February 2002 Notebook Entries
Notebook entry, February 25, 2002
I went to my local Target store that was located several miles north and to the east of my location. The store is located in a area that has had a large influx of Spanish speaking residents into the working class neighborhood. The Target store has adjusted itself with large overhead signs in both English and Spanish (English was on top and Spanish was on the bottom; both of equal size). Most of the workers that I could observe working in the store on this slow day (it was very cold and snowy day -- 1100am) were of Mexican-American descent. On the register receipt, most of the printed information was in English, but on the bottom, this local Target store was conducting a marketing survey located online, and the invitation was written in both English and Spanish. The survey had the heading: "Let Us Know -- Háganos Saber"te encuestra tambien se encuentra en Espanol en la página del Internet." Well, anyway, the purpose of this entry is that along with the receipt that was put into my shopping bag was an application for a Target credit card. The point here is that the credit card application was entirely in English. It seems that diversity has made inroads enough to make Spanish speaking individuals comfortable enough to shop and spend money in a local Target store, yet when is comes to who controls credit, it still is an English speaking only fiefdom. The same is true of the www.target.com website. No Spanish language version listed. Does the rule -- who controls the resources controls the culture -- stand???
Notebook entry, February 25, 2002
I went and had my yearly HMO physical today. Everything looks good. Dr. would like me to lose seven to ten pounds to make things ideal, but lungs, heart, colon -- all passed with two thumbs up. What the Dr. really liked was that after listening to my lungs, he was very amazed that I had quit smoking ten years ago. So it appears that any negatives from the smoking have stopped, or perhaps reversed themselves.
Since Feb 29th, 2002. I have been making sound recordings of my work place and making notes of the behavior patterns found on the work room floor. I intend to integrate the two and show them any findings to anyone interested at the HBES conference come this June. I am sorry that I can not publish anything on line about this; these are humans who I am observing without their permission. As such, their privacy is of the utmost concern. However, I feel the work is groundbreaking in its scope, and I believe that evolutionary psychologists would learn more by concentrating on human observance than primate observances. Their are major concerns over management and union issues in the modern work place environment, but I believe that my organization (where I have my day job) could be a major contributor in the study of human behavior which would benefit all of us. It could take many years to even reach a planning stage for joint multi-university studies.
Notebook entry, February 16th, 2002
A New York Times story from Francis X. Clines titled: Intelligent Design takes on evolution: Ohio educators weigh new curriculum. Article was located in The Denver Post, p. 2A. Feb., 11, 2002. The latest challenge to evolution's primacy in the nation's classrooms -- the theory of intelligent design -- not the old foe of creationism, will get a hearing next month before the Ohio Board of Education.
Supporters of intelligent design acknowledge that the Earth is billions of years old and do take the literal interpretation of the bible as science fact. They also except the the commonly held principle of evolution that says organisms adapt and change over time. But where they draw the line is that they dispute the idea that the astounding complexity and diversity of terrestrial plants and animals could have happened through natural selection.
Well, I thought that I was an Intelligent Design advocate, but from the last sentence, I guess that I will have to pin another label on myself. My beliefs about God go way beyond that. I once had a scenario of how the Big Bang came into being: it was the equivalent of our universe being dropped onto a Petri dish. Pow! and than some overpowering being or force is watching us through their version of a microscope. Each passing century of ours were be the equivalent of a microsecond in their lives. I guess one would have to compare it to a ant on a leaf trying to contemplate the entire forest in which it resides.
So much for science-fiction on a Saturday afternoon.
Notebook entry, February 10th, 2002
I have just begun reading, The Mating Mind, by Geoffrey Miller, who argues that sexual selection has created the intelligent mind we humans process that is far beyond that which is necessary for survival beyond the gut reactions and physical requirements needed in adaptation through natural selection. While reading the first several pages of his book, I came across a very interesting paragraph that I wanted to mention in my notebook because it buttressed a speculation that I had wrote about in my book, Man in the Mist, concerning the separation of our primate ancestors into our hominoid ancestors. That speculation was that our ancestors were pushed to the sidelines because of our inability to rise in the local environment's hierarchy based on physical abilities; then our ancestors mated with other "losers" who used their minds instead of their bodies to survive. Hence, his argument tends to lend support to my theory.
Here is a short introduction and some some quotes that leads me to this conclusion: Miller argues the results of polls that show that most Americans believe that the mind's evolution must have been guided by some intelligent force. "Despite being a committed Darwinian, I share these doubts. I do not think that natural selection for survival can explain the human mind. Our minds are entertaining, intelligent, creative, and articulate far beyond the demands of surviving on the plains of Pleistocene Africa. To me, this points to the work of some intelligent force to influence -- unconsciously -- what kind of offspring they produced. By intelligently choosing their sexual partners for their mental abilities, our ancestors became the intelligent force behind the human mind's evolution." p.4.
Miller continues with his basic argument: "...to appreciate that selection for survival and selection for attracting sexual partners are distinct processes that tend to produce quite different kinds of biological traits." p. 8. And again, "...One difference is that sexual selection through mate choice can be much more intelligent than natural selection. I mean this quite literally. Natural selection takes place as a result of challenges set by an animal's physical habitat and biological niche....As we shall see, one of the main reason why mate choice evolves is to help animals choose sexual partners who carry good genes. Sexual selection is the professional at sifting between genes. By comparison, natural selection is a rank amateur. The evolutionary pressures that result from mate choice can therefore be much more consistent, accurate, efficient, and creative than natural selection pressures." p. 9.
My theory evolved from my attempt to answer the creationist's question: "If man evolved from the apes, why are there still monkeys in the jungle?" My answer was basically that our ancestors were "losers" who could not met the physical requirements of remaining in the monkey's hierarchy and were pushed to the edges of the their hierarchies -- along with other "natural selection physical losers." (think of yourself trying out for a professional American football team). There on the edges of these hierarchies, they mated with other "thinkers." Miller's theory of mind through sexual selection lends nicely to my theory, and both support each other.
I wrote Man in the Mist from February 2000 until I published it online in November of 2000. Miller's book was published in May of 2000, and their can be no doubts that he had these thoughts concerning sexual selection for many years before I even could conceive them. But I swear to you here, that I was never aware of his sexual selection theory concerning the picking of partners for their "mental capabilities." It is most interesting how theories that are presented into the "ether" can spread and influence other minds who have had no contact with one another.
But anyway, this raises the question from me: Is sexual selection the "thinking person's" natural selection, totally separate from natural selection? Or is sexual selection really the same thing as natural selection, but now just the more "highly evolved" process that has emerged from natural selection's "lower form of evolution?" Is the mind still biological? Is it now separate? Or is it both? Stay tuned for news at 11.
Notebook entry: Feb 10th 2002
Just a quick comment on a small paragraph from a op/ed piece written by Robert J. Samuelson as found in The Denver Post, Feb. 9 2002, p. 1W. The title of the piece: Out Of Options: Enron debacle shows that the time has come to curb the abuse of stock options.
The article basically lays the argument that abuses of stock options may have contributed to a large degree to the collapse of Enron. Samuelson's argument was that the individual executive's of all major companies in the 1990s received almost half of their salary from stock options. The theory was simple: if you made executives and managers into stock owners they would act in shareholders interests.
"Up to a point, the theory worked. Twenty years ago, America's corporate managers were widely criticized. Japanese and German companies seemed on a roll. By contrast, their American rivals seemed stodgy, complacent and bureaucratic. Stock options were a way to refocus attention away from corporate empire-building and toward improved profitability and efficiency.
All this contributed to the 1990's economic revival. But slowly, stock options became corrupted by carelessness, overuse and greed. As more executives developed big personal stakes in options, the task of keeping the stock price rising became separate from improving the business and its profitability. This is what seems to have happened at Enron."
This is an important comment, for it buttresses my argument in The Resource Differential Intolerance Ratio Theory (para....) that states......in fact a good argument can be made that the rich...... You see, these executives and their wives were so wrapped up into their own little social hierarchies that "little people" became insignificant -- out of sight, out of mind. When these chief executives officers fly off on business trips, they don't fly like the rest of us -- they take charted flights in private planes (their argument is that the private jets are "more cost effective [due to their humongous salaries] than commercial air flights); they don't have to demean themselves with being herded like little monkeys waiting in the air terminals. When they go home at night, most sleep in exclusionary gated communities that the average person could not even dream could possibly exist, nor afford. An in this "local environment"-- perhaps at their own country club -- the rich are caught up in their own social swirl of gossip: (See Robin Dunbar) Who's up and who's down?; Who's getting engaged?; Who's getting married?; Who's having an affair?; Who's getting a divorce?; What's the best restaurant in town?; What's the best resort to play golf or get a massage? Where's the place to live in terms of real estate values? And perhaps, a bit of business gossip -- shhh! not to loud -- Creating off shore business accounts, or, what's all this business about creating shell companies and manipulating stock prices -- and how is it done?" -- tell me, tell me, tell me!
So, if the Enron debacle perhaps evolved from the very rich, who "gossip amongst themselves," and manage these major corporations living in their own competitive social "local environments" which seems to be swirling off into their own orbits that separates them from the "little people," then perhaps in order to reverse this spiral is to have the rich become poor and "rejoin" the society of the "common person." But that sounds too much like A Tale of Two Cities and images of wealthy persons hanging willy nilly from trees, lynched like "niggers," for no other reason then to dare look at a white woman -- as seeming a bit too harsh. Perhaps, the "little people" should insist on having higher tax rates for the rich; campaign finance reform; 401(K) reform, and a new emphasis on accounting rules for businesses as their "revolution?" In any event that occurs -- their is no doubts that an "outrage" is occurring over Enron -- or is it an "Intolerance?" And it won't stop until the cry from the jungle floor that screams of "grievance" is put into balance.