Monday, September 11, 2006
"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:
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Imagine that you have a set of four conceptual behaviors, patterns, phenotypes, whatever. We will call the elements "A," "B," "C," and "D"
Set of Four Observables
You are able to operationalize them, and demonstrate all four exist in the world around you. In other words, you can give A, B, C, and D and objective definition, observe them, and with that same definition others can observe them too. These four elements can all be observed at the present time
Four Observables that Exist Now
Yet the question remains -- did these exist earlier?
Determining the Pedigree of Observable Facts
Scientists and historians regularly run into this problem. Broadly, there are two approaches to them. One is based on observable evidence, and is a Positivist approach. Positivism is a fact-based method of inquiry that says something exists if there is positive evidence it exists. Another approach may be called uniformism. This belief, based on a presumption that the past is like the present, assumes something exists unless it can be proved it doesn't.
Positivism, besides being a "fact-based" epistemology, limits what we think we know to what we can observe. Uniformism, being a "faith-based" method of inquiry, lets us believe all manners of things because "absense of evidence is not evidence of absence."
As I will explain below the fold, a belief in the ancient existence of homosexuality requires a "faith-based" research agenda.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Note: This is part of a series of reviews for Blueprint for Action. The introduction and table of contents are also available.
You Wanted More," by Tonic, American Pie: Music from the Motion Picture, 29 June 1999, http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/11/17/lyrics-for-you-wanted-more-by-tonic-from-the-american-pie-so.html [buy the cd].
"Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating," by Thomas Barnett, 20 October 2005, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0399153128/102-4292267-8637755?v=glance [author blog].
"The Gaps in 'Globalism,'" by Curtis Gale Weeks, Phatic Communion, 15 November 2005, http://www.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2005/11/the_gaps_in_glo.php (featured on ZenPundit).
"Essentially, then, the "connectivity" is really the building of cheesecloth," by Curtis Gale Weeks, tdaxp, 16 November 2005, http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/11/13/blueprint-for-divisiveness.html#c355860.
I don't know when I got bitter
Love is surely better when it's gone
Because you wanted more
More than I could handle
And a life that I can't live"
- Tonic, "You Wanted More"
"The train's engine can't travel any faster than the caboose."
- Thomas PM Barnett, "Blueprint for Action"
My previous reviews of Dr. TPM Barnett's Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating have been negative. I have criticized him for questionable statements on the ICC and his blindness to the consequences of highlighting the socially liberal parts of his philosophy. It is this last review that CGW objects to
As he comments at tdaxp
As long as gaps are built in the process of globalization, it will not be globalization -- even if the gaps are made diffuse throughout the world rather than allowed to follow the "old borders" of the "old, unglobalized world" as they now do.
More technically, Curtis writes on his own blog that
A lack of connectivity, of feeling equal relevance within a system, produces opponents to that system; and, self-destructive behaviors by individuals within a system — such as drug abuse and financial insolvency — inhibit the overall economic success of the entire system.
Specifically, he is referring to homosexualists:
Dan’s reasoning is, in a nutshell, this: We can’t reasonably expect to entice homophobic nations into increased connectivity with the U.S. if we list “homosexual rights” as one of our core values.
for gay men and lesbians and their families, the concern is not at all petty; but the globalist designs of some would disregard it for the sake of expediency
By "homophobic nations" Curtis seems to mean "political societies without substantial pro-homosexualist elements." His prescription, while very well written, is wrong and dangerous.
First, and most worrying for Mr. Weeks, would be who such homosexualist policies would encourage in the Gap, the Seam, and the New Core. In Blueprint for Action Dr. Barnett writes of a general male preference for religious parties, and a general female preference for order parties:
While men tend to vote according to religion and ethnicity in such situations, women tend to vote for those candidates who represent law and order. (258)
But as elections in Egypt
and Iraq show, women will support religious parties in large numbers. And they will vote for reactionary parties.
You want fast, efficient, and popular "law and order" Sharia? Push homosexualism.
