Male Beards / Covering up a Weak Chin?

The contemporary “love affair” that men are having with their ability to grow facial hair may be a reaction to the feminization (neoteny) of the male face that has been a trend for decades. Ironically, soldiers sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, who grew beards in order to “fit in” with ideals of manhood in those cultures, have encouraged the new “manly man” tradition.

No. Possibly the most unattractive type of beard: The Old Testament, patriarchal, we hate women facial hair.

The most creepy facial hair of all: The long and scraggly Patriarchal Old Testament, ‘we hate women’ beard. This style says, “I don’t know what a woman is, and I don’t want to know.”

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I intended to write a post concerning “facial expression & mind reading.” Psychologists have made quite a big deal out of their contention that Asperger people are devoid of the ability to “read” the messages sent human to human via facial expressions and body language, and that this phantom “ability” must be displayed by an individual in order to be classified as “normal” or fully human. Other than the arrogance of this declaration, which to begin with, ignores cultural traditions and differences, one simply cannot get past asking questions about physical aspects that must be addressed in order to support the definition of “human” that has been derived by psychologists.

If facial expressions are necessary to human to human communication, doesn’t extensive facial hair negatively impact this “social ability”?

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If you go hairy, you had better have the face and body to back it up. A beard does not “hide” a neotenic face. 

How does reading faces apply to earlier generations of males, and the many cultures around the world, that favor or demand that men grow varying amounts of facial hair? Shaving is a product of modern cultures beginning notably with the Egyptians who began removing facial hair and body hair because it harbored dirt and lice.  Other ancient cultures used beard growth as the transition to adult obligations and benefits, including the Greeks. Ancient Germanic males grew both long hair and full beards. The Romans made a ritual of a young male’s first shave, and then favored a clean face. Of course, growing a beard also depends on having hairy ancestors – or does it?

farnese-herculesLysippus greek

Top: Roman Hercules Bottom: Greek Hercules (Lysippus)

Reconstructions of Early Homo sapiens and a Neanderthal contemporary

Reconstructions of Early Homo sapiens and his Neanderthal contemporary

Right: Do we actually know how hairy early Homo species were? It would seem that without evidence, artists settle on a 5-day growth or scruffy short beard. Does a beard cover a “weak” Neanderthal chin?

The image of archaic humans, notably Neanderthals, as hairy and unkempt Cave Men has influenced how we interpret hairiness or hairlessness in Homo sapiens. Hair is extremely important in both favorable and unfavorable ways: hair can be a haven for disease and parasites; we need only look to the large amount of time that apes and monkeys spend grooming each other for lice, time that could be spent looking for food, learning about the environment, and practicing skills.

Growing hair requires energy. Our large human brain requires 20% of the energy that our body generates in order to power that brain. It could be that the growth of the modern brain (beginning with Homo erectus) was intricately tied up in a slow feedback cycle; the brain produces energy saving inventions (fire, tools, clothing, travel to more abundant environments) which means more energy to devote to the brain, which can increase brain connections, which makes increased technical innovation possible, which frees more energy for the brain. So, technology could be seen as part of streamlining the human animal into a energy-conserving species, which in turn improves brain function. In other words, the brain benefits from its own thinking when that thinking becomes a set of “apps” that manipulate the environment and the human body.

Meanwhile, what about facial hair? Personally, I’m thankful that I live in a time when men have the choice to grow, or not to grow.

 

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British Academics / For the Love of Logic…Please Shut Up

Science News

Why do we believe in gods? Religious belief ‘not linked to intuition or rational thinking’

The study challenges a growing trend that has attempted to show that believing in the supernatural is something that comes to us ‘naturally’ or intuitively
November 8, 2017, Coventry University

Religious beliefs are not linked to intuition or rational thinking, according to new research by the universities of Coventry and Oxford.

Previous studies have suggested people who hold strong religious beliefs are more intuitive and less analytical, and when they think more analytically their religious beliefs decrease. But new research, by academics from Coventry University’s Centre for Advances in Behavioural Science and neuroscientists and philosophers at Oxford University, suggests that is not the case, and that people are not ‘born believers’.

