The first part presents tweets from Nov-Dec 2017, the second part is older tweets that were omitted in my previous anthologies and that on second thought I want to publish on my blog.
Do you think hashtagging mass shooters’ names like #KevinJansonNeal or #StephenPaddock or #ScottOstrem or #DevinPatrickKelley will provoke attention-seeking shootings? Explain why you think so.
1/ I think straight workers suffer more than gay bosses in this world.
2/ X: I’m a worker and I’m gay. Me: Yeah? What are you doing for your fellow workers?
#AddParenthesesRuinAFilm The Sound of (Elevator) Music (Peter Grant, ‘Author of the popular Stinky Stories’)
Thinking about that movie would actually spoil my enjoying the music in the elevator.
My working-class friends and Salvador Dali have one commonality: Contrary to art critics, they are aware today’s painters don’t know their job. (Cf Les Cocus du vieil art moderne)
fancy being funny
are trying, while talking, to open that chocolate box I’ve brought and the box ends up in shreds.
always say the most awkward things at parties, dear, but don’t you try my patience too much.
1 /Mugabe has his good side. He once called Tony Blair and Britons “gay gangsters,” which is very accurate.
2/ Mugabe’s paramilitary were called the Green Bombers and that’s cool. First thing next spring I buy me a green bomber jacket.
3/Defiant Mugabe vows to stay on (BBC)
You’re the life of this country
Without you it’s all dust again over the desert extent
Black grandees there will be yes:
Black lustered Chesterfields where multinationals’ bosses will be sitting.
A scientist is a specialist. Another name for a specialist is a manic. Manics belong to the loony bin.
I wonder if I am truly insane how I would know that. (Wednesday’s Child)
Besides, the institution’s policy is to not contradict your delusions.
#MyFiveYearPlan Buy a Principality somewhere and then maybe Australia. (Wednesday’s Child)
Australia is not for sale as it is the inviolable property of the Dutch.
That would be news.
History can be news. [See Tweet Anthology 6 here: The Truth About New Holland (A Dialogue)]
#QuestionsForAMan How do you feel about earning less than any woman in my Glorious Revolution? (Wednesday’s Child)
As a Christian convinced there’s a Chosen People of which I’m no part, I am fit for any kind of abject subservience whatsoever.
Silicon Sycophants and Twitter: It was found in labs that compliments, although knowingly made by bots/computers/screens, light on a little light in the reward system of our brains… & now we’re swamped by bot flattery.
More people die from alcohol than from guns in USA. Why do you ask for gun control and not for Prohibition?
Gun control is opposed to Socialism. For all Socialist thinkers that I know, a standing army is a parasitic scourge and Socialism is by definition the armed people.
“The first decree of the Commune was the eradication of the standing army and its replacement by the armed people.” (Karl Marx, The Civil War in France, quoted by Lenin in The State and Revolution)
“The disarming of the workers was the first commandment for the bourgeois, who were at the helm of the state” (Friedrich Engels, preface to Marx’s The Civil War in France, quoted by Lenin in The State and Revolution) => Bourgeois Gun Control [See also Ernesto Cardenal’s experience in revolutionary Cuba, in Tweetantho 9 here]
The Reason Islam Wins (because Islam prohibits alcohol)
Islam will rule over you, wino kafirs. You’ll pay the kafir tax and jumbo heavy boozer taxes.
The reason why it takes some time for driverless cars to pervade our environment right now is not technology but legal matters: In case of accident, who’s legally responsible?
And how does an AI taxi decide who to injure in an unavoidable collision?
Yes, maybe a machine can make such decisions, and the only criterion I can think of is minimizing the body count. As to a human driver, he probably can’t think much before crashing on the right or crashing on the left…
On the other hand, if AI is that efficient, the car may choose to hit a group of 5 rather than a group of 2 if it can predict the impact will only injure the 5 but kill the 2…
Yes. Now my Followers outstrip my Following. This is the natural order of things. (Wednesday’s Child)
Let’s say one number shows how popular you are and the other number shows how curious you are. Which one shows you’re an interesting person?
I want to know how you would answer the same riddle.
I guess curious people are intelligent, whereas people may be popular for many reasons, good or bad. Of course, my assumption on these two numbers is incorrect. The main reason some follow a lot of people is that they want a lot of followers. Not the main reason: in fact, the only reason.
On the so-called Common Era. Are you telling me it’s more respectful of others to call the era starting with the birth of a Galilean “common” (to everyone)? That looks like awful cultural imperialism to me! The so-called Common Era is no more common than the Muslim Era or the Buddhist Era or any other Era. Stop the nonsense.
Children in single-parent families by race (U.S. 2015): Black 66%, American Indian 52%, Latino 42%, White 25%, Asian 16%. 1 white kid out of 4 is a pretty high figure too, if you think of it.
US President Donald Trump receives Bahrain’s crown prince at the White House; promises a $9bn deal with Arab country. (Press TV)
Is U.S. a free enterprise country? Business deals are made by politicos and diplomats. Not competition, but connections is the key word. [Competition persists somewise, for the small fry.]
[As was already perceived by Lenin: ‘’Finance capital has created the epoch of monopolies, and monopolies introduce everywhere monopolist methods: the utilization of ‘connections’ for profitable transactions takes the place of competition on the open market.’’ (Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, 1917) One hundred years later we are still stuck in the highest stage of capitalism… It’s depressing.]
You vote for politicos #AddSpanishImproveAnything
Don’t expect too many respectable married women to join the ROSEARMY [actress Rose McGowan’s movement for improving awareness of concealed sexual harassment and sexual crimes]. As their children’s thriving depends not a little on their father’s unblemished reputation, they’ll stand to their man like ferocious she-wolves, no matter what he did.
American casualties in Vietnam War (dead): 58,209. US population in 1961: 183.7M, hence 91.85M males, of which above 19 years old: 56.25M. Makes 1 adult American male out of 1.000 – dead in Vietnam War (a war lost by US).
American casualties in WWII (dead; military and civilian): 419,400. US population in 1941: 133.4M, hence 66.7M males of which (applying same ratio as 1961) 40.92M above 19 yrs old. Makes 1 per cent, 10 per 1.000 American adult males dead in WWII.
