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Bringing the World to Worldcon
Apr 06, 201510:34PM

Category: Writing

There's been much debate about revising the rules for the Hugo Award, but there's one aspect that everyone has either missed or been afraid to touch.

Some history:

The then grandiosely named World Science Fiction Convention started in 1939, with about 200 people.  It wasn't held during WWII, and it stuck to larger, American cities--New York, Chicago, Philly.

The first one outside the US was Torcon in 1948.

The first one outside North America, was Loncon in 1957, thus finally making a valid claim of "World" after 18 years.

In 1970, Germany hosted, bringing Europe into the SF "World."

Australia came on board in 1975, actually bringing in another hemisphere.

It wasn't until 2007 that Asia merited note, with Yokohama.

Now, an astute observer will notice that all those countries are progressive, wealthy, nations of privilege, mostly Western, and certainly all in the upper echelons of economic success.

Supporting memberships at this point are $40 US.

There are people in the US for whom $40 is a stiff part of a budget.  Beyond that, I just heard from two of my fans in India and Bangladesh. My Bangledeshi friend works for their DoT as a senior engineer, and earns a princely $150 a week.  He's managed projects where the repair cost for the road was estimated at a half million, and been told, "You have $5000." (Adjusted to US currency.)

I send Najmul e-copies of my books for free, because not only can he not find them, he couldn't possibly afford them.  He's currently doing some training in Australia, and glad to be there, since he has much less worry about roving gangs, or if a neighboring country will build another dam and cut off his water supply.

He bought a supporting membership at $50 AUS, being most of a week's disposable income for him--and remember, he's one of the better paid people in that country--and since he's a fan of several others, we've all sent him a large package of SF to read, electronically.  I informed Brad Torgersen, and quite a few of the other writers he has promoted are doing likewise. I will also forward any ebooks from other known authors to him.

But, a "World" con should be more accessible to the world.  SF fans in developing or struggling nations should not have to balance a supporting membership, to an event they can never afford to attend in person, with daily necessities.

If you look at the membership lists for any Worldcon, you will find almost no participation from Africa, East or South Asia other than Japan and Korea, or much of South America.

I propose a supporting membership should be $5. It's arrogant and elitist to proclaim to be a world event, then to price three fourths of the world out of it.

This will need to be brought up at the WSFS business meeting and voted on.  On the one hand, it will mean less money per supporting member. On the other hand, it will mean more members, more inclusivity, and a better reach of SF to the world as a whole.

It's time to put the World into Worldcon.

The problem with the the Hugo Awards isn't fandom, which is the set of all people who are fans of SF. The problem is the subset of people obsessed over the convention itself, in other words, condom.

Presenting Hugo Finalist: Me!
Apr 04, 201508:55PM

Category: Writing

So, it appears I am a finalist for the Hugo Award for "Best Related Work."

First of all, I must apologize for inadvertently releasing the info early a couple of weeks back.  I only got part of the email notification, and as I have no experience receiving Hugos, only voting on them, I wasn't aware of the perfectly logical rule of there being one public announcement.  Once I realized so, I pulled the blog and forum post.

So I'm making them now.

Apparently, several Tweeters noticed, and rather than inform me of the faux pas, they preferred to just call me names behind my back. Thanks, Jackwagons.

I need to thank Brad Torgersen for asking if I'd accept publicity for a nomination, and of course I said yes. Any positive publicity is good for writers and I'll come back to that in a moment.

I had actually expected he'd reference my short story, "Soft Casualty," which I think has merit as both dark SF, military psychology, and possibly horror.  You can read it for free here: http://www.baen.com/SoftCasualty.asp

"Wisdom From My Internet" kept people entertained, but it's a collection of snark and one-liners, some of it SF, some of it nerd, some of it geek and some of it mundane. I get fan and hate mail across the spectrum for it. Apparently, I'm an unrepentant right-winger, gay apologist, anti-Christian, anti-Muslim, pro-Muslim, religious apologist and "typical liberal."  So much love, so much hate. Thank you all.

But real thanks to the people who nominated the work, and those who bought it. While not nearly as lucrative as my "pro" sales, it was timely for dealing with some personal matters at home.  I appreciate both the funding, and the recognition of my disturbed sense of humor.  I will arrange to thank you appropriately with a 2X12, a towel and a bucket of water.

Still, if that's what people deem worthy, I will most certainly accept your accolades and votes, and more importantly, your money, right here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QZV08SW?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwmichaelzwi-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00QZV08SW

I have to confess, I'm surprised by how many people don't get satire.  "Patriarchy Press" is a joke, folks.  Actually, someone on Amazon didn't like the book because of some of my jokes about Christianity. They didn't have a problem with the jokes about Islam, Judaism, Buddhism or Shintoism.  Or straights, gays, bis, liberals, conservatives...it's not as if my snark isn't egalitarian.  Of course, that might be the problem for the narrow-minded.  Just because I thought a gay pirate was called a "Swishbucker," and an oil sheik was a brand of condom...

And, there will be both a trade paperback and a signed, limited edition available shortly.

I must admit, I was a bit hesitant to consider accepting an award that requires both a poll tax and a literacy test for the voters. It seems a little elitist, but that's something we can work on for later--making the Hugos votable by all fans inclusively.

Now, I'd also like to draw attention to the other nominees in this category.  You should make an attempt to examine all the works before voting on one.

Tedd Roberts is a neuroscientist and friend of mine. He's offered quite a bit of medical and bio science background for my stories.  His article, "Why Science Is Never Settled," is an excellent lay presentation on how the scientific process works.

http://www.baen.com/Why_Science_is_Never_Settled.asp

http://www.baen.com/Why_Science_is_Never_Settled-Part2.asp

If you think you’ve already figured out what it’s about from the title, the actual article might surprise you. 

