Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Friday, September 24, 2021

What we can learn from John B.Calhoun's rodent experiments

 What Humans Can Learn

"When all needs are accounted for, and no conflict exists, the act of living is stripped to its barest physiological essentials of food and sleep. In Calhoun's view:


Herein is the paradox of a life without work or conflict.

When all sense of necessity is stripped from the life of an individual, life ceases to have purpose.

The individual dies in spirit." 

Another review THE BEHAVIORAL SINK The mouse universes of John B. Calhoun

"Death of the establishment leads to spiritual death

= loss of capacity to engage in behaviors essential to species survival
....

No matter how sophisticated we considered ourselves to be, once the number of individuals capable of filling roles greatly exceeded the number of roles,

only violence and disruption of social organization can follow. ... Individuals born under these circumstances will be so out of touch with reality as to be incapable even of alienation. Their most complex behaviors will become fragmented. Acquisition, creation and utilization of ideas appropriate for life in a post-industrial cultural-conceptual-technological society will have been blocked."

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Saturday, August 14, 2021

The unravelling of a conspiracy in India

The unravelling of a conpiracy by Siddharha Deb

In 2018, Indian police claimed to have uncovered a shocking plan to bring down the government. But there is mounting evidence that the initial conspiracy was a fiction – and the accused are victims of an elaborate plot.

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Long read, a review of three books from 2010, mostly about George Price

 On George Price by Miriam Markowitz

A quote towards the end:

"If we know that altruism makes one feel good and useful—that, at least, has been tested in the laboratory of human emotion—then perhaps altruism evolved because it increases the fitness of the individual by protecting him from the desire to die. Life is hard; we know that as moderns, and it seems likely that it was as well for our predecessors. Perhaps, in her omniscience, Nature understood that she could not rely solely on the survival instinct to ensure the propagation of her magisterial creations; that occasionally one might grow disillusioned with this life, despite its beauties, and want to end it. Feeling that one is needed by others might just prevent this defection. Altruism, pure or not, may be a lifeboat, a dinghy we row. Within its confines, we experience the subtle brotherhood of men, and let it warm us."