Archive for July 18, 2010

From the Archives: July 18, 2010

July 18, 2010 2 comments

Some people think ‘game’ is new, but is it?

Have a look at the contents of a men’s magazine from 1939.

Good, now have a look at the index..

Read this article. Click on the pictures to view them at full size (might also have to use the + icon on your cursor after the click-through).

A few extracts from the page

A psychologist examines the strange mental quirks behind ruthlessness in love. Just how much she can get away with. Paradoxically, the less she succeeds. the harder she tries; and yet if she really succeeds, she loses all interest in the man who has been proved a weakling. Naturally, different girls have ideas of what constitutes a strong man, but few of them have entireìy the feeling that sheer physical superiority demonstrable by force if necessary lies at the bottom of it. And while the law does not permit this superiority to take the form of violence, as it once did (the old common law allowed a rnan to beat his wife provided he used a stick “no bigger than his thumb“), there are few women for whom the idea of violence does not have at least a little fascination.

John Barrymore has his foibles, and there are four women, anyhow the four wives who have sued him for dlvorce who have sworn that he is pretty hard to live with. But so far as making a hit with the fair sex goes, not many men can match his record. And John never has made any secret of his readiness to “treat ’em rough,” when necessary.

“Jimmy” Cagney is another actor who found women are thrilled by rough treatment-it was a scene in which he threw a grapefruit at his wife at the breakfast table that made him the idol of the feminine movie-goers, and inaugurated a new screen fashion. Though ín fact, the fashion was not so new as they called it: before Cagney there was the original “Sheik,” Rudolph Valentino, Whose subtly sadistic role, though
acted by a man, was the creation of a woman author and reñected the innermost yearnings of millions of feminine hearts

here is the rest of it.

In particular. the average child‘s impression of adult love-making is that it is an attack upon the female, in which the male is both ruthless, and apparently furious. Thus a girl-without the least idea why may feel after she has grown up that a man who “gets rough” or loses his temper is not quite a man. Most girls, of course, would deny any such feeling, but the fascination of the Caveman for most members of their sex proves its existence beyond question.

Some months ago I discussed the dangers of hypnotism with a world-famous psychiatrist, and he pointed out one danger which must people never thought of. “It is quite true,” he agreed “even in the hypnotic trance a person will do nothing that is contrary to his essential nature, but, at least in her unconscious the average woman has a wish to be ravished- which an unprincipled man could take advantage of.” And while in most women this wish is so deeply buried that they never know it exists, it often reveals its presence by the craving to be “mastered”-by violence, if necessary-by the man whom they love.

On the whole, then, while a lot of wives would probably be happier if their husbands gave them an occasional spanking, a psychologist can hardly recommend the practice. Except in the course of something like a psychoanalysis, the primitive feelings of both men and women are best left in the dark corners of the mind in which civilized life has confined them . As a modern husband, your best plan is probably to make your wife feel that you would not be afraid to spank her if you felt that she it, but love her too much and are too chivalrous to do it except under provocation. A hint of ruthlessness in love-making is another matter: the man who is too weak or too timid to achieve that will both disappoint his wife and frustrate part of his own manhood.

So, what do you think?

Categories: Uncategorized

The Greatest Ponzi Scheme: 2

July 18, 2010 5 comments

In the previous post in this series, I had put forth a somewhat unusual idea- civilizations, as you know them, are ponzi schemes.

Let me now explain why all large civilizations in human history have been ponzi schemes. It is only in the last 100 years, especially the last 60 years that we have developed the ability to escape this hole.

In previous eras, ponzi type civilizations were the default model because of the following reasons-

1] Low per-capita productivity and low levels of technology.
2] Low speed and bandwidth of communication.
3] High degrees of uncertainty about quality and duration of of life.
4] Low degree of understanding about the physical world.

Let me explain each one in some detail.

1] Low per-capita productivity. Probably the least talked about, but most important reason is low levels of per-capita productivity and technology.

It is not necessary to have a willing human worker if the tasks are very simple. It does not take skill to dig ditches, quarry and carry stones, till fields, pick cotton or fruits etc. Compliance could be ensured by killing a few noncompliant workers, from time to time. Moreover, the risk of sabotage was also very low because primitive technology was easy to fix or learn. Therefore the high mortality levels among indentured laborers, serfs, slaves were immaterial in getting newer ones to do their jobs.

