FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Category Archives: biology

Strategic Laziness

Our universe tends towards entropy and chaos.  As complexity of organization increases, resistance rises exponentially, like trying to force two opposing magnets together. (It’s always megafauna, T Rex or Mammoths that go extinct, not E. coli)  Looking at the natural world here on earth it’s quickly clear that every living thing expends as little energy as possible to persist.  Lions with full stomachs sleep most of the time, desert toads hibernate for years in between rains, birds with no predators lose the ability to fly over time. Nothing works harder than it must.  The more complex and energy-intensive the solution, the harder it is to sustain.

Trouble arises, though, when you’re a flightless, fearless dodo perfectly well adapted to your environment and suddenly humans show up. Or likewise, you’re a fit dinosaur species but prove unable to cope with a nuclear winter caused by asteroid impact possibly combining with volcanic eruptions to form a perfect disaster.  Evolution alone can’t plan ahead or anticipate rare catastrophic events.  This is why I think some living things have been pushed towards higher levels of awareness despite its massive costs, so they can be strategically lazy spending as little effort as possible while avoiding the dangers of only responding to constant, familiar stressors.

 The peacock’s tail is one of my favorite examples against the infallibility of nature.  It’s a natural pattern we see often in corporate, governmental, civilizational bloat.  All that sacred competition gets you something that maybe looks pretty but is a worse-than-useless burden sucking huge amounts of energy.  It teaches us that the patterns of civilizations and corporations are every bit as natural as the rippling of sand dunes.  Perhaps the most devastating doctrine of the enlightenment was to hubristically treat man and nature, not only as separate, but as opposites.

When I was about 12 years old, I was responsible for weeding the yard.  Trouble was, there were more seeds constantly blowing in from the desert and most of the lot was dirt and gravel that was perfect for them.  I well knew that even going over the whole yard with a hoe a couple times a week wouldn’t accomplish much.  In a few days, new sprouts were coming up everywhere.  In fact, killing everything just favored the worst sort of thorns that hugged the ground in choking vines, and dropped thousands of their sharp barbs that deflated basketballs and stuck in shoe soles by the dozens.
I noticed at the same time that a lot of the desert plants had pretty flowers, lacked thorns or sticky leaves, and had roots that were easy to pull up if I needed to.  I started what I then called “selective weeding” and let the desert weeds I liked flourish while punishing the thorn vines and the russian thistles that turn into tumbleweeds.
Before long, there was a colorful garden of desert flowers outside my bedroom window alive with the buzzing of bees.  The thorn plants were not even 1/10th of the problem they used to be once they had competition.
Of course my parents eventually asked me why I wasn’t doing my job.  I tried to explain what I was doing, but no one listens to a 7th grade kid trying to avoid work and I was told to take care of it.  So knowing full well what would happen next, I went out and uprooted my experiment.  Soon enough, the thorns were back in force despite our best efforts.
This was a formative experience that influenced my world view ever since.  I learned the futility of sustaining a vacuum against equilibrium.
I later saw the same problems I encountered doing childhood yard chores over and over again in 6000 years of failed human governments.  At some point there’s always well-intentioned policies that try to defy the equilibrium, end up favoring the thorns, and the rest is history.

I came to realize as I grew up in a frantically workaholic American society that nature in fact favors laziness.  An animal at leisure is well-fed and prosperous, a creature that must always work is failing at the game of survival.  It helped explain to me the widespread stress and misery of what should be by all rights a prosperous and happy land.  Constant labor tells us on a gut level that we are always on the brink of starvation, however many mansions and cars we may own.  Some of us become adrendaline junkies while others get ground down into burnouts that just go through the motions.  Whatever someone’s station, there’s just an interminable “job” never a tangible task that has a beginning and an end after which one enjoys the fruits of a job well done.  That I realized is the peculiar insanity of industrial civilization—a trap of Sisyphean futility most are stuck in until they’re dead.
As I approached adulthood I came to understand there was no luxury on earth greater than the power to simply do nothing.

The basic problem of modern civilization is that it favors extravagant solutions arrived at through extreme, specialized competition like the peacock’s tail.
A sense of minimalism, strategic laziness, yields simpler, more resilient, more adaptable solutions.  
Even when gatekeepers force peacock competition with a strategic bottleneck, the payoff for finding a low cost workaround or substitute is very high.

Quantum Medicine Quacks Explained

21st Century Gurus for Fun & Profit !

“Like everything else, science also has power politics because it is done by people, not logical automatons. Like elsewhere, power also accumulates in its institutions and develops inertia of its own. But science itself presents studies that make its community aware of these imbalances. It is one thing to rail at the human failings of science, but entirely another to rail against scientific process itself as a religion.”