Better still, if I wanted the Hugo from him, he'd never notice it missing amongst all his professional awards. Besides which, he couldn't catch me with that bad knee of his.

Ken Burnside is a physicist and the creator/producer/head Honcho of Ad Astra Games, which he does while being almost totally blind.  He too has provided me with number crunching once or twice.  His essay, "The Hot Equations," is here: http://adastragames.com/products/the-hot-equations

And really, he's almost blind, so I could swap out a 30mm shell for the Hugo and he'd never notice.

Lou Antonelli I have never met, and I have not read "Letters from Gardner," but have met Gardner Dozois, respect his editing, and the book looks to be very informative about the editing and submission process, from someone who's got professional chops of his own as editor of Asimov's.  http://www.amazon.com/Letters-From-Gardner-Writers-Odyssey/dp/0692299424

He's written about rocketships before. 

John C. Wright I know from a dozen emails. He's got a strong grasp of philosophy and character, and an amazing arsenal of rhetoric. His essays can be found here: http://www.scifiwright.com/transhuman-and-subhuman/

He's the real threat here, because he's a gentleman, and I'd feel terrible stealing his award.

So there's the Hugo ballot for Best Related Work. To vote, you must be a Supporting or Attending member of Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention.  You can purchase memberships here: https://sasquan.swoc.us/sasquan/reg.php

Good thing it's in Spokane, not Chicago, or people would be voting early and often, even after dying.

There are some great authors and works in all the categories. Some of them surprise me entirely as either, "I had no idea this awesome writer didn't have a Hugo yet," or "Are they %@#$ing kidding?"  It's certainly a varied and vigorous ballot.  Good luck to all the nominees in their respective categories.

I regret that my schedule won't let me attend. That is my busiest time of year for events, and it's on the far side of the continent.

I find all the other nominees in Best Related Work to be very worthy, and I will feel no regret at losing to any of them.  However, I will certainly appreciate the votes I do get, and will thank those who do in an appropriately snarky fashion.

BTW, does anyone know the exact dimensions and diameter of this year's Hugo?  If I win, it's going to be the largest projectile I've ever had in my vault. 

That's not an euphemism for anything, okay?

Who's A Real Fan?
Mar 31, 201511:39PM

Category: Writing

EDIT:  I keep adding small details to this. Truly, it is a saga that could be told for days.

So apparently, according to Brilliant People on the Internet, I am not a real science fiction fan.

I started reading the RAH Juveniles in 8th grade, when a friend showed them to me. I read Bova, Bradbury, Hugh Walters, Lester del Rey, Donald A. Wollheim, John Christopher, Andre Norton and dozens of others.  Then I hit the book store to stock up on Sir Pterry (Who wasn't known as that then), Asimov, Terry Brooks, Tolkien...

Of course, before that, I watched Star Trek on TV in the UK.  My father tweaked it so we got all four channels in Liverpool, not three.

But I'm not a "real fan."

By high school I had an SF Book Club membership.  I found authors I liked, some I didn't.

I had just finished Basic when I found a bunch of SF at the Exchange--Pournelle (and some of his contemporary stuff), Ing, plenty of other Baen stuff, More Heinlein, Laumer, and the magazines--Asimov's, Analog, F&SF.  I literally have a twenty year stack of magazines in my office.

But I'm not a "real fan."

When we got the word that Bob Heinlein had died, and I never got to meet him, I spent $5 in quarters to call a friend at another base, via payphone, so I could break the sad news to her.  We toasted him the next year.

I also started attending SF conventions in 1988--WindyCon (following an ad in Analog), then immediately ChambanaCon, Capricon, Marcon.  I spent thousands on rooms, travel, parties.  I've missed two WindyCons since--one because I was deployed, the other because I was at a convention in Germany. Until they were 15, my kids had Lifetime Attendee ribbons.

When I checked into the hotel, they asked if I was "Jack Williamson," and I knew who he was and to say no.

At WindyCon, I signed up for the Dinner With The Pros, and I chose...Jim Baen. I wanted to know how publishing worked.

We had jam sessions in the fifth floor lobby, and I watched Fred Pohl walk past, shaking his head as we played something half blues, half Egyptian, in A#m.  Keyboard players can be such assholes to guitarists.

I watched Fred year by year, in person, on panels, as he aged and had to leave us.

I got my roommate and a couple of other troops into the events, and in between, we played D&D, Morrow Project, Aftermath!, everything of Steve Jackson's and Paranoia, in the barracks.  I showed up a year later in my own made chainmail and sword, dirk and boots.

But I'm not a "real fan."

Ah, the parties.  When not skydiving, I was plotting parties. You may have heard of Moderation, because we always drank, in Moderation. Always.  I recall a party where the room was two feet deep in debris afterward.  Beer cases, beverage containers, snack packs, CDs, VCR tapes, unconscious bodies, a dartboard, a size 42 lime green bra.  I am not making this up, there are witnesses.

Oh, one of our co-conspirators is now an internationally famous economics expert.  Others are also hugely known on the convention circuit. But, we're not real fen.

Our reputation exceeded us, with tales of our carnage and indulgence, but it wasn't true. Our parties were always a safe space for everyone.  When some asshole doped someone with LSD at another party, one of our people--a pyschologist--walked them around and talked them down. We had one clown, one time, get grabby. I had Kurt show him The Door. Kurt was a 6'6" boxer turned hypnotherapist, and The Door were Roadkill (biker) and Ogre (that's his legal name).  Any color, any age, any handicap, any orientation, all were welcome, and we never blabbed secrets. Even now, very few people know that Timothy Leary visited our party at Chicon IV.

