Giving Karl Popper His Propers

“Scholars reflect on the controversial philosopher 100 years after his birth” – Chronicle of Higher Education

“I am not a member of the Karl Popper church,” he adds emphatically, during a conversation — one of many he’s had in recent weeks — on the growing international reputation of the academic trailblazer. Popper popularized the term “open society” in political discourse and pushed scientists in a new direction with theories that would later be hailed as a “philosophical revolution.”

Metrosexual – redux

“He’s well dressed, narcissistic and bun-obsessed. But don’t call him gay.” – Salon

to determine a metrosexual, all you have to do is look at them. In fact, if you’re looking at them, they’re almost certainly metrosexual. The typical metrosexual is a young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of a metropolis — because that’s where all the best shops, clubs, gyms and hairdressers are. He might be officially gay, straight or bisexual, but this is utterly immaterial because he has clearly taken himself as his own love object and pleasure as his sexual preference. Particular professions, such as modeling, waiting tables, media, pop music and, nowadays, sport, seem to attract them but, truth be told, like male vanity products and herpes, they’re pretty much everywhere.

For some time now, old-fashioned (re)productive, repressed, unmoisturized heterosexuality has been given the pink slip by consumer capitalism. The stoic, self-denying, modest straight male didn’t shop enough (his role was to earn money for his wife to spend), and so he had to be replaced by a new kind of man, one less certain of his identity and much more interested in his image — that’s to say, one who was much more interested in being looked at (because that’s the only way you can be certain you actually exist). A man, in other words, who is an advertiser’s walking wet dream.


Brain imaging studies reveal biological basis for human cooperation

“Functional MRI scans have revealed a “biologically embedded” basis for altruistic behavior, with several characteristic regions of the brain being activated when players of a game called “Prisoner’s Dilemma” decide to trust each other and cooperate, rather than betray each other for immediate gain, say researchers from Emory University…For many years, evolutionary biologists, behaviorists, economists and political scientists have attempted to understand why cooperation exists between human beings, even though that cooperation may not result in a direct or immediate reward. This unselfish behavior called “altruism” is almost uniquely a human trait.”

Eurekalert release

See also: Why We’re So Nice: We’re Wired to Cooperate [ NY Times ]