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March 23, 2006


Ali Sahinbas

excellent post. if what you state really happens then we will also have to witness other fundamental changes in many -isms.

Example :

sexism (this change may trigger hugely popular sexist views in societies)

feminism (where will all the feminists go?)

religious fanaticism (the religion of Islam states that males are allowed to marry up to 4 women = something I personally could never possibly imagine doing since it would be extremely unefficient for me to deal with four different lethal versions of jealousy. But it still remains law that is closer to human nature than limiting the number to only one.)

Susana Rodriguez

Alicim, what Baris suggests is actually an extreme form of feminism: women no longe need a male partner. Men become mere sources of sperm. Why deal with men at all?


the above article is proof to your point. They talked about donor 401 on TV and quoted a woman saying "if you are smart, you'll buy two of them." Apparently the guy has stopped donating at the clinic but the women are dying to find out who he is so they can get some from the source. I say he needs his own reality show.


and here is the "above" article mentioned above...


You bring up the issue of "what if a harem candidate said 'no'?" Often, the woman has the implicit option of not letting a man make the choice. What would the legal ramifications be?.. "She stole my genes!!!"


one measure of biology, two measures of technology and a hint of social traditions... excellent post - an intriguing and fresh look at how they all intersect and meld together to create a brand new 'reality'. my question remains, is the person looking for mr. right online really just looking for the right gene pool or is all of what you are arguing above just another way that we will try to introduce ever more 'convenient' ways to fill the holes in our lives when the emotional void remains...


nice reading u guys


Sagol Firat.


This reminds of the controversial book, "Are Men Necessary?" by Maureen Dowd. Dowd is extremely fond of clever stereotyping and often times delving into the depths of naturalistic fallacies.

Any grandscale social/behavior proposition, such as the one you make using the so-called natural properties/science, tends to underestimate the human yearning for transcendence. Such transcendence may even come at the expense of evolutionary efficiency. Historical love has not been professed to a harem; Mecnun did not kill himself for Leyla along with Sarah, Rebecca, Leslie, Ayse; and if human beings identify a cell-family as having more transcendent (I dare not say good or bad) properties, then they will stick with it despite biological efficiency fueled by contemporary web dwelling.

Another problem with naturalistic fallacies is that they tend to focus on the narrow local. For every Karyn that you cite, I can find 20 Taryns who want someone to hold and cherish, possibly at the expense of their future Nobel-prize winner offspring. The dating landscape is littered with confused careerist women in their thirties looking for that continous warmness in their bed at night. I venture to guess that the "Single Mothers by Choice," despite having grown a gazillion percentages in the past few years started with 10 people and now are 10,000-member strong, like 0.000001% of world's female population. (This situation reminds me my resume: one line states that I helped one of my previous companies grow 25% QoQ and no mention of the base revenue).

The third issue with naturalistic fallacy (some confuse it with is-ought problem) is the trend stretch due to identifiable agents that are finally free to (supposedly) enable immutable laws to take its course. Here Web 2.0 is that agent and even a catalyst. But how come we did not have a gradual trend in the past before the arrival of the Web 2.0? We should have at least had at least 10 kids from 3 women rather than 1000 kids from 500? College would have been a perfect ground for this so-called tendency to flourish, no? Every woman sees who the best athlete is and the smartest guy is etc. Then just break through the societal structures at the urgings of biology, and voila.
They did not need Web 2.0 to start the trend (however miniscule). Here the problem is that Web 2.0 is hyped beyond belief, the naturalistic fallacy seizes upon little nuggets to generalize upon, and does just that. This is often referred to as the messenger being more important than the message problem. Every propoganda falls into this category because the instituition making it likes to portray themselves (the messenger) along with the immutable laws of "whatever" (the message, biology, in this case). Web 2.0 initiating biological avalanche is very audacious to say the least.

We (at least) strive to go beyond our biological limitations (which, by the way, often tend out to be false - refer to the entire race biologics). I think that's why we have not seen a massive polygamistic trend in the past and it sure will not happen in your lifetime. So don't hold your breath.

If you also make an ethical/meaning-based argument as to why we should strive for the Harem, rather than being biologically doomed by it, it would be an even more interesting post - free and clear of the fallacy as well. I hear the Utah VC market is terribly underserved, but gotta convince the missus first...

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Our biology can handle picking the best spouse out of a handful of people, maybe out of a few hundred. That’s what we evolved doing. But what happens when you can now chose your spouse out of 100,000’s of candidates that the Internet puts in front of you from all over the world? Is it more of the same, or will there be a fundamental shift in society. I will make that case that it’s the latter, and the family unit of one man and one woman will be altered. A big change is coming via the Web 2.0.

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The word has been recorded in the English language since 1634, via Turkish harem, from Arabic ḥaram 'forbidden', originally implying 'women's quarters', literally 'something forbidden or kept safe', from the root of ḥarama 'to be forbidden; to exclude'.

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