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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It's Charles Darwin's birthday, let's talk about Natural Selection.

Why have I been neglecting this blog? It's a combination of health and economics. I'm turning fifty years old in July. I don't drink alcohol so I don't go to bars. I'm on a tight budget so I avoid restaurants and coffee shops. I work out of my apartment on my computer. I most frequently get out for groceries. That's it.

I'm a member of some Meetup.com groups, but my social skills just don't cut it. I'm not good in large groups and I'm too slow to interact in conversations so I usually wind up just listening. Some people are polite enough to engage me for a while, but they eventually grow tired. I probably don't interact properly, but nobody ever cared enough to tell me so I don't know.

My whole life I think I had one girlfriend for about two years starting when I was about fourteen years old. When we first met it seemed like a mutual "love-at-first-sight" situation and we held hands and kissed a lot, but then I didn't see her for a few years and we lost touch. I had a couple of lucky make-out sessions in middle school for a total of about five minutes during gym class behind the stage curtain. After that I had crush after crush on girls and after seventeen or eighteen spurned advances I finally got a clue that I just didn't qualify for Natural Selection.

I hear stories about how my cousins met their wives through their friends. It hurts to know that people I thought were my friends wouldn't have a first thought about introducing me to anyone, but I suppose that's part of Natural Selection.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dating Advice Question

I recently visited the "Dating For Today's Man" (DFTM) site and looked at all the interesting advice given for how to communicate with women. Lots of top-ten lists like "What women find unattractive," "things that impress women," "...red flags women look for," "...dos and don'ts," etc.

It all boils down to a complicated maze of advice for the purpose of having a relationship with a woman. If you took all of the positive and negative qualities listed on the DFTM site and created a checklist for yourself, and somehow managed to achieve all the good qualities and avoided all the bad qualities, how likely could you maintain all of those qualities, every day for the rest of your life? How long could you last under those conditions?

If you lack a major portion of those characteristics for yourself, but you managed somehow to get married and have children, you might choose to instill some of those positive qualities in your children to improve their chances of having "successful" future relationships based on those standards. Is our culture capable of adopting the proper habits of good relationships proposed by this site?

The mere existence of the topics covered by DFTM says that enough people fail to successfully navigate through the mine field of expectations, that they seek help here, which is great for advertising. However, this is also a symptom that these expectations are not natural. Where did the unnatural expectations of behavior come from?

What is probably more dangerous is your daughter's expectations that her date is actually a gentleman and not the animal he really is, simply following the intricate instructions necessary to get into her pants. Widely miscalculated expectations on dates may be a major cause of unwanted pregnancy.

Sites like DFTM and the classic magazine found at the grocery store check-out line present celebrities with extraordinary characteristics. The articles are spectacular, not normal. Normal behavior would not qualify for magazine articles. However, the material is presented in such a way that the casual reader develops unrealistic expectations and feelings of extreme disappointment in their own lives because they feel that standards are too high to reach for themselves.

Unrealistic expectations generated by mass media create fear, and in some people, to such a degree that they won't go outside because they are unrealistically ashamed of their own appearance. It's made much worse for people who have little or no control over how other people see them.

A person's expectations of others are typically higher than can be achieved by that person. This is a human weakness easily preyed upon by marketers who submit what appear to be informative articles juxtaposed with advertising. Most people don't hold themselves to the same standards they hold to others.

Propaganda as a soft tool of eugenics may yield results in a shorter period than previously estimated due the proliferation of sites like DFTM and the "style" magazines on the Internet. Meanwhile, stop beating yourself up over your appearance and get out more frequently, and accept people for who they are.

Friday, September 07, 2012

RELOCATED

I moved from Springfield, Illinois to Seattle, Washington. Springfield is a town of just over a hundred and eleven thousand people. Yelp reports that Springfield has over 107 bars, 25 taverns, 373 restaurants, 57 hotels, 9 theaters, 7 bowling establishments, 1 water park and 1 man-made lake  in its sixty square miles of land. Everything is family-friendly, it must be in order for the establishments to make enough money to survive. When I was working nights, the only places that stayed open all night, as far as I knew, besides a few grocery stores were the two Denny's and a Deja Vu adult establishment.

I didn't make much money so I stayed home on my nights off, which was bad because I lived with my mother and had to stay quiet in my room all night. I was actually glad to be back to work because work gave me an excuse to get out of the house. I thought about getting a place of my own, but under the same economic and social conditions was simply not worth it. Springfield was dominated by homogeneous white conservatives with a religious-centered power base, meaning that if you wanted to get a good-paying job, you got recruited at the right church. I refused to give up my autonomy, privacy and freedom of thought, otherwise I would have converted to Catholicism, but even converted Catholics are not held in much esteem.

The government of the state of Illinois is a fiscal disaster. Billions of dollars in debt and unsustainable pension obligation, with government officials often double-dipping from the government pension trough. It's easy enough to just Google "Illinois corruption" to find all the information you need. It's gotten to the point where politicians treat their offices like the finish-line after a campaign competition. Try the Illinois Corruption blog.

I finally had enough. If I was going to free myself, it was going to be in a place of my choosing. A place with vastly more people with a wider diversity of perspectives. A place where I could ally myself with enough like-minded people to have a modicum of political influence.

I planned for months on how I was going to get out of Springfield. I was terrified because I didn't know what to expect. I began to keep tabs on issues that would justify my leaving, and they accumulated. It's interesting how one begins to keep certain things in the front of one's memory to help with decisions. The biggest fear I had was two-fold. I was afraid that an employer would not be interested in me if I didn't live in the location I chose, and that a landlord would not be interested in me if I didn't have a job in the location I chose.

For a while my prediction rang true, but I persisted and finally found a place to call home, with enough savings to last me for a very long time. My months of self-imposed economic imprisonment while I saved my money paid off. At one point I was almost ready to chose homelessness anywhere but Springfield, Illinois.