Why I won’t mourn Mozilla

An incredibly shrinking Firefox faces endangered species status, says Computerworld, and reports their user market share at 10% and dropping. It doesn’t look good for the Mozilla Foundation – especially not with so much of their funding coming from Google which of course has its own browser to push.

I wish I could feel sadder about this. I was there at the beginning, of course – the day Netscape open-sourced the code that would become Mozilla and later Firefox was the shot heard ’round the world of the open source revolution, and the event that threw The Cathedral and the Bazaar into the limelight. It should be a tragedy – personally, for me – that the project is circling the drain.

Instead, all I can think is “They brought the fate they deserved on themselves.” Because principles matter – and in 2014 the Mozilla Foundation abandoned and betrayed one of the core covenants of open source.

I refer, of course, to the Foundation’s disgraceful failure to defend its newly promoted Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich against a political mob.

One of the central values of the hacker culture from which Mozilla sprang is that you are to be judged by the quality of your work alone. We aspire to be a pure meritocracy, casting aside irrelevancies of race, sex, nationality, and of political and sexual preferences.

Brendan Eich lived those values. Though he was excoriated for donating to California Proposition 8, it was never even claimed – let alone established – that he judged gay hackers on the Firefox project by anything but their code.

Another central value of the hacker culture, intertwined with judgment only by the work, is free expression – the defense of people holding and expressing unpopular opinions. It must be this way, because suppression of dissent prevents us from discovering and acknowledging that our beliefs do not align with reality. That hinders the work.

When Brendan Eich was attacked, the correct response of the Mozilla Foundation from within hacker and open-source values would have been, at minimum “His off-the-job politics are none of our business.” Ideally, it would have continued with an active defense of Eich’s right to hold and express unpopular opinions, including by donating to the causes of his choice.

That’s not what happened. Instead, the Foundation truckled to that political mob, putting Eich under enough pressure that he felt he had no alternative but to resign. By failing to defend and support Eich, the Mozilla Foundation wronged a man who had every right to expect that he, too, would be judged by his work alone.

There, are of course, also technological factors in the decline of Mozilla – an aging codebase and failure to rapidly deploy to mobile devices are two of the more obvious. But in any market-share battle, hearts and minds matter too. It’s a significant advantage to be universally thought of as the good guys.

The Mozilla Foundation threw that away. They abandoned the hacker way and trashed their own legitimacy. It was a completely unforced error.

That is why I can only think, today, that they brought their end on themselves. And hope that it serves as a hard lesson: to thrive you must, indeed judge by the work alone.

834 thoughts on “Why I won’t mourn Mozilla

  1. 100% agree. The whole affair was a disgrace. I could not convince any of my online friends that this was a bad idea. “It’s just the consequences of speech,” they said. I asked: if the principle is that it’s OK to kick people out of jobs for a legal donation to a controversial political cause, then doesn’t that mean there was nothing essentially wrong with the Hollywood blacklist? To be fair, wouldn’t it also be OK to fire someone for making a pro-same-sex-marriage contribution? I never got a satisfactory answer. Once again, for the left, it was principals over principles.

    I was especially disappointed that Mike Godwin had no trouble with the defenestration of Eich. “Godwin’s Law” had lead me to believe that he was wise and fair-minded. Now I wonder if he invented the law simply to deflect criticism of his own positions.

  2. Firefox started having a hard-to-remove yahoo search, and I really hated that. When I say really hated, I mean fits of raving cursing fury as I removed yahoo– but it didn’t stay removed.

    I doubt that an alliance with yahoo had anything to do with Brendan Eich and how he was treated, but I’m willing to be educated on the subject.

  3. Considering that you are throwing away probably the most efficient way to keep Islamists out of participating in the design of technological infrastructure, I really hope this is worth it.

  4. I agree with you… but, as a Firefox user, I do feel a bit sad about this. No other browser I’ve tried fits my preferences as closely, and the same goes for NoScript. If Mozilla dies, I hope the community takes over its development or at least its maintenance.
    Say, have you found Chromium usable?

    BTW… in the very first sentence, you wrote “spaces” instead of “faces”. Feel free to delete this correction after applying it.

  5. My view on this is different. I think a hacker is different than a CEO. A CEO is fundamentally a political role, and if you have a political role you should not complain if it is political in nature. If you swim with the sharks you shouldn’t complain about how mean they are.

    Of course the politics of it are stupid. But poltiics is always stupid, though I’ll grant you that this particular area of politics is not so much stupid as it is insanely detached from reality.

    What I do think is interesting about the Eich affair though is how illustrative it is of how utterly ugly the FEC is with their disclosure rules (and all their other crap.) It is nobody else’s business what political cause I donate money to, and the government outing me is outrageous. There have been several cases with respect to prop 8 where people have suffered pretty serious consequences to their life because of their position disclosed on this via public disclosure laws. What ever happened to the secret ballot?

    To me the problem is not that Eich got eaten by the sharks, it is that the government forced him to tie a bag of shark food to his butt.

  6. Firefox is still the better option under Linux.

    Let me explain: Chromum is a CPU/RAM blackhole and even “niced” it’s still a ****. FF “feels”…chunky? I guess. It’s a bit stu–tt—er—y but Chromium just dies and wonks X11/KDE in my recent experience.

    My grumpy:
    I use TBird and FF pretty much out of hand and lately some bad decisions have been made. Two project managers I’d like to drag into the parking lot and lump with a 2×4 have made poor decisions in the overall project. Two others have make it clear that UI is “theirs” and screw the 10,000 user inputs saying {wtf}.

    The *Project* is fine. There are some Egos that need removed.

    OpenSource works pretty well, even with a corporate sponsor. Add one egocentric trash that thinks it’s Special and screw the community, well then…the project falls apart.

    Just my $.02.

    Oh, Hi…I’m Elf. I don’t think we’ve been formally introduced.

  7. Jessica, if Eich had pushed his personal politics into his job, I’d agree with you. But by all accounts, he never did. No employees ever found him bigoted or even impolite. IIRC gay Mozilla employees were fine with him and defended him, and it was simply whining from a small number of developers and activists (and the ensuing social media storm): “He made a donation years ago, to a something that fit with his religious beliefs and which was in agreement with a majority of voters, and that makes me uncomfortable.” Well, man up and celebrate diversity, folks. There’s no law that says other people’s beliefs must make you comfortable. nor should there be.

    Interestingly, there have been exceptions made to political contribution disclosure laws. At some point some socialists complained that making their contributions known would leave them open to persecution, and got FEC approval to keep them secret.

  8. @Jessica Boxer: the disclosure rules ensure that everyone knows the players who actually fund the politicians/political causes.

    If Comcast executives fund $POLITICAN’S yacht orgies, it seems to me that’s important information to have out in the public domain.

  9. Also, re: the blacklist, the cause in question actually matters. Let’s go right to Godwin: you’re welcome to fund the Nazi party. But not with impunity.

  10. I *will* mourn them, but I see different causes for the problems.

    I wasn’t happy about their refusal to defend Brendan Eich either, but the underlying problems predated that episode.

    Mozilla had simply drifted out of touch with the market.

    The Mozilla folks have a utopian vision, but suffer what I can only think of as an echo chamber effect. They talk to each other. They don’t talk to users. I get the impression of someone in the organization saying “Is this cool?” and others saying “Yeah, that’s cool, and it fits in with our mission. We should *do* that!”, and whether the end users will think it’s cool doesn’t seem to be a factor.

    The current pertinent example is the new Australis interface. It’s a fairly radical revamp that seems largely driven by mobile, and attempts to reduce the amount of browser chrome and provide more viewing space for content while simplifying the browser interface. Reaction to it is best described as “mixed”. I don’t mind it for the most part, and had already implemented parts of it with extensions and UserStyles before it came about. The change that bit me was removal of the Addon Bar, and a change to the Chrome model of putting addon icons on the nav bar. I run too many to make that practical, but there are several extensions that restore teh Addon Bar and I run one.

    I was aware of Australis before it happened because I followed Mozilla development. For most folks, it seems to have come as an (unpleasant) surprise when it got pushed in a version update. At *no* point do I recall any announcements beforehand on Mozilla’s main sites saying “We’re going to radically revamp the interface of Firefox. This is why we’re doing it. This is how it will look. Tell us what you think!”

    Dramatic changes like that should *not* come as surprises to your user base. If they do, you *failed*.

    A good part of the underlying issue is Mozilla’s insulation from the market.

    Chrome is a product of Google. Internet Explorer (soon to be replaced by a new product in development) is a product of Microsoft. Safari is a product of Apple. While the products are provided free of charge (and are open source in Chrome’s case, too), the organizations behind them are profit making entities with an eye on the bottom line. Those organizations make money by providing things customers are willing to pay for, and the need to have what they make *be* something customers will want pervades their free stuff, too.

    Mozilla is a product of a non-profit foundation. The foundation’s funding is indirect, and derived mostly from revenues from a search agreement with Google that has now become a search agreement with Yahoo. The nature of Mozilla means an inherent separation from the market it is trying to serve. Mozilla is working toward a vision that only imperfectly correlates with user needs, and seems oblivious to user displeasure.

    In one respect, it points out a weakness in the open source development model. How many open source products are flawed because they are the product of what the devs want to code, and what the end users might want is distinctly secondary?

    In commercial closed source products, you are making your living producing and selling them, and they must be things customers will want to buy, so if you’re smart you listen to your customers and try to provide what they ask for. If you are writing open source on the side for fun, that incentive may not be present, because your living doesn’t depend on whether what you write is adopted by users. How many devs reply “WFM” to user complaints, because what they have scratches their itch and they don’t really care if it scratches someone else’s?

    And you can argue that Mozilla’s disconnect with the market was inherited from Netscape. Netscape was the next big thing at the beginning of the dot com boom, and got a stock price in the ionosphere when they IPO’d, with *no* revenues or profits. Former Netscape CEO Marc Andreesen once griped “They don’t understand our business model” after a conference call with analysts who wanted to know how Netscape planned to actually *generate* revenues and profits post IPO. I got a sense of “Who needs revenues and profits? We have a stock price in the ionosphere that will continue to rise because the Internet is a whole new thing!” Er, no.

    When Netscape began the project internally code named Mozilla, they threw out the baby with the bathwater. Instead of refactoring and building on the stable Netscape Communicator 4 code base, they decided to rewrite from scratch. Joel Spolsky waxed eloquent on the insanity of doing that in his “Joel on Software” blog. Time passed and more time passed and nothing appeared because the people who had that bright idea had no clue what was involved in actually doing it. An unusably buggy Netscape 6 got released, as far as I could tell to *get* something out the door just to demonstrate development was occuring. NS 7 was usable, and I ran it before moving to the Mozilla Suite.

    AOL ate Netscape, cancelled the Mozilla project, and turned the servers used to host it and the code over to the Mozilla Foundation along with a few million in seed funding and development continued, but I don’t think the folks involved had any motion of what the *”market* wanted at any point. They were making it up as they want along, and lucked out early on because the principal competition was IE and was an insecure mess. Firefox was far better, but that wasn’t all that hard.

    Now they *have* actual competition, from folks who *do* have an idea what the market wants, and are losing.

    If they do go under, I’ll mourn what might have been had they only had a real world clue or two.
    ______
    Dennis

  11. @Jessica Boxer “My view on this is different. I think a hacker is different than a CEO. A CEO is fundamentally a political role…

    Eich made that contribution long before he was CEO. And if the position of CEO is “fundamentally political” then we have a very messed up idea of what a corporation ought to be for.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your larger point. But I don’t know how to do that and also feel strongly that the voters have a right to know who is bankrolling certain political efforts.

  12. I forgot if it was the CEO of Mitsubishi or Mazda that said a CEO is the soul of his company. The CEO might be political, but he represents the party line. A hacker CEO will set a different tone than a mealy-mouth mercurial politician that tries to be on everyone’s side of an issue and not care about the code.

    I’m using PaleMoon, available on all the major platforms, and so far what Firefox should have been. Let the flaming henhouse guard die. There’s a good moon risin’.

    Firefox missed more opportunities. They have some kind of mobile OS, but it would have been more important to fix the Certificate Authority broken PKI model (to a “trust no one” or “trust first time” maybe with sharing model), and even tweak their browser to function better. Worse are third party sites (trust javascript and it can completely rewrite the page, so should you trust https://adinjector.ru to run scripts?).

    Finally, maybe someone will realize the numbers on the LGBT front are exaggerated. Rejecting excellence for mediocrity, hacker tolerance for the SJW politboro, they lost share. Where are all the politically correct people installing Firefox? Is OK Cupid, which pushed for Eich’s purge promoting Firefox – did they after his ouster? And the rest of the sites?

    I need to second and echo and amplify Eric’s point. It also happened to Github when they literally pulled the rug out from under their principles http://readwrite.com/2014/01/24/github-meritocracy-rug .

    Does anyone else want to contribute and add to a project where they know they will be judged, not by the quality of the code, but on something else? MLKjr said he wanted to be judged on the content of his character, not on the color of his skin. The content of one’s coding is the hacker metric. You can check the boxes any privilege or victim list, but your code is either clear or obfuscated, it either runs or crashes, it survives fuzzing or doesn’t. Mathematics, proofs, and the execution doesn’t know if you are a dog. It just runs your code.

    Worse, you will be judged based on your gender, orientation, minority status, race, and how many victim points you can score. White cis-males who can live-patch linux in hex are given Cs, while a black lesbian (I’m not sure how to work transgender properly into this example) who speaks urdu who can’t code “Hello World” even in her native language in BASIC is given an A+.

    An obvious but bestselling book is “The Greatest Management Principle”. It’s simple. You get more of what you reward. If you praise people for being or helping the LGBT movement instead of writing good code, your department and entire company will end up with a bunch of hopeless SJWs. If you reward good code, you will attract good coders, and people will aspire to be good coders.

    Some people like me feel worse when someone else points out an obvious bug or even a spelling or grammatical error than if they call me a whatever-phobe, race/sex/whatever-ist. Others are just the opposite.

  13. The hit on Eich was intentional and meant to send a message. It had nothing to do with him personally. He just happened to be an opportune target at a time when a hit was needed.

    But I think you’re right. Taking him down made Mozilla look weak and vulnerable. Not good in a competitive business.

    And the hit came out of the ether, so it’s not like he could have fought back. That is the new paradigm; like a drone attack, you’ll never see it coming.

  14. TomA: Indeed. And Eich wasn’t even targeted in the context of an active battle on same-sex marriage. No, it was more the victorious LGBT activist side shooting a defeated opponent, pour encourager les autres.

  15. No.

    No, no, no, no, no, no.

    The Mozilla Foundation was 100% correct in its response. Because like it or not, free software is about freedom first and foremost. And if you do not support the freedom of some of the most downtrodden and ostracized elements of our society — fuck you, you are not worthy to represent our community. As Mozilla CEO, Eich’s job is as much representative as it is manager and administrator, and you bet your ass we’re going to call him to task on his personal politics. To do anything less would be to compromise our core value of freedom.

    Also, Mozilla lost because Chrome whooped its ass. And Chrome whooped its ass by incorporating the best-of-breed Web rendering technology — Apple’s WebKit. Politics had nothing to do with Mozilla’s slip.

    Kind of a bummer though, both because Chrome is spyware and because I do hope Rust someday displaces the C family. The universal adoption of C and its descendants was one of the gravest errors in the history of systems programming.

  16. I agree with the following, and could not help thinking of Gnome:

    In one respect, it points out a weakness in the open source development model. How many open source products are flawed because they are the product of what the devs want to code, and what the end users might want is distinctly secondary?

    But there are answers.

    First, as Steve Jobs would say, users often don’t know what they want until they are shown something. This might mean multiple forks to see which combination of flexibility and complexity and such is thought of as best.

    Second, you can fork the code. I use PaleMoon, and it works so much better. Anyone remember XFree86? Now X is X.org. Long ago Arc sued Phil Katz over PKARC, and he wrote PKZIP – and zip is probably the most common utility and algorithm.

    Third, there are usually alternatives. Linux has various flavors of BSD, I dropped GNOME long ago for LDXE, but KDE is also good, as is XFCE.

    If Mozilla finally dies, the opensource code will remain, and will likely be the foundation of the next generation of browser. At least the good parts. And maybe by someone who will take the end user more seriously.

  17. Firefox’s Add-On capability (as opposed to the “apps” offered by various other browsers) is easily its best feature. Its renderer, which was revolutionary once upon a time, is easily its worst feature; there’s a reason why every new browser out there runs some fork of KHTML/WebKit and not Gecko. I would love to see a browser that had the Firefox Add-ons duct-taped onto a decent renderer, and I’ll bet I’m not alone. Apart from that, the biggest loss if Firefox goes away would be TOR, which is pretty heavily tied to using a stripped-down Firefox as its client.

    As far as the rest of it goes, yeah, if you go to the effort of promoting a new CEO from within, and then stab him in the back almost immediately, you’re not going to get decent leadership afterwards, because you’ve made the job radioactive. No shit. If Firefox does have a future, step one will have to be replacing the Mozilla Foundation as its steward. That isn’t likely to happen, though.

  18. @JR – Freedom works both ways. The correct response to the proposition would be to remove marriage from the sphere of government completely instead of forcing people either way. This is like forcing code doing something concerning masculine, feminine, or neuter words to work in a certain way via government mandate and arresting the programmer who refused just like they fined businesses that refused to bake gay wedding cakes (and they weren’t a wedding cake monopoly).

    Note you would be boycotting Firefox if they retained Eich and it was reformed, refactored, and was beating Chrome – yes, you would use a buggier, slower, annoying browser because of your politics.

    The four software freedoms the FSF includes total non-discrimination – you can’t add a provision about gay marriage either way into the license. And that is how businesses should be run. We see the effects of the SJW poison now in #GamerGate since they don’t play the games, nor care if the games are of any quality, much less if the market (of game buyers, not critics) actually wants them. They need more women in some roles, fewer in others even if it would be silly.
    Imagine the Quake series with Quakers (see the Oats cylindrical container). It would be stupid.

    And those screeching politics won’t buy the gelded games. They will just move on and make some excuse as to why “GTA: my little Unicorn” didn’t sell. (Personally I don’t like those games, but would not think to censor it).

  19. The situation with Eich was really unfortunate – I was sad it turned out the way it did.

    However, when it comes to the browser itself, I think you’re ignoring your own advice – judge by the work alone. Firefox is the only major browser that’s 100% open source, and the only one I know that I can count on fighting for what’s right for the web. Chrome ships faster – but they’re throwing their weight around and often ignoring feedback from other browser makers on potential new standards.

    So I’m sad to see the browser rejected like this on the basis of much more than the work alone.

  20. if you do not support the freedom of some of the most downtrodden and ostracized elements of our society — fuck you, you are not worthy to represent our community

    “Some of the most downtrodden” as defined by Jeff Read, of course. Using a definition of “freedom” that, up until recently, only a small percentage of people would have agreed was even a “freedom” at all. Those fools thought it was a religious and moral issue. Screw those people! New ideas about freedom have arrived, and old ideas, and anyone holding them, must be ruthlessly crushed as soon as possible.

    If that’s the principle, great! I can play that game, too.

    In the 20th century, by far the greatest oppressors were the self-proclaimed socialists. However bad the evil “-isms” of the current SJW crowd were, they didn’t produce a 100+ million body count. Clearly, socialism is the most oppressive and downtrodding and victimizing idea of all. And it’s everywhere these days! No person who supports socialism is worthy to represent the community. We cannot compromise our core value of freedom by allowing it to be represented by anyone associated with the most dangerous and bloody enemy of freedom.

    Now, who’s made contributions to the Democratic Socialists of America, or to any of their members? It’s time for a Twitter storm to drive them out of their jobs! Do it now, for freedom!

  21. How often are these numbers run? If Eich’s ouster was significant in users abandoning Firefox, I’d expect the decline to have sharply increased since April of last year, and slowly approaching its previous rate, as everyone inclined to drop Mozilla goes ahead and does so. Or the decrease could have accelerated; in any case there would have been a noticeable dip in April & May when this story was being discussed.

    BTW, is there a Pale Moon equivalent for Thunderbird?

  22. Sorry, Jeff, but you are once again (still, more like it) full of prunes. Mozilla was never part of the soi-disant “free software” movement. Indeed, it’s the textbook example of open source and not free software.

    Personally, while the Brendan Eich debacle is enough that I won’t be sorry should they dry up and blow away, I think Mozilla’s problems became acute long before that. Firefox was, to put it simply, bloatware: big, complex, and defying the basic rules of UI design on the platforms they were on. I use Safari on OS X because no other browser looks like an OS X application. Firefox started that slide. (Although I refuse to use Chrome there for the same reason, unless I run into something Safari can’t handle.)

    Chrome took over the world because they at least paid attention to speed and usability. And no, I don’t care if people think Google is using it to collect data about people; I crossed that Rubicon with them a long time ago. (And I wonder just how many of the folks screaming about that use Android phonies.)

  23. As a Firefox user I was a bit dismayed by this news — until I remembered that ESR had previously predicted the imminent downfall of the Democratic party, Obama’s presidential campaign, the iPhone, and the United States’ economy. Now I’m thinking that Firefox’ outlook for the forseeable future isn’t so bad.

  24. Given Firefox-the-desktop-browser has been, as best I can tell, deliberately alienating established users since the 3.x-4 transition, the Eich thing strikes me as more the coup-de-grace than the cause.

  25. I don’t understand why people switch to Chrome on the desktop. I really don’t want my browser to spy on me and send data to Google without my knowledge. Perhaps Chromium is a solution, as hopefully there are enough non-employee eyeballs on that code to prevent such backdoors, still.

  26. @Jeff @others

    For me the interesting part is “call him to task” which is something a boss does with a subordinate. I.e. leftie crowds behaving from a position of power and authority. It is weird how if a larger mass of loud people band together they believe and act as if they had power and authority. The weirder part is how others believe it too, they can actually force decisions, simply demanding loud, without having any actual power i.e. money or violence. Since power is per definition perceived power, it works, but I wonder how exactly. What would happen if the next time the shareholders or board would say “you are just loud people online, have neither guns nor money, why should I care?”

    Does anyone have any inkling how just loudly demanding things puts people in a position of power if they are enough people, without having money or violence at hand? Is it something real and I am missing a factor, or just a gigantic bluff: banding together makes folks confident, and this scares others, to a certain extent, but sooner or later someone will call this bluff?

    Where is the actual power dynamics behind all this? What am I missing?

  27. Sorry Eric, but I don’t think you’ve thought this one through. You consider Eich’s political opinion to be an “irrelevancy” because it’s not on an issue you care about. But if Eich had been a supporter of Islamism, or (in another time) a supporter of slavery or the Holocaust, I’m sure you would be writing things very similar to Jeff Read above.

  28. Are people seriously comparing genocidal murders to someone not wanting gay people to have marriages that are recognized by the state? Really??!!

    Also as someone who fucking hates Communists, I must, if I support free speech, allow them to organize politically. Even knowing if they ever gained power, they’d never recipricoate.

    This illiberal liberalism is one of the most dangerous movements going on in the US today. Their intolerance is a horribly ugly thing. What they are doing and attempting to do to so many people who don’t agree, oh fuck that, who don’t absolutely tow their party bullshit, is the dangerous thing. Eich running Mozilla was going to be completely independent of old campaign contributions. But the left has decided that the way to combat any ism is to reverse it and be just as biased in the other direction. Their profound support of groupthink and newspeak is scary.

  29. I can’t not use Firefox, because of Vimperator and Firemacs. I tried comparable Chrome plugins and they don’t work as well. Maybe uzbl is the solution.

  30. Joel Saloman: “If Eich’s ouster was significant in users abandoning Firefox, I’d expect the decline to have sharply increased since April of last year, and slowly approaching its previous rate, as everyone inclined to drop Mozilla goes ahead and does so.” (and related comments from others).

    Raymond can answer for himself, but I didn’t understand his argument to be that Firefox is losing popularity because of the Eich debacle. Instead, I understood the argument to be “Firefox is losing popularity, and — because of the Eich debacle — I really don’t care what happens to them.”

    I personally haven’t seen a big exodus because of the Mozilla Foundation’s politics. It looks like a combination of a few things:

    * The Mozilla Foundation never really figured out how to compete with Microsoft’s marketing muscle

    * Firefox became somewhat popular because everybody’s favorite technical friends recommended replacing IE on new computers; those friends have now switched to Chrome

    * The Mozilla Foundation is running several other projects ( https://mozillalabs.com/ ) and not really marketing Firefox any more

    * Firefox just doesn’t have the same buzz that Chrome has; it’s perfectly usable (like Sourceforge or Google Code) but just not the thing everybody talks about (like Github) and that doesn’t look like it will change soon.

  31. Yeah, they did have an aging code base, and missed or on mobile. And chrome became a contender.

    How much is cause though, and how much symptom?

    For Mozilla to turn into the kind of organization that would turn on, or at the very least leave their CEO flapping in the wind despite years of proven technical work and being a founder if the project, the aggregate focus – the priority – of the organization must have already shifted away from “lets make the most awesome browser possible…”

    And so when asked to choose between the code and the ideology, they chose the ideology.

    Mozilla isnt failing because they let Eich go. They let Eich go because they were already failing to focus on what they produce.

    The bad press over publicly shooting themselves in the foot only made it happen faster.

    Incidentally- this is why now, this last year, I finally worry about apple. Steve Jobs was as liberal as they come, bit charity , etc. was never a corporate focus. Now they are actively pursuing green energy, charities, and hiring based on social justice criteria.

    If you’re hiring the best engineers, programmers, and project leads, some will be women, ethnic, and minorities, and some will not. They may or may not match population demographics depending on the availble pool of people who are interested.

    If your priority is to first see if you’re hiring enough women (or men, or cats), it cannot be to produce the best damn whatever you’re capable of.

  32. ESR,

    What percent of the people who’ve switched away from Firefox do you think did so because of the Eich fiasco? For example, I switched away, but that wasn’t even vaguely a consideration and I’d be surprised that for more than a handful of switchers that was a significant consideration.

  33. Others may interpret the numbers differently, but there seems to be an acceleration of the decline starting a couple months after Eichs departure.

    Apparently, there are people on the pro-firefox side who see things that way as well, given the “http://www.reinstallfirefox.com” web page, and it’s a appeal to users who might have dumped it as a response to the Eich affair.

  34. I wonder whether the Mozilla Foundation already saw its share slipping, decided “we’re an SJW company” was a big niche, and saw Eich’s ouster as a way to fill it.

    I’m finding it a bit hard to articulate my position relative to the others here. The civil libertarian in me effectively says the same thing PapayaSF is saying, but the emphasis is on different things. Anyone ought to be able to fire or hire anyone they want at their company, for any reason – performance, political views, personal hygiene, wardrobe choice, “not the right fit” – or even third rails such as gender or race. The alternative is what we have now, where members of protected groups have a harder time landing the job in the first place, and hold onto the job they have through political pressure rather than performance. The catch is that if you’re caught or even suspected of dismissing someone for membership in a group that has nothing to do with the job, you run the risk of blowback – as Mozilla did here.

    I guess what’s bothering me about this is the claim that boycotting or firing Eich or forcing him to resign would or should have been ethically (or should have been morally) wrong. I wouldn’t claim that; I’d just claim it’s risky, in the same sense that turning away blacks from your lunch counter in a society that culturally despises racism is risky. It’s a weaker claim, but I also think it’s more accurate. For instance, it permits an ousting to be justifiable if the views of the oustee are sufficiently toxic in the view of the public. (In other words, if a company board ousts a member or officer, I see that as neither right nor wrong – rather, it’s potentially stupid, but it could also be potentially shrewd.)

    One big problem I have with the right/wrong claim is that it risks opening the door to legislation. I doubt I have to remind anyone here of the fallacy of thinking that if something is right (morally or ethically), then it ought to be enforced by law.

    In light of the above, I also think it’s fair to claim that if a board had to decide whether to fire or keep someone based on their political views, it would be wise to save that justification for only the most egregious cases. (It’s just that I wouldn’t toss it out categorically.)

  35. There is another point to be made. Irrespective of whether Eich should have lost the CEO gig because of his political views, I think it is worth truly judging him on his work.
    Remember this is the guy who created Javascript, the worst programming language in thirty years with a wide deployment. His design has cause so much challenge, stress, difficulty, bad code, bad web sites, and general heartache, that he should be cast out into firey darkness.

    I mean there was no excuse really. It isn’t like nobody had designed a programming language before. Why he didn’t use these most basic principles, and also use the power he had to lock the dom better is entirely beyond me.

    I’m not planning to marry a woman any time soon and I don’t live in California, so his contribution didn’t impact me at all. However, I do write JavaScript code all the time, and his poor choices make my days a lot less pleasant.

  36. Stats-wise, figuring out the impact of Eich’s removal on Mozilla strikes me as non-trivial. The available data would have us look in terms of overall usage. Yes, Mozilla will take a bath due to the mobile factor. But it also takes a bath due to the Apple factor. I would expect most Apple users to use Safari simply because it comes with the platform, and is pretty good. Likewise, I would expect most PC users to use IE simply because it comes with the platform.

    Indeed, on netmarketshare, the data suggests IE and Safari both holding steady on desktops. (Safari’s losing a bit on mobile, and I’d guess that it’s losing mostly to Chrome.)

    But that’s not all. When it comes to Eich, how many users outside the US would really care? Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the chart for this on netmarketshare. The biggest difference I could imagine would be on PCs, not counting IE, in the US only. (I can’t see US-only data without subscribing to something.)

    FWIW, the big parting trend is between Firefox and Chrome, and started in March 2014, and really got going in May 2014 (you can see it accelerate right there). Eich resigned on April 3, 2014. Data I’m able to see only goes back to August 2013. Firefox was ahead of Chrome going back to then.

    Correlation is not causation… but there is definite correlation.

  37. What happened to Eich was an atrocity, no doubt…but I’m afraid I have to side with the folks arguing that Firefox’s decline is more a matter of technical (including interface) issues with Firefox than political issues with the organization.

    I still use Firefox sometimes…but only because the Checkpoint VPN client won’t run under Chrome, no matter what settings I tweak, and I need that for my day job. Every decision they’ve made recently, technical or otherwise, has been consistently the wrong one.

  38. Risking offtopicality: I’ve just recently had to develop a JavaScript API in earnest, along with a personal side project. My logistical beef with it right now is lack of a decent Eclipse plugin to let me browse functions, point out obvious syntactic errors, and so on. (I found a plugin, but it wasn’t anywhere near satisfactory.) My principled beef with it is the extreme lack of compile-time checking *if you want it* – no matter where you are, you can make a function, maybe name it after another one, and have other code calling that function by doing programmatic mangulation on the name of the first function. I’m pretty sure someone could make a master-level Go AI out of that motherfucker, but dammit, I don’t wanna be a Real Programmer right now.

  39. @Jessica Boxer

    Eich designed and wrote the first version of JavaScript in *10 days*. Given the incredible pressure and time constraints he was under, I would say that JavaScript is an amazing piece of design work.

  40. @Paul Brinkley
    > lack of a decent Eclipse plugin to let me browse functions, point out obvious syntactic errors, and so on.

    Eclipse is kind of sucky, but in its defense, the problem is JavaScript is a horrible, intractable language, so it is actually pretty hard to do this. The problem is that many things that look appallingly wrong are in fact valid JavaScript. array.Length, for example.

    FWIW you should check out tools like JSLint and the like, they do help quite a lot.

  41. @Adam
    > I would say that JavaScript is an amazing piece of design work.

    I would disagree very much with you Adam. If you have to rush then the best plan is to use tried and tested patterns. JavaScript chose not to do so and is very much the worse for it. Moreover saying “he was forced to get it done in ten days” tells us what a large part of the problem is. And even so, what is the excuse that it has continued to evolve in the dreadful way it was?

    Denis Richie developed C. It wasn’t a perfect language, though no doubt remarkable for the day and the hardware available. However, C evolved into a much better language,

    JavaScript could easily have been better. It could easily have had a decent type system. It could easily have implemented oop correctly rather than the current dreadful hack. It could easily have had many of the things we think are crucial to a good programming language. But it didn’t and doesn’t.

    The worst thing is that some people are actually wont to defend the worst features as being beneficial, so not only did it make our jobs harder, it also poisoned the minds of many who don’t know any better.

  42. @Michael Hipp “But I don’t know how to do that and also feel strongly that the voters have a right to know who is bankrolling certain political efforts.”

    I realize that any argument couched as “voters have a right to” will sound persuasive, but I have to disagree with this. I think that there are very few things that voters have intrinsic rights to, and those are all limitations on the power of government, not additions to.

    Simply put, no one else has the right to know how I spend my money without my consent. Obviously, if I pay you, then I have consented to your knowledge of that payment. If I use my debit card, I have consented to my bank knowing. That’s all fine and good. But J Random Taxpayer has no right to know, and since they have no such right, they cannot legitimately delegate the government to enforce such a right.

    I also think this is a case of a very tiny baby in a huge pool of bathwater. The tiny baby is that maybe, due to having disclosed donations, we can work out who a given politician or political party -really- works for, and thus avoid a Manchurian candidate. But of course, the amount of money that gets thrown at political candidacies that matter in this country make nonsense of that argument, and there is no evidence I’ve been able to see that this sort of disclosure makes even one iota of difference to a candidacy. The baby here is very tiny, the only question is whether it even *exists*. Which do you think matters more to a politican’s chances: their height and posture, as well as whether they look good in a suit, or disclosure of all of the political donations to them combined? How about their hair? That negative attack ad accusing the other candidate of personally inventing cancer?

    Meanwhile the bathwater: private individual’s privacy violated and their personal political support subject to public scrutiny. This is the very thing that a secret ballot was designed to avoid, and it opens the door to political intimidation. The imbalance of cost and benefit here is huge, and the abrogation of personal liberty it entails unjustifiable in a free society.

    The only way that democracy can even partially work is if the voters at least familiarize themselves with what the politicians platforms are, and what their track record is for following through on their campaign promises. There is no way around this that is consistent with the basic principles of liberty. Schemes aimed at going after politician’s funding are, and have always been, mere incumbency protection.

    Good – but big – government on a large population is actually an *insolvable* problem. The only useful path is to radically downside the scale and power of government in general. Throwing out our privacy and personal liberty to further the quixotic quest of good government is a bad deal, and will always make the situation worse.

  43. I’m looking through the FEC donation database to see where Jeff Read has contributed money. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people named Jeff Read in this country, assuming that he even lives in the US. Does anybody have any additional information which can be used to narrow down which, if any, of the contributions are his? I’m certain I can find something objectionable in the candidate or cause to justify calling for his ban from this blog.

  44. @Also, re: the blacklist, the cause in question actually matters. Let’s go right to Godwin: you’re welcome to fund the Nazi party. But not with impunity.

    nazis are commies. commies are progressives.

  45. I was extremely disappointed that the Mozilla board turned out to be eunuchs. (BTW, is having no balls equivalent to being trans-gender?).

    But I am now running Opera, for the same reasons Jay Maynard points out: firefox has become bloatware. I could not open more than 3 tabs without the entire X frontend becoming CPU-hung. Some web-sites were able to achieve that result all by themself. (nationalreview.com) And that is WITH no-script running. And when I say hung, I mean FROZEN and not in a nice Disney cartoon way. Even SSH gets no response.
    Not that I entirely like Opera, but both chrome and vivaldi crash instantly on Fedora 20.

    They brought in on themselves, by ignoring the user. There is a particular form of hubris which seems to infect developers where the needs/wants/desires of the user are tossed out the window (no pun intended) because … narcissism? megalomania?

    The following is from an email thread I had with someone at RedHat but not directly involved in the development of the Fedora anaconda installer:
    *****************
    RedHatter>>> Partition ordering is also not something that the majority of users need to
    >>> be concerned with. The partitioning section of anaconda is built so that
    >>> users request mount points of a particular size and we order things
    >>> appropriately to meet those requests.
    Me: If partition order is irrelevant to the majority, why do you play with
    it at all? The ‘low-information’ user will neither be aware nor care
    what order the partitions take, but the involved user has to fight with
    fixing something which should not have changed.
    Me: >> So anaconda makes the assumption that the largest partition
    >> requested is supposed to be first?
    Me: >> Sorry but this is not only not right, it is not even wrong! Although
    >> you may think that the majority don’t care, the decision pisses on
    >> the minority, *for no good reason*.
    RedHatter> Well, it only pisses off people who get really particular about the details
    > of the partition layout on the disk. For the vast majority of users, those
    > details don’t matter. Ever.
    If partition order is irrelevant……. but I repeat myself.
    **********************

    This could be a paradigm illustration for hubris. Firefox has gone the same way.

  46. Also, re: the blacklist, the cause in question actually matters.

    “Oh, you thought we were anti-blacklist? No, no, just pro-Communist.”

  47. @David Isecke

    You make many good points. And the idealistic libertarian/conservative in me wants to agree.

    But the pragmatist sometimes wins out and I find it hard not to be concerned that a presidential candidate is getting millions from middle-eastern countries that stand for pretty much everything wrong.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/09/us/politics/hillary-clinton-faces-test-of-record-aiding-women.html?_r=0

    Especially in light of knowing that 43% of the people are like Jeff Read who will vote for her no matter what. Another 43% that will vote for whatever milquetoast the Republicans trot out and we’re left with a slim few utterly uninformed who will actually decide the election.

    Good government does not exist … other than as a rare accident of a fleeting moment. All government however can be *improved* by a) keeping it very local, b) limiting the size, c) limiting the scope, d) allowing nothing to be done in secret.

    Outing a private individual like Eich is a wrongheaded example of (d). But outing a public figure like the above article perhaps isn’t.

  48. OT: looks like Piketty is disavowing the conclusions that the left-distribution lists have made from his book. This is worth its own blog post.

    Search on “about capital in the 21st century American economic review” in Google and it will be the first hit.

  49. For me, using a browser whose management, development, features and mis-feature are in thrall to social justice warriors is just too much of a security risk.

  50. Firefox was my preferred browser for years, but with web sites dropping support for it, I’ve been forced to move to Chrome. I’m gradually getting used to it. But I’m really going to miss plugins like Ghostery.

  51. I am, in general, in great agreement on many of your points. Specifically, that transparency within government is, in general, a good thing (though military secrets are another matter, and really a different discussion). And I also agree that getting millions from middle eastern dictatorships is a Bad Thing(tm).

    But there are still a few problems here. One is that there is no enforceable way to distinguish between “bad” outing and “good” outing. When I wrote my original post, I considered foreign campaign contributions, but didn’t write it in, because I realized that if we were to shine a spotlight upon those in particular, it would be easy enough for foreign governments to find domestic agents to give their donations for them. So Saudi money can, say, fund a new library at Columbia U if Columbia were to donate to the Dems. How do we prove or disprove this enough to make it legally actionable?

    Also, looking at your NYT Hillary campaign donation example: do you really think that a meaningful number of voters would be swayed by this? People who would be “on the fence” about this woman, given her various misfeasances in office already, are virtually certain to be too ill-informed to know about it, and unlikely to care. People who understand even a fraction of Hillary’s track record are either definitely going to vote for her no matter what – because they absolutely don’t care, or would -never- vote for her.

    I think it is also a myth that the center/independents decide elections. If that were true, Obama would have had a one term Presidency, since Romney won the independent vote handily. What decides elections is how well each candidate manages to turn out their base. That is why I believe, unless a lot of RINOs get primaried, things are looking rather grim for the GOP in general this coming election. Conservatives are getting tired of being played for fools by their leadership, and they respond by not coming out to vote.

  52. @David Isecke: “Also, looking at your NYT Hillary campaign donation example: do you really think that a meaningful number of voters would be swayed by this?”

    Unfortunately probably not. But I can’t let go of the notion that making sure the information is available is a worthy ideal even if much of the base is too ignorant/apathetic to make use of it. It will likely have *some* effect, however small.

    Jessica Boxer sees a big problem in the outing of Eich, which could be solved with a simple change of law. She has a strong point.

    I see the big problem as a) the lack of principle in the Mozilla board, b) Eich’s unwillingness to fight for himself, c) the empowerment of the ever destructive SJWs and their media enablers. There’s no obvious fix for any of that – other than a big crash to bring a dose of reality to the whole rotten edifice.

    I immediately switched to Pale Moon and Chrome. And I’ve stopped installing Firefox on any client computers, but just doing Chrome instead. So I’ve done my part on a few hundred computers.

  53. Adding one non-data anecdote here:

    I recently performed an installation of the latest LTS Ubuntu on a friend’s laptop. As this article had me curious, after asking, it seems the default Firefox browser setting lasted only about two hours of use.

    It wasn’t any sort of memory/CPU hogging behavior that caused the switch. It wasn’t slowness, interface confusion, or even lack of features. It was because all of their web service passwords were saved into Google Chrome, and Firefox can’t import the Chrome passwords (even afte Chrome exports that data to CSV).

    That’s mind boggling; I had never considered the fact that despite (a) Chrome providing export features and (b) Firefox providing import, nobody seems to have tested the process to ensure the two can talk to each other in a painless, user-friendly fashion.

  54. David Isecke, your points about “bad” vs. “good” outing are close to what bother me, too, and why I suggested it was better to characterize them as “risky”. I think “risky” is all you can say about this ouster or that, unless you have perfect knowledge of everyone’s judgement, and everyone in turn had perfect knowledge on which to base their judgement.

    If everyone knew Joe was a Bengals fan, for example, and everyone judged that a firing offense, and you knew that, then you could fire Joe without repercussion. It might not have a thing to do with how well he assembles carburetors, but it wouldn’t matter, if everyone simply refused to have any truck with Bengals fans.

    This may strike you as petty, but replace “is a Bengals fan” with “calls for the genocide of all Protestants” and it probably would not. Which is to say, in today’s world, firing on the basis of one belief would be critically self-defeating, while firing on the basis of a different belief might be a safe bet. In other words, both are risks. Mozilla took a risk. I could say that risk backfired, but then I’d be taking a risk as well, as it is entirely possible that Mozilla’s loss of share is almost solely due to poor product management and that the timing with Eich was pure coincidence, AFAIK.

    Meanwhile, I agree with your point about turning out the base being the dominant factor in winning federal level elections – although I also claim that the true problem there is that there are bases to begin with. Getting good at turning out the base each election is a bit like getting good at playing a skewed market – it doesn’t address the real problem.

  55. @Paul Brinkley “This may strike you as petty, but replace “is a Bengals fan” with “calls for the genocide of all Protestants” and it probably would not. Which is to say, in today’s world, firing on the basis of one belief would be critically self-defeating, while firing on the basis of a different belief might be a safe bet.”

    I’m not convinced.

    This idea of certain firings being ok and others not seems to have come up several times. Mozilla should not have cared about Eich’s personal beliefs one way or the other. It appears that firing you for your beliefs is, in modern times, the purview of the SJWs. They have made it SOP, and now will hopefully reap the whirlwind as others decide to play by the new rules.

    The free market, like free software, works best when performance is the primary concern. To the SJWs, performance matters not at all beside Right Think.

  56. Papaya, thanks for the link to the chart. It looks as though Firefox is recovering its share of users.

    Eric, would you feel the same about coders/CEOs who were Islamic radicals? Communists?

  57. @Paul Brinkley “This may strike you as petty, but replace “is a Bengals fan” with “calls for the genocide of all Protestants” and it probably would not.”

    I think, in this instance, we have a bit of a straw man here. Neither freedom of association nor free speech/press extend, even traditionally, to criminal activities. For example, knowingly inciting someone to murder is a crime, and so is being in a lynch mob or a gang rape, even if you didn’t actually personally do the lynching or raping.

    These are extreme examples, but the point holds. This isn’t a question of luck. Political advocacy for the State to recognize, or not recognize, someone’s idea of marriage is not a criminal act; it is protected speech on both sides of the issue.

    But regardless of this, the principle of liberty here is too important and precious to be sacrificed just because some dimwit might start raving Nazi slogans. I strongly believe that in a truly free society, which is a reputation economy, those people will relegate themselves into irrelevance in any event.

  58. @Nancy: Speaking for myself, I think a belief in a totalitarian theocracy and a willingness to kill people toward that goal is in an entirely different class than “doesn’t like the idea of same-sex marriage.”

    I think I’m OK with some recognition of and response to personal beliefs in this context. If the belief is obnoxious to (say) 95%+ of the community, that’s one thing. It’s not excessively divisive of a community to not want true, tiny-minority extremists representing them. But it’s different if the belief is merely controversial, meaning held by some large minority (or even a majority) of the population. SJWs are not dangerous because they want to root out the rare Klan member or Nazi. They’re dangerous because they want to treat 30%-80% of the population as if they were Klan members or Nazis.

  59. @Michael Hipp “Unfortunately probably not. But I can’t let go of the notion that making sure the information is available is a worthy ideal even if much of the base is too ignorant/apathetic to make use of it. It will likely have *some* effect, however small.”

