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Sep 01 2011

Phase I of world conquest complete; initiating Phase II

Prepare yourselves, minions. Quake in terror, puny humans. The Plan progresses. Today we announce the appearance of the Second Wave of godless champions here at Freethought Blogs.

Alethian Worldview is a counter-apologetics blog formerly known elsewhere as Evangelical Realism. This blog will feature lots of critiques of Christian apologetic arguments.

Assassin Actual is the blog of an atheist Army officer stationed in Iraq. This blog will contain lots of first-person accounts of the war from a real life atheist in a foxhole.

Almost Diamonds is the new blog of Stephanie Zvan, who co-hosts the Atheists Talk radio show in Minnesota. She’ll be writing about science, sex, politics and whatever else she feels like talking about.

Blue Collar Atheist is the already well-established blog of Hank Fox, who moves to FTB to join the lineup.

Butterflies and Wheels is already a very well regarded website run by Free Inquiry columnist and author Ophelia Benson. Ophelia has long been a powerful voice for skepticism and science and we are very proud to have her joining FTB.

Camels with Hammers is the blog of philosopher Daniel Fincke, who teaches at Hofstra and CUNY. He’ll be focusing on the philosophical debates regarding atheism and religion.

Greta Christina brings her self-titled blog to FTB as well. Greta was one of the very first bloggers we thought of to invite to join the new network and we’re thrilled to have her on board. She blogs about atheism, sex and lots more.

Lousy Canuck brings our first non-American blogger to the network. Jason Thibeault is a skeptic and an atheist and his blog has now moved to FTB.

XBlog is the new blog of Greg Laden, a former colleague at ScienceBlogs who decided to throw his hat in with the new project as well. He also co-hosts the Atheists Talk radio show.

Bow down before them, or at least, pay a call on their blogs.

There are more changes coming, too. The ad network is going to get some revision, removing some of the more offensive ads; it looks like the annoying pop-ups will be getting the axe, too (and there was much rejoicing!). We have a web designer taking a look at patching the klunky look, because, you know, when you’re out to take over the world, you want to look pretty while you’re doing it.

And then there will be a Third Wave, and a Fourth, and many others. Victory is assured. You might as well never leave this domain.

79 comments

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  1. 1
    RW Ahrens

    Nice to see some “new” meat, er, blogs to read around here – IF they’d show up on the front page of FTB!

  2. 2
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Yay! World Conquest for everybody! *hands out party hats*

  3. 3
    Phil

    Great! Our conspiracy spreads, mwohohohoho…no, I’m out of practice on Evil Laughing! Mwohohehohe…mwahuhahuhahu…bugger!

  4. 4
    Hank Fox

    Really great to be here in such august company!

    I’m totally pumped at the opportunity to [metaphorically] crush our enemies, and I look forward eagerly to hearing the [virtual] grief-stricken lamentations of their Christian wives, husbands and children.

    Plus, the after-hours parties at Casa de Myers … man, those are legendary.

  5. 5
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Well, this will shorten my tabs bar considerably.
    I’m really looking forward to having almost all of my favourite blogs in one place.

  6. 6
    Daniel Fincke

    Thanks for the welcome, PZ! It’s an honor to be here.

  7. 7
    audiolight

    I will assume the third phase is “PROFIT“, then…?

  8. 8
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    List on front page? Side bar? Please? I have tried clearing my cache and using three different browsers, so I’m fairly sure the problem is at your end.

  9. 9
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    I’m with Cath. The search button is useless for finding a particular blog!

  10. 10
    Edward

    One wonders why you need a separate site rather than using any of the existing free hosts.

    Unhappy with their policies? Want to promote your own branding?

  11. 11
    Christophe Thill

    Lousy Canuck is not “non-American”. Geography anyone ?

  12. 12
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Christophe Thill:

    He’s right! Canadia is in America.

    Silly USAsians, thinking our country is America. (I still catch myself every so often plopping “America” where I mean the US specifically.)

