Notebook Entries, June 2001

Notebook entry, June 27, 2001

This entry has to do with the cover story that Newsweek ran in its May 21, 2001 issue, p. 30, The Roots of Evil. I was going to enter it before I left for London, but it got lost in the shuffle of papers and hurried excuses.  It was written several weeks before Timothy McVeigh was scheduled to die and the article opened with childhood photos of the mass killer and opened with this sentence: "Scanning the family photographs, we see images of an apparently normal child, as ordinary as Sunday dinner with Grandma." The most important point that I wanted to raise was the quote by psychiatrist Robert I. Simon, director of the program in Psychiatry and Law at Georgetown University School of Medicine. "There is a continuum of evil, of course, ranging from 'trivial evils' like cutting someone off in traffic, to greater evils like acts of prejudice, to massive evil like those perpetrated by serial sexual killers. But within us all are the roots of evil."

Now this is important because for the first time, (at least that I am aware of) that a scientist has brought to the surface and made public that anyone is capable of some sort of evil.  Before, being "crazy" and doing evil has been separated and left to psychopaths.  This is important because I believe our modern society is awash is exclusionary practices that border on discrimination that only benefits a minority of our society.  This article helps to shore up those arguments that the spectrum of evil is wide and not narrow as previously thought.

Notebook entry, June 24, 2001

Just a quick note to let you know that I'm back save and sound.  Diana and I had a blast in London taking in as many sites as we could and still attending the conference.  Since I was unknown by the participants at the conference and half of my time was spent sightseeing, I did not make as many contacts as I would have liked...but then that was not the purpose of the entire trip -- it was to treat my wife to a foreign country for all the years of love and support that she has given me. However, what contacts I did make were important to me and will bear fruit in the future.  It was a quite a treat to finally meet some of the people who have only existed up till this time as a name attached to a paper, theory, or book.

I will have more in-depth coverage in the next few days.

Notebook entry, June 11, 2001

Diana and I are off to London to see the sites and attend the HBES conference.  After that we'll have a week back East to see the folks.  I'll be back on the 25th of June. Be good.

Notebook entry, June 8, 2001

A semi-interesting newswire story entitled: Ancient humans killed off large animals, studies say, by Paul Recer, The Associated Press tells us that for more a hundred years, scientists have argued what killed off the big animals in Australia and the Americas. By large, scientists mean every land animal, reptile and bird weighing more than 220 pounds went through a period of rapid extinctions, pointing to strong evidence for human involvement or our early humanoid ancestors. Two studies, published today in the journal Science, concludes that after early humans migrated into Australia and the Americas, the heavyweight animals of these new continents were driven to extinction within a few thousand years by ancient human hunters equipped with fire, spears and an appetite for meat.

About a month back there was a report circling, (of which I have not seen evidence of), that reported that early humans on they extraction from Africa built up their brain capacity by eating sea food along the Eastern African coastline. Assuming the migration to Southeast Asia and north through the Siberian passageways, It would seem to me that if our ancient brain architecture were so dependent on fish food, then why the large appetite for meat exhibited by our ancestors? How come we don't crave the smell of fish barbequing in the back yard as opposed to those rib eye steaks?