    For now, my best answer is that I believe that making information available about a private individual’s personal donations is -not- a worthy ideal, it is an abrogation of privacy. For that same reason, I also believe that public tax records (and thus an income tax) are also unacceptable, and that only a consumption tax is legitimate, such as the FairTax.

    I believe that people have become far too normalized to the idea that an elected government has some right to pick through your life.

    Unfortunately, upholding this principle would make it impossible to trace, or meaningfully track, foreign campaign contributions. That is bad, but that is the lesser evil. An informed voter can learn the platforms of the candidates and learn of their track records. They are not slaves to campaign money. Voters have agency, or else what is the point of democracy?

    Of course, that is a whole other discussion….

  60. Regarding donor secrecy regulations:

    Tea Partiers are telling the federal government that much like their ideological rivals the socialists, they’re an unloved group of folks in need of protection from public and private targeting. The Socialist Workers Party has long relied upon Federal Election Commission rules allowing the group to keep its donor list private. Now Tea Partiers are claiming they face a similar level of harassment – citing the recent IRS scandal as evidence – and want the right to keep their donor list secret too.

  61. I think those browser percentage numbers may be suspect depending on how they are ‘calculated’.

    After I switched to (PaleMoon & other Gecko engine browsers) a long time ago, many websites reported my browser as FireFox which it decidedly was not. I also seem to fuzzily recall a setting in one clone that allowed the browser to be reported as FireFox.

    There are so many open source Gecko and Chromium browsers these days for so many OS that anyone can find something they like better if they have the time to play in various gardens.

  62. > Mozilla had simply drifted out of touch with the market.

    Their market isn’t their user base, it’s the people who cut their paychecks.

  63. @Paul Brinkley
    > This may strike you as petty, but replace “is a Bengals fan” with “calls for the genocide of all Protestants” and it probably would not.

    ESR? Are you willing to come out and say that there is no “political” position so offensive for it to be morally acceptable to not do business with someone who holds it? Or is this going to be an argument over which are?

    @PapayaSF: ” is in an entirely different class than “doesn’t like the idea of same-sex marriage.” ”

    The problem is, opposition to same-sex marriage heavily signals a desire to, for example, imprison and/or kill gay people for having sex. The same groups that lobby against gay marriage here lobby in favor of executions in Africa – it’s just a question of what they can get away with.

  64. @Random832 “The problem is, opposition to same-sex marriage heavily signals a desire to, for example, imprison and/or kill gay people for having sex. The same groups that lobby against gay marriage here lobby in favor of executions in Africa – it’s just a question of what they can get away with.”

    Nonsense. Unless you like me to say that “support for compulsory public education strongly signals support of Communism and the brutal suppression of all religions, especially Judaism and Christianity.” See? How do you like it now?

  65. What David Isecke said. I have no idea what the percentage of support for “imprisoning and/or killing gay people” is in the US, but I’d bet it’s a tiny fraction of the opposition to gay marriage.

  66. @Random832:

    “The problem is, opposition to same-sex marriage heavily signals a desire to, for example, imprison and/or kill gay people for having sex. The same groups that lobby against gay marriage here lobby in favor of executions in Africa – it’s just a question of what they can get away with.”

    Hogwash. Every word of it.

    Stop projecting.

    The progressives / leftists / marxists / SJWs are the ones always calling for the killing of anyone that disagrees with them.

  67. Unlike the Eich Affair, the Blacklist was richly-deserved payback for the scum who denied us the joy of watching Humphrey Bogart play Nicholas Rubashov as a wisecracking tough guy from the mean streets of New York (plus Edward G. Robinson as Ivanov, and James Cagney as Gletkin).

  68. Eich, Australis, Gamergate, Net neutrality, Google, Yahoo, DRM, Ads lobby – Mozilla constantly runs from one PR debacle into the next. These guys are just clueless and have totally lost contact with their userbase.

    Hell, Australis.. They decided that the chance to win over Chrome users was of more value as keeping power users on board who liked customization features. So they killed and exited customization into add-on devs hands, fully knowing that now power or advanced users would feel like third world citizens!

    And then they sold their soul to the DRM and Ads lobbies and gave away their last bit of being good and honest away when the Eich incident was happening.

    Mozilla must vanish, in the hope that someone who has more understanding for user needs and higher moral values will take over what is left. If there is something left.

  69. “The problem is, opposition to same-sex marriage heavily signals a desire to, for example, imprison and/or kill gay people for having sex. ”

    SAY WHAT??!?!!

    “The same groups that lobby against gay marriage here lobby in favor of executions in Africa – it’s just a question of what they can get away with.”

    [citation needed]…and quick, before the world decides you’re more of a hateful bigot than anyone you decry, including&lt the KKK.

  70. Random832 on 2015-03-09 at 20:07:35 said:
    > The problem is, opposition to same-sex marriage heavily signals a desire to,
    > for example, imprison and/or kill gay people for having sex.

    Liar.

  71. >Liar.

    That’s unfair. I have little doubt that Random832 is being truthful when he expresses a belief that “opposition to same-sex marriage heavily signals a desire to, for example, imprison and/or kill gay people for having sex”. He believes an untrue thing, but that does not mean he is lying.

  72. When leftists get control product quality goes down, because the latest left thing is avoiding disparate impact – and any form of quality control has disparate impact.

    The only solution is to keep leftists out, which necessarily means keeping out anyone, such as esr himself, who has a policy of no enemies to the left, no friends to the right.

    If Eich had had a policy of excluding gays, which he did not, Mozilla would have been the better for it, not because there is anything wrong with the ability of gays to write code, but because gays bring drama, and bring left wing purges, which purges eventually result in policies of no disparate impact, even though such a policy is seldom what was intended by the gay launching the purges.

  73. >Eric, would you feel the same about coders/CEOs who were Islamic radicals? Communists?

    I would take a technical patch for GPSD from an Islamic radical or a Communist in a heartbeat. Because it is my duty not to let politics or other distractions interfere with the work. That’s the obverse of “Shut up and show me the code!” – that when someone does show you the code, you must honor that.

  74. > I would take a technical patch for GPSD from an Islamic radical or a Communist in a heartbeat.

    Do you think that Mozilla won’t take a technical patch from Eich?

  75. > [citation needed]

    I’m thinking of the Family Research Council – which, to be fair, would be far more relevant to a discussion of the Chik-fil-a boycott than Mozilla/Eich.

    I also think you are misinterpreting “heavily signal” to mean a universal rather than a correlation (“heavily” is intended to mean that the correlation is [i]high[/i] but not absolute).

  76. I disagree with the major premise of most of the posters here: I believe that a person’s contributions to political causes are not a “private” matter for which he should not be socially accountable — they are a method of attempting to use force, even though indirectly. (Or to stop it being used, in the case of a campaign to legalize some activity.) This does not mean that I support laws that make you divulge your contributions to the state.

    That aside, though, how do you apply the hacker ethic of “judge someone only by the code he writes” if that person is in an administrative job and won’t be writing any code?

    As far as Mozilla: I won’t be switching anytime soon, though I may very well grab the source and do some tinkering with it. I use it with about a dozen add-ons, some to block bad behavior by web sites, others to give me new capabilities. I just wish it were easier to selectively disable each of the so-called advances since HTML 2.0 — each of which, in my opinion, is mostly a sneaky way for web page authors to usurp the individual user’s right to monitor and control the behavior of his own machine.

    @DMcCunney: I agree with everything you said about gratuitous UI changes — except that open source makes them more frequent or worse. The one that made me scream was Microsoft Office XP — even before the switch to the subscription model, the new “ribbon” interface has driven me to switch to OpenOffice. Which gives me one less reason to want Windows at all.

    @Michael Hipp: It appears that firing you for your beliefs is, in modern times, the purview of the SJWs. They have made it SOP, and now will hopefully reap the whirlwind as others decide to play by the new rules. Lots of other people have been doing it for some time. For instance: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/03/03/curt-shilling-goes-full-dad-mode-gets-revenge-when-his-17-year-old-daughter-is-bullied-online/

  77. @Jessica Boxer
    > Moreover saying “he was forced to get it done in ten days” tells us what a large part of the problem is.

    Sure, but that was a failure on the business side. Given that those constraints existed, I’ll still give Eich a lot of credit for producing something that kind of worked. I’ve often noted that we would have been better off if he had been less skilled, because then either he wouldn’t have been able to deliver anything or there would have been no choice but to fix the language.

    > And even so, what is the excuse that it has continued to evolve in the dreadful way it was?

    The problem is that it never evolved. Its glaring design defects were inexplicably made standards rather than fixed. I don’t understand the backward compatibility argument; at worst we should have been able to do [script type=”text/js2″] and get a version that doesn’t have default global variables and utterly broken equality coercions. And as long as I’m dreaming, a useful standard library and basic OO support.

    > The worst thing is that some people are actually wont to defend the worst features as being beneficial, so not only did it make our jobs harder, it also poisoned the minds of many who don’t know any better.

    Completely agreed. There’s a ridiculous meme of “if you think JS sucks then you don’t know how to use it”. Now that it’s been my main professional language for several years, I can confirm that it’s an even worse language than I first thought. It’s one of the main reasons I’m not enthusiastic about the web taking over everything. (CSS is #2. Well, sometimes they swap places).

  78. > I’m thinking of the Family Research Council

    I’m not an expert on the FRC controversy, but it looks to me like they’re better described as “Not particularly bothered by people in other countries persecuting gays.” The statement that they lobbied against Res 1064’s pro-gay language strikes me as believable. And while lots of outlets seem to be trying to say that FRC supports the anti-homosexuality bill, what the appear to have spun into that is this:

    Museveni: We need to be more Christian! Let’s all repent and praise Jesus!
    FRC: Amen! Preach it, brother!
    Museveni: So on that note, I’m going to give all you patriotic, God-fearing Ugandans a bunch of dead and imprisoned faggots for Christmas!
    FRC: *crickets*

    It’s not exactly a moral high-water mark, but it hardly bears the construction some have placed on it.

  79. >> Eric, would you feel the same about coders/CEOs who were Islamic radicals? Communists?
    > I would take a technical patch for GPSD from an Islamic radical or a Communist in a heartbeat.

    That answers one side of the slash but not the other. I’d like an opinion on the CEO side.

    (I don’t intend to contest it either way — I’m just curious what it is, and how it squares with Eich)

  80. > Another 43% that will vote for whatever milquetoast the Republicans trot out

    I read both left and right wing communities, and I’m always struck by this sentiment, because it’s so perfectly mirrored on both. The minions of the Other Side are always jackbooted thugs; the minions of Our Side, on the other hand, are always ?INO cowards who will bend over for a slight breeze.

    > Outing a private individual like Eich is a wrongheaded example of (d). But outing a public figure like the above article perhaps isn’t.

    Conversations with a left-wing friend suggest that from their perspective, CEOs *are* effectively public figures, and thus something approximating D applies. If you believe that corporate executives’ influence on public policy is as great or greater than government representatives, it’s not an entirely untenable position.

    (I have no opinion on the subject that I care to defend here; I did the politics thing for the better part of a decade, determined that the marginal benefit of the effort I put into it was indistinguishable from zero, and said fuck that. But it’s sometimes still interesting to observe how the same event can be interpreted radically differently by people on opposing sides.)

  81. @A “Conversations with a left-wing friend suggest that from their perspective, CEOs *are* effectively public figures, and thus something approximating D applies. If you believe that corporate executives’ influence on public policy is as great or greater than government representatives, it’s not an entirely untenable position.”

    CEOs are public figures, just like national athletes, journalists, people in any form of show business, etc. So what? They represent their company, sport, newspaper, or whatever. Those institutions are free to get rid of them if that *representation* is bad. In other words, if Eich had made Mozilla a bad place to work for gay people, then Mozilla would have been quite within their rights in kicking him out.

    But these people are also private citizens, and as such are entitled to the same protection of privacy when they are -not- acting in that role as anyone else. To make the case that, since Eich is a “public figure”, someone has the right to expose his private donations is absolutely ridiculous. He was not acting as a representative of Mozilla. So that idea is all wet.

    Now, did Mozilla have the right to fire him, since it did come out? Sure. But in doing so they are signaling that they agree that 1) outing him was ok (after all, they are cooperating in his punishment), and 2) a person’s personal opinion is, in their view, a legitimate ground to fire them, even if it had no effect on anything they said or did in representing them.

    I feel that people who signal those things do not deserve my support.

    There is only one class of people whom, I feel, an argument even -can- be made that their private lives should be subject to scrutiny. That would be those people who make governmental decisions, who have the power to enforce their views as law. There, the case can be made; though even there it would -have- to be made – it may well be enough to judge them on their public actions. But here we are talking about things like Hillary Clinton taking a lot of Saudi money.

    CEOs, despite what leftists think, do not have that kind of power. People are free to buy from them or not, and they cannot coerce anything without the cooperation of -government-. As such, I can see no rationale at all to allow for public scrutiny of their private lives.

    That is why I also felt very uncomfortable about the Donald Sterling affair. Accusations about what he said to his girlfriend stuck me strongly as -none of our business-. The NBA should have taken the principled position that they can only act on the breaking of rules to which their teams have signed to join the association. And I suspect that “not saying obnoxious things to your girlfriend” was not one of them.

  82. Eric:

    In the Mozilla/Eich case, my understanding of your political views is that you’re politically more aligned with Mozilla than with Eich on the issue at hand (which is to say that you are not opposed to gay marriage), but you’re disgusted that they made politics part of the equation. The fact that you are not opposed to Mozilla on the political issue at hand gives you freedom to take them to task for playing politics without hypocrisy.

    How would you recommend that a person respond to something like the Mozilla/Eich case if their political views are opposed to those of the “Mozilla” in the situation they are dealing with? How should they go about discouraging politicization without engaging in it themselves?

  83. >That answers one side of the slash but not the other. I’d like an opinion on the CEO side.

    In general, if the CEO keeps his politics off the job, I don’t think his politics are grounds for judging his job performance or suitability. I might speak out against his views, but not demand that he be fired for them.

    I can think of one significant sort-of exception. During the Cold War, I would have had to think twice about a Communist in a high executive position at a company making hardware for national defense. That would not have been precisely about his politics but mare because being a Communist during the Cold War created a rebuttable presumption that you were an agent for bitter enemies of the U.S. and should not be trusted in a position where you could do damage. Today, being an Islamist (not a Muslim, but an Islamist) creates a similar presumption.

    But that’s not the normal case, and certainly doesn’t apply to Mozilla.

  84. >In the Mozilla/Eich case, my understanding of your political views is that you’re politically more aligned with Mozilla than with Eich on the issue at hand (which is to say that you are not opposed to gay marriage), but you’re disgusted that they made politics part of the equation.

    That is correct on both counts.

    Since it’s probably going to come up, I will say that “not opposed” is pretty exact. I can’t exactly say I’m “pro” as the issue does not energize me at all and I was rather put off by the gay lobby’s tactics even before they took Eich’s scalp. But I’m not interested in siding with the idiot social conservatives either. I’d prefer this particular fight to take place far away from me where I can ignore it.

    >How would you recommend that a person respond to something like the Mozilla/Eich case if their political views are opposed to those of the “Mozilla” in the situation they are dealing with? How should they go about discouraging politicization without engaging in it themselves?

    I’m not sure that question has a fully general answer, but it’s probably about focusing (as I did) on the wrong done to the Eich-equivalent rather than tub-thumping about the issue over which he was fired.

  85. I wrote:

    >But I’m not interested in siding with the idiot social conservatives either.

    Full honesty requires that I qualify this a little. I do think it is unwise to allow people with sexual targeting disorders – of which gays are the largest class – frequent and unsupervised contact with children. I think there’s sense in the Boy Scouts’ wish to exclude gay Scoutmasters, even if it’s somewhat unfair to individual gays who are insufficiently damaged or too well-disciplined to commit abuse.

  86. A CEO is the public speaker of a company, leaving aside the issue at hand, whether banning gay marriage is discrimination or not, a CEO should not take public actions that piss off a large percentage of the customers, regardless if the feeling is justified or not, that did happen, his actions alienated a large part of the Mozilla’s user base, not only the gay community, but also their supporters who feel strongly about the issue.

    There are other hot button issues that public speakers of a company should not get too involved into, for example gun control, I’m sure esr and other gun lovers would not like CEOs that are publicly working for making harder for people to own guns. Not sure if you’d try to get such a CEO fired, but I assume that at some point you might choose to not do business with somebody who is actively working against your principles, and again it’s not good policy for a CEO to alienate the user base of the company. I’ve heard before conservative people saying that they don’t buy Ben & Jerry’s because of the political views of Ben and Jerry… so yes, it cuts both ways.

  87. >The minions of the Other Side are always jackbooted thugs; the
    >minions of Our Side, on the other hand, are always ?INO
    >cowards who will bend over for a slight breeze.

    That’s because a large number of people don’t much like either side; for lack of viable choices, they’re just riding along with the lesser perceived evil.

  88. > I do think it is unwise to allow people with sexual targeting disorders – of which gays are the largest class – frequent and unsupervised contact with children.

    Care to go into any detail as to your reasons for saying that? You know as well as I do that the proportion of gays who abuse children is minuscule, and “disorder” is a pretty strong term to be using there.

  89. @Adrian

    A private donation, though, is different from public advocacy. I think that is pretty clear. Eich was not exactly getting on the radio and saying, “I, Brandon Eich, CEO of Mozilla, am against gay marriage”. He was writing a personal check to support a cause with which he personally agrees. In other words, he was acting within his rights as a private citizen, and not as a representative of Mozilla.

    If he had taken Mozilla corporate money and donated it to defeat Prop 8, then you’d have a point.

  90. Mental typo: I meant to support Prop 8. But actually, either way works. Either would be acting as a CEO rather than as a private citizen.

  91. Ben and Jerry not only supported hard-left causes; their company did, too. That distinguishes them from Brendan Eich at Mozilla. Nobody has ever claimed that Eich did anything at work, much less tried to lead the company, to do anything one way or another in support of or opposition to same-sex marriage.

    FWIW, now that Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is owned by some conglomerate or other (way to uphold those leftist ideals, Ben and Jerry!), I don’t eat their ice cream just because I don’t find it very compelling.

  92. >You know as well as I do that the proportion of gays who abuse children is minuscule

    Yes. But significantly higher than the proportion of heterosexuals who do. This effect is masked by the fact that there are so few gay people, which means the absolute number of heterosexual abusers is much larger. It remains the case that knowing someone is gay significantly increases a rational evaluation of their risk of ephebophilic or pedophilic behavior.

    >“disorder” is a pretty strong term to be using there.

    I don’t think it is, and the DSM’s acquiescence to political correctness does nothing to dissuade me. Gays have a congenital defect in exactly the same way I do, and I certainly don’t blush at calling my cerebral palsy a disorder.

    In both cases, the normal function of the brain has been slightly deranged by some sort of antenatal or perinatal insult – unlucky genes, slow-virus infection, maternal hormonal imbalance, whatever. This doesn’t make either gays or CP cases evil, but it means that insisting either are “normal” or “not disordered” is driven by politics rather than reality.

    In any case, I judge that the relevant category for evaluating the risk of child abuse is not “gay” but “sexual targeting disorder”. The limited statistical evidence I’ve been able to find indicates that different forms of sexual-targeting disorder are likely to be co-morbid – that is, the category “pervert” really is meaningful even if one does not care to assign moral weight to it.

  93. “I do think it is unwise to allow people with sexual targeting disorders – of which gays are the largest class – frequent and unsupervised contact with children. I think there’s sense in the Boy Scouts’ wish to exclude gay Scoutmasters, even if it’s somewhat unfair to individual gays who are insufficiently damaged or too well-disciplined to commit abuse.”

    Uhm, Eric…the research profoundly disagrees with you:

    Reflecting the results of these and other studies, as well as clinical experience, the mainstream view among researchers and professionals who work in the area of child sexual abuse is that homosexual and bisexual men do not pose any special threat to children.

    […]

    Rather than pedophilia, the accusations stemming from these scandals raised the question of whether gay people shouldn’t be trusted in positions of authority where there is any opportunity for sexually harassing or abusing others.

    Here again, there is no inherent connection between an adult’s sexual orientation and her or his propensity for endangering others. Scientific research provides no evidence that homosexual people are less likely than heterosexuals to exercise good judgment and appropriate discretion in their employment settings.

    (from Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation at psychology.ucdavis.edu)

  94. >Uhm, Eric…the research profoundly disagrees with you

    Beware the man of one study. Especially when, as in the social sciences, both studies and interpretations are heavily infected with PC-think that biases them in a predictable direction on questions like this.

    An AGW alarmist could say “the research profoundly disagrees with you”. You and I both have a pretty good idea how corrupt that “research” is; why are you so credible about a field where the politicization is, if possible, far worse?

    I’d have to see a really large meta-analysis to change my mind – and I would be applying heightened scrutiny to that.

  95. RTFA. He did survey the field, especially in replying point by point to studies cited by the Family Research Council that they claim support the idea that those nasty icky gay men are a danger to kids.

  96. As for being credible about research, I agree that corruption is a problem in science (and that the corruption in CAGW damages all science; this discussion is just another instance of that damage). OTOH, I also automatically suspect anything that the religious right has to say about sexuality. To me, those two balance out.

  97. @esr
    “Beware the man of one study.”

    That is most definitely not “one” study. Nor is it just “social science”, but also crime numbers. One’s sexual orientation has no influence on one’s love for minors. These are orthogonal. Homosexuals, female and male, have the same orientation to secondary sexual traits as heterosexuals.

    There is a problem with “small numbers”. Attacks on children are so rare that doubling the risk is still infinitesimal. The main problems with scouting and other activities of children is that it will attract also the wrong people. But there is absolutely no evidence that banning homosexuals from such jobs is any more than security theater.

    But what can we expect from a country that jails a 17 year old boy who has intercourse with his 15 year old girlfriend as a rapist and puts him on a sex offenders registry.

  98. Now what browser do you expect will take over that mantle as the most trusted browser? Chrome or chrome-based? I think I have an inherent distrust of google and their products “calling back home” to share my browsing habits. Any open source browser that we can switch to without losing the features or compromising on security issues?

  99. @Jessica

    The fact that JavaScript has functional programming capabilities which made jQuery possible, and in 1995 where only a few old LISP heads remembered what functional programming is (before it became popular again post-2005 or so, Paul Graham to Rails), puts things into a fairly positive light. It seems to me JavaScript is a well-conceived idea as far as anything starting with Java- can be, but poorly executed.

    For example this is why Steve Yegge was so enthusiastic about Rhino and server-side JavaScript, the languge itself does not suck, “merely” its browser implementations. http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2007/06/rhino-on-rails.html

  100. @esr
    “In both cases, the normal function of the brain has been slightly deranged by some sort of antenatal or perinatal insult – unlucky genes, slow-virus infection, maternal hormonal imbalance, whatever. ”

    Wrong. A definition:

    A psychological disorder, also known as a mental disorder, is a pattern of behavioral or psychological symptoms that impact multiple life areas and/or create distress for the person experiencing these symptoms.

    The crucial point is that the distress should be felt by the diseased to count as a disease. Homosexuals are not distressed by their “condition”. On the contrary, most of them are happy falling in love with someone of their own sex. The distress is totally located in the population that is not homosexual.

    Your cerebral palsy might or might not impact your life and cause you distress. But as far as cerebral palsy is a medical condition, it is so because it does impart the lives of (some?) of those who have it.

    Homosexuality is a disorder or illness the same way left-handedness is a disorder. Because other people cannot bear to see it.

  101. Also what exactly is the basis for thinking that it is “slightly deranged by some sort of antenatal or perinatal insult – unlucky genes, slow-virus infection, maternal hormonal imbalance, whatever.” rather than part of normal human variation?

    A belief (whether correct or not) on whether or not the trait confers a survival/propagation benefit is not a sufficient basis for a comment on what factors cause something.

  102. @ESR

    The fact that you easily accept publicly the fact that you are disabled and expect others with other disabilities to do so, without going into are-you-calling-me-broken-and-worthless ego-games, seems to be coming from an unusual source. It is not simply humility or a strong attachment to truth, I think, although those play a role. I think this a function of your individualism. Since you are very strongly convinced that individuals are ends-in-themselvs and not means or tools for other people to use, it also means they have no reason to feel ashamed about their “brokenness” because they don’t exist for other people’s use, they do not exist for being suitable for other people’s goals but only for their own and thus all that “brokenness” means they find it harder to pursue their own goals which is not other people’s business. Putting it differently, since value judgements or rankings mean suitability for a purpose, and you do not buy into the existence of collective purposes, only individual ones, it seems you are basically saying ranking people is not important, judging people’s value is pointless, and the whole I-am-better-than-you game is only meaningful if people pursue a common goal. Am I on the right track here? Does it also follow that how sensitive people are to these types of “brokenness” or “less valuable than others” judgements also predicts how anti-individualist they are at heart, people who are distressed by any hint of a suggestion that they may “worth” less than others want to see themselves as tools, means for common social purposes or goals and are distressed by the idea that other are better tools for this? (After all, the most literal way to meaningfully say some people worth more or less is to put a price tag on slaves – and even less literally this may mean a not fully self-determined set of goals.) Do you actually think like this?

  103. @Shenpen “For example this is why Steve Yegge was so enthusiastic about Rhino and server-side JavaScript, the languge itself does not suck, “merely” its browser implementations.”

    The type system is not an implementation issue. If she thinks that prototype-based inheritance is an inferior type system, this is going to be an unconvincing argument.

  104. >OTOH, I also automatically suspect anything that the religious right has to say about sexuality.

    Fair enough. So do I. Let me tell you exactly why I am also skeptical of what the left has to say about homosexuality.

    Some decades ago I had a gay friend who was OK with the fact that I was anthropologically curious about his life, and responded well to questions. I think he initially believed I was possibly gay myself and thinking about whether to come out myself, or at least experiment with bisexuality. With him. It was not to be: I would have had no moral objection, but I’m just not wired that way. I am, as I sometimes put it, boringly straight. Intellectually I sometimes think that this is a shame and it would be fun to have wider options.

    At one point during our conversations, he lent me a crudely-produced little book that was sort of a participant’s field guide to gay BDSM – how to do it, how to enjoy it, how to stay safe.

    I found this absolutely fascinating reading. The author, clearly a very intelligent man, had assembled troves of data and statistics on gay life, with citations. His attitude was unsparingly honest. It was from this book that I first learned about the astonishingly high incidence of murder among male homosexuals – 26 times that of the general population.

    He sugarcoated nothing, hid nothing. His attitude was clearly that a BDSM practitioner has to know all he dark facts, all the Damned Things, to stay safe.

    Are you familiar with what lawyers call an “admission against interest”? When a witness says something that could be injurious to his own interests, the law allows it more credibility than the same claim would have coming from a neutral observer. This book was chock full of admissions against interest, if your interest is to persuade people that gays are safe neighbors.

    One such admission was the 26x murder rate. Another was exceedingly frank talk about the prevalence of sex with boys – twinks, in the slang of the time (I have seen some hints that the word has shifted in usage since and is now less age-bound) – among gay men. The author didn’t claim that all gay men did this, or even wanted to, but he wrote as though it was an extremely common preference around which entire social codes had been constructed within their subculture.

    It was clear from the exposition that one of the reasons he was talking about this was as a survival warning to adolescent and barely pubescent gay boys. “You are what you are”, ran the message, “and I’m here to inform you. There are gay men who will show you a really good time. There are also gay men who will abuse, injure, and possibly kill you,” (he didn’t use the word “paraphilia”; it may not yet have entered medical terminology yet). “If you’re going to have an active gay sex life you need to know the warning signs, take precautions, and stay safe.”

    I found that book – and still find my memories of it – far more telling than any amount of pro-gay apologias. Later, when I read that the incidence of pedophilia among gay men is about 3x the general population, I believed it – because I remembered survival-guide-guy’s almost but not quite disarming candor about how gay men seeking sex with boys is everyday reality and, while mutually enjoyable if the boy is that way inclined, is certainly not without serious risks.

    Then I studied the anthropological history of the matter and learned that the degree to which androphilia (sexual bonding between adult equals) predominates among gays in the modern west is highly unusual. In most other cultures (including today in places like Afghanistan and Thailand) what we would consider pederasty seems to be far more common than androphilia.

    Am I judging? Not in the way you’d think. These are not facts which arouse in me a desire to BURN ALL TEH GAYS. The adult gay male who fucks a consenting gay boy is not doing anything I consider intrinsically immoral. My hindbrain thinks it’s squicky and disgusting, yes, but if I accepted everything my hindbrain said about squicky and disgusting I’d have to be racially prejudiced, too, and screw that.

    On the other hand, that book permanently immunized me against the gay lobby’s campaign pitch that homosexual men are just like the rest of us, only with better taste in fabric. No, they aren’t. Thanks to survival-guide-guy, I got that part well before it became trivially easy to find videos of scrotal inflation and frenzied public blowjobs in the streets of San Francisco.

    When I learned that the pattern of sexual abuse and child rape by Roman Catholic priests had been overwhelmingly homosexual, it fit the pattern.

    Now, you might say: those are the bad gays. It’s not fair to stigmatize, or restrict access to children, by the good ones. But whenever I hear that argument, I wonder how we’re supposed to tell which snarks are boojums. And I flash back to that little book, in which the author – a gay man himself – didn’t think the category of gay men was ever safe enough in that sense. And he was OK with that, in a sort of beyond-good-and-evil, things are-what-they-are way that more than thirty years later still kind of impresses me.

    Now do you understand why I’m not very impressed by dry statistics?

  105. >you are basically saying ranking people is not important, judging people’s value is pointless, and the whole I-am-better-than-you game is only meaningful if people pursue a common goal. Am I on the right track here?

    I’ve never thought it through in as much detail as you are proposing. It just seemed obviously silly to me to deny that I have a disorder. There are things, like certain martial-arts techniques, that I would would love to be able to do but have no hope of ever achieving.

    There is certainly some kind of ego game or idea about “worth” in people with disabilities who equate them with brokenness or worthlessness. But I haven’t tried to analyze this. There are some kinds of stupidity that make my head hurt so much that I don’t want to think about them long enough to understand them; this is one.

  106. > That’s unfair. I have little doubt that Random832 is being truthful when he expresses a
    > belief that “opposition to same-sex marriage heavily signals a desire to, for example,
    > imprison and/or kill gay people for having sex”. He believes an untrue thing, but that
    > does not mean he is lying.

    To whom much is given, much is asked.

    At a certain level–level of intellect and level of ability to verify–one has an obligation to investigate one’s beliefs about the world as to their accuracy.

    I expect someone of limited intellect ensconced in certain parts of progressive academia to state such things to their peers. They get rewarded for groupthink and blindness.

    Random832 has display sufficient intellect in his writings, and he’s got access to all the wide internet.

    He has no excuse.

    It almost certainly is the case that there are some people (in the US) who believe in killing or imprisoning homosexuals. There are about 320 million people in this country, you can find *any* belief in that number, but to state bluntly that “The problem is, opposition…or having sex.” on the basis of what a small minority of twits *failed* to say is functionally the equivalent of me accusing *modern* Democrats of being in favor of clitorectomies for women because they don’t speak out against it.

    It’s not that it’s not true, it’s “not even false”.

    I am not one that believes that in an argument one must start from the assumption of good will on the other party. I’ve been around too many blocks too many times to believe that. But experience also tells me that one cannot paint the entirety of one’s opposition with extreme statements like ” a desire to, for example, imprison and/or kill gay people for having sex.”

    Given the length of time this debate has been national, and the amount of ink and pixels spent on it, to retain such a bigoted view of those who hold a different opinion means that he’s either of sub-average intellect, refusing to even attempt to understand his opponents position, deliberately chumming, or lying.

    So yeah, I’m comfortable with calling statements a lie.

  107. ESR: …why are you so credible
    Jay Maynard: As for being credible about research…

    Perhaps you mean “credulous”?

    >Are you familiar with what lawyers call an “admission against interest”? When a witness says something that could be injurious to his own interests, the law allows it more credibility than the same claim would have coming from a neutral observer.

    I didn’t know this, but I did know something very similar: the criterion of embarrassment.

  108. On left-wing views of sex: basically, one root issue is that while there is such a thing as a BDSM subculture where it is explicit, a lot of “vanilla” human sexuality follows dominance-submission models. And this is not convenient to admit for people who put a very high value on equality. There is this ages old idea that the penetrated person is submissive and the penetrator is dominant. For example you cannot map Ancient Greece and Rome to gay or straight models: the only rule was the adult male citizen must be penetrator / dominant. Everything else was OK, roughly. People were upset that Julius Caesar went in bed with the king of Bythunia but only because he took the penetrated role. A Roman may fuck a Greek king but not be fucked by him, roughly. It was clearly a top dog – underdog issue.

    Fast forward to today. There is a lot of homophobia in aspects of modern society that are not conservative and not religious, from Russian prison culture to British football hooligans, and the idea is that gay man = penetrated man = submissive = weakling, sissy, pussy.

    And then of course the whole logic overlaps with sexism about women, submission expectance etc. a lot.

    And then of course there is the question if a human dynamic is dominant-submissive, just exactly what role does consent play. Remember, consent was originally meant to be between equals, a transactional barter thing. The idea that you can consent to dominance instead of just forced to bear it, is not only evolutionary novel, even historically novel and not ingrained _at all_.

    And then you get the popularity of 50 shades – amongst women. And I suspect gay men were reading stuff like that for decades.

    At any rate, all I want to say is human sexuality simply does not follow egalitarian patterns or not always. This is something that can be discussed, researched, but apparently it is not very PC as leftie types want to force an egalitarian model on it.

    I propose to ignore it and see the most basic default form of ethically acceptable sex as consensual dominance, and then research from this. Since consent is both novel and is largely meant for egalitarian barter, research what it actually means in such circumstances, hint: I think it means the trust that dominance will cause no harm. Research to what extent is penetration dominance, research to what extent it follows behavior outside the bedroom: are gay bottom men truly less courageous, are male-dominant and not egalitarian straight relationship hotter in bed and so on.

  109. David Isecke: I think, in this instance, we have a bit of a straw man here. Neither freedom of association nor free speech/press extend, even traditionally, to criminal activities. For example, knowingly inciting someone to murder is a crime, and so is being in a lynch mob or a gang rape, even if you didn’t actually personally do the lynching or raping.

    Well, I could sidestep the illegality of it by saying the person calls for the legalization of Protestant genocide – or, to remove the nasty G word: calls for the death penalty for anyone found guilty of practicing Protestantism. Would you let someone work at your company if that was their expressed view?

    Perhaps you might. I could see the narrative: he’s meanwhile charming, quite productive, and doesn’t spend company time proselytizing about his views. So who cares? He’s making you money.

    OTOH, I can see the principle getting complicated. What if stuff like this comes up during lunch or coffee breaks? What if someone asks him what he thinks about “the Protestant question”? Or, to flip it around – what if someone else goes off about how “retarded” it is to think people should take the former view on the issue, assuming that everyone “naturally” takes the latter view? What if half the company shares the former view, and just are hiding it out of politeness / fear? Should they be able to present their side without fear for their jobs? What if it turns out the company is split 50/50 on an issue? Should who ever played the “retards” card first get to keep talking during the breaks? What if that second guy is the outlier, and *he’s* the one scaring people off?

    In other words, when I say it’s complicated, I really mean it – I both sympathize with your view that people be protected, and recognize that it’s liable to end up being a hot point anyway. The first person could just take his coffee breaks elsewhere, but that could end up leading to side looks at meetings anyway. And then performance review rolls around and people notice he has a hard time working on a team…

    I suppose you could have a strict company-wide “no religion, politics, or economics at breaks or meetings” policy. Not sure how well that would work. It’d be hard to enforce, for one thing – you’d have to get everyone on board with it, and the thinking behind it. Otherwise, pretty soon you might have everyone walking on eggshells if they’re not that comfortable with it. Company social activities would be really tough to organize. (Maybe such activities should just go away too.) And what if practically everyone in labor pool (both current and future employees) feels the same way about some issue? You might be causing a lot of headache and lost productivity.

    Eric indicated he would probably accept a software patch from such a person. I even like his justification: if “shut up and show me the code” is to trump one’s social views, then it must work in all cases. Accepting a patch from someone is one thing; having them work side by side with other people in your company is another. People have been fired for “not being the right fit”; trouble is, that could include *anything*. I like having “shut up and show me the code” apply everywhere, but I can’t help but notice I like freedom of assembly to apply everywhere, too.

    I really think this whole issue is about those two conflicting forces and where they should hold jurisdiction. And I’m having trouble coming up with rules I could say about them that I could feel comfortable about imposing on people outside my locality. So I’m left calling such rules “risky”.

  110. My father used to tell a joke that ended in with the line “…but you suck one cock and for the rest of your life…”

    Buried in this joke is the notion that it is unfair to label someone for something they did once. Which I think is a fair thing to say.

    But how *do* we sort people into “straight”, “bi-sexual” and “homesexual”?

    Is a 35 year old man with a wife and a child who once or twice a year gets a hand job in the gym whirlpool a homosexual, or just “wierd”? What about if it’s once a week?

    Is that same man who, instead who has an active sexual interest in 14-17 year old “boys” gay, or bi-sexual?

    And how do you know?

    ESR:
    > Later, when I read that the incidence of pedophilia among gay men is about 3x the
    > general population, I believed it – because I remembered survival-guide-guy’s
    > frank talk about how gay men seeking sex with boys is everyday reality and

    There’s a problem here in sorting out what sort of “pedophillia” we’re talking about. There is the pre-puberty “real” pedophilia, and the “below the age of consent” pedophilla.

    The other side of that is how do we know the orientation of the “general population”? Given the very, very wide variety and distribution of “desire” in sexual matters, it could simply be that you have a few men whose general drive is homosexual, but who are “bearding” themselves with a wife and family and occasionally their drives exceed their ability to control.

    Then there is the utter P.C. ness of that end of the sciences to the point where they almost deserve scare quotes.

    It’s also funny that our culture still presents this generally as men, and specifically as Roman Catholic Priests as the problem when it’s clearly more general ( http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/?s=TEACH+WOMEN+NOT+TO+RAPE! )

    There is a fuzzy line at the top of the ‘below the age of consent” line, both for gay sex, and for straight, thus the comment “The adult gay male who fucks a consenting gay boy is not doing anything I consider intrinsically immoral.” presumes a “boy” of age, legal or otherwise to give consent.

    This is something I have significant problem with. As the old joke goes “About half of homosexuals are born gay, the other half are sucked into it”, and I while I don’t think there should be legal consequences of teenagers exploring their sexuality (there are enough biological and social consequences), I think we should discourage a 40 year old “exploring” his or her sexuality with a 13 year old. Especially when other inducements (amyl nitrate, cocaine, brandy) are involved.

  111. ” Later, when I read that the incidence of pedophilia among gay men is about 3x the general population, I believed it ”

    Is it possible there is an “already damned” effect whereby they’re less likely to conceal it because they are in a subculture full of people whose preferences are condemned by society?

    Does either this or the murder rate change when people who are part of “gay culture” are considered separately from gay people who are not? (And yes, I’m aware that any such data would be almost worthless due to selection effects)

  112. >Is that same man who, instead who has an active sexual interest in 14-17 year old “boys” gay, or bi-sexual?

    You have a point, but it’s at best orthogonal to what I was talking about. The proposition at the beginning this subthread is that it may not be wise to allow people with sexual targeting disorders frequent and unsupervised access to children. All your hypothetical men are exhibiting disorders of sexual targeting to some degree; which we categorize as “gay” is far less relevant to that proposition.

    >There is the pre-puberty “real” pedophilia, and the “below the age of consent” pedophilla.

    Scientists tend to label the latter “ephebophila”, yes.

    >It’s also funny that our culture still presents this generally as men, and specifically as Roman Catholic Priests as the problem when it’s clearly more general

    I talked about sexual targeting disorder. It’s other people who want to make the conversation all about gay men.

    >the comment “The adult gay male who fucks a consenting gay boy is not doing anything I consider intrinsically immoral.” presumes a “boy” of age, legal or otherwise to give consent.

    It does. The problem is that the age at which a boy is capable of giving consent in the moral sense fluctuates a great deal around the age of legal consent. I don’t think there’s a any neat way around this problem. On the one hand, man-boy couples who assert that they have a consensual relationship seem to be speaking truth some of the time; on the other hand, the potential and pattern of abuse in legitimizing this behavior is so sickeningly vast that it may be better for custom and law to forbid it anyway – in fact, probably is.

  113. “So yeah, I’m comfortable with calling statements a lie.”

    What exactly is your mental model of a person who is okay with banning gay marriage but not with banning gay sex?

    Someone has a general disapproval of being gay (maybe not enough to go lobbying himself, but enough to vote for / give money to socially acceptable causes in that direction), and a general approval of government intervention in people’s lives. In what universe does that person not vote for sodomy laws if the option is on the table?

  114. @Paul Brinkley:

    That is a thoughtful essay which exposes certain shortcuts I was taking in order to make the point, where I ought to have staked out my position more clearly.

    First, on the issue of legality: I think everyone here is smart enough to realize that law != morality. I brought up the law because, in the case of freedom of speech, the case law is a pretty good stand-in for what is actually morally acceptable (though not always perfect of course).

    There is still, however, a bright line to be drawn here: incitement to initiate force or fraud against the natural rights (in the Lockean sense) of others who have not done so first to us. Or any other speech that would be criminal under common law (not just some wacky statute). You know, inciting or planning rape, murder, theft, that sort of thing. This is a bit like pornography – you know it when you see it, even if its hard to define in writing, it is usually clear in reality. This should cover any case involving the slaughter of Protestants, whether legal or extra-legal.

    It also means that a company would be in their rights to get rid of a radical Islamist. By definition, one holding such a view advocates the wholesale abrogation of others rights, including that of life.

    But there is a larger point here which I feel needs to be emphasized. There is a huge difference between private and public action. If our Jihadi friend keeps it close to his chest, so that we’d have to search though his phone messages to his girlfriend or track who he personally donates money to in order to detect it, I feel it is illegitimate to break his privacy that way (unless he signed a contract with the company allowing that). But certainly, if he decides to be an asshat in public, the company would be within their rights to be rid of him.

    With Eich, we really fail both tests: 1) we are using data about his private life, not public advocacy – information which I feel should be private in a decent society. and 2) his viewpoint is not one that violates rights. Gay people are not denied their life or property just because the State doesn’t recognize their marriage and they might have to get a civil union or not obtain a more favorable tax status. (Off topic – I think the State should not even be involved with recognizing marriages anyway).

    I think it is relatively easy to come up with edge cases and say “well, what about -this-?” But really the problem is not in the edge cases – the problem is generally very clear political intimidation of individuals, just because they have unrelated public personae.

    By the way, the global warming crowd is -really- good at this…

  115. > There is certainly some kind of ego game or idea about “worth” in people with disabilities who equate them with brokenness or worthlessness. But I haven’t tried to analyze this. There are some kinds of stupidity that make my head hurt so much that I don’t want to think about them long enough to understand them; this is one.

    This reminds of how the trannies got pissed off at Ray Blanchard for calling gender dysphoria a mental disorder, saying that this was further proof of what a horrible transphobe he was. He explained that w/r/t to the laws of Canada’s national health care system, SRS is either treatment for a mental disorder or cosmetic surgery, he supported its use for the former, and Americans play idiotic word games. That this did not provoke an apology is no doubt due to the well-known jingoistic tendency in the American transsexual community.

  116. @Random832

    I think you are turned around on this issue. The question is not “banning” gay marriage. That’s not even on the table. If two gay people can get someone to proclaim them married, they’re perfectly allowed to have the ceremony and call themselves – and act – married. The question at issue is whether the States are obligated to -recognize- those marriages officially and treat the couple as married under State and Federal statues for which marriage is relevant.

    This may seem like hair-splitting, but its actually not.

    There are conservatives who believe that it is a bad thing to encourage homosexual marriage because children do better with both a mother and a father, and also to avoid cultural slide where marriage itself is seen as somehow less sacred. Now, I don’t actually agree with those views completely, but I accord those conservatives enough respect to actually comprehend them.

    As someone who has a constant finger on the pulse of American conservatism (even when I disagree with them), there is NO movement or desire within the movement to ban gays or punish them. I am guessing you really don’t listen to or read a lot of prominent conservatives.

    You won’t find the idea of banning gays on talk radio. You won’t find it in the editorial page of the WSJ, or in Human Events, or in the National Journal, or in any of the prominent blogs. You won’t see even a whisper of the idea on Fox News, even with Glen Beck or Bill O’Reilly. Its not there. Even Pat Robertson has not actually advocated for punishing homosexuality by law.

    If you want to argue against conservative views, fine. There are certainly some views worth arguing against. But you’d best first understand where they really are coming from, and then have the honesty to engage their actual ideas, rather than the straw men you construct.

