Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

Recent Society articles from Daily Dot

older | 1 | 2 | (Page 3) | 4 | 5 | .... | 49 | newer

    0 0

    Petitioners are accusing Etsy, the handcrafting marketplace, of profiting off items it's supposed to prohibit—racist dolls.

    Unfortunately, the petition, which has acquired 105 signatures so far, is both right and wrong: Etsy sure is profiting off of racism. But that's because racism isn't prohibited.

    Betabeat reported that the petition criticizes Etsy for allowing the sale of “Golliwog dolls,” a style of problematically racist doll with minstrel-show features. A search for “Golliwog” on Etsy yields 129 results.

    The Change.org petition’s author, Raquel Mack, writes that since Etsy does not remove these dolls from the site, it has no problem making a profit off of them. (Etsy receives $0.20 from each item listed on the site.)

    “[The dolls] have been reported numerous times to Etsy’s integrity team, however the over 70 items in question remain on the sites of Etsy’s various merchants, many of whom hand make these Golliwog items to order and are not vintage.”

    An Etsy spokesperson told the Daily Dot it wasn’t the marketplace’s policy to comment on individual cases like this one, but that “Etsy policies are written to balance community values with a desire to allow creative expression.”

    It’s this fine line that makes it OK to buy and sell memorabilia related to Nazis and the KKK, and yes, items that harken back to American slavery. Etsy policies forbid users from selling items that “glorify hatred,” but items with historical significance are exempt.

    However, Mack observes that many of these items are brand new and made to order, not vintage reminders of America’s past. Whether these new items are against Etsy’s policies is more difficult to determine.

    On Raquel Mack’s Facebook page, Etsy: Selling Hate, the organizer posted an interaction with Kruti Patel Goyal, Etsy’s former leader of the Marketplace Integrity team, about Golliwog dolls.

    “Unfortunately I can't provide any additional information or insight into this case,” Goyal told Mack. “This team reviews cases as quickly and efficiently as possible and enforces our policies fairly and consistently across the site.”

    That was Jul. 27, and Goyal has since gone on to lead Etsy’s International Business team. Mack told the Daily Dot via Twitter that she hasn’t heard anything new.

    The Change.org petition is her latest and loudest attempt to get a response.

    Image via Etsy


    0 0

    How much would you pay to own the ghost of famed amateur golfer Bobby Jones?

    Now ask yourself: would Jones’ spirit be worth more or less if he came hand-delivered and captured in a jar?

    eBay’s not-exactly-a-power-seller rklassman thinks the going rate for essence of golf legend starts at $1,000.


    The fabled jar, unassuming though it is, nonetheless holds a troubled spirit according to rklassman, who relived the adventure on his auction page shortly before the website Golf Rumors found it yesterday.

    Earlier this year, I began to hear strange voices come from my garage and specifically my golf clubs. The voice would repeat “Syringomyelia, Syringomyelia.” At first I had no idea what the ghost was saying, so I googled the word. Syringomyelia is the disease that paralyzed killed hall of fame golfer Bobby Jones. I asked the apparition are you Bobby Jones? The ghost then became visible dressed in 1950’s golfing gear. The ghost said yes I am Bobby Jones. I didn’t know what to do, so in panic I took the jar next to me and forced the ghost of Bobby Jones into the container. Thankfully this ghostly version of Bobby Jones was the paralyzed version of him and not the pristine athlete from the 1920’s.

    Rklassman stated that because his wife hates ghosts, “I have decided to sell Mr. Jones on ebay.”

    Sadly, it seems no one took rklassman up on the bid before he yanked the offer last night, though it was a notable standout among his current offerings of baseball cards and an offer to be your pen pal correspondent for only $1,000.

    This isn’t the first time recently rklassman has posted an unusual item on his eBay shop, however. Last month it was a bottle of icewater that the seller “hoped to have been scooped out of” gold medal Olympian Mo Farah’s “ice bath.” (The ice melted, sorry.)

    We have to wonder how the “scooping things into containers” angle is working for rklassman thus far.  We were unable to determine whether Mo Farah’s hypothetical bath water actually sold, but rklassman seems confident in the value of his products, since both were priced at $1,000.

    Rklassman isn’t the only auctioneer on eBay to go with the old “forced the spirit into a bottle” trick, either; the latest similar auction, by seller tuckywood, even includes a photo of the ghost, while seller appollonetworks’ auction promises nothing but “a very angry” spirit, allegedly forced into a jar by a local shaman.

    The skeptical website What’s the Harm? documents instances when belief in the paranormal has led to gullible people getting duped. Undoubtedly rklassman’s final note to his would-be eBay buyers would have made them eligible for the list: “Unfortunately Mr. Jones ghost can only be seen by true believers. If you are not a true believer bid with caution, for you may be unable to see him.”

    The corporeal Bobby Jones founded the Masters and made a fortune, first as an instructor and then as a golf club designer. Though paralysis from a rare disease called syringomyelia struck him later in life, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, and the Masters is now one of the premier golf tournaments in the world.

    Perhaps rklassman ended the auction prematurely so he could open the jar, in case Jones had any marketing advice to offer him.

    Meanwhile, tuckywood’s ghost, devoid of Jones’ claim to fame, is going for a mere $150, while apollonetworks thinks angry spirits are worth at least $500. But tuckywood warns that there are no guarantees, either of the ghost’s authenticity or as to the buyer’s safety if they choose to purchase it:

    “I shall have no responsibility if the bottle is opened, and what happens after that.“

    Photo via lenore-m/Flickr


    0 0

    On Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people marched in Washington, D.C., in support of gay rights, forcing the issue on a national level.

    Today, on what has become National Coming Out Day, that prideful parade—organized by the Human Rights Campaign—takes place on the Internet, as people from around the world promote public awareness about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights.

    Here are some ways you can get involved on 24th anniversary of the holiday.  

    On Facebook

    The Human Rights Campaign launched a Facebook application to help gay and straight allies to persuade elected government officials to promote gay-friendly bills. Users can place their picture on a map of the United States and select comment that describes what they want their elected official to “come out” for. Options include marriage equality, eliminating bullying, and employment non-discrimination laws.

    HRC has also unveiled a “Coming Out Center” on its website highlighting stories and resources
    available. Oh, and there are T-shirts for sale.

    Elsewhere, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is encouraging people to share their coming out stories on their Facebook page. Appropriately accompanied by a video of Donna Summers’ “I’m Coming Out” by Donna Summers, the status update has a few dozen comments.

