Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Of “bad boys” and insipid women

This morning I had breakfast in Midwest City, Oklahoma, home of Tinker Air Force Base. It seems that many military retirees live there. Sitting in the booth next to mine was a one-armed man who might well have been a Vietnam vet. After some time he was joined by a young couple and an infant child. The husband was a brawny guy with a buzzcut. He had a cowboy hat in one hand, the infant carrier in the other, and cowboy boots on his feet. His T-shirt, which looked brand new, was tucked ever-so-neatly into his bluejeans. On the back was an image of a bottle of beer emptying over the silhouette of a shapely woman. Here’s the text that went with it:

Why beer is better than women...
  • A beer is always wet.
  • Beer always looks the same in the morning.
  • Beer is always happy to ride in the trunk.
  • Beer always goes down easy.
  • A beer doesn't change its mind after you've gotten the top off.
  • When you change beers, you don't have to pay alimony.
  • You can enjoy beer all month long.
  • You can share a beer with friends.
Things turned utterly surreal when I heard the server ask, “How old is she?” Yes, she.

Grandpa did not seem thrilled to have the company. Eventually Daddy went out to his immaculate, humongous, white pickup truck and moved Baby Girl’s bag to Grandpa’s car. Then he left alone to do whatever manly stuff he was going to do in that T-shirt.

Perhaps I am making too much of this. For all I know, a buddy gave him the T as a tasteless gag when he was getting married, and he was off to visit the buddy… at 8 a.m. on a Wednesday.

Long ago, I’d have expressed disgust at the “bad boy” making a big display of his indomitability. I would have regarded both the mother and daughter as victims. But there’s nothing secret anymore about attraction to bad boys — I’ve seen first-hand that it runs high among feminist intellectuals, whom you would expect to be least susceptible — and I have to say that women are responsible for dealing with it. After all, we are talking here about guys who do not deceive women. The mother allowed the sexually exciting male she has snagged and foolishly expects to change to degrade and humiliate not only her, but her daughter and women in general.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Archive critiques of ID creationism

It is easy to forget, here in our echo chamber, that most of the world’s researchers care little about “intelligent design” creationism. When Dembski and Marks submit a paper like “The Search for a Search” to online journals founded and edited by Poles and Japanese, there is a good chance that the reviewers are unsuspecting of shenanigans.

Much of the online criticism of IDC could, with little modification, be packaged as rough drafts of scholarly papers, and uploaded to archives such as What makes this worthwhile is that Google Scholar, and not just Google, indexes these archives. A Scholar hit with a title such as “Errors in ‘The Search for a Search’ of Dembski and Marks” stands a good chance of catching the attention of reviewers of future work by the authors. Of course, archiving a critique does not preclude linking to it from blogs.

Rob recently gave a response [PDF] to “The Search for a Search” that strikes me as a prime example of what should be uploaded to (In any case, I recommend it to those of you who can deal with math.)

I intend to follow my own advice. Provided that the lead author does not object, I’ll soon archive a brief paper, and notify you of it.