I Get Mail – Hating My Soapbox


An incident on Reddit made me field a bunch of letters which complain about censorship on my blog and claims that it is an invalid source.

Is there anything specific that I have done that makes my blog an invalid source? Considering on Deepak Chopra, I am both Indian (by ethnicity) and in Medicine. I am also well aware of quackery that comes from India and indeed real achievements of Historical Indian Medicine that we still use today and am probably a good source on the individual. Yet I am still considered by people as a “invalid source”.

OR are you simply complaining because you don’t like the platform that I write on? Is it the Font? Are the colours too distracting?

The people who have complained clearly haven’t read what I have written. Yet you have judged me. There are around 30 odd blogs on Freethought Blogs and you seem to have confused me with someone else. That’s like saying that you disagree with the policies of Google in China so you are going to refuse to read any blog hosted on Blogger…

You don’t disagree with what I write. You disagree with the soapbox I stand on rather than my issues. In fact you probably disagree with someone else on here and are using that as an excuse to actively run around denigrating everyone here. It’s like claiming to disagree with me because I support a different team or because I like marmite on my toast or that my shoes are black rather than brown.

You are using irrelevant arguments to ignore a genuine stance and that’s what’s harming atheism and skepticism.

Comments

  1. says

    It’s people being people. You know how sometimes you’ll see Ed or PZ make a comment about “worldnutdaily” or the slymepit? It’s grouping based on what’s probably an inaccurate criterion (that Z posts on site Y means that Z probably agrees more or less with the prevailing attitudes of other posters on site Y) intellectual laziness meets not enough time to read the entire internet. Don’t let it bother you – content is king.

  2. says

    Agreed with the first comment, but I’d also add that PZ bans people based on where they have posted offsite. Given that your “soapbox” was originally built as a platform for Ed and PZ, and given PZ’s stated banning policy, that puts you in a terrible place to complain about others blaming people for their platform instead of their own words.

  3. Lofty says

    Aah, the angry nutters have noticed you. That means you are doing the right thing! I for one always read your blog even if I don’t comment.

  4. A Hermit says

    Given that your “soapbox” was originally built as a platform for Ed and PZ, and given PZ’s stated banning policy, that puts you in a terrible place to complain about others blaming people for their platform instead of their own words.

    Because Avicenna is responsible for PZ’s behaviour? So what if PZ is heavy handed in his troll control on HIS blog? What the fuck does that have to do with the validity of anything written by the author of THIS blog?

    Gee Damion, thanks for the real-time demonstration of exactly the kind of cluelessness addressed by this post…o_O

  5. says

    Avicenna’s arguments stand or fall on their own, of course. I was pointing out that he fails to apply his argument (that individual authors should be judged on their own) to the most prominent blogger with which he shares his soapbox. Given that the most popular blog on the FtB soapbox discriminates by platform, it is bizarre to act surprised when people do the same back to you guys. I’m willing to say that it is wrong in both cases, but I doubt that Avicenna is willing to do so, for fear of angering the management.

  6. A Hermit says

    I was pointing out that he fails to apply his argument (that individual authors should be judged on their own) to the most prominent blogger with which he shares his soapbox.

    Why should he? Avicenna’s responding to his critics’ clueless argument about HIS blog which you are repeating here by trying to make it about PZ’s blog instead of this one.

    I know he makes a convenient tool for demonizing anyone remotely connected to FtB but PZ is completely irrelevant here. Not every conversation about atheist blogging has to be about PZ for fuck’s sake…

  7. says

    To be fair, the kerning of Trebuchet MS looks horrendous at 14px on Windows (but fine at 13 or 15, oddly), so maybe it is the font :)

  8. says

    Why should he? Avicenna’s responding to his critics’ clueless argument about HIS blog…

    I’m happy admit that it is generally nonsensical to judge people by the company they keep or the platform from which they post. Will you admit that it is equally irrational when Myers, Benson, Thibeault, and other bloggers do the same by demonising other people (e.g. Slymepitters, MRAs) in precisely the same manner?

  9. says

    You mean one group of people who think screaming “Cunt” is highly amusing and the other group of people who tried to blame the Delhi Rape victim for her attack?