    “I officially came out in 1997! Best thing I ever did, even with all the difficulties and struggles for acceptance, it beats hiding and being afraid to be myself!,” wrote Anna Rodriguez.

    On Twitter

    People are sharing their stories with multiple hashtags including, #CountMeOut, #OUT, and the lengthy #NationalComingOutDay. The latter has the most tweets, with more than 8,000 messages tallied in the past 24 hours, according to social-measuring site Topsy.

    “Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now? #nationalcomingoutdaytweeted Jonathan Benjamin.

    On Tumblr

    Many members are using their Tumblr accounts to highlight their beliefs. Pictures of rainbow flags, iconic magazine covers, and humorous images are being posted with the National Coming Out Day tag.

    Tumblr user tinydragongina posted a personal post exclaiming, “My name is Gina, I am queer, and that’s awesome.” It garnered 20 notes, with many of her followers commenting how proud of her they are.

    Photo via mi-shellvp/Tumblr


    0 0

    What’s the difference between a sexy Halloween costume and a sexist one?

    According to Fuck No Sexist Halloween Costumes, it all depends on the variety being offered to women versus men. While most men’s disguises actually resemble the thing being portrayed, most women’s garments are tarted up at the expense of being recognizable. A woman who doesn’t want to bare her belly, thighs, or cleavage on Halloween better make her own costume.

    “The point of this blog isn’t meant to condemn the sexy costumes at all,” the blogger wrote. “But ... there are just as many women out there who want a modest costume and I’m not sure if you have noticed or not but there aren’t many non-sexy Halloween costumes out there for women.”

    The blogger isn’t the only one who feels this way. Just one day after starting the blog on Oct. 6, she had 300 followers. No word on how large that number has grown now, but her first post—on sexy clownfish costumes—has 26,000 likes.

    The blogger has not responded to the Daily Dot’s requests for comment, but the images she’s posted say it all. Here are ten examples of sexist Halloween costumes, according to the blog:

    1) Oscar the Grouch

    2) Marvin the Martian

    3) Pirate

    4) Mental patient

    5) Cookie Monster

    6) Ghostbuster

    7) Phantom of the Opera

    8) Doctor

    9) Batman

    10) Bert

    Photos via Fuck No Sexist Halloween Costumes/Tumblr


    0 0

    For comedians and even average users, the presidential debate is a sprint to the punchline on Twitter, with rapid-fire jokes and parody accounts created in a matter of seconds.

    “[I]t truly does seem like there’s a race on Twitter and other social-networking platforms to be the first to arrive with the joke,” actor and humorist John Hodgman recently told the Daily Dot. “I think this happens now with most major, or even minor, news events. And anxiety is born out of the fact that those of us who make jokes professionally or semi-professionally—or in my case, literary humorbon mots—are more aware than ever, because of the cloud hive mind of Twitter, just how many smart, funny people are out there.

    With that in mind, here are 10 people worth following throughout the debate tonight between Vice President Joe Biden and congressman Paul Ryan. (And don’t forget, the Daily Dot will be live-GIFing and recapping all the madness on Twitter and Tumblr.)

    1) Patton Oswalt

    If his tweets about last week’s debate are anything to go by, the actor and writer won’t hold back when dishing out pithy quips.

    2) Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Sure, Tyson is more of a scientist than a political pundit, but he had some pointed commentary about Mitt Romney’s PBS comment and both Romney and Obama’s failure to address the role of science and technology in job creation.

    3) Rob Delaney

    Delaney is perhaps Romney’s chief opponent as far as Twitter goes. Expect snark, sharp criticism and probably fart jokes.

    4) Onion Politics

    We’re not sure how exactly Joe Biden will be live-tweeting from this account during his debate, but the Onion will undoubtedly be quick to the draw in any case.

    5) Andy Borowitz

    Longstanding political satirist Borowitz should be on point with barbed missives like this:

    6) Lizz Winstead

    The Daily Show with Jon Stewart creator Winstead posted a slew of reactionary, funny, and critical tweets during the first debate. It’d be surprising if more of the same weren’t in order for the rest.

    7) Will McAvoy

    This parody account of the TV anchor from HBO’s The Newsroom is perennially in search of the truth and should have some very real points to make.

    8) Andy Levy

    Fox News commentator and humorist Levy is likely to hold the Democrats to task, as he did with this comment during the first debate:

    9) Jim Newell

    Newell, a writer for The Guardian and Wonkette among others, offers constructive analysis and criticism to both sides.

    10) Alex Pareene

    Salon politics writer Pareene was delightfully snarky while the first debate was going down.

    Photo via @andylevy/Twitter


    0 0

    Two cities were completely wiped out Sunday.

    It was like the bubonic plague, but worse. Everyone died, but the cities remained. Ghost towns.

    And then, everyone was reborn.

    The cities were Orgrimmar and Stormwind, in Azeroth. They were cities in the massively multiplayer online game, World of Warcraft. If you’re not familiar with World of Warcraft, think of it like The Lord of the Rings as an online virtual world. You can go on missions and fight orcs, you can be an orc and fight elves, and you can just hang out and live life as any one of many mythical humanoids.

    The “plague” was the result of a hacker exploiting a security loophole to fly around the cities like an Old Testament angel of death in the guise of a level 1 priest.

    Shortly thereafter, Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft, said the loophole had been closed and the evil magician that killed thousands was forced to hang up his pointy hat.

    ***

    The same day, World of Warcraft ran right up against one of the other most popular online games: Minecraft.

    If you’re not familiar with that particular game, think of it like a zombie-fighting action game—only you get to build the levels out of legos before you play them. When you build a level, you can share it with all the other users.

    The mashup was this: An enterprising gamer built Azeroth (the world of World of Warcraft) in Minecraft.

    Two online worlds collided, and if you’ve got 24 free gigabytes of hard drive space, they can collide on your computer as well.

    ***

    Strangely enough, World of Warcraft also became a serious issue in the “real” world this week, when a Maine state senate candidate was taken to task for comments she’d made as Santiaga, her World of Warcraft character.

    As a rogue orc, Santiaga is prone to violence. As Democratic candidate Colleen Lachowicz, Santiaga’s real-world alter ego, put it: “So I’m a level 68 orc rogue girl. That means I stab things … a lot. Who would have thought that a peace-lovin’, social worker and democrat would enjoy that?!...”

    The communications director for the Maine Republican Party told ABC that “this is not about her playing video games, this is about the comments she made while gaming. These are all things that are unbecoming to a state senator.”

