Being an Anti-Intellectual Intellectual

As intellectuals go, B.F. Skinner was pretty dismissive of intellectuals—at least the insufficiently hard-nosed and scientific ones who blathered unproductively about "freedom" and "dignity."

Look, B.F. Skinner said, people are animals. Kind of like laboratory rats, except taller. Their behavioral proclivities are a product of the positive and negative reinforcements they've gotten in the past. Want to build a better society? Discern the links between past reinforcement and future proclivity, and then adjust society's disbursement of reinforcements accordingly. No need to speculate about unobservable states of mind or ponder the role of "free will" or any other imponderables. Epistemology, phenomenology, metaphysics, and 25 cents will get you a ride on the New York subway.

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Politics & Current Affairs
  • The tongue-in-cheek petition, whose stated aim is to reduce the national debt, has been signed more than 8,600 times as of Tuesday.
  • Selling Montana, the fourth largest state in the country, would constitute the largest land deal since the Louisiana Purchase.
  • The national debt is often a source of concern for individuals, but the chances of the U.S. defaulting on its debts are relatively low — in part because the bulk of the national debt is owned by the American public.
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Study: Memories of music cannot be lost to Alzheimer's and dementia

The part of your brain responsible for ASMR catalogs music, and appears to be a stronghold against Alzheimer's and dementia.

The parts of the brain highlighted in red and yellow are thought to control your sense of attention and memory. (image c/o Brain Network Lab)
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Some music inspires you to move your feet, some inspires you to get out there and change the world. In any case, and to move hurriedly on to the point of this article, it's fair to say that music moves people in special ways. 

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What makes someone gay? Science is trying to get it straight.

Evolutionarily speaking, being gay is still something of an enigma

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  • Heterosexual people have been less interesting to scientists than gay people, in terms of where they come from, because, evolutionarily speaking, being gay doesn't lead to a higher "higher reproductive fitness" — meaning, it doesn't lead to more babies.
  • Across cultures, gay boys tend to be more interested in spending time with their mothers.
  • We still don't really know why gay people are attracted to each other.