In Large Type

brilliant ideas in a big font… often gay interest or political topics.

Not your mule

Posted by bert5 on 8 March 2016

I happen to agree. It’s nice that someone can be an ally to every diverse person’s cause, but it shouldn’t be assumed that other minorities can or should ride others coat tails.


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Why a large percentage of women are bisexual

Posted by bert5 on 2 September 2015

My main theory is that having a good understanding of the attraction women can hold is an advantage to those women themselves. If a woman knows what looks sexy about a woman to a man, they can gain an benefits in attracting their favored male partners. Likely this can’t be a learned thing.  It might have to be instinctual to be effective and so this might be why women have some element of bisexuality by default. There is a kind of arms race of trying to look attractive to men, especially since men treat women’s looks as a priority, and so evolution has favored some amount of bisexuality in women.

In light of that I am amazed by contrast at how clueless straight men are about the attractions of men in a visual sense. For example, many straight men choose to shave daily such that they have faces and bodies as smooth as school girls. I think most girls would say it’s unmanly and unattractive, while I would actually go further and call it repulsive. For some reason, it is more rare for men to be bisexual. I think it is possibly because women don’t find looks as important in a man. Status and perhaps money can be more important factors to a woman, so a man who knows how to look attractive, appearance-wise, to a woman just doesn’t get much advantage from it, and so bisexuality in men did not evolve to be as common as in women.


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Short guys: are they nicer? are they gayer?

Posted by bert5 on 17 May 2015

I have always found that short straight guys are at least superficially nicer than tall ones. There are exceptions of course. Why might that be? They’re smaller and so they tend to need friends to avoid being punching bags. Also, they don’t stand out to women. Women are big on height, so short straight guys need their friends’ help to find a woman. So by default a short straight guy tends to be pretty friendly. Are they genuinely nicer as a close friend? I’m not so sure (maybe not after they’re married).

What about short gay guys? They’re probably nicer than your average gay guy, but not as nice a short straight guys. Why? Because short gay guys aren’t after women. They’re after gay men. Gay men don’t care about your height so much, just that you look good.

Okay, do gay guys tend to be shorter than straight guys? I think statistically it may be true, but the effect is very small. Maybe a quarter or eighth of an inch? The only reason it could be true is that gay guys tend to be statistically more likely to be younger brothers of older brothers. Younger brothers are slightly shorter on average perhaps because their mother is older when they have them.

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Is being gay a choice?

Posted by bert5 on 29 March 2015

Short answer: no. Long answer: depends on what you mean by ‘being gay’ and ‘choice’.

Many people experience sexual orientation as fixed. Meaning, for as long as they remember they were always sexually attracted either one sex or the other. I count myself in that group. Among these people, those having fixed same-sex attraction, I would assert that being gay is not a choice in a similar (maybe not exactly same) way that someone can say they are attracted to: danger, public speaking, durian, and heights. There are not perfect analogies, but there are things that one likes that are basically immutable. What made you that way? Who knows? (I suspect genetics and biology.)

Sure, in the end, the brain can hide these desires or lack of them. If you dislike public speaking, you can force yourself to make a speech and hide your stage fright, but it may come at a severe cost to yourself in terms of your sanity and your health. As I mentioned it is not quite a perfect analogy, but some may call this hiding of desires or lack of desire a kind of ‘choice’. I.e. you can chose to act on your dislike of public speaking or not. But I argue this is not really a voluntary choice that people mean when they ask the question: “is being gay a choice?”.

What about bisexuals? Aren’t they constantly expressing a voluntary choice? Actually I think if we follow the above framework, the answer is no. Bisexuals are attracted for certain people for the attributes that are not tied to appearance as male or female. At least, it is not of paramount importance to them (or the attraction of the two sexes are equally powerful and thus neutralized). Nevertheless, I believe they experience this sexual attraction without significant voluntary control. I.e. being bisexual is not a choice.

But are we missing an important point? Why does the element of voluntary choice come into play into discussions of whether it is fair to denigrate gays, bisexuals and lesbians? If it was entirely voluntary and I ‘decided’ to like/be attracted/have sex with men, why shouldn’t that be allowed? Why should I be discriminated against for that?

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Gays and Evolution: Exclusive focus on opposite sex is detrimental

Posted by bert5 on 26 November 2014

You all know the straight guy, a player, who has next to no male friends. He’s only interested in female companionship. It gets a bit lonely for some bits. It just seems like it might be detrimental to be too far extreme in the lack of any same-sex interests for survival advantage. It helps to have some same-sex (male) allies to be on your side to fight others in a dangerous world. This leads to the idea that homosexuality is a variation, albeit a fairly extreme one where it essentially replaces opposite sex interests. I think this is a ‘nice’ theory, but not terribly convincing as a full explanation.

