Official Warning – Pitchguest


This is an official warning to Pitchguest.

As many readers know that in all of FTB, I have one of the more relaxed comment policies here. Despite many myriad claims to the contrary, the people who have been banned or been warned have gotten such warnings due to breeching EVEN the more generous comment policy that I do have.

I normally do not  post such letters in the blog, however knowing that Pitchguest is part of the Slymepit has effectively forced my hand. Should I post this solely via E-Mail, my words can be twisted to fit the narrative that FTB is filled with blood sucking ghosts and howling demons of the wastes.

Everyone gets a chance here, to be kicked off my blog you really have to break the rules and be unrepentant about it. The people who have been banned have all received warnings and failed to change. The only person who was outright banned was clearly unlikely to change his ways and directed a series of personal attacks on me and my family. To be banned here is to be realise

Melody Hensley is an executive director of CFI who’s called other people shit, too, including trying to get a YouTube video deleted by throwing her followers at it.

Judging by the photoshop brigade and their current work you will forgive me for assuming that said video was probably not all that nice and probably breeched various rules of youtube and/or good taste.

She’s called other women “sister punishers” and when it came to emphatise with a blind man at a CFI sponsored convention, when the blind man complained about lack of accomodation for the disabled she said, and I quote, “I know how it’s like be disabled because I once broke my ankle and I couldn’t go upstairs.” Granted the blind man comes off as a whiny diva who seems to expect things on a silver platter, but that still doesn’t excuse Hensley on just how enormously stupid that comment is.

And this means it is acceptable to not only conduct a campaign of harassment but also to pretend to be a charity and utilise the good works of the charity to denigrate and bully another person?

An utterly incompetent woman who’s unable to take criticism in any form, whose psyche is so sensitive she develops PTSD from Twitter. PTSD? Pretty damn serious. You don’t fuck around with claims of PTSD. So if Melody says she has it, we better believe it. However, if she has it, and her ailment originated online of all places – Twitter, specifically – then maybe she should stay away from Twitter? Moreover, soldiers who come back from warzones who’ve developed PTSD get panic attacks from fireworks. (Or as you say, from the various things you say the trigger first came from.) So how is it Melody can safely browse online, on Twitter, on Storify (which she has claimed is a tool for harassing people [like from @Elevatorgate]), respond and sometimes even address her so-called “harassers” and be completely fine?

Did you read my post?

There are soldiers who survived  the worst that war could throw at them and who broke down at the sight of something as common place as an abandoned toy. PTSD is not about a single traumatic incident but can be about the slow grind of your mental state.

And you did not read my post. How you fight your monster is upto you. There is no hierarchy of PTSD. My PTSD is not better than hers. We do not engage in debates to rank the validity of trauma.

I am triggered by fireworks because I have come from a warzone. I however have responded to therapy and indeed dealt with my triggers in my own way. I avoid that which I can but I am not averse to setting off fireworks despite not enjoying them to the level of others.

Soldiers who came back from warzones do retreat from public life to avoid their triggers and it isn’t healthy for many. If the trigger for  an individual is something banal then there is nothing they can do to change it. If it is something specifically aimed at them such as the people who terrified me when I was a lot younger by bursting balloons then such behaviour is not normal but a special set of circumstances designed by the art of human hand to trigger. Soldiers who fear explosions may not be able to stop Bonfire Night but they can at least expect people to not chuck cherry bombs at their feet while walking through town.

And we call that bullying.

Must I force you to face your fears solely because you are a jerk?

As for sensitive psyche?

I may have PTSD but it is not indicative of a sensitive psyche. It is indicative of experienced trauma and the association of things with the memory of trauma and reasonable anxiety associated with the trauma being expressed on a permanent basis.

I know for a fact that most people cannot do what I do. They may say that they can but there are enough people who have tried and failed or tried and decided to just give up. PTSD does not mean your psyche is weak and I know that I have not only lived through things that are horrible but also still do so.

We do not know anything about Melody. We really do not. You are making a grandiose assumption about her PTSD as an untrained layman. I would not make assumptions that you do as a trained medical person and I am sure that a specialist in the field of psychiatry and indeed traumatic psychology would not make such a clearly layman guess at the aetiology of her PTSD.

You have been defending the actions of someone or a group of people who thought it was acceptable to use the victims of acid attack to harm and harass a person just because they disagreed with her and her friends.

You didn’t care about ASTI. Do you think this is just about the atheist or about them too? You didn’t care about the charity in question, the things the victims of vitriolage have faced or their struggles. Do you even understand why I am irritated by this and why people think it’s bad?

ASTI to the people who made this and by extension you due to your defence of them are not an organisation that does great work but  a tool to beat down someone you didn’t care for. You may say that you care for the victims of acid attacks but frankly your actions seem like you only care for them unless you need to win an argument on the Internet then they are just another acceptable tool.

