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Author Topic: The Old-Young Conundrum
pickled shuttlecock
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingprometheus:
Something about the inevitability of intergenerational conflict makes me wonder: Why do any of us really choose to spawn? Who are we really doing it for? [Confused]

Our parents? [Big Grin]

Vhemt has some great ideas on why we do it. I urge you to thoughtfully consider their profound arguments. And make sure you think of it as "breeding" and "spawning" and so forth - that'll help you consider things objectively, apparently.

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TommySama
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"First, I'll need to find a woman I'd want to have kids WITH. "

And one who wants to have kids with you [Smile] . Marriage is a partnership/sentence, not just about you.

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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
"You gotta be carefull feedin em like that jason."

Yeah. You wanna kiss a woman with hooks in her mouth?

Naw. Especially if she's fat.
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TommySama
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"I really am thinking about putting it out my window on a fishing line. I calculated that the cream cheese alone contains over 4000 calories. Mmmmmm here women women..."

Jason: "I caught me a big one!"
Tom: "Ew, through it back."

I think you'd be better off sending down a salad

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TommySama
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Actually, now that I think about it. Anything you can you pull in on a fishing line and with your own strength will probably be fine. As long as she's within 5 years your age [Big Grin]
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IrishTD
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quote:
As long as she's within 5 years your age
That makes no real difference later on. I just celebrated my one-year anniversary...and my wife is ~6.5 years older. I just keep saying that given life expectencies, we should croak about the same time [Big Grin]

Oh, and no kids yet. Wife's unsure whether she wants 'em (but she loves kids...go figure). And I'd like to finish up my PhD first (would like to do a bit better than my stipend).

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Richard Dey
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I think the best track record in the Christian world is Mary, about 12-13, and Joseph -- about 70? But in those days, prospective parents actually got married.
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Jon Camp
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Jason -- I have a great recipe for a sweet potato cheesecake. It's gone over *very* well to everyone I've served it to. And it's that time of the year for sweet potatoes anyway, so. . . if you want the recipe let me know.

And back on topic --

I was married at 23 to a 20 year old. It was my 1st marriage and her 2nd. We had our 1st child 11 months later, a 2nd 22 months after that, and a 3rd 22 months after that.

We separated when I was 30 and the divorce was final when I was 32. I'm 33 now. I've dated a bit here and there since then. Anywhere from no kids to 5 kids, and ages ranging from 28 to 36.

My experiences have been that I'm VERY leery of looking at anyone under 30 anymore. Especially if they married at 22 or younger. It seems like they feel they missed out on something and are trying to re-create their high school dating experience. Very annoying and immature.

I've also found that I prefer to date women who have children as they seem more willing to accept things as they are instead of having some idealized vision of how things are supposed to be. The ones in my age range who are "single never-married" seem to have filled their lives with so much "stuff" that they're hard to get a hold of anyway. And I think I'm important enough to be a priority, not something they squeeze in between everything else they do.

And just so ya know. . I don't go with that whole "half your age + 7" formula. 24 is younger than I'd care to look.

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OpsanusTau
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I recently had a pretty interesting conversation about that whole thing.

(Okay, I've had LOTS of those conversations recently, since I moved out to the island to which apparently the entire Pacific Northwest swims upstream to spawn. My goodness, there are SO MANY beautiful pregnant hippie girls around here...you would not believe.)

But the one I was thinking of was at a bar with two boys, both of them in their late twenties. One of them has wanted, for as long as I've known him, to start having kids, and is just still looking for Girl X. The other one couldn't imagine wanting kids without already having the girl he wanted to have them with, and the other two of us spent quite a while trying to explain a really pretty physical desire to have children that doesn't involve another person at all. Then we gave up.

Anyway, more pertinent to Drake's original question - I have one friend out here who's in her thirties, is a recently-married professional woman, and says that it's pretty stressful being surrounded by the aformentioned spawning Northwestern women, all of whom apparently talk about being "ahead" of each other in terms of the Ultimate Fulfilment of their Womenhood (which is apparently having as many babies as possible - bollocks).

Donate sperm, man. Get into one of those elite sperm banks. It is essentially utilizing the well-tuned evolutionary strategy of the cuckoo, PLUS you get paid.
(this is the rational behind my current consideration of egg donation - pass along DNA without actually having to do any of the work! and get paid!)

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Gaoics79
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I don't want to reproduce for the sake of reproducing. I want to have children that can actually be raised by me... not some lady who bought my sperm from a catalogue...
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The Drake
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Hmmm, catalog, direct marketing - that gives me an idea!

I actually looked at selling my swimmers once, but they want a big commitment for something like six months worth of deposits.

