Culture

Evolution in action – super resistant bacteria

 

A Neat little video about how bacteria evolve, but also want to point out how they are basically creating super mutant bacteria in like 11 days, yes?

 

Also watch from about 1:19, where it is the shortest route from the original mutation to the first one who breaks into the 10 and 100 times antibotic. and notice how the ones who first broke really into the 1000 times all stuck together really well.

 

Advertisements

Let’s stop talking about this kid.

When we pay attention to these people, we idolize them, and we make it more likely to happen again. This copycat phenomenon is called “the Werther effect,” after Geothe’s first major work elicited many copycat suicides of young men suffering the same woes as Werther.

He just wants your attention.

He just wants your attention.

Especially for these young men who want the attention and desire to have their story heard (think Sandyhook or Christopher Dorner; all three wrote ‘manifestos’), publicizing these stories only makes it more likely that individuals aiming at the same goals will employ the same techniques again, it worked last time.

How do we stop these from happening?

We can stop talking about it, or stop idolizing it when we do speak about it. These individuals get sooo much attention, every detail of their lives is delved into. Their story gets told, which is what they want. So, we stop telling their story. Yes, the news can talk about it if they desire, but we don’t have to watch their channels. We can *not* click that link, we can *not* talk about it on facebook, it is our choice, after all.

By clicking on the link, by watching the video, we indicate to the media and to others that that is the appropriate thing to do. That paying attention to this is correct, that we want more of it.

If you stop paying attention to it, then we signal to others that this is the proper thing to do. We are examples of the correct way to live for those around us.

Perhaps a better solution is to make sure that these people don’t end up like this by paying attention to and legitimizing them before they turn to these sorts of things, though there was something obviously disagreeable about this individual..

This is not a perfect solution, and I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about how we can keep these things from happening more often in the comments section. 🙂

__________________________________________________________________

And yes, I do recognize the irony in writing a blog post / encouraging others to read a blog post telling others not to write blog posts. :p

__________________________________________________________________

Find me at facebook.com/TheOmniOpinedPsycholar or twitter.com/ThePsycholar  for ‘less serious’ content.

Remember to speak your mind, because your opinion matters.

 

Reconsidering the term ‘Patriarchy’

The term ‘Patriarchy’ subtly grants men status, implicitly lowers women’s position, and blames men for the problems of the world. It seems to me that all of these things are working against the true movement that is feminism.

This is not how the world works..

The term patriarchy subtly suggests that the traditional man’s contributions to society are worth more than female’s, when this is not even true.

There is no ultimate reason that selling your soul to the corporate world should be seen as more status worthy than staying at home and watching your children grow. Indeed, the only reason that the culture is (or was) that way is because we all, males and females included, agree that is the case.

Women are half of society, and women grant men status just as much as men grant men status. Again, there is no ultimately best way to be a human, and being a middle manager and working at the desk is in no way ultimately better than staying at home, teaching the kids and tending the gardens. Perhaps it will be better for feminism, if, instead of trying to make up an imaginary gap in status (a gap that only exists because we agree it does), we properly recognize and value the role that women (did) play in society. Raising children and maintaining the household is no easy (or unimportant!) task.

 The term ‘patriarchy’ also subtly blames (modern) men for the problems of the world.

Modern men are not to blame for the things they inherit from society in the same way that women are not to blame for the things that they inherit from society (for good or bad). Most people agree that there are negative aspects about being a female, but there are also problems associated with being male (like, on average, men having shorter lives). We are working together to change these aspects of traditional society, assuming we actually want things to be more equal.

Our modern system (termed ‘patriarchy’ by ‘feminism’) is the result of tradition and ultimately, biology. We are animals and in every ‘split’ species that I know of, one of the two ‘sexes’ has to produce the next generation. While the specifics of how this difference has resulted in modern culture are current questions in Biology, Anthropology, and History, there is little doubt that this birthing and breastfeeding function played a role in women tending the house before technology. This very likely played a large part in creating the situation we are in (men put out of the house to ‘earn a living’, made power structures for men, earnings grew, technology grew, freeing women to work, in part).

