What happens if your a preacher or pastor of priest who has lost the faith?

Deadspin is doing some interesting write-ups on wrestlers that have passed away, including two long-time favorites of mine, Andre the Giant and The Big Boss Man.

I’ve expressed in the past a belief that while I am not all that supportive of player/athlete unions that I have an exception for NFL players who really are used and discarded, often in broken bodies. The NFL is taking some action to help those with neurological damage. Good.

Will the new calorie-discloser requirements make consumers less price-conscious?

Does anyone really care about Jesse James? Or is the media trying to find another Tiger Woods? But Jesse was never Tiger. Shortly after the OJ Simpson thing, there was a celebrity murder in Colosse. The local media tried like hell to make it into an OJ Simpson affair, but everybody knew who did it, doubt was not within reason, and the victim was never as big a deal as OJ Simpson.

Guilt>Science

Lori Gottlieb, the author of The Case For Settling, writes about five deal-breakers that shouldn’t be.

Are good dads making the mothers feel bad? Or are good dads stepping up to cover for bad moms? Or are moms who erroneously feel that they’re bad moms requesting help they don’t actually need?

The Case Against The Case Against MSG.

Is the range factor of electric cars overestimated? Much of the time it probably is. The problem is that even if you have a car that can do what you need it to do the vast majority of the time, it’s the exceptions that you notice. I may not use the four seats in my car often, but you can bet I’m awfully glad to have them when I do need them.


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13 Responses to Linkluster VIII

  1. web says:

    MSG is actually something found in a lot of healthy foods (naturally!). It’s incredibly high in “topping” cheeses like parmesan, for instance.

    And it can help reduce sodium intake. A 50/50 table salt/msg blend doesn’t alter the taste of a recipe compard to the same quantity of pure salt, but it reduces the sodium level by up to 40% depending on the recipe.

  2. web says:

    Also, as far as electric cars: just like the four-seat part, the “will I have it when I need it” is a big calculation. I get by with the lousy cargo space of my current vehicle, but dream of getting my hands on something resembling a station wagon down the road…

    Plus, lack of cargo space you can work around (rent a truck, beg a buddy for help, etc). If you run out of range and have to wait for your electric car to charge up before you can travel again, boy are you screwed. The higher consequence of a range miscalculation, as opposed to merely running out of gas (which can be taken care of by walking to a nearby station and walking a can of gas back, or being towed, or having a roving sheriff give you a gallon or so to get you to the next station), is a big problem.

  3. trumwill says:

    Very true on that latter point about cargo space. I had thought of it, but wanted to keep my post short. It’s extremely helpful for couples to have at least one good cargo car. On the other hand, you can fit quite a bit into some of the medium-sized hatchbacks. If it weren’t for the desire for kids down the road, the Toyota Matrix is a pretty appealing vehicle in that regard. Even something relatively tiny like the Nissan Versa has a hatchback where you can fit a good amount of stuff. If you don’t mind having to choose between four seats and cargo space, that is.

    Looking at my Ford Escort, a car that I am really quite fond of in most respects, I doubt I will ever get a non-hatchback again. I don’t think I realized how irritating it is to lack cargo space until I married Clancy and saw the immense space that her (non-hatchback, but mid-size instead of compact) Camry has. When I was pondering getting those 91 computers we discussed (I didn’t), knowing that I had a Camry that could gobble them up was quite a relief.

  4. rob says:

    Gottleib must be a rarity, she’s despised by both the MRA/Gamesphere and feminists. How much control does anyone have over their deal breakers? Some things are probably easy to turn on/off, like “guy must have dog.” Other deal breakers might be, if not biologically hard-wired, things that are pretty much set.

    Telling women to get over height baldness is probably as effective as telling dudes to get over obesity and boobs. It’s like preaching to a rock.

    There are clearly things that should be dealbreakers, like hitting, or general bad treatment. On those things women should clearly up their standards. Men should too, but for whatever reasons is not as big a problem. Of course, you can only date people who want to date you. There are people for whom holding reasonable standards and mutual interest excludes everyone. But those people likely aren’t reading Gottlieb, or are only reading for sour grapes. “Hah, their girlfriends are only faking interest.” Or “Yes! Being in a relationship means settling for someone you don’t want.”

