Re: "You Mean To Say I've Been Speaking Prose All My Life?"

1

The parenthetical final paragraph is wonderful.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:26 PM
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I think the neg is slightly different from the (adult) tease, in that, in the tease, we both know you're saying something you really don't mean or that we're both being playful about. The neg is more like telling a woman that you see through them, which puts them on the defensive.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:27 PM
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And yes, the parenthetical para was good. That happens to me a lot because I'm not actually good at figuring out what people are sensitive about.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:28 PM
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I guess. But it seems as if it'd be awfully hard to tell them apart as delivered.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:29 PM
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3: "Sorry, I assumed you were wearing that ironically."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:30 PM
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4: nah, the PUAs are more dickish.

But on the "gee, this seems like common sense" tip, that scene is all about replacing the common sense/human interaction pieces of seduction with the equivalent of fighting game combos; it's women as video games.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:32 PM
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It could be worse. They could be talking about McMegan.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:34 PM
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I bought a cute Paul Frank T with a skull on it when I was 23 and wore it to a party, where a guy said, "Oh, that's Paul Frank, isn't it?"
"Yeah, I just got it!"
"I know because I teach fifth grade. Ten-year-olds are really into that stuff."
"Oh."
Neg, tease, or just thoughtlessly mean?

I guess delivery matters? I associate it with the attitude with which it's said.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:35 PM
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6.2: I suppose if the common-sense approach to human interaction hadn't occurred to you, there's nothing wrong in principle with systematizing it. The attitude seems weirdly hostile, but for someone who didn't figure out how and why to tease people back in the third grade, explicit advice on the subject is probably useful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:40 PM
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Yeah, I thought there was a distinction here: teasing as fun and obviously lighthearted versus negging as overtly dickish. It's not clear to me why being overtly dickish is supposed to be the way to pick up women.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:41 PM
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Yeah, I agree with AWB's distinction in 2. The neg is definitely about power dynamics, about trying to get the upper hand.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:42 PM
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Surely saying "I teach fifth grade" isn't something a PUA would say, right? That sounds almost like it could be a failed attempt at being self-deprecating ("all my hip-ness I get from 10-year olds, so you must be cooler than me") that managed to fail its way into being insulting.

I'm guessing for a neg you're supposed to go more with something like "Was it a gift?"


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:43 PM
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It's not clear to me why being overtly dickish is supposed to be the way to pick up women.

Because women always go for the dicks instead of the nice guys, of course.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:45 PM
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2, 10, 11: Huh. I can't imagine that works terribly well -- I'd bet if it does, it's because in practice people deliver them in a way that's hard to tell from normal kidding.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:46 PM
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I think it's supposed to be effective for the same reason women don't leave abusive relationships. Destroy all internal feelings of adequacy so that they then depend on you for validation. "Wow, you're pretty worthless -- but lucky for you, I'm actually interested. Sort of!"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:47 PM
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14: the only reason any of that stuff ever works is because it gives the guys the self-confidence to hit on women constantly. The actual techniques are so much horseshit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:48 PM
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16: I just go for the direct approach: "Hi, you look like you have low self-esteem. Want to fuck?"


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:49 PM
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(Not really.)


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:56 PM
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17: Up your game. Try, "Someone dressed as cheaply as you should have low self-esteem. Want to fuck?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:57 PM
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Amateurs. More like, (looking her over critically) "I'm guessing it's been awhile since you got any action. Let me help you out of that rut."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:00 PM
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"I can tell we have something in common: neither of us respects you."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:01 PM
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20: You'd get shot, I think, if you tried that here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:02 PM
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The theory behind it, I think, is that it communicates that you are observant, and consider yourself in a position to judge, which makes you seem high-quality. It means she is in the position of having to defend herself to you somehow, which is also a test of whether she finds you attractive.

The real problem, of course, is that most grown women would like to be spoken to as if they were humans. But anything you say to an actual human about something that might matter to you or to them has the potential to be offensive. So you talk about what is visible. But if you go up to someone and say you like her hair or her outfit or her tits, what does that get you? Nothing! So the neg calculus is about pretending to build a rapport while not actually having to risk creating an intimacy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:04 PM
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I'm guessing in practice it's supposed to be something less overt. More like "You would be really pretty if you [wore eye-makeup, dressed differently, did something with your hair]."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:06 PM
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Moby's at the gun range.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:06 PM
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26

Just like a Goth's mom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:07 PM
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26 was to 24, but would also work for 25 based on the crowd here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:07 PM
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To be fair, I don't like being flirted with at all unless the flirter is naturally hilarious or something. I may have (I don't think so) complained about the guy at a party who approached me out of the blue with a story about just having gotten back from some humanitarian mission or other, which is great, but it was so a flirty boast and not a conversation. Not "Hi, how do you know the host? Oh I know him from the Peace Corps" but [sitting] "I just got back from..."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:08 PM
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I think some of the standard examples are like "Your hair is gorgeous. Is that its natural color?" or "Wow, are your nails real?" The assumption is that the woman you've approached does not wear her natural hair or nails.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:10 PM
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Didn't Feynman have a story about putting women on the defensive as a seduction technique? As I recall he found it effective but distasteful.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:14 PM
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Not that I'm an expert, but I'm pretty sure LB is right in the original post about what a neg is and should be. Commenters are describing what a neg turns into used by a incompetent dick who resents women and can't hide it. You're not giving women enough credit -- for the great majority, a frontal assault on the ego would be a terrible way to open up.

From an interview with celebrity PUA Neil Strauss about the definition of "neg":

ME: In The Game, one of your pieces of advice is for men to "neg" women they're flirting with slightly -- to say something slightly negative as a way of drawing someone in, or causing them to want to win your approval. Does "negging" work for women when they're hitting on me?

HIM: I think a lot of people don't really understand the neg. The trick, when you're flirting, is figuring how to keep a balance between being engaging enough to retain someone's attention and not seeming overly available. So you tease a person a little. For a woman, it would be something like calling a guy on his shit -- saying something like, "Oh sure you do ..."

Neil Strauss wrote one of the best books ever written about rock and roll, "The Dirt" (about Motley Crue). His book about the PUA scene, "The Game", is actually very good and well done.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:17 PM
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The Feynman story is that before you buy a woman a drink you should first ask if she'll sleep with you tonight (chapter title: "You just ask them"). It's a bit different from the PUA techniques in that it's straightforward rather than tricky. If I remember correctly he found it effective and largely not distasteful with women he looked down at (random bar in NM) but felt bad about it when he tried it (successfully) with women he had more respect for (some grad student's sister?).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:19 PM
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effective but distasteful

Much like Feynman himself.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:20 PM
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29: Yeah, I thought the key was to bury an insult in a complement. The point wasn't to simply tease someone, or to simply insult them in a way that is socially acceptable, but to get them feeling bad about themselves without realizing that you are the person who is making them feel bad about themselves.

It is more sophisticated than the third grade tactic. Kids (and teens) tease people they are attracted to as a defense mechanism. They are actually trying to convince themselves that they are not totally powerless before someone's charms. There is an element of this psychology in PUA's, too, but the strategy isn't a pure result of it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:23 PM
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The neg is definitely about power dynamics, about trying to get the upper hand.

And this is not representative of normal human relations? I would beg to differ.

The way that PUAs put their instructions make it really easy for people following them to act like huge dicks. But pretty much anything anyone says is a power/status move of one sort or another. (It's never the primary purpose, because you can't gain status if it looks like you're trying to gain status.)

I think the PUAs are right about the role of status in interactions. It's ugly, but it's the truth.

The reason it all seems so distasteful is that the instructions are aimed towards the average female, and towards shallow (sex-getting) interactions. But the same mindset could be applied to creating a more respectful set of instructions, by a person of a higher social class, and/or towards other kinds of goals.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:24 PM
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For example.

Impro, a classic book on theatre improvisation, convincingly shows that people are better actors when they notice how status moves infuse most human interactions. Apparently we are designed to be very good at status moves, but to be unconscious of them. So to be more self-aware of how you really treat those around you, learn to see your status moves.

Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:32 PM
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There are definitely power dynamics in ordinary teasing. But good teasing has a light touch. The examples in 29 are cloddish and heavy-handed.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:34 PM
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37: Right. But what might be heavy-handed for a lot of us here is probably less so in the PUA demographic. Of course, I could be wrong, and negging increases your status by some other mechanism than why teasing does. But I suspect there's a combination of difference in demographic and misinterpretation going on.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:38 PM
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OK, here's a good example of the sort of stuff I think they're generally talking about. The guy is videotaping himself, marking all the pushing and pulling in their conversation, in order to show you, the viewer, that "average-looking guys like [him]self" don't think of beautiful women "as a luxury." She seems to think something really special might be happening in her life, and he's planning how to get 5 or 6 more that day.

I don't see a problem with guys trying this shit in bars full of people who are all gaming each other, but I dislike the fact that it's happening with some unsuspecting girl on the street.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:43 PM
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don't s/b shouldn't

The point is, if you're doing all this stuff in order to create the idea of intimacy, which means nothing to you, in the mind of another person, you're setting them up for a big shock. I have commented at length before on the things I think PUAs get right, like how not to seem scary or obsessive. But I've also been on the receiving end of a lot of attention from guys who beg me to open up and trust them, and once they've got it, they disappear. None of the PUA stuff I've seen talks about what you do with that girl once you've got her and she thinks you have something special, other than that you might be able to turn her into a wingman if she's devoted enough to you.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:49 PM
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40: From what I can tell pickup as PUAs discuss and define it is totally inimical to the deeper seriousness and committment involved in love, which absolutely requires you to become vulnerable to the other person. Lesson 1 for them is always to drive out vulnerability and idealization.

But at the same time the play element of genuine flirtation and romance uses some of the same techniques, it has a game quality. The article in Point Magazine that McMegan linked to had a good discussion of this toward the end, in the analysis of Stendhal.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 10:10 PM
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The PUA is but a pale imitation of Grigoriy Aleksandrovich Pechorin.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 10:19 PM
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I think the reason people get angry about this is that the PUA are consciously manipulating the signals they send, making them machiavellian and inauthetic.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 10:56 PM
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i also don't think there is much ideological coherence to 'pickup community' beyond being willing to talk about what one does while hitting on women (including some jargon) and that one's actions in that activity affect the outcome.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 11:03 PM
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43:The "real reason" is that we don't like to think we are this easily controlled by a pro.

But we are. At least I am, and I know I am.

How bout you? Could he get a kiss, and you not realize you'd been played?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 11:12 PM
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But pretty much anything anyone says is a power/status move of one sort or another. (It's never the primary purpose, because you can't gain status if it looks like you're trying to gain status.)

It is the primary purpose, but usually not the overt purpose.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 11:14 PM
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So you talk about what is visible. But if you go up to someone and say you like her hair or her outfit or her tits, what does that get you? Nothing!

does to match the mantra,

If you see something, say something !


Posted by: Econolicious #MTA #NYC | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 11:15 PM
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But if you go up to someone and say you like her hair or her outfit or her tits, what does that get you? Nothing!

It's probably better just to pick one and go with it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 11:20 PM
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the video in 39 was terrific.

40:"Can't con or flatter a honest person"

And the video is worth watching closely.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 11:21 PM
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I think the reason people get angry about this is that the PUA are consciously manipulating the signals they send, making them machiavellian and inauthetic.

Naah, they're just dicks.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 11:28 PM
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The article in 41 is beautifully written. That's a pseudonym.

Stendhal came up on one of my first dates with an ex, who saw the "crystallization" part of "Of Love" as proof that Stendhal did not think love was anything more than a self-inflicted delusion. What he missed, I think, is what "Belknap" gets, which is that, to a Romantic, the subjective experience of that delusion is meaningful and marvelous, even when it's torture.

I am not a Romantic, but the article explains it well.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 11:33 PM
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to a Romantic, the subjective experience of that delusion is meaningful and marvelous, even when it's torture.

But it really works too. The older and more realistic I get, the more practical value I see in the idealization that comes with love. It's not a falsehoood, it's a commitment to focus on certain truths.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 11:43 PM
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Re 39

The rule usually is that we think we are manipulating each other. To see the "poor victim" in 39 as not having an agenda, strategy and tactics of her own in the encounter, however incompetently is very disrespectful. Everyone is playing. What did she want? How was she playing him?

2) And what, random reasonable dude meets her in the street and is just instantly fascinated by her? Jeez, what a goddess. Why exactly does she think she deserves all this attention? What does she do in the encounter to keep it going?

Can't flatter an honest person. That is why PUA works.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 11:46 PM
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This debuted on HBO tonight. Well done


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 11:51 PM
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53: She's obviously freaked out by it, no? She blushes, and her leg shakes at a certain point. We're not taught how to do that. He's behaving really strangely, and she doesn't know how to respond. Yes, perhaps he's behaving strangely because he actually finds her appealing. She's some kind of insane egotist for possibly thinking that, when he's acting that way?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 12:05 AM
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having the target of my interest collapse, devastated

The punch to the nuts is really a poor flirting technique, despite what the popular literature says.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 12:09 AM
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Seinfeld?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 12:27 AM
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When Linda, a girl I crushed on in high school, brought her power-pop band to L.A., I went to see them play. I noticed a pair of her friends, two guys with shaved heads, hanging close to each other. I filed them away as a gay couple, so I was surprised when Linda told me that one was her friend Neil Strauss.

Sure I had -- this was right around when The Game came out, so I knew that he'd reported on the community but not that he'd made such an impressive place in it. She knew him from the rock scene in NYC, and she'd gone to bars with him for an article about the phenomenon of the female wingman. I'd read the article, but I hadn't known it was her. And it turned out that Neil's partner wasn't a paramour but a protege.

I saw her band again a year later, and recognized Neil in the crowd, and noted a clingy, shlubby guy by his side. After the show, I asked Linda if she needed place to stay. Shlubby McCling pricked up his ears at this point, and took an interest in me.

He moved with me away from Linda and struck up a conversation. He was from North Carolina, here to "hang out with Neil." I supposed that he was another trainee. As he showed me pictures of his house and dog, he started moving into my personal space.

I gathered that this was a ploy to freak me out, and I'm not the dudiest dude in the world, so not only didn't it work, but I realized that it would be fun to play the same game back at him. So I moved deeper into his personal space.

Now, we're in a crowded Viper Room. There's not a lot of personal space to start with. This quickly becomes two men engaged in grim frottage, one beginning to sweat visibly while he shows the other pictures on his phone.

He backed off, and it soon became clear that I wasn't trying to pick up Linda and he wasn't going to.

I went downstairs to say goodbye to her in the lounge and she explain that as I'd suspected, he had been practicing his Game on me -- using techniques he'd learned to neutralize competition. His first move was to divert me from his target. His second was to queer me out.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 1:06 AM
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It's not clear to me why being overtly dickish is supposed to be the way to pick up women.

Two female friends have been, over the past couple of weeks, telling me that I need to be more of an asshole regarding women. So, uh, there you have it?

One of them also, when I expressed distaste at this, told me I was too much of a feminist. Should I have on that basis invited them to a threesome? Probably this is the kind of in-joke that really only works with those with whom it is in.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 1:18 AM
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It might have been worth a try. Then, if they agreed, you should have kissed one of them and walked away.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 1:42 AM
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51.2: That is also straight-up Roman elegy.


Posted by: Oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:11 AM
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53:Like I said, I will have to watch it again more closely, not in the middle of the night

I do seem to remember discussion that he might help her get a job at a resort. She may have thought she was hustling him, which for him is absolutely the very best way to play a mark, and puts all his little tricks into a different light. The captions and play-by-play misdirect us into watching him too much.

That everyone is hustling everybody else is made bearable and even fun by the fact that we all have very different agendas

I have always had a little trouble generating sympathy for the conned, because the Nigerian heir or the guy who sees paradise by the dashlight lights have always been easy for me to ignore.

He's behaving really strangely, and she doesn't know how to respond.

Instincts and intuitions rock. The body tells truth and the mind lies. And lies and lies and lies.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:27 AM
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Something called love. Yeah, love love love. Well, that's like hypnotising chickens...

A professional acquaintance of mine is a practitioner of this stuff (should that be acolyte?). I have never been able to fully take him seriously since learning this. I suspect that if it works for him, it's the aphrodisiac that comes in small rectangular sheets of paper (aka the antidepressant that gets to the cause of your problem) that's doing the work.


Posted by: OPINIONATED IGGY POP | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:35 AM
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It is the primary purpose, but usually not the overt purpose.

