Friday, October 19, 2007

Excuses for Bad Behavior, Courtesy of Science

Do you feel stifled by the normative structure?
Are moral imperatives bringing you down?
Do you have guilt over engaging in deviant behavior?

Well, Wicked Anomie to the rescue! I have lovingly compiled this (admittedly brief) overview of science in all its glory, indicating that sometimes, it is good to be bad.

1. Swearing: Go ahead, because it fosters solidarity and boosts morale at work.
2. Drinking: Alcohol improves cognitive functioning, improves memory, makes you smarter, improves the antioxidant power of berries, and may even save your life.
3. Lying: It serves an important interpersonal function by smoothing over awkward situations ("no, i did not even notice the toilet paper streaming from your shoe") and protecting fragile egos ("does this outfit make me look fat?"). Lying can also help stimulate children's imaginations and protect their innocence.
4. Keeping secrets: George Simmel argued that secrets were one of society's greatest achievements, and that the keeping of secrets promotes ingroup solidarity and keeps modern society running.
5. Playing video games: Play away! Doctors who play games before performing surgery make fewer mistakes. Gaming improves reaction times, spatial reasoning, awareness of surroundings, and short-term memory. Women, especially, benefit from playing video games. Playing video games can virtually eliminate the gender gap in spacial attention.

Now go forth, dear readers! Get drunk, curse up a storm, play some video games, lie, and keep secrets. It's all for the good of society.

No, really. Go. Now.


sevendayswonder said...

fuckin brilliant.

*grabs bottle of gin and toasts*
"This one's for society!!!"

Aftersox said...

Secrets are essential to society - the fucking principle of regulation



--V-- said...

I'm often called out about my swearing...I like to say "Fuck me" often, and sometimes rather loudly. It's nice to have some positive reinforcement for my "socially unacceptable" behaviors. Thanks!