“Creationists, pro-lifers and conservatives now pose a serious threat to research and science teaching in the US…
One of the first signs that something was changing came in March last year in the suburbs of northern Atlanta, when people started talking, a little more frequently than might be expected, about mousetraps…” Guardian/UK
“People’s willingness to help someone during a chance encounter on a city street varies considerably around the world” American Scientist
an Adaptation for Overcoming Constraints of the Social Niche:
We outline a new theoretical model of the evolutionary adaptiveness of minor and major unipolar depression. According to our social navigation / social niche change model, the evolved function of depression is the analysis and eradication of a severe socially imposed mismatch between the depressive’s capacities and opportunities for fitness-enhancing activity, where the constraints responsible for the mismatch have a broad or even pervasive basis in the individual’s social network. Minor depression, which we operationally define as a level of depression that can be intentionally hidden from social partners (and often is), optimizes the mind in several ways for (1) identifying possible mismatch-reducing revisions of the individual’s socioeconomic niche and (2) planning active negotiating tactics to achieve their implementation. Major depression may ensue in cases where active tactics of negotiation or coercion consistently fail to yield the investments and concessions from social partners required for substantive niche revision. Watson, PJ & Andrews, PW. 2002.
Toward a revised evolutionary adaptationist analysis of depression:
The social navigation hypothesis. JAD 72, 1-14
The ‘gambler’s fallacy’ results in more crime: ‘They shouldnt bet on it, but convicted crooks do…
as they commit more crimes under the gamblers delusion that if they were caught once, they wont get nabbed again, a new University of Florida study finds.
Like gamblers, repeat lawbreakers expect the odds are in their favor and that they wont be apprehended again unless they were extremely unlucky, said Alex Piquero, a UF criminologist who conducted the study.
Its the idea that lightning never strikes twice (in the same place) – that if I do a lot of crime, get caught and get punished, it cant happen to me again tomorrow, he said. Speeding is the perfect example. People may drive the speed limit for a few days after getting a speeding ticket, but they soon resume their old driving habits because they think there is no way they can get stopped again so soon. ‘
The Olden Mean: “When the posthuman future meets our pre-posthuman selves.” — Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic Monthly
Religious attack horrifies British Muslims: “The body of a Muslim woman was desecrated in a hospital morgue by someone who covered her with strips of bacon, police said Thursday.” The Globe and Mail [via walker, who has a particular ‘radar’ for these depravity stories…]
“People’s anxieties and fears over e-mail etiquette and the inescapable phenomenon of digital blunders has given rise to a new term — pre and post mail tension (PPMT).
As many as half of us fail to properly understand personal e-mails–giving rise to conflicts which may not have occurred if messages had been communicated face-to-face–and blame the resulting confusion for arguments and even relationship break-ups. ” ZDNet
The Strategist and the Philosopher:
Who are these Neoconservatives who play an essential role in the United States President’s choices alongside the Christian Fundamentalists? …The Neoconservatives shouldn’t be confused with the Christian Fundamentalists who are also found in George Bush’s entourage. They have nothing to do with the renaissance of Protestant fundamentalism in the Southern, “Bible Belt” States which is one of the rising forces in today’s Republican Party. Neo-conservatism is East Coast and a little Californian also. Its sources of inspiration have an “intellectual” profile, often New Yorkers, often Jewish, who started out “on the left”. Some still call themselves Democrats. They have a political or literary magazine in hand, not the Bible; they wear tweed jackets, not the double-breasted blue green suits of the Southern televangelists. Usually they profess liberal ideas regarding social and moral issues. Their goal is neither to prohibit abortion nor to impose prayer in the schools. Their ambition is other.
However, explains Pierre Hassner, the singularity of the Bush administration is to have assured a conjunction of these two currents. George W. Bush has made Neoconservatives and Christian fundamentalists live together. The latter are represented in the government by a man like John Ashcroft, the Attorney General. The former have one of their stars as Deputy Defense Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz. George W. Bush, who campaigned from the center right without any very precise political anchorage, has realized a surprising and explosive ideological cocktail, marrying Wolfowitz and Ashcroft, Neoconservatives and Christian fundamentalists, two opposite planets. Le Monde [via truthout]
Blix: ‘UN Inspectors could be back in Iraq in weeks’. “Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said Thursday his experts could be back in Iraq within two weeks of a green light from the Security Council and predicted Washington would one day welcome them back.” Boston Globe
Venezuela has proof Washington was behind failed coup:
A senior Venezuelan army general said the government of the South American country has proof the United States was involved in a short-lived coup against President Hugo Chavez last year.
Army Gen. Melvin Lopez, secretary of Venezuela’s National Defence Council, said Tuesday “proof exists” the U.S. administration was involved in the mid-April putsch. He declined to give further details. “We have the evidence,” Lopez said during an interview broadcast by Venezuela’s state-run television channel.
Lopez said three U.S. military helicopters were on Venezuelan territory during the coup.
A spokesmen from the Pentagon declined comment on the allegation Tuesday night. CBC