It's only the primary purpose (for most things) from Evolution's/your genes' standpoint. Which, to me, doesn't count. That's a nihilistic perspective to take.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:46 AM
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||

Speaking of being mean! I found a travel blog of a giant blowhard, but she's totally sincere. I'm dying to rip it to shreds as a front page post but it seems mean - she's not quite as terrible as, say, Jacqueline Pasta Postage Possum. But inadvertently she's so fantastically terrible.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:01 AM
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||

Oh, hi, Heebie. I thought this would entertain you if you haven't seen it already.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:09 AM
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40:"Can't con or flatter a honest person"

Not actually true.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:10 AM
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You are so perceptive Ned. I've always thought that about you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:19 AM
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66: Wow, that's a great article.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:22 AM
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I've been ambivalent about the PUA thing, and this makes me think it's sort of like Asperger's Syndrome as a deliberate lifestyle choice. Compartmentalize. Conversations with women can be thought of as rules A, B and C except for in cases M and N. Try this flowchart.

58
His second was to queer me out.

Heh. A friend of mine calls this "playing gay chicken". Trying to play it with a gay guy is ill-advised, he points out.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:26 AM
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Stendhal essay

I loved this, and am looking forward to reading Stendhal's On Love as a consequence.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:47 AM
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70.1: There seem to me to be two aspects. There's the dickishness of the goals: to the extent that the goal is to trick women into having casual sex by making them believe there's a developing emotional connection, that's creepy. (See AWB's 39, 40). OTOH, if the goal is to find women interested in casual sex and persuade them to be interested in casual sex with you rather than some other guy, that seems harmless. Cold, dehumanizing, the way they talk about stuff makes it all sound very hostile and unpleasant, but not actually wrong.

And then there's the scripted, artificial nature of it. What hits me about that is that most of the specific PUA advice I've seen quoted is perfectly reasonable dull social behavior -- someone with ordinary social skills would figure out that if you walk up to a group of people because you want to connect with one of them, being pleasant to all of them is a good idea; that gently teasing people works pretty well; and so on (admittedly, playing gay chicken to drive other men off is just weird). But for someone who hasn't managed to acquire ordinary social skills by ordinary means, I can't actually see a problem with learning to perform them in an artificially scripted manner. It might not work terribly well, but there aren't a lot of obviously superior alternatives.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:51 AM
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Regarding PUAs: It's pretty easy to live a solitary disconnected life. Making this a goal while sleeping around seems pretty deeply unpleasant. Possibly solitude in an indifferent world is an endpoint for everybody, I hope not. But staying open to real connections with other people seems as obvious a goal as taking care of your body.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:54 AM
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that gently teasing people works pretty well; and so on...But for someone who hasn't managed to acquire ordinary social skills by ordinary means, I can't actually see a problem with learning to perform them in an artificially scripted manner.

On the PUA show, IIRC, the delivery made it clear that these were intended to be cruel and undermining, and not teasing. Echoing what AWB and Helpy-chalk and others said above.

I don't have a problem with someone learning social codes in an explicit, scripted manner. These are power status moves, explicitly designed to teach unsocialized saps to be total dicks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:55 AM
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(1) This PUA stuff reads like Applied Goffman, with an added dollop of misogyny.

(2) Didn't Feynman have a story ...?

Of course he did. While clearing out my bookshelves last summer I made the mistake of going rereading "Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman", which I hadn't looked at since I was 17, and if there was ever a book that invites the response "Christ, what an asshole" this is it. The stuff about Arlene barely redeems it, I suppose. But Christ, what an asshole.

(3) I am not in a good mood today.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:58 AM
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Perhaps I should make 65 more explicit: anyone want to give me a pep talk that I should be cruel to a random blogger for our good fun?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:01 AM
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74: I wonder if there are splinter groups focusing on the 'remedial basic social skills through memorizing scripted behaviors' aspect of it, without the misogynist powertripping. I guess I'm stuck on thinking about haplessly irritating nerds I've known who weren't actually bad people, and thinking that some obsessive scripting might have served them well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:02 AM
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Aright I wanna write my own book about how to take advantage of the gay chicken PUA tactic to get some man-on-man action. Not because I think it would work but because I think anyone who thinks "queering someone out" is a valid part of this already pretty vile gestalt should have to worry about the fact that he may end up accidentally gay. Which, honestly, does seem to be a semi-conscious terror of some not very intelligent guys.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:03 AM
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76: Do it. You know you want to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:03 AM
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79 also to 78.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:04 AM
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75.2: I had the same reaction to Feynman's book. I read it as a teenager, and then years later recommended it to a friend. This inspired me to read it again, only to discover it sucks.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:05 AM
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Applied Goffman,

He was very short and apparently had small-man syndrome, and did not notice that his wife was depressed until she killed herself. So this is pretty apt, actually.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:08 AM
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78: Actually, I think your best advice is to write the book as straightforward PUA advice, expanding on the 'queer the competition out' aspect of it. Start from the "Straight women often get along well with and are relaxed with men they think are gay" premise, and just ramp up the advice bit by bit until you're giving the attempted PUA advice on the best types of lube to use if his efforts require him to have anal sex with his target's male friends.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:08 AM
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Why do all these PUAs keep bending over for me?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:11 AM
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Advice advice advice advice advice advice. Advice.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:11 AM
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77: This isn't quite what you asked, but (because background is necessary) I married my college best friend in part because he needed help and coverage because he does in fact have Asperger's Syndrome and not the self-diagnosed internet type and through me he could have insurance. I eventually pressured him into speech therapy where he did just what you recommend, learned, memorized role-played standard social scripts. I still remember how impressed the therapist we both saw said her secretary was on the day (after about a year as a patient) he walked in and said, "Hi. How's your day?" or something like that after she greeted him, rather than just nodding. I'm not sure he consciously uses the scripts anymore, but he is still capable of semi-comfortable casual interaction in a way he wasn't previously. He expects never to have another relationship, so he's not interested in the PUA sort of thing.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:19 AM
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76: anyone want to give me a pep talk that I should be cruel to a random blogger for our good fun?

Structure the post as a neg. Something like, "Nice blog post! **pause** Last week I read someone else writing about going to the exact same place!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:22 AM
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Consent consent consent consent consent consent . Consent.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:25 AM
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I eventually pressured him into speech therapy where he did just what you recommend, learned, memorized role-played standard social scripts.

I realize most people don't have speech therapy to learn the roles, but isn't everybody just using memorized standard social scripts 95% (or 99%) of the time?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:26 AM
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85, 88: LB is apparently even better at picking people up inadvertently than she thought.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:27 AM
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81: I never read Feynman's book because I saw the story that is the source of the title used in a brief blurb and that made it perfectly clear that he's the sort of relentlessly self-impressed smart guy that is a dime a dozen in Physics departments. The main difference between the generic "look how smart and outside-the-box I am" physicist and Feynman is that the latter is actually bloody smart, whereas the former are often going through a major identity crisis in grad school as they discover that they actually have to bust ass to stay even with the genuinely smart people.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:28 AM
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Okay, I did it! I couldn't have done it without your support, my supportive supporters.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:30 AM
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89: Sure. That's kind of the point -- if somehow you missed memorizing the standard social scripts naturally, doing it on purpose is a good idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:30 AM
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The guy who first preached The Game's merits to me is a total fucking sleazeball, who eventually tried to throw me under the bus in a recording situation (recorded and then erased parts I did; replaced me with someone else in a bid to have me moved out of a project, all without consulting anyone in the band).

Any mention of The Game just makes my skin crawl, but I have a hard time separating how much of it is inherently off-putting vs. how much I'm really fucking disgusted with that one guy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:31 AM
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89: Totally! But she was suggesting there might be a support group or something and I was just saying that speech therapy is also an option, though maybe not one that would spring to mind for most people.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:32 AM
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93: What if you didn't do it naturally and did it on purpose without a therapists?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:33 AM
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Pretend I memorized how not to use unnecessary plurals.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:34 AM
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This goes into the category of why in God's name am I admitting this here, but I actually spent about 6 months in late 2003-early 2004 hanging out with guys who were super into the PUA scene. My cheezy high school friend had hooked up with a crew of guys about 5-8 years younger, and I didn't have much else to do at the time, so I spent a bunch of Friday and Saturday nights out with this crowd. This was before all this had gone mainstream and these guys would get together and go over their "pregame" rules for how to approach "sets," pouring over a xeroxed set of handwritten notes that they'd gotten from someone else in the scene. The whole thing had an aura of hermeneutic knowledge and was totally unbelieveably bizarre.

The terminology is incredibly lame but the psychology is fairly sophisticated. The initial contact mostly consists of creating a clear sense that the contact is casual/fun and that the PU target is not being trapped or imposed upon, with some kind of deliberately nonsensical questioning that provokes a laugh and a "what?" response. The approach is to start the conversation with something like "I'm just heading out to meet my friend, but he's been telling me that there's a tribe in Paupa New Guinea that's trained themselves to eat metal. That's crazy, right?" A weird enough question to get a response, plus a clear signal that this isn't going to trap the girl into a long, interminable encounter.

There were also a whole series of rules about how to deal with different groups, the length of time one had for an initial contact, etc.

After that initial contact, the goal was to create some kind of aura of slight detachment or mystery. The "neg" as these guys used the term was not "rejection" but was short for "negliment" -- a compliment that was also designed to highlight an insecurity. It definetely wasn't designed to come across as being an aggressive dick -- the compliment part had to be plausible. For example, if the girl was wearing some obvious accessory (probably the source of insecurity), a straight compliment of the accessory would work. There was also a whole series of body language things that these guys would work on, which mostly boiled down to pretending to create a sense of distance while not actually being distant. Aggressive leaning in, touching, etc., was totally frowned upon. The interesting thing was that it was totally focused upon a planned retreat from contact, rather than aggressive approach.

I was single at the time, and therefore wasn't above trying some of these techniques, but they are totally incompatible with simultaneously maintaining an ironic detachment from the whole thing, so I completely bombed. It seemed to work pretty well for these other guys, though, at least at first. The problem was that once they'd gone through the motions of the pick up, they didn't have much else to do -- as far as I could tell, the whole business led to a lot of making out outside of clubs, but relatively little sex.

I found better and less depressing/annoying friends and my high school buddy moved out of town, so I completely lost touch with these guys. The last time I saw the ringleader, a few years later, he went on at incredible length about how much he worshipped his girlfriend and how much he hated his old life.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:37 AM
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There's the dickishness of the goals: to the extent that the goal is to trick women into having casual sex by making them believe there's a developing emotional connection, that's creepy.

A lot of the advice is premised on the idea that most women want to have sex only with men with whom they feel they're developing an emotional connection; i.e., relatively few women really want "casual" sex. So yes, if you're a man just looking for casual sex, you're going to need to trick women. (Or, at least, you're going to be much more successful in obtaining casual sex if you do successfully trick women.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:39 AM
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Wow to 98.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:39 AM
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96: Well, you'd need some source for what ordinary social behavior actually was, under the assumption that you hadn't picked it up on your own. So, therapist, support group, book, something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:40 AM
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83 is fucking brilliant.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:43 AM
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101: I suppose I'm mostly just curious if I'm just phoning-in social interaction to a greater extent than most people. On writing that out, I now think that because the question occurred to me, the answer is probably no.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:46 AM
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72, 77: Oh, definitely, what AWB talked about is pure dickishness, and a lot of PUAs - not all, but enough that it seems like a problem any proponent of the system is obligated to address - just ooze misogny and incredibly grating superiority complexes in general. But I think "haplessly irritating nerd" but "not actually bad people" describes me (maybe I give myself too much credit with the last part, but anyways), and even though I never tried the PUA thing it's easy to imagine some guy otherwise like me who did, so that's why I'm ambivalent about it. The main reason I never tried it was simple disgust at the idea. I'm having a hard time articulating it any better than that. Maybe I'll try to elaborate on it and/or poke at my memory for a bit.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:48 AM
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39 is a fascinating take on the "hypnotizing chickens" version of love. I've stumbled into those situations a very few times in my life, where people want to be told what to do and you're taking the lead in the right way. It's great in one way, creepy in another. It makes me uncomfortable to be in control that much and I'm far too much of a lazy introvert to work myself into the proper state much if ever, but it's pretty wild. If you're a great natural manipulator -- some salesmen are like this -- and could get yourself in state at will you could do some serious manipulation. A hell of a lot of people are natural followers, nothing wrong with that either unless you run into the wrong person.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:48 AM
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75, 81: Seems as good a pretense as any to link this article on the Feynman/Gell-mann relationship from The Atlantic. Feynman might not bear re-reading but has anyone read The Quark and the Jaguar? (I've not although I recall leafing through it on several occasions.)

"I'm writing a book for peasants," Gell-Mann would say dismissively. As it turned out, he wasn't up to the task. The Quark and the Jaguar became legendary in publishing circles for the size of the advances it attracted -- reported to be more than a million dollars worldwide -- and for the toll in human suffering it took on friends, colleagues, ghostwriters, editors, and, finally, readers. It was the Heaven's Gate of science books.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:48 AM
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I'd like to think that Unfogged is now trolling me.
72 and 74 summarize my thinking. I would just add that the power and manipulation aspects probably attract certain personality types, obscuring what could otherwise be a useful service for social incompetents.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:49 AM
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I meant "hermetic" not "hermeneutic," of course, in 98.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:49 AM
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A hell of a lot of people are natural followers, nothing wrong with that either unless you run into the wrong person.

You're not kidding there.


Posted by: Albert Speer | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:50 AM
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107 summarizes my thinking. The PUA reading material, though perhaps intended for sociopaths, is a good way for a non-sociopath to learn about what kind of signals we are sending out in social situations.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:04 AM
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It's remedial superficial charm school.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:08 AM
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Exactly. Very valuable hints.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:10 AM
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Feynman might not bear re-reading but has anyone read The Quark and the Jaguar?

A long time ago. It was moderately interesting, I think, but nothing special. Gell-Mann seems to be kind of weirdly obsessed with trying to control people's perceptions of him (IIRC, he changed his name from Gellman to make it seem more distinguished), which is pretty much the same thing he's been so publicly critical of Feynman for.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:18 AM
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I don't really think that PUAs as "remedial charm school" works. It's very specifically focused on a particular set of interactions -- how to encourage/manipulate a woman who you don't know in a crowded place go home with you.

True, a lot of the techniques are designed to make women feel comfortable, which is a good thing, and why they seem to work. But learning a bunch of PUA techniques isn't going to do too much to make one more socially skilled in ordinary life.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:21 AM
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True, a lot of the techniques are designed to make women feel comfortable, which is a good thing, and why they seem to work. But learning a bunch of PUA techniques isn't going to do too much to make one more socially skilled in ordinary life.

It does help us learn possible answers to the questions "Why don't people like me?" and "Why do people think I don't like them?"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:25 AM
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115: Most people are probably better off not knowing the answer to those questions so they can think the answer is, "They don't know the real me."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:26 AM
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Once you figure out the answer is, "Because they know the real me," you've got only two choices: misanthropy or hiding under a fort made of couch cushions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:28 AM
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Surely humdrum self-hatred and despair is also a choice.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:29 AM
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Sure, but it gets tiring and you need a place to rest. Eventually, it leads to the fort.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:31 AM
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Elaborate, paranoid techniques to keep people from noticing the real you are also an option.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:36 AM
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114: The body language awareness and experience approaching groups should be fairly applicable, right?
*steps closer to Halford*
Have you been working out?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:41 AM
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We're none of us real on the internet.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:42 AM
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most grown women would like to be spoken to as if they were humans

You keep saying that. I do not think it means what you think it means.


Posted by: Inigo Montoya | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:42 AM
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I should add that I'm not at all convinced the attitude described in 99 is wrong, empirically, though it's of course dickish.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:58 AM
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120
Elaborate, paranoid techniques to keep people from noticing the real you are also an option.

Dr. Horrible is totally a Nice Guy (TM).

And Penny will see the evil me
Not a joke, not a dork, not a failure
And she may cry but her tears will dry
When I hand her the keys to a shiny new Australia


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:58 AM
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Actually, "have you been working out" is kind of the anti-PUA question. You have a lot to learn, Eggplant!

I really don't think that the techniques are particularly real-world applicable. If you "negliment" your female friends or acquaintances on a regular basis, they will hate you. The particular body language stuff is specific and bizarre and doesn't really work except in brief encounters. Personally, I don't think that my hanging out with that set has particularly increased or changed my social skills at all, since I'm not particularly interested in picking up women in Hollywood nightclubs, which is what all of this is designed to do.

I guess "don't be too forward" and "don't seem creepy, even for a second" are generally-applicable, useful pieces of advice.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 11:03 AM
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Also, IME, the PUAs don't accept the premise of 99. The background assumption is that women do want casual sex, but that men are too incompetent and make them too uncomfortable to admit it, which is why you need this elaborate series of techniques.

Of course, the whole PUA scene is almost insanely misogynist, but one thing it really doesn't believe is that "women are looking for love, so we need to fool them."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 11:07 AM
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It strikes me that the distaff Unfogged readership is not the target demographic for the PUA. Perhaps this analysis should be referred to The Frisky, or some other bubbleheaded bleach blonde site.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 11:12 AM
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Personally, I'm fascinated by wallabies.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 11:14 AM
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127: well, I'm just recounting the attitudes of people I knew who considered themselves part of the scene, although I don't know whether they'd actually ever read "The Game". I certainly haven't read it. I imagine there's quite a bit of variation, but I'm glad to hear that at least a lot of it is built on the assumptions you describe in 127.1.

