Archive for September, 2009

Facebook Friend Stats and Gender Ratios of Skeptics

Only a cold-hearted scientist can take their friends and turn them into numbers. Courtesy of the Friend Facts Facebook app, I have the following statistics regarding my Facebook friends:

Gender breakdown: 33% female / 67% male
Relationship status: 57% single / 43% taken
Political breakdown: 97% democrats / 3% republicans
Geographic distribution: 12 countries, 24 states
Most common zodiac sign: Aries (20 friends)
Favorite music: Pink Floyd (16 friends)
Favorite TV show: House (17 friends)
Favorite movie: Fight Club (12 friends)
Favorite book: The God Delusion (21 friends)
Favorite activity: Reading (23 friends)

Now, my Facebook friends are pretty much entirely comprised of skeptical people because they come seeking me because I’m mildly Internet-“famous”. Of course, these are mostly skeptics who like me (there are some who don’t) so it’s biased in that way, but humor me for a little bit.

I’m unsurprised but highly amused by the most common activity, book, and TV show. I’m mildly surprised by the political distribution although I’d have suspected it. However, since this app does not take into account the Libertarians I must be friends with, I’m going to go ahead and assume I generally only piss off the socially conservative of the fiscally conservative population.

But I suspected all along that you shifty Aries were more disposed towards skepticism of astrology!

What’s really bothering me, though, is the gender ratio. From what I’ve heard, TAM 7 (or was it 6? I’ve forgotten already) also had a similar ratio. Most skeptics were saying that was only because women aren’t as inclined towards going to conferences and that outside of the conference the ratio was more balanced, but I didn’t meet all these people at TAM.

Seeing that I’m a blogger, however, perhaps it is true that the number of skeptics in general has a balanced gender ratio but women are less interested in skeptical activism.

But, of course, this is just my Facebook and I’m but one person. I can only speculate a little.

Now, this isn’t very scientific, but I’m just a little bit curious. I’d like anybody reading this with a Facebook to use this app and post your stats in the comments.

The Future of Elles?

I suppose in making this post my purpose here is to simply mark a time of ambiguity in my blogging career.

In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t blog very often any more. At least, not as much as I used to.

Most of this I attribute to the fact that school keeps me increasingly busy nowadays so I don’t keep up with stuff as much, anymore. Part of it I attribute to my Twitter account. Instead of posting articles I find and my commentary here, I usually just put it up on my Twitter and sum up my likes  or dislikes in less than 140 characters. And, there’s also the matter of Teen Skepchick, which I know I can cross-post stuff from there onto here, but I try to keep content rather separate, so when I do have something to write about it usually goes there.

But sometimes I wonder if it’s just because I’m sick of repeating myself. How many times can you refute the same tired old creationist question of “if humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys”?

Yesterday, I realized that I have been posting slightly more regularly on Teen Skepchick than on this blog, and I kind of feel like the reason I’m doing that is it seems a more important project to me. So what if I stopped posting here altogether? Well, I dunno.

Apparently, I’ve also just changed my blog name from Splendid Elles to Plain and Simple Elles on a whim. The “plain and simple” bit is a reference from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine which I’ve been watching a lot of, but I won’t go into a description of the particular scene because it’s not that important. I think it’s because I, Elles, am many things, not just “splendid”, and I want people to think about me as a complex whole that is Elles, and not just “The Splendid One”. I may change the name back, we’ll see.

Advice is welcome, but I promise you that when I do have time, and when I do see misinformation in the media, in creationist propaganda, or anywhere from an Internet chatroom to a lunchtime discussion, I’ll be here to call “them” out on it.

Where’s My Cookie Dough?

This is the sort of thing I do in history when we’re talking about people like Aquinas:


  1. I can conceive in my mind of the tastiest batch of cookie dough.
  2. Existence is tastier than non-existence.

Therefore, the Tastiest Batch of Cookie Dough must exist.

I think I’ve said that on Twitter in one form or another before, but I was just going over my notes and noticed it… along with some rant about Star Trek. I think that means I need to pay more attention in class?