Internet communities: Otters vs. Possums

Most of my friends have been on the internet, and I’ve spent many years as part of various internet communities, many of which I have moderated as either part of the mod team or the sole creator. (this also applies to irl communities, but the pattern is more obvious with online ones)

There’s a pattern that inevitably emerges, something like this:

  1.        Community forms based off of a common interest, personality, value set, etc. We’ll describe “people who strongly share the interest/personality/value” as Possums: people who like a specific culture. These people have nothing against anybody, they just only feel a strong sense of community from really particular sorts of people, and tend to actively seek out and form niche or cultivated communities. To them, “friendly and welcoming” community is insufficient to give them a sense of belonging, so they have to actively work to create it. Possums tend to (but not always) be the originators of communities.
  2.        This community becomes successful and fun
  3.        Community starts attracting Otters: People who like most cultures. They can find a way to get along with anybody, they don’t have specific standards, they are widely tolerant. They’re mostly ok with whatever sort of community comes their way, as long as it’s friendly and welcoming. These Otters see the Possum community and happily enter, delighted to find all these fine lovely folk and their interesting subculture.
    (e.g., in a christian chatroom, otters would be atheists who want to discuss religion; in a rationality chatroom, it would be members who don’t practice rationality but like talking with rationalists)
  4.        Community grows to have more and more Otters, as they invite their friends. Communities tend to acquire Otters faster than Possums, because the selectivity of Possums means that only a few of them will gravitate towards the culture, while nearly any Otter will like it. Gradually the community grows diluted until some Otters start entering who don’t share the Possum goals even a little bit – or even start inviting Possum friends with rival goals. (e.g., members who actively dislike rationality practices in the rationality server).
  5.        Possums realize the community culture is not what it used to be and not what they wanted, so they try to moderate. The mods might just kick and ban those farthest from community culture, but more frequently they’ll try to dampen the blow and subsequent outrage by using a constitution, laws, and removal process, usually involving voting and way too much discussion.
  6.        The Otters like each other, and kicking an Otter makes all of the other Otters members really unhappy. There are long debates about whether or not what the Possum moderator did was the Right Thing and whether the laws or constitution are working correctly or whether they should split off and form their own chat room
  7.        The new chat room is formed, usually by Otters. Some of the members join both chats, but the majority are split, as the aforementioned debates generated a lot of hostility
  8.        Rinse and repeat—

One problem is when Otters misinterpret Possum ideology. In Otterland where everyone has Otternorms, everyone is welcomed with open arms no matter who they are, and it takes seriously grievous offenses to get rejected from Otterland.

Possums with Possumnorms don’t have this system. In Possumland, not sharing the core culture is all it takes to get kicked out, and it’s not considered a grievous offense.

So when Otters enter Possumland, they see someone get kicked out, and get upset that Possums treat “dissenting thought” as a “grievous offense.” Possums, of course, don’t view it this way at all. They think the people they kick out are great and would love to interact with them in every context… outside of Possumland.

Otters and Possums tend to get into the “is elitism good” discussion – Otters will generally say things like “I want an inclusive and tolerant environment” and “I don’t want people to have to watch their every step” and “The thought of testing or filtering people for being good enough for admission here makes me really uncomfortable.” Otters tend to have experienced a lot of rejection in the past, and don’t want anybody else to suffer that feeling.

Possums are on the other side, saying “but you can’t just have a free for all,” or “this community is here for a specific purpose and it’s ok to get rid of people who don’t want it” and “I like having strict admission standards” and “we shouldn’t have to tolerate people who actively detract from conversation”

I think at the core of this is Otters interpreting Possum censorship as something personal, because their standard for feeling a sense of belonging is just ‘human decency’, and it’s difficult for them to empathize with a motivation of exclusion based on things beyond ‘human decency.’

I don’t really have a point with this, but I am interested in methods we can take to help preemptively solve this inevitable Otter vs. Possum clash and the dilution of group members. One idea is to have a periodic ‘chat splitting,’ where every 3-6 months (or when membership hits a certain number) there is a new forum/chatroom made, and people have to choose which group to join. This would help separate the Otters from the Possums in a way that is inevitable, thus hopefully creates no hard feelings. It could also be a giant explosion of drama, who knows.

Also, possibly normalizing the social differences between Otters and Possums and loudly labeling chatrooms by their spectrum on the Otter-Opossum scale. That way, if someone knows they’re stepping foot into Possum territory, they know that being kicked is more likely, and it’s also probably not personal at all.

There’s also lots of ways to try to filter out Otters from joining in the first place, like tests for entry, interviews, and trial periods. Otters tend to have little problem finding cultures in general to join, as they aren’t very selective, so I don’t think keeping Otters out of heavy Possum territory will actually be problematic for them at all.