You may think Melody deserves this and that’s bullying at it’s simplest.

But you never really stopped to think whether ASTI deserve it.

I know the anti-FTB lot will yell “FREE SPEECH” and other things but here is the long and short of it. You may personally have not engaged in bullying but you are justifying the bullying of someone else by others who you affiliate with. The utilisation of ASTI and your ignoring of that problem is probably because you have no real defence for that thing.

This is an official warning. Knock it off. You are harming a lot of people.

Comments

  1. Steersman says

    Matt:

    That is Avi’s and your “fucking” opinion, and that of several others – which you have all generally resolutely refused to defend with any evidence. Ergo, to use a word you should be familiar with: FLOOOSH.

  2. johngreg says

    … kindly go off and fuck yourself with a rake.

    Ah! A new variation on the FTB self-rape threat joke. Haven’t seen that one before.

    And by-the-by, MattP, Avi was the first one to bring Hensley into the picture/thread, not the evil Pit People.

    … you and your fellow shitkickers have been attempting to justify the appropriation of the voices of victims, and the charity that aids them….

    Nah, don’t think so. You’ve got the wrong dastardly evil plot there, Matt.

  3. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Ah! A new variation on the FTB self-rape threat joke. Haven’t seen that one before.

    It’s a crudely worded request to go somewhere else to jerk yourselves around. If it is beyond the bounds of the blog and community standards, then I take full responsibility for it and will refrain from its use in the future.

    And by-the-by, MattP, Avi was the first one to bring Hensley into the picture/thread, not the evil Pit People.

    Avi brought her up in the last post decrying the third-party use of acid attack victims and a charity’s name against her. How is it so difficult to understand? Grow a spine and use your own voice. Part of operating as a member of society is not misrepresenting your opinions and criticisms as those of another person or organization. Doing otherwise is unethical and leads to many problems, both social and legal.

    Also, if FTB is so fucking evil and stupid, how did all of you get here unless you were searching around for some shit to stir up?

  4. A. Noyd says

    MattP (#103)

    If it is beyond the bounds of the blog and community standards, then I take full responsibility for it and will refrain from its use in the future.

    Using gratuitously violent language and suggestions of self-harm to tell people to fuck off is frowned on at some of the blogs on FtB, but Avicenna gets to determine that for his blog, of course. Really, though, you should laugh at whoever it was* using the term “self-rape threat” unironically, because that’s just stupid. They have no personal objection to what you said; it’s just part of the game of trying to prove FtB commenters are hypocritical** by holding things FtB-commenter-A says against standards espoused by FtB-commenter-B. Which is even more ridiculous when you consider how most of pitstains simultaneously pretend FtB is a horrible, horrible echo chamber.

    …….
    *I have all the pitstains killfiled because they’re boring and stupid and never say anything new or factually correct.
    **Because they seem to believe that proving people on the FtB side hypocrites will somehow vindicate the bullshit espoused by anti-FtB sorts.

  5. Holms says

    #60
    She’s no angel. No saint. She’s not even a samaritan. She is, as far as I’m concerned, an opportunistic, narcissistic whiner who can’t take it when she’s getting dished back. It’s not bullying. It’s pushback. It’s not justifying; it’s taking responsibility for her actions.

    This is pretty much the same as saying “it’s not murder, it’s capital punishment! They aren’t the same thing!” In both cases, the current activity is being reframed in a way that makes it appear to be the direct consequence of something the target ‘brought upon themselves’. It attempts to remove the agency of those performing the current bullying / murder by linking it to the target instead, making them responsible for their own shitty day. The underlying logic truly is indistinguishable from the old playground silliness of grabbing someone’s arm, slapping them with their own hand and saying “stop hitting yourself!” They aren’t choosing it, you are. Fucking own up to it.

    It is infantile in either case. No bully deserves misery through ‘pushback’, if that pushback is simply a euphamism for more bullying; no murderer deserves death through ‘capital punishment’ (which is simply a euphamism for murder); no rapist deserves to be raped in jail etc. etc.

    Your ‘eye for an eye’ mentality has no place in the sceptic community.

    Oh, and because I have to, the reason I think Melody’s full of shit is because her actions are not consistent with her words. She claims that her PTSD was induced by Twitter, but instead of avoiding Twitter – as PTSD sufferers tend to avoid the things that triggered their PTSD in the first place – she treats it like business as usual. Not to mention that her friends frequently (and deliberately) send her stuff that might be potentially triggering, like a blog or forum post insulting her, ON Twitter. It doesn’t add up. If she really has PTSD and it did, indeed, originate on Twitter, then she should take steps to avoid it, no?

    There is a large difference between ’caused by twitter’ and ’caused by harassment via twitter. It is the reason why a person can be affected by twitter, yet continue to use it, in much the same way that a person harassed by phone calls, compromised facebook account or whatever may suffer anxiety from that act, yet is perfectly fine using that medium in the absence of that abuse.