I’m tired of being a hard-working man. (Nov 2016)
John Bolton… A weird name… for a neocon. (Dec 2016)
Reality Check: @AJUpFront reveals how Obama’s immigration policies have led to millions of deportations. (Al Jazeera English)
“Deporter-in-Chief” ‘s both supporters and detractors think he’s been immigration-friendly. Completely misjudged by both friends and foes. How is it just possible??? [Yet it was possible.]
Except for the clenched fist, Trump’s hand gestures are subtly effete. Most people don’t perceive the dissonnance consciously. His subliminal hermaphroditism has made Donald Trump win.
Everyone commented on whom Trump nominated as ambassador to Israel, but only a few commented on Rex Tillerson as head of the Department of State. Tillerson is the oil lobby. Historically, the oil lobby has been the major, perhaps the sole counterbalance to AIPAC on U.S. foreign policy, because the oil lobby doesn’t want U.S. to alienate Arab countries altogether. When the Zionists want to say U.S. foreign policy is biased, they say it is dictated by the oil lobby, meaning that it is not pro-Israel enough, that too much attention is given to Arab demands. But the media kept silent on the meaning of Tillerson’s nomination, so people won’t support him and he can fall any time in the general indifference.
[With Saudi Arabia’s new stand on the Middle East affairs, this comment of mine may already have lost a good deal of relevance.]
These Arab leaders [faced with Zionism] are all talk and no action.
While the Israeli left have been so effectual, haven’t they?
Let it be known from the outset that Mexican immigrants are “just another brick in the Wall.”
Church attendance and mass-media consumption makes you a double sucker.
Even on a heap of gold you can live like a dog.
The aim of most anti-Trump protestors is to get their first date.
Nietzsche said a passion for history is a crippling one.
Trump is not restricting the press, only calling them b*stards, which they are.
Business mouthpieces –read: the media– are all for cheap-labor immigration and, of course, government assuming the costs.
I stopped listening [President Trump’s joint address to Congress] at the “unbreakable alliance with the state of Israel.” No state ought to be given blank check. Wrong message to the world! Make Israel a state of the US, if that’s the idea, or treat it like any other state, please.
Remember the “rooster dance” from Chinese PLA [People’s Liberation Army] soldiers? Here comes the dress rehearsal. (People’s Daily, China)
Why are they doing this? It’s insane. You’ve got some real whackos at PLA command, I tell you. Scary. Take off the guns from these nuts.
[Of course, the aim of this clownish ‘rooster dance’ is to sugarcoat for the feeble-minded the repressive nature of the army.]
Israeli TV Host Denounces Treatment Of Palestinians: ‘Apartheid Has Been Here For Ages’ (Nation of Islam Research Group)
He can say that without being called an antisemite, while you can’t. Your not being a Jew puts you at risk, on some topics, to be called an antisemite –if that’s of any consequence– whereas being a Jew makes the label rather irrelevant.
The problem is that the art world has been a bastion of the left forever. Why should taxpayers fund it? (Kevin McDonald)
How do you account for this? Is it because people on the right have no taste?
Remember Zionist Jonah Goldberg: “Why wasn’t Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago?” (Chicago Tribune)
Judge Gorsuch will be sworn in at the Rose Garden of the White House on Monday at 11:00 A.M. (POTUS) (April 2017)
Ah, Rose Garden, Saadi, Gulistan…
Since the American airstrike on Syria I sense the climate in U.S. has considerably warmed for the President… This is appeasement.
Not invade a country [Syria] because Ivanka [Trump’s daughter] cried at some pictures.
I can show her pictures of a few Yemeni children if she likes pictures.
Remember, there’s no shortage of important work that can be done only by humans. (MITSloan Mgmt Review)
Who told you humans wanted to do these jobs?
Black people live in the “ghetto.” But Jewish intellectual Allan Bloom objected to their using the word, because the Jewish ghetto was… cultured. (April 2017)
[I can’t tell whether Allan Bloom said such callous things only in private or not, as my source is the book of memories Ravelstein (2000) written by his friend the Nobel Prize Saul Bellow, who quotes him saying (I must quote in French as I read it in that language) : ‘’Les Juifs du ghetto avaient une sensibilité hautement développée, un courage civilisé – des milliers d’années de formation. Ils avaient des communautés et des lois. « Ghetto » est un terme de pisse-copie ignorant. Ce n’est pas d’un ghetto qu’ils viennent, c’est d’un ramdam bruyant, aveugle et nihiliste.’’]
The most beautiful city in the world (Paris)
Blow it: make it a livable, comfy place, not a museum. Signed: A Parisian.
Given that President Evo Morales has banned the Rothschild bank, if Macron is elected will the President of France be able to travel to Bolivia? Think about it.
Remember the Battle of Puebla and Mexico’s anti-slavery roots. On this day in 1862, Mexico struck a blow against white empire. #CincodeMayo
An outrage to every Moulin Rouge and Crazy Horse artiste and champagne supplier.
Schopenhauer had a phrase for Western Civilization, he called it “foetor judaicus,” the Jewish stench.
Euphemisms for “animals” in research departments: Neurophysiology: preparations Ecology: systems Psychology: Ss Medicine: models Any more? (Richard Dawkins)
How many have you vivisected yourself? [No answer.]
Here’s (More) Evidence Testosterone Makes Men Dumber (NYMag)
As reaching high social status boosts one’s testosterone, then becoming a big man makes one dumber.
If a Pontifex doesn’t have a grim face, then he must be doing naughty things behind closed doors…
Last night a DirtyJ saved my life…
Love is real, by John Lennon, sounds very much like Love Israel when you think of it. I’ve stopped humming it.
The very idea that the British tried to convert worthy Hindus to Anglicanism gives me the shudder. Luckily that was a total failure. Cf Schopenhauer.
I have an ancestor called Sheikh Qadhib, which could mean sword or penis. (Sultan Al-Qassemi)
My beurette girlfriend calls me Kabir Qadhib.
