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Monday, 12 March 2012


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"it is Marxist nonsense to suggest that such traits do not exist at all."

Well, Marxist in the sense that the contemporary followers of carefully-selected bits of his writings would be aghast at the racist label, but the old boy himself had all the racist prejudices of a typical Victorian bourgeois. He thought that blacks were inferior, and had no revolutionary potential. He also was a firm believer in phrenology - the belief that individual character is determined by bumps on the head!

Her answer may be entirely conventional but her question is interesting. She's exploited an opportunity since no white male could ask that question without lots of hassle.

It should, perhaps, be mentioned that Ms. Chiao is a very attractive lady of Chinese origin and I doubt very much that she has ever grown a beard.

A few years ago I read an essay on the way pharmaceuticals actually work, the point being that quite often there is a theory, but nobody really knows. They just work.

An example given was serotonin reuptake inhibitors. If they inhibit the reuptake of serotonin, where does the serotonin actually go? Nobody actually knows.

So I reckon you have a good rule of thumb there David – linking the words "bollocks" and "serotonin".

A friend was told that a particular medication would shrink his tumour. "Where does the stuff go?" he asked. "Will it come out my ears?" The reply: "I've never thought about it."

So, a single gene that supposedly expresses itself in substantial differences in 'conformity' and 'innovation' (whatever they are), and that are allegedly different between Western and Asian peoples?

As far as my limited genetics knowledge goes there isn't a single gene involved in the expression of even the simplest bodily function, let alone something as complex as social behaviour and mental abilities. (It really isn't safe letting a pseudo-scientist 'psychologist' near real scientists data, you know!)

Then of course there's the cultural assumptions involved. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there acknowledged differences in social conformity between almost identical (genetically speaking) populations such as the German, French and we British (let's not mention Greek or Italian either)? And aren't these differences of at least the same order (or greater) as those between the supposedly different Western and Asian populations? (Didn't someone once suggest that the communists chose the wrong country to trial their ideology, since if it was we British chosen we would have cheerfully followed the diktats, enjoyed the austerity and uniformity, and queues as we had those as national pastimes anyway?)

I'm no expert ('Ex' - a has been, 'Spurt' - a drip of water under pressure) but the differences appear to be culturally based (based on how the family, educational establishment and governance indoctrinate their populations). Oh, and how many 'innovators' living in freewheeling California happen to have come from austere Britain, Marxist Russia, Caste ridden India and conformist China Mr Jobs?

So, I'll call 'bullshit' on this one too! YMMV

Alas, ladies and gentlemen, I have been cogitating (well, it sounds so much more superior than just 'mulling over') on this subject and a new post up above will be the result.

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