[FRIAM] the pseudoscience of evolutionary psychology?

Steven A Smith sasmyth at swcp.com
Tue Feb 20 13:34:32 EST 2018

> Since the horse isn't quite dead:

I think the horse has barely been flicked with the tip of the quirt...
or perhaps it is the wrong horse which we are flogging, or both?

 1. Is it possible that female hominids, specifically "modern women",
    are responding to their own instinctual responses to what is
    normally *male* display (most vertebrates, birds and herd mammals
    being the more obvious examples) to help them choose which mates
    they will be most receptive to is turned inside out by a combination
    of simple-self-image-awareness and the technological development of
    mirrors (and now selfies)?   Is it possible they are *assuming*
    instinctively that men expect (nay, demand?) the display they offer? 
 2. Is it possible that male hominids, specifically "modern men",
    through another aspect of self-image *are* subject to extravagant
    display based on their own instincts to be on display themselves to
    attract mates?

In the language of Complexity, these are examples of Exaptation and
(proto?)Spandrels, if in fact  they demonstrate any real utility over
the long haul... they may just be a temporary side-effect of the
development of the neocortex to include a stronger "sense of self".
> Women must have the right to bare their arms without comment
> https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/19/women-right-bare-arms-canada-prime-minister-kim-campbell
> "I look at that photo now and see someone who was actually really shy and uncomfortable in the public eye, the opposite of a “look-at-me” beauty queen."
What I glean from former PM Kim Campbell's rant is a parallel to my take
on the "problem of PC".  I will acknowledge that somewhere along the
line, the term "Politically Correct" got co-opted and became a
dogwhistle for racist/misogynistic/??? rhetoric.   I know there is thin
ice near this topic and have stepped through the ice here before. 
Pardon me for my clumsy mincing here?

I think all *deliberate*? change requires over-correction, like most
materials with both elastic and plastic properties... one must
*overbend* to achieve the final bend one wishes.    Having come of age
during the height of the Equal and Civil Rights era, I experienced
directly and (more often) indirectly these over-corrections.   The
"token white males" on interview lists for jobs which they would never
be selected for, or the occasional "very good man/father" who got raked
over the "deadbeat dad" coals by an angry ex-spouse and a overzealous
justice system.  

Statistically, those (ab)uses of their white male status contributed to
an improvement in the overall "Balance of Justice", but individually
they were travesties, of the same order in many ways as those who we
were trying to help with the over-corrections.   When one person leans
out one side of the canoe, that everyone else leaningout the other side
might (temporarily) increase it's "balance" but undermines it's

As father to two adult daughters and grandfather to one young
granddaughter, I know that there is still plenty of room for continued
improvement, and that will require some continued vigilance and (over)
corrections.   The recent events and tendencies at the national level
(marked well perhaps by the Ferguson MO case, but spiked with the
Donald's anti-immigrant/ethnic rants/policies) suggest that there might
be even *more* room on the issues of ethnic equality.

My biggest task with these "over-corrections" beyond the various
personal inconveniences they cause me from time to time (which I'm
willing to accept if there is a greater good being served) is when they
have begun to work *against* the greater good which they are exhorted to
be supporting.   I think this is roughly what Kim Campbell is trying to
address/redress in her rant.

- Steve
> On 02/15/2018 08:44 AM, uǝlƃ ☣ wrote:
>> Exactly!  So, it seems most reasonable to assume that the style of the clothing one wears to an awards ceremony, including how much skin is exposed, has more to do with cultural and clique norms than a "desire to be desired", whatever that may mean.
>> On 02/15/2018 08:16 AM, Frank Wimberly wrote:
>>> It's probably true that there are as many idiosyncratic motives as there are people.  But I believe that there are dominant themes in that set of motives.  Which begs the question how you know what someone's motives are, including yourself.

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