“Quantum Theory is a difficult area of physics. Even physicists are humble in their claims of fully understanding it.It is an unintuitive and complex mathematical theory that does not lend itself to rhetorical expression. Several attempts have been made to state it in plain language, all of which seem to have done more harm than good (the absurd von Neumann–Wigner interpretation was perhaps the most damaging and was the basis of most pseudo-science that arose from the area), to the public understanding of science. To think that one understands quantum mechanics by reading these interpretations is closer to thinking that one understands the issues of robotics by watching Transformers movies.”

“But particle physics is not what happens in human bodies for the simple reason that particles get liberated from atoms at only high energy states. Since our body does not have mini particle colliders, understanding biology and its chemistry at the level of stable atoms and molecules has been quite adequate. But should a case to go beyond atoms present itself in the future, before we can have quantum medicine, we must have a robust quantum biology. The lack of this never bothered “quantum healers”.”

UPDATE!!! Face to Face with a Quack

One of my associates bought a pair of those magical quantum machines from China for the “fair price” of 350€ considering that they’re sold at 12000€ in my country, it could be profitable to resell them.
The machine consists in a pair of headphone connected to an electronic device with a fancy archaic connector also Junk Software with pretty animations is included with the product: all it does is generating random diagnoses based on inputs from the user such as Age, Gender etc.

I volunteered for a free diagnosis & these are the results:

INPUTS: Male, 20-30 years old.

Health Report:

Nasal Obstruction (I actually have it).
Severe Vaginitis ( My phantom vagina must be in severe pain ).
High Blood Pressure ( No I don’t ).
High Trygliceride ( Nope but many other people do ).
Blindness ( I am Mr Magoo ).

Best of all I appear to have delayed menstruations.

When asked for any proper scientific findings he started to ramble about how BigPharma is conspiring against this wonderful invention, ironic since he displayed signs of having simple paranoid delusions.

He started to claim that I know nothing because I don’t have a degree (not in medicine, mind you ) and he does so I should shut up and believe it without a SINGLE scientific explanation because if I don’t I am a “close minded” fanatic ( so much projection going on here ).

Since a single diagnosis was correct he started to ramble about it’s clear accuracy !
Like broken clocks are “right” twice a day so are Quacks for all the wrong reasons but that’s all they need: post-hoc rationalizations & magical thinking.

The solution is simple:
Be open minded only with other open minded individuals. Much like the Geneve Convention should be applied only to those who signed it.

A Documentary: Diving Under the Antarctic Ice Sheet

I sometimes watch documentaries about far off things and by following my curiosity feel struck by a spiritual sense of wonder.  It’s the total opposite of the heavy ashen feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when someone is watching one of those “reality” shows or a sitcom with a laugh track.  One feels divine, the other feels banal and dreary as snack cake wrappers on the sidewalk.

I recently found this documentary about diving under the Antarctic Ice.

There’s a smoldering black volcano, frosted in white, Mount Erebus, looming over their wind-savaged ice sheet.
There’s the cozy McMurdo base that feels like a colony on another planet.

The film shows what the crew has to deal with trying to film there, it’s not just nature footage disconnected from their struggle.
There’s logistics we’d normally never think about.  Because the ice changes constantly, a route that was safe for vehicles at the last survey might not be anymore.  Even getting to the locations they want to shoot at comes with substantial dangers.
Their leader seems extremely patient and after decades of experience pretty much unflappable.  Even when being told bad news he just respectfully listens.  They have a task to accomplish, not make-work, so whining doesn’t help.

Once they start diving, it’s amazing how there’s plenty of life below thriving in an eerie glow of light filtered through tons of ice.  I’ve been fascinated by these creatures ever since I read as a kid that they actually have anti-freeze in their blood.   Growing like coral on the ocean floor are these formations of ice crystals, the points where freeze battles thaw.  They find actual tubes of ice formed by sea water passing through currents of melting fresh water. The divers can only spend about 20 minutes even with heavy duty suits.  And again there’s details we’d never think about—even with all their gear, their lips are still directly exposed to the sub-freezing water.
There’s just a short time they can do their work in the spring when they have enough sunlight and the waters are still among the clearest in the world, they can see a quarter mile in the dim light!  They don’t have long before plankton and algae blooms cloud up the water for the summer.

I looked up some things on life in Antarctica and discovered that McMurdo base always has at least one bar open and signs in each building telling people the conditions outside, whether it’s even permissible to go out.  Mount Erebus actually has a volcanology lab on top.

The skyline of McMurdo base at night, lit up it seems like a real town.

The skyline of McMurdo base at night, lit up it seems like a real town.

 

Apparently something like 5000 people live in Antarctica in the summer, closer to 1000 in the winter.  There is still no such thing as an Antarctican, there have been 10 people born there since 1978, as close as we get for now.

