If it bleats like a goat


If you see an organized group of people pursuing an activity for 30 months and then you see a couple of members of that group pursuing what looks like the same activity, it’s not confirmation bias to conclude that they’re doing what it looks as if they’re doing. It may be a mistake, but it’s not confirmation bias.

That’s my helpful hint for the day.

Comments

  1. catof many faces says

    What’s all this about goats? i’m rather confused and unsure where to look to find out.

    A tweet with the link might help anyone else who is a bit lost on this as well.

  2. says

    She’s talking about Chas Stewart’s insistence that the framing of the photo with him & Damion Reinhardt wearing Slimepitter t-shirts, along with two unnamed women, standing underneath a large sign reading “ELEVATOR”, along with his tweet about how the elevator is very nice at Skepticon, is not a reference to Elevatorgate.

    Chas would like us to believe that he is remarkably oblivious and a bit on the stupid side, rather than an asshole.

  3. says

    @SallyStrange

    From the beginning of this to the present, from Dawkins to Mayhew to the whole Slymepit to Harriet Hall, the defense has ALWAYS been “We’re so fucking stupid that we don’t control our own actions, we don’t understand the basics of human social interactions, and there’s no way we can be held accountable for the harm we do because we have all the intellect of slightly steamed cabbage.” Everything is “I don’t understand why you’re angry” and “there’s no way I could have known I would hurt feelings” and dozens of other excuses that equate to “Sara Mayhew is officially T’he Dumbest Person on Twitter’ but ‘Most Foolish Atheist/Skeptic’ is still up for grabs… and it is always a VERY close race!”

  4. nich says

    Chas would like us to believe that he is remarkably oblivious and a bit on the stupid side, rather than an asshole.

    My asshole is insulted. While it works hard to keep me from being full of shit, Chas seems dedicated to being full of shit. My asshole kindly suggests the term “Chas-hole”.

    Thank you.

  5. says

    She’s talking about Chas Stewart’s insistence that the framing of the photo with him & Damion Reinhardt wearing Slimepitter t-shirts, along with two unnamed women, standing underneath a large sign reading “ELEVATOR”, along with his tweet about how the elevator is very nice at Skepticon, is not a reference to Elevatorgate.

    Chas would like us to believe that he is remarkably oblivious and a bit on the stupid side, rather than an asshole.

    Um… what? Was this picture taken at Skepticon?

  6. says

    Chas would like us to believe that he is remarkably oblivious and a bit on the stupid side, rather than an asshole.

    I will interpret his actions most generously, and conclude that he is both stupid and an asshole.

  7. says

    1. Reputation matters. I hope they enjoy the one they are crafting form themselves because humans are pattern seeking creatures and we will continue to look to confirm the patterns we think we see. When too many coincidences line up bleating out ignorance can only last so long.

    2. Related to 1 is that the toxic community that spawns this sort of activity seems to love to be skeptical about things like if women are harassed and mistreated when statistically it is likely, and at the same they want us to believe it’s all random chance when the offensive coincidences appear.

    I’m not sure sure that the symmetry in 2 is intentional, but I would not be surprised if there were not instincts to try to make it look like one side (FTB) was “imagining things” as a way to conveniently ignore them, when the same side also wanted to talk about patterns, numbers, and statistics in other contexts. What better excuse to ignore people trying to make a numbers and patterns based argument if you have a ready made excuse about them “imagining” an offensive picture?

  8. jenBPhillips says

    Brony that (the gaslighting you allude to in the last para of your comment above) is exactly what is going on in Chas’s twitter feed as we speak. Lots of LOL those FTB folks sure do get the vapors over a whole lotta nothin’ hurhurhur. With extra pictures of other people’s faces on goat bodies, because it’s all so harmless and lighthearted, and only the thin-skinned sourpusses would ever object to it.

    *spits*

  9. Dunc says

    Chas would like us to believe that he is remarkably oblivious and a bit on the stupid side, rather than an asshole.

    Based on the available evidence to date, I’m inclined to believe that he’s all of those things.

  10. bargearse says

    Hyperdeath

    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker:

    I don’t even know why he’s bothering to lie (badly) about it.

    I think he’s playing to another audience.

    It’s textbook trolling. He’s being a disingenuous shit, he knows it, we all know, he’s just getting his jollies acting like a babe in the woods. Even an idiot like him can’t believe he’s fooling anybody.

  11. latsot says

    I think he’s playing to another audience.

    Yeah. Their ‘shocked’ protestations have a built-in smirk. It’s all a nasty little bit of pantomime presumably aimed at reinforcing by flawed analogy the idea that their opponents are hysterical, politically-correct over-reactors. Or perhaps it’s just old-fashioned taunting. Either way, it’s as childish as it is hateful and unnecessary.

  12. ludicrous says

    latsot @ 19

    ” Either way, it’s as childish as it is hateful and unnecessary.”

    “Childish”? I think you have misjudged children. Those I have known are nothing like the slymepitters.

    Do you think children deserve to be used as negative stereotypes?

  13. latsot says

    @ludicrous

    Perhaps you were never a child and have never known a child. Children are many great and beautiful things but they can also be unsophisticatedly vicious. At my school, children adopted this kind of tactic all the time.

    For example, they would do something to deliberately hurt another child but which, when the victim explained it to authority, just didn’t sound like bullying. So if you complained, you would look like the troublemaker. Typically, this wasn’t done as a one-off prank, it was part of a sustained campaign against an individual.

    Another popular technique was to play dumb, as seems to be happening in this example. That was deliberate nose-thumbing: a demonstration that people could bully their victims even in conventional ways and get away with it by pretending they didn’t know they were being hateful. Everyone knew what was really going on, but in those days teachers were not good at responding to bullying unless it was a very obvious case of someone being beaten up in the playground. It was horrible for the victims because the bullies were not only bullying them, but lording over them the fact that they could continue to do it for as long as they wanted with impunity.

