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Some studies of the intelligence of Ashkenazi Jews have provided evidence of strong(er) cognitive abilities.
As Gould pointed out in arguing against adaptationism and evolutionary just-so stories, the brain can do a lot of things, most of which are the result of nonadaptive sequelae.
The bari is a lovely and unappreciated instrument, though I personally prefer the French Horn (that temperamental little devil). I also love the viola and a good contralto. Seems like some instruments just don't get the love that others do.
When you said bari I thought of the baryton, which I also like.
Arnold Weinstein did a Teaching Company course on 20th c American fiction which I really liked in which he traced the defining American myth of the titanic, godlike, hegemonic, imperial self (I don't think he called it a myth but I call it that), and also the shadow of that, which he calls Nobody, as in the figure of Bartleby or Dickinson's "I'm nobody".
Case in point Richard Wagner. This is a little different because his works were appropriated by the Nazis 50 years after his death, though he is hardly responsible for that association. In any case, it is generally agreed that he was a vile person. I don't believe, however, that his operas feature any anti-Semitic content, though performing his work in Israel has still been controversial.
Yes, although it is hard to escape circularity, i.e., terrorism is the word we use when Muslims, usually Arabs, do something violently disruptive of what we perceive as a non-violent zero-level (borrowing words from Zizek here). Violent acts committed by Israel or the United States, for example, would not be called terrorism (at least in this country).
The NPC wrote:
It's not really what you are talking about but there was an accident at SL-1 in Idaho decades ago that killed a few people.
Well, until now the drug companies have had no economic incentive to develop a vaccine. Had there been profit in curing these people they would have done it.
I was thinking solar still (pot in hole in sun, plastic wrap over hole, water on plastic wrap, water into pot) but that probably wouldn't work in the desert.
I would say Iago is the archetypal CE you are talking about. He is an individualist who is a master schemer and manipulator, can function in a hierarchy if that suits his purposes but has no sense of honor, lives to create chaos and ruin other people's lives ("motiveless malignity"). Unlike the typical lawful evil, he has no interest in power. Being at the top of a hierarchy wouldn't interest him.
Re prostitution: theoretically, yes, but the details matter. I agree that the moral currency of paying for a friend could be the same as that of paying someone to mow your lawn or clean your teeth. But in practice that transaction is often dishonorable, exploitative, if not downright abusive.
I like gold. I like working for it and putting my butt on the line earning it as an adventurer. I like the power it gives me and I like the things I can buy with it for myself and people I care about, but really I just like it. I like the way it looks when I stack my coins. I like the way it glints. I like the way it jingles. I'm not above being underhanded or dishonest occasionally to get it, but I generally find that distasteful (let's face it, though: unfortunately, it's an ugly and unfair world and a being can't be too inflexible about principles if he or she wants to survive. That said, I can't imagine stooping to theft.). Besides, being a cheat sometimes works for a while but eventually it catches up to you. If you are a deal maker like me, you get a bad reputation, which hurts in the long run. I'm not a skinflint: I'll toss a few coppers to a beggar or help a friend out once in a while if I feel like it. That said, my gold is what I care about, and it's mine to do what I want with as I see fit.
I think most do, although you might be interested to know that it is illegal for some stations in the US to post advance playlists nowadays. Many fans are aggrieved because WQXR posted them when it was owned by the Times Company, but apparently would run afoul of the DCMA now that it is a public station.
Ooo, I need to check this thread out. Phoenix has a local classical station I've been listening to since I arrived, but I couldn't identify anything they play. Mostly just use it to not road rage on the highways.
I usually listen to WQXR on the radio or WCPE online. I'm always impressed by the amount of great music I have never heard. On the other hand, classical has its many warhorses.
I have also read that light-skinned African-Americans in the United States move more easily, so to speak, in this civilization than dark-skinned African Americans. Which I believe, although anyone with a black forebear in the last few generations is considered black in this country, even people like Colin Powell, whose skin is lighter than that of many white people.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Not really. Evolution is not a teleological process, and it produces a lot of stuff with little or no adaptive value. Paraphrasing Gould, the evolution of the brain has also produced a lot of cognitive and behavioral sequelae, such as the ability to carry a tune or do calculus. Neither should it be assumed that extinction records poor adaptation (no one would argue that the dinosaurs were poorly adapted to their environments). Gould was one of the greatest writers and thinkers on this topic. "Spandrels" I think was his landmark statement.
I don't know whether their motivations are noble or if they simply want to preserve themselves (I imagine some of each), but there is a group calling itself Virtuous Pedophiles which has received some publicity in recent years. The members commit to doing no harm to children.
I guess it depends what that entails. I do not believe Israel will ever come clean about its open secret nuclear weapons and its chemical weapons (they have used white phosphorus; it's safe to assume they have an arsenal of ugly stuff), allow inspections, give up the stuff that no country should have, sign the NPT like Iran has.
I was thinking of the episode in which Athena buffs Diomedes, who then slashes Aphrodite's arm. That seems to support the idea that many of the Greek gods are comparable in power to PF demigods.
Actually the solution may be unification. And all this child abduction has done is convince isis that killing kids on each side can be used to end all future peace and both factions are prepared to attack each other at the drop of a Lego brick.
Well, people seemingly always find reasons for Us/Them, but on the other hand people always have sex, too. Since the Semitic peoples, who have very recent common ancestors, obviously live cheek by jowl, I guess my hope is that interbreeding will gradually efface the distinctions (real or perceived) between peoples.
I was surprised that Dragonlance is right out there, since it has been in the basement for so long, but that strategy makes sense. Classic settings, classic stories, and classic characters are the big chips they have in their competition with Pathfinder (and other games, aside from a few iconic monsters).
Andrew R wrote:
What about wealth "a man" doesn't earn? What about wealth "a man" has unfair advantages competing for?
An 18 ability score was special, though. It doesn't mean anything any more. I never liked the power up that came with 3E, the routine ability score increases. It's possible to go too far in lifting restrictions.
I think context is required. Cleaning out a poor person's few coppers for fun or just to be sadistic is evil. Stealing trifles from a rich person to feed a starving kid, not so much. I think there is a difference in kind there, not just a difference in degree.
OQ, depends how you define altruism. In my experience, people who like Ayn Rand often resort to caricatures of altruism or straw men (e.g., altruism means destroying yourself). But it is a marvelously complex phenomenon that primatologists, evolutionary biologists, and psychologists have devoted many lifetimes to studying, fruitfully I think.
I wonder if this issue is partly baggage because ancient Greek had rough breathing and smooth breathing for words which began with vowels. History, for example, which comes nearly unchanged from Greek, and hippos (horse) start with rough breathing iota in Greek, which we write as initial h, while words like icthus (ichthys, fish) have smooth breathing.