Neanderthal H. sapiens Brain Comparisons / Idiots



New insights into differences in brain organization between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans

Eiluned Pearce, Chris Stringer, R. I. M. Dunbar

Previous research has identified morphological differences between the brains of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans (AMHs). However, studies using endocasts or the cranium itself are limited to investigating external surface features and the overall size and shape of the brain. A complementary approach uses comparative primate data to estimate the size of internal brain areas. Previous attempts to do this have generally assumed that identical total brain volumes imply identical internal organization. Here, we argue that, in the case of Neanderthals and AMHs, differences in the size of the body and visual system imply differences in organization between the same-sized brains of these two taxa. We show that Neanderthals had significantly larger visual systems than contemporary AMHs (indexed by orbital volume) and that when this, along with their greater body mass, is taken into account,

Neanderthals have significantly smaller adjusted endocranial capacities than contemporary AMHs. We discuss possible implications of differing brain organization in terms of social cognition, and consider these in the context of differing abilities to cope with fluctuating resources and cultural maintenance. The assumption is that THE ONLY TOOL AVAILABLE to ANY SPECIES is this “magical” and probably imaginary social brain, which only H. sapiens possesses. No animal has ever coped with fluctuating resources and cultural maintenance = 500 million years of evolution was a total failure!

ASTOUNDING! Why do we hate Neanderthals? More to the point, Why are neurotypicals so blind to their own prejudice?

Does anyone ever consider that Neanderthals NEEDED visual processing MORE THAN they needed “social cognition”? These conclusions are ignorant  and shaped by modern social assumptions that we “beat the Neanderthals” and indeed caused their extinction. Why is this our ONLY INTEREST in Neanderthals? How infantile!

Full article continues….Google title


Visual Thinking does not equate to artistic skill

The previous post featured the “Draw a Person DAP test” There is so much wrong about this test that the assumptions, interpretations, conclusions, usages and nonsense behind it have me speechless. However, there is one assumption that needs talked about: intelligence cannot be conflated with drawing skill. The ability to draw is “native” to some people; many more can be taught / trained to draw passably well. This “artistic ability” cannot be exploited if the person is not curious about “how things appear” and a critical observer. Drawing was for centuries a task that was elemental to becoming a professional artist, but today a person can staple his or her sneakers to a wall and be hailed as a genius.

I’m Asperger; a visual thinker, which has nothing to do with the skill of drawing, which I totally lack. (Asperger clumsy?) and yet I worked for many years as an advertising art director and designer, as well as “making art” for self-expression. I could not draw to save my ass.

I was ridiculed, chided, laughed at and queried by clients who tried to decipher my layouts. “You can’t draw? How did you get this job?”


Well, because creative people are creative at working around obstacles. One art director I worked with was blind in one eye. He just didn’t tell anyone. I made collages; pieces cut from magazines, resized, hand colored, worked into (sometimes scary looking) layouts: ideas presented and mostly understood. In a way, I was lucky: back in the dark ages before computer image software, everything was done by hand. If you presented a realistic detailed layout of an ad or illustration, well by God! the finished piece had better look just like the layout.

My strange ambiguous layouts let me get away with changing whatever I decided to change. Sometimes people noticed, mostly no one did. Everything was fine really, as long as the finished product was successful, (if a bit of a surprise.)

As far as the DAP test goes: the drawings I made as a 4-year old would have condemned me to the basement of psychological assessment. When I was in my 20s and 30s, my drawings would have done the same. Thankfully, no one ever judged my intelligence by my drawing ability, and I discovered photography along the way.




Vietnam / We learned nothing

History leaves out the human beings who “lived” the disaster of Vietnam. Still, for those of us who were “growing up” at the time, a synopsis is a reintroduction to events that in our memories have become distorted and compressed. Vietnam was a TV war; night after night, the dinnertime news feeds introduced immoral acts of blood and gore to the family dinner table.

My generation foolishly counted on Americans, who witnessed the carnage, and which continued year after year for no conceivable reason, but for the truly astounding narcissism of male leaders, would stop the United States from ever repeating the blatant insanity of adventures in Wars of Empire. How wrong we were.

