Weekend Remembrance of Dr. Kai Chaikin
by Timothy De Lizza
EVENT GUIDE & READING SYLLABUS
FRIDAY (Chaikin Hall) 7:00 PM:* Rereading of a speech first given by Ciro Basavarai to a non-denominational Christian audience at Cooper Union’s Lecture Hall on June 6, 2023. Contractions have been separated and Ciro Basavarai has altered certain phrases that transfer poorly to the page. Original Questions and Answers section also included.
9:00 pm:* Discussion: The Significance of Sir Alec’s Bladder Theory
SATURDAY (Chaikin Hall) 7:00 PM: Roundtable: The significance of prime numbers in Dr. Kai Chaikin’s Work. (Feat. Dean Hue; Prof. Johnstone; and Seniors Jennifer Song and Lee Fung)
8:00 pm: Discussion: Kai Haikman’s Memory Theory
SUNDAY (Rouv Library) 7:00 PM: Reading from “Human Thought.” (Informal discussion will follow.)
(Meetinghouse) 9:00 pm:* A musical composition written by Kai Haikman performed by the Earlham Orchestra.
* Denotes Mandatory for first years. You are expected to familiarize yourselves with the readings before attending. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before scheduled start times.
SPEECH: “IN DEFENSE OF DR. CHAIKIN’S BLADDER THEORY”
By Ciro Basavari
It is an honor being here in Cooper Union’s historic lecture hall. I am always amazed by the history of the hall, and to think I am where Lincoln and countless other remarkables once spoke.
I am here to speak on something of modern importance. My Christian friends, in recent months criticism of Dr. Kai Chaikin’s "Study of the Human Bladder" (Berkeley Associates, San Francisco, 2017) has increased considerably. This study identifies bladder size as the predominant factor of human success by most Western standards. Humans with large bladders are more productive, more socially adept, and more confident with the opposite sex, and indeed report being happier.
These conclusions have come under fire from groups as diverse as the NAACP to the Christian Coalition. Fatia Sokol, the United Nations representative from Belarus, recently denounced the study on the UN floor on grounds of its elitism. Pressure has built for the Tory government of Britain to do the same.
Most of the criticism is misdirected and misinformed. My purpose today is to clarify and defend what Dr. Chaikin was intending to share, and to take a position on church participation in this debate.
First, I would take a moment to discuss Dr. Chaikin as a man. Dr. Chaikin’s life story is as remarkable as his work. His Chinese-American father died of alcoholism when Chaikin was four, and his Irish-American mother abandoned him a year after. During his childhood he lived in various places, and suffered from an auto-immune disorder that caused frequent hospital stays.
He overcame this, and moved up through the California education system. After graduating first in his class at UCLA, he moved to Berkeley for his Masters and PhD. A thesis on immune systems was his break into the scientific community, published in both Our Times and in a less technical form in Scientific American.
Despite these accomplishments, during our interview he was soft-spoken, serious, and without a trace of arrogance. He struck me as one of those good men who, because of their goodness, went into science to avoid the ambiguity of corporate or political life. He was surprised and almost embarrassed by his success.
This leads us back to his present research. His research, as outlined in ‘Study of the Human Bladder,’ is thorough and convincing. It covers economic data, reported depression levels, human biology and long-term observational research. His research team included specialists in each of these fields, totaling seven experts such as has been rarely assembled. His team included Janet Levy, the Human Biologist whose groundbreaking work redefined loneliness; Edger Crowell, General Psychologist, from Yale’s old guard; Monique Chandrasekaran, the Posnerist Statistician and former economic advisor to the Merklein Administration; James Pantelis from Richmond, Indiana, the Social Constructionist/ Theologian of Bethany School of Religion; Denise Siena, Behaviorist Specialist; Alex Markovski, Psycho-biologist from Russia whose primary work focused on connections in Moscow’s brothels; and finally Rosabela Washington, Political Analyst/ Historian from Harlem’s 119th Street think-tank.
The results of the study were astonishing. Rarely had any two of the experts agreed on theories – especially Chandrasekaran and Pantelis have historically hotly contested methods and conclusions made by the other.
Responses to the results were equally fascinating. Rarely has a study been so thoroughly peer reviewed, and so unsuccessfully criticized. Oxford and Bombay University were both separately able to duplicate the research findings. The three major biology reviews Our Bodies; Human Self and Quarterly all complimented Chaikin and Levy’s methods and only offered almost wistful criticism on emotional grounds. The only reputable source of criticism has come from a former collogue of Chaikin’s, Kai Hakemian. Hakemian argues that the bladder theory is flawed - not because the research is wrong - but because it fails to realize the bladder effect is corollary related to the more important factor of memory.
