flwyd: (I *kiss* linguists)
This American Life recently ran a show called Birds & Bees about explaining tricky things to children. The first act focuses on university freshmen attending presentations about sexual consent. The presenters' goal is to get students to internalize that explicit, specific, verbal consent is required before having sex. But the students are perhaps more interested in the subtleties of how to get a "yes" than the need to obtain one.

If we followed the "consent workshop" model literally, it would lead to some really awkward conversations:
MAN AT BAR: Hello.
MAN: I think you are attractive.
WOMAN: Thank you for the compliment.
MAN: Would you like to engage in sexual intercourse?
WOMAN: Yes, I would like to do that.
Actual consent negotiation is way less direct and more fluid. Importantly, it also builds on a lot of context that is basically impossible to simulate in a room with a whiteboard, a few dozen chairs, and a bunch of curious teenagers.

Since sexual negotiation, not to mention sex itself, is almost always done in private, people don't have a lot of opportunities to learn how to do it by observation. "Can I watch while you obtain consent to have sex with your partner" would be an off-putting question to almost anyone. Media doesn't help much either: movie sex usually looks spontaneous not because Hollywood has an anti-consent bias but because it makes for a more enjoyable story. The hero and heroine don't negotiate the sex they're going to have for the same reason we don't see anyone making exact change or tying their shoes in a movie: it doesn't usually advance the plot or add to the value of a scene.

So if people don't want to demonstrate actual sexual consent in public and it's unlikely to be modeled in popular cinema, what can we do? Let's create our own consent-focused short films. In a one minute YouTube video a few people can easily create a realistic context and have a reasonable conversation about negotiated consent. Rather than a stilted conversation in a classroom it can be set in an actual bar or a bedroom. Instead of an all-verbal skit, actors can show the crucial role that body language plays. And with a lot of videos available, the negotiation can take a lot of different directions: sometimes ending with a "yes," sometimes with a "not now," and sometimes with a "no thank you" and showing folks how to gracefully respond to each answer. People would learn not just that consent is crucial but also how to effectively get consent. People would learn not just "No means no" but how to both give and receive a "no," life skills that a lot of people struggle with even in nonsexual situations.

So let's make this happen. Let's get thousands of people making YouTube videos about how consent works for them. Let's upvote the ones that are impressive or wise or funny. Let's hashtag the pants off this thing and have it go viral like HSV. Let's get videos from straight folks, gay folks, kinky folks, vanilla folks, confident folks, shy folks, polite folks, and blunt folks. Let's get amateurs and professionals. Let's get people talking about how they like to be asked and finding out how they can be better askers. Let's have less rape and more consensual sex.

Sex : Smartphone

Friday, October 1st, 2010 11:24 am
flwyd: (rush counterparts album cover)
The latest Diesel Sweeties ([livejournal.com profile] dieselsweet) comic has the most amusing monogamy analogy I think I've ever seen. If you like somewhat geeky humor and clever pixelated art, I suggest subscribing to the feed.

She only pays for a date-a plan
flwyd: (mathnet - to cogitate and to solve)
[livejournal.com profile] mackys asks
What is a reasonable estimate for the ACTUAL value of the mortgage-backed "junk" securities that $810 billion of my tax dollars bought?
The answer to that question has fluctuated every few days recently, so note that everything I say could be wrong soon.

