Bedlam and the Bookies

bookies-scifi-spec-horror-thumb-375x81-396297bookieSo it’s official. As of Tuesday— and as most of you probably know already— Echopraxia won the CBC’s “Bookie Award” in the “Best SciFi, Speculative Fiction, or Fantasy” category, beating out Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven by (as of the close-to-midnight screen grab to the right) 300 votes. It was a much closer race than it should have been, and— judging by all the accolades heaped on the runner-up— it probably went to the wrong novel in terms of literary merit.

Of course, the CBC makes no claims of literary merit on this thing; they refer to the Bookies as a “People’s Choice” award, which is a different thing entirely. Even by that metric, though, I don’t see Echopraxia beating out an honest-to-God best-seller with over a thousand reader reviews on Amazon. What the Bookies really measure is total fan effort, with no attempt at per-capita parsing. A thousand votes represents the effort it took to click through an arcane menu one thousand times, and the algorithm makes no distinction between a thousand fans doing that once or one really dedicated fan (or author, for that matter) doing it a thousand times. A number of you voted more than once, which might give one ethical qualms if only the folks over at the CBC weren’t so obviously okay with that. I always said my fan base was small but fierce. Echopraxia‘s win is Exhibit A, delivered with my thanks. When the certificate arrives, I will stick it next to Caitlin’s.

But while we’re on the subject of Things With Questionable Credibility That Are Nonetheless Nice To Have, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a few glimpses of a birthday gift I recently received from someone who obviously appreciates my interest in the neurological sciences. I’m talking about Mental Medicine and Nursing by Robert Howland Chase A.M., M.D.: a century old,  yet so seminal a work that it’s still available as a Classic Reprint (which probably puts it ahead of any recent Bookie winner you could name in terms of street cred, although I suppose we’ll have to wait another hundred years to be sure). Chase was both a skilled wordsmith and an informative teacher, as you can tell from some of these diagnostic illustrations:

chase08 chase12 chase11
   chase04  chase07  chase09
  chase01 chase05 chase13

I had not realized, for example, that the difference between religious and erotic paranoia scaled to beard length.  It’s also interesting to note that alcoholics always keep one hand in their pockets, while victims of delirium can be diagnosed by being women. And the illustration of that poor soul in the throes of “maniacal excitement” is downright scary.

Not that Mental Medicine limits itself to diagnoses, mind you. It also describes some truly remarkable remedial techniques:

chase15

I’m especially impressed by the therapeutic applications of knitting.

Of course, all of this stuff was written before the Singularity, and all the advanced knowledge we have today.

Kinda makes you wonder how hard they’ll be laughing at us a hundred years from now.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Thursday February 26 2015at 11:02 am , filed under misc, writing news . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

58 Responses to “Bedlam and the Bookies”

  1. Congratulations on the awesome outpouring of effortful fans! Or something.

  2. Congrats on the CBC award, and I’m totally going to steal one of those illustrations for my next Facebook profile picture.

  3. Sample of things people will hopefully laugh at in > 100 years:
    1) That we still, in 2000, has to argue over gay’s equal rights.
    2) That we built an all-encompassing surveillance machine with the prime purpose to serve targeted adds.
    3) The crawling speed of adaptation of non-fossil energy production.

    If they don’t laugh at 1 and 2 the society has gone all totalitarian, religious or otherwise. If they don’t laugh at 3 it means we fucked things so badly that the mess isn’t very “funny” to deal with.

    Congratulations to the award, well deserved, whatever metric the poll was measuring you still won :).

  4. Peter Watts said, “Kinda makes you wonder how hard they’ll be laughing at us a hundred years from now.”

    As a former mental health nurse, and effectively a retired cognitive behavioural therapist I can only nod my head sagely while agreeing. What’s worse is that a large number of the professionals I know are blind to this, being unable to connect the dots. Not all, just a core who still think Freud is relevant, and those who think that because you can show that actors can mimic an effective therapist and demonstrate the ability to treat clients that this means the quality of the results are repeatable and or sustainable in the long run. And let’s not talk about the stagnation of progress that would result of these beliefs.

    Sorry to rant.

    PS: Congratulations on the result. I was checking everyday to see how you were doing.

  5. I only voted once, so my conscience is clear.

    Did they not even have a basic dupe IP check? you can install free wordpress plugins that at least do that

  6. Congratulations on the win!

    And I hasten to add some clarification to the old-timey diagnostic photos: first, that men were thought to be incapable of being hysterical as they don’t have wombs; and, the first sign that someone is a religious paranoid isn’t the beard length, but the fact that they have big heads. 😉

  7. A hundred years from now, science will have proven the therapeutic efficacy of knitting.

    Congratulations on the Bookie.

  8. @PW
    I think this just proves you have the most script-savvy fans. Which is understandable.

    ________________________________________________________________

    Markus:
    1) That we still, in 2000, has to argue over gay’s equal rights.

    It’s called a ‘culture war’ and you can’t expect people to roll over and give up. Certain LGBT activists seem rather keen on doing away with the institution of marriage and monogamy*. Even to the point of speaking about it in public.

    See here for example:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/us/29sfmetro.html?_r=0

    A choice quote:

    As the trial phase of the constitutional battle to overturn the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage concludes in federal court, gay nuptials are portrayed by opponents as an effort to rewrite the traditional rules of matrimony. Quietly, outside of the news media and courtroom spotlight, many gay couples are doing just that, according to groundbreaking new research.

    The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.

    “The traditional American marriage is in crisis, and we need insight,” he said, citing the fresh perspective gay couples bring to matrimony. “If innovation in marriage is going to occur, it will be spearheaded by homosexual marriages.”

    Because gay men and women are interchangeable. And asking one’s wife if one can fuck around on the side is something that isn’t going to cause an epic amount of drama. Hey- I have a few married friends, I ought to ask them to give that a try.

    *subcultures that don’t believe in marriage and monogamy don’t seem to be doing too well. Case in point:: the progressive deterioration of the US black community, to the point that anthropologists had to re-write their observation that in every known human culture the male child has a father figure in his life.

  9. Nestor:
    I only voted once, so my conscience is clear.

    Did they not even have a basic dupe IP check? you can install free wordpress plugins that at least do that

    There’s TOR. A savvy scripter would use it to disguise the IP.
    Does the wordpress plugin check whether the connection is from a TOR node? I doubt that. The only web I know off that banned TOR was 4chan due to all the CP people would post through it, either as trolls or to trade.

  10. Nestor,

    Only once? I voted five times, and my conscience is perfectly clear.