    So kids act that way, for sure. I wasn’t talking about any of the other horrible things slymee-affiliated people sometimes do. I’ll concede that adults acting that way are worse: they ought to know better. They’ve either failed to learn the lessons the rest of us have or they are pretending they don’t know that acting this way is wrong. But they are still acting like children in this respect, by definition childish.

    Do you think children deserve to be used as negative stereotypes?

    No and I’m not doing anything even similar to that. I’m saying that children act in ways that are regrettable in people who have every reason to know better (adults). When children make mistakes, it’s because they are children. What distinguishes adults from children is experience. If experience teaches us anything, it’s empathy.

    So people who haven’t learned those lessons or pretend never to have learned them are – as a matter of fact – acting in some respects like children and are – possibly in the first case and certainly in the second – arseholes.

  14. rq says

    What distinguishes adults from children is experience.

    Which is why a child acting childish is ok, yet calling an adult’s behaviour ‘childish’ negates any and all experience s/he may have had, and sheds a bad light on children.
    They (the group mentioned) are not being ‘childish’, they’re ignoring their experience and refusing to learn, and that’s why calling them simply ‘childish’ is a negative stereotype of children. That’s not quite the same as acting like children, because I can act like a giddy (or petulant) child but still take my experiences and learned empathy into account, especially when speaking about or in relation to other people. But deliberately engaging in this kind of behaviour, as pointed out in the OP, is not childish, because they know they should do better. And they’re of an age where it should definitely be expected of them. That’s not acting childish anymore. Hiding under the mantle of ‘children’ is a way of diminishing the harm they are capable of doing. ‘Oh, that’s just childish’ because ‘childish’ means inconsequential, immature, transitory. And this, sorry to say, isn’t all that transitory. Immature, yes – deliberately so, not through any absence of experience or empathy or knowledge. And most certainly not inconsequential.
    (Also: from my experience with them, most children have empathy, it’s not really something we learn but more something we forget as we grow up, something that gets pushed aside for the sake of socialising into a particular group, which often means separating from others not part of that group, which often is expressed as unempathetic actions.)
    Most children are perfectly willing to learn and gain experience and use shameful tactics because they’re not certain what to do otherwise – they’re still feeling their way through the world, and have a difficult time in balancing selfishness and empathy. Adults who use shameful tactics, or refuse to learn or pretend that they have never learned, are simply assholish adults who have refused to learn empathy, or have chosen not to apply it in this case.
    This is kind of off-topic, though. Sorry.

  15. latsot says

    Which is why a child acting childish is ok, yet calling an adult’s behaviour ‘childish’ negates any and all experience s/he may have had, and sheds a bad light on children.

    You clearly have an axe to grind. I think you’re grinding it against the wrong person. I think we agree about a lot of things. However, comparing an adult’s behavour to a child’s behaviour doesn’t shed a bad light on children. As we’ve agreed, we expect children to act like children. We don’t expect adults to act like children. Calling a child a child is not an insult. Comparing adult behaviour to childish behaviour seems like a legitimate criticism to me. Not because childish behaviour is bad, but because there are good reasons for adults not to behave like children. If an adult had a tantrum in a supermarket and flung himself on the floor beating his fists and screaming because he wasn’t allowed to have sweets, I think I’d call that childish behaviour. It wouldn’t ‘put a bad light’ on children. It would suggest that adults in general have learned better ways to get what they want.

    That’s not quite the same as acting like children, because I can act like a giddy (or petulant) child but still take my experiences and learned empathy into account, especially when speaking about or in relation to other people.

    I think many adults would be improved by acting in child-like ways. There are many traits children tend to have that are often lost in adults. Curiosity, for example. Delight in looking under rocks or taking things apart. The simple joy in telling someone a joke and making them laugh. I don’t think all childish traits are bad and I never suggested anything of the sort but let’s credit what I said with a bit of context, isn’t that fair? I was talking about a bad thing that happened and comparing it to some bad ways in which children demonstrably behave.

    When I said “childish” I clearly referred to some bad behaviour children in general clearly exhibit. I didn’t say all children behave that way all the time; that children exhibit no other behaviours; that children are somehow bad because they behave that way; or that adults’ experience is negated (whatever that means) if they don’t behave in a particular way (which I never defined).

    You made all those things up, not me. I said that people acting like children act in a childish way. In the particular context I was talking about, I think it’s bad for adults to behave like children. In all sorts of other contexts, I think it’s vital for adults to behave like children.

  16. ludicrous says

    Look how far we have come as a society. Most of us, I think, have given up using groups for nefarious stereotyping. Think women, people of color, gay, various ethnic and foreign groups. Isn’t it time to give children and adolescents similar respect?

    It’s really not about them, it’s about us and the way we choose to think about others.

  17. latsot says

    @ludicrous

    Oh I do. I don’t talk to children as though they’re stupid, uneducated or unsophisticated. I talk to them as though they’re friends and equals, which is how (I hope) they talk to me too. But it is still ok in certain contexts to talk about ‘childish’ as meaning ‘relatively unsophisticated’. Because nobody is born sophisticated, it’s something we necessarily have to learn.

  18. chasstewart says

    That’s good latsot, because it would be cruel to treat someone as though they are stupid, uneducated or unsophisticated.

  19. ludicrous says

    I struggle to differentiate my point from the issue of whether or not children and adolescents do statistically score higher (or lower) on some specific attributes. I allow that they probably do.

    My point is why must we use them as examples? I think because it’s easy, we have always done it and they are not powerful enough to challenge us.

    It is disrespectful, we hardly ever will use other groups this way.

