If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is the yang of evolutionary theory, focusing on the repercussions of a testosterone point of view, the fight/fuck spectacle of how evolution unfolds, then what might be the yin side of species transformation?

Estrogen seems to perform many functions, but a two-word summary might be affection/evaluation.  What might an affection/evaluation evolutionary theory look like, and how might that integrate with the fight/fuck paradigm?

First, many species do not have mothers that raise their young, or they exhibit females that choose among several males when deciding whom to mate with.  The affection/evaluation paradigm is limited to a portion of the biological world.  I have no idea how large a portion that is, or where on the branching tree of our Post Pre-Cambrian explosion history the affection/evaluation paradigm tends to congregate.

Might we suggest that it is the job of estrogen to proliferate possibilities and the job of testosterone to cull out winners?  This would seem contrary to our fight/fuck affection/evaluation relationship.  It is estrogen during sexual selection that is appraising and picking those that get to pass on their genes.  Consider that estrogen is not conducting an evaluation to limit the number of options but …

Estrogen Paradigm

June 11, 2009 | 1 Comment

Category: Biology, Estrogen, Society

We are all females in the womb until week six.  Almost half of us then transform into the male.

Does estrogen precede testosterone in the global biological parade?  Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny only to a degree.  Does that degree include a single degree of separation between estrogen and testosterone with estrogen leading to testosterone?

The theory of evolution trumpeted in this work, summarized in the piece “Introduction to the Theory of Waves,” outlines an alternative to Darwin’s theory of natural selection when exploring how human beings evolved.  My theory places a heavy emphasis on sexual selection, with human sexual selection hypothesized to be closely connected to individual estrogen levels.  Consider that there is also an alternative way of viewing biological evolution based upon an understanding of estrogen’s integral contributions to biological transformation instead of a focus on the survival rates of various strategies for procreating.

This goes back to the mostly nineteenth century argument between evolutionary theorists regarding what exactly determines the variability of progeny between two parents.  The theory of natural selection stated variability was random.  Darwin later suggested not.  Theorists tended to take one side or the other.  The two camps divided into two views of how …

The work of the 19th century orthogenesists, Mivart and Cope, concentrated on what they observed as evolutionary trajectories, contractions and elongations of physical features as they manifested or withdrew from the characteristics of descendants at various stages of ontogeny.  No explanation emerged for how this process was engaged, though the fact it occurred, for many biologists, was not in dispute.

In human beings, I’m hypothesizing (see “Introduction to the Theory or Waves“) that estrogen and testosterone together constitute the foundation for an engine of biological and social evolution.  Testosterone drives maturational acceleration and delay.  Estrogen compels a focus on delay or, absent estrogen, no focus on delay.  The ebb and flow of these two hormones behave in a fashion very like what the 19th century theory of orthogenesis describes.

Several things have just plowed into my mind.

Animals behaving like their young, exhibiting young behavior or placating behavior, defuse or tamp down on potentially damaging high testosterone behavior of a possible opponent.  Demure, behaving childlike attracts a certain kind of male.  The exhibition of childlike behaviors both disengages potential opponents from combat escalation and can attract a member of the opposite sex.

Certain levels of relatively high estrogen …

There have been studies conducted that note the testosterone levels in males at different levels of a primate hierarchy.  Conclusions correlated hierarchical positions with testosterone levels.  Higher thresholds congregate at higher hierarchical positions, lower thresholds at lower positions.

I don’t know of studies conducted that match up testosterone levels with maturation speed, delayed maturation being associated with lower testosterone levels.  Bouncing around the web, I find that there are sites that suggest it.  For example, males denied testosterone mature more slowly and live several years longer.

What interests me at this moment are studies that would observe changes in estrogen being accompanied by changes in mate-selective intensity.  Perhaps this would be easier to observe in humans.  With certain fish, male tails were artificially elongated, with the females becoming attracted to those longer-tailed fish.  What if the amount of estrogen or estrogen-related hormones were modified to increase or decrease with the female?  Would she show more or less compulsion to exercise choice?  Would she become more discriminating with higher estrogen?

