from the world's big
If machines develop consciousness, or if we manage to give it to them, the human-robot dynamic will forever be different.
- Does AI—and, more specifically, conscious AI—deserve moral rights? In this thought exploration, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, ethics and tech professor Joanna Bryson, philosopher and cognitive scientist Susan Schneider, physicist Max Tegmark, philosopher Peter Singer, and bioethicist Glenn Cohen all weigh in on the question of AI rights.
- Given the grave tragedy of slavery throughout human history, philosophers and technologists must answer this question ahead of technological development to avoid humanity creating a slave class of conscious beings.
- One potential safeguard against that? Regulation. Once we define the context in which AI requires rights, the simplest solution may be to not build that thing.
The banality-of-evil thesis was a flashpoint for controversy.
A massive Dating.com study reveals just how important politics are in the dating world right now.
- According to a new survey from a popular dating website, 84 percent of people currently looking for a relationship through dating apps won't even consider dating someone with opposite political views.
- Additionally, 67 percent of the dating site's users have admitted to previously ending a relationship due to opposing political views.
- Licensed marriage therapist Dr. Gary Brown says that there is more "venom and animosity" now than there was during the Vietnam War.
Exploring the connections between romance and politics<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM4OTA0Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMDEyNDU2N30.PtZ8GeZv4bc8U0wTTwP_zPcmzZq2oul73sSsqDW06Tk/img.jpg?width=980" id="4245b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6d5d17ac69c91176f0090f738a5badd5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="vote pins concept of voter registration" />
Sex and politics have been closely linked for a long time.
Photo by 3dfoto on Shutterstock<p>From the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/14/us/politics/george-and-kellyanne-conway.html" target="_blank">extremely public disagreements</a> between White House advisor Kellyanne Conway and her husband, to the tense argument you and your partner had on voting day, politics can be a breaking point for any relationship.</p><p>Sex and intimacy provide a strong driving force for humans that reaches far beyond the confines of the bedroom. Our personal relationships influence our behaviors, our thoughts, our motivations, and our even our political opinions, to some extent.</p><p><strong>If your sexual preferences align, your political values might, too. </strong></p><p><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0191886916310364" target="_blank">According to this 2017 study</a>, traditional behaviors in the bedroom (what some might deem to be <a href="https://sofiagray.com/vanilla-sex-gets-a-bad-wrap-heres-why-its-actually-great/" target="_blank">"vanilla" sex</a>) can be closely related to more conservative orientations, whereas more adventurous sexual endeavors can suggest more liberal ideas. </p><p>Whether you're swiping right or scrolling through, it can be hard to find a match who's values and opinions are in line with yours. While some minor disagreements and conflicts can actually <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/conscious-communication/201703/why-conflict-is-healthy-relationships" target="_blank">be healthy in a relationship</a>, pairing up with someone who has opposing political views might just mean you have two very different sets of morals that may not bring out the best in each other.</p><p><strong>Defining dating expectations allows you to see how important political views are in the beginning of a relationship. </strong></p><p><a href="https://www.itsjustlunch.com/do-politics-and-dating-make-a-match" target="_blank">According to a study</a> released by It's Just Lunch, 50 percent of single men and women stated that dating someone with opposing political views was fine for short-term relationships but would not be ideal for long-term commitments. </p><p>If you're looking for something casual and fun, perhaps politics doesn't need to play as big of a role as it would if you were swiping right to find a long-term relationship. </p><p><strong>Navigating politics and relationships is more difficult now than ever before.</strong></p><p>That same study by It's Just Lunch has around 40 percent of men and women claiming they believe it's "too risky" to bring up politics on a first date. </p><p>It's not just dating website studies - therapists around the world are struggling to defuse politically-charged landmines in relationships. <a href="https://drgarybrowntherapy.com/" target="_blank">Gary Brown</a>, Ph.D. and licensed marriage therapist explains to <a href="https://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/a19943112/relationship-therapists-politics-advice/" target="_blank">Women's Health Magazine</a> that now more than ever we are living in such an intense political climate that it is undoubtedly causing tension not just in romantic relationships but in friendships and among colleagues as well. </p><p>"It's everywhere," Brown explains. "I can't remember a time, not even during the Vietnam war, where there was as much venom and animosity as there is now. Even people who deeply love each other are falling victim to the 'politics of personal destruction', where it's not enough to disagree with someone but you have to destroy them and everything they stand for in the process." </p>
How to (respectfully) broach the topic of politics with a potential match<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM4OTA0NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwOTU4NjY2M30.aP7RVtnmbxWyR8TvF2X4KkAOPGQzyj_yH1vSz9irjV0/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C52%2C0%2C52&height=700" id="25b1e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4dee3450c09733a0f67664f4896e2621" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="man and women disagreeing arguing on couch" />
Polarizing political views can be a deal-breaker - here's how to navigate the topic of politics on a date.
