I don’t know if I personally would use this. That said, though, it’s a good idea, and I’m sure many other folks would find it useful.
One request, though: Just as there’s currently a “doctor” badge, there might also eventually be a “scientist” or “physicist” badge. In which case the atom logo that you’re currently using for “atheist” might become confusing. Perhaps a pink unicorn for atheists, instead?
Again, kudos to you for a great undertaking. We’re fortunate that you found us in this little corner of the 'Net. I thought you might want an explanation (at least, a better one) as to why the admins freaked when they saw this, aside from the usual protocol business and all that.
There was a time, almost ten years ago, in an even older vBulletin version than this one, when people could actually post HTML tags. We used them for everything from bolding text to displaying tables.
Some jackass — some wretched wraith who doubtless smelled like Jeffrey Dahmer’s breath — posted some code that replaced the SDMB banner with something of his own. I don’t recall whether it was obscene, or self-advertising, or just plain stupid.
But ever since, it has been like climbing Pike’s Peak to get any sort of customized thing done, even something so simple as skins to help make the board more readable, or updates to vBulletin. The anal-retentive nature of the admins is almost understandable under the circumstances.
Anyway, just wanted to fill you in. (And humbly request that you add “Libertarian” to your political persuasions. The usual symbol is the Statue of Liberty’s head and crown.)
You know what would be really nifty? If someone could set this up so that everyone could maintain their own google spreadsheet and the greasemonkey script linked to that instead of one centralized database. This would solve a couple of problems:[ol]It would avoid the political bickering. “Someone set me to ‘Cat lover!’ I fucking hate cats! Who is messing with me!?!?” It would allow you to add your own “asshole” icon. I mean what’s really more important: remembering how someone wants to be perceived, or remembering how you perceive someone? It would prevent complaints about updating the database - if it’s out-of-date, it’s your own problem.[/ol] I love this idea, and would write such a script myself, but I lack the expertise. Before my old computer crashed, I maintained a spreadsheet of everyone on the SDMB: their age, sex, profession, area of expertise, level of ass-hole-ery, political bugaboos, that sort of thing. It was not a big deal to maintain my own, and I’d do it again if it could be linked up to the board visually.
This would be possible now, you’d just have to set up your own spreadsheet, publish it, and change the url within the script. Maybe I could make a tutorial for that. That might defeat the “spirit” of the whole thing, though, since everybody’s already afraid of being labeled an asshole.
And liberal, I was thinking about some other professions that would be good to know about, like lawyer (Denny Crane icon?), but how many scientists or physcists are there here? My understanding of the internet is that it’s mainly 14 year old Pokemon fans, and anybody more intelligent is a black swan. And I don’t like the atheist icon very much, but apparently it’s the only established one (google image search for “atheist symbol” and you’ll get a ton of them). I was thinking about doing Flying Spaghetti Monster, but at 40x40 it just looks like a blob.
For people who just don’t like the trait thing, I could either make it toggleable on/off by changing one line of code, or I could have it be a separate script entirely from the more harmless highlighting/thumbnailing features. Further, I could make it so that, at anybody’s request, their name could be added to a do-not-trait list.
Yeah, the atheist icon is well established. It is the official symbol used on atheist grave stones by the US military at Arlington. But to answer your question, there are lots and lots of scientists — physicists, cosmologists, astronomers, mathematicians, biologists, and oodles of others here. There are professional musicians, from guitar players to opera singers. There are lawyers, doctors, Wiccans, Christians, Muslims, and even philosophers. (Tisthammer himself once posted in a thread here.)
Depending somewhat on the forum, the intelligence level varies on a continuum from dumb as a stump to average to above average to members of Mensa to members of TOPS. (I’m pretty sure we have no Giga members posting here. I think there are only 8 world-wide.)
Regarding my name-change (which I don’t recall mentioning), that was all explained some time ago, and in several locations. Feel free to search. But I am basically doing my small part to reclaim the label from authoritarians, who have attempted to abduct it in the late 20th century US. Liberal is from the Latin root, liber, meaning “liberty”. I am a liberal in the Classical Tradition, and in the way it is used throughout most of the world. My political philosophy is the same now as always. I advocate allowing peaceful honest people to pursue their own happiness in their own way.
Really? Wow, I would not want that at all. To me, it’d look like my grave stone was saying I was part of some sci-fi cult, or I thought I was from the future or something. I think trying to make it look all “sciency” is a mistake, and only fuels the sentiment that it’s “christians vs big bad SCIENCE.” Science shouldn’t be a faction, it should be a fact.
I actually like the idea of a pink unicorn better. Takes itself less seriously. Atheists take themselves too seriously sometimes*.
The Pink Unicorn, of course, is mildly — only mildly — insulting to people of faith. But we’ve been called everything from idiots to delusional, so I think most of us can handle the IPU thing. (In case you’re scratching your head, going, “Huh? Why would that be even mildly insulting?”, keep in mind that the IPU — Invisible Pink Unicorn — was conceived as a means to mock people of faith.)
I’m curious, though, how you knew about my name change. Have you lurked for, like, seven years or something?
ETA: You could consider a light bulb for atheists, since you want to get away from all the seriousness. Silly atheists these days like calling themselves “brights”.
Yeah. Only potential problem is that the process for adding an image is kind of arduous as it is now. To maintain a level of ease where anybody could be expected to maintain their own database, they’d probably have to continue to draw from the “centralized” database of images.
Perhaps it’d be better if people could maintain their own database of notes about people, like “he’s the one who thinks tomatoes are vegetables” or “met the president” or “Battlestar Galactica fan.” Since that’d be simply a more advanced form of keeping a notebook, compared to the badge thing which instantly strikes some people as being “branded”, it would go over better.
This would be in addition to the central database of badges. Everybody sees the same badges, but you only see your own notes. Or a few people could share the same notes db if they wanted. Then come the cliques.
Yeah, the pink unicorn is sort of the same as FSM, except I think FSM might be less insulting than FSM, since… I don’t even know. I’ve been on both sides of the religious/atheist debate, and I still don’t fully appreciate or understand it. This is why I went with the pre-existing atheist symbol, even though I don’t like it, so I wouldn’t have to take the rap for editorializing with the icon choice.
And re: your name, I think when I first showed up here I found you agreeing with me a lot, or vice versa, so I was kind of following your adventures, and then somebody linked to an old pit about you from a few years back where you were referred to as “Libertarian” and I eventually realized you must have gone through a butterfly-esq metamorphasis at some unspecific point.