11 comments on “Quite

  1. “It looks good so far.” Isn’t it odd how often the Tox Dadger, or whomever it is purportedly quoting, makes mistakes in ordinary, demotic English. Surely, in that little yarn, almost everyone would actually have the chap say “So far, so good”.

  2. If Pinker seriously believes “we don’t have fleas and ticks and infections”, he obviously lives somewhere without household pets/children/any other warm-blooded life-form.

    Isn’t he the guy who originally came up with the idea that kids shouldn’t be taught boring culturally imperialist stuff like spelling, grammar etc and should be just be encouraged to use, y’know, the lingo of the street? The idea that was picked up in this country by David Crystal and spread throughout our edukashion system to such wonderful effect that universities now have to send their intake off on remedial reading and writing courses? I rather think it is.

  3. I’m with View from the Solent on this one, Pinker’s thesis being based on the apparently powerful but as yet unproven belief that we are in some way connected to primates.

    I love this kind of thinking, which seems to go as follows – all cars have steering wheels; Porsches have steering wheels; therefore all cars are Porsches.

  4. Martin – “I’m with View from the Solent on this one, Pinker’s thesis being based on the apparently powerful but as yet unproven belief that we are in some way connected to primates.”

    It is hard to think of anything more strongly established than that we are primates. By we I mean most homo sapiens of course. I am, myself, a lizard from outer space.

    “I love this kind of thinking, which seems to go as follows – all cars have steering wheels; Porsches have steering wheels; therefore all cars are Porsches.”

    No, it works the other way – all cars have steering wheels; porsches have steering wheels, hence all porsches are cars. We simply are primates.

  5. They are miserable because they are Guardian readers. Everyday they see ordinary people living their lives outside of direct socialist control – it must infuriate them.

  6. Because human desires go beyond warmth, hunger and freedom from insect bites. Otherwise we wouldn’t never have spent so much time philosophising: we’d have been happy to light fires and grill mammoth steaks.

  7. We’re miserable because, in spite its imperfections and economic woes, life in the twenty-first century ain’t so bad. We live in fear that someone or something will come along to take it away from us. Likewise we labour under the misconception that, despite our good fortune, everyone else appears to be doing even better than we are. Humans are hard-wired for misery: it guards against complacency, provides the necessary motivation to spur ourselves onwards.

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