Re: All You Need Is Love

1

I did like the fact that aging liberal men apparently keep on having sex forever. As an aging liberal woman, this gives me hope for the future.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:26 AM
horizontal rule
2

Key question omitted from the survey: "Who with?"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:31 AM
horizontal rule
3

Fine, rain on my parade.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:32 AM
horizontal rule
4

1: I'LL FUCK ANYTHING THAT MOVES.

(If it moves slowly and doesn't put up a fight. And supports single-payer health care.)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:41 AM
horizontal rule
5

WWAF? ATM.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:46 AM
horizontal rule
6

Happiness is way overrated, says the curmudgeon.

I was going to call that a blessed generation, but no, that was the people born around 1938.

The ones who were around twenty in 1938, well, the ones I knew weren't Harvard men, and none of them made it to age 70.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:46 AM
horizontal rule
7

The Republicans just didn't want to admit they were still having sex, because their wives might find out.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:47 AM
horizontal rule
8

None of the ones you knew, anyway. (I assume the ominous implication was intentional.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 8:47 AM
horizontal rule
9

The Republicans just didn't want to admit they were still having sex, because their wives might find out.

Is the implication that they are now having sex with people other than their wives, or that they are still having sex with their wives but in such an unimpressive fashion that the wives are unaware it's happening?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
10

Being able to convince your old buddy bob mcmanus that you're dead would seem to be a key foundation for a long and happy old age.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
11

"there was no noticeable difference in maximum income earned by men with IQs in the 110-115 range vs. men with IQs above 150."

I'm not sure this finding would generalize beyond Harvard graduates.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:03 AM
horizontal rule
12

My uncharitable impulse is to assume that conservative men stop having sex as they age because their bitter hearts can't take the strain. The mellow liberals merrily bang away into their nineties because they are relaxed and so have the heart capacity for a little exercise.

Actually I bet it has to do with issues around dominance. This baseless speculation brought to you by the letters F and U, and the number 69.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:07 AM
horizontal rule
13

How much of happiness is a choice (all other things being equal)? If you answer, are you generally happy or not?

I believe happiness is a choice, and I'm generally happy.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
14

I don't think happiness is a choice. I was just looking at this Buzzfeed list of things only anxious people will understand and thinking "what the holy fuck are they talking about." Being chronically anxious sounds beyond miserable, and I didn't exactly choose to be relaxed but I am glad I am.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:11 AM
horizontal rule
15

Interesting that they were able to find something. There was an NYRB review (paywalled) earlier this year, from which I took away that it's a little strange to be drawing any conclusions at all from such a small, ultra-privileged group.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
16

The Class of 1938 were babies during the influenza epidemic of 1917, which killed off about 20% of their cohort, so they benefited from small class sizes in lower school and from less competition getting into Harvard. Being at Harvard, they were mostly from upper class families, and being there from 19334 to 1938, those families didn't lose their shirts during the Depression. Possibly they were even more upper-upper class than other Harvard cohorts, but they faced less academic competition.

Many would have served in WW II as officers. Those who survived the war, and especially those who could start their careers without interruption in 1938, enjoyed a very long period of high economic growth period for much of their professional lives. Nice work if you can get it.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
17

conservative men stop having sex as they age because their bitter hearts can't take the strain wives shut it down for them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
18

from which I took away that it's a little strange to be drawing any conclusions at all from such a small, ultra-privileged group.

It applies super well to everyone in positions of power.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:19 AM
horizontal rule
19

The cloth coat has a way of shutting that down.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:21 AM
horizontal rule
20

15, 16, 18: Come to think, the ultra-privileged nature of the group is really damaging to the conclusion that warm relationships are dominatingly important to health and life satisfaction. If you take a bunch of men selected to have no problems other than (possibly) emotional ones, then it's not all that surprising that a healthy emotional life looks like the most important thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:26 AM
horizontal rule
21

How much of happiness is a choice (all other things being equal)?

Do people with clinical depression choose to be clinically depressed?

Do people who don't have clinical depression choose not to be clinically depressed.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:29 AM
horizontal rule
22

+?

Lykken and Tellegen argue on the basis of a twin study that happiness is about 50% genetic. Their claims should be taken with a grain of salt, however. Lykken in particular is a crazed genetic determinist.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:32 AM
horizontal rule
23

That Vaillant book is definitely interesting reading, highly recommended.

The point about maintaining warm relationships, definitely. Isolation is easier from month to month, but harder from decade to decade.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:36 AM
horizontal rule
24

I'LL FUCK ANYTHING THAT MOVES.

Lazy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:41 AM
horizontal rule
25

From 15:"...launched a study of 268 Harvard sophomores (all male, of course), selected as the best and the brightest in the classes of 1939 through 1944."

Hell, they were even selected from within the general Harvard Class.

OTOH, that the lack of stress and anxiety for this massively privileged group leads to love warmth and lots of boink should incentivize the rest of us to hurry up with the burn shit down stuff.

The rich are different. They're happier.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
26

22: Interesting article. Here is the conclusion:

"If the transitory variations of well-being are largely due to fortune's favors, whereas the midpoint of these variations is determined by the great genetic lottery that occurs at conception, then we are led to conclude that individual differences in human happiness - how one feels at the moment and also how one feels on average over time - are primarily a matter of chance."

That's basically what I'm getting at -- can we choose to be happy or is it outside our control? I believe the typical Unfogged contributor -- highly educated, in the West -- can choose to some extent. Obviously I'm excluding illness -- that's what I mean by all other things being equal. Someone born a slave in Sudan doesn't have the same opportunity to attain happiness that someone born wealthy in the West does, but it's not a very interesting discussion to compare these cases. Similarly complaining about the life of privilege enjoyed by Harvard graduates is not to me an interesting discussion. The baseline happiness of a Harvard graduate may be higher than the general population (debatable, but let's skip this), but surely the inter-group variation can illuminate our own lives?

It comes down to, to what extent do you believe you have agency in your own life?


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:48 AM
horizontal rule
27

If I had an agency, would have I have give them 15% of my happiness?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:49 AM
horizontal rule
28

I believe I'm starting with all the advantages in the world, and also that I have a ton of agency. I am all about overcoming constraints, usually with relentlessness.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
29

At least 30% Moby! Any agency that accepts less wouldn't be the worth the happiness you gave them.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
30

I'm starting with all the advantages in the world

Including being neither depressive nor especially anxious, right? I mean, I'm neither of those things, for which state of being I'm very grateful. But I've learned through hard experience that some people are depressed and/or deeply anxious, and that their state of being has very little at all to do with a lack of sticktoitiveness.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:03 AM
horizontal rule
31

If you take a bunch of men selected to have no problems other than (possibly) emotional ones, then it's not all that surprising that a healthy emotional life looks like the most important thing.

This is a really good point.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:08 AM
horizontal rule
32

It's particularly vivid from the point of view who has never had any actual problems herself. Perhaps I will be warmer and more loving toward my family, out of cold-hearted, clinical self-interest.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
33

In general I'd put a healthy emotional life right up there, after not living in a war, abusive family life, physical pain, or poverty.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:39 AM
horizontal rule
34

On the other side of the spectrum I'm also reading this NYT project following a homeless middle-schooler and it's hitting way too close to home.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:44 AM
horizontal rule
35

26: I'm pretty skeptical of the whole idea of agency. We need to pretend like it is there to manage our ordinary lives and make decisions, but if you think about it very much, you realize it it is full of contradictions. As just a for instance: we say that the mentally ill do not choose their states, but we want to give ourselves credit for choosing our mental health.

My take away from it is that we should really go easy on the whole business of blame and shame. Yeah, it is a part of ethics, but don't get all bent out of shape over punishment and shaming. No one is really in charge.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:46 AM
horizontal rule
36

I'm pretty skeptical of the whole idea of agency

Well that was inevitable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
37

Perhaps I will be warmer and more loving toward my family, out of cold-hearted, clinical self-interest.

They're already jumping you and tackling you to the ground on a regular basis, and you're still a robust adult. Imagine what they'll be able to do to you when you're old and frail. The sooner you get them on your side the better.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
38

the whole business of blame and shame

There needs to be one nice, compact word for this. I nominate "Sh-blame!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
39

It's the new sha-wing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
40

I call smarm.

57 Up was good but the series has gone downhill after 35. Like, um, life.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
41

30: Sure, part of my advantage is that I am not depressive nor anxious. Above some threshold, agency is pretty effective.

That said, I have no interest in shame. It doesn't work and makes things worse.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
42

we want to give ourselves credit for choosing our mental health

We do?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:59 AM
horizontal rule
43

42: Isn't this a well-established locus-of-control thing? If something's going well, we take credit for it, and if something's going badly, we blame women and minorities?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
44

Blam-o, sham-o.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:03 AM
horizontal rule
45

42: I take that to be what people are saying when they say happiness is a choice..

You could say, like Megan, that the "not being clinically depressed" part of happiness isn't a choice, but after that threshold, you are choosing to be happy. But that leaves you with a really restricted range of agency.

And besides, how much credit do you think you deserve for choosing to be happy once all the factors out of your control have been set aside? "I had the world handed to me on a plate, and I didn't fuck it up. Yay me!"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
46

Well that was inevitable.

Actually, that one was a choice.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
47

Maybe, but what kind of intolerable smugocrat says happiness is a choice? I don't belong to that "we", kemosabe.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
48

"I had the world handed to me on a plate and I wanted it in a GOD. DAMNED. BENTO. BOX. UGH. WHATEVER."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
49

48 made me laugh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
50

I didn't exactly choose to be relaxed but I am glad I am

I came up with a hypothesis that was later borne out by some study-of-the-month, which was that my incredibly sluggish reaction time meant that I would live a long, happy low-stress life unless I was ever at risk of being hit by a falling piano or other large quick-moving object, in which case I'd be like, "Hey, a falling pi


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
51

Yeah, but within that restricted range of agency, people fuck it up more than not. They self-isolate, they turn to addictions (shopping, screens) rather than experience their emotions, they ignore bodily pain, they choose big house and long commutes. They de-value their emotional needs, ignore what is known to make people happy (conversation, going outside) and live in longterm misery. In that realm, agency is important and people who are definitely above the threshold where they can influence their wellbeing don't use it.

This is Gretchen Rubin level stuff, but more people get this wrong than right.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
52

Wait? You're supposed to choose to experience emotions?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
53

What Megan is saying is that we really need to do a lot more shaming and blaming.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
54

If you don't believe actions have any effect on happiness then what is the point of acting at all? That's the logic of depression (I believe), and I don't think any of us would agree it is a good way to live one's life. We choose to act. Why? Presumably we believe our actions have some effect on our happiness. Clearly we don't choose the outcomes, but surely we can weight the dice?


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
55

You don't have to like them while you experience them.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
56

55 to 4.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
57

I imagine having like a wand. "You! Sh-blame! Yeah! Get outside!" "You! Sh-blame! Woo! Talk to people for once!" "You! Sh-blame! You bought a shitty house! Hooray!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
58

I wonder if the SimCity games, etc., are useful in making people aware of structure, choice, and chance. All three are built into the algorithms, and only one is directly under the player's control (`Difficulty Level', veil of ignorance, don't read the comments... is that our ajay?)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:06 PM
horizontal rule
59

Vaguely connected:

In the United States, of all Google searches that begin "Is my husband...," the most common word to follow is "gay." "Gay" is 10 percent more common in such searches than the second-place word, "cheating." It is 8 times more common than "an alcoholic" and 10 times more common than "depressed."
Searches questioning a husband's sexuality are far more common in the least tolerant states. The states with the highest percentage of women asking this question are South Carolina and Louisiana. In fact, in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
60

I get "... a sex addict" as my third choice and I don't get "...cheating" as an option at all.

I think I'd know if my husband was a non-cheating sex addict.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
61

I don't care nearly enough to read the study, but I have a really hard time believing that the moving-out-of-intolerant-states effect is as small as the guy claims.

Also, I'm generally predisposed to be negative towards people who get PhDs in econ when they clearly just want to do quantitative sociology.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
62

"Growth mindset!"


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
63

||

One of the students in my class has this weird thing about giving gifts to me and the professor. She brought us chocolates right before the midterm, she baked cookies for the whole class one day, and now she has brought us more chocolates and something in an envelope I'm kind of scared to open. Cultural thing? Grade grubbing? It's very baffling. I feel like I should have politely but firmly turned them down. I didn't, though.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
64

something in an envelope I'm kind of scared to open

Just remember that the vast majority of white powders in envelopes *aren't* anthrax.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
65

It would be pretty weird if she gave us cocaine, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
66

Maybe it's nude selfies.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
67

I hadn't heard of the ##Up series and I thought it was referring to some fanfic sequel about the old guy with the balloons getting busy.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
68

66: ... nope. Holidary card.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
69

Holidairy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
70

63: probably wants to be memorable so when she asks for a LOR you'll be able to recall her

65: bath salts?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
71

69: on the holodeck. With holocows.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 1:15 PM
horizontal rule
72

A Holidary card wouldn't be white powder, surely. But the escalation from Shiny Apple is disturbing.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 1:19 PM
horizontal rule
73

56 Up wasn't the most exciting. I can't remember much about what happened in it. This might be because I watched the others in a grueling marathon so seeing this one a year later was like "oh, right. Them."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
74

I watched the first 7 of them in a marathon after getting my wisdom teeth out. My mom was not as pleased with it as I was.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 2:43 PM
horizontal rule
75

I just had one of my wisdom teeth filled today. It hurts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
76

Worse than before it was filled. I'm not sure if that's supposed to happen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 2:46 PM
horizontal rule
77

75: have you tried reflecting on the amazing diversity of life and the poignancy of aging?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 2:47 PM
horizontal rule
78

Wait, you had it filled? But it's still there? What'd they fill it with?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 2:48 PM
horizontal rule
79

Candy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 2:48 PM
horizontal rule
80

This buzzfeed list, it's like the ones about introverts where the traits seem rather to be of people who are profoundly autistic. I'm an anxious person and these things are kind of nuts. (Also I do not believe happiness is a choice though I think you make some choices that will effect it.)

Does anyone know in round decades how old Bob is? How old are you, Bob?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
81

I was supposed to get a root canal, but apparently the dentist said I just needed a filling. Or at least that it was worth trying to fill it instead of root-canaling it. It's filled with some white stuff as a temporary measure.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
82

Probably anthrax.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 2:50 PM
horizontal rule
83

Anyway, I have all my wisdom teeth in their original location (assuming my jaw is the frame of reference).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
84

73: Spoilers requested, but still none have come out? Even that one?? I got really invested in it during my marathon and now I'm very curious about the kids' and spouses' lives in this last one though not so much the Uppers themselves. I wish the movies were about six times longer, though, and I still basically love them.

One of Lee's classmates just said she was pregnant, which is unusual when the first number of your age is 5. I'd assumed Lee would be the oldest new mom, though I'm sure plenty are raising grandchildren and whatnot.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 3:25 PM
horizontal rule
85

It's filled with some white stuff

Cadaver bone!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
86

|| A friend basically begged me to watch season II of Girls and I want to line up all of the characters and punch them over and over again.
|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 5:55 PM
horizontal rule
87

||

Can anyone recommend an Adam Phillips book? I've wanted to read something by him for a while but never known where to start. On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored looks promising, but so do the two most recent, Houdini and Missing Out.

|>


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 6:03 PM
horizontal rule
88

I really liked at least half the essays in Equals; haven't read his other books.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 6:12 PM
horizontal rule
89

I think I read part of On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored a decade ago but I am no help.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 6:12 PM
horizontal rule
90

Will add Equals to the library hold list, which comprises the three I already listed. LAPL means never having to choose! (Just having to pay $4.20 in fines before I can pick up my books.)


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 6:49 PM
horizontal rule
91

73: Wait, do you think on of the Uppers is a closet case? I'm not sure which one you'd be referring to...

I wish the movies were about six times longer

I believe in the UK they air as a miniseries that's a bit longer? I haven't been able to find the UK version via the usual channels.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 12- 9-13 10:14 PM
horizontal rule