Science

For those YouTube fans who feel abandoned…

LonelyGirl15 is the name of the video blogger who turned out to be an actress acting out an elaborate storyline. At first, most people believed that she was a home schooled teenager with an uncanny knack for video editing. She dropped hints that her parents were ultra-religious but she was not, and she even quoted Richard Feynman. Her best nerdy guy friend had a crush on her, and she wasn’t sure what to do. She was pretty and nerdy and the fantasy of LonelyBoys everywhere.

Now that the jig is up, of course a number of fans are upset. Take the guy quoted in the above linked New York Times article:

Very cute, but she’s really not into Feynmann and Jared Diamond! (I’m heart-broken …But a wonderful actress, had me fooled into thinking she was a geek like me.)

It turns out she’s actually into partying. Who’d have imagined? I guess there’s just no such thing as a smart, sexy woman interested in science.

Hey, wait a second . . . we’re lousy with them here! For those poor nerdy guys who are now left without a real-life fantasy, here’s a rundown of where you can find a new one:

And you people want more?? I promise you that none of these women will turn out to be the product of a burgeoning screenwriter. So go on, start worshipping.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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9 Comments

  1. A rather dark part of me approves of the LonleyGirl15 thing. If people begin to question what they see it's a good thing. It would be cool to ape something like James Randi's Alpha project or Carlos via a medium like YouTube. Admittedly LonleyGirl15 didn't have such noble intentions. The idea of creating a falsehood specifically for the purpose of destroying it appeals to me. It has also just occured to me how the Alpha Project and Carlos were productive straw men.

  2. Yeah, but with things like psychic powers and life after death, religious miracles and homeopathic medicines, the folk who tune in, believing, will still believe even after you destroy the falsehood.

    It seems a very dangerous thing to do.

    People being what they are.

  3. I think you make a good point Rav. The hardcore people are mostly write-offs. Expending energy on them is a waste, the people to aim for are those on the borders of woo-woo land, those whose beliefs are wavering, and people who are as yet undecided. I think Pen and Teller's Bullshit did this very well with their Big Foot video. It strikes me that things like YouTube present a terrific opportunity to influence opinion through a powerful medium and with minimul outlay.

    I agree that it could be a very dangerous thing to do, and I wasn't about to rush out and do it without some serious thought ;-). Woo-woos dominating something like YouTube is a frightening prospect because a) it's such a powerful medium, and b) they're already treated far better than they deserve by the traditional media.

  4. Hi Rebecca, the link to Kari Byron’s site is wrong. Just so you know and can correct it.

    Btw, maybe you could say a word about what happened here yesterday in Montreal. With the college shooting, I’m sure you heard about it. It happened not far from where I work. Anyway, I’m sure religious fanatics will come out and try to make us see how heavy metal and horror movies are evil… They won’t know what was going on in this guy’s head but it’s not important, as long as they can use it in their advantage to make us see that following the teachings of the bible is the only right thing to do…

  5. Not to sound demanding, but it’s not just “smart, sexy woman interested in science“, the word “single” should be in there somewhere before “woman”, and then the list suddenly shrinks to probably less than a third its current size …

  6. I think the Bad Astronomer blogged a while back about the resurfacing of the "Mars as big as the Moon" e-mail. He suggested as one possibility that perhaps some astronomers redistributed it just to see how far it would go this time. Deliberately sending out false information is bad. Specifically because, to quote Mark Twain: "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."

    You can make dozens of YouTube videos, and then dozens more explaining what you did, and many people will only ever get to see the first dozen as long as no one specifically points out they should also watch the rest.

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