Review of “An Aspie’s Guide to Intimacy, Dating, Sex and Marriage”

This book is destroying my good opinion of Tony Attwood. The best-case scenario is that he put his name on it without reading it, which is still bad.

It’s billed as a collection of short essays from aspies who’ve achieved success in relationships, referred to as “mentors”. But it’s filled with bad advice from really dysfunctional people rationalizing their failures who repeatedly admit they haven’t learned anything. I want to skim and do a quick survey of the essay authors to learn how many are married with children, but I already know it’s a tiny minority. (It might actually be zero, although I’d like to confirm that.) The editors should know better than to publish an essay about how becoming a cat lady who doesn’t understand dating and relationships is a success story. Luckily it’s a very short book, so I won’t have to put up with it much longer. Hard no on the recommendation.

There are good points sprinkled in the vomit but you would have to already know which points were good to benefit from them. I continue to wonder who the fuck this book was actually written for. Tumblr? As a representative sample, here’s the ending of an essay by an attractive aspie girl who gave herself to a cavalcade of rich men but couldn’t handle their social calendars, then this so-called mentor closes out her little advice column by she hasn’t learned anything and doesn’t know what you should do:

In these past years, I have evolved to the point of not having any interest in finding a man. Frankly, I don’t see where I could squeeze one into my schedule.

Trust is another big factor that plays into my thoughts on relationships. In this day and age, I would find it extremely difficult to trust anyone. All I have to do is look on the TV or listen to co-workers to hear of infidelity. Aside from the emotional matters of the heart, there are way too many sexually transmitted diseases to get. People these days treat sex very casually, like it’s just a sport. The romantic era is gone forever. With all that said, if I did meet someone who struck my fancy, a romance would have to blossom from a friendship first.

As for dating, I have no clue about all the rules of the dating game—and “game” it is. I find it both exhausting and entertaining to listen to neurotypicals (NTs) and their rules for dating. Either I like somebody or I don’t. All the games people play are beyond me. I also realize I’d need to meet a guy on the spectrum for it to work. I’d make time for a good man if I found one.

In the meantime, I’ve got plenty to do!

An Aspie’s Guide to Intimacy, Dating, Sex and Marriage

What a useless human being. It’s criminal that this is presented to a vulnerable population as “advice”. Naivete is the #1 symptom of Asperger’s. This is some really insidious shit. The only worse book I’ve ever read on relationships was the ultra-Puritan Every Young Man’s Battle wherein the author explains how he trained himself not to look lustfully at his wife’s butt when she leans over (not making that up).

I don’t know how or when Asperger’s and Christianity and whatever else became excuses for being a useless fuckwit but it needs to stop.

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One-man hydro power setup example

I mentioned before that hydro power from backyard creeks will be the future of yeoman power generation, but I wasn’t sure exactly how and I don’t have any land to experiment on.

Luckily, Jews don’t care to understand how technology works so we’ll still have stuff like this on the internet for a few more years. Hydro power part is from 7:30 to 11:30.

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Ten common fantasies about being a new mother re: feminism and postpartum depression

I’ve speculated a couple of times that feminism is a huge risk factor for postpartum depression. This comes from anecdotal observation of new moms who were shocked that being a mother restricts their freedom to do what they want, when they want. Most of the people reading this are male, so this conception of “commitment” is going to be somewhat incomprehensible to you. But you have to keep in mind that women love the sorts of commitment that are associated with high status (think of higher education) and motherhood is probably the first hard thing they’ve had to do in their lives without the full-throated support of authority and the larger society. These days, it’s probably their first time going against the grain, and on top of that the hardest thing they’ve ever done.

As a relatively minor stress test of my idea, I’m going to compare it to the “Ten Common Fantasies about Motherhood” from the book Postpartum Depression for Dummies. Here’s a quote from the introduction to establish that the author comes from approximately a big brain centrist background:

You’ll also notice that I refer to a mom’s partner quite often throughout the book. As much as possible, I used the gender-neutral reference because I fully understand the fact that nowadays many couples are same-sex parents (and a good number of the couples I’ve counseled are same-sex parents). Sometimes, though, being politically correct is extremely tedious in writing, so in those cases, I used the masculine form — please note that this usage was only a technicality, though, and I in no way am leaving anyone out of the picture.

