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Hurricane Irene has now arrived in New Jersey. Actually, it's probably been here for a while already, or at least its edges have been. The actual eye of the hurricane won't pass over for at least several more hours yet though it's been raining off and on since the late afternoon. From what I can tell, it doesn't look like it's going to turn out to be the dire clusterfuck from the heavens that some had been predicting. They were saying earlier this week that this could be the worst storm to hit the area in over 60 years. Almost all the hurricanes and tropical storms that move up the coast usually turn in to beat on North Carolina or swirl out to sea. It's pretty rare that NJ gets a direct strike and it looks like it's going to hit Atlantic City head on. I guess that should be all that surprising. AC is where all the dregs tend to wind out eventually.

It is interesting watching how people are dealing with the onset of the storm. There was some moderate amount of panic buying as hardware stores were emptied and pallets of water were sometimes hard to find. That seems to have been the rare case as most people around here seem rather blaise about the whole thing. You almost wish that the storm really had been the big one, just to watch some of these people get their comeuppance. If you want to know what I'm talking about, just watch this video.



I swear to God this is what happens when natural selection no longer works its magic. These people should not be allowed to breed and yet I'm sure they're out there shooting sperm at people and at least a few of those inebriated swimmers will hit paydirt, to society's dismay. Earlier, I also saw a video of a bunch of morons who thought it would be spiffy to get a closer look at the hurricane so they went out on an extended pier. Cue a giant wave which sweeps over the pier, bashing around a baker's dozen people to the ground and actually sweeping 8 people off it. Last I heard, at least one moron had to be taken to the hospital in serious condition. Frankly, it might be in our gene pool's best interest for them to just pull the plug. Evolution only works when there's a serious detriment for stupidity. Clearly, that's seldom the case nowadays. You usually have to be stupid on a truly epic scale to end up with the Darwin Award nowadays. Most morons survive their idiocy and go on to spawn hoards of idiotic rugrats who will also survive to breeding age, more's the shame.

Anyway, my main concern with this storm is I really don't want to lose power. Not having my laptop/internet and stuck in a room with 100% humidity sounds like it could describe a suburb of hell. We had a momentary power flicker earlier, which knocked out my raid server and I haven't bothered to go downstairs to reboot it. I figure there's no point since that's likely to continue throughout the night. I just hope that if there are outages at least they don't last very long. I can hear the wind and rain lashing the windows and it sounds pretty gnarly out there.

If you hear a shriek of rage and despair, that'll be me as the power goes out.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
barking_iguana
Aug. 28th, 2011 07:17 am (UTC)
Natural selection, or rather its adjunct sexual selection, is indeed at work. Risk taking serves the same reproductive purpose as a huge, almost worthless lobster claw you have to drag around. They are unconsciously advertising that if they can survive being that stupid, they must be robust.
henwy
Aug. 28th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
Eh. As far as I'm concerned, that's just a post-hoc, recursive argument which evolutionary psych is prone to. The fact is that we don't face the evolutionary pressures we used to. The recursive part is that you can argue that new ones have cropped up, but that usually goes against the common layman idea of natural selection to begin with. Maybe one of the fringe benefits of forming a society is so that stupidity isn't as severely punished or selected against, but I'm not sure that's always a good thing.
barking_iguana
Aug. 29th, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure knowledge of sexual selection entailing obvious disadvantages to prove erstwhile viability goes back to Darwin, not latter-day evolutionary psychologists, but I don't know if you're challenging the whole idea or just when it manifests by young human males braving danger.

In any case, the length of time that staying out of harms way has been relatively unimportant is too short to have much of an impact on the gene pool by probably more than an order of magnitude.
henwy
Aug. 29th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
What I'm arguing is that evolutionary psychology/biology has a tendancy to Beg the Question. I mean that in its real usage, not what it's erroneously become in modern parlance. You assume that every behavior that exists has an evolutionary benefit or is tied to something which does because, after all, it exists. If it wasn't beneficial or tied to something beneficial, it wouldn't have been selected for all these eons and thus, wouldn't exist. It's been argued that evolutionary biologists (and some anthros) are basically the opposite of scientists who have a problem, gather evidence and find a solution. Evolutionary biologists are given an answer, and then gather evidence to find the question.
barking_iguana
Aug. 29th, 2011 03:11 am (UTC)
There is that danger, and I agree sometimes an flavor-of=-the-generation wherein the danger manifests. But it's hardly the only field where adequately controlled experiments are impossible. We need to be skeptical, but it's still worth asking why things are the way they are, I think peacock feathers can safely be classed as a product of sexual selection and I think human male bravery displays can almost as safely be similarly classed.

The thing about sexual selection, though, is the characteristic really is disadvantageous from a life-expectancy perspective. It is part of nature,human nature included, that were will be casualties as a population balance is maintained.
socarefully
Aug. 28th, 2011 08:27 pm (UTC)
Hahaha.....
I always tell people I am not having kids as I want to make the world a better place.

henwy
Aug. 29th, 2011 03:03 am (UTC)
The scary part is that intelligence is inversely correlated with number of children you have. So the brighter you are (not to mention the richer and more educated) the less likely you are to spawn. I'm not sure that's a winning combination either.
socarefully
Aug. 29th, 2011 11:44 am (UTC)
This partly explains why all the not so intelligent guys like to try and chat up girls...whist the brighter ones are harder to find.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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