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Un homme et une femme, 1891, Stephan Sinding (1846-1922). Almost as fun as sex.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Un homme et une femme, 1891, Stephan Sinding (1846-1922). Almost as fun as sex. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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All humans love to kiss, so kissing must go back to early hominids and even chimps and bonobos. This is how ethologists and evolutionary psychologists think when they write about the subject.

Just one thing. Even in historic times not all humans loved to kiss. Far from arising millions of years in the past, kissing seems to have arisen no earlier than 40,000 years ago, when modern humans began to enter northern Eurasia.

So concludes a recent cross-cultural study:

We found only 77 out of 168 (46%) cultures in which the romantic-sexual kiss was present. Significantly, no ethnographer working with Sub-Saharan African, New Guinea, or Amazonian foragers or horticulturalists reported having witnessed any occasion in which their study populations engaged in a romantic-sexual kiss. However, kissing appears to be nearly ubiquitous among 9 of the 11 foragers living in Circum-Arctic region (i.e., northern Asia and North America). The concentration of kissing among Circum-Arctic foragers, for which we do not have a satisfactory explanation other than invoking cultural diffusion, stands in stark contrast to its equally striking absence among foragers in other cultural regions.(Jankowiak et al., 2015)

This is not the first study to deny the universality of kissing, although scholars have tended to place its origin in the civilizations of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and South Asia (Hawley, 2007; Hopkins, 1907). The English sexologist Havelock Ellis argued that kissing began with “civilized man”:

It is only under a comparatively high stage of civilization that the kiss has been emphasized and developed in the art of love. Thus the Arabic author of the Perfumed Garden, a work revealing the existence of a high degree of social refinement, insists on the great importance of the kiss, especially if applied to the inner part of the mouth, and he quotes a proverb that “A moist kiss is better than a hasty coitus.” Such kisses, as well as on the face generally, and all over the body, are frequently referred to by Hindu, Latin, and more modern erotic writers as among the most efficacious methods of arousing love. (Ellis,1897-1928)

It may be that kissing originated in prehistory among the hunter-gatherers of northern Eurasia and then spread south, where it reached its full flowering in a milieu that idealized it in prose, poetry, and painting. A kind of positive feedback thus developed between the practice and the ideal.

Then, at a later date, it became less common in northern Europe because of the moral climate that followed the Reformation, having been previously very common. When the Greek scholar Demetrios Chalkokondyles (1423-1511) visited England, he was surprised by its ubiquity:

As for English females and children, their customs are liberal in the extreme. For instance, when a visitor calls at a friend’s house, his first act is to kiss his friend’s wife; he is then a duly-installed guest. Persons meeting in the street follow the same custom, and no one sees anything improper in the action. (Bombaugh, 1876, p. 33)

Another Greek traveler likewise remarked a century later:

The English manifest much simplicity and lack of jealousy in their customs as regards females; for not only do members of the same family and household kiss them on the lips with complimentary salutations and enfolding of the arms around the waist, but even strangers, when introduced, follow the same mode, and it is one which does not appear to them in any degree unbecoming.(Bombaugh, 1876, p. 33)

Similar comments were made by Erasmus (1467-1536):

If you go to any place, you are received with a kiss by all; if you depart on a journey, you are dismissed with a kiss; if you return, the kisses are exchanged. Do they come to visit you, a kiss is the first thing; do they leave you, you kiss them all around. Do they meet you anywhere, kisses in abundance. In short, wherever you turn, there is nothing but kisses. Ah, Faustus, if you had once tasted the tenderness, the fragrance of these kisses, you would wish to stay in England, not for ten years only, but for life. (Bombaugh, 1876, p. 34)

Kissing then fell into decline among the English; so much so, that frequent public displays became seen as a continental thing. Nonetheless, it remained much more common than in other parts of the world, particularly East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. This difference amused travelers as late as the 19th century:

An American naval officer, who had spent considerable time in China, narrates an amusing experience of the ignorance of the Chinese maidens of the custom of kissing. Wishing to complete a conquest he had made of a young mei jin (beautiful lady), he invited her—using the English words—to give him a kiss. Finding her incomprehension of his request somewhat obscure, he suited the action to the word and took a delicious kiss. The girl ran away into another room, thoroughly alarmed, exclaiming, “Terrible man-eater, I shall be devoured.” (Bombaugh, 1876, p. 80)

For the same time period, Havelock Ellis noted: “Kisses, and embraces are simply unknown in Japan as tokens of affection” with the exception of mothers hugging and kissing their infants. Similarly, “among nearly all of the black races of Africa lovers never kiss nor do mothers usually kiss their babies.” He then went on to argue that the romantic kiss evolved out of this maternal kissing, which seems more or less universal.

With the globalization of culture through movies, magazines, and other media, kissing has been spread to the four corners of the earth. Clearly, we can all do it and enjoy doing it to some extent. But I don’t think we all share the same urge to do it.

Gene-culture coevolution?

Don’t laugh. Even religiosity is partly genetic, so why not the desire to kiss and be kissed? What little we know about the subject comes from studies of compulsive kissing syndrome, where a lesion to the right temporal lobe (associated with epilepsy or glioma) causes an uncontrollable urge to kiss anyone independently of sexual interest (Mendez and Shapira, 2014; Mikata et al., 2005; Ozkara et al., 2004). This compulsion differs from other disorders where increased kissing results from loss of sexual inhibition and is targeted at sexually desirable individuals. The brain may thus have a pre-formed circuit that triggers the desire to kiss. In short, kissing is not solely learned. It has an innate component.

At first, this innate component would have been the same in all humans, back when kissing mainly happened between a mother and her infants. It then became more sexual and more important among the hunter-gatherers of northern Eurasia. Later still, in Europe and the Middle East, it developed into a second channel of sexual arousal almost on a par with the sex act itself.

As Havelock Ellis observed:

[...] there is certainly no such channel for directing nervous force into the sexual sphere as the kiss. This is nowhere so well recognized as in France, where a young girl’s lips are religiously kept for her lover, to such an extent, indeed, that young girls sometimes come to believe that the whole physical side of love is comprehended in a kiss on the mouth; so highly intelligent a woman as Madam Adam has described the agony she felt as a girl when kissed on the lips by a man, owing to the conviction that she had thereby lost her virtue.

Sexual kissing initially arose through people pushing the envelope of phenotypic plasticity. This envelope in turn became part of the environment that people had to fit into. Those who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, were at a disadvantage and were bit by bit pushed out of the gene pool. Those who could, and would, took their place. New genetic variants thus arose and flourished, some to strengthen the new behavior and others to make it more pleasurable.

In this, and in many other ways, Man has created Man. We humans have shaped our environment, which in turn has shaped us, even in our genes. This point becomes clear only if one abandons the assumption, so dear to evolutionary psychology, that we stopped evolving back in the Pleistocene. We didn’t. In fact, most of the interesting stuff has come about since then.

References

Bombaugh, C.C. (1876). The Literature of Kissing, gleaned from history, poetry, fiction, and anecdote, Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.
https://books.google.ca/books?id=p9lPAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=fr&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Ellis, H. (1897-1928). Studies in the Psychology of Sex, vol. IV, Appendix A. The origins of the kiss.
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/13613/13613-h/13613-h.htm

Hawley, R. (2007). ‘Give me a thousand kisses’: the kiss, identity, and power in Greek and Roman antiquity, Leeds International Classical Studies, 6.5
http://pdf.thepdfportal.net/?id=123399

Hopkins, E.W. (1907). The sniff-kiss in ancient India, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 28, 120-134.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/592764?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Jankowiak, W.R., S.L. Volsche, J.R. Garcia. (2015). Is the Romantic-Sexual Kiss a Near Human Universal? American Anthropologist, early view
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1111/aman.12286/abstract

Mendez, M.F. and J.S. Shapira. (2014). Kissing or “Osculation” in Frontotemporal Dementia, The Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, 26, 258-261.
http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.neuropsych.13060139

Mikati, M.A., Y.G. Comair, A.N. Shamseddine. (2005). Pattern-induced partial seizures with repetitive affectionate kissing: an unusual manifestation of right temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 6, 447-451
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1525505005000144

Ozkara, C., H. Sarý, L. Hanoglu, et al. (2004). Ictal kissing and religious speech in a patient with right temporal lobe epilepsy,Epileptic Disorders, 6, 241-245
http://www.jle.com/fr/revues/epd/e-docs/ictal_kissing_and_religious_speech_in_a_patient_with_right_temporal_lobe_epilepsy__265692/article.phtml?tab=download&pj_key=doc_alt_2458

(Republished from Evo and Proud by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    What about French kissing? It was called French kissing because that kind of kissing with extensive tongue use was considered relatively rare and scandalous in the Anglophone world. Now of course it is pretty standard behavior.

    The same would apply also to oral sex, which like French kissing used to be considered rare and scandalous behavior. Oral sex was also even included under sodomy, and technically still is, but “sodomy” no longer really connotes oral sex like it used to. And like French kissing, oral sex is now routine behavior and considered normal.

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  2. anon says: • Disclaimer

    Do the San kiss?

    If there’s potentially a northern forager connection could it be:

    harsh conditions -> pair bonding -> kissing?

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  3. Sean says:

    http://www.livescience.com/3328-saliva-secret-ingredient-kisses.html

    The geographical variation in post seems to argue against the men trying to get women sexually aroused by transferring salivary testosterone ect hypothesis, because if that was the case one would expect sub Saharan Africa to be where kissing is historically most prevalent. I wonder if kissing could be transferring something from women to men, something that encourages monogamy.

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  4. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says:

    Americans sure love to kiss, especially the derriere of a certain tribe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jtgw
    You're like a broken record.
    , @jack shindo
    L'chayim (לְחַיִּים
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  5. jtgw says:
    @Priss Factor
    Americans sure love to kiss, especially the derriere of a certain tribe.

    You’re like a broken record.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    What else to do with the truth, but to keep repeating it, so that more people, just might see the light.
    , @Anon
    "You’re like a broken record."

    No more than MSM.
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  6. Sunbeam says:

    Eh…

    You seem like you are pushing on a string with this one. I don’t find your argument compelling at all.

    What about buttocks slapping? People evolved for that? Or buttocks pinching? Did Italians that kept their fingers to themselves get squeezed out of the gene pool?

    It doesn’t end there of course. Different cultures take different attitudes towards …. flatulence. There some genetic reason for that?

    I think there is a lesson that you might want to meditate upon:

    Sometimes shit just happens.

    For no rhyme or reason, it just happens. You might ask why this thing instead of that, or why behavior that was so common one day, is just uncommon in a generation.

    Some times there isn’t a reason for it. Or more exactly, there is always a reason, but the answer is above your pay grade.

    Meaning you would have to be omniscient to discern it.

    I guess one of the tricks of genius is to know when something has a discernible answer. Or maybe by a sheer random walk kind of thing, inevitably a crackpot turns out to have randomly picked something to be a crackpot about that turns out to be true.

    Then we call them a brave genius, full of moral courage, swimming against the tide. But before this was recognized, you would have had a hard time telling them apart from any other crackpot.

    Just trying to point out, that there is a heck of a lot attributable to sheer randomness than is common to believe on this site.

    And remember: there were a number of items produced over the centuries that could conceivably have been the start of steam power. But nothing was done about it for a long time.

    But as someone said, “When it’s steam engine time, it’s steam engine time.”

    Or let me guess, it took some kind of genetic selection to produce, almost by accident, a population receptive to taking the steam engine and running with it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    You seem like you are pushing on a string with this one. I don’t find your argument compelling at all.
     
    Welcome to Anthropology.....
    , @Threecranes
    "But as someone said, “When it’s steam engine time, it’s steam engine time.”

    Or let me guess, it took some kind of genetic selection to produce, almost by accident, a population receptive to taking the steam engine and running with it."

    In spite of what you or they say, the steam engine could not have been manufactured any earlier than it was because the ancient world i.e. the world up to and including the American Revolution, did not have the means to tool metal and make the precision parts.

    Take a walk through the Deutsche Museum in Munich, museum of science and industry in England and look at the actual early clocks and pumps that were the precursor of the steam engine. They are huge and crude, made of brittle cast iron that could not handle the stresses that later steels could. Hand sawn and filed gear teeth etc. Windmills et al of the time used wooden gears.

    It cannot be overemphasized that developments in precision machine metalworking, improvements in metal alloying etc. have done more to change the world than any other invention. If this notion is puzzling to you, then you have a lot of interesting research ahead of you and a fun book to start with is "The Arms of Krupp" by Manchester.

    Every product in today's market economies--including your beloved computer, the electric motor, the nuclear reactor--is ultimately dependent upon precision machine metalworking for its manufacture.

    What was the essential difference between the old ways of manufacture and the modern? The old world cut things irregularly while the modern feeds either the cutting tool into the workpiece or vice versa at a regular, controlled rate. That's what it boils down to. This allows the creation of nearly perfect cylinders, plane surfaces and so on.

    If you think that this is just a trivial problem then I defy you to go out into your workshop and, using just simple woodworking hand tools, create a truly flat and consistent plane surface. Just a simple geometric plane, the foundation of all that hated geometry in high school. No cheating by using a hand plane to do it--someone else already did the hard work for you by making the bottom of the plane a plane.

    It is exceedingly difficult.

    Now that you have tried that with wood, try it with steel using only tools available to a 16th century artisan, Hero of Alexander or Archimedes.

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  7. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Sunbeam
    Eh...

    You seem like you are pushing on a string with this one. I don't find your argument compelling at all.

    What about buttocks slapping? People evolved for that? Or buttocks pinching? Did Italians that kept their fingers to themselves get squeezed out of the gene pool?

    It doesn't end there of course. Different cultures take different attitudes towards .... flatulence. There some genetic reason for that?

    I think there is a lesson that you might want to meditate upon:

    Sometimes shit just happens.

    For no rhyme or reason, it just happens. You might ask why this thing instead of that, or why behavior that was so common one day, is just uncommon in a generation.

    Some times there isn't a reason for it. Or more exactly, there is always a reason, but the answer is above your pay grade.

    Meaning you would have to be omniscient to discern it.

    I guess one of the tricks of genius is to know when something has a discernible answer. Or maybe by a sheer random walk kind of thing, inevitably a crackpot turns out to have randomly picked something to be a crackpot about that turns out to be true.

    Then we call them a brave genius, full of moral courage, swimming against the tide. But before this was recognized, you would have had a hard time telling them apart from any other crackpot.

    Just trying to point out, that there is a heck of a lot attributable to sheer randomness than is common to believe on this site.

    And remember: there were a number of items produced over the centuries that could conceivably have been the start of steam power. But nothing was done about it for a long time.

    But as someone said, "When it's steam engine time, it's steam engine time."

    Or let me guess, it took some kind of genetic selection to produce, almost by accident, a population receptive to taking the steam engine and running with it.

    You seem like you are pushing on a string with this one. I don’t find your argument compelling at all.

    Welcome to Anthropology…..

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  8. Peter. Fascinating and/but provoking some questions.

    1. Am I right in supposing that the erotic force of open mouth tongue kissing has to do with neural arrangements that don’t apply to the kiss on the cheek or even the quick touch of the lips. If so, it is not difficult to imagine how such genetically programmed arrangements could have evolved, but… did they not evolve also in sub-Saharan Africa?

    2. Do such neural arrangements in the mouth make it pleasurable for some people, male and female, to take a firm penis in the mouth? That seems a more likely explanation of modern adolescent female behaviour than just the desire to please a male.

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  9. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    It’s on record that Monica Lewinsky tossed Bill Clinton’s salad in the Oval Office:

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/bill-clinton/lewinsky-tossed-salad-657901

    It’s not clear whether Lewinsky initiated or Clinton requested the salad tossing. Lewinsky is of Jewish descent, and Clinton is of English and Scottish descent. Do you suppose salad tossing evolved among either the Jews or the English or Scots and hence that there was a genetic reason for this instance between Lewinsky and Clinton?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Subversive
    No, it was invented by the Tossed Salad man and publicized by Chris Rock.



    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Tossed+Salad+Man


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VpysXIgHjw
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  10. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    That does not mean he is not right.

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  11. @Anonymous
    It's on record that Monica Lewinsky tossed Bill Clinton's salad in the Oval Office:

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/bill-clinton/lewinsky-tossed-salad-657901

    It's not clear whether Lewinsky initiated or Clinton requested the salad tossing. Lewinsky is of Jewish descent, and Clinton is of English and Scottish descent. Do you suppose salad tossing evolved among either the Jews or the English or Scots and hence that there was a genetic reason for this instance between Lewinsky and Clinton?

    No, it was invented by the Tossed Salad man and publicized by Chris Rock.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Tossed+Salad+Man

    Read More
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  12. AshTon says:

    When and why did the English kiss decline?

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    • Replies: @anon
    From the quotes it sounds like it wasn't originally considered sexual. That may have something to do with it.
    , @PandaAtWar

    When and why did the English kiss decline?
     
    Perhaps because the English started to get more civilised at a time?
    , @PandaAtWar
    --- Peter Frost

    The English sexologist Havelock Ellis argued that kissing began with “civilized man”:

    It is only under a comparatively high stage of civilization that the kiss has been emphasized and developed in the art of love. Thus the Arabic author of the Perfumed Garden, a work revealing the existence of a high degree of social refinement, insists on the great importance of the kiss, especially if applied to the inner part of the mouth, and he quotes a proverb that “A moist kiss is better than a hasty coitus.” Such kisses, as well as on the face generally, and all over the body, are frequently referred to by Hindu, Latin, and more modern erotic writers as among the most efficacious methods of arousing love. (Ellis,1897-1928)
     

    ROFL. Havelock Ellis was thinking with his toes.

    Helped by a larger amount of saliva filled with a healthy doze of bacteria, moist kisses of civilisaed man such as apes, monkeys, dogs, cats, donkies, etc are arguablely more love arousing than what Havelock Ellis would have craved for. And those moist arousing kisses usually start from the top and end with the bottom...LMAO

    The most civilised men of Havelock Ellis today would have been taken to the police in 2 minutes. Lol

    Smaller tightly-held human tribes kiss more amongst themsevels, due to feeling relatively safe when using kiss as a kind of confirmation of affiliation.

    More civilised human tribes and larger human tribes kiss less amongst themselves. The former is due to more sophisticated manners involving direct and indirect methods of showing love and affection are developed rather than confining to pure animal instinct of going physical. The latter is due to clearer and deeper stratification of societies, classes and subcultures.

    , @Anonymous
    Protestantism.
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  13. Harry says:

    Sounds like neoteny could be involved somewhere along the line.

    Read More
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  14. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @AshTon
    When and why did the English kiss decline?

    From the quotes it sounds like it wasn’t originally considered sexual. That may have something to do with it.

    Read More
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  15. @Sunbeam
    Eh...

    You seem like you are pushing on a string with this one. I don't find your argument compelling at all.