Our booze bill was $1100, and we ran four days straight, having a grand old time.

I ran the Moderation New Years' BASH for three years.

But the best one was Capricon, the year it was at Pheasant Run Resort:

Jonathan:  Mike, I have conducted initial reconnaissance of the hotel.

Mike:  Go ahead.

Jonathan:  I recommend a six prong attack, and a solid hold on terrain of the 14th floor. (unfolds map)

Mike: I agree with your plan. Proceed.

Jonathan:  Reservations? Yes, we'd like to book for Capricon.

Reservations: What type of room?

Jonathan:  The fourteenth floor.

Reservations:  Will that be a corner suite or a double double?

Jonathan:  The fourteenth floor.

Reservations:  There are sixteen rooms on the fourteenth floor, sir.

Jonathan:  Yes, we'll take them.

Reservations: ...

Come the convention, we had my HQ in one corner, Moderation next to it, the Slime Party, Crystal Blue Persuasion, The Cow Party, the jam room, which had about $50K in instruments and gear by the time we were done, Ogre's Den of Iniquity and two others I can't recall 20 years later.

Oh, we named it the 13th Floor, since there wasn't one, and we stationed lots of party fans on 12, so as not to disturb people who wanted quiet.

Oh, I was also there as a dealer.  I'm not sure about sleep.

We stationed The Door at the elevator, and no one came in without ID.  Clothing became optional.

*BTW, if you've read Niven, Pournelle and Flynn's "Fallen Angels," it references a man sitting at the hot tub wearing a tuxedo top and towel bottom.  That's Jonathan.  We've even wound up in books.  There was a whole small press comic that starred us as well.

But I'm not a "real fan."  

In fact, I was told that back then, too. Those of us in our twenties, partying with artists, cartoonists and ravers until 0700 were not "real fen."

Except, quite of few of my fellow enthusiasts now run some of the major Midwest conventions.  But that's not relevant. We're not real fen.

I've attended literally hundreds of conventions, in three countries so far. West coast, east coast, midwest, south, Canada, Europe (Germany specifically, with book signings in Amsterdam and The Hague).  I've attended Chicon III and IV, MagiCon, LoneStarCon, ConAdian, TorCon, and supported SasQuan and LonCon.  I have voted for Hugo awards, after actually reading the works on the ballot. If I haven't read the slate, I tend not to vote in that category.

I have original art from several well known artists in the house, including some done before they married and changed names.

But according to some people, I'm "not a real fan."

I've been an attendee, panelist, artist, author guest, special guest, guest of honor, filker, gopher, badger, I've run a dealer's room. I've helped in the con suite while a special guest, because I was up early and they had vegetables they needed cut. What, not everyone takes their hand forged Japanese kitchen knives to a con in case of such an emergency?

Heck, back to my first WindyCon, the consuite needed a plastic drop cloth for the soda tub. I went to my car and got it.  Then the needed double sided tape. I had that, too.  Then they needed a screwdriver.  Exasperated, I demanded their list of material needs, went to my trunk and got most of it-poster board, highlighter, scissors, more tape, bungee cords.  I had trouble with the red marker. I only had black.

No one ever guessed it was my first con.

I was at X-con in Milwaukee the year we shared the hotel with an NBA reunion, a Baptist youth group, a bowling convention and the Secret Service preparing for Gorby's visit. Hilarity ensued.

But, you guessed it, per certain elements, I am "not a real fan."

I've arrived in limos, in airport shuttles, and in a friend's borrowed car when mine blew two tires then the axle 20 miles from the con.

Before GPS, I typically drove in the direction of the con, and navigated by nose--if I were an SF con, where would I be?

I was on a first name basis with a dozen authors before I published anything. I invited them to our parties, went barhopping with them, had them sit my kids.  I took Steve Barnes for crab legs and let him use me as a Kung Fu dummy for demonstration.  I took Dr Demento to dinner.  I filked with Spider.  My customers include Dave Prowse and Steven Brust.

I've written fifteen books at this point, and published...a lot, I guess...of short stories through several publishers. I have two REQUESTS on my desk for anthology participation right now.

But, I'm not a "real fan."

EDIT:  Oh, yeah--I also have the .pdfs of Wilson Q. "Smooth Bob" Tucker's fanzine, "Le Zombie," in which he describes "That obnoxious fanboy and wannabe writer Ray Bradbury."  Bob emailed it to me.  I've also bought him Beam Green, and I still have his business card.  "Natural Inseminations. By appointment."

I was the person who realized WorldCon is smaller than quite a few others, and that the Columbus Convention Center was twice the size of a lot of places that had held Worldcons, and had better support. On my inquiry, they offered to hold the hotel and convention space for a time four years later. Offered? They insisted.  Friends took over and actually put a bid together, that the "real fans" shot down because "Columbus doesn't have the facilities."  Right. I watched them host Origins, two other conventions and a Willie Nelson concert simultaneously with room left over.

That's when I started disliking the "real fans."

Unlike some fans...and some writers, I try very hard not to be negative about my fellow pros by name. I did briefly about a particular writer who publicly wished that Jews not read his books.  The "real fans" like him.

Another "Real fan" recently attacked me, and several friends, with a childish epithet about having his testicle hair in our teeth.

His claim to fame? Other than a recent book that ranks a whopping 2.5 million on Amazon?  He edited a translation of a work which original was made into a movie.  

Okay, and?  He's still an asshole.  But I won't name him in public.

If you believe I'm not a real fan, Condescending Blogger, I suggest you are the one who is intolerant, exclusive, hateful and bitter.

Because I wear my nerdhood as a badge of pride and honor.

And you can go fuck yourself.

