Sunday, February 13, 2005

I have suspended my subscription to the Sunday Times

...for the indefinite future, and I feel much better now. I no longer have to put up with the one-two punch of unbearable stupidity and frivolity that is Friedman and Dowd on the Sunday Op-Ed Page. (I stopped reading the columns long ago, but even glancing at the headlines and skimming the first paragraphs would put me in a foul mood for an hour or two.) More generally, I am no longer supporting an institution that, in a world full of brilliant writers and thinkers, chooses to give a biweekly platform to the likes of Kristof, Friedman, Brooks, and Dowd, whose combined mental processes could be adequately simulated by shaking a burlap sack full of rocks. I mean, give me a break! Are you serious? Can they possibly be serious? How can they put their names above these words, for all the world to read?

p.s. I should also note, re: the Crooked Timber link above, that I really don't understand people's objections to evolutionary psychology in principle. It seems trivially obvious that there are roughly four useful levels of explanation for any given human behavior: personal history, culture, biology, and universal constants. Evolutionary psychology corresponds to investigating the third of these. It's true that evolutionary psychology is a dangerous tool that should be kept away from morons, but that's true of any powerful idea.

p.p.s. I guess I've either broken one of my New Year's Resolutions, or taken a step that will make it significantly easier for me to keep it. Only time will tell.

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