vaecrius: The infamous cartoon of Darwin's head on a chimp's body, superimposed with a MSPainted Nazi armband. (are you a monkey)
Been a long time since I've linkdumped here. But the series of links from Wednesday followed such a clear thematic pattern I have to save this.


Post-Christian America: Gullible, Intolerant, and Superstitious

One may rightly object to that last comment as a general thing, but given the links that I will link to below, it turned out to be prophetic.
Ross Douthat has written powerfully about the political consequences of post-Christian conservatism. It turns out that when men and women shed their faith, they don’t necessarily get more liberal, but they do get more tribal and vicious. Many members of the alt-right, for example, famously shun Evangelical Christianity (calling its adherents “cuckstians”). Indeed, as we learn from the battle between social-justice warriors and their right-wing counterparts — the emerging class of godless, angry populists — when you remove from your moral code any obligation to love your enemies, politics hardly improves.

The damage extends far beyond politics, of course. If there’s one abiding consequence of the shallow theologies and simple superstitions of our time, it’s the inability to endure or make sense of adversity. It’s a phenomenon that fractures families, fosters a sense of rage and injustice, and ultimately results in millions of Americans treating problems of the soul with mountains of pharmaceuticals. ...


South Park raised a generation of trolls
Is it just me or has South Park gone full cuck?” wondered fans on Reddit’s The_Donald immediately after that episode aired, and probably not for the first (or last) time. But in the aftermath of Trump/Garrison’s election, those same, vigilant cuck-watchers were back to crowing over how South Park had really stuck it to politically correct types in a scene where Trump/Garrison tells PC Principal, “You helped create me.” That South Park positioned this as less of a triumphant comeuppance than a suicidal backfire didn’t seem to matter. And the show more or less left it there—portraying Trump/Garrison as a dangerously incompetent buffoon, but also as the ultimate “u mad?” to all those liberals they fucking hate.

All of which makes Parker and Stone’s recent declaration to lay off Trump in the coming 21st season a real disappointment at best, cowardice at worst. The duo is, of course, under no obligation to tackle politics—or anything else they don’t want to, for that matter. They’re also right that mocking Trump is both redundant and “boring,” and also that everyone does it. For two dyed-in-the-wool contrarians, Trump comedy feels every bit as bland, lifeless, and sitcom-safe as an episode of, say, Veronica’s Closet. Furthermore, Parker’s complaints of the show just “becoming CNN now” and not wanting to spend every week endlessly restacking the sloppy Jenga pile of Trump-related outrage is completely understandable. Believe me, I get it.

That said: Man, what a cop out. South Park has already spent the past 20 years being CNN for its CNN-hating audience. Meanwhile, Parker and Stone have proudly, loudly thumped for a “fearless” brand of satire that’s willing to mock everyone from George W. Bush to Scientology to Mormonism to Muhammad, even under death threats. To shrug now and say, as Parker did, “I don’t give a shit anymore”—right when, by their own admission, the influence of the show’s worldview has reached all the way to the White House—feels especially disingenuous, and suspiciously like caving to the young, Trump-loving fans with whom they have forged such an uneasy relationship. (“South Park bends the knee on their fake-news-fueled portrayal of President Trump,” one The_Donald post gloated, followed by many, many more.) If they truly believe that those trolls in the mirror are “horrible people” who are helping to “fuck the country up beyond repair,” it would be truly fearless to tell them why, with no hint of ambiguous, everything-sucks irony that can be willfully misinterpreted.


