A collection of essays, outdoor adventure stories, ruminations, wordplay, parental angst, and blatant omphaloskepsis, generated in all seasons and for many reasons at 64.8 degrees north latitude

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Survey says...

Well, gosh.  That was fast. 
I posted a bunch of just-for-fun survey questions on Facebook last night, and said I’d start sharing results when I got at least 25 responses,.  I guess that means… now.  However, I’ll update this post as needed, so please do keep on responding to the first two sets of questions, which are here:
This is not in any way a scientific survey.  The results below pretty much prove that my friends and acquaintances are a delightfully skewed bunch (who are too busy peeing in the ocean to be bothered to watch the Superbowl). 
These questions may seem a bit random or unimportant. (Silas Marner?  Crème brûlée?) That’s okay -- this is just for fun. Besides, I hope to do this again, if it proves popular, and I don’t want to hit all the Really Big Questions in the first batch.
All your answers are completely anonymous – to me, too. Anyone can participate, so go ahead and share, if you feel like it.  Also, feel free to suggest questions for future episodes.

Okay, a summary of responses from the first set:
You people really don’t give a crap about American football, do you?  I mean, 16% of you aren’t even American, and only 8% are actually going to watch the Superbowl.  Another fifth or so are showing up just for the chips.  I can’t argue with that.  
I also can’t argue with all the ocean-peeing going on.  All of us.  We’re like blood brothers, except, like, with pee.  In the ocean.  Well, except for that one poor willing-but-land-locked person.  Whoever you are, I kind of want to take you to a beach and leap into the surf with you, just so you feel included.
Everyone likes dessert.  Lots of it. Not one naysayer.  Mmm, mmm.  I guess I’m surprised to see that the winner (by a hair) was apple pie.  I mean, come on, 16% of you aren’t even American!  Who likes cheesecake and pie better than FUDGE BROWNIES?  Um, you do, I guess.  Okay. Be that way.

Gender.  Interesting.  About a third of you have never even casually considered wanting to be the opposite sex.  But among the other 2/3, there’s a huge skew toward women wanting (casually or more seriously) to be male -- 50% of total responses.  Only 11% of responses were from males who ever thought it might be nice to be female.  I could charge off on a tangent here about the relative value placed on each gender by societal... but, no, no.  I won't.  No one of either gender seriously considered (or effected) a sex change.

How do you like work?  Well, you're pretty happy, and that makes me happy.  Since you like pie so much, here’s a chart for you:
Religion.  Okay, here’s proof that my friends are a radically atypical bunch.  A whopping one seventh of my friends are part of an organized religion.  The rest of us… not so much. 
Friendship.  Okay, maybe I belabored this, with four whole questions, none of which was particularly fun or titillating, but I was truly interested.  Do we have enough close relationships in our lives?  A lot has been written lately on the subject.  And, survey says…  many of us do, but the majority do not.  Two thirds of us have only one or two people in our “inner circle” (people key to our existence, whom we see pretty much every day), and an additional 12% have no one in this group.  When it comes to close friends (people you can talk with in an open and relaxed manner, and whom your spend time with, communicate with and/or think about at least once a week), the bulk of respondents had fewer than three (28%) or 3-5 (52%). 
Okay, so we’re not super close to large numbers of other people, but maybe we don’t want to be?    Well, yes and no.  Here are the responses showing whether folks would like to have more people in their inner circle and more close friends, respectively.

So… maybe some (most) of us need to get off Facebook and go have lunch with a buddy?  Or hold a hug-fest?  Or, um, something. . .
Thanks for playing, everyone.  I’ll leave it at that, for now.  More updates coming shortly.

Okay, here’s the scoop on Part II :

You’re supremely intellectual and well read, you dwell far above the physical plane, and you… well, you kind of get around…
Seriously, I was fascinated by these results. 
It was no surprise that most of us prefer a President or Prime Minister or whatever to be intelligent -- with honesty second and kindness third -- and that we don’t give a damn whether he or she is funny, strong, or good looking.  Likewise, I wasn’t surprised to find that most of us are looking for friends who are fun, honest, kind, and intelligent (in that order, but all very close) with fitness and hotness not even on the radar.   
But I was a bit startled to see how we ranked ourselves.  A third of us placed “intelligent” first, and another third put it second; it topped the list overall.  Beauty, meanwhile, was not only dead last, but was ranked either last or second-to-last by 93% of responders.  Perhaps even more startlingly, only 7% of responders placed “physical strength, skill, or endurance” anywhere in the top half of the list – despite the fact that 11% of the group bikes “obsessively” and another 21% bikes “a lot”.  Nonetheless, by our own report, we’re a bunch of ugly, unfit (but relatively kind, open, and funny) nerds. 
And then there’s the question of what we’re looking for in a partner.  It isn’t looks or fitness.  I mean, it REALLY isn’t.  Almost ninety percent of responders placed beauty either last or second-to-last.  Same with physical strength, skill, or endurance.  It seems we’re looking for openness, honesty, and communication first; intelligence and kindness tied for second; and sense of humor and spirit of fun fourth. 
And how well do our actual partners match those ideal?  Well… mostly – except for the 21% who said, “somewhat” and the 7% who said, “Um... huh.  Funny thing, that.”  
Moving on to books -- we read a lot.  Five of the ten books listed topped 60% readership.  “Catcher in the Rye” and “1984” were the most read, and “I, Claudius” and “Silas Marner” were the least read.  But “I, Claudius” was also the most popular, percentage-wise, with 4 out of 5 of us enjoying it.  “Moby Dick” was least popular, with a 40% approval rating. 
Books read
Books enjoyed
 Finally, we get to the sex questions.  Here, have some more graphs:

Number of partners
To be honest, I was slightly surprised by the range of responses, and kind of pleased by the fact that three quarters of the group are happy with what they’ve got right now.  I won’t editorialize any further on this.

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