Friday Four

Friday, December 16, 2011

1. The "official" record is two minutes and two seconds, but I stopped counting several days ago. Baby Van Horn is now routinely sitting for minutes at a time without falling! It is astounding to realize, upon watching a baby learn how to do all the "simple" things we take for granted, how complicated such things really are. No less astounding is the noticeable progress one can observe from one day to the next.

2. Here are links to three videos I hope to watch (or start watching) during some lulls I expect to have over the next few days. The first two come by way of HBL, and the third I learned about through a local Objectivist mailing list. Peter Schiff's "I am the One Percent: Let's Talk.", Yaron Brook's "Ayn Rand and the Tea Party: A Recipe for Cultural Change", and Yaron Brook debating Dominick Ianno at Ford hall Forum in "From the Government and Here to Help".

3. Football fans will find this piece on the NFL's proprietary "All 22" game film interesting: "The reality of special teams remains largely unknown for this reason. No one sees it. The ball is kicked, it flies through the air and a man catches it. Then he is swarmed by a murder of crows, followed by a TV timeout."

4. Along the lines of advice to book a meeting with yourself at work in order to have uninterrupted work time, but taken to a "big picture" level, Jacob Gorban recommends a weekly appointment dedicated to "thinking time" at Lifehacker.

In this age of Internet and social networks with all the fun distractions that they provide, it becomes more important to go away from it all at least for a couple of hours each week, sit down with a pen and paper (or even an iPad running some notepad-type application), and just think it all through.
This sounds like just the sort of thing I need to do each week, and it would compliment my daily planning sessions very well.

-- CAV


Richard said...

On Baby Van Horn sitting for extended periods:

The "homosexuality is genetic" claimants argue that DNA, which cannot produce a human baby able to hold food in its first few days (ape and monkey babies can), can set the course for determining sexual partners 15 years later?

Not hardly!

Of course, how DNA & Evolution work help explain why.

Gus Van Horn said...


I am puzzled by why you have posted this comment.

The idea that DNA (alone) can set the course for the development of a human personality trait -- assuming that choice can play any role in its development -- is merely a variant of determinism and can, as such, be rejected on philosophical grounds alone.

On the other hand, since DNA (alone) doesn't always dictate all the biological traits of an organism (Here's an example.), the idea would still be open to question if choice were not involved.

But if "DNA & Evolution work" can "help explain why" some people become homosexuals, then DNA (i.e., genetic inheritance) almost certainly does help explain why this occurs.

I'm open to the possibility that genetics could play a role in this kind of development. But given the fact that there are numerous genetic traits that play little or no adaptive role (or at least aren't "optimal" -- scroll down), I think one has to be open to the idea that, even if there were a genetic role in the phenomenon, there is still NOT necessarily an evolutionary reason for a biological basis for homosexuality.

That said, it would conversely NOT make sense (except in some very odd contexts I can imagine) to speak of some role of evolution in causing this phenomenon without a discussion of some genetic cause.

So, I have to disagree with your claim to knowledge ("of course") that DNA or evolution necessarily help explain how homosexuality arises, although I am open to the ideas, more so the first, and much less so the second.

Finally, even if there were genetic and evolutionary contributions to the emergence of this phenomenon, there must necessarily also be psychological and cultural factors that come into play.


Gus Van Horn said...

"... there is still NOT necessarily an evolutionary reason for a biological basis for homosexuality..."

should read,

"... there is still NOT necessarily an adaptive reason for a biological basis for homosexuality..."