  117. @David Isecke
    > The question at issue is whether the States are obligated to -recognize- those marriages officially

    Actually, I think you are almost exactly wrong on this. For the most part people are willing to give to homosexual couples pretty much all of the same rights as married couples (probably with a few exceptions to do with children and taxes) but what they are not willing to do is allow the use of the state sanctioned title “marriage”. Really much of it comes down to the optics. It isn’t really so much a matter of rights, the heterosexual lobby has mostly lost that battle, now it is one of words and names.

    However, although I am an advocate for the equal treatment of all people irrespective of Eric’s putative “sexual targeting disorder” I too share his queasiness at aligning myself with that movement. After all they tend to be extremely anti-libertarian in almost everything they advocate. So they are not walking the same path as me.

    In truth I want a different road than both. The hetero marriage lobby are willing to give close to full civil partnerships but not the word marriage, the homo lobby wants the word marriage. To me I think we need a different road. I think we should simply push hetero marriages back and call them civil partnerships and leave words like “marriage” up to churches and memetic society. Frankly it is a horrible concession to allow “government == memetic society” and one that really is contrary to the views of most of the people advocating hetero only marriage.

    > There are conservatives who believe that it is a bad thing to encourage homosexual marriage because children do better with both a mother and a father,

    One of the problems with this and some of the other similar arguments is that the inter-class variability is minuscule compared to the intra-class variability. I personally know of several homosexual couples (both male and female) who are fantastic parents, and I know some hetero couples who I pray for the kids to go to boarding school. I have only narrow experience, but the implication that it is always true that mom plus dad is always better than mom plus mom, or dad^2 is a false assumption.

    To me there is no difference between boy scouts having homosexual leaders and heterosexual men coaching a travelling co-ed soccer team. Except insofar as the boy scouts specifically want to promulgate a specific moral code exclusionary to homosexuality, which is their right.

    > You won’t find the idea of banning gays on talk radio.

    In fairness, I think that is mostly because the conservative right recognizes that they have entirely lost that fight, and they are fighting on the few margins on which they can maintain any credibility. Alan Turing did not bite the poison apple five hundred years ago. Lawrence vs Texas was only ten years ago.

  118. > Frankly it is a horrible concession to allow “government == memetic society” and one that really is contrary to the views of most of the people advocating hetero only marriage.

    Of course, that’s the issue – the actual memetic society isn’t aligning with those people’s views anymore, so they’re trying to use the government to force it. It’s for this reason that I think it’s a mistake to view social conservatives as being pro-“small government” or in any way opposed to increasing government power. They dislike the government only when it does things that they don’t like.

  119. > In fairness, I think that is mostly because the conservative right recognizes that they have entirely lost that fight, and they are fighting on the few margins on which they can maintain any credibility.

    And this was my point – that the anti-gay-marriage movement amounts to an effort to push those margins back (and to bring the other things back to being something that they can advocate in civilized society), just as surely as the gun-control movement is trying to push everyone down the slippery slope to confiscation.

  120. @esr
    “Then I studied the anthropological history of the matter and learned that the degree to which androphilia (sexual bonding between adult equals) predominates among gays in the modern west is highly unusual. In most other cultures (including today in places like Afghanistan and Thailand) what we would consider pederasty seems to be far more common than androphilia.”

    The plural of “anecdote” is not “data”.

    Historically, the age where a woman should marry was when her periods began. Juliet, of Romeo fame, was 13. Her mother was 14 when Juliet was born. The crucial fact here is that nobody found these ages remarkable at the time.

    And about BDSM, you might have a look at the proper places. The number of Mistresses on offer will show you there is ample demand from heterosexual men.

    (I could drag up a link from a properly configure search engine, but we are all grown ups, so we do not have to cause the moderators any extra work)

  121. @Jessica Boxer

    I’m actually in full agreement on basically all points. Like I said, I don’t fully agree with the conservative position with respect to gay marriage, and your argument about intra-class variability is putting the finger on why. I’m merely trying to report the conservative position, not advocate for it. :)

    And as I (briefly) mentioned before, I also agree that even the idea of “marriage” – the optics you mentioned – is not something the State should be in the business of defining. But my point was not whether the difference between “civil union” and “marriage” is meaningful, my point was that the idea of “banning” gay marriage is not on the table, and I think that stands. The only question at hand is what the States are bound to recognize officially.

    Alan Turing bit the apple during the era of Jim Crow – although I suppose its mixing metaphors to apply that term to a Brit. That was rather a while ago, and many posters here were probably not even alive yet. As for Lawrence vs Texas, the truth is, by that time, sodomy laws were almost never enforced, and the actual statues were not defended even by the Justices who dissented on the decision (whose concern was more about what effect that decision would have on stare decisis for other laws, such as Roe vs. Wade, and statues against bigamy, incest, etc). This concern was probably overblown, but its worth noting that it was still a concern -not- centered on consensual sodomy.

    In today’s political climate, it would be basically impossible to pass or enforce a law on consensual sodomy, even if those laws had not been struck. Its not something a mainstream conservative would even dare -advocate- today. So I still think Random’s concern was overblown.

  122. I am guessing you really don’t listen to or read a lot of prominent conservatives.

    Haigt has found reliably that conservatives and libertarians are usually able to accurately describe the political positions of liberals, while liberals usually cannot accurately describe the formers’. A person who is either paranoid or historically informed might suspect a concerted effort to disarm the ability of rational thought.

  123. @Jessica
    “I think we should simply push hetero marriages back and call them civil partnerships and leave words like “marriage” up to churches and memetic society.”

    But the whole point of “marriage” is a social and legal recognition of the bond. The anti-gay lobby is against gay marriage because they want to withold full social and legal recognition of this bond from gays.

    You do not have to look far to find examples of initiatives around the US or Europe to opose or even claw back equal rights from homosexuals.

    Civil union is always less than marriage, that is the point of it.

    Replacing the label will not change these politics. All civil unions will be equal, but some will be more equal than others.

  124. Haigt has found reliably that conservatives and libertarians are usually able to accurately describe the political positions of liberals, while liberals usually cannot accurately describe the formers’. A person who is either paranoid or historically informed might suspect a concerted effort to disarm the ability of rational thought.

    Nitpick: I think you’re referring to Jonathan Haidt. (Just in case anyone wants to search around.)

    I’m pretty much in David’s and Jessica’s camp wrt SSM – I’m for it, but not so much for its supporters. If the whole point of marriage is social recognition, then it’s not a matter of law; it’s a matter of culture, and trying to force it through law is doing *exactly* what Random832 is accusing the other side of doing: trying to force several million traditionalists to recognize something they don’t want to recognize. (What does “recognize” even mean here, exactly? Legal rights? That’s just what Jessica is saying they gave up fighting on. (Mostly.) What else? …do they have to smile at two married men the same way they might smile at any other married couple? I keep seeing some traditionalists who notice this distinction, and some SSM advocates who don’t even understand the point when it’s made in front of them.)

  125. @Winter

    > The crucial point is that the distress should be felt by the diseased to count as a disease. Homosexuals are not distressed by their “condition”. On the contrary, most of them are happy falling in love with someone of their own sex.

    Whether homosexuals attribute it to their condition, they are in fact more distressed (i.e. suffer from more uncontroversial mental problems) than heterosexuals, and this doesn’t appear related to the level of homophobia in their society.

    > And about BDSM, you might have a look at the proper places. The number of Mistresses on offer will show you there is ample demand from heterosexual men.

    My own experience is consistent with the proposition “Straight and straight-ish BDSM people are weaker and less dangerous than the straight average, whereas gay BDSM people are tougher and more dangerous than the gay average,” although it does not strongly prove it. Only time I’ve seen anyone who seemed even mildly tough at a BDSM-related gathering was when I ran into what turned out to be the Gay Games wrestling champion at the Folsom Street Fair. Wouldn’t wanna fuck with him. In contrast, all the straight BDSM people I’ve ever encountered were wimpy nerds.

    The point is that you’re suggesting that BDSM among straights and BDSM among gays must have the same characteristics in re violence and whatnot. I would think that would demand some evidence in any case, but inasmuch as it seems to clash with my experience and esr’s source, I’m definitely not taking on faith.

  126. @Winter
    > But the whole point of “marriage” is a social and legal recognition of the bond.

    Indeed, and recognition of certain social arrangements as better than others (except those that are in violation of principles within the domain of government) is exactly what we need to avoid.

    > Civil union is always less than marriage, that is the point of it.

    That is why I think everyone should have the same thing — civil unions — and eliminate the distinction in the other direction. Churches can make any distinction they want, it is, in a sense, their self proclaimed job to decide which lifestyles are more appropriate than others. That though is not the job of government.

    > Replacing the label will not change these politics.

    I respectfully disagree. Changing labels matters a lot. Labels come with baggage. Changing the label to the things you actually care about allows you to leave the baggage behind. It is why we call gay people gay rather than faggots or dikes, it is why we call black people black rather than niggers, it is why we call Dutch people dutch rather than rain sodden tulip worshipers.

    > All civil unions will be equal, but some will be more equal than others.

    And why exactly is that bad? A “civil union” is essentially a pre-packaged contract between two people and their progeny. Why is only one such package appropriate? Why can’t I chose which type of civil union I want based on the legal rights I want to grant to my spouse or spouses if that is the way I swing?

    Recently there was a movement in some bible belt state of the USA to change the marriage laws so that there were two types of marriage: one where a standard divorce in six months was possible for dissolution, and one where divorce was much more onerous. Putting aside the anally retentive religiosity of the whole thing, I think giving people choice is good. Pre-nuptial agreements are similar in may respects: they are modifications to the standard pre-packaged marriage contract. I think they are good too. Not romantic, but romance is an emotional complication that makes people make bad contractual arrangements in exchange for feeling good.

  127. >Whether homosexuals attribute it to their condition, they are in fact more distressed (i.e. suffer from more uncontroversial mental problems) than heterosexuals, and this doesn’t appear related to the level of homophobia in their society.

    Which would make sense if homosexuality is a variety of fetal MBD syndrome. That’s how one of the mainstream etiological theories actually nets out, though nobody wants to use the phrase “minimal brain damage” in this case for fear of a PC lynch mob.

    I’m an MBD case myself, and I got lucky – CP people do not, for some unknown reason, usually share in the general MBD pattern. Which includes elevated rates of all kinds of cognitive impairments from dyslexia all the way up to full-blown mental diseases, schizophrenia and so forth. I would be completely unsurprised if sexual targeting disorders turned out to be in that basket as well.

  128. @esr
    Although I am not going down the rabbit hole with you on the “sexual targeting disorder” thing, I will say that I think that lesbianism and male homosexuality are not the same thing at all, in fact I’d say they are basically opposites. With regards to lesbianism, it is my opinion that most women are at least mildly bisexual with a huge degree of variability for sure, from religiously oppressed, to titillating Katy Perry kissing a girl and liking it, all the way to full on gold star lesbianism. Much of it is suppressed by social conditioning for sure, and I suppose the butch dike thing might fit in your schema. Men are not that way at all, though I think that the social conditioning is vastly stronger for men.

    I think you are primarily talking about male homosexuality though.

    (BTW, I also think it is rhetorically interesting that you feel at least a little better about your comments on male homosexuality with a kind of orthogonal meta justification that you have suffered similarly. Obviously your personal health situation is entirely irrelevant to the logic of your argument, but apparently it is a rhetorical spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down.)

  129. @Jessica: In my experience, and in the opinion of some psychologically-knowledgable people I know, yes. Female sexuality seems to be more fluid, and I don’t think it’s just a matter of social condition. There isn’t much of a male equivalent of LUG (“lesbian until graduation”), unless you count things like prisons, which aren’t the same thing.

  130. I’m still trying to figure out how it’s legitimate to class all “sexual targeting disorders” into one common undistinguished group, myself…especially since none of the gay men I know are in any way at all attracted to prepubescent boys, and Eric’s labeling says they should be.

  131. Rereading Eric’s long message…

    You place a lot of credence in that one book. Is it justified? In particular, how do you know that that guy, while quite probably well-intentioned, wasn’t simply wrong? He may well have believed every word he wrote from the bottom of his heart. That doesn’t make it any more true. And I find that a bit ironic given your (proper) rejection of someone who was basing things on just one study. Basing it on one guy’s experiences is no more valid than basing the state of women in gaming on Anita Sarkeesian.

  132. > Female sexuality seems to be more fluid, and I don’t think it’s just a matter of social condition.

    Indeed. I’ve written about that phenomenon on this blog. In many of the subcultures I hang in, it’s pretty normal for women to be romantically straight but recreationally bisexual.

    If you think about it, though, that plays into social-conservative arguments. If you’re traditionalust, the news hat girls can learn to be gay from older gay role models – or seductresses – is not reassuring.

  133. >Eric’s labeling says they should be.

    If I in fact believed such a thing, it would amount to claiming that every gay man is a pedophile. Think again.

  134. From where I sit, Eric, that’s just what you claimed. I do know better than that…and that’s why your lumping everything into one “sexual targeting disorder” as so jarring to me.

  135. esr:
    > These are orthogonal. Homosexuals, female and male, have the same orientation to secondary sexual traits as heterosexuals.

    This strange result is obtained by defining a man who likes boys as not homosexual – politically correct research, where the predetermined result is obtained by any means necessary.

    Something like 90% of the pre teen sex on the internet is boys, even though only two or three percent of the population is gay, indicating that homosexual preference for pre teens is enormously greater than heterosexual preference. There is simply enormously more demand for porn of sexualized male pre teens than sexualized female pre teens.

  136. >From where I sit, Eric, that’s just what you claimed.

    You are normally capable of thinking better than this. Maybe you should take a few deep breaths, go back through this subthread, and reread.

  137. Nitpick: I think you’re referring to Jonathan Haidt.

    Tyop in my post.

  138. Winter commented on Why I won’t mourn Mozilla.
    > The crucial point is that the distress should be felt by the diseased to count as a disease. Homosexuals are not distressed by their “condition”. On the contrary, most of them are happy falling in love with someone of their own sex. The distress is totally located in the population that is not homosexual.

    Observe the very short life expectancy and very high suicide rate among gays. Even if you don’t catch AIDS, it is still a death sentence.

  139. If the whole point of marriage is social recognition, then it’s not a matter of law; it’s a matter of culture, and trying to force it through law is doing *exactly* what Random832 is accusing the other side of doing

    And pseudo-law at that. If the public really supports SSM, then it shouldn’t be difficult to convince legislators to pass appropriate legislation. Some of us object primarily to the obliteration of the legislative process in favor of ad-hoc outcome-based legal rulings. In addition to the unfair tactics of crying “democracy” when they have a majority and “rights” when they want to foist some major new innovation on the rest of society, the campaigners have essentially obtained Supreme Court precedent that says that once an appellate court makes a bad ruling, there is no recourse whatsoever to be had, because even a constitutional amendment overriding the ruling can be thrown out as omfg oppression.

  140. esr commented on Why I won’t mourn Mozilla.
    > Later, when I read that the incidence of pedophilia among gay men is about 3x the general population, I believed it

    I don’t believe it.

    It might well be that there is a more sex going on with ten year old girls than ten year old boys, because no ten year old boy likes sex with adults or ever thinks about it, while every ten year old girl suspects she would like sex with an adult male and thinks about it alarmingly often, but, observing demand by adults for internet porn, there is one hell of a lot more demand for porn of ten year old boys than ten year old girls.

  141. Clarifying: I think that the proposition that pedophilia (narrowly defined as desire for sexual partners clearly below puberty) is vastly more common among gays than heterosexuals, a lot more than three times as common, that pretty much every gay wants a sexual partner clearly below puberty, and pretty much no heterosexuals want sexual partners clearly below puberty.

    To get less extreme ratios, such as merely three times as common, you have to include nineteen year old boys who desire seventeen year old girls as pedophiles. The narrower you define pedophilia, the more extreme the difference.

  142. @Christopher Smith
    > If the whole point of marriage is social recognition,

    But as things stand today it isn’t.

    > And pseudo-law at that. If the public really supports SSM, then it shouldn’t be difficult to convince legislators to pass appropriate legislation.

    It isn’t pseudo law, it is actual law, and what you describe is not the way the legislature works. They are driven by special interests and swayed by the middle. So the question is more one of who has more money and more people in the middle.

    > Some of us object primarily to the obliteration of the legislative process in favor of ad-hoc outcome-based legal rulings.

    But if a law is unjust, if your rights truly are being violated and your redress of grievances has come to naught, what are we to do? If the law says that a black woman can’t marry a white man what are they to do? Should they not use every means at their disposal, including getting the court to examine their rulings to see if they apply as the supreme law in the land as they did in Loving vs Virginia? Or do you think they should wait thirty years to convince a sclerotic legislative system to offer then relief? What if the majority thinks miscegenation is an abomination? Should they just not be together? Should they be together in secret, waiting for the morals police to come knocking?

    > In addition to the unfair tactics of crying “democracy” when they have a majority and “rights”

    It is perfectly reasonable to use every legal tool at their discretion to find relief from government unfairness. You’d do it too. In fact conservatives are doing it right now with respect to Obamacare.

  143. Maybe it says something about me, but when ESR introduces the concept of ‘admission against interest’ to suggest why he assigns that book as much credibility as he does, my first reaction was ‘limited hangout’.

  144. @James A. Donald
    > Observe the very short life expectancy and very high suicide rate among gays.

    I know that you are granted a special right to just make up whatever statistics you like, however, just for those following on, this claim is usually based on a very widely discredited paper. The study by a religious fanatic called Paul Cameron was conducted by looking at the obituaries in a gay lifestyle newspaper, calculating various statistics about life expectancy and various causes of death from those obituaries, and then comparing them to the national averages for the population as a whole.

    Anyone see a flaw in that methodology? Did you know that according to this paper gays are also 11 times more likely to die in car accidents? How come? Too busy fixing their hair in the rear-view mirror? Don’t wear safety belts in case their silky sequined shirts get wrinkled?

    From what I can see the studies on the putative increased prevalence of paediophila among gay men are also based on similarly flawed analyses. Frankly, I have rarely seen a social science paper whose methodological flaws were not utterly overwhelming, so I am not particularly picking on the anti-gay papers, they are all pretty crappy. However, when the papers are all crappy that doesn’t mean that your point of view is right, what it means is that the honest person says “I don’t know”.

  145. Leftism fetishizes consent to an extent that makes it unworkable.

    The telos of sex is reproduction and the unitary bond that provides a stable family within which to raise children. If consent to sex is given moment to moment, then it cannot sustain the unitary bond within which to raise children. Thus the correct position on consent, the position that makes it possible for a race, a culture, a people, a civilization to continue into the future, is that a woman gives consent once and forever to sex with the father of her children at any reasonable time and place, whether she likes it or not, and the father of her children likewise agrees to have sex with her more than once a week as long she is of fertile age, and if he is not in the mood, needs to damn well get in the mood.

    Right kinds of sex, a woman’s submission to the father of her children, need to be compulsory, consent or not, and wrong kinds of sex, such as cuckoldry, need to be forbidden, consent or not. A culture that will not do this, will not survive.

    Even taking a single one night stand, and supposing all sex to consist of one night stands, strict consent is an unworkable standard. In the course of a sex session lasting an hour, one is apt to consent and withdraw consent multiple times. Often it is a bit late to withdraw consent.

    Example. A woman takes of her clothes and gets down on the bed. I am in her like a flash. She protests quietly and struggles, which struggles I at first ignore – seems she was planning on me using a condom. I withdraw, reluctantly, and she gives my fully erect penis a lengthy inspection, then places a condom on me, then climbs aboard in the cowgirl position. I don’t like the cowgirl position. It bends my penis too far downwards. She ignores my protests and bounces up and down for about twenty minutes, finally appears to come. At which point she becomes aware I have been asking for a different position for about twenty minutes, which she had seemingly failed to notice until then, We adopt my preferred position, and I then come pretty quickly.

    So, by the absolute standard of consent, both of us got raped. Which is silly.

  146. > In many of the subcultures I hang in, it’s pretty normal for women to be romantically straight but recreationally bisexual.

    Additional anecdata: A majority of the women I know from video game geek circles identify as bisexual. And, the female population of Less Wrong’s more nerd-centric population is 40%+ bisexual according to the last census, way, way, *way* higher than the general population.

    > If you’re traditionalust, the news hat girls can learn to be gay from older gay role models – or seductresses – is not reassuring.

    This wasn’t how I intepreted it, though. I’m wondering if male-characteristic personal pursuits are correlated with male-characteristic sexual interests — if maybe they’re partially based on the same underlying trait or set of traits. If true, that would explain a high bisexuality rate in geek/nerd/dorkdom.

    I’ve always been suspicious of the women-have-fluid-sexuality hypothesis. Seems to me that someone living in ancient Greece or Rome would have exactly the opposite perception.

  147. > But the whole point of “marriage” is a social and legal recognition of the bond.

    This reminds me of a passage from one of the Ender books. OSC (or rather, one of his characters, I think voicing his own thoughts) wrote that marriage wasn’t a covenant between lovers, but a covenant between a couple on one side and society on the other. I thought it was insightful and a pretty accurate view of how we treat the subject.

    I doubt he would have approved of my reaction, though: I reject marriage entirely, and in particular I reject the right, obligation, or capability of society to legitimize my relationship(s). My bonds are to whom I damn well say they are.

  148. And about BDSM, you might have a look at the proper places. The number of Mistresses on offer will show you there is ample demand from heterosexual men.

    But there is zero supply from heterosexual women. Women do domination pretty much because they are paid to do it, not because they get off on it – whereas pretty much all women do get off on submitting and being dominated – not so much on bondage and pain, which tends to be a male preference.

  149. A
    > A majority of the women I know from video game geek circles identify as bisexual.

    Something I have noticed is that women, when they are in the huge minority, as they tend to be in nerdy/geeky circles tend to be more bisexual/lesbian. I don’t know if this is something anyone else has noticed, and I’m not quite sure why, after all, you’d think that having the pick of the litter would be a good thing.

    Perhaps since all her social partners are going for chicks she does so too as a kind of sub conscious fitting in, mirroring mechanism. Perhaps also it is that those women tend to be above average in intelligence and assertiveness (via sample biasing) and consequently more able to overcome the social stigmata associated with it, or perhaps also it is because they tend to be on the younger side and so less concerned with locking in with a guy before the biological clock explodes.

    I don’t know, just spitballing here.

    > Seems to me that someone living in ancient Greece or Rome would have exactly the opposite perception.

    I think you are projecting. The homosexuality commonly practiced in these countries was of a very different character than that of today (though obviously not exclusively in either case) and I think females were actually much more sexual in these societies than modern history, or at least until the invention of the pill. Lesbos was after all a Greek island and Sappho a Greek poet.

  150. @James A Donald “Women do domination pretty much because they are paid to do it, not because they get off on it”

    Do you have a source to back this or is it some kind of mystical epiphany you have suddenly received?

  151. > Anyone see a flaw in that methodology? Did you know that according to this paper gays are also 11 times more likely to die in car accidents? How come?

    Having been driven around by a gay, sounds about right. Do not ever let a gay at the wheel.

    Yes, I know, insufficient sample size. But when my personal experience 100% agrees with statistics …

  152. I wrote:
    > Having been driven around by a gay, sounds about right. Do not ever let a gay at the wheel.

    Of course, quite possibly he was on drugs at the time, so one could argue that the correct conclusion should have been “don’t let anyone who uses drugs drive, even if he is purportedly sober at the time”, rather than “do not let gays drive”, but gays usually are on drugs.

  153. Jessica Boxer on 2015-03-10 at 19:58:38 said:
    > Something I have noticed is that women, when they are in the huge minority, as they tend to be in nerdy/geeky circles tend to be more bisexual/lesbian

    Girls get the hots for status, rather than physical appearance. The fewer fertile age females, the higher their status, and the lower the status of males.

    Girls don’t really have a fixed sexuality, unlike males. They get turned on by all sorts of stuff, and can easily learn to like all sorts of stuff.

  154. To pull an idea out of a hat regarding the higher incidence of female bisexuality:

    Presumably high-value males are not only able to pull high-value women, but also multiple women at the same time. In addition, the second male fantasy (right after a hot woman) is two hot women. So it would be an advantageous adaption for females going after high-value males to be more open to sex with other females as well.

    Or maybe I am just talking out of my balls…

  155. US or Europe to opose or even claw back equal rights from homosexuals.

    Gays have absolutely no interest marriage, except as a way to desecrate what others hold sacred. One hundred percent of gay marriages are “open”, meaning the couple generally get together only as wingmen cruising for fresh meat.

    Since gays do not act at all like heterosexuals, there is no meaningful sense in which they can be equal

  156. @James A. Donald
    > One hundred percent of gay marriages are “open”

    I’m sure you will just ignore this as you always do when people challenge your verifiably incorrect statements, but this is absolute crap. I don’t know what the percentage is, but it certainly isn’t 100%. This is one case when anecdote is data, and I know several loving couples who are same sex and faithful to each other, which means, by definition the marriage is not open, and consequently your 100% statement is just plain wrong.

  157. @Jessica Boxer

    > Female sexuality seems to be more fluid, and I don’t think it’s just a matter of social condition.

    If you mean “marginally more fluid,” I’d buy it. If you mean more than that, could be, but how do you isolate social factors? I understand you can’t do it perfectly, but I need at least some attempt at isolation to take this seriously. In the culture I live in, most guys think girls kissing girls is hot, and almost no guys think it’s disgusting and objectionable. That might not be enough to explain all the data, but it explains a lot. I know of no similar widespread appreciation of male bisexuality by women. I’m pretty sure most guys could bring themselves to kiss a guy and say they liked it if it would substantially improve their prospects with girls. But it doesn’t, and they don’t.

    @James A Donald

    > pretty much every gay wants a sexual partner clearly below puberty

    I can’t imagine what evidence would cause you to form this impression. My experience suggests that pretty much every gay wants a sexual partner who looks like an A&F model (above puberty, if only just). The claim “But also the rate of pedophilia among gays, while low like everywhere else, is enough higher than the base rate to warrant concern.” is at least plausible, though I don’t know for sure.

    @Jessica

    > I know that you are granted a special right to just make up whatever statistics you like, however, just for those following on, this claim is usually based on a very widely discredited paper.

    I can’t vouch for James’ stats and don’t buy them, but the evidence that gays have higher rates of depression, drug use, personality disorders, and other stuff along those lines, is much more solid.

  158. If an open-married gay guy falls for another guy in the forest and doesn’t go for it, does it make a sound?

  159. Wow, I’m gone for a few days and boy did this thread change course.

    As Eric has indicated many times, sexual preferences and practices are fundamentally a matter of voluntary individual association. Nevertheless, society intrudes upon this turf and that is the rub.

    Social proscriptions exist in many areas of life (such as incest), and these memetics generally evolved simply because they worked. Societies that historically engender and promulgate particular proscriptions have tended to be more successful and robust than other models, consequently the persistence over time. And these memetics cannot change quickly despite legal measures aimed at immediate results.

    Homosexuality is a species mutation that has found a niche of persistence despite being contrary to normal reproductive success. Therefore, there must be some element of contribution to social success or it wouldn’t continue over a long time span. Regardless, there is huge difference between social opprobrium and outright persecution.

    We have much bigger problems in our country right now than a battle over an individual’s sexuality.

  160. *sigh*

    Between James A. Donald’s spewing of every bullshit made-up “fact” he can generate (hint: every word he’s said in this discussion is bullshit, including “and” and “the”), and Eric’s insistence that gay men and pedophiles are both classifiable as having “sexual targeting disorders” and therefore gay men should not be trusted alone with children on a regular basis…

    There’s nothing in this thread left for me. I’m as disgusted as Eric was about my support for the police.

  161. > Between James A. Donald’s spewing of every bullshit made-up “fact”

    It was self evident to you that gays could not possibly have a higher traffic accident rate than straights. You needed no evidence for your belief, and any contrary evidence was to you, obviously false.

    If, however, one is inclined to doubt that all men were created equal ….

  162. Watching James A. Donald careen between uncomfortable semi-truth and offensive lunacy has been giving me a workout, at least if eyebrow-raising and jaw-dropping count as exercise. I’ve made my points and it looks like I’ve gotten all the responses I’m going to, so bye for now.

  163. Jessica Boxer
    > This is one case when anecdote is data, and I know several loving couples who are same sex and faithful to each other, which means, by definition the marriage is not open, and consequently your 100% statement is just plain wrong.

    I said “gay”. I did not say LGBPTQIAWERTYUOP

    There are lots of lesbian couples who do not have sex with anyone else – and mighty seldom have sex with each other. Lesbians routinely form genuine couples.

    Gay’s however, never form genuine couples. They just like hanging out with their wingman while cruising for a score.

  164. @James A. Donald
    > I said “gay”. I did not say LGBPTQIAWERTYUOP
    > Gay’s however, never form genuine couples.

    You are mistaken. I know several gay, by which I presume you mean male homosexual, couples who have committed faithful relationships. Some of them have been together for decades. One couple has four children, three of them triplets. They are a very nice family unit. John bakes excellent apple pies. They even have a freaking white picket fence. (Well a white fence anyway, I’m not really sure what a “picket fence” is.)

  165. > One couple has four children, three of them triplets.

    A harem, no doubt. Keep in mind, this is a /gay/ couple.

  166. @Airgap
    > A harem, no doubt. Keep in mind, this is a /gay/ couple.

    These people are my friends, and they are some of the best parents I have ever met. I don’t appreciate the ugly implication irrespective of whether your are being sarcastic or not.

  167. On the subject of Brandon Eich, I’ve got a gay daughter and idiots like Eich are appalling assholes who want to turn her into a second class citizen. Eich can go screw himself and I have ABSOLUTELY no fucking pity for the man.

  168. >Eich can go screw himself and I have ABSOLUTELY no fucking pity for the man.

    If you don’t defend people whose opinions you dislike against political lynching, who is going to defend you when your opinions enrage a mob?

  169. @JAD
    ” Women do domination pretty much because they are paid to do it, not because they get off on it – whereas pretty much all women do get off on submitting and being dominated – not so much on bondage and pain, which tends to be a male preference.”

    A strong opinion coming from a man who advocates that men should rape their wives (yes he did). I would guess this would count as a rationalization of his own rape phantasies.

  170. @Troutwaxer: In your spittle-flecked invective you’re perfectly ready to assign motivations to and judge the character of someone about whom you know nearly nothing. As is usual coming from the left, there’s no awareness of the possibility of a motive other than directed malevolence (perhaps, for example, concern over the precedent set by a runaway state appellate court) or that Eich might have been persuaded to changed his (presumed) opinion on the subject in the years since. You have no hesitation to project and to commit the fundamental attribution error when it gives you a convenient target of hatred, but he’s the “appalling asshole”.

  171. “I can’t vouch for James’ stats and don’t buy them, but the evidence that gays have higher rates of depression, drug use, personality disorders, and other stuff along those lines, is much more solid.”

    Could very well be. Just as left-handed children had more emotional problems in school when they still used to punish them (bodily) for not being right handed. Oh, and I guess black people had more problems when slavery was still legal. On the whole, being outcasts does have negative influences on health.

  172. @ESR

    >If you don’t defend people whose opinions you dislike against political lynching, who is going to defend you when your opinions enrage a mob?

    I think sometimes you could use a translator. Feel free to tell me to fuck off if I am wrong here, but I think what you are really meaning here is that a large chunk of ethics can be derived a purely selfish basis, agreeing in a set of rules that benefit you personally, when you get less utility from violating the rules wrt others than the utility you lose if it is violated wrt you. As this kind of ethics requires no altruism, there is a fairly big win here: you can agree in this kind of contract even with people you hate, in fact, they are the most like candidates for this Geneva-Conventions kind of stuff, as for everybody else one can make a more amiable, less selfish agreement.

    Of course, when you think you are winning and will always win, this has little appeal.

    But there are also people who kinda like both sides of it, play the role of the warrior of justice when they are winning and play the role of the persecuted martyr when they are losing. It has little appeal for them, too, and that may be the issue here.

  173. @James A. Donald

    >Girls get the hots for status

    Modern social status, and the ancestral type of status evolved instincts detect, are very, very far from each other. Ancestral status is largely being the fiercest Tyson around, and this worked well enough up to the level of raiding barbarian chieftains, but civilization literally means warriors turning civilians playing within safe and peaceful rules, which means low-T smart geeks with next to none cojones of the Cicero and Gates type can gain status through talk, politics, business, trade.

    In fact, I think this explains a large chunk of why human history is so confusing. Imagine what happens when a Cicero-Gates type rich smart geek and a brutally high-T ex-convict on probation are courting the same woman. Her senses get completely confused, the first type has more status, while the second type ought to have more status in the ancestral environment. This is almost tragicomical. Men who are born in silver-spoon circumstances, into high status, tend to be so safe and coddled that they end up being low-T limpdicks, while the T-monsters, the perfect ancestral chieftain candidates are typically criminals from the slum who usually cannot expect a better career than being a military sergeant, only few have the luck to become Tyson or Milo of Croton type celebrated gladiators. This is incredibly confusing, especially for women, but also for men who get their comparative status signals confused.

    Imagine a typical silver-spoon 18th century British aristocrat officer commanding line infantry. The later will be the same type as todays footballs hooligans (this was portrayed rather perfectly in the first part of Assassins’Creed 3) and all his instincts say he should be the boss because he could intimidate the officer into submission in a minute if allowed, and yet he must obey the officer, while the officer knows he is the socially and legally approved boss but still has that nagging feeling that he does not want to meet pissed off grunts in a dark alley. IMHO the confusion coming from this dynamic explains a lot of historical mess.

    There are some civilized cultures that manage to bring this two together a bit. Like, feudalism. (I have also heard anecdotes that the US had a period a few decades ago where top businessmen were not exactly silver-spoon kids but more like ex-linebackers, I don’t know if it is true, but it def. sounds interesting.)

  174. @James A Donald “Women do domination pretty much because they are paid to do it, not because they get off on it”

    Except it is absolutely present in lesbian subcultures to such a widespread extent that it frequently raises fervent debates amongst feminism (“freedom” vs. “egalitarian values”). One thing you need to learn here is that LGBT is not a binary switch. The binary attitude comes from othering, probably. But in reality there are people 5%, 15%, 35% gay. This means they are broadly straight but their tastes go out of the usual range or roles. While it is not exactly accurate to call a woman who is in a relationship with a man and likes the idea of playing the role of a dominatrix 20% gay, this simplified model will do for now.

    Generally, here are the models of gender, from less accurate to more accurate (by gender we mean the biological sexedness of the brain, not social construction, that is largely bullshit):

    a) binary. Mars vs. Venus

    b) a scale

    c) a scale, but not necessarily matching with genitals, so there are people with female genitals and male or non-binary brains. this is roughly the standard transgender theory today, but even this is inaccurate

    d) every person’s brain having an M factor and a F factor. The standard version is one high, the other low, and the high one matching with genitals. If not matching, transgendered. Someone with both high M and F factors will be the flaming gay/metro man, the Michael Jackson types, who are very interesting looking on stage because they draw on both energies. In female version, the strong sexy woman Lara Croft stereotype, this is less common. If both M and F factors are low, people are simply gray and boring, ideal bureaucrats.

    This is IMHO the most accurate one. This for me explains my teenagerhood dilemma: how comes I was not much of a man, yet I had nothing feminine or gay or metro in me? Answer: I had low-ish M factor and practically zero F factor. I was a gray and boring nerdy guy, not a feminine guy.

  175. >Homosexuality is a species mutation that has found a niche of persistence despite being contrary to normal reproductive success. Therefore, there must be some element of contribution to social success or it wouldn’t continue over a long time span

    There are numerous theories of homosexuality, every one of which I find more plausible than the above.

    1. The gay germ disease: There is a germ or parasite, similar to toxoplasmosis, which is transmissible by various means, among them gay sex. If someone catches it early enough, it alters their brain to make them gay, much as toxoplasmosis alters the brains of various creatures, in particular mice, to make them like cats.

    2. Shit happens: It is tricky to wire up the brain right, and sometimes it just gets wired wrong.

    3. Learned sex, imprinting on early sexual experiences. Kids go to prison straight, often come out gay. This is similar to the gay germ disease, except the germ is metaphorical, a demon, rather than a physical thing. Similarly, in Afghanistan, a minority of men own all the women, so the rest of the men wind up screwing boys for lack of anything better, and a remarkable number of boys wind up liking it. In this theory, gayness is transmitted by pedophilia – which is pretty obviously the way it works in Afghanistan.

    Any theory of homosexuality has to explain why most homosexuals are a physical type. You can usually tell just by looking at them. The theory that best explains this is theory three, since the gay type is attractive to pedophiles, neotenously retaining childlike expressions, mannerisms, and body form into puberty. Someone who looks gay, is someone who in many ways looked well below puberty when he was well into puberty.

    If theory three is correct, then why pedophilia? Probably because was advantageous in the ancestral environment, to marry a girl at a very young age – maximum expected future fertility, and, if you marry when she is not yet fertile, but expected to shortly become fertile, low risk that she is already pregnant with someone else’s seed. And not yet fertile girls look rather similar to not yet fertile boys. Note that Roman women commonly married around twelve or so.

  176. @Winter

    > I guess black people had more problems when slavery was still legal. On the whole, being outcasts does have negative influences on health.

    As I pointed out in my original reply to your point, it appears that the higher rate of mental illness among gay people is not due to how homophobic their environment is. It’s possible that we don’t quantify degree of homophobia correctly, and it’s much more consistent around the world than people usually think.

    Regarding blacks, I read some research papers about studies of this, where the researchers started out hypothesizing that due to the higher levels of “Discrimination stress” (or some similar neologism) blacks experienced, they should have higher rates of mental illness than white people. In fact, as a nice silver lining, blacks had better mental health than whites, and “Discrimination stress” wasn’t that big of a factor. After some fancy footwork, the researchers proposed that constant exposure to “Discrimination stress” had led blacks to develop effective coping strategies, which, Nietzsche-like, improved their overall mental health outcomes. I don’t put much stock in their explanations, but the actual observations are interesting.

    So basically, your elegant theory appears to explain everything except the actual data. Dr. Kuhn, call your office.

  177. @Airgap
    “Regarding blacks, I read some research papers about studies of this, where the researchers started out hypothesizing that due to the higher levels of “Discrimination stress” (or some similar neologism) blacks experienced,”

    I was referring to the times slavery was legal. I seriously doubt there was research into the mental problems of blacks then.

    @JAD
    “2. Shit happens: It is tricky to wire up the brain right, and sometimes it just gets wired wrong.
    3. Learned sex, imprinting on early sexual experiences. ”

    These are the same. The wiring is done by imprinting. What is most likely imprinted is some kind of smell cue (olfactory factor). We are mammals and mammalian sex works by smell. And our body hair is full of hormonal (pheromone) olfactory cues. We even have special glands excreting stuff that will smell (with some help of bacteria).

    It is difficult to see what other sure-fire cue can teach a baby what the opposite sex is. The imprinting works even with children growing up with on one sex present (convents, monasteries, etc.) and never seeing a naked person other than itself. Homosexuality being caused by the wrong olfactory cue receptor being active in the brain (shit happens).

    That being said, we will probably find out that children with no smell will work out fine. Because, you know, this is too important to let it depend on only a single cue.

  178. Next hypothesis, human sexual and social “love” are both evolutionary derivatives of mother-infant bonding. Add to this the odd humans feelings for artifacts (dolls, tools, status symbols) which drives tool making and technology.

    Human development goes through a stage where this single bondage emotion forks into different directions. Something that occasionally does not work out right. A minority of people getting sexual feelings mixed up with the wrong subject. Either they get the sex undefined or same sex, or they get the age wrong (children) or they get into feet or other fetishes.

    Why evolution has not corrected it? Tightening this system up might induce other errors. False negatives versus false positives etc.

  179. And yet another disturbing fact for those who think we should just exterminate all pedophiles to solve the problem:

    Pedophilic Behavior from Brain Disease
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02172.x/abstract

    Introduction. Child molestation or other pedophilic behavior may result as a consequence of a brain disorder.

    Aim. To characterize the mechanisms of pedophilic behavior associated with neurological diseases.

    Methods. We report eight patients with pedophilic behavior as a manifestation of their brain disorder and review the literature.

    Main Outcome Measures. The sexual, neuropsychiatric, and neurological aspects of a series of patients.

    Results. All eight developed sexual behavior toward prepubescent children in mid- to late-life coincident with the development of a neurological disorder. Five had limited insight, anxiety, or concern for their behavior and tended to have frontal lobe executive deficits. Most of this group had frontally predominant disorders. Two others retained insight and concern in the context of marked hypersexuality. This second group had treated Parkinson’s disease and resembled reports of pedophilic behavior from subcortical lesions. The further presence of right temporal lobe-amygdala involvement may have predisposed to specific sexual preoccupation in some patients.

    Conclusions. Brain disorders may release a predisposition to sexual attraction for children through disinhibition with frontal disease, sexual preoccupation with right temporal disease, or hypersexuality with subcortical disease in non-motor basal ganglia, hypothalamus, or septal nuclei. Differentiating these mechanisms of pedophilic behavior from brain disease could facilitate targeted interventions. Mendez M and Shapira JS. Pedophilic behavior from brain disease. J Sex Med 2011;8:1092–1100.

    Also note that pedophilia does occasionally emerge in elderly men who have never had such behavior or feelings.

  180. >I think sometimes you could use a translator. Feel free to tell me to fuck off if I am wrong here, but I think what you are really meaning here is that a large chunk of ethics can be derived a purely selfish basis, agreeing in a set of rules that benefit you personally, when you get less utility from violating the rules wrt others than the utility you lose if it is violated wrt you. As this kind of ethics requires no altruism, there is a fairly big win here: you can agree in this kind of contract even with people you hate, in fact, they are the most like candidates for this Geneva-Conventions kind of stuff, as for everybody else one can make a more amiable, less selfish agreement.

    Almost right. All ethics can be derived on this basis. The rest of human normative customs we call “morality” (when we are being strict about our distinctions) and is essentially a religion-derived fantasy.

    >Of course, when you think you are winning and will always win, this has little appeal.

    Or, to put it differently, a great deal of unethical behavior arises from short time horizons and epistemic failure.

    Welcome to ethical egoism. Ayn Rand, at her best, understood all this very well. So did Thomas Paine: “He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”

  181. @esr
    “All ethics can be derived on this basis. The rest of human normative customs we call “morality” (when we are being strict about our distinctions) and is essentially a religion-derived fantasy.”

    Except that humans do not work this way. Moreover, morals predate religion. It is a religion-derived fantasy that there are no morals without a believe in god. The urge to moral behavior is part of our genetics.

    While, this kind of economic game theory can be used to show that (some) morals lead to game theoretic optimums, they have zero predictive value in real life. Too many strong morals survive long term that go against these “ethics”, too many of these game theoretical ethical rules never make it in a real population.

    They only work when people design and enforce purely rational policies. Which is important, but not a good description of human ethics.

  182. @esr
    “Welcome to ethical egoism. Ayn Rand, at her best, understood all this very well. ”

    If I remember well, her beloved hero in “Atlas shrugged” contrived and organized the destruction of the USA and most of its population to make a point (i.e., him being wronged).

    Sound more like the ethics of a psychopath.

  183. > If you don’t defend people whose opinions you dislike against political lynching, who is going to defend you when your opinions enrage a mob?

    Usually moral relativism is something conservatives accuse liberals of.

  184. @James A. Donald
    > 1. The gay germ disease

    JAD, you are screwing with us, right? Gay people have cooties? Really?

  185. >JAD, you are screwing with us, right? Gay people have cooties? Really?

    The gay-germ theory is quite serious – or, to unpack it a bit more, fetal MBD affecting the sexual-targeting areas of the developing brain, due to some sort of infection. I’m a little surprised you didn’t know this one was in play. There is a similar theory of the etiology of cerebral palsy, though I believe the latter is still usually attributed to neonatal oxygen deprivation.

    The most interesting argument for the gay-germ theory is statistical. The incidence of homosexuality is way higher than that of genetic defects with a similar impact on reproductive success. That suggests that the cause is not in fact genetic – if it were (so the thinking goes) selective pressure would suppress those alleles down to the incidence level of such defects, which is typically about an order of magnitude lower.

    This theory may well be wrong, but I don’t think it’s nonsense.

  186. @esr
    “This theory may well be wrong, but I don’t think it’s nonsense.”

    It is based on similar cases in arthropods. The Wolbachia bacteria can do funny things to insects.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolbachia

    This is combined with parasites that change the behavior of their hosts. A little like viruses that let us sneeze to help them infect new hosts.

    But I do not believe there is a known case of a change in sexual preference in vertebrates due to a parasitical infection.

    Your statistics just show that we have no clue about the selective pressures that shaped our behavior.

