Saturday, October 06, 2007

Are you Lobe-o-phobic?

Of course I subscribe to the local newspaper, dammit. I use it to swat teenagers. Why, just yesterday I was beating the tar out of some young whipper-snapper who offended my sense of propriety. He was, if you can believe this, wearing shoelaces with so-called "happy faces" woven into them! Kids didn't act like that when I was a boy, I'll inform you. Why, back in the 60s when I was a young man we knew how to act in public, what with our bell-bottom corduroy pants and paisley shirts and love beads and peace sign buttons all spiffed up. Hmph. Imagine how people would have reacted had we shown up at demonstrations against the system wearing something as out-landish as "happy faces" in our shoe laces! Kids these days, they make me ill. Things weren't like this when I was a boy. The whole world is going to Hell. It's time for these damned kids to grow up and shrink their lobes like adults. Yup, I saw the whole fiasco in the paper yesterday, and the story follows here.

Shrink Lobes, not War!

Brain atrophy linked to loss of social skills
NEW YORK | Friday, Oct 5 2007 IST

As people age, they experience shrinkage in the part of the brain responsible for inhibiting appropriate behavior -- which may explain why your great-aunt asks embarrassing questions about your weight and older people seem to have fewer qualms about making racist remarks than younger individuals do, an Australian researcher
, [Dr William von Hippel of the University of Queensland] suggests.

In the October issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, von Hippel reviews research on how changes in executive function, or the ability to plan and control thoughts and actions, may negatively affect older people's behavior.

Studies have shown that older people tend to be more prejudiced than younger individuals, von Hippel notes, but this may be because they are less able to muffle the ''automatic or unintentional stereotypical thoughts (that) appear to be common in most people.'' In fact, he adds, tests of the ability to ignore distraction found that the worse an older person's ability to focus, the more likely they were to express prejudice.

Older people also are more likely to exhibit ''off-target verbosity,'' von Hippel points out, or talking a great deal about topics unrelated to the current conversation. Research suggests that adults of all ages rely on their ability to inhibit inappropriate comments to interact with others socially, he notes, while older people may begin to lose this ability. This could explain their greater likelihood of asking about private topics in public situations, he said. Similar loss of function could put older people at greater risk of becoming depressed, he adds; for many people, the ability to control ''rumination,'' or brooding about problems without doing anything to solve them, is a key mechanism for avoiding depression, and if this ability is lost with age, the risk of depression may increase.

[....]

Older people show stronger executive function earlier in the day, he notes, so one way of coping with the social effects of frontal lobe atrophy could be to encourage them to schedule important activities for the morning hours. Both aerobic exercise and caffeine consumption could also boost executive function among older adults, he adds. -- (Reuters)
****

I find the whole damned thing depressing, especially the way kids today are so fat. You might recall my aunt Ella. She used to eat like a horse but she was never fat.

I was born with shrunken lobes, though Nature in its majesty endowed me otherwise in compensation. But the point is that I was from an early age a cranky guy who let things 'slip out' as it were, and I have no shame. In fact, I do let slip to this day, especially when the nurse comes to feed me pudding. She bends forward with the spoon and -- oopa! -- there I go.

I'm also cranky when I encounter kids of all ages finding fancy "theoretical constructs" to apologize for female genital mutilation, lapidation, and asymmetrical warfare, which in my cantankerousness I translate as sexually mutilating children, throwing stones at women and killing them, and murdering civilians at random. I find that rather than terming protests against neo-colonialism and cultural imperialism a good thing, I find myself condemnatory in the face of moral cowardice and fashion-mongering. I find myself outraged and intolerant of those who group together like ducks on the walk quacking about "Peace." My tiny lobes. What else could it be?

