Sunday, 16 June 2013

Happy father's day

I have to leave for work in half an hour, to serve ribs and steak to all the fortunate fathers out there whose loved ones are treating them on their one day a year. This is an especially hopeful father's day for me, considering how well the fundraising efforts for Tom Matty's appeal on the grounds of institutional bias went (thanks so much again to everyone who donated).

My own father, who is trekking around NY right now with his cell phone turned off to avoid roaming charges, is one of the most amazing people in my life, I love him dearly, and wish I could wish him the best of the day in person. Here's hoping the text I sent to my luddite mother to relay to him didn't make her hair turn whiter than it already is (she's completely oblivious to how texting works, and the chime probably threw her for a loop).

Love you, dad. Happy father's day. And for all the other dad's out there, I wish you all the best.


  1. I just want to let you know I think you rock...keep it coming, K.! - Sean


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  2. Sad to hear you've been busy at work. You should have been celebrating the day with your kids.

    Anyways, happy father's day to you and your dad.

    Irene (Criminal Justice Attorneys Seattle)

  3. Good for you. Fathers often don't get the credit they deserve. Im a little jealous of people who love their parents, and jealous of happy parents themselves. Maybe some day, somewhere, i'll find a legal and social climate where i may yet be a father myself. Until we build a colony where this is possible, ill just have to smile for the rest of you. Children need fathers more now than ever. So cheers to the honorable men who are brave enough to be the happy fathers they deserve to be.

  4. I was wondering, if I may, what you thought of a few ideas I recently had (and shared on AVFM). The conversation was in regards to the idea that very few women are really friends with men. Another poster opined:

    "The potential for females to be ‘friends’ with males, in general, is in question. Females seek very explicit things from males, and I do not find that deep, genuine and satisfying friendships is particularly one of those things".

    As someone who has always had as many female friends as male ones, if not more, but recognized the basics of what he was saying, I replied:

    "Or, at least, the part of you that elicits a recognition of shared humanity is divorced in her perception from the part of you that registers as being male. That’s what I’ve found. You, the friend, are a human being worthy of empathy and love; you, the male, are a tool whose purpose is to do things for her benefit, nothing more. The idea that your identity is a male identity – that you the person and you the male are one and the same – is something that doesn’t really enter into consideration, and this makes it awkward for many men who have close non-sexual friendships with women.

    I recall more than a few conversations with female friends that have left me thinking “you do realize/remember I’m a man, right?” Except in a sense she doesn’t. I’m her friend. Not a male.

    Remember “Fuck you Judith Grossman”? Why didn’t she moan until her son was on the receiving end of the bullshit? Because the policies she supported were anti-male. Her son is not “a male”. He is *her son*. He is valuable, he is loved…but he is not male. That’s not how she categorizes him. Most women, I’ve noticed, categorize only a narrow segment of men as “male”; lovers, providers, threats. Powerful, potent agents, for good or ill. If it’s an object – and anyone receiving affection, as a friend or relative does, is at least partially an object, by definition – then they don’t hit the target to be counted as “male” in those narrow gendered perceptions. Male is an agent, not an object. Someone who evokes love and empathy, who receives your affections, is an object, not an agent, at least in this situation. You can receive those affections and be biologically male, but in her gendered perception you are divorced from maleness.

    So I must, sadly, essentially agree with you. Only very rarely is a female friendly with a male. Which isn’t to say she doesn’t have many, many good friends of the other sex. She may well be friends – good friends – with someone who happens to be male, but I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re not registering as a male when she befriends you.

    In some sense that’s almost a good thing – she’s gender blind when it comes to friendships. But in reality it’s more like she assigns you an asexuality, divorced from your inherent maleness, which has to stand outside. You, a biological male, may transcend your maleness. But maleness must always remain rigid and constrained.

    Following on from this; this leaves us with a problem. Among men, our goal and challenge is to fly in the face of biology and encourage a group identity as men; to be, collectively, men, sharing in a male identity, before we are anything else. As comes naturally to women.

    But this is the exact opposite of the path we have to take to get women on our side. Women will never support anything that encourages empathy or care for “the male”. The male is not an object; he is an agent!! A woman will care for her son, her brother, her father… and for her friend’s son and brother and father, through the friend, and she will empathise with many, many people who happen to be male so long as they are divorced from their maleness. But empathise with the male? No.

