Thursday, June 25, 2009

Surprise, Surprise: Our Ancestors Weren't Morons

Archeologists said yesterday that they had unearthed the oldest musical instruments ever found - several flutes that inhabitants of southwestern Germany laboriously carved from bone and ivory at least 35,000 years ago.

Just a few feet away from a bone flute, researchers discovered one of the oldest examples of figurative art - the sculpture of a woman carved from mammoth ivory, a find announced earlier this year. Excavations have also unearthed an array of other art, including carvings of mammoths, cave lions, and mythic half-animal, half-human figures.

A culture rich in figurative art, sophisticated adornments, and music does not directly result in better hunting or more successful reproduction, but music in particular might have had an indirect effect, providing better social ties or improving communication, according to Conard.


This thinking appears to be backwards: music helped humans evolve into what we are today, so we could create symphonies, phone lines, and Facebook. No, I think that we created music because we were further evolved 40,000 years ago than many of us like to believe, and have had much better success in formulating socities back then even despite having to fight for survival more often in those earlier times.

Either way, the fact remains that the longer we dig back, and the more we find, the creepier our human past becomes to us moderns: we didn't just evolve from block-headed monkeys into the iPhone users we are today, with a little Leave It To Beaver-esque 1950s society tucked neatly between our past and modern eras. There were societies of hunter-gatherers who could make art, play music, and do everything we do today, except they lived in a much more harsh and reality-driven world. Finding things like this makes us think about our lineage in a backward fashion instead of owning up to the fact that maybe what we call "progress" isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Obama Scares The &*%# Out Of Me

A few stories about our new president that have made their way into the media recently have scared me quite a bit. What's shocking is not the fact that Obama is taking power away from Americans and putting it squarely on his own shoulders, but that people are all too willing to give it away with little fanfare.

Here's the most recent of questionable tactics, in regard to free air time given to Obama by ABC regarding a government health care program he's pushing, while ABC dismisses dissenting opinion during that same news conference:

ABC now gets to decide which points of view are valid and allowed to be heard, and which are not. In this case, they just so happen to be silencing Barack Obama’s opposition. What a striking coincidence that the people they’re excluding are the ones who aren’t falling into lockstep with our Dear Leader.

As I said repeatedly during the campaign, 2008 will be known as the year that journalism died. Why would the ass-kissers in the MSM suddenly start doing their jobs now? They’re doing so well propping up our Dear Leader. A fair, ethical media wouldn’t be choosing a side here. Real journalists would simply broadcast the debate with no bias, no shutting down of alternative opinions, and no favoritism. This is the stuff of the Soviet Union, not the United States.


Cassy has a point: ABC is systematically destroying any fair sense of journalism by allowing Obama to present a government health care plan without any tough questions on the topic being thrown his way. It's both an admission that Obama wouldn't want any dissenting opinions, nor his answers to those questions, aired, and also a scarily effective tactic which tells me that the media has more power than I ever gave it credit for. I've never been one to pay much attention to the news media, and now I'll try to ignore it even more. Ironically, the most "liberal" and "progressive" of us are the most aggressive when it comes to controlling what we see and hear, and which dissenting opinions - if any - get aired. This is sad and shameful, and I'm surprised any of the people involved with this, including our new president, could call themselves "Americans".

Here is the letter written by Ken McKay [click here], which also includes a link to write the ABC exec responsible for this nonsense.

This is just one of a handful of red flags - actually, forget that; outright illegal activity - by the Obama administration. Recently, as I wrote on my other blog, Obama pushed Chrysler into bankruptcy court and muscled the court such that the decision came down to prioritize the labor union's wants over the legal rights of the bondholders - a complete reversal from normal bankruptcy law. While I'd love to see Alfa Romeos and Fiats being sold here, I don't want my president messing with the justice system just to avoid Chrysler being sold off in bits and pieces under his watch (sure, let the next guy deal with it so no one can say a major US automaker went out of business during my tenure). What's happening is absurd.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blogs & Sites I'm Liking Lately

A couple of great ones: (Brett Stevens) (Tradunt; new)

More postings coming on of course...and with a recent milestone birthday & child on the way, it's been tough to dedicate a lot of time to this space.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Recent musings

Here's a couple recent articles, with more to come:

Co-Sleeping Arguments With Family

iPod and Apple: Interesting Historical Perspective

Demeaning Culture Through Generalization

As always, you can find my writings on Corrupt at the following two locations:

Regular blog
Family column