October 18th, 2004

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05:58 pm - on makeovers for girls (boobies boobies boobies)...

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on makeovers for girls (boobies boobies boobies)... - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: ouchfest Date: October 20th, 2004 - 03:23 pm (Link)
I was just trying to explain my preference. I wasn't claiming some logically derived truth that everyone should apply. You can't (and aren't) tell me that my opinion is wrong, and I'm not doing that to anyone else. If you're trying to apply "reasoning" to this situation, I don't know what you'd do.

Also, I didn't say prom queens are not intelligent. I suggested that they are culturally different enough from me that I would not be interested in a conversation.

It's about culture and learning mechanisms, not logic or popular concensus.

I would reply more coherantly, but my linux workshop is starting.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 20th, 2004 - 04:45 pm (Link)
nope, I'm not at all trying to change your views on what's attractive. I have no problem with your opinions at all. Its the reasoning I was taking issue with.

If you'd simply said "t-shirts and sweatshirts are sexy" I would have said "ah, ok, if you think so, to each their own" or something like that. I might have made some small joke at your expense like I did with Jameel. But that's just cuz I'm an asshole. But given that you pointed out actual well thought out (which they were) rationales for that opinion, I felt justified in pointing out the holes in them.

Take for instance your most recent comment about prom queens. You're still implying a cultural difference, but I argue its imagined. Logically speaking, I would theorize that given equal effort, the vast majority of people would rather be attractive than not. Now, being attractive is not effortless. Simply put, one must bathe, take care of hygeine, and get dressed (regardless of the style they dress in). So some effort must be applied even to have the wet hair and t-shirt look. So the best your argument can really boil down to is you don't want someone who spends more effort on their appearance than they do on X, where X is whatever traits you do find attractive. For the sake of this argument. Lets say that X is playing pinball. Because pinball chicks are hot. Ok, so certainly if one just showers and puts on a t-shirt and jeans and heads to the arcade, then one has plenty of time to play pinball all day. If one feels the need to shave her legs, apply makeup and perfume and put together a well chosen outfit, that might take time out of her pinball day. Assuming that by simply looking at an outfit, you can tell how long it took the girl to get ready in the morning (an assumption which I also think is flawed) you'd be able to tell who spent more time getting ready and conversely which girl is most devoted to pinball.

But in the real world, there are more activities. You can't tell if the girl has more time to get ready because she's skimping on pinball or because she's skimping on sleep. Maybe she's a faster dresser. Maybe she works less hours. Maybe she just is more comfortable in skirts than pants, and being comfortable helps her pinball game. There are just too many variables. Throw in the fact that maybe it simply isn't any harder for her to wear clothes that are more fashionable and you've just got way to uncontrolled a scenario for your statement of reasoning to function.

Of course the other possibility is that maybe she really doesn't care about pinball but is still a wonderful person. I acknowledge taht given what the X really is, that may or may not be possible. So that's a harder issue to argue. You like the kind of people you like. Just like you find attractive what you find attractive. I may think you're wrong, but that's irrelevant.

Going back to the prom queen statement again, my point is that you have no idea whether they are culturally different or not. You are relying on a flawed stereotype that you have generated to make that judgement for you. Whether a girl is hotter in a t-shirt and jeans or dress and stockings is a personal view sure. But your rationales of culture just don't work. Take George for instance. She is either interesting or not. The clothes she was wearing might make you think she is hot or less hot, but they don't alter her culture at all. If you think she's hot wearing a sweatshirt, that's all well and good. Drool over her or whatever. She's very smart and very fun, and you could talk to her as such when she was dressed that way. But saying that you'd assume she was too culturally different than you because she was wearing a lacy blouse basically just means you've missed out on the same smart and fun person and it pretty much just makes you an idiot for falling for a stereotype. It would be just as wrong to assume a girl was bad in bed because she wears conservative clothing, or that someone was socially inept because they liked computers and wore glasses, or assuming they were uneducated because they were black.

Trust me, I know more about culture and popular consensus than most people. They are tied together almost hand in hand. Even your views on what you think is attractive are directly tied to that.
[User Picture]From: ouchfest Date: October 21st, 2004 - 04:14 am (Link)
You can't tell me that I'm wrong. I mentioned "learning" before to bring to the table that we learn over many experiences which appearances we can associate with which cultures and behaviors. You can't tell me what my experiences are. Chicks in tshirts and jeans are more likely to be interesting for me to talk to than dolled-up glamour jobs. Sterotypes are a great and adaptive methods of organizing information, and it's too bad that there's so much political rhetoric thrown around knocking them.