    What about buttocks slapping? People evolved for that? Or buttocks pinching? Did Italians that kept their fingers to themselves get squeezed out of the gene pool?

    It doesn't end there of course. Different cultures take different attitudes towards .... flatulence. There some genetic reason for that?

    I think there is a lesson that you might want to meditate upon:

    Sometimes shit just happens.

    For no rhyme or reason, it just happens. You might ask why this thing instead of that, or why behavior that was so common one day, is just uncommon in a generation.

    Some times there isn't a reason for it. Or more exactly, there is always a reason, but the answer is above your pay grade.

    Meaning you would have to be omniscient to discern it.

    I guess one of the tricks of genius is to know when something has a discernible answer. Or maybe by a sheer random walk kind of thing, inevitably a crackpot turns out to have randomly picked something to be a crackpot about that turns out to be true.

    Then we call them a brave genius, full of moral courage, swimming against the tide. But before this was recognized, you would have had a hard time telling them apart from any other crackpot.

    Just trying to point out, that there is a heck of a lot attributable to sheer randomness than is common to believe on this site.

    And remember: there were a number of items produced over the centuries that could conceivably have been the start of steam power. But nothing was done about it for a long time.

    But as someone said, "When it's steam engine time, it's steam engine time."

    Or let me guess, it took some kind of genetic selection to produce, almost by accident, a population receptive to taking the steam engine and running with it.

    “But as someone said, “When it’s steam engine time, it’s steam engine time.”

    Or let me guess, it took some kind of genetic selection to produce, almost by accident, a population receptive to taking the steam engine and running with it.”

    In spite of what you or they say, the steam engine could not have been manufactured any earlier than it was because the ancient world i.e. the world up to and including the American Revolution, did not have the means to tool metal and make the precision parts.

    Take a walk through the Deutsche Museum in Munich, museum of science and industry in England and look at the actual early clocks and pumps that were the precursor of the steam engine. They are huge and crude, made of brittle cast iron that could not handle the stresses that later steels could. Hand sawn and filed gear teeth etc. Windmills et al of the time used wooden gears.

    It cannot be overemphasized that developments in precision machine metalworking, improvements in metal alloying etc. have done more to change the world than any other invention. If this notion is puzzling to you, then you have a lot of interesting research ahead of you and a fun book to start with is “The Arms of Krupp” by Manchester.

    Every product in today’s market economies–including your beloved computer, the electric motor, the nuclear reactor–is ultimately dependent upon precision machine metalworking for its manufacture.

    What was the essential difference between the old ways of manufacture and the modern? The old world cut things irregularly while the modern feeds either the cutting tool into the workpiece or vice versa at a regular, controlled rate. That’s what it boils down to. This allows the creation of nearly perfect cylinders, plane surfaces and so on.

    If you think that this is just a trivial problem then I defy you to go out into your workshop and, using just simple woodworking hand tools, create a truly flat and consistent plane surface. Just a simple geometric plane, the foundation of all that hated geometry in high school. No cheating by using a hand plane to do it–someone else already did the hard work for you by making the bottom of the plane a plane.

    It is exceedingly difficult.

    Now that you have tried that with wood, try it with steel using only tools available to a 16th century artisan, Hero of Alexander or Archimedes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    Three Cranes, I decided not to cut and paste your post. But I have few thoughts.

    Okay, I am not an expert on the history of metallurgy. But part of the driver for metallurgy developments was need. The need for stronger, more resilient metals in pressure vessels - and cannons.

    Now this is an impression, but I think it to be true: most advancements in metallurgy happened by sheer chance and trial and error until relatively recently. With no idea what molecules or atoms are, or any real knowledge of chemistry it is impossible to make any advances in metallurgy based on pure reasoning; intuition maybe, but not reasoning.

    So I might as well ask why metallurgy didn't take off with the Romans for example? The empire was large (even when comparing to the Mongols or the Caliphate), they already made mild steel, and economic activity was higher than probably any time till at least the Medieval period, if not the Renaissance. So why didn't it take off then? They had smart guys. They made a lot of iron and mild steel. So why not? Why did it not happen then? Just a casual google indicates there are examples of case hardened Roman steel, and they at least knew that manganese containing ore from Austria made "better steel," (this comes from Roman accounts).

    The Romans knew a lot of stuff about engineering, at least pre-industrial style. They could build aqueducts 40 0r 50 miles long with only a drop of a foot or so in grade. They made cement that wasn't equaled till the 1800's, and even then it was debatable until we got more scientific about it (plus we still aren't exactly sure what their process was, even if we have accurate guesses now).

    These were not trivial people. If you could put them side by side with the English of 1700, they don't compare badly at all.

    Looking back, as an engineer, besides conceptual advances and sheer knowledge, one big impediment to these guys was their dumb ass math system.

    And again, they had tons of people toting up numbers, doing accounting, ... and some primitive engineering analysis.

    So why didn't a system like Arabic numerals arise beforehand?

    To repeat a point I made earlier, Rome had a lot of "activity" going on. Higher population, first hand knowledge of Greek and even Egyptian mathematics which is unknown now.

    (I'm not saying they had mathematical secrets we do not have, but a lot of that was new to European scholars in the Renaissance; it took a while for us to even equal what the Greeks knew circa 200 AD. And the Romans had it from the horse's mouth and taught in gymnasiums to boot.)

    So why didn't a lot of stuff start then? Conditions were much better for it than they were for at least a 1000 years. Well in Europe anyway, and to an impartial alien observer. To my mind at least they were more qualified to have started some of this, than the following cultures where it did happen.
    , @Sunbeam
    "If you think that this is just a trivial problem then I defy you to go out into your workshop and, using just simple woodworking hand tools, create a truly flat and consistent plane surface."

    Hmmm part of me wants to take your challenge. It would take months though.

    I can think of some things I could try with slate. Pretty easy to get it to fracture in a plane, maybe...

    We also need to define "flat." You talking microns here? No way if that is the case. But thousandths of an inch...

    Hmmm one thousandth of an inch? But how would I measure this with primitive tools....
    , @Luke Lea
    re: machine tools

    I'm glad you emphasized the importance of the advent of tools to machine metal at the time of the emergence of the steam engine. However I think that much, perhaps most, of the advances in this area occurred after steam engines were available to drive machine tools. Thus, if I am not mistaken, the first steam cylinders used the same boring machines used to bore cannon, which was very primitive and hand-driven, and the fit between the piston and the cylinder was so loose that gobs of leather had to be used to make a relatively air-tight seal. The precision screw machines, milling machines, better drilling machines, etc. all developed in the wake of the steam engine, and the men who developed them are less known than they deserved to be. Do you know their names?

    I find it fascinating that the mechanical inventions that allowed the textile revolution to take place, for example, were originally all made out of wood!

    Anyway metal working and machine tools, I agree, were key.

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  16. Or let me guess, it took some kind of genetic selection to produce, almost by accident, a population receptive to taking the steam engine and running with it.

    Steam engines are very recent in human cultural evolution. The design of a steam engine also involves a long and complicated series of mental events that seldom occurs twice in the same way. So there is very little to be gained by hardwiring that kind of behavioral pattern.

    Do I have to explain to you the relative advantages of learning versus instinct? Or would that be like “pushing on a string”? Instincts are stereotypical behaviors that happen over and over in the same sort of way from one generation to the next. It makes sense to hardwire that kind of behavioral pattern. You no longer have to waste time learning and you get it right the first time.

    Welcome to Anthropology…..

    Sounds like you haven’t been in an anthropology department for a very, very long time … Believe me, gene-culture coevolution is seldom taught or even discussed by most anthropologists.

    1. Am I right in supposing that the erotic force of open mouth tongue kissing has to do with neural arrangements that don’t apply to the kiss on the cheek or even the quick touch of the lips. If so, it is not difficult to imagine how such genetically programmed arrangements could have evolved, but… did they not evolve also in sub-Saharan Africa?

    Sexual kissing doesn’t seem to be indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa. In the recent cross-cultural study it was absent from 87% of traditional African societies and all of the forager African societies. The original genetic program, which seems to exist in all humans, is the kissing between a mother and her infant. It looks like this program then became adapted to sexual relations in some humans.

    The study’s authors defined kissing as “not a passing glance of the lips, but rather the intentional touching of the lips that is more focused and thus potentially more prolonged.”

    Do such neural arrangements in the mouth make it pleasurable for some people, male and female, to take a firm penis in the mouth?

    Fellatio is much less common cross-culturally, especially as a public display of affection. It may have developed out of kissing, but I don’t know of anything written on the subject.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Sounds like you haven’t been in an anthropology department for a very, very long time … Believe me, gene-culture coevolution is seldom taught or even discussed by most anthropologists.
     
    Oh, no question. This is far from the worst sloppiness of mainstream Anthropology. But it's very much in the same vein in terms of being about as rigorous as a bowl of spaghetti.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    It looks as though I shall have to take my notebook and pencil down to Madame Fifi's and ask a sample of the female sex who may or may not be representative and may when answering simply be seeking to please. If one got to know them well I suppose one might say "well in this place it's often better - and quicker - than the alternative".
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  17. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @jtgw
    You're like a broken record.

    What else to do with the truth, but to keep repeating it, so that more people, just might see the light.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Drapetomaniac
    Priss is mostly right.

    The ruled kissed the rings of their Lords and Masters.

    He just embellished it a bit.
    , @Deduction
    Sorry to OT but idiots like this can be disproven quickly. The effect of having many Jews in your population is easy to see, if your eyes are clear.

    Sweden is the most open to immigration and mired in suicidal liberalism of any country in the Western world.

    It is also the most anti-Israel.

    Sweden has very few Jews. So you can argue that having plenty of Jews makes a country more pro-Israel, a fact which I think is obvious and not really denied by anyone.

    But you can't argue that having more Jews means more open borders etc.

    Thus we see the conspiracy thinkers on this site easily disproven!
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  18. Evolutionary psychology is a rational discipline, but not a science- let’s be frank. Something can be gleaned from it, but most historically important events just cannot. Among my faves is Greek explosion of creativity from ca. 700 to 200 B.C. There is absolutely no reason why would Greeks, in meager 500 years, have created more (better, wider, deeper) in the fields of visual arts, sciences, literature, philosophy… than all Babylonians, Chinese, Egyptians, Indians…put together.

    No contemporary discipline can “explain” the Greek miracle, including, among others, evo psych.

    And regarding sub-Saharan Africans, everything there is a waste of time …..

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    • Replies: @jack shindo
    Greeks, like any other, occupied a speck of time. Now, as all cultures come and go, like Rome, Byzantium, etc., they are the dregs of history. Now Greece is like a boot of Germany and a hell hole of distrust and bad behaviour. Nothing lasts forever!
    , @Drapetomaniac
    It is likely that the Greeks benefited from high intelligence and a significantly higher percentage of systemizing brains (Asperger's) versus socializing brains. The Greeks developed science, a particular way of thinking, the others just continued adaptations in their technology. Long term, their downfall was like most successful countries - a combination of endogenous idiocracy and imported idiocracy. In man's world, success eventually breeds failure.

    I call the threshold ratio of systemizing vs. socializing brains above which modern technological societies occur the Success Ratio. For societies to prosper scientifically and technologically they need to reach it, or obtain help from other societies that have. Obviously, most parts of the world never reached it.

    Throughout history, lucky countries benefited from an increased average intelligence combined with the ability to support a strong presence of the Asperger's brain, all in a relatively benign environment. Downfall was mostly due to the changes in mental make up. Like Greece now and America in the near future.
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  19. Kate Minter says: • Website

    Fascinating! “Compulsive kissing syndrome”? Who knew? LOLOL

    I never would have known the English used to kiss so much, as I experienced the kiss for every possible reason in France, especially. Was totally caught off guard by it the first time it happened with a man close to my age.

    I wonder if kissing is more prone to be in favor when there are less germs/diseases to be spread. Maybe in a truly sanitized future, it will be the height of romanticism to be sneezed on. A new version of The Chrystals will sing: “And then he sneezed me” :)

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  20. How about the Judas Kiss, or the ones Mafiosos bestow upon those they are about to dispatch – the “Kiss off”?

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  21. I see no reason kissing behavior (or any other behavior beyond eating, defecating, and fornicating) shouldn’t be vastly different or even absent in different races given the VAST evolutionary gulf separating them. Tens of thousands of years matter. They matter a lot.

    Even the physical structure of the brain is visibly different between the races. If a researcher can look at a brain and know whether it came from a European or an African, it is insane to expect those brains to function in exactly the same way.

    http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2815%2900671-5

    One must wonder, with the release of this UC San Diego research, whether we will now be lectured about “hating people for the structure of their brain.” What else might we learn if we weren’t force fed the false and destructive dogma that “race does not exist” and “we are all exactly the same”?

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  22. Sunbeam says:
    @Threecranes
    "But as someone said, “When it’s steam engine time, it’s steam engine time.”

    Or let me guess, it took some kind of genetic selection to produce, almost by accident, a population receptive to taking the steam engine and running with it."

    In spite of what you or they say, the steam engine could not have been manufactured any earlier than it was because the ancient world i.e. the world up to and including the American Revolution, did not have the means to tool metal and make the precision parts.

    Take a walk through the Deutsche Museum in Munich, museum of science and industry in England and look at the actual early clocks and pumps that were the precursor of the steam engine. They are huge and crude, made of brittle cast iron that could not handle the stresses that later steels could. Hand sawn and filed gear teeth etc. Windmills et al of the time used wooden gears.

    It cannot be overemphasized that developments in precision machine metalworking, improvements in metal alloying etc. have done more to change the world than any other invention. If this notion is puzzling to you, then you have a lot of interesting research ahead of you and a fun book to start with is "The Arms of Krupp" by Manchester.

    Every product in today's market economies--including your beloved computer, the electric motor, the nuclear reactor--is ultimately dependent upon precision machine metalworking for its manufacture.

    What was the essential difference between the old ways of manufacture and the modern? The old world cut things irregularly while the modern feeds either the cutting tool into the workpiece or vice versa at a regular, controlled rate. That's what it boils down to. This allows the creation of nearly perfect cylinders, plane surfaces and so on.

    If you think that this is just a trivial problem then I defy you to go out into your workshop and, using just simple woodworking hand tools, create a truly flat and consistent plane surface. Just a simple geometric plane, the foundation of all that hated geometry in high school. No cheating by using a hand plane to do it--someone else already did the hard work for you by making the bottom of the plane a plane.

    It is exceedingly difficult.

    Now that you have tried that with wood, try it with steel using only tools available to a 16th century artisan, Hero of Alexander or Archimedes.

    Three Cranes, I decided not to cut and paste your post. But I have few thoughts.

    Okay, I am not an expert on the history of metallurgy. But part of the driver for metallurgy developments was need. The need for stronger, more resilient metals in pressure vessels – and cannons.

    Now this is an impression, but I think it to be true: most advancements in metallurgy happened by sheer chance and trial and error until relatively recently. With no idea what molecules or atoms are, or any real knowledge of chemistry it is impossible to make any advances in metallurgy based on pure reasoning; intuition maybe, but not reasoning.

    So I might as well ask why metallurgy didn’t take off with the Romans for example? The empire was large (even when comparing to the Mongols or the Caliphate), they already made mild steel, and economic activity was higher than probably any time till at least the Medieval period, if not the Renaissance. So why didn’t it take off then? They had smart guys. They made a lot of iron and mild steel. So why not? Why did it not happen then? Just a casual google indicates there are examples of case hardened Roman steel, and they at least knew that manganese containing ore from Austria made “better steel,” (this comes from Roman accounts).

    The Romans knew a lot of stuff about engineering, at least pre-industrial style. They could build aqueducts 40 0r 50 miles long with only a drop of a foot or so in grade. They made cement that wasn’t equaled till the 1800′s, and even then it was debatable until we got more scientific about it (plus we still aren’t exactly sure what their process was, even if we have accurate guesses now).

    These were not trivial people. If you could put them side by side with the English of 1700, they don’t compare badly at all.

    Looking back, as an engineer, besides conceptual advances and sheer knowledge, one big impediment to these guys was their dumb ass math system.

    And again, they had tons of people toting up numbers, doing accounting, … and some primitive engineering analysis.

    So why didn’t a system like Arabic numerals arise beforehand?

    To repeat a point I made earlier, Rome had a lot of “activity” going on. Higher population, first hand knowledge of Greek and even Egyptian mathematics which is unknown now.

    (I’m not saying they had mathematical secrets we do not have, but a lot of that was new to European scholars in the Renaissance; it took a while for us to even equal what the Greeks knew circa 200 AD. And the Romans had it from the horse’s mouth and taught in gymnasiums to boot.)

    So why didn’t a lot of stuff start then? Conditions were much better for it than they were for at least a 1000 years. Well in Europe anyway, and to an impartial alien observer. To my mind at least they were more qualified to have started some of this, than the following cultures where it did happen.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Luke Lea
    re: why didn't Rome invent the steam engine or inaugurate the Industrial Revolution?

    There is reason to think that religion, more specifically Christianity, and more specifically still, Calvinistic Christianity was a key factor. This of course was the famous hypothesis of Weber in his The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Christianity. It is no accident that almost all the men who pioneered the Industrial Revolution in England were not only Protestant, but non-conformists.

    Keep in mind that Jesus taught an ethic of self-sacrifice and non-resistance to evil. He also taught an ethic of capital investment, most clearly in The Parable of the Talents as described in the book of Matthew. What is capital, historically, if not the accumulated crime and sacrifice of centuries, plus interest? In my view, capitalism was a way of redeeming the original sin of civilized societies, which was conquest and servitude. It began in Rome, a world that "groaned in agony and travail" (in the words of St. Paul) and led to human liberation, the proof of which is all around us.

    Indeed, I would go further and say that capital is a re-embodiment of the spirit of Christ, or, more provocatively, it is the re-incarnation of Christ. Perhaps that is a truth that can bring the races together? I know it sounds crazy, but is it crazy enough?

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  23. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Peter Frost
    Or let me guess, it took some kind of genetic selection to produce, almost by accident, a population receptive to taking the steam engine and running with it.

    Steam engines are very recent in human cultural evolution. The design of a steam engine also involves a long and complicated series of mental events that seldom occurs twice in the same way. So there is very little to be gained by hardwiring that kind of behavioral pattern.

    Do I have to explain to you the relative advantages of learning versus instinct? Or would that be like "pushing on a string"? Instincts are stereotypical behaviors that happen over and over in the same sort of way from one generation to the next. It makes sense to hardwire that kind of behavioral pattern. You no longer have to waste time learning and you get it right the first time.

    Welcome to Anthropology…..

    Sounds like you haven't been in an anthropology department for a very, very long time ... Believe me, gene-culture coevolution is seldom taught or even discussed by most anthropologists.

    1. Am I right in supposing that the erotic force of open mouth tongue kissing has to do with neural arrangements that don’t apply to the kiss on the cheek or even the quick touch of the lips. If so, it is not difficult to imagine how such genetically programmed arrangements could have evolved, but… did they not evolve also in sub-Saharan Africa?

