The blog where I rant about things that should be obvious to everyone

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A broken legal system

After reading the heart wrenching story over at the spearhead I couldn't help but think how Biblical law works.

In Deuteronomy 19:16-19 we get one of the best parts of the traditional Jewish justice system.

16If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
 17Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;
 18And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
 19Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.”

Anyone who for any reason makes a false accusation willfully and knowingly, such as in the cases of false rape accusations, should receive the maximum allowable sentence that could have occurred in a guilty verdict. By doing so, we would put the evil away of false rape accusations, of false child abuse accusations, of most weapons that women use to destroy good men in an evil court system.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Celebrate the Damn Holiday

During this time of year a lot of Christians get their panties in a bunch over the celebration of Halloween. I admit that I am a recovering panty bunching Christian myself. But the simple fact is that there is nothing wrong with kids dressing up in costumes and walking around the neighborhood. In fact, there is no action that we can take that is sinful.

Sins do not come in the form of actions. It is not movement of molecules, or transfers of energy that are sinful. If it were any different than rocks would be capable of sin. If it were different, to go back to the topic of holidays, you could map out the orbit of the Earth and highlight the Halloween portion of the orbit, saying “See here. This is the part of the Earth's orbit that is sinful.” Of course no one preaches that rocks commit sins, or that parts of the Earth's orbit is are sinful, while other part are righteous.

The reason for this is that sin is exclusively the realm of the heart and mind. This is why so many actions can be considered righteous in some cases and evil in others. This is why when Phinehas butchered two people by driving a spear through them, it was attributed to him as righteousness, but when Cain slew Abel it was attributed to him as sin.

This is also why Jesus preached a new standard of righteousness in Matthew 5:28 when saying that to merely lust after a woman is that same as committing adultery with her.

So what is the key? How do we determine motivations? Jesus tells us in Matthew 22 when saying what the greatest commandments are: to love the Lord with all your heart and all your mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. He then goes on to say “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” What Jesus is saying here is that any action taken with a heart or a state of mind that does not put God first, or that puts yourself before your neighbor, is sinful. And conversely any action taken with a heart or state of mind that puts God first, or puts your neighbor before yourself (without violating the putting God first part), is righteous. So by this definition celebrating Halloween may or may not be a sin based on the reason for celebrating it.

If you are decorating your house and yard for Halloween so you can look down on the yards of your neighbors as their yards are not nearly as cool, you are sinning. If you don't decorate your yard or pass out candy because you dislike your neighbors, you are sinning. And of course if you celebrate Halloween by mocking God and preforming satanic rituals, you are sinning.

Laundry list Christians (that is those who have a long list of things that you must do or believe before being a REAL Christian) are fond of pointing out that the roots of the holiday are pagan rather than christian. And they point out rightly that we are not to follow pagan practices. What they miss however is the relationship with follow pagan practices and motivation. The Israelites were forbidden to following pagan practices in as far as they were related to idol worship. The pagans also made a practice of eating, but the Israelites were not forbidden from doing that.

In basically all cases where the Israelites were forbidden from partaking in pagan practices there is a direct idol worship link. Take for example Leviticus 19:28 “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” This is often cited as a reason to not getting tattoos. But this is not some incitement against all bodily marks, it is condemning the practice of ancestor worship. If you play football and you put dark marks under your eyes to cut down the glare, you are not violating Leviticus 19:28. Another example is Jeremiah 10:2-5 which is often cited to condemn Christmas trees: “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.” Again, the take away should not be that decorated trees are intrinsically evil but rock gardens are okay. What is condemned is the practice of worshiping trees as idols. And don't tell me that by singing “Oh Christmas Tree” people are engaging in devil worship. Appreciation is not worship. You should sooner condemn songs like “The Star Spangled Banner” or “America the Beautiful” as idol worship than a song like “Oh Christmas Tree”. But very few laundry list Christians have that as an item on their list. The reason of course is that being a laundry list Christian is not about trying to serve God but rather to usurp God's role as judge.

