Skepchick Quickies, 2.16


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. Actually, something like the Snuggie existed back in the 1970’s, too. We had them during the First Fuel Crisis (You damn little whippersnappers, eh, eh, eh!) Remember Jimmy Carter? He was right about some things…but most refused to listen. One wonders where we would be now if we had listened and started on the green path in the mid-1970’s…but I digress.

    It’s always a good idea as a consumer to do a little checking before ordering from a company you’ve never dealt with before. Those “buy right this second” TV offers (Snuggies, ShamWow, and all the rest) are analogous to the junk right by the cash registers at a store. They are attempts to convince you to impulse buy. Berke Breathed (Opus, Bloom County and Outland) did a number of his comic strips on exactly this subject.

    On another note, I’m not convinced by the social conservative/religion article, though it is an interesting thought. I suspect at least some of social conservatism comes from the very human desire for a universe that ‘makes sense’ and has an ‘order’ to it. I have noticed that (at least to me) conservatives seem to fear and fight social change rather than embrace it and look for the positive aspects in it. I can understand that, but change is part of life. Nothing that I know of can be static and yet live. That includes societies and cultures, because they are nothing more than arrangements of living beings for a purpose or purposes.

  2. My problem with the Snuggie (aka the Backwards Bathrobe) is the same that I have with a lot of As-Seen-On -TV products most of which evidently come from Fosdick Corp. The commercials make it look like we are all idiots.

    Despite the obvious merits of the Snuggie or Slanket or backwards bathrobe, the message of the commercial is “blankets are too complex for mere mortals to use”.

    “Too dumb to hang a picture? Try Wonder Hanger!”

    “Too lazy to walk across the room and turn off the light? Try the Clapper!”

    “Can’t figure out how to carry a fishing pole? Try the Pocket Fisherman!”

    It’s not necessarily the products to which I object (although I have never heard of anyone catching a fish with a pocket fisherman); it’s the marketing campaign that relies on the idea that consumers are fat, stupid, incompetent, and lazy that drives me crazy.

  3. @durnett: The Pocket Fisherman was meant to catch suckers. ;-) The only way you could catch a fish with it is if you dropped it overboard and knocked one on the head with it.

    “…the marketing campaign that relies on the idea that consumers are fat, stupid, incompetent and lazy…”
    And you point here is? They certainly don’t appear to be losing money with this marketing approach…

  4. The religion article was interesting, but it was a small sample space of only Jewish kids. It makes sense that religion leads to social conservatism, but we all know what happens when we Assume…
    I’d rather see stats of people self-defining as Social Conservatives being asked if they were religious, and vice versa. My gut thought is that some religious folk are Social Conservatives (Southern Baptists) and some are not ( Universal Life). Historicaly a lot of religious folk backed abolition, equality among races, aiding the poor, and other things that were not socially conservative at the time.

  5. “…In other words, if you teach kids creationism – not just about animals, but about people – you train them to think that they have a specific purpose (in the same way that secular kids think about artefacts such as pencils, tables and chairs).

    It’s no wonder, then, that they grow up to be social conservatives – fearing women and gay rights, accepting wide differences in social equality, and reinforcing the ethnic schisms within society.”

    When we were discussing the canine race vs. human race thing the other day I noted that….This “special” and “unique” thing really bothers me. That we are all created “special” with certain traits. When I hear people say that I believe it also gives permission to think that people are created and that we can predetermine and predict places and practices for other humans based on a pattern. i.e. Black people are good dancers, white men are ambitious, women belong in the kitchen. For those of us who don’t want to take the time to think through each encounter with a person…its much easier to just let them fall into a category and then express alarm when they don’t fit our pre-judged notion.

    It should not be any more amazing for a person to do something out of the norm because of their race or culture than anything else in nature not fitting its description.

    I believe that it could be possible in some way to apply evolution to culture and hence advancement or just plain adaptation according to location and need.

    I for one refuse to believe that just because I’m (blank) I have to behave a certain way. Just tell me I can’t do it and watch me prove you wrong. Thanks to Darwin…for thinking way outside the box

  6. lol Not in years! Virgin as in new to the skeptic movement. New to the idea that my critical thinking and questioning of authority actually means something.
    I’m a virgin skeptic…hmmm and probably in all senses…since I don’t see how or why anyone would want to be a virgin for long…lol

  7. @Gabrielbrawley: snuggie= too lazy to put on a sweater? LOL
    Maybe they think if they lie there long enough, they’ll evolve a thick fur coat?

  8. The religion/social conservative study seems to me to be asking “Lets see if kids growing up in a certain socially conservative household are socially conservative.”
    I don’t see anything there that would allow extrapolation to a broader segment of society.

  9. The Israeli study seems to strike me as another “Lets use science to prove that conservative/religious people are messed up and destroying society!”
    It also seemed to me that the article says that merely believing each and everything had a purpose, regardless of religion, will lead to evil conservative thinking.
    That’s all I got right now..

    By the way, my freind did a summer internship at brookhaven national lab, he got to see the collider.

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