Dividing Flirt from Felon

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I was in a meeting the other day where two friendly members made a professional date.  Alan then made comments to Barb that made me uncomfortable.  Barb laughed them off, so I’m not sure if she felt the same way.  To make sure, I’m going to ask her the next time we meet.  If she was uncomfortable, then I’m going to ask permission to talk to Alan.

It got me thinking about more important things.  Those things have to do with biology.  Our very genes want us to make more of ourselves.  Our genes also encourage us to have a partner.  These are not necessarily the same thing, but they can be.

More importantly, the urge to reproduce is very ancient.  That “phenotype” is one of the very first to be programmed into sexual animals.  After all, if an animal didn’t have the urge to reproduce, their species wouldn’t be around very long.

The other phenotype is wanting to have a partner.  That’s fairly unique among animals, but not unique to humans.  Plenty of other organisms like to have long-term mates.  It makes sense.  They get to know you, you know them, you help each other out.

Alan and Barb also have these urges.  Barb is young so that both urges are probably strong, despite her having a boyfriend.  Alan is older and married, so his urge *should be* less.

This means that each wants to be alluring to the other.  Yes, both already have others in their lives, but that doesn’t mean their basic urges turn off.  So we end up with this:

  1. We want to be alluring.
  2. When we’re talking with someone we like, we let them know by flirting.
  3. If, and this is huge:
    1. Both people want the same thing (each other) then they are going to keep flirting, and talk, and touch, and before you know it they become intimate.
    2. Both people DON’T want intimacy, this is what happens.
      1. At a certain point, one person’s flirting becomes another person’s harassment.
      2. If the person who is harassing doesn’t stop, the harassment is assault.

And there’s the rub.  Both people want to be liked.  Both people want to enjoy each other’s company.  But to the extent we must encourage allurement and flirting (in any form), then we must also encourage learning when to stop.

That’s part of what #MeToo is all about.

Societies that don’t want to deal with all of this tend to suppress their women in burlap and burkhas.  Even in the most modern societies, you can find women who are being bundled up.

Is it bad?  Is it good?

Neither.  It only is.  But the conversation is important.

So, as Jane Austen’s Elizabeth says to her Aunt Gardiner: “Where does discretion end and avarice begin?”

 

Two A-Salty for Words

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In my writer’s group, I listen to everyone read their material and tell myself I’m way better.  It’s great for my self confidence.  Of course, they probably do the same thing to me, so our karma balances out.

We live in the snow belt.  Feels more like the snow crotch.  This belt is made of snow, and despite my carbon butt-print, global warming isn’t enough.  Too much white stuff.

Snow.  Not drugs.

Our lake sits on top of salt deposits.  If you live in a place that uses salt during the winter, it’s probably our salt.  Thanks.  Salt, and assault, seem to be everywhere, even here.

Amy sits between me and Nerdy Bill.  She knows Bill as a co-worker and writer.  They’re talking about a working date.  Bill’s got a wring on his fing, is a lot older than Amy, and is quite a bit bigger.

I’m not trying to listen, but I hear him making references to not getting drunk on a weekday.  Ha ha.  Isn’t that funny.

Then he says something about her sitting in his lap.  Yuck, I’m thinking.  What lap, dude?  He has to reach for his computer keyboard.

Wait.  Now he’s telling a story when there were so many Bills in his elementary classroom that he was rechristened Will.  He’s laughing.  I’m crying.

Amy is laughing!  Now she is saying “that’s funny!”  I’m thinking Amy is having a stroke!  Or was she flirting?

No, Amy has a boyfriend.  She is probably only being nice.  But Bill is being yucky, with extra YUCH.

I should have told him he was making me uncomfortable.  He was.  I shouldn’t care what Amy thinks, or should I?

That was in the middle.  At the end of the meeting, our leader, Charlie, was suddenly attacked by a dog-loving woman.

Charlie also loves and owns dogs.  For some reason he’d brought one to the meeting and left him in the car 3 hours.  He’s not allowed to bring him in.