Porn is Destroying Dicks, and My Job
I should probably explain that I am Tantric healer, which means that I touch penises for a living. It's certainly not all I do, as an ordained priestess who supports men in cultivating sacred, conscious relationship with their authentic sexual expression, and the Divine Feminine herself. But, for our intents and purposes, all you really need to know is that I touch a lot of penises.
...
What's wrong with bucking and clenching and grinding? they ask. Well, these are the actions that speak to Voon's findings, which state that the porn addicted subjects "had greater impairments of sexual arousal and erectile difficulties" than those "healthy volunteers" we referenced earlier. The bucking and the clenching and the grinding are all indicative of desensitization, and of my clients' desperate attempts to generate some real-life arousal, because—as we've already determined—they have become tolerant to subtle sensations, and now require gross and exaggerated stimulation to feel themselves at all, let alone to achieve orgasm. [Graphic description follows of what to expect of a healthy male and a broken one.]
...
It's one thing to be numb and unreachable on your Tantrika's massage table. It's quite another when you are entwined in your lover's arms, and she wants to share a connected, mutually-satisfying, erotic experience, but all you can do is pummel and pound while clenching your eyes and your nether regions, calling up any number of online scenarios in your imagination to trick yourself into a semblance of turn-on. Because this is yet another downside of porn addiction: It makes your partner's needs and wants and humanity kind of irrelevant, if not downright annoying, because the porn addict is used to pixelated, 2D "women," who are so much easier to (not have to) deal with than the real life-version, what with their emotions, and their periods, and their clits.

"I prefer seeing you, because honestly, I feel sort of resentful when I have to give my partner foreplay," admitted a twenty-seven year-old client.


I spent 23 years as an elite fighter pilot, and it taught me that motivation is meaningless
A cure? A diagnosis? Pride and lust are wonderful motivators.
In real life, when fear, fatigue, and doubt set in, no speech can provide the motivation you need to keep going. The only thing you and your team can rely on is discipline.

"Discipline Equals Freedom" is Jocko Willink's formula for achieving success. ...

Literally overnight, my motivation evaporated – as did most of my interest in spending a career flying from a carrier. For the first time in my life, flying wasn't fun. I realized that the dream job was just that: a job. And it was a job that was going to require me to do things I didn't enjoy or find easy.

Fear can debilitate a carrier aviator, especially in combat. To succeed, I had to get past it. My self-discipline was all that I could rely on, and I needed every ounce that I had. ...

Most of my time was spent with men like Chris Kyle, who would sit next to me on rooftops, motionless for hours, observing the city through the scope of his rifle. Day in and day out, I watched him do the tedious, thankless, and unrewarding work they don't show you in recruitment videos or movies. Few things can sap your motivation and focus like Ramadi's suffocating dust and 115 degree heat. The only thing that gets you through an environment like that is discipline. And although that discipline often goes unrecognized, it doesn't go unrewarded: It allowed Chris to save countless lives and made him the most successful sniper in SEAL history.


DoD spends $84M a year on Viagra, similar meds
Not to suggest at all that the porn caused this too. But they are both repeated exposure to destructive, dehumanizing evils with significant neurological consequences.
A report published in September found that the incidence rate of ED among active-duty personnel more than doubled from 2004 to 2014.

Researchers at the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center found that the overall incidence rate of ED climbed from 5.8 cases per 1,000 person-years in 2004 to 12.6 cases in 2013, or more than 1 percent of the total population.

According to the report, 100,248 cases of ED were diagnosed among active-duty members from 2004 to 2013.

More than half of those were classified as "psychogenic," meaning the dysfunction was related to psychiatric rather than physical causes.

A number of factors can contribute to ED, from mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, to medications for treating physical and mental conditions as well as injuries, illness and aging.


"Everything Except Country and Rap": What You Really Mean
Relevant for this one line at the end:
Do you really like everything, or do you just like everything you’re told to?
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
Following up on these garbled musings after a night's at least two nights' sleep.

This gets BADLY rambly. There is no organization because I do not even know what my thesis is, which is one of the implicit questions I am struggling with, and thus cannot delete something as irrelevant to such a thesis. )

2015-07-12 EDIT:
The distinctive role of the person of the Theotokos in God’s plan for the salvation of humanity is the source for the empirical, typological symbolism according to which the liturgical function of women in the plan of divine οἰκονομία is parallel to the work of the Holy Spirit, while the liturgical function of the male is parallel to that of Christ.
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
First, a passing thought:
A good design is seamless, unified, harmonious, whole. A bad design is fragmented and arbitrary, its elements stuck together ad-hoc with no consideration as to how one flows into the other. When the intelligent design researchers (and what they do is genuinely, legitimately research - I say this as a barrister and solicitor) look for signs of design, the usual formula is to isolate a harmonious design, deny the existence of its effective cause within creation, and conclude therefore that God must have done it. This is to deny that the effective cause is part of the harmonious whole, and to claim that there has been some kind of unnatural severance within creation. In other words, the signs of flaws and corruptions of the unified design of the original. If these are the signs of the Designer we seek, then that designer is not the One who designed causation for our use, Who is everywhere present and filling all things, Whose designs are at all friendly to us.


