Bad Sex

Alright guys, another article that’s not what you think.

This is inspired by a woman named Germaine Greer.  What she says is thought provoking.  And since I like provoking thoughts, I’m going to repeat her words.

Rape is bad sex.

She’s written a book about it, but the summary is simple.  Lets stop treating rape as a hugely incredibly terrible event that puts ALL the responsibility upon the victim instead of the perpetrator.  Instead of having this ridiculous standard of proof, lets lower that standard, and lower the penalty.  You raped someone?  Pay the fine.  Make it a big fine.

Was there injury involved?  Then the fine is increased.

Did she say no?  Or was she incapacitated on her own?  Then even more fine.

Did YOU incapacitate her?  Increase the fine yet again.

Get the picture?  It’s like a speeding ticket.  Break it down into its respective components and penalize each of them.  Faster justice.  More impact upon the perps.  Easier to prove.

Are these thoughts controversial?   Oh yes.

Is there a right and a wrong here?  Absolutely not.

I’m not a proponent of following them.  However, I’m a big fan of discussing them.  Unless we start tackling all of our social problems head on in rational manners, we’re not going to be going anywhere.  If anything, we are slipping backwards.

So, consider the words, ponder the thoughts, and think through what we’re trying to achieve as a society.  There has to be a solution in there, somewhere.

Or else…

 

Vaccinate Your Daughters

Medical science has proven that we can teach our immune system how to deal with a nasty bug BEFORE the real bug infects us.

This saves MILLIONS of lives every year.  It’s one of the reasons so many people are on Earth today.

... and against the bogie man.

There is another kind of vaccination we can get, and it doesn’t involve a needle, only words.

It’s a psychological vaccination, and this sort of thing has been known for centuries.

And you can do it yourself.  Here’s how.

First, think of the bad thing you want to teach your kids about, like a house fire.

Then talk about it.  Act it out.  Use pictures if your child is small, or go visit a fire station and talk to a firefighter if they like field trips.  The whole point of the exercise is that you are preparing your child for an event that you hope never happens.

Except it does, all too often.

There is lots of proof that the people who have been “inoculated” for a particular emergency do better than those that aren’t prepared.

People who aren’t prepared tend to have more injuries, suffer more in the long term, and are more likely to perish.

What about our daughters?

There’s a kind of emergency that happens to them far more often than it happens to boys.  There are “emergencies” that they can experience even as young women, whether they are on a date, in university, or trying to get a better job within their company.

It’s time to start creating a program that teaches our young ladies, ahead of time, what to do when they come up against harassment, exploitation, and glass ceilings.  It’s time to give them options now, before they are surprised.

We’re talking about reducing pain, enhancing recovery, and improving their survival.

Aren’t they worth it?  Yes, they are.  So, mothers, dads, relatives, prepare your psychological syringes and get to work.

It’s time to play doctor – for real.

 

Pride in Kidlessness

I met this guy at a party, and he was boasting that soon after getting married he’d gotten a vasectomy.  His newlywed wife was all for it.  And they’d been married happily for many years.

But aren't they toooooo cute?

They are smart, well-traveled, fairly funny, and have a good life.  Why not want to share that with some little copies of themselves?

Here’s a few easy reasons.

  1. Perhaps one or both had a rough childhood, and don’t want to pass on those bad memories.
  2. Perhaps they are surrounded by enough children owned by relatives, they feel safe not contributing to the family.
  3. They could be so selfish that the idea of sharing any of their fun times with anyone else is abhorrent.  Why choose to share it with someone you are legally liable for?

I’m sure you can think of a few more, but the other day I realized there was a big one that I hadn’t considered.  It is very similar to thoughts I shared regarding suicide some time ago.

It goes like this:

This couple isn’t happy with the world as they know it.  There’s pollution, overcrowding, uncertainty, and increasing expenses.

They Choose No Children because they are afraid of the future.  The joy they might feel in raising a child is offset by the pain of exposing them to a frightening world.

In a way, we are seeing a form of species suicide.  For if the members don’t have enough children, the species will shrink.  Shrink enough and it dies.

So the next time you meet a couple that is childless, try to cheer them up.  The future can’t be that bad.

Can it?

 

 

The “Other” Other Woman

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The other day my super politically reactionary cousin was defending Herr Drumpf as being a good example of a leader and gentleman.

You are.

 

I do my best to stay calm and level headed, so I asked what she thought about all the women who have come out and made statements about things that he has done to them?  Most of the things he’s alleged to have done were unwanted harrassment.

But there were also quite a few women who attested that they were quite happy “Doing the Dude” for any number of reasons.

My cousin’s reaction?

“They are all lying.  Women will do or say anything to get attention, especially at the expense of a famous man.”

This caught me by surprise.  There have been, and still are, quite a few famous men that don’t have a dozen women chasing them around with sexual allegations.

There also have been, and still are, quite a few women who generally tell the truth.

There also have been, and still are, quite a few men who are well known to make a habit of preying on women.

Finally, there is absolute evidence that Der Drumpf has cheated on his previous wives, evidence that was presented in divorce court.

So what’s the deal with my cousin?

I figured it out the other day, and here’s an article that helps lead us in the right direction.

It must have happened to her.

The only way my cousin would discount ALL women as liars, is if she has to believe that ONE women in particular, is also a liar.

Who is that woman?

Someone who threatened to come between her and her husband.

In order to save her own peace of mind, my cousin had to consider that “other” woman as a liar.  That means her husband was still faithful to herself, and that means that her marriage is sound.

It also means that my cousin has become the other other woman.  For it is she who is fooling herself about a relationship that no longer exists.

It also means that, of all the other women out there who stand by His Hole-ness for all his alleged sexual exploits, there’s a chance they are reacting like my cousin for similar reasons.

Is it possible that there is such a large population of “other” other women?

What do you think?

 

True Killers

There’s this great report put out by the Centers for Disease Control, it’s all about how many people die of things in the USA.  It lists lots of reasons, and helps the government set policies to help its citizens live longer, happier, more productive lives.

wait till you see what's inside.

Except it doesn’t always seem to be working.  There’s been a drug crisis going on since the 1960s, and today it’s morphed into an even worse epidemic.

So, here’s another perspective on our problem.

Perhaps the list the CDC maintains is the wrong place to be looking.  What we should  consider are things having to do with behavior.

For instance, perhaps the suspects we should consider are these: Loneliness, Stress, and Boredom.

What can Stress do to you?  We know it can accelerate heart attacks, stroke, and many other things related to aging.

What about Boredom?  That gives us time to play with drugs, experiment with risky behaviors, and wonder why life is worth living when the going gets tough.

Finally, what about Loneliness?  When we’re lonely, we tend to think about our pains, we magnify our problems and minimize our blessings.  When we’re lonely, we can also be alone.

One of the biggest causes of loneliness is being alone.  If we’re alone, we can make mistakes.  Mistakes can be big ones, like leaving the stove cooking something when we go to sleep.  Or sitting in a running car when the garage door is closed.  Or taking the wrong medicine at the wrong time.

These three things can exist in any age group, any population, at any time.  Addressing the causes that underlie the reasons we die may be far more effective than simply trying to attack the reason.  It has to be better than what we’ve been doing, simply because what we’ve been doing hasn’t worked.

So the next time you see a horror film, go with someone.  Talk about it.  Make sure it’s a relaxing experience.  My guess is you’ll live to see another day.  And another.

 

Meso-Monsters

There’s a popular song-writer musician who has something about “little monsters” tattooed on her arm.  I have a feeling that I know what she is talking about.

Then again, I’d like to hear it from her.

At the other end of the scale, we have Mega-monsters.  These are dictators who rule countries without regard to the general welfare.  Instead they are all about self-serving actions that benefit a small part of their population.  The current leaders of Turkey, Egypt, Venezuela, Russia, and even the USA come to mind.