The danger is, of course, that the stronger forms of connectivity (economic, technological [and cultural! -- tdaxp]) will trigger disagreements and crises that overwhelm the two sides' ability to handle them, given their limited political understanding and security bonds. Here, mistakes can be made, because perceptions different greatly, no matter ow compelling the underlying economic rationales. (238)
You want the forces of good to win the Muslim Civil War? Be patient.,
Rome wasn't built in a day, and it wasn't built as a democracy [and certainly not as a "progressive" society! -- tdaxp]. (236)
There are plenty of political leaders in the Core who understand all too well that the real struggle is not between Islam and the West but with Islam regarding its convergence with the West and the historical forces of globalization. Nonetheless, plenty of these same politicians cannot exhibit the same patient at home that they might demand of American or European foreign policy in the Middle East... but again, can we show the necessary patience to let Muslims [and traditionalists generally -- tdaxp] living the West make these necessary changes on their own schedule, or must we force confrontations and showdowns? (293-294)
The one danger that all advocates of globalization recognize as threatening its existence is merely the divergence between winners and losers, both within states and among them.
What can prevent these splits from overwhelming globalization's progress? Rules. The most important are rules within states that mandate -- in my phrase -- that the train's engine (globalization's winners) can't travel any faster than the caboose (globalization's losers). (255)
You want to win the Global War on Terrorism? Acknowledge that the world isn't perfectly built to suit your desires, and work with the powers that are, both in the New Core
[Wrong reactions to 9/11] also decrease a lot of useful social, economic, and political connectivity with New Core pillars right now when we should be drawing them closer. (231)
and the Gap
Is [the Islamic world] a civilization that just wants to be left alone or fears being left behind?
I believe it is the latter, and that, as many experts on the region point out, the revival of religiosity throughout the Gulf area reflects a population's desire not simply to resist our cultural "pollution" but to find some way to deal with undesired influences while adapting to much-needed and greatly desired economic connectivity that virtually all citizens there hope will lead to political pluralism over time. (270)
... not the imaginary homosexualist street that you might wish exists
My rage is not the type of rage that will seek outlet in instigating riots, or committing murder or acts of terrorism, or, now, in self-destructive behavior. Yet many in this American Gap might do these things, particularly self-destruct. A lack of connectivity, of feeling equal relevance within a system, produces opponents to that system; and, self-destructive behaviors by individuals within a system — such as drug abuse and financial insolvency — inhibit the overall economic success of the entire system. Current moves to ban gay marriage and continuing efforts to allow the discrimination against gays in the workforce are moves to institutionalize long-sustained gaps — a reaction against the greater connectivity of gays within American society — and are thus not terribly different in motive from the isolationist reactions of some state leaders or the terrorist groups who seek world dominance in order to avert the influences which come with globalization. They are the establishment of an exclusionary status quo which benefits most those who support that status quo. (Weeks)
Criticizing the "globalist plan that seeks increased international connectivity while disregarding internal gaps," Curtis Gale Weeks would ignore the "expediency" of disregarding homosexualist concerns in order to focus on other things. But it's not "expediency": it's the economy-of-force. Our enemy wants to alienate potential friends from us. The Weeks plan plays into that. We should stand up to al Qaeda and forge cultural connectivity.
If we eventually lose the Global War on Terrorism, an active policy homosexualism will join our support for the Saudi Tyranny and and the Drug War as...
... just another one of those crazy American obsessions that generate a lot of suffering and death distant from our shores... (Barnett 242)
Indeed, Dr. Barnett writes that the war of ideas is so problematic as to be a fight wort avoiding
Second, we should abandon efforts to create a U.S. Government-wide "strategic communication policy" designed to win the "hearts and minds" of young males inside the Gap who are perceived to be at risk for becoming terrorists. Such an approach only references the notion that somehow globalization is really all about Americanization, when it isn't. We have no more need to explain ourselves culturally or politically to the Gap than do the citizens of Brazil, China, or India, three countries whose competitive rise in the global economy increasingly presents more challenges to Gap states than do the policies of an established Core power like America. (231-232)
Attacking traditional cultures with the homosexualism is especially disastrous because, while attempts to export progressivism will fail, alienating those cultures that CGW calls "homophobic" destroys the visceral attraction that globalization should have
That sense of globalism, or a belief in the inherent goodness of connectivity, is what drives globalization's advance far more than either technology or the rare instances where military power is exerted. (254)
If homosexualists want to "connect" the world into their beliefs, they should wait as Barnett suggests...
So when a country has achieved a fairly broadband economic connectivity for its population, the discussion shifts from the quantity of connectivity (How much globalization?) to the quality of that connectivity (What mix of globalization?). (194)
Especially as efficient legal codes such as Sharia are enticing anyway...