    Sexual kissing doesn't seem to be indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa. In the recent cross-cultural study it was absent from 87% of traditional African societies and all of the forager African societies. The original genetic program, which seems to exist in all humans, is the kissing between a mother and her infant. It looks like this program then became adapted to sexual relations in some humans.

    The study's authors defined kissing as "not a passing glance of the lips, but rather the intentional touching of the lips that is more focused and thus potentially more prolonged."

    Do such neural arrangements in the mouth make it pleasurable for some people, male and female, to take a firm penis in the mouth?

    Fellatio is much less common cross-culturally, especially as a public display of affection. It may have developed out of kissing, but I don't know of anything written on the subject.

    Sounds like you haven’t been in an anthropology department for a very, very long time … Believe me, gene-culture coevolution is seldom taught or even discussed by most anthropologists.

    Oh, no question. This is far from the worst sloppiness of mainstream Anthropology. But it’s very much in the same vein in terms of being about as rigorous as a bowl of spaghetti.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Threecranes
    Sunbeam, I don't mean to take up space in a blog about a topic that is not relevant to that being discussed, but here's my two cents, if the Moderator will allow it. You sound knowledgeable, I think you would enjoy "The Arms of Krupp" as it will answer many of your questions as well as provide much to think about.

    I have no explanation for why both the machine tool revolution and surge in knowledge of metallurgy started when it did or why it should have been concentrated in England. We've all heard head-scratching scholars debate on why the Industrial Revolution began in England. Some claim it was because of a special quality of inventiveness or inquisitiveness that inheres in White People's (particularly Anglo Saxon's) genes. Non-whites--especially Jews--hate this explanation because it excludes themselves whom they (not surprisingly) regard as the being in the vanguard in intelligence. So they emphasize economic considerations such as capital accumulation made possible by repealing laws against usury left over from the Middle Ages, with themselves acting not as rapacious swindlers but as heroic, farsighted agents of change. In their version of the tale the technical accomplishments are just an minor adjunct of monetary ones, just off-handed tinkering that is hardly worthy of a sophisticated man's time or attention.

    From Wiki:

    "Henry Maudslay (pronunciation and spelling) (22 August 1771 – 14 February 1831) was a British machine tool innovator, tool and die maker, and inventor. He is considered a founding father of machine tool technology."

    "At the time when Maudslay began working for Bramah, the typical lathe was worked by a treadle and the workman held the cutting tool against the work. This did not allow for precision, especially in cutting iron. Maudslay designed a tool holder into which the cutting tool would be clamped, and which would slide on accurately planed surfaces to allow the cutting tool to move in either direction. The slide rest was positioned by a leadscrew to which power was transmitted through a pair of changeable gears so that it traveled in proportion to the turning of the work. This allowed screw threads to be precisely cut. Changing the gears gave various pitches. The ability of Maudslay’s slide-rest lathe to produce precision parts revolutionised the production of machine components"…..and so on from its entry on Henry Maudslay

    "The process by which the master plane gages were produced dates back to antiquity but was refined to an unprecedented degree in the Maudslay shop. The process begins with three plates each given an identification (ex., 1,2 and 3). The first step is to rub plates 1 and 2 together with a marking medium (called bluing today) revealing the high spots which would be removed by hand scraping with a steel scraper, until no irregularities were visible. This would not produce absolutely true plane surfaces but a "ball and socket" fit, as this mechanical fit, like two perfect planes, can slide over each other and reveal no high spots. Next, plate number 3 would be compared and scraped to conform to plate number 1. In this manner plates number 2 and 3 would be identical. Next plates number 2 and 3 would be checked against each other to determine what condition existed, either both plates were "balls" or "sockets". These would then be scraped until no high spots existed and then compared to plate number 1. After repeating this process, comparing and scraping the three plates together, they would automatically generate exact true plane surfaces accurate to within millionths of an inch." I might add that--even today--Fine-Art Lithographers use the same technique to true their stones before drawing on them.

    "With the creation of master plane gages of such high accuracy, all critical components of machine tools (i.e., guiding surfaces such as machine ways) could then be compared against them and scraped to the desired accuracy.", from its entry on machine tools.
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  24. Sunbeam says:
    @Threecranes
    "But as someone said, “When it’s steam engine time, it’s steam engine time.”

    Or let me guess, it took some kind of genetic selection to produce, almost by accident, a population receptive to taking the steam engine and running with it."

    In spite of what you or they say, the steam engine could not have been manufactured any earlier than it was because the ancient world i.e. the world up to and including the American Revolution, did not have the means to tool metal and make the precision parts.

    Take a walk through the Deutsche Museum in Munich, museum of science and industry in England and look at the actual early clocks and pumps that were the precursor of the steam engine. They are huge and crude, made of brittle cast iron that could not handle the stresses that later steels could. Hand sawn and filed gear teeth etc. Windmills et al of the time used wooden gears.

    It cannot be overemphasized that developments in precision machine metalworking, improvements in metal alloying etc. have done more to change the world than any other invention. If this notion is puzzling to you, then you have a lot of interesting research ahead of you and a fun book to start with is "The Arms of Krupp" by Manchester.

    Every product in today's market economies--including your beloved computer, the electric motor, the nuclear reactor--is ultimately dependent upon precision machine metalworking for its manufacture.

    What was the essential difference between the old ways of manufacture and the modern? The old world cut things irregularly while the modern feeds either the cutting tool into the workpiece or vice versa at a regular, controlled rate. That's what it boils down to. This allows the creation of nearly perfect cylinders, plane surfaces and so on.

    If you think that this is just a trivial problem then I defy you to go out into your workshop and, using just simple woodworking hand tools, create a truly flat and consistent plane surface. Just a simple geometric plane, the foundation of all that hated geometry in high school. No cheating by using a hand plane to do it--someone else already did the hard work for you by making the bottom of the plane a plane.

    It is exceedingly difficult.

    Now that you have tried that with wood, try it with steel using only tools available to a 16th century artisan, Hero of Alexander or Archimedes.

    “If you think that this is just a trivial problem then I defy you to go out into your workshop and, using just simple woodworking hand tools, create a truly flat and consistent plane surface.”

    Hmmm part of me wants to take your challenge. It would take months though.

    I can think of some things I could try with slate. Pretty easy to get it to fracture in a plane, maybe…

    We also need to define “flat.” You talking microns here? No way if that is the case. But thousandths of an inch…

    Hmmm one thousandth of an inch? But how would I measure this with primitive tools….

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  25. subpatre says:

    Kipling made the point more than a century ago in Kim and in the works that would become that novel. In Lispeth (©1858) a young woman raised by missionaries ‘reverts’ to pathanism on discovering one of their lies to her. Then in Kim (p345-6, ©1900) there is the this fragment where a hill woman of means offers a coolie-carrier to carry Kim’s lama:

    She beckoned Kim to her hut, and stooped above a battered English cash-box under her cot.

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    • Replies: @subpatre
    (continued cut off text)

    She beckoned Kim to her hut, and stooped above a battered English cash-box under her cot.

    'I do not need anything,' said Kim, angered where he should have been grateful. 'I am already rudely loaded with favours.'

    She looked up with a curious smile and laid a hand on his shoulder. 'At least, thank me. I am foul-faced and a hillwoman, but, as thy talk goes, I have acquired merit. Shall I show thee how the Sahibs render thanks?' and her hard eyes softened.

    'I am but a wandering priest,' said Kim, his eyes lighting in answer. 'Thou needest neither my blessings nor my curses.'

    'Nay. But for one little moment—thou canst overtake the dooli in ten strides—if thou wast a Sahib, shall I show thee what thou wouldst do?'[346]

    'How if I guess, though?' said Kim, and putting his arm round her waist, he kissed her on the cheek, adding in English: 'Thank you verree much, my dear.'

    Kissing is practically unknown among Asiatics, which may have been the reason that she leaned back with wide-open eyes and a face of panic.

    'Next time,' Kim went on, 'you must not be so sure of your heatthen priests. Now I say good-bye.' He held out his hand English-fashion. She took it mechanically. 'Good-bye, my dear.'

    'Good-bye, and—and'—she was remembering her English words one by one—'you will come back again? Good-bye, and—thee God bless you.' [emphasis added]
     

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  26. subpatre says:
    @subpatre
    Kipling made the point more than a century ago in Kim and in the works that would become that novel. In Lispeth (©1858) a young woman raised by missionaries 'reverts' to pathanism on discovering one of their lies to her. Then in Kim (p345-6, ©1900) there is the this fragment where a hill woman of means offers a coolie-carrier to carry Kim's lama:

    She beckoned Kim to her hut, and stooped above a battered English cash-box under her cot.

    'I do not need anything,' said Kim, angered where he should have been grateful. 'I am already rudely loaded with favours.'

    She looked up with a curious smile and laid a hand on his shoulder. 'At least, thank me. I am foul-faced and a hillwoman, but, as thy talk goes, I have acquired merit. Shall I show thee how the Sahibs render thanks?' and her hard eyes softened.

    'I am but a wandering priest,' said Kim, his eyes lighting in answer. 'Thou needest neither my blessings nor my curses.'

    'Nay. But for one little moment—thou canst overtake the dooli in ten strides—if thou wast a Sahib, shall I show thee what thou wouldst do?'[346]

    'How if I guess, though?' said Kim, and putting his arm round her waist, he kissed her on the cheek, adding in English: 'Thank you verree much, my dear.'

    Kissing is practically unknown among Asiatics, which may have been the reason that she leaned back with wide-open eyes and a face of panic.

    'Next time,' Kim went on, 'you must not be so sure of your heatthen priests. Now I say good-bye.' He held out his hand English-fashion. She took it mechanically. 'Good-bye, my dear.'

    'Good-bye, and—and'—she was remembering her English words one by one—'you will come back again? Good-bye, and—thee God bless you.' [emphasis added - subpatre]
     

    (continued cut off text)

    She beckoned Kim to her hut, and stooped above a battered English cash-box under her cot.

    ‘I do not need anything,’ said Kim, angered where he should have been grateful. ‘I am already rudely loaded with favours.’

    She looked up with a curious smile and laid a hand on his shoulder. ‘At least, thank me. I am foul-faced and a hillwoman, but, as thy talk goes, I have acquired merit. Shall I show thee how the Sahibs render thanks?’ and her hard eyes softened.

    ‘I am but a wandering priest,’ said Kim, his eyes lighting in answer. ‘Thou needest neither my blessings nor my curses.’

    ‘Nay. But for one little moment—thou canst overtake the dooli in ten strides—if thou wast a Sahib, shall I show thee what thou wouldst do?’[346]

    ‘How if I guess, though?’ said Kim, and putting his arm round her waist, he kissed her on the cheek, adding in English: ‘Thank you verree much, my dear.’

    Kissing is practically unknown among Asiatics, which may have been the reason that she leaned back with wide-open eyes and a face of panic.

    ‘Next time,’ Kim went on, ‘you must not be so sure of your heatthen priests. Now I say good-bye.’ He held out his hand English-fashion. She took it mechanically. ‘Good-bye, my dear.’

    ‘Good-bye, and—and’—she was remembering her English words one by one—’you will come back again? Good-bye, and—thee God bless you.’ [emphasis added]

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  27. helena says:

    “Sounds like neoteny could be involved somewhere along the line.”

    lactase, milk-drinking and something to do with the suckling reflex pathway?

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  28. Art says:

    First – great statue – have never seen it before – thanks.

    A kiss is an invitation to intimacy both cultural and physical – it is a letting down of our guard – a letting down of our personal shield – it brakes the barrier of personal space. To freely kiss shows strength. A kiss says “I feel safe with you.”

    Clearly public kissing is a cultural thing. It would be interesting to study cultures that don’t kiss Is kissing restricted in a culture that is rigidly hierarchal and where personal freedom is subjugated and stifled? Does a strict social pecking order limit kissing? Japan?

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  29. Kiss may cause herpes or other diseases. When environment is stable, behavioural complexity flourish. In societies when dangers, death risks are very common at daily basis, behavioural pragmatism seems will be a rule.
    American conservatives are less tolerant with disgusting tastes than liberals. In societies when conservative ideology predominates, recreative sexual actions like kisses are less incentived.
    I think promiscuous sex may can be a vector to cause ( more) mutations on the babies. ”The warriors who lose the battle are food for the winners”. Sex act may have a little impact on reproductive genes.
    I dislike slightly to be kissed because differences on skin temperature, lol.
    People who love to kiss others, have greater ”gene size” to do it. This people need very little stimuli to engage in this type of micro-behaviour.
    No there a gene to put the finger in the nose, but there a ”irritation” in the nose to predispose people.

    Read More
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  30. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    Read More
    • Replies: @jack shindo
    To be a Tea Bagger is not so bad a thang! That is what they tell me but I am clueless.
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  31. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @jtgw
    You're like a broken record.

    “You’re like a broken record.”

    No more than MSM.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jtgw
    What the hell does this "certain tribe" have to do with the subject at hand? Exactly. Priss factor is just a broken record who feels the need to inject his own obsessions into every discussion, whether relevant or not.
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  32. annamaria says:

    “Good reason may exist for wet kisses. In females, salivary sulfur-containing breath volatiles of microbial origin vary cyclically with circulating hormone level, as do vaginal levels of lactic acid. Physicians exploit the effect to detect female ovulation. Other chemical signaling may be going on in saliva exchanging kisses. Rates of intercourse vary cyclically with peaks at ovulation and premenstrually, although these may have more to do with menstrual period discomfort. One of two cyclical secretion peaks might portend the period of peal fertility and intercourse.” https://books.google.com/books?id=l8K9h4PmangC&dq=wet+kiss+pheromones&source=gbs_navlinks_s
    “In nature, the sexual union of unlike MHCs [major histocompatibility complex] yields offspring with more diverse and thus more robust immune systems. Instinct may also guide us in this manner: Previous research has revealed that human females preferred the musk of sweaty T-shirts worn by men with suitably different MHC genes.”

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/pheromones-sex-lives/

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  33. I’ m with Sheikh Nefzawi naturally, and I would love to go back in time just to prevent Burton’s widow from destroying the second half of his translation of the Perfumed Garden.

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  34. annamaria says:

    …period of peak fertility …

    Read More
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  35. jtgw says:
    @Anon
    "You’re like a broken record."

    No more than MSM.

    What the hell does this “certain tribe” have to do with the subject at hand? Exactly. Priss factor is just a broken record who feels the need to inject his own obsessions into every discussion, whether relevant or not.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Oh, I thought he meant the steatopygic tribe...
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  36. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Kissing may have little to do with human behavior and everything to do with the behavior of viruses and bacteria that are trying to reproduce and spread from host to host. It’s been known for some time that certain viruses can infect a host’s genes and encourage behavior in the host that causes the virus to spread.

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  37. @Priss Factor
    Americans sure love to kiss, especially the derriere of a certain tribe.

    L’chayim (לְחַיִּים

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    "L’chayim (לְחַיִּים"

    Hey Jack - how many Palestinians did you Jews murder today?
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  38. @Anonymous
    What about felching and snowballing?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felching

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowballing_%28sexual_practice%29

    To be a Tea Bagger is not so bad a thang! That is what they tell me but I am clueless.

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  39. @Bardon Kaldian
    Evolutionary psychology is a rational discipline, but not a science- let's be frank. Something can be gleaned from it, but most historically important events just cannot. Among my faves is Greek explosion of creativity from ca. 700 to 200 B.C. There is absolutely no reason why would Greeks, in meager 500 years, have created more (better, wider, deeper) in the fields of visual arts, sciences, literature, philosophy... than all Babylonians, Chinese, Egyptians, Indians...put together.

    No contemporary discipline can "explain" the Greek miracle, including, among others, evo psych.

    And regarding sub-Saharan Africans, everything there is a waste of time .....

    Greeks, like any other, occupied a speck of time. Now, as all cultures come and go, like Rome, Byzantium, etc., they are the dregs of history. Now Greece is like a boot of Germany and a hell hole of distrust and bad behaviour. Nothing lasts forever!

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  40. @Anonymous
    What else to do with the truth, but to keep repeating it, so that more people, just might see the light.

    Priss is mostly right.

    The ruled kissed the rings of their Lords and Masters.

    He just embellished it a bit.

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  41. @Anonymous

    Sounds like you haven’t been in an anthropology department for a very, very long time … Believe me, gene-culture coevolution is seldom taught or even discussed by most anthropologists.
     
    Oh, no question. This is far from the worst sloppiness of mainstream Anthropology. But it's very much in the same vein in terms of being about as rigorous as a bowl of spaghetti.

    Sunbeam, I don’t mean to take up space in a blog about a topic that is not relevant to that being discussed, but here’s my two cents, if the Moderator will allow it. You sound knowledgeable, I think you would enjoy “The Arms of Krupp” as it will answer many of your questions as well as provide much to think about.

    [MORE]

    I have no explanation for why both the machine tool revolution and surge in knowledge of metallurgy started when it did or why it should have been concentrated in England. We’ve all heard head-scratching scholars debate on why the Industrial Revolution began in England. Some claim it was because of a special quality of inventiveness or inquisitiveness that inheres in White People’s (particularly Anglo Saxon’s) genes. Non-whites–especially Jews–hate this explanation because it excludes themselves whom they (not surprisingly) regard as the being in the vanguard in intelligence. So they emphasize economic considerations such as capital accumulation made possible by repealing laws against usury left over from the Middle Ages, with themselves acting not as rapacious swindlers but as heroic, farsighted agents of change. In their version of the tale the technical accomplishments are just an minor adjunct of monetary ones, just off-handed tinkering that is hardly worthy of a sophisticated man’s time or attention.

    From Wiki:

    “Henry Maudslay (pronunciation and spelling) (22 August 1771 – 14 February 1831) was a British machine tool innovator, tool and die maker, and inventor. He is considered a founding father of machine tool technology.”

    “At the time when Maudslay began working for Bramah, the typical lathe was worked by a treadle and the workman held the cutting tool against the work. This did not allow for precision, especially in cutting iron. Maudslay designed a tool holder into which the cutting tool would be clamped, and which would slide on accurately planed surfaces to allow the cutting tool to move in either direction. The slide rest was positioned by a leadscrew to which power was transmitted through a pair of changeable gears so that it traveled in proportion to the turning of the work. This allowed screw threads to be precisely cut. Changing the gears gave various pitches. The ability of Maudslay’s slide-rest lathe to produce precision parts revolutionised the production of machine components”…..and so on from its entry on Henry Maudslay

    “The process by which the master plane gages were produced dates back to antiquity but was refined to an unprecedented degree in the Maudslay shop. The process begins with three plates each given an identification (ex., 1,2 and 3). The first step is to rub plates 1 and 2 together with a marking medium (called bluing today) revealing the high spots which would be removed by hand scraping with a steel scraper, until no irregularities were visible. This would not produce absolutely true plane surfaces but a “ball and socket” fit, as this mechanical fit, like two perfect planes, can slide over each other and reveal no high spots. Next, plate number 3 would be compared and scraped to conform to plate number 1. In this manner plates number 2 and 3 would be identical. Next plates number 2 and 3 would be checked against each other to determine what condition existed, either both plates were “balls” or “sockets”. These would then be scraped until no high spots existed and then compared to plate number 1. After repeating this process, comparing and scraping the three plates together, they would automatically generate exact true plane surfaces accurate to within millionths of an inch.” I might add that–even today–Fine-Art Lithographers use the same technique to true their stones before drawing on them.

