Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 17:17 on 26-02-2012, Melissa G.
@valse

Have you seen the SRSPUA subreddit yet? It may be my favorite thing ever. Just post after post of mocking PUAs. Actually, I'm really enjoying that SRS has branched out and created multiple subreddits where we can just hang and not worry about all the dumb people. A little slice of reddit all for us! (^_^)v
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at 13:46 on 26-02-2012, Janne Kirjasniemi
I think it may be more a case bad example used rather than the writer trying to argue that it is a flaw in the free market, since he does point out that both cars and gas stations exist, so the market obviously survived this particular situation. A better example of the situation in connection with keyboards is perhaps the beta vs. vhs competition he references further on in the article. But still, a bad example.
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at 13:00 on 26-02-2012, Dan H
Similar network effects are helpful in explaining why virtually the whole world uses MS Windows rather than one of the alternatives, and why it's so difficult for any of the various "Facebook killers" to gain any traction against Facebook.


But that's a very different observation. It's a *feature* of the market that there are some things which get more valuable the more people have them, and this is a problem only insofar as it can be anticompetitive (although that is true only in some situations, not in the case of cars-vs-petrol-stations).

Effectively the person Shim was quoting has it *exactly the wrong way around*. He sees that two products exist which would not, in their present state, be viable without one another, and instead of concluding that it is a feature of the free market that this can happen, he concludes that it is a flaw in the free market that these things are required to happen.
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at 10:41 on 26-02-2012, valse de la lune
I do so love SRS.

Achtung! Attention! Ten'hut! All MRAs, PUAs, and Pedos. Lock eyes with all the police officers you see to ascertain your dominance and don't look away until they do. You will know you have won when you are tased in the nuts and arrested but don't worry, free speech will protect you. Just say you are from Reddit and that you are a Redditor and if you don't let me go I will down vote you.


Did I mention I love SRS?
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at 08:17 on 26-02-2012, Melissa G.
Imagine trying to introduce the concept of intersectionality to redditors in their calm state


We at SRS have certainly tried....
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at 07:22 on 26-02-2012, Guy
Perhaps it's my scientific background, but as a general rule of thumb if your theory predicts that it is impossible for cars to exist, your theory *may need some revision*.


To be fair, there's something in the idea, it's just been overstated. Cars are much much more useful if there are petrol stations all over the place, rather than having to have petrol delivered to your house and then carrying a supply with you. And setting up a petrol station is only an economically viable proposition if there are lots of people driving around in cars who are going to stop off and buy petrol from you when they start running out. So in the early days of the car, there would be no petrol stations and just a few car-drivers, carrying their petrol with them. (And presumably having some delivered to their home in horse-drawn carts? Perhaps that never happened but it's a funny image.) But once a town or city reached a certain density of car-ownership, a petrol station might appear, which would make owning a car more attractive for the people who didn't own one, leading to more cars, more stations, &c &c. Similar network effects are helpful in explaining why virtually the whole world uses MS Windows rather than one of the alternatives, and why it's so difficult for any of the various "Facebook killers" to gain any traction against Facebook.
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at 06:15 on 26-02-2012, valse de la lune
They'd only demand to know what road intersections have to do anything. Imagine trying to introduce the concept of intersectionality to redditors in their calm state, let alone when they turn into frothing fanboys.
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at 20:50 on 25-02-2012, Melissa G.
@valse

That's when you point out intersectionality, which is basically the idea that "Just because you're not privileged in one area doesn't mean that you aren't privileged in others". Black men still have male privilege. White women still have white privilege. Etc.

Of course, the types that would call you out for class privilege probably aren't likely to listen to reason... :-/
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at 17:53 on 25-02-2012, valse de la lune
Bringing up class is a favorite derailment tactic--it's been thrown around at me fairly often, like so (trigger warning for comments surrounding that: everything and I do mean everything). Because yelling "you have CLASS privilege!" in answer to "you're a misogynistic and racist cock" makes for perfect logic. It's the one area in which straight cis white men can feel vaguely oppressed about--and sometimes not even that, since I doubt I have class privilege over most white western men--so they milk it for all it's worth. No, they aren't trolling. They honestly think it's some kind of GOTCHA I-WIN button.
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at 17:34 on 25-02-2012, Melissa G.
And as for being middle class makes you oppressed as a male ... let's not even go there.


I've been hanging out on reddit, which has a strong Mens Rights Activist group (as they seem to only exist on the internet) so that's sadly something I have been hearing a lot lately. They're always talking about how women oppress men through feminism and nonsense like that. One of them tried to argue with me that we live in a matriarchy. Urge to punch...rising....

I can only hope they're trolls, but I'm afraid they aren't.
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at 12:37 on 25-02-2012, Dan H
Sophia McDougall wrote quite a good response to that comment a little while ago.
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at 12:27 on 25-02-2012, Wardog
OMG, Steven Moffat :( :( :(

Like, I always thought he was a misogynistic prick anyway but...

I mean, *some* little girls play at being married because they're sort of taught that what's they're meant to aspire to not because it's coded in our genetic material to want to ENTRAP LITTLE BOYS INTO MARRIAGE.

And as for being middle class makes you oppressed as a male ... let's not even go there.
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at 11:59 on 25-02-2012, Dan H
The idea of Rowling trying her hand at edgy grimdark transfixes my face into a permanent death rictus.


I suspect that her Adult books won't be fantasy at all (she maintained, after all, that she had "no idea" the Potter books were fantasy, although as Terry Pratchett observed "you'd think the dragons and wizards might have tipped her off).

If she *does* write fantasy, it will almost certainly be a sub-Tolkein mess which mainstream critics will hail as original and groundbreaking because it will include things like Orcs As Noble Savages and Elves Who Are Sometimes Evil, and because the hero's love interest will die in the first book.
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at 10:09 on 25-02-2012, Melissa G.
Ugh, someone just linked me to this Steven Moffat quote. I always felt that he wrote women poorly, and now I know why. Just...ew to all of that.
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at 05:04 on 24-02-2012, valse de la lune
Oh, and some of you might enjoy Ekaterina Sedia's translation of hypothetical essays from Russian:

Ridicule of Victims of Violence as a Form of Demonization: Moaning Myrtle

The Founders of Hogwarts, or Men are Always in Charge: False Equality

Cho Chang: The Relations with Racial and Ethnic Minorities as a Casual Entertainment

Goblins: The Apotheosis of the British Antisemitic Tradition

If the Protagonist is Fed, Slavery is Awesome: House Elves

Only Stupid Girls Fight Slavery


This reminds me that there are actual people who believe Cho Chang is an example of excellent racial inclusion. Whenever I encounter one of them next I'll have to verbally kick them in the teeth.
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at 04:57 on 24-02-2012, valse de la lune
The idea of Rowling trying her hand at edgy grimdark transfixes my face into a permanent death rictus.
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at 03:11 on 24-02-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Personally, I like to think she came across my old screenplay and is working on a blaxsploitation reimagining/homage of the original franchise called Tyrese Potter and the Goblet of Funk.

Note: In my version, Voldemort is replaced by "Dat Honky", and he looks like Ned Beatty.

I am such a horrible person.
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at 22:02 on 23-02-2012, Arthur B
Guess who's back. I am yet to be convinced that this isn't going to end up being some form of edgy, grimdark Potter spinoff.
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at 22:00 on 23-02-2012, Dan H

Well yes, because your basic premise is nonsense; you don't need petrol stations to have cars, they just kept supplies at home and carried it with them... hardly impeccable, mates.


Perhaps it's my scientific background, but as a general rule of thumb if your theory predicts that it is impossible for cars to exist, your theory *may need some revision*.
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at 18:51 on 23-02-2012, Ibmiller
@Shimmin: True, but I think that Austen, unlike many "classic" novellists, provided everything you need to know in the work itself. I think Hale's implication was that you need to read tons of history and literary criticism to understand some classics, but that when you read Austen, she slips in the details of the entail and the mores surrounding Lydia's behavior so that it makes sense as you read it, rather than requiring extensive secondary reading to understand and respond. Not that extensive secondary reading doesn't enhance Austen (English major, here :-), but it's not required.
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at 08:17 on 23-02-2012, Shim
Just noticed this on a link off Michal's Dvorak page:
This, of course, is a catch-22 that we might suppose to be common in the economy. There will be no cars until there are gas stations there will be no gas stations until there are cars. Without some way out of this conundrum, joyriding can never become a favorite activity of teenagers. The logic of these economic traps and conundrums is impeccable as far as it goes, but we would do well to consider that these traps are sometimes escaped in the market.

Well yes, because your basic premise is nonsense; you don't need petrol stations to have cars, they just kept supplies at home and carried it with them... hardly impeccable, mates.
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at 08:14 on 23-02-2012, Shim
@Michal: it's quite a nice read. Dvorak is one of those things I vaguely meant to try sometime so I'd have more idea about it, but can't be bothered, especially with having Qwerty at work. Some of the key placements look distinctly suboptimal but it's hard to tell without see above.

@Kyra: yeah, the game thing was lovely.

@Ibmiller: ZOMG yes Princess Academy was quite a lot of fun and had some really nice ideas in. Although not entirely sure I agree with the quote there; Austen has plenty of historical context to worry about. Like in P&P, the root of their troubles being the inheritance rules; or the main problem with Lydia being running off unmarried rather than doing so at fifteen. I'm not sure those specifically related to "why the book was important" mind, but then I'm not sure what would.
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at 07:17 on 23-02-2012, Ibmiller
In counterpoint to Meg Cabot's brilliant idea that we create our own images of characters while reading (sorry, Meg, horse is dead), I just found a short but sweet piece by Shannon Hale (author of the lovely little piece Princess Academy which is definitely not the kind of overly pink processed YA fast food I was expecting (like, say, The Princess Diaries by Cabot), but instead well worth reading) - http://blog.figment.com/2012/02/06/shannon-hale-on-jane-austen/

The most relevant (and agree-with-by-me) insight was the following:

So many of the classics are historically dependent—a reader needs to decode language or understand complicated historical contexts in order to fully appreciate why the book was (and/or continues to be) important. Austen is only human dependent.

Also, Kyra, I nearly stopped breathing while laughing at the video game clip. Thrice.
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at 23:01 on 22-02-2012, Dan H
I’m not comparing a woman to a book, I’m comparing two different types of infatuation.

I can't believe he missed the opportunity to insist that, if we're annoyed by the analogy, then that implies that we know nothing about books, or women, or him.

(sorry, old comment, but years of Hollywood movies have left me unable to resist the old "same line in a different context" gambit).
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