Friday Four

Friday, April 13, 2012

1. I can understand both the exasperated tone of her questioner and the gentle scolding she received from Miss Manners -- I tried meeting people through the Internet back in the day. (Although I did meet some good women that way, I ended up happily married to a friend of a friend.)

That said, and not just based on my own experience, I agree with that personal contacts are generally a better way to screen for and meet romantic prospects.

[Y]ou probably didn't meet jail-breakers, bigamists and indigents that way. For all its creakiness and exasperating inability to gauge attractiveness, the old system was pretty good on character and reputation. No doubt there were ghastly mistakes. In general, however, personal recommendations are probably more reliable than what people say themselves when there are no available witnesses to their misdeeds.
Personal contacts simply have greater knowledge of both parties to begin with. This doesn't make the Internet worthless for such a goal, but it does mean that using it effectively will require much more effort.

2. Did you know that "PSEUDOPSEUDOHYPOPARATHYROIDISM contains each vowel at least twice"? Unsurprisingly, medical terminology is a gold mine for such curiosities, but who has time to unearth them? For your amusement, somebody did, and mailed them in to Futility Closet.

3. Might Clint Dempsey end up at Arsenal?
"You want to win things. You want to play Champions League or Europa League."

This season, Dempsey has played like someone hungry for that next step: someone who has played well enough to merit consideration from the world's best teams. That reality makes signing a new contract with Fulham highly unlikely and impractical. That being the case, if the Cottagers cannot convince Dempsey to sign a new deal, it would be foolish for the club to keep him for one more season and miss out on a sure-fire, eight-figure transfer this summer.

Dempsey nearly made the move a year ago, when Arsenal inquired about his services. After seeing him light up Premier League defenses this year, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Gunners are back in the market for him. [link dropped]
Let me rephrase that question: Will my favorite American footballer end up playing on my favorite English Premier League team? I sure hope so!

4. Is the choice between maintaining at least a shred of personal privacy and taking advantage of social networking tools a false one? Some folks at Orgeon State seem to think so.
Through browser extensions, Privly allows you to post to social networks and send email without letting those services see "into" your text. Instead, your actual words get encrypted and then routed to Privlys [sic] servers (or an eventual peer-to-peer network). What the social media site "sees" is merely a link that Privly expands in your browser into the full content. Of course, this requires that people who want to see your content also need Privly installed on their machines.
I find the notion of changing emails after sending them odd, but this software apparently would allow that as well. (As someone who has had to use emails to resolve honest disputes, I see this inability to rely on data sent over/viewed by Privly to be a major drawback.)

-- CAV


Vigilis said...

Gus, PSEUDOPSEUDOHYPOPARATHYROIDISM appears to denote a double negative.

Why then, would such a suspect diagnosis not be a case of misdiagnosed "hypoparatthyroidism"?

The English language is being corrupted at both the urban and academic levels until it is as incomprehensible as Chinese.

Gus Van Horn said...

I'll hazard a guess, Vigilis, although I am not a medical professional and am too rushed to look it up: There is a condition called "hypoparathyroidism" which some other condition can mimic. Maybe the other condition has some oddball symptom or blood chemistry indication or other NOT in common with hypoparathyrodism by which the two can be usually be differentiated. But what if someone actually HAS hypoparathyroidism and some other condition (e.g., he is also poisoned) that causes him to have the very symptom/test result that normally indicates pseudohypoparathyroidism?

Whether we really need the term or not is a question I am not prepared to answer, but I can see how it might have arisen.

Steve D said...

Well pseudo is not really a negative. Another possibility is that it could refer to a condition that mimics (in another manner) a condition than mimics hypoparathyroidism.

Gus Van Horn said...

Quite true.

Jennifer Snow said...

The Miss Manners column kind of made me sigh. There are other methods than meeting people through an impersonal medium where you really can't evaluate them other than by how they evaluate themselves (the internet) and through other people.

You can go out and DO stuff. You will NECESSARILY meet people this way, and have all sorts of opportunities to evaluate them for yourself. Then, if you like them, you can pursue even more activities and broaden your evaluation scope. Then you can meet people they know who can give you character references.

I have found that it's generally not wise to make meeting people/romance your primary objective, however. You can get skewed results and mixed messaging this way. However, particularly as a woman, if you go out and DO STUFF, you will probably wind up with tons of men about to choose from.

Well, one more caveat (if you're a girl). Don't DO STUFF that's basically a female stronghold (as in, something women typically do with other women and intentionally exclude men) already, because the guys you might meet will very probably be married or otherwise unavailable. So, scrapbooking, knitting, attending baby showers, book clubs, things of this nature will probably not net you much.

Any sport or game or class will probably be well-attended, though. I meet unattached guys of pretty much any age and occupation ALL THE TIME just because I game online.

Gus Van Horn said...


Great points. Your advice to "DO STUFF" adds shared values and interests to first-hand observation (which already trumps the Internet both in terms of evaluating character and interest). Nothing worthwhile in the long term can happen with someone one has nothing in common with.

Regarding not making romance a primary objective, that's on the money, too, primarily because one has to know too much about another person before that can realistically be an issue. And yes, trying to take a short-cut creates frustration and sends mixed messages because the premise causes one to act in ways that will seem odd or desperate to others, particularly those one regards as romantic prospects. (I have my own recollections of a post-divorce period years ago to draw on for that!)