    So our two goals – get men onboard with concern for all men, and get women on board with concern for all men – seem at odds to me, in terms of how we’ll achieve it. What we must do to attain the former will make it impossible to attain the latter…

  5. (cont) To me, this also explains how feminists can be so obviously anti-male yet so incapable of understanding why they’re seen as misandric. They look round, I iamgine, at their male friends and relatives and think “I don’t hate them! What rot to say I’m man-hating!” Because the Male – that which they hate – is easily and naturally divorced from a person. He may be a man, but he does not necessarily meet the perception of Male (which is potent and potentially threatening/protective). Sort of how women look at the 5% of top men and conclude from that that "men are powerful". A feminist, being a woman whose natural instincts are in overdrive, can only register as Male that which is powerful, aggressive and potent - that which is alpha.

    “We don’t hate you; we hate Patriarchy!” You see?

    They *don’t* hate you; they hate the male. And they don’t understand that you, a male person, can’t neatly divide the two as she can.

    This, I assume, is why feminists will happily support blatantly anti-male policies and not understand how inhumane and hateful they’re being – the male is separated from the human in their eyes. It doesn’t mean they see you as non-human because you’re in possession of a penis – it depends entirely on how much of you registers with them as “male”.

    What do you think of this?

  6. One last epilogue, sorry!

    The more time goes on, the more I think that “human” and “male” are essentially divorced in feminist (and so in mainstream) eyes. And we need to fully understand the implications of that – a feminist can divorce your humanity from your maleness, and so accept you, a person with a penis, and care about you, a person with a penis, and indeed not hate you, indeed even seek to include you in their “equality” while hating on the Male. They’re registering you as a human being…not as a male. Only when you assert your masculine identity (however you choose to do that) will the feminists turn on you. As a man, you are both a person and male. The person you is welcome. The male you is not.

  7. Holy fuck GWW 26 tabs? Chrome has a tendency to crash when I abuse it like that. I usually don't even open that many when I'm looking at porn on Paheal.

  8. Lovely post as always. Father's day is truly the best day to celebrate and show our appreciation to our fathers.

    Irene (Search Engine Optimization Austin)

  9. Neoteny - transcript
    Couldn´t find a transcript anywhere so here´s my attempt, no guarantees (the line breaks are not working when pasting

    into the commentary field, won´t bother myself with fixing that).
    Turns out there is a limit of 4096 characters per posting so I have to split the text.

    Scary music - voice neoteny... text: 0.15:
    Hi everyone, and for those of you who are wondering what the hell that was all about, allow me to explain the basics:

    neoteny is an evolutionary phenomenon in which the features of the infants or juveniles of a given species´ ancestors

    manifest in the phenotypes of sexually mature adults of the descendend species. And, yeah, that´s a bit of verbage to

    work out... so, I´m gonna take a stab at breaking it all down.
    Now, back in the day, our ancestors, the adults, looked kind-of like this:
    And the babies of our ancestors looked mostly like this:
    And no, those weren´t pictures of our hominid ancestors. They´re actually pictures of chimpanzees. But for the

    purpose of this discussion, they provide a suitable stand-in for what we would have looked like a couple of million years

    ago. And the interesting thing is: that when you compare skulls, the skulls of modern humans in adulthood more closely

    ressemble the skulls of the infant chimpanzees than the adult ones. Now this phenomenon applies to both men and

    women: human beings are a very neotenous species.
    For those of you who haven´t been stalking me online or listening to me on radio, I´ve actually been thinking and talking

    a fair bit about neoteny recently in the context of society´s views of gender. And what I´ve sort of begun to characterize

    as innate or biological sexism.
    Now humans of both sexes actually display a lot of neoteny compared to our closest primate relatives, including the

    size of our brains, relative to our bodies. In fact, our evolutionary tendency toward neoteny has been posited by some

    experts as a potential explanation as to how we grew these huge things of ours in the first place. That´s because

    prolonging maturation results in neoteny. It extends that periods of development we go through as we grow from

    babies to adults, prolonging various developmental periods and essentially postponing deadlines.
    And deadlines are important. For instance, the deadline for developing the capacity for language. Language is

    enormeously complex and it requires a lot of neural hardware to be built and then selectively ?prooned? and finetuned

    and adjusted both before and during its acquisition. And, yeah, there is a deadline for that. If a human being hasn´t built

    the necessary brainstructures by about age 6,
    they´ll almost never be able to integrate all the elements of speaking and understanding language, things like grammar,

    vocabulary, syntax, all of which interact in order to express and understand complex ideas through words. They may be

    able to pick up words as in vocabulary, but they won´t be able to put it all together and derive complex meaning out of

