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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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survey!fail catchup
moody cow
So I have gotten out my temper tantrum and have returned to my usual state of rationality.

If you have no idea what Survey!Fail is, courtesy of elfwreck, linkspam one, linkspam two and linkspam three will give you a million posts on what is going on, and a lot of them are really fun, and some of them are very technical, and some made me wikipedia and learn about phrenology, which is about skull measurements to determine personality. Which you know, seriously, I don't even know at this point what the hell I am reading, but one day, I am going to go on Jeopardy and kick ass because of the sheer amount of random information I am picking up.

If you want it shorter and in a single layman entry, however, my comm of choice is Unfunny Business, which has like, everything.

So. Two links courtesy of jonquil:

Neurology For Beginners by neededalj, who has been critical in debunking a lot of what was going around about what this survey was doing.

Psychology for Beginners by sabrina_il, which debunks what psychology can do right now and what it can't.

My Random Comments After Reading Five Million Entries or Something Like That

I am still feeling stroppy, so I'm skipping commentary, which luckily, cannot possibly be missed since there's tons of it out there. I just kind of want to, you know, tell a story and not be reminded that in fandom, the act of posting fiction is part of an ongoing realtime study examining why on earth I'm doing such a thing and everything that could possibly, possibly mean.

And you know, I want a pony, too. Give me a few days and I will totally be over it.

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I just kind of want to, you know, tell a story and not be reminded that in fandom, the act of posting fiction is part of an ongoing realtime study examining why on earth I'm doing such a thing and everything that could possibly, possibly mean.

yes. exactly. I think that academia has its place, but I also think that academia is the enemy of art. and I do think that fanfiction and its related creative endeavors CAN rise to the level of art. I understand that for everything under the sun there's someone who wants to pick it apart, but I don't have to LIKE that state of affairs.

Pretty much this. I get the desire to study and all. I just kind of don't want to know I'm the rhesus monkey in this situation, you know?

ack ack oop oop. *scratch armpits* *write about spock*

See, while I agree with your basic point whole heartedly, this-->"academia is the enemy of art" makes me very sad inside. It's like when people say science is the enemy of religion or other false dichotomies that could be made true, but really, really, really, don't need to be and certainly aren't inherently true. That being said, I sometimes find psych a little skeezy.

I don't think it's a false dichotomy, academia exists to deconstruct and I don't think there's anything more antithetical to art. jmo, tho.

Did you see the recent pictures coming out of Pierrefonds? Merlin was playing mind tricks with a horse... at least that's what it looked like. :P Not during filming but while he was waiting around. :D He's so adorable. Merlin... not the horse. Although the horse was lovely, too.

Yes! I saved some so I could coo over them. Merlin is coming back! I AM SERIOUSLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS.

I should be responsible and go read about neuroscience, but instead I want Merlin recs.

And to be teleported into a new, fully furnished and paid for house 20 minutes from my new job in Tennessee.

I want this more than a pony.

*hugs* Houses are good. Houses are very good.

I think some people can happily create art with a greater awareness of the meta of creating art, and some people can't. I... have different projects created with different levels of awareness. (I ... may or may not be in the midst of creating a traditional quilt that has a quilting pattern that says "You're interrogating the text from the wrong perspective". I haven't decided whether submitting it to the Australasian quilt show would be wanky or not.)

I also want a pony. Preferably a sparkly one.

Oh god, you should. *grins* That would be deeply awesome. I come from a long line of quilters (ancestors unknown, great grandmother, grandmother, my mother is about to start, I'll start soon after, but I'm still in the crochet phase of handwork). A metaquilt appeals to me like you have no idea.

I think some people can happily create art with a greater awareness of the meta of creating art, and some people can't. I... have different projects created with different levels of awareness.

I'm surprised at my own reaction to this, and it's not entirely rational, because my flist has tons of acafen and I'm used to knowing they are studying the community they are a part of. When I write, sometimes it's from a meta perspective, and I've never had a problem knowing I had a reason for choosing to do so, because for me it's always a story first. Just sometimes, I add garlic or whatever for seasoning. I think it's that wiht these guys, it was this visible and really unsubtle reminder I'm part of a group of apes for Jane Goddall to study, which is making me hostile.

I am wary of hyperexamining why I love to blow up starships in long, drawn-out firefights is the thing.

Hee! I will make it and let you know when there are photos (hint: never. I do not finish things. *hides unfinished projects*)

I think it was the... de-personification of fandom and individual fans that got Right Up My Nose. Because, y'know. We aren't part of various social and biological groups that have been historically and CURRENTLY disempowered and treated with systemic prejudice. And history isn't important, and neither is treating people well when they say "THIS SHIT IS MESSED UP. YOU HURT ME." *spits*

Sorry. I got rant on your journal *wipes it away*

And you shouldn't hyperexamine the blowing up of starships. I have your answer right here. Because it's AWESOME.

Depersonification of women, too.