  20. Your Name's not Bruce? says

    I wonder how eagerly the two “braveheros” in the earlier posted photo would have accepted a “dare” that put them into t-shirts that proclaimed their membership in a group that was openly and proudly racist or homophobic? Stormfront? Westborough Baptist Church? Would they have worn such attire at a venue where they were likely to face people who had experienced bigotry at the hands of such organizations?

  21. ludicrous says

    Good point @28

    They are typical bullies and as such would not be able to understand that’s who they are.

  22. latsot says

    That’s good latsot, because it would be cruel to treat someone as though they are stupid, uneducated or unsophisticated.

    Exactly so. That was my point.

    But it’s not necessarily cruel to compare people who are stupid, uneducated or unsophisticated to people who are some or all of those things by means of an analogy.

    But fuck it. I won’t argue the point any more. I don’t think children or the typical or even stereotypical traits of children are bad. I don’t think adults who have childish traits are necessarily bad. But I do think adults who have the worst traits of children when they obviously know better are necessarily – and probably deliberately – bad.

    But for fucks sake, do you really think that my describing behaviour as childish is worse than the behaviour itself? Way to lose sight of the point.

  23. says

    I don’t think Chas understands the meaning of the word “cruel.” Recognizing that a person is stupid, unsophisticated, and uneducated is not cruel. Treating them accordingly could entail cruelty or not. It all depends on the type of treatment you think stupid, unsophisticated, and uneducated people should get.

    I guess Chas is really fighting for us to buy his thesis that he is remarkably oblivious and a bit on the stupid side.

  24. says

    @ ludicrous 20
    I understand your desire to not label children so harshly but latsot is quite right. Children can act monstrously because it is in their nature to have that capacity as they reflect their social environment. We do not judge them the same way in terms of consequences, but bad behavior is still bad behavior and deserves condemnation regardless of age and experience. Without people calling out the behavior the desired change will never come. Hence our collective condemnation of the pitters. I do not see latsot as saying that children are morally equivalent, and in fact I see you as displaying attitudes that would enable this sort of behavior in society by what seems to be your assumption that latsot is drawing such a moral equivalence. It really does look personal and irrational.

    I just spent three years attempting to retrain to be a high school science teacher and many of these behaviors are quite common and natural to children. Children can be very deceptive and are quite adept at manipulating their social environment. If you spent a month substituting at different local middle schools (if you are in the US) you will see precisely these sorts of behaviors being used between groups of children. This is a cultural issue and the inability of our educational system to effectively deal with these sorts of cultural issues are one of the reasons that I gave up. Children who organize these sorts of tactics in classrooms kill the learning environment and most of the time the educational systems mechanisms to deal with such children failed utterly in about half the schools I spent time in. Since these sorts of behaviors are also present in our political system (you can see similar sorts of tactics in intergroup squabbles on Facebook) at large I would say that these children are reflecting what their parents are like, but that does not make them any less toxic to education or society.

    I was an out-group authority figure and it rarely mattered who did what, some children have the instinct to deny wrongdoing no matter what. The same sorts of distraction tactics used by some pitters (Examples: But there is good stuff in the pit too! Not everyone there is like that! People at FTB are just as bad!) to get our attention off of bad behavior committed by some other pitters have clear analogs to the sorts of things that I saw among children in the 9-12 year old and older range. There are some children and people that will do almost anything to redirect the attention off of what they did an onto someone else. Quite often teachers will pay attention to the loudest complainer and so the bully tries to be the loudest (the victim often gets used to giving up and quieting down), the bully will try to direct attention to what the victim did to respond to the bullying (and desperately evade the subject of what they did). And directly relavent to this situation, some children will create situations where they can use the reaction of a victim as a means to manipulate the social environment later “you can’t believe them, remember the time they freaked out in class and blamed me for throwing things and you never saw anything?” This stuff is ancient, deep, widespread, and in our very offspring. We are not nice monkeys at all.

    The children you know are either from environments that make efforts to suppress this sort of completely natural behavior, or you do not encounter the behavior because it is context specific. There is a sort of “child worship” that society likes to engage in that can ultimately handicap and cripple their development in many cases. Children are not equals, they are children and interacting with them as equals has the potential to mess them up as well. Messed up children become messed up adults that get by though their social bonding with similar personality types. Then we come full circle back to the pitters.

    @latsot 21

    Everyone knew what was really going on, but in those days teachers were not good at responding to bullying unless it was a very obvious case of someone being beaten up in the playground.

    It’s still bad. Many schools that I worked in had almost no way to deal with it. I would try to talk to principals and teachers but they are often overwhelmed with just dealing with the benchmarks and district obsessions with their tests. Classroom management (and a school environment that can support it) is a luxury for many teachers and new teacher turnover is really high. I did not have any tolerance for bullying and was assured that any student creating a bad learning environment could be removed, but in many schools the administration would actually get mad at this! I would ask what I was specifically doing incorrectly and get no answer. Since the economy has gotten worse dealing with behavior has turned into massive passing on of responsibility.

    @chasstewart 26

    That’s good latsot, because it would be cruel to treat someone as though they are stupid, uneducated or unsophisticated.

    Unless it is inconsistent with reality to treat them as if they were not stupid, uneducated or unsophisticated. A some level we must accept reality and take it into account in order to deal with it effectively. Such a black and white approach as yours is itself unsophisticated and only serves to enable bad behavior. I was trying to be optimistic and assume that you are merely uneducated about such, but since I am not stupid you are appearing to be merely playing dumb more and more. I’m pretty much convinced by the pattern summarized here,
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2013/11/the-joke-shall-never-die/

  25. chasstewart says

    I guess you could recognize inwardly that someone is stupid and such and that is not necessarily cruel but surely joining up as a group and telling one individual over and over again that they are an idiot and liar should be considered at least somewhat mean. Imagine if I thought that any of you were non-partisan, freethinkers that possessed great judgement! I might actually have to mull over the possibility that I’m stupid, right?

