Animals move, and because they do, they must be masters of multiple frames of reference. As the monkey vaults himself through the air, his eye must be on the stationary branch looming into view; as the child circles on the merry-go-round, her eye must track the brass ring just around the curve.
Each frame provides its own stream of spatial information—the moving limb, the fixed target—and processing both streams, while keeping the two separate, is the key to successful behavior in a complex world. This ability, called cognitive control, is clearly essential, but the neural mechanisms underlying it are not well understood.
Your brain is constantly adjusting to where you are in a space, your position in relation to other objects and making spatial perception adjustments as your orientation changes. Mammals are the flesh and bone gyroscopes. Even we stayed perfectly still the world around us changes. If the changes occur while we have our eyes closed when we open them again we take a few seconds or more to reorient ourselves. There are parallels between the orientating done automatically by our hippocampus and the emotional and philosophical way we interpret and interact with the world. Why can’t “career women” just be women?
Early Friday afternoon, New York Times writer Jodi Kantor laid down a challenge via her Twitter feed. “Dear fellow journalists,” she implored, “can we stop referring to women who work as ‘career women’? 60% of U.S. females 16 and older are in the labor force.”
I think I’ve got this one!
Ma’am, I will only too gladly stop using the term “career women” — with all its vaguely spinsterish, Tiger Lady connotations — when I no longer have to. Because, even now, it hasn’t yet penetrated enough skulls that you can have a uterus and passion for your trade. And that’s the beauty of the word “career”: the way it acknowledges that you’re not just clocking in to support yourself, that you actually give a damn about how you earn your paycheck, that you’re in it for the long haul.
I’ll give up the term when people who know nothing about my own 20-plus years paying dues and busting my ass stop assuming it all pales in comparison to “the best job in the world”: motherhood. When women stop telling their pregnant friends they’re never going to want to go back to work after they see their babies. When my kids’ school puts their father on the contact list. When it stops guilt-tripping me every time I can’t chaperone a field trip or come in for a class birthday party. When I stop overcompensating by making a hundred cupcakes for the bake sale. When the world stops assuming that women work out of financial necessity and men do it out of a hunger for achievement.
The Ying: As much as some of the whining about it – whether it is from feminists like the one above, or men, teenagers, senior citizens, various races and religions – gets on our nerves to the point where we’d wish everyone would just shut up; everyone feels they have a legitimate gripe about how much credit and respect they get in life. One cannot dismiss it with a you care too much what other people think. From interactions with your family to school teachers, various authority figures, college professors, bosses, strangers in restaurants and the dry cleaners we rely on them to give us positive actions and reactions – and in some cases credentials to do our jobs – in order to achieve what we need or want to do. Their failure to give us our do can mean not having the health-care we need, the money to pay rent, advancing in our profession, having the mate we’d like or finding a cure for cancer. This system of interdependence has a dual edge. It means that most of us strive to be civilized and it also means we have to put up with a lot of crap. Both tend to make us weary over the years.
The Yang: No one is going to get all the respect, consideration, love, reciprocal actions, reimbursements or credit they think or feel they deserve. Waiting for recognition, rewards, rounds of applause, cheers and cultural triumph means you are not recognizing yourself and your achievements for their own sake. Relying so deeply on the approval of others might even mean you’re in the wrong job or profession ( maybe the wrong family, but we’re stuck with them).There should be some self-satisfaction with doing something well, with achieving goals (which do not have to be super hero/heroine level) that give a sense of satisfaction which no outside entity could match. If you save the planet, yea it would be nice to get a thanks, but ultimately you’ll know and sometimes that’s all that matters. This does not mean one should give up advocating for better, only giving oneself a break from obsessing.
While Republicans continue to block jobless benefits for those they deem undeserving, a different morality play is at work in the nation’s foreclosure crisis. As the New York Times reported this morning, the biggest defaulters on mortgages are the rich. Even as U.S. income inequality hit levels not seen since 1929, wealthier Americans, whose recovery from the recession is already well underway, are walking away from their homes at far greater rates than everyone else.
So much for the much beloved meme that America’s working class are most often the irresponsible ones.
Whether anguishing over American military interventions abroad or delivering jabs at Wall Street tycoons, this Twain is strikingly contemporary. Though the autobiography also contains its share of homespun tales, some of its observations about American life are so acerbic — at one point Twain refers to American soldiers as “uniformed assassins” — that his heirs and editors, as well as the writer himself, feared they would damage his reputation if not withheld.
[ ]…Twain’s opposition to incipient imperialism and American military intervention in Cuba and the Philippines, for example, were well known even in his own time. But the uncensored autobiography makes it clear that those feelings ran very deep and includes remarks that, if made today in the context of Iraq or Afghanistan, would probably lead the right wing to question the patriotism of this most American of American writers.
One of my favorite Twain short stories and often overlooked is The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg . The notion is till very much with us on the far Right and among some feminists that our laws and culture should be oriented such there are no temptations. It is not something within ourselves that needs correcting, but outside influences, who and how determined the subject of many dystopian sci-fi stories, influences which must be extinguished. Do not lead us into temptation or we’ll be tempted.