-Shoshanna Bennett, Postpartum Depression for Dummies

Here are the two place where I’ve floated my proposition before:

Post-partum depression is a failure of transference from the egocentrism of young women to the child-centrism of mothers, which typically arises from a feminist ideological resistance to the change in life roles. Women who lack nurturing instincts due to extreme fast life history strategies don’t experience post-partum depression because they don’t experience depression in general, so post-partum depression is a very socially mediated, slow life history phenomenon. Having internalized feminism, these young women experience nurturing instincts as a form of narcissistic injury and spend their early twenties successfully repressing these desires. When pregnancy and child-bearing bring these instincts on in an extremely heightened state of emotion, it’s experienced as trauma.

A few observations re: normie stress responses

In a bit more detail:

In my somewhat limited experience, I’ve seen that this is related to failures of transference in big life stage transitions. “Transference” refers to things like the Oedipal complex transferring to the more generalized, symbolic “feminine”. I think there are other such transitions, like when a girl’s self-love transfers to motherly love for her baby. She goes from being the center of her own world to the baby being the center of her world.

But transference has a lot of requirements that I don’t think we understand. You have to have stores of willpower, first of all. That’s why Freud gave up on hypnotism. As he described it, his patients achieved insight under hypnosis but failed to achieve emotional catharsis. I think an underexamined factor is you need positive cultural narratives to make the jump. For example, I believe a lot of post-partum depression is due to feminist propaganda that tells women “Your life is over now”. On top of that, you need a sense of safety and security.

These are death-rebirth cycles where you have to let go of the old you. Like we were talking about before, Americans don’t have the cultural software for this. Death represents moral failure. So people manage these transitions with repression instead of allowing natural changes to take place. They haven’t let go of the old way of being. An ex-convict may turn over a new leaf and try to be a completely different person by sheer willpower without balance. He’s going to have trouble because he’s not trying to be his best self, which includes integrating his natural disagreeableness into a mature disagreeable adult archetype. A disagreeable person can perhaps live as a prosocial disagreeable person, but not as an agreeable person. (Conscientiousness is a bit more malleable, though not infinitely.)

It goes back to that negotiation I referred to before. That’s why we call the process “coming to terms”. When we transition to a new phase in life, we have to assimilate the personal history into the new narrative. It’s kind of like expecting a guy who smokes weed and plays video games all day to shape up the day after he gets married. Sure, there’s a change in hormones that occurs. But a change of such magnitude is probably going to backfire unless the needs that drove the original behavior are met some other way. You can’t go from all-day dopamine to all-day self-control overnight and expect anything other than burnout and recidivism.

Depression, addiction, and the rise of Mr. Hyde subpersonalities

All right then, let’s see how well my proposition holds up against the top ten fantasies about motherhood. We’re going to see a lot of “just world” fallacies, because all women are normies.

In this tens chapter, I give you some of the most common myths that mothers have about motherhood. You can find plenty of mothers who actually believe that these fantasies are true. It’s wonderful for them if one or more of these fantasies do come true, but the danger is when women expect these fantasies to happen. When women expect motherhood to be one way and it turns out the exact opposite, they feel inadequate and as if they’ve failed.

So, it’s important not to begrudge a woman for having had one or more of these fantasies come true in her life — it’s nice for her. But, at the same time, remember that just because she ran across some luck doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

The following are ideas that many mothers, with or without depression, tend to believe. When PPD is present, however, believing these fantasies becomes even more painful because the feelings of self-worth and inadequacy are even more pronounced. In this chapter, I aim to help you blow these myths to smithereens so you can more comfortably embrace what’s true and real.

-The Dummies book again

You might be a basic bitch if you think…

This Should Be the Happiest Time in My Life

“If this is supposed to be the happiest time in my life,” you may be saying, “then I’m really doomed.” The truth is, when a baby first joins your family, it’s more like boot camp. So don’t worry if your days aren’t all filled with laughs, giggles, and smiles — this is hardly the happiest time in your life! Between recovering from stitches, aching in places you didn’t know existed, fatigue, hormonal sweats, mood changes, and a small but loud stranger demanding full-time care with no manual of directions, it’s no wonder that you shouldn’t expect this to be the happiest time in your life. You can certainly have joyful times during this period (finding these times is easier if you have only a mild case of PPD), but most of the happy times come later.

