Wednesday, October 08, 2008

No clothes on Sunday

My cousin had his wedding this past Sunday somewhere in New Jersey, so I rented a car and Camille and I were off. We decided to stop by a Walmart in (I think) Bergen County only to find it closed. Now being a Florida boy, this was unheard of. Walmart hardly ever closes. It wasn't Christmas day or anything. We decided to stumble into this other store in the same plaza to discover a rope hanging over the section where they sold clothing with a sign that said "No Clothing Sold on Sundays." I asked the cashier why that was, if it was a religious thing or something, and was amazed to hear that it was a local law: clothing cannot be sold on Sunday. Wow! I have heard of alcohol not being sold on Sunday, but clothing? "We don't want women getting intoxicated with the desire to shop on the Sabbath." I mean, how do they justify that? I think they are called the Blue Laws. Camille looked it up but I am too lazy to find a link.

So I was clearing some stuff off my computer and came across some screen shots of these IATs (implicit association tests) that I took a while back, after reading Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcom Gladwell. Essentially, what they tests do is gauge your unconscious by evaluating your answers AS WELL AS your reaction times. It concludes any biases you may have that underlie your consciousness. You can take them on the Harvard website. I took a couple and here are my results:

The first one I took was the Three Countries IAT to figure out which countries I had more of an affinity for or which countries I had a negative perspective on. I think they populate random countries when you take it, in this case it was China, India, and Japan. As you can see, all three of those countries rank the same in how I perceive them. Boring, I know. I was hoping to uncover something amazing, but I guess I don't love or hate any of them.

Next I took the Fat - Thin IAT. Now we have some controversy here! As you can see, I have a moderate automatic preference for thin people as compared to fat people. With most people falling into this category, I guess I am the norm in that respect...though I would have figured as much.

Anyway, if you haven't read Blink (or any of Malcom Gladwell's works), I suggest that you do. His books are both written well and dynamic. The Tipping Point is a must, but he does have a new book (Outliers) coming out soon that I am looking forward to. There is a video in that link with him speaking about it, but it is essentially a dive into the background of those people who deviate from the norm (in success, etc.) and what made them that way, where they came from, etc.

Anyway, skateboarding...there is a contest coming up the day after Halloween:

It isn't what I was referencing in my last post, but it should be fun anyway. I think I am going to try to make it out to this one.

I'll leave you with these pictures:

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