    People get to carry on with their lives. You don’t get to condemn them for that.

    #61
    The world is a big ugly place. Put yourself in front of it and what is justified or not rapidly becomes pragmatically irrelevant. There is also that fine line between sustained robust criticism and bullying. Would you care to define it? Is it frequency, bad words? Does a public leader get to rope off personal aspects? Which ones? What if they use personal info in their public cause – directly or indirectly? Wow. What a messy place.

    How about you try thinking about it as an adult? Regardless of the behaviour or others, you do not have to behave the same way; personally, I grew out of the ‘but he started it!’ defense somewhere in my teens.

    As for the difference between criticism and harassment, If you can’t tell the difference between attacking an argument versus attacking the person making the argument, then there is no hope for you.

    #67
    You have a ruling from a lawyer to that effect? You have an e-mail from ASTI confirming that?

    This is the same silliness as with #61. You are presumably an adult, you should not need legal counsel to determine if something is bullying.

    #69
    As for the fundraiser, I only know what I personally felt about it: that one of your fellow bloggers (at the time) was at the risk of becoming homeless, meanwhile you and Greta were fundraising for a (pricey) laptop and (as we would later find out) $300 shoes. It didn’t seem right.

    Mocking her PTSD? It is a tongue in cheek jab at Melody’s continued use of Twitter despite her PTSD originating on Twitter. Effectively it is reminding us that PTSD is a serious disorder and should not be taken lightly. Again, I ask, is PTSD like a tap or valve that you can just turn on and off whenever you feel like it? Because it seems in Melody’s case, she can still browse on Twitter no problem without even a hint of panic. Is it?

    These have been addressed. Maybe read the thread again?

    #70
    Mine was an opening premise; that it’s unreasonable to become a public figure and not expect robust push back and even bullying behaviour from some quarters. You call this ‘snowflakism’ . Now ‘bad’ that’s a value statement requiring a bit more thought and texture.

    I agree that ‘pushback’ a.k.a. harassment is predictable, expecially from ‘certain quarters’ a.k.a. slymepitters. That does not mean that we must refrain from criticising it. Predictable awfulness is still awfulness.

    #84
    What? No, he did not note a trend of maliciousness in the user. I don’t even know how you got that from what he said.

    Again, there was no trend.

    You seem to have missed my post #8, wherein I identify how I got that from what he said in #3.

    And complaints are made to videos on YouTube all the time.

    Heh. “YouTube sided with the complainee.” Shows a deep ignorance of the inner workings of YouTube.

    Melody instigated a false-flagging campaign. Hundreds of videos that didn’t violate the ToS have gotten removed, reinstated and removed again, because of false-flagging campaigns. (That’s when several people agree to flag the same video despite it not violating the ToS.) Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, if you get flagged enough times you get a warning. It happens again, another warning. Three times and you’re out. YouTube “[siding] with the complainee” means fuck all.

    I note that you posit the ‘false flag’ as a possible explanation, and then side with it with no presentation of evidence of any such rallying of her readership.

    Not that it even matters, this is and continues to be an effort to make harassment of someone justified. Whether this false flag accusation is true or not, the answer is ‘no’.

    Let me guess: another one of those who think the word ‘sceptic’ is toxic?

    Baseless assumption, and also incorrect.

    He’s not a Slymepitter. Has never posted on the Slymepit nor is he a member of the Slymepit. Nice bit of freethought there, genius.

    Really. It’s impossible for him to post under a different name over there so as to hide his identity? That’s amazingly naive of you, but if that’s true, what is my name over on slymepit? Do you think my account over there is called ‘Holms’?

    Anyway, according to your hypothesis, he arrived here at the same time as a bunch of slymers, in the same thread, spewing the same sentiment… completely independantly. And you find this more likely than a slymer simply posting under a different pseudonym.

    Amazing.

    #91
    And stop going on about that stupid photoshop. I didn’t make the fucking thing.

    Here, finally, you touch on the crux of this thread. It was used by whoever made it as part of an ongoing effort to harass someone, and you’re fine with that because “she’s no saint”, as if that was ever relevant.

    No one is saying that you made it, but that you are defending it.

    #94
    You mean when I explicitly said, “I don’t suffer from PTSD. I’ve heard and seen what happens to people who do, however, and I would never mock it.” I am such a turd.

    The ‘turd’ element enters at the point where, after your noble sounding disclaimer, you immediately bely your words by defending the ongoing harassment of someone with PTSD. Hell, you even go to the length of using the classic ‘where you there’ creationist argument as a means of questiong her diagnosis.

    If you stoop to emulating the creationists in your efforts to justify harassment, then I tend to agree with the ‘turd’ assessment.

    Oh, and “turd”? Where is this “grownup dialog” you speak of?

    Projecting much?

    You’ve thrown insults in almost every post you make, you don’t then get to cry foul at being insulted. Hypocrite.