This actually goes against my thesis. If anything, it’s the opposite of feminism, which tells women not to have babies because their lives will be hell forever afterward. This belief is more the providence of Hallmark movies, which are perhaps equally pernicious but definitely not the same as feminism. Insofar as feminism sneaks into such fantasies it ruins them, like if you tried to make a progressive horror movie or high fantasy book.

I Should Be Able to Do Everything Myself

Today’s society values self-reliance to the point that people are often embarrassed to ask for help. They’re embarrassed because dependence, unfortunately, is often still equated with weakness. So, the faster you can free yourself from that unenlightened point of view, the better. Just remember that emotional, social, and physical support is necessary for everyone — even when there’s no baby and no depression.

As an example of society’s love of self-reliance, consider how many mothers (with partners to share the duties!) work full time outside the home and still expect themselves to have dinner ready immediately after work. Who made that rule? More importantly, why would anyone allow this rule to continue? Mothers who work inside their homes taking care of their children know very well that their efforts equate to more than a full-time job. To expect yourself to take care of a child and then have dinner made is asking a lot of yourself. If you’re able to achieve this feat sometimes, kudos to you, but don’t expect it. I suggest that if you have a partner or support person living with you, you share who puts dinner on the table. Or, decide that whoever makes dinner shouldn’t be watching the children at the same time.

My sister has triplets and this one alone ruined her life for the first two years as she went through a few full-time, high-powered jobs trying to find one she could hold down while also exclusively breastfeeding three babies (i.e. be the all-organic supermom). First of all, what the fuck. Secondly, gentlemen, you need to discuss reasonable expectations with your wives before 24/7 crisis time because they aren’t reasonable creatures. Women are less atomized than men by nature (being more tribal, more communitarian, and higher in GFP) This belief can absolutely be blamed on feminist beliefs and especially the corporations who championed it for cheaper labor, and to a lesser extent on the perverse commodification of the Puritan work ethic (there’s a book on that but it escapes me).

In America, the rule of thumb is that you’ll need three adults in the home to supply the man-hours needed to raise one child: two incomes and one full-time childcare provider. The only exception is if one of the two parents has a super-cushy job. (As triplet-mom sister recently said, she always wondered how single mothers work full-time and still raise kids and now she’s realized…they don’t. They just work full-time and the kids literally go feral.)

I Shouldn’t Need Breaks

A myth that often accompanies this damaging fantasy is, “If I love my child enough, I shouldn’t need a break from her.” There’s also the one that says, “My child is my responsibility. I don’t feel right asking other people to take care of her.” But, the truth is that every mom needs a break (and she isn’t a bad mom for believing so).

There are many different kinds of breaks to choose from. There’s the quickie ten minutes alone to take a shower kind and the spontaneous kind you get when your baby naps (unfortunately you never know for sure how long you’ll get). And then there’s the really nurturing kind that I focus on here. I describe this nurturing kind as at least two hours off duty to do something pleasurable for yourself. In other words, someone else is watching the children. You can be in your home or not, and it can take place at any time of the day. It doesn’t matter as long as you follow the pleasure and off-duty rules. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you should aim for at least four two-hour breaks per week (I go into detail on how you can manage this in Chapter 12).

If you think you don’t need breaks then you’ve never tried to do anything actually hard. Newborn babies are trial by fire on you mentally and physically, and it’s going to break down a lot of your luxury beliefs. This fantasy is basically a subset of the previous one.

My Life Won’t Change That Much


A major fantasy that many pregnant women have is that they’ll be able to take their babies everywhere they go. These women are in the camp that says it’ll just be your life plus a baby — no big deal. They think that a baby is really portable: Just pop him into a baby carrier and off you go to that fancy restaurant. He’ll sleep right through dinner and you and your partner will gaze romantically into each other’s eyes, and no one in the restaurant will be disturbed. Are you laughing out loud yet?

One of the best things you (and your partner, if you have one) can do, is acknowledge the many ways your life will change — or is already changing — when a baby is present. For example, simply leaving the house with an infant in tow can take hours — even for a woman who’s mentally healthy. With depression and anxiety added to the mix, even the simplest of tasks are overwhelming and worrisome. What you’ll be able to do with your baby depends on many factors, two of which are the temperament of your child and your mental health. So, no matter what anyone else tells you, it’s okay if the family camping trip with your baby has to wait.

I told you the female conception of commitment would be incomprehensible to a male audience. It comes from self-sacrifice being something they’re inclined to by their sexual nature, so having a kid will be the first time they’ve engaged in love as a verb, which is the way we understand it from the necessities of the courtship process. This is probably the first time the young woman has had to give something up without receiving the feeling that she’s the protagonist of one of her girly novels, which is just basic economics.

