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Monday, September 11, 20061158009900

Homosexuality: Genetic Determinism and Thought Processes

"A Spoon is like a headache," by Donald Hoffman, Edge: The World Question Center, 2006, http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_3.html#hoffman.

"Groups of people may differ genetically in their average talents and temperaments," by Steven Pinker, Edge: The World Question Center, 2006, http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_3.html#pinker

"On Judging the Past: Homosexuality Revisited Part Three in Homosexuality and Globalization," by Curtis Weeks, Phatic Communion, 8 September 2006, http://www.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2006/09/on_judging_the.php.

"I remember other conversations between us...," by Curtis Weeks, Phatic Communion, 10 September 2006, http://www.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2006/09/on_judging_the.php#c1423.

Curtis Gale Weeks' latest foray into our discussion on homosexuality (see Historical Uniformism v Historical Positivism, or, Did Homosexuality Exist in Ancient Greece? and "Homosexuality (Only for the Trivia)) for some context) had a passage that initially confused me for because of its jargon of "abstract" and "concrete" processes

My reason for putting ‘observation’ and ‘observations’ in single quotes above is simply that I have tried to minimize the confusion that the Revised OODA might create. Since genetic heritage is placed outside the internal Abstract OODA (thus, outside the Concrete Orient process), using the term observation to denote how genetic information enters into the abstract processes might confuse some readers who generally equate observation with the five senses. Here, observation is used broadly to denote how physical, concrete information from the World enters into the abstract processing; and, since genetic heritage can be altered, like sensations might be altered for the five basic senses, different orientations may result from whatever new physiological information enters into the process of abstraction.


However, in a comment, Curtis kindly explained what he meant:

For the purposes of easing this conversation and later conversations, I would note that my general thought on the matter is much like what I have given just above: thinking is a physical process that occurs in the brain and may be thought of as ‘concrete’. In another fairly recent series of comments to another post on PC, I replied to a question about memes by saying that, broadly speaking, I think they are merely certain arrangements of electrochemical conditions / physical particles within the brain. However, when you think of a white bunny rabbit, I do not believe that a small, furry creature with floppy ears and a cotton tail is hopping about in your skull. So conceiving of an ‘abstract’ process may be quite utilitarian. In truth, my general feeling is that thoughts and the thinking process are physical, but we may distinguish between those physical realities or conditions and the physical realities and conditions of the exterior world to which they relate; i.e., there are two sets of physical realities which are quite different but which interrelate in some manner (or, indeed, interact.)


In other words (if I understand him correctly), Curtis is saying that one's own thoughts are "concrete" in that they are physically taking place within the neural system, but whenever they are compared to another (and so made meaningful) we can only describe some abstraction of that process.

I was still skeptical of the use of this distinction, when low-and-behold, some class readings backed up CGW:


. Donald Hoffman, a scientist at UC Irvine, wrote

Suppose I have a headache, and I tell you about it. It is, say, a pounding headache that started at the back of the neck and migrated to encompass my forehead and eyes. You respond empathetically, recalling a similar headache you had, and suggest a couple remedies. We discuss our headaches and remedies a bit, then move on to other topics.

Of course no one but me can experience my headaches, and no one but you can experience yours. But this posed no obstacle to our meaningful conversation. You simply assumed that my headaches are relevantly similar to yours, and I assumed the same about your headaches. The fact that there is no "public headache," no single headache that we both experience, is simply no problem.

A spoon is like a headache. Suppose I hand you a spoon. It is common to assume that the spoon I experience during this transfer is numerically identical to the spoon you experience. But this assumption is false. No one but me can experience my spoon, and no one but you can experience your spoon. But this is no problem. It is enough for me to assume that your spoon experience is relevantly similar to mine. For effective communication, no public spoon is necessary, just like no public headache is necessary. Is there a "real spoon," a mind-independent physical object that causes our spoon experiences and resembles our spoon experiences? This is not only unnecessary but unlikely. It is unlikely that the visual experiences of homo sapiens, shaped to permit survival in a particular range of niches, should miraculously also happen to resemble the true nature of a mind-independent realm. Selective pressures for survival do not, except by accident, lead to truth.