So to bring it back to Halloween, boys that dress up in a bed sheet are no more worshiping ancestors, death, or the devil, than girls who dress up as princesses are worshiping the Queen of England. There once was a time when Halloween was about idol worship, but that time has long since passed. And as it is no longer intrinsically about idol worship, there is no longer anything intrinsically sinful about it. The fact that there is still some small sect of people who do practice Halloween as a pagan ritual does not change that. And for you laundry list Christians reading this who disagree, let me ask you this: if earth worshiping druids started to observe the Sabbath, even doing it on Saturday instead of Sunday like good laundry list Christians do, would you stop? If the answer is no, then unbunch your panties and go out and enjoy Halloween.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just be yourself

When it comes to attracting women, the advise that is often thrown around is to “Just be yourself.” This is very poorly worded good advise. What they should be saying is to keep a consistent internal state, don't try so hard, and keep a strong frame. All of this can be interpreted as being yourself, but if you are a person who by nature tries hard to please, changes their internal state to meet others expectations, and tends to get pulled into other peoples frames, than you will validly interpret this advise as the staying the course which is not what the adviser meant, and not a good idea.

To better illustrate what I mean by keeping a consistent internal state, not trying so hard, and keeping a strong frame, consider the following example. When I was in college, I lived in a dorm that housed 32 guys. The floor was not divided up between age groups, so every year the seniors (hopefully) graduated, and a new batch of freshmen came in. And every year the freshmen were largely intolerable socially for the entire first semester, and about half of the second semester. The reason is that they came in all doe eyed, so eager to please, and so afraid that they would not make any friends. They would laugh heartily at every joke anyone told no matter how unfunny the joke, or how God awful the delivery.  They would listen enthralled to any story, be up for any activity, and never let on what was really going through their heads. One of my friends and I were really into the card game bridge, and decided to teach some of the new freshmen how to play. We played regularly with them for that whole first year. It was not till a whole 2 years later that we found out that they dreaded every minuet of it. There was even one occasion where two of them saw us coming and one pulled the other into the stairwell where they hid under the stairs till we passed by. I only heard about this nearly 2 years after it happened.   

This is the way that we tend interact with all new people (hopefully not to that extent), especially with men who are meeting new women. The issue stems from the fact that with new people we don't have any past validation of their interest in us or affection. So say you meet someone new and excitedly ask them if they want to go to a haunted house for Halloween and they say “Aren't haunted houses for kids?” To “be yourself” is to keep your state by remaining excited, not getting mopy about them insinuating that your a child, by not fall into their frame that haunted houses are for kids, and for gods sake by not being try hard and saying “Ok, than we can do something else! Anything else! I would do anything to be with you! please love me”.  In short, don't be like a doe eyed college freshman so eager to please, and so needing to be loved and accepted. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Abortion is not a state issue

One of the most amazing logical disconnects people have is on the issue of abortion. First there is the most repeated straw man that a woman should be able to do what she wants with her own body. This of course is wrong because the issue is not her body, the issue is the body of her child. Some people might say that the fact that the child is dependent on the mother as a host body, or because it cannot live aside from the mother somehow changes the rules. Of course that is absurd. I don't have the right to kill people dependent on me, nor should I. In the same way dependence is not a justification for murder in the case of an unborn child.

Then you get these zany ideas (and when I say zany I mean Charles Manson devil worshipping level of evil) about how it should be illegal except for cases of rape and incest. This assumes that there is something wrong with abortion other than the fact that it is murder. If it is murder, than the child’s lineage should not matter. The cost to the mother is unfortunate, but just because someone inconveniences you does not mean that you have a right to kill them. Even in cases where the guilt lies with the same person who is inconveniencing you, you still don't have the right to kill them. Take the case of my friend who lived in an apartment where the residents above her broke their toilet and instead of calling the land lord to get it fix, just kept using it while the sewage dripped down into her bathroom. As they were also not paying rent at the time, they should have fit the bill in every way to make their killing permissible either by my friend or the land lord. The were inconvenient, and dependent. But still to murder them would be a crime, as it should. It's no different in the case of a child conceived by rape and incest, except for that it might be a bit more extreme, but the rules are the same.

The last major fallacy that seems to infect most of the right is the idea that murdering children should be a state issue. Of course if you don't mask the act of taking a baby and sticking a fork in its skull until dead behind terms like abortion, then the reason that it is not a state issue becomes perfectly clear. Its against the 14th amendment right now, without changing any laws, as the 14th amendment does not allow for denying anyone of their life without a trial, and in many states doctors are already legally forced to admit that unborn children are separate living beings. Even if the constitution was set up in such a way that it was a state issue, any leader who does not see protecting innocent life as something that comes before honoring some piece of paper, is not fit to lead a herd of lemmings of a cliff (ok I guess you still may consider them for US public office).