If I wanted a six month commitment of fluid donation, I'd find a committed relationship.

Favorite movie quote vaguely related to the subject at hand:

"The doctor explained that her insides were a rocky place, where my seed could find no purchase." - HI, Raising Arizona

[ October 25, 2006, 02:41 AM: Message edited by: The Drake ]

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seekingprometheus
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quote:
Donate sperm, man. Get into one of those elite sperm banks. It is essentially utilizing the well-tuned evolutionary strategy of the cuckoo, PLUS you get paid.
Yeah, but I think that the idea of reproduction is as much about memes as it is about genes.

Besides, I think the whole idea of "empire-building" (whether it be genetic or ideological) is a rather distant secondary consideration--having kids is about creating intense, meaningful relationships (You know, living a life surrounded by people you truly love--or hate [Wink] )

[ October 25, 2006, 02:53 AM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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seekingprometheus
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The difference is between acting to define oneself as an "organism" and acting to define oneself as a "human being" (whatever that means).
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0Megabyte
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Pickled-

Ahh, VHEMT.

An organization that I've found is two steps away from super-villiany.

I've read their website, and... they have some interesting thoughts on why we have children, but their bias should be remembered.

They ARE the Voluntary Human EXTINCTION Movement, afterall!

Anything they can say to help keep people from having babies...

I mean, my God! One section of the site seemed to be some sort of psychotic wish fulfillment. "If you had the chance to essentially trigger the plot of the movie/book Children of Men, would you press the button to do it?"

And then going on in joy at the prospect of eliminating humanity... it was creepy.

"Really, as VHEMT Volunteers know, it's the wrong species "having children". Regardless of our superficial differences, we are all Homo sapiens. As long as extinctions of wildlife continue at an outrageous pace, the intentional creation of another one of us can't be justified."

This sort of blatant specism is disgusting. ( [Big Grin] ) I guess the proper way to solve the extinction of wildlife, if you consider them all equal, is to eliminate another! How very smart! Sounds more like a form of hatred of humans specifically to me.

"Although most conceptions are unintended, a desire to conform to what society considers normal is probably the number one cause of wanted pregnancies. Many who continue to breed have never considered doing otherwise."

Great. Talk down on people, I applaud you for pointing out how much disdain you have for humanity. Actualyl, these people really DO hate people, it seems. Even though they protest they do not. (they doth protest too much, it seems.)

Most wanted pregnencies caused by a desire to conformity...? Ooookay. Right.

Okay, it's late, I won't go on matching disdain with disdain.

But still, these people aren't exactly the most unbiased source. Certianly one who wishes humanity to die out would denigrate any reason to have kids.

Talking about the death of 40,000 children every day as rhetoric to try to convince you not to have kids. (when that whole malnourishment thing comes from reasons other than overpopulation.)

They talk about the damage caused by our "excessive reproduction" but their bias shows through, as they made it clear they feel any reporduction is too much.

Anyway, if anyone looks at their arguements about babies, look at their other pages, talking gleefully about the death of humanity. It illuminates their bias.

They do have a few okay points, yes, however such points are overshadowed by a vicious agenda and an evil hatred of life. (that is, ours.)

Anyway, their flaw seems to be in considering us as something specially different (a form of arrogance!) and thus something that, for the sake of all life, needs to be destroyed. The world has dealt with much worse without us playing with it, and will again after we are gone.

But perhaps I'm just being selfish. After all, I find the survival of humanity, my species, as more important than that of others. And I find the idea of sentience as being a bit more important, too.

I'll be having kids. And for reasons these hateful people cannot seem to understand: love. I love them, the future children of mine, and they deserve to live, deserve to be part of the world.

They don't understand, as they don't love humans. They hate us, and hint at it all throughout their website. They hold their love for other creatures, ones who they haven't seen destroying regions. If they were consistent, they'd hate locusts, too, for the damage they cause. In an area without predators, an overabundance of rabbits would cause great damage. Why not eliminate all the rabbits, for the good of the other species?

The things that make us destructive are not unique to us, they are merely greater because our potential is greater.

An entity that looks at the universe, at itself, and say "I am!" and "what am I?" These beings are valid, and their continued existence is valid. If such a being, even being flawed, does not deserve to continue, then nothing deserves to continue.

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Ben
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My experience as a Utah/California resident was a bit interesting, since I was in contact and going back and forth between Utah and California. Basically, was behind the curve in Utah and ahead of the curve in CA especially compared with my peers in college, when I got hitched at 24, though I hadn't expected to get married till after I graduated. But I was always an odd one out wherever, so I just got used to it and enjoyed it.
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LinuxFreakus
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I think the important thing is to make sure you find someone that you are sure you'll be happy with. The rest will follow. You do have to actively search or else the probability of meeting the right person goes way down, but I'm sure that goes without saying.

