“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Noticing, Staring, Oogling, Leering and Licking Your Lips.

"Honestly, I hardly even paid attention."

Study: beautiful women, men have eyes for each other 2007-09-19 19:26:17

BEIJING, Sept. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- If your boyfriend or girlfriend has eyes for beautiful members of the opposite sex, don't get jealous, it's only natural, a new study reveals.

Participants, all heterosexual men and women, fixated on highly attractive people within the first half-second of seeing them. Single folks ogled the opposite sex, of course. But those in committed relationships more often eyed beautiful people of the same sex.

"If we're interested in finding a mate, our attention gets quickly and automatically stuck on attractive members of the opposite sex," explained study leader Jon Maner of Florida State University. "If we're jealous and worried about our partner cheating on us, attention gets quickly and automatically stuck on attractive people of our own sex because they are our competitors."

The basis for Maner's research is the theory that evolution has primed our brains to subconsciously respond to signs of physical attractiveness in others, both to find a mate and to guard him or her from potential competitors.

But this evolutionary trick is not without potential romantic peril. Even some people in committed relationships had trouble tearing their eyes away from attractive members of the opposite sex. On the other hand, fixating on attractive people of the same sex as rivals could contribute to feelings of insecurity.

"When it comes to concerns about infidelity, men are very attentive to highly attractive guys because presumably their wives or girlfriends may be too," he said.

Maner's experiments, which flashed pictures of attractive men and women and average-looking men and women in front of participants and measured the time it took to shift their attention away from the image, surprisingly showed little difference between the sexes.

"Women paid just as much attention to men as men did to women," Maner said. The study is detailed in the September issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.


  1. DR made me do it, saying that looks can be deceiving.

  2. I needed to get Henry Waxman's picture out of my head.

  3. Just can't keep your mind off the fishin'

  4. When I was pretending to be a lesbian I would have made an appropriate comment here. :-) But play time is over and I want to do some serious blogging now.

  5. Even deceiving can be deceiving.

  6. By the way, 2164th, if you popped those balloons she would look more real.

  7. Seriously, I feel bad saying it, but I'm so glad I'm not Waxman. Wouldn't be able to show my face in public. Start up the first male pro-Burka movement.

    Off topic: Interesting incident at work today where the Canadian two seats over began..."You know Achmadinejad is right..."

    Expected a doozy was coming, but even I was surprised by "...Israel really should be moved somewhere else. I was going to write a paper about it. You just need to give them a part of a US state."

    So for a second there I'm stunned, because this person's been talking about Russian politics most of the week and he's relatively well educated. I'm trying not to laugh out loud, but there's about a thousand or so reasons going through my head of just what's wrong with this idea and I am wondering in real-time what's going to came out of my mouth.

    What came out is: "...and why are we the lucky winners? How about Canada?"

    "Well, I think that'd be okay too, but the climate is more similar here."

    Needless to say, I was sold on the idea.

    Also made my first call into talk radio tonight. I was so shocked that it went through that I almost hung up, but it was fun. Definitely doing that again.

  8. Hey, since it would bring peace to the Middle East, Warizistan, Kashmir, the Non-Genocide in Darfur, etc,
    Why Not?

    Dramatic Dashcam: Screaming 15-Year-Old Girl Pepper Sprayed After Biting Officer

    15 Seconds of Flame: iPod Ignites in Man’s Pocket

  9. If that guy suceeds in creating artificial life, will the reality shows make an exception for it?

  10. Dennis Miller explains his beard by citing another comics self-deprecating joke:
    "I'm so chinless, I can't put on a pillowslip without assistance."

  11. Arnold for Senate!
    Grey Davis' last Budget:
    $95 Billion
    Arnold's latest:
    $140 Billion, financed with Bonds!
    Another George Bush Fiscal Conservative.

  12. The eyes go roaming, reconnoitering for the heart....


    In Voltairs's time there were 25 virtuous women in France, and even fewer virutous men.

  13. Tucker Carlson Enters Wesley Clark's Orwellian Universe:
    - Ratings for Political Discourse!

    Carlson: "Here's part of what you wrote in the Huffington Post. You said this: 'Since Rush Limbaugh won't listen to us, we're going directly to Congress, which can prevent him from disrespecting and censoring the voices of our soldiers.'
    Now, with all due respect, that's almost Orwellian, General. You're accusing him of censorship and, at the same time, attempting to censor him by taking him off the air?"
    "I want to know if you're going to apply that same standard of censoring Limbaugh to the rest of public broadcasting in this country, and there's a lot of it.
    A lot of entities get money from the federal government to put opinions on the air.

    You think Congress ought to decide what opinions are acceptable and which aren't and yank the unacceptable ones off the air?
    That's what you seem to be saying."

    There are standards for propriety in public broadcasting, are there not?
    I mean there's X-rated,there's R-rated in public broadcasting

    CARLSON: This is a political belief!

    CLARK: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. We should be talking about the facts; we should be having a good discourse in America.
    I don't see why there can't be standards for political discourse.
    I'd like to see A-rated, B-rated, and C-rated --

    CARLSON: I'll tell you why. I'll tell you why.

    CLARK: Senator Reid was talking about what Limbaugh said about our soldiers.

    CARLSON: No, no. He said Rush Limbaugh is unpatriotic.

    CLARK: What we need to do is we need to be rating the whole standard of political discourse in America.

    CARLSON: Well, then -- will you call out Harry Reid? Okay --

    CLARK: So let's raise it.

    CARLSON: I'm asking you to raise it. You say that that was unfair of Reid to say that.

    CLARK: Let's have the Congress get into this issue.

    CARLSON: Oh, this is just political nonsense.

    CLARK: This is not political nonsense.

    CARLSON: Yes, it is.

    Limbaugh on Clark:
    Wesley Clark, what's really scary is this guy was the general at NATO. He ran NATO.
    Wesley Clark has had over a week now to get himself properly informed on this issue and has not done so.
    He's either unable to, or is unwilling to, or doesn't care about the truth.

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