    ***

    Whatever the communications team decides to tell the rest of the world, what is “becoming” to a state senator was not actually the issue here. In fact, the website her opponents created to attack Lachowicz/Santiaga said this: “Maine needs a State Senator that lives in the real world, not in Colleen’s fantasy world.”

    That statement took me back to when we were starting the Daily Dot. I was explaining to someone that we would cover online communities, including what happened in Azeroth. “Wait a minute,” my listener interrupted me, “You’re going to cover fiction?!?”

    The implication in each of these statements is that if what happens somewhere like World of Warcraft is fantasy, just something someone made up, does it matter?

    If someone else believes it, then yes, it does.

    At the same time that I was accused of wanting to cover fiction, the royal wedding was dominating the airwaves. Isn’t that just as much a fiction as anything in World of Warcraft?

    Many of us were tired of the royal wedding before it started, but nobody seriously questioned that it mattered enough to be covered. But it is just as much a fantasy as a level 68 orc (seriously, though, it was totally a level 85 wedding, amirite???). Two people got married and the only reason anyone cared was because one of them was a prince (no one has mentioned a level, so I’m going to suggest a solid 60, but it’s been declining for a few years now). How is that a “real” distinction today? Can he make a law? Can he allocate scarce resources? Can he put someone to death or bequeath great riches or power? Can he kill everyone in a city at a wave of his wand?

    Nope. But whatever he does, millions of people pay attention.

    As Lachowicz has pointed out, she’s hardly alone in her fantasy world. 65 percent of U.S. households include gamers and World of Warcraft itself has more than 10M active users.

    In other words, millions of people cared about the massacres of Orgrimmar and Stormwind just as millions of people cared about the royal wedding, and that means it did matter.

    Nobody actually lives or dies in World of Warcraft, but that observation can be increasingly applied to “real world” news. Less of our lives is focused on maintaining life itself than ever before in human history.

    And isn’t life about more than survival anyway? And if it is, mightn’t it also be about World of Warcraft?

    ***

    Just this morning, I heard a tech entrepreneur say that what happens on social media doesn’t matter. Even given that he should “get it,” I understand why he said that. It hasn’t computed yet. The fact that what happens on Twitter or World of Warcraft does actually matter now is a fact not just about the rise of the Internet, but about the decline in our need to sustain ourselves.

    What does matter is actually an open question.

    That’s a epochal shift, and one it’s going to take a while to get our heads around.

    But it’s not entirely good news for Colleen Lachowicz.

    If World of Warcraft is legitimate, then doesn’t her behavior on World of Warcraft merit consideration in her candidacy?

    Photo via @ColleensWorld2/Twitter


    0 0
  • 10/12/12--05:54: Whose baby is this?
  • Every day, the Daily Dot finds something that people on Facebook are sharing and, in turn, shares it with you—with a little explanation. Here's today's share.

    A funny thing happened when gardening writer Kylee Baumle posted a photo of her newborn granddaughter, Hannah, to her public Facebook page.

    People loved it. Legions like it too—nearly 225,000 have expressed that with a Facebook click. But what’s exceedingly odd is that commenters are congratulating all sorts of people who aren’t Baumie, or Hannah’s mom, Jenna.

    “She is exquistive Linda.....thanks for sharing,” wrote Hallie Quick.

    Of course, neither Hannah’s mom nor grandmother are named Linda. What happened, presumably, is that someone named Linda hit “share” on the photo, and Facebook user Hallie Quick thought Linda actually took the picture.

    This is not a simple mistake made by just one person. There are nearly 100,000 comments on the photo, and a startling number get the baby’s family wrong. To wit:

    Emily Johnson: "Your new Grand Daughter! Gloria ?? she is a sweetheart!"

    Cecil Douglas Andrews: "she is very pretty Denise ."

    Kathy Erdman: "She's beautiful, Cindy!"

    Julie Boreman: "She's beautiful! Congrats Christy!"

    Rita Faidley: "Congrats Susie, she is just beautiful!!!"

    Nadia Letourneau: "oh BEV.HOW BEAUTIFUL!!"

    Billy Mitchell: "Congratulations Randolph and Mollie. She is beautiful."

    Val Scott- Grills: "she's beautiful Patti!"

    Connie Foster: "Oh Karen,she is beautiful and so precious congrads !!!"

    Edrie Poor-Wright: "I am so happy for your Cathy"

    Lynne Gayle Bickley Collins: "Beautiful Little Baby--Congratulations Cheryll !!!!"

    Janet Gilardi: "Marguerite, she is beautiful"

    Elaine Adams: "Congrats Nancy!!"

    Benjamin Davis: "Congrats Marjie..a cutie !!"

    Janet Bell: "rhonda shes just beautiful"

    Jody Krafsur Nolan: "Leslie, She's absolutely perfect! You lucky person!"

    Carol Kammerer: "awe, Ruby. You are so blessed."

    “Apparently, when you post a photo of a beautiful baby (and that's something that everyone who comments seems to agree on), it's like the internets get sprinkled with magical fairy dust,” Baumie wrote in her blog.

    At least one Facebook user had the wherewithal to realize something was up. “whose baby is she?” asked Janet Taggart Mayorga.

    Photo via Our Little Acre/Facebook


    0 0

    He's been called an idiot, ignorant, and a man of flawed logic. He's been ridiculed, chastised, and told that he'll be lost at the airport when his ship comes in. His notes have evoked anger and rage. He's widely considered a little turd. Still, the great Yahoo troll Ken M carries the same sentiment as he did on his first day surfing the site.

    "Today's cows are obsessed with brand loyalty."

    If you've ever been trolled by Ken M, it's hopefully something you were able to take with a well-ground grain of salt. If you haven't, it would be best to keep an eye out. If you spend any type of time working the comments sections within Yahoo posts, you're putting yourself straight between the crosshairs. Ken M curtails his trolling for no man, and the more you post, the more likely it is he'll find you.

    "It's like the Wild West out there," Ken M told the Daily Dot. "It's so weirdly, unnecessarily pessimistic. It's poorly moderated. People can say the most offensive things.

    "It's a surreal place. You have these archetypes there that…. this amazing thing will get discovered through scientific research and somebody will come by and complain about how many tax dollars were spent. Elderly people will have sweet things to say but not be very Web savvy and come off looking like idiots. There are three or four types of people you'll see, and they're people you won't see on places like Huffington Post or CNN.com. It's kind of a Yahoo thing—the last frontier."