Importantly, none of this is the fault of modern man and it is important for ‘feminism’ to recognize that men and women are working together to change the culture for future generations. Nobody is saying that the way it was, was right (what is ‘right?’), we are simply saying that it will be more productive for the adoption of feminist ideals to work with men rather than demonizing them by blaming them for the way history has played out.

Tradition, tradition is the enemy. History and Biology. Not men, and especially not modern men.

How can we fix these problems? / How changing things would help feminism.

A good start would be to begin calling something else, like ‘traditional gender norms’. This will achieve three things: stop implicitly giving males the status, stop implicitly putting women below men, and stop the idea that modern man is something to fight against. Truly, the best outcomes for all will come when males and females work together, rather than against one another.

‘Patriarchy is not men, patriarchy is a system both women and men participate.’ – Ashley Judd

_______________________________

Find me on facebook for less ‘serious’ content at Facebook and Twitter.

Remember to be opined, to speak up, friends, because your opinion matters. Hope you enjoy reconsidering patriarchy! 😀

6 things I would like to say about the feminist movement

First, it seems important to speak about me, as I know this is going to be the first thing people judge when reading this post. I am an American male, who identifies as someone who believes that everyone (including women) should be able to live how they want, free from the oppression of others. I am current with the debate through traditional and social media, and generally being the type of person who ensures that his own opinions are complex enough to contradict each other sometimes. Nor do I feel that I have all the right answers (who does?), only opinions informed from a life studying philosophy and psychology.  With this out of the way, these are some things that I feel feminists, everybody actually, should hear concerning feminism/ equalism.

1.There is no best way to be a woman (or man).

The point of the feminist movement, as I know it at least, is about removing barriers for women and allowing them to live the type of life they choose, not about telling people how to live their life. There is no ultimately correct way to live (e.g., Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Beauvoir), and telling others how to live is fundamentally what the movement is working against. This means if you want to be a stay at home mom (or dad!), or a female astronaut, that is perfectly legitimate. It is important to note that, if (any)one intentionally goes into a culture and violates their norms (e.g., wearing a short skirt in a Muslim nation, wearing a hajib in the US), one must be aware that they will encounter resistance, though these actions can, of course, be undertaken ‘for the greater good,’ (suffering inspires others to act). We cannot force change on anyone any more than we would accept them trying to force change on us, the movement is simply about removing barriers for people to live how they desire.

2. Perhaps tradition is evil, but men are not.

The situation today is the result of exactly that, tradition. Unfortunately, someone must create the children or eggs. The fact that females took care of the children before modern times is probably a result of females also being the one in which the infant is ‘created.’  Now that technology has enabled us to ease the burden of childcare and running a household, we are working together to remove the limitations placed up women (and men!). While we are removing these limitations, it is important to recognize our (biological) history, whether or not it is innate, and its effects on modern culture rather than demonizing men by saying they are intentionally keeping women down (which is indeed a common criticism and one feminism would do well to address).

3. Women do not Always get the short end of the stick.

It would go a long way toward removing this idea that feminism is demonizing men if the movement made more effort to address those instances where it is empirically worse to be a man. Nobody is saying that there are not negative aspects of being a female, but there are also negative aspects of being a male as well. For instance, it is an empirical fact that males are more likely to die young, to go to prison (and get harsher prison sentences), to end up with a mental illness, and to more likely end up homeless. Simply put, men are at the top, but they are also at the bottom. Male parental rights are also a major area where the movement gets criticism. Simply put, men have no say in whether they become a parent or not (in the case of an accidental pregnancy). For instance, if a male wants a child and the female does not, it (the child) is aborted, but if the male does not want a child and the female does, he cannot stop it and is forced to pay child support, even if the child is the result of the man being raped (!!!!). Let me repeat: a man can be raped, and then forced to pay 18 years child support. That is unfair no matter how you look at it. While men perhaps have higher paying jobs, this is changing (new studies indicate more females are graduating from university than men) and it will largely benefit the adoption of feminist ideals for the movement to also work toward removing the negative aspects of being male (or to increase the negative for women, but less suffering all around seems preferable to me).