I’m late, so it looks like this will be a two-parter.

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A modest proposal to shoot every church leader from the deacon level up

(For reference, I’ve been going to a small church for a few weeks with about three dozen members where the average age is 70. I’ve described it to friends and family as “acceptably inoffensive” and the pastor is pretty good.)

So at church last Sunday, the pastor did a digression about terrorists around the world who want to kill us for no reason except because we live freely in America. It put me in mind of a Japanese soldier abandoned on an island still fighting World War 2. I think that was a movie or something that was parodied in Archer. It really typifies the absolute power of the generational divide in America. These people may as well be living on a deserted island with no radio contact for all the understanding they have of people even twenty years younger.

The first day I was there, the pastor introduced himself to me and mentioned that he’s interested in getting more young people. I dread the day when he asks my opinion on that. How do you tell someone that despite his best intentions, his past decisions have formed him such that the best thing he could do is expire and be replaced by a half-wit Twitch streamer who, despite his functional illiteracy, at least has soured on wars in the Middle East? On the other hand, if he cared enough to actually pursue that supposed goal, he probably wouldn’t be living in a cultural fortress of solitude. So that day will probably never come. I think what I’d actually go with is “I’ve thought about it, and I think you need to focus on your strengths and serving the flock God has brought to you.”

But it really illustrates in microcosm the absolute failure of the Western church, as “in the world but not of it” has been interpreted in practice to mean “neither in the world nor of it”. I.e. Christians have given up on understanding literally anything around them. I suspect this is partly to blame for our inability to produce artists. I actually understand them, in contrast. The behavior can be explained as a response to economic precarity. Being in the world even a little bit puts your family in enormous danger. If I had money I’d be spending it on off-the-grid living solutions myself. But I won’t let them off the hook just because there are economic and psychological reasons to self-insulate.

First off, there are levels of insulation. It’s unconscionable to still support the Iraq war, and self-delusion is not a good excuse for treason. If a soldier sent confidential documents to an e-mail address he thought was Q, the military tribunal would laugh that defense out of the courtroom before sentencing him to death. Intention is revealed by patterns of behavior. If someone tells me he desperately seeks God and ten years later he’s never cracked a Bible (or any religious text at all, for that matter), then he’s a liar.

Second off, it doesn’t have to be everyone risking everything all the time. Where are the domestic mission trips? Where’s the baseline interest in what’s going on out there? Where are the service trips? The fact-finding commissions? I’m a big fan of the idea of playing superhero world savior as a side job and in my spare time. If nothing else, it’s a good reason to get up in the morning. You can’t tell me I’m the only single person in the American church with extra time in the evening to do constructive charity work. Those tens of thousands of singles groups might be completely feckless to marry off even one incel with a divorced single mother (the only two demographics you’ll find in singles groups), but they could put soup in bowls in the meantime.

And speaking of extra resources, why are the donors wasting their God-given money? Why does every fucking church plant feel their witness would benefit from a new God-damned building?

This is such a massive failure of leadership at all levels that I’m tempted to call for every church member in the world from the deacon level up to be shot. And any Christian who actually cares about the wretched state of the church would understand the emotion, even if they disagreed with the actual policy. Frankly, it’s worse than the medical system. The reason I’m not particularly upset about Ravi Zacharias’s embezzling and philandering is I still think he was the best the church had on offer. He was a sinner, but he at least gave a shit. At this point I’ll take a high-functioning meth head over all these harmless tubs of Jello.

What is the point of a harmless man? What use is he to anyone? Better to be smothered at birth than grow up to be so completely irrelevant that you may as well have been a vegetable on life support the whole time. That bleeds into a criticism of average Americans, as the Zoom meeting era has demonstrated, but I won’t moralize about Christian values to a population that doesn’t share them. And it’s probably explicable via systemic issues as in David Graeber’s book “Bullshit Jobs”.

tl;dr- Real desire is evidenced by discontent with failure. Therefore the Western church is dead and begs replacement, and it was the duty of church leaders to avoid this fate so they need to remove themselves or be removed. I suppose they could repent and change their lives too, but who ever heard of that happening in the Western church? The only thing Paul Washer did wrong is he didn’t go far enough.