    In many ways, Ken M's claim is true. Though not exactly a content farm, Yahoo's journalistic spectrum is as rotund as it is robust. It's where you find articles about Lindsay Lohan's domestic disputes and winners of the Nobel Prize, news concerning the future of hands-free luggage and gas tanker explosions. It syndicates prolifically, pulling stories from Good Morning America and Bon Appétite, and it sees a tremendous amount of readership: The site attracts more than 88 million unique views each month.

    Ken M, who wouldn't tell me anything about himself except that he lives in Brooklyn and works as a copyeditor, decided to start trolling each and every one of those 88 million readers in April 2011.

    "It kind of evolved into this sloppy thing I do," he said. "At first, I actually tried to engage with these people in earnest, because I do care about stuff that's going on in general."

    But Ken M quickly learned that earnest engagement was no way to wade through the depths of a Yahoo comment thread. These are people who take issue with NASA using their tax dollars for dynamic space explorations and legitimately question "why actors pretend to be someone they aren't," after all. They are there to be trifled with. So in April 2011, he decided to start trifling.

    "It isn't really a firmly outlined character," he explained. "There are certain hats I'll put on.

    "Sometimes I'll be a really nice old man."

    "Other times, I'll be this disgruntled right wing guy who sees the government's hands in his pockets any time there's this government funded program."

    "Other times, and this is more rare because it's difficult to pull off, but Yahoo comment threads have this really big anti-intellectual streak because of the guys I just mentioned. People hate teachers. They hate education."

    "I don't know if you saw the one about the origin of the word 'brunch' and how it's an onomatopoeia. That's not true at all. That's a very different one that I'll do sometimes."

    Four hats, one man, no last name. How's Ken M do it? Pretty much the same way you get your morning news report: He surfs the Web.

    "I just browse around," he said, and he really means it. He reads the articles, looks for stories, and keeps his eye out for the reports that'll draw ire from the masses. Then he writes the first few words that comes to his head, presses "post," and ditches the scene.

    "If I prepare it too much, the end result will get stilted and people won't respond," he said. "They'll know what I'm doing.

    "A lot of times, it's just the tone that you strike and the way you misspell things. I want it to look like there's somebody there, but they have a surreal, cartoonist logic. That gives me pleasure."

    And distinct pain and frustration for 88 million Yahoo readers worldwide.

    Photo via Ken M/Twitter


    0 0

    In a world that’s dismissive and sometimes even dangerous for gays and lesbians, one mom is giving LGBT redditors acceptance on National Coming Out Day.

    Diogenes71, a member of r/gaymers, a videogaming subreddit for LGBT people and their allies, learned yesterday that quite a few members of the community were unable to come out to their families and friends without risking their well-being.

    Writing in a new thread, she urged these gaymers to come out to her instead:

    “I'm a 41 year old mom of two teenage boys. My oldest is gay and has the full support of both of his parents and his brother. If you're[sic] family won't accept you, in honor of the day, I will be happy to virtually adopt you if you want to come out to a family that will accept you no matter what.”

    More than a hundred redditors accepted her offer gratefully. And each time, Diogenes71 wrote a personal, heartfelt response. For example:

    “Mom, I'm gay. I hope this doesn't change our relationship, but if it does, I understand,” LockedInTheCloset wrote. “Thanks for letting me do with you what I can't with my mom IRL :)”

    True to her word, Diogenes71 accepted her new digital kid:

    “Of course this changes our relationship!” she replied. “I'm even more proud of you than I was before I knew you existed. You have the courage to accept yourself in a society that isn't always supportive of that.”

    Gay or straight, redditors expressed their approval.

    “That nearly made me cry,” Bengt77 wrote. “You're doing a great service to the gay community here on reddit.”

    We’re with Bengt77. Try and read through the entire heartstring-pulling thread without feeling like you just began chopping onions.

    Photo by torbakhopper/Flickr


    0 0

    A mother fed up with her kids’ inability to clean up after themselves decided to do nothing about it.

    Literally nothing.

    As dirty dishes piled up in the sink and hills of smelly laundry turned into mountains, Jessica Stilwell kicked back and documented the growing filth on her blog, "Crazy Working Mom: Diary of a mother on the brink of snapping!"

    It began when she let her husband, Dylan, in on her plan. She wasn’t going to clean up after anyone except herself. And she purposefully didn’t let three daughters—12-year-old twins Olivia and Peyton and 10-year-old Quinn—in on the plot.

    When the children failed to clean out old food from their lunch boxes, Stilwell sent them to school with the only clean containers she had left—bags originally intended for the family dog’s poop. She snapped photos of the house’s deterioration as she kept busy with manicures and glasses of red wine. Her youngest daughter cracked on Day Four.

    “My little love broke down in the kitchen tonight as she was trying to rinse a glass to use and began to cry,” Stilwell wrote. “Through her sobs she said, ‘I don’t wanna eat out of pooh bags anymore. I don’t want paper plates or beer cups for breakfast. Can you please help me clean up?”’

    Just six days after starting her strike on Oct. 1, Stilwell declared victory in more ways than one. Not only had her daughters agreed to begin cleaning up their mess, but her blog had gone viral and generated tons of global attention.

    Moms everywhere commented on the blog to praise Stilwell’s tough-love experiment.

    “As a fellow social worker and self-ascribed "mean mom" I loved every word of this,” Klin commented. “Creative parenting at it's finest. My children have been warned.”

    This week, Stilwell has just come back from a whirlwind trip to New York which included a sit-down interview with Katie Couric.

    “Could I ever have imagined this? Absolutely not. It's very overwhelming,” Stilwell told the Edmonton Journal.

    Stilwell’s Facebook is private, but the Canadian mom has preserved the entire strike on her blog.

    Photo by Jessica Stilwell

     


    0 0

    The threat of living without health insurance touches people from all walks of life—from business-savvy Harvard graduates, to aspiring musicians living gig to gig, to everyday Twitter users.

    Performer Amanda Palmer watched her uninsured step-brother die from a potentially treatable disease, an experience she relived over the weekend after reading “A Possible Fatal Mistake,” a touching op-ed piece from the New York TImes’ Nicholas Kristof.

    The cautionary tale featured the story of Kristof’s Harvard roommate-turned pension consultant who had decided to not buy insurance because “it would be really expensive in the individual policy market.” The decision turned out to be a costly one.