    Thankfully, I’m not in that position.

  26. FloraPoste says

    Chas, why is it so important to you to try to convince people that the photo was not a deliberately posed “joke”? Would that be something to be ashamed of?

  27. says

    @chasstewart34

    I guess you could recognize inwardly that someone is stupid and such and that is not necessarily cruel but surely joining up as a group and telling one individual over and over again that they are an idiot and liar should be considered at least somewhat mean.

    This is a good example of why you lack respect here. There are objects here that you leave completely undefined and merely replace with your emotinal perceptions. Effective advocates (for themselves or positions) apply reason and logic and one means of that is to give examples and then connect ideas. I saw the same thing in the other thread too. It’s like you are incapable of accurately describing what people say.

    *…you could recognize inwardly that someone is stupid and such…
    Get specific. “…and such…” is a pathetic shadow of the content of the arguments I saw presented in the previous thread. People also discussed knowing and unknowing dishonesty, among other things.

    *…joining up as a group and telling one individual over and over again that they are an idiot and liar…
    This is also a pathetic shadow of the content of the other thread. I saw people actually making specific comments and connecting together examples from different places and drawing inferences. You simply brush over them.

    At some point meanness is warranted. When shitty behavior does not stop, peoples arguments are reduced to hyperbole and presented like reality, and the evidence is on the side of the folks being mean it becomes valid. I have no sympathy for you because there is a point where niceness stops and you crossed it.

    Imagine if I thought that any of you were non-partisan, freethinkers that possessed great judgement! I might actually have to mull over the possibility that I’m stupid, right?

    Emphasis mine. Defend the underlined portion. Because being non-partisan about reality is irrational and foolish. Again, I saw people drawing together examples, putting them into a context, and making valid inferences. This is as bad as the media’s obsession of setting up false “sides” to arguments. You are clearly either playing with us for your amusement, or a product of our culture. Either way I don’t have to accept the behavior and I either get to practice pointing out the juvenile logic, or pointing out how badly people can be messed up by the social circles they choose. Being a freethinker by itself is useless because thought must be controlled to be effective.

    You really should just stop because you look worse with every comment.

  28. chasstewart says

    I think it would be unnecessarily mean and unoriginal to boot to make that joke. And, I hate the idea that the women in the middle have been lumped in when they are fans of Watson, Surly Amy et. al. and were sharing laughs with Watson the night before.

  29. chasstewart says

    @Brony I should have specified that I was directly arguing against Sally Strange’s contention that all everyone here was doing in this forum was recognizing that I am stupid, uneducated and unsophisticated.

    @Sally Strange Yes, I think I was a bit oblivious about how my tweet was going to be interpreted. Nearly everyone person I’ve spoken to presumed I was referencing Elevatorgate.

  30. doubtthat says

    Haha, jump up on that cross.

    Interesting how desperate you are to come off as the victim in all of this. Just admit that it was a stupid joke and either apologize or don’t. I don’t get the impression that anyone is particularly angered by the photo, just depressed at how lame it is and the obsession it reveals.

    It was staged to feature the word “elevator.” The word “elevator” was emphasized in the tweet. You have to believe that everyone else is stupid to think your transparently silly excuse was going to fly.

    You do something lame and defend it with a comically weak excuse, then pretend to be the victim of “cruelty” when it’s pointed out. Quite a display you’re putting on.

  31. ludicrous says

    Brony @ 32

    ” I do not see latsot as saying that children are morally equivalent, and in fact I see you as displaying attitudes that would enable this sort of behavior in society by what seems to be your assumption that latsot is drawing such a moral equivalence. It really does look personal and irrational.”

    I believe I neither said nor implied any such thing.

    My point it seems to me is very simple and has nothing to do with the behavior of children.

    I think it is disrespectful to young people to USE them as EXAMPLES (pardon the caps) of behaviors we dislike.

    Somebody help me with this, I don’t seem to be able to make what seems to me a simple point.

    My only wish is that when we talk of despicable behavior we leave children out of it. Lets not tarnish or insult them by association.

  32. doubtthat says

    @40 ludicrous

    I get the point you’re trying to make, but would you agree that the adjective “childish” is evocative of a certain sets of behaviors we associate with young humans?

    I watched my girlfriend’s 3 year old nephew melt down into a half-hour tantrum because his dad asked him to put away one toy before playing with another. That sort of response usually fades with age (notable exceptions acknowledged), and capricious, irrational, exaggerated responses, or silly efforts at excuse making (“I didn’t eat any cake” said with frosting covering the face) are appropriate analogies to what often comes from a certain segment of the internet.

    Now, analogies can also be made to the admirable aspects of children: a genuous wonder about world, an innocent joyfulness…”childlike” enthusiasm…etc.

    I guess I am missing the disrespect in analogizing to the behavior of young people. Part of the maturation process lies in moving past those sorts of negative behaviors.

  33. FloraPoste says

    I think it would be unnecessarily mean and unoriginal to boot to make that joke.

    Oh, I think that horse already left the barn. You’re wearing a t-shirt that says “I waste my time making/laughing at mean, unoriginal jokes on the Internet.”

    And, I hate the idea that the women in the middle have been lumped in…

    Then you shouldn’t have added an elevator reference when you passed the photo on.

  34. chasstewart says

    @doubtthat I’m not trying to play the martyr. I’ve already explained that these insults mean nothing to me but I thought it was appropriate to point out that if cruelty is something that this group is trying to avoid them maybe you should refrain from insults.