    It’s interesting that relationship advice aimed towards women concerns mid-stage relationships, and relationship advice aimed at men is focused on the earlier stages. It’s almost as if women don’t have many problems getting people to choose from. Compared to women, men must find being in a relationship to be a better deal than being single. ‘Course, women may have learned the female equivalent of pickup in junior high from Cosmo or whatever, while patriarchal oppression of course makes relationships pleasant for men.

  5. Peter says:

    I’d sell my soul to see “being a nerd/Beta” added to the list of things that shouldn’t be dealbreakers. Don’t hold your breath waiting 🙁

  6. trumwill says:

    Peter,

    She did. It’s #3.

    Google “women should date nerds” or “nerds make good husbands” and there is quite a bit out there. The term “beta” is insufficiently specific. Besides which, if betas were able to get dates, they wouldn’t be betas, at which point the advice would be moot, at which point they would become betas again. It’s not tenable advice. Gottlieb gets around this by focusing on alpha specifically in terms of career and ambition.

  7. trumwill says:

    Rob,

    I think the best way to frame it, for men and for women, is “Choose your battles.” For everything you demand, you have to give ground somewhere else for every inch someone else has to give ground for you. If 6’0″ is rally important to you, recognize that you may be looking at a guy that’s a little overweight or a guy with a dead-end job. Still sound good? Then go for it.

    Where people get hung up is that they get hung up on the superficial not because it is of paramount importance, but simply because it’s the most obvious.

    I’m not pretending to be above the fray here. Even if you recognize the above and make alterations, you’re still going to have physical standards and whatnot. For some women, that will entail height. For some men, that will entail a complete lack of body fat. If they’ve got enough going for them that they can make those demands… why not?

  8. rob says:

    Where people get hung up is that they get hung up on the superficial not because it is of paramount importance, but simply because it’s the most obvious.

    Very true, physical traits are more or less hard to fake, and modern life is anonymous enough that people can fake some personality traits like conscientiousness or kindness, or alcoholism, even jobs for long enough that screening lots of potential partners on those would be prohibitive. That isn’t to talk up rural or small town life, they have problems too. I remember a study, not sure how well it was done, that showed women in cities were pickier on income and appearance than women in small towns. I had thought it was a matter of ambition and self-selection. Now I wonder if it isn’t a matter of more possible partners too.

    For some women, that will entail height. For some men, that will entail a complete lack of body fat. If they’ve got enough going for them that they can make those demands… why not?

    Why not? Because internet betas will be upset! They will whine about how there has to be a revolution so they can get laid. If they weren’t getting laid all the time right now because of Game, I mean.

    Also positive traits do seem to correlate. I have no clincher evidence, but attractive women seem as if they’re smarter, more athletic, and have better personalities than less attractive women. Prolly the same goes for men. It could be that I’m falling for the halo effect, or justification for shallowness. But if it is true, it could be caused by load, I’m starting to think quite a bit in-population variance is load. For less human biodiversity-oriented folk, more attractive people having better social interactions, so they end up happier and more optimistic like the 30 Rock “bubble.”

    For men the”Jesse James” (I really feel silly calling someone that, if some dude changed his name to Chimpy McHitler, I’d feel almost the same way) thing is big on the internet because it fits the hawt women choose bad boys meme that gets so much approval on the internet. Women get to look at a rich, beautiful, and famous actress and congratulate themselves on making better life choices. There’s something in it for everyone.

    My ex girlfriend ran a summer art program for like 8-11 year old kids, so I had to volunteer. One of the kids said I looked like Jesse James. I would’ve been insulted, but I think the resemblance was being white. ‘Least I hope so.

  9. trumwill says:

    Very true, physical traits are more or less hard to fake, and modern life is anonymous enough that people can fake some personality traits like conscientiousness or kindness, or alcoholism, even jobs for long enough that screening lots of potential partners on those would be prohibitive.

    That wasn’t quite where I was going with that. I was looking at it more like how some companies screen job applicants. Looking to see if someone has a college degree takes about ten seconds. Determining whether or not they know what they’re talking about takes significantly more time.

    Seeing that a guy or girl is good looking takes ten seconds. Determining whether or not you have compatible values takes more effort and you’re more likely to be wrong.

    I remember a study, not sure how well it was done, that showed women in cities were pickier on income and appearance than women in small towns. I had thought it was a matter of ambition and self-selection. Now I wonder if it isn’t a matter of more possible partners too.

    All of the above. I would add to that the illusion of more potential partners.