That said, however, I'm not sure I'm understanding how a system built on the asusmptions you describe in 127.1 would be "insanely misogynist". It sounds basically like the "social tips for the socially awkward" LB is describing, which I'd agree with her is harmless.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 11:17 AM
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I'm not sure I'm understanding how a system built on the asusmptions you describe in 127.1 would be "insanely misogynist". It sounds basically like the "social tips for the socially awkward" LB is describing, which I'd agree with her is harmless

In the simple sense of kind of hating/fearing women as a class, and seeing them as objects to be controlled and manipulated for sex.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 11:21 AM
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127 is totally right. Differences between men and women have nothing to do with how much you like sex, but how much an excuse you need to have it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 11:22 AM
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130
That said, however, I'm not sure I'm understanding how a system built on the asusmptions you describe in 127.1 would be "insanely misogynist". It sounds basically like the "social tips for the socially awkward" LB is describing, which I'd agree with her is harmless.

In theory it's harmless, but for some reason it tends to attract or cultivate insanely misogynist guys. This guy, for example. Jeff Fecke dissects a message board posting by a self-described "nice guy", and one pops up in the comments, but if you're in a hurry you can skip everything but the blockquoted text and think for a minute about just how much the guy is seething with a sense of entitlement to sex or resentment at hot chicks or whatever.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 11:26 AM
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In the simple sense of kind of hating/fearing women as a class

the period when a true PUA doesn't have to fear or resent a woman is limited to about a month -- once she's no longer a threat to reject you, but before she wants any deeper committment.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 11:27 AM
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I think it's less "excuse" and more the need to be sure the prospective partner isn't going to do something harmful. "Harmful" here spans the range from merely being a jerk after the fact all they way up to murder. The imbalance of potential harms and their probabilities is more than enough to explain women's carefulness about prospective partners even without blaming the patriarchy.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 12:00 PM
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135: This sounds accurate to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 12:09 PM
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The imbalance of potential harms and their probabilities is more than enough to explain women's carefulness about prospective partners

It's like you've never even seen Fatal Attraction. Or Basic Instinct, even.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 12:10 PM
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The imbalance of potential harms and their probabilities is more than enough to explain women's carefulness about prospective partners even without blaming the patriarchy.

Well, I'm not sure that they're two different things, ultimately. This is why in the Feminist Paradise, concealed carry will be mandatory.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 12:20 PM
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In theory it's harmless, but for some reason it tends to attract or cultivate insanely misogynist guys.

It's the adverse selection, isn't it? Like health insurance - certain pools only retain the sickest patients. I'm open to the idea of trying to retrospectively fix your social upfuckedness, and surely sex is part of that - but it's like chemistry. Nothing wrong with it, but the bits that relate to synthesising your own high explosives tend to attract the wrong sort.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 12:25 PM
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My earlier comments were meant to disagree with anything in 135.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 12:30 PM
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It's like you've never even seen Fatal Attraction. Or Basic Instinct, even.

Watch it, Bub. (I mean rent it. I can use the residuals.)


Posted by: Michael Douglas | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 12:30 PM
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If the diet of spoiled food includes moldy bread, you may be eating ergot, so bad syntax.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 12:32 PM
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113: Non-PUA scenes from the bathroom with Gell-Mann and Feynman (from the last part of this video of Gell-Mann, but not in their transcript):

Washing your hands after urinating is another thing he thought was superstition. In fact I thought so too. But in many cases I'd be in the bathroom, in the Men's Room, before lunch ... If I urinated I also washed my hands because I was just getting ready for lunch. But he couldn't see it. He said, "You're just an ordinary person, you're just a salesman type". Where he was an independent thinker, he could see that one wouldn't wash one's hands under those circumstances. [shakes head] All of that kind of thing just gradually got on my nerves.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 12:37 PM
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126: since I'm not particularly interested in picking up women in Hollywood nightclubs

Boaz now used three magical words that seemed to describe the maximum happiness a person could achieve on Earth: Hollywood night clubs. He had never seen Hollywood, had never seen a night club. "Man, " he said, "you were in and out of Hollywood night clubs all day and all night long."
-- Sirens of Titan


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 1:24 PM
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142: On the plus side, ergot isn't that far from LSD.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 1:27 PM
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It's amazing we've gotten this far without discussing the merits of neuro-linguistic programming. I'd start us off, but it would be... below me.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 1:52 PM
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The imbalance of potential harms and their probabilities is more than enough to explain women's carefulness about prospective partners even without blaming the patriarchy.

I think it's a combo of real hormonal differences (estrogen vs. testosterone), socialization, and being bombarded by demand from an early age. Gay men face potential harm from sleeping with men, but word on the street is many of them are quick to engage in casual sex.

Misogynistic PUA rants against McArdle with bonus veldt speak. Warning, offensive.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 1:52 PM
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From the link in 147:

The average American woman has a hippo grazing in her brain.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:02 PM
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The average American woman has a hippo grazing in her brain.

No, that's my mother-in-law


Posted by: Reginald Perrin | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:10 PM
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k-sky, the next time you see this Neil Strauss character, you need to punch him, right in the head. Just punch him. Right in the head. Justice demands it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:10 PM
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147: I am sad for wannabe pretentious twats who can't spell "plenary."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:13 PM
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148: Is he saying that the average American woman is fat? That she can easily head-butt you and kill you? That she swims gracefully?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:15 PM
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152: no, that there is a creature in the average American woman's brain that has those characteristics.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:16 PM
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A hungry, hungry hippo?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:17 PM
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More from the link in 147:

Game is, if nothing else, field tested and motherfucker approved.

I know, for myself, I won't try anything unless it is approved by motherfuckers.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:18 PM
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153: A teeny-tiny one?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:19 PM
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Marriage is no plenury indulgence from the soul ripping cenobite chains of the sexual market.

Huh. You know, while the word looks familiar, I've just realized that I have no idea what "cenobite" means. [Pause] Wikipedia says it's a kind of monastery. Now I'm confused.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:24 PM
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More PUA goodness , this time from Real Social Dynamics. Neb could take the San Francisco workshop and get a potent, hyper-concentrated hit of pure PUA power!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:25 PM
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I was away from the computer, and thinking about this thread, and I started wondering about neuro-linguistic programming, which (what little I know about it) seems like the exact opposite advice. I was initially skeptical of the theory that the only thing the strategies do is give you confidence to talk to women, but now I'm not so sure.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:25 PM
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157: I think he means this one but I too had googled to try to figure out WTF he actually meant.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:26 PM
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The sexual market is full of soul ripping trilobites.


Posted by: OPINIONATED DIMETRODON | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:28 PM
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Cenobites were the monsters in the Hellraiser series of films. In I think Hellraiser II, a hot suburban mom lures unwitting dudes to assignations that end badly. Coil made a truly wonderful soundtrack for the first movie that got rejected for being too scary, someone here posted mp3s. They're not great art, but a few scenes are effective, definitely better than the run-of-the-mill slasher film.

Some dude that likes big words and horror movies is spending a lot of time alone with his computer or TV.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:29 PM
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Now, see, I don't think I'd be weeping with laughter if the DIMETRODON hadn't been OPINIONATED. I'm not quite sure why it's funnier, but it is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:30 PM
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162: That was the first film.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:33 PM
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Online "PUA" poseurs are always a fountain of unintentional humor. I love this from the link in 147:

The only slithering that night was her receiving my meaty intrusion.

Something here makes me suspect the "her" in question here is either a figment, a RealDoll or a professional.

That whole comments section is mostly the usual stew of insecurity, ignorance and posturing -- I'm particularly amused that Vox Day appears to be a kind of patron saint of many of the commentariat -- but hats off to the patience of "J" who seems to have taken it on themselves to introduce a smidge of perspective and realism to the proceedings.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:33 PM
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147
Misogynistic PUA rants against McArdle with bonus veldt speak. Warning, offensive.

Dammit, rarely have I more rued my "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" reflex than I do at the moment. I hate McArdle, but there she is, getting attacked and called a "feminist" by a guy who looks genuinely crazy in addition to being misogynistic. And your comment prompted me to actually read the links in the OP, and hers was actually a little witty. And, um, here she seems to be debunking overly high estimates of the cost of Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid, when some glibertarians like her would be happy to fabricate those estimates themselves? You're blowing my mind here.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:34 PM
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Last week, I saw a FB post that an old friend from HS (someone I've seen exactly twice since we graduated over 15 years ago) was having a birthday party at the bar 2 blox from work. I was feeling kinda depressed, so I headed over there and had a couple of drinks with him and his friends. He and 2 of the friends were some kind of weird amalgam of Nice Guy, PUA, and in one case, unreconstructed douchebag. As we were catching up, my HS friend was at pains to tell me that he was:
(A) Dating a lot of 23 year-olds
(B) Embarrassed about dating a lot of 23 year-olds
(C) Sick of his general lifestyle; and
(D) Not likely to change anything anytime soon

The weirdest part, to me at least, was that one of his friends showed up, a woman of about our age, reasonably attractive, who lived next door to him, and was some kind of amalgam of wingman, fag hag and best friend to him. At one point he had her go over to the other half of the bar to check out the most recent 23 year-old. It was just so weird. I guess I have been hanging out with real bohemians for too long.

Somebody should write a book sometime about people -- they're peculiar.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:35 PM
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And your comment prompted me to actually read the links in the OP, and hers was actually a little witty.

I didn't want to get into her post particularly, but using 'girly' as a trump-card putdown pisses me off. Nothing wrong with her choice of targets, but making teenage girls the epitome of contemptibility is irritating.

OTOH:

Dammit, rarely have I more rued my "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" reflex than I do at the moment. I hate McArdle, but there she is, getting attacked and called a "feminist" by a guy who looks genuinely crazy in addition to being misogynistic.

While I think she's wrong about most stuff, she's generally feminist enough for me to call her one (I can't remember if she self-identifies as such, but I'm all about the big tent). And on issues like that, I'm happy with the enemy of my enemy being at least my ally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:39 PM
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I'm pretty sure I would ally with Stalin or Mao against McMegan. Maybe not Hitler.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:41 PM
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A country that armed Stalin to defeat Hitler can certainly work alongside enemies of al-Qaida to defeat al-Qaida.


Posted by: Gen. "Mad Dog" Mattis | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:48 PM
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my meaty intrusion

This sounds like something one should have a doctor check out.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 2:51 PM
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168
Nothing wrong with her choice of targets, but making teenage girls the epitome of contemptibility is irritating.

Well, it seemed like on original perspective on the PUA thing to me, FWIW. And insulting something by comparing it to teenage girls doesn't seem all that bad because I have plenty of contempt for teenage boys too. Sure, whether it seems bad to me isn't the important question, and sure, words matter and there isn't an analoguous pithy insult for being like a teenage boy ("macho bullshit" is less age-specific), but still, acting like a teenage girl in those specific ways does seem... if "contemptible" is irritating, how about "juvenile"? Or "pathetic"?

While I think she's wrong about most stuff, she's generally feminist enough for me to call her one (I can't remember if she self-identifies as such, but I'm all about the big tent).

No argument here. I was thinking more like how there are some bloggers and writers for whom feminism is their main issue and she's not normally one of them but this guy can't tell the difference, and/or how any woman who criticizes the PUA idea is automatically assumed to be feminazi, but I can see how what I wrote could easily have looked like scare-quotes.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 3:11 PM
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acting like a teenage girl in those specific ways does seem... if "contemptible" is irritating, how about "juvenile"? Or "pathetic"?

What struck me about it is that while trying too hard is by definition pathetic, what she was making fun of is something that teenage girls, and women generally, do for the most part do: think about how they're being perceived by the people they want to appeal to, and work on being appealing. And I don't really think that is a bad thing: not that it should be the only thing you think about, or that you should change yourself in onerous ways, but that empathizing with the people you want to connect with is sensible and reasonable.

The alternative seems to be some version of "Real men grunt and fart, and wonder why they can't get laid. But figuring out that showering occasionally would help would be unmanly." And that's just dim, as well as being sexist in all possible directions.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 3:23 PM
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On the subject of PUA, a thought comes to mind.

Having never been to an Unfogged meet-up* I imagine it as an even wittier Algonquin Round Table, but without the misogyny. On the otherhand, I can also imagine a bunch of nerds sitting around trying to say something witty, but falling flat and then drowning their collective sorrows in life giving booze. PUA banter might well be welcomed at that point.


* I was late to an LA meetup, but everyone had left. WTF?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 3:23 PM
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I've been to a bunch, one just last week, and neither description really holds up, although I feel a certain sense of identification with "a bunch of nerds".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 3:26 PM
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||

Life imitates Unfogged.

|>


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 3:35 PM
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174:

I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
Three, I'm under the table,
And four, I'm under the host.


Posted by: Dorothy Parker | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 3:39 PM
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173: I'd go a little further and say that some measure of empathy for the people you want to connect with is a precondition for any connection other than the shallowest and most meaningless. Which is, I guess, why it's not emphasized by PUAs.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 3:39 PM
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re: 174

I was going to say I'm not a nerd, but then I think back to all that witty repartee I totally failed to produce. Dammit. Are pocket protectors expensive ...?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 3:42 PM
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You and me both, dude. Sparkling's much easier with a keyboard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 3:45 PM
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The only nerdy one was ... oh no, mustn't violate the sanctity blah blah blah.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 3:56 PM
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Not even to mention the bit about the limbo dancing, and the Corsican knife fight?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:02 PM
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Sssh - tierce was so embarrassed by that that he hasn't been back here since!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:10 PM
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Shit! That's right.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:21 PM
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At all the meet-ups I've attended, we've gossiped extensively about the rest of you.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:22 PM
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Well, we are more interesting.

How am I doing with these negs?

(I told C about your limerick obsession, Stanley.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:27 PM
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I don't think we mentioned the rest of you at all. Except in passing. Because we had sekrit communism and Dhimmitude business to attend to.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:32 PM
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The only Unfogged gossiping I remember was about way, way, old news -- stuff from three or four years ago.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:43 PM
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Because we had sekrit communism and Dhimmitude business to attend to.

I knew it!


Posted by: US Rep Sue Myrick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:44 PM
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The only Unfogged gossiping I remember was about way, way, old news -- stuff from three or four years ago.

I don't think I'll ever forget the in real time advice column with SEK and the Southern Gothic Horror Story.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:46 PM
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The only Unfogged gossiping I remember was about way, way, old news -- stuff from three or four years ago.

I always knew that Unf and Magik Johnson were totally gay.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:47 PM
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That'd be stuff from seven years ago.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 4:53 PM
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Very marginally on topic... I am being a nosy responsible mom and spying on monitoring Rory's email correspondence with her boyfriend crush buddy-old-pal. And let me just say, using a discussion of literature as an opening to "remark upon [her] pulchritude" strikes me as an utterly charming strategy.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:25 PM
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How old is Rory, that her paramour is "remarking" on her "pulchritude"? I think you should encourage this.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:30 PM
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Sounds like they know you're monitoring the emails. Check for pseuds.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:30 PM
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Use of the word "pulchritude" strikes me as a bad sign. But what do I know?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:31 PM
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A shit-ton about physics?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:35 PM
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Yeah, maybe he thought she didn't know what the word meant, and his comment was some kind of neg. When other boys come around, does he take them aside and act all gay with them?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:35 PM
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What literature is being discussed?

I think my girls would be pissing themselves if someone remarked upon their pulchritude. They're not at all charming though.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:38 PM
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'remark upon her pulchritude'? Incipient nerdy PUA, I'd say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:39 PM
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My grandfather, upon hearing of impending nuptials, would invariably say "Another triumph of pulchritude over procrastination".


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:45 PM
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My first email in high school to a girl I ended up dating for a couple of years used the word "troglodyte". She didn't know what it meant. Wtf was I thinking, throwing around a word like that? Wtf was she thinking, not being put off by it?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:51 PM
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Wtf was I thinking, throwing around a word like that?

Maybe you were just talking to her as you would to anyone else?

A friend of mine recently began a conversation with a woman at a party with the Abelian grape joke and somehow ended up with her phone number.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:54 PM
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202: When I was in high school, modems required you to stuff the phone's handset into them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:56 PM
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They are 11 and reading _The Mysterious Benedict Society_. Apparently, there is a section where the young man tells Kate that he wishes to remark upon her pulchritude and she, unfamiliar with the word, punches her in the face. So Rory's young man asked if she would punch him in the face if he remarked upon her pulchritude, because he would like to do so.

Also, her BFF apparently gets into heated arguments with people on the internet.

