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March 23, 2010

Coffee Snorters:

Because the Princess is bored, she is toying with the idea of bringing back daily Coffee Snorters posts. Please try to control your excitement....

Le Whif. Les snorts.

The Science of love at first sight:

According to new research, that head-over-heels feeling we’ve all been swept up by at one time or another is likely to lead us seriously astray. Instead, say recent findings in the field of dating and mating, it’s the slow-burn attraction that builds over time—your growing crush on a slightly goofy coworker, not the instant lust you feel for that Johnny Depp look-alike across the room—that will lead you to true and lasting love.

Even more surprisingly, says Robert Epstein, PhD, author of the new book Making Love: How People Learn to Love and How You Can Too, having the sort of bond you see (and envy) in couples married half a century can actually be learned, whether you fell head over stilettos at the start of the relationship or felt merely lukewarm.

From a statistical standpoint it makes sense that couples whose relationship started off with fireworks would be more likely to gloss over major incompatibilities than those whose attraction grew over time. But in the end, what matters is commitment.

Just say no to pyramids. Remember:

Edward-Tufte-Kills-A-Kitten.png

CWCID

Every office should have one.

OK, guys... the jig is up. We see how you are...

Turns out, the vasectomy isn't just the official procedure of March Madness. It also supports a Tradition Unlike Any Other.

Utz's schedule before the Masters golf tournament has been booked for weeks.

"You're having a vasectomy because you don't want to have more young kids," Utz said, "so you're at that age when you're expected to help out around the house. (Right after a vasectomy) you really can't."

How conveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenient....

Who's looking out for your naughty bits? James Lipton's Beard, that's who:

LG and Young & Rubicam have enlisted James Lipton, and his great and powerful beard, for some amusing PSAs urging young texters to "give it a ponder" before sending pics of their junk across the interwebs

Common sense alert:

Robert Weis and Brittany C. Cerankosky... surveyed families with boys between the ages of 6 and 9 who were considering buying videogame consoles for their kids. Half of the kids got machines, and the other half didn’t.

The study showed that videogames became an immediate distraction, with the gamers spending less time studying and more time playing games. The gamer kids scored significantly lower on reading and writing tests after only four months.

Hint: it isn't videogames that are causing the problem. It's the parents.

Ding, dong - the witch is dead.

Posted by Cassandra at March 23, 2010 04:50 AM

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Comments

Hm. I'm going to take this love-at-first-sight thing with a grain of salt. The whole source seems to be "Robert Epstein, PhD."

So who would that be, I wondered?

"Robert Epstein, Ph.D., (born June 19, 1953) is an American psychologist, researcher, writer, and media professional whose primary contributions have been in the areas of creativity, artificial intelligence, peace, adolescence, and interpersonal relationships."

Not to be prejudiced against folks who were 18 years old in 1968, who went on to become psychologists, and who devoted their lives to 'peace, adolescence, and the media'!

Posted by: Grim at March 23, 2010 06:40 AM

Well, fifteen years old... so my math is bad before coffee. :)

Posted by: Grim at March 23, 2010 06:41 AM

Well now, if you'd inhaled your coffee this morning, you wouldn't be having these problems now *would* you??? :p

Posted by: Cassandra at March 23, 2010 06:52 AM

Seriously, it sounds like common sense that intense physical infatuation is likely to blind people to potential conflicts or incompatibility. It also seems like a no brainer that any relationship that starts off with sky high (and I would argue, unrealistic) expectations is going to suffer more of a "let down" as the excitement of the initial attraction gradually makes way for intimacy and companionship.

I had figured that one out by 8th or 9th grade. I don't think it's a bad idea to view that initial rush with a healthy amount of skepticism. That said, if love is a learned skill certainly even those who fell in love at first sight can learn? It may be harder, on average for many of them but then again they may be more motivated.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 23, 2010 06:57 AM

Yeah, but there's an all/most problem in his approach.

Let's say that 999 of 1,000 people who think they've had 'love at first sight' are, in fact, merely infatuated. However, 1 in 1,000 people have in fact experienced love at first sight.

This methodology will filter out that one case as noise, and declare with 99.9% confidence that there is no such thing as love at first sight. In doing so, however, it's 'marked out' a real phenomenon -- indeed, the very phenomenon that it set out to study.

That love at first sight was rare was never in dispute. The question is whether it exists, and how to tell it from mere infatuation (which is certainly common). That requires more than a simple statistical model; you need to start by trying to develop markers that would let you distinguish the cases, and then see if those markers turn up.

Most of the ones I can think of would have to be judged over time -- so that, in other words, the things we'd expect to be true would have to be true several years on as well as at the first few moments. However, once we'd identified some cases, we could compare them to see if they were alike in other ways that might allow us to distinguish earlier.

