ONE: After getting a degree, Osenio eyes triumphant return to the ring

first_imgIt’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Seeing how the famed Team Lakay suffered a string of losses in the past few months, the Igorot atomweight is determined to pick up the slack and hoist the Philippine flag high and proud to end the year on a positive note.“It was a motivation for me, on what happened to coach Eduard (Folayang), Gina (Iniong), and the like. The year is coming to a close so I think I need to work hard too,” she said.Though it has been over a year since she tapped out to Jenny Huang, Osenio is convinced that she’s more than prepared for this new challenge, shrugging off talks about rust.“There’s always pressure, but I know I can do this. I really prepared for this because this is my career and I should take good care of it,” she said.And if there’s something Osenio learned from getting her degree that she’ll take to the cage, it’s this: “Self-defense,” she said.ADVERTISEMENT View comments MOST READ Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? LATEST STORIES “I never stopped. It was studies-training-studies-training for me except for the three months I had for OJT,” she shared in Filipino.With her seniors at Team Lakay as inspiration, Osenio momentarily stepped away from the cage to earn her diploma, looking beyond her mixed martial arts career.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBrian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense“My seniors in Team Lakay was my motivation. Everyone of them had degrees so I thought I also need that. It’s like a parachute, that if ever I end my fighting career, I could do something else,” she admitted.But for now, Osenio (2-2) is looking to make a triumphant return when she faces Chinese Xiong Jingnan (9-1) at ONE: Warriors of the World on Saturday here. Alab Pilipinas upends Meralco in tune-up Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set April Osenio. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.netBANGKOK — April Osenio may have been inactive in the ring for over a year, but that doesn’t mean she stopped training.While finishing her criminology degree at the University of the Cordilleras, the 23-year-old still maintained her training regimen with her Team Lakay stablemates.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano ONE CEO believes Joshua Pacio won the fight PLAY LIST 00:52ONE CEO believes Joshua Pacio won the fight01:04Team Lakay’s rough start lights a fire under Danny Kingad01:51Osenio offers no excuse for loss to Chinese foe02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardlast_img read more

Now perimeter-oriented, Taulava unleashes ‘Asi Splash’ in Macau

first_imgAnd Taulava’s shooting is in full display here in Macau, of all places, in the Asia League Super 8.In NLEX’s semifinal game against CBA’s Guangzho, Taulava went 2-of-6 from three-point area including one that beat the shot clock in the third quarter.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Taulava finished with six points, all his shots came from downtown, in a 75-63 loss. He said that his shooting exploits are just getting started.“Splash!” exclaimed Taulava Saturday at Macau East Asian Games Dome when he was asked about his newfound skill. “That’s a new nickname we have right now, everybody calls it the Asi Splash.” MOST READ Photo from Asia League FacebookMACAU—Asi Taulava has been called “Ageless” the moment he hit 40, but the man also known as “The Rock” in his heyday could potentially add “Limitless” to his growing number of nicknames.Once the best big man in the PBA due to his sheer size and strength, the now 45-year-old Taulava has evolved his game and added a 3-pointer to his age-defying career.ADVERTISEMENT Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Petron books title shot DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced View comments Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? Taulava has, so far, has gone 5-of-15 in the pocket tournament where they played against professional teams from China, Korea, and Japan.The 2003 PBA MVP said NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao has been a major reason why he’s started to shift his game to the perimeter, an area he rarely stayed in during his prime.“Coach Yeng’s been giving me a lot of confidence in shooting, it’s been great, the release has been awesome and I just got to continue working every day and not getting satisfied with one or two,” said Taulava. “I got to be consistent in hitting high-percentage threes when they kick it out.”Another reason for Taulava’s shooting development is the new breed of big men who are “bigger and stronger” than him.Listed at 6-foot-9 and 245 pounds, Taulava is a big man himself but the likes of the 7-foot, 260-pound Greg Slaughter and reigning four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, who stands at 6-foot-10 and weighs 250 pounds, have ushered in a new age of PBA giants.ADVERTISEMENT Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Taulava said he also has to think about the punishment his body takes every game in the PBA and shooting threes is one way of limiting the tear he receives.“It’s playing smart. The younger guys are bigger and stronger than me down in the post so why take all that in and be in a disadvantage where I can take them to the perimeter and shoot a jump shot,” said Taulava.“It’s less punishment for my body and I’m enjoying it, and I learn as you get older you learn something different and I’m learning something from coach Yeng.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