Yes the weather is cold, about 30 degrees F.  Before you get all “poor doggie,” the dog had a sweater on, and, here’s the best part, he’s still a dog.  Dogs can handle cold weather for a long time.  I’ve seen huskies in Alaska in minus 20 degrees F staying out all night.  They’re fine.  They’re dogs.

But this woman bolted in at the end of the meeting, accosted Charlie, told him he was cruel to animals, and called the police!  Then she ran out.

Did she think she was helping the dog?  Did she think she was teaching Charlie?  No to both.  Her assault was violent and uncomfortable.

So, maybe it’s winter.  Maybe it’s people.  Maybe it’s the salt.

 

PS – Shout out to ee cards for putting this image on the web for us to enjoy.  Get more at ee cards!  Send one today.

Hollywood Child Abuse

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When it comes to kids I’m all for them.  Adults screw them up.

If I’m remembered for nothing else, I want to be remembered as the guy who fought for the kids.  Today’s kids.  Tomorrows kids.  Remember the children.

Wife was watching a well-acted show that stars Lily Tomlin.  She’s wonderful and I’ve always enjoyed her work.  She’s also one of the producers.

I was reading this book while wife watched season 2 episode 12 dealing with suicide, among other things.  Well done.

But there’s a scene with a young girl, and she drops the F-bomb at two points.

There’s a certain kind of adult who takes pleasure out of seeing a child swear like an adult.  Why?

Is it that as adults we lost our innocence at some point, and we enjoy seeing a child lose theirs?

The fact is the show had a child actor appears to swear (it could have been dubbed) in order to complete the scene.  Turning that child into an adult is something that should be treated with great respect and tenderness, not for profit.

That child most likely didn’t want to become an actor as much as her parents wanted her to act.  Certainly her agent and the other actors see her more as a money-making team mate rather than what she truly is, a child.

What is the impact upon her?  Does anyone care?  (Yes, I do.)

Look at the track record Hollywood has upon other childhood actors.  It’s not good.

Why do we allow this to happen?  What can be more important than a child’s life?

Rhetorical questions, because we know the answers.

Greed.  Power.  More greed.  And because money made today is worth more than a grandchild’s happiness.

So, please, the next time you see a sweet, innocent child, love them and help them to keep that innocence as long as they possibly can.  Face it.  They’ll lose it soon enough without our help, without our greed, and without our short-sightedness.

C’mon on.  Swear you’ll do it.

Thanks.

PS – Today is 22 January, 2018, and I just learned young gymnasts were happy their team doctor was being put away for many years as he’d been molesting them for some time.  The tragedy is compounded by the fact that their parents and coaches didn’t believe them – or didn’t want to.  Perhaps they, too, were blinded by greed.

Facebook as our Secret Weapon

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Consider all the evil ways the Russians and Chinese have wreaked havoc on our American way of living.  I am, and I’m getting peeved.

The Russian mafia have all sorts of ties to Don John, the Great Orange in the White House.  Putin is probably the richest man on Earth, at least twice as much wealth as Mr. Amazon.  The Chinese not only have the Great Firewall, but entire military units whose only purpose is to hack into American security systems and steal secrets.

Where will it all end?

If we don’t do anything, it won’t end well.  So it’s time we started fighting back.

The Russians and Chinese have created electronic walls, keeping their people insulated from the rest of the world.  They do this because they can feed their people propaganda about how good they have it, and so their people don’t make trouble.

Our secret weapon?  Facebook.

Mark and his minions should work on ways to crack the Iron Firewall and the Great Firewall at the same time.  Perhaps by setting up invisible proxy routers that ordinary Russian and Chinese people can reach.  And then?

Just let people be people.  Let them join in the fun of seeing cat pictures, silly vids, fake news, and everything else.  More importantly, they can see what’s really going on in the world and start putting pressure on their own governments to change.