Depending on the environment, I can sometimes feel quite confident in assuming a black person's education level. My university is in the ghetto. If I'm on campus, black people I see are probably undergrads or employees; in my buildings, they're probably graduate students; if I walk off-campus, I know they didn't go to college and may not have graduated highschool. You can't tell me that I should look at a guy loitering in the ghetto and think "well, I can't make assumptions based on stereotypes, that guy could be a doctor."

If I saw Jameel on the street, I would think: "transformers tattoos, or black trenchcoat with clan pin == geek (my kind of person)." Appearance denotes personality. In an office context where people have to conform to dress codes, the information is no longer useful, but your pictures of Ratha and George were not office context. For purposes of determining sexiness I assumed that their clothing choices were their preference.

My closet is full of identical blue tshirts. I wear them with my blue jeans and my white socks.

This is an interesting thread, and I'd post more, but I have a Learning and Motivation exam to cram for.

I also hate makeup.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 21st, 2004 - 09:05 am (Link)
again, I want to make it clear that I’m not arguing that your opinion is wrong. You think T-shirts and jeans are attractive. Fine. Not saying you that you don't actually think that, and in fact, I agree, sometimes jeans and t-shirts can be quite hot. Just other things can to.

What I dispute is the how you use cultural theory to support your claim. Your claim doesn't even really need support, its enough to just like something. People can agree or disagree as they see fit. With support, one can strengthen their claim, but in your case you actually weaken it.

You’re sort of right about stereotypes. Stereotypes come into being through the averaging of characteristics across a particular subculture. The Latinos are feisty. The French are rude. Black men have large penises. etc. But they aren't always true. I know Latinos who aren't feisty at all. I know an extremely nice and sweet french girl. And I'm a black guy and... ok, sometimes the stereotypes don't break down.

Still, the purpose of stereotypes is to give commonground as a jumping off point in interaction. Sometimes, its positive. Sometimes negative. Often its unfortunate, but that's part of the human condition. You’re right to assume that people learn based on prior experiences and adjust their mental model to match them, but you seem to hold more steadfast to those assumptions than is probably smart to do so. I can guarantee you that some of those black people in Oakland are college graduates. Jameel and I used to live in Oakland. I can guarantee you that George is just as interesting in her work clothes as she is the sweatshirt. (btw, I did specifically say that her clothes were for work, and even said she worked in a bank, so even your assumption about the function of the clothes was wrong to begin with). You make an assumption. But there's no guarantee of accuracy, as such, you have great opportunity to miss out on interesting people. Jameel didn't always have transformer tattoos. He doesn't always wear a trench coat. Your assumptions based on your personal experiences may not be accurate.

[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 21st, 2004 - 09:06 am (Link)
In fact, they aren’t accurate. That's the other problem with your argument. Lets say that you are only into geeky chicks. This may not be the smartest plan for seeking out relationships (and, you are probably actually more complex than that), but lets accept it as an postulate. For my definition of geek, I'm randomly picking the traits, "programs or services computers", "plays videogames" "plays roleplaying games" "would call herself as a geek when asked." Looking quickly at my friends list, there are about 67 women. Just guessing from what I know of each of them, I'd say 51 of them would probably identify themselves as geeks if you asked them. I'd say 34 of them make their living using computers. I'd say 31 of them like playing video games. I'd say 23 of them like RPGs. And 57 of them at least put some attention into following some fashion trend or another. For my tabulation I just used my best guesses, and if I wasn't sure, I erred on the side of no. For the fashion question, I used the basis of "I've personally seen this person work to create a look other than "jeans and a t-shirt, on at least a semi-normal, non-work requirement basis" or "I know for a fact that this person is at least trying to look cute/sexy/interesting/whatever, at least in their own view with the way they dress." Even then, I figure of the 10 I didn't count as caring, most of them probably do, I just wasn't sure. Nine women fell into all categories.

So by your logic, you’re assuming that 57 of the 67 women are uninteresting because they must not be geeks, but in reality, with 50 of them you'd be wrong. My point here is that you’re assigning a stereotype based on your own personal learning experience as opposed to cultural norms, and personal learning, though a standard for shaping the human experience, is innately flawed due to lack of sampling size. I could just as easily say "All men named Barry are assholes because everyone I ever met with that name was." but its not really a useful stereotype. Its too based on my flawed perception. I might also believe that "college graduates are generally more intelligent than high school dropouts." Probably not true for every case, but probably a safer assumption to make. And society will likely back me up due to a naturally larger sampling size. Your opinion is closer to the Barry statement than it is to the graduates statement.