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Grower vs Shower

Posted by bert5 on 23 November 2014

In cold climates and waters, penile shrinkage actually prevents heat loss and might have led to survival advantage. My guess this was an evolutionary development.

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Amazon vs Hachette

Posted by bert5 on 1 October 2014

A publisher served as a gatekeeper for expensive printing resources. If you have e-books which cost nothing to make, and a good writer is just a good writer — with or without the editor who only affects the quality around the margins (pun intended) — doesn’t getting rid of the publisher make sense?

Worst case, the author hires an editor on her/his own.

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Is there an ulterior motive behind so-called ‘Pro-life’ position?

Posted by bert5 on 9 July 2014

‘Pro-life’/anti-contraception male: a woman should not be able to goal-tend my ‘score’.

Notice how close this is to the legitimate rape male: forceably impregnating a woman should be ‘legal’ and she should carry that baby to term even though I probably won’t claim paternity unless I’m forced to. It’s nice to have offspring without responsibility, just like in the prehistoric times. (But such males forget in prehistoric times the woman could abandon/kill her offspring too if her new boyfriend didn’t do it first.)


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Right wing double-speak translation engine

Posted by bert5 on 22 June 2014

Religious liberty – where extremist Christians have the right to stop non-Christians from exercising their religion or freedom from religion; plus we want to allow Christians to discriminate in providing services to people we don’t like including the gays, transgender individuals, Muslims, and sometimes even Jews.

Pro-life – where the key is protecting life between conception to birth and not afterwards; and as well an unspoken: “jail/execute African Americans”

Traditional marriage – not the very old tradition of polygamy or the new tradition of same-sex marriage, but just the early 20th century one, not considering the Mormons

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Copycat gun crimes or just normal life

Posted by bert5 on 5 June 2014

Not long after the Santa Barbara shootings, we have the Seattle Pacific and Canada events. But I also see a rash of shootings in Chicago and Detroit. But Seattle Pacific and Canada are fairly high profile and seem like they could be copycat crimes. However the shooter didn’t kill themselves. In the Canada case, it seems possible the firearms are non-restricted rifle type. I wonder why something as deadly as a rifle is non-restricted. I guess in Canada, the right to ‘hunting’ was preserved.

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Economist Brits on Charlie Rose

Posted by bert5 on 20 May 2014

Was watching these Economist magazine guys basically say they like Conservative David Cameron and wish Obama would be more centrist and have listened to Simpson-Bowles which from some analysts say was actually a mostly conservative proposal and would have given up a lot of ground to the GOP. I was just appalled. I think they should go back to England where they like it. When I hear those British accents I get annoyed because I think it is used as a way to gain credibility in the US because people are taken in by those accents.


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Why Chinese Males are less hairy and less brawny

Posted by bert5 on 8 February 2014

Chinese culture appears to be more chauvinistic and female suppressing than average in the world. For example, during Song dynasty many women’s feet were bound and basically crippled. It was said to enhance beauty, but it also meant women were completely dependent on men and could also not run away easily.

Also from Wikipedia: “In China, arranged marriages (baoban hunyin, 包辦婚姻) – sometimes called blind marriages (manghun, 盲婚) – were the norm before mid 20th century. A marriage was a negotiation and decision between parents and other older members of two families. The boy and girl, were typically told to get married, without a right to consent [emphasis mine], even if they had never met with each other until the wedding day.” In combination with male chauvinism, I believe women had little influence on who they married and had children with and because of physical impediments they may have been unlikely to cuckold their husbands.

So say we accept at face value that Chinese culture is more chauvinistic and arranged (actually: forced) marriages were very common. What does this mean to selection — in an evolutionary sense? It means the Chinese man did not have to prove himself worthy to the woman in a physical sense for many hundreds or even thousands of years. I believe this is significant.

Elsewhere in the world, men would prove themselves to women in terms of size, strength and physical attractiveness (not to mention courageousness and chivalry). But in China, men would not have to show these traits. And because of this, the genes for these traits were not selected for and exited the gene pool. What came in its place, perhaps genes that would appeal to parents (mostly the father, in such a paternalistic society) making matches: obedience, diligence, and perhaps brains. While these attributes are great, they don’t compete as well today when Asian women have ability to select for pools which are stronger for other very important or even overriding attributes.

Over time, even Chinese males began to appear more feminine and youthful as only attractive female appearance traits were heavily selected in an evolutionary sense.

The Chinese can only perhaps fault themselves. Their sons cannot compete well for mates outside of China, but their daughters do exceptionally well.

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