4. Relationships are about give and take.

Sometimes we have to do things for our partners that we don’t want to. Regardless of whether the male sex drive is innate or the result of socialization, a female simply cannot phenomenologically understand the sexual urges a man experiences, similar to the way a male cannot phenomenologically understand the emotional urges females have (which is why females fight for emotional support and males fight for sex). Hundreds of studies suggest that males and females differ in the amount of sex and emotional support they desire from a partner. I can understand a women not desiring to have sex at a particular moment and I believe she should have a right to say no. On the other hand, I can also understand a man not desiring to talk about something emotional at a particular moment and he should also have a right to say no.  It is unfair to deny males the ‘extra’ sexual support they desire while also expecting the ‘extra’ emotional support females desire. Especially getting a male sexually aroused and then leaving is similar (though phenomenologically incomparable) to getting a female emotionally aroused and then leaving. It is simply not something one should do to someone they truly care about.

5. Men also suffer from the media’s idealizations.

Simply put, it is no easier to be Ryan Gosling than it is to be Emma Stone. Perhaps males are not influenced to the same degree (we can debate about this in the comments; idealizations demand different things), but that men are idealized is unquestionable. I would find it hard to take seriously anyone who suggests that Twilight or 50 Shades of Gray do not contain romanticized (idealized) male characters. Video games and comics also have their share of idealized males (e.g., Superman, Batman, and Spiderman). I agree that females have greater demands placed upon their beauty, but let us admit that males have greater demands placed upon the goods they keep around them (e.g., car, house, accessories). While we could make an argument that body transformations are more harmful for health, there is no doubt that both behaviors are considerably self-destructive and it does little good to argue about who has it worse. It is simply an empirical difference in what the genders desire from a partner (though again, we are working to change this).

6. Real change will not happen until people are willing to suffer for the cause.

This is actually for anyone who wants to change the world. Look at changes in thought throughout history (e.g., religious, political, scientific), almost none have been successful without significant suffering, and real change often comes at the expense of a particular leader’s life (e.g., Socrates, Jesus, Ghandi, Lincoln, MLK, Quảng Đức, Bin Laden) and change oftentimes comes decades, or even centuries, after that leader dies. There is little reason to believe that the equal rights movement is any different. Indeed, some have suffered (e.g., Woolf, Monroe, abortion doctors, female engineering students), but it is only when many (the majority of) people are willing to suffer that real change will occur.

So, I guess those were the main things I wanted to say. Join the conversation below with your agreement or disagreement, I hope you’ve found value in reading these 6 things I want to point out about feminism and the feminism movement. Find me on Facebook or Twitter for more. 

The Naked Ape

This was one of the hottest books of the 60’s supposedly responsible for the hunter gatherer dichotomy. There are certainly some statements in the book, which he brings out right in the front, as you will see in this, the introduction to the book, and the book cover, which is designed to piss people off. :p

Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Any comments or questions, leave them below. Also, find us on Facebook here.

______________________________________________________________

Introduction to The Naked Ape

Desmond Morris (1967).

______________________________________________________________

Evolution

There are one hundred and ninety-three living species of monkeys and apes. One hundred and ninety-two of them are covered with hair. The exception is a naked ape self-named Homo sapiens. This unusual and highly successful species spends a great deal of time examining his higher motives and an equal amount of time studiously ignoring his fundamental ones. He is proud that he has the biggest brain of all the primates, but attempts to conceal the fact that he also has the biggest penis, preferring to accord  this honour falsely to the mighty gorilla. He is an intensely vocal, acutely exploratory, over-crowded ape, and it is high time we examined his basic behaviour.

I am a zoologist and the naked ape is an animal. He is therefore fair game for my pen and I refuse to avoid him any longer simply because some of his behaviour patterns are rather complex and impressive. My excuse is that, in becoming so erudite, Homo sapiens has remained a naked ape nevertheless; in acquiring lofty new motives, he has lost none of the early old ones. This is frequently a cause of some embarrassment to him, but his old impulses have been with him for millions of years, his new ones only a few thousand at the most-and there is no hope of quickly shrugging off the accumulated genetic legacy of his whole evolutionary past. He would be a far less worried and more fulfilled animal if only he would face up to this fact. Perhaps this is where the zoologist can help.

