Robert Trivers is one of the leading figures pioneering the field of sociobiology. He received his bachelors and PhD from Harvard University. Wilson 'A powerful book Find your local bookstore at booksellers. Our Lists. Hi-Res Cover. Robert Trivers. Barbara observed the weight of worry settle on her small shoulders, and she reflected on the way that life moulds people to be who they are.
No eight-year-old girl with her hair still in plaits should have to trouble herself so much about others. Where strawberry ice cream's concerned, I draw the line at letting friends off the hook. She gave a little skip. We're going away for a few days. Just a few days. Dad and I. Did I already say? Only what happened is that Dad got a phone call and he said 'What? When did this occur? Imagine, Barbara. Have you? Barbara thought. Oh yes indeed. Mildewed beach huts and suntan lotion.
Donning damp swim suits with scratchy crotches. She'd spent every childhood summer holiday at the sea, trying for a tan and managing only a mixture of peeling skin and freckles. Hadiyyah bounced to her. With me and Dad? Why don't you come? It'd be such fun! We could make castles in the sand and swim in the water. We could play catch. We could run on the beach. If we take a kite, we could even--" "Hadiyyah. Have you managed to say what you've come to say? Her father stood there, watching her gravely.
Taymullah Azhar appeared to observe her--rather than just notice her presence--for the first time. His slender shoulders adjusted, the only indication of his surprise. His arm went round her, his hand curved at her shoulder. She's got bandages all up and all down, Dad. I told her she should come with us to the sea. It'd be good for her. Don't you think? Barbara said quickly, "A nice invitation, Hadiyyah. But my sea-going days are completely kaput.
Azhar interposed. She said, "Bye, Barbara," and scooted through the door. Her father nodded at Barbara and began to follow. And when he stopped and turned back to her, "Want a fag before you go? She wouldn't have attempted to detain him had he not seemed so anxious to keep his daughter quiet about their journey. Suddenly Barbara's curiosity was piqued, and she sought a way to satisfy it. When he didn't answer, she decided that a prod was in order. She said, "Heard anything from Canada?
But she hated herself the moment she'd said it. Hadiyyah's mother had been on hold day in Ontario for the eight weeks that Barbara had been acquainted with the child and her father. And daily Hadiyyah had scoured the post for cards and letters--and a birthday present--that never came.
And he had no compunction about letting a silence hang between them. Barbara bore it as long as she could before she said, "Azhar, I apologised. I was out of line. I'm always out of line. I do out of line better than anything else. Have a fag. The sea will still be there if you leave five minutes later than you planned.
His guard was up as he took the proffered packet and shook out a cigarette. While he lit it, Barbara used her bare foot to shove the other chair back from the table. He didn't sit. In my business, that only means one thing: Whatever the news is, it isn't good. Not that he'd ever spoken of anything personal. He was as guarded a creature as Barbara had ever encountered outside of the criminal element.
I get it. He was rushing off to the sea on a small family matter concerning a significant family that he never saw? How long d'you expect to be gone?
Anything I can do for you here? Water the plants? Collect the post? Finally he said, "No.
I think not. There's merely been a minor upheaval among my relations. A cousin phoned to give voice to his concerns, and I go to them to offer my support and my expertise in these matters. It is a question of a few days away.
He had--when he used it--a most attractive smile, perfect white teeth gleaming against his pecan skin. I've half a mind to follow and spend the next seven days with my bum firmly planted in the old North Sea. She'll be disappointed. She seems a bit young to be racking up a score in the life's-bitter-lessons game, wouldn't you say? He was wearing a short-sleeved cotton shirt, and as he leaned past her, Barbara caught the crisp clean scent of his clothing and she saw the fine black hairs on his arm.