It’s obvious watching this film that these people are operating in environments almost completely hostile to human life.  Suddenly all the talk of moonbases and mars colonies seems quite silly.
Even life in Antarctica right here on earth is impractical.  Or look at all the uninhabited deserts and mountains in pretty much every country on Earth.  Not that many people are willing to live in Montana let alone on Mars.
I suppose the next frontier might simply be to develop technologies that open up marginal lands and make people less dependent on centralized grids.
At present all the trends point to urbanization and the more people are forced to live in the center to find jobs and mates, the more control the rulers will have, just as Pharaohs had over peasants stuck on a narrow fertile strip by the Nile surrounded by desert.

On Herdbeasts

No human can survive on its own, so every one of us has to pander to the group to stay alive, let alone to thrive and have the surplus necessary for reproduction.  Independence is a myth, individual freedom is a thing we must steal in the dark.

So selection for group compliance is heavy amongst human beings.
People often know in their hearts that an absurd popular belief is false or at best uncertain, but they have a strange ability to refuse to admit even to themselves except in the dark of night as they try to sleep.  Their herd instincts overwhelm their reason.  This is the dissonance you see in every washed up careerist schlub you meet.  That middle class guy who lives a secure life with a wife and two kids, yet no one envies him.

This is what drives the evangelist to say “but how do you live without Jesus in your heart?”  They’re speaking to their own deeply embedded fears, not to you.  These fears are all the worse because they can never confront them, like ghosts hiding under a child’s bed.

Group existence is likely the cause of human intelligence.  In a group with just 5 other people, you have 25 possible combinations with them to account for.  Chimpanzees live in bands of perhaps 12-16 they deal with perhaps 144 to 256 different combinations.  Humans are equipped to handle groups up to 150 different people, or 22,500 possible combinations of interactions.
The man with even a slight edge in such a large group ends up with the best women and most of the wealth.
A society where millions interact has innumerable combinations and impossibly complex patterns.  Such a situation is bound to create pressures that produce herd predators that have an edge in exploiting mass trends.

Treated as an aberration in youth, I barely survived, but now I find I have great survival advantages.  I see people following trends and reading the news, while I ask how the trend creators gain and what’s in it for the journalists.  I would hope that I am the future and will do everything in my power to make it so.

I don’t fault them as much as I used to.  I’ve come to understand that every group has rules that serve to weed out specimens that are poorly adapted.
On reflection, I’ve come to realize I’d do the exact same thing if I had power.
I would wield it unapologetically, remembering well what life was like when they were in charge.
I’d naturally make life hard for those who displease me and grease all the wheels in life for the right kind of people.

Why Do People Think Human Evolution Has Stopped?

I can’t count how many times someone has remarked glibly and smugly with glazed eyes and a vacant smile “But we have modern medicine/modern society now.  Human evolution has stopped.”  I’m stunned every time.  I’m used to stupidity, but even otherwise intelligent people will say this to me.  Do they choose not to think?
Do they choose to refuse to understand that nature never takes a holiday and that our genes are locked in eternal competition for survival?  Do they not understand that no one will care about their ‘careers’ past the day they retire?  That our ‘accomplishments’ will be forgotten as soon as we are dead?

Changes in stressors merely change the selectors!  Heavy rains are good for some plants, bad for others.  Socially awkward growing up, I keenly felt the cold steel of Darwin’s axe on my neck every day of my entire youth.  I was trapped in a prison of society’s blazing hostility for over a decade.  I was never allowed to delude myself that everyone succeeds.  Before I was a teenager it seemed I stood on the edge of that ignominious trash pit failed specimens are dumped into by nature’s callous hand.  I’ve never, ever forgot it.

This is, in itself, selection at its best.  Those capable of further reflection will have a major advantage over those that buy into the popular platitudes.

The selective barrier I see in modern affluent societies is for an abstract appreciation of the essentials.

For instance, the type A go-getter that always goes for that promotion but never has any kids, dying out as completely as the dinosaurs, no better than the wino on the street corner, no different than a young man brutally mowed down in battle.
In past generations, the type A’s instincts would have been optimally suited towards breeding with the best mates.

Now, however, a more abstract way of thinking about one’s genetic destiny is required for success…or the total absence of thinking, allowing one to rut without care on the animal level.  These are the two present viable formulae for genetic success in the Modern West.

With humans, we give primacy to ‘environment’ and insist on a ‘blank slate.’
We can breed dogs specifically to herd sheep yet do not believe in breeds of people that have come about from the demands of specialization over the last millennia of civilization?

Childish, williful ignorance at its best.

Those who determine the future of the genes, determine the future of the species.

 

 

An Experiment to Test the “Watchmaker” Objection To Evolution

“The origin of adaptations…is one of the deepest problems in Darwinism.  How do novel adaptations arise from small and gradual beginnings?