Its like music. You’re welcome to like only experiemental techno from India. You’re welcome to think all other music is crap. You may come to that conclusion through any means. But not understanding that the majority of the rest of us like rock, hiphop or pop would just be ignorant. Saying why the specific sounds of Indian techno appeal to you is one thing. (your closet full of identical t-shirts) Explaining how all rock, hiphop and pop is vapid or devoid of real meaning because it lacks a sitar would be another (prom queen =useless and uninteresting). It doesn't show musical intelligence, or even validate tastes, it only shows a lack of understanding about diversity in music and culture (or a lack of understanding about women, and in particular prom queens)
[User Picture]From: ouchfest Date: October 21st, 2004 - 03:44 pm (Link)
I propose a massive cultural/demographic/consumer/personality database that will tell me exactly how to identify people I want to talk to or avoid based on appearance. It can perform big factor analyses. Until such a thing happens, the advice from your cognitive structures is no better than mine, and the analysis of your friends list is no better than my analysis of my life.

And your music analogy doesn't exactly apply because I'm not saying that no one can like prom queens, I'm just saying that I don't. You can listen to all the rock you want, and I'll stick to my indian techno. To me, the before picture is sexier.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 21st, 2004 - 09:37 pm (Link)
no my sampling is not scientific. Not by any means. Its not garunteed to be any better than your analysis of your own life. But see, I'm not claiming that I can accurately predict people. My entire premise is that you can't. You're the one claiming that you can. And you're right, my way was flawed. Again, just like yours. Really though, I think I can do a pretty good job of making those judgements. I spend a lot of time working on that sort of thing. I went to school for that sort of thing. I make assumptions on information based on first impressions all the time. And even I am wrong sometimes. Again, that's the point.

I suppose if you really want, I could post a survey, but likely you'll still get what you'd consider flawed results. My sampling group is simply wrong. It is artificially skewed to match my views because basically, that's how people became friends of mine in the first place.

That said, again, you are making the mistake by assuming there is some basic formula that you can use to make judgements of people. You can't. Even with all the information in the world, you'd still be falliable. No one is perfect. Not even me (I'm just damn close). Only Jay-Z never makes mistakes.

And my analogy is perfect.You seem to be under the impression that I am trying to make you like the outfits that I chose. I am not. I am not trying to make you like the rock music. I am trying to get you to acknowledge that your love of the indian techno has no bearing whatsoever on the ability or talen of the rock musician. Your assumptions of the black people in your neighborhood has no bearing on their education. Your preference to the jeans and t-shirt has no bearing on the personality of the girl wearing the prom dress.

If you'd simply said "I like women who wear jeans, I think its sexy" I would have said fine. But you insist on trying to link that to some aspect of personality or intelligence or general personality, and simply stated, it just doesn't exist. Its a fallacy that geeks use to pretend that they are better than other people. If you say "Girls in T-shirts make me horny" or "green dresses are ugly" that's all well and good but instead you try to turn it into something deeper or metaphysical so that they don't feel like they're shallow. Its not just geeks that do this. Everyone does this. In cultural studies, its called demonizing the Other. The Other can be anything. Black people are strong and dumb. Jews are smart and greedy. Gays are promiscuous and unreligious. Skinny white boys with glasses are smart and unatheletic. But they aren't always true. These aren't innate truths. In fact, much of the truth of these ideas comes through a self-fulfilling prophecy due to the demonization. I can give you tons of books and articles on the subject. Sometimes a skinny white boy with glasses is just malnourished and myopic.

You have preferences. That's fine. But really, if you believe that they mean something deeper than just be preferences you're either hurting yourself or just ignorant. Possibly both. I mean that in the best possible way.
[User Picture]From: ouchfest Date: October 22nd, 2004 - 06:33 pm (Link)
Some point-by-points:

* Given all information, perfect decisions can be made. Attaining all information is impossible (or would take forever, as I said earlier and you misinterpreted), so all decisions that we make are imperfect. You write as though I said somewhere that I make perfect decisions with little information. I never claimed that. I said that I make as-good-as-I-can decisions with available information.

