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Monthly Archives: May 2012

What it’s like to be the bitch

(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, May 24, 2012)

I don’t like the word bitch.  I don’t mind it as a verb meaning angry complaining, but the noun ain’t what it used to be.  Once it meant a difficult, unyielding, demanding female, not unlike an angry protective mother dog should be.  Some women liked that image, it had some power.  More recently the word has been retasked as shorthand for an angry, impotent person who has no more standing than a toothless dog.  It’s a lot like WhileTheMenWatch, a not so original, spayed version of women talking about things women don’t really want to talk about, like sports.

Back in March, I went to LA to see a Sharks game with two cousins and a woman I hadn’t met.  She was an avid hockey fan, unlike my cousins.  My cousins are men, they like sports, one even likes hockey but doesn’t follow the NHL.  I know they are legit sports fans because I had to sit through football games with them.  But they are not active NHL fans.  Maybe they are at this particular moment but they were not back in March.

Oh, congrats ex-Flyers in LA.  That’s as far as I can go. (more…)

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Blog poll #4: why do you blog?

See the first poll if you care about the long answer to “why am I doing this?”

I’ll publish one question per day for a total of four questions.  Since the “other” option comes with a very limited space for answers, feel free to use the comment section if you like.  In this fourth and final poll, you can make up to three selections.  Even if you like more than three answers, chose the ones that most closely reflect your opinion.  Thank you in advance for participating.

Blog poll #3: what do you look for in a blog?

See the first poll if you care about the long answer to “why am I doing this?”

I’ll publish one question per day for a total of four questions.  Since the “other” option comes with a very limited space for answers, feel free to use the comment section if you like.  In this third poll, you can make up to four selections.  Even if you like more than four answers, chose the ones that most closely reflect your opinion.  Thank you in advance for participating.

Blog poll #2: What is a blogger?

See the first poll if you care about the long answer to “why am I doing this?”

I’ll publish one question per day for a total of four questions.  Since the “other” option comes with a very limited space for answers, feel free to use the comment section if you like.  In this second poll, you can make up to two selections.  Even if you like more than two answers, chose the ones that most closely reflect your opinion.  Thank you in advance for participating.

 

Blog poll #1: what is a blog?

One of the first things I asked myself when I started writing a blog was “What is a blog?”  I have since formed my own opinion on that, but that opinion is based entirely on my own preferences and information needs.  I never got a really solid answer to the question from an objective viewpoint.  The most common answer is “whatever you want it to be!”  That’s a fun and empowering notion but it hardly fits with the ongoing debate about the blog’s place in the information universe.

So long as the words “blog” and “blogger” keep popping up like they have a universally recognized value,  I want to ask again: what do they mean?  I know that my little poll will still lack objectivity.  That doesn’t bug me.  The only opinions I really care about anyway are those in my little corner of the web.  Okay, that’s not entirely true.  If someone gave me the book of Blog Rules and Regulations I would gladly read it.  Until then, this is a good starting point.

So here goes.  I’ve never put a poll up on this blog before, so I absolutely expect it to break on first use.  I get what I pay for.

I’ll publish one question per day for a total of four questions.  Since the “other” option comes with a very limited space for answers, feel free to use the comment section if you like.  In this first poll, you can make up to two selections.  Even if you like more than two answers, chose the ones that most closely reflect your opinion.  Thank you in advance for participating.

Flatline logic

Tonight I had a fairly circular twitter chat about the relevance of statistics to a team’s performance. Of course we were talking past each other, since he is a math fan and the church of math would probably burn me at the stake if it had the emotional wherewithal.

Anyway, it made me think more about the ways we assess a given game or streak or season or player.  My problem with statistical analyses isn’t that they are innacurate but that they are misleading in their predictions.

(more…)

Amateur hour

Over the last couple of days I’ve been avoiding a Twitter squabble about sources.  I don’t want to talk about the particular dispute.  There are so many, which seems self-defeating since all kinds of writers should not only be able to coexist but even act as allies.  Oh well, it’s a dog eat dog world.

I want to talk about the tension between professional writers and non-professional ones. I am not a professional writer but I know and quite like some.  I don’t want to insult anyone but for the purposes of this post I am going to refer to all unpaid writers as “amateurs.”  If it is insulting, think of it the way Olympic athletes used to be all amateurs. (more…)