  13. 13
    unbound

    I with rwahrens…anything to get the new blogs more easily accessible from the front page. Heck, I’d even take a simple page that just lists the hyperlinks to their main pages.

  14. 14
    Lynna, OM

    Assassin Actual posted about the Israel’s plan to give Jewish settlers non-lethal weapons.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/assassin/2011/08/30/157/

    My personal view is that the “weapon” of ultra-right-wing religion should be removed (excised? scrubbed?) from Jewish settlements. Don’t give them even non-lethal weapons to defend that indefensible stance.

    And for good measure, the religious aspects of Palestinian neighborhoods should also be mitigated.

    Dream on, Lynna.

    A plan is in progress to train and arm settlers with non-lethal munitions to support army personnel with the defense of the settlements. The army has also established two virtual “trigger lines” surrounding settlements with nearby Palestinian villages. The first line of defense is a trigger to launch non-lethal munitions including tear gas with a second “Red” trigger line to initiate lethal rounds against the extremities of the protestors. Now the source on this is Al Jazeera but, Israeli sources have confirmed that lethal force is authorized for defensive actions, which is in the eye of the beholder.
         My problem with this strategy is twofold. First, the settlers and Palestinians have a rough history, worse than the Israeli Army’s as they have been neighbors long enough to get some old fashion blood feuds going. Many Palestinians claim that Settlers are known to shoot locals and the police / security forces are apt to let the investigation go cold. Non-Lethal weapons can kill and are incredibly dangerous in green hands, a malicious person can do a fatal amount of damage fast and I am sure an angry mob would react poorly to watching one of their own go down like that.
         Secondly, if the red trigger line is crossed, no doubt many of the protestors will die. In the stress of battle, armed and in full kit, with an angry mob scaring the Moses outta you; perfect accuracy will be difficult. Some people will take rounds either center mass or to the head, not to mention the wounded who will die due to infection and inadequate medical care. And Zeus forgive what could happen if some of the protestors bring guns.

  15. 15
    SteveInMI

    Welcome, veteran/newbies!! :)

  16. 16
    Rorschach

    Don’t ask me to join , I’m too busy with work to write anything useful on a regular basis. Great to see (if not in the sidebar yet) Greta Christina and Ophelia Benson there ! The Laden/Zvan comment altering and identity exposing duo I could do without, but meh, it’s your blog network.
    Give SC or Jadehawk a go.

  17. 17
    ahcuah

    Looks like nice additions.

    I’ve mentioned this before, and since you are talking about the klunky look, let me say it again.

    I’d really appreciate something like the “last 24 hours” page on scienceblogs. That always let me catch up on all the new blog entries since I’d last looked. It should have the blog name, the title, and a few first words to get the feel for what the entry is about.

    This rather answers Edwards’ question (#10). I like to read through all these related posts, in order (or at least choose to do so). Even the current fashion on the main page (which lists the latest 3 from each blog–looks nice, but doesn’t provide enough functionality) doesn’t give that, since each blog is separate. I’ve found I prefer reading time-wise, not blog-wise.

    Yes, I know there other ways of achieving the same result (subscription?), but I’ve found what I’ve described to be quite convenient. Maybe others have, too.

    Thanks.

  18. 18
    richardelguru

    removing some of the more offensive ads

    I’m rather offended that you are doing this.

  19. 19
    opposablethumbs

    @ Katherine Lorraine #12, thank you so much for that! You would not believe the resistance one gets to pointing this out (and I’m in the UK – you’d think we’d be used to noticing by now that not every single bit of the UK is “England”).

    Disclosure – I remember only too well how embarrassingly long it took me to realise that there are not two but three different countries in North America …

  20. 20
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @opposablethumbs:

    There’s also three territories in North America, plus the Caribbean and Central America.

  21. 21
    peterh

    @ #’s 11 & 12

    In street parlance around the world, “America” means the USA, niceties of politics & geography notwithstanding. Forget the bath water & focus on the baby – er, babies in this thread.