And now, have some cave worms (note: taxonomically not worms) to cleanse the palate.

According to this study, if you're white, male, well-educated or in the scientific "in", you are more likely to believe GMOs are safe. Or, rather, distrust increases the further you move out of this inner elite circle. There appear to be no controls for socioeconomic class. Am immediately reminded of Lewis' critique of Man's power over Nature being ultimately the mere power of some men over others.

Relatedly, I'm not the first to compare our economic system to a Paperclip Maximizer. The only real debate is just what is analogous to paperclips - mammon itself, or consumer products.


And now for some less short-form reblogging...

Fr. Stephen Freeman posts a trilogy of posts about sex and gender.

In case the blog is ever moved and the pictures are lost again, here are the pictures the accompany each:cut for spoiler - their best impact is when you read each article itself )

All three are well worth reading. That said, one quote struck me in particular:
In all discussions of our gendered existence, Christians must remember that male and female are eschatological images – they are images towards which we are moving, not givens according to which automatically live. The male who is not self-emptyingly male, is not yet what he shall be nor what he should be. The female who is not self-emptyingly female, is not yet what she shall be nor what she should be. And, of course, our situation is still more tragic and broken. For some, the experience of the energies of our nature is changed – whether through the brokenness of genetics or nurture. They are not yet what they shall be nor what they should be. We share a tragedy that is common to all humanity.
This is incomprehensible without an understanding of what Blessed Mother Maria Skobtsova was getting at in her reflection concerning the emulation of the Mother of God. It also provides, in my experience possibly for the first time, a framework for how we should approach masculine and feminine identity and prescription, in a way that finally relates to the theology of kenosis and the Cross (beyond the way in which all suffering so relates).

This leaves, of course, the content open: just what is male and what is female kenosis? Mother Maria's analysis is tantalizing, providing enough to offer a start to the dialogue but leaving nothing close to a clear, yes-no-depends method of recognizing either or both in another.

I'm starting to understand how Thomas Aquinas felt.

One possible answer: the distinction, outside of biological functions, is more descriptive than prescriptive in that if we simply follow the Way the means of that expression will make themselves known. But why then are there any commandments aimed at consciously maintaining the distinction?

Then Dana comments on Part 3 referencing a book called "Flight From Woman", and another hint suggests itself: every known effort to create a genderless society has only succeeded in creating a misogynistic society. Whatever the reason for it, it just happens that in our civilization the male is unmarked and the female marked, and to try to reform society such that everyone conforms to neutral the obvious thing to do (given the mindset of the revolutionary who is typically also an iconoclast) is to purge that which is marked. The requirement to maintain the distinction - especially in the New Testament where the early Church was going up against the gnostic heretics - may be (inter alia) a safeguard against that evil, which would be toxic to (again, inter alia) anyone who would otherwise have sought salvation through the feminine route.

I say "anyone" at the end of that paragraph. I do not believe in a strict individual (lit. individuus) binary where being on one side on one thing necessitates being on that side on everything else to the exclusion of the other. To believe in such exclusion would be to deny that any woman can carry her Cross, or that any man can be pierced to the heart by the sorrows of another - a denial both theologically monstrous and obviously untrue in experience. One of the most liberating and beautiful things I've found about Orthodoxy compared to Western theology is that to say X is Y is not to imply, in the absence of a genuine contradiction, that X is not Z.

But then how are we by (prescriptive, theological) nature male and female, but not all androgynous (~male and female created He every one of them~)?

