I think this depends very much on your social circle and social goals. Wearing clothing with slogans on it is a high variance strategy: high attractiveness to a few people, low or even negative attractiveness to others. Wearing slogan-less clothing is more low variance; probably no one will object, but likely none of your responses will be as positive as the maximum positive response from wearing a T-shirt with a slogan on it. Both strategies can be useful, depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

Personally, I wear shirts with nerdy slogans on them, and anecdotally have had several positive interactions with people who came up to me to say "I like your shirt." (And I doubt I've lost much by turning people off.)

Also, I'm unconvinced that, in a casual context, wearing a shirt with a slogan on it is as negative as you suggest. I see people wearing shirts with slogans I don't get all the time, and I think I just ignore them, or occasionally ask what they mean (which rarely gets me very far conversation-wise, but doesn't cause me to dislike the person).

On the other hand, if you're trying to project an aura of Serious Grownup, it's probably a bad idea.

EDIT: Unless you're talking about shirts with controversial slogans, I suppose. That's even more high-variance, but again, in some contexts could still be a good idea. (I was thinking of things like "Engineering: It's like math, but louder.")

Wearing slogan-less clothing is more low variance; probably no one will object, but likely none of your responses will be as positive as the maximum positive response from wearing a T-shirt with a slogan on it.

Depends what you're wearing instead. T-shirts with cute slogans on them are nowhere near the only way to make an impression with your clothes; in fact, I'd consider them a pretty cheap and lazy way to send a message as such things go.

You're probably right if I'm to take a plain T-shirt and Levi 501s as the implied alternative, though.

4CAE_Jones7yShirts I've gotten comments on that I took as positive: * "When all else fails, send in the Wookiee." * A shirt with the Mortal Kombat logo. My father and I have identical shirts; his got someone in a Bst-Buy to chase him down and ask if he could have it. Mine has gotten positive comments from older Chinese women and Tai Chi practicianers. * "Those who pretend they know everything annoy those of us who do." This one tends to get reactions every time I wear it. * My Green Lantern shirt has gotten a reaction or two. But I'm also quite certain that context matters. Family, polite old ladies, nerds (of varying extremes), and Chinese people tend to be the majority of people I interacted with once I got to eighth grade and my anti-idiot filters successfully limited my interactions with anyone else. (Nowadays it's just family, but I've gone into that elsewhere.) I'm sure an "Of course I care! That's why I'm calculating probabilities!" would get (mostly neutral or positive) reactions, but how that translates into real world applications I can only imagine (I physically cannot read body language and a non-negligible number of people might be artificially polite to me because of my eyes).
1hedges7yTrue. This works for attractiveness as well. Generally stylish clothes will give you low variance, while dressing to please a specific crowd (goths, emo rockers, etc.) will give you high variance.

Rationality witticisms suitable for t-shirts or bumper stickers

by evand 1 min read15th Jun 201385 comments

3


What are your best short witticisms, suitable for use on a t-shirt, bumper sticker, or similar location? Ideally something that might make someone reading it think, or get curious enough to ask about it. Simple in-group identification is fine too, though.

For context, therufs is spending today at the NC Maker Faire making t-shirts, and asked me for suggestions this morning. As I was still mostly asleep, I wasn't very helpful.