Below are some of the most viewed posts of 2013. Some popular themes this year: sex, love, kindness, conflict, Laos, and some personal stuff as well (including the birth of my daughter).
This isn’t a large website that gets a lot of traffic. It’s just a place to help me organize and share some thoughts, and I really appreciate the fact that people visit and consider some of these things worth reading and even sharing with others.Thank you all for visiting. Happy New Year.
(1) Part 11. Humans Are (Blank)-ogamous. Sexaptation: The Many Functions of Sex (2,365 views; May 18th)
I probably shouldn’t be too surprised that the most viewed post of the year was about sex, but it still kind of baffles me that people would care what I write about the topic. Basically, for humans sex is about much more than reproduction alone. How did it come to be that way?
(2) Nature, Not Always “Red in Tooth and Claw” (1,832 views; Jan 23rd)
A tour of examples of cooperation from the animal world. Sometimes nature wants to hug you.
(3) “The Single Most Important Function of Marriage” (1,444 views; Jun 27th)
A quote from Stephanie Coontz’ book Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage.
(4) Part 9. Humans are (Blank)-ogamous: Love Is an Evolutionary Compromise (1,376 views; Feb 21st)
Evolution doesn’t produce perfect organisms, but ones that are just good enough. A result of this is that our biology is full of compromises that are sometimes in conflict with each other. These may cost us longevity, health, and happiness. Romantic love seems to fall in this category. Sometimes it’s beautiful; other times painful.
(5) Part 13: Humans are (Blank)-ogamous: Is Monogamy ‘Natural?’ (1,341 views; Sep 11th)
Oprah Winfrey said monogamy is not natural. What do the biologists say? It’s complicated.
(6) Bombing of Laos, Animated (1,308 views; Jul 21st)
A well-done animation, showing the history of the US bombing of Laos, and how it still impacts that country today.
(7) For My Daughter (586 views; Nov 7th)
I wrote this about a week after our daughter was born. On gender equality, and finding commonality, humanity. Some of the things I hope for her future.
(8) Erotic Laundry Lists (454 views; Jun 14th)
A compilation from the literature featuring lists about the physical features we consider attractive, the traits we look for in a mate, etc. We can find patterns, but none can ever be perfect because we are complex, individually and culturally variable, and always in flux, trying to balance an array of wants and needs that shift over time along with our circumstances. No single variable will ever be sufficient to explain what people want. Sometimes it’s Arthur Miller; sometimes it’s Joe DiMaggio.
(9) Kindness and Regrets (177 views; Aug 3rd)
“Be excellent to each other.” For such an intensely social species, we often seem to go out of our way to make each other want to leave the group. A look at bullying, social pain, rejection, failures of kindness and haunting regret (my own and in general).
(10) Evelyn’s Story (128 views; Jun 3rd)
A conversation I had with a woman in her 80s about the one who got away, and the pain it caused her. This fits with #4 above.
(11) Patriots’ Day (110 views; Apr 16th)
Some thoughts the day after the Boston Marathon bombing.