    “With the creation of master plane gages of such high accuracy, all critical components of machine tools (i.e., guiding surfaces such as machine ways) could then be compared against them and scraped to the desired accuracy.”, from its entry on machine tools.

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  42. @Bardon Kaldian
    Evolutionary psychology is a rational discipline, but not a science- let's be frank. Something can be gleaned from it, but most historically important events just cannot. Among my faves is Greek explosion of creativity from ca. 700 to 200 B.C. There is absolutely no reason why would Greeks, in meager 500 years, have created more (better, wider, deeper) in the fields of visual arts, sciences, literature, philosophy... than all Babylonians, Chinese, Egyptians, Indians...put together.

    No contemporary discipline can "explain" the Greek miracle, including, among others, evo psych.

    And regarding sub-Saharan Africans, everything there is a waste of time .....

    It is likely that the Greeks benefited from high intelligence and a significantly higher percentage of systemizing brains (Asperger’s) versus socializing brains. The Greeks developed science, a particular way of thinking, the others just continued adaptations in their technology. Long term, their downfall was like most successful countries – a combination of endogenous idiocracy and imported idiocracy. In man’s world, success eventually breeds failure.

    I call the threshold ratio of systemizing vs. socializing brains above which modern technological societies occur the Success Ratio. For societies to prosper scientifically and technologically they need to reach it, or obtain help from other societies that have. Obviously, most parts of the world never reached it.

    Throughout history, lucky countries benefited from an increased average intelligence combined with the ability to support a strong presence of the Asperger’s brain, all in a relatively benign environment. Downfall was mostly due to the changes in mental make up. Like Greece now and America in the near future.

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  43. Art says:
    @jack shindo
    L'chayim (לְחַיִּים

    “L’chayim (לְחַיִּים”

    Hey Jack – how many Palestinians did you Jews murder today?

    Read More
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  44. Bliss says:

    An American naval officer, who had spent considerable time in China, narrates an amusing experience of the ignorance of the Chinese maidens of the custom of kissing. Wishing to complete a conquest he had made of a young mei jin (beautiful lady), he invited her—using the English words—to give him a kiss. Finding her incomprehension of his request somewhat obscure, he suited the action to the word and took a delicious kiss. The girl ran away into another room, thoroughly alarmed, exclaiming, “Terrible man-eater, I shall be devoured.”

    So how do you reconcile the abhorrence of kissing among east asians with the claim that kissing originated in northern eurasia?

    Also, does that imply some similarity in their brain structure with that of SSAs who are also not into kissing?

    Basically, your post is inconsistent BS. As usual…

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon

    So how do you reconcile the abhorrence of kissing among east asians with the claim that kissing originated in northern eurasia?
     
    The claim was that it may have originated among north Eurasian foragers.

    However, kissing appears to be nearly ubiquitous among 9 of the 11 foragers living in Circum-Arctic region
     
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  45. You must remember this:
    a kiss is still a kiss,
    a sigh is just a sigh.
    The fundamental things apply
    As Time Goes By….

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  46. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Bliss

    An American naval officer, who had spent considerable time in China, narrates an amusing experience of the ignorance of the Chinese maidens of the custom of kissing. Wishing to complete a conquest he had made of a young mei jin (beautiful lady), he invited her—using the English words—to give him a kiss. Finding her incomprehension of his request somewhat obscure, he suited the action to the word and took a delicious kiss. The girl ran away into another room, thoroughly alarmed, exclaiming, “Terrible man-eater, I shall be devoured.”
     
    So how do you reconcile the abhorrence of kissing among east asians with the claim that kissing originated in northern eurasia?

    Also, does that imply some similarity in their brain structure with that of SSAs who are also not into kissing?

    Basically, your post is inconsistent BS. As usual...

    So how do you reconcile the abhorrence of kissing among east asians with the claim that kissing originated in northern eurasia?

    The claim was that it may have originated among north Eurasian foragers.

    However, kissing appears to be nearly ubiquitous among 9 of the 11 foragers living in Circum-Arctic region

    Read More
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  47. Sunbeam says:

    I find that sculpture hypnotic. The woman represented in that statue presses all my buttons.

    I don’t look at porn, but if you told me that a real woman had been the model for that, and you could look at a portfolio of nude picture of her… I’d be frantically clicking right now.

    Heck, I’d pay money to see her modelling clothes with no nudity. She is that fetching.

    Even the hairstyle. So simple, so good.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You sound like Steve Carrell's character here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlD08Rh6xa8
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  48. Evolutionary psychology is a rational discipline, but not a science- let’s be frank. Something can be gleaned from it, but most historically important events just cannot. Among my faves is Greek explosion of creativity from ca. 700 to 200 B.C.

    It’s important to distinguish between Evolutionary Psychology and HBD. The former posits a single human nature that arose in the Pleistocene and that is shared by all humans. The latter posits that there is no single human nature. Humans have never stopped evolving, and in fact are a rapidly evolving species. In particular, the pace of human genetic evolution increased a hundred-fold about 10,000 years ago with the advent of farming and more complex societies.

    In history, explosions of intellectual creativity occur when the “smart fraction” increases as a proportion of the population. This can happen for mundane reasons, like the creation of new occupations that require more thought and foresight. Or the demographic expansion of the middle class (as described by Gregory Clark in England).

    I wonder if kissing is more prone to be in favor when there are less germs/diseases to be spread.

    I notice that people are more reluctant to shake hands now. This is one thing we lose when we move from a high-trust society to a low-trust society.

    So why didn’t a lot of stuff start then [Roman times]? Conditions were much better for it than they were for at least a 1000 years.

    Probably because the smart fraction of their society was steadily declining. The Romans had below-replacement fertility, and this situation seems to have been worse among the upper classes.

    Is kissing restricted in a culture that is rigidly hierarchal and where personal freedom is subjugated and stifled?

    More like the reverse. The cross-cultural study found an association between the prevalence of kissing and class stratification. In class-stratified societies, there is greater patronage of the arts, and the arts (poetry, prose, painting) seemed to have played a key role in raising the prestige of kissing and making it into an art form.

    East Asia is an interesting exception. I’m not sure why, but there is a morbid fear of “pollution” in East Asian societies. That may have been a factor.

    “Good reason may exist for wet kisses. In females, salivary sulfur-containing breath volatiles of microbial origin vary cyclically with circulating hormone level,

    Yes, there may be an olfactory factor as well. Erotic literature often speaks about the fragrance of kisses, and the Inuit will say that they kiss to smell a person’s face.

    So how do you reconcile the abhorrence of kissing among east asians with the claim that kissing originated in northern eurasia?

    Because the two groups are very different. The former are an advanced urban/agricultural society. The latter are hunting bands. Do you think all Asians are the same? We’re also looking at two different time periods of development.

    Also, does that imply some similarity in their brain structure with that of SSAs who are also not into kissing?

    Overall brain structure? No. I’m talking about a single behavioral pattern that seems to have undergone some hardwiring in one part of the brain.

    Basically, your post is inconsistent BS. As usual…

    Do you talk this way to people face-to-face?

    The woman represented in that statue presses all my buttons.

    She may have been the artist’s wife, the actress Elga Sinding.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    I wonder if kissing is more prone to be in favor when there are less germs/diseases to be spread.

    I notice that people are more reluctant to shake hands now. This is one thing we lose when we move from a high-trust society to a low-trust society.
     
    On the other hand, behaviors that are vectors for pathogen transmission could also be in favor when there are more pathogens to be spread. Sodomy, oral sex, anal sex, anilingus, homosexual activity, etc., are more common now. Ancient Greece and Rome, which were in warmer climes and civilized older and for longer in high density societies, were associated with this behavior. Later on, the warmer and denser Mediterranean and Romance countries were associated with this behavior in addition to effusive, public displays of affection. Syphilis was called the "French disease" or "Italian disease" or "Spanish disease" by northern Europeans.
    , @singh.jatt
    but there is a morbid fear of “pollution” in East Asian societies.

    Bhuddism ie Hindu culture from few millenia ago reasons could be many, that thought process gave rise to Untouchability of those who work in meat & alcohol
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  49. @AshTon
    When and why did the English kiss decline?

    When and why did the English kiss decline?

    Perhaps because the English started to get more civilised at a time?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AshTon
    At around the same time commentators were saying the English were kiss-crazy, the king banned it due to the plague : http://www.historyandheadlines.com/july-16-1439-kissing-banned-england/

    I'm guessing many of the other geographical differences are due to diseases too.
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  50. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Sunbeam
    I find that sculpture hypnotic. The woman represented in that statue presses all my buttons.

    I don't look at porn, but if you told me that a real woman had been the model for that, and you could look at a portfolio of nude picture of her... I'd be frantically clicking right now.

    Heck, I'd pay money to see her modelling clothes with no nudity. She is that fetching.

    Even the hairstyle. So simple, so good.

    You sound like Steve Carrell’s character here:

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    Beats me, I don't watch movies as a rule.
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  51. @AshTon
    When and why did the English kiss decline?

    — Peter Frost

    The English sexologist Havelock Ellis argued that kissing began with “civilized man”:

    It is only under a comparatively high stage of civilization that the kiss has been emphasized and developed in the art of love. Thus the Arabic author of the Perfumed Garden, a work revealing the existence of a high degree of social refinement, insists on the great importance of the kiss, especially if applied to the inner part of the mouth, and he quotes a proverb that “A moist kiss is better than a hasty coitus.” Such kisses, as well as on the face generally, and all over the body, are frequently referred to by Hindu, Latin, and more modern erotic writers as among the most efficacious methods of arousing love. (Ellis,1897-1928)

    ROFL. Havelock Ellis was thinking with his toes.

    Helped by a larger amount of saliva filled with a healthy doze of bacteria, moist kisses of civilisaed man such as apes, monkeys, dogs, cats, donkies, etc are arguablely more love arousing than what Havelock Ellis would have craved for. And those moist arousing kisses usually start from the top and end with the bottom…LMAO

    The most civilised men of Havelock Ellis today would have been taken to the police in 2 minutes. Lol

    Smaller tightly-held human tribes kiss more amongst themsevels, due to feeling relatively safe when using kiss as a kind of confirmation of affiliation.

    More civilised human tribes and larger human tribes kiss less amongst themselves. The former is due to more sophisticated manners involving direct and indirect methods of showing love and affection are developed rather than confining to pure animal instinct of going physical. The latter is due to clearer and deeper stratification of societies, classes and subcultures.

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  52. joe webb says:

    nice piece.

    “Havelock Ellis noted: “Kisses, and embraces are simply unknown in Japan as tokens of affection” with the exception of mothers hugging and kissing their infants. Similarly, “among nearly all of the black races of Africa lovers never kiss nor do mothers usually kiss their babies.” He then went on to argue that the romantic kiss evolved out of this maternal kissing, which seems more or less universal.”

    exactly. Farbeit for yours truly to claim that Whites are the most evolved, but kissing babies is not a sexual act, although the loony Freudo-frauds might struggle to claim that it is, especially with the Talmud authorzing sex with 3 year olds.

    I kiss my two 40 plus year olds, male, on the lips… there is nothing more intimate than a kiss on the lips.
    It is pure love.

    Possibly the baby kissing could be related to the infant sucking reflex for nursing, it could reinforce the reflex.

    Advice for the love-lorn: if you fancy a gal and want sex with her, if you do not want to kiss her, leave her alone and the both of you will be better off.

    Joe Webb

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  53. AshTon says:
    @PandaAtWar

    When and why did the English kiss decline?
     
    Perhaps because the English started to get more civilised at a time?

    At around the same time commentators were saying the English were kiss-crazy, the king banned it due to the plague : http://www.historyandheadlines.com/july-16-1439-kissing-banned-england/

    I’m guessing many of the other geographical differences are due to diseases too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PandaAtWar
    Panda´s point still stands:

    1. Pure and natural physical contacts like kissing to show love or affiliation of the human races are primitive traits by default. People tend to do things without thinking or any kind of restrictions when these things are considered natural. This by default means primitive, because primitive things are the easiest to do, all of them being without any restrictions.

    e.g when you feel something in your nose, in the most natural and primitive settings, you will pick your nose straright away without any restrictions.

    Kissing is just like picking nose - a natural and primitive behaviour in its very beginning.

    So contrary to what dumbasses such as Havelock Ellis claimed that `kissing began with civlized man`, No sir, kissing began with my donkey and yours! End of.


    2. If some groups of humans stop doing what considered to be natural things to do, due to one reason or another (e.g. rules, laws, orders, religions, beliefs, social differences, class differences, politeness, social etiquette, etc.) It , by default,means that the said human groups have developed a certain degree of sophistication, therefore are most likely more envolved or more civilised than the ones without any restrictions.

    The King of England banned the kissing due to plaque consideration you said? well, one of the fundamental reasons that `ban order` was issued and carried out successfully was that the society had developed a certain degree of sophistication. On the contrary, you see even in today´s world , many countries still can not give a `ban order`to `sex without condoms` when there´s a widespread pandemic sexual desease in the region, becasue sex without condom is the most natural and primitive thing to do and those countries haven´t developed sophicatry to regulate or advise the related issues are most likely less civilised.

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  54. Sunbeam says:
    @Anonymous
    You sound like Steve Carrell's character here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlD08Rh6xa8

    Beats me, I don’t watch movies as a rule.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You sound like a gay man pretending to be straight....
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  55. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Peter Frost
    Evolutionary psychology is a rational discipline, but not a science- let’s be frank. Something can be gleaned from it, but most historically important events just cannot. Among my faves is Greek explosion of creativity from ca. 700 to 200 B.C.

    It's important to distinguish between Evolutionary Psychology and HBD. The former posits a single human nature that arose in the Pleistocene and that is shared by all humans. The latter posits that there is no single human nature. Humans have never stopped evolving, and in fact are a rapidly evolving species. In particular, the pace of human genetic evolution increased a hundred-fold about 10,000 years ago with the advent of farming and more complex societies.

    In history, explosions of intellectual creativity occur when the "smart fraction" increases as a proportion of the population. This can happen for mundane reasons, like the creation of new occupations that require more thought and foresight. Or the demographic expansion of the middle class (as described by Gregory Clark in England).

    I wonder if kissing is more prone to be in favor when there are less germs/diseases to be spread.

    I notice that people are more reluctant to shake hands now. This is one thing we lose when we move from a high-trust society to a low-trust society.

    So why didn’t a lot of stuff start then [Roman times]? Conditions were much better for it than they were for at least a 1000 years.

    Probably because the smart fraction of their society was steadily declining. The Romans had below-replacement fertility, and this situation seems to have been worse among the upper classes.

    Is kissing restricted in a culture that is rigidly hierarchal and where personal freedom is subjugated and stifled?

    More like the reverse. The cross-cultural study found an association between the prevalence of kissing and class stratification. In class-stratified societies, there is greater patronage of the arts, and the arts (poetry, prose, painting) seemed to have played a key role in raising the prestige of kissing and making it into an art form.

    East Asia is an interesting exception. I'm not sure why, but there is a morbid fear of "pollution" in East Asian societies. That may have been a factor.

    “Good reason may exist for wet kisses. In females, salivary sulfur-containing breath volatiles of microbial origin vary cyclically with circulating hormone level,

    Yes, there may be an olfactory factor as well. Erotic literature often speaks about the fragrance of kisses, and the Inuit will say that they kiss to smell a person's face.

    So how do you reconcile the abhorrence of kissing among east asians with the claim that kissing originated in northern eurasia?

    Because the two groups are very different. The former are an advanced urban/agricultural society. The latter are hunting bands. Do you think all Asians are the same? We're also looking at two different time periods of development.

    Also, does that imply some similarity in their brain structure with that of SSAs who are also not into kissing?

    Overall brain structure? No. I'm talking about a single behavioral pattern that seems to have undergone some hardwiring in one part of the brain.

    Basically, your post is inconsistent BS. As usual…

    Do you talk this way to people face-to-face?

    The woman represented in that statue presses all my buttons.

    She may have been the artist's wife, the actress Elga Sinding.

    I wonder if kissing is more prone to be in favor when there are less germs/diseases to be spread.

    I notice that people are more reluctant to shake hands now. This is one thing we lose when we move from a high-trust society to a low-trust society.

    On the other hand, behaviors that are vectors for pathogen transmission could also be in favor when there are more pathogens to be spread. Sodomy, oral sex, anal sex, anilingus, homosexual activity, etc., are more common now. Ancient Greece and Rome, which were in warmer climes and civilized older and for longer in high density societies, were associated with this behavior. Later on, the warmer and denser Mediterranean and Romance countries were associated with this behavior in addition to effusive, public displays of affection. Syphilis was called the “French disease” or “Italian disease” or “Spanish disease” by northern Europeans.

    Read More
    • Replies: @notMyusualName
    I don't think kinky sex was ever very popular among tropical africans.
    Tropical Africans have lots of sex but it's nothing fancy, which is surprising, if kinky sex is mostly how various pathogens raise their fitness.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    Syphilis was called the “French disease” or “Italian disease” or “Spanish disease” by northern Europeans.

     

    Syphilis world map
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  56. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Sunbeam
    Beats me, I don't watch movies as a rule.

    You sound like a gay man pretending to be straight….

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  57. @AshTon
    At around the same time commentators were saying the English were kiss-crazy, the king banned it due to the plague : http://www.historyandheadlines.com/july-16-1439-kissing-banned-england/

    I'm guessing many of the other geographical differences are due to diseases too.

    Panda´s point still stands:

    1. Pure and natural physical contacts like kissing to show love or affiliation of the human races are primitive traits by default. People tend to do things without thinking or any kind of restrictions when these things are considered natural. This by default means primitive, because primitive things are the easiest to do, all of them being without any restrictions.

    e.g when you feel something in your nose, in the most natural and primitive settings, you will pick your nose straright away without any restrictions.

    Kissing is just like picking nose – a natural and primitive behaviour in its very beginning.

    So contrary to what dumbasses such as Havelock Ellis claimed that `kissing began with civlized man`, No sir, kissing began with my donkey and yours! End of.

    2. If some groups of humans stop doing what considered to be natural things to do, due to one reason or another (e.g. rules, laws, orders, religions, beliefs, social differences, class differences, politeness, social etiquette, etc.) It , by default,means that the said human groups have developed a certain degree of sophistication, therefore are most likely more envolved or more civilised than the ones without any restrictions.