Game in the opera

One of the reasons that I started getting into game is that I really enjoy intellectual dissection. Before I learned anything about game, my tool for dissecting social dynamics would have been more like a machete, but after reading just a little bit about game (specifically about shit tests) I noticed that I had a much finer tool like a butchers knife. Now after several months of reading game blogs and a couple of books I've actually got a scalpel.

With my new found skills one of the most interesting things that I see is the the principles of game are followed by almost all the story tellers. Whether its books, TV, movies, or whatever, most romances go as expected according to game theory. This is interesting because most people when first hearing about game tend to brush it off.  And yet while their conscious mind rejects game, their subconscious already is following the all of the principles. This just serves as more evidence that the rules of attraction are biologically imprinted on each of us.

Another thing that is interesting is being able to see story arcs in a new light. For example, I very much enjoy musicals. One of my favorites is The Phantom of the Opera. For those who are not familiar with the story, it revolves around a man who due to a horrible facial disfigurement present at birth, has hidden himself away in secret passages underneath the Paris opera house. In the book you get more details about his life, and get to know that his own mother was afraid of him due to his face being sunk in resembling a skull. I don't actually recall if he ran away from home or was thrown out, but either way he spent time in his youth as a freak in a freak show. He eventually escaped from there and actually went on to do some amazing things.  As the book unfolds it becomes clear that he is truly a renaissance man, speaking contemptuously of Mozart as a composer, and achieving great things as both an architect and an engineer. On top of this, despite his disfigurement, he is quite gifted physically. He is almost supernaturally strong, and has a singing voice that far outstrips any of the performers in the opera. But because of his face he is unable to relate to any other human being and finds himself utterly alone his entire life.

So the musical takes place during the portion of his life where he is in the opera house trying to seduce a chorus girl as the Phantom. He gives her singing lessons, and does it all while hiding in the walls, completely unseen. Then as he tries to escalate the whole thing, trying to get her used to him by hypnotizing her and bringing her to his lair. In the end the relationship blows up and he tries to kidnap her and then lets her go, never to be seen again. But as I was last listening to the musical, I realized that more than because of his facial disfigurement, the phantom was rejected because he is a stone cold omega. One clear place this is demonstrated is in the song towards the end of the musical, Past the Point of no Return, which is a song written by the Phantom who is forcing the opera house to preform his work by means of terrorism. In the lyrics you can see a total disconnect between how the Phantom's mind works and how normal social dynamics work, and this disconnect is far more disconcerting that any facial disfigurement. Take for example the section

Past the point
of no return -
no backward glances:
the games we've played till now
are at an end . . .
Past all thought
of "if" or "when" -
no use resisting:
abandon thought,
and let the dream
descend . . .

The song is sung by the Phantom to the chorus girl, and the message is that in the play their relationship is done being playful, and now they are going to get serious and have sex. The total disconnect between sex and play inspires more dread than the fact that he wears a mask, and is clearly a sign of him being an omega. The song then makes a 180 during which the phantom declares his undying love, by softly and sweetly singing

Say you'll share with me
One love, one lifetime
Lead me, save me from my solitude

Say you want me
With you here
Beside you
Anywhere you go
Let me go too 

These lyrics are fine by themselves, but the fact that there is no transition from the above internal state to this state makes the whole thing unsettling.

Specifically the phantom's problem is a lack of state. An alpha male knows who he is and knows what he wants and what he is doing. As such his inner state is stable. Other people can come up interact with him and if he was happy before he will continue to be happy, if he was angry he will continue to be angry, and so on, only slowly transitioning from one state to another. This is because his validation does not come from the people immediately around him at any given time. An omega on the other hand will rapidly jump from one state to another based on insignificant social interactions, often wildly misinterpreting small exchanges or even lack of exchanges. It is by being like this, far more than from having a disfigured face, that drove the phantom from society, and kept him from being able to build relationships with anyone. Of course it is a fictional story, but it is by following these game principles that the story actually works.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Herman Cain

Herman Cain's relationship with the tea party.

Bububbut he's better than Obama.

