June 12th, 2004

breaking bad

Caxton's thoughts

I can find information in seconds; I can communicate with people all over the world; I can read the intimate thoughts of a thousand strangers. As an idea spreads across the world I can track its progress. All of this I can do from home with no effort. This should have transformed my society and my consciousness. But I don't think it has. Why not?

Are we still in the early post-Gutenburg days, before literacy transformed religion and politics? Perhaps we have our printing presses, but the decisive books have not yet been written (though of course they will not be books, but something quite different). Or perhaps my consciousness has been transformed by technology, but I haven't noticed, in amongst all the other transformations that are happening in my life. Or perhaps I am too stuck in my ways, and the people who will be transformed by technology are very young, or not yet born.

Or perhaps the technology of information has very little impact on the kind of people we are. Unlike, say, the technology of medicine. It seems unlikley but perhaps that's how it's going to be. No change.
breaking bad

A sensitive subject

A few blogs here by married men who use them to complain that they aren't getting enough sex. It seems to be a bit of a sub-genre all of its own.

http://suburbansexblog.blogspot.com/

http://flyerman.blogspot.com//

http://www.inamanshead.blogspot.com/

http://goodhusband.blogspot.com/

http://www.hardasarock.blogspot.com/

http://wiredtales.blogspot.com/

There's also a long discussion of these blogs here (NB the 'Alison' who posts is not me). I find the discussion wider-ranging and more sympathetic than the blogs. I felt that almost all the views were reasonable and worth hearing. The only point of view that I think is unhelpful is one which reverts to sexual biology ('men are more interested in sex than women') and/or proposes oppressive solutions ('she'll just have to put out or get out'). Very little of that, in case you are worried, though some of them assume that's what the others are saying.

What do I think of the blogs (as opposed to the problem)? I think they are a bit icky. There's some good stuff in them, and it's good that people are using the new technology to open up new areas of discourse. However, they seem a bit one-sided. And, perhaps understandably, the attitude to sex seems a bit creepy and desperate. For example, the account of the guy going to buy sexy underwear for his wife, with his sixteen year old daughter, creeped me out big time.

What do I think of the problem? Well, any long term relationship is going to include phases when one of the partners isn't as keen on sex as the other. After childbirth, if nothing else. A loving partnership should allow a bit of flexibility and 'try anything once' on both sides, without combusting if the chosen solution doesn't work out. There are probably as many solutions as there are couples, so the trick is probably to establish a process for getting to the solution. Without any dumb gender stereotyping. Having said all that, I also think most problems sort themselves out, no matter how useless the couple are. Otherwise the human race would probably have died out.