    The King of England banned the kissing due to plaque consideration you said? well, one of the fundamental reasons that `ban order` was issued and carried out successfully was that the society had developed a certain degree of sophistication. On the contrary, you see even in today´s world , many countries still can not give a `ban order`to `sex without condoms` when there´s a widespread pandemic sexual desease in the region, becasue sex without condom is the most natural and primitive thing to do and those countries haven´t developed sophicatry to regulate or advise the related issues are most likely less civilised.

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    • Replies: @singh.jatt
    Lol, my bhuddist friend refinement without force leads to extinction. That's why we left bhuddism for Sikhism.
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  58. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Sexual kissing initially arose through people pushing the envelope of phenotypic plasticity. This envelope in turn became part of the environment that people had to fit into. Those who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, were at a disadvantage and were bit by bit pushed out of the gene pool. Those who could, and would, took their place. New genetic variants thus arose and flourished, some to strengthen the new behavior and others to make it more pleasurable.

    It’s precisely this plasticity that makes it less likely that it was significantly selected for. By contrast, something like eating or drinking isn’t very plastic. You have to do it, so it’s been strongly selected for.

    Assuming that everything is genetic doesn’t mean that every phenomenon has been selected for. People pick their noses, but that doesn’t mean those who couldn’t or wouldn’t pick their noses were at a disadvantage and were pushed out of the gene pool by the nose pickers.

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  59. anon says: • Disclaimer

    If it developed as adult pair bonding then you might expect to see it in groups like the San.

    If not that then the question is did it start sexual or non-sexual. It seems pretty clear it started non-sexual.

    Why the far north – maybe cos less diseases i.e. there’s an underlying mother-child bonding mechanism involved that spreads to adults in cold climates but doesn’t in hotter climates cos disease.

    Why not East Asia – maybe cos they’re more descended from warm climate farmers than cold climate foragers.

    Why the change from non-sexual to sexual among the forager descended populations – maybe cos when some of those forager descended populations eventually became civilized and urbanized the practice spread diseases (or was thought to) so it became restricted to intimates e.g. couples.

    so

    cold climate forager
    ->mother-child bonding
    ->non-sexual adult bonding also
    ->eventual urbanization
    ->diseases
    ->adult version becomes restricted to intimate bonding
    ->adult version becomes sexual

    warm climate forager
    ->mother-child bonding
    ->stops there (cos disease)

    hot climate forager
    ->doesn’t start (cos disease)

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  60. @Anonymous

    I wonder if kissing is more prone to be in favor when there are less germs/diseases to be spread.

    I notice that people are more reluctant to shake hands now. This is one thing we lose when we move from a high-trust society to a low-trust society.
     
    On the other hand, behaviors that are vectors for pathogen transmission could also be in favor when there are more pathogens to be spread. Sodomy, oral sex, anal sex, anilingus, homosexual activity, etc., are more common now. Ancient Greece and Rome, which were in warmer climes and civilized older and for longer in high density societies, were associated with this behavior. Later on, the warmer and denser Mediterranean and Romance countries were associated with this behavior in addition to effusive, public displays of affection. Syphilis was called the "French disease" or "Italian disease" or "Spanish disease" by northern Europeans.

    I don’t think kinky sex was ever very popular among tropical africans.
    Tropical Africans have lots of sex but it’s nothing fancy, which is surprising, if kinky sex is mostly how various pathogens raise their fitness.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    There was some discussion about this at Peter's blog. See the comment thread here:

    http://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2011/05/demon-within-part-ii.html

    Female farming increases harem size thereby bifurcating the males into a few alphas and many sneaky betas, some of whom are bisexual. This is horizontal transmission heaven for the evolution of virulence of all kinds. HIV, for instance, is so sophisticated that many doubt it could have naturally evolved! But even they under-estimate its virulence as it is likely to differentially attack the amygdala which is a known metabolic pathway to induce promiscuity (Klüver-Bucy Syndrome). It is easy to imagine all manner of sexual "variations" arising as extended phenotypes in the "independent female" situation.
     
    , @Hippopotamusdrome

    I don’t think kinky sex was ever very popular among tropical africans.

     

    Define "kinky".

    Dry sex practices in Central and Southern Africa

    In 1993 Brown et al. conducted a study on dry sex in the country formally known as Zaire.
    ...
    The report reveals that one-third of each group interviewed had used intra-vaginal or tightening substances at some time.
    ...
    Leaves are crushed and inserted into the vagina for several hours, to be removed before intercourse.
    ...
    chemicals like copper sulphate and fertilizers are used to dry out the vagina before and during acts of intercourse.
    ...
    insertion of stones
    ...
    Vicks (cold and flu remedy)
    ...
    household bleach
    ...
    It is possible that lesions caused by dry sex, such as genital lesions caused by a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), could increase the risk of HIV transmission

     

    Male genitals removed live in African witchcraft rituals

    Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/268485#ixzz3gWRNSTMo

    she had spoken to a woman who had gone to a sangoma for help to fall pregnant. The sangoma gave her a belt to wear. From the belt hung the fingers and penises of children.

     

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  61. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @notMyusualName
    I don't think kinky sex was ever very popular among tropical africans.
    Tropical Africans have lots of sex but it's nothing fancy, which is surprising, if kinky sex is mostly how various pathogens raise their fitness.

    There was some discussion about this at Peter’s blog. See the comment thread here:

    http://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2011/05/demon-within-part-ii.html

    Female farming increases harem size thereby bifurcating the males into a few alphas and many sneaky betas, some of whom are bisexual. This is horizontal transmission heaven for the evolution of virulence of all kinds. HIV, for instance, is so sophisticated that many doubt it could have naturally evolved! But even they under-estimate its virulence as it is likely to differentially attack the amygdala which is a known metabolic pathway to induce promiscuity (Klüver-Bucy Syndrome). It is easy to imagine all manner of sexual “variations” arising as extended phenotypes in the “independent female” situation.

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  62. @Peter Frost
    Or let me guess, it took some kind of genetic selection to produce, almost by accident, a population receptive to taking the steam engine and running with it.

    Steam engines are very recent in human cultural evolution. The design of a steam engine also involves a long and complicated series of mental events that seldom occurs twice in the same way. So there is very little to be gained by hardwiring that kind of behavioral pattern.

    Do I have to explain to you the relative advantages of learning versus instinct? Or would that be like "pushing on a string"? Instincts are stereotypical behaviors that happen over and over in the same sort of way from one generation to the next. It makes sense to hardwire that kind of behavioral pattern. You no longer have to waste time learning and you get it right the first time.

    Welcome to Anthropology…..

    Sounds like you haven't been in an anthropology department for a very, very long time ... Believe me, gene-culture coevolution is seldom taught or even discussed by most anthropologists.

    1. Am I right in supposing that the erotic force of open mouth tongue kissing has to do with neural arrangements that don’t apply to the kiss on the cheek or even the quick touch of the lips. If so, it is not difficult to imagine how such genetically programmed arrangements could have evolved, but… did they not evolve also in sub-Saharan Africa?

    Sexual kissing doesn't seem to be indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa. In the recent cross-cultural study it was absent from 87% of traditional African societies and all of the forager African societies. The original genetic program, which seems to exist in all humans, is the kissing between a mother and her infant. It looks like this program then became adapted to sexual relations in some humans.

    The study's authors defined kissing as "not a passing glance of the lips, but rather the intentional touching of the lips that is more focused and thus potentially more prolonged."

    Do such neural arrangements in the mouth make it pleasurable for some people, male and female, to take a firm penis in the mouth?

    Fellatio is much less common cross-culturally, especially as a public display of affection. It may have developed out of kissing, but I don't know of anything written on the subject.

    It looks as though I shall have to take my notebook and pencil down to Madame Fifi’s and ask a sample of the female sex who may or may not be representative and may when answering simply be seeking to please. If one got to know them well I suppose one might say “well in this place it’s often better – and quicker – than the alternative”.

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  63. @jtgw
    What the hell does this "certain tribe" have to do with the subject at hand? Exactly. Priss factor is just a broken record who feels the need to inject his own obsessions into every discussion, whether relevant or not.

    Oh, I thought he meant the steatopygic tribe…

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    What? The Hottentots?
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  64. bach says:

    How can we know that E. Asians abhorred kissing?

    Anecdotes are not proof.

    A girl running from her Western lover gives us no further insight.

    And E. Asian culture is too “sexually modest” outwardly to inform us either way.

    A good gauge would be interviews with prostitutes. Surely, they would know what their clients liked.

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    • Replies: @Sean the Neon Caucasian
    Anecdotal evidence also isn't disproof either. Plenty of people have noted the (East) Asian reticence to public displays of affection, plus scores of cultural anthropologists have written about it in various forms. 15 or so years ago there were all these articles in Japan about couples kissing in public, some even called it the "kissing epidemic". LOL! This was around the turn of the century. Still to this day you rarely see people slobbering over each other in public. The French don't have this issue, the English have their historical reasons for avoiding it,nso it also stands to reason East Asian reticence for the same activity has its own background in historical culture.

    No, what is really remarkable is how widespread the aversion to public affections like kissing is across most of East Asia.

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  65. @Anonymous

    I wonder if kissing is more prone to be in favor when there are less germs/diseases to be spread.

    I notice that people are more reluctant to shake hands now. This is one thing we lose when we move from a high-trust society to a low-trust society.
     
    On the other hand, behaviors that are vectors for pathogen transmission could also be in favor when there are more pathogens to be spread. Sodomy, oral sex, anal sex, anilingus, homosexual activity, etc., are more common now. Ancient Greece and Rome, which were in warmer climes and civilized older and for longer in high density societies, were associated with this behavior. Later on, the warmer and denser Mediterranean and Romance countries were associated with this behavior in addition to effusive, public displays of affection. Syphilis was called the "French disease" or "Italian disease" or "Spanish disease" by northern Europeans.

    Syphilis was called the “French disease” or “Italian disease” or “Spanish disease” by northern Europeans.

    Syphilis world map

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  66. @notMyusualName
    I don't think kinky sex was ever very popular among tropical africans.
    Tropical Africans have lots of sex but it's nothing fancy, which is surprising, if kinky sex is mostly how various pathogens raise their fitness.

    I don’t think kinky sex was ever very popular among tropical africans.

    Define “kinky”.

    Dry sex practices in Central and Southern Africa

    In 1993 Brown et al. conducted a study on dry sex in the country formally known as Zaire.

    The report reveals that one-third of each group interviewed had used intra-vaginal or tightening substances at some time.

    Leaves are crushed and inserted into the vagina for several hours, to be removed before intercourse.

    chemicals like copper sulphate and fertilizers are used to dry out the vagina before and during acts of intercourse.

    insertion of stones

    Vicks (cold and flu remedy)

    household bleach

    It is possible that lesions caused by dry sex, such as genital lesions caused by a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), could increase the risk of HIV transmission

    Male genitals removed live in African witchcraft rituals

    Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/268485#ixzz3gWRNSTMo

    she had spoken to a woman who had gone to a sangoma for help to fall pregnant. The sangoma gave her a belt to wear. From the belt hung the fingers and penises of children.

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    • Replies: @dcite
    Africans also have very creative ways of committing rape. Types that are lethally destructive. I won't go into details, but different gangs, in the Congo wars of recent years, had distinctive methods that served as their signatures. It is the worse thing I have ever heard of as far sexual violence. In the documentary even the genteel black African man who was doing the translating was just left depressed and astounded at the behavior of these other African "men."
    , @notMyusualName
    I guess that dry sex could count as "perverted", kinky sex, given that its primary goal is to increase sexual pleasure (for the man).

    What do ritual mutilation and murder have to do with people seeking novel sexual sensations ? They kill kids and use their genitals to make more money, to earn promotions, to cure diseases, etc. Unimaginably barbaric but I don't see how it's in the same category as dry sex or the various paraphilias that one can learn about on fetlife.
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  67. jtgw says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Oh, I thought he meant the steatopygic tribe...

    What? The Hottentots?

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Yes I think so. I was a bit confused about who had the bulging buttocks. Were they Khoi or were they San? Which, by the way, are the Hottentots do you know or do I have to go to all the trouble of doing a Google search and ending up on my Wiki App?
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  68. Luke Lea says: • Website
    @Threecranes
    "But as someone said, “When it’s steam engine time, it’s steam engine time.”

    Or let me guess, it took some kind of genetic selection to produce, almost by accident, a population receptive to taking the steam engine and running with it."

    In spite of what you or they say, the steam engine could not have been manufactured any earlier than it was because the ancient world i.e. the world up to and including the American Revolution, did not have the means to tool metal and make the precision parts.

    Take a walk through the Deutsche Museum in Munich, museum of science and industry in England and look at the actual early clocks and pumps that were the precursor of the steam engine. They are huge and crude, made of brittle cast iron that could not handle the stresses that later steels could. Hand sawn and filed gear teeth etc. Windmills et al of the time used wooden gears.

    It cannot be overemphasized that developments in precision machine metalworking, improvements in metal alloying etc. have done more to change the world than any other invention. If this notion is puzzling to you, then you have a lot of interesting research ahead of you and a fun book to start with is "The Arms of Krupp" by Manchester.

    Every product in today's market economies--including your beloved computer, the electric motor, the nuclear reactor--is ultimately dependent upon precision machine metalworking for its manufacture.

    What was the essential difference between the old ways of manufacture and the modern? The old world cut things irregularly while the modern feeds either the cutting tool into the workpiece or vice versa at a regular, controlled rate. That's what it boils down to. This allows the creation of nearly perfect cylinders, plane surfaces and so on.

    If you think that this is just a trivial problem then I defy you to go out into your workshop and, using just simple woodworking hand tools, create a truly flat and consistent plane surface. Just a simple geometric plane, the foundation of all that hated geometry in high school. No cheating by using a hand plane to do it--someone else already did the hard work for you by making the bottom of the plane a plane.

    It is exceedingly difficult.

    Now that you have tried that with wood, try it with steel using only tools available to a 16th century artisan, Hero of Alexander or Archimedes.

    re: machine tools

    I’m glad you emphasized the importance of the advent of tools to machine metal at the time of the emergence of the steam engine. However I think that much, perhaps most, of the advances in this area occurred after steam engines were available to drive machine tools. Thus, if I am not mistaken, the first steam cylinders used the same boring machines used to bore cannon, which was very primitive and hand-driven, and the fit between the piston and the cylinder was so loose that gobs of leather had to be used to make a relatively air-tight seal. The precision screw machines, milling machines, better drilling machines, etc. all developed in the wake of the steam engine, and the men who developed them are less known than they deserved to be. Do you know their names?

    I find it fascinating that the mechanical inventions that allowed the textile revolution to take place, for example, were originally all made out of wood!

    Anyway metal working and machine tools, I agree, were key.

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  69. Luke Lea says: • Website

    Oh, btw, excellent article, Peter! Your hypothesis and the research you adduce to support it are, as is usually the case, impressive. I think your commenters should acknowledge that before they launch into their criticisms and alternative explanations.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    No offense, but you tend to have a sycophantic attitude to bloggers.

    I like Peter, but the weekly publishing schedule forces him to publish either rehashes of his more established work or more speculative commentary. Personally, I enjoy Peter's more speculative writing and his social and cultural commentary. But he has a very academic writing style and some people tend to take this kind of presentation as authoritative.
    , @anon
    fair point - not something I would have thought of until someone else raised it.
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  70. Luke Lea says: • Website
    @Sunbeam
    Three Cranes, I decided not to cut and paste your post. But I have few thoughts.

    Okay, I am not an expert on the history of metallurgy. But part of the driver for metallurgy developments was need. The need for stronger, more resilient metals in pressure vessels - and cannons.

    Now this is an impression, but I think it to be true: most advancements in metallurgy happened by sheer chance and trial and error until relatively recently. With no idea what molecules or atoms are, or any real knowledge of chemistry it is impossible to make any advances in metallurgy based on pure reasoning; intuition maybe, but not reasoning.

    So I might as well ask why metallurgy didn't take off with the Romans for example? The empire was large (even when comparing to the Mongols or the Caliphate), they already made mild steel, and economic activity was higher than probably any time till at least the Medieval period, if not the Renaissance. So why didn't it take off then? They had smart guys. They made a lot of iron and mild steel. So why not? Why did it not happen then? Just a casual google indicates there are examples of case hardened Roman steel, and they at least knew that manganese containing ore from Austria made "better steel," (this comes from Roman accounts).

    The Romans knew a lot of stuff about engineering, at least pre-industrial style. They could build aqueducts 40 0r 50 miles long with only a drop of a foot or so in grade. They made cement that wasn't equaled till the 1800's, and even then it was debatable until we got more scientific about it (plus we still aren't exactly sure what their process was, even if we have accurate guesses now).

    These were not trivial people. If you could put them side by side with the English of 1700, they don't compare badly at all.

    Looking back, as an engineer, besides conceptual advances and sheer knowledge, one big impediment to these guys was their dumb ass math system.

    And again, they had tons of people toting up numbers, doing accounting, ... and some primitive engineering analysis.

    So why didn't a system like Arabic numerals arise beforehand?

    To repeat a point I made earlier, Rome had a lot of "activity" going on. Higher population, first hand knowledge of Greek and even Egyptian mathematics which is unknown now.

    (I'm not saying they had mathematical secrets we do not have, but a lot of that was new to European scholars in the Renaissance; it took a while for us to even equal what the Greeks knew circa 200 AD. And the Romans had it from the horse's mouth and taught in gymnasiums to boot.)

    So why didn't a lot of stuff start then? Conditions were much better for it than they were for at least a 1000 years. Well in Europe anyway, and to an impartial alien observer. To my mind at least they were more qualified to have started some of this, than the following cultures where it did happen.

    re: why didn’t Rome invent the steam engine or inaugurate the Industrial Revolution?

    There is reason to think that religion, more specifically Christianity, and more specifically still, Calvinistic Christianity was a key factor. This of course was the famous hypothesis of Weber in his The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Christianity. It is no accident that almost all the men who pioneered the Industrial Revolution in England were not only Protestant, but non-conformists.

    Keep in mind that Jesus taught an ethic of self-sacrifice and non-resistance to evil. He also taught an ethic of capital investment, most clearly in The Parable of the Talents as described in the book of Matthew. What is capital, historically, if not the accumulated crime and sacrifice of centuries, plus interest? In my view, capitalism was a way of redeeming the original sin of civilized societies, which was conquest and servitude. It began in Rome, a world that “groaned in agony and travail” (in the words of St. Paul) and led to human liberation, the proof of which is all around us.

    Indeed, I would go further and say that capital is a re-embodiment of the spirit of Christ, or, more provocatively, it is the re-incarnation of Christ. Perhaps that is a truth that can bring the races together? I know it sounds crazy, but is it crazy enough?

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    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    Luke Lea. Concerning Protestantism - maybe.

    That just seems like it had to have had a lot to do with it. Personally I don't believe it is the whole story, but it seems to go along with the facts.