Perhaps to all these statements should be added "without limitation", as the lawyers do. Are we each created, then, to find only the highest fulfillment in only one of the paths, however great our works may be down the other? We might, instead, speak not of paths but aspects, or abilities and potentials, or differing gifts of grace, or even statistics in an RPG (tempered, of course, by the constant remembrance that without God our works are nothing).

Or perhaps another test question is: which is worse off: a woman devoid of the feminine and a man of the masculine, or a woman devoid of the masculine and a man of the feminine?

I offer a very crude example.

The former (failure of own gender's virtue):
  • a group of men. One suffers emotional turmoil. The others lash out angrily and bitterly, say all manner of evil against whoever they feel may be responsible, fail utterly to bring consolation or solve the problem.
  • a group of women. One suffers emotional turmoil. The others do not know how to handle it and leave in shame.

The latter (failure of other gender's virtue):
  • a group of men. One suffers emotional turmoil. The others do not know how to handle it and leave in shame.
  • a group of women. One suffers emotional turmoil. The others lash out angrily and bitterly, say all manner of evil against whoever they feel may be responsible, fail utterly to bring consolation or solve the problem.

If both are equally bad, then this gives us no reason to believe that humanity is not fulfilled by total positive androgynity; if the former is worse, then that supports what we are taught.

This is increasingly becoming a matter of "I'll know it when I see it", without any ability to formalize what is going on. The Thomist understanding frustratingly remains.

Will hit Post for want of a logical conclusion.
vaecrius: A stylized navy blue anarchy sign juxtaposed with a pixellated chaos symbol made to resemble a snowflake. (anarchy and chaos)
[2016-01-06 Before reading this it might be better to read Jack Monahan's "refrigerator box" essay which is much more informative.]

From the sighting and aiming discussion here a few things occur to me:


Iconic representation

Icons and all the talk about making present, etc. never made any sense to me until I saw some comment about someone watching a "cradle" Orthodox believer pray to one, and the whole exchange(!) looked like they were having a conversation with a person standing before them. At once it all clicked: the skewed perspectives of various objects, far from being a matter of failing at mere "representation", were required for the full presentation to the viewer to address specific requirements for interacting with what was portrayed on the 2-dimensional space. Things are deliberately moved aside or extended or not foreshortened, or viewed from a different angle than something right next to it, to reveal that which if you were physically there you'd be able to see with no more than a very simple, unconscious movement - the top of a book being opened, the objects on the surface of a table, the hand of a person holding a heavy object. The entire image - and each portion thereof - is made not to reproduce the mechanical light-impression of the physical presence, but as an interface.

It also explains why I've always preferred Doom and Quake's centered guns over the angled views of later FPSes: while more "realistic" in the sense that the side of the gun would be a closer approximation to what you'd see from either eye while the weapon was pressed to your shoulder but before you started looking down the sights, it permanently blocks your view of whatever is below you to your right - something you would be able to see in meatspace with minimal effort by as little as a slight turn of the head, an action that probably should not deserve its own keybind.

As applied to my so-called "realism" Doom mod, unlike most shooters with such aspirations I keep the crosshair rather than sights - which crosshairs, as crude approximations of sight pictures, only (but always and automatically) appear wherever looking down the sights would be an option in another game. The weapon sprite itself is kept as out of the way as would remain faithful to the original aesthetic. No more than movement of the eyes, or at most a slight turn of your avatar's direction to move either sprite or crosshair out of the way, is required to look around. The ultimate result is a double view of your weapon with a large gap in between that you would never see in real life, but which allows the viewer to extract information with no more effort or artifice than if the object had been physically present in the viewer's own equivalent space.


The "drone effect"

Which takes us to the next great hazard in "realistic" first-person shooting. You have a mouse and keyboard. This gets rambly fast. )
vaecrius: a crude scrawl of a grinning, blazing yellow sun. (hier kommt die sonne)
For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who had an inordinate amount of money, far more than anyone knew or could imagine, and for which he had no use. And there was a tiny island nation where he did some business, and there a great multitude ended up owing him much money, though he had no use for these debts and did not care to collect on them; and yet The System these many debtors slaved under could not forgive these debts, and though the man thought they were worthless paper this multitude could not save, or buy or sell or trade, for their debt was great and all that they earned was siphoned off by collectors who charged exorbitant fees and interest, and interest on those fees, and fees for calculating that interest, and so on, such that the man never saw any money from the multitude while the collectors grew in power.