Keywords: terrorists, insurgents, JV team, carpet bombing, civilian casualties, sacrifice of “brown people”, American arrogance, high-tech killing, insanity, coup d’état, assassination, covert funding, IED, “barbarian ingenuity”, assassination by drone

Overview of the Vietnam War
Digital History ID 2925

Vietnam was the longest war in American history and the most unpopular American war of the 20th century. It resulted in nearly 60,000 American deaths and in an estimated 2 million Vietnamese deaths. Even today, many Americans still ask whether the American effort in Vietnam was a sin, a blunder, a necessary war, or whether it was a noble cause, or an idealistic, if failed, effort to protect the South Vietnamese from totalitarian government.


Between 1945 and 1954, the Vietnamese waged an anti-colonial war against France, which received $2.6 billion in financial support from the United States. The French defeat at the Dien Bien Phu was followed by a peace conference in Geneva. As a result of the conference, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam received their independence, and Vietnam was temporarily divided between an anti-Communist South and a Communist North. In 1956, South Vietnam, with American backing, refused to hold unification elections. By 1958, Communist-led guerrillas, known as the Viet Cong, had begun to battle the South Vietnamese government.

To support the South’s government, the United States sent in 2,000 military advisors–a number that grew to 16,300 in 1963. The military condition deteriorated, and by 1963, South Vietnam had lost the fertile Mekong Delta to the Viet Cong. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson escalated the war, commencing air strikes on North Vietnam and committing ground forces–which numbered 536,000 in 1968. The 1968 Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese turned many Americans against the war.

The next president, Richard Nixon, advocated Vietnamization, withdrawing American troops and giving South Vietnam greater responsibility for fighting the war. In 1970, Nixon attempted to slow the flow of North Vietnamese soldiers and supplies into South Vietnam by sending American forces to destroy Communist supply bases in Cambodia. This act violated Cambodian neutrality and provoked antiwar protests on the nation’s college campuses.

From 1968 to 1973, efforts were made to end the conflict through diplomacy. In January 1973, an agreement was reached; U.S. forces were withdrawn from Vietnam, and U.S. prisoners of war were released. In April 1975, South Vietnam surrendered to the North, and Vietnam was reunited.


1. The Vietnam War cost the United States 58,000 lives and 350,000 casualties. It also resulted in between one and two million Vietnamese deaths.

2. Congress enacted the War Powers Act in 1973, requiring the president to receive explicit Congressional approval before committing American forces overseas.

The National Endowment for the Humanities
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
The Chicago History Museum
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
University of Houston
The National Park Service
Teaching American History Grants with:
Houston Independent School District
Texas Teachers Teaching American History Project:
Region 4 Education Service Center, Houston
Gulf Coast American History Academy


War Helps Me to Sleep / Repost Memorial Day

The dumping ground of valueless human activity.

The dumping ground of valueless human activity.

check out: A website that tracks military and other spending.

The TV is on late at night, playing through the darkness of the house, playing with my sleep. A new war dawns over and over and over on the small screen. An explosion thousands of miles away illuminates the living room. I press the mute button. Why listen to the sounds of destruction, when for Americans at least, peace can be accomplished by remote control?

Immense sums have been invested to prepare our soldiers against the new death, which is the same as the old death, but our billions cannot protect them against the enemy’s ubiquitous homegrown ingenuity. A mere glance at the history of war shows that the number of boys who are allowed to grow to manhood is limited by old men, who pretend to know nothing about their power to sacrifice young men. Death and destruction are the enemy’s fault; blame them. For reasons of equality this reduction now includes women, and those who died in Afghanistan and Iraq arrive in my living room on C-17 transports, or so I am told by a reporter, since they only descend to earth after midnight, in deep secrecy.

Our killers have been cautioned to stifle expressions of excitement and pleasure after successful killings, because a ‘clinical, surgical’ war is just and good: our soldiers’ blank faces prove that we are superior morally to the enemy, for whom the act of mass murder yields a collective religious exaltation. Do the victims care? Count our deaths as a victory for democracy and we won’t mind being blown apart like watermelons during target practice.

The human body is less aerodynamic than a potato: a potato is ejected from a mud house that has just been shattered by an American rocket, a house that was someone’s world. Not a big fat American world, but someone’s world. Contrary to protocol, “We got that sucker big time!” escapes from the ecstatic mouth of the soldier who called in the air strike. None of the body parts, bits of a radio, plastic tubs and buckets, nor a thin mattress land in the darkness of my house, but the debris collects somewhere in that bottomless pit called television, where hundreds of thousands of dead bodies go. It’s the New Hades.

