Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Roy: Blogs on a Plane

[Dinah, insert appropriate pic here. Roy: Done.]
I spent 5 hours on a plane Tuesday flying out to San Diego for a meeting (Foo, if you wanna meet up, holler) and killed some time writing this. BTW, I’ve discovered I can really extend my battery life by turning off the MacBook display and just typing, fixing all the typos when I’m juiced up (well, you know what I mean).

I read something in today’s (Tue) Washington Post about a study that demonstrated that thinking about past bad deeds, like shoplifting or cheating, increases one’s thoughts about washing your hands, brushing your teeth, and generally ridding your body of “dirtiness”. Think Lady Macbeth and “Out, damned spot.”

Makes me think of the tamest OCD symptoms one can have. This is a disease, mind you, where you have to compulsively perform an action to undo, or clean away, a particular thought. It’s not hard to imagine how this basic, apparently universal, urge to perform a cleaning task in response to some physical or mental soiling can be ramped up into an out-of-control illness. [Maybe describe the anatomy of OCD.]

Makes me wonder what Tom Foley is washing these days. (Or maybe certain college administrators, hmm?) I think this helps to explain why organizations tend to “cleanse” themselves of tainted individuals, rather than try to reform them, and why crisis management firms recommend that in these situations, the best thing to do is “come clean”, admit what happened, apologize, take responsibility for it, vow to make amends, and not do it again. It allows observers to “see” that one has cleansed themselves, so that they may now be more acceptable.

The article pointed to evolutionary benefits to avoiding poisonous, spoiled, or otherwise tainted, foods, places, and people. I wonder if our elected officials have showers in their offices. I can think of a few who probably need full-fledged decontamination chambers.

Link to Roy's reference in Washington Post article: (compliments of dinah)