"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."
March 27, 2010 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Stress: Our collective mood - "there seems to be a correlation between stress and lack of holidays. More important, however, is whether a relationship exists between either and economic performance. The data is equivocal. On average Americans put in an extra two hours a week compared with UK workers. Yet both countries had almost identical crises, while lazier nations fared considerably better." also btw: Why Women Don't Want Macho Men (cf. A Theory for Why Latvian Women are Beautiful) & Study Shows People In Power Make Better Liars (The psychology of power or The Duke and Dirty Harry)
posted by kliuless (21 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
"More important" is economic performance? "Lazier" nations?

Kill your overlords.
posted by DU at 9:27 AM on March 27, 2010 [5 favorites]

the Face Lab researchers proved something remarkable. They could predict how masculine a woman likes her men based on her nation's World Health Organization statistics

No NO NO! The correlation is almost certainly nowhere near as massive as this passage is implies. There is no need to prevaricate to make the science interesting; the world has enough shitty science and shitty journalism as it is. This sort of thing is not helping.
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:38 AM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't understand what's going on here. Should I comment on correlations between stress and attractiveness? Gender and stress? Productivity and gender? (Uh oh.)
posted by tantivy at 10:03 AM on March 27, 2010

In feudalism, did the serfs fight to work more and harder?
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:21 AM on March 27, 2010 [4 favorites]

But if health comes at the expense of fidelity and good parenting, how much does masculinity really matter? The apparent answer is not so much—if you're a woman living in a country with a decent health-care system and few harmful pathogens.

These researchers believe that women's genetic predispositions for sexual attraction KNOW whether they live in countries with good healthcare systems? This is impossible--especially considering that no countries have had anything like modern healthcare for more than 2 or 3 generations.
posted by k. at 10:25 AM on March 27, 2010

Whoa... Latvian Association of Blondes??!!

(An hour and a half later.) What was this post about again?
posted by Mike D at 10:35 AM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

In addition to the fact that some of these articles make unsubstantiated claims, I don't see how they're related to each other.
posted by k. at 10:39 AM on March 27, 2010

Trying to figure out this post is stressing me out.
posted by octothorpe at 10:54 AM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I found the blog post A Theory for Why Latvian Women are Beautiful to be pretty shallow:

Thus, the theory is that Latvian women appeal more strongly to the male ideal because the number of marriageable men in Latvia is low relative to the number of women. Is it any wonder that my colleague found the Latvian women beautiful?

Basically, the argument is that Latvian women are more "beautiful" because they have to compete for men, and the post links to a photo gallery of Latvian women are are indeed conventionally beautiful.

However the post uses just two data points, "sociosexuality" (the willingness to open your legs to anyone) and "sex ratio" (the number of women compared to men) to come to a conclusion, which indicates to me anyway that the entire blog doesn't take itself seriously, and mainly exists to be able to throw around big words (to impress the ladies?)
posted by KokuRyu at 11:03 AM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

The data is equivocal. On average Americans put in an extra two hours a week compared with UK workers. Yet both countries had almost identical crises, while lazier nations fared considerably better.

Um, you can't say something occurred "on average" when the data is equivocal. As for the lazier nations, I'm assuming that means either the UK or Europe. First of all, our crises were not "almost identical," and on top of that, Europe and the UK are both doing far worse than the we are right now. Further, it's not like that is the determinative factor in deciding if it's better to be lazy like Europe or not lazy like the US. Let's not forget that we could buy the UK 6 times over right now if we wanted to force them to sell to us. Texas is worth more than the UK. And considering Greece essentially went insolvent, they're worth less than my car.

Europe is headed straight down the drain. Spain and Portugal are pretty much in default right now. Ireland's got a couple of months. I guess Germany is doing well, or so they say, but that's about all you can say for that continent.
posted by stevenstevo at 11:46 AM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Interesting stuff, but this should not all be jammed into one FPP.
posted by w0mbat at 12:45 PM on March 27, 2010

I think the point of this Post is that cheap socio theories abound in the media. The common theme is "new research suggests that..." Several of the articles begin by stating a correlation, then wind up doubting it (as should we all).
posted by CCBC at 1:39 PM on March 27, 2010

I'm pretty sure the "blonde parade" happens everyday in Yaletown.
posted by Kirk Grim at 2:32 PM on March 27, 2010

Not to get all cheery or anything, but we're all gonna die and be mostly forgotten in a week or two.

How important is work?

If you're leaving a trail of cherishable things or memories behind you, you'll be remembered. After the obit, nobody really gives a shit what you 'do'.
posted by Twang at 5:09 PM on March 27, 2010

It all comes down to what "doing better" means... Me personally, I want to chill out and have plenty of time to surf the Internet. Growth rates and the GDP of the country I happen to be sitting in do not play into that equation much at all.

Hooray, USA, you win again! Enjoy that hard work y'all!!1
posted by Meatbomb at 5:30 PM on March 27, 2010

posted by kliuless

This says it all.
posted by cmgonzalez at 6:48 PM on March 27, 2010

I don't know why a woman would want a man who looked feminine or would think they did. It's as though they never saw Hugh Jackman playing a lumberjack in Wolverine. Maybe they should redesign that study, give the ladies a viewing of Wolverine and then have them pick out who is better looking.
posted by anniecat at 7:22 PM on March 27, 2010

I looked at the "parade their beauty" link in the A Theory for Why Latvian Women are Beautiful page. My reaction was: OMG, Barbie Zombie Hell. The uniformity of their look is off-putting to me.
posted by Doohickie at 10:09 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Another is women's financial freedom. In 1970, women represented only 43.3% of women of the labor force, compared to 55.8% today.
That's some good journalism, Lou!

And conventional or not, those were some hot Latvian chicks!
posted by hincandenza at 12:16 AM on March 28, 2010

this should not all be jammed into one FPP

for those needing further explanation, i'm just kinda fascinated by the changing character of society and how that changes us (or tends to ;) on a chemical and genetic basis!

ever since reading about group level selection and a farewell to alms...
Generation after generation, the rich had more surviving children than the poor, his research showed. That meant there must have been constant downward social mobility as the poor failed to reproduce themselves and the progeny of the rich took over their occupations. "The modern population of the English is largely descended from the economic upper classes of the Middle Ages," he concluded.

As the progeny of the rich pervaded all levels of society, Dr. Clark considered, the behaviors that made for wealth could have spread with them. He has documented that several aspects of what might now be called middle-class values changed significantly from the days of hunter gatherer societies to 1800. Work hours increased, literacy and numeracy rose, and the level of interpersonal violence dropped... Dr. Clark says the middle-class values needed for productivity could have been transmitted either culturally or genetically. But in some passages, he seems to lean toward evolution as the explanation.
i've been sorta wondering about 'gene/meme' interactions, um so that's how it's all connected :P but it doesn't have to be!
posted by kliuless at 4:32 AM on March 28, 2010

Based on the way everybody seems to go all possum-eyed at the sight of blond hair, I think an international consortium should be formed to press parents of blond female infants to allow their daughters to be inducted into an elite education corps.

The infant blondes could be intensively educated in math, science, medicine, economics and politics, all with a humanist agenda, and then unleashed on the unsuspecting world, dressed in their Paris Hilton finest.

Then we'd get some shit done.
posted by toodleydoodley at 11:59 AM on March 28, 2010

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