First, a timeline.
  1. US Financial System: OMG! We paid way too much for all these mortgages and nobody wants to buy them from us! O noes!
  2. US Treasury Secretary: You guys are too big to fail. I'll save you!
  3. Lehman Brothers: Save us, Henry!
  4. US Treasury Secretary: Wait, not you, Lehman.
  5. Lehman Brothers: <is dead>
  6. US Financial System: OMG! Did you see what just happened to Lehman, guys?!? I'm not going to give you any of the money I don't have in case you're the next Lehman.
  7. US Treasury Secretary: Ruh roh.
  8. US Treasury Secretary: I has a 3-page plan; let me show you it! Let me offer you a $700 billion "bailout" by buying all your "toxic waste." No oversight, no accountability. Sounds great, huh fellas?
  9. US Taxpayers: WTF?!? You're bailing out a bunch of bankers by buying toxic waste?
  10. Karl Rove: What happened to the Bush administrations public relations team after I left? That's the worst sales job ever.
  11. Senate Banking Chairman: Hey, I've got an 8-page better idea. The government should buy shares in banks. They'll get a liquidity injection and the government will make money when the banks do.
  12. US Financial System: <flail wildly>
  13. John McCain: In my many years in Warshington, I've fought wasteful government spending. And as president... Wait. For the next two days, I don't want to be president. I need to rush off to help the government hastily approve $700 billion in spending.
  14. Political Pundits: You're not a maverick. You're a loony.
  15. US President, US Treasury Secretary, Federal Reserve Chairman, Speaker of the House, Committee Heads, Attention Whores Presidential Candidates: Buying $700 billion of toxic assets sounds great. Here's a 100-page proposal.
  16. House Representatives in Tight Races: O noes! Our constituents found our phone numbers! Halp! I want to get reelected, screw this bailout.
  17. US Financial System: Well shiiiiiit.
  18. Emergency Conference Meeting: You know what people think is tasty? Bacon. Let's add 350 pages of pork.
  19. Somebody In The Meeting: *psst* Let's slip the stock purchase option back in there.
  20. US Senate: Tastes great, we're willing!
  21. US House of Representatives: Okay, I guess...
  22. Financial Commentators: So... the government is going to invent a price for a bunch of stuff which has no market value because nobody wants to buy it.
  23. Economists (some): Something must be done. This is something, therefore, it must be done.
  24. Economists (others): This is a terrible idea.
  25. Economists (still others): This might work, but I've got a better idea.
  26. US Financial System: I'm going to drink heavily for a week and then turn on MTV and the radio at the same time.
  27. US Treasury Secretary: I know I said there might not be an economy by Monday, but I'll need five weeks and some Wall Street executives on staff before I can do anything.
  28. Germany: Scheise! Now our banks are in trouble. Immediate action! Your money is safe in German banks!
  29. Europeans: Hey, now we have to guarantee our banks!
  30. Economists: Hey... that sock purchase plan is in the bailout plan. Let's try that.
  31. United Kingdom: Bollocks! Now our banks are in trouble. Immediate action! We'll take major shares in you chaps. kthxbai.
  32. World Financial System: Whoa... I think I'm still drunk.
  33. World's Major Central Banks: All together now: lower interest rates! That usually works!
  34. World Financial System: Crap! I mean Great! I mean... maybe?
  35. Iceland: We're melting! And not just because of global warming.
  36. US Treasury Secretary: World leader huddle!
  37. World Financial Leaders: Okay... we're not making progress running straight into the line. Let's run the option.
  38. US Treasury Secretary: But I hate the option. My fans always boo.
  39. World Financial Leaders: Henry... you can run the option or you can lose the game.
  40. US Treasury Secretary: Fine! I'll run the stupid option.
  41. World Financial Leaders: Okay, everybody. I know we've all trumpeted the wonders of the free market system for years. But the free market is having trouble, so we need to save it. Our plan is often called "nationalization." We're going to become part owners of major banks so they'll have money they can use to lube the wheels of the economy.
  42. Financial Commentators: Wow. The best option is socialism.
  43. John McCain: I'm gonna go ahead and NOT mention that in my campaign.
  44. US Financial System: Well... okay... I guess. But I won't move until everybody else moves too.
  45. US Treasury Secretary: Dear diary... the last month has sucked ass. But I think we're going somewhere.
So... what's the value of what taxpayers are buying? Like most questions in finance, the answer is "That depends on the future market." What are the pieces?

Henry Paulson (Secretary of the Treasury) wanted to solve the problem by spending $700 billion to buy mortgage-backed assets. (Essentially, that's a bunch of assets tossed in a pile. Except then somebody pulled pieces out of each mortgage and stuck them into other piles. It's like everybody in a neighborhood having spaghetti, but each noodle is really long and is on everybody's plate.) What would the value of these assets be? In some approaches to value, something is worth exactly what someone else is willing to pay. So in a sense, we'd be buying $700 billion of mortgage assets because we're willing to pay $700 billion. But then they'd be immediately worth much less because nobody else wants to pay $700 billion for them. In fact, nobody wants to pay much of anything for them. Part of the problem is that, under mark-to-market accounting rules, if nobody wants to buy a bank's piles of mortgages, banks can't pretend they have a bunch of money instead. And if they can't pretend they have a bunch of money, they have problems doing their normal bank activities like borrowing and lending money.

Under other approaches to value, the piles of mortgages are worth significantly more than nothing. Some percentage of the people who mortgaged their homes are making monthly payments, so the piles of mortgages are earning income. But investors don't think they can make a good guess about how many people will keep paying their mortgages, so they aren't willing to gamble on invest in them. If the U.S. government owned them, they wouldn't have to worry as much about accounting rules. The government would get the money that homeowners pay each month, meaning they'd have some real value. After a few years, once the economy settled down and investors felt like buying stuff again, the government would sell the piles of mortgages back and recover some of the taxpayer's money. In the mean time, the federal government would be the country's biggest landlord and end up owning a bunch of houses. I'll come back into that in a bit.

The main problem with the Paulson plan (aside from the world's worst marketing job) is that it put the government in the role of a really dumb investor. One of the main goals of the "OMG, save the banking system!" plans is to inject liquidity (i.e., money that's easy to spend) into financial system. If the government drove a hard bargain (what a private investor would do), they'd get a bunch of really cheap mortgages (great for the budget when the market improves later!), but banks wouldn't get much money they could spend. If they paid enough to get the money flowing (what a government would do), they'd probably end up losing a bunch of money in the end. The government has some smart people working out some rules for a reverse auction The federal government is good at losing money (call it an Investment Portfolio to Nowhere), but a lot of economists looked into the proposal and thought it wasn't very good.

