April 28th, 2008

Noticing unwanted touching, especially of hair

These threads are about unwanted touching. Before you read them, please try to guess which people are more likely to be touched because just because some stranger feels like touching them. I expect there will be some surprises in the second thread.



Here's the question for you folks: Have you ever noticed someone getting touched that way? Someone getting touched for a reason that doesn't apply to you?

I never have, and I suspect my lack of adequate people-watching isn't all that unusual.

Note to self: Be more careful about babies. I've been in the habit of making sure the baby wants my company, but I've been much less careful about the adult with the baby.

More on human ignorance

NPR's Radio Times just had an hour about aircraft carriers. It was an overview about their size, usefulness, cost, future, and a little about what it's like to land jets on them and to live on them.

There's also a pledge drive going on, and one of the themes that hour was about not expecting to have any interest in aircraft carriers, but discovering through the wonderfulness of NPR that they actually are interesting. They say the same theme about their business show.

Now, I'll grant that I started out with an extreme case of blind spot about the military, but through the wonders of sf fandom, I eventually picked up some sketchy knowledge and an understanding that any complex human institution has quite a bit interesting about it if it's explained at the right level of abstraction.

I don't know if the commentators were underestimating their audience, but I do wonder if that degree of blind spot is common even among the information junkies that NPR seems to be playing to.

Fear of being falsely accused of rape


ursulav has asked this:
A) If male, are you afraid of being falsely accused of rape? Is this a Major Fear--i.e. something you worry about every time you're trying to get to know a woman? (Hell, is this something you worry about if you're, say, alone in a parking garage with a female in the next aisle getting into her car?)

B) If either gender, do you personally know anybody who has been falsely accused of rape? (Not friend-of-a-friend stories, but you, yourself, are at least the level of on-line acquaintanceship with them.)

The outcome seems to be that some fear is fairly but not extremely common, false accusations aren't rare but aren't extremely common and are much less common than rape.


yhlee says (emphasis mine):
This may also be why students objected so vehemently when I would insist on doing "sideways" examples to the questions they had. For example, if they wanted to learn how to solve x/2 - 7 = 18, I'd present them with 3x + 5 = 10 (difficulty scaled depending on the particular student and my best judgement). They hated that, because I wasn't "answering the question." And no, I wasn't answering their specific "how do I solve this exact problem" question, but I was trying to get them to develop slightly more generalized tools. (By year's end I was able to get away with, "What would you try first?" and get responses most of the time. But early on, you have to guide them into a culture of problem-solving rather than a "received knowledge" model where the teacher is agent and problem-solver and the student is the passive receiver of tricks & tools.)

That's such a nice way of expressing the opposite of guessing the teacher's password.