Oh, speaking of, if you’re a pastor and the divorce rate at your church isn’t lower than the demographic average, then you should burn it down and kill yourself legally and with due process in Minecraft.

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When to discourage

(This model is an intentional oversimplification to serve as a guideline, not as a rule.)

Hope is the wellspring of courage, therefore hope is necessary but not sufficient for useful action. I’ll be using hope and courage more or less interchangeably, so that “encourage” will mean “to inject/remind a person with/of positive expectations” and “discourage” will mean the opposite. Now, put people in a 2×2:

Useful, encouraged
Useful, discouraged
Useless, encouraged
Useless, discouraged

Some argue that hope is an unalloyed good regardless of whether a person is delusional, useless, etc. This was the conceit of the Q movement and can be traced to a combination of a abundance mindset and a fixed mentality, which can be traced to the belief that we live in a post-scarce, deterministic world. I disagree, because I believe a scarcity mindset and a growth mentality are more appropriate. In a scarce world there is no point in encouraging a useless person because even if they take positive action, they still aren’t going to make a positive contribution. If anything, it will be counterproductive, which makes them a liability according to my scarcity mindset.

Therefore, in the simplified model a useless person should be discouraged until they move into the useless, discouraged square of the 2×2. This is true regardless of whether discouragement will produce the realism which is necessary for them to rise from the ashes as a useful person (probably discouraged at first, but potentially encouraged). We can observe that some people can eventually process discouragement into adjusted expectations (growth!) while others will forever roll around on the floor clutching their heads (fixed). Either case is an improvement both for society, which benefits from both the creation of (some) useful people and the reduction of delusional parasitism, and an improvement for the moral condition of the parasites, because parasitism is worse for you than privation even though it feels better.

The case of a useful person is more complex. If they are engaging in a particular counterproductive thing but they are contributing in general, then we do not want to move them into the useful, discouraged category. They should be encouraged in general and if particular criticisms are floated at all, these should be restricted to constructive forms sandwiched between 5 genuine compliments of their character and accomplishments in general (why five?). However, if the particular thing they are doing is so bad it’s going to wipe out their positive contributions, i.e. move them into the useless, encouraged square, then they need to be discouraged from it like the useless person even if this is at the cost of their contributions. For example, a well-heeled father of four who’s starting to drink too much absolutely should be discouraged from it. A good example of this is how the artists formerly known as the Alt-Right had to clean up their alcoholic party culture and go a bit straight-edge. While I wasn’t there personally, I’ll make an educated guess that not everyone bought into the new buzzkill policy immediately.

Public discouragement has an even more stringent requirement, because criticizing a person in public is implicitly advocating for them to be banished from the in-group unless they modify their behavior. The purpose of criticizing in front of an audience is not merely to amplify the negative feelings, it’s to imply the unanimous consent of the silent majority. For whatever reason, the modern right has acquired rose-colored glasses about the nature of public shaming and grassroots bullying in general, and they can’t see how this is related to their inability to organize large groups. But any serious organizational manual (such as military training manuals) will tell you that criticism must be done in private. Why? Because the manual assumes that one failure of discipline is not going to result in the person being driven out of whatever military or corporate role they’re in. That’s a recipe for a very, very small military or organization, which is suicide in a competitive environment. This implies, again, that public discouragement should only be employed when an individual needs to be banished from the group, which is a leadership responsibility and absolutely should not be decided by the rank-and-file, who are shortsighted, primitive, and not accountable for overall group outcomes.

A good example of public discouragement used properly was when Adam Green started going fedora on Christianity and Myles Poland challenged him to a debate. Green was abusing his leadership position to air personal grievances and encourage religious fractiousness in a pro-white political movement, which has been more or less unheard of since the Alt-Lite fell apart in 2018. He has arguably made enormous contributions in general but if this behavior continues we would have been better off without him all along, and it’s the duty of other leaders like Myles to make that judgment call and then coordinate with each other to make it happen.

To finish up, here’s a checklist for what constitutes “contribution” in white nationalism to remind you that it’s a broader question than you’re inclined to think when you get heated about theological differences:

  1. Family – Do they have white children? Are they close with their other family members? (I.e. Would anyone miss them?)
  2. Social – Do they encourage other white people?
  3. Financial – Does their existence contribute to/enable the existence of other white people in their personal life?
  4. Career – Does their existence contribute to the economy in their public life (as distinct from their personal financial situation)? E.g. If a man has anti-white opinions, but he works at McDonald’s, that’s a real economic contribution that ought to be considered seriously.
  5. Religiosity – Intrinsic: Do they take their religion seriously? Extrinsic: Are they an active participant in their religious community, regardless of what it is?
  6. Physical – Do they keep healthy and fit?
  7. Intellectual – What’s their IQ? What do they use it for? Do they overperform or underperform in these pursuits?