Better yet, if the time comes for a new world government, maybe we can all be friends for once.  Right now, that’s not happening.  Facebook may be the weapon we’ve been looking for.

Ready…

Aim…

Facebook!

 

How About Coffee?

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Quoting another source semi-verbatim isn’t my style, but with the proper citation and it being only a little bit of quoting, we should be able to swing this by the legal department.  If there’s a problem, please ask nicely and this post can be modified.

But there’s a reason it’s worth quoting, it’s great writing and speaking.  The text is from Piers Bizony‘s book on the making of 2001 A Space Odyssey.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in aviation, space, movies, science fiction, science, anything technical, or anything having to do with behavior.  I fall into 5 of those categories.  You’ll want to buy it because it’s too good to share.

First, paraphrasing only slightly, we have Marvin Minsky, the expert from MIT advising Kubrick who had no problem understanding that the emptiness of 2001’s dialogue was intentional

” … And after the momentous statement that the monolith must have been deliberately buried, one of the astronauts says, “Well, how about a little coffee?”  Kubrick’s idea is that the universe is too majestic for short sighted people.”

Now, here’s the good part where I’m trying to be as faithful to Bizony as I can;  Kubrick’s wife, Christiane, speaking about her husband’s intentions.

“Stanley thought we are always falling behind our scientific and technical achievements.  We are very good at making more and more things – but to do what with?  We haven’t kept up, psychologically and philosophically.  We are not profound.  We are still getting away with the most boring entertainments.  We are shallow, and we know it.  We suffer from it.  The choices we make are not satisfying.  Our sins are all of omission – of not doing the more interesting things that we could do.  There is a lethargy, a lack of energy and concentration that prevents us from reaching the key point where we are as creative and perceptive as we would really wish to be.  We are in the terrible position of being smart enough to know that we are not smart enough.  For instance, we still can’t imagine, “What is God?”  So in 2001 we see fantastic tools of communication.  People can speak over zillions of miles, but nobody has anything to say.  So we pretend.  We live in a little world of nonsense and send each other funny photos and cute stories, with this enormous technology.  “Happy Birthday,” and so on, when nobody seems to care, or react.  It’s very melancholy – although two things we really can do.  War and pornography we’re good at.”

Bizony then distills much of Kubrick’s angst.

 “2001, so optimistic on the surface, is in fact a morally complex movie.  Either we will bore ourselves to death while our machines sneak in through the back door and take over; or else we will blow ourselves to hell, our modern minds still compromised by an instinctive taste for aggression.  It seems we have to keep fighting to survive.  And we have to stop fighting to survive.”

page 421, Piers Bizony, The Making of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey, published by Taschen, 2015

PS – For goodness sake, if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, please do both of those first, and as soon as possible.

 

Supply Our Own Light

I study behavior.  I want everyone to study behavior.  It’s necessary for us to succeed as a species.  Strangely enough, Stanley Kubrick said the same thing.

“The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile, but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this, and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death, then our existence can have genuine meaning.  However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”

Studying the universe in all aspects is also part of behavior.  Our knowledge of the universe, how we go about acquiring and treating that knowledge, and our feelings about the universe are all human behaviors.

One of the most difficult things we must overcome in understanding behavior is detachment, removing ourselves from the equation.  We must have no feelings, no passion for our subject.  Whatever happens, happens.

We know that people mistreat animals, other adults, even children.  Yet as students we must take a deep breath and consider all the possibilities.

We watch as someone rises to power, corrupting government and the economy so that he amasses great wealth in a short period of time, without benefit to society.  We must stand by and learn, knowing that this has happened before.  Like stress in tectonic plates, these will also be relieved someday.

A despot secures his power, removing hard fought liberties from his nation.  We must take a deep breath, re-read our histories, and apply this new knowledge to our preparations for the future.

Kubrick was right, not only for technically conquering the vastness of space, but also for understanding behavior in all its forms.

We must confront the universe without passion, without preconception.  In order to explore the universe of behavior, we need only one thing.