The dog lies with her head on the pillow. She watches whatever I watch, at this moment a video loop that leads up to the destruction of a tank whose extravagant price is unknown to those who paid for it. Fated to die a thousand deaths on the news channels of the world, its passengers shared stifled fear, Ritz crackers and stale Cheese Whiz: their Last Supper. Did they suspect that the sacrifice they were about to make was not meant to protect Americans or their home towns, but to serve lies cooked up on Profit Street by the old men of the meddling West?

At the moment of their obliteration, do our soldiers suddenly comprehend that the men who run the show in Washington, D.C., don’t have the skill to decide what necktie to wear to a press conference? Will it dawn on these baby ducks in warrior’s costume that it’s the TV show made for the public that counts; that the old males who have sent them to wander aimlessly in the world’s ideological vortices, don’t give a fuck what happens to them?

Americans are hampered by religious instruction that has never been clear to them. “Thou shalt not kill,” is not, and never was, a universal call to disarmament and nonviolence. God simply reserves murder, especially mass murder, for himself. In legal terms, the taking of life belongs to The State. The State is composed of old men, who are the true gods and love blood sacrifice.

Citizen shoppers are intercepted at a shopping mall by a reporter who asks them, “Do you support to our dead troops?” an act of magical thinking stunning in its stupidity. The shoppers say, “Thank-you for killing bad people of a different religion who live somewhere on a map that is utterly blank to us; thank-you for being killed so that we no longer must fear dangers that do not exist.” Amen.

Fighter jets land in my living room, as if the carpet is the deck of a spacious aircraft carrier that is docked under a blue sky – somewhere in America. Kids tie yellow ribbons to a chain-link fence, as did the youth of Rome and Carthage. The trick of war is to produce suffering on a level that is unendurable for civilians and soldiers alike, and to keep it up until the other side gives up, but inevitably, we end up doing this unendurable thing to ourselves.

A WWII veteran dredges for anecdotes that will please the media. He sits in a Walmart parking lot, in a wheelchair, next to a van with a lift. Weighed down by the manly jewelry of war that oppress his sunken chest, the old man mumbles for reporters as if he a puppet whose strings are being operated off camera:

“The Good War years were the best of years of my life.” Nostalgia penetrates the TV screen like a patriot’s sweat, and I know I’m being told that today’s ruinous war will be remembered with deep affection by future television production companies.

We got those slant-eyed suckers big time!” the old soldier does not tell his fellow Americans. He does admit that the shock from Japanese bombs burst his eardrums and that his buddy’s body danced like a rag doll, animated by bullets from a Japanese fighter plane: a second buddy survived to spend the rest of his life rotting in a VA psycho ward, very far off camera. War is, after all, a demonstration of the wonderful effects of applied physics.

“The war was wonderful,” the old man says. “My memories help me to sleep.”



How the Pentagon is Preparing for a Tank War With Russia

Drop in at – the thrill of new weaponry designed and built to the highest possible cost; you’re paying for it!

Reactive armor and cross-domain fire capabilities are just some of the items on the Army’s must-have list. 

When Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster briefs, it’s like Gen. Patton giving a TED talk — a domineering physical presence with bristling intellectual intensity.

These days, the charismatic director of the Army’s Capabilities Integration Center is knee-deep in a project called The Russia New Generation Warfare study, an analysis of how Russia is re-inventing land warfare in the mud of Eastern Ukraine. Speaking recently at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., McMaster said that the two-year-old conflict had revealed that the Russians have superior artillery firepower, better combat vehicles, and have learned sophisticated use of UAVs for tactical effect. Should U.S. forces find themselves in a  land war with Russia, he said, they would be in for a rude, cold awakening….for the rest of the story go to:

I’m not kidding! All the military products and programs (and future wars) that you will never, ever see on TV news programs. 



Can you draw a functional bicycle from memory? Probably not.

The results were extremely varied, and according to Gimini, actually worked as a psychological test of sorts.