  22. 22
    opposablethumbs

    @ Katherine Lorraine
    …. continental North America, then? (thought the Caribbean was considered separately?)

    But yes, I was Rong Agen ::facepalm::

    @peterh, not to derail (or no further than a tiny detour, honest!) but that is not the case of street parlance in most American countries.

  23. 23
    Tricia

    Is the ANY chance that Freethought Blogs can be recategorised so my work filter doesn’t block it due to “Social Networking is filtered”. :(

  24. 24
    Mike Haubrich

    I am sad to see that Rorschach is too busy to contribute. No, really, I am.

    I like that a lot of my co-hosts and guests from “Atheists Talk” are now blogging here. I look forward to reading them all together at one collective.

  25. 25
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Since you’re talking about prettying things up, maybe you guys could do something about the boring FTB logo? Perhaps a logo contest (after all, you got some nifty Pharyngula banners last time you opened up the floor for your readers).

  26. 26
    Jafafa Hots

    You’re a day late, Hank.
    We’re now September company.

  27. 27
    Jafafa Hots

    (Or rather THEY’RE rather than WE’RE (meaning the other bloggers))

    Pronoun trouble.

  28. 28
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @peterh:

    It would be the equivalent of saying “Eastern Europe” and meaning the Ukraine.

    America = USA. In fact, America means North and South America, plus the Caribbean and the island territories.

  29. 29
    Jason Thibeault

    Happy to blog shoulder-and-shoulder with so many giants. Best make sure my stepladder’s in good condition if I’m going to stay up here for any length of time.

    I’m amused by Rorshach’s comment at 16 though. Stephanie’s her own entity. Just because she was on Greg’s blog comments, doesn’t mean she participates in Greg’s blogging habits.

  30. 30
    edmundog

    Excellent additions, and now I don’t have to go elsewhere to read Greta! Hooray! Now if only I could figure out what the hell Comradde PhysioProffe is all about…

  31. 31
    Rey Fox

    Wake me when we get to the seventh wave.

    Love.

  32. 32
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    American means “from the USA” in nearly every context (e.g. the American President, the American constitution, the American people, all those “real Americans” the Teabaggers like so much). *Not* North American or South American. People from other countries in those continents don’t particularly appreciate having their cultures erased, Christophe & Katherine.

  33. 33
    Didaktylos

    BTW – what are we going to do with world once we’ve finished conquering it?

  34. 34
    Icaria

    And all in one neat little place, to be DDoSed mercilessly by the first nut with a botnet and an axe to grind.

  35. 35
    Dhorvath, OM

    Is it coincidence that Greta and Great use the same letters? My favourite lurking site just got easier to access and read. Yay! Of course, now commenting will be easier and I may end up with too little time to keep up, the sacrifices this move is asking of me!
    ___

    Ibis3,
    As a person in one of those other countries that struggles to differentiate itself from the US, I would prefer if they kept to that term and left America as a continental reference thank you very much. The president of the United States, the United States consitution, etc.

  36. 36
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ibis3:

    It’s an extremely US-centric view that sees no issue with saying “America” to mean only the United States of America. It’s certainly faster to say “Americans” when talking about the citizens of the United States, but there is more than one American continent and many more countries in the Americas that are not the US.

  37. 37
    Gregory in Seattle

    Very nice to see such a free thought-ful bunch.

    Regarding ads, have you all considered a subscription system? I would be very happy to pay a small amount to help offset your costs, if that meant I would not have any ads whatsoever. If FTB is operating as a non-profit (as distinct from non-prophet), you could offer one year of ad-free access to anyone who donates, say, $10 or more.

  38. 38
    LightningRose

    Please consider adding nested comments thus better facilitating conversations amongst your minions.

  39. 39
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    @Dhorvath & Katherine

    I don’t know why you would want to try and change the common usage of the word. It’s confusing and insulting. Let the Americans (what are you going to call them instead, United-states-ians?) have the term that’s been used for several centuries to describe them, and use North or South American to refer to residents of whichever continent, and Canadian, Mexican, or Colombian when you’re referring to citizens of those countries.