Dear Tweeter,

A 140 character limit makes it impossible to have an intellectual debate.

Your first question was, "Why do people keep guns in their wardrobes?"  Your second was, "Why do you keep guns in your house?"

As opposed to keeping them where?  I prefer to keep my property where I can control it.

I think where you're going with this is, "Why have a gun at all?"

Well, that's more metaphysical. However, as I've discussed previously, guns are the single most effective way of defending oneself.  Here's one of my links, with sources:

http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/blog/item/rape the section on the effectiveness of firearms starts about a quarter of the way down the page.

Now, you may disagree with this, though I have trouble grasping why anyone would disagree with the concept of being able to effectively defend oneself against predators without having to hope an outside agency will be around when needed.

What you need to understand is that not only doesn't it matter if you disagree, but that you're unqualified to disagree.  I will lay long odds and large amounts of money that there's no aspect of firearms or violence where I'm not better educated than you.

Without google, explain the following terms:  DEWAT, pre-May sample, FOPA, NDA 1916, open bolt, AOW, C&R, Tueller Drill, modified Weaver, constructive possession, 922(r).  If you don't know what these mean, you can't persuade me you understand the subject at even a lay level.

You have a prejudice, based on ignorance, and you have every right to do so. What you don't have is a right to impose your prejudices on others, especially when you aren't knowledgeable of the subject.

Imagine if someone walked into a genetics lab and insisted all the haplogroup studies were irrelevant, that God had dictated racial and mtDNA difference.  Or someone walked into a virology lab and said that vaccinations were a bad thing. 

That's where you are in this debate.  I'm sure you mean very well, but you're so uninformed about the subject, you're not even wrong.

Moving on, guns can have historical significance, be mechanically ingenious, beautiful to look at, or downright fun.  Some people collect beer, wine or liquor, some collect cars, and some collect guns. There's no requirement that you or I appreciate it, care about it, or approve of it.  There are people who protest all of those, and porn, and various or all religions, and on, endlessly.  We call that "Diversity."

So I hope this post offers some enlightenment, though I'm sure it offers no satisfaction.  You will not be able to offer any argument against gun ownership that's informed enough for me to need to refute, to care about doing so in the long term, or even to acknowledge as relevant.  And the Supreme Court supports my position much more than yours.

Now, if you have questions about the subject and would like to learn, I'll do my best to answer them.  I hope and expect, based on experience, you'll find that firearms are far less scary with knowledge.

Otherwise, I wish you good day, a safe life, and peace.

http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/natural.html The blog of a born again vegan who insists humans are "naturally" vegan.  I will quote him in italics.

 

Looking at the evidence fairly

The meat-eating reader already has half a dozen objections to this before s/he's even read the rest of the article, and I will address those objections specifically, but first let me address them generally: It's human nature to want to feel that what we're doing is right, proper, and logical. When we're confronted with something that suggests that our long-held belief might actually be wrong, it's uncomfortable. We can either consider the new evidence fairly, adding to the discomfort about our possible error, or we can reject that premise without truly considering it, which allows us to sidestep any uncomfortable feelings.  And we do this by searching our minds for any possible arguments for why the challenge must be wrong, to justify our current beliefs. This practice is so common psychologists have a name for it: cognitive dissonance.

 

Response:  And you can switch the words "meat eater" for "Weed eater" and get exactly the same outcome. Vegtards will go into denial and ignore the fact that agriculture kills billions of animals, and that most plants are toxic, but animal flesh is natural and immediately digestible.

  

In graphical form, it goes like this:

Evidence that humans' anatomy favors a plant-based diet

Evidence to the contrary

 

Response:  Funny. He got the two bars backward.  I'm still waiting for him to provide the bounteous list of edible plants our ancestors consumed during the Glacial Maximum in Asia in December.  He hasn't, and he can't, because there wasn't.   You ate food (meat), or died.

The first thing the USAF teaches in survival school is, "You can always eat bugs or animals."  It's not even worth the time to learn which plants are edible, beyond a few very obvious ones.

  

He said: [Meat eater argument] "Humans have always eaten meat."

 

No, we haven't, and I'll provide evidence for that shortly.  More importantly, early humans, like modern humans, could have simply acted outside of instinct, and made interesting dietary choices contrary to their anatomy.  We really have to look at our digestive system to get the best evidence for what we're optimized for eating, not what some humans chose to eat.  Otherwise, thousands of years from now anthropologists might conclude that eating McDonald's is natural because humans circa 2012 used to eat a lot of it.

Also, of early humans who did eat meat, they might have eaten it as sparingly as modern chimps do.

 

Response:  Indeed. Effectively 100% of animals are edible, and effectively 100% of plants are not (we can eat a tiny fraction of a percent of weeds.  There is only a tiny fraction of percent of animals that are toxic).  Digestive system proves we are carnivores.  Thousands of years from now, anthropologists might conclude that eating plants is natural because humans circa 2012 ate a lot of them.

And what "Some" humans choose to eat? Every hunter gatherer society we know of (notice that first word), from the Inuit to the San and !Kung Bushmen, to the natives of the tropical Amazon jungle, to the proto-Europeans, to the plains Indians, eats or ate meat. Every. Single. One.

Because statistically, all animals are edible, and almost no plants are. Meat also provides much higher nutritional density, and can be preserved easily.  And, meat is available all year round.

What would cause people to act "out of [their] instinct"? The unavailability of meat (our natural food).  When food was not available, we ate weeds.

Really, I've done this experiment. Even if you know which plants are edible, A: It's a bitch of a time gathering enough for a meal, 2) they are very seasonal with short shelf lives, and III] they taste like grass.  They're revolting.  Most people make vegetables palatable by cooking them with oil and salt.

