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Salon XXXIX...

Salon XXXIX
November 10, 2013
Salon Headquarters


1. How do you feel when you read sociobiological evolutionary theories of contemporary social patterns (e.g.,Monogamy evolved as a mating strategy)? I tend to react negatively but wondered if others feel a sort of Ah-Ha moment when they read these sorts of research accounts. (Brad)

In general, any of these type studies that start off with “...the male and the female...,” I think, “Oh this doesn't apply to me,” and I stop reading it. And ever since I decided that I was no longer going to be guilted into the piety of monogamy, which was circa 2003 and after being in monogamous relationships for a total of 22.5 years, I can't hear the word without thinking, “My god, how unnatural is that?” What could possibly be natural about eating the same meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of your time here on the planet? It just seems bizarre to me.

2. I've watched numerous videos capturing human development across the years, high speed, time-lapsed, musically-augmented, and wondered how they make others feel when they watch them (e.g.,http://vimeo.com/40448182, http://youtu.be/Vc_PU3D3QNE, http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/the-most-seamless-timelapse-of-an-aging-human-face. I also wonder how the people who share the lapses expect others to feel when they watch them. (Brad)

I almost always exclusively look at them from a technical production perspective. If I were to do one, I could see me marking an outline of my head on a background and making sure I used that every time. I would also have Google calendar entries to remind me when to take the pictures. In the three examples you've cited, I dismissed the first one as “careless,” and liked the other two more in the order you've listed them. Again, if I were to do one, mine would probably be more like the second one, while ideally, if I had the time, patience, and skills it would look like the last one. And whenever I see one that goes from youth to old age, I always think about The Riddle of the Sphinx.

3. I knew Anna would want me to post this LinkedIn post for discussion: Say Goodbye to MBTI, the Fad That Won't Die. (Brad)

There are at least two huge red flags to me in this article. First and foremost, anyone who writes about the MBTI and referring to it as a “test,” has already lost their ethos on the subject. Next ethos issue, anyone who writes an entire article about the MBTI without mentioning that it is based on C.G. Jung's Theory of Psychological Type has either not educated him- or herself or is writing with a bias. Also, this writer clearly doesn't get that your MBTI indicator is a preference indicator, not a “this is the only way you can be” predictor. This writer claims: “In social science, we use four standards: are the categories reliable, valid, independent, and comprehensive? For the MBTI, the evidence says not very, no, no, and not really.“ What are his sources cited to back up these claims? Anyone is welcome to borrow my “Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator,” which contains citations about Jung's type theory, as well an entire chapter on reliability and validity studies and results. I'm willing to bet that the author of this article did not shell out $195 to buy this book, much less read it. That's all.

4. Is Google Wrecking Our Memory? Nope. It’s much, much weirder than that. I found this article comforting. Are you, or someone close to you, "obsessed" with a topic that gives you/them great retaining power on that topic? (John)

I love this notion of “transactive memory”: the art of storing information in the people around us. With regards to great retaining power on a particular subject or topic, Bob has an absolutely phenomenal memory around songs and singers (e.g., who had a hit with them, what other artists might have done them, what year it was a hit, if it won a Grammy), as well as around movies (e.g., who was in them, what Oscars for what years were garnered by them) and movie stars (e.g., what movies they were in, what they got Oscars for in what years and films).

5. Dances. Middle school, Jr High, High School--did you go to dances? Formal? Informal? Did you like them? Why or why not? (Sarah)

I liked them from a liking to dance perspective, but not from a social perspective, as I already knew I was gay then, and those things just reminded me that I was, which was not a good thing. The last dance I went to was my Junior Prom. I went to the State Bowling Tournament instead of my Senior Prom.

6. Possible dramatic reading of my favorite fall rant: IT’S DECORATIVE GOURD SEASON, MOTHERFUCKERS... (Sarah)

What an absolute hoot. This makes me want to write something similar about some pet peeve of my own. Perhaps a future blog entry.

7. Did you ever go to a house party with hundreds of attendees? Anna and I were just discussing this! Check out this story about a party gone out of control and the response from the homeowner. Read This Amazing Letter Addressed To Parents Wanting to Sue Ex-NFL Player After Their Kids Wrecked His House (Video)... The corresponding website, helpmesave300 is interesting but so poorly written and designed, that I am not even going to include the link to it. John will lose his mind if he reads it. (Sarah)

LOL! Re: losing my mind. I don't recall ever having attended such a party. And if I did, I don't remember it, so it couldn't have been that big of a deal.

8. Reactions to this statement, which I saw on promotional materials for a mind-mapping software package: Creative learning does not involve adapting to new information, it involves adapting new information to your mindset. (Anna)

At first I dismissed it as, what some might call <sarcasm>MBTI-like psychobabble</sarcasm>, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it had potential, with one modification. I would change the word “adapting” to “integrating” or “incorporating,” to augment your current mindset or worldview. I do think that a big element of learning involves forgoing preconceived notions that you were either taught or just picked up of your own volition over the years.

9. We probably have enough to talk about already, but I can't stop myself from sharing this article on the NFL's ongoing battle with its own culture . I know none of us really follows football, but this is some seriously compelling writing and I know we can talk about that! This is a writer who gets his audience, for damn sure.

The most interesting part of this to me was the discussion about how everyone recognizes (or empathizes with) a physical problem, but as soon as it's a mental problem, a whole new set of criteria kicks in. Fear. It seems all fear-based to me.

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