And one day this man said, Enough! and purported to breach his contract with the collectors, and they sued him, and he filed a reply that admitted all the facts and contested none of the relief sought, and the collectors won default judgment and added him to the list of debtors. And at the first payment hearing that man agreed to pay, and received void cheques for a direct deposit; but when the payment came, the amount was so enormous that the flood of cash destroyed the entire nation's economy and sent it into chaos, and there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth, and many fled in vain to the outer darkness; but the man took hold of the entire System in his hands, and ruled as a benevolent tyrant, such that any who believed and switched over to his new system should never be in debt again.
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
Last time on Blazer-Sharp, Prattle-Ready, Brainless Steel Samurai Banana:
Which leaves us with this:
  1. Homosexuality is a sin because the homosexual act cannot be done in the context of a marriage, which to be blessed requires the union of two persons in Christ as the reconciliation of the two gendered halves of humanity in a way that embodies the unity of all those who would be saved, and without such blessing cannot amount to anything more than fornication.

  2. Homophobia is a sin because it divides people against each other, twists men's perceptions of affection, taints all relationships with inappropriate thoughts of sexual domination, isolates its perpetrators and victims in shells of hatred and shame, paralyzes men against any expression of love towards other men (and we're talking about a religion that's all about Love of a God traditionally marked with male Pronouns!), drives people to murder and suicide, and ultimately denies the creation of humanity in the image of the good God.


Here's a thing.

tl;dr By their fruits you will know them + It is not good for man to be alone = ?????
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
This has been sitting in my DW draft window for far too long and I still don't know what to do with it.


On why we cannot have nice things. (and are fat)

...

And for the first time the gender binary and the whole birth control issue are explained to me in a sensical way.

While we've still got a stringent adherence to one man and one woman, not merely one and another, and I can think of a particularly uncharitable and horrible way to interpret the admonishment to satisfy one another, this is a far, far cry from the evil condoms and the quiverings of others who claim Christianity.
The idea that God created human sexual relations only or primarily for procreation denies the special creation of man that separates him from the animals. Furthermore, it makes God the author of evil and a cruel tempter worse than even the devil. It teaches a Calvinistic Orthodoxy and elitism, because, on the one hand, God removes the elect (i.e. celibates) to the cloister and desert, away from the world and the presence of tangible temptation. And on the other hand, He condemns the non-elect and yokes men and women to the grievous burden of living in the closest and most intimate proximity, of being tempted and drawn to one another, but permitting them to come together only for procreation, because the marital act is evil. Because this perverse premise tramples on the words of God and the Apostle, it was condemned by the Apostolic Canons, the First and the Sixth Ecumenical Councils, and other local Councils.
I will not quote from footnote 28 as all of footnote 28, which is quite lengthy, would have to be quoted for effect.

I should stress at this point that I do not necessarily post things and even say they are good because I agree entirely with them. There are many things one would like to be true, and other things that are believed by those who believe the things you are considering or may even already agree with, that are quite something other than true. But at least, as an argument against gender-neutral recognition of marriage, it is something at least a small step removed from the usual garbage-in, garbage-out groundless essentialist categorical denial.

(And of course without limitation I actually agree with footnote 28.)

Which leaves us with this:

  1. Homosexuality is a sin because the homosexual act cannot be done in the context of a marriage, which to be blessed requires the union of two persons in Christ as the reconciliation of the two gendered halves of humanity in a way that embodies the unity of all those who would be saved, and without such blessing cannot amount to anything more than fornication.

  2. Homophobia is a sin because it divides people against each other, twists men's perceptions of affection, taints all relationships with inappropriate thoughts of sexual domination, isolates its perpetrators and victims in shells of hatred and shame, paralyzes men against any expression of love towards other men (and we're talking about a religion that's all about Love of a God traditionally marked with male Pronouns!), drives people to murder and suicide, and ultimately denies the creation of humanity in the image of the good God.