Personally, I expect that the confusion is mostly due to the rude nature of our science at this part. Love and infatuation are different mental states, and ought to be distinguishable once we have better abilities to distinguish just what's going on in the brain.

Posted by: Grim at March 23, 2010 07:31 AM

in re the office accouterment: reminds me of what I used to tell my grade-school-age daughter when we'd see a couple of large jacks in the yard: "Ooh--breakfast and a pair of slippers."

"Da-a-a-ddy...."

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at March 23, 2010 07:51 AM

When a member of my platoon was getting married and asked me to escort his bride's former co-worker back to the train station after the reception. I had only been in country for less than a month and was planning on going to the clubs that night. To "fit in" I agreed reluctantly.

The wedding was a wedding, I was bored and second guessing my decision. The reception was held off post in a bar that was "claimed" by my unit. The groom met me outside a little upset thinking I had skipped out. I had dragged my feet, and was late. When we walked in the first thing I saw was this beautiful young lady sitting alone at a table. My throat tightened, my mouth went dry, and my knees were kind of wobbly. I turned to the groom and said, "Man that is the girl I'd marry over there." I figured she was married to someone else in the unit and tried to not think of her. We walked over to his bride who I congratulated and the three of us walked over to the young lady at the table. The bride and the young lady exchanged some words in Korean. The young lady stood up, said "Hi", and shook my hand. It was at that point I felt sick to my stomach.

"Hi" was about the extent of her English and my Korean still isn't very good, but we sat at the table and talked, not understanding the other until the groom reminded me that the trains stopped running after a certain time (can't remember what that time was anymore). The lady spoke to the bride as I got a cab. My ears were ringing during the short ride to the train station but she kept smiling until she waved as she got on the train. I had trouble sleeping for a couple of nights then the groom return and handed me a piece of paper. He told me that his wife had asked him to give me the paper and that if I wanted to see the young lady again that the paper contained the instructions to meet her. Two days later on a Saturday morning, after being on duty from 6:00 P.M. to 6:00 A.M. I went to the train station.

Many years and three children later my knees still get weak the first time I see her.

Posted by: crazy mike at March 23, 2010 08:01 AM

James Lipton's Beard better *not* be looking after my naughty bits.

Ever see what a 27-inch zipper can do to facial hair when it's cycled up and down about twice per second?

Vegematic time, babes...

Posted by: BillT at March 23, 2010 08:04 AM

I love that story, Mike :)

Grim, I think it's pretty hard to conclusively "prove" that something doesn't exist by sampling. The best you can hope for is to give people some idea of frequency.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 23, 2010 08:08 AM

I like to hear my wife's version, especially when she ends it with "If I would have understood English he would have never got me. I thought the man in the uniform was asking if this was the person following me."

Actually our wedding was held off post in a Korean church. The document processing was handled for the most part in Korean. I was the one that was "didn't speak the language", but that didn't matter. Still when she tells that to someone we just met I get some mean looks. I just respond "Well she could have said yes or I would have had to bring her home in my duffle bag. I wasn't let her get away." My wife laughs every time.

Posted by: crazy mike at March 23, 2010 08:43 AM

I've formed only a few deep romantic attachments, but they were all fairly rapid. The first couple didn't work out. The most recent, to my husband 30 years ago, took hold after some serious challenges early on. The initial "click" became steadily less important while it was being replaced by the ties that have knit us together over the years. Also, for me, at least, the initial click wasn't primarily about looks, but some kind of intuition about how we saw the things that mattered most deeply to us, which has proved remarkably accurate even after all this time. I'm not talking about religion or politics here, but more about what your core notion of "home" is. We were sending and receiving on the same wavelength, and the loud and repeated message was "nesting, nesting, nesting."

In the long run, it's more of a decision sometimes than an involuntary event, but it's always both in some degree. It works for us because it's the same for him: an assumption that this is permanent and it's up to us to make it work. Even when we're ready to drown each other in the pond, life simply is unthinkable without each other.

Posted by: Texan99 at March 23, 2010 12:02 PM

...for me, at least, the initial click wasn't primarily about looks, but some kind of intuition about how we saw the things that mattered most deeply to us, which has proved remarkably accurate even after all this time.

That's exactly what I remember feeling the moment when I fell for my husband. I also remember thinking, "He makes me feel safe", which is odd because I can't ever remember feeling unsure or unsafe (much less wanting anyone to protect me). :p

I just know that I reacted to him on a different level right from the start. I guess the difference between me and Grim is that it would never have occurred to me to call this "love at first sight". I don't believe you can love someone until you really know them well.

I loved my husband in one sense on the day I married him. In another, I would argue that I never really loved him until at least a decade into our marriage. There was a definite mental shift involved that I can't quite describe.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 23, 2010 12:21 PM

My husband and I laid our beady little eyes on each other and that was it...26 years ago.

