links for 2009-01-05

  • Sigh… more reflexive anti-poly bigotry, spreading misinformation. This blogger is on a rampage against Steve Pavlina over that well-known self-development blogger's recent public choice to experiment with going polyamorous.

    Personally, I don't know enough about Pavlina to gauge the integrity of his motives, or his ability to undertake this particular change in a healthy, honest way. But I do know that being poly in a mono world takes courage, and Pavlina does appear to have the consent and support of his spouse (who is choosing to remain monogamous). I think it's especially difficult being "out" about being poly — and especially sharing those experiences publicly — since bigotry such as this post is rampant and surprisingly reflexive and vitriolic.

  • AP roundup of downsized newspapers that formed regional content-sharing cooperatives.
  • "2. The online media space will be hit hard by the economic downturn in the first half, but by year's end, will have chalked up moderate gains over last year in terms of gross spend. I think it's possible that Q1 09 will be lower than Q1 08, marking the first time that has happened since 01, if I recall correctly. This will cause all sorts of consternation and hand wringing, but in the end, it won't matter. The web is where people are spending their time, the web will be where marketers spend their money.

    "10. Agencies will increasingly see their role as that of publishers. Publishers will increasingly see their role as that of agencies. Both can win at this, but only by understanding how to truly add value to real communities – not flash crowds driven by one time events.

  • "Who's the most valuable surfer on the web? For the auto advertisers, there are few more valuable than a visitor to Edmunds.com. For the next three months, he or she is considered an "in-market car buyer" and will be stalked by a host of ad networks, portals, brokers and other digital middlemen who cut their slice of the advertising pie.

    "Rumors abound about ad networks, portals and Google poaching audiences and dollars. …Here's how it works: A publisher decides to allow an ad network to sell some of its inventory. That network places a cookie on the publisher's site. Now, when a user leaves that site, and goes somewhere else, the network can track that user. If that user is worth $10 CPM (meaning the cost to reach a thousand viewers) on a site such as Edmunds.com, the network can buy low-value inventory for, say, a 40-cent CPM on MySpace and re-sell it to an auto manufacturer when the onetime Edmunds' visitor arrives on the social-networking site."

4 thoughts on links for 2009-01-05

  1. Hi Amy,

    I’m the writer of that blog post you link to here and I’m here to follow up on the comment you left on my blog, http://www.monkeyinmymind.com.

    In fact, I was in the process of responding to you but some how lost what I had written, so I’ll re-compose the gist of my response here.

    1) My “rant” is less about the Poly community or Poly lifestyle and more about Steve Pavlina himself. Being a reader of his blog for several years now, I have noticed an odd shift in his tone over the last few months and feel like that shift all came to head in his recent post about going Poly. I have never seen him so aggressively defensive or ill-tempered as he is now, which only makes me surmise that perhaps he is now coming from a place that is inauthentic.

    2) Regarding your classifications of my opinion as bigotry, I regret that’s the feeling I gave off, as I am actually a very open-minded person. That being said, at this point in my life, I wouldn’t want to choose a Poly lifestyle for myself, nor do I believe that the definition of “Polyamory” accurately defines exactly what is going on. More on that in a second, though. I would argue that calling me a bigot for not choosing the Poly lifestyle for myself would be akin to me calling you a bigot for not choosing a monogamous lifestyle. Bottom line – people’s lifestyle choices are none of my business. I felt the need to comment on Steve Pavlina’s latest experiment because of the sway and influence he commands as a personal development “expert,” and the fact that if you closely examine the text and subtext of his explanation about his choice you will find manipulative language and strong rationalizations. For example, he predicts that his wife and family might be hurt by his decision, but lauds being hurt as a path to growth. With that sort of rationalization in hand, one can go about hurting people in a variety of ways but never being truly accountable for it because you write it all off as another path to enlightenment. This kind of verbal manipulation is the stuff of zealots and Cult leaders. And if you try to argue with him, he will just say that you aren’t “getting” the concept of living consciously and should start over at the beginning of his coursework to catch up. In other words, he is so enlightened now that he can do no wrong and can guarantee that his young children will not be negatively affected by a litany of love and sex partners who are not their mother parading through his home.