Seriously, you want me to believe people picked up rocks and spears and hunted down animals that would gore, stomp or bite back because it was an "interesting dietary choice"?

And "Might have"?  What kind of argument is that? Especially when we have proof that most primitive peoples seek meat first, even if they have other options, and during most of the Paleolithic we were more carnivorous than wolves.

And of course, all those cave paintings that show people throwing spears at cabbages.  Definitely vegetarians.

Argument fails of logic and rhetoric.

 

He says: [meat eater argument] "We're capable of eating meat, therefore we're omnivores. Case closed."

Okay, fine, then cats are omnivores, too. ("Case closed.")  Commercial cat foods, both wet and dry, contain things like rice, corn, and wheat.  In fact, some people feed their cats a pure vegan diet with no meat at all.

But of course, cats are true carnivores.  We don't call them omnivores just because they'll eat things contrary to what nature intended.  That would be silly.  No one makes that argument for cats.  But they make it for humans, enthusiastically.  However, they can't have it both ways: Either we don't assume humans are omnivores just because we can eat meat, or we apply the same standard to other animals and conclude that cats are omnivores, too.  Which is it?

 

Response: Cats can digest almost no vegetables. We can digest a very few vegetables, and, here's the important part:  We've selectively bred and engineered those plants to be more edible, or edible at all.  There's no breeding necessary to make a bovine or ungulate edible.

And some people feed their children a pure vegan diet. You know what happens?

 https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1GIWA_enUS625US625&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=baby%20died%20vegan%20diet

The children DIE.  They even sometimes die because the mother insists on being a vegtard and can't provide enough nutrition for the baby.

You know what you've never heard of happening and never will? An Inuit baby dying because his parents fed him too much whale and caribou, and not enough lichen and grass seed.

We're carnivores.

 

He says: [people complain] "You're not a credible source."

You don't have to believe me, you can look at the evidence I cite.  My critics talk as though I claim this article to be original research, but really, I'm just reporting on what the science says, citing credible sources along the way.

 

Response:  No, it's original speculation, unsupported by fact, citing lots of out of context and fringe statements that are not credible sources.  To find one, you'd have to first know what one was.

 

He says: [meat eater argument] "Vitamin B12. End of story."

I'm not joking when I tack on "End of story" to the sample counter-arguments. People actually make them that way, literally.  Here again, they think one point invalidates all other evidence.  Amazing.

The argument here is that since B12 isn't found in plant foods and modern vegans must supplement, a vegan diet can't be natural.  Here's what's wrong with that argument:

1.B12 isn't made by animals, it's made by bacteria. (source)  It's found in animal foods because they're a hotbed of bacterial activity. It's also found in feces of most species.  Historically it was easier for vegans to get B12 because their environment was so dirty. Plants pulled from the ground and not washed scrupulously could have bacterial contamination, and thus B12. (source)

2.B12 is also found in lakes, before the water is sanitized. (source)

3.Remember that "plant-eaters" aren't exclusively plant-eaters; they eat some small amounts of non-plant foods.  For example, of the 1-5% of chimps' diets that aren't plants, most is generally termites, which happen to be loaded with B12. (source)

4.We saw that fecal matter contaminating the environment can provide B12.  But not taking any chances, many plant-eating animals actually eat their own feces.  Prehistoric humans might have done the same. (Human feces is loaded with B12.) (source)

5.Because the ability to absorb B12 decreases with age, the Food and Nutrition board says that all people over 50 should eat B12-fortified food or take B12 supplements, not just vegans. (source)

 

Response:  Well, I wonder how much shit this guy eats to get his B12.  This almost sounds like a TMI about his personal fetishes.

But, using his logic--just because we CAN get B12 from eating shit, doesn't mean we SHOULD. And again:  "Might have."  No evidence provided for his coprophilic fetish.  Nor is it common--most grazers avoid contaminated grass. Browsers don't risk it.  Few carnivores do it.  There's no evidence of any healthy human doing so. Shit smells like shit for a reason.

I'm starting to think this guy is fucking insane.

 

He said:

So the best evidence isn't historical diets, best evidence is our own bodies.  If we'd really been eating a lot of meat for a long time, that would be reflected in our anatomy, but it's not. 

 

Response:  Like the fact that almost 100% of animals are edible and digestible and almost 100% of plants are not? That anatomy?

My original offer was to send him 100 unlabeled plants. Using his natural senses, he should determine which ones were edible, which not, and which were toxic.

 

He said:

Then there's this research:

Robert W. Sussman, Ph.D., professor of anthropology, [spoke at] the American Association for the Advancement of the Science's Annual Meeting....[E]arly man was not an aggressive killer, Sussman argues. He poses a new theory, based on the fossil record and living primate species, that primates have been prey for millions of years, a fact that greatly influenced the evolution of early man.

"Our intelligence, cooperation and many other features we have as modern humans developed from our attempts to out-smart the predator," says Sussman.... The idea of "Man the Hunter" is the generally accepted paradigm of human evolution, says Sussman, "It developed from a basic Judeo-Christian ideology of man being inherently evil, aggressive and a natural killer. In fact, when you really examine the fossil and living non-human primate evidence, that is just not the case."

 

Sussman's research is based on studying the fossil evidence dating back nearly seven million years. "Most theories on Man the Hunter fail to incorporate this key fossil evidence," Sussman says. "We wanted evidence, not just theory. We thoroughly examined literature available on the skulls, bones, footprints and on environmental evidence, both of our hominid ancestors and the predators that coexisted with them." ...

But what Sussman and Hart discovered is that Australopithecus afarensis was not dentally pre-adapted to eat meat. "It didn't have the sharp shearing blades necessary to retain and cut such foods," Sussman says. "These early humans simply couldn't eat meat. If they couldn't eat meat, why would they hunt?"