The study — which included tests on pilgrims taking part in the famous Camino de Santiago and a brain stimulation experiment — found no link between intuitive/analytical thinking, or cognitive inhibition (an ability to suppress unwanted thoughts and actions), and supernatural beliefs. (This is news???)

Instead, the academics conclude that other factors, such as upbringing and socio-cultural processes, are more likely to play a greater role in religious beliefs. (DUH!)

The study — published in Scientific Reports — was the first to challenge a growing trend among cognitive psychologists over the past 20 years that has attempted to show that believing in the supernatural is something that comes to us ‘naturally’ or intuitively. (Magical thinking is a feature of Neoteny in modern social humans)

The team started by carrying out an investigation on one of the largest pilgrimage routes in the world — the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, in northern Spain. (!!!)

They asked pilgrims about the strength of their beliefs and the length of time spent on the pilgrimage and assessed their levels of intuitive thinking with a probability task, where participants had to decide between a logical and a ‘gut feeling’ choice. (Here we have the classic assumption that “intuition” is somehow “located” in the digestive system, and not the brain. How sophisticated!)

Without a definition of “intuition” other than a “guess” based on stomach rumblings, we can have no confidence of what the article is talking about!

The results suggested no link between strength of supernatural belief and intuition. In a second study, where they used mathematical puzzles to increase intuition, (????) they also found no link between levels of intuitive thinking and supernatural belief.

In the last part of their research they used brain stimulation to increase levels of cognitive inhibition, which is thought to regulate analytical thinking.

This involved running a painless electrical current between two electrodes placed on the participant’s scalp, to activate the right inferior frontal gyrus, a part of the brain that controls inhibitory control.

A previous brain-imaging study had shown that atheists used this area of the brain more when they wanted to suppress supernatural ideas.

(Do atheists have supernatural ideas? I’m an atheist BECAUSE I don’t have supernatural explanations for ordinary, or extraordinary phenomenon, and never have had.)

OMG! We are totally off the rails at this point! Mumbo Jumbo…

The results showed that while this brain stimulation increased levels of cognitive inhibition, it did not change levels of supernatural belief, suggesting there is no direct link between cognitive inhibition and supernatural belief.

The academics say that it is “premature” to explain belief in gods as intuitive or natural.

Instead, they say their research supports a theory that religion is a nurture-based process and develops because of socio-cultural processes, including upbringing and education.

Leading author Miguel Farias said:

“What drives our belief in gods — intuition or reason; heart or head?

(False dichotomies, AGAIN! They’re everywhere!!!!)

There has been a long debate on this matter but our studies have challenged the theory that being a religious believer is determined by how much individuals rely on intuitive or analytical thinking.

“We don’t think people are ‘born believers’ in the same way we inevitably learn a language at an early age. The available sociological and historical data show that what we believe in is mainly based on social and educational factors, and not on cognitive styles, such as intuitive/analytical thinking.

“Religious belief is most likely rooted in culture rather than in some primitive gut intuition.” (So not only is intuition located in your digestive system, it’s PRIMITIVE!) 

Story Source:

Materials provided by Coventry University.

“Heartless Aspergers” / A Very Pissed Off Neurotypical Site

http://heartlessaspergers.com/partner-survey-results/

http://heartlessaspergers.com/psychopathy-or-aspergers-syndrome/

Just in case you are Asperger, and have somehow managed to escape a real life version of the “townsfolk chasing the monster scene” in Dr. Frankenstein, the movie, here’s a website that will make it clear how certain NTs “feel”.

Insanity / Autism Graphics

A bunch of “bubbles” = nothing. 

 

Mind-Bogglingly Stupid: No relationship or connection between “words thrown into boxes” – nouns, adjectives, categories of disorders, mental illness symptoms, catch phrases, fragmentary jargon – all given equal emphasis; love “EATING TOOTHPASTE” paired with “Cellular/Brain/Gut Injury” as some sort of environmental threat?

And what do either of these incoherent graphics have to do with either “fruit” or “salad” or “jigsaws”? 