    And I can tell you that the Chinese came up with lots of stuff, that inexplicably they never really pursued or developed. They were drilling oil wells (really primitive stuff, and with bamboo pipes) a long time before Europeans did. I read an article on this once, and their methods were very similar to what was done in America pre-1900 (remember the oil industry had it's start not long after the Civil War), though obviously the materials they had held them back.

    I could add more examples off the top of my head: gunpowder (why didn't they go down the firearm path?), some other stuff I've seen over the years and have forgotten (for some reason I think there was a very early version of the printing press in China a long time before movable type in Europe).

    You can find examples of Chinese naval engineering that would have astounded the lads at the Admiralty in 1700's England. Even if those ships weren't as stupendously large as they MAY have been, they definitely compared very well to European ships till the 1800's.

    And the Chinese did it 4 to 5 hundred years before the Europeans.

    So why exactly? It's got to be culture, religion, maybe even genes. Something, I don't know what.

    Of course my theory is sheer random chance matters a lot more than is commonly perceived to be the case.

    One more thing, because I have enthusiasm for this type of thing. There are more than a few musings you can find on the internet speculating that the Greeks could have discovered Calculus roughly 2000 years before Newton/Leibniz formulated it. They ever appear to have understood some key things conceptually. But they didn't. But they could have; perhaps more easily than Newton did based on the knowledge he acquired from his education. A lot more important groundwork was commonly known than in Newton's time. (Although to repeat a point I made above, I really think Arabic numerals and our "algorithms" for figuring made a lot of things easier than they were in the classical world.)

    Anyway the thread is getting long, and I'm not going to derail it anymore.
    , @Bliss

    He also taught an ethic of capital investment, most clearly in The Parable of the Talents as described in the book of Matthew....Indeed, I would go further and say that capital is a re-embodiment of the spirit of Christ, or, more provocatively, it is the re-incarnation of Christ
     
    "Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19.24)

    "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matthew 19.21)

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." (Matthew 6:24)

    Based on the above and numerous other similar verses condemning greed, your understanding of the Parable of the Talents, and the Gospel of Jesus, is clearly wrong.

    It is worth noting here that the earliest christians were the very opposite of capitalists:

    "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions were his own, but they shared everything they had." (Acts 4:32)

    "There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from their sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need." (Acts 4:34-35)

    "All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need." (Acts 4:44-45)
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  71. Luke Lea says: • Website

    Sorry, not only a double post, but that should have been “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”. I’m an old man, prone to many careless errors. It will happen to you too!

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  72. @jtgw
    What? The Hottentots?

    Yes I think so. I was a bit confused about who had the bulging buttocks. Were they Khoi or were they San? Which, by the way, are the Hottentots do you know or do I have to go to all the trouble of doing a Google search and ending up on my Wiki App?

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  73. Sunbeam says:
    @Luke Lea
    re: why didn't Rome invent the steam engine or inaugurate the Industrial Revolution?

    There is reason to think that religion, more specifically Christianity, and more specifically still, Calvinistic Christianity was a key factor. This of course was the famous hypothesis of Weber in his The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Christianity. It is no accident that almost all the men who pioneered the Industrial Revolution in England were not only Protestant, but non-conformists.

    Keep in mind that Jesus taught an ethic of self-sacrifice and non-resistance to evil. He also taught an ethic of capital investment, most clearly in The Parable of the Talents as described in the book of Matthew. What is capital, historically, if not the accumulated crime and sacrifice of centuries, plus interest? In my view, capitalism was a way of redeeming the original sin of civilized societies, which was conquest and servitude. It began in Rome, a world that "groaned in agony and travail" (in the words of St. Paul) and led to human liberation, the proof of which is all around us.

    Indeed, I would go further and say that capital is a re-embodiment of the spirit of Christ, or, more provocatively, it is the re-incarnation of Christ. Perhaps that is a truth that can bring the races together? I know it sounds crazy, but is it crazy enough?

    Luke Lea. Concerning Protestantism – maybe.

    That just seems like it had to have had a lot to do with it. Personally I don’t believe it is the whole story, but it seems to go along with the facts.

    And I can tell you that the Chinese came up with lots of stuff, that inexplicably they never really pursued or developed. They were drilling oil wells (really primitive stuff, and with bamboo pipes) a long time before Europeans did. I read an article on this once, and their methods were very similar to what was done in America pre-1900 (remember the oil industry had it’s start not long after the Civil War), though obviously the materials they had held them back.

    I could add more examples off the top of my head: gunpowder (why didn’t they go down the firearm path?), some other stuff I’ve seen over the years and have forgotten (for some reason I think there was a very early version of the printing press in China a long time before movable type in Europe).

    You can find examples of Chinese naval engineering that would have astounded the lads at the Admiralty in 1700′s England. Even if those ships weren’t as stupendously large as they MAY have been, they definitely compared very well to European ships till the 1800′s.

    And the Chinese did it 4 to 5 hundred years before the Europeans.

    So why exactly? It’s got to be culture, religion, maybe even genes. Something, I don’t know what.

    Of course my theory is sheer random chance matters a lot more than is commonly perceived to be the case.

    One more thing, because I have enthusiasm for this type of thing. There are more than a few musings you can find on the internet speculating that the Greeks could have discovered Calculus roughly 2000 years before Newton/Leibniz formulated it. They ever appear to have understood some key things conceptually. But they didn’t. But they could have; perhaps more easily than Newton did based on the knowledge he acquired from his education. A lot more important groundwork was commonly known than in Newton’s time. (Although to repeat a point I made above, I really think Arabic numerals and our “algorithms” for figuring made a lot of things easier than they were in the classical world.)

    Anyway the thread is getting long, and I’m not going to derail it anymore.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Luke Lea
    re: the Greeks could have discovered calculus

    Archimedes did discover calculus more or less -- integral calculus anyway -- when he computed the area of a circle by approximating it with an ever larger number of equal sided polygons. Of course without the zero and so-called Arabic numerals (time to call them Indian numerals, to give credit where credit is due?) it was hard to go very far with any kind of advanced maths.

    , @Hippopotamusdrome

    You can find examples of Chinese naval engineering that would have astounded the lads at the Admiralty in 1700′s England.

     

    I don't know. By this point they were circumnavigating the globe on a regular basis and had invented clocks to determine longitude.

    James Cook
    Map of Cook's voyages
    John Harrison H4 clock

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  74. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Luke Lea
    Oh, btw, excellent article, Peter! Your hypothesis and the research you adduce to support it are, as is usually the case, impressive. I think your commenters should acknowledge that before they launch into their criticisms and alternative explanations.

    No offense, but you tend to have a sycophantic attitude to bloggers.

    I like Peter, but the weekly publishing schedule forces him to publish either rehashes of his more established work or more speculative commentary. Personally, I enjoy Peter’s more speculative writing and his social and cultural commentary. But he has a very academic writing style and some people tend to take this kind of presentation as authoritative.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    It would be nice if one could make each point once and once only, but that is not the way to get a hypothesis established as an authoritative theory. Some things Peter writes about he knows more that anyone (eg last weeks On The Puzzle of European Hair, Eye, and Skin Color). As regards his special subject, the last few years have produced DNA finds that suggest validation of his ideas and him being recognised as the world authority may be on the cards. Rapid progress, considering his hypothesis seemed far fetched when he first publicly presented it several years ago. Sexual selection as an explanation for the geographically varying appearance of humans is a controversial subject among scientists.
    ----

    Current sexual practices throughout the non European world are surely influenced by widespread availability of pornography made by Europeans.
    ---

    I have a question


    Sexual kissing initially arose through people pushing the envelope of phenotypic plasticity. This envelope in turn became part of the environment that people had to fit into. Those who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, were at a disadvantage and were bit by bit pushed out of the gene pool. Those who could, and would, took their place. New genetic variants thus arose and flourished, some to strengthen the new behavior and others to make it more pleasurable.

     

    Did kissing start as a form of sexual selection with one sex much more predisposed to initiate and/or enjoy kissing than the other?
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  75. Luke Lea says: • Website
    @Sunbeam
    Luke Lea. Concerning Protestantism - maybe.

    That just seems like it had to have had a lot to do with it. Personally I don't believe it is the whole story, but it seems to go along with the facts.

    And I can tell you that the Chinese came up with lots of stuff, that inexplicably they never really pursued or developed. They were drilling oil wells (really primitive stuff, and with bamboo pipes) a long time before Europeans did. I read an article on this once, and their methods were very similar to what was done in America pre-1900 (remember the oil industry had it's start not long after the Civil War), though obviously the materials they had held them back.

    I could add more examples off the top of my head: gunpowder (why didn't they go down the firearm path?), some other stuff I've seen over the years and have forgotten (for some reason I think there was a very early version of the printing press in China a long time before movable type in Europe).

    You can find examples of Chinese naval engineering that would have astounded the lads at the Admiralty in 1700's England. Even if those ships weren't as stupendously large as they MAY have been, they definitely compared very well to European ships till the 1800's.

    And the Chinese did it 4 to 5 hundred years before the Europeans.

    So why exactly? It's got to be culture, religion, maybe even genes. Something, I don't know what.

    Of course my theory is sheer random chance matters a lot more than is commonly perceived to be the case.

    One more thing, because I have enthusiasm for this type of thing. There are more than a few musings you can find on the internet speculating that the Greeks could have discovered Calculus roughly 2000 years before Newton/Leibniz formulated it. They ever appear to have understood some key things conceptually. But they didn't. But they could have; perhaps more easily than Newton did based on the knowledge he acquired from his education. A lot more important groundwork was commonly known than in Newton's time. (Although to repeat a point I made above, I really think Arabic numerals and our "algorithms" for figuring made a lot of things easier than they were in the classical world.)

    Anyway the thread is getting long, and I'm not going to derail it anymore.

    re: the Greeks could have discovered calculus

    Archimedes did discover calculus more or less — integral calculus anyway — when he computed the area of a circle by approximating it with an ever larger number of equal sided polygons. Of course without the zero and so-called Arabic numerals (time to call them Indian numerals, to give credit where credit is due?) it was hard to go very far with any kind of advanced maths.

    Read More
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  76. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Luke Lea
    Oh, btw, excellent article, Peter! Your hypothesis and the research you adduce to support it are, as is usually the case, impressive. I think your commenters should acknowledge that before they launch into their criticisms and alternative explanations.

    fair point – not something I would have thought of until someone else raised it.

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  77. Deduction says:
    @Anonymous
    What else to do with the truth, but to keep repeating it, so that more people, just might see the light.

    Sorry to OT but idiots like this can be disproven quickly. The effect of having many Jews in your population is easy to see, if your eyes are clear.

    Sweden is the most open to immigration and mired in suicidal liberalism of any country in the Western world.

    It is also the most anti-Israel.

    Sweden has very few Jews. So you can argue that having plenty of Jews makes a country more pro-Israel, a fact which I think is obvious and not really denied by anyone.

    But you can’t argue that having more Jews means more open borders etc.

    Thus we see the conspiracy thinkers on this site easily disproven!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    "Sweden" inhabits not just a piece of physical territory in Scandinavia, but the media-scape as well. People increasingly spend most of their waking hours consuming media, so the inhabitants and influences in the media-scape may or can be more relevant than those physically closer:

    "U.S. Media Consumption to Rise to 15.5 Hours a Day – Per Person – by 2015"

    http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/u.s._media_consumption_to_rise_to_15.5_hours_a_day_per_person_by_2015
    , @Sean
    They and those trying to refute them are even more easily put on hide, unfortunately they use anon or change the spelling of their name. It's a pain.
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  78. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Deduction
    Sorry to OT but idiots like this can be disproven quickly. The effect of having many Jews in your population is easy to see, if your eyes are clear.

    Sweden is the most open to immigration and mired in suicidal liberalism of any country in the Western world.

    It is also the most anti-Israel.

    Sweden has very few Jews. So you can argue that having plenty of Jews makes a country more pro-Israel, a fact which I think is obvious and not really denied by anyone.

    But you can't argue that having more Jews means more open borders etc.

    Thus we see the conspiracy thinkers on this site easily disproven!

    “Sweden” inhabits not just a piece of physical territory in Scandinavia, but the media-scape as well. People increasingly spend most of their waking hours consuming media, so the inhabitants and influences in the media-scape may or can be more relevant than those physically closer:

    “U.S. Media Consumption to Rise to 15.5 Hours a Day – Per Person – by 2015″

    http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/u.s._media_consumption_to_rise_to_15.5_hours_a_day_per_person_by_2015

    Read More
    • Replies: @Deduction
    If the mediascape is so important in forming Swedish positioning and Jews are crucial to the mediascape then why is Sweden really quite anti-Israel?

    There must be a flaw in your thought. Let me suggest where you are right and where you are wrong.

    1. It is true that Jews are very pro-Israel, they can be critical but they are criticising from an assumption that Israel should thrive.

    2. It is also true that the media is extremely influential and it is true that Jews are disproportianately successful in the media and furthermore that the media tends to be bone-headedly mulitcultural.

    However non-Jews in the media also tend to be bone-headedly multicultural, and Jews outside of the US don't seem to have enough influence to make the media particularly pro-Israel. Indeed it is often quite hostile.

    This means that the number of Jews in a country is an important factor in how pro or anti Israel the media and the country is but not in how bone-headedly multicultural, the other type of people attracted to a career in media do that themselves.

    This really makes a lot of sense considering the type of people who go into the media and where they live. They are all what you call 'liberal' when they are young, always have been and all live a cosmopolitan lifestyle. This contrasts completely with people I know who did not go into the media.
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  79. Sean says:
    @Anonymous
    No offense, but you tend to have a sycophantic attitude to bloggers.

    I like Peter, but the weekly publishing schedule forces him to publish either rehashes of his more established work or more speculative commentary. Personally, I enjoy Peter's more speculative writing and his social and cultural commentary. But he has a very academic writing style and some people tend to take this kind of presentation as authoritative.

    It would be nice if one could make each point once and once only, but that is not the way to get a hypothesis established as an authoritative theory. Some things Peter writes about he knows more that anyone (eg last weeks On The Puzzle of European Hair, Eye, and Skin Color). As regards his special subject, the last few years have produced DNA finds that suggest validation of his ideas and him being recognised as the world authority may be on the cards. Rapid progress, considering his hypothesis seemed far fetched when he first publicly presented it several years ago. Sexual selection as an explanation for the geographically varying appearance of humans is a controversial subject among scientists.
    —-

    Current sexual practices throughout the non European world are surely influenced by widespread availability of pornography made by Europeans.

    I have a question

    Sexual kissing initially arose through people pushing the envelope of phenotypic plasticity. This envelope in turn became part of the environment that people had to fit into. Those who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, were at a disadvantage and were bit by bit pushed out of the gene pool. Those who could, and would, took their place. New genetic variants thus arose and flourished, some to strengthen the new behavior and others to make it more pleasurable.

    Did kissing start as a form of sexual selection with one sex much more predisposed to initiate and/or enjoy kissing than the other?

    Read More
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  80. Sean says:
    @Deduction
    Sorry to OT but idiots like this can be disproven quickly. The effect of having many Jews in your population is easy to see, if your eyes are clear.

    Sweden is the most open to immigration and mired in suicidal liberalism of any country in the Western world.

    It is also the most anti-Israel.

    Sweden has very few Jews. So you can argue that having plenty of Jews makes a country more pro-Israel, a fact which I think is obvious and not really denied by anyone.

    But you can't argue that having more Jews means more open borders etc.

    Thus we see the conspiracy thinkers on this site easily disproven!

    They and those trying to refute them are even more easily put on hide, unfortunately they use anon or change the spelling of their name. It’s a pain.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You're a fenian moron with no thoughts of your moron. All you do is regurgitate and copy and paste from articles.
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  81. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Sean
    They and those trying to refute them are even more easily put on hide, unfortunately they use anon or change the spelling of their name. It's a pain.

    You’re a fenian moron with no thoughts of your moron. All you do is regurgitate and copy and paste from articles.

    Read More
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  82. When and why did the English kiss decline? Perhaps because the English started to get more civilised at a time?

    The moral climate changed. This was around the mid-1600s. I mentioned the Reformation as a cause, although there was a similar shift away from kissing in Catholic France. Broadly speaking, the cause was the rise of the middle class and middle-class values.

    More civilised human tribes and larger human tribes kiss less amongst themselves.

    The Greeks and Romans were avid kissers, as were the Arabs. Weren’t they “larger tribes”?

    On the other hand, behaviors that are vectors for pathogen transmission could also be in favor when there are more pathogens to be spread. Sodomy, oral sex, anal sex, anilingus, homosexual activity, etc., are more common now.

    Those activities initially became more common because they were relatively safe … for a while. In the 1960s and 1970s the incidence of STDs was much lower and that was the time of the “sexual revolution.” Then people rediscovered all of the nasty things that promiscuity can cause.

    Kissing is just like picking nose – a natural and primitive behaviour in its very beginning.

    Do people pick their noses as a gesture of affection? You seem to be proving my theory that East Asians have a morbid fear of personal pollution.

    It’s precisely this plasticity that makes it less likely that it was significantly selected for. By contrast, something like eating or drinking isn’t very plastic. You have to do it, so it’s been strongly selected for.

    I disagree. To the extent that a behavior is plastic, it becomes possible to create new variants of the original behavior, and those new variants make possible a new cultural environment. This new environment, in turn, creates new selection pressures that select for individuals who can go farther in the same direction. This is the whole basis of Baldwinian selection, i.e., human-directed evolution.

    People pick their noses, but that doesn’t mean those who couldn’t or wouldn’t pick their noses were at a disadvantage and were pushed out of the gene pool by the nose pickers.

    Nose picking again. I would argue that kissing plays a far more critical role in social relations than does nose picking. Also, keep in mind that the freedom to do as you please is much more restricted in pre-modern cultures.

    Why the far north – maybe cos less diseases i.e. there’s an underlying mother-child bonding mechanism involved that spreads to adults in cold climates but doesn’t in hotter climates cos disease.

    I can speculate. In northern foragers, food is overwhelmingly procured by men through hunting. A woman without a man can literally starve to death, along with her children. Kissing may have developed as a means to strengthen the pair bond, by creating a second channel of sexual arousal. There is evidence that women value kissing more than men, both in foreplay and in situations where the complete sex act is not doable.

    How can we know that E. Asians abhorred kissing?

    This conclusion comes up in ethnographies from the 19th century. Today, East Asians are familiar with kissing but it’s still seen as a Western thing. Maybe “Panda” can tell us more …

    I like Peter, but the weekly publishing schedule forces him to publish either rehashes of his more established work or more speculative commentary.

    Things wouldn’t be much different if I wrote a monthly column. It’s just that certain topics hold my interest on an ongoing basis. Take ancient DNA. A year ago, we had very little of it from northern and eastern Europe before the advent of farming. So everybody was saying that white skin evolved among early farmers and that blue eyes evolved among Western hunter-gatherers. Now the picture has completely changed, and it’s going to keep on changing as we get more and more ancient DNA.

