Saturday, November 22, 2008

Segregated Nudism - Good For Our Rights?

Ever since I took an interest in nudism, I've wondered why there are two different big organizations in the US: AANR and TNS. More specifically, I've always wondered why TNS is so active in nudist rights and AANR (which appears much larger) remains quiet. Shouldn't they both be working towards protecting nudist rights and any place that allows nudist use? Well of course they should, but they're not set up that way. In fact, it's to AANR's benefit to do the opposite, and I'll prove it with a little game theory!

To start, the biggest difference that I have found is that AANR is commercial, and TNS isn't. AANR makes their money from their affiliated clubs. Many of these clubs either require you to pay AANR membership dues (ex. Blue Lake, Turtle Lake) or charge you more for not being a member (most others). I'm not sure if these additional charges go to the resort, or go to AANR / TNS. It's fair to say that AANR gets some money from each person that pays to stay at a resort, either directly or indirectly through the resort's partnership. It is unclear where this money actually goes.

TNS, on the other hand, doesn't want your money. Seriously, it says that right in their Network Resource Guide: "What we do not want: Your money. We're not interested in lining our pockets at the expense of your group or club." They get their money from voluntary memberships (which the group/club gets commission from) and donations. When they work to promote nudist rights or save a beach from being closed, people send them money, and it's clear that the money is going to a good cause.

Now that I've outlined the clubs, let's outline the people. Alice only likes going to "Bare Resort", which is AANR affiliated and costs her $10 for the year. Bob prefers to take the free route by hanging out at "Free Beach", but will give his $1 to TNS since it's still open because of them. Carol just likes to be naked, and will go to either "Bare Resort" or "Free Beach" as her $4 budget allows.

On the issue of saving public lands and keeping the right to be nude on them, the following chart shows the payoff for the two organizations, with the Nash Equilibrium (best, most profitable option) highlighted for each group.

In plain English:
  • If either club opposes keeping "Free Beach", it will be closed and AANR will get all the money.
  • Nudity has a lot of pressure going against it, so if both organizations go neutral the beach will be closed eventually, and AANR will get all the money.
  • If one organization supports the beach, and the other goes neutral: Alice will go to the resort, Bob will go to the beach, and Carol goes to both by splitting her money among them. (Actually, one trip to the resort costs her $2, and several trips to the beach costs her the other $2.)
  • If both support the beach, more might pop up. Alice goes to the resort, but Bob and Carol go to the beach. Carol doesn't go to the resort since she has a larger selection of nice free beaches.
In the simplified model, the best move for TNS is to support the beach and get the small amount of money in voluntary memberships and donations. The best move for AANR is to get the beach closed, and enjoy a monopoly on the entire nudist market. This move would be horrible PR -- a nudist organization going against a nude beach? -- which explains why they seem to take the neutral position of remaining silent. The model also explains why AANR appears to be bigger. They have a lot of resorts and a lot of big spenders who prefer to go to them.

How accurate is this model though? The people represent the nudist community fairly well. Alice doesn't like the dirty beaches, and enjoys a weekend of luxury instead despite the cost (or she lives at a resort full-time). Bob is poor and prefers the cheap social nudism. Carol represents the nudists who enjoy a variety, or who are simply between the two other extremes. Which category do you fit into?

For organizations, TNS's NAC is obviously pushing for the legal rights of naturists and in support of free beaches. They ask for donations at the end of every post, where AANR doesn't. Has AANR ever actually gone against nudism, as predicted by the model? It turns out the answer is yes! Wikipedia points it out (source is gone, but covered here) that AANR attempted to exclude only AANR members in a nudity ban. In other words, nudity would be banned for everyone that isn't an AANR member at an AANR club. Although nudists were disgusted with AANR's move, it was actually in AANR's best interest to create a commercial monopoly on nudity. I've heard of other cases similar to this, but the one example above should be sufficient for the point I'm trying to make.

It is my hope that nudists do not fall into a social trap. AANR might be affiliated with the best clubs that many enjoy, but supporting AANR could eventually lead to less naturist rights and higher club prices because of their commercial interest and ability to obtain a monopoly. Personally, all my naturism money is going to TNS, and I don't see a reason why I should change.

Back to my original question -- are the two types of nudism (resorts and free beaches, with AANR and TNS respectively) good for our rights? Probably not. AANR is sucking up most of the money, which limits what TNS can do in fighting for nudist rights with the smaller income. However, they have a unique balance right now that shows slow progress, which is far better than an AANR monopoly.

I believe that the progress could certainly be better -- imagine an organization with AANR's income and TNS's philosophy. TNS itself is capable of becoming such an organization, but is not in the position to obtain it just yet. How can they get there? I have no idea -- I need to learn more about them and put more thought into it. I'll need to improve my model, figure out a way for TNS to change the game, and identify another Nash Equilibrium for them to transition to. (Only transitions between Nash Equilibriums are successful, otherwise one side is going against their best interest.) I'll let you know if I ever figure it out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Naked on the Net!

UPDATE: The bloggers I linked to have mostly changed since this original post. Updates are in [brackets].

Some nudists like to stay hidden through low resolution [has since posted higher resolution ones], blurred faces [their page now shows better ones], hiding in moonlight [he's gone all the way with a full frontal], or just never posting photos [link removed -- "The Nude Life" moved to a resort in Florida, abandoned the blog, and it now links to porn]. Despite privacy concerns, others just let it all hang out. Some argue that we should all just post a photo of ourselves nude and get over it. I suppose they're right.