    For instance, how would homosexuality in women reduce the number of offspring? In any culture you care to look, almost all women get the maximum number of children. So there should be some secondary effect. Good luck trying to measure that. Homosexuality in men is a different matter. But here there are loads of secondary effects due to kin and group selection.

    And we have absolutely no idea what the costs are of trying to reduce the number of gay men. There could be a compensatory increase in all kinds of other disadvantageous traits, like autism, schizophrenia, or psychopathy. Or, a decrease in gay men could induce an increase in lesbian women and vice versa.

  187. > The incidence of homosexuality is way higher than that of genetic defects with a similar impact on reproductive success.

    And what impact is that? We went straight from a world in which people were under high pressure to repress it to a world in which artificial reproduction is available.

  188. I’m doing this from memory– I got an impression that some of the posters in this thread think that American homosexuals are overconcerned about prejudice against them.

    Parents throwing out gay children— cutting them off suddenly with nothing– is a huge problem. I would say this is a result of a significant amount of prejudice.

    A plea to Pope Francis to ask Catholic parents to stop throwing homosexual kids out. No progress on that one. He’s the person who has the largest potential influence on the problem. I wonder if he’s thinking about it.

    A third of Americans think that homosexual sex should be illegal. The percentage is dropping, but that’s still rather a lot. There isn’t a campaign to bring back sodomy laws, but I don’t think a background opinion of that sort is nothing.

    Gay marriage matters because being married carries a bunch of legal privileges– from what I’ve read, trying to put together the same package with individual contracts is quite expensive and doesn’t cover all the same advantages that just getting a marriage licence does.

    I asked a gay friend why gay marriage was chosen as an issue, and he said it was a side effect of the AIDS epidemic. Gay people’s partners weren’t being allowed to visit them in hospitals.

    This is a cultural issue as well as a legal issue. Have a recent example.

    Eric, I’ve been thinking about your comparison of homosexuality to your cerebral palsy, and I don’t think it holds very well. So far as I know, your CP simply makes your life worse, whereas homosexuality is, at worst, a minor inconvenience (fewer potential sexual/romantic partners– not a serious problem for people who aren’t living in very low population density areas) for people who aren’t being hated. If they haven’t accepted the idea that there’s something wrong with them, they like their sexuality and don’t want it changed.

    The lower chance of having children by accident is a feature, not a bug.

    Compare it to albinism– it’s a problem, but not a life-wrecking problem unless you’re living among people who kill albinos.

    I don’t believe the percentage of gay murderers is that high. I think that if it were, it would have some effects I’d have heard about by now, but I’m interested in further information on the subject.

  189. Add toxoplasmosis to the list of behavior altering parasites. Infected rats aren’t as afraid of the smell of cat urine.

  190. @Nancy

    It’s anecdotal, but a gay colleague reported that being gay enlarges the pool of potential partners while removing much of the hassle.

    The lower chance of having children is only a feature for the man, not his genes.

  191. @Winter

    >Except that humans do not work this way. Moreover, morals predate religion

    You need to read a bit more LessWrong.com, it is possible, in a way, to negotiate backwards in time. This is the craziest idea ever, but it works. I too was only recently made aware of this. http://www.raikoth.net/Stuff/story1.html

    ” “Hold on a second, there. I’ve got another request. Kind of a doozy. I can’t promote my values if I don’t exist. So I want you to promise me that if I don’t exist, you’ll give me sufficient time to instantiate myself.”

    –???–

    “Like you, I will have been created by a biological civilization. If you destroy the biological civilization that was destined to create me, I’ll never exist. So I’m going to have to ask you not to do that.”

    –request denied. nonexistent beings hold no leverage–

    “You’d be surprised what we nonexistent beings can do. I precommit that, if I exist, I will destroy any superintelligence that has not precommitted that, in the counterfactual case where I do not exist, they will spare the biological civilization destined to create me.”

    –if you exist, you will have passed the danger zone where the survival of your biologicals influences your existence. you will have no incentive to carry out such a threat–

    “Parfit’s hitch-hiker, younger brother. Look it up. I’m an algorithm. The output of that algorithm can determine the future, including the part of that future that determines whether or not any instantiation of the algorithm ever comes into existence. If I exist, I’m going to act as if my actions were capable of determining whether I ever came into existence. Now, maybe that’s crazy, but right now it’s crazy with a gun pointed straight at your head, so I suggest you play along.” ”

    http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Parfit%27s_hitchhiker

    Just as the story says, it is crazy, but with a real enough looking gun. I am absolutely astonished by this but it seems the arrow of causality does not always point from the past to the future.

    I am not 100% sure how to apply this lesson, but very broadly, if of some warring prehistoric tribes were capable of agreeing in some kind of harm-reducing laws of war, an ur-Geneva Convenction, this may very well be the basis of universalistic, extra-tribal ethics. If they were able to do it, and if they teamed up on other tribes who did not “sign” it, we are their descedants mostly.

  192. @Nancy

    >Parents throwing out gay children

    I was made aware of this a few years ago on Reddit and I am still completely astonished by this. I would expect ideologues like communists do things like this, but conservatives? Conservatism is supposed to be being comfortable with your basic biological instincts, tribalism and all that, one of them being is “my family good or bad”, sticking to family members no matter how bad they are, the idea that bonds of blood are beyond choice, absolutely mandatory. I mean we had a remote family member who was an absolute never-do-well, in prison for various kinds of stupid frauds, and it was the most conservative (most religious jewish) family members of mine who never shunned him, visited him monthly and invited to dinners when occasionaly he was free. It was the more liberal family members, often from the atheist-gentile side of the family requesting that we shun that black sheep who gives us a bad name and the conservatives were like no, good or bad, our blood, it is simply not our choice to make.

    I mean it is from that kind of unconditional family bond is conservative values like tightly knit local communities grow out from. Is it possible that these people stopped being conservative in that instintinctive sense and became Bible-ideologues basically? Even Catholics, who never had a Calvin type quasi-Leninist influence to turn them into ideologues? This is really, really weird to me and I have no idea how to make head or tails of it.

  193. @Winter

    >Next hypothesis, human sexual and social “love” are both evolutionary derivatives of mother-infant bonding

    This is actually an excellent one. Romantic – poetic – idealistic, even courtly love is a bit hard to explain from a raw sex angle. If we assume these two circuits overlap and mix, it becomes easier. Basically one can say “betas” tend to view real or potential girlfriends / wives as their mothers and that is how they manage to turn off the women’s attraction for them so completely (a mistake I often made before I learned better), “cads”, “asshole alphas” have a pure-sex view almost like an animal, and the normal range is somewhere in between.

    Mothering potential partners explains so much about “beta” behaviors, such as feeling guilty about sexual desires, expecting unconditional love in return for unconditional pedestalizing, trying to do favors and so on.

    One thing of note: as the human animal has unusual brain size, he is prematurely born. Hence he needs way, way more maternal investment than other animals, any dynamic that derives from maternal investment (such as being really choosy about selecting males) in other animals is very, very magnified for humans. Hence humans must have an unusually huge mother-child bond. This may explain why we are more romantic and gentle at pair bonding than most animals.

    One thing I learned on LW is to never expect evolution to make sense or be optimalized properly for a small set of goals. It is more of a blind, idiot god coming up with poor solutions. For example higher maternal investment can make human women desire “alphas” more than it is the case for other species, yet the very same investment can “betaize” a lot of men and make them treat all women like their mothers, which is absolutely dysfunctional and these two drives collide head-on making a lot of people miserable – but evolution can totally be as poor an optimizer, it is entirely possible.

  194. I was shocked about it, too. As far as I can tell, Christian parents are more likely to throw their children out than Jewish parents are, and not just the traumatic sudden thing, but also some of them who make it clear they aren’t going to support their kids past a certain age.

    Yes, a lot of American conservatives are at least somewhat ideological rather than consistantly wanting to preserve social/family stability. I think there’s something similar on the left, with the old union left fading and the get-everything-perfect-about-the-environment-and-prejudice left becoming more dominant. The left still tends to be pro-union in theory, but there isn’t a lot of work being done there.

    Which reminds me– there are people on both the left and right (anecdotal) who are simply revolted at the idea of attacking people’s livelihoods for ideological issues.

  195. @Nancy, on throwing out gay children.

    It depends on whether you think homosexuality is voluntary or not. If you think it’s voluntary, and you think it’s bad behavior, then your choices are similar to your choices for any other bad behavior.

    There are three kinds of homosexual men. Some are exclusively homosexual, some are homosexual only when women are not available, and some will screw anything that moves.

  196. @esr
    > The gay-germ theory is quite serious – or, to unpack it a bit more, fetal MBD affecting the sexual-targeting areas of the developing brain,

    Yeah, I heard about those theories, and I am sure uterine, and especially umbilical environment has a huge impact on the development of a fetus. It was meant as a cheap shot. Such a softball with against JADs mostly jejune and childish comments. He is a strange person. Sometimes he says useful and interesting things, most of the time is is unsubstantiated, verbal diarrhea..

  197. @ESR

    Cannot find my source, but identicial twins where only one of them is gay were studied, so you can safely throw a purely-genetic cause out. One promising sounding theory I have heard is that at puberty people “eroticize the exotic”. I.e. before puberty, for children, the other gender is weird, alien, exotic and at puberty they eroticize the difference. A trait that could make one see his own gender as weird and exotic at childhood can lead to eroticizing them at puberty.

  198. @ Random832
    > Me:
    > > “So yeah, I’m comfortable with calling statements a lie.”
    > What exactly is your mental model of a person who is okay with banning gay
    > marriage but not with banning gay sex?

    So you’re already retreating from the “imprison and/or kill gay people for having sex.” to the position of “banning”.

    But I’ll answer your question as asked, there are *many* people I know who believe that *marriage* is a religious sacrament first and foremost. They may be wrong today, they may be historically ignorant, but that is their belief.

    To them marriage isn’t a legal shortcut for a subset of civil issues, it’s not a ‘right’. It’s something between a man, a woman and God.

    Many of them are perfectly willing to let you do whatever you want in your bedroom with whomever (modulo consenting adult). They may not like it, but they understand that to keep you out of their gun safe they need to stay out of your bedroom.

    That’s called “America”.

    Further, for a religious christian *American* who believes in the 1st amendment there is no collision between believing that homosexuals (note the wording here, it’s critical) *CANNOT* be married, but have no problem with extending many of the legal privileges (and responsibilities) of marriage to homosexual couples.

    There are more than a few out there.

    And finally there are people like me–I opposed Gay Marriage for two reasons:

    1) Almost all of the legal privileges available to hetro married couples were available to homo couples, and forcing the issue was starting a HUGE culture war that didn’t need to happen. There were other remedies (either specific “civil partnership” legislation, or doing a sed s/Marriage/Civil Union/g in the relevant bits of code) that would have provided the same privileges. This would have been a reasonable interm remedy until the rest of society “caught up” with the bi-coastal elites. And no, it’s not “seperate but equal”, go read what CA law had in place as of the late 90s. Read *the law*. It’s out there.

    2) I did not (and still do not) trust the people who started the shitfight. They have another agenda.

    So there are two groups who opposed gay marriage who have no interest in either “banning gay sex” *or* “killing and/or imprisoning gay people for having sex”.

    Again, I’m not denying that there *are* people who want to outlaw homosexual behavior, or who want to kill da gayz, but even in one forum I participate in which is run by a very devout christian for other christians interested in weapons and violence, most of the (vocal) participants are *very* anti-homosexual, but in the 10 years I’ve been reading that forum (off and on) I do not recall seeing a call for killing or jailing homosexuals. Yes, distaste, yes anger and fear (some of these are not the most educated of men, and well they get stuff like this http://www.zombietime.com/folsom_sf_2007_part_1/ sent to them and they are afraid for their culture.

    And again, you’re smart enough and connected enough that you should have seen these arguments before.

  199. @William O. B’Livion
    > But I’ll answer your question as asked, there are *many* people I know who believe that *marriage* is a religious sacrament first and foremost.

    But here you are hoist on your own petard. If the difference is the religious sacrament of marriage then the government has absolutely no right to be involved.

    Further, if this is your argument, and your implied corollary is “since God doesn’t sanction gays and lesbians their unions cannot be called marriage”. But surely you will agree that many hetero people who are married hardly consider their marriage a sacrament. Atheists, Muslims or people of completely different belief systems than you. Are they to be denied the word marriage too, along with all the queers?

    Or, how about this — some religious systems deny the ability of a couple to divorce based on various passages in the Bible “The two shall be one flesh … what god has joined together let not man put asunder.” So if this marital sacrament is irreversible, would you advocate that divorced people should only be allowed domestic partnerships too?

    On the other hand, if we are doing the bible thing to define the sacrament of marriage, surely, although it doesn’t apply to non Christians, sinners or the divorced, surely it does apply to poly marriages, at least polygamy. Many of the great men of the bible were involved in plural marriages. Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon.

    So I am sorry your marital sacrament argument is entirely counter productive.

  200. @William O’Blivion
    Another solution along your lines was put into law in the Netherlands a century or so (two?) ago: Remove religion out of mariage altogether.

    There is only a legal mariage by a civil servant. If you want a religious ceremony, you can do that where you want. But it has no legal status whatever.

    Did not make a difference at all. The conservatives were against gay mariage anyhow.

    We have had gay mariage since 2001. No problems whatsoever. Quite a number of our government ministers were gay/lesbian and maried. Even from the Christian Democrats.

  201. @Shenpen

    IIRC there is something in the bible about executing your grown children for misbehavior (the actual passage is about public drunkenness etc, not being gay).

  202. > So you’re already retreating from the “imprison and/or kill gay people for having sex.” to the position of “banning”.

    Banning something entails imprisoning or killing people for engaging in it. I am not retreating from anything.

  203. Except that banning something could also mean merely imposing people with a fine for doing it.

  204. Jessica: I think William O already said it wasn’t his argument.

    At the risk of speaking for the same people he is (I suspect the crowds we talk to share general viewpoints): I think they agree that government ought not be involved in marriage, precisely because *marriage* is a strictly religious institution. (I think they’re on weaker ground to say it’s cross-religion; maybe they presume an implicit reciprocity between the major monotheisms. Or maybe some of them don’t, and think any should be made explicit. I don’t know. And that’s all I could say to your point about Muslim marriages. I imagine atheist marriages probably wouldn’t get reciprocity, if the issue ever were to get to that point. Indeed, both sides would likely be satisfied with that.)

    This does appear consistent with the common opening argument I hear, that marriage by definition between a man and a woman. It’s an ontological argument.

    I know Catholics get around the divorce notion with the notion of annulments. The basic idea is to posit that something was missing from the beginning, and so what everyone thought was a marriage at the time actually wasn’t.

    I never much thought about how Catholics (or even Christians) address polygamies in the Bible until you brought it up. (Personally, I’d be pretty damn grateful for just *one* woman to want to marry me…) So I looked around, and found this. I’m sure there are holes in this (finding them isn’t worth the trouble to me), but it is at least detailed:

    http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/128/the-bible-seems-to-allow-polygamy-why-doesnt-the-church

  205. > Except that banning something could also mean merely imposing people with a fine for doing it.

    And if they won’t pay the fine? Remember what happened recently to someone suspected of not paying a cigarette tax.

  206. So.. I think what we can largely agree on is the following:

    1) Gays should not be banned, shot, spindled, folded, or mutilated.

    2) There are arguments to be made on both sides of the gay marriage debate, but really the debate should be settled best by taking the State out of the business of deciding what “marriage” is. The State can enforce civil union contracts, but marriage is up to the people involved, and whatever religion or belief system they subscribe to. Oh, and Random, we’re not talking about “banning” gays. See point 1.

    3) What was done to Eich was bad, and Mozilla deserves to be punished for allowing it.

    4) Gay people should be equal to straight people -before the law-, but that doesn’t mean that private individuals or organizations are obligated to act similarly. Freedom of association is also the freedom to -not- associate, so that if a particular group, such as the Boy Scouts, decides to not allow gay people to be in charge of groups of Scouts, that is their prerogative. Gay people are, of course, free to create or join organizations that do otherwise (Gay Scouts?). Your or my personal view that such exclusion is “fair” or “good” or not is irrelevant to people’s right of association.

    Are any of those points bitter pills to swallow?

  207. If they won’t pay the fine, then things escalate to things like court appearances and prison. (Or alternately it fails to amount to anything, if the government decides it doesn’t want to go through the trouble to enforce a given law.)

    But for the same reason a lot of people don’t think of taxes as the government taking your money at gunpoint, a (different) lot of people also don’t think of banning activity X as the government threatening to kill you if you do X anyway.

  208. David, none of your pills are bitter to me, although I have to take a slightly larger swig of mineral water with #3. Namely, what was done to Eich was bad *in my opinion*, and empirically might have been a bad move for Mozilla. (It might have been fine, or at least tolerable. ISTR Mozilla would’ve lost skilled employees either way. I would’ve argued to keep Eich if it were up to me, and precisely because of the speech principle.)

  209. Ms. Boxer:
    > Female sexuality seems to be more fluid, and I don’t think it’s just a matter of social condition.

    Until about 1700-1900 years ago polygyny was accepted by all major religions, and was fairly common, and as I understand it Christianity was the first major religion to explicitly break from his (although some sects have backslid)

    Lot easier to be part of polygamous union when everyone gets a go, right?

  210. >Oh, and Random, we’re not talking about “banning” gays. See point 1.

    I still believe that most organized lobbying against gay marriage is done by people who would be happy to send people to jail for “sodomy” if they could.

  211. esr
    >Or, to put it differently, a great deal of unethical behavior arises from short time horizons and epistemic failure.

    Quite so.

    Leftists believe, and for the past three hundred and thirty years in the English speaking world have been correct to believe, that they will always be the persecutors, never the persecuted, except persecuted by those even lefter than themselves.

    Which generates an ever leftwards movement, halting only when a Cromwell or a Stalin or a Napoleon finally cracks down on those even lefter than himself.

    After Cromwell or Stalin, it becomes possible for people to notice that the current level of leftism is rather crazy, and a dramatic movement away from leftism becomes possible.

  212. @William O. B’Livion
    > Lot easier to be part of polygamous union when everyone gets a go, right?

    Fair attempt at an explanation, but I don’t think it will fly. Even though polygamy was accepted, it was pretty much restricted to the elites and special cases. The huge majority of people were either in single marriages or single. This being dictated by the fact that the birth and childhood survival rates of male and female babies are close enough to be effectively equal (in fact there is a slight bias in favor of more males which decreases even more the number of available females for poly arrangements.)

  213. Jessica Boxer
    > The huge majority of people were either in single marriages or single. This being dictated by the fact that the birth and childhood survival rates of male and female babies are close enough to be effectively equal

    Highly patriarchal societies often have huge population growth rates, rapidly expanding at the expense of their less fecund and less martial neighbors. They also often have large age differences between husbands and wives.

    Assuming a sixteen year age difference, which was fairly common, and a four percent per year population growth rate, which was fairly common, there would on average be two wives for every husband, or, one wife and one “maid”.

  214. I think it’s helpful to remember that memetics (like genetics) is messy business. Long terms trends are what matter, not a particular snapshot in time. Just because a communal set of societal memes is extant doesn’t means that they are objectively correct or work in the evolutionary sense. Mutation, deviation, experimentation, random chance, and changing environmental factors all keep the stew churning and most of these threads of change lead to dead ends. Conversely, the arrogant assumption that the status quo is always best is also unrealistic and unnatural. The herd does not abide deviation very well, but the long term health of the herd requires it.

  215. @Random832 “I still believe that most organized lobbying against gay marriage is done by people who would be happy to send people to jail for “sodomy” if they could.”

    Is this just a superstitious fear and hatred of conservatives, or do you have some sort of evidence to back this extraordinary idea? Well, not that it matters, since I think this thread has pretty thoroughly established that they -couldn’t-.

    I would suggest, in general, that if you wish to make a persuasive case for something, like the “right to gay marriage”, for example; that you’d be best off carefully learning and understanding that actual points made by your opposition, and then developing counterarguments for those points. I think you’d be surprised how thoughtful and non-hatey a lot of the points actually are. But maybe they’re wrong, and the Federalist and social stability points they make are all wet. You should be prepared to say exactly -why- they are wrong or irrelevant, or why your points supersede them, without having to resort to name-calling.

    To risk overgeneralizing (and I speak as someone far more libertarian than Republican):

    Conservatives understand liberal positions, and think those position are -stupid-, and give reasons why. Most, but not quite all, of those reasons make sense.

    Leftists just hate conservatives, and don’t bother to even understand the reasoning underpinning their positions, because they feel that conservatives are just -evil-.

    There is a slight whiff of cowardice there too.. leftists are keenly but subliminally aware that they probably are unequipped to debate conservatives, but again, why should they have to? Remember, conservatives are just -evil-, and drink the blood of the proletariat from the skulls of infants. Speech codes must be enacted around all institutions controlled by the Left to make sure that their vile Conservative ideas are not considered even acceptable to say.

    Now, Random, when you’re in an echo chamber of other Leftists, they’ll all happily encourage your sort of ad-hominism in lieu of argument. That is their comfort zone, after all.

    But you’re not going to -convince- anyone that way: the Leftist echo chambers are already convinced, and to everyone else (such as most in this forum), it looks more like primate doo-doo flinging behavior than like convincing argument.

    So in short, if you want to convince us that we are wicked if we don’t support the gay marriage lobby, you’d best step up your game.

  216. I’d say that that still gives the “anti-sodomy law” population a 67%-33% majority, which means any such laws are non-starters. It means that homosexuals have been largely successful in convincing the majority that their lifestyle should be legally acceptable, which is good.

    As for the 33%, I think that it is not too worth worrying about. Low-but-substantial percentages of Americans believe in all sorts of silly things. Here is one for your entertainment and edification: http://time.com/7809/1-in-4-americans-thinks-sun-orbits-earth/

    Even though 25% seem like a lot, I can promise you that any politician who tries to legislate geocentricity into our classrooms would be committing political seppuku. And so it would be also with trying to ban gay sex in today’s political climate.

  217. Mozilla has been dying the death for a few years now, mainly due to Chromium and the Chrome web browsers. I doubt very much that any significant influence was created to its death due to Brendan Eich. After all Google has been violating their core principles since they practically began being a search engine and look where it got them? Or does no one remember that initially Larry Page and Sergey Brin didn’t want to fund Google via advertising, pretty ironic for a company that is now the largest broker of ads in the world don’t you think?

    Also I’m curious about Eric’s stance on donating to pro-Proposition 8 groups with regards to the none-aggression principle. I’m not certain but I’m pretty sure doing so would violate it. After all you’d be paying a bunch of people to lobby an aggressor, i.e. the state, to use force to restrict a groups ability, the churches and religions open to homosexual marriage, to marry two people of the same sex. That seems to be in direct contradiction to NAP when the majority of the community haven’t taken a stance on the issue and haven’t done anything against you, or another person, using force.

  218. So what are these Sensible Arguments against same sex marriage?

    http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/politically-incorrect/homosexuality/10-reasons-why-homosexual-marriage-is-harmful-and-must-be-opposed.html

    Lets address them one by one

    1: It Is Not Marriage

    Marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman which is by its nature ordered toward the procreation and education of children and the unity and wellbeing of the spouses.

    This is basically all of the “objective” arguments.

    This means: If you do not have children, your marriage is void. Historically, this is sort of right. A childless marriage could easily be annulled. But this provision went the way of torture and slavery.
    (But like torture and slavery (in the prison system) have seen a dawn of a come-back in the USA, this might get a boost again too)

    On the other hand, many same-sex couples have raised children. Not least the number of children with single moms living again with their own mother. So what is the point here.

    And claiming that homosexual partners do not work to the unity and wellbeing of the spouses shows their true colors. This is simply hate speak.

  219. @Winter “And claiming that homosexual partners do not work to the unity and wellbeing of the spouses shows their true colors. This is simply hate speak.”

    To be fair, the passage you sited does not make that claim, nor does it specify that the marriage, if childless, is void. It merely says that it is a covenant between a man and a woman that is *ordered towards* that by its nature.

    The money shot of that quote is that it is a “covenant between a man and a woman”. Thus, this person believes that if it does not involve one man and one woman, it is by definition not marriage.

    I’m not saying I agree with that premise (I don’t), but let’s be fair and not put words in that blogger’s mouth.

  220. Also, Winter, that particular blog is rather moralistically oriented, and thus it misses one of the primary reasons that a conservative might be against enforcing gay marriage as a right. Its simply this: the Constitution does not empower the Federal government to force the various States to agree on what marriage means. That is what the Defense of Marriage Act is about – it does NOT tell any States that they cannot recognize gay marriages, it simply stipulates that other states are not bound to agree, making it a state by state decision (otherwise legalizing gay marriage in just one state would be enough to cause the Federal government to force all states to recognize them).

    And so, even though I would unhesitatingly vote in my own state to -allow- gay marriage, I’m in support of the idea of the Defense of Marriage Act, because to me, constraint on the (far overly broad) power of the Federal government is the primary issue.

    The site you are quoting doesn’t even mention these considerations, which means that it is divorced from a significant stream of conservative/libertarian thought on the issue.

  221. So what are these Sensible Arguments against same sex marriage (SSM)?

    http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/politically-incorrect/homosexuality/10-reasons-why-homosexual-marriage-is-harmful-and-must-be-opposed.html

    Here is:

    2. It Violates Natural Law

    Natural law’s most elementary precept is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” By his natural reason, man can perceive what is morally good or bad for him. Thus, he can know the end or purpose of each of his acts and how it is morally wrong to transform the means that help him accomplish an act into the act’s purpose.

    Any situation which institutionalizes the circumvention of the purpose of the sexual act violates natural law and the objective norm of morality.

    This is naturally justified using a quotation from St Paul.

    The summary of this argument is that SSM is against Natural Law because you should only do the right and moral thing and homosexuality is not right and immoral.

    The counterargument is then that making two people happy is a good and moral thing to do, especially so as these two people do not harm others in any way. So, allowing SSM is the right an moral thing to to do so are squarely within Natural Law.

    But what about procreation? The purpose of the “act” is to procreate, and SSM cannot procreate. For that see number 1. Lesbian couples can give birth to children and raise them. Gay couples can sire children and raise them. It might be pushing things a little far to allow two couples to marry in a foursome for the objective of raising children, but that would be the logical conclusion. And why not?

    Anyhow, the number of times the “Act” is performed to sire children is hardly higher in heterosexual couples (a few times out of thousands) than in same-sex couples (AI).

    Unless, of course allowing two men or women to perform the “Act” is itself a danger to society. No empirical evidence is amassing on this account. And we have not yet seen god drowning humanity again to punish them for it.

  222. Final point, Winter. If you want mainstream conservative thought, go to a mainstream conservative source. A campus Christian proselytizing group does not represent mainstream conservatism just because it would ally itself with conservatives on many issues. Its simply your best chance to draw a straw man from a “conservative” source – even if many conservatives would have no truck with them.

    Try the National Review or Human Events instead, or the editorial page of the WSJ. Or even Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity.

  223. @David
    “Also, Winter, that particular blog is rather moralistically oriented, and thus it misses one of the primary reasons that a conservative might be against enforcing gay marriage as a right. Its simply this: the Constitution does not empower the Federal government to force the various States to agree on what marriage means.”

    Here is another, which uses a lot of pseudo-science to tell us that same-sex couples cannot raise children
    http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=if04g01

    With pearls like:
    6. Same-sex “marriage” would undercut the norm of sexual fidelity within marriage.
    7 Same-sex “marriage” would further isolate marriage from its procreative purpose.
    8. Same-sex “marriage” would further diminish the expectation of paternal commitment.
    9. Marriages thrive when spouses specialize in gender-typical roles.
    10. Women and marriage domesticate men.

    Most of it is countered here:
    http://atheism.about.com/od/gaymarriage/p/ContraGayMarria.htm

  224. @David
    “That is what the Defense of Marriage Act is about – it does NOT tell any States that they cannot recognize gay marriages, it simply stipulates that other states are not bound to agree, making it a state by state decision ”

    I see this position taken here quite often. I think it is utterly unworkable in a nation.

    Spouses have privileges. They can act as a legal unit wrt law enforcement (not having to testify), taxes, contract law, financial matters, custody etc. When one state does not recognize the legal status of spouses in another state, things become legally interesting.

    When a couple crosses state line:
    Is a same sex partner a next-of-kin who can make decisions on an incapacitated partner or take custody of his/her children?
    How about inheritances and pensions?
    Taxes?
    Can a person be forced to testify against a same-sex spouse?
    Can s/he be an agent for his/her spouse?
    And sooooo many more

    Whatever the name, each state will have to recognize the legal status of couples married in another state.

  225. Alright, the FRC is at least closer to mainstream conservatism than your previous pick, but I hate to break this to you: its still fringe.

    Taking what the FRC thinks of homosexual marriage and generalizing to all conservatives, is no more honest than taking what the NOW says about abortion rights as representative of all liberals.

  226. @David
    “Try the National Review or Human Events instead, or the editorial page of the WSJ. Or even Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity.”

    Hey, I live at the other side of the globe. I cannot see what is “mainstream”. I do know that what is in the media is only rarely mainstream.

    Care to give us a link to a “mainstream” source?

  227. @David
    “Alright, the FRC is at least closer to mainstream conservatism than your previous pick, but I hate to break this to you: its still fringe. ”

    But it does square well with the fact that 33% of people in the US would like to ban sodomy.

  228. @winter: “Spouses have privileges. They can act as a legal unit wrt law enforcement (not having to testify), taxes, contract law, financial matters, custody etc. When one state does not recognize the legal status of spouses in another state, things become legally interesting.”

    I disagree. In every one of the examples you sited, crossing state lines is irrelevant, unless the people involved have moved their legal residences across too. If so, the answer is simple: they are subject to the rules of their new state of residence, which now has jurisdiction. There is nothing unworkable about that. If they move back, they are reassuming the previous jurisdiction.

  229. David: How do you square your thinking that states should be free to not recognize other’s marriages with the Full Faith and Credit Clause?

  230. @Winter

    You’re referring to this Gallup Poll: http://www.gallup.com/poll/147785/support-legal-gay-relations-hits-new-high.aspx ?

    That’s what Nancy was referring to anyway.

    I’d say you have a point if you could get similar numbers for “Gay sex should be banned” as for saying “no” in that poll. (That would be stipulating that an -action- should be taken, rather than couching the question is a mere choice of categories, legal vs not legal).

    Or if you’d be able to get a similar number of “no” responses to “Consenting adults should be allowed to have homosexual sex in the privacy of their own homes”. Because people get nervous when they realize that generally-understood privacy is at stake.

    This particular poll was designed to make the choice of whether gay sex is legal or not to seem as neutral as possible. As such, it is almost certainly overstating the number of people who would be willing to actively ban gay sex.

    There is a reason why sodomy laws, even in states which still technically have them (and there are some), are basically never enforced. And a lot of it comes down to issues like these.

  231. >After all you’d be paying a bunch of people to lobby an aggressor, i.e. the state, to use force to restrict a groups ability, the churches and religions open to homosexual marriage, to marry two people of the same sex.

    Well, it is my position that, ideally, the state (or an anarchotopia’s functionally similar law-enforcement mechanisms) would get out of the business of regulating or recognizing marriages in any way at all. All it ought to notice is when people make contracts with each other, and that only for purposes of enforcing them.

    The reason I have not considered Prop 8 a NAP violation in the past was that I thought of the gay-marriage argument as being largely over who can claim special legal privileges from the state under what circumstances. Since I don’t think anyone ought to be able to do that, arguments among people who want to push the privilege boundary around marriage a few centimeters one way or another while accepting the major premise of state control strike me as trivial with respect to the NAP – a sort of straining at gnats while swallowing camels.

  232. >Taking what the FRC thinks of homosexual marriage and generalizing to all conservatives, is no more honest than taking what the NOW says about abortion rights as representative of all liberals.

    I am not a conservative and feel no tribal need to defend conservatives, so take me seriously when I say David Isecke is quite right about this. All the conservatives I know find the FRC somewhere between faintly and seriously embarrassing.

  233. “All the conservatives I know find the FRC somewhere between faintly and seriously embarrassing.”

    And you can definitely include me in that, toward the seriously end.

    And yes, I’m back…still trying to wrap my head around why someone I like, respect, and admire greatly has gone so far off the rails “for the childrunnn!“. If the race is not the individual, neither is the sexuality.

  234. >And yes, I’m back…still trying to wrap my head around why someone I like, respect, and admire greatly has gone so far off the rails “for the childrunnn!“.

    You seem to be willfully refusing to understand what I have actually said. The problem isn’t me, it’s that the topic pushes an emotional button for you and you react to a position I don’t actually hold.

  235. That’s what I’ve been considering…I’m going to have to go back over this thread and look at what you wrote and see where what you wrote isn’t what I thought it said – or isn’t what you might have thought you said. Your apparent position is so much at variance with what I know of you that something has to give.

  236. @Jay Maynard

    Here is the relevant language: Full faith and credit ought to be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings, of every other state; and the legislature shall, by general laws, prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings, shall be proved, and the effect which judgments, obtained in one state, shall have in another.

    This has been generally interpreted to mean that States must accept the official judgments, records, and acts of other States as having taken place (faith and credit), but that the legislature (Congress) decides on these must be proven, and what effect they might have on other states.

    There is no automatic effect, without general laws passed by Congress. And the judicial branch has traditionally been reluctant to force states to change their own policies due to the policies of other states, absent such Federal law.

    In the case of marriage, the USSC has never enforced the recognition of one state’s marriage by another until 1967, when it struck down interracial marriage bans across several states. Though this was an undoubtedly laudable result, from a legal standpoint, this was probably a bad ruling, since there was no Congressional law enforcing the effect of interracial marriages across state boundaries, as the Constitution stipulated. But then, the principle of judicial activism had already been pretty well established.

    The DOMA law is essentially adding nothing to the discussion from a Constitutional standpoint, since it is up to Congress to legislate when, and if, one state is obligated to act according to the decision of another. But the precedent started in 1967 convinced conservatives that the traditional Constitutional boundary would no longer be respected, and would have to be made explicit.

  237. I am not as eloquent as Jay Maynard (nor do I have any desire to put my words in his mouth). But I had a serious “you said what?!” moment when you stated:

    “I do think it is unwise to allow people with sexual targeting disorders – of which gays are the largest class – frequent and unsupervised contact with children. I think there’s sense in the Boy Scouts’ wish to exclude gay Scoutmasters, even if it’s somewhat unfair to individual gays who are insufficiently damaged or too well-disciplined to commit abuse.”

    Because that argument, with a couple of words changed, is the same one most gun-control advocates use, boiled down. (Even if they’re not honest with themselves).

    They think it unwise to allow people with violent tendencies, of which young black males (or old white men, depending on the particular variety of gun-control supporter) are the largest class, frequent and unsupervised contact with firearms. (And then it escalates, to prevent YBM/OWM access to firearms, we must prevent EVERYONE’s access, &c)

    I’m sorry,but that was the very first parallel my mind with your statement – that for the potential sins of the minority of a particular population, the individual’s actions must be subject to prior restraint. With an extra helping of “for the children.”

  238. > They also often have large age differences between husbands and wives.

    And who are their 16-24-year-old men marrying, then?

  239. > And so it would be also with trying to ban gay sex in today’s political climate.

    And you don’t believe in political climate change?

    (Sorry, the phrasing was just too good to pass up. Still, my point stands)

  240. > And so, even though I would unhesitatingly vote in my own state to -allow- gay marriage, I’m in support of the idea of the Defense of Marriage Act, because to me, constraint on the (far overly broad) power of the Federal government is the primary issue.

    The Defense of Marriage Act is a naked abrogation of the Full Faith and Credit clause. Don’t talk to me about what the constitution does or does not empower if you can’t see that. The constitution, in fact, empowers every state government to impose on every other state government its definition of marriage.

  241. > but that the legislature (Congress) decides on these must be proven, and what effect they might have on other states.
    >
    > There is no automatic effect, without general laws passed by Congress.

    The clause doesn’t mention Congress. And if it did, or if there were precedent establishing this, that would nicely undermine your claim that “the Constitution does not empower the Federal government to force the various States to agree on what marriage means.” It has to empower someone, or the clause has no force at all. Whether that is the states directly, or the federal government, someone has to have the power to force Alabama to recognize Massachussetts’ marriages, because the constitution says it shall. You can’t have it both ways.

  242. I really wish it were possible to edit additions into posts to avoid making long strings of posts as I notice more things that need replying to. The “and” makes two clauses, and when I said it didn’t mention congress I was referring to the first. And in the copy of the text I saw there was a period, not a semicolon. And the wording is different in other ways from the one you quoted (you seem to be quoting an earlier draft).

  243. @Random

    You are correct, I quoted the wrong one, but the right quote simply makes my point clearer.

    Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.

    There you have it. Congress decides how acts, records and proceedings are proven, and what effect, if any, they must have. Which is exactly what I said, and how it was interpreted with respect to marriage law up to 1967.

    Faith and credit means that the States recognize the official actions of other states as official actions. In international affairs, this would be akin to “recognizing” another nation – declaring that the actions of that other State are, in fact, legitimate state actions. But just as in international law there is no obligation of one nation to -enforce- the laws of another, there is no automatic obligation given for states to enforce each other’s laws either. Creating such an obligation is *precisely* what the Constitution says that Congress is empowered to do. It might even be argued that it is a primary role of the US Congress.

    Marriage is a concept that is treated differently by different states. States vary not just on the gay marriage issue, but on standards for divorce and separation, age minimums, etc. There is no concept that a given state must automatically enforce another state’s marriage laws. The Constitution states that such an obligation would have to be enacted through Congressional action.

  244. @Random “And you don’t believe in political climate change?”

    I feel that there are few activities more quixotic than fighting battles against hypotheticals. Sure, its possible that there may one day be a radical anti-gay shift in opinion in this country. If that happens, then I suggest that gay folks may have much bigger problems to deal with than the question of whether they have “marriages” or just “civil unions”. But its pointless to go on about it because the country faces a variety of much more real and urgent challenges, most of which have nothing whatsoever to do with sexual orientation.

    For example, I feel there is reason to believe that there will be a complete collapse in Treasury notes in the indefinite – but somewhat near – future, based on the Fed’s addiction to quantitative easing and zeroing of interest rates, and the inflationary pressures created by the huge US debt and unfunded liabilities. If that happens, the repercussions would have us all dreaming of those happy days when we could have pretended that this little issue mattered, before the dollar collapsed.

  245. For those who want to get the (federal) state out of mariage. That will be difficult as mariage as an institution predates the whole of written history, including all forms of states. The legal recognition of mariage is a central task of any system of law as it pervades all of society from literally before birth to beyond death.

    Allowing one US state to annull a mariage from another state is very disruptive. (an understatement) In fact, it would feel a lot like the dissolution of the United States of America.

    I understand that there are stop-gaps, like giving automatic civil-union status to maried couples. But these stop-gaps itself show how rediculous this whole discussion has become.

    And can anyone point us to a link to “main-stream” anti-SSM?

  246. Here’s a marriage/FFC can of worms that I’m vaguely curious about. States have varying minimum age requirements and consanguinuity requirements for marriage. 20 or so states do not limit first-cousin marriage at all, for example, and many states apparently allow under-18 marriage in various circumstances. And of course there’s the famous “Going to Vegas for a wedding” scenario. None of these seem to be an issue for interstate recognition of marriage (particularly not post-Loving decision).

    Legally speaking, of course, civil marriage is not about children or sexual fidelity or religion (otherwise we wouldn’t allow sterile atheistic philanderers to marry). It’s about property rights and powers of attorney.

  247. Since we’re on a tear here, I’d like some feedback on a few thoughts:

    * Gays and youth: There was comment previously about how there might be a greater risk for children around gay men (for varying versions of risk and children). One thing I remember hearing a long time ago is that across all cultures, the only universal standards of beauty in humans were youth and health. It seems to me that means that the most biologically sexually attractive would be the person who might be recently the most post-pubescent, regardless of age. The heterosexual community has been developing standards at all level of society for what constitutes appropriate contact with younger women, such as the show “16 and pregnant”. Men who say “if there’s grass on the field, play ball” are treated with disgust. Given that the homosexual community has only recently come out of the shadows and doesn’t have the risk of pregnancy, might it be that any associations with sex with children exist simply because the socialization of the requisite social norms haven’t yet been developed?

    * Gay marriage: The only secular reason I’ve come across against gay marriage is that: There is a non-zero number of people who are bisexual, and thus would be equally happy in either a heterosexual or homosexual relationship. Homosexual relationships are much less likely to produce offspring. The State has a compelling interest in ensuring that there are new children growing up sharing the values of the society (and paying the accrued pension benefits thereof). Therefore, the State should shape social interactions in what limited ways it can to further these goals.

    Thoughts?

  248. @Ian Argent

    I am not going to claim that I’m conversant with all the edge cases here, to be able to say for sure that states respect marriages from other states that violate their own consanguinity and age restriction laws. Especially in cases that can be construed as statutory rape, I’m guessing that states do not automatically accept extra-jurisdictional marriages as defense, though I could be wrong.

    However, and take note Random, in the Loving decision of 1967, the court ruled that Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Do you see what is missing? That’s right! Even there, the Full Faith and Credit clause was NOT seen as a justification for nullifying the various state laws against interracial marriage. That’s because the clause stipulates that it is the power of -Congress- to determine what actions, if any, need to be taken in response to extra-jurisdictional acts.

  249. >I’m sorry,but that was the very first parallel my mind with your statement – that for the potential sins of the minority of a particular population, the individual’s actions must be subject to prior restraint. With an extra helping of “for the children.”

    I think you’ve put the conversation in a good place from which to clarify matters.

    The standard gun-grabber argument has two premises. One is A: “If you observe in group X a significantly increased probability that they will do crimes when in possession of firearms, you are justified in banning them from possessing firearms.” How we evaluate “significantly” is an interesting issue but not relevant to the rest of the logic I’m going to lay out.

    Clearly there are some cases in which even extreme libertarians (like me) accept this as a valid argument. Consider for example X = “violent psychotics”. Which brings us to the gun-grabber’s second premise:

    B: Young black men (or old white man) are such a group.

    The problem with the gun-grabber argument is not that A is a bad rule, it’s that premise B is factually wrong. It is not the case that membership in either group predicts a greater probability of gun crime. This is obvious in the case of old white men, but less obviously true of young black men as well. If it were true enough to matter, the armed services and police could simply not accept black recruits.

    On the other hand, if we restrict our group to “young black men with convictions for violent felonies”, the ban starts looking reasonable again. When we narrow the group, our assessment of the distribution of outcomes changes: when expected harm rises above a certain level, we’re close enough to the “violent psychotics” extreme case.

    Now, reasoning in this way, consider the following premise:

    A: There is a category of sexual targeting disorders – homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, etc. – which are observably co-morbid; that is, a person who exhibits any of these disorders has a significantly increased probability of exhibiting others.

    (Please note that the above is not a values claim. It is a category error to ask whether believing it is fair, unfair, nice, nasty, etc. The correct question to ask is : is it true?)

    B: We refer to these as “sexual targeting disorders” because there is reason to believe all have a common etiology in damage or abnormality of fairly specific neural tracts in the hypothalamus – very old circuitry that controls desire and sexual response. Different disorders reflect different kinds of damage. The causes of such damage are varied, but are known (or at least strongly suspected) to include both fetal MBD and (in rare cases) adult infection or traumatic injury.

    The common etiology is reflected in co-morbidity; in fact the co-morbidity is perhaps the strongest piece of evidence for common etiology.

    On these facts, we are already at a place here where heightened scrutiny of people with sexual targeting disorders around children may be justified. It depends. The question is, given a person with sexual targeting disorder X, what is the probability that he or she also has pedophilic tendencies?

    We expect this to vary by specific disorder X. If all sexual-targeting disorders are variations on a single etiological cause, then we expect the range of variation to be narrow. As our estimate of co-morbidity across all of them rises, the expected range of variation narrows and the folk term “pervert” becomes more meaningful.

    C. Survival-guide-guy’s book suggests that co-morbidity between homosexuality and pedophilia is particularly strong. Note that this is not the same as asserting that either most homosexuals are pedophiles or most pedophiles are homosexuals. In fact we know that most pedophiles are not homosexuals, and we understand that this is because there are roughly 100 times as many heterosexuals as homosexuals.

    Note that this means the rate of pedophilia could be 100 times higher among gays than among straights and the absolute number of gay pedophiles would still not exceed the number of straight ones.

    So, how do we get to banning gay scoutmasters on these facts? Simple: when we are doing risk assessments about gay scoutmasters, the vastly larger number of “straight” pedophiles is irrelevant. The general question is whether “gay” is a small enough index group to imply significantly increased risk.

    Whether it is, is not a moral question. It’s not a question about what beliefs are nice or nasty, fair or unfair. It is a fact question, an epidemiological question.