The president of the EU commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, reminds Donald Trump of the legal technicalities of the Paris Climate Agreement. (June 2017)
“I’m a Transatlanticist, whatever that means. That means nothing but it means everything.” Couldn’t be clearer. Be warned.
Je suis Charlie Qatar. #QatarCrisis
As UAE is expelling Qatari citizens, UAE citizens will be expelled from Qatar, some of them losing a livelihood. What is Emirati authorities’ plan for them? No plan, I guess. The authoritarian decision isn’t supported by Gulf populations, which haven’t been consulted and won’t be allowed to speak out.
Thank God, no terror attack in France today during national election. How could media cover both election’s results and the attack?
When I see gypsies begging with children I am appalled; it’s like my country’s government never heard of robachicos abducting children to exploit them. In backwater France, the government lets gypsy women beg with babies in the street. Who are these babies? They could be abductees, for all we know. So many child abductions and yet the French government lets gipsy women beg with children at the foot of the Eiffel Tower!
How can I be sure my wife’s employer won’t ask her to lift her niqab in the backroom?
Schopenhauer thought whites were “whitened blacks” while Darwin thought blacks were “blackened whites.”
Dentists have a lousy job (that pays well); they turn to politics whenever they can. Spending the whole day on filthy mouths… I’d rather be a bum.
I can be brutally frank because I use English and I think my dentist won’t read it and won’t pull out all my teeth in retaliation.
Films The Dentist (1996) & The Dentist 2 (1998) by Brian Yuzna are good, funny approaches of this… sensitive topic.
Congress should enjoy no exemptions in any area differing from an American citizen. (James Woods)
People voting for Congress means people have no power on Congress. See what I mean?
I like Twitter coz they never know it’s u clicking so u can boost ur own private stats clicking like mad on ur own tweets!
The relations between Islam and the West have been hotly discussed for decades. Milestones in this debate have been books such as The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama (1992), Jihad vs McWorld by Benjamin Barber (1995), The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel Huntington (1996). In his work Conflicts of Fitness: Islam, America, and Evolutionary Psychology (2015), Dr A.S. Amin (MD) brings new insights in the discussion by making fruitful use of the findings of evolutionary psychology (EP), and I will review his ideas at some length while broaching the evolutionary roots of the clash of civilizations.
Although “Jihad vs McWorld” has become a kind of catchphrase, in the 1996 afterword of his book Barber explains that it is a misnomer: “I made clear that I deployed Jihad as a generic term quite independently from its Islamic theological origins (…) While extremist groups like Islamic Jihad have themselves associated the word with armed struggle against modernizing, secular infidels, I can appreciate that the great majority of devout Muslims who harbor no more sympathy for Islamic Jihad than devout Christians feel for the Ku Klux Klan or the Montana Militia might feel unfairly burdened by my title. I owe them an apology, and hope they will find their way past the book’s cover to the substantive reasoning that makes clear how little my arguments has to do with Islam as a religion or with resistance to McWorld as the singular property of Muslims.” So much for the catchphrase.
By opposing these two objects, Barber sometimes appears to mean an opposition between globalization and parochialization; yet Islam is hardly a good example of parochialism, since it is itself a globalism. In fact, all civilizations, inasmuch as they possess an inherent tendency to expand, are global; it’ just that some are more global than others, and the Western world is to date the more global of all inherently global civilizations. In some other places, Barber explains that he is defending democracy against both McWorld and Jihad, against “globalizing commerce” and “the populist reaction” to it – “Demopoulos vs McJihad’s” could be the phrase – but I do not find in his book convincing evidence that would allow us to dissociate democracy from McWorld; the inevitability of their connection has not been disproved, and the democracy Barber is talking about looks more like another Utopia, a Lubberland for the intellectuals, if the discourse is not Pavlovian appeal plain and simple. Barber means that, McWorld being far from humanistic, it deserves not to be associated with the concept of democracy, because, if I understand well, anything that has something wrong about it is undemocratic. If this does not build on Pavlovian conditioning, I don’t know what does.
This is not to say that more humanistic tendencies should not be encouraged in the society, but perhaps clinging to the word “democracy” is not the best way to prepare for a humanistic future, since historically democratic institutions have contributed much in preventing counter-powers to commercial interests from being more effective, and if the future is different from the present, then new words are needed to describe it. As far as I am concerned, deeming the existence of a political class, even appointed by universal suffrage, as exploitative, and suggesting that people vote for ideas, not for men (just vote on your computer and let the administration apply the programme), I am rather inclined to drop the name altogether.
In the present essay I draw a double-entry matrix of civilizations (picture). Entry 1 is reproductive climate: long-term (“committed”) / short-term (“hedonistic”). Entry 2 is material wealth: affluent / nonaffluent. These concepts will be explained. The Western world is defined as affluent and short-term. The Far East, and especially the continuum China-Korea-Japan, is defined as affluent and long-term. For practical purposes, Islam is defined as nonaffluent and long-term. We shall not deal with wealthy Gulf states, which I call “leisure nations” due to the extreme forms of welfare state they provide their nationals with; no matter how important on the world stage, they owe many of their current attributes to the accident of the oil rent. Black Africa is defined as nonaffluent and short-term.
Reproductive climate and wealth are considered independent. A certain tendency present in the West sees in short-term (“hedonistic”) mentality the engine of affluence. The idea is that, as the constraints on production, hence scarcity, have been overcome by technology, the sustenance of abundance and of the affluence that abundance makes possible now depends on mass consumption or hedonism, the lack of which would provoke the collapse of affluence. If our assumption that East Asia is both affluent and long-term (“committed”) is correct, the preceding reasoning, albeit cogent, is unwarranted (the main impetus of mass consumption may well have nothing to do with hedonism, even broadly defined.)
The matrix is descriptive and applies to the present instant only. It does not imply, for instance, that the West is inherently affluent and short-term; in fact, the West used to be poor and long-term – and the historical conjunction of its newly accrued affluence and short-term outlook is the reason some people hypothesize a relationship of causality.
Institutional Vs Cryptic Polygyny
To understand the evolutionary roots of the clash of civilizations, one must keep in mind three basic ideas grounded on the Darwinian theory of evolution.