Also strongly adjacent reading: Well Kept Gardens Die By Pacifism

How I Lost My Faith

I was homeschooled my whole life by a professionally evangelist father and a stay at home mother. My media was censored, my computer use secretly monitored, and my friends vetoed if they were not also sufficiently close to the Christian homeschooler sphere.

My science books derided evolution as a baseless idea. I was taught that the founding fathers were Christian and founded the United States for God. I attended a Ken Ham seminar. I protested abortion clinics. We switched out Bill Nye for a Christian version. For years we had Bible study 5 nights a week and went to church 3 times a week. I managed to get all the way to adulthood without once uttering a swear word.

I believed in Jesus and the Bible with all my heart – but this wasn’t an unquestioned belief. We studied ‘logical Christianity’, and I had many nights where I would discuss my doubts about Christian philosophy with intelligent theologians. I was surrounded by people from the Church who were open to any question, invited doubt, and presented answers in gentle, rational tones.

I wanted to be rational. The existence of other heretical, yet devout religions served as a huge, constant warning light to me in the back of my mind, and I feared that whatever fooled them might be fooling me now. I was aware, somewhere, that I might be wrong, but I had a lifetime of mental systems with which to handle that. I debated constantly. I studied atheist arguments and had my own refutations to everyone. I thought I knew.

I lost my faith shortly before I turned nineteen, and it wasn’t any one thing that did it.

I mean, I guess there was one thing that did it, but an echo in the mountains does nothing if there’s not already a bunch of snow built up and ready to fall.

Losing my faith was horrifying and painful. I refer to it as my

losingfaith.jpg
an art i made

‘faith’ and not my ‘religion,’ because religion is a word we use from the outside, as the observer watching the person bowed in prayer. For me, the person bowed in prayer, it was my faith, and to call it a religion feels like it undermines the meaningfulness of the feeling of “loving God”.

Nearly-nineteen, sitting there in that dorm room, I could feel my faith slipping away from my fingertips, and it was like trying to avoid a car crash in slow motion. No, no no no. I scrambled for answers, but all the ones I had studied so well suddenly seemed far away. I cried out to God to save me, because I couldn’t do it myself. It was a desperate, last plea to my beautiful savior and friend, and the silence I got back was utter despair.

The life I had known died right there. The way I knew the world – my education, my society, my purpose, my understanding of ethical behavior, of sex, obedience, submission, logic, origin of the universe – all of it crumbled around me and I suddenly knew nothing.

People sometimes ask the question of why it took so long. Really I’m amazed that it happened at all. Before we even approach the aspect of “good arguments against religion”, you have to understand exactly how much is sacrificed by the loss of religion.

People in bad relationships rationalize all the time. Relationships give a sense of purpose, of meaning, love, and stability. Breaking up really fucking sucks, and requires laboriously putting the pieces back together. We all tend to put off breakups for far too long, and we all probably know someone (maybe us) who has come up with a thousand reasons why the relationship is ‘actually fine’ while their life is getting slowly poisoned.

Expand the notion of a ‘relationship’ to your ‘entire life story’ and ‘connection to your entire community,’ and you might understand exactly why Christians are coming up with a thousand reasons as to why their faith is ‘actually right.’ Our brains are incredibly talented at making us feel like we have logical reasons to avoid pain and social exile.

Onto the arguments.

Christianity isn’t ‘wrong,’ really, or not obviously. For every objection I raised, there was an answer. It sometimes wasn’t an amazing answer – but then, science isn’t always full of amazing answers either. After enough questions and answers, I formed a general structure, complete with patterns and themes, “around” my sense of self, if you will oblige the metaphor. My mechanoid belief structure worked. With it I could deal with my community, my life, and my existential questions.

When other people attacked (why did God of the Bible kill innocent people?), I could fend off their assault on my structure with little pew pew shooty ‘don’t judge god with human morality’ guns (which had been preemptively installed by a sermon at age 12). I viewed things from my structure. My primary focus was building, maintaining, and defending my structure.

What the nonreligious get wrong a lot of the time is the idea that if you can just lead a Christian along the right logical path, they will realize that they are wrong. This is generally bullshit. Christians (and humans in general) are incredibly talented at organizing their structure in such a way that logic works to their favor. If a ‘good argument’ could bring down a Christian’s faith, then it would have happened a long time ago.

What brought down mine was not a good argument. It was a semi bad one, in hindsight, or at least weak in the idea that Christians have figured out some defense guns against it. I won’t specify it here, mainly because I’ve talked about it elsewhere and it would be too identifying.

What the argument did do was, for the first time, allow me to consider that maybe I was wrong.

If you’d asked me before to “consider you’re wrong,” I would have answered that “I have! All the time!” I would insist that I seriously considered other view points. I genuinely believed that “I was wrong” was an option in my mind.