Parenting a tween is surreal.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:57 PM
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In light of 205.1 I no longer see it as a bad sign.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 5:58 PM
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Also, her BFF apparently gets into heated arguments with people on the internet.

Team Edward vs. Team Jacob?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 6:04 PM
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207: Team Edward vs. Team Jacob?

Jeez, Stanley, that is so late-2009/early-2010. Don't you know the debate has shifted to Team Neb vs. Team Teo?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 6:07 PM
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I'm somewhat surprised that I actually have some sympathy for the blogger linked in 147. Not the misogynistic crap about alleged feminazis, but the lines about the extent to which (some) (usually younger) women 'play' men, or play a game, or however you'd like to put it, and the suggestion that men attempting to do the same should be no more -- or less -- susceptible of attack. It's a bit confused in the course of its quite obvious anger, but I do take the point.

Please don't ask me to defend this, however.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 6:09 PM
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It would be less confusing if he weren't trying to attack makeup and old-school feminism at the same time; that is, he seems to be defending PUA lying on the grounds that women wear makeup, but promoting PUA, er, tactics on the grounds that feminists are wrong that we can't change human, er, tactics.

I get the disappointed idealist turned cynic out of it. Also, I think his prose rhythms are too short for the fancy vocabulary.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 6:16 PM
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From the comments to that blog post:

if a girl isn't trying to manipulate me (makeup, pushup bras, etc) then she isn't attractive. and vice versa.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 6:17 PM
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MRAs and PUAs remind me of what Brando said about playing characters like Stanley Kowalski: something along the lines of "People think I'm like my characters, but I hate those guys."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 6:18 PM
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What's this about meals ready to eat?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 6:30 PM
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What's an MRA?

211: I choose not to read the comments, Blume!

210: True. The confusion is the product of such terrible anger, etc. I'd just expected, judging from PGD's intro in 147, to read the words of a mouth-breather, and it seems, not so much, really.

Also, I think his prose rhythms are too short for the fancy vocabulary.

I think I don't agree. The short prose rhythms work to signal the impatience at hand. As I say, I was surprised; it's surprisingly well-written.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 6:49 PM
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Heh. Surprise. Surprise.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 6:49 PM
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Mens' rights advocate. Or perhaps male republican asshole.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 6:50 PM
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Hmmm.. Totally non-judgementally, Di - you will stop reading once you reassure yourself that nothing potentially dangerous is going on, right? I can hear the outraged teenager in me shrieking with fury. Also, from the adult point of view, I wouldn't trust myself to compartmentalize enough, and if you let slip something about pulchritude even a couple of years from now, she'll probably put the pieces together, and then you're looking at a few months of silent treatment, I imagine.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 6:59 PM
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also, non-judgmentally.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:00 PM
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What if the teenagers almost start WW III via a comically antiquated modem?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:07 PM
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Online "PUA" poseurs are always a fountain of unintentional humor.

Anyone posting about about being a PUA is almost tautologically not one.

It'a actually pathetically easy to do. Just figure out where people with low self esteem and issues to work out go to try and work those issues out --- and give them what they want. Convince yourself you aren't taking advantage of the really hot people you meet.

Lather, rinse, repeat ... and after a few dozen times see how you like yourself in the morning.

Just (re) visiting for a quick delurk.


Posted by: Tramp O'Lean | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:11 PM
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219: That movie was on just the other day. I noted the comically antiquated modem.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:16 PM
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They made a movie about it? Those bastards didn't give me a fucking dime.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:20 PM
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In my defense, two years ago when we were watching a sitcom that involved the parents reading the daughter's diary, Rory said she thought they were doing the right thing because they needed to know what was going on in their daughter's life. Surely she'd stand by that opinion, right?

(Yeah, I'll stop. I know. But, you know, first romance. First venture into spending hours upon hours emailing. I am supposed to check it out, right?)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:25 PM
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Anyone posting about about being a PUA is almost tautologically not one.

Nonetheless this line in the post in 147 is roughly true:

For example, a PUA teaches himself how to walk and stand and motion such that he signals nonverbal alpha dominance which is universally attractive to women

It's attractive, period, to women or men. There's a problem in how PUAs understand self-confidence to be displayed, but otherwise this just seems to be true to me. Not everyone goes for that; some may eschew self-confident types.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:26 PM
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Wait, this is getting confusing. Who's Shirley?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:27 PM
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How should I know what you are supposed to do? I didn't send an e-mail until I was 20-something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:28 PM
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Oh, sorry, messed up the blockquote there. The final lines are mine.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:29 PM
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226 to 223.last


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:29 PM
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Just figure out where people with low self esteem and issues to work out go to try and work those issues out --- and give them what they want.

PUA = management consultancy?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:30 PM
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PUA = management consultancy?

Similarities exist. Pay is lousy.


Posted by: Tramp O'Lean | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:49 PM
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Picking up from 216 and previous: Mens' rights advocate.

I associate that with guys who go on retreats in the woods and connect with their inner male and female and stuff.

However, if there's a form of men's rights movement that roughly corresponds to its analogue in the women's rights or feminist movement, then yes, you'd have third-wave men insisting on their right to be PUAs, maybe.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:49 PM
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Consultant PUA is consulting.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:50 PM
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221: the comically antiquated disk drive is even more awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:51 PM
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233: The comically antiquated awkward tension between Russia and the US is even more awesome. Oh wait.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:53 PM
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233: Was it the 5 1/4 inch or the even older 7 (and something) inch?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:54 PM
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235: think bigger.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 7:58 PM
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Di, I think you're fine at this point. I was passionate about the violations of my own supposed privacy when I was young, but I had a very internet-savvy friend learn just this week that her Rory-aged daughter was making unwise email decisions. It's taken me a while to figure out how I see parental surveillance, but given that we're mostly looking at teens who have been involved in criminal activity or been victims of sexual abuse or (sadly, more typicaly) both, I've decided it's much wiser to at least have access to surveillance if and when I choose to use it. I hope teen me woukd have understood.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:11 PM
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Speaking of the 80s, bigger things, and unwise email decisions, does anybody know Ione Skye's address?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 8:16 PM
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I associate that with guys who go on retreats in the woods and connect with their inner male and female and stuff.

Think more along the lines of "I told her to get an abortion and it was her decision not to, so why should I have to pay child support."


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:15 PM
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I associate the "retreat in the woods" stuff with Robert Bly and I hope I've forgotten enough that I got his name wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:20 PM
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I noted the comically antiquated modem.

Was it one of those where you stick the phone into a pair of rubber holders? My dad had one of those when I was a little kid for his no-screen home computer terminal.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:54 PM
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241: Yup. Have you never seen WarGames, teraz? Worth it, at least once.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 9:59 PM
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It's a curious movie. The best way to engage with it is not to watch it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:01 PM
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Nicely done, neb.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:07 PM
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I myself have never seen it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:08 PM
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129: I'm glad someone made that reference.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:12 PM
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238: noooooo Ione Skype


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:20 PM
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How does one pronounce "Ione"?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:25 PM
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Eye-OH-knee


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:31 PM
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Eye oh knee my LIFE.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:32 PM
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I only know this because of the following lyrics:
Ad-Rock is down with the Ione
Listen to the shit 'cause both of them is bony
Gotta do it like this, like Chachi and Joni
'Cause she's the cheese and I'm the macaroni


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:34 PM
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BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP KKKKKKKSSSSSSSSCCCCCCCHHHHHHH


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA'S ANTIQUATED MODEM | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:36 PM
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"I have Ione Skye's email address," he said proprietarily.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:38 PM
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I think I saw it back when it came out, but I remember very little of it, and that is probably mostly generalized pop culture rather than actual memories of the movie.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-14-10 10:46 PM
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SCREEEEEEEEEEEE
SKREEEEE BONG
SKREEE BONG


Posted by: OPIONATED GRANDMA'S ANTQUATED MODEM | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:28 AM
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OGAM, weren't you in service at Parsimon's house until recently?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:31 AM
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169

I'm pretty sure I would ally with Stalin or Mao against McMegan. Maybe not Hitler.

So McArdle is worse than Stalin or Mao but not quite as bad as Hitler. What is it about her that you all fear so much?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:22 AM
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SKREEE BONG

Stoned dialing is contraindicated.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:23 AM
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257: Her earnestness.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:25 AM
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252, 255: I hear those noises whenever I go back to my parent's place. They still use dial-up.

259: Yeah, Stalin and Mao were ironic about it all. I can appreciate that.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:39 AM
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There's the dickishness of the goals: to the extent that the goal is to trick women into having casual sex by making them believe there's a developing emotional connection, that's creepy.

Maybe I just dont understand the having sex with someone that you just might at the bar scene, but isnt this a case of buyer beware?

You really shouldnt assuming anything when you have sex with someone that you just met in a bar.

Maybe the girl is tricking him by not explictly stating that she expects him to be her bf after they have sex?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:48 AM
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You really shouldnt assuming anything when you have sex with someone that you just met in a bar.

I think you could safely assume that not much emotional connection is going to develop in the time it takes to drink a couple of beers. Except to the extent that lust is an emotion. I mean by that point, the other person might be a mad racist kleptomaniac who only washes once a week, for all you know about them.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:00 AM
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261
You really shouldnt assuming anything when you have sex with someone that you just met in a bar.

Well, obviously, you can't expect to develop an emotional connection at a bar or clubbing, but sometimes it happens. That's basically how it was with my last girlfriend - we went to the same holiday event at a certain bar, we introduced ourselves, went somewhere quieter to talk, found we had a fair amount in common, et cetera...

The relationship only lasted six weeks, FWIW, but it definitely wasn't just casual sex even though we met a bar. If our connection had been one-way - if, say, the stuff we purportedly had in common had just been stuff I memorized because it's statistically likely to be interesting to girls like her - that would have been pretty shitty of me.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:06 AM
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the stuff we purportedly had in common had just been stuff I memorized because it's statistically likely to be interesting to girls
"You mean you've touched a dogs penis too?"


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:17 AM
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+'


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:18 AM
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Except to the extent that lust is an emotion.

Why not? If hunger is an emotion, lust is also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:37 AM
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I can't see how monitoring email is any different from eavesdropping on phonecalls or reading a personal diary, both of which might be justified in certain circumstances if you had concrete reason to be suspicious of serious harm (e.g., 237), but both of which seem to me to be pretty shitty things to do just in a generic state of parental watchfulness.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:42 AM
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If hunger is an emotion, lust is also.

True, but is it? I don't think I'm being emotional when I think, "I could murder a curry". Emotions to me are things like happiness, anger, shame, boredom, fear. Hunger, thirst, lust are a different category, although I suppose lust usually goes with excitement unless you're a real cynic.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:43 AM
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I count itchiness as an emotion.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:44 AM
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Hunger isn't a goddamn emotion, any more than physical pain is an emotion.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:45 AM
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Physical pain can come from non-physical causes and in that case, I think it would be an emotion.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:49 AM
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Don't get emotional about it, Brock.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:49 AM
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Physical pain can come from non-physical causes and in that case, I think it would be an emotion.

Um, how?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:51 AM
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I think the distinction would be whether it is an actual physical need. If you feel hungry because you haven't eaten all day, then hunger isn't an emotion. But, if you have just eaten a balanced meal sufficient for your nutritional needs and, walking past a bakery or something, you are hit with the hunger for chocolate cake, then hunger is an emotion.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:52 AM
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Constipation is definitely an emotion. (As is diarrhea, of course.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:53 AM
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Hunger isn't a goddamn emotion, any more less than physical pain is an emotion.

Emotions are misinterpretations of physical sensations with as much reality as the self or other consciousnesses.

Namely, none. Mere myths and illusions. All is maya.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:53 AM
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Or, if you toe hurts because there is a nail in it, that's not an emotion. But, if your toe was removed years ago in an accident with a front-loader, then any toe pain is an emotion (also phantom pain).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:54 AM
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I think the distinction would be whether it is an actual physical need. If you feel hungry because you haven't eaten all day, then hunger isn't an emotion. But, if you have just eaten a balanced meal sufficient for your nutritional needs and, walking past a bakery or something, you are hit with the hunger for chocolate cake, then hunger is an emotion.

I don't think this distinction holds any water, and anyway, circling back to 266, how does this apply to lust? If you're getting plenty, then lust is an emotion, but if you've been hard up for a while, then it's not?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:56 AM
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Sure, that makes sense.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:57 AM
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And love is always an emotion, if you are wearing pants at the time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:59 AM
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Not only do I believe that "anger" can be turned to "love" (or "lust") instantly with a redirection of object and focus, but I have actually experienced this switch flipping too many times to have any simplistic understanding of feelings.

There is behavior, and there is sensation, and there is the bullshit nonsense so-called rational humans have spinning in their brains.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:00 AM
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Why did we, do we, name and organize our sensations and states? We think "joy" is some sort of objective category, for gawds sake? It is not even as real as "Poland" or "Democracy" or "Zeus"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:04 AM
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"Ode to Poland"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:06 AM
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281: Really strong emotions can flip around in scary ways. A long time ago I saw a proto- PUA advocate using this to get women into bed on the theory that if you make her angry but not hostile you can manipulate her into keeping the intensity but switching the polarity of the emotion. Further anecdata: A female friend of mine confessed to me that she used to deliberately provoke big fights with her ex because the intensity of the make-up sex was so great.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:08 AM
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Can't con or flatter an emotionless cyborg.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:10 AM
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Can't con or flatter an emotionless cyborgthe Bodhisattva


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:13 AM
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Further anecdata: A female friend of mine confessed to me that she used to deliberately provoke big fights with her ex because the intensity of the make-up sex was so great.

I think that story is supposed to end with, "And now they aren't allowed back into Safeway."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:14 AM
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||
Hooray! Argentina legalizes marriage for everyone.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:16 AM
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284: That's kind of interesting. The only success I've had dealing with anxiety is when I've been able to transform it into excitement, operating under the theory that they both involve emotional "energy" focussed around expectations of the future.
Emotions certainly have effects one normally associates with the peripheral nervous system (stomach pain associated with anxiety is a good example) but do you guys really believe there isn't a distinction worth preserving?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:22 AM
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Or, if you toe hurts because there is a nail in it, that's not an emotion. But, if your toe was removed years ago in an accident with a front-loader, then any toe pain is an emotion (also phantom pain).

If you feel depressed because your beloved dog has cancer, that's an emotion.
But if you feel depressed because you have a neurochemical imbalance (caused by, let's say, a malfunctioning pituitary gland) which leads to underproduction of serotonin, is that an emotion?

A long time ago I saw a proto- PUA advocate using this to get women into bed on the theory that if you make her angry but not hostile you can manipulate her into keeping the intensity but switching the polarity of the emotion

In male mammals the sexual response is pretty close to the aggressive response, if you look at the bits of the brain that light up. It's normally the aggressive response that lights up first and is then diverted.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:24 AM
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but do you guys really believe there isn't a distinction worth preserving?

266 was supposed to be a joke.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:25 AM
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James Lange Theory


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:27 AM
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261: While I agree with you about the goofiness of putting much weight on anything that happens after meeting someone one time in a bar, can't we also agree that anyone whose goalis to be deceptive is being a dick? Mostly, I've been standing up for there being nothing wrong with working on social skills to increase your success rate at hooking up with casual sex partners, to the extent that the PUA thing can be described that way (and treating the associated misogynistic attitude as not a fundamental part of the whole thing.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:27 AM
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Di - you will stop reading once you reassure yourself that nothing potentially dangerous is going on, right? I can hear the outraged teenager in me shrieking with fury.

Di, I'm with Thorn in 237. Rory's only 11 and it's a big scary world of e-mail, Facebook, texting, etc. I absolutely think it's fine -- a responsible choice, in fact -- for you to have access to all of Rory's accounts and to monitor them as you see the need.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:49 AM
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Events have consistently proven that I should have done more monitoring, not less.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:55 AM
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I guess I should clarify: if she knows she's being monitored ('Rory, you're only 11 and it's a big scary world of e-mail, Facebook, texting, etc., so I'm going to want access to your accounts'), then of course there's no problem. Now, Rory's probably computer-literate to create other, non-monitored accounts if she wanted to be deceptive. But I don't think that gives a parent a right to deceptively snoop, unless there's a concrete reason to be suspicious of serious harm (in which case the snooping should be both time-limited and, after the fact, revealed to the child). But of course, I'm not yet parenting a teen; maybe my views will change.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:58 AM
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Would affirmatively telling Rory that she doesn't have private email/Internet use split the difference effectively? I can see good arguments for monitoring it, that seem different from, e.g., eavesdropping on phone calls or opening paper mail: mostly the ease of engaging with people you don't know well or at all. But there's a real invasion of privacy difference between announced and unannounced snooping.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:00 AM
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Brock pwned. I'm an under, rather than over, snooper, and am worrying that I should start snooping more.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:01 AM
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And actually, I realized I'm imagining the situation with an older teen--15 or 16. I guess 11 is different, and a child has less need for and expectation of privacy at that age. Although at 11, I think it would also be easier to explain to a kid that you need access to their accounts, for their own safety (and have them voluntarily comply with the request).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:02 AM
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...if you make her angry but not hostile you can manipulate her into keeping the intensity but switching the polarity of the emotion.

I often feel like I've spent aggregate years of my life with women mad at me, and I don't think I'd stake my life on being able to manage this. It's a short step from "Baby, we both know you'll never pull that trigger" to "He wasn't the most reliable of correspondents, but every few years I'd get a Christmas card from Ulan Bator or Capetown...."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:02 AM
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Would affirmatively telling Rory...

Lawyers and their extra words. Sheesh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:07 AM
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mostly the ease of engaging with people you don't know well or at all

Well, this doesn't apply to Rory and her classmate BFF, of course. But beyond that, is there a risk I'm not seeing here, other than the big nightmare risks (which are probably overblown, but are undoubtedly serious)--kidnapping, etc. I don't think most parents get especially suspicious when their kids play with new, strange kids at the playground.

Access to pornography and other inappropriate adult material seems to me to be a bigger risk than "engaging with people you don't know", but that's not something you deal with by reading your kid's emails.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:09 AM
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But beyond that, is there a risk I'm not seeing here, other than the big nightmare risks (which are probably overblown, but are undoubtedly serious)--kidnapping, etc.

Not so much the kidnapping thing, which I agree is wildly overblown. More, intense relationships that the parent doesn't know anything about because there's no real-world facetime, with the potential for bullying or other emotional ramifications. The horror story is the girl who killed herself over an online boyfriend who was the fictional creation of a classmate's parent who was screwing with her -- that's obviously the ultimate extreme, but a milder version of that sort of thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:12 AM
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Access to pornography and other inappropriate adult material

I wonder about this. I'm not really a porn viewer, so I don't look for it, and barring Apo's links I don't run into it accidentally. (I used to -- I remember hitting those uncloseable streams of popups where you almost had to turn off the computer to get rid of them -- but it doesn't seem to happen any more.)

I've given both of them the "there's a lot of weird stuff on the Internet, and if you see something that upsets or worries you, just close the browser and come talk to use about it" speech, but other than that I've been pretty hands-off about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:18 AM
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304: Not that I've been clicking to check, but I'm guessing that my Spam folder is full of direct links to all sort of nekkid people. Of course, telling children (or people reading at the office) that they shouldn't click on Apo's links without at least looking carefully at the URL is something we should all be doing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:22 AM
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I think I would have been pretty pissed off if my parents had read my email at 15 or 16, but they wouldn't have found all of my accounts anyway, probably. I doubt I would have cared so much at 11, though I didn't have email at 11.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:27 AM
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||
How funny! I just got a phone call from a guy I went to high school with, but didn't know particularly well and haven't seen since, who I guess got my number from FB, asking me what to wear to a dinner party in DC.
I have never been fashionable a day in my life, so I don't know why he'd ask me, other than that I live in NYC.
|>


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:33 AM
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304: I guess I'd be less worried about them running into things that if you see something that "upsets or worries" them, and more worried about them running into things that fascinate them. I.e., not worried just about accidental exposure, but also about access. I don't know how much porn the average 11 year old is likely to accidentally run across, but I know it's pretty easy to find if you want to. I guess it partly depends on your feelings about childhood exposure to adult material--a lot of people think it's basically harmless. I'm not really sure how I feel about it, honestly. I know when I was about eleven I was pretty damn engaged by a stray copy of Penthouse I found at the park. Now, I don't think that did any long-term damage, but I also didn't have constant access to that sort of thing. And, of course, a lot of what's online is vastly less "plain-vanilla" than Penthouse. And a huge amount of it is deeply misogynistic, etc.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:41 AM
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I'm not really sure how I feel about it, honestly.

Yeah, me too. All the men I know well enough to know that sort of thing about have stories about finding someone's porn magazines quite young, and that, while I wouldn't encourage it, doesn't seem to have generally done much harm. OTOH, I don't really have a sense of how easily a interested kid might move on from nekkid pictures to something much more fucked up online.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:45 AM
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OTOH, I don't really have a sense of how easily a interested kid might move on from nekkid pictures to something much more fucked up online.

Are you serious?? Extraordinarily easily.

You really must not have spent much time combing for porn on the internet.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:48 AM
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It's not really my thing. I suppose I should start worrying harder.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:50 AM
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My parents intermittently went through my notes, then emails, and stuff from the time I was 11 to the time I graduated high school, and I hated them for it. I still have pretty intense trust/intimacy issues. It was very shocking to come home from babysitting and find my mom sitting at the table, crying her eyes out, surrounded by all the notes that were in my purse, which had been in my room. The worst part was that they blamed me for whatever anyone else wrote to me. What kind of a girl was I that someone would write [foul thing] in my yearbook? Then the crying would turn into a lamentation that I was so lonely that I'd accept friendship and company from foul-minded assholes. (Erm, hi guys!)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:52 AM
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The horror story is the girl who killed herself over an online boyfriend who was the fictional creation of a classmate's parent who was screwing with her

The girl who WHAT over a WHAT who was WHAT? Good grief. What a horrible story.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:59 AM
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More, intense relationships that the parent doesn't know anything about because there's no real-world facetime, with the potential for bullying or other emotional ramifications.

Yes, this. I was trying to figure out a way to say it.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:59 AM
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313: Just last year or so. I remember the girl's name was Megan, but I'm drawing a blank on anything specific enough to google: maybe "Megan Myspace suicide"?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:03 AM
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Yeah, that found it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:04 AM
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intense relationships that the parent doesn't know anything about

Maybe I'm being naive, but this doesn't strike me as a significant risk as long as a parent has a good relationship with the child. (Exactly the sort of relationship that unauthorized snooping could put in jeopardy, I would worry.) I would think most parents learn about their children's "intense relationships" by being told about them by their children, not by observing "real-world facetime".


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:05 AM
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I don't think I've ever read emails (no memorable ones if I have!), but I've skimmed through inboxes checking that I recognise where stuff is coming from. And I've looked in at forums to see what they're up to, and read a few private messages via that. (Which were uniformly bland.) Haven't done that for a while, and they're 12 and 13 now.

I think there's a difference between checking on interactions with unknown people - which seems sensible to me - and checking on those with people you know (and in the case of Rory's friend, like, by the way Di talks about him). The latter feels to me far far more like listening in on a phone conversation, or standing there with a glass to the wall. I think for me, that if this is a person with whom they would be talking anyway (and I'm not so crazy as to bug her clothes when she's out), then I just have to trust that their friends are as nice as they seem. If it's someone with whom their only contact is online - well, then it seems more reasonable to keep an eye on things.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:06 AM
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I'm pretty comfortable calling 315/316 an outlier case. It's a tragedy, for sure, but not something that it makes a lot of sense for most people to take steps to affirmatively parent against.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:07 AM
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317: You're being naive or I come from an extremely uncommunicative family*. If it is important, you are supposed to be able to figure it out from context.

*Which was my grandmother's theory and annoyed her to no end.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:09 AM
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Constipation is definitely an emotion. (As is diarrhea, of course.)

Constipation is a lack of emotion; diarrhea is uncontrollable emotion.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:09 AM
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I should caveat 317 by saying that I actually have no idea what a good parental relationship with a teenager looks like, so I'm basically guessing. I had a horrible relationship with my parents. Of course, that may be part of why as a parent I'd like to err towards avoiding some of the things that created that horrible relationship.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:10 AM
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Maybe I'm being naive, but this doesn't strike me as a significant risk as long as a parent has a good relationship with the child.

I think kids, even with good relationships with their parents, tend to conceal being pushed around or abused, because they're ashamed of being victimized. And online stuff can get intense gradually, in a way that's hard to talk about to a non-participant. Remember a post I did back in the day about disclosure to spouses, mentioning that I'd really had to aggressively disclose this place to Buck, and twist his arm into reading some comment threads, to get across to him that rather than reading political writing online, I was interacting with people?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:12 AM
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322: See, I had a good relationship with my parents when I was a teenager, but I never told them anything. I never did anything particularly bad, unless you count drunk driving and abetting drunk driving. And, I suppose you should.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:13 AM
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324: Yeah, same here. The first boyfriend of mine that my parents had explicit knowledge that I was romantically involved with, I married. It just seemed easier that way. I don't know that I'd describe my relationship with my parents as good, exactly, but I don't think it was wildly unusual.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:16 AM
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In the cases of both Megan Meier and Ryan Halligan, the kid who was tricked into thinking someone liked him/her specifically told that person that they would commit suicide.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:17 AM
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tend to conceal being pushed around or abused

I'm not trying to be dense, but I really don't think I understand the risk you're worried about here (216 notwithstanding). Pushed around or abused--online? You mean basically just garden-variety child/teenaged taunting and bullying? I know a lot of that happens online these days--because a lot of child/teenaged comminication happens online these days, but I'm not sure I understand how it's a more significant or more severe (or, really, any different) risk than when it was occurring mostly in the flesh, through schoolyard taunts or gossip, etc.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:17 AM
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323 - I think though, that these things are a bit different with our kids' generation. It's not like my children are ever going to have to explain to me the appeal of the online world, or why they want to meet some internet strangers.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:17 AM
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327: I think it makes it a lot easier to be cruel. I was on the receiving end of a lot of the same "Somebody really likes you!" pranks from 4th to 9th grade, but it usually happened in person or over the phone, where I could generally figure out pretty quickly it wasn't true. Online, one can feel like maybe someone is being their "real" self and feeling things they can't express in person.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:23 AM
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...but I wouldn't put the blame on Meier's or Halligan's parents for not being diligent enough. If someone says they like your kid, are you really going to go all Washington Square on them and remind them that nobody could really be interested in them, that it had to be a set-up?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:25 AM
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327: Yeah, imposture is easier, passing on someone's private communications to be made fun of by a group of people is easier -- there are just a bunch of different ways for things to go bad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:27 AM
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I'm not so crazy as to bug her clothes when she's out

parent FAIL


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:28 AM
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I'm kind of curious how, specifically, different parents choose to monitor Facebook/e-mail accounts. Like, log in as your kid and read around?

If it's full-disclosure to the kid, that sounds fine. But probably 11-year-old me, and definitely 12-year-old me, would have had a new seekrit-to-the-adults account pretty much right away.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:30 AM
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I think kids, even with good relationships with their parents, tend to conceal being pushed around or abused, because they're ashamed of being victimized.

I also meant to say: this situation doesn't sound like it's likely to go well at all. A kid is being taunted online but is too ashamed to tell his or her parents about it, but the parents sit the kid down to talk about it, opening with "we care about you and we want to help, and we know what's going on because we've been surreptitiously monitoring your online communications". I doubt there's one situation in a hundred where that conversation improves things, on balance.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:35 AM
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Tangentially relevant to Di's question, since I just chanced upon it now.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:36 AM
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Personally, I just used their computers. Which means I would be scuppered if they passworded them. I don't keep track of their log in details - I do know the older 3's most commonly-used passwords, but only from times when they've asked me to help out or something. I've explained to the older two how to come up with a reasonably secure password. Those two have netbooks, and I don't actually know at the moment if they are passworded.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:39 AM
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I have no idea how to handle these issues. Thinking about them scares me, although it's a ways off for my kid. I'm glad I have a girl so that I don't have to think about the online porn issues in the same way.

It strikes me that this is extremely fertile ground for a NY Times bestselling advice book. If you're un- or under-employed, get on it!

My gut tells me that the best policy is to avoid explicit bans or snooping, but to also have clear explanations about what the online dangers are, and to be aggressive (and consistent) about asking precise questions to get information. If the kid can get around a ban, or can set up a secret non-monitored account, then monitoring turns questionable online interaction into a fruit that's both forbidden and accessible, which is a dangerous combo. But, as I say, these issues are sure hard to think about.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:40 AM
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No Brock, but there are plenty of other ways you could tangentially approach that. "I was reading today about parents worrying about cyber-bullying .... etc etc etc" or whatever.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:40 AM
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we know what's going on because we've been surreptitiously monitoring your online communications

Also, is your friend Heather eighteen yet? Because she's posting incredible inappropriate pictures to Facebook.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:41 AM
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"I was reading today about parents worrying about cyber-bullying .... etc etc etc" or whatever

And hope the kid opens up and tells you everything on their own? You could have that conversation even without the prior snooping. That's what I was suggesting in 317.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:44 AM
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um, close tag.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:45 AM
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333
But probably 11-year-old me, and definitely 12-year-old me, would have had a new seekrit-to-the-adults account pretty much right away.

If the known-to-the-adults account isn't the primary account and the adults can't tell, then either the kid is meticulous and prudent enough that you don't have to worry about their online activities or the adults are too dumb to be all that much help.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:46 AM
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Do kids even use email these days?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:47 AM
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I'd have bitterly resented any parental monitoring at any age, though I doubt I'd be able to restrain myself were I to have kids of my own.

A couple of weeks ago I received a random text from what I assumed was a wrong number, but turned out to be an ostensible twelve-year old named Gabbie who was "looking for new friends." She kept texting me for a couple of days until I sent her a gently scolding message along the lines of "It's good that you want to make new friends, but maybe texting random strangers isn't the best way to do it. Be safe!"

The whole thing was a bit weird. I hope her parents eventually got around to checking her phone, but it seemed unlikely.


Posted by: toops | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:48 AM
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Being snooped on made me a lot more secretive about my online activities and hostile toward my parents' attempts to intervene. It would have helped to have a more emotionally open relationship with my parents in general, so I could have talked about the way I interacted with people.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:49 AM
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344: !!!!!!!!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:49 AM
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344: You should give the number to Chris Hansen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:49 AM
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344: I'd put heavy emphasis on "ostensible", if I were you.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:50 AM
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Details are probably privacy-violating, but I'd love it if Charley would be more specific about when he'd wished he'd been snoopier. I'm wobbly on this stuff, both inclined to respect my kids' privacy but also worried that I'm being lazily underprotective, and someone with recent experience on how that works out would be helpful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:51 AM
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340 - sure, and that sort of conversation tends to come up over and over again anyway.

I'm not particularly defending snooping. (Or being careful.) I've done it a bit with my older girls, I'll probably do it a bit more with my younger kids. I wouldn't read email exchanges or facebook messages of theirs with people they actually know, because I figure they're probalby okay, and if they're not, something will happen in real life to show that. I'm comfortable being more wary of strangers.

And yeah, Cyrus gets it right in 342.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:51 AM
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"To Catch a Toops"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:53 AM
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I'm kind of impressed by the failure of imagination shown above about what sorts of things teens can get into. Were none of you people teens? Your kids are all going to be geeks and/or nerds?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:54 AM
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Just saw 349 -- I'm not going to be explicit on the internet.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:56 AM
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347, 348: Yeah, who knows. But "her" phone number was only one or two digits off of mine, so it didn't seem unlikely that it really was some kid trying out random strangers' numbers.


Posted by: toops | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:56 AM
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There is probably a cycle of parents "fighting the last war." My parents were very relaxed with us because their parents were not with them. My dad didn't like his dad's strictness and very deliberately went the other way. I'm going to be stricter than he was and I'm going to rationalize it somehow (the internet, I'm in a big city with more dangers, etc.), but the real reason will be because I remember what I did before the internet and miles from any city.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:58 AM
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352: I certainly did stuff I oughtn't to have, and stuff that while I don't think there was anything wrong with it even in retrospect, my parents would have objected to. But not in a way that clarifies whether snooping would have been a good idea (in my case, there wasn't written evidence to snoop on, barring one set of letters from a boyfriend. Come to think of it, they're probably still in a box somewhere.) You just sounded as if you had a clear "If I'd done X, I would have prevented Y" in mind, but of course I can see why you wouldn't want to talk about it in public.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:59 AM
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The way to go is to impose strict naval discipline on the kids, then get their hearts lightened by a singing nanny, and then keep them busy by turning them into a professional singing troupe and fleeing dictators. This totally works.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:01 AM
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and miles from any city.

I've said this before, but a city is a pretty good chaperone. There's trouble you can't get into in the country, but what country kids have that city kids don't is easy access to uninterrupted privacy -- a city kid has to work at finding a safe place to misbehave without being observed.

And let me tell you it was annoying.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:01 AM
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352: That's what I was thinking. We had alcohol, cars, guns, open flame, tobacco, and power tools. Never all at the same time, but "safety" meant making sure mom didn't know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:02 AM
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I remember one conversation with my mum, when I was probably 18, 19 even perhaps. She was expressing some concern over something (iirc - who listens to parents? - it may have been that she was saying that she sort of thought I was smoking dope but didn't really want confirmation, just wanted to say it worried her), and I said to her that she had done a good job of raising me and that she would just have to trust me to look after myself.

I'm sure I've done plenty of things she wouldn't have been actively happy about, but I've never done anything particularly bad, or that I'm ashamed of. And I expect it will be similar with my own children, but I'm just going to have to trust them.

(My eldest is 13, and she is a child who likes to tell me absolutely everything that is going on in her life. The day she comes home and says "nothing" happened will be the day I worry about her.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:03 AM
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Not sure about 358. IME, City teenagers either stay really good and nerdy or go really, really, impressively bad. In the suburbs and country there's more grouping around the middle.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:03 AM
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There is probably a cycle of parents "fighting the last war."

Yeah, my kids can totally have a beeper. I don't know what my parents were worried about with that one. And of course I ended up getting one secretly anyway.

No, I'm not kidding.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:04 AM
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go really, really, impressively bad.

This isn't false, but I think it's much harder for a city kid to hide stuff -- if they're misbehaving, they kind of have to be defiant rather than inconspicuous.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:05 AM
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355: what I did before the internet

Have we already touched on the phenomenon of parents using iPhones as babysitting devices for small children? Just in the last week I've seen a 2.5 y.o. and a 3.25 y.o. entranced by their parents' iPhones. Especially this cupcake/sundae making app.

The worst part is getting it away from them.

1984 is already here!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:07 AM
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I'm kind of impressed by the failure of imagination shown above about what sorts of things teens can get into.

This seems completely tangential to the discussion. I know teens can get into all sorts of bad things--I did myself. Some people take that fact and use it to justify maximal nosiness (or "protectiveness", if you prefer), in which case searching their kids' rooms and intercepting their phone calls and secretly tailing them on their nights out on the town are all fair game and perfectly responsible parenting. But most people here, I think, reject most of that as unnecessarily intrusive.* What's interesting is that there does seem to be a (relatively common?) carveout for monitoring kids' online activities among parents here, not on the ground that it's less intrusive but on the ground that there are special risks (especially likely? especially serious? still not totally clear to me...) inherent in online activity. That's been the focus of the discussion. I don't think anyone denies that kids can get into all sorts of trouble.

*If you're prepared to offer a full-throated defense of maximal protectiveness, I'm all ears. I actually think in some ways I might be more sympathetic to that than to the special 'internet exception' being tossed around here.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:08 AM
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361: In the suburbs and country there's more grouping around the middle.

Fixed!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:08 AM
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362 - C had a digital watch, that he'd bought secretly when he was about 12 (no, I don't know why either), and when his mum found it at a house they were staying at on holiday, he had to deny it was his. Which just goes to show that children are idiots.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:09 AM
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An example. A colleague and friend of mine did actively snoop (I did passively at times, when the kids screwed up and left something open) on her precocious and headstrong daughter. She went public and intervened after her daughter and a friend sent their cell phone numbers to a "suicidal" teenage boy in another state (but not that far away). Happened about age 13. And it did cause some big conflicts between them, but my friend had (and has) no regrets.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:11 AM
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I had a lot of dangerous communications from ages 10-17, but didn't do very much dangerous stuff, compared to some of my friends, who were sneaking out of their houses in fifth grade to hang out with adult pedophiles. Until I was well into high school, the only friends I seemed to be able to make were freaky out-of-control girls, one of whom had to be dragged screaming out of our middle school by cops and institutionalized. I don't know what my parents could have done about it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:13 AM
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I wonder about this. I'm not really a porn viewer, so I don't look for it, and barring Apo's links I don't run into it accidentally. (I used to -- I remember hitting those uncloseable streams of popups where you almost had to turn off the computer to get rid of them -- but it doesn't seem to happen any more.)

Obligatory.

(Where has teo been, anyway?)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:14 AM
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358: but what country kids have that city kids don't is easy access to uninterrupted privacy

Sort of, but not always. There are fewer people around, but you are never lost in a crowd. At least 75% of the people in town knew who I was. Buying a fake ID would have been nothing but an invitation to arrest. We were able to drink and smoke because most adult males didn't care. But, if you were young and broke the "rules" (as opposed to the law), everybody knew about it right away because everybody not only knew you, the parents all knew each other.

There was the open country outside of town, but distance made that impracticable unless you had a car. Even at night, hiding a car isn't easy. Nearly every road has somebody living on it and ready to drive by and say, "Why is Mr. Hick's car out here?" or call the cops.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:16 AM
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I'm glad I have a girl so that I don't have to think about the online porn issues in the same way.

Um....I think I sought out and watched just as much porn as any boy, and given that before we had much internet access it was me and my (girl) friends passing around pirated video tapes, I don't think I was such an outlier. It's not JUST a boy thing, you know. Or do you mean that porn affects boys and girls differently?


Posted by: Dolly Madison | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:16 AM
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365 - I'm not suggesting special internet rules, I'm suggesting special stranger rules. If my 12 year old tells me she's going to the cinema with X, Y and Z, all of whom she and I know, then that's completely fine. If she tells me she's going with A, B and C, whom she just met at the park, I'm going to want to know a bit more about them.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:19 AM
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321: I am not moody. I suffer from colitis of the soul.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:22 AM
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372: We may have looked at porn, but we didn't pirate videotapes. We had a strong respect for copyright and didn't know anybody with a dubbing-capable VCR.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:24 AM
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373: And special internet rules only insofar as counting people you haven't met in real life as strangers. (Which is why I brought pepper spray to the UK meetup.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:24 AM
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352
I'm kind of impressed by the failure of imagination shown above about what sorts of things teens can get into. Were none of you people teens? Your kids are all going to be geeks and/or nerds?

I can't think of anything I did that parental snooping would have averted. Yeah, I was a hapless and relatively socially deprived geek, but that just means there were fewer incidents and maybe different ones, not none at all. The boneheaded stuff was unplanned and unexpected. The self-destructive stuff required no coordination with friends. The drug use already required circumspection.

And I can't imagine any such thing as perfect snooping. Like I said, it's pretty easy to fake or hide a lot of this stuff. If I ever did something that my parents could have prevented by snooping, I would have set up a third e-mail account later that day.

365
But most people here, I think, reject most of that as unnecessarily intrusive.

Unnecessary, yes, but even more importantly, isn't there a school of thought that if you show your kids a certain amount of trust and respect they're less likely to do dangerous and stupid stuff, and/or more willing to go to you for help once they do?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:25 AM
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Do kids even use email these days?

I can't help but hear this in the voice of Elaine Stritch.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:27 AM
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376 - I thought you smelt nice!

377.last - I'm hoping so.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:31 AM
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It's funny, I can think of all kinds of objectively very dangerous/inappropriate things I did as a teenager -- in many ways, my wildest years were 13-16, in a big city with lots of cars -- but I don't really regret any of them, even now, and am still glad my parents were clueless enough to be unaware of what I was up to. My regrets from the time are mostly due to failures to act. On the other hand, I wasn't hanging out with pedophiles.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:32 AM
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377.2 hits the nail on the head. Most of the stuff I got caught for as a kid was because of my friends, who were either not as sneaky as I was, or who had parents who were vastly more suspicious than mine were. The stuff my parents caught me doing was either stuff I didn't feel was wrong, or stuff I was doing too publicly (i.e. I was not trying to conceal it either from apathy or incaution).

With the email thing, I guess that, as long as you realize that squeamish people shouldn't look under the rocks on the seashore, it's probably not going to do any lasting harm. (Except maybe to your reputation amongst your kids' friends: A friend of mine had moved back in with her folx temporarily while she was in her mid-20s, and her mother went through all her stuff and found her bongs and dildos. Which just seemed weird to me. They're Catholics though, I guess.)


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:35 AM
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330 are you really going to go all Washington Square on them

Brilliant. All Henry James novels should be verbed. Parents could The Ambassadors their children by sending people to tell them that their new internet friends are leading them astray.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:36 AM
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To 372, I think there's a difference both in effect and in the importance of porn, but I was never a girl so I don't want to overstate this. Frankly, I am torn between not really thinking porn is a particularly big deal, and wondering what one should do about a world in which 14 year olds can easily look at porn that would have shocked Teamsters in 1985.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:37 AM
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Call me old fashioned, but I don't think "verb" should be made into a verb.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:37 AM
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"Don't The Portrait of A Lady me, bro!"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:38 AM
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373/376: well, okay, and that makes sense. (It's actually why I've never been willing to go to a meetup myself, and always instead sent surrogates to pose as me.) But none of that applies to internet communications with Rory's BFF from school, which was the snooping in the original question, and which a number of people were defending.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:39 AM
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The Ogged is kind of an anti-The Wings of the Dove.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:39 AM
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382: My mom Turn of the Screwed me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:41 AM
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384: Too late! Maybe I should be opposed to it in this instance because I know next to nothing about Henry James and his novels, but really, the "verbing" ship has sailed.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:46 AM
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If anyone here hasn't seen The Heiress or The Innocents, I highly recommend you do so as immediately as possible.

What are the other must-see James film adaptations?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:49 AM
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Call me old fashioned, but I don't think "verb" should be made into a verb.

Next time I start to use it that way I'll hang fire. (Srsly Henry James what is up with that phrase?)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:49 AM
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Wait, both the OP and the first comments on this post (okay, I haven't finished reading them all) are based on the idea that "pick-up artists" are successful with women? Can this be true? Even amongst the financial services types I know, PUA types are perceived as either ridiculous or seriously creepy. And the only two men I know who take that stuff seriously can never ever get dates. I always figured that this PUA stuff was basically a scam along the lines of acai berry products.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:02 PM
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I have no actual idea -- the PUA thing is something I've only encountered in third-hand internet discussions. (Which is a shame, because as I've said before, I am fascinated by wallabies.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:07 PM
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390: Eh, I basically tuned out after his early stuff with the Shondells.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:10 PM
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392
Wait, both the OP and the first comments on this post (okay, I haven't finished reading them all) are based on the idea that "pick-up artists" are successful with women? Can this be true?

Some PUA stuff I've read is open about playing the odds and realizing that you aren't going to be successful every time you walk up to a woman. More to the point, though, I don't I don't see the implication that PUAs are successful anywhere except from PUAs themselves. What does that mean, anyway? More successful with women than the average guy? Than the average guy in a club? Than those guys used to be before they started practicing PUA methods?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:10 PM
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a scam along the lines of acai berry products

Sure, now you tell me, after I finally learned how to pronounce it correctly. Next thing you'll be claiming that there is no "one weird old rule" for getting rid of a fat stomach.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:10 PM
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392: "Hey, my buddies and I are headed out to the show, but I was wondering if you knew whether Henry James was a big fan of acai berry products?"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:12 PM
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Henry James shows you how to pick up girls with low self-esteem!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:21 PM
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I have a 12 yo daughter who emails and im's all the time. It is mostly stupid stuff, and not worth monitoring except in re time wasted. But she was also searching the internet for age inappropriate material (porn), which my wife found in the saved search box. My I Don't Know What You're Talking About Face just barely passed, mostly because the stuff she found didn't fit my well known (to my wife) fetishes. Computer ban, Trust lecture etc. for the daughter. Conclusion: monitoring is necessary.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:25 PM
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Also, maybe I am alone in this or just very very midwestern, but when strange men ask me offbeat questions, I am not intrigued but instead assume that these are guys who absolutely cannot navigate social settings because for why are they asking total strangers ridiculous questions? If they seem sufficiently mild-mannered and nerdy, I am willing to talk because I assume that they're fairly safe and probably more afraid of me than I am of them, but in general I answer the question with a smile and back away quickly. If a man wearing a silly hat (this is recommended in that PUA book, IIRC) were to ask me a stupid question, I would assume that he was a total, total douchebag...and indeed be tempted to ask him if he was doing that PUA nonsense.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:27 PM
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...mostly because the stuff she found didn't fit my well known (to my wife) fetishes.

So no dinosaurs copulating with machinery, then?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:28 PM
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400: I think the premise is that you're in an environment where striking up a conversation with total strangers isn't particularly out of line. I mean, yes, these conversations are all sort of vaguely implausible to me in that I mostly only become attracted to people after circling them nervously for months, so the bar thing isn't familiar. But I understand there are people who do that kind of thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:34 PM
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So no dinosaurs copulating with machinery, then?

No fair peeking, tog.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:34 PM
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402: I do go to parties. Or at least I have done so. It's not so much the "why are you talking to a stranger?" as "Why are you talking to a stranger in this manner that shows that you are ignoring all local social conventions about talking to strangers? You're clearly either oblivious to or not interested in my comfort, which suggests that we have nothing further to say to each other! Unless you are quivering, aspen-like, with social anxiety in which case I will take pity on you and start asking you how you know the host."


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:36 PM
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400 gets it right. The techniques are all designed to be easy meeting lines for places that are vaguely pick-up-y anyway. They really, really did seem to work for folks who were willing to try them out, but my experience with this was years ago.

I'm sure that, right now, slavishly modeling yourself on techniques used on VH1 would not work, since one would obviously be in pick-up mode. But it's stupid to say that there aren't particular skills that can be useful in meeting strangers -- of course there are.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:38 PM
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And, unless the midwestern convention is "you don't talk to strangers, ever" (which I seriously doubt) the whole point of the enterprise is to make one feel comfortable (but also uncomfortable! it's complicated).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:40 PM
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I wonder if some people are better than other people at applying the techniques? Some might have clumsy execution, etc.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:42 PM
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407: Perhaps some people are better-looking than others and have better results for reason unrelated to technique.

I suspect PUAs are more successful than most men in so far as they actually attempt to talk to strange women as opposed to merely thinking about it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:45 PM
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I am going to cut my kids some slack on the online stuff. What kills teens is cars, especially cars with alchohol. The Internet is much safer than that.


Posted by: Lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:45 PM
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409: And cars with other kids with alcohol and maybe texting.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:47 PM
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AWB, I was similarly traumatized (which is probably the right word; it negatively impacted my adult relationships for sure) by parental overintrusiveness when I was young. It's been extremely difficult for me to grow okay with the idea of not respecting all possible teen privacy, but I learned thinge in going through Rowan's belongings after he'd run away that helped me understand some things we hadn't previously realized that might have added to his strress (an innocuous example being that we'd taken him to visit a friend of ours who has his birthmom's name and lives only a few blocks from his birthmom; we'd only known his previous adoptive family's info) and it was worth knowing that. He knew his phone conversations could be overheard within the house though we wouldn't generally eavesdrop and I do think I'd approach the internet or texting the same way.

The other ridiculous parenting dilemma tangling me a bit now is if it's okay to tell a kid who's dating several girls simultaneously that I'd refuse to pretend the others don't exist. I think I can do this while not criticizing polyamory or casual dating or anything, but insisting on honesty. Anyway, I have to go do other things, but that's a conversation I probably have to have with Rowan tonight if he's dealing with magical thinking about coming back here.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:52 PM
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The Internet is much safer than that

Oh, yeah, but what about that one where you are supposed to guide the mouse through the maze, or see the difference in two pretty pictures and after about 45 seconds a REALLY scary face and big noise comes onscreen. I nearly had a heart attack.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 12:56 PM
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412: And there's also the way people get sucked into the internet tubes and can't ever get out. You don't want that happening to your kids.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:02 PM
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I think I wouldn't have minded a bit of intrusiveness if I felt like my parents liked or trusted any of my friends. By the time I got to high school, they liked some of my older guy friends, and my mom is generally supportive of all my relationships with men, even the obviously terrible ones. But they've never liked or trusted my girlfriends. It would have meant a lot to me to know that my parents thought I had some good, meaningful friendships.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:04 PM
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I'm kind of impressed by the failure of imagination shown above about what sorts of things teens can get into. Were none of you people teens? Your kids are all going to be geeks and/or nerds?

Talking about failure of the imagination; my pals crashed small nation-states and got away with stern lectures. It would probably get you jailed as a terrorist now.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:05 PM
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Parent: What's wrong with you? You don't have any friends! Why don't you make friends?

Child: I do have a friend!

Parent: No, you don't! What are you talking about?

Child: I do have a friend!

Parent: Who?

Child: Mr. Rogers! Mr. Rogers is my friend!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:10 PM
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407: The techniques are, like, constantly evolving, bro. Just like on the veldt, only times about a million, because the motherfuckers are field-testing them and sharing knowledge on the motherfucking Internet.

There's of course some signal in the midst of all the PUA noise in that there's some good advice buried in it (like "act confident," "don't be a doormat," things like that). And of course it's not hugely difficult, once assimilating some basic principles, to learn how to manipulate insecure people into fucking you if that's really how you want to live.

The real reason the "PUA" racket will always be a cruel joke at the expense of sad bastards like the one in 147 is that the kind of miserable insecurity about and outright hostility toward women that this stuff is catered to appeal to will inevitably bleed out from underneath any facade or technique. It's just the way that almost any other "self help" scam is designed to provide something vaguely solution-like for a common neurosis while doing nothing to address the conditions causing the neurosis. These dudes will keep buying books and videos and keep blustering over the Internet... but they'll never improve so long as the neurosis that hooked them remains intact, and they'll never be able to provide any real competition for the con men who are bilking them.

