Welcome to the Petting Zoo

“Cleanup on Aisle Collaboration, please.”

There is a game I read about years ago.

In that game, four kids each hold onto a broomstick, and try to push it downward into a cup on the floor.

That can already be a little tricky.

But there is a fifth kid at the bottom and it’s their job — with one hand on the broom — to keep the broo...

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“Creepy, doll.”

I’ve been experimenting with the word “creepy” and what it means.1

My current experiment is that we use “creepy” when we’re afraid to say “predatory.” Maybe it’s because we don’t want to offend someone, or maybe because we don’t actually think the behavior is predatory, but we aren’t willing...

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We all need mirrors.

It feels as if there’s an inverse relationship between a group’s claim at the efficacy of their self-policing and the actual ability for them to self-police.

Or maybe there isn’t. Maybe no groups are good at self-policing, but it’s so ubiquitous that we only really pay attention to the ones th...

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We are the cops. You and me.

I read an amusing list online a few days ago. It was a list of how not to be “creepy.” It was all the usual things, such as “don’t touch people without their permission,” and “don’t corner people when they’re alone,” and “pay attention to subtle little things like how we lift our...

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Tapping the Glass

You’ve been in a pet store. You’ve seen the signs: “Please don’t tap on the glass.” I try to imagine what tapping on the glass of an aquarium must be like for a fish. I imagine it’s a bit like three or four cars exploding near me, maybe with an airhorn or two to destroy the high end...

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