  11. Always glad to do my part for the glory of His Squiddiness.

  12. Yay!!!
    Congratu-effin-lations!!!! 😀

    Very well deserved :-)

  13. Pete, your upper right screenshot graphic was not quite up to date.

    https://cknall.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/echobookies.jpg

    Echopraxia was one of only two books, I think, to break 3,000 and got the second most votes of any book. The other was in the short story collection category, Chez L’arabe at about 3,150 or 3,350 or so.

  14. Y.,

    The institution of marriage has had a pretty loose relationship with monogamy, especially for men, everywhere, like, since, forever. Please show comprehensive historical and worldwide stats to suggest otherwise. Back when I took anthropology, we were taught that marriage has always existed primarily as an economic agreement, with wildly varying arrangements, sometimes having little to do with the sexual relationships of the married partners.

    People love marriage, however. Any form that doesn’t actually harm the participants is okay by me. I’m sorry that the people in your sub-culture feel threatened that people in the main-stream culture wish to practice it in their own way.

    Your comments about African-Americans are, as usual, derogatory, not backed up by any credible research, inaccurate and…gross…I mean, how else can we interpret that your concern about children and parenting only extends to boys. What about the girl children?

    Below is an article about the myth of the absent US black father…there are many similar ones if you care to look. Yes, they have less marriage, by the numbers, keep in mind that until the American Civil War, most black people in the US were ENSLAVED, with no right to marry and very little control over their sexual relationships…many slave-owners actively prevented marriage and all slave-owners had the option to sell parents away from each other and from their children at any time. After the war, racism, the Jim Crow Laws and white terrorism kept many African-Americans from land-ownership and from participating in many parts of the economy, keeping them impoverished, for generations. American welfare policy often tied payments to single mothers, discouraging women from marrying and punishing men/the children if men lived with their partners and children. So…lots of reasons why there are fewer US black men married to the mothers of their children…sweet to see them working to parent in spite of the barriers created by government.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/01/16/3175831/myth-absent-black-father/

    If anyone needs supporting documents for my comments about slavery, Jim Crow, etc., I invite you all to visit Ta Nahisi Coates’ blog at The Atlantic…he covers all the history,chapter and verse.

  15. Congratulations Peter!

  16. Re: Peter Watts

    I’m reading Station Eleven right now.

    It’s not a bad book per se, but comparing it to Echopraxia is like comparing soft tomatoes to florentine flogging

    Station Eleven is very… meditative. A book for the slowest and laziest of mornings. I’m about 1/2 into this thing, and (SPOILER ALERT!)
    almost nothing happened so far, plotwise or character-wise.

    Also, it’s sci-fi in the most formal of sense – at least so far, the only “fi” part (no spoiler here, I suppose) is that there was a super-virus that killed almost everyone (and the “sci” part might reside in various survivalist minutae strewn throughout the book, but I’m not enough of a survivo-nut to properly assess their merits :) )
    By such a standard, The Tragedy of Hamlet is either sci-fi or fantasy, too ( see what I did there 😉 )

    So if we indeed choose to deem SE to be a kind of sci-fi (a rather dubious choice, IMHO), Echopraxia is more than capable of standing its ground in such a comparison (both on “genre” and “literary” scales)
    Which it did, in this particular poll.

    Re: Ashley R Pollard

    Like all unfalsifiable ideas, Freud’s are inherently attractive.
    It’s hard to let go of a toy like that.

    Re: Nestor

    Actually, they did have some scripting resistance. At least I’ve quickly ran into a silent failure mode when my votes were no longer counted (which was remedied by properly purging cache & cookies)
    Also, as far as I know the survey platform they use has an ability to institute IP bans, it’s just that currently getting a fistful of IPs is easy, and CBC probably thought it just ain’t worth the fuss

    Re: Y

    Oh, the term culture “war” is cute. It’s not war, you guys are just growing irrelevant…
    …and old.

    Science might eventually fix the latter, but it is likely to exacerbate the former.

    When a married man ended up de-facto owning a woman, marriage, well, made perfect sense.

    As soon as that was no longer the case (that is, as soon as capitalist society realized that more utility can be extracted from us if we’re employed as something other than kinda-sorta-chattel to some dude) “traditional family” became a solution in desperate search of a problem.
    That’s why marriage is now primarily a vehicle for managing and redistributing assets (a role that is explicitly tacked onto the “marriage” framework by the State, with explicit intent to “support” the “marriage institution”) and a trite (if pretty) symbol used to announce emotional attachment.

    It is unlikely to deteriorate much beyond that, and most certainly gay marriage is neither a sign of marriage deterioration nor likely to promote deterioration of this decrepit institution (unless you believe gay sex causes emission of currently undiscovered marriage-busting quantum particles 😉 )

    People interested in preservation of “tradeeshunal” monogamous family should welcome gay marriage – after all, it reaffirms their proclamations regarding importance of officially endorsed pair bonding.
    Gays, in fact, want to play your game, with you, by your rules – and there can’t be a bigger endorsement of your “traditional” “institutions”.
    What you fellas should fear is me 😀 😉

    Also, it seems to me you’re confusing gays and swingers (or perhaps you’re confusing gays and “open relationships” which aren’t exactly the same as “swingers”). In case you didn’t know, there are numerous heterosexual marriages where pair swapping, extramarital “expeditions” and 3+ sexual acts are either silently endorsed or explicitly and completely openly negotiated.
    Those relationships, however, have little to do with gay marriages (you know, being a very ‘het kind of fun) and are unlikely to be affected by whether homosexuals will be able to officially register a closed-pair relationship.

    P.S.:

    On black community, I think there was a fine image online with regards to this whole affair.
    Ah here it is

    By the way, father figure does not necessarily equal a biological father or even a family member (see M. E. Lamb ed., The Role of the Father in Child Development :) )

    P.P.S.:
    Y., dude, do look into swingin’, or, better yet, playing with “open” couples
    “Open” married couples are often rather fun, and in my experience are quite ready to give an occasional “third player” a try (though your mileage will vary, I suspect 😉 )

  17. Yukon Val: The institution of marriage has had a pretty loose relationship with monogamy, especially for men, everywhere, like, since, forever. Please show comprehensive historical and worldwide stats to suggest otherwise.

    Never said that wasn’t the case. Especially where men in positions of power are concerned. However, the social environment during those times was such that divorce was actively discouraged and extremely hard to obtain, except perhaps for the very rich or powerful.

    Contrast that with present day where there is a good number of people with a vested financial interest in people getting divorced. (at least in some countries, like the US)

    Your comments about African-Americans are, as usual, derogatory, not backed up by any credible research, inaccurate and…gross…I mean, how else can we interpret that your concern about children and parenting only extends to boys. What about the girl children?
    Yukon Val:

    Lady, look at it this way. That article you linked is BS. It is concerned with ‘fathers living with kids’. The nice ones. Not deadbeat dads.
    And it found out black men, if they are living with their partners and children apparently take good care of them. The group was self-selected – only those who volunteered to be interviewed.