It was not possible for early humans to consume a large amount of meat until fire was controlled and cooking was possible. Sussman points out that the first tools didn't appear until two million years ago. And there wasn't good evidence of fire until after 800,000 years ago.

 

Response:  "Evil"?  The researcher seems to have a bias for his hypothesis.  Why is killing inherently evil, if it advances your genetic survival?  Sounds like he's the one with Christian guilt.  And his hypothesis (not theory) is unsupported by evidence. We have cutting tools going back three and a half million years. They weren't used for peeling fruit. They were used for breaking bones.  We almost certainly used unworked rocks and sticks before that.

Also, Australopothecines are another species.  That's like looking at pandas and concluding grizzly bears naturally eat maple leaves, but have made an "interesting choice" to seek out salmon and deer. 

But, Australopithecines DID have tools and DID eat meat. 3.4 million years ago.

And it's perfectly possible to eat raw meat without "Shearing tools."

So, the idiot cites another idiot, who, despite an advanced degree, isn't aware of a lot of basic facts.  But I bet his vegetarian buddies love him. This is like "Professor" Bellesiles, who insisted colonial Americans didn't have weapons and somehow won a revolution with harsh letters of protest.

Also, 800K years ago predates modern Homo Sapiens. So, once again, he's saying that some other species MIGHT have been a vegetarian because it hadn't developed the brains to bang the rocks together. I think the professor isn't even clear on the difference between tool using omnivorous Australopithecenes and weed-munching ape Paranthropus boisei.

They also lived in a very tropical environment where they MIGHT have found edible plants all year, but WOULD find animals all year, especially kills made by bigger predators. And of course, P Boisei effectlively was a panda, sitting in the weeds munching grass stalks.  Try that. You'll starve in a week. It had a different metabolism because it was a different species.

He said: In any event, the idea that our ancestors might have decided to mimic other animals and eat more meat isn't a particularly compelling argument that it's natural for us to do so.  Given that humans act outside of instinct, looking at historical behavior isn't as convincing as looking at anatomy and health effects—as we'll do in a moment.

 

Response:  In any event, that certain people have DECIDED to mimic other animals and eat weeds isn't a particularly compelling argument that it's natural for us…

When most animals are edible and most plants are not.

Note again, the "might" word.  His entire site is "we MIGHT not be carnivores, we MIGHT have eaten plants, we MIGHT have eaten feces, we MIGHT…."

We eat meat.  We're a carnivore. Sadly, we live in a world where moral and genetic defectives (look at his picture) have the CHOICE to eat weeds and convince themselves they're somehow more moral and healthy…if they can buy enough supplements and highly processed plants to gain the nutrition they'd get from eating a cow.

From another page on his site:

As to this:
Saying we're omnivores because we're capable of eating meat is just silly. 
 
Incorrect. Again:  Almost EVERY animal is edible, the exception being some ugly fish and ugly reptiles we had no access to until quite recently.
Almost EVERY plant is either non-edible or toxic, and we have no sensory way to tell which is which, how are we possibly "naturally" herbivorous?  Using his own rhetoric, just because we CAN eat (a fraction of a percentage of) plants, doesn't mean we should.
 
Again, I will send him 100 unlabeled plants or plant parts.  He can prepare and eat the ones you believe are edible.  We'll see how well he does.
 
In fact, the reverse is true for all humans--if they have the enzymes for starch digestion, they still can't effect full processing. We CAN eat starch, but it's not natural.  It also destroys our metabolism in other than trace amounts.  Feed a Bushman or Inuit wheat and they get very ill.
 
He lists:
 
Brown Rice                  
Tomatoes                  
Potatoes                  
Green Peppers                  
Corn                   
Lettuce (iceberg)                   
Celery                   
Cucumbers                   
Oats                   
Carrots                   
Broccoli                  
Pinto Beans                  
 
 
Did you notice that NONE of those edible plants existed in their present form 10K years ago? Every single one is a cultivar.  The grains are seasonal and require agriculture to store in any usable quantity.  Half of them are New World.  Most require extensive processing. They are not "natural" foods. Hell, broccoli is less than 3000 years old, and you'd need 3.5 lbs a day to get enough protein, and you'd still be short some essential amino acids. (He claims this is a myth. That's yet another part of his site where you can point, laugh, and get something strong to drink.)
 
And, all of them require killing animals in the agricultural production process, so any moralizing argument is ridiculous.

 

Our early ancestors from at least four million years ago were almost exclusively vegetarian. 
 
So, completely different species were vegetarian?  And? A few million years before that, you find carnivorous chickens.

I can't think of any reason to read more. His "compelling" arguments are complete bullshit, he's scientifically illiterate, he's cherry-picking out of context soundbites and his arguments devolve to "might have."

Look, if you like weeds and want to eat them, knock yourself out.  I actually like broccoli and tomatoes, I love cucumber, and onions and garlic are a staple here.  But beans, besides being dreadfully unhealthy, taste like cardboard.

But don't pretend to be especially moral or enlightened from your choice of diet.  And don't try to persuade people that's a post-agricultural revolution LUXURY that a few people with defective senses can afford to eat is "natural."  

A weed-based diet requires about 12X the volume than meat (he even admits, offhandedly, that one has to eat "enough" weeds to get protein, which he says you don't really need to survive. Again, look at his picture.  He's certainly proof of that, but I wouldn't brag about it), and if you allow for the shorter shelf life, it works out to about 15X.  Then, grains especially require lots of arable acreage, lots of water, generate a lot of methane (Rice alone is about 1/3 of human methane production, equalling all meat production by itself), and all the animals who had that as a habitat are killed, or displaced and killed.  There's nothing green about it.