What about in the middle?  Can we find any monsters living between these two extremes?

You bettcha.  In fact, this is where the most dangerous monsters live.  For instance, there are people disguised as religious leaders teaching their flocks why they are better than everyone else, and how they must bring violence to those who oppose them.

The schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan come easily to mind.  After all, that’s what “Taliban” means.  Unfortunately for us Westerners, those aren’t the only ones.  There are Meso-monsters in every country, every county, even every village throughout the world.

The fact that you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  It means that we’re not looking.

Now that you’ve heard the concept (copyrighted and trademarked right here!) start looking locally.  Something will happen, and if you trace the lines of influence back far enough, you will find someone who acts as a source for lots of unrest.

Once you have him, never let him go.  That’s the only way to control a monster: little, big, and middle.

Good hunting.

 

Where There’s Smoke

They always seem to go together.It’s no coincidence that if you see smoke, there’s fire somewhere inside.

If you live inside a house, you’re taught from an early age to save your life by GETTING OUT.

Drop.  Roll.  Know your escape route to safety.

That’s the easy way to save your life.

What if the smoke you are seeing isn’t from inside your home?

What if the smoke is coming from your society?  What if the news is full of tragic stories?  What if your family and friends are touched by random violence?

What if your planet is being harassed by unthinking newly arrived inhabitants, who litter, obliterate, and violate huge portions of its landscape?  What if the Amazon is cut down?  What if we fill the atmosphere with CO2 and methane?  Why does it matter if we drive so many species to extinction?

These are all variations of seeing the smoke inside your home.  Many people see the smoke, and are crying out as loud as they can: FIRE!

My question is this.  Why can’t more people see the smoke?  How many more cries will it take to move the majority of people?  What will it take to get governments to act?  Even more critically, what will it take to make all governments act in unison?

If you are studying any social discipline, including philosophy, these questions should be at the top of your syllabus.  Your “discipline” should have a methodology, a basis of axioms and reference in which you can answer this question.  Better yet, if your discipline is mature enough, it may even suggest an optimal route of making our world a better place.

If not, then, all I can say is…

Drop.

Roll.

And …

 

 

Happy Birthday Dr. Frankenstein

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The novel Frankenstein was published 200 years ago this year, on January First.  I don’t think google did a doodle on it, but they should have.  Today (30 August) is the anniversary of the birth of the author, Mary Shelley.

Science magazine devoted a whole special section on the impact Frankenstein has had upon popular culture. [1] There’s more Franken-things than you can shake a stick at!  Each of which denotes something scary that has been created by humankind.

Try it out.  Pick any noun, say, tomato.  Stick a “franken” on it – and voila – you have a:

Franken-tomato.  Sounds like something that was genetically modified.  Could be tasty.  But our first reaction is, ugh.  Get it away from me.

That’s the whole point of Mary Shelley’s book, Frankenstein.

It’s not the monster that is the bad guy.  It’s us.

We create things with our knowledge, our technology, our science.  And then we abuse it, we deny it, we argue that it doesn’t exist.  Yet it does exist.

And in our active ignorance, it ends up causing harm.  In the end we may think we have won because we defeat it, but perhaps we are no better off than we were before.

This theme has been used so many times since she rediscovered it that it’s hard to pick the best examples.  Try Colossus, the Forbin Project.  Or Skynet of Terminator, or Adromeda Strain, or; do I need to continue?

The Ancient Greeks created the first rendition of this story.  They talked of Prometheus, who brought forbidden fires to humans.  Without fire we would still be running from the lions, instead of looking at them in the zoo.

What does this have to do with behavior?  Are you kidding?  What doesn’t it have to do with behavior?  This is exactly the kind of stuff we should be talking about, for every new technology: Nuclear power, DNA editing, CO2 sequestration, and more.

Even more importantly, as students of behavior, we should have a framework that allows us to understand and discuss ANY new technology regardless of what that technology may be or how it impacts us.  How’s THAT for a challenge?

Enough for today.  I wanted to make sure SOMEONE said Happy Birthday to Mary.  After all, she did something many activists have been dreaming of doing for years.  I only wish people would read her book and discuss it, intelligently.

Instead of just going, UGH.

 

[1] Science magazine, 12 January 2018, Volume 359, Issue 6372.

 

Tuning the Turing Test

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Let’s begin with the world’s greatest sci-fi movie: 2001.  This is from Piers Bizony‘s book on the making of 2001 A Space OdysseyIt's Eye-Conic.  Sorry.

Marvin Minsky had no problem understanding that the emptiness of 2001’s dialogue was intentional:

” … And after the momentous statement that the monolith must have been deliberately buried, one of the astronauts says, “Well, how about a little coffee?”  Kubrick’s idea is that the universe is too majestic for short sighted people.”

Trying to understand an “intelligence” that is much greater than our own is going to be a tough job.  Drinking a cup of java while pondering that gulf might be appropriate.

Which brings us to Alan Turing, the godfather of the modern computer.  He suggested a simple test to determine “intelligence.”  He didn’t define the term either, by the way.  What he said was put a person in a room and let them interact with a human, or machine, in a limited way (like through text only) and let them ask questions.

Today, this remains the best test we have of machine intelligence.

Here’s the problem.  What kind of person are you going to put in that room.  For instance, if you put my mother in law, she’s likely to think that the navigator voice in the GPS is already intelligent.  You should see the conversations they have while we drive along.

If you put some genius, like Doug Hofstadter or Doug Lenat in that room, chances are they can ask one question and game over.

So, next time you think of the Turing Test, also consider who you are going to put in that room.  If you’re scientifically oriented, then you want a “standard” human.  Good luck!

In the meantime, I’m going to get some coffee.

Man Tongue

Sorry, this isn’t what you may think.  Tongue has to do with language.  Not sure why we call languages, tongues, but maybe it’s because the tongue has a lot to do with it.

I’m working to learn French.  It’s not easy.  They really make your lips and ears work hard.  The tongue?  Not so much.

One big thing that was hard for me to understand was this: Groups are either girls or guys.  In French it’s << elles >> or << ils >>.  (Sorry, the whole double carat is French as well.)

Anyway, say there’s a group of five women walking down the street.  You’d say, “women walking down the street.”

What about five men doing the same thing?  You’d say, “men walking down the street.”

Here’s the fun part.

What if the group is four women and one man?  You’d say, “men walking down the street.”

Yup.  I know, it seems crazy.  Wait.

What if it’s an entire stadium of women watching a football match?  “Women watch football.”

Now, put a single man (he might be married, I meant one person) into the crowd, and guess what you have to say?  That’s right.  “Men watch football.”  Yes, even if the ENTIRE crowd but one has freudian-based penis-envy, you have to say, “men.”

For the longest time this drove me nuts.  It still drives people nuts, because it purposely marginalizes women.  I don’t like marginalizing women.  I like women.

But why does the language do this?

Remember, languages have been around a long time.  Even French.  And there’s a good chance that the French didn’t invent the whole gender bias thingy.  So we have to go back thousands of years to the source.

What was going on thousands of years ago?

Murder.  Mayhem.  Massacres.  Maybe.

In short, it was quite the heyday of times.  Possibly like game of thrones.

If you were a guy, and very sensitive to not dying, and someone was describing a crowd of people to you, what might be of great interest to you?

If it was me, I’d want to know if there were any men in that group.  Specifically, men who might want to hurt me.  If the group is all women, I’d feel better.  Not really.  I know what women are capable of, because I’ve been happily married for a long time.

But if sword thrusting and mace wielding are your concern, then you want to know if men are around.

Result?  You use your language as an early warning system.

It’s only an idea, don’t go ballistic.  But for a real answer, I’d look to this guy.  I enjoy his videos.  In the meantime,

Bonne journée!