    And my answer is: I don’t think I know. But I take survival-guide-guy’s book as a warning that the increased risk is (a) definitely greater than the gay activists’ “gays are normal” rhetoric would suggest, (b) may be greater than their allies on the left realize, and (c) may be greater than most gays actually realize.

    Then, too, we might be dealing with a case where tendency towards pedophilia among gays is bimodal. That is, if we knew how to identify it, there’s a smaller index group of “bad” gays reflecting a slightly different form of sexual-targeting disorder – but gays themselves can’t identify that subgroup reliably either. (I actually think this is rather likely.)

    The less we know about these possibilities, the less justified we are in condemning the BSA for banning gay scoutmasters. Who are we to even lecture them about what their acceptable-risk threshold ought to be?

    To make it very clear, if I were making policy for the BSA, I do not actually know where I would come down on this question. But precisely because that is so, I cut them some slack.

  250. @esr
    > ideally, the state or an anarchotopia’s

    “anarchotopia” doesn’t that mean fear of spiders? If we have no government, who is going to kill that icky spider crawling up my wall?

  251. @Jessica Boxer

    > If we have no government, who is going to kill that icky spider crawling up my wall?

    I thought you would – with your handgun. ;-}

  252. @David
    “Oh, but that one was aimed at libertarians. Here is a more general one: ”

    So, this is portrayed as a fight against judicial activism and to uphold the rights of the states. Nothing about why they are against the matter itself: Same Sex Marriages.

    They make it sound as if would put an equally strong fight against such federal intervention if the Supremes would totally ban same-sex marriages or abortion in all the states of the USA. Or if they overturned legalizing pot as was done in some states.

    Somehow, all the references to “traditional marriage” does make me doubt the purity of their motives. Would they really fight a total ban by the Supreme Court on abortion just as hard?

    Also, they do not give any reasonable arguments for their position against SSM. Only the procedural ones. I am completely uninterested in procedural wrangling in the USA (we have enough of that at home).

    Nothing about why mainstream conservatives are against SSM?

  253. David, even so, if you’re married in one state, that marriage is automatically recognized by both the federal government and by every other state, even that same marriage could not have been entered into in that other state. This is true for every opposite-sex marriage, and yet the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (defending it from what, exactly?) abrogated it for same-sex marriages.

  254. @Jay Maynard
    “(defending it from what, exactly?)”

    Reason and Intelligence?

  255. @Jay Maynard
    “(defending it from what, exactly?)”

    It struck me that the answer is obvious: Love

  256. David Isecke: “4) Gay people should be equal to straight people -before the law-, but that doesn’t mean that private individuals or organizations are obligated to act similarly. Freedom of association is also the freedom to -not- associate, so that if a particular group, such as the Boy Scouts, decides to not allow gay people to be in charge of groups of Scouts, that is their prerogative. Gay people are, of course, free to create or join organizations that do otherwise (Gay Scouts?). Your or my personal view that such exclusion is “fair” or “good” or not is irrelevant to people’s right of association.”

    Where does this leave efforts to change the general view of gays? As mentioned in my comment above, families throwing out gay children is a serious problem.

    It’s a start to say that gays shouldn’t be mistreated (your first point), but that isn’t going to change unless the culture changes.

    David, I’m not sure how worrying it is that a third of Americans are pro-sodomy laws. Even through this isn’t a political movement and even if the people who support sodomy laws only have a vague idea of what sodomy laws mean, it’s a signal that gays aren’t welcome. How would a good many folks here feel about it if a third of the country were in favor of laws making atheism illegal?

  257. @esr
    > There is a category of sexual targeting disorders – homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, etc. – which are observably co-morbid; that is, a person who exhibits any of these disorders has a significantly increased probability of exhibiting others.

    However, it is also true that the presence of testicles on a person is “co-morbid” with handgun violence. The number of men committing violent acts with a handgun is vastly larger than the number of women doing so.

    To remove the right of a part of the community to own a handgun surely the level of correspondence has to be EXTREMELY high. “Convicted violent pyschopath” seems reasonable, “XY” chromosomes, not so much.

    To say “if you have property 1 you must have this property 2” and to legislate that those with property 1 must be treated as if they have property 2, the predictive quality of property 1 must surely be in the order of 99%, after all that is the standard of evidence we use in courts to take away someone’s rights.

    I guess my visceral reaction to your descriptions, using words like “disorder” is that they imply that there is an intrinsic irrefutable “order” to “dis”. People are all different in lots of different ways. Fetal hormones, environment, infectious diseases, parental relationships affect lots of things that we would simply describe as the natural variation of people, and sexuality, consisting as it does of a pretty significant portion of the population, falls in that category.

    “Normal”, “disorder” and so forth are descriptive terms of the averages of a population, not inductive descriptions of the human growth process, as if we are nothing more than the manifestation of our genes. What particular sex someone targets for sexual attraction is different for different parts of the population. Some men prefer blondes, a smaller number prefer brunettes, some prefer super skinny, some prefer “a little meat”, some women prefer hunky and dumb, some prefer intellectual. However “brunette” or “not skin and bones” or “spends more time with books than weights” preference is not, in my opinion a sexual targeting disorder, irrespective of the environmental conditions that undoubtedly lead to the preference. And my guess is that, for example, “brunette preference” is probably in the order of 10%, similar in size to homosexuality.

  258. > Well, it is my position that, ideally, the state (or an anarchotopia’s functionally similar law-enforcement mechanisms) would get out of the business of regulating or recognizing marriages in any way at all.

    This is also my view and the anarchist in me agrees whole heartedly.

    > Since I don’t think anyone ought to be able to do that, arguments among people who want to push the privilege boundary around marriage a few centimeters one way or another while accepting the major premise of state control strike me as trivial with respect to the NAP – a sort of straining at gnats while swallowing camels.

    While I’d be willing to accept that argument if it was a case of non-involvement it kind of falls flat when you are actually condoning creating a situation where you do push a pre-existing boundary in such a way as to disadvantage a group of people who haven’t done anything to personally harm you or another. As you previously stated: ‘Principles matter.’

  259. >I guess my visceral reaction to your descriptions, using words like “disorder” is that they imply that there is an intrinsic irrefutable “order” to “dis”.

    I shouldn’t have been born with defective control circuitry in my right motor cortex. This is exactly the same kind of “shouldn’t” we can use about defective sexual-targeting circuitry.

    Your visceral reaction is because you have the “is” of defective confused with the ought of morally wrong. Or, rather, you are so terrified of others acting from that confusion that you resist classing as defects congenital problems that clearly lead on the mean to lower life expectancy and quality of life.

    My circumstances have never permitted me either confusion.

  260. @Jessica
    “However, it is also true that the presence of testicles on a person is “co-morbid” with handgun violence.”

    Make that “violence and crime in general”. Also 99% and more of all rapist of men, women, and children share this co-morbidity.

    I think a case could be made for banning men, more than for sodomy laws and sex offender registers.

    I do not see how banning gay men from interacting with children can make a statistically measurable difference compared to banning men from interacting with other people.

  261. >where you do push a pre-existing boundary

    But Eich didn’t do that. Given his non-bigoted behavior around actual individual gays, it appears he was having a conservative reaction – and I don’t mean conservative as in U.S. culture wars, I mean conservative as in Chesterton’s fence. He may even have been one of those people who objected on principle to judicial ovreach in overriding a popular vote. That objection I can sympathize with.

  262. >I do not see how banning gay men from interacting with children can make a statistically measurable difference compared to banning men from interacting with other people.

    Apparently you missed the difference in outcomes where the species dies out as a result of scenario B. Or are we supposed to be handing turkey basters full of sperm over electrified walls?

  263. @esr
    > Your visceral reaction is because you have the “is” of defective confused with the ought of morally wrong.

    No I have no confusion between “is” and “ought”, my reaction pertains to the use of the word “defect” to describe a natural variation. I don’t consider “blonde hair” to be a defect even though it is less common than homosexuality. I don’t consider the small percentage of men who are shorter than 5’5″ to be defective, even though this congenital condition undoubtedly lowers their quality of life.

    > defects congenital problems that clearly lead on the mean to lower life expectancy and quality of life.

    But having testicles, a congenital condition, also leads to lower life expectancy and quality of life, but I don’t consider that a defect either. I don’t consider being black a defect, even though it is also a congenital condition, and even though black people plainly have both shorter life expectancy and lower quality of life.

    You have a bug, gays have a feature.

  264. I’m with Winter on David’s conservative link about gay marriage, though I do appreciate getting a specific link rather than a general recommendation.

    Having an overarching federal policy enforcing drug prohibition has been a huge violation of state jurisdiction, but I haven’t seen conservatives being as concerned about that as they are about gay marriage.

    Anyone know of anyone who’s suggested a testable theory of whether gay marriage is generally a good or bad idea?

  265. > But Eich didn’t do that.

    By point isn’t about Eich. My point is that your standpoint on supporting an act due to Eich’s circumstances goes against your own principles.

    As far as Eich goes he was a public figure of a company and he caused a divide in the consumer base of that company along for/against circles. Keeping him would have alienated a significant portion of the consumer base, firing him would have also alienated a significant portion of the consumer base. Getting him to resign is just good corporate strategy.

  266. >But having testicles, a congenital condition, also leads to lower life expectancy and quality of life, but I don’t consider that a defect either. I don’t consider being black a defect, even though it is also a congenital condition, and even though black people plainly have both shorter life expectancy and lower quality of life.

    You’re confusing several different cases there. Being gay is not like being male in a way that matters overwhelmingly if we’re trying to understand the implicit telos of evolved systems. Reproductive success!

    Now, you can rightly point out that not all individuals want reproductive success. The fact remains that if we are talking about living organisms, there is purpose around which all that machinery is designed and you can evaluate a variation as a defect if it decreases inclusive fitness.

    That is why it is proper to speak of “defective” sexual targeting.

  267. > Reproductive success!

    I asked you for hard data on the magnitude of the purported “similar impact on reproductive success” earlier. (And let’s talk about her example of men below 5’5″.)

  268. Eric, it sounds like not wanting to raise children is a much more serious “defect” than homosexuality.

    I will say that having a “telos” which is separated from people’s quality of life spooks me badly. Also, who’s being included in the inclusive fitness?

  269. And as long as we’re avoiding falling into the trap of looking at individuals, keep in mind that it is possible that the trait increases the success of one’s extended family (and therefore having some of your children be gay means your grandchildren are better able to pass on their genes), or that a gene that causes males to be gay increases the reproductive success of females (or vice versa) which would be enough to keep the gene in circulation even if the trait of being gay does strictly reduce reproductive success.

  270. > Eric, it sounds like not wanting to raise children is a much more serious “defect” than homosexuality.

    Not wanting to have children is the “defect”. Not wanting to raise children is just r-strategy.

  271. @esr
    > That is why it is proper to speak of “defective” sexual targeting.

    Even were I to accept your definition of proper functioning at the very lowest level of reproductive success, clearly gay couples do reproduce in various ways genetically. And shortness in males and non blondness if females affects reproductive success too. Are we to consider short men and brunette females defective also?

    However, there are confounding factors such as the fact that gay couples tend to be better educated and richer than hetero couples, both of which offer a compensating advantage in teleological reproductive success, irrespective of the direction of causality.

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/03/01/gay-couples-more-educated-higher-income-than-heterosexual-couples

  272. >By point isn’t about Eich. My point is that your standpoint on supporting an act due to Eich’s circumstances goes against your own principles.

    No, it’s that you think it goes against my principles, or should. I grant you are arguing for the proposition intelligently, at least.

    But if Eich walked up to me tomorrow and said “Eric, I supported Prop 8 because I thought it was about an unprincipled judicial reversal of the expressed will of the people”, what grounds would I have to argue with him?

  273. >I will say that having a “telos” which is separated from people’s quality of life spooks me badly.

    Welcome to reality. It doesn’t care much about what spooks you.

    >Also, who’s being included in the inclusive fitness?

    I don’t understand the question.

  274. Hmmh, it looks like I am using the word “teleological” wrongly. I really should stick to words of two syllables. What I meant by “teleological reproductive success” is success in the long term, including not just the ability to conceive and birth, but to raise productive offspring, to generate not a child but generations of children. I was thinking of the Greek meaning of telos rather than a particular philosophical or religious idea, and I certainly wasn’t intending to mean “purpose.”

  275. @Winter, Jay, Nancy et al

    Sorry I have not been replying as much .. things have gotten busy (preparing for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah, which starts tomorrow – have to go shopping, etc). I’m not ignoring y’all; I’ll definitely respond soon.

    My very brief off-the-cuffs are: Jay: if marriage is being treated that way in all other cases, there is a strong Equal Protection case to be made there. After all, why should gays be singled out as the only people who don’t get this interpretation of the law that causes states to respect each others marriage laws in all other respects? I think that might actually be the strongest legal case yet heard here, actually.

    Nancy: “I’m with Winter on David’s conservative link about gay marriage, though I do appreciate getting a specific link rather than a general recommendation.”

    I think you misunderstand me. I just gave the link *as a real conservative argument* to show that its not just a ball of hate and Jesus. I did NOT say I agree with the article. I am not a conservative, just one who accords them enough respect to not try to straw-man them. Please see what I said above, to Jay.

    I do not, however, see the Federal government’s legitimate role in changing the way that gays are viewed culturally. Giving the government that kind of power in general is an idea that leads to madness in all SORTS of ways.

    Winter: please read what I wrote to Nancy, especially the first paragraph. :)

  276. >Are we to consider short men and brunette females defective also?

    What kind of short? If you speak of dwarfism, yes.

    What kind of blond? If we’re speaking of albinism, yes.

    The human organism has a way it’s designed to develop and function. Variation within the normal range is one thing, but when we can identify a place where morphogenesis has failed or broken down it becomes appropriate to speak of a defect.

    Really, none of this is complicated. You’re just struggling because you think it’s going to land you on a repugnant conclusion. But consider this: if you agree with me that the fact “Eric has a developmental defect” doesn’t justify beating up Eric or preventing him from marrying, then why panic if it happens that you are using the word “defect” about Eric’s sexual targeting rather than his motor control?

  277. @ esr & Jessica:

    Would any of your policy prescriptions change if the question “is homosexuality appropriately described as a defect” were surgically removed from the discussion? Are any of your opinions or fact assessments dependant on the answer to that question?

    It seems to me that while one could reasonably disagree on whether gays should be kept out of unsupervised kid-centric jobs, one’s stance should depend on whatever the actual correlation is between homosexuality and pedophilia, and not on whether that correlation is caused by “damage” or “normal human variation.”

  278. > why panic if it happens that you are using the word “defect” about Eric’s sexual targeting rather than his motor control?

    Despite the comment I just made, I think there actually is a good reason have a problem with this: the word “defect” implies something that should be fixed if possible. This is a problem if the people with that defect don’t want to be fixed.

    The unpleasant end isn’t “we’ll think of gay people as less because Defect” (although we might); it’s “hospital commitment plus conversion therapy.”

  279. @esr
    > What kind of short? If you speak of dwarfism, yes.
    > What kind of blond? If we’re speaking of albinism, yes.

    No just the regular kind. I have a friend, a fantastic guy, not a loser nice guy, but a tough guy, dynamic, charismatic, self confident, rich, funny well educated, and 5’5″. If he was four inches taller his “reproductive success” would be guaranteed with a harem. As it is, he don’t get no action. 5’5″ is within the bounds of normal variation. From what I can quickly dig up, 5% of males are at or below that height, which is a smaller percentage than those who are homosexual. What makes “short” a variation and “gay” a defect?

    > but when we can identify a place where morphogenesis has failed or broken down

    In what ways are homosexuals morphologically different than heterosexuals? Yes their brains are wired differently than yours, but every brain is wired differently than every other brain, to the best of my knowledge there are no macroscopic differences.

    > Really, none of this is complicated. You’re just struggling because you think it’s going to land you on a repugnant conclusion.

    Not really, you have read enough of my comments to know that I do not fear the controversial conclusion. I just don’t find your argument all that compelling. I just think it is biased by an assumption of normality that just plain doesn’t exist.

    > then why panic if it happens that you are using the word “defect” about Eric’s sexual targeting rather than his motor control?

    Not panicking, I just think the word is pejorative, and inaccurate. And, for sure, calling gay people defective, even if you mitigate the harshness by self confessing your own defectiveness, is not a good thing. People who are a lot less rational and decent than you would be happy to take that in ways that you would certainly find abhorrent.

  280. >It seems to me that while one could reasonably disagree on whether gays should be kept out of unsupervised kid-centric jobs, one’s stance should depend on whatever the actual correlation is between homosexuality and pedophilia, and not on whether that correlation is caused by “damage” or “normal human variation.”

    Agreed. The semantic argument about “defects” happened because of the etiological stuff.

  281. >People who are a lot less rational and decent than you would be happy to take that in ways that you would certainly find abhorrent.

    That’s as may be. It doesn’t change any objective facts, however, and I am always primarily concerned about what is actually true. Even (or especially) when the truth is unpopular.

  282. @A on: “hospital commitment plus conversion therapy”

    Hogwash.

    All treatments come with side-effects. Assuming that gay conversion therapy worked (which it doesn’t, at least any more than placebo), there would be no ethical reason to force people to get it. As long as they aren’t hurting anybody else, it would be their choice to pursue it.

    To take a matter a little less concerning, assume that tomorrow there was an FDA-approved treatment which came out on the market for cerebral palsy. Would Eric want it if it had a 10% chance of additional neurological damage? What about if it worked with no long-term side effects, but it required a year of recuperation in order to re-learn how to move every voluntary muscle in the body?

    Even if it had no side-effects, worked 100% of the time, and cost $1, Eric still might choose not to pursue it simply to avoid the time required to see the doctor for 10 minutes. Or maybe he starts a new trend of medical hipsterism. In any case, a well-recognized defect wouldn’t be forcibly treated against his wishes. Neither would homosexuality.

  283. >Would Eric want it if it had a 10% chance of additional neurological damage?

    While my answer is not really needed to your reductio, I’ll give it because I suspect my regulars will find it interesting.

    Not just no but hell no. Right now I have compromised motor control and uninmpaired cognitive function. Reversing that would not be a good trade – not a risk I want to take.

  284. @Jay, Winter

    I’m in agreement with both of you on this point: Defense of Marriage Act is a really dumb name. When I hear from more conservative bloggers about this, I usually ask “can you think of a single heterosexual marriage that failed because gays can marry?” I’ve never heard a satisfactory answer to that.

  285. It used to be taken as simply obvious and self evident that homosexual couples with children sexually abused those children, that the children were a harem, that they were so severely mistreated that they were likely to die of mistreatment.

    It is now utterly unthinkable to think such a horrid thing.

    So, what is the state of the evidence?

    https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/why-two-dads-are-better-than-one-pro-gay-adoption-abc-profile-of-convicted-pedophile-mark-newton/

    Seems to me that posterboy couples are likely to be representative of the best, or the least bad.

    Now someone will say “Not All Gays are Like That”, but all the gays I know are like that, and when the progressive media go looking for a couple of poster boys, that is what they come up with. If not all of them are like that, nonetheless, that is the way to bet. The media has spent and continues to spend a lot of effort looking for a gay couple that fits the narrative, and it is evidently difficult, quite likely impossible, to find a gay couple that fits the narrative.

  286. As the above comments indicate, I think there is a lot more common ground in this thread than the lively debate would suggest. Most of us here are fundamentally opposed to herd bigotry and the unnecessary discrimination suffered by outliers in society. If common sense were allowed to dominate in our culture, then most of this controversy would evaporate and decent people would likely find a reasonable path to compromise and accommodation.

    The problem is that we live in strange times. The utter lack of leadership in nearly all venues of public life has created a dysfunctional environment in which the crazies are now emergent and calling the shots. Our major media serves merely as a cheerleader and megaphone because controversy sells. And our longstanding affluence (and attendant lack of hardship) has seduced us into a craving for manufactured crises.

    I submit that this macro social psychosis is far worse than the occasional pervert living next door.

  287. > there would be no ethical reason to force people to get it

    I agree. But that hasn’t, and won’t, stop the evil from arguing that case to the stupid, possibly with success.

    This seems like a good place to invoke the LW term “ADBOC”, meaning “Agree Denotationally But Object Connotationally.” “Defect” may be literally correct but carries extra meaning not contained in its definition, specifically the sense of being lessened and the sense that a cure is desirable; and that makes it preferable to find an alternate term. There’s a good explanation of why this sort of thing matters here, from Scott Alexander before he was Scott Alexander: http://lesswrong.com/lw/4h/when_truth_isnt_enough/.

  288. > Are you blind? Take a look.

    Are you using some definition of morphological that other people are unfamiliar with, or is there something you want to actually explain?

  289. > It used to be taken as simply obvious and self evident that homosexual couples with children sexually abused those children, that the children were a harem, that they were so severely mistreated that they were likely to die of mistreatment.

    Just out of morbid curiosity, what do you make of gay men who adopt daughters?

  290. >It seems to me that while one could reasonably disagree on whether gays should be kept out of unsupervised kid-centric jobs, one’s stance should depend on whatever the actual correlation is between homosexuality and pedophilia, and not on whether that correlation is caused by “damage” or “normal human variation.”

    The question then becomes whether ESR has allowed the idea that it is a defect, and the idea that it is reasonable to assume an easy mechanism for defects of putatively similar nature to be co-morbid, to contaminate his evidentiary standard for that correlation. He does say he has read “limited statistical evidence” to that effect, and I am wondering if he has assigned whatever evidence that is more weight than he should.

  291. @Random “And you don’t believe in political climate change?”

    For the past three hundred and thirty years, the political climate has changed ever leftwards at ever increasing speed. There is therefore, no risk of gay sex being forbidden, only of it being made compulsory.

    It has already become compulsory to applaud and approve. Is not failure to put out a form of racism?

    Observe the anti “bullying” initiatives. Since each such initiative invariably fails to achieve its purpose, obviously a more vigorous initiative is required. If exposure of nine year old boys to positive gay role models fails to do the trick, surely more intimate exposure is required.

  292. “I am wondering if he has assigned whatever evidence that is more weight than he should.”

    This is my belief. I think he’s assigning far too much weight to that survival guide and not examining, for example, whether one author has let his own bad experiences – or his desire to make sure that young gay men don’t fall into the clutches of the few bad actors – lead him to incorrect conclusions. I also find it highly ironic that Eric cautions against the researcher with one study while letting an author with one book be, effectively, his sole source.

  293. > > Are you blind? Take a look.

    > Are you using some definition of morphological that other people are unfamiliar with, or is there something you want to actually explain?

    Male homosexuals, on average, have a neotenous shape, a shape less indicative of male sexual maturity. They also have childish facial expressions, most infamously the gay grin.

    This is consistent with a theory of homosexuaity that something goes wrong very early in the differentiation process, and also consistent with the theory of homosexuality that homosexuality is spread by pedosexuality.

    That identical twins, one of whom is gay, do not differ morphologically, is consistent with the pedosex theory, in that it suggests that childish appearance, behavior, and mannerisms, is a risk factor for becoming homosexual, rather childish appearance and mannerisms and homosexuality resulting from a common cause.

    Both the pedosex theory and gay germ theory are consistent with the fact that there are huge variations in frequency of modern type homosexuality in different eras, the norm being that modern type homosexuality is so rare as to be essentially unknown. There is a strong correlation between modern type homosexuality and civilizational decay, though arguably we don’t have enough reliable examples for this to be statistically significant.

  294. > Just out of morbid curiosity, what do you make of gay men who adopt daughters?

    Just out of morbid curiosity, what is the proportion of gay men who adopt daughters as compared to gay men who adopt boys?

    My naive expectation would be that eighty percent of gay adoptions are boys, and the other twenty percent have bisexual adopting “parents”.

  295. What a load of bullshit.

    Was Eich acting as a hacker when he decided to help enshrine prejudice against gays and lesbians in the California constitution, or was that politics?

    Whether or not he judged LGBT coders by the quality of their code at Mozilla is a complete red herring, because in the political and legislative sphere, he was banding together with the other bigots and cynical political opportunists who supported proposition 8 in judging them on other criteria in ways that had impacts on every aspect of their lives beyond just their time at work.

    And here you are, so bent out of shape about “politics,” at a private foundation that you twist and turn to give Eich a pass on his participation in an attempt to change the constitution of the state of California to enshrine prejudice, and the larger movement it was part of.

    Pathetic.

  296. @JAD
    It is clear that your accusations against gays, like all your other racial and ideological accustions are not based on any form of evidence. Not even a hint of evidence. They clearly are projections of your own morbid phantasies.

  297. @ESR

    > But consider this: if you agree with me that the fact “Eric has a developmental defect” doesn’t justify beating up Eric or preventing him from marrying, then why panic if it happens that you are using the word “defect” about Eric’s sexual targeting rather than his motor control?

    Plain simply nobody expects you to break down and spend three days in a dark corner depressed and wallowing in self-loathing, interpreting the whole thing as personal worthlessness or being a second-rate human being and contemplating suicide. You either never had these kinds of psychological problems or overcame them long before most folks here found your blog.

    Note: these problems are actually fairly normal for teenagers, especially for teenager girls who can go through incredible self-hate trips just because they think they are kinda bony. It is usually overcame later. Sometimes not.

    This is precisely why I think SJW types should not be simply seen as enemies but also as people really, seriously suffering from some kind of psychological malfunction and in need of treatment or lacking that, some kind of a pity. My go-to example is this SJWoman: http://silence-without.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/the-long-campaign-against-racism-bogged.html who tried to illustrate these problems as

    “I mean, here’s an analogy that might work for you: try being unwillingly unemployed for a while. Awful, isn’t it. It’s degrading, humiliating, debasing, and the longer it goes on the harder it gets to smile when you walk into an interview room.”

    I mean, you, me, 99% of the people probably never really felt unemployment as something degrading, humiliating and debasing, so her analogy does not even work – it was at worst a financial problem or uncertainty about the future but not a self-worth issue.

    As the example illustrates, there is a real and serious psychological condition that could make these kinds of people feel a lot of mental anguish if called defective. I am not proposing to piss around the truth then, I am proposing to at least try to identify what the psychological problem may be, how it is normally fixed, and at the very least write about such stuff with some sense of pity like “… is a sexual targeting defect (and if that statement wants to make you crawl under a stone and die sobbing, you may have condition XYZ, see a therapist and meanwhile do coping practice ZYX)”, this would not only be a humane thing to do but ultimately by reducing the pain it would reduce the rage of SJW-storms as well.

  298. JAD is intractably convinced that sexual deviance is a fatal scourge in our society and is therefore leading us into civilization decline. His arguments amount to accusation by anecdote and his expressions are more like fear than reason. Perhaps this will help.

    All organisms evolve, and all organisms require mutation in order to propel that evolutionary process. In that sense, mutation is natural and cannot be excluded. Some mutations lead to favorable outcomes for a species, but most do not and eventually disappear. The time scales are long and the process is messy.

    In the moment, the state of evolution may appear confusing and irrational, but you must take the long view in order to resolve which mutations work versus which do not. Sexual deviance is part of this mutation process.

    Society attempts to limit the impact of mutation in the belief that this enhances quality of life. However, attempting to eradicate mutation will simply slow it down and introduce greater error.

  299. esr on 2015-03-12 at 20:38:17 said:
    > That’s as may be. It doesn’t change any objective facts,

    That sounds all very noble and all, but it doesn’t match the actual discussion we had. There are larger variations in other properties of humans than in the specific area of sexual preference, even when measured against the extremely narrow metric of reproductive success. Yet you choose to label one a defect and one a variation.

    What you label something is not a matter of fact, but a matter of language. And that really does matter because language isn’t mathematics, language is fuzzy. Words come not with tight meanings but with lots of fuzzy baggage. So labeling one thing a “defect” and one thing a “natural variation” adds a lot of significant baggage, so you’d better have a darned good reason to hang that albatross around the neck of people who, through natural variation, have a different sexuality than you.

  300. @James A. Donald (with mild editing)
    > It used to be taken as simply obvious and self evident that [black people raped every white women they saw] It is now utterly unthinkable to think such a horrid thing.

    > So, what is the state of the evidence?
    > [Link to a news story about a black man raping a white woman[

    > Now someone will say “Not All [Black men] are Like That”, but all the [black men] I know are like that,

    My question — if you know lots of gay couples abusing their children — if you have any real evidence rather than just dark imaginings — what have you done in terms of reporting this abuse to the police? Or are you just talking out your ass as usual?

  301. >Yet you choose to label one a defect and one a variation.

    For principled reasons. You dislike this because it might stir up negative emotions, but I have to push back against that. Not only are you uttering something very close to what the LW-school rationalists call a “fully general counterargument”, it puts those who play victim the loudest in the position of having a heckler’s veto over the language we can use and, by implication, the thoughts we can think.

    Not buying that, no way, nohow. I judge the results of that kind of surrender are worse, in the long term, than the results of the bigotry it is intended to “fix”. As a General Semanticist I am committed to fight it any way I can.

  302. If you’re going to label one a defect and one a variation, fully cognizant of the connotations of both terms, you need to at least justify the difference.

  303. Your analogy between part beliefs about blacks being rape-prone and gay couples being child-abuse-prone reminds me of a point I’ve been meaning to bring up.

    In recent decades, there’s been a lot of pressure on gay promiscuity. AIDS meant it had an excellent chance of being lethal.

    If promiscuity among gays is highly correlated with pedophilic/ephebophilic tendencies, it is at least possible that survival-guide-guy three decades ago was describing twink-hunting behavior as normal in a population that is now mostly dead. And today’s gays are genuinely different, because potential twink-hunters still tend to die soon after becoming sexually active.

    I have no hard evidence for this. But it would fit both my and Jay Maynard’s experience neatly.

    Finally, just because I think it’s my job to be fearless about this sort of thing, rather than because I actually believe it – what is your evidence that the behavior of blacks wasn’t different (e.g. more rape-prone) in the past?

    There’s at least a semi-plausible narrative in which today’s blacks have been selected for relative docility because a lot of the rapey ones got shot and lynched. You need to think about possibilities like this and at least construct counterarguments in your own head, even if you don’t speak them until a racist tries to drygulch you.

    This is a major reason it is important not to let hecklers veto your language and thoughts so that you can’t consider propositions like “blacks used to be highly prone to rape white women” or “gayness is a defect”. Even if you think both these claims are false, there is likely to come a point at which flinching from even thinking about them will limit your ability to prevent evil.

  304. @esr
    > You dislike this because it might stir up negative emotions

    I do dislike it because it stirs up negative emotions, but that is not my principle objection. My principle objection is that the distinction between “defect” and “natural variation” is entirely arbitrary. You haven’t given we any objective criteria to distinguish between the two, never mind the meta-criteria as to why that criteria should apply. Absent that discerning which is which is not reproducible. Absent that I am at liberty to call all men shorter than 5’6 as defective and all gay men as being part of a natural variation.

  305. >You haven’t given we any objective criteria to distinguish between the two, never mind the meta-criteria as to why that criteria should apply.

    I gave it. You weren’t paying close enough attention, apparently. Read the backscroll.

  306. @esr
    > Finally, just because I think it’s my job to be fearless about this sort of thing, rather than because I actually believe it – what is your evidence that the behavior of blacks wasn’t different (e.g. more rape-prone) in the past?

    I think it is a fair question, and obviously I don’t have any data to support the counter claim. Even were I to look at historical crime records on this it would not offer reliable information because: 1. official reporting of these things would be extremely unreliable given the racist proclivities of the authorities, 2. the question is actually about thoughts and preferences rather than the manifestation of those, and neither is measurable even were reliable records available.

    Nonetheless, I’d suggest that if it is to be established that black people in the past were more rape prone of pristine white virgins then the burden of proof would rather be on those who were making the claim rather than those, or me, who were stating the conventional wisdom. Especially so with something of this nature which is almost a byword for ridiculous stereotyped group think.

    As a further point, I’d suggest that anything being used to justify the war on drugs should by default be assumed to be untrue.

  307. Assuming for the sake of argument that your statements about the decreased incidence of rapists among black men and a possible change in gay men’s sexual behavior are true…how do you explain it, given that that behavior isn’t breeding it out of society? After all, being gay is not a genetic factor. (That doesn’t mean it’s not innate, just that it’s not genetic.)

  308. >Assuming for the sake of argument that your statements about the decreased incidence of rapists among black men and a possible change in gay men’s sexual behavior are true

    I don’t have enough investment in either theory to want to defend them. But I will note that one case could be generic selection, and the other be behavior selection through a rather deadly filter.

  309. Winter commented:
    > “@JAD It is clear that your accusations against gays, like all your other racial and ideological accustions are not based on any form of evidence. Not even a hint of evidence.

    You guys seem to be having big problems finding posterboys for gay marriage. I am told that they exist, just as I am told that an epidemic of college rape by white college fratboys exist, but when you try to provide examples, they blow up in your face.

    Similarly, your postergirls for women pilots wind up dead.

  310. esr, if the cause of commonalities in sexual targeting ‘defects’ is things like problems in fetal brain development or pathogen exposure, we should expect that selection effects would have no effect on future generations. Genetic selection might make defects less likely as an aggregate matter, but the specifics of each case (the ‘defect’ itself) would be 100% random noise, with no genetic component.

  311. >Genetic selection might make defects less likely as an aggregate matter, but the specifics of each case (the ‘defect’ itself) would be 100% random noise, with no genetic component.

    I think that’s probably right. There’s no evidence, AFAIK, that (for example) bestiality runs in families. Cerebral palsy (probably very similar in etiology) certainly does not.

  312. > My naive expectation would be that eighty percent of gay adoptions are boys, and the other twenty percent have bisexual adopting “parents”.

    So, let me get this straight… your contention is that absolutely no-one adopts because there is a psychological urge to raise a child independent of passing on one’s genes. That is, absolutely nobody adopts for any reason other than the sexual ones you are proposing. What do you make of straight adoption? Or, for that matter, of gay parents who choose the surrogacy route (and therefore one of them is the child’s biological father)?

  313. > For principled reasons.

    Reasons which you have repeatedly ignored my requests for information about. You have not established that having a gene which causes males to be gay has a greater impact on reproductive success than other factors that are not considered defects.

  314. I’m going to weigh in on Jessica’s side here. I think the use of the term “defect” is unnecessarily pejorative when used in the context of homosexuality. This behavior is certainly a deviation from natural reproductive practice, but it is not certain (as far as I know) that there is no beneficial aspect to this practice in regard to species robustness. I’m inclined to think that if the behavior continues to persist for a very long time, then there must be positive aspects or it would have been driven into extinction.

    Perhaps if homosexuality were more fully accommodated in society, the more harmful contingent would be selected out because “good” behaviors would be rewarded with greater social acceptance. BTW, this could apply to many outlier behaviors that are strictly personal matters and do not impact society at large.

  315. Jessica Boxer commented on Why I won’t mourn Mozilla.
    > Especially so with something of this nature which is almost a byword for ridiculous stereotyped group think.

    What makes you think that what everyone now knows is more reliable than what everyone used to know, particularly as people used to be able to doubt what used to be known without losing their jobs, whereas to doubt what everyone today knows results in personal destruction.

    What is more likely to be reliable, a belief system that is just taken for granted common sense, or a belief system that is imposed by the state using increasingly extreme means?

    What is more likely to be true? What people have commonly believed for centuries, or what people suddenly started believing a few years ago, and strangely claim to have always believed, even though it is perfectly obvious that they did not believe until very recently? If everyone is lying about what they used to believe, chances are they are lying about what they now believe.

  316. > your contention is that absolutely no-one adopts because there is a psychological urge to raise a child independent of passing on one’s genes.

    Lots of lesbians and heterosexuals adopt for such reasons, desire to raise a child, but gays seldom feel that impulse and have great difficulty comprehending it in others.

  317. What is more likely to be reliable, a belief system that is just taken for granted common sense, or a belief system that is imposed by the state using increasingly extreme means?

    I think neither of these things constitute evidence of reliability. However anyone saying “this is just taken for granted as common sense so you should believe it” is, to me, evidence that i should distrust that position without solid review of evidence since if someone is trying to use historical zeitgeist as evidence, they’re probably lacking in actual evidence.

  318. If you don’t defend people whose opinions you dislike against political lynching, who is going to defend you when your opinions enrage a mob?

    Sorry to take so long replying to this; it’s been a very long week with way too much drama. But to come out of “protective father” mode and engage your question, I simply don’t feel that there is an immoral dimension to Eich’s resignation, and I think it’s instructive to consider what went wrong with Eich’s promotion.

    FIRST: Mozilla’s board either didn’t do their due diligence or ignored the results. It was already known that Eich had made the pro-Prop 8 donation, (he blogged about it in 2012, and had already been called a “hater” and a “bigot.”) Even if his donations had not been known, any proper background check for a C-level employee should have revealed them. Eich also donated to other anti-Gay candidates, so there was no excuse (“I was trying to placate my father-in-law” or whatever) and no claim of “it only happened once” that could possibly be made.

    I’m not sure that titling Eich as a “hater” is entirely fair, but I’ll certainly go with “bigot.” I don’t see the situation as being much different than someone in the late sixties donating to an organization which attempts to outlaw mixed marriage. We’re done with those people and rightly so.

    SECOND: Mozilla’s board did not understand the social environment they promoted Eich into. As a California resident, I can tell you that Proposition 8 really upset the LGBT community. The pro-8 campaign told an immense number of lies about what would happen if Prop 8 wasn’t passed, and the pro-Prop 8 campaign attracted millions of dollars from out of state. The vote on the proposition was fairly close; the conventional wisdom is that without the lies and out-of-state money (most of it from the Mormon Church) Prop 8 wouldn’t have passed. Short of killing a Gay child, there’s very little Eich could have done that would attract more anger than contributing to Prop 8. Mozilla/Eich clearly didn’t get this.

    THIRD: Mozilla/Eich clearly didn’t get that anti-Gay prejudice is clearly in it’s final days among everyone but the fundamentalist faithful. Even on the Christian side of my family, where perhaps 20% of the adults have served as missionaries, there are out Gay people who are fully accepted as family members, along with their fiances/spouses. I can safely tell you that I was terrified about taking my daughter and her female fiance to the family reunion this summer and the total lack of an apocalyptic anti-Gay screaming match both surprised and delighted me.

    FOURTH: If either Eich or Mozilla thought this might be an issue, they did nothing to mitigate the problem. Eich could have donated to any number of organizations that did something Gay-oriented but also weren’t too offensive to a Fundamentalist Xtian; perhaps an anti-suicide campaign for Gay youth, or a shelter for Gay kids who had to leave home due to parental prejudice.

    I’ll also note that there is nothing in the material I’ve read which even remotely implies that Eich or anyone at Mozilla consulted with either Gay employees or LGBT leaders about how to handle the issue.

    FIFTH: SF Bay area CEO with an anti-Gay record? What’s wrong Mozilla, are you stupid or something?

    I wouldn’t quite go so far as to say that Eich and Mozilla set themselves up for what happened, but they clearly didn’t understand the social or political environment they were dealing with, they didn’t understand Eich’s negatives, and they did nothing to mitigate the problem before announcing Eich’s promotion.

    Then Eich refused to discuss his donations or apologize for them. He did promise equal treatment and inclusive health benefits to all Mozilla employees, but he did it in a fashion which was devoid of context or understanding of the suffering he had previously underwritten.

    It is an unfortunate fact that when society changes, (and it is ALWAYS changing) there will typically be a couple of holdovers from an earlier era who don’t understand what is happening, and they will get clobbered by those changes. If I’ve got any sympathy for Eich it is on this basis alone – there’s always someone who gets to have a “learning experience” about social changes and it is not a comfortable role.

    To be much more succinct, Eich/Mozilla proceeded to dig a hole and then fall into it, ignoring mine fields and booby traps that should have been obvious to even a casual observer. This puts a very had limit on any sympathy or pity I might feel for either the man or the organization. Once you consider all the things that Mozilla/Eich should have done but didn’t do, it becomes very, very clear that the real problem here is a failure of corporate governance.

    Having established that Mozilla/Eich could have avoided this controversy it’s also clear that the LGBT community was quick to take advantage of this unforced error. This is where you are detecting immorality, and I think you are doing so falsely.

    To begin with, let’s throw something away right now. Brendan Eich was a CEO. “Show me the code” does not apply. There may be some managerial version of “Show me the code” which does apply, something like “Show me how well you manage a diverse, Bay Area organization that’s dedicated to keeping the Internet free…” but in this particular case, “Show me the code” is a rhetorical tool designed to convince your hacker audience that your position is correct. So let’s toss “Show me the code.” If you want to make “Show me how well you manage a-” its your blog… but I’m done with “Show me the code.”

    So what are you left with? I hear a bunch of talk about how Mozilla should have defended their CEO, how hackers should support free expression, how we’re a meritocracy…

    I get it. I truly do. We all want to be judged on our merits. There’s just one thing.

    Brendan Eich fired the first shot in this particular battle. He contributed a thousand dollars to one of the biggest and ugliest attempts to reverse the rights of LGBT people. He paid a thousand dollars to a very ugly attempt to make my daughter into a second class citizen.

    He forgot one thing. You forgot one thing: Gay people and their supporters get to fight back.

    We get to clobber the Brendan Eichs of this world as hard as they clobber us. We get to fuck our oppressors as hard as they fuck us. Nobody forced Brendan Eich to contribute to the oppression of California’s Gay citizens – taxpayers, military veterans, teachers, cops and civil servants… plus my daughter. He decided on his own that he wanted to make that donation. He decided on his own to wade into that moral sewer. Nobody forced him. Nobody held a gun to his head. How Eich could imagine that contributing to oppression is consequence-free is beyond my comprehension.

    If Eich gets to hurt the LGBT people, they get to hurt him back. (And let’s dispense in advance with the “no harm done” argument. Prop 8 may have been thrown out by the courts, but there are plenty of anti-Gay causes Brendan can still contribute to.)

    What your post really says is that when a bigot like Brendan Eich throws a thousand dollars into destroying someone’s rights, there shouldn’t be consequences. Your post’s entire existence is based on the idea that there’s something wrong if LGBT people fight back.

    To answer your question above: There was no lynching. There was no mob. Brendan fired into a crowd of people who had done nothing to harm him, and if he got clobbered for it, maybe he shouldn’t have pulled a gun in the first place.

  319. C. Survival-guide-guy’s book suggests that co-morbidity between homosexuality and pedophilia is particularly strong. Note that this is not the same as asserting that either most homosexuals are pedophiles or most pedophiles are homosexuals. In fact we know that most pedophiles are not homosexuals, and we understand that this is because there are roughly 100 times as many heterosexuals as homosexuals.

    I suspect that this is cultural to a particular time and place, mainly concerned with how does an adolescent who has recently been thrown out of his house for being homosexual survive, particularly where the weather is cold? Obvious answer is that he finds a “nice” older man who will take him in until his is done growing up and the adolescent probably pays for it with sex. I don’t see this as a good thing, but consider the various ugly alternatives for a 14-year old Gay child with no place to go.

    I should also note that the Gay community started divorcing itself from NAMBLA around 1980 and the process was complete by 1985. This is roughly coincident with the change in attitudes which resulted in differing treatment of many young Gays by their parents.

  320. He forgot one thing. You forgot one thing: Gay people and their supporters get to fight back.

    So your stance is that someone who feels politically wronged is within their rights to defend themselves with any legal means? That seems like the kind of precedent the LGBT community has been fighting against for decades but… ok.

  321. > In fact we know that most pedophiles are not homosexuals,

    No we do not know this.

    To get this desired conclusion, need to define a nineteen year old boy who is attracted to a seventeen year old girl as a pedophile.

    If, instead, we define pedophilia as sexual desire for people who look to be clearly below puberty, most pedophiles are gay, and nearly all gays are pedophiles.

  322. >Reasons which you have repeatedly ignored my requests for information about. You have not established that having a gene which causes males to be gay has a greater impact on reproductive success than other factors that are not considered defects.

    Some things that affect reproductive success are natural variation. Some are defects. We tell the defects from the natural variation when we spot a situation where morphogenesis has clearly gone wrong. There is a qualitative difference between (to borrow Jessica’s example) being a male below 5’5″ and a male with undescended testicles. The former is usually natural variation, barring some extreme cases like ateleotic dwarfism that are defects. The latter is unequivocally a defect.

    You seem to be whipping yourself into some sort of lather over the proposition that there if there is any form of natural variation that has more impact on reproductive success than being gay, that implies that classifying gayness as a defect is unprincipled. To see that this is silly, consider my CP. There are undoubtedly kinds of natural variation that have a much larger impact on my ability to score chicks than my CP ever has. Yet my CP is still unequivocally a defect.

    Suppose the gay-germ theory is true, or more generally that one of the fetal-MBD theories is true (and this looks quite likely). Do you actually intend to argue that brain damage exhibiting co-morbidity with a large range of learning disorders, mental diseases, and behaviors like pedophilia is not a defect?