I think we can "abstract" this text to discuss the utility of positivism while admitting to the limitations of positivism. So props to Curtis.

Later on the same webpage, Steven Pinker (who wrote The Blank Slate, a book I studied for seminar) listed a number of developments on genetic factors in groups:

* In January, Harvard president Larry Summers caused a firestorm when he cited research showing that women and men have non-identical statistical distributions of cognitive abilities and life priorities.

* In March, developmental biologist Armand Leroi published an op-ed in the New York Times rebutting the conventional wisdom that race does not exist. (The conventional wisdom is coming to be known as Lewontin's Fallacy: that because most genes may be found in all human groups, the groups don't differ at all. But patterns of correlation among genes do differ between groups, and different clusters of correlated genes correspond well to the major races labeled by common sense. )

* In June, the Times reported a forthcoming study by physicist Greg Cochran, anthropologist Jason Hardy, and population geneticist Henry Harpending proposing that Ashkenazi Jews have been biologically selected for high intelligence, and that their well-documented genetic diseases are a by-product of this evolutionary history.


This also reminded me of concepts by Curtis, in the same thread:

But that’s a little like saying that homosexuality is abstract (in the metaphysical sense) rather than concrete, isn’t it, since an utter lack of genetic or concrete physiological processes that might lead to homosexuality is presumed if choice is the only determining factor? [emphasis mind --- tdaxp] Then, we would have to wonder why some people choose it — with or without coercion — whereas others do not, and an assumption of an entire lack of any physiological process causing or modifying that choice is also therefore an assumption that some metaphysical or mystical element has led to the choice


A previous comment by Pinker shows the error of Curtis' ways:

"The most risible pretexts for bad behavior in recent decades have come not from biological determinism but from environmental determinism: the abuse excuse, the Twinkie defense, black rage, pornography poisoning, societal sickness, media violence, rock lyrics, and different cultural mores" (Pinker 178)


More specifically, ignoring the supernatural, there are only two possible determinants for human action:

  • Environment
  • Genetics


On most things these work together, though there are some that appear to be "exclusively genetic" (such as diseases which always occur with a certain mutation, and never do otherwise). or "exclusively environmental."

  • It is a fallacy to say if something is exclusively environmentally determined it is the result of free choice: this is obviously untrue, as it would be environmentally determined.

  • Likewise, it is a fallacy to say if something is exclusively environmentally determined it is the result of free choice: this is obviously untrue, as it would be genetically determined.

  • Likewise, it is a fallacy to say if something is exclusively determined by environment and genetics together it is the result of free choice: this is obviously untrue, as it would be determined by genetics and environment together.


The point isn't to eradicate the notion of "free choice." Rather, it is to say that "free choice" isn't a concept that would vary meaningfully by environment, genetics, or environmental-genetic interactionism. Frankly, the notion of free choice is better treated as an a prior presumption or a supernatural phenomenon than something that exists or not depending on whether an observed state is the result of G, E, or G X E.

Comments

"low-and-behold, some class readings backed up CGW"

Thank God (or at least, your class reading)! You know I pull most of this stuff out of my ass, don't you? ;) Or, less metaphorically: from my own observation and contemplation, modified as they have been from reading some relics of others' contemplation and observations...

I don't understand what you are trying to say in the second half of your post, though,

"A previous comment by Pinker shows the error of Curtis' ways"

Actually, his words seem to buttress my argument, and I wonder if maybe you did not understand my argument. For instance, saying that homosexuality is a result of some Gay Recruiting would require proving (in some way) a 'Twinkie Defense' in order to avoid the possibility that some intrinsic physiological condition led to the expression of that homosexuality. Or, to put it another way, reconsider Hoffman's assertions but replace 'spoon' with 'Gay Recruiter' and contemplate how one person's 'homosexuality' can be transfered to another (as if a migraine could be transfered.)