(This is adapted from Ziglar’s version of the Wheel of Life. Adapt it to whatever in-group you’re interested in nurturing.)

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The naturalistic fallacy in the Unabomber’s manifesto

“The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in ‘advanced’ countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lead to increased physical suffering even in ‘advanced’ countries.” [1]

Ted Kaczynski is and was a brilliant man, and my criticisms of his manifesto are countervailed by respect for him as my intellectual superior. I will attack the heart of his thesis as an expression of that respect, rather than picking away at secondary issues or quibbles. An example of such a secondary issue that I argued in a different essay is that Kaczynski’s focus on individual maladaptiveness is a red herring from the more encompassing multi-level selection model of evolutionary psychology. However, his more important mistake is to assume a moral ontology based on negative utilitarianism, and to assume that his audience shares this assumption, and proceed to commit the naturalistic fallacy repeatedly. A paragraph under the heading Human Suffering demonstrates Kaczynski’s dependence on this moral framework in microcosm:

“In the third place, it is not at all certain that survival of the system will lead to less suffering than breakdown of the system would. The system has already caused, and is continuing to cause, immense suffering all over the world. Ancient cultures, that for hundreds of years gave people a satisfactory relationship with each other and with their environment, have been shattered by contact with industrial society, and the result has been a whole catalogue of economic, environmental, social and psychological problems. One of the effects of the intrusion of industrial society has been that over much of the world traditional controls on population have been thrown out of balance. Hence the population explosion, with all that that implies. Then there is the psychological suffering that is widespread throughout the supposedly fortunate countries of the West (see paragraphs 44, 45).” [1]

Negative utilitarianism posits that moral people ought to act so as to minimize suffering [2]. However, many religious traditions have disagreed with this assumption and it is not clearly and obviously true. For example, in the Bhagavad Gita Krishna instructs Arjuna to increase human suffering because failure to do his duty as a warrior would compromise the divine order, which would be a greater evil than human suffering. The Flagellant sects of 14th century Europe serve as a more concrete example. And I certainly don’t agree with the premise myself, as there appears to be an Aristotelian mean of suffering to produce Christian growth toward godliness that is almost always higher than the amount we’d prefer by nature. 

Kaczynski relies on negative utilitarianism throughout his manifesto. While his whole essay can’t be reduced to the statement “We are morally compelled to reduce suffering if we can,” I believe any reasonable reader will agree with my assertion that most of his arguments would fall apart if the statement were false. At the risk of oversimplifying, I’d reduce the bulk of his manifesto to the enthymeme:

1. (Implicit, assumed) We ought to reduce suffering if we can.
2. Technology causes suffering.
3. We ought to reduce technology so that it causes less suffering.

This draws an “ought” conclusion from an “is” premise, while leaving the “ought” premise implicit and therefore unexamined and unchallenged. This is an example of the naturalistic fallacy (NB: distinct from “appeal to nature”). 


[1] T. Kaczynski, “Industrial Society And its Future,” The Washington Post, 19-Sep-1995.
[2] “Utilitarianism,” Encyclopædia Britannica. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 24-Nov-2021].

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Owl convo re: men’s fashion

Snake virtue signaling is to flaunt symbols of status and prestige. Wearing a Harvard shirt, for example.
As I mentioned in the OG snake post, it appears to be a requirement that the shirt be two sizes too large.
Owl virtue signaling is to flaunt informal markers of character.
In America we respect “genuine” people, so owl melons will wear the costume of a genuine person.
The form that takes may vary.
When I dressed up as an Episcopalian for my sister’s wedding, that was about halfway between the two.
On the one hand, I’m signaling upper middle class. On the other hand, I’m using symbols that require a bit of discriminating interpretation (e.g. tie with flowers on it).

mens formal fashion is definitely one of those areas replete with esoteric rulesets
you can definitely do a lot with subtle signalling if you get into it. i find it an amusing game to play, personally

It’s still easier than men’s informal fashion 😕.
Formal fashion I’m pretty good at now. It’s a stretch, but I’m at the point where I try to break at least one of the formal rules on purpose just to show off.
For informal fashion you have to read pretty much the entire culture around you at once.
Back in my day you had to dress halfway between a black kid and a white kid.
I still don’t get it.
Black fashion is easy. As long as it looks expensive, flashy, and looks like sewn-together garbage, you’re golden.
It was always the asymmetric nature of black fashion that repulsed me.
I can handle things that aren’t symmetrical in small doses now, but as a kid it really bothered me.
Everything I made in Lego tended to be symmetrical, with the interesting exception of buildings and natural environments.