But it wasn’t really, not like this. The argument jolted me so badly that I saw my own worldview from the outside, and it was all suddenly apparent to me how much patchwork I had needed for my defense, how teetering it was, all of the rationalizations I had pulled and twisted every which way. I was living in a structure built for defense, to which function came secondary.

Did it function? Yes, but I’d never before seen how ugly it was.

There are a few things I think that prepared me for this event. One is that for the last year or two I had increasing exposure to nonreligious communities. Somewhere deep down in subconsciousland, I began to realize that, ethically speaking, they weren’t much different than me. I could look at an atheist and feel, deep in my bones, that they were smart, that I could have been born them, that they were aware and thinking just like I was, and they didn’t seem to be evil.

I was “exposed to sin.” I saw people sinning (being gay! stealing a pencil! premarital sex! swearing!), and they were happy and fulfilled, sometimes even more than I was. Christians talk about “being a witness in word and deed,” but this is exactly what the nonChristians were doing to me.

The combination of reducing religious exposure and increasing nonreligious exposure was like starting to spend time away from an “abusive relationship” in the company of “new friends.” Even though I had no conscious intention to “break up,” somewhere subconsciously, the thought of leaving became a more viable option, less terrifying.

I’d also seen a LOT of atheistic arguments against Christianity. I could refute each one, but it took a little bit of effort and rationalization each time. This caused me to (again, very subconsciously, I never would consciously have admitted this) associate ‘effort and rationalization’ with my belief system, which primed me for leaving.

The argument itself had a few traits that made it a good trigger. One was that I hadn’t heard it before, and thus had no preconstructed defenses to ward it off. I wasn’t near my Christian community, so I didn’t have a pastor to quickly refute it for me.

Second is that the argument was nontrivial. It didn’t challenge something like a minor biblical inaccuracy, it challenged the very nature of God himself.

I was already primed, environmentally, to feel safe stepping outside of my structure, and a new argument was just the right thing to jolt me outside.

Once I saw my structure from the outside, that was the end of it all. There was no way I could step back into it, even if I wanted to. I left, and without me inside to hold it up, it crumpled into a thousand pieces that I could never put back together. I felt naked.

For a year I tried to salvage the ruins and ended up clothing myself in some ideological remnants like deism and evolution denial. Eventually I turned full skeptic-atheist, and then a few years later ended up attracted to zen, or a system of thought that seems similar to zen.

Belief systems aren’t “the things we’ve logically concluded about the world.” They are structures that give us a way to interact with our environment.

I can interpret my previous religion as something which allowed me to function in the environment in which I was raised. It’s amazing that something so motivated by function can result in beliefs that feel incredibly real. I have memories of sobbing on my knees, alone in my room except for the presence of Jesus. To me, my faith from the inside was powerful and tangible.

But it was this internal passion that was the necessary fuel to keep the teetering, haphazard structure of my belief intact. Religion would never have survived if at least some people didn’t feel it with all their might.

If you want to ‘deconvert’ someone, view it as if you want your friend to leave an abusive relationship. All you can do is be there for them, give them love, acceptance, and a safe space. Sometimes your friend might be receptive to arguments about why their relationship is bad, but usually they’ll just be defensive. Maybe one day they will leave, maybe they won’t. Remember that the relationship, no matter how bad it is, is fulfilling something for them. Try to be that fulfillment for them.

Sacrifice-blindness

I just read a comment on an Uber fundraising page for a lady with cancer. It said, “Uber should provide healthcare for all drivers instead of doing gofundme pages!”

I’m not here to debate whether or not that would be better, but rather to point out a phenomenon of sacrifice-blindness.

My friend sent me an article today about a kid falling out of a window on LSD. She doesn’t like that I do LSD. I told her that LSD was really safe and that more people fall out of windows on alcohol. She said,
momlsd

Frequently we point out things that are Good Ideas Motivated by Goodness, such as:

*Everyone should have access to health care
*Nobody should fall out of windows
*Avoid war no matter what
*Jobs should pay enough to cover all basic financial needs
*Terminal illnesses should be researched and cured
*Nobody should be racist
*Our culture should be protected from criminals
*We shouldn’t have our freedom infringed
*Provide the homeless with housing
*We need more after-school programs
*Employers should provide medical benefits to employees

I don’t disagree with the desires expressed by all these things, and I suspect almost nobody would. If I could press a button and magically everybody gets health care without any cost to anybody, I absolutely would.

And I don’t mean to make this an argument against the individual ideas expressed. Whether or not universal healthcare should be instituted is a whole different idea. What I am arguing is to eliminate sacrifice-blindness.

I am on a birth control that puts me at significantly increased risk for stroke. A few years ago I would have never considered taking this birth control, because “avoiding all things that increases health risk is a Good Idea Motivated by Goodness.” Good health was paramount above everything.