Credit union aims to change cash economy

first_imgNow, the Pacoima Development Federal Credit Union, which celebrates its grand opening today, wants to change that by signing up people such as Marcelino for savings accounts. “Having a bank account changes your life,” said Roberto Barragan, president of the Valley Economic Development Center, which established the credit union. Cash leaves no trace, but an account builds a financial track record that can be leveraged later to borrow money to buy a car or a home. Without one, Barragan asks, “how are you ever going to build up assets?” To open an account at the credit union, an individual needs a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, which the IRS issues so noncitizens can pay taxes, plus a government-issued identification card with a picture, such as Mexico’s matricula card. Outreach program PACOIMA – Each week, Anayeli Marcelino stashes a few dollars under her mattress. Marcelino, 22, who is unemployed, saves the money her husband earns at home because she does not have a bank account. Instead, the couple relies on check cashers. “I don’t have a lot of money to save,” said Marcelino through a translator. She came to Los Angeles a year ago from Mexico without documents. Saving money at home is typical of residents in Pacoima, a heavily Latino, working-class community. As many as 75 percent of the area’s 60,000 residents do not use banks, preferring to save their money at home, community leaders and activists estimate. Persuading residents to open savings accounts and use credit cards in place of cash is an uphill battle. To reach out to the community, the credit union offers financial-education classes, and employees make personal visits to parent centers embedded in local schools. Since the Pacoima office opened its doors in January, it has signed up about 500 members. Alex Flores, a married 28-year-old construction worker with two young daughters, used to spend his paycheck as soon as he cashed it. But he opened his first savings account at the credit union after it offered him a car loan at 11 percent interest, significantly lower than rates he found elsewhere. Now, he saves time by paying his cell phone, gym and car bills automatically through the account, and he is paying off a car loan for a 1999 Chrysler 300. “My next step is to talk to them about home loans once I’m done paying for my car,” Flores said. But not everybody in Pacoima is as eager as Flores to sign up for an account. Many residents don’t know American banks are regulated and that deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. They recall stories about private banks in Latin America closing and people losing their money. Others, such as Marcelino, don’t bother with an account because their entire paycheck is spent on groceries, rent and supporting relatives back home. Undocumented residents also fear that establishing a paper trail will lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents directly to their door. A recent uptick in raids targeting illegal immigrants has left many wary of drawing attention to themselves and underscored the need to have cash on hand in case of deportation. “We are creating fear in them, but wondering why aren’t they opening an account,” said Marta Lopez-Garza, a professor of women’s and Chicano studies at California State University, Northridge. “If you are here illegally, you try to be as invisible as possible.” Building a financial track record through credit may not appeal to immigrants used to spending only what they have in their pocket. Many believe going into debt is inevitable if they use credit cards, especially because so many people carry balances. Almost half of American families carry credit card balances, with the median balance being $2,200, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2004 survey of consumer finances, the most recent available. According to the same survey, 91.4 percent of all American families have some type of checking or savings account. Those without one “were disproportionately likely to have low incomes, to be headed by a person younger than 35, to be non-white or Hispanic, to be headed by a person who was neither working nor retired, to be renters, or to have relatively low levels of wealth,” the survey found. Wells Fargo and Citibank have both operated branches in Pacoima since 2003. Representatives from both chains said their operations were successful – but only after extensive outreach and education. “We had to go far beyond `I’m opening your checking and savings and if you have questions give me a call,”‘ said Steven Contreraz, the Wells Fargo manager. The bank taught customers how to use ATMs, balance their checkbook, and fill out withdrawal and deposit slips – things many consumers take for granted. Wells Fargo also hired bilingual staffers and decorated the store with Latino artwork. “Having to develop a rapport and trust with these clients was first and foremost,” Contreraz said. Cash-based economy But despite ongoing financial-literacy programs by the banks, nonprofits and schools, a cash-based economy persists in Pacoima. Many businesses have fully adapted to wheeling and dealing in greenbacks. At Williams Furniture & Appliances on San Fernando Road, proprietor Mel Williams cashes checks for free as long as the individual makes a payment toward his balance. Williams asks for monthly payments of between $25 and $200 for the couch sets, hutches and lamps he sells from a worn-down building that rumbles when trains cross the tracks across the street. Most of his customers pay with portions of checks from work, Social Security or disability based on a system of credit that comes down to Williams’ intuition. “I don’t have any set rules,” said Williams, sitting behind his desk near a mini-fridge stocked with tiny bottles of water he offers to customers. “A lot of it is feeling, a gut feeling.” Potential clients hand over the names and numbers of their neighbors and employers to help Williams determine whether a customer is who they say they are. Clients lacking a Social Security number can co-sign with a relative who already has an account. Williams charges 21 percent to 22 percent interest. About 15 percent of his clients never pay up, and often he has to coax customers into paying after they fall behind. Vallarta Supermarkets cashes checks without fees as long as customers spend a portion of their money on groceries. Del Gaudio Market has similar options. The alternative is check cashing businesses such as Payday Loan Store or Advance America Cash Advance. At Check N Go in Pacoima, a teller will fork over $100 if you write them a check for $117.64. Relying solely on cash has its downsides. Carrying large amounts of money can make people vulnerable to crime. Detective David Escoto sees an average of seven robberies a week in the Foothill Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, which includes Pacoima. Most of the thefts occur in Pacoima and neighboring Arleta. “Robbers are opportunists,” Escoto said. “If they see someone walking down the street and they know illegal immigrants carry a lot of cash, they will be targeted. It happens.” Savvy residents carry two wallets, says Edwin Ramirez, a community activist who stepped down from the Neighborhood Council in December: a real one with their identification and money, and a cheap throwaway with a few bills to hand over if mugged. “When you get robbed,” Ramirez said, “they don’t want the robber to be upset for not getting anything.” julia.scott@dailynews.com (818) 713-3735 Financial facts Q: Can banks legally give the undocumented accounts? A: Yes, if they have proper identification. Q: What identification do they need? A: Many financial institutions will start an account with two forms of government-issued identification, including those from foreign countries, plus an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (IRS form W-7). Q: Why does the IRS give undocumented immigrants an ITIN? A: The IRS does not care about a filer’s status. It just wants to collect taxes.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

