Stacked Deck

 Back end of Week Out. Nasty. Himicane rumbling through. High air speeds, at least for a Model T. And for trees. And dihydrogen oxide falling. So a good day to hunker down, be miserable and try to not dwell on the damage upcoming to domicile.

This has actually been a good week for some indication that Homo Sapiens may actually be smarter than he/she usually appears.

First, a couple of articles [Link][Link] indicating that by 34 KYA humans had figured out not to have bairns off their sisters.

This does raise a few questions. The obvious ones are: why so late?; and how did they come to this?

One would have thought, with humans, in various flavors, being around for about 2-3 MY, that we should have figured out early on that kinfolk kuddlin’ (as people in the old Confederacy put it,) would result in greater stupidity. But then, since it does that, the likelihood of each successive generation figuring it out would be decreased, so if you tried it for two generations it would be established. (As it sometimes appears to be in the old Confederacy just based on observing Bubbas.)

Of course, if this is the situation, the second question becomes even more relevant. Was the discovery something emergent like art or Pop Rocks, or was it an epiphany? And if the latter, from whom? Space Aliens or Neandertals?

This brings up another, related question, which is when did humans realize they were ugly? And is the ugly basic DNA or miscegenation originating? Did it take a genus level mutation for us to realize that daughter dinkin’ made kids that were not only stupid but ugly as well?

If the idea didn’t emerge until recently, a few KY in the past, then this could explain why humans have spent so much time futzin’ about and doing little more than rock knocking and drooling. Civilization makes a lot more sense if smarts started 50 KYA (approximately) than 2 MYA.

Second, another couple of articles [Link][Link] that relate a study that indicates religion is instinctual (and hence totally irrational.) This is even more uplifting. One quote is especially good:

our brains are hardwired with cognitive biases that have evolved in order to help us to survive, but which have the side-effect of making it natural to develop religious belief.”

In other words, religion is a congenital disorder like impacted third molars or failure of blood to clot. And we have the possibility of disposing of it with gene therapy.

Short of that we can be aware of it and do exercises to diminish its debilitating effects. And we can find ways to help people who are particularly afflicted with this horrible genetic disorder. Perhaps we can even form a national charity, akin to the March of Dimes, to search for a cure?

And lastly, [Link] indications that a lot of our undesirable aspects were passed on to us by Neandertals, probably in the process of explaining to us about miscegenation.

The traits they identified included those that affect hair color, skin color, skin tanning and burning, sleeping patterns, mood, and tobacco use.

So we can blame everything from skin cancer to drug addiction on those beetle-browed precursors of ours.

Probably the price of getting smart and inventing civilization and such like.

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First American

Not a good week out. The weather beavers are making noises about the latest whirly storm coming through Greater Metropolitan Arab. And the oatmeal for brains crowd is making neuroneg noises again.

I ran across a video [Link] this morning entitled “Why Columbus Day Should Be Renamed Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

Utter, odoriferous Stercus.

Not that I have any attachment to Columbus. He was an opportunistic prevaricator. IOW, a politician, at least in contemporary terms. Put him in an office in Muntgum or Washton and he wouldn’t be discernible from any of the other elected thieves officials.

Nope, what makes it stercus is the “indigenous” part. 

For the bogs who think this is a neat word and that they are using in accurately, a bit of dictionary effort:

Indigenous In*dig”e*nous, a. [L. indigenus, indigena, fr. OL. indu (fr. in in) + the root of L. gignere to beget, bear. See In, and Gender.]   [1913 Webster]

   1. Native; produced, growing, or living, naturally in a country or climate; not exotic; not imported.      [1913 Webster]

Simply put, what makes this stercus is that this is pure and simple a prevarication comparable to that of Columbus claiming to have discovered the Americas.

The Americas were discovered by Asian folks who wandered across the Bering landbridge (or paddles along it – I wasn’t there and the anthropologists are lacking in credibility) during the last Ice Age. Or so. 

So yes, some old arriving peoples “discovered” the Americas.

It ain’t fer certain – BIG TIME – that the current “Native Americans” – Amerinds – are anywhere near those people. Any more than those of us who meandered over – via ancestors – from Western Europe are. 

But the bottom line that we are Ivory Soap sure of is that humans – homo sapiens – did NOT evolve on the American continents. 

Everyone who has ever lived in the Americas was a emigrant or offspring thereof.

NO Native Peoples. So cut out this Indigenous Peoples Stercus. It’s laughable and degrading and insulting. The people who settled the Americas were hard working, survival oriented folks and we have no reason nor excuse to degrade them with false labels.

The Canadians do this right. They seem to still have some national rationality, not doctrinaire delusion. They call these folks the “First Peoples.” As long as we silently add American in the middle, that’s better. And not a politician norm lie. 

But this Indigenous Peoples Day is as big a nausea spew as is Columbus Day.

Sweet Grapes

Well, once again the Nobel Committee passed me by. 

And I think Kip Thorne double dipped?

But this is good news. I really wouldn’t want to bear the discomfort of going to Stockholm and having to deal with a tyrant and give a lecture to bogs.

So he’s welcome to.