At a glance? You’re joking! This is idiotic.  

Below: “How to manage Autism…”

Does this info REALLY need to be presented as a graph? It’s ridiculous!

Or this one ????

Why? Why is every graphic related to autism or disability trite, meaningless, utilizes  misappropriated symbols and is visually insulting? As if “autistic people” all have poor taste in design… it’s patronizing!!! Hmmm… rainbow infinity; broken jigsaw piece, trefoil knot… Wow!

OMG! Autism presented as a 3-dimensional x,y,z plot (with units indicated along the axis) of categories of defective social behavior. Totally inappropriate use of “math” visualization to impart “quantitative legitimacy” to arbitrary social-behavioral  concepts. 

Obsession with overlapping circles and ellipses: Just because you DRAW overlapping figures doesn’t mean that the overlap means a damn thing!

Magical thinking at its finest: whatever “words” you put inside overlapping boxes, circles, or squiggles are “legitimately related” in the real world; this is unbelievable.  

Neuro-diversity? It’s just a bunch of “problems” stuck together in boxes! This is utterly bizarre…

 

How to Speak Dog – or ASD / Body Language

Gee Whiz! If neurotypicals can get to know what dogs are communicating, why not take a little time to recognize what your ASD child’s behavior is “saying” ?

Lots of obvious similarities!

“We do not want to challenge, threaten, or intimidate any living being when they themselves are not coping well…” says this very nice lady! LOL

What exactly is creativity? / American Psychological Assoc.

Beware the use of the adverb “exactly” by psychologists! 

Psychologists continue their quest to better understand creativity.

by KAREN KERSTING / November 2003

Not all creative people are alike, which makes defining creativity a challenge and assessing it a monumental undertaking. The traditional psychological definition of creativity includes two parts: originality and functionality.

“You can’t be creative unless you come up with something that hasn’t been done before,” says psychologist Dean Keith Simonton, PhD, of the University of California, Davis. (That leaves out just about every person, product and activity that neurotypicals label “creative”) “The idea also has to work, or be adaptive or be functional in some way; it has to meet some criteria of usefulness.” (?!!)

And in the U. S. Patent Office, which approves intellectual property rights for products and ideas born of inventors’ creativity, there’s a third criterion, Simonton says: The creative idea should not be an obvious extension of something that already exists.

But the study of creativity by psychologists, active since the beginning of the 20th century, has taken that definition and expanded it, complicated it and questioned it. (Aye, yai, yai!)

The personality-creativity connection

There is, for example, a distinction to be made between “little-c” creativity and “big-C” creativity, Simonton says. Little-c creativity, which is often used as an indicator of mental health, includes everyday problem-solving and the ability to adapt to change. Big-C creativity, on the other hand, is far more rare. It occurs when a person solves a problem or creates an object that has a major impact on how other people think, feel and live their lives. (I think this means it must be socially acceptable, socially understandable and socially “pleasing” to American neurotypicals – ie – “a gadget” that is entertaining and not intellectually demanding) 

“At the little-c level, creativity implies basic functionality,” Simonton says. “And at the big-C level, it’s something that we give Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes for.” (!?!) 

In addition to this distinction, Simonton notes a difference between the kind of creativity that helps a painter create masterworks and the kind that helps a physicist develop new theories on the origin of the universe. Both types require similar mastery of skills, but personality differences lead individuals to particular pursuits, he says.

“The major criterion is how much restraint there is in the creative process,” Simonton explains. “Science has to be constrained to scientific process, but there’s a lot less constraint on artists. Many artists come from more chaotic environments, which prepares them to create with less structure.” (Wow! What a slap in the face of “artists” who are still assumed to be zany, irrational and lack discipline! Accidents waiting to collide with a canvas.) 

In the same sense, artists tend to show higher rates of mental illness and related symptoms than the average population, Simonton says, citing numerous empirical studies, including recent work by Arnold Ludwig, PhD, Kay Jamison, PhD, and James Kaufman, PhD (see page 42). “If you look just within the arts, there are styles that are very realistic and more expressionistic–the more expressionistic the art form, the more likely the artist is to have a mental illness,” he says. (OMG! How unsophisticated, simpleminded, prejudiced and idiotic!)