He’s NOT proven! Former defender warns Man City off Liverpool star

first_imgSteve Howey claims Manchester City would be mad to splash the cash on Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling – insisting the Reds youngster is ‘not proven’.The England starlet is expected to leave Anfield this summer, after telling the club he would not sign a new deal.City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid have all been linked with a £50million move for the 20-year-old.Manuel Pellegrini’s side are believed to be favourites to land Sterling but former defender Howey claims a big money move would be foolish.“Raheem Sterling hasn’t really played two full seasons in the Premier League,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show. “He’s not proven.“He’s burst onto the scene and done very well but he’s not the best in front of goal.“I still think he’s a very good player but paying that amount of money for somebody, when they have only played two Premier League seasons, is over the top.”last_img read more

DRAMATIC INCREASE IN DONEGAL BANKRUPTCY CASES – CLAIM

first_imgRyan StewartThe rate of bankruptcy cases in Donegal has increased dramatically since the change to the Irish bankruptcy regime in January, a local insolvency practitioner has said.Ryan Stewart, from Stewart Brown personal insolvency practitioners, has taken on seven new bankruptcy cases in just three weeks.Official figures from the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) show that there have been just 18 bankruptcies in the county in the last two years. Mr Stewart said: “In just three weeks we’ve taken on seven new bankruptcy cases. The number of people coming forward who are prepared to deal with unsustainable debt through bankruptcy and insolvency arrangements is unprecedented.“Statistics released by the ISI have shown that in the last two years there were only 18 bankruptcies in Donegal. The fact that we’re now dealing with seven cases in just a few weeks is a very telling indication of what’s to come. I would imagine that other personal insolvency practitioners operating in the county may well be experiencing a similar increase in the number of cases.”Mr Stewart says the surge is a direct result of the reduction in the normal period for bankruptcy from three years to one in January.“The rise can be attributed to the change in the bankruptcy regime earlier this year. The law now allows people to benefit from a fresh, debt-free start after just 12 months rather than the previous term of three years. “In recent years we’ve had a lot of people contact us to dip their toes in the water regarding bankruptcy but who stopped short of entering the process. Some of these people are now returning because they are much more comfortable with the prospect of exiting bankruptcy after just one year.“The high profile of the regime change has also played a part in terms of reducing the traditional stigma surrounding bankruptcy in Ireland. As a result, more and more people are seeing bankruptcy as a realistic option which will allow them to get on with their lives after years of torment induced by financial crisis.”DRAMATIC INCREASE IN DONEGAL BANKRUPTCY CASES – CLAIM was last modified: May 9th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bankruptcydonegalRyan Stewartlast_img read more