But really? Above everything? Even all the positive benefits the birth control pill gave me? By blindly accepting this rule of Goodness, I failed to consider what I was sacrificing to follow this rule – medication that would improve my quality of life. And once I stopped to actually consider the practical results of the options I was facing, my choice changed.

Preserve Human Life No Matter What is a frequently touted Good Idea Motivated by Goodness, but we don’t act according to it. We drive our families around in cars, putting them at risk of car accidents and death. Realistically speaking, the law we follow is more like Preserve Human Life As Long As It’s Mostly Convenient For Us.

And this is fine. Outlawing LSD to preserve safety might be a Good Idea Motivated by Goodness, but it ignores the sacrifice made for this – human autonomy in their own safety and all of the benefits of LSD.

Now, you can look at this evaluation and make a choice, and I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong. If you’re fully aware of all of the things you are sacrificing in order to gain “nobody falls out of a window,” then I cannot blame you, and now our discussion switches to one of personal value.

With the example of Uber and medical benefits – would it be a Good Idea to make Uber provide benefits to its employees independent contractors? Yes. But what would we be sacrificing in order to make this happen? Would this raise the cost of Uber, making Lyft a better option and putting Uber drivers out of business? Or making it less affordable for poor people in communities to have easy transportation? Or raise the barrier of entry for people who want to be Uber drivers, thus reducing the number of potential income sources that a desperate person might need to feed their family? Would requiring Uber to give out healthcare actually end up hurting poor communities the most? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe even if it did, it would still be worth it. But whatever our final choice, let’s not be sacrifice-blind.

I find that in the majority of political discussions I see, parties from all sides engage in sacrifice-blindness in pursuit of touting Good Ideas Motivated by Goodness. I suspect that if everyone knew exactly what would be sacrificed if their idea was actually perfectly implemented, people would agree with each other much more often.

Filling the Dating Role

A: “You’re looking for someone to fill the position of head software engineer for your company.”

B: “That’s right.”

A: “What sort of things are you looking for? Good work history? Proficiency in programming languages? Ability to manage?”

B: “What kind of employer do you think I am? I mean I’m not against those things, but really, I’m just a simple worker at a simple company. The most important attributes in an employee are kindness, a sense of humor, loyalty, and intelligence.”

A: “What?”

B: “I mean, would you hire anyone who was mean, or an idiot, or boring?”

A: “I’d prefer not to, but that’s not the point. You’re hiring them to perform a specific duty.”

B: “And that specific duty will be done poorly if they aren’t funny, intelligent, or kind.”

A: “Yes, those things are important – but they’re base things we want for any human we have to interact with regularly, ever – for any job, for a roommate, for a friend. And yes, those traits can offset a little bit qualification – you’d probably prefer a very emotionally mature but slightly less qualified worker over an emotionally immature but overly qualified worker – but it still gives us no information about how well they’ll perform specifically to the role itself! The base traits of funny-intelligence-kindness are like a platform upon which you build the rest of the structure of qualifications, and when I ask about the role, I am asking about that structure, not the platform.”

This is how I feel when I ask people what they look for in a romantic partner and they reply with “funny-intelligent-kind”. (For the purposes of this post, the generic positive personality trait cluster will be known as FIK.)

I think it’s particularly important because we frequently say being FIK is what’s the most attractive, but then we go on to avoid dating most of the super-FIK people. It’s sort of like if, in a job application, the requirements said they were looking for FIK applicants, but then went on to completely ignore the ones highest on the FIK spectrum.

If you point out that they’re not selecting for FIK, usually the response is something like “but I would never be attracted to someone who wasn’t FIK!” This is true, but not illuminating. The question about selection comes from the aspects that fit the specific role, not the basic FIKness required for form the platform base for that role.

FIKness is something we want for all people in our life, not just dating, so saying you want a FIK person to date reveals nothing about your actual dating requirements.

So to learn about aspects unique to the “dating role,” we have to disregard all qualities that are equally desirable for other roles, friendship included. Anything FIK-related, throw out.

For men dating women, the answer is kinda obvious – physical beauty. For women dating men, power.

This last part is worth its own set of discussion, but I’ll save that for another time – this post was mostly just a response to a few discussions I’ve had with people who claimed FIKness for their romantic selection and were resistant to pointing out role-specific requirements.

Men Who Tip Camgirls: Survey Results

Higher tippers like what sorts of camgirls more?
A: Girls who complain about freeloaders
B: Girls who talk loudly about feminism
C: Girls who look really girl next door
D: Begging for tips on social media
E: ALL OF THE FUCKING ABOVE?!

I started out with 951 responses. I’m interested in motivations of common tippers, so I threw out women tippers and people who said they never watched camgirls. I did, however, leave in two attack helicopters and a deep-dish pizzakin.
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This left me with a sample size of 850 responses.

I grouped some answer sets that had low count, but not very many. Nearly all categories have over 40 responses.

I used DataHero because I’m a complete newb.

