IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO
: 'How much do evolutionary stories reveal about the mind?' [more inside]
Swimming around in a mixture of language and matter, humans occupy a particular evolutionary niche mediated by something we call 'consciousness'. To Professor Nicholas Humphrey we're made up of "soul dust
": "a kind of theatre... an entertainment which we put on for ourselves inside our own heads." But just as that theatre is directed by the relationship between language and matter, it is also undermined by it
. It all depends how you think it.
In a fundamental re-think of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs,
a research team lead by Arizona State University's Doug Kenrick
has replaced the personal need to achieve status and respect, culminating in self-actualization, with the biological imperative to find a mate and reproduce, culminating in parenting. Kenrick also replaces Maslow's strict design, in which needs replace one another, with a design in which needs overlap over the course of a lifetime. [more inside]
How Google Is Making Us Smarter:
Humans are "natural-born cyborgs," and the Internet is our giant "extended mind."
A New State of Mind.
"New research is linking dopamine
to complex social phenomena and changing neuroscience in the process."
The Moral Instinct.
"Evolution has endowed us with ethical impulses. Do we know what to do with them?" [Via The Mahablog.]
"We Few, We Happy Few, We Band of Brothers
." Evolutionary psychologist Andy Thomson analyzes suicide terrorism from the perspective of evolutionary biology. The presentation was part of the Atheist Alliance International
convention in D.C. last month.
Are you a Highly Sensitive Person?
This trait ... is inherited by 15 to 20% of the population, and ... seems to be present in all higher animals. Being an HSP means your nervous system is more sensitive to subtleties. Your sight, hearing, and sense of smell are not necessarily keener .... But your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply. Being an HSP also means, necessarily, that you are more easily overstimulated, stressed out, overwhelmed. This trait ... has been mislabeled as shyness (not an inherited trait), introversion (30% of HSPs are actually extraverts), inhibitedness, fearfulness, and the like. HSPs can be these, but none of these are the fundamental trait they have inherited ...
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Have you ever thought your boss might be a sociopath?
According to some, you just might be right. A recent film called The Corporation actually goes so far as to argue that American-style free markets select for sociopathic tendencies
. While some on the left seem all too eager to chime in with their self-righteous “I told you sos,” others on the right dismiss all such notions to defend free markets with open contempt… Which is strange when you consider that free market theory owes its existence to Darwin’s theories of natural selection
, which many on the right don't accept. Seriously--help me sort this out, or else I'm going to have to conclude we've all
Evolutionary psychology anyone?
It seems that more males are born during (and just after) wars and more females are born during peacetime. Adaptive group evolution or just speculative extrapolation? Jim Holt of Linguaf