    You mean one group of people who literally sat there mocking me for being “poor” and who indeed tried to derail a fundraiser to replace rather essential equipment that had gotten damaged? Or who told me to “get a real job”?

    They seem like stellar chaps! Quick! I must meet them so that I can demonstrate to my daughters the kind of people I will forbid them to date.

  10. says

    I disapprove of people complaining to you about what other FTbloggers do. It’s pointless to complain to someone about something someone else did, and it’s silly to judge someone based on someone else’s actions. Although, there are a lot of people who are willing to judge someone based on the company they keep. I’m not one of those.

    If I see that a person agrees with the company they keep, I’m not judging them for the company they keep, I’m judging them for agreeing with a position I disagree/agree with.

    I think the company you keep here at FTB is pretty good. In fact, I never would have discovered or read your blog otherwise. If you’d been on Fox News, WND or Patheos I wouldn’t have bothered – I’d have figured you were a wingnut or a religious mushbrain (or someone willing to rub shoulders with religious mushbrains). Of course, now that JT’s at Patheos that forces me to rethink the wisdom of pre-judging all the blogs at Patheos. Pre-judging is an optimization, sometimes, because we simply cannot afford to read everything on the internet.

    It seems to me that it’s not a problem to approach information this way as long as you understand the hows and whys of when you’re pre-judging and accept that you are prone to make more errors by doing so.

  11. A Hermit says

    I’m happy admit that it is generally nonsensical to judge people by the company they keep or the platform from which they post. Will you admit that it is equally irrational when Myers, Benson, Thibeault, and other bloggers do the same by demonising other people (e.g. Slymepitters, MRAs) in precisely the same manner?

    Why do you insist on making this about other people? Is it really necessary to drag your petty personal gripes into every conversation? I visit FtB to read this blog, Mano Singham’s, Crommunist’s, Paul Fidalgo’s and a few others before I ever get to Myer’s. Your personal dislike of Myer’s moderation policies has absolutely no bearing on the content of any of those other people’s places.

    Personally I take the same approach to MRA’s that I take to other woo-peddlers; I’ll listen politely up to a point, but I won’t let their bullshit pass unchallenged.

    And if I ever run into a Slymepitter who is doing anything other than whine about the mythical multi-headed MyersBensonWatson beast I’m happy to give them a fair hearing…but the only time I ever seem to hear from you guys is when you jump into conversations like this one to whine “What about what PEEEEZEEEE DID???1?!!?!?”

    It’s getting a bit tiresome…

  12. says

    This has nothing to do with my admitted distaste for Myer’s approach, it has everything to do with philosophical inconsistency implicit in the OP. Avicenna can either 1) stop grousing when people lump him in with others based on where they post or 2) stop lumping other people together based on where they post, like he does here:

    They seem like stellar chaps! Quick! I must meet them so that I can demonstrate to my daughters the kind of people I will forbid them to date.

    That’s exactly what it looks like when you throw stones from inside your own glass house.

  13. says

    Damion you know that is not true, does that mean I can call it a lie? I posted at the pit as did erikthebassist and Louie from what I heard. PZ has clearly stated that anyone *actively* joining in at a forum dedicated to producing the kind of wingnut opinions anyone can see on Nonstampcollectors last post is not welcome at HIS blog. Avicenna for his own reasons doesn’t have this policy, neither do any of the other FtB bloggers afaik. So it is plainly not correct to say *anyone* posting offsite is insta-banned at PZs let alone FTBs. But it is no where near as juicy as saying ppl joining in at wingnut anti-FTBs central are banned. Well yeah, I’m surprised more bloggers here don’t have that policy. Why wouldn’t they when it is shown over and over that ppl from there troll over here, shout cunt like Steersman did on Stephanies blog recently, then run back to the pit to be called braveheros….

    But all of this has nothing to do with Avicenna’s blog, I find it amazing that someone seemingly so anti “guilt by association” would express the opinion that he deserves this smear. Especially given the policy you seem to dislike from PZ is actively not employed here. Or at least I would be surprised if you were not an active Slymepitter as it is usually the case that FTBs deserve anything they get [Guilt by assoc is fine when it works in your favour] whereas all the professional victims at the pit are hard done by. Next time you complain about the guilt by association thing we’ll be wondering why the principle did not apply here.