I write as publicly as the public will allow that Islam is an evil poligion that must be combated publicly. Primitive tribal code behaviour in our time is not something I extol the virtue of. I look at "Big Man" rulership of villages and people as a bad thing. I see in most of the Left's agenda a return to feudalism, a slavery of Humanity. And I'm so cranky I let it all come out in public. Islam is a bad thing. It's not a religion. It is a totalitarianism romanticized by philobarbarists and neo-fascist children who idealize comic book visions of Humanity, of real people they do not have a real sense of. There are those who get upset at the way of things as they are, those who flee to childish phantasies and playground games of Cops and Robbers as if it's a real thing they act out. Ain't so. Grow up, shrink those lobes, and look at the world as it is. And if the lobes get small enough then one might even have the balls to stand up in public to say that bad is bad and evil is worse. What part is there to be ashamed of in saying that evil is a thing to crush? Well, it offends children living in a pretend world, spoils their games and make-believe daydreams. Do I care. More importantly, do you care? Do you really care if geriatric teenagers make a fortune peddling senile phantasies of a perfect world in which they are King of the Mountain? Push off. Shrink your lobes and start talking back to the fools who can't say no to any nasty thing in fashion this day and the next. Tell those fat wankers to bugger off. Islam is a bad thing. It corrupts the lives of millions, and the Left makes alliance in order to gain their further control of the people. Throwing rocks at girls and hanging homosexuals and mutilating children and blowing up people is just plain evil. Get over your lobes and say something about it.

Excuse me, you silly piece of work, it's that lazy paperboy at the door. I'll be back when I'm damned well ready. You just sit there and eat those biscuits.

1 comment:

truepeers said...

LOL, if ever one needed clearer proof that the cult of "non-discrimination" is nothing but a veiled attempt to inculcate rule by highly discriminating pseudo-scientific elites who will direct us as how to exercise our executive functions....

However, I have noticed an apparent loss of inhibitions in some older people, though by no means the majority. But I won't know if such casting aside is actually a sign of wisdom until I'm a little older. Or maybe, like the people who get trapped in the fashions of their youth and wear them throughout their life, there are people who get trapped in the cool discourse of their youth and only later does it get seen as "lacking inhibitions". I mean if I have to see another righteous sixty-something hippy lecturing on Bush's "Vietnam", I'd be tempted to call up the good doctors and get them a government grant to mediate the seniors' executive functions...

But what you really have me thinking about, old Dag, is that expressing prejudices can be (whatever the serious content) funny. But do we laugh at things that are plain? No, we laugh at things that reveal fundamental paradox. Even when we laugh at an evident loser, what we are really laughing at is our desire for a scapegoat, and it is the need for and role of scapegoats that is paradoxical.
That's why a loser may be funny, something a Spock-like mind wouldn't get. Maybe old people just have a greater capacity for enjoying life's paradoxes...

There is much evil in Islam, no doubt. I'm not going to defend the violence you indicate. But to say "Islam is evil" is to express a prejudice that only appears simple. As with any act of pointing and naming it is inherently paradoxical. After all, is Islam worse than the paganism it half replaced? Does it not do some good in ordering the Islamic world, however evil it is for the infidels and however lacking it is in strategies for modernization? Is Islam evil in its every shape or form, in every time and place, or is it just that it has an inherent capacity for evil that need not be always realized by good Muslims? Is every individual Muslim evil, beyond the ordinary sense that all people have evil desires in them?

Just because Islam may be our (Westerners) greatest mortal enemy, does that make it evil in some universal perspective - can we pretend to be the voice of universal truth? Perhaps we have to fight Islam in its unacceptable forms by valuing our traditional prejudices, as updated for the modern world, and not by making claims to incorporate the single universal modernity.... Then again, maybe not... Prejudice is fun if it gets us thinking, that's why righteous dudes need their Archie Bunkers to play off. No one wants to watch a sitcom with just a bald hippie emoting about peace, love, and non-prejudice.

What part is there to be ashamed of in saying that evil is a thing to crush?

-well, since you ask :-)... that small part that suggests you (like most of us) have utopian tendencies not so different from the kids you scorn. Evil is part of the human condition. Any comprehensive plan to get rid of it is evil too, because it can't work, we're not God, and the kingdom we try to build will only be more evil than the reality we accept as somewhat evil. Google's "Do no evil" is utopian evil, and it ain't funny all the time though i get a chuckle at their way of hiding from paradox, thinking they can build an information monolith without being evil.