Anyway, the problem I have with casual clothing is you’re supposed to be signaling impulsivity while also sending clear class identification messages, and also look good.
I basically gave up.

i would say nonchalance instead of impulsivity, but that might be a class marker ocming through

It’s the same root thing.

there’s a debateable statement. what makes you say that?

Oh, in both cases it’s signaling a lack of mortality salience.
I.e. Why worry? I’m too great.
I’d describe them as two forms of blitheness.
Lack of anxiety correlates with material success, high status, etc.

a fair insight. i see them as opposite sides of an “excitable/inexcitable” spectrum but i think you have a point

More to the point: dark triad, R-selection, etc.

more so far black fashion than white, but yes

Right, in white fashion you have to do this weird halfway-to-black thing that I don’t understand.
And I blame it on rich whites idealizing blacks as noble savages.

ehhh, I’m not so sure about that, but i think i see where our experiences have diverged
is “preppy” much of a thing in the midwest?

It started with the Boomer fascination with spontaneity and ended with upper middles listening to gangster rap.
Yeah, we had preppy here.
Polo shirts tucked into jeans or khakis.


But the polos had to be weird-looking, either Fubu or some European soccer club.
I’ve never like polo shirts since then, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

So no real preppy style then

I guess not. Must have been an offshoot.
Oh wait, I imagine it was just a couple decades behind what you’re thinking of.
If I had to guess, I’d say preppy style in your area looked like out of a men’s fashion magazine.

vineyard vines, boat shoes, brooks brothers…etc
still pretty common across the south and east coast

Yeah, we didn’t see much of that around here until 10-15 years ago.
Ann Arbor probably being the exception.
And some really trendy parts of Detroit.

there a big fraternity culture at U Mich? I would imagine that was the difference

Yeah, huge frat culture.

that’ll do it

But also money and class.
You have to remember, we still have DVD rental stores here. Michigan still has a foot in the 90s.

i want to say that sounds almost wholesome, but i imagine it doesn’t quite feel that way in practice

Nostalgia helps.
One nice thing about being completely forgotten is you can have a Chinese place named “Takee Outee” and no one bats an eye.
My other favorite anecdote is the Area 51-themed gym.

this is what they took from you, white man

I wish I could remember what it was called so I could show you.

want your GAINZ to be OUT OF THIS WORLD?
*space helmet not included

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Annotated bibliography re: Neanderthal birch tar

I only annotated four of my references. Re:


P. Schmidt, M. Blessing, M. Rageot, R. Iovita, J. Pfleging, K. G. Nickel, L. Righetti, and C. Tennie, “Birch tar production does not prove neanderthal behavioral complexity,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 116, no. 36, pp. 17707–17711, 2019.


This study demonstrates that birch tar is deposited on nearby surfaces when birch bark is burned, and does not require oxygen-depleted environments. This implies that it could be discovered easily and reproduced readily by anyone who can gather birch bark and make a fire, which repudiates the theory that birch tar is evidence of Neanderthal general intelligence. The researchers argue this case comprehensively by producing tar under likely conditions (a fire next to a stone wall), quantifying the amount produced, matching the chemical analysis of the produced tar with archeological tar, and testing the mechanical strength of tools hafted with the tar. Notably, the tar was produced at 600-700 degrees Celcius (due to the presence of oxygen), which probably contradicts one of my other sources that claims such tar can only be produced in oxygen-deprived conditions at near 350 degrees Celcius.

I used this article to present a contrasting view to my perspective. By arguing that evidence of efficient production is evidence of quality thinking, rather than mere invention, I sidestepped the facts presented by these skeptics, which freed me from the necessity of debating its particular findings. Producing large amounts of tar is quite another thing from producing “usable” amounts.


