[ExI] sociology

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Sat Mar 7 18:35:47 UTC 2020

> On Behalf Of Keith Henson via extropy-chat

>...The tendency to get a religion is so common that it must have been under
positive selection pressure at some time in the past.  Not necessarily for
religion per se.  It could be a trait selected for something else (like war)
that makes people vulnerable to religions.

>...But even taking religions as pure parasitic memes, the first thing any
parasite does is protect its host from other parasites.  Or, as I have said
for ages, it's better to be have a well aged religion than to be susceptible
to fatal cults.  Keith

Keith this post is two of the most insightful paragraphs I have seen in
months.  Thanks for that.  Perfect example: Presbyterianism, which implies
old in its name.  Harmless as a butterfly for most of the participants.

I have retitled this thread to include a story I lived in my senior year of
engineering school, regarding a topic I was having offlist with an expert in
the field.  Here ya go:

I was in a house with 17 other engineering students (all men of course) so
we seldom even knew the northeast end of campus was up there.  The education
people, the psychology majors, the sociology majors, art majors, that sorta
thing, were up that way, never even met most of them in that small school of

One of the guys fell for a girl who was the classic easy-coaster, well-to-do
family, there for her MRS degree, sociology major (widely considered the
easiest undergrad degree in those days.)  We got to talking to her, she
admitted that they had to lie to the test subjects to do their sociology
studies, in every case.  

She showed us why: three groups of test subject volunteers, one told what
the study was really about, another group told nothing, and the third told a
false reason.  Vastly different results, the first group producing results
easily falsifiable.  Knowing what the study was about influenced the

A number of us engineers started volunteering for those experiments because
of her, but we did it as a game: try to figure out what the hell they were
really studying.

The girl who knew us (she was the only sociology major who ever ventured
onto the west side of campus where the tech nerds trolled about) set up an
experiment where the sociologists would interview the subjects and have them
fill out a paper test of sorts, an IQ test.  The sociologist would coach
them thru the test.  They both sat at a small square table, no one else in
the room, since the sociologists were studying the test subjects and wanted
to eliminate outside influences.

I must preface this story with a reminder that this was an extremely
conservative religious fundamental college.

So they did the test.  A hidden camera was set up to study the test
subjects.  Unknown to the sociologists running the test, a second and third
hidden cameras were studying the sociologists, nearly all of whom were
female, single and starving (if you get my drift.)

The girlfriend of the engineer had secretly gathered a bunch of girls from a
nearby college and had them rate the men for attractiveness based on photos.

The study was really about how the behavior of the sociologist varied widely
depending on the perceived attractiveness and even the class standing of the
test subject.  Most of the women at that college wore skirts and blouses.
The behavior observed more often with the high-rated men by the sociologists
is a cleavage-producing maneuver where the ladies hold their arms while
leaning across the table to explain something to the men.  They could choose
to sit across the table, or they could sit adjacent on the same side of the
table beside, or at a corner pi/2 radians from the test subject.  The
sociologists chose to sit closer with the hotties, choosing to distance
themselves from us bony-asses.

They would also spend more time and have more eye-contact along with the
boobs-enhancing behavior.  The sociologists were unaware they were being
studied as they thought they were studying seduction behaviors in the men
while the subjects were told they were getting an IQ test.

Well.  When that report came out, all hell broke loose.  It developed into a
huge ethics study in the sociology department.

This was perhaps the only sociology senior project which is still talked
about at that school to this day.


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