Connectivity with the outside world generates higher transaction rates between the local economy and the global one. Those higher transaction rates demand a more efficient response from the government's legal system over time, forcing reform and maturation of the economic rule set, with the most important ones being property rights and contract law. (260)
.. as a means of society glue: connecting a society with itself.
Well, we shouldn't be surprised that an era that demands a grand strategy of shrinking the Gap would go hand in hand with a renewed focus on proselytizing global faiths.
Yesterday's Protestant work ethic defined capitalism's rise in the Core, providing what political scientist Robert Putnam calls "bonding social capital" that knits an existing community together, but today's Protestant evangelicalism may well define capitalism's ultimate triumph in the Gap, providing the "bridging social capital" that links faith-based communities throughout the Core to similar ones inside the Gap. So not only will the twenty-first century's religiosity far outpace that of the twentieth, to the amazement of social scientists the world over, the ultimate impact of more religion will not be sectarian violence designed to drive religious communities apart, but rather increased social and political connectivity between Core and Gap that will definitely speed up the convergence of civilizations and -- by doing so -- facilitate globalization's spread around the planet. (298-299)
Curtis Gale Weeks is concerned about international and intranational connectivity, but he focuses on secular-social-sexual connectivity. Political Religion has a real shot at being central to the new globalization, and provoking reactionaries by trying to go too fast could create a world many would not enjoy.
So perhaps all social liberals have to do is wait a generation or so before they can safely export their ideology to the Gap
If a Gap state simply hasn't developed to the point where it can handle the onslaught of connectivity that globalization provides, a Go Slow ideology makes sense; otherwise we're talking about the high likelihood that outside forces will take advantage of the lack of sufficient rule sets within a society to lock in unfair transactions [such as strict Islamic Law -- tdaxp]... (195)
and that once a country is rich, all the dreams of a progressive politics will be realized
It's only when the bulk of a society's economic development reaches a certain plateau, typically between $5,000 and $10,000 per capita GDP, that you begin to see the public start becoming more demanding of pluralism and openness from its government. (195)
While I have criticized parts of Blueprint for Action before, Barnett is right that we can't expect everything now. Connectivity-fundamentalism -- forcing every society to be as "open" as every other -- isn't just a false definition of connectivity and globalization..
Should [globalization] be feared by the world for its homogenization of culture? I guess that would depend on whether you think California is a carbon copy of Alabama or that Texas and Massachusettes are indistinguishable. Convergence does not result in homogenity, but in a superficial of external similarities, much like that light brown face that will someday define the bulk of the American population. (289)
... it's a dangerous one. The Blueprint for Action is a plan for "winning" over decades, not years. Attempts to speed up the world victory of one's pet political projects are likely to end in tears. The Phatic Communion apologetic for homosexualist agitation is exactly what is not needed...
... except for the enemies of freedom, like al Qaeda, "state leaders or the terrorist groups who seek world dominance in order to avert the influences which come with globalization." They'd love us to go 200 km / h. And it would be as deadly for us as driving in the wrong lane.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Note: This is part of a series of reviews for Blueprint for Action. The introduction and table of contents are also available.
"Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating," by Thomas Barnett, 20 October 2005, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0399153128/102-4292267-8637755?v=glance [author blog]
"I am glad to see...," by Jeff, tdaxp, 13 November 2005, http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/11/12/barnett-wrong-on-international-criminal-court-independence-f.html#c349284.
A comment by Jeff of Caerdroia provides a perfect segue for the second part of my Blueprint for Action multi-review
Commenting on Tom Barnett's questionable words on the International Criminal Court, Jeff wrote:
I am glad to see Dr. Barnett in PNM (I haven't read the new one yet) trying to find a positive liberal approach to the world. I disagree with him in certain aspects (his excessive optimism regarding China, and failure to see evidence that weighs against his brilliant insight of drawing a circle around the places where the US has intervened and looking for commonalities between the included and excluded parts, and so forth), but I am glad to see the attempt being made. If a muscular Left is to return in the US, this kind of effort is vital.
Indeed, Dr. Barnett doesn't hide being a liberal hawk. While Dr. Barnett's quixotic Kerryism-Rumsfeldism is a perfect defensible position (well, maybe), Dr. Barnett seems to have trouble decided whether he wants Blueprint for Action to be grand-strategy or liberal-strategy.
Take an excerpt from the best writing in the entire work: a commanding speech stretching from page 178 ("No one gets off free in this conflict...") to 180 ("...and are willing to defend what they've earned.").
