The Wary Guerrilla, Part I: Abstract

On September 11, 2001, Americans became tragically familiar with terrorists who use suicide bombing as a tactic. In spite of the strangeness of these acts, research suggests that suicide bombers have no observable psychopathology and are at least as economically and educationally well-off as other community members. This study interprets suicide bombing as a domain-specific form of extreme altruistic punishment. Specifically, a variation of the ultimatum game was designed which elicited a more peaceable form of extreme altruistic.

Building on Alford & Hibbing (2004)’s concept of the “Wary Cooperator,” we propose a “Wary Guerrilla” type that punishes to extents not previously demonstrated in a laboratory environment. The “Wary Cooperator” theory suggests that humans are social creatures who depend on groups for assistance in provisioning, offspring-rearing, protection against predators, and a host of other useful and even necessary tasks (Alford & Hibbing, 2006b). Wary cooperators are more concerned with avoiding being suckered than they are their own benefit (Smith, 2006). However, previous experiments have only demonstrated that wary cooperators are able to forfeit future benefits. The wary guerrillas will sacrifice current utility that they possessed before the game began.

The experiment showed that a minority of players, 17.5% of the classic wary cooperators and about 4% of players overall, are wary guerrillas. In violation of our expectations, small-town origin, family income, sex, religious feeling, and belonging to a family-like organization do not help profile wary guerrillas. Surprisingly, absolutist orientation and beliefs, along with self-reported membership in the Republican Party, are reliable guides. Other findings as explored as well.


The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

On the Implausibility of Attractive Science Fiction Afficionados

What could lead an atheist geneticist into the arms of the Right?

I’m a little tipsy right now (fair warning). An 11 hour day, 2 hours past its decent termination due to unexcepted events will necessitate such an occurrence. But let me confess something, I am now a much more confident and confirmed conservative and “man of the Right” than I was 36 hours ago. After being slammed by several fellow ScienceBlogers, I am at peace with my political orientation

Read on to learn more…


Razib posted his astonishment at the physical beauty of a drinking compansion several days ago:

I’m at the local wine bar and a very attractive hostess1 is recommending books in the science fiction genre to another (far less attractive) hostess. So far I’ve heard Ender’s Game, Hyperion and Snow Crash tossed off as appropriate for a “newbie.” Is this the Twlight Zone??? Am I a freak to think this is freaky? I haven’t had a sip of wine, so it isn’t the alcohol.

A remark that wasn’t enjoyed by some

For instance, Retrospectacle:

yet men somehow stay the same. Or worse, regress.

Not sure whether to be more irked that Razib suggests that smart women aren’t hot (and vice versa), that hot women don’t like sci fi, or than sci fi somehow denotes intelligence. Booooooooo.

For instance, Adventures in Ethics and :

# Males have had, over the past centuries, a pretty good track record of overlooking intelligent women, and/or of making the case that women are primarily of value to the extent that they are deemed worthy of male lust.

That crap gets tiresome.

For instance, Aetiology:

Now, I know in the grander scheme of things, a comment about the reading preferences of women at a wine bar is insignificant. What bothers me the most about this is that a fellow scienceblogger–who is surrounded by women who have *competed* at being nerdy, for crimeny’s sake–is surprised by an attractive woman who shows an interest in science fiction, and thinks that this is a rare enough event to comment on it.

For instance, Chimpanzee Refuge:

As a nascent crone who sports a menopausal beard, I’m not terribly concerned about what any given guy thinks of my literary tastes. That’s one of the beauties of aging. You just don’t give a shit. However, I am not so old as to lose appreciation for Shelley’s and Tara’s rapid responses.

For instance, Cocktail Party Physics

On the whole, the discussion has been reasonably civil, but Razib rather predictably retreated into defensive mode, claiming he never said no such thing, and even if he did, it was taken out of context and besides, statistics would bear him out. So there. Razib’s counter-argument might have been more convincing if he hadn’t bragged in his own comment thread about having a “smokin’ hot chica” all his own — which in turn elicited the blogging equivalent of “high fives” from certain less-evolved male readers. *sigh* Because everyone knows that having a hot girlfriend legitimizes one’s manliness in a way a science degree never could. Jen-Luc Piquant thinks it’s rather sad that a smart, talented guy like Razib is so insecure, he has to draw a big chunk of his self-esteem from the relative hotness of his girlfriend. He even commented on Tara’s blog that seeing an attractive woman discussing science fiction in public “was a positive thing for me” — a kind of social affirmation. That said, I think Razib is sincere when he claims to be confused as to why his comments have caused such a ruckus. There’s a subtlety to the issue that young guys in particular seem to miss. Repeatedly.

For instance, Pharyngula:

Finally and in general, these expectations about how women should be expected to look, and what set of irrelevant traits ought to be correlated with desirability, and how we guys ought to tie the preferences of women’s minds with our definitions of the sexual properties of their bodies, is more than a little annoying, and something women ought to be rightly irritated about. These unwarranted assignments of roles on the basis of irrelevant characteristics can hurt people.

For instance, Thus Spake Zuska:

Allow me to declare, officially, that razib has his head so far up his ass he can see his stomach.

Razib’s response:

For the past few years, since I voted for Kerry in 2004, I have been in a limbo. The Right is not the Right, and the Left is still what it always was. And I seek. I sought. And yet the pact with Satan must be made on some day when the bill comes due. And now I’ve come to renew my contract, the personal is the political. As my friend Chet Snicker noted, I have a weakness for female beauty, it is a sin in which mine eyes indulge, a glory beneath which I shudder with awe. In it I do see the face of God in whom I do not believe. There are many joys and pleasures in my life, sweets which makes the journey tolerable. Books, conversation, drinks, food. And yes, beautiful women! As I told a friend, if the feminist Left bans due reverence and respect to female beauty (I don’t imply here omnipresent and crass hooting & hollering, a fixation upon sex and copulation) 95% of males will vote Republican if the secret ballot still holds. Humans will remain human, that is all they are capable of, even if they be sinners. Gnothi seauton? No, know they friends! Let us climb the hill together and not dance to the tune of the shadows cast by our egos.