Finally, Paulson bit the bullet and followed the European lead to the government buying major shares in banks. Some key things to note:
  • The government gets "preferred stock." That means that the government gets company profits (from dividends or sale of assets in case of a collapse) before normal shareholders.
  • The Treasury has said, on their honor, that they won't use the shares to influence the decisions of the bank.
  • This provides an immediate infusion of liquid cash (technically it's electronic, which is kind of like liquid... there's electrons flowing through wire instead of water flowing through pipes...)
  • Nobody has to make up a price for the piles of mortgages. The government's buying shares which currently have a market value.
  • If the banks get better, the government makes money when they sell the shares.
  • If the banks fail, the government gets a chunk of their assets.
  • This guy thinks there are some devilish details the banks can twist to connive with the sudden infusion of taxpayer money. (He lists "rotisserie baseball" as an interest. I hope that doesn't involve hitting a chicken with a stick.) Listen to the Planet Money podcast for his points. (As usual, Adam Davidson does a better job than I do at explaining this stuff.)
  • I think Treasury is still planning to buy "toxic assets," but their total available cash for toxic waste and bank stock is around $350 billion and the latter will take about $200 billion.
So what's the real value of the mortgage-backed securities taxpayers are buying? Hard to say. But we aren't spending $700 billion on them. What's the value of the bank stock we're spending $200 billion on? Hard to say, but if things get better the value should be more than $200 billion. The bankers don't really like the stock plan, but their collective overvaluing of the market got us into this mess, so tough cookies.

A caricature of the Soviet economic system is that everybody gets an identical place to live (owned by the government) and gives most of their money to the State. America, these caricaturists say, is better because we let each person decide what house to buy with their own money. But in the end, everybody ended up buying a house that looked just like all the other houses in their subdivision. And under the Paulson plan, the government would've owned a bunch of them and everybody would've paid their mortgages to the State. Under socialism, government men start with a plan to exploit their fellow men. Under capitalism, it just ends up that way.

Part of me thinks it would be really interesting for the government to own a whole bunch of suburban real estate. They could embark on projects to create local centers of employment and commerce, reducing the distance people would have to drive and thereby reducing dependence on foreign oil. They could turn vacant McMansions (in Denver lingo "Prairie Palaces") into housing cooperatives. The other part of me thinks housing cooperatives and local community development must grow bottom-up to have a chance of success. The federal government is good at doing big things like running national parks. A half-dozen hippies are good at doing small things like organizing a house inhabited by a half-dozen hippies. But I think there's a chance that the anonymous sprawl suburbs will become the new ghettos while former industrial buildings (aka lofts) become the hip expensive places to live. Centennial will be a really swank ghetto, but it'll still be a ghetto. Maybe we'll be listening to rap songs entitled "Straight Outa Rancho Cucamonga."

I've come to understand some interesting things about macroeconomics in the last few years, but hard-core capitalism still bothers me. At its root, it's a bunch of people doing stuff in exchange for imaginary pieces of paper. The main advantages of money are that you can do math with it and it can be exchanged multiple times. If you give me $10, I can later give the $10 to somebody else. Or I can divide it in half and give $5 to two people. But money isn't the only thing that can be exchanged. Much of the time, it stands in for time, effort, or information. If I give you an afternoon of my time and energy moving all your stuff from one apartment to another, you can't necessarily give that afternoon to somebody else. If you and I have sex for ten minutes, it has no (necessary) impact on your ability to have sex with somebody else for ten minutes... or two other people for five minutes. If I tell you a funny story and you want to tell it to two other people, there's no need to tell each only half the story.

Money is a tool to enable zero-sum games. But a very effective path to success is for multiple individuals to team up and play a game that's not zero-sum. Maybe that's why society gets so skittish about prostitution: it tries to mix a zero-sum game (paying money) with a non-zero-sum game (two people helping each other have an orgasm).

Remember that investing is essentially gambling with two important differences: Nobody's quite sure what the odds are and the house doesn't always win in the long run. When you invest money, you might get more of it back or you might get less of it back. When you invest time (hanging out with friends, playing games, having sex, relaxing in the sun on the porch) you know that hour of time won't come back, but you also know it won't suddenly turn into just half an hour. Remember that money isn't the only thing in the world worth exchanging with another person.

So that's all the economics questions I was asked on my original post. If I didn't bore you to tears and you didn't learn what you want to know from Planet Money, ask more questions!


Thursday, November 22nd, 2007 01:28 am
flwyd: (rush counterparts album cover)
Where the turn on is enhanced by the knowledge that few others will be turned on.


Sunday, November 18th, 2007 11:48 pm
flwyd: (rush counterparts album cover)
At yesterday's party, Joe said "I often wonder why languages have some words but not others. For instance, 'orgasm' is when one of the people having sex has an intensely pleasurable sensation. But why don't we have the word 'andgasm' for when both people have that feeling?"

I immediately picked up: "Or 'xorgasm:' when one but not both people experience it. A 'nandgasm' is when neither or one (but not both) get it. A 'norgasm' (related to 'snoregasm') is when nobody gets off." Some of the logical operators don't have a word that flows as well: "Ifgasm" (or "conditionalgasm") can be applied in all situations except when person A hits the peak and person B does not. "Iffgasm" (or "biconditionalgasm" or "xnorgasm") is when both come or both don't come (leave?). "Notgasm" is a unary (not binary) operator: it means someone got tired of masturbating.

