Friday, May 20, 2011

Life things.

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too exhausted to come up with better title.

I'm in the middle of a not-so-small emergency (flooded basement) so I can't stay here long... Things in my life just never seem to calm down. So it's been that, and depression, and raging, and stupid people, and my evil sister, and my mother, and I'm sooo tired... I haven't had more than 7-8 hours of sleep. This week. Total. Once they wake me up, I can't get back to sleep... And this is the first time I've eaten in days.

And last night at Pirates, a couple of ignorant little high school/college freshman bastards kept making gay jokes and rape jokes when the movie started. And using cell phones. Gah. They shut up eventually, after a few well-placed kicks to their seats (well, for the people I could reach, in front of me) but I could hear their friends all over the theater... It's funny... a year ago I wouldn't have thought twice about interrupting the movie to scream at them. Well maybe twice but I probably would have done it. Even at work, I do speak up from time to time (as much as I can). But I don't think they hear me. They see that I'm pissed off and upset, but even when I say "that's offensive," there's still a disconnect. They look at me and keep talking. Happened on Tuesday... >_< I literally have to shout for people to ever hear me, and even then they don't care... Downside of being quiet (and shy). Which implies that there is an upside but you know what I mean, right?  I think I get more passive-aggressive as time goes on... It kind of disappoints me, but at the same time I'm just too fucking tired to deal with this shit right now. Physically and emotionally drained. I can't even tell you how much effort it's taking to simply type this. Everything hurts. So I think this will have to be the end of it...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Are you fucking kidding me? SMH, #PsychologyToday. It's not your data, actually, it's how you presented it.

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Christ almighty... When you can get an atheist to say that, you know you've fucked up.

So... The Psychology Today article everyone's been ranting about. Thought you might like to hear from someone who has also done that same exact experiment. And did it RIGHT. (Yes, I am fucking proud of myself for what I did in college. Because I was good at it back then.)

After rereading this "article," several times, I've come to the conclusion that I can't even attempt to argue this seriously. This is also a prime example of why most real psychologists hold Psychology Today in such low regard...

I did my Junior Thesis on an extremely similar subject as the Psychology Today article that's been going around. Attractiveness as a function of ethnicity. My actual project was a little more complicated than that, since we actually were looking to compare people across ethnic groups (a lot of people are pretty racist..), but that was the basis of it. (And my Senior Thesis advisor has done a great deal of research on ethnicity. And I minored in sociology and focused a lot of my research on ethnicity and racism. Long story short, I'm pretty damn familiar with the subject, ok?) In fact, I still have a copy of everything around here somewhere... So before anyone starts attacking the study itself, can I just say that the actual procedure (and MOST people's results) aren't as blatantly sickening as this author's horrible attempts to justify participant data based on their own misguided beliefs on either how to present empirical data or what constitutes actual attractiveness. Because that's not how this study works, or how psychological research works. This garbage is not even submissible for publication in a real journal... If you want, if I ever find where the hell I hid my own research, I can show you what this is SUPPOSED to look like. Again, technically I'm not supposed to publish the actual results or anything, but I can at least share my intro and conclusion, which has a bunch of real research articles with legitimate data and results... Names off the top of my head-  Langlois & Stephan... I remember because Stephan's first name is Cookie and her study was done with little children in the 70s. But anyway, it actually measures implicit racism to an extent. It's not supposed to promote it...

So...the article and it's many means of FAIL. Are you kidding me... This is Psych 101! I honestly don't even know where to begin with this... I wanted to give a level headed, objective analysis, but the more I read this, the more annoyed I get. Because everything is just... so wrong. Their data may actually be "correct." In fact, in some ways it is very much similar to the results of other studies. But the way that it's been presented has destroyed any credibility.

I can't even... I seriously can't even... I can't take this seriously one bit. I can hear my professors screaming in my ears about this... They would have failed.

So warning: this may be ranty.

Maybe I should just start with what they got right and where they went wrong. I can't even take any of what they actually said seriously because whoever wrote this clearly does not even understand the most basic of research writing concepts...

Actual procedure? Right.
Actual data? Hard to fuck that up.
Everything else? WRONG.