Motivation and intelligence

There are other components of creativity–domain-relevant skills, quality processes and intrinsic task motivation–according to a componential theory of creativity developed by psychologist Teresa Amabile, PhD, of Harvard University. But Amabile points out that environmental factors such as freedom, support and positive challenges also play a key role in fostering creativity (see page 56). Another important factor in creativity is intelligence, but contrary to beliefs at the turn of the 20th century, it is not the only factor, says Simonton.

In the 1920s, psychologist Louis Terman, PhD, (Google “Termites”) began looking at the relationship between intelligence and creativity. In a longitudinal sample of intelligent children, not all ended up developing their creative abilities, he found. That’s when psychologists started to realize more than intelligence was required–also critical is having an ability to see things from a different perspective, Simonton says.

“You need an IQ of around 140 to learn enough physics to be truly creative in it,” Simonton says. (!?!) “But once you have that minimal IQ, there’s still something else that must be there for a person to be truly creative.”

That “something” still eludes specific definition, but with a renewed APA emphasis on creativity from APA President Robert J. Sternberg, PhD, and a recent name change for Div. 10 from Psychology of the Arts to the Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, Simonton hopes more psychologists will join the ranks of creativity researchers. (Of course! Changing the word-name to sound like a proactive “foundation for the arts” will fool everyone into thinking that the same old archaic “psycho babble” is scientifically valid) 

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Courbet’s famous self-portrait “The Desperate Man” (not “The Insane Man”) converted to  drink coasters by contemporary neurotypicals, thereby turning a useless piece of art into a socially “useful” item.

Hysterical presentation distorted by the psychology’s wacky  Condemnation of creativity as madness: (from The Guardian)

The painting ‘The Desperate Man’ by French painter Gustave Courbet can be seen at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt/Main, central Germany, October 14, 2010.
In a moment of Romantic exhilaration Courbet portrays himself as a “madman”, his face ecstatic and terrified. His desperate state of mind is not a shameful sickness but a badge of artistic pride. In a tradition that goes back to Durer’s Melancholia but reached new power in the Romantic age, he equates genius and madness. This face of desperation is the face of the 19th century avant garde, risking and even courting sickness with drink and drugs. Courbet looks like a character in one of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, his mind unravelling in a way the first modern artists were fascinated by.

Presentation by “gallery intelL” an art appreciation site:

“Proudest and most arrogant man in France” (How Courbet described himself)

The pioneering artist of the 19th century, Realist painter Gustav Courbet once and for all rejected academic traditions and conventions of the bourgeois society. He is the one who paved the way for the Impressionism and all the avant-garde movements that followed it in the 20th century.

Courbet became tired of the pretentiousness of the official art and was determined to render the world as he saw it. Courbet strived to be independent from the public’s taste and constantly challenged convention by his emphatically realistic renderings of scenes from the daily life. No graceful poses or impressive colors – Courbet was not depicting beauty, he was depicting truth. This uncompromising artistic sincerity made him stand out from all other artists working at that time in Paris and often forced him to exhibit his work independently from the Salon.

Before he developed his unique realistic painting style and before he produced his groundbreaking masterpieces, including The Origin of the World and The Stone Breakers, Courbet made a number of Romantic self-portraits including this one. Deeply emotional, The Desperate Man is among the earliest works by the artist that he completed in 1845. With his eyes wide-open, Courbet is staring straight at you and tearing his hair. Popular at the time, the Romantic approach to portraiture was concerned with expressing emotional and psychological states of the individual. And although Courbet never considered himself a Romantic painter, he coped with the task extremely well. When you look at this self-portrait you do not only experience his desperation (something Asperger types understand) (as the title suggests) but you also get the idea of what kind of personality Gustave Courbet was himself. Bold, wily, radical, ambitious and determined. Determined to challenge established painting genres, protest against traditional clichés, and change the course of art history.

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