The West does not owe slave descendants anything

The thoughts that most conservatives have about reparations generally is either in the camp of thinking that whats in the past is in the past, or that due to disproportionate representation of black people on the welfare roles that we have already paid. What neither of these take into account is that fact that the idea that slavers went to Africa and rounded up a bunch a free men to use as slaves is almost entirely a myth perpetuated by the book and the movie Roots (which was both fictionalized and plagiarized by the way). The truth is that in almost all cases American slavers sailed to Africa where they met up with African slavers who sold them slaves. This should be evident by the fact that the native Africans were no more or less civilized than many of the Indian tribes that Western Americans came across, but they did not conqueror and enslave them. If they had run into Indian slave traders in any kind of large numbers (I certainly can't say that it never happened) there would have been just a large a trade of Indians as slaves, but the fact remains that it was unique to Africans.

This is not to say that all white men who bought slaves were righteous. The right thing to do would have been to free them as soon as they had been purchased. But consider another case. If you came across a man who was desperate for cash and in his desperation offered to sell you his wife's engagement ring which was clearly worth thousands of dollars and though you could have paid full price, you take advantage of the situation and buy it for only a few hundred. Is that the good christian thing to do? No of course not. But on the other hand, after the transaction is made do you owe that man anything. Again no. In the same way, American slavers did not owe the slaves that they purchased freedom because they did not enslave them. The truth is that those who made it to America where the lucky ones. There were certainly some bad slave owners in the south, but in Africa to treat a slave as being more valuable than a horse was the exception.

If your still not convinced consider another example. In Nazi Germany, Oskar Schindler rescued many Jews from concentration camps. The rescued Jews basically worked for him in his factory as slaves. At the end of the war did he owe them reparations? Of course not. By acquiring slaves he was saving them from the gas chambers, and is considered a hero for it. This is not 100% analogous with American slavery, but it demonstrates the principle. If life as a slave in America was not worse than life as a slave in Africa it means that Americans do not owe former slaves anything. In fact we did give them something: freedom. Something that they or their ancestors would not have gotten in Africa where the slave trade is alive and well to this day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Abusing Chivalry

Most men have the idea impressed on them that they should protect the weak. This is particularly manifest in the idea that a man should never hit a woman. The assumption with this idea is that the man is always stronger than the woman, otherwise it would not matter, as is made obvious in that severely handicapped men generally are not held to this standard, but find themselves falling more into the societal category of women in that they should never be hit either. What is less engrained is the idea that if you are on the receiving end of special treatment you should not abuse it. That is to say if you are a woman or in some other societal role where men are to refrain from being violent towards you, you are also obligated to refrain from being violent towards them. But more and more its getting to the point where this second half of the unspoken contract is completely ignored. Take for example the recent event with Phoenx Jones, the costume wearing, pepper spray wielding, crime patrolling, self styled super hero.

Phoenix Jones Stops Assault from Ryan McNamee on Vimeo.

In this video he is patrolling with his side kicks and sees a street fight taking place under an overpass. He immediately runs in and breaks up the fight with pepper spray while his side kicks call 911. Then one of the girls who was watching the fight starts chasing him around attacking him with her high heel. Now clearly there is no question that Phoenix Jones could literally kill this girl with his bare hands if he so chose, but she correctly assumes that he will hold up his end of the societal contract while she flagrantly breaks her part of it. And the real kicker is that the only person charged with anything in this case was Phoenix Jones, while clearly he was on the receiving end of assault.

Contrast that with the more recent case of two women assaulting a man working at McDonald's (read the story here).

In this case the worker behind the counter questioned a $50 bill that they gave him and in response one of them reached across the counter and slapped him, and then threw herself over the counter while her friend started walking the long way around to reach him. They also assumed that he would uphold his end of the societal contract while they flagrantly broke their end. In this case they were wrong. He responded by grabbing a metal rode and beating them. One of them just suffered a fairly deep cut, but the other suffered a broken skull and arm.

It's interesting the way that the story is reported. They keep it in terms like there was an altercation that got violent. The sense is very much, something bad just happened and then the McDonald's employee went crazy. It never mentions whether or not the $50 bill they gave him was counterfeit or not. So most likely what happened is that they gave him a fifty, and as per store policy he had to check it out make sure that it was not counterfeit. In their intoxicated state the two women took this as a slight and then go on to assault the worker. He excessively defends himself. So unlike the phrasing in the news report that he attacked unruly customers, or that it was a fight the escalated out of control, this is a case where a man was attacked by two women and responded. It is totally inappropriate to say that he attacked them, as they were literally chasing him behind the counter with intent to harm when he “attacked”.

