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Items: money, books, Photoshop, satire, and sex

Some assorted items:

  • Money-game experiments show cultural variances in behavior: some economists decided to try some economic games/experiments with people other than the American college students who've traditionally been the subjects of these experiments. They found (gasp!) that people from different cultures play these economic games differently. I admit that I'm experiencing a little schadenfreude here; any experiment that casts doubt on hard-line evolutionary psychology is one I'm pleased by. (Shouldn't I be pleased by any experiment that casts light on the human experience, regardless of whether its results agree with me politically? Yes, I should, but in practice I'm more pleased by the ones that reinforce my worldview than by the ones that poke holes in it.) (Thanks, Josh!)
  • According to the Drexel student newspaper, the Triangle, University President Constantine Papadakis doesn't believe in books . (Last paragraph on that page, plus all of page 2 of the article.) Said Papadakis: "My understanding when I was first hired was that in three years I did not want any professor or graduate student to walk into the library to find a book, because this is a waste of your time unless you love books and are going to look at them." (Thanks, Will!)

  • Swarthmore faculty recommend one book apiece for first-year students.
  • The Infinite Cat Project features photos of cats looking at computer monitors showing pictures of other cats looking at computer monitors showing etc.
  • Being a drag queen isn't just for men any more.
  • A bunch of fake ads for Diebold (the company that makes the unreliable electronic voting machines), some of them not so great but some sharp and/or hilarious. I particularly like parts of the ones that start with these lines: "Yeah, right"; "Don't ask, don't tell"; "I'm sorry Dave." And I love the slogan "At Diebold, we're changing democracy, one vote at a time."
  • Another Photoshop contest: the sort of kids' books you wouldn't want to give to your kids. Like The Little Engine That Couldn't Because He Was a Worthless Bum Like Your Father and Horton Hires a Ho!
  • On the one hand, this commercial from the Greater Philadelphia Tourism & Marketing Corp. is probably better if you don't know what to expect when you watch it, so go watch it before you read the rest of this item. On the other hand, I imagine some of you won't go watch it unless you know what it is, so I'll note that it's part of a fascinating site called The Commercial Closet, featuring info on GLBT ads. For more about that particular ad, see their description page.
  • There's a long and fascinating article at New York Times Magazine (don't know whether it'll remain free for long, so go take a look quick if you're interested) about teen sex and "friends with benefits". A journalist talks with a bunch of teens, and learns that a lot of teen culture (at least among the teens interviewed) involves hanging out platonically with mixed-sex groups of friends, and also (separate from that) having occasional non-exclusive fairly casual sexual interactions ("hooking up") with both friends and non-friends. (Apparently in this context, a "hookup" often involves a girl going down on a boy, without reciprocation.) The article takes a sternly moralistic tone at times (the usual sort of adult disapproval of teen sexuality). Some good discussion in Arthur H's journal. I'm particularly intrigued by the conflicting claims in the article about girls: Most girls interviewed say that they enjoy hookups, but most adults interviewed say that whatever the girls say, they don't really enjoy hookups. So are girls fooling themselves and/or lying? Or is it that adults don't trust teen girls to be capable of making their own decisions, or of knowing what they really like and really want? In other words, is the common adult attitude about the situation a usefully protective attitude, or a harmfully patronizing one? I honestly don't know; maybe some of both, and probably it varies from person to person. Regardless of any of that, though, it seems clear to me that kids need more education about safer sex.
  • Speaking of sex with multiple partners, Wizbang is providing an archive of Washingtonienne's blog. I would say it's an example of how posting too much personal information online can get you in trouble, but since Washingtonienne seems fairly happy with the outcome, I guess it's not really a cautionary tale after all.
  • I'm not normally a Volokh fan, but he recently provided a good discussion of First Amendment issues wrt the Washingtonienne matter. One key point for me is that the First Amendment is not as all-encompassing as most Americans tend to believe; not all speech is protected.
  • A gay man and a straight woman review a male strip club, in an entertainingly catty manner.

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