Thursday, May 31, 2007
Porn, at worst, makes you think your partner is fat, blemished, and ugly. Either sophisticated intellect or raw animal desire (but which one? can both work, or do they operate against each other?) can get you over that hurdle. But what is to get one over being "a marital purist"? After all, to think a marriage can be perfect feels like such a noble sentiment.
Maybe porn (of all things) plays a positive role here. It convinces its viewers that desire is invariably laden with ambiguities and contradictions. Might even the stupid porn users be capable of picking this up?
If a New Yorker is two minutes late, their companions are tapping their feet and tearing their hair, because small delays can quickly translate into big ones during off peak hours.
Here is more. In car-heavy, traffic-jam prone, but rarely a sig alert with all lanes closed suburbia, late people, if indeed they are late, are almost always just about twenty minutes late.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Peer effects, as passed down from older generations, are the obvious mechanism for how these faces get shaped. So sometimes when I walk around in other countries I see, in my mind's eye, the older people pulling on the faces of the younger. All over the street, I see face-pulling cosmic rays emanating from eyes of the older brothers, yanking and tugging on the skin of the younger brothers.
Does it ever hurt? How many other body parts get shaped this way?
I remember reading somewhere that the laugh tracks that they use on most TV shows are sometimes 50 years old, and that [cue spooky music] you're laughing along with dead people. And I was just idly sitting here thinking, really? Is it true? Or is it an urban myth? I just can't believe that laughing then and laughing now are exactly the same.
It seems to be true, read the comments.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Kierkegaard was himself a pastor, though he retired from church work in the later part of his life.
The difference between the theater and the church is essentially this: the theater honorably and honestly acknowledges being what it is. The church, however, is a theater that in every way dishonestly seeks to conceal what it is.
An example. On the theater poster it always states plainly: money will not be returned. The church, this solemn holiness, would shrink from the offensiveness, the scandalousness, of placing this directly over the church door, or having it printed under the list of preachers on Sundays... The actor is an honest man who says outright: I am an actor. Never for any price, never for any price would one get a pastor to say that.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
But he fought long and hard.
Is there any chance they simply split up over this episode? Are there any scenarios under which this has improved their relationship? Would an early quitting have caused them to split up, or suffer several very hard years, due to the feeling of asymmetric sacrifice? How does that compare to the asymmetric sacrifices they must suffer now?
I've thought far more about these issues than all that conflict of interest stuff or whether W. was ever a good World Bank president. Does that make me crazy? Why is no one asking whether Coase Theorem applies within their relationship?
Friday, May 4, 2007
Once a couple have their own, they can dispense with the rentals. In the meantime, they are building their relationship around the presence of a child. They know what to expect.
Alternatively, one might vow to only date people who already have kids.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Great sex may be a negative predictor. The less frequent and thrilling the sex, the easier it is to give it up and focus on the kid.
So what are the predictors?
1. Lack of other common interests, beyond the child. That makes it easier for the child to be the new center of attention.
2. Religion, and the belief that child-rearing is essential to God's plan, and not just in terms of agnotheist Bayesian expected value.
3. Ability to talk oneself out of building resentments, which are inevitable.
4. Clearly defined division of labor within the household.
5. Similar taste in television programs and/or childrens' movies.
6. Resources to hire outside help, or nearby friendly and grandchild-loving parents.
I suspect #2 and #3 are most important on this list, maybe #6 too.
If a friend doubts herself, often it is better to respond by doubting that same friend all the more.
It is as if the friend needs a fixed amount of doubt. The more you carry that load, the less the friend has to doubt herself to reach the fixed level of doubt needed to produce preemptive protection and reassurance.