Smack-dab in the middle of it, on page 179:
What I find so hilarious in this is the assumption of the Old Core types that their rejection of these ideas represents their death kneel, when nothing's further from the truth.
Here's a good example why: While Old Core Europe and Japan are more than a little bit tempted by Osama bin Laden's offer of civilizational apartheid, both the United States and the New Core pillars understand what a false promise this truly is. America instinctively rejects the offer because., as citizens of the world's free multinational economic and political union, we simply can't accept the nation of a world thus divided. As a society blended from all civilizations, the very notion of such separatism is simply repulsive to our citizenry. For if such cultural apartheid really made sense, most of American history would have unfolded in vain -- the Civil War, the suffragist movement, organized labor, civil rights, gay rights, and so on.
I read the section to each of my classes the week I read it, and got very good conversations out of it. While I had to change some phrases to match our text and their prior knowledge ("the Core" became "The Global North" or "the rich countries," "the Gap" because "the Global South" or "the poor countries," "the New Core" become "the new rising countries," etc) I was very happy with the passage.
With the exception of the last half of the last quoted sentence.
Ultimately, I replaced it with:
For if such cultural apartheid really made sense, most of American history would have unfolded in vain -- the Civil War, democracy, civil rights, and so on."
Keeping Dr. Barnett's original list, especially "gay rights," would have distracted the issue away from his vision of "shrinking the Gap" and "ending war as we know it" to divisive and petty domestic concerns.
I have used concepts from Barnett in my classes this semester, and the student reaction has been extremely positive. One student reacted by approaching tears, asking "Why weren't we just told this earlier? It make so much sense." (I remember a similar response from a CSPAN caller once.) The materialism of student reaction surprised me (most students instinctively latched on to economy growth as the reason to defend globalization), showing that they already had the "New Core" mindset Dr. Barnett predicts for America.
Tom Barnett can be a wonderful writer, and his work overlaps well with our discussions of sovereignty, international organizations, and political economy.
I decided not to allow conversation like that to be hijacked by Dr. Barnett's tone-deafness.
Worse, it is not just Nebraska undergraduates who will be reading Blueprint for Action. The people we most need to reach -- New Core citizens in pivotal states -- are the ones he is most likely to alienate.
One of my friends was an several-times-promoted officer in the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force. He fits the stereotype of the modern Iranian: blaspheming, shaven, pork-eating, beer-drinking, dancing, etc. He was delighted when a friend still in Iran gave him this satiric picture of the "beloved" (heavy sarcasm) President Ahmednajad:
And his views on homosexualism would make Jerry Falwell blanch.
My purpose in this post is not to advocate capital punishment for sodomy. Indeed, as someone who referred to the weird, oddly-worded, and shellfish-strewn, wreckages in Leviticus" I oppose sodomy laws and "virtue" laws generally.
But the way to shrink the Gap is not to ruin your best work with domestic politics and is not to alienate the very progressive forces in New Core countries that globalization depends on.
The Barnett of Blueprint for Action is not the Barnett I first saw on CSPAN.
He still can spark a conversation, though.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Unlike last time, not "LGBTQ" -- someone must have given the Q's the boot
Career Success for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students
Monday, October 3, 2005
7 to 9 pm
Nebraska Union (room posted)
Dr. Y. Barry Chung, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology at Georgia State University will share practicalstrategies for LGBT students entering the workforce.
This interactive workshop features concrete ideas for
* Managing your sexual identity in job interviews
* Career choice strategies
* Managing your own career development
Sponsored by: the Faculty Convocations Committee; the Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns; Career Services; Women's Studies Program; the Women's Center, the Queer Student Alliance; and the Department of Educational Psychology.
Dr. Chung is President Elect for the National Career Development Association, and his work has been honored by the American Psychological Association Division 44, the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Issues. He has published numerous articles and book chapters based on his research focusing on the career development of LGBT people.
For more information contact Jan Deeds at 472-2598, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those keeping track
# of PoliSci departmental emails relating to
Friday, July 29, 2005
"On Campus, Only Some Free Speech Protected, by Wendy McElroy, iFeminists, 28 July 2005, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,163705,00.html (from Brendan of I Hate Linux).