Photo by fizkes on Shutterstock<p>"During a time where we are surrounded by politics, it is important to look at the impact that it has on the online dating industry," Vice President of Dating.com, Maria Sullivan, explains. "We have seen a huge increase in political terms being added to user profiles."</p><p>According to the study, 72 percent of singles would rather you flaunt that you voted at all (rather than who specifically you voted for) in your bio. More than half the participants surveyed said that bringing up a discussion about politics too early can be a huge turn-off.</p><p>So how do you make sure you make your view known while not being too pushy about the subject too early on? </p><p><strong>Use non-confrontational language and keep things vague in the beginning. </strong>If voting is important to you, make that known and suggest that you're open to talking politics with anyone who is interested. </p><p><strong>Choose the right time.</strong> Perhaps the first words you say shouldn't be an accusatory statement about who they voted for and why. Bringing up political views is an important test to see if the match is right, but choose the right time to insert politics into the conversation. </p><p><strong>Be open-minded (or respectful, at the very least).</strong> While you may have a hard stance on your political views (as many people do), being respectful of other people's opinions is often the best approach and the thing that might open the conversation up in a healthy way.</p>
Does what you believe in come from reason? Or just your community?
- A new study at the University of Southern Alabama investigates the pornography viewing habits of religious, heterosexual men.
- Those expressing high degrees of scrupulosity feel more guilt and shame when watching porn.
- The researchers found no correlation with viewing frequency and religiosity, however.
Porn Science: Female Sexual Response Is Contrary to Popular Belief, with Daniel Bergner<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4c3eae52a2e5bf67c296680e315daaf4"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VCb_xbzjLG8?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>There's also disappointment. In 2017, I traveled to a pornography convention in Las Vegas to discuss the <a href="https://medium.com/@derekberes/the-future-of-virtual-sex-a8f1d3b66b9e" target="_blank">future of sex</a> through the lens of virtual reality. Brian Shuster, founder of HoloGirlsVR, warned about the dangers of believing screens translate to real life. Speaking about teenage boys grappling with newfound sexuality, he says, </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The girls they find don't look like the girls they see in videos. First sexual experiences are a disappointment on both sides; probably the first thousand sexual experiences people have are with their computer. They say, 'I'm willing to have sex with real people, but I'm not willing to put in that level of work and commitment and potential disease and pregnancy for a relatively poor sexual experience.'"</p><p>This speaks to the problems. The team then wanted to know if religious men become addicted to violating moral codes—the old "I'm being naughty" mindset. They speculate religious men experience psychological distress from violating their faith's ethics when viewing outlawed material. Borgogna and crew recruited 224 volunteers to measure nine self-reported items, such as perceived compulsivity, problematic access efforts, and emotional distress. </p><p>The team focused on three principles: scrupulosity, an obsessive-compulsive disorder centered on guilt or obsession around religious perfectionism; traditional masculine ideology; and self-compassion, or maintaining an "emotionally positive self-attitude." Before reading responses, they hypothesized scrupulosity and masculine ideology would positively correlate to problematic pornography viewing (with the former providing a strong correlation) while volunteers with high self-compassion scores would not be ridden by guilt.</p>
The reverend Vernon Mitchell talks to women at a strip club as part of a process to determine which segments of the show should be censored, London, 1st November 1960.
Photo by Peter Dunne/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images<p>They were partly right. Scrupulosity showed the highest correlation. Self-compassion did not negatively correlate, however. They guessed higher self-compassion, being the antithesis of the rigid, perfectionistic model of scrupulosity, would allow for self-forgiveness. "Unfortunately," they conclude, "our data suggested the relationships to be non-significant." Traditional masculine ideology did not correlate positively either. </p><p>Interestingly, Borgogna found general religiosity is not associated with viewing frequency. Being religious does not mean you view more pornography. Yet for a subset of religious believers there is increased distress. They believe religiosity could be a "protective factor" against viewing frequency for a certain segment of the religious population. </p><p>The team hopes therapists use this information as pornography addiction is an under-discussed topic in clinical settings. They advise mental health practitioners to focus on religious-based obsessive thoughts leading to scrupulosity, the constant impulse to access pornography, and cyclical feelings of guilt and shame. </p><p>They also note viewing frequency is not necessarily correlated to relationship or mental health problems. Even a little can trigger negative feelings and psychological distress in those suffering from scrupulosity, while many in the Bible Belt (and beyond) feel no shame, religious or not. </p><p><span></span>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</p>