Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Various odds and ends

The ongoing "evolutionary psychology" advice page at the Guardian is supposed to be funny, I imagine, but just gets increasingly offensive. This one suggests that this man's girlfriend dropped him once she realised he wasn't dominant in office politics, and as a nice sideline points out that men in "Eastern and African societies" behave like chimpanzees. Is there any evolutionary psychology at all which isn't just utter bullshit?

Geoffrey Hill, often seen at Corpus high table for lunch as the guest of a retired bishop, at least back when I used to be there, resulting in some awkward conversations where I realised I was totally incapable of saying anything intelligent about his poetry despite the fact that I hugely admire it, is top runner for the Oxford poetry professorship.

Dramatic pictures of the Iceland volcano thing. And at the opposite scale insects with dew drops on them -- very beautiful. Also pictures from inside waves.

Rats can do the Prisoner's Dilemma, apparently. I love my little rats. However I do dislike very much game theory. Here is an interesting one about a game show where you can win up to a million dollars by picking a sum you want, as long as at least one other person has asked for more than you, and no one has asked for less. I played this at Christmas with my family as an experiment, and my mother asked for one dollar, scuppering anyone's chances of getting any (purely theoretical) cash, on the grounds that she loves us all dearly and thinks that lots of money would be bad for our characters.

William Gibson says sensible things about writer's block. David Mitchell says sensible things about pole-dancing students at the Cambridge Union. And here is some Italo disco (yay!):

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