If you want more details, check out the camgirl survey

ONTO THE JIZZ

DataHero Age and Watch Rate2.png
I apologize for the graph order.
The older the (bottom range of the) age group, the more frequently they watch camgirls.

DataHero Age and Tipping.png
The older the man, the more he’s likely to tip. This makes a lot of sense, young men are poor. Thanks Obama!

DataHero Tips and Camgirl Fidelity.png
This is fascinating and I don’t know what it means exactly. What the hell is that 2-3 girl range doing so low?

DataHero Freeloader Complaints and Tip amounts.png
The question was, do you have higher approval of girls who express disapproval of freeloaders (7) or girls who don’t (1)?

The more likely men are to approve of a camgirl complaining about freeloaders, the more they are likely to tip. This is interesting and kind of contradicts the camgirl graph from the sister study reporting slightly lower income the more likely they are to complain about freeloaders.

DataHero Room Complaints and Tip Amounts.png
Again, 1 is ‘less likely to tip’ and 7 is ‘more likely to tip.

The question was about camgirls expressing disappointment or displeasure in her room counts or tip amounts being low. I am absolutely astonished to see higher tippers rating this as increasing the likelihood that they will tip her. Of course, maybe they aren’t being honest with themselves, but who knows? I will ask this question in my next camgirl survey to see their side.

DataHero Asking for Tips and Tippers.png
What is this crazytown?? Men more likely to view “begging camgirls” (camgirls who ask for passive tips through non-live means, such as social media) favorably are also bigger tippers. I mean maybe this is obvious to some of you but it’s blowing my mind.

DataHero Camgirl Respect Attempts and Tipping.png
The more a camgirl verbally demands respect, such as saying ‘camgirls deserve respect!’, the more high tippers view her favorably.

I’m starting to think high tippers aren’t the kind of people I thought they were. I had this image of high tippers as world-weary sorts of people, who had plowed through a thousand camgirls and weren’t easily manipulated. I think this idea comes from the sense of powerlessness camgirls frequently have in regards to finding big tippers, and the idea that if she only figures out the ‘secret code’ or something that big tippers want, then they will come to her.

This is painting a different picture. It seems to indicate that high tippers are only special in that they tend to be predisposed (maybe?) to view money-based cam behaviors favorably, or that they have a higher than expected tolerance to camgirls making demands about their jobs and those who watch them (e.g., fuck freeloaders!).

Is this a status thing? That girls who portray a sense of entitlement also seem to be harder to get, and thus men try harder to get them?

I’m really not sure though, definitely open to different ideas on this!

DataHero Indirect Camgirl Respect Attempts and Tipping.png

Weirdly, “indirect respect” attempts (such as emphasizing behind-the-scenes skill it takes to do her job) is more polarizing. The answers on both ends are a bit lower in number though (around 30-40 responses for 1 and 7), does this have something to do with it?

DataHero Feminist Vocalness and Tip Amount.png
The more a man tips, the more likely he is to rate vocal feminism favorably, with a dropoff at the extreme.

DataHero Alternative Aesthetic and Tips.png

This holds up strongly with the camgirl side of the results, too. The more alternative a girl’s style, the less money she makes. Here we see that people who really like alternative styles tend to tip less.

DataHero Traditional Aesthetic and Tips.png

In hindsight I phrased this a bit poorly, but the general idea stands I think. The more ‘girl next door’ a woman looks, the more men report tipping her. The spike around the 3 is interesting, maybe corresponding to the little spike at the 7 on the previous graph? There was a low sample count for that 3, so it might be just high variance.

Overall I would read out of this that polarizing looks (very traditional/aesthetic) do better than middling looks, and that very traditional looks do better than very aesthetic looks.

DataHero Name Announcement and Tip Amount.png
High tippers tend to like the far ends of the spectrum here too, but in general, announcing the name seems like a nicer option.

DataHero Crying on Cam.png
Men who tip a lot are more likely to rate crying camgirls favorably. WHAT IS THIS FUCKING CRAZY WORLD WE LIVE IN

DataHero Room Count and Tip.png

Okay, finally something I understand. The higher the room count of the girl (options were a range of 30 to 300 count), the more likely higher tippers are to clear 10% of the girl’s countdown.

DataHero Girl Getting Tipped and Tip.png

Same question, except instead of low and high room count, it’s low and high tip amount.

The more a man tips, the more likely he is to say he will tip a girl getting few tips instead of many tips.

i dont understand

i don’t understand at all

——–

I have emerged from this more confused than when I started. High tippers report viewing more favorably girls who complain about freeloaders, complain about their room, and who demand respect – all generally behaviors I previously thought were turnoffs.

High tippers also apparently like high room counts with low tips?

ARE HIGH TIPPERS JUST LYING TO US???

This has raised a billion more questions than it answered. More surveys to come after I uncomfortably mull this over.