    Now, building that kind of hardware in a human brain takes time, and it takes a lot of stimulation and a lot of co?work

    input. And contrary to what my or your kids might wish, sexual maturity is not the same as intellectual, emotional or even

    physical maturity. Our brains don´t stop developing until we are in our early to mid twenties. Even though we can

    reproduce about a decade prior to that.
    Like any other species, human beings have the capacity to trend back and forth throughout our evolution between

    neoteny and what´s called acceleration, which is neoteny´s opposite, depending on environmental factors and

    selection pressures. We have, however, displayed a general trend over time toward greater and greater neoteny.

  10. 4.15
    Now, why is this important? Well, a few reasons: the first is that neoteny is influenced in large part by sexual selection.

    And sexual selection is influenced by selection pressures that exist in the environment, including social pressures. If

    evolutionary pressures for our ancestors had been such that humans with shorter periods of maturation and more

    condensed developmental periods with earlier deadlines were better at surviving, well, we might be a lot more like

    chimpanzees than the superintelligent if silly species that we are.
    Now, we share about 90% of our DNA with chimpanzees and yet at the same time, we reach sexual maturity years later

    than they do, and other developmental milestones like tooth eruption are significantly delayed in humans compared to

    chimps. More importantly, genes that are active in the brain at different stages of development switch on and off at

    earlier ages in chimpanzees than they do in humans. So, basically, the gist of all of this is, that when a species has to

    grow up fast in order to survive, there is just less time to get smart.
    So what made it possible for our hominid ancestors to postpone the onset of physical maturity and indipendent

    adulthood in the kind of survivalist environment we used to live in, an environment that´s really not that different from the

    one that, say, chimpanzees live in now. What conditions let the human beings able to extend our childhoods in this way.
    Now I want to make it clear from this point on that a lot of what´s going to follow is just my conjecture based on my

    examination of a whole bunch of stuff, so take it as you will, and if you have any criticizm, if there is anything you would

    like to add, please do so in the comments. It´s my speculation that the monogamous egalitarian model of social

    organisation would have potentially provided these conditions to early humans.
    In my earlier video, armed, ?binevel? and sexism, I talked about an evolutionary biologist´s recent findings regarding

    our species´ transition from the turnament model of social organisation toward monogamy went down. He

    demonstrated by a mathematical model how early hominid grandmothers may have cheated the existing turnament

    system by rewarding more cooperative males with ja shot at reproducing. This is a behavior that has also been

    observed in other primates, like baboons. Now, according to his theory, the female tendency to exercise this particular

    sexual choice became more common over generations as female preference for gentler, nicer, more cooperative and

    investment-oriented males was passed down to more and more descendants.
    In other words, the offspring of females who opted for good fathers, outcompeted the offspring of those who

    prioritised the bestest genes. But would paternal investment alone have been enough to trend us in the directon of

    neoteny and these gigantic brains of ours?
    Well, if it was, then marmosets might be a lot better at math than they are because marmoset dads are actually more

    nurturing and investment oriented than marmoset moms. Now, most monogamous species who live in groups have

    some fairly hard and fastened rules, as to who gets to reproduce. Taking the example of those marmosets, these guys

    generally live in extended family groups of nine to fifteen adults, you know, a mating pair and lots of their adult kids, and

    maybe their parents, who all help to raise the offspring of the main pair.

  11. 8.00
    And the mating pair will actually aggressively police the other adults in their group, to prevent them from mating, to

    prevent them from reproducing themselves, in order to protect the investment of the extended family members in their

    own yard yarl?. So, with only one pair reproducing, you kinda need to turn out a lot of kids to keep the population large

    and stable enough to sustain itself and, frankly, popping out twins twice a year, means, those babies have to grow up

    fast. Even when you have lots of help to raise them.
    And I do mean fast. Marmosets grow from infancy to full adulthood in the space of fifty months. Now, while early

    humans also lived in cooperative groups that usually included extended family members, the fact that reproduction was

    not limited to just a few indivuals, that´s a big deal, and that doesn´t tend to happen in ?monatual? world in social

