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Vasaris, the Fuzzy Dragon
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March 2014
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Vasaris, the Fuzzy Dragon [userpic]
...Liek, I dun even know!

Okay, so I accused Satoshi Kanazawa of being a flaming galaxy of stupid.

But having (somewhat randomly) stumbled across more of his, er, 'Holy *bleep*, what the *bleepity, bleep, bleep, bleep* is that?' theorizing, I'm now about as horrified as horrified can be.

Point one: Some of the most beautiful women in popular media are black -- so the original question of 'Why are black women ugly?' is... bizarre. I totally get that the man himself probably thinks that White, Asian, and Native American women are hot (apparently Hispanic/Latin American, Indian, Polynesian, and Inuit varietals don't rate a mention) but to generalize his personal preferences to the whole of humanity with dubious statistics that have no acknowledgement for social/cultural bias is... insane. Or possibly inane. Or both.

Point two: I don't even know where to freaking start. Seriously. Religion isn't genetic and Michael Jackson was weird (fair or not given MJs medical conditions, the man began to look undead, which was very disturbing IMO). Satoshi Kanazawa seriously tries to make a case for being 'half Muslim' and likens Obama being Christian to Michael Jackson's medical condition. He states -- like it's a fact -- that Obama cannot be a Christian because his father followed Islam. It's like saying "You cannot prefer Asian cuisine; your father loved French food."

If religion carries genetic markers, why am I Wiccan? (...and having just read the response blogs, Dr.Essig, there is too Jewish blood -- Judaism may be a religion, but you can be ethnically Jewish without being religiously Jewish. That was a really bizarre way to try and make your point. Overall, I agree with you, but, seriously, it should have been 'No Catholic blood, no Muslim blood' -- Jews were a really bad choice of exemplar.)

Point three: In theory this should make me rage but mostly it just makes me stare in complete bafflement. The predecessor article isn't any better.

1. The question posed in the title has almost nothing to do with the article. Inasmuch as the question "Are all women essentially prostitutes?" makes me want to haul out my ill-trained invective, I'm having a hell of a time figuring out what the title has to do with the article itself.

2. Dear Kanazawa, if you didn't know that there is a significant difference between a high-class call girl and a $2 blow job... well, it doesn't say much that is good for your general intelligence. High class call girls are the modern equivalent of the courtesans of old -- of course they will *trend* toward being better educated (either via schooling or self-education), greater beauty, etc., etc., because that is what their clientele demands. I direct you toward the movie 'Gigi', which (aside from having a young Audrey Hepburn and being a musical of all things) actually goes over this concept.

3. I find the fact that he wants to completely divorce emotion from sexual contact disturbing. I find the fact that he thinks that it's a mark of intelligence to want to divorce emotion from sex insulting. That he believes that it's only smart men who call up $300/hour call girls (because an intelligent woman obviously wouldn't call for an escort/male prostitute for the same reasons a man would... after all, if the title of the article is anything to go by, even intelligent women are just whores in the most derogatory sense) doesn't particularly support his premise.

It mostly supports the idea that smart, rich men pay for sex because they:
a) have the money to do so. $300/hour? Yikes.
b) do not want the strings of another person's emotional needs
c) can't actually create satisfying emotional relationships for themselves so they have to pay through the nose for facsimiles thereof.
d) think their dicks are more important than whatever vows they may have made, which -- in my view -- makes them dishonorable assholes.

Admittedly, being a smart, dishonorable asshole is one way to power, money, and status, but that doesn't somehow turn all women into prostitutes.

4. While I don't actually have a particular issue with prostitution as a profession, using the opinion of a single expensive, professional sex worker has of, er, "armatures" (in this case, referring to all, non $300/hour women who may or may not put out with flowers, dinner, and a movie) is... bad science. I mean, it's really bad science. In fact, it's really, really bad, even for a soft science that relies almost exclusively on subjective data. That the woman apparently views all relationships as an exchange of money/favors/etc. for sex is, well, her problem. If she doesn't believe that people can and do have satisfying emotional connections, well, that seems rather unfortunate for her.

I do think that the bits that are quoted (provided that 'Maggie' is a real person and not some kind of made up avatar of Kanazawa's messed up brain) are worth discussing in a societal sense: Historically women have been sold by their male family members to serve as broodmares for bloodlines. In a real way, that's exactly what marriage was about for, oh, thousands of years. Society has placed a kind of monetary value on the use of a woman's reproductive organs for pleasure and/or procreation, and it's something that has held on in a variety of ways. It's why a woman sometimes has to say "You may have paid for dinner and a movie, but I do not owe you sex for that. I don't owe anyone sex, ever." It's been an uphill battle, but some progress is being made there.

Still, despite about one point being worth discussing -- and not how he does it -- I don't get the relationship between $300/hour hookers and all women being, essentially, whores.

Oh, you've got to be kidding me. The predecessor article (in which we discover that a) capuchin monkeys will pay for sex, given the opportunity (never mind that providing proof of the ability to provide for offspring is, evolutionarily, intelligent so yes, males ply females with food/resources and b) why would a man try and impress a whore? Doesn't he know that he's just paying for a warm squelchy spot?) is hilarious and amazingly dumb. No wonder 'Maggie' felt the need to call him out -- I'm a 'normal' woman and I would have emailed him to tell him that he's fuzzing out surveillance satellites with the sheer, radioactive power of his stupidity.