I leave n-adic versions of the gasmic operators as an exercise to the reader.
flwyd: (rush counterparts album cover)
ULYANOVSK, Russia (Reuters) - The governor of a central Russian province urged couples to skip work Wednesday and make love instead to help boost Russia's low birth-rate.

And if a woman gives birth in exactly nine months time -- on Russia's national day on June 12 -- she will qualify for a prize, perhaps even winning a new home.
Russia wants to reverse a trend in which the population is shrinking by about 700,000 people a year as births fail to outpace a high death rate boosted by AIDS, alcoholism and suicide.

Oh, That's In A Name

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 09:50 pm
flwyd: (rush counterparts album cover)
Maybe I'm dense, but I just realized the symbolism behind a condom branded as Trojan.

Is that really the image a condom manufacturer should maintain?
  • A Trojan horse is a contraption that holds many foreign soldiers. (They were from Greece, a country with many islands, so the soldiers were probably good seamen.)
  • A Trojan horse looks appealing, so the enemy accepts the gift and brings it inside its walls.
  • While enjoying the gift of a Trojan horse, the recipient doesn't worry that it might be dangerous and the soldiers slip out and attack

Suppose we built this large wooden beaver...


Wednesday, August 29th, 2007 11:29 pm
flwyd: (rush counterparts album cover)
I really dislike the euphemism "adult" for "sexual."

When I hear a phrase like "adult activities," I think of things like doing taxes and shopping for bathroom fixtures at Home Depot. "Adult entertainment" brings to mind midwestern grayhairs watching Lawrence Welk. "Adult material" could mean paper from old trees bound in leather from old cows.

Part of the problem is that a lot of mainstream porn strikes me as adolescent in style. My image of adult relationships is one of caring for a partner who's had a rough day, going for a romantic walk and reminiscing about youthful exploits, and so on. Depictions of such acts aren't very good for selling magazines, low budget films, and monthly website subscriptions. What I call "adolescent sexuality" is very genital focused, high in kinetic energy, and with a sense of the forbidden. "Girls Gone Wild" brings to mind copious alcohol in red plastic cups and a bunch of sorority girls ready to hump anything that moves. "Women Gone Wild" brings to mind a retreat in the woods with middle-aged women excited to hear guest speaker Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

I don't mean to imply that adult relationships lack sex. On the contrary, intercourse is something 35-year-olds, in general do, but 5-year-olds, in general, don't. But sex isn't the only thing that distinguishes children from adults and it certainly doesn't distinguish between 17-year-olds and 27-year-olds.

"Adult" and "mature" are often used synonymously. If your boss says "We're having an adult conversation," it's not an invitation to share the kinky exploits of your weekend with the conference call. It's a reminder that name calling, whining, and sulking don't have a place in a business meeting and that coworkers are expected to behave maturely with each other. Yet "M for Mature" video games like Grand Theft Auto feature hours upon hours of immature actions like stealing cars and killing hookers. The Seventh Seal is a movie with mature themes. Barely Legal Teens 37 is not.

Further confounding the terminology is the word "family" (which is taken to imply children are present). "Family-friendly content" is saccharine Disney films where a one-frame erection beneath a robe gets people riled up about indecency. But while adult doesn't imply sex (monks, nuns, etc.), it's an odd family (implying children) that doesn't start with sex.

Taboo subjects oft beget linguistic acrobatics. America may have no greater taboo than sex and no end of euphemisms with two backs.

Improper Fuzz

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007 08:39 pm
flwyd: (mathnet - to cogitate and to solve)
At the recommendation of Savage Love, I filled out sex survey from the University of British Columbia. Questions are standardized from the '70s and '80s, so some of the are a little odd for liberal-minded folks today. But what really bothers me is the BIDR section asking general questions about my personality. The answers are fuzzy with 1 as "Not True," 4 as "Somewhat True," and 7 as "Very True." Normally, I like fuzziness in surveys because I often have fuzzy answers. But whose idea was it to seek fuzzy results to absolute questions?

9. I am fully in control of my own fate.
11. I never regret my decisions.
15. I am a completely rational person.
21. I sometimes tell lies if I have to.
22. I never cover up my mistakes.
24. I never swear.
29. I have received too much change from a salesperson without telling him or her.
30. I always declare everything at customs.

Words like "fully," "never," "completely," and "always" turn fuzzy questions into bivalent ones. Maybe they assume you're lying in the fuzzy section if you answer 7 to question 15.

My Results )

2D Gender Graph

Monday, May 14th, 2007 09:20 pm
flwyd: (Vigelandsparken heels over head)
In the shower last night, I came up with an interesting idea. Partly it's about using scientific techniques in humorous ways, but there may be something worthwhile. I don't claim it's anything resembling a perfect model of the world, but hopefully it's at least entertaining.

People often talk about a "sexual orientation continuum" where gay is at one end, bisexual is in the middle, and straight is at the other end:

Gay                                Bisexual                                Straight
One can then use fuzzy logic to talk about attraction: "I'm 90% gay," "I like guys about as much as girls," "I'm not as straight as I act." Not a perfect representation of reality, but hopefully more accurate than three words and the instructions "circle one."

