Justify My Sub

Hello, all.

I’ve been lurking on these boards for a month or so now, and the level of discourse is astounding…no l33tspeak! Punctuation! It’s heaven.

Except that I’ve always found the whole idea of message boards ridiculous. People venting their worthless opinions to other people who have nothing better to do than to read these opinions and then respond with equally worthless opinions of their own. It’s a far greater waste of time than hitting the Random Page link repeatedly on Wikipedia, something I do too often. It is extremely rare that anything of value comes out of this pursuit. And this is coming from the webmaster of a student union message board.

And yet there is something about SDMB that draws me in - it’s not as intimidating as, say, the SA forum, and is several order of magnitudes beyond almost any other newsgroup in these egalitarian days of the internet. It would make me very happy if I had any of the members for an actual friend.

There is, of course, also the matter of payment: at about C$20, it’s steep for a rather deprived student - here’s what else I could do for 20 bucks:

  • a month’s worth of eating out (not every day, of course)
  • two concerts at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
  • three new cell phone games
  • a 50-pack of CD-Rs
  • upto three actual, legal audio CDs
  • a second DDR pad for about two dollars more
  • three to four offbeat movies at small, downtown theatres

Now these are all luxuries, and in order for me to subscribe I would have to give up at least one, and maybe more of them. And so I set to you the task: provide sufficient justification for a subscription in my position.

Of course, you don’t have to. As you can see, I’m a bit of a whiner, and I don’t go enough places and do enough things to have many clever ideas or anecdotes. Suffice it to say that my joining will almost certainly not enrich your lives. But hey, if anyone’s up to a pointless, meaningless challenge, go for it!

(You will notice that by discouraging people from doing this, I’ll be saving money. Win-win!)

So, this isn’t about sandwiches, then?

You know…you’re probably right about the money question and having other ways to spend it. You’re probably on the ball with the worthless opinion thing too…

but as a fellow guest, I have to say that my random posts have been met with respect and welcome. Two things that (sadly) don’t appear as often as they should in the world these days.

I like it. I also like reading these opinions and knowing that there are faces and personalities behind them. And most of the time, they are people I would like to think would like to have me as a friend…

It’s that simple for me.
I’m joining as soon as the plastic makes it home. Hope you will too.

You should register so you can tell us where you’re finding three CDs for $20…

Hmmm…justify spending the C$20…okay, here’s my reasons.

Because of the amount of time I put in at work, and the complexity of adult life, I don’t get to spend a whole lot of time talking to intelligent people, or keeping up with the wider world. But every night when I get home, there’s this really great cocktail party going on! I can wander from room to room, listening in on conversations, joining in when I have something to say, walking away when I get bored, learning new stuff, and generally having a good time. I have learned a lot of interesting stuff, have been directed to websites I would never have found, and have gotten advice and encouragement when I needed it. But most importantly, I have had the chance to hear the opinions and viewpoints of a wider variety of people than I would ever meet in person. And because all this happens at The StraightDope, I get the well-written, well-mannered opinions, not the stupid, flaming opinions I sometimes see at other message boards. Most of those boards are too painful to spend any time at, but here I always feel at home.
But I’m still too chicken for Great Debates.

Just the info I get was well worth the $4.95 I paid.
I don’t think you can find a better message board… :wink:

Today I found out that bats purr. That piece of information alone is worth any number of lousy cellphone games.

Because every time a Guest doesn’t subscribe, God kills a puppy.

Wait until Office Depot or Office Max has the “free with a rebate” 50 pack of CD-R’s, get your refund check and pay for a SDMB subscription. You don’t have to give up anything.

Bats purr?
Cool. :smiley:

This explains so much…

With that kind of attitude, you might as well save us some bandwidth. But, as long as you tell us at least one story about masturbating into your fishtank, you’re more than welcome here.

Well, all right. I do travel a bit, and here’s what I saw this weekend: there’s a road in upstate New York, crossing the I-90, called Gay Road. Yeah, that’s weak, but it’s all I have for now.

I’m so glad everybody else thinks the thing about the bats is as cool as I do. You should subscribe so you can search to find threads like that! (Except I think this one got eaten in the great Board Crash of Whenever, because I can’t find it.)

My first thought was he’d come up with some nasty combo of ingredients at Subway and wanted us to share our weird subs, too…

I think I’ll start a thread. Hop over to IMHO in a bit. :slight_smile:

(Please? I musta missed that thread. :wink: )


It may not necessarily be music you like, but you can buy 3 CDs for around $20 here.

Yes and no. They may make a sound that resembles purring (scroll down about two-thirds of the page, on the right), but because the mechanism and/or evolutionary roots of the vocalization is different, some feel that that the vocalization requires a new term. See this abstract, for example:

Bolding mine.

Two concerts, however lovely, would last two nights? The cell phone games would probably get boring after a while (probably less than a year, I’m guessing), you could do 3-4 movies in a month easy, etc.

A year’s subscription would get you, depending on what you ask, at least as much depth of knowledge as Wikipedia offers you (again, depending on the topic).

