[Graph of my feed-reading habits over the last month, courtesy Google Reader.] OK, maybe less “catching up” and more “declaring newsfeed bankruptcy.” I’ve been a wee bit busy for the past month or two (or three… shush!), and it’s not likely to let up for another month at least. Sorry about the relative radio silence. [...]
or, What Democrats Don’t Understand About Morality This is really fascinating stuff, folks. Read this. Then watch this: And to quote from Jonathan Haidt’s article: Here’s my alternative definition: morality is any system of interlocking values, practices, institutions, and psychological mechanisms that work together to suppress or regulate selfishness and make social life possible. It [...]
This is a great article in National Geographic called Animal Minds. Certain skills are considered key signs of higher mental abilities: good memory, a grasp of grammar and symbols, self-awareness, understanding others’ motives, imitating others, and being creative. Bit by bit, in ingenious experiments, researchers have documented these talents in other species, gradually chipping away [...]
You read that right. Steven Pinker thinks so and I’m inclined to agree with much of his reasoning. “We’re Getting Nicer Every Day” is an html version of a pdf, so a bit messy, but you can always download it if you prefer…
Those of you with an interest in things Chinese and para-Chinese (I’m looking at you. Ahem.) might be interested in reading the blog that anthropologist David K. Jordan has been maintaining while spending a semester teaching in Asia. It’s chock full of linguistic and religious observations, all with that pleasant snarkiness that DKJ has mastered.