We can apply a similar idea to gender and style:

Feminine                                Androgynous                                Masculine
and to physical features and hormones:
Female                                Intersexed                                Male

Suppose that we put the latter two continua in a two-dimensional coordinate system:

(I've put numbers to allow convenient reference and because I'm displaying this with HTML tables instead of gnuplot, but the axes are intended to be continuous, not discreet.)

In this graph, "type 1" people have very female physiology and very masculine behavior. "Type 4" people have moderately male physiology and very masculine behavior. "Type 15" people have very male physiology and androgynous behavior. "Type 18" people have intersexed physiology and moderately female behavior, and so on.

We can use this graph to determine a person's gender empirically. Have them consider a wide variety of people and assign an attraction level to each; let's suppose attraction ranges from -1 for completely repulsed to 0 for no strong feelings to 1 for total infatuation. By plotting each person on the above graph with attraction level in the third dimension we can infer a model of a person's attraction patterns.

Claims like "I'm only attracted to girls" can thus be finessed: does the speaker have a single peak centered in type 6? Does it slope from 0.25 somewhere in type 13 to values near 1 in types 16, 21, and 22? Are there local maxima scattered about the left half of the graph? The claim "I'm not in to guys" could show as a value around 0 on the right half of the graph ("naked men don't turn me on, but they don't weird me out"), the right side might have an average value very close to -1 ("gross! a penis! get it away from me!"), or it might turn out that it's just stereotypical men (e.g. type 5) that turn the speaker off.

Do I have something interesting here? Have I independently discovered a common technique in Gender Studies classes? Does your attraction graph look interesting? I'd like to hear about it. If it's a helpful way of thinking about gender I might be sufficiently motivated to make an interactive version. For now, here's a convenient copy/paste fill-in-the-boxes version for those whose table-fu is not strong:

+0.0 -0.0 +0.0 -0.0 +0.0
-0.0 +0.0 -0.0 +0.0 -0.0
+0.0 -0.0 +0.0 -0.0 +0.0
-0.0 +0.0 -0.0 +0.0 -0.0
+0.0 -0.0 +0.0 -0.0 +0.0

Feel free to suggest graph locations for famous people, fictional characters, or folks you know personally. You can express them as quantized types from the table above or as [-1, 1] valued <sex, gender, attraction> triplets like "I think Arnold Schwarzenegger is a 1, 1, -0.3" (a somewhat repulsive type 5) or "I saw a hot drag queen last night... I'd say Mary was 10%, -90%, 75%" (a rather attractive type 23).

Incidentally, I've oriented the continua and axes such that female and feminine are in the positions traditionally assigned to negative values. My intent is not to imply that female and feminine are "bad" and male and masculine are "good." Like electron and proton charges, the assignment is arbitrary and graphs with axes reversed are just as valid when compared with like-oriented axes. I put female and feminine on the negative side in part because that's the yin-yang association and partly because "F" comes lexically before "M" and English associates "before" with "left." The cultural-linguistic challenge is to disassociate "positive" with "good" and "negative" with "bad." People threatened by flood feel that negative change in the river level is good while people threatened by drought feel that positive change in the river level is good.

flwyd: (requiem for a dream eye)
Many moons ago, in a discussion about sexual initiative, [livejournal.com profile] tamheals asked "Don't you want to beat a woman over the head and drag her back to your cave?" I thought about it for a moment. "No... I want to lure a woman back to my cave to watch foreign films."
flwyd: (rush counterparts album cover)
"I just think he's trying to get in your pants."

"Maybe I should tell him there's not enough room for two occupants."
flwyd: (fun characters)
FOR SALE: poorly translated Chinese sex doll: beautiful young girl overall person (debatably safe for work).

Choice quotes:
Because this construction cost is higher, therefore the different customer cannot provide the delivery payment, looks the consumer ??!

Inside and outside coordinates 4 sets to inspire the egg (to be possible to put in oral area, breast, g-enitals) lets you feel 5 kind of shock waves to bring the sextual affection fervor

[Usage amount used]takes out this, scours the disinfection with 75% medical ethyl alcohol, and spreads wipes the few lubricants to the oral area, the g-enitals, puts on the condom, again the mouth junction, the breast which needs according to oneself hand over, sextual affection way and so on cloudy the junction carries on makes love.
But what's most entertaining is at the bottom: Save on postage - buy additional items now from this seller's other listings which include Macromedia Studio, Microsoft SQL 2000, and Visual Studio. Is this a sex toy retailer with a side business in development software? Or a development software retailer who also sells sex dolls? Inside and outside coordinates 4 sets sounds like a complicated join in SQL 2000...

Link courtesy [livejournal.com profile] tongodeon

HP Lovemake

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007 12:44 pm
flwyd: (rush counterparts album cover)
You put your penis in
You take your penis out
You put your penis in
And shake it all about
You do the hanky panky and you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about
flwyd: (rush counterparts album cover)
If you get home to a sexy and explicit message on your answering machine and it turns out it was a wrong number, it's time to call porn *69.