At least in this case all parties were changed with crimes. However if we keep going on with the idea that men should just sit there and take it or run away while women attack them instead of responding we'll get more and more of these incidents. Also, it needs to be made clear to women what their role in the societal contract is, as many of them clearly think that theirs is a place of privilege and the the contract only goes one way.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Accidental Alpha

When I still in school, before I knew anything about game, I was visiting my friend Ishmael back home over Christmas break. At the time he was renting a house with some other guys, one of whom I found out owned his very own gorilla suit. It was the best costume that I had ever seen, covering the whole body, with a fake gorilla head and everything. Being the 6'3” broad shouldered beast that I both was and am, the suit did not fit me. Ishmael on the other hand could get right in it. It was just to great a suit to not use, so I had to think of something. Prior to being shown the gorilla suit our plans had just been to rent a movie and hang out. So in the interest of using it right then, before I went back to school, Ishmael and I came to an agreement. After exchanging some “I will if you will” type pacts it was decided that he would wear the suit to the video store and I would lead him with a rope looped around his neck. If anyone looked at us funny in the store I was to lead him over to them and ask “Would you like to touch my monkey” after which he would offer them his hand.

At the store itself most people avoided eye contact. I think that we only actually went up to 2 groups, one middle aged couple, that was not that amused, and one lone attractive girl. As we were browsing the new releases moving slowly around the outer wall, we found ourselves in the same general space as her. She looked over at us bemused, and as per our pack, I walked right up to her maintaining eye contact and asked “Would you like to touch my monkey?” She laughed as she shook Ishmael's gorilla clad hand, and then instead of moving on as I was planning on doing, she started up a conversation. She was trying to find common ground at first asking what kind of movies we liked. And then she said something like “You know I bet my dog would really like you.” Now I really don't like changing my plans after I've made them, and so I was wanting to get on with our evening and spend time hanging out with Ishmael before I had to go back to school. So as she was trying to start up a conversation I was trying to disengage without being rude. As she was talking I was switching between looking at her to browsing over movies on the rack in front of me. Eventually we were able to get away and went on to watch a movie and share a few laughs before I had to leave. As we got out of the store into the parking lot we let out the laughter that we'd been holding in. We couldn't believe how much attraction had been generated while purposefully acting like annoying jackasses.

It wasn't till much later after reading about game theory that what happened started to make sense. The first thing that we were doing was peacocking. That is we were dressed in a way intended to draw attention. Secondly under the additional social presser of peacocking, by making the agreement to walk up to people and ask them if they wanted to touch my monkey, we demonstrated social dominance. If we had not done that and instead avoided eye contact and slunk away from people who looked funny at us, then it would have been less attractive than if we had done nothing at all. Finally, by being genuinely disinterested in actually picking anyone up, I naturally had alpha body language. The end result was that it was actually awkward not to go for the insta-date either by asking her to come watch a movie with us or inviting ourselves to her place to watch and meet her dog.

Cat Logic

When I move around the house, on occasion my cat will start racing from room to room ahead of me. This has always been a particular source of amusement for me as from what I can tell what is going on in his mind is first observing that his master is taking a step towards the living room. This observation is processed with inscrutable cat logic. The final result is that he decides that he has to run into the living room as fast as he is able to go in order to beat me there. I then go into the living room to be met with a wild stare, and as I turn around and hear the sound of his legs furiously propelling him past me again the process is repeated.

Whats so funny about this is that for some reason that is not based in any real logic, but makes perfect sense in cat logic, my cat expends tons of energy to ensure that he is the first to arrive in every room. I suspect that it is some sort of game, and he's probably winning, but who knows what goes on in the mind of a cat.

That said, I also found this article on why atheists don't have to showrespect for other religions quite amusing. For the most part it is full of normal atheist talking points about how religion is evil and whatnot. But what struck me is that the author admits that many religions are harmless, and then goes on about the importance of making more atheists. So as I try to look at it from their perspective, what I see is first the observation that there is no god/supernatural/after life. Everything that we do ultimately will not matter as we are all going to die anyway. After death it does not matter whether you've lived a good life or a miserable life, as your consciousness is simply gone. Everything can be explained by science, which ultimately means that we have no free will. These observations are then processed by inscrutable atheist logic. Then the final result is the burning passion to make everyone else believe that there is no god/supernatural/after life/morality/free will. And as I look into those wild atheist eyes, I find myself thinking “You go atheist, live that dream”.