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May 12 2010

5 random things I’ve been thinking about

1. Toilet seat sheets.  If you’re too grossed out to sit on the toilet, is a sheet really going to make it better?

The show I’m working on, these two women who were otherwise not like high maintenance said they would never use a toilet that wasn’t their own without a toilet sheet.  What?  Seriously?  Was I raised by weirdos because they never said don’t put your butt on the toilet?

2. Ableism and online dating.  Particularly in the mental health department, but also in general.

Now I appreciate that online dating attracts a somewhat skewed group that has the semi-anonymity of the internet to make unusual demands, but I have seen so so many guys profiles where they say they don’t want to date “anyone who’s ever been on anti-depressants” or “I don’t want to date anyone who has had any health problems”.  These are not necessarily guys who, in my opinion, have girls knocking down their door and they’re just trying to filter out some people by being picky.  And I realize we’ve all got things where we aren’t able to have a nuanced viewpoint, but here are guys lumping in people with asthma with people with cancer, or people with well-treated depression with untreated schizophrenics.  I get how taking on a significant other with terminal cancer or an untreated illness might be difficult, but are we going to scratch out every one with a health quirk?

At first I thought, oh it’s just this one guy who had a bad experience, but I’ve seen it so many times I just don’t know what to think.  Is it really that awful to date someone who at some point in their life was depressed or has some other chronic illness that’s well under control?

3. Also related to online dating, why do guys who are super Christian message me advertising their good Christian morals when I state that I am an atheist?  I mean, I know why, they don’t read, but I mean really.

4. Equating religion with race.  There’s a super long thread over at Pharyngula where people are accusing PZ of being a Nazi for posting a picture that a cartoonist drew of Muhammed because there are people in Europe who are racist against Muslim immigrants.  I’m just not sure “racist” is the right word.  ”Religionist” maybe?  Anyway, critiquing a religion isn’t a violent act, no matter how crudely done, and I don’t understand how blasphemy is racist.

5. How difficult or impossible it is for the religious to understand that there is value and meaning to life regardless of whether there is an afterlife.

Useful Links:

Dirty Toilets

PZ

Sully on Tragic Atheism

The most horrifying thing ever:

(((:~{> Muhammad approves this message

4 comments

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  1. 1
    givesgoodemail

    “…why do guys who are super Christian message me advertising their good Christian morals when I state that I am an atheist?”

    Also, a lot of guys send blanket messages to 20 women at a time, hoping to get a hit. Guys like that remind me of the fellow who stood on a corner near Times Square and propositioned every attractive woman he saw. He figured that if he got laid once for every 200 propositions, the 199 slaps were worth it.

  2. 2
    Ashley F. Miller

    Yeah, about 90% of the emails I get are clearly form letters. I read this super interesting study on OKCupid about how pay dating sites are even worse at causing that and the reply rates and stuff. http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/2010/04/07/why-you-should-never-pay-for-online-dating/

  3. 3
    Michael

    Rosalynn Carter was on the Daily Show recently. She said the stigma against mental health problems in the U.S. hasn’t really improved in the past 39 years.

  4. 4
    Zachary Pruckowski

    Wandered over here via catching up on Pharyngula links I had missed, and just started clicking around, then started typing. Always a bad sign when I start typing, as I frequently don’t know when to stop.

    I get how taking on a significant other with terminal cancer or an untreated illness might be difficult, but are we going to scratch out every one with a health quirk?

    Men are afraid of women with baggage. I imagine they’re thinking something along the lines of “people I meet IRL are pretty screwed up, and the internet has all sorts of crazy folk on it, thus people I meet online are probably even more screwed up”. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but then again, we guys aren’t really well known for making sense :)

    It’s also sort of hard to know or even imagine “what we can endure together” or “what I can tolerate for her sake” when you have no idea who he/she is.

    Also related to online dating, why do guys who are super Christian message me advertising their good Christian morals when I state that I am an atheist? I mean, I know why, they don’t read, but I mean really.

    Because it takes 5 seconds to copy and paste the same generic message to everyone, and a long time to write something more personal. Not to mention that if you’re likely not a very compatible match for him anyhow, he may as well not spend too much on a message to you.

    I imagine online dating is sort of like my current job search – you spend a lot of time working on a single static document that defines you in the best possible light (resumé or OKCupid profile), you send out dozens of messages with a tiny reply rate, and then most of those precious few replies don’t go beyond the first interview/date. But all it takes is one success to make the whole hunt worthwhile.

    I read this super interesting study on OKCupid

    OKCupid’s blog is amazingly well written. Seriously, they post like once a month, but their posts are both interesting and well-backed by statistics.

    Toilet seat sheets. If you’re too grossed out to sit on the toilet, is a sheet really going to make it better?

    People hear stories about one person in a million catching crabs from sitting on the toilet right after someone with an infestation, and they feel a compulsive need to DO SOMETHING about it, no matter the efficacy of the solution. That person probably got crabs from cheating on their spouse anyhow and made up the toilet seat thing to cover themselves. It’s a common human thing, we do it all the time. Why do you think we take Sippy Cups away from babies on planes? We’re not really fixing the problem, but we take comfort in the fact that we’re DOING SOMETHING about terrorism.

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