Or perhaps it should be considered from another angle. Even if some hypothetical Gay Recruiter exhibited a homosexualism (i.e., by my definitions, an ideology rather than a concrete condition outside the physical Orient phase mentioned above, or outside the Abstract OODA) and acted in a peculiar way from that ideology, and his 'victim' or dupe picked up on those things and formed an ideology of homosexualism and proceeded to act on it in ways similar to the Recruiter's activity, why then would one 'victim' but not another, exposed to the same Recruiter, then act like the Recruiter? I.e., I'm really asking whether you believe that some hypothetical victims may have a 'starting condition' different from others which will affect how they react to environmental conditions.

BTW, since I've read most of your Pinker posts, I've occasionally wanted to mention a thing that I've contemplated but not with much clarity yet. My decision to place 'genetic heritage' in 'The World' of my Revised OODA appears to be a conceptual method for considering such genetic information alongside environmental information without elevating either to a hierarchically superior position: a kind of blurring, if you will, of genetic influence and environmental influence. Both influences enter into the Abstract OODA process within Concrete Orient, and it is the interplay between them that makes for a final orientation and, ultimately, activity. So I am not a strict genetic determinist nor a strict 'environmental determinist', mostly because I've found the debate between the two extreme approaches to be quite unhelpful (to say the least!)

Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Isn’t your spoon idea really Howard Blooms idea that reality is mass hallucination. When the spoon is handed over from one person to another both parties are under a mass hallucination supported by ethic, logic and physic of the idea of a spoon.

Although perhaps not equally well, but both should understand the ethics of the spoon as a tool to ingest food with and not stab your sister in the eye or something like that.

The logic of the spoon would be its obvious (at least it should be to both persons) strategic advantage over a stick used for the same purpose.

The physic of the spoon would be even more obvious. The physics would tell both that it is better to hold on to the handle and use the other end for transferring semi-liquids into the body.

The winning hallucination receives the most resources and is supported by both persons. The nourishment that the spoon provides would further enforce the conformity of the hallucination and keep the diversity generators in check.

It would seem to me you guys are in complete agreement with the physic of homosexuality, sex. You both understand the logic, love. But you both disagree on the ethics, one for and one against. If you look at where the resources are going and how much resources are being used on this hallucination, I can understand how you both can be worried.

Posted by: Larry Dunbar | Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"I can understand how you both can be worried."

I'm not worried, so I don't understand this inference.

At the same time, I do not think that Dan and I are in complete agreement about what you are calling 'the physic of homosexuality.' I think that, actually, he and I are holding somewhat different spoons -- i.e., we see different collections of particles and natural forces, each collection arranged differently -- and he is telling me mine does not exist while I am telling him that his is not the only possible collection of particles/forces, or else not a complete collection.

I'm also doubting that we both understand 'the logic, love' -- or perhaps we have different logics.

Using the Revised OODA [1] as a starting point, I would say that our primary disagreement is over which types of information are extant in The World and feeding into the Concrete Orient phase before an individual's own abstraction (understanding and/or ideology) is formed to address that information. It would appear that merely a 'Gay Recruiter' (or call it, an icon or role model, whether one person or a group of persons) is Dan's spoon, whereas I think that these exist and may influence the ultimate expression of that understanding into activity but that some other personal physiological information also feeds into Concrete Orient, roughly speaking.

[1] http://www.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2006/06/rethinking_the.php

Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I apologize. I was looking at the whole loop as a complex adaptive system as talked about in the book Global Brain. I am still going over the content of that book, so my reasoning takes on a Howard Bloom reference. When I said worried I meant in a resource defining way. With the US taking on a Right-wing slant, I would imagine the resources are trying to shift away from homosexuality. Perhaps this doesn’t concern you, but when the resources are gone so is the OODA loop. I didn’t mean to imply that you were concerned on an individual level, just on an over-all view of the situation.

On the other hand I thought Dan might be concerned on the resource shift as well. I can’t remember where I read this, but an article said resources are shifting towards homosexuality quite well. As an economic group, homosexuals are doing better than the average American. While I am sure this doesn’t concern Dan on an individual level, I thought it might on the meme level.

