The drums of monotheism

Soon after the bombings yesterday, I noticed on Twitter a large call to not make assumptions, to not rush to judgement and accuse Islam.

Fuck that.  Islam, j’accuse.

This is not an assumption nor a rush to judgement.  This is, in light of what has been happening around the world in the name of Allah for the last few decades, a logical conclusion to make.  In the aftermath of the attacks, the Pakistani branch of the Taliban issued a had this to say: “Wherever we find Americans, we will kill them. But we don’t have any connection to the Boston explosions.”  Is there any wonder, with statements such as these illuminating the global discourse on Islam, that a great many people did reach the conclusion that it was, in fact, Islam?

These blasts are the echoes of the drums of monotheism, beating out a rhythm that demands our submission to their way of life, their beliefs, their myths.  I think I shall choose a different beat, as should we all.

Three days after Hitchens’ birthday, we are reminded of the need for people, not only atheists, but those who believe yet do not find it necessary to do murder in the name of god, to come forth and combat that which is truly evil in this world.  Evil is not little girls who want to go to school, atheist bloggers or Dutch cartoonists “insulting” Islam; it is not teenagers engaging in premarital sex.  Evil is men of perfect faith, who demand that free peoples the world over kowtow to their nonsense.

Maybe it will turn out to be that I am wrong, and an asshole for posting this prematurely.  But even if that is the case, just wait.  Islam will deliver unto us fresh horrors, but unfortunately, no salvation.

The Scientific Rationale for Bros Before Hoes

An interesting study appeared in the journal Human Nature about a year ago, that I have only now stumbled across.  (Or across which I have only now stumbled, if we are following archaic rules of grammar.)

Entitled Hormonal Mechanisms for Regulation of Aggression in Human Coalitions, it discusses the rise and fall of testosterone levels in men based upon with whom they are interacting.  The authors indicate three main conclusions:

1. adult and adolescent males do not elevate testosterone when they defeat their friends, but they do elevate testosterone when they defeat outsiders

2. pre-competition testosterone and cortisol levels are negatively associated with strength of coalitionary ties

3. adult males usually elevate testosterone when interacting with adult women who are potential mates, but in a striking reversal, they have lower testosterone if the woman is a conjugal partner of a close friend.

These are all interesting of course, and have implications for precisely how and why men form and maintain bonds, but the third is whence I derive the title of this post and in which I am most interested.

We’ve all heard the saying.  Now we have an inkling as to why one of the iron rules of the Bro Code developed.  If your T levels drop while interacting with the mate of a close friend, this will obviously lower your sex drive, general aggression, etc.  It also might be a good idea to stay away from your bros’ hoes immediately after the gym.

I’m going to assume, based on absolutely nothing beyond my very low-level of knowledge about hormones, that the fluctuations involved here are very small, and bordering on negligible, but the fact that they occur at all may give us an answer to the question, “Why do we put bros before hoes?”  Although this study only talks about the conjugal partners of close friends, and, at least in my experience, the phrase is much more broadly applied.

I also think that this lends credence to a point I made here about humans being innately moral creatures, who are not needful of external things to dictate morality to them.

For reals, MLB?

Major League Baseball is apparently suing a clinic in Florida that has been accused of supplying players with PEDs.  What the shit is that?  This has to get dismissed on summary judgement.  They are alleging loss of revenue and injury to reputation among fans.  Let’s examine those claims.

In 1990 league-wide attendance was 54.8 million, according to ballparksofbaseball.com.  In 2012 it was 73.9 million.  The strike in 1993 nearly destroyed the game, look at the attendance chart in this post.  AttendTrend

In 2003 the average player salary was $2.3 million; in 2012, $3.2.  These salaries would not be going up if demand for the game and revenues were also increasing.  Average team revenue in 2011 was $212 million, with the average club being worth $615 million.  Revenues from cable TV have risen from $328 million to $923 million in the last ten years.  The amount of money MLB takes in every year is staggering, and has risen significantly ever since the home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa captivated the nation.

Why is MLB getting so worked up about the steroids issue?  These men are professional athletes; their job is to perform physical feats of which the average person simply is not capable.  These drugs make for a better product that the fans like, despite all the lip service paid to the “purity of the game,” which is, and has always been, an incredibly naive way of looking at any professional game.  Personally, I am of the opinion that if steroid users are going to be blacklisted from the hall of fame, MLB should void all records prior to 1954, when blacks were not allowed to play, and then disallow any records set during the 60s, 70s, or 80s, when the majority of players were using massive amounts of amphetamines or coke to get through the season.  MLB should be sending hand-written thank you cards to A-Rod’s dealer, not suing a bankrupt clinic for non-existent damages, and sweeping their hypocrisy under the rug.