“I found out that when confronted with this odd request most people have a very hard time remembering exactly how a bike is made. Some did get close, some actually nailed it perfectly, but most ended up drawing something that was pretty far off from a regular men’s bicycle,” Gimini wrote. “Little I knew [sic] this is actually a test that psychologists use to demonstrate how our brain sometimes tricks us into thinking we know something even though we don’t.”

Gimini recreated a number of the sketches he received from participants in realistic 3-D renderings for a project he has titled “Velocipedia.”


Gianluca_Gimini-Velocipedia-7 Gianluca_Gimini-Velocipedia-8 Gianluca_Gimini-Velocipedia-13 Gianluca_Gimini-Velocipedia-14

Too funny! Why we need engineers.

A friend of mine likes to say that the bicycle is the last machine that the average human is capable of understanding: Nope!

Social Thoughts, Opinions / Internet Potpourri


I would make sure that “HELL” exists here and now and isn’t spelled probation or parole.


An apology for horrendous acts against humanity is enough? Wrong. “Gee, if he’d just apologize, all those dead people would disappear and everything would be okay.


Americans can’t even use the restroom without written instructions from a court. How infantile is that? Rules are everywhere! No one is allowed to be an adult.

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Why are social rules hidden? This distinction is irrational.


Social rules are all about building and maintaining inequality. Without inequality, there cannot be a social hierarchy; without a hierarchy there would not be a need for thousands of nit-picky rules.


Recommended Blog / “Unwritten Rules” Social Help


I’m a man with high-functioning Asperger Syndrome. If you have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) like me, or if you just want to know more about social customs, then I hope that you’ll find this web site useful. I’ll be writing down the unwritten rules that I learn as I explore the social customs around me. I’ll also be discussing depictions of ASD in popular culture, and linking to useful resources and web sites that I’ve come across.

This site explains the unwritten rules for the following situations:

This site also has information on the following subjects:

  • Important concepts to understand when discussing the unwritten rules;
  • Useful resources for understanding the unwritten rules;
  • Discussions of how ASD is representet in popular culture; and
  • Information about this web site and its author.

Welcome to Unwritten Rules. I hope you enjoy your time here.



If social rules are so important, why then are they “unwritten”? Do we learn “unwritten” laws of physics? Actually, social rules are not unwritten; there are just too many that are specific to a social context; class, race, wealth, job, workplace, church, athletics, and on and on to ever compose an authentic list. Rules apply to specific groups, cultures and subcultures: these are written down all the time.

The assumption that “everyone” (except ASD people) automatically inhales social rules, as if the info is spread by some hooky spooky contagion, is another one of those social myths that needs to go away.

The one truly unwritten social rule “allows” certain people to ignore, transgress, and to make up their own unfair rules: the rich and powerful, including politicians and the corporate elite.




Asperger Dreams / Are they visual, detailed, tantalizingly real?

IMG_0201colorwpDreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur usually involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. (REM) Wikipedia

I don’t know what other Aspergers dream: content, images, sounds, emotion?

The dreams that I remember over the past few years feature houses. These are specific detailed houses with many rooms. Rambling structures; very old, lived in, historical. My plan is to find one that I can ‘fix up” that is much larger than my real house, which is tiny. Or sometimes it is my real house, but with lots of extra rooms added. How did those get there?

“The House” is often in an unidentified foreign land, most frequently along a sea coast or a very large lake. The water is a significant color: deep cold blue – the color of ink. The land is hilly and covered with yellow grass. The town is tucked into a hillside with high tan walls around it. The houses are close within the walls, built from the same tan stone or mud with clay tile roofs. Could be many locations, but in my dream it is “home”.

There is always a problem: the house is for sale, but I have no money. (In real life, too.) But of course, the dreams are not about real houses; each is much too real to be real.

This idea or feeling of home is something that escapes me wherever I live. Where I live is a location: a town, a city, a place with housing, groceries, gas. The town in which I live in Wyoming has no significance. It’s the land and sky, the wind and dust and long vistas upon which physical forces play out that count. I’m surrounded by a theater of cloud, shadow, land and light. Is this place home? I am just camping here after all, as if I’m doing fieldwork and simply forgot to leave. I can’t think of a better place to live. After twenty years I still recognize how lucky I am to have landed here, whether or not it was an accident, good fortune, or desperation.

Perhaps the feeling of a lost home, or never finding home, is an Asperger thing?