I just thought you and Dan were discussing something that has no final real explanation, and what I thought you guys were really talking about was ethics.
If you look at the total OODA loop and not the parts, the OODA loop “moves” according to what I call three elements. They are what Bloom called the domains of philosophy. The loop moves with an element of ethics, logic, and physics. I was just saying I thought you both could understand the logic of homosexuality, which I thought was probably love, because sex is really mostly a physics thing. The homosexual is trying to find a relationship. I may be miss-representing this element as love, but it seemed appropriate at the time, because you two seem to have a relationship going on :)

Posted by: Larry Dunbar | Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Curtis,

Glad we are now in agreement on abstract and concrete processes!

"For instance, saying that homosexuality is a result of some Gay Recruiting would require proving (in some way) a 'Twinkie Defense' in order to avoid the possibility that some intrinsic physiological condition led to the expression of that homosexuality."

True, but does that /mean/ anything? Saying some thing T has existed in the past, and that T when combined with the environment leads to a phenotype (T X E => P), doesn't prove the past existence of the phenotype. Likewise, saying that there is some thing that leads one to homosexuality doesn't make homosexuality natural or not, right or not, historically extant or not.

"Or, to put it another way, reconsider Hoffman's assertions but replace 'spoon' with 'Gay Recruiter' and contemplate how one person's 'homosexuality' can be transferred to another (as if a migraine could be transferred.)"

Or (as if a taste could be transferred), which of course it can be.

"why then would one 'victim' but not another, exposed to the same Recruiter, then act like the Recruiter?"

For the same reason that some people contract memes from carriers and others don't: some existing pre-condition. Which again proves nothing. Why were some people and not others enthralled by National-Socialism, to the point of loving the party and Hitler? Answer: some existing precondition. Is it proof that some nationalist-racist beliefs were anything other than a modern construction? Of course not.

"I.e., I'm really asking whether you believe that some hypothetical victims may have a 'starting condition' different from others which will affect how they react to environmental conditions."

Yes, of course.

"So I am not a strict genetic determinist nor a strict 'environmental determinist', mostly because I've found the debate between the two extreme approaches to be quite unhelpful (to say the least!)"

Hurrah! I thus welcome my compatriot in the fight for G X E analysis! :-)

Larry,

Excellent comments. A focus on resources may be closer to looking for an ultimate cause than a proximate cause. That is, our discussion may be rational-in-design because it would be part of a larger group tournament, without ourselves in any way having this conversation with such a goal in mind.

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"For the same reason that some people contract memes from carriers and others don't: some existing pre-condition. Which again proves nothing. Why were some people and not others enthralled by National-Socialism, to the point of loving the party and Hitler? Answer: some existing precondition. Is it proof that some nationalist-racist beliefs were anything other than a modern construction? Of course not."

Weren't you the one who, between us, first discussed the link between genetics and politics? [1]

I do think that the very idea of 'contract memes' is misleading, too misleading. In fact, this subject has suddenly veered back to our disagreement over the idea of 'social networks' [2], since you seem much more inclined to believe that information can flow directly between two individuals, resulting in what you call 'contracting memes,' whereas I've developed a model in which identical, similar, or different personal observations of the world will lead to identical, similar, or different paradigms (understandings / ideologies) and activities; i.e., that 'connection' is better expressed as 'thinking alike' or 'viewing alike' rather than as a devoted line for information transmission between any two people.

The thread occurring on my site in tandem with this thread is the third part of a series on "Homosexuality and Globalization", and I have been delayed in moving toward the broader consideration by these conversations on homosexuality (and homosexualism!) -- a necessary delay, I think. But my subject is also "emergence" and

1. What things are required before emergence can happen?

2. What may we infer from an observation of emergence?

I mention this now, because your comparison of the phenomenon of homosexuality / homosexualism with National-Socialism, though both may relate to the very broad subject of choice, fails to take into account their dissimilarities. This is the problem with metaphors, particularly when things considered in metaphor are presented as identicals. [3] At the least, you and I may be in agreement that one common feature is simply that both did not always produce total devotion from everyone who came into contact with activities inspired by both. But I wonder if you would say that National-Socialism has emerged in multiple places, within very different social milieux, in the way that homosexual activity has emerged in such varying milieux? For instance, if a young teen (aged 11- 12) began having homoerotic dreams long before he ever met a role model or Recruiter or even before he knew of such a thing as 'homosexualism' or lived in a society with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy or Ellen Degeneris, etc., what can the explanation be for his later search for role models (aged 18 - 19) to help him with this vague understanding formed in isolation during the intervening years? (I'm referring to an American teen; but then, how can you explain the emergence of homosexual activity in places which either existed far from these influence or long before such influences occurred? I know that you are particular in defining 'modernity' even for societies which did not have access to the early sexologists in the West who first formulated the term homosexuality or some equivalent.)


