Notebook Entries for September 1999

Notebook entry, September 27, 1999

I have gotten a little behind on my notebook entries and I will combine two entries with one today. 

First Item: Business Week, September 27, 99 issue, covers The Prosperity Gap, p.90.  It gets into detailed analysis of the widening wage gap between the New Economy: high-tech Equipment/software; computer services/consulting; communications/media; nonstore retailing, and the Old Economy: Construction/transportation; Utilities/all other manufacturers; Wholesalers, and retailers; personal services; health care; education.   How can it be that with the media full of messages telling that there are jobs begging out there that there should be a widing wage gap?  The reason appears to be that with pay constantly falling behind the New Economy, the businesses in the Old Economy hare having a hard time finding workers willing to work at those depressed wages.   Those help wanted signs are an indication of desperation, not prosperity. 

Right now, things are going smoothly, but "...When growth slows, the prosperity gap will translate into enormous political tensions between workers in the Old Economy industries and those in the New Economy." p. 100.   "...But just as movements in continents produce earthquakes and volcanoes, so will the growing proserity gap create social upheavals for years to come."  What Mr. Mandel was telling us is what I've been telling the regular readers of this web site since October of 1997.  That if a gap between those that have, and those that have not reaches a point where those that do not have the resources consider "unfair," temper and in some cases rage will emerge in order to even out the resources.  I have called this rising tide of discontent, The Resource Differential Tolerance Ratio.  The greater the ratio between those that have and those that do not have, the greater the intolerance.

In America we have many escape valves that can disfuse the disruptions: we have social networks, welfare, food stamps, work programs -- increasing up to throwing the current politicans out on their ears by way of new elections.  If matters to do not get better, but continue to increase in serverity, then the likelyhood of violent protests could occur in the form of food riots; up to and including overthtown of the current government.  (An extrememly unlikely event in the U.S.A.)  You can read more about my Resource Differential Intolerance Ratio Theory by reading my Capitalism essay.

2nd Item: Business Week, October 4, 99 issue, the cover story: The Internet Age.  A revolutionary change in how we conduct business is about to occur, and this excellent issue details the promise and problems that are just around the corner.  Everyone should read this cover story.

Notebook entry, September 18, 1999

I update my male "criminal mind" essay with the following missive:

I suppose that I should balance the augment of the male "criminal" mind and state that there are females who do commit crimes, but the overwhelmingly statistical evidence leaves little doubt about the males dominance in the crime statistics when gender differences are compared.   In the United States alone,

Now that is violent crime. There still remains the statistical analysis of non-violent criminal activity, which although are not as destructive as violent crimes, are still behaviors that we in our moral societies have judged to be criminal in their actions and have passed laws to prevent those behaviors by passing judgement in courts of laws.

Now, it should be appropriate at this juncture to bring up the argument "that minorities commit more crimes then the dominate and controlling phenotype, (read white males of European descent). "well, just look at the stats.....crime is highest in inner-city areas and they all live there!! And look at our prisons, they are full of minorities!!!"  Conservatives tell us.   That is correct.  However, with GIS (Geographic Information System) software available now it is possible to find definitive statistics that most crimes are resource accumulation related.  Currently, the software is being used by police to pinpoint violent and assault crimes, buy somehow seems to have left out white collar crimes. 

In only two categories do females lead males in "criminal" activity; running away from home, and "commercialized vice." Although not listed, I personally believe that in the latter "crime," the female is helped and strongly influenced to commit the crime by a male "protector" and " solicitor agent," and the runaways forced to run from a sexually abusive stepfather. Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson, Demonic Males, Houghton Mifflin, New York, NY, 1996 pp. 113 and 114.
To read the entire updated male "criminal" essay, click here.

Notebook entry, September 17, 1999

Last night I was flipping channels in a horizontal position at 830pm in preparation for sleep.  Yes, I was in bed at 830pm on a Friday night -- go ahead and snicker, but I usually get up at 400am and do my studying or writing while you young's are just hitting the sack after another unsuccessful attempt at mating with a member of the opposite sex.  Well, anywise, I found a pre-puberty kids show called Odd Man Out.  It is a situation comedy about a teenage boy (15?) who lives with his   five (or six?) sisters and mother, with no male influence in the house.    It is basically a "Cope and Grope" coming-of-age show when hormones are popping out everywhere.  In one scene a young (perhaps 12 or 13) younger sisters makes a growling (Grrl) statement to the young male after he "dumped" his girl friend: "You're just like every man -- planting your seed and moving on!"   Zow. Evolutionary psychology out of the mouth of a thirteen year old.  The renaissance is coming, are you ready? Tune in next week?  I will, ' cause I have to get up early the next day.

Notebook entry, September 16, 1999
Newswires were abuzz about Bill Gates donating one billion dollars to fund scholarships for minority students by establishing the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. With his wife, Milissa by his side, Gates was quoting as saying: "I do hope in the years ahead that as you look at the kids in school and you look at the kids in school and you look at our industry, you will see a broad, diverse representation because I think that really builds a strong America." Here. Here.  Have you noticed that Mr. Gates has begun to return money to the society that helped to make him rich since he has been married?  Two thumps up, Bill.