1/ Humans, like other animals, are designed by their genes to aim at reproduction. This is an axiom of the theory of evolution and of evolutionary psychology (as the theory applied to human behavior specifically). As a consequence, humans are involved in sexual competition, by which they intend to maximize their numbers of descendants. Maximization is said to happen usually through optimizing one’s number of children and their rearing according to the level of one’s resources, in order that the children grow up in environments that allow them to reproduce successfully in their turn.
2/ In sexual and reproductive matters, men and women are not alike. The biological costs of making a child are higher for women. It costs women a nine-month pregnancy whereas it costs merely an ejaculate to men. After parturition the woman feeds the baby, whereas it costs nothing to the man if he decides so. In some animal species, males are not involved in parenting at all. In humans, the burden of parenting is shared by both sexes.
3/ Men are sexually less discriminate than women because the cost of reproduction and the consequences of mating are not as great for the former.
Institutional polygyny, as practiced for instance in Islam, is limited polygyny, that is a departure from unlimited polygyny by which one dominant male inseminates all women in a given group. Gorillas display such unlimited polygyny. The alpha male lives with most females in the area and he is the only one to inseminate the females in the group. Other adult males live alone at the periphery of the group; their aim in life is to seize the first occasion to kill an infant gorilla belonging to the group, because then the grieving female leaves the group after a few days and mates with the killer of her infant (see Wrangham & Petersen, 1996). Groups expand and shrink according to the results of this endless infanticide. Amin explains that, in human societies, limited, as opposed to unlimited, polygyny deflates occasions for violent behavior: “Unrestricted polygyny increases the likelihood of a situation where it becomes next to impossible for even an average man to find a wife. Having many men who are unable to find a mate can be a destabilizing force in society, and it may be important that a marriage institution works to insure this type of situation does not occur.” (pp. 6-7). By insuring access to mating to a greater number of men, restricted polygyny benefits the group overall.
Considering this, it would be logical to go one step further and postulate that, as monogyny insures access to mating to the greatest possible number of men, it is the one best solution. It is perhaps the best solution for men, but Amin claims that monogyny does not benefit women overall and that limited polygyny is the best compromise. We must here take into account the notion of a man’ desirability. There is a flavor of objectivity about this notion that may put off some readers, for whom in matters of love and passion desirability would be the most subjective thing in the world. In fact, as far as evolutionary theory is concerned, things are not as subjective as they are usually fancied to be; people’s choice is determined by objective preferences and competition, i.e. one’s ranking and value on the mating market. We can therefore assume men’s desirability to be something objective. Men of a given group or population can be ranked from most to least desirable, and the same is true for women. For a man, capacity to secure resources and status is deemed particularly important; for a woman, markers of fertility and health (beauty) are.
If a woman’s fitness optimization depends on her mating with a richer and more desirable man than the man whose value equals hers on the mating market, she will mate with that man rather than with her equal. As to the more desirable man, he will mate with the less desirable woman willingly because men are less discriminate (basic idea #3 above), and as long as he has got the resources, he can provide for both (or more) women and the children they give birth to without jeopardizing their fitness. Admittedly, the most desirable woman is the loser in this scenario – she is the one loser.
As Amin explains (pp. 5-6), with polygyny a greater number of women have sexual access to men more desirable than they are; conversely, a greater number of men must accept mating with women less desirable than they are (some men even having none). Polygyny thus benefits women more than men overall, and it is advantageous to a woman as long as the advantage of mating with a more desirable man exceeds the drawback of sharing him – and his resources – with other women. The latter provision allows us to predict that polygyny is more advantageous where social inequalities are greater.
The West practices institutional monogyny, Islam has institutional polygyny, but perhaps the real difference is between institutional vs cryptic polygyny. In order to compare the two systems, we should add to the picture the advantages or drawbacks of cryptic polygyny. On which point I quote a previous essay of mine (xxxi): “The plight of low-income single mothers is the rich man’s deed [as a result of cryptic polygyny]. It is the rich woman’s also, because, in some other societies, rich men marry several women, and all these women’s children are his legal children, to whom he is bound by law to provide support during their bringing up; in our society, the rich woman doesn’t want resources to be scattered among so many children.” In terms of Amin’s thought, the more desirable woman doesn’t care to share her mate’s resources with less desirable women – and, yes, under institutional polygyny the most desirable women fare less well than their counterparts under monogyny. & “A number of the rich man’s children, perhaps most of them, are thus [as a result of cryptic polygyny] raised in low-income homes or by low-income single mothers. When a single mother finds a partner who wants to live with her, the children she had before they met are much more likely than other children to suffer abuse from the partner (see xxviii). A child raised by a single-mother is also more likely to become a delinquent (see The Bell Curve, a book already dealt with in xxx). With the acuteness of deprivation rises the likelihood of abuse, molestation, rape, and murder of children by their ‘parents’.”
Cryptic polygyny increases existing social inequalities. The man’s urge to reproduce is largely wasted for those of his children born out of wedlock after acts of unlawful insemination, because even if they inherit his genes their bringing-up in deprived or worse-off environments is likely to be harmful*. As polygyny is predicted to be greater in unequal societies, and as inequalities in Western societies have increased during the last decades with the globalization of markets and the development of the knowledge-based economy (see, for instance, Brynjolfsson and McAfee, The Second Machine Age, 2014), one may assume that cryptic polygyny has been on the rise in the West.
Whereas cryptic polygyny is triggered, in an institutionally monogynous society, by social inequalities and at the same time further increases inequalities, on the contrary institutional polygyny is more egalitarian. On this point I have found my intuition confirmed by Amin. I had written (Comment to xxx): “As the rich man, when impregnating a poor woman, obligates her to scatter her scant resources among a greater number of children, he increases the adverse pressures of the environment on their future status. The rich man’s children would be better off if brought up by him. In the abstract, providing the number of wives be a positive function of the man’s wealth [which is the case, as we have seen while dealing with a man’s desirability], legal polygyny is more egalitarian than monogyny, because the rich man’s resources are spent on a greater number of children (his legal children).” I have then found the following under Amin’s quill: “Polygyny [institutional polygyny] enables a society to utilize a man’s desire to maximize his reproductive fitness to achieve a more balanced distribution of wealth. For example, a man who makes $500,000 a year can provide financially for ten women twice as well as a man making $25,000 can for just one woman.” (p. 7).