[1] http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/11/03/the-dna-of-politics.html

[2] http://www.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2006/07/social_ooda_loo.php

[3] http://www.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2006/05/mishmash.php

Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Curtis,

Thank you for the solid comment. Your work is well crafted and took me some time to fully digest.

"Weren't you the one who, between us, first discussed the link between genetics and politics? "

Yes. So?

Or do you believe pre-existing conditions cannot be genetic in origin?

"since you seem much more inclined to believe that information can flow directly between two individuals, resulting in what you call 'contracting memes,' whereas I've developed a model in which identical, similar, or different personal observations of the world will lead to identical, similar, or different paradigms"

A distinction without a difference. Whether you say "here are two nodes networked" or "here are two networked internetworked," or "here are two nodes internetworked," you are still describing two entities and a relation between them.

"that 'connection' is better expressed as 'thinking alike' or 'viewing alike' rather than as a devoted line for information transmission between any two people."

Here you say something else, and here is where your language causes you trouble. You are (I think) using connection to mean something closer to "similar" than "networked." To me this leads to bizarre conclusions, such as "X and Y are connected if they are similar, even if they lived thousands of years apart and in no way effected each other." The analogous statement of my definition, "X and Y are connected if they interact with each other, even if they are dissimilar" to me appears much closer to the common usage of "connected"

Your concluding example (an 11 or 12) year old may be a good argument for the universal occurrence of pederasty, but not of homosexuality. Unless you want to decide a prior that they are the same thing. (Or you believe, as Rictor Norton [1] appears to believe, that "homosexuality" is a constructed, limited, and recent concept, pedastry is so universal as to be the real thing)

"what can the explanation be for his later search for role models (aged 18 - 19) to help him with this vague understanding formed in isolation during the intervening years?"

That such a statement begs the question -- it assumes a "search for role models" while not even attempting to demonstrate that pederastic desires actually are a search for a homosexual mentor.



[1] http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/social19.htm

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Monday, September 18, 2006

[Note: once again, I'm unable to post my entire comment, keep getting sent back to the main page. ARGH! So I'll do it piecemeal as I've had to do it before...]

"Or do you believe pre-existing conditions cannot be genetic in origin?"

That will depend on how we define 'pre-existing', i.e., at what point in time we are referencing. For instance, I tend to believe that whatever so-called 'environmental conditions' are present, some genetic disposition for 'observing' that information -- or, being affected by it, absorbing it, interpreting it, etc. -- must exist before a reaction can occur. So, if I were made entirely of lead rather than so many organic compounds, the introduction of a match flame would have no or very little effect on me. My genetic predisposition, however, causes me to be 'burned.' Similarly, suppose that other environmental conditions have already influenced my lead body; say, for instance, other chemicals have already interacted with that lead, leading to a more mixed solution or other compounds which could later allow my body to be 'burned' by the match. But I'm not exactly sure of what you meant by your question. If you meant, Is it possible that the change occurred in the womb, but not as a result of a strictly genomic condition?, then I would say that even then, some genomic condition had to be open to the possibility of being changed by the conditions in the womb: even if we might call those changes 'environmental influences', those influence would have no effect if no genomic precondition existed which would allow for that change.

Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Monday, September 18, 2006

[PT 2]

"Here you say something else, and here is where your language causes you trouble. "

Oh, I know that, since one person can think of 'connection' differently than another. One type of literal interpretation would view the word as implying a dedicated physical link -- like a rope tying two things together or one link in a chain tying two other links together -- whereas another might suppose some Magic Cloud of actual physical connections between two otherwise quite separated things, and a third may extend the metaphor of the second and simply declare that 'connection' is what occurs in our minds when we imagine that Magic Cloud.

You are the second, I think, and I am closer to the third, although I suppose we might both agree on the first for some types of 'connection'.