    Kristof’s friend Scott Androes is currently suffering from Stage 4 prostate cancer. Androes’ struggles and her family’s own battles with insurance inspired Palmer to tweet her own story to her 698,000 followers.

    “[M]ost small-to-mid-level musicians I know don’t have health insurance. some musicians find tricky ways, some pay, most take the risk & pray,” she tweeted. “When I was in my early twenties, buying my own insurance would have been equal half my rent. it just didn’t seem like an option.”

    “[My Parents] DEMANDED I get insurance.
    we fought.
    they offered to pay half.
    i agreed.
    i was lucky.
    many aren’t.
    think about it.
    #AndVote.”

    Palmer’s story received a few touching responses. She wondered out loud on Twitter: Just how many of her followers were struggling with similar insurance problems? The response was overwhelming. More than 7,000 people, including celebrities like Rob Delaney, used the hashtag #InsurancePoll to share their experiences.

    “I wonder how many more Americans have been killed by COBRA than by actual cobras,”

    Delaney tweeted.

    Palmer enlisted the help of twitter user Aubrey (@aubreyjaubrey) to break down the stats from as many of the tweets as she could collect. The results were posted on Palmer’s blog:

    – preliminary info from first 156 responses indicates 24.5% of US respondents do not have insurance because of cost.

    – 31.4% of responses were from outside of US. all but one person had some kind of compulsory of government supported healthcare – (that one person was denied)

    – 24.4% of those abroad have some employer/private insurance for optometry and dental. individual costs from $45-$90/month. around $250/mo for a family.

    – based on responses, Germany appears to be the only other country with extortionate health care costs.

    Palmer has been floored by the response to her tweet and her blog post. She hopes the attention will help inspire real change.

    “[C]an you imagine what would happen if EVERYBODY in america (AND the world in contrast) shared their insurance stories and information, and got it trending on twitter, with everybody adding their stories to the pot???” Palmer wrote. “[H]ell, i can’t think of a better way to combat voter apathy, honestly. this shit is real, yo.”

    Photo via AmandaPalmer.net



    0 0

    An online dating site for fans of Star Trek? Fascinating!  

    What’s perhaps even more interesting about TrekkieDating, a new personals site targeted at fans of Star Trek, is what it doesn’t do. For instance, the signup form doesn’t let you specify whether you’re human or Vulcan, Romulan or a member of the Borg.  And the “languages spoken” option doesn’t even include Klingon.

    But that hasn’t stopped a small handful of Trekkies from populating the site since its creation earlier this month. 

    “Must love my tribble,” states Paulaj37.  “In space, no one can hear you.....?” queries DWB6646. “I just love the Star Trek series...and watched them over and over in my teens,” says GypsyValentine50

    “My favorite series is [the original], I've seen every episode and movie!” writes vu1can. “My OTP [One True Pairing] will always be Kirk/Spock.”

    Although Trekkie Dating may be the newest, it’s by no means the only website on the dating scene devoted to connecting fans, geeks and members of other subcultures. Geek dating site Soul Geek has subforums for fans of Marvel comics, Star Wars, and Transformers. In 2004 a dating franchise called Passions Network launched a horde of niche personals sites—everything from Trek Passions and Manga Passions to Libertarian Passions and Clown Passions.

    “Browse the Zombie Groups to find... Zombies from toxic spills, zombies from mutated viruses or zombies from radioactive meteors,” encourages Zombie Passions.

    Then there’s the furry fandom, comprised of fans who enjoy fictional animal characters embodied with human traits. A  key component of furry fandom includes cosplay and roleplay—that is, dressing in costume and often pretending to be the fictional animal characters in question. Furries have a keener interest than most fans in making personal connections with other people who accept the furry lifestyle, so it’s no surprise that among the largest fandom dating sites around are Furrymate and Pounced.org.  And on the other end of the animal-lover spectrum, we have Purrsonals, for cat-lovers. 

    Not all the interaction on these sites is about romantic connections. Cat lover Bismillahent writes that she “intends to set up the first FELINE SHELTER in Ghana and needs tips on how to go about it successfully.” Over at Pounced, members ask advice on creating good costumes and discuss what makes a good fan convention.

    But most people on these sites are like everyone on other dating sites—looking for love, friendship, or both. Right now, with its largely generic interface, TrekkieDating might not be able to command the same kind of niche appeal as TrekPassions, where hundreds of Trekkies state that they are currently “In Pon Farr,” the 7-year mating cycle of Vulcans. (Spoiler alert: Spock gets through his by working it off with Kirk.)

    But given the popularity of such sites, it’s clear that regardless of how intuitive the forum itself is, users will flock to places where they can discuss their fannish passions along with their romantic ones.

    Just so long as they pay TrekkieDating’s $24.99 monthly fee first.

    Image via Gage Skidmore / Flickr


    0 0

    Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

    Line-jumping: It’s like playing the lottery, only without the chance of winning.

    The temptation is there. It’s not that you’re a rebel by nature, but standing in lines is a soul-deadening experience and ever since you got your driver’s license you’ve felt empowered to choose your own lane. If that occasionally means saying goodbye to the safety of the third in the left line and plunging headlong into the second in the right, so be it.

    And every time you do, Satan bites the head off a kitten and screws you over. Again. And. Again.

    Still, the human heart is optimistic, and you cannot but hope that some day, some distant DMV visit in the future, you’ll win. Just once. Just this once.

    As you can clearly see from this GIF from 4GIFS.com, that is very sweet and entirely deluded. You poor fool. Just get in line behind the 2,470 others who’ve left notes on this sad little play.


    0 0

    Reddit’s biggest troll might be out of job, but he’s not out of supporters.

    Michael Brutsch, the unwilling subject of a recent Gawker exposé that outed him as the controversial redditor violentacrez, announced on Saturday that he was fired from his position at a financial services company because of the unwanted attention. The 49-year-old Arlington, Texas, resident now finds himself in financial straits.

    “I just hope I can hold out a month,” he wrote as mbrutsch, his “clean” Reddit handle. “My wife hasn't been able to work for over a year, and our savings will last about 3 weeks, not considering the current lack of health insurance.”

    Not all is lost, however.

    On Monday, Reddit user IAmA_Undecided kicked off a campaign on r/circlejerkers—a subreddit devoted to trolling with 109 subscribers—aimed at raising money for the beleaguered Brutsch.

    “I want to post a link to a paypal account at a certain time when we can gather the troops and upvote it,” the redditor stated.

