Notebook Entries, Sept 2003

Notebook entry, September 21, 2003

I was listening to Nation Public Radio on Friday their Morning Edition show and caught the following story from reporter, Mara Liasson: Democrats Seek to Fire Up 'NASCAR DAD' Vote. After the report, I could see a spike in traffic to Evolution's Voyage. I presume that is because in the title of the latest essay are the words "NASCAR DADS." I hope that it reaches the right people curious enough to dig further and study the subject more and make them understand the link between primate behavior, evolution, and modern politics. Below is the link for you to listen to the story. You need some sort of Media player installed.


On the primate front we have an online story in The New York Times about fairness and a study in last week's Nature about capuchin monkey's and fairness. Title: What the Monkeys Can Teach Humans About Making America Fairer, by Adam Cohen. I will quote the first two paragraphs to entice you that it would be worth receiving the NYT online edition.

“Give a capuchin monkey a cucumber slice, and she will eagerly trade a small pebble for it. But when a second monkey, in an adjoining cage, receives a more-desirable grape for the same pebble, it changes everything. The first monkey will then reject her cucumber, and sometimes throw it out of the cage. Monkeys rarely refuse food, but in this case they appear to be pursuing an even higher value than eating: Fairness.

The capuchin monkey study, published last week in Nature, has generated a lot of interest for a scant three-page report buried in the journal's letters section. There is, certainly, a risk of reading too much into the feeding habits of 10 research monkeys. But in a week when fairness was so evidently on the ropes -- from the World Trade Organization meeting in Cancun, which poor nations walked out of in frustration, to the latest issue of Forbes, reporting that the richest 400 Americans are worth $995 billion -- the capuchin monkeys offered a glimmer of hop from the primate gene pool.”

What is the important thing to point out here is the emergence that primate studies, evolutionary psychology, and modern human politics are finally coming together. All I can say is, Yahoo -- seeds are starting to sprout all over the place.

Below is the link of The New York Times article. You may have to register your name, etc, but it should be free to access.


And as a bonus today, George Will, the uberwonderkid of the conservatives, chimed in with his own take on "hardwired" behavior in a column found in editorial section of The Denver Post.....err...well, not really, because the two daily and separate newspapers in this town, The Post and the News, jointly publish a weekend edition. So the article, although found in Sunday Denver Post, Sunday, September 21, 2003 is actually from the Rocky Mountain News Opinion page, 7E. Got that? I don't know how this all effects researchers trying to verify this citation, but that is the way it is...

Well anyway, Mr Will's title is: Humans 'hardwired' to make social connections. Since I don't have the link of the article yet, I will briefly give you my interpretation: Mr. Will argues that new research has argued for the importance of "authoritative communities" -- groups, religious or secular, devoted to transmitting a model of the moral life. What Mr. Will, in his sly, roundabout sneaky way, is that this proves the innate need to have faith-based organizations teach us lowly, non-authoriative beings, the difference between right and wrong.

All, I can say in response is that I welcome Mr. Will to evolutionary psychology, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that right-wing fundamentalist religions know that Mr. Will has rejected the "scientific evidence" in the Bible that God created man. Thank you Mr. Will.

Notebook entry, September 12, 2003

I sort of taking a little break from studying and writing for the past two weeks, (if struggling through a book review is taking a break). My wife's sister has been invited to come live with us, and she finally arrived on Labor Day. The reason: she has been out of work for close to two years (of course, doing temporary work when she could). So I suppose that I am going through a period of adjustment having the additional adult roam about in our 1,000 foot condo. She has a thick New York City accent, but other than that, is generally a good person who just has been beaten down by this economy and circumstances. I am sure that my spirit to carry on will return full speed in no time.

Notebook entry, September 11, 2003

A sad and somber day for me. I reflect on the images of the twin towers collapsing and the horror of being trapped inside. I also reflect on the current state of affairs that our country has turned to: an aggressive nation that struck a country "in order to defend itself." These are bleak times indeed. Hopefully, my country will wake up in time to rescue itself from the evildoers.