LADIES GAA: ST EUNAN’S LADIES TAKE COUNTY MINOR TITLE

first_imgST EUNAN’S ladies made it a double success for the Cathedral Town after winning the Minor title.They defeated St Michael’s in the final. LADIES GAA: ST EUNAN’S LADIES TAKE COUNTY MINOR TITLE was last modified: November 4th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:LADIES GAA: ST EUNAN’S LADIES TAKE COUNTY MINOR TITLElast_img read more

Alito gets Supreme Court nod

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week But several major liberal groups — People for the American Way, the Alliance for Justice, MoveOn.org, NARAL Pro-Choice America and others –immediately declared their opposition. “Judge Alito would undermine basic reproductive rights,” said Karen Pearl, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “It is outrageous that President Bush would replace a moderate conservative like Justice O’Connor with a conservative hard-liner.” Among feminists and liberals, who fear that Alito will join Justice Antonin Scalia as a member of the court’s conservative bloc, the nominee’s heritage and judicial philosophy have earned him the nickname “Scalito.” If confirmed, Alito would be the court’s fifth member of the Roman Catholic faith. Republican Senate leaders pledged their support, but the chamber’s moderates held their fire Monday, generally taking a wait-and-see attitude toward the nomination. WASHINGTON — President Bush nominated federal appellate court Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. for the U.S. Supreme Court Monday, placating conservative activists who undermined Harriet Miers but provoking a fight with abortion-rights groups. Alito, 55, has served for 15 years as an appeals court judge, and is best known for a 1991 dissent in a landmark Pennsylvania abortion case. Rejecting Alito’s reasoning, the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately used the case to uphold abortion rights. The son of an Italian immigrant, Alito graduated from Princeton University and Yale Law School. He served in the Justice Department during the Reagan administration and as a federal prosecutor before winning the Senate’s unanimous approval to the federal bench in 1990. “He is scholarly, fair-minded and principled,” Bush said, as he named Alito to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. One key senator — Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona –said he was “pleased” with the nomination and added that “Judge Alito’s record is one of a thoroughly experienced, capable and principled jurist.” McCain is a leader of the bipartisan “gang of 14” senators who have vowed to uphold the Senate filibuster rule for judicial nominations, but promised to employ the tactic only under “extraordinary circumstances.” To defeat a nominee on an up-or-down vote in the Republican-controlled Senate, Alito’s foes would have to garner 51 votes. Under current rules, to indefinitely delay a vote by filibustering, they would need just 40 votes. Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, a Democratic member of the 14 senators, said he would “carefully study” Alito’s record and background. Alito’s critics zeroed in on his dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1991 abortion case that the Supreme Court ultimately used to uphold Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that guaranteed the right of abortion. The issue in Casey was whether the Pennsylvania legislature could restrict the ability of women to obtain abortions through such regulations as a requirement that wives notify husbands before undergoing the procedure. The 3rd Circuit court, with Alito dissenting, found that the spousal notification provision was the kind of burdensome regulation forbidden by Roe. The Supreme Court then took the case, threw out the spousal notification rule and other Pennsylvania restrictions, and used Casey to sustain Roe v. Wade. Alito won renown in conservative circles after his dissent in Casey was cited by the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who joined Scalia and two other justices in unsuccessfully arguing that Roe should be overturned. Alito, however, never openly challenged the reasoning in Roe, and in two subsequent New Jersey abortion cases he joined the court majority in decisions that upheld various abortion rights.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

