November 29, 2005
Observation of the Moment
Luckily, renaissances celebrate immaturity and idealism. The growing field of "neotany" looks at the extended childhoods of species as a sign of their development. The longer an infant is helpless, the more advanced the species to which it belongs. Fish are fully developed from birth, dogs depend on their mothers for a few months, and human beings are helpless for several years. Likewise, the extended time for youth and exploration our society now offers (a full 90 percent of American residents now graduate high school, and more than a third make it through college) means more time for practice, development, and play. Growing up should not mean an end to this freedom to expand and innovate. It can be its rebirth in an entirely new context: that of playful work.
--Douglas Rushkoff, from Get Back in the Box Thought Virus #4: Follow the Fun. I've also heard how, evolutionary wise speaking, having a cultural infrastructure that could support a prolonged infancy meant we could have a shorter pregnancy, which meant woman's hips didn't have to be so wide to give birth, which meant we could have a better time walking upright and using our hands for tools and what not. I know this is probably not a healthy view, but sometimes it seems like C-sections are the "evolutionary" next step.
Heh...relevant quote from Bill Cosby on the Quotations Page Quote of the Day: "Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home."
Research of the Moment
From the "I could have told you that" department, Activity Levels may be an intrinsic genetic property. In other woulds, once a couch potato, always a couch potato, bar some heroic efforts to become otherwise.
News of the Moment
Bush readying the ol' "Declare Victory and Pull Out" strategy.
Is post-war Iraq better for the majority of Iraqis than during the Saddam era?
Saddam really messed up with Kuwait. If it wasn't for that, I'm 80% sure he'd be our staunch semi-secular ally in the region, that we'd hold our nose and look for his help as a stabilizing force...not to mention a rallying point for Jihadists to detest.