When emotions trump logic.. Do you ever get the feeling that your political adversaries do not respond to the logic of your arguments, but merely to their cultural acceptability from their narrow ideological worldview? Cathy Newman of Channel 4 News believed she could rely on good old emotionalism to defeat the purportedly reactionary arguments of Canadian professor of psychology, Jordan Peterson. They inhabited different moral universes. Ms Newman stubbornly refused to accept any scientific evidence of fundamental neurological differences between male and female brains. Over 15 years ago Simon Baron Cohen popularised the distinction between more feminine empathisers and more masculine systemisers or in other words women are more people-oriented while men tend to be more thing-oriented. In practice we all need a bit of both to navigate our social and physical worlds. A technically illiterate project manager is as useless as a socially inept and uncommunicative engineer oblivious to the needs of other human beings. ....
Why it will always remain a wild fantasy... Sex, as practiced for the last billion years, has been an awfully competitive and selective affair. Erotic desire drives much of human behaviour. It motivates us to keep fit, take care of our appearance, elevate our status by excelling at school and in our careers and show off our physical prowess and dexterity through sport, dance and music.
As a species we combine social solidarity and shared culture with a strong competitive spirit. In a way these variant behaviours represent the true yin and yang of the human psyche, collectivism versus individualism or social cohesion versus self-betterment. One could argue that our social and technological reality would never have progressed without these instincts.
Humanity has always had a wide range of cultures, vocations and two biologically defined sexes. For most of our history we identified with our family, our tribe, our gender and our vocation. We had no choice over family and gender, seldom switched tribes and had a limited window of opportunity to find a vocation within the cultural paradigm of our era. To the above list we may naturally add status, something we traditionally acquired from a mix of our family’s social standing and any natural talents we can exploit in a socially advantageous or entrepreneurial manner.
On the importance of intellectual freedom... Hardly a week passes without a brand new high profile campaign against the Orwellian concept of hate speech, perceived public ignorance or the spectre of unofficial fake news.
Human history has had plenty of upheavals, but I believe we have never experienced such a rapid rate of technological and cultural change with worldwide reach. In 1931 Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World not so much as a reliable prognosis of human development over the coming 6 centuries (as the story is set in the year 2540 AD), but as a warning of how our socially progressive trajectory could lead us to a dystopia of complete submission to a technocratic elite. Huxley failed to foresee the likely implications of artificial intelligence and nano-robotics.
How disease-mongering turns patients into customers
While some of us may seem very self-absorbed thanks to generations of social atomisation and disconnection from our palaeolithic roots, most of us are wired to adore new life.
Hardly a day passes in the modern mainstream British media without a peadophilia-themed scandal, whether it be police discovering hundreds or thousands of child porn images on some poor soul's hard drive, a young woman's revelation about her parents' role in childhood sexual abuse, a high-ranking official or celebrity using his (or her) credit card to view child porn, a young female teacher seducing a 13 year old boy, a 13 year old girl, claiming to be 18, being groomed by a 50 year old male, claiming to...