One of the strangest features of previous studies of naked-ape behaviour is that they have nearly always avoided the obvious. The earlier anthropologists rushed off to all kinds of unlikely corners of the world in order to unravel the basic truth about our nature scattering to remote cultural backwaters so atypical and unsuccessful that they are nearly extinct. They then returned with startling facts about the bizarre mating customs, strange kinship systems, or weird ritual procedures of these tribes, and used this material as though it were of central importance to the behaviour of our species as a whole. The work done by these investigators was, of course, extremely interesting and most valuable in showing us what can happen when a group of naked apes becomes side-tracked into a cultural blind alley. It revealed just how far from the normal our behaviour patterns can stray without a complete social collapse. What it did not tell us was anything about the typical behaviour of typical naked apes. This can only be done by examining the common behaviour patterns that are shared by all the ordinary, successful members of the major cultures-the mainstream specimens who together represent the vast majority. Biologically, this is the only sound approach. Against this, the old-style anthropologist would have argued that his technologically simple tribal groups are nearer the heart of the matter than the members of advanced civilisations. I submit that this is not so. The simple tribal groups that are living today are not primitive, they are stultified. Truly primitive tribes have not existed for thousands of years.

The naked ape is essentially an exploratory species and any society that has failed to advance has in some sense failed, `gone wrong’. Something has happened to it to hold it back, something that is working against the natural tendencies of the species to explore and investigate the world around it. The characteristics that the earlier anthropologists studied in these tribes may well be the very features that have interfered with the progress of the groups concerned. It is therefore dangerous to use this information as the basis for any general scheme of our behaviour as a species.

Psychiatrists and psycho-analysts, by contrast, have stayed nearer home and have concentrated on clinical studies of mainstream specimens. Much of their earlier material, although not suffering from the weakness of the anthropological information, also has an unfortunate bias. The individuals on which they have based their pronouncements are, despite their mainstream background, inevitably aberrant or failed specimens in some respect. If they were healthy, successful and therefore typical individuals, they would not have had to seek psychiatric aid and would not have contributed to the psychiatrists’ store of information. Again, I do not wish to belittle the value of this research. It has given us an immensely important insight into the way in which our behaviour patterns can break down. I simply feel that in attempting to discuss the fundamental biological nature of our species as a whole, it is unwise to place too great an emphasis on the earlier anthropological and psychiatric findings.

(I should add that the situation in anthropology and psychiatry is changing rapidly.) Many modern research workers in these fields are recognising the limitations of the earlier investigations and are turning more and more studies of typical, healthy individuals. As one investigator expressed it recently: `We have put the cart before the horse. We have tackled the abnormals and we are only now beginning, a little late in the day, to concentrate on the normals.)  The approach I propose to use in this book draws its material from three main sources: (i) the information about our past as unearthed by palaeontologists and based on the fossil and other remains of our ancient ancestors; (2) the information available from the animal behaviour studies of the comparative ethologists, based on detailed observations of a wide range of animal species, especially our closest living relatives, the monkeys and apes; and (3) the information that can be assembled by simple, direct observation of the most basic and widely shared behaviour patterns of the successful mainstream specimens from the major contemporary cultures of the naked ape itself.

Because of the size of the task, it will be necessary to oversimplify in some manner. The way I shall do this is largely to ignore the detailed ramifications of technology and verbalisation, and concentrate instead on those aspects of our lives that have obvious counterparts in other species: such activities as feeding, grooming, sleeping, fighting, mating and care of the young. When faced with these fundamental problems, how does the naked ape react? How do his reactions compare with those of other monkeys and apes? In which particular respect is he unique, and how do his oddities relate to his special evolutionary story?

In dealing with these problems I realize that I shall run the risk of offending a number of people. There are some who will prefer not to contemplate their animal selves. They may consider that I have degraded our species by discussing it in crude animal terms. I can only assure them that this is not my intention. There are others who will resent any zoological invasion of their specialist arena. But I believe that this approach can be of great value and that, whatever its shortcomings, it will throw new (and in some ways unexpected) light on the complex nature of our extraordinary species.

-Desmond Morris