Notebook entry, September 7, 1999

Time magazine, week of September 13, 1999 cover issue, "THE IQ GENE? What scientists have uncovered about "How Memory Works" and how to improve it," p.54  Doogie, the mouse with a brain set the scene by scientists at Princeton, M.I.T. and Washington University altered its DNA that changed the reactions between neurons deep within the mouse's brain and the results were quite stunning.  It also raises the specter of genetic "intelligence" which is a very controversial subject as seen by the furor raised by Murray and Herrnstein in the book on IQ and race, The Bell Curve.  A sane and suitable note of caution was brought up by Eric Kandel, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Columbia University, "Intelligence involves many genes, many features.  There are many things that go into it."

On page 59, the second story, same subject, titled: "IF WE HAVE IT, DO WE USE IT? and sums us the challenge, "Every parent is going to want this.   But who will have access to it?"

The cover story ends with a "Message From A Mouse," a short essay by Stephen Jay Gould, p.62, who tells us in his own brilliant way that it takes more than genes to make a smart mouse or a high-IQ human. In one of his famous verbal thrust, which is usually accompanied by a wave of the arm, Gould states: "No single gene determines even the most concrete aspect of my physical anatomy, say the length of my right thumb.  The very notion of a gene "for" something as complex as "intelligence" lapses in absurdity.   Intelligence is an array of largely independent and socially defined mental attributes, not a measure of a single something, secreted by one gene, measurable as one number and capable of arranging human diversity into one line ordered by relative mental worth." Here, Here.   This is the second essay within a month that Time magazine has used the eminent biological evolutionist, and it makes me just happier than a puppy wagging it's tale on being taken on a walk.  I have learned so much from this man in such a short time that it even scares me.  If I have any criticism of this great mind, is that it seems the major part of his career has been devoted to seeking a historical place in the annals of science.  I wish I could tell him that he is all ready there, and that the only thing that would top this accomplishment is to teach us common people the wisdom that he has stored in a simpler manner.  Perhaps the two entries in Time magazine will prompt him to do more articles in the magazine that is an important part of our American culture.  I for one, am glad to have him join us common folk down here in the mainstream.  We need his voice and support now more than ever because humankind is about to chart its own course in evolution by tweaking its own DNA.  And before we embark on that glorious voyage we need his wisdom and voice to guide us.

Notebook entry, September 6, 1999

I apologize for the tone of the September 5th entry.  Usually, I'm a bit calmer, but that New York Times story just caught me on a particularly bad day.

Notebook entry, September 5, 1999

A New York Times story by David Cay Johnston tells us that the income gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow.  The gap has grown so wide that the richest 2.7 million Americans will have as many much money to spend as the bottom 100 million.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the wealthiest 1% of the population and the other 100 million at the bottom will each have $620 billion dollars to spend. 

And these people want a $792 billion dollar tax cut spread out over ten years while you and I know that we will have to scrimp and save to pay for our medicines when we get old?  Is the size of their greed larger than the size of their brains?   Don't they realize that if the gap continues to widen and the nation's economy returns to the boom and bust cycles of the 1970s and 1980s the resource differentials could spell domestic instability? 

In another note: This Week with Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson predict that the number one issue going into the 2000 year election will be education.  I agree.  The thrust of the arguments will be that the republicans want school competition, or some transfer of public funds into private hands.  The error is this stupidity is that yes, some students will benefit, but others will suffer.  Some neighborhoods will gain, and others will suffer...both creating further gaps between those that have and those that do not.  Those that are capable to escaping, will clutch at the crumbs of compassion and kowtow to the money people.

And of course, let's not forget about the magical subjects of creationism vs. evolution.  If local, private institutions have control, will the subject of evolution be taught?  Or will the students be sent back to the stone age to be taught that they should always pay attention to the male law-givers who are never wrong? Genetic engineering?  Ethics in bioengineering? Haw!  Don't worry about it, the patriarchal oligarchies will control everything and all things will fall into place. That is what I am worried about. 

Notebook entry, September 3, 1999

Time magazine cover story, September 6, 1999, "Why We Take Risks," gets into the biological nature of risk taking.  From extreme sports to day trading, thrill seeking is becoming more popular.  There is a side bar on pp. 32 & 33, which quotes John Tooby and his wife Leda Cosmides.  I'm glad, because they deserve the exposure.  Could it mean that Time has lost interest in Robert Wright? Or is it the opposite?   Will this mean that Tooby & Cosmides will be quoted again in the future?  Or, perhaps others?  Oh well, in any case, it was a winning week for evolutionary psychology as the extra traffic to my web site indicates.   T&C are quoted as saying about risk taking in our remote past: "Your world was risky then. You were confronted with constant crises -- maybe an ambush by a lion or by a rival group of people, perhaps a natural disaster like an earthquake or volcanic eruption.  To survive, all your physical and mental faculties had to operate correctly.  [our ancestors] had to seek out situations where they could practice the split-second decisions that would enable their bodies and brain circuits to respond.  So people were forced into gambling all the time.  [Today] we more or less have an appetite for pushing the envelope, just as we still relish those sugars and fats needed by our ancestors in times of famine, even if they now come in the form of unnecessary ice cream sundaes."