Estrogen seems associated with at least two powerful female features, attention to the young and attraction to nuance.  They seem related in that attention to the young often revolves around attention …

For about a year and a half, I’ve been mulling over an idea that involves tracking ideas as they move across the web.  I posted that idea here.  I’ve talked to programmers and various other folks.  Responses have ranged from deep enthusiasm to a shrug.

Basically, a web application with social networking interface would allow anyone to create or pass on a message or document, and one could note participation in a project in a way that the breadth (number of participants), depth (degrees of separation), speed (number of people added in particular time periods) and span (geographic spread) of the idea would be traceable across the web through the display of detailed relationship hierarchy or lineage trees displaying the branching of the idea through the web.  A reports function would allow an ability to run comparisons of ideas across the web.  The structure of idea emergence, distribution and evolution could be examined.

Portions of this programming are up and running (click here) in the PJEP.org website, where online boycotts, petitions, eletters and fundraisers are traced across the various participating users.

It just struck me that this idea might make sense in the context of a Twitter …

Prolongation

June 6, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Future, Neoteny, Society

In China, there is something like nine wholly different languages using the same writing system, unlike Europe where you have many similar languages using a similar language system.  A result is that in China, over a billion people can understand what people from other groups write but not what they say.

Over three billion people have cell phones.  Companies like Nokia are designing phones for the market of people that make about $4 a day.  There is not yet a universal language of communication, but there may soon be a universal communications interface that offers an ability to understand what any other person is saying.

I have a friend, a Florida Jewish commercial fisherman with a grouper vessel in the Gulf, who conducted a romance with a Mexican woman mostly by the Internet.  She spoke only Spanish.  Martin spoke only English.  They communicated by email, translating each other’s words using Internet translation software.  They are now married with a son.

Consider a world language, perhaps iconic and very basic, which allows all peoples to communicate.  It could be a language not unlike the Chinese characters universal to that culture.  It may not be necessary with translation software.  But if invented, …

There is a phenomenon in linguistics where language complexity is directly related to how isolated a particular language is from its neighbors.  A new language is difficult to learn for adults.  When several languages rub up against each other, and adults find themselves speaking curtailed versions of one another’s lingos, languages impacted most by these mash-ups simplify, lose endings, abbreviate and drop challenging sounds.  When adults have to learn a language, the language suffers.

A small, isolated island nation may experience the opposite effect.  When only children are required to learn the language, the language, in both sounds and grammar, tends to proliferate novelties.  Children, without the inhibiting convention of adult habits, get creative.  Those adult conventions that are extremely challenging to outsider adults are things that children learn effortlessly.

The most complex languages in the world tend to be those of isolated aboriginals or a people not impacted by their neighbors for many centuries.  When you leave a language to be learned by only children, there is a multiplication of the unique.

What would it be like if that period of time characterized by the linking of countless associations with specific sounds, and the joyous experience that accompanies the …

I saw this piece appear in March:  Too Much Facebook could cause Autism in Children.  A doctor in the UK suggested that social networking applications were encouraging dissociation, making it more difficult for children to engage in relationship.

“My fear is that these technologies are infantilising the brain into the state of small children who are attracted by buzzing noises and bright lights, who have a small attention span and who live for the moment,” said neurologist Susan Greenfield.

Social networking applications do seem to be changing consciousness, and it may be the case that the changes do exhibit some features of early childhood, but I would suggest that living in the moment, a moment characterized by massive amounts of incoming information offered in a fashion that makes integration of that information possible, is a good thing.

There have been other studies that concluded that there are correlations between watching TV and autistic behavior.  That may be the case.  Still, comparing social networking to watching TV is like suggesting a hike through nature collecting butterflies is equivalent to vacuuming the living room for dust mites.  I think professor Greenfield is confusing the two.

Getting up from watching a movie …

Consider that those female children with low estrogen levels as they cross over into their teens may find themselves experiencing delayed puberty.  This may manifest delayed testosterone surges pruning cerebral synapses, resulting in more cerebral synapses and larger brains.  What exactly might be the relationship between low estrogen, low enough to delay puberty (particularly with girls), and increased encephalization?