I am now 27, I got married at 24 and currently have one daughter, with another due in december.

I feel like I am ahead of the curve, but I'm not sure if that is really true, my feeling could be more closely related to the group of people I know, and the fact that I'm basically the only one who is married or has kids.

[ October 25, 2006, 05:46 PM: Message edited by: LinuxFreakus ]

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Yeah, but I think that the idea of reproduction is as much about memes as it is about genes.
Tell that to the cuckold.

(Or, I guess, I can grant you that the idea of reproduction is whatever you say it is - the reality of reproduction, though, is whose genes are better-represented in the following generation.)

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seekingprometheus
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quote:
quote:
Yeah, but I think that the idea of reproduction is as much about memes as it is about genes.
Tell that to the cuckold.

(Or, I guess, I can grant you that the idea of reproduction is whatever you say it is - the reality of reproduction, though, is whose genes are better-represented in the following generation.)

Not to minimize the reproductive malfeasance suffered by the cuckold--but my point is that you are taking a very narrow view of the function of reproduction, particularly once you realize that the "reality" of the term reproduction is that it is a symbol mediating what an idea means to human beings.
Now if, to you, the meaning of reproduction refers specifically to the reintegration of particular molecular sequences into new, diluted patterns within other complex protein chains, and the term conveys no further meaning--then yes, you have successfully nutshelled your reality [Wink] .

But if this is the case, then you had probably better think about replacing the word "whose" with the word "which" when talking about the genes making their way across the generations--'cause I don't think this idea is broad enough to encompass a whole "who."

So, again--I think that for most people, reproducing memes is as important as (if not more so than) reproducing genes.

Oh, and not to forget the cuckold: while the cuckold may be justifiably upset that he has invested energy in reproducing memes within a bastard--surely you can see that he is only upset insofar as memes are germane to the "reality" of his idea of reproduction. In other words, if you take memes off of the table, then the cuckold is not relevant to the discussion at all except as yet another example of a failure at transgenerational genetic representation. The cuckold doesn't need to be told that memes matter, he already knows this.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"a) Yeah, but I think that the idea of reproduction is as much about memes as it is about genes.

b) Tell that to the cuckold.

(Or, I guess, I can grant you that the idea of reproduction is whatever you say it is - the reality of reproduction, though, is whose genes are better-represented in the following generation."

Well, you know, for all that the brain appears to have certain pre-programmed functions genetically installed, icluding things like Chomsky's famous 'language instinct', I think we can agree that ideas are memeically, not genetically, transferred?

This is not to deny that some of the best ideas I've ever had involved getting nekkid with a randy woman [Wink]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"But if this is the case, then you had probably better think about replacing the word "whose" with the word "which" when talking about the genes making their way across the generations--'cause I don't think this idea is broad enough to encompass a whole "who."

Whose which is whose? This used to be answered with a genetically programmed scratch'n'sniff by the mama, or so a few decades of PBS Nature series have taught me.

But we humans can be easily fooled. A string of errors in the hospital nursery and Lola gets Olga's papoose.

"Tell that to the cuckold."

I keep hearing this as a one-liner, something like 'talk to the hand/talk to the gland' or some such. But I haven't had enough coffee yet. Indeed, the whole town hasn't. The sky is pearl grey blue -- 'wan', as the likes of Coleridge would say -- although the fellas working the demolition across the street of the building that was the grocery/hrdware/general store on these parts circa 1910 through 1950 -- seem wide awake and have been so since 6 AM.

[ October 26, 2006, 10:35 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"The cuckold doesn't need to be told that memes matter, he already knows this."

Apparently, the cuckold objects to inculcating his memes in someone's youyous?

(I recall an '80s 'alternative' cartoon showing a stylized mama monster yowling at a brood of miniature monsters who yowled back in imitation. It was titled 'Teaching the Meemies to Scream'.)

Are lizards born knowing how to leap or must their parents teach them?

[ October 26, 2006, 10:40 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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Colin JM0397
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quote:
Get into one of those elite sperm banks. It is essentially utilizing the well-tuned evolutionary strategy of the cuckoo, PLUS you get paid
Man, the thought of how many dollars I've washed down the shower drain... [Eek!]
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Colin JM0397
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Funny thing on the age thing... I'm 34, wife 31 and we don't have any. We've had some issues to work through and are now about to start thinking about when will be a good time...