    Not that there’s any point continuing. This thread has done nothing more that demonstrate time and time again that the slymers posting here are happy to be intentionally dishonest if it will further the cause of making life worse for an outspoken woman.

  6. Holms says

    <blockquote#
    And by-the-by, MattP, Avi was the first one to bring Hensley into the picture/thread, not the evil Pit People.WOW! No shit! This entire post stemmed specifically from Pitchguest’s defence of those that were attacking Hensley, meaning it has been the subject matter at hand the entire fucking time. But here you are trying to demonise Avi for… bringing her into the conversation. What the fuck have you been reading all this time?

    Nah, don’t think so. You’ve got the wrong dastardly evil plot there, Matt.

    You mean aside from the fact that that is exactly what has been going on for the entirety of this thread? Sure.

    So done with you liars.

  7. A. Noyd says

    Holms (#106)

    Anyway, according to your hypothesis, he arrived here at the same time as a bunch of slymers, in the same thread, spewing the same sentiment… completely independantly. And you find this more likely than a slymer simply posting under a different pseudonym.

    I think it bears remembering that the reason the slimepit was named and reviled was for a characteristic set of hateful, anti-social behaviors. It’s a fiction made up by the pitstains, who took that designation and formalized it into a website and identity, that it actually matters whether other people identified since then as the slimy sort are literal members of the website. They just want to so badly to stand for something more than toxic entitlement, bigotry and bullying that they demand FtB folks recognize them as distinct from people who act just like them. Fuck playing along with that, though.

  8. says

    Another slymey thread crawls to an end and really while the pitters have, as usual, argued a totally disingenuous point they have succeeded in a way. Probably in the way they intend as well … Spreading disinformation and some outright lies that they have collected and nurtured over at the pit for the last few years. There is absolutely no point arguing on the details of who said she said, they will never change their minds and just use it as an excuse to throw in as many slyme-gallop lies and smears as possible. Throw as much poo as possible and hope it sticks. I know I’m the last to suggest this without cries of hypocrisy as I like to argue the toss with the slyme-twits as much as anyone, but really Josh had it covered in his one and only comment.

    Congratulations, Avi. You’ve given the pit a new place to spread lies. If you don’t want your blog to descend into the sewer you might consider more moderation.

    In hindsight maybe a more abstract example to argue over would be a better plan. Not sure how to frame?
    Established facts, in the absence of evidence to the contrary.
    F1. PersonX has claimed they have PTSD from abuse on Twitter, blogs, videos, email.
    F2. PersonX has claimed they have seen mental health professionals and been diagnosed with ASD and then PTSD and is under going treatment for these issues.
    F3. PersonX works in a high profile position in an atheist/skeptic organisation. Funded by the community and hence accountable to the community.
    …. probably more, but I’m thinking aloud here ….

    Then the objections framed as questions.
    Q1. So in principle is it justified to ridicule people who are part of an organisation as a way of undermining them?
    A1 Yes, we do this all the while, xtian orgs, creationists like Ken Ham etc.
    (Caveats: But there is maybe an argument that this is destructive and an argument that we should avoid doing this internally for obvious reasons. Hypocritical though, so cannot be justified as a principle. Also it could be argued that addressing the people and not what they do wrong – i.e. Creationism for Ken Ham – is inherently petty. But I cannot personally argue it is never justified to go for the people. Especially when they are the figurehead, others further down the org, not so much IMO, as in this case.)

    Q2. In principle is it justified to use this mental health issue as a target of ridicule?
    A2: No, that damages everyone with a mental health issue by implication that it is inherently bad/risible to have a mental health issue. It isn’t.
    (Caveats: None for me)

    Q3. In principle is it justified to question this diagnosis of a mental health issue and use that as a target?
    A3: No. A proper diagnosis has been made and as far as we know our abstract example has seen mental health professionals. In the absence of any proof the diagnosis is wrong we are in danger of crossing the Q/A2 principle.
    (Caveats: Maybe if Ken Ham said he had some made up mental health issue or something totally implausible then yes. But this is not the case here.)

    So this is a bit like Nugent’s atheist-skeptic dialogue where the pitters gave up on rational dialogue as they couldn’t get their litany of tu quoque and carefully gathered smears into the conversation. This would guard against some bias as it’s being discussed abstract from the particular example of an ebil “FfTB’er” being ebil n stuff. So in theory should be more attractive to the “ultra-rational” pitters, why did that dialogue fail again!? Amazing!

    So no mentioning names, it’s an abstract example, any that are mentioned are totally outside the real world example and used for rhetorical reasons only, so not emotionally connected. Someone we can all empathise with disliking, like Ken Ham, or maybe another as a general person to like, could be harder! No tu quoque as how are other specific examples relevant in their detail? By all means abstract them if there is a principle there. Then see what we agree on …

    I think we’d all agree on the established facts F1/2/3 … I think we’d all agree on Q/A1. I hope we’d all agree on Q/A2 as otherwise you’ll look like an asshole if you mock Ken Ham for his depressive episode and damage ppl with MH issues. Where it appears people disagree on this thread is Q/A3 … Is the diagnosis so totally ridiculous it warrants ridicule? Needs another question.

