"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Seguing into a momentary interlude:

- Evolutionary psychology quiz - done
- Killer macroeconomics midterm - done (for - but hopefully the curve will pull me up)
- Microeconomics assignment - done

On the horizon:

- 7th October: one more midterm (though "there's nothing new" there, we only have a 2-sided cheat sheet to rely on since it's not an open book exam. Time to buy a magnifying glass.)
- 10th October: Evolutionary Psychology Term Paper

1. How might knowledge of natural selection change how we think about society? Outline an imaginary discussion of this question, between an evolutionary psychologist and any one of

a. An economist
b. A religious leader (faith of your choice)
c. A historian
d. A sociologist
e. A philosopher
f. A novelist

2. To what extent and in what direction might we still be evolving?

3. Write a critical review of any one of the following books:

Richard Dawkins – The Selfish Gene (2nd Ed)
Steven Pinker – The Blank Slate
Robert Wright – The Moral Animal

- 18th October: Religion Term Paper

1. Discuss the main principles of one of the theories of religion discussed in the
module. How relevant or applicable is this theory in understanding the major religions in the world? Discuss your answer in relation to one of the major faiths (e.g. Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism).

2. Reflect upon the distinction between “being religious” and “studying religion” as
discussed in class. Does one’s own faith (or lack thereof) affect one’s scholarly
understanding of religion? How so? Discuss this issue by making specific reference to
one of the theorists in the module, making sure to outline the main principles of this theory.

Hypothetical chronology of a term paper (not necessarily one I follow, of course):

2 weeks from deadline - You start thinking about what question to do. They all look horribly unappealing (especially when you think of writing them).
1 week from deadline - You start thinking about what to write and doing research and reading
5 days from deadline - You ask for an extension (Personally I don't: it just prolongs the suffering and eats into the time available for the next term paper)
3 days from deadline - You've finished the outline; you start panicking because you haven't fleshed it out yet
On D-day itself - You finish the thing a few minutes from the deadline

Your mileage may vary:

Someone: 2 weeks meh
too early lah
at 2 weeks you'll be thinking that you still have a lot of time

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