Lipsticked Kiss of the Spiderwoman?

19 09 2008

All very interesting but I probably didn’t respond to this study the way the researcher intended. I was trying to figure out which politician best fit his various threat pictures. Who would be the dazed and bloodied guy as president, who would be the spiderwoman? 😉

Politics & Society
Could Political Views Be Driven By Biology?
by Nell Greenfieldboyce

Morning Edition, September 19, 2008 · In a recent television interview, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin stressed that she did not blink when Sen. John McCain asked her to be his running mate. But a new study suggests that people with conservative views on certain political issues may be more likely to blink hard when startled.

John Hibbing, a researcher at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has been studying whether people’s political beliefs might be linked to biological traits such as their startle reflex.

. . .The volunteers sat in front of a computer with sensors on their fingers, to measure skin moisture — that’s a kind of stress test. They also had sensors under their eyes, to measure how hard they blinked. The researchers told them to watch as some images flashed on the computer screen.

“Some of these pictures are very soothing, like a sunset or a bunny rabbit,” says Hibbing, “and others are quite threatening.”

The threatening pictures included a dazed man covered with blood, an open wound with maggots, and a large spider crawling across someone’s face. . .

Advertisements

Actions

Information

14 responses

21 09 2008
Crimson Wife

Interesting- I would’ve predicted that liberals would be more likely to be upset by disturbing images than conservatives. At least that’s been my observation of how people I know react.

I went to see the movie Schindler’s List with a bunch of my high school classmates. Those who were more liberal found the movie much more upsetting than those who were more conservative. Some of that may have been due to gender differences (since the girls did tend to be more liberal than the boys) but even looking at just one gender there was a noticeable difference in empathy levels.

I do wonder, though, about the researcher’s choice of issues to define who’s a conservative and who’s a liberal. Not all conservatives are hawks or in favor of the death penalty or the Patriot Act. What about the whole Ron Paul wing of the Republican party? They hate the war because they’re isolationists and hate the Patriot Act because they feel that it’s Big Brother intruding on their privacy. And many of them are also anti-death penalty as part of their pro-Life convictions. But they’re definitely not liberals either…

21 09 2008
JJ

Fair point — liberal and conservative as labels aren’t very useful in pinning down a clear meaning we all automatically understand and agree on, are they? 🙂

21 09 2008
JJ

Here’s a news story about what Florida Republicans fear right now — interesting!

23 09 2008
Nance Confer

And, apparently, we are all easily threatened — http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/23/fifth-grader-suspended-for-wearing-anti-obama-shirt/

Poor kid, having to fight Dad’s battles.

Nance

23 09 2008
Crimson Wife

The kid’s 11- certainly old enough in my mind to form his own opinion about whether or not to wear the shirt in question. I don’t have a problem with middle or high school kids getting involved with politics. It’s when parents make young children wear a political t-shirt, drag them to a political rally, etc. that I believe it crosses the line. And it doesn’t matter to me whether or not I happen to agree with the parent’s position. Until the child is mature enough to be able to form his or her own opinion on the matter, it’s inappropriate to involve him/her in politics.

23 09 2008
JJ

He’s in the fifth grade, presumably with other fifth graders. Many of whom surely will be disturbed and upset by any shirt that says “terrorist” on it, whether they understand the rest of its “opinion” or not — and I put opinion in quotes here because it’s not the word I would choose to describe an intentionally inflammatory smear.

23 09 2008
JJ

To the earlier point about liberal and conservative, I read something today (David Brooks in the NYT) that said we’d tried a liberal establishment and then a conservative one, and so now we were embarking on what would become “progressive corporatism”:

The government will be much more active in economic management (pleasing a certain sort of establishment Democrat). Government activism will provide support to corporations, banks and business and will be used to shore up the stable conditions they need to thrive (pleasing a certain sort of establishment Republican). Tax revenues from business activities will pay for progressive but business-friendly causes — investments in green technology, health care reform, infrastructure spending, education reform and scientific research.

If you wanted to devise a name for this approach, you might pick the phrase economist Arnold Kling has used: Progressive Corporatism. We’re not entering a phase in which government stands back and lets the chips fall. We’re not entering an era when the government pounds the powerful on behalf of the people. We’re entering an era of the educated establishment, in which government acts to create a stable — and often oligarchic — framework for capitalist endeavor.

