You read that right. Steven Pinker thinks so and I’m inclined to agree with much of his reasoning. “We’re Getting Nicer Every Day” is an html version of a pdf, so a bit messy, but you can always download it if you prefer…
Wired News posted commentary by Regina Lynn called The Uncomfortable Reality of Sex in Space, which asks intriguing questions about the social realities of long space voyages:
I don’t care if you have a same-sex crew of great-grandparents who have never had a flicker of sexual desire in their entire lives. Lock a group of humans into a ship, sail them through space and time, and it won’t take long for that deep, ancient need for touch and intimacy to surface.
She also provides some thought-provoking solutions:
If NASA invites me to take part in discussions about sexual standards in space — it could happen — I will suggest sending all candidates into the adult internet for a year… Online, astronauts (and their partners, if they have any) can learn how to deal with sexual situations similar to those they will face in space, with one important difference: an escape hatch.
It’s a fascinating (and entertaining) piece, definitely worth reading.
Looks like New York is still making halting steps forward on same-sex marriage rights:
Gov. Eliot Spitzer proposed legislation on Friday that would make New York the second state in the country to legally sanction same-sex marriage, fulfilling a longtime pledge to supporters of gay rights.
Mr. Spitzer has acknowledged that he does not expect the bill to pass the State Legislature and return to his desk anytime soon. Earlier this week, he said that he would submit the proposal anyway, “because it’s a statement of principle that I believe in, and I want to begin that dynamic.”
See my previous post for more history.
Those of you with an interest in things Chinese and para-Chinese (I’m looking at you. Ahem.) might be interested in reading the blog that anthropologist David K. Jordan has been maintaining while spending a semester teaching in Asia. It’s chock full of linguistic and religious observations, all with that pleasant snarkiness that DKJ has mastered.