Open Thread

This is our monthly place to discuss related topics that have not appeared in recent posts.

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  • AlphaOmega

    Is inter-racial dating counter signaling? You almost never hear of an upper middle class white woman dating a black man, but it’s not uncommon to hear of supermodels involved with men of another race.

    Exhibit A: Victoria Secret model Doutzen Kroes, the 5th highest earning model in the world, is pregnant by a black DJ named Sunnery James.

    http://www.fashionologie.com/Doutzen-Kroes-Pregnant-9115140

    She can afford to date him, just as George W. Bush can wear a Timex and drive a Ford.

    • http://entitledtoanopinion.wordpress.com TGGP

      If you are fine with reading racist blogs, this guy seems to have the most data-oriented examination I’ve seen on blogs.

  • Robbie

    AlphaOmega, how many upper middle class women would date a DJ?

    In the groups that supermodels are members of a successful DJ is a high status individual.

  • Matt Simpson

    Robin, in the bio section of this site you say you are addicted to “viewquakes.” How many viewquakes have you had, and what has caused them? For someone else with the same addiction, this sort of knowledge is very useful.

  • Querious

    What is the actual age of women that men find most attractive. i suspect it may be below “legal”. Models average 16-17, porn sites advertise “barely legal” (they have a lower bound constraint), and here it is suggested that men prefer women significantly younger then what they explicitly profess.

    Perhaps men lie to themselves when they profess a desire for older women?

  • Querious

    Does any other culture have a similar idiom to “walk of shame” – referring mainly to women after a sexual encounter?

  • Buck Farmer

    Could the Roman State have pacified the population due to genetic selection: http://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2010/07/roman-state-and-genetic-pacification.html

    If this mechanism is plausible (and presumably would have been seen more intensely in China), what are the implications for the future?

  • http://calsfl.com Josh W.

    Has anyone ever thought about or studied the magnitude of signaling in the motives behind the Holocaust?

    I recently visited the Holocaust museum in Washington D.C. and the idea struck me that the mass killings seemed like a huge cost to the Nazi’s efforts and not worth it, unless the efforts were to signal how powerful and ruthless the regime was.

    Did ordinary Germans hate the Jews so much that they wanted to see them dead? It seems to me it’s more likely that they disliked the Jews but wouldn’t have supported the Holocaust, and thus the Holocaust’s function was not to eliminate Jews but to create a totalitarian state.

    What does everyone think?

    • gwern

      > What does everyone think?

      The Nazis are thoroughly on record as originally planning to do something else with the Jews – I think shipping them to Madagascar was the favored option – until WWII closed all borders and seas to them.

      So, I think it was ideologically motivated: they had committed mentally and publicly to do *something* with the Jews, and killing them was easiest in their situation.

      (As far as expense goes, the Holocaust might have paid for itself as far as the government was concerned, with all the forced labor and confiscation of gold and financial assets.)

    • Oligopsony

      A popular theory among historians of the Third Reich is that the relevant signaling was from different divisions of the regime to each other. Contrary to official theory (the cult of the leader, Carl Schmitt’s unitary sovereign) the Reich itself was characterized constant internal competition and infighting – both because of the sheer size of things it had incorporated into itself, the deals it had cut to come into power, and the fact that Hitler had very little involvement in day-to-day rule (he seemed to find it boring.) About the only constant was that Hitler and other party activists would tend to be enthusiastic about the most radical option presented to them, and that taking on relatively radical actions of one’s own initiative served as proof of loyalty. This resulted in a process of “cumulative radicalization” in which civil servant organs competed with each other (with losers being eliminated) for favor from Party organs, resulting in crazier and crazier anti-Jew policies, until…

      As for ordinary Germans, my understanding is that they knew about the Holocaust in a very vague sense, but mostly didn’t approve or disapprove. They had their own (much less, but still quite) dire situation to worry about. They certainly wouldn’t have gotten the idea on their own.

      • http://daedalus2u.blogspot.com/ daedalus2u

        Oligopsony, that is very interesting. Reminds me of current politics.

        The Iowa GOP wants to strip the citizenship of anyone who accepts an award from a foreign country (they want it to strip Obama of his citizenship for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize). Gingrich wants wars with Iran and North Korea. The Maine and Iowa GOP call for abrogating the UN treaty on the Rights of the Child. Graham wants to repeal the 14th Amendment. Lamar Smith does too, along with 93 co-sponsers. The GOP wants lower deficits and wants to lower taxes to get them?

        The Tea Partiers want the government out of Social Security and Medicare. The Iowa GOP wants them privatized. The Tea Partiers are offended at being called racist, even as they expel one group for not rebuking a spokesman for over the top racism. The anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments are reminiscent of anti-Semitism. Not quite at the Blood Libel stage yet, but they are getting worse.

        I suppose it is a good thing that we can see what is going on. If they were trying to out-radicalize each other in secret, it could only get a lot nuttier.

  • mjgeddes

    Getting further into the PUA stuff. The PUA community is very interesting, in a sense its how transhumanism might have developed had it not started from academic/intellectual roots. The PUA stuff is based on a hard-core empirical trial and error approach from rebels/bad-ass hacker types, that’s probably why its way way more accurate than the airy-fairy crank theories of much of conventional psychology. The bad-ass rebel ‘test/hack everything’ approach of the PUA community is a model for ‘the transhumanist road not taken’.

    Two more interesting PUA websites:

    Charts the evolution of a master PUA -detailed stories, principles, postings:

    http://www.entropypua.com/blog/

    Here’s an interesting one – a girl interested in PUA theory, and very charming she is too – well worth reading, girl-game:

    http://eveslibrary.wordpress.com/

  • Riley Jones

    Wondering about the implications of this:

    http://esciencenews.com/articles/2010/08/02/research.shows.what.you.say.about.others.says.a.lot.about.you
    Are most people aware of this? Is it difficult to criticize others without calling attention to your own flaws? Does this explain why some incompetence persists?

  • http://daedalus2u.blogspot.com/ daedalus2u

    Very new article on bias in testing using standardized tests. Showing that standard techniques for determining bias are ineffective.

    http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/14949.html

  • Buck Farmer

    Thoughts on Hausergate, academic investigations, academic/media relations, and implications of Hauser’s research on evolution of morality no longer having firm empirical grounding.

    (HT: Replicated Typo)

    http://www.replicatedtypo.com/science/science-news/marc-hauser-investigated-for-scientific-misconduct/1672/

  • RainyGallly

    hey all… so i’m a woman hitting my later 30’s and my love life with my husband has been deteriorating. A few friends have told me about yoga and how it can reinvigorate the body.. (quote unquote reinvigorate). So, i did some research on the issue and discovered that girls who perform yoga have an simpler time retaining moisture throughout making love while simultaneously being capable to tense up the vaginal walls for friction and stimulation. now, this seems good and all but i have personally never seen an actual yoga exercise that utilizes “tightening”? have you guys?

    I’ve also read that stretching and stimulating these muscles will improve your posture, sex appeal and will also increase your sexual awareness and capability to feel secure and attractive with your partner. now, does anyone have any experiences with this that they’d like to talk about? if not with yoga, has anything else assisted you with putting fire back in your love life? Thanks!