A.V. museum showcases Egyptian display

first_img The statuette was buried in a tomb to serve the departed in the afterlife because, unlike in movies, Pharaohs didn’t kill their servants to be buried with them, Gurba said. “That’s Hollywood,” she said. The display opens with a public reception from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. A lecture at 2 p.m. is by former Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History curator of archaeology Jay Bisno on “You Can Take It With You… The Importance of Magic in King Tut’s Tomb.” A drawing by the LMAG Associates, the museum’s fundraising organization, will raffle off the shawabty and tickets to the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana to see an exhibit of mummies. Grand prize is air fare, hotel stay and tickets to San Francisco’s De Young Museum’s show on woman pharaoh Hatshepsut, who ruled about 130 years before Tut. The museum will also have an “Egyptian Bazaar Gift Shop” selling Egyptian-themed items and toys, books, belly-dancing clothing and authentic artifacts. The exhibit was financed with sponsorships from Boeing, First City Credit Union, California Tile Supply, All About Stone, and Healy Anytime Glass. The sponsorships enabled the museum to buy artifacts and items including the falcon mummies, the replica chariot, sarcophagi masks and jewelry. Those items will be toured later through local schools, Gurba said. “A lot of kids don’t get a chance to go down below to see it,” she said. The museum is at 44801 Sierra Highway. It is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. It is closed Mondays and holidays. Admission is free. To arrange a school tour or for more information call (661) 723-6250. Charles F. Bostwick, (661) 267-5742 chuck.bostwick@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LANCASTER – Haven’t got down to Los Angeles to see King Tut’s treasures at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art? Didn’t want to spend $25 to $75? Lancaster Museum Art Gallery opens Saturday an Egyptian display of its own with more than a millennium’s worth of sculpture, jewelry, cosmetic objects and funerary equipment – and admission is free. A Middle Kingdom coffin from about 1800 B.C. and wooden sarcophagus masks from 1500 B.C. – both older than Tut’s treasures – will be on display, along with mummified falcons, wooden statuettes, bronze figurines, and headrests. The exhibit also includes a life-size replica of a chariot, a re-created everyday house scene, and replica Osiris, sphinx and hawk statues that provided scenery in the 1956 movie “The Ten Commandments.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Ancient Egyptian civilization’s continuing fascination for Americans may be due to its providing an accessible link to the distant past, with the additional attraction of riches buried in support of an afterlife. “People think about King Tut and the gold: you can take it with you. People like hearing about expensive things,” curator Norma Gurba said. Gurba calls the Egyptian civilization one of the greatest in the ancient world, and certainly the longest lived – lasting more than 3,000 years. Items on exhibit in Lancaster range from the Middle Kingdom through the late period, which ended around 332 B.C. with Egypt’s conquest by Alexander the Great. Museum visitors can enter a raffle to win an authentic Egyptian antiquity: a shawabty, a tiny statue of a servant. last_img read more

