Yeah, particularly that ice cream thing

>> Friday, February 20, 2015

If you follow trends in psychology, you know that Freud is out and Darwin is in. The basic idea of "evolutionary psych" is that our brains are exquisitely designed to help us cope with our environment--but unfortunately, the environment they are designed for is the one we evolved and lived in for the past two million years, not the alleged civilization we created just a couple of centuries ago. We are, all of us, hunter-gatherers lost in the big city. And therein, say the theorists, lie the roots of many of our bad habits. Our craving for sweets evolved in a world without ice cream; our interest in gossip evolved in a world without tabloids; our emotional response to music evolved in a world without Celine Dion. And we have investment instincts designed for hunting mammoths, not capital gains.
~ Paul Krugman, "The Ice Age Cometh," Fortune, May 25, 1998 [reprinted in The Great Unraveling]

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Marley & Me

>> Monday, February 16, 2015

I was going to try and work through/finish Plagues and Peoples before picking up a different book, except I was getting nowhere with it on Friday when I had ample reading time. Time to ditch that for now and work through a bunch of easier books to read before I attempt it again. (Must strengthen those reading skills!)

I saw Marley & Me in the stack on Saturday and decided to give it a go. I finished it in two days. In fact, I would have finished it even earlier last night had my sister not called.

I picked this book up in the summer of 2008 before I left Tacoma. After finishing it in two days, I really wish I hadn't bought a copy. Should totally have checked it out of the library and saved $14 because I bought this as new paperback at the bookstore. The only benefit was that I was able to lend it out to my sister, who read it and gave it back to me. After reading it so quickly, I realize I shouldn't have waited so long to read it, even though I saw the movie beforehand seven years ago.

This book goes by so fast that I'm not sure there is a good way to summarize it. Couple buys puppy. Troubles ensue with puppy. Couple starts having kids; puppy still part of the family. Family moves to Pennsylvania from Florida. Puppy eventually gets old and has serious health problems. Puppy passes away. (I did start tearing up at his passing but not a full-fledged cry.)

I did enjoy reading about some of the peculiarities of Florida, such as Boca Raton. I've never visited there and have no desire to go. Of course, the book reaffirms the wonderfulness of dogs. I would like to have one someday, when I can afford it. However, I have no intentions of getting a lab unless he is an aging at the dog shelter. I do enjoy my doggy nephews when I do get to see them, so I'll just have to stick to enjoying other people's dogs for now.

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