Friday, November 11, 2005

Genetic Component to Loneliness?

Loneliness could be in your genes

The researchers suggest that loneliness may stem from prehistoric times, where hunter-gatherers may have deliberately shut themselves away from others so they did not have to share food.
That would have meant they were better nourished and therefore better able to survive and have children.

Um. How? That is one of the most astonishingly simplistic explanations I've ever heard for anything as complex as the human psyche. How is someone who hides themselves away from other people going to survive better, much less attract a mate? Survival is more than the eating of food, you know.

I mean, honestly.

First, hunting and gathering - both - are communal activities. Human beings, you may have noticed, are soft, squishy, and don't have sharp teeth. We're such awful natural hunters that we have to make spears and knives and stuff, to compensate for our complete lack of claws or ability to run quickly on four legs, and we have to work together to kill one fricking gazelle.

How, pray tell, is refusing to share food ever going to get Thag invited on a hunt again?

And what about Ooga? Who gathers tubers and insects and plants in a squad of other women and youngsters - some watching for danger from outside, some watching over each other, and some grinding nuts into a tasty paste, even though there's no grape jelly, or come to mention it, bread, for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Back then, kids, we were all Communists. I know, I know, but we were.

Second, did I not just mention our complete lack of predatory characteristics? A lone human can't watch his or her back, even with one of those cool spear thingies.

In kindergarten we learn the most fundamental lesson of human society: share. For alone, you die.

Loneliness may be in my genes, but it's not to make me a reclusive lone hunter-gatherer.

America's Moral Crisis

Buzzflash makes a darn good point in their comments on the review of Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis by Jimmy Carter, in the St. Petersberg Times:

Carter, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is living proof that the radical right wing fundamentalists don't give a hoot about Christ. Otherwise, they would have embraced him and his presidency.

That's a darn good point. A darn good point.

Oh, and blaming the CIA for 'bad intel'? Maybe not so much.

Prewar CIA report questioned al Qaeda-Iraq ties (Well, so did I, and no one listened to me, either.)

CNN on Thursday obtained a CIA document that outlined the history of the claim, which originated in 2002 with a captured al Qaeda operative who recanted two years later.
The CIA report appears to support a recently declassified document that revealed the Defense Intelligence Agency thought in February 2002 that the source, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, was lying to interrogators.

Habeas Corpus? What's That?

Senate Bars Detainees From Filing Lawsuits

The Senate voted Thursday to bar foreign terror suspects at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from filing lawsuits in American courts to challenge their detentions, despite a Supreme Court ruling last year that granted such access.

As TalkLeft put it, No Habeas for Them, No Habeas for Us.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Greenhouse Gas projected increase

Greenhouse gases 'to rise by 52%' by 2030.

The IEA's warning comes at a time when the Kyoto climate change agreement calls on developed nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to 5% below 1990 levels by 2008-12.

There are days when I fear for our survival as a species.

Bird Flu Map

How Bird Flu Has Spread