Like his daughter, he was delicately boned. But he was darker in colouring. He was gone before she could get another dig in. And when he was gone, Barbara wondered why the hell she felt the need to dig at him at all. She told herself it was for Hadiyyah's sake: Someone had to act in the child's best interests. But the truth was that Azhar's impermeable self-containment acted as a spur upon her, pricking at the sides of her need to know. Damn it all, who was the man? What was his solemnity all about? And how did he manage to hold the world at bay? She sighed. The answers certainly wouldn't come from slouching sluglike at the dining table with a burning fag hanging from her lip.
Forget it, she thought. It was too bloody hot to think about anything, let alone to come up with believable rationales for the behaviour of her fellow humans. Sod her fellow humans, she decided. In this heat, sod the whole flaming world.
You & This Route
She reached for the small pile of envelopes on the table. Looking for Love? The question was superimposed upon a heart. Barbara slid her index finger under the flap and pulled out a single-page questionnaire. Tired of trial-and-error dating? Willing to take a chance that finding the Right Person is better handled by computer than by luck? And then followed the questions, asking about age, about interests, about occupation, salary, and level of education. Barbara considered filling it out for her own amusement, but after she evaluated her interests and realised that she had virtually none worth mentioning--Who really wanted to be computer-matched with a woman who read The Lusty Savage to lull herself to sleep?
She gave her attention to the rest of the post: BT bill asking to be paid, an advert for private health insurance, and an offer of a deluxe week for two on a cruise ship described as a floating paradise of pampering and sensuality. She could do with the cruise ship, she realised. She could do with a week of deluxe pampering, with or without the accompanying sensuality. But a glance at the brochure's photographs revealed slim and tanned young things perched on bar stools and lounging poolside, their fingernails painted and lips pouting glossily, attended by men with hirsute chests.
Barbara pictured herself floating daintily among them. She snickered at the thought. She hadn't been in a bathing suit in years, having come to believe that some things are better left to draperies, shrouds, and the imagination. The brochure went the way of the questionnaire before it.
Book Review: Grit and Deception by Kassie Leigh Perkins
Barbara stubbed out her cigarette with a sigh and looked about the bungalow for further employment. There wasn't any. She trundled over to the day bed, searched out the television's remote, and decided to give herself over to an afternoon of channel surfing. She pressed the first button.
Here was the Princess Royal, looking slightly less equine than usual as she inspected a Caribbean hospital for disadvantaged children. Here was a documentary on Nelson Mandela. Another snore. Making a decision frowned upon by a committee or a popular opinion is a lonely place to be. Accurate information married with human judgment is the best ally for the prognosticator. This explains why some forecasts, such as those for hurricanes, are so good and others, such as economic predictions, are so poor. Thanks to a knowledge of past catastrophes, satellite photography, weather balloons and airplanes that fly into the eye of the storms, the National Hurricane Center can predict the path and severity of hurricanes with remarkable certainty several days in advance of when they collide with land.
According to Silver, weather forecasting for the subsequent two or three days, at least as promulgated by the National Weather Service before it falls into the buffoonish hands of the local TV weathermen for whom ratings are more important than accuracy , is also something that can be counted on.
Economic forecasting is another matter. Part of the reason that predictions about hurricanes and the weather have improved is that scientists, mathematicians and programmers can build computer models from accurate molecular data of cloud formations. The same is not true for the economy where attempts to capture every calorie of economic endeavor are much harder.
Even the U.
Examining well-being, anxiety, and self-deception in university students
They all might be better off employing the descendants of Carnac the Magnificent, the soothsayer from the East once played by Johnny Carson. While economists have plenty of excuses, the same does not go for the rating agencies that, prior to the housing collapse, so conspicuously labeled the thousands of mortgages they bundled together as relatively riskless.
They did not understand that they had designed a monstrous, nationwide pileup of concrete, glass and wood. In this case they are even more culpable because they are willfully ignoring copious amounts of stock market data which, if heeded, would instantly catapult these pension systems into default. Nonetheless, in our data-drenched age, the geologist is still somehow expected to provide certainty about a cataclysmic event that may last a matter of seconds. The sentencing magistrates, like the Japanese in the ninth century, must just believe that earthquakes can be accurately predicted from the behavior of catfish.