Notebook entry, September 10, 2003

As promised, below listed are the names and addresses to whom The Men From Mars was sent:

Policy Director
Bob Graham for President
7333 Miami Lakes Drive #239
Miami Lakes, Fla 33014

Policy Director
Dick Gephardt
P.O. Box 34607
Washington DC 20043

Policy Director
Edwards for President
P.O. 300034
Raleigh, NC 27622

Policy Director
Leadership for America, Inc ( Ret. Gen. Wesley K. Clark)
1120 North St.
Little Rock, AR 72201

Policy Director
Howard Dean for America
P.O. Box 1228
Burlington, VT 05402

Policy Director
John Kerry for President
197 Portland Street, 3rd floor
Boston MA 02114

Policy Director
Dennis Kucinich for Pres. Comm
11808 Lorain Ave. 1st Floor
Cleveland, OH 44111

Policy Director
Joe Lieberman for Pres
111 Founders Plaza, 10th floor
East Hartford, CT 06108

Bill Maher
c/o CBS Television City
7800 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Richard Goldstein
c/o The Village Voice
36 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003

Fareed Zakaria
c/o Newsweek International
251 W 57th St.
New York, NY 10019

Michel Martin
c/o ABC NEWS Nightline
1717 DeSales St. NW
Washington, DC 20036

those above mailed 8-25-03 -Priority, delivery confirmation

Gwen Ifill
3620 S. 27th St
Arlington, VA 22206

Jodi Wilgoren
The New York Times
229 W. 43rd St
New York, NY 10036

Joe Klein
Time Life Bldg
Rockefeller Center
New York, NY 10020
Above sent 8-28-03///1st class

Policy Director/President
The Creative Coalition
241 S. Figuerora St. Ste 250
Los Angeles CA 90012
Above sent 8-29-03

Frank Deford
c/o WSHU-FM & AM
5151 Park Ave
Fairfield, CT 06432
Above sent 8-30-03, 1st class

Katha Pollitt
c/o The Nation
33 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003

David Corn, Editor
The Nation Washington Bureau Ste 308
110 Maryland Avenue N.E.
Washington, DC 20002

Mark Morford
c/o SF Gate
901 Mission St.
San Francisco, Ca 94103
Above sent 9-3-03

John Nichols
The Nation Washington Bureau Ste 308
110 Maryland Avenue N.E.
Washington, DC 20002

Policy Director/President
Democratic Underground
P.O. Box 53350
Washington DC 20009

Paul Begala
Research Professor
Georgetown Public Policy Inst.
3600 N Street NW Ste 200
Washington DC 20007

Above sent 9-4-03

Policy Director/President
Democratic National Committee
430 S Capitol St SE
Washington DC 20003

Policy Director/President
Democracy Corps
10 G Street NE Ste 400
Washington DC 20002

Maureen Dowd
The New York Times
229 W 43rd Street
New York NY 10036

Bob Herbert
The New York Times
229 W 43rd Street
New York NY 10036
Above were sent 9-5-03

Policy Director/President
MoveOn.org PAC
P.O. Box 9218
Berkeley CA 94709
Above sent 9-6-03

Policy Director/President
Institute for Policy Studies
733 15th Street NW Ste 1020
Washington DC 20005

Policy Director/President
Democratic Leadership Council & PPI
600 Pennsylvania Ave SE Ste 400
Washington DC 20003

Policy Director/President
National Organization for Women
150 West 28th Street Ste 304
New York NY 1001

Policy Director/President
Take Back the Media
1072 Casitas Pass Road #125
Carpinteria CA 93013

E.J. Dionne Jr.
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street NW
Washington DC 20071

Barbara Ehrenreich
The Progressive
409 East Main Street
Madison WI 53703

Policy Director/President
2020 Democrats
875 Third Ave 5th Flr
New York NY 10022

Policy Director/President
Greenberg Research
10 G Street NE Ste 400
Washington DC 20002

Jon Stewart
The Daily Show
513 W 54th Street
New York NY 10019

Seeds take time to grow, and the essay could be considered a bit over the top for some individuals who have not studied the subject for many years. But one can only hope that it will make a difference politically for liberals and progressives in 2004.

I shall now return and concentrate my studies on evolutionary psychology and leave the rest to fate.

Notebook entry, September 2, 2003

I'm currently mailing out the essay, The Men From MARs, to individuals who have a liberal bent to their persona. In a few days I will post the snail mail addresses of those addresses. As I have written, it is not the best essay that I have written, but I consider it one of the most important. The timing is right as Labor day is the start of the political season, and the general election in 2004 promises to be the most contentious one in America's history. I argue that it will set the stage for America's survival or extinction. We can not continue on this conservative course and survive; and the planet can not survive without America's leadership.