  35. chasstewart says

    @florapasta I agree that I shouldn’t have added an elevator reference in the tweet. But seriously, as Damion tweeted, it looked like we were at an elevator con instead of Skepticon.

  36. says

    @Brony I should have specified that I was directly arguing against Sally Strange’s contention that all everyone here was doing in this forum was recognizing that I am stupid, uneducated and unsophisticated.

    What? I was making a general point about how intellectually lazy you are when you write, and about how recognizing reality isn’t necessarily mean.

    @Sally Strange Yes, I think I was a bit oblivious about how my tweet was going to be interpreted. Nearly everyone person I’ve spoken to presumed I was referencing Elevatorgate.

    In that case, it’s hardly mean, but merely accurate, to characterize you, Chas, as stupid. In fact, failing to inform you about the depth of your stupidity would be the truly mean course of action. How is it kindness to allow someone whose innate abilities seem to be within reasonable boundaries for human cognition to continue to wallow in such horrible ignorance and idiocy?

    I think it would be unnecessarily mean and unoriginal to boot to make that joke.

    Why should we believe this, when you saw no problem wearing a “Slimepitter” t-shirt? After all, the Slimepit was explicitly founded for the purpose of making the joke you describe as mean and unoriginal (not to mention the fact that its existence is the reason that that particular joke is so very unoriginal).

    And, I hate the idea that the women in the middle have been lumped in when they are fans of Watson, Surly Amy et. al. and were sharing laughs with Watson the night before.

    See, if you weren’t so howlingly stupid, you would have realized that a.) Nobody has said a damn thing about those two women except to note their existence b.) It is very easy to review the comments about this and note that there is no lumping in as you describe c.) Making such an easily falsifiable statement can only continue to undermine your already negligible credibility.

    Try to work on the whole “stupid” thing, and stop associating with misogynists, and maybe next time you try to claim that your hurtful prank was an innocent mistake, someone will believe you.

    I really don’t care if you meant it or not. I don’t quite buy that you are as stupid as you claim. In either case, it is a problem with you and your character, and not a problem on the part of those who saw your picture and made the painfully obvious connections.

  37. says

    @doubtthat I’m not trying to play the martyr. I’ve already explained that these insults mean nothing to me but I thought it was appropriate to point out that if cruelty is something that this group is trying to avoid them maybe you should refrain from insults.

    Since we’re mainly insulting you, the logical inference is that you think we are being cruel to you. How is that not trying to play the martyr? You did something that leaves us with only two possible explanations as to your motivations: either you are a colossally mean asshole, or you are spectacularly oblivious and rather dumb. YOU created that situation, not us. If anyone is being cruel to ChasStewart here, it’s it’s ChasStewart, courtesy of your claimed obliviousness.

  38. latsot says

    @doubtthat:

    Exactly so. I do not find the tantrums of young children especially admirable, but that’s what children do so neither am I impatient or judgemental. And you know what? I remember when I was that age and footling nonsense was COMPLETELY IMPORTANT to me. I get it. I never try to tell a tantruming child that they’re wrong to find whatever it is so important and the world so obviously against them. That’s how the world seems to them and it would indeed be disrespectful to tell a child they were wrong or stupid to think that way. Even if, in the general scheme of things, they’re being wrong and/or stupid. Sometimes they are.

    I also find the curiosity of young children brilliant. Who doesn’t? But I also find it often misguided. I wouldn’t discourage misguided enthusiasm. I’d encourage misguided enthusiam above boring sensibleness. Always. But that doesn’t mean that the enthusiasm of children is always right or useful or lasts more than half an hour. Sometimes it isn’t and doesn’t.

    But there are situations in which it’s important not to be childish. I don’t want my CEO writhing around on the boardroom table hitting himself in the head with his fists because the CFO wont give him any sweets. I don’t want to play tig with my doctor, I want her to tell me what the fuck that mole is and why my knee hurts.

    I don’t see why this is difficult to understand. Describing an adult as in some sense clildlike doesn’t imply that there’s anything wrong with children. There’s a new lego shop opening near us before Christmas. BEFORE CHRISTMAS. If any adult I meet fails to react to this news like they were a child, I want nothing to do with them. If they steal lego from the shop without accepting the consequences, then I want nothing to do with them.

    If a child stole the lego… well, I’d explain to it why that was wrong. You know, consequences.

  39. doubtthat says

    @florapasta I agree that I shouldn’t have added an elevator reference in the tweet. But seriously, as Damion tweeted, it looked like we were at an elevator con instead of Skepticon.

    If you’d just moved to the other wall, you could have been at restrooms con HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! You guys are clever. Observational humor is my favorite kind, and boy, are you gifted in that regard. It’s like, why would they have a sign clearly indicating the location of the elevator?

    “Seriously?” Seriously, what was the joke? Big word + con = ????

  40. Amphigorey says

    @ chasstewart:

    I think I was a bit oblivious about how my tweet was going to be interpreted. Nearly everyone person I’ve spoken to presumed I was referencing Elevatorgate.

    Yeah right. I’ll start to think about believing it was unintentional when you tell your friends on Twitter who are applauding you for being a “brave hero” that it was an accident and to stop making a joke of it because you think that joke is stupid and unoriginal.

    OH LOOK you aren’t doing that; you’re accepting the backpats, because getting the backpats was the whole point of taking the picture in the first place.

    Have you considered making friends with people who aren’t, you know, assholes?

  41. chasstewart says

    @Sally :lol: I didn’t know that admitting that I was rather naive and oblivious while constructing a tweet was the same as admitting that I’m an idiot in general! And you’re saying that not informing me of my immense stupidity after making a mistake is cruel… I simply don’t believe you actually think this is true. Do you tell your SO that they are “howlingly stupid” when they are naive or simply make a mistake? If so, then that is abusive and you should absolutely stop. But, I don’t think that’s true and I don’t think you are being at all genuine in your responses to me.

