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Monday Miscellany: NPR, Non-monogamy, Neurocomic

1. I grew up getting my news from NPR. So, uh, this was terrifying. (Bonus points if you read it in the anchor’s voices)

2. There’s been some excellent writing on aspects of polyamory recently. From Mitchell on jealousy, and Ferret, on compersion.

I look at compersion as a nice-to-have, a goal you should strive towards if you can do it. But “compersion” is often used as a club to smack people down for having feelings, and too many people have feelings of jealousy or fear or concern or even outrage to just dismiss them wholesale.

If all you ever feel when your lover’s off smooching someone else is happiness? That’s awesome! I envy you! I, however, often feel happiness mixed with fear that I’ll be replaced, and jealousy that New Guy can do things for her that I can’t (or else why would she be dating a carbon copy of me?), and it’s difficult enough to get past those feelings without the extra layer of “Oh, I must be bad at this if I have doubts.”

3. One of the refrains I heard a fair bit growing up was that science said that having premarital sex was bad because oxytocin! Shockingly, that’s a gross oversimplification. A better one, and an interesting article on the whole:

The hormone oxytocin is usually associated with positive traits like trust, cooperation, and empathy, but scientists have now found that it can make people more dishonest when their lies serve the interests of their group.

“This is the best evidence yet that oxytocin is not the ‘moral molecule,’” said Carsten de Dreu from the University of Amsterdam, who co-led the study, which was published today (March 31) in PNAS. “It doesn’t make people more moral or immoral. It shifts people’s focus from themselves to their group or tribe.”

4. I have lots of feelings about how children in the developing world are used as pawns and props: see also, adoption in non-Hague abiding countries. But it’s particularly apparent in the responses to World Vision, a support-a-child org which briefly announced it would employ married LGB staffers, then reversed its decision.

Within a day of the initial announcement, more than 2,000 children sponsored by World Vision lost their financial support. And with more and more individuals, churches and organizations threatening to do the same, the charity stood to lose millions of dollars in aid that would otherwise reach the poor, sick, hungry and displaced people World Vision serves.

So World Vision reversed course.

Stearns told The New York Times that some people, satisfied with the reversal, have called World Vision headquarters to ask, “Can I have my child back?” as though needy children are expendable bargaining chips in the culture war against gay and lesbian people.

5. Neurocomic: a bound, illustrated story of how the brain works.

Comments

  1. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    The hormone oxytocin is usually associated with positive traits like trust, cooperation, and empathy, but scientists have now found that it can make people more dishonest when their lies serve the interests of their group.

    Well that puts a new spin on “God is love”.

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