Wednesday, May 27, 2009


    I'm going to introduce a new fun activity on the internet; a new way to mess with people with ideology-centered message boards.  I call it "anti-trolling."  Anyone who's been on the internet for awhile is probably familiar with trolling; the act of going to a message board or chat room and saying things solely for the purpose of annoying and harassing everyone there or to provoke an argument.  Anti-trolling is sort of like acting in the opposite of that, but with the same effect. 
    Basically, I got the idea when I noticed that a lot of message boards considered anyone who disagreed with the ideology of the message board to be a troll and usually banning them.  So, since it's usually so easy to get banned while disagreeing with a community, I wanted to see how easy it was to get banned by agreeing with it, fervently and aggressively.  For instance; if it's a right-wing message board, you can act like the most jingoistic, liberal-hating, belligerent conservative that you could imagine, and talk about things, like how you think that it would be a good idea to round up every member of the Democratic Party and shoot them, etc.  Then, sit back and watch while people with moderately left-leanings opinions are all banned for trolling, while you get away with idiotic post after idiotic post.  It's fun.
    There's only certain kinds of message boards that this works for, however.  First of all, it has to be a community based around an ideology (which you will aggressively embrace).  That ideology could be political ("the Iraq war needs to end now") or non-political ("Twilight is the best book series, evar").  Secondly, you'll want to pick a message board that's heavily moderated, and has a tendency to ban people for officering opinions that clash with the above-mentioned ideology. 
    For my anti-trolling experiment, I chose the previously-mentioned "I Blame the Patriarchy" message board1.  It was great until I eventually did banned and then the message board shut down soon after.  I didn't actually end up getting banned for the wacky-ass ideas I was submitting on the board, but because they somehow found out that I wasn't who I was pretending to be.  But oh well, guess I'll just have to be more careful next time.



1: This link is to the old message board, which I would frequent. links to a new(?) one, but it’s not loading for me. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Culture Lag

   Have ever noticed that the world doesn't tend to work in the same way as it does in the media? Take high school for instance.  Based on any movie or TV show you may watch about high school life, you may be lead to believe that there's a rigid caste system for popularity, with the cheerleaders and football hotshots ruling the school with an iron fist.  You may be lead to believe that every student falls neatly into an easily identifiable clique; jocks, nerds, goths, etc, and only keeps friends within that specific group. All these perceptions about high school life, in my experience at least, are completely false.  There is no real hierarchy of popularity, no social royalty.  All the cheerleaders I knew were very nice an approachable (actually, it tended to be the geeky girls who were the most stuck up and superficial, but I digress).  There were no well-defined social groups; everyone just had their own little list of people that they were friends with.
   And yet, throughout much of my time in high school, I still tended to believe that social politics in high school functioned like they did in the movies, despite the fact that I could see for myself that this wasn't true.  This might be how high school used to be, but I was seeing it as how high school currently was.  Basically, I believed these facts about high school to be currently true, because they were previously true.  It's a phenomenon I call Culture Lag.
   Here's how I think it works: the people of one generation experience something (for example, high school) in a certain way.  They then go on to produce media which portrays things how they experienced.  The next generation then watches that media and begins to think that things work how they are portrayed in it, rather than how they actually experience it.  Thus, people are basing their perceptions of reality on other people's (previous) observations, rather than their own.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Attractiveness index

    Society tells us what to find attractive in possible partners; this is really no secret.  Society tells us that for a woman to be attractive, they must be thin, large-breasted, and feminine.  Men must be muscular, confident, and masculine.  There is, of course, nothing objectively true about these standards.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and everyone has their own opinion about what is attractive, or at least they should.
    I've noticed that over time, people's natural tastes tend to become polluted by the standards of society at large, so that their preferences start to match society's.  I have tried, at least in myself, to reverse this process as best as I could.  How, you ask? I basically try to subtract society's preferences from my own, to get a better idea of my own natural attraction.  When I find someone attractive, I ask myself how attractive I find them.  Then I consider how society's standards would view them and subtract (or divide; it's not an exact science) that from how attractive I found them.  The resulting degree of attractiveness, I call an "Attractiveness Index," and I try to use this when considering whether I'd like to date someone (with a higher index being better). 
    It sounds unnecessarily complicated and calculating, but it's actually quite simple.  If you find someone to be hot, but society would deem them to be absolutely smoking hot, then it seems that your natural attraction to them is actually pretty low, and that you find them attractive is based mostly on society's standards, so they would have a low index.  On the other hand, if you find someone attractive but society at large finds them completely unattractive, then it's pretty clear that your attraction to them comes completely from yourself, and not from society imprinting itself on you; they would have a high attractiveness index.
    I behoove you, the reader, to also adopt the practice of choosing people with high attractiveness indexes, as it will be beneficial to both you and to society at large.  You'll fin yourself to be happier in your relationships, as you will end up with people who you find attractive based on your preferences and not society's, so your attraction to them will be strong as it is more personal and runs deeper.  It will be better for society at large, because if more people begin seeking out partners based on their own innate attraction rather than society's standards, it will result in less homogeny of what people find attractive, which will mean that sought-after-ness will be more evenly distributed across all kinds of people.  The less-homogeny thing will also benefit you personally, because it will result in less competition for people that you are attracted to, if they don't meet society's standards.
    In case you're wondering about the methodology for creating this, it basically comes down to the assumption that our apparent attraction to someone (how attractive we think they are, without really thinking about it) will be an average of society's view of how attractive they would be and our own inherent attraction to them (untainted by society's views).  So, given the first two values, we can extrapolate our inherent attraction.  Here's a chart:


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My own pet theory on why you see more male musicians.

Edit: Blogspot cuts off the right half of the picture; be sure to click on it for full view.


*Not based on actual data.