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Harald Eia: Brainwash

Brainwash (Hjernevask in Norwegian) is the Norwegian series on the Nature Versus Nurture controversy. See Hjernevask. The wikipedia article contains links to the episodes (in Norwegian, with subtitles.) Even disregarding the controversy issue, this has some good interviews with current cutting-edge thinkers on human nature, such as Stephen Pinker and Simon Baron-Cohen.

The wikipedia page also contains a link to a good examination of the series, which says that except perhaps for Sweden, Norway is the country where social science has been most politically biased. However, even in the US the debate is definitely not settled. When pressed, people from the social science world will generally say “Everyone agrees it's both”, but with an attitude “and that means we don't have to talk about it anymore.” And then there's still a default assumption of nurture, or perhaps: “There's no point in thinking about the possibility that it's nature, because then we can't do anything about it.”

The presenter Harald Eia was coy about his agenda, pretending that he begins ignorant of the issue, and then comes to the surprising discovery of out of touch Norwegian social science was. Of course he knew that all along, and that was why he made the series. He was a sociology major in college, and then became a popular comedian. He took advantage of his performance skills and comedy background to seem unthreatening. One of the women he interviewed ended up leaving the country, claiming that Eia had “ruined her life.”


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media/brainwash.txt · Last modified: 2013/12/24 11:15 by ram