Did you hear the one about McCain, your wife, and the blackberry?

September 17, 2008

In his lust for power, Presidential candidate John McCain explains to the press how he likes to carry a first generation mobile phone around with him to prepare himself for when he gets the “Presidential Football” that will allow him to nuke the world

Being a world leader in technology, American politicians have constantly championed research and development in this area not only for business purposes, but also for matters of national security. Some of these politicians go as far as to take credit for inventions that shouldn’t really be credited to them. For instance, many allege that former Presidential candidate Al Gore claimed to invent the internet. This has led to cottage industry of jokes, especially in the online world. Common sense would suggest that in the future, political figures would hesitate to exaggerate their roles in technological development.

John McCain doesn’t live by those rules. Yesterday, John McCain’s economic advisor credited the candidate with the invention of the . From Wired.com:

Asked by campaign trail reporters what McCain’s experience as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee does to help him to understand the economy and lead the country through its current turmoil, Douglas Holtz-Eakin waved his BlackBerry in the air, according to The Politico.

“Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce committe,” Holtz-Eakin said. “So you’re looking at the miracle John McCain helped create and that’s what he did.”

Holtz-Eakin has been mocked by the blogosphere since he uttered those words.

But there is a political dimension at play here which few realize. McCain’s reintroduction of the “culture wars” in this election through his choice of Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential candidate leaves McCain in a bit of a dilemma: his invention is playing havoc with the stability of the family! Professionals Choosing Blackberry Over Spouse:

How much do tech-addicted workers love their PDAs? Let’s count the ways.

A new survey found that about 35 percent of professionals would pick their PDAs over their spouses if they had to choose.

Senator McCain, your invention is destroying the family.

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Infidelity in the Digital Age

September 11, 2008

Does internet porn qualify as cheating?

A running theme at Vodka/Soda Magazine is how technology has been trumpeted as an inherent good but always turns out differently than first imagined by the creators and standard bearers of that technology.

The internet was created as a form of communication that would be safe from foreign ears and it then morphed into things such as the world wide web, e-commerce, and web 2.0. The internet has also changed how we communicate. It has allowed us to communicate faster, better, and in many new forms from uploading videos to YouTube to chatting on MSN Messenger. It has changed the dynamic of our personal communications as emails have largely replaced “snail mail” and especially in how virtual worlds have been created with virtual communities of people who have never physically met in person.

With this shift in the paradigm of communications, new problems arise. For instance, is a harmless flirtation with someone you’ve met in a chatroom sincerely harmless? The two people may never have been in the same room and may never have actually spoken to one another, but nevertheless it does affect the integrity of their real life relationships should they have a significant other.

This new form of communication begs the question: how real are virtual worlds online? The virtual world is more real than the imagination, but less real than what is termed “the meatspace”. Imagining sexual dalliances is not considered cheating by anyone but the most rigid of moralists but sexual innuendo online or “cybersex” certainly does cross a line. The real question therefore must be: Is pornography adultery? Ross Douthat tries to answer that question in this month’s The Atlantic Monthly. Here’s an excerpt:

A second perspective treats porn as a kind of gateway drug—a vice that paves the way for more-serious betrayals. A 2004 study found that married individuals who cheated on their spouses were three times as likely to have used Internet pornography as married people who hadn’t committed adultery. In Tom Perrotta’s bestselling Little Children, the female protagonist’s husband—who is himself being cuckolded—progresses from obsessing over an online porn star named “Slutty Kay” to sending away for her panties to joining a club of fans who pay to vacation with her in person. Brink ley’s husband may have followed a similar trajectory, along with many of the other porn-happy celebrity spouses who’ve featured in the gossip pages and divorce courts lately.

click here to read the article in its entirety

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The Happy Sexless Marriage

September 8, 2008

Paul Cox and wife
Paul Cox has found his asexual soulmate

Our liberal society has no hesitation in pointing out that sexual relations is central to mature relationships, especially marriage. In much of the western world, a marriage contract is not binding until the act of consummation occurs. Failure to do so in the Roman Catholic faith is grounds for an annulment. So tied up in the idea of marriage is sex that the thought of no sex within a marriage automatically leads to the idea that the relationship has failed.

Can a sexless marriage be a happy marriage? Paul Cox emphatically replies that “yes, it can!”, especially when both individuals are asexuals. Read about his happy relationship in We’re Married, We Just Don’t Have Sex”:

One day I got an email from Amanda. She was asexual, living close by, and offered to show me around the neighbourhood. In case she was cruising for an asexual boyfriend, I responded with a warning that I was “vehemently anti-romantic”. But we met up anyway, for tea and ice-skating, and we took to meeting a lot.

I loved Amanda’s attitude to life and enjoyed hanging out with her. And she was pretty. At first I tried to treat it like any other friendship. Then I found myself travelling four miles downtown to deliver sandwiches when she told me she was hungry. Two months in, we were at a gig and it seemed like a good idea to hold her hand. I felt cautious about it but just wanted to. I wondered if I could. Then I found I couldn’t let go.

That evening ended with us agreeing that our friendship was an important thing. We wanted to commit for life. In the asexual community we don’t form relationships lightly. If you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with a person, there’s no reason to make such a special commitment.

read the rest of the article here

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Game Theory and the Eligible-Bachelor Paradox

July 23, 2008

These guys are wanted at parties but are difficult to find, according to game theory

These guys are wanted at parties, but are hard to find according to game theory

Guys: do you remember how difficult it was to get a woman when you were 18? It seemed that a few select guys would get more than their share while the rest of us got a few or none at all. And would you agree that the older you have grown the easier it has been to attract woman?

Is it because we become more appealing with age?

Do we look better?

Are we more interesting?

Is it an economic issue?

Or is it that there are less of us and more of them?

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