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Monthly Archive: August 2013

Aug 20 2013

When Firebrands Start Tone-Trolling

Like Greta Christina says, anger motivates us, but unchecked it can destroy us. – JT Eberhard, criticizing Bria Crutchfield for what he saw as her overly angry and harsh anti-racist commentary during Q&A at the recent Great Lakes Atheist Convention. A critique that assumed, among other things, that he is best able to decide when …

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Aug 20 2013

Coping with Life Under a Cloud of Medical Uncertainty

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“If we don’t know the answer to a question, it’s better to just say, ‘We don’t know.’ And then, of course, investigate and try to find an answer. We shouldn’t jump in with an uninformed answer based on our cognitive biases. And we definitely shouldn’t assume that, because we don’t know the answer to a …

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Aug 20 2013

PZ Myers’ Grenade, and Anonymous Accusations vs. Unnamed Sources: The “Deep Throat” Analogy

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When we’re considering accusations of seriously bad, possibly criminal behavior, should we take anonymous accusations seriously? What about unnamed sources? Much has been said about PZ Myers’s post on Pharyngula, What do you do when someone pulls the pin and hands you a grenade?, in which he re-posted an email from a woman he knows …

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Aug 16 2013

On Being Honored for Having Gotten Cancer

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So, this awesome and somewhat weird thing has happened. I’ve been named the 2013 Honored Hero by the Foundation Beyond Belief for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Foundation’s Light the Night Walk. This is a slightly odd thing. It’s wonderful, don’t get me wrong: I’m touched by it, it makes me feel both proud and humble, …

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Aug 16 2013

If You’re Getting Discouraged…

If you’ve been getting discouraged lately by all the horrible bullshit, and by all the people who want to cover their eyes and pretend the bullshit isn’t real, and by all the people who would rather blame the victims of the bullshit rather than consider the possibility that it might be real… I bring you …

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Aug 16 2013

Activist Burnout — Prevention & Treatment: My Talk at SSA Con West 2013

My talk at the Secular Student Alliance convention this year is up on YouTube! The topic: “Activist Burnout — Prevention & Treatment.” I think a lot of us maybe need to hear this right now. I actually just watched the video myself: I wrote this talk to be as much of a pep talk for …

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Aug 15 2013

Secular Meditation: What’s the Point?

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As I’ve been pursuing this new meditation practice that I’ve been yammering on about, there’s a question that keeps coming up: Why, exactly, am I doing this? What’s the point? I don’t mean “What’s the point?” as in “Why am I bothering with this?” I know why I’m bothering with this. I’m getting a whole …

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Aug 13 2013

Why We Need to Keep Fighting

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This piece was originally published in Free Inquiry magazine. If we don’t speak up, the status quo wins. Yes, this fight can be painful. When we fight against deeply entrenched beliefs, beliefs that people are emotionally attached to, beliefs that are entangled with the social and political and economic structures on every level, it can …

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Aug 13 2013

My Podcast Interview With Masocast!

I have a new podcast interview up! This one is with Masocast, who does “casual interviews with intelligent, funny, and all around interesting kinky people.” We talk about the experience of writing erotic fiction, whether the stories in my erotic fiction collection (“Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More”) came from …

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Aug 13 2013

A Timeline of the Sexual Harassment Accusations

At the Lousy Canuck blog, Jason Thibeault has put together a timeline of the major events of the sexual harassment accusations in the skeptical and secular communities. This is a living document: he is updating it as new information comes in and as new events unfold. This is hugely helpful. For people who have been …

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