With girls, estrogen levels that are too low will delay the first estrous cycle or stop it if already underway.  Introducing a high-fat diet to a girl nearing puberty can add on fat that sparks the transition to adulthood.

With girls, high fat encourages puberty.  It would seem that Western high-fat diets might be responsible for the drop in puberty by four years over the last 100 years.

A question arises.  Is the same dynamic engaged for boys?  Do thin boys introduced to high-fat diets also experience a push into puberty?

This dynamic suggests a number of questions.

To what degree have high and low-fat diets influenced human evolution?  If low fat delays puberty and results in more brain growth, might this be because more synapses are useful for finding more fat?

When there is more fat in diets and puberty …

“We do have data from Japan that are highly suggestive.  Here, for many centuries, fair skins have been under parental control and, other things being equal, parents seek attractive brides for their sons.  As elsewhere, members of the upper classes tend to be the luckiest.  This might be expected to lead to selection as the generations have gone by.  Research which I conducted a few years ago (Hulse 1967) indicated that this has taken place, for upper-class high school students have the fairest skins and those of the lower class the darkest, while middle-class students are intermediate in pigmentation.  Furthermore, data from Greece (Friedl 1962) indicate that girls who are considered good-looking marry earlier than, and need not be supplied with as large a dowry as, their less-attractive sisters.  Throughout southern Europe, the upper classes contain a disproportionate number of blondes and near-blondes.  Sexual preferences, though they may be based on social snobbery rather than aesthetic interest, are capable of shifting allele frequencies in human population.”  (Hulse, F.S. (1978) Group selection and sexual selection in human evolution.  In Evolutionary Models and Studies in Human Diversity (Hague) Meier, R., Otten, C. M., Abdel-Hameed, F. (eds.), Moulton Publisher, Paris, p. 33)

There …

Commercial Strategies

June 1, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Web

My small firm serves mostly the seven communities north of Chicago along Lake Michigan, the North Shore and about 70 Chicago North Side businesses.

I have a smaller territory than most web design, maintenance and marketing services because Lake Michigan creates a wall preventing my prospecting to the east.  This barrier also insulates me from competition to the east.  I can only reasonably cold call businesses 40 minutes away.  If a local business is farther than 40 minutes away, the time it takes to go to the several appointments to complete a site and maintain a client over time becomes prohibitively long.  The same thing works in reverse.  Few design firms from outside this area prospect where I work and live.

So, I have a relatively stable client base.  I serve affluent communities.  My firm places an emphasis on service.  I have a smaller territory but relatively little competition.

When I started this business in 1999, I sprinted for several years, working 70-hour weeks in order to become firmly established while most shops and services still had no sites.  I figured the day would come when every business had a site.  I estimated that it would be easier to build …

Recessions

May 31, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Auto-Biography, Society

I was a sales rep working with my sister when the recession of 1981-82 began to impact my profession.  It wasn’t until it officially ended that it slammed with both fists into the urban and suburban Chicago gift market, where I was making my living selling mostly greeting cards to local stores.  Stores that had been trying to hold out until the recession ended observed how little better business was when it was officially over.  They gave up trying to pay bills they were way behind on and closed their doors.

I lost almost a third of my client base in the 1981-82 period.

The 1990-91 recession is a blur.  I was going through a divorce.  A very large percentage of business was now coming from chains instead of small stores.  As long as the chains bought, business was OK.

I was starting a new profession when the 2001 recession hit.  My small website design firm grew quickly right through the downturn, adding on several new clients every month.  I was in the business of offering small, inexpensive sites to small businesses that didn’t have a website.  It was as if a recession wasn’t even happening.

This recession is feeling …

A profession ago, I ran a repping firm, Lehman and Associates, in Illinois.  I represented close to 100 manufacturers and publishers over 19 years.  The second half of that career, from about 1989–1999, I handled mostly the chains.  My staff worked the sole proprietorships, driving from store to store, hauling in maybe 50–75 pounds of samples, mostly paper.

The paper we carried into shops was mostly greeting card samples, catalogs of greeting cards, calendars and the products of other giftware firms.  We’d spend from a half hour to three hours with store owners going through the product lines, often card by card.

