Otterday! And Open Thread.

They’re so cute when they’re asleep.

Oriental Short-Clawed Otter sleeping astride a log, stretched out in the sunlight. Kinda like a cat on the back of a couch.

[image shared by Charles D P Miller on flickr.]

And today’s bonus critters are, by happenstance, also otters! These newborn Asian Small-clawed Otters are from Chester Zoo, via Zooborns.

two tiny fluffy baby otters. One is looking at the camera; the other appears to be whispering in the first one's ear.

Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

Categories: Life

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24 replies

  1. I find myself wondering how quickly the prevailing narrative around Kristen Stewart will reach the “she made a mistake, we should forgive her” stage – specifically, how quickly compared to Rupert Sanders.

  2. Addendum: I’m expecting it to be less quickly.

    • You’re probably right, although I hate the trope that the public has any role in forgiving infidelities at all. It’s between the people involved, and I don’t think it should be anybody else’s business.
      Don’t get me wrong, the way that people do love to take sides in these situations is sociologically fascinating. I just wish that people spent all that time and energy more productively.

      • Addendum: the way that publicised infidelities provoke people to think and have discussions around “how would I feel if this happened to me” is probably a moderately useful way of getting the hypothetical out there as an aid to self-examination. Unfortunately too many people fall prey to cognitive biases pushing them towards the “I feel like this, therefore all other people in my situation must feel like this” error, and that makes many of these discussions non-productive at best and too often so pointless that they’re actively detrimental.

  3. Blog admin note: I’ve just put up an Olympics thread for those who want to discuss the current spectacle. I figure that keeping it separate from our general open thread discussions might be a good idea, because I imagine some folks might like to avoid the whole thing.

  4. was anyone else reminded of the ‘leave Britney alone’ video on witnessing the fan sadness-garment rending on the issue of Kristen Stewart’s affair with Rupert Sanders? And then wonder how it is that people become so caught up and invested emotionally in the lives of celebrities that they video themselves in blubbering, weeping, nose dripping distress over the celebrity’s failings? Why care so much about it? It’s not their own relationship, they are not friends, quite likely haven’t met?

  5. Centrelink is evil and the whole system should be completely restructured.


  6. Sorry to hear that TAK, I’m guessing it’s not a good story. Hope work comes up trumps for you soon.

  7. Belated wellwishes for TAK.
    Can’t sleep, so looking through my feed reader – Angry Black Woman has this Diary of an Internet Fuckup, where it looks like Neil Gaiman might have at least learnt a few lessons from the Amanda Palmer clusterfuck of a few years ago.

  8. Vibes, Kim.

  9. tigtog, that sounds like good news too for people who can’t be vaccinated because of egg allergies.

  10. Also, can anyone point me in the direction of any female, Australian tech bloggers/writers? I’ve been looking, without success…

  11. Start here if you haven’t already found this.

  12. @Tigtog – ATM I am witnessing the effects of some flirting going horribly wrong (not me). The flirting was harmless on the side of the flirter, but the flirtee thought that more was meant and was very unhappy when gently rebuffed. Since then it has escalated into bullying of a quite serious and nasty nature. So I think the moral of the story is you can never know how the other party is going to see your action and it could impact on you both in ways you never imagined.
    Also, as a feminist and a woman I think flirting can only get you so far, and once you have a reputation for flirting it doesn’t work as well and some people will look down on you for it. It is a double edged sword and a tactic to be used very carefully. I would like to think that there are better ways of getting what you want.

  13. tigtog@12, the full paper on flirtation in negotiation is available here. The first obvious limtation is that the subjects for most of the experiments were either undergraduates or enrollees in a Californian MBA negotiation course, a fairly limited subject set! There were about twice as many male subjects as female, and of course the set skewed young.
    It’s interesting to have a look at some of the “charm manipulation” scripts:

    Participants in the feminine charm condition read:
    As you meet and shake hands, Sue smiles at you warmly and says, “What a pleasure to meet you.” You chat about the weather as Sue takes off her coat and sits down. Looking you up and down, Sue leans forward, briefly touches your arm and says, “You’re even more charming in person than over email.” Then, somewhat playfully, she winks at you and says, “What’s your best price?”

    My only reaction to that is “ew ew ew ew ew”. That behaviour is just completely inappropriate in a business setting, and if transferred to an office setting where you have power over the other person, is setting yourself up for a sexual harassment charge. (In this case, it involved a cheap used car transaction – hardly generalisable to “the business world”). Another experiment involved students simulating a negotation between two friends deciding which restaurant or movie to go to – again, not remotely office negotiation.
    Experiment Three involved n actual simulated business negotiation (sale of a biotech plant), and actually had opposite results – as the authors write, “Contrary to the previous experiment’s finding, the use of feminine charm rendered worse economic deals for female negotiators”. Experiment 4 was more undergrads playing negotiator in a college lab setting, and it was about this point where my eyes really rolled hard – how generalisable is all this playacting and handwaving to the actual world?
    Lastly, it’s interesting to note how different the headline can be depending on the agenda. One other article on this same dataset is headlined ”Flirty Women Are Seen As Untrustworthy”, and notes “The students rated the woman as a more likable character as the result of her flirting, but interestingly said this made her less trustworthy.”. Setting yourself up to be seen as less genuine and trustworthy is not exactly a great start in business.

    • Thanks for the background research Lauredhel – the link was tweeted to me with an approving remark this morning, and I skimmed it and thought “Really?” but I didn’t have time to do more, so I thought I’d lazyweb it here. It might be worth turning into a proper post since the studies seem to be getting a lot of writeups in one way or another.

  14. I am simply astonished that I didn’t know about the Kristen Stewart thing until today when I read this thread. Do I live under a rock?

  15. Thanks Mindy, thanks tigtog.
    Mindy, your link seems to be a US thing – unless I’m missing something? I was specifically looking for Aussies.

    • The Ada Initiative is global, Rebekka. Mary is one of the co-founders.

      eta: lots of our lurkers are techies. If we had a better idea of the particular area of tech expertise required?

  16. Sorry Rebekka, I knew what I was talking about. The wonderful Mary, who is a Hoyden author, is also an Australian tech person and co-founder of the Ada Initiative.

  17. Sorry Mindy – wasn’t suggesting you didn’t!

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