In fact, anyone is welcome to. As long as I don’t have to.

The other good news is that the committee, for once, didn’t wait ten or twenty years to recognize some work. The bad news is that they picked old farts again. 

Now I can get back to work and do that. These three guys are going to get no work done for a year or more.

EXTRO Survival

Have you ever noticed that EXTROs are herd people?

That’s because it helps them survive. If they didn’t clump together the predators could pick them off one by one and soon stupidity would be wiped out.

Half A Century Past

One Day. Back to Gym. And since the monitors were offering nothing worthwhile about the massacre in Las Vegas, I settled in to listen to my usual, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” podcast. This episode was a mid-season special about their fiftieth anniversary.

This led me to reflect on where and what I was fifty years ago. I was a sophomore at the Campus of the Black Warrior. Still lived in the Nerd Dorm aka Hammer (Mallet) Hall. No cafeteria. Moldy and sagging with age. The only thing new was that telephones (wired, of course) had been installed in every room and the U sent you a bill every month for the callage. I seldom got a bill because I never called anyone.

The most noteworthy thing that semester was that I finally made Dean’s List. My first semester I almost flunked out and the second missed the Dean’s List by a fraction of a point. Summer didn’t count.

It was also the first semester I took a maximum course load. I had figured out that the fewer courses I took the lower my grades. Lots of ideas why but what counted was not being offered a scholarship to study in Vietnam. Survival, that is.

The big courses that semester were third semester calculus and first semester Sophomore Classical Mechanics. Both were characterized by interesting content and not very good teachers. The calculus teacher was a grad student. I had gotten spoilt the first two semesters with Barbara Chambers who was a great teacher. If It hadn’t been for her I wouldn’t have been able to learn third semester calculus on my own, proving Chicken Man’s (Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s) claim that ‘good student succeed in spite of bad teachers.’ 

The physics teacher was a perfesser but he seemed indignant that he had to teach sophomores. Happily, sophomore mechanics is a problem solving course and all I had to do to learn was work problems.

The long course was organic chemistry. Most courses were three or four semester hours credit; organic was five. Three hours of lecture and two two hour labs a week. We made lots of smells so my efforts to regain weight took a nose dive again. The perfesser was a recently mustered out Vietnam veteran who acted like he begrudged the time wasted in ‘Nam and was noted for having congress in his office with coeds who needed a grade upgrade. This course was a two semester series that was (supposedly) a make/break for PreMed students. Less than a “B: and no Med Schule. So some of the coeds did extra credit work. Supposedly.

The bad course was first semester English Literature. This was the third of four mandatory “English” courses for arts and science college students. The teacher was a grad student who fancied himself a thespian so he read a lot aloud in class. The problem was that the material was not only boring but unengaging. And this guy though science fiction was porn. 

The weird course was New World Archaeology. The professor was (the) David DeJarnette. Nice guy, made it all interesting, and kept trying to convince me to switch from Physics/Chemistry/Maths to Archaeology. He kept setting me special problems like how to date the fire enlarged caves in the Yucatan. 

This was also the last semester I took a maximum load until my last semester. Hereafter I always took an overload. Only way I could get a triple major before being sent to Vietnam. 

Gad I had a lot of phun in those days. Even with the football pornography feeding cancerous on the environment – fall term and all that.  And I learned a lot. Especially about molecular quantum mechanics. And I had to learn to read french and german and russian that term (and the next,) so I could read journal article for organic chemistry lab.

And the first 0.5mm mechanical pencil came out. 

Life was GOOD.

Stupidity in Action 2

This morning, while patrolling the FaceRoll (as in TP,) I ran across a posting contrasting the merits (?) of “Organic” versus “GMO” foods. 

I was struck by how abysmally stupid the Bogs can be.

First, “Organic”: Geeks and Nerds know that Organic Chemistry is a branch of Chemistry dealing with chemical compounds (molecules) incorporating covalent carbon atoms. By definition, all foodstuffs are “Organic” in these terms.

Bogs, on the other hand, think “Organic” foods have been frown under “Natural” conditions absent certain “toxic” chemicals such as antibiotics.

So this delusion perpetrates a redundancy, since all foodstuffs are Organic, a misconception, since anything that occurs is part of Nature and hence natural (which sadly, sometimes, includes Bogs,) and the inversion that antibiotics are toxic poisons. (And yes, I know the latter is redundant but Bogs tends to dampen rational thought by their mere mental presence.) 

This is the wisdom (perhaps wisdumb would be better?) of Bogs?

Second: GMO: Geeks and Nerds know that almost all foodstuffs are GMO. Bogs, on the other hand, think GMO is some evil conspiracy. (Yes, another redundancy; Bogs again.)

Take corn. Except in a few museum and laboratory vaults, all corn is GMO. All the corn you can buy in a grocery store (regular or “Organic”) or at a roadside stand is GMO. Go pick up a book on the history of Mesoamerica and look at the pictures of ancient corn. Looks like weeds. It was a weed. Until it was bred for a bigger yield of seeds. 

Third, what we should avoid is Bogs. They are deluded, dangerous, and deranged. Because they think (and act) this stercus. In fact, that may be what fills their skulls.