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EPICURUS CIRCLE: A CULTUREPLACES SALON

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Rather than try to tackle complex national and international issues and institutions that affect the entire U.S. , we concentrate on place based trends and academic research that more directly reflect our everyday experiences in our own neighborhoods, workplaces, and other closer connections. We seek to grapple with ideas that stem from and have immediate implications for our personal ties and intellectual enjoyment. We deal with those grassroots issues not to influence public policy or resolve differences but to gain an understanding of the way of the world-- in order to sort out the chaos and thereby increase our pleasure as identified by Epicurus.
We start from the premise that changing the body politic at the state and national level is becoming increasingly difficult for citizens of the 21st century in the way that the power structure was able to do at the start of the 20th century, when American Progressivism was imbued with a strong reformist optimism.  “I propose that we lead”…
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JUNE 20, 2006 'Thirst for knowledge' may be opium craving 
One of our first blog posts--13 years ago.  I believe this addiction accounts for my own malady, keeping me from engaging in more sensible activities like marriage and a career.

Neuroscientists have proposed a simple explanation for the pleasure of grasping a new concept: The brain is getting its fix. The "click" of comprehension triggers a biochemical cascade that rewards the brain with a shot of natural opium-like substances, said Irving Biederman of the University of Southern California. He presents his theory in an invited article in the latest issue of American Scientist. "While you're trying to understand a difficult theorem, it's not fun," said Biederman, professor of neuroscience in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. "But once you get it, you just feel fabulous." The brain's craving for a fix motivates humans to maximize the rate at which they absorb knowledg…

A New Study Supports Evolutionary Psychology’s Explanation For Why Men And Women Want Different Attributes In Partners

ByJesse Singal When it comes to the heated subject of differences between how men and women behave, debate in psychology has centered on mate preferences and general interests. The available research shows that when it comes to (heterosexual) mating preferences, men are relatively more interested in physical beauty, while women are relatively more interested in earning capacity. As for general interests, men are more interested in physical things, while women are more interested in people. Even the staunchest evolutionary psychologists would acknowledge these are partially overlapping bell curves: There are plenty of men who are fascinated by other people, and plenty of women looking for physical beauty in a partner above all else. Yet the findings have been met with fierce resistance in some quarters. One of the more sophisticated rejoinders is known as social roles theory: The differences do exist, but they’re entirely or largely the result of gender roles imposed by society on indivi…

Tucker: Leaders show no obligation to American voters

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Fast forward to 7:00 + for Tucker's take on the plight of men

The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter

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by Joseph Henrich(Author)Humans are a puzzling species. On the one hand, we struggle to survive on our own in the wild, often failing to overcome even basic challenges, like obtaining food, building shelters, or avoiding predators. On the other hand, human groups have produced ingenious technologies, sophisticated languages, and complex institutions that have permitted us to successfully expand into a vast range of diverse environments. What has enabled us to dominate the globe, more than any other species, while remaining virtually helpless as lone individuals? This book shows that the secret of our success lies not in our innate intelligence, but in our collective brains―on the ability of human groups to socially interconnect and learn from one another over generations.
Drawing insights from lost European explorers, clever chimpanzees, mobile hunter-gatherers, neuroscientific findings, ancient bones, and the human genome, Joseph Henrich demonstrates how our collective brains have pr…

Robert Plomin on his book Blueprint (click on Read More)

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Consent Isn’t Everything and Sex Is Not Like Tea

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Published in Quillette on October 19, 2018   written by R. P. Reed and Megan Fritts https://quillette.com/2018/10/19/consent-isnt-everything-and-sex-is-not-like-tea/  “Whether it’s tea or sex, consent is everything.” This we learn from the closing statement of a video entitled “Tea and Consent,” created by the Thames Valley Police. Over the last few years, this short and clever educational video has made its way around the internet, and Baylor University even began showing it to incoming freshmen.
The video analogises an offer of tea with seduction. You only make someone tea if that person explicitly expresses a desire for tea and—the video tells us—sex is no different. While the video aims to educate men on the importance of receiving explicit verbal consent for sexual activity, it does so via a clumsy and unhelpful characterization of sex as a simple transaction. The video’s conclusion, “Consent is everything,” and the subtitle, “Consent, it’s simple as tea,” are both false: the compl…