Wednesday, July 28, 2004

One plus Two

Read a sci-fi recommended by my friend David: "Evolution", by Stephen Baxter. Interesting read, mostly disjointed chapters following various primates from 65 million years ago (the dinosaur-killing comet) to the end of life on earth one-half billion years from now. Interesting points/theories:
  1. Prior to the speciation of Homo Sapiens, all the primate main "characters" were the one ancestor of us all. I guess that's true, before we were a species, there was one earlier primate ancestor that we all wound up descended from.
  2. The mental tool/agent that was the seed of self-awareness was a module that modeled the behavior (mind) of others -- needed to survive in complicated primate dominance heirarchies.
  3. The origin of religion: when the 1st slightly mutant and psychotic Homo Sapiens broke out of having a compartmentalized mind and started putting 1 and 2 together (and forming sentences) around 60,000 years ago (not a bad number), the 1st thing she did was set herself up as a shaman. She used her new-found mental abilities to confound and dominate others -- shades of the power of lying in TOOCITBOTBM (blogged earlier).

Got two new cd's recently:

  1. "The Love Below/Speakerboxx" by Outkast, for my birthday.  The non-rap cd has good tunes, some unbelievably banal vulgarity, and the oh-so-catchy dance tune "Hey-ya".  My wife and I were driving back from Cornell after dropping our middle daughter off and heard it on the radio 3 times in the 11 hour drive.  When I got home my oldest daughter had sent me the link to "Hey-ya Charlie Brown".  I tried to fwd it to someone the next day, it was gone from the .edu server where I got it -- probably swamped by a storm of downloads.   No link, I'm sure you can find it.
  2. "Get Away from Me", by Nellie McKay, from my youngest daughter for Father's Day. She liked Nellie the best of the acts she saw at Bonaroo. 2 cds, kind of all over the place, very creative. Not sure what kind of staying power the tunes have tho.

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