Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of the Situationist news items of October 2008. (They are listed in alphabetical order by source.)
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From Battle of Ideas: “The dubious science of evolutionary psychology”
“Evolutionary psychology prides itself on being a valid, scientific account of human psychology (and behaviour) by tying itself to the scientific theory of natural evolution. But evolution is an explanation of physical, anatomical traits . . . The plausibility of evolutionary psychology rests on the question of whether psychological attributes (patriotism, altruism, romantic love, aesthetic judgments, logical reasoning, recollecting your grandmother’s birthday, and studying to get into college) are analogous to anatomical structures in their origins and in their functioning. If they are not analogous, then it is a mistake to explain them in terms of evolutionary theory which explains physical, anatomical features determined by biological mechanisms.” Read more . . .
From CNN Money: “How to rebuild America”
“America can pull through the current economic crisis with a dose of political maturity and a bit of luck. Success will mean the end of the Reagan era, of an ideology that has brought the country to its knees.” Read more . . .
From The Independent: “Scientists prove it really is a thin line between love and hate”
“Love and hate are intimately linked within the human brain, according to a study that has discovered the biological basis for the two most intense emotions.” . . . “Scientists studying the physical nature of hate have found that some of the nervous circuits in the brain responsible for it are the same as those that are used during the feeling of romantic love – although love and hate appear to be polar opposites.” Read more . . .
From Observer “This is Your Brain on Politics“
“U.S. presidential candidates have been stumping for nearly two years with their every move being analyzed and reported ad nauseum. Logically, voters should be able to tap into lots of information when they make their decisions come November. But it turns out there’s a lot more going on when we step behind the curtain to cast our ballot.” Read more . . .
From ScienceNOW: “When the Right Look Trumps the Right Stuff“
“Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin received a media lashing last week when word trickled out that her makeup artist snagged $22,800 in the first half of October. Pundits warned that such royal treatment might undermine her “down home” persona, but the makeover may have been a savvy move: New research adds more weight to the idea that voters value attractiveness more than competence in the faces of female politicians.” Read more . . .
From Scientific American: “The Science of Gossip: Why We Can’t Stop Ourselves“
“When you cut away its many layers, our fixation on popular culture reflects an intense interest in the doings of other people; this preoccupation with the lives of others is a by-product of the psychology that evolved in prehistoric times to make our ancestors socially successful. Thus, it appears that we are hardwired to be fascinated by gossip.” Read more . . .