The fact that they're presenting participant data as actual 100% indisputible OBJECTIVE evidence of physical attractiveness of ethnic groups over others = SO MUCH FUCKING FAIL. The fact that they're using ANY of this data as "this group is more attractive than this one" = SO MUCH FUCKING FAIL. How do I put this... In this kind of research, you're trying to measure something that is subjective and qualitative. So to do that, you have to create some sort of quantitative way to measure it - hence the scale. So yes, for you the data becomes somewhat objective so that you can properly analyze it and run it through SPSS (statistical software). But when you're talking about it in in the results, when you're talking about it generally and trying to draw conclusions about what the numbers imply, you have to remember that this is still SUBJECTIVE data you're talking about. You talk specifically about your own participants and/or you generalize about how others might perceive things based on your results. But you never, ever prove anything. With research, you can prove something false, but you can never prove it to be true. And this is even more so when you're dealing with subjective, qualitative assessment.

So for you, dear author, to try to present any of this as legitimate fact is wrong. I honestly believe that this entire situation is most likely due to your ignorance about the scientific research, and evolution, than it is to rampant racism. I don't believe that you intended to come off as racist. But the fact remains that you did.

A) This is PERCEIVED attractiveness. This is not factual, objective data. It is 100% subjective. And not based on your own opinions, but on how participants view, process, and verbally interpret their own perceptions of the research materials.

"... black women are significantly less phyiscally attractive than women of other races." No. "Black women were rated to be less physically attractive than women of other races." See the difference? See how much of a difference that makes?


"Black women are objectively less physically attractive..." NO. You are supposed to talk about the rating scale. That is the only "objective" data you have, not their attractiveness itself. No one is objectively more or less attractive. Attractiveness is PERCEIVED. How many times do I have to say that???

Ok. Ok. I'm going to breathe now, think about what I remember, and then I'm going to tackle their "conclusion"...  My class also discussed weight and attractiveness. Yes, people within a certain weight bracket are often deemed more attractive. Ethnicity and attractiveness - in general, most studies do in fact find a bias towards Caucasians and against African Americans. Gender and attractiveness - yes, most studies do tend to find that participants believe that women are more attractive. And yes, many MANY studies so believe that attractiveness is based on several evolutionary factors that are said to measure a person's genetic advantages and disadvantages. Think Darwin and desirable traits that one would want to pass on to offspring to ensure that they survive and reproduce. Ok, all of that being said...

Biological and genetic differences between the races - FALSE. Because A) RACE DOES NOT ACTUALLY EXIST. It is a man-made sociological concept that assumes genetic differences based on geographic history and genealogy. Real scientists do not use "race" as a factor of anything, because it's just a "theory" or set of theories used to justify the subordination of different peoples. That's as much as I'm going to say, because I could rant about this forever. And the only reason ethnicity is real is because of the fact that we have diverse regions of the globe and shared genealogies, cultural traits, and shared group history, etc. Any physical differences are due to evolution and geography, not because we are different "breeds" of human. Skin color is so often used to delineate race or ethnicity, when it's completely irrelevant to both. I don't have the time, nor the patience to explain this, but find me tomorrow if you need to know and I'll tell you what I know. Or google it. Anyway, this is all about the traits that have helped them survive in their regional climate. The fact that I would have to explain this to a "professional" in the field of evolutionary psychology is just astounding... YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE EXPERT HERE. And I'm sorry, but if LSE stands for the London School of Economics, I fail to see how and why I'm supposed to consider you to be a credible source for this. Call me an elitist. I don't give a fuck.

AND DO NOT EVEN FUCKING GET ME STARTED ON "RACIAL DIFFERENCES OF INTELLIGENCE". OH MY FUCKING GOD DO NOT EVEN GO THERE. I think I might need to write an entirely new post on this line alone...

Everything in this final paragraph is complete and utter bullshit, just an author trying to justify an already unsalvagable argument. No sources either... Attractiveness is NOT a measure of health. Technically you'd be more correct if you said it's a measure of PERCEIVED genetic health. No, black women are not less physically attractive. What you mean to say is that participants rated them to be less physically attractive. And I'm not even going to touch this "existed longer in evolutionary history... mutations decrease physical attractiveness" bit you have going on... I don't know where you pulled that from, because your "logic" isn't just flawed, it simply isn't there. You're trying to tell me that descendents of African women are less physically attractive (to whom, might I ask) because you seem to believe that their DNA has mutated far more than other ethnic groups, which you also seem to believe is directly related to genetic health in that it has reduced genetic health. If any of that is true, then you're wrong anyway. Because the entire point of genetic mutation is to INCREASE genetic health, not decrease it, and surely a "race" with a longer existence in "human evolutionary history" would have excellent genetic health to have survived so long, yes? And then, by this "logic," those increased genetic mutations equal increased genetic health equals increased physical attractiveness-- which is inconsistent with your data. Hmm... Oops. Better luck next time.

 "The only thing I can think of..." See, that's your problem right there. That tells me that a) you didn't do any actual research before starting this; b) you're trying to force a conclusion that probably really doesn't fit, especially within the context of your data; c) you're going to say something stupid. Do you know what you should have done/said? Now would be a great time to suggest further research. Or maybe you could've talked about how

In all the _____  words on this page [the article] (I've decided not to waste my time counting them), you have told me absolutely nothing of value.
And again, you cannot present someone's subjective opinion as indisputable fact. This is a MASSIVE error that you have carried throughout your entire "argument." Again, better luck next time. Trying to pass this off as legitimate? Are you kidding me? [sigh]

I seriously wish I could find my intro... It's around here somewhere, I just need to remember which hard drive it's on... Not bad for an undergrad.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I don't really know how to say what I'm feeling right now... (#osama)

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But I've been told the right word is simply "conflicted."

RT @EIKNARF: ‎10 years, 2 wars, 919,967 deaths, and $1,188,263,000,000 later, we managed to kill one person. I hope it was worth it...

When I first heard, I said I didn't think it really mattered. It's not going to change the state of the world. It doesn't mean "mission accomplished." And while it might provide closure for some, it doesn't for a lot of us... I don't feel any closure in this whatsoever. There are people willing to take over now that he's gone.. and killing him doesn't erase what happened. This was NOT justice.

I still agree with that.

Half the people I see tonight are cheering that a "mass-murderer is dead." The other half are literally crying themselves into a state of utter panic because this may "lead to a full-scale nuclear war" or "WW3."

On the one hand, I guess I didn't realize that people actually still cared if he was alive or dead. I had basically declared him dead long ago... I didn't think it would matter. So many people have died. I can't see this as closure. Everything that has brought us to this point wasn't magically erased with his death... So many have died, all over the world, and it's still going on... maybe worsening.

And while I'm glad they finally found him, I just can't really see this as being a massive celebratory thing as everyone else... I don't think his death is justice. I don't think this avenges the lives lost. I sure as fuck don't think a war will do that either, but I just... I honestly wish they had found him and brought him in alive. If only because I find life imprisonment to be a far worse punishment than death. I hate to put it this way, but it also just feels like an easy out... He would have died anyway. I'm surprised he didn't die sooner. And considering the fact that he's basically been "dead to us" on and off for the past 10 years -- as in most of the time we didn't even really know if he was alive, or going to live for very long, or what-- all that's changed for me in this moment is his date of death... Killing others doesn't bring back the dead. We keep them in our memories and honor that. ) He's dead... what has that really solved? It just doesn't feel like closure. And I guess that's just me. If that's enough for the families to stop hurting, then ok... But I just... I don't know. It feels like this story isn't over yet... or that the ending wasn't what I was hoping for. It's not as satisfying a victory as I thought it might be. What I wanted to happen, I don't know... I just don't...

A person's death is not a reason to celebrate.

Then there are the people asking if this means we'll have peace now, if it means the troops can come home - I guess this is really where I'm wondering why the hell his death matters. If anything, it will make peace less attainable... A) We've already acknowleged that our involvement in the Middle East has little to do with him now. "Democracy" is the buzzword. It's not going to end so easily like this, as much as we may want it to. B) There are groups already planning to retaliate. Hence the freaking out... C) If our idea of a good defense is a good offence... The way I see it, either nothing will change or things will get worse.

It doesn't feel like a victory. I don't feel like we've won anything... Ultimately, his death doesn't solve the worst of our problems... Maybe it's comforting for some, and again, if that's what they need for closure, then they can certainly have that... but I still don't think it changes much of anything.

I don't want to offend anyone, but I just... I can't. I can't help how I feel about this... I just wish we had things to bring us together other than death and war...

(And all I could think tonight was Emmanuel Goldstein...)

Sunday, May 1, 2011


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It's 2 AM and I'm laughing my ass off at this video... Regardless of how you (or I) feel about his politics, come on, this guy is just fucking awesome, ok? (And his writers? FLAWLESS.)

Troll-bama anyone?