Arnon Grunberg



On an important tool - Skye C. Cleary in TLS:

‘Machin begins with “Survival”. Evolutionary theory proposes that humans are hard-wired to breed and that our value is based on our perceived ability to reproduce successfully: “The human mating game is based upon a competitive market akin to the stock market, but rather than our worth being expressed in pounds, euros or dollars, it is expressed in mate value”. Machin writes that even people who love each other, but don’t want to or can’t have children, are still looking for mates who would make good parents, even if they aren’t cognizant of it.’


‘Machin’s definition of love is admirably broad. We learn, for example, how neurochemistry and attachment theory reveal the possibility that dogs and humans share a reciprocal love similar to love between humans. An American study from 2016 of fifteen pet dogs trained to lie still in an fMRI scanner found that three seconds of verbal praise from their guardians activated the dogs’ brains more than their favourite food.
Similarly, Machin acknowledges that we are capable of loving even when not dealing with tangible beings. Another reason we love, she suggests in a chapter called “Sacred”, is metaphysical. When Christian devotees perceive their spiritual relationship to be intimate and interpersonal, she writes, “It would appear that the relationship between Christians and God is an attachment, has the neural hallmarks of love and recruits the same areas of the brain as when we take part in social interaction with our friends, family and lovers”. This is also true when people interact with celebrities over social media. This mechanism might serve an important social purpose, Machin suggests, because “Celebrities can be havens of safety and security and provide support or advice during difficult times, particularly where this might be lacking in the real world”.’


‘Although her main foci are the evolutionary and chemical, broadly unsentimental reasons for love, Anna Machin also proposes that love is immeasurably subjective, and that humans are complex individuals who seem to be able to overrule their instincts.’

Read the article here.

Yes, we can overrule our instincts, otherwise morality is nothing more than fairy tale. No freedom, no morality.

The celeb as a beacon of hope, a coach.

What’s more beautiful than a con man who points the way towards a better future.

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