Futurist

Once I met a person whose job title is was “Executive Vice President & Futurist”.  As far as I can tell his primary responsibility was to fly to MIT, Frauenhofer Institute and other notable engineering schools to listen to boring lectures and speculate on the future with academics at expensive restaurants and cocktail parties.  How far can one look down the road?  Not very far it appears.  Go to any library and look at popular magazines for any visions of the future from twenty or thirty years ago; today is nothing like they predicted.   I want my flying car or at a minimum my jet pack.  The best we can do is extrapolate current trends. Long range forecasting is a waste time for any chaotic environment but that won’t stop consulting firms, government technocrats, central banks et. al. from trying. Your lucky astrology calendar, neighborhood psychic or five year old will have just as good a track record.

In your chair of deep comfort
Those tan legs crossed
Your foot bouncing in little girl anxiety
How much longer will you wait?
I stare at you unmoved by the storm on the 
Surface
Yes, you will come for me
But I don't know when
You cannot hold my stare
Or have your way this time
You want me.
I see the flush pass over your skin
a gentle wave of heat.
How easily you give yourself away
You rise slowly
I am seducing you in silence
You love me. You hate me.
It matters not.  You fill the glass.
I own you

War On: Insert Your Gender Here

Is there a war on women? or men?  The culture has certainly shifted since 1960.  Here is a feminist who has softened her views as she has aged (read: less desirable).

“But, as time passed — and my 20s became my 30s — I began to realize that when I told men I was independent and didn’t “need anyone,” many eventually backed off. That’s not to say I believe I should have been a damsel in distress to get my knight in shining armor. That’s just ridiculous, and it’s the other extreme. The point is, I was determined to be equal, and my 25-year-old self found even the most remote sign of needing a man to be a weakness; I wouldn’t let myself go there.”

Oh, I met her — many times.  You think to yourself as the young Harpy is hammering you, “run away.” If you have to explain that you are equal, your really saying “Hi, I’m insecure.”  If you have to say “I don’t need anyone,” then there is really no point in continuing the conversation outside of provoking an argument or masochism.  The vast majority of men and women want each other at a level deep enough to approach need.  Love gets us through a tough life.

Later on this comment by ‘TMG’:

“Feminists like to portray feminism as creating independent women. In fact, feminism has created highly dependent and spoiled brats who have simply traded being cared for by her daddy or her husband to being cared for by the Daddy Government.

Actual independent women would not be going into hysterics for government’s failure to provide $9.00 worth of free birth control. Actual independent women would not be comparing voting to losing their virginity to the President. Actual independent women would not demand gender quotas favoring them in places of employment. Actual independent women would not demand 100’s of billions of dollars worth of social services, health care, and educational grants available ONLY to them. Actual independent women would want to take care of themselves, instead of putting out for POTUS.

I don’t agree with Venker’s stance very much either, but at least she acknowledges that women want to be “cared for.” Feminists have simply voted and lobbied for a bigger, badder patriarchy to take care of them, while laughably feigning independence.”

If women want to be “cared for” men crave female affection and admiration they just don’t like to admit it.

Human Sexuality

Our sexuality is exceedingly complex.  Homosexuality is not easily explained.  But I wonder if our sexuality is like learning to speak a language.  It happens to us before we are aware and while we can learn to speak another language our first one is buried deep in our psychology and not easily eliminated.  We  are all aware of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change both its physical structure and functional organization.  I can’t help but wonder if one could slide themselves along the spectrum between heterosexual and homosexual in stages of attraction. Begin with the most tolerable, borderline state of attraction and via habituation, fantasy, and visualization move oneself along the continuum from one side to the other and back.  What would be the long term impact psychologically?  If you headed down the continuum and returned would you be hopelessly confused?

Many people are completely invested in their current sexual role and would find this kind of self experimentation repulsive, immoral, outrageous or offensive.  To do it would require enormous confidence and a desire to pursue the truth.  If one person did it it would be an anecdote.  If you tried to do an actual study you would need a random sample and that would not be possible.

Internet Radio Fairness Act

Caught this story (h/t Instapundit).  Whenever legislation has the word “fairness” in it, you can be sure some corrupt corporation, constituency, or cause is getting their payoff.  The odd part is who will suffer should it pass.  Why it is the big money musicians, the same people who have overwhelming supported big government candidates.  Now they are upset that it will impact them financially.  It must be okay because the bill’s sponsors are all Democrats.  Perhaps Tom Morello will volunteer to help get it pushed through.  Remember it’s the other person who is greedy.  All you are asking for is your fair share.

Nanotech Building Blocks

Utterly fascinating, a generalised approach to building proteins.  This quote caught my attention:

… Baker’s proteins are in a sense “platonic ideals”, he says: simple backbone constructs with every amino acid optimized to fold into the prescribed, stable structure. In this way they differ from natural proteins, whose folded structures represent a compromise between the competing requirements of optimum folding and biological function, leading to “frustrated” parts of the sequence that may be essential for function but are destabilizing to the fold. As evidence of their stability, the designed proteins melt at about 100 °C, Koga says, compared to 40–50 °C for a natural protein. …

There is a bit of arrogance in that comment. Think how long Homo Sapiens has been on the planet. Nature is highly resilient to shock and change. Typically when something exists in nature it is a balance between optimization and resilience, tuned to survive in a dynamic environment.