    Then you combine that with the increasing levels of individual paternal investment in offspring and the added

    cooperational systems of extended family, and you´ve basically set the conditions for individuals to be able to remain

    children for far longer than even our closest primate relatives. So, in my opinion, it´s the egalitarian part of the

    monogamous egalitarian model that´s what generated the conditions that were necessary for us to be able to extend

    our childhoods in this way.
    So, really, it´s been the form of social organisation that we´ve existed under for millenia that allowed us to become

    human beings, and this is why I think it´s just, if we went back and changed history, changed our social organisation,

    removed patriarchy, we might be something completely different from what we are now.
    Now, the second reason neoteny is important in the gender debate is that neoteny manisfests to different degrees in

    men and women. And it affects behavior. Experiments with wild russian foxes found up by selectively breading the

    most phyically or behaviorally neotenous individuals one could not only affect the physical attributes of adults within

    only a few generations, things like pointy ears turning floppy in adulthood
    ... but you could essentially alter their behavioral traits as well. Over generations of selective breeding, many neotenous

    foxes became more friendly, more curious, playful, affectionate and cooperative. They not only retained the physical

    features of the juveniles of previous generations but some of their personality and behavioral features as well. And

    their reproductive cycle was even altered.
    And not only does neoteny affect personality- and behavioral traits, it also affects how people perceive other


    So, what does this all have to do with gender and innate sexism?
    Look all these cute little guys they are so nice, they are so sweet they would never bite me or hurt me and I just wanna

    hug them and take care of them and just be nice to them and feed them and... HA ! maybe not...
    Neoteny has it´s upsides and its downsides, and what´s an upside for one sex, can very easily be a downside for the

    other. More than that: what´s an upside in one environment or situation, may be a downside in a different environment

    or situation.

  12. 11.45
    Now, one upside of neoteny is that the more neotenous an individual is, the more they are likely to bring out the

    protection and provisioning instincts of others. Neotenous animals, like those babies that I have showed you, they

    make you want to be nice to them. Or at least, not be mean to them. And the same goes for neoteny and women. In

    fact, women are way more neotenous than men, both in appearance and in behavior and personality. Emontional

    expressiveness, for instance, is a neotenous trait.
    I know how it gets framed in the gender debate as emotional maturity or being emotionally gifted but really it is a form

    of neoteny, it´s a form of child-like behavior. And crying is the big one that gets talked about a lot in MRM-circles. And

    when it´s discussed there, it´s usually discussed within the context of being an emotional manipulation but as far as I´m

    concerned it´s a biological feature of women.
    Crying as a neotenous behavior or trait, rather than simply a cynical manipulation, is supported by the fact that women

    have more productive tear glands and narrower tear ducts than men do. Yep, you heard me: women evolved to be

    criers. Men, on the other hand, have less productive tear-glands, and larger tearducts. Their tear glands not only

    produce fewer tears than women but they actually need to build more of them up before those tears are gonna spill

    from them larger ducts.
    And, of-cousre, the biologically facilitated behavior of adult women crying wouldn´t be nearly as useful to them if it

    wasn´t accompanied by the higher forehead larger eyes smaller mouth shorter nose more rounded chins softer body

    higher pitched voice more delicate jaw less body and facial hair... you get what I mean. And like any other sex

    difference, the different levels of neoteny, including the capacity to cry, is going to be related to the different

    evolutionary pressures on our male and female ancestors.
    A 1995 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that neotenous facial features in

    women were preferred by men across cultures. And they were perceived as embodying a higher degree of femininity

    and sociability. In other words, women who were cuter were perceived as being nicer. And they were more attractive to

    men. In contrast, the same researchers found that faces low in neoteny were perceived as intimidating.
    One of the aspects of neoteny I find most interesting is that people take you less seriously in some very specific

    contexts. They take you less seriously when you want their respect, or when you´re coming up them with a knife, or

    when you have done something harmful or atrocious or when you want to be seen as tough and capable and confident

    and self-sufficient.
    In other words: they take you less seriously when you´re exercising adult agency or are attempting to be seen as an

    agent. Agents have the ability to affect themselves, others, and the environment in both positive and negative ways.