The chains didn’t care to look at samples.  They let me pick out what would sell the best.  What the chains cared about was how much discount they could receive, special terms such as delayed payment dating and free shipping.

Regarding dating, they pretty much paid when they wanted to, sometimes in fewer than 90 days.  Shipping was often free.  Discounts were the painful part.  Those discounts often came straight out of my commission.  I was negotiating with the money I would receive after returns were subtracted.

I would commonly write an order in the winter and get …

I’ve been guiding Rosanna, my research assistant, on the gathering of information on matrifocal societies across the planet.  We are seeking patterns that support or contest my hypothesis that social structure is directly related to maturation rate, specific disease and condition proclivity, hormonal thresholds, handedness and cerebral lateralization.

A problem is that there is little information about these societies in connection to the variables that we’re tracking.  Few studies have been conducted.

So I expand the list of possibly related features.

Recently added to the list are frequency of twinning, language structures with a heavy emphasis on the present tense and the structure and content of their mythologies.

I am deeply hesitant to get into mythological structures or content.  Even though that is how I originally disappeared into the rabbit hole of this twelve-year project, I don’t see much chance of academics accepting correlations between a culture’s stories and its disease proclivities as being a useful set of connections.

We’re playing a little bit with age of pubertal onset as a relevant variable, but this is often influenced by environmental factors such as diet.  Pubertal onset has vast implications regarding particular diseases and conditions, aesthetic capabilities and social structure affinities.  …

Collaboration

May 28, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Society, Web

In other places on this site, I’ve described my hypotheses that there were specific societal repercussions resulting from the youngest children forming the bulk of immigrating individuals.  The older children tend to stay with or near the family of origin.  This was particularly true up to about five generations ago when inherited land would go to the oldest children and primogeniture laws disinherited younger sons.

I hypothesize that the result was that the United States received immigrants who were both more creative than the status quo and more comfortable within an environment of innovation.  A community’s artists are often made up of the maturational-delayed males (it is my hypothesis that youngest sons are more likely to be maturational delayed), the narcissists and creative types.  Innovators and entrepreneurs often are made up of these risk-takers and societal outsiders.  In other words, the American male classic personality type–creative, selfish, independent and innocent–are features of the maturational-delayed males.  These are the immigrants to America.

This is all conjectural.  Indeed, this site is filled with a vast, interlocking series of conjectures based upon both established studies and unproved hypotheses.  Nevertheless, spying new implications of the foundation thesis and sharing those suggestions is largely what …

My fourth profession was as a sales rep selling mostly greeting cards and gifts to shops and chains in the Chicago area.  I’d tried to make it as a girdle and bra factory executive (family business), free lance illustrator and graphic designer and as a publisher of greeting cards (mostly my own illustrations).  The selling of other people’s greeting cards evolved to become a healthy repping firm with several employees covering over a thousand stores across the state.

My undergraduate degree was mostly devoted to fine arts with an emphasis on psychology.  Most of my rep colleagues were about making money, with one exception.

Leo Burke eventually quit repping to eventually become an academic at Notre Dame specializing in alternative business models after having achieved success at humanizing Motorola as an executive specializing in executive interpersonal relations.  A colleague of Ken Wilber, Leo has used his life to offer integrative business models, influenced by Eastern practices of honor and deep appreciation.  Before all that Leo was a sales rep selling greeting cards.

Back in the 1980s, Leo and I were both running repping firms, often both of us selling mildly competing fine arts, post-hippie, new age or aesthetic-driven product lines.  …

The company that would do no evil has little heart.  Google’s attention continues to focus on those larger “brands” or corporations that it sees as peers in a global economic landscape dominated by corporate, controlling interests.  Google encourages the status quo in several ways, using conventions that concentrate wealth with the very few.

Google’s famous algorithm encourages those sites with the most incoming links to rise to the top of rankings.  Google has difficulty judging value outside a context of popularity or the simulated popularity that comes with businesses buying links to their sites to get high rankings.  Google theoretically ranks respect.  What it often only ranks is how much money a business is willing to spend to appear to be getting respect.  Or, it ranks how large a corporation has become, presupposing that respect comes with size.

In the Google universe, each planet or business has size and gravity that can be determined by measuring mass.  Google’s algorithm presupposes that mass, respect as determined by incoming links or established brand, is the only variable that determines gravity.  There is more to respect than popularity or power.  Google has no algorithm for measuring integrity.

Google is losing integrity in the …

I’ve been running a web development firm since January 1999.  Google and my firm were born a few months from each other.  By chance, I began tracking Google’s rise shortly after its appearance, noting the efficacy of its search perimeters along with that of its competition.

Though Google was a very powerful tool early in its career, that muscular efficiency has diminished.  That seems due to several factors.

Those folks whose job it is to figure out how Google works to achieve higher rankings often performed their job well, depreciating the searches that Google offered.  Corporations able to pay the most money for professional optimizers tended to get the highest rankings.  Google’s results often showed which firms had the most resources to pay for position.  Google’s algorithms could not distinguish value from money.

Still, if you typed in “Chicago photographer,” you got a list of Chicago photographers on the first page, individuals seeking to sell their services to searchers looking for what photographers had to offer.  That is not the case now.

Google decided to go public in 2004.  On November 15, 2004, they enacted the first of several major algorithm changes, pushing many of the optimized sites from top …

I am a paid professional specializing in search engine optimization.  I happened into this aspect of my profession by mistake.  I decided to prepare seven town directories for the seven communities just north of Chicago that I was targeting.  There were close to 1,800 retail and service outlets in those towns.  In my usual obsessional fashion, I proceeded to photograph the exterior of the almost 1,100 independent businesses and prepare for each a one-page webpage within one of the seven directories.  Four stores objected.  The rest got a web presence at no charge.  For the chains, I just linked to their national sites.  This was in the year 2000.

The idea was to integrate all local commercial activity onto the web.  For the stores and services that contracted with me to build and maintain a multipage site, I was providing a bonus image with a picture in the directories.  I estimated that to keep the clients, I had to bring them traffic.  The directories performed that job, bringing my clients business (at no extra charge), thus helping to make it possible for me to keep my clients long term.

Something very odd was happening while I built out these directories, …

I emailed to professors a link to “Introduction to the Theory of Waves,” and I’ve received several dozen responses.  Mostly folks have said they haven’t read it yet but would get to it or that it’s not exactly connected to their discipline.  Several have suggested I walk the conventional path and submit to peer-reviewed journals.  It has been suggested I specialize in one discipline.  Some expressed enthusiasm for the thesis and have shared it with colleagues.  No minds blown.  Some tentative relationships are forming.

I’m definitely having difficulty translating the thesis into a brief enough format that it’s consumable in a fifteen-minute sitting.  There is a consensus that “Introduction to the Theory of Waves” is trying to do too much in too short a space.  Several have recommended that a book is required.  I’m not seeing the sense in writing a book that no one would read.  First, this website would have to stir a fairly robust response.

This site is composed of hundreds of short pieces, maybe half having to do with the base thesis and evolution, exploring various little parts of the many connected aspects of the thesis.  “Introduction to the Theory of Waves” places maybe …

Long Legs

May 22, 2009 | 1 Comment

Category: Autism Features, Neoteny

“…primary hypogonadism, a condition resulting from the lack of increased production of androgen (testosterone) hormones in the interstitial Leydig cells in the testes at puberty.  Because of this condition, emasculated singers may have been blessed with voices sweeter than a woman’s, but burdened by an infantile penis, an underdeveloped prostate, “eunuchoid” (disproportionately long) arms and legs, beardlessness, pubic hair distributed in the female opposed to the male pattern, and fat deposits on the hips, buttocks, and breast area.”  (Margulis, L. & Sagan, D. (1991) Mystery Dance, On the Evolution of Human Sexuality:  Summit Books, New York, p. 67.)

This may seem somewhat arcane, but in my explorations of the patterns and dynamics of neoteny there is a feature that does not appear in the literature on the subject.  This is the elongated legs and arms that appear in people displaying neotenous features.

