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Submission + - Playboy Drops Nudity as Internet Fills Demand

HughPickens.com writes: Ravi Somaiya reports in the NY Times that as part of a redesign that will be unveiled next March, the print edition of Playboy Magazine will still feature women in provocative poses but they will no longer be fully nude. “That battle has been fought and won,” says CEO Scott Flanders. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.” According to Somaiya, for a generation of American men, reading Playboy was a cultural rite, an illicit thrill consumed by flashlight. Now every teenage boy has an Internet-connected phone instead. Pornographic magazines, even those as storied as Playboy, have lost their shock value, their commercial value and their cultural relevance. The magazine will adopt a cleaner, more modern style. There will still be a Playmate of the Month, but the pictures will be “PG-13” and less produced — more like the racier sections of Instagram. “A little more accessible, a little more intimate,” says Flancers. It is not yet decided whether there will still be a centerfold.

It is difficult, in a media market that has been so fragmented by the web, to imagine the scope of Playboy’s influence at its peak. Hugh Hefner was successful at packaging an attitude, a mindset, a philosophy — and one that ran counter to the superficial tenets of the 1950's. "Its sexual content and glamorous depictions of bachelorhood made it roguish for the 1950s," says Elizabeth Fraterrigo, "but in its heyday, Playboy was more than a magazine filled with pictures of nude women and advice on how to make the perfect martini." It was, Fraterrigo concludes, a crucial part of "mainstream debates about society, economics, and culture in postwar America."

Comment Re:Human Action (Score 1) 354

You don't need to believe that most of the mistakes are malicious to believe that there are a lot of mistakes. The very idea that their model would be developed and presented as an Excel spreadsheet says to me that they don't have a reasonable mathematical model. Excel was intentionally designed to hide the complexities that are used in a way that inherently makes it difficult to validate. You should never trust ANY model that is implemented in Excel (or any other spreadsheet, as far as I know) until it has been validated extensively. Spreadsheets aren't designed like Mathematica or R or any decent programming language. They are designed to hide your mistakes. They call it "being user friendly". (Perhaps I'm being a touch too cynical, but I may also be cutting them too much slack.)

P.S.: I'd say the same thing about MSAccess, but I haven't as much as looked at it in the last two decades. The last time I used it became the last time when I proved that it was making a simple arithmetic error. I had thought it was one of the periodic code corruption problems that MSAccess was subject to, but it was much worse than that. Perhaps in the last couple of decades they've fixed the thing.

Comment Re:How does this cheap VR compare? (Score 2) 20

Thanks for the mini review! It's been ~2 years since I've tried the Oculus so interested to hear how it compares with the Google Cardboard.

I'm still waiting to see if VR takes off (it has been that way for 20 years; the main problems are still problems, although less so). I have my doubts if it will get the mass consensus. Hoping, but "wait-and-see."

> but I didn't experience any vertigo.

Hmm, that's interesting. I've been gaming since the early 80's and never get vertigo. I did with the Oculus within the first few minutes. My brain had a hard time trying to decouple the inconsistent and mixed messages that the eyes + hears were sending.

> The $15 Cardboard is good enough on the low end to experience most of what's out there.

That is good to hear !

> I see people using lots of Cardboard for shared VR experiences for the whole family.

I could totally see that. I just wonder if VR won't end up like the 3D glasses though? Sure it is dam cool to experience but there is no "killer app" and lack of content doen't push it over the edge as a "necessity".

> I'll probably also have to upgrade my elderly Geforce 560Ti before then

My last dev + gaming rig (Athlon Phenom II 955BE @ 3.5 GHz), 16 GB, 128 GB SSD, used a GTX 560Ti w/ 448 cores. I upgraded to an i7-4770K + GTX 980 Ti + 32 GB RAM + 256 GB SSD. Playing on Starcraft 2, Elite: Dangerous, and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, etc. all on Ultra settings at 4K is **awesome.** Save up! Upgrading is totally worth it !!

> Plenty of decent content is already there, and more is always on the way. It's a great time for VR no matter what your equipment.

I guess I should check out some of the newer content. Elite: Dangerous supports the Oculus -- might have to get one earlier rather then later. :-)

Comment Re:Similarity to Quantum Mechanics (Score 2) 354

Study the iterated prisoner's dilemma. That can easily be mapped onto parts of economics. Cut away the parts that don't work and you have a sound piece of economics.

Just because there are hard problems that can't be solved doesn't mean that no problems can be solved. Unfortunately, in the case of economics it seems to repeately mean that the most important problems can't be solved.

Of course, we don't really know what problems economics could solve if it tried, because politics always gets mixed up in things, and that usually tries to run things for the benefit of a small group of people who maintain power by lying to everyone else. So economic theories are tested not because there's any reason to believe they are good things, but because the benefit those who are selling them, and benefit those who currently hold power. Often the theories that are tried bear little resemblance to the theories that are claimed to be being tried.

Comment Re:If an investment strategy requires a... (Score 1) 354

But it *is* predictive, about certain things, even though not predictive about others. E.g., it can predict that people will continue to get rich off of get rich quick schemes that don't work.

I suppose you could consider economics to be a sort of blend between statistics and psychology, and it doesn't work where the psychology is fuzzy, and its predictions are statistical in nature.

Mind you, if you consider it this way it become immediately obvious that most of what's sold as economics is a pack of lies. And actual economics is more restricted in domain that this definition implies, so it's not clear that many pure-economic theories *can* work. You don't just buy bread, you buy bread for a reason which is as much, or more, physiological as psychological. But psychology may determine which brand of bread you buy...so that could be economics.

Comment Re:Academia is willing to protect total dicks (Score 3, Insightful) 342

It is often abused even without any sexual overtures.

Let me rephrase that.

The power of graduate advisors over graduate students is extremely often abused in ways that would be illegal in most other circumstances. E.g. demanding unpaid labor for over 40 hours/week.

That is would also be abused in other ways shouldn't surprise anyone.

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.