    Personally, I enjoy Peter’s more speculative writing and his social and cultural commentary. But he has a very academic writing style and some people tend to take this kind of presentation as authoritative.

    I don’t write that way on purpose. I typically have to rewrite a column several times in order to get something that’s close to plain English. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don’t. When I think, I use terms like “organizing principle,” “class stratification,” and “evolutionary trajectory.” It’s not as if I stick them in afterwards to sound like hot shit.

    Did kissing start as a form of sexual selection with one sex much more predisposed to initiate and/or enjoy kissing than the other?

    Not so much sexual selection as selection that acts on existing mated couples. Pair-bond stability is more critical to survival in a northern arctic environment than in a tropical environment. Children have to eat, and if papa is no longer around they will starve. So there has been selection for sexual practices that strengthen the pair bond.

    There’s also the question of “promiscuous” social kissing, which used to exist among the English. How far back does it go in time? And how widespread was it elsewhere in northern Europe? I get the impression that this is something that can only develop in a very high-trust society with low levels of male sexual jealousy. It may have helped to maintain social cohesion.

    These are the sort of questions I keep in the back of my mind while reading through stuff for some other reason.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bach

    This conclusion comes up in ethnographies from the 19th century. Today, East Asians are familiar with kissing but it’s still seen as a Western thing.
     
    Common sense says this isn't very plausible. Sex without kissing is like eating without enjoying the flavor of food.

    Is it possible people ate without regard to taste? Maybe -- for peasants, poor and hungry, and food was no more than utility.

    But for the upper classes as well? Among the elite who enjoyed food, entertainment, song and art? Sex was no more than "coitus"? An activity so sublime it merges every possible human emotion and yet not relished and enjoyed like fine wine, art and music?

    Not plausible in my opinion.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiss#Cultural_significance

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  83. More civilised human tribes and larger human tribes kiss less amongst themselves.

    –The Greeks and Romans were avid kissers, as were the Arabs. Weren’t they “larger tribes”?

    LoL. Panda doesn’t think that Greeks Romans and Arabs were kissing around with their slaves, weren’t they?

    Well, Panda admits that “larger” was not used strictly enough since it is a comparative term. But compared to the Chinese population at a time, they were all absolutely tiny groups. LoL. If they were indeed “avid kissers”, then it would show that their respective groups were not developed enough to form a sophisticated stratifications on class, subcultures, etc. OR they were just not big enough, because kissing strangers (completely new strangers, or in the sense of from other social classes) presents the tightly-held group with a real big danger.

    Kissing is just like picking nose – a natural and primitive behaviour in its very beginning.

    –Do people pick their noses as a gesture of affection? You seem to be proving my theory that East Asians have a morbid fear of personal pollution.

    LoL, when did panda claim that picking noses is a gesture of affection? And Panda is glad to prove any theory for you Peter. LoL

    Picking noses was a random analogy just off the top of the head for the similar level of primitive behaviour. But nonetheless, as we’re at picking noses, have you noticed that rubbing noses with every and each of their tribe members is about the first thing that civilised men such as hyenas would do after they get back home at the end of a busy day if you watch BBC documentaries? ROFL

    The point here is: kissing, or picking noses, or rubbing noses, or touching faces or tits, or after getting a punch from someone, one will immediately have a urge to punch back, etc. etc. are all primitive behaviours at the very start of the animal kingdom. Look, even a kid knows that Pluto(Disney) will give everyone it knows a big saliva-filled “French Kiss” to show affection. And Pluto is not alone. Every cilivised man, no, dog, does that. ROFL.

    One can logically argue that:

    1st step: primitive traits such as kissing without any constrain (i.e. just a primitive impulse followd by immediate and direct physical touching – how civilised is that?) , picking noses(when feel sth itching) , rubbing noses 9to show affection), etc

    2nd step: more developed behaviours that are NOT the pure intuitive reaction – it shows that the group has developed some rules, laws, orders, etc, meaning the group has developed more sophiscatry.

    3rd step: the diverse groups develop different means to show affection depending on their own different religions, moral codes, values, etc.

    as simple as that.

    – People pick their noses, but that doesn’t mean those who couldn’t or wouldn’t pick their noses were at a disadvantage and were pushed out of the gene pool by the nose pickers.

    – Nose picking again. I would argue that kissing plays a far more critical role in social relations than does nose picking. Also, keep in mind that the freedom to do as you please is much more restricted in pre-modern cultures.

    Not quite. In pre-modern cultures such as the earliest caveman culture and some perhaps still could be found in dear Sierra leon or Liberia, freedom to go physical at any level, let alone kissing, was total and immediate! ok, as long as you had a bigger muscle or machete than your next opponent/s. ROFL

    – How can we know that E. Asians abhorred kissing?

    – This conclusion comes up in ethnographies from the 19th century. Today, East Asians are familiar with kissing but it’s still seen as a Western thing. Maybe “Panda” can tell us more …

    Because of Confucius’ moral, ethnic codes and social etiquette developed from 500BC.

    There is a concept called The Junzi (literally “the child of a lord”), the Confucian ideal person. It is most often rendered into English as “gentleman.” The perfect scholar and sage, the Junzi embodies the perfection of human potential by cultivating himself morally, practicing altruism and benevolence toward other living things, and by being the perfect example of loyalty and piety. Most followers of Confucianism hold that Confucius was the greatest Junzi, due to his devotion to virtue and the consistent practice of his own ethics.

    One of the many things that The Junzi is not allowed to do is to touch woman physically in public in any form or excuse (except extreme situations such as emergencies, etc) – which is deemed as lack of decency and respect.

    The Junzi is defined by its opposite. The Xiaoren, literally “small person” is everything that a Junzi is not: small-minded, petty, greedy, and materialistic-which was the root reason why in Confucius society, the merchants and later the bankers (yes, China invented world’s first commecial banking system and paper money that went with it) were at the bottom of the social classes in Cofucius imperiral China in pre-modern time, also one of the threats of earlier Chinese attempt to the first in the world to industrialise in Song Dynsty!

    In the Confucian world view, life without virtue is both harmful to others and limiting to one’s own potential and development.

    Confucius ideals have been adopted by all East Asians for thousands of years, and to a large amount of “SE Asians” in Malaysia, Thailand, etc as well because most of them are localised ethnic Han Chinese after all.

    In East and Southeast Asia, the ones without being civilised by Confucius ideals, except the Muslims, are largely kissing around pretty much freely as they see fit, Panda suspects.

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  84. @Sunbeam
    Luke Lea. Concerning Protestantism - maybe.

    That just seems like it had to have had a lot to do with it. Personally I don't believe it is the whole story, but it seems to go along with the facts.

    And I can tell you that the Chinese came up with lots of stuff, that inexplicably they never really pursued or developed. They were drilling oil wells (really primitive stuff, and with bamboo pipes) a long time before Europeans did. I read an article on this once, and their methods were very similar to what was done in America pre-1900 (remember the oil industry had it's start not long after the Civil War), though obviously the materials they had held them back.

    I could add more examples off the top of my head: gunpowder (why didn't they go down the firearm path?), some other stuff I've seen over the years and have forgotten (for some reason I think there was a very early version of the printing press in China a long time before movable type in Europe).

    You can find examples of Chinese naval engineering that would have astounded the lads at the Admiralty in 1700's England. Even if those ships weren't as stupendously large as they MAY have been, they definitely compared very well to European ships till the 1800's.

    And the Chinese did it 4 to 5 hundred years before the Europeans.

    So why exactly? It's got to be culture, religion, maybe even genes. Something, I don't know what.

    Of course my theory is sheer random chance matters a lot more than is commonly perceived to be the case.

    One more thing, because I have enthusiasm for this type of thing. There are more than a few musings you can find on the internet speculating that the Greeks could have discovered Calculus roughly 2000 years before Newton/Leibniz formulated it. They ever appear to have understood some key things conceptually. But they didn't. But they could have; perhaps more easily than Newton did based on the knowledge he acquired from his education. A lot more important groundwork was commonly known than in Newton's time. (Although to repeat a point I made above, I really think Arabic numerals and our "algorithms" for figuring made a lot of things easier than they were in the classical world.)

    Anyway the thread is getting long, and I'm not going to derail it anymore.

    You can find examples of Chinese naval engineering that would have astounded the lads at the Admiralty in 1700′s England.

    I don’t know. By this point they were circumnavigating the globe on a regular basis and had invented clocks to determine longitude.

    James Cook
    Map of Cook’s voyages
    John Harrison H4 clock

    Read More
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  85. bach says:
    @Peter Frost
    When and why did the English kiss decline? Perhaps because the English started to get more civilised at a time?

    The moral climate changed. This was around the mid-1600s. I mentioned the Reformation as a cause, although there was a similar shift away from kissing in Catholic France. Broadly speaking, the cause was the rise of the middle class and middle-class values.

    More civilised human tribes and larger human tribes kiss less amongst themselves.

    The Greeks and Romans were avid kissers, as were the Arabs. Weren't they "larger tribes"?

    On the other hand, behaviors that are vectors for pathogen transmission could also be in favor when there are more pathogens to be spread. Sodomy, oral sex, anal sex, anilingus, homosexual activity, etc., are more common now.

    Those activities initially became more common because they were relatively safe ... for a while. In the 1960s and 1970s the incidence of STDs was much lower and that was the time of the "sexual revolution." Then people rediscovered all of the nasty things that promiscuity can cause.

    Kissing is just like picking nose – a natural and primitive behaviour in its very beginning.

    Do people pick their noses as a gesture of affection? You seem to be proving my theory that East Asians have a morbid fear of personal pollution.

    It’s precisely this plasticity that makes it less likely that it was significantly selected for. By contrast, something like eating or drinking isn’t very plastic. You have to do it, so it’s been strongly selected for.

    I disagree. To the extent that a behavior is plastic, it becomes possible to create new variants of the original behavior, and those new variants make possible a new cultural environment. This new environment, in turn, creates new selection pressures that select for individuals who can go farther in the same direction. This is the whole basis of Baldwinian selection, i.e., human-directed evolution.

    People pick their noses, but that doesn’t mean those who couldn’t or wouldn’t pick their noses were at a disadvantage and were pushed out of the gene pool by the nose pickers.

    Nose picking again. I would argue that kissing plays a far more critical role in social relations than does nose picking. Also, keep in mind that the freedom to do as you please is much more restricted in pre-modern cultures.

    Why the far north – maybe cos less diseases i.e. there’s an underlying mother-child bonding mechanism involved that spreads to adults in cold climates but doesn’t in hotter climates cos disease.

    I can speculate. In northern foragers, food is overwhelmingly procured by men through hunting. A woman without a man can literally starve to death, along with her children. Kissing may have developed as a means to strengthen the pair bond, by creating a second channel of sexual arousal. There is evidence that women value kissing more than men, both in foreplay and in situations where the complete sex act is not doable.

    How can we know that E. Asians abhorred kissing?

    This conclusion comes up in ethnographies from the 19th century. Today, East Asians are familiar with kissing but it's still seen as a Western thing. Maybe "Panda" can tell us more ...

    I like Peter, but the weekly publishing schedule forces him to publish either rehashes of his more established work or more speculative commentary.

    Things wouldn't be much different if I wrote a monthly column. It's just that certain topics hold my interest on an ongoing basis. Take ancient DNA. A year ago, we had very little of it from northern and eastern Europe before the advent of farming. So everybody was saying that white skin evolved among early farmers and that blue eyes evolved among Western hunter-gatherers. Now the picture has completely changed, and it's going to keep on changing as we get more and more ancient DNA.

    Personally, I enjoy Peter’s more speculative writing and his social and cultural commentary. But he has a very academic writing style and some people tend to take this kind of presentation as authoritative.

    I don't write that way on purpose. I typically have to rewrite a column several times in order to get something that's close to plain English. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don't. When I think, I use terms like "organizing principle," "class stratification," and "evolutionary trajectory." It's not as if I stick them in afterwards to sound like hot shit.

    Did kissing start as a form of sexual selection with one sex much more predisposed to initiate and/or enjoy kissing than the other?

    Not so much sexual selection as selection that acts on existing mated couples. Pair-bond stability is more critical to survival in a northern arctic environment than in a tropical environment. Children have to eat, and if papa is no longer around they will starve. So there has been selection for sexual practices that strengthen the pair bond.

    There's also the question of "promiscuous" social kissing, which used to exist among the English. How far back does it go in time? And how widespread was it elsewhere in northern Europe? I get the impression that this is something that can only develop in a very high-trust society with low levels of male sexual jealousy. It may have helped to maintain social cohesion.

    These are the sort of questions I keep in the back of my mind while reading through stuff for some other reason.

    This conclusion comes up in ethnographies from the 19th century. Today, East Asians are familiar with kissing but it’s still seen as a Western thing.

    Common sense says this isn’t very plausible. Sex without kissing is like eating without enjoying the flavor of food.

    Is it possible people ate without regard to taste? Maybe — for peasants, poor and hungry, and food was no more than utility.

    But for the upper classes as well? Among the elite who enjoyed food, entertainment, song and art? Sex was no more than “coitus”? An activity so sublime it merges every possible human emotion and yet not relished and enjoyed like fine wine, art and music?

    Not plausible in my opinion.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiss#Cultural_significance

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon

    Sex without kissing is like eating without enjoying the flavor of food.
     
    In what position - missionary?

    Is missionary the norm everywhere or did it only become so among some populations - and do those populations correlate with the kissers also?
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  86. @ Peter Frost

    The following short vid shows some of the Confucius social etiquette and traditional virtues (since 500BC till now) on how Han Chinese people should dress, speak, walk, drink, behave in different public and non-public situations – these have later been adopted by the all East Asians – Koreans*, Vietnamese* and Japanese (check out the Eng sub):

    (《禮儀之邦》傳統儀禮公益宣傳片”The Nation of Greatness and Courtesy” )

    It would be hilariously shocking to see them suddenly kissing around under such a cultural context, don’t you think?

    * yes, traditionally both Korea and northern Vietnam (sometimes being directly part of imperial China, and sometimes not, but still with many ethnic Han Chinese there) were held by imperial China in higher esteem than Japan in East Asia civilised pecking order in the pre-modern time.

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  87. dcite says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome

    I don’t think kinky sex was ever very popular among tropical africans.

     

    Define "kinky".

    Dry sex practices in Central and Southern Africa

    In 1993 Brown et al. conducted a study on dry sex in the country formally known as Zaire.
    ...
    The report reveals that one-third of each group interviewed had used intra-vaginal or tightening substances at some time.
    ...
    Leaves are crushed and inserted into the vagina for several hours, to be removed before intercourse.
    ...
    chemicals like copper sulphate and fertilizers are used to dry out the vagina before and during acts of intercourse.
    ...
    insertion of stones
    ...
    Vicks (cold and flu remedy)
    ...
    household bleach
    ...
    It is possible that lesions caused by dry sex, such as genital lesions caused by a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), could increase the risk of HIV transmission

     

    Male genitals removed live in African witchcraft rituals

    Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/268485#ixzz3gWRNSTMo

    she had spoken to a woman who had gone to a sangoma for help to fall pregnant. The sangoma gave her a belt to wear. From the belt hung the fingers and penises of children.

     

    Africans also have very creative ways of committing rape. Types that are lethally destructive. I won’t go into details, but different gangs, in the Congo wars of recent years, had distinctive methods that served as their signatures. It is the worse thing I have ever heard of as far sexual violence. In the documentary even the genteel black African man who was doing the translating was just left depressed and astounded at the behavior of these other African “men.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    White Europeans have an excellent way of committing rape- they do it en masse - like the millions of German women raped by white Russian troops in World War 2. Its just so much more efficient when you go by 'volume'. And they do it creatively with all ages- like the tens of thousands of children raped by said white Russians. But white Germans also engaged in hundreds of thousands of rapes of women taken from the areas they overran in Eastern Europe, particularly the Soviet Union. And in the Holocaust death camps, rape of Jewish victims was common. Whites are the biggest rapists of all time, and that's just looking at Europe.
    , @notMyusualName
    They do this for the same reason that they enjoy burning so-called witches in public.
    They do it out of a love of cruelty, not for sexual reasons imho.
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  88. @ Peter Frost

    Also there is a need to emphasise here that there is no “China” or “Chinese”, both are merely Latinised Western names which bear no much significance at all to the Han people, and the East Asians at large.

    For the Han and the entire East Asia, for thousands of years “China” has been called “Hua Xia(华夏)” to represent the Han Civilisation (while the so-called Middle Kingdom is the name to represent the nation) , and “Han Chinese” have been called “Han Ren”(Han people), or “Hua Ren” (people from Hua Xia).

    You know what does “Hua Xia” mean?

    Hua Xia: “中國有禮儀之大,故稱夏;有服章之美,謂之華” .

    (from《尚书·武成》:“华夏蛮貊,罔不率俾”, and
    from 《左傳·定公十年》“裔不謀夏,夷不亂華”, and
    from 《春秋左傳正義》“华夏蛮貊,罔不率俾孔颖达”
    )

    Above were the earlier writtern record of root of “Hua Xia” ( “China”), about 2,500 year old.

    It translates (by Panda):

    “The Middle Kingdom has such polite courtesy and elegant nobleness, (so) we call it “Xia”; (the Middle Kingdom people) wear such beautiful costumes, (so) we call it “Hua”

    — this was Han Civilisation, and largely still is despite the massively destructive modern Communist Marxism and Maoism.

    Read More
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  89. @bach
    How can we know that E. Asians abhorred kissing?

    Anecdotes are not proof.

    A girl running from her Western lover gives us no further insight.

    And E. Asian culture is too "sexually modest" outwardly to inform us either way.

    A good gauge would be interviews with prostitutes. Surely, they would know what their clients liked.

    Anecdotal evidence also isn’t disproof either. Plenty of people have noted the (East) Asian reticence to public displays of affection, plus scores of cultural anthropologists have written about it in various forms. 15 or so years ago there were all these articles in Japan about couples kissing in public, some even called it the “kissing epidemic”. LOL! This was around the turn of the century. Still to this day you rarely see people slobbering over each other in public. The French don’t have this issue, the English have their historical reasons for avoiding it,nso it also stands to reason East Asian reticence for the same activity has its own background in historical culture.

    No, what is really remarkable is how widespread the aversion to public affections like kissing is across most of East Asia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bach

    Plenty of people have noted the (East) Asian reticence to public displays of affection, plus scores of cultural anthropologists have written about it in various forms.
     
    That is not being contested. But public modesty has little correlation with private activity. I'm reticent about public displays of affection, too, but that speaks to nothing of my private life.
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  90. And Hua Xia people don’t do kissing in public according to Confucius traditional etiquette, Panda tells ya. LoL

    This reminds Panda of another thing related to show you:

    Do you guys know Huawei, right? The teclecom company and a smartphone maker.

    Do you know what does Huawei mean in Han writing? ROFL

    Huawei = Hua Wei. Wei means Done (or made). Hua means Hua Ren, or Hua Xia.

