Notebook entry, January 25, 2001

An interesting little piece in the January 29, 2001 issue of Business Week, Developments to Watch section, p. 113 titled: SECOND THOUGHTS ON MAN'S AFRICAN ORIGINS, by Ellen Licking. (Isn't interesting the things you find in a Business magazine?). There is of course a hot debate concerning the origin of humanity's roots.  The majority of anthropologists and types like myself support the "Out Of Africa" model.  But recent discoveries in Java, Australia, and Israel have found evidence that it is possible that human ancestors may have also sprung up in other places.  

Regardless of the place of origin, my theory that our human ancestors were on the losing end of an exclusionary culling process would still fit in all places.  The act of being pushed out, and away from the resources of one location that supported survival into an area that was less inhabitable would still create the same "bone marrow sucking" determinism  to survive. These "losers" as one may call them, were heavy in the upper cranium skills necessary for adaptation by thinking and not by acting in a physical mechanism to get their way. They meet, and mated with others from these excluded exiles, thus helping to ensure their survival.  To read more of my theory, go my book link at: Man In the Mist.  Read the first three chapters.

Notebook entry, January 24, 2001

An interesting little piece in the January 29, 2001 issue of Business Week, Economic Trends section, p. 28., titled: WHEN SCHOOLS GET GRADED...Home Prices Tend to React Quickly.  Yesterday, the new American President presented his education plan to the public.  The plans call for the use of vouchers -- the use of public funds to be given to those who desire so that students can use those funds to attend which ever schools they want. The system is based on a grading system given to the schools.  The better the school, the more public funds available to give away as voucher fund -- and the reverse -- schools receiving bad grades, get less funds.

Since young families base their real estate plans on the quality of schools, the upgrading or downgrading of the schools in questions would have a significant effect on real estate prices.  To quote the Business Week article: 

    "...As a recent Florida study indicates, however, such school grading can sometimes have unforeseen consequences.  In the study, David N. Figlio of the University of Florida and Maurice E. Lucas of the Alachua County School Board analyzed the pattern of home resale prices in the Gainesville school district before and after the implementation of the state system in 1999 that assigned letter grades to 22 elementary schools in the area.  
    Controlling for neighborhood quality, past price trends, and home improvements, the researchers found that the grades had a substantial immediate impact on prices.  Over the 14-month post-announcement period studies, houses in A-rated school neighborhoods commanded an average premium of 7% or $9,000, over houses in B-rated school neighborhoods.  A similar effect was evident between B and C school neighborhoods.
    To be sure, the price impact tended to diminish over time, but it's well known that perceived school quality influences home prices, and letter grading could exacerbate this tendency..."

This is the first time that I have seen any statistics on the effect of school grading and vouchers.  As a regular reader of this web site, you know that I predicted a widening of the socioeconomic gap if such programs became the law of the American landscape.  You can read it my essay: Politics 2000: The School Voucher Systems: Territorial Considerations in the Resource Alignment Theories. 

Notebook entry, January 20, 2001

For me, it is a sad day in America as one of the greatest American Presidents, Bill Clinton,  has stepped down and has been replaced by someone whom I strongly believe stole the 2000 election.  Disagree with me, or agree -- but it is my freedom to express those thoughts and it will strongly influence the path that I will take over the next four years. I have pretty much stayed out of the political process because of my overly avoidant personality, but this sad event can only move me to overcome this.  I don't know what I will do, or how, but most likely it will be to expose the patterns of ultra-conservative political thought through the evolutionary perspective.  It was not had to see this pattern as it emerged from the recount fight in Florida; the powerful and well-connected won the day, and democracy lost; we have been swept back to the days of ass-kissers to the powerful for a few bread crumbs of continued existence.   But like evolution, politics tends to ebb and flow, and so too will this moment in history as we enter a period of darkness.

Notebook entry, January 18, 2001

An Associated Press article by Michelle Locke titled: Blue-Collar Academics Navigate a 'Minefield.' July, 18, 01, brings to light something that caught my eye: Professors, who have been raised in a blue-collar environments find that acceptance by other academics is sometimes difficult. To quote Ms. Locke: "Working class academics who try to crash the college class barrier say the risks are greater than, say, using the wrong fork at the chancellor's dinner.  It can mean missing out on grant money and jobs because you are the first person in your family to attend college and you don't have the right connections." 

In one survey, faculty members at a Big Ten university found that more than 50% of the 567 respondents said their parents were doctors, lawyers or other professionals. Only about 2 percent reported having parents form the lowest 20 percent of the socioeconomic ladder.

I suppose I know what awaits me when I attend my first HBES meeting in London this next June.  I expect to be shunned, humiliated, and ignored.  So why go?  To take my wife, who has toiled alongside me all these years to make a wonderful home for the both of us, a vacation in Europe where she has never been. Plus, to seek out the fringe of the inner-circle and engage young graduate students on the way up the academic ladder.  It is time that I begin to network.  

Wish me luck.

Notebook entry, January 19, 2001

This week Time magazine had a book review by Tamala M Edwards titled: I Surrender, Dear, issue January 22, 2001, p.71.  Basically, the book is a self-helper for troubled marriages with the advice to women: If you want a happy marriage, defer to your man and surrender any attempts at trying to control him or the situation your in. The author, a one, Laura Doyle, suggests that a women should stop controlling, criticizing and interrupting their husbands. She should give him the checkbook and leave the bills, investments and purchases to him. As for sex, it should be at least once a week, even if the woman is not in the mood. She can express what she thinks, but should never ask about his feelings. A quote from the author: "My mission is to teach women about the power of surrender. It's my own world peace crusade."

You know, those words seem to be very similar to James C. Dobson's of Focus on the Family fame. In my essay, Politics 2000, The School Voucher Systems: Territorial Considerations in the Resource Alignment Theories, Dobson is quoted as saying: "If a couple talks through an issue and still disagrees, the final decision goes to the man. Two captains sink a ship."

This is clearly a "destructive mechanism" and is designed to be a throwback to the glory days of male dominance.  The quote from Dobson's conservative agenda also sounds like the author of the book was sitting in the audience and nodding agreement.  It is the reason we have wars  because women have deferred to the males in their "ultimate wisdom."  It is time for the ladies to speak up and out about this negative movement.

Notebook entry, January 16, 2001

Good Lord, has it been two weeks since my last entry?  My, how time flies when you work 50-hour weeks.

The February issue of Scientific American is out and they have an interesting article that I feel you should read.  It title: The Science of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialoini. p. 76.  In the article, Mr. Cialoini breaks down the principle of the art of selling products and ideas to consumers.  He goes into detail concerning six basic tendencies of human behavior in generating a positive response.  There are: Reciprocation, Consistency, Social Validation, Liking, Authority, and Scarcity.  The ones meaning the most to evolutionists would be Reciprocation, Consistency, and Social Validation.  Even though the article did not start with the evolutionary perspective, it was quite obvious to me that one could see the potentials.

I did not get to read the whole article, but I do intend to.