Whether or not there is also cryptic polygyny in Islamic countries where institutional polygyny exists I cannot say based on data, but the following section about the concept of reproductive climate will show that these countries are serious in their attempts to prevent it.
Reproductive Climate: Long-term Vs Short-Term
Based, again, on the evolutionary basic ideas presented above (1-3), Amin explains how “the reproductive ideal for women” is best served when men’s commitment to their pair is strong: “Forbidding men to have sex while offering little or no commitment is to their reproductive detriment. Furthermore, forcing men to make a commitment to their mates and to support any children that result approximates the reproductive ideal for women.” (p. 4). The notion of patriarchy is far off the mark, given that matrimonial bonds serve women’s reproductive interests rather than men’s; of which Schopenhauer already had a clear notion, concluding on the subject by these words: “By reason of the unnaturally advantageous position conferred to women by the monogamous arrangement and corresponding laws of matrimony, because they posit the woman as the man’s whole equal, which she is in no way, intelligent, prudent men are very often wary of committing so great a sacrifice and of engaging themselves in so unequal a compact.” (Parerga and Paralipomena).
A reproductive climate, that is, the overall outlook of mating and parenting practices in a given population, can be defined as long-term when males are committed to raising their children together with their female mates, and short-term otherwise. Rather than separate worlds, the two notions are in a continuum; when we ascribe one of the two to a given group, it is only in relative terms. In this view, gorilla males (mentioned above) are long-term strategists, whereas tigers, for example, are the most short-term possible insofar as tiger cubs never meet their father, unless by accident.
Among humans, one adaptation evolved to cement the bonds between a pair, so that both partners provide good cooperative care to the children, is love, and the more enduring the more efficient, hence the romantic (but nevertheless true in an important sense) view that love is everlasting or it is not love. Another saying is that love is blind. To be more precise, love is blind to opportunity costs; when in love, a man does not leave his partner for a more desirable woman when given the occasion. (Hence the universal idea that desirability is something subjective.) I say “a man” on purpose, for a man in love is more important to a woman than a woman in love to a man, because the problem this adaptation solves is how to pair-bond men, whose instincts incline them to remain free from bonding and parenting.
In order to maximize their fitness, each person needs to assess the reproductive climate in which they are living, because their success depends on it. The more long-term the climate, the more advantageous it is, as a rule, to adopt long-term strategies, and vice-versa. Sex being secretive, one needs to rely on cues. Hence gossip: “Although far from completely trustworthy, gossip can offer at least some information on the reproductive strategies being employed by others” (p. 26). Clothing, makeup, and behavior also serve as clues (pp. 26-7).
Amin then goes on explaining the dilemma women are facing: “Before a woman can hope to get a man to commit to her, she must first attract him. Attracting a man is made easier by displaying sexual receptivity, thereby appealing to his need for promiscuity and low commitment. On the other hand, getting a man to commit is made easier by displaying sexual restraint, thereby appealing to his need for paternity confidence.” (p. 29). In long-term climates, commitment is a given, for women, but they have to attract a partner. Considering what has just been said about cues, in long-term climates at the same time women’s clothing and makeup are conservative, so if a woman takes the step to make her clothing and/or makeup slightly more appealing to the sexual urges of men, she gets an edge over her female competitors (p. 30). This fact triggers a seduction arms race between women, in the course of which women’s behavior evolves towards more and more encouraging men’s shorter-term strategies, and men are given an ever greater number of opportunities to access females without committing to them. Amin contends this is what has been happening in the US these last decades (pp. 32-3). The arm’s race is reinforced by the media, advertising, and pornography. Catering to women’s need to attract men, at the same time advertising is permanently spreading cues that a woman’s reproductive interest lies in appealing to men’s sexual short-term urges. Same with pornography, “providing the brain with false information which it then uses to come up with an inaccurate assessment of the prevailing reproduction climate” (p. 43). As the race goes on and on, the levels of paternity certainty that women are able to offer decrease and men are consequently ever more incited to decline commitment since they naturally expect paternity certainty must be part of the deal (evolutionarily speaking, it does not make sense to provide resources to a stranger’s offspring; and studies show that stepfathers are many times more abusive with their step-children).
Hence, according to Amin, the media and pornography exert a reinforcing effect. I have argued elsewhere that this effect could be more warping than reinforcing, but for the time being I will stress that I find Amin’s description of what is occurring in the West plausible. If the role of mass eroticism in the media is consumption first and foremost, consumption itself, in the EP view, is ancillary to reproductive pursuits, such as when women buy clothing and makeup to attract men. In short-term climates, part of conspicuous consumption on the part of men is aimed at making known to women who are not expecting commitment that they will receive great amounts of resources fast during the short time of an uncommitted relationship.
That the West has become short-term may be confirmed by current divorce rates in the US: “American divorce rates now approach 67 percent for those currently getting married, up from the mere 50 percent figure that alarmed many over the past two decades.” (David Buss, The Dangerous Passion, 2000). Given such figures, why people even keep marrying is difficult to understand if that is not make-believe for women’s expectations of commitment.
Another characteristic of long-term climates that is addressed by Amin are matchmakers and arranged marriages. The practice is used as an indictment against Muslim countries (and against the past of the Western world), but all long-term patterns of behavior for which Islam is being blamed from a Western point of view exist in the long-term, affluent Far East (see Matrix) as well, as we shall see. Quoth Amin: “In a long-term climate, being shy benefits both men and women when dealing with the opposite gender [men’s shyness advertises commitment, women’s shyness advertises paternity certainty]. Obviously, a situation such as this makes the formation of new relationships quite difficult. Arranged marriages offer a solution to this problem. Rather than meddlesome interference, matchmakers play a vital role in bringing together couples whose long-term reproductive strategies act as an impediment to starting a relationship by themselves.” (pp. 50-1). This insight can help us assess the reasons why numbers of Westerners renege on their civilization and convert to Islam and even to Jihad – having being dismantled, in the Western short-term context, the very institutions that would allow shy men to find a partner. No matchmakers, no whorehouses (where one can gain experience and confidence, see xxix), and sexual competition and pressure as high as ever: You can expect a good deal of men to understand they will not be able to thrive in our “emancipated” society.