Fourth: Okay, really?

I think that this example of batshittery is... kind of epic.

The sad thing is: If you ignore the title of the article and just stick with the first couple of paragraphs... he's not even extensively wrong. Whether I give a damn about his particular theories about beautiful people having more daughters (WTF?), I have to agree with certain of his precepts:

1. Dislike/Hate -- especially of those who are 'other' in some way -- seem to be innate features of being human. It is natural and normal to hate that which is different. I tend to liken it to the clannish nature of primates (especially the ones we're most closely related to -- chimps go to war, with weapons and kill and eat their enemies -- thank the gods we've gotten beyond the 'eat your foe' part of instinct.) Socialization makes us more likely to look past otherness. The instinctive rejection of things we are not familiar with isn’t evil of itself -- it’s how we react to/control it that matters.

2. Western culture has been moving for a few generations toward the idea that hatred is a completely unacceptable emotion at any time. This leaves us a vulnerable to enemies who have absolutely no qualms about hating us for no other reason than we exist in opposition to a belief, ideal, or WTF ever. Because we are (mostly) trying hard to move toward inclusivity, it makes it difficult to deal with people who aren't interested in our point of view... which leaves us with blind spots and things we're (in theory) not willing to do even though an enemy has no such checks on behavior.

And that... is about where the rationality ends. Because hate, intolerance, and unilateral fuckerism should be returned to our lexicon. We need to return to WWI and WWII era standards of racial fuckbaggery (psssst, Kanazawa, I guess that means you need to go back to Japan). The bad guys will win, because they hate us and we don't hate them. We should be willing to kill all that lives -- innocent or not -- in order to defend ourselves and our way of life. Nuclear holocaust? Who the fuck cares what it would mean environmentally, politically, and ethically... we should have turned Afghanistan into a nuclear wasteland. Then there'd be no 'War on Terror'.

Kanazawa -- you're a psychologist. I dare you to extrapolate out the actual effects of the US dropping a bunch of nuclear warheads in the middle of Eurasia. Even ignoring the environmental ramifications, man, the political ones for the whole of the Middle East just do not bear thinking about. The responses of India, Pakistan, China, and all... well, that'd be a clusterfuck that the US and Europe (assuming they went along with it) don't have the population -- even were we to conscript every man, woman, and child -- to deal with. Presuming, of course, that the other nuclear armed nations didn't just drop bombs in response. ICBMs, Kanazawa, they're not just for the US anymore.


It's like, he's a PhD who is being paid to troll the internet and outrage people with sense. Which, to be honest, wouldn't surprise me. I imagine that his articles get thousands of hits from people who are pissed off (or fascinated by the highly-educated troglodyte). The frustrating thing is that evidence indicates that he honestly believes his conclusions -- even when it's obvious that they are made via inadequate/highly suspect data. I doubt he much bothers to debate those who would oppose his conclusions (oh, wait... he always has comments off, that makes it extremely hard to actually debate him). My impression from him, from the somewhat disjointed nature of his articles, with their almost complete lack of support for his theories, is that he 'knows' himself to be right, so no arguments are likely to be seriously considered or addressed.

I could be wrong, of course -- it's a fairly small sample size -- but I, at least, am actually willing to listen to counter-arguments.

Science, Dr. Kanazawa, you keep using that word. It definitely doesn't mean what you think it means.

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

Okay, your first link is blocked by the library servers. (But I do remember the furor over the "first black Miss AMerica" and a few years later the idiocy over the "first REALLY black Miss AMerica"...since the first one had the skin tone but somehow her features were, I dunno, "less African" or some such.)

On links two and three, I think Honorable Kanazawa-san is just being outrageous to garner readership. (The genetic basis of religion isn't even worthy of refutation. Grey asks if that means he's genetically Catholic. ;)

While sociologists do indeed point out that all social interaction can be reduced to "How do I benefit from this?", calling half the human population whores is just, well, attention-whoring. (Did u see wut I did thar?) When we do altruistic things, we do benefit personally from the internal warm-fuzzies even if we don't deduct it from our taxes or boast of it in order to get pats on the back.

I do agree with his theory on the last link, though--for scientific purposes, one must go with the strictly truth-or-not evaluation, not a complex tangle of "whom might this offend?" before evaluating data.

The library prolly isn't all that thrilled with the Something Awful forums, at a guess.

And I agree with the general theory that truth should be evaluated without regard to the offense value. Data evaluation should be done without bias -- even the bias of what one is trying to prove or disprove, never mind whether it will offend anyone.

After all, true scientific method is 'hypothesize theory -- devise ways to test theory -- test theory -- prove/disprove/adjust theory -- repeat process'. Thing is, he isn't really testing theories, he's just 'putting it out there' with nothing more than vague support (that is often refuted, as far as I can see, once you start poking around for information about him) and a refusal to debate or discuss his theory in order to adjust it and then re-test the adjusted hypothesis.

I've been poking some of his other Psychology Today blogs and I seriously can't tell whether he's just trolling or what. Some of it is just weird (why he felt the need to complain about his favorite sitcom being cancelled in Psychology Today is beyond me) and many of his less controversial (but still weird) stuff gives me the feeling that he really does believe what he's writing, even if the titles are *all* about gaining attention. So, maybe half PhD-Troll and half-crazykakes?