There is a genus of finches with mandibles that cross over at the tips…called crossbills… The twisted beak allows the bird to pry open closed (pine) cones.
What Benkman and Lindholm did was to uncross the beaks of these birds by trimming the crossed part of the mandibles with an ordinary nail clippers.
The birds with uncrossed bills turned out to be just as good as ever at extracting seeds from dry, open pinecones.  Byt they could no longer handle closed cones.
Day by day, as the twist in their beaks grew back, the birds did better and better with more and more recalcitrant cones.  After a month, their beaks were completely regrown.
Benkman and Lindholm could measure the value of an adaptation from its very beginnings to its final form.
If crossed mandibles were useful to these birds only when fully formed, then it really would be a puzzle how they could have arisen by natural selection.  The cross would have to appear all at once.
It would be the kind of problem before which Darwin felt his theory would “absolutely break down.”

But the finches began to get better at opening pinecones when the cross in their beaks was still too small to be visible to the eye.  Even a slight crossing of the mandibles confers a small, incremental benefit, making more and more tightly closed cones accessible….
The press of competition in the woods would have made the novelty of a crossed beak more and more desirable, because it would allow its possessor to eat food n one else could eat; the same competitive pressure would favor each new twist…
Today, however, theere is no profit to a sparrow or bunting in a deformed, twisted bill, because the crossbill niche is taken.”

-The Beak of the Finch
Jonathan Weiner, 1994
Excerpts from pages 180-184, emphasis mine

My Commentary: As convincing as these experimental results are, I still wonder about species such as the Emerald Jewel wasp that rely on precision brain surgery on the host of their larvae to successfully reproduce.

How Fleeing Ancestral Parasites Enabled Civilization

“The extraordinary variety of human parasites that exist in Africa suggests that Africa was the principal cradle for humankind, for nowhere else did the adjustment between human and nonhuman forms of life achieve anything like the same biological elaboration.

Many of the parasitic worms and protozoa that abound in Africa do not provoke immune reactions.
Opportunities for transfer from one host to another multiply with increased human density…when a critical threshold is surpassed, infection can suddenly develop into runaway hyperinfection.  Such epidemic situations seriously interfere with normal activity…

This…can soon reduce a population until the local density sinks safely below the threshold necessary for hyperinfection.

The establishment of human hunters at the top of the food chain…did not…do much to alter these age-old ecological relations.  In triumphantly claiming a new niche, humanity did not, therefore, transform the system as a whole.

Until relatively recent times (say five thousand years ago), human communities in Africa played a comparatively modest role amid the abundance of other life forms.  Humans were the chief predators, to be sure, but remained relatively rare in the balance of nature.
It is…mainly because sleeping sickness…remains so devastating to human populations that the ungulate herds of the African savanna have survived to the present.   Without modern prophylaxis, humans simply cannot live in regions where the tsetse fly abounds…Within the tsetse’s range, something resembling a pre-human ecological balance survives to the present.

In leaving tropical environments behind, our ancestors also escaped many of the parasites and disease organisms to which their predecessors and tropical contemporaries were accustomed.

Humanity’s place within the balance of nature in tropical regions differed fundamentally from what developed in temperate and Arctic climatic zones.
The array…of infections and infestations was vastly diminished from what had thriven in the tropical luxuriance of humanity’s oldest habitat.

Thus humankind’s biological dominion in temperate climes assumed a different order of magnitude from the start.
Humanity was in a situation like rabbits met when introduced into Australia.  Lacking both natural predators and natural parasites in the new environment…

Food production permitted a vast and rapid increase in the number of people, and so sustained the rise of cities and civilizations.”

Plagues and Peoples
William H McNeill

Excerpts taken from pages, 19-30 in no exact order so long as I put the main idea out there as succinctly as possible.
This guy is brilliant, but he really needed an editor.

Female Mate Preferences Change With Circumstance

By looking at “simpler” animals, we gain insights into ourselves.

Some naturalists in the 80s spent a decade watching trends in populations of Darwin’s finches on a single tiny island.

They discovered that mating preferences were almost mechanically pragmatic based on the circumstances of the times.

During a drought, female finches were only interested in super specialists of their own species because only specialists in a niche stand a chance as food grows scarce.

During a wet season female finches often prefer “men” of other species. They want hybrid offspring that can best take advantage of abundance by being able to eat marginally well from multiple food sources.

If preference for finches is this malleable and pragmatic, what are the implications for humans?

The finches obviously aren’t thinking things through as they go, probably, they mainly look at courtship displays and “wealth” in the form of health and surplus body fat.
Whatever is “successful” she wants to mate with. And to a lesser extent, vice versa.

So if ruthless sociopaths are the most successful humans able to put on the most impressive plumage and courtship displays, they by definition become the desirable mating stock.