If one and only one of homosexual and homophobic acts were to be lawfully allowed, which is obviously the more Christian answer?
vaecrius: A little yellow ant in the grass on a sunny day. (yellow ant)
Civil Unions by Another Name: An Eastern Orthodox Defense of Gay Marriage

Every single paragraph of this is gold, so I'll just quote the most important part of the intro.
There will always be Christians who oppose "homosexuality" on moral grounds, but enlisting the state to protect "the sanctity of marriage" is a mistake. Such efforts demonstrate a fundamental - even idolatrous - misunderstanding of the meaning of "holy matrimony," effectively denying Christ by vesting the state with divine authority.

California's infamous Proposition 8 and similar measures sure to make it onto the ballots during next year's election fall prey to the so-called Constantinian temptation. When Constantine legalized Christianity in the early fourth century, some began to see an almost godlike authority in the state. An increasing number of Christians found it difficult to tell the difference between the things that belong to Caesar and the things that belong to God.



No More Steubenvilles: How To Raise Boys to be Kind Men

The whole thing is worth a read, so all I can will be arsed to do is cherry-pick a single quote that happens to continue from a theme referenced in one of the links here:
We must teach our boys what it truly means to be brave.

Bravery doesn’t always feel good. I’ve heard it said that “Courage is being afraid, and doing it anyway”. How many of those young men in Steubenville knew in their sweet boy hearts that what was happening was wrong, but still they remained silent? They were afraid to ruin their own hard-earned reputations, afraid of what their peers would think of them. They were afraid of getting in trouble, afraid they wouldn’t know what to say. Teach your boys that bravery can be terrifying. Courage can be demanded of you at the most inopportune times. Let them know that your expectation is that they are brave enough to rise to the occasion. And show them how.



If I Admit That ‘Hating Men’ Is a Thing, Will You Stop Turning It Into a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

Part Four pretty much explains how between 2005 and now I went from typical Nice Guy to wannabe PUA to whatever the fuck I am now (but I would like to think better than what I was before).

Also, analogy of the week:
Imagine you're reading a Dr. Seuss book about a bunch of beasts living on an island. There are two kinds of beasts: Fleetches and Flootches. (Stick with me here! I love you!) Though the two are functionally identical in terms of intellect and general competence, Fleetches are in charge of pretty much everything. They hold the majority of political positions, they make the most money (beast-bucks!), they dominate the beast media, they enact all kinds of laws infringing on the bodily autonomy of Flootches. Individually, most of them are perfectly nice beasts, but collectively they benefit comfortably from inequalities that are historically entrenched in the power structure of Beast Island. So, from birth, even the most unfortunate Fleetches encounter fewer institutional roadblocks and greater opportunity than almost all Flootches, regardless of individual merit. One day, a group of Flootches (the ones who have not internalized their inferiority) get together and decide to agitate to change that system. They call their movement "Flootchism," because it is specifically intended to address problems that disproportionately disadvantage Flootches while benefiting Fleetches. That makes sense, right?

Now imagine that, in response, a bunch of Fleetches begin complaining that Flootchism doesn't address their needs, and they have problems too, and therefore the movement should really be renamed Beastism. To be fair. The problem with that name change is that it that undermines the basic mission of the movement, because it obscures (deliberately, I'd warrant) that beast society is inherently weighted against Flootches. It implies that all problems are just beast problems, and that all beasts suffer comparably, which cripples the very necessary effort to prioritize and repair problems that are Flootch-specific. Those problems are a priority because they harm all Flootches, systematically, whereas Fleetch problems merely harm individual Fleetches. To argue that all problems are just "beast problems" is to discredit the idea of inequality altogether. It is, in fact, insulting.



