Friday, 22 June 2012

Blog: Gene Expression
Topic: Reason: the God that fails, but we keep socially promoting….
Comment: I boggle over a paper on who likes Evolutionary Psychology and Evolution.  Razib subsequently posts on the subject here.

"So far I’ve been talking about opinions and beliefs that are held by contemporaries. The basic model is that you offload the task of reasoning about issues which you are not familiar with, or do not understand in detail, to the collective with which you identify, and give weight to specialists if they exist within that collective".

This appears to be a reasonable perspective and may also help to explain apparent contradictions where they do appear.

For example, I recently found a copy of a paper in my email inbox, after a disagreement about evolutionary psychology in which I was the proponent for, and the other party dismissed the subject matter, by pointing out that those who did not believe in evolution, were much more likely to accept the tenets of evolutionary psychology, than those who did accept the theory of evolution.

My supposition is that the intent behind this, was that having been shown evidence that people of faith accept a certain theory, that this should be sufficient cause for me to discard it, and join in "reading off a collective script".

Quite frankly, I was completely flummoxed. The paper for your consideration is this one:

Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology
2011, 5(2), 1-9. 2011 Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology

"Our results revealed a double dissociation, whereby endorsers of human evolution displayed relatively weak support for claims derived from evolutionary psychology, whereas non-endorsers of human evolution displayed relatively strong support for such claims".

My current working hypothesis after reading the paper, was informed by statements such as this one from the paper which notes that:

"When they learned that the relevant survey items had been drawn from evolutionary theory, opponents of the theory were much less likely to endorse them".

The issue may be attributed to an ideological constraint within a clearly defined boundary, revealing that the individuals have not examined or understood in any great detail what they accept. They have in effect outsourced thinking about these precepts to others.

Under this hypothesis, a grouping such as liberals who accept evolution, reject evolutionary psychology, because their religious beliefs include articles of faith such as the Blank State. Whereas those who believe in God, will accept empirical observation that match their experiences, even if they tie into evolutionary psychology, but their religious beliefs will incline them to reject propositions clearly identified with the theory of evolution.


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Blog: Gucci Little Piggy
Topic: Sex to Impress
Comment: I have some admittedly childish fun with Michael and his writing style, and my own, indirectly referencing my ongoing and life long struggle to be "accessible", and hence the weak allusion to McLuhan. Any doubts that my comment was supposed to be gibberish in the postmodernism style, should have been dispelled by the links I provided at the end.

It appears that your inter-textual analysis of cultural deconstruction was not sufficiently broad nor inclusive on the one hand, and on the other the focus was weakly shifted, as it was insufficiently opaque at the edges and margins.

Because one is generally faced with a choice: either reject subcultural modernist theory or conclude that consensus is a product of communication, and I believe you have failed to conclusively demonstrate a sufficiently reductionist posture for the former, while only weakly advancing the case for the latter, and it shows an insufficient appreciation of the transition from within being externalized, while maintaining a cohesive integrity, and to transition this sufficiently while sufficiently populating the exterior, it is also crucial to actualize this posture suitable to the medium it is expressed within.

I can not emphasize enough that synthesis of this dynamic tension predicates a successful strategy.

I hope that you appreciate that I have deliberately structured this critique to be accessible to your demonstrated level of ability, and thus have kept the technical jargon to a minimum.


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Blog: Magan's
Topic:Open Borders Journal to Class of 2012: Drop Dead
Comment: The very first comment gets worked over by subsequent posters.

The initial comment rapidly mutates from this:  

The lack of self-awareness amongst the chattering classes is truly frightening. They pick up poison and call it bread, force you to eat it, and then wonder why you die.

To this:

The amorality amongst the chattering classes is truly frightening. They pick up poison and call it bread, force you to eat it, then mock you as you die.

I sense a disturbance in the force. The masses are revolting (but we know that), who shall serve then, as our very own Marie Antoinette?

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Blog:Gucci Little Piggy
Topic: The Eyes Have It
Comment: So I took the test and I was completely unsurprised at the results. I also gave it to a neighbour and she scored 28.

According to Chuck this test first appeared in Simon Baron-Cohen’s book:
 The Essential Difference.

The test is here:
Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (Revised, Adult)

My results were:

Your Score 20

Total Possible 36

An average score for this test is 26.2, or 21.9 for an adult with Asperger Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism

Friday, 11 May 2012

Blog: Gene Expression
Topic: Porn, a new age, an old age, and all that

Razib said:

interesting. since when universities hire the mentally disabled? this might make a lot more sense of budget problems in academia…. more seriously

I infer from the above statement that we share similar attitudes towards the first sentence that Jess made.

You may, or may not recall my previous comment about people who are only superficially educated, and if I remember correctly, have seen at least one photo of you, with people who I believe fit that criteria.

However, quite apart from that the fact that the term "sexism" appears to have a strongly negative moral dimension as currently defined, I believe an argument can be successfully made, that it is an effective tool of boundary control for the Politically Correct, and it's use is a strong signifier of such.

Other signifiers are of course "feminism" and "racism". At this point it should be beyond obvious that I am not addressing you Razib, or for that matter, many of the people who post here, but to those who may be unaware rather, that crossing the boundary of what is acceptable in academia, could have consequences.

What is truly unfortunate in my opinion, is that I do not believe that you were too far off the mark with your statement either. I despair of the current education system at times, and examples such as the above do not offer any comfort.
Blog: Gene Expression
Topic: Porn, a new age, an old age, and all that

I suspect that the ready availability of porn among other things, has had at least some impact on currently normative sexual mores among young people.

I have no citations, nor can I recall any recent studies on the matter, just the observation for example, that many teenage girls who shoot naked "self shot" pictures of themselves have shaved pubes, leading to the assumption that porn consumption is perhaps responsible for the transmission and adoption of this practise.

Examination of the GPS tags in the EXIF data of many of these self-shots, could perhaps reveal some interesting and inferred socio-economic patterns for those interested in such matters. As a side note, there appears to be a distressing lack of awareness among the girls who take these photos, that they are also publishing the exact location that they were taken, presumably in their homes, and hence there is some exposure to the possibility of unpleasant consequences in the future.

Obviously there is a problem with assertions of the like, and there may well be other obvious socio-cultural factors of which I am either unaware, or have discounted, such as the influence of celebrity sex tapes, which may be posited as just amplifiers of an existing signal.

In any event, I have encountered individuals who self-censor themselves, like my children when they were pre-adolescent, to other teenagers, who not only deliberately do not seek out porn, but quickly shut it down when they encounter it.

We also tend to ignore I have noticed, the possible impact on porn on the more senior members of our society, no doubt for obvious reasons, but their reactions when exposed to such material tends I think we can agree to a large extent, to not induce moral panic, but amusement such as this example, where some Grandmas watch the Kim Kardashian sex tape.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

I may be an Atheist, but I live in God's country.  The view from my deck:

Site : The Political Compass
Topic: Test
Comment : This is what the Political Compass reported after I took their test :

Economic Left/Right: -5.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.92