Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Of the Eager Recourse to Prehistoric Savannah and Hypothalamus

One of many fine critical sentences in Zoe Heller's fine critical review of Naomi Wolf's new book Vagina, and one which I would have readers of Amor Mundi take to heart more generally,
Like many who have drunk shallow drafts from the fountains of evolutionary biology and neuroscience, Wolf is so excited at the idea of explaining complex, overdetermined features of human behavior with simple reference to the prehistoric savannah or the hypothalamus that she often ignores the promptings of common sense and logic.

1 comment:

jimf said...

> Wolf specifically disqualifies masturbation as a method of
> achieving high orgasm: “A happy heterosexual vagina requires,
> to state the obvious, a virile man.”

A happy heterosexual penis, on the other hand, is also perfectly
happy to make do with its owner's hand and some Albolene, in addition
to whatever happy heterosexual vaginas may be, er, open
to it.

I fear Naomi Wolf might be one of the many women who are not
too thrilled to learn that fact about their own male partners, when
they discover them _in flagrante_ in front of the computer.
I fear she might find that it takes some of the erotic ego-boo
out of the "Oh, my Goddess!" pre-coital pep talks. [*] [**]

[*] Also the anglicized name of an anime from a few years
back. A favorite, once upon a time, of none other than
Eliezer Yudkowsky.

Re: Volitional Morality and Action Judgement
Wed Jun 02 2004
In 2003 I tried to be Belldandy,
"Belldandy" is Nipponified "Verdandi", one of the three
Norns, or Fates, of Norwegian mythology ]
sweetness and light. It didn't work. It
was not until that point, when I grew mature enough to for the first time
aspire to something that didn't easily fit my personality, that I
understood just how hard it is to cut against the grain of one's character.
Striving toward total rationality and total altruism comes easily to me.
Sweetness and light doesn't; I tried and failed. Now I have much more
sympathy for people whose personalities don't happen to easily fit
rationality or altruism; it's *hard* to cut against your own grain.
But y'know, this shiny new model of Friendly AI *does not require* that I
be Belldandy, or even that I *approximate* Belldandy.

[**] Sadly, this reminds me of the final scene from _Carnal Knowledge_.