A nice chat space:
Occasionally I draw attention to the hbd chick blog.  It is remarkable of course.  The courtesy and erudition of those who comment are far superior to other online chats I’ve seen, not that I do much of that. 

Technically the site is excellent.  Adding remarks is easy. It was not clear to me at first how to get into the debate.  hbd chick (does not capitalize and she signs (^_^), which I find most winning.  The site is thick with hot links you can recognize by the color change.  She will write a short essay.  The way you get into the conversation is to click on the title of the essay.  Then you can leave a remark.  Suppose the god Wodan has made a remark like, “Ragnarök is not the zombie apocalypse.”  The standard reply starts out something like, “@Wodan “zombie apocalypse” Funny you should say that.  Have you noticed that each ending of the Mayan Long Count coincides with …” I’m making this up of course. 

So in this pleasant setting somebody made the remark, “Of course humans cannot recognize their own kin.”  There were a number of people who then recounted family stories in which somebody was recognized by a stranger as being a member of a family that the stranger was acquainted with.  Studies were mentioned that included quail and peacocks and their ability to recognize as kin even kin they had never met.

I mentioned that there is a strong emotional aversion to marrying somebody who grew up in the same household, but that otherwise we are drawn to kin and tend to fall in love with them.  It is something that evolution should have produced (or more precisely left in place as it just about certainly far outdates humans) because of the greater reproductive success of such a match. 

Then I said that an enormous number of people have fallen in love with kissing cousins but not married them because our own ideas of romantic love are overlain by so much garbage that few of us are honest about our feelings.  I wondered how many of us live in constant pain because we never married that cousin we fell in love with. 

The word “garbage” was a bit harsh for the setting although everybody let it pass.  Still, I think it’s true.  And “garbage” is actually a rather mild term for the phenomenon.  I hope when you go there you are more polite than I.

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