    Q3.1: Can a seemingly innocuous activity or event trigger PTSD in someone?
    A3.1: Yes, according to Avi, who I’d call an authority. Please bring evidence if you disagree with him. If you are basing your justification for breaking Q/A3 on fallacious reasoning then you are breaking Q/A2, which we presumably agree on.
    (Caveat: We are not even talking about an innocuous activity or event, we are talking about F1 -> *abuse* on multiple online fora, not at all extraordinary to say this triggered PTSD)

    Not touched on the ASTI angle and if it is justifiable to bring in a serious worthwhile cause into a campaign of ridiculing a person in an organisation. Again probably not something that can be argued as a principle, but if you are not helping ASTI why would you do it? Splash damage to them cannot be justified easily.

    So that is my not very well thought out reasoning as to why this example is, in principle, wrong. Totally separate from charges of bullying which can also be addressed and compound the damage done IMO.

    Can’t see a real skeptical approach to analysing the issues working to be honest (BTW mine is crap but a million times better than anything the pitters use). They are so wedded to their narratives of hateful FTBullies that they cannot separate the emotion from the principle. Damion was one of the rare pitters who saw the flaws of the pit and left, I see he even used a skeptical approach to a problem recently, “the litany of tarski”, that aims to over come the very set of biases the pit revels in. It’s an emotional machine of confirmation bias that works to whip up the members of the forum into as much an emotional fervour against their tribal “others” as possible. Dehumanising terms like “FTBullies” and “Baboons” are rife, they then rationalise it all as not being any worse than those, now dehumanised, “FTBullies” who do the same to them… Wash, rinse, repeat, with the odd pause when someone “goes too far”.

  9. johngreg says

    Well, now I’ve developed PTSD from reading Oolon; s/h/it calls me bad names all the time and forces me, alliteratively forces me to read his nasty nastinesses. Really he has and I have but I don’t Twitter so I cannot Twat about it or even poor underprivileged me be blocked too oh woe is me I am so underprivileged and so so damaged.

    But, please, don’t call the police; they never do anything anyway anywhere ever unless it supports The Man.

  10. says

    The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole
    my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube
    sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  11. says

    “Well, now I’ve developed PTSD from reading Oolon; s/h/it calls me bad names all the time and forces me, alliteratively forces me to read his nasty nastinesses. Really he has and I have but I don’t Twitter so I cannot Twat about it or even poor underprivileged me be blocked too oh woe is me I am so underprivileged and so so damaged.

    But, please, don’t call the police; they never do anything anyway anywhere ever unless it supports The Man.”

    Says the person who accused other people (who actually have experience with PTSD) of “diminishing and dismissing” PTSD sufferers.

    This shits got to stop.

    I mean, perhaps y’all think this is acceptable because it’s the internet or something, but we really don’t HAVE to go on like this.

    Y’all can just step back from what you are doing and saying and think – Hey, what do I plan to accomplish? Am I being constructive and helpful? Will this course of action further my stated goals? What will be the likely consequences of my actions?

    But until then, we just have to attempt not to enable this sort of crap while trying not to get too wrapped up in it.

    Easier said than done I suppose.

  12. Steersman says

    M. A. Melby said:

    This shit’s got to stop.

    Indeed. Ran across something relevant to that in the Pit the other day, a quote (1) of Aron Ra:

    But whenever I talk about politics, that’s when things get ugly, and it doesn’t seem to matter who I’m talking to. I am sometimes amazed at the differences between what someone thinks I said versus, -whatever somebody thinks I meant vs whatever I actually said, and how any perceived endorsement of a limited provision will be exaggerated in hyperbole to the most ludicrous extreme possible.

    Certainly seems to be a lot of that “exaggerated in hyperbole to the most ludicrous extreme possible”. And I’m not saying that “your” side are the only ones guilty of that. Rather difficult to forestall or correct that – sort of like with rumours as I think we’ve discussed before.

    But I think this statement of yours is an illustration or manifestation of that:

    Says the person who accused other people (who actually have experience with PTSD) of “diminishing and dismissing” PTSD sufferers.

    The point there being, if I’m not mistaken, the question of whether or not Melody was faking that PTSD to evade justifiable criticism. A point which “your” “side” seems to be rather resolutely refusing even to consider.

    ——
    1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=83345#p83345”;

  13. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    A point which “your” “side” seems to be rather resolutely refusing even to consider.

    A point which “your” “side” latches onto despite having no evidence, just armchair psychoanalytic wanking and uninformed suggestions of possible motives which fit Melody to the particular cross that was constructed for her.