My girlfriend and I now have naked pictures of ourselves on the internet. She doesn't care in the slightest, with exception that the pictures aren't very flattering. (The good ones are in our brag book!) I'm a bit more uneasy about the concept, but it's something I need to get over if I hope to join the elite. I'm not going to link to our new-to-the-net pictures, but if you've been following this blog you'll know exactly where to look... if you dare!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Naked Pumpkin Run Update (11/6)

I'm following Amy's reporting regarding this year's Naked Pumpkin Run, and I'll post updates here as they happen.

They have released the names of the 12 runners who were cited. Here is a summary of a few:
Those cited include scientists, a doctoral candidate, a Fiske Planetarium docent, University of Colorado students and a cook. If convicted of indecent exposure, they would have to register as sex offenders.
In other words, these are all smart people who are capable of doing a lot of positive stuff for society within the next 10 years. However, that is assuming that they stay off the sex offender registry.

Amy argues that citing them with indecent exposure is overkill. Police had another option which doesn't require the sex offender registry: disorderly conduct.

In my opinion, it might be easier for them to be cleared of the indecent exposure citation. When put into context, running nude through a crowd that is there expecting them at a 10th annual event cannot be considered "indecent". However, if they're not cleared of the charge, the impact is far worse for both them and for society.

Those that are nearby should try to attend the hearings. They're scheduled for December 17th (for 10 of them) and January 12th (for the other 2). Mark your calendars! See Amy's post for all the information (phone numbers, location, etc.).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Missed News (11/2008)

Not all of it is nudity related, but they're still interesting...
  • Google has partnered with others and launched GeoEye-1, another spy satellite providing higher quality images for Google Maps and Google Earth. The next iteration will have resolutions up to 25 cm. By my calculations, a 6 foot person will be 7.3 pixels in size -- our privacy is safe for now.
  • Despite privacy concerns, Homeland Security is now spying on us from space with their new satellite. Information is "above top secret" and hasn't been reported much by the press. It is reported to take "ultra high-resolution photographs to within 1 meter of their target", and safeguards aren't in place to prevent misuse. It also tracks heat signatures of people inside buildings. Forget that privacy comment above.
  • Google protects the privacy of this topless woman, but I don't think it's considered a crime. (They also mention an "armed policeman hiding behind a car" -- take a closer look.)
  • I'm not the only one that doesn't approve of Google's street view.
  • My last bit of Google news is their new feed recommendations feature. It makes me want to get another couple of accounts, and sign up to every christian, republican, and nudist news feed I can find. Some of my recommendations were a bunch of nude art blogs, some local news feeds, this blog (since I don't subscribe to my own blog), and a few flickr tag feeds like "bikini" and "ass". Stats are also shown, and include:
    • The city newspaper feeds have thousands of subscribers.
    • The typical art nude blogs have hundreds of subscribers.
    • This blog has 38 subscribers.
    • Flickr images tagged "bikini" has 760 subscribers (!!!) and about 1500 uploads per week.
    • Flickr images tagged "nude" has 14 subscribers (???) and about 1650 uploads per week. I'm actually very surprised at how small this number is, especially when compared to "bikini". Google trends show the opposite. (Also of interest is McCain vs Obama. Google trends is fun!)
    • Flickr images tagged "ass" has 42 subscribers and 950 posts per week. It's nice to know that slightly more people are interested in ass pictures than my blog.
  • Iceland is for sale -- give global warming a couple more years and it'll be a nice island resort for nudist use.
  • Here's an idea for nude campers, go off-the-grid.
  • Skinbook is new and appears to be taking off. Note to self: Nudist websites should be socially-oriented instead of project-oriented, otherwise they won't work.
  • The Friends of Mazo Beach cleared up a lot of confusion for the locals.
  • I'm not sure which is worse: Parking a car in a handicapped spot at the police station to have sex, or the fact that the police had to respond to a call about it in order to find them. I'm happy that they were charged with the greater crime -- drunk driving. (See the spot in question.)
  • How can prudish Americans get kinky in the bedroom? A latex burqa, of course!
  • It's too easy to crack a joke about this coin-slot warning system.
  • Here's a neat feature on caves around the world. (takes a while to load all the pics.) If I ever make it to Mexico, I'd love to do some nude spelunking in that 112 degree one. They complain that the heat and humidity make it difficult to explore, yet are fully clothed in the pictures.
  • I'm fairly sure that fig leaves didn't stick to the real Adam and Eve. Am I the only one that finds it disturbing that they produce a full body costume made to look like skin, and then censor the fabric with fig leaves?
  • Hack-A-Day has a nice collection of voting machine issues, including a video. I have never in my life seen a touch-screen that worked so badly! A cheap off-the-shelf one works better even without the one-time step of calibration. Why don't they use buttons like an ATM? Maybe I should grab one of those keys and add buttons myself so I can actually vote.
  • I've followed his Art Nudes blog for several years, and he's now offering a nude art calendar. Please buy one from his store -- it's on my Christmas wish list.
  • A climate awareness calendar in London was pulled from the museum because it contains nudity. One picture is from the World Naked Bike Ride, and the other is from Spencer Tunek -- both very tasteful, and both fit perfectly with the theme.
  • Here's a blog with video of the Boulder Pumpkin Run this year. (Here's a better video, I'm sure there are many more.) I think it might've lived up to the promises of last year. It's a shame that the police are stepping in, because it looks like their all having a great time!