The findings can be summarized as follows: If we track two lives: Johnny “Large-Bladdered” and Johnny Small-Bladdered, then we can see the extent of the disparity in opportunity. Johnny Large, when he is young, can play with his friends for longer periods of time. He will not even consider this body function when deciding what social situations to be put in. When he has to be in class for long periods of time he considers the lesson, rather than his bladder.
In the best of cases, Johnny Small, will learn to ‘hold it in’ and be distracted as he attempts to be considerate. You see, it is not only the disconnect caused by a break in activity that results in loss, but also the time distracted by the need from what has to be done, and worrying that the need will arrive soon.
As Johnny Large ages his confidence will create around him an assumed air of success. This will be coupled with another, surprising, side effect. The pain of holding in urine was found to be amongst the most primary, a key to predicting many other pains. Johnny Large will only gain the ability to sympathize on a level of pity. This subtle detachment does not make Mr. Large a less “caring” individual, rather it affords him the distance to operate on a dying man, or send soldiers forward to die.
Johnny Small, by contrast, is betrayed by his own empathy. When he cuts the patient he senses some of the pain, and in feeling, is distracted by it, and his quality of work lessened. When he does succeed, he cannot justify his own successes or wealth where others have none.
This is where Hakemian and Chaikin’s theories begin to overlap – Hakemian claims that it is this increased thinking, and self-conscious behavior leads to a dwelling on choices and moments and develops ultimately a strong and long memory. Hakemian suggests that a tendency toward pain, indecision, empathy and doubt develop memory cells more than success, decision, sympathy and certainty.
[Question 1 from Audience: How does Sir Alec’s research relate to Dr. Chaikin’s?]
It cannot be emphasized enough that Dr. Chaikin’s studies do not endorse or imply Sir Alec’s theory. At best, they served as a foundation Sir Alec attempted to build on, at worst, to distort.
Sir Alec is a sharp contrast to Chaikin. He knows exactly the political ramifications of what he is saying and speaks with energy. His essay, entitled ‘The Greatest Race’ (Phantom Press, London, 2023) is confrontational in title and content. During our interview, Sir Alec spent most of the conversation grinning, and the grin grew broader as the points he raised became more controversial.
Sir Alec’s point is often lost in discussions of his work. Much focus has been placed on his claim that there is an average ranking of bladder size among the races, and that this ranking has pre-determined each group’s success
Yet, this is not the point of Alec’s research. Rather, at heart an Ameri-philo, he says that the ‘Greatest Race’ is a mixed race, and argues a bladder produced by inter-racial marriages is typically much larger than averages for either race alone. He foolishly uses dogs as an example; a mixed breed has long been known to be healthiest. He believes this mixing should be a universal goal.
The media has skewered Alec for largely the wrong reason. He is not condemnable because he believes Aboriginal Australians are biologically superior, but rather for arguing mixed biology elitism. I even asked him why a scientific elitism that concludes a mixed race is best is better than concluding any of the individual strains. He replied to me dryly, “My conclusions are more politically palatable.”
Clearly Sir Alec admires Dr. Chaikin both in life and work. The only fault he finds is Chaikin’s unwillingness to support Alec’s cause. Indeed, Dr. Chaikin’s endorsement would give Alec a scientific weight that it rightly lacks.
Whereas few dispute Dr. Chaikin’s research, Sir Alec’s claims are unverified. Dr. Chaikin himself warned me against listening too closely to the political uses of his work, saying, “What politicians do by nature is distort science and truth.”
[Question 2 from the audience: What are the practical consequences of this study?]
The US Health Administration has become concerned enough to warn against artificially enlarging bladders using ‘herbal’ products, or even operations or genetic alterations that promise to “eliminate the natural urges.” Officials emphasize the lack of testing done on these products. They strongly denounce the dangerous black market operations recently exposed by Health Watch magazine, calling the operations “a vicious attempt to exploit the less-informed wealthy.”
Some surveys show an increase in inter-racial dating, and it has been suggested that same race dating will become as taboo as inter-family dating. More information is needed, and there has not yet been the massive spike in inter-racial marriages that Sir Alec claims is near.
[Question 3 from the audience: Should Christians be concerned?]
