monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

monkey's uncle header image 4

Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease, 2013

March 20th, 2013 · No Comments

I am recently back from the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease (EEID) Principal Investigators’ Meeting hosted by the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia in lovely Athens. This is a remarable event, and a remarkable field, and I can’t remember ever being so energized after returning from a professional conference (which […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Climate Change · Conservation · Human Ecology · Infectious Disease · science

Thoughts on Black Swans and Antifragility

December 26th, 2012 · 2 Comments

I have recently read the latest book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile. I read his famous The Black Swan a while back while in the field and wrote lots of notes. I never got around to posting those notes since they were quite telegraphic (and often not even electronic!), as they were written in the […]

[Read more →]

Tags: science · Statistics

Wealth and Cheating

March 20th, 2012 · 1 Comment

I recently read a story in the Los Angeles Times about a team of psychologists at UC Berkeley who showed, in a series of experimental and naturalistic studies, that wealthy individuals are more likely to cheat or violate social norms about fairness. The Story in the Times referred to the paper by Piff et al. […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · Social Network Analysis

Risk Management: The Fundamental Human Adaptation

April 15th, 2011 · 2 Comments

It was a conceptually dense week in class.  The first part of the week I spent talking about topics such as ecological complexity, vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience. One of the key take-home messages of this material is that uncertainty is ubiquitous in complex ecological systems.  Now, while systemic uncertainty does not mean that the world […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · Evolution · Human Ecology

On Husserl, Hexis, and Hissy-Fits

December 9th, 2010 · 16 Comments

There has been quite a brouhaha percolating through some Anthropology circles following the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Associate in New Orleans last month.  It seems that the AAA executive board, in all its wisdom, has seen fit to excise the term “science” from the Association’s long-range planning document. You can sample some of […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · science · Teaching

Jones & Bird (2008) == Evolutionary Psychology???

December 30th, 2008 · 2 Comments

So, I’ve been spending a bunch of time recently thinking about evolutionary psychology (EP). This is a field about which I have some serious reservations for a variety of reasons both technical and philosophical. That said, I do find the constant in-fighting among human evolutionary biologists tedious and think that it’s absurdly unproductive. I am […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Evolution · Human Ecology

On Modules

December 28th, 2008 · 5 Comments

As the next installment in my series on evolution psychology (see previous posts here and here), I thought that I would write about some thoughts on evolutionary modules.  As should be obvious from previous posts, I have serious concerns about evolutionary psychology.  Nonetheless, I don’t want to repeat the knee-jerk criticisms that attended the rise […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Evolution · Human Ecology

Buller on Evolutionary Psychology

December 23rd, 2008 · 14 Comments

Relentless critic of evolutionary psychology, David Buller recently wrote a piece in Scientific American outlining the critique he has developed over the last several years against this particular flavor of human evolutionary studies.  The author of Adapting Minds lists four ideas from contemporary evolutionary psychology (EP) that he suggests are fallacious: Analysis of Pleistocene Adaptive […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Evolution · Human Ecology

Disturbing Tag Cloud

December 15th, 2008 · No Comments

Using the tag cloud widget for WordPress, I find that my most commonly used tag currently is “economics.”  How can that be?  It’s not even one of my categories. Perhaps it is my broad definition of economics?  Perhaps it is my frequent discontent with the way that human behavior gets discussed in the economics literature? […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized