Between me and my mind

jubal

A blog is a lousy social medium; heck, social media are lousy social media. I think lately that I’ve been wrestling far too much with the problem of community on the web, and I have become disillusioned. That this particular community has been under siege by trolls and slimers and shit-stirrers hasn’t helped, either, or that there is far too much cliquishness of a painfully artificial sort.

I must also say that I find the wider community we tried to build at Freethoughtblogs is less a unified group than a disparate collection of loosely affiliated blogs that have found a convenient hosting service, which doesn’t help my mood much, either. We are all objects in space, drifting, occasionally bouncing off each other or tugging gently at each other’s masses. And that’s about it.

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What is the minimal number of participants required for a parade?

The answer is, apparently, one. Some guy tried to organize a ‘heterosexual pride’ parade in Seattle, and only the organizer showed up. With some balloons and a cardboard sign.

straightprideseattle

This reflects poorly on us, and I think we need to vote Anthony Rebello out of the Straight Men’s Club. All in favor (only straight men allowed to vote — we know all teh gayz want to snap him up for their club), raise your hand and say “AYE”.

Convergence stats

The Convergence convention ended a few weeks ago, but the survey statistics (pdf) are already out. If you like gender diversity, you might want to join us next year.

cvggender

The attendees skewed surprisingly young, but then, as a geezer, I might have a skewed perspective myself.

One thing that is missing from the questions asked is something about race/ethnicity — I know, it’s Minnesota, we’re really pale, but it would still be a good thing to pay attention to, especially since I thought there was more diversity there this year than last.

Does sex sell beer?

bfrainier

I don’t watch much broadcast TV, but when I do, I pay a distracting amount of attention to the ads (which is the main reason I don’t watch it much). I think advertisers are extremely good at grabbing your attention quickly, and they’ve really mastered an effective visual language. But what is it good at, beyond compelling the eye to follow it? I confess, if a beer commercial features bikini-clad women bouncing on the screen, my eye is irresistibly drawn to it, and it takes some focus to tear away.

But I don’t think I buy beer based on the attire of their bikini models. Most often, I don’t even know what brand of beer they’re trying to sell with that beach scene, so it would be hard for it to influence me in a specific direction. So here’s a paper that asks about the actual effectiveness of those ads.

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