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Monthly Archive: June 2013

Jun 15 2013

“I’m the REAL Skeptic”: On Begging the Question

Things you need to stop doing in debates: framing your position as “rational/skeptical” and the opposing position as not “rational/skeptical.” What I’m talking about specifically are rhetorical moves like these: “Some hysterical people think sexual harassment is a huge problem, but I’m going to be rational about this.” or “I’m an actual skeptic, so I’m …

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Jun 12 2013

Depression and the Lie of the “Real Self”

[Content note: depression and suicide] Mitchell of Research To Be Done has a fantastic post up about this idea that when you’re on psychiatric medications, you’re not “the real you.” I’ll shamelessly quote about half the post: This is just a for the record, for everyone, whether you’re talking about antidepressants or any other form …

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Jun 11 2013

Harassment Is Not An Isolated Incident

The reason it’s so hard to get people to take harassment seriously is because it looks so different from the outside than from the inside. Here’s an example many of us are probably viscerally familiar with. There’s a group of kids at school who don’t like you. They try to trip you every time you …

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Jun 11 2013

[guest post] Dictionary Arguments, and Why They Suck

CaitieCat, a frequent and awesome commenter around here, has a guest postI It’s not news to any activist for any cause that people just love to whip out dictionary definitions as ostensibly authoritative guides to what words mean. Even so august a person as a fellow whose name may or may not rhyme with Shmichard …

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Jun 10 2013

Open Letter to the CFI Board of Directors

This was sent to the CFI Board of Directors today as they prepare to meet this week to discuss the controversy surrounding Dr. Ron Lindsay’s opening remarks at the Women in Secularism conference. It was signed by 33 of the conference attendees. If you have something to say about this, the CFI Board of Directors …

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Jun 07 2013

Yes, Activists Have Doubts Too, And Also Criticism Is A Process (A Rant About Two Kinda Different Things)

I was avoiding my statistics homework today and found this comic on Tumblr, by an art student named Alyssa Korea: This really resonated with me, for various reasons. First of all, it really captures that feeling of Am I doing it wrong am I saying something problematic am I exactly what I’m fighting against that many of …

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Jun 06 2013

Guy Leaves Internet For A Year, Finds That That Doesn’t Solve All His Problems

A writer named Paul Miller has done what most people could probably only dream of–he completely unplugged from the Internet for an entire year, hoping to find out “what else there was to life.” A year later, he returned, only to tell us this: I was wrong. One year ago I left the internet. I …

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Jun 04 2013

[interview] Greta Christina on Writing Dirty Stories

Greta Christina's Bending! Get it from Kindle, Nook, or Smashwords.

[Content note: BDSM] Greta Christina has a new book of kinky erotic stories out. It’s called Bending and I read it and it’s great. So I interviewed her about the book and the process and ethics of writing porn. If you’re curious why I refer to them as “dirty stories” and not “erotica,” Greta herself …

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