Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Apparently, Lying is a Crucial Step for a Child's Development


The ability to tell a white (or "prosocial") lie, one that benefits someone else or is told to avoid hurting someone's feelings, signals an important developmental step.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Beauty: Is it cultured into us? Are we put under societal pressures to conform or is in natural?

Is our culture's obsession with beauty reasonable? 

Is it merely natural?  
Or are we brainwashing little girls with unrealistic expectations by making them play with Barbie dolls? 

This site has some insights from the field of evolutionary psychology.  

However I tend to disagree with their point of view.  
I believe that our societal places real and definitive pressures for women to conform a certain way.  
Evolutionary history doesn't explain how/why different cultures have had different standards of beauty.  
My home country had a millenia of foot mutilation for the sake of "beauty."  
Today in Asia, to be pale is to be beautiful, whereas in the USA you want to be tan.  
In Asian cultures, the face is extremely important, while it seems that in the USA what's more important is the distribution of various lumps of fat in pleasing formations on the body.  
I don't think evolutionary logic explains all of this weirdness, some of it must be cultural.  

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Check out this video.  A researcher discusses the moral and ethical underpinnings of the differences between liberals and conservatives.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

following up

For those of you who were fans of my last blog about my run-in with the law, charges have been cleared and processing fees reduced significantly (though they're still pretty significant) for my rocks charge. :) to a clean record and a not as empty wallet. sam 1 law 0

Friday, August 15, 2008

Privacy Vs. Safety

What's more important? Your right to privacy or peace of mind knowing that the police are better equipped to catch criminals?

Check out this article from the Washington Post.

Across the country, police are using GPS devices to snare thieves, drug dealers, sexual predators and killers, often without a warrant or court order.

Personally, I've never understood the privacy-fanatic's line of reasoning. If you haven't done anything wrong, then you have nothing to fear. Therefore, I believe that the only people who really need so-called "privacy" are criminals. If anything, removing the so-called "right to privacy" will clean our society of secret rapists and child molesters, right?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Problem: Your employees are being gang-raped and held captive, escaping only when using a cell phone to call for help. Solution: Ban cell phones

I want to apologize in advance, because this story is super-depressing.

Here's a basic synopsis of the situation. Two years ago, a employee of defense contractor KBR was drugged and gang-raped by her coworkers. When she woke up, she had "severe injuries on her, including the following: (1) disfigurement of the chest, (2) bruised thighs, (3) bruised chest, (4) bleeding between legs." She went to a US Army physician and gathered evidence of the crime in a rape kit. The rape kit was then given to KBR/Halliburton security forces, and it disappeared. Immediately following that, KBR imprisoned her in a shipping container denying her food, water or medical treatment. After a day, she persuaded a sympathetic guard to let her borrow a cell phone and she called her dad. Her dad called their congressman and they were able to generate enough public attention to get her out of there.

So far, there has been no criminal prosecution of any of the rapists, or KBR, or Halliburton or anything. The rape kit "disappeared" for two years, and when it was finally recovered by the State Department, it was missing photographs, notes, and all DNA evidence.

And on top of all of this, this weekend KBR announced that it has banned the use of personal cell phones by its employees in Iraq. Maybe they think that banning cell phones will prevent any future American victims of rape and imprisonment from escaping and telling the media.

Here's the links to the stories:

So here's what I have to say about this, in terms of honor and ethics:

Where has America's honor and ethics gone? Where has justice gone? The rape kit just disappeared? Bullshit. First of all, the crime in itself was unspeakable. But the response from the contractors/Army was even more disgusting, which is saying something. From the people who raped her, to the people who locked her up, to the people who destroyed the evidence afterwards, to the people in power who refuse to hold any of the aforementioned groups of people responsible, all of them seem strangely complicit. I'm not one to believe in "conspiracy theories," so the only explanation that I can put forth is that we as a people have somehow managed to erode even the most basic sense of integrity and ethics. These aren't even "American values" we're talking about, these are basic human values. I simply cannot comprehend what could possibly be going through any of these people's minds.