    In terms of tarring all MRAs with the same brush. Well boo hoo, point me to a Mens Rights “Activist” who has actually got any laws changed or done anything useful apart from dox feminists they don’t like and I’ll maybe change my mind. Its no more unfair to assume things about delusional MRAs than it is to assume things about 9/11 truthers, AGW deniers, alien abductees or any other useless peddler of woo…

  14. says

    AHermit, great minds think alike, I honestly didn’t see your woo reference before posting :-)

    Damion, think you might be reading more into Avicenna’s text than there is? He said *a group of people* who like to shout cunt. *a group of people* that laughed at him for being poor…. Are you denying there are groups of people who fit these descriptions? They are not necessarily *all* the Slymepitters and he didn’t make that leap… You did.

  15. A Hermit says

    Look Damion, I’ll try to explain it to you as plainly as I can; making a judgement about some aspect of an individual’s character by their willingness to associate with and cheer-lead for bigots and woo-peddlers like the MRA crowd is one thing, Judging the content of a particular blog without actually reading that blog and based only the behaviour of someone else on some other blog is quite a different matter. If you can’t spot the obvious differences between those things I’m not sure I can help you.

    And be honest; this has everything to do with the petty, small minded personal feud between you lot and Myers. I’m sick to death of the whining, self serving, self pitying stream of attention seeking bullshite seeping into every corner of the A/S cyberspace.

    GROW UP AND GET THE FUCK OVER IT ALREADY!

  16. A Hermit says

    Just for fun I decided to take a look and compare whats going on today…

    Here on FtB Chris Clarke is talking about the reactions to the building collapse in Bangladesh. PZ is talking about creationists and UFO enthusiasts and teaching strategies, Ed Brayton is talking about Republican attempts to cut judges pay and has a bit about “wingnut on wingnut crime”, Chris Rodda is discussing Louis Gohmert’s awful, unconstitutional “CHURCH Act”, the whole community is chipping in to help Darksyde pay his rent after his heart attack, Greta has a guest post by Rebecca Henlsler on public grieving and secularism, Stephanie is posting videos from Skeptech, Ophelia is taking on the Islamists over Hijabs, Maryam is addressing Sharia Councils in Britain and persecution of atheist bloggers in Bangladesh, Mano Singham is supporting anti-homeopathy efforts in India…

    ————————–

    And what’s on over at the slymepit today…? Why, what a surprise! Just for a change they’re….whining about PPPEEEEEEEZZZEEEEEEE!!1!!!1!11

    And that’s about it.

    ————————-

    Still don’t see any difference Damion? Do you get some idea of why I spend time here and don’t give two shits about your little circle-jerking pity-party forum?

  17. says

    That’s exactly what it looks like when you throw stones from inside your own glass house.

    Nonsense. If members of a group had attempted to sabotage a fundraiser being run for me (in essence, attempting to do me material, economic harm) and then mocked me for my socioeconomic status, and then later run into other people who, while not being involved, are proud to state that they’re part of the same community?

    You’re right that it’s generally nonsensical to judge by association, but just that word implies exceptions. For a group like posters on the Slymepit, which has served as a consistent platform for vile harassment (and attempted sabotage, as appears to be the case for Avicenna here), I’d say just such an exception is beyond justified.

  18. Voltaire &co says

    Get tough with trolls-ignore them. The stupid will always be with you as it says in the Bible-proof the writers of the same babble.

  19. says

    Damion, think you might be reading more into Avicenna’s text than there is? He said *a group of people* who like to shout cunt. *a group of people* that laughed at him for being poor…. Are you denying there are groups of people who fit these descriptions?

    Of course there are people who did those things, James. There are also many more people on the same forum who have refrained from doing such things. My objection is that Avicenna seemed to be lumping the latter in with the former. Hopefully, I was wrong about that. If so, I will apologise and retract.

    I’ve not seen any persuasive argument here that an open forum with hundreds of posters and no membership requirements is somehow more ideologically cohesive than a blog network with just a handful of handpicked authors. Either way, I’m not going to judge anyone by where they post rather than what they wrote.

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