I tend to think that reliance on a Magic Cloud of physical connection will ultimately lead to the abolishment of the very idea of **separation** since any theoretical chain of physical particles could be conceived to exist between any two persons or things, particularly when such a Magic Cloud of connection can be imagined to have surely existed if we consider all things that have ever occurred anywhere and any time, and this will lead to a diminishment of the very idea of **connection** as well, as a distinctive quality of relationship. Connection is meaningless if separation is meaningless, in other words.

Because of our different epistemologies, my use of the word 'connection' in the third sense seems absurd to you. What I am really saying by using that word is this: When the second type of connection is asserted to exist, more often than not (or so it seems to me) the Magic Cloud is being assumed by someone incapable of actually giving all the actual physical connections for a proof of its existence; and, that this assertion of the existence of that Magic Cloud more often than not may be an assumption based on the fact that two individuals (in the case of 'social networks') think alike and appear to go about their individual business as if connected by some 'chain' of interdependence or at least a 'chain' of interaction: because they think alike, they may go to the same places, use the same institutions (such as banks and grocery stores), etc. The theorist seeing this assumes standard 'nodes' connecting people, but it is an after-the-fact definition or structure created in the mind rather than a definite 'connection' as we would think of connection in the first sense given above.

Now, I have also said that 'connection' may be actual, but that it is likely to be quite temporal, ephemeral: limited in scope and duration. This is because I prefer to start from the first understanding of 'connection' -- an actual physical connection, such as shaking hands -- which is brief. When the second type of theorist extends the idea of 'connection' beyond that, with recourse to Magic Clouds of so-called connection, by supposing that some sequence of actual physical connections constitutes the Magic Cloud, those unknown but supposed connections are more of an idea of connection supposed to exist rather than a definite network. The ephemeral is dragged down into stasis as the indeterminate and brief connections which were actual (first sense) are laid out on the gridwork of theory which would declare, "Aha...a NETWORK!"

So I have used 'connection' loosely, attempting to explain to the second type of theorist my own understanding of social realities. Where you see some Magic Cloud Connectivity, I see similarities in people, both physical and mental similarities.

Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Monday, September 18, 2006

[PT 3]

"Your concluding example (an 11 or 12) year old may be a good argument for the universal occurrence of pederasty, but not of homosexuality."

This is absurd; but I had wondered what you would make of my concluding example. The example was of myself, and I can assure you that no adult was involved, no role model nor 'sexual predator'. Nope. I began to have those homoerotic dreams, those desires, long before I ever met an openly homosexual person (a self-defined homosexual, which I first met at 18-19), and indeed long before I even knew what 'homosexual' was. This might be hard to imagine, given the openness in our society now; but I grew up in the 70's and 80's in a very small Midwestern town (actually, mostly in the countryside outside that town) where these things were never discussed. In fact, the first times I ever heard the words 'queer' and 'faggot', I had no idea what they meant -- but I'd already begun to experience attractions to the same sex before I heard those words, definitely before I knew what those words meant. (My earliest understandings of those words were that they referred to drag queens or men who dressed in womens' clothing. I thought, Shit, I'm not that! because I had no desire to dress like that! -- all the while having this attraction to other boys my age or even older boys.)

Your are quite fixated on the idea of pederasty and predators, and your obsession has me wondering if your childhood experiences were different from mine.

Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Monday, September 18, 2006

[PT 4]

Alternatively, I wonder if by "the universal occurrence of pederasty, but not of homosexuality", you meant to imply that all boys have homosexual tendencies, but that adult homosexuality is something that they must be 'trained' into or influenced into? I think Freud thought that all young boys were bisexual and only grew into heterosexuality or homosexuality.

Environmental influences have their influence, however! If I had been born into a society of only women, where I was the only male on the planet, I doubt I'd've expressed my sexuality in the way I have! Also, of course:

1. The long history of heterosexual institutions -- marriage, dating, adultery, and the like -- is something that greatly influenced me. All those romances on television, in literature, in the movies. We see the influence in other gays who constantly try to express their sexuality and love in heterosexual institutions like marriage; hence, also, the great Gay Marriage Debate. Took me awhile to realize that I also wanted to create that same two-person model, albeit with another man.

