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Elaborate on the biases if you can! Are they stereotypes or actual prejudices. Especially interested in the Jimmy B take!!


I'm curious about the left handers? Being a lefty myself. What's your take on leftys?


I used to have grommet ears, am a lefty, my boyfriend is PhD candidate (who also loves Jimmy Buffet),and my mother is a PhD. Nonetheless, we are still friends. :)


Why biased against PhDs? Most of us are fairly harmless........

And you thought the narrative arc was a dealbreaker. Speak up! Why the biases against your readers!? :)



(shaving creams your medicine cabinet at the blog party...)

I don't quite understand the bias against huge blingy diamonds. They are tangible, satisfying evidence (visually and mentally)of a woman's triumph in the assortative-mating game. I want mine to be as huge as possible - the more vulgar the better since it will be a vivid (and felt) reminder of what I have at stake. Turbo asked about the significance of stainless steel appliances - since ss appliances have only recently come into vogue, they suggest a recently-acquired home or abode and therefore suggest that a man (living in the space) has more than a passing acquaintance with the notion that we are defined in ways small and large not only by the cyber/psychic worlds which we inhabit but by the physical/material spaces which we occupy.


As biases go, some of these at least give you the chance to get to know someone personally before the bias is triggered. I mean, you could get pretty close to someone before discovering their abhorrent college baseball career or (wince) questionable sailboat choice.


Are these the big fabric print headbands, the gym-sweatband-type headbands, the thin-i really only wear these to wash my face, but accidentally wore it in public (with my matching juicy couture sweatsuit) headbands, or the thin-single-row-of-beads headbands, or the plastic tortoise-shell looking ones?

Very different types, indeed.


What about lawyers? No prejudices about lawyers :)


Aw man, lefty here - currently wearing a headband and humming JB. The headband comes out when I have to do too much research with my nose in a book; the JB comes out when I don't get to drink during said research.

I love my PhD friends and kinfolk. I like it that they are that passionate about something, even if it is something like a dead language. Considering that most people are biased against JDs, that is a particuarly interesting addition to the list.

How about this: met a woman once with her hair teased slightly, and pulled back at the ears with bobby-pins (no joke). She was wearing Ferragamo flats and a Laura Ashley dress. Took an INSTANT dislike to her, then actually talked to her - she was the most subversive person I've ever met. To this day I think she runs around dressed like that as camouflage! You never know.

That said, I think those gromet people are weird myself. I am also not into Maori inspired tattoos unless one happens to BE Maori.


Not exactly prejudices, but things that bug me and evoke an automatic negative response:

* People who live in antiseptically clean homes without any decent reading material. In our homes, books, magazines, notebooks, and assorted papers occupy and overflow bookshelves, tables, and assorted horizontal and vertical surfaces.

* Owners of spoiled, untrained, overly aggressive "yap" dogs (canis minimus pseudodomesticus) that don't obey their owners half-hearted entreaties to not bark and bite.

* People who, on the basis of limited, questionable, and unverifiable "information" (say, at the veracity level of the tabloids sold at the supermarket checkout or of a politician's attack ad), think they have figured out how to tell others precisely how to live their lives and think they're doing them a great favor.

* People who talk and take without at least making a sincere effort to listen and give.

* Folks who think they're great sailors because they have the most expensive boat in the yacht club and paid rock star crew to tell them which way to pull the tiller.


Eew. Catalinas. Almost as bad as Etchells.

JUST kidding. But I am biased against fin keels and spade rudders, generally.

God - I loathe vegans too.


What amuses me about this is that we automatically assume that having a bias implies a negative. Also interesting is that it seems to be easier to detect negative biases than positive ones.

eg.I was much quicker to recall an aversion to turnips, or seeing men wearing flip flops with trousers in winter (?!), as opposed to a tendency to automatically trust and like anyone who looks remotely Papuan!


i'm curious about the vegan bias. is this because vegans already (seem to) receive a negative stereotype as fitting into some "hippie, granola-eating, tree-hugging, tie-dye-wearing, anti-corporate" mold? (hyperbole, but you get the point.) what mental images pop into your mind when you think of vegans? just curious. i suspect that when we harbor biases, it's sometimes because we don't necessarily dislike the thing *itself*, but what it represents, or what other things we associate with it.