Junkfood Science: How we’ve come to believe that overeating causes obesity

Major takeaway points, with the interesting backstory removed:
The last part of the Minnesota Starvation Study revealed perhaps the most important effects. When the men were allowed to eat ad libitum again, they had insatiable appetites, yet never felt full. Even five months later, some continued to have dysfunctional eating, although most were finally regaining some normalization of their eating. As they regained their weights, their suppressed metabolism and energy levels returned, although even three months after ending the diet none of the men had yet regained their former physical capacity, noted Dr. Keys.

While it seemed the men were “overeating,” Dr. Keys discovered that their bodies actually needed inordinate amount of calories for their tissues to be rebuilt:
Our experiments have shown that in an adult man no appreciable rehabilitation can take place on a diet of 2,000 calories a day. The proper level is more like 4,000 kcal daily for some months. The character of the rehabilitation diet is important also, but unless calories are abundant, then extra proteins, vitamins and minerals are of little value.
In other words, they weren’t really “overeating,” it was a biological, normal effect of hunger and weight loss. The men regained their original weights plus 10%. The regained weight was disproportionally fat, and their lean body mass recovered much more slowly. With unlimited food and unrestricted eating, their weights plateaued and finally, about 9 months later, most had naturally returned to their initial weights without trying — giving scientists one of the first demonstrations that each body has a natural, genetic set point, whether it be fat or thin. Despite the fear that with unrestrained eating everyone would continue to grow larger, it isn't true.
When obese people are at the size genetically normal for them, their energy balance and requirements per unit of lean body mass are indistinguishable from you or me or any other ‘normal’ weight individual, said Dr. Rudolph L. Leibel, M.D., now at Columbia University, whose laboratory at Rockefeller University, New York, has conducted some of the most detailed, complex metabolic research on energy balance and the biochemistry of fat. “An obese person is metabolically just like a lean person, except they’re bigger,” he said.
In the years following this classic study, Dr. Keys put no stock in weight loss diets or height-and-weight charts. He called those charts “arm-chair concoctions starting with questionable assumptions and ending with three sets of standards for 'body frames' which were never measured or even properly defined.” And “diet fads are for the birds, if you don’t like birds,” he said in a 1979 University of Minnesota Update. He also noted diets such as those promoted by Adele Davis, based on natural foods and fears about processed foods, are “just full of hogwash.” There’s “no great sense to them at all.”



The Most Ridiculous Scene in Jurassic Park

A piece about people, work, and of course Hollywood getting it wrong again by assuming all techne is indistinguishable from majjick.
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
Okay, first, let's get the really horrible link over with.

...

The rest of it is not horrible I promise.

"How is it wrong that they are dead? A brand new insight, no. A good reminder, yes.

As is this. If I can get to this point before age forty it will have been a non-failure.
(an OP is fine too (like, go read it and stuff))

I want a version of this for a men's suit blazer. For blindingly obvious reasons.

This however is something I want, let's just say, somewhat less. D8
vaecrius: A little yellow ant in the grass on a sunny day. (yellow ant)
Artist wanted. For what I have seen to be a quite worthy cause.

In other news: it's "watch Matt clear out half the tabs he's left open in the browser" time again! I'm going to deliberately leave out anything that would normally catch the Helm's Deep* tag for my own sanity - the way things are now I'm sure everyone reading this has seen their share of the heads catapaulted into Minas Tirith already.

Time to slow down and sail on the river...

*(that said, speaking of Helm's Deep... which I have just read with this overlaid.)

Note that I list each tag only once in the descriptions below.

On a better empathy )
personal: matt is dumb: many stories, political: sex and gender stuff: manly!, pyxolytical: clothed ape

In which a man is more legitimately sure of his own humanity than most of us can dream )
linkdump: aural masturbation focus, linkdump: death by awesome, political: hoplophilia, pyxolytical: not a vegan, pyxolytical: is-ism

On the everyday life of our everyday lives. )
pyxolytical: evolution, pyxolytical: evolution: ants
vaecrius: A stylized navy blue anarchy sign juxtaposed with a pixellated chaos symbol made to resemble a snowflake. (anarchy and chaos)
[EDIT: Overmind actually gave a cite:
About the quote itself – I remember reading it in Hayek’s “Fatal Conceit”.