    So it does not debunk the ‘myth of absent black fathers’ in the slightest.

    But right now apparently a third of US children lives without their father. The negative aspects of fatherlessnes are very well established. Meanwhile, only 30% of black children live with their married parents. 70% do not.

    Yukon Val: I mean, how else can we interpret that your concern about children and parenting only extends to boys. What about the girl children?

    I just quoted an observation by anthropologists. I’ve no idea how the majority of human cultures raise daughters, except that many of them consider them 2nd class (China, India, Islamic world) and possibly fathers are not involved in their rearing in such cultures.

    Also: note that women are by temperament different from men, and are no doubt easier for single mothers to manage than men.

    The rest of your comments are a bit of a red herring. That slavery was harsh and federal gov’t fucked up their ‘Great Society’ politics is obvious. However, ‘land ownership’ in 20th century is not the road to riches, unless you’re already very rich, and in case you don’t remember – black people migrated north in great numbers in search of less restrictive environment and work opportunities. Persecuted minorities, like Jews or Chinese, have done fine in other times and places. Chinese are still officially discriminated against in a number of countries (Malaysia, Indonesia), and in those places they do better than the majority population.

    I needn’t remind you that Patrick Moynihan argued in the sixties that the welfare policies that encouraged single motherhood would cause a catastrophe in the black community because it already had a deadbeat dad problem. He was roundly denigrated and called a racist, even though his report was almost dead on.

    However, Africans have been screwed by fate. Or rather, nature. There’s nothing that can be done about it at present day. Decades of psychometric research support it. Common sense supports that notion*.
    Even Norwegians admit it. (that’s a good documentary there)

  18. 03: Also, it seems to me you’re confusing gays and swingers (or perhaps you’re confusing gays and “open relationships” which aren’t exactly the same as “swingers”). In case you didn’t know, there are numerous heterosexual marriages where pair swapping, extramarital “expeditions” and 3+ sexual acts are either silently endorsed or explicitly and completely openly negotiated.
    Those relationships, however, have little to do with gay marriages (you know, being a very ‘het kind of fun) and are unlikely to be affected by whether homosexuals will be able to officially register a closed-pair relationship.

    I’m disappointed in you. Swingers are freaks(rarity-wise) as much as gays. A low single-digit % demographic.

    ‘Numerous’ my ass.

    03: Oh, the term culture “war” is cute. It’s not war, you guys are just growing irrelevant…
    …and old.

    Funny.

    On the other side of the front-line, there is a quiet satisfaction from observing that statistically speaking, the ‘traditional’ people keep having more children, while the fun and games and primacy of the individual demographic is not having many.

    If you think black hat Jews are going to be irrelevant, think again. A bunch of fast-breeding ornery, argumentative assholes. Meanwhile the ‘liberal’ Jews are pretty much dying out.

    Same for white liberals vs conservatives in the US. The latter have 40% more children.

  19. @Y: Also: note that women are by temperament different from men, and are no doubt easier for single mothers to manage than men.

    I was tempted to respond “clearly you are out of your mind” but I think it’s better to suggest that perhaps you were raised by males and had no female siblings. Either way, you are just wrong about girls being easier for single moms to manage. For the first part, before puberty, boys and girls are pretty much the same in a a lot of ways other than the fact the boys are largely clue-free about anything to do with “relationships” as seen in the world of the post-pubescent and that even in the Technical World a great deal of learning by girls has to do with socialization especially as relates to “relationship management”. At least in my experience, neither mother nor girl is likely to have much difficulty managing any male except in the case of the girl being a girl and the male being an adult man, or alternatively in the case of the man being effectively (culturally) or actually (pathologically) insane. Even in the case where you might have an adult man and a wee girl, if there’s any actual instinct left in humans, men protecting little girls is near the top of that list. Most little girls know this.

    Female-to-female interactions, on the other hand, though often too subtle for many men to notice, can be pretty um active, strong and long-lasting. There are reasons why a lot of cultures have this bit about the mother slapping the daughter when the daughter has her first menses. If you think that teen boys can be headstrong, you haven’t been paying attention the often-subtle but no less aggressive challenges of daughters to mother-figures. Some cultures/subcultures/familial-culture have it that the women don’t let the men see their internal conflicts and power struggles, but I don’t come from such culture and all I can say is that when the males have a conflict it might be quick, violent, and all about force, but usually it’s pretty much settled once it’s settled. But if you want hell to keep revisiting you until the end of time, just piss off a female of any age. Now imagine that two women are playing that game with each other and that it never ends… and that while the men may not be noticing, every other woman does. And that is what keeps the daughters of single moms in line, to the degree that anything does, in my experience and to my understanding, YMMV and sorry ladies. My experience with a very large community now majority single-mom in the second generation has shown me that the male kids generally aren’t too difficult for them to handle; all they have to do is to succeed at the very-non-simple task of trying to get their sons into association with peer male culture that’s positive and trying for responsibility, rather than trying to control them themselves. But for daughters, my observation is that while teen boy-men are pretty much turned out on the world, the daughters are kept as close as possible even if that creates endless power struggles and/or at best an uneasy peace perhaps best described as “detente”.

    @Yukon Val: Also I have to add that in the States, the Welfare Establishment system required that no male be in residence and in the cases of known (admitted or otherwise proven) paternity, that they be entirely out of the picture. Single-motherhood de facto and de jure thus were a prerequisite to the dole and thus to survival. So the men themselves knew that if they were in the picture of their offspring and their “baby momma”, they were placing their children at greater risk than otherwise. The male children knew all of this and so you wouldn’t so much see the resentment you might see if some father had just abandoned his children, and especially in teen years you might be seeing more of the father in the life of their sons, trying to take on the essential job of turning boys into men and being effectively prohibited by law, economics, and history, from actually being present to set a good example (assuming for now that they were inherently capable of that, which I have seen many to be). Once a male child was 18, they would be considered the man of the house and Welfare could be cut or stopped, so very frequently one could see a son leave his mother’s house and go to live in his father’s world. As for the daughters? Sadly the Welfare Establishment system was set up so that it promoted the scenario of the daughters living the same life as their mothers. Under the new system, things are different, if not necessarily better in all ways.

  20. My bullsh*t meter just buzzed. Do not tell me that all those married gay men are copacetic with their husbands’ extracurriculars. I would be willing to bet that there are true monogamists in that group who are miserably pretending it’s okay because the cultural norm for their subgroup pressures them to okay it, even it offends every fiber of their being.