Presumably once a social bubble collapses from being over-exploited by defector parasites, more cooperative men are those that prosper. i.e. Christians during the decline of the Roman Empire.(Mormons during the present decline?)

Biologically speaking, all that matters to man or woman is:
a. offspring
b. the offspring succeed in having offspring

It would seem our instincts impel us in this direction as surely as if we were clockwork toys.
Human “reason” is far overrated.

Source:

The Beak of the Finch, Johnathan Weiner

How To Drive Cockroaches And Mosquitoes Extinct

No amount of attempts at squashing them all, poisoning them, diseasing ever works.

But there’s a simple strategy that’s obvious if we think about it.

The Earth can support only a finite amount of biomass.

Every gram of that total filled by people, crops, and livestock reduces the amount left over for everything else.

So in theory, if you just kept making more people and domesticated organisms, there would eventually be nothing left over to support pests…Or anything else for that matter.

LINK

What Water Purification and Asian Glow Have In Common

“As population density and travel increased, fermented beverages such as beer became a way to transport a nutritional food stuff as well as a source of safe liquid refreshment. There was an old adage “…the water can kill you but the beer won’t.” People in the West did not realize that boiling water could purify it…

But what about people in Asia?…all drinking water be boiled as a hygienic precaution. One summer day while visiting a distant region of his realm, he and the court stopped to rest. In accordance with his ruling, the servants began to boil water for the court to drink. Dried leaves from the near by bush fell into the boiling water, and a brown liquid resulted…

Thus, two vastly different cultures separated by thousands of miles developed distinctly different ways to deal with polluted water for consumption…

It has been found that approximately half of the Pacific Rim Asian population (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans) possess an atypical alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) known as ADH2*2 that leads to unusually rapid conversion of ethanol to acetaldehyde … After consuming one or two alcoholic beverages, they may experience symptoms which include dizziness, nausea, headaches, an increased pulse, occasional extreme drowsiness, and occasional skin swelling and itchiness. These unpleasant side effects often prevent further drinking that would lead to further intoxication…

Could it be that a culture rich in an alcohol tradition evolved in the West to deal with the problem of poor potable water quality; while in the East, to deal with the same problem, a culture evolved centered around tea because of the presence of a mutation in a gene?”

LINK

Or more likely and way too non-PC for the New York Times, Europeans started out like Asians and evolved a higher tolerance to alcohol. Those who could tolerate alcohol better avoided intestinal parasites and had the vitality to sire more children.

According to the PC narrative of course, human evolution came to a halt a few tens of thousands of years when “modern humans” emerged completely formed and have stayed static ever since.

Also, some have supposed that the burst of productivity that came with the industrial revolution was in part a result of Westerners trading alcohol for tea as the drink of choice.

Real Cost per Acre of Grains vs. Meat

“I was told that we could feed many more people with the same amount of land if we all became vegetarians. I was swayed…until I realized that we’re talking about feeding people only corn and potatoes. The truth is that creating protein is expensive in terms of land use whether you’re growing soybeans or raising cattle…
What about if we instead raise our livestock on pasture and feed them food waste where appropriate? For cows, you won’t see much difference, but pigs and chickens really begin to shine once you return to a more traditional feeding system. Both of these animals are well adapted to foraging on scraps…
In societies that don’t depend on huge agricultural corporations to feed the masses, a family is likely to have a pig and a flock of chickens that they feed mostly or solely on waste from the farm and kitchen. Remember that adding some livestock to your diversified homestead also equates to manure to fertilize your veggies, and it’s suddenly hard for me to merit the idea of planting a field of soybeans instead.”
LINK

Assassin Bug Wears Its Victims’ Corpses as Armor

“the aptly named assassin bug wears the bodies of its victims like trophy armor after liquefying and consuming their innards.”

When I was a kid, I recognized assassin bugs whenever I saw them from all the insect field guides I had read and memorized.

Of all the pets I kept, assassin bugs were my favorites. Patient hunters, you could throw them in with a bunch of ants and they’d stay perfectly calm and still until the moment was right. They’d pick off the ants one by one, never getting caught in the act, until none were left.
Most arthropod predators, even mantises and giant centipedes panic if they get anywhere near a group of ants.

I actually got bit once by one of my pet assassin bugs while handling it. Its bite was perhaps the most painful I’ve ever received. Far worse than getting stung by a scorpion.
I was rolling on the floor tearing up and clutching my hand for a several minutes afterwards yet most of the pain was gone within 10 minutes and there wasn’t a whole lot of swelling.
I suppose this is because assassin bugs don’t inject venom into their prey, but rather a cocktail of digestive juices that reduce the prey’s innards into an easily consumed soup.

The assassin bugs I was used to dealing with looked more like this:
assassin bug

It can be easy to mistake them for any other ‘true bug’ of the order Hemiptera.