As to snorting coffee, every now and then we get sent Gevalia coffee samples in the mail. I sniffed one once. I passed out. When I came to, the house was cleaned, the laundry was done and the children were doing a version of 'Silent Scream.'

Oh, and dinner was even prepared.

Posted by: Cricket at March 23, 2010 02:05 PM

I'm going to "borrow" the powerpoint graphic and use it the next time I have to give a talk at a conference! :)

Posted by: LittleRed1 at March 23, 2010 02:47 PM

Lust is a firecracker, Flash! "BANG" and it's gone. The slow deep fires -- that can catch in an instant -- they can burn for centuries. I met Spice when she was a dorm administrator who had charge of issuing keys for the dorm I lived in, across the street. We bickered and squabbled over things for years before we even went on a date. (We still do; the last week has not been very quiet in our home, on either side!)

Must have been a decade ago, now, that we were at a 25th wedding anniversary of a couple who lived in that dorm (the one she lived in when I met her.) One of the other girls from there congratulated me on finally getting married to Spice, claiming that she had always known we would. I said that that couldn't be true, and she asked if I'd ever noticed that none of the other girls in the dorm had ever accepted a date with me. Thinking back, I realized it was true. Lots of dates, but the SC girls always said "No, thank you" -- except for Spice -- and admitted as such.

"We all knew you two were meant for each other. The way you bickered about everything, you just didn't know, either of you!" I mumbled something, and another one said "It was obvious. You were a perfect gentleman, you'd wait for us, opening a door, you'd flirt with us and we were not ladies but princesses. When you opened the door for Spice, though, from the smile on your face, it was like she was a goddess! We were not even on the planet with the two of you."

I hope that all of you are as happy as we are.

Posted by: htom at March 23, 2010 06:12 PM

I'm still waiting to know what it's like to be in love. I'm tired of waiting. Sure would be nice to have someone to come home and vent to after having a crappy day like I had today, among other things...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at March 23, 2010 08:04 PM

Ding, dong - the witch is dead.

I hope that's right...

Posted by: camojack at March 24, 2010 12:31 AM

"Well, fifteen years old... so my math is bad before coffee. :)"

Try 6 games of chess, 10 minutes each side, in a row. Not as bad as tournaments, then I'd felt like I had been wrestling Ted Kennedy at the end of a really bad night. I could cheat in the fight, but he's already dead.

"Not to be prejudiced against folks who were 18 years old in 1968, who went on to become psychologists, and who devoted their lives to 'peace, adolescence, and the media'!"

Grudge match.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 25, 2010 01:03 PM

"I had trouble sleeping for a couple of nights then the groom return and handed me a piece of paper. He told me that his wife had asked him to give me the paper and that if I wanted to see the young lady again that the paper contained the instructions to meet her."

Now that's a good leadership example there. Taking care of people, even when they aren't your people but just somebody your husband knew on the off chance that it could help some other woman you knew, is definitely an alpha characteristic.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 25, 2010 01:14 PM

"Personally, I expect that the confusion is mostly due to the rude nature of our science at this part. Love and infatuation are different mental states, and ought to be distinguishable once we have better abilities to distinguish just what's going on in the brain."

Human ability, the computer in the brain and body, can distinguish emotions in others. But that would make it an art rather than a science if it was limited to the skill of an observer. Not to mention wrecking the entire non-prejudicial hypothesis and data verification methodology.

It's relatively simple to get someone infatuated with you. Just hit certain key areas. Interrogators have the same skill, although obviously used for different reasons. Charismatic politicians, again, same deal there. Con artists, again same there.

The human construct is not so much a state of passive and rigid forms as it is a fluid dynamic. As such, emotions cannot be separated from our experience and our experience cannot be snap shot in time. Time compression can be done, in order to compress an experience into a few short frames, such as love on first sight, but the experience naturally doesn't stop there. It keeps going on.

Because this is an experience, a length of space and time, one can manipulate it via external forces. Because our experience isn't isolated to our own mental fantasy scape, other people can affect us on levels we are not conscious of. Well, most people aren't conscious of. This applies to relationship dynamics as well as to dynamics of real violence. Much is unsaid and communicated through the back way bandwidth channels.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 25, 2010 01:24 PM

"I had figured that one out by 8th or 9th grade. I don't think it's a bad idea to view that initial rush with a healthy amount of skepticism."

People have a hard time figuring out that obama lied, let alone what other people are doing that aren't on the youtube. They're just not that good at reading humans. Nobody taught them. If ever there was any oral tradition on this, it was lost or made to be rare.

Intentionally, I might add. This kind of knowledge is like the power of a gun. Dangerous to allow the people to have it when the elites can better utilize it to make the 'best decisions for the people'.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 25, 2010 02:23 PM

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