Have a bonus graph about how high tippers are more likely to date camgirls who refuse to quit camming: DataHero Dating Camgirls and Tips.png

Categories Fun

What makes a camgirl successful? Survey results

Option A: Having natural hair color
Option B: Being really hot
Option C: Doing lots of drugs
Option D: Doing a fuckton of games
Option E: All of the above

hint: the answer is E

My Data Has Limits, Beware!

I got 311 responses from people who identified as cam performers. I threw out all male cammers, people who hadn’t cammed in the last 6 months, people who had wildly inconsistent answers, and people who skipped a lot of questions.

This left me with a sample size of 278.

If there weren’t a lot of answers in a category, sometimes I grouped them together. For example, when asked to rate their own attractiveness, only a handful gave answers spread around the range of 1-5. I combined all of them to function as 5. So, for example, “15% of girls are 5 or under, 22% are 6, 18% are 7, etc.” I don’t know if this is the right way to handle data, so if I made an error here, let me know!

I tried to ensure all categories had at least 25 responses, but most have over 30.

All spectrum answers were out of 7 (e.g., on a scale from 1 (low) and 7 (high), rate your body weight)

I think the error margin for my answers is 5-7%, based off of some light googling, but the margin is probably much higher for correlations. Try to squint when you look at the graphs.

I used DataHero, a correlation finder for dummies complete idiots.

Also please remember my sample size is camgirls who are involved in networking! I used twitter and forums to spread the survey, so I missed camgirls who are disconnected from the community, and their numbers might be very different.

Onto the juice:

DataHero Untitled.png

When I asked about income, I asked for ranges, and plugged in the numbers as the bottom of that range. For example: an income of $1-10 I registered as ‘1.’ The number you see is the average sum of the bottom of all the ranges. The highest category is $200+/hr.

So, out of camgirls who struggle with anxiety/depression frequently, the bottom range of their earnings is $45/hr. Girls who don’t struggle make a bottom range of $62/hr. I don’t actually know if this is the right way to categorize the data, but at least the comparisons between categories seem legit for now.

The total average bottom-range number of all responses is $49 per hour.

DataHero Over last 6 mon, have you struggled with anxietydepression.png

Remember that correlation does not equal causation! It might be that girls who make more money end up being financially secure which leads to less depression. It might also be that girls who are prone to depression have this affect their work life, thus leading to lower income. I don’t know which one it is. Maybe/probably both.

Income and age:DataHero Income and age
I would guess that newer girls tend to be younger, and as thus have a less established base and less income. The income increases once the base is established, but drops off once get too ripe.

DataHero Age and Length of Cam Career
This seems to hold somewhat true. The 27-32 and the 33+ year old categories each generally have been camming for the same amount of time, but those over 33 make substantially less. The 23-26 year olds have cammed for less time than the 27+ age group, but make more money.

DataHero Length of Cam Career and Income.png

If you’ll notice I fucked up a bit when asking about length of camming. If you’ll also notice, there’s no difference in income between girls who have cammed 0-6 months and girls who’ve cammed 6-12 months. 2 years is where it really starts to take off. I don’t know about that dip in the 3rd year.

So far it looks like the secret to success is “start camming really young” and “cam for a long time.”

DataHero Body Weight.png
(Due to low answers, I combined people who answered “1” or “2” into just “2”, and same for 6-7)

Looks like 3/7 bodyweight earns the most – with an interesting spike at the heavier end. Is this a sign of niche preference for fluffier ladies?

DataHero Is camming your only source of income.png
This one is pretty obvious. Remember we don’t know which causes which – the income or the time put in!

DataHero Hours Per Week and Income.png
Turns out the ‘0-5′ and the ’40+’ categories have only around 20 responses each, so expect higher variance there.
That being said, all ways I looked at the data showed a spike around 10-20 hours a week, and 40+ hours a week. Is this indicative of two different types of successful camgirl strategies?

DataHero Days per week and income (1).png
I took out the ‘0-1’ category because there were few responses, but the average reported income for 0-1 days was very low. I say this because I don’t understand why 2 days a week is so high.

DataHero Hours and Days.png
That being said, the hours and days correlation is beautifully strong.

But it looks like there’s a bit of two sweet spots here – working 2 days a week, or 10-15 hours, and working 40+ hours a week, or 5 days a week.
There wasn’t enough data to look closely at the distinctions of hours ‘more’ than 40 a week, but I would guess it falls off at the upper ends, much like days of week falls off once you work over 5 days a week.

Remember: correlation does not equal causation. Working more than 5 days a week does not mean you will make less per hour – it’s very possible that 7-day girls are also ones who work from studios, or split-cam, or something, and thus bring down the income numbers. I don’t know.