2. Even within the 'gay world,' environmental influences can be strong. Some fall into 'the drag scene' or 'the leather scene' or 'the drug and sex scene' or some combination of these or others. (I once fell into the 'radical fairy scene', i.e., a branch of Wiccans/Neo-Pagans who happened to find in that tradition a place for gale males. But my first adult experience of sex was in a military barracks: another scene altogether.) After 'coming out' and seeking out role models, the first role models gays find can have a very strong influence. Heck, as just mentioned, some fall into 'the heterosexual scene' and try to build the white house, picket fence, and adopt children; or else, they fall into 'the heterosexual scene' before ever falling into 'the gay scene' and we find Brokeback Marriages.

The genetic factors, btw, might not be exactly what some think -- no 'gay gene' or 'straight gene' or combinations of genes. But that's probably a subject for another post or another comment.

Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Monday, September 18, 2006

Curtis,

Apologies again for your comment problems. Please email me whenver this happens, so I can give blogspirit documentation.

"For instance, I tend to believe that whatever so-called 'environmental conditions' are present, some genetic disposition for 'observing' that information -- or, being affected by it, absorbing it, interpreting it, etc. -- must exist before a reaction can occur."

Yes, I think so. 'If a machine exhibits some action, it must first be capable of that action.' Is that a meaningful statement, though?

"I wonder if by "the universal occurrence of pederasty, but not of homosexuality", you meant to imply that all boys have homosexual tendencies, but that adult homosexuality is something that they must be 'trained' into or influenced into?"

I mean that I grant that pederasty exists in every culture.

"I think Freud thought that all young boys were bisexual and only grew into heterosexuality or homosexuality."

As much as I hate to agree with Robb... [1]

"The genetic factors, btw, might not be exactly what some think -- no 'gay gene' or 'straight gene' or combinations of genes. But that's probably a subject for another post or another comment."

Exactly. "gene for" most honestly means "gene correlated with," which really is the best that genetic factors studies can tell us.


[1] http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/johnrobb/2006/08/scales_on_harry.html#comment-21151059

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm not sure we are much beyond Freud or any other theorist when it comes to the subject of homosexuality; so glad to see you weren't saying the 'universal occurrence' was related to a predisposition in boys for bisexuality! But surely you see that was my second guess, given your response to my example (y'know, where I mention the 11 or 12 year old -- but mention no adult -- and you conclude that my example must be about pederasty!)

As for the commenting: I suppose I should learn to make briefer comments. I've thought that many times in many places.

Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Curtis,

Not at all, I enjoy your comments. And I continue to regret blogspirit's problems. I am in contact with support, and hopefully it will be fixed soon.

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Speaking of 5GW, I was told early in life that I didn't need to play dumb, so here is my question. You and Curtis are at war over an exponent, do either of you not understand what I mean or not understand that this is 5GW?
I hate to ask because if it is 5GW nobody is suppose to know that it is happening and I didn't want to spoil anything, like the ending ;)

Posted by: Larry Dunbar | Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Larry -- when did you mention 5GW in this thread?

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Saturday, September 23, 2006

"Not at all, I enjoy your comments"

I wasn't speaking of 5GW, you guys were. I was simply interrupting your 5GW and, as a matter of courtesy, begging your pardon. I didn't want to interrupt, I just wanted to clarify the situation. To explain 5GW, means it is not 5GW.

Apparently, by your answer, it really is 5GW, because you don't understand it is 5GW. Very cool, carry on. I hope I didn't interrupt anything.

Only, I should add that I think Curtis has already won. By commenting on his lengthy comments, to me, you have read and understood them. If this is true, then you have also understood the ridiculousness of the exponent, which is what this war was about.

Because of the nature of 5GW, I don't think either party needs to understand that it is warfare. The outcome is only decided on the reality of the situation.

"That is, our discussion may be rational-in-design because it would be part of a larger group tournament, without ourselves in any way having this conversation with such a goal in mind."

5GW is a part of the larger group tournament. Unable to see that which is real, because only death is real, and no one died because of this conversation, hopefully.

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