Friday, October 22, 2004



This is the new Bush ad, called "Wolves," which the campaign staff says will be running in battleground states until the election. Reportedly the ad has gotten strong response in focus groups, although it did not really bowl me over. I guess I am a little skeptical of attacks based on a legislator's votes on spending bills. Even so, I do not doubt that "Wolves" will be effective. It does carry the most important message of the campaign. Watch the ad here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scary wolves? Were these focus groups made up entirely of ranchers in the intermountain west? I actually think the wolves in these ads are kind of cool looking. They sure are better than that chimp they keep putting in most of the Bush ads I keep getting on TV. 

Posted by Anonymous

Friday, October 22, 2004 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous: Your rapier-like wit would be even more impressive if you could muster up the courage to identify yourself. I mean, comparing a candidate you don't like to a monkey is the type of blinding rhetorical flourish that just cries out for recognition!  

Posted by Hedgehog

Friday, October 22, 2004 12:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't compare him to a monkey. Monkeys have tails. Chimps are great apes (as are humans) and don't have tails. Here is bit of discussion concerning the creatures. Remind you of anyone?

Mental and Social Characteristics
Non-human great apes express not only the primal emotions of anger and fear but also many that are often categorized as "human emotions," including sadness, joy, despair, jealousy, and sympathy (Goodall 1986). They have more human-like mental capacities than any other species. The sixties brought the first successful studies in which chimpanzees were taught a language system (Gardner & Gardner 1969, Premack 1971, Rumbaugh 1977, Fouts & Mills 1997). Gradually, it has become more evident that these creatures have elementary symbolic thought. There is a bonobo who can understand spoken English sentences (Savage-Rumbaugh & Lewin 1994). This bonobo, who has been exposed to English since birth, knows some 1,000 words and seems to understand grammar as well. When great apes look into a mirror, they can recognize themselves and show fascination in their own facial expressions (Gallup 1970, 1982). They are the only animals for which there is convincing evidence of true imitation(Custance et al. 1995), a capacity highly conducive to the development of culture (see below).
Recent research has suggested that non-human great apes can have a "theory of mind" (Premack & Woodruff 1978) i.e. they can take the perceptual perspective of others, and may form a mental representation of the knowledge of others and attribute intentions to them. These capacities may also enable them to feel forms of empathy, as evidenced by observations of behavior, such as social consolation and other forms of altruism (Goodall 1986, de Waal 1982, 1996). Great apes adopt infant orphans who have lost their mothers, and in many instances orphans survive their mothers' deaths due to their foster parents' care (Goodall 1986, Nishida 1994). These characteristics, which they share with us, undoubtedly enable them to develop the complex societies that we see especially in the genus Pan. These traits also enable them to negotiate with, to manipulate, and even deceive others. They display a Machiavellian type of intelligence in regulating their social relationships (de Waal 1982, Nishida 1983, Byrne & Whiten 1988). In such activity, both loyalty and opportunism play a role. Thus, adult male chimpanzees show tactical negotiation and selective tolerance and permissiveness (e.g. in access to sexual mates) toward coalition partners. Mutual support and the exchange of services and favors take the form of implicit social contracts based on expectations about one another's behavior and a sense of obligation (de Waal 1991). These expectations can thus acquire a normative character. Here, we encounter the roots of morality (de Waal 1996) 

Posted by Anonymous

Friday, October 22, 2004 1:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

non-human great apes can have a "theory of mind"That just cries out for a rejoinder ...

Just visiting from Celibate in the City. Enjoyed your comments about your wife.

Maybe because my wife is tall, blue-eyed, blond, atheletic (first thing I noticed about her was her round house kick) and bright ... but we've been married only about twenty years.

Posted by Stephen M (Ethesis)

Friday, October 22, 2004 3:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ethesis. I had dozed off halfway through Anonymous' in-depth post about apes (hey, they're all monkeys to me), and your post brought me around. 

Posted by Hedgehog

Friday, October 22, 2004 4:18:00 PM  

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