Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Monday, November 24, 2003
Go to the new DM blog.

Ev Psych And Celeb Mags

I sometimes refer to evolutionary psychology both here (witness the "counter-dominant" label in the upper right) and on other blogs. Thus I found this article at Slate to be very interesting:

[E]volution didn't design us to read Us, but it did knit and purl our neural matter into patterns guiding many of the behaviors that guarantee humankind's survival, evolutionary psychologists tell us. Those patterns still skulk in our unconscious minds, inciting us to eat fatty food, recklessly eyeball the neighborhood for sex partners, collect gossip, and battle others for a place in the pecking order. "Our modern skulls house a stone age mind," as science writer William Allman once axiomized it, and capitalizing on the human ape's basest instincts is what moves 6 million copies of the Star, Us, and People each week. Whether you read them or not, the celebrity magazines help determine the content of newspaper gossip columns, celebrity TV programs (Entertainment Tonight; Access Hollywood), late-night talk shows, and the unavoidable office chatter about Jen, Reese, Britney, Ben, Ethan, and Brad.

I don't have really anything of substance to say except to remind my readers that we have brains of many layers, and the very ancient layer(s) still can influence great control over our lives. Puts things into perspective when you consider we still have to fight millions of years of evolution as we try to stop war, prejudice and other silly things. It will require great patience as we struggle to overcome our reptilian forebears' legacy. That's why I'm an incrementalist, even when it comes to issues I feel the most passionate about.

Oy. Leave it to NTodd to take a semi-fluffy piece on Jennifer Aniston and turn it into a comment on the human condition. Note to self: no more drinking and blogging.


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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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