P. R. B. Kozowyk and J. A. Poulis, “A new experimental methodology for assessing adhesive properties shows that Neandertals used the most suitable material available,” Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 137, p. 102664, 2019.


The majority of this study covers the mechanical properties of adhesives that are likely to have been available to Neanderthals. The remainder presents the time and resource investment that would have been necessary to produce quantities of them. It concludes that birch tar was the most advantageous material for stone tools but also considerably more difficult to produce than alternatives, which indicates a significant up-front investment but also a more economical choice overall. The authors present this as evidence in favor of Neanderthal trial and error, which is necessary to my claim that the production method shows an understanding of cause and effect. This thesis was particularly fortuitous because it spared me the necessity of arguing that claim myself. That and the source showing that Neanderthals produced large quantities of tar were sufficient to meet the definition of engineering, which I implied is a type of quality thinking. 


M. J. Niekus, P. R. Kozowyk, G. H. Langejans, D. Ngan-Tillard, H. van Keulen, J. van der Plicht, K. M. Cohen, W. van Wingerden, B. van Os, B. I. Smit, L. W. Amkreutz, L. Johansen, A. Verbaas, and G. L. Dusseldorp, “Middle Paleolithic Complex Technology and a Neandertal tar-backed tool from the Dutch North Sea,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 116, no. 44, pp. 22081–22087, 2019.


This study analyzes and dates a 50,000-year-old hafted flint flake from the Northernmost range of Neanderthal expansion during the Middle Paleolithic, and discusses the implications of these findings. The flake in question is identified as a “domestic” type of stone tool, i.e. a convenience and not a necessity for survival. It was hafted with birch tar in spite of small group sizes, high environmental stress, and high residential mobility (vagrancy), which indicates that birch tar was produced efficiently enough that unnecessary hafting still conferred fitness under these conditions. This provides evidence for my claim that the birch tar production process was efficient, which is the second part of my argument that it meets the definition of engineering (and therefore quality thinking).


T. J. Koch and P. Schmidt, “The formation conditions of birch tar in oxygen-depleted environments,” Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, vol. 13, no. 6, 2021.


This study presents a number of findings that undercut the claims of the Schmidt et al. study I used as a contrasting perspective. It is not strictly necessary to my argument but I included it because it provides a secondary reason (behavioral complexity) for my overall claim (quality thinking), which makes it more reliable, and because it is problematic to the group I identified as “skeptics” in the writeup. In particular, the researchers demonstrate that birch tar can only be produced in a temperature range of 350-400 degrees Celcius (contra Schmidt et al.), which implies the absolute necessity of air-constricted conditions to prevent burning. Another useful finding is that maximum birch tar yield can theoretically be achieved 15 minutes after reaching the working temperature, which yields insight into how efficient production could have been achieved.

The authors suggest that their production method most closely approximates Neolithic single-pot and Middle Paleolithic earthen pit methods of birch tar production. Though it is not discussed in this study, it’s notable that we have not found evidence of Neanderthal ceramics from the Middle Paleolithic (as in the “domestic” flake mentioned in the annotation above). Without portable ceramic vessels, the production process would have had to be even more efficient because it would require the creation of an earthen pit at each site, which significantly increases the time of each working session. All this is unnecessary to my original argument, but it is useful to include because it buttresses my conclusion and implicitly casts serious doubt on the objections and findings reported by researchers from the opposing perspective.

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The eternally recurring three-hominid system (re: Dilbert)

 - Dilbert by Scott Adams

Luckily we have the word “grifter” now, which is a better term for hominid type B (homo capensis). I would prefer the more precise term “useless fuckwit” for hominid type C (homo sapiens), but it’s a newspaper comic.

If you don’t fall into any of those buckets, I have bad news for you. You’re a useless fuckwit.

The good news is that snowflakes may take refuge in the existence of spectrums! For example, I’m 80% angry loner (homo neanderthalensis), 10% grifter, and 10% useless fuckwit.

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Parenting resource list (stub)

There’s a couple new paragraphs at the end of yesterday’s post too.

My mom said the old Focus on the Family stuff was good for education on how and when to spank, so I’ll try to scrounge up some libgen links for that.

While I’m not a parent myself I’ve been told (by parents) that this post was good:

This is a good general-purpose post: (relevant to questions like “Should I trust this pediatrician?”)

I started reading the Parenting for Dummies book a few months ago and the first thirty or pages or so seemed legit, but take that with a grain of salt.

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