    Once upon a time in high school, my friend Clint and I sat at lunch with these two girls. One was attractive in a plain sort of way and one was utterly gorgeous. No great surprise, we both honed in on the latter. Had we met the former at any other time in our lives or any other setting, the former would have had our entire attention. We talked about her pretty positively. But as long as she was next to the other one – who was not only more attractive, but more engaging and personable – the plain girl felt a little like settling.

    When you’re surrounded by people, even people that you don’t really have all that much of a chance with (as was the case with us and the gorgeous girl), it’s easier to get yourself to believe that of all of the hotter people than you out there, surely one of them will go out with you. And that’s not wrong, actually. It’s just that typically you will find out that they are dating down for a reason.

    And one last factor I would add is that in a small town, you’re more likely to know the other people better and therefore become fond of them as individuals before immediately starting the “Is this the best I can do?” filter.

    It’s actually funny you should bring this up. In my very short time here in Callie, I made the observation that romantic couples here are a lot more lopsided (in both direction) than I am used to seeing.

    Also positive traits do seem to correlate. I have no clincher evidence, but attractive women seem as if they’re smarter, more athletic, and have better personalities than less attractive women.

    I think this is broadly true, but not consistently true enough that you should discriminate on this basis. In addition to socialization, healthy and more intelligent people tend to be more attractive because they’re more likely to come from families of means (eat better, take better care of their skin, etc), and so on. However, using this as a basis to justify seeking out the most attractive people is mostly rationalizing.

  10. rob says:

    That wasn’t quite where I was going with that. I was looking at it more like how some companies screen job applicants.

    Huh, where you were going with that was exactly where I was going. Me no communicate good.

    All of the above. I would add to that the illusion of more potential partners.

    This happens in poker too. I forget it’s name. When there are wild cards, everyone thinks about how much better his hand is. They don’t think that everyone else’s hand is better too, so they bet more. People see more members of the opposite sex, but don’t notice the increased competition.

    It’s just that typically you will find out that they are dating down for a reason.

    Maybe. If we can generalize from people on okcupid, When men rate women on attractiveness, we see a normal gaussian. Women’s rating of men is quite skewed, 80% of guys (who are single and on okcupid) are below average. Pairing off will put lots of men with women who are more attractive. This is so not solid, no guarantee that okcupid cupid raters are representative, or that the ratees are representative, people might rate on more than attractiveness, phenotypic expression of load might be higher men.

    http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/2009/11/17/your-looks-and-online-dating/

    Course, going by percentile instead of rating, the average dude is at 50th. OTOH, I’ve always gotten the feeling that women think the average guy is well below average. Could be wrong though.

    In addition to socialization, healthy and more intelligent people tend to be more attractive because they’re more likely to come from families of means (eat better, take better care of their skin, etc)…However, using this as a basis to justify seeking out the most attractive people is mostly rationalizing.

    Yes, discriminating on attractiveness is unethical. I’d make an exception for dating, because it doesn’t strike me as kind or easy to fake attraction. It came more from thinking about stuff than dating. Contra assertions from biological know-nothings, people don’t just do shit at random for no reason. Behaviors evolved through selection. People who were “picky” about attractiveness had more descendants. At first blush(if you didn’t know a thing about people) that makes no sense at all. Less picky people have less trouble partnering, have more sex, and ceteris paribus have more children. So it wasn’t paribus. The most likely reason is that attractiveness is a fairly honest signal of fitness. It only stays honest because it’s hard to fake. But not everyone is attractive, partly its the red queen. Another part is load, it never goes to zero. Developmental insults count too, but in the long run, when there’s variation in vulnerability, those effects are damped by evolution.

    On healthy and intelligent people taking better care of their skin, etc, I’d add grooming and hygiene in general. I’m not the first person to notice that people with severe mental illnesses are really bad at that.

  11. trumwill says:

    Maybe. If we can generalize from people on okcupid, When men rate women on attractiveness, we see a normal gaussian. Women’s rating of men is quite skewed, 80% of guys (who are single and on okcupid) are below average.

    I think that there are a few factors at play. I agree with the author that the guys pictured are more “average” rather than “below average” as polled by the women.

    Maybe it’s just the heterosexual in me saying this, but it sure seems to me that the “average” women (as polled by the men) did a significantly better job selecting and posing for their pictures than men. Not sure why this is, though, which makes me think my heterosexuality may be a factor. As a guy that has a lot of difficulty taking pictures, I wonder if it’s something we’re inherently worse at. Or maybe we don’t have the array of socially approved poses to use?