I first came across a connection in a text that noted low testosterone in males was connected with longer legs.  Bonobo vs. chimpanzee comparisons suggest bonobos have lankier builds and are more neotenous than chimpanzees.  I’ve noted anecdotally that autistic and Asperger’s males seem to display an unusually high proportion of the tall.  Scandinavians are more neotenous in …

There is a not politically correct notion that the individuals that make up ancient aboriginal societies are different from contemporary humans.  It is usually assumed that they are different as in less evolved, less intelligent or less capable.  It depends on whom you talk to or what you’re reading.

The American philosopher Ken Wilber attempts to take this issue head on, repackaging the 100-year-old four-fold parallelism that equates human evolution, societal evolution, individual ontogeny and an individual’s psychology.  Wilber does not frame the differences between an individual in an aboriginal society vs. an individual in modern society in negative terms, but seeks to unpack the features of various stages of growth and show how these stages manifest on a number of different scales.  Growth, transformation, evolution, all these aspects of how life manifests over time, display pattern.  Those patterns can be described.  Ken Wilber seeks to describe how those patterns manifest in human society.

My personal focus is the influence of sexual selection on social structure mediated by changes in the rates of maturation.  The patterns I focus on are very specific.  Still, I focus on biology, society, ontogeny and personal experience, the four-fold parallelism.  Wilber is more general in …

Chopped Up Day

May 20, 2009 | 1 Comment

Category: Auto-Biography

Perhaps my theory of human biological and social evolution integrates biology, society, politics and current affairs in part because my days are spent on the phone, emailing and conferencing with people working within widely varying areas.  I’m in communication with professionals regarding web design, web maintenance, search engine optimization, web marketing, national Left/Progressive organizing, regional events organizing, teaching activists new technologies, discussing evolutionary theory with academics around the world (by email), working with organizations I’m on the board of such as In These Times….  In other words, the scales of experience my theory seeks to integrate reflect the numerous ways my day is divided up as I seek to exercise competency in several widely varying disciplines, changing focus from moment to moment.

In addition, my firm serves over 400 clients in an astonishing variety of businesses and nonprofit organizations.  While maintaining and building skills in web development and website marketing, I have the requirement of developing intuitions for the various businesses and organizations that I serve.  My specialty within my firm is search engine optimization.  It is necessary that I am able to understand all of our clients in the context of the specific phrases required for their website to …

In the United States, we hold societal allegiance to the concept of independence with a reverence for the entrepreneur.  We carry a unifying belief that each hero walks a separate path.  We express confidence that the individual reigns supreme.

We all fervently believe each person should act upon his or her own unique beliefs.

Different authors and theorists have written on how they think this unique paradigm emerged.  Robert Pirsig suggests that American colonists unconsciously embraced indigenous aboriginal character traits, what looked like self-confident, autonomous competence.  I’ve suggested in other pieces on this blog that the youngest sons and daughters were impacted by the influence of old world primogenitor laws.  These landless immigrants were encouraged to congregate in the New World.  (See my hypothesis to review why the youngest would be the most creative.)

There is a paradox that lies at the foundation of what it is to be American that connects to a paradox regarding the youngest son and daughter and the bridge between the youngest children and aboriginal societies.

It can all be summed up in rock ‘n’ roll.

In the early 1960s, with the emergence of undisguised African aboriginal rhythms in modern music, after several decades of …

Rosanna and I are conducting an overview of matrifocal societies around the world, seeking correlations with the primary elements of the thesis.  I’m estimating that a matrifocal society will have females with higher testosterone and higher estrogen than a modern conventional society, males with lower testosterone and lower estrogen, more frequent anomalous cerebral dominance with both cerebral hemispheres more often the same size, a leftward shift of Annett’s handedness distributions (more left-handers), delayed puberty and tendencies to exhibit specific diseases and conditions characterized by the hormonal tendencies just mentioned.

There is the possibility that matrifocal societies will have language structures characterized by an emphasis on the present tense as in the Hopi and Trobriand Islanders.  This would suggest an affinity to primary process in waking consciousness:  one time, one place, no negatives.  An implication might be a different kind of sense of humor and a possible different kind of creative imagination.

Elia and I were talking last night about the relevance of myth.  Elia suggested that the structure of the mythology of matrifocal societies may reflect the unique neurological constellation we are proposing.  We considered that the myths might show a single story line, main character almost always present (no …