Notes on Buller, Pinker, and Ridley

I have finished taking notes for the first three books of my class in Evolutionary Genetics — Buller’s Adapting Minds, Pinker’s The Blank Slate, and Ridley’s Nature via Nurture.

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A word of warning: these notes were often written in a hurry. This double-check any references to them with your hard copy before relying on anything I noted.


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Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature (David Buller)

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The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (Steven Pinker)

Nature via Nurture (Matt Ridley)

Lovecraft’s Books and Dreams

Calling Cthulhu: H.P. Lovecraft’s Magick Realism,” by Erik Davis, techgnosis, Fall 1995, http://www.techgnosis.com/content/chunks.php?sec=articles&cat=phantasy&file=chunkfrom-2005-06-16-1057-0.txt.

I am a fan of the great American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. I recently reviewed an annotated collection of his works, and I often interpose his fiction with my posts. In my notes on evolutionary psychology, journey to Scotland (South Dakota), and description of 5th Generation War. So I was very happy to find this fascinating it quixotic article on Lovecraftian magical realism

In order to invade our plane, Lovecraft’s entities need a portal, an interface between the worlds, and Lovecraft emphasizes two: books and dreams. In “Dreams of the Witch-House,” “The Shadow out of Time” and “The Shadow over Innsmouth,” dreams infect their hosts with a virulence that resembles the more overt psychic possessions that occur in “The Haunter in the Dark” and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Like the monsters themselves, Lovecraft’s dreams are autonomous forces breaking through from Outside and engendering their own reality.

Read the rest

Conventional Defensive Thinking from Taiwan

Taiwan to Test-Fire Missile: Report,” Reuters, 6 July 2006, http://reuters.myway.com/article/20060706/2006-07-06T090829Z_01_TP235236_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-TAIWAN-CHINA-MISSILES-DC.htmlhttp://reuters.myway.com/article/20060706/2006-07-06T090829Z_01_TP235236_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-TAIWAN-CHINA-MISSILES-DC.html.

Taiwan, an island democracy in the western Pacific, is preparing to defend itself from an invasion by the People’s Liberation Army of the People’s Republic of China

Taiwan plans to test-fire a missile capable of hitting China, alarming the island’s main ally, the United States, a cable news network said on Thursday.

That range would put areas along China’s coast from Fuzhou in Fujian Province to Nan’ao in Guangdong within striking distance of the missile, the Web site said.

This is probably a mistake. A much smater policy would combine unconventional warfare and Taiwan’s science and engineering infrastructure. Taiwan should build nuclear weaponry, and deploy bomb-wielding commando teams to the Pearl River Delta, Shanghai, and Tianjin, and Beijing.

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Republic of China (Taiwan)

China may rationally calculate that in a first strike, she can prevent Taiwan from launching her missiles in defense. But if nomadic nuclear Taiwanese patriots were in position in critical parts of China, Beijing would not tempt invasion.

Defend democracy. Think different.