    As for this being a US-centric view, I think you’re wrong. I don’t think most Canadians or Mexicans (for example) feel like the term American applies to them at all. Even aboriginal peoples on this side of the border tend to prefer “First Nations” to “Native Americans”.

  40. 40
    hyoid

    Hey! Pay me $10 or more and I’ll promise to not be bothered by the ads for a whole year! (I don’t really notice them much)

  41. 41
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Ibis3:

    Well you’d have to ask some Canadians and Mexicans about that. I’m an American Indian myself (Pamunkey) and would prefer to be called by my tribe name rather than immediately lumped in with every other American Indian tribe out there.

  42. 42
    Anthony K

    I don’t think most Canadians or Mexicans (for example) feel like the term American applies to them at all.

    Nope. If someone asked if I were ‘American’, my first response would not be ‘Well, technically yes…”

    My first response would be “Good god! Fuck no! Look, I’m unarmed! And I understand that citizens of the rest of the world do not exist to serve me and thus have every right to speak languages that aren’t drawling English!”

    And then I might say “I’m Canadian. Like the people who sold you that asbestos you’ve got lying in a heap in the open on that construction site.”

    And then I might say, “So, technically yes. North American. Is my soy mochaccino almost ready?”

  43. 43
    edmundog

    “It’s an extremely US-centric view that sees no issue with saying “America” to mean only the United States of America.”

    But Mexico is also called the United States, (Estados Unidos Mexicanos) but the USA is the only one that has America in the name. Ehhhhh?

  44. 44
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    @ Katherine

    I am Canadian. And I can ask around if it would make you feel better.

    I’m an American Indian myself (Pamunkey) and would prefer to be called by my tribe name rather than immediately lumped in with every other American Indian tribe out there.

    1. Yeah, okay, but that wasn’t my point. My point was that we, on this side of the border, don’t generally use the term American to refer to anyone other that people from the US. We have an Assembly of First Nations, not an Assembly of Native Americans (of Canada??).*

    2. So why would you think I’d want to be “lumped in” with people from the US?


    *before anyone comes back with counter-examples, yes, I realise that some aboriginal orgs. and people use other terms, but I do believe that First Nations & Inuit are currently the preferred ones.

  45. 45
    Hemogoblin

    So… with all these quality blogs, it has to be asked (even if it gets me flamed): what the heck is “Comradde Physioproffe” doing on this blog site? Is it some kind of elaborate troll? The owner’s personal “can’t be kicked off” blog? Or is there some hidden hilarity about it that I’m completely missing?

  46. 46
    Hemogoblin

    Oh bugger. #30 already asked.

  47. 47
    sadpanda

    One suggestion would be about the way blogs are shown on the front page (on top are PZ’s and Ed’s). If you keep front page listing/banners shuffled up (change it once a day?) then clicks and eyeballs get distributed over more blogs.

  48. 48
    Zinc Avenger

    Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!

  49. 49
    chigau (違う)

    Nested comments have been weighed, measured and found wanting.

  50. 50
    Sour Tomato Sand

    I got excited for a minute when you mentioned Camels With Hammers is by a CUNY Professor, but then I saw it was Hunter College. Boo! We need an atheist voice at John Jay!

  51. 51
    Ophelia Benson

    Will there be a coloring book?

  52. 52
    chigau (違う)

    Here’s Pffft on North America:
    link
    I wonder where that leaves Hans Island?

  53. 53
    'Tis Himself

    Canuckistan is in America? I thought it was sandwiched somewhere between Burkina Faso and Nunavut. Or is that New South Wales?

  54. 54
    Dhorvath, OM

    Ibis,
    Hey, I am Canadian too, eh. It’s not that I want to refer to everyone from both Americas as being American, so much as I don’t want one nation to be American while the rest of the Americas are not. Right now, I just don’t want people from the US hogging a term which others have use for, there is enough US sentiment that runs to ‘what we say goes.’

    I don’t travel to America, I travel to the State;, when I do so I don’t cross the American border, I cross the US border; while I am there I don’t buy things in America, I buy in the States; and I don’t do so with American dollars, I use US dollars. So why are the people American? Likewise, if I say someone is from South America they are from a continent, when I say someone is from the southern States they are from Georgia or Mississippi. The understanding is plain.

  55. 55
    that guy

    Tell the web guy to make a favicon for the site. My bookmark is naked without it.

  56. 56
    Sili

    I hope the server can handle it this time.

    Would be such a pity to see such a large chunk of the skeptisphere taken out at once.

    We might end up resorting to woo while deprived.

    When are you gonna chain up Sastra in your cellar and make her blog for food?

    –o–

    LightningRose says:
    1 September 2011 at 11:01 am

    Please consider adding nested comments thus better facilitating conversations amongst your minions.

    This, boys and girls, are what we call a “non sequitur”. Repeat after me “non sequitur”.

  57. 57
    hotspur

    I think pz mentioned making money with his blog a while ago. how does he do that? just wondering.

  58. 58
    Dhorvath, OM

    Oh, I missed that. No to nested comments, we likes our conversations large, free, and easy to read.

  59. 59
    David Marjanović, OM

    Give SC or Jadehawk a go.

    Seconded! *giddy jumping*

    BTW – what are we going to do with world once we’ve finished conquering it?

    Worry about that later. First take power.

    </Lenin>

    And all in one neat little place, to be DDoSed mercilessly by the first nut with a botnet and an axe to grind.

    They tried that with ScienceBlogs. Worked for a few days, and we know what their admins are like. I don’t think that’s something to really worry about.

    But Mexico is also called the United States, (Estados Unidos Mexicanos) but the USA is the only one that has America in the name. Ehhhhh?

    Michael Moore had the best idea:

    THE
    BIG
    ONE

    When are you gonna chain up Sastra in your cellar and make her blog for food?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  60. 60
    'Tis Himself

    Pah, who needs Sastra when Ophelia and Greta Christina are already on board?

  61. 61
    ChasCPeterson

    Stephanie’s her own entity. Just because she was on Greg’s blog comments,…

    She was more than ‘on’ his comments, she has long served as Laden’s designated if unofficial Threadcop and also, I believe, lucidly edited his Congo series.
    The confusion is understandable.

  62. 62
    Jason Thibeault

    Certainly doesn’t mean she’s responsible for editing commenter’s comments or “outing anyone”. Whatever that means.

    I’ve asked her to edit some of my posts as well. She’s excellent at copyediting. And I maintain that her hanging out and beating up on trollish behaviour at Greg’s is not terribly different from frequent commenters at other folks’ sites. Greg and Stephanie are friends in meatspace, and have done a lot of work together. They are still separate entities.

  63. 63
    Kamaka

    @ lousycanuck

    I stay out of this buzzy type stuff, but please,

    “outing anyone”. Whatever that means.

    spare me the bullshit routine.

    I have no idea who might have outed who when. But you know very well what “outing” in this context means.

  64. 64
    Jason Thibeault

    No bullshit routine. I know what is meant by the phrase, but I don’t know what is meant by the insinuation.

  65. 65
    Trebuchet

    Where on earth — or Earth — am I going to find the time to read all this good stuff. Except for Comradde Physioproffe, who seems to be all about his juvenile fascination with cuss words and what he had for lunch, and nothing else. Except for the New York Yankees, whom I despise for the “entitled to the pennant every year” attitude of their fans.

    Re America: My late mother always had a thing about using “America” to refer to the United States. I’ve always pretty much disagreed. The USA is the only country on earth with “America” in its name. Are we supposed to call citizens of the Republic of France “Republicans”?

  66. 66
    suckers

    Ya’ll are suckers (interesting ones though).

    You do know you’re creating a monoculture/single point of failure for the godless on the intarwebs, don’t you? And you know how well a monoculture ends up in real-life(tm)?