    Another factor is that I think, in general, it takes more attractiveness out of a guy to garner a woman’s attention than the inverse. The mentality among women (and men, for that matter) may have been “above average” meaning “the looks are a selling point” and “below average” meaning “the looks don’t do anything for me.” As guys are more visually-oriented (though I still maintain not as much as society suggests), it wouldn’t surprise me if looks were more of a selling point for more men than for women.

    (On a sidenote, for any Alpha-Beta theorists reading this, it’s noteworthy that this does not translate into actually messaging, wherein women are more egalitarian than men, who focus strongly on the most attractive. Not unlike Clint and I, who both acknowledged the attractiveness of one while showering our attention on the other.)

    Yes, discriminating on attractiveness is unethical.I’d make an exception for dating, because it doesn’t strike me as kind or easy to fake attraction.

    Now it’s me who has failed to communicate. It’s not that I think discriminating on attractiveness is unethical in the dating realm. Rather, I think that saying you’re only going for the most physically attractive because it represents other positive attributes rather than just being superficial is a rationalization.

    A great example would be my post about being attracted to fat chicks. For some it may really be about health or self-respect or whatever, but most of the time it’s aesthetic. They’d date a smoking thin girl before an fat girl with normal blood test results and a genuine thyroid problem even if she had the medical documentation to prove it.

    Now, why we find things aesthetically pleasing the things we do may have a biological or evo-bio component, but the correlation is ridiculously inexact and if you (meant in the collective second person) are looking for a woman that’s smart and capable but are using looks as the primary criteria for judging things, I have to believe that you’re more concerned about looks than about smart and capable.

    I see women make this argument more often than men (or more probably, I am more likely to notice it when women make the argument). Only dating men that they find attractive (however they measure such things) is reasonable. Suggesting that they don’t date men they are not attracted to because such men are morally or constitutionally inferior? That sort of thing sets me off.

    It’s one thing to say “I’m not going to date a guy that is less attractive simply on the hope that he will treat me better because he won’t have as many other options.” I am supportive of that. Not only wouldn’t I do it because I wouldn’t want to date a morbidly obese girl with huge moles just cause she won’t leave me, but it’s not a particularly effective policy because depending on who she is she might just leave you anyway or even if she doesn’t leave you she may still let it be known how much better she would like to be doing. But while I agree with that, I also see the opposite statement, wherein attractiveness implies superiority and unattractive people aren’t just unattractive, but inherently suspicious.

    If the person speaking would genuinely date someone grotesquely disfigured in a fire before dating someone attractive but with a less-than-entirely-healthful lifestyle, I’ll give them a pass. I think that’s rare and I kinda resent people hiding behind platitudes about “respect for one’s own body” and evolutionary biology to justify what they would want even if those things do not remotely apply.

  12. rob says:

    Rather, I think that saying you’re only going for the most physically attractive because it represents other positive attributes rather than just being superficial is a rationalization.

    Oh, I get it now. I did not mean that being unattractive is a character flaw. I really was not talking about my dating habits. I’m not on looking for anyone, because I’m not sure I could meet the minimum standard of not effing someone over really bad. Not to mention crushingly low David Alexander level self esteem. It’s prolly been a couple years since I flirted with anyone. Though I did smile at a chick in signals the other day. That’s an achievement for me. Partly it’s current environment. I’m too old to be around people in their mid twenties, and even the youngest professors, they aren’t peers. I found this thing on grad school and depression, and it said grad school has every risk factor in spades. So maybe after school I’ll be more functional, less caught in constant existential crisis, etc. but I’m not holding my breath. OTOH, if I can find a lab to work in, I’ll be pretty damn happy. Thanks mood swings!

    I see women make this argument more often than men (or more probably, I am more likely to notice it when women make the argument). Only dating men that they find attractive (however they measure such things) is reasonable. Suggesting that they don’t date men they are not attracted to because such men are morally or constitutionally inferior? That sort of thing sets me off.