    If you are being genuine right now then you might have to explore the possibility that you are simply a mean person.

  42. latsot says

    I’ve been in that actual exact elevator in the Dublin hotel a couple of dozen times. I’ve somehow managed to resist taking pictures of myself outside it with my thumbs up and my tongue out.

  43. chasstewart says

    @doubtthat I don’t claim to be a comedian so maybe the large, elevator sign dominating our picture wasn’t as funny as I originally thought. Okay, now you’re hurting my feelings.

  44. latsot says

    Oh come on #52. I tell my SO that she’s howlingly stupid all the time. She goes on facebook to tell everyone she’s ever met what a prick I am. It’s called a relationship. Of sorts. But you don’t get tp decide what sorts of relationship other people have. Nice try though.

  45. doubtthat says

    Chas:

    Your claim of innocent density is undermined by the obvious glee with which you’re trying to taunt Sally and play the victim. It reveals an intentionality of douche-baggery.

    It’s the same sort of trolling in both cases: “let me see if I get a rise out of people,” then taunt the folks reacting to your pathetic behavior, “hey, what’s the big deal?”

    You must like the attention as your tactics are conspicuous and banal. And now we’re at the point where you’re lying, we know you’re lying, you know we know you’re lying, and yet you keep going. Why?

  46. doubtthat says

    @54 chas, the innocent, whose parents hid from him the aged, sick and dying

    Hey man, that’s freedom of speech. If you can’t take the heat, maybe you should crawl back to a controlled, edited forum where a gaggle of like-minded sheeple can caress your hair and whisper consolations to your ear.

  47. says

    @ludicrous

    Brony @ 32
    ”I do not see latsot as saying that children are morally equivalent, and in fact I see you as displaying attitudes that would enable this sort of behavior in society by what seems to be your assumption that latsot is drawing such a moral equivalence. It really does look personal and irrational.”

    I believe I neither said nor implied any such thing.

    I did not say you did. When I say “I see you as displaying attitudes…” I’m clearly describing reality as if my opinion is correct. It’s what happens when people disagree about reality. Each one presents the version they support. I’m not attributing anything to the content of your head, I’m describing reality outside of your head as I see it.

    Let me be clear.
    I know that you believe that it is disrespectful to young people to use them as examples of behavior that we dislike. The problem is several fold:
    *These behaviors are clearly analogous and studying them in their simplest form is analytically useful. I refuse to drop that cognitive tool because you don’t like it. You will need to offer me a tool of equal or greater analytical value or I will simply refuse to cooperate every single time. I WILL NOT leave children out of it without good reason.
    *Comparisons are not simply using people no matter how anyone slices it. If there are rational, reality-based, reasons for the comparison they will get used because language lives and dies based on its usefulness. Means of redirecting behavior are very similar in children, pitters, and political operatives. Just consider tu quoque and it’s easy to find examples of people excusing bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior in all three areas.
    *Comparing things to children as what they are, immature humans, might be unflattering, but it is also consistent with reality. I absolutely deny that it is disrespectful or insulting to treat children as what they are. Saying that a 10, 15, 0r even a 20 year old is not as emotionally mature is a scientific fact and dancing around that because it might make someone feel bad is itself an immature way of looking at society. We have to take reality and what it is into account to create a more functional society. I simply refuse to wear blinders because someone does not want to be reminded that they are still unformed. Refusing to take that into account at every relevant level of society is frankly a flaw-building exercise.

    I will be as consistent with reality as I can as a person. If someone’s feelings get hurt by that I can’t afford to care because by not living consistently with reality they are more likely to commit errors that they cannot guarantee will not affect me. If it affects me I get to comment. Period.

  48. chasstewart says

    @latsot So when you tell your SO that they are stupid, do you mean it? And do you pounce on them with insults when they make a mistake?

    Or is it playful? :|

  49. says

    And you’re saying that not informing me of my immense stupidity after making a mistake is cruel… I simply don’t believe you actually think this is true.

    Well, I do actually think that failing to inform otherwise intelligent people that they are wallowing in stupidity is cruel. But, in your case, I don’t think that’s what is going on. I think you’re lying when you claim your actions were motivated by obliviousness. I think you are an asshole. Accordingly, I don’t care if I hurt your feelings.

  50. chasstewart says

    Sally, stop ignoring my words. My feelings have not been hurt by you (just that person who told me I wasn’t funny and can’t recognize what’s funny) but I do question why you are so quick to insult when there could be a conversation happening.

  51. doubtthat says

    I didn’t say you weren’t funny, that’s very obviously not true. You have generated many laughs around these parts.

  52. says

    Seconding Sally @60
    If you see a person with a personal flaw, it is not nice to refuse to tell them because you are letting them remain flawed. Additionally you run the risk of their flaw effecting you in the future so it’s not nice to them, and it’s also not nice to you. It’s bad for everyone all around.

    @chasstewart 62
    Says the person who still has problems accurately describing what other people are saying. I now make the choice to be convinced by those saying you are lying and are merely playing with us. The evidence is good. If you want to demonstrate otherwise you can start by citing and quoting people from now on. Otherwise as a person you are now suspect when it comes to the accuracy of your words.

  53. Amphigorey says

    Chas, have you told your followers on Twitter yet that the placement of “elevator” was totally unintentional?

    No?

    Why are you bent on convincing us that it was, but not at all concerned that your followers think that you made a stupid joke?

    It’s because you’re getting approval on Twitter and disapproval here. You couldn’t be more transparent about it.

  54. rnilsson says

    Baahaahaat, don’t raise their goat, pleeeeease.* There’s no wool round here to fleece.
    Let them wallow in their sty, when they choose not high to fly.
    Piggish mores will come from bo(a)r(e)s.
    Much less useful than a sow.
    Well at least, folks, I do know
    how and when to take a bow.
    I just wish that so could Stew.