DataHero Attractiveness and Income.png
(I combined responses in 1-5 and 9-10 due to low counts)
And maybe the obvious thing we all want to ignore – hotter (at least self-reported hotter) girls make more money. A 6/10 girl will make, on average, a whopping $33 less per hour than a 9/10 girl.

Of course it’s possible girls who think they are hotter are more confident, and confidence is what earns more money. I personally doubt this, however.

DataHero Predicted rank and Actual Income.png

For this question, I asked girls to rank themselves in comparison to other camgirls (for income), and then compared it to the actual income ranking.

There might be something fucky going on with the way I organized the data, but from this it looks like girls who rated themselves “3” or “4” (out of 7) in comparison to other camgirls are overrating themselves. You 3 and 4 girls, you’re doing worse than you think!

DataHero Hair Color and Income.png
Blonde and Brunette competes for the goal, while ‘Other’ lags behind. (grey was an option, but there were so few responders that I filtered that out.) There’s a pretty significant difference in income, with ‘other’ hair colors earning $24 less per hour.

I thought that maybe less attractive people tend to dye their hair weird colors, so I looked at the correlation between hair color and self-rated attractiveness. There was no significant correlation (the biggest difference was 7.26 at black hair, and 7.52 at blonde hair, which I don’t think is a huge difference? ‘Other’ was 7.45, anyway).

DataHero Sexy Shows and Income
Here, “1” was “no sexualness” and “7” was “very explicit. I interpret this as “non-nude” models doing ok, and “kinda sexy girls” doing ok, with everyone else failing for some reason. I really don’t understand that huge difference between 3 and 4.

DataHero Alcohol and Drugs and Income.png

The question was “Do you drink or do other drugs specifically to assist with cam performance or coping with camming?”

I thought maybe this is due to correlation with camming time – girls who cam for a long time eventually turn to drugs or alcohol to cope/help. I was right!
DataHero Cam Career Length and DrugAlcohol use.png
DataHero Member Communication and Income.png
I merged ‘no’ (very few responses) into ‘rarely.’
And, as is unsurprising, the more girls talk to their members off cam, the higher their income.

DataHero Freeloader Complaints and Income.png
This is the question that started it all! I wanted to know if girls who vocalize their disapproval of freeloaders tend to make more or less money. Girls who say ‘no’ or ‘rarely’ make more money than girls who say ‘frequently’ or ‘occasionally’ – though frequently makes more money than occasionally. I don’t know what that’s about.

DataHero Games and Income.png

Here, ‘1’ was low on the “how much do you do games” scale, and ‘7’ was high.

This is really interesting. Girls who say they are 7 on the scale of games do way better than everyone else.

DataHero Site and Income.png
Interestingly, Chaturbate cammers do worse than ‘other.’ Unsurprisingly, MFC girls rake in the big bucks.

DataHero Number of Sites and Income.png
Girls who use 1 site make $28 more per hour than girls who use 2.

DataHero Top 3 Tippers and Income.png
The question was, what percentage of your income comes from your top 3 tippers?
(each answer was a range; ’90’ on the graph was ’90-100%’ range in the answer selection)

DataHero Vocalizing Complaints and Income.png
The question was about whether girls vocalize their complaints about slow days. The results weren’t strong and it appears as though this doesn’t have any significant effect on income.

DataHero Relationship Status and Income.png
Girls who pretend they are single make $18/hr more than girls who admit they aren’t.
However girls who don’t have a SO at all make even less. Most probably, men are less likely to tip girls who they know are dating someone. However a few things:

Girls who have jealous SOs might be more open about them, and jealous SOs might be less supportive of camming in other areas.
Girls with supportive SOs might put less pressure on them to disclose their relationship.
Girls who don’t have any SOs might have much less help in camming overall.

Although – are less attractive girls less likely to date? Let’s check.
DataHero Relationship Status and Attractiveness.png
Nope! No correlation to attractiveness (biggest difference is 0.12).
I suspect this indicates that SOs provide a great deal of behind-the-scenes assistance and motivation.

It’s also possible that girls without SOs also tend to have fewer household expenses, and thus need to make less money to support themselves, and so take camming less seriously.

I don’t think I had enough data to make good predictions about age and relationship status, but it’s possible older women still camming are more likely to be single, and older women make less money.

DataHero Physical Sex and Income.png

“For pay” category had low response number, so don’t take it too seriously.
That being said, 22.4% of girls reported having sexual contact with their members, 15% of it voluntary. Girls who have had voluntary sexual contact with their members make more money. I think this is just that girls who cam longer both tend to make more and tend to eventually become more likely to sex a member. I checked – girls who haven’t sex’d a member have been camming on average 2.55 years, and those who ‘have’ voluntarily sex’d a member have cammed on average 3.62

DataHero Niche Cammers and Income.png

Had low-ish (25) numbers for ‘yes, very much’ so take it with a grain of salt.

