The power of Twitter Dooce spends $1,300 on a new Maytag washing machine, it breaks, she has a nightmare getting it fixed, and a customer service rep sneers when she makes a veiled threat to Tweet her woes to the world. Big mistake.
A study shows women can tell when women are flirting (as opposed to merely being friendly), but men can’t. From the perspective of evolutionary psychology, this raises the obvious question, WTF?
How did we get to a point where female signals intended for males are missed by the males but picked up by the females? Is female flirting some sort of territory-marking behavior, intended to signal other women rather thanthe man? Or has modern life just gotten everyone so conflexed and perpused that signals are getting crossed?
On a somewhat related note: Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature focuses hugely on sex –especially polygyny — and not so much on other aspects of what evolutionary psychology tells us (accurately or not) about human nature. Some of it veers dangerously close to the kind of stuff that gives Ev Psych a bad name, but it’s still worth taking a look.
(pic — and shirt — via Zazzle.com)
Darwin’s First Clues National Geographic uses annoying 9-page format for a nice piece by David Quammen, IMO the best living science/nature writer, throwing light on what really got Darwin thinking about evolution (in contrast to the usual story about the finches):
Darwin’s first real clue toward evolution came not in the Galápagos but three years before, on a blustery beach along the north coast of Argentina. And it didn’t take the form of a bird’s beak. It wasn’t even a living creature. It was a trove of fossils. Never mind the notion of Darwin’s finches. For a fresh view of the Beagle voyage, start with Darwin’s armadillos and giant sloths.
Geoff Manaugh takes issue with those who like to put down people who write with their thumbs:
Now that suburban housewives in Missouri are letting their thoughts be known via Twitter, it’s as if writing itself is thought to be under attack, invaded from all sides by the unwashed masses whose thoughts have not been sanctioned as Literature™. In many ways, I’m reminded of Truman Capote’s infamous put-down of Jack Kerouac: “That’s not writing, it’s typing.”
And in We Are All Writers Now, Anne Trubek says Facebook and other technologies can foster creativity and self-expression:
Take the “25 Things About Me” meme that raged around Facebook a few months ago. This time-waster, as many saw it, is precisely the kind of brainstorming exercise I used to assign to my freshman writing students decades ago.
(cartoon via Neuroanthropology blog, which also has some useful insights)