    Not every claim is tractable enough to determine positively the truth value. In this specific situation, and I’m being extremely generous here to the opposition, that may be the case: so why won’t the people who’ve allegedly caused her the trauma err on the side of caution and leave it the fuck alone? No, really, why? Is scoring the rhetorical point worth it? Is correcting her the most important thing to you? Heaping scorn and criticism and continuing to engage in escalating the attacks seems like the least zero-bad thing someone could do. Yet it’s a nearly a given that abuse follows complaints of abuse.

    Finally, there is the fact that some are not even willing to consider that assuming the dishonesty of her about this issue is actually having the effect of distracting from the actual abuse and harassment which she has received. It’s a side issue. It’s not diminishing PTSD that is the problem. It may be a possible problem but there is no indication that it is the most probable truth claim, nor is it or should it be seen as the most problematic issue that could probably be true. The problems that are in evidence are the mental contortions and prevarications some people go through in order to dismiss the real abuse as trivial, how they presume someone a liar and smear them as such with scant evidence, and then provide the cover for the serial harassers to continue unabashed of their deeds. How fucked up is that? If I had to weight the two possibilities on a scale of fucked-uppedness, the latter would always rate higher.

  14. Steersman says

    Throwaway said (#116):

    Not every claim is tractable enough to determine positively the truth value.

    Agreed.

    So why don’t you take Avicenna to task for embarking an accusation that that photoshop and, presumably, the YouTube video that was deleted actually constituted bullying as opposed to valid criticisms of Melody’s actions?

    But the point is that absent the evidence – a review of that video’s content, and the actions of all players involved – it seems virtually impossible to decide the truth of the case one way or the other. And any and all claims – from either side – might reasonably be discounted as biased at best, and self-serving at worst.

  15. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    So why don’t you take Avicenna to task for embarking an accusation that that photoshop and, presumably, the YouTube video that was deleted actually constituted bullying as opposed to valid criticisms of Melody’s actions?

    Why would I do that when that relies on the a priori assumption that her experience of trauma was negligible and that her PTSD could not have been triggered by such things?

    I myself have PTSD. It developed from an auto accident in which I survived and my brother was killed. There were no other vehicles involved. Yet one of my triggers is when, if I’m being driven, the driver is too close to the rear of the vehicle in front. You know what would be an asshole move for the driver? If they intentionally tailgate the vehicle in front of us because they don’t think my trigger is even tangentially related to the trauma I went through. Worse would be the insinuation that my feelings are selfish pandering for attention because they know a soldier who came from a war zone without PTSD and that I have nothing on that. I already make that comparison, pretty much every time I am reminded with violent shaking and anxiety: I blame myself already for my own PTSD because I wasn’t strong enough to deal with it.

    So there’s a lot of things left for any “critics” to prove that their criticisms are even remotely valid in the first place, let alone that they were properly guided as a means to resolving the conflicts rather than exacerbating them.

  16. Steersman says

    Throwaway said (#118):

    Why would I do that when that relies on the a priori assumption that her experience of trauma was negligible and that her PTSD could not have been triggered by such things?

    I don’t know. Maybe because Avicenna’s screed relies on the a priori assumption that her experience of trauma was significant, and that her PTSD was in fact triggered by such things?

    The point being that, absent some evidence either way – which he refuses to address – the entire question is speculative at best.

  17. leni says

    Ah Pitchguest. The dumbass who wondered aloud why it was considered rape to have sex with an unconscious person and then decided that thought sounded better in his head than it did all typed up on the internet when he got called on it.

    Steersman:

    Maybe because Avicenna’s screed relies on the a priori assumption that her experience of trauma was significant, and that her PTSD was in fact triggered by such things?

    Emphasis added.

    Steersman, you’re really moving up in the world! You are now not just some random, hyper-skeptical jackass on the internet, but the arbiter of whether or not other people’s experience of trauma is “significant”. I imagine legions of therapists can retire now.

    Whatever would we do without you? I never sought therapy after my traumatic experience and resulting PTSD, But perhaps I could just tell you the whole the story and you could decide for me whether it was significant or not? Although I did not take photos. You’d have to rely on my word and I know that’s just not enough. Looks like I better just not have PTSD then. Problem solved again Steersman, excellent work!

    Consider this: The only reason I would feel “safe” telling you about my own PTSD is because I am anonymous and not likely to be a target of you and/or your friends. If I weren’t, like Melody Hensley isn’t, I know what would happen. A deluge of intentionally triggering images and comments. And assholes like you to come along and excuse them and minimize their shitty behavior by questioning the “significance” of my experience.

    And that is by design. It is a feature, not a bug. All you need to do is exist in a perfect zen-like state of not knowing anything and you don’t have to consider the implications your behavior. Ignorance truly is bliss for you, isn’t it?

  18. Steersman says

    Leni said (#120):

    You are now not just some random, hyper-skeptical jackass on the internet, but the arbiter of whether or not other people’s experience of trauma is “significant”.

    You might want to go back and re-read what I said and then try and prove that I had actually said that, that I was making some sort of judgement that everyone had to fall into step behind.

    My statement – which you quoted but apparently didn’t understand in the slightest; thumb on the scales, maybe? – was, and I quote: “Avicenna’s screed relies a priori assumption that her experience of trauma was significant”. That wasn’t an assertion that it was or was not “significant”, but a question whether Avicenna’s assumption that it was significant was justified or not. And, implicit in that is the question of whether the PTSD, even if there was some of that, was significant in comparison with what might have been justifiable criticism of her actions.

    Considering that neither you nor he, nor anyone else if I’m not mistaken, has provided any evidence – you know, the stuff that is supposed to separate skeptics from the gullible – to justify that assumption, it would seem to be perfectly reasonable to question it, and the conclusions that some are apparently insisting follow from it. Which is what I was doing since you apparently hadn’t noticed – rush to judgement much?

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  20. leni says

    My statement – which you quoted but apparently didn’t understand in the slightest; thumb on the scales, maybe? – was, and I quote: “Avicenna’s screed relies a priori assumption that her experience of trauma was significant”. That wasn’t an assertion that it was or was not “significant”, but a question whether Avicenna’s assumption that it was significant was justified or not.

    You wouldn’t think Avicenna’s assumption was problematic if you didn’t think the initial claim was problematic. Another bullshit distinction from Steersman, what a surprise.

    You’ve already concluded it wasn’t justified or you wouldn’t have called it a “screed”. You’ve made the assumption that her word on the matter is not trustworthy. Criticizing Avicenna’s assumption is a proxy for criticizing the PTSD claim itself, so just stop. You aren’t fooling anyone and it’s weaselly and annoying.

    And, implicit in that is the question of whether the PTSD, even if there was some of that, was significant in comparison with what might have been justifiable criticism of her actions.

    The whole is not the sum of the parts. She experienced all manner of criticism, some of which was justified and and some of which was not. A lot of it was just cruel and abusive and probably pretty fucking scary. Cruel and abusive behavior is intended to hurt and frighten. So it seems, to put it mildly, silly for you to be questioning the magnitude of her hurt to this point.

    What does it matter? If she wasn’t really hurt as badly as she claims then it’s ok to overlook the abuse? What?

    Considering that neither you nor he, nor anyone else if I’m not mistaken, has provided any evidence – you know, the stuff that is supposed to separate skeptics from the gullible – to justify that assumption, it would seem to be perfectly reasonable to question it…

    Would it? Do you ask everyone for evidence of their traumas and resulting PTSD or just people you don’t like (who are also big enough targets to make you feel like you’re preforming some sort of valuable service to the community)?

  21. Steersman says

    Leni (#123):

    You wouldn’t think Avicenna’s assumption was problematic if you didn’t think the initial claim was problematic.

    You wouldn’t think Christian prayers in schools were problematic if you didn’t think their initial claims were problematic. The question is and was whether there is justification for the initial incident, the first cause in the chain of events. Which takes some integrity and intellectual honesty to pursue and elucidate.

    You’ve already concluded it wasn’t justified or you wouldn’t have called it a “screed”.

    I called it a screed because Avicenna gave no evidence at all – it was largely if not entirely something predicated on cheap emotionalism. As a comparison, you might want to take a look at a recent post from “Lousy Canuck” where he gave, I think, a very detailed and credible time-line of all of the events in some case – I think, don’t have the link handy – of sexual harassment.

    She experienced all manner of criticism, some of which was justified and some of which was not.

    Hallelujah! Saints be praised! Is that a swallow I see, a harbinger of an early spring? ;-)

    Largely my point – I quite agree some of it probably wasn’t justified and some it was probably “cruel and abusive” – I hadn’t followed all of the ins-and-outs, all of the he-said,she-said, so I’m guessing, but I’ll largely take your word on the point. However, it doesn’t help matters in the slightest for many people – possibly if not probably on both “sides” – to be characterizing all of it as either one or the other. That is black-and-white thinking of the “four legs good, two legs bad” variety – the Manicheanism of fundamentalist religion that “we” rightly throw stones at.

    Might help a lot if more people were to do as you did there – consider that there might be an element of truth to the arguments from the opposing “side”. As a case in point, you might want to consider this recent comment (1) on one of Michael Nugent’s posts.

    —-
    1) “_http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/11/26/richard-dawkins-nuanced-memoir-and-the-unjust-personal-smears-against-him/#comment-401703”;

  22. Steersman says

    John Greg:

    :-) You might be right about that.

    Although to be fair, I think it’s a fairly complicated and “knotty” issue – if not one of “Gordian” complexity and proportions. And he/she did acknowledge that at least some of the criticism directed Melody’s way was justified – Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will it, and other secular manifestations, be torn down in one either – and that admission seems to be chiseling away at one of the corner-stones. Unfortunate though that WBB’s video is apparently no longer available – I’ve looked – as that would seem to be of some relevance to the question.

