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Sociobiology claims another victim

By Michael J. Smith on Sunday June 19, 2011 09:40 PM

Science has the answer, says the New York Times:

“I don't know what I was thinking.”

So said Anthony D. Weiner in a news conference moments after finally admitting that he had sent naughty photos of himself to women he had met on the Internet.

[Weiner] might not know what he had been thinking — but scientists have an idea or two.

This story is well worth reading, every bonehead word of it. Stupid as it may be, it's a textbook example of how to make news out of nothing, a very important journalistic skill -- creation ex nihilo, in bygone days of darkness thought to be the prerogative of Omnipotence.

Scientists have an idea or two? Well, so have I, and so has every other penifer in creation. And we don't need to know anything about dopamine in order to understand exactly what was going on -- yes, of course the NYT piece(*) mentions dopamine; what did you expect?

Scholars were studied [sic] brain architecture and chemistry long before Mr. Weiner pinged photos of his unmentionables into cyberspace. And their research — some of it subject to dispute — suggests that physiology played a role in Mr. Weiner’s digital dalliances.
Some of it subject to dispute, eh? You've gotta love that Times even-handedness. We don't hear much about the dispute, of course -- just this vague intimation that some poor malcontent somewhere might grouse about the triumphant march of sociobiology. And of course it's hard to deny that physiology played a role; to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you tweet the organs you've got, not the organs you might have, or the organs you wish you had.
According to some, seeking prominence is part of an inborn survival strategy.
This is sociobiology in a nutshell: a set of whimsical just-so stories that purport to ground existing social institutions in the iron laws of evolution. One wonders, if the prominent are favored by evolution, why there are still so few of them; the un-prominent seem to be reproducing quite nicely, with fewer adventitious advantages.

This sorry piece-of-shit item is the reason why I look forward with such keen anticipation to the demise and ruination of the Times and the Washpost and the Wall Street Journal and all their kind, and only hope I live to see it.

Tough-minded realists like to ask where I would get my news from, if they were gone, and I cheerfully admit that I have no idea. But somehow it's hard to believe that news would stop circulating. Yes, a lot of it would be poorly vetted, full of baloney, worse than useless; contemptible, imbecile garbage, that darkens counsel by words without understanding.

Which is to say, it would be as bad as the Times.


(*) You should pardon the expression.

Comments (11)

I propose a test for evolutionary psychologists, sociobiologists and social darwinians.

As lady dame nature herself has rewarded them and theirs with semi-divine DNA, and the pedigree of a succession of generations of winners, it shan't be too difficult.

All they'll have to do is surrender their names, all but a single set of clothing, their means of purchase and contact with any friends, connections and networking associates they've acquired by virtue of belonging to the winning genetic castes of history.

Upon doing so, they will be dropped into a banlieu, favela, ghetto, slum or shantytown of the testgivers' choosing.

When they arrive home alive an unharmed, they can have all their richly deserved and naturally ordained stuff, and their good names, back.

"When they arrive home alive an unharmed, they can have all their richly deserved and naturally ordained stuff, and their good names, back."

I got a wicked good laugh thinking on that one.


In all fairness, regular readers of the Times, the Washpost and the Wall Street Journal rarely engage in sexual activity. So it all has to be explained to them.


Dopamine... Tony's FLAG PIN... what more could a boy/girl want? Malcolm Gladwell?


Why don't these dwellers of banlieus, favelas, ghettos, slums or shantytowns avail themselves of freely available microcredit and pull themselves up by the bootstraps so that at least their progeny can enroll in £18,000 a year universities? Surely that is more practical than parachuting academic dons in their 60s into, say, El Chorillo? (or as one peevish commentator at last link labeled them: "ultra reactionary Eurocentric, biologic deterministic, elitist, chauvinistic twits")?

Who said anything about parachutes?


My bad. Maybe it had something to do with past of El Chorrillo.

If there are fewer Judith Millers afterwards, it will benefit us all.

And we'll be free to start designating trustworthy news sites once again.

Tough-minded realists like to ask where I would get my news from, if they were gone, and I cheerfully admit that I have no idea.


mr blog meister sir

can we please have a new post
to slide this mock turtle zionic blood liberal underwear ninja
south of the top of the site ??


Can anyone explain to me how it is that NATO enemies such as Gaddafi, and earlier Milosevic, never attempt to strike back at the NATO homelands after their territories come under attack from the noble alliance? In particular, Italy would appear to be a ripe target for some upgraded SCUDS launched from the north coast of Libya. But no, even though G.'s air defenses are lost and he and his family are regularly bombed and his efforts to reach accommodation with the emperor repeatedly rebuffed, he never tries to punish his attackers' dozing homelands. You know, to wake us up, so to speak.


I got nothing.


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21st century addison

the whimsical sky hook
fans out into a sweeping interdiction

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