Breakfast Pun

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007 03:06 pm
flwyd: (rush counterparts album cover)
If someone only eats Rice Krispies in the morning for several months and then goes through a phase of eating only Corn Flakes followed by several months of morning devotion to Raisin Bran, they practice cereal monogamy.

RIP Molly Ivins

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007 09:59 pm
flwyd: (rose silhouette)
I didn't read nearly as much by Molly Ivins as I should have. Unfortunately, the final two years of Shrub must be without the sharpest barb.

I saw Molly at the Conference on World Affairs a few years ago, around the time the Supreme Court was hearing the Texas anti-sodomy law. In her typical sharp fashion, she quipped Immediately after that bill passed, one sponsor slapped another on the back and was immediately in violation of the law. Because in Texas, you can't have a prick touching an asshole.

Her straightforward no-nonsense attitude exemplified what's best about the Texas character while her undying cleverness is found among too few other residents of Texas and political commentators. We'll have to raise more hell without her.


Tuesday, January 16th, 2007 11:26 pm
flwyd: (rush counterparts album cover)
Sports Center shows all of the day's exciting sports moments in an easy-to-swallow form. This is sort of like a video that compiles orgasm shots from two dozen porno films and shows them back-to-back without much context.

While orgasms and home runs are both very exciting, the game is often more enjoyable if it's full of squeeze bunts, double steals, and head first slides.

Niche Marketing

Thursday, December 7th, 2006 10:00 am
flwyd: (Vigelandsparken heels over head)
I wonder how well a flogger shaped like Cthulhu would sell. Even though the flogger people and the Cthulhu people are small groups in the general population, the intersection percentage of those sets is pretty high.

As Margaret Cho said, "There's a weird connection between S&M, Star Trek, and the renaissance festival..."


Thursday, July 27th, 2006 09:18 pm
flwyd: (over shoulder double face)
Remember in the mid-90s when the Public at Large was learning about The Internet? One of the stereotypes is that the Internet was mostly about people in chat rooms having cybersex with 19-year-old virgin cheerleaders who were actually either 15-year-old virgin nerdboys, 37-year-old virgin nerdboys, or 52-year-old creepy old men?

Last week, I was on the computer and [livejournal.com profile] tamheals was not at home. I logged into AIM, but left her logged in to other chat networks. A man she'd chatted with on OKCupid sent Tam a message and I decided to play along. I had not previously encountered this person, and I think he knew only vaguely of my existence. I present, for your edification, what transpired that evening. Names have been abbreviated to protect the guilty.