    “I want to title it: ‘His Name Was Michael Brutsch. His Name Was Michael Brutsch. His Name Was Michael Brutsch. And We Will Buy Him A Beer.”

    The title is a reference to Fight Club, a book and film in which a character earns back his identity after being shot and killed during an act of domestic terrorism.

    The plan is to raise money from those who not only support the polarizing figure but also from detractors of r/shitredditsays (SRS), a subreddit devoted to exposing “bigoted, creepy, misogynistic, transphobic, unsettling, racist, homophobic” comments and threads posted across the site. SRS subscribers have been some of the most vocal champions of the Gawker article that outed violentacrez.

    “[T]here will be one tangible benefit to donating: the seething rage of SRS as they realize they haven’t broken [Brutsch], and that he does not stand alone,” declared IAmA_Undecided.

    As for Brutsch, he appreciates the sentiment behind the campaign but isn’t holding his breath.

    “I was contacted by a couple of redditors who wanted to do something,” he told the Daily Dot via a Reddit private message, “so I told them to go ahead, but I doubt anything will come of it.”

    He’s also focusing his attention elsewhere, largely looking for a job and preparing for an on-air CNN interview slated to air today.

    So far, his supporters have contributed $110.

    Photo via Squishy_Hyena/Reddit


    0 0

    Sometimes what’s been deemed “verified” on Wikipedia seems too strange to be true. In Wikipedia for the Weird, the Daily Dot tracks down the most bizarre and entertaining entries on the Web’s crowdsourced encyclopedia, sending you down the rabbit hole even further.

    Alas, “The Artists Formerly Known as Planet,” a.k.a. List_of_Solar_System_bodies_formerly_regarded_as_planets, is quite possibly the saddest subsection of the scientific world of Wikipedia.

    I can’t imagine anything worse in the spectrum of outer space than previously being known as a planet, only to be proven so very otherwise. (Well, maybe black holes are also kind of depressing, but in a “it can continue to grow by absorbing mass from its surroundings” type of way.)

    Probably the ultimate sadface, former planet (that most people still refuse to admit has been “declassified”) is Pluto. In 2006, waaayyyyy after we thought these things had been completely established, after we had memorized the planets (from closest by to furthest away) all by name, scientists decided to take away its planet status and re-name it a mere “dwarf planet”.

    We didn’t take this lightly. Even New Mexico’s House of Representatives (apparently, not busy with other issues pressing the state) passed a resolution declaring that “Pluto will always be considered a planet while in New Mexican Skies.” Heads up, New Mexico: We all share the same sky. It’s a metaphor, but it is ALSO SCIENTIFICALLY REAL. Sorry guys.

    Other now-dwarfs, former-planets? Ceres & Eris fit the bill, although neither ever achieved Pluto celebrity, fortunately. And let’s not forget that the Sun was once deemed a planet. Now it’s just a star.

    Photo via tnwanderer/Flickr


    0 0

    Discovering a new fandom can be like getting a new lease on life. Suddenly there are new episodes or chapters to analyze, new ideas for fanart and fanfiction, and an entire new community of fellow fans to meet.

    But nothing good lasts forever. After a while, that shiny new obsession starts to dull at the edges.

    Luckily, there are always a few warning signs to look for. Here are five indicators your fandom has jumped the shark—through the lens of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

    1) Bullying and drama

    Brony fandom—adult fans of animated children’s show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, grew from a handful of 4chan users to tens of thousands of people in less than three years. In any group that thrusts that many people together that quickly, there are bound to be disagreements—and bronies have them in droves.

    On Tumblr, multiple blogs exist for no purpose beyond documenting when bronies get out of line. Whether it’s racism, sexism, or bullying, it’s all on record at Prejudice is Magic, Brony Say, Brony Horror Stories, Sane MLP Fans, and Rabid Idiot Brony.

    Of course, the crimes found on these blogs aren’t indicative of the majority of brony behavior. However, there have been several bullying incidents that have made bigger waves. For example, it’s hard to find a brony who hasn’t heard about Bronycon founder Purple Tinker’s harassment at the hands of some assailants supported by rival brony convention Canterlot Gardens.

    Recently, Purple Tinker posted on Tumblr that in the interest of peace, she was going to stop speaking out about her harassment. But if Tumblr is any indication, Tinker’s reputation is permanently damaged.

    2) Big name fans keep their distance

    My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic found one of its earliest fan artists in Yamino, a cartoonist who has garnered notice from Lady Gaga. But Yamino disliked dopey fan character Derpy Hooves, whom she said might be seen as demeaning to the mentally disabled.

    When Hasbro agreed with her, bronies cast Yamino out of the fandom—with death threats. She has since stayed quiet, but just this month prominent brony musician Yelling at Cats recorded a rap song in which he threatens to murder her.

    “And people wonder why ‘bronies’ have a bad name,” Yamino wrote in response.

    On Thursday, Joanna Blackhart, the host of popular weekly livestreamed talk show, My Little Dashie, had a modest proposal for the fandom on her Tumblr: change the name.

    “So since apparently bronies have lost their collective minds and gone crazy, I’ve decided its time we start using a new word. In my mind, the word ‘brony’ at this point is pretty insulting. Therefore, I will start calling cool people who are into the pony community ‘macaroni.’”

    “Lately, more and more fans are finding it harder to associate themselves as ‘bronies’ due to the growing amount of negative connotations with that term,” Blackhart told the Daily Dot. “So more and more, people aren't identified as bronies, but rather merely as fans of the show.”

    3) Media oversaturation

    When bronies first came into mainstream awareness, everybody wanted a piece of them. From the Wall Street Journal to Fox News, journalists strived to understand—or at least gawk at—this strange new phenomenon of men who like ponies.

    By now, even Jerry Springer has figured out the fad, and it’s getting tired—partly thanks to bronies’ vigilant (and justified) efforts to prevent being portrayed as deviants in the news. Even Walmart has tried to capitalize on the fandom, generating a retro-style shirt that many bronies think is better left on the drafting table.

    Even though bronies didn’t always like the way the news covered them, the news did serve a valuable service by informing potential new members about the fandom.

    4) Fewer newbies

    With a hostile environment apparent to insiders and outsiders alike, it’s no wonder fewer people are choosing to identify as bronies. Right now, in the lull before Season 3 airs in November, a brony named Cerulean Spark told the Daily Dot he’s seeing the same old faces around his regular brony haunts. He calls this the fandom’s “long tail,” breaking away from its peak popularity and developing a smaller, more specialized following.  

