) polygynous monogamy, there is ample opportunity for unselfish love in mating even if the society has small income differences. Income differences are necessary just so stuff gets done and so females love useful traits rather than useless traits like who is the most addicting in his depravities or who can mix his drinks or push his drugs most seductively. Anyway, it is very difficult to justify strict monogamy in an ideal society if such a society would (as seems evident) have less income differences. Of course, to be single mothers, females need the opportunity to become economically self-sufficient, something modern western society has more than other societies, but not as much as it should.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Why Sasha Cohen fell.

Ice skating (like gymnastics) is such a pretty thing to watch. What exactly is the significance of female gracefulness? Gracefulness is significant, I have decided, because it encourages males to be more pure, i.e., more devoid of sordid thoughts. Females tend to be much better at this gracefulness than males are, probably because they have more to gain by being so. Mostly sordidness is a black-and-white phenomenon. Sodomy and sex are distinct phenomena, and either sodomy happens or it doesn't--there's no in between. But even in the purest cleanest males, there is likely to be at least a slight sordid sentiment that can be decreased by female gracefulness. In particular, it is known that the prostaglandin content of semen varies, which doubtless has effects on intraejaculate sperm selection when females are lustful enough to have encouraged the latter phenomenon.

Sasha Cohen's psychological shortcoming in so far as skating is concerned, I'd say, is that on some level she viewed her gracefulness as something to prevent sordid action, i.e., as an anti-sodomy defense. And anti-sodomy defenses either work perfectly or they fail completely, depending of course on whether sodomy happens or not. So once she began to sort of doubt whether she would be perfect, uh-oh, her artistic control gained a kind of insane fearful dreading aspect that led to her fall and to her not getting the gold :< What she needed to do to improve her chances of getting the gold medal was to think of gracefulness as a tool to improve the mental purity of a male or males that to her obviously never ever would have done sordid things to her. If she had just had some very clean male figure to hug before skating and could have imagined him appreciating her gracefulness for what it was, she would have done better, because gracefulness in so far as it influences the purity of male sentiment is not a black-and-white phenomena in its success, and so on some level she less would have viewed her skating success as black-and-white, which would have made her deal much better with the possibility of imperfections. Male thoughts can always be more pure or less so; there's no win or lose just there.

It is revealing to look at why the Japanese skater won. She was zen. The reason she was zen, I'm guessing, is that Japan is Zen, i.e., influenced heavily by Zen Buddhism. It's hard to get nervous when you have the Buddhist belief in the vanity of desire. But I didn't enjoy her skating as much as Sasha Cohen's skating, nor find it nearly so beautiful. No, part of Arakawa's coolness I suspect came from a kind of assumption in her that enthusiasm, striving, etc., have no place, whereas of course they do have a place in foiling depravity. Being graceful isn't like phenomena not tied up with affection. You can't really be truly graceful and artistic if you skate like you've managed (even if just temporarily) to convince yourself that depravity isn't a significant phenomenon. Gracefulness is mostly just a discouragement of depraved thoughts, and looking like you don't believe that depravity exists or that it is something to fear much isn't very discouraging of it, I daresay, notwithstanding that there was seemingly nothing the least bit unclean about Arakawa.

As for the Russian skater, Slutskaya, she seemed to have convinced herself that she was invincible. That seemed to have worked psychologically at first, but then in the artistry of it all, she rather was reminded that she like anybody is not actually perfect (when it comes to skating), which prevented her from believing in her invincibility, and so, like Cohen, her nerves I suspect got the better of her. Curiously, Cohen getting into the artristry of her routine in the long program seemed to get her back on track, perhaps making her forget her early mistakes, or maybe getting her into the state of mind that as I suggest she needed.

I liked Sasha Cohen's skating best and Meissner's a close second best, but of course the olympic medals can't just be given out subjectively by how pretty the skating is. Oh, and I'm not making those judgments because I'm pro American. E.g., Anna Pavlova (a Russian) was my favorite gymnast in the last summer games.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Folding a shirt

How to fold a shirt gives an efficient time-saving method of folding a shirt. Quite ingenious. But by accident and perhaps lack of skill at following directions, I believe I found a better more efficient way. Instead of grabbing the top of the shirt with the right hand, then crossing the arms and then uncrossing them, Why not grab the top of the shirt with the left hand, so your arms are crossed to begin with? Then it is just a matter of uncrossing your arms, (and then making the final fold in the opposite, just as easy way). This modified method strikes me as being simpler and is definitely easier to learn. I believe the only essential difference in results is that the collar ends up on the other side, so it will end up on your left if it started off on your right.