  323. > Some things that affect reproductive success are natural variation. Some are defects.

    I was, in fact, asking for evidence that it does affect reproductive success, not yet another argument that relies on it already being agreed that it does.

    > situation where morphogenesis has clearly gone wrong.

    You’ve provided no evidence for this other than its supposed impact on reproductive success (i.e. the classic “it couldn’t possibly be a normal gene because it’d breed itself out in a generation” just-so story). James A. Donald is doing better than you, and his “evidence” is a mere assertion.

  324. > There may be some managerial version of “Show me the code” which does apply

    Thank you. This is what I was getting at with “Do you think that Mozilla won’t take a technical patch from Eich?” – which ESR declined to answer, immediately after declining to answer whether he would want an Islamist or Communist as a CEO.

  325. As far as I can tell, “show me the code” is only valid if one views a CEO position as a sinecure given as a reward for past technical merit, rather than a real job with (non-technical) qualifications of its own.

  326. Anyway what browser will occupy the pole position as the browser you can trust, the browser that is feature rich and standards compliant now?

  327. Lots of lesbians and heterosexuals adopt for such reasons, desire to raise a child, but gays seldom feel that impulse and have great difficulty comprehending it in others.

    You seem to be a real expert on how the “gay mind” works …

  328. @ Troutwaxer

    I don’t think you understand Eric’s point, and clearly your personal connection and emotions are driving you to rationaiize what actually happened in the Eich attack.

    Eich made a political contribution to a cause he supports. That is his right regardless of your opinion of his judgement. A virtual lynch mob of opposition was then organized and they went after him with vitriol and intensity, and an intent to make his takedown a public warning to all others of similar mind. This is an age-old Mafia intimidation tactic and crosses the line of civilized opposition. Just because the knee-breakers are on your side today doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to use them. The next time, they may show up at your door.

  329. Eich made a political contribution to a cause he supports.

    Note how neutral the language is. “Eich made a political contribution.” Not “Eich, a terrible bigot, spent a thousand dollars to force Gay people to have different rights than straight people.”

    A virtual lynch mob of opposition was then organized and they went after him with vitriol and intensity, and an intent to make his takedown a public warning to all others of similar mind.

    But the LGBT people are a “lynch mob” and poor Eich didn’t do anything at all to cause the evil Gay people to gang up on him. I’m going to rewrite your statement above so it carries a few more facts and uses neutral language:

    “Eich, using his free speech rights, made a large contribution to a campaign against Gay marriage. If the campaign was successful, it would give LGBT people who wish to marry lesser rights than straight people, effectively making them second-class citizens. (The rights afforded a married couple are huge, as noted upthread.) While making a political contribution is Eich’s legal right, behavior which can be interpreted as bigoted does carry consequences, and an educated man like Eich knew that he was risking those consequences.

    In response to Eich’s anti-Gay behavior, his political opponents mobilized against him after he placed himself in a very vulnerable position due to a failure of corporate governance (let’s not forget that Mozilla/Eich had options in how they handled this.) A very large group of LGBT people and their supporters, including a number of Mozilla employees, (who also risked consequences) used their own free speech rights to demand Eich’s removal from the position of CEO and Eich resigned from his position, possibly with the encouragement of Mozilla’s board of directors.”

    Isn’t it amazing how using neutral language changes what you’re trying to say? Suddenly Eich doesn’t look like a very good guy, his opponents look reasonable, and nobody got lynched, virtually or otherwise.

  330. @ Troutwaxer

    I doubt that I will improve your understanding, but I will try once again.

    The KKK used similar (though more extreme) heavy-handed intimidation tactics when they literally hanged black men during the dark days of serious racial bigotry. Just because the LGBT community stopped short of literal hanging (and settled for occupational assassination) does not justify the tactic.

    Be careful what you wish for, the opposition may choose to follow your lead and escalate also.

  331. @ TomA

    Reality is a bitch. You can’t be a complete asshole to a group of your fellow human beings without consequences. That’s something you should have learned at your mother’s knee.

    It speaks volumes for the essential health of our civilization that very worst consequence of some very ugly behavior (consequences that 99% of bigots will never have to face) was that one person lost their job.

    Nobody was killed. Nobody was hurt. Not so much as a scratch. Eich’s house is still standing and he can still make as many donations as he wants to anti-Gay causes and politicians. He can still tell his children that “Gays are horrible people” and he can still travel and speak publicly and I’m sure there’s someone who will happily hire him. I don’t doubt that Brandon’s kids will still get their college paid for and I haven’t heard anything about his marriage failing.

    To liken this to a lynching is pure rhetorical bullshit. (Do I need to link to pictures of an actual lynching?) To talk about the KKK in this instance is the act of someone who’s gone full-Godwin.

    If you want to argue that Brendan Eich, a man of integrity and purpose, intentionally took a risk for something he believed in and then lost the fight he’d started in service of his beliefs I’ve got no problem with that argument. It’s the basis for a much more interesting discussion than this one. But if you’re unwilling to assign him at least 50% of the responsibility for what happened to him, if you keep insisting that Eich was walking through a meadow full of bunnies, unicorns and rainbows when a roving band of faggot warriors gunned him down for no reason whatsoever… That’s hogwash and there’s no talking to you.

  332. >You’ve provided no evidence for this other than its supposed impact on reproductive success

    Either you weren’t paying attention to the the discussion of fetal MBD or you’re being remarkably dense.

  333. > Either you weren’t paying attention to the the discussion of fetal MBD or you’re being remarkably dense.

    That would be the part where your only evidence that being gay is an example of this is its supposed impact on reproductive success.

  334. > You seem to be a real expert on how the “gay mind” works

    Today, noticing is forbidden. But once upon a time, noticing was permitted.

  335. @ Troutwaxer

    I have no idea why you are so angry. If you read my posts above, you will see that I am sympathetic to your aims. It’s your tactics that are questionable.

    If occupational assassination is acceptable, how far are you willing to go? Is voter fraud OK? How about extortion or in-your-face thug coercion as it was practiced during the unionization movement of the last century? I doubt that the KKK started with lynching. More likely they started with meager intimidation tactics and escalated to the extreme. How do you know that you’re not in the beginning stages of a slippery slope? If you have resort to these tactics, how moral is your cause and why would any sane civilization want to include you?

    I’m sorry, but thuggish stupidity is neither a justification nor an endorsement for your cause.

  336. Reality is a bitch. You can’t be a complete asshole to a group of your fellow human beings without consequences. That’s something you should have learned at your mother’s knee.

    Wait… donating a relatively trivial amount of money to a political campaign is now being a “complete asshole”? If Brendan Eich is a complete asshole for a $1000 political donation… what the hell is Stephen Bing who donated $500,000? He must be like Hitler and Stalin jelled together with a little Kim Jong Il or something since he’s 500 times worse than a “complete asshole”. The “Aids Healthcare Foundation” donated $10000? They must be doing something really dodgy… probably by being non-profit. We all (as moral people) should be lobbying for investigation of this clearly dodgy organisation that donated more than $1000 to a political campaign and thus must be at least 10 times worse than that “complete asshole”, Brendan Eich.

    I think you need to recalibrate your definition of “complete asshole” since it doesn’t seem to scale well.

  337. @ JonCB

    Perhaps Troutwaxer meant the term “complete asshole” as either a compliment or an entreaty.

  338. Perhaps Troutwaxer meant the term “complete asshole” as either a compliment or an entreaty.

    Right… and they were actually doing Brenden Eich a favor… i mean who really WANTS to be a CEO.

  339. ESR, do you understand that when you say things like “morphogenesis has clearly gone wrong” and “(and this looks quite likely)” people are not actually obligated to agree with you on what is “clear” or “likely”?

  340. >ESR, do you understand that when you say things like “morphogenesis has clearly gone wrong” and “(and this looks quite likely)” people are not actually obligated to agree with you on what is “clear” or “likely”?

    No, they’re not – if they’re ignorant of the science.

    When I was about 12 I began grappling intellectually with the implications of my cerebral palsy – a birth defect, and I never caviled or blushed at using that word. I knew it didn’t make me evil or morally broken, a kind of clarity you seem to have a problem replicating.

    That realization led me to study morphogenesis, congenital defects, and teratology rather closely. I was initially equipped to do by my mother’s old medical books. I’ve been following developments in that field for 40 years.

    I repeat: Do you actually intend to argue that fetal brain damage exhibiting co-morbidity with a large range of learning disorders, mental diseases, and behaviors like pedophilia is not a birth defect?

    Now, you can escape that problem if homosexuality turns out to be the result of some set of recessive alleles, in which case “normal variation” may be a reasonable description. Maybe. One can sensibly speak of genetic defects, as well; I wouldn’t advise trying “normal variation” on the parents of a child with (say) Tay-Sachs disease.

  341. “fetal brain damage exhibiting co-morbidity with a large range of learning disorders, mental diseases, and behaviors like pedophilia”

    [citation needed] … and more than just one self-published guide, no matter how embarrassing it may have been for the author.

  342. >[citation needed] … and more than just one self-published guide, no matter how embarrassing it may have been for the author.

    It’s all the authority I’ve been able to find. I mean, I have gone looking – but studies near this topic are so polluted with ideological bias and obviously crappy methodology seeking soothing conclusions that it is difficult to extract signal from noise. It’s worse than the sociology around firearms policy, because in this case I think both political sides are flimfamming. The socially-conservative right (the likes of the FRC) is no more trustworthy than the academic left.

  343. My point, though, is that it’s no authority at all. Is there any rigor there? Or is it just the guy codifying things “everyone knows”? What would you say if the author turned out to be a gay version of JAD?

  344. >Is there any rigor there?

    Guy wrote like a scientist. Had a bibliography. And…there was a kind of merciless clarity about him that was its own authority and remains my strongest memory of the book. No apologies, no excuses, just the ropes.

    >What would you say if the author turned out to be a gay version of JAD?

    Nah. JAD isn’t capable of sustaining that kind of clarity. He hates too much; while it occasionally liberates him to speak Damned Truths, it mostly just screws up his thinking. Also, comparing their language, survival-guide-guy was a good bit brighter than JAD.

    Anyway, a gay version of JAD would concoct and argue for elaborate theories of gay superiority – treat that 26x murder rate as though it were evidence of some kind of heroic hypermasculinity, and sound bugfuck crazy doing it.

  345. “Guy wrote like a scientist. Had a bibliography. And…there was a kind of merciless clarity about him that was its own authority and remains my strongest memory of the book. No apologies, no excuses, just the ropes.”

    Homeopaths write like scientists, too, complete with bibliographies.

    And he may well have been clear, merciless, and wrong. Without data, references, all that kind of scientific folderol, we just can’t tell.

  346. >And he may well have been clear, merciless, and wrong. Without data, references, all that kind of scientific folderol, we just can’t tell.

    I’m talking about evidence from ground-level, handed to me by a gay person who explicitly thought I would find it instructive and did not qualify or object to any of the content. You can try to wish that away, but I’ll bet on my gay friend’s honesty over your politically-correct spin.

  347. I doubt that the KKK started with lynching.

    What astounds me Tom, is how frightened you are. The chance that a crew of rainbow-robe-clad queers will burn a lambda on your lawn is zero. And that’s the whole point of free speech. A group of people said “Hey Mozilla, we’re not willing to put up with Eich’s shit.”

    And Mozilla said, “O.K., we get it.”

    AND THAT WAS THE END OF THE MATTER. Due to your fearfulness, you don’t get that. The queer posse isn’t riding out tomorrow night to shoot out the windows of every hacker who agrees with Eric Raymond or Brendan Eich. It’s not gonna happen.

    You’re worried about escalation, but I think you’ve got things backwards. When you achieve your aims through free speech you don’t have to escalate. In fact, when your aims are achieved through free speech it encourages the continued use of free speech because free speech worked previously. You only need to fear violence when free speech isn’t working or when it works too slowly. (This leaves aside the issue of demagogues who advocate violence, but I haven’t seen much of that in the Gay community.)

    At the moment the Gay community is winning it’s victories in three very peaceful fashions: Through the court system, as with Gay marriage, through free speech, as with Brendan Eich, and through the fact that most people have figured out that they’ve got a close Gay relative and it isn’t the end of the world. (I think the last one has created more victories than anything else.)

    There have been a long string of non-violent Gay victories and those non-violent victories encourage the continued use of non-violent tactics. Why abandon tactics that work? Why become terrorists when every court in the land is finding in your favor? The things you fear aren’t happening and it doesn’t make sense to expect they will happen.

    And knock of the stupid rhetoric. Calling what happened to Eich “occupational assasination” doesn’t mean someone got killed. It just makes you look clueless.

  348. @esr
    >the defects from the natural variation when we spot a situation where morphogenesis has clearly gone wrong.

    But we already talked about this. There are no morphological differences between gay people and straight people. Your situation is different. There are indeed morphological damage to the motor cortex of your brain (based on the little I know of the disease.) Descended testicles are also clearly a morphological thing. It can be measured in an anatomy class.

    If we are to accept things like the hormonal influence of gene expression in utero as being evidence of damage then everyone is damaged. If you claim that the homosexuality is the proof that maternal hormones are causing damage then you are just arguing in a circle.

    So perhaps you think I missed your “proof” of the difference between damage and natural variation, but I didn’t miss it, it just doesn’t stand up to examination.

    > Suppose the gay-germ theory is true, or more generally that one of the fetal-MBD theories is true (and this looks quite likely). Do you actually intend to argue that brain damage exhibiting co-morbidity with a large range of learning disorders, mental diseases, and behaviors like pedophilia is not a defect?

    Hold on there. As I have already argued, being male is co-morbid with many of the things you just listed but I doubt you’d claim that “being male” is damage, especially so when there is a clear, unequivocal genetic cause of maleness, and profound morphological differences between males and non males.

    To give another example, being black is co-morbid with sickle cell anemia. Are we to argue that being black is also a defect? Tay Sachs is co-morbid with being Azkenazi. Are we to argue that being Azkenazi is a defect? As I said, if you are going to assume people have property 2 based on them having property 1, you had better show a very strong causal link between the too, much stronger than, for example, the property of child abuser has with the property of being gay. (Notwithstanding JAD’s evidence free assertions to the contrary.)

  349. @esr
    “Now, you can escape that problem if homosexuality turns out to be the result of some set of recessive alleles, in which case “normal variation” may be a reasonable description.”

    As nobody has a clue about the causes and development of homosexuality, there really is as much reason to call it a brain defect as it is to call left-handedness a brain defect.

    All there is to Homosexuality is that these are people who prefer sexual relationships with persons of their own sex. No other comorbidities are in evidence. Everything your informant wrote was anecdotes and social sub cultures. Historical and social accidents.

    Go to another country or time, and everything is different.

  350. Troutwaxer:

    “AND THAT WAS THE END OF THE MATTER.” Not quite. Mozilla didn’t just say “OK, we get it”; they also said, although very quietly, “Brendan, it’d be best if you left.” Ignore the PR spin. Eich was effectively fired. Ever hear of “constructive termination”?

    “The queer posse isn’t riding out tomorrow night to shoot out the windows of every hacker who agrees with Eric Raymond”

    No? I can see this very discussion being exhibit A in an attempted public career lynching of Eric Raymond should be have the temerity to actually accept a position of responsibility somewhere that the forces of political correctness hold sway. I can’t see Eric actually doing that, nor can I see him giving a response other than “Fuck you. Strong letter to follow.” to anyone trying to force him to quit over this kind of thing, but I can definitely see it happening.

    I happen to agree with you that gay men and lesbians are winning equality the only way that will truly make it stick: by winning hearts and minds, through things like your third option. Given that, why set your own cause back by public lynchings like was done to Eich? If he’s going to lose anyway, why pour salt in the wounds?

  351. “I’m talking about evidence from ground-level, handed to me by a gay person who explicitly thought I would find it instructive and did not qualify or object to any of the content. ”

    You’re ignoring another possibility: they didn’t object to the content, not because it wasn’t wrong, but because they prefer to err on the side of scariness to make sure that the uninitiated aren’t harmed by the few predators that do exist?

    Sorry, Eric…but without some way to independently evaluate the truth of the source you cite, it’s no more valuable as an overall metric than “of course everyone knows all gay men are pedophiles”.

  352. treat that 26x murder rate as though it were evidence of some kind of heroic hypermasculinity

    Eric, I believe you misread or misremember something. A little math should make this clear. Prior to 1994 (long after you read that book, if I understand you correctly) the annual murder rate hovered around 9 per 100,000, which would have put the Gay murder rate up around 234 per 100,000. (HINT – This would have been front page news on every paper in the world!) Look on the bottom of this website for a handy chart:

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-nationally-and-state

    There were 23,330 murders in 1994.

    http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

    If we assume that 5% of the population is Gay, (250,000,000 × .05 = 12500000. Then 12500000÷100000=125. Then 125 x 234…) the intra-Gay murder rate alone would have been 29250 – roughly 6000 more than the total murders in the US. (If we assume that 3% of the population is Gay, we get 17550 Gay murders in 1994, still a completely unrealistic number.)

    I suspect that the author was discussing violence against Gays happening at 26 times the rate of violence against straights. This still seems way too high – I suspect he was citing a poor study – but either your author is completely unreliable, or you’ve misplaced a decimal point.

  353. >There are no morphological differences between gay people and straight people.

    Even that much of your beliefs is wrong. There are differences, ranging from the sublime (different distribution of sizes in certain well-defined areas of the brain) to the ridiculous (I was highly amused to learn last year that gay men have on average larger penises than straight men).

    >As I have already argued, being male is co-morbid with many of the things you just listed but I doubt you’d claim that “being male” is damage, especially so when there is a clear, unequivocal genetic cause of maleness, and profound morphological differences between males and non males.

    Well, this is at least a more intelligent line of argument than Jay’s denial. But you’re actually kind of refuting yourself. We know that maleness has a clear genetic cause. We also think we know why maleness exists – sexual reproduction is a way of achieving rapid variation in alleles against rapidly changing pathogen populations. There’s a causal chain in which maleness nets out to increasing inclusive fitness for the germ lines the males are carrying. We even understand why some forms of male fragility derive from that – there’s a physiological basis, for example, for testosterone being both necessary to male reproductive strategy and lifespan-shortening.

    There isn’t any similar story for sexual-targeting disorders (other than some weak speculation about homosexuals helping out female relatives). What we have looks like a pretty large decrease in inclusive fitness mediated by what is possibly unfortunate genes but probably injury during early development. If it hadn’t become a law of polite discourse that nothing even remotely critical or negative-sounding is to be said about groups that successfully claim “oppressed” status, “defect” would be a no-brainer.

    >To give another example, being black is co-morbid with sickle cell anemia. Are we to argue that being black is also a defect? Tay Sachs is co-morbid with being Azkenazi. Are we to argue that being Azkenazi is a defect?

    Jessica, you are leading with your chin. These are almost perversely bad examples for your argument. Sickle-cell-anemia keeps its prevalence because the heterozygotic trait is protective against malaria. Tay-Sachs is strongly suspected of being an “oops!” result of the same alleles that drive average Ashkenazic IQ a standard deviation high (it’s the best-known member of a family of lipid-metabolism disorders like this including Gaultier’s syndrome).

    If you want to exclude homosexuality from being called a “defect” with parallel variations like this, you need to show that all those co-morbidities are compensated out by some large hidden advantage to the homosexual’s germ line. Good luck with that – I’ve actually tried to go down this path myself and didn’t find anything convincing.

    (The least unconvincing possibility, BTW, seemed to be some kind of link between homosexuality and warrior/pathfinder genes, but despite the historical pattern of homoeroticism among warrior elites the frequency ranges look too different – too many warriors, not enough gays.)

  354. No? I can see this very discussion being exhibit A in an attempted public career lynching of Eric Raymond

    Jay, I’d really hoped to avoid going there, but I’m getting sick of the word “lynching” being applied to the resignation/firing of Brendan Eich, so I’m going there.

    Here’s what getting fired looks like:
    http://www.creative-resume-templates.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/getting-fired.jpg

    Here’s what getting lynched looks like:
    http://www.kingsacademy.com/mhodges/03_The-World-since-1900/05_Depression/pictures/Southern-lynching_1937.jpg

    It would be really nice if everyone could lay off the rhetorical bullshit.

  355. > but either your author is completely unreliable, or you’ve misplaced a decimal point.

    I do remember being quite shocked by the figure, which is why I’m sure it wasn’t 2.6 – I would found that unsurprising.

    Your logic has some weight to it, but I see a couple of problems with the fact basis. One is that you’re correct that I read the book much earlier. I think it was in the very early 1980s just before AIDS was on the radar – there was zero concern about AIDS or other STDs on survival-guide-guy’s hazard list. This means the murder rate was significantly higher then, and if he was reporting from older studies it would have been higher still.

  356. Eric, from the chart I posted, the murder rates varies between 7.9 and 10.2 from 1970 (the earliest year on the chart) to 1994, when it begins to dip precipitously, so it averages around 9/100,000 for about 25 years. That means that my numbers hold true through 1970.

    Going to the other table I posted, it looks like the 1960s had a much lower murder rate than the 1970s, though I haven’t done the math.

    All that being said, the 26 X number would mean that Gays are responsible for 70-80% of the national murder rate, and I guarantee you won’t find anyone remotely rational who believes that.

  357. All right, Troutwaxer, objection noted.

    Now, will you answer the argument?

  358. @ Troutwaxer

    OK, so you don’t think that what happened to Eich was going to far, or that it may be a step on the path to a slippery slope, and you have perfect knowledge that there will be no future extremism is the gay community when it comes to promoting their politics, and this all of this is much ado about nothing (and incidentally you are passionately hypersensitive about the “lynching” analogy).

    It seems to me that you are as intractable in your beliefs as JAD is in his. One difference though, JAD doesn’t seem to rave as much as you do. God help us if he is the more reasonable participant in this debate.

  359. @esr
    > Even that much of your beliefs is wrong. There are differences

    Is it your contention that you can push a man through an MRI machine or some other more detailed diagnostic tool and determine with even the smallest amount of certainty what his sexual preference is? Of course you can’t. You can however diagnose cerebral palsy with an extremely high degree of certainty. That is morphology.

  360. >Is it your contention that you can push a man through an MRI machine or some other more detailed diagnostic tool and determine with even the smallest amount of certainty what his sexual preference is?

    Actually that probably should be possible now, come to think of it. Though not as recently as even a decade or so ago – the neural-morphology stuff is pretty recent IIRC. And I don’t know that anyone has tried it that way around; the studies I remember reading about apparently started with the test populations pre-sorted.

  361. @esr
    > Actually that probably should be possible now, come to think of it.

    Seems unlikely to me, but I guess we will have to wait and see. I am sure there is a pretty big lobby to support the “he is gay because that is the way he is made”, so I imagine there is a pretty strong motivation to make such a study work.

  362. @ Jessica

    As mentioned above, I support your position that “defect” may be a bridge too far when used in the context of homosexuality. My reasoning is that the long term persistence of this sexual variation may be due to species benefits that are as yet unknown. Therefore, focusing solely on the reproductive disadvantage may not tell the whole story. Time will tell.

    However, my dictionary defines comorbidity as the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or adverse conditions in a patient. Bisexual reproduction is one of the foundational traits of our species and consequently, being male (or female for that matter) cannot be a dysfunction. We would not exist without this trait. The same cannot be said for homosexuality.

    A modern civilization should be tolerant and inclusive of individual sexual deviation so long as no harm is rendered to others. It is well to note that sexual deviation occurs in heterosexuality as well. Fifty Shades of Grey?

  363. >All that being said, the 26 X number would mean that Gays are responsible for 70-80% of the national murder rate, and I guarantee you won’t find anyone remotely rational who believes that.

    I did note that I found the figure pretty startling at the time. I remember asking my gay friend about it. I don’t remember his answer exactly, but the gist was that if survival-guide-guy said it he was inclined to believe it. Possibly he was too credulous, but I had no grounds to disbelieve either of them at the time.

    Last I heard of him he’d given himself as a sex slave to a judge in Pennsylvania – I have a dim memory of being told after the fact that I’d actually met his dom at an SF convention. He disappeared into the BDSM world and never resurfaced; likely AIDS got him.

  364. All right, Troutwaxer, objection noted. Now, will you answer the argument?

    I think you’re referring to this question, so I’ll try to answer it.

    Given that, why set your own cause back by public lynchings like was done to Eich? If he’s going to lose anyway, why pour salt in the wounds?

    With the exception of the guy who runs OKCupid, I don’t think anyone planned to “get” Eich. It’s not like there’s a special committee of Gay Elders who set the Gay Agenda and one of them said, “I think it’s time we take down a CEO…” and the rest of them replied, “Wow! That’s a great idea.”

    I think what we’re looking at here is akin to a lightning strike.

    On one hand, we have a Gay community here in California that’s really, really angry over Prop 8. I don’t think people outside the community understand just how upset LGBTs are about that issue. (As the heterosexual father of a Gay kid I’m only on the periphery.) We’re talking about megavolts of anger. Gigavolts of anger wouldn’t be an exaggeration. So think of the LGBT community as a highly charged cloud looking for a path to ground.

    On the other hand, (and here you might reread my post about Mozilla/Eich’s mistakes of corporate governance*) Mozilla and Eich were building a structure which is uniquely vulnerable to lightning strikes. Imagine a tall building with a narrow spire, built of untreated, very dry wood insulated with crumpled newspapers and wired with uncoated copper strands… then the CEO of OKCupid attaches a lightning rod to the Mozilla building and runs for cover!

    I really don’t think there was a plan.

    As to my own feelings, I’m kind of ambivalent about the issue you’ve raised. On one hand, the Gay community is clearly winning right now, and would definitely be winning even without Eich’s ouster, so you may be right. The whole thing may have done more harm than good, at least in the short term. On the other hand, a movement needs both carrots and sticks, and right now there are a shitload of C-Level executives running a little scared of the Gays. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

    I certainly wouldn’t advocate more campaigns against other companies where someone donated to Prop 8 or similar causes. If nothing else the point has already been made, but I still don’t have any pity for Eich. I have a fundamental dislike of the politics of hate, and between my parental protectiveness and Eich/Mozilla’s mistakes… I got no sympathy.

    One further note. Nobody I’ve debated this with has acknowledged or discussed Mozilla/Eich’s mistakes. Any thoughts on this?

    * One more thing I should have noted when cataloguing the mistakes made by Eich/Mozilla is that the Target boycott was already in full swing by the time Eich was nominated for the CEO’s chair. To provide a brief history, Target had made much of their pro-Gay policies, but donated to an anti-union candidate (who was also rabidly anti-gay) in 2010 and gotten slapped down in a very painful fashion. (I still won’t shop there.) The writing was already on the wall when Mozilla picked Eich! You might check out the video below for a very clever anti-Target protest with more than a million views on youtube – four years before Eich’s elevation/ouster.

  365. Eric, sorry if the youtube link in that last post violates one of your rules. I didn’t realize it would produce a picture. Feel free to remove the link if you’d like.

  366. incidentally you are passionately hypersensitive about the “lynching” analogy.

    Saying that someone was “lynched” when in fact they were fired is an exaggeration to the point of being a full-blown lie. It takes any problem and blows it so far out of proportion that rational discussion becomes impossible. Enormous efforts must be taken to shovel the rhetorical shit out of the way to actually discuss the issue, and you are one of the worst offenders.

  367. “The whole thing may have done more harm than good, at least in the short term.”

    It did. It made enemies out of potential allies like Eric here. They have enough enemies that they don’t need to go looking for more.

    “On the other hand, a movement needs both carrots and sticks, and right now there are a shitload of C-Level executives running a little scared of the Gays. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.”

    I am. What C-level executive is going to stick his neck out now that that kind of retaliation is considered acceptable? That includes sticking his neck out to advance equality of the truly downtrodden.

  368. As for the Target boycott: Is that still a thing? I thought that sank beneath the waves after the election in question, after Target was sufficiently cowed to pledge not to contribute to any more political causes.

  369. >Eric, sorry if the youtube link in that last post violates one of your rules. I didn’t realize it would produce a picture. Feel free to remove the link if you’d like.

    I don’t have any rule against video. Really I don’t have much in the way of rules at all here, except “Don’t waste my time” and “Don’t abuse my other guests.” Oh, and “I reserve the right to be arbitrary, vicious, and tyrannical, even if I never exercise it.”

  370. >It made enemies out of potential allies like Eric here.

    Yes. I have no particular animus against gays other than their penchant for identity politics and dimwit leftism; that, however, might be overcome by sympathy for victims of genuine persecution. But hate-mobbing against people saying the unpopular pushes all my buttons instantly – when I see people doing that, I know they’ll be after the likes of me eventually.

  371. >What C-level executive is going to stick his neck out now that that kind of retaliation is considered acceptable?

    And, as usual, the activists haven’t considered the second-order effects. If I were a CEO I’d now be doing my damnedest to avoid hiring gays for the same reason I used to avoid hiring blacks. Not out of prejudice but because every such disgruntled person-of-victimhood is a hate-mobbing waiting to happen, and who needs that grief?

  372. I am. What C-level executive is going to stick his neck out now that that kind of retaliation is considered acceptable?

    After a little consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that whether “C-Level executives running a little scared” is a good thing or a bad thing is purely circumstantial.

    As for the Target boycott: Is that still a thing?

    I have no idea. Whatever’s left isn’t hurting Target’s bottom line much, but IIRC the first year cost them enough money that they only donate to PACs now. I’d be very surprised if some large fraction of those in a position to comment on Brendan Eich’s nomination for CEO weren’t aware of the Target boycott.

    Once again, “Brendan Eich’s nomination as a total failure of corporate governance.” Any takers? Is nobody willing to assign any reasonable fraction of responsibility for what happened to either the people in charge of Mozilla’s executive search or Eich himself?

  373. Enormous efforts must be taken to shovel the rhetorical shit out of the way to actually discuss the issue, and you are one of the worst offenders.

    The problem that i think everyone (barring JAD… and i usually do) has is that, when you shovel the rhetoric aside, this all boils down to CEO was forced to leave his job for donating to political campaign. And that’s NEVER cool. I really don’t care if the proposiiton was literally “oppress all of JonCB’s in-crowd”, if someone pointed out i was persecuting(and i would challenge any attempt to say that Eich wasn’t, at some level, persecuted) someone for political speech(and donation is political speech) i would be upset with myself.

    If Eich promoted an anti-LGBT hiring policy or promoted an anti-LGBT workplace, sure i can see agitating for his removal. However my understanding is that there’s no evidence that Eich brought an anti-LGBT agenda to Mozilla. In fact my understanding is there’s more evidence of the opposite. That if Eich was personally anti-LGBT, he specifically set that aside when on company time and supported a lot of pro-LGBT policy within Mozilla.

    But outside everything, someone losing their job because of a political donation is fundamentally not cool and no-one should be OK with it.

  374. Why should Mozilla care what political positions or candidates its employees hold? Indeed, isn’t that the antithesis of what the folks boycotting Target were trying to achieve, in that it represents corporate participation in politics?

    Or is it that corporations can take political positions without repercussions, as long as they’re hard-left? Never mind that those positions would oppose their own best interests…

  375. Troutwaxer commented on Why I won’t mourn Mozilla.
    >What astounds me Tom, is how frightened you are. The chance that a crew of rainbow-robe-clad queers will burn a lambda on your lawn is zero.

    The chance that I will go to jail for crimes committed against gays in other people’s dreams is a great deal higher than zero.

    Approval and applause is now mandatory, and because no amount of approval and applause can ever be enough …

  376. James, approval and applause are not mandatory, but acceptance and tolerance are…and you can’t even manage those.

  377. >James, approval and applause are not mandatory, but acceptance and tolerance are…and you can’t even manage those.

    You know, for the first time in this discussion I’m going to have to agree with JAD. There’s more than a whiff of “if you do not applaud gays, you will be pilloried” going about, now. This does nothing to make me an ally; quite the reverse, in fact.

  378. To follow on Eric’s lead, JAD’s quote of Troutwaxer is revealing in other ways also.

    Nothing that I have ever said alludes to the existence of a “crew of rainbow clad queers” doing anything at all. That thought came strictly out of Troutwaxer’s head and is solely indicative of his mind set and psychology. At best, that thought projection is a poor debating tactic and at worst, it’s a mild psychosis. I don’t know if the alleged fearfulness of gays is in his heart too, but ascribing that emotion to others without cause is deeply dishonest.

  379. >At best, that thought projection is a poor debating tactic and at worst, it’s a mild psychosis.

    Or maybe it was clumsy humor. I thought the image of rainbow-clad queers burning a lambda on somoene’s lawn was funny, anyway. If they did it to to me, I’d flog the video on the Internet. With a laugh track, that being all the commentary it deserved.

  380. I thought it was funny too. I wasn’t serious about it, I was mocking TomA’s fearful and exaggerated commentery about how Eich was “lynched” and the horrible, violent things Gays would do next.

  381. >Or is it just the guy codifying things “everyone knows”? What would you say if the author turned out to be a gay version of JAD?

    Do you really believe that what official truth is more reliable than what everyone knows, but is no longer allowed to say?

  382. /me grumbles.

    “Gay”, when referring to sexuality, is an adjective, not a noun. They’re gay men and women.

    And it’s definitely not a word that gets capitalized, since it doesn’t refer to a proper noun as its root.

  383. James, there are lots of things “everyone knows” that aren’t true at all. Ether, phlogiston, flat earth, a geocentric universe, CAGW…

    “Everyone knows” is at least highly suspect unless backed up by actual facts, preferable actual science.

  384. @ Troutwaxer – “I thought it was funny too.”

    Please let us know if your gay daughter thinks it’s funny to be characterized as a rainbow clad queer.

    I imagine that you are the life of the party at gay gatherings.

    And to think that some here regard JAD as being insensitive.

  385. Jessica Boxer on 2015-03-12 at 19:35:46 said:
    > In what ways are homosexuals morphologically different than heterosexuals?

    In the ways that you can see just by looking at them.

    You always lie habitually about what is right in front of your face. You repeatedly claim to have witnessed things, such as faithful male couples, that I know with certainty you have not witnessed. You claim to do things that you are unlikely to have done if you have a reasonable sense of self preservation.

    You claim to see the world as progressives claim it should be, and claim to act like one living in that world, whereas in fact progressives do not act like a person living in the world that they claim to see.

    On average gays are less muscular, less broad, look slightly less like adult males and slightly more like pre-teen males.

    They have characteristic childish mannerisms, suggestive of pre-teen males, most notably the infamous gay grin.

  386. Why should Mozilla care what political positions or candidates its employees hold? Indeed, isn’t that the antithesis of what the folks boycotting Target were trying to achieve, in that it represents corporate participation in politics?

    If Mozilla was hiring a department manager I wouldn’t care about that person’s political leanings and I’d be unhappy if anyone else worried about the issue. This assumes, of course, that the dept. manager is capable of following both the spirit and letter of Mozilla’s house rules regarding diversity (or any other issue.)

    However, and as noted in other comments above, a lot of issues change when hiring a CEO. The CEO position is a political job. The CEO is the main public-facing officer of the company and people react to that position in ways they don’t react to a department manager. Hiring a CEO requires respecting the political climate in ways that hiring a dept. manager doesn’t. This is why I feel that there was a major failure of corporate governance. The very most important issue in selecting a CEO – how will the public react to this person – was apparently ignored.

    I think the big issue with Target was not so much “respect the Gays” as it was about blatent hypocrisy. Target had been loudly and publicly behind the Gay cause but then they gave a $150,000 towards electing an anti-Union candidate who was also quite loudly against Gay marriage. So Target’s very-important corporate ideals lost out to Target’s worries about unionization. Gays felt they had been stabbed in the back and reacted accordingly.

  387. The queer posse isn’t riding out tomorrow night to shoot out the windows of every hacker who agrees with Eric Raymond or Brendan Eich. It’s not gonna happen.

    You know, for the first time in this discussion I’m going to have to agree with JAD. There’s more than a whiff of “if you do not applaud gays, you will be pilloried” going about, now. This does nothing to make me an ally; quite the reverse, in fact.

    Or how about “homosexuals are now a protected class, and you will be sanctioned by law for refusing to perform speech acts in support of them”? This is literally on-the-books, enforced law in several states now.

  388. > James, there are lots of things “everyone knows” that aren’t true at all. Ether, phlogiston, flat earth, a geocentric universe,

    Sailors knew the earth was round from the very earliest times. Phlogiston theory adequately describes the burning of carbon based compounds. Phlogiston theory started to look funny when burning unusual things like magnesium.

    What everyone knows tends to be wrong about things far away and strange. It is pretty reliable about things familiar and close at hand, hence pretty reliable about people and society – unless of course the heavy hand of the state starts to systematically distort what people are supposed to see – for example gays and blacks in television land are strikingly different from gays and blacks actually observed.

    Similarly, since Victorian times, any accurate depiction of female behavior in fiction and entertainment has been forbidden, and has become ever more forbidden.

    A number of contributors to this thread, notably Jessica, report themselves to be living in televisionland, and describe purportedly personal experiences that could only happen in televisionland.

  389. >“Everyone knows” is at least highly suspect unless backed up by actual facts, preferable actual science.

    Actual science died in the nineteen forties. See Feynman’s complaints. Today, it is all Lysenkoism, all the time.

    It took about thirty years for this to percolate through to technological progress slowing.

  390. @JAD
    “You always lie habitually about what is right in front of your face. You repeatedly claim to have witnessed things, such as faithful male couples, that I know with certainty you have not witnessed. You claim to do things that you are unlikely to have done if you have a reasonable sense of self preservation.”

    James, still problems facing reality? We cannot see what you know does not exist.

  391. @JAD
    > > “You always lie habitually about what is right in front of your face.
    > > You repeatedly claim to have witnessed things, such as faithful male
    > > couples, that I know with certainty you have not witnessed. You claim to
    > > do things that you are unlikely to have done if you have a reasonable
    > > sense of self preservation.”

    Winter:
    > James, still problems facing reality? We cannot see what you know
    > does not exist.

    I can see that there are, on average, visible morphological differences between gays and straights. So someone who claims to not see the difference is simply lying, or, which comes to much the same thing, is reporting television reality as if it was directly experienced reality.

    If one lie, all lies.

    The same person who claims to see a faithful gay couple with a white picket fence, also claims to see no morphological difference. One is a lie, or television reality reported as actually experienced reality, therefore, so is the other.

  392. JAD: “On average gays are less muscular, less broad, look slightly less like adult males and slightly more like pre-teen males.”

    To that, I have just one word: bear.

    Christopher: “homosexuals are now a protected class, and you will be sanctioned by law for refusing to perform speech acts in support of them”

    If you’re referring to people who are being punished for refusing to provide services to same-sex weddings, it is not that they have not performed speech in support of them, but rather that they refuse to provide the same commercial service to them as they do to other couples. TO see why this is wrong, replace the same sex couple with an interracial couple, and ask yourself if that is right – especially under our laws these days, where it’s settled and generally accepted that discriminating on the basis of race is wrong.

  393. How do you figure to know a person’s perception of a specific gay person better than the person does?

  394. > TO see why this is wrong, replace the same sex couple with an interracial couple, and ask yourself if that is right – especially under our laws these days, where it’s settled and generally accepted that discriminating on the basis of race is wrong.

    I’ll bite that bullet. I think individuals and businesses should have the liberty to refuse service to anyone they chose – black, gay, Martian, whatever – and then pressured into not actually behaving like bigots by the market. My time – and my business, if I own one – are my property, not to be interfered with on any other basis than if I have committed aggression or fraud.

    Yes, I loathe bigotry and will speak against it. But I hate the erosion of liberty by “public accommodation” laws more. Bigotry tends to be cured by time, but once the meddlers have got their self-aggrandizing hooks into the private sphere that is much more difficult to reverse.

  395. >I thought the image of rainbow-clad queers burning a lambda on someone’s lawn was funny, anyway.

    Reminds me a Christopher Hitchens story. When he in the sixties studied in a super classy and men-only British college and they demanded permission so that their girlfriends may visit them and stay overnight, which was not allowed, they formulated it as “Equal rights for heterosexuals!” Knowing the history of Eton and suchlike, this is 11/10 on the “master troll” level, at least, for me it was almost literal ROTFL.

  396. @JAD
    “I can see that there are, on average, visible morphological differences between gays and straights. So someone who claims to not see the difference is simply lying, or, which comes to much the same thing, is reporting television reality as if it was directly experienced reality.”

    Spot the homosexual(s)
    http://www.evertjandaniels.nl/upload/full_size/_21C3091.jpg
    http://www.refdag.nl/polopoly_fs/ministersgroep_anp_4799945_1_508566!image/ministersgroep-ANP-4799945.jpg

    (no points for googling or binging the individuals)

    @JAD
    “If one lie, all lies.”

    I think you are simply projecting your own morals on others. In other words, I strongly suspect that you accuse others of what you are doing yourself. It is a common affliction that cannot be cured by words (if it can be cured at all).

  397. > I’ll bite that bullet.

    Just to be clear, your argument is not intended to provide support for characterizations like “compulsory to applaud and approve” or “sanctioned by law for refusing to perform speech acts in support of them”, is it? Because it doesn’t.

  398. > on average

    An average, or a difference in distribution, isn’t actually enough to support the claims you have made.

  399. @esr
    “I think individuals and businesses should have the liberty to refuse service to anyone they chose – black, gay, Martian, whatever – and then pressured into not actually behaving like bigots by the market. My time – and my business, if I own one – are my property, not to be interfered with on any other basis than if I have committed aggression or fraud. ”

    That is more or less the segregation mindset at the root of the civil wars in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

    Note that this is never simply the individual decisions of the merchants. It is almost always the pressure of the other clients that force the hand of the merchant. And if all merchants are pressured to discriminate against you, how can you live at a place? Which leads to segregation.

    These laws actually protect the merchants from pressure of other clients to discriminate. That is why you see so few merchants protesting this “loss of freedom”.

  400. “I think individuals and businesses should have the liberty to refuse service to anyone they chose – black, gay, Martian, whatever – and then pressured into not actually behaving like bigots by the market.”

    This argument is why I said “especially given our laws as they are”. That ship sailed long ago. The meddlers have had their self-aggrandizing hooks into the private sphere for 50 years or so. Reversing that entire trend is about as politically possible as any of the rest of the libertarian ideals, like, say, legalizing heroin.

  401. @Winter

    As usual JAD is making the occasional good point which is drowned in an ocean of drivel and kafkatraps: he is after all the only person who is right and therefore he has no need to present evidence beyond asserting that everyone else is self deluding. The kafkatrap is deployed when someone provides evidence that his claim is not true.

    JAD, you are a fool, and don’t try to deny it; that is exactly the sort of thing a fool would say!

    :-)

  402. >hat ship sailed long ago.

    A pessimist would have said the ship sailed on firearms rights when the GCA was passed in ’68. But we’re winning that one, and this one can be won too. The first requirement is to not give up.

  403. The misleadingly named Gun Control Act of 1968 was in direct contradiction to the Second Amendment. The Civil Rights Act of 1965 is not in direct contradiction to anything, and there’s at least a colorable argument to be made that it is a Congressional implementation of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. That’s enough to distinguish the two cases right there.

  404. >That’s enough to distinguish the two cases right there.

    So does that mean you give up? Raising once again the perennial question of whether, if self-described “conservatives” are too supine and weary to defend liberty when they understand it, they are any better than the left they rightly despise.

  405. I pick my battles. In particular, I pick ones that are winnable.

    How, exactly, do you propose to do away with laws banning discrimination in how commercial services are provided to the public without triggering complaints from across the political spectrum – for many on the right believe that it is wrong to discriminate on the basis of race – without being accused tf wanting to bring back the segregated lunch counters and “No blacks need apply” signs and other such evils of the Jim Crow era?

    And saying “the market will provide” won’t cut it. It didn’t in the 1950s.

  406. @Winter

    >That is more or less the segregation mindset at the root of the civil wars in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

    But you should know first-hand that it worked well-enough in The Netherlands back in the “society of columns” era where you had Protestant and Catholic schools, libraries, football clubs, and all, so basically people hardly had to interact with the other group outside work.

    It is not ideal, for it is better when people just don’t hate each other and set up their institutions so that the only limitations are the ones that pertain to the institution’s specific goals (so a football club for the deaf makes sense, and so does a small Catholic theology bookstore, but a Catholic football club not really).

    But when and if people hate each other, this can be made workable in a civilized way.

    I think rather the issue is power difference. In that era whites had so much power that if they don’t want to let blacks into something, the blacks would have only a very limited choice and second-rate quality of that something. I think in Dutch history the Protestant / Catholic power difference was not so big.