This is not a reduction of human concerns to a “Skinner Box.” Nature and nurture do play roles in the Chaikin model, but there is room for something else.
Chaikin said himself, “My study has shown a fact: Those with a large capacity to hold urine lead more successful lives. Christianity shows us another fact: equality before God. I see no contradiction.”
I agree that we should in no way feel threatened by these findings.
However, in response to the recent suggestion that churches should fund or endorse research that searches to ‘discover’ whether there is a bladder superiority of particular sects of Christians over others, I answer “No. No. No, we should not.” Searching for scientific backing to righteousness is a path we should leave to others.
All right, final question.
[Question 4 from the audience: Are those with larger bladders more intelligent?]
No, Chaikin’s research never suggested that idea. Just as Chaikin said that those with larger bladders are equally “moral,” in the sense that they are equally prone to care about the situations of others and of the character of their own action – all evidence points to the idea that intelligence, morality, and indeed tendency towards having a strong connection with God is equally distributed amongst variations in bladder sizes.
If individuals have additional questions, I would encourage you to write me or I will be up here for a while and you may come up and have questions answered.
To the rest of you, I thank you for your time. Good night and God bless.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SIR ALEC’S BLADDER STUDY
By Ciro Basavari
At the pinnacle of Sir Alec’s ranking are those races already considered ‘mixed.’ Ie: Hispanics, West Indians, Americans. They are considered part of ‘The Greatest Race’ category. These are followed, respectively by Australian Aborigine; Western Caucasian [French, English, etc]; Japanese; Ethnic Jewish; Indian; African; Non-Japanese Asian; Native American; Middle Eastern; Eastern Caucasian [Russian, Polish, etc]. Note that any mixing, for example between Russian and Middle Eastern, results in a pinnacle human. A blend of all would be highest.
As I was leaving Sir Alec’s home a house servant informed me that Alec is dating a young Indian woman. Alec has not leaked this to the public both for the admirable desire to keep his personal life out of politics, and because the young woman in question is indeed young. He will soon be fifty, and she will be twenty. I believe the lady was actually Australian Aborigine. If this is true, and they had been dating since before the study, it would suggest the degree to which his research is arbitrary. Placing of Australian Aborigine at the top may be a romantic gesture and not a result of any scientific research beyond number crunching.
I do not make this accusation lightly. Several of the same peer reviews that praised Chaikin, ridiculed Alec. Human Self, for example, suggested better statistics could have come from throwing darts while blindfolded.
After my speech was given, I came across a paper Sir Alec wrote for university entitled ‘The Next Race’ (written for University of Ulster, Magee, Londonderry, 1995). It was a less radical version of what his scientific claims would become – stating that religious divisions in Northern Ireland could be resolved by government encouragement, through a series of half truths used to convince people of the benefits of cross community marriage. He claimed these half-truths would be justified by the reduction of bigotry that would result. This, I think, solidifies the case against his argument.
PRIME NUMBERS IN CHAIKIN’S WORK
By Monique Chandrasekaran (from her memoir)
Dr. Chaikin’s birth date, November 29, 1973, is composed entirely of primes. His research group has seven members. The separate chapters of “The Study of the Human Bladder” form primes (Introduction: 211 words, 907 characters; Chapter one: 4999 words; Chapter two 4591 words, etc) and the book itself has 1,523 pages.
Much has been made of the repetition of the word Nymph. First, it is introduced on page 23 to describe a child woman; then on page 1,583 to describe a human emotion “The nymph, hope, playfully tugged”. Finally, it is used on 4,703 to describe an immature wood insect. Of the three, only the last appears necessary. The somewhat awkward inclusion of these words leads some to believe the first two references were added in later for purpose, especially considering Chaikin minces needless words so expertly.
Nymph breaks into a prime when each digit is added: (N(14)y(25)m(13)p(16)h(8)= 1+4+2+5+1+3+1+6+8=31). Those core followers insist Chaikin noticed this and so added the first two. The purpose of these inclusions has been speculated as a cryptic love message to his wife, a biologist, whom he considers eternally young. Hannah Chaikin, who is now 38, was 31 around when the text was written.
Chaikin laughed when I mentioned these rumors, saying he had heard them. “How could I decide the number of words in a section? So many editors go over it after it leaves my hands, and I have other researchers helping me write. Do these speculators count appendixes, footnotes, my name at the top of each page, words in and under diagrams? For example, I have a seven-member research team but, if I am counted, it is eight.