Idea For The Next Generation Of Designer Vaginas

Or maybe the first generation of sex robots.

Dolphins have very muscular vaginal orifices, and can use these muscles to manipulate objects and carry them. Link

In certain dolphin species, namely Bottlenose, female vaginal tracts secrete an organic chemical while mating that allow a male to orgasm for as long as the penis remains within the vaginal tract, resulting in multiple continuous ejaculations. This is speculated to increase chances of fertilization for each act of reproduction. It has been tested and proven in controlled environments that this same organic chemical produces identical effects in similar dolphin species, and in mammals with less than sufficient genetic disparity, including primate and primate families.

Due to a combination of carbon compounds and other organically produced enzymes, the chemical maintains properties that effectively eliminate the ‘refractory period’ wherein the male penis involuntarily becomes and remains flaccid for a varying amount of time, during which ejaculation is physically impossible. It is hypothesized that a male could remain united, the penis within the vaginal tract, for potentially up to several hours at a time. While this would result in a constant state of orgasm and resulting ejaculation for the hypothesized period of several hours, it is unlikely that either the male or female would remain in this state for such an extended period of time. This would also have the negative side-effect of significantly lowering the males sperm count, due to the constant state of ejaculation, resulting in an indeterminate hiatus from successful reproduction until the sperm count of the male returned to the standard level of fertile sperm. Link

 

(I have no idea if this is actually true and I don’t care to confirm it. But sex bots should definitely have it.)

Sir Macfarlane Burnet Recommended Use Of Biological Weapons Against High Population Asian Neighbors

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/03/09/1015365752044.html

World-famous microbiologist Sir Macfarlane Burnet, the Nobel prize winner revered as Australia’s greatest medical research scientist, secretly urged the government to develop biological weapons for use against Indonesia and other “overpopulated” countries of South-East Asia.

The revelation is contained in top-secret files declassified by the National Archives of Australia, despite resistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Sir Macfarlane recommended in a secret report in 1947 that biological and chemical weapons should be developed to target food crops and spread infectious diseases.

His key advisory role on biological warfare was uncovered by Canberra historian Philip Dorling in the National Archives in 1998.

The department initially blocked release of the material on the basis it would damage Australia’s international relations. Dr Dorling sought a review and the material was finally released to him late last year.

The files include a comprehensive memo Sir Macfarlane wrote for the Defence Department in 1947 in which he said Australia should develop biological weapons that would work in tropical Asia without spreading to Australia’s more temperate population centres.

“Specifically to the Australian situation, the most effective counter-offensive to threatened invasion by overpopulated Asiatic countries would be directed towards the destruction by biological or chemical means of tropical food crops and the dissemination of infectious disease capable of spreading in tropical but not under Australian conditions,” Sir Macfarlane said.

The Victorian-born immunologist, who headed the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, won the Nobel prize for medicine in 1960. He died in 1985 but his theories on immunity and “clonal selection” provided the basis for modern biotechnology and genetic engineering.

Its use has the tremendous advantage of not destroying the enemy’s industrial potential which can then be taken over intact.

12 Longevity Enhancement Methods Used On Mice

Intermediary Steps In Evolution That Are Difficult To Explain

Macaws with pretty much no reasoning ability, let alone a scientific method “figured out” at some point in the evolutionary past how to nullify toxic foods by eating a particular type of clay.

Explanation?: Most birds constantly eat grit to enable their crop to grind up food anyway. Did the macaws that just so happened to eat this clay have a survival advantage over others?

Perhaps harder to explain:

A parasitic wasp that must sting its host(a cockroach) in a precise region of its brain in order to get the right results.

There’s no room for error here and successful reproduction is at stake. What might have been the intermediary steps that led to this destination?

Reversing Trends In Dysgenic Breeding

Awhile back, Giovanni posted the question, what if humans took a much care of their own genetics as they do dogs?

And then recently, Al Fin made yet another post on dysgenic breeding trends and the lowering of global IQ.

So, in the spirit of moving the debate forward I offer solutions for increasing children from more genetically fit parents and decreasing ones from those who aren’t.

To deal with the left half of the bell curve:

  • Create a project prevention on a larger scale. Offering them money, vouchers, or even booze would work effectively. If drugs were legalized, doubly so. People on the left side of the bell curve have extremely low executive function and very short future time orientation. Ultimately, I believe that such a program would have to have global reach. Every antibiotic resistant strain  of disease in Africa, can just as easily pass through the borders of developed countries and infect the local population via immigration. First world nations have tools to detect the existence of these problems, 3rd world ones don’t and won’t for the foreseable future. Africa should be on top of the list, as in some cases they start as epidemics there and move with the migrants.
  • Use TV as a propaganda tool. Excessive TV viewing tends to skew towards those on the left half of the bell curve of IQ and tend to be more violent. Obviously any preventative measure that gets people interested in things other than TV should be encouraged, however we should also coordinate social programs into TV programs. Overall TV has been shown to lower birthrates somewhat on it’s own, but the content method matters. Match the Sabido method, which has had some success in Mexico, and we’ll be off to a good start.
  • The third method involves increasing their per capita income, there is some correlation between more income and less children. It’s going to be extremely difficult to pull 5+ billion people up to our standard of living without them pulling some of the weight. Education programs have been tried with some good results, but large programs have also shown themselves to be open to fraudulent grading to game the system. Decentralized and cheaper education may help this trend somewhat.