He started one of the chapters in his book with this quote (but with "liberty" instead of "freedom") and later wrote:

The somewhat simplified quotation by Confucius that stands at the head of this chapter is probably the earliest expression of this concern that has been preserved. An abbreviated form in which I first encountered it apparently stems from there being in Chinese no single word (or set of characters) for liberty. It would also appear, however, that the passage legitimately renders Confucius’s account of the desirable condition of any ordered group of men, as expressed in his Analects (tr. A. Waley, 1938:XIII, 3, 171-2): `If the language is incorrect … the people will have nowhere to put hand and foot’. I am obliged to David Hawkes, of Oxford, for having traced a truer rendering of a passage I had often quoted in an incorrect form.
It is the same passage (and I think the same translation) that I found below, and my take on Hayek's take is similar (with a caution that I have not read the context of the passage and am not commenting at all on the "no word in Chinese for liberty" bit - for all I know Confucius might have avoided any such word because he thought it ambiguous).]

original discussion follows. )
vaecrius: A stylized navy blue anarchy sign juxtaposed with a pixellated chaos symbol made to resemble a snowflake. (anarchy and chaos)
I'm afraid nothing else I've posted this month is nearly as worthy of the P:MID tag.

"It's not a race, you won't lose." I would be able to get this, if only I could get around "the other guy might think it's a race, and even if I don't lose I can't let him think he won"...

(as linked on Cracked)

And totally unrelated.
Also unrelated.

And on the other end of things. I think Mystal is being a bit unfair - it should be pretty obvious to anyone paying real attention that, given their respective contexts, "shove it up your ass" is the mildest of the three quotes. o_O
vaecrius: A stylized navy blue anarchy sign juxtaposed with a pixellated chaos symbol made to resemble a snowflake. (anarchy and chaos)

Re the prayer stuff: Consider the alt text here.

Also, 4:00 best ethics prof ever. Really, the entire 2.deconversion series is a good watch, I think even if you believe. EDIT: Did I say best ethics prof ever? Because.
vaecrius: A round squishy plush lobster bursts out of the blue. (cock lobster)
Do I generally approve of hooliganery? Not particuarly. But is this progress? Absofuckthelute yes.

Now I'm even more mixed about this. Who was filming? How were the actors in this sordid play all connected? There's got to be a catch.

I shall turn away from this distressing affair and enjoy that which is happy and pretty at face value.

That said, speaking of faces, a thing which is to be read, and which is about people.
The beauty of this work is not in the subject, but in the work itself. The sublime divinity that artists never could touch by rendering Christ or the saints or anybody else as a wax mannequin, unblemished by any earthly vulgarity, is warmly embraced when creating, as Lee says, "a beautiful picture out of an ugly man."

That’s all I have, but I just love Lee’s descriptions so much that I’m going to leave you with one more...
vaecrius: The infamous cartoon of Darwin's head on a chimp's body, superimposed with a MSPainted Nazi armband. (are you a monkey)
Guys who turn out not to be so bad after all.

Y'know, for a moment there I was seriously contemplating that Palin's "blood libel" thing was just a brainfart.

Meanwhile, AMOG'd.

If these guys had been German... yeah I'm pretty sure I don't even need to finish that thought for you.

http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2011/01/grappling-with-genosha/69393/
Whereas the North put forth black sailors immediately, and black troops within two years of the War, the South couldn't bring itself to even attempt to match such an effort. It's not that the North was an enlightened racial Utopia. It's that the North was more malleable, and ultimately wasn't built on the notion that the proper place for blacks is as property. To call the South a "slave society," almost understates the matter--it was a petrified society, a world whose glory was built on individuals being jammed into pre-ordained roles, regardless of whether they fit or not.

As a progressive, it's rather natural for me to think about the South in terms of power and oppression. But I don't think a power-based analysis really allows you to see the whole horror of the thing, to understand how you, in a different time, could have been as evil as anyone else. When you do see the whole of, you almost marvel at the sick beauty of the thing--like, as Magic once said, watching Jordan run up and down the court and forgetting you play for the Lakers.


And now, bewbs.

I know this

if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

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