Nature Via Nurture

by: Matt Ridley, read in 2004

3 Jim Hightower, Texas politician: "There ain't nothing in the middle of the road but a yellow line and a dead armadillo."
6 The 12 components of human nature: "Darwin's universals, Galton's heredity, James's instincts, DeVries's genes, Pavlov's reflexes, Watson's associations, Kraepelin's history, Freud's formative experience, Boas's culture, Durkheim's division of labor, Piaget's development, and Lorenz's imprinting."
21 The role of food in early human society.
40 Teleology and GOD (Genome Organizing Device)
51 An explanation for dog breed characteristics.
53 Funny difference between men and women: saving a child or catching a ball.
56 Dr. John Money and Johns Hopkins
60 Franz Brentano: intentionality
60 Autism and Asperger's Syndrome
62 Systematizers vs. Empathizers.
63 Sneaky switch from talking about brains to talking about minds.
66 A description of thought and thinking -- android ideas?
67 "All utopias are hells."
82 The 5 dimensions of personality: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (OCEAN).
90 Policy implications of effect of poverty on IQ.
114 Definition of 'retrovirus'.
122 John Nash: "Rational thought imposes a limit on a person's concept of his relation to the cosmos."
123 Could schizophrenia be the result of overly developed communication capability with PC (Primordial Consciousness)??
150 Synopsis of "Brave New World".
158 Psychoanalysis: good diagnosis; terrible therapy.
163 Interesting defense of reductionism.
168 Accents fixed during youth. Henry Kissinger's brother: "Henry doesn't listen."
176 Lorenz's 8 deadly sins of civilization (he omitted genocide)
201 The reasons humans are dominant and not gorillas is because we can accumulate culture and transmit information.
204 Did Margaret Mead's error cause our 60's sexual revolution?
206 Ridley: "Why are cultures diverse?" Me: Circumstances.
206 Ridley: "How can societies be regarded as equal?" Me: They can't.
206 The world is rife with "obvious political dangers and prejudice."
208 Maybe the ability to achieve culture is not in the brain.
208 Ridley: Capacity for culture comes from primordial capacity to accumulate and transmit ideas. Me: This sounds exactly like my notion of PC!!
211 Thomasello: Humans are unique in being able to "place themselves in others' mental shoes".
215 Speculation similar to mine if you substitute PC for GOD.
236 Ridley: "Bodies, said Dawkins, were temporary vehicles constructed for the replication of genes, exquisitely designed by genes to grow, feed, thrive, and die -- but above all to strive for reproduction." Fallacy: Genes are information so they can't design. Some conscious designer must be responsible.
254 The overblown role of parenting.
273 Volition, or free will, seems to be seated in the limbic system.
273 William James's experience of deciding to get out of bed and the actual act being delayed.
273 Libet's experiment showing volition is unconscious
274 Behavior of a flock of birds suggests a common volitional mind.
274 Ridley: The Butterfly Effect is an absurd myth.
275 Ridley's description of free will.
275 Ridley: "There is no "me" inside my brain". I agree; it is outside.

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