Two other characteristics Amin ascribes to short-term climates are: a/ less concern for women’s age; b/ women’s careers.
a/ “Men in short-term reproductive climates do not put the same emphasis on youth than men in long-term reproductive climates do. This is often viewed as enlightened, since such men seem to be focusing more on the woman herself rather than her baby-making abilities. However, the real reason men in short-term climates do not place the same emphasis on youth is they have less reason to concern themselves with long-term reproductive utility. Instead of focusing on long-term reproductive utility, men pursuing short-term strategies are more concerned with signs of immediate fertility.” (pp. 48-9).
b/ “The more short-term a reproductive climate becomes, the less likely it is that men can be relied on, making it extremely important for women to be economically independent. Therefore, women in short-term climates place a huge value on their careers, feeling sorry for women who do not have the same opportunities that they do. Women in long-term climates tend to see things differently. Such women are often glad they have husbands who provide them with the opportunity to stay home and take proper care of the children, pitying women who are forced to play the role of provider and caretaker at the same time.” (pp. 51-2). The role of provider is all the more to be pitied that in many cases it is a dehumanizing one; and there is something frightful about business experts’ demanding “passion” for his or her repetitive toil from a worker.
Now that we have familiarized ourselves with the concept of reproductive climate, let us see how it applies to current civilizations.
The Double-Entry Civilization Matrix
We will say a few words on 1/ Islam; 2/ the West; 3/ Black Africa; 4/ the Far East.
1/ I have defined Islam as both long-term and nonaffluent. That it is long-term is evidenced by institutional polygyny, whereby a man commits to all his wives’ children, by its stance against eroticism and pornography, by standards of decency for women that impose conservative clothing, makeup and behavior, by relative eviction of women from the workplace, and in some cases (perhaps as an inherent tendency) by seclusion of women. According to Amin, the Quran has been in several instances interpreted in a manner that suits the interests of extremely long-term male mentalities, to the point of distortion (p. 56). For example, passages from the Quran on women’s share of inheritance would be ignored because they might promote women’s independence and thus trigger the seduction arms race that leads to short-term climates. Moves towards a greater independence for women are resisted because they are perceived as jeopardizing long-term climate.
As to affluence, many Muslim countries belong to the developing world, and recent international events in several Arab countries, which have plunged them into chaos, are reinforcing this situation by impoverishing them further. The Gulf states are a different case, which, however interesting, we shall not discuss here. (For those interested, and fluent in French, see my essay “Saudi Arabia the Leisure Nation,” here.)
I suggest with Amin that Jihad is not only the hostility of the have-nots against the haves, but also of the long-term against the short-term. The current appeal of Islam to some non-Muslim young people in the West (among whom many young women), and to formerly secularized second or third-generation immigrants, lies in its extreme long-term stance, as opposed to the short-term ideologies of these young people’s countries of birth and residence. The appeal of Islam lies first and foremost in his advocating of long-term strategies, not in the daily prayers nor in the ritual slaughtering, etc. The best way to dry up the stream of Westerners’ conversions is consequently to liberalize Islam and make a ritualistic empty shell of it, to which fundamentalists, of course, are firmly opposed; this opposition is predictable in the framework of sexual competition and reproductive climates.
2/ With respect to the West, as already said I have intended elsewhere to cast some doubt on the depth of our promiscuity, bringing into the picture a possible warping media effect, but Amin’s approach is convincing enough.
Another objection can be raised in case reproductive strategies were inborn, which is the contention of J.P. Rushton, based on sociobiologist E. O. Wilson’s r/K model. According to Rushton, blacks would be more short-term (r), mongoloids more long-term (K), whites being in the middle. The trouble with aggregating clues and data from various groups if their reproductive differences are inborn is that it makes an accurate assessment of reproductive climate impossible. A person is advised to assess the behavior of people from his or her own group, because assessing people’s behavior from other groups is misleading (you don’t want to mimic the behavior of a person whose idiosyncrasies are inborn). Mere aggregation would tend, if Rushton is correct, to make believe the climate is more short-term than it really is as far as the white subgroup is concerned and conversely more long-term as far as the black subgroup is concerned.
3/ This leads us to the Black African civilization in the Matrix. I have defined it as nonaffluent, which can hardly be denied, and short-term relying in part on Rushton’s use of the r/K model. Black men’s virile endowments (penis and testes size) suggest greater sperm competition, lesser paternity certainty, and shorter-term strategies.
To the credit of this classification, Senegalese scholar Cheikh Anta Diop describes ancient black civilizations, and their contemporary rests, as matriarchal and matrilinear, which suggests a lesser commitment from men. In short-term contexts, the woman’s brother is more committed to her offspring than the father himself; according to C. Anta Diop, that is the case in sub-Saharan Africa. Quoth: “African men designed matriarchy in accord with African women with a view to the greatest might of the clan. … Contrary to the social order of the Indo-European clan, it is progressively with the dislocation of the clan that lineage through males has been admitted in African matriarchal societies. In these societies this kind of linage has kept up to the present day the character of a weak kinship, less strong than that derived from women. … Among Indo-Europeans the patriarchal family structure excluded any alternative notion of authority deriving from the maternal uncle; the latter term did not even exist originally.”*** (For a short exposé on some others of Cheikh Anta Diop’s ideas and an annotated wolof glossary, see here, in French.)