It's pretty brilliant, really, as scams go. It's amazing nobody thought of it earlier.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:18 PM
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And of course it's not hugely difficult, once assimilating some basic principles, to learn how to manipulate insecure people into fucking you if that's really how you want to live.

Maybe it's because I don't "really" want to but I don't believe there is a plausible reality in which I could do this.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:21 PM
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they'll never improve so long as the neurosis that hooked them remains intact, and they'll never be able to provide any real competition for the con men who are bilking them

Buy my book and I'll teach you how to get rich like I did!

Chapter 1

Get a bunch of dummies to buy your book.

The End


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:23 PM
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419: You have a good concept here, but you need to pad it out a bit. Brevity is the soul of wit, but it doesn't make for a best-selling advice book.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:28 PM
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412: And there's also the way people get sucked into the internet tubes and can't ever get out. You don't want that happening to your kids.

I don't see what's wrong with that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:30 PM
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412
see the difference in two pretty pictures and after about 45 seconds a REALLY scary face and big noise comes onscreen. I nearly had a heart attack.

That sounds awesome. Do you have a link? If it works the way this sounds, I think this might be the first time I ever send out a mass e-mail for fun.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:31 PM
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You can't Anna Karenina this: there's a different lure for every fish. The teasing stuff never worked on me, and I normally don't employ it either, because it has the disadvantage of being entirely transparent. The more exotic fish usually want something more subtle.


Posted by: cassanthropy | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:36 PM
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Really, Cyrus? try this-

http://liquidgeneration.com/ and go to sabotage


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:39 PM
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You can't Anna Karenina this

Hey! No one said you could do that with Tolstoy!

What does it mean anyway? Seems like it should have something to do with jumping in front of a train, but that doesn't make any sense.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:40 PM
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425.last: presumably something analogous to "all happy families are more or less dissimilar," or something like that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:43 PM
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419: I don't get it. Where's the chapter on choosing the best type of lube?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:44 PM
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You can't Anna Karenina this


I'll Anna Karenina whomever I want!


Posted by: Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:45 PM
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Coming late to the monitoring discussion. Mine's 9, I started taking drugs at 11. I agree that cars, alcohol, and drugs are the real threats.

Honesty is important IMO-- I tell my kid regularly that I can tell where he's been on hte computer. The rule about monitored communication with strangers seems like a sensible extension, a way to say what the boundary is. My son is not especially communicative, so a good relationship where I don't know lots of stuff is possible.

I have been trying to tell him what the real threats are (here is what's wrong with the kids that start smoking dope and drinking when they're 11, drinking and driving kill people), and trusting him to deal with them. Direct questions are definitely worthwhile (who smokes at school? who steals, etc). I will probably lay down porn rules (one person alone is OK, more people are not or something) and let him know that I'm checking what's on the computer without being creepy if that's possible.

Explaining that people can lie or forward email to be mean, and that fronting in email or fb is really easy both seem pretty straightforward.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:51 PM
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423: Well, the insecure fish are insecure in broadly similar ways. Balking at something that seems too transparent means you're not in the market for the PUA's "meaty intrusion." There's probably at least a decent chance that the canned PUA Tactix will get a motherfucker to first base with someone, however sad that someone may be, in a well-populated bar or nightclub. Therein lies the hook.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:51 PM
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there's a different lure for every fish.

Speaking of dating and fish, I had a roommate who read a newspaper article about guppies. Apparently, the female guppy is a comparative thinker. Somebody took a male guppy and a female guppy and put them together in a tank while at the same time showing her, but preventing her from reaching, another male guppy. When the other male guppy was attractive, the female guppy wasn't into the guy she could reach. But, if the other male guppy was a total dud, she'd sex up the same male she just passed over.

Anyway, on hearing this news, my roommate kept trying to find unattractive men to go to the bars with him. We were in graduate school, so it wasn't a difficult task, but I know that he was doing this deliberately. He'd leave the house saying, "I'm going to the bar, XXX is my guppy tonight."

Either he took this as evidence that he was less attractive than me or he wasn't very self-aware, but a classmate of ours started dating me about 2 weeks after I moved in with him. After that I couldn't help but think of him as my guppy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:54 PM
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429.2: I tell my kid regularly that I can tell where he's been on hte computer. . . I will probably lay down porn rules (one person alone is OK, more people are not or something) and let him know that I'm checking what's on the computer without being creepy if that's possible.

What happens when they learn how to delete cookies and browser histories? Seems to me that should be happening by at least twelve if not earlier.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:54 PM
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who smokes at school?

"Nobody I know. We all wait till we're out of the parking lot and the cop can't see us anymore."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:55 PM
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cached images, modified browser to disable those functions.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:55 PM
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Yeah, DS gets it right. Whatever problems these guys have with women are not going to be solved by making it easier to make out with strange women after meeting them in a bar -- which is all the PUA techniques can do. But the techniques seem like a solution, even as they create a new, and even more intractable, series of problems!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:56 PM
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431.2: It's always super-easy to spot women that do this. Seems to work better for them than for men; at least I've never had my macking situation improved by the company of uglier guys.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 1:56 PM
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436: That could also be explained by low self-awareness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 2:00 PM
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Hey, it is easier to be cruel over the internet. I might make use of that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 2:04 PM
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437: You suggesting there may be such a thing as a handsomer guy than Yours Truly? Not possible, I'm afraid. I have a framed citation from Denzel Washington to that effect.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 2:04 PM
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It's always super-easy to spot women that do this. Seems to work better for them than for men

You can be MY wingman.


Posted by: Lt. Pete Mitchell | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 2:05 PM
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440: Swordfight! Swordfight!


Posted by: Iceman | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 2:06 PM
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The comment about drunk driving would touch a nerve, if I had kids: I would be pretty confident that the average kid could survive seeing porn on the Internet, even if that occurred earlier than one would prefer, but it's pretty easy to get killed by some asshole driving a Chevy with the help of a sixpack. On the other hand, if I had kids, I'd probably worry a great deal about how to keep them from absorbing 90-200 minutes of media violence daily.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 2:11 PM
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but it's pretty easy to get killed by some asshole driving a Chevy with the help of a sixpack.

We used to count the guy who only drank a six-pack as the designated driver.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 2:14 PM
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You can't Anna Karenina this: there's a different lure for every fish.

I quite like this usage. I plan to adopt it immediately.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 2:55 PM
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This is the sort of thing I'd worry about. And do, actually, since there's a decent chance of getting hit by someone driving distracted, and I see them every day. In fact the only car accident I've ever been in was due to a distracted driver fiddling with the radio and crossing the centerline, thankfully at all of 15 MPH closing speed.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 2:57 PM
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which my wife found in the saved search box

I check the browser history after my 11-year-old niece uses my laptop and am generally shocked, shocked!, to find out that she's watched another episode of The Wizards of Waverly Place or Hannah Montana.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 2:59 PM
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Bah, what asilon and ttaM omit to mention is that

a) I was best in the pub at limbo dancing
b) I was best in the room at Corsican knife fights
c) my home-grown PUA skeez were non-pareil and won frenetic acclaim late into the night

I detect jealousy.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 3:14 PM
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Monacle time.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 3:28 PM
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447: I notice that none of you haterz has commented on my interpretative dance.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 3:42 PM
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442: You've got that right. The kid's high school had several students killed each year and it wasn't that big a school. NASCAR culture on the road is a killer. IMO, the scariest moment as a parent is the first "Can I have the car keys, Dad?"

We didn't check for porn or censor their TV watching besides the occasional "Turn the volume down, dammit!" It worked for us.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 3:54 PM
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Wow. I've missed quite a bit by pissing away my time working all day... I really appreciate all the input -- even if Brock thinks I'm a Nazi. (Really, I had that concern, too. But then my assistant's 18-year-old very earnestly insisted I needed to monitor, because there are some very questionable things out there... )

Do like the new BFF; know this only from being nosy.

She knows I have access to her email, as I've installed it on my BB so she can email from the car, etc.

She has had some friends who I think are trouble (and who have proven as much, actually); she seems to have lost interest in them and vice versa, however. That's actually the original basis of my feeling a need to monitor. But I confess that being utterly charmed by the conversations has probably taken over as motivation.

I actually like Brock's point about open discussion of the dangers rather than monitoring. But it does still seem responsible to check in -- just like I will check in on her in person. I don't let her stay home alone for overly long stretches, eg.

But it is definitely challenging to figure out what's right. (Except sharing her cute conversations on the internet probably is a pretty clear bad mom move. I will do penance.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 4:03 PM
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449: my interpretative dance

Climatic moment.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 4:06 PM
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Oh I'm not worried that the porn will permanently scorch her eyeballs or anything, but quite a bit of it is not what one would prefer as an example of "normal". My wife is more of the bluenose, and censors prime time tv if there is so much as a long smooch, even between a hetero married couple. Another scoop of vanilla, please.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 4:07 PM
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no interest in defending the "PUA community" as a whole, as a lot of it really is misogynistic garbage.

but there's a lot of insight in there too. in my opinion the central insight being: that girls like guys who other girls like.

most of the advice is value-neutral, eg the body language stuff - take up a lot of physical space, don't lean in when you're talking to people, talk slower, don't laugh at your own jokes.

some of it is value-negative, eg "pawning", where you reject one girl in a visible way, impressing other girls around you with how many options you must have to turn down female attention.

and a lot of it is actually value-positive, eg get your ass to the gym, not worrying about rejection, stop always thinking of the perfect funny thing to say and roll with the vibe more.

what connects these things? LB gets it exactly right - all of these behaviors are NORMAL. normal that is for guys who get girls. the silly hats are stupid, but the body language stuff you can SEE, in twenty minutes, depending on how far away you are from your local mall. or by watching Robert Downey Jr. movies, or turning on Mad Men, or anywhere, really.

this idea, that you can get better with girls by watching guys who already are and blindly imitating them, has been very valuable to me.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 4:21 PM
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by watching Robert Downey Jr. movies

Through a somewhat complicated stream of wikipedia links this fragment just led me to the discovery that I can't believe no one told me I was supposed to stop masturbating to John Hughes!!!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 4:32 PM
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Of course you were told that, Brock.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 4:33 PM
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Brock had to Wiki Robert Downey, Jr.?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 4:40 PM
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"it is definitely challenging to figure out what's right."

For sure. I should note that my kids were considerably older than Rory when the net became the place to hang out and had already been inoculated against strangers offering candy.

I did check the browser history occasionally when the DE's kid was much younger and had to chase one of those sorts off with some dire threats.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 4:51 PM
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you can get better with girls by watching guys who already are and blindly imitating them

Do you know who get a disproportionate share of female attention? Magicians, that's who. For some reason I always see professional magicians with unduly hot girls. Also, Charles Manson did okay for himself, considering.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 5:13 PM
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the body language stuff you can SEE, in twenty minutes, depending on how far away you are from your local mall. or by watching Robert Downey Jr. movies

I'd have said Robert Downey Jr. is more cocky than self-assured; the former isn't necessarily desirable.

Women's magazines of a certain sort abound in advice for women on bearing and such (posture! eye contact!). There aren't men's magazines of that kind as well?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 5:19 PM
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Men's magazines say to wait until she is done making eye contact before you stare at her breasts. Beyond that, I don't remember much of what they said.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 5:26 PM
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Beyond that, I don't remember much of what they said.

Because you were staring at their breasts.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 5:27 PM
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That and they said it was my turn for a hair cut.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 5:29 PM
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Magicians

Obligatory.

I keep trying to think of something to say about the PUA thing, but mostly it just profoundly depresses me. I was going to say it was bringing me over to DS's geek-hate point of view, but then I remembered that the biggest sleeze proto-PUA practitioner I knew was a total 90's country music faux-cowboy who would pick up all sorts of women through line dancing. He totally practiced the "being a bit of an asshole to people to maintain a sense of dominant staus" thing, too.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 5:30 PM
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The one thing I think helps in [knocks wood] mitigating the relationship-destroying dynamic Brock warns about (and your points are indeed well-taken, Brock) is in regularly reminding Rory that I'm human and will make mistakes. That I know sometimes my instincts lean toward overprotective, and that it doesn't really reflect on her trustworthiness or judgment so much as on my own anxieties and difficulty knowing when and how much to let go. Which (I think) is typical of most parents. I can promise only to try my best and be big enough to admit when I'm wrong.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 5:31 PM
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464 -- Holy shit! I think I remember seeing that when it came out.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 5:45 PM
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461: Well and good, Moby, but I was a tad serious: the PUA thing makes it sound as though men (some) are helplessly flailing out there and are glomming on to this apparently much-needed advice on straightforward things about how to come across in a confident manner and without seeming icky or unintentionally despondent or just boring. (It's not clear to me that the examples of opening lines given, e.g. 'My friend and I are off to x, but did you hear that blah, haha, isn't that weird?', are unboring, but leave that aside.)

It's just kind of striking that, as I say, a certain kind of women's mag is all about this, all the time -- along with the usual heavy dose of lessons on the latest makeup tips and outfits to flatter every figure. And advice on how to handle that friend who just, y'know, drags you down, so negative she is! or the one who encourages you to eat when depressed! You must learn to say no to that! Etc.

If there aren't men's mags that provide this kind of thing, it's obvious the market is there -- or has created itself. Or, what DS said up at 417, though in an entirely different voice.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 5:55 PM
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I'd have said Robert Downey Jr. is more cocky than self-assured; the former isn't necessarily desirable.

Christ, I'd fuck Robert Downey Jr any day. You know those Sherlock Holmes poster adverts? At first, in town, they would make me smile. After a while, I blushed. Eventually, I couldn't look at them any more.

And then the other day, when the DVD came out? I walked into the supermarket to be greeted by a larger than life cardboard cutout of RDJ as SH. I literally did not know what to do with myself.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 5:58 PM
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And people think I should worry about what my children say on the internet. I think I should go to bed.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:00 PM
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Yes, come to bed.


Posted by: Robert Downey, Jr. | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:08 PM
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456: damn, I must have missed that. Was it not in the news anywhere but here?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:17 PM
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If there aren't men's mags that provide this kind of thing, it's obvious the market is there

Hello Maxim


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:19 PM
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Parsimon, it may just be that I don't really know what the women's magazines are all about. But my impression was that the general theme was "how to fix all your defects and make yourself pleasing to a man." This seems importantly different from what I understand the PUA approach to be about, which (again, if I've gathered correctly) is more like "how to get women to sleep with you, at least in part by making her feel insecure about her defects."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:23 PM
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468: Ah, I haven't seen Sherlock Holmes. I did see him recently in, uh, wait, I dunno, a film about ..

Oh, Holly Hunter was in it! He played her gay brother, and was pretty charming. He doesn't do much for me, though. Different strokes. He's just not my type. I have seen him in other things, I should say.

Heh. It was Home for the Holidays. Directed by Jodie Foster, as it turns out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:25 PM
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The one thing I think helps in [knocks wood] mitigating the relationship-destroying dynamic Brock warns about (and your points are indeed well-taken, Brock) is in regularly reminding Rory that I'm human and will make mistakes. That I know sometimes my instincts lean toward overprotective, and that it doesn't really reflect on her trustworthiness or judgment so much as on my own anxieties and difficulty knowing when and how much to let go. Which (I think) is typical of most parents. I can promise only to try my best and be big enough to admit when I'm wrong.

This is all well and good (and I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically), but it's sort of an odd position to take: are you suggesting the snooping is something that, if Rory found out and confronted you about it, you'd "admit was wrong", and stop? Or is it something you really think is worth doing for her protection? If the former, then while admitting you're human and make mistakes is a great policy, and I'm sure she'd forgive you, why not stop in advance, before all the drama?

And, to respond somewhat to your earlier comments, I don't actually think this is a Nazi-caliber crime. I just don't particularly think it's the sort of thing that's good for building trusting relationships.* That doesn't mean it alone would necessarily destroy an otherwise good relationship, of course.

* And really, most of my energy in this thread was focused not on your interaction with Rory, specifically, but on what struck me as an interesting spin-off of this issue: why snooping on electronic communication was thought by several people here to be okay, whereas things like random searches of a child's room were (presumably) not. I'm still not sure I'm completely buying the distinctions that people attempted to draw.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:30 PM
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I probably came off snarkier than I'd intended Brock. I truly appreciate your perspective on this. I honestly am not at all confident about what the right or wrong answer is here. . I'm inclined toward the suggestion of an explicit discussion: "What do you think about whether parents monitor email?" She's already on board wrt monitored Facebook if and when she sets up a page. This is a really neat age, but also a pretty challenging one


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:53 PM
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467: Since you were serious, I'll plainly state that I have never read a men's magazine except to look at the naughty pictures. GQ sucks, because it really doesn't have many.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:57 PM
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Does it make it easier that she's had F2F friends get slightly mean? Can you remark that some people online are even worse, and you would like to do the equivalent of listening from the other room or sitting down to dinner with the online friends every so often?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:57 PM
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473: I see that perspective on the matter, and I offer this as an alternative which I think has some merit:

The PUA approach -- and I should say my only knowledge of it is from viewing maybe 3 episodes of the reality-tv program The Pickup Artist (or whatever it's called) on some channel, plus the piece linked in 147 -- similarly pushes a 'fix your defects' line. The TV show at least was all about giving the guy a makeover (fix your hair, fix your wardrobe, you are so lame, dude), teaching him to stand up straight and walk with confidence, then teaching him to actually attempt to converse.