Anyway, I was visiting my family in Ohio a few weeks ago and went to my nephew's soccer game with my brother. My Bro's 38, his son is 8. I was kinda taken aback by the age of all the parents. Most the dads with salt & pepper hair - obviously most of them hovering around 40 if not a bit older. The women about the same age. I was sitting there thinking, "man, look at all these old farts with young kids, this is an interesting trend..."

Of course, it was quite a humbling realization when I did the math for how old I'll be when my first kid is 8... If we start right now, I'll be 43 AHHHHHHH! [Exploding]

Oh well, at least I stay in good shape so I won't look 43 [Wink]

[ October 26, 2006, 10:45 AM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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seekingprometheus
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After a second reading, I realized that one might argue that the cuckold is upset because he has invested in protecting the survival of alien (unimportant) genes. Though I suppose this may be debatable, it doesn't alter the fact that the cuckold's failure to find compensatory satisfaction in reproducing memes in a bastard doesn't logically contradict the premise that memes are as important as genes in reproduction--it just follows that for some individuals, satisfactory "reproduction" may require both themes in conjunction.
(I'd actually be happy to agree with such a conclusion--I personally would be unhappy if I didn't get to raise my own offspring, and I wouldn't be entirely happy if I couldn't have my own offspring to raise).

Offspring--hmm--I think that'll be a good nickname for my first kid. [Exploding]

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seekingprometheus
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As in: "Offspring! Go get me another beer!" bellowed from my recumbent Lazyboy.

I already intend to end everything I say with "...or you'll get a smack. [Mad] "

[Big Grin]

[ October 26, 2006, 11:04 AM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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seekingprometheus
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"memeically"

Is that a real word? Merriam Webster online says no...but then again, Merriam has a fairly limited vocabulary for a dictionary. I want to know what the real adjective form of meme is. (Merriam says no to "mimetic" too--which is what I thought, since I know it comes from mimesis). Anybody got a lexically confirmed answer?

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KnightEnder
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Offspring is a great band. I love that song "Pretty Fly for a White Guy!"

Cuckholds. If someone told me my second son wasn't really mine (my first is like a clone, so no chance) I wouldn't care at all. Not that there's much chance of that since I kept Stacy chained in the basement during those years.

Actually, come to think of it; this other guys kid I'm raising, is a nicer sweeter more loveable son than the one I know is mine.

KE

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Colin JM0397
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I've heard the 10% factor thrown around - as in 10% of kids are not the biological offspring of their "father".

Although, I've no idea how that one could ever been proven.

I can see Ken cold calling that survey question "Excuse me, ma'am, did you schtoop some other dude and get knocked up and then never tell your husband he was shooting blanks?"

Yea, you'll get some honest replies on that one!

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KnightEnder
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I think it evens out. My last girlfriend before Stacy was short with dark hair and hazel eyes and frail features, her husband is 5'4" non-athletic hippie with beyond frail features and brown hair and eyes. She married him almost immediately after I broke up with her to be with Stacy. (My mom still loves her.)


Her son (my ex) is a blond hair blue eyed athletic phenom (soccer) who at 14 was almost 5'10" and was already getting scholarship offers. She made a point of finding me and introducing us. Though she never said he was mine. I don't know how I would react if she had. She was a great girl whom I really cared for, but I just didn't love her like I loved Stacy, and she never even hinted she might be pregnant. I fear how Stacy would have acted. Even though he is a year older than Little John.

The boy in question is 18 now and has scholarship offers to a number of schools for his soccer ability. I know he can't be mine because no son of mine would ever play soccer.

PS, say hypothetically someday she does tell him he's mine, how the hell do I handle that? I may be a bad person but I don't think I would love him like I love my two sons John and Jake (even if in the hypothetical Jake wasn't really mine, which really isn't possible. The only guy I ever worried about was 6'3 dark black wavy hair, brown eyes, lanky, with movie star looks (he worshipped Stacy, but feared me) but Jake is very blond and blue eyed)

KE

[ October 26, 2006, 11:55 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Colin JM0397
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...Then I wonder why she sleeps with my frineds, ...I'm just a sucker with no self esteem.

Yea, Offspring rocks!

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kenmeer livermaile
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"After a second reading, I realized that one might argue that the cuckold is upset because he has invested in protecting the survival of alien (unimportant) genes."

But genetics, while very real, are a reality we've intuited and discovered via abstract thought. We ren't all of us fixated on the idea of OUR genes carrying on. For example, my genes carry HHT. I'm sad that my children have inhrited this rare but nasty condition, althugh I'm glad they've got my trim lines and full thick hair.

I'm not without some pride in my genetic ancestry, but I know that pride is mostly accident of position. I'm sure if I was of Mandingo ancestry I'd be proud of THOSE genes.

