Friday Fluff – September 24th, 2010

By Razib Khan | September 24, 2010 1:41 pm


1. First, a post from the past: Historical Dynamics and contingent conditions of religion

2. Weird search query of the week: “porn makes you straight.”

3. Comment of the week, in response to Swedes are not sexist or nativist:

I’ve been living in Sweden for somewhat more than a year now. I previously lived in Canada, the USA, and Germany. From those countries, the Swedes are at least in my impression the most backward thinking nation I’ve encountered. Nowhere else have I heard so often the replies “Because we’ve always done it like that.” or “That’s just how we do it in Sweden,” when I inquired about the reason for a particularly dumb procedure or policy. (An example: You won’t get a contract for a phone unless you’ve paid taxes for at least 7 months. WTF, I wonder, is that business of the phone company? And let me not get started about the rental situation in that country, but hey, they’ve always done it like that.) I always want to tell them, if we’d all be thinking that way, we’d still live in the stone age. But then, the Swedes are way too polite to tolerate my bickering.

4) Poll question….

(last week’s results were 30% accept peak oil, 40% reject it, and 30% don’t know)

5) And finally, your weekly fluff fix:


MORE ABOUT: Friday Fluff

Comments (11)

  1. Tom

    If the male sex bias is a problem, it is a problem with women. They need to get more curious about the fascinating things you talk about. If it’s not a problem that they are not so interested, then the sex bias of your readership is not a problem. But one wonders how women will ever understand the world if they don’t read your blog.

    Don’t hurt me Miss Katharine!

  2. Chris T

    The readership for romance novels is mostly women; if that’s not a problem for publishing companies, why should it be a problem that your blog skews mostly male?

  3. Mary

    “. . . . . . . and they’re going down the stretch. . . . . .and it’s Fluff by 20 lengths.”

    Maybe most women direct their curiosity inward. I don’t know. I find the company of most women to be extremely boring. I’m not too weird, since I’m a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. But there it is. And let’s be honest, not that many men want to spend much time on these subjects. I just regret that my lack of education impedes my understanding in much I read here. But I’m in love with this blog. Go Razib. You are an indefatigible poster! Also to the reader who mentioned the Peter Mathiessen book Under the Mountain Wall, thanks. I’m enjoying it, though it makes me sad.

  4. Zora

    Women are no less curious and intelligent than men. They are just put off by sexism, which is frequently on display here. Look at comment #1 in this thread!

  5. #1 wasn’t artfully stated, but the implicit assumption is that what people are curious about may differ. and that may differ by demographic. chris pointed out the issue explicitly in #2. all concerns about proportionate representation have models of how preferences are distributed, but those models aren’t vetted, they’re just intuition or assumption. what men and women invest their marginal time in differs, on average, across a host of issues.

  6. muffy

    Well, I’m a woman and I like your blog, Razib. For what difference it makes, I’m gay, and I don’t really consider myself much of a “girly-girl” type. I find that I tend to have an easier time getting to know male acquaintances because I find that men tend to discuss more interesting topics. I do recall reading in one of those silly “how gendered is your brain?” quizzes that women like to talk more about “personal” issues (e.g. relationships, gossip, etc.) while men are more interested in “global” issues (politics, science, etc. — stuff discussed a lot here). I think there may be some truth to that idea.

    I do agree with Zora, though, that some of the comments can be rather off-putting (which is probably true of all blogs, though).

  7. I do agree with Zora, though, that some of the comments can be rather off-putting (which is probably true of all blogs, though).

    “off-putting” is not an objectionable term because it has a subjective connotation. who am i to tell you what you might find off-putting? OTOH, accusations of sexism and racism are different because there’s an implicit understanding that there’s some presumed standard we agree to “out there.”

    the reality is that there are plenty of times i’ve been on the receiving end of “i can’t believe you said that” or “i can’t believe you allowed that to be said!” so i can see how women may find the material more objectionable, on average. a disproportionate number of my readers are socially retarded males who exhibit interpersonal obtuseness. but just cuz because you’re a social retard doesn’t mean you’re necessarily a sexist.

  8. Ketil Tveiten

    Re: the comment about Sweden being backwards: I just moved here (Stockholm) from Norway, and yes, I found almost everything here to be kinda backwards compared to Norway. I complained about this over Facebook, and my friend who recently moved to the US replied, “Yeah, well, you don’t have to pay by cheque”.

    I guess every country has something they do in a really backwards way, some more than others.

  9. Rimon

    I love that pic of your cat running! so cute.

    also, I’m female and don’t think it’s a problem that most of your readers are male. More men are interested in the topics you cover than women. This is only a problem for your male readers who would like to find a girlfriend with similar interests to them – apparently there aren’t many!

  10. Stu

    I’m one of your more extreme socially retarded male readers and more interested in details of this week’s fluff pix than sex bias. Is it a frame taken from a video? Is there a story behind fluff’s antics?


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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