Interesting biases. Presumably, having a bias means that you draw negative inferences about these individuals based solely on the characteristics you have listed, but are able to overcome them on an individual basis. Like the other commenters, I wonder what it is that you infer about people based on things like being a southpaw, a libertarian, or a vegan? I'm curious.

Vegan philosophy seems too "rejecting" instead of "embracing" or being joyously life-affirming.


I'm left handed and also curious about the bias. Is it just because they're difficult to teach to sail or something? None of the others on the list are a quasi-inborn characteristic. (And my parents will assure you that they did try to train me out of it, to no avail.)

Vegans are difficult to take to nice restaurants almost anywhere, because a dairy product probably will be added to the vegetables. Vegetarians are difficult to take to nice restaurants in Europe because the French, Germans et al have trouble cooking well without meat. But nothing makes me as crazy as my mom's simultaneously being a vegetarian and trying to minimize carbs -- no pasta, no potatoes... argh.


As a leftie who deals daily with things like which direction do you turn the "twistie" on a bread bag or put the papers in a file, I have often asked others (including my husband) who look askance at left-handers: Are you aware that left-handed people are the only ones in their right mind?

Anthony Citrano

as long as I'm your *favorite* libertarian (stressing the lower-case 'l' there) - it's cool.

xoxo from austin


"Vegan philosophy seems too "rejecting" instead of "embracing" or being joyously life-affirming."

hm. i dunno. not wanting to kill animals is not life-affirming? crazy. guess i'll have to reassess my reasons for being a vegetarian!


having a bias doesnt necessarily mean negative does it? (a particular tendancy?) i also have a bias about lefties: all the lefties i know are very creative and bright people.


Hum, why hunters and catalinas? Just curious....Oh, and what about J's? (Just kidding...maybe I don't want to know! ;)

Carol Anne

On ...

Left-handers: My hsuband is left-handed, and so are a large number of my relatives, especially on my mother's side. All through his elementary school career, Pat was told that he couldn't possibly be competent about keeping things tidy because he was left-handed. Therefore, his teachers never made him do classroom chores or keep his desk tidy. One teacher even put a rectangle of duct tape on the floor around his desk and labeled it "Pat's Pigpen." Pat bought into this idea, so now he's seriously impaired when it comes to being tidy and organized. The same goes for handwriting -- all of the right-handed students learned penmanship, but he didn't, because his teachers thought he was incapable of learning it. To this day, he can't handwrite anything at more than about a second grade level.

PhDs: I grew up in a town that had the highest concentration of PhDs in the nation. They're just ordinary people. But I did find the Nobel laureate who lived accross the street for two years to be rather snooty.

Grommets in the ears? Live and let live.

Blingy diamond rings: Depends what your definition of blingy is. I wear a big rock in an engegement ring that was an heirloom in Pat's family. It does stand out. But I wear it for what it means, not to show off. If blingy means something that is showing off, I'm right with you.

"Witty" bumper stickers: Wit is in the eye of the beholder. I like the ones that have some clever sort of wordplay, or that point out human foibles or logical fallacies -- such as "Eat s---; 60 billion flies can't be wrong." I don't like the ones in which the crude or blasphemous language doesn't serve any real purpose.

Headbands: Useful for keeping one's hair out of one's face. Not as effective as a strong pony-tail holder coupled with a baseball-type cap. Can be an effective fashion statement, but it has to be done just right.

Former college baseball players: I must disagree with you on that one. In particular, I have noticed that people who played baseball in college (especially the ones who didn't subsequently inflate their accomplishments in campaign literature) tend to make very good politicians -- in the sense of being able to support constituents and negotiate effectively with other legislators.

Buffett fans: I'm not an out-and-out parrot-head, but I do like his stuff.

Libertarians: I am one.

Vegans: I can understand the mindset of people not eating meat, becuase it means some creature's life has been taken in order to provide the food. Going to the extreme of excluding egg and dairy products doesn't make the same sort of sense to me.

Catalinas and Hunters: Probably you could also put MacGregors in the same category: low-budget boats that don't exactly sail fast. I'm a convert from a MacGregor, and this past weekend, I helped a Hunter skipper in his conversion to Etchells. He and I are both keeping our old slow boats -- they make great sail lockers to stow the sails we don't need on a particular race day.

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