Kick biological determinism in the balls
August 30, 2011 4:57 PM   Subscribe

His vows: "We come here today in defiance of biological reality. We know that mammals are not monogamous (except for a few species of meadow vole with abnormally high levels of endogenous oxytocin) ..."
Her vows: "Your vows make it clear why I love you: your intellectual rigour, and your honesty, and your eloquence, and the way you leaven these with profanity – they’re the very things that I fell for, even before you made an x-rated cephalopod reference on a rooftop patio ..."

Peter Watts (previously, previously, previously, tag) and Caitlin Sweet are married.
posted by memebake (14 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, that was heartwarming. Thank you, memebake. Watts is one of my favourite authors, and it's nice to see that he and his lady friend are happy.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:06 PM on August 30, 2011


I recently finished Blindsight, which blew me away. It seems everything I find out about the author just makes him more awesome.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

posted by quite unimportant at 5:27 PM on August 30, 2011


I'm glad Mr. Watts can go on being happily Pair-Bonded and continue to depress the shit out me with his novels
posted by The Whelk at 5:31 PM on August 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


That was lovely.

I never did get the chance to write my own vows, which is sort of nice since when the whole thing went pear-shaped at least I didn't have to eat words I myself had personally written, but if I ever get the chance to do it all over again, I hope I'm half as eloquent and charming.

Count me in as another person who's interested in further Wattsian fiction, though if it continues to be as terrifying Blindsight was... well, I guess that would be okay, actually.
posted by pts at 5:39 PM on August 30, 2011


Aw.

Now I'm gonna be totally self absorbed and post not our vows, but the officiant's bit at our wedding. It's equally as geeky (given that she was my boss and she and I are both neuroendocrinologists) but somewhat more sappy :)
Love and marriage are defined in many ways.

Socially, marriage is a legal and binding contract recognized by all our government institutions that declares two individuals share equal benefits and responsibilities in matters of wealth and health, in life and in death.

Evolutionarily, marriage is the manifestation of a reproductive strategy based on monogamy and the principle of assortative mating. Each partner chooses and competes for the other based on phenotypic criteria assumed representative of a superior genotype. Reproductive fitness is maximized via the optimal transference of ones genetic material to progeny that will themselves continue to propagate and populate the gene pool.

Chemically, the marriage of two people creates a sum greater than its parts. Rather than additive, it is synergistic. Each partner is a positive allosteric modulator of the other, both are at once ligand and receptor and the double bond generated is covalent, permanent, and stabilized with a few disulfide bridges.

Neurologically, love is dopamine release into the nucleus accumbens, core not shell. It is neurogenesis and the formation of new and stable synapses. It is action potentials and long term potentiation, changes in firing thresholds and selective filtering of sensory stimuli.

Physically, marriage is a gravitational force of mutual attraction between two bodies, the perturbing of orbits until synchronized as one, the generating of a new nuclear family.

For (me) and (him), two fine young scientists highly trained in the ways of logic, hypothesis testing and appropriate interpretation of analytical variables, the love between them is, well...magic. An irrational and reciprocal emotion that goes beyond our ability or our desire to explain. Many of us here tonight had the pleasure of watching these two fall madly, wildly, deeply in love and then, stay there. It was love at first sight and love at long distance. A love so strong and so sure, they have decided to forsake all others and formalize their union in the legal covenant of marriage. To no longer be a man and a woman, but to become a husband and a wife.
posted by gaspode at 6:00 PM on August 30, 2011 [30 favorites]


In my experience weddings would be a lot less boring (for those not directly involved) if more vows made reference to "the paranoid brutality of the US justice system" as does Mr. Watts. Or maybe I'm going to the wrong sorts of weddings.
posted by Justinian at 7:03 PM on August 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Two friends of mine got married a while back. Their vows were the same except for some minor changes in wording. The one I remember was that one of them said "You drive me crazy, and you keep me sane." Later, the other said "You drive me sane, and you keep me crazy."
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:27 PM on August 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oddly, the Officiant seemed quite disapproving of the whole thing. She muttered something about e.e. cummings and ran off to the bathroom. We never saw her again.

Shame they weren't able to find an officiant able to participate in a similar spirit.
posted by straight at 8:00 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, "By the power vested in me by the brutally paranoid US justice system, I now pronounce you..." should totally be the standard phrase.
posted by No-sword at 9:17 PM on August 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


These vows were great. In mine, I mentioned I would love and stand by my husband but if a blue police box showed up one day outside, I was out of there.

(Family members didn't get it; our friends sighed and rolled their eyes.)
posted by Kitteh at 5:37 AM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


These were an amazing way to start the day.
posted by Theta States at 6:37 AM on August 31, 2011


Heh, they combined their avatars into UnicornSquid. My SO and I glommed ours together to make EcoMonkey. IT MUST BE A TREND AMONG THE GEN-Xers!
posted by clvrmnky at 7:52 AM on August 31, 2011


If you're reading this thread but haven't read the whole of the vows, please stop and go read them. if this does only last as long as the typical failed marriage, at this point I’m so old that it’ll probably take us to ’til death do us part anyway. heh.
posted by Zed at 9:38 AM on August 31, 2011


Oh, and by the way, Peter Watts is working on a sequel/sidequel to Blindsight; featuring zombies this time (or more accurately, soldiers whose consciousness can be turned off). Codenamed "dumbspeech" on his blog, but the final title is more likely to be State of Grace. Its due sometime in 2012. First chapter, extract, extract, extract.
posted by memebake at 3:36 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


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