Human Mind Outwits Darwinian Models

first_img Charity an artifact of selfishness:  Omar Eldakar and David Sloan Wilson tried to conjure up altruism out of selfishness in PNAS.1  Wilson, author of the Evolution for Everyone curriculum (12/21/2005), taught that every behavior, even infanticide, was explainable in evolutionary terms.  Here he takes on sacrificial giving.  “Selfishness is seldom considered a group-beneficial strategy, the two authors began.  “In the typical evolutionary formulation, altruism benefits the group, selfishness undermines altruism, and the purpose of the model is to identify mechanisms, such as kinship or reciprocity, that enable altruism to evolve.”     Eldakar and Wilson don’t believe that appeals to punishment can explain cooperation.  Punishment costs the punisher as well as the punishee, and experimental games show that individuals quickly stop being generous in the presence of selfish cheaters.  Instead, they invented a new “selfish punisher model” that proposes “behaving selfishly in first-order interactions and altruistically in second-order interactions by punishing other selfish individuals.”    How does it work?  The selfish guy punishes other selfish guys, increasing the pool of cooperators.  The model was reported by Science Daily with the quizzical title, “Selfishness may be altruism’s unexpected ally.”     This, they propose, causes selfishness to be a self-limiting strategy that sustains altruism in a society.  “This polymorphism can be regarded as a division of labor, or mutualism, in which the benefits obtained by first-order selfishness help to ‘pay’ for second-order altruism.”  Their model keeps selfishness on top where it belongs in the Darwinian ethic: “This behavior might seem hypocritical in moral terms, but it makes sense as an evolutionary strategy,” they said.  They’re really not interested in morality, though.  They just want to model a stable process in a population.  It doesn’t matter whether it is made up of wasps or White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.     So does this explain why grandma writes a big check to a charity in Africa?  The paper’s mathematics and charts might explain beehive behavior to some extent, and why the Mafia keeps its own cheaters in check, or why civilization needs police departments as “specialized punishers” of bad guys.  But these were only suggested applications of a theoretical model at the end of the paper.  They talked about how punishment could keep cheaters from taking over, but they didn’t say anything about how Darwinism would motivate sacrificial love for strangers.  At best, they visualized a stable society that would allow altruistic individuals to keep from getting stomped on.  How or why any individual would give sacrificially to total strangers was left as an exercise: “We hope that our model stimulates interest in the concept of selfish punishment in both humans and nonhuman species.”. Promised Land:  Jerusalem – the holy city, in the land of promise.  One is drawn to contemplate Moses’ commands to love God and one’s neighbor as oneself, confirmed by Jesus as the greatest commandments.  Today, Darwinian scholars in the land of Israel have other priorities in mind.  Science Daily described how three professors at Hebrew University played games with subjects to figure out the motivations for cooperation and competition.     The article began, “Phrases such as ‘survival of the fittest’ and ‘every man for himself’ may seem to accentuate the presence of political and social competition in American culture; however, there obviously are similar instances of inter- and intra-group conflict across almost all known organisms.  So what makes competition so prevalent for life and why does it sometimes seem to be preferred over cooperation?”  Don’t look for the S-I-N word here.     The researchers were surprised that the human subjects preferred to cooperate and leave the competition alone when given a choice.  “It appears, therefore, that participants much preferred avoiding conflict when given the option to strengthen their own group instead,” the article ended.  “But this still leaves behind yet another question of group dynamics: why, if humans prefer cooperation when given that option, are there so many instances of competition shown in everyday life?”  Maybe some things can’t be reduced to formulas and Darwinian games. Mimi vs We Oui:  A Science Daily article had the arresting title, “Decision Making: Is It All ‘Me, Me, Me’?”  The answering is, surprisingly, no.  People don’t always act in their own self interest.  British researchers found that team spirit trumps selfishness even when it costs the individual.     “Orthodox or classical game predicts that people will act for selfish reasons,” the article said.  This is being challenged by “team reasoning theory,” the idea that individual self-interest is not always foremost in the way people act.  Instead, people often act in the best interest of their team.  This runs counter to the Nash Equilibrium (recall the movie A Beautiful Mind) that based its formula on individual self-interest.     The researchers were “delighted” that they found a contradiction with orthodox game theory.  “Theories of team reasoning were developed to explain why, in some circumstances, people seem to act not in their individual self-interest but in the interest of their families, companies, departments, or the religious, ethnic, or national groups with which they identify themselves.”  