We must supply our own light.

 

****  Boring Notes Follow ****

This quote is from the last few lines of page 508, Piers Bizony, The Making of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey, published by Taschen, 2015.  The book doesn’t indicate where Mr. Kubrick’s quote was taken from.

Quoting another source semi-verbatim isn’t my style, but with the proper citation and it being only a little bit of quoting, we should be able to swing this by the legal department.  If there’s a problem, please ask nicely and this post can be modified.

But there’s a reason it’s worth quoting, it’s great writing and speaking.  The text is from Piers Bizony‘s book on the making of 2001 A Space Odyssey.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in aviation, space, movies, science fiction, science, anything technical, or anything having to do with behavior.  I fall into 5 of those categories.  You’ll want to buy it because it’s too good to share.

By the way, if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, please do both of those first, and as soon as possible.

 

Beware the Fourth Reich

by Jim Marrs

Is such a thing possible? Can we truly even think that there could be another country fighting everyone else so that they can control the world?

It sounds like a dystopian fantasy at the moment. It is the kind of thing movie producers get pitched to them by desperate writers during orgiastic parties.

Wait a minute. Orgiastic parties? Do those sorts of things still go on?

Yes they do. Check out the #MeToo movement. Check out a new book coming out about how the mega-millionaires of silicon valley consume women.

What about the rise of the ultra rich?  More and more wealth is being concentrated into the hands of fewer and fewer people.

At the same time, Earth’s resources are being depleted at an increasing rate.

AND there are a whole lot of people consuming those resources.  More people alive at this moment than have lived throughout all of human evolution.

Let’s add in the forces of variation (we are all different) and natural selection.  In other words, there are forces out there that help decide which of us are going to have kids, and which of us don’t.  Those same forces are going to work on your kids, and their kids, and so one.

Most of us understand this big picture, and we start feeling a sense of fear.  In the USA, Turkey, and many other countries, this sense of fear has already manifested itself in several ways.  First, many are attracted to a strong alpha male figure because we are genetically programmed to seek out alpha males when we’re afraid.  Think about running into daddy’s arms during your first thunderstorm.

In the USA, we have another way of measuring group fear: purchasing weapons.  Gun manufacturers have never seen growth like they are today.  I know a guy who personally has stockpiled 40,000 rounds of ammunition, and that’s not even considered extraordinary.  I was talking with a police officer who told me that a neighbor of ours had shown him his secret weapons vault under the house.  There was hundreds of firearms, and also tens of thousands rounds of ammunition.

What are we afraid of?

The coming storm.  And a good name for that storm is Reich Four.

Finally, some feel better words.

The only way to fight fear,

and I repeat, the ONLY way to fight fear,

is through knowledge and understanding.

That’s why we have to study behavior.

Beyond Alpha, Omega Man

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Going beyond Genes means looking into Heaven and Seeing ourselves.

In my last post I suggested that many people are afraid of the future, and have flocked to alpha males as leaders.

The reasons they do this are genetically based.  A million years of hanging out with alpha males can’t be wrong, right?

It can be wrong.  It is wrong.  Our current civilization has grown and thrived precisely because we have rejected the alpha male concept.

With alpha males there is no true love between young men and women.  Only the alpha male can be loved.  There is no democracy.  There is no social choice.

Alpha males bring rape.  They bring pillage.  They bring plunder.  If you like these things, then you are prone to like the alpha male.

 

What we must do is reject the alpha male concept.  Men must become greater than alpha.  We must extend all the way into omega.

Men who have alpha characteristics have the greatest challenge of all.  They must have the self control to contain those impulses.  They must focus their great energy into areas that will benefit society, not themselves.

We have the knowledge to understand why alpha males exist.  We have the technology to understand where these impulses come from.  And we have the understanding to control those primitive impulses, channeling them for the good of everyone, not just a select few.

So, to all males out there, seek to become omega.  If you are an alpha, learn to channel your “alphaness” into “omeganess.”  All of us will be glad you did.

