by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Comprehensive Analysis, Defining Life, Foolishness, Human Condition, Human History
Being intrigued by the title, I picked up this book to learn finally once and for all which side was right – Are humans a product of biology of genes or social environment? Spoiler Alert: Its both. As a society we have witnessed a longstanding feud between two camps – one set of people believes that genes and nature determines our destiny while their opponents insist that socialization and nurture is our sole determinant. Like the title suggests and as Ridley states almost immediately, it is both nature and nurture that affects human development. The two sides may have valid contributions to understanding human development, but neither side gets it completely right because of sectarian/institutional thinking. The problem is that we are all victim of a media that thrives on reporting the controversial and extremist positions of the Naturists and Nurturist camps. That debate has been an ivory tower battle that has spilled over into Pop-psychology books that teach parents how to parent, how to find a partner, etc. This book proves the level of inanity that academics can resort to. Ridley demonstrate how neither side got it right and how humans are both genes and social mores wrapped together […]
by Chris Billowsin Political Ponderings0 commentstags: Foolishness, Human Condition, Human History
The Economist posted an article, Why Wars Happen, explaining that the cause of most conflicts in the world during 2008 is due to ideological differences. This reinforces my conviction and past blog posts, Ideology vs Philosophy and Confessions of a Recovering Ideologue. that ideology in all of its forms is the scourge of the modern world. The research about world conflict was conducted by the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, and has some pretty amazing information there. Does my criticism of ideology mean I am anti-thinking? No, I would instead argue that ideological thinking is an oxymoron. Ideology is a mental disorder that afflicts politics, religion, culture (political correctness), and business. To be ideological means to not think and to abdicate one’s rational powers. To truly be a thinking person one must be philosophical and open to new information.
by Chris Billowsin Political Ponderings0 commentstags: Human History, Poltical Party Corruption
Well, history has been made. The first black man has been elected as President of the U.S.A. Very interesting to see how Barack Obama handles the pressure considering there is going to be huge expectations of him to fix everything. There is no doubt the man is an excellent orator and has charm, but that does not make for intelligent decision making ability. Its amazing how a single election of a single person changes everything. The world media and many people believe that with Barack’s election a new era has been ushered in. I remain skeptical just because I don’t see politicians being as useful as they used to be. I hope Barack proves me wrong. I came across some interesting links while I was doing some searching on previous presidential and house elections. Dave Leip’s Atlast of U.S. Presidential Elections History Shots Information Graphics on Political Parties (U.S.A.) Enjoy!
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Human History, Meta History, Western Ascendance
Why does the West have a more materialistic wealth than the rest of the world? Why did the West influence every continent and people on this planet instead of the other way around? In Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond presents the biologist’s answer: Ecology, particularly geography, fauna, animal availability, and climate. Diamond almost seems to say that human choice and desire had little to contribute but he does explain its relative importance near the end of this 480 page book. Diamond reviews human history on every continent since the Ice Age in a style that emphasizes only the broadest movements of peoples and ideas. He does not talk about linear progression of human history but about the handful of critical factors that pivotly change the trajectory of history for certain societies. Diamond writes that “History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples’ environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.” The people who domesticated plants and animals early got a head start on developing agriculture and an immunity to deadly germs. He demonstrates how this leads to the development of government, writing, and technology. Diamond further argues that human ingenuity is simply the result […]
by Chris Billowsin Political Ponderings0 commentstags: Change of Mind, Human Condition, Human History
Welcome to my first ever blog post! I hope to post on a range of topics that intrigue me. Adam Bellow states correctly that nepotism has been with human history since the beginning of our species. He states that biological nepotism is the basis of social cooperation and became the main tool that has allowed our species to thrive and colonize the planet. The biological drive to care for one’s relatives has evolved complex patterns of social reciprocity that not only allowed for society to be created, but for civilization to flourish. As Westerners, we have been socialized into believing that nepotism is a bad thing. To most of us, nepotism is synonymous with corruption and familial self-interest. Bellow explains in 420+ pages that nepotism has redeeming qualities, has played a critical role in the development of every historical figure, and that we are fooling ourselves if we think it will go away. Starting from the nepostic practice amongst animals, moving on to ancient cultures, and then to the modern era of the political dynasties in American politics (the Kennedys and Bushes), Bellow explains through literary reference and analysis how nepotism has helped humans thrive. Bellow pulls off a […]