    So Huawei means: Done by the Han, or Done by Hua Xia.

    Do you know the difference between that and the vague term of so-called “Made in China”? ROFL

    Read More
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  91. bach says:
    @Sean the Neon Caucasian
    Anecdotal evidence also isn't disproof either. Plenty of people have noted the (East) Asian reticence to public displays of affection, plus scores of cultural anthropologists have written about it in various forms. 15 or so years ago there were all these articles in Japan about couples kissing in public, some even called it the "kissing epidemic". LOL! This was around the turn of the century. Still to this day you rarely see people slobbering over each other in public. The French don't have this issue, the English have their historical reasons for avoiding it,nso it also stands to reason East Asian reticence for the same activity has its own background in historical culture.

    No, what is really remarkable is how widespread the aversion to public affections like kissing is across most of East Asia.

    Plenty of people have noted the (East) Asian reticence to public displays of affection, plus scores of cultural anthropologists have written about it in various forms.

    That is not being contested. But public modesty has little correlation with private activity. I’m reticent about public displays of affection, too, but that speaks to nothing of my private life.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PandaAtWar
    That depends on what is "public" and "private".

    Confucius etiquette consider in front of children a "public" matter, too.

    Ancient Chinese did kiss in private - man and woman alone. Eveything else would be consideraed as "public". Public display of affection by kissing, or even physically touching (such as touch cheeks, heads, arms, or any body part, especially between men and women) would be considered as a big No No according to Confucius basic manners.

    This short vid also show many Confucius etiquette in different occasions in public:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sBuYXLQQ8o

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  92. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @dcite
    Africans also have very creative ways of committing rape. Types that are lethally destructive. I won't go into details, but different gangs, in the Congo wars of recent years, had distinctive methods that served as their signatures. It is the worse thing I have ever heard of as far sexual violence. In the documentary even the genteel black African man who was doing the translating was just left depressed and astounded at the behavior of these other African "men."

    White Europeans have an excellent way of committing rape- they do it en masse – like the millions of German women raped by white Russian troops in World War 2. Its just so much more efficient when you go by ‘volume’. And they do it creatively with all ages- like the tens of thousands of children raped by said white Russians. But white Germans also engaged in hundreds of thousands of rapes of women taken from the areas they overran in Eastern Europe, particularly the Soviet Union. And in the Holocaust death camps, rape of Jewish victims was common. Whites are the biggest rapists of all time, and that’s just looking at Europe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon

    like the millions of German women raped by white Russian troops in World War 2
     
    That was unique in modern times in that there was direct incitement to rape and kill German civilians by the Soviet equivalent of Goebbels: Ilya Ehrenburg.

    Whites are the biggest rapists of all time, and that’s just looking at Europe.
     
    Obviously not true when you consider the relative sizes of population over time - and possibly not even true if you only compare with the Congo over the last 30 years.
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  93. @Hippopotamusdrome

    I don’t think kinky sex was ever very popular among tropical africans.

     

    Define "kinky".

    Dry sex practices in Central and Southern Africa

    In 1993 Brown et al. conducted a study on dry sex in the country formally known as Zaire.
    ...
    The report reveals that one-third of each group interviewed had used intra-vaginal or tightening substances at some time.
    ...
    Leaves are crushed and inserted into the vagina for several hours, to be removed before intercourse.
    ...
    chemicals like copper sulphate and fertilizers are used to dry out the vagina before and during acts of intercourse.
    ...
    insertion of stones
    ...
    Vicks (cold and flu remedy)
    ...
    household bleach
    ...
    It is possible that lesions caused by dry sex, such as genital lesions caused by a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), could increase the risk of HIV transmission

     

    Male genitals removed live in African witchcraft rituals

    Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/268485#ixzz3gWRNSTMo

    she had spoken to a woman who had gone to a sangoma for help to fall pregnant. The sangoma gave her a belt to wear. From the belt hung the fingers and penises of children.

     

    I guess that dry sex could count as “perverted”, kinky sex, given that its primary goal is to increase sexual pleasure (for the man).

    What do ritual mutilation and murder have to do with people seeking novel sexual sensations ? They kill kids and use their genitals to make more money, to earn promotions, to cure diseases, etc. Unimaginably barbaric but I don’t see how it’s in the same category as dry sex or the various paraphilias that one can learn about on fetlife.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome

    What do ritual mutilation and murder have to do with people seeking novel sexual sensations
     
    If it's magic for sexual purposes it sort of counts. If someone drinks potion they believe magically increases their sexual abilities it's sort of similar.

    a woman who had gone to a sangoma for help to fall pregnant

    I don't know how it's used, but say, putting a magic talisman of human body parts under the pillow to increase your sex mojo might be considered kinky, or at least wierd.
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  94. @dcite
    Africans also have very creative ways of committing rape. Types that are lethally destructive. I won't go into details, but different gangs, in the Congo wars of recent years, had distinctive methods that served as their signatures. It is the worse thing I have ever heard of as far sexual violence. In the documentary even the genteel black African man who was doing the translating was just left depressed and astounded at the behavior of these other African "men."

    They do this for the same reason that they enjoy burning so-called witches in public.
    They do it out of a love of cruelty, not for sexual reasons imho.

    Read More
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  95. @bach

    Plenty of people have noted the (East) Asian reticence to public displays of affection, plus scores of cultural anthropologists have written about it in various forms.
     
    That is not being contested. But public modesty has little correlation with private activity. I'm reticent about public displays of affection, too, but that speaks to nothing of my private life.

    That depends on what is “public” and “private”.

    Confucius etiquette consider in front of children a “public” matter, too.

    Ancient Chinese did kiss in private – man and woman alone. Eveything else would be consideraed as “public”. Public display of affection by kissing, or even physically touching (such as touch cheeks, heads, arms, or any body part, especially between men and women) would be considered as a big No No according to Confucius basic manners.

    This short vid also show many Confucius etiquette in different occasions in public:

    Read More
    • Replies: @bach

    Ancient Chinese did kiss in private – man and woman alone.
     
    I think that may answer our question.
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  96. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @bach

    This conclusion comes up in ethnographies from the 19th century. Today, East Asians are familiar with kissing but it’s still seen as a Western thing.
     
    Common sense says this isn't very plausible. Sex without kissing is like eating without enjoying the flavor of food.

    Is it possible people ate without regard to taste? Maybe -- for peasants, poor and hungry, and food was no more than utility.

    But for the upper classes as well? Among the elite who enjoyed food, entertainment, song and art? Sex was no more than "coitus"? An activity so sublime it merges every possible human emotion and yet not relished and enjoyed like fine wine, art and music?

    Not plausible in my opinion.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiss#Cultural_significance

    Sex without kissing is like eating without enjoying the flavor of food.

    In what position – missionary?

    Is missionary the norm everywhere or did it only become so among some populations – and do those populations correlate with the kissers also?

    Read More
    • Replies: @bach

    In what position – missionary?
     
    When sex becomes more than just a primal, utilitarian act shouldn't a varied number of positions be expected?
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  97. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    White Europeans have an excellent way of committing rape- they do it en masse - like the millions of German women raped by white Russian troops in World War 2. Its just so much more efficient when you go by 'volume'. And they do it creatively with all ages- like the tens of thousands of children raped by said white Russians. But white Germans also engaged in hundreds of thousands of rapes of women taken from the areas they overran in Eastern Europe, particularly the Soviet Union. And in the Holocaust death camps, rape of Jewish victims was common. Whites are the biggest rapists of all time, and that's just looking at Europe.

    like the millions of German women raped by white Russian troops in World War 2

    That was unique in modern times in that there was direct incitement to rape and kill German civilians by the Soviet equivalent of Goebbels: Ilya Ehrenburg.

    Whites are the biggest rapists of all time, and that’s just looking at Europe.

    Obviously not true when you consider the relative sizes of population over time – and possibly not even true if you only compare with the Congo over the last 30 years.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    o/t but now I think of it the Congo is a bit like a much more extreme version of the inner city gang culture with psychos roaming around in militia bands (the military version of gangs) producing a disproportionate percentage of the kids - no wonder it never stops.
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  98. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @anon

    like the millions of German women raped by white Russian troops in World War 2
     
    That was unique in modern times in that there was direct incitement to rape and kill German civilians by the Soviet equivalent of Goebbels: Ilya Ehrenburg.

    Whites are the biggest rapists of all time, and that’s just looking at Europe.
     
    Obviously not true when you consider the relative sizes of population over time - and possibly not even true if you only compare with the Congo over the last 30 years.

    o/t but now I think of it the Congo is a bit like a much more extreme version of the inner city gang culture with psychos roaming around in militia bands (the military version of gangs) producing a disproportionate percentage of the kids – no wonder it never stops.

    Read More
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  99. bach says:
    @PandaAtWar
    That depends on what is "public" and "private".

    Confucius etiquette consider in front of children a "public" matter, too.

    Ancient Chinese did kiss in private - man and woman alone. Eveything else would be consideraed as "public". Public display of affection by kissing, or even physically touching (such as touch cheeks, heads, arms, or any body part, especially between men and women) would be considered as a big No No according to Confucius basic manners.

    This short vid also show many Confucius etiquette in different occasions in public:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sBuYXLQQ8o

    Ancient Chinese did kiss in private – man and woman alone.

    I think that may answer our question.

    Read More
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  100. bach says:
    @anon

    Sex without kissing is like eating without enjoying the flavor of food.
     
    In what position - missionary?

    Is missionary the norm everywhere or did it only become so among some populations - and do those populations correlate with the kissers also?

    In what position – missionary?

    When sex becomes more than just a primal, utilitarian act shouldn’t a varied number of positions be expected?

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Sure, my point is if the basal position doesn't involve kissing (cos ergonomics) then maybe kissing and missionary went together.
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  101. Bliss says:
    @Luke Lea
    re: why didn't Rome invent the steam engine or inaugurate the Industrial Revolution?

    There is reason to think that religion, more specifically Christianity, and more specifically still, Calvinistic Christianity was a key factor. This of course was the famous hypothesis of Weber in his The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Christianity. It is no accident that almost all the men who pioneered the Industrial Revolution in England were not only Protestant, but non-conformists.

    Keep in mind that Jesus taught an ethic of self-sacrifice and non-resistance to evil. He also taught an ethic of capital investment, most clearly in The Parable of the Talents as described in the book of Matthew. What is capital, historically, if not the accumulated crime and sacrifice of centuries, plus interest? In my view, capitalism was a way of redeeming the original sin of civilized societies, which was conquest and servitude. It began in Rome, a world that "groaned in agony and travail" (in the words of St. Paul) and led to human liberation, the proof of which is all around us.

    Indeed, I would go further and say that capital is a re-embodiment of the spirit of Christ, or, more provocatively, it is the re-incarnation of Christ. Perhaps that is a truth that can bring the races together? I know it sounds crazy, but is it crazy enough?

    He also taught an ethic of capital investment, most clearly in The Parable of the Talents as described in the book of Matthew….Indeed, I would go further and say that capital is a re-embodiment of the spirit of Christ, or, more provocatively, it is the re-incarnation of Christ

    “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19.24)

    “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19.21)

    “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24)

    Based on the above and numerous other similar verses condemning greed, your understanding of the Parable of the Talents, and the Gospel of Jesus, is clearly wrong.

    It is worth noting here that the earliest christians were the very opposite of capitalists:

    “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions were his own, but they shared everything they had.” (Acts 4:32)

    “There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from their sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.” (Acts 4:34-35)

    “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” (Acts 4:44-45)

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  102. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @AshTon
    When and why did the English kiss decline?

    Protestantism.

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  103. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @bach

    In what position – missionary?
     
    When sex becomes more than just a primal, utilitarian act shouldn't a varied number of positions be expected?

    Sure, my point is if the basal position doesn’t involve kissing (cos ergonomics) then maybe kissing and missionary went together.

    Read More
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  104. Deduction says:
    @Anonymous
    "Sweden" inhabits not just a piece of physical territory in Scandinavia, but the media-scape as well. People increasingly spend most of their waking hours consuming media, so the inhabitants and influences in the media-scape may or can be more relevant than those physically closer:

    "U.S. Media Consumption to Rise to 15.5 Hours a Day – Per Person – by 2015"

    http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/u.s._media_consumption_to_rise_to_15.5_hours_a_day_per_person_by_2015

    If the mediascape is so important in forming Swedish positioning and Jews are crucial to the mediascape then why is Sweden really quite anti-Israel?

    There must be a flaw in your thought. Let me suggest where you are right and where you are wrong.

    1. It is true that Jews are very pro-Israel, they can be critical but they are criticising from an assumption that Israel should thrive.

    2. It is also true that the media is extremely influential and it is true that Jews are disproportianately successful in the media and furthermore that the media tends to be bone-headedly mulitcultural.

    However non-Jews in the media also tend to be bone-headedly multicultural, and Jews outside of the US don’t seem to have enough influence to make the media particularly pro-Israel. Indeed it is often quite hostile.

    This means that the number of Jews in a country is an important factor in how pro or anti Israel the media and the country is but not in how bone-headedly multicultural, the other type of people attracted to a career in media do that themselves.

    This really makes a lot of sense considering the type of people who go into the media and where they live. They are all what you call ‘liberal’ when they are young, always have been and all live a cosmopolitan lifestyle. This contrasts completely with people I know who did not go into the media.

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  105. @notMyusualName
    I guess that dry sex could count as "perverted", kinky sex, given that its primary goal is to increase sexual pleasure (for the man).

    What do ritual mutilation and murder have to do with people seeking novel sexual sensations ? They kill kids and use their genitals to make more money, to earn promotions, to cure diseases, etc. Unimaginably barbaric but I don't see how it's in the same category as dry sex or the various paraphilias that one can learn about on fetlife.

    What do ritual mutilation and murder have to do with people seeking novel sexual sensations

    If it’s magic for sexual purposes it sort of counts. If someone drinks potion they believe magically increases their sexual abilities it’s sort of similar.

    a woman who had gone to a sangoma for help to fall pregnant

    I don’t know how it’s used, but say, putting a magic talisman of human body parts under the pillow to increase your sex mojo might be considered kinky, or at least wierd.

    Read More
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  106. Sean says:

    From an evolutionary point of view it would pay off for women find out if a suitor is serious about them. What about women being able to tell from the kiss if the man has the biological signature of being in love? Gordon Gallup and others say the the characteristics of semen change depending on the man’s state of arousal, and salivary hormone levels might be detectable. Or, maybe kissing (which is supposed to raise oxytocin levels) is a way for women to make men feel more loving.

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  107. @Peter Frost
    Evolutionary psychology is a rational discipline, but not a science- let’s be frank. Something can be gleaned from it, but most historically important events just cannot. Among my faves is Greek explosion of creativity from ca. 700 to 200 B.C.

    It's important to distinguish between Evolutionary Psychology and HBD. The former posits a single human nature that arose in the Pleistocene and that is shared by all humans. The latter posits that there is no single human nature. Humans have never stopped evolving, and in fact are a rapidly evolving species. In particular, the pace of human genetic evolution increased a hundred-fold about 10,000 years ago with the advent of farming and more complex societies.

    In history, explosions of intellectual creativity occur when the "smart fraction" increases as a proportion of the population. This can happen for mundane reasons, like the creation of new occupations that require more thought and foresight. Or the demographic expansion of the middle class (as described by Gregory Clark in England).

    I wonder if kissing is more prone to be in favor when there are less germs/diseases to be spread.

    I notice that people are more reluctant to shake hands now. This is one thing we lose when we move from a high-trust society to a low-trust society.

    So why didn’t a lot of stuff start then [Roman times]? Conditions were much better for it than they were for at least a 1000 years.

    Probably because the smart fraction of their society was steadily declining. The Romans had below-replacement fertility, and this situation seems to have been worse among the upper classes.

    Is kissing restricted in a culture that is rigidly hierarchal and where personal freedom is subjugated and stifled?

    More like the reverse. The cross-cultural study found an association between the prevalence of kissing and class stratification. In class-stratified societies, there is greater patronage of the arts, and the arts (poetry, prose, painting) seemed to have played a key role in raising the prestige of kissing and making it into an art form.

    East Asia is an interesting exception. I'm not sure why, but there is a morbid fear of "pollution" in East Asian societies. That may have been a factor.

    “Good reason may exist for wet kisses. In females, salivary sulfur-containing breath volatiles of microbial origin vary cyclically with circulating hormone level,

    Yes, there may be an olfactory factor as well. Erotic literature often speaks about the fragrance of kisses, and the Inuit will say that they kiss to smell a person's face.

    So how do you reconcile the abhorrence of kissing among east asians with the claim that kissing originated in northern eurasia?

    Because the two groups are very different. The former are an advanced urban/agricultural society. The latter are hunting bands. Do you think all Asians are the same? We're also looking at two different time periods of development.

    Also, does that imply some similarity in their brain structure with that of SSAs who are also not into kissing?

    Overall brain structure? No. I'm talking about a single behavioral pattern that seems to have undergone some hardwiring in one part of the brain.

    Basically, your post is inconsistent BS. As usual…

    Do you talk this way to people face-to-face?

    The woman represented in that statue presses all my buttons.

    She may have been the artist's wife, the actress Elga Sinding.

    but there is a morbid fear of “pollution” in East Asian societies.

    Bhuddism ie Hindu culture from few millenia ago reasons could be many, that thought process gave rise to Untouchability of those who work in meat & alcohol

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  108. @PandaAtWar
    Panda´s point still stands:

    1. Pure and natural physical contacts like kissing to show love or affiliation of the human races are primitive traits by default. People tend to do things without thinking or any kind of restrictions when these things are considered natural. This by default means primitive, because primitive things are the easiest to do, all of them being without any restrictions.

    e.g when you feel something in your nose, in the most natural and primitive settings, you will pick your nose straright away without any restrictions.

    Kissing is just like picking nose - a natural and primitive behaviour in its very beginning.

    So contrary to what dumbasses such as Havelock Ellis claimed that `kissing began with civlized man`, No sir, kissing began with my donkey and yours! End of.


    2. If some groups of humans stop doing what considered to be natural things to do, due to one reason or another (e.g. rules, laws, orders, religions, beliefs, social differences, class differences, politeness, social etiquette, etc.) It , by default,means that the said human groups have developed a certain degree of sophistication, therefore are most likely more envolved or more civilised than the ones without any restrictions.

    The King of England banned the kissing due to plaque consideration you said? well, one of the fundamental reasons that `ban order` was issued and carried out successfully was that the society had developed a certain degree of sophistication. On the contrary, you see even in today´s world , many countries still can not give a `ban order`to `sex without condoms` when there´s a widespread pandemic sexual desease in the region, becasue sex without condom is the most natural and primitive thing to do and those countries haven´t developed sophicatry to regulate or advise the related issues are most likely less civilised.

    Lol, my bhuddist friend refinement without force leads to extinction. That’s why we left bhuddism for Sikhism.

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