    Women make that argument more. By and large, men don’t have to justify our preferences/criteria to women we aren’t attracted to. If you (not you you) aren’t attracted to whatever sort of women, you just don’t try to date them. Women won’t initiate in the vast majority or relationships, so they’re the ones who have to “justify” their preferences. I can also see how women would think men who are unilaterally attracted are not just a nuisance but menace: rape, stalking…A dude being interested can be more scary than flattering. My personal take is that lots of guys hit on women way out of their league because rejection from those women hurts less than being rejected by someone you feel should be glad to have you.

    I don’t how I’d rather be turned down: “No, I think you’re ugly”, or “Because you’re ugly I think you’re probably an awful person, so I’m going to dress it up as a lifestyle preference,” or “Nah, I can do better.” Come to think of it, not being turned down at all is preferable. That’s not very realistic though. A very clear no, however it is expressed is probably better for the rejected in the long run than false hope of a shot eventually.

    …date a smoking thin girl before an fat girl with normal blood test results and a genuine thyroid problem even if she had the medical documentation to prove it.

    A smoking HOT thin girl? I don’t know about other dudes preferences, but I’m pretty sure that smoking is a major turnoff for most nonsmokers. How it compares to fat, I’m not sure. Also, aren’t thyroid problems pretty amenable to treatment? I also don’t think fatness is something that the majority of fat people can control. Even if being thin had no health benefits at all, the social benefits are so large that if people experienced their weight as something they could control, they would. Really, no one wants to be really overweight. Some overweight people are addicts self-medicating with food.

    Back to Gottlieb, I feel sorry for her husband. Guy marries her and then she writes a book about how she settled for him.

  13. trumwill says:

    Partly it’s current environment. I’m too old to be around people in their mid twenties, and even the youngest professors, they aren’t peers.

    As an aside, when I first met her, Evangeline was dating a guy that was something like 27 or 29. They met at Southern Tech U where he was the president of their anime club. I remember, even though I was 21 or 22 at the time, thinking “Man, isn’t he too old to be around?” Which is kind of funny because under most circumstances I don’t think 28 (I’ll average the two) is too old for 22 or 23, necessarily (or 20 and 26 when they met). But there’s something about him hanging around the college that made him seem older.

    Of course, you’re a graduate student and you have a reason to be hanging around the college. Even so, I get what you’re saying about feeling too old. Clancy and I were at a coffee shop in Gemini Falls and man did we feel old. Something about college students in particular that seems to accentuate the age difference.

    Women make that argument more. By and large, men don’t have to justify our preferences/criteria to women we aren’t attracted to.

    1-up. I forget this by virtue of spending so much time about Sigmoids that like to say that their taste in women is biological, unavoidable, and unassailable. As opposed to women’s tastes, which is biological, unavoidable, and unforgivable.

    I don’t how I’d rather be turned down:

    There is no good way to be turned down. Guys like to fool themselves sometimes by complaining about the delivery, but either it’s too brutal or insufficiently direct. There are some mechanisms that are worse than others, of course. Looking back, I think that it went best when it was direct and brief. No explanation (other than “No, thanks” or “I’m not interested”) is the best explanation. Of course, that breaks down when guys ask for explanations, none of which won’t hurt.

    A smoking HOT thin girl?

    Yes, yes. Hot thin girl is what I meant. Smoking is a turn-off for a lot of people, but more people say it is than it actually is. Attach the cigarette to a hot enough person, most can overlook it.

    On a sidenote, I was once grilled mercilessly and ridiculed for not smoking as that was proof of how square I was. I started smoking later that year (unrelated). It was never really a problem for me in the dating realm. Mostly, I think, because I was able to keep it under wraps. By the time they knew, it was too late.

    Also, aren’t thyroid problems pretty amenable to treatment?

    Beats me. I use it as an example. The point remains, though, that some people can be overweight and healthy. Some people can be thin and unhealthy. A large portion of people that cite “health” as a reason for preferring thinness would prefer be with the latter person.

    There’s something about The Atlantic that parades women demeaning their husbands. I remember an article a while back about women (not writing anonymously) that refuse to have sex with their husbands anymore and how this is a perfectly acceptable lifestyle decision. How would you like that being broadcast? Another one by a woman getting divorced talking about cheating on her nice but sexually uncompelling husband and suggesting that because her marriage didn’t work out the institution is a sham. I thought the guy came off more sympathetic than she did, but it’s still not the sort of thing I would want everyone to know when they google my (ex-)spouse’s name.

    In The Atlantic’s defense, I think that Gottlieb wrote the piece that got the whole thing rolling before she met him. So he knew what he was getting into.

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