Nerd rage stopped being cute long ago

It’s been announced that there will be a new Ghostbusters movie, and that it will feature 4 women as the ghostbusters. This sounds like an interesting idea — I’m tired of unoriginal remakes, so this clearly is going to be a different story — but some people are furious about those danged feminists ruining everything.

itsnotfaaaaair

Did these people even notice in the originals that Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston were all men? Did they complain then?

Getting from here to there isn’t necessarily linear

You may recall that sad comment by Scott Aaronson on his blog, Shtetl-Optimized, in which he deplored the way no respect is given to men’s biological imperative to have sex with all the women. Or more recently, Paul Elam’s bizarre appeal to badly interpreted biology and duck rape to justify MRA entitlement. It’s all of a piece, and it’s annoying: it’s reductive nonsense, in which people see a well-established set of scientific principles, and see their own complex situation, and imagine out of whole cloth a clear, simple path from one to the other. And suddenly, they’ve portrayed their messy life as the outcome of a purely determined, clockwork series of inevitable interactions, and they find refuge in the lowest common denominator of possible explanations. “It’s not my fault,” they can say, because of the way electrons interact, because biochemistry and thermodynamics, because genes, because everything follows from astronomical impacts and geology and Chicxlub at the end of the Cretaceous.

As it turns out, that’s what Scott Aaronson (with seemingly little comprehension on his part) was discussing in that notoroious comment section, in part, with someone named Amy. What started as a discussion about a grab-ass professor losing his job evolved into a lot of denial and defensiveness, and of course whenever a lot of nerds try to defend the status quo, they ultimately try to bring up Human Nature and Behavioral Science and This Is How We Evolved. I struggle myself to avoid falling into that trap, and sometimes I do anyway, but a whole gang of male nerds tends to inevitably drift into gross reductionism. Because of thermodynamics, I think, or maybe van der Waals forces.

Anyway, the provocateur behind all that argument, Amy, has now beautiful essay on all the phenomena in the middle that get ignored.

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Duck morality is not for me

I was sent this choice quote from Paul Elam, the ignoramus who runs A Voice for Men, and it stunned me into silence. So much wrong. So painful. Such unscientific nonsense.

The reason women do not suffer the burden of anxiety when it comes to mate finding is because we, as a species, rely almost entirely on Intersexual selection these days (also known as 'female choice'). In other words, a woman will always have men fawning upon her in the hope that they will be granted an opportunity to pass on their seed. You only have to observe the beta White Knights over in the feminism corner to see this in action. It is much more common in the animal kingdom to see Intrasexual selection, where it is the alpha-male who beats off all competition and then chooses his mate. Such a system is inherently better, as it removes the possibility for genetic regression. In today's society. women are never held to account over who they choose to breed with, and as more often than not it seems they are intent on passing on the Jackass-gene. This isn't an argument in favor of rape, Intrasexual selection isn't really rape at all, and evolution is driven by it in most other species. Mallards reproduce almost exclusively by gang-intrasexual selection.

The reason women do not suffer the burden of anxiety when it comes to mate finding is because we, as a species, rely almost entirely on Intersexual selection these days (also known as ‘female choice’). In other words, a woman will always have men fawning upon her in the hope that they will be granted an opportunity to pass on their seed. You only have to observe the beta White Knights over in the feminism corner to see this in action.

It is much more common in the animal kingdom to see Intrasexual selection, where it is the alpha-male who beats off all competition and then chooses his mate. Such a system is inherently better, as it removes the possibility for genetic regression. In today’s society. women are never held to account over who they choose to breed with, and as more often than not it seems they are intent on passing on the Jackass-gene. This isn’t an argument in favor of rape, Intrasexual selection isn’t really rape at all, and evolution is driven by it in most other species. Mallards reproduce almost exclusively by gang-intrasexual selection.

[Read more…]

The Potterverse needs this retcon

I am not a fan of the Harry Potter books (what was that noise? So that’s what a million people simultaneously unsubscribing sounds like!) — my kids enjoyed them, we’ve got all of them around here somewhere, and I read the first couple of them, but they were just a bit too repetitive for my taste, and also too familiar. But don’t worry, I can understand how a lot of people liked them.

But now I’ve read a rewrite of the main story line, with Hermione as the main character. Much better! That’s a story I’d read to the end!