* I did originally just say "I like the before picture better." You did not just say "fine." You asked for a reason. NTB.

* Okay, I acknowledge that my preference for techno does not affect the talent of a rock musician. That is obvious. I don't even understand what you're arguing there.

* That's the second time you brought up some educational background you have. That will not affect the weight I give your argument. I'm getting a doctorate in psychology, among other things, and I'm proposing a presentation to the APA on the mechanics of culture in relationships. Most of what I've done for a long time has involved researching cognitive biases and culture. Due to time and motivation, I didn't explain my preference as completely as possible from psychodynamic, evolutionary, social, cognitive, developmental, and personality perspectives. Excuse me.

You seem to separate preferences from any explanation. I didn't "turn [my] preferences into something deeper and metaphysical." I briefly touched upon the probable reason that I have the preference that I do, as requested. Then you told me that my reason was wrong, which is absurd because you don't know me.

* Your "Demonizing the Other" reference seems a little out of place. Your examples are more the results of the media or other external indoctrination. My feelings are based on my personal experiences and are, as you have pointed out in other posts, often contrary to popular concensus. Even adding in another statement you made on the possibility of forming schemas in intentional opposition to the mainstream, that still completely provides a valid reason for the formation of a preference. You talk of self-fullfilling prophesy (I don't like prom queens, therefor when I talk to them I dislike whatever they present) which is fine! That's a reasonable explanation! You can't tell me that that makes me ignorant because that's how EVERYONE works. You admit that you make judgement on first impressions and are sometimes wrong, and I already admitted that, too. I don't understand what you think I said that causes you to write so much stuff that half the time agrees with me and half the time seems hypocritical.

This thread belongs on DPB.
[User Picture]From: ouchfest Date: October 21st, 2004 - 03:31 pm (Link)
Dude, I don't live in Oakland. I go to school in Chester, PA. Various clinical research projects by my collegues and professors have shown that the people here do not go to college, nor even leave Chester. It has the worst school district in the state.

More importantly, my point was that evaluations can be made with a high probability of accuracy when based on appearance and context. Even in the absense of context, appearance becomes the only source of information, and should be used. Otherwise, no one would ever be able to make a judgement about anything because we would have to "there's still some information about it that I don't have" forever.

Sometimes we will make mistakes, sure. If I saw Ratha with makeup and clothes from the GAP, I wouldn't start a conversation with her, and I'd miss out. But the system works most of the time, and is more efficient than the alternative.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 21st, 2004 - 09:11 pm (Link)
My apologies on the wrong assumption of where you lived and went to school. Of course, if nothing else that proves how wrong assumptions can be. As for the people of Chester, you admit there that you aren't judging based on appearance. You are judging based on other research. Additional information. Their appearance is a red herring.

How do you not have forever. Is your time really that important? In that high demand. If it is, then you really shouldn't b e wasting it dealing with people or relationships in the first place.

The problem is you have no proof or test that "the system works." The system is based upon your own beliefs and judged by the very same. If you would be wrong to judge Ratha, how do you know you haven't misjudged countless other people who you haven't invested time in because of their appearance. Maybe you haven't misjudged them, but you have no actual information with which to support that claim because in doing so you'd immediately invalidate your basic premise.
[User Picture]From: ouchfest Date: October 22nd, 2004 - 06:52 pm (Link)
At the risk of sounding offensive (probably too late), I think that your experience as an extremely astereotypical black man causes you to strongly object to anyone who dares let their behavior be affected by stereotypes. You hate having people treat you certain ways because of their schemas of black men, so my behavior of avoiding prom queens in favor of grungie chicks IN THE ABSENSE OF OTHER INFORMATION is to be reviled and antagonized. You want those old white ladies who reach for their mace to get to know you before they react to you, so you want me to get to know prom queens before I decide to not talk to them. I understand that my experiences are nowhere near the extent of yours, but I've felt some hurt when women cringe from me or run across the street at night just because of my appearance.

I will reiterate that those situations are more related to the bastardly, sensationalistic media and generations of ignorant bigots indoctrinating the gullible, whereas my stereotypes have been developed from my numerous first-hand interactions. Yes, they're still imperfect, but they're more efficient than the alternative, which is to get the full biography of everyone I ever see.

Damn, I hate even feeling like something I said sounded psychodynamic. I have to critique some empirical research as penance.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 21st, 2004 - 09:38 pm (Link)
also... the GAP? Please! I am offended.

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