    Don’t all drink the kool-aid, fight this corporate takeover and stay independent, at least a couple of you. ;)

  67. 67
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Ya’ll are suckers (interesting ones though).

    You do know you’re creating a monoculture/single point of failure for the godless on the intarwebs, don’t you? And you know how well a monoculture ends up in real-life(tm)?

    Don’t all drink the kool-aid, fight this corporate takeover and stay independent, at least a couple of you. ;)

    This is the dumbest comment of the night.

  68. 68
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I think pz mentioned making money with his blog a while ago. how does he do that? just wondering.

    Let me introduce you to the brand spanking new idea:

    Advertising.

  69. 69
    sphex

    “You might as well never leave this domain.”

    You know, I had been thinking that now that Greta Christina is here, I really may never have to.

    As long as people are talking about items on their wishlists:
    I have “liked” FTB on Facebook, and find it to be a very handy way of knowing when new articles are up. BUT: the blurbs that Facebook posts don’t tell me who WROTE the article. Since I follow some of the writers here more than others, this would be super-happy-wonderful information to…

    Also, I second the thought that the FTB logo should be more fabulous to be appropriate for world-dominion. Not that I personally have the talent, but I know lots of people here do.

  70. 70
    magistramarla

    Thanks a lot PZ and all of your fellow bloggers!
    Now I’ll have an even more difficult time turning off my computer and getting some sleep. Who needs sleep anyway?

    I’m glad to see so much good reading in one place.
    Thanks to all of you for the good work that you do.

  71. 71
    Samantha Vimes, Chalkboard Monitor

    Is anyone talking to Mike the Mad Biologist about his plans for his blog?

  72. 72
    Midnight Rambler

    what the heck is “Comradde Physioproffe” doing on this blog site? Is it some kind of elaborate troll? The owner’s personal “can’t be kicked off” blog?

    I think it’s PZ’s secret alter ego. Like “Drunken Master”, he can only remember the password to post there when he’s either completely plastered or just ate a big plate of pasta.

    I still haven’t figured out the meaning of that urine martini though.

  73. 73
    Don Quijote

    If anyone is interested, where I live (Galicia) if you use the word América or americano it is usual to assume you are talking about Latin America. Thus to be clear we use;
    Estado Unidos – estadounidense
    Canadá – canadiense
    The female form of americano, americana can also mean a jacket. Don’t ask me why though.

  74. 74
    Sili

    Pah, who needs Sastra when Ophelia and Greta Christina are already on board?

    I thought I’d have to say this, but Fuck you, T’is. Fuck you very much.

  75. 75
    drbunsen, le savant fous

    Please consider adding nested comments thus better facilitating conversations amongst your minions.

    No no no no no no no no no. Also, no.

    .

    American means “from the USA” in nearly every context … People from other countries in those continents don’t particularly appreciate having their cultures erased, Christophe & Katherine.

    Irony meter pegged but holding.

    .

    Or is that New South Wales?

    New Holland, thankyouverymuch :P

    .

    When are you gonna chain up Sastra in your cellar and make her blog for food?

    Well, that was disturbing.

    .

    Estado Unidos – estadounidense

    That, I could get behind :P

  76. 76
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Pah, who needs Sastra when Ophelia and Greta Christina are already on board?

    I don’t get this even as a joke. Do they satisfy the quota or something?

  77. 77
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Names ending in ‘a’, maybe?

  78. 78
    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage

    SC:

    Pah, who needs Sastra when Ophelia and Greta Christina are already on board?

    I don’t get this even as a joke.

    Me neither… but since ‘Tis is, AFAIK, One of the Good Ones™, I’ve been assuming the fault was mine.

  79. 79
    'Tis Himself

    Responding a bit late, but still responding.

    It was an attempt at humour.*

    There’s the further point that Sastra has been asked if she would run a blog and her response, if I remember correctly, was that she didn’t have to since Ophelia and Greta already had theirs.

    *”u” added so Aussie and Brits will understand the word.

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