On the other side of the bell curve, here are some suggestions for increasing the innovators:

  • Keep running with the decentralized/cheaper/free education trend. Education costs a lot, and it’s return on investment seems to be falling while it’s cost has been rising. It also somewhat inefficient, and therefore eats up extra early productive years. It acts as a safe haven where people can be sheltered from real life while appearing productive.
  • Right now families have a hard time getting enough money together to raise a family. I am hesitant to suggest a government program for (smaller) young families, but in this political/economic climate it might be the only way of getting it to work.
  • Most women put off having a family so that they can climb corporate/government ladders into a large corporate/government job. This is partially because these large structures must comply with affirmative action/discrimination laws. They usually end up in bureaucratic middle-management/support jobs, the types of training they get skew heavily towards these occupations. They tend to favor Public Administration, Education, Psychology and Health Services over STEM. The business degrees hasn’t changed their representation in the business world very much, many of those degrees are closer to secretarial/assistant positions.
  • If the economy dips into a deeper depression, it’s likely that many of these non-essential rolls that women fill will be cut. Employment is becoming much harder to hold on to, most jobs are being redefined so much that it’s very concept is mercurial. Men tend to be better at working with a large, shallow network of relations, whereas women work good with smaller, more intensive ones. If the trend towards technological decentralization and economic virtualization continues apace, women will likely find themselves working in smaller groups. This may provide them with a more stable, meaningful support network for raising children.
  • The economic depression, if it occurs, will provide many meaningful challenges that women in our culture have thus far lacked. It may be a good time to get rid of the dysfunctional attitudes of political correctness and start building a value system that works.

Reconciling Jared Diamond With HBD

In his book, Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond comes up with a multitude of convincing explanations as to why some human populations ended up creating civilizations and others did not.
Among critical factors he identifies:
-Availability of large domesticable animals for riding, carrying, ploughing.
-Availability of promising wild cereals.
-New crops shareable from East-West (same seasons) as opposed to the considerable seasonal obstacles of sharing from North-South.

Diamond has some fascinating insights but from page 1 his mission is to argue that all human populations are fundamentally the same. Despite doing much to create good discussion, he’s more interested in upholding his personal ideology rather than searching for a whole truth that may not fit his desired specifications.

This seems to come in part from the erroneous but entrenched assumption that major change in human populations takes tens of thousands of years.
This notion is nonsense of course. The nature of the human race shifts every single generation. As societies change the rates of success of different survival strategies must change with it.

I’ve seen that Human Biodiversity adherents tend to deride Diamond for his simplistic views on human genetic differences.
However, I see no need for this.

Diamond for the most part seems to have everything pretty much right but screws it up with his wishful thinking.

The horse and wheat make huge differences in making one society more complex than another.

But we can just as easily note that a more complex society selects for people who think more abstractly and on a larger scale.

If we want to reconcile Diamond with HBDsphere, why not just formulate it like this:

Wheat, the horse, or an East-West continent resulted in more complex societies. In more complex societies, higher reasoning ability increased the odds of reproducing. Today, we predictably see some major differences in reasoning ability between historically isolated populations. Overall, higher reasoning ability tends to correspond with societies that have had more complex systems of organization, for longer.

Animals Are Rational

“How can non-injurious aggressive behaviors — especially displays — induce one opponent to give up and relinquish a valuable resource?”

Animals have clear set survival strategies. They don’t make mistakes or try the martingale like humans are wont to do. Based on their programmed strategy they invariably stick to the course that is most highly probable to result in survival and reproduction according to the house odds experienced by the previous generation.
They are truly survival machines that operate with industrial grade efficiency.

In many territorial disputes in the wild, the intruder will almost always back down. However great the defender’s disadvantage, they have nothing to lose and will fight to the death. The stronger intruder will win, but at a net loss.
Unlike a typical spiteful and neurotic human, the strong intruder in the animal kingdom backs down.

