Can Can Can »« Seeing the Ceiling

Monday Miscellany: Everything, Ems, Eggs

1. Three different relationship stories, one important principle.

Whoever injected our collective brain with the idea that love is something we earn by making ourselves want only smaller, appropriate, manageable things needs to come here and fight me, with fists. Because I want EVERYTHING. I want love, I want great sex, I want great kissing, I want to be able to relax and laugh with my love, I want us to both contribute financially to the household as well as we are able, and when the time comes I want to stand up in front of the people I care about and say “You bet I do” and sign that “meaningless” piece of paper. I want those things without apology. Without limit. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with any of you for wanting those things, too. I can’t promise you that someone is out there who wants those things and wants them with you (I don’t control that, just like I can’t make people kiss better or clean the toilet when it’s their turn) but my own life has given me lots of reasons to be optimistic on your behalf.

2. Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. Do bring analysis of artificial brains to a new video game that lets you pause time in gunfights.

3. Two Eggs

Because nobody likes to think about the fact 
that perhaps we are all playing with fire
that perhaps The American Dream 
(and by this I mean weight loss)
is nothing but a smokescreen.
That perhaps shrinking oneself successfully
does not actually move mountains,
paint your soul in bright gold,
or part the seas.

That perhaps making ourselves disappear
won’t fix the real problems
our good intentions will never
pave the path to heaven.

Tomorrow when I wake up
I am going to breathe in the morning air
and thank the universe for poppyseed muffins,
ice cream bars
whole milk
full fat butter

I am going to change the world

and fry two eggs for breakfast.

4. Desexualizing disability

5. I’ve been a hug supporter of the Many Labs replication project, so it’s interesting to see this play out: Simone Schnall, whose research didn’t replicate and Brent Donellan, who was part of the team testing it debate their respective sides. Two things I got out of this: nuance is important, and it’s a wonderful sign that this debate is accessible to anyone. These are blogs! This is High (Science) Drama that I can read and think about…and so can you! Two, I feel excellent about timing my ceiling effect post. If my post was confusing, Schnall gives a short and excellent summary:

Let me try to illustrate the ceiling effect in simple terms: Imagine two people are speaking into a microphone and you can clearly understand and distinguish their voices. Now you crank up the volume to the maximum. All you hear is this high-pitched sound (“eeeeee”) and you can no longer tell whether the two people are saying the same thing or something different. Thus, in the presence of such a ceiling effect it would seem that both speakers were saying the same thing, namely “eeeeee”.

5. I think the most interesting consideration Science of Eating Disorders has given me is a healthy respect for pro-ana [pro-anorexia] sites as harm-reduction techniques. Here’s a piece on men in pro-ana.

6. I wrote some about the Bems this year; both Sandra and Daryl. So, it’s with a heavy heart that I note that Sandra Bem died this week. Discussion of parenting decisions aside, this quite a loss gender research, feminism, and psychology.

While still a young researcher, Ms. Bem was an expert witness in two national sex discrimination cases, one of which started in Pittsburgh.

In 1969, NOW filed a complaint against The Pittsburgh Press for its practice of segregating its classified job listings under “Male Help Wanted” and “Female Help Wanted” columns.

The male column included many more opportunities for jobs and advancement while the female column contained only a narrow range of typical women’s jobs of the time.

To bolster NOW’s case, the Bems did a simple study in which they showed that female CMU students were more likely to apply for male-oriented jobs if the listings were alphabetical rather than categorized under sex.

The case ultimately ended up before the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1973 ruled 5-4 against the Press.

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