Now here’s something I didn’t expect when I signed up here back four years ago, and I’m betting that others on this board who share this with me in some respect feel the same way:

I’m engaged to someone I met on here. Very doubtful I woulda met her elsewhere. We have (I think) over a dozen married or engaged couples who met their SOs here, and at least one child was spawned because of Unca Cecil (well, indirectly because of him, if you know what I mean and I think you do). That alone was worth my money, though since I was here when PayToPost started, I only had to shell out $4.95.

You talked in your OP about calling folks here friends. Well, not that I’m altogether worthy, but I call several folks here friends (some of them very close. Will very possibly be at my wedding in a few years. You see what I’m saying, I trust:)). Really, we don’t discriminate much. And for my money, $20 to know and be able to converse regularly with some of the brains (and hearts) we have here is an absolute steal.

On this board, regularly posting, we have lawyers, doctors (at least one veterinarian, too), students, folks very successful in commercial enterprise and otherwise folks who, given the topic, can probably give you all the information you could possibly want (with cites).

Oh, there’s also lots of flirting, the occasional bikini shot and of course dopefests. Well worth your $20. IMO, anyway:)

Tuar Kidal, I think that the justification is fairly easy. With as limited a budget as you have, you must seek to minimize your expenditure for value received.


Alternative: a month’s worth of eating out (not every day, of course)
Value: Assuming that said one month’s worth of eating out consists of very affordable meals (perhaps a $2.99 breakfast of eggs and some meat-like substance or $4.00 for some fast-food value meal - not incl. GST), you will eat out five or six times. At a very generous allowance of an hour per meal for food that can be made at home as good as if not better than what you’d buy, your cost is a whopping $3.33 per hour.

Alternative: two concerts at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Value: A concert likely runs from 1.5 to 2 hours, not including the intermission. Having gone to two such events, your cost is upwards of $5 per hour.

Alternative: three new cell phone games
Value: While such games may provide diversionary pleasure for many hours, given the complexity and overall attractiveness of the games, boredom is unavoidable. After all, you wouldn’t want new games if you were still enthralled with those already on your cell. Cost: At 50 hours per game / 3 games - a substantial improvements over the past two…$0.13 per hour.

Alternative: a 50-pack of CD-Rs
Value: I’m assuming that you are using the discs to save music. If you’re anything like me, many of them go into the CD case and never come out again, except on a rare occasion when you ask yourself, “what was on this again?” Some will go into regular rotation, but their use will be tempered considering that there are already many other favorites in rotation. You may well get 300 hours of total listening pleasure out of those new discs. Cost is $0.07 per hour.

Alternative: upto three actual, legal audio CDs
Value: Well, depends upon the CD of course. Frankly, if you’re one to already obtain music by dubious means (recalling that downloading music, while arguably unethical, is not illegal here in Canada), this is an outright waste of your $20. You may in fact, however, have a preference for factory stamped CDs, but total listening pleasure may not exceed 90 hours in the next year (less than one hour of music per CD, 30 spins per). Your cost is $0.22 per hour.

Alternative: a second DDR pad for about two dollars more
Value: I haven’t a clue what a DDR pad, so I will blindly assess its cost at $0.10 per hour.

Alternative: three to four offbeat movies at small, downtown theatres
Value: Easy calculation of 2 hours per, thus cost of $2.50 per hour. Of course, some of those may be duds, and you won’t know until you’ve actually spent the money.

Alternative: SDMB subscription
Value: Difficult to calculate. First, I must offer my never-to-be-humble opinion that the perceived value of SDMB is greatly enhanced by my ability to participate in threads, even if I choose not to do so for days or weeks at a time. Of course, it must be noted that reading the board is available free of charge, so the cost per hour when calculating time spent on the board is skewed when calculating the cost for participation, considering that so much of the time is reading, an activity inherenty free of cost. With that said, you may be a one a week poster, or a poster with a 7.73 message per day standard. I would guess that many here, given their post counts, must necessarily spend a couple hours a day reading and posting. Over the course of a year, this is over 700 hours of pleasure. In my opinion, given the limited number of choices because of budget constraints (a guns and butter argument, if you will), the perceived value is necessarily higher than any of the alternatives you offered. You will find more wisdom, stupidity, humour, intelligence, curiousities, opinions, theories, lambastings, rants, diatribes and gibberish than you will ever find in a Big Mac, an overture, a digital diversion, an MP3, a .cda, a DDR (whatever the hell that is), or a B-movie. Hell, this post alone took me over 20 minutes to craft!

To make my short story even less short, based simply on economic realities, your cost per hour of enjoyment is less than $0.03 per hour of consumption.

Beat that with one of your DDR thing-ma-bobbies!

I think by DDR he means a stick of fast RAM for the computer… always worthwhile but there’s always a newer and faster generation of RAM coming up and you’ll end up having to upgrade eventually anyhow. Of course, if you’re getting a particularly good deal on RAM I would go with that for now as the prices can fluctuate wildly and they tend to go up more than down. But if it’s always that price, I’d buy the Dope. You’ll get much more good stuff out of here than you will out of a stick of DDR.