  23. johngreg says

    Steers said:

    … I think it’s a fairly complicated and “knotty” issue….

    Well, ya, indeed.

    That is probably, for me, the primary area of disagreement I have with the Horde, Skepchick, A+, etc. Most of them seem to me, to my way of thinking, to live in a profoundly simplistic world where highly complicated and complex issues can be relegated to Twitter for “in-depth” discussion, 140 empty characters at a time, important issues are either black or white, and everyone must fall into either a with us or an against us, nuance- and reality-free, territory.

    And that’s all far, far too simplistic an approach for me to get behind.

  24. Steersman says

    John Greg:

    True. But why I think Leni’s admission is an important one – and something to be commended and emphasized as, hopefully, a bit of a sea-change in FftB-land.

    But I’ll certainly agree with your “living in a profoundly simplistic world”. Apropos of which, something from Proverbs (1:22):

    How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

    However, as I’ve argued or suggested in the Pit, and as I’ve argued or suggested here, “our” side is not without a wart or two either, “the cruel and abusive” being a case in point, something which “Guestus Aurelius” also emphasized in a comment on Nugent’s post.

  25. johngreg says

    Steers said:

    However, as I’ve argued or suggested in the Pit, and as I’ve argued or suggested here, “our” side is not without a wart or two either….

    True, true. I’ve never said otherwise (contrary to what that world-class goal post shifter Damion says).

    And, by the same token, some of the dedicated FTB commentors (even some OMs) are not without moments of wisdom.

    I don’t think I can say the same for the FTB blog hosts though (excepting Ally Fogg).

  26. leni says

    You wouldn’t think Christian prayers in schools were problematic if you didn’t think their initial claims were problematic.

    Oh look here it is. All claims are equal and should be be given equal weight no matter how preposterous. Traditional classic!

    Claiming that online abuse is hurtful and could result in an anxiety problem is clearly just as problematic as claiming that a god gave birth to itself, then killed itself, then rose from the fucking dead to save everyone’s eternal soul.

    Yeah, no red flags there.

    Also of note, you said this:

    The question is and was whether there is justification for the initial incident, the first cause in the chain of events.

    and earlier, this:

    That wasn’t an assertion that it was or was not “significant”, but a question whether Avicenna’s assumption that it was significant was justified or not.

    I wonder, where will you move the goalpost to next? I already said I knew your criticism iof Avicenna was a proxy for the “real thing”. You denied that, now you admit it. Ok well, thanks?

    Might help a lot if more people were to do as you did there – consider that there might be an element of truth…

    And it might help if a lot more people were to do as I did, and consider the fact that there might be an element of truth that abuse is harmful, both to the recipient and to others who may have legitimate grievances.

    It’s funny and telling to me that you come here with that particular grievance.

    Hallelujah! Saints be praised! Is that a swallow I see, a harbinger of an early spring? ;-)

    Hold fast, the terrible sensation of light filtering through your colon will soon pass :-D

  27. Steersman says

    Leni:

    Oh look here it is. All claims are equal and should be given equal weight no matter how preposterous. Traditional classic!

    For Christ’s sake, it was an analogy! Like Ophelia Benson’s analogy comparing TAM with Nazi Germany! Like Theophantes’ analogy (1) comparing Rebecca Watson with Nelson Mandela! I doubt any of them were trying to argue – I certainly wasn’t – that all elements in each of the two situations or cases being compared were identical, only that some of them were similar or had similar relationships.

    You might want to actually reduce your rather profound level of ignorance on the question by reading this article on the topic (2). Do note the fundamental framework or example: Hand is to palm as foot is to sole.

    You denied that, now you admit it. Ok well, thanks?

    I haven’t the foggiest idea what you’re going on about there. And I expect you don’t either.

    … consider the fact that there might be an element of truth that abuse is harmful

    Ok, as a general principle or idea, I’ll concede that point, although one would have thought my “some of it was probably cruel and abusive” would have been sufficient for most people to get the picture.

    However, you still seem to have some difficulty wrapping your head around the idea that some criticisms of Melody were actually justified – and that in spite of you actually admitting that fact. Maybe, just maybe – and I emphasize the word since you seem slow on the uptake – whatever it was that people were “justifiably” criticizing her for was because she was herself being abusive – which you apparently think is a justifiable basis for criticism.

    Unless you actually put the cards on the table so we can actually assess the facts – who was being abusive and who was making valid criticisms, for starters – I think you’re just blowing smoke out of your ass.

    —–
    1) “_http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/11/26/richard-dawkins-nuanced-memoir-and-the-unjust-personal-smears-against-him/comment-page-1/#comment-396926”;
    2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analogies#Identity_of_relation”;

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