Incidentally, given the basic ideas 1-3 above, such a situation is a bit of a puzzle. The current view is that our ancestors were very polygynous and a little bit (if at all) polyandrous – albeit I have stated elsewhere (xxxv) that this overlooks sperm competition. Yet, it really looks as if black men were not much concerned about paternity certainty (the reason is “the greatest might of the clan”?). Usually, short-term men adopt mixed strategies; even rap singers, whose lifestyle and lyrics exemplify, according to Amin, the most extreme forms of short-term mentality in the West, have a “wifey” (p. 75) from whom they expect certain standards of behavior upon which they can build a sense of paternity security. Conversely, the Quran allows for concubines, mostly slaves, that is, for men’s indulging their short-term urges; however the practice has fallen into disuse, although it seems to have been restored by newcomers such as Daesh.
4/ The Far East, namely a continuum China-Korea-Japan, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, offers the example of an affluent and long-term civilization. To describe it I will make use of the book Order by Accident: The Origins and Consequences of Conformity in Contemporary Japan (2000) by Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa. (For a discussion of Kanazawa’s “Intelligence Paradox,” see xxxv.)
Japan has long been an industrialized, affluent country. Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore all belong to the NICs (newly industrialized countries), and China, formally a communist country, is on the verge of becoming world power number one.
The continuum China-Korea-Japan is built on Miller & Kanazawa’s model. China is the oldest civilization in the world, they argue, and its institutions are characterized by high levels of cooperation. Its culture has spread; in the process, it is the most cooperative groups from China that have taken the culture abroad, first to Korea, then to Japan: “the social institutions that the Korean inherited from the Chinese were more cooperative than the average social institutions in China, because some groups in the latter, still in the process of being replaced, had less cooperative social institutions. … These social institutions were later transmitted from Korea to Japan by the ascendant and dominant groups in Korea. Then, by the same token, Japanese social institutions should be slightly more cooperative than Korean social institutions at any given point in history.” (p. 131). Accordingly, we can see Japan as the purest example, in the sense of most thorough, in the continuum.
That Japan is a long-term country is clear from the place Japanese women occupy in the workplace. In the main, Japanese women do not work; to be precise, the workplace is replete with women employed on short-term jobs up to about age 25, when they are supposed to marry and leave (p. 47). This allows companies to provide their male employees, much overworked comparing to Western standards, with a pool of potential partners, in which they actually find a partner. This reminds one of what Amin says on “arranged marriages” and the role of third parties in long-term reproductive climates: Here the matchmaker is the company. “This, of course, provides a very practical solution to an otherwise difficult problem. With men spending all of their time at work or in the company of coworkers, they have no time to actively search for a spouse. By hiring a large number of young, single females, the company can provide their single male employees with potential mates and can also exercise some control over the types of women their male employees meet and eventually marry.” (p. 48). Moreover, divorce rates in Japan are very low (p. 57).
By comparison, in a rather rigorous Islamic country such as the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, women make up 40.3% of the workforce (Marie-Sybille de Vienne, 2012). This is perhaps not representative of other Muslim countries, especially where an extreme long-term mentality actively pursues women’s dependence, but I mean that, if some are truly concerned about the improvement of women’s position on the workplace, they would do well to broaden the scope of their indictments, for Japan holds a prominent position among long-term nations that evince women from work. I expect the same to be true, perhaps not to the same extent, though (given what has just been said about the cultural transmission inside the continuum), for South and North Korea and China.
Japan has been flooded with its own pornographic production (videos and manga comics) for decades, without its long-term mentality seemingly being altered. This could cast doubt on Amin’s view about the media’s reinforcing effect.
More recent than the West’s, East Asia’s affluence has fueled among these countries’ elites a discourse on Asian values, typically contrasted to the “decadent” West, like when Singapore’s prime minister Lee Kuan Yew told Australians they would become “the white trash of Asia” (cf. Huntington). Huntington advises Australia to coalition with Western countries, specifically with US, Canada, and New Zealand, rather than trying to define herself as an Asian nation – the latter move was all the more awkward, by the way, that Australia had only recently abandoned her decades-long “White Australia” policy (1901-1973) barring Asian immigrants from entering the country. The 2005 Cronulla riots, where rioting flaxen-blond surfers could be watched on TV beating up immigrant Lebanese pushers that had been dealing dope on the beach, has perhaps confirmed the white trash image in the eyes of Asians – yet, to my knowledge, you don’t find Lebanese pushers in Singapore (3rd richest country in terms of GDP per capita). In fact, Asian authoritarians are likely to have been confirmed in their views about the weakness of Western institutions, and on how weak institutions lead to riots and the Lynch law, among other unwanted turmoils. Undemocratic states in East Asia are at the date of today: China, North Korea, Singapore (debated), Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Burma (in transition).
In conclusion, evolutionary theory has provided us, thanks to Dr A.S. Amin, with a theoretical model for categorizing current major world civilizations, in terms of reproductive climates. The roots of the clash of civilization are the same as those of human violence; what is new in Amin’s thinking is his treatment of these groupings called civilizations.
*“Even in a developed country like Britain, a child born into a low socio-economic group has twice the chance of dying during childhood than one born in a high socio-economic group. Wealth means health, both at the individual level via diet and lifestyle and at the national level via medical services.” (Robin Baker, Fragile Science, 2001, p. 166)
** « bei der widernatürlich vorteilhaften Stellung, welche die monogamische Einrichtung und die ihr beigegebenen Ehegesetzte dem Weibe erteilen, indem sie durchweg das Weib als das volle Äquivalent des Mannes betrachten, was es in keiner Hinsicht ist, tragen kluge und vorsichtige Männer sehr oft Bedenken, ein so großes Opfer zu bringen und auf ein so ungleiches Paktum einzugehn. » (Parerga und Paralipomena)
*** « L’homme l’a conçu [le matriarcat] en accord avec la femme pour la plus grande puissance du clan. (…) À l’inverse de l’ordre social du clan indo-européen, c’est progressivement avec la dislocation du clan que la parenté par les hommes sera admise dans les sociétés africaines matriarcales. Aussi dans ces sociétés cette parenté garde jusqu’à nos jours le caractère d’une parenté affaiblie, moins forte que celle issue des femmes. (…) Chez les Indo-Européens, la famille patriarcale régnait à l’exclusion de toute notion d’autorité découlant de l’ordre maternel ; ce terme n’existait même pas à l’origine. » (Antériorité des civilisations nègres. Mythe ou réalité historique ? 1967)
April 30, 2016
Generally speaking, people who are fond of pop-rock music do not pay much attention to what is made outside of America and/or their own countries, and people interested in “world music” do not pay much attention to musicians outside the Western world writing music inspired by Western pop-rock styles.
