Monday, September 7, 2009

Athletes have rights?

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez

This short article from the great Slate talks about how the racial integration of college football teams shaped the current NCAA rules and restrictions on players. The author gathers that the outcome of such rules have swayed more power to coaches in the lives of college athletes. Recently, some anonymous Michigan Wolverine football players have reported that the program regularly schedules practice hours pasts the guidelines of the NCAA.

I'm proud of Michigan's football history and of having gone to a university with a student body that's progressive, intellectual, impressive, and knows how to enjoy itself and by not being down on athletic, particularly the football program. The last, I dunno, decade of Michigan football has been hard enough to go through, but we don't need a promising season this year to get derailed by unethical conduct... though their might be far more than enough evidence that that may be the case.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We are not monkeys or cavemen

Though I am interested in evolutionary psychology and i think it has a lot to teach us about our behaviors, I really enjoyed this critique in Newsweek that particularly deals with the evolutionary psychology of rape.
To sum up the critique, evolutionary psychology takes a behavior that exists today, like rape, and says "This behavior must have survived because it was necessary for survival at one time." While that has truth to it, what the article points out is the social flexibility of the human mind, and that while some behaviors emerge for survival, they can then be weeded away if they become detrimental to survival. The article goes into why this is the case for rape, and gives one pause for why some make the case for the existence of other terrible human behaviors.