Monday, March 30, 2009

Sex, Drugs, and Twitter

The title is egregiously titillating, yes, although maybe the three may actually encompass human nature pretty well. Time today only for piggy-backing on Psychology Today, which has several interesting posts.

1. After I touched on the ambiguity of marijuana a few days ago, I see that Stanton Peele discusses the prospects of legalizing that drug (at least), in contrast to President Obama's dismissal of the idea. I am not voicing an opinion, just providing a link; and to state the obvious, legalization is no guarantee of benignity (see alcohol, cigarettes).

2. Satoshi Kanazawa presents evidence, furthering the sum total of unfairness in the world, that contrary perhaps to dumb-blonde stereotypes, there is a modest but real positive correlation between attractiveness and intelligence in both men and women. Superficiality as profundity.

3. Moses Ma considers the psychology of Twitter (basically, we evolved over eons in groups of 30 to 70 relatively close peers, and we're continually trying to recreate that in our socially deprived culture, but one can have too much of a good thing and become, if successful, a celebrity, and if unsuccessful, a narcissist). Actually I may give in to Twitter, as part of my slow descent into decadent digital distraction, and as a 140-character pithiness challenge. Blogs encourage prolixity. Bad.


vanderleun said...

I resisted the Twitter borg long and longer. But last week I gave in and find it helps me record, for my own uses, items on my page that either aren't worth a post but are worth a mention, or items that will yield a post.

Since I track over 150 pages daily this is, for now, a boon.

But we shall see.

Anonymous said...

Even though marajuana legalisation is the more socially/economically/rationally correct option, governments will resist on account of not appearing hyprocritical after years of sustained drug policy abuse. So much so, that they prefer to become grotesque caricatures of their ideological stances rather than give in to what's mutually beneficial.

On superficiality and profundity: psychological abuse in the form of chronic enforcement of one's attractiveness from an early age provides the fuel/self-esteem/confidence for motivation to achieve/succeed, and vice versa. Confident people are treated as more capable and so become more capable. I think it's called the 'Pygmalion Effect'- when people behave in line with others' expectations.

And attractive criminals get lighter sentences than their uglier counterparts. Because pretty people are GOOD and ugly people are EVIL...

I see twittering as a social revolt against the traditional/cliched markers of celebrity/fame/substance. Meaning/worth/value in the ordinary, which ultimately, is not so ordinary. Micro-realities can be stranger than the macro-fictions of Hollywood fakeness? Maybe...or maybe everyone wants the licence to create their own tidy parallel pithy fictions alongside their deterministic empty lives.

Retriever said...

On the unfair correlation between attractiveness and intelligence, I think the reason why is the ability of highly intelligent and successful men to attract beautiful mates. The kids may not be quite as smart as Dad, but if this happens over generations, you end up with a smart, good-looking brood.

I will now retreat from a shower of daggers, sexist jerk that I am for even thinking of such an explanation...

A parting item: if we define good looks as symmetry, it has long been known (can't find link just now) that good looks are an expression of good health and good diet. So people go for the good looking one, because the likeliest to produce healthy young. If health affects physical appearance so,mightn't it also affect intelligence at least a little.

Now I really must retreat.