It seemed remedial. I don't know what to say: the message was very similar to what women's magazines say. I contend that the women's magazines -- ones for younger single women seeking to be attractive to men -- aren't much different.

This seems importantly different from what I understand the PUA approach to be about, which (again, if I've gathered correctly) is more like "how to get women to sleep with you, at least in part by making her feel insecure about her defects."

I'm suggesting that these women's magazines are, at least in a coded way, similarly about getting men to sleep with you. The "neg" or negging part of the PUA arsenal, whereby you somehow gently diss the woman in question, I don't know. That is odd, and the difference between teasing and a neg is what started this thread off.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 6:58 PM
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I have not read many women's magazines, but they seemed to focus more on clothes than sex. That is, more on competing with other women than getting men.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:30 PM
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Parents snooping on their kids email does not strike me as ethical. Though I certainly know it happens, it's why most colleges don't allow you to discuss grades with students over email (their parents are probably snooping and you'd be violating their privacy).

On the other hand looking through browser history isn't snooping. The sooner kids learn the valuable lesson that they need to pay attention to their tracks online and not just assume things are private when they aren't the better.

Reading email on the other hand is different. Would you pre-open your kids snail mail? Would you bug the phone? Would you break into their room and read their diary? No? Then don't read their email!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:34 PM
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more on competing with other women than getting men.

Say again?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:39 PM
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482: Like dressing in different clothes every year and wearing shoes that cost hundreds of dollars. You know, girl stuff that men don't notice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:42 PM
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it's why most colleges don't allow you to discuss grades with students over email

If I ever find five dollars, I'd bet you that the real reason colleges don't allow you to discuss grades with students over email is because they don't want that stuff written down and easy to forward to half the campus to see how to get a B from Prof. X.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:43 PM
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483: Oh, that. We may be thinking of different women's magazines, or it may be that I don't even notice the different-colors thing. I continue to maintain that the theory behind it all is that wearing expensive things makes you hotter!

But I'm not entirely sure there. Frowner hereby has room to blast me, since she's confessed to spending money on shoes, which I doubt she does in order to appear hot to men.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:49 PM
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454: I'd bet you that the real reason colleges don't allow you to discuss grades with students over email

is because of federal law.

max
['I decided to bring them back. People get confused.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 7:58 PM
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You know, girl stuff that men don't notice.

I notice. Ladies....


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:02 PM
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I notice ladies....


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:04 PM
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that wearing expensive things makes you hotter!

Makes you feel hotter, which is the key to actually being hotter? Confidence, as in PUA skills

You know, girl stuff that men don't notice.

Hott for Bob = blue jeans, lumberjack shirt, baseball cap. But women like to dressup, and if you like women...

ZOMG, am I gay?

Back to Louise Brooks at Sense of Cinema. The article on Night Moves was terrific. NM is much better than Long Goodbye


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:05 PM
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Flippanter gets it: how are you going to compliment a woman on her shoes or outfit if they're totally last year? A lady has to think of these things.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:06 PM
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[H]ow are you going to compliment a woman on her shoes or outfit if they're totally last year?

Graciously, pretending not to know.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:08 PM
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I dunno, Bob, but there are about eleventy billion midwestern lesbians I know who meet your criteria if you mean that that's what you're looking for in women, not that I think it will end well for you.

Unrelated to all that, it means a lot to me that no one's called me a fascist or told me to reevaluate what I'm doing. It really does make me feel better about my ability to parent kids who differ from the kinds of kids others here are raising.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:10 PM
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how are you going to compliment a woman on her shoes or outfit if they're totally last year?

Open-mouthed gaping at her chest is the sincerest form of flattery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:11 PM
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Though I certainly know it happens, it's why most colleges don't allow you to discuss grades with students over email (their parents are probably snooping and you'd be violating their privacy).

Really? One, never heard of the rule (not a huge surprise, I've only worked for one university and I'm not necessarily up even on its rules); two, that seems like a totally bizarre reasoning. The more obvious reason - if you were going to have that rule, which to my mind seems quite impractical - is that it's a delicate conversation and doing it over email might leads students to say things they might not otherwise and/or escalate tension quite quickly.

(The only time I've ever had a student freak out - not over grading - was via email. There's no way he ever would have said such things to my face.))


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:11 PM
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495

Uh, 494 was I.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:15 PM
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||

Would we see Pandora's Box differently if Brooks had returned to Hollywood and had Joan Crawford's or Kate Hepburn's career?

Is the mystery of Lulu the mystery of Brooks?

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:15 PM
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they don't want that stuff written down and easy to forward to half the campus to see how to get a B from Prof. X.

I know, but I'm not telling.


Posted by: Jean Grey | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:15 PM
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498

I forgot about all of the younger, hipper nerds.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:16 PM
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493: Moby, sometimes I fight your relentless jokesterism, but sometimes I'm rendered helpless, and I'm overcome. Good work.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:20 PM
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500

But 483 was a joke, not 493.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:23 PM
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501

Confound ye, then, I guess.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:30 PM
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Gosh, if only there were some way to typographically signify what should be taken as a joke.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:30 PM
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You don't want the sincerest flattery, you want like 99th percentile, but not the very top. The most sincere guy probably wants to keep your toes in his freezer or have you move to his mom's house in Uzbekistan or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:39 PM
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I tried to make a game of it ("I'm an innovator in literary form and device!"), but updating one's resume is a beating-down experience.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:39 PM
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505

Not that finding someone insincere is a guarantee about your* toes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 8:42 PM
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481.1: I'm going to go way out on a limb and suggest that 11-year-olds are different than college students.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:22 PM
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507

504: I find the opposite.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:28 PM
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508

507: The greatest thing about me is my humility.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:46 PM
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509

If I have one weakness, it's that my laser eyes sometimes burn through steel by accident.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:48 PM
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510

If I have one weakness, it's that my laser eyes sometimes burn through steel by accident teenage girls.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:54 PM
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511

Pssh. I could take a teenage girl in a fight easy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:58 PM
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479
The "neg" or negging part of the PUA arsenal, whereby you somehow gently diss the woman in question, I don't know. That is odd, and the difference between teasing and a neg is what started this thread off.

I'll bet "negging" is the focal point of anti-PUA people because, to greatly simplify, it sounds mean. To simplify slightly less, it sounds manipulative and deceptive, far more so than most socializing advice. To unpack that, how can doing something negative get a positive response, especially with all the other strikes against you in a social situation with a stranger, unless you're twisting the meaning or context of what you're saying? It can only be because it's deceptive somehow, right?

Alternately, a neg is a two-step of terrific triviality. Either it's gentle teasing and banter, in which case of course it's helpful and it's obviously a good conversational tactic and any even marginally socially adjusted person must be aware of it like the original post says, or else it's a creepy transparent attempt to create dominance over someone you just met only for the sake of making out or sex like AWB's comments upthread and elsewhere say. So which is it? Ideally it's always only the former, but somehow people keep hearing the latter.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 9:59 PM
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Either it's gentle teasing and banter, in which case of course it's helpful and it's obviously a good conversational tactic and any even marginally socially adjusted person must be aware of it like the original post says,

Effective teasing and banter are far from obvious and very hard to do. That's why most peoples' conversation is boring most of the time, haven't you noticed?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:13 PM
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514

I'm sorry, what were you saying, PGD?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 10:27 PM
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It is amusing me to connect Brock's I don't actually think this is a Nazi-caliber crime with Thorn's it means a lot to me that no one's called me a fascist. This is such an affirming discussion on parenting! No one is Hitler!


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:13 PM
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I thought no grades over e-mail had to do with both privacy and with the rules about official communications. But I also thought that the rule is usually that you don't give grades over e-mail. You can discuss them (comments on papers, answers to exam questions, etc,). I confess that I don't remember any rule being stated about discussing grades during the brief period when I gave grades. Certainly people e-mailed about grades when the student or the instructor or both were out of town (in the summer, for example).


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-15-10 11:49 PM
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I have a friend who used to be in a political group with a guy who's pick up strategy was simple: he would ask every woman he met to sleep with him. Every few days or so it would work. He was sufficiently obnoxious about it that my friend said they stopped bringing him to outreach events.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 12:36 AM
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Apropos of 58, my friend's band is playing in NYC this weekend. They do a great show, and coincidentally they're playing with the band of someone else I know from completely different circumstances.

Apropos of the entire thread, the video suggests that if game fails you, get four cute friends to stalk with you.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 12:45 AM
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re: 447

Dude, that was totally Sicilian* knife-fighting you were doing, and none of us had the heart to tell you. The limbo was impressive, though.

* not Corsican!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 12:50 AM
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So last night I picked up a dude in a bar, and I took note of what actual "game" was going on, per the accusations above that it's all about "game" no matter what. As far as I could tell, the game consisted of:

1) Making no excuse at all to stay at the bar with him while Bave went home. He made no excuse for why he was still there when his friends had gone home.

2) Smiling, but not saying much when he finished a sentence with, "Or I could end up at your place tonight."

I'm trying to think of anything that seemed like a gambit or a falsity, but nothing comes to mind. At one point, I did end up sort of talking to this hulking ship captain who wandered in from the Hook, but that was because he was really interesting, not because it would make anyone jealous.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 6:32 AM
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Also, my "game" outfit consisted of a black T-shirt, jeans, flip-flops, and a ponytail, which is even sort of less nice than I usually dress for the day.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 6:33 AM
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Using Bave as wingman *clearly* was intended to telegraph your desirability to men. Smiling but not saying much was a *total* neg designed to evoke his insecurities about his prospects. The casual outfit signaled "I am so hott that I don't need to make much effort at all to pick up the likes of you."

Such a player, AWB.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 6:59 AM
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520: Congratulations on your laid-getting!

Was he nice? Will you see him again?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 7:00 AM
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Was he nice? Will you see him again?

Back off for a bit. She probably hasn't even had time to remove his toes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 7:08 AM
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431.2: It's always super-easy to spot women that do this. Seems to work better for them than for men; at least I've never had my macking situation improved by the company of uglier guys.

I've heard the "wingwoman" described (by men who spot it happening) as the DUFF, or "designated ugly fat friend".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 7:13 AM
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525: The idea that this strategy works better for women than men fits neatly with the conventional wisdom that men are more motivated by "looks" than are women. Truth or confirmation bias?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 7:19 AM
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I will probably lay down porn rules (one person alone is OK, more people are not or something)

OK, son, if he comes on her face you have to avert your eyes or turn it off your computer immediately. And missionary is OK, but no anal!

I see this as a good way to seed fetishes that will spice up your child's future sex life.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 7:45 AM
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CONCEPT: Call centre counterscript, designed to hack and disrupt PUA operations. Game the game!

Development team round me please!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 8:16 AM
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Was he nice? Will you see him again?

Yes! Hopefully!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 8:21 AM
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528: Way way back in the day, Beth Littleford had a piece on the Daily Show where she interviewed a PUA author. She asked him at one point to demonstrate some of his tactics. He got about halfway through a line, and she blurted out "why are you pointing at your penis?" The camera zoomed back and sure enough he was, none too subtly, holding both his hand so that the index fingers pointed right at his crotch.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 8:57 AM
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But I'm not entirely sure there. Frowner hereby has room to blast me, since she's confessed to spending money on shoes, which I doubt she does in order to appear hot to men.

I must say that the sort of fellow to whom a genderqueer kinda-stocky dapper type in very well-chosen bench-made brogues is attractive would probably have fairly little trouble picking me up. The advantage to my various sartorial transformations of the past few years (short hair, big glasses, clompier shoes) is that the PUA types and nice guys are looking for smaller, younger, femmier women even when they're trolling for casual sex. I figure that the very occasional straight cis guy who's interested is probably a safe bet.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 9:06 AM
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520: By contrast, I went to a party hosted by rich, SWPL friends, where I got bitten by lots of mosquitoes, and where the 4 year-old son of one of the SWPLs asked his mother (about me): "Mommy, how did he get so fat?"

Pretty much the antithesis of any PUA scenario.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 9:57 AM
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And the mother replied, "Use your words dear, 'How did he get so obese'."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 10:08 AM
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Ha! Actually, she did enjoin him to use his words when he was having a dispute with his sister and another child.

I was all ready to go into a discussion about untreated depression, high-fructose corn syrup and the failure of public school physical education curricula, but she cut it off with a "That's not a polite question to ask, honey."


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 10:17 AM
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Actually, she did enjoin him to use his words when he was having a dispute with his sister and another child.

Ironically, we have to tell our five year old, "Use your words!" often that we have shortened it to "WORDS! WORDS!"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 11:02 AM
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What is this "use your words" thing? I haven't encountered it before, and would like to mock it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 11:16 AM
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When little kids start crying/whining/throwing a tantrum about something, it's not uncommon for parents to admonish "Use your words." The intended message being that if they'll just ask rather than launching into sobs and shrieks first, they might actually get what they want.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 11:19 AM
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Or, it can be an admonition to talk rather than hitting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 11:21 AM
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It has cut down on the screaming a bit for us.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 11:22 AM
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What is this "use your words" thing? I haven't encountered it before, and would like to mock it.

It is a plot by the feminazis to undermine a boy's natural rambunctiousness and tendency to settle differences by displays of strength and aggression, pejoratively known as "fighting".


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 11:22 AM
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Frowner, if you're willing to share shoe advice and recommendations (or talk me out of being obsessed with brogues) would you please email me, motherissues at google's mail?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 11:55 AM
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540: I see. That makes it less inviting to mock, as the feminazis may stomp on me instead of using their words. The thing that I find funny is "your" - it's so very snowflake-y to give the child possession of the language rather than just say "use words." I can see why it would be more effective, but still...


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 12:39 PM
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My 2 1/2 year old kid likes to say "Daddy, listen to my words." And then she'll say something completely insane.

She also has her own dating strategy, which basically involves Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. She explained to me at length yesterday about how she wanted to give various boys in the preschool a fever so that they would have to lie down. I wasn't really sure what to make of that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 12:48 PM
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it's so very snowflake-y

Mom : Use your words, little togolosh!

LT: Yes mommy! Look you fucking asshole, give me back my toy!


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 12:48 PM
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She explained to me at length yesterday about how she wanted to give various boys in the preschool a fever so that they would have to lie down. I wasn't really sure what to make of that.

Genius.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 12:52 PM
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Then they get older and the parents say, "Stop using your words!"

Much kinder than "Shut up!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 1:06 PM
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Sorry to those of you who say it, but I really hate "use your words" and mock it in my head every time I hear it.

Yesterday on the train a child was crying very loudly (because something had broken, I think) and the mother kept saying, "WHY ARE YOU CRYING?" even more loudly, but in a horribly forced reasonable tone, about 20 times. She was very annoying.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 3:51 PM
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"Well, Mom, at first I was crying because my toy broke. Now I'm crying because your utter inability to show empathy and provide comfort is a little distressing."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 4:03 PM
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Ugh... bad memories. Absolutely the worst part* of the nightweaning of our oldest kid was him constantly crying for milk in the night, and my wife just repeating over and over again through his sobs: "What is it that you want? Just tell me what you need." You know perfectly goddamn well what he wants. He wants to nurse. It's the middle of the goddamn night, we're all tired, he's 15 months old, and he's too upset right now to articulate that to you. Why are you tormenting him?! She seemed to want him to stop crying and say clearly that he wanted milk, all so that she could tell him "no". It drove me fucking crazy.


*Worst part for me. I realize I wasn't bearing the biggest burden in the process. But still.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 4:13 PM
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"No. Your father has drunk it all."


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 4:31 PM
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547: I just caught myself carefully explaining to the cat that "meow" doesn't alway convey enough information for me to figure out what she wants and that repeating it over and over wasn't a good use of her time or mine. Her response was to walk across the keyboard and somehow disappear the article I was reading.

Is there a "shaken cat" syndrome? Sometimes I'm tempted. 'Twas the same with the kids at times. The distance to a felony was only a little layer of self-control.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 5:09 PM
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Sometimes we will say to the dog that gosh, we wish he spoke English so he could let us know what on earth he wanted. But it is always sarcastic.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 7:27 PM
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"What's that, Oz? There's some tuna trapped in a can?"


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-16-10 7:37 PM
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