Humans then, are clearly survival machines removed from their original circumstances.
Truly, our congruency with the ‘natural state’ is equal to the degree which our behaviors are biologically rational.

hawks and doves

Apocrine Glands: Race and Body Odor

“Blacks have more apocrine glands than whites, and whites more than Asians. Some blacks have apocrine glands on the chest and abdomen, both above and below the navel. In contrast, whites rarely have apocrine glands on the abdomen, and when they do the glands only occur below the navel.Japanese rarely have apocrine glands on the pubic mound or labia majora. They also have no apocrine glands on the chest, other than those around the nipples. While men have larger apocrine glands than women, the experts disagree on whether men or women have more apocrine glands.”

LINK

apocrine and sweat glands

Cutting Out The Pharma Middleman: Heart Meat As A Source of COQ10

I am often critical of supplements because they tend to be quite expensive and we don’t necessarily know how much can actually be assimilated by the human body in tablet or powder form.

A workaround in this case involves my usual question.
In what ordinary food sources is the active principle abundant?

In this case, heart meat.

I usually get beef hearts, though once I was able to get a bison heart.
They’re huge and weigh a a few pounds each. One of them could fill most of my rib cage.

Some butchers will have them or can special order them.

How do I eat it?

I find the flavor of heart so satisfying, I throw sliced up chunks right into a skillet with a bit of fat.
Pairs well with a nice brandy.

There’s some debate as to whether cooking destroys all or some of the COQ10 content, so I don’t usually fret if my heart meat is medium rare.

Effects: I find it to be a powerful physical stimulant, great before workouts or periods of extended effort.

Beef alone is a stimulant food but the heart meat takes it to another level. I’ll usually avoid eating it any time before I plan to go to sleep.

beef heart meat

An Aquatic Pet That Can Destroy Your Aquarium

How to Find and Keep Antlions



How to Find and Take Care of This Loyal Pet

The original site I wrote this for shut down last year.  Truly nothing on the internet is permanent.  I managed to dredge it up from the archives.  But there was hardly any wordpress 10 years ago.  10 years from now, who knows?

The antlion is no adult insect but a larval version of a neuropteran. The adult resembles a dragon fly, but it is a slow, feeble flier with short club shaped antennae.

The larva, as the name would suggest preys upon ants. It lives concealed in shady, sandy areas where there are plenty of ants wandering about. Its presence is detectable by the smooth half inch to three and a half inch wide funnels it digs as traps. Their homes somewhat resemble very miniature versions of the sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi.
When an ant or other small insect falls into the funnel, it senses the vibrations and comes to the surface. As the prey scrambles desperately to escape, the antlion flings dirt with powerful flicks of its head and jaws. When this sprayed sand hits the mark, the quarry tumbles back down to the bottom of the pit, where the antlion has another chance to grasp it.

Antlions have long powerful jaws that snap shut like a steel trap. Once prey is caught, it is held fast and pulled inexorably underneath the sand. An antlion’s body moves only in reverse, it is made specifically for powerfully dragging a struggling victim. Usually, the prey’s head remains exposed above the sand and one can see the flailing antennae begin to slow and finally become still. During this time, the antlion has been injecting the prey’s exoskeleton with digestive fluids that quickly dissolve the innards into a digestible soup. Once a meal is consumed it lies in wait once more.

During this whole process, the antlion stays hidden. If one wishes to capture an antlion and see it up close, simply grasping a handful of sand where a funnel is located rarely works.
The best method is to throw an ant into a sandpit and wait until the antlion has grabbed onto its prey before acting. One can swiftly take a handful of sand and sift through it for the antlion. Or if it’s a larger antlion that can take on bigger prey, quickly grap the struggling ant and pull out the grasping antlion along with it.

Once captured, an antlion fascinates with its otherworldly appearance. It is rarely longer than a quarter of an inch, but some can reach one half before they pupate. One can hold it in the hand without fear; antlions are incapable of biting people and it is a unique sensation as it jerkily scoots backwards in circles across one’s skin.

Once one has captured an antlion, one has the option of keeping it as a pet. It is an ideal animal to keep because it is very low maintenance and it does not escape. Any container with loose sand is suitable. I’ve even made do before with a styrofoam cup. Once released, an antlion will dig backwards into the sand within seconds. In a matter of hours, its funnel will be complete. One is then free to drop in prey. It is most convenient to put one’s pet antlion in a container that does not allow prey to escape. This way, one can keep it alive in a few minutes each day by picking up some ants and throwing them in the container.

Most antlions can eat 2-3 ants a day. Antlions make funnels in proportion to their size so that they will trap the prey that best suits them. Small antlions are best suited to tiny ants. Larger ones give the biggest thrills because they can be fed bigger ants that fight and struggle far more vigorously.
Like spiders, antlions always know when prey is too big for them by the size of the vibrations. They won’t bother to attack if fed the wrong prey.

Craig Venter’s Bugs Might Save the World

Stubborn Infection, Spread by Insects, Is Called ‘The New AIDS of the Americas’

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