Monday, January 24, 2005

Contains Sexual Material

Josh writes:

Buridan's Ass: Famous philosophical thought experiment, where a donkey is presented to with two identical haystacks, each exactly the same distance from it. Being unable to choose between the two, the donkey starves to death, thereby illustrating the nature and limitations of rational decision making. Assuming I have time before the SPCA comes after me for the abuse of metaphorical livestock (or, you know, that other stuff), I present the following anecdote...

In a quest to find more ugly buttons to jam down the side of the front page, I try signing on to Blogwise. Having entered a description, decided on a few keywords ("esoterica, misanthropy, pies") and the rest, I am confronted with a list of options regarding content rating. I can choose from:

  • Unrated
  • No nudity or sexual material
  • Occassionally [sic] contains sexual material
  • Regularly contains sexual material
  • Contains sexual material in an artistic context
  • Contains sexual material in an educational context
  • Contains sexual material in a medical context
And I just... I just don't know what to do. So far we've had talk of Mexican prison rape and the Gaping Vagina of Dita von Teese -- does that count as sexual material? Is it occasional or regular? And seriously, no, seriously: can I resist the urge to go for the medical porn option? (And considering the calibre of some of our contributors, it's only a matter of time, surely.)

Eventually, my dessicated corpse was scraped off the keyboard and buried without ceremony behind the local kindergarten. If it wasn't for the congenital vampirism, I'd have been in real trouble.


Apathy Jack said...

I'd say the sex talk here is irregular. Not that we don't do it a lot, just that it's irregular...

In terms of sexual material in an artisitc context, well, as I recall, Jellybean's upcoming exhibition ( was a strictly kit-off affair for everyone except me. So far theor has not been any sexual material in an educational context, but the worlds of sex and education will meet next week when I go back to school and start venting on this very site about how many of my kids have come back pregnant. As sexual material in a medical context, well, there's none on the blog proper (yet. Yet.) but frankly, some contributers have done the odd thing ( and respectively) that walk the line, you questionable wee perverts...

Anonymous said...

always thought that rationally, one would place limits the amount of time / effort required to investigate and make any given decision, and upon reaching the limit, a rational agent would pick a random action out of the best-equal known set of alternative actions. Am I missing something?


Josh said...

"Rational" isn't the same as "sensible". If there are no intrinsic grounds to choose one thing over another, there is no rational way to make the choice, but there's more to human beings than pure logic. In real life, having reached the limits of reason, a sensible person would, as you say, just make a random choice (or more likely, other pragmiatic factors would come into play - a right-handed person might instinctively go for the one on the right, or a person who reads from left to right might start with the left one).