And I have to go kill some animals directly, like a man, not indirectly and passive-aggressively, like a whiny bitch, because they're delicious and nutritious.  

ADDENDUM:  Tard's response to my request for a list of edible plants available in the Paleolithic in winter, and in regard to the MODERN vegetables he listed was, "Sorry, you lose. Better luck next time."

In other words, he's unable to list said plants, which I predicted, because they didn't exist. 

But he's never wanted a debate. He wants to feel special and enlightened.

Did I Miss Anyone?
Feb 26, 201511:36AM

Category: Politics
With thanks to my fans for many additions:

A man is drowning 50 feet from shore.
 
A Republican throws a 25 foot rope and tells the man to swim to it.
 
A Democrat throws a 50 foot rope, then drops his end and goes off to help someone else.
 
A Libertarian tells the man he'll throw a rope for $20.
 
A Socialist complains that the government should have rope throwers stationed around the lake against such an emergency, and America is a third world country for not providing this service.
 
A Green laments that the man will die and deserves it since he's polluting the water.  Then the Green will demand the lake be off limits so further drownings don't hurt aquatic animals.
 
The EPA will agree with the Greens and fine the man's family, then declare the lake a wetland and refuse to allow removal of anything, including his remains.
 
A Wahhabist will wait to find out the man's national origin and religion before either cheering his death, or blaming America for failing to save drowning Muslims.
 
If the man is black, Al Sharpton will fake a bunch of statistics showing blacks are more likely to drown and this is proof of white dominance and repression.
 
A white nationalist will wait to see if the man can get out alone. If not, he'll claim the man's death is due to inferior genes from other races weakening him.
 
A feminist will cheer that a future rape has been prevented.
 
A CEO will demand to know why the man wasn't at work and fire him posthumously.
 
His insurance company will insist it was a self-inflicted injury and not covered.
 
A marijuana activist will insist that if the man had smoked a couple of joints, he wouldn't have been in the lake and would have been fine.
 
A homeopath will grab a tube of the water, dilute it 1:10,000 and sell it as a cure for drowning.
 
The conspiracy groups will insist the man was killed by the Jewish Banker/Royal Family/FEMA/Bush-0bama conspiracy to keep him from talking.
 
Greenpeace will insist the man has "Water privilege" and he should be grateful to live in a nation where it's possible to drown.
 
Hashatag activists will share photos of the incident 6 miliion times with #Icantbreathewater and #yesallponds to draw attention to his plight.
 
Livestreamers and Youtubers will take video of him drowning, with selfie content to prove they were present.  20% will make duckfaces.
 
Crowdsourcers will each send in 4" of some sort of twine, string or rope, and wonder why it wasn't successful with a total of 300 feet.
 
Brian Williams will claim to have been present, under fire, while hauling the man in himself.
 
Dan Rather will insist that Brian Williams' reports are "fake, but accurate."
 
Fox News and Breitbart will report that 0bama's immigration policies led to the man drowning due to the resources being used by illegals.
 
A Former Green Beret Seal Marine will explain the proper way to avoid drowning and offer to sell the video for $24.95
 
Anti-Vaxxers wil claim the man was in shock induced by the combination of cold water on a metabolism weakened by the MMR vaccine, and not immunizing your kids will let them develop natural immunity to drowning.

The local police will claim they suspected him of cooking meth, which is why they didn't try to save him but did shoot his dog, and congratulate themselves on going home safe at the end of the shift.
 
The Bloc Quebecois and La Raza, supported by Occupy, will demand to know why the lake didn't have multilingual warning signs.

Bernie Sanders will Facebook meme that if the man had been at a job paying a $15/hr living wage, he wouldn't have been at the park drowning.
 
If the man is a cismale heteronormative straight white Christian male, SJWs will complain about the attention paid to him when thousands of POCGLBTQXYZs drown every day without media coverage.
 
An atheist will claim the man's drowning proved the non-existence of a loving god.
 
NPR will do a lengthy story interviewing a Georgetown professor about drowning in great works of literature.
 
Some asshole will insist it's 15.4 meters and Americans should standardize on 15 meters, not 50 feet.
 
History Channel 2 will insist that aliens were behind the drowning.
 
MSNBC will insist Republican obstructionism made it impossible for lifeguards to be present, but no one will watch the show anyway.
 
Eventually some decent person who will strip off, dive in and rescue the guy. Once ashore, they'll find their wallet, watch, and cellphone stolen, and get arrested for indecent exposure.  Then the state will sue them for not being licensed for water rescue.
 
His Congressman will introduce "The Safe Parks and Ponds Act" which will cost $5 billion, result in three agencies writing five different safety standards that are resolved after 7 lawsuits reach the Federal courts, but the rider ban on home-farming of turnips will remain.
 
A Christian homeschooler will blame secular public education, and make their children study the story of Noah's Ark.

China would issue a statement that the drowned man was violating waters that were their traditional maritime territory.

North Korea issues a statement condemning the drowning as a Capitalist propaganda ploy and claims that every year, a thousand thousand North Koreans drown far more skillfully.

Smart Dog
Feb 21, 201501:45AM

Category: General

My daughter's boyfriend's dog Halo is at the house for a few days due to some weather issues.  She's a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix, small and lithe.

The first day over, he put her in the garage to keep her away from the cats and the allergic person (me). He took a nap before work.

A couple of hours later, she scratched at the garage door, and I let her in. He hadn't turned the lights on, and I expect she was bored.

She trotted down the hall, came back to the kitchen, and spoke to me in body language.

"Hello.  I can't find my boy."

I pointed down the hall and said, "First door on the left."  She raised haunches and lowered her head, "Thank you," and sure enough, she went right there, walked into the room, and looked up to see him sleeping on the bed.

"Yes, I see my boy.  But this is your house."

I said, "Yes, you can get on the bed," and pointed.

Again the thank you nod, and she jumped up and curled up at his side. She didn't move for four hours, and leaves the cats completely alone. She'll stay in whichever room she's told to stay in, patiently awaiting human companionship or instruction.

You can tell a lot about a man by his dog.

Back online
Feb 13, 201509:19PM

Category: General

Actually, I have been, but was still updating software.

I posted this article, and several of us discussed it. http://www.alloutdoor.com/2014/12/16/question-open-carry-advocates-muslims-start-it/

Someone observed that many Americans really aren't clear on the difference between Muslims and Sikhs.

I said:

Hell, Mormons are closer to Muslims than Sikhs are.

My point was that thinking that  "All those people in turbans are terrorists" is grossly untrue, especially as few Muslims wear turbans. That's a caricature that's wrong, and it's ignorant prejudice to think so.

I didn't pay much attention to the thread, but I got this IM a while later:

Andrew Rowley
Chat Conversation Start
7 hours ago

I am done, sick of the LDS attacks, you cant clump LDS with Muslims. Im out.

I said:

hah.
Sorry you're prejudiced.
Now, let's look at it: They both worship the same god, they both eschew drugs and booze, they both have or recently had support for polygamy.

Facts.

Sikhs do none of the above.

So, "Mormons have more in common with Muslims than Sikhs" is not an attack. It is a factually correct statement.

So fuck off.

Andrew  Rowley said:
No they don not worship the same God. period... I see you for who you are a totally bigoted politically incorrect gun nut.... you only like to start controversy and will bring any topic into the matter. No hold barred. Nothing is sacred to you. You are so misguided in you pokes at religion. I' take the f comment as your final good bye.

~~

I probably should be kind to him. If his reading skills match his writing skills, he probably has trouble grasping it.

So:  What I said was, "These religions have some aspects in common, but the other two have almost nothing in common."  Again, this is a factually correct statement.

Christians, Jews and Muslims are the Abrahamic religions, and use the same first five books—the Pentateuch.  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.  It's the same god. They see Him/it in different ways, but fundamentally, the same being.

And, gee, I guess all these people must be "totally bigoted" too:

Jesse: LDS and Islam are both Abrahamic religions. Sikhism is an independent faith established in the 15th century without any antecedents.

Based on those simple facts, Mike's statement seems pretty accurate.

Adam: Andrew Rowley: Michael is correct, both Islam and LDS are Abrahamic faiths, Sikhism is not. So there are a few commonalities between Muslims and Mormons, there is essentially none between either group and Sikhs.

Oh—Andrew deleted all his posts. He didn't actually want to discuss the matter.

Adam: Andrew: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrahamic_religions

LDS is a branch of Christianity, which itself branched off Judaism. Islam also branched of Islam. All three branches are considered Abrahamic faiths.

Please do your research before accusing people of not knowing their way around basic families of religions.

Abrahamic religions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Abrahamic religions (also Semitic religions) are the...
EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG


Nikhil: Sikhism is its own faith but broadly aligned with the Dharmic faiths (Hinduism and Buddhism). Some consider it an offshoot, most do not. The Eastern faiths (including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, and Shinto) have nothing to do with Western faiths and are built on wholly different philosophical premises.

The western faiths include Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This is true historically, doctrinally, and epistemologically. Artificial distinction between Islam and other Western faiths is intellectually dishonest and well, silly.

Art: Andrew Rowley, I, too, am LDS. Our religion stems from a covenent from God as does the Muslim faith. The Muslim God and our God are the same God. It's how we gain approval of our God that things drastically change. Judaism is similar. The difference between Jews and us is that we believe Christ's first coming started with Christ's birth. Jews don't believe Christ was the Messiah. Muslims believe that Christ was an OK dude... but he was just a prophet. He was not Allah or any relation to Allah.

Obviously, you and I both know that things go in all kinds of different directions from there.

Sikhism is based off of none of the above. It is a practice and believe that is barely even theological in nature.

Mike is absolutely 100% correct. Islam is closer to the LDS religion than it is to Sikhism.

You need to ensure you know what you are talking about before you berate others, sir. Please use this opportunity to clean the egg off and let's get away from the Strawman.

(Wait, a Mormon is also an anti-Mormon bigot?  How is that possible?  Those evil fact things!)

Rick: The Christian God is NOT the same as the Muslim god. The Christian God is a Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Muslims view that as heretical polytheism. It is just plain wrong to equate them.
8 hrs · Like · 2

Adam: Rick: The Muslims, like the Jews, only recognize the Father, not the full Trinity. Allah (and YHWH) are in fact the same God, but only a part of the same god.
8 hrs · Like · 2

Steve (a Jew): Rick, whether you open your egg from the big end or the little end, it's still an egg.
12 hrs · Like

Greg: Wrong Adam. Muhammed CLAIMS they are the same, but they certainly are not. Muhammed was a plagerist of both the Old and New Testaments.
12 hrs · Like · 2

Art: Muhammad is not their God. He is their prophet.

The religions are both based from the same initial details.
12 hrs · Edited · Like · 1

Michael Z. Williamson Reminds me of a Catholic explaining to me how the Christian Trinity* is a trinity, but the Celtic trinity is only a trinity, not a trinity.

There ARE Christian sects who don't accept a literal trinity, considering it a metaphor.

~~

So there we go. I'm sure we're all racist and this is Bush's fault.

But how can we have a proper discussion about Islam, when half the people out there don't even know what it is?

More next time.