I'm thinking of writing a post just about how scared I'm getting that if anything written by these yahoos sees daylight, it'll cause an increase in skeevy guys at cons just trying to get the fandom girls they've heard are oh so kinky, and about what the implications for college-age female fans openly in anime clubs or otherwise clearly A Fan to people on-campus will be if the scarier male students have heard someone else read a book that said Most Fan Women Have Rape Fantasies.

(And since at least one statement I've read from Ogas stated they were weeding out trick responses, that means they can weed out true responses that don't match Kinky Female Slasher Who Does Pot And Has Regular Rape Fantasies just as easily and no one would ever be able to know if the final data they worked with was the true response set.)

I'm married to a professional artist who has a PhD in Molecular Biology and who is writing a horror novel about the relationships between art and psychology.

Which is a fancy way of saying, "I don't get the problem." Yes, it was a poorly designed survey, but poorly designed survey are unfortunately quite common in academia. So why all the fireworks over science studying these subjects in the first place?

It wasn't scientific, and the stated goals were not those that were actually being acted on. Added offensive language, and the exploitative nature of the study, it's problematic. I won't pretend perfect understanding of the underlying problems, but professionals in psychology, neurology, and various hard and soft sciences critiqued both methodology and the goal of the survey. They didn't come to answer questions--they came to prove answers they already had, and were tailoring their study to match the answers they wanted.

Yeah, like I said. That's more common than you might think in science. In some fields its hard to find a study that isn't biased.

Is it also common to post questions like "Do you have rape fantasies?" in an open forum where underage fans could easily be reading/answering the survey with no age-check or warning of any kind? I find that to be completely unethical and potentially extremely harmful. Is it also common to also ask about drug usage while reading fanfic in this type of open forum? If my 13-year-old child stumbled across this, I'd be calling my lawyer to discuss legal options. Is it also common in research surveys to track the information given in such a way that survey answers can be linked to individuals directly?

This goes beyond being merely biased.

But even then, participant privacy is generally an important thing to mention, right?

Someone answering those sorts of questions should at least get a true answer for "Can this be linked to my online or offline identity by anyone including you, ever?" even if given a somewhat false reason for the survey.

Even if the answer if No, the participant is entitled to know that before answering anything.

Ponies are kind of big. Might I suggest a couple of guinea pigs instead? They are social herbivores and are quite cute as well.

Miniature horses! They are like, the size of a great dane and are raised by nuns!

I seriously am in love with this.

Yes I saw the link. This does rather solve my basic problem with horses.


But sadly doesn't solve a basic problem with having a herbivore in your life.


lots and lots of it.

*uses her brand spanking new lj icon name of "Brutally Honest" 'cause it seems appropriate.*


That Unfunny Business summary is awesome as a one-stop-shop for the situation. Thanks for that.

I need stopping. Seriously.

I am doing meta and I don't even want to. [clutches head] The fail, it hurts me. I don't want to read! And yet I continue to read! And post! And comment!

Help me.

This time, with *functional* code!

"Linkspam 1" contains everything; I edit to add as I go along. (This'll get added tomorrow or the next day.) However, that one can be a bit overwhelming. Looking at surveyfail tags will get the most recent posts first, and that might be easier for some.

My reaction to SurveyFail has been twofold, and similar to yours. First, there's the fury of yet more outsiders pushing into my space and demanding, "Explain your art to us or we will explain it for you! Only explain it to us in terms that justify the way we've already decided it works!" Then there's the fury of anyone, fellow fan or outsider, stating, "I know your motivations better than you do, and I will not listen to anything you say that contradicts me!" To use an example that's been on my mind since links to SurveyFail started popping up, a few years back, old school Kirk/Spock BNF Leslie Fish joined FCA-L. Shortly after joining, she attempted to put forth a Grand Unified Slash Theory that universalized her own reasons for writing Kirk/Spock to apply to anyone writing slash in any fandom. I was one of the people who scoffed at the theory, because those reasons did not and never had applied to me (and still don't), and for some fandoms, those reasons never could apply (this was before Torchwood, but after both versions of Queer As Folk, so assumed heterosexuality of the characters was already not universal, for example). When told the theory conflicted with other people's experience and motivations, though, Fish asserted that her years in fandom made her more qualified to determine why fans did things than those fans' self-awareness. While the disagreement eventually caused her to shut up about the subject, I don't think she ever stopped believing she was right and we were all deluding ourselves.

I don't mind having my work examined and discussed in conjunction with looking at various fannish trends. After over twenty years in fandom, I've certainly done enough self-examination and communal observation to have a few theories of my own. However, I've also seen and analyzed enough to know fandom is too diverse for any kind of Grand Unified Theory, and it really pisses me off when people continue to try coming up with one. All that tells me is they're not paying enough attention and certainly aren't qualified to do what they're trying to do, or they'd never try it. It only makes it worse that people putting forth Grand Unified Theories consistently dismiss evidence that conflicts with the theory, rather than adapting the theory (or admitting that no theory is broad enough to address the entirety of fannish experience and thought processes).

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