J (6:58:30 PM): i think okcupid is busted
T (6:59:22 PM): Also there are busty people on OKCupid.
J (6:59:33 PM): as you've proved
J (7:00:41 PM): what size are those anyway?
T (7:01:23 PM): Supersized.
T (7:01:27 PM): Would you like fries with that?
J (7:01:48 PM): yes please
J (7:05:13 PM): so you've been good this year?
T (7:06:31 PM): Depends. What happens if I've been naughty?
J (7:06:40 PM): a spanking naturally
T (7:07:34 PM): I've been fairly naughty.
J (7:07:46 PM): followed by that old english school punishment, a good dicking
J (7:09:32 PM): so what are you doing? anything naughty?
T (7:10:12 PM): I'll leave that to your imagination.
J (7:10:35 PM): so no then :)
T (7:11:59 PM): You just need a more active imagination.
J (7:12:22 PM): i have a great imagination. i'm just too tired...
J (7:13:28 PM): what are you wearing?
T (7:13:57 PM): You can't imagine that either?
J (7:14:47 PM): if i could imagine everything i wouldn't need to talk to you :O
J (7:16:22 PM): ok, i'll start. i'm wearing nothing and i'm stroking my cock
T (7:17:13 PM): Where's the imagination in that?
J (7:17:47 PM): ok, i'm eating your pussy and massaging your breasts with my big hands
J (7:18:06 PM): i lick slowly up your slit and suck and lick on your clit
J (7:18:31 PM): i stick my tounge inside you and fuck you with it :)
T (7:19:48 PM): So your imagination says I'm wearing your face, I see.
J (7:20:13 PM): now i want you to sit on my face while i play with those beautiful breasts and pull on your nipples
J (7:20:27 PM): i want you to grind your pussy into me and moan for it
J (7:22:02 PM): i put my fingers inside you and lick your clit
J (7:22:07 PM): god you're fucking wet
J (7:22:36 PM): i spank you a little and suck on your clit when you push it into my mouth
J (7:23:22 PM): hm, this is a little one-sided...
J (7:23:46 PM): :P
T (7:24:05 PM): A one-sided tongue?
T (7:24:26 PM): A möbius mouthpiece could play an interesting tune
T (7:24:52 PM): Twisting and turning and making her come soon
J (7:25:25 PM): are you playing with yourself? one straight answer :)
J (7:28:32 PM): guess not
J (7:36:17 PM): i have to say i'm fairly impressed you knew möbius had an umlaut. Unless you looked it up, of course...
T (7:36:41 PM): I know many things. I contain multitudes.
T (7:37:27 PM): I am the lizard queen. I can do anything.
J (7:37:31 PM): very well, what famous painter/mathematician incorporated a möbius strip into a portrait?
T (7:38:00 PM): We must not eschew Escher.
J (7:38:46 PM): very well, but you don't need to be exceedingly weird to prove a point. just take it down a level
T (7:39:40 PM): In Escherland, taking it down a level merely gives you a new view of the same situation.
J (7:39:59 PM): is that a GEB reference?
T (7:40:12 PM): No, just E.
T (7:40:58 PM): (Now that we've moved from clit licking to stair climbing, I should mention that Tam isn't home; this is Trevor.
J (7:41:11 PM): haha
J (7:41:16 PM): well played
T (7:41:38 PM): I don't know if you're interested in what I'm wearing anymore.
J (7:42:39 PM): i was starting to be impressed by what seemed to be a fairly well educated chick. fucker
T (7:43:07 PM): Women can't grok topology?
J (7:43:32 PM): can but usually don't my friend
T (7:43:55 PM): Perhaps you should come to a firmer understanding of asymptotes.
J (7:45:09 PM): Perhaps I've spent more than enough years under the mathematical cloth already
T (7:45:28 PM): Your cylinder has graduated?
J (7:46:42 PM): ok, what the fuck did you study in school? these references are a bit too varied and quick
T (7:47:02 PM): Computer science and philosophy.
J (7:47:20 PM): oh, figures
J (7:47:27 PM): dork :)
T (7:47:34 PM): According to Moore's law, the speed of my puns doubles every 24 months.
J (7:48:10 PM): yeah, but eventually the lines will get too close together to be funny
T (7:48:59 PM): It just becomes more challenging to read between them.
T (7:49:16 PM): Most men find lines close to each other to be rather enjoyable.
J (7:50:30 PM): too challenging evidentally. let me get out the photolithograph
J (7:52:52 PM): well, gotta run. if you ever need a programming job in dc, let me know
T (7:53:28 PM): What about Marvel?
J (7:53:37 PM): what about it
T (7:53:47 PM): Do you know of any openings there?
J (7:53:59 PM): let me check
J (7:54:00 PM): no
T (7:54:24 PM): Programming Spider Man seems more challenging than programming Superman.
T (7:54:40 PM): (If I remember my intellectual property correctly.)
J (7:55:07 PM): now i have no idea what you're talking about
T (7:55:49 PM): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_vs_DC
J (7:56:40 PM): i see
J (7:56:44 PM): no
J (7:57:28 PM): tell tam i said hi and, whatever else... :)
Yahoo (7:57:36 PM): J has logged off

Bonus pun: I met a girl at Möbius Strip Club, but she was one-dimensional.


Monday, June 12th, 2006 11:24 pm
flwyd: (carmen sandiego)
I wonder if I'm the only one who's made a connection between cunnilingus and plugging in computer cables under a desk.
flwyd: (spam lite)
Sometimes spam is more entertaining than your legitimate e-mail.
Viagra: Take the blue pill and see how far the rabbit hole goes...

Daily Words 2/14/6

Saturday, February 18th, 2006 11:07 pm
flwyd: (tell tale heart)
I often think people make too big of a deal about holidays. If the essence of the holiday is important, the virtue should be practiced year round. Why wait until December to give someone a present? Why wait until October to get dressed up like a freak?

Sometimes the holiday comes at a bad time. When you're fighting a cold it's okay if you can't keep it up on Valentine's Day.
flwyd: (carmen sandiego)
Small word variations can have a major effect on the sexiness of an utterance. Observe:

Oh yes daddy!Oh yes dad!
You're a hot momma!You're hot, mommy.

flwyd: (tell tale heart)
My friends include several people who are queer in one way or another and my friends' friends page has even more folks with non-straight and otherwise unusual opinions about sexual arousal and human desirability. Coming to terms with your own gender and sexuality can prove challenging. Sometimes what your brain and body are saying isn't said by the people around you. Without good role models and sometimes without even good words, enacting gender and sexuality in a well-adjusted manner is an amazing feat. In an attempt to turn the kaleidoscope a bit for a new view, I'll share the following teaching.

In the summer of 1994, my mom and I attended a week-long workshop at Naropa with American Indian storyteller and medicine man Johnny Moses. One of the many fascinating tidbits he shared was about gender in Nootka society on (I think) Vancouver Island. In Nootka language and culture, there are eight genders.
  • There are the straight men, and they're BOOORING.
  • There are the straight women, and they're boring too, so the two of them get together.
  • There are gay men
  • And gay women.
  • Then there's what we'd call bisexuals, but they're comfortable with people of all genders. So I suppose they'd be octosexuals.
  • Then there are men trapped in womens' bodies
  • And women trapped in mens' bodies.
  • Then there are people who feel like their spirit is not human, they're from somewhere else in the universe and were made to inhabit a human body so they could learn a lesson.
  • There are also people who are comfortable with all the genders, but aren't sexual at all. Perhaps they're octoasexual.
Other cultures in the area had different ideas about gender. Some had more, some had less, and others didn't really think about genders -- you just know what you feel like and you relate to people as they are. One group in the area have the concept of a gender whose members can't be sexual unless they pretend to be someone else.