    Heaven forbid if it became the new hetero norm! Let a few percent about the edges swing or swap or polyamorize or whatever, but I’d hate to see monogamy get squeezed out as a lifestyle. When practiced in a reasonable fashion, it’s really adaptive and functional.

  21. Ashley R Pollard: Not all, just a core who still think Freud is relevant

    Oddly enough, probably the smartest therapist I ever knew described himself as an “evolutionary Freudian”. I think he meant it in the sense of understanding Freudian archetypes in more up-to-date biological terms, or something. His neurochemistry seemed pretty spot-on, anyway.

    He’s dead now. Pity.

    Nestor: Did they not even have a basic dupe IP check? you can install free wordpress plugins that at least do that

    I don’t think they even care; back when Caitlin was a nominee, for example, they actually encouraged people to vote “once a day”. I suspect they may have been trying to jack up their hit rate so they could “prove” to less web-savvy higher-ups that the whole “Canada Reads” thing was more popular than it really is. But then, that’s just me and the BUG speculating.

    DJM: Only once? I voted five times, and my conscience is perfectly clear.

    Obviously, you love me five times as much as Nestor.

  22. I’m terrible sorry for inadvertently derailing this thread, I had no idea I would prove the point so effectively.

  23. Christina Miller: I would be willing to bet that there are true monogamists in that group who are miserably pretending it’s okay because the cultural norm for their subgroup pressures them to okay it, even it offends every fiber of their being.

    That’s an easy bet to win. All you have to do is keep sampling the population until you encounter two true monogamists, call QED, and hold out your hand. But you’d be missing the larger point: last time I checked it had been firmly established that the gay (male) community is significantly more promiscuous than us straight folks. It’s no great surprise given the whole r vs. K-selection thing, but even if you reject the notion that our behavior is informed by the same factors that motivate mammals the world over, the stats are pretty incontrovertible.

  24. Was gonna stay out of it because don’t really have the time for another topic, but has it occurred to anyone that the lack of the ability to marry itself may be part of the reason? The culture itself has had to exist in the closet for a long time. There are no good role models apart from mimicking the hetero norm, which occasional icons like Quentin Crisp denounced.

    Once you’re already in the mode of barhopping for human contact, I imagine it’s easy to stay that course.

    What I found interesting was the open relationship part. With full knowledge. One quick search found a study of hetero marriage where well over half of those who had been cheated on had no idea it was happening until they did.

    Porn has also been described as an epidemic in more uptighty whitey circles. Instead of having a mistress, a significant portion of Christian males get what they call pprn addictions. So is it so much about some difference apart from social control constructs? Were it not for the fear of being discovered by their peers, would those men be any different?

    Finally, crossing the threads, I’ve seen hints that there is a service or provided locale for married rightwing religious polticians and such to safely, quietly go get laid while wifeys think that they are on religious sabbatical with one another. This may also lead to blackmail. An interesting theory on social control higher up the food chain and not actually without precedent as ridiculously clichéd as video of sex acts as trap is.

  25. Markus:
    I’m terrible sorry for inadvertently derailing this thread, I had no idea I would prove the point so effectively.

    Sigh. Yeah, I was gearing up to say something about that.

    You’d think that if there was a blog item that could be posted without pushing any hot buttons, Whee I won a statistically-meaningless award! would at least be a finalist. Not here, though. Not on the ‘crawl. Somehow the whole culture-war/race-politics thing keeps raising its ugly head.

    Why, Y? Why?

    You all know that I don’t like to “moderate”. I occasionally say things here that some might regard as provocative— even offensive— and it doesn’t seem fair to arrogate that right unto myself while denying it to any who might weigh in afterward. So, while I do insist we be civil to each other (you’re welcome to throw epithets at Sarah Palin and Stephen Harper, just not at each other), I’m averse to censoring cogently-presented sentiments even if they happen to boil my own blood. I recognize that this has occasionally made the ‘crawl an uncomfortable place to hang out. (Hell, I seem to recall Christina posting something on her own blog about how she was swearing off her “obsession” and henceforth avoiding the ‘crawl for that very reason, although she seems to have come back in the meantime.) Still, there you are: if I get to dish it out, I have to stand here and take it in turn. Which I guess means we all do.

    That said, I’m not especially offended by Y’s comments here. Y, I disagree with a fair bit of what you say, and I wish you’d stop referencing blanket statements with Wikipedia articles which actually provide far less empirical support for your position than you let on. That said, at least you do cite references, which puts you one up on certain visitors I could name— and empiricism means admitting that it’s possible to be wrong about anything. So I’ll grit my teeth and try to rationally assess even viewpoints that leave me deeply uncomfortable, because yeah. Bias. Political correctness. All that tribal shit that puts cataracts on your eyes.

    I’ve no doubt you’re a smart guy. I’ve also got no doubt that you enjoy pissing people off sometimes. It’s that part of the persona I’m hoping you could maybe dial back a bit.

    I’ve said this before; there’s a difference between making a point knowing that it could piss someone off vs. making a point designed to piss someone off. The first is honorable; the second is just being a dick. I grant a lot of leeway on those definitions (I would, for example, place my sentiments regarding the assassination of our beloved prime minister firmly in the former camp).

    So I guess this is sort of an appeal to keep things honorable, even when we’re being offensive.

    I mean, sheesh. It was a post about a goddamn Bookie

  26. Re: Y, on disappointment

    So, the only thing about me that upsets your conservative soul cognitive routines :) is open relationships?
    LOL
    That’s unexpected (not entirely, given the existence of Flagellant Monks, but still…)

    As to your weird assertion that swingers/open relationships are “freaks (rarity-wise)”, “rarity-wise freaks” is not a formal “term of art” in any scientific discipline, so it is not apparent what you mean to convey besides your general distaste towards people who don’t follow lifestyles which emerged in pre-industrial societies.

    If you mean to convey an opinion that being part of a demographic that constitutes double-digit percentile of a numeric population breakdown is somehow inherently pleasant, advantageous or “morally superior”, then I’m afraid you are at risk of descending into outright Marxism/Neomarxism, and as far as I can tell that’s a fate worse than death :)

    Anyway, just as a sidenote, the North American Swing Club Association estimates total number of swingers in USA at around 8 to 15 million.

    While less optimistic estimates place that number at between 3 and 7 millions, for reference, Greenpeace membership clocks in at under 250 000 (no zeroes were missed in action)

    Also, for reference, total USA Jewish population (including non-religious Jews and ethnic Jews who practice a religion other than a branch of Judaism) is at about 6 mill, give or take.