The flaws in this model, and the cause of collapse of pre-renaissance civilizations, were few but catastrophic. The first major problem arose whenever the amount of oppression needed to ensure compliance and replacement, exceeded the profitability of such systems. Once the low hanging fruits were gone, the low productivity and low complexity of forced labor made further rent collection harder and harder till the system became unprofitable for most of those who used to previously benefit from it. Example- the western roman empire.

The second flaw arose from the issues related to the use of forced labor, namely their unwillingness to defend the system if it came under stress. Every civilization has it wars, conflicts, rebellions, civil wars and having a high percentage of the population as forced labor almost guarantees that they will not stand behind the state. Example- Every large empire/ civilization that was conquered from outside, with a few exceptions in central-south america, fell because few cared about its continued survival.

In the post-renaissance period, empires and civilizations fell because they were not able to effectively use the fruits of newer technological developments. Even though the renaissance began in Italy, it center kept on moving first to spain, then to netherlands, UK/france, germany and the USA- in that order. Spain once had the biggest empire in the world, and is the reason behind Spanish being the default language in south and central american countries… but where is the spanish empire now? Ditto for Netherlands, France and UK.. all of them are now “has beens”.

2] Low speed and bandwidth of communication.

In an age of 3G smartphones, Facebook, Twitter, Google we forget that communication was both slow and of very limited bandwidth in previous ages. The 2nd US president, John Adams, lost his bid for reelection because news of the successful diplomatic solution to the ‘quasi-war’ with france took a long time to reach the US.

For most of human history, people knew little other than what they could see with their own eyes. It is no wonder that travelers of old could make up, and sell, fanciful stories about faraway lands. It was not possible to verify and influence faraway events with the same ease as the last 60 years. Hence it was MUCH easier to keep people ignorant and exploit them, for generations. Most people were not aware of or familiar with of models of societies other than their own.

This is the reason why the speed of change is both proportional and related to the speed, availability and bandwidth of communication.

I feel lucky to be born in era where it is possible to check the validity of descriptions of swimsuit fashions on Brazilian beaches through thousands of independent sources. It is possible to even check the development of swimsuit styles in Brazil along the chronological axis (compare pictures from the 80’s, 90s, 2ks). Throughput most of human history, I would have to depend on very fragmentary + unreliable information from a few sources about the firmness and tightness of their rear ends.

The same applies for all other types of data (pictures, text, raw ascii data, movies, books, magazines and blogs). Today every idea, concept or meta-concept can be researched, dissected and analysed by almost anyone with a 200$ smartphone and wireless connectivity.

3] High degrees of uncertainty about quality and duration of life.

Once again, we forget that through most of human history minuscule events such as a mosquito bite (Cromwell), an infected flea (Cyrus) or some common infection (Ghengiz Khan) could alter the course of their lives and human history. Even being the regent of a post-renaissance western superpower (Prince Albert) could not save you from typhoid. As recently as 70 years, women died from infections acquired while preparing chicken.

Therefore, people through most of human history had no reason to care about a future. There was a good chance that they would not be around to enjoy the consequences of their benevolence and kindness.

A person like Nero, Caligula or even Julius Caesar, could not have existed in an era with chlorinated drinking water, sewage treatment, public health measures, vaccines, clean surgical techniques and antibiotics. It is far easier to be cruel and ruthless when there is a reasonable chance of not being around for the inevitable blowback.

In some respects, this factor is almost as important as 1] for making ponzi scheme based systems viable.

4] Low degree of understanding about the physical world.

It is far easier to justify sociopathy if you can pass it of as fate or due to agencies other than human. Lepers become easier to despise if you can convince people that their condition is divine punishment. Tuberculosis and scurvy in poor people was once passed of as the result of laziness and insolence, by famous white men of that day (post-renaissance I might add).

Even today, we try to pass obesity as the result of laziness rather than high carbohydrate diets. Pathetic cocksuckers (ivy league educated white physicians) try to blame salt for hypertension when only a minority of hypertension is salt-sensitive + we have tons of safe drugs to treat it. Shiteaters (ivy league educated white physicians) also still try to push the cholesterol/fat connection to heart attacks- even though many failed clinical trials have shown that all hyper-lipidemics other than statins have NO therapeutic effect on the risk of cardiovascular disease. I can go on..

Essentially it is far easier to convince people who lack an objective and independently verifiable worldview, that greed, cruelty, malice etc are the only way to do things. Of course, it always ends badly.. but who cares. Right?

In the next part of this post, I will expand on 4] and talk more about how “priests” and “seers” of both traditional and secular religions actively collaborate to sustain such ponzi schemes and abate them.