    And agents are held accountable for their actions. Now we don´t tend to see children as agents. Even when they are

    acting on others in negative ways, we don´t hold them accountable the way we would an adult. We just don´t take it

    seriously in that way.
    But, some of the ways in which we do take children seriously is when they let us know they´re hurt, or upset, or in

    danger. And when they do let us know this, we feel an impulse to remove the hurt or the upset or the danger if we can,

    don´t we. I mean, we don´t expect children to take care of and protect themselves. We expect them to let us know

    when they need to be taken care of and protected.

  13. 16:00
    And we feel all these same things about women, as well. To put it bluntly: we take women very very seriously when they

    are expressing themselves as objects. And we really don´t take them as seriously when they are expressing

    themselves as agents. And for those less neotenous men the script gets flipped on its head : we take men more

    seriously when they want respect, when they want to be see as tough and competent and capable and self-sufficient

    and especially when they´re coming at you with a knife. On the other hand, we take men far less seriously when they´re

    expressing themselves as objects, when they tell us they´re hurt, or upset or in danger, when say they need help, when

    they can´t improvise, adapt or overcome, We expect them to be capable of handling it like the adults we expect them

    to be; the adults they more closely ressemble. We really don´t feel a collective urge to help or comfort or protect them,

    and we don´t get that same pain in our gut when we see someone kicking the shit out of a man the way we do when we

    see it happening to a woman.
    So, why would men and women not have evolved the same degree of neoteny? Because, on our evolutionary path, on

    the evolutionary path of any species, what works for one sex isn´t necessarily gonna be what works for the other. And

    this is why I posted that initial comment on ?Songat? Chrisses video, the comment that said this: you claim, the central

    premise of patriarchy is: men are strong, women are weak. Look a little deeper and you may come to the assumption

    that is the wellspring of your assumption. One supported by men ´s greater strength, wommen´s greater neoteny, all

    the ways men were and are disadvantaged, the expectations placed on men and women, the ways women have been

    restricted, even the reason people insult men by calling them women. Hint: it isn´t men are strong, women are weak.

    min 18
    The only reason neoteny could have worked for women is because of the true premise of the old system Chris and

    other feminists identify as "patriarchy", the central premise which remains unchanged and is likely to remain unchanged

    indefinitely. The one that´s burried under all of the layers of biological differences, social constructs, gender

    perceptions of men and women and all of the political bullshit that goes along with it. Now, that central premise is this:

    women are valuable, men are expendable. That is the foundation of Chrisses ?tutiary? assumption. You can reason it

    out by asking a very few simple questions: how does a person become strong? A person becomes strong by being

    subjected to stresses and hardships and all kinds of other things that test their metal and force them to get stronger. A

    sex, men for instance, becomes strong through natural selection pressures that make strength an advantage and

    weakness a disadvantage. How does one become weak? A person becomes weak through being protected from

    stresses and hardships and all kinds of other things that test their metal, and that allows them to be weak. A sex,

    women for example, becomes, or remains, weak, through natural selection pressures that favor weakness over


  14. ca. min 20
    Now, any science geek who has had his underpants pulled over his head right before being stuffed into a locker, could

    tell you that weakness does not translate into a survival advantage for males. Men don´t get extra-protection when they

    are weak. they just get ground into the dirt or tossed in the trash. Women do get protection when they´re weak. And

    who do we protect, what do we protect in our society?: we protect what is valuable to us. Who do we leave to fend for

    themselves? Those who have no value to us. It´s really as simple as that.
    More than that: for men to ?it? become genetically predispoed to shed more neotenous features upon adulthood than

    women do, selection pressures had to be such that NOT retaining as many neotenous features was advantageous to

    men´s survival and reproductive success. That means that either there was NO extra protection or provisioning for men

    when they looked and behaved like children, or it means that whatever extra protection and provision they MIGHT have

    gotten out of it was inadequate compensation for the disadvantages that accompanied them.
    For women to have evolved to become more neotenous than men, must mean that they got SOME kind of serious

    advantage in exchange for being taken less seriously as agents. And that advantage is going to be extra provisioning

    and protection. That is: being taken seriously as an object provided women an advantage that outweighed any

    advantage that might lie in being seen as an agent. The fact that men across cultures see neotenous women as more

    sexually atractive, is further evience that for women, greater neoteny meant greater reproductive success.
    Men wouldn´t have evolved a preference for neotenous women if non-neotenous women were better at making babies

    or could acquire better provisioning and protection for them. So: why this scary music at the beginning of the video?

