Pop Evolutionary Psychology Takes a Dive!

The Scientific American has a great takedown of some of the more popular evolutionary pscyhologists (especially Stephen Pinker). It's nice to see the scientific community challenging some of the more mythopoetic assumptions of evolutionary psych ("Caveman drag meat back to cave. Cavewoman take care of children. Caveman like many hanky panky. Cavewoman no like hanky panky.") I absolutely LOVE the conclusion:

Of course, some speculations are worse than others. Those of Pop EP are deeply flawed. We are unlikely ever to learn much about our evolutionary past by slicing our Pleistocene history into discrete adaptive problems, supposing the mind to be partitioned into discrete solutions to those problems, and then supporting those suppositions with pencil-and-paper data. The field of evolutionary psychology will have to do better.

For fun, read the comments by the victims of David Buller's apt critique.


Social Interfaces

It looks like car makers might (not holding breath) integrate a wider range of human desires into automobile interfaces.
Nissan has offered something along those lines in Japan, where in addition to providing tips for improving fuel efficiency, the Carwings Eco-Driving service lets you know how you stack up against people with the same car. Nass says bringing that kind of social networking to hypermiling could make make eco-driving more popular
WIRED magazine details how automakers want to help drivers manifest and track thriftiness and collective restraint.