Apparently they did not try to broach this observation in strictly Darwinian terms. Others Esteem:  If a little selfishness is good for Darwin, more should be better.  That’s another faulty inference, reported Science Daily about the opinion of Michael Kernis, psychologist at University of Georgia.  High self-esteem can be fragile and counter-productive.  “People with fragile high self-esteem compensate for their self-doubts by engaging in exaggerated tendencies to defend, protect and enhance their feelings of self-worth,” he said.     Psychologists are trending away from the self-esteem fad of the 90s (05/12/2003).  “It was once thought that more self-esteem necessarily is better self-esteem,” the article said.  “In recent years, however, high self-esteem per se has come under attack on several fronts, especially in areas such as aggressive behavior.  Also, individuals with high self-esteem sometimes become very unlikable when others or events threaten their egos.”     Kernis offered a more complex view of self-esteem: “it is now thought that there are multiple forms of high self-esteem, only some of which consistently relate to positive psychological functioning.”  Maybe Darwin can still save face.  Whether it is high self-esteem, low self-esteem or healthy self-esteem, it is still self-esteem. Against just-so psychology:  “Evolutionary psychology has tempted many scientists to indulge in just-so stories….; asserting that our brains are poorly engineered is an equally risky business.”  So Sandra Aamodt wrote in her review of two psychology books for Nature on April 23.2  It’s not that she was about to junk Darwin.  She just was pointing out that the brain and mind are pretty complex things to put into evolutionary terms.  For example, summing up Adam Zeman’s book A Portrait of the Brain (Yale, 2008) and Gary Marcus’s book Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind (Houghton Mifflin, 2008), she criticized reductionism: In the final chapter, Zeman grapples with consciousness.  He outlines how brains that are predisposed to tell stories and that attribute actions to agents rather than chance might lead us to believe in an immortal soul.  His own view is that this is “no more than a wonderful fiction”.  (Marcus makes the same point less gently.)  Zeman struggles with science’s failure to find an emotionally satisfying replacement story, conceding that such questions may be more in the realm of art than science. An aggressive, Darwinian science department has long sought to take over the arts and humanities (02/11/2008, 12/11/2005), reducing everything to selectionist terms.  What will happen if the Darwinians relinquish something as big as consciousness to the arts?  Aamodt left that crack in the dam unplugged.  And her claim that “Evolutionary psychology has tempted many scientists to indulge in just-so stories” might just tempt the philosophy professor to ask how far back the storytelling goes. Can’t Darwinize the Golden Rule:  Why do so many people follow the Golden Rule instead of the Law of the Jungle?  Prashanth Ak tried to address that conundrum in his book review of Donald Pfaff’s new book, The Neuroscience of Fair Play (Dana Press, 2008), in Science magazine this week.3  He began by summarizing the historical tug-of-war over reductionism: Naturalized ethics, the idea that principles of natural science bear on normative ethics, faces two longstanding objections.  The naturalistic fallacy cautions that good, in the moral sense, cannot be defined from natural properties.  Hume warned against deriving an ought (as in how people ought to act) from an is (how people actually act, for instance).  Most of those who seek to naturalize ethics are familiar with these arguments but maintain that scientific findings can have a profound impact on our understanding of morality and ethics.     The question of whether ethical concepts have innate bases or are acquired has echoes of the nature-versus-nurture question and carries much the same ideological baggage.  Whether it is our natures or our cultures that make us who we are has been central to all sorts of intense debates, on topics including the ideal political system, effective means of teaching, and crime and punishment.  Discussions of the nature of morality exhibit similar polarity, with some boasting of their indifference to neuroscience and others embracing it wholeheartedly. In the book, Pfaff tried to make a case that since the Golden Rule is universal, there must be a neurological basis for it.  Remember “Wesley Autrey, who threw himself on top of a stranger in the New York City subway to save the person from being crushed by an oncoming train”?  How does Darwin explain that? (02/22/2004).  Ak summarized Pfaff’s hypothesis in academic gobbledygook: Pfaff hypothesizes that such altruism is due to brain mechanisms that override selfpreference and blur the boundaries between the self and the other through a “loss of social information.”  He conjectures that it depends in part on neurobiological mechanisms for fear, supplemented by neurohormonal bases of sexual and parental behaviors, and that departures from altruistic behavior are due to similar neurogenetic bases of antisocial behaviors.  Pfaff suggests that the capacity of a person to behave according to the golden rule depends on a balance–properly, an imbalance–among social behavioral mechanisms in which those producing prosocial actions outweigh those producing antisocial actions. Whether or not that was comprehensible, Ak was clearly not satisfied with it.  “Pfaff’s broad-brush treatment of altruism, however, is bound to bother quite a few readers,” he said, adding later: “considerably more sophisticated cognitive mechanisms than those posited in the book are required.”  Any unfinished business?  “the study of possible biological bases of morals.” Old folks:  Also in Science,4 Erik Myin reviewed a new book on folk psychology: Daniel Hutto’s Folk Psychological Narratives (MIT, 2008).  Myin seemed downright unsatisfied with traditional evolutionary stories about why humans act so – well, human: Traditional explanations of our folk psychological capacities split on whether the crucial mechanism for understanding others is a result of genuinely theorizing about their beliefs and desires (a theory of mind) or of simulating these.  Nevertheless, nearly all researchers in the tradition invoke complex “mindreading” machinery, operating behind the scenes.  Moreover, it is generally assumed that this cognitive machinery has a strong innate component.  The machinery must have been present in our evolutionary precursors, so a common argument goes, or else some of their well-established capacities–e.g., deception, social learning of tool use, social cooperation, the emergence of symbolic language–cannot be accounted for.     In Folk Psychological Narratives, Dan Hutto presents an alternative conception of folk psychology as well as a thorough critique of its traditional treatment in the cognitive sciences.  Hutto, a philosopher of psychology and professor at the University of Hertfordshire, rejects the idea that our stance toward each other is genuinely “theoretical.” Folk psychology – the attempt to explain one another’s actions in terms of their beliefs and reasons – has been viewed as an artifact of neuroscience.  We don’t really read each other’s minds to figure out what people believe and are about to do.  The assumption of psychologists, with their theory of mind, is that such reasonings are epiphenomena of what our neurons are doing.     Hutto and his reviewer seem to be elevating the status of folk psychology as a genuinely explanatory tool.  We must explain one another in narrative terms instead of trying to develop a physical theory of mind.  Both still work from the premise that humans evolved from pre-human ancestors, but Hutto argues that human language was a prerequisite for folk psychology; it did not exist among tool-using hominids.  Maybe that sets humans genuinely apart from the animals—even to Darwinists like these.     Regardless of one’s position on folk psychology, Myin pointed out that Darwinian psychology has not achieved explanatory nirvana.  There are still “fundamental debates that have raged in cognitive science through recent decades,” he said. 1.  Omar Tonsi Eldakar and David Sloan Wilson, “Selfishness as second-order altruism,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online on April 30, 2008, 10.1073/pnas.0712173105. 2.  Sandra Aamodt, “Biased brains, messy memories,” Nature 452, 938-939 (24 April 2008) | doi:10.1038/452938a. 3.  Prashanth Ak, “Neuroscience: On Deciding How to Do unto Others,” Science, 2 May 2008: Vol. 320. no. 5876, pp. 614-615, DOI: 10.1126/science.1157089. 4.  Erik Myin, “Cognitive Science: Rethinking Folk Psychology,” Science 2 May 2008: Vol. 320. no. 5876, p. 615, DOI: 10.1126/science.1157120. Prashanth Ak did not answer the “naturalistic fallacy” (defining good by what is natural).  He merely bluffed that he knew about it and still had faith in reductionist science.  If we are only our brains, and those brains evolved ultimately from purposeless matter, then abandon all attempts to define morality, consciousness, or reason itself.     The reductionist, physicalist, secularist wizards have had a long time to conjure up a mind out of matter.  Maybe if they continue to bump their heads against reality, it will sober up their Darwin-inebriated souls.     Physicist John Archibald Wheeler passed away recently.  He seems to have been fond of the teaser, “What is matter?  Never mind.  What is mind?  No matter.”(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Evolutionists struggle to explain complex human behaviors in Darwinian terms.  Sure, corporate squabbles can seem like survival of the fittest, but humans also sacrifice for people they don’t even know and do other weird, un-Darwinian things.  In Darwinism, selfishness rules.  How does cooperative and altruistic behavior arise from selfish motives?  Here are some of the recent attempts to reconcile observations with a theory in which selfishness is key.last_img read more

Former Bulandshahr legislator found dead

first_imgA former MLA was on Wednesday found dead under mysterious circumstances in his house in Bulandshahr, the police said.Haji Aleem Khan, a Bahujan Samaj Party leader, was found dead in his room, with a pistol lying next to his body, said Bulandshahr Superintendent of Police (City) Pravin Ranjan Singh.According to preliminary information, the former legislator had returned home late on Tuesday night and did not open his door till 10 a.m. the next day.”People knocked on the door and even dialled his cell phone to wake him up. When he didn’t answer the calls, a child was sent inside the room through a ladder after a grill was opened,” Mr. Singh said. It is not clear if he was shot, the police said.Khan’s body has been sent for post-mortem examination.last_img read more