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A New HalfBaked Research Project

Help create a Harvard undergrad's anthropology paper on the halfbakery!
 
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In a class in the Harvard Anthropology department, we must write a paper chronicling and analyzing and interesting online community. The class has been devoted to trying to understand how "online interactions" are (or whether they should be, indeed) different from social interactions "in real life." We have been trying to understand how the internet functions as a human community, a culture shaped and inhabited by thinking and feeling beings.

And at the end of the class, we humble students must write a long (15-20 pg, but creative!) research paper. I bumped into this site near the beginning of the semester...somehow--I don't rightly remember--and it made perfect sense for me to write a "serious" academic paper on the community that I found myself increasingly interested in and attached to. Now, I recognise that nick_n_uit already wrote one--it is very interesting!, see it at: http://wiw.org/~absterge/HB/hbreportintro.html--but I feel that I am pursuing a different line of inquiry and still have things to offer...

but only if I have people to interview! If you are a frequent user of the halfbakery and would be willing to submit to a relatively painless at-most-an-hour-long email interview (other forums can be negotiated!), please let me know here in the annotations or by email at: halfbakedresearch@yahoo.com. And, of course, if you have any questions, fire 'em my way, as well. I look forward to hearing from y'all!!

[note: this project has been approved by the bakesperson, so it is legit. I hope very much that I have something new to offer everyone, a new perspective or an interestingly penetrating analysis. So help me out, and hopefully we'll create something awesome together!]

halfbakedresearch, May 02 2004

(?) nick_n_uit's paper as a link. http://wiw.org/~abs.../hbreportintro.html
[jutta, Oct 06 2004]

(??) The Paper! http://www.geocitie...m/halfbakedresearch
The first version of the paper has arrived...tell me what you think. [halfbakedresearch, Oct 06 2004]

[link]






       ... and we all get to see the result, right?   

       [As I wrote in e-mail, I don't think that people should get to veto research on something that's already public; but it's nice of you to tell people what's going on and talk to them, rather than just peering at the anthill from above and scribbling little notes on a pad of paper as you occasionally chuckle to yourself.   

       Anyway, if you have some time to spare, gentle users, please help out.   

       [Psst, the word "different" is missing from your second sentence.]
jutta, May 02 2004
  

       anthro-apology? just teasing!
po, May 02 2004
  

       halfbakedresearch; Click on your user name to go to your Profile Page. Put your email addy on it. Then start clicking on username's which interest you for whatever reason. NOT to contact them - Let 'bakers voluntarily contact you, just as you originally requested.   

       The "idea" is, that you'll find a whole slew of random thoughts *about* the 'bakery on many a profile page. It's noninvasive, informative, and preps you for some emails which are sure to come. That said...   

       Hate anything that is banal or hackneyed, and learn the tricks of the trade. Want ideas to combine technical excellence with true elegance and beauty. On these points there can be spontaneous and immediate collaboration between us. Through my fellow baker's work, my work and my collaborators' work, our new designs have found outward form, a language of expression, and a means of being comprehensible and meaningfuI to everyone.
thumbwax, May 02 2004
  

       That last paragraph had me worried until I checked thumb's profile page, and found this quote right above it: "I have found that if you want people to love you unconditionally, you have to hypnotize them, or build them from harvested organs."
ldischler, May 02 2004
  

       I'll be on my best behaviour, starting.......NOW!

<<quickly sneaks into profile page to delete "butt wedge">>
lintkeeper2, May 02 2004
  

       Seems to me that one on one interviews taken the individual out of the context of the on-line community. It is like capturing a golden eagle (or in [UB]'s case, one of those quoll critters), putting it in a cage, feeding it Capn Crunch and trying to understand what it is about. Heisenberg and all that!
bungston, May 02 2004
  

       As was my wish with nick's paper, I'd prefer if my name, ideas or comments were not used, thanks.
waugsqueke, May 02 2004
  

       Well, i suppose I should respond!   

       First of all, everyone will be able to see the paper--I will post it for everyone to read and comment on when i turn it in. I look forward to hearing what people have to say.   

       Secondly, I will work to make sure that my research takes the community into account--that is what I am researching, after all! I will customize some of each interview to cover individuals' ideas and comments, as well as their user profiles, and I will also be snooping around the ideas and the comments...how could I not?   

       As I will tell everyone in the interviews themselves, please tell me if you wish to remain anonymous and we can discuss--I would be happy to leave all identifying information out, if you so wish. I will also contact every user, if possible, to let them know I plan on discussing their idea in the paper and to obtain their OK.   

       Keep the ideas comin, y'all, and I'll keep thinking!   

       cheers
halfbakedresearch, May 02 2004
  

       [Waugs], I hate to mention it now, but I just put out a short work comprised entirely of your ideas and comments. And name, although I changed it to Snortblorticus. It is actually a two-act musical number - not too peppy, very dignified.
bungston, May 02 2004
  

       Another short note:   

       if you feel the interview format will leave you cold, please don't hesitate to send me an email or comment here with general thoughts, questions that you think would be helpful, fun, interesting, or CRUCIAL for me to look at, ideas that you or others have created that you feel are especially interesting, cool, funny, communal, or wrong, or just general suggestions. I appreciate any and all input and would like to make this as interactive and "communal" as possible--it is a community, after all. I will, of course, credit everyone who helps out in any way, because it will be your project as much as it is mine.   

       OK, enough general stuff from me. cheers, all.
halfbakedresearch, May 02 2004
  

       What [greyure] said.
dpsyplc, May 02 2004
  

       ldischler, I give credit where credit is due, so only a full quote will suffice:   

       This isn't a forum of evil? Oh. <crestfallen> I have found that if you want people to love you unconditionally, you have to hypnotise them, or build them from harvested organs.   

       -friendlyfire, May 16 2003
thumbwax, May 02 2004
  

       What’s needed is a ‘Traditional Halfbakery’, a sanitized version of the real thing, where fedora topped anthropologists are driven through in golf carts. It should look something like McGoohan’s The Village, with smiling, colorfully garbed inhabitants. The true nature of the place is only revealed when one tries to leave, and is smothered by a gigantic white ball. Bouncing and bouncing, covering his face, his mouth open in a silent scream.
ldischler, May 03 2004
  

       I'd love to be interviewed. Gets my blessing.
Letsbuildafort, May 03 2004
  

       I'd be willing to help. You can even use my real name: Worldgineer.
Worldgineer, May 03 2004
  

       Ask away.
phoenix, May 03 2004
  

       I think I wouldn't shy away from an answer or two. But I'll recommend reading my various posts first. No potential questions to me might remain, after that!   

       :)
Vernon, May 03 2004
  

       Heh.   

       love Vernon's humour!
po, May 03 2004
  

       I hav'nt been here for a while, but ask away.
python, May 03 2004
  

       Analyzing the HB would be interesting, but analyzing peoples' gender assumptions on the HB is where the scientific gold's at.
Worldgineer, May 03 2004
  

       What she said.
lostdog, May 03 2004
  

       [bliss] our questioner is very much male : Josh he's called.
jonthegeologist, May 03 2004
  

       bliss, because he is polite and modest!
po, May 03 2004
  

       [jonthegeo] She's joshing us.
FarmerJohn, May 03 2004
  

       Hit me.
RayfordSteele, May 03 2004
  

       I thought po was a guy when I first got here too.   

       To what does [half] refer, I wonder?
lintkeeper2, May 03 2004
  

       Gender Genie thinks the author is twice as likely to be male as female.
waugsqueke, May 04 2004
  

       It worries me slightly that you will only get half the picture by interviewing active 'bakers. I think that you should also make some effort to talk to people who have been a part of the 'bakery for a while but have moved on. They'll probably be a bit harder to track down but if you're going to do a paper then you might as well do it properly.
DrBob, May 04 2004
  

       Yes yes, DrBob, quite right. We will call them “those who have moved on”. That sounds better than escapees.
ldischler, May 04 2004
  

       Just do an entire paper on Ben Frost, i'm sure that will keep you busy for a while, i'm sure he will be very Frank with you.
skinflaps, May 04 2004
  

       idi, a bit like offering a cigarette to an ex-smoker...
po, May 04 2004
  

       lou, I thought 'moved on' sounded better than 'retired'. It had too much of a Logan's Run overtone about it.
DrBob, May 04 2004
  

       six out of six of my ideas at random (except *granny bears* & *see-me boppers* chosen deliberately) confirmed that I am male.
po, May 28 2004
  

       It thinks that every one of my ideas except “Urban Baler” is written by a male. On Urban Baler it strongly favors female (365 to 207).   

       When I pasted in some e-mails I have written then it resulted in “female” every time.
bristolz, May 28 2004
  

       Maybe we cancel each other out, Bris. Even my most hairy-chested macho-esque ideas were apparently written by a female.
lostdog, May 28 2004
  

       I have a secret. I'm not really a woman.
Detly, May 29 2004
  

       Is that the military definition?
FarmerJohn, Jun 10 2004
  

       guessing volunteer (military definition appears to be the one who didn't step back, hide or generally get out of the way quick enough)
engineer1, Jun 10 2004
  

       [steve dg] self selected focus groups are rarely representative of the population as a whole. Views are generally polarised much more than a random selection as those that self-select, generally have an opinion.   

       Tis not a scientific approach, but I think this project will be interesting none the less.
jonthegeologist, Jun 10 2004
  

       here we go! I'm sorry for having been so MIA in the past few weeks, but in the time between I "finished" the paper (ie. handed it in to my professor) and now, I graduated from college, moved home, begun working for a living again....   

       it's been hectic, but I have managed to put up the "finished" paper on a site...but it is far from done. I would like to continue working on this paper (it's a monster, 25 pages), because, well, even with 25 pages is manages not to get to the bottom (if it's even possible) of the HB and your community. SO. Read it, if you can stand it, and please email me and let me know what you think of it. As time goes on, i will add to it, edit it, re-write it, and hopefully will come up with a truly final and good result. and my apologies to those who asked for a survey or returned their survey later on, when I didn't have a chance to respond or work their answers into the paper. You are not forgotten!   

       The paper is up in the links section now. Hope you all enjoy it (or, at the very least, find it kind of unoffensive and interesting). Cheers, all.
halfbakedresearch, Jun 24 2004
  

       Odd that you didn't interview [jutta]. I think she would have had the most relevant insight to many of your issues raised.   

       As for grading your paper, +.
Worldgineer, Jun 24 2004
  

       Mustn't....respond....
DrBob, Jun 24 2004
  

       Dr Bob would the bottom be vag... J..?
engineer1, Jun 24 2004
  

       I would have thought that any research into a virtual community of this nature would be like doing anthropological research in a Potemkin village.
Zanzibar, Jun 24 2004
  

       //I have a secret. I'm not really a woman// [detly]..........mmmmm, in Feb, you asked newbie [egads] to marry you. Please explain?
ConsulFlaminicus, Jun 24 2004
  

       //in Feb, you asked newbie [egads] to marry you//   

       I did? I'm in trouble now...   

       //Please explain?// Well, I'm actaully working for ASIO (the Australian equivalent of the US CIA) to infiltrate the Halfbakery. Seeing as [halfbakedresearch] has now done it for me, I can stop living a lie.   

       (That doesn't mean I take back the proposal.)
Detly, Jun 24 2004
  

       Oh, I see now – the hundred thousand gallon restaurant thing. I was simply... er, enacting a scenario.
Detly, Jun 24 2004
  

       well done, J.
po, Jun 26 2004
  

      

//accidental misreading...led to accidental misrepresentation and confusion//-[from the paper]

What are you saying, eh? Accidental misreading! Me! Them’s fighting words! (Later I decided to let him live, realizing the comment was accidentally self-referential.)
ldischler, Jun 27 2004
  

       Reading this is going to take a while. Are you sure you aren't [vernon]?
RobertKidney, Jun 27 2004
  

       Well done [hbr], just read "The Paper" and a very thought provoking piece of work it is too. Hope you get a good grade, and if you don't, send the teacher to me...   

       +
saker, Jun 27 2004
  

       Actually quite deft writing. ........ wonder how long it took for the paper to begin to flow?
dpsyplc, Jun 27 2004
  

       Looks good--the only thing I would suggest is that, in the paper, you understand what the abbreviations mean. We (mostly) all know what WIBNI stands for, but I doubt the professors do.
5th Earth, Jun 27 2004
  

       Agreed, [dpsyplc] (sorry, but I always read your name as some kind of stomach complaint) - a very well-written paper, which makes a lot of valid points. [halbakedresearch] - you get a gold star from me for your (eminently readable) efforts. Your paper has cast certain aspects of the HB in a different light for me. But in a good way. I hope you will/are continuing to contribute to the site under a different name.
lostdog, Jun 27 2004
  

       wow. A lot of information to digest, but eminently readable.
  

       I've come back now to find all this, and I must remain in closer to contact now...
absterge, Jul 05 2004
  

       “those who have moved on” also sounds better than "those who forget who they are, then stumble upon the Bakery of Halfs and weep with joy".   

       P.S. I understand the androgyny thang.
moPuddin, Jul 05 2004
  

       Does anybody have a copy of this paper by chance? It looks like it could be interesting but the linky don't work no more.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Oct 21 2006
  
      
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