    Whether that makes “swingers” (who are distinct from simply “open relationship” types like myself) “numerous” or not, and what would be the consequences of such a determination for Y’s ass, is left as exercise to the reader :)

    Speaking of Jews, we’ve been over this many times, memes (I know, I know…) aren’t genes and common genetic heritage does not assure “cultural” compliance.

    As far as I am concerned, the only relevance black-hat Jews (lol) have, is providing the world with apostate jews, they end up being rather cool, more often than not :)

    Re: Christina Miller

    Don’t worry, the most prominent relationship/orientation type in the future will be dual-boot rooted robosexual 😉

  27. Off topic to this thread, but it’s citing a reference: House Bill Passed: Prohibits Scientific Advice to US Environmental Protection Agency.

  28. It was a much closer race than it should have been, and— judging by all the accolades heaped on the runner-up— it probably went to the wrong novel in terms of literary merit.

    Oh please, this is getting eerie :)
    Don’t you know that the more boring the book, the more “literary” awards it gathers? (having said that, I don’t know if SE is a boring book, I’ll wait for 03 to find out, she’s the masochist, after all :) )

    Man, you need more healthy self-aggrandizement and bombastic, industrial-grade self-esteem. You’re a writer, for crying out loud! Your books win awards too!

    And have good (if less numerous) reviews!

    Markus: I’m terrible sorry for inadvertently derailing this thread, I had no idea I would prove the point so effectively.

    Come on.
    You brought up gay rights.
    On the internet.
    The only one more divisive issue used to be net neutrality in USA (but it’s settled for good now, it seems)

    Nestor: Did they not even have a basic dupe IP check?

    Pssst!

    they did, it just triggered upon reaching a particularly obnoxious number of same-IP votes.

    Not like there aren’t ways to get squeaky-clean eye peas out there.

    03: Anyway, just as a sidenote, the North American Swing Club Association estimates total number of swingers in USA at around 8 to 15 million.

    While less optimistic estimates place that number at between 3 and 7 millions, for reference, Greenpeace membership clocks in at under 250 000 (no zeroes were missed in action)

    The Kinsey Institute places the number at above 4 million, and that’s quite an authoritative source

    Christina Miller: Heaven forbid if it became the new hetero norm! Let a few percent about the edges swing or swap or polyamorize or whatever, but I’d hate to see monogamy get squeezed out as a lifestyle. When practiced in a reasonable fashion, it’s really adaptive and functional.

    Available evidence suggests that swinging/ORing is more functional.
    While there aren’t yet truly solid studies with good external validity, existing material (see for instance, Curtis Bergstrand, Jennifer Blevins Williams, “Today’s Alternative Marriage Styles: The Case of Swingers”) suggests that swingers are more satisfied with their relationships than the “average person”.

    Classical marriage might not be the worst possible construct to be used for managing human sexual relationships, but it’s somewhat silly to assume that it’s the best possible construct.

    03: As far as I am concerned, the only relevance black-hat Jews (lol) have, is providing the world with apostate jews, they end up being rather cool, more often than not

    That’s a good one.
    I’ll use it :)

  29. 03: Whether that makes “swingers” (who are distinct from simply “open relationship” types like myself) “numerous” or not, and what would be the consequences of such a determination for Y’s ass, is left as exercise to the reader

    You should invite Y. to a strapon party 😀

    *obscene snicker*

    you know, FOR SCIENCE!

    *obscene snicker*

  30. Peter, congrats with the victory!

    > how hard they’ll be laughing at us a hundred years from now.

    You are being optimistic today? :) Given the trends of the last couple of years, I can’t shake the feeling that in a century there won’t be anyone capable of laughing, or other types of higher nervous activity for that matter.

    Mr Non-Entity,
    A comment under that article says:
    «The full text included in the bill reads, “Board members may not participate in advisory activities that directly or indirectly involve review or evaluation of their own work, unless fully disclosed to the public and the work has been externally peer-reviewed.”»
    I couldn’t bestir myself to fact-check it (for which I apologize and plead sleepiness, it’s 2AM at my place now), but this latter phrasing doesn’t look as frightening as the one in the article itself.

  31. Re: 01 on the party

    Wouldn’t that be a bit of a… dick move ? :)

  32. In SciFi news, Leonard Nimoy, RIP.

  33. That’s just heartbreaking

  34. As I understand it, some of those who knit actually do find it therapeutic.

  35. The HELL happened on this thread?

    My self-identifying, IQ-challenged-ass self wishes to thank some of the commenters above and our gracious (and probably slightly beleaguered) host for reminding people that, besides IQ, and even besides raw statistics, there is also such a thing as emotional intelligence. Something lacking in the rhetoric sometimes, what with so many people trying to show off their smarts.

    Africans and their descendants in the diaspora are not here for your dum-ass point-scoring games with demographics that you conveniently don’t belong to. Do science, not schadenfreude disguised as snark.

  36. Come on.
    You brought up gay rights.
    On the internet.
    The only one more divisive issue used to be net neutrality in USA (but it’s settled for good now, it seems)

    I really thought that was more-or-less agreed upon issue in non-religious somewhat intellectual circles. this is not a youtube video comments thread after all. I even changed “lgbtq” to “gay” to keep it non-contentious. It’s clear I was seriously mistaken. It seems like, again, that I haven’t been paying attention.

  37. Leona: The HELL happened on this thread?

    Why, conservatives who draw dubious conclusions from fragile statistics, that’s what happened.

    Also, proliferationism.

    Amusingly enough, free-market socioconservatives are the ones who are most likely to suffer from a long-term proliferationist inclination, since, you know, LST/automation is rapidly reducing human capability to semi-independently aquire wealth while strongly held free-market beliefs would make it hard for FMSCs to secure some kind of well-being through wellfare or regulatory intervention (mind you, Luddite regulatory initiatives would, of course, be strategically pointless if deployed against expansion of automation, but might at least buy the FMSCs a few decades before robots from a less anti-automation jurisdiction come for their breakfast).

    I guess that’s what happens when you apply Bronze-age reasoning to modern era environments.

    Leona: Africans and their descendants in the diaspora are not here for your dum-ass point-scoring games with demographics that you conveniently don’t belong to. Do science, not schadenfreude disguised as snark.

    I don’t think it’s schadenfreude, Y just happens to dislike black people a lot, claims of “genetically” lower intelligence or higher criminality or what have you are just circumstantial to this fundamental dislike

    I mean, even if we assume that there are “high criminality allele combinations” and that, through some shitty twist of nature, they are disproportionately represented in “black” population the rational solution would be to identify offending genes and formulate a treatment (we are pretty much at that stage of development where genetic treatments are within our reach), not to discriminate against black.