As a student in foreign languages, on the Internet I have come across much interesting material from abroad unknown by my fellow countrymen and fellow Westerners, although to my ears it proves equal to the indie music I used to listen to in my younger days and which received significant coverage.
I have chosen to present the following song on this blog, with my translation of the lyrics. (I know that one normally loses in feeling and imagination when one grasps the lyrics, and this is true even for the English-speaking listeners of English bands, but as I hope you will see there is something interesting in the lyrics of this song as well.)
The song Nak Tak Nak is performed by the Malaysian artist Nadia – real name Zarina Mohd (Mohammed) Ali – and is taken from her 1999 album Unggul (meaning Superior). According to her communication, she has written both the music and the lyrics of this song.
The name Nadia, comparing to her clearly Muslim real name, seems to indicate the will to address a Westernized or Westernization-leaning Malaysian audience, or simply young people bored by their families (because Nadia is both known in Muslim and Western cultures, it is more open to interpretation. However, it is far from being unmistakably Western, I must admit). The rather sober album jacket (see below) depicts her in what seems to me a post (decreasing) high trip condition, whatever the substance may have been, soft or otherwise, and so is hinting at the pusher culture so common in Western pop-rock music – remember the Beatles were the greatest pushers of all times (W.B. Key). It could also turn out that she is only recovering from a performance. In any case, to my knowledge, the drugs theme is absent from the lyrics I shall discuss. Nadia has reached celebrity status in Malaysia in the nineties.
Her voice in this song conveys a delightful boyish exuberance that accords finely with the story of adolescent uncertainties and self-affirmation which the lyrics, according to my understanding of it, is picturing.
The song, however fine, has not attracted much attention on YouTube, contrary to her famous hit Salam Untuk Kekasih, whose video has been viewed more than 2.6 million times. Please take a few minutes to listen:
Now the lyrics.
Nak Tak Nak
Nak tak nak kalau tak nak sudah ! (Nak tak nak !)
Menjadi kawan !
Sungguh aku tak peduli apa orang kata
Tentang kita atau sesiapa (-a !)
Aku tak peduli kerna aku tak bersalah
Tak bersalah, tak bersalah.
Sungguh aku tak peduli bila orang kata
Tentang kita atau sesiapa (-a !)
Aku tak peduli kerna aku lebih rela
Sungguh aku tak peduli bila orang kata
Aku gila, aku gila (-a !)
Aku tak peduli kerna bukan gila
Bukan gila, bukan gila ( ya, ya, ya … )
1(×3) – 2 – 3 – 1(×3)
Child No Child
Stop thinking I’m a child,
And let’s be friends!
Really I don’t care what people say
About us or anyone;
I don’t care because I’m doing no wrong,
Doing no wrong, doing no wrong.
Really I don’t care what people say
About us or anyone;
I don’t care because above all I want,
Above all I want
To make friends with you.
Really I don’t care when people say
I’m crazy, I’m crazy.
I don’t care because I ain’t crazy,
Ain’t crazy, ain’t crazy.
A few words on the translation.
As to the title of the song, and its first line, I am deliberately choosing a meaning that is not the obvious one a Malaysian speaker would understand first. As a matter of fact, the phrase Nak tak nak, kalau tak nak sudah, colloquially means: “Do you want or not: if not, then farewell,” and it would be understood as the careless, carefree invitation of a modern young woman to make “friends” with a man. It would be the customary rock’n’roll attitude everyone expects, and the conventions of informal language make it implicit that such is the meaning one has to retain. However, the word nak is a contraction of either one of two words, the first being to “want” (hendak), the second a “child” (anak). So the meaning I suggest reads as: The child is not a child; as there’s no child, farewell the child. Which means: The person you say is a child has grown up and her feelings are not those of a child anymore, so don’t call her a child. Which, again, means : Stop thinking I’m a child (because I love you).
With this meaning the lyrics is consistent and the story beautiful. With the other, more obvious meaning, the content is a slight. With this other one, “I can live with or without you,” for example – a slight to a woman, which is even worse –, one can’t help expecting the reply “A**hole.” The reply never comes, however, because broadcasting is one-sided.
The careless and offending meaning in Nadia’s lyrics derives from the fear of being a dupe of love. It is this fear that often makes double meaning compulsory in the language of passion, as a possible escape door. If I have been a dupe, then remember I told you I did not care! This is saving face. Besides, carelessness is supposed to be cool, whereas being in love is uncool: it is old-fashioned. (And, indeed, lack of passion must be cool if passion is of the nature of fire.)
I can’t live without you. No one would say such words these days. Yet everybody feels that this means love and that no other words could convey the feeling.
Some people, analyzing the lyrics of many love songs and finding them wanting in verisimilitude or analogy with real-life situations, have concluded that the singers are in fact addressing… their mothers, that they belong to a “maternally starved generation” (W.B. Key). That males in the Western world would be maternally deprived may indeed make sense, and yet love has always been crazy, so it is no surprise either when love songs do not seem to deal with the real world. But craziness is as real as rationality. Besides, there may exist fine natures that crave for the sufferings of passion and long for the martyrdom of love. These are the heroic natures, repressed in our times. Those people that feel a call to being heroes may experience the realm of love is the last possible ground of their endeavors. Some others might also sing the sufferings of love in order to be admired as heroes.
To conclude, the lyrics, as you have noted, is not particularly original. However, the song is moving. Because when someone says she doesn’t care what people say, the chances are she suffers from what people say. She wishes they would shut up. Admittedly, it can be a nuisance rather than suffering proper, but then the idea conveyed still is that of strength of character. In both cases, the story inspires reverence toward the young woman (almost a child) who dares endure being called crazy for the sake of her love or of going her way. If bombast underlies her words, and we ought to be scornful, then there aren’t many pieces of art that stand the test.