    Well, I guess it´s because IF our sexist perceptions of men and women, the fundamental one being that women are

    valuable and men are expendable, are so ingrained in us, and have been for so long, as to have engendered all these

    physical differences between men and women up to and including the physical capacity to cry, then it might be

    something we´re stuck with.
    Especially since those physical differences evolved in concert with broader neurological and behavioral

    sex-differences that I´ve talked about in the past.

    And that really sucks for a lot of men and women. For women, all of the assumptions, expectations and perceptions

    based on their inherent value which is what resulted in the more neotenous phenotypes that were so beneficial to their

    success and survival in a harsher past, well, all of that presents a challenge for women who want to become

    empowered through their own agency and be taken seriously for what they can accomplish and contribute to society.
    It´s gonna be a little bit harder for them to be seen that way. And for men who, for whatever reason, find themselves in

    a position of being an object unable to cope on their own with what life throws at them, men who can´t exercise

    meaningful agency, can´t overcome life´s challenges, there is really no impulse on the part of society to offer them

    what we still offer women: compassion, help, and support.
    When HE doesn´t measure up to our expectations of him, we just drop him at the ?curd?, and try not to look at him on

    our way to garbage day. And this is where, I think, feminism just is taking us in the absolute wrong direction. Because

    the focus of feminists like Amy Raw on women´s feelings of discomfort, fear und upset and how the world must

    change to accommodate them, that isn´t going to do anything to make women stronger; not as individuals, not as a sex.

  15. 24.15
    Or to be taken more seriously. If anything, it´s more infantilizing than anything women where ever subjected to under

    the dreaded patriarchy. I mean, how on earth can you take someone seriously who bursts into tears over a friggen

    T-shirt, and then unashhamedly exploits their own weakness online in order to get power and attention and all the

    goodies. You know, you can´t make someone stronger by demanding that all their weaknesses be indulged or assisted

    with. And honestly, if you never allow that men can have serious problems with sexist assumptions, a lot of them bigger

    and more harmful to individual men than any that women face; you know, if you cannot share society´s compassion...:

    that means, you´re not willing to give up your object status.
    Because..: we don´t feel compassion for agents: we hold them accountable. We hold them responsable for

    themselves and their behavior. We hold them responsable for protecting themselves, for being self-sufficient. And...

    feminists like Amy Raw, who basicly throw a tantrum and then go tell and demand that others help her, and demand that

    others feel compassion for her and demand that others sympathize with her: they´re not doing anything to help women

    be taken seriously as agents, as adults. When you act like a child : people see you as a child.
    So, honestly, I think if feminism really wants women to be seen as equals and women to be taken seriously as being

    competent and self-sufficient and capable and in charge of their lives, then the best thing that they could do is let men

    be victims once in a while. Let men be bigger victims than women are in some cases where it´s appropriate. Portray

    them as such. Stop yelling "What about the men".
    But that is a complaint for another day I guess... anyhow... those are my views of neoteny and how we came to be the

    way we are, and why I feel that some of what we´re dealing with as a society, some of this sexism, against both sides,

    is really something that we may be stuck with. Because everything seems to feed into it: you have these sort of

    biological and psychological paths of least resistance, and we want to go that way, and the more we go that way, the

    more worn down that path gets and it turns into a rot and there is no getting out.
    And, I think feminism is just taking us further down that road, and I really I hate to see that. I really do. So, anyhow,

    that´s it from me for today, feel free to leave any comments, or questions or criticisms... see links, in the low bar...

  16. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your blog, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work. Detective Agency in Delhi


Commenting policy:

All comments are welcome here. I refuse to censor points of view that differ from my own.

I recognize that I may be challenging the deep-seated beliefs of some people, and perhaps stirring up emotions in others. However, I would ask:

- if you care to respond to anything that I have said, please do not simply link to or quote some statistic. Do not simply regurgitate things you have been told are true. Think about what I am saying. Respond with an argument. Offer something from your personal observations, and explain to me how you feel your statistic is connected to your experience.

- If you wish to be part of a discussion, try not to dismiss what I or a another commenter says out of hand. Yes, that means that some lines of thought or ideologies may not stand up to scrutiny (perhaps even my own).

- Remember, ad hominem attacks diminish everyone involved. If you want to criticize anything, do so passionately and directly - but debate is about attacking ideas, not people.

Have at you!