Puppies, the New Accuracy?

When I talked about the reaction to Skepticon’s handling of the threat that happened there, I mentioned that Sharon Hill of Doubtful News claimed not to have received a response from Skepticon. I also linked to Skepticon’s original response and their response to her and noted that she hadn’t asked any questions of them that I could find. I called her tweet claiming a lack of response “blatantly untrue.”

In response, she could have pointed out that I’d missed something. (Having looked again for any questions that had gone unanswered, I don’t think I did, but there could have been private correspondence.) She could have apologized for saying something poorly in 140 characters and clarified what she meant. She did neither.

Instead, I found this in my Twitter mentions last night.

Screen cap of tweet from Sharon Hill (@IDoubtIt). Text: I think @szvan and the #blockbot folks have issues; they need to look at cute puppies. http://instagram.com/p/g-0ttJPoAv/    OK, I'm done now.The puppy also made no statement about Skepticon. On the upside, it also managed to avoid argument ad hominem and suggesting that discussing the accuracy of claims indicates mental illness.

Yay, skepticism?

Comments

  1. Adamo says

    Perhaps her very existence is so important that of course everyone MUST note her comments and failure to respond to that individually is perceived to be a lack? I mean, you gave her attention, right? So she’s super important, right? So everybody needs to fall down her rabbit hole, right?

    On the other hand, there are always pictures of cute kittens, or unicorns farting glitter, or….

    Wait, what is the point of her again?

    And by the way, I apologize for saying something poorly. I do it often. It’s not a hard thing to apologize for it.

  2. says

    This seems to be the new response to criticism from the anti-FTB crowd. “Point out my fallacies and factual inaccuracies? Here’s a cutesy picture!” I understand the impulse, because it’s usually used to point out that a person’s criticisms are so ludicrous or fallacious as to be beneath actual response. The only thing is, these criticisms aren’t. Pretending that they are makes folks like Sharon Hill look less like skeptics concerned with accuracy and reality, and more like the kooks they typically dismiss. Instead of saying “your critique doesn’t even merit response,” it says “I have no face-saving way of responding to your critique.”

  3. says

    “Skeptics” seem to be the least rational, most horrible people I run across on the Internet… and that INCLUDES libertarian/Republican blowhards*. They’re a joke both individually and as whatever mockery of a movement they claim to represent. And they all seem to be competing to dethrone Sara Mayhew as the Dumbest Person on Twitter, with varying levels of success.

    *Although I’m guessing there’s an overlap.

  4. says

    Tom Foss @2,

    This seems to be the new response to criticism from the anti-FTB crowd. “Point out my fallacies and factual inaccuracies? Here’s a cutesy picture!” I understand the impulse, because it’s usually used to point out that a person’s criticisms are so ludicrous or fallacious as to be beneath actual response. The only thing is, these criticisms aren’t.

    Cargo cult skepticism, perhaps? They’re mimicking the forms that genuine skeptical responses often take, without any meaningful understanding of the actual process of skepticism. :/

  5. Dunc says

    Cargo cult skepticism, perhaps? They’re mimicking the forms that genuine skeptical responses often take, without any meaningful understanding of the actual process of skepticism. :/

    Ad hominem!

    Sorry, not sure what happened there… Must be some sort of reflex action. ;)

  6. freemage says

    Anne: “Cargo Cult” definitely covers the mindset and methodology. I see it in all sorts of reactionary movements–I’ve been calling the Men’s Rights Movement a “Cargo Cult Social Justice” front for awhile now. They use the language, mimic the forms, but there’s no underlying substance, and they all look confused when they fail to actually convince anyone of their asinine positions.

    In this case, I also suspect they’re failing at aping feminist sites like Manboobz (where we’ve discussed the whole slymepit matter as well, so I’m pretty sure at least some of their number are aware of what’s been said about them), where we often post cute animal pics during particularly emotional discussions as a form of brain-bleach after dealing with these assholes.

  7. says

    So much of what they do falls under the “cargo cult” umbrella. I’ve been talking about self-proclaimed skeptics who don’t understand the basics (like how logic works, or why emotional appeals aren’t necessarily fallacious)–even people with pretty cushy positions–for years now, but the ‘pitters with their GOP-style tactics introduce whole new levels of cargo-cultishness. The big obvious one is the way they throw around social justice terms like “rape apologist” without any actual concern for their meaning, only that they know we use those terms and think they’re bad, so they must just work like insults.

    It’s the same thing the Republicans tried when responding to criticism of Harriet Miers and Sarah Palin and Ann Romney–”the Democrats are the real sexists raging the real war on women!” Yeah, except you’re the ones thinking that women will vote in droves for any woman rather than look at credentials and qualifications, and you’re the ones with the regressive policies. Slimepitters can claim all they want to be the real feminists who don’t coddle women, but when they knee-jerk reaction to any feminist is to insult their appearance and call them b*tches and c*nts, the truth isn’t exactly hard to spot.

  8. says

    The big obvious one is the way they throw around social justice terms like “rape apologist” without any actual concern for their meaning, only that they know we use those terms and think they’re bad, so they must just work like insults.

    Just watch, they’ll start accusing us of cargo cult skepticism now, for the same reason…

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