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Initial post: Feb 4, 2011 6:11:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 4, 2011 6:11:31 PM PST
This is not an academic work. These two guys used Google to prove the theory they started with, which is not even worthy of being called "science" even to say it's bad, horrible, terrible science.

Multiple reputable scientists have explained in detail why this entire book is a pile of stinking nonsense:

http://neuroanthropology.net/2009/09/06/sex-lies-and-irb-tape-netporn-to-surveyfail/

http://www.roughtheory.org/content/wearing-the-juice-a-case-study-in-research-implosion/

http://mackle.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/the-curious-case-of-the-game-show-neuroscientists-or-how-not-to-research-an-online-community/

http://fanlore.org/wiki/SurveyFail

Posted on Feb 14, 2011 12:26:23 PM PST
J. Ross says:
Oh, thank you for these links! Time to boost the signal again...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2011 2:00:14 PM PST
jilell says:
Thanks for posting those links. In no way is this book anything remotely resembling "science."

Posted on May 4, 2011 8:49:23 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 4, 2011 8:51:28 AM PDT
ChiRaven says:
Hold on there just a minute. Those posts you are citing are from 2009, and refer to an entirely different work. They have nothing whatsoever to do with a book that is not even being released until tomorrow (5/5/2011), except that it is written by the same authors.

One of the things that I really hate to believe about today's scientific community is that it is terribly prejudiced. In this case, for example, too many people seem to automatically assume that since there were serious problems with a work by these researchers in 2009, their 2011 work will be similarly flawed. I've heard of academics who never change their lecture notes or their tests for their undergraduate courses, but never changing critiques for other people's writings even when they bring out a new book is a little much for me.

I have not read the current work, but I plan to do so, and to make a judgement based on the merits of THIS work, not on something else.

(And yes, I too found their prior work VERY objectionable and unscientific, particularly as it was aimed at a group related to a group I am fond of. But I'm not letting that bias my reading of the current work. I WILL know the kinds of errors I will be looking out for especially closely, but I will NOT automatically assume that they must of necessity be there.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2011 1:48:53 PM PDT
J. Davitt says:
I think this IS the same book the dreadful survey was for; they just changed the title. I was part of the group they tried to mine for data and trust me, none of us are going to forget the experience.

But it's the same book. They'd planned to bring it out last year, but I guess there was a delay.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2011 11:06:10 PM PDT
ChiRaven says:
Funny, the earlier reviews explicitly mentioned the fanfic connection, but nothing in the current reviews mentioned that link at all. The earlier work was apparently survey-based, but there is simply NO WAY that any book centered around a billion observations is survey-based. I took part in, and helped structure, what was probably the largest non-governmental ongoing survey research project in the world, I believe (the Bell System's TELephone Service Attitude Measurement project), and we never approached that number. At our peak, we were only completing about a million interviews per month nation-wide. (I'm not sure of the size of some of the governmental statistical studies ... they may be bigger than our TELSAM project. But having been involved in survey research for quite a number of years, I seriously doubt that there were private surveys that were larger.)

I'll certainly want to take a look at the book before making that judgement for sure ... you could well be right. But this does not seem, from the descriptions given on Amazon, like the survey-based fanfic study that is described in the reviews referenced by Stephanie Tuszynski.

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2011 5:03:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 5, 2011 9:12:55 AM PDT
J. Davitt says:
I never got the impression that their book would be comprised solely from the data gathered from the survey of slash writers, just partially, but the result was that in the end they got nothing usable from it. They could've gotten something pertinent from us if they'd actually been prepared to listen to what people told them or learn something about the community before they began asking questions, but that was never going to happen.

In the blurb on the Amazon page, there's this fanfic-related (and glaringly inaccurate) observation that highlights just how little they gleaned from their brief interaction and des seem to indicate that it's the same project renamed:

'Women enjoy writing and sharing erotic stories with other women. The fastest growing genre of erotic stories for women are [sic]stories about two heterosexual men having sex.'

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2011 12:59:06 PM PDT
ChiRaven says:
I will really have to read the book before being able to comment definitively, of course, but I could see how such a conclusion could be drawn simply from the traffic patterns and simple content analysis of web sites. In some cases sites explicitly target their material at one gender or another, and by tracking the flow of traffic to such sites over time it is relatively simple to determine the rates of growth of of various genres. Now naturally, this WOULD require some rather subjective judgement on the part of the researchers (just what, for example, constitutes the predominant theme in an erotic story or other material on a site, and how does one categorize the content of the site for statistical purposes), but I can see how this COULD be done within the parameters of what was primarily a traffic study. If this is NOT what the subject researchers did, I think it would make one HELL of a good study in its own right ... the study that they SHOULD have been done to justify the hoopla they are making over this!

I look forward to reading this book.

And incidentally, I am NOT expecting this book to live up to the expectations of a formal research report. This will probably read like the kind of summary one would send to a corporate vice-president, and anyone who has dealt with them KNOWS that vice-presidents typically have the attention spans of kindergarteners. If I trip over a single cross-tab in this book I will be amazed. If these people ARE legitimate researchers, however, one would hope that a formal technical research report based on the material presented here would eventually appear SOMEWHERE, even if it had to be self-published.

(Given the bias of academics against these people I've seen displayed in this forum, I can imagine that they might just have some problems with conventional publication. Having been somewhat familiar with the early publication history in the study of chaos and complexity theory, however, I am aware that there are times when academic prejudice DOES operate to stifle formal publication of legitimate but unconventional research in certain academic fields. Fortunately, additional non-traditional channels not available in earlier years make circumventing such prejudicial walls somewhat easier than they used to be.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2011 4:21:52 PM PDT
J. Davitt says:
I'm not disputing that the first sentence is true (amongst my online friends and fandoms anyway). I'd also agree that in the last few years slash/m/m erotic romance has taken off and is hugely popular. I write it, so I can see that reflected in my royalties. What is making me boggle is the idea that we write about straight men having sex, presumably with each other. Slash fanfic is often based on TV shows and books where the characters are coded as straight in a lot of cases (with plenty of canonical ambiguity to leave wiggle room, not that we need it because fic is all about the possibilities and the what ifs) but by the time they're being written about, they're gay or bi, not straight, in 99.9 % of the slash stories out there.

After all, if they were straight, they wouldn't, barring very special circumstances, be having sex with each other.

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2011 4:52:07 PM PDT
ChiRaven says:
Yes, that DOES seem a bit odd. Of course they could be talking about the transition (or even revelation) of the supposedly-straight male into a homosexual relationship (or, in some cases, vice-versa). I know of at least two women who were fascinated (in several ways, some of them quite ... interesting) by the treatment given this subject (in both directions, albeit briefly) in Robert Silverberg's novel "The Book of Skulls", for example. Anecdotal, of course, but revealing nevertheless perhaps.
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Participants:  5
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Feb 4, 2011
Latest post:  May 5, 2011

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A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World's Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire
A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World's Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire by Sai Gaddam (Hardcover - May 5, 2011)
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