DataHero Aesthetic Style and Income.png
Here, 1 was ‘very alternative, tattoos, piercings, etc.’ and 7 was ‘very traditional; no piercings, long hair, etc.’

Generally speaking, the more traditional a camgirl looks, the higher her income.

DataHero Thinking About Work and Income.png
0-4 were combined due to low answer volume.
Looks like girls who either don’t take their work home with them, or do, make the most.

DataHero Parents and Length of Cam Career.png
I initially did this as correlation between parents and income, but then I figured it’s probably more just about ‘how long have you been camming,’ and I think I was right. The longer a camgirl has been camming, the more likely it is that their parents know.

Since the graph cuts it off – the first ‘yes” is “mostly accepting,” and the second “yes” is “mostly disapproving.”

And, as a last bonus: non-nude models (both strictly and loosely, so probably including ‘teasy’ models) make only $4 less per hour than nude models!

So in summary: Start camming early. Be young. Have cammed a lot. Work either really hard or kinda hard, but nowhere in between. Be traditional. Don’t have weird colored hair. Do drugs and drink. Don’t have anxiety. Cam on MFC (only) and do a ton of games. Be super hot. Talk to your members offline. Have sex with your members. Get a boyfriend but don’t tell anyone about it. Don’t be too graphically sexy. Be kinda skinny but not too skinny.

And whalah, you have the recipe (or a description, at least) of a successful camgirl!

If you’re interested in taking more surveys, all currently open ones are under the ‘surveys’ tab above, and I will tweet about new ones I add. This survey has taught me a lot about what things to avoid in survey making, and hopefully the next one will be a lot more accurate, fine-tuned, and useful!

Thank you everyone for your help!

Bonsciousness

Disclaimer: I have a spectrum of posts, from “thoughtfully laid out to attempt to appeal to people who disagree” to “more quickly summarized to appeal to people who already at least partially agree with me.” This post is in the second category.

I want to contribute another word to my pile of cheesy invented terms: bonsciousness.

One of my pet peeves is people confusing questions about consciousness. I’ve seen “can we ever scientifically solve the hard problem of consciousness?” uttered just a few sentences away from talking about “what is the origin of qualia.” Consciousness is a fascinating problem for reasons that render those questions useless, but in order to make this more clear I want to divide the one concept into two.

“Consciousness” is the word we (should?) use for the conceptual model we have of “other things being self aware.” When we ask the question, “how do we know if an AI should be treated ethically?” we’re probably asking if the AI is conscious. The P-Zombie thought experiment has to do with whether or not other beings contain this elusive “consciousness” quality.

Consciousness can’t be known for sure, as we could be in a simulation where everyone else just behaves very convincingly, or a dream where we are absolutely convinced that we are talking to an intelligent friend, despite them just being a projection of our own minds.

When we handle the concept ‘consciousness,’ we’re usually handling something like the concept of ‘how much do we feel that other beings exhibit patterns that we uniquely identify with’ – as in, we might think an AI is conscious if it can do things like “use language creatively.”

The key concept of consciousness is that it is something that can be applied to multiple things. There can be multiple consciousnesses, whatever it means or however sure we are of it existing. Multiple awarenesses feel like it makes sense, and is calculable, or measurable, and one day we might be able to do better science to it and feel like we’ve made additional consciousnesses.

Bonsciousness, on the other hand, is fundamentally singular. It is the subjective and immediate awareness of the self. It is direct experience.

The concept of bonsciousness becomes relevant in thought experiments like Mary’s Room (if a color blind scientist studies color for a thousand years, will surgically fixing her color blindness on the 1000th year give her any new information?), in questions of identity – but it always has to do with the nature of experience.

It cannot be multiple. If you try to imagine someone else possessing bonsciousness, you are not thinking about bonscoiusness, you are thinking about consciousness. This may seem a subtle distinction, but I find it incredibly important. Teleportation poses no deep philosophical questions when it happens to other people – the importance lies in the subjective and personal experience. The question “does teleportation kill you” relies on what the continuation of experience feels like – while the question “is AI conscious” relies on whatever markers we have that we think needs to be met for consciousness to exist. These are two questions that come from two hugely different types of ideas.

I find this to be an unintuitive distinction for some people, as it’s very common for people to combine the concepts of consciousness and bonsciousness in their own mind. I also find that if one does not already find self-awareness to be deeply philosophically strange, it’s difficult to induce that sensation in them through argument alone and I don’t expect this post would accomplish that.

I do suspect, though, that at least attempting to use different terms for singular/multiple ideas of consciousness would clarify a lot of the conversations I’ve been listening to lately. I’ve been hearing people ask a question about bonsciousness and then attempt to answer as though they’re talking about consciousness, which is quite frustrating.

Bonsciousness is so elusive because it is about a category of knowledge that isn’t measurable, and trying to treat it as measurable shuts down a lot of avenues of learning.