Our Inner Ape

Frans de Waal’s popular books The Ape and the Sushi Master, and Our Inner Ape are entertaining, informative and useful. De Waal is leading expert on the behavior of animals, mainly apes, and particularly chimpanzees and bonobos, as observed in colonies in the Arnhem and San Diego zoos, and in the wild.


Yet again, someone sceptical of psychologists and educators who value happiness as a goal and a measure of good living, and the sceptical of the politics of happiness. See: Politicians, economists, teachers… why are they so desperate to make us happy?, by Frank Furedi, in the Daily Telegraph. I agree. Happiness is for idiots.

Bad Manners and Bad Names

My old friend Randy has mentioned, in a post called Aaden. Adan, Aden etc. that he recently got some unwanted, unfriendly comments on a blog entry he posted over two years ago, Bad Baby Names. Randy was caught commenting on people who bestow unique and precious names on their unborn offspring.


Theodore Dalrymple has produced a steady flow of articles and essays, published in The Spectator, The New Criterion, and City Journal. Denis Dutton has featured many of his essays at Arts & Letters Daily. In 2001, Dalrymple published a collection of his essays in City Journal, over the period from when he first wrote for …

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Meth Scare Stories

Steve sent me a link to the George Mason University’s STATS site which “monitors the media to expose the abuse of science and statistics before people are misled and public policy is distorted”. They issue an annual list of stories that used misleading or false information, the Dubious Data Awards. Their top story for 2005 …

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Another Meth Story

The Free Press has published a couple more stories about crystal meth addiction and the governments’ strategies to restrict supply of meth. Last Tuesday, January 4, 2006, there was a Bruce Owen, “Mom blames crystal meth for daughter’s death”, published electronically at McIntyre’s site. On Friday, January 6, 200, there was a story that pharmacists …

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Cultivating Culture

An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Culture (ISBN 1-890318-47-7) makes an argument for high culture and aesthetics as a civilizing force. The author, Roger Scruton, is a philosopher, a conservative writer, and a critic of postmodern ideas in philosophy, the humanities and the social sciences. His stated purpose, in the preface to the American edition …

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