That venerable blogger, Mr Plague, is a little concerned that he is losing followers from his august corner of cyber space amid the Georgia pines. (That’s Georgia USofA, not Georgia on the Black Sea, although I’m sure they have pines too.)
I know how he feels, or at least I would do if I were to include one of those followers gizmos in my sidebar which I don’t to avoid feeling too downhearted.
Blogging is essentially a self-indulgent online diary when you think about, but without the boring bits, like dental appointments and family birthday reminders. Whether anyone reads it or finds it remotely interesting is coincidental.
But the one gauge of popularity you can’t ignore is the abundance or dearth of comments that follows a post and I still haven’t worked out why some do and some don’t provoke a response. It’s probably something to do with the phases of the moon.
Take my Democratic Deficit post from yesterday. Admittedly I had my serious head on, but I thought the points raised by the research on why we get the political leaders we deserve was especially topical given the presidential pantomime being played out in the US.
And yet there was just one comment, while my Man Flu complaint prompted eight. Odd isn’t it?
Anyway, at the risk of talking to myself again (or an audience of one) here is another story that relates to what I was on about yesterday, in particular the idea that western-style democracy is a universally good thing.
It is the research that appears to show that people in different parts of the world are genetically programmed to have different cultural values towards individualism and collectivism.
Joan Chiao, from the department of psychology at Northwestern University says there are differences in the genes control levels of serotonin in Asia that promotes a greater willingness to put the common good above that of the individual. This suggests that there are inherent psychological differences as well as physical ones.
And if these differences affect social structures, it isn’t such a leap to see how they might require different forms of government.