    “I don't think anyone would disagree with the assertion that the days of the fandom’s explosive growth are over,” he said. “The fandom is very dependent on the show for new material, so the lull between seasons will inevitably cause a drop in fandom output and a corresponding drop in new members.”

    Cerulean predicts the new season of will attract some new fans. However, the state they find the fandom in may deter them from staying very long.

    5) Loss of founding values

    The four reasons outlined above are but symptoms of a larger problem. The biggest reason brony fandom is jumping the shark is that it lost the values that held it together in the first place.

    Whenever Daily Dot reporters talk to bronies in the wild, whether at Brony Fan Fair or Otakon, they have one response for why they got into the fandom: the show’s underlying values of friendship, love, and tolerance for others above all else. But while those tenets are the backbone of the show, it’s getting harder for some to recognize them among fellow bronies.

    “The whole point of the world that was put on television to show younger people how to cooperate and live with each other in harmony,” Cabal, the founder of brony chat service RainbowDash Network and a special guest to the first Bronycon, told the Daily Dot. “Soon, it will be like Pokémon or Hello Kitty. Younger kids will recognize these icons, but will never know the real reason why they still are pervasive in our culture as memes.

    “Now, it’s just selfishness and the bullying of our members driving our numbers away.”

    Photo via Midnight Shadow


    0 0

    One week after the sudden deletion of Reddit’s infamous r/Creepshots forum—a place where redditors posted images of real women in public, taken without their consent—those same sorts of pictures are popping up elsewhere.

    Nevermind r/Creepshots2, with only 217 subscribers, or r/Creepshots3, which has already been banned. The creative creeps are now in character.

    Take, for instance, r/CandidFashionPolice, created Sunday. Despite winking declarations of innocence (“we don't judge women's bodies, JUST THEIR FASHION CHOICES”), it’s clear its photos are the same posts as the ones from the old subreddit that got a teacher fired in September. One image, of a woman who’s wearing a completely unremarkable jean jacket but whose posterior is clearly delineated by black yoga pants, is titled “Denim jackets are sooo 2011, its all about Leather jackets now girlfriend!” Another shot, focused on a woman in a skin-tight dress, is captioned “Wow it looks like flip-flops are in style. Everyone is wearing them!” despite the fact that the woman’s footwear is only barely in frame.

    “You are a disgusting motherfucker for facilitating this sort of shit,” commented redditor ItsNotMineISwear in what appears to be r/CandidFashionPolice’s only discussion thread. “I have a mother, sister, and girlfriend whom I care about and if their pictures were posted here or in any sub similar to this, I would be pissed.”

    But most users there played dumb, like HayfieldHick, who wrote:

    “More like we're trying to take away women's right to wear tacky and out of season clothes and accessories! We are doing these women a service.”

    Far more popular than r/CandidFashionPolice is r/CShots, with more than 11,000 subscribers. The joke here is that people who post aren’t creeps, because they’re women (disregarding the fact that the most famous moderator of r/Creepshots, Potato_In_My_Anus, moderates here, too). Here, users who post voyeuristic photos do so anonymously, and each simply shows up as “WOMENS RIGHTS ACTIVIST.” Moderators tag themselves as “LEZBOMOD.” Posts are absurdly titled in the voice of a straight male teenager’s idea of a horny lesbian, like “Girls, you’re going to need a fresh thong” and “I had to grab my vibrator for this.” For some reason, the word “butt” is replaced with “fanny,” in most posts, and almost every woman is a “diva.”

    The Daily Dot was unable to confirm whether these absurd ways of posting creepshots are meant solely as jokes, or if users think they’re simply continuing r/creepshots while sneakily flying under the radar, but it probably hedges toward the former. Only one moderator responded to request for comment, and he responded: “I think you'll have to figure that out for yourself. It wouldn't be appropriate for us to comment at the time being.”

    If it’s not meant to be funny, how are posts titled “Transcendent fanny,” Supernatural buttocks,” “Eternal buttocks,” and “Phenomenal tush on Best Buy worker,” getting that many upvotes?

    UPDATE: As of 11am ET Wednesday, Reddit has banned r/CShots.

    Photo by by _Fidelio_/Flickr


    0 0

    Tech pundits are calling Adrian Chen’s big exposé on Reddit’s violentacrez the “best story” on the Web this year. The piece unmasked the real identity of one of Reddit’s most notorious trolls, launched an “inter-website war,” and touched on critical issues connecting our digital and physical lives: privacy, confidentiality, and online identity.

    But Chen’s piece is far more important than its ostensible purpose of outing an infamous Internet troll. It’s one big part of a seismic disruption on Reddit and the Internet at large—a direct result of a years-long cultural war that pits women and minorities against the Internet’s nasty side.

    Or, to put it the way redditors will understand: r/ShitRedditSays is totally winning.

    If you’re not familiar with r/ShitRedditSays (often shortened to SRS), it’s a buzzing forum on the social news site that attempts to turn the table on purveyors of Internet nastiness. It’s a controversial place because of its abrasive tactics: If SRS thinks you’re a shit-spewing jerk, you will damn well hear about it. Creators joke that they’re out to destroy Reddit—or, at the very least, r/MensRights, where men commiserate over their supposed diminishing rights.

    The subreddit bears much of the responsibility for Reddit’s most notorious PR debacles. SRS coined the term “Reddit bomb,” which is essentially an anti-Reddit PR blitz—a letter that forum members send out en masse to all types of news media, from local outlets and mainstream TV to Gawker. The subreddit has launched two bombs thus far, each aiming to paint Reddit as a den of creeps and pedophiles, with an abusive status quo enabled by the laissez-faire attitude of the site’s staff.

    About a year ago, the group’s first attack singled out r/jailbait, violentacrez’s most notorious forum, where more than 20,000 people once ogled at pictures of scantily clad teens lifted from Facebook profiles or video chats. It didn’t take long for Gawker and then Anderson Cooper to take notice. After months of tumultuous debate that have only been matched by the recent Gawker drama, Reddit finally banned r/jailbait and the “sexualization of minors”—a major rule change the likes of which Reddit had never seen.

    The second Reddit coup may be the subreddit’s greatest victory, however.

    You can trace the origins of Chen’s article all the way back to Sept. 17, in fact, when SRS moderator ArchangelleDworkin posted bomb version 2.0. While this particular PR blitz targeted a broad swath of the site’s seedier side, r/CreepShots quickly stood out as the nastiest of the bunch.