    Yet an effort to identify specific genes is clearly missing from your average “genetically determined racial behavior” proponent’s agenda.
    Thus, in my humble opinion, the gentleman doth protest too much, and is just looking for a sciency-sounding reason to hate on “blacks” (because hating on them for reasons of skyfairy mandate is no longer a feasible option)

    Markus: I really thought that was more-or-less agreed upon issue in non-religious somewhat intellectual circles. this is not a youtube video comments thread after all.

    I think you aren’t giving Y. due credit where credit is clearly due.
    He is way more eloquent and organized than a typical youtoob denizen.

  38. Markus,

    It’s Y modus operandi. If you skip Y’s posts you won’t miss much. 01 and 03 replies’s are interesting and fun, but you don’t need Y around to enjoy their comments.

    Y is like that earlier guy, lanius(?) but maybe better at not crossing boundaries enough to get banned.

    Y and that other guy take on unpopular viewpoints in the forum of choice and use negging or misinformation or whatever it takes to get people to reply and continue a conversation.

    Stick around, there will be more engaging conversations and more posts to enjoy.

  39. I rate Station Eleven and Echopraxia both highly. I wished so hard to be able to see that graphic novel. It’s science fiction in the way that Ray Bradbury is.

  40. Sheila: Y and that other guy take on unpopular viewpoints in the forum of choice and use negging or misinformation or whatever it takes to get people to reply and continue a conversation.

    The word you’re looking for is “troll”…

    Also, “negging” as in “that silly, poorly substantiated tactic a bunch of sexually frustrated un-gentlemanly types use in a desperate bid to get laid” ?

    I didn’t notice Y. doing that.
    Then again, I’m probably not his type (male, “jewrabic” in appearance and conspicuously sadistic, so probably not the online sexual adventure he is looking for 😀 )

  41. dave,

    I’m heartened that there are knitting machines out there for me to use. my hands are pretty stupid and it’s therapuetic to know that one day I will be able to program a knitting machine like a printer.

  42. 03: So, the only thing about me that upsets your conservative soul cognitive routines is open relationships?
    LOL
    That’s unexpected (not entirely, given the existence of Flagellant Monks, but still…)

    Well, no. Weird sexual behavior, as long as it doesn’t cause harm to non-involved people is fine by me, provided you keep it private and don’t engage in activism in an effort to make everyone know about it.

    03: besides your general distaste towards people who don’t follow lifestyles which emerged in pre-industrial societies.

    You are disappointing me again, you know. Swinging likely predates civilization, and I doubt anything you’ve done in your life would surprise some of the more decadent folk from the ancient era. Except maybe the stuff involving various electrical gadgets.

    03: That’s unexpected (not entirely, given the existence of Flagellant Monks, but still…)

    I find it rather ironic that wikipedia doesn’t mention that flagellant monks flagellate themselves for the same reason infidels do, to make themselves feel good. It seems a little dishonest, unless of course there’s good and he only makes infidels’ bodies dispense endogenous opiates for pain management..

    03: If you mean to convey an opinion that being part of a demographic that constitutes double-digit percentile of a numeric population breakdown is somehow inherently pleasant, advantageous or “morally superior”,

    No, what makes them morally superior is that they give a fuck about the future, or at least act in such manner. You seem to be a garden-variety hedonist. Future belongs to those who show up, and if it’ll be just people too stupid to use birth control, it won’t be good.

    03: As far as I am concerned, the only relevance black-hat Jews (lol) have, is providing the world with apostate jews, they end up being rather cool, more often than not

    Yeah, but there’s 8 non-apostates for every apostate.
    They don’t make good neighbors, and their business practices border on organized crime. I found the idea of hasidic criminal organisation as featured in the Yiddish Policemen’s Union preposterous, until I read some news stories out of th US. At least so far they seem to restrict themselves to non-violent crime.

    I don’t think you’d like to live in a place with a hasidic majority…
    .

  43. Mr Non-Entity: Either way, you are just wrong about girls being easier for single moms to manage.

    (sigh). If teen boys are so easy to manage, why are juvies and prison full of young male delinquents? And especially full of fatherless boys?

    Mr Non-Entity: I was tempted to respond “clearly you are out of your mind” but I think it’s better to suggest that perhaps you were raised by males and had no female siblings.

    Not the case.

    There’s an study out there that assessed about two dozen personality traits and it found the differences are there. (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0029265)

    It’d be quite strange if men and women were on average the same, as personality affects life outcomes and sex roles in man’s history were distinct.

    Mr Non-Entity: But if you want hell to keep revisiting you until the end of time, just piss off a female of any age.

    I think it’s funny to argue only women nurse grudges. Yeah, women can be truly nasty and love character assassination and that shit, however, it’s likely a hobby only few of them have. Hating people for years and harming them as response to minor slights is pathological behavior.

    01: Available evidence suggests that swinging/ORing is more functional.
    While there aren’t yet truly solid studies with good external validity, existing material (see for instance, Curtis Bergstrand, Jennifer Blevins Williams, “Today’s Alternative Marriage Styles: The Case of Swingers”) suggests that swingers are more satisfied with their relationships than the “average person”.

    Suggests. Big deal, really.
    The area clearly needs more ‘science’ done. Until then, I’m going to feel free to look down at people with the ‘Pokemon’ attitude towards HPV..

    Peter Watts: That said, I’m not especially offended by Y’s comments here. Y, I disagree with a fair bit of what you say, and I wish you’d stop referencing blanket statements with Wikipedia articles which actually provide far less empirical support for your position than you let on.

    Really? I mean, yeah, it’s old and since then some of the estimates in it have been narrowed. But it’s essentially stuff you can’t say publicly (unless you want to get fired) supported by peer-reviewed research.

    It was just the first thing to grab. It’s pretty funny that even though Pinker and others have been hammering home the point that we’re not all born with equal potential, or that your ancestry matters a great deal, the majority of intellectuals still don’t get it and think people are as moldable as clay. .

    Peter Watts: I’ve said this before; there’s a difference between making a point knowing that it could piss someone off vs. making a point designed to piss someone off.

    Honestly, pissing people off was not on my conscious mind when I decided to engage with Markus. Does it truly

    offend people to know others don’t share their opinions?

    Perhaps I subconsciously like to piss people off, however, it’s not a ‘persona’ of mine, at least not in the last couple of years.

  44. 01: The word you’re looking for is “troll”…

    Also, “negging” as in “that silly, poorly substantiated tactic a bunch of sexually frustrated un-gentlemanly types use in a desperate bid to get laid” ?

    my oops. I thought that was just one application of it.