    *(Sorry, don’t elevate, I mean.)

  55. says

    Let me give it a shot, ludicrous (@ # 40).

    The thing is, not all children act like bullies, are mean & cruel, manipulate authorities into giving them passes for bad behaviour etc. In other words, this behaviour is not inherently childish. Characterising it as such absolves children who do harass others (what else can one expect of children but to act childish?), and is a slur towards the majority of children who exhibit decent behaviour. It’s not far removed from saying “boys will be boys”.

  56. says

    …but surely joining up as a group and telling one individual over and over again that they are an idiot and liar should be considered at least somewhat mean.

    Not if it’s demonstrably true.

    And if you don’t like being called stupid, you can stop doing stupid things.

    …but I do question why you are so quick to insult when there could be a conversation happening.

    You want a conversation? Stop saying stupid shit and talk more sensibly.

  57. chasstewart says

    @brony ” it is not nice to refuse to tell them because you are letting them remain flawed.” So what’s been the criticisms levied against me? That I’m and idiotic, oblivious, colossal Chas-hole. Oh yeah, that is very constructive and will get to work on all of those things.

  58. says

    @chasstewart 69

    So what’s been the criticisms levied against me? That I’m and idiotic, oblivious, colossal Chas-hole.

    Bullshit. The comment that I linked in #34 is an example. For you to characterize all the criticism and insults into that one statement is not consistent with reality.

    At some point we have to stop calling it paraphrasing or similar when you refuse to accurately describe what other people say and are repeatedly called out on it. You are lying.

  59. chasstewart says

    @Sally That is such a worthwhile question. Thanks.

    1st, the criticisms against Rebecca Watson’s video were almost immediately unfair and vicious and didn’t answer whether or not it is okay for Watson to tell her fans when it is creepy to approach her and when it is perfectly fine. My contention at the time was that what she said in her video was zero bad and that the purple who were criticizing her should focus elsewhere. So, trying to dig at Watson in a photograph where all we’re doing is smiling would be unnecessarily mean.

    2nd, I’ve been called a Slympitter even though I’ve barely posted there and I’ve been called one because I’ve been a consistent dissenter to the opinions voiced by many of the most popular bloggers at FTB. I don’t agree with the sentiment that certain aspects of feminism can’t be criticized without being called an anti feminist or MRA.

    So, all of that makes me a Slympitter BUT I still have enough in common with the people that attend Skepticon that I can get on fantastically there because of how much I still have on common with you.

  60. says

    That is such a worthwhile question. Thanks.

    Too bad you can’t answer it. But thanks for the demonstration of why I’m uninterested in conversation with you.

  61. FloraPoste says

    2nd, I’ve been called a Slympitter even though I’ve barely posted there and I’ve been called one because I’ve been a consistent dissenter to the opinions voiced by many of the most popular bloggers at FTB. I don’t agree with the sentiment that certain aspects of feminism can’t be criticized without being called an anti feminist or MRA

    So you’re wearing a slymepit t-shirt because you object to being labelled a slymepitter?

    And if a mean person called you a racist, would you put on a white hood?

  62. jodyp says

    So Chas’ approach to everything is to take pictures of things he’s doing, and then deny doing them?

    …he doesn’t get invited to speak at many functions, does he?

  63. says

    @ibis3 67

    This,

    Characterising it as such absolves children who do harass others (what else can one expect of children but to act childish?), and is a slur towards the majority of children who exhibit decent behaviour.

    …does not follow from this,

    The thing is, not all children act like bullies, are mean & cruel, manipulate authorities into giving them passes for bad behaviour etc. In other words, this behaviour is not inherently childish.

    An acceptable alternative explanation is that children all reach a stage where certain simple group conflict behaviors can become natural, unless they live in an environment where they get taught that things like the tu quoque fallacy are not acceptable. Environments where they learn that they must not refuse to confront bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior. If there is a child psychologist watching they are of course free to let us know who is closer to reality.

    It’s also the opposite of applying the behavior to individuals that don’t engage in it, children included because the ones engaging in the behavior are being pointed out as immature and engaging in simple childlike psychology. It’s about acknowledging personal inability to go beyond a baseline of cognitive ability when engaging with people you disagree with. If a child did not display the behavior I would not just bring up an accusation out of nowhere. It seems to me that anything else is a refusal to deal with the fact that we are talking about cognitive development and overcoming the simplest and earliest formed impulses and behaviors that in their most simple and easiest understood forms are in children.

    It’s not far removed from saying “boys will be boys”.

    No. That statement is meant to excuse the behavior of people behaving badly. It’s abdicating one’s responsibility to call out bad behavior and accept bad behavior because of some presumed natural impulse to act otherwise. Describing behavior as childish is the opposite as it calls out particular behavior on the basis of it being immature and unsuited to solving problems among adults. I happen to believe that there is a grain of truth about immaturity and both statements, but the one you brought up is an excuse and used in no way like what I am doing.

  64. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Flora Poste wrote:

    So you’re wearing a slymepit t-shirt because you object to being labelled a slymepitter? And if a mean person called you a racist, would you put on a white hood?

    There’s no way Chas is going to answer that one. He may be a dim, dishonest sycophant but he knows he’s on very thin ice when it’s pointed out he’s behaving exactly like bigots of all kinds behave.

  65. says

    2nd, I’ve been called a Slympitter even though I’ve barely posted there and I’ve been called one because I’ve been a consistent dissenter to the opinions voiced by many of the most popular bloggers at FTB. I don’t agree with the sentiment that certain aspects of feminism can’t be criticized without being called an anti feminist or MRA.