 

Code Alpha

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Would you vote for this man?

There is great uncertainty in our world.  You feel it in your bones.  Lots of people on the planet.  Too much information about your friends, and way too much about people labeled friend.  News media that keep screaming about one thing or another.  Poison in our air, water, food, even in our medicine.  What do we do?

We are afraid.  When we are afraid as children, we run to the safety of strong arms, our mother and father.  When things are really bad, we want the strength of a man, an alpha man.

Part of us is always looking for him.  The heroes of comic books and the big screen are always men that are strong and powerful.  Young women know this all too well, they flock to the few young men that exude power and strength.

Even other men know this.  Strong men tend to have lots of man friends, but man friends who are secondary, willing to live within the alpha shadow.

Why do we flock to the alpha male?  Probably from millions of years of evolution.  Our ape and chimp cousins do the same thing.  The alpha keeps the group together.  The alpha battles for supremacy, and then he has the most children.

No problems with politics.  Once a younger buck comes along who can knock the alpha down, then there’s a new alpha in town. He gets the tribe, he gets the chicks.  No one cares where the old alpha goes, he’s toast.

Under the alpha male system, you have to live with certain things.  I wrote about that earlier, so we won’t worry about it here.

The reason we don’t use an alpha male system today in most of the world is because of one of the most powerful behavioral forces of all time, love.  I wrote about that as well, so it doesn’t need to go here.

Today we see the rise of many alpha males as leaders: Trump, Putin, and Erdogan.  One of the things that surprised me about the rise of Trump was how many women preferred him over a woman.  Talking to them reminded me of the alpha male complex.

All these women respect strong men, in fact they prefer them.  A strong man gives them a sense of security in the future.  It doesn’t matter if that strong man doesn’t care about them, lies or cheats or steals.  All that matters is that he is strong.

No doubt you also know women like this.  Even though they leave a bad relationship involving a strong man, they end up back in another alpha male’s arms.

We’re seeing the same thing today.  Only these alpha males really are at the top of the pyramid.  And we can partially blame our genes.

Let’s hope that this time around, the alpha games don’t end as badly as history suggests they will.

Pardon my disturbance of THE FORCE

Conspiracy theories can be fun, but often they may point the way to something more fundamental.

The President of the USA pardoned a man recently, ostensibly because the sentence he’d already served was sufficient to meet the crime.  This sounds reasonable enough, and isn’t interesting for our purposes.

What’s interesting is that we are getting a peek at what went on BEHIND that action.  One of the early paragraphs states that many lawmakers from both parties were advocating for this pardon, including the most powerful members of Congress.  How could the President refuse?

Exactly.

Imagine this “imaginary” scenario.

The USA gives a lot of money to Israel.

In order to make people in the USA happy with their generosity, Israel spends a lot of that money right back in the USA.  USA gives, USA gets back.  Kind of.

Israel gets to decide how and where to spend that money.  So they can work with companies that indirectly benefit their own goals, Israeli goals.  There’s a very good chance that a large percentage of money spent by Israel is going to companies that are friendly to Israel.

In turn, those companies are able to help Israel in many ways.  Their owners can make donations to Israeli causes.  The companies can contribute to lawmaker’s campaigns.  They can fund action committees, subsidize education, loans, grants, and many other ways of furthering another country’s agenda.

This pardon is an example of something that went wrong.  This is a man who, on the face of things, is a friend of Israel.  If he’d done his job legally, he would have made a lot of money and never been in the news.  He didn’t.

Getting caught meant that he had to get punished.  But he was still a friend to Israel.  And that’s when THE FORCE became apparent.

“Pardon this man, our friend,” they said with one voice.

No other great influential special interest could muster the kind of overall pressure necessary to convince such a wide variety of powerful people to argue for the exact same thing.

Are these the meanderings of a closeted foil-hatted lunatic?

Or is this a glimpse of great forces at work?

Be a student of behavior, great and small.  You decide.