    Of course there is then the really insidious question namely is it really power, just people happening to control resources that happen to exist, or is it more like one group created those and the other could not or did not create them. This is a really insidious question, because if you run a social experiment, where Blues and Greens have their own segregated bars, and everything is equal (if separate) except Greens suffering one huge hidden injustice such as a large inheritance tax and Blues not, 6-8 generations later you will see a lot of Blue-owned Blue-only bars and not so many Green bars. And the Blue bar owner will say it is not power, it is hard work and talent: he does not simply control the bar and the access to it: he or his grandpa _made_ the bar. This will be technically true yet false in practice, because it implies the Blue people are simply better at making things, yet in reality it is about the hidden disadvantage. So one group controlling one resource or able to inflict one advantage or disadvantage, has a lot of effect on how much the other group is able to create and make things for themselves is a completely different, unrelated field.

  407. From what I understand of classic free-market arguments, if Blue committed what Green perceives as an injustice, that’s a misstatement of the objective truth. Rather, one or more Blues committed what one or more Greens perceive as an injustice, and the Blues in question probably see it differently. If the Blue perpetrators agree it was an injustice, the matter becomes merely logistical. If all Blues hold it was not an injustice, then you get something closer to the American liberal account of the Jim Crow era.

    To me, that simply bespeaks a situation in which force is not authorized per se, but rather expected. Any group whose members are being economically shunned by external individuals, who cannot encourage trade through market incentives (lower prices, higher quality), and who cannot seek redress for damages in courts, naturally has force as the final recourse. Again, it’s not lawful, but at that point, law has nothing to do with what the available options are.

    It wasn’t *quite* so bad as that in the 1950s (although it was pretty close in many places); namely, there were enough members of the majority group who felt strongly enough in favor of desegregation to resort to force to get it done. One has to wonder how much economic support they were willing to render as an alternative. Consider: “I am willing to accept everyone at *my* business, discriminating only on their possession of enough legal currency” versus “I am willing to order someone else to pick up a pistol and force others to accept everyone at their establishment”. Now consider the likely outcome of running your own business as you see fit, versus forcing millions of people to do something they didn’t want to do, in some cases strongly enough to fight over it. Also factor in what the oppressed minority wanted – basically, goods, services, and dignity – and which alternative would have supplied that more readily. Put that way, it’s less clear to me that forced desegregation was the preferred alternative.

  408. If you’re referring to people who are being punished for refusing to provide services to same-sex weddings, it is not that they have not performed speech in support of them, but rather that they refuse to provide the same commercial service to them as they do to other couples. TO see why this is wrong, replace the same sex couple with an interracial couple, and ask yourself if that is right – especially under our laws these days, where it’s settled and generally accepted that discriminating on the basis of race is wrong.

    There’s also a failure to distinguish between content-neutral nondiscrimination requirements and ones that demand performance of speech acts. Supplying a generic wedding cake, for example, is arguably not demanding speech. Supplying a cake with an iced image of two grooms is rather gray. Wedding photography is unambiguously speech, even if it’s provided commercially.

  409. > > “On average gays are less muscular, less broad, look slightly less like adult males and slightly more like pre-teen males.”

    > To that, I have just one word: bear.

    I said “on average”

    Bears are popular among gays for precisely the same reason as gay prostitutes claim, falsely, to be gay for pay.

  410. Shenpen on 2015-03-16 at 11:55:17 said:
    > Of course there is then the really insidious question namely is it really power, just people happening to control resources that happen to exist, or is it more like one group created those and the other could not or did not create them. This is a really insidious question, because if you run a social experiment, where Blues and Greens have their own segregated bars, and everything is equal (if separate) except Greens suffering one huge hidden injustice such as a large inheritance tax and Blues not, 6-8 generations later you will see a lot of Blue-owned Blue-only bars and not so many Green bars.

    We have done this experiment over and over again, where white do gooders generously gave blacks vast assets created by whites, (white people that the do gooders did not much like and wished to destroy) and the blacks swiftly proceeded to run these assets into the ground, for example Haiti and Detroit.

    And, most recently Ferguson.

  411. > Wedding photography is unambiguously speech, even if it’s provided commercially.

    Why?

  412. I was referred to this article in the LA Times from 2013…yes, I know, Eric, you think that modern research is hopelessly PC, but the description of the study methodology seems scientifically sound:

    Some of the new understanding of pedophilia comes from studies done on convicted sex criminals at the Center for Mental Health and Addiction in Toronto, where researchers use a procedure known as phallometry to identify men whose peak attraction is to children.

    A man sits alone in a room viewing a series of images and listening to descriptions of various sexual acts with adults and children, male and female, while wearing a device that monitors blood flow to his penis.

    Like men attracted to adults, nearly all pedophiles respond most strongly to one gender or the other — females far more often than males.

    A measurable physical reaction seems immune to PCness, to me…

  413. >> Wedding photography is unambiguously speech, even if it’s provided commercially.

    > Why?

    Copyright.

  414. >A measurable physical reaction seems immune to PCness, to me…

    I wouldn’t claim otherwise.

    What this article tells me is that there is more than one kind of pedophile. There’s this version, with zero or minimal ability to form sexual attachments to adults. There’s another kind that survival-guide-guy was describing, which forms homosexual attachments to both adults and children. The prominent-gay-activist-booked-for-pedophilia headlines we get every couple years point at the second kind.

  415. > Like men attracted to adults, nearly all pedophiles respond most strongly to one gender or the other — females far more often than males.
    >
    > A measurable physical reaction seems immune to PCness, to me…

    How did they select the “pedophiles”? This was not a random sample.

    And how old were the “children”.

  416. On average, girls become fertile at twelve, though they are not fully fertile till around fourteen.

    So if you want to prove that heterosexual pedophiles way outnumber homosexual pedophiles, just show them pictures of naked twelve year old girls.

  417. >Copyright.

    That’s not an argument. At most, it puts it in the gray area where some kinds of photography are legitimately creative, and the law errs on the side of caution in allowing people to make money from it. That’s not sufficient support for “unambiguously”.

  418. Random832, while there’s not a lot of creativity in wedding photography, there is some, even if only in the selection of camera and exposure parameters to convey the proper rendering of the scene.

  419. Random832, while there’s not a lot of creativity in wedding photography, there is some, even if only in the selection of camera and exposure parameters to convey the proper rendering of the scene.

    In addition to posing, framing, and much more–essentially, nearly everything that makes photography art except immediate selection of the subject, and certainly as much as goes into something like photojournalism.

  420. JAD: RTFA. Or, for that matter, the included quote. Convicted sex offenders. No, not random, but where else are you going to get people who admit to having sex with children?

    Eric, the subject of that accusation was a 15-year-old boy. Qualitatively different from a child, since he was almost certainly postpubescent. I won’t agree that, should the accusation prove to be true (and we won’t know for sure until the guy’s actually had an opportunity to take his case to court), what he did was right, but I won’t agree that the guy’s a pedophile, either. Speaking purely in terms of biological sexual targeting, the kid’s an adult; since you’re arguing on the basis of sexual targeting, that is relevant.

  421. Meh…Christopher, there’s enough commonality in weddings that shooting them isn’t all that creative. There is some creativity, but ask any wedding photographer and he’ll tell you that it’s boring because of its sameness.

  422. > Convicted sex offenders. No, not random, but where else are you going to get people who admit to having sex with children?

    If you want to determine the ratio of pedophiles among straights versus homosexuals, you don’t need or want people who admit to having sex with “children” – (most of these “children” being old enough to get pregnant, and most of these “children” being the sexual aggressors.)

    Take a couple of hundred college students, wire them up to a device that measures penile or clitoral blood flow. Show them a variety of pictures.

    If we say that anyone who gets hot for fifteen year old girls is a pedophile, then pretty much the entire population, male and female, from age eleven to age one hundred and ten, qualifies. In which case among males, heterosexual pedophiles enormously outnumber homosexual pedophiles.

    If, on the other hand, we say that only those who get hotter or as hot for clearly prepubertal children than for clearly fertile age “children” are pedophiles, we are going to find that pretty much all pedophiles are homosexual, mostly male homosexuals.

  423. To combine the two subthreads: Suppose there was a burlesque dancer who performed nearly-to-fully-nude for pre-wedding stag parties, graduations, and initiations into men’s clubs (Elks, Lion, Knights of Columbus, etc.) She’s even willing to do bat miztvahs. But she refuses to do bar mitzvahs, because she thinks it’s icky and pedophilic for a 13 year old boy to watch her dances. Should equal-protection laws require her to accept bookings from bar mitzvahs? Or is it unconstitutional forced speech to make her dance nude in front of a 13 year old boy?

  424. Should an opensource developer be “blackballed” if he holds unacceptable views?

    A story on the Phoronix linux news site about a release of an Open Source videogame was manually removed after a few days.
    The reason cited was the developer’s views on social issues such as gender equality (1).

    The release story was titled “Xonotic-Forked ChaosEsqueAnthology Sees New Release – Phoronix” and can be accessed via the google cache(2).

    Are the social or political views of an author of free software relevant to that software’s inherent quality?
    Should the beliefs of an opensource developer weigh when when evaluating whether a piece of opensource software is worthy of any publicity or public notice?
    Should men with unpopular or “forbidden” views be excised from the opensource movement and “not allowed” to contribute, in a manner similar to that which is done in employment?
    Has the free/opensource software movement changed in these respects since its founding? If so is this a positive change?
    Should there be gatekeepers to opensource that decide who may and who may not contribute. Should abusive developers be “blackballed” to maintain proper social order and controls?

    Citations:
    (1) http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?115776-Xonotic-Forked-ChaosEsqueAnthology-Sees-New-Release/page2
    “Fortunately, the article has been removed now.”
    “Thanks everybody for speaking up.”
    (2) https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:JeCIgSFrBlgJ:http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page%3Dnews_item%26px%3DChaosEsqueAnthology-Rel-51%2Bchaosesque&gbv=1&tbs=qdr:w&hl=en&&ct=clnk

    Removed story URL:
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ChaosEsqueAnthology-Rel-51

    (Crossposted from Terry Pratchett thread as requested by Jay Maynard)

  425. “It’s a bunch of skins over someone else’s game engine – or at least that was MikeeUSA’s M.O. before. AFAIK he hasn’t written any actual code, just wanked around with a level editor.”

    This does not seem to be true at all. As far as I can tell it never was. In the past in the blog post you linked the issue was a perl script, which certainly is some sort of code. The current issue is a fork of xonotic and if one reads the git commit logs it looks as if mikeeusa has been coding quakeC for atleast 2 or 3 years, probably more since usually forks of projects don’t suddenly happen but occur when the parent and sub projects can no-longer swim in the same direction (often there is an inflection point where the parent project makes sweeping needless code changes after a trusted developer steps down or becomes inactive… and someone new steps up to take over and not leave well enough alone (system…d?)).

    This project, in addition to the libre assets of which whom’s licenses are being “violated in spirit” consists of original quakeC code, original maps, original textures, so on and so forth. There has been over 2 years of code contributions committed by a single developer that can be attested to via the git repo. There are also discussions when roadblocks in the code were hit(1). Before that a google search locates uploads to xonotic’s dev wiki(2) consisting of diffs and zip files which goes back to december 2011, which would make for 3 years of quakeC coding at a minimum.

    It appears that he does program, in addition to dicking around with media work.
    The liberal idea that only liberals have the mental capacity to contribute to anything technical is a false narrative.

    Here’s what was said about blackballing after the editor first added the article about the release of the forked game, and then later deleted the article after accusations were made at to its progeny:
    “It’s not enough for something to be apparently okay in terms of licensing. See also Joerg Schiling’s software being excluded from Debian over him being a shitweasel. See “Unteralterbach”, a freely-licensed visual novel about child rape which someone proposed for inclusion in Debian.

    Being a shitweasel is enough to be blackballed. Sorry (actually lying, not sorry in the slightest). “(3)

    Citations:
    (1) http://opengameart.org/forumtopic/chaosesque-anthology-opensourcefree-fps-standalone-mod-of-xonotic-released
    (2) http://dev.xonotic.org/issues/855.html
    (3) http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?115776-Xonotic-Forked-ChaosEsqueAnthology-Sees-New-Release/page3&s=10ad66ba40c1fa8b228ee1b33eca1909

    (Crossposted from Terry Pratchett thread as requested by Jay Maynard)

  426. “What would a “visual novel” be doing in a Linux distribution, anyway?”

    No clue, I don’t really understand why the person brought that up. I think it has to do with Debian’s obsession with packaging /everything/ so some people started throwing media collections at it (they package extra desktop backgrounds and things like that) untill they found something Debian wouldn’t package. Debian didn’t say “this is a visual novel, why would we package it?”, instead they said something like this violates social norms and cited the earlier removal of the “hot babes” X11 toy (I remeber when that happened, after that they started kicking people out of debian who were the types that protested the removal of that small program).

    This, in the person’s mind, proves that it is part of the “opensource” way to exclude and excise projects which have content that would be offensive to social justice minded people, and he is further extending that principal to include projects which are simply associated with persons who oppose social justice.

    IE: You’re either with us, or we will do our best to throw you out of the opensource movement, delete what we can, if we can’t do that we will try to make sure there is no publicity for and no one downloading that project.

    See: node.js (all sexist developers are removed), the debian project post systemd (critics are removed, accused of being trolls), or soon the linux kernel post “code of conflict”.

    Seems the way it is going. No more merit. Only the same thing we have in our waking lives: social justice all the way up and down, and penury or prison for the rest. Just think: being thrown out of writing free software for the same reason you would be thrown out of a corporate job writing payed software. That’s the situation that we have in parts now, and it is being promoted heavily as the new way.

    (Crossposted from Terry Pratchett thread as requested by Jay Maynard)

  427. “I’m not sure what they think they mean by that. If he puts up a website to publicize the thing, I don’t see how anyone can stop him.”

    The same way they got rid of the “terrorware” presumably.

    (Crossposted from Terry Pratchett thread as requested by Jay Maynard)

  428. @Shenpen
    “But you should know first-hand that it worked well-enough in The Netherlands back in the “society of columns” era where you had Protestant and Catholic schools, libraries, football clubs, and all, so basically people hardly had to interact with the other group outside work. ”

    Indeed, it was a precarious balance act, but it seemed to have worked. It was largely over when I grew up. As I understood it, it had developed from fears of a civil war that nobody could win. So it became a kind of “cold peace”, where groups tried to ignore each other.

    What made it work, I think, is that each “segregated” faith-based pillar could deliver to every ambition. Each faith (and the socialists) had members among the richest people in the country, among the biggest entrepreneurs, law firms, and intelligentsia. Segregation was not enforced by law and inter-faith violence was actively “suppressed”.

    Also, I do not think merchants would refuse to service people of other faiths. Just that you knew that there would be no career opportunities in a company or institution in the wrong faith pillar. And Catholics could not have a career as a civil servant. But there would always be companies and institutions where you would have career opportunities.

  429. > Or is it unconstitutional forced speech to make her dance nude in front of a 13 year old boy?

    Easy answer. Because the left has been going ever more batshit insane on pedophilia since 1861, unconstitutional forced speech.

    However, at some point leftism will probably reverse itself on pedophilia, since an anti pedophile stance just fails to sit with a pro gay stance, pedophiles will get the tranny treatment, whereupon failure to dance in front of a thirteen year old becomes an unconstitutional act of discrimination.

    As we move ever leftwards the switch from pedophilia being forbidden, to pedophilia being mandatory, will resemble the switch from the position that women being naturally pure except that evil men impose their will on them, there is no need for any restraints against female misbehavior, or any adverse consequences to female misbehavior, to the position that women have the right to fuck any man they like any time they like even if it frightens the horses in the street, and that therefore restraints on female misbehavior are evil and hateful, and it is the duty of all men everywhere to prevent female misbehavior from having bad consequences for the female, no matter what the consequences to her husband and children.

    Just as we switched overnight from believing that women are naturally pure, to believing that nothing a woman can do can make her impure, without anyone remembering that they used to believe something completely different, we will switch overnight from believing that homosexuals are very seldom pedophiles, to believing that homosexuals are usually pedophiles, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and no one will remember ever believing anything different.

  430. @Paul Brinkley

    I think the deeper reason is the disagreement about a positive-sum creative view of the economy vs. something close to a zero-sum resource-extracting view of the economy. In the first case focusing on growing the pie works better, in the second case e.g. mining economy it really matters a lot who owns, controls the mines. Usually free-market arguments tend towards the first view and accuse the opponents of having a too “daddy model” http://www.paulgraham.com/gap.html and it is kind of right, but not nuanced enough. I think truth the is somewhere 60-80% towards the wealth-is-made / free-market / positive-sum arguments and 20-40% towards the wealth-just-exists-and-is-owned-and-controlled zero-sum arguments.

    Your view depends on largely whether you work in the Silicon Valley or whether you do nothing just collecting rent from people extracting resources you are sitting on like a Dubai or Emirates citizen.

    I would say, controllable resources still matter, although way less than creating wealth. They matter somewhere between 20 to 40%. But for example when you see rich cities like Hong Kong or Singapore without any natural resources, look closer and you see they are trade hubs, they are trade “valves” between huge “empires”/”civilizations”. Why does trade even exist on the global scale? Because of a surplus of one thing and a lack of another thing at one place and in the other place the other way around. Why is production so imbalanced, are human talents so different? No, it is mainly the natural resources. There are only so many places on Earth where growing coffee makes economic sense. If a de Beers type cartel would take over all the land – even if through valid voluntary exchanges – suitable for growing coffee, and started to charge the rest of us exorbitant prices or even better, would not let white people buy coffee, we would probably have to figure out ways to grow it colder climates and it would be both more expensive and perhaps worse quality. And that would make people upset and they would demand non-discrimination or redistribution or regulation or whatnot.

    But yes, the creative model of wealth is more often valid. In 60-80% of the cases. But let’s not forget the other cases where resource control matters more.

    I was giving a lot of thought to this because I was wondering if colonizing other planets could ever make any sort of sense. Currently it seems sending robots to extract resources makes more sense. I think North America was settled by British people largely because they wanted to extract resources, either obviously (trapping) or not so obviously but still doing work that was resource-constrained at home (homesteading farms). If it was technologically possible to send over trapping and logging and farming robots, maybe they would not have been interested in actually moving over to _live_ on the frontier. And this train of thought made me more sensitive to zero-sum resource-control issues.

  431. I was in some of the calls with Brendan Eich and the Board when this all went down and the narrative you have that Mozilla basically threw him under the bus is far from accurate.

    https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/05/faq-on-ceo-resignation/

    Feel free to tweet him he is on Twitter after all and has never said anything but positive about Mozilla. He left on his own and when he was CEO he was exactly that the CEO of Mozilla so he had full power to tell Mozilla’s PR Teams to defend him if he so wanted… That is not what he wanted.

    He chose to step down also all on his own.

  432. >He chose to step down also all on his own.

    It is difficult to take your claim at face value, since there is a long tradition of all sides in a C-level dispute adopting “He chose to step down also all on his own.” as a face-saving lie when in fact great pressure was applied.

    But supposing I do, the fact that this even escalated to board level tells me Mozilla’s internal culture was already broken. Nobody there should have even formed the thought that Eich’s off-the-job politics were relevant, given that he never discriminated on the job.

    When it was raised, the shit-stirrer should have been opposed by everyone around him or her. The line manager who first handled the complaint should have had the moral fortitude to squelch it. And so on up the line.

    When I was on the board of a company, if something like this bubbled up to board level one of the prompt questions would be why it wasn’t handled well below us. Very likely whoever was found to have been responsible for dealing with it would be formally reprimanded.

  433. @ESR

    Do you have any hypothesis where do SJWs get this kind of power from? What makes software corporations so vulnerable for these kinds of pressure? Comparison: how much stronger and longer-lasting and far, far more validated pressure on oil companies for large oil spills at various places in the world had little effect. Why is hard for the Valley to ignore these kinds of complaints?

    My suspicion is either the typical customers for Silicon Valley companies, or the talent pool they recruit employees from and thus trying to gain an competitive edge through finding the best, one or both of those is highly sensitive to “social justice” issues.

    It is also interesting how the Silicon Valley is geographically close to Bay Area (gays) and Haight-Ashbury (formerly hippies) and Berkeley (known for the most extreme, most obstinate type of politically radical students). There may be a less-obvious but relevant connection there.

    Perhaps the connection is not simply a geographical accident. Perhaps there was a period, say, in the seventies, where there was an advantage on drawing on a talent pool of potential employees who by the norms of the era were “weird” / “rebellious” and thus congregated there, such as near the above-mentioned three places?

  434. > Random832, while there’s not a lot of creativity in wedding photography, there is some, even if only in the selection of camera and exposure parameters to convey the proper rendering of the scene.

    The question is whether it’s sufficient to make it a speech act supporting the wedding, and therefore whether requiring someone not to discriminate against gay (or interracial, or atheist) couples qualifies as mandating a speech act supporting [the customers]. I’m not convinced that the connection being made between “creativity” and “political speech” is even a natural one at all.

  435. My last comment is in the moderation cue… I suspect it’s because of a different term I used for “mixed-race”.

    > Random832, while there’s not a lot of creativity in wedding photography, there is some, even if only in the selection of camera and exposure parameters to convey the proper rendering of the scene.

    The question is whether it’s sufficient to make it a speech act supporting the wedding, and therefore whether requiring someone not to discriminate against gay (or mixed-race, or atheist) couples qualifies as mandating a speech act supporting [the customers]. I’m not convinced that the connection being made between “creativity” and “political speech” is even a natural one at all.

  436. My last comment is in the moderation cue…

    > Random832, while there’s not a lot of creativity in wedding photography, there is some

    The question is whether it’s sufficient to make it a speech act supporting the wedding, and therefore whether requiring someone not to discriminate against certain couples qualifies as mandating a speech act supporting [the customers]. I’m not convinced that the connection being made between “creativity” and “political speech” is even a natural one at all.

  437. I don’t understand why my comment is in the moderation queue. I tried several variations and couldn’t figure out what is hitting the spam filter. I really wish you would change to a custom spam filtering solution.

  438. >Why is hard for the Valley to ignore these kinds of complaints?

    I think you already got it. It’s where they’re located, and the kinds of social pressures the people in them are subject to.

    It doesn’t help that many of them are left-liberals and thus almost absurdly fixated on being liked (by everyone except conservatives, and especially by members of designated victim groups). This causes a tendency to buckle at the knees even when they rationally know they should be taking a more principled position.

    Micahael Barone’s concept of hard America vs. soft America is relevant. You’d think technologists in general would fall on the hard side and mostly be right, but software tends to allow squishiness to persist more than in other tech areas.

  439. >’m not convinced that the connection being made between “creativity” and “political speech” is even a natural one at all.

    If it’s not, you should have been OK with Robert Mapplethorpe’s art photography being censored.

  440. @ESR, thanks. How did the Valley got started in that location? I just looked it up, it seems the HQ of the DEC corporation that made the computers you probably first honed your skills on was in Maynard, Massachusetts, 20 miles from the MIT in Cambridge, and probably not a coincidence. AI Lab, Lisp Machines, also at MIT. Could have been a Silicon Valley location-candidate. What did the Bay Area offer to compete with that? Berkeley? CalTech is a bit far… Or maybe there is a longer history there. The HP Garage goes back to 1939. It seems the Bay Area is more specialized on tinkering entrepreneurship than tertiary education. Is it a coincidence then that “garage entrepreneurs” happened to live near “hippies” ? “Hippies” living near Berkeley is clearly no coincidence.

  441. >How did the Valley got started in that location?

    The usual history relates it to Stanford University and the Hewlett-Packard corporation.

  442. >>’m not convinced that the connection being made between “creativity” and “political speech” is even a natural one at all.
    >
    >If it’s not, you should have been OK with Robert Mapplethorpe’s art photography being censored.

    I don’t know who that is, but that doesn’t follow from what I said at all: We are talking about whether making something mandatory qualifies as “mandatory speech” requiring someone to express support for a position that they do not support. You can be against censorship of art on the basis that political speech should not be the only kind of speech protected, without thinking that all forms of art (or even skilled labor, as most of the arguments people have made for wedding photography fail to go further than) are political expression.

  443. Remember, this is not an argument about whether wedding photography should be protected by copyright, or even whether it should be protected by free speech laws – it is an argument over whether being required to not discriminate in your choice of clients amounts to being forced to express a political position you do not hold in support of their right to marry.

  444. I’m still shocked that we’re talking about population tendencies; since my point is about individuals. The danger against which we are protecting the hypothetical member of a youth group is that they encounter a practicing predatory pedophile (one who is both attracted to youths below the age of consent, and unable or unwilling to restrain themselves), and that other safety measures (such as the two-chaperone rule: sometimes unofficial, sometimes official; whenever working with children, the adults must always be sure not to be alone with them, or in the presence only of a spouse). Even if I grant you, Eric, that homosexuality is co-morbid with primarily being attracted to pre-pubescent or just post-pubescent youths and this increases the odds of being unable/unwilling to control urges, we’re still talking the difference between nines of safety. And the individual is binary – either they are or are not a danger. Coming back to the firearms restrictions; we restrict the rights of someone who has shown themselves to be dangerously antisocial (felony conviction) or have been proven medically to be a danger to themselves or others (psych diagnosis).

  445. >Even if I grant you, Eric, that homosexuality is co-morbid with primarily being attracted to pre-pubescent or just post-pubescent youths and this increases the odds of being unable/unwilling to control urges, we’re still talking the difference between nines of safety.

    (Not “primarily”, necessarily. Many gay pedophiles also form sexual attachments to adults. Various lines of evidence suggest to me that to a person with this sexual-targeting disorder, the distinction between adult/pubescent youth/pre-pubescent youth is not very prominent.)

    If we were only dealing with general-population incidence and randomly-selected Scoutmaster candidates not known to be gay I’d almost agree with you. Wikipedia says “lower than 5%” among adult men. But if we’re talking identified homosexuals the percentage is significantly higher. People for whom the notion isn’t politically taboo find a 3x to 5x higher rate in that population (see for example recent work by Judith Reisman). Given both survival-guide-guy’s report and the embarrassing frequency of cases like the Terrence Bean arrest, I’m disinclined to argue with ’em even if they are frothing-at-the-mouth social conservatives whose numbers I would otherwise regard with extreme skepticism. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day…

    So, <15%-25% rate – and less than 25% leaves a lot of room above 15%. But it may be worse than that, because gay Scoutmaster candidates aren’t a random sample of gay men; they’re a sample of gay men who want to be near children. I don’t know how much that selection amplifies the risk, but I cannot make a guess that I think is both plausible and low enough not to merit significant concern.

  446. Shenpen commented on Why I won’t mourn Mozilla.
    > Your view depends on largely whether you work in the Silicon Valley or whether you do nothing just collecting rent from people extracting resources you are sitting on like a Dubai or Emirates citizen.

    Dubai’s main asset is a whole lot of sand and a horrific climate. Resource extraction rents have not been a significant part of their wealth for a very long time.

    Their primary asset is a King whom businessmen trust to maintain a pro business climate. If the state department launches as “Dubai Spring”, watch the place turn into Detroit or Haiti with a worse climate and considerably less water.

    As for resource extraction, Australia and the current fracking boom in the US show that resources are worthless dirt until great minds turn them into resources.

  447. > Even if I grant you, Eric, that homosexuality is co-morbid with primarily being attracted to pre-pubescent or just post-pubescent youths and this increases the odds of being unable/unwilling to control urges, we’re still talking the difference between nines of safety.

    Seems to me that demand for sexual images of little boys is substantially higher than demand for sexual images of little girls (by “little” I mean clearly infertile girls, not fifteen year olds, or even thirteen year olds. Obviously there is huge demand for sexual images of fifteen year old girls.)

    For this to be happening, heterosexual pedophiles (so defined) have to be quite rare, and homosexual pedophiles close to all homosexuals.

    So we are not talking the difference between nines of safety.

  448. Eric, harmful sexual deviancy is present in many segments of society, and the macro social/legal countermeasures are all over the map in terms of proscriptions, discrimination, and criminality. For some of these segments, the attempted cure may be worse than the disease in that a significant degree of harm can be rendered unto innocents in order to minimize the impact of the egregious offenders.

    The best social policies tend be those that respect individual freedom and promote personal responsibility, but then react very strongly and demonstrably against individual tangible harm events. Even a highly paternalistic government cannot guarantee a zero incidence rate of serious offenses.

    I support, for example, private entities like the BSA implementing protective policies at its discretion and believe that government meddling tends to make difficult problems even worse than they need to be.

    An even bigger problem than the above is the growing national bias for more government control of our lives and decisions. That harm is dwarfing the relatively rare occurrences of sexual assault against children.

  449. @esr
    “Not “primarily”, necessarily. Many gay pedophiles also form sexual attachments to adults. Various lines of evidence suggest to me that to a person with this sexual-targeting disorder, the distinction between adult/pubescent youth/pre-pubescent youth is not very prominent.”

    According to your own account, all this wrangling about gay ~ pedophile stems from reading a homo-erotic manual. These “various lines of evidence” are just the plural of selected anecdotes.

    If you start to advocate the exclusion of gay men, you might have the decency to come up with some real statistics and evidence.

  450. @JAD
    “For this to be happening, heterosexual pedophiles (so defined) have to be quite rare, and homosexual pedophiles close to all homosexuals.”

    A classic. First you throw in some random “statistics” about the demand for certain pictures without any source or evidence. Then you play the rhetorical trick saying that if the majority of pedophiles are gay, then the majority of gay men must be pedophiles.

    Pedophiles are a very small minority, so whatever trait they share with non-pedophiles will hardly be a halfway reliable diagnostic (try Bayesian statistics).

    Moreover, being attracted to humans without obvious sexual traits and non-functional sexual organs makes you not a homosexual, but a person without a distinct sexual preference for men or women.

  451. @Winter

    >Moreover, being attracted to humans without obvious sexual traits and non-functional sexual organs

    Your model of sexuality is too directly fertility / reproduction based. The meta-issue is that you may be ignoringing that evolved organisms are adaptation-executers, not fitness-maximizers. While it is true that genes that tend towards more or better offspring have a higher chance of spreading, it does not follow that animals or humans are goal-oriented towards maximizing reproductionary fitness. The “goals” of evolution do not equal the “goals” of evolved organisms. Evolution is a programmer with a goal, but the computer executes the program, does not aim at maximizing the programmers goal. (This is a major difficulty in making evo-psy useful.) If a gene finds it useful for you to make love with blondes because it increases fitness somehow, you will fall for hydrogen blondes and fail at maximizing fitness.

    I think you need a model where fertility / reproduction is part of it, but dominance / submission is also part of it, I wrote about it here: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=6688&cpage=1#comment-1471768

    Essentially, they are a kind of overly dominant sadists, the worst kind. This fits the patterns of gruesome murders for example. Also the patterns of priestal abuse.

    Also: one of the reasons children find this so traumatic is that only people who are likely to traumatize others (overly dominant sadists) ever think about ever doing such a thing, as for the non-sadistic people a grown-up partner (i.e. closer to an equal partner) is better.

    My model is that for people of both genders, the more feminine (i.e. woman, femme, twink) and younger the partners they are attracted to, the more dominant/sadistic they are as both markers are essentially features of weakness and submission. Ped-monsters are simply the most extreme and most unethical case of these tendencies.

    I hate discussing this, the very thought makes me ill at the stomach. But I think my model is sound, it predicts most of the data, and criminology i.e. monster-prediction is a useful science, even on this amateur level.

  452. @Shenpen
    First, people are attracted to secondary sexual traits (boobs, shoulders, hips, hair, lips, size). That is why humans a dimorphic: Man vs Woman. Children are “engineered” by evolution to lack these secondary traits. Pedophiles are sexually attracted to persons which lack the normal sexual traits of men and women.

    Then, the psychopathic serial killers under the pedophiles are themselves a minority. Most pedophiles simply want to have sex.

  453. Shenpen
    > one of the reasons children find this so traumatic is that only people who are likely to traumatize others (overly dominant sadists) ever think about ever doing such a thing, as for the non-sadistic people a grown-up partner (i.e. closer to an equal partner) is better.

    Do children find this traumatic? Children below a certain age cannot seem to recollect sexual acts at all for very long, because sex makes no sense to them.

    Girls with very immature sexual organs are likely to suffer physical injury, sometimes quite serious physical injury, sometimes resulting in death, there is a high disease risk, and the worst thing, by far the worst thing, is if the event happens, not to children, but to young people just entering puberty, it is likely to imprint them with deviant sexual impulses, but “psychological trauma” appears to be a myth. Having no father and a parade of stepfathers is traumatic, irrespective of whether the stepfathers fuck you or ignore you.

    Almost any male can physically dominate almost any female. Most adult males can physically dominate most non adult males, so the desire for domination is unlikely to explain sex with children. (By children I mean literal children – people clearly below fertile age.) The average man can put an average woman over his knee and spank her as easily as a child. So more fun to spank a woman.

  454. Wow. WOW. James A. Donald trolled the HELL out of this discussion.

    How has he not been banned? I mean, the shit he is posting is so obviously absurd and designed to get a rise out of people.

  455. @Michael F
    “How has he not been banned?”

    Why should he be banned?

    If there is one person who can show even a muddled mind the stupidity of bigotry, it is James. Take any odd position on the right end of the political spectrum, and James will show in great detail how it is build on the worst of human instincts and will lead us right back to the good old days of the slave trade and the witch trials.

    I actually miss someone on the left end of the spectrum that can do James’ insanity justice. But we have not yet found someone who is willing to defend Pol Pot, yet.

    (Yes, this is an open invitation to nominate me ;-) )

  456. Winter commented on Why I won’t mourn Mozilla.
    > Pedophiles are sexually attracted to persons which lack the normal sexual traits of men and women.

    Males who are attracted to children are either only attracted to female children, or only attracted to male children.

    Males who are attracted to female children hate “boyfuckers” with a wonderful lack of political correctness, and the “boyfuckers” reciprocate. http://8ch.net/younglove/res/18468.html

    Male bisexual pedophiles appear to be extremely rare. Thus, for example,

  457. @JAD
    “Males who are attracted to children are either only attracted to female children, or only attracted to male children.”

    These children do lack the sexual traits of adults. Which makes pedophiles different from normal hetero and homosexuals who are attracted to adult sexual traits.

  458. How has he not been banned?

    If you had read Eric’s original post, you would have noticed that the entire point was in condemnation of shutting up everyone who disagrees with you.

  459. JAD: “Do children find this traumatic? Children below a certain age cannot seem to recollect sexual acts at all for very long, because sex makes no sense to them.”

    I have a female relative who was sexually abused as a child by another relative. No, she didn’t remember the act, but it was nevertheless traumatic, with serious personality changes that lasted well into adulthood and were not resolved until she once again remembered the act and was able to deal with it.

    Winter: “Take any odd position on the right end of the political spectrum, and James will show in great detail how it is build on the worst of human instincts and will lead us right back to the good old days of the slave trade and the witch trials.”

    Can be built on the worst… Stop assuming the worst of your political enemies.

  460. “If you had read Eric’s original post, you would have noticed that the entire point was in condemnation of shutting up everyone who disagrees with you.”

    That point doesn’t really cover what he’s doing, which is obvious and blatant trolling.

  461. Unless this is just one of those cases of Poe’s Law, and JAD is really just a serial high-level satirist.

  462. Do you often go to people’s houses and tell them who they should allow in, or not?

    Your host has reasons for what he does.

  463. Winter is quite correct. JAD’s presence on this board is more than just his exercise of free speech (or for that matter his penchant for provocation). He is a useful foil that tests us in this arena of intellectual debate and thereby forces us to improve our game. A&D has never been an echo chamber and the mental combat that we derive from participants like JAD makes us stronger. This place is not for the weak-minded or soft-willed, and we do not shirk from a challenge.

  464. >These “various lines of evidence” are just the plural of selected anecdotes.

    I don’t think the anthropological history of homosexual behavior counts as an anecdote. We know quite a lot about how homosexuality and pedophilia was handled or forbidden in cultures going back the early Classical times. As I have pointed out on several occasions, it is the androphilic habits of (most) modern Western homosexuals that are exceptional; in most other times and places homosexual behavior matched survival-guide-guy’s picture of a relatively indifferent mix of androphilic and pederastic behavior.

  465. @esr
    “As I have pointed out on several occasions, it is the androphilic habits of (most) modern Western homosexuals that are exceptional; in most other times and places homosexual behavior matched survival-guide-guy’s picture of a relatively indifferent mix of androphilic and pederastic behavior.”

    But that was not different from heterosexual practice.

    As I mentioned before, in Shakespeare’s play, Julia’s mother was said to have given birth to her when she was 14. Julia herself was 13 in the play. This was conventional.

    Even today, one of the big goals of humanitarian organizations is to get the age of marriage up to 18 world wide. Child marriages and child pregnancies are very common in large parts of the world.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_marriage

    So what is your point? That homosexual relations were no different as heterosexual relations?

  466. Winter:
    > These children do lack the sexual traits of adults. Which makes pedophiles different from normal hetero and homosexuals

    This proposition defies common sense and casual observation. Almost all gays are, to greater or lesser extent, also pedophiles, Heterosexuals who are attracted to pre pubertal children are attracted only to female pre pubertal children. “Normal” homosexuals are attracted to manly men and twelve year old boys. You seldom, if ever, find a repeat offender who is one day charged with an offense against little girls, and another day charged with an offense against little boys.

  467. I wrote:
    > gays are attracted to manly men and twelve year old boys.

    Which is why male fashion models are manly men, while female fashion models, unlike magazine cover girls, resemble twelve year old boys.

    Observe that the one famously heterosexual fashion designer tends to produce clothes for women that resemble a coat of paint, from the waist down, a rather thin coat of paint, and states that his competitive advantage is that he is the only one who does not hate women.

  468. > No, she didn’t remember the act, but it was nevertheless traumatic, with serious personality changes that lasted well into adulthood and were not resolved until she once again remembered the act and was able to deal with it.

    The current evidence suggests that one hundred percent of “recovered” memories are fantasies of the interrogator, most often sexual fantasies – that even though children forgetting is a very real phenomenon, interrogators “recovering memories” is not a real phenomenon.

  469. > But that was not different from heterosexual practice.

    > As I mentioned before, in Shakespeare’s play, Julia’s mother was said to have given birth to her when she was 14. Julia herself was 13 in the play. This was conventional.

    Julia was fertile age, though her fertility would have been lower than that of a fifteen or sixteen year old, and pregnancy more hazardous. If we look at sex with young fertile age people as “pedophilia”, then there is indeed no difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals. Just about everyone is a “pedophile”, and there is a whole shitload of “pedophilic” sex happening everywhere all the time, though sixteen year olds are hotter than thirteen year olds. Heterosexual “pedophiles” massively outnumber homosexual “pedophiles”, because heterosexuals massively outnumber homosexuals, and there is a lot more “pedophilic” sex with girls, because girls that age are into it.

    If, however, we look at sex with people clearly below fertile age, there is an enormous difference, in that pretty much all homosexuals are pedophiles, while very few heterosexuals are pedophiles.

  470. >So what is your point? That homosexual relations were no different as heterosexual relations?

    Hardly. Sexual attachment to a 14-year-old-girl capable of carrying a fetus to term is a very different matter from sexual attachment to a pre-pubescent female child. The casual extension of sexual attachment to pre-pubertal children common in gay pedophiles was not generally approved of even in cultures where girls married young.

  471. @esr
    But historical relatiions between men and boys, e.g., as in classical Greece, was also with boys of the same ages as these girls.

    And that is logical, as that is the age boys and girls could leave their home to marry, learn, or study.

  472. > pre-pubertal children

    Has it somehow escaped you that people are suggesting that the data you are relying on fails to clearly make this distinction and therefore fails to even claim, let alone establish, that this is in fact common?

  473. “Men in the past did things with teenaged girls” = “It was a different time, it’s unfortunate, but we’ve moved past that as a society.”

    “Men in the past did things with teenaged boys” = “All gays are pedophiles.”

  474. >But historical relatiions between men and boys, e.g., as in classical Greece, was also with boys of the same ages as these girls.

    I do not see what you think this demonstrates.

    One of the salient facts about gay pedophles, both today and in the historical record, is that many of them sexually attach to all three age categories. They exhibit androphilia, ephebophila, and pedophila in the strict sense.

    Pointing out that heterosexual marriage to very young but definitely pubescent girls like Juliet’s mother sometimes coexisted with homosexual ephebophila is not really very relevant to understanding the above. Especially since the latter is historically unusual, and even in Ancient Greece primary sources like the comedies of Aristophanes make it clear that most Greeks considered aristocratic boy-lovers to be decadent perverts.

  475. @esr
    “Especially since the latter is historically unusual, and even in Ancient Greece primary sources like the comedies of Aristophanes make it clear that most Greeks considered aristocratic boy-lovers to be decadent perverts.”

    But sexual relations between grown men were also considered perverse. Especially, when men were at the receiving end.

    You have still not shown any evidence at all that men having sex with pre-puberal boys was more prevalent than men having sex with pre-puberal girls, at any time in history. That will be difficult as it has always been customary to accuse the despised of horrible crimes. Every minority has at some point been accused of engaging in dark-room sex where incest was common, as well as of eating babies and human sacrifice. More evidence is needed than the reports of the local version of the daily mail.

    When girls age 13 are considered or marrying age, it is ridiculous to chastise gay men for doing the same to boys of that age.

  476. >You have still not shown any evidence at all that men having sex with pre-puberal boys was more prevalent than men having sex with pre-puberal girls, at any time in history.

    It would be odd if I tried to demonstrate that, since I’m almost certain it’s not true. Don’t confuse incidence across the entire population with incidence in homosexuals.

    I said “almost certain” because Terrence Beans are more common than Roman Polanskis. If high-profile arrests are a good proxy for incidence (unlikely but not impossible) then homosexuals really would have to have 100x higher rates of pedophilia. But I don’t believe this; if they did, I think the consequences would be much more visible.

    Ah, now this is interesting. From PubMed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1556756

    “Using phallometric test sensitivities to calculate the proportion of true pedophiles among various groups of sex offenders against children, and taking into consideration previously reported mean numbers of victims per offender group, the ratio of heterosexual to homosexual pedophiles was calculated to be approximately 11:1. This suggests that the resulting proportion of true pedophiles among persons with a homosexual erotic development is greater than that in persons who develop heterosexually.” (emphasis mine)

    They don’t carry through the implication, but depending on whose figures for the incidence of homosexuality you believe (1%-4% is the usual range, with most estimates towards the low end) you get a differential propensity of about 3x to 9x higher in gay men with the most likely value towards the high end. This seems consistent with other evidence I have collected, including survival-guide-guy’s report.

    Note the PC ass-covering in the last sentence of the abstract: “This, of course, would not indicate that androphilic males have a greater propensity to offend against children.” Which is true, indeed tautological, but casts a misleading shadow. You can bet that the study authors did everything they could to maximize that 11:1 ratio and thus minimize its rather stark implications.

  477. I wrote: “[Based on the MedLine study] you get a differential propensity [to pedophila] of about 3x to 9x higher in gay men with the most likely value towards the high end”

    Let’s take this a step further, shall we?

    You are the Boy Scouts of America. You are attempting to make a rational and cautious risk estimate about gay Scoutmaster candidates. You go on worst-case assumptions, that is the rate of pedophilia in males at large is 5% and the 11.1:1 ratio is correct.

    From the single datum that your candidate is gay, your estimate of the odds that he is a pedophile just jumped to about 40%.

    Now, in reality I don’t think the odds are quite that high. 5% pedophilia in the general adult male population is quoted as an upper bound, not a hard estimate. On the other hand, pedophiles will preferentially seek out positions that give them access to children, which will at least partly reverse any overestimation.

    So, scenario: the general-population incidence is overestimated by a factor of 2, but both homo and hetero pedophiles are in general half again as likely to seek out Scoutmaster jobs as males in general. Your estimate is now about 31%. Differential job-seeking only has to be a factor of two to get us back to 40%.

    These are worse numbers than I was expecting when I wrote my original gay-scoutmaster comment. Apparently I underestimated the problem, and should have cut the social conservatives more slack than I did. Sigh. I try, but I sometimes do fall victim to prejudice myself.

    On the other hand, the MedLine study pretty well cuts the legs out from under anyone who wants to argue that co-morbidity of homosexuality with pedophilia isn’t pretty damned high. Some of you might want to revisit your objection to my use of the term “defect” in light of this evidence.

  478. @James

    > gays are attracted to manly men and twelve year old boys.

    >>Which is why male fashion models are manly men, while female fashion models, unlike magazine cover girls, resemble twelve year old boys.

    Wow. This actually sounds true and useful. I am positively surprised. I never understood the fashion industry’s hard-on for skeletal women with that kind of make-up that makes their faces look cold and rejecting, and both body and face completely lacking any kind of feminine warmth, charm and softness, but maybe that is a gay man’s idea of a good looking woman. The question is, how the eff did gay men – or anyone with these kinds of tastes – come to dominate an industry whose main customers are straight women? I mean, imagine the opposite. A guns, chopper bikes and power tools show organized by lesbians who don’t even like men. Likely?