    Soon enough Gawker network site Jezebel profiled the subreddit, while other media followed suit, including The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and The Toronto Sun. When violentacrez joined r/CreepShots as a moderator, Chen decided it was time to finally write a piece that he’d been mulling for over a year. He knew violentacrez’s identity thanks to a tipster friend. And now violentacrez had jumped right into the spotlight all over again. It was the online troll’s fatal mistake.

    SRS and its relationship with the Reddit community at large is incredibly complicated, and there are thoughtful people who agree with SRS’s attitude if not their fight-fire-with-fire tactics. Redditors commonly criticize the place as a den of politically correct “thought police” and trolls and its Reddit bombs as unfair, sensationalized characterizations of Reddit as a whole. Others worry about a potential slippery slope, where SRS lights more Reddit bombs and launches devastating witch hunts against redditors solely for their opposing, controversial opinions.

    The outside world—where the discussion has jumped thanks to Chen’s article—isn’t concerned with the average redditor’s critiques of SRS, however. And this is key. No one outside Reddit cares that SRS is allegedly “censoring” politically incorrect opinions with downvotes, or that they also allegedly derail discussion threads. And the outside world certainly doesn’t care about the pseudonymous Internet’s nuanced opinions about the ethics of doxing (revealing a Web user’s real identity—something that, by the way, r/ShitRedditSays officially opposes, too).

    To the mainstream, which simply can’t be bothered by Reddit’s political and structural dynamics, all that matters is this: r/CreepShots and r/jailbait, two reprehensible forums, are gone. And what the non-Reddit world will remember, whether accurate or not, is that Reddit banned Gawker to protest the stories and that its users appeared to take the side of a notorious Internet troll over exploited women and children.

    In the mainstream’s cultural memory—the place that really matters in the long term—Reddit at large looks pretty bad, its positions almost indefensible.

    These battles are part of something more, a movement to take on the Web's nasty side and clean up all the sewage. Forbes’ Deanna Zandt put it best in her must-read article, “The Tyranny of Anonymity, Reddit and the Future of Your Body Online":

    What for me is ultimately one of the most critical pieces in all of this discussion is that the level of intolerance for misogyny, racism, homophobia, abuse and much more online seems to be finally reaching a boiling point for many, especially women. We are seeking out and building actionable tools to level playing fields and hold abusers and exploiters finally accountable for their behaviors, online and off. I’ve been on the Internet since 1994, and have slogged through some of the worst of those behaviors, while also having the delight to celebrate the best. Now that we have the means, many of us are taking the Internet’s long-standing insidious toxic culture by the horns and figuring out, sometimes clumsily and dangerously, how we can change it–and the wider culture that informs it.

    On Reddit, the group taking things by the horns is SRS. And it's winning the propaganda war. That doesn’t mean the problems the group targets are solved or even close to being solved. But it does mean that people are listening.

    Photo via Reddit's 404 page


    0 0

    Every day, the Daily Dot finds something that people on Facebook are sharing and, in turn, shares it with you—with a little explanation. Here's today's share.

    The day after the Internet lit up with parody of Mitt Romney’s reference to “binders full of women,” the Republican party officially got in on the joke.

    The GOP released an image of an empty binder to its Facebook page, titled “Obama’s Second-Term Agenda,” Wednesday afternoon. Within two hours, it had gained nearly 20,000 likes and more than 1,000 comments—most of them critical of the president.

    “Just like his brain! Empty!!” commented Eileen Beck.

    Other Romney supporters interpreted the image as an invitation to fill in the blanks. “1. raise taxes 2. raise taxes 3. raise taxes (ad infinitum),” wrote Anne Powell.

    The photo is reminiscent of a viral hit Democrats scored right before Tuesday’s debate, when they registered www.romneytaxplan.com. Users who visited were invited to click a button to see Romney’s tax plan, but if you tried to click it, that button scurried away from your cursor.

    The GOP didn’t respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment, but the the image doesn’t appear to be part of a larger campaign. The GOP Twitter account hasn’t mentioned it, and it’s not linked to on the Party’s official homepage. Nevertheless, the image is hosted on GOP.com.

    Twitter users who discovered the empty binder photo aren’t quite as taken with it as Republicans on Facebook.

    “LOL check out @GOP lame response to #bindersfullofwomen,” tweeted supermouse35. “Way to keep the meme rolling guys.”

    “Ohmagawd, this smacks of ‘OH YEAH, WELL *YOU'RE* A BINDER. Too,’” posted marxdudek.

    Photo via Republican National Committee/Facebook


    0 0
  • 10/18/12--06:35: Face slaps curb Web surfing
  • Who knew the solution to preventing excessive Web surfing at work was as simple as a couple slaps in the face?

    This was the solution to Maneesh Sethi’s productivity issues. Sethi, a programmer, author, and self-help guru, is the creator of Hack the System, a website that offers advice to people who wish to achieve their ideal lifestyle. Since he is his own boss, he works alone on a computer each day.

    In a recent blog post, Sethi used the desktop app RescueTime to measure how long he spent on his Excel spreadsheet and on various websites. At the end of the day, RescueTime calculated that he was at 38 percent productivity.

    “Nothing makes me more embarrassed than seeing the amount of hours I spend wasted on Reddit and Facebook chat,” Sethi wrote.

    He turned to the power of the San Francisco craigslist in search of a unique approach to increasing his productivity. In the “Domestic Gigs” section of the site, he placed an advertisement titled “Slap me if I get off task…” According to his blog, the ad went as follows:

    “Hey!

    “I’m looking for someone who can work next to me at a defined location (my house or a mission cafe) and will make sure to watch what is happening on my screen. When I am wasting time, you’ll have to yell at me or if need be, slap me.

    “You can do your own work at the same time. Looking for help asap, in mission, near 16th mission BART.

    “Compensation: $8 / hour, and you can do your own work from your computer at the same time.”

    In less than an hour, he had received twenty replies. Selecting one from “Kara” that stood out, he arranged a meeting at a cafe the next day. He gave her his list of tasks that he needed to accomplish that day and partially documented the workday in a video.

    The experiment with Kara lasted three hours. Thanks to her help, his productivity rose to 98 percent. While her slaps indeed played a key role, Sethi believes that the social element she provided is the true assistant.

    “Without a doubt, this experiment was a success. My biggest takeaway from the experiment is this: If you add a social element to the work that you do, you will become more productive,” he wrote.

    Photo via YouTube


older | 1 | 2 | (Page 3) | 4 | 5 | .... | 49 | newer