    So you’re wearing a slymepit t-shirt because you object to being labelled a slymepitter?

    And if a mean person called you a racist, would you put on a white hood?

    Exactly.

    It’s certainly not impossible to be called an anti-feminist for disagreeing with a feminist. Feminists are not exempt from the common practice of people disavowing that those who disagree with them actually share their ideology.
    It is, however, bizarre and rather unbelievable to think that anyone would react to this by effectively saying “You know what? Yeah, I’m an anti-feminist! Fuck feminism! I’m going to go align myself with these people who feel similarly!”

    And if you do…..guess what? You probably weren’t a feminist before.

  66. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Gretchen wrote:

    It is, however, bizarre and rather unbelievable to think that anyone would react to this by effectively saying “You know what? Yeah, I’m an anti-feminist! Fuck feminism! I’m going to go align myself with these people who feel similarly!”

    Yeah, it really seems more like a convenient excuse for either/both a) being too lazy to work at being a better person, or b) taking pleasure in being a bullying asshole.

  67. says

    I don’t agree with the sentiment that certain aspects of feminism can’t be criticized without being called an anti feminist or MRA.

    Haha, I had almost forgotten… I was going to come back to this. I’m sure that if Chas could ever be lured out of vagueness and somehow induced to share what specific aspects of feminism he thinks should be criticized, without earning people labels like “anti-feminist” or “MRA”. Note that he doesn’t even say that HE disagrees with those aspects of feminism. He has to keep it vague and glib; too much specificity would remove (what he thinks is) his plausible deniability.

  68. says

    Mistake corrected:

    I’m sure that if Chas could ever be lured out of vagueness and somehow induced to share what specific aspects of feminism he thinks should be criticized, without earning people labels like “anti-feminist” or “MRA,” it would become quickly clear why those specific critiques are associated with anti-feminism and reactionary male supremacy.

    Gotta watch out for that. I keep leaving off the last clause of sentences that I’m editing.

  69. rq says

    Ibis3 @67
    Yes, you said it better than I could. I agree with ludicrous on this point, too – as I mentioned before, when we call someone’s behaviour childish, we are (well, in my opinion, I’ll qualify that) in fact diminishing their actions – we are brushing them away as not-fully-adult and, in a sense, absolving them of full responsibility (because a child does not have the responsibility of an adult). It’s like you say, “boys will be boys” and “oh pish, it’s just so childish”, and everything gets waved away, completely ignoring the fact that some actions, while seemingly childish on the surface, are hugely harmful when coming from adults who should know better. Actions that don’t get enough weight because it’s “just a silly tantrum they’re throwing”.

    Although maybe the word could be applied to certain adult cases, I don’t think it applies to full-out obvious (adult) bullying and harassment, as in this case. And a lot of what latsot is lumping in with ‘childish’ behaviour is full-out bullying, which requires a bit more effort and premeditation than mere manifestations of children’s negative emotions (anger or fear reactions, for example). To me (at least), the word ‘childish’ doesn’t have any inherent malice within it, while latsot’s descriptions of supposedly childish behaviour do (and I say this without doubting at all that children/teenagers are fully capable of what latsot describes, I just wouldn’t call that behaviour childish as such).

  70. Amphigorey says

    What? No, calling something childish isn’t waving it away; that’s not how people use the word. They use it to describe undesirable behavior, unlike “boys will be boys,” which is used to excuse it. “Childish” doesn’t map to “boys will be boys” at all, no matter how much you want it to.

  71. says

    Poor Chasstewart, pilloried by one side and lauded by another, all because of his poor and totally unintentional framing of a picture, and subsequent attempt to call attention to that poor framing which just by pure chance happens to coincide with a joke that the members of the forum listed in the picture have been beating for years.

    Oh, if only someone would invent a way that pictures might be edited, in order to remove extraneous material and reframe the image on the intended subject, to “crop” the image down to size, so to speak. But alas, no such technology exists, and so Chasstewart is placed in the unenviable position of being though to have made a joke that he never intended to make and then allude to when posting the image that contains the unintentional joke. Pity Chasstewart, and pray that a poorly-framed image never leaves you in such a terrible situation!

  72. says

    @The poor pitiable Chasstewart, #72:

    1st, the criticisms against Rebecca Watson’s video were almost immediately unfair and vicious and didn’t answer whether or not it is okay for Watson to tell her fans when it is creepy to approach her and when it is perfectly fine.

    Here’s a tip: it’s okay for anyone to tell anyone else when it’s creepy to approach them and when it’s perfectly fine. And non-creepy people will, barring extreme circumstances*, respect those boundaries. When a woman gives a speech about being uncomfortable with strangers hitting on them, then expresses a desire to go to sleep, a stranger following them into an enclosed space, once they have left a larger group, to hit on them and (even if you don’t read in the obvious subtext of the reported proposition) suggesting that they do something that is entirely antithetical to their explicitly stated desire (i.e., “going to their room to sleep” and “drinking a caffeinated beverage in someone else’s room”) is pretty obviously not okay.

    It’s a mark of intentional obtuseness that the anti-RW crowd has forced themselves to ignore this basic not-okay-ness for this considerably long length of time.

    *I’m anticipating the inevitable ridiculous hypothetical here of “but what if you say you don’t want X to approach you and it’d be creepy but then they’re the only person who can save you from a burning building should they leave you to die huh what then checkmate atheistpluser!”

  73. says

    I’ve already explained that these insults mean nothing to me…

    …says the guy who drones on and on for DAYS about the insults.

    Chas, you’re not just obnoxious, you’re tedious and boring. Don’t you have anything else going on in your so-called life?

  74. chasstewart says

    @Tom Foss I could have sworn that I had already started my past and present opinion that Watson was totally within her right to set boundaries for how fans should approach her.

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