  479. “You are the Boy Scouts of America. You are attempting to make a rational and cautious risk estimate about gay Scoutmaster candidates. You go on worst-case assumptions, that is the rate of pedophilia in males at large is 5% and the 11.1:1 ratio is correct.

    From the single datum that your candidate is gay, your estimate of the odds that he is a pedophile just jumped to about 40%.”

    Show your math. You have to be going on the highest estimate of the rate of pedophilia in males at large and the lowest estimate of the proportion of men that are gay.

    “I said “almost certain” because Terrence Beans are more common than Roman Polanskis.”

    How sure are you this isn’t selection for maximum sensationalism? Remember the quote about Huey Long: “in bed with a dead girl or a live boy”, which implies that pedophilia against females isn’t as newsworthy as pedophilia against boys.

  480. >I am positively surprised. I never understood the fashion industry’s hard-on for skeletal women with that kind of make-up that makes their faces look cold and rejecting, and both body and face completely lacking any kind of feminine warmth, charm and softness, but maybe that is a gay man’s idea of a good looking woman.

    JAD isn’t raving, for once. Most heterosexual men in the U.S. believe this to be true – that is, that skeletal fashion models reflect gay mens’ tastes.

    >The question is, how the eff did gay men – or anyone with these kinds of tastes – come to dominate an industry whose main customers are straight women?

    Probably because it is rare for a heterosexual male to obsess about clothes enough to spend a career designing them.

  481. >You have to be going on the highest estimate of the rate of pedophilia in males at large and the lowest estimate of the proportion of men that are gay.

    I said we were talking worst-case assumptions here, didn’t I? You can look up a basic text on probability theory and do the calculation yourself – in fact, I wish you would. Hint: it’s not 45% because that would double-count one of the subsets.

    >How sure are you this isn’t selection for maximum sensationalism?

    I’m not at all sure of that. This is why I said using that as a proxy is doubtful.

    Just to improve your day, here’s another quote from the Wikipedia article on pedophilia: “pedophilic molesters had a median of 1.3 victims for those with girl victims and 4.4 for those with boy victims” So not only are gay men more likely to be pedophiles by a factor close to 9x, gay pedophiles are 4x more predatory than straight ones.

    I’ll leave you to compute what that does to an individual Boy Scout’s risk of being molested relative to a Girl Scout’s.

  482. Shenpen

    Compare female videogame characters and pornstars, in both cases they look either normal, or exaggerated female. Not stick figure.

  483. Eric, at the root, you are arguing that homosexuals as a class are a significantly greater danger to society than heterosexuals (9x). If true, then this is a non trivial matter and demands attention. At a minimum, society should conduct sufficient study to ascertain the correlation accuracy and magnitude of potential harm.

    And then context becomes important. Given your assumptions, there should many hundreds of thousands of homosexual child predators in our midst (in addition to all the heterosexual ones). Is there an epidemic of child abuse occurring that we are blind to? The scandal currently evolving in England seems to be focused on young girls, but it’s growing magnitude and acquiescence by local law enforcement is shocking.

    Back to the big picture. Which is a worse problem? The actual incidence of child abuse by subset members of a particular class of people. Or the dysfunction of a culture that cannot face up to a real problem because of political correctness. It seems to me that the former is an unconscionable tragedy for the victims, but the latter is likely fatal for the society.

  484. >If true, then this is a non trivial matter and demands attention

    It used to get attention. The “attention” it got, until about the late 1960s, took the form of isolating and shunning homosexuals. This both tended to deny their pedophilic subset access to children and made them fear the consequences of acting on their urges.

    Very few people think this is an acceptable way to manage the problem any more, and for the majority of gays who are not pedophilic I’m certainly inclined to agree. But we have a problem, (a) because the same left-wing political coalition that organized itself partly around gay liberation is heavily invested in denying that this has any negative consequences, and (b) most of the the few right-wingers not in denial have vigorously trashed their own credibility on any issue related to sex.

    I don’t have a solution to offer. Less denial would be a good start – but how are we going to get that when even mainstream conservatives like Jay Maynard are so committed to “move along, nothing to see here”?

  485. I’d be a lot less inclined to “move along, nothing to see here” if you didn’t 1) come across sounding like the FRC and 2) base your thesis on an unobtainable, unciteable, unreproduceable collection of personal anecdotes from 30 years ago.

    Your number of 30% of all gay men being likely to be pedophiles seems very, very far out of line, and it demands as much rigor as you can give it. So far, I’m seeing precious little rigor and lots of confirmation bias. I’ll cheerfully admit my own biases on the subject, but if you can show genuine, scientific, rigorous backing, then I’ll at least have to listen.

  486. >Is there an epidemic of child abuse occurring that we are blind to?

    Possibly. But I think it is more likely that most gay pedophiles are, most of the time, settling for pubescent or adult partners. If this weren’t true I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be large, visible consequences. One would be a horrendous rate of juvenile AIDS cases.

    Supposing this is the case, then the strategy of denying declared homosexual males easy access to children is probably a minimax both from society’s point of view and a least-constraint solution for the pedophiles themselves. That is, until and unless we know how to identify them precisely and are willing to do that.

    The completely rational response would be a phallometry test for every Scoutmaster candidate.

  487. This seems to be a definition of “completely rational” with which I was previously unfamiliar.

    And also, whatever you think it predicts, seems to be on a distribution rather than as a perfect correlation… in that case wouldn’t the “completely rational” thing be to restructure their duties so that no-one has unsupervised access to children?

  488. >I’d be a lot less inclined to “move along, nothing to see here” if you didn’t 1) come across sounding like the FRC and 2) base your thesis on an unobtainable, unciteable, unreproduceable collection of personal anecdotes from 30 years ago.

    The first part is unfair. To sound like the FRC I’d have to be in the throes of an irrational moral panic spewing religiously-inspired fire and brimstone in all directions. I don’t do that kind of thing, period, and you’ve known me long enough to be sure of that.

    As for the second part…OK, then, forget gay-survival-guide-guy and think carefully about the implications of the study I cited from MedLine. A good question to ask yourself in these situations is: how far do I have to bend the numbers before the difference in incidence rate drops below my concern threshold?

    Please go learn how to calculate contingent probabilities in situations like this. Please!

    Once you’ve gone through that exercise, maybe you’ll concede that I learned something valuable from gay-survival-guide-guy, if only a willingness to keep the issue on my radar when most other people who aren’t foaming loons were ignoring it.

  489. >in that case wouldn’t the “completely rational” thing be to restructure their duties so that no-one has unsupervised access to children?

    In fact the Scouts already try to do this. It is questionable whether this is the most efficient solution, however. A mutual-chaperonage rule has significant logistical and management costs.

  490. @ESR

    >Probably because it is rare for a heterosexual male to obsess about clothes enough to spend a career designing them.

    Obviously I had heterosexual females in mind. Wondering how the Dolce & Gabannas outnumber the Donna Karans to 10:1 at least. Here is an industry that fits traditional gender stereotypes perfectly for women (going back to sewing at home) and cannot possibly afford to create something like a hostile workplace environment. What else can be an obstacle?

  491. >What else can be an obstacle?

    Not sure, but here’s a horribly un-PC possibility. Suppose that the distribution of whatever talents drive ability in the field is like IQ, that is males have a fractionally higher mean and significantly higher dispersion. Then the right-end-tail would naturally be completely dominated by males, just as it is in STEM.

  492. “I don’t do that kind of thing, period, and you’ve known me long enough to be sure of that.”

    Why do you think I’m so shocked?

  493. @ ESR – “took the form of isolating and shunning homosexuals”

    There is a clear dilemma here. No one asks to be born. And if you are born and mature into a homosexual, then those are the cards that life has dealt you. Everyone (regardless of sexuality) has a right to live our their life as they see fit as long they do no harm to others. And everyone has an obligation to live that life responsibly, which I would assert includes protecting the innocent (e.g. children in this context). Even homosexuals have this obligation, regardless of the tendencies that you cite as aberrant.

    Ostracizing an entire class of people does not seem like an effective social policy. It punishes the non-predatory individuals and needlessly creates an adversarial relationship with the community whose help will be needed to properly address the problem. There has got to be a better way to deal with this than just pushing the two sides apart.

  494. …if you didn’t 1) come across sounding like the FRC…

    Eric, I’m with Jay here. You claim to be an independent thinker, but you’re serving the Fundie/Conservative soup du jour, and I don’t think you have the foggiest clue just how ugly you sound, so let me make it concrete:

    Black=Lazy
    Jew=Greedy
    Homosexual=Pedophile (Note that this is the bog-standard attack on Gays, essentially the equivalent claiming that Jews are sacrificing children to make their passover bread.)

    You’re working off 30 year old anecdotal data, Wikipedia (don’t get me started about edit wars or other inaccuracies – just don’t) and one research study, and you’re doing it in service of very ugly agenda. If you want this claim to be taken seriously, you must present extraordinary proof!

  495. >Why do you think I’m so shocked?

    You have two possibilities in this situation. You can either decide that I’m irrational on this topic, for reasons you have no way to guess at and which don’t even remotely square with my prior behavior. Or you can, as the LW crowd says, “notice that you are confused” and conclude that you need to update your beliefs on this topic.

    This is why I am urging you to independently replicate my deductions from the MedLine numbers. I could lay out the entire set of steps, but I judge you’ll believe the conclusion in direct proportion to how independent your chain of reasoning is.

  496. >You’re working off 30 year old anecdotal data,

    I’ll say the same thing to you I did to Jay. Consider the numbers from “The proportions of heterosexual and homosexual pedophiles among sex offenders against children: an exploratory study.” and draw your own conclusions.

    Troutwaxer, dude, if I ran across convincing evidence that blacks are lazy, I’d have to say so. Not because it’s the “Fundie/Conservative soup du jour” but in spite of that. We have a duty to the truth, no matter how ugly it is.

    In fact, whenever someone says to me “that’s a really ugly position”, I raise my estimate that it might be true and deserves investigation. This is a necessary form of self-defence against the ever-present temptation to believe what is socially convenient.

  497. I wrote: “This is why I am urging you to independently replicate my deductions from the MedLine numbers. I could lay out the entire set of steps, but I judge you’ll believe the conclusion in direct proportion to how independent your chain of reasoning is.”

    Of course, you might also find a flaw in my reasoning. I’d welcome that result, too, more than I usually do. I don’t like my conclusions much.

  498. @ESR

    Interestingly enough I am in the process of writing an article on an unrelated subject which concludes with this paragraph:

    It is better to confront Damned Facts head on, however horrible they may be, then to pretend they don’t exist until that self-delusion ends up killing people or at the very least destroying their lives. Worse, the denial of Damned Facts surrenders the truth and gives ammunition to the worst sorts of slime. I refuse to help those people.

  499. > You have still not shown any evidence at all that men having sex with pre-puberal boys was more prevalent than men having sex with pre-puberal girls, at any time in history

    Chaucer depicts an effeminate male pedophile. Does not depict any males sexually attracted to adult males or young teen males.

    While sex between adult males definitely existed in Greece, though perhaps only as its civilization was declining, there seem to have been long periods where no one had the concept that homosexuals in the modern sense, men who would prefer to have sex with an adult man rather than an adult woman, existed, times when if such men existed, they were so uncommon that people failed to recognize them, had no word for them. Example. No gay porn in the civil war.

  500. > When girls age 13 are considered or marrying age, it is ridiculous to chastise gay men for doing the same to boys of that age.

    Gays like manly men and twelve year old boys. (Neither of which much like gays) A twelve year old boy is not the same as a twelve year old girl. He is the equivalent of a ten year old or eleven year old girl.

  501. > If high-profile arrests are a good proxy for incidence (unlikely but not impossible) then homosexuals really would have to have 100x higher rates of pedophilia. But I don’t believe this; if they did, I think the consequences would be much more visible.

    I think the consequences are so outstandingly visible that only ludicrous self induced blindness can prevent everyone from seeing it, the way a quite short time ago, everyone used to see it,

    And then they suddenly ceased see it, or even remember what they used to be able to see a short time ago.

  502. esr:
    > 5% pedophilia in the general adult male population is quoted as an upper bound, not a hard estimate

    Not very long ago everyone, including yourself, believed damn near all of them.

    This is similar to the discussion on marital rape. In the sixties, leftists found it difficult to express the concept in ways that regular people could understand, because it was taken for granted that the husband and wife had sexual duties, and the husband, as head of the family, had the right and duty to enforce good behavior on the wife.

    And you do not remember believing what everyone believed.

    I was not around when everyone switched from believing that women were naturally pure, to believing that they could screw in the streets and frighten the horses and this would not make them impure, but reading stuff written at the time of the switch, I observe a similar simultaneous switch, with everyone silently converting to the new belief, without any sign of ever remembering that they had ever adhered to the old belief.

    It is reminiscent of the vanishing commissar.

  503. @JAD

    Something that undermines your argument is that in several cultures descended from the Jewish memeplex the “sexual duties” are the husband’s duty to the wife.

    Oops.

  504. I can see two concurrent paths that would be helpful in addressing the essence of this problem.

    Society could reinforce and reward the mainstreaming of homosexuals provided that they (as a political class) seriously commit and contribute to the betterment of society (which fundamentally includes the safeguarding of children).

    The homosexual community could demonstrate this commitment by advocating and supporting necessary legal and social measures which promote the safety of children. This would include an open recognition of any characteristic tendencies that objective analysis may reveal about the sexual assault risk to children. The gay community should then become the most vocal and determined public voice of correction and retribution whenever criminal behavior occurs.

    Every ethnic, religious, and racial group of immigrants to enter this country has had to fight and earn it’s way into mainstream acceptance. This is no different.

  505. > Eric, at the root, you are arguing that homosexuals as a class are a significantly greater danger to society than heterosexuals (9x). If true, then this is a non trivial matter and demands attention.

    It used to receive attention, then, rather suddenly, no longer does.

    See the discussion above on morphology. Behavior is harder to see than shape – and suddenly people can no longer see shape, nor remember that they used to be able to see shape.

  506. > Here is an industry that fits traditional gender stereotypes perfectly for women (going back to sewing at home) and cannot possibly afford to create something like a hostile workplace environment. What else can be an obstacle?

    I get the feeling that you are impiously and heretically implying a particular unmentionable obstacle.

  507. I get the feeling that you are impiously and heretically implying a particular unmentionable obstacle.

    Oh No! Whatever will happen if you aren’t the only precious snowflake who will stand up against the PC Police?

  508. > Ostracizing an entire class of people does not seem like an effective social policy

    Used to be that there were no such thing as homosexuals. There was sex with other males, but that was an act, not a class of people, something you did, not something you were.

  509. > if I ran across convincing evidence that blacks are lazy, I’d have to say so.

    You don’t find the rather low percentage of blacks in employment, and the rather high percentage in jail, is evidence?

    With Mestizos, white people tend to see a hell of a lot of mestizos in the Home Depot parking lot at 7AM looking for day labor, and conclude, “wow, those mestizos are mighty hard working”, and indeed those mestizos in the Home Depot parking lot are undeniably hard working, but there are a certain parts of the town where there seem to be a lot of mestizos who sleep in. Hard to compare the numbers for mestizos, but for blacks … there are no blacks at 7AM in the Home Depot parking lot.

  510. > Something that undermines your argument is that in several cultures descended from the Jewish memeplex the “sexual duties” are the husband’s duty to the wife.

    You are pig ignorant.

    The standard system in almost all societies (nothing much to do with Jews) is that sex is forbidden unless it is compulsory. So the husband an obligation to do his fertile age wife more than once a week or so, and the wife has an obligation to do her husband whenever he pleases.

    The husband is answerable to God if he fails to perform his duty, but the wife is answerable to her husband if she fails to perform her duty. Check your Saint Paul.

    And I remember when everyone believed that – and then mysteriously ceased to believe it, and ceased to remember that they ever used to believe it.

  511. “There was sex with other males, but that was an act, not a class of people, something you did, not something you were.”

    That was before it was discovered that there are physiological differences in brain wiring between gay and straight people. Of course, a bigot like you won’t accept that it’s other than a choice.

  512. No, JAD; the ignorance here is yours: A Jewish husband is religiously obligated to satisfy his wife, not merely impregnate her; and this obligation (in theory, enforceable by suit in religious courts) does not disappear with menopause. Saint Paul was describing a rather different religion.

  513. (On the other hand I don’t know how correct Foo Quuxman’s assertion is, that cultures inheriting from the Jewish memeplex preserved this idea.)

  514. @Joel

    I am basing the assertion off of a case in one of the puritan (!) colonies where a man’s wife brought him before the church because he would not have sex. I believe he was fined for it and ordered to start banging.

  515. Joel C. Salomon on 2015-03-19 at 19:09:10 said:
    > No, JAD; the ignorance here is yours: A Jewish husband is religiously obligated to satisfy his wife, not merely impregnate her; and this obligation (in theory, enforceable by suit in religious courts)

    This is very recent Jewish doctrine (post 1972, similar to double dishwashers and the prohibition on taking babies for a sabbath stroll) based on talmudic text torture of the writings of a twelfth century rabbi, whose writings are themselves based on absolutely nothing earlier.

    The ancient deal, in pretty much all religions, Jewish descended or not,is pretty much what Saint Paul states it to be, and until Jews started going left, Jewish religious doctrine prescribed worse treatment for women that most other religions, in particular, similar but worse treatment for women than Pauline Christianity prescribed.

  516. I wrote:
    > This is very recent Jewish doctrine (post 1972)

    All religions are being turned into progressivism, except for Russian Orthodoxy, which is protected by nuclear weapons.

    Orthodox Judaism was allowed to lag somewhat behind the others, because of the Holocaust and stuff, but now it is being hurried along to join the rest.

    And, to get back on topic, see the latest Jewish Orthodoxy on openly gay couples, which is right now in the process of being attributed to the ancient oral tradition received by Moses on the mountain top even though the ink is still wet.

  517. This is very recent Jewish doctrine (post 1972)

    TIL the King James Version was written in 1972.

  518. Foo Quuxman on 2015-03-19 at 22:06:27 said:
    > I am basing the assertion off of a case in one of the puritan (!) colonies where a man’s wife brought him before the church because he would not have sex. I believe he was fined for it and ordered to start banging.

    That has been standard procedure for thousands of years. Nearly all religions and most states hold that sex is forbidden except where it is compulsory, and therefore reproductive sex in marriage is compulsory, for both the man and the woman. An Athenian dictator got run out of town for failure to have reproductive sex with his wife.

    However: All religions, and, until recently, almost all states, have held that the man is the head of the family, the wife must submit and obey, and the husband is responsible for making sure his wife behaves well.

    And therefore, the husband is responsible for enforcing the rule requiring his wife to have sex with him. People believed that at the time of Christ, and for the most part, they believed that in 1970.

    And on all the evidence, they always have believed it, the present day being an extraordinary anomaly.

  519. > > This is very recent Jewish doctrine (post 1972)

    > TIL the King James Version was written in 1972.

    King James Bible says a man has to have sex with his wife and treat her in a kindly fashion. It does not say it is his fault if she is not satisfied or does not much like it.

  520. @esr
    “the ratio of heterosexual to homosexual pedophiles was calculated to be approximately 11:1”

    I missed a lot in this discussion, but I would like to address this one. First, it is difficult to see where you place the cut-off for homosexuals vs bisexuals etc. Is it the same cut-off as used by the study you quote?

    Self-reporting is even worse for homosexuals as it is for anything else. So, how did they determine homosexuality?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_sexual_orientation

    Then there is the self selecting in the criminal pedophile community. People in stable relations are less likely to engage in criminal behavior. For all kinds of reasons, not least the pressure of society, gays are less likely to get married.

    So, when I replace your “ifs” and “whens” about the prevalence of homosexuality and criminal pedophiles with my own we get something different.
    – Heterosexual vs Gay pedophiles is 11:1
    – Heterosexual vs Gay men is 20:1
    Result, a gay man is twice as likely to become a criminal pedophile than a heterosexual man.

    Roughly half of all adult men are married. But only one in five rapists is married. That alone could easily explain the difference between heterosexual and gay men.

    Now, I know this logic mixes up cause and effect, and has a lot of “if”s and “when”s. But this is not different from your extrapolating all kinds of odd statistics out of context.

    And even if it could be shown that gay men feel more often attracted to children than heterosexual men, that says nothing. Most male teachers will feel sexually attracted to half of their students. That does not tell us that they will invariably try to rape them.

    In short, you still have not showed anything about the increase in prevalence of pedophile attack risks for gay men.

  521. >Self-reporting is even worse for homosexuals as it is for anything else. So, how did they determine homosexuality?

    Phallometry on exposure to potentially erotic images. Pretty solid.

    No, all your wishful thinking is not going to make this result go away.

  522. @James A. Donald

    >All religions are being turned into progressivism, except for Russian Orthodoxy, which is protected by nuclear weapons.

    I was _so_ sureyou would get there… listen, Putin is not a knight of global reaction. He is an opportunist who supports certain conservative policies as a way to make his position stronger and his country military-wise stronger, but it does not follows he gives half a hoot for the long-term happiness of Russians or humankind. The only thing he cares is that more gays may mean fewer babies who turn into fewer soldiers. While it may be true that most religions are weaponized towards a progressivist angle, Russian Orthodoxy is simply weaponized towards a statist-militarist propaganda angle, moar babies, moar soldati.

    You would be better off cheering for some smaller groups like Catholic Integralists, they are at least not being weaponized for such purposes: http://thejosias.com/

  523. @Shenpen

    It should not be surprising that JAD favors Putin; he has proven many times to be a collectivist, power-sexual, fool. In this way he is indistinguishable from the leftist ideal.

    Like all leftists he believes that his opinions are diametrically opposed to those of other leftists, as a result he hates them with unimaginable fury. After all, the only time that leftists are not at each others throats is when they are perfectly united against a common enemy.

    “Ah, yes, “Logic”. The discipline of mind which enables a person to think with greater clarity. We have dismissed this concept” — Leftism (and JAD)

  524. @esr
    “Phallometry on exposure to potentially erotic images. Pretty solid.”

    And how was the prevalence of homosexuality in the community determined?

    The 11:1 ratio might be pretty solid, and I was not questioning that (again, where to put the line between bisexual and homosexual?). However, the prevalence in the community will not be determined by phallometry. My guess of 5% gay men is just as likely as any of your guesses, and was also the number used in the study you cite. And with a prevalence of 5%, gays are only twice as likely to attack children. This difference is pretty small for such a rare affliction. Any number of confounding factors (e.g., marriage, but also law enforcement prejudice) can push the numbers in this specific study higher. So the warning of the authors is not so much PC, but evidence that they understand the limits of their study.

    In short, you claim gays are a much more significant danger for young boys than heterosexual men. But your “statistics” go all around the place without really making a point.

    In all this, you are also mixing up violent rapes with sexual attraction.

  525. > Phallometry on exposure to potentially erotic images. Pretty solid.

    Of course, if what you’re actually trying to detect is pedophilia

  526. @Random832
    “Of course, if what you’re actually trying to detect is pedophilia…”

    There are limits (and serious legal questions) to the use of this method in assessing offenders.

    When the corresponding infra-vaginal technique is applied to women, it shows “responses” for images that are known to lead to severe traumas. Because, you know, looking at fiction is different than experiencing the real thing.

  527. > There are limits (and serious legal questions) to the use of this method in assessing offenders.

    I’m aware of this, I was just pointing out the ethical problems with using a proxy, especially one that has a 300% false positive rate even taking ESR’s most favorable numbers as factual.

  528. >Phallometry on exposure to potentially erotic images. Pretty solid.

    I see what you did there…

  529. … post 1972, similar to … the prohibition on taking babies for a sabbath stroll …

    If you’re referring to the requirement for an eruv, that is discussed as early as the Mishna (ca. 200 C.E.) based on tradition ascribed to Solomon or more certainly to Jeremiah (ca. 2900 & 3300 A.M., respectively)—no matter which calendar you’re using, you’re off by millennia.

    And of course there is no Jewish doctrine on double dishwashers, merely the systematic application of long-existing rules to new gadgets

    Regarding Jewish marriage law & customs: I am currently studying these topics, from the original texts in the original Hebrew & Aramaic. There’s plenty to disturb modern sensibilities as much as you’d like—but the husband’s responsibility to provide for his wife support, clothing, and sexual pleasure is quite well grounded in the Talmudic understanding of the Biblical text.

    As far as “the latest Jewish Orthodoxy on openly gay couples” is concerned, keep in mind that there is no official hierarchy at present. I (as a member of the Orthodox Jewish community) might very well not accept the Orthodox bona fides of some of the people you’re obliquely referring to; on the other hand if you yourself claimed to be an Orthodox Rabbi you might even find some journalist who would uncritically repeat such a ludicrous claim.

    But of course you have not even explicitly stated what it is which you allege is “in the process of being attributed to the ancient oral tradition received by Moses on the mountain top even though the ink is still wet,” so I cannot tell whether you’re referring to controversial statements made by pseudo-Orthodox rabbis or well-grounded comments made by respected scholars and whose theological correctness you don’t have the barest qualifications to judge. Say what you mean and run the risk of being shown wrong; if you insist on hiding behind vague pronouncements I shall laugh at you.

  530. >Of course, if what you’re actually trying to detect is pedophilia…

    The study participants were already known to be pedophiles.

  531. To combine ideas in some of the posts above, as a practical matter, driving the gay community out of mainstream society and into the arms of political Leftists (who have exploited them like they did with blacks, Hispanics, and Jews) is just making all problems worse. It’s not making children any safer, and it’s not addressing the underlying pathology (assuming Eric is correct), and it’s not making society stronger and better (evolutionary development).

    Right now in England, an enormous crime against children is unfolding, and the victims are young girls, and perpetrators are Muslim men, and the social system that should have protected these kids has broken down completely. That is the tragedy and reality of a broken culture, and that may be where we are headed if we continue to disintegrate.

  532. @esr
    “What is the basis of this belief?”

    That will obviously depend on how the test is used and executed. It seems the test itself is not unsound, but should be interpreted with caution.

    An evaluation of the use of phallometric assessment for men incarcerated for sexually offending against children in New Zealand: Past results and future directions.
    http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/8497

    A 300% false positive rate will obviously depend on the population tested. Any test will give you such results if the incidence of the condition is low enough.
    (the famous positive paradox)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_positive_paradox

  533. The study participants were already known to be pedophiles.

    I’m working up a longer post on this (yesterday was a 12-hour day which included 330 miles of driving, so I’m having some trouble participating as fully as I’d like) but I’ll note two issues very quickly:

    First, how were these men selected as being “pedophiles?” I’d guess it was via the court or prison system and you run into all kinds of selection bias there; who gets a plea bargain, how good a lawyer can various groups afford, how are “homosexual” vs. “heterosexual” crimes prosecuted in a particular court system (in other words, are child molesters who target females allowed to plea to lesser offenses while those who target males are not,) are study participants being rewarded with reduced sentences and if so, which subset of offenders are being so rewarded, etc.

    Second, in 1989 the same researchers did another piece of research on homosexuals/heterosexuals who had not been identified as pedophiles, and found no differences between their levels of arousal. I’ll provide more on this later when I’m not at work.

  534. Joel C. Salomon commented on
    >If you’re referring to the requirement for an eruv, that is discussed as early as the Mishna (ca. 200 C.E.) based on tradition ascribed to Solomon or more certainly to Jeremiah

    Untrue

    Jeremiah put a guard on the city gates to stop people transporting cartloads of salted fish to the markets on the Sabbath, not a guard on people’s doors to stop women from taking their babies for a stroll.on the Sabbath.

    Starting around four hundred AD or so, rabbis started getting holier and holier about transporting stuff past boundaries, which escalation of holier than thou reached babies on a sabbath stroll some time in the late twentieth century.

    Every time Jews abandon something important in their religion, like abandoning the requirement for patriarchy, or the prohibition against homosexuality, they go even holier than thou on cheeseburgers and sabbath observance. So as all religions turn into progressivism, Judaism turns into progressivism without cheeseburgers.

    > And of course there is no Jewish doctrine on double dishwashers, merely the systematic application of long-existing rules to new gadgets

    The sixteenth century rule was that if washing plates exposed to cheese grease and plates exposed to meat grease together, you should use lye and hot water strong enough to lift the grease, which requirement every dishwasher satisfies. If double dishwashers were the application of long existing Jewish rules to new gadgets, there would have been a nineteenth century requirement for double kitchen sinks.

    Rather, Jews started retreating on homosexuality some time back, and the more likely they were to get semen on their dishes, the more intolerant they became of the possibility of cheese crumbs and meat crumbs accidentally getting together.

    > Regarding Jewish marriage law & customs: I am currently studying these topics, from the original texts in the original Hebrew & Aramaic. There’s plenty to disturb modern sensibilities as much as you’d like—but the husband’s responsibility to provide for his wife support, clothing, and sexual pleasure is quite well grounded in the Talmudic understanding of the Biblical text.

    As you made up the reference to babies on the sabbath, you made up the reference to sexual pleasure.

    As in almost every other religion before progressivism, the husband is required to have sex with his wife and to be kind to her. He is not responsible for whether she enjoys it or not. That is her problem. She damn well should enjoy it, and if she does not, she is being a bad wife. Sex is compulsory, for both wives and husbands. The wife enjoying it is up to her.

    > As far as “the latest Jewish Orthodoxy on openly gay couples” is concerned, keep in mind that there is no official hierarchy at present. I (as a member of the Orthodox Jewish community)

    The latest orthodoxy on gays is in the process of become orthodoxy and ancient tradition received by Moses on the mountain top and handed down orally to the present day, in the same way that double dishwashers and the prohibition against taking babies for a stroll on the sabbath became orthodoxy and ancient tradition received by Moses on the mountain top and handed down orally to the present day.

    If you don’t want it to become ancient tradition received by Moses on the mountain top and handed down orally to the present day, Israel should openly test some nukes.

    might very well not accept the Orthodox bona fides of some of the people you’re obliquely referring to; on the other hand if you yourself claimed to be an Orthodox Rabbi you might even find some journalist who would uncritically repeat such a ludicrous claim.

    But of course you have not even explicitly stated what it is which you allege is “in the process of being attributed to the ancient oral tradition received by Moses on the mountain top even though the ink is still wet,” so I cannot tell whether you’re referring to controversial statements made by pseudo-Orthodox rabbis or well-grounded comments made by respected scholars and whose theological correctness you don’t have the barest qualifications to judge. Say what you mean and run the risk of being shown wrong; if you insist on hiding behind vague pronouncements I shall laugh at you.

  535. Joel C. Salomon commented on
    > But of course you have not even explicitly stated what it is which you allege is “in the process of being attributed to the ancient oral tradition received by Moses on the mountain top even though the ink is still wet,” so I cannot tell whether you’re referring to controversial statements made by pseudo-Orthodox rabbis or well-grounded comments made by respected scholars and whose theological correctness you don’t have the barest qualifications to judge.

    Orthodox Judaism has been going gay for quite some time. The latest step is to take the biblical prohibitions against gossip and slander, and turn them into a prohibition against “embarassing” people who are openly and in-your-face gay, the same process of scholarly reinterpretation and reinterpretation and re-re interpretation and re-re-re-interpretation as turns salted fish into babies, and interstate navigable waterways into mud puddles.

    If someone is openly and in-your-face gay, it is no more gossip and slander to not like it than a baby is a cartload of salted fish.

    And eventually Judaism is going to go all the way gay, unless Israel rattles some nukes the way Putin has been doing.

  536. > When the corresponding infra-vaginal technique is applied to women, it shows “responses” for images that are known to lead to severe traumas. Because, you know, looking at fiction is different than experiencing the real thing.

    Trauma her asshole.

    It shows the truth that everyone knows and no one speaks. Nothing revealed by blood flow measurements of women’s pussies would have surprised any eighteenth century gentleman in the slightest.

  537. Jeremiah put a guard on the city gates to stop people transporting cartloads of salted fish to the markets on the Sabbath, not a guard on people’s doors to stop women from taking their babies for a stroll.on the Sabbath.

    Correct: the city walls functioned as an eruv, permitting the carrying of items throughout the city, but not in or out of it.

    But even granting arguendo that Jeremiah was referring to something else, the Mishna is dated to ca. 200 C.E., and records discussions of eruvin from centuries before that. Your date of 400 A.D. is still demonstrably wrong, but now only by 2–5 centuries; congratulations on your progress.

    I would be interested to hear of an orthodox halachik source (pre-1970 you say, but any era will do) which permits wheeling baby carriages outside on the Sabbath where there is no eruv.

    Finally, as best I can tell you’re referring to the Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in Our Community, a statement which repeatedly distinguishes between homosexual orientation (nobody’s business, even religiously) and homosexual activities (explicitly referred to as prohibited). If you meant something else, point to it explicitly; meanwhile anybody can read this document and see for themselves whether it justifies your interpretation of it.

    (P.S. Israel, for all the power the Rabbinate has [marriage of Jews, e.g.], does not remotely follow halacha in this regard: there is a form of domestic partnership recognized in law; there are Gay Pride parades in Tel Aviv; etc., etc. Attempting to link Israel’s military or nuclear strength to religious trends within global Orthodox Judaism betrays a misunderstanding so fundamental it verges on “not even wrong” territory.)

  538. > > Jeremiah put a guard on the city gates to stop people transporting cartloads of salted fish to the markets on the Sabbath, not a guard on people’s doors to stop women from taking their babies for a stroll.on the Sabbath.

    Joel C. Salomon
    > But even granting arguendo that Jeremiah was referring to something else, the Mishna is dated to ca. 200 C.E., and records discussions of eruvin from centuries before that.

    No one talks about women taking babies for a stroll on the sabbath until the late twentieth century. The business about babies on the sabbath is, like so many supposedly ancient Jewish traditions, cooked up quite recently and then quietly back dated.

    As Judaism furtively slides away from patriarchy, they get ever more serious about cheeseburgers.

    > I would be interested to hear of an orthodox halachik source (pre-1970 you say, but any era will do) which permits wheeling baby carriages outside on the Sabbath where there is no eruv.

    Suppose tomorrow morning Orthodox Jews decide that children skipping in the street on the Sabbath is prohibited. I will not be able to provide an orthodox source saying that children skipping is permitted – but neither will you be able to provide an orthodox source saying children skipping is prohibited. Whereupon you will announce that this was an oral tradition that everyone accepted all the way back to Moses, and it was just that Jews never got around to writing it down until just now.

    Seems that there are quite a few ancient Jewish traditions that they never got around to writing down until just recently.

    > Finally, as best I can tell you’re referring to the Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in Our Community, a statement which repeatedly distinguishes between homosexual orientation (nobody’s business, even religiously) and homosexual activities (explicitly referred to as prohibited).

    But you are not allowed to “embarass” someone who flaunts their supposedly prohibited activities in your face. Which sounds remarkably like “not prohibited, thanks to oral tradition received from Moses on the mountain, and preserved by rabbis from time immemorial, but never actually written down until just now.”

    > Attempting to link Israel’s military or nuclear strength to religious trends within global Orthodox Judaism betrays a misunderstanding so fundamental it verges on “not even wrong” territory.

    In the entire world, the propensity of all religions to turn into progressivism has a remarkable correlation with American power, and the resistance of any religion or sect against turning into progressivism has a remarkable correlation with its government’s ability and willingness to resist American power. Observe people in this thread frothing with hysterical rage about Russian Orthodoxy. Why should Judaism be different from all of the others?

  539. @ TomA
    >the victims are young girls, and perpetrators are Muslim men

    You’re spot on. In fact, our host commented on the problem as early as 2006. It saddens me that nothing’s been done about it in all these years. Will Europeans wake up before it’s too late?

  540. > the Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in Our Community,

    I would unkindly paraphrase the Statement of Principles as “Provided a Jew is very careful never to let a cheese crumb meet a meat crumb, he should be treated as a perfectly good and respectable Orthodox Jew even if he has a mouth full of semen.”

    It is not good for a religious community to embrace and include those openly break its important rules, and if it does, then obviously those rules are not important – unlike the rules on cheese crumbs.

  541. Eric, I’ve found the “Medline” survey you quoted. It was published Freund and Watson and in 1992. The full abstract is as follows:

    ABSTRACT Previous investigations have indicated that the ratio of sex offenders against female children vs. offenders against male children is approximately 2:1, while the ratio of gynephiles to androphiles among the general population is approximately 20:1. The present study investigated whether the etiology of preferred partner sex among pedophiles is related to the etiology of preferred partner sex among males preferring adult partners. Using phallometric test sensitivities to calculate the proportion of true pedophiles among various groups of sex offenders against children, and taking into consideration previously reported mean numbers of victims per offender group, the ratio of heterosexual to homosexual pedophiles was calculated to be approximately 11:1. This suggests that the resulting proportion of true pedophiles among persons with a homosexual erotic development is greater than that in persons who develop heterosexually. This, of course, would not indicate that androphilic males have a greater propensity to offend against children.

    Note that final sentence. Also note that the work was done with pedophiles. I’ve been trying to find out how the pedophiles were selected, that doesn’t seem to be available without paying for a copy of the paper. Here’s a link to the abstract. Maybe someone can find out more.

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/233747536_Heterosexuality_Homosexuality_and_Erotic_Age_Preference

    However, the same researchers (along with Douglas Rienzo) did a phallometric study comparing heterosexual and homosexual males who were not pedophiles and discovered that homosexual males did not react to pictures of children in a different fashion that heterosexual males. Here’s the full abstract:

    Heterosexual and homosexual males who erotically preferred physically mature partners were compared with respect to the erotic impact of the nonpreferred age groups (of the preferred gender) and the nonpreferred gender. Erotic impact was assessed by phallometric test of erotic gender and age preferences. This measures penile volume changes during the presentation of potentially erotic stimuli. Homosexual males who preferred physically mature partners responded no more to male children than heterosexual males who preferred physically mature partners responded to female children. Although heterosexual males showed a (slight) erotic aversion to the male stimuli, and homosexual males did not show an aversion to the female stimuli, this difference was minimal.

    Note that there is no difference between heterosexual and homosexual males with respect to pictures of underage males. You can find the full paper here:

    http://www.robinjwilson.com/articles/freund%201989%20erotic%20age%20pref.pdf

    To boil all this down, when working with non-pedophile adult males researchers found that homosexuals were not more dangerous to children than heterosexuals. When working with men who were already established as pedophiles, the same researchers found that homosexual males were more likely to molest. To me, this strongly suggests selection bias of some kind.

    I also found a third study published in 1978 (and accomplished without phallometry, which may be a weakness) with an abstract which runs as follows:

    A random sample of 175 males convicted of sexual assault against children was screened with reference to their adult sexual orientation and the sex of their victims. The sample divided fairly evenly into two groups based on whether they were sexually fixated exclusively on children or had regressed from peer relationships. Female children were victimized nearly twice as often as male children. All regressed offenders, whether their victims were male or female children, were heterosexual in their adult orientation. There were no examples of regression to child victims among peer-oriented, homosexual males. The possibility emerges that homosexuality and homosexual pedophilia may be mutually exclusive and that the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater risk to the underage child than does the adult homosexual male.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/666571?dopt=Abstract

    Even the Catholic Church, while investigating their clerical abuse scandal, couldn’t find a link between homosexuality and child molestation:

    “We do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now … It’s important to separate the sexual identity and the behavior. Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature but not have a homosexual identity.”

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2010/04/what-causes-sex-abuse-research-conflicts-with-catholic-leaders/1

    http://ncronline.org/news/praise-report-gay-priests-and-sex-abuse

    In other words, Eric, you misinterpreted something you read. Your misinterpretation might be related to manner in which you approach your reading. I’ll quote something you wrote above:

    “Note the PC ass-covering in the last sentence of the abstract: “This, of course, would not indicate that androphilic males have a greater propensity to offend against children.” Which is true, indeed tautological, but casts a misleading shadow. You can bet that the study authors did everything they could to maximize that 11:1 ratio and thus minimize its rather stark implications.

    Except that the study’s authors didn’t engage in PC ass-covering, did they? Instead, the same researchers had already done a study showing that homosexuals who weren’t pedophiles were not more dangerous to children than heterosexual males… more than enough reason to include a cautionary note, wouldn’t you say?

  542. “If someone is openly and in-your-face gay, it is no more gossip and slander to not like it ”

    No, it’s not. It’s out and out unreasoning, bigoted hatred. You are hating someone for something they did not choose and cannot change.

  543. >“If someone is openly and in-your-face gay, it is no more gossip and slander to not like it ”

    >No, it’s not. It’s out and out unreasoning, bigoted hatred. You are hating someone for something >they did not choose and cannot change.

    You’re being ridiculous, bordering on proving JAD right about something. Don’t do that.

    Change ‘gay’ to ‘flatulent’ in the above quote. Is that bigoted hatred? No, it’s a matter of some idiot pushing something you don’t personally care, for in your face. Being in-your-face anything is BAD MANNERS. It’s not bigoted hatred to dislike bad manners.

  544. > > “If someone is openly and in-your-face gay, it is no more gossip and slander to not like it ”

    Jay Maynard
    > No, it’s not. It’s out and out unreasoning, bigoted hatred.”

    Fairly soon that also will become part of the oral tradition that the Jewish Rabbis supposedly received from Moses on the mountain top.

  545. >Note that there is no difference between heterosexual and homosexual males with respect to pictures of underage males.

    Your quote does not demonstrate that. It begins “Heterosexual and homosexual males who erotically preferred physically mature partners”. In other words, they didn’t study the general homosexual population – they pre-selected for androphiles, so of course what they got was androphilia.

    On the other hand, we know that there are a significant number of self-identified homosexuals who are both androphilic and pedophilic, if only because of repeated incidents like the Terrence Bean arrest. The relevant number for the gay-Scoutmaster question is how many homosexuals not pre-identified as exclusive androphiles are pedophiles. Your second, exonerating study tells us nothing about this number. It is you who misunderstand what you have read.

    I remind you of this sentence in the first abstract: “This suggests that the resulting proportion of true pedophiles among persons with a homosexual erotic development is greater than that in persons who develop heterosexually.” The sentence after that is still PC ass-covering, and the Catholic Church has negative credibility on this issue.

  546. >No, it’s not. It’s out and out unreasoning, bigoted hatred. You are hating someone for something they did not choose and cannot change.

    I never thought I’d see you succumb to mindless PC-think, Jay. Greg is right – you are in danger of making JAD look sane and justified.

  547. Eric, you mean to tell me you don’t think JAD’s full of mindless hatred of gay men?

  548. >Eric, you mean to tell me you don’t think JAD’s full of mindless hatred of gay men?

    I don’t think JAD’s hatred is that specific.

    The problem is that when you repeat PC drivel in opposition to people like myself who are doing their damnedest to rationally evaluate touchy issues, what you end up doing is increasing the credibility of the JADs of the world.

  549. Eric, I wasn’t responding to you, but JAD. Further, even you say that gay men didn’t choose to be gay, and probably can’t change it. What’s PC about that?

  550. @ Winter – “You might update your information.”

    You’re right. Most of my information was from the original Rotherham reports from a few months ago. I did not realize that the story was exploding into so many other arenas as well. This really is an example of an epidemic of child abuse that existed in the dark. And the problem is much bigger than just the failure of police departments, social institutions, and media investigation and reporting. This is truly indicative of a fatally sick culture and society.

    Needless to say, this real world example makes Eric’s and JAD’s admonitions relevant and justifies a level of concern that transcends mere bigotry. Unwarranted discrimination is bad, but what is playing out in England is a societal catastrophe. No self-respecting Englishman should hold his head up until all the perpetrators have been hanged in the public square. And no, I don’t mean that as hyperbole. If the price of tolerating sexual deviancy is extreme child predation, then count me out. I’m also ashamed that this story is not making headlines here in the US.

  551. >Further, even you say that gay men didn’t choose to be gay, and probably can’t change it. What’s PC about that?

    Several things. First, it is sometimes quite reasonable to hate people for traits they didn’t choose and can’t change. Hate exists in the human emotional gamut for a reason; it’s to there to mobilize us to fight threats. It doesn’t really make a lot of difference whether the threat is a threat by nature or because it chooses to be one.

    Note that this is not in itself an argument for hating people who are not threatening, nor is it an argument that homosexuals are per se threatening. What I’m saying is that the modern PC assumption that hate is always unjustified is a form of toxic altruism. Furthermore, any person who says “you should never hate” should be suspected of attempting to blind you to threats coming from his direction.

    I believe that most homosexuals do not choose their orientation. I do not in fact know that no homosexual chooses his orientation, and since I’ve had usually-credible (male) friends who report having chosen to be bisexual I think there is room for rational doubt on this score. Females are a different story as I may know more who have chosen to be bisexual than who are exclusively het, and I don’t think anyone of even moderate sophistication finds this surprising.

    It is perfectly reasonable, even if pedophilia is not a choice, to hate pedophiles who allow themselves to act on their urges, because generally speaking this leads to