Update to the Victim Complex:

Chuck Ross over at GLPiggy is a much better and more thorough reporter than I, at least partly because I do not lay claim to that title. But go there and read his stuff about this ridiculous incident. It is better than anything I will write here.

The Victim Complex is Strong with This One

An incident that took place at PyCon (had no idea what that was) over the weekend came to my attention today, and I must comment on how pathetic the whole situation is.  Apparently this woman heard guys behind her in the lecture hall (TRIGGER WARNING!!) making jokes about dongles.  Yes, that’s right.  Those fiends! Now, Adria knows that she “doesn’t have to be a hero” in every situation (thereby implying she is somehow a hero in this one), but she realized she had to do something. So,  she took a picture of them and tweeted it, then whined further to the conference organizers. She was eavesdropping on a conversation to which she was not a party, but decided that these two guys were just being incredibly offensive and couldn’t be suffered any longer, because those “assclowns” would somehow make it impossible for a little girl to learn and love programming.  They did all of this with dick jokes that were in no way directed at her.

These two men were removed from the lecture and one, a father of three, was later fired.

This is where the hypocrisy and double standards that are inherent in modern, western feminism become absolutely insufferable for me.  This woman has dubbed herself a hero for possessing an oversized victim complex. Here I’ve been told my whole life that women are strong and powerful and so on, but apparently they can’t handle overhearing some juvenile dick jokes at a python conference.  Really?  Adria was “a bit shaken” by the incredibly difficult task of tattling on two men, who weren’t even fucking talking to her, and pointing them out to conference staff.  Wow.  Huzzah, Adria.  You’re really doing your part to set women back to the Victorian era.  “Cease your uncouth dialogue, sir! There are ladies present, and their delicate sensibilities cannot abide such vulgarities!”

These are not the actions of a functioning adult, but of an underdeveloped, socially retarded muppet.  If she was shaken by sending a tweet and then pointing these guys out, I can only imagine the case of PTSD she would have developed had she actually turned around and said something along the lines of, “Hey, would you mind not saying things like that?”  I’m sure the guys would have complied with a polite request, especially once she notified them they were crushing the dreams of little girls everywhere.  These men were not being “disrespectful to the community,” they were just not complying with what Adria thinks is the proper behavior for men to observe when in the company of powerless females.  This is why tech companies don’t want to hire women.  Those companies are, in my experience, run and staffed primarily by men with juvenile senses of humor.  These are the dudes who couldn’t get laid in high school, and are still somewhat frustrated about it, cracking jokes about sex, and they can get fired if one woman within earshot decides they are offensive.

But what worries me more is the reaction of the conference and the company that fired their employee.  Because one excessively uptight woman started crying about the fact that she could overhear them making jokes, they are removed from the conference and one loses his job.  Way to capitulate to the victim-industrial complex.  I will be doing my best to discover for which company that man worked and never, ever buying anything from them in the future.  I encourage all others to do the same.

New Orleans can never be #1 at anything

So this was published a couple weeks ago, but I feel like I have been bagging on NOLA an awful lot lately, and I didn’t want to post anything about it.  It is, however, too funny/depressing to ignore.

“If it were a country, New Orleans (with a rate of 62.1 gun murders per 100,000 people) would rank second in the world.”

According to some in-depth research, Honduras, the country with the highest rate, has a population of about 7.8 million.  Obviously a much smaller sample size will skew the results a little bit, and I am inclined to hope that if New Orleans were to suddenly grow to that size, from its current population of 360,000, the rate of gun murders would not stay the same.  But it is frustrating to see that this city is home to so much violence that it is on par with a country that is essential dominated by drug runners such as Mara Salvatrucha.

This map from NOLA.com is the best thing I can find regarding where the deaths are clustered, and it should surprise no one familiar with the city where they are distributed.  If you have money and can afford to live in the white teapot, you should be ok.  The challenge for us, as it has always been, is alleviating the oppressive poverty in those areas of the city and (or perhaps by) instituting a decent public education system.  

Jesus: Now with more Superpowers!

So it looks like Jesus had more superpowers than what are traditionally listed in the Bible.  According to this Egyptian text, he was also a shapeshifter.  I think this definitely makes the story of his life much more interesting.

It would also explain the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.  If Jesus can change his shape, it only makes sense that he would do so in order to indoctrinate kids and spread his religion.  “Give me the boy until he is seven, and I will give you the man.”

I wonder if the new pope will embrace this as gospel?