Free speech in the modern Academy:
The public notice (in full, with original formatting, from pdf original):
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2005 3:37 PM
Subject: women's studies Department - Women's History Month
Expires: Saturday, March 19, 2005 5:00 PM
Please do not hit reply, click here. MAILTO:ScalaA@wpunj.edu
Women's History Month
Film & Discussion: Ruth and Connie: Every Room in the House, a lesbian relationship story
Date: March 9, 2005
Time: 7-9 PM
Place: Library Auditorium
Sponsor: Women's Studies Department
Contact person: Dr. Arlene Holpp Scala x3405
Dr. Arlene Holpp, Chair
William Paterson University
Department of Women's Study's
The private reply, to the requested email address:
From: Daniel, Jihad
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2005 6:59 AM
To: Scala, Arlene
Do not send me any mail about “Connie and Sally” and “Adam and Steve”. These are perversions. The absence of God in higher education brings on confusion. That is why in these classes the Creator of the heavens and the earth is never mentioned.
The debate of ideas in the modern University
On March 10, Scala filed a complaint with the university claiming Daniel's message sounded "threatening."
"I don't want to feel threatened at my place of work," she explained.
On June 15, university President Arnold Speert issued a letter of reprimand, to be placed in Daniel's permanent employment file.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Responding to news that one of Senator Santorum's aides had his privacy violated by a homosexualist "outer"...
Many people on the left strongly object to the “lifestyle choice” of working for a Republican senator.
It’s against their religion.
So they respond by exposing, attacking and attempting to humiliate those they find objectionable – those who are different from them, those whose behavior they can’t understand.
They believe the government should stay out of their bedrooms. They also believe they have the right to invade the bedrooms of anyone they choose.
Again, this is part of the faith of those on the irreligious left.
Why the man was attacked is obvious: radical homosexualists hope that by destroying any "middle ground," they can radicalize a population a la Lenin.
But the greatest criticism of Cliff May's post is that religion in America is rarely so cruel.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
"Internet, meth double HIV rate in S. Dakota," by Corrine Olson, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 16 July 2005, http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050716/NEWS/507160318/1001.
HIV is increasing in South Dakota, the Internet?
Intravenous use of methamphetamine and people hooking up with anonymous sex partners on the Internet have doubled the HIV rate in South Dakota, worrying health officials.
If the Argus is blaming an electronic communication medium, why they don't blame roads, a physical communication medium, is beyond me.
Kightlinger said some people also view the disease as one that infects only gay people. Since 2002 in South Dakota, 37 percent of cases have been from heterosexual contact, primarily women exposed by a partner.
Cheryl O'Brien, the Sioux Falls School District's coordinator for high school curriculum, said the district is trying to educate young people about the dangers of the virus and how to avoid contracting HIV and AIDS.
Well, as homosexualism and illegal needle drugs together account for 65% of HIV/AIDS cases in South Dakota, and 75% naturally, avoiding just two activities would cause the infection rate to plunge...
We can effectively end injection drug use as a vector for HIV / AIDS by ending the drug war.
Anyway, just remember: there are no innocent victims of homosexualism
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Note: Due to the number of links, blogspirit did not allow Adam of The Metropolis Times's thoughts to be posted as a comment. They are well written and worth consideration, so I am posting them as a story instead. I will comment on them tomorrow. -- tdaxp
Homosexual sex is no more dangerous than heterosexual sex. Blaming the problem of unprotected sex on homosexuality is like blaming the Black Death on people handling rot with their left hands. There's as much need for the qualifier 'left' as there is 'homosexual'
Yes, many pre-modern cases are pederastic or otherwise non-egalitarian. In fact, this seems to be the norm among historical homosexuality, and you are correct in that egalitarian homosexuality is appearing more often. Whether its happening more often or its simply more out in the open is something no one can claim to know.
But there are also examples of a minority of romantic lovers of exclusively the same sex. Same-sex marriage even when members of the opposite sex were avaliable are no modern invention. Neither are men that freely perfer other men. These articles discuss the varities of homosexual conduct through history and make mention of the men who perferred men.
Neither is same-sex preference 'unnatural'
These took me about 10 minutes to find and read.
Here's an article on the "hijacking" of the word gay:
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
"STDs on rise among gay men," UPI, 6 July 2005, http://news.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=94339... (from Drudge Report).
Stupid, ahistorical behavior => terrible, ahistorical plague.
Sexually transmitted diseases, especially syphilis, have become more common among gay men as the fear of AIDS has declined.
The article goes on to cite contributing factors, which would barely be a problem if not for the main problem. Not that this is new...