    3) In your comment to me you encourage me to find the “courage” to get to know some Poly people. I am not terribly interested in doing so (beyond the scope of our discussion here) as generally my wife and I tend to socialize with people who share our interests and values. The words of a bigot? I hope you don’t think so. As an example, I don’t really hang around much with guys who golf because I don’t partake in the sport and would have nothing to talk about. Or if you’d like to get a bit more controversial, I don’t really have a lot of close friends who are hard-core Christian conservatives because we simply have divergent views on too many issues. Just like I could care less if gay people get married (I in fact support that movement) I really don’t care if other people sleep with and love many, many people in the privacy of their own homes or whatever. Again, this is more about Steve, his defensive and manipulative tone, and the fact that his wife appears to be remaining monogamous and hasn’t really spoken out in support of his decision.

    4) Finally, my view of Polyamory is that the defintion of the term is perhaps a bit inaccurate. As many of the Great Enlightened Masters throughout history have encouraged the human race to do, loving many and loving all, even our enemies, is the highest form of human development and grace. That being said, you don’t have to have intercourse with somebody to love them. Steve says he wants to do this because he has so much love to give. So why doesn’t he start a charity organization or adopt a puppy? Perhaps because his desire to give love is coupled with a desire to sleep with some of the women who view him highly, now that he is a successful self-help guy.

    So in this way, you can’t have a Poly conversation without talking about the possibility of having sex with many people or multiple people besides one committed relationship. And if sex weren’t part of the equation, why would there be a need to have a term to describe people who are into Poly as without sex, there isn’t really anything special about Poly-amory (many loves) besides what the human race should be about anyway? In other words, I believe this is another oxymoron or sugarcoating of a practice, that while there may certainly be genuine love involved, is very much about sex as well. Put another way, Polyamory is very much about sex. That being said, there seems to be inauthenticity to the whole Polyamory thing, especially in the words of Steve Pavlina, that is disturbing.

    5) One more thing – prior to being married, I had a pretty extensive sexual history. I would even say that I was able to love many of these women. With retrospect, I would say that that kind of lifestyle, while exciting doesn’t lend itself to the deeper connection and growth I have sustained while being married, nor do I think that many people (particularly women, with you being an obvious exception) would be able to live like that for their entire life, with the entanglements of family, children, the possibility of unwanted pregnancies or STD’s, and other obligations obfuscating the unbridled passion and excitement of multiple sexual/love relationships. That being said, I wish the best for those who have chosen this lifestyle and I’m also intrigued to learn about the long-term results of such a lifestyle.

    Thanks for reading.

    Paul

  2. Pingback: Posts about Polyamory & Open Marriage as of January 7, 2009 | The Tantric Explorer

  3. I use to regularly visit Steve’s Website. And his descission to be Poly is strange enough but what really disturbs me is the out pouring of support from his fans. Some might really support him but the majority I felt only support him because they think he is God Like. There is a rumor he is deleting many negative postings on his forum. I can’t say it is true but I added my two cents in what I felt was a respectful polite way. It was taken off and my screen name removed. It has turned into a Cult there. What’s next drinking the Kool Aid? His very early stuff was and still is good though.

  4. Rob D., I don’t have any information about discussion moderation on Pavlina’s forum — but I do know from personal experience that there is a lot of reflexive anti-poly bigotry out there, and when you come out as poly people who don’t know you at all feel entitled to attack you, ridicule, or second-guess your motives or integrity in public.

    Some bloggers and community managers take the approach that they space they create is their “living room” — where they invite folks in to chat, but if they become abusive they’re kicked out. Some folks consider that censorship; others recognize it as a social boundary.

    – Amy Gahran

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