After a liberal era and then a conservative era, we’re getting a glimpse of what comes next.

23 09 2008
JJ

Are we now a free society, or a fear society?

How do you know when it is war on citizens? When there are mass arrests, journalists are jailed, the opposition is infiltrated, rights are stripped and leaders start to ignore the rule of law.

I am not telling you this because it’s about my life. I am telling you this because it is about your life — whoever you are, Conservative or Liberal, independent or evangelical. Your politics will not protect you in a police state. History shows that nothing protects you in a police state. This is not about my fear and anxiety; it is about what awaits you and everyone you love unless you see this for what it is:

Scharansky divided nations into “fear societies” and “free societies.”

Make no mistake: Sarah “Evita” Palin is Rove and Cheney’s cosmetic rebranding of their fascist push; she will help to establish a true and irreversible “fear society” in this once free once proud nation. For God’s sake, do not let her; do not let them.

24 09 2008
JJ

Btw, FavD found this the other day and since it’s hers, I of course give it great weight! 🙂

Sarah Palin and Her Miss Alaska Beauty Pageant Experience (Ever Wonder Who She Came in Second To?)

p.s. for some strange reason FavD has a Facebook group about Sarah Palin with almost 20,000 members! I’m not on Facebook so I know not how this stuff works, but that seems like a lot of interest to me . . . maybe the t-shirt fifth grader should learn to say it on Facebook instead? 😉

24 09 2008
Nance Confer

CW, this is not a kid who has formed his own opinions. Daddy has pushed those hateful ideas into his head. The kid is certainly free to express his wrong-headed ideas, just like Daddy, but the school found it disruptive. I think the disruption might have been the other kids laughing at the kid in the t-shirt, if they had a clue.

I have to wait for DD to wake up to find out how to get into Facebook. But off to read FavD for now. 🙂

Nance

24 09 2008
Nance Confer

I find Obama so calming — he is thinking things through, not just reacting — how nice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au4ZdKOkhsg

Nance

24 09 2008
JJ

School is fertile ground for politics and religious controversy. But in elementary school there’s also sex and bathroom humor and gang symbols and inappropriate language– all sorts of things that could have been on the kid’s t-shirt to provoke, threaten, disrupt, disturb. If he’d worn a t-shirt with the nipples cut out or no shirt at all, the school would’ve had the same problem and the same response, probably. Type dress code into the Snook search box for plenty more.

The Chronicle of Higher Education just had a polemic about how to treat your personal politics honestly but not disturbingly at the college level, from the teacher’s POV dealing with opinionated young adults clashing in the classroom.

Nothing in higher-education policy explicitly precludes honest answers to those questions. Indeed, refusing to respond might appear evasive if the question is sincere and germane to the course. For the political scientist, as well as the historian and sociologist, politics involves discussing their subject. But what about the chemist or literary scholar, whose views on campaigns may also interest students?

Even in teaching a relatively apolitical subject, occasional references to politics or ideology should be permissible, for surely no scholar is confined in revealing his or her views by the subject matter of the course. That point has been amplified by the American Association of University Professors’ recent report on freedom in the classroom. But the issue isn’t simple, and land mines are plentiful. Here are some tricky situations that might arise when the classroom conversation turns political, and what to keep in mind. . .

It’s about real policy issues and real tolerance of individual conviction and expression in academic environments without derailing the curriculum, not homemade t-shirt bombs lobbed to act out at elementary school.

(T-shirt terrorism dad seems not to want the kid to learn anything socially or academically different than dad teaches at home, much less how to discipline himself for successful living in a community, so if we’re trying to apply principles that hold across our own political differences and personal biases, isn’t it fair to wonder why his son is enrolled in this K-8 school that the dad so disdains — I saw the video interview — in the first place?)

24 09 2008
Crimson Wife

I studied science in college, and the LAST thing I would’ve wanted is to hear about is my professor’s personal political opinions. I was there to learn about covalent equations or the physiology of the digestive system or some other topic that might actually help me score higher on the Medical College Admissions Test. Just stick to what’s relevant, thankyouverymuch.

24 09 2008
JJ

CW, why do you think this kid is in public school rather than some happier (for dad) alternative?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: