oddly enough, Science

Falling in love, 21st century style (mostly for mice).

According to Spiegel Online (link in German), GenePartner, a Swiss company, is actually offering to match people based on their DNA structure since last July. They, like their American competitor ScientificMatch, base their product on recent research that was able to exploratorically establish an empirical preference for sexual partners with a genetically different immune system, yet with only a weak theoretical explanation for the empiric findings. While researchers in the field are apparently still modest about the importance of their findings for human mating, the two companies seem confident in their ability to identify and numerically encode the previously unconscious preferences which then allows to identify prospective mates with a different immune system and thus, it is assumed, a significant potential for a relationship. Weiterlesen

advertisement, battleofthesexes, oddly enough, photoblogging, post-modernism

Tragikomisch. Bittersüß. Zielgruppen­gerecht.

Eine offensichtlich ernst gemeinte Kontaktanzeige an einem Schwarzen Brett, die zumindest die Aufmerksamkeit meiner Kamera auf sich zog.

Soviele Fragen diese Anzeige auch aufwerfen mag, eines scheint mir recht sicher: Sollte sich wider Erwarten doch eine Frau auf diese Anzeige hin melden, dann wird sie wohl entweder wirklich „böse“ sein, oder aber „eine ganz Liebe“ mit einem mehr als verständnisvollen Humor. Dar Inserent mag sich vielleicht über seine Präferenzen nicht ganz im Klaren sein, aber er hat, so scheint mir, mit Text und Gesamtanmutung seiner Anzeige, ob nun zufällig intuitiv oder ganz bewußt, den richtigen Ton für jede der angesprochenen Zielgruppen gefunden.

compulsory reading, post-modernism

Stuck somewhere in the middle. Growing up these days.

The German weekly „Die Zeit“ this week provides a survey of the consequences of disappearing traditional family structures and socially predetermined gender roles for today’s youngsters.

According to the article, socio-athropologists and behavioral biologists alike now claim that kids these days are in dire need for authority and some sort of biographical structure. The price of freedom, of entirely open biographies, is apparently not a modest one – as rising suicidal attempts and a new autodestructive habits (German: „ritzen“) among both young boys and girls seem to indicate.

Now it is all too obvious that going back is not an option, and even the staunchest conservatives will agree on this point, at least in private. Even apart from the most obvious justifications from an economic and philosphical perspective, modern societies do need social variety as evolutionary organisational „market“.

But kids apparently need some sort of clear-cut answers about life and their position in society to grow up. Growing up does, of course, entail to question these previous certainties – but if there are none, no questions remain to be asked, no walls to be torn down.

But if going back is not an option – where are modern societies headed for? The one thing I think becomes obvious from reading accounts like the one cited above is that we are in need of a new social equilibrium – some sort of „steady-state-equilibrium“. One that is open and stable at the same time.

Don’t ask me for sketches as I don’t have any. But should that turn out to actually be an oxymoron, I fear we will have to witness more and more socially dysfunctional kids, grown ups and then parents – with a resulting negative feedback slope – until both people and society will have evolved in a way that can bridge the rising gap between our genetic and cultural endowments.

Now you might reply to this that no older generation in history has ever been able to understand their younger one and that the above article is simply an example of the classic generation-gap, reframed in modern scientific language by publication-hungry scientists.

That is quite possible. But I don’t think so.