Eigenics is becoming increasigly viable. This will cause us to be less proud and possessive of OUR genes, and more desirous and acquisitive of top-flight Brand A-+ designer genes.

Cuckoldry will become something similar to buying a bad used car from a sleazy salesman rather than some other fella schlepping her behind our back. ('behind the back' is a memetic Kama Sutrra position, yes?)

In short, we don't think, reporoductively, with our genes, any more, give or take, than we think reproductively with our memes.

John Smith wants his boy to be what John Smith wanted to be or believes he is, factored in somewhat with what JS wants his wife to be or believes she is, depending on JS's view of himself and his wife.

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kenmeer livermaile
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" a) "memeically"

b) Is that a real word? Merriam Webster online says no...but then again, Merriam has a fairly limited vocabulary for a dictionary. I want to know what the real adjective form of meme is. (Merriam says no to "mimetic" too--which is what I thought, since I know it comes from mimesis). Anybody got a lexically confirmed answer?"

Actualy, it's just a real typo. Merriam-Web can go suck rocks: memetically it is. Just ask the word's coiner, R. Dawkins.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I can see Ken cold calling that survey question "Excuse me, ma'am, did you schtoop some other dude and get knocked up and then never tell your husband he was shooting blanks?

Yea, you'll get some honest replies on that one!"

I'll take that challenge. I have a gift...

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Jesse
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Robin Baker popularized the 10% figure, after reviewing 16 different paternity studies. It's hard to go by cases where a test is requested, but a German firm that sells testing kits reports that 20-25% of their clients find out mommy is lying.

Of course, that's a population of folks with a reason to doubt that mommy is pointing the finger at the right guy.


Forget the quizzes, it's in the Genes.

Time Europe

Canadian Childrens Rights Council

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Funean
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seekingprometheus:

I routinely refer to my children as "spawn," as in "Spawn, it's time for bed!" and "Spawn, attend me!!"

They grow used to it.

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seekingprometheus
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"Spawn." Hmm. That's good too...

Do you remember to always punctuate your tender words with the threat of physical violence? That's the kicker, you know.

Nothing says "I love you" quite as well as the back of a hand [Big Grin] .

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Jesse
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I had a History teacher Freshman year who refered to us all as "creatures" when adressing the whole class.

Also, when calling on someone, she would just point and say "Creature...yes you...the creature I am pointing at..."

We all loved her [Smile]

[ October 26, 2006, 07:30 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
I keep hearing this as a one-liner, something like 'talk to the hand/talk to the gland' or some such.
Aw, Oz - you still can hear my voice over the internet!
Yeah, it was meant as such; and in fact failed to make much of the sense I meant.

The cuckold himself is completely unimportant to the discussion; it might have been a little bit more apt had I said something about the cuckald (is TOO a word!).
But not very.

What I meant and really entirely failed to convey was more that when the cuckoo lays her eggs in another bird's nest (let us say a sparrow, for argument's sake), the cucklet (NOT a word, I made that one up) does not in fact turn memetically (or whatever) into a sparrow.
Which is to say that yes, you sure do get to pass along your memes or whatever to all the little things that end up in your nest - I've passed along some stuff to a whole bunch of little kids - but that's a process we could perhaps call cultivation, if we chose not to opt for the plain-and-simple education (related to the receptive part of that process, the reception of memes, which we would call acculturation). Reproduction is a biological (or at least physical) process, and though a discussion of the ins and outs of getting to pass on your cultural bits is totally interesting, I just can't that "reproduction is as much about passing on ideas as it is about passing on alleles" - it requires too much muddying of meaning for ME.

Aside to Jesse - I really like the word creature, mostly in the etymological sense. Thing which has been created, you know. It makes me feel snuggly.

And re: spawn - nobody here seems to take it as an insult. That's maybe because we live in a place where people love the salmon, both as creatures and as food. So the association made is not with a crappy horror movie, but with this incredible and beautiful life history of an amazing creature, one that has an amazing ability to find the exactly right tiny freshwater stream, after a lifetime of oceandwelling, to spawn (salmon will/can only spawn in the exact place where they hatched, and never visit the place in between).

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Funean
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quote:
salmon will/can only spawn in the exact place where they hatched, and never visit the place in between
Freudian little suckers, aren't they?

<butts head into Ops' shoulder, as a cat might>

HI!

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I just can't that "reproduction is as much about passing on ideas as it is about passing on alleles" - it requires too much muddying of meaning for ME."

Agreed. We have yet in our culture to codifyingly explain (is TOO a phrase!) the process whereby memes re passed from mind to mind, and how 'RE'-productive this process is.

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