“Look,” he said. He curved a pen around Hannah, his wife’s name, so that it covered the peak of the Hs and sunk meeting between the two Ns; as he handed it to me, I saw the ink had formed an infinity symbol. “A palindrome name that, broken into numbers, forms 8 1 14 14 1 8 – two more infinity symbols placed around the edges of the solid singular,” he said. “When the numbers are written sideways the effect is even more dramatic. I can claim this expresses my wife’s complexity, along with her firm grounding, but it more likely expresses my love for my wife. If you look closely anywhere, patterns emerge. Some patterns reveal the subject and some the viewer.”
Indeed, as the primary statistician working on the project I know for a fact that Chaikin did place several mathematically hidden love messages to his wife that no one will ever find, and I would not be surprised if there were more -- that this one is so far fetched makes me suspect chance. I believe the discovery of these patterns reveals more of his audience’s affection for him, that anything else.
However, the way his eyes lit when speaking of the patterns within his wife’s name explains more than Chaikin intended. Something about the solidness of primes (science) and limitlessness of the infinite (God) mirrors the two inter-connected aspects that make up his studies and life.
I asked him if his followers scrutinizing bothered him, and he said this tendency in followers to seek more attachment to scientific texts was inevitable due to the shift in science away from dry writing, and towards the more readable, almost literary style ushered into the sciences by Jennifer Hooker’s Nux Vomica (Everyday Schoolbook Press, Brooklyn, 2011); Although, he added, Hooker’s work itself was informed by the style and artistry of Johannes Kepler’s Mystery of the Cosmos and Harmony of the World (Mysterium cosmographicum, Tübingen, 1596; Harmonices mundi libri V, Linz, 1619).
A BRIEF HISTORY OF KAI HAIKMEN’S MEMORY THEORY
By Ciro Basavari
The most impressive counter-theory to Chaikin’s bladder theory is that of Kai Hakemian. Hakemian argues that human memory is the key factor in success, and any link between bladder and achievement is, at most, a correlation between bladder size and memory.
His work builds on recent social critiques, most importantly including Edger Miesiak’s A Sleeplessness that Never Leaves You (Atri Press, Sydney 2011), Piero Alvarez’s Chaleco Salvavidas Debajo de su Asieto (Si! Si! Si!, Mexico City, 2013). Both these works explored the importance of unthinking in modern life, the former in Australian corporate offices and the latter in Mexican airline flight attendants. Alvarez’s later, more controversial essay Policía extended this unthinking need to corrupt systems - in the essay’s case a PRI controlled local police force in Chiapas, Southern Mexico.
As outlined in Borges’ Funes the Memorious (Emece, Buenos Aires, 1956) a man with a perfect memory would be useless, but Hakemian has taken this theory to the opposite extreme. He believes that forgetting is important above all other things, and the time between information received and information discarded should be as short as possible. The perfect human would know his purpose of that moment, but no other. Hakemian suggests Christ himself was the first of these perfect men, pointing out that not once in the Bible does Christ say “I remember”. In fact, Hakemian argues, this is the only way for Christ to have existed, for how could any God in human skin have looked back on his accomplishments without feeling sinful pride?
Monotony does not exist to the perfect human, for each moment is as fresh as birth; lovers have no fear or feeling except what they are touching. The trick is to teach task without permanency. Hakemian suggests this is achieved by any number of humans for brief periods, and can be learned through discipline. He gave the example of athletes, who only consider catching a ball; and those rare moments of splendor in the darkness of night where we feel only the presence of God inside us.
As a Christian, I agree with Hakemian that if there were a way to receive God’s instruction into us, and act upon it, humans could become perfect. Listening to him closely, I feel this is the very thing he is suggesting.
Virtually unknown outside science fields, Kai Hakemian was referred to me by Kai Chaikin. They had worked together on a study on cat behavior, playfully referred to as the ‘K2 Papers’. They remain friends, and are rumored to be working to combine their theories to include both mental and physical. Sadly, Hakemian’s worsening neuropathy has made it so the burden of research falls on Chaikin.
What we can expect as the result is a needed restructuring of society using technology, chemical compounds, mediation, and spirituality, a suggested model for society that eliminates the remaining uses of memory; leaving us only with what God desires.
Timothy DeLizza was raised in Brooklyn, NY, currently lives in Washington, DC, and may be found here: http://www.timothy-delizza.com/list-of-works/