Something bugs me about what passes for political debate and social dialog in America these days. The participants don't spend nearly enough effort in an attempt to understand and properly characterize what the other side actually thinks and why they think that. In our formal way, philosophers usually attribute the best interpretation of a work to its author. If his words can be interpreted in two ways, only one of which is totally absurd, the other should be assumed the intended meaning. Unfortunately, in common political and social thought, people often don't even rise to the level of willful misinterpretation. They start and end with making up positions held by their adversaries and then deriding those. For instance, some people voted for Nixon in 1960 because they didn't want the U.S. president to take orders from the Pope. Kennedy was elected, but the Pope's power in America didn't change.

This seems to be the current state of most of the gay marriage "debate" currently transpiring. It strikes me that a lot of constituents believe that proponents of gay marriage are following an agenda of goals that they do not, in fact, desire. I read somewhere that some anti-gay marriage leaders are intentionally ignoring the distinction between legal marriage and religious marriage. Thus, there may be lots of people who oppose gay marriage because their religion forbids homosexual unions and they don't want the government forcing their church to recognize and perform gay marriages. I don't think anyone on the pro-gay marriage side is claiming anything of the sort, but the misconception is out there. People therefore defend a ban on gay marriage in the name of religious freedom, of all things.

In the hopes of increasing the general level of understanding in the universe, I therefore hope I can make this clear. Religious matrimony and legal matrimony should be two separate (though usually co-occurrent) concepts. Religions should be able to confer the "sanctity of marriage" on relationships at their discretion. If a church's elders or members decide that unions are only holy if both members are of the same religion, race, sexual orientation, or age bracket, so be it. No person should be forced to perform a religious marriage they don't bless, and if a church disapproves of people living together who don't have a sanctified relationship, they may so decree. To the degree that the church's doctrine influences its followers actions, the faithful should follow these guidelines.

Alongside the concept of religiously blessed union should lie the legally blessed union. It could be called almost anything for all I care -- marriage, civil union, 602(d), or whatever. But it should be called the same thing for everyone to which it applies. To qualify for an LBU, the participants must meet certain criteria. They must be of the age of consent, they must agree to the union without duress, and perhaps they should swear an oath indicating some of their duties. The benefits provided by LBUs should be entirely legal in nature -- tax breaks, prevention of housing discrimination, inheritance, partner benefits, and so forth. There should not be a box on the form to describe which party has what sexual organs, because that has absolutely nothing to do with the provided benefits. It should be possible to have a legally blessed union without that union being religiously blessed and vice versa. It should be possible to have a legally blessed union with more than one person at a time, though providing for this would require some careful thought about legal repercussions. It seems questionable to force an employer's partner benefits plan to cover all seventeen of a person's spice, since that could lead to loophole unions where people without a relationship get married purely for free health care. But this sort of thing is a minor issue which can be worked out in legislative committee after sufficient testimony.

Laws restricting marriage to certain gender combinations based on religious tradition is a bit like laws restricting the purchase of meat to certain days based on religious tradition. If your religion says you shouldn't marry another person, don't. (Alternatively, make the switch to a religion that will let you marry the person you love.) If your religion says you shouldn't eat meat on Fridays, or even that you shouldn't eat meat at all, then don't. But don't make a law preventing the sale of meat on Friday.

Finally, the anti-gay agenda is largely doomed. No matter how much people try, they won't stop people from doing any of the following with people with similar sex organs:
  • stimulating sex organs to the point of orgasm
  • living together and sleeping in the same bed
  • creating and raising children
  • sharing finances and possessions
  • holding hands, kissing, or cuddling
  • arguing, fighting, lying, breaking up, harassing, taking revenge, or any of the other not-so-fun things that happen in a relationship.
All that outlawing same-sex unions prevents is tax breaks, access to health care, sensible custody, and reasonable inheritance. And that seems like a really strange set of things to selectively deny to people.

Well, tax breaks, access to health care, child custody, and inheritance are frequently granted to the wealthy while they're harder for poor to obtain, but that's a problem for another time.

In the abortion debate, people who are pro-life want to increase the number of lives and people who are pro-choice want to increase the number of choices. In the gay marriage debate, people who claim to defend marriage and pro-family actually oppose measures which would increase the number of marriages and provide more legal stability to families. To quote Dr. Strangelove, "You can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"
flwyd: (Default)

Last week (4/8-4/12) was my absolute favorite week of the year. I laughed much more than usual. My brain got stimulated in unusual directions. I got up before 9 am for five days straight. What provoked this? The 54th Annual Conference on World Affairs. This brain dump is somewhat after the fact, because I put off everything that could be put off last week, so had a major crunch the past four days. What follows is a collection of notes (some to myself), insights, humorous or thought-provoking one-liners, and stories from memory. As a reward for reading through the whole thing, you get to learn second-hand about lots of details in Mulholland Drive.

Separate for your convenience )

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