Archive for November 14th, 2012

Into The Light

The flashlight has gone missing.

This is irritating. It is not where last I left it.

Apparently, the thing has grown legs.

Or the winkers have made off with it.

Probably the latter.

This used to drive me mad. The missing flashlight.

These days, I just remember what Lew Welch said, in his poem “Difficulty Along The Way.”

Seeking Perfect Total Enlightenment
is looking for a flashlight
when all you need the flashlight for
is to find your flashlight

If I Only Had A Brain

It has been clear for quite some time that things started going Wrong for the humans when they left off the hunter-gathering and settled down to start growing turnips.

This led inexorably to nonsense like cities, money, countries, Microsoft, McDonalds, meshugas, and the nitwit pictured there to the left, who could only be produced by a species that sits on its ass to cultivate rutabagas.

Now some Science Men down at Stanford have confirmed that this disastrous detour has resulted in Deep Dumbness, the human brain atrophying because people persist in raising beets, while meanwhile inventing television, so they can blur out on The Price Is Right and Let’s Make A Deal.

They have thereby mutated themselves, these humans, and not in a good way: “the average person harbors two intelligence-stunting genetic changes that evolved over the last 3,000 years.”

Hear, now, The Truth:

Humans may be gradually losing intelligence, according to a new study.

The study, published Monday in the journal Trends in Genetics, argues that humans lost the evolutionary pressure to be smart once we started living in dense agricultural settlements several thousand years ago.

“The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples [living] before our ancestors emerged from Africa,” said study author Gerald Crabtree, a researcher at Stanford University, in a statement.

Since then it’s all been downhill, Crabtree contends.

Alas, poor humans. They were doing so well. But then they strayed from the onwards and upwards. For parsnips.

Early humans lived or died by their spatial abilities, such as quickly making a shelter or spearing a saber-toothed tiger. Nowadays, though almost everyone has the spatial ability to do ostensibly simple tasks like washing dishes or mowing the lawn, such tasks actually require a lot of brainpower, the researchers note . . . .

But after the spread of agriculture, when our ancestors began to live in dense farming communities, the intense need to keep those genes in peak condition gradually waned.

And it’s unlikely that the evolutionary advantage of intelligence is greater than it was during our hunter-gatherer past, the paper argues.

“A hunter-gatherer who did not correctly conceive a solution to providing food or shelter probably died, along with his/her progeny, whereas a modern Wall Street executive that made a similar conceptual mistake would receive a substantial bonus and be a more attractive mate. Clearly, extreme selection is a thing of the past,” the researchers write.

That the average IQ throughout the world has been thought to increase over the past 100 years is an illusion, contend the Science Men. This seeming increase is due to factors like better pre-natal care, improved nutrition, and getting the lead out. But, in Reality, the Dumbness continues, as the very genes of humans are engaged in de-evolution:

Anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000 genes determine human intelligence, and these genes are particularly susceptible to harmful changes, or mutations, the researchers write. Based on knowledge of the rate of mutations, the team concludes that the average person harbors two intelligence-stunting genetic changes that evolved over the last 3,000 years.

So, as Lenin famously asked, What Is To Be Done?

Funkadelic nearly Saw it, but they got it backward, because they are of a species with eroding brainpans. Having abandoned all, for the sake of yams. Which inevitably culminates in Xbox onanism.

In 1970, Funkadelic released an album entitled Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow.

In truth, getting there is accomplished thusly: Free Your Ass And Your Mind Will Follow.

Mysteries Of Country Manors

He could smell honey through the wood-smoke and wondered, as he always did, where it came from. The furniture wax? Or was there, somewhere in the catacombs, a honey room, just as there was a gunroom and a fishing-room and a box-room and, for all he knew, a love room?

—John Le Carre, Smiley’s People


When I Worked

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