    I didn’t notice Y. doing that.
    Then again, I’m probably not his type (male, “jewrabic” in appearance and conspicuously sadistic, so probably not the onlinesexual adventure he is looking for )

    He doesn’t seem to pretend at being phobic enough to pretend to be hiding it either.

  45. Re: Y

    Ah, so activism is reserved for people who share your particular behavior profile… how cute of you.
    One has to wonder, though, whether desire to suppress activism of other parties is appropriate for someone who is convinced that his “ways” are of greater functional/objective utility :)

    It is, by the way, not very likely that “swinging” (which, unlike “simple” OR, involves rather complicated negotiations) pre-dates civilization, specifically, it is rather unlikely that tribal cultures historically ancestral to what one would consider so-called “west” had patterns similar to modern “swinging” (you’re welcome to demonstrate otherwise, though :) )

    Flagellant monks most certainly derived a “headspace-y” pleasure of coming closer to god (which is the whole official “point” of flesh mortification), which is true for all ascetics irrespective of nature of practice.
    Whether they also had a more direct “rush/high” experience associated with flogging in S/M circles is, of course, impossible to reliably determine, but it is statistically likely that at least some of them had such physiological inclinations.

    Now, as to the whole “future” shenanigan, in order for your argument to make any sense (I’m willing to grant you the whole “caring about the future is moral” thing as a free compliment, though philosophically, there’s no particular reason why it should be considered “moral”) you would have to demonstrate that intellectual peculiarities common to “not using birth control” are genetic in nature (or, obversely, that traits of opposite kind are genetic in nature).

    Without a clearly established genetic link (not just some correlation or a twin study, but an actual identified allele) your point there is utterly moot.

    Do note that currently, about 3 (at most!) genetic variants are known to be associated with increased performance in standardized intelligence tests, and their effect is tiny

    And while you’re on the lookout for specific “intelligence alleles”, could you also kindly fetch the source on “8 non-apostates for every apostate” thing ? :)

  46. Oh, I forgot to put a link in the post above.
    Let me fix that:
    http://www.nature.com/news/smart-genes-prove-elusive-1.15858

  47. Y.:

    Honestly, pissing people off was not on my conscious mind when I decided to engage with Markus. Does it truly

    offend people to know others don’t share their opinions?

    Perhaps I subconsciously like to piss people off, however, it’s not a ‘persona’ of mine, at least not in the last couple of years.

    While I’m not feeling particularly offended (you haven’t gotten past a raised eyebrow and a bit of eye-rolling), I think labeling 5 or so percent of the population “freaks”, to pick one thing, might be considered more offensive than merely differing in opinion.

    I don’t have much to say on the topic at hand, it’s not an interesting discussion*. I’m not even sure what you are arguing, if “cultural activism” concerning marriage would be grounds for a state to deny it, then I guess much of the conservative right in the us should do without as well? :).

    *That doesn’t mean it’s not important, the development in russia and some african countries are especially troubling.

  48. @Markus:

    https://mccoyote.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/and-so-it-came-to-pass/

    See esp. Lively’s activities in both those places. Palin’s friends. And of course the US/NATO-backed fascist movement in Ukraine is just about as bad. Shouldn’t be surprising, really. Governments have long used whatever was at hand as proxies. Mujaheddin in Afghaniastan, for example. Despite cooperating with them v USSR, something prompted Ollie North to embezzle in order to install an alarm system at home in the US.

    It’s the golem or Frankenstein told over and over again, isn’t it? :)

  49. 01,

    Thanks for taking the time to explain; I appreciate it.

  50. 01: I don’t think it’s schadenfreude, Y just happens to dislike black people a lot, claims of “genetically” lower intelligence or higher criminality or what have you are just circumstantial to this fundamental dislike

    So all you can do is a giant ad-hominem, which well, mostly misrepresents my position. Bravo!

    01: Yet an effort to identify specific genes is clearly missing from your average “genetically determined racial behavior” proponent’s agenda.

    Clearly, you are bullshitting. All of the sites I read where information regarding ‘genetically determined racial behavior’ can be found are pro-genetic engineering. It’s the only way.

    03: you would have to demonstrate that intellectual peculiarities common to “not using birth control” are genetic in nature (or, obversely, that traits of opposite kind are genetic in nature).

    I’ll get around to it once you lot furnish evidence why the swinging lifestyle is more ‘functional’.

    Stupid people can fuck up almost anything, do you really require rigorous proof of the assertion that dumb people are more likely to make someone or get pregnant by accident?

  51. Markus: I don’t have much to say on the topic at hand, it’s not an interesting discussion*. I’m not even sure what you are arguing, if “cultural activism” concerning marriage would be grounds for a state to deny it, then I guess much of the conservative right in the us should do without as well? :).

    I’m arguing that there are
    1) good reasons for not accepting everything the LGBT activists are selling

    2) that there is a big difference between heterosexual and gay marriage. Not so much where lesbians are concerned, for the reasons Dr.Watts mentioned.

    3) that apparently some people, like Ms. Gessen, want to make sure what she can’t have no one can have.

    4) that this entire fucking issue is a huge distraction from the real problems. Like energy, debt, excessive financialization, corruption* and so on. Which is exactly why LGBT issues are deemed so ‘pressing’ by the news media.

    5) And of course, the activists themselves are a problem. If someone identifies as an activist, he has to keep manufacturing causes to have something to be active about.

    Never said anything about ‘denying’ activism, or making it illegal.

    *8 out of 9 doctors who recommended lowering cholesterol levels for prescribing statins owned stock in companies which’d benefit from the decision.

  52. whoever: US/NATO-backed fascist movement in Ukraine is just about as bad.

    They’re not really fascists. Russians call everyone they don’t like a ‘fascist’. There seem to be a some hard-core nationalists in Ukraine, but no real fascist movement. Also, the criticism is particularly rich coming from Putin and his party. I mean, talk about projection!

  53. Gonna disagree because it’s not Putin’s word I’m going by. In fact, Putin called them *gay* fascists, whatever the fuck that means. They have been gaybashing just like the Russians, IIRC.

    Just have a gander at the third photo row down.

    https://libcom.org/news/neo-nazis-far-right-protesters-ukraine-23012014

    And he is far rightwing. And McCain has had neonazi ties in US as well.

  54. Re: Y

    Well, let’s break that “more functional” thing into two.
    First, are swingers “more happy” in terms of subjective satisfaction?

    Why, according to existing evidence, yes, they are, with supporting research dating wwwaaaaaaaaaayyyy to 1970 (so it’s not some kind of modern liebeerule conspiracy to promote swingers :p )
    Ref:
    Bartell, G. D. (1970). Group sex among the mid-Americans. The Journal of Sex Research, 6, 2.

    Jenks, R. J. (1985). Swinging: A replication and test of a theory. The Journal of Sex Research, 21(2), 199-205.

    Bergstrand, C. & Blevins, J. (2000). Today’s alternative marriage styles: The case of swingers. Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 3

    Are interpersonal relationships of swingers better in terms of partner care and mutual satisfaction?

    Why, according to existing evidence, yes, yes they are.
    Ref:
    Jenks, R. J. (1998). Swinging: A review of the literature. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 27, 507-521.

    Gould, T. (1999). The lifestyle: A look at the erotic rites of swingers. Buffalo, NY: Firefly.

    and again Bergstrand, C. & Blevins, J. (2000). Today’s alternative marriage styles: The case of swingers. Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 3

    Interestingly, I have not yet managed to track down academic, peer-reviewed research that would yield contravening evidence (that is, that would contain claims that swingers are “less happy than average couple” and/or that interpersonal dynamics in swinger groups are somehow less “wholesome” and mutually satisfactory) so I would appreciate if you were to give me a hand there.

    Now, STD risk is somewhat a curious issue.
    A Dutch study has found by studying medical records of people receiving STD treatment, that self-reported swingers had a slightly higher STD incidence than straight couples (10.4% in swingers, and “slightly over 10%” in straight non-swinging couples).
    Ref:

    Dukers-Muijrers, N. Niekamp, AM., Brouwers, E (2010) Older and swinging; need to identify hidden and emerging risk groups at STI clinics. Sexually transmitted infections 86 (4), 315-317

    However, obviously there are questions as to how swinging self-reporting biasing and source biasing (not all people who have an STD actually bother to treat it, you know, so subcultrual trends in STD checkups and reporting might cause the more “concerned” populations to be significantly over-represented in the sample ) might have affected the validity of the result (and frankly, the result is utterly, shockingly tiny)

    Also of interest is this very humble piece of research
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/sites/default/files/attachments/134956/mexico-presentation.pdf

    The conclusion was that “Swinging itself is not a high risk behavior”

    So swingers are, by all indications, happier themselves, more caring about their partners (interestingly, there appears to be no research that would suggest anything of opposite nature, which is perplexing)

    Swingers most definitely don’t “pokemonize” STDs and, by all indications, the strongest claim that can be made is that there are indications that swinging might be associated with a tiny, tiny increase in risk of contracting an STD.

    Do note that being a OR (open relationship) person, I have no pro-swing bias.

    Now, I am eagerly waiting for you to present me with evidence of genes that have, at least, a “moderate” impact in standardized intelligence test scores (because frankly, 3 genes that have about 1% of impact on the score is, frankly, futile)

  55. on the topic of open relationships, Stranger in a Strange Land didn’t age very well for me, but it was important to my teenage self. Every generation should have a book like that for the poly-curious.

  56. Y.: I’m arguing that there are
    1) good reasons for not accepting everything the LGBT activists are selling

    2) that there is a big difference between heterosexual and gay marriage. Not so much where lesbians are concerned, for the reasons Dr.Watts mentioned.

    3) that apparently some people, like Ms. Gessen, want to make sure what she can’t have no one can have.

    4)that this entire fucking issue is a huge distraction from the real problems. Like energy,debt, excessive financialization, corruption* and so on. Which is exactly why LGBT issues are deemed so ‘pressing’ by the news media.

    5) And of course, the activists themselves are a problem. If someone identifies as an activist, he has to keep manufacturing causes to have something to be active about.

    Never said anything about ‘denying’ activism, or making it illegal.

    *8 out of 9 doctors who recommended lowering cholesterol levels for prescribing statins owned stock in companies which’d benefit from the decision.

    You only argues for why you dislike gays, swingers, “activists” and blacks. While your arguments are dumb in themselves it is more importantly completely beside the point for gay rights. A society should not discriminate with its handing out of rights, whenever practically possible.

    This is why this is such an uninteresting subject. Gays are also full worth humans, and there are no practical problems with granting them the same rights as straight people, and therefor we should.

  57. I just looked up Ten Monkeys, Ten Minutes to buy as a gift and it’s selling for US $91+ If I’d have only known I would have bought more than 1 for myself!

  58. dave:
    As I understand it, some of those who knit actually do find it therapeutic.

    I was once involved with someone who knitted a lot. Also she played World of Warcraft. A lot. Like, 22 hours in one day (I timed it).

    I’ll grant she was in need of some kind of therapeutic activity, but I don’t think the knitting cut it.

    Leona: My self-identifying, IQ-challenged-ass self wishes to thank some of the commenters above and our gracious (and probably slightly beleaguered) host

    “Slightly”?

    Sheila: Y is like that earlier guy, lanius(?) but maybe better at not crossing boundaries enough to get banned.

    Actually, has anyone ever seen Lanius and Y in the same place at the same time?

    seruko:
    I just looked up Ten Monkeys, Ten Minutes to buy as a gift and it’s selling for US $91+ IfI’d have only known I would have bought more than 1 for myself!

    Dude, given that you can get all those stories for free right here on the website— and without all the typos that infest TMTM— you probably shouldn’t have bought even one.

    Markus: I don’t have much to say on the topic at hand, it’s not an interesting discussion*.

    Y.: 4) that this entire fucking issue is a huge distraction from the real problems.

    And finally, something everyone can agree on.

    This is what it all comes down to: while it’s actually pretty cool to see 01 – 03 digging up all those cool stats, it really doesn’t matter whether “swinging” or OR— or sex with vacuum cleaners, for that matter— are mainstream or “freakish” or merely niche. People have a right to whatever consenting relationships turn their cranks, and it doesn’t matter if their tastes are shared by one other person or a billion. The stats are interesting insofar as they illuminate aspects of our evolution, but they don’t speak to whether a particular taste is “right” or “wrong” or “deviant” or “blessed” because, IMHO, those are completely the wrong fucking words to use in this context. You might as well talk about how benighted people who like plaid are.

    And Y, while I do appreciate your recent relative restraint, if you’re not just being deliberately provocative then it’s hard to not see racist elements in some of the things you’ve said, both here and behind the scenes. (I hate using that fucking word— it’s used too often as a cudgel, and the whole concept of race is woolly, biologically. I think I’d prefer “Morphs”. But I don’t want to sound mealy-mouthed, so I suppose I should just call a spade a spade. So to speak.)

    Anyway, as all sides agree, the whole argument is a distraction from much cooller stuff we could be talking about. And it sure